32nd Parliament, 1st Session






The House resumed at 8 p.m.


Resuming the adjourned debate on the motion for third reading of Bill 68, An Act for the establishment and conduct of a Project in the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto to improve methods of processing Complaints by members of the Public against Police Officers on the Metropolitan Police Force.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I am very happy to have the opportunity to conclude this historic debate. I would like to say at the outset that I am very proud to have had the opportunity to introduce this legislation. I would like to thank a number of people who worked so hard to create what I think is the best legislation in a very difficult, complex and controversial area.

If the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) were here, I would say that we have not copied any other legislation, but we expect in the years ahead to see many other legislatures, parliaments and other duly elected bodies copy this legislation, as has often happened in the past with legislation passed by this House, because in my respectful view this is the best legislative approach that has been developed in any jurisdiction in the western world.

At the same time, although by itself, no legislation is going to resolve very difficult issues and controversial matters, the legislative framework we have provided in Bill 68, in my respectful view, certainly presents the best opportunity to do so. As we conclude this debate, I think it is very important to note that very little attention has been paid to the fact that this legislation is probably the most progressive legislation in this area that has ever been enacted by a Canadian parliament, let alone any other jurisdiction of which we are aware.

This legislation involves a degree of police accountability to the public that we have not seen in any other jurisdiction. I would like to say at the outset that I think it is a great credit to the chief of the Metropolitan Toronto Police Force and to his predecessor and the senior officers that they not only have supported this legislation but have invited it, because it involves an independent review mechanism which is not in existence elsewhere.

They have invited the monitoring of complaints from day one; they have invited the commissioner to do his own investigation within not more than 30 days if he chooses; and, of course, they have welcomed the initiative that gives the independent commissioner the opportunity not only to do his own independent investigation but to order a full and public hearing. All of these are very dramatic innovations with respect to policing in Canada.

Having heard the concern expressed by police forces, not only across the province but across the country, that the Metropolitan Toronto Police Force would accept this very high degree of independent review from a very early stage, I find it ironic and distressing that there has not been more recognition, starting with the members opposite, of the very dramatic, very significant innovations which are part of this legislation and which provide for this fully independent civilian review.

I am not going to prolong the debate, because it is not normal to have a lengthy debate on third reading, but the one issue that appears to divide us is the issue of whether or not the investigation should be taken away from the police in the first instance. Although the members opposite have every right to express their point of view, and it is obvious that even reasonable people can disagree on some of these issues, I find it strange that the opposition parties would pay so little attention to many highly respected commissions and reports in relation to this matter.

I am talking about the Morand inquiry into the Metropolitan Toronto Police, the Maloney report on a police complaints bureau, Cardinal Carter's report and the McDonald commission on the RCMP. I am talking about the conclusion arrived at by the United Kingdom Parliament. All are of the view that to take the responsibility of the initial investigation from the police would be detrimental to maintaining an effective level of policing.

While the members opposite are entitled to disagree with these eminent bodies that have reviewed this matter in an exhaustive fashion, I say with respect that the rather cavalier manner in which they have dismissed these conclusions does not do them credit. It indicates a bit of a cavalier approach to a serious issue.

Above anything else, it betrays a lamentable and woeful lack of understanding with respect to how police forces in this country operate. That is the simple fact. They have chosen to disagree with every body that has reviewed this issue, yet they have the colossal gall to accuse the government of arrogance because we have chosen to be guided to some extent by these important studies and commissions. If there is any arrogance in relation to this matter, it certainly does not reside on this side of the House.

As to the central issue with respect to whether the police should be deprived of the initial investigation, I do not have to labour the point. There was debate at length about the disastrous consequences in other jurisdictions where this has occurred. It has created a much higher degree of polarization between the community and the police force and it has entrenched confrontation.

Whether the members opposite know it or not, what they were really seeking to do through their amendments was to drive a significant wedge between the public and the police force which serves that public. They want to hamper in an unfortunate fashion the ability of police forces, not just to police themselves but to resolve these issues directly with the citizens they service.

To be so insensitive about this basic issue and its importance as it relates to effective policing in this community, demonstrates a woeful lack of understanding of how police forces function. They talk about what they say is lack of community support. I am not going to talk about recent elections, but it seems the public in this province for a significant period of time has demonstrated some confidence in the people on this side of the House to exercise the right sort of judgement on difficult and complex issues.

This issue was certainly well known. It was very much a public issue before the last consultation with the people of Ontario. Our approach to this matter was well known to the citizens of Metropolitan Toronto before the last consultation.

The results of that particular election demonstrate that we enjoyed the confidence of the public at that time while the opposition did not.

Our approach in these very difficult matters is generally respected, at the very least, as a wiser approach and one that is not likely to cause --

Mr. Kerrio: Where are all your left-wingers over there? What is happening over there?

8:10 p.m.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: If some of those members had their way, it would be simple chaos. That is what would result. However, they know they are never going to have their way, so they do not mind advocating and preaching chaos on a day-to-day basis. It is really quite incredible. Given what happened to the third party not long ago, for them to suggest they know what the public wants has to be the most laughable statement made in this Legislature for many years. That is the reality of where the public confidence lies.

When it comes to the Metropolitan Toronto Police Department, the public of this community realizes that, as with any large police force, there are going to be problems from time to time. But this police force enjoys a remarkable level of confidence in this community. The members opposite know that; most of them have recognized that. While they recognize it, they give them a clap on the back with one hand and with the other, they want to stab them in the gut. That is basically what they would be doing with some of their proposals.

In adopting this approach, I am confident the public appreciates that it demonstrates a degree of confidence in the police force which the members opposite obviously do not have. They may not want to talk about it, but we are not prepared to dismantle a good police force just to serve some very fuzzy-headed notions that come from the other side of the aisle. That is what we are talking about here tonight.

As nonprovocative as I am, I certainly do not want to needlessly prolong this debate, particularly because it is an important occasion. It is a historic occasion because hopefully the Legislature will be enacting model legislation, as it was referred to quite appropriately by one of the speakers earlier today. It will be model legislation for this and other jurisdictions. It is very important legislation with respect to police-community relations in Metropolitan Toronto.

Before concluding, we should all reflect on the fact that the effectiveness of most human institutions depends on the nature and quality of the human resources that are part of those institutions.

I would like to speak for a moment in a slightly more positive manner in relation to the viewpoints expressed by the members opposite. All the members opposite have expressed great confidence in Mr. Sidney Linden, the new public complaints commissioner.

Mr. Linden is here tonight and I think it is important for him to know -- apart from any concerns the opposition has with the legislation -- that he enjoys their confidence. That will be very important to him and very important to the success of this significant project. Obviously, the challenge that has been undertaken is a very difficult one, and regardless of the legislative framework, anyone assuming these important responsibilities assumes a very formidable challenge and difficult task. For anyone to succeed will require the confidence of every reasonable member of this Legislature. I convey my own personal appreciation to the members opposite --


Hon. Mr. McMurtry: No, I would like to express my own personal appreciation to the members opposite for recognizing publicly their confidence in Mr. Linden. This is very important. It was a very responsible attitude for the members of the opposition to adopt and to express as their view. It is going to be a difficult challenge. He will require all our goodwill.

This project is not carved in stone. It is a three-year project, but the possibility of amendments which can assist the project during that three-year period is very real. This has been an important debate. Despite our disagreements on this issue, which divided many people who addressed this controversial subject, all the members have contributed to creating legislation that is going to serve the people of Metropolitan Toronto very effectively in the years ahead.

Obviously, it will not resolve all the problems in the community. Many of these problems are not going to be solved by legislation alone; they will be solved by a community working together and that means the police force as well.

We have excellent legislation before us. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity of moving third reading.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Cousens): All those in favour of the motion will please say "aye."

Those opposed will please say "nay."

In my opinion the ayes have it.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Norton moved second reading of Bill 143, An Act to amend the Environmental Protection Act.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, Bill 143, before us this evening for second reading, is a bill that contains a number of important and significant changes to the Environmental Protection Act. Over a period of time, some concern has been expressed to the ministry about the legal uncertainty surrounding the ownership of waste deposited in a waste disposal site.

It had been the feeling of a number of members of the legal profession that the existing common law allowed industry and other sources of waste to free themselves of future responsibility as owners by transferring the ownership of the waste to the operator of a licensed site. Some maintained they still had some doubt about that.

As a consequence, the ministry was requested to clarify in legislation, which is one of the important elements of the legislation before us tonight, that the ownership of waste delivered to and accepted by an operator of a waste disposal site would be transferred to that owner and operator.

The question was also raised in relationship to the ownership of waste deposited without the authority of the owner on a site and the importance of ascertaining the owner's legal liability for any harm that may result from such deposits.

The proposed amendments also deal with that. They would transfer the ownership of such waste to the site operator without extinguishing the legal liability of the previous owner, who may have been responsible for an unauthorized deposition of waste. This is desirable so that the operator and the previous owner will each have the liabilities of an owner of waste. In particular, under part IX of the act, spills, each will have the responsibility for reducing the risk of environmental hazards from unauthorized deposits that are spills.

8:20 p.m.

In our opinion, the site operator is best placed and equipped to reduce such hazards. The additional financial responsibility of the site operator is important where those who caused the unauthorized deposit are unknown or have insufficient assets. The incentive will be increased for generators of waste and site operators to prevent unauthorized deposits, especially by increasing security at a site. As a result, the incidence of unauthorized deposits of waste and their environmental effects ought to be reduced.

Another principle that is dealt with in the bill, which I believe is of considerable importance, relates to the concern that has been expressed regarding the wording of section 123 of the act, which deals with the powers of the environmental appeal board on an appeal from a decision of the director under the act, and also under the Ontario Water Resources Act, section 123 being made applicable to appeals under the Ontario Water Resources Act by section 61(3) of that act. It was intended that the board should have the authority to go beyond the original decision of the director, and to substitute its own decision for that of the director, or to require the director to reconsider his decision or specific conditions of it, in accordance with the board's decision.

The implications of serious offences related to hauled liquid industrial waste and hazardous waste which may result in adverse effects require the introduction of special penalties. At the present time, the act contains no special penalty provisions for offences involving these wastes. Section 146 provides for a maximum fine of $5,000 for the first conviction, and a maximum fine of $10,000 for each subsequent conviction for offences under the act. No provision is made for a minimum fine. Section 16(1) of the Ontario Water Resources Act provides for similar fines with respect to discharge of polluting material into water, but also includes imprisonment for not more than one year.

These fines, in our opinion, do not provide a court with sufficient guidance concerning the seriousness of offences, particularly those involving hauled liquid industrial waste and hazardous waste. Illegal disposal of hauled liquid industrial waste and hazardous waste may result in long-term and irreversible damage to public health, property, or the environment. The inclusion of a minimum fine and a revised maximum fine in the act will emphasize the seriousness of these offences and should have the effect of being a deterrent to prevent their commission.

The final principle in this piece of legislation I would like to single out relates to the question of a limitation period for prosecution. I made some reference to this earlier today in the House. At the present time the act does not prescribe a limitation period for prosecution, and as a consequence of that, the general limitation period of six months, as set out in the Provincial Offences Act, applies. Given the complexity of the investigations of a number of offences involving damage to the environment, the ministry has been experiencing some difficulty in complying with the six-month limitation period.

In order to allow for a full investigation, and to prevent the possibility that as a result of the investigation being complex offending parties may escape the full weight of the law by virtue of the time for prosecution having expired, we are including in this bill a specific two-year period during which prosecutions may begin. This will allow for the necessary investigation and laboratory analysis, where it is appropriate, and any other measures that must be completed during this period.

I am sorry, Mr. Speaker, but I have a little note here reminding me of something and I am having some difficulty reading the note. Oh yes. Another important matter that I missed by flipping a page of notes is the seizure of vehicle permits, which relates to the effective enforcement of the legislation. As I am sure members are well aware, the disposal of hazardous and hauled industrial wastes can be a very lucrative business. In fact, there have been reports from some parts of North America that it is so lucrative, or can be so lucrative if the materials are particularly hazardous, that in some instances it may well pay a person to pick up his load and dispose of both the vehicle and the load. The profit that can be made from the operation may be greater than the value of the vehicle in which it is being hauled.

There is a temptation in many instances for persons to start by simply obtaining a vehicle and dumping the waste in a remote area without incurring the cost of seeking out appropriate treatment or disposing of it in an approved waste disposal site. Often the only valuable asset in small operations is the vehicle itself, and if we want to ensure that this type of irresponsible behaviour does not continue, we believe it is important for our investigators to be able to act very quickly and very promptly when offences have been detected.

The imposition of a fine alone has not always proven to be the most effective deterrent. However, we believe that the power to seize the permit and number plates of a vehicle that has been used to dispose of wastes in an irresponsible and unauthorized way will provide a much more effective deterrent. In this legislation we propose that when a vehicle is involved in such an act the permit and the plates may be seized and that subject to the discretion of the court they may be impounded for a period of up to five years.

This does not mean that the vehicle itself will be impounded. The owner of the vehicle may sell it and recover whatever value he has in that asset, but if someone is engaged in a business so irresponsibly that he is not prepared to take appropriate measures to protect the environment he shares with others in society, this provision of the bill makes it possible to put him out of business by taking away his permit, and this is precisely why it is being included.

I hope that in reviewing this legislation with us during second reading the honourable members will appreciate the need for us to be able to take that kind of decisive action in those few situations where this kind of thing occurs so that we can achieve the quality of environment and environmental protection which I think all members of this House desire.

Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Speaker, our party does not have many problems with how the bill relates to the issues that are in the bill, but we do have problems with the way the minister addresses other matters that are much more important. I am very disappointed that he has not addressed them in the bill.

It appears that Bill 143 will enable him to do housekeeping in uncontentious matters, but I want to ask why the minister has not dealt with the spills bill. We debated this bill and we realized that it was very important, and it should have been included in this bill so we could deal with spills in a very effective way, which has not been done here.

8:30 p.m.

We think he should have addressed himself to the waybill aspect of this. He is talking about those people getting rid of very expensive toxic wastes by taking truckloads and getting rid of them. He has addressed himself to the impounding of their plates or whatever. In fact, he has not done much about having a waybill sort of involvement that would follow these toxic substances all the way from the initiation of the toxic substance, through whatever use it is put to, and through to its ultimate destruction or disposal.

He has not addressed himself to those things. I cannot believe we should be talking about a bill in which he is attempting to do some cleaning up of these matters, yet has not really addressed himself in a meaningful way to handling those situations.

The waste classification regulations that he has been talking about since 1979 have not been included in the bill. The Environmental Protection Act should be amended to make waste recovery, reduction, re-use and reclamation of industrial and hazardous wastes mandatory. That should be a part of the bill. That would take away a lot of the wastes drawn into these disposal areas.

I do not see that he has addressed the situation of the people who are making substantial profits by using toxic substances in industry participating to a greater degree in some kind of perpetual care for deposits which might be made and subsequently forgotten, so that the people who run the landfill sites will ultimately leave them with the care having to be done by the taxpayers of Ontario.

Those are meaningful things he has not addressed in the bill that should be addressed. The fact we have touched on those subjects allows me to talk about those issues because we are on the fringe of doing something substantial about them, but in reality we are not doing it.

The minister referred to a specific part of the bill, section 123(1) of the Environmental Protection Act, which clarifies the powers of the environmental appeal board. We feel this section was clearly enacted as a result of submissions made at the outset of the environmental appeal board hearings into the Maple landfill site.

At the time it was submitted, the companies were trying to put forward an entirely different proposal than the one that was rejected in their appeal process. In our opinion, that constituted a new application and not an appeal. Therefore, it should have been heard by the environmental assessment board and not the environmental appeal board. While the board did not accept that argument, it is quite clear that proposal was made to accommodate that dump site at Maple.

While this really addresses itself to some routine matters, we feel strongly that the minister has not addressed meaningful ways of handling toxic wastes, and of making certain that when they are put into a landfill site there is a commitment made to looking after those sites in the long term.

I wonder whether, subsequent to this bill, the minister will address these serious matters I am bringing to his attention and get back to the matter of placing responsibility on those people who put that toxic substance on the market in the first place, for whatever use it is put to, and be certain that is followed through with a proper, forceful waybill procedure. It loses all credibility in this modern age, with the sophisticated equipment we have for following toxics through their use and ultimate disposal, that we can possibly end up not being able to account for huge tanker cars of it.

The minister should address himself in this bill to those questions and make certain that if he does not cover them in this bill, then in subsequent bills he will address those serious matters and take care of that situation as it relates to spills, waybills and perpetual care of some of these dump sites.

Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, this bill contains a number of useful improvements to the Environmental Protection Act. For that reason we will be supporting it. These changes are long overdue and are needed in order to make the enforcement of the bill more effective.

I am afraid that too often in the past we have had environmental legislation on the books but it has not been adequately enforced. As a result our environment is becoming increasingly degraded.

Enforcement is the key to good environmental legislation. While you do need the powers, some of which this bill is adding to the arsenal of the ministry, there have been a great many powers under the previous act that have not been exercised, in the same way as the Environmental Assessment Act has not really been used in this province.

Most hearings are held under the Environmental Protection Act with regard to new projects or extensions to projects. For that reason it is very important the Environmental Protection Act be a good act. We certainly welcome some of the provisions that have been added, such as the change in the limits, but I think the whole approach in this bill is a matter of correcting some minor deficiencies in the act.

There are a number of deficiencies I see that are not dealt with, such as adequate compensation for the victims of environmental damage. That has not been addressed. Nor do I see anything in the bill about the public funding of people who appear at environmental hearings, or any suggestion the minister has looked very carefully at the environmental Magna Carta which I introduced last year as a private member's bill. That bill would have given individuals the right to go to court if they thought their environment had been degraded.

It seems to me we must have the two arms for protecting our environment. One is the Environmental Protection Act which is before us tonight, with sufficient teeth and provisions in it to enforce the regulations and the control orders put into effect under it; but we also need the right of citizens, when there is not adequate enforcement going on, to be able to take the case to court themselves. That has not been provided for in this bill.

There is also the question of standing. In most cases at present the only people who have standing in an environmental protection hearing are those who have a direct interest in it. It is true the board will recognize other groups who have an indirect interest or an overall interest in the protection of their environment, but it is not written into the law that those people have standing. It was included in my environmental Magna Carta that standing should be granted to anybody who feels his environment has been degraded.

I think the concerns that are growing in this province about two very important areas of environmental damage should be dealt with more fully by this bill. One is the question of the protection of our drinking water. More and more reports are coming out that our drinking water may be contaminated by a great many of the chemical pollutants being used in modern industry today. While the authorities continue to assure us the drinking water is safe, we do not really know the cumulative effect of a lot of those chemicals that are in the drinking water. I think we need a much stronger regulation of the drinking water as well as a much better monitoring of what is actually in it.

8:40 p.m.

The other area where there is a great need for much stronger enforcement is that of landfill sites that have liquid industrial waste in them or industrial wastes that may get into the leachate from these sites. I think the Harwich story has alerted us to the fact there are a number of landfill sites in the province that have had industrial waste dumped into them in the past years and very few records were kept of what was going into them. As a result, the sites may be much more dangerous than we think.

We are saying there may be Love Canals in the province but we do not know. The minister does not seem willing to investigate all these old sites and let us know exactly what is in them. It took a court action to find out what was going into the Harwich landfill site. These are some of the things that a real overhaul of the Environmental Protection Act should include, if we are going to protect our environment.

Another area I would like to have seen more changes in is the question of freedom of information. People who want to see reports from the monitoring of various landfill sites, for example, or water sources, are not always able to get copies of the reports. This should be provided for in the legislation in the absence of a freedom of information act. Of course it would be better if we had a freedom of information act in the province. I think while we support in principle the need for tightening up the present act, we still think we have a long way to go before we have an adequate Environmental Protection Act.

One other point I do not think is in the new act is allowing the right of appeal to interveners, rather than just to proponents, from a decision under this act. I think I am correct in saying interveners are still not allowed to appeal. The minister can correct me if I am wrong. So I hope that perhaps before the bill goes through, we will have some amendments from the minister taking into account some of these serious deficiencies in the act.

Mr. Newman: Mr. Speaker, I want to make a few comments concerning Bill 143, An Act to amend the Environmental Protection Act, and to centre my comments on the transport of a lot of these liquid wastes, likewise solid wastes, by vehicles rather than by railroad tank cars. I am concerned that a lot of these vehicles transporting the various types of hazardous wastes do not follow the procedures that are used in transporting the same types of waste by rail. Railroad workers are extremely nervous and are asking for more information as to what is contained in the rolling stock carrying these hazardous chemicals and wastes.

The same thing would be true for the various types of trucks. There should be limits as to what type of vehicle can transport liquid and/or solid wastes. I can recall attempting to trace the transportation of hazardous wastes from a nuclear reactor plant on the east shore of Lake Michigan. I had followed up on a report of these wastes being transported all across the state of Michigan, as far as the Ambassador Bridge and over it, and there was no record of it even having entered Ontario.

Naturally they will say it did not enter the province. In those days we were not as concerned as we will be in future. My concern is for the individual transporting this by some type of truck who very often does not have a clue about the type of cargo he is carrying. There is no waybill or recommended suggestions as to what the individual must do in case of a spill, an upset or you name it. The citizen could be affected adversely healthwise as a result of transporting the type of waste being transported today.

The federal government uses a HIER form, a hazard information emergency response form. I think any vehicle carrying any type of waste that could be hazardous should have a bill of lading showing exactly what is being transported and also what to do in case there is a spill.

The police in each municipality through which that vehicle passes should be informed the vehicle is carrying this type of waste, and that it could be a real health hazard to individuals who may be exposed to fumes from it or simply from that type of waste going through the community.

There is also the need for waste classification so that the driver would be alerted about what his vehicle is transporting. In case of any type of upset, if the fire department or municipality police happen to be on the scene they would know exactly what to do as far as overcoming, neutralizing or eventually picking up the waste that has been spilt and removing it to the site in which it is eventually going to be disposed of.

The minister might tell me that is covered under the legislation of the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow). I am especially concerned in my area about some of these vehicles crossing the international border from United States sources. The US does not require certain types of designation as to what is being transported, but we should know.

We should know what type of action must be taken by the environment officials that may be on the scene. For example, it is not too many years ago that hydro transformers were simply being stockpiled in scrap yards, the valves or pipes cut so they could drain all the fluids out. We know exactly what was in those fluids. I recall there was one industry in town. No one even knew about it. Even ministry officials had no clue that this had happened, as a result either of carelessness or ignorance on the part of the scrap yard that eventually purchased the containers -- or in this instance the transformers.

8:50 p.m.

I am concerned that more information be provided in case of any spills. Then when the minister's officials cannot get to the scene quickly enough the municipal fire departments and/or other officials would be on the site of a spill as quickly as possible to neutralize it, have the material picked up and moved to the disposal site.

Mr. Charlton: Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the bill. I should say at the outset that I was not fully able to live up to the request the minister made to me this afternoon, but I will not take the time of the House unduly this evening. However, there are a number of comments I wish to make on the bill.

The sections of the bill dealing with the ownership of waste and those dealing with transport and fines for illegal disposal of waste are all welcome in the light of some of the things we know have happened in this province. However the whole question of landfill sites in relation to liquid industrial wastes, as we have seen over the course of the last several years, has become an ever-increasing problem, one for which there is no real solution as long as those liquid industrial wastes are going into landfill sites. No matter how tight or leakproof a landfill site may appear, even over a fairly lengthy period of time, those sites will never be permanently safe. Until we discuss the realities of liquid industrial wastes and the destruction of those wastes at their source as opposed to having to ship them at all and dispose of them in a landfill site, we will not be getting at the problem.

As an interim measure, we welcome these steps both in relation to liability in landfill sites where dumping is legal and in relation to the illegal dumping of liquid wastes, which we know has been a problem in this province as well. We welcome the minister's initiative in terms of the seizure of plates and registrations from vehicles that are involved in illegal dumping simply because, as the minister has pointed out, the ability to get an injunction in place and stop the kind of thing that is going on is too lengthy a process. Seizure is a much quicker way of dealing with that question.

We also welcome the changes in the amendments involving the environmental appeal board that set out the appeal board's authority more clearly, not only to go beyond the original decision of the director, but to change that decision and/or refer it back for further consideration, setting specifics and conditions under which it will be reviewed.

In the case of the new penalties set out, the setting of a minimum is useful although the application of fines in a lucrative industry like this is always somewhat questionable. As the minister's notes on this bill clearly point out, it is the type of business which requires little capital investment. The only capital investment involved in the illegal dumping of liquid industrial wastes is the purchase of a vehicle. There are no other capital costs to a person running this kind of business.

It therefore becomes a very lucrative business because, as an illegal business, the industry which takes advantage of an illegal practitioner or disposer of industrial waste is quite often an industry that can find no other reasonably economical way to get rid of its waste. It is therefore in the position of paying through the nose for the illegal disposal. Although the new fine levels are substantially improved over the old levels, it is questionable how much impact fines have in an area like this where the capital investment is low and the turnover is high.

The substantially increased fine levels are welcome, but this will not provide an overall or final solution to the question of illegal disposal of liquid industrial wastes. That question is open. It will have to be resolved with the industries producing the wastes. I ask the minister to look carefully at that question which has been raised a number of times in this House.

We also welcome the definition, for the first time, of a limitation on prosecution in cases involving the disposal of liquid industrial waste. The act did not in the past set out limitations. Ultimately we ended up getting stuck with a six-month limitation. We understand the problems that can arise from attempting to investigate an illegal dumping of waste, especially if one does not know at the time it is found who did it. The investigation can be very lengthy.

We welcome the two-year limitation. I hope we will see this ministry pursuing in a more aggressive fashion some of the things raised in the House over the course of the past four years in an honest effort to alter the way in which the disposal of liquid industrial wastes has occurred in this province.

We all know, although none of us is in a position to prove it easily, there have been large quantities dumped illegally, especially in areas where an available site has been closed and then suddenly nobody seems to know where the wastes that were formerly going into that site are now going. It is a question that has been raised a number of times in this House. Unfortunately, although this legislation may help in the pursuit of the things that are going on, it will not ultimately stamp out that problem.

The solution to that problem is sitting down in a very hard way with the industries producing the waste and, either by legislation or by joint venture with those industries, providing for the disposal of those wastes on site wherever possible as opposed to the need to ship it in the first place.

9 p.m.

Mr. Haggerty: Mr. Speaker, I want to address myself to Bill 143, An Act to amend the Environmental Protection Act, and to endorse the bill in principle with some reservations. My colleague from Windsor-Walkerville brought up a good point tonight relating to this bill not covering hazardous material that is being transported by railroad. I do not know if the minister is aware of the problem that happened back in the early 1970s in the town of Pelham, where there was a train wreck and spillage of sulphuric acid. A number of tank cars were damaged and there was quite a spill. It covered quite a broad area of farm land.

I do not think that claim has ever been settled to this day. It caused quite a problem with the agricultural land in the area. It was badly burnt by the sulphuric acid. One reason was that they did not use the proper neutralizer at the time. They used something that did help, but if they had used agricultural lime, and there was enough of it around the community, it could have contained it and neutralized it without causing too much damage. I suggest there should be proper cataloguing of all hazardous materials so that municipalities should be aware of what is being carried by transport or by rail.

A number of railroad beds, particularly in the Niagara Peninsula, have what is called a "slow order" on particular sections of the track. If the minister is not aware of a "slow order," it means the speed cannot exceed a certain limit -- say 15 miles an hour. There is one area between Fort Erie and the city of Welland that is placed in this slow-speed category. I suggest that carrying hazardous materials on this railroad should be stopped immediately.

Perhaps there are other areas in Ontario where there is no proper maintenance of good roadbed, where those materials should not be transported as well. I have heard rumblings in my area about opening the abandoned railroad from Fort Erie to Dunnville specifically to carry hazardous material -- it must be from the United States. I was just wondering if there might be some linkage with that site in Cayuga. I hope that is not so. The minister shakes his head but perhaps he is not aware of it.

Another area of concern is that I am lost in trying to read the language used in section 40a: "(1) The ownership of waste that is accepted at a waste disposal site by the operator of the site is transferred to the operator upon acceptance." I suppose that could be a private operator or it could be a municipal disposal site that can be considered to be the operator.

"(2) Where waste is deposited but not accepted at a waste disposal site, the ownership of the waste shall be deemed to be transferred to the operator of the site immediately before the waste is deposited.

"(3) Subsections (1) and (2) apply only in respect of a waste disposal site for which a certificate of approval or a provisional certificate of approval is in force."

That bothers me a little bit. I hope the minister is not telling me there are sites in Ontario that have not received a certificate of approval. If that is the case I would like to know how many sites in Ontario have not been approved. I am thinking of the private sector where there are certain industries in Ontario that have 45-gallon storage drums sitting in a yard. They are not in any containment area whatsoever, and there could be leakage or spillage there. I am sure they do not come under the certificate mentioned here for a waste disposal site. In some cases they might, but there is an area that is open, perhaps, for later criticism. An accident could happen almost any time.

Look at what happened on the Niagara Peninsula just recently. The minister gave approval to dump radioactive waste in one of the abandoned quarries in the Niagara Peninsula. With the approval of the Ministry of the Environment and their counterparts in Ottawa, he said to go ahead and dump it there, without any concern for the environment or what might happen five or 10 years from now as it relates to radioactive waste. But the minister knows what happened. The poor operator was the one everybody criticized. He was the one at fault, and yet he was only carrying out the minister's orders to dispose of that radioactive waste in the Walkers Brothers quarry in St. Catharines.

I suggest to the minister that there is an area not covered in this amendment to the bill, because the ministry can be at fault. If the minister can override his own legislation, I suppose that is fine, but I do not think that is the intent of the Environmental Protection Act. It is there to protect the public, not the ministry.

When the minister mentions the provisions for conviction when an offence occurs, I relate back again to that railway incident in Pelham, where there has been no settlement for the property owner who had to carry the burden of damage. Somewhere in this bill there must be reimbursement to those who have been affected by a spillage of hazardous material.

There is nothing in the act. The individual has to go to the court himself, and I will tell the minister, it can be a lengthy court proceeding. It could take 10 years before the courts, and the individual could lose his home and his land over it. He might not be able to put his farm back into production for a number of years. There should be some provisions in there.

Under the Ministry of Natural Resources, for example, if an individual breaks the laws that relate to hunting or fishing, everything is confiscated and nothing is returned, to my knowledge. He loses everything. But under the Environmental Protection Act, an individual can be caught disposing of waste along some roadside and we can remove his licence from the truck, but he still gets the truck. He is subject to a fine, maybe $500 to $50,000. Who knows what it is going to be for the first offence? It will probably be about $500. The minister is lucky it will be that.

Hon. Mr. Norton: There's a minimum fine. The minimum fine is $2,000.

Mr. Haggerty: Yes, minimum $2,000. Well, $2,000 is surely not enough for an offence under this act.

Hon. Mr. Norton: It's not the maximum. The maximum is $25,000.

Mr. Haggerty: Is it $25,000? I thought it said some place here $50,000.

Hon. Mr. Norton: That is for a second offence.

Mr. Haggerty: Second offence? Well, one can see it can encourage them to go on to a second or third offence. It does not say anything about the third offence here. It can be up to $50,000, but it does not say they are going to be charged $50,000. I think of what Dow Chemical did to Lake St. Clair and that area, and I do not know what the final charges were, or what they had to reimburse the court for damages done. There was nothing, if anything. It was very minimal. It did not amount to too much, and in that case the minister knows his predecessor stood up in the House and said the polluter will pay. And how many of them have paid since?

Mr. Kerrio: That was his predecessor's predecessor.

Mr. Haggerty: Yes. There were a number of them, anyway. Every time it keeps changing. The minister has added more to the fines of those caught in the act. I suggest to the minister that I am concerned about the bootlegging that goes on in this --

Hon. Mr. Norton: This has nothing to do with alcohol.

Mr. Haggerty: It does not? Well, it is a spirit of some kind.

But I want to tell the minister that I know of an incident in the city of Port Colborne where they had contracted their waste disposal site out to an operator who was picking up industrial waste, and the municipality, and I believe perhaps even the ministry's regional office in Welland, were not aware of what was being dumped into some of these sites.

Some of it could be considered hazardous material -- and if you get anything from Hooker Chemicals, it could be considered hazardous material -- but I understand from talking with the minister's staff in the Welland area that it was not hazardous material.

There are cases, and I do not have to tell the minister, because it has been earmarked in previous reports and studies done in that area, that Fort Erie is one of the sites considered to be a hazardous site. What is in it, I do not know. But I know there are chemical plants in that area. I understand a tank truck went into that area at one time with materials. There was another case where the municipality said: "We will contract it out and let an operator run this site."

9:10 p.m.

This bill says municipalities may opt out of some responsibilities, because they can say: "We will have an operator run the site for us." The bill goes back not only to the operator but also to the owner of the land. In that case, the municipalities could be the ones subject to heavy fines and penalties. Perhaps in a case like this they would say, "The penalty will be $50,000 to the municipality," even though it might not know what is there, perhaps because this ministry over the years has not had proper waybills and has not had proper supervision over these sites to see just what is going in them.

I do not think the ministry has the staff, particularly in the Niagara region, to police this area of hazardous waste sites. I know there is a shortage of manpower in that area, and I suggest to the minister that bringing in a bill like this without sufficient staff to police means, I am afraid, that he is going to have continued dumping of possibly hazardous industrial wastes into waste sites, which could cause us problems.

When I look at this bill and at what has happened to the Love Canal site on the American side, just across the Niagara River, where they had gone by all the provisions of the laws, including the American equivalent of the Environmental Protection Act, yet there were still violations.

One error is that on the American side you allowed them to create their own storage deposit sites there.

Hon. Mr. Norton: We have done what on the American side?

Mr. Haggerty: No, I said on the American side they have allowed it. I do not know what the minister has done here, but I can say I am aware of certain industries that are permitted to go this route of having their own industrial waste site there.

Hon. Mr. Norton: They are permitted, but they must meet our strict standards.

Mr. Haggerty: If they meet the standards; but we do not know that, because it is not publicized. Again, perhaps the minister should be publicizing some of these sites, what is being dumped there and whether the sites were approved by the ministry. When I look at the words "approved by the ministry" on the certificate, if one went into this bill a little further, perhaps the minister could be held responsible for any infractions under the act. I know the Minister of Transportation and Communications was fined just recently and he had to shell it out. It is to be hoped this minister has $50,000, because he may be held responsible for it.

I suggest to the minister that the bill does not go quite far enough. I am not satisfied with the penalty clause. I think he should go a little bit steeper with that; he should take all the equipment. I do not think there should be any infractions under the bill as it relates to the disposal of industrial waste that could be hazardous. I suggest to the minister that we have a problem. I do not blame the minister for it, but I suppose if I go back and look at 40 years of Tory rule, they have not done too much in this area.

Hon. Mr. Norton: It is done more than that.

Mr. Haggerty: Oh, yes. Listen to the minister. I think of what is taking place in the Niagara region as it relates to the water quality and that residents may be subject to hazardous material.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Not from the Canadian side.

Mr. Haggerty: How does one stop it when one is transporting it by water or by air? There are no boundaries up there. There are no boundaries in the water. There is an imaginary line, the international boundary line, but that is about all. But, as the good book says, those who have not sinned, let them cast the first stone.

Mr. Speaker: Will the member return to the bill, please?

Mr. Haggerty: I thought I was right on the bill. I was just answering his interjections.

I am suggesting that there is a problem in the Niagara Peninsula and that the minister is well aware of the water treatment situation in some municipalities that want to go to a different type of filtration plant, at a cost to the taxpayers and not to the industry that is creating the problem. If we really want to get to the source of the problem here, we have to go to the industries or the people who are creating it.

I suggest that this is the area the minister should be looking at and that perhaps he should have more research done in his ministry on ways to nip it before it gets out of hand so we will not have all the industrial waste that is now being dumped in municipal dump sites and who knows where else.

I do not have to tell the minister that the radioactive industrial waste that is being dumped in every low spot that can be found in Elliot Lake is going to cause us serious problems. But the bill exempts that because there is a certificate of approval.

Mr. Piché: The member should come and see for himself.

Mr. Haggerty: Oh, yes. We will look at that. We will get up into the member's area one of these days and take a look up there.

Mr. Piché: My area is pure. It is northern Ontario.

Mr. Haggerty: Northern Ontario; well, we have all the problems of pollution down here, even acid rain. I often think of my colleague the member for Niagara Falls (Mr. Kerrio), a great fishing sportsman, who used to praise the clear water in northern Ontario. He said, "You could see the bottom of the lake or the river up there." Now they are starting to find out why: the acid rain has almost killed everything in that area. And if we do not have something stronger than this, we will destroy all the ecology.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak on this bill to amend the Environmental Protection Act. As my colleagues have pointed out, we are going to support it; we feel the principle is strictly a bit of housekeeping.

However, I want to ask the minister whether these bills will be utilized in Ontario. I think his record speaks for itself. We have an Environmental Protection Act, we have an Environmental Assessment Act and an Ontario Water Resources Act for the protection of the people of Ontario, which are on the books and were debated in this House. Yet it was not utilized, and it is almost one year ago this month that the government said in this Legislature, "We are going to put a site at South Cayuga in the valley of the Grand River without utilizing the legislation at hand."

Mr. Kerrio: Shame. That's true.

Mr. G. I. Miller: That is true, and the minister knows it is true. The minister came along with an ad hoc proposition to try to justify the use of that area. I might just indicate that we had a look at it the other day. We had water flowing off the spring, coming out of the rock ridge that divides Lake Erie and the Grand River. We also had gas bubbling out of the Grand River at the very bottom. I just hope we are going to get fair treatment in that area when the final decision is made.

My colleague the member for Niagara Falls pointed out that we have not gone far enough to get a handle on the recycling of our industrial wastes. I want to ask the minister, now that he is bringing in a bill, what progress is being made in recycling at source. Do we have a billing program from source to disposal to know exactly what is being produced and what is being disposed of?

I think my former colleague from Huron-Bruce, Murray Gaunt, had advocated that. He was probably the most knowledgeable member of this Legislature as far as environmental issues were concerned, and I think it is indicated again by the bill that is being brought forth today implementing the program of fines. I think he recommended that back when we had a minority government, which was, I might point out, very good for the people of Ontario. Now that we have a majority government again they are not paying very much attention to the opposition, as has been obvious by their actions since March 19.

But we in the official opposition particularly would like to feel that we can be constructive, because we want to leave Ontario better than we found it. I think we have a bill that is just a patchwork and does not really deal with the issues. I hope the minister in his response will indicate what is being done to recycle at source. Is any progress being made? Does the minister have a handle on it from origin to disposal?

9:20 p.m.

Going back a few years to when we were trying to dispose of our polychlorinated biphenyls by burning them at the Mississauga cement plant, I think that was a safe and effective way of disposing of them; but, because we did not have the trust of the people and did not utilize the legislation available to protect the people, they lost confidence and consequently we are still storing those PCBs. We still have them on our hands.

Mr. Nixon: Not in our bailiwick.

Mr. G. I. Miller: That is correct. They could have been burnt. They could have been disposed of with the resources we have now. But because we played politics with it and did not act in the best interests of the people of Ontario, we still have them stored.

We have an appeal system which may be beneficial to the people of Ontario. I hope it is. As I indicated at the beginning, we support the principle of it but we have not gone far enough in getting the confidence of the people of Ontario in dealing with our industrial wastes.

Mr. Laughren: Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this bill only because my excellent colleague the member for Hamilton Mountain (Mr. Charlton) has insisted I do it that way.

Hon. Mr. McCaffrey: And there is nobody else around.

Mr. Laughren: The member does not think I am going to take orders from them or from him, does he?

Hon. Mr. McCaffrey: I know how much time you spent on the speech.

Mr. Laughren: Never mind how much time I spent on the speech. When the member for Haldimand-Norfolk (Mr. G. I. Miller) was speaking, I could not help but think of --

Mr. Nixon: You used to live down there before your luck ran out.

Mr. Laughren: That is very true. Will the member stop diverting me? I have lost my place in my speech.

It occurred to me when the member for Haldimand-Norfolk was talking about the South Cayuga dump site that we had an incident up in our area where PCBs were spilled. It was the fault of either the transportation company or a truck that ran into a train and spilled it. The taxpayers of Ontario were the people who ended up paying a large sum of money to effect a cleanup of that spill site.

As we go along in Ontario making new legislation and amending legislation, doing all sorts of things to try to control the environment to keep it reasonably clean, invariably the taxpayers of the province end up picking up the tab when somebody else should be doing it. Until this government is prepared in a meaningful way to make the polluter pay, and by that I mean trace back through the chain who actually is responsible for the pollutants, we are not going to have equity in the cause of environmental protection in Ontario.

I ask the minister when he responds to tell us how he apportions cost in terms of protecting the environment in Ontario. For example, when acid rain falls all across this province from the Inco superstack, to use one example with which both the minister and I are familiar, there is an enormous cost attached to that. It has been estimated in a federal study that the cost is in the neighbourhood of $400 million a year. That is more than Inco has ever earned in profits in a year.

When one thinks the minister is the first one to stand on his feet and defend the right of the free enterprise system to its profits, he should at the same time also be on his feet declaring that the free enterprise system, to get those profits, should pay for the damage it does. They have no hesitation in claiming their profits, but they are slow to claim their responsibility for the problems they cause out there which we all pay for as taxpayers in Ontario. The minister has never come to grips with that problem.

It is fine for him to say, "We are going to lower the emission standards at Inco, at Ontario Hydro or whatever," but he never goes back to the principle of the polluter pays.

I should tell the minister this really is roughly on the principle of the bill, in case he is wondering. I can see his eyes are getting a little glazed over there, and I want to put his mind at rest that this really is on the principle of the bill. Anyway, what bothers me and, increasingly, a lot of people in this province is that they are paying for something they should not be paying for.

I have not even touched on the whole issue of low-level radiation. I will get to that later.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I know it will come as no surprise to you that I rise to support my colleague on this progressive legislation. Notwithstanding the fact that our numbers may be few, many of our colleagues who are busily engaged in committee work at the moment would like to be here to join with me in supporting this legislation.

I feel compelled to stand at this point because I want to advise the House that, in the gallery that faces me, we have some representatives from the Progressive Conservative association of the riding of Brock. I know the members will want to welcome them. They have a particular interest in this issue, because environmental concerns are very much our concerns. I wanted to take this opportunity, with your permission, Mr. Speaker. I am sure you want to echo my welcome to the good people of Brock who have travelled by special bus to Queen's Park to see something of the activities here.

Mr. Laughren: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege as opposed to a point of view: In view of the fact that these people are visiting us here this evening, I want to tell you that at the present time in the Manitoba election the New Democratic Party is leading in 18 seats and the Conservatives in 15.

Mr. Philip: Mr. Speaker, I have more recent news. The NDP is leading in 30, compared with the Conservatives' 25.

Mr. Speaker: I am sure we are all very interested in this, and we are all very happy to welcome the people from Brock.

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, do you want another point of order?

Mr. Speaker: A point of view perhaps.

Mr. Nixon: I thought you would like to know, Mr. Speaker, that there is a large group of working Liberals from Metropolitan Toronto in the galleries tonight as well. Frankly, I am delighted not only to have the Minister of Energy (Mr. Welch) in the House at night, which is a rarity, but to have his son in the gallery as well. I do not want to make any political projections but, if you look around carefully and set your eye on him, you will be able to pick him out without any trouble.

Mr. Speaker: I am very pleased to extend a welcome, on behalf of all the members, to those people as well.

Mr. Samis: Mr. Speaker, I do not know if any of our supporters are in the gallery, but I am sure all members and the Progressive Conservative ladies will be interested to know the current standings in the election in Manitoba are 34 to 22 in favour of the next government of Manitoba, the New Democratic Party.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, at the outset, I want to join my colleague the member for Brock (Mr. Welch) in extending a warm welcome in the Legislature tonight to those people from that great part of this province in the Niagara Peninsula.

Some of the most recent announcements in the House have been about as relevant to the debate as some of the observations during the course of the regular debate. I had some difficulty relating some of the points being made by the honourable members opposite to the principle of the bill and the amendments that are before us.

Although I appreciate that the members have unanimously supported the principle of the bill, there were times when I was not sure whether they knew what the principle was. That was the worrisome part of it, but I accept their support without reservation.

9:30 p.m.

There were a number of points raised that I will try to touch on, particularly those that are more relevant to the principle of the bill. I will not try to cover the whole gamut from the federal responsibility for controlling rail transportation through the whole works. Obviously many of those things are either not within our jurisdiction provincially or they are not part of the area covered by this bill.

The member for Niagara Falls (Mr. Kerrio) raised some concerns relating to spills regulation. I can assure him that the spills regulation is drafted. We had hoped to have an opportunity this fall to go before the committee, to maintain the commitment that was made by my predecessor. However, with the progress the committee is making this fall, I am not optimistic we will get a chance to appear before it before Christmas other than for the estimates of my ministry, following the conclusion of the committee's consideration of the amendments to Bill 7. But I can assure the member that is on the way.

The member also expressed some concern about waybills and suggested we had not made progress; at least that was the implication. I can assure him we have made progress in the area of improving the waybill system in this province. In fact, I do not know of any other jurisdiction on the North American continent that has a more advanced system of waybills. We now have the information computerized and we can go, and we plan to go, a greater distance.

We are working at the present time on what someone referred to as the cradle-to-grave system, following from the generator through to the final disposition of the waste, to ensure, as much as is humanly possible and using whatever advanced technology is available, that any hazardous substances do not go astray or are not irresponsibly dealt with in terms of their final disposition.

We are making progress on those things and we have made very substantial progress. Although I recognize that it is the responsibility of Her Majesty's official opposition in this Legislature to criticize, I might say it is also a loyal opposition and when there is credit to be given, I hope they will be generous enough in spirit to give credit where we have made significant progress and improvement.

I do not know who raised the question of perpetual care, but I can assure the member that is also something that is in the mill, in the drafting stages. I hope that in the not too distant future we will be in a position to deal with that. There is a great deal of work involved in the development of complex regulations that impose stringent requirements on industry. We have been devoting a considerable amount of manpower to that, although I cannot say that personally, because obviously it has been a very dedicated effort on the part of staff that has brought us to our present point.

On the question of enforcement of the legislation, a considerable number of complimentary remarks have been made relating to the penalty section. I do not think we should minimize that. It is quite significant that, for the first time, we are introducing minimum as well as maximum fines. That is quite rare in legislation. I think it is a very progressive step in the sense of communicating not only to the general public but also more specifically to the potential offenders that we do mean business.

We are not simply saying we are allowing wide-open discretion with a maximum fine of $5,000, as it was before. We are actually saying: "If you are caught and convicted of such an offence, your first fine will not be less than $2,000 and it could be as much as $25,000 -- and that could be per day, depending on the offence. If you are caught and convicted a second time, the least you can be fined by the judge is $4,000, up to a maximum of $50,000." That is pretty tough legislation.

As far as enforcement is concerned, I believe it was the member for Beaches-Woodbine (Ms. Bryden) who suggested she had some concern about whether it would be effectively enforced. We have also made progress there. We have established what we have euphemistically referred to as the environmental police force. We now have a force of officers trained at police college who are under the direction of senior officers of the police forces and who are also technically trained. Their sole role is to ensure to the best of their ability the enforcement of the environmental protection legislation in this province. We have at the moment about 15 full-time officers in that capacity, and we can always use more. With those well-qualified and well-trained people, and with this kind of legislation, we have a much better chance of effective enforcement than has ever existed in the past. And we do mean business.

I could go on and address a number of other things. I do not want to take up an inordinate amount of time. I had hoped we would get on to some of the other bills before us this evening. As I look over the myriad of notes I have, I see there was one thing raised by the member for Windsor-Walkerville (Mr. Newman) regarding the availability of information in situations where there are spills. Although that does not directly relate to the principle of the bill, it is important we understand there is a dual responsibility in this country. Under the Canutech Information System, which comes under the federal Department of Transport, we have an information system for emergency response teams such as fire departments and other forces that may be involved in responding to an emergency spill.

Mr. Kerrio: Including rail spills?

Hon. Mr. Norton: It would include that, yes.

Mr. Kerrio: And transports?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Yes. That information is readily available to them. It is very widely used at the present time by fire departments. As the member is aware, under the aegis of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications we have taken initiatives to implement, under the umbrella of the federal legislation, the regulations relating to the transportation of dangerous goods. Although not everything is being done by my ministry, I think that across the government, wherever the opportunity lies to respond responsibly to the need for such measures to protect the environment, we are doing that.

We have in draft the changes to regulation 842, which is in preparation. It will address such things as vehicledards to be met for liquid waste carriers, driver training and certification for liquid waste carriers, and vehicle inspection procedures. Those things are consistent with what the honourable members were asking about, saying, "Where is it?" I can assure them it is being done, but it is not part of this specific set of amendments.

I conclude by saying I appreciate the indications of support for these amendments from the members opposite. Having heard my response, I am sure they will be more generous of spirit in recognizing the great progress we are making in this province in dealing with the very difficult problem more effectively than any other jurisdiction, certainly in North America and much beyond that.

Motion agreed to.

Ordered for committee of the whole House.


Hon. Mr. Norton moved second reading of Bill 144, An Act to amend the Ontario Water Resources Act.

9:40 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, the amendments in this bill concern the matter of water wells. This is really the first complete revision of the water well provisions of the Ontario Water Resources Act since they were enacted in 1957.

The purpose of the provisions is, first, to ensure the adequate installation, maintenance and abandonment of water wells for the protection of well water supplies, ground water and health and public safety; second, to collect geological and hydrological data for the management of ground water, including the prevention of undue interference with the quality or quantity of ground water, and thereby to protect the ground water resource and the environment; and third, to ensure a measure of consumer protection with the proper construction of water wells.

A further amendment, as I indicated in earlier remarks, provides a two-year limitation period for prosecution instead of the one-year period provided in the present act. For example, pollution offences may often be difficult to detect or may occur in remote places, and it may therefore be necessary to conduct rather lengthy investigations and also laboratory work in order to build the case for a prosecution.

Mr. Martel: A licence to pollute, you mean.

Hon. Mr. Norton: For that reason we are putting in a two-year limitation period just to make sure those people in Sudbury East do not get away with anything up there in those remote areas where they might --

Mr. Martel: With that new government in Manitoba none of this nonsense will happen.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Norton: I never judge the results of an election until after midnight.

Mr. Martel: It has now been officially declared, and Sterling is gone.

Mr. Speaker: Order. The minister has the floor.

Mr. Martel: I knew you would want to hear that, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: Yes, I did. Thank you.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, those were my opening remarks. I am sure the members opposite have some.

Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Speaker, my concerns as they relate to the amendments to the Ontario Water Resources Act --


Mr. Speaker: Will the member for Sudbury East (Mr. Martel) please contain himself? The member for Niagara Falls has the floor.

Mr. Kerrio: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

We are going to support the bill, I should start off by saying. I have some concerns about it, but I am sure the minister will share a little more in-depth direction as to how some of these amendments are going to affect my concerns. The first is that in the past we have had a great deal of debate in areas near landfill sites, near toxic dumps and in various other places where private wells have been contaminated by the movement of the ground water and leachates. It has always been next to impossible for a person who has been so affected to prove his case.

I hope the bill will do something meaningful about the assessment of a well that is drilled and the quality of the water. And I hope there will not be any limitation on the time a well may be contaminated by some source over which the person who has the well drilled has no control. That should mean the clarity and the integrity of the water, and it should guarantee recourse to anyone who has good water in a well against anyone who would contaminate that well and/or reduce the level of water in it just by reducing the ground water elevation in a given area. That is my major concern.

My next concern has to do with some very recent events in the New England states and in upper New York state. This is the very serious fact that acid rain has fallen on the environment for so long it now affects the ground water. I wonder how long it will take in some parts of Ontario before we begin to see the effects of acid precipitation and the effects of those acids contaminating our ground water. I hope this would give us meaningful ways to address that problem.

If the minister recalls, I suggested to him that at known sites of toxic waste disposal, of so-called low toxic waste disposal areas, we drill wells to monitor any movement of leachates from those deposits to be certain we know of their movement before they reach our water supply.

So I hope these amendments address themselves to those very serious problems and give the minister some control over what is happening to the ground water in Ontario as it relates to contamination and the movement of those contaminates to our water supply. I cannot think of anything else in the bill, but I hope the minister responds to my questions as they relate to some control and some monitoring of the ground water and the control of the drilling of wells.

Mr. Charlton: Mr. Speaker, we too are rising in support of the bill. However I want to make a few comments because the minister seems a little confused in his response on the last bill about the approach that some of us in the opposition take to government legislation. All of us who spoke said we supported the last bill in principle. We then went on to make comments about why we did not feel the bill was quite as strong in a number of areas as it should be. The same is basically true of this bill.

I want to take a moment to point out the approach we are taking on this side of the House and where the minister seems to have missed the mark. When we were discussing the previous bill, the minister said he considered the amendments very progressive. We do not dispute his use of the word progressive.

This bill also goes to a two-year limitation on prosecutions as did the last bill. Our problem with his use of the word progressive, both in what they are doing in this bill and in the last bill, is that the progressiveness is far too conservative. Whether it takes two years or 10 years to discover who is responsible for major environmental damage, what does it matter whether it is two years or 10 years. When the problem is discovered and the polluter is discovered, there should be a prosecution and a cleanup, and the cost of the cleanup should be assessed to that individual or company who caused the problem.

That relates to another question raised a couple of times in the House and by my colleague a short time ago. I attempted to raise it in the last bill in relation to the limitations that are set out. Although we accept the approach being taken as progressive and better than what we had last week, that is not the question. I think the minister sometimes misses the point.

In fines for example, it is not a question of whether the fine is a maximum of $5,000 or $25,000 if the damage done is $400 million. That is what is being missed. That is what we are trying to say to the minister. If a company is causing damage of $400 million and you slap them with a $25,000 fine, and the cost of cleaning up the problem happens to be $100 million or whatever, where is the incentive not to do it again?

9:50 p.m.

Our approach in the case of cleanups and damage would be the cost of the damage and the cleanup. If it were only $200, that is what they would get stuck with. If it happened to be $100 million, that is what they should get stuck with as well. The responsibility should lie with the polluter.

In this bill, we support the extension of the limitation for prosecution to two years from six months, but we would prefer an unlimited ability to prosecute. If we discover pollution but it takes 10 years to find out who is doing the polluting, we should still be in a position to prosecute for the cleanup of, and/or compensation for the damage to the individual or the community.

In general, we support the small step proposed in this bill as we did in the last bill. We want to see better legislation in terms of well water, ground water and things that end up damaging the natural ecology of our ground that we count on for so much. But the approach being taken here is a small step, not a major step.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I have a few questions that concern me as far as the regulations for the drilling of the wells are concerned. Maybe the minister can explain. If a farmer in need of water wants to drill a well, does he have to get a permit to drill that well? What was the procedure before?

In my experience, we have had to replace our farm wells a couple of times and we just went in, found a place and drilled the well for our own use. Is this going to be an added cost? What is the fee as far as the drillers are concerned?

I am aware of many drillers in our area. They have always been reputable and done a good job. Are they now going to be required to pay a licence fee for that permit? How exactly is it going to work?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, perhaps I could respond initially to the questions of the honourable member for Haldimand-Norfolk because he was right on track in terms of what this bill is designed to deal with -- in other words, the regulation of the well drilling industry.

I want to assure him if he were going to be digging his own well, or if he and his neighbours were going to get together to do it, it would not require him to become a licensed technician.

Mr. G. I. Miller: We hired a well driller.

Hon. Mr. Norton: I thought he said he dug his own. If he hires a well driller, he would be required to be a licensed individual. There have been many complaints about persons who have held themselves out to be well drillers, and may have had some experience, but have left people in the lurch having in some instances done an incompetent job and in some cases having disappeared after the fact. The individual who paid his money to have the well drilled ended up with a useless dry well or a well which was badly drilled or constructed so it resulted in contamination of the water in the well. He had no recourse.

However, for individuals who may be going to do their own well or whose neighbours are going to work together with them, they are not required to get a licence. It is only those who are in the business of drilling who will have to get a licence.

Those who are at present in the business will have a period of time in which they can meet the requirements. For those who may not be able to read or write, for example, we will make provision that they will be able to take the examination or any tests that are required to demonstrate their knowledge of the process. We do not want to exclude people because of the fact that they may not be able to do a written examination or answer written questions or other kinds of difficulties. We will take those precautions.

To the other members who raised questions relating to liability and compensation for damage, that is not dealt with by the penalties in this act. The penalties are for offences. Compensation would be dealt with, of course, by common law. In the instances where, for example, it was the consequence of a spill, when we have the spills regulation in place, it will deal with the matter of liability in terms of cleanup and so on outside the current provisions of the common law. These amendments are not designed to deal with that specifically. These penalties are not compensation for damage but are penalties that would be imposed.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Mr. Speaker, for clarification, could I ask another question of the minister?

Mr. Speaker: A very short one.

Mr. G. I. Miller: I do not think the minister clarified what the licence fee was going to be for a driller, and whether one has to have a permit. If I wanted to drill a well and hire a driller, would I need to have a permit?

Hon. Mr. Norton: No. The driller would need to have a permit, not the person who hired him. We have not established a fee yet. I think the present fee is $10. But under these amendments we have not yet established a fee.

Motion agreed to.

Ordered for third reading.


Hon. Mr. Norton moved second reading of Bill 145, An Act to amend the Pesticides Act.

Mr. Speaker: Does the minister have an opening statement?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, this is a brief --

Mr. Kerrio: Two years' limitation.

Hon. Mr. Norton: That is right. All this amendment really does is prescribe a change in the statutory limitation period from the present six months, because there is no express provision in the act, to two years so that it coincides with the provisions in the other amendments we put forward tonight under the other acts.

Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Speaker, we are going to support this bill, and while we concede the minister is moving in the right direction, the only comment I have is that he is not going far enough.

I am concerned that any limitation that talks in terms of two years, to align itself with the other legislation, is not adequate. As the minister himself has already explained, in some circumstances the investigation takes a good long time. I think that in the significant areas of polluting, whether it be through toxics or pesticides, we would do well to have a limitation two or three times greater than what the minister is proposing. But we will support this on the first go-around and hope that he will put through bills immediately to extend the statute of limitations.

Mr. Charlton: Mr. Speaker, I will be almost as brief as my colleague. I rise in support of the bill. Unfortunately, the minister still seems to miss the point from time to time. In relation to my comments on fines, his response was, "These are only fines. We are going to deal with cleanup and damage elsewhere." That is the whole point we are raising: when and where?

Tell us about what Inco has been charged. That is what my colleague specifically raised, but there are thousands of other examples. Show us where they are going to be charged for the damage they have done and/or the cleanup that is required as a result of that damage. Nothing like that ever happens around here. That is the problem. All we ever deal with are the administrative questions such as the ones we are dealing with here tonight.

10 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Norton: I was going to say, Mr. Speaker, in view of the views of the member for Niagara Falls, I assure him that the next time we come in with amendments under this act or any other relating to limitation periods we will seriously consider whether it should be put on the same basis as murder, which I think has a seven-year limitation period.

Motion agreed to.

Ordered for third reading.


Hon. Mr. Snow moved second reading of Bill 160, An Act to amend the Public Commercial Vehicles Act.

Mr. Nixon: Has the minister got an opening statement? Does he want to say something?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I made a statement on the introduction of this bill, which basically includes the recommendations of the Biggs report on agricultural trucking, a number of other amendments that have been requested by the trucking association and an amendment to include a provision for intercorporate trucking. I do not have anything more to add at this time.

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, the minister may or may not be coming to the end of a long career in transportation, depending on whether or not one believes the Toronto Sun.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Don't believe that.

Mr. Nixon: Actually sometimes they are closer to the truth than others. Probably only the minister knows what is in the wind as far as his own career is concerned. But I suppose it is not out of the way to say that one of the lines in the Sun's story about him giving a good, straight, personal answer to letters from members on all sides is correct. I think it is much appreciated by many members of the House who get very sick of the kind of committee-style letters in response to private members on occasion.

I do not want to stray too far from the principle of the bill. Frankly, I hope that we are not close to the minister's swan song and that we will beat him fair and square when the time comes, even in Halton. When he was first elected, he just got in by his fingertips. We had a very good United Church minister running against him; he would have been a grand member of this House, but he went on to greater things.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Greater things, much greater.

Mr. Nixon: Greater things, as the minister knows.

I am glad to have a chance to speak on Bill 160, since it has to do with some substantial reforms in the PCV statute, and regulation eventually, in agricultural trucking. The minister in his rather lengthy career in transportation and communications has been an advocate of deregulation at various times, and then sometimes he has withdrawn from that considerably.

For a self-made man with strong independence, I felt he was perhaps more subject to outside influence in the philosophy of transportation and its regulation than he needed to be. Since the Sun says that he is probably the richest man in cabinet, that he could buy and sell the Premier two or three times over and had his own jet long before the Premier decided to have the taxpayers acquire one for himself, he could have told those people who had the inclination to dictate transportation philosophies to go for a long flight in their jet or, in fact, he could have taken one himself as he went on to other things. But I suppose that in a matter having to do with deregulation there has to be a community of views among all the cabinet ministers.

In his opening comments he indicated that the provisions of this bill were not simply the opening guns in a further attempt to deregulate the trucking industry. Be that as it may, we know that the minister and his colleagues are great supporters and admirers of the philosophy of Ronald Reagan; his government and its predecessor have done a good deal to move towards deregulation in transportation, and the minister may have watched those experiments very keenly and carefully indeed.

I think the people of Ontario feel that they have been reasonably well served by the changing philosophy of the regulation of the trucking industry. The industry, perhaps more so in the past than now, has gone out of its way to be sure that the opposition parties knew what their views were. I remember, on some grand occasions years ago during the leadership of the predecessor of the current Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Smith), that some of the administrative officials in the trucking industry would go out of their way to be sure we knew what their views were and to indicate a passing interest in the future of the opposition's principles in this connection.

They would go out of their way to include us in their official functions, and on at least one occasion they had a panel of three. I seem to recall that one of the minister's predecessors, the member for York South (Mr. MacDonald) and I had a chance to express our views and answer questions. Even then the problems of the trucking industry in agriculture were very much to the fore, because with much deregulation you get the dog-eat-dog situation in which the owners of the trucks are not required to have any kind of licence that is difficult to acquire, and because of the competition they are in a position where, by allowing their machinery to depreciate, they can stay in business for a certain period of time before the weaker ones simply drop by the wayside.

Then good old free enterprise competition and the profit motive, which made the honourable member the richest man in the cabinet before he started to make an honest living in politics, come into play, and the farmer, or whoever has to buy the service pays through the nose. So even the farmers themselves do not object to the kind of regulation that provides them with good service and provides the truckers with an opportunity to make an honest dollar and a reasonable living. The Biggs report had dealt with certain aspects of this and related matters, and the minister has indicated that Bill 160 implements at least a part of that.

I am on good personal terms with some of the local cattle truckers. They trucked the last head of cattle off our farm a couple of years ago when my wife decided she was not going to chase the cows up and down the road any more. We have even taken the fences down; so there is no way back as far as she is concerned.

But I have kept up a good association with the people in the cattle business, and the minister and his officials certainly would know that around the town of Paris are some of the more liberally progressive cattle trucking firms in the province, which truck right across the country and well down into the United States. It was at their behest that they established a cattle trans-shipment facility near the Lakehead. I am not sure if it is still in operation, because the minister was a little unwilling to give them the sort of assistance they seemed to require at one stage --

Hon. Mr. Snow: They have got it all.

Mr. Nixon: They got it all, did they? Well, maybe that is why I have not heard from them lately. That is fine. I must write them and take credit for that as soon as I can.

10:10 p.m.

Besides the trucking and farming industries, the other matter pertaining to the bill has to do with this mystical corporate licensing, which I suppose is very much in the best interests of larger corporations. As I understand it, their licensing can be transposed or transmitted on a corporate basis without the usual requirement for elaborate and expensive hearings before the Ontario Highway Transport Board which a smaller operator who wants to get into the business or to expand his business might have to undertake.

Maybe this is an efficient way to do it. I suppose the minister is more impressed by the need for efficiency than perhaps protecting the interests of the smaller truckers, smaller corporate entities or individuals in the business. We are somewhat concerned about this concept. Once again we are told that if subsidiaries are wholly owned in the United States, they have a similar procedure for transmitting a licence without a special hearing, although the same 100 per cent requirement is not a part of this bill.

There may be an opportunity for my colleague who is the critic in this ministry to say something as this debate continues. These two matters are of substantial importance, and I would say this particular bill before us tonight is one of the more important ones, with great respect to my colleagues more interested in environment than transportation matters.

It is our intention to support the bill. But our critic suggested, and I am not sure if he has contacted the minister about this, that it might be appropriate if the bill went to a standing committee where people involved in the trucking business could come in and express their views. I do not mean the large corporate entities -- that is, the friends of the minister -- but those who might find themselves in competition with the special intercorporate umbrella licences the minister wants to make effective and legal by the passage of this bill.

I know the minister, being a reasonable man, would have no objection to the bill going to a standing committee where it could have that sort of discussion. It probably could be accomplished in one session, or two at the most, and the minister would have an opportunity to discuss the matter on a more informal basis with my colleagues in the Legislature as well as those individuals in the trucking business who are going to be directly affected.

The minister, being a good politician, probably has consulted with them at least to some extent. Certainly we have not received any substantial objection from the main spokesmen of the trucking industries. I feel those people who are not on the major corporate list might benefit from an opportunity to express their views. I hope the minister will see fit to have the bill referred to a standing committee. Otherwise, we intend to support this bill in principle.

The Acting Speaker: The member for Etobicoke.

Mr. Philip: I pass to our critic.

The Acting Speaker: I saw the one first, but I see the member for Cornwall.

Mr. Samis: That is right. The member for Etobicoke knows his place, Mr. Speaker. I respect him for that.

Mr. Nixon: The NDP is feeling pretty cocky tonight, all two of them.

Mr. Samis: I must say, Mr. Speaker, it is a rather enjoyable experience to be able to speak on this bill in the full flush of a victory for our party in Manitoba. I know it pertains to the principle of the bill very closely, and I am sure Manitoba will be much more willing to consider this type of legislation with a new government and a much more open, pan-Canadian attitude than the rather parochial hard-line attitude taken by the outgoing government.

Second, I must compliment my good friend the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon). I have yet to see him baffled by any bill. Knowledge never gets in his way. He has the unique ability in this Legislature to speak with some knowledge and some authority, but he can also exercise great discretion, imagination, originality -- I am at a loss for another adjective to describe his innate ability. If the Liberals in Manitoba had his ability, I am sure they would be the official opposition tonight and would not have been wiped out. However, we are in Ontario; so I guess we will have to deal with the mundane matters of this province in the upcoming minutes.

Very briefly, we will support the bill. I give credit to the minister and his colleagues for being able to sneak two bills into one. They have done it twice. I am sure the government House leader appreciates the adroitness of the minister and his deputy in achieving that purpose.

The old bill, which I think was Bill 54, the milk bill, is still in this bill; obviously we support that in terms of simplifying the Ontario Highway Transport Board's role in issuing class E authority. We support the provisions on the corridor et cetera; on that one there is no question whatsoever. On the relaxation of entry control standards for farm-related trucking vehicles, and specifically two-axle vehicles, we can support that without any problem since the farm people and the Biggs task force on farm economy recommended that.

The crux of this bill is the question of the exemption for intercorporate trucking. The ministry has been fairly successful in bringing the two sides together, the Ontario Trucking Association representing the for-hire truckers and the various manufacturing interests, whether it is the Canadian Manufacturers' Association or other people. At first, the gap must have been incredible. I give credit to the minister and his staff for being able to create a reasonable consensus between the two opposing interests. On that basis, we will support the bill.

When we see our economy, especially in this province, faced with exorbitant interest rates, stiffening competition from the United States and the general slowdown in the economy, anything that would protect jobs in Ontario and help improve the competitive position of our manufacturing industry, as well as bring greater efficiency to the trucking industry, is something worth supporting.

I point out that this is an experiment. We are the only province in Canada to take this initiative. It is a trial period and runs for approximately 18 months. If the benefits alleged by the proponents of the bill, one of the strongest proponents being the manufacturers' association, are achieved, it may be a worthwhile experiment.

I list the benefits for which they argue. The consumption of fuel will be reduced. The delivered cost of raw and component material required to sustain manufacturing and production will be reduced. The delivered price of manufactured goods in domestic and US markets will be reduced. If we achieve those three objectives, the experiment will be a worthwhile one.

They refer to the United States and a figure that shows the US saving was 500 million gallons, which could be translated into 50 million gallons in Canada if we adopted the same system of intercorporate trucking; they estimate possibly 12.5 million gallons in Ontario. They argue that those figures may even be conservative. They see prospects of even greater fuel savings in this province.

If we put the bill in the context of intercorporate trucking, we are talking about a trial period of 18 months. We are the only province in Canada to do this. The whole thing will be reviewed in 18 months. We can support it on that basis.

I know the manufacturers are not very satisfied with the 90 per cent ownership provision. I know the OTA is not very satisfied. But we can accept 90 per cent as a compromise figure for this trial period. We support the inclusion of that.

I notice the OTA raised a series of questions. They wondered how many members of a corporate family could hold a certificate for intercorporate exemption. They bring up the question, should it be limited to just one or should all members of a corporate group be entitled to a certificate? I am not sure I share their concerns on that, but I would like to hear the minister's views on why he has come down on the side of allowing all members of the corporate family to be eligible to receive such a certificate.

They bring up some points that probably carry more validity. There is the question of fees. They point out that for people in their association, especially for a 45,000-kilogram tractor-trailer combination, the basic fee is approximately $530. There is no mention of the fee structure for the people in the private carrier industry.

The point they make is a valid one. These people should have to pay the same fee structure. If the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) is complaining about having to invest, if not waste, $650 million in something like Suncor and gives away $20 million to the car dealers, why close the door on a potential source of revenue? Not that this would be a major source of revenue, but there are two principles. There is the equity, first of all. If we are to have two parallel structures in the industry, why not have them both pay the same fees? Second, there is the potential for added revenue for the province.

10:20 p.m.

The second question they raised, which is equally valid if not even more valid, is that if this trial period is going to be of value to the ministry and the province, we have to monitor the whole thing carefully to see what results it is producing.

The proponents are advocating that it will save fuel and produce greater efficiency for the trucking industry and the manufacturing industry. We will have to find out whether it is achieving those objectives. Is it producing a more efficient trucking industry? How much fuel are we saving? Is the private carrier saving more fuel? What types of fuel savings are they reporting? What types are the for-hire carriers reporting?

I think they make a very valid point, that they need to have a fairly efficient and effective monitoring system. If they have any process of renewal, maybe that should be based on the fact that the people seeking renewal, or seeking a certificate, would have to provide detailed information in the categories of fuel consumption, labour intensity and productivity.

The other point I want to address before closing also was raised by the OTA, and I believe it carries some validity; it is the question of the exemptions for fertilizer. I can see the argument being made by the proponents, and we have heard the Biggs report. The ministry people recognize there is a problem, obviously the agriculture people feel there is a problem, and I think even the people in the trucking industry recognize there is a problem. The question is how you resolve the problem and where the focus of the whole problem is.

Is the focus of the problem the question of the number of carriers? It is the question of loading and unloading facilities? The government, it seems, has come down on the side that argues if the number of carriers is expanded the problem will be solved, especially when the problem is most acute in the spring.

It would be interesting if we asked the minister what he figures these changes would do in terms of the loading and unloading facilities. The for-hire carriers are arguing the problem is not the number of carriers but the inefficiencies, the lineups and the problems of loading and unloading in the spring.

This bill obviously will provide more carriers. Some would argue, though, that the bill will aggravate the problem rather than improve on it and that more inefficiencies will be introduced into the system. I ask the minister if he will speak to that question.

In conclusion, we will support the bill on the basis of the trial period. It is not the wedge to total deregulation. It is not committing this province to intercorporate trucking for the next 10 years. We have to recognize the changes that have been made in the United States. We have to recognize that both the manufacturing and trucking industries operate in the shadow of the American economy.

I simply say to the minister that, to make this experiment effective, his ministry should do everything possible to monitor the experiment and to accumulate as much information as possible so we can assess its effectiveness or failure.

Mr. Philip: Mr. Speaker, I feel like an old soldier who answers the bugle call. I have been transportation critic for so many years that you only have to mention the words "public commercial vehicles," and I am on my feet to speak. It has been described even more dramatically than that by some of my colleagues. But I am pleased to see that my colleague the member for Cornwall (Mr. Samis) has taken on the portfolio with such enthusiasm.

One of the things I want to mention is that in looking at the whole issue of regulation versus deregulation for several years, one of the things we were coming to grips with was that the deregulationists often would use as their examples some of the peculiar needs of the agricultural industry.

I could understand those kind of examples, because at the time I was elected I had been an employee of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. I could therefore understand the peculiar and specific needs of the agricultural community.

Interestingly enough, as I became increasingly familiar with the requirements of a regulated trucking industry, I found that the farmers I talked to who were knowledgeable about the farm industry were not advocating a deregulated trucking industry. Indeed, they were some of the highest proponents of a regulatory system.

This was evident when I talked to them about marketing boards and pointed out that what we were doing through the Public Commercial Vehicles Act was a form of marketing or planning, if you want. We were building in an efficiency through regulation in the same way that marketing boards build in an efficiency for the farm industry.

Therefore, I think it is interesting that what the minister has done is to try to meet some of the particular needs of the agricultural industry while, I hope, not in any way seeing this as the thin edge of the wedge as my colleague the member for Cornwall has indicated. This is an experiment. I hope we will be able to deal with the research at the end of the experiment that will be conducted by the ministry to monitor what is happening and see exactly the effects of this bill.

The member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk mentioned that he wanted us to go to committee so that some of the smaller trucking companies might have an input. I have always found that the Ontario Trucking Association certainly represented the small trucking companies as well as some of the larger members. The fact that they are not at the door pounding against this bill indicates to me that they are also willing to see the results of this experiment.

But I think what we have is an interesting attempt to come to grips with some of the problems of regulation, an attempt to meet some of the needs of the shipping community while, as I say, I do not think this is a bill that would lead us in any way towards a greater deregulation further down the line. For that reason, I am quite willing to support the bill.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I think I can sum up in the moment or so that we have left. As I mentioned on the introduction of the bill, this bill responds to the recommendations of the Biggs committee on agricultural trucking which has been very strongly supported by both the trucking and agricultural industries. Many of those recommendations were implemented by way of policy or regulation, and the balance have been introduced here as part of the legislative changes.

As far as intercorporate trucking is concerned, as has been said, this is a trial period. A few months ago, I established a committee to review the Public Commercial Vehicles Act. In the next year to 18 months, I expect that committee will report. In the meantime, I felt I had to proceed with some kind of intercorporate trucking regulation or legislation to meet the needs of the manufacturing and shipping industries and to keep them competitive with the United States.

I could not accept the 100 per cent-owned regulation that is in the US laws. Again, I could not accept the 51 per cent that the Canadian Manufacturers' Association wanted. There is nothing specific about the 90% regulation except that I thought that was a pretty good figure. That is the only reason I can give the House for 90%. It allows for minority shareholders and it allows for employee shareholdings in companies, and that is something that I want to protect.

The Public Commercial Vehicles Act review committee will look at this and make its recommendations in a year or so. We will review the whole situation then. I assure the honourable members that we will be monitoring this procedure, as they have mentioned, for the next 18 months. I hope, with the co-operation of the manufacturers, the shippers, the trucking association and my own ministry, when I get the recommendations from the PCV review committee, we will have the results of this monitoring and will be able to deal with that.

As far as the fertilizer is concerned, we have dealt with that. Mr. Biggs and his committee went into a very thorough study of that. I have discussed it with the Ontario Trucking Association, and I feel that the support we have from the trucking association for what is in this legislation will again let us deal with the problem of moving fertilizer during the busy season.

I assure you, Mr. Speaker, that, as always, I am open to negotiations. If in a couple of years' time we find that this does not work, we will change the damned thing.

Motion agreed to.

Ordered for committee of the whole House.

The House adjourned at 10:30 p.m.