32nd Parliament, 1st Session










































The House met at 2:02 p.m.




Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, I would like to advise the honourable members of measures I am taking to ensure that liquid industrial wastes in this province will be disposed of with even greater safety and efficiency.

Mr. Eakins: Let the record show there is not an NDP member in the House.

Hon. Mr. Norton: In a recent decision the divisional court found that the Ridge landfill site in Harwich township is properly certified by my ministry to accept domestic and other nonhazardous wastes, but because the original application for certification in 1970 did not specify liquid industrial wastes it was the finding of the court that the site is not certified to accept these wastes.

Mr. R.F. Johnston: We're here.

Mr. Bradley: There's all your supporters, Richard -- right there.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: He is all alone.

Mr. Speaker: Will the Minister of the Environment please proceed?

Hon. Mr. Norton: As I have previously indicated I am concerned about this decision, especially the possibility that other sites now accepting liquid industrial wastes may be affected if this decision is applied as a precedent. The action I am announcing today will provide extra measures to ensure the operation of these landfill sites will continue with even greater security and environmental safeguards. While the circumstances of their certification and operation are not identical to those of the Ridge landfill site, I am convinced we cannot afford to risk the loss of facilities essential for the disposal of these liquid industrial wastes pending such time as an alternative treatment and disposal facility is established and in operation.

First, let me provide some historical background. Before 1970, municipalities, industries and, in some cases, individual operators developed their own programs and facilities for waste management and disposal. What control existed fell largely to municipalities through zoning or public health powers. In 1970 the Ontario government passed controlling legislation, first with the Waste Management Act, then with the Environmental Protection Act, 1971. Under this legislation, and with the new regulations governing waste management, a continuing program of recording, certifying and improving or closing existing sites was undertaken, to be continued in 1972 by the newly-formed Ministry of the Environment.

This program dealt with all sites large and small across the province. Since 1972, according to ministry records, some 700 sites have been closed, most of them local dumps that were either inefficient or undesirable operations even for the municipal refuse they handled. In the process of issuing and updating certificates of approval, the remaining sites have been constantly upgraded. Where liquid industrial wastes or other special wastes were being disposed of in unsuitable locations these wastes have been diverted to environmentally sound sites.

In this process of certification, existing practices that produced no environmental problems were certified. Understandably in a certification process on this scale, some clerical oversights were almost inevitable. In the case of the Ridge landfill site liquid industrial wastes were not specified either in the original certificate of approval or in the operator's initial application for certification. There is, however, no question that the ministry and the local municipality were fully aware that this site was accepting certain liquid wastes. The practice had municipal approval before the ministry assumed responsibility.

In 1972 the law was changed to require mandatory hearings before issuing approvals for certain waste disposal sites or changes in waste disposal sites. The law requires a hearing for a change to accept liquid industrial wastes, for a change in the type or quantity of liquid industrial waste accepted and for a significant increase in the quantity of any solid waste accepted, including municipal refuse.

It is our present policy that major changes in the nature or quantities of wastes handled on a landfill site should be reviewed publicly. However, we find ourselves in a situation where retroactive application of this principle could result in closing these remaining sites to liquid waste while such a review was under way. Losing these facilities, even for an interim period, could bring much of the industrial community to a virtual halt in this province.

The environmental soundness of these sites is not at issue. They are closely monitored and supervised by our regional staff to ensure proper operation. Without approved, acceptable disposal sites for liquid wastes we risk either shutting down industries or facing the prospect of illegal dumping in fields, roads and vacant lots across this province -- perhaps both.

We now have only eight facilities to handle hauled liquid industrial wastes as compared with 23 that were operating 18 months ago. Some of these sites closed because there was no longer a local need for liquid waste disposal. On two sites, for example, the industries they served developed their own on-premises treatment facilities. Others found, after review of their operations with ministry staff, that it would be best to close their sites to liquid industrial wastes and divert the wastes to better alternative sites.

The sites that remain provide an essential industrial waste disposal service. To ensure they continue providing this service with full and proper environmental controls on their operation I am bringing them under a special regulation. Requirements to ensure even greater environmental protection to their communities will be set out under this regulation rather than under a certificate of approval, and these sites will continue their operations.

The operators of the Ridge landfill site have made a long-term decision to stop taking liquid wastes, and have filed application for a new certificate of approval based on accepting only domestic nonhazardous wastes at their site. Public hearings on that application began in September and may end in the very near future. In addition, since the court decision the company has been refusing to accept liquid industrial wastes at the site. The ministry has advised them to continue to refuse these wastes, and we are monitoring their operations to ensure compliance. Accordingly then, Ridge is not included in the terms of the regulation since there is no need.

2:10 p.m.

I would like to outline the major elements of the regulation for members as they apply to the eight remaining sites in question:

(A) For the purpose of their continuing operation, these sites will be controlled by a comprehensive regulatory system rather than by a certificate of approval which could require retroactively a public hearing process to adjust clerical errors in documentation;

(B) Strict operating conditions must be met by all sites.

(C) The amounts of waste allowed will be restricted to not more than 10 per cent above current levels.

In summary I will stress two points: First, I believe this action is required to ensure the operation of essential facilities will not be placed in jeopardy, thereby leaving us without adequate waste disposal for liquid industrial wastes. Second, I am confident this regulation will provide ongoing supervision and increased control to ensure these sites continue to handle and dispose of liquid wastes in an environmentally safe manner.

A copy of the regulation has been circulated with the copy of the text of the statement.


Hon. Mr. Pope: Mr. Speaker, I have an announcement with respect to the Board of Industrial Leadership and Development. It is my pleasure to announce, this afternoon, approval by the board of my ministry's program to encourage new employment opportunities and expanded production of industrial minerals within the province.

A total of $7.7 million has been allocated over the next five years for grants of up to 25 per cent of approved capital costs to assist selected small, rural industrial minerals projects. Naturally before a grant is approved the project concerned must demonstrate its potential to meet market needs as well as its longevity and profitability criteria. Industrial mineral developments near Timmins, Matachewan, Owen Sound, Madoc, Kaladar, Kapuskasing and Perth are under consideration for grants.

Ontario is a major producer of such industrial minerals as salt, gypsum, and nepheline syenite, as well as structural materials of vital importance to our industries. In 1980, the value of production of metallic minerals and structural materials in the province was nearly $776 million. Nevertheless many other industrial minerals continue to be imported due to the lack of local availability. They are, therefore, prime candidates for domestic production and, subsequently, job creation by Ontario's minerals industry.

At present, developments of phosphate, silica, talc, potash feldspar, magnesite, mica, whiting, barite, certain building and ornamental stones, and kaolin are eligible for consideration. Additional industrial minerals will be considered if conditions warrant such action. These minerals are important raw materials for many of Ontario's industries. For instance, phosphate is vital for plant and animal growth, silica for glass, talc for paper-making and ceramic ware, magnesite for metal industry refractories, and kaolin for porcelain and paper products.

In addition, because these materials occur in abundance in our province we want to encourage their development. There are of course many other industrial minerals. Some may need a boost while others require no assistance. The incentives could be used to prepare ore bodies for mining, for the purchase of mining and processing equipment, for the construction of plant buildings and for other auxiliary structures.

Industrial mineral mines generally have vast reserves of high grade ore that permit production for many years. I believe seed money made available through BILD will encourage industrial minerals developments in Ontario that otherwise might be postponed or would not take place at all. The BILD program for industrial minerals can be most effective if grants are made available when a project reaches the financing stage.

In recent months, I have received inquiries from widely separated parts of Ontario about possible assistance for industrial mineral development. I am pleased to say the program is now in place, and I am eagerly looking forward to working with my colleagues in other ministries to ensure its implementation for the benefit of our great province.


Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to talk about my ministry's efforts to stamp out the number one consumer fraud in this province, odometer rollbacks.

As of today the joint investigation and enforcement team of the Metropolitan Toronto Police Auto Squad and our ministry investigators have laid more than 1,000 charges against 249 private and registered car dealers. So far 116 of those charged in Toronto have been through the courts and our conviction rate, I am pleased to report, is 100 per cent. Regionally we have lost only one case.

It is also gratifying to note that the courts are dealing harshly with these offenders, imposing fines of up to $10,000, jail sentences of up to three months and in many cases ordering full restitution. In one of our largest restitution cases a Leamington car dealer was ordered to compensate 13 consumers more than $9,500 and was fined $10,000 or three months in jail. These stiff penalties have made our job easier because they act as a deterrent to those involved in this illegal practice.

These statistics are even more impressive when one realizes the ministry's crackdown on spinners, as they are called in the trade, began only in November 1979. It was at this time the ministry recognized the problem had reached epidemic proportions and was costing unsuspecting consumers thousands of dollars every year.

A four-man odometer squad, made up of members of the Metropolitan Toronto Police Force and ministry investigators, was set up to combat the problem in Metropolitan Toronto. A two-man squad was also formed to work around the province. In August 1981 three more Metropolitan officers were assigned to the squad, making a total of nine full-time investigators.

The teams are based in the ministry's main office at 555 Yonge Street, which has a computer terminal linked to the main data base in Downsview where car vehicle ownership records are stored. The ministry also has records of all the licensed car dealers in Ontario on file.

It should be pointed out that Ontario is the only jurisdiction in North America to set up a specialized odometer team, and comments from the American Car Dealers Association indicate that the problem in the United States appears to be out of control. So our efforts as leaders in this field are being closely monitored and favourably commented upon.

But this is not to say we no longer have a serious problem on our hands. It has continued to grow despite the vigilance of our ministry and the police. The problem has been worsened recently by the high cost of financing and the rising price of new cars. These factors have driven up the demand for dependable low-mileage cars, making odometer tampering an even more enticing financing prospect for unethical car sellers.

Here is one example. A Toronto woman recently bought a 1975 car with 40,000 miles on it for $3,000. The seller told her the car had belonged to her late father and she was selling it because it upset her to drive it. After the deal was closed the seller stood on the corner crying and waving goodbye. It was not until the woman had spent $2,500 in repairs that she realized she had been cheated and reported it to the odometer squad. An investigation revealed that the car had been bought back from a leasing firm and that the odometer had been rolled back 40,000 miles. A Toronto couple was later convicted and fined $5,000.

The biggest problem with detecting odometer rollbacks is the lack of physical evidence. It is almost impossible for an expert or layman to detect, even though the spinner has to take the dashboard apart to get at the odometer. A metal hook is then used to roll the numbers back.

The work takes about 15 minutes, and an expert spinner can charge up to $100 per job. The seller can then turn around and tack an extra $1,000 on to the price of the car. So you can see, Mr. Speaker, just how lucrative a proposition this can be. A used-car dealer with just 50 cars on his lot could conceivably add an extra $50,000 to his profits by rolling back odometers.

Much of an investigator's time is therefore spent tracing a car's ownership history to establish if the correct mileage was recorded each time the car was sold. My ministry is also attempting to resolve this problem by educating consumers on what to look for when they buy used cars. We have sent information materials to every newspaper, radio and television station in the province in the hope they will make their audiences aware of the problem. We have also made experts available for interviews on speaking engagements if requested by the media or interested groups.

2:20 p.m.


Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, I have a statement and I would like the pages to take copies to the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Smith) and the member for Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy) or the member for York South (Mr. MacDonald).

The members will recall last June I announced an emergency payment program for slaughter cattle and stockers. The funds for this emergency assistance amount to $37 million which the government has allocated through supplementary estimates. To date we have paid out nearly $28 million to more than 5,000 Ontario producers of stockers and slaughter cattle. We expect the balance to flow by the year-end.

The remaining group in the beef sector is the cow-calf operators. These are the people who supply calves to the feedlot operators. They provide half the calves raised to market weight in Ontario. This makes them a fundamental part of our beef industry. Their contribution is even more important when current policies in other provinces are taken into account.

The other 50 per cent of calves raised to market weight in Ontario come from the west where some provinces are beginning to encourage producers to finish more calves in their province of origin. Our own cow-calf producers, therefore, may well have an even larger role in Ontario's beef industry.

To help retain our breeding herd, the government of Ontario will make payments of $40 per cow to Ontario cow-calf operators.


Mr. Speaker: Will the minister proceed, please?

Hon. Mr. Henderson: This additional assistance to the beef industry will be available for cows on hand as of August 1 , 1981, provided these cows were bred in Ontario to produce a calf in 1981.

The minimum number of cows eligible is five and the owner must be a resident of Ontario. The deadline for applications is February 28, 1982. Forms are being sent to Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food extension offices today. These forms will be in our offices tomorrow morning and our representatives will be there tomorrow to help the beef producers fill out the forms and send them back to Toronto. Producers should watch their local newspapers for an announcement or call their agricultural representative for arrangements on filing an application.

There are about half a million cows eligible under this program. We expect the program to run to $20 million. Combined with the $37 million already committed to the slaughter and stocker sectors, this represents a $57 million investment in Ontario's beef industry or the equivalent of about 10 cents a pound on 1981 beef production.

I might add we are going ahead with this payment in spite of the possibility the federal government may deduct it from its stabilization payments somewhere down the road. Our producers need help now and we cannot stand by waiting for an overhaul of the federal stabilization programs.

It is Ontario's position, and it always has been, that there should be an adequate national stabilization program for national commodities and this certainly includes beef. If there were an adequate federal program, the provinces would not have to top-load or make emergency payments like the one I have just announced.

We in Ontario believe stabilization plans are an excellent idea, but we believe very strongly the time has come to overhaul these plans, to increase the support level and to speed up the payment procedures. Until that happens, individual provinces will have to make whatever arrangements they can to assist their farmers.

The government has received the report of the emergency task force established by the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. It contains a number of recommendations directed at the immediate farm credit problem, plus recommendations aimed at improving the longer term framework under which our producers must operate.

To assess these recommendations and bring forward a positive course of action for the government, we are establishing a high-powered action committee. It will consist of the deputy provincial Treasurer, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food, the president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, plus an additional active farmer yet to be named. As well, Mr. Everett Biggs, the chairman of the task force, has been invited to participate.

Meanwhile, provincial officials are meeting the banking community to ensure that any Ontario response is practical and effective and calls forth their full support. Certainly it is clear from the task force report that co-operative action is required from all sides -- from banks, from the government of Canada, from farm organizations, as well as from the province.


Mr. Speaker: The member for Kitchener Wilmot.


Mr. Speaker: I am sure we all like to recognize the member for Kitchener-Wilmot, but I would ask all honourable members to restrict their private conversations or else carry them on outside the chamber. It is very difficult to follow the line of questioning.


Mr. Sweeney: I would like to address a question to the Minister of the Environment in the light of his rather incredible statement today. It seems to us the minister is saying that because his former approval processes indicate clearly the clerical ineptness of his own staff -- I think those were his words -- he is now going to replace this with a regulation.

Is the minister saying today that the approval process did not work in the past so he is going to scrap it? Are people going to be able to dump whatever they want on those eight sites and the minister will cover it with a regulation? Is the minister telling us that any future sites are going to be covered by a regulation, and the citizens of the area will not have any opportunity at all to participate in an approval process? Is that what the minister is telling us?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Absolutely not, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Sweeney: In spite of his statement today, can the minister explain why the Syntath company in St. Catharines has already been given a certificate of approval to accept industrial and poisonous wastes? There was no public hearing at that time. This company now wants to move to a 12-acre site in the Thorold area. There is even the distinct possibility that this site and this company, Syntath, could be bringing in industrial waste from the United States as opposed to limiting themselves, according to the minister's statement, to domestic waste. What is the minister going to do in that situation or is he even aware of it?

Hon. Mr. Norton: I am, but I believe the member's facts are incorrect. With respect to the assumptions he is making, that by way of regulation there will be any change in terms of what is acceptable at any of these sites, that is totally incorrect. In fact if he reads the regulation appended to the statement he will see the regulation will impose upon these sites very precise and very strict regulatory control. It is more extensive than anything that has ever existed before in this jurisdiction and probably in most others.

With regard to the question of clerical errors in the past, that is what I said in the statement. Back in the early part of the 1970s there were clearly some clerical oversights, largely because of the volume of work being done as the new procedures were being put into place. The reality we are faced with today is that we must act responsibly to deal with this situation. That is precisely what I am doing, acting responsibly both in terms of ensuring that the existing safe sites will be able to continue to receive the material, and also being in a position to assure the public even further that the sites are safe and will be safely operated under a very tight regulatory control.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: What the minister is really saying in his statement to the House is that there has been bungling within the Ministry of the Environment. It has taken place in the case of the Harwich dump over a period of 10 years. In all that time the Minister of the Environment of the day was not able or did not have enough concern to go and find it, but now the present minister has found it, he has suddenly discovered he has to be twice as tough in terms of the way he handles the liquid waste.

Mr. Speaker: Question.

Mr. Cassidy: What kind of treatment of liquid waste is that? What kind of confidence can we put in the minister's handling of liquid waste when for three and a half years this Legislature has raised questions about liquid waste and this bungling had not been discovered?

Mr. T. P. Reid: Are the same people in charge of the program or have they been promoted?

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, I can assure the honourable member he can put every confidence in my handling of this situation. Regardless of what his rhetoric may indicate and his perceptions might be of things that occurred a decade ago, the fact is we are dealing with it very responsibly.

If he has a creative alternative I would certainly welcome it. It is one thing to be able to sit with his arms on his chair and be sweepingly critical, but when one has the responsibility of actually making responsible decisions to protect the environment and the members of the public that is maybe not quite so easy. But I am not going to back away from that responsibility simply because he can sit over and there and take cheap shots.

Mr. Sweeney: Final supplementary, Mr. Speaker: The present section 30(2) of the Environmental Protection Act reads as follows: "At least 15 days notice of the hearing shall be given to the clerk ... and such notice shall be published once a week for three consecutive weeks in a newspaper ... where the waste disposal site is or is intended to be located ... and published at least once a week." That at least gives the public some protection, gives them some opportunity for public hearings.

Can the minister tell us, under this new regulatory process as he calls it, what protection the public is going to have in terms of knowing what the ministry is doing? Will they have the opportunity to know what is happening on those sites, and to make their own input? Will there or will there not be public hearings? How can the public be involved under the new regulatory process? It is one thing for the minister to say he is going to look after them, but let us face it, his record of doing so is not very good.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, I disagree with the latter part of the member's statement, of course. I think it is important he bear in mind that this regulation applies only to those existing sites that are set out in the schedule. There are eight listed in the schedule at the back of the regulation. They are sites which, in some cases, have been in operation for well over 10 years. They are not going to be authorized to receive anything other than what they have been receiving.

This will not apply to any new sites that may be seeking to apply for a certificate of approval. It deals only with these sites. As far as information on what is going into those sites is concerned, if anyone wishes to make that inquiry we will make that information available to them.


Mr. Sweeney: A question to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Mr. Speaker: I want to ask the minister about the condominium movement, which is particularly prevalent in Metro. The minister will be aware that apartment buildings at 790, 800 and 840 Eglinton Avenue West in the city of Toronto have become a test case in the condominium controversy. The minister is also undoubtedly aware that city council has appealed the Ontario Municipal Board decision to the Ontario cabinet.

Given the shortage of affordable rental stock in this city, where the vacancy rate is now less than half of one per cent -- I think it is 0.3 per cent, to be exact -- what precisely does the minister believe the government of Ontario should do to give some direction to the OMB, to the city council and to the people of the city of Toronto with respect to this whole question?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, the municipality very clearly has the right to accept applications for the conversion of apartment units from that use to condominiums and to review it. If its decision is to allow the conversion, then the governments of this province, and my ministry more specifically, will concur in it. If the municipality should decide not to allow the conversion, and that is its responsibility, then I say without any hesitation that the ministry has supported this position.

In the Eglinton Avenue case, if I recall correctly, the present owner has applied to the municipality with a new set of plans. The plans being submitted are in accordance with the present zoning of that property, and the municipality has issued a building permit for a new structure. In this case, the Planning Act very clearly states that a demolition permit will follow, and that is the responsibility of the municipality.

I know very well that at this moment the city is considering asking the Legislature to look at some special legislation, but I have not had an opportunity to see it yet.

Mr. Sweeney: Given the fact that hundreds and possibly thousands of people, not just in Toronto but in other municipalities as well, could lose affordable housing, whether rented or owned, through this type of conversion, and given the fact that the OMB, which has been asked to look into this, has indicated that it would like to have some statement of principle or some indication of general provincial policy, when is the minister going to develop a policy on conversion with specific guidelines to give some sense of direction to the municipalities and to the OMB on condominium conversions?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, I just clearly indicated what the --

Mr. Speaker: The private conversations are taking place again. I have asked all honourable members for their co-operation. If they want to discuss private business, they should do so outside the House.


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, I just clearly indicated to the member that the rate of conversion is the municipality's responsibility. We have very clearly indicated to the municipalities that under certain guidelines they should look at what the potential will be on a downside position if the conversion from rental to condominium is allowed to take place. I believe it is the responsibility of the municipality to assess the situation very clearly and very correctly in their communities, and they have been doing that.

I indicated in this House some weeks ago, in answer to a question very similar to this one, what the conversions happen to have been in this province from about 1976 to the current year, and the numbers have not been very substantial. Indeed, in the last two or three years the number of conversions from rental to condominium has been reduced from what they were in 1976-77, 1977-78 and so on.

I do not intend at this time to start giving direction to the Ontario Municipal Board. When appeals are made to the municipal board, I think they will judge them according to the zoning of that community and the position the municipality has taken and listen to arguments from both sides and render a decision.

Mr. Grande: Mr. Speaker, I am sorry to hear that the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing has not yet made a decision on the legislation which the city of Toronto sent him about three weeks ago.

What advice would the minister give to the 40 tenants at 230-232 Heath Street in my riding, whose apartments are going to be demolished and who are going to be evicted on February 12 or 13, in the middle of winter? What advice would the minister give those people in terms of where they can find affordable accommodation in the $300 range as opposed to building condominiums?

Mr. Speaker: Order. That is a new question, not a supplementary.

2:40 p.m.

Mr. Sweeney: This minister is on record -- I believe it was about a month and a half ago -- as indicating the average citizen should not expect to be able to own a home in the central part of Toronto. Does he not realize that, in the absence of some specific direction or policy guidelines from himself and his ministry, what he is probably saying, and will be saying months or a couple of years from now, is that the average citizen cannot even expect to rent accommodation in the central part of Toronto? Does he not realize that is what it is leading to?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: No, I do not realize that is what it is leading to. I quoted clearly and distinctly in this House, and I will repeat it again, that the conversions we have experienced between rental and condominium over the last number of years in no way, shape or form indicate we have a mass movement away from rental to condominium, either in this city or in any other community elsewhere in Ontario; absolutely not.

The member wants to blow the thing completely out of perspective because there are one or two at the moment that are being converted. There are some rights to being a property owner in this province --

Mr. Cassidy: The minister of property owners; that's what you are. Give it to us some more.

Hon. Mr. Bennett: I said there are still some rights to being a property owner in this province. The leader of the third party can sit there and yap all he wants. He knows very well a municipality has certain responsibilities to look at the situation as it relates to that municipality and to make a decision.

I have a great deal of faith in a municipal council's ability to judge the situation in its community, whether it be Etobicoke or any other community in this province, and to render a decision. They know the guidelines my ministry has supplied them, and some have put them into practice. I think there are about 20 communities in this province that have already put those guidelines into practice in determining the rights, from a municipal council's point of view, of conversion --

Mr. Cassidy: The minister of speculation; that's what you are.

Hon. Mr. Bennett: The Speaker asked our members to please sit and be quiet; maybe the member would like to do the same.

Mr. Speaker: Will the minister ignore the interjections, please?

Mr. Cassidy: He's the minister of speculation.

Hon. Mr. Bennett: The member should talk about speculation.

Mr. Cassidy: You're the minister of speculation; you should talk about speculation.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Bennett: I say very clearly again, that is a determination of the municipalities. We have offered them the guidelines. If there is a problem with zoning which allows somebody to convert, that is, taking an apartment spot, demolishing it and putting it into an apartment complex, then the municipality has a responsibility to look at the zoning.

Mr. Grande: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: I do not understand why my supplementary was ruled out of order, since I am under the distinct impression it was exactly on the question the acting leader of the Liberal Party was talking about. Will the minister answer my supplementary question?

Mr. Speaker: With all respect, it was not, in my opinion, a supplementary question but was, rather, a new question.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Treasurer, who is also chairman of the Board of Industrial Leadership and Development. When the BILD program was announced back in the winter, almost a year ago, the announcement said the BILD announcements will launch Ontario upon a massive industrial expansion program aimed at creating jobs.

The Treasurer himself, in making his statement at the kickoff for BILD on January 27, said, "Our principal economic goals are to ensure growth and high job creation." He said, "Job creation is still the imperative of our economic policy." He said, "The resilience and diversity of Ontario's economy will continue to deliver strong job performance."

In view of all of those claims about strong job performance, will the Treasurer tell the House how many jobs will be created through BILD this winter as we go into what Statistics Canada has now called the most severe economic contraction in 30 years?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, as the honourable member knows, we had a program that was the predecessor to BILD. It was a specific program which assisted the expansion or creation of industries in Ontario through grants and other forms of subsidized assistance. He has often criticized the employment development board and the fund it administered. He has said the grants we offered to industries to create jobs, be they in the automobile industry or elsewhere, were not productive, that they did not help. We think they did. But at the same time we recognized that they were not part of an industrial strategy and that we should have one in this province. Therefore, we developed the BILD strategy.

The BILD strategy is building on the future on a medium- to long-term basis. The member has just heard my colleague the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Pope) make the announcement today aimed at making this province more independent of imports of non-metallic industrial minerals. The member will see, and continue to see, more projects of that nature. That creates jobs.

I was on a mine site near Kapuskasing a week ago last Friday where money from that ministry today is creating not many jobs but a few jobs in the hope of delineating a major ore body so that we can cut down the importation of several million dollars' worth of ore a year and create jobs in that area, right in the Kapuskasing area. The member for Cochrane North (Mr. Piché) was with me. He has been a great promoter of that kind of thing. Right across this province one will see BILD at work doing that kind of thing.

Mr. Cassidy: The minister says that right across this province we will see BILD at work doing this sort of thing and lays claim for a project in Kapuskasing which could not have benefited under BILD since the announcement about the BILD grants for that area was made only today.

How can the Treasurer expect anyone to believe that job creation is the imperative of the government's economy policy when the contacts within the ministries for BILD, whom we have contacted diligently over the last few days, are not able to identify a single job that has yet been created as a result of the BILD program?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I am not sure the words "have not been able to" are the proper ones. The member has been asking for specific jobs. I have said many times it is the member's technique to complain about long-term measures not being used when we employ short-term ones, and vice versa: whenever we get into medium- to long-term prospects, the member wants to say, "What is happening today?"

BILD is a medium- to long-term strategy. Obviously, greater benefits will accrue in future years. The member knows that. He knows that as we create the auto parts technology centre, the micro-technology centre, the biotechnology centre, the IDEA Corporation, the mining machinery advisory board, we will be creating jobs in Ontario. Surely he should have confidence, as we do, in those programs.

Mr. Wildman: Mr. Speaker, since the Treasurer is talking about the long term, I wonder whether he will agree with regard to the 45 projects he announced, that for the 26 we have received answers on in terms of projected jobs, only 977 jobs are projected, outside of the Toronto convention centre, and 700 of those jobs are projected for the King Mountain project, which apparently is in trouble because of the loss of multiple-unit residential buildings tax benefits under the federal budget.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, let us look at one BILD announcement specifically. An important part of any industrial strategy is transportation. Will the member accept that? One can nod one's head. If the member accepts that, I point out that $25 million was flowed in this current year for the improvement and speeded-up construction of major arterial roads. That will create a lot of jobs; they have been created this year, for example.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a new question for the minister, since he says jobs are being created in the area of transportation.

Is the Treasurer and chairman of BILD aware of the situation at Allen Industries, a company that has been operating in Stoney Creek for 16 years and once had 1,200 jobs, where 1,000 people were working in November 1980, but which through indefinite layoffs is down to 320 workers today? These will be laid off to the tune of 100 more on December 4, all of whom will be laid off over the period from December 11 until January.

Will the Treasurer say what the BILD program will do to provide jobs for the 320 workers who will be laid off over Christmas and for the 700-odd workers who have been indefinitely laid off or have lost their jobs with that company in the course of the past year?

2:50 p.m.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, unless I have lost the gist of questions the honourable member's party has asked me day after day, this is becoming a form question each day. They are asking specifically the same question but with a different corporate name.

Mr. Wildman: That's because there is one layoff after another.

Hon. F. S. Miller: I am not happy about layoffs. The members opposite are not happy about layoffs.

Mr. Cassidy: But you're not doing anything.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. F. S. Miller: The fact remains, all of us need to look at the economics of some of those layoffs at times. It is a shared responsibility; it is not just mine, the unions', the companies' or the federal government's. If jobs are lost to another jurisdiction, we have to see why Canadian companies are not as competitive. We have to be willing to look at the situation objectively and to protect jobs in this country.

Mr. Cassidy: The minister says we have to protect jobs in this country, and he says that I keep on asking what he calls a form question. I would like to know whether there is a form answer, beyond saying: "We have no responsibility. We are not going to create jobs this winter; why the devil would anybody ask about jobs this winter?"

In the course of the election campaign, when he stood as a candidate for the Progressive Conservative Party, the Treasurer promised a massive industrial expansion program, he promised that job creation would be the imperative of his economic policy and he promised continued strong job performance. In view of all those promises, why is it that he is now delivering the most massive program of deindustrialization that this province has ever seen?

Hon. F. S. Miller: The honourable member is now talking about the federal budget, and not about me, because that is exactly what the federal budget has been: a deindustrialization program by cutting out the confidence of the average Canadian investor and making him move his money elsewhere. That, to me, is a travesty in this country; it is something we should not be putting up with, and the honourable member knows it.

Even the members of the Liberal Party spent all weekend wringing their hands and saying, "It is time we told the feds that they are destroying Ontario's economy."

Mr. Mancini: Mr. Speaker, does the Treasurer not agree with me that one of the reasons BILD has become such a big failure is that it is a scatter-gun approach? The government has not concentrated on specific industries in specific areas. They seem to approve projects in a helter-skelter fashion. They do not seem to understand the underlying problems in the main industrial sectors of our economy.

Why does the Treasurer not reappoint the plant closure committee, which was carrying out some very good work to advise the government on which industries were being wiped off the economic map and on what courses of action he should take, so that the money he is spending in the BILD projects in a helter-skelter fashion can be zeroed in on the very important industries that are being economically ruined at this time?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I hope my colleague enjoyed his speech, because that is what it was; it was not a question. The fact is that he is mixing apples and oranges. He talks about a plant closure committee in the same breath as he talks about a BILD strategy; they are not the same thing, and he knows they were not even within my ministry.

Mr. Mackenzie: Mr. Speaker, in the case that has been raised by my colleague, is the Treasurer aware that there has been no communication between the company and the union concerning the difficulties the company is in; that workers in many cases have received only half an hour's notice of permanent layoff; that most senior workers being laid off now carry eight years' seniority and are without pension benefits and any severance pay that we are able to establish?

Is this part of the BILD program, this kind of treatment of workers when we have such a shutdown of a plant, and does it not make the case for justification and content legislation in this province?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr Speaker, that question should be directed to my colleague the Minister of Labour.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the member will repeat the question.

Mr. Mackenzie: I simply asked, Mr. Speaker, is the minister aware, in the case of the Allen Industries plant, that there has been no communication between the company and the union regarding the difficulties the company is in; that some workers on permanent layoff are receiving only half an hour's notice; that eight years' seniority is the average for those being permanently laid off; and that there are no pension plans and no severance pay involved?

Is this part of the BILD program, and does it not make a case for content legislation and for justification of plant closures?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, the member knows full well that we have within our ministry a plant closure division and a director who, through a consultant or through his own staff, consults with industry with regard to closures to assess the justification for them.

He also knows full well that we have in this province measures with regard to termination of employment that are second to none in North America. We do not need to take second place to anybody in this country in terms of the concern we have over closures.


Mr. Elston: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Solicitor General. I want to ask a question concerning the investigation currently under way by senior police officials into the allegations of systematic brutality by the hold-up squad here in Toronto.

I understand witnesses are very reluctant to speak to the investigating officers who have been assigned to this task. In the light of the serious problem they are running into, is this perhaps not a very good reason for giving this difficult situation a public airing under the auspices of a public hearing?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I am sorry; under the auspices of the new public complaints commissioner? Is that the last part of the member's question?

Mr. Elston: A public inquiry is what I was asking for.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: The information I have, while probably not complete, Mr. Speaker, is that the potential witnesses, the complainants, were co-operating with the police. This information was given to me a week or so ago by Mr. Linden in his capacity as our new public complaints commissioner.

Mr. Linden is monitoring the investigation. As a matter of fact, I will be meeting with him later today, and I will certainly bring the member's concerns to his attention; but I think at this time it is rather premature to suggest that a public inquiry would be in anybody's interest.

Mr. Elston: If the Solicitor General is suggesting that a public inquiry may become non-effectual because the inquiry itself will be rerouted through the provisions of Bill 68, can he guarantee to the members of this House that any hearings conducted as a result of the determinations of the public complaints commissioner will be made in a public forum? In addition to that, can he tell us when he proposes to move ahead with having royal assent to the bill that was passed here just recently?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I know Mr. Linden wanted to get some regulations drafted before royal assent was sought, and that is the reason for the delay; but obviously it is important that we proceed with royal assent as soon as possible. One of the purposes of the meeting this afternoon is to determine just how quickly that could be done.

As the member knows, under our legislation the public complaints commissioner does have a discretion with respect to ordering a hearing, and any hearing that is ordered will certainly be public if he is of the view that such a hearing should be held.

Mr. Breaugh: Mr. Speaker, will the Solicitor General lend the offices of Mr. Linden or of his own ministry to any efforts made by Amnesty International to hold an inquiry of their liking into these allegations as well?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, Amnesty International is a very credible, important organization; there is no question about that. But as far as I am concerned, this is a matter that should be looked after locally. And I think it is a pretty good testing ground for the efficacy of Bill 68; obviously, I would like to give that procedure an opportunity to work.

3 p.m.


Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Speaker, in the absence of the Premier (Mr. Davis), I have a question for the Attorney General. Has the Attorney General had an opportunity to read The Good Fight, the political memoirs of David Lewis? More particularly, is he aware of the revelations contained in chapter 12 on the Gestapo affair of 1945?

Is the Attorney General aware, for example, that documentation is now available, from the Drew and the Gladstone Murray papers in the Public Archives of Canada, that Drew not only misled the people of Ontario during the 1945 election campaign but also perjured himself in his testimony before the LeBel royal commission to the effect that he was unaware of the existence and operation of this political espionage unit?

What is the Attorney General or his government going to do to correct the official record of this Legislature now that the truth of the so-called Gestapo affair is known?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, we all have great respect for the late David Lewis; I am looking forward personally to reading his autobiography. But with the greatest respect to a very distinguished Canadian, I do not think, given the fact that none of the people who were directly involved is still with us, that these allegations are really an appropriate foundation on which to confirm or refute a very serious allegation.

Mr. MacDonald: Since it is now known, and documented in his personal papers deposited in the public archives of the nation, that the man who launched the nearly 40-year hegemony of the Tory party in Ontario not only tolerated the existence and operation of a publicly financed political espionage unit within the Ontario Provincial Police, which spied on the official opposition -- surely an outrageous activity in a free country -- but also used the unit indirectly, through Gladstone Murray and his political propaganda, misled the people of Ontario by denying any knowledge of this political espionage in the 1945 election, which established the first majority government of the Tories, and finally perjured himself in testimony before the royal commission, thereby achieving judicial exoneration of his complicity --

Mr. Speaker: Do you have a question?

Mr. MacDonald: In view of all that, does the Attorney General not feel that the good name of Ontario should be restored as much as possible by clearing the record once and for all?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, my recollection of that period is simply that there was a royal commission and that it made it clear that the allegations which were made at that time were without foundation. The honourable member's predecessors paid probably what was an appropriate political price. There may be others who have subsequently disagreed with that, but I think we may be showing disrespect to a number of distinguished people who have gone to their great reward by attempting to turn this into a political football at this time.


Mr. Gordon: Mr. Speaker, is the Minister of Labour aware that an employee at Inco's nickel refinery was subjected to excessive levels of nickel carbonyl at the end of October, that the employee was initially refused testing for nickel carbonyl poisoning by company personnel and had to be rushed to hospital in the first week of November suffering from nickel carbonyl poisoning, and that he has not been able to return to work since?

Will the minister bring the full force of the Occupational Health and Safety Act to bear on Inco to see that Inco begins to take seriously the occupational health and safety of the workers in the nickel refinery?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, the member was good enough to mention to me minutes before the House assembled that he wanted to raise this issue, and I thank him for that.

My only personal experience with the nickel carbonyl plant was in visiting it in 1978. It is an up-to-date, modern plant built in 1970 or so, with automatic sampling and automatic warning devices built in. I have always heard, both from trade union representatives and from the company, that it was of the highest quality and standard.

But if the allegations the member is making about carbonyl intoxication or poisoning have indeed been made, he has my commitment that an inspector and occupational health branch physician, along with any other staff that may be required, will carry out a full investigation of that allegation. If there are compensation aspects involved, they too will be followed up very carefully.


Mr. McKessock: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Health. I wonder if the minister could clear up this confusion over user fees.

I have a constituent from Meaford who came to my office last Friday who thinks user fees are already here. Last Wednesday, he received a hospital bill for $10,000. His wife, who is 68 years old, has been in the hospital for one year and four months. She has had her leg amputated and is confined to a wheelchair, has had eight strokes within the last three years and has arthritis in her arms and hands. Her application for extended nursing home care has been approved. On August 1, this gentleman, who is also 68 years old, was told his wife was discharged from the hospital.

He immediately contacted every nursing home within 40 miles around and found no beds available. He then contacted his lawyer who told him to keep looking but not to take her out of the hospital. Last Wednesday, November 25, he received a bill from the hospital for $10,000.

Are user fees already here? What is this man supposed to do with his wife, who is approved for extended care, and what is he supposed to do with the $10,000 bill?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, obviously I do not make a snap assessment of an individual case. If the member would like to give me the particulars, I can have it looked into.

As regards the basic question, there is no confusion. There are some user fees already in existence for nursing homes and for chronic care, but we do not have user fees for required hospitalization. It may well be that there is some dispute between the physician and the hospital, and maybe the patient, as to whether the patient should leave the hospital. If the physician has in fact discharged the person, then it is no longer an insured service.

Mr. McKessock: What steps is the minister taking to provide nursing home beds so that this type of thing will not happen? Is the minister aware that Meaford nursing home has an extra 10 beds in its modern home for which it has never been able to obtain a licence?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I am aware, if it is the one I am thinking of, that when they built the facility they overbuilt beyond the limits of their licence in the hope that some time in the future they would be given approval.

Mr. Eakins: The need is there now.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: We have been adding nursing home beds, which the member for Victoria-Haliburton very well knows, where the local need is demonstrated and where I have funds available in my budget. In fact, in the last two fiscal years I have had approval to add 1,000 nursing home beds to the system, which approvals I have granted. I hope in the next year I will have permission in my budget allocation to continue to do that where need can be demonstrated.

Mr. McClellan: Mr. Speaker, of those 1,000 beds, how many are already set up and in place?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mf. Speaker, as of the end of August, as I told the member yesterday, 223 of those 1,000 were open.

Mr. McClellan: Way to go.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Thank you very much. The member just confirmed the validity of the old saying that sarcasm is not wit, but merely the babbling of a diseased mind.


Mr. Cooke: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Attorney General. I would like to ask the minister if he could update us on the situation in Windsor with Judge Henrikson and Judge Docherty. Could the minister indicate to us, since Judge Henrikson has already had his preliminary trial, whether he can make a commitment today that there will in fact be a trial and not simply a resignation without a trial? When will we get the results of the judicial review done on Judge Docherty so we know exactly what the situation of this case is in Windsor, which has been dragging on for a number of months?

3:10 p.m.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, with respect to the charge or charges against Judge Henrikson, the matter, as the member quite properly points out, has gone through a preliminary inquiry and the judge has been committed for trial. That trial will proceed. Any resignation would not interfere with the fact that the trial would have to proceed.

As far as the other judge is concerned, there were in-camera hearings by the Ontario Judicial Council. These hearings are required by law to be in camera, and I think I will be in a position to advise the House within the next week as to the effect of the in-camera hearings. I am just not able to advise the House what the results will be at this very moment, but I expect to be in a position to do so very shortly.

Mr. Cooke: Could the minister indicate to the House why it is that in these cases where judges are involved with legal problems they are left on the payroll, whereas when members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union are in similar circumstances they are cut off the payroll until their cases are heard? Why does the minister treat judges differently than he treats his unionized employees?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I think there are some procedures involving judges that are absolutely necessary in order to maintain the independence of that institution, that are, I think, appropriate for the judiciary. Certainly in the case of judges, if there are allegations the truth of which has to be examined, I think it would be very detrimental to the principle of judicial independence, a principle that is so important to a democratic society, if we did not keep the judges on salary, as the member put it, until the allegations are sorted out.

Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, in the matter of Judge Henrikson, will the Attorney General advise us if, as a result of resignation, a change in plea occurs and a sentence is imposed, he will advise the House as to the terms and conditions upon which that matter may then have been resolved?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I am not going to embark on idle speculation about idle speculation, with the greatest of respect.


Mr. Sheppard: Mr. Speaker, I have a question to ask the Minister of Agriculture and Food. How soon can the cow-calf operators expect their money? Before Christmas? I am sure a lot of them would like it before Christmas, if at all possible.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, I showed a form here when I made the statement. We had our agricultural representatives in yesterday and made them aware of the process. For the ag reps who did not get in, those forms are being delivered to their offices today. It is hoped farmers will come to the ag rep's office any time after tomorrow morning and then he will assist them in filling in the form. Once an ag rep gets sufficient forms, 10, 12, 15 or 20, he will deliver them to our office here at 801 Bay Street and 10 working days after they are delivered here, cheques will be delivered back to the ag's office. He, in turn, will phone the farmers. That way we hope the farmers will have them at least a week before Christmas.

Mr. Riddell: Mr. Speaker, how did he arrive at $40 a cow when the Ontario Cattlemen's Association made a request for $80 a cow if the farmers were to at least break even?

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member knows our Farm Income Stabilization Act would have permitted $17 per cow. We worked on many different sets of figures, but one figure we worked on was a 400-pound calf at 10 cents a pound, which is $40.

Mr. Sargent: That's a lot of bull!

Hon. Mr. Henderson: All right, stand up and say that.

Mr. Speaker: The member for Windsor- Sandwich with a new question.

Mr. Pollock: I have a supplementary.

Mr. Breithaupt: On a point of order: The minister apparently has a supplementary, so perhaps it should be asked.

Mr. McClellan: Why doesn't he ask it himself?

Mr. Eaton: I have a supplementary.

Mr. Speaker: Order. The member for Hastings-Peterborough (Mr. Pollock) was on his feet.

Mr. Eakins: But you did not see him.

Mr. Speaker: You are right, I did not.

Mr. Sargent: That's not the way they rehearsed it.

Mr. Martel: Lorne, you read the question.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Smith: If the minister arranges for several supplementaries, the least he can do is hear them.

Mr. Speaker: It was your colleague who drew this to my attention, with all respect. I assumed, in drawing it to my attention, he had the permission of the rest of the members.

Mr. Peterson: Is this a new question?

Mr. Speaker: No, it is not. You are out of order.

Mr. Peterson: I am not out of order. It has to go back to the original questioner.

Mr. Speaker: I am not changing anything. Are you going to make a speech?

Mr. Peterson: I would be very happy to.

Mr. Speaker: Just sit down.

Mr. Peterson: Tell us what the rules are.

Mr. Speaker: The rules will remain the same. I was co-operating with a member of your caucus, the member for Kitchener, who apparently does not have as much influence as I felt he had. The member for Windsor-Sandwich with a new question.


Mr. Wrye: I have a question for the Minister of the Environment on the situation at the old Bendix plant in Windsor and regarding the herbicide Cobex. The minister will be aware that this herbicide has been at the plant for more than four months now and the transferring of the herbicide from leaking containers to larger and safer containers is still going on.

I want to impress on the minister the intensity of the concerns of the people on the west side of the city by telling him at the outset that I am going to be presenting a petition later today signed by some 840 people who are expressing those concerns.

What level of monitoring has the ministry been doing to ensure that this very dangerous and highly flammable herbicide is being properly and safely transferred to the new drums? Why has the transfer taken so long? When are these drums going to be removed from this plant and specifically under what conditions?

Will the minister give this House his assurance that officials from the Ministry of the Environment and from the Minister of Labour's department will be on hand to ensure that the containers are properly packaged on the trucks and that the trucks are moved as safely as possible so that the workers and the people in the neighbourhood have no risk of exposure to this very deadly herbicide?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I am aware of the situation to which the honourable member refers. Staff from my ministry and the Ministry of Labour have been involved in the situation, in monitoring, supervising and providing advice on the safe handling of the material.

I understand it has taken rather longer than had been anticipated, partly because of special precautions that had to be taken with respect to safety. It is my understanding that at one point there was some concern about the pumping device that was being used to transfer the material from the smaller containers into the more secure and larger containers.

The procedure had to be interrupted pending consultation on what the best available machinery was to complete the transfer in a safe way. At present, they project the transfer to the new containers will be completed some time next week, with the objective being to complete the safe transport of the material beginning in the week of December 7.

I can assure the member everything that can be done will be done to ensure not only the safe handling of the material during the balance of the time it is in the plant in Windsor, but also in the transfer that will take place when and as it returns to the United States.

3:20 p.m.

Mr. Newman: Mr. Speaker, is the minister aware that Professor Joe Cummings, an associate professor of genetics at the University of Windsor, has noted there are enough carcinogens in the Cobex "to give most people in Windsor cancer if they breathe its toxic vapours during a fire"? We are also aware that other delisted pesticides sit in various warehouses across the province.

Given these facts, and given that the Association of Municipalities of Ontario passed a resolution in August suggesting that the province establish a monitoring agency that would, in co-operation with local boards of health, register dangerous commodities passing through communities, can the minister advise us how he has responded to the AMO suggestion? If he has not responded, why not?

May I also suggest to the minister that this question was raised by me in the House on November 10 with his colleague the Minister of Labour (Mr. Elgie), then again on November 24 and the problem still has not been resolved.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, I am not sure which problem the honourable member is referring to, whether it is the question about the reference from the Ontario Federation of Agriculture or whether he is talking about the Cobex problem. As far as his reference to the communication with the Ontario Federation of Labour is concerned, frankly I would have to check. I do not know whether at this point I have responded formally to them or not, but I will check and find out the status of that.

With regard to the member's opening comment on the potential hazard involved with this material, yes, I am aware it is viewed as a potentially very hazardous material, which is precisely why it is being dealt with as carefully as it is. As I believe the member knows, although the material is now no longer on the Canadian market, and the reason it happens to be in Windsor is that it was on its way out of the country back to the manufacturer in the United States, it is still available on the American market.

That is no justification for our treating it any less carefully than we are, but I can assure the member and I would hope he would assure his constituents and others in the Windsor area who have legitimately some anxiety, especially when they hear statements like that from knowledgeable people in the academic community, that it is being treated very carefully.


Mr. Breaugh: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Attorney General concerning the woman who was beaten by police informer Cecil Kirby at the Cara Inn on July 15, 1981. Is the minister prepared to offer to this victim some measure of protection? In particular, is he prepared to give us his personal assurance that Mr. Kirby will not be allowed to contact this woman and is he prepared to accept some responsibility for relocation expenses for her?

It appears that the woman is afraid of certain police officers and Kirby visiting her and is now in rather a complete state of physical and mental exhaustion. Is he prepared to offer to this victim of a police informer beating some measure of protection?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I am not sure what the honourable member is referring to so far as the allegations he is making with respect to the current state of this woman's mental health. I have not heard anything and have not been given any information in that respect.

I indicated to the House several weeks ago that I would be reporting back to the House with respect to the very serious allegations that were made and were widely reported in the media, that police officers stood by, as it were, while this woman was being assaulted. I have not yet had a report relating to that. When I do, I will advise the House accordingly. I do not know the present circumstances about which the honourable member is advising the House. Therefore, not knowing those circumstances, apart from what he has stated, I am not in a position to comment further.

Mr. Breaugh: According to her lawyers, she is now in a state of total nervous exhaustion. Since it would appear the minister is prepared to offer relocation expenses in the amount of some $200,000, would it not be reasonable for the crown now to move to offer some measure of protection and assistance to this woman, who is the victim of a crime allegedly committed by a police informer while he was in police custody? Would the minister be prepared to consider that?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: All I can say at this time is that I am prepared to inquire into the situation as the honourable member has related it to me.


Mr. Pollock: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Agriculture and Food. Are dairy cattle that are bred to beef breeds going to be eligible for the cow-calf supplement, especially if they are not cream or milk producers?

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, under item two on my form, eligible animals are females kept for beef purposes that have had or will have a calf in 1981, owned by the applicant. Cows kept for the production of milk are not eligible; only cows kept for the production of beef calves.

Mr. Eaton: Mr. Speaker, the statement refers to all "cows on hand as of August 1, 1981, provided these cows were bred in Ontario to produce a calf in 1981." Inasmuch as some of our beef herds are supplemented with cows coming in from western Canada that may have been bred last year, brought here in the fall, calved here and continue on in the herd, will those cattle be eligible?

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, these forms were put together this morning. When the statement came to me at noon it said "beef cows kept for beef" and the statement was changed at noon to clarify that it was "cows that were kept for the production of beef calves." The phrase the member is referring to, "bred in Ontario," is not part of the application. The cows he refers to, which were brought down for the production of beef calves, will qualify if they are on the farm as of August 1.


Mr. Mancini: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: Of course, you are aware, sir, that if the members of the government decide on a daily basis that they are going to participate in question period on a routine basis, we in the Liberal Party and my friends in the New Democratic Party are not going to be able to share properly in question period time.

Mr. Speaker: I would like to point out to all honourable members that the time for oral questions is indeed time for all honourable members in this House. I think you have made your point, and I understand what you are saying, but you are out of order.



Mr. Cousens: On behalf of 3,500 signatories, on behalf of the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs (Mr. Wells), on behalf of the member for York North (Mr. Hodgson), and the many users and potential users of GO train service in Markham, Unionville, Stouffville and Agincourt, I present this petition: "We have received no answer from the federal government. There is little likelihood that they will respond to our needs. The Ontario government has done an outstanding job with GO train service, and we solicit the support of the Ontario government for this important service."

3:30 p.m.


Mr. Wrye: Mr. Speaker, I would like to present a petition signed by 840 citizens living on the west side of Windsor. This petition demands the immediate and safe removal of the cancer-causing herbicide Cobex. Specifically it states:

"We the people of the west of Windsor, Prince Road vicinity, are petitioning for the removal of Cobex herbicide from the Prince Road warehouse and right out of the city before the chemical causes public health hazards, namely cancer."



Hon. Mr. Wells moved that the estimates of the Ministry of the Environment be considered in the standing committee on resources development, concurrently with Bill 7, An Act to revise and extend Protection of Human Rights in Ontario, in committee of the whole House this evening.

Motion agreed to.



Mr. Samis moved, seconded by Mr. Bradley, first reading of Bill 182, An Act to amend the Election Finances Reform Act.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Samis: Mr. Speaker, the present act limits contributions to political parties, constituency associations and candidates to persons individually, corporations and trade unions. This bill would remove the reference to corporations and trade unions to the effect that only individuals would be permitted to make contributions.


Mr. Wildman moved, seconded by Mr. MacDonald, pursuant to standing order 34, that the business of the House be set aside so that the House may debate a matter of urgent public importance, that being the new evidence of deepening economic recession in Ontario provided yesterday by the release of economic indicators from Statistics Canada and the failure of this government to take effective steps in an emergency budget to stimulate the economy and create jobs.

Mr. Speaker: Pursuant to standing order 34, the honourable member has up to five minutes to state his case.

Mr. Wildman: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. With the publication of the figures by Statistics Canada yesterday, we are all aware of what a bleak picture we face today as we head into the winter with an economic slump that is much worse than any of the experts believed it to be, much worse than even the projections made by the Conference Board of Canada published yesterday.

The StatsCan figures indicate that for the third quarter the gross national product has declined by one per cent. When that is adjusted for inflation the annual rate of decline is four per cent, which is a tremendous decline when one considers that we had a growth rate of about 5.6 per cent in the second quarter of this year.

Real output has fallen by 1.9 per cent, which is the most severe decline in the last 30 years. Investments in many areas have fallen short of what is needed to provide the jobs we need in our economy. For instance, investment in machinery and equipment is down by 5.9 per cent.

The Conference Board in Canada figures yesterday indicated a decline of 1.2 per cent in the gross national product and the conference board, as a result of that, said we face a serious situation of declining industrial output in the economy in 1982.

These figures today, however, are much worse than that. We have been told that experts such as Roger Keane of Midland-Doherty predict we are going to see a disaster for the fourth quarter figures when they are published and that today we may be facing an annual decline of between six and seven per cent, if not greater. This would make it the worst decline in our economic situation since 1951. Obviously the problems we face are the result of record high interest rates and the concomitant poor consumer demand.

We are facing a situation where in the retail trade we have high inventories and little is moving. We are in the midst of a recession. We have little hope of improvement. We face for 1982 and for this winter high inflation, high interest rates and higher unemployment. We are going to see continued sluggish automobile sales and fewer housing starts. The sagging economic situation is coupled with and is compounded when one considers the high current account deficit of something approaching $6 billion in 1982.

The spending consumers are making on durable goods has fallen by 5.7 per cent. That is the largest decline since 1976. Demand for automobiles has declined by 6.3 per cent in volume. Overall, there is a decline in personal expenditures on goods and services of 0.9 per cent. Interestingly enough, when we ask for a reaction from this government we have a $21 million rebate on 1981 automobiles that are still in inventory and the Statistics Canada statement says its figures follow the temporary suspension of sales taxes on specific items in Ontario. In other words, the only answer that is proposed by this government has not been adequate. The decline continues.

When one looks at the only thing this government has pointed to in terms of economic stimulation, the BILD program, it is obvious it is a complete failure. When we looked at the 45 projects announced by the Treasurer in his recent statement, of 26 of them, the ministries involved could not give us any job projections at all. Of those job projections we did see there were less than 1,500 jobs, most of them for the Toronto convention centre.

Obviously this is an inadequate response. What is needed is a budget. The federal budget did not respond to the needs of Ontario. This government has the responsibility to do that. We need relief from high interest rates. We need to stimulate consumer demand and we need a job creation program that will provide us with the jobs we need this winter. It is about time this government lived up to its responsibilities.

Mr. Smith: Mr. Speaker, we would certainly support a debate at this time on the sad state of Ontario's economy. The policies of this government, as I perceive them, basically come down to waiting to see whether there will be a recovery eventually in the United States of America. They hope such a recovery will have benefits that will spill over the border into Canada and will benefit Ontario as an industrial centre waiting to sell products to consumers who, at the moment, are not inclined to purchase the products we happen to be producing here.

That is an easy answer. That is a simple understatement of the situation. It marks the way this government, at heart, really regards the situation. I honestly believe a decent person like the Treasurer would be doing something, except that he truly believes in his heart there is not an awful lot Ontario can do when things have a downturn in the United States. He believes our economies are interwoven and there is very little he can do in the face of the high interest rates and so on which are forced upon us.

3:40 p.m.

Of all the things I have seen here in six years, what disturbs me most is this acceptance on the part of the government that Ontario is obliged to participate in the decline of traditional industries in the foundry of northeastern United States. I profoundly disagree with the government that we must simply go down with those traditional industries as prosperity moves to Canada's west and to the United States southwest.

Canada will be all right. We have a downturn now, we may have a serious recession ahead of us, but ultimately the country will come out of it because of our resource base. Ontario, however, may never come out of the present downturn. It has been going on throughout the 1970s, it is likely to continue in the 1980s and we may never come out of it as we know Ontario to be now. Our youngsters are very likely to have to find their future in another part of this country because Ontario depends on manufacturing and this country is going to run up about a $23 billion deficit in international trade in manufactured end products in this coming year.

Our province simply must get into industries that have a future in manufacturing. It is not good enough to talk about election gimmicks which were obviously very successful in getting votes, and to speak of BILD and this and that. We have to have a strategy to equal that of the Japanese. While people are not buying American cars they are buying Japanese cars and while the western world is in decline as long as Mr. Reagan's policies are going to be to fight inflation by recession, the fact remains that our competitors in Japan have plans today to dominate the economy of the free world within the next eight or nine years. We are going to have to compete not simply with Michigan and Pennsylvania, who are in decline as we are, we are going to have to compete with Japan and with other nations in other parts of this world.

Ontario has the opportunity to move into new areas, new forms of energy, new forms of pollution control equipment, new industries in electronics, new industries that can service the resource sector that we have in energy, in mining, in agriculture and in resource industries generally. We have to have a strategy, we have to have confidence in our own people and we have to depend on the small and medium-sized Canadian businesses that are not just going to act as branch plants and are not just going to do the bidding given to them from Washington or elsewhere and consequently accelerate the decline each time it happens.

We are in a situation now where even when the dollar goes down in value we hardly benefit, because the branch plants continue to import their parts from their mother company down south no matter how much they happen to cost. We are obliged to accept the decline that has happened and to reverse it by moving into new industries with targets that will create jobs here. It is inconceivable to me, no matter how good a speculation Suncor may turn out to be in the future, that the Ontario government would announce to the world the only place they can find to invest money at this time is in western Canada where there are tar sands and a bright future. They believe that is where the action is.

We must believe in ourselves in Ontario. We must believe in our young people. We must believe in our small business people and we have to have a coherent strategy to get Ontario working again, not only this winter but to have a future in the 1980s and 1990s to compete with Japan and with other parts of this world.

We are as smart as anybody. We have the ability. We lack a government committed to a decent strategy of industrial growth.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I think the question to be decided by yourself today is not whether the economy has a problem. I think anyone who tried to say we are not facing difficult economic times would be laughed out of court. I have not tried to say that. The question should be whether it is resolved in this House and by emergency debate.

Tomorrow my estimates begin. I think that is the proper place to have that kind of debate. There will be 12 hours of debate, two full days, and I would suggest that is the traditional, and in this case immediate, place for such a debate.

I am told there has been a similar motion placed before the federal House today. The federal House, of course, has recently brought down a budget. In my opinion, that is a House which needs greatly to be influenced in terms of effects upon Canada's economy. Many of the things Mr. MacEachen did in his budget really have struck at the fibre of investment motivation in Canada.

He has done things to farmers so that if they sell their farm they pay their income tax in one year instead of spreading it out over a number of years. He talked about taking it from the rich. I do not think many farmers caught by that move will feel they were the rich.

Mr. Martel: He did nothing of the sort.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Miller: He has taken a series of moves to prevent the redeployment of an investor's funds that will attract tax in advance of attracting cash. He has done a whole series of things that I think will fundamentally make people say "I do not want to invest in this country. I would rather invest someplace else." I would argue that one of the most important things a politician does is create an atmosphere of confidence for investment.

I was intrigued by the comments made by the Leader of the Opposition as he wound up his speech. He said, "We have to believe in ourselves." I could not agree more, and yet all I have really ever heard the honourable member do, going around this province, is to make people believe that we have no future, that we have no chance, that we are a bunch of dim-witted second-rate citizens. I would argue that philosophy was rejected. I would argue that the honourable member has done as much as anyone to destroy that confidence.

Mr. Speaker, I simply say to you this is not the time or the place for that kind of debate.

Mr. Smith: That's bull roar.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: No understatements, Stuart.

Mr. Smith: That's what I have done, understate.

Mr. Speaker: Order. I have listened intently and with great interest to the comments of the members of the three parties. Quite obviously, we are faced with a very serious situation and I do not want to diminish that in any way. However, I do find the motion is out of order, mainly because there will be a chance to debate it more completely during the Treasurer's estimates which will be before the general government committee.

I would also point out to all the honourable members that the budget debate is still going on, so there will be opportunity to discuss this at greater length.


Hon. Mr. Wells: I wish to table the answer to question 247 and the interim answer to question 248 standing on the Notice Paper. (See Hansard for Friday, December 4.)



Hon. Mr. Wells, on behalf of Hon. Mr. Norton, moved third reading of Bill 143, An Act to amend the Environmental Protection Act.

Motion agreed to.


Mr. Robinson moved second reading of Bill Pr9, An Act to revive Bankfield Consolidated Mines Limited.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Mr. Nixon moved second reading of Bill Pr 15, An Act to revive the Burford Lions Club.

Mr. Nixon: I can tell members where Burford is and all about it, if they would care to know.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.

3:50 p.m.


Mr. Rotenberg moved second reading of Bill Pr19, An Act to revive Jacinta Investments Limited.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion. state.


Mr. Eaton moved second reading of Bill Pr25, An Act respecting the Township of North Dorchester.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Mr. MacQuarrie, on behalf of Mr. Mitchell, moved second reading of Bill Pr31, An Act respecting the City of Kanata.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Mr. Eves moved second reading of Bill Pr32, An Act respecting the Town of Bracebridge.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Mr. Eves moved second reading of Bill Pr33, An Act respecting the Town of Gravenhurst.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Mr. Eves moved second reading of Bill Pr34, An Act respecting the Town of Huntsville.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Mr. Pollock moved second reading of Bill Pr36, An Act respecting the Township of Chandos.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Ms. Fish, on behalf of Mrs. Scrivener, moved second reading of Bill Pr40, An Act respecting Tordom Corporation.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.

House in committee of the whole.


Resuming consideration of Bill 7, An Act to revise and extend Protection of Human Rights in Ontario.

Mr. Chairman: I bring to all members' attention and that of those with us in the gallery that we are dealing with Bill 7, An Act to revise and extend Protection of Human Rights in Ontario. It is my understanding the committee of the whole House concluded debate on a proposed amendment by Mr. Renwick.

Mr. Riddell moved that sections 1 to 5 inclusive of Bill 7 be amended by adding after the word "handicapped" the words "political belief."

Mr. Riddell: Mr. Chairman, I think it is necessary we have this amendment included in the bill to prevent the rather unfortunate situation that happened in one of our sister provinces, I believe it was Nova Scotia, where there was a change of government and all of a sudden 2,000 civil servants found they were without jobs. I would hate to see that type of thing happen in Ontario or any other province for that matter.

Also I think it might stop some of the political patronage we see occurring here in Ontario. We all well know that at one time before anyone could get a job in a liquor store he had to support the Conservative Party. Fortunately, the unions have now stepped in and they have put a stop to this with the exception perhaps of the appointment of a manager. I think maybe the unions could apply pressure on that and make it embarrassing for the government if it tried to appoint a manager of a store who happened to support the Conservative Party and that was the only qualification he really had.

It bothers me when I see such things happen as the appointment to the Ontario Racing Commission of a former minister of the crown here in Ontario, a person by the name of Charles MacNaughton. He has an excellent pension and yet was appointed as chairman of the Ontario Racing Commission knowing very little about the horse business.

4 p.m.

I know there were some people connected with the racing association, with the standardbreds and the thoroughbreds, who had a great deal of knowledge about the racing association and who would have liked that job. They were not given any consideration simply because the great Charles MacNaughton, the former Treasurer of this province, decided he had enough of politics and forced a by-election in 1973. The government thought they would honour the fellow by giving him the chairmanship of the Ontario Racing Commission. That is irresponsible and completely unacceptable as far as I am concerned.

We can turn to the Ontario Police Commission. Who got the job as chairman of the police commission? None other than Elmer Bell, the man who was responsible for getting Charlie MacNaughton elected year after year.

Mr. Renwick: What about Phil ?

Mr. Riddell: Do not think there was not a little politics involved there, my friend. The Ontario government dearly wanted to pick up that seat so I think some negotiations went on in that regard too.

The point I am trying to make is this government does not necessarily appoint the people who are qualified to do the job. They appoint these people because they happen to be old, faithful, loyal, Conservative supporters. I would like to see a stop put to this. If by putting in this amendment we can put an end once and for all to this political patronage, I think all members of this House should give it serious consideration.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, I rise to say we support the amendment. I thought the member for Huron-Middlesex had introduced it to protect himself on the political beliefs he expressed in this House last night, and that he did not want to be discriminated against because of the beliefs he expressed here in this assembly. That was the most incoherent statement of personal political beliefs I have ever heard in my life and I can well understand he would not want anyone to discriminate against him because of it.

We will support the amendment. I may say that --

Mr. Riddell: Perhaps the member would like to elaborate on that. He is talking nonsense.

Mr. Renwick: I did want to say even I thought there was some politics involved in the appointment of Phil Givens as head of the Metropolitan Toronto Police Commission.

We support the amendment for a more important reason: because it is the policy of the New Democratic Party. In this caucus we are bound by the policy of and are under the direction of the party. We consider that in this society a person's political beliefs are an irrelevant consideration with respect to the availability of services, accommodation, employment and membership in associations.

Some people try to make a subtle distinction. For example, when we become the government I think the Deputy Premier (Mr. Welch) of this province would want to resign. It would not be a question of discrimination on the grounds of his political belief. I think he would automatically wish to leave his employment at that time.

The great bulk of people should not be placed in jeopardy regarding the availability of services, accommodation, associations and employment covered by this bill. We are delighted with the amendment. We would have moved it ourselves if the member for Huron-Middlesex had not moved it and we will support it.

Ms. Copps: Mr. Chairman, I also want to speak in favour of the amendment and support the points put forth by my colleague in the Liberal Party.

If we think back to the period in committee, we will recall that the Ontario Federation of Labour pointed out to us the fact that some 2,000 Nova Scotia civil servants were axed simply because of a change of government. Obviously there may be situations where certain senior policy advisers and deputy ministers may have to leave with a government, but I think that in general we must respect the principle that employees in the civil service should be protected regardless of changes in governments.

Mr. Di Santo: Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of this amendment for the reasons that my colleague the member for Riverdale has mentioned but also because I think that in Ontario today there is a very subtle form of discrimination on the basis of political beliefs.

This discrimination is not openly stated, but it does exist, especially for that group of citizens who happen to be the civil servants of the province. The legislation we have in Ontario today makes them second-class citizens, because they cannot express their political beliefs publicly, they cannot belong to the opposition political parties and they are therefore restrained from expressing themselves in the way they choose.

I think it is time that every citizen in this province be treated fairly and equitably without discrimination because of political beliefs. We have had innumerable examples in the past of citizens who have chosen to run for or were active in the opposition parties and who were literally persecuted, such as my colleague the member for Hamilton Mountain (Mr. Charlton), while we have had innumerable examples of citizens who chose to work and are working for the Conservative Party who, of course, have received all kinds of opportunities.

With this amendment, I think we can close that loophole and bring some justice to a sector of our citizenry being discriminated against today.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Chairman, I rise to speak in support of this motion as well. I presume from the silence on the other side that we have their consent.

The only thing I want to add to the learned things my colleagues the member for Downsview (Mr. Di Santo) and the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) have said is that at this time it should be seen to be unthinkable that somebody could have a job denied him in Ontario just because he is a Conservative; it should be seen to be totally unthinkable that, just because somebody has so misconstrued reality as actually to think that being a Conservative is a useful thing, this should keep him from employment in this province. I am sure all members on the other side will agree.

Mr. Bradley: Mr. Chairman, I wish to add my words of commendation to the member for Huron-Middlesex (Mr. Riddell) for initiating this amendment, which I think will be a very valuable part of this bill if it is accepted by the House.

Many of us on the opposition side -- and I suppose the longer one is on the opposition side, the more one sees this -- have been disturbed by the fact that many people in this province over the years have been denied an equal opportunity to obtain employment because of their political affiliation or because of their known political leanings while others have enjoyed employment opportunities because of their affiliation with the government in power.

The Tory hack the member for Middlesex (Mr. Eaton) is one of the prime examples of a person who believes in the patronage system. But we see examples day in and day out, and the most obvious example is the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. Everybody in my area knows the way to get a job in the liquor stores in the Niagara Peninsula is to know the right people or to be mighty lucky, but it certainly helps to have a recommendation from the right person.

4:10 p.m.

Individuals have come to me over the years and said, "I would like a job in a liquor store." I am really in a dilemma because, first of all, I have no influence over that, nor do I want influence over who gets a job in a liquor store. I think it should be determined on merit. But I also have the dilemma of wondering whether I should name the person in my area who exerts influence on the hiring policies of the liquor board, because the individual might well need a job. Do I tell him he should see Mr. X for this job or not?

There are many examples. The member for Huron-Middlesex has listed some. The member for High Park-Swansea (Mr. Shymko) landed a beautiful job when he was defeated, I think, in the federal election. The provincial government had a job waiting for him.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Merit -- complete merit.

Mr. Bradley: The Minister of Labour retains his good sense of humour.

We then have the example of the Workmen's Compensation Board and the list of people who have been able to obtain jobs there. The former member for Hamilton Mountain, I think it was, who certainly did not distinguish himself as one of the better parliamentarians in this House, at least not from the news media reports we read and evaluations from pretty objective people, was able to land himself a job in the Workmen's Compensation Board. And the list goes on.

I could speak for an hour on the Tory hacks who have been able to get jobs and about others who are people of some ability, as the minister points out. There have been people of some ability as well, but the ultimate decision has been influenced by their political affiliation. It is my belief, in principle, that this should be ended, and I am hopeful that the members of the government, who are highly principled people, will support the amendment as put forward by the member for Huron-Middlesex.

Mr. Chairman: I point out to all honourable members that it is the chair's responsibility to try to restrain members in their use of unparliamentary language. Quite frankly, I say to the member for St. Catharines, I have difficulty with the term "hack," in terms of parliamentary language, as inciting too much so-called rowdyism in the Legislature. Under the circumstances, since there was not a great fervour about it, we will make no further comments, except to say that, knowing the quality of person you are, I hope you will refrain at some future time from possibly inciting members with unparliamentary language.

Mr. Bradley: I thank the Chairman for his advice.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Chairman, the issue of political belief really is not quite as straightforward as some members would have it seen. The words "political affiliation" were used by the member for St. Catharines, "political belief" by another, "political leaning" by yet another and "political activities" by a fourth member. Other provinces have encountered similar problems with this particular definition.

But I want to make one thing very clear to the member for Huron-Middlesex, so he can go home and relax and feel confident about things. There has been no house cleaning of civil servants in the provincial government of Ontario ever since the public in its good judgement defeated the Hepburn Liberal government in 1943. The member can be very sure of that.

I recall, as a young member arriving here some three or four years ago, the member for York South (Mr. MacDonald) paying great tribute to the fact that the patronage system did not exist in this public service and this government. Thank God, we are rid of it. I am sure the member is glad to be rid of it too. I join the member in saying that we are grateful in this province that a Conservative government has cleaned up a mess that a former Liberal government left behind.

Let us also understand that we also are blessed with a Public Service Act; so that where any public servant is discharged for any reason he has a remedy which is called a grievance. Any others who are discharged from any situation in society have a right under common law called unjust dismissal. It is my view that the Life Together commissioners, who travelled the province, found very little, if anything, to indicate that there was a problem in this province in this area.

In the light of the matters I have discussed, the government is not prepared to accept that amendment.

Mr. Chairman: All those in favour of Mr. Riddell's amendment will please say "aye."

All those opposed will please say "nay."

In my opinion, the nays have it.

Amendment stacked.

Mr. Chairman: I want to point out two items. First, the member for Riverdale also proposed an amendment with the exact same intent as that proposed by the member for Huron-Middlesex. Under the circumstances --

Mr. Renwick: I won't be placing it.

Mr. Chairman: You will not be presenting it?

I have another question upon which I seek your guidance. We have had one or two proposed amendments of a similar nature. However, they are put in at different points in section 1. Within my own mind. I have made the ruling of following the official opposition on their amendment first, even if, for instance, your proposed amendment, if it is exactly the same, follows ahead of one of the words in the section. Are you agreeable?

Mr. Boudria: Sounds reasonable to me.

Mr. Renwick: I am quite agreeable to that.

Mr. Chairman: Thank you very much. I wanted to make that clear to the House so that we would not run into controversial items.

Ms. Copps moves that sections 1 to 5, inclusive, be amended by adding, after the words "ethnic origin," the word "language."

Ms. Copps: Mr. Chairman, we moved this in committee as well as in the House for the reason that there are certainly many instances in Ontario where our minorities need to be protected in terms of language rights. I represent many Italian-speaking and Polish-speaking immigrants in my community who for one reason or another have sometimes been stood down for a job or a place to live when they have been perfectly able to do the job but may not have been able to speak the language.

Even though citizenship and ethnic origin are also components in the bill, it is important that we specifically underline in the human rights code an endorsement of the general principle of language protection and include it in prohibited grounds of discrimination.

The inclusion of this amendment certainly would go a long way to creating the kind of climate for language in this province that we have to work very hard to preserve in a multicultural, multiracial society. This amendment is a statement of principle; and if there are situations where a prospective employee cannot do a job, for example, because he or she is impeded by a language barrier, it is only reasonable under these bona fide circumstances that language will be brought to bear and not included as a prohibited ground of discrimination.

I propose the amendment with the full knowledge that under bona fide circumstances in employment the issue of language need not be a prohibited area of discrimination; but in general terms, as we have seen fit in this legislation to include ethnic origin and citizenship, it is important that we spell out language rights as a general statement of principle for our Ontario Human Rights Code.

Mr. Di Santo: Mr. Chairman, I support this amendment because, representing a riding where there is a very large ethnic community, I happen to deal almost every day with people who find it difficult to exercise their full rights as human beings in this society as a result of the language barrier.

The language barrier is an obstacle that results in discrimination, because in many instances the people who are affected are excluded from jobs, from accommodation, from participation in unions and from the ability to make contracts by this barrier, which is not their fault but results from objective circumstances.

4:20 p.m.

We have many cases of people who have been in Canada for many years but who, because of the environment in which they live and operate, have not been able to learn the language of this province or, I suppose in other instances in the province of Quebec, the French language. But they are still citizens because they have acquired the citizenship of this country or because they have been residents for many years; and despite that fact, they cannot fully use the benefits of their condition.

I think it is wise for the human rights code to eliminate this type of discrimination, which does exist even if it is not stated publicly. I might add briefly that language in many instances has racial undertones, undertones that do not come up very often. For that reason as well, I will support the amendment.

Mr. Chairman: The member for --

Ms. Copps: Prescott-Russell.

Mr. Chairman: Prescott-Russell. Thank you.

Ms. Copps: How could you forget?

Mr. Chairman: I know; how could I forget?

Mr. Boudria: Mr. Chairman, I was worried for a while that you would forget the name of my constituency, and I want you to know that the people of my riding would never have forgiven you for that. I am glad, nevertheless, that you did remember it.

I rise to support this amendment, because it is very important. The minister may remember that l'Association canadienne-française de l'Ontario, or ACFO, and l'Association française des conseils scolaires de l'Ontario appeared before the committee to suggest that this amendment should be included in the bill.

I will not speak very long on this matter, because I have already outlined my thoughts to the committee and I am sure all members recall what I had to say at that time. I just want to recall to the minds of the members of this House the following, which I stated in front of the committee. I am sure the minister will recall that I referred to an editorial in the Ottawa Citizen, entitled "Mocking Human Rights." Basically, it says the following:

"With an increasing number of racist incidents in this province, Davis is taking steps to demonstrate his government's support of newcomers to the Canadian society. That's commendable, but the cruel irony is obvious: Davis will turn his party's policies inside out to welcome new Canadians, but he won't recognize the special rights of francophones. The former is important for the future growth of his party; the latter is important for the retention of the conservative base he already enjoys."

In other words, the editor of the Ottawa Citizen is telling us, things are being done this way on purpose. They are being done this way because not expanding the rights of francophones is seen to be a good thing for the majority of the people in this province. I do not think it is, and I do not even think the population of this province really thinks this way. Nevertheless, one has to wonder at the persistence of this government not to increase anything that has to do with what may be interpreted as francophone rights.

In this case, although we are not strictly talking about that issue, we are talking about language rights in general. As I said to the committee, and as the member for Yorkview (Mr. Spensieri) said to me after the meeting of the committee, this was a good amendment. He was concerned because it applied very well to his constituency as well as to mine.

I draw the attention of the minister to a question I raised in the House approximately a week ago. It relates to an article in La Presse of Montreal. The minister may remember La Presse stated in that article that the Premier of this province had written a letter to a lady from Ottawa explaining he was supporting the charter of rights of this country, not for the expansion of francophone rights in Ontario but rather to try to control the power of linguistic rights that the government of Quebec had under Bill 101.

In Le Droit of Ottawa last week, a paragraph in an editorial headed "Davis et la Charte des droits" and written by Alain Dexter states the following, which I will read for the benefit of the House:

"Quoi qu'il en soit de l'impact que pourrait avoir au plan 'national' cette lettre que le premier ministre William Davis a fait parvenir, l'hiver dernier, à une citoyenne d'Ottawa, et où il traite de la position de l'Ontario face à la charte des droits, la réalité qu'elle traduit ne constitue pas une bien grosse révélation au plan 'intérieur.' En somme, que M. Davis voit la charte des droits comme un moyen de contrecarrer les effets de la Loi 101 sur la minorité anglophone du Québec, voilà que ne surprendra aucun Ontarien le moindrement familier avec le credo politique des châtelains de Queen's Park."

The editor of Le Droit is of the opinion that we should not be surprised by the attitude of this government towards linguistic rights.

I urge the minister to include this amendment in his bill. With the recent events of the last few weeks, where the credibility of this government vis-à-vis linguistic rights has been seriously undermined by that article in La Presse of Montreal, this government would have a chance to prove it is willing to go ahead with one small step towards improving linguistic rights in this province.

It is not a major amendment. It would not change much in the bill, but at least it would be one concrete step to indicate the minister is willing to go ahead one little bit. This is not the private member's bill of the member for Ottawa East (Mr. Roy) guaranteeing services. This is not section 133 of the British North America Act. This is only a small thing compared to that.

I know the government has not been willing to go along with section 133. I know the government has so far done nothing with the member for Ottawa East's private bill, although it was introduced a number of years ago and has been reintroduced lately, seconded by me. I do not accept that; I wish the government would go ahead in that direction. But here is an opportunity today to take that one small step which may indicate there is some willingness on the part of this government to recognize linguistic rights a little more in this province.

Therefore, I appeal to the minister to go along with this small amendment and to demonstrate some good faith for his government.

4:30 p.m.

Mr. Samis: Mr. Chairman, I rise to speak in support of the amendment. I agree with the general sentiments expressed by the member for Prescott-Russell (Mr. Boudria). I am of the opinion that the best place for this would have been in the constitution of Canada so that rights could be guaranteed.

If the amendment were to pass, I would not see this as a major step forward in terms of the historic grievances of the Franco-Ontarian minority, but it would be a small concession and, I suppose, in current circumstances would be considered a step forward; so on that basis we would support it.

I do come back to the essential point, which is that the essential grievance of the Franco-Ontarian minorities is in terms of their rights being guaranteed by the constitution. That is what they have been seeking, and that would have been preferable.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Chairman, I have some brief remarks. As the member for Prescott-Russell said, this was discussed in some detail in committee both when briefs were being presented and subsequently in clause-by-clause consideration. He knows, as I am sure all members know, that the position of the government was made very clear in the recent constitutional amendments.

He knows very well, as a member of this Legislature and as a citizen of this province, that this province need not take second place to anyone with regard to the provision of French-language services in the educational system where numbers warrant it or in the area of provision of services in the field of justice. He knows that, and members of his own party have paid tribute to what has been achieved in this area by this government. The government's general position is known very well and very clearly from the prolonged discussions leading to the constitutional amendment.

The member for Downsview (Mr. Di Santo) and the member for Hamilton Centre (Ms. Copps) discussed concerns that one of their constituents might have trouble with regard to employment over the fact that he spoke a language of another country. May I say to them that if they read the act properly, they will agree that place of origin, ethnic origin and ancestry cannot be construed in any other way than under section 8: "No person shall ...do, directly or indirectly, anything that infringes a right ..."

I submit to my friends that labelling language is really labelling ethnic origin or place of origin --

Mr. Di Santo: It is not the same.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Do not make that silly movement of the head; just try listening. I tell my friend that is covered.

The government cannot support this amendment.

Mr. Chairman: All those in favour of Ms. Copps's amendment will please say "aye."

All those opposed will please say "nay."

In my opinion the nays have it.

Amendment stacked.

Mr. Chairman: After speaking to the member for Riverdale, it is my understanding that he will withdraw his proposed amendment regarding language.

Mr. Di Santo moves that section 1 be amended by adding, after the words "marital status," the words "weight and physical height.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: On a point of order, Mr. Chairman: I do not have a copy of that amendment. Does anyone else?

Mr. Di Santo: Mr. Chairman, I sent a copy to the minister. It was probably misplaced.

Mr. Chairman: Shall we get the minister a copy?

Mr. Cunningham: It sounds like a good idea.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: It's definitely a good idea. I remember the 24-hour notice we all agreed to.

Ms. Copps: We just got it too.

Mr. Boudria: He gave it to the most important people first.

Mr. Chairman: The minister has been most obliging, and I know we appreciate that.

Mr. Di Santo: Mr. Chairman, I would like to outline briefly the reason I moved this amendment. In the act under section 1 there is a specification that discrimination must be prohibited because of handicap. But there are cases actually where there is persisting discrimination because of the weight and height of individuals. I am referring specifically to the hiring practices of the police in Ontario. My special concern is Metropolitan Toronto where this problem is blown out of proportion in many instances, but is having its effects.

After the Second World War the setup of Metropolitan Toronto changed dramatically. We had before a rather homogeneous city ethnically speaking.

Mr. Samis: Wasps.

Mr. Di Santo: I do not know if I can use the word suggested by my colleague the member for Cornwall, but of British stock basically.

Since then the setup of the population has changed dramatically. Now the majority of the population is not Anglo-Saxon but belongs to many ethnic groups that came to Canada after the Second World War, initially from Europe and later from other continents -- from southeast Asia or east Asia, Africa and South America. Today, the population of Metropolitan Toronto is a racial mix that is completely different from the population of this city 30 years ago. Despite this dramatic change in the composition of the population we still keep the same standards and the same requirements for our police. What happens, and what happened in the past, is that there are very serious problems in communication because of languages and in understanding.

Even if the minister says language is included in race, place of origin and ancestry, language is a problem also in this area of communication and understanding. The model of police we have, which is British, does not apply any longer to this multiracial metropolitan city. For cultural reasons, not because it is anyone's fault, there is sometimes a total breakdown of communication.

This problem is becoming more and more serious, and in the last five years we have had five inquiries. We had the Morand commission initially, then the Arthur Maloney commission, then we had an inquiry by Walter Pitman. Last year, it was the turn of Cardinal Carter, who tried to understand why there is so much difficulty in the relationship between what we call ethnic groups and the police, and among the ethnic groups -- those groups that are called coloured visible minorities.

In many instances it has been proposed in the reports given by the police, by the commissioners and especially by Cardinal Carter, that perhaps more policemen belonging to minority groups should be hired. But then we have a height requirement, which is blatant discrimination. In order to become a policeman in Metropolitan Toronto, you must be a certain weight and a certain height. Therefore, people belonging to many ethnic groups who do not have those requirements are excluded. By excluding those people we aggravate a social situation that is very serious. Since there are also racial problems those problems too are aggravated even more.

4:40 p.m.

I think the government should accept this amendment, because it will help to solve problems that are increasing right before our eyes. I think that by eliminating this form of discrimination we will do a service not only to Metropolitan Toronto but to the province of Ontario, and I hope the Minister of Labour is willing to support it.

Mr. Grande: Mr. Chairman, I hope the Minister of Labour has been listening to the argument the member for Downsview has put forward. I think it is certainly an anachronism in the 1980s that certain institutions in Metropolitan Toronto do not represent and do not reflect the multicultural makeup of a city such as this.

About two years ago I was interested in finding out to what extent the provincial government through its ministries does hire people of different ethnic backgrounds. Since the human rights code does not permit the collection of information based on ethnicity I had to draft my question on the Order Paper in terms of how many languages are spoken in each ministry of the government and in particular agencies.

I discovered to my astonishment that in ministries where one would expect to find many people in different positions who reflect the multicultural makeup of this province and of Metropolitan Toronto in particular only seven or eight per cent are from different cultural groups. This is the case even though some 55 to 60 per cent of the population of Metropolitan Toronto are from such groups.

What the member for Downsview talks about certainly reflects the number of people who are policemen or who are men and women serving in the Ontario Provincial Police. And of all the government's agencies, boards and ministries, the OPP was the one that least reflected the multicultural makeup of the province. About 5.1 per cent of the people working with that institution reflect the province's multicultural makeup.

I am sure the minister will agree, because I do see him as having some semblance of the progressive about him. I think he does see that --


Mr. Grande: Well, just the very minimum.

An hon. member: Oh, no. You are giving him far too much credit.

Mr. Grande: I hope he sees the wisdom and the need for this amendment to be accepted by his government. Instead of talking about this phenomenon called multiculturalism, the government would be seen to implement some of the actions and change some of the laws so that it is a reality, implemented in the laws of this province.

I urge the minister to accept this amendment and let us continue with the other amendments to this act.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: I would like to oblige my friend the member for Oakwood but I am afraid my response is negative. If he takes the time to study cases that have appeared before boards of inquiry over the years he will recall the security guard case and the Sikh with the beard. It was called constructive discrimination and it established that principle. He will recall the Ottawa police case where height and weight requirements were put to the test in the case of females who were applying for jobs there.

If he reads section 10, he will see that constructive discrimination remains a part of this code and he will understand those are issues that can be brought to our attention. If there is such a requirement, qualification or consideration, it has to be a reasonable and bona fide one in the circumstances. That is what he wants, I am sure.

The government does not feel the amendment is necessary nor can it support it.

Mr. Chairman: All those in favour of Mr. Di Santo's amendment will please say "aye."

All those opposed will please say "nay."

In my opinion the nays have it.

It is my understanding this will be stacked for later this evening.

Ms. Copps: On a point of order, Mr. Chairman: I do not know why this amendment is going to be stacked because I do not think we have the numbers in the House to request it.

Mr. Chairman: Of course the House can make any arrangements it wants to. But it is my understanding from the House leaders that notwithstanding the prerequisites in the standing orders for the number of people to rise in their places, it will be stacked at 10:15 p.m.

Ms. Copps: On the same point of order, it is the first time we have had a chance to see this today and it is not one of the amendments that has been discussed all the way along. I was under the impression the amendments to be stacked were the ones that had been previously circulated among all parties.

Mr. Renwick: I am not certain I am on the right point, but I did not think the agreement of the House leaders eliminated the requirement for five members to stand in their places. I thought that would be important rather than just to say the vote is stacked.

Mr. Chairman: I will take the onus of responsibility because I was under the impression that was the agreement.

Ms. Copps: On the same point of order, the requisite number of members did not stand on the other points to date. They have stood up. We stood up on the last vote that was to be stacked. Perhaps you can get a clarification on that and, if five members are prepared to stand, they can go ahead and do so.

Mr. Chairman: I was going to make the decision I had too hastily indicated there was agreement. You have pointed out there was not an agreement. I am going to call the amendment again and I will indicate that if the members want to stand, fine. That is my ruling. If you would like to challenge it, that is fine.

Referring back to the amendment proposed by the member for Downsview, all those in favour will please say "aye."

All those opposed will please say "nay."

In my opinion the nays have it.

Amendment stacked.

Mr. Chairman: I thank the member for Hamilton Centre for pointing that out to me.

Mr. Chairman: Mr. R. F. Johnston moves that sections 1, 2, 3 and 5 be amended by adding the words "record of offences" after the word "age."

4:50 p.m.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Chairman, this bill has a number of important changes in it which improves the past legislation in terms of human rights in Ontario. One of the major additions is the inclusion of the prohibitive ground of record of offences being introduced for the first time. People who have committed various kinds of offences, but have paid their dues to society, will now not be discriminated against in terms of employment. Therefore, under section 4, the employment section of this act, members will find that record of offences is added.

However, people who have paid their dues to society for offences committed in the past, either under the Criminal Records Act or under provincial statutes are not protected in terms of other discrimination that can be perpetrated against them in other aspects of daily life.

We received an eloquent submission from the Elizabeth Fry Society during our hearings requesting that other aspects of daily life -- the provision of services, the receipt of services, the ability to have accommodation, the other kinds of matters that are included in these first five sections -- also include the same provisions to protect people who have paid their dues to society.

It strikes me we are remiss if we do not do so at this point. I find it illogical that at one point we think someone should have the right to a job, but we do not feel that person should have the right to accommodation or the right to equal access to services. A possibility of discrimination is continued.

I note that we received a letter addressed to Mr. Renwick during the hearings of the committee in which a list of several organizations have added their support to the Fry submission in terms of having this change in the legislation. This is not just Elizabeth Fry. The Ontario Mental Health Association, Operation Spring Board, the John Howard Society, Krever Committee on Jails and Justice and the Toronto Justice Council all support these additional moves.

It is important to remember that Life Together indicated that the point of a criminal record should not be a matter of discrimination. In past discussions with the minister, he has said complaints that were raised and brought to the attention of the Life Together report were primarily around employment and that is why we should deal with this now. It strikes me as being rather short-sighted not to include the other parts of everyday life. To think that somebody who has had a criminal record is not discriminated against in terms of housing in this province is ridiculous.

Perhaps that evidence was not brought forward sufficiently. But when somebody who lives in a high-rise is exposed as having been to jail at some point, it is quite possible and it is not unusual that a lot of pressure might be put on that person to leave that accommodation. There is no protection for that person under this act or under the Residential Tenancies Act to say that they could not be removed for that reason.

I know this is a sort of last-minute attempt to try to get this change from the minister, but it strikes me that we would be sadly remiss if we do not make the necessary adjustments and add these provisions. Let us be very clear. We are not talking about having a convicted rapist, who happens to be back on the streets after serving his term, living in a walk-up apartment in one's house. There is lots of protection in this act for bona fide reasons for that not being the case.

That is not what we are talking about. We are talking about people who have gone through that long process of clearing their name, and we are saying we are going to have a double standard for it. A person's name is cleared in terms of his job, but it is not cleared in terms of accommodation or services. That is strictly illogical, and I would request the minister to change his mind at this time and add the words "record of offences" to the four other sections that I have listed.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Along with other members, the member for Scarborough West and I have had some interesting discussions about the issue of record of offences. It is a section that has caused some degree of concern among great numbers of society. But the government believes it is an issue that should be addressed in the area and the context of employment. It has done so, and it is not prepared to accept any change in that position at this time.

Mr. Chairman: Those in favour of Mr. R. F. Johnston's amendment to section 1 will please say "aye."

Those opposed will please say "nay."

In my opinion the nays have it.

Amendment stacked.

On section 2:

Mr. Chairman: Shall all of section 2 carry?

Mr. Renwick: We intend to carry those sections but, assuming that the government has a change of heart on the various amendments which have been put, then of course at the time of the votes these sections could be put again. I assume that would be the procedure.

Mr. Chairman: Yes. Would it be your privilege to leave those sections according to the vote this evening?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Why?

Mr. Chairman: Because all the proposed amendments have been to include sections 2, 3 and 5.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: So you want to vote on them individually, is that right?

Mr. R. F. Johnston: On a point of order: I think what the member for Riverdale is saying is that if the minister happens to change his mind, by some miracle, on the record of offences in section 1, we would want to make sure we were not excluded from 2, 3 and 5 as we move on.

It is almost illusory, but there it is.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: I think the member can relax on that one.

Ms. Copps: On the same point of order: As long as it is clearly understood that it is only those elements that have already been put in section 1 and no other new elements that will be reintroduced at a later date.

Mr. Chairman: That is our understanding.

Ms. Copps: Okay.

Mr. Chairman: Just to speed things along, we have got that understanding. Let us, if we may, go along with all the sections up to but not including section 9. Shall both sections carry, subject to the agreement?

On section 9:

Mr. Chairman: The honourable member for Hamilton Centre (Ms. Copps) moved an amendment to Bill 7, that clause (a) of section 9 of the bill be amended by replacing the word 65 with the word 70 in the third line. The honourable member.

Ms. Copps: One of the reasons I am particularly pleased to move this amendment is because I think the issue of compulsory retirement has plagued this province for many months, and indeed for the last few years. We have recently had court decisions that have ruled against the principle of mandatory retirement at a particular age. I think this Liberal Party amendment is a step in the direction of eventually eliminating the compulsory retirement age altogether.

I do hope these members will be here tonight; there have been members on the government side in the past who have approved a similar amendment when it was introduced in private members' form by the member for York West (Mr. Leluk). Likewise, I have recently read in the Toronto Star that the member for Lakeshore (Mr. Kolyn) will be spearheading a campaign to see the retirement age increased from 65 to 70. So I trust these members will go against any position that does not support the increase of the retirement age from 65 to 70.

5 p.m.

Mr. Chairman, I know this vote will be stacked along with the others. If those members do not see fit to support it the comments they have made in the past cannot be taken in good faith. We have a very clear and simple way of extending the retirement age to 70. If those individuals who have gone on public record, including the front page of the Toronto Star, to state they will personally spearhead a campaign to change the retirement age, it would be nothing short of hypocritical for them not to come here tonight and support this amendment.

By abstaining from the vote, they will certainly not be doing their credibility any good. I invite the members for Lakeshore and York West, along with others who in the past session of the Legislature supported the change in the retirement age from 65 to 70, to join us in the debate today, and particularly to join us in the vote tonight.

I do not want to belabour the points made in committee. Albeit we may not be in agreement with his political philosophy, the president of the United States is well over the compulsory retirement age in this province. We certainly have members of this Legislature collecting pensions. We have a number of political people as well as other professional people who are allowed to carry on in their chosen profession well beyond the age of 65. What we have operating here is a double standard.

I know there will be those within the NDP who would say they are not prepared to move on this amendment until we change Ontario's pension situation. I do not think one necessarily precludes the other. There may not be many individuals in Ontario who want to take advantage of this provision. I have in my constituency a stevedore who is well over the age of 70 and enjoys very much the kind of work he is doing on the steamships. To deny him the right to do that on the grounds that most people of his age could not carry out the work and they would rather be on a retirement pension is denying him the basic right to choose the kind of lifestyle he likes.

It goes against all the principles of small-l liberalism. I had some time this summer to go around and meet some of the major labour leaders across this province. Many of them indicated to me privately, although their public position was still to support the compulsory retirement age, that they do not believe in it. We are expecting, within their areas of responsibility, they will be changing that compulsory retirement age shortly.

We in the Liberal Party are at the forefront on this issue. I invite all members on all sides to set aside their personal political prejudices and consider the fact there are people in this province who are being denied the right to carry on in a job --

Mr. R. F. Johnston: How about 71-year-olds? How do you feel about them?

Ms. Copps: As far as I am concerned, I would like to see the lid taken off the retirement age in totality. I realize we have to get a good indication of how many people are going to take advantage of this provision. There are legislative precedents for a phase-in period. In the United States they have moved in with a five-year age 70 limit. They hope to see how many people will take advantage of the situation.

The records to date indicate it will affect only approximately five to 10 per cent of the population. I fail to see how any member in this Legislature who has the power -- I think the other parties have some members in their own caucus who might fall into that category -- to stay in office beyond the age of 65 can deny fellow citizens that same right.

I do not believe this should preclude any and all efforts on our part to improve pensions and to move the pensionable level to a lower level. The critical question is that of choice and an individual having the right to carry on in his or her job. To state that, as a categorical policy, we must have a retirement age of 65 is antiquated. I know from past legislative records many members on the government side and certainly some members of the NDP would and could support this amendment. I urge those members to be here in the House tonight to be counted. If not, their words will ring very hollow and they will be turning the whole question of compulsory retirement age vis-à-vis the Conservative Party into a farce.

Mr. Renwick: Just a brief comment, Mr. Chairman: The member for Hamilton Centre makes a compelling argument on one side of a very complicated and difficult issue. I recognize the deep concern with which she expresses the need to look at the arbitrary nature of the ancient rule that people should retire at 65. I have reached the magic point in time where, about 363 days from now, I will be at that point. I do not intend to retire and, fortunately, I am in a position where I do not need to retire, and I do want to say to the member for Hamilton Centre that we in our party understand the problem created by that arbitrary rule.

I must say, however, that the study we have done in our own caucus and the consultations we have had with the organized labour movement in the province have given us very real cause to think about the pros and cons of the proposition, particularly where it relates to the immense disturbance in the planned arrangements made for so many people in the organized labour force through their collective bargaining agreements under the terms and conditions of their employment.

Speaking personally, and I think it is fair to say this also on behalf of our caucus, I welcome the approach taken by the minister in his statement of October 28, where he dealt at some length with this question and proceeded to indicate that he was going to have the Ontario Manpower Commission undertake a detailed examination of this problem in the context of the demographic composition of Ontario's work force and of employment practices in this province and to make recommendations as to what legislative protection, if any, might be extended to persons over age 65 in employment.

I may say the position he takes has a great deal of appeal to us at this time. I hope the minister will indicate what he has done to carry out this reference to the Ontario Manpower Commission; how long he expects that commission to have to undertake the work and to make its recommendations to him, and through him, to the assembly; and what forum he sees for consideration being given to possible amendments to the code to meet some of the legitimate inquiries or comments that are made.

I remember, as I am sure the chairman of the standing committee, the member for Nipissing (Mr. Harris) will remember, when Professor Triantis came before us in the committee. Indeed, a synopsis of his position appeared in the Toronto Star just in the last week or two, and I think he has written as well to all the members of the committee, again emphasizing his concern about the arbitrary nature of the rule and the inequities it is causing.

I may also say that I think all the members of the assembly received a letter from the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association, expressing their concern about this rule and its implications and how it should be applied. That is only one association; there are many other associations concerned.

I empathize and sympathize with the sentiment underlying the amendment moved by the member for Hamilton Centre, but I think it would be precipitate for us at this time to support her amendment. But I want to have the minister's comments about his statement on October 28, and where we now stand in connection with that reference.

5:10 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Chairman, may I indicate in response to the member for Riverdale that it was within two or three days, as I recall, that I wrote to the acting chairman of the Ontario Manpower Commission, Professor Alan Wolfson, requesting that he commence such a study. I have not heard back from him yet about what sort of time frame he envisages, but I want to assure the member that I have taken those initial steps along the terms of reference that I indicated in my statement, and I have personally followed that up with a conversation with Professor Wolfson; so there is no doubt that the terms of reference are in his mind and he will be proceeding with that study.

I do want to say, and I do not want to try to be in the least argumentative about this, that I do not think anyone should try to pretend that the member for York West (Mr. Leluk) was dishonest in his view when he said that he believes there should be no upper age of mandatory retirement. He believes that, and there are many members on this side of the House who believe that in principle, but they have the courage to know that there are problems that have to be addressed in it, such as the problems of personnel practices, the problems of what happens to pensions, the problems of protecting those people who have planned for years to retire at age 65 and who might suddenly be faced with a pension plan that was changed without their consent.


Hon. Mr. Elgie: I tell you this in all sincerity, young lady: One cannot address this issue without thoughtful consideration of the real issues -- the demographic issues, youth unemployment issues, pension benefits and the changes that may be suddenly thrown on people who had not planned it that way. Those are things that have to be considered.

Let there be no doubt in the honourable member's mind or in anybody else's that as a physician I have great sympathy with the position that she has taken with regard to the age of mandatory retirement, as does the member for York West, as does the member for Lakeshore (Mr. Kolyn). Let us not pretend that there is any disagreement about the principle. We are talking about the problems that may arise, and that is what we are going to address in the study.

We are not prepared to accept the amendment at this time.

Ms. Copps: That's not what he said in the Toronto Star. You can't have it both ways.

Mr. Chairman: All those in favour of Ms. Copps's amendment will please say "aye."

All those opposed will please say "nay."

In my opinion the nays have it.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Close, but not close enough.

Mr. Chairman: The amendment is lost. I declare the amendment lost.

Ms. Copps: Mr. Chairman, five of us stood.

Mr. Cunningham: The member for York Centre (Mr. Cousens) would call it five.

Mr. Chairman: I want to point out that you leave me in a most embarrassing position. You made a point of order and indicated that the third party --

Ms. Copps: On a point of order, Mr. Chairman --

Mr. Chairman: Order, please. I have the floor. You indicated that the third party did not stand up, and we went through the whole motion again. I very distinctly called for all those against, all those for and so on. I am sorry, but I only saw four members.

Ms. Copps: On a point of order, Mr. Chairman: The member for Niagara Falls (Mr. Kerrio) did stand up. He is a little slow on his feet, but he did stand up.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Did he really stand up this time?

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Chairman, I think your eyesight is fantastic even if the member for Niagara Falls is a little slow on his feet these days. What you saw was four people standing, four people sitting down and one person who was tugged up afterwards.

Mr. Kerrio: Now that's impossible. That's impossible.

Mr. Chairman: Well, going beyond the call of duty and in recognition of the wonderful contribution that the member for Niagara Falls has made to this learned institution, I will recognize that he did stand up as the fifth member.

Amendment stacked.

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Renwick moves that section 9(a) of the bill be amended to read as follows: "'age' means any age except in subsection 4(1), where 'age' means an age that is 16 years or more and less than 65 years."

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Chairman, I raise the issue embodied in the amendment I have just put to the assembly because of the deep impression the submission of the organization Justice for Children made when it appeared before the standing committee on resources development. They raised a serious concern on two aspects of whether persons under the legal age of 18 would be covered against discrimination for services or accommodation and against harassment and all of the other prohibited grounds of discrimination included in the bill.

It was a double-barrelled problem concerning the definition later on in the bill of the term "person" as to whether, under the Interpretation Act and the common-law enunciation of that term, a person under the legal age or under particular ages would be considered a person for the purposes of this bill. Of course, all the clauses of the bill that have any operative effect deal only with persons.

It seemed to me one of the ways in which we could deal with it was to try to meet that requirement. If this amendment passes, when we come to the definition of "person" later on in the bill, it may be possible so to phrase that definition as to make certain it covers any individual regardless of age.

The second point seemed to me to require our attention, as Justice for Children pointed out to the committee: Age should not mean an age with a limit of 18 or over. We are talking now about the bottom limit. It made good sense to provide protection in this code by defining age to mean any age. It does not matter whether one is one, two, three, four, 44 or 54, that definition should be broadened to include everyone under as well as over the age of 18 for the purpose of ensuring that the rights under sections 1, 2, 3 and 5 of the bill would apply to such persons in the appropriate circumstances.

They made the second point as an alternative if we could not get the amendment of age the way they wanted it and the way I have tried to phrase it here. At least the 18 years could be dropped to 16. Members will notice that, for the purpose of employment, I have amended the proposed age of definition to drop the age of 18 to the age of 16. I did so for the compelling reason that the age of majority in the province for most purposes is now 18 years of age; but it is a fact that the school leaving age is still 16.

There are any number of persons who leave the school system at the earliest possible time, whether we like it or not, at age 16 and go out to seek employment. It does not seem to me that between the ages of 16 and 18 such persons should be in a different category with respect to their capacity to enter the labour force. Therefore, I have defined the term "age" for the purposes of section 4(1) to be 16 years of age or more and less than 65 years. Of course, we dealt with that question in the previous amendment moved by the member for Hamilton Centre.

5:20 p.m.

I commend this amendment to the assembly, because it reflects a very thoughtful, carefully prepared presentation by Justice for Children, which in my opinion is doing work in an area that has been neglected for a long time: the rights of children. They quote, and I am going to take a moment to quote here, a legal scholar whom I do not know, Professor Foster, who says:

"To break the stranglehold of history, we should consider children's rights as a method for denying that children are property. If the law starts to treat children as human beings with varying capacities to accept rights, then adults may be less inclined to seek support in the legal system for seeing children as property. This is not to say that children must be treated as small adults; it is simply a request that they be seen in the eyes of the law as human beings."

I commend that quotation to the consideration of the House, and I commend this amendment to the consideration of the House. It seems to me that for us in this society to talk about human rights and then to leave it open under the statute to be misconstrued in any way that everyone under the age of 18 is not a person, whether by virtue of the definition of age, which is in the bill before us that I am trying to amend, or whether by the strange language used to define the term "person" in one of the later sections near the end of the bill, somehow or other does a disservice to a large number of people in the society.

I therefore ask the support of the House for this amendment.

Ms. Copps: Mr. Chairman, just for the record, I am very glad that the New Democratic Party did move this amendment, because I moved the very same amendment in committee and one of the members of the NDP did not support it. So it is a good thing they have had the opportunity at this moment to clarify their position.

I moved that the age of 18 be reduced to the age of 16 for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that not only in employment but also in services and accommodations there are many other problems for young people who fall within that undefinable age between the ages of 16 and 18.

Obviously, we can support this amendment, since we were its original initiators. In fact, the amendment might have passed in committee and become a government amendment had all the members of the NDP supported it at that time. But one of their two members did not support it, and the Liberal Party was the only party that spoke with unanimity on it.

Unfortunately, the member for Lake Nipigon (Mr. Stokes) was not aware of the fact that it was the NDP position, and for that reason he voted against it. If the NDP members take a look at the record, I think they will find that the member for Lake Nipigon did not support that amendment. I am glad they have had a chance to clarify their position, and we will certainly be able to support this amendment.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Chairman, if it would further the cause of justice for children, I will withdraw the amendment so that my friend the member for Hamilton Centre can place it on the record. Our interest is justice for children, not nitpicking about partisan advantage or disadvantage.

Ms. Copps: Mr. Chairman, I assume that this was raised on a point of order. In fact, if their interest had not been partisan, they would have been there in the committee with properly informed people and would have supported the amendment.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Chairman, I just want to say that we had great discussions about this in committee. The members know the government's concern, which relates to the issue the member for Riverdale raised: the age of majority, the age at which one can contract for services other than necessities.

I see some problems if we consider the extreme situation in which a two-year-old could claim the right to membership in a trade or occupational association. There are some anachronisms that I think we have to face; we have to face the realities of the age of majority and what you can do and be held responsible for below that age.

For those reasons, the government is not prepared to accept the amendment.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Chairman, I never like to be argumentative with the minister, but I just want to say that I find his reply incomprehensible in the light of the reasoned dissertation placed before the committee. I trust he will do us the courtesy of reconsidering his position, if not before the vote tonight, at the earliest possible opportunity.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Chairman, I will state to the member for Riverdale, in line with the commitment I gave the committee on the issue of employment with respect to youths between the ages of 16 and 18, that this matter also has been referred to the manpower commission for its consideration. Otherwise, the government remains unwilling to accept the amendment.

The Deputy Chairman: All those in favour will please say "aye."

All those opposed will please say "nay."

In my opinion the nays have it.

Amendment stacked.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Chairman, I want to speak to the minister. I have not had an opportunity to raise this with him. It falls into the area of a technical consideration. I ask the minister and his advisers to consider this particular technical amendment. I have not put it on paper, because I think I can draw it to their attention very simply.

The Deputy Chairman: What clause are you at, please?

Mr. Renwick: Perhaps I should go on, because I am somewhere between section 9(b) and section 9(c). Let me make my point --

The Deputy Chairman: That makes it very tricky for me to rule on --

Mr. Renwick: I do not want you to rule. God forbid. All I want to do is to make the point that in committee we dropped the definition of "discrimination" that was in the bill. Unfortunately, there are two or three places in the bill where I believe a consequential amendment should be made. I ask the minister and his advisers at the table, particularly counsel to the minister, to look at the words "the exclusion, qualification or preference" as they appear in section 10 of the bill, which now should read simply "discrimination."

Ms. Copps: A point of order, Mr. Chairman: Are we on section 9 or section 10 at the moment?

The Deputy Chairman: We are on section 9. That is the concern I had. It is in committee. If he is in a position to lead into it, I want to give him the opportunity to finish; then he does have an amendment to follow.

Mr. Renwick: If necessary, I will put the technical amendment and take the time of the House to do it.

I am asking the minister if he will look at the failure to make the consequential amendments in section 10 of the bill and in section 24(3)(a) and (b) -- I believe those are the only places. It seems to me that with the elimination of the definition of "discrimination," we should now eliminate, where they appear in the bill inappropriately, the words "distinction, exclusion or preference," which were part of that original definition, and substitute for them the word "discrimination" with whatever other grammatical change needs to be made.

If the minister will consider it and let me know, then I will not have to move the amendment; but otherwise I would like to move the amendment.

The Deputy Chairman: I will ask the minister, through you, to report back along the way.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Fine.

The Deputy Chairman: Mr. Renwick moves that section 9(c) be amended by adding before the word "requirements" the words "reasonable and bona fide."

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Chairman, my point may appear to be subtle. The definition of the word "equal" is a very essential definition with respect to the bill, because that is what we are talking about: equal treatment in all the substantive operative provisions of the bill. The present definition simply says, "equal" means subject to all requirements, qualifications and considerations that are not a prohibited ground of discrimination."

It appears to me that if the words "requirements, qualifications and considerations" are not modified by the words "reasonable and bona fide," we leave the door open to an indirect form of what could be defined as systemic discrimination -- not that I understand what those terms may mean. By requiring that all the requirements, qualifications and considerations be reasonable and bona fide, I think it is only asking what should be the case.

Second, it makes certain that disguised as a requirement, qualification or consideration, a person cannot pretend that equal treatment is being provided to persons when there is a discriminatory characteristic in one of the requirements, qualifications and considerations that would not meet the test of being reasonable and bona fide.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Chairman, the government cannot accept that amendment. The code has been divided up into various portions, the prohibited areas and the exemptions. Under the exemptions, it is a prerequisite that there should be a reasonable and bona fide reason given for an exemption. To have a reasonable and bona fide reason for an exemption from a reasonable and bona fide definition of equal, I suggest, gets us into a very complicated arrangement. The government feels the definition of "equal" should stay as it is in the bill.

Mr. Chairman: All those in favour of Mr. Renwick's amendment will please say "aye."

All those opposed will please say "nay."

In my opinion the nays have it.

Amendment stacked.

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Renwick moves that section 9(h) of the bill be struck out and the following substituted therefor:

"(h) 'record of offences' means a conviction for: (i) an offence in respect of which a pardon has been granted under the Criminal Records Act (Canada) and has not been revoked; or (ii) an offence punishable on summary conviction in proceedings under part XXIV of the Criminal Code; or (iii) an offence in respect of any provincial enactment.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Chairman, again I ask the minister and his advisers to take this under consideration. The definition of "record of offences," as proposed in the bill that is before us, groups together all offences in respect of which a pardon has been granted under the Criminal Records Act (Canada) and has not been revoked.

That is a very complete definition of the kinds of convictions that would have the benefit of a record of offence for the purpose of being a prohibited ground under section 4. Unless the amendment proposed by my colleague the member for Scarborough West (Mr. R. F. Johnston) is carried, it will be limited to section 4, but we believe it should apply as well to sections 1, 2 and 5 in the bill.

I apologize for being technical about it with the minister, but he has his technical advisers and is himself a lawyer of renown.

The definition in the Criminal Records Act of the Parliament of Canada states, "A person who has been convicted of an offence under an act of the Parliament of Canada or a regulation made thereunder may make application for a pardon in respect of that offence." Therefore, we are talking about getting a pardon not just for convictions under the Criminal Code or criminal law statutes of the federal Parliament, we are talking about a multitude of federal statutes that may have very minor fines or other monetary penalties imposed under them.

For example, I am sure if the member looked at the Fisheries Act he would probably find there could be an offence against a provision of the Fisheries Act where, if punishable on summary conviction, the fine might be $25. It seems to me inequitable to suggest that a person must wait for five years plus another year or two by the time the Royal Canadian Mounted Police carry out the investigation and grant the pardon for that offence, and that a person should be inhibited in his right to obtain employment because of that kind of record of offence.

What I have tried to do, and I believe it has been accomplished -- I consulted with legislative counsel about it, not that they are supporting me -- but in order to clarify the confusion which I think existed, members will note that while section 1 in the proposed amendment subsumes section 2, nevertheless section 2 is a separate and distinct category of its own. That is an offence punishable on summary conviction in proceedings under part XXIV of the Criminal Code. That is very much identical with offences in respect of any provincial enactment.

The minister will know that under the acts of the Parliament of Canada all of the very minor offences -- using the example I gave of the Fisheries Act -- would be via proceeding under the summary conviction provisions of the code just as an offence under a provincial statute of all kinds is triable in accordance with the Provincial Offences Act, formerly tried in accordance with the Summary Convictions Act of this province.

Therefore, by adopting this resolution I think we will cover a serious gap that the minister had, by inadvertence, created in the bill. Let me put it very simply. I would find it extremely difficult to have a person affected at all, even in a minuscule way, in his employment or in his application for employment, because he had been convicted under the Fisheries Act, paid a fine of $35 or $50 and found that the record of offence was still available to be used against him unless he could produce after five, six or seven years a pardon from the crown.

Interestingly enough, of course, there is no pardon provision in Ontario for offences under provincial enactments. But I think and I trust I have made an important and I believe a technical point. I would expect and hope that the minister and his advisers might be empathetic enough to consider and adopt it.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Chairman, I want to assure the member that I do have some understanding of what the bill as we have drafted it intends. It intends to include both indictable and summary convictions. The member can give an example of the Fisheries Act if he wishes, but let us also not try to deceive anybody that under summary convictions we can have theft, fraud and assault. So this government intends that the section apply to both indictable as well as to summary convictions and would not accept the amendment.

Mr. Renwick: I am very pleased the minister has raised that. What does he do about offences under the Securities Act of this province? Under a provincial statute, these are very serious charges and very serious offences are committed under that act touching upon fraud, as the minister indicates. Yet he produces a bill where in that case the mere conviction for that offence eliminates it as a matter for consideration in the cases of employment.

I agree with the minister that under the summary conviction provisions there is a wide band of offences, but he cannot have it both ways. He cannot punish the large number of people who are subject to relatively minor fines or minor sentences by using this phrase. To suggest that if it is a serious offence under the federal law, the person should be charged by way of indictment, if the Crown, as in many cases, makes the election, then the minister cannot get away with that specious argument. I was rather hopeful that the minister might have considered that amendment to be at least worthy of some consideration.

5:40 p.m.

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Renwick moves that section 9(h) of the bill be struck out and the following substituted therefor: (h) "record of offences" means a conviction for, (i) an offence in respect of which a pardon has been granted under the Criminal Records Act (Canada) and has not been revoked, or (ii) an offence punishable on summary conviction, and proceedings under part XXIV of the Criminal Code, or (iii) an offence in respect of any provincial enactment.

Those in favour of Mr. Renwick's amendment to section 9 will please say "aye."

Those opposed will please say "nay."

In my opinion the nays have it.

Amendment stacked.

Mr. Chairman: Ms. Copps moves that section 10 of the bill be amended by adding thereto, the following clause:

'"Reasonable accommodation for handicapped' means the conditions that are necessary to enable a person having a handicap to enjoy a right under part I, and that are capable of being provided at a cost that would not cause undue hardship, including: (i) the means that are appropriate to enable a person having the handicap to have access to and enjoy the amenities of premises, facilities, and (ii) in respect of a right under section 4(1), the adaptation of equipment and essential duties to enable the person having a handicap to perform the employment."

Ms. Copps: The reasons for our inclusion of the concept of reasonable accommodation have been well documented in committee. Unlike our colleague from the New Democratic Party who seems to want to introduce every amendment, we really do not want to labour the point on a number of amendments that have already been raised.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: On a point of order, Mr. Chairman: This is worded as a definition.

Ms. Copps: The way the definition is worded, we will have to --

Hon. Mr. Elgie: That would not be an amendment to section 10. What you have got there is a definition.

Mr. Chairman: Would the member for Hamilton Centre clarify?

Ms. Copps: The clarification is that the definition will have to be included at a section further on in the bill. We want to include the definition at this point so that we can refer later on to reasonable accommodation. This is section 10.

I am sorry. I guess the definition I have been referring to had been under section 9 of the previous bill, and I had moved it under section 10 in the new bill. To be under the definitions that should have been moved under section 9.

Mr. Chairman: It should be where?

Ms. Copps: It should have been under section 9, but if the committee feels that section 9 has already been passed by, I would be happy to proceed with the amendment later in the act.

Mr. Chairman: Do I have consent from the committee to go back to section 9 so that we can deal with this?

Agreed to.

Mr. Chairman: You have moved it and we will accept that this is part of section 9, in that case.

Ms. Copps: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you for your understanding. The renumbering process in the bill has certainly been fairly lengthy.

As I said in committee, one of the reasons we feel the principle of reasonable accommodation is primary is that under the legislation as it presently exists the minister and the government are aware that the notion of reasonable accommodation is not applied when a person first goes for employment, for example. Particularly with the notion of accessibility, we are having a human rights bill presented here whereby a prospective employee could be denied an interview for a job simply because he or she could not get into the door. Even if a door frame could be modified at low-cost or no-cost modification, the present bill does not allow for any kind of accommodation unless and until a violation of the human rights code has been alleged.

Our contention in this party is we would rather see a conciliatory, constructive approach between employers and prospective employees. We feel the notion of reasonable accommodation, bearing in mind the low-cost or no-cost proviso, would create a climate whereby employers and prospective employees would work together to develop accessibility in this province.

To say an employer can have an accessibility order only after a human rights violation has been filed is an extremely difficult situation, because one then places a disabled person who may be in a wheelchair in a situation whereby an infraction of the human rights code can never be proven because he cannot get in the door to have an interview. Our reason for including the notion of reasonable accommodation is in the spirit that the human rights code should be conciliatory rather than confrontational.

We feel the present wording of the act not only develops a confrontation situation between a prospective employee and an employer, but it will also deny a great number of disabled people the access to employment they so desperately need. We know in this province among our disabled the unemployment rate is approximately 75 to 80 per cent. We feel that if we are able as a government and a party to endorse low-cost or no-cost modifications that would be involved in reasonable accommodation, we may be able to do something to encourage greater employment of the disabled.

We feel in this International Year of Disabled Persons it is extremely important the human rights code not only be seen to respond to the needs of the disabled but that it will also respond to the needs of the disabled. As this present code is worded, without the inclusion of "reasonable accommodation," unfortunately, the act has no teeth. Reasonable accommodation will allow the disabled access to employment that we feel is certainly of primary importance in the International Year of Disabled Persons.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Chairman, without going into the niceties or elegance of the way in which the amendment has been put, we would support anything that is proposed by any member of the assembly if it goes any distance towards the question of reasonable accommodation for handicapped persons.

I appreciate the intent and purpose of the amendment moved by the member for Hamilton Centre. If some elegance is required in its drafting or its wording, then the legislative counsel and the counsel for the minister can easily accomplish that. The gut provision is the denial by this government and this minister of a reasonable accommodation provision to advance the cause of equal treatment for handicapped people.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Chairman, this amendment has been discussed in detail. I have tried to make the government's position perfectly clear. It feels quite sincerely that human rights legislation should address itself to discrimination and not to whether an owner of a building or an employer happens to be in facilities that are inaccessible.

Reasonable accommodation implies quite directly and specifically that failure to make an attempt to make accommodation in a building which may or may not be accessible is in itself discrimination. The government does not feel the great majority of society would accept that is discrimination, and is not prepared to accept an amendment such as this, which would make the failure to accommodate evidence of discrimination and, in fact, discrimination on its own without any evidence of attitudinal discrimination. So the government cannot accept the amendment.

Ms. Copps: On the point raised by the minister, in the last few months I have had conversations with employers who have stated clearly they have no interest in hiring the disabled. For that reason, they have no intention of making their buildings accessible. If you will refer back to the remarks of several Coalition on Human Rights for the Handicapped experts, including David Lepofsky and other lawyers who advocate on behalf of the disabled, the whole question of accessibility is primary.

One will certainly find situations where an employer will deliberately deny accessibility to a building simply because he or she does not want to hire the disabled.

5:50 p.m.

I have had that statement made to me by an employer who was in a position to receive assistance to renovate his building. Basically, he was in a position to receive government assistance. He had no interest in hiring the disabled, even when he was told someone would come to his door and build his ramp at no cost to himself.

By leaving out the notion of reasonable accommodation, bearing in mind that with it the conditions of low-cost or no-cost modifications and no undue financial hardship are apparent, by deciding to set aside this whole amendment you are leaving open a door whereby any person who does not want to hire a handicapped person in this province simply has to say, "I will not make my building accessible, and therefore I cannot be found guilty of any human rights violation."

We are talking about a situation where the human rights commission could come in and make a finding of reasonable accommodation where there is no undue financial hardship, and it certainly is the key to creating accessibility in employment for the disabled.

Without that, I am afraid this legislation that is geared to the disabled community in the International Year of Disabled Persons is without teeth. Under those circumstances, we have to urge you to support the amendment for reasonable accommodation.

The Deputy Chairman: Ms. Copps has moved an amendment to section 9 of the bill.

All those in favour of Ms. Copps's amendment will please say "aye."

All those opposed will please say "nay."

In my opinion, the nays have it.

Amendment stacked.

On section 10:

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Chairman, the member for Riverdale asked earlier if I would have some discussions with staff about section 10, and I wonder if we could set aside section 10, and deal with it immediately upon returning. Is that all right, Mr. Renwick?

Mr. Renwick: Agreeable, Mr. Minister.

Section 11 agreed to.

On section 12:

The Deputy Chairman: Mr. Renwick moves that section 12(1) be amended by inserting before the word "notice" the word "statement."

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Chairman, the section would then read, "A right under part I is infringed by a person who publishes or displays before the public, or causes the publication or display before the public of any statement, notice, sign, symbol, emblem, or other similar representation that indicates the intention of the person to infringe a right under part I, or that is intended by the person to incite the infringement of a right under part I.

Of course, subsection 2 of that section preserves freedom of expression, "Subsection 1 shall not interfere with freedom of expression of opinion."

The members will recall, certainly the members of the committee, that in the bill which was before us there was the definition of the term disseminate, and there was a provision in the bill which stated that a right under part I is infringed where any matter, statement, or symbol is disseminated that indicates an intention to infringe the right or that advocates or incites the infringement of the right. In the original bill there was no clause reservation with respect to the freedom of expression of opinion, even though there is in the existing code.

Because of the concerns which were expressed by a number of people, concerns which I also expressed about the question of freedom of expression and freedom of opinion, the clause was addressed by the minister. He, in one of his statements, indicated he was going to revise it, and we have the revised section before us.

What concerns me is that the present section, as now before us, is a vast improvement and speaks directly to the very point which is of concern to me, namely "the intention of a person to infringe a right under part I" -- that is to infringe the statute -- "or that is intended by the person to incite the infringement of a right under part I," which is to incite the infringement of the statute, is now limited in the clause before us simply to notices, signs, symbols, emblems or other similar representations.

That means the kind of scurrilous literature which is circulated from time to time in my riding and in other ridings, usually without any attribution of the person who is making the statement, would not fall under this provision of the bill and the statements in such a bill inciting to infringement of rights of people under this or being seen to express an intention of the infringement of rights would not be included.

This speaks more to graphic symbolic presentation than it does to the written word and I urge the minister to accept the addition into the bill of the single word "statement." I think it preserves the intention, the limited intention that we want to preserve in the bill, and I think it is consistent with meeting the kind of concern which we have talked about in his estimates from time to time in relation to literature -- if one can dignify it by that term -- which is circulated from time to time by people who want to incite in the society a continuation of discrimination on the basis of race, creed or colour or any other of the prohibited grounds.

Ms. Copps: Mr. Chairman, this is the first time we have seen this particular amendment, but on the first reading I would have to say that we cannot support this amendment because the notion of restricting publication of statements -- having been a former newspaper reporter -- could very well lead us into the situation of having our newspapers subject to libel suits for reporting what subsection 2 states, "not interfere with freedom of expression of opinion."

We could find ourselves in the ridiculous situation where a person who, as a newspaper reporter, is doing his or her job in quoting a statement made by someone who is in the process of carrying out free expression of opinion is then potentially subject to a libel suit. We could not support that amendment.

Mr. Renwick: I do not know whether at this hour of the day that deserves a comment. That is a specious suggestion. The very provision of subsection 2 states, "Subsection 1 shall not interfere with freedom of expression of opinion." We are not talking about freedom of expression of opinion. We are talking about statements which deliberately incite or express an intention to incite an infringement of this code, and the reporting by people in the press is not going to subject anyone to a libel and slander suit.

We have had the argument. We had it before the Ministry of the Attorney General when we amended the Libel and Slander Act some time ago, and I do not pretend to be an expert in that field and the intricacies of that field. If that should prove to be a problem, and I doubt if it would -- I used the term "specious" about that suggestion as to why this would not be proposed -- then the balance of convenience indicates and the balance of the public good indicates that the kind of statements that circulate in Riverdale riding about the prohibited grounds of discrimination and the racial tension which is created by the distribution of those statements in my riding, if that is going to be allowed, then I would suggest it is not beyond the wit and wisdom of the government and of the newspapers to devise a proposed amendment to the Libel and Slander Act which would protect the publishers in relation to reporting facts.

These are very difficult, knife-edged decisions that often have to be made but the provisions of this code are such that my proposed amendment would not in any way interfere with the free expression of opinion or the free reporting of information in the press or other media in the country. I would ask that the matter be seriously considered.

The House recessed at 6 p.m.