32nd Parliament, 1st Session































The House met at 2:02 p.m.




Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, I want to make some comments about the Ontario Board of Censors. Today I will be introducing for first reading amendments to the Theatres Act which will substantially modernize the existing legislation.

Members will recall that last June I announced a new system for classifying films and outlined changes in the censor board itself. The new film classification system, which became effective in August, appears to be working very well. The restricted category remains, with admittance limited to adults aged 18 or over. A new category, adult accompaniment, was introduced, and permits people aged 14 or over unsupervised theatre entry; significantly, children under 14 can be admitted if accompanied by an adult. And the general film category was divided into two subcategories, one designated family and the other parental guidance.

The creation of the adult accompaniment classification was an important development that has been popularly acclaimed. It has encouraged the theatres branch in my ministry to designate many more films as adult accompaniment rather than restricted, enabling teenagers to see significant films that were previously prohibited to them. This new category also enables parents to take their children under 14 to these movies if they wish, shifting moral responsibility from government on to the parents, where it properly belongs.

The second development I announced last June was our intention to restructure the film censor board. Members will recall that decisions about film classification and film censorship were being made by a board of five full-time and three part-time members, all of whom were civil servants. I am sure members on both sides of the House shared my discomfort with the notion that civil servants were responsible for reflecting community standards. It seemed to me that if we were to continue with a film censorship board in response to public opinion then we should at least appoint people from the community who could more accurately reflect standards of acceptability.

We are in the process of creating a new board of censors that will have a minimum of 25 part-time members. Seven individuals already have been appointed, and others will be selected in the coming weeks, to reflect Ontario's ethnic, cultural, social and occupational character. We hope this restructuring will make the board more adept at interpreting contemporary and changing community values. I wish to thank members on both sides of this House for their recommendations on appointments and welcome further names for consideration.

The amendments I will be introducing to the Theatres Act will further refine and modernize the board's operations. One revision sets out the censor board's power to designate a film for limited exhibition in a specific place. This should permit the board flexibility to deal with the noncommercial showing of films to special audiences. We hope the revision responds to the recommendations received from the arts community.

The revised act also formalizes an appeal procedure for people who submit films to the board. In the past, the board has reviewed its decisions when requested. That procedure has not been acceptable to either this government or the film industry. The revised act now gives the person submitting a film the right to have the decision reviewed by five board members who did not participate in the original classification or censorship decision.

In this context, I should point out that during the past few months the board has substantially improved its accountability to the film community and the public. Anyone can request, and receive in writing, information from the board on film cuts and the rationale behind them. As well, the board is making available on request its screening procedures and classification criteria.

There are several housekeeping changes in the act, but I do want to draw members' attention to one other significant amendment. Currently, a film distributor is required to submit to the board every copy of a film. Each copy is then stamped and certified. We appreciate that this is a rather unnecessary and costly procedure for both distributors and the theatres branch.

With the amended act, only the first copy of a film will be stamped, and an approval certificate will be issued for all subsequent copies. This will greatly reduce a distributor's transportation costs and enhance the productivity of the theatres branch.

However, all copies of films with eliminations will continue to be stamped by the board. As film censorship is actually a rare occurrence in Ontario and happens far less frequently than press reports would lead one to believe, these exceptions will be a minor processing inconvenience.


Mr. Speaker: Before proceeding with oral questions, I ask all members of the assembly to join me in welcoming and recognizing in the Speaker's gallery the Honourable Gerald A. Lawrence, Minister of Public Works and minister in charge of administration of the Communications and Information Act, from Nova Scotia.


Mr. Smith: I have a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker. During my six years here, the Toronto Sun has said many things about me and my party that have been less than flattering.

Some hon. members: But true.

Mr. Smith: True or not, they have been less than flattering. At times they have been hard to take, but I have rarely stood to object to anything written in that paper. But this time they have gone too far.

An article on page 93 of that newspaper was brought to my attention today. It deals with the member for St. David (Mrs. Scrivener) and says, in addition to other things, with regard to the Ontario Housing Corporation "empty nest" problem, "We asked her if she knew what the problem was and she said she didn't," which is surprising, of course, for someone who has the largest number of OHC tenants in Ontario in her riding.

But that is not what is shocking. What is shocking is in the previous paragraph, where it says, "The delegation spoke to Scrivener, a Liberal." Our party draws the line at that, and we feel our privileges have been grievously assaulted in this article.

Mr. Speaker: Thank you. I am sure the report in question will be corrected.

2:10 p.m.



Mr. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I want to direct a question to the Minister of Energy. I am sending over to the minister a list of certain contradictions that have appeared on the subject of Suncor. These are contradictions between himself, in some instances, the Premier (Mr. Davis), Mr. Malcolm Rowan and the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) on some fundamental aspects of the Suncor deal. I ask specifically if the minister will try to clear up these matters for us.

I start with the matter of the financing of the second half of the Suncor purchase. The minister will see there are quotations indicating plainly that the other $325 million "will come from Ontario and the moneys will be obtained here in Ontario." That was the Premier. Then we have: "The financing will be accomplished by tenure notes to Suncor." That was Mr. Rowan. Then we have from the Treasurer: "Ontario will raise the $325 million without borrowing." There are several other quotations, finishing with the Treasurer saying: "Financing of the second $325 million is still up for negotiation. It will not necessarily be by notes at the 17 per cent interest rate" and so on.

Given that the way the government is going to pay for the deal is a fundamental aspect of this purchase, will the minister explain the reason for the confusion on that matter?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I have not had an opportunity to review all the material set out on the sheets the Leader of the Opposition has been kind enough to send over. On page four, I catch an error that I thought I had corrected at the time of my participation in the debate in the House last Tuesday. I refer to the second quotation on page four, which should read, "We have said that we expect a minimum rate of return of about 15 per cent," not that we do not expect it. As it goes on, "We do, of course, anticipate that the return will be higher." The emphasis there was on the fact that it would be a minimum return and there should he something higher.

If the Leader of the Opposition will go back over the material we shared with the House on Tuesday evening as part of that debate -- I do not have it here now -- we did indicate that the second half would be repaid over a period not to exceed 10 years and at a rate yet to be negotiated.

In other words, the very points the Leader of the Opposition makes reference to today are some of those areas now under discussion, dealing as they will with the finalization of the dividend policy which has to be put in place, the rate of return to which he has made reference and the borrowing rate which, as we pointed out in answers given earlier, has to have some relationship to the advantage the province itself has in so far as interest rates are concerned.

If I can summarize, we are at the moment finalizing those repayment details, which will be wrapped up in the finalization as to whether it has to be 10 years or can be some period of time shorter than 10 years, and the finalization of the details of the dividend policy. It was on the basis of this information that I was able to indicate we felt the payment terms would be self-financing.

Mr. Smith: On that point, the minister undoubtedly will agree that if it is to be paid for out of profits, as originally indicated, it brings up the problem of dividends flowing to Sun Company for the remaining three quarters of the shares. If it is to be paid for out of other borrowing instead of profits, it increases the deficit. That is a fairly fundamental issue. I trust the minister will agree.

On the matter of the rate of return. I ask the minister to look at the quotations where the Premier says, "We can expect a rate of return of 15 per cent." Then we have the Treasurer saying: "The potential for receiving dividends still exists. The fact they have not been paid in the past does not mean they will not be paid." The Minister of Energy says, "We expect a minimum rate of about 15 per cent." The Treasurer then says: "I do not know where the 15 per cent came from. I saw it in the press."

Will the minister explain to us the reason for the confusion about what rate of return is expected by the province?

Hon. Mr. Welch: In summary, I can add little to what I have already said. The minimum is expected to be 15 per cent: it is anticipated that it will be higher. Of the two options which the Leader of the Opposition gave at the beginning of his supplementary, it is the first. We are working on the assumption at this stage, on the basis of the figures I have, that it will be paid from the earnings we will receive, as I have already explained.

Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, the minister will recall that last Tuesday during the debate I suggested that he should separate the matter of the interim supply motion and establish some sort of working committee to take a look at the relevant facts and figures, keeping in mind those that are confidential. Is this government now prepared to meet that request and provide some forum where this matter can be resolved once and for all?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, in fairness to the honourable member who asked that question, I should point out that on the basis of my examination, and certainly following up with those who have been advising us with respect to these transactions, I have been told, and have no reason to disbelieve the information I am getting, that all the information that does not in itself contravene the agreement of confidentiality is public and has been tabled.

It may well be that in interpreting this information or in further understanding exactly what it does include, some vehicle can be found for its interpretation, or even some questions on information that is public. I am prepared to review that with the honourable member or anyone.

But I do want to get to the bottom line that, according to my information, all the information that is available has been made available or is public, except, of course, that information which at this stage would contravene the undertaking with respect to confidentiality.

Keeping in mind that even our negotiations are still going on; keeping in mind that the government intends to table the final agreement; keeping in mind also that, to be consistent with the reason for our involvement in the first place -- that is, the Canadianization of this company -- there are still other buyers to be obtained; and keeping in mind the information to which the articles of confidentiality apply, that is all the more reason why at this stage we want to respect that undertaking.

Mr. Smith: Given that so few of the honourable members opposite were in on the deal to begin with -- I gather that there was the Premier, Mr. Rowan and a couple of cabinet ministers, maybe three at most -- can the minister possibly explain how there can be such major confusion even among themselves on matters as basic as how they are going to pay for the stuff and what the rate of return is going to be? How can there be that much confusion among the few of them who were in on this deal to begin with?

Hon. Mr. Welch: I suppose I will start by saying that there was no confusion. I point out to the Leader of the Opposition, with one correction on page four, that we are talking of a minimum rate. I have said in answers on several occasions that some of these details are yet to be worked out --

Mr. Smith: How you pay for it and what your rate of return is?

Hon. Mr. Welch: No. I am speaking of the general parameters. We have talked about the maximum period of time during which the repayments would be made. We have talked about taking advantage of borrowing rates that are unique to the province of Ontario. We are talking about working out a dividend policy, which one would understand would have to be worked out. Ultimately these will be encompassed in the formal agreement and all of them will be tabled.


Mr. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Industry and Tourism. We on this side of the House have been questioning for at least five or six years the shortage of skilled manpower, and the minister himself has made a number of speeches about the importance of high technology, skilled manpower and so on, and about his commitment to the high-technology option for Ontario.

After these many years of arguing and discussing in the House, when the government's main policy seems to be to send raiding parties over to England from time to time to try to recruit people to come here and work, can he explain how it is that a report has now come out about an electronics company called Bayly Engineering in Ajax which estimates that it will require 1,000 skilled technologists and engineers by 1986 but it has to go outside Ontario to hire these people because of shortages of skilled workers in Ontario?

2:20 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, as we have discussed in the assembly before, from time to time the number of skilled workers needed by firms in a particular field is not available. In those circumstances, as I think the honourable member will recall, that is verified with the Department of Employment and Immigration in Ottawa and with the unions involved, if any; it is ascertained rather definitively that nowhere in Canada are those workers available.

In those circumstances I think it is only reasonable for the firms, rather than not to undertake the work, to get the workers from somewhere else. This is what every other industrialized nation in the world does. The normal rule of thumb is that if we have one skilled worker from outside this country, that provides about seven or eight other semi-skilled jobs. On balance, I think it is a reasonable procedure to follow, given the problem of matching skills to demands.

Mr. Smith: Since the minister has clearly misunderstood the import and the intent of the question, perhaps I can ask it somewhat differently.

Does the minister not understand that the concern is not that the company might be hiring people who are available here but that his government, despite its professed support for the high-technology industries in Ontario, has failed over the past five and six years to produce the skilled manpower required by these various industries for Ontario's industrial survival?

How can he explain his inactivity and lack of success over the past five or six years so that we now are at a point where manpower is the most serious problem of high-technology firms? This one company in particular may have to go for hundreds of people, and perhaps even 1,000, outside this country in the next few years.

If he really cares about this industrial strategy, then how does he account for his failure to produce the people needed by these vital industries?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: When we put the level of the problem into perspective, I think it gives a little better view of it. We have a work force in Ontario in excess of four million people. Each year our selective placement services assist in getting about 1,000 people out of four million.

Mr. Smith: You're keeping a straight face; I'll give you credit for that.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Those are the figures; the member can check them anywhere. We have a mismatch of skills in Ontario of about 1,000 people out of four million people in the work force.

Quite seriously, there is no jurisdiction anywhere that can succeed with 100 per cent accuracy in forecasting its mix of job skills to demands. In the high-technology industries particularly it takes about three or four years to train some of these people; so it means one has to forecast with 100 per cent accuracy what the job skill demands are going to be in 1985, to begin to train them today.

If we look at the experience in any other industrialized jurisdiction and consider that we are in a situation where we need to import 1,000 out of four million, we are far outperforming any other jurisdiction in estimating the demand for job skills and matching them over any given time frame.

Mr. Breaugh: Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the minister if he can explain why he has not done anything to co-ordinate, for example, the new CAD/CAM centre at Durham College and the Durham Organization for Industrial Training, both of which are existing facilities in the Durham region that could provide the kind of skilled tradespeople that the Bayly Engineering project wants and needs.

Has he tried in any way to co-ordinate the placement and use of those existing facilities and training services to fill those jobs? Or is it because his government had nothing at all to do with that Bayly Engineering job site and they are just deciding to let this one fall by the wayside?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Of course, Mr. Speaker, the honourable member knows that latter is not true. I could be wrong, but I think we helped Bayly Engineering in some way or other. The facilities in the member's area -- and Durham College in particular, which is headed up by my former director of trade, a very esteemed and reputable gentleman, Mel Garland -- are very capable and skilled in the kinds of problems mentioned. They have, I think he will agree, a pretty good record of co-operation with industry in that area.

If there is any part of the province that particularly has made an effort, a successful effort for the most part, to match skills to the demands of the industries around that area, it is Durham. Indeed, I hold that up as an example to some other parts of the province.

Mr. Sweeney: Mr. Speaker, given that the minister indicates the reason we have to go outside Ontario to find these people is the necessary lead time and given that we know what our needs are right now, why is it that a company like Linear Technology in Burlington has indicated that the very kind of people it already projects it is going to need are not being trained in our colleges and schools right now?

For example, Doug Barber, who is the vice- president of Linear and who teaches at McMaster University, points out that four out of five of the students who are applying for engineering in these very areas cannot get accepted by our colleges and universities.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, with respect, when the honourable member compares the programs jointly instituted by the Ontario Manpower Commission, through my colleague the Minister of Labour (Mr. Elgie), and by my colleague the Minister of Colleges and Universities (Miss Stephenson), he will find those spaces are there.

The success of the programs undertaken in the past few years by this government is literally unmatched by any jurisdiction anywhere. If the member wants the facts on that, he should ask my colleagues; they will give him the details -- it may take all the rest of question period for them to give him all the facts and figures on all the programs being mounted by this government.


Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Labour, and I hope he has had time to check up about ITT Aimco, since he did not know about it last Thursday.

Is the minister aware that in early July a Mr. Santos reported an unsafe condition in the work place, namely, that the handle of the scrap basket he was forced to empty was broken off and there was a danger of someone being injured?

Is the minister further aware that the supervision did not take any opportunity to have the condition repaired, despite a second employee reporting the same situation, which is clearly a contravention of section 16(2)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, which states that every precaution reasonable in the circumstances should be taken for the protection of a worker?

Is the minister also aware that Mr. Santos was sent back into the area to work with that type of condition?

What action does the minister intend to take against ITT Aimco to ensure that it follows the provisions of the act?

Mr. Eakins: Tell him at dinner tonight.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Should I have dinner with him? Goodness gracious! Well, I have done it before. It might be fun again to have dinner or perhaps lunch with him.

Mr. Speaker, the honourable member has written to me about this particular company, and I would have hoped the particular health and safety representative would have been in touch with him by now so that he could understand that a meeting already had been arranged between Mr. Falkowski, Mr. Camara, who is the president of Local 7574, Dr. Robinson, who is an assistant deputy minister and the director of the occupational health and safety division, and Cliff Baskin to try to resolve all outstanding issues.

But let us not leave the impression that there has been inactivity with regard to that plant. It is quite interesting to know that since Bill 70 was proclaimed in October 1979, there have been 12 physical inspections of that work place, there have been 39 orders issued and there have been 85 contraventions of the act; all orders have been complied with except three that are still outstanding and that we are following up on.

Let me assure the member in the House that there is no inactivity with regard to evaluating problems within that company. But clearly it needs more than that. The member will know from experiences we have had in other situations that the kind of thing that helps problems in the work place is to get people talking and to try to resolve issues and work them out. That is what we are doing.

Mr. Martel: I am glad to hear the meeting is under way, because these questions have been pursued since early July and it was only after the issue was raised in the Legislature last week that the meeting the minister talks about was established.

Going back to Mr. Santos, however: Is the minister aware that Mr. Santos, having reported the condition and it not having been repaired, sustained an injury and missed four weeks of work, and that when he asked to go to see the plant nurse after injuring himself, the supervision refused to allow him to see the health nurse?

I want to know how many charges have been laid to date against this company to make them comply with the act.

2:30 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: I do not know the particular case of Mr. Santos, but I do know that issue will be discussed by the parties at the meeting that is to be held a week Wednesday.

Mr. Martel: Is the minister further aware that, with only approximately 400 employees, this plant had 116 compensable accident claims in 1980, resulting in lost time of 1,108 work days? Is the minister telling me the effects of his intervention to date have curtailed the sorts of problems that exist in that plant? I ask for a second time how many charges he has laid against them.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: I do not think I can elaborate any more other than to reiterate that there have been orders issued, there have been some contraventions and there have been requirements that they clean up certain problems within the plant.

The member has raised issues, and the local health and safety director of the trade union has raised issues. In the past, we have found the best way to resolve the problems is to meet and talk about them. Heavens, the member and I might even do that for lunch or dinner one day. Perhaps we can resolve these issues that seem to be causing such a wide gap in the House.

Mr. Martel: I hope the minister is inviting me to lunch next week, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: I did not hear him say that.

Mr. Martel: You did not, but I was hoping.


Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Transportation and Communications.

The minister will be aware that the Toronto Transit Commission is considering another fare increase in addition to the ones in 1979 and 1980. Will the minister explain why the provincial transit subsidy formula allows the TTC to collect more than 70 per cent of its costs from fare boxes in comparison with Montreal, where it is only 46 per cent, and Vancouver, a city of comparable size, where it is 39 per cent?

Can the minister indicate what he is prepared to do to ensure that the increase does not occur and to improve services for the residents of Metropolitan Toronto?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, first of all, I will not attempt to explain why the cost-revenue ratio of the Montreal or Vancouver transit systems is somewhat less than that in Metropolitan Toronto. I think it is quite obvious to everyone that Metropolitan Toronto operates one of the finest transit systems in North America, if not in the world. This transit system is very generously supported by this government and continues to expand to serve the needs of the people of Metropolitan Toronto.

Mr. Martel: The minister totally failed to answer the question, which was whether he was going to intervene in some way to prevent a further increase in costs.

Since he talked about being so generous, may I ask the minister why he is prepared to subsidize GO Transit at a rate of approximately 50 per cent, while he is prepared to subsidize the TTC at a rate of only 15 or 16 per cent from the provincial Treasury?

Hon. Mr. Snow: In his preamble, the honourable member said he did not know why I was not prepared to control costs. I think that is somewhat beyond my jurisdiction.

As to the subsidy rate this government pays to the TTC, some years ago we established a cost-revenue ratio forecast for the different classifications of transit systems within the province. We subsidize some 63 or 64 transit systems in Ontario, I believe.

I point out that the TTC system in Metropolitan Toronto gets more than 50 per cent of the total transit operating subsidies that are paid by the province. If one takes into consideration all transit subsidies, including capital and operating subsidies, the Toronto Transit Commission receives approximately 61 per cent or 62 per cent of the total subsidy paid by the province. When one also takes into consideration the type of system it has, I think the subsidies are quite fair.

Mr. Smith: A supplementary question, Mr. Speaker: Could the minister explain why he still insists Toronto be subsidized at a percentage below other large cities in Ontario? Would it not be reasonable at least to bring Toronto closer to the level of subsidy received by the other large cities? There are obviously differences for medium- or small-sized cities but compared with the other large cities in Ontario would it not be better to bring Toronto up to the same level paid for cities of a quarter of a million to half a million persons?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, in regard to the difference in size, our subsidies range from approximately 15 per cent of operating costs for Metropolitan Toronto to a maximum of 25 per cent of operating costs for a municipality of under 100,000 population. There are three categories in between: 22.5 per cent, 20 per cent and 17.5 per cent. I believe those are the figures. I do not have them in front of me but I think my memory serves me right. When that formula was set up, it was based on the operating performance of the transit systems in those categories.

For instance, we established this funding formula about five years ago. Prior to that the government of Ontario was paying 50 per cent of the operating deficit. We have changed that formula to a percentage of total operating costs. The formula set up with Metropolitan Toronto was established at a price that would approximate 50 per cent of the operating subsidy. Actually we have been doing somewhat better than that. I believe the subsidy paid to Metropolitan Toronto in the last complete year -- of course we do not have the complete figures for 1981 -- was more than 50 per cent of the operating loss of the TTC. We were paying more than we would have been on the old formula of 50 per cent of the deficit.

Ms. Bryden: A supplementary question, Mr. Speaker: Does the minister not consider he has some responsibility to help the TTC maintain the single fare system instead of reverting to the old zone fare system? That would require working people from the suburbs to pay two or even three fares to get to work in the downtown area where they cannot afford to live on account of the housing and interest rate policies of this government.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I have not heard of any discussions or proposals from Metropolitan Toronto to change from the single fare system. If the honourable member has information I do not have --

Mr. Laughren: You haven't heard the mayor.

Ms. Bryden: The mayor was on the air this morning.

Mr. McClellan: You are wrong.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: It was not Metro itself. It was Art Eggleton.

Hon. Mr. Snow: I have not heard any proposal to do that. As a matter of fact, in 1980 I understand the total operating deficit of the TTC was some $61 million, of which the subsidy of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications was $33.1 million and that left a municipal share of $27.9 million.

2:40 p.m.


Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Natural Resources. What response is he undertaking to make on behalf of the ministry and the government as a whole to the decision of the Supreme Court of Ontario regarding Indian hunting and fishing rights? The court ruled that Indians in the province, particularly registered band and treaty Indians, are not governed by the hunting and fishing seasons and catch limits that have been established by the government over the years. It said they are free to hunt and fish whenever they like and wherever they like "as long as the wind blows and the grass grows," I believe the treaty phrase is.

Hon. Mr. Pope: Mr. Speaker, the case the honourable member refers to is the Queen versus Taylor and Williams, a recently-issued decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal. It dealt with section 88 of the Indian Act and how that dovetailed into the Game and Fish Act and some of the Ontario regulations under the federal acts. The court came to the conclusion that the terms of the treaty, which included the oral terms recorded in the minutes, preserved the historic right of these Indians to hunt and fish on crown lands and the lands conveyed.

They fall under the exception established by the opening words of section 88 of the Indian Act. Section 88 says, "... subject to the terms of any treaty." In other words, they interpreted the wording of the treaty in light of other information which was made available at the time the treaty was being negotiated.

We are uncertain as to the legal consequences of that decision. First of all, it did limit the right of Indians to hunt and fish by treaty on crown lands and not on private lands. That is an important distinction to make, particularly in southern Ontario. It just deals with crown lands and leaves unanswered the issue of occupied crown lands either by land-use permits or other allocation systems under Ontario statute.

The second matter that may not have been altered by the decision was the rights. It is possible to argue the right that was preserved was to hunt and fish for purely personal consumption and not a right to hunt and fish with respect to commercial enterprises. Therefore the decision may not alter the position of this government which was previously taken by my predecessor in communication with the various native peoples' organizations and before this Legislature on numerous occasions.

However, our real concern with the decision is that the court lays down some principles of interpretation that they will apply in future with respect to these issues. I can quote them very briefly. The first was, "The honour of the Crown is always involved and no appearance of sharp dealing should be sanctioned." Second, "If there is any ambiguity in the words or phrases used, not only should the words be interpreted against the framers or drafters of such treaties but such language should not be interpreted or construed to the prejudice of the Indians if another construction is reasonably possible." The third was: "If there is evidence arising from judicial notice of the facts of history or otherwise, by conduct or otherwise, as to how the parties understood the terms of the treaty, then such understanding and practise is of assistance in giving content to the term or terms, and this evidence extends to how historically the parties acted under the treaty after its execution."

All of that means there will be new principles and new inferences used by the Court of Appeal of Ontario in terms of interpreting the treaty rights. Because we have some difficulty with these interpretive principles, and because we think the rights that were won by this case were already given by policy direction of the former Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable James Auld, we do not think there is any problem in asking for a further discussion of this matter by the Supreme Court of Canada. Therefore, we recommended to the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) that leave be sought from the Supreme Court of Canada to appeal this decision, based on our concerns with respect to the principles of interpretation.

I am unaware of any final decision on this matter by the Attorney General of Ontario. However, I want to reiterate that through understandings reached with the native peoples' organizations, they do already have the right to hunt and fish on crown lands. Second, they do have the right to hunt and fish for personal consumption and the context in which these rights are given are matters that have been discussed in numerous meetings with the treaty organizations over the past six months.

Mr. Nixon: Supplementary: We gather, then, the minister is advising the Attorney General to seek leave to appeal the ruling. Until some action occurs in that connection, has the minister instructed his conservation officers that registered Indians and treaty Indians have the right to hunt and fish without any proscription whatsoever on crown lands in the province?

Hon. Mr. Pope: No, Mr. Speaker, I have not. My interpretation of the decision on the specifics of this case, setting aside the rules of interpretation problems, is that with respect to crown lands and personal consumption nothing much may have changed. Again, I admit that this is a speculative interpretation.

We believe the treaty organizations and the bands and the native people desire to come to some sort of accommodation with the government vis-â-vis their own conservation ethic and some means of administering that ethic in the context of some of our problems for fish stock and wildlife in the province. We think that under the existing arrangements, the existing policies, we can continue to properly administer the rules of the Game and Fish Act for the benefit of all people of Ontario.

Mr. Laughren: Supplementary: Would the minister at least agree to have his officials cease and desist in the laying of charges when there are issues in dispute which the native people wish to negotiate with the minister? For example, when they are fishing in the headland waters between the jutting peninsulas up in the northwest?

Hon. Mr. Pope: The short answer to that is no. I will explain why. In May and June this year, at the request of the native peoples' organizations, we agreed we were receptive to entering into a co-management policy system with the native peoples' organizations in this province. We provided some details of what we hoped to have under this co-management policy, including some joint recognition of the native peoples' organizations and the government of the need for some control in terms of hunting and fishing in different parts of the province, depending on particular problems localized in various lakes and also in specific hunting areas.

We also indicated if there was joint recognition of this problem we could arrive at a consensus on some limits. Those agreements could be implemented through band bylaws which we were prepared to recognize -- the same way they have started to do in New Brunswick and the same way they have done with the federal government in the lands under federal jurisdiction.

We indicated we wanted to work with the native peoples' organizations with respect to the policing of that system, using both their people and ours. We offered all of this on the table. The co-management policy system was subsequently rejected because of existing constitutional discussions that were taking place, and we now look --

Mr. Laughren: Nonsense.

Hon. Mr. Pope: It is not nonsense. The member was not present at the meeting, so he --

Hon. Mr. Pope: -- would not know what was discussed.

We are now looking forward to further discussions with the native peoples' organizations to arrive at a co-management system, but we are not going to forsake our responsibility to the native people and to the rest of the people of Ontario to set quotas, to control hunting and to preserve both the fish and wildlife of the province.


Mr. MacDonald: I have a question for the Minister of Energy. It concerns the proposed cable under Lake Erie through which Ontario Hydro would deliver some 1,000 megawatts of power to General Public Utilities, the owner of the disabled Three Mile Island plant. Does Hydro's approval of this under-lake cable mean this government is committed to entering into long-term contracts to sell electricity to the United States?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, this matter has been before the Hydro board. I understand within a few days they may well be exchanging some letters that will enable them to take a further step with respect to seeking approval of the National Energy Board.

They are acting at the moment under the general government policy of favouring exports but certainly this project has not yet been submitted to my colleagues. Because of the international characteristics of this arrangement it would not be until such time as after the matter has been before the National Energy Board to satisfy that board.

Mr. MacDonald: Supplementary: My understanding is that this was considered by the Hydro board a month ago and is now before the cabinet. A commitment was given by the Minister of the Environment on April 22, 1980, when the leader of this party (Mr. Cassidy) asked, "Could we have assurance here and now from the Minister of the Environment that the proposals to export electricity from Nanticoke under Lake Erie will be subjected to the full environmental assessment procedures under Ontario's Environmental Assessment Act?" The minister of the day replied, "The answer to the latter part of the question is yes. It was always the intent of Ontario Hydro, and they understand it. That should be very thoroughly understood."

2:50 p.m.

Is the minister in a position on behalf of the government, or if he wishes to refer it to the Minister of the Environment (Mr. Norton) he may do so, to give us a firm commitment that this project will be subject to environmental assessment in Ontario in accordance with the firm commitment given by the minister a year and a half ago?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, this matter is not before the cabinet at the moment. Perhaps I should correct the honourable member. It is my understanding it was reviewed by the Hydro board at its October meeting and that further steps will indeed be taken to make the formal application. As part of that application there will be a full inquiry by the National Energy Board into environmental and social impacts. There is certainly no question that all those matters will have to be taken into account at that time. Perhaps the honourable member will understand that this matter has not yet been before my colleagues in cabinet.

Mr. Smith: Final supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Since the minister is now obviously trying to suggest we can weasel out of the Environmental Assessment Act by pretending that environmental matters will be dealt with sufficiently under the National Energy Board investigations, would he pay attention to the quotation read by the member for York South? In it the former Minister of the Environment (Mr. Parrott) said the answer to the latter part of the question -- "Will the proposal be subject to full environmental assessment procedures in Ontario's Environmental Assessment Act" -- was yes. The word of the present minister in this House on June 26 of this year was, and I quote: "My position certainly has not changed from that of my predecessor."

Does the Minister of Energy not recognize that the Americans are already accusing us of being insincere on the subject of acid rain? They accuse us of wanting them to shut down their coal-fired generating stations or install scrubbers so we can then enter their market with cheaper electricity. We have been accused of that by Senator Clarence Brown, an Ohio Republican.

How is it going to look in the United States when we try to make an acid rain argument there if we are prepared to use stations without scrubbers to produce coal-fired electricity and then send it into their market, doing exactly what they say we were intending to do? Will we not look awfully hollow criticizing them for generating electricity without scrubbers?

Does the minister not understand the importance of this matter for the acid rain problem generally on this continent? Will he finally make the Environmental Assessment Act something other than the environmental exemptions act?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I feel the Leader of the Opposition has not been very fair in drawing all sorts of conclusions on the basis of my answer to the member for York South. He knows that Ontario Hydro has voluntarily agreed to the reduction of emissions, which carries with it the installation of scrubbers. How did it ever get into this discussion that we are attempting to avoid that matter? I do not know why he would even suggest that.

I have made it quite clear as far as this project is concerned that all the legal requirements would be met. Indeed, that is part of the whole hearing process, to which I have already made reference.


Mr. Bradley: Mr. Speaker, notwithstanding the Minister of Energy's previous answers to my leader and to the member for Sudbury East (Mr. Martel), I would like to ask him a question about Suncor. Does the minister agree with the Progressive Conservative member for Leeds (Mr. Runciman) on this matter? That member was quoted as saying the following on Suncor: "With an expenditure of that magnitude the Legislature should be involved as much as possible and as soon as possible in determining whether it was a good acquisition for the province and the justification for it."

If the minister does agree with his fellow caucus member would he indicate to the House whether he is now prepared to provide a more extensive compendium of information in an attempt to justify the expenditure of this $650 million?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday evening last we spent a great deal of time during that debate to explain exactly what had been filed, on the implications of that, and what already was part of the public information system. We spent some time going through it because we accept seriously what the requirements of the rules are. We took some pain to explain all that, made that information available, and explained why certain information relative to certain subject matter might not be available at this time because of the confidentiality of the agreement.

If the honourable member has some specific questions on this deal, and he would like detailed information on that which does not place us in the position of violating the agreement, why does he not put them on the order paper?

Mr. Bradley: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: The member for Leeds obviously agrees with the opposition rather than the government in this matter. I will quote his statement again: "I think the members on our side of the House and the powers that be are aware there are concerns among the rank and file about this whole transaction." Also in his statement was this: "There is considerable concern. We are in the dark as much as anyone else about what has been happening. We want to know the details and the justification as much as anybody."

In view of the fact the minister and the cabinet have been unable to convince this member, will he indicate what he is prepared to do to bring his fellow caucus members out of the dark on the Suncor deal?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I cannot add anything more to the answers I have given on several occasions on the information which is now available.


Mr. Di Santo: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Labour pursuant to the question on the Workmen's Compensation Board to which the minister gave an inadequate answer yesterday. The minister now has the responses of the interested people, the workers who will gain or suffer according to the way the new bill will be drafted. Now he knows they are opposed to several major propositions in the white paper, especially the injured workers whose administration comes under the present act.

Does the minister now agree the proposal is unacceptable to the interested people? Does he not think it is time to scrap the proposed legislation attached to the white paper? Does he not think it is time to introduce immediately a bill which responds to the needs and the interests reflected in the submissions of the people affected?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, the member for Downsview would not expect me to avoid reviewing the opinions and comments being made by a great number of people. I am sure he is also aware I have indicated to a number of people who have expressed an interest in coming to talk with me and members of my staff about the white paper and the proposals therein that I would be pleased to meet with them in January. By then I expect our review of the comments and documents submitted will be completed. If he is suggesting I should ignore all that process, should ignore the two years that have gone on with the green paper and the white paper, and simply accept the point of view of one group and proceed, I am sure he is not serious.

There are many who think the proposals are too generous. I do not happen to agree with that. There are legitimate needs out there not being met. I intend to review the briefs being submitted, to meet with people who have interests in particular areas, and will then discuss the matter with my colleagues and my cabinet.

Mr. Di Santo: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: I am glad the minister is so confident in the process when the chairman of the board himself said in summary that we are unable to administer the act because it is anachronistic. The act is overdue. The minister introduced the white paper in June. Why does it take so long only to get the comments and to make a decision?

Last Saturday if one of the minister's representatives had been outside the House he would have known interested people reject outright the proposal that Professor Weiler and the white paper have been putting forward.

3 p.m.

Why does he not listen? It is the injured workers who are affected. Why does he not bring in a general scheme of insurance which would solve all the problems they want solved?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: I know it was a long summer and perhaps the member did not bother writing any letters during the summer, but he will recall there was something called a postal strike this summer and there were numerous groups --


Hon. Mr. Elgie: They should not just pooh- pooh; they should listen. If they try it they will like it.

There were numerous people who asked for extensions, some until the end of October. Perhaps the member does not think I should have granted that, that I should have said: "Never mind, we do not want to hear from you. We know what we want to do and what you have to say is irrelevant." I am not prepared to approach it that way. I am prepared to listen to the views of thoughtful people who have comments and views on situations before this House.

Ms. Copps: A supplementary question, Mr. Speaker: If the minister is convinced this subject is still under discussion and if input is expected and wanted from all sides, why are the employees of the Workmen's Compensation Board sending out letters which assume the proposals are already a fait accompli? Why is the board actually gearing up towards the imposition and introduction of the white paper?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, the member should read that whole letter and the documentation which accompanied it. It did not go out to everyone, by the way, it went out to a selected sample. It is a follow-up study --

Mr. McClellan: Who drew up the list?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: The member for Bellwoods and I have talked about the need for some sample studies so my friend should not pretend this is some new issue.

If the member for Hamilton Centre reads the letter, it said that if such legislation were to pass we would need to know certain information and, to assist us with that, would they provide us with this information. Nobody is required to do it. It does not alter their status. If the board was to proceed with this legislation, if the government approved it, they are simply trying to gather some idea of what sort of machinery -- administrative apparatus, costs and so forth -- would be involved. Is it wrong to prepare?


Mr. G. I. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Community and Social Services about the closing of White Oaks Village, a residential home in my riding for mentally disturbed children in Ontario. The director of White Oaks has told us some boys now living at the facility still will not be able to cope with living in the community when White Oaks is closed.

Given that White Oaks is the only government-operated facility in the region for these children, and given the director also says he does not think there are 15 new places at the Children's Psychiatric Research Institute in London which would be ready in time to take these children, what is the minister going to do with those children who still require a setting like White Oaks provides? Has he checked to see if the privately owned and operated homes in the region have the places, programs and facilities to accept these children?

Hon. Mr. Drea: First, Mr. Speaker, the 15-bed unit at CPRI in London will be ready before the closing of White Oaks. Second, another 13 of the population there are from the Metro region and approximately 15 additional residential beds will be purchased in existing children's mental health centres here. Some will be handled by a satellite of existing children's mental health centres from the Hamilton area.

Mr. G. I. Miller: I suppose the minister realizes a good staff has been put together to deal with these programs. Now they are going to have to go on the run again looking for new jobs. When is he going to provide some stability to the program for these young people in Ontario, instead of continuing closings and movings?

Hon. Mr. Drea: One of the things we are doing in this province is selective deinstitutionalization. They were being sent to White Oaks, which is down in the member's area when they reside in Toronto, when they reside around Hamilton and when they reside in southwestern Ontario.

The member knows full well the reason for the closing of White Oaks Village because he stood there and listened to it a week ago. I am surprised it took him so long to ask a question. It is a very dilapidated centre that has served its usefulness to the province from the time the province first took it over way back after the war. To bring it up to standard would require about $2 million of public funds and, three or four years down the road, there would still be that deinstitutionalized program.

It has been government policy for some time that children, particularly the emotionally disturbed, should be served as close to their own community as is possible, and that is precisely what we are doing.

Before the member gets active and asks another question, the day-care program of the children's mental health operation at White Oaks is going to continue to be in the member's region. We are not taking away the day-care program, which has been very successful in the region of Haldimand-Norfolk.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, it is good to hear that the day-care program will be intact and that the jobs of these people are going to be protected.

Can the minister tell us what he is doing about the fact that there are 2,000 kids on waiting lists for children's mental health centres across the province? All he is doing at the moment is closing one down. He is not creating any new spaces. Can he tell us what he is doing in that area?

Hon. Mr. Drea: If my friend had listened, he would have heard that there are 15 new treatment beds at CPRI, plus the purchase of another 15.

Mr. Cooke: That is not new. It is one for one.

Hon. Mr. Drea: What does the member mean it is not new? Those are brand-new beds to replace White Oaks.

Mr. Smith: To replace White Oaks. They are not additional.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Drea: I want to make it very plain that those are not substitution beds; they are new beds.

As to the question of the waiting list of more than 2,000, this question was asked in my estimates.

Mr. Smith: Addition on the one hand, subtraction on the other. The minister is closing one.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Drea: I am trying to inform the Leader of the Opposition. I do not want him going outside the door and saying we are taking away 15 of the existing children's mental health beds. I am adding 15 children's mental health beds in Toronto to replace what was there and 15 new beds in CPRI; that was the question the Liberal member wanted an answer to.

Mr. McClellan: You are starting to figure it out, Frank.

Mr. Martel: It is called replacement, Frank.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Cooke: What about new beds? Get back to the question.

Hon. Mr. Drea: I say to the member for Windsor-Riverside, he does not give me orders in here. If he wants to ask a question, let him stand up and do it. The member next to him asked the question, and I will answer him.

In terms of the waiting lists, the children's mental health centres of this province are very carefully examining them to see whether there is a total comprehensive list of 2,000 individuals or whether there is some duplication. They are looking into the waiting lists as a priority, and they are going to report back to the minister. We have some plans in the ensuing fiscal year for additions in the children's mental health field.

Mr. Speaker: The Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing has the answer to a previously asked question.


Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, a few days ago the member for Scarborough West (Mr. R. F. Johnston) asked a question in relation to the number of housing units that have been started under the various programs of our ministry in this community.

First of all, in terms of municipal nonprofit housing, which is basically Cityhome, since January 1, 1981, 346 units have been completed, of which 63 are rent-geared-to-income. Under construction currently are 876 units, of which 219 will be rent-geared-to-income.

Second, the Metropolitan Toronto Housing Company currently has under construction 176 units, of which 138 will be rent-geared-to-income.

Third, under the private nonprofit and co-op, since January 1, 1981, 467 units have been completed, of which 120 are rent-geared-to- income. Currently under construction are 1,577 units, of which 500 are rent-geared-to-income.

Under the Ontario rental construction loan program, approved by the Ontario Municipal Board and still active are 2,562 units, of which 511 will be rent-geared-to-income. Of these, 660 units are currently under construction, 132 of which are legally obligated for rent-geared-to-income.

That indicates to us that a total of 4,102 units are under construction, of which 1,172 will be for rent-geared-to-income.

3:10 p.m.

On that same day the honourable member referred to a waiting list of something like 1,365 households from the welfare group at Metro, I think it was. Our details indicate that on September 30 the Metropolitan Toronto Housing Company had 2,270 on the seniors' waiting list plus 547 families, which was 2,817.

On October 30, Cityhome, which provides mainly family accommodations, had 3,650. Now, I want to make it very clear that the figure of 3,650 for Cityhome does not differentiate between those who are on the waiting list for rent-geared-to-income units and those who rent from them on a market rent position.

On October 29, the Ontario Housing Corporation had 608 seniors and 4,710 families, for 5,313.

To the best of our knowledge, those are the complete details, except for one that I think the member should keep clearly in mind. Our experience in the Metro area in the last number of years has shown that the turnover rate for rent-geared-to-income units, whether they are directly within our portfolio or beyond it -- that is, in the co-operatives, the nonprofits, public and private, and the private sector, where we have rent supplement units -- is just under 10 per cent every year. So we are speaking of something more than 3,200 units that become newly available to us for applicants on the various waiting lists here in Metro Toronto.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: The question I asked the other day concerned the fact that the minister had misled the House, if I might say so, by giving us incorrect figures. I did not use the word "misled," because I wanted to give him a chance to correct them.

He has not said that his figures were wrong. But they are wrong in terms of the Ontario rental loan construction program, and I wish the minister would admit that.

Mr. Speaker: Order. There is a difference of opinion, obviously, and it is not the for the chair to decide.

Hon. Mr. Bennett: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: My remark was that 929 units have been given approval. I will agree with the member for Scarborough West that some of those have been cancelled; he is absolutely correct. But I was talking about those that have been applied for. I indicated that there were something like 21,000, and he is absolutely right that a number of them in Toronto have already withdrawn, for one reason or another, because of financial problems.



Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to present a petition from 300 of my constituents. It is properly addressed to the Lieutenant Governor, and I want to read the petition:

"We are a group of Canadian people who not only oppose the killing of deer on Navy Island but oppose what we feel is a mismanagement of the natural resources department of our government. What we want is: (1) a more humane way in which to resolve the overpopulation of the deer; (2) an assurance that the government will take quicker action in solving and even looking at the problem of our wildlife to prevent another massacre like this one; and (3) an immediate halt to the action they are presently taking on Navy Island to seek out and exhaust all other alternatives before the hunt resumes."

The petition was prepared by Ellen Davyes, and I want the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Pope) to address himself to the petition.


Mr. Speaker: Order. If the two members wish to continue their conversation, I ask them to please do so outside the House.


Mr. Speaker: Order.


Mrs. Scrivener: Mr. Speaker, I wish to rise on a point of personal privilege concerning a report that was published in today's Toronto Sun. This report referred to me, first, as a Liberal --

Some hon. members: Shame!

Mr. T. P. Reid: It should have been "dinosaur."

Hon. Miss Stephenson: "Liberal" and "dinosaur" are the same thing.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mrs. Scrivener: Second, it contained a reference from Mr. Saldov to the effect that last night a delegation that visited me was shocked because I was not aware that there was a problem with the Ontario Housing Corporation's "empty nest" policy.

I have to say that being described as a Liberal is, by any standard of mine, an affront. Inasmuch as the riding of St. David has been continuously represented by a Conservative member for 26 years, through eight elections, I consider this allegation to be a gross insult.

I comment that although in the last provincial election a Liberal candidate did try very hard to unseat me, and he spent $72,000, nevertheless he was unsuccessful. St. David is most definitely represented by a Conservative member in this Legislature, and I am proud to be its representative. I thank the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Smith) for drawing this to the attention of the House.

I have to say I am shocked that the delegation that visited me last evening could make a statement to the effect that I was unaware of the problems of the empty nesters in my riding. This is a gross misrepresentation of the facts. The women in my riding know full well that I am well aware of their problems and of their burdens. They have demonstrated their awareness quite forcibly, and they did so on March 17.

Mr. J. A. Reed: Two days later they made a mistake.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mrs. Scrivener: Finally, I was shocked that the delegation that visited me was composed entirely of frank, forthright, intelligent women, but they permitted a man to be their spokesman. The inaccuracies contained in the report in this morning's paper is certain evidence of how badly they were represented. It is my observation that the women who visited me last evening were entirely capable of making their own presentation, and had they done --

Mr. Speaker: Order. I think the member for St. David has made her point extremely well, and I am sure the press will take note of the correction.

Mrs. Scrivener: The delegation that visited me last evening was grossly misrepresented --

Mr. Speaker: Order. I think you have pointed out --

Mr. J. A. Reed: Sit down!

Mr. T. P. Reid: Throw her out!

Mr. Speaker: Order. I think you have drawn to the attention of the House and the press the inaccuracy of the report, and I am sure it will be dealt with.



Hon. Mr. Walker moved, seconded by Hon. Mr. Bennett, introduction of Bill 165, an Act to amend the Theatres Act.

Motion agreed to.


Mr. Williams moved, seconded by Mr. Lane, first reading of Bill Pr35, An Act respecting Victoria University.

Motion agreed to.

3:20 p.m.


Mr. Speaker: Before proceeding with orders of the day, I wish to advise all honourable members that pursuant to standing order 28, the member for Downsview (Mr. Di Santo) has given notice of his dissatisfaction with the answer to his question given by the Minister of Labour (Mr. Elgie) concerning a definite timetable. This matter will be debated at 10:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 12.


Hon. Mr. Wells: Before the orders of the day, I wish to inform the House that, after a meeting of the House leaders, it has been decided that we will call private member's motion 31, standing on the Notice Paper in the name of the member for York South (Mr. MacDonald), as the first order of business on the afternoon of Monday, November 16.


Mr. Wells: Also before the orders of the day, I wish to table the answer to question 178 standing on the Notice Paper.



Hon. Mr. Snow moved second reading of Bill 2, An Act to amend the Toronto Area Transit Operating Authority Act.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, on October 30, 1980, I introduced Bill 176, An Act to amend the Toronto Area Transit Operating Authority Act, 1974. This bill died on the Order Paper and was reintroduced as Bill 2 on April 23, 1981.

Members will recall that we felt that it was appropriate, six years after the creation of TATOA, to review and modify legislation governing the authority's activities to reflect experience and changing circumstances.

This bill clarifies the division of roles between the ministry and the authority. The period for which the chairman is appointed in future is being changed from five years to three years to reflect general government policy in this regard. This change will not affect the term of the present incumbent in that position.

A provision is being added to the act to place TATOA and the public vehicle operators with which it is involved in the same position as other holders of operating licences under the Public Vehicles Act with respect to the short-term leasing of large motor coaches. The provision in this respect that was added to the Public Vehicles Act last year did not take into account that TATOA receives its authority to operate public vehicles under special legislation rather than through the holding of an operating licence issued under the Public Vehicles Act. This inconsistency with regard to the necessary leasing of buses will be corrected by this amendment.

Experience has shown that it is appropriate for the authority to concentrate on the operational integration of inter-regional and regional transit systems and for the ministry to be responsible for co-ordination services in response to the planning needs of the municipalities. This division of roles will be clarified by the amended terminology.

While it is recognized that TATOA is constituted to pursue and discharge its special mandate, being the provision of inter-regional commuter services within its defined area of jurisdiction, it is also recognized that it is an instrument of government possessing transportation management and operational skills and infrastructure, which at the discretion of government could be used in areas beyond its mandate to attain government objectives. With the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, the amendment will permit the resources of TATOA to be used to discharge a specific strategy beyond its mandate.

The TATOA Act is being modified to be consistent with modifications made to the Highway Traffic Act with respect to the liability of owners of motor vehicles for offences. This will facilitate the control of traffic using TATOA property, especially the use of parking lots.

Finally, I intend to move in committee that section 4 be amended to delete the proposed section 6(b), which dealt with the GO Transit trademark. Since Bill 2 was introduced, it has come to our attention that the provision was inappropriate in view of the federal government's jurisdiction over trademarks. The lack of a statutory provision will not inhibit TATOA from continuing to use the GO Transit marking, as it has in the past.

Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Speaker, we will be supporting this legislation. I want to make some brief comments, though, on this legislation.

Not long ago, I had the privilege of listening to the chairman of TATOA speak on an open-line show; I believe it was on a Brampton AM station. Having heard the show and listened to the lack of impartiality on the part of that individual, I almost would like to see his term reduced, possibly to about three weeks from now. I found his comments highly political indeed; and for the minister's benefit, I might favour him with the flavour of several comments made by the chairman at that time.

He certainly was highly critical of the federal government. I would think such criticism coming from an individual like himself, although he may sincerely believe it, would not be conducive to developing the kind of working relationship that we would like to have with the federal government to accomplish many goals we wish to attain, the Urban Transportation Development Corporation funding being one, but more specifically the sharing and utilization of our rail routes to expand, in a very meaningful way, TATOA's scope so that other parts of the province might be better served by it.

I do not know why the minister is reducing the term from five years to three years but I do hope, once this legislation is passed, that the minister might have a little chat with this individual and indicate to him that his responsibilities must be somewhat broader and somewhat larger than that of a political spokesman for the ministry. That indeed is the minister's job. I must digress and say that from time to time he does it quite well, but I, for one, was offended that the current chairman of TATOA would be as blatantly political as he was on that open-line show.

On the subject of the authority, I want to quote section 2(1)(b), because I believe it is quite relevant to the discussion. It says, "to facilitate the operational integration of surface and subsurface inter-regional transit systems, and surface and subsurface regional transit systems, and to operate, within the area of jurisdiction of the authority on routes where the authority operates an inter-regional transit service, transit services within a regional area at the request of and under an agreement with the council of the regional area or the council of an area municipality within the regional area."

It is not as clear as I would like it to be, but my sense of that is that the ministry, through TATOA, has the right and the privilege, if not the obligation, to serve adequately the commuter on an inter-regional and regional basis. From my perspective, in my part of the world, and in the city of Hamilton to be specific, the commuter is poorly served at present.

It is ironic that the minister can open a new service to Milton, provide three trains a day, I believe, for Georgetown, but Canada's fifth largest city is linked with Toronto in one of the most abysmal fashions that one can possibly imagine. It in no way enhances the development opportunities of the city of Hamilton and our region. Quite frankly, I do not think it is in the long-term best interests of this city as it gets more and more congested.

The minister might contemplate for a moment the ramifications of the continued high-interest policy of the Bank of Canada and what that is going to do for hundreds and hundreds of home owners in Mississauga and Toronto as they contemplate renewing their mortgages at rates the minister and I might consider usurious. Possibly the only way they can keep their homes is to move out to the suburbs and the smaller towns that surround Toronto and continue to commute to Toronto where many people find employment.

3:30 p.m.

Mr. Nixon: The minister collects the interest, he does not pay it.

Mr. Cunningham: I believe that to be the case. Nevertheless, hundreds of people might find themselves in a position where they could find lower priced housing than what is available in Toronto, in the minister's own constituency, in Burlington and Hamilton. That would be a far more appealing choice for those individuals if they knew the GO service to which I refer was going to be updated and, particularly in Hamilton, was more regular and more inclined to be adequate to their needs.

Frankly I think the present service in Hamilton is awful. I find it preposterous the government would advocate the expenditure of well over $100 million on the Urban Transportation Development Corporation proposal which will go up and down the mountain. It will go, as our mayor said, "from nowhere to nowhere," at a time when they could be putting those resources into more traditional methods of moving people. I do not mean to denigrate the services that exist to Milton or Georgetown. Those too are probably long overdue. But it is a little difficult for us to explain to people in Hamilton that we have service that is equal to that of Milton and less than that of Georgetown.

The service in Burlington is inadequate at the present time. The member for Burlington South, whom I see in his seat today, will probably talk to the minister privately over some Lions Club dinner and favour him with an explanation as to what can be done in that municipality to make that service more relevant. Already the parking lot in the Burlington system is far too small. It might be a good idea for the minister to contact the member for Burlington South so he might serve as an intermediary with his good friend Murray Buzza who has the property next to the GO station to contemplate the expansion of that facility.

Mr. Kerr: We are expanding.

Mr. Cunningham: They are long overdue. There is a "for sale" sign on it right now. Perhaps the member should hustle out this afternoon and put in his option to purchase.

I believe the mandate for this operation should include encouraging, developing and promoting commuter parking facilities. I mean that quite sincerely. I contacted the minister some time ago about a situation in the constituency of Burlington South in an area which I believe would serve my constituents. Specifically, I refer to the south end of Highway 6 where a commuter parking lot might be developed and might even serve as a bus linkup. The member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon) and I could park our cars there and avail ourselves of that facility.

Clearly there are people who are parking in the area I have just described on a regular basis without the benefit of permission from the local owner. That property might well be acquired and developed as a commuter parking facility. The minister needs only to take a look at the experience of the previous GO station in Burlington to see how regularly that area is used for parking purposes.

I do not know what kind of foresight the people of TATOA had when they chose to tear down the kiosks or shelters that existed there. From my point of view it was a tremendous waste of money. I know they are concerned about vandalism but I feel those kiosks should have been left as a place where commuters, albeit not using the GO train or GO bus, might be able to avail themselves of some protection from the elements, especially in the winter.

If the minister and his staff checked they would find on any work day there would be anywhere from 300 to 500 cars, perhaps even the car belonging to the member for Burlington South, in that parking lot. I believe that kind of thing should be encouraged as we contemplate the increase that is going to take place in the price of petroleum, especially as a result of the ad valorem gas tax.

I support the concept of leasing of vehicles. It makes sense to provide the kind of provision in this legislation that will permit the agency, through the government, to avail itself of vehicles when they determine it to be advantageous.

On section 4, possibly the members of the assembly and the public should be afforded a better explanation of what is meant by "a specified strategy beyond its mandate." I do not know what "specified strategy beyond its mandate" is contemplated, but if he has some sort of "specified strategy beyond its mandate" right now, he might afford members of the House and the public some knowledge of what is going on there.

I encourage the minister to contemplate through this agency the continued use and development of commuter parking terminals. As I travel in I find the rush hour backup seems to get larger and more horrendous every month. The public would be well served if parking facilities were established in the access areas along the Queen Elizabeth Way and possibly even along Highway 5 in the future.

Mr. Samis: Mr. Speaker, I will speak briefly in support of the bill. Coming from eastern Ontario, I do not have the privilege of listening to any Brampton radio station. Sometimes I consider that a blessing, not a loss. The next-door neighbour to the minister and I are probably the two greatest users of rail transport in this House since we are well served by intercity federal transport, one of the few remaining Via Rail services in this province which is popular and widely used in eastern Ontario.

Mr. Wildman: No thanks to Pepin.

Mr. Samis: No thanks to Pepin. Basically, we support the provision of reducing the term to three years. This seems to make eminent good sense. The leasing provision seems to me sensible in providing the authority with greater flexibility.

As to the question of integration and coordination, I hope the minister would give the authority full independence to decide on the priorities, along with the Toronto Transit Commission or other transit systems, and not lay an intermediate capacity transit system on it as he is doing with the Lakeshore line. There it seems a carrot is put in front of their faces and noses and when a study is done no options are given. The mandate is, "It is this or nothing and you do not get your bread."

I hope he would allow the local authorities to decide their priorities and the modes of transport they think best suited for their municipalities. I agree with the member for Wentworth North that there is some vagueness in section 4 about the "specified strategy beyond its mandate." That needs some clarification by the minister. In total, we support the bill and we will support the amendment as well.

Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, as my colleague said, we are supporting this bill but I have one or two questions I would like the minister to clarify, specifically whether the new lakefront intermediate capacity transit system will come under this authority in any way. It appears we are giving the authority the power to facilitate the operational integration of surface and subsurface inter-regional transit systems. I would like to know if the lakefront ICTS would be integrated at some time with the other transit systems under this authority.

If that is so, I would also like to know if this authority has made any studies of the cost of the lakefront system prior to its publication as part of the Board of Industrial Leadership and Development program. In that pre-election program, the government promised to pay $90 million of the first $100 million of the cost of such a system, but it appears now it did not have a clear idea of what was being proposed or what the $100 million was going to cover. It seemed it was thrown out as another pre-election goody.

The TTC has now come out with an estimate of what it considers a lakefront system would require -- $170 million. I understand there are also discussions to expand the whole lakefront operation to include stops at some of the urban developments being planned for the lakefront, which could add greatly to the costs. The question is, who will pay those costs? Should it be the transit riders, should it be the province, or should it be the people who are building the housing on the lakefront? Basically, it benefits the latter.

3:40 p.m.

These are some of the questions the minister could perhaps discuss under this bill, and give us some answers to, particularly if this intermediate capacity transit system is likely to be within the realm of the jurisdiction of TATOA.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, I just want to know whether the minister had given consideration to the installation of the DeGrassi GO train station in the riding of Riverdale.

Mr. Kerr: Mr. Speaker, I just have a few remarks. Needless to say I agree with the principle of the bill, particularly in reducing the term that it provides. As far as my area is concerned, we have a problem resulting from a success story. GO Transit has been very successful, probably more so than anticipated. Ridership has gone up in great numbers in the last couple of years, particularly since the service has been improved to the Burlington- Hamilton area and since the availability of double-decker coaches or cars.

The parking lot to which the honourable member referred at the Fairview station needs to be enlarged. In the meantime, I understand from some of my constituents they are getting parking tickets because they are not parking in a designated park or in a lined part of the parking lot. I am not sure whether those tickets are being issued by the local constabulary or by some agent of GO Transit or TATOA, but in any event, in view of the fact that expansion is now under way and construction crews are on adjoining sites, I would suggest that no users, particularly with the winter months coming on, be ticketed for parking within a reasonable area within the parking lot. I realize they cannot obstruct traffic, particularly traffic that is moving in and out of the lot during the day. I would suggest the minister possibly speak to those responsible for issuing tickets and tell them not to do so, and I would also suggest that any people who have been issued tickets up to now not be prosecuted.

One of the complaints I have is that commuters living in Burlington and travelling from Toronto to Burlington or to Hamilton in the evening rarely have an opportunity to sit down because of the popularity and the degree of ridership. Whether that means more rolling stock is required or that the trains be a little longer I leave to the experts. I realize there can only be so many cars in one train, particularly in rapid transit of this kind. But my constituents who ride the trains in the evenings, particularly the two trains that go to Burlington and Hamilton, tell me the trains are very full, overloaded, and many people have to stand for the whole trip.

I know TATOA has plans for a new station in Burlington at or near the new Appleby line cloverleaf. I would suggest it proceeds with those plans as the Appleby line cloverleaf is just about finished. I understand the minister will have a ribbon-cutting ceremony sometime before the end of this year. Therefore, I suggest that the plans on the drawing board for the new station be proceeded with this spring, and that will solve the problems I have been referring to as far as Fairview station is concerned.

There is no question this is a success story. I think it is important that people who use GO Transit be proud of it and that we do not do anything to aggravate them because, after all, they do get up early in the morning.

Mr. Mackenzie: Mr. Speaker, this is an opportunity I did not realize was here, perhaps because I was sleeping at the switch a little bit, to raise an issue the member for Burlington South has just been speaking about. That is the value of the two GO trains that run direct from Hamilton to Toronto. I think it is 6:40 a.m. and 7:15 a.m., or something like that, when they leave the CN station downtown in Hamilton.

I must confess those are the only trains I use -- when I use them, which is rarely. But they start filling up very quickly. A fair number of people get on in Hamilton, even at that ungodly early hour, and the last couple of times I used them those trains were totally loaded and there was standing room only by the time they got to Oakville.

One of the questions I have been asked about the traffic on the Queen Elizabeth Way and about the rail transportation from Hamilton to Toronto is why we do not have more trains directly from Hamilton station right to Toronto.

I am not sure what would have to be done about another favorite question because, quite frankly, I have not looked into the connections that might be possible in an integrated system. But I am also often asked why we cannot establish some kind of run right from the centre of the city -- the old T, H and B railway centre, I guess -- and make connections from there right to Toronto?

I have not followed this area very closely, I admit, but to judge from the number of people who have raised it with me and from my own perceptions I have a very strong hunch that if we had some way of running directly from downtown Hamilton through to Toronto by rail we might get an awful lot of those cars off the QEW. And I think that would be a blessing, because it is getting to be one heck of a drive to take on a regular basis between Toronto and Hamilton.

I am not sure what can be done in that area, but I really would like the minister to have his people take a serious look -- I suspect they are already doing it -- at whether or not it is possible to establish more direct runs from Hamilton to Toronto and right from downtown as well. I am sure this is the only way to take an awful lot of traffic off that highway. I think it is desperately needed, and it probably would be beneficial to our own sanity as well if we could have better and easier connections from Hamilton to Toronto on the train instead of having to drive.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Cousens): Thank you. Does any other honourable member wish to participate in this debate? If not, the honourable minister.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thanks to the honourable members for their comments, many of which, I guess, are not really related in any significant way to this bill but which are certainly pertinent to the overall operation of GO Transit. We probably could have discussed those items in estimates; but we have had the discussion now, so maybe that will save some time in estimates.

The member for Wentworth North (Mr. Cunningham) and the other members from Burlington South (Mr. Kerr) and Hamilton East (Mr. Mackenzie) referred to the lakeshore line service and the fact that we have only two trains a day on that line. I would very much like to have more and we have studies under way to see what we can do about getting better service to Hamilton.

The old T, H and B station was mentioned. That is another avenue we have been looking at, but we have not come to any conclusion yet. The funny part is, though, that at the very same time of day when we have those two daily trains leaving Hamilton for Toronto we also have buses leaving Hamilton for Toronto. There are always seats available on the train coming in. I agree it is different going out. It is the same with the member for Burlington South: his people get all the seats in the morning coming in and the Oakville people have to stand. But they all have an equal chance to fight for their seats on the way home.

But there are more people who leave Hamilton by bus every morning at the same times as the trains leave, and for some reason or other many of the riders certainly do prefer the bus. In fact we had complaints from the Milton and Mississauga area when we implemented the train for which they had been waiting for five years. Some people -- not all by any means -- said they would sooner have the bus and they asked us why we did not keep the buses on. Of course, we cannot run two at the same time.

3:50 p.m.

There was discussion about our commuter parking lot. No one has to convince me of the usefulness of the commuter parking lots. Of course it is not something that comes under GO -- it should not come under GO; it is a ministry program. We started it some two or three years ago. We have about 15 or more commuter lots in service at this time, ranging all the way from Port Hope at the east end out to Highway 6 and Highway 401 in the west, and up Highway 400 toward Barrie. There is one very large one in Burlington and I believe, if I recall correctly, we are planning to build about seven or eight more in our current program. It is an ongoing program each year to add these commuter parking lots. It is a ministry program and has nothing to do with GO.

We will be extending the Burlington parking lot, as was also mentioned by two or three of the members. We do not have to buy more land; we have quite a large section of additional land which we will be paving and extending next year or later this year. I guess it is under way.

Section 4 is the contract for services provision beyond the mandate. We have nothing particular in mind for this clause but we felt when we were amending the act the mandate for GO Transit is to supply service within a specified area, basically from the Hamilton-Wentworth region to the Durham region. We feel there may be times or special events or special situations where the ministry would want to contract with GO Transit to carry out some kind of a special service beyond those points. The reason for this section is basically to have the authority there to do that.

In answer to the member for Beaches-Woodbine (Ms. Bryden), the Lakeshore intermediate capacity transit system line is not planned to be part of GO Transit. GO has done no studies and does not propose to be involved in any way in providing a transit service within Metropolitan Toronto. GO Transit's mandate is to provide inter-regional transit, not transit within the city.

The member for Burlington South mentioned the Appleby line station. We have bought the land for the Appleby line station. We have not proceeded to develop it because we feel it should be developed at the time we are able to make other arrangements. At present there are further discussions going on with Canadian National to see if we can get a third or fourth train per morning and evening on that line. When we can get more than the two trains per day the Appleby line station will be developed. I think that answers the questions that were brought forward.

Motion agreed to.

Ordered for committee of the whole House.


Hon. Mr. Snow moved second reading of Bill 53, An Act to amend the Public Transportation and Highway Improvement Act.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, Bill 53 is an amendment to the Public Transportation and Highway Improvement Act. As I pointed out on first reading, the bill is designed to reduce Ontario's dependence on petroleum by encouraging municipalities to use electrically-powered vehicles for public transportation. Under existing legislation the Minister of Transportation and Communications is authorized to subsidize public transportation at the rate of 75 per cent or capital expenditures and 50 per cent for operating costs, regardless of the fuel source.

This amendment will permit the minister to pay a subsidy of 90 per cent of the capital costs of electrically-powered vehicles and associated equipment that will replace diesel buses. No change is proposed in the subsidies for operating costs or for the capital costs not associated with fuel conservation programs.

Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Speaker, our party will be favouring the government with our support on Bill 53. I am delighted to see the government has decided to increase its commitment to the capital cost for electrically-powered vehicles. I say that mindful of the tremendous surplus we have in hydro capacity in Ontario which I think has had a beneficial effect, although I do not for a moment think overcapacity of approximately 42 per cent or 45 per cent was ever planned.

The House might be interested to know the cost of financing that overcapacity on a daily basis is in excess of $3 million. That is to say, more than $3 million per day is spent on interest alone to subsidize the debt of Ontario Hydro. It is quite a remarkable figure, especially when one contemplates that in Ontario, on our own general debts, we allocate a figure of approximately $5 million per day.

This item of legislation is in the public interest in so far as it could stimulate arid encourage other municipalities that are not currently utilizing electrified systems to involve themselves in that. More specifically I think the minister is probably more aware than I of the municipalities that might be contemplating such systems at the present time. Quite clearly, London, Windsor and, more particularly Ottawa, would be in a position to take advantage of the benefits associated with this act.

I understand we have 50 electrified vehicles in Hamilton now. It would be far cheaper for the grateful taxpayers in Hamilton to see approximately one tenth of the commitment that would be allocated to the proposed Urban Transportation Development Corporation rapid transit system allocated to the electrification of Hamilton's bus system. The rapid system could ultimately cost us at least $140 million, depending on what route change Mr. Kirk Foley and his crew are contemplating at present.

It would serve the people far better than the fixed rail capital-intensive program currently being advocated by the government. It would remove Hamilton from the guinea pig position it will no doubt be subjected to. It would be far more reliable and, most important in these days of high costs and supposed restraint on the part of government, would save us an enormous amount of money. To summarize on that issue, one tenth of that amount of money could take a giant step forward in the city of Hamilton.

We wasted money on Toronto's current Canadian light rail vehicle which was designed by our good friends at the Urban Transportation Development Corporation, the cost of which I understand now runs somewhere in the area of $750,000 per vehicle which is absolutely horrendous.

I saw in the newspaper last week they continue to lack a cowcatcher on the front to prevent vehicles or people from being trapped underneath them. Sadly, someone was caught in one of these vehicles. I hope that individual is recovering. Toronto has 150 electrified vehicles right now and I believe should commit itself to more. This legislation will help in that regard.

For the benefit of the minister, I will send this report over to him in the event he has not seen it. As he contemplates the funding of these vehicles, which I think is in the public interest, he should be mindful of the necessity to evaluate from an alternative point of view every major capital transit project Ontario is endeavouring to become involved in.

The report I am going to send over, Mr. Speaker, is dated August 19, 1980. It is a report to the US Congress by the Comptroller General. The headline says, "Better justification needed for automated people-mover demonstration projects." The US Comptroller General has seen fit to analyse and involve himself in a very meaningful way in the evaluation of each and every project contemplated recently in the United States.

4 p.m.

From my point of view it is a severe indictment of pie-in-the-sky rapid transit systems that are by no means practical or cost-efficient. I believe, quite sadly, the Urban Transportation Development Corporation falls into that category. On page three of his report the Comptroller General says: "Provisions have not been made to obtain data on alternatives. As a result those alternatives might not be compared with people-movers. Data could be developed by conducting studies of these alternatives where they are in operation."

I hope the minister might take a look at the balance of this report. I sincerely feel this item of legislation could go down in history as one of the most meaningful developments in public transit in modern times. It could be the incentive to move the province to encourage municipalities to adopt the most practical alternative available for us in the context of moving people efficiently and sensibly in our urban areas -- that is, through electrically powered vehicles in those municipalities.

I hope the minister has a chance to take a look at that proposal, because I believe the staff in the White House have looked at that report that was made available to Congress. On that basis alone a policy was tabled that has curtailed our mutual friend Mr. Foley's travelling schedule, at least in the United States. On the basis of the report as tabled I believe President Reagan has said, "Enough of this pie-in-the-sky nonsense" that people like Foley are scurrying around advocating at great expense. It is time to re-evaluate every project as it comes before us and to determine whether it is relevant and also, as I mentioned from page three in that report, whether alternatives have been studied.

I believe, in summary, that electrically-powered vehicles in our major municipalities can be an alternative, can operate at far greater efficiency and far more economically for our commuters and can, in a very meaningful way, reduce the tremendous financial commitment required in the area of transit. Having gone through the minister's estimates on many occasions with him, I know how hard he has to fight in cabinet to get the moneys he wants to put into transit. I believe quite sincerely the minister has some genuine concerns about transit.

But the tragedy of this whole thing is that we cannot continue to afford to waste money on things like the UTDC of our mutual friend Mr. Foley when such efficient and economical means of public transit are so readily available to us, designed and promoted by the private sector. I say as a Liberal I do not think "private sector" are dirty words, but they seem to be in this cabinet at the present time. Maybe the recent purchase of Suncor has shaken even the minister's commitment in that regard. I do not know. He may want to elaborate on that at another time.

Mr. Samis: Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak in support of the bill. We will support it because we believe the move is in the best interests of the province, the transit systems and the municipalities. The member for Wentworth has referred frequently to UTDC. Toronto has umpteen problems, if I am not mistaken, with the -- in the popular jargon -- "trolley cars" from UTDC. I think there is a cost-over of $3 million to deal with the problem of noise from these machines.

This bill would benefit primarily the cities of Hamilton and Toronto. It is my understanding that none of the other municipalities in the province use electrified vehicles. If it does assist smaller municipalities, whether Windsor, London, Sudbury or Ottawa -- and Ottawa seems to be the most likely candidate to move into this field -- it obviously is very worth while. I think in Europe it is very common now for municipal transit systems to have a mix like this. In the past, with our surplus of oil, gas and hydroelectricity, we have assumed these things would be infinite; now that we realize the limitations on those resources, especially the oil situation, this kind of move makes obvious good sense.

I notice, just looking at comparable jurisdictions, that in Quebec they have an interesting subsidy system. Their subsidy is 75 per cent for municipalities that purchase buses made in Quebec but only a 25 per cent subsidy is given to municipalities for buses made outside Quebec. I gather we have two major manufacturers of buses in this province. In terms of buses, that is a policy worth considering.

The final point I would make is in terms of the Urban Transportation Development Corporation. I would hope we would give municipalities the freedom to decide what mode of transport they want. If they do not want to buy the glamorous new technology, then we should let them have that freedom to decide if they think electrified buses make more sense in their particular situation. I hope the ministry would not either pressure them or dangle a whole variety of carrots in front of them to prevent them choosing the other option, which may be less glamorous but may be more effective. I hope we will allow the local authority to make the final decision and give them real freedom without stacking the deck before they make that decision.

With those comments, Mr. Speaker, I will end.

Mr. Haggerty: Mr. Speaker, I want to address myself to Bill 2, An Act to amend the Toronto Area Transit Operating Authority.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Cousens): I'm sorry, the honourable members are on to Bill 53.

Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, this bill presumably will encourage municipalities to buy electric vehicles to replace diesel buses or other forms of transportation they are using. I would imagine the minister has in the back of his mind the hope that some of them will buy the products of the Urban Transportation Development Corporation -- the new streetcars which we are seeing in Toronto, running around a considerable number of routes.

However, I am sure the minister is aware that these streetcars have been causing some complaints. They have been found to produce unacceptable noise and vibrations, which are damaging both businesses and residential properties and disturbing the sleep of residents in my riding. I have had a considerable number of complaints about this. I understand it is not confined to my riding but people in other sections of the city are also making complaints of this sort.

If the ministry wants to encourage a switch to electric vehicles by this higher subsidy, and if it wants to sell its new-design streetcar both to other cities in Ontario and throughout North America, it must --

Hon. Mr. Snow: This bill does not apply to the streetcars at all. It is just not applicable at all to the streetcars.

Ms. Bryden: I am sorry. The minister says it does not provide subsidies for buying electric streetcars. I must have misread it, but I will raise this with the minister on another occasion because I think the UTDC should make good on those Toronto streetcars that are causing these troubles, if it does intend to try to sell them throughout North America.

The Acting Speaker: On a point of order, the honourable member for Wentworth North.

Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Speaker, I do not wish to take issue with the minister on his --

The Acting Speaker: Point of order.

Mr. Cunningham: I am expressing it, sir. I do not wish to take issue with the minister with regard to his position on the position taken by my friend the member for Beaches-Woodbine, but I believe the act does refer to the capital costs relating to electrically-powered vehicles. If those vehicles are not powered electrically, I do not know how they are moving, and I really do not feel her comments are at variance with the spirit of the bill.

Mr. Haggerty: Mr. Speaker, I regret that I did not get on during discussion of Bill 2, but I do want to make a few remarks on Bill 53, An Act to amend the Public Transportation and Highway Improvement Act.

I do support the minister's goal in trying to have electrification of transportation systems within municipalities, and perhaps in urban municipalities and regions. I think it is a step in the right direction. I hope by the time the municipalities get into this area, we will have a sufficient supply of electricity. We may be running short if we are going to be exporting all of it to the United States. I think the minister should consider that.

4:10 p.m.

The area I am concerned about -- and I think I brought it to the minister's attention on a number of occasions -- is the study I suggested should be done in the Niagara region. At one time we used to have an electric railroad system there from Port Colborne to Port Dalhousie. It used to cover Welland, Thorold, St. Catharines and Port Dalhousie. It provided exceptionally good service 25 years ago. For some unknown reason we seemed to have a sufficient supply of energy. It appears at that time they said there was no need to continue such a service.

I suppose one could consider the electric streetcar as some form of vehicle. If I am not mistaken, the first railroad vehicle that operated in the Niagara Peninsula from Niagara Falls to Chippawa was a horse-drawn railroad. That goes back a few years. They were considered a vehicle at that time, from the horse-and-buggy days to this type of vehicle.

I suggest to the minister that if he really wants to go overboard providing intermunicipal services, the Niagara region would be a good place to start on electrification of railroads or even the vehicle system for that area. It is time the ministry showed some initiative in that area to bring about a study there. There are a number of abandoned railroad lines, from Fort Erie to Port Colborne and from Welland to St. Catharines, that could be made use of without any expenditure on the part of the provincial government or the ministry.

These railroad lines are in good shape, and instead of lying dormant they should be used. That may even be an area where the minister could start and provide service from Port Colborne to Dunnville and Nanticoke. There might be some further development of people-moving in that area if we had some intercity movement of vehicles, whether it is by electric vehicles or by buses. I suggest there is a need in the Niagara Peninsula. I would even go so far as to say that when one talks about the GO system, it should be extended to the Niagara region to include good communication from one community to another.

I think the minister is aware of what happened a couple of years ago when Greyhound Bus Lines wanted to take over the run from Buffalo to Niagara Falls, St. Catharines and Toronto. There was a reversal by the ministry through the Ontario Highway Transport Board when it suggested Gray Coach Lines should have the right of way to handle the service in this area. In that report it also suggested that bus service should be improved between communities in the Niagara region and Toronto. A number of people living in the Niagara region work in Toronto. I think the ministry will have to find suitable ways and means to move people that way, particularly in the Niagara Peninsula.

I support the bill. I would like to see the minister initiate a study on public transportation within the region. That is one area where the region has failed. We are building a superhighway down there, Highway 406, and I wonder if it is worth the money that is being spent.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Oh, is the member against it?

Mr. Haggerty: I have always been against it and the minister knows that. I expressed that right in his office. There are other ways of moving people within the region. One is by electrification of the existing railroad lines. The other is by intercity buses.

The key point for getting out of the peninsula is St. Catharines. Gray Coach has a good service in that area and so does the Canadian National Railway, or Via Rail. They pick up people in St. Catharines and bring them into Toronto. The problem is getting from the south end of the peninsula to the north end so that they can get on a GO train to get into Toronto; and they need not just one or two runs a day, but perhaps a run every two hours. It is a good point. The minister just threw this to me, and I thought I would throw it back to him, hoping he would catch it. I caught his comment --

Mr. Nixon: Will you two guys quit playing ball.

Mr. Haggerty: Well, let's hope I am one of the Dodger fans then, and I will come out on top.

I suggest to the minister there is a need for a study as it relates to transportation, whether it is electrification of the railroads or the bus services. In a few years we are not going to see many cars making use of Highway 406; people looking for fast ways to move will go by railway and by bus.

Mr. Stokes: Mr. Speaker, there is nothing in Bill 53 -- although it is the Public Transportation and Highway Improvement Amendment Act -- that would allow for the expenditure of funds on air-cushion or all-terrain vehicles powered by gasification of peat in the far north, so anything I might say on this bill would be out of order.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I would first like to thank the member for Lake Nipigon for his contribution to the gasification-of-peat vehicle study, which I am sure we will have to start into very soon.

This bill is to implement announced government policy by providing for a special subsidy for municipal transit systems where diesel buses are being replaced by electric trolley coaches. In theory, the bill could provide for a higher subsidy on streetcars than the normal 75 per cent subsidy. That is not part of the announced government policy, which was that the subsidy was for vehicles that would replace diesel buses. In other words, it is for the TTC trolley bus arrangement we see here on Bay Street, and there are some in the city of Hamilton.

We feel there are perhaps half a dozen communities, such as Windsor, London, Ottawa and perhaps Kitchener, where there is a potential on the high density routes for electrification. This would allow us to pay the 90 per cent subsidy rather than 75 per cent for the capital costs involved in that type of installation. It is part of a move to reduce dependence on oil and use electricity, the cleaner fuel, that we have within the province.

The member for Cornwall discussed the policy of Quebec and the policy of split subsidies, depending on where the vehicles were manufactured. We do not agree with that policy. Unfortunately, a number of the buses bought by the province are not manufactured in Ontario. They are made in either Winnipeg or Quebec, although the new articulated bus being developed by General Motors will be manufactured in London, and the Orion bus is being manufactured in Mississauga. Those two buses will be manufactured in the province.

The purchase of the vehicles by a municipal transit system, whether they come from Manitoba or Quebec, and the choice of make of vehicle, are decisions of the local transit authority. I prefer them to stay that way.

Motion agreed to.

Ordered for committee of the whole House.


Hon. Mr. Snow moved second reading of Bill 55, An Act to amend the Motorized Snow Vehicles Act.

4:20 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, on May 7, I moved first reading of Bill 55, An Act to amend the Motorized Snow Vehicles Act.

It will add a section to require all snowmobile operators to stop when approaching and overtaking a school bus which is stopped and whose red signal lights are flashing. This is similar to the requirements applicable to drivers of other motor vehicles with respect to school buses, as set out in the Highway Traffic Act.

In addition, a section is being added to the act to require snowmobile drivers to stop when approached by a motorized snow vehicle with flashing red lights operated by a police or conservation officer.

The bill also sets a new and more realistic limit for snowmobiles involved in reporting property damage accidents. Under existing legislation, a snowmobile operator is required to report a collision if more than $100 worth of damage occurs in the accident. This will be raised to $400. I might say that is the same as for other vehicles under the act.

Finally, the bill contains two amendments designed to bring the snowmobile legislation in line with the new Occupiers' Liability Act and the Trespass to Property Act passed in the House last year.

Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party will be supporting Bill 55. We are pleased to see the realities of the operation of these vehicles are being brought up to a standard that would be in the public interest, in requiring the vehicles are operated in a safer manner. I refer specifically to section 2, which would require the operator of such a vehicle to stop for school buses. In our view, that makes eminent good sense.

I am not aware whether we have had any tragedies in the past because of a lack of this provision. I certainly hope not. I hope once this legislation receives royal assent and is passed into law, some effort will be made to communicate with the operators of these vehicles in some modest and general way -- possibly through a government advertising program, although I hesitate to encourage the minister -- to advise the operators of these vehicles what the requirements are under the law.

I am not entirely certain it is in the public interest to increase that reporting limit to $400, as advocated under section 3. Possibly $200 might be a more appropriate level, although I do realize that even a minor collision with such a vehicle could cause damage in the area of $200. It may be in the public interest to have these people report such damage, especially where they might be in a collision with a member of the public or an item of private property. Often that is the case.

Section 4 disturbs me in some regard, as I am mindful of the experience we have had, not only in Metropolitan Toronto but throughout Ontario on the issue of senseless police chases. Certainly, no one in this party would be inclined, as the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) once said, to tie the hands of the law enforcement officers behind their backs in endeavouring to apprehend people who are perceived to be committing an offence. At the same time, we are mindful of the experience that has taken place on our highways, the carnage and the tragedy that have been attendant to some of these senseless chases which, in my view, are in no way in the public interest.

I do not know to what extent these privileges or exemptions from the speed limits for conservation officers and police officers are widely needed. Maybe on a private occasion or some other occasion the minister might indicate to us why he seeks this power through section 4. I hope, if this section is carried and the legislation is carried, the experience we have seen on our highways will not be repeated in some way through the operation of these particular vehicles.

Naturally, section 5 requires support where it would require the operators of these vehicles to respect the red light provision.

Section 6 is something that might be the subject of a clarification or information program to the public. That is the section pertaining to the occupier's duty of care. If I could digress on that for a moment, speaking to the principle of section 6, the law has been changed and I think does provide some difficulty for the operators of these vehicles on private property. The distinction is the legal distinction that exists between an invitee and a licensee.

As you might be aware, Mr. Speaker, being a solicitor, this has been the subject of several lengthy court battles. One of these is currently before the Ontario Court of Appeal, and I will therefore not get into the minutiae of that particular case at this moment. But the long and short of it is that operators of these vehicles occasionally find themselves in great danger as a result of the carelessness of the owner, even when that individual is an invitee or a licensee on that property. I want to distinguish that instance from an individual who might be trespassing without the permission of the owner.

Such a casual approach, I suppose, is common to the operation of these vehicles, and I think it is an area of difficulty that every caucus probably went over as we discussed the details of the Petty Trespass Act. Clearly, some operators choose not to ask the permission of the owner to utilize his lands, either with snowmobiles or on foot. There still is an obligation for the owner, I believe, if indeed it is not trespass, to see that his land is safe for the operation of such a vehicle.

One such tragedy occurred not long ago in which an individual was, I think, an invitee on the land of his brother. They were out in the bush behind this fellow's farm. Unfortunately, the second vehicle collided with a barbed-wire fence. Naturally, one can anticipate the ramifications of that for the operator of the vehicle. He was severely injured and could have been decapitated.

Every year we read in the newspapers of the tragedies that occur through improper use of these vehicles. I think a small communication program for the operators of snowmobiles, whether through the press or through a pamphlet developed by the ministry, might possibly be carried out. The ministry may already have one -- I do not know, because I do not use a snowmobile -- but I think it might be in the public interest to have such a communication program to advise the owners and operators of snowmobiles of their responsibilities under the law and under the revisions being made to this legislation, and to alert them to some of the pitfalls and dangers that exist for an operator, especially on private property.

I yield to the critic from the NDP.

Mr. Samis: Mr. Speaker, I want to say very briefly that we will support this bill. I think the various provisions make eminent good sense. The stopping provision, I think, is something the public will appreciate. As to the reporting of vehicle accidents, I think we on this side can live with the figure of $400 quite easily, though I have some minor reservations.

Naturally, with all the attention that is being given to the whole question of police chases these days, we hope the police will use this new and added power very responsibly. But I presume that the frequency of this type of chase is rather rare, compared to the chases in Metropolitan Toronto and some other cities that are receiving so much public attention these days.

As to the occupier's duty of care and liability, again I think that is something that makes good common sense. As for the trespassing provision, obviously that is something that was needed with the passing of the other legislation last year.

The one basic point I would make is that I hope the ministry will be quick off the mark once this legislation is passed and enacted to inform the snowmobile drivers of the province and all the clubs of the province of how these new provisions will affect each and every one of them, because I think it is important that there be a fairly effective communication or information program across the province.

Like my colleague the member for Wentworth North, I would not want to see any major advertising agency boondoggle on this. I think the ministry has the responsibility to communicate these changes, as they affect the snowmobiling public of Ontario, as quickly as possible to as many people as possible.

4:30 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the comments of the honourable members.

With regard to the communication plan, I can tell the honourable members that I have already met, as I do from time to time, with the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs, which represents most -- although not all, I realize -- of the snowmobilers who are involved in active snowmobiling within the province. It is aware of the bill, it is supporting all of the items that are within the bill and we will be asking it to assist us in our communications plan by informing members of the contents of the bill through the clubs' newsletters and publications. Of course, in addition to that, we will do everything possible to get the information to the public, or at least to the snowmobile public who are involved.

Section 4 provides exemption for the police and conservation officers from the speed limit. The speed limit in the act is, I believe, 50 kilometres an hour. It would be very restrictive for the officers to try to carry out their duties unless they were exempted from that.

Regarding the $400 limit: There is nothing significant or magic about $400 except that the $100 limit was out of date. Considering the fact that when this act was brought in a snowmobile cost about $1,000 and today an average snowmobile costs about $5,000 -- that is obviously why there are not so many being bought -- consequently the costs have gone up. We did not want to cause trouble to the public by requiring that they report what could be a very minor accident at $100, so we brought snowmobiles into line with the other types of vehicles which have to report accidents at the rate of $400.

Motion agreed to.

Ordered for third reading.


Hon. Mr. Snow moved second reading of Bill 150, An Act to amend the Highway Traffic Act.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, Bill 150 includes an amendment making it an offence to drive while disqualified under any Ontario statute or regulation.

It also prohibits passing on left shoulders of highways or backing up on freeways. It includes an amendment to empower the police to escort pedestrians found on controlled access highways to the nearest intersecting highway where pedestrians are allowed.

Under current legislation, only drivers were required to submit vehicles for examination for unsafe mechanical conditions, which was obviously an unfair situation if a rented vehicle were involved. The new provision allows police officers the option of requiring the driver or the owner of a vehicle to submit it for an examination.

Provisions that dealt with weight restrictions during the spring months have been recast, providing for an increase in the permitted axle load for vehicles transporting live poultry, and exempting waste disposal vehicles being used on behalf of a municipality as well as public utility emergency vehicles.

Lastly, a new amendment authorizes municipalities to prohibit drivers from entering an intersection on a green light unless they are reasonably sure they can clear it before the light turns red. I trust this amendment will help reduce traffic congestion in Ontario communities, particularly during the rush hour periods.

Mr. Cunningham: Again, we will be supporting this legislation, which brings in a number of changes to the act that reflect, I guess, the changes that exist in the operation of vehicles on our highways -- the realities, I suppose, that are associated with those changes.

One particular section I am pleased to see we have taken almost immediate action on is the amendment pertaining to unlicensed drivers, which I believe is in section 4.

As honourable members might be aware, in February 1981 the Supreme Court ruled, I think it was under section 238 of the Criminal Code, that it was ultra vires. There was some prohibition against the prosecution of persons driving while disqualified by a regulation under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act and they were deemed to be not subject to sanctions under that legislation.

I believe these changes will be of great assistance to the ministry and to the government in assisting them and monitoring and keeping people who are unfit, and who are determined by law to be unfit, off our highways.

I had a particularly sad experience meeting with a gentleman who lives about 100 yards out of my constituency. He visited me during the course of the last election -- which had nothing to do with the visit. His son had been killed on his way home from hockey practice. He was a fine young man, a tremendous athlete, and only 17 years old. This occurred on Highway 6 in the village of Mount Hope in the region of Hamilton-Wentworth. The Spectator account of this said:

"A youth on his way home from hockey practice died Saturday night in a crash on Highway 6 right in front of his house. Brian Sansome, 17, was catapulted from the wreckage of his friend's car after it was involved in a rear-end collision with a transport truck loaded with lumber. The impact hurled him on to the highway into the path of another car and he was pronounced dead at Hamilton General Hospital. He was an Ancaster high school student active in sports."

A spokesman for the Burlington Ontario Provincial Police said Brian was a passenger in the car driven by a fellow hockey team-mate. The individual driving the vehicle that hit him was ultimately charged with criminal negligence causing death, with dangerous driving and, more appropriate to this legislation, with driving while his licence was under suspension. I believe the individual involved had been drinking.

The father of this young man was not so much concerned with retribution, because it would serve no purpose, but rather to make sure this individual did not drive again and, more appropriately, that any deficiency that may exist in our legislation be corrected to accommodate the removal of people like this from our highways.

Quite sadly, many of those charges were dropped because of the deficiency in the current legislation. I am not entirely positive, but I believe the acting crown attorney at the time ultimately settled for some form of plea bargaining which resulted in a lesser charge and a lesser conviction.

I took the time to find out about the individual's driving record. It was a severe indictment of the ministry's control system, because quite clearly this man should not have been on the highway under any circumstances whatsoever. In fact, I think it had been his second dangerous driving conviction.

As I mentioned, he had been drinking. I believe he had a breathalyser and impaired driving conviction which resulted in incarceration previously, but here he was driving a transport truck loaded with wood, on a clear night, and was involved in an accident that took the life of an innocent, 17-year-old young man.

Through these comments, I really do hope I might impress upon the minister the necessity of impressing on the driving public the privilege aspect of a driver's licence. All too often we see people abusing that privilege and invariably the lives of others are at stake; either passengers in their cars or people with whom they come in contact die. Only a week ago I attended the funeral of a young man, the son of the mayor of the municipality where I live, whose motorcycle was involved in a collision with a car.

These tragedies are common to every constituency in the province. Frankly, I think we have to take more and more time with them. I support the balance of the legislation. As a commuter, I am somewhat aware of the difficulties as they relate to section 15 and the directional lights.

4:40 p.m.

I think section 16 is basically a good idea. The major problem in this section would be its administration and the enforcement of that legislation. All of us as drivers are aware and mindful of sudden changes that exist on the roads. A person might anticipate entering an intersection with every expectation of getting through that intersection and then, as a result of someone either cutting in, a car stalling or whatever circumstance, one might not reasonably be able to get through that intersection.

I appreciate what the minister is endeavouring to do through this amendment, especially in major municipalities such as Toronto. In our built-up urban areas, this certainly would be a good idea, but I believe it will only be a good idea if it is enforced fairly by the Ontario Provincial Police and by our police forces across Ontario. If they demonstrate their traditional element of fair play, I suppose it could be worked out.

I should add at this time that what I think the ministry should be doing in this regard is endeavouring to increase its commitment to more proper traffic management; that is, proper funding, increased funding for turnoff lanes and, more particularly, advanced and delayed signals and the marking of those signals.

I know it is of great assistance to drivers where it does exist. I know the minister has had a number of concerns from my own constituency about the widening of the highway through our village. That widening might not be necessary if the three traffic signals in the village of Waterdown were advanced and delayed and properly marked with turnoff lanes. But that is another matter, and we might get into that at some other time.

Once these changes to the legislation become reality, I hope as well that the ministry will consider in its communications program, possibly through its safety program, making comments about the ramifications of passing on the left, and passing on the right for that matter, as well backing up on highways.

As one who travels the Queen Elizabeth Way on a regular basis, I am astounded to encounter cars backing up to get on to Guelph Line or Walker's Line. I do not know at this point why they would want to get on to Walker's Line, because it is a traffic mess, but that is another matter and the minister is familiar with it, I would think.

Obviously, people who have passed the ministry's driving test are not aware of the inherent dangers of backing up on a highway. I think a communication program in that regard would be beneficial to the driving public.

Mr. Samis: Mr. Speaker, I must admit that I find some difficulty in speaking to the so-called principle of the bill since it is cleverly drafted to incorporate a variety of provisions.

Mr. Stokes: It has many principles.

Mr. Samis: I have to disagree with my colleague and say that it does not really possess many principles, but I do give credit to the drafters of the bill since it incorporates many worthwhile changes which we will support.

I strongly support section 4, whereby the penalties are increased for people driving while their licences are suspended. That is a serious problem in this province. I think the violators should realize that we intend to be serious with them, because the present penalties obviously are not working; there does not seem to be much of a deterrent effect on those violators. I will strongly support any initiative to increase the penalties, and I will support section 4 wholeheartedly.

I probably would even go one step further. I know this has been debated in estimates before, but I would also suggest that we give serious consideration to the inclusion of photos on drivers' licences to assist police in determining who is actually driving with a suspended licence. I think it would make their job easier. I realize it involves an expenditure of public funds but, if one looks at the costs involved as a result of people who have driven with suspended licences and who have got involved in accidents and the special problems that causes the police, it is a worthwhile investment for the province and for the ministry.

I support section 8. It gives far greater flexibility to the authorities. It is much fairer to the drivers of this province to allow the authorities to designate one or the other to submit the vehicle for an examination.

In section 10, we will support the exemption although, having read the particular recommendation of the Biggs report and having had the deputy explain it to us at least three times, I am still somewhat baffled about the special exemption for poultry trucks; we will support that if it is of assistance to the agricultural community.

The inclusion of public utility emergency vehicles and waste disposal vehicles makes obvious good sense. We welcome that new exemption. Coming from an area outside Metropolitan Toronto, I especially welcome the recognition of the value of decentralization in allowing regions to set their own priorities and policies according to the particular circumstances of each region. In the case of a reduced load period, this idea of regionalization makes eminent good sense, and I welcome that.

I suppose if I had any reservations in general about the bill, they would revolve around section 16. I can see the rationale for the inclusion of that section, but I stress to the minister that this is going to cause problems for people, especially beyond Metropolitan Toronto, who visit this area. I presume the major pressure did come from the authorities in this city.

People are not used to this idea; they will find it extremely different from the driving habits and the regulations they are probably accustomed to in their own communities. I hope the ministry will make some provision to ensure that municipalities adopting it will publicize it as much as possible so that the motoring public will know in a particular municipality that the rules are different from those they are accustomed to.

I know a parallel has been made with the idea of crosswalks, which were introduced in Toronto quite a while ago when no other municipality had them. I think they are fairly obvious and certainly well publicized. There were problems, admittedly.

This change will involve far greater problems in terms of publicizing it, because of the number of crossings involved and the fact that we will not be investing in large overhead signs, and we will probably not be using markings on the pavement per se.

I hope the minister will use the authority of his office to stress to municipalities that, for people travelling to Toronto or to any other city in this province that does adopt it, they have a responsibility to the drivers to inform them of this change.

As for sections 17 and 18, in terms of freeways and backing up, I think those make obvious good sense, and I understand the police have been pushing for them for quite a while.

As for pedestrians on highways, in section 19, I think that again is a very worthwhile amendment which we will support.

Section 20, the impounding of vehicles, also makes good sense in terms of enforcing the Highway Traffic Act.

All in all, we will support this bill.

Mr. Stokes: Mr. Speaker, very briefly, I think there is some ambiguity dealing with sections 12 and 13; at least it is not clear in my mind what is meant expressly.

Section 12 says, "For the purpose of this act, the minister may make regulations providing for the regulation and control of traffic on any highway or portion of a highway in territory without municipal organization where the highway is not under the jurisdiction and control of the ministry."

I suppose the minister is referring to the many areas where there is really no one other than a local services board having control over a highway.

If he is going to give himself the right to make that determination in areas that are not under his control, and that is what he is asking for, I wonder why he would not take to himself the responsibility for exercising good judgement on areas that are within his control.

I speak particularly about the instance of Jellicoe, a small hamlet without municipal organization. It does have a small local roads board, but the ministry participates in a cost-sharing agreement with them for the maintenance of those roads, other than Highway 11 which runs right by the community.

4:50 p.m.

My purpose in speaking to this section is that on numerous occasions they have asked the minister to put in a regulation that would control the rate of speed at which traffic goes through that community. As is the case in most small communities, the school is on one side of the highway and there are people living on the other side. Small children of kindergarten and junior grade age have to cross that highway. It is a fairly straight section, but it is not uncommon to see vehicular traffic going through that community much in excess of the posted speed limit of 80 and 90 kilometres an hour.

I have had several requests from concerned parents to have the ministry do something about that. The answer has always been in the negative, saying, "We do not want to unduly restrict the flow of traffic through that community; you are just going to have to be more vigilant and watchful of little children crossing the highway, principally when going to school."

It does not apply only in this instance, but also at Pays Plat, which is an Indian reserve on the main route of Highway 17, about 21 miles west of Schreiber, where they have people living on both sides of the highway. They wanted a reduction of the speed limit. There is a bridge there that makes it very difficult for pedestrians to get away from traffic.

If somebody is cutting the mustard in that area, it is a great cause of concern for those residents on the reserve. We have a "no passing" sign and a "watch for pedestrians" sign, but we are still having difficulty.

The reason I raise this is that if the minister is going to give himself the right to regulate and control traffic in areas that are not normally under his jurisdiction, why would he not do that wherever there is sufficient cause on a highway that is under his jurisdiction? I would like the minister to respond to that.

The only other comment I have is on section 13, which says, "The minister may make regulations providing for the posting of signs and the placing of traffic control devices on any highway or any type or class thereof for the purposes of this section, and prescribing the type of signs and traffic control devices."

The minister's regional people in Thunder Bay will know what I am talking about with regard to the hamlet of Armstrong, where the roads are operated and maintained by yet another local roads board in which the ministry participates.

There is going to be a relocation of a crossing at grade of the Canadian National Railways line to get to the eastern part of that community. People within the ministry have been negotiating with the federal Department of Transport and the Canadian National Railways over a period of years.

Finally, the railway transport committee of the Canadian Transport Commission has come up with an edict saying, "This will be done and a certain portion of the cost will be the responsibility of Canadian National Railways and a fair portion of the cost will be the responsibility of the local roads board."

By amending this section of the act, will it permit the ministry to enter into an agreement with the local roads board in that instance and assist them with the fairly significant amount of money that is going to be required just for that relocation?

The relocation is a convenience for Canadian National Railways, because they block the crossing if they have reason to stop in the town of Armstrong and, because of the length of the trains, this at-grade railway crossing in many instances is blocked for well in excess of the permitted time of five minutes.

They are going to move the crossing farther east to relieve that problem. But in so doing they will place a great burden on a local roads board that has no means of bringing in money other than saying, "If it is going to cost us $3,000 to maintain our little network of roads, we are going to assess each property owner in this little community X dollars to generate the necessary funds for whatever maintenance is required."

Of course, the ministry is fairly generous in the way it assists them in that kind of work. But when there is a situation such as I have explained which places an unusually heavy burden on them as a result of a relocation, will this section give the government the authority to assist them in those works? If not, why not?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I will answer the questions in reverse order. I must deal with this big problem about Armstrong and section 13, which deals with signs, not local roads boards. But as the honourable member knows --

Mr. Stokes: It says signs and devices, and I am talking about railway wig-wags. The minister knows what I am talking about.

Hon. Mr. Snow: The member did not tell me that. He talked about the relocation of a track or something.

Mr. Stokes: Railway crossing signals; the minister knows specifically what I am talking about.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Is a railway wig-wag a traffic control device? My officials tell me that a railway wig-wag, as the member calls it, is not a traffic control device.

Mr. Nixon: We say otherwise.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Oh? Well, let us have an argument.

Sections 12 and 13, which the honourable member referred to, deal with the control of traffic and the approval of stop signs and such things in unorganized territory or in local roads boards territory. This power was given in the amendments last year, I believe, so we could have a provincial regulation to create a speed limit or authorize a stop sign in an unorganized territory on roads or at junctions of roads, because there is no municipal body there to pass a bylaw to establish the speed limit or the stop sign.

Before this, it had to be done by a Lieutenant Governor's regulation and an order in council. The standing committee on regulations and other statutory instruments noted that this was a very difficult and time-consuming way of making such a regulation; so they recommended that it be changed from a Lieutenant Governor's regulation to a minister's regulation, which is much simpler.

If a local roads board wants to put a stop sign up some place, the ministry makes the regulation and I sign it. It is done. It does not have to go to cabinet, the Lieutenant Governor or anybody else. That was the reason for sections 12 and 13.

We will deal with the member's Armstrong problem with the local roads board, which we treat very generously. But I do not know if it will involve that wig-wag.

I thank the member for Cornwall for his support for colour photos on drivers' licences. Of course, we included that in amendments a few years ago but, unfortunately, I have not been able to get the funds yet to implement it. I am still working on that and hope to do it.

On section 16, both the member for Cornwall and the member for Wentworth North referred to the blocking of intersections. This has been requested by some municipalities. It is not universal. It allows a municipality to pass a bylaw if there is a problem in its municipality, but it does not require that the whole municipality should be included. For instance, the city of Toronto could include only the downtown core.

5 p.m.

The member for Wentworth North referred at the start of his remarks to the sad case of the accident involving an unlicensed driver or a driver under suspension. This is a terrible problem for us all. In my ministry, under our regulations and through our driver control office, we maintain the records of all the drivers.

We suspend the licence when the court says the licence is to be suspended. We are not involved in the enforcement of these things, because it is the Ministry of the Solicitor General, the Ontario Provincial Police and the municipal police forces that check for people who may be driving while under suspension. I know it is a terrible problem. It is one we continually try our very best to attack, along with the police forces, but it is a difficult one.

It was so saddening yesterday morning to hear of the terrible accident in Mississauga where five young people were killed. It had nothing to do with the Highway Traffic Act or anything else. At this stage, there no doubt will be an inquest that will determine the cause of death. From the newspaper stories I have read, I find that the young man driving that vehicle had been driving for four years and had never had a driver's licence, let alone been suspended. He had never had a licence in his life and yet was driving that vehicle.

Mr. Nixon: Have you any estimate of how many people are driving on the road right now without a licence?

Hon. Mr. Snow: I am sure there is an estimate, but I do not know. I guess we know how many licences are under suspension. As to how many people actually drive while they are under suspension, we do know there is a percentage, because some people get caught.

Mr. Nixon: I think it is thousands, tens of thousands.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Some people keep getting caught at it. They are dealt with very harshly, and more so under this legislation. One cannot help but have sympathy under some circumstances for someone who loses his licence but, on the other hand, I can have no sympathy for someone who drives while his licence is under suspension.

I think that basically covers the comments that were made on the bill.

Motion agreed to.

Ordered for third reading.


Hon. Mr. Snow moved second reading of Bill 93, Dangerous Goods Transportation Act.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, in November 1980 I introduced the Dangerous Goods Transportation Act as the then Bill 189 and reintroduced it as Bill 93 on June 2, 1981.

This bill is complementary to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act of Canada, which applies to anyone who handles or packages dangerous goods, such as shippers, consignees and warehousemen, along with those who carry them under federal jurisdiction, such as airlines, ships and railways.

Bill 93 is designed to promote the safe transportation of dangerous goods in all vehicles using provincial highways. The bill makes it an offence to transport dangerous goods in any vehicle on a highway unless it is in accordance with the federal safety regulations, including those regarding packaging and placarding of vehicles.

Once enacted, this Ontario legislation will be enforced by duly authorized Ministry of Transportation and Communications highway carrier inspectors who will be empowered to lay charges under the act.

To ensure compliance, we have set some hefty fines for carriers who break the law. The primary provisions carry a fine for contravention of up to $50,000 for the first offence, up to $100,000 for each subsequent offence and I intend to introduce a motion in the committee to provide also for a jail sentence at the discretion of the court.

In committee, I also intend to move an amendment to permit regulations to be made to require persons involved in occurrences where there are discharges of dangerous goods from faulty containers or vehicles to complete a report to the federal dangerous goods secretariat after the event. This reporting on a national basis is necessary so that defective types of containers, hazardous practices, et cetera, can be identified and corrective action taken.

I am confident our legislation will provide for the safe and efficient movement of dangerous goods, regardless of origin, on all provincial highways in the interests of Ontario residents.

The two amendments I propose to move when we take this bill into committee have been discussed with the federal government, the dangerous goods secretariat. We are going to bring our act into line with the federal act, which provides for a jail sentence, for instance, for the other three modes of transportation. This will make the highway mode compatible with the others in all ways.

Mr. Samis: Mr. Speaker, first of all I want to thank the member for Wentworth North (Mr. Cunningham) for allowing me to speak out of order, to enable me to catch a train back home this evening. I thank him for that courtesy.

Mr. Nixon: Liberals are all heart.

Mr. Samis: All heart, yes. It is kind of ironic that we are discussing this bill on second reading today. If I am not mistaken, this is the second anniversary of the Mississauga incident. It is two years today since that epic event took place and here we are two years later finally getting around to this type of legislation. However, we in this party will support the legislation.

While I and my colleagues support the passage of the bill, as legislators we have an obligation to inform the public that the bill will not eliminate all of their or our concerns about the movement of hazardous substances. The bill will not prevent disasters on the scale of the Mississauga one, for example. In fact it will not even apply to a Mississauga situation in that rail is a federal responsibility, along with air, marine and interprovincial transportation of dangerous goods. It only deals with road or highway transport and only with intraprovincial transportation of dangerous goods, not interprovincial.

While it provides for proper classification, packaging and identification of all dangerous goods being transported, it does not deal with the safety of transport vehicles per se. It does not establish safety standards and procedures respecting the safe operation of any mode of transport or any industrial activity. It only addresses the question of dangerous goods.

While the bill does represent a considerable improvement in the regulation of the transportation of dangerous goods in Ontario, the general public should realize its limitations and realize that even with stringent regulations, even with a bill with lots of teeth in it, even if the transport companies do everything humanly possible to prevent accidents, some accidents will occasionally occur. I point specifically to the incident raised by my colleague from Port Arthur (Mr. Foulds) in the House on Tuesday, the incident that took place near Kenora.

We must never forget the basic long-term solution is to reduce our society's dependence on nonrenewable materials, which are themselves dangerous or made from dangerous goods. Chemical technology is outstripping our knowledge of its effects. Some 63,000 manmade chemicals are now in use. One thousand more new chemicals are added to the list every year. Transportation is clearly only one aspect of the problem. There is also the manufacture, storage and disposal of these products. As a society, we should be asking ourselves if we want to or we must continue producing so many hazardous goods, and if we should not be treating them comprehensively from the cradle to the proverbial grave. However, it is a matter well beyond this Legislature and this bill.

I would like to deal with the bill a little more specifically. I believe in its present form it represents an improvement over the previous bill introduced in this House, just as the final bill passed by the federal Parliament was certainly an improvement over the earlier bill. I congratulate the minister for the importance he has attached to the passage of this legislation, although I regret that his cabinet colleagues have not demonstrated the same degree of interest or urgency on the matter.

I believe it makes good sense to parallel the federal legislation in order to provide a semblance of uniformity and continuity wherever and whenever possible. However, that does not preclude Ontario from adopting special regulations of its own or from expanding on the federal bill in certain select areas to suit special conditions or problems unique to Ontario. Our party has long supported the introduction of strong, comprehensive legislation on the transportation of dangerous goods; I believe study of the debates in the House of Commons will clearly reveal that NDP members led the fight to toughen the original federal bill. I was pleased to note that some of their amendments were incorporated into the federal bill and obviously are reflected in this bill today.

5:10 p.m.

I point specifically to amendments such as the one requiring the minister to publish reports of inquiries rather than keeping them confidential; the amendment which requires properties seized by an inspector not to be returned until after the danger to the environment has been reduced; the amendment that permits the government to collect expenses for disposing of dangerous goods from persons who abandon them, within which legal action to recover expenses can be taken to a period of two years after a spill becomes evident; and the amendment to more equitably ensure the sharing of responsibility between the corporation and/or its employees for violations of the act.

Several worthwhile amendments were rejected by the federal government. The most important among these were: provisions for a compensation fund, an equivalent of our own spills bill, especially section 8(a) for the requirement to restore the environment to its previous condition; a provision to establish a general duty of care on shippers and handlers to take all possible care in the packaging, handling, shipping and transportation of hazardous goods; a provision to amend the definition of dangerous goods to include hazardous wastes; and finally, a provision to provide for all levels of government and private individuals to recover for losses which resulted from spills, any expenses incurred in any cleanup.

I do not intend to repeat all the arguments for these amendments in this debate, but I do want to make it clear we favour a strong, comprehensive, meaningful piece of legislation in order to protect human life, public safety and personal property as much as possible within our own jurisdiction. I would like to raise some questions about the bill before us today and I hope the minister will respond.

1. I have some reservations about the broad and unlimited powers given to the minister in section 2 to grant exemptions from the legislation. This loophole seems to be so broad it could be used to undermine the real intent of the bill. The precedent of the Environmental Assessment Act stands out as an example of a potentially good piece of legislation seemingly sabotaged by the loopholes written into the legislation. I would like the minister to address the question of exemptions by giving us some idea of what circumstances, for what purpose, he would envisage this power being used. Why are there seemingly no limitations on that power of exemption? What assurances do the people of Ontario have that this will not be used to do an end run around the provisions and regulations of the act?

2. Why did the minister feel the need to include a section such as section 5? While recognizing it is certainly an improvement on section 5 in the previous bill, why was it included in the first place?

3. What is the status of section 8(a) of the spills bill as it pertains to this act? Even though this bill was passed in 1979, I understand it still has not been proclaimed in force. What pressure has the minister exerted on his colleague from Kingston, the Minister of the Environment (Mr. Norton), to ensure the spills bill will be proclaimed before this bill comes into force. Without the spills bill in place, especially section 8(a), this legislation will be left with a major gap at the very outset -- one that could seriously undermine the effectiveness of the bill. In simple language, why the delay? What is holding up things? What is the minister doing to attempt to expedite the process that is so important to the success of his bill?

4. Why is there no provision in this bill for an annual report by the minister on the administration and enforcement of the act as there is in the federal legislation?

5. Why is there no provision for public input in the preparation of the regulations associated with the act, again as there is in the federal legislation? Why was this bill watered down in these two respects? We strongly believe there should be annual reports and there should be some process established to provide for public input. If I may quote from the Commission on Freedom of Information, Individual Privacy, in its 1980 report, they said: "Consideration should be given to the adoption of provisions providing for notice and comment opportunities in specific statutes which confer rule-making powers in governmental institutions." Page 410.

6. Why is there no mention of ticket offences in the bill and no information on a schedule of fines? The federal legislation has a statement of ticket offences and the Ontario Trucking Association has made it clear they want to see a similar provision in the provincial bill unless it is covered under the Provincial Offences Act.

7. Since the Ontario waybill regulation apparently does not apply to hazardous solid waste, liquid, industrial or hazardous wastes that are stored or disposed of on the generator's premises, and since wastes that are recycled -- for example road dust control in the case of waste oils -- what does the minister intend to do to update the waybill system to incorporate these different types of waste materials?

8. Could the minister tell us what application this bill will have for the transportation of dangerous goods on largely privately-owned company property such as the huge Inco property in Sudbury, Dofasco in Hamilton, Imperial Oil near his own riding or General Motors in Oshawa? Could he tell us what the duties of such companies would be in the case of an accident on their properties in terms of reporting that accident to either his ministry or the local authorities? I understand what happens when they transport the goods across a public roadway, but I am asking what happens in terms of a large privately-owned property when we have an accident involving dangerous goods? What are their responsibilities as a result of this act?

9. What type of truck inspection system does the minister envisage as a result of the passage of this bill? What frequency would there be for such a program? Could he amplify on his remarks made in his speech -- I believe it was on April 7 of this year -- when he spoke in terms of a comprehensive truck inspection program for the province? I think he said it would be two inspections per year. I believe he spoke of a brake inspection program for the province in terms of one per year.

10. What type of extra training will be given to those inspectors required to administer the act on the road? Could he tell us what type of training he would envisage or would he recommend to his colleague that Ontario Provincial Police officers and possibly various fire departments across the province receive to cope with situations such as that raised in the Legislature by my colleague from Port Arthur on Tuesday? I think it is extremely important that we have qualified trained people across the province who are able to respond to such emergencies as the one near Kenora. I realize this does not all come within the purview of the minister, but I think it is something that has to be dealt with in order to make this legislation effective, meaningful and productive for the province.

We will support the legislation because it parallels the federal legislation. We want to see it in effect as soon as possible. We will have two minor amendments dealing with public input and annual reports. We hope the regulatory process would be expanded to include public input and that we will adopt a provision such as that now contained in the federal bill whereby the minister must make an annual report on the enforcement and administration of the legislation.

Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Chairman, the honourable member for Cornwall quite correctly mentioned that shortly before midnight today is the second anniversary of the CP derailment at Mavis Road in Mississauga. Mindful of that, cognizant of the fact we were debating this bill today -- I only assume it is a coincidence -- I took a look at the discussion paper on proposed emergency planning legislation that has been tabled by the Solicitor General (Mr. McMurtry) for the province. On page 15 of that report the Solicitor General made reference to the report of the Honourable Mr. Justice Samuel Grange.

"Part of that report states: 'In Mississauga not only were there explosions and fires requiring immediate and continuous firefighting and police control but the apprehended danger from the chlorine resulted in the evacuation of nearly a quarter million people.' The report indicates the major problem at all times was the danger to the public posed by the escape or possible escape of chlorine. No one could tell the command team exactly how much chlorine remained in the tank car. The report states that all estimates given were of an amount that, if it all escaped, could be catastrophic.

"It turned out that most of the chlorine escaped in the first few minutes with little or no adverse effect, perhaps because of the drawing-up effect of the explosion and the fire. Nevertheless, the commissioner pointed out that even in hindsight he was happy with the decisions and that they were theirs and not his."

Those of us who followed that incident with a great deal of interest recognized our good fortune that the chlorine tank was in close proximity to a propane tank and the attendant fire and explosion ultimately caused the dissipation, the drawing up, as the report concluded, of the chlorine gas. What the report really summarizes for us, and it should be something that will be ever present in our minds as legislators, is the continuing and ever-present danger that exists with a spill or catastrophe with commodities that would be categorized as dangerous. That is what this legislation is all about, albeit it is long overdue and has been delayed for a number of years.

5:20 p.m.

At the time we are debating this item of legislation, the spills bill, which we went through last year, has yet to be proclaimed if I am not mistaken. I find this situation a little difficult to comprehend.

In my own community we had, I think just before if not during the last election, a near tragedy on the Burlington Skyway. I have to outline in some detail what the tragedy was, because that death trap is an area where we are consistently being faced with traffic dangers, fatalities and personal injuries. This event was the result of an accident with a truck that, ironically and coincidentally, was carrying chlorine. While to the best of my knowledge no one was killed and no one was severely injured, this kind of thing, especially on the skyway bridge, could have been a major disaster for the people living in that community, especially the unfortunate people who have to live under the bridge.

Not that long ago in my own constituency we had a serious tragedy only about four or five miles from my home in Waterdown. This was on Highway 6. It was the result of an explosion of a gas tanker that had a pup tank of gasoline behind it, the unit travelling in a northerly direction. It was in a collision with a sanding truck operated on behalf of the municipality on a contract basis with a construction company.

It is not my function to determine who was at fault. Unfortunately and quite sadly, the driver of the gas truck died in that accident, it is to be hoped instantly. The driver of the sanding truck, who was 19, and his sister, who was younger than he, were very badly burned in that explosion. I examined the site, and the devastation that occurred as a result of that explosion was indeed something. The road was badly disturbed. The power was cut off for some time.

That was the explosion of a gas tank. I think incidents like that make the difficulties that can occur with a spill of a dangerous commodity more present in our minds.

I can recall, during my term on the select committee on highway transportation of goods a number of years ago, hearing of an occasion when a young law student in Toronto died when a tanker of hot roofing tar, being operated in a careless manner with brakes not properly hooked up, tipped over on a ramp and spilled over on to this individual's compact car, burning this individual and ultimately resulting in his death. In this situation I believe -- and I am relying on my memory, which sometimes fails me -- the coroner's inquest in this regard made some severe indictments of the owner of the truck for not maintaining that vehicle in a roadworthy condition.

I have some reservations about this legislation. I am concerned about some of the exemptions that may be made. I hope and I trust the minister will see this act is not watered down and that it is enforced in as stringent and effective a way as possible. I feel the Ontario Trucking Association is generally in support of legislation of this order and, through its work with its membership, is promoting a safety program that clearly is not only in the interests of the membership but in the interests of people who drive on our highways.

Sadly, not everybody is a member of that organization. This act, of course, will apply to private haulers. In many instances it is all too easy to blame the operator of a truck. It invariably takes two vehicles to cause a collision and often the fault, however pointless it is to assess fault, can be attributed to the operator of the passenger vehicle.

I have some concerns about how the assistant deputy minister in charge of regulation and safety may liaise with other jurisdictions so that they are aware of the federal legislation and aware of the requirements that exist in this province. I do hope in some way this ministry can work with the federal government, mindful of its involvement in the approval of vehicles that will haul and carry dangerous goods, to develop safer vehicles -- vehicles which, if they were carrying in tank form dangerous chemicals, would be properly constructed and up to the most advanced engineering standards we could possibly imagine.

I hope, at the same time, these inspectors will be given the power and the licence to go after the haulers of industrial toxic chemicals who do so without the benefit of a licence and possibly with complete and total disregard for the public, both for people in the areas where those chemicals are dumped without permission and, more significantly, for people who might encounter them on the highways.

Any analysis of major landfill sites in Ontario would lead the Ministry of the Environment to conclude most certainly and clearly that chemicals that have no business being there are being dumped in those sites. The long and the short of it is that people are moving chemicals without the benefit of legislation. Unfortunately, it is obvious that most of the responsibilities in regard to the monitoring of dangerous goods will be federal responsibilities, and, as the minister very clearly points out here in the table on page five of his compendium, for the most part at federal expense.

I am not going to indicate at this time that I believe that to be a cop-out. I am satisfied and somewhat pleased that finally this legislation will become a reality. I hope, if the legislation is not watered down and is properly enforced, the public will be well served by it. I would like to concur with the suggestion put by my friend the member for Cornwall with regard to the necessity for tabling an annual report. If this legislation is going to work and if the public is going to be properly served by it, the ministry should be tabling with the assembly an annual report regarding the operation of the act and indicating some statistical analysis of what has gone on with inspection, to what end we are experiencing compliance and to what end the public is being served.

Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, this legislation is long overdue. We have been urging the government to bring in this kind of legislation literally for years, but always the excuse was we had to wait until the federal government brought in its new legislation in this field. In the meantime, we had trucks and vehicles going along our highways with insufficient placarding; insufficient regulation as to the specifications for the vehicles, and various accidents happening and spills occurring and no law to hold the person responsible, because there was no very strict regulation of the transportation of hazardous substances.

There also was some conflict of jurisdiction between the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications. The Ministry of the Environment in some cases required placarding and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications may have required it in some cases as well. The Ministry of the Environment required a permit to be obtained by the transporter of some hazardous substances, and in other cases it appeared to have no jurisdiction.

I hope the minister has sorted out the jurisdiction of the two ministries in controlling the transportation of hazardous substances under this bill, because it would be desirable if there were one set of rules for carriers to observe in obtaining permits for carrying different kinds of hazardous substances, in placarding and in building their vehicles to certain specifications.

5:30 p.m.

Another thing about this bill that disturbs me is that it is to be put into effect by proclamation, which could mean another long delay. I think it is almost two years since the spills bill was passed, and it still has not been proclaimed. It may sound like very good legislation on the books, and it may make people think this government is concerned about controlling these hazardous substances and protecting the public, but if the bills remain unproclaimed they are little more than artifacts of the Conservative government.

There is one thing about the schedule to the bill that mystifies me. I notice the schedule is used to determine what a dangerous good is. Under the definition section, "dangerous goods" mean "any product, substance or organism included by its nature or by the regulations in any of the classes listed in the schedule." There is a mysterious class seven in my copy of the bill which has no designation on it. Whether it is a hazardous substance so dangerous that it produces the effect of disappearing ink I do not know, but I would like to know what is in that secret class seven of goods that are considered hazardous.

There are also a great number of subsections to section 11, empowering the government to make regulations, and this appears to be part of the kind of bill we often get from the Conservative government. Basically the bill is just a shell, and most of the actual requirements are done by regulation.

I think we, as legislators, are being asked to buy a pig in a poke by this procedure. I think more of the requirements should be spelled out in the bill; but if we are not going to be able to spell out all the requirements in the legislation, and if we are going to do a great deal of the regulating of hazardous substances and their transportation by regulation -- and I can see there are cases where very detailed and complicated requirements should be spelled out and could be varied by regulation -- I would submit that this government should adopt the policy of prepublishing regulations and allowing time for public comment on them. This is being done by Ottawa in a considerable number of areas, it is done in the United States by a number of jurisdictions, and it does provide for public input on the details of the regulations.

I think we need that sort of public input, because occasionally the public will be able to find errors in the regulations or will be able to make suggestions as to how they can be improved. In a way, the public in these circumstances performs the role of the legislators in looking at the details of a requirement. So I hope the ministry will start to follow the practice of prepublishing the regulations.

One other thing the regulations do, which my colleague mentioned in considerable detail, is to provide for exemptions. This is another area where we in the opposition have considerable concern about how much that power will be used. If that power is used to make the act inapplicable to a great many areas where it should apply, and where there are hazardous substances being transported, then the legislation becomes more or less a dead letter in those areas, and the government is able to exempt from the terms of the act, substances and carriers that should be covered.

I hope the government will use that exemption power very sparingly. Perhaps when exemptions are requested by a large segment of a particular type of carrier, the government will submit the proposal to a public hearing to allow the public to say whether it thinks those exemptions should be granted.

There is one other area in which I am not sure whether the bill provides a sufficient requirement for notification of what hazardous substances the carriers carry. I know the bill requires the carriers to give information on what they are carrying to the ministry. Does it require them to notify the municipalities through which they will be passing carrying highly dangerous products? This was a request from the city of Mississauga after the Mississauga train wreck. It is a reasonable request. If they are carrying highly dangerous substances, the municipalities should be aware of what is passing through their jurisdictions that could result in a very serious accident.

The minister may say this would require tremendous numbers of pieces of paper to be processed and passed on to the municipalities, but if it is a shipment that occurs on a regular basis, there could be one notification to the municipality a year or one every few months or in whatever periods of time the regular shipments go through, rather than requiring them to be notified of every single truck load.

If it is an irregular shipment, and in particular a shipment containing something like radioactive material, then there should be notification to the municipality that the shipment is going through its boundaries. Then the municipality could design its own defence services in case of an accident. It could make sure its fire department is aware of what is passing through its boundaries. It could make sure its police department is equipped for a possible emergency.

It is to be hoped we will not have any more emergencies of the Mississauga train wreck type, but one should be prepared. It is reasonable for the municipalities to be notified of dangerous shipments.

I am suggesting the minister might consider some of these matters and possibly bring in some amendments when the bill is in committee stage.

Mr. Newman: Mr. Speaker, I do not intend to speak at length concerning Bill 93, the Dangerous Goods Transportation Act, 1981, but I would like to bring to the minister's attention the problem I have personally been confronted with when attempting to find out whether certain types of radioactive materials had been trans-shipped from a nuclear plant in the state of Michigan through to the city of Detroit, across the Ambassador Bridge, and then through to the Fort Erie border and back into the United States. Unfortunately, I was not able to trace that because of lack of co-operation on the part of several different agencies and/or organizations, including the media personnel from the state Legislature of the state of Michigan.

It does concern me that much of the cargo that may be trans-shipped through Ontario, going into New York and states farther to the east, may not have to be labelled. It comes in from the United States, and may not have to be, or may not be, labelled to the extent this legislation at present requires. I hope that when and if this legislation does become law the minister will inform the various states and companies, if it is possible, that trans-ship materials through the southern part of our province, going on to the eastern seaboard or points east of the state of Michigan.

5:40 p.m.

Just recently there was a problem with a herbicide called Cobex, which is apparently used in the agricultural industry. It was being shipped by the manufacturer, United States Borax and Chemical Corporation of Los Angeles. It wound up in the city of Windsor and was eventually stored in an empty warehouse in the community. The problem we are confronted with is that the municipality is not notified. It did not know this commodity was in the community until it had been there for some time.

I think it is incumbent upon any shipper, or upon the ministry -- maybe this is federal legislation; the federal government may be the one -- to require the shipper to notify the federal authorities and also the province, if the material is going through our province. In the case of Cobex, three individuals, including two customs officers and a railroad employee, were adversely affected by inhaling fumes from this chemical.

As a result of several accidents we have had in the community, the labour-sponsored Windsor Occupational Safety and Health Council has been working for about a year now on a draft bylaw that would require all shippers to register dangerous commodities with the city public health department. The community was concerned, as was the occupational safety and health council of the community.

That was prior to the introduction of this bill. I hope it will allay some of the fears they have, and that it will require notice to communities through which any of these dangerous chemicals or goods may have to pass.

There is also the problem that some of the chemicals that may pass through are not considered dangerous on the American side. Their health and safety people do not consider them as hazards, whereas we do. I think they will have to obey our decision if we consider them as hazards, and obey our laws as a result of that.

Another thing I would like to bring to the minister's attention is that when it comes to the shipping of alcohol, that is alcohol for human consumption, it seems strange that the authorities who operate a bridge in Windsor will not accept the trans-shipping of alcohol over that bridge, yet shippers can cross over the bridge at Sarnia with the goods. A shipper in Windsor who has to ship something to Detroit has to go all the way over to Sarnia, cross into Port Huron, and then go to a warehouse in Detroit, simply because the company that holds the privilege of operating a bridge in Windsor does not permit the trans-shipment of alcohol, which apparently must be, in its opinion, a dangerous cargo. We know it is a dangerous chemical, but I did not think it was dangerous to that extent.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable members for their comments on this bill which, as has been mentioned, just happens to be receiving second reading on the second anniversary of Hazel's disaster. I am sure it was not planned that way. It was supposed to be dealt with last Tuesday, except other events intermingled with the program.

The member for Beaches-Woodbine was concerned about the proclamation of the bill. I can assure her that the bill will be proclaimed as soon as the federal regulations are ready. There has been a considerable amount of discussion regarding the regulations that will accompany this bill.

Basically, those regulations are the federal regulations that will be passed under the authority of the federal Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act. Those regulations, I understand, will be published, or prepublished as the member mentioned, and then there will be a time after they are published for public input on the regulations before they become final.

I cannot give the House a definite commitment as to when this act will be proclaimed or when it will become effective because, without the federal regulations, it is really not effective and for a specific reason. All 10 provinces and all of us as ministers of transportation have agreed with the federal government that we should have one set of regulations, one common law across this country, because many of these goods move from province to province and, naturally, we want the same regulations in each province. We do not want to have something travelling legally in Ontario and illegally in Quebec or vice versa.

The provision for exemption has been mentioned by some of the speakers. I see this provision being used very little. We feel it is necessary in the case of an emergency. We could have a situation where there could be an accident where there could be a spill of some dangerous commodity that could not be moved under the regulations without an exemption, because the regulation may call for it to be moved in some specific way. It may have to be moved in some other way; so it may require an exemption just to clean up after an accident. We certainly do not see many exemptions in that situation.

The notification of shipments is not included. To my way of thinking, it would be an impossible situation, because there are so many things listed in the federal regulations as dangerous goods. To try to notify every municipality about every one of those vehicles would be impossible.

Take chlorine, for instance. I dare say chlorine is shipped through many of our municipalities practically every hour of every day of every week; yet it is a dangerous commodity. Every time I go down to pick up a pail of chlorine at the swimming pool place to bring it home to doctor up the swimming pool, I am carrying a dangerous commodity. That is the commodity, as I understand it, that was in the truck on the Burlington Skyway that the member for Wentworth North was discussing. It was swimming pool chlorine, which is a common commodity that is shipped. Under these regulations, as I understand it, it would have to be placarded and properly shown on the bills of lading et cetera.

With regard to the discussion of an annual report, in our ministry annual report we now list the charges or convictions under all the different sections of the Highway Traffic Act. We can very easily expand that in our Accident Facts book report to give the information on charges or convictions under this act. I am sure we can meet the honourable member's concerns about having an annual report.

5:50 p.m.

The member for Windsor-Walkerville mentioned something called Cobex. It is apparently a chemical that has been banned from sale in Canada by the federal Department of Agriculture, and the shipment that the honourable member is concerned about apparently is being returned to the United States.

Mr. Newman: No. It is in a warehouse in Windsor -- 80,000 gallons.

Hon. Mr. Snow: The information I have from my staff, who seem to know all about it, is that it is currently being shipped back to the USA for disposal. I did not say it had gone, but it has been banned for use in Canada, as I understand it.

Mr. Newman: If the containers leak, they have to put it in leakproof containers.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Anyway, it is apparently banned and is being shipped back to --

Mr. Nixon: What is this? A filibuster?

Hon. Mr. Snow: No.

I think I have covered most of the notes I made of the items the members mentioned.

Ms. Bryden: What about the schedule?

Hon. Mr. Snow: One of the members mentioned the ticketing of offences. I understand there is no need to mention it in this act, because the Provincial Offences Act has jurisdiction in that area. It is in the federal act -- the member for Cornwall mentioned this -- because the feds need a special provision for ticketing the offences.

I think that concludes my comments.

Motion agreed to.

Ordered for committee of the whole House.

The House adjourned at 5:53 p.m.