32nd Parliament, 1st Session
































The House met at 2:02 p.m.



Mr. Kolyn: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: Will you please look into and report on what the rules and practices of the House have been concerning private members' bills that appear to overlap or duplicate one another in their content?

I draw your attention to remarks made on June 16, on the point of order made by the member for Port Arthur (Mr. Foulds), who questioned whether it was proper for me to introduce a private member's bill that had an element in it already contained in a bill introduced by another private member.

I also draw your attention to the fact that I introduced a totally different private member's bill in October, namely, An Act to safeguard Terminal Operators. On November 17, 1981, the member for Scarborough West (Mr. R. F. Johnston) introduced a similar bill on video display terminal operators. His own deputy House leader, the member for Port Arthur, might question whether it was out of order, given that I had introduced a similar bill.

I just ask you, Mr. Speaker, to look into the situation and report back to the House.

Mr. Speaker: This matter has already been brought to my attention and, in fact, the two bills in contention are quite different. There may be some overlapping in them, but I do not see any reason why both of them should not be introduced.



Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, last Friday I made some preliminary remarks regarding the recent federal budget and promised members I would have some more substantive comments at a later date. I now have had more time to consider the impact of the federal budget proposals and, although there are certain positive features, there are also a number of areas that cause me concern.

Next week, in Halifax, the federal and provincial ministers of finance will be meeting on fiscal arrangements, and it is my intention to raise Ontario's serious concerns on the fiscal arrangements proposals and on several other areas of economic policy outlined in the federal budget.

A primary concern is interest rates. The major stumbling block for sustaining the health of the Canadian economy continues to be high interest rates. They affect all Canadians -- businessmen, consumers, farmers and home owners.

I understand that inflation and high interest rates are associated, and in this regard I have applauded the deficit reduction strategy of the federal Minister of Finance. But I still have a major question in my mind: Why must Canadian interest rates continue to be so far above US interest rates? The Minister of Finance should review this matter with his provincial counterparts.

Mr. Mancini: It took you a whole week to come to that conclusion and to make a statement like this? That's ridiculous.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: You couldn't make a statement of any kind, Remo.

Mr. Speaker: Order. Will the minister continue, please?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I am disturbed by the federal government's apparent disregard of its obligation to create a business climate which will encourage the investments needed to ensure Canada's continued prosperity.

Equity in taxation is a sound objective, but it must be pursued with a knowledge of the inevitable dislocations that arise from any widespread changes in the tax system. Therefore, one must question some of the tax changes made by Mr. MacEachen, particularly when uncertainty in the business community is already a major impediment to the decisions needed to get Canada moving again.

Mr. Nixon: Here comes the member for Haldimand-Norfolk (Mr. G. I. Miller).


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, the applause the member just got is an indication of the respect the Liberals have for the name Miller.

Mr. Speaker: Having said that, you will now proceed.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. MacEachen has made some moves that will improve our investment climate; for example, the deferral of earlier Foreign Investment Review Agency proposals, the reduction in high marginal personal income tax rates and the long-term policy commitment to fight inflation via control of the deficit. This week I was pleased that he recognized the unfair manner in which his budget affected multiple-unit residential buildings. I trust this shows a sensitivity to investor concerns and their effect on the economy.

But I also stress that, with uncertain economic prospects worldwide and with increasing tax competition between industrial countries, maintaining business confidence is an important objective. It must be nourished with ongoing discussions between governments and investors rather than being shocked by major changes with unintentional adverse effects. I am continuing to study the potential adverse impact of the proposed changes in corporate and personal taxation.

The lack of explicit economic development policies is a major deficiency of the federal budget, yet one of the main reasons that genuine, new, economic development initiatives are needed in Canada is the federal government's energy policies. For example, new petroleum price increases above those originally set out in the national energy program will increase the drain from the Ontario economy by $11 billion over the period 1981 to 1986. On the basis of 1981 costs, we calculate that the average Ontario consumer will cumulatively pay more than $5,000 extra for home heating oil and gasoline alone between 1982 and 1986.

Who will benefit from the increased oil prices? One very large beneficiary will be the federal government. As a result of the new pricing agreements, between 1981 and 1986 the budget shows the federal coffers will be enriched by at least an additional $7.5 billion over the original NEP projections.

Mr. Sargent: Tell it like it is. Tell the truth.

Hon. F. S. Miller: I always tell the truth, even in my friend's riding.

Altogether, the federal government will collect a staggering $53.6 billion in energy revenues over the period 1981 to 1986.

From a fiscal standpoint, we in Ontario support the principle of increased energy revenues to the federal government. However, we question the priorities implicit in federal expenditure plans.

For some time I have been calling for new federal programs to facilitate the adjustment of Canada's economy to increased international competition and higher energy prices. But a look at federal expenditure plans reveals that industrial development does not have a high enough priority. Expenditure in the economic development envelope will grow by less than the projected annual growth in the gross national product over the medium term. The envelope's share of the total federal expenditure grows only marginally over the period, and this in a time of major industrial adjustment.

2:10 p.m.

The economic development document released with the federal budget contains no significant new programs; instead, it provides generalities and a repackaging of existing policies. There are no policies or programs directed at basic manufacturing, such as autos or appliances, where so many jobs are on the line. There are no policies directed towards the difficulties currently being experienced in the aircraft industry, clearly a sector vital to Canada's future development.

There is much discussion of the development potential of high-technology sectors, but there are no new programs directed specifically at high-technology industries or research and development in general. There is no indication of possible joint participation, for example, in Ontario's development initiatives outlined by the Board of Industrial Leadership and Development, despite much vague and friendly discussion in the federal budget about the need for co-operation with the provinces.

Altogether, the federal government's economic development program is grossly inadequate to meet the kind of industrial transformation that is currently taking place in Canada and particularly in Ontario.

Finally, of course, discussion of the fiscal arrangements is of vital importance. Mr. MacEachen's budget reduces transfers to Ontario by more than $600 million in the next two years. Unless he can be persuaded otherwise, Ontario will have to make up this amount by some combination of cuts in provincial programs, increases in provincial taxes and user fees, and increases in the deficit.

The federal budget also states that during the coming year an attempt will be made to formulate more specific and enforceable conditions and standards for health care programs, which may increase the financing requirements of the provinces.

The federal government serves notice that it wishes to review all arrangements in respect of post-secondary education and manpower training, under the threat of withholding significant established program funding starting in 1983. In Ontario alone, this threat would amount to a total loss of a further $1 billion by 1987.

Ontario cannot accept a proposal whereby the provinces are asked to renegotiate the fiscal arrangements for the next five years with only the first year on the negotiating table. Added to all this, the federal budget does nothing to address the problem of widening fiscal disparities between oil-producing and oil-importing provinces.

In his actions concerning multiple-unit residential buildings, Mr. MacEachen has already indicated an ability to be flexible when faced with overwhelming evidence of the inappropriateness of his policies, and I look forward to early evidence in Halifax of his willingness to extend this ability into our negotiations on federal-provincial arrangements.


Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, I am sure the honourable members of the House are aware of the decision of the Ontario Waste Management Corporation, announced yesterday by the chairman, Dr. Donald Chant, to reject South Cayuga as a site for the proposed industrial waste management facility.

I emphasize to members that I endorse this decision and, in fact, I congratulate Dr. Chant and the board of directors of the corporation for their quick resolution of the situation when all the evidence was in.

An hon. member: You should also congratulate the member for Haldimand-Norfolk.


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Norton: This certainly justifies the confidence my predecessor, Dr. Harry Parrott, placed in the corporation and in the process when he announced the government's intentions almost a year ago. It also reflects the confidence and trust I invested in the board of directors last June when I introduced the legislation establishing the corporation and setting out its mandate to find a suitable and safe site, and then to develop and manage a central facility for the treatment and disposal of industrial waste.

Mr. Smith: Hydrogeologists in reality made the decision. The place was flooded during the campaign.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: The Leader of the Opposition should have listened to Dr. Chant this morning.

Mr. Smith: Everybody except the Minister of Education knew about it. She should have known about it.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: You sure know about gas, Stuart.

Mr. Speaker: Will the Leader of the Opposition and the Minister of Education please refrain?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, the legislation gave the corporation full authority to proceed with development provided the choice of the site proved environmentally sound through the process of public hearings which the government required. It also provided full authority to reject the site.

As I said at the time I introduced the legislation, our intention was to provide maximum safeguards to ensure that the industrial waste management facilities required by the province would be developed with complete regard for public health and environmental safety.

From the outset, we have made it clear that it was the government's intention to proceed with detailed study and hearings on the proposed site, following preliminary studies by a consultant.

We made a commitment that there would be a thorough geotechnical survey of the area, that local residents would be informed on every aspect of safety and that the findings of the consultants conducting the survey would be made public. I am pleased to report that the corporation has met these commitments and met them well.

The detailed studies conducted by the corporation have established that the potential drawbacks to environmentally safe development of that site are significant enough to disqualify it as a possible site for reasons of environmental safety.

The key factors identified in Dr. Chant's announcement were these: (1) the restriction of usable area, which would limit both the flexibility of operation and the lifespan of the site; (2) the confirmed existence of glacial deposits, or drumlins, in spots which could permit leachate of contaminants to bedrock and ground waters; (3) the potential hazard of unrecorded gas wells on the site.

Two of these factors were identified in our preliminary work, and I am advised by technical staff that they were within engineering capability to deal with. The presence of drumlins was determined only after the corporation was able to undertake the necessary detailed work. With this previously unknown factor, it was the opinion of the technical experts that this combination of obstacles meant that necessary safety margins for a facility of required size could not be adequately met.

Based on the recommendations of its consultants, the corporation decided, quite properly, that this site is unsuitable and should be rejected.

The government's objective has been made clear from the outset. We intend to establish a world-class facility that will safely and efficiently treat and dispose of the liquid industrial wastes generated within this province. We decided this would be developed and operated by a crown corporation to ensure that it would be done with full regard for the protection of public health and safety.

My prime concern and that of the corporation is public health and safety. The minute any legitimate doubts appear, there is, to my mind, no alternative but to reject the site. The decision on South Cayuga was made immediately by the corporation, without further study and without need to complete the hearing process established to ensure a properly located and designed facility.

Dr. Chant has advised me that the corporation will now proceed, in accordance with its mandate from the government, to investigate alternatives and to identify, to test, and then to establish a new site. This will, of course, be subject to the same intensive environmental studies and thorough hearing process proposed for the Cayuga site.

I was asked yesterday how long it now will take to find and develop Ontario's sophisticated waste treatment facility, in view of the urgency we all recognize. I cannot speculate on the time it will take to meet this challenge. The identification and proving of the safest and best possible site is my only acceptable measure of time. I will not sacrifice safety to take a shortcut in the name of expediency.

Dr. Chant has indicated that the legislation, under which the corporation and the hearing panel are proceeding, provides a satisfactory framework for the achievement of our objectives. This decision has shown us that the corporation and the legislation have served the public interest well in South Cayuga.

I am impressed by the speed with which this decision was reached. I believe that the action of the directors of the corporation shows that our process operates on a practical level as effectively as we had hoped and that real progress has been made towards the development of suitable waste facilities.

I believe real progress has been made, as I have indicated, and we will continue to move towards the achievement of the goals.

It was less than a year ago that the government announced its intention to investigate South Cayuga as a priority site and then to establish the corporation and the hearing panel to spearhead and to monitor development. Today the corporation is in place, with the full legal authority it requires. The corporation has effective senior management and a capable staff at work.

Mr. Smith: Having wasted a year, having not looked at alternatives for a year. You wasted a full year on an urgent matter so you could get rid of White's elephant.

Hon. Mr. Norton: The Leader of the Opposition should ask a question in question period if he is really interested in knowing the truth of it. I say to him not to start his bloody nonsense with me.

We have established a hearing panel to conduct public hearings on proposals, and it has worked out the frame of reference and procedures that will be applied to any proposed site advanced for future consideration.

Finally, the corporation has commissioned key studies, received the reports and made a sound decision on the results.

The residents of South Cayuga made a considerable contribution to this process of decision. They worked effectively to bring forward information on the nature and history of their land which was valuable to the corporation and its consultants in framing a position.

2:20 p.m.

I assure those residents that their contributions are appreciated and that the upset and inconveniences to the community are recognized. I cannot state at this moment the precise commitments and obligations we may have in the community, but I assure the members that all commitments will be met.

One of the highlights of my day yesterday during the press conference was the remark made by the member for Haldimand-Norfolk, who said this decision had restored his confidence in the process. I trust other members of his caucus and this House will share that confidence and recognize that this government, when it makes a commitment, maintains it. We will continue to live up to our word and the assurances we give to the people of this province.


Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I rise today to announce that we have reached a new milestone in our commitment to securing the right to use the French language before the courts of our province.

Building on the solid foundation this Legislature enacted in 1978, the right to the use of the French language will be assured in civil trials in designated areas of the province as of April 1, 1982. These are the areas of greatest concentration of the French-speaking population in Ontario.

Pursuant to the provisions of section 130 of the Judicature Act, designations will take effect at that time of the county and district courts and the surrogate courts in the district of Algoma, the district of Cochrane, the county of Essex, the judicial district of Niagara South, the district of Nipissing, the judicial district of Ottawa-Carleton, the united counties of Prescott and Russell, the united counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, the district of Sudbury and the district of Timiskaming.

The provincial courts, family division, and the provincial offences courts will be designated as well for trials in each location of these areas.

In addition, this range of services will also be extended to the county of Renfrew and to the judicial district of York. The Supreme Court of Ontario will be designated for hearings in the judicial district of Ottawa-Carleton and the united counties of Prescott and Russell and the judicial district of York. It will therefore be possible to be heard in the French language at any level of court for any subject matter right in our provincial capital of Toronto.

With these developments, a broad range of court services in the French language from matters under the Highway Traffic Act to divorce proceedings will be available to about 83 per cent of Franco-Ontarians. This is in addition to the provisions of the Criminal Code, by which access to bilingual criminal trials has been available since December 31, 1979, to 100 per cent of the Franco-Ontarian population.

With respect to wills in the French language, in co-operation with my colleague the Minister for Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Walker), a system will be established and put into effect December 15, 1981, for the translation of such wills when they are to be registered on title. This measure will remove any impediment there may have been to a testator wishing to make his last will and testament in French.

To facilitate the work of those involved before the courts in the French language, my ministry has published a handbook of English-French legal terminology. This is the first such document produced by any government in Canada.

In addition, members may recall that in August the government announced a $300,000 grant over three years to l'Association des juristes d'expression française de l'Ontario. These funds are being used to develop other legal tools to assist French-language legal practitioners. Officials of my ministry are working closely with members of the association to make certain the French-language services programs of the ministry are working effectively.

I also wish to take this opportunity to thank the judiciary in Ontario from whom we have received great co-operation in the implementation and the further implementation of these services.

As I stated at the outset, these developments are truly historic in the enhancement of French- language rights in Ontario. I have appreciated the co-operation received from all sides of the House for these matters, which we have always strived to deal with in a nonpartisan way. These measures will also convey our fundamental commitment to reflect the duality of our nation.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, copies of my statements are just going over since I was not sure I had the time to stand up today. Shall I wait until they have arrived or may I start?

Mr. Speaker: Proceed.


Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, since it was just a year ago last week that I announced the formation of the Board of Industrial Leadership and Development, I believe it is timely to table before the House today a summary of BILD's accomplishments to date. As the honourable members know, BILD is a cabinet committee charged with the responsibility to design and implement an economic development strategy for Ontario. At this time, I wish to summarize briefly for the members the key progress that BILD has made in the past year.

The first three months of BILD's existence were devoted to formulating a detailed economic action plan which the Premier (Mr. Davis) then released on January 27, 1981. The plan outlined a series of 76 projects involving an investment over five years of $1.5 billion. As Treasurer, I pledged 50 per cent of that amount in the form of new money, with the balance to come from redirection of internal priorities within the government, from the private sector and from other levels of government.

In the nine months since January 27, BILD has approved program funding commitments which now total $614 million over five years. For this fiscal year, the approved projects will result in the disbursement of about $145 million of BILD funds. This government funding has already generated an additional investment commitment of $275 million from the private sector and other levels of government.

The response of the federal government to our invitation to participate in a number of initiatives has been disappointing. Last January, the Premier wrote directly to the Prime Minister, outlining our interest in pursuing 10 specific economic development initiatives and inviting federal participation. The initiatives outlined were subsequently included in BILD's detailed action plan, Building Ontario in the 1980s.

Despite repeated efforts by the province to secure a real commitment from the federal government, I regret that to date we have not received the kind of participation we have been seeking. The budget released last week demonstrated once again that the federal government is unable or unwilling to move beyond generalities when dealing with key economic development initiatives important to our future.

The Ontario government, however, has demonstrated through BILD its capacity to turn strategy into action. All in all, BILD has approved and announced 45 projects designed to stimulate and develop the economy of our province. The paper which I am tabling today contains many specific examples of projects already beginning to enrich the economic life of Ontario. These have been announced over the past nine months by myself and my colleagues and do not require further elaboration from me at this time.

It is important to stress that in the past year the Board of Industrial Leadership and Development has defined Ontario's economic goals for the 1980s and devised an action plan that co-ordinates and consolidates the government's economic development effort.

Mr. Wildman: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege: I draw your attention to question 186 on page 22 of the Order Paper, in which I asked for the very information the minister now is providing the House. An interim answer was tabled on November 16 stating that the information would not be available until December 18. Will the minister provide an explanation for what is happening here this afternoon?

Mr. Speaker: Will the minister proceed, please?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I repeat, it is important to stress that in the past year the Board of Industrial Leadership and Development has defined Ontario's economic goals for the 1980s and devised an action plan that co-ordinates and consolidates the government's economic development effort. More than that, BILD has moved decisively to implement this comprehensive investment strategy, which is already beginning to generate returns to the citizens of Ontario. Most important, that process does not end here: it has only just begun.

2:30 p.m.


Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, during the last several days there have been a number of things said about the McMichael Canadian Collection that concern me deeply. I wish to address some of them here and now.

No one appreciates more than the McMichael board and the government the unique treasure that is the McMichael Canadian Collection. In that spirit, I want to state here categorically that the character of the collection will not change, period.

The wonderfully rustic nature of the gallery buildings and the surrounding grounds will not be changed as we work to make sure that the buildings are safe for people to visit, properly equipped to preserve the paintings and properly ramped so that disabled people can get in. That will be done.

I also want to stress here that the board and the government will continue to honour all the terms and conditions under which gifts have been given to the collection over the years. Neither the board nor the government has ever intended in any way to break faith with donors by disposing of their gifts against their wishes. The intention has not existed, it does not exist, it will not exist, period.

Finally, I want to state categorically that the board and the government will continue to live up to the spirit of its 1965 agreement with the McMichaels, just as it has in the last eight years, during which the 1972 act has governed the affairs of the collection. That commitment will be clear when the proposed new legislation is introduced.

Second, let me say that I absolutely resent the suggestion that I have not answered honestly and directly questions put to me about Mr. McMichael.

Last Monday, the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Smith) asked me why I had asked Robert McMichael to resign as director of the collection following "certain allegations." He also asked me if I regretted having asked for that resignation "so quickly." I replied that "at no time and in no place did I ever ask for Mr. McMichael's resignation."

On Tuesday, the Leader of the Opposition read into the record a portion of a press report which quoted Mr. McMichael as saying I had not been truthful in that reply. Given this accusation, let me put before this House information that I hope will clarify the record once and for all.

The events leading up to Mr. McMichael's resignation must be seen in the context of a number of years and not in the context of a brief conversation I am alleged to have had.

When the McMichael Canadian Collection first opened as a crown enterprise in 1965, it involved 179 works of art. During the succeeding 16 years, thanks to the collection's great public attractiveness and Mr. McMichael's tireless initiative, the size of the collection has increased more than tenfold.

Although the collection would never have come into being without the McMichaels, I think it is important to note here that this growth was nurtured by many benefactors, including the people of Ontario through their government.

The late Colonel R. S. McLaughlin and his family as well as Dr. and Mrs. Max Stern and hundreds of others contributed millions and millions of dollars to the collection.

The general public has contributed millions more. In fact, at this point in time the general public's investment runs to 67 per cent of the value of the collection, and the investment of all donors other than the McMichaels runs to 28 per cent.

In any event, the collection's explosive growth had a profound impact on the nature of the operation. What had started as family philanthropy had evolved into a major public gallery that clearly needed professional management. In recognition of this need, the board of the collection commissioned a management study by the Woods Gordon consulting firm in 1978.

Woods Gordon reported there was confusion among collection staff about who was responsible to whom and who was responsible for what. They observed that there were no budgeting guidelines for department heads and no formal personnel policies. They also observed that there were no formal procedures for receiving, controlling or cataloguing works of art, all of which are essential to a major public gallery receiving donations.

The consultants recommended the appointment of an administrative director, and that was done in 1979.

In 1980, Mr. McMichael proposed an addition to the gallery. The board decided to look at all of the collection's capital and managerial requirements, and it subsequently commissioned Klein and Sears Architects, in collaboration with David Scott Consultants Limited, to conduct that study.

This study, which is public, was submitted to the board in May 1980. Once again, it identified some serious management concerns. Specifically, it questioned provisions for the safety of school children and other members of the public, the staff and the security of the collection. It also stated that environmental conditions were far below acceptable standards for a major gallery.

The consultants stressed the appointment of --

Mr. Speaker: The time for ministerial statements has expired.

Mr. Smith: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order: We are willing to give consent for this statement to be finished, because the minister is in the middle of saying something about Mr. McMichael, and it seems to me the record had better be complete to see what he is going to say about the gentleman.

Mr. Speaker: Is there unanimous agreement?

Agreed to.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Thank you.

Once again the study identified some serious management concerns. It also stated that environmental conditions were far below acceptable standards for a major gallery. The consultants stressed that the appointment of an administrative director had been a useful transitional step but that it could serve only as a temporary solution. Ultimately, it concluded, if the collection were not to falter it needed as a chief executive officer a professional curator who was an accomplished manager.

As a member of the board of trustees, Mr. McMichael was involved in the discussions leading up to the commissioning of the consulting studies and in reviewing their conclusions. Together with the board, Mr. McMichael recognized that as chief executive officer he was being criticized severely by reputable, independent observers. Collectively, the consulting reports led him and the board to recognize the time had come for him to withdraw from day-to-day management and devote his considerable talents to promoting the collection.

Even though it was clear the ultimate management decisions would be made by the board, during this time Mr. McMichael also discussed these matters with me and my then deputy minister. It was in this spirit of looking at the future that Mr. McMichael wrote the chairman of the collection, Mr. J. Allyn Taylor, on August 19, 1980. I want to read this letter into the record because I feel it reflects explicitly and eloquently the events attendant upon Mr. McMichael's decision to withdraw from day-to-day management.

The letter reads as follows:

"Dear Mr. Taylor:

"For some considerable time you and I have discussed the desirability of my stepping aside from the heavy responsibility of director and chief executive of the collection in order to effect a smooth and satisfactory transition of management. The enormous growth to its present stature with the second-largest attendance of any art gallery in Canada demands that it have a highly qualified professional administrator as director and chief executive.

"I have recently discussed this with the Hon. Reuben Baetz and with the Deputy Minister, Dr. Douglas Wright. Both feel much the same as you do, that I should within the next few months step aside as chief executive to assume the honourary title of founder, director-emeritus and I should have a meaningful working position at a modest salary dealing with such areas as aesthetics, fund-raising, donations, acquisition of works of art and certain public relations functions. It is understood that a detailed job description will be prepared for this position. It will also be necessary that a detailed job description for a new executive director be prepared making it clear that that person is the most senior person and is in charge of all administration.

"I will step out of my position as soon as a person satisfactory to you, the board of trustees and the minister can be found. I hope and believe that this will be achieved within a few months at the longest. If the search for a satisfactory person requires a longer period than year-end you may wish to place someone other than me in this position as an interim measure. I consider my remaining in this position to be only on a temporary basis.

"I assure you that Signe and I as trustees will give all possible help and co-operation that you and the board may wish, to help find the person and to expedite an orderly transition of responsibility and authority to the new chief executive.

"Signe and I wish to express our sincere thanks to you as chairman, members of the board, the government of Ontario and the countless Canadians without whose help the creation and success of this unique institution would not have been possible.

"With deepest respect, I remain, yours sincerely, Robert McMichael."

As the honourable members can see, this letter is a constructive one. Everything in its sense and substance demonstrates that Mr. McMichael saw the need for the changes that were to take place and agreed with them. Conversely, nothing in its sense and substance indicates that he was asked to resign precipitously by the minister on the basis of some allegations. It was several months later -- October 2, 1980, to be precise -- that Mr. McMichael tendered his formal letter of resignation. Five days after that he approved the job description for his new position as founder, director-emeritus.

It is important to note here that the chairman insisted he study this description for several days to make sure he was comfortable with it. He approved the description as it was originally written. It was only after all this that the search for a new director began. Mr. McMichael continued to serve as director until June 30, 1981, when Michael Bell, one of Canada's most respected curators, took over as director and chief executive officer.

In the broadest sense, then, this orderly transition took place over three years. It was based on much professional study and a tremendous amount of careful attention from the outstanding and dedicated board of the collection, which is responsible for it. It was categorically not based, as the Leader of the Opposition has suggested, on any snap judgements by the minister.

2:40 p.m.

As I have said, the transition has been a very orderly one. The legislation I will be introducing in the next few days will, of course, be part of that process. I look forward to discussing it with the honourable members. In the meantime, let me re-emphasize that it will not alter the character of the collection or the buildings. In fact, I would invite my honourable friends, and members of the press as well, to come out to the collection with me and see for themselves firsthand what we are doing out there and why.



Mr. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Culture and Recreation. The minister suggests that somehow or other because the letter he has just read into the record -- a letter of which I have a copy -- does not start with the words, "Much to my horror and surprise, the minister has asked for my resignation," but simply offers the resignation, that means the resignation was never asked for. Would the minister recognize the foolishness of his assertion, of coming into this House and presenting a letter of resignation and saying the fact that it exists means the resignation was not asked for? That cannot conceivably convince anybody of the truth of what he is saying.

Would the minister explain why Mr. McMichael would say plainly that he was called into the minister's office; that he was asked for his resignation; that there was a previous letter of August 8, 1980 sent to Mr. Taylor, talking about the allegations that were made and offering a resignation of sorts; that he was told that letter was not good enough; that he then had to produce the letter of August 19, which the minister has just read into the record; that he was told that was not good enough and was hounded by Mr. Taylor for the rest of the summer until someone else dictated a letter of resignation for him, which he then signed later on that year?

Given that sequence of events, why does the minister not come clean and explain to us why he misled this House originally by saying he did not ask for the resignation? Why does he say the collection will be intact and the spirit will be recognized when the draft legislation says the entire agreement will be rendered null and void?

Mr. Speaker: Order. Would the Leader of the Opposition like to reconsider what he has said and withdraw that allegation?

Mr. Smith: What allegation? What are you talking about? What I have said is absolutely accurate.

Mr. Speaker: You accused the minister of misleading the House.

Mr. Smith: That is what he did, but I will withdraw the word "misled" and simply say misinformed the House.

Mr. Speaker: Thank you.

Mr. Smith: Now will the minister answer the question?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: I thought, Mr. Speaker, I had answered the question in the last 15 or 20 minutes in my statement. I would submit it is only a sickly, cynical view of the world that would read into each development over three years the kind of things the member is seeing. What transpired over these three years is exactly what I have pointed out here. The member suggests that Mr. Taylor, who is a very prominent Canadian and a long-time chairman of the board and who has done outstanding service as a volunteer, was trying to force Mr. McMichael into an unwilling resignation, and I think he should apologize for that.

Mr. Smith: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Since Mr. Taylor was passing on to Mr. McMichael only the message, and was himself being hounded by the minister to get a more definite resignation, since that is the message Mr. Taylor was handing on, no aspersion is being cast on Mr. Taylor but on the minister himself. The minister does not recognize this. He continues to misinform this House. He will not stand up and come clean as to what happened. And he still has not explained to us why, if he wants to honour the agreement, he is bringing in a piece of draft legislation to render it null and void.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, the member keeps talking about some draft legislation he presumably has. The only piece of draft legislation -- that is, the final draft -- is sitting on my desk and he has not seen it. How can he stand there and argue as to what will be in the draft legislation? It is ridiculous.

Mr. Laughren: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: The original collection was donated by the McMichaels, who also donated their own home. Why does the minister insist on giving the impression the contribution of the McMichaels has somehow been diluted by the infusion of public funds over the years, when that is simply not true?

Why does the minister not make a commitment here and now that the 1965 agreement will not be reneged on? That is what the minister is doing. Will he assure the House that Mr. McMichael, from this point on, will be dealt with fairly and equitably and the whole matter will be referred to a standing committee of this Legislature so that we can all have a look at it?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, I think I said categorically in my statement -- I do not know if the members hear over there -- that the spirit of the agreement of 1965 and the legislation of 1970 will be honoured.

Mr. Laughren: How about the letter of agreement?

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: That is a categorical statement. How often do I have to say this?

Mr. Laughren: Do not renege on it.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Who is reneging?

Mr. Smith: Final supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Will the minister tell us how often and when he telephoned Mr. Taylor, asking to obtain a definite resignation from Mr. McMichael. Will he give us that information?

Will he also tell us exactly when he will bring in his definitive bill, which I gather is going to be different from the draft that has been circulating. Will he express a view concerning the fact that the board is apparently being called to have a meeting tomorrow in Toronto but that the McMichaels, who are members of the board, have not been invited?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: I never telephoned Mr. Taylor suggesting he get some kind of a definite resignation. I did not talk about that at all to him. If the honourable member does not believe me, perhaps he could check with Mr. Taylor --

Mr. Smith: Someone in his office did.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Nobody did.

I can understand if the member has this cynical view of the world that is exactly how he would see this thing develop. The whole development was an orderly, sensible, rational, humane transition from the director of the gallery to the founder, director-emeritus.

Mr. Smith: He did not comment on any of the other parts of the question -- the meeting without the McMichaels. He has no comment on that?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: As I understand it, the meeting tomorrow is not a meeting of the board of directors. I may be corrected on that, I do not know. I am not informed every time the board of directors meets. After all the board is running the operation and at an arm's length, so I am not informed of every meeting they have. I have the impression that tomorrow it is not a full board meeting, but I may be mistaken. I will provide the Leader of the Opposition with more precise information on that question later in the question period.

Mr. Smith: Mr. Speaker, just to clarify the record, the meeting is not a meeting of the full board. The McMichaels are being left out. Apart from that it is the full board and it is being called an unofficial meeting. I thought I might inform the minister as to what is happening in his own ministry on his hottest issue.

Mr. Breithaupt: Somebody has to.


Mr. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I have a new question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations: The normal process for hiring commissioners to the Residential Tenancy Commission involves four basic steps. They are: advertising in the local press; receiving resumes from applicants; judging qualifications with a view to finding people with financial capabilities such as a chartered accountant degree, or something of the sort; and choosing the most qualified persons. How is it that Mrs. Pauline Browes, the campaign manager for the Provincial Secretary for Social Development (Mrs. Birch) during the last election campaign, and Mr. William Clarke, a worker in the 1981 election campaign for the member for Durham East (Mr. Cureatz), should have been hired directly by the minister without going through the normal procedure?

Hon. Mr. Walker: These are very qualified people. They were recommended to cabinet and cabinet saw fit to approve them.


Mr. Ruston: They have "PC" after their names.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Smith: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: The minister has now admitted he totally circumvented the normal procedure in order to appoint these two allegedly qualified members of his party. Does he recognize this practice has led to advice such as that given to an acquaintance of mine by an official in the ministry's personnel services branch? The acquaintance called asking to be employed in this commission and was told that in order to get the job of commissioner he "should call his MPP to see what political connection can be made with the minister's office."

2:50 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, I suppose there is a question in what the member is posing. I think he is suggesting they perhaps are unqualified people. The fact is they are order in council appointments. It is normal that order in council appointments pass through the cabinet and that is the way they were done. There is nothing abnormal or unusual about it. The individuals are particularly well-qualified.

Since Mrs. Browes was apparently castigated by the Leader of the Opposition for her disqualification, I would like to come to her defence and say I am proud of the qualifications she has. I am certainly not prepared to see --

Mr. Smith: Not at all. She may be a fine person. Why not go through the usual procedure?

Hon. Mr. Walker: Just a moment. I am prepared to defer to him if he would like to ask another question. In the meantime, he should pipe down. The fact of the matter is, the individuals involved are responsible and extremely qualified individuals. Mrs. Browes has served on a number of committees in judgemental situations, has been a budget chief, has been educated in microeconomics and macroeconomics in her educational courses and she is well-qualified for the position. For the member to suggest for a moment that she is not qualified is simply ludicrous and he knows it.

Mr. Philip: Mr. Speaker, a supplementary question: Would the minister tell us what specific qualifications, what experience and what training each of these individuals has had for these positions? Our investigation led us to believe the only qualification they had was a high position in the Conservative Party?

Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, the mistake the member made is he did not bother to look beyond the end of his nose to find out the individuals appointed are extremely competent. In the case of Mr. Clarke, who comes from Durham riding, he has had a distinguished career in the military and on committees of adjustment, has served --

Mr. Foulds: That qualifies him for rent review?

Mr. R.F. Johnston: How important was it in your development?

Mr. Foulds: What rank did he achieve?

Hon. Mr. Walker: Somebody is laughing at the military career. Does the member not consider military service to be important? I would. I consider that shows the gentleman has a lot of capacity to lead. Mr. Clarke has served on the committee of adjustments in the town of Newcastle. He was a former member of the Newcastle town council. He has served in a number of community endeavours including the Royal Canadian Legion. He holds one of the highest orders of the St. John Ambulance organization. The man is extremely well-qualified for the position he has and he should not be castigated for that reason.

Mr. Smith: Would the minister recognize the question is not whether the individuals have certain qualifications, but that there is a standard procedure everybody must go through to apply for this position? We were told by the same person who happens to do the interviewing for the job that the procedure is to advertise the position and when resumes are received to draw up a short list. Then interviews take place and she does the interviewing.

Given that is the normal procedure, if these people are well qualified why were they not simply put through the normal procedure? Undoubtedly their sterling qualities would have been obvious to the interviewer. Why did the minister circumvent the necessary procedure in these two instances? In how many other instances has he circumvented it as well?

Hon. Mr. Walker: There is no circumventing at all. The normal procedure in a case like this is for recommendations for orders in council. The Leader of the Opposition is getting confused with civil service appointments. This is not a civil service appointment. This happens to be an order in council appointment. These individuals went through the normal vetting process.

Mr. Smith: My friend applied and was told this was the procedure.

Hon. Mr. Walker: Is the member going to answer my question or am I going to answer his? Which would he like to do? If he is prepared to pipe down for a moment, he will get the benefit of my answer. Do I have that concurrence? Do I have his promise?

Mr. Speaker: Will the minister proceed, please?

Mr. Nixon: Why don't you get it right?

Mr. Smith: I am helping you. I am directing your attention to the point.


Mr. Speaker: Order. Will the minister answer the question, please?

Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, I will answer the question as soon as they pipe down. The fact of the matter is the normal procedure in all of this is that an order in council is a recommendation to cabinet by the minister. The order in council is ultimately approved and is considered by the entire cabinet. When a recommendation is put forward, it goes to the Lieutenant Governor to sign. There is absolutely nothing unusual in the approach that has been taken. Indeed, he has the wrong understanding of the approach. He is mixed up in what it is.

Mr. Smith: To set the record straight, we got the approach from the minister's office. They told us that's how to apply.

Mr. Speaker: Order, order. The member for Ottawa Centre has the floor.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a new question for the Premier with respect to the Constitution Act which is now before the Parliament of Canada. Last week the Premier assured the House that Ontario was not among the provinces that suggested native rights should be removed from the charter. Yet we now learn that while the Premier was saying this, the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) had been actively arguing for amendments that would have watered down the commitment to native rights to the point of removing them. Could the Premier clarify Ontario's position with respect to including aboriginal rights in the charter?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I have not had an opportunity on my return to read the entire text of the Attorney General's letter. However it was made abundantly clear, both in this House and in Ottawa -- and I have made it abundantly clear since -- that Ontario does support and continues to support the inclusion of native aboriginal rights within the constitution.

I think if the leader of the third party reads carefully what was said by the Attorney General, who has supported this from day one, he will see he raised some concerns of a legal or technical nature which have been raised on other matters of the charter by other Attorneys General with respect to certain aspects of the definition and how it might be phrased. But in terms of our position, it is what it was a year ago September. In spite of opposition from many sectors, it has remained consistent for some 13 months and that position has not altered today.

Mr. Cassidy: A supplementary: I am glad to have the clarification of the Premier, although frankly it is difficult to see the consonance when one reads the Attorney General's letter. However, the question now and for the next few days is, what further steps is the Premier prepared to take on behalf of Ontario in order to gain sufficient support among the other Premiers so section 34 can be restored to the act now before Parliament, or so some other protection for aboriginal rights can be worked into the constitution? If it is not done with the act as it goes over to the British Parliament there is a very real danger aboriginal rights will never be adequately protected in the constitution of Canada.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I do not share the point of view being expressed by the Leader of the New Democratic Party. I really do not.

I would prefer that it be included, but I was part of a discussion where I genuinely believed the position taken by other Premiers and by the Prime Minister was that it is their intent to have a meeting shortly -- I cannot say in the next six weeks or two months -- but very shortly with respect to the defining or refining or agreeing upon a wording to include aboriginal rights.

I would not want to be Premier in a province of this country who says if a conference is called for sometime next year he no longer wants to participate. I just do not think that would happen. I am one who believes the others who were present when they said this would be the first order of business. It was included in the communique and in the accord.

If the honourable member is asking, "Has our position altered?" I hope I have answered that; it has not. I understand the government of Canada has been canvassing this issue along with the issue of equality of women's rights. In case there is any misunderstanding, when the women call my office I am delighted to get the calls and I give them the phone number of one or two other Premiers. I even might be inclined to give them the phone number of the Premier of Saskatchewan on that issue. I want the leader of the third party to know it is not all as simple as he thinks it is.

I also want him, and I hope the women of this province, to understand that Ontario has been committed and is still committed to equal rights in the constitution. The government of Canada, I understand, has been having discussions on both of those issues. We stand prepared to have them included.

Mr. Sweeney: A supplementary to the Premier: The Premier may notice the little ribbon on my lapel circulated by the Kitchener-Waterloo Status of Women group to encourage what he just spoke about -- the inclusion of women's rights in the constitution. During the negotiations, was he given any indication by his fellow Premiers of what conditions would be required to include women's rights in the constitution? Can the Premier give us any indication as to when or how women's rights may be included in that constitution?

3 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I do not recall dealing specifically with the whole section on equality rights. There was a discussion of the general application. We argue it should not be the part that has the notwithstanding provision. I am trying to simplify it as much as I can. The agreement that was finally concluded had that as part of the notwithstanding section. I made it clear we had no intention of introducing any notwithstanding legislation here. I have talked to a number of the women myself. There is an awareness this province supports its inclusion.

I do not go by telexes, but I do have some information Nova Scotia has perhaps rethought its position and may be in the process of agreeing to that being included. In that case it might leave just one province that has not so far accepted.

This is something I did not dwell on at the time I reported to the House. However, while we helped develop the compromise -- and I think it was right and proper -- I would be one of those who would predict the politics of the situation are such that we will not see a lot of notwithstanding legislation introduced in some of our sister provinces in spite of the ability to do so. I think that is a political reality.

Mr. Wildman: Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary question to the issue raised by my leader with the Premier. I accept the Premier's statement that it is not a simple issue, that it is complex. However, the Attorney General of Ontario suggests to the federal minister that if the aboriginal and treaty rights clause is not changed, Indian bands could take over whole communities in the Ottawa Valley or perhaps even Parliament Hill and bring about grave disruption in Canadian life. Does the Premier really believe this was in the spirit required to bring about the acceptance of native rights by other provinces in this country?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, the Attorney General might like an opportunity to be more definitive himself. The Attorneys General spent months on the wording of the then proposed charter. What is in the present federal --

Mr. Foulds: Shoot from the lip again.

Mr. Cassidy: You were undermined behind your back.

Hon. Mr. Davis: With great respect, unlike the member for Ottawa Centre, I have never been undermined by people on this side of the House. I say that with some pride. The odd minister may have disagreed with me on occasion but they would never undermine their leader. If the leader of the third party had that degree of commitment, he would have been better off.

Mr. Speaker: Order. Would the Premier please address the question. Never mind the interjections.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, in the absence of the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman), I have a question for the Premier about protecting the jobs of the 1,700 workers at Canadian Admiral who have been shut out, laid off and have lost their jobs as the company is going out of business.

How much is the province prepared to chip into a bridging investment or a joint venture to enable Canadian Admiral to go forward? There are discussions now under way between Admiral and Inglis, Admiral and Westinghouse and Admiral and Camco. Would the Premier say what the government will do in order that the company can be enabled to survive and continue in production, and in order that those 1,700 jobs can be kept here in Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I have not had an opportunity to discuss the Admiral situation for the last day and a half or two days. I cannot inform the leader of the New Democratic Party because the discussions, I understand, are ongoing. There have been some suggestions or possibilities put forward. Whether they are confined to the group the leader of the New Democratic Party has suggested I frankly do not know.

The minister made it clear that from the government's standpoint, if something that would be viable could be put together, we would be prepared to assist. I cannot tell him whether that assistance would take the form of bridge financing or whether any financing from government would be necessary, but he made it clear that we do not preclude that if some viable alternative can be established.

The minister pointed out, and I do not know that this has altered, that it may take a period of time before this is sorted out. I do know that the minister and the ministry are very much involved in keeping on top of it, and if the minister is not here tomorrow and there is anything further I can bring the member up to date on without breaching any confidences, I will be delighted to do so.

Mr. Cassidy: Since the government was prepared to put $9.5 million into the Volkswagen plant in Barrie despite the evidence from my friend the member for Windsor-Riverside (Mr. Cooke) that this money was not even required by Volkswagen, and since we were also prepared to spend $178 million on the pulp and paper industry and lose 900 jobs, can the government not indicate that Ontario is prepared to put up $10 million as a gesture of good faith and as seed money to ensure that the Canadian Admiral plant does not go under and that those jobs are protected in Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I realize that the leader and members of the New Democratic Party are unalterably opposed to the employment created at the Ford plant in Windsor, that they are opposed to the contribution to Chrysler and that they are not enthusiastic about what we have done with Massey-Ferguson. That is why the unions are beginning to desert their party: they know who their real friends are in terms of job security; they know who can solve these problems.

The NDP do not like what we have done for Volkswagen in Barrie. I cannot wait until four years from now when the NDP candidate campaigns in Barrie and says, "If we had been in government, you would never have had this plant in Barrie." I am looking forward to that. Everywhere I go in the north, in every pulp and paper town, the NDP is in trouble, as are the Liberals, because people know we have given them job security and we have made that industry viable.

On the question of Admiral, I want to make it clear that we are anxious to see Admiral stay in business.

Mr. Cassidy: I heard the Premier's diatribe; what I failed to hear was a specific commitment that Ontario would put this money on the table and indicate it was there, that Ontario would be prepared to take equity in Admiral if Admiral were to merge with one of the other companies and continue as a viable unit.

Mr. Speaker: Question.

Mr. Cassidy: Why is this government not prepared to put the interests of the workers ahead of those of the banks by protecting their rights to severance pay and pay in lieu of notice? Why does the Premier try to dazzle us with words, and why is he not prepared to make a specific commitment for far less money than has been spent in many other cases to protect 1,700 jobs in Cambridge and Mississauga?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am very flattered that the leader of the New Democratic Party feels I can dazzle him with anything. I point out to him that he raised Volkswagen and the pulp and paper industry; I did not. It was in his question. If he thinks that he can have a preamble to his question highlighting the things he is opposed to and that I am going to sit here and not reply, then I think he does not understand the rules of the House. There is nothing to preclude my referring to observations he makes.

To deal with Admiral specifically, I made it abundantly clear --


Hon. Mr. Davis: I know. The member makes the mistake of trying to bring in other issues, and he always gets caught.

Let us deal with Admiral. The minister and I made it quite clear that the government is anxious to see Admiral remain a viable operation in some form. I think it has to have some future, some potential. I am not in a position to comment to the House on the state of discussions or negotiations; nor, obviously, am I in a position at this stage to commit the government without knowing what may or may not be on the table. That, very simply, is all I am saying.

If I have further information tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock, I will share it with the member. It may come as a bit of a surprise to him, but I have more constituents who are employees of Admiral than he has in Ottawa Centre or the Toronto Islands.

Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations.

Does he need any help finding his seat?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: No, but you do, obviously.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Peterson: They jump at nothing, don't they, Mr. Speaker?

I have a question for the minister about Admiral. It has come to my attention that in the week or two preceding the bankruptcy of Admiral a substantial amount of inventory was sold for cash at cut-rate prices to a number of dealers around this province. They are now stuck with this inventory, and there is no guarantee that they can honour the warranties, or indeed buy the parts, if those machines are sold.

What is the ministry's consumer protection branch doing about that situation so we will not create further problems for these dealers and the purchasers?

3:10 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, is the member referring specifically to the warranties question?

Mr. Peterson: And parts.

Hon. Mr. Walker: The whole parts question is subject ultimately to a successor being found. I have talked to the Minister of Industry and Tourism about this. I know how eagerly he is searching in attempting to find a successor to these people. That is a real problem.

With respect to warranties, we did look into that question. There are two kinds of warranties that come into play. There is the express warranty, which is the matter of the contract. However, because it is a contract between one and the other, it is really worth the paper it is written on. If a company is bankrupt or has gone under, then the express warranty that is directly written into the contract is not worth all that much unless there is a successor company that takes over and is prepared to honour the warranty. The Minister of Industry and Tourism has that in mind, and it is uppermost in his discussions, that there would be a continuation of the warranty.

In so far as the individual consumer is involved, the Consumer Protection Act provides that all the implied warranties granted under the Sale of Goods Act accompany the product. That means, for example, that the seller warrants the goods to be of merchantable quality, and to this extent he has a responsibility to the consumer or to the purchaser. Thus, the individual dealer would have an implied warranty by reason of the Sale of Goods Act that would be valid in terms of the purchaser when acquiring one of these goods. There is a warranty at least to that extent.

Mr. Peterson: The obvious question is, how does one collect on that from a bankrupt company with no guarantees from anyone, including the company?

Has the minister investigated whether there is a fraudulent preference or conversion of cash of any type through these large distress sales, when obviously the management knew the company was going to go bankrupt in the very near future and started to unload merchandise for cash at cut-rate prices?

Has he investigated the number of suppliers to Admiral who shipped merchandise in the last two or three weeks before the bankruptcy and who are now stuck with giant accounts receivable that they are not going to collect from that company?

Hon. Mr. Walker: We have not investigated anything that relates to the suppliers to Admiral in the last few weeks.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, has the minister investigated anything with respect to the way Admiral was stripped of its funds by the parent company and the way the company was effectively left high and dry by York-Lambton in a condition where ultimately 1,700 jobs went down the drain? Or is it the minister's view that he has no responsibility in that light at all?

Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, the only aspect of this that was touched on was last Friday in questions raised by the member for London Centre. It involved the matter of whether the Ontario Securities Commission would be involved.

The only vehicle by which some investigation or some study or some assessment could be done -- will the member please not shake his head in that direction? It should go up and down -- would be the Ontario Securities Commission. Because this is not a reporting issuer, the securities commission has absolutely no involvement. The companies --

Mr. Peterson: That is just not true.

Hon. Mr. Walker: The member knows it is true. He should check his data. I want him to go back and check his work. He should do it once for his own benefit, and he will make some important discoveries. If he needs some information, I will supply it to him. But I wish he would not come in and start saying it is not true. He should check out his own material.

The Ontario Securities Commission would not be directly involved, because it is not a reporting issuer in this whole process. The company was incorporated as a federal company under the Canada Business Corporations Act, and it is only the Canadian act that has any degree of jurisdiction.

Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege: There is a very serious disagreement here. The honourable minister has impugned the information I brought to the House.

This was a public company. It was traded over the counter. It was not exclusively owned by Admiral US. There were a small number of shares outstanding at the time of these transactions. Furthermore, this company attempted to do a squeeze-out on the minor shareholders some year and a half after; it did a reverse stock split, consolidating 1,000 shares into one share, to squeeze out some of the minor shareholders in this matter.

I respectfully submit that the honourable minister's information is incorrect. There is a series of very shady and double dealings in this company, and I am asking the minister to use his good offices to investigate this situation and all of its aspects rather than misinforming the House on these very important matters.

Mr. Speaker: It is not really a point of privilege. It is a difference in opinion, and I have no way of knowing.


Mr. Swart: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Health. Is he aware of the action that the Quebec government has taken to help the owners of homes containing urea formaldehyde foam insulation this winter? Among other things, if these people are suffering health problems, that government is going to pay relocation costs so they can move to other accommodation from their homes with urea formaldehyde foam insulation.

Is the government going to do the same thing for Ontario home owners with urea formaldehyde foam insulation? As Minister of Health, has he made such a recommendation to his colleagues in cabinet?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: As a matter of fact, Mr. Speaker, quite some time ago I asked officials of my ministry to contact officials in the Ministry of Community and Social Services and to alert our staff and theirs to the possibility that some individuals might need some assistance.

It is interesting that the question was asked today, because I checked on that this morning and I was told that to date no individuals have come forward indicating they need assistance. But the assistance is there; it is available, I am told, through social service departments. Certainly, in hardship cases, assistance would be available.

Mr. Swart: Is the minister telling us it is only for welfare cases that he is willing to provide any assistance, and that he has not yet provided any? I wonder if the Minister of Health is really aware of the horrible problems that are suffered by many occupants of homes with urea formaldehyde foam insulation. I want to send him two chunks of urea formaldehyde foam insulation. I am not sure that he is familiar with it.

Mr. Speaker: Do you have a supplementary?

Mr. Swart: In fact, I want to send the minister a whole bag of it, if I may. Let me ask the minister, seriously, will he spread this around his bedroom and sleep with the urea formaldehyde foam insulation around him all winter, like 50,000 to 75,000 other people are going to have to do in this province?

The minister has responsibility for public health. What is he going to do to resolve the serious health problems of the victims this winter?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: With respect to the honourable member and his theatrics, he is trying to leave the impression that for every individual in this province, in this country, anywhere in the world, where urea formaldehyde foam insulation has been installed, it is a matter of life and death.

That, he knows, is not true. He knows it is not true. Even the report that was prepared for the federal government, based on which a ban on the use of this material was put into place -- a ban which I support and which I would not support lifting until a lot more questions are answered -- did not make that case.

The honourable member is unnecessarily alarming a lot of people. He is being extremely irresponsible.

With the greatest of respect, even if it is not deserving, this government has done more than any other government in the country to assist individuals in getting to the root of their concerns. The best thing that we have been able to do is to perform the tests. As of last Friday, we had performed more than 3,000 tests in the province, and to date we have already provided close to 2,000 reports back to those whose homes have been tested.

The fact remains, and I acknowledge it, that in a very small number of cases --

Mr. Swart: Ten to 20 per cent.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: No. It is nowhere near it. I do not know what the member is smoking these days, but it is nowhere near that.

Mr. Speaker: Will the minister just address himself to the question, please?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I acknowledge, and have always acknowledged, that in a small number of cases the effects of the gas emitted by this material aggravate allergenic and respiratory problems in some people. In that regard, we have been pushing the federal government to establish a program to assist in those cases where the removal of the material is called for. We have had a promise from the federal Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs, Mr. Ouellet, that he would announce a program this fall.

3:20 p.m.

I submit that we have more than exceeded our responsibility in assisting the public of this province. We will do everything we can within our authority and everything we can to press the federal authorities to live up to their responsibility. This sort of theatrics does nobody any good.

Mr. Van Horne: Mr. Speaker, the minister indicated in his initial answer that there was some provision, through his ministry or the Ministry of Community and Social Services, for those extreme cases. Given that practically every member, and I would guess every member in this chamber, has at least one, two or a dozen or more people affected in his or her riding, will the minister share with us the details of this emergency plan so that we can pass it on to those constituents of ours who are concerned?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, some time ago, back in late summer or early fall, anticipating that in some cases individuals would decide to vacate their homes, whether or not the advice from their physicians or the testers indicated that was appropriate, I asked my staff to check into this matter.

I was assured by them, and they reaffirmed it this morning, that they had discussed it with officials of the Ministry of Community and Social Services, who assured them that assistance would be available in hardship cases to assist people who had to leave their homes.

To go back to the earlier question, as I understand the Quebec situation, all they are going to do is bill Ottawa for whatever it is they are going to do. What is more -- I could be wrong on this and, if so, I will gladly admit that I was wrong -- I do not believe that province, like most provinces, has done anywhere near the testing we have done to be able to tell people, on an individual basis, whether there is any difficulty indicated by the levels of gas in their homes.


Mr. Van Horne: Mr. Speaker, I have a new question for the Minister of Health. There is no law requiring the consent of the parent in the event of medical procedures being performed on people in institutions for the mentally handicapped. This consultation may or may not be carried out with the knowledge and consent of the parents of a retarded person, as we learned in the unfortunate case of the 24-year-old woman who was fitted with an intra-uterine device without her knowledge or that of her mother.

Will the minister tell us how he has responded to the September 21 request of the Health Disciplines Board to prevent such accidents or incidents in the future?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, in all 10 of the psychiatric hospitals which come under my jurisdiction, we follow the Mental Health Act, and specifically section 31(a), which deals with the question of consent for psychiatric treatment. The honourable member will recall in that regard that consent is required.

In the cases of those patients who have been certified as incompetent, we do have the authority under an amendment to the act in 1978, where a patient refuses treatment, to make application to the regional review board for permission to treat.

The honourable member will recall that this arose out of an unfortunate incident at the North Bay Psychiatric Hospital in the spring of 1978, where a patient had refused treatment, gone off his medication and, in an altercation, hit one of my staff over the head with a two by four. The member of my staff died. So I can give him that assurance with respect to my facilities.

If the member wishes, I can send him copies of that section of the act. We follow it, and it is in the manual of administration. In all the directives from my ministry, we follow it to the letter.

Mr. Van Horne: Essentially what the minister is saying is that the existing legislation is more than adequate to accommodate situations such as this. If that is the case, how is he responding to the part of the report which indicated, on page four, "The board was shocked to find out that, in a public institution dealing with mentally handicapped persons and in matters of such sensitivity, administrative procedures which the college was told had been standard practice were completely overlooked by everyone concerned."

What is the minister going to do to make sure this does not happen again?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I beg your pardon, Mr. Speaker. I thought the honourable member was referring to one of my facilities. I think the case he is referring to is that of a patient under the care of the Ministry of Community and Social Services. Perhaps I could redirect the question to my colleague the Minister of Community and Social Services, who could respond to it as regards the consent procedures used in his facilities.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, consents are required. In this case, there was an assumption that the consents had been obtained. If the honourable member wants the complete background on it, I will be glad to provide it to him. I can assure him that the most stringent steps have been taken to make sure that the administrative procedure, which is that consent has to be obtained, is being followed.


Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Premier. A few minutes ago, I believe the Premier said he did not recall any discussion among the other signatories to the accord of the sections in the charter relating to women's rights, a fact that underlines that the accord was made by 10 men who appear to be unaware of the present widespread discrimination against women in many areas of our society, such as equal pay and family law.

Now that the women of the country have let the Premier and the other chauvinist signatories know, by thousands of letters, phone calls, telegrams and protest meetings, that they oppose the inclusion in the revised version of the charter of an override clause on the two sections guaranteeing women's rights, will he do more than hand out the phone numbers of one or two Premiers and, instead, lead a movement to persuade all the signatories to reopen the question of including equality for women and aboriginal rights in the original form in the charter of rights?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I just want to disabuse the honourable member of one thing. I think the member for Kitchener-Wilmot (Mr. Sweeney) asked me if there was discussion as to what the "notwithstanding" approach would be of some of the provinces as it related to equality rights, women's rights. There was no discussion, because I do not think any Premier had made any determination on just what "notwithstanding" approach he might take.

I assure the member that this province made it very clear that we were supportive, we are supportive and we will continue to be supportive. As I say, I do not go by telexes, but I understand Nova Scotia now has said it is supportive. In that the member is far closer to the government of Saskatchewan than I will ever be, I think she might use her best offices to see what the distinguished Premier of that province might do.

I want to make it clear that our position has been clear and is clear, and I am able to say this to any person, male or female, in Ontario.

Ms. Copps: Mr. Speaker, the Premier also stated earlier that he wanted this House to know that this government would not be responsible for any implementation of the "notwithstanding" clause with respect to future negotiations vis-à-vis women's rights. How can this Premier and this government expect us to believe they will not continue to use women as a political football when, as little as two weeks ago, I introduced in a committee a measure that would have enshrined the principle of equal pay for equal work in this province and his government combined in toto to defeat that resolution?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I will not prolong this discussion. My understanding is that this already is the law of Ontario.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I want to assure the Premier that representations from this party have gone to some of our friends out in western Canada, and I now have some hopes of success in that regard.

My question to the Premier is this: Is he prepared, on behalf of this province, to see a reopening of the discussions among the Premiers in order that the two questions at issue, women's rights and aboriginal rights, could be reconsidered by the Premiers and so that a new and more positive result on both of those matters could be reflected in the accord and in the act before Parliament?

3:30 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I think they are really two matters. I do not think it is a question of reopening, because I think we made a lot of progress -- contrary, probably, to the expectations of a lot of people. That agreement is there, it is holding up and the resolution before the House reflects it. I do not think it needs reopening. People know my position, and they know the position of the other Premiers.

On the question of women's rights, there appears to be some acceptance of what we have been saying for a year. Whether this will emerge with respect to aboriginal or native rights, I quite honestly cannot tell the honourable member.


Mr. T. P. Reid: Mr. Speaker, I have a two-part question for the Minister of Natural Resources about some of the aboriginal rights and specifically about wild rice.

First, in regard to what the Premier and others have said about aboriginal rights, is there a committee working with the Indian people in Ontario and at the federal level to define what aboriginal rights are? This is a very vague concept.

Second, with respect to one of the rights the Indians see themselves as having, wild rice, is the minister considering extending the moratorium on issuing licenses to non-Indians in northern Ontario because of the lack of assistance given to the Indians in some cases to develop the market for wild rice?

Hon. Mr. Pope: Mr. Speaker, concerning the issue of whether there is a committee working on a definition of aboriginal rights: Since I became Minister of Natural Resources, there have been a number of meetings through the cabinet committee on native affairs as well as direct contact through Mr. Justice Hartt and direct meetings with the various treaty organizations representing the native people. At these meetings we have attempted to lay on the table a whole host of issues which we think relate not only to treaty rights but also to aboriginal rights.

We have started from the position that there is a need for discussion between the government of Ontario and the native people concerning the comanagement of resources. During the summer months, we attempted to provide by letter as much documentation as we could to the treaty organizations on some of our studies that emphasize the need for some restraint or control on fishing and hunting in the province.

We have also had meetings with Grand Council Treaty 9 in Webequie in August 1981 in which we discussed a treaty negotiated back at the turn of the century. This treaty recognized only one community, the community of Fort Hope; it provided for a reserve for that community, but it did not provide any guarantee of land rights for the communities of Webequie, Summer Beaver, Lansdowne House and a whole list of other communities of Indian people in northern Ontario. We indicated that one of the issues that had to be resolved through this consultation process was the definition of land as my friend and I might understand it and as the native people might understand it, including the right to the use of resources that might be located adjacent to these lands.

We have indicated that we have to settle the status of these communities through a joint federal-provincial structure, and we have started that process. At the meeting in Webequie, I indicated that we could accept eight out of the 11 conditions that were put to us by the native people of the province who were there.

Finally, we have arranged for the tripartite committee to meet on December 14 with the Honourable John Munro and a number of cabinet ministers from Ontario, along with other leaders from the treaty organizations in the province. A number of the issues that involve treaty and aboriginal rights are on the agenda for discussion there --

Ms. Copps: Time!

Hon. Mr. Pope: Time? What does the member mean? This is a very important issue to the native people of the province.

A number of issues involving aboriginal and treaty rights, including hunting and fishing, are on that agenda, not only in the context of a resolution of the applicability of regulations and laws both on the federal and provincial levels but also in the context of an explanation of whether treaty and aboriginal rights --

Ms. Copps: Time.

Hon. Mr. Pope: The member for Hamilton Centre thinks this issue is not important enough to spend some time on, but that is in direct contradiction to the position that other members across there are taking.

There will be a tripartite committee meeting on December 14. All levels will be present and all these issues are going to be on the table, including aboriginal and treaty rights. The chiefs of Ontario feel all of these issues have to be discussed, not only in the context of Ontario regulations but also treaties and aboriginal rights. With all of that on the table I think we can make some progress.

Mr. T. P. Reid: A supplementary: Would the minister indicate whether he is prepared to extend the moratorium on wild rice in order to give the Indian people the additional time needed to develop and market that product?

Hon. Mr. Pope: I am sorry, Mr. Speaker, I forgot to answer that part. Treaty 3 requested an extension of the moratorium from me at a cabinet committee on native affairs meeting that was held in early June. I indicated at that time I was not prepared to make a decision on the matter. I do understand their concern, particularly with respect to the Lake of the Woods, because in the first two years of the moratorium, the lake levels were such that they did affect the wild rice harvest.

I have indicated to Chief Robin Greene, who was then Grand Council chief, that I was prepared to look at an extension and would agree to an extension of the moratorium on Lake of the Woods but I was not prepared at this time to make any decision with respect to extending the moratorium for the rest of the area covered by Treaty 3.

In the meantime we are continuing. This is one of the issues I think is going to be discussed at the tripartite meeting and I still have not made a decision one way or the other with respect to the extension.

Mr. Stokes: Did I understand the Minister of Natural Resources to say in his initial response to the member for Rainy River he would not consider giving reserve status to Webequie, Lansdowne and Summer Beaver as an adjunct to the Fort Hope band in the same way as he did for all of the satellite communities belonging to the Big Trout Lake band? Is he going to consider reserve status for those three well-established communities?

Hon. Mr. Pope: I think the original Fort Hope reserve was set up by the federal government in negotiation with a number of native people who resided in that area. We indicated at a meeting in Webequie and in subsequent communication that we are prepared to enter into a negotiation process with a time frame for completing it. We have indicated that one of the areas that has to be resolved is the granting of legal ownership for those lands that constitute the communities.

We want to make sure when we are discussing this as a land settlement that at the same time we take care of all the other issues the native people feel are attached to the concept of land ownership -- and that is the use of the resources. So in my reply to the native people at Webequie, I indicated that all of these issues should be on the table.

There is no doubt these communities have existed since the turn of the century. They are there. There are government buildings there. There are airstrips there for people to get into the communities. We recognize they do exist. How we resolve the status of them, between reserve as opposed to an actual granting of the land from the provincial government, is something we have to resolve. But there is no doubt they exist and we have to recognize that fact.


Mr. Laughren: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Natural Resources. Even though I tried to get this question answered in the estimates I did not. It has to do with the wild rice question in Ontario.

The Premier, when he announced the moratorium on the granting of wild rice licences to non-native people in northwestern Ontario, also promised there would be development aid granted to the native people during this five-year moratorium period. In view of that, why is it Ministry of Natural Resources officials in northwestern Ontario refused any assistance to three separate bands who went to them for assistance? They were told a harvester was available for demonstration purposes only and that no seed rice would be made available to them.

3:40 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Pope: Mr. Speaker, we did have this discussion in the estimates this morning, and no doubt it is going to continue. I reiterate, if the honourable member could give me the details of the dates of those requests --

Mr. Laughren: I did.

Hon. Mr. Pope: No, he has not told me when the request was made. I read into the record that we had checked each district office in the northwestern region. They claimed no applications have been made for the use of that equipment in the year 1981 or for the coming year. If it is prior to that, we will try to dig back in the information and see if a contact was made.

The other point I put before the member in the estimates this morning was that in May and June of this year I made an offer to license under the terms of the legislation now in place in Ontario --

Mr. Laughren: It was a phoney offer.

Hon. Mr. Pope: It is not a phoney offer.

I made an offer to license specific locations of wild rice on areas that had special cultural and religious significance. I offered to provide technical and scientific advice and knowhow to be made available to the bands. I made available the offer of equipment. I have yet to hear from the organizations I addressed that offer to, about the specifics of what they want. When I do -- I say the same thing here I said this morning -- I will intervene, and we will get it under way. But I have to have some response before I can do that.


Mr. Smith: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: The members of this House have been told the Suncor deal is going to be signed tomorrow. As far as we know, that is the last we have been told about the matter, despite many attempts to get more information. The Minister of Energy (Mr. Welch), however, is quoted in this morning's Globe and Mail as saying he does not think the agreement will be signed tomorrow, that negotiations may take a little longer. I do not know why there is now this hesitation to sign tomorrow. I suppose the views of the Don Mills Conservative association, which came out very much against the deal, despite the request of the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell) that it not do so, may have been taken into consideration. In any event, it may well be there are other reasons --

Mr. Speaker: Order. That is not a point of privilege, with all respect. No, no. I am not going to debate it.




Mr. Kerr from the standing committee on procedural affairs presented the committee's fourth report on agencies, boards and commissions and moved its adoption.

Mr. Kerr: Mr. Speaker, the report covers the Ontario Racing Commission, Farm Pollution Advisory Committee, Hockey Ontario Development Committee and Ontario Place Corporation. There are 10 recommendations resulting from the committee's public meetings and deliberations, and the report follows the terms of reference from the Legislature given on April 24, 1981.

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



Mr. Shymko from the standing committee on social development reported the following resolutions:

That supply in the following amounts and to defray the expenses of the Ministry of Community and Social Services be granted to Her Majesty for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1982:

Ministry administration program, $18,262,900; adult and children's services program, $1,293,016,200;

That supply in the following supplementary amounts and to defray the expenses of the Ministry of Community and Social Services be granted to her Majesty for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1982:

Ministry administration program, $150,000; adult and children's services program, $34,375,800.


Mr. Wells moved that the estimates of the Ministry of Revenue be taken following the estimates of the Ministry of Northern Affairs in the committee of supply.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I would like to table the answers to questions 173, 187, 190, 221, 222, 237, 238, 242, 243 and the interim answers to questions 191 and 240 standing on the Notice Paper; also the response to the petition presented to the House, sessional paper 253 and private members' ballot item 17. (See Hansard for Friday, November 20).


Mr. Speaker: I beg to inform the House that in the name of Her Majesty the Queen, the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor has been pleased to assent to certain bills in his chambers.

Clerk of the House: The following are the titles of the bills to which His Honour has assented:

Bill 55, An Act to amend the Motorized Snow Vehicles Act;

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;

Bill 94, An Act to amend the Ontario Guaranteed Annual Income Act;

Bill 137, An Act to amend the Ontario Pensioners Property Tax Assistance Act;

Bill 138, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act;

Bill 142, An Act to amend the Assessment Act;

Bill 150, An Act to amend the Highway Traffic Act;

Bill Pr11, An Act respecting the Town of Lincoln;

Bill Pr13, An Act respecting Kleven Bros. Limited;

Bill Pr16, An Act respecting the City of Kitchener;

Bill Pr17, An Act respecting The Society of Management Accountants of Ontario;

Bill Pr27, An Act to revive Candore Explorations Limited;

Bill Pr30, An Act respecting the Latvian Canadian Cultural Centre.



Mr. McGuigan moved, seconded by Mr. Elston, resolution 24:

That in the opinion of this House the government should take steps to ensure that the Solicitor General's estimates contain provision for additional obligations incurred under policing agreements with municipalities made pursuant to section 64 of the Police Act, and that such provisions be commensurate with payment received from municipalities under such agreements.

Mr. Speaker: I would like to remind the honourable member he has up to 20 minutes for his presentation and he may reserve any portion of that time for his windup.

Mr. McGuigan: Mr. Speaker, I would like to reserve three minutes at the end so I would appreciate being notified by the table officers.

My introduction to the resolution at hand came shortly after my election in 1977. Shortly after that I was called on by the mayor of one of the local towns to arrange a meeting with the then Solicitor General, John MacBeth. The mayor, several members of his council and myself met with Mr. MacBeth. The interview was very amiable and gratefully received by a rookie MPP.

The then Solicitor General was sympathetic to the proposal, but he said the Ontario Provincial Police could not take over the policing of the municipality because there would be problems in financing. The problem is that when the municipality paid the moneys to the government under the contract, they would go into the consolidated revenue fund and would not be added to the Solicitor General's budget. There was a blockage in the money system at that time. I am not advocating the government change its system of receiving moneys from various sources both inside and outside the government. I believe that such moneys should go to consolidated revenue.

3:50 p.m.

An example from my riding I am familiar with is the Ridgetown College of Agricultural Technology. Suppose the livestock people there purchased 100 young cattle for feeding in the fall, fed them through the winter with feed produced on the farm and sold them in the spring. According to the luck of the draw they might show a paper profit of something in the neighbourhood of $30,000, given the general prices in recent years.

This would be a nice way of increasing the research budget if they could get away with it. But the fact is that all that money goes to the Treasurer of the province and the college would have to repeat the experiment by going to the Treasurer again and asking for that amount in the budget. I do not propose to tell the government how to complete the circle; I simply hope the Treasurer and the Solicitor General find some means of doing so.

As an aside, a visit to the office resulted in the Ontario Police Commission investigating the police force. As far as I understand, things are working very well now.

If the members choose to support my resolution I would not expect a rush for Ontario Provincial Police services. I would not in any way support the government if it decided to pressure municipalities into using OPP services. I believe the present Solicitor General (Mr. McMurtry) when he is quoted in an article in the London Free Press last June as having said, "If the citizens of a particular small community want to maintain their own police force I don't think it's up to the province to tell them they can't."

The Solicitor General is quoted as having said that more than two dozen municipalities have made requests for coverage by the OPP to replace their own local forces. He was quoted in the London Free Press article of June 27, 1981, written by Cheryl Hamilton, as having said "the present system of billing municipalities is 'out of whack' and requires revamping before the request of these municipalities can be acted upon."

The arguments for small municipal forces seem to centre on the need for local control and the home-town instincts developed by local policemen. The arguments against having a local force are that parochial political forces seem to interfere and that the system is less efficient.

I do not pretend to know which of these two systems is the better. I realize this question has been studied by people who are very knowledgeable in the field. I do have a lot of recommendations from the Pukacz report. However, I am not endorsing all those recommendations; I simply want this one move that would break the present logjam.

I ask the support of the House to provide the means so that the option to use the contract services of the OPP is available to small municipalities. I emphasize simply that the option should be available. As a matter of interest, there are 129 municipal police forces in Ontario, and the OPP brings the total to 130. There are 180 OPP detachments administered by 17 district superintendents.

I became further interested in this subject when I attended the estimates of the Provincial Secretariat for Justice in the spring of 1981. The Provincial Secretary for Justice (Mr. Walker) appeared at the meeting. I am sure if most citizens, and even some members of this assembly, were asked about it they would have the world divided into two camps as regards crime; the wicked city and the peaceful, law-abiding rural areas.

Mr. McKessock: Right on.

Mr. McGuigan: I am sorry to tell the honour- able member for Grey that is really not the case. I know he is trying to support me, but if he and other members looked at this booklet that was delivered to us just a few days ago, Crime in Ontario, they would find that crime is generally rising throughout the whole province. It is growing at a rate of about four per cent a year. The rate in the small communities is as high, and in some cases higher, than in the larger cities. I think it is a matter of record that a lot of criminals are realizing they can get away with things out in the rural areas.

In yesterday's Globe and Mail there was a report of a single occurrence. I do not say this indicts all rural areas but it does show what can happen. The report says, "Two elderly brothers were beaten and robbed in what police say is the latest in a series of thefts throughout Hope township. William Smith, 80, and Roy Smith, 76, were terrorized and robbed of their life savings by two masked gunmen Saturday night on their isolated farm about 13 kilometres south of Peterborough." This is one of a series of such events in that community.

Quoting from the provincial secretary's statistics for 1980, the trend shows violent crimes have steadily increased from 557.2 in 1972, to 628.5 per 100,000 population in Ontario in 1979. Property crimes increased from 3,914.4 per 100,000 population in 1972, to 5,159.3 in 1979. Homicides increased from 1.7 per 100,000 population in 1972, to 2.1 per 100,000 in 1979. The trend is rising in spite of the fact that the number of police per 100,000 of population also rose from 2.14 in 1972, to 2.26 in 1979. Serious traffic offences increased from 1,337 in 1972, to 1,720 per 100,000 in 1979.

The figures that caught my eye are in a table showing the actual number and rate of crimes for selected population groupings by offence in 1977. In that year large urban centres, that is those with populations of 250,000 and over, had 2.7 homicides per 100,000 population. Small centres of 25,000 to 250,000 had 1.9 -- that is a little lower -- and towns and villages with populations of 750 to 25,000 had 2.5. The rate of crime in the smaller centres is just about as great as in the larger ones.

Most other categories showed the small towns and villages are not far behind the larger centres, except for prostitution and gaming and betting. Here, the rate in small centres falls to almost zero. I guess we farmers do enough betting in the growing of our crops and livestock so we do not spend much of our time in illegal betting.

One could conclude that rural municipalities need the same sophisticated policing system as larger population centres need, and again I emphasize we should have it available to the smaller centres if and when they want it. Some eight years ago a provincial task force on policing recommended that the minimum population for a community in southern Ontario to run its own police force be set at 15,000. That shows some of the thinking by experts.

At the present time I do not know of a municipality in my riding that is pressing for Ontario Provincial Police policing, although the town of Bothwell is pressing that a suboffice be opened in the town. The reason is that Bothwell is at the very edge of the riding, and therefore, is at the end of the OPP touring area. They do not see the officers as much as the people in the centre because in the centre they see the force going both ways.

4 p.m.

I am not an expert on policing matters, so I do not know how valid the recommendation is from the Pukacz report. I think municipalities are in a position to choose and should be able to choose from the two options. According to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (Mr. Bennett), the Municipal Liaison Committee will shortly be participating, by invitation of the Solicitor General, with representatives of the police community in a review of the Police Act.

If new legislation results and my resolution passes, the intent of my resolution could be completed in this review or in the introduction of a new act. I am also aware the Solicitor General has recently received authority to add 125 officers to the force. We applaud this positive move. However, we believe these officers will be assigned to present detachments rather than adding to the number of attachments.

In summary, these small municipalities should have a choice, their own choice, either to hire their own force or contract with the Ontario Provincial Police.

Mr. Breaugh: Mr. Speaker, I would like to join in support of the resolution. I think it speaks to a problem that is reasonably well known and a matter of some concern in many parts of the province -- that is, what happens in regard to policing in our smaller municipalities.

This government has moved in the last few years to provide incentives to regional police forces. I think that is simply a response to an immediate need. There are many areas in the province under regional government which are, in effect, large urban centres, much like Metropolitan Toronto. On the outskirts of Metro, in York, Durham and Peel regions, in addition to those down through the peninsula, one will see rather sophisticated police forces being set up because they took in rather large amounts of territory. For example, in the region of Durham, there were several smaller forces. In that case, the process was centred in the city of Oshawa and that force, in essence, was expanded to take on additional responsibilities for policing an area roughly the size of Prince Edward Island.

There is a regional police force there and one can readily understand that this government, although in my view it has never really made sufficient commitment for financial resources for the development of those regional police forces, has at least had the presence of mind to respond to the crisis situation of providing a communications network, providing vehicles to cover that kind of geography and recruiting, training and setting up a police force which can establish that.

Somewhere along the line, the small communities have not been well looked after as part of the process. Some would have between 200 and 300 people. Most have never had a police force of their own. Almost all the communities of that size I am aware of have for some time now been serviced by the Ontario Provincial Police.

But there are smaller towns like Picton, Cobourg and Napanee that had their own police forces for a lengthy period of time. One sees the irony there: in a smaller municipality they are bearing the financial burden of running their own police force, whereas other communities not far away from them had their policing services provided by the OPP at virtually no cost to the municipality. In a few cases there are contractual arrangements.

One gets to look at the sort of dog's breakfast of how policing is financed throughout Ontario. More than that, there is some inequity in the financial arrangements. Listening to the current Solicitor General, I get the sense from most of his public statements on small towns and their police forces that, by and large, he shares my view that probably the single most dramatic and important aspect of police work is identification of a police officer with the community he or she serves.

For example, in many parts of Metropolitan Toronto we are now beginning to recognize that police officers do not know the community they are serving. They do not know what the needs of that particular community are and they have some difficulty relating to the citizens who live in that small area of town. That gets them into trouble right away. But, more important, the community does not know the police officer. So a police officer becomes someone who roars up to a crisis situation in a cruiser with the lights blazing.

In most parts of small-town, rural Ontario, a police officer is someone we know from the ball park, from the rink. He is somebody who lives on our street, somebody we see around town. We know that person. We know him in social, noncrisis situations. If a problem does erupt, it is someone whom at least we recognize, and probably like, who intervenes in a police manner. It puts a wholly different tenor on the work of a police officer. Out of that ought to come, in the great tradition of the British bobby, a police force known by its community and, more important, a police force that knows the community it serves.

One hears the Solicitor General from time to time recognizing that as probably the single most important factor in police work. But despite all the technological changes that have occurred in police work over the last few years and despite how sophisticated the larger forces have become, if they do not know who it is they are policing and if we do not know them, we have made their job very difficult from the start.

We hear the Solicitor General say that, and yet if we look across the financial pages of the municipalities, we will see that all of the little municipalities are having trouble financing a local police force. If we read the reports done by the Ontario Police Commission, we will find complaints against small forces are being investigated at a record rate. There are complaints these small forces cannot be as sophisticated; that should not be a surprise to anybody, because they cannot be as sophisticated as larger urban forces.

Somewhere in the process, one has to recognize that there is going to have to be coordination of the kinds of resources that police forces have. I suggest that is possible now in Ontario by lifting up the telephone and using the Centre of Forensic Sciences or the investigative teams that are available in the urban centres. The basic chore of police work, that is keeping the peace, is probably best done by a small local police force.

What also strikes me is that if we say to plumbers and electricians and the rest of society that here is the course they must go through and they need to have the piece of paper before they can do the work, we should say the same thing to our police officers.

I am not an advocate of taking someone off the street who happens to be a large physical specimen and saying: "You are now a police officer. Wear this gun and follow these rules." It strikes me that police officers have an obligation to get trained just like everybody else. Ironically, in many parts of the province we have police officers who have had virtually no training other than on-the-job training. It seems to me that is something that can and should be corrected, because we do have a police college at Aylmer and several other police schools they can go to.

This resolution that is before us today speaks to one of the problems that is there, that rather perverse set of statistics on financing police forces around Ontario. I do not suggest for a minute that the resolution is a quick solution to it all, but I will support it simply on the basis that it points out a large measure of unfairness between the way policing is financed in a small rural community, between one rural community and another, between those in the regional police forces and between those in the large urban centres.

It also strikes me that it begs the question; by addressing ourselves to this resolution, we sooner or later get to the point where we ask ourselves, "Are we really over-policed?" In many respects, I believe there is a lot of truth in that one. There are at least three levels of police forces at work in most parts of the province that we can identify; there are the local forces, the Ontario Provincial Police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Which is not to say there are not some other police forces at work out there, or different branches, that we do not know about.

But I do know that in my own area I have seen, for example, some big press announcements of drug busts as a result of joint efforts by three levels of police involving sometimes 50 to 60 officers laying 60 or 75 charges for possession of drugs. I always take the time to follow through what happens with these great joint ventures, breaking up crime in my own home town. After all those charges have been laid, how many really stand the test of going through the courts? I am amazed to report that on at least one or two recent occasions they have laid something like 60 or 75 charges and only one makes it through the courts.

That gets me to the point where I ask the question: Why was this great joint venture put together in the first place? Why all the great fanfare when the arrests are made and there does not seem to be a subsequent fanfare at the other end of the process?

4:10 p.m.

When one begins to look at the financing of policing in this province, sooner or later one might also get around to the point where one examines just how well co-ordinated this police effort is. The previous speaker mentioned that it might be easier to commit a crime in certain parts of the province than it would be in, say, downtown Toronto. I am not terribly sure that is true. It might be possible for someone to commit a crime in a rural part of Ontario and no one would see him for a little while, but I suspect that in the middle of downtown Toronto, one of the most heavily policed areas in the province, there is also a lot of activity going on that the police do not know anything about.

The resolution talks about one part of the problem that people face in setting up policing in this province. It does not speak to the totality of the problem that is there and, frankly, it does not offer much of a solution to this particular problem. But I do think it brings the attention of the House to the inequities that exist.

It makes no sense to me, to use a situation I am familiar with, why Napanee has a municipal police force and bears the cost of that with the existing grants in place, while two miles out of town the policing is carried on by the Ontario Provincial Police and that comes almost directly from the general taxpayers in Ontario. I am sure the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are also working in that area. A little farther down the road, I know that the city of Kingston is having difficulty with its police force in providing the level of service it thinks is necessary. Then in a village like Bath there is no local force; policing there, too, is provided by the OPP.

There are different strokes for different folks and no real common set of rules as to how they get their financial houses in order to provide a standard level of policing around the province.

I want to conclude by saying that I have not heard anybody, not even the Solicitor General, make a claim that the level of police protection offered to the citizens of Ontario is the same everywhere. I think there is an acknowledgement that this is not true, and this resolution speaks at least to getting the financial house in order.

Mr. Treleaven: Mr. Speaker, as a new boy, I have to go at this matter very slowly and carefully. First, I want to refer to the resolution of the member for Kent-Elgin. When he uses the words "additional obligations," he must be referring to one of two things, either obligations in the meaning of duties or obligations in the meaning of money; it must be one or the other. If one examines section 64 of the Police Act, as referred to in his resolution, one comes to the decision that his resolution has little meaning if duties are concerned and, therefore, he must be meaning money.

Mr. Eakins: That is important, too.

Mr. Treleaven: Yes, it is important. But on a point of order, Mr. Speaker, this resolution, if it is acted on, will result in the expenditure of public funds. Since time is of the essence, I am not going to read standing order 15 --

Hon. Mr. Bernier: It is out of order.

Mr. Treleaven: The resolution is out of order in terms of the expenditure of public funds.

Mr. Eakins: No. That's only true in private members' bills.

Mr. Treleaven: Standing order 15 sets that forth. If the member reads standing order 15 --

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Cousens): The honourable member is declaring an opinion. The resolution has been accepted as being in order. Your point of order is not accepted; so you may speak to the motion that is on the floor.

Mr. Treleaven: I recognize that the resolution does not have the power of a bill, but I submit that section 15 of the standing orders makes it quite clear that neither a bill nor a resolution may direct the allocation of public funds unless it is introduced by a cabinet minister and authorized through the Lieutenant Governor.

I also recognize that opinions may be divided. There may be and there will be moral suasion on the government. If this resolution passes, the government then will be persuaded to follow it. It would be embarrassed not to follow it. The member is dealing with public funds, and this resolution is entirely out of order.

The Acting Speaker: I say to the honourable member, the motion begins, "That in the opinion..." Therefore, this motion is totally in order.

Mr. Ruston: You had better go back to law school and learn a little bit.

Mr. Treleaven: Mr. Speaker, you have ruled against me and, since there have been precedents set both ways -- I am sure in coming to that ruling you are aware of the precedents, both in the Mother of Parliaments and in this House, going both ways -- I ask you to provide this House, at a later date, with examples of rulings both ways so that the matter may be clarified and our standing orders modified to follow your ruling.

With respect, I suggest your ruling and the standing orders are not compatible. However, you having ruled, I wish to state a few words about the substance of the question.

I am certain my colleague across the House has the greatest of motives: the best possible policing service in the province. However, I want to draw attention to the last part of the motion. It states that the provision should be commensurate with the payments received from the municipalities under such agreements. What the member is suggesting is a linkage of the dollars paid with the additional obligations. He is trying to equate the two.

The decision as to whether a service is commensurate with payment received would be entirely subjective, drawn strictly upon the lines as to those that are paying and those that are receiving. When a municipality enters into a contract for policing, it goes into the consolidated revenue fund. When the Solicitor General makes allowances for policing in estimates, that is an entirely separate decision by a separate department. There is no linkage or connection between the two. The problem manifests itself at that point. The municipality, of course, expects the money to be equated. It expects it to go into boots, squad cars, uniforms, et cetera.

Mr. Eakins: Like buying an airplane for the Premier (Mr. Davis).

Mr. Treleaven: No. Municipalities have not yet bought any jets that I have heard of in Ontario.

Mr. Eakins: Money goes towards it, though.

Mr. Treleaven: But the municipalities do not believe it is; they believe it is going to go into the boots, badges and the walkie-talkies.

Mr. Eakins: They are being short-changed.

Mr. Treleaven: However, in reality what we face here is that different police forces in Ontario may have different standards. The money may go into upgrading of training, sending them to the police college at Aylmer -- is it the skid school that my friend the member for Oshawa (Mr. Breaugh) likes to refer to? In the expenditure of these funds, even in the instances where the money is equated, there may be an overrun. In fact, the services rendered may exceed the amount of dollars set aside. This will bring around several problems.

Number one, I do not think the member for Kent-Elgin would have suggested that if the dollars overrun the services or if the services are in rural municipalities where they are not being paid for, the police services should be withdrawn. Either where it is not paid for or immediately when the gong goes the services are used up for the dollars, I do not think the member is suggesting the services should be withdrawn.

A second problem is that it is a user-pay concept. He is suggesting this linkage and therefore, he is into a user-pay concept: so many dollars, so many services. He is asking that should go in.

In conclusion, let me say that I do support the high standards of the Ontario Provincial Police. In recent years they have done an excellent job, and it is reflected by the high levels of public confidence the force enjoys. However, the increased size of the force needed to enter into these contracts assumes there is an unlimited source of funds; that is not so. That is why, in the area of municipal policing, it becomes necessary to evaluate existing practices and other improvements rather than to try to use the dollars and equate services. That is entirely unworkable, because the left hand and the right hand have no connection. The member is trying to create an unworkable linkage.

4:20 p.m.

The member opposite, being from a rural-urban constituency and being aware of how important the issue of policing is to many municipalities, I am sure means well, but the resolution would create more problems than it would solve. Therefore, I ask my fellow members to vote in the negative, even though I would submit, were I able to do so, that the resolution is out of order and I would not have had to make this speech.

The Acting Speaker: I want to respond to the point of order of the honourable member. Looking at the standing orders of the assembly, number 15 refers very clearly to "any bill, resolution, motion or address, the passage of which would impose a tax or specifically direct the allocation of public funds."

This motion we have before us today is, in my opinion, not directly or specifically seeking the allocation of such funds and, therefore, the suggestion that it is out of order is not in context.

Mr. Eakins: Mr. Speaker, I very much appreciate your decision. When it is accepted by this House, I am sure it will be very much in order. I appreciate that you have reinforced that. I will be very disappointed indeed if the members of the government party do not support this. In fact, I say to the honourable member, I am sure they will support it. I would be very much surprised if they did not.

I appreciate very much that the member for Kent-Elgin has introduced this resolution. I commend him for it, for I feel it is time that we talked more about policing in Ontario. I think it is very timely, because the police in the province have been under a great deal of criticism for some time.

While we might reflect and say that perhaps some of it is of their own doing, I think that much of the criticism has to do with the inequities in policing in Ontario. I believe it was in May 1980 that I introduced a private members' resolution pointing out the inequities in the funding of police forces in Ontario, that our municipal forces were not being funded at the proper level to do the job that is expected of them.

We need good municipal police forces in Ontario. I also agree with my colleague that those municipalities with smaller forces, whether they have 10 members, five members or fewer, which might want to be policed by the Ontario Police Commission, should have that opportunity.

Also, if they want to maintain their own municipal force, they should have that opportunity too, provided they can carry out that function in accordance with the regulations of giving good police service in this province.

I have had some experience with the municipal police forces, and I am pleased to say, for instance, that in the town of Lindsay we do have what I think is one of the finest municipal forces in Ontario. I am also proud that the chief of that force is the president, this year, of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police.

I say not all municipal forces should be under Ontario Provincial Police, but if they cannot afford the funding, and they have other needs, then they should have that option. I point out also that some municipalities that have opted for the Ontario Provincial Police have decided to maintain their own forces, because there are other hidden costs, such as supplying your own bylaw officers, which is something they did not realize before.

We must also take a look at the fact that there is a great deal of difference in the operation of a municipal force and of the Ontario Provincial Police. Regardless of that, if there are problems with our police forces in this province, we do have the Ontario Police Commission, which should be very active in ensuring that the standards of policing are up to par. I do not believe we should be waiting until a municipal police force gets into trouble, and then dump on the police, saying this is the problem with municipal forces, that they are not doing their job.

I believe the Ontario Police Commission has a job to do. They should have been doing it before, and I am pleased to see that there is more activity in carrying out their mandate at present. We have good municipal forces, and the Ontario Police Commission should be more active in seeing that there is a high standard of policing in these municipalities.

Many of the problems and concerns can be summarized in statements that were made in the standing committee on public accounts on May 1, 1980, by Mr. Hilton, who was then the Deputy Solicitor General. I want to quote some of his remarks to highlight some of the problems. He said:

"We have in the province of Ontario a hotchpotch of relationships between the Ontario Provincial Police and certain municipalities. We have some municipalities that pay for their policing; we have other municipalities that do not pay for their policing. Some municipalities pay part of their policing; some municipalities have police grants of $15; other municipalities have grants of $10." I want to refer to this in a moment also.

"This has been of some concern to me," Mr. Hilton says. "I brought it to the attention of Mr. McMurtry, and it is of some concern to him. The establishment of a regional government is one problem that affected the dual grant structure." He goes on to mention some of the inequalities among the various municipalities.

He says: "Representation has been made to the minister and to myself by certain small rural towns that say it should be the other way around, and I can say there is some justification in their arguments. They say, 'When we go out to buy a police car, we buy one; when we go out to buy uniforms, we buy three. A region goes out and buys them cheaper by the dozen. We are the ones who should be getting the higher grants, rather than the larger places that have greater purchasing power.' I am not prepared to say whether that is right or wrong; I do not know, but I think it is something that should be seriously looked at."

One of the problems among our various police forces is the fact that our municipal forces are in some trouble because they do not have the same per capita grant as the large regional municipalities. There is a difference of $5; it was $10 and $15, but I believe it has now been raised to $12 and $17. The rural municipalities and smaller towns need that funding because of the problems associated with their police forces, because they have extra responsibilities and because they have miles of extra road and area to cover. I therefore feel that a difference of $5 should not exist.

Policing and problems associated with policing have been seriously looked at, and I regret that most members of this House and of the public are not aware of the Pukacz report, which was authorized by an order in council of this government to look into policing and other services in Ontario. I urge all members to get that report and take a look at it, because they will find some very interesting facts in it.

If our municipalities are to be served and protected, our police forces must have adequate facilities, training and the latest, most up-to-date equipment. This means adequate financing. If they are to be involved in crime detection and crime prevention, they cannot be expected to carry out the functions they are currently saddled with.

The transportation of prisoners -- and this was in the Pukacz report -- is performed in each case at the direction of the courts. I agree with Mr. Pukacz that this does not and should not fall within the responsibilities and functions of our law enforcement agencies. Why should well-paid and highly trained police officers with their various benefits be acting as chauffeurs in a shuttle service that moves prisoners from courts to jails and back again? I think it is wrong.

This report states that the use of specially trained and highly remunerated police officers for custodial functions on the way to court and in the courts could be performed at much lower cost by trained civilian staff or by custodial or special officers. This is one of the reasons why the costs of municipal policing are high.

I strongly support the resolution of my colleague the member for Kent-Elgin, because it highlights some of the problems associated with policing in Ontario. I hope all members of the House will support the principle of this resolution, and I am sure the members of the government party are going to support it. I will be very surprised if they do not, for it points out needs that are recognized even by the government and by one of the deputy ministers of the Solicitor General's ministry.

In closing, I want to say that we must support policing in Ontario, whether it is additional Ontario Provincial Police funding and officers that are needed or whether it is good municipal police forces. I commend my colleague the member for Kent-Elgin for introducing this resolution and thank him for the opportunity to speak on it.

4:30 p.m.

Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, this resolution appears to be aimed at correcting a practice this government all too often follows, namely, collecting money for cost-sharing a responsibility from another level of government and then diverting some of that money to other purposes.

It has been done by the province in health, post-secondary education and many other fields. It undermines the whole principle of cost- sharing when there is no direct connection between the amount paid by the level of government purchasing the service and the amount actually spent on that service.

The member for Oxford suggested the resolution was out of order because it dealt with the spending of public funds. But it is not asking for extra funds; it is simply asking that the money paid by the municipalities which contract for OPP services should be spent on OPP services. The money should be spent in terms of delivering the services they contracted to buy.

The way to deal with that and to make sure it happens is to set forth in the agreements that the contract will cover so many officers, so many posts in the area, so many additional support staff and so on, and that there be a regular accounting of whether those commitments have been met. Then it should be reported in the public accounts that those commitments have been met, that the contract has provided exactly what was purchased, or the Provincial Auditor should not pass the accounts.

If one looks at the public accounts, one finds that the Solicitor General received a total of $1.8 million in 1979-80 from municipalities that signed agreements with the ministry for OPP policing. In the previous year, the ministry received a total of $1.6 million. These are not small sums. The public accounts and the estimates do not show exactly what that money was spent on. This is the purpose of this resolution, to see that the money paid by the municipalities for OPP services is actually spent on those municipalities and is providing them with a specific set of services.

In 1979-80, there were 12 municipalities that signed contracts. This does not seem like a very great number, but it does give the smaller municipalities the option of choosing whether to run their own services or to buy OPP services. As the introducer of the resolution has mentioned, there are arguments on both sides.

A local police service may be thought of as being closer to the people. It is often staffed by people who grew up in the community. It may have a better public image because people regard it as their police force. On the other hand, an OPP unit coming into the community may bring in people who have had no previous connection with the community. It introduces bureaucracy. It often means a complaint has to be relayed to a distant supervisor.

I believe the complaints about police activities should not go to the police; they should go to an independent body so that people feel there will be an independent investigation if there are complaints of unsatisfactory service or treatment.

We do have legislation to encourage municipalities to set up their own police forces. Grants are provided in the unconditional grants legislation, but as one of the previous speakers pointed out, the grants are much higher for regions than they are for area municipalities.

While there may be some differences in costs, if the province wishes to encourage local municipalities to set up their own police forces, those police grants should be increased. Until this year, they had not been increased since 1977. Four years went by with no grant increase. Then in January, as a sort of pre-election goodie, it was announced they were going to be increased by the magnificent sum of $2 per capita.

That raised the grants for regional municipalities from $15 per capita to $17. It raised the grants for area municipalities from $10 to $12 per capita.

In the larger cities, policing costs as much as $50 or more per capita. In the smaller municipalities, it probably costs about two thirds of that. So the police grant is providing only about one third of the total cost, and there is this gap between the regions and the area municipalities.

I maintain if the province wants to encourage local police forces -- and I think there are a lot of arguments in favour of it -- they should close the gap between the two kinds of police grants. Give all of them the same per capita amount, because the smaller municipality needs the money perhaps to cover a wider area, a more scattered area, a smaller population, and in some cases a more diverse set of problems. They cannot specialize as much. They may also have to purchase some specialized services, such as the Ontario Provincial Police's laboratory services. They need money for that -- a supplementation of what they can provide themselves.

I hope if this resolution passes, and I support it, we will first of all have an accounting of what is done with the money paid by municipalities contracting with the OPP to perform their services. In addition we will look at the whole police grant situation and try to see if we cannot encourage more municipalities to operate their own police forces.

Mr. Barlow: Mr. Speaker, I would also like to comment on the honourable member's resolution. Many members in the House will recognize the policing agreement in question emanates from section 64 of the Police Act, as it states in the resolution. The act states that "the Solicitor General may enter into an agreement with the council of any municipality for policing of the whole or any part of the municipality, or with any company for the policing of an area by the Ontario Provincial Police force."

It goes on to state that in municipalities having a board, "no agreement shall be entered into under this section, except at the request of the board." In light of the nature of this legislation I would ask the honourable member to consider whether this resolution would not damage the integrity of the Police Act, as it is stated above.

I say this for three different reasons. First of all, it should be clear to everyone this resolution impinges on the authority of the government to allocate funds, as it sees fit, to the multitude of areas of government responsibilities.

4:40 p.m.

My second reservation about this resolution is more related to what it would do to the system. It should be noted that when the honourable member presses the Solicitor General to make additional obligations on existing policing agreements he injures both the present police funding process and the 262 municipal police forces across the province.

The fact is those regions in Ontario without a municipal police force of their own receive protection from the Ontario Provincial Police which is financed as a whole by the province. In light of this let us all be reminded of the words of the Ontario Police Commission in stating the primary responsibility on behalf of the citizens of this province.

The commission proclaims, "We envisage this province policed by a system of sizeable, efficient municipal police forces which, with a deployed Ontario Provincial Police force, will provide a network of protection to the people of this province, all linked together by intercommunication, co-operation and co-ordination of effort."

Inherent in this statement of objectives is the diverse nature of duties that our police forces, both municipal and OPP, perform. Nevertheless, it also acknowledges the close association of the forces and the intermeshing of their responsibilities. With this in mind I fail to see how the resolution furthers that aim. Surely no one will debate the fact Ontario is a community of widely diverse and heterogeneous areas.

I feel it is important we do not disturb the two-pronged approach to policing this diverse province, nor do I believe we should condone attempts to alter the per capita funding procedure for police services.

Perhaps it would be generally agreed regional municipalities have the need for a larger policing effort. Large urban centres, sprawling industrial areas, outlying urban communities, all of these environments need sophisticated, modern police protection. To provide this service, regional forces must spend more for equipment, stations and manpower. Compared with the needs of the rural areas, the policing of regional municipalities requires --

Mr. Kerrio: You told us regional government was going to be more efficient.

Mr. Barlow: It is. That is what I am saying.

Mr. Kerrio: You just said you have to spend more money. Make up your mind.

Mr. Barlow: That's right. They do, but they have a bigger area to serve. I think the member agrees with that.

Mr. Epp: You don't believe that.

The Acting Speaker: Order.

Mr. Barlow: I think it is a more efficient service in our community. The member for Waterloo North knows it is. This is especially the case when we consider the superb policing job performed in the outlying rural communities by the Ontario Provincial Police.

Mr. Kerrio: That's regional government for you. You're saying it but you don't believe it.

Mr. Barlow: Certainly I do. I have always stood up for the police forces and their efficiency.

My final concern with the resolution deals with the effect it would have in areas of additional ministerial funding.

We live in a period of restraint. I do not think I should have to remind any of the honourable members of that. It would be wrong to vote this resolution in the affirmative when the arguments for its passage have been so unpersuasive, in my opinion. The structure of policing in Ontario risks damage with its passage and further the privileges of the government to formulate budgeting policy are held in disrespect. I conclude my discussion by asking we responsibly consider the implications of this resolution and the unfortunate ramifications of its passage.

Mr. McGuigan: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for Oshawa. As he stated, my resolution does not address all the problems, but I was not attempting to solve all the problems. I admit there are many. Some municipalities receive free policing services due to considerations made years ago. The Pukacz report speaks about 17 per cent of the taxpayers receiving free policing. On top of that, their municipalities receive the $12 or $17 per capita, depending whether they are in a county or a region. But I am not addressing that and I do not see how our resolution addresses that or changes it in any way, as some members have tried to suggest.

I really do not think I should respond to the arguments of the member for Oxford because his point was out of order and I think his arguments are also out of order. But I do ask that he reconsider his position on this resolution. I would ask him why one community, for whatever reason and through whatever political actions were taken in the past, should now be denied the option of contracting for OPP services.

I certainly believe in the principle, as I mentioned earlier, of returning money to the consolidated revenue fund. We are not asking, as was suggested, that dollar-for-dollar arrangements be made between the contracting body and the Solicitor General. We simply want to open up the process so new communities that might want to use the OPP would find a mechanism to allow them to be paid for their services in sufficient amounts, but not on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

I am surprised the government members are opposed to the resolution when the Solicitor General has on previous occasions endorsed the principle of my resolution. It is rather strange we would find this opposition. It makes one wonder, as in so many other instances, what they are trying to hide. I thank the member for Victoria-Haliburton and the member for Beaches-Woodbine for their support and I respectfully urge all members to support it.

In conclusion, I cannot see any injury to the present arrangement as suggested by the member for Cambridge (Mr. Barlow). There is no attempt to alter present funding arrangements, although I admit perhaps there is need to do so, as suggested by Emil K. Pukacz. My resolution, if passed, would simply allow municipalities that are now hiring their own police force to change that force to the OPP. I think in many cases those officers who might be affected would probably be allowed to enter the OPP stream through their schooling system, so there would be very little change in jobs. The money would be allowed to be paid to the government through whatever means the government would choose -- not because of my resolution; the Solicitor General's budget would accommodate that.


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

Mr. Swart: Mr. Speaker, this bill is brought before the House on two counts today within the context of a deplorable situation for home owners with urea formaldehyde foam insulation. First, they are experiencing disastrous health and financial problems. No home owners could be in a worse position today than if they had to renew their mortgages and at the same time have homes insulated with urea formaldehyde foam. Second, there is a total absence of any remedial action by government, provincial or federal, in this province.

I think the health and financial problems of the UFFI home owners are so obvious and have been so well documented that I am not going to deal with them at great length here today. I have numerous newspaper clippings and other documentation I could use. For instance, Harold Stevens, a chemist from Port Hope, when speaking in Waterloo stated that urea formaldehyde foam insulation causes brick mortar to weaken and can cause brick homes to come tumbling down. He says the potential damage is in the billions of dollars.

4:50 p.m.

I have another newspaper clipping from August of this year, "Cancer Linked to Foam Gas. 'A new study has shown conclusively formaldehyde gas causes cancer in rats,' says Dr. Arthur C. Upton of the New York University Medical Centre."

I have a newspaper item here from the medical officer of health in Brantford. He says there is no question in his mind the gas is causing serious problems. Dr. Breysse, who is an associate professor in the department of environmental health of the University of Washington and who has been doing work in this field for 20 years, says it is a health hazard; it is not good as insulation and it is extremely hazardous in fires.

If we need any more documentation, I suggest the members of this House should read the National Research Council documents and the final report of the advisory committee to the government which was tabled this year on April 23 in the federal House.

If one does not believe all of those documents, he could ask people who have urea formaldehyde foam insulation in their homes. It is a frightening experience for many of them. Some of them tell me they thought they were going out of their minds until they found it was the urea formaldehyde foam insulation.

The only experts who minimize the problem are the ones hired by the industry. Some members may think I am overstating the case, but anyone who does not think there are massive problems created by UFFI is either not reading the documentation or deliberately misreading it or is not talking to the UFFI home owners. If members want to talk to some of them in the gallery today I am sure they can bear out what I say.

It is the worst environmental problem ever faced in Canada. If the 100,000 homes and the 250,000 people living in them comprised one city it would be a disaster area, a calamity of immense proportions, far surpassing any floods or other natural or man-made disasters.

Never have victims been more innocent, more blameless for their plight. They were being good citizens. They were willingly carrying out the urging of government and they were using a material and doing it in a way the governments were promoting.

The inaction of the governments in remedying this problem is, I suggest, totally inexcusable. The degree of the continuing problem has been known for many months and many years.

It was approved, as we know, in 1977 by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and under the Hazardous Products Act for use. There were warnings by the National Research Council at that time. In 1979, when the approval for use was lifted by an official of CMHC, within three days political forces were brought to bear and it was reinstated. That 20-year senior member of CMHC, Mr. George Brewer, resigned as a result of it.

The studies of the problems resulted in the temporary ban in December 1980. The final report of the expert committee was tabled on April 23, 1981, seven months ago. At that time a permanent ban was placed on it. The buck- passing on this matter, during all of these years and particularly during those last several months, has been almost unbelievable.

I want to quote two statements: The Honour- able Mr. Timbrell, in Hansard of May 12, 1981, in an answer to me said, "The responsibility very clearly is on the shoulders of the level of government which approved the use of the product in the first place, the federal government."

Then if we take the federal Hansard of October 27, 1981, the Honourable Mr. Ouellet in replying to a question on this in the federal House said, "The honourable member, like many other Canadians, is mistaken when he says it is the Canadian government's fault that this product was used by the home owners in the first place. Much of the blame lies with the provinces which failed to set very specific standards when large numbers of contractors started getting into the home insulation business."

There is an example of the buck-passing and there is no question about it that both levels of government are to blame.

The federal government report on the testing of 4,000 homes to determine the seriousness, was to be in by September. Then it was supposed to be in by November, then November 30, and now we know it is not likely to be in until the new year. Then there will probably be no action by the federal government. Even if it ultimately does decide to do something, it will be well into next year.

The province itself has been extremely negligent. It did not bar the use of urea formaldehyde foam insulation under the building code. The government had the power, and we extracted this acknowledgement from the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Walker) in the justice committee the other day. He said they had the power to change the legislation, to prohibit it.

The government did not make a building permit a requirement, as it could have done, to ensure it was put in properly. It should have known the problem. I know the ministry is relying largely on the federal government, but it had authority and responsibility, particularly in the public health field, and in that field the responsibility rests totally with the government of Ontario. Yet it did nothing.

I must admit that ultimately, but only under great pressure, the government did commit itself to a more comprehensive testing program than in any other province. Now we are moving along at something less than an acceptable pace, but we are moving along. By the end of October, there had been some almost 7,000 tests requested and some 2,500 carried out.

I want to point out the results of those tests, and they were contrary to what the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell) said in the House today. We got this information from the Ministry of Health just yesterday, and when I said between 10 per cent and 20 per cent homes had a major problem the minister laughed at me. The facts are the ministry itself showed that 13.2 per cent of the houses tested and reported on to date show the level above 0.1. So we do have numbers between 10 and 20 per cent. The testing to date is just confirming the seriousness of the situation. In the Niagara Peninsula the number of tests taken there show that something like 30 per cent of the homes are above the 0.1 level.

I acknowledge many members of this government are concerned and want help for the victims in their constituencies. I know the members for Scarborough-Ellesmere (Mr. Robinson), High Park-Swansea (Mr. Shymko) and St. George (Ms. Fish) have stated that. The member for Fort William (Mr. Hennessy) appeared at a meeting in his riding and said he is going to write the Ontario Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations and request assistance for the home owner. He plans to contact Ontario's Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) and then to be sure of some action, he will bring the matter up with the Premier (Mr. Davis) and the Minister of Northern Affairs (Hon. Mr. Bernier). Here in this bill today, we have the opportunity to do something about the situation.

Certainly action by the government is overdue. The problem has been documented and analysed. One would not think much of a doctor who diagnosed a serious illness and then did not provide any available remedial treatment. People have the right to apply the same yardstick or metre stick to this government. This government must use the remedial measures available to it. This is the reason for my bill and the three accompanying resolutions.

I think we recognize today that Quebec has moved ahead of this province in providing some remedial measures for the home owners with urea formaldehyde foam insulation who are having health problems.

The three resolutions I have tabled are in themselves very important. It means municipalities shall licence contractors removing the urea formaldehyde foam insulation. The building code will be amended to require a building permit for removing it so there can be inspection and there can be testing before it is retrofitted. It would also require the Ontario government to reduce property assessment value by an amount equal to the reduction in the value because the home owners have urea formaldehyde foam insulation.

It is inconceivable and unforgivable that the Minister of Revenue (Mr. Ashe) has not taken the initiative. In fact, by not lowering the value of those homes for assessment purposes he is contravening his own act.

5 p.m.

But apart from the three resolutions my bill is the most important. It provides a method of getting the UFFI out in cases where it is causing an immediate problem. I have a statement here by Dr. Peter Breysse, who is the leading expert on this, which says, "Tear the stuff out. It is really the only answer to it."

My bill is straightforward. It is somewhat similar to the one in Massachusetts. According to it an owner or tenant with health problems due to UFFI applies to the municipal building inspector for an order to remove the UFFI. The building inspector assembles, inspects and forwards the documentation of the problem to the provincial director of the building code. The director may issue an order to one or all three of the installers, distributors and manufacturers to remove the UFFI and return the building to its former condition, or where the owner has already removed it, reimburse him for his cost. There is an appeal to a commercial registration appeals tribunal to assure it is fair, and the order is enforceable through filing with the county, district or supreme courts.

I hope no one tries to kill this bill by saying the province cannot do it constitutionally. I have checked with three lawyers knowledgeable in the powers of the province, I have checked with the Legislative Library research and I have a document from them I will not read because of time but which indicates very clearly this province has the power to pass this bill.

Perhaps I could just read a statement by Peter Hogg, an authority on the constitutional law of Canada. It says, "The law of contract is mainly within provincial power under property and civil rights in this province."

There is sound reason to believe that it is within the competence of this province to enact and enforce this bill. I recognize this bill in itself does not provide a solution to all home owners with UFFI; those who do not have a health problem, for instance, are not covered by it. But it could sort out the whole liability issue and involve the federal government. If it results in court cases, as it likely will, the federal government can be drawn in as a defendant.

Incidentally, the Massachusetts legislation is now before the courts and is awaiting a decision. It will likely be made before the end of this year and will likely be favourable to the legislation. If it goes to court it has the advantage that the case will be between the province and the companies and huge costs will not be assessed to individuals.

I also hope no one uses the excuse that we should not pass this because it will shift emphasis away from the federal government's responsibility. Some of these companies do have a responsibility. It is recognized that auto manufacturers, where there is a hazard in the automobile, must make it right: the cars will be recalled. Some of us in this House will remember thalidomide, where the drug company had to take responsibility for the consequences of the use of that drug. And 80 per cent of the installations of the urea formaldehyde foam insulation are illegal. There are good grounds for the companies to take responsibility.

This bill, as already stated, could well involve the federal government. The officials of Home Owners with Urea Formaldehyde Foam Insulation -- and we have a number of them here today -- are not going to let the federal government get off the hook.

The members on the other side cannot really vote against or block this bill because of some vain hope that someplace down the road the federal government is going to reimburse these people. This bill is a practical way to do something now to meet the immediate serious problems of those who are suffering the worst, and to do it within the power the province possesses. To reject this bill would be a callous, cynical blow to thousands of helpless victims in this province.

Let me conclude by reading a letter I received on October 28, one of the hundreds that have come over my desk:

"Dear Sir: I had my house insulated with urea formaldehyde in 1979. In the last year I have come down with sore eyes, headaches, pain in my chest, nausea, and want to sleep all the time. I am too tired to do my housework. My daughter comes to visit me and in half an hour she has had bad headaches and nausea. My grandchildren are the same, so they do not come to visit me any more.

"If I could move out I would, but I cannot afford it as I am on pension and I cannot keep two houses. I hope you can help me, Mr. Swart."

Mr. Swart cannot help but, by the passing of this bill today, we can answer the plea of this woman and many more like her in this province.

Mr. Gordon: I wish to outline our government's position on the problems associated with urea formaldehyde foam insulation and the steps we are taking in this serious matter.

It is time we presented our position, and we are presenting it. We are deeply concerned that thousands of Ontario homeowners feel a sense of frustration after responding to the federal government's call to conserve energy by insulating their homes with the foam, and then finding that type of insulation could be endangering their health. I think we should remember that my honourable colleagues on the other side of the House happen to be from the party that federally was irresponsible in these actions.

Although there are no precise figures available, it is believed about 30,000 dwellings in Ontario, nearly one third of the total across Canada, installed the formaldehyde foam after it was approved by the federal government in 1977. Many thousands of them did so with the assistance of federal grants under the Canadian home insulation program. The CHIT program was widely advertised and it endorsed the use of UFFI, the acronym for urea formaldehyde foam insulation. Our government had no hand in promoting the use of urea formaldehyde insulation nor in certifying it as safe and effective. That type of foam was never accepted as part of the Ontario Building Code.

We must realize that formaldehyde is not a new chemical. We all live with it on a day-to-day basis. It is a component of cigarette smoke and particle board, of shoes and permanent press clothing. The rate of exposure to the gas given off by UFFI seems to be an important determinant in affecting health. Most homes always have sources which emit very low levels of formaldehyde gas, such as in varieties of carpets and laminated counter tops. However, the introduction of large quantities of it through home insulation has dramatically raised the exposure level in these homes.

The problem with urea formaldehyde foam is that it shrinks and breaks down over time, giving off formaldehyde gas. The gas has been associated with such health symptoms as eye, nose and throat irritations, coughing, sneezing and headaches. The degree of sensitivity to the gas varies greatly among people.

After approving UFFI, the federal government took no action to ensure that installation of the insulation was being carried out correctly. Within months of its approval and use, complaints about the unhealthy effects of UFH began to drift into Ottawa. The industry, however, was allowed by Ottawa to foam on unabated and the trickle of consumer complaints became a flood. Those prompted studies and reports leading to a temporary ban by the federal government last December 18, a ban made permanent on April 23, 1981.

The federal government has, since then, made an adroit attempt to shift responsibility for the UFFI problem to the provinces by contending it was up to the provinces to police the applicators. That contention does not hold up to reasonable scrutiny. While the nature of the application of UFFI can indeed compound the problems, studies by the National Research Council show the federally approved foam is itself the basic culprit. To put it simply, all urea formaldehyde foams tested by the NRC were found to be unstable and gave off formaldehyde gas.

The honourable Monique Bégin, Minister of National Health and Welfare, has claimed that the federal government, as much as the home owners, was morally a victim of ignorance of the new chemicals in UFFI. The honourable André Ouellet, Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs for Canada, had promised to provide what he called "a responsible solution" to the UFFI problem by this fall. That decision has now been put off to January.

5:10 p.m.

This government is disappointed in Ottawa's response so far. We feel the federal government is avoiding its rightful responsibility. It appears the federal government at this time has no plans for compensation through low-interest loans or grants or whatever to home owners for remedial measures. We hope our efforts in testing homes and urging Ottawa to avoid further delay in making a decision will get the federal government to reverse its position.

Our stand in this urgent matter is supported by all the other provinces. Let me give the principal points that emerged from the inter-provincial conference of ministers of health held in St. John's, Newfoundland, on September 30 and October 1. The provincial ministers urged the federal government to provide financial assistance to provinces investigating home owners' complaints over the installation of UFFI. In addition, it was agreed that in situations where a health hazard exists the federal government should compensate home owners for the costs of removing UFFI. Further, the conference regretted that the federal government has refused to accept responsibility for the homes that were improperly insulated with UFFI through its Canadian home insulation program.

Ontario has been in the forefront of action taken by the provinces. Two months before the federal ban on UFFI was announced, we took action on the basis of an interim report by the expert federal advisory committee on urea formaldehyde foam. The Ontario Ministry of Health alerted medical officers of health throughout the province as to the potential health risks from UFFI. We advised the health units of the technical assistance and advice that was being made available by the Ontario Ministry of Labour. In turn, the health units made this information available to the people through public meetings, newspaper advertisements and news articles.

The advisory committee, composed of nongovernmental experts, recommended in its final report in April, when the permanent ban was announced, that Ottawa consider assisting home owners with UFFI problems. The Ontario government has repeatedly urged that this and other recommendations of the committee be implemented, but there has been little response from Ottawa.

Mr. Kerrio: What has your government done? Nothing.


Mr. Gordon: We are coming to that, if the members will just wait.

After the April 23 ban on UFFI, the federal government remained silent on the committee's recommendations for a lengthy period. Our Minister of Health tried to prod Ottawa into some semblance of action. Some time later, it announced federal initiatives to establish an information centre and a testing of 2,000 homes across Canada for formaldehyde levels, a program that began August 24. There was no mention, however, of a federal health effects survey, which we feel is necessary to determine the extent of the UFFI problem.

We felt we could not wait for the federal government to adopt a course of action, in view of the growing public concern over UFFI. In June, the Minister of Health promised every affected home owner in Ontario the opportunity to have his or her home tested for formaldehyde gas in a program coupled with the collection of health data. Our testing program is in two parts. The technical testing and analysis of formaldehyde levels is being done by the laboratories of the ministries of Health and Labour, and a health survey questionnaire for all those who request an air test is being undertaken in co-operation with Ontario's 43 health units.


Mr. Gordon: I might add perhaps there should be a hot air test done for some of the members on the other side.

The two parts are being collated and placed into data processing systems for analysis. As the honourable members are aware, the federal government has established 0.1 parts per million of formaldehyde gas to air as being, I quote, "the maximum acceptable concentration for most people." Our ministries of Health and Labour, employing 30 additional people full-time on the program, have tested more than 3,000 homes as of November 13. These tests have been carried out at a rate of about 225 per week. We have found that slightly less than 13 per cent of the 1,735 homes tested, in reports received and reviewed at the Ministry of Health, have formaldehyde vapour concentrations above the 0.1 figure. Slightly more than half the homes tested in our review, 53 per cent, have concentrations of 0.05 parts per million or else have less than that amount.

I think we have presented our position and I would hope the honourable members will realize this government and this ministry are doing all they can for the people of this province.

Mr. Van Horne: Mr. Speaker, I would observe that at this time the members on this side of the House are still not sure whether the member for Sudbury (Mr. Gordon) is supporting this private member's bill or not. In reference to his comments as to what the government is doing, by the time they finish correlating these two different sets of tests one would have to ask how many other houses will have fallen apart and how many more people will be found to be suffering from nausea, headache, nose bleeds, et cetera?

It reminds me very much of the old western way of knowing when the turkey is cooked by stuffing it with popcorn. When the tail end blows off the turkey, the turkey is cooked. That kind of analogy is a good one to use in this instance because it reflects the turkey attitude the government has taken.

We should get something straight at the outset. What we are all obliged to do is to quit pointing fingers of fault at various federal or provincial governments and offer a challenge to them to do something positive to help these people.

The government has a duty to act. I am constantly amazed when we on the opposition side listen to government members deny numbers when numbers are used. We heard earlier in the House today, when the Minister of Health was responding to a question -- at least that was the implication through the nodding, the asides and the interjections from the government side -- that few people in the ridings of government members are afflicted with any of the ills of urea-formaldehyde foam insulation. It would seem we on this side are the only people who have constituents suffering from problems.

Yet the mail I get and the evidence I have in front of me is that this is a universal problem. It seems when the time is appropriate the government members do the appropriate thing. They duck and say, "It really does not apply to us." It applies to all of us. I urge every one in this chamber, for heaven's sake, to put partisanship aside and let us get on with finding a solution to accommodate these people.

The community which I come from impressed this on me and my federal colleague the member for London West, Mr. Jack Burghardt, of the same political leaning as I. We attended more than one meeting and have taken the words of the people who are affected either directly or indirectly in the form of a petition to this House and a petition to the federal House, bearing the names of more than 2,500 people.

I would submit also that those in the government have a colleague, the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations from the riding of London South, also in my general community, who has people affected and afflicted by this. It is a big deal at home. It is not something to be laughed or shrugged at. One full page from Monday, October 26, is one of many press clippings I could present to the House as evidence of the magnitude and the universality of the problem. It affects all of us. Let us take up the challenge and realize that.

There is one other piece of evidence. Some members from southwestern Ontario are very much aware of a happening known as the Western Fair. It is the small version of the CNE. My colleague from London-Centre, Mr. Peterson, and I have a booth at the fair each year. We are prepared to go out and listen to the complaints of people. We do not run and hide. We are out there; we will take it. We will take it in the nose if it is coming to us or we will try to help if people are looking for help.

5:20 p.m.

We were there for the full 10 days of the fair, and the biggest concern presented to me and my colleague was the concern of those people who were directly suffering from the effects of urea formaldehyde foam insulation, or those who had family members living in a home with this insulation and who were having problems. That was the biggest complaint we had. I think evidence such as that demands that we get on with the job.

The government claims it is testing. That is fine, and we would not criticize them for that. There are areas of criticism that could be offered. I am sure my colleague from Prescott-Russell (Mr. Boudria) will also add a few comments about those who have already paid for testing out of their own pocket. We are not being critical of that. We are being critical of the fact that this has happened and no one is apparently ready and willing to pick up the challenge.

The government must show its sense of responsibility by doing something more than conducting two different types of testing and correlating them. The Quebec government has indicated it is at least prepared to relocate those who are suffering very severe health problems. Whether they are going to bill the federal government or not we do not know. That is not our concern. Let us not sit around and take a look to the east and a look to the west, and say they are not doing it in British Columbia but they are doing it in Quebec. It really does not matter a great deal because we, in Ontario, say it is the federal government's fault.

Come on, let us grow up and face it. Who else is going to do it? Are we going to let the unions do it? Are we going to say to the Catholic Women's League: you go out and do it? Who is going to do it? There are 125 of us here in Ontario who have chosen to seek public office. We were elected out of the more than eight million people. There are 125 of us, and the people in this province look to us as those who have the duty to act. Let us get on with the job.

The basic issue here is the ill health that people suffer. Aside from the fact the buildings are deteriorating in some cases, where the installation may have been done improperly, or where the mix of ingredients may have been improper, the basic concern we have is for the health of the citizens here in Ontario.

The member from Sudbury used the parts per million numbers as the bottom line in the test as to whether something should be pursued beyond a certain point of testing or investigation. I have been told by experts that homes tested to such a low level as 0.03 parts per million, which is even lower than you are suggesting, still have other pollutants in them as a result of the installation of urea formaldehyde. These include such pollutants as phosphoric acid particles, sulphuric acid particles or chloral hydrate particles. Chloral hydrate, if members are not familiar with it, is the old knockout drop that was used illicitly back in the 30s and the 40s in the days of rum-runners and others.

These other pollutants, or factors, are part of the problem too, so the test, of itself, is not the determining factor. It is the health of the person. If the person living in that home is suffering ill health, I think that should be the criterion, and I think what the member for Welland-Thorold is trying to do in his bill is get the government off its collective bottoms and pick up the challenge.

The day I presented the petition, I was told by the clerk it could not be presented -- this was after I introduced it -- because it would mean the government would have to spend money. I had to use the argument that the government could call for action without spending money. This is what the bill is doing. It is calling for action without the expenditure of public funds. At least the government can do that much to show its responsibility to the people suffering ill effects.

The Deputy Speaker: Time.

Mr. Philip: Mr. Speaker, because of my commitments in another committee, I have not had the benefit of the early part of this debate. But I feel very strongly about this bill; I feel very strongly in support of it. I was privileged to second the bill and to attend, with the member for Welland-Thorold, a number of meetings of home owners who are affected.

I would like to start off my remarks by reading to members a letter I received from a constituent. I spoke to that constituent today, and because he happens to be involved in business in the community, he asked that I read the letter but not provide the name and address. I think it illustrates in a very vivid way, stories told to me by the hundreds of people my colleague and I have met with, in my own riding in Etobicoke and in the various hotels the meetings were held and so forth.

It reads: "Dear Sir: It will be years soon since the government banned the use of urea formaldehyde foam insulation. Not much progress in solving the problem has been made since, although thousands of people like us are going through a great deal of suffering, not only physically but emotionally and mentally.

"The results of my many calls to the Ottawa line, are some literature and promise of tests." Remember, Mr. Speaker, this letter is dated October 27, so it is not an old letter I am reading.

"But although there is physical suffering in our house we were not even in this test group at the federal government level.

"An employee of the provincial government took three air samples a few weeks ago. No results as yet. I am the person in our family who spends most of the time in the home and I seem to be affected the worst. Complete dryness of the mouth and nose, dry blood clots in the nose every morning, breathing difficulties, et cetera.

"My 12-year-old son complains about a clogged nose every morning. Naturally we worry about the health hazards which are not visible or noticeable at this time yet.

"There was a brief relief during the summer months having the doors and windows open literally night and day. Although we have already low temperatures, we have the thermostat on 15 degrees centigrade and a couple of windows open steadily, which seems to bring some relief. However, it defeats the purpose of the insulation since our heating bills will be tremendous when it gets colder.

"The only way out seems to be to get out of the house, but the real estate value has dropped to peanuts, so we could not afford to buy a new home. The alternative is removing the insulation. However that seems to present another big problem or even hazard and the estimate we had was for $30,000. We just do not have the money.

"So we are trapped helplessly in the situation after we followed our government's urge to preserve energy, supported by the CHIP program grant. Since there are many home owners in this area in the same situation, we ask you for your support in obtaining government help and action soon."

It is signed by this constituent of mine in Rexdale. I have met with many of them. I have also sat in the living room and while I did not experience some of the eye-watering problems that some of my constituents have talked about, I noticed that even one half hour in one or two of the homes resulted in the kind of nasal discomfort that so many of them speak about.

It is absolute nonsense to talk about these people suing the companies. If one looks at the October 24 article in the Financial Post, in the legal column, it reports on suits against Borden and Rapco for $1.5 billion by two home owners who claimed they had suffered damages as a consequence of installation of urea formaldehyde foam. It deals with the tremendous amount of money it costs even to take on such a suit. It says, "In Quebec, where the loser pays court costs of one per cent of the amount of the action in cases over $100,000, the two individuals, had they lost the class action suit against Borden and Rapco, in theory could have been liable for $15 million in costs."

5:30 p.m.

To talk of these large multinational corporations being sued by ordinary home owners who simply cannot even afford the amount to take out the insulation is to ask them to take a risk no person in his right mind would take, faced with the odds and with the possibility of losing. To ask him to jeopardize all his income and all his family's future with the possibility of having to pay for those kinds of legal fees just is not reasonable.

As the New Democratic Party housing critic, and as an MPP representing a riding where there are a number of constituents whose homes are damaged by the urea formaldehyde foam, I have had the opportunity to meet a great number of the affected people. They are not willing to take that kind of legal risk and it is unreasonable to ask them to do so.

I have listened to one horror story after another. This is a very moderate bill. One of the requirements of the bill is that before an order for removal or reimbursement is made, an applicant must first provide evidence that he or members of his family are suffering ill health as a result of the urea formaldehyde foam insulation or that existing ill-health conditions are aggravated as a result of the urea formaldehyde insulation in his dwelling. Thus, it does not require the replacement of the insulation in every home in which it has been installed, even though that certainly would be desirable. It affects approximately 20 to 30 per cent of homes with UFFI.

Those of us on this side of the House might perhaps have to answer the question are we premature. I would like to remind the honourable members that in June, I and my colleagues in the New Democratic Party forced the urea formaldehyde foam insulation issue into the public in this Legislature. We tried to force the debate in committee. This committee investigated the resolution and because of the Conservative majority managed to scuttle it. We had an opportunity to do a thorough investigation at that time and to call in the experts, to call in the home owners, to call in those people who are affected in a very dramatic way and find out the facts. Of course, the Conservatives in the committee managed to see that was scuttled.

On June 22, the social development committee ruled down the NDP resolution which is as follows: "That this committee investigate the extent of health, economic and other problems being experienced by owners and occupants of houses containing urea formaldehyde foam insulation within the province and report to the Legislature as to what measures should he taken by the Ontario government, alone and in conjunction with the federal government, to eliminate the health hazards and economic losses." It turned out that the Conservatives, with their marching orders from the government whip, managed to see that resolution was scuttled.

I am asking the members opposite not to let anyone tell them how they should vote in private members' hour. This is a bill that dramatically affects a number of people in their ridings. Indeed, it affects the one major, and in very many cases the only, investment that many of their constituents have. Their homes have dropped in value. It is affecting ordinary people. It is not just a health hazard, it is also an economic problem they are facing.

If they have any respect, if they have any empathy for some of the hard-working people in their ridings who are losing their savings and also incurring a health hazard, they will vote in favour of this bill.

Mr. Robinson: Mr. Speaker, may I inquire how much time is available before I start?

Mr. Speaker: Seven minutes are available.

Mr. Robinson: I am pleased to participate in today's debate on urea formaldehyde foam insulation. I know this is one of the many subjects on which the member for Welland-Thorold has shown concern and his actions in this regard are to be commended. It is incredible to realize this entire fiasco could have been completely avoided if the federal government had heeded the warnings of the National Research Council and other bodies long before the Canadian home insulation program was announced.

My colleague has already outlined the actions taken by the Ministry of Health and the public health units across the province. The ministry, unlike the federal government, has carried out more testing and more inspections in Ontario than have been done in the rest of Canada. The Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations and the Ministry of Labour have also been involved in this process. The commitment of this government continues to be to co-operate with the federal government to assist in testing and information gathering, and to urge action to provide some form of retrofitting in those houses with unacceptable levels of formaldehyde gases.

UFFI is not a material which is recognized in the Ontario Building Code. Staff of the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations building code branch had reservations about the insulation because it has a tendency to shrink and crack which reduces its insulating effectiveness and properties, because it deteriorates over time and because its flame spread rating is unrealistic.

Many thousands of people in Ontario responded positively to the CHIP program. The cause of preserving energy is an admirable one. Unfortunately, innocent people are now the victims of the federal government's haste and the carelessness of some of the installers. It has taken a great deal of pressure from the provincial governments and angry consumers for the federal government to start reacting to our concerns.

Consumer and Corporate Affairs Minister André Ouellet has stated he shares these concerns but feels it would be appropriate to wait for the results of the current testing program. A little earlier, the member for Welland-Thorold quoted the federal Hansard but he was a little skimpy in his quote. I would like to give the members the benefit of Mr. Ouellet's answer in more detail.

He responded to a question in the House of Commons on October 27, saying, "If some contractors who are licensed by the provinces failed to install this product properly with unpleasant consequences for home owners, the blame lies first of all with the manufacturers of the product, secondly with the contractors who did not install it properly and, finally, much of the blame lies with the provinces which failed to set very specific standards when large numbers of contractors started getting into the home insulation business."

I find it incredible that the federal minister is pointing the finger at everyone else in sight when he ought to know perfectly well that the entire situation was caused by federal sloppiness and deceit. This type of attitude does not bode well for those people seeking financial compensation to remove the foam. It is not surprising that it comes from the man who used to look after another fine federal institution of efficiency, that was the post office.

As much as the member opposite would like not to believe, there is contradictory evidence that UFFI is a health hazard. The Quebec government has recently announced an assistance program that will relocate people to new neighbourhoods for a six-month period or so, pay their rental expenses and about $250 for moving expenses.

While this is an interesting approach, it is not solving any problems for the people involved. There has been enough personal and financial disruption as it is. Running away from the problem and not doing anything for the long-term good really does nothing to solve the problem. While Quebec may profess that it is going to send the bill to Ottawa, there is absolutely no guarantee and no measure of certainty that the federal government is going to pay that bill when it arrives.

The province must continue its effort to pressure the federal government to take action quickly and thoroughly in those cases where there is overwhelming proof of high gas levels, health problems and structural damage.

5:40 p.m.

Ottawa should be prepared to compensate those home owners and provide whatever retrofitting is necessary to remove this hazard from the home. There are many such home owners in my riding and, contrary to what members opposite have said, it is not a problem in any way exclusive to opposition-held ridings. I would like to read into the record part of a letter that I received from Patricia Clark, a resident of Scarborough, who is the secretary of the association called Home Owners with Urea Formaldehyde Foam Insulation, Ontario. This letter was received following a rally that the member for Welland-Thorold, the member for Parkdale (Mr. Ruprecht) and I attended on behalf of this Legislature outside this building some weeks ago.

Mrs. Clark writes, and I quote: "We appreciate your concern over our plight, and hope that the Ontario government will continue its pressure on Ottawa to find a solution for this disaster as soon as possible."

Surely, by the end of December, the government of Canada will have its assessed test results and will reach a decision. I will continue, as will other members of this House, to work with the Ontario government to exert pressure on the national government to take whatever corrective action can be taken this fall while there is still time before winter is upon us. It is a sad and unfortunate lesson we have all learned. I will continue to work until everyone who has been involved in this tragedy has their problem solved to their satisfaction. I realize I still have a minute or so remaining to me. I know the member for Welland-Thorold has also reserved time, and I will yield the rest of my time for his wrapup.

Mr. Boudria: Mr. Speaker, I thought for a while I would not get to speak on this bill.

Mr. Speaker: You have three minutes.

Mr. Boudria: Well, I am not sure I do have time with only three minutes, but I will just make a few very brief remarks. First, I have noticed the members of the New Democratic Party blaming the government and the government blaming the federal government, which is all very nice, but does not really accomplish much. What we should address ourselves to right now is the solution to the problem, as has been stated by the member for London North (Mr. Van Horne). There are a few flaws in the bill. It puts most of the blame on the installers and things of that nature, but on general principle I respect the fact that the bill is attempting to find a quick and immediate solution to the problem we have. That is what is important, and that is why I feel we should all vote in favour of the bill.

I notice the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere told us a little while ago that the Quebec solution is not a solution. He said they are going to pay part of the rent or most of the rent for people to relocate for a certain number of months, and that is not a solution. With all due respect, I disagree. If one has to move outside, has no place to live and no money, and somebody is going to pay the rent for three months, that is a solution. That is what we should be doing in this House. We should be assisting the people immediately.

Whether we bill the federal government later or wherever we get the money is almost irrelevant, because this is an emergency. We should deal with the problem right now and help the people, because that is our responsibility as elected officials. We should forget this nonsense about reading all the statistics, such as the member from Sudbury read us a while ago, and those other things that have been remarked upon by the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere. What we should all do is all vote in favour of this bill, then go back to our constituents and tell them we have a solution to their problem, which is very urgent.

In closing, I have received letters from constituents complaining to me, but I cannot read them into the record because of the lack of time. However, there is one other problem we have not addressed in this particular legislation. Many constituents have paid out of their own funds to have urea formaldehyde foam insulation tested prior to the Ministry of Health's program, which was started recently. I have one case of a Mr. Lalonde in Hawkesbury, Ontario, who paid $370 of his own money to be told that the urea formaldehyde foam insulation had to be removed from his house. Let us all vote in favour of this bill and stop procrastinating on the solution.

Mr. Speaker: The member for Welland-Thorold has three minutes.

Mr. Swart: Mr. Speaker, I thought it had been announced that I had four minutes, but I will keep it to three.

First, I want to refute the members speaking for the government of Ontario who stated that they never gave approval to this and that, in fact, they did not want it to be done. I have here a leaflet put out by the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations that says "Think about insulation" and names the types of insulation. The bottom says "foam insulation." It goes on to give details on foam insulation and says that it is permitted in this province. Not only that, but this leaflet was picked up in this lobby just six weeks ago. Six months after the foam had been banned, the provincial government was still promoting it.

It has been mentioned, and rightly so, that a class action is really not possible in this province because there is no class action legislation here. It is not possible anyhow, because of the cost, so if people want to take action against the manufacturers, the distributors or the installers, they have to do it on their own. The great majority of these people are elderly; they are poor and they live in older houses; they simply cannot afford it.

The bill we have before us gives us an opportunity to provide a solution for the people who are suffering most in this province from urea formaldehyde foam insulation at little cost to them and at practically no cost to the Ontario government; we will incur only the administration costs.

As others have said, I say to the people on the opposite side of the House, please support this bill. It is a method of bringing about some needed action to give relief to people who are suffering intensely through no fault of their own. If the government means what it says about waiting for the federal government, I suggest that they should pass this bill tonight anyway. They can proclaim it in a month or in two or three months, if they do not want to proclaim it now because they want to wait for the federal government. They should pass this legislation now while the House is in session.

This is a matter on which there should be some emphasis, because it is a matter over which the government has full authority to pass legislation and administer. It is a bill that would, as I have said, provide the relief that is necessary for people who are victims through no fault of their own.

I hope this private members' hour will be a private members' hour, and that members on that side as well as on this side will vote with their conscience and not with their party.


The following members having objected by rising, a vote was not taken on resolution 24:

Ashe, Baetz, Barlow, Birch, Brandt, Cousens, Dean, Drea, Fish, Gillies, Gordon, Gregory, Grossman, Henderson, Hennessy, Hodgson, Kolyn, Lane, Leluk, McCaffrey, McCague, Miller, F. S., Norton, Pollock, Ramsay, Robinson, Rotenberg, Runciman, Sheppard, Snow, Stephenson, B. M., Sterling, Stevenson, K. R., Treleaven, Villeneuve, Walker, Wells, Williams, Wiseman -- 39.

5:50 p.m.


The following members having objected by rising, a vote was not taken on Bill 153:

Ashe, Baetz, Barlow, Birch, Cousens, Dean, Drea, Gordon, Gregory, Grossman, Henderson, Hodgson, Johnson, J. M., Kerr, Lane, Leluk, McCaffrey, McCague, McLean, McNeil, Miller, F. S., Mitchell, Norton, Pollock, Ramsay, Runciman, Sheppard, Snow, Stephenson, B. M., Sterling, Stevenson, K. R., Taylor, G. W., Treleaven, Villeneuve, Walker, Watson, Wells, Williams, Wiseman -- 39.


Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I wish to indicate to the House the business for tomorrow and next week.

Tomorrow, we will resume and likely complete the estimates of the Ministry of Northern Affairs.

On Monday, November 23, in the afternoon and evening, we will consider the estimates of the Ministry of Revenue.

On the afternoon of Tuesday, November 24, we will consider legislation in the following order: Third readings and any private bills awaiting second and third readings; second reading and committee of the whole on Bill 167 standing in the name of the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (Mr. Bennett); committee of the whole on Bill 143 standing in the name of the Minister of the Environment (Mr. Norton); second reading in committee of the whole House, if required, on Bills 125, 104, 107 and Bill 1 standing in the name of the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry); and second reading in committee of the whole on Bills 147 and 170 in the name of the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (Mr. Bennett). What is still remaining we will consider on the evening of Thursday November 26.

On Tuesday evening, we will consider the estimates of the Ministry of Revenue.

On Wednesday, the usual three committees, general government, resources development, and administration of justice may meet in the morning.

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 26, we will have private members' ballot items 19 and 20 standing in the names of the member for Simcoe East (Mr. McLean) and the member for Prescott-Russell (Mr. Boudria).

On Friday, November 27, we will continue the estimates of the Ministry of Revenue.

The House recessed at 6 p.m.