32nd Parliament, 1st Session


























The House met at 2:03 p.m.



Mr. Smith: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: I believe it will be incumbent upon you to look into a matter in which my privileges and those of several other members of this House have been abused by the Minister of Culture and Recreation (Mr. Baetz).

Members will recall discussing the matter of release of information concerning Wintario grants in this House on December 7. The minister said, "The members opposite will have it just as soon as they have it over on this side." Then the member for Quinte (Mr. O'Neil) said, if there is one member on that side of the Legislature" -- meaning the Conservative side -- "who has received that information before members on this side, it is surely something that is wrong, and I would like an assurance of that." The Speaker replied, "I think the minister did, with all respect."

Yesterday, the minister stood again and said, "I just want to say that tomorrow at two o'clock I will be making my statement and the members will have the information." You remember that, Mr. Speaker.

This morning at approximately 11 a.m. I was called by a reporter for the Hamilton Spectator who said he had heard, very early in the morning, from the member for Wentworth (Mr. Dean) who had been interested in announcing to the reporter the various recipients of Wintario grants in the Hamilton area. I presume the reporter called me in order to obtain my comments on these matters. At that time, I called the minister's office to find out how it is this happened and to see if I could receive the information about who in my riding was going to receive Wintario grants.

I tried to speak to Miss Peschel, who I understood was in charge of these matters, and was told she was not in. I spoke to Mrs. Goldring, who said she did not have the information, I would have to speak to Miss Peschel. I therefore insisted on holding the line until they found the latter person. They found her shortly and I spoke to Miss Peschel. She said: "The letters are collated and put in bundles for the various members. After 2 p.m. they will be in the mail room and put in the slots of the various members." She said, "No member yet has received these letters."

I said, "Did anybody get the information?" She said, "No member has received the letters." I said, "Yes, I understood you, but did anybody get the information?" She said, "Not through me." I said, "Do you know if anybody got the information through anyone?" She said, "I have no way of knowing that." I said, "I want to speak to the minister." She said, "He is in cabinet." I said, "I will hold the line, please get him out of cabinet."

I held the line for some 15 minutes. Then she returned to the phone and said, "Mr. Baetz has said" -- this is approximately 11:25 a.m. by then -- "you can have the information regarding your riding." I said, "Why am I to be so favoured in this way by the minister?" She said: "I do not know. You will have to ask him." I said, "Is anyone else going to be favoured in this way?" She said, "Not through me."

I then said, "How do you propose to deal with this?" She said: "I will have to send someone to the mail room where they are collating these letters. We will try to form a bundle of the letters in your riding and we will send it right to your office." I said. "Thank you." This is approximately 11:35 a.m.

At 12:55 p.m. a parcel arrived in my office consisting of a number of letters for some projects in Hamilton West. It was accompanied by a letter saying the minister would appreciate it if I might maintain an embargo on the release of the information which had been attached until his announcement in the Legislature at 2 p.m. today.

The member for Wentworth, a Conservative, obviously had the information early this morning, and it is my understanding he received it from the minister's office. I clearly was not given the information until far too late to make the deadline of the newspapers in my area, which have an earlier publishing deadline, as the member for Wentworth well knows.

Clearly we are being treated once again to a situation where the minister has stood in this House to give repeated assurances which are supposed to be taken as true. Yet we find we cannot rely on those assurances at all and a cheap political game is going on. The minister told us just the other day he is not a liar. He even pointed out his father is a clergyman, presumably leading us to believe the acorn does not fall far from the tree. In this case, the nut has rolled some considerable distance.

Mr. Speaker, our privileges have been abused and I want you to stand --


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Smith: I seriously doubt there are many voters in Ontario who will be taken in by the kind of cheap, political, underhanded game that is being played by these people. However there may be some who will think that if they hear a Conservative name attached to a Wintario grant it may mean he is a particularly good fellow or the Tories are especially nice people.

There may be some who will be taken in in this regard -- not many I hope. But it is a cheap and underhanded political game. Apart from that, the minister has stood in this House and assured us that would not happen and yet his assurance turns out to be worth nothing. This is not the first time that has happened in recent memory.

Mr. Speaker, I ask you to protect the privileges of the members of this House. I trust the Premier (Mr. Davis) will take note of the continuing record of incompetence and lack of trustworthiness on the part of this minister.

2:10 p.m.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I too have had communication with the minister's office this morning. I too have had communication with Miss Peschel, who, I assume, was put up to her brusqueness by the minister, because that is the kind of attitude he has tended to take on these matters. I too feel aggrieved and feel the privileges on this side of the House have been offended, having learned that the member for Carleton (Mr. Mitchell) was apprised of the Wintario projects in his riding last evening and was getting the information around this morning. While I was not informed, my assistant was informed by Miss Peschel -- in a very brusque, rather abrupt manner -- that we would have the information when the minister made his statement in the Legislature at two o'clock today.

I did get a copy of the information at one o'clock. We had another call from Miss Peschel who appeared to have thought better of her initial outburst. She said the information about my riding would be coming to me as a courtesy to me as the leader of the third party. I suggest the member for Algoma (Mr. Wildman) and my other colleagues in the NDP caucus would not have gotten the same treatment. I resent that, because I happen to think -- and I am an MPP like everybody else -- that all my members should get the same treatment.

When people voluntarily tax themselves for Wintario they do so in the hope of winning a prize, and they also do so knowing their money is going to go into projects that might otherwise not be assisted in the community where they live. Some of those people are New Democrats, some of them are Liberals, some of them are Conservatives. I suspect there are some neo-Marxists and some anarchists among them as well.

I think it is wrong the government should arrogate to its members the right to announce these things as though they were gifts from the Conservative Party. These are gifts from the people of Ontario to the people of Ontario, and this kind of political chicanery and sleaze should not be allowed.

Mr. Conway: Mr. Speaker, I would like to speak to this point in a slightly different way, because I had some previous information that I perhaps ought to have made available on Monday, on which day the honourable member for Quinte (Mr. O'Neil) expressed in his question to the honourable Minister of Culture and Recreation his concern about some pre-released information.

At that time I certainly appreciated the very straightforward and, I felt, candid response of the minister, who said there was no pre-release of information; that no member, to the best of his knowledge, had got access to this information; that it was very confidential -- indeed it remained in the ministry's computer; and that it would be released on Tuesday and later on Wednesday of this week. I sat in my place quietly reflecting on the panoply of front-page announcements that festooned the Renfrew county weekly press last week to the effect that "Yakabuski announces million-dollar Wintario bonanza for South Renfrew."

The minister assured the House this could not have been the case, and I accepted his answer in good faith. Yesterday, according to the Instant Hansard of 1510-2, the honourable member for Renfrew South (Mr. Yakabuski) said: "I rise on a point of personal privilege. Yesterday and today the Minister of Culture and Recreation was asked if he had provided me with advance information re Wintario grants. I am rising at this time to state most emphatically that the minister did not."

At that very hour, 252 miles from this chamber, the Tuesday, December 8, 1981, edition of the Pembroke Observer was hitting the streets with the following: "Yakabuski announces area Wintario grants." I quote: "Various communities in Renfrew South will receive Wintario grants totalling almost $1 million in the coming months, Paul J. Yakabuski, MPP Renfrew South, announced today after consulting with the honourable Reuben Baetz, Ontario Minister of Culture and Recreation."

Mr. Speaker, I think I am a reasonable, straightforward person. I find there to be an apparent -- and, depending on your point of view, serious -- contradiction in the public statements in this place between the honourable Minister of Culture and Recreation and the honourable member for Renfrew South. And that speaks as well to the point of privilege I raised earlier.

Mr. Wildman: Mr. Speaker, I rise on the same point of privilege. Although it appears some Conservative members had advance information, late yesterday afternoon, when my assistant phoned the ministry at the request of a municipality in my riding to get information about an application made by the recreation committee of that municipality we were told the information would be made available today and the official could not second-guess the minister by providing information to a member of the Legislature ahead of that announcement.

If that is the case, why is the minister being second-guessed by members of his own caucus? How is it these other announcements have been made by members of the Conservative Party?

Mr. Mackenzie: Mr. Speaker, on the same point of personal privilege: I think there is a broader privilege of all of us that has been abused here. As far as I am concerned, that is the cheapening and downgrading of this House by the basest form of petty pork-barrel politics being practised by the minister and those who have issued the information, knowing full well this side of the House did not have that information.

I wonder if there is not also a point of principle involved that should be addressed here in terms of the ministers involved in this government.

Mr. O'Neil: Mr. Speaker, since I originally raised this matter in the Legislature, I think I should straighten out that I called the minister's office last Thursday because I had also heard this information was being given out to some of the Conservative members. When I called the minister's office I was told the same information as my leader, which was that information would not be made available until next week.

On Monday I tried to reach the minister at his office. I made two calls and, to be fair, his assistant did return one of those calls when I was not in, so I raised the matter in the Legislature.

We heard the minister's statements. After leaving this Legislature, and while talking to two reporters in the hall, the member for Prince Edward-Lennox (Mr. Taylor) walked by and mentioned to me that if I were to call the regional office, the information would likely be obtainable. I did call the regional office. The information was given to me and I announced that information in my riding on Monday.

I called the minister last evening to ask whether it might be possible to pass on to my colleagues that the same information would be available from the regional offices. The minister did not return my call. On the other hand, the member for Victoria-Haliburton (Mr. Eakins) called the Peterborough office and he was refused. They would not give him that information. I believe there certainly has been a breakdown as to whether these regional offices were to give out the information. We also wonder why some of the Conservative members were given it well in advance of ourselves.

Mr. Wrye: On the point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: I heard this noon hour that perhaps some of the offices were handing out these announcements early and that one could get one's name in the paper by being able to make the announcement.

I called the Windsor Star around 1:30 p.m. today and asked whether they had received any announcement of Wintario capital grants. They had not. I was quite relieved to know this kind of pork-barrel politics was not going on. Then I suddenly realized there are no government members anywhere in Essex county. Essex county is a very wise place.

I went a little further afield and called the Chatham Daily News. Lo and behold, the member for Chatham-Kent (Mr. Watson) had announced a $74,000 Wintario capital grant this morning. Further, I called the regional office in Windsor and was told I could not get the information until two o'clock.

Then I called the regional office in London and we have been assured by that regional office the member for Chatham-Kent was not given the information by that office. If he did not get it from that office, where did he get it?

2:20 p.m.

Mr. Shymko: Mr. Speaker, for the principle of equity I would like to refer to the comments of the member for Quinte who received information and apparently received some Wintario grants in his riding. There are many Tory members on this side of the House who, despite the information, have not received any moneys from the Wintario projects. I think the information was not given to all the members.

I had not received any information and I had received no money. Let us realize there are many members on this side of the House who were not informed of any grants and had received no grants whatsoever compared with many constituencies represented by the honourable members who were fortunate enough to receive grants. The principle is not the information but simply the grants that have been distributed to a variety of constituencies. My constituency received zero.

Mr. Bradley: Mr. Speaker, on a point --

Mr. Speaker: Is this on the same point?

Mr. Bradley: Yes. It is on the same one, very briefly.

Mr. Speaker: All right. This will be the last one. I think we have had ample discussion on this.

Mr. Bradley: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I too was very interested in the Wintario grants that would be provided to the Niagara region. However, I did not call the regional office and I did not call the minister's office because I had faith in the words of the minister that nothing would be revealed until two o'clock today.

Mr. Smith: That is right. He misled this House.

Mr. Speaker: The Minister of Culture and Recreation.


Mr. Speaker: Order. All the members who wanted to have the opportunity of being heard have been heard. I would ask them to extend the same courtesy to the minister.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, we have now wasted 25 minutes of this assembly. If the members opposite would quit rising on what they perceive to be a point of privilege and go down to their mailboxes then they could find all the approvals of the projects down there waiting for them. I do not know why they are up here haranguing away at it.

I have also received a blow-by-blow description of the Leader of the Opposition's harassment of my staff this morning. At least he was correct and honest, and I am surprised the leader of Her Majesty's loyal opposition would be wasting his time on a matter like this. I can understand why he is over there and not here. The same goes for the leader of the third party.

As a point of interest, our leader over here has far more important things to do and he, at least to this minute, does not know what projects in his riding have been approved. So it shows the members who is running the affairs of state and who is preoccupied with the small stuff.

As I told the members several days ago, the procedure in making these grants this time is quite different. Instead of making a few grants every week we have allowed the grants to accumulate until today. I will be announcing, if the members give me time to do so, that we have approved over 600 grants.

These are all going out today. The information is going out today but the members can surely appreciate that with that volume of information around in the field offices, in my office, in the computers, as the honourable member for Quinte knows, because he harassed my field office staff in Belleville and finally forced them to give the information.

Mr. O'Neil: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege: I did not harass the minister's field office in Belleville. I had the courtesy not to put them on the spot to release that information to me and that is why I went to the minister's office. I called three or four times to try and get that information. I will not put the civil servants in this province in a position to embarrass them, so the minister should not say I harassed his office in Belleville. That is a lie. That is a lie.

Mr. Speaker: Order. I will ask the honourable member to withdraw that remark.

Mr. O'Neil: I will not withdraw, Mr. Speaker. The minister should withdraw the comment that I harassed, because that is an untruth.

Mr. Speaker: I have no alternative but to --

Mr. O'Neil: Mr. Speaker, I will withdraw that if he withdraws his statement that I harassed his Belleville staff, because I did not.

Mr. Speaker: Order. No, I will have to ask the member to withdraw that remark. Failing --


Mr. Speaker: Order. I have the floor. The honourable member for Quinte.

Mr. O'Neil: Mr. Speaker, I will withdraw it.

Mr. Martel: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: The minister has imputed motives to my colleague the member for Quinte and he has no alternative but to withdraw that comment, absolutely none.

Mr. Speaker: The minister was rising when you rose.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, I will withdraw the word "harass" and replace it with "inveigle" or "dupe" or whatever. The member gave them incorrect information.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, will the minister withdraw those words as well, or will he continue to impute motives and to abuse the rules of this Legislature?

Mr. Speaker: Order. The Leader of the Opposition.

Mr. Smith: Mr. Speaker, if you think back to the original point I raised, the minister is accused in this House of having in a deliberate way misinformed this House on two consecutive days. Instead of answering that question, he has now chosen to impute motives to the member for Quinte.

I almost hesitate to press the matter because I am afraid he will leave the cabinet and a gold mine for us will be lost. I do believe, Mr. Speaker, that you have some duty to protect members in this House from being accused of harassing civil servants when they have not done so, or inveigling or duping anybody, or any other ill motives when they are not correct. It is surely not parliamentary to make that kind of accusation about another member.

I hope you will demand a proper standard, first of all, of withdrawing that and, second, of answering the original allegation, which is that the minister has not been truthful with this House for the last two days. He says his leader has better things to do than what I did this morning. Maybe if his leader spent more time checking up on the integrity of the minister, the minister would not be in the cabinet any more.

Mr. O'Neil: Mr. Speaker, before the minister has a chance to withdraw, I hope, all of those statements, might I say my exact words in my telephone call to the ministry office on Monday were these: "I have just spoken with Mr. Jim Taylor outside the Legislature in the presence of two reporters and Mr. Taylor more or less implied that I should call your office to get this information. If it is embarrassing in any way to yourself, I will go back to the minister." Those were my exact words and I do not call that harassing. I think that is being very considerate of people in the field office.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, I will be quite pleased to withdraw the word "harassment" whether it was directed to the member for Quinte or to the Leader of the Opposition. I would simply ask that some independent body take a look at the conversation. I think it was quite accurately reflected in the statement by the Leader of the Opposition this afternoon, because that is pretty well what I heard from my staff. I would like to have a third party determine --


Hon. Mr. Baetz: No, not that party -- an independent party determine what was involved here. Apparently the Leader of the Opposition was on the phone for many minutes, maybe 20 minutes, maybe half an hour. I would ask you, Mr. Speaker, to look into the details of that conversation.


Mr. Speaker: Order.

2:30 p.m.

Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, at the minister's behest, and because of the seriousness of the allegations made, I would suggest we send this matter immediately to the procedural affairs committee so that all of the details can be examined. I would ask Mr. Speaker to do so. I see the House leader shaking his head, but I am just meeting the request by the minister that this be the case. That is the body that usually looks into these matters. If the minister does not want it examined he should get up and state that.

Mr. Speaker: Order. The member for Hamilton East has been trying valiantly for many minutes.

Mr. Mackenzie: Mr. Speaker, I guess I am in your hands but I think it is a point of privilege and my concern --

Mr. Speaker: The same one?

Mr. Mackenzie: The same one. The non- answers we were getting from the minister, the attacks he was making on the procedures or what had happened or who was harassed, was not an answer to the serious questions and allegations that have been made. It is this kind of dishonest claptrap that is putting us in trouble in this House.

Mr. Smith: I want to receive an answer, Mr. Speaker. What are you going to do about it?

Mr. Speaker: Thank you very much. I did hear the request of the Leader of the Opposition. I also heard the request of the minister. I would once again point out to all honourable members it is not my duty or responsibility to make a judgement.


Mr. Speaker: No, that is not true. I have no way of knowing, with all respect, what has been said or not been said. I have no way of making a judgement whether it is truthful or not truthful. I think it is the responsibility and duty of the House to make a determination on that matter.

Mr. Martel: Send it to the procedural affairs committee.

Mr. Speaker: It is not the duty of the Speaker to make a judgement. It will have to be done by motion. The members know that as well as I do, with all respect.

Mr. Martel: On a point of order --

Mr. Speaker: On the same one?

Mr. Martel: Yes.

Mr. Speaker: This is deteriorating into a debate.

Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, you certainly have the ability to send something to the procedural affairs committee if you want the thing examined. I am not asking you to decide, as I said earlier this week in this House, whether someone is telling the truth or not. That is not your responsibility. But when you are requested, and on precedent where the former Speaker sent things to the procedural affairs committee, certainly it is within your power to send it there.

Mr. Smith: For three consecutive days the minister has not been truthful in this House.

Mr. Speaker: I would like to have the opportunity to consider this. I will do that and I will get back.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I first raised, and several other members have raised, the words used by the minister where he stated that the member for Quinte had duped or inveigled the regional office of the ministry in Belleville. Those words were not withdrawn, as far as I understand, despite the rules --

Mr. Speaker: Order. Yes they were.

Mr. Cassidy: They were not --

Mr. Speaker: Yes they were. He withdrew his remarks, as I understood them.


Mr. Cassidy: Will you insist that those words be withdrawn, Mr. Speaker?

Mr. Smith: He withdrew only the word "harassed." He did not withdraw "duped" or "inveigled."

Mr. Speaker: Again, you are asking me to make a judgement.

Mr. Cassidy: That's your job.

Mr. Speaker: No, it is not, with all respect. I am not going to argue with you.

Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Speaker, I hesitate to draw this matter out any further but the minister advised members that by two o'clock these notices of Wintario grants would be in our mailboxes and as of 10 minutes ago there was no such notice in my mail box.


Ms. Copps: On the same point of order, Mr. Speaker, at 2:30 p.m. there was no notice in my mailbox nor has there been to date. The minister just said a few minutes ago to every person in this House that the notices would have been delivered by two o'clock today. They are not there. This is another example of the misinformation, and the kind of misleading information, that we have had in this House.

Mr. Speaker: Thank you. Maybe the minister would be good enough to look into it.


Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, I was told the copies of the letters would be here in the House. I do not deliver the mail myself. I do not know if they are down there now or not, but they are going to be there today.



Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, today I will be introducing a bill which is based on the Swadron report recommendations. This bill will permit the residential community to remain on the Toronto Islands to the year 2005. When Barry Swadron officially released his report last spring, I announced that the essence of the report, "that a community on the Toronto Islands should be continued and that those who are resident in that community should pay their way," was acceptable to the government of Ontario and we would take appropriate steps to put this into effect.

As the members of this House will recall, a year ago November we passed Bill 181, the Toronto Islands Act, which stayed the execution of the writs of possession issued upon the residents of the Toronto Islands until July 1, 1981. The objective in passing such legislation was to permit Mr. Swadron to complete his inquiry into the future use of the residential portion of the Toronto Islands. As I noted then, this was the first time the whole issue of the future use of these lands had been examined in depth by an independent commission.

In order to allow this matter to be discussed thoroughly, Bill 103, which postponed the writs for a further six months until December 31, 1981, was enacted. Over the past few months numerous meetings between myself and representatives of Metropolitan Toronto, and several meetings with city of Toronto representatives, have taken place to try to achieve a compromise solution. However, I must frankly acknowledge it was not possible to produce a bill pleasing to everyone.

The preparation of the bill that will be before us today was guided by a desire to follow the spirit of Mr. Swadron's recommendations. This bill provides for the reimbursement of Metropolitan Toronto for its expenditures with respect to the islands' residential community.

I will briefly explain the main provisions of the bill.

The municipality of Metropolitan Toronto will be deemed to have leased the lands and houses to the city of Toronto at an amount equal to the fair market value of such lands used for residential purposes, subject to review at intervals of not more than five years. Failing agreement, the rates will be determined by arbitration.

Persons who held an interest in premises prior to October 19, 1978, and have continued to hold an interest in those premises since that date, will be entitled to a lease of those premises. In other cases, the city of Toronto may decide who is an occupant entitled to enter into a lease with the city.

As a precondition of receiving a lease from the city, an occupant shall pay to Metro all outstanding arrears of rent and occupation rent, and shall pay to the city arrears of taxes and public utilities rates attributable to the lands and structures that are leased by the city to the occupant, together with interest.

The occupant must use the house as his principal residence.

All rights of Metro to possession of the lands under the writs of possession will be assigned to the city of Toronto. The city shall reimburse Metro for expenditures made on deficits incurred for provision of municipal services attributable to the residential community.

The city of Toronto and Metropolitan Toronto shall, as long as residential leases are in effect on Ward's Island and Algonquin Island, continue to maintain the existing level of services for the islands, but if a different level of services is provided by the city of Toronto in the city from time to time, such different level of services may be provided.

No occupant may grant an assignment, sublease or licence of occupation. Where the occupant ceases to occupy the premises as his principal residence, the lease between the occupant and the city of Toronto shall be deemed to be terminated and the city may lease the premises to another person.

Metropolitan Toronto shall lease to the city the lands occupied and used by the Algonquin Island Residents Association and the Ward's Island Residents Association. These associations may not assign or sublease these lands.

The bill defines occupant so as to first protect those persons with a long-standing interest in the island lands, but also includes persons who resided there at the time of the preparation and release of Mr. Swadron's report.

Metropolitan Toronto shall extend the sanitary sewer system on the Toronto Islands to serve the island residential community at the cost of the city of Toronto.

2:40 p.m.

I am confident this legislation, which I hope will be supported by all members of this House, will bring a conclusion to what has been a very thorny and troublesome matter for many people concerning the residences on the Toronto Islands.

Mr. Ruprecht: Mr. Speaker, on a point of clarification --

Mr. Speaker: Order. I thought that was very clear.


Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to announce today that I am approving some $40 million worth of grants for more than 600 community projects in all parts of Ontario. These grants, funded by the proceeds of the Wintario lottery, will help build and improve a tremendous array of cultural and recreational facilities in our province.

They mark the first group of awards made under the new Wintario capital grants program I announced last January 28. They will mean new and improved facilities in every part of Ontario, in centres big and small: new YMCAs, new libraries, cultural centres, museums, creative playgrounds, sports complexes and arenas, and the list goes on.

In the six years it has been operating, the Wintario capital grants program has had an enormous and profound influence not only on the cultural and recreational life of this province but on the economy as well. Since September 1975, my ministry has supported the construction of more than 4,000 cultural and recreational facilities with grants totalling about $225 million. With the 600 new projects, the province's support will be increasing to about $265 million.

As honourable members know, my ministry acts as a partner with the local community in the development of public cultural and recreational projects. In general we grant one dollar for every two dollars raised by the local community. In northern and eastern Ontario we match the local community dollar for dollar, and when it comes to making public cultural and recreational facilities accessible to disabled people we provide three dollars for every one dollar raised locally.

As I said, during the last six years my ministry has paid out about $225 million in Wintario capital grants. That means we have played a vital part in stimulating some $700 million worth of activity in Ontario's construction sector. It has been estimated that, as a result, work for more than 14,000 men and women has been created. Now, with new commitments totalling about $40 million, we will be participating in another $120 million worth of construction activity. That means the Wintario capital grants program's total direct economic impact is approaching the $1 billion mark.

As I said earlier, this new group of grants numbers more than 600. Between last April 1, when we opened up for grant applications, and the September 30 deadline, we received about 1,000 requests for support under the new program. I was able to grant about 60 per cent of those requests. Community groups, in consultation with my staff, worked very hard to develop their applications.

Obviously, I would prefer to have been in a position to approve more of them. But as honourable members know, we do not commit more support than the funds I have available, so I had to make some very difficult choices. I want to emphasize that those choices were made with great care and were based on priorities and criteria that flowed from our capital priorities review, which we completed last year. You will remember, Mr. Speaker, this comprehensive study was conducted in detailed consultation with the members of this assembly who chose to participate and with thousands of local groups and officials.

The grant applications that I am approving reflect very closely the priorities that flowed out of this review. The grant awards involve 351 sports projects, 149 community centre projects, 45 library projects, 22 museum projects, 19 arts projects and 10 heritage projects. The scope of our sport and recreation projects runs from a new Central YMCA here in Toronto to a creative playground in Delhi. Our community centre initiatives will include a community park and recreation centre in Sudbury as well as a community hall in Port McNicoll.

In the library field, we will be helping to build a new library in Georgina township and assisting the Etobicoke library system with an energy conservation project. Our museum projects will include a new facility for Goderich. In the arts, we will be supporting a town hall theatre in Nanticoke. In heritage we will be involved in the restoration of the courthouse in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Financial support for all of these projects will start to flow next April 1. We expect to pay out $30 million in this group of grants during the 1982-83 fiscal year with the remaining $10 million flowing thereafter. Finally, next April 1, we plan to start accepting applications for a new cycle of Wintario capital grants for payments to commence April 1, 1983.

My ministry's Wintario capital grants program has changed the leisure-time face of this province, particularly in smaller centres which would not have been able to afford many projects without provincial help.

It has already helped build such important public facilities as the Hawkesbury Sportsplex to the east, the London Art Gallery to the west, the Jeux Canada Games Complex at Thunder Bay in the north and an expanded Royal Ontario Museum and new Massey Hall here in the south.

Some of our new projects will undoubtedly become as familiar as the ones I have just mentioned and I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our partners at the community level every success with them.


Mr. McClellan: Mr. Speaker, I would like to rise on a point of privilege to clarify the record if I may. I will try to be mercifully brief.

On Monday of this week the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell) was asked a series of questions with respect to the safety of patients at the Queen Street Mental Health Centre in view of medical staff shortages. The minister said, and I quote, "We do not believe that the situation at Queen Street constitutes a threat to staff or to patients."

When the minister made that statement, he should have been aware of a memorandum from the president of the medical staff at Queen Street, Dr. Gray, in which Dr. Gray stated that because of the loss of 18 doctors over the course of the past year, "This loss is now approaching the equivalent of one of the geographical service's total psychiatric staff." He goes on to say, "The result of the loss in medical staffing is to turn Queen Street" --


Mr. Boudria: It is a final supplementary.

Mr. McClellan: I think this is an important matter --

Mr. Speaker: Order. That is not really a point of privilege, with all respect.

Mr. McClellan: It is a matter of correcting the record.

Mr. Speaker: You will have an opportunity to do that at the appropriate time.

Mr. McClellan: The minister said he was aware of that and also --

Mr. Speaker: Order.


Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, as members of this House will recall, earlier this year I received the report of the Great Lakes-Seaway task force from its chairman, Mr. Ralph Misener.

That report outlined the concerns and comments of many individuals and organizations associated with the marine mode and provided extremely valuable background information as well as specific recommendations concerning this vital transportation system. One of the issues that is most apparent, after review of the report, is that Ontario must take a stronger stance on Great Lakes-Seaway policy.

After six months of study, today I would like to outline the action we propose to take, based on the task force findings, to implement that stronger stance. Our first move will be to support and promote immediate short-range capacity improvements on the Welland Canal, the canal closest to its capacity among all sections of the entire Great Lakes-Seaway system and the canal where, at peak periods, substantial delays in passage are common.

The report categorizes a number of specific suggestions aimed at effecting greater capacity. We intend to take them to the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority and to determine from them the plans and timetable for improvements that we have identified.

We have also reached the point where we must take a definite stand on the question of extending the navigation season. I realize the problems of cost, the environment and jurisdiction all make this a particularly thorny issue, but its resolution is vital to the intelligent development of the system's potential.

In this area, it is my intention that the Ministry of Transportation and Communications will act as a co-ordinating body and request other ministries and agencies concerned to identify all difficulties and obstacles clearly so they can be evaluated and considered and an informed government position arrived at.

A third initiative will be to implement a co-ordinated strategy to make the public more aware of the importance of the Great Lakes-Seaway system.

The economic importance of the system, both to this province and to the country as a whole, cannot be overstated. Money must be spent over the next few years to ensure that the system maintains its vital role in our transportation network. Since that money will come from the public purse, we must inform the public of the real necessity of a healthy Great Lakes-Seaway system as part of the overall Ontario and Canadian transportation system.

2:50 p.m.

The co-ordination of this public awareness program, including films, speeches, publications and participation in public events, will again be carried out by my ministry working with others, such as the Ministry of Education, while the appropriate agencies, the shippers, carriers, unions and the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority will be requested to assist in execution of the individual elements.

In addition to this public awareness initiative, the Ontario International Corporation has been asked to act as the catalyst in developing a commercial promotional program for the Great Lakes-Seaway system. To this end, contact will be made with the Ontario harbour commissions to discuss the program and its format as a prelude to discussions with other interested parties.

Next, we hope to establish an advisory council of industry representatives, people with real world experience in the marine mode, to supply expert advice on how best to find and continually update the appropriate solutions. This would be an extremely flexible body, with membership changing to reflect the issues under discussion at any given time.

We also intend to develop a provincial ports strategy, one which will include all Ontario ports, so the government can determine the potential for provincial participation in port development. Although ports are under federal jurisdiction, they play a critical role in Ontario's economy and transportation network, directly influencing the development of their surrounding areas. The significance of these ports requires examination and we must develop an overall strategy to accommodate requests for provincial assistance or facilitate dealings with the federal government.

All of these initiatives will be undertaken in the context of our dedication to the principle of an overall transportation network and considering all modes, including the Great Lakes-Seaway system.

While we are genuinely concerned that the system may not be adequate to accommodate expected demand, I can say that no specific long-term plans for expensive expansion will be supported without a full evaluation of our transportation network as a whole, an evaluation geared to assist this province to determine where improvements would be most appropriate.

The program I have outlined represents the areas of emphasis articulated by the Great Lakes-Seaway task force, areas which we intend to address first, for it is plain to me that Ontario must ensure that our marine mode is safeguarded and strengthened as a vital contributor to our provincial economy.



Ms. Copps: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of the Environment. When the matter of selling electricity to General Public Utilities in the United States was first raised, the minister claimed electricity would come from the grid, not just from coal-fired stations. A few days later, the Minister of Energy (Mr. Welch) stated, "On the basis of current projections, it is possible that about 30 per cent of the exports to GPU will be from nuclear energy."

In fact, I am now sending to the minister information directly from Ontario Hydro which clearly indicates that if GPU takes advantage of the full contract, nuclear sources will supply only 8.3 per cent of the electricity and coal will supply 91.7 per cent. The emissions from this contract alone will kill 560 Ontario lakes.

Does the minister think a sale of electricity which will net only $43 million in profit is worth the loss of 560 of our remaining lakes?

An hon. member: Well written.

Ms. Copps: I wrote it.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, I would begin by observing that I hope that last comment was not intended as an insult to Mr. Rudolph, who normally does a very fine job of writing the Liberal Party's questions. He is really a very capable young researcher, as I understand it.

Mr. Kerrio: You should have such researchers over there.

Hon. Mr. Norton: That is how I come to recognize his ability, because I know what ability is when I see it on my own staff.

I suppose we could debate back and forth from now until such time as that project goes ahead, if it ever does, in terms of what the precise mix might be. When I responded to the member's question, I responded on the basis of the best information I had been able to obtain. It may be the information the member has sent over is somewhat more up to date. Obviously, my response at that time was not out of line with what the Minister of Energy had in mind a few days later. The point is there will be some mix. It is not going to be entirely from coal-fired plants. I do not know exactly what that mix might be.

The latter part of the member's comment is really very hypothetical. There is no sound scientific basis upon which one can base that kind of calculation in terms of the numbers of lakes. I am not suggesting the member or her research staff have done this, but I think there are people who are trying to take a very elementary and simplistic approach to calculating what is going to cause what effects in terms of lakes. That is precisely the important area of research we are now engaged in.

In terms of my involvement with my federal counterpart in this country and with ministers from other provinces who are part of the board of ministers charged with the responsibility of determining national policy on the acid rain situation, I do not know of anyone who can categorically make that kind of statement. It is one of the issues we are looking at very carefully in view of the negotiations now under way pursuant to the memorandum of intent with the United States.

To some extent the American negotiators would like us to come up with a firm figure that tries to correlate levels with the damage to specific things. Frankly, to the best of my knowledge at this time, there is no scientific evidence, no reliable evidence of any kind that I am aware of, from which one could draw the conclusion that a particular level of emissions would lead to the death of a certain number of lakes. That is very speculative and unreliable.

I would also point out though that, despite what the ultimate outcome may be of the negotiations under way between Ontario Hydro and General Public Utilities, Ontario Hydro will be bound, regardless of the demand and of production levels, to live within the progressively reduced levels of emissions set out in the regulations to which it is now subject. It knows it will not be exempted from that and its planning must take place within the context of a 45 per cent reduction in emissions. I think that has to be borne in mind.

Ms. Copps: Mr. Speaker, I have in my hand the confidential telex the minister sent to the president of the National Energy Board on November 19, in which he stated: "We are concerned that issues regarding the project's effect on the environment be discussed to the satisfaction of the government of Ontario. Accordingly, we would like to confirm whether the board would be willing to include criteria in its consideration of the undertaking that would meet Ontario's requirements."

Will the minister explain why he asked the National Energy Board to deal with the environmental aspects of the project when NEB members represent the energy industry? Surely environmental hearings should be carried out by environmental experts, and the Minister of the Environment should know that.

Hon. Mr. Norton: It is unfortunate, Mr. Speaker, that the honourable member has not been able to take the time to attend our estimates now under way, because that matter has been fairly extensively discussed in the estimates.

I would start out by saying that to the best of my knowledge there was nothing confidential about my telex. I have discussed it with members. I may not have distributed it as such, but from the very beginning I indicated I was in communication with the National Energy Board.

3 p.m.

That is not the only communication we have had. There has been an exchange of communication. If the member thinks she has a confidential document leak, then I am sorry to disappoint her. If she had asked me what the communication had been about, she would have been quite entitled to the information. The reason that communication was initiated on my part was because of the fact, as I previously stated in the House and elsewhere, there have been three independent legal opinions -- not all to my ministry; only one was requested by my ministry when we happened not to agree with two previous ones.

All of these have indicated that, given the doctrine of primacy under our constitution with respect to federal legislation in specific areas, and this is one of them, we have been advised that the Environmental Assessment Act would not be legally binding in this situation, given the primacy of the federal legislation and the authority of the National Energy Board.

In the face of that opinion, I have been exploring, as I indicated to the committee, through my office in the ministry and also with the college, ways by which -- if that is a correct opinion, and I have received no legal opinions to the contrary, it is important to me that we be able in this province to ensure that our standards for environmental protection be applied in whatever forum is going to be the appropriate and the binding forum in this matter of an export of energy across an international boundary.

One of the things that occurred to me initially was, is there a possibility of a combined hearing, something like we have already done in Ontario with our consolidated hearings legislation. That was not an acceptable proposal, I learned from the federal government, by virtue of the fact that its agency was not in the position to sit down with the province and have a combined hearing.

Then I followed up with further questions to see if they in fact would agree to apply our legislation and the standards which are implicit in it. All those are exploratory communications so that I can be in a position to determine what the best course of action is to protect the interests of the people of this province in the area of environmental protection.

I am not embarrassed about the communication. I think it is important that one seeks to explore all of the possible alternatives so that one is in the best position possible to select which is going to be the most effective way of achieving the objectives of Ontario.

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, can the minister tell me who he expects the challenge from if he subjects the project to the environmental assessment laws of this province? Does he expect a challenge from the federal government? Does he expect a challenge from Ontario Hydro, one of Ontario's agencies, or does he expect his challenge from the Americans? Tell us who he expects a challenge from, and subject the thing to Ontario's laws.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, I think the honourable member has missed the point. If one were to approach public responsibility with the degree of narrow-mindedness and tunnel vision the honourable member sometimes reflects in his questions, my goodness, we sure would not be making much progress in this province.

Mr. Foulds: I gave a direct question. Give us a direct answer.

Hon. Mr. Norton: I intend to give you a direct answer, but I must say there were certain things implicit in your question that I felt merited a response.


Mr. Speaker: Order. Never mind the interjections. Answer the question please.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, I shall try to do that. They tend to be rather loud and sometimes difficult to ignore.

The point surely is this: if we were to proceed through an environmental assessment -- and this is one of things I want to have very clear answers on before we make a final decision -- and hypothetically the determination of the Environmental Assessment Board was not consistent with the determination of the National Energy Board; in other words, the National Energy Board said, "It has our stamp of approval, you can go ahead." The Environmental Assessment Board came to a contrary conclusion. Under the legal opinions that exist, it may well be possible that the decision of the Environmental Assessment Board would be void, because it does not have legal effect in view of the primacy of the federal legislation. That is the issue; that is, at least, one of the important issues that has to be sorted out.

Ms. Copps: Mr. Speaker, it is interesting that the telex is no longer confidential. It probably became nonconfidential this morning when the minister realized we had a copy of it. But I would point out to him that his office refused to release this telex to either our staff, Energy Probe or Ontario Hydro.


Ms. Copps: On to the supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: Thank you.

Ms. Copps: Given that Ontario Hydro is spending more money on this cable than on its entire acid rain program, and given that the minister may exempt this proposal from Ontario's environmental legislation to benefit a company that needs electricity because it destroyed its own Three Mile Island plant, will the minister guarantee to this House that the proposed project will be subject to examination under the Environmental Assessment Act?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, obviously that is what all the questions up to this point have been dealing with. I think I have explained the complexity of the issue and the fact that I am trying to sort it out at the moment.

Ms. Copps: Does the minister have an answer?

Hon. Mr. Norton: I am not going to be taken into a situation where I will give the member the very simplistic and naive response she would like.

In view of the fact that the honourable member's question again raised the issue of confidentiality, all I can say is that the --

Mr. Speaker: That was not the question, with all respect.

Hon. Mr. Norton: No, but it is a relevant question, because she is suggesting that I was somehow trying to hide it. She may well have had that response from --

Mr. Speaker: Order. I think you made that point very clear previously.



Ms. Copps: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Health. I suppose this is a supplementary to the point of privilege raised earlier by the member for Bellwoods (Mr. McClellan) but more in the nature of a question.

On Monday the minister reassured this House that none of the patients at the Queen Street Mental Health Centre were in danger. In fact, he said, "First, let me say we do not believe the situation at Queen Street constitutes a threat to staff or patients." That was on Monday.

Now a death has occurred in circumstances that raise grave questions about the ability of the medical staff, which is already overburdened, to cope with the exceptional needs of the hospital and its patients. Is the minister now going to respond to the urgent call of doctors in this hospital? What action will he take to clean up the mess at Queen Street?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, with respect to the honourable member, to my knowledge the autopsy is not even complete yet, let alone the analyses of the sedative that was apparently used on this patient. I submit to the member that her question sounds as though, with no knowledge whatsoever of the case, she has already decided what the answers are or has reached her conclusion.

Mr. Nixon: Now, now, now.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: With respect, that is exactly what the question implies.

Let us just go back over the history of it. We made a number of changes at Queen Street Mental Health Centre early in 1981 because we recognized that the program there was not all it could be or should be. We made changes in administration. Following on that, we decided to engage outside consultants, including outside psychiatric consultants working through and for Peat Marwick, to evaluate the existing program at Queen Street and to advise on the most effective way to reorganize the hospital so it better meets its responsibilities for the provision of psychiatric care in the very large catchment area it serves.

With the greatest respect to the member, on the basis of the information from my assistant deputy minister and my director of psychiatric hospitals, or any of the other information that has come to me, I have no reason to change that opinion. It would be premature and, I submit, irresponsible to try to draw into the review that is under way at Queen Street and the changes that are going to be made at Queen Street the fact that one of the patients did pass away this last weekend and that this matter is under investigation.

3:10 p.m.

Ms. Copps: While the minister was waiting for the results from Peat Marwick, the hospital staff wrote him a letter on November 13, in which it stated: "The situation is extremely critical. The increased caseload has led to a deterioration in the quality of care. The medical staff no longer feels able to maintain the standards. Inevitably, because of the types of patients we care for, because they are isolated and lonely and suffer from severe chronic illness, there will be an incident, with attending media publicity."

That was drawn to the attention of the ministry on November 13. How much more of a warning does the minister need before he is going to move on this very tragic and unnecessary death?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: First of all, Mr. Speaker, in response to that, let me remind the honourable member that since deciding to engage outside consultants at the same time as we imposed a hiring freeze, there has been rehiring for those positions necessary to maintain the programs. Perhaps the member was not in the House the other day when I told the members that the advice I have had is that at this time there are 1,131 full-time equivalent staff at the Queen Street Mental Health Centre. The director of the psychiatric hospitals branch advises me that under the terms of the hiring freeze imposed in the spring there are only eight positions frozen.

Subsequent to that letter having been sent, and again I would remind the member we can find no record of having received the original, we got a copy on November 24. But subsequent to that letter, on the advice of the administrator and the medical director of the hospital to the director of the psychiatric hospitals branch, and through the assistant deputy minister to me, the freeze with respect to three psychiatric and one medical position has been lifted and those positions will be filled.

I have to tell the member that given the number of admissions involved in any year, and given we are talking about a psychiatric hospital system, dealing as we are in most cases with very disturbed people, there are going to be incidents. Nothing humanly possible can stop the fact that there will be so-called incidents from time to time. What I am telling the member is that the people who are responsible for ensuring the integrity of the program at that hospital have repeatedly assured me that does not constitute a threat, particularly because we have allowed them to fill vacancies to maintain existing programs pending decisions on changing the programs. I anticipate there will be significant changes and, if the member wants, we can get into some of those.

Again I would say to the member that it would be premature and irresponsible to take the skimpy information that exists at present, even before the completion of an autopsy and before the completion of the analyses of the sedative involved, to try to relate the demise of this individual with the earlier matter.

Mr. McClellan: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: In view of the fact that the Queen Street hospital is obviously in a state of turmoil; and in view of the problems documented with respect to wandering patients and with respect to the problems of ex-psychiatric patients; and in view of the events of the past weekend where two patients at the Queen Street hospital were the victims of the kind of therapeutic misadventure that led to the death of Aldo Alviani a year ago -- the particular maladministration I refer to involved the use of the drug paraldehyde, which I gather is a relic of 19th-century medicine -- will the minister not agree now to call a public inquiry into the quality of mental health care in this province, particularly at Queen Street, with an emphasis on the safety of current practices and procedures involved in the use of drug therapy?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Again with respect, Mr. Speaker, I believe some of the methods developed by Madame Curie in the 19th century are still accepted as rather good medicine.

It is true that this particular hypnotic was introduced into medicine, I am advised, in 1882. I may say I am advised of that by a circular that was distributed by the pharmacy at the Queen Street Mental Health Centre many months ago to the staff in the hospital. It was widely distributed, I am told, so they would be aware. This is only a part of the routine procedure whereby the pharmacy does distribute information widely about the drugs in use in the hospital, so that everybody is current with whatever information is available.

While that is true, the fact the drug has been in use for 99 years does not in and of itself suggest it is outdated. My colleague the member for York East (Mr. Elgie), who is a rather renowned physician, suggests it is one of the safest drugs he knows of.

We had an inquiry into mental health services. About two years ago, the report was concluded. That commission under Dr. Abbyan Lynch at St. Michael's College went all over the province and was available to whoever wanted to make representations.

In addition, the problems the member is referring to are at the Queen Street Mental Health Centre. We recognize all is not what it should be at Queen Street. That is why we made certain changes early in the year and decided to have an objective third-party analysis of the operation. As soon as the report is completed, I fully intend to make decisions and get on with the job of reforming the programs there.

Mr. Van Horne: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: In spite of the statement of the minister's colleague, the member for York East, who we all know is a doctor, my understanding from pharmacists who are working with drugs like this on a regular basis is that paraldehyde has not been used with any regularity in hospitals for at least 10 years.

Given, as I understand it, that it must be carefully stored in small amounts in well-closed bottles in a relatively cool place and protected from the light, and given that it must be inspected regularly, not only in the pharmacies but out on the wards, would the minister not agree the process of inspection was rather slack, possibly due to shortage of staff? Can he assure us that not only Queen Street but all psychiatric hospitals will have adequate staff for proper inspection of medications used in those institutions?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, the last point is one of a number that are looked at when the psychiatric hospitals are reviewed for accreditation. To my knowledge, in my five years in the ministry we have never had any indication, with respect to any of the 10 psychiatric hospitals under my jurisdiction, that there was any problem with respect to staffing available to do that job.

Let me tell the honourable member the advice I had today about this drug and the procedures that are followed at Queen Street. First, the member must recognize the decision to prescribe it is a medical decision. It may well be carried out by a registered nurse, but the decision to prescribe and the dosage are the decisions of a physician.

Second, I am told this particular hypnotic is purchased by the pharmacy at Queen Street in half-litre bottles. When needed, the bottles are repackaged into 100-millilitre or four-ounce bottles because, as the member said, it is used in small quantities. Then it is stored in a locked, dark cabinet on the wards, and the wards use the small bottles quickly because they are small bottles. One does not have a large bottle sitting in a ward with the possible problems attendant on that. Finally, I am advised the pharmacy retrieves unused portions weekly.

If the member wants to go into more detail about the procedures used by the pharmacy at Queen Street, I would be glad to get that for him. I am advised they take every precaution, recognizing the properties and qualities of this particular hypnotic.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Premier. Now that Saskatchewan has moved to introduce a home owners' protection act, which for the next year will protect home owners against foreclosures on their homes by the banks in cases where the home owner cannot afford to pay the increased rate of interest, will the government undertake to introduce a similar home owner protection law in Ontario?

Will the Premier assure the House that such a law will allow home owners who are in distress either to renew their mortgages at the existing rate or not to be forced to pay for the coming year while avoiding foreclosure? Will the government give that protection for people affected by the high interest rates?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I noticed a press report with respect to the proposed legislation in the province of Saskatchewan. I would tell the honourable member we are quite prepared to look at it, but to give any such assurance at this precise moment, I would not be in a position to do that.

3:20 p.m.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, the Premier has had the situation of high interest rates on his plate since this session resumed in the fall. The problem has been with the government since that time; it has not just come up this week. Is the Premier saying there is no answer at all within the government, at this time?

What solution does the government have for people who are in the situation of, for example, a Mr. Bonato in Windsor, who was foreclosed in August because he was behind in his mortgage payments? He found that not only was his home foreclosed, but so was the cabinet-making business which he had since 1958. He now finds himself evicted from his home as well as from his job, and both those structures are standing empty. There was no protection for Mr. Bonato. Is the government not prepared to move in order to ensure that that situation does not occur during 1982 as a result of the increase in mortgage rates by the banks?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, it is not just the banks. I am sure the honourable member is aware there are a number of mortgages, both new and renewals, that form the basis for some people's sole income. It is not quite as simple as singling out the institutional loans. There are many other forms of mortgage loans from other sources.

I repeat what I said: obviously this government is concerned about the problems facing people wishing to renew mortgages on their homes. The Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) has pointed out that as a government we were and still are prepared to join with the government of Canada in any sort of national policy; but I cannot give the member any assurance that we can devise, nor would it be appropriate to devise, a scheme whereby the government of Ontario were to enter this, other than in a national program.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, perhaps the Premier is not aware of the fact that since April there have been 94 home foreclosures in Brantford; 48 home foreclosures in Kitchener-Waterloo; 30 home foreclosures in St. Thomas, and more were on the way when I was down there a week and a half ago; 13 in Cambridge; nine in Stratford, and the situation is the same in every other community across the province.

Homes are being foreclosed. People are not able to hang on to their homes because of the high interest rates and because their ability to pay has been undermined through unemployment. When the banks have had a $700-million increase in their profits this year, why could this government not show leadership the way that Saskatchewan has shown leadership by moving in and putting a moratorium on foreclosures for the next year so people can hang on to the most important investment in their lives?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I reiterate what I said, that this government is very concerned about the predicament facing a number of home owners. Again I would reiterate that it is not confined just to the institutional loans; it also applies to people who are renewing mortgages from private individuals where the income from those mortgages may very easily be the sole source of income for those people.

Mr. Cassidy: Don't cloud the issue. Talk about the banks and the financial institutions.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Fine. I am just saying we have to look at this in terms of equity. It is not confined to just the lending institutions. I repeat, we urged this on the government of Canada. We continue to suggest that we would participate in any national program, because we believe if there was to be a policy, it should be of a national characteristic.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask a question of the Minister of Labour about the very curious statements he made in this House yesterday, or in the committee yesterday, with respect to his view that there is now a need for some form of wage and price controls.

Could the minister explain why it is, when real wages have been falling in this province over the course of the last four years, and when there has been wage control on average workers in this province over the course of the last four years, that the minister's solution now is to bring in wage controls?

In particular, why is he proposing that, when this government was not prepared to look at the way the consumers were ripped off with the increase in the dairy price for milk; and this government is not prepared to put any limits on mortgage rates; and this government has contributed, through its taxes, to the increase in costs for energy and the increase in costs for health care? Why is the government talking out of both sides of its mouth in this issue?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, first, if the honourable member will take the time to read the article carefully, what I said was "some sort of wage and price controls." I said perhaps we should be looking at some sort of an incomes policy, and that at the very least one should be looking at some sort of a voluntary program with some review of what is happening to incomes, prices, profits, dividends, as well as wages. If he is going to extrapolate from something, I think he should extrapolate totally.

Mr. Swart: Is that the deregulation program?

Mr. McClellan: Oh, the Premier (Mr. Davis) is fascinated by this.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Hang on, now. The context of that interview really was over the issue of layoffs and what one could do about them. I indicated that no matter how extensive a safety net is provided, and there is a considerable safety net provided through provincial and federal programs, these programs are certainly not enough to help all the people out there with problems, but they are a considerable help. They cannot help all the problems; we all understand that.

What I said was, what are the alternatives? The alternatives facing us are things like supporting uneconomic industry. The member knows that the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman) and the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller), through a variety of programs and initiatives, are doing all that can be expected of a province to stabilize industry in this province.

The point of the article was -- the member knows what the point was -- that we are faced with a federal budget which has done nothing to stimulate the economy, a budget which discourages investment. It does absolutely nothing to accomplish what has to be done, and that is create jobs.

Mr. Foulds: What are you doing?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: The honourable member knows where the fiscal levers are. If he does not, then he should not be sitting here. He knows where they are. There is no response to unemployment problems facing society today in that budget. If the member thinks there is, then he is in a different world from mine.

What are we faced with? We are faced with prices that are not remitting in the face of unemployment. We are faced with wages and incomes that show no evidence of any restraint after the Prime Minister's cry for voluntary restraints. We are not seeing any of that at all. Instead we are seeing production cutbacks, with maintenance of prices, and maintenance of present levels and increases requested for incomes. The Alberta physicians refused a 13.6 per cent increase. The member knows that as well as I do.

Surely, someone with the levers to do so has to look seriously at the issues facing us now. We need some stimulation of the economy; it was not there in that budget. That is the context of those remarks.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: Surely the minister realizes his call for a voluntary incomes policy is a Trojan horse which will put workers in double jeopardy. First, they have the risks of layoffs and unemployment, and then they have the second risk which is that the minister and his government are going to come in and penalize them by making them accept substandard wage increases or no wage increases at all.

If the minister is so keen on this kind of policy, can he explain why it is that he was prepared to sit by idly when his colleagues gave doctors a 13 or 14 per cent wage increase less than a year ago? What kind of hypocrisy is that the minister is proposing? Will the minister undertake, quite specifically, to oppose any program of wage controls if it is put forward by the government of Canada?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: The member knows full well that the Treasurer, the Premier and the Minister of Industry and Tourism have those matters under their domain. I am expressing my view. If the member does not like it, I understand it. I understand labour's view about any incomes policy and I understand management's view on it.

I clearly stated, and I stand by it, that there has to be someone who is looking at prices, wages, incomes, dividends and profits, because I do not see any evidence of any restraint by anybody in society right now.

Mr. Mackenzie: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: The minister's position is that of the Minister of Labour in Ontario. I think the minister is aware that the last time a Tory leader suggested wage and price controls in this country, the Liberals were quick to jump and impose them. I hate to see the Minister of Labour of Ontario suggesting them -- and it is not an add-on in his story; it is the main line, if one likes, in this particular story in the Toronto Star.

Is he advocating price and wage controls in this province? Will he or will he not give us a commitment that he will not agree to them in Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, let us get the record straight. The honourable member should read the whole story. If the member wants to hear the whole interview, he can speak to Mr. Haliechuk and he will see very clearly what I said. I talked about being prepared to look at an incomes policy of some sort, be it voluntary or otherwise.

The member and I both know that labour's great complaint with the previous wage and price controls program was that it hit wages above everything else. I clearly said in that interview, and I will say it anywhere, if there is to be any approach to it, it has to look at all income in society.

3:30 p.m.

I do not think labour fundamentally disagrees with that. I understand there may be other areas that it thinks should be looked at at the same time. I understand that, but on this particular issue, let us not try to paint me into the corner of supporting the previous wage and price controls program. I know there are inequities in that; if the member does not think I know that, then he is being misled.


Mr. Wrye: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of the Environment. The minister will be aware of a public meeting planned for tomorrow night in the city of Windsor, which two ministry officials, including Harold Collins, his pesticides control officer for southwestern Ontario, plan to attend.

Last Monday night, the same Mr. Collins, in a discussion with a group of people including residents and members of the Windsor Occupational Safety and Health Committee, told that group that the herbicide Cobex is no more harmful than aspirin, that there would be no danger to the city should there be a fire at the warehouse where some of the material is now stored, and, to use his words, "The entire affair over Cobex is a tempest in a teapot."

My question to the minister is this: Does he agree with this assessment by Mr. Collins, and if he does not, would he suggest that his official read up on the matter before tomorrow night's meeting so that he can approach it with the seriousness residents of the area expect?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, I was not present at the meeting. I do not know what the official of my ministry may or may not have said. I do not know the honourable member's source of information, whether he himself was present or whether he is getting it reported by others in the community. I think it is always risky to start speculating upon secondhand or thirdhand information. I do not intend to get into that game.

Mr. Wrye: Given the concerns of the residents immediately surrounding Flanagan's warehouse in Windsor, and indeed the concerns of the entire community, will the minister make a commitment to the House that the Ministry of the Environment will do a thorough investigation of the facility once the Cobex has been removed to check for any remaining residues? While he is at it, will he respond to the proposal of the Municipal Liaison Committee of November 20 for a reporting of all transportation of hazardous substances through municipalities? Finally, will he agree to change the current waybill system so that the ministry will be able to monitor the transportation of all hazardous substances to and from the province, as well as from one point to another within Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Norton: I will certainly indicate to the honourable member that we will look at those three categories he has cited, provided he will agree in exchange that when he attends that meeting -- I trust he is going to be in attendance -- he will stand up and relate to his constituents the very fine and responsible job the staff of my ministry and the Ministry of Labour did in terms of supervising the handling of the Cobex, of ensuring that the member was well informed of the difficulties that were encountered as they were encountered, and of ensuring that it was, once again, safely repackaged in larger, safe containers, the transportation of which is now well under way out of this jurisdiction back to the owner of the material.

If he is willing to go forward and take an absolutely nonbiased position and say what a good job we have done, I will undertake to look at the other aspects of it.


Mr. McClellan: Mr. Speaker, I would like to go back to the Minister of Health, if I may, with respect to matters raised a few moments ago.

If, as the minister suggested a few minutes ago, paraldehyde is one of the safest drugs he knows, is he aware that Mr. Norman Davis was apparently given eight millilitres of paraldehyde, which has the effect of depressing the central nervous system and therefore calming the patient, in combination with 50 milligrams of Nozinan, and that the two drugs taken together could very well have led to a complete respiratory failure?

It illustrates again the concern that has been raised time and time again, most tragically with Aldo Alviani, that there are serious problems with respect to practices and procedures involved in the administration of drug therapy within our mental health centres. If the drug is so safe, why were two people rushed to hospital this weekend because of problems with it? Surely the minister will agree it is in the public interest to call a public inquiry that focuses on practices and procedures with respect to chemotherapy within our mental health centres.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I was quoting the opinion about that drug of a learned member of this House who is himself a distinguished physician. I was not commenting with respect to this case because I said in answer to the second question posed today by the member for Hamilton Centre (Ms. Copps) that I am not privy to the results of any of the tests on the deceased. I am not privy to the autopsy report or to any tests carried out on the batches of the drug which have been seized which, by the way, have shelf lives of December 1984 and February 1985. I have been told that.

One of the coroners is Dr. Milton who is known to be a very thorough coroner. She is working on the case. At this point I think we should wait until the results of the autopsy are completed and we have some indication.

We all share the member's concern regarding what types of drugs are prescribed, in what combinations and how often. We must recognize that what to prescribe, in what dosages and frequency, is a medical judgement. We have a series of procedures in the hospitals for regular briefing and distribution of information.

As a result of the Alviani inquest, as it has become known, every one of the recommendations made by that coroner's jury has been acted upon. In fact I believe the member put a question on the Order Paper to me to that effect.

Mr. McClellan: I have not had an answer yet.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I am thinking of the spring session. I thought there was a question.

Mr. McClellan: It is on the Order Paper now.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: If it is on the Order Paper this fall, it will be answered. The member must recognize that he has buried us in Order Paper questions and we are working our way out from under that.

We distribute information throughout the hospitals about various drugs that are in use, in particular to the nursing stations where it is then accessible to the medical and nursing staff.

We have also funded the Clarke institute of Psychiatry recently to the extent of $300,000 to carry out over the next 18 months, and I am not talking about a long drawn out thing, a review which to date has not been carried out anywhere else in the world to my knowledge on the use of drugs in therapy and restraint of psychiatric patients.

The first part of that program, which I believe will cost up to $50,000 of the $300,000 we have allocated to the project, will take place in May, five months from now, when the American Psychiatric Association will be holding its annual conference in Toronto. The Clarke Institute will invite a variety of international experts --

Mr. Boudria: Time.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: It is a very important matter, even in Huron-Bruce.

Mr. Bradley: You got the wrong member.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: The Clarke Institute will invite a variety of the international experts attending that conference to obtain or develop a consensus of information on clinical guidance and following that, applied research. That has not been done anywhere else in the world. It will probably produce as good or better results than some kind of royal commission that would likely only raise areas that require further research.

We have taken out that step and said to the Clarke Institute, "We want you to help us do what no other jurisdiction in the world apparently has done to date and that is to see if there is some better way to educate and continue to educate those who are responsible for the prescription and administration of drugs for restraint or therapy."

3:40 p.m.

Mr. McClellan: Supplementary: The minister and I have argued the merits of a public inquiry as opposed to in-house stuff and I do not propose to continue that.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: It is not in-house.

Mr. McClellan: I want to ask the --

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order --

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. McClellan: Sit down. The minister had a chance to answer. He has almost unlimited opportunity to talk. Can he not listen for a second?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, with the greatest of respect --

Mr. Bradley: No great respect.

Mr. Speaker: Order. The Minister of Health on a point of privilege.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order --

Mr. Speaker: I would submit there is nothing out of order.

Mr. McClellan: By way of supplementary, is the minister aware of the death of Pat Ellerton at the Queen Street Mental Health Centre on August 2, 1981? Can he confirm the death of Pat Ellerton was drug related? Is he also aware a coroner's inquest has been scheduled for January 5, 1982, into that death? Can the minister advise whether that drug-related death involved prescription drugs administered at Queen Street Mental Health Centre? Let me just leave it at that.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Let me finish my first answer, Mr. Speaker, and remind the honourable member we are not talking about an in-house review. I knew very well when we started to consider the question of this kind of work that if we tried to do it internally, the member and others would, perhaps rightly, say it was suspect. So we put it out to the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, which is world renowned in research as well as treatment, to do this work.

With regard to this question, I am sorry I am not familiar with that name. I will check. I am aware there is a coroner's inquest coming up on another case. As the member knows, every time one of our patients dies in one of our programs it is investigated. That is a requirement of the law. I will see what information we have about that individual, if that is the one, and tell the member what I can. I will be circumspect, recognizing that if an inquest has been called there are limits to what I can reveal with respect to the individual case and the coroner.

Mr. Ruprecht: The minister has been made aware over a period of nine months there has been something substantially wrong in the Queen Street Mental Health Centre. He has also indicated to the director not to admit any member from a government source, whether they be aldermen or MPPs. He has indicated he did not want to talk to any of us in those days.

The incubation period of nine months is certainly over. On this side of the House we expect the minister should have some kind of an inquest or some kind of a checking period to look into the mismanagement of the hospital, and to tell this House precisely what he intends to do. When will he get active on producing results so the communities that surround this hospital will not be in a shambles?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Never one to lose a chance for a cheap shot, the honourable member apparently has not been listening to any of the discussion that has gone on here today or on Monday of this week. If he is not listening here, surely he reads the papers. But I will remind him again that we made changes in administration at Queen Street early in 1981. In the spring of 1981 we engaged outside consultants, including external psychiatric consultants. I said here again today that once their report is completed I intend to waste no time at all in getting on with the job of reforming Queen Street. It is that simple.


Mr. Bradley: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations concerning the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario. The minister is no doubt aware that his director of investigation and enforcement in the business practices division, Mr. David Mitchell, was seconded by the deputy minister to act as director of the inspection branch at the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario from April 1980 until January 1981. Can the minister inform us what role, if any, Mr. Mitchell had in prompting the deputy minister to ask the Provincial Auditor to conduct a review of the activities of the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Walker: Total.

Mr. Bradley: Very good. I am glad to hear that.

Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: The minister is no doubt aware that while this Mr. Mitchell was the director of the inspection branch of the liquor licence board, Mr. Mitchell was filing reports from time to time with the deputy minister. Would the minister indicate to what extent these reports influenced the deputy minister to request the Provincial Auditor to conduct a review of the activities of the LLBO? And would he please table these reports and any other reports by Mr. Mitchell on the subject of the liquor licence board in this House? Is the minister prepared to table those reports? And if not, why not?

Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, three questions were asked. The answer to the last two is no. To the first one I have to say it was on the basis of those reports that the deputy minister made many of the observations in his written request to the Provincial Auditor in the last week of January 1981.

Yesterday the honourable member was out of the House when I corrected the record to the effect that it had not been October 1981 -- that was incorrect on my part. Anyway, it was January 1981. There had been discussions in the six or eight months prior to that. The minister of the day, my colleague the honourable member for Scarborough Centre (Mr. Drea) had indicated he had talked to the Provincial Auditor in the interim. But it was formalized in a direct way through a letter written to the auditor by the deputy minister at the end of January 1981, and that is what prompted the report done by the auditor.

The reports, of course, were based in large part on what had been heard about some of the things that have now been reported on. But they were prompted as well by the reports of Mr. Mitchell, who reported directly back to the deputy minister's office.

Mr. Bradley: Final supplementary, Mr. Speaker: I regret the minister will not table these reports in the House; they would be very interesting. But would the minister indicate to what extent these reports by Mr. Mitchell influenced the liquor licence board to inform Mr. Mitchell in January 1981 that his services were terminated?

Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, it was just time for Mr. Mitchell to return. The job had been done by then, anyway, so --

Mr. Nixon: Was he fired?

Mr. T. P. Reid: Is that a new word for "fired"?

Hon. Mr. Walker: No, I do not think you would consider it that way. The reason he went down there --

Mr. T. P. Reid: That is not normal procedure.

Hon. Mr. Walker: Oh, it was very simple. The --

Mr. Smith: First you blew the whistle on him and then you got rid of him.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Walker: Wait a minute. The Leader of the Opposition has not figured out where he came from. Does he not understand? He was our investigator; we wanted the guy back. Why would we not?


Hon. Mrs. Birch: Mr. Speaker, yesterday the member for London Centre (Mr. Peterson) -- and I am sorry he is not in his seat right now -- inquired about the matter of the resident at the Parkwood chronic care hospital who incurred an overpayment on his family benefits file as a result of receiving an inheritance from his mother's estate.

I have discussed this situation with my colleague the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Drea). The actions taken by the ministry officials were in keeping with the requirements of both provincial and federal laws that all income not specifically excluded must be taken into account in determining a person's entitlement to social assistance. I am pleased to inform the House the Minister of Community and Social Services has directed that, notwithstanding the fact that an overpayment may have been created, no further recovery action will be taken. Any moneys already recovered will be refunded to the individual.

In the future a similar policy will be adopted in respect of all cases residing in chronic care situations where they receive an inheritance of less than $1,000.


Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Labour. Recently a Mr. Thomas of your ministry conducted an investigation at the request of the United Steelworkers of America in Elliot Lake. Is the minister aware that while he found many unsafe conditions he termed hazardous, he indicated at the same time that the workers were not in imminent danger, and consequently the men had to go back into those conditions.

When are his inspectors going to apply Bill 70 to the workers in the Elliot Lake area so they have the protection of the act, as do all the other miners in this province?

3:50 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I am not aware of that problem, although I certainly will look into it. But the real issue the member is talking about is that uranium miners in this province come under federal jurisdiction. I know there are those who argue whether that is right or wrong, but that has been the legal interpretation. I hope the member knows we have made efforts to try to ensure that changes are made to the Canada Labour Code to reflect the appropriate and good things in Bill 70.

It is my understanding we do have a firm assurance from the federal Minister of Labour that those changes will be introduced. I understand the discrepancy between the two acts, and the member knows it troubles me as much as him. I just do not know what I can do about it at the present time, other than encourage the federal government to get on with it faster than it has done to date.

Mr. Martel: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: The federal minister has given this minister assurance it is going to come. Meanwhile, Saskatchewan uses its legislation by writing into the uranium industry licences that the Saskatchewan law will apply. In view of these points why does the minister not go that route? He could apply the Ontario law now with the federal commitment coming. If it happens to end up in a court case he would take his chances. But why not apply it and to hell with the federal government?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: I am not personally aware of what has happened in Saskatchewan. I will explore it and see if it is something that is feasible for this province. But it is pretty difficult to ask inspectors to disobey the law. They are subject to certain charges for disobeying the law as it exists. Let us not confuse that with the fact we both have the same interest in getting the legislation comparable. There is no argument about that, and if there is anything to be done to hasten it I will be glad to do it.

Mr. Foulds: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Why does the minister find it so difficult to have his inspectors apply the provincial law in this case, when there is a collective agreement between the company and the union that agrees to the provincial standards?

Mr. McClellan: They could even sign an additional agreement.

Mr. Foulds: Can the minister reply to that? Why do they not implement the provincial standards when both the company and the union have agreed to it.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: I hope the member understands that provincial officers can only act within the scope of the legal authority given to them. A collective agreement gives power to the parties. I would have to have counsel verify it but it is my view that under a collective agreement a refusal to work under terms of that agreement would result in a grievance, not in the calling in of an inspector, unless it was to see if there was compliance with the legislation that applied. That is my initial interpretation, but I will be glad to see if there is anything other than that view that is legally correct. I will be glad to transmit that evidence to the member.



Mr. Treleaven from the standing committee on the administration of justice presented the following report and moved its adoption:

Your committee begs to report the following bill without amendment:

Bill Pr26, An Act to revive Waltham Creative Printing Limited.

Report adopted.



Hon. Mr. Wells moved, seconded by Hon. Mr. Grossman, first reading of Bill 191, An Act to amend the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto Act.

Motion agreed to.


Mr. Philip moved, seconded by Mr. Grande, first reading of Bill 192, An Act respecting the Province of Ontario Savings Office.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Philip: Mr. Speaker, this bill provides for an expanded Ontario savings office with the power to make loans and offer financial services as well as receive deposits.



Hon. Mr. Baetz moved second reading of Bill 175, An Act to amend the McMichael Canadian Collection Act.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, it is my welcome duty to present to this assembly for debate, prior to second reading, Bill 175, An Act to amend the McMichael Canadian Collection Act.

This bill will do four things. First, by virtue of section 1, it will prescribe the uniquely Canadian focus of the collection with even greater precision. In doing that it draws language directly from the original 1965 agreement between the McMichaels and the province.

Second, by virtue of section 2, it will ensure to an even greater extent than previously that artworks donated to the collection by many generous Canadians will not be disposed of without the complete understanding and the consent of the donor.

Third, by virtue of section 3, it will make gift shop proceeds available for general purposes rather than for art acquisition alone.

Fourth, by virtue of sections 4 and 5, it will establish a position of founder-director emeritus, permit a salary for that position and install Mr. Robert McMichael in it.

To sum up, Mr. Speaker, this bill will continue and enhance the vision that the McMichaels had when they gave their collection, home and land to the crown in 1965. Further, it will keep faith with the intent and purpose of the many subsequent donors and the taxpayers of this province who ultimately made that vision a reality.

It will also permit Mr. McMichael's continued involvement in the important work of the gallery by creating specifically for him, and with his own considered and written endorsement, a new role tailored to his own personal strengths and abilities. In this role, Mr. McMichael will continue, as he has since April 1, 1973, to be the only trustee who is permitted by law to be compensated for his work on behalf of the collection.

As honourable members know, the McMichael's rights have been the subject of much concern and discussion during the last month. In view of the breadth and detail of that discussion, I would like to make several points.

The first and most important thing that must be said is that the McMichael Canadian Collection would not have come into being were it not for the wit and will of Robert and Signe McMichael. They had a dream. They were determined to see it realized. And it was realized, in part because of their manifest generosity. Ultimately, however, this dream could be realized because the people of Ontario, through the crown, were willing to assume responsibility for the collection's wellbeing and its enormous growth.

The second point I would make is that, as I set out in detail for this House on November 26, both the board of the collection and the government have honoured all of their obligations to the McMichaels and then some. Those obligations were first set out in the November 18, 1965, agreement by which the McMichaels made their gift to the people of Ontario. Among the provisions, that agreement also provided that the collection would be managed by a five-member advisory committee composed of the McMichaels, one member appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, one by the Metro Toronto Conservation Authority and a chairman appointed by the four. That provision was entirely appropriate for that day.

4 p.m.

Over the next seven years, however, the collection grew tenfold in size and complexity. That growth was nourished by public support through donations of art, through government construction and operating grants and tax credits for donations received. By March 1971, a full 19 months before the McMichael Canadian Collection Act was introduced in this assembly, it was clear a special act would be required to provide for the growing collection. It should surprise nobody that this need was first seen by the McMichaels and the rest of the advisory committee.

At a meeting on March 29, 1971, the McMichaels and the other three members of the advisory committee resolved unanimously to prepare and consider, "a draft enactment establishing an appropriate administering agency for the gallery and collection," which would be, "a separate crown agency specifically established for the purpose and having express powers of management and proprietorship."

In accordance with the wishes expressed in that minute, the act to establish the McMichael Canadian Collection and make it a separate and distinctive crown agency was ultimately introduced. During the debate on that bill the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) argued it was essential to include in the bill a reference to "the obligations of the corporation, to carry out the obligations imposed on the crown," by the 1965 agreement.

The minister of the day said he was "satisfied that the intent of the bill is to accomplish just that." In other words, it was not necessary to include a reference to the 1965 agreement in the act because all of the agreement's essential points were provided for. The McMichaels were clearly satisfied as well. When the bill was brought forward they did not object, having recommended its enactment in the first place.

As honourable members know, the act provided for a fundamental change in the management and control of the collection. Instead of a five-member advisory committee, it provided for a board of trustees of between five and nine members which was intended to have "express powers of management and proprietorship."

Quite properly, the law made the McMichaels trustees for as long as they cared to serve. Equally properly, the Lieutenant Governor in Council was empowered to appoint the other seven including the chairman. The public interest required this basic change to reflect not only the public's ownership of the collection but to reflect the enormous public investment in the development of the collection.

It is perhaps instructive to reflect that, when the collection was given over to the province, it was situated on 14 acres of land. In the years since, the crown has added another 86 acres.

When the collection and property were given over to the province they were valued at about $815,000. In the years since, individual citizens and the government have invested an additional $23 million in its development and operation.

So in a very practical sense, as well as in the strictly legal sense, the collection has evolved into a major public institution. It is an institution that requires a strong board of trustees, competent to deal effectively with the heavy responsibilities that have been placed on the board, and a board of trustees composed to represent the public at large and to be accountable to it.

As Mr. J. Allyn Taylor, the distinguished chairman of the McMichael board stated, "The trustees are accountable to the government for the affairs of the collection. The taxpayers of Ontario at the present time provide virtually the sole operating support for the McMichael Canadian Collection. The board ... of which the McMichaels are members, must always have the full authority to run the affairs of the collection if the trustees are to be held accountable."

Held accountable! We do hold them accountable. We hold many boards accountable. We can do this only if, with that accountability, we give the boards the authority to match the responsibility. This we feel is the only way we can operate effectively our great cultural institutions at the appropriate arm's length from government.

I want to say here that the people of Ontario have been faithfully served by the board of trustees of the McMichael Canadian Collection, and I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the citizens of Ontario who have constituted this board. They are: Mr. and Mrs. McMichael, Mrs. Anna Ruth Atkins, Mrs. Cicely Bell, Mr. Robert Dowsett, Mr. Stuart Ellis, Mr. Hamilton Larrett-Smith and Mr. Jack Wildridge. They have all devoted a tremendous amount of their time and talent to the affairs of the collection.

I am sure none of the trustees would take issue with me if I single out J. Allyn Taylor for special mention. Mr. Taylor has been an outstanding chairman ever since the act came into force on April 1, 1973. He is a distinguished Canadian. He has been the chief executive officer of a major financial institution, a director of a number of Canadian companies, the chancellor of an eminent Canadian university, and an officer of the Order of Canada. He has been appointed recently as chairman of the Ontario Press Council.

In his reasoned amendment, the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) has submitted that the letter as well as the spirit of the 1965 agreement must be complied with.

It is impossible to comply with the letter for a number of reasons. Although the general intent and spirit of the act and of the agreement are in harmony, they accomplish that intent in different ways. Even the name of the collection has changed. Because of those differences, the two are inconsistent and really cannot stand together. Note that control of all aspects of the collection was vested in an advisory committee under the agreement, but under the act it is vested in a board of trustees. It is apparent that, legally speaking, control cannot be vested in both.

I believe the true meaning of the comments of the minister of the day, Mr. McNie, is that it was unnecessary to refer specifically to the 1965 agreement in the act because all its essential points, its spirit and its objectives had been restated. It would seem that Mr. McMichael's interpretation of this comment, that the agreement itself would continue to apply, was incorrect, and in fact impossible.

For example, if the act were to embrace the letter of the agreement as well as the spirit, Robert McMichael would never have been paid a salary as the director of the collection. I want to make it very clear that the government is in no way begrudging providing Mr. McMichael with a salary for his services. On the contrary, the new amendment to the 1972 legislation provided for a salary, and quite appropriately so, but if we stuck to the letter of the earlier 1965 agreement that would not have been possible. He and Mrs. McMichael would still be required to donate to the crown all suitable art work they ever acquired personally.

Another example of the inappropriateness of the 1965 agreement is that agreement prohibits the display of anything except paintings. Today, an important and much loved part of the collection is its large display of sculpture and Indian artefacts, which nobody would want us to disperse.

The agreement effectively made the collection an operating division of the Metropolitan Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. Would the member suggest it revert to that status, rather than an independent crown agency as set out in the act?

The only individual power which was not carried forward in the act was Mr. McMichael's right, with advisory committee approval, to enrich the crown by building new buildings at his own expense. Under the act, all new buildings are paid for by the corporation itself, although Mr. McMichael is still free to donate money for the purpose. He has understandably never requested the reinstatement of this power, in the light of the changed circumstances.

In his reasoned amendment, the member for Riverdale also states that the size of the board of trustees should be reduced to five from nine, and that the appointment of the chairman should be "consistent with and comply with the provisions of the agreement respecting the advisory committee as originally established." In the light of everything that has happened at the collection over the last 16 years, that would be totally inappropriate.

The McMichaels' counsel has submitted that the advisory committee as constituted originally "gave and was intended to give control to Robert and Signe McMichael of the advisory committee." Such contemplated control, if ever envisaged, would be impossible today because it ignores totally the growth of the collection, almost entirely at public expense, since 1965.

4:10 p.m.

The McMichaels have always had a respected voice in the control of the collection. However, under both the act and the agreement they have always constituted a minority of the collection's governing body; that is, two of five in the agreement, two of five to nine under the act.

The crown's majority influence reflects the crown's sole ownership of, financing of and responsibility for the collection, the fact that donors such as the McMichaels must give up control over their donations to make them true gifts for tax and other purposes, and the fact that the monetary value of the McMichaels's contribution to the collection is now less than 10 per cent of the whole invested, whereas at the time of the agreement it represented nearly 100 per cent.

The trustees of the collection and the government are unequivocally dedicated to ensuring that the McMichaels' wishes about the ambiance of the collection will be sustained. That is why the board, with the support of the government, has embarked upon a multimillion-dollar renovation program. This program is going to great lengths to ensure the safety of the collection and of the hundreds and thousands of people, including school children, who visit it every year. The renovations will also make it possible for people in wheelchairs to see the whole of the collection for the first time.

Equally important, in this program the board is also going to great lengths to ensure that the renovations will be in full harmony with the existing architecture. The public's safety, of course, must take precedence. The board is convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that the architects can achieve the safety requirements and at the same time sustain the existing ambiance of the collection.

The board and the government are also dedicated to ensuring that the character of the collection is maintained. That is why the bill before us describes with even greater precision than the act, that the original nature of the content of the collection will be sustained.

As I have told this House before, nothing can ensure the integrity of the collection more thoroughly than the law itself. It is the law which can guarantee the objectives in perpetuity. It is not human beings who can maintain that.

Therefore, I would submit it is in the best interests of the people of the province, the board, the McMichaels and anybody else who shares a passion for this magnificent collection, to see this bill passed expeditiously.

Mr. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I want to make my comments relatively brief and to the point. I deeply regret that this matter of the McMichael collection has become a matter for the amount of public debate and the amount of continuing debate that will undoubtedly ensue following the discussion of this bill.

I do not believe it is in the interests of the province, which after all must wish in the future to be able to attract similar donations, nor in the interests of the cultural community, of which the McMichaels have been giant members. I do not believe it is in anybody's interest to have a lengthy, personalized discussion about these great benefactors, Bob and Signe McMichael, who have done so much for Ontario.

I do not want to go into detail, and I will restrain myself from doing so, about the statements made in this House by the minister himself, the way in which the letter from Mr. Robinette on behalf of Mr. McMichael was quoted out of context, the kinds of references made inside and outside the House by the minister himself.

I will try to confine myself to what has actually happened. The bill which has been presented to us now contains virtually nothing of importance. In point of fact, the draft bill, which came to light when we raised it in the House, was gutted by the minister and this rather innocuous bill has been substituted for it simply so that the minister can say he did not back away from presenting a bill at all.

In fact, we have noted that the draft bill which was talked about in this House was not an early draft but actually a relatively late draft and obviously would have been the subject of the bill presented had it not been brought to public attention and we not had debate in this House.

I note, I would like to say from the outset, that the member for Riverdale -- who I must say showed a great deal of good judgement when he questioned Mr. McNie and the government back in 1973, I believe it was, and seemed to sense that there was something afoot even then in the government's mind -- has on this occasion given notice to the House that he intends to introduce a reasoned amendment.

It will be our intention to support his reasoned amendment and the Speaker will well understand, the way things are handled in the House, we will not be given a chance to vote on his amendment but rather we will be asked to answer the question, "Shall the bill now be read a second time?" At that time we shall vote against, so as to show our support for the amendment presented by the member for Riverdale.

Depending upon what happens then, assuming that the bill will be read a second time because of the weight of numbers on the government side, it will be our intention to send the bill to standing committee. In standing committee, we hope to have an opportunity to question pertinent witnesses and discuss some of the general aspects of the McMichael collection, the legislation that is being presented to us and related matters.

It is obvious from the minister's statement that the minister is admitting very freely now something which my predecessor in this House, Mr. McNie -- a good friend of mine -- did not believe was the case. He is admitting in fact that the act passed in 1973 did take the place of -- in the minister's mind, at any rate -- the solemn agreement signed by Hon. John Robarts with the McMichael family at the time, in 1965, that the McMichael collection began as a matter for the public interest.

In fact, it seems to me that had it been admitted at the time that the purpose of the act was to, in various ways, remove from the record and remove from legal standing the original agreement, I suspect the House and the public of Ontario might have acted very differently at the time. The reassurance given by the minister at that time, that the act was merely the embodiment of the original agreement, probably led to the quiescence which was noted at the time on the part of the cultural community. Had they known then that the government was using the act as way of getting away from Hon. Mr. Robarts's signature on that agreement, I believe there would have been an outcry from the public, and a very justifiable one indeed.

I believe the minister is playing games with history today by suggesting to this House that the McMichaels well understood the implications of the act and the cultural community well understood it and they all wanted the original agreement replaced by this act. I seriously doubt that. I have good reason to seriously doubt that. I do not believe the public of Ontario will believe that.

To understand the situation, we have to really go back to the very basic idea that underpins the McMichael collection and the great donation made originally. I would ask all of us to consider this in the context of whether the government of Ontario has a better record, through its various boards and agencies, of administering things like an artistic collection; whether they have really a better record than the McMichael family.

Mr. Stokes: They have mishandled their own collection around these buildings for years.

Mr. Smith: Yes, that is right. As the member for Lake Nipigon points out, the collection that the government of Ontario owns in this very building has been mishandled for many years and only recently has an attempt been made to bring it to some reasonable level.

In fact, the Ontario government's record does not really stand up beside the record of the McMichael family. The McMichael collection at Kleinburg, even without a tremendous amount of publicity, without all the advertising that the Ontario government is fond of, has been able to attract a greater number of visitors with much greater success and aesthetic enjoyment than, I suspect, any other collection in Ontario, with the exception of when the King Tut exhibition was present here in Toronto.

4:20 p.m.

In general terms, the record of the McMichaels is enviable indeed. That is not to downplay the role of the board in any way. Over the years, the board has given great service to Ontario. It is interesting to note how that board was originally formed and what happened subsequently.

Once Mr. and Mrs. McMichael thought of it, the idea of that collection could not go forward in the way it might have had the McMichaels been extremely wealthy people like the Guggenheims and the Rockefellers. If they had been that wealthy, they could have set up their own collection on their own land in any way they pleased and controlled it in perpetuity exactly as they wished. But they were not wealthy enough to do that. They were sufficiently wealthy, I am happy to say, to acquire the collection and make a generous donation, but they were not super wealthy like the Rockefellers or others. They were not in a position to run the thing exactly as they might have wished.

Similarly, the government on its part did not feel it could simply acquire collections like this on the open market very easily. The government did not see its way clear to that kind of activity. The government did not have great experience in this regard, and Mr. Robarts felt, I think correctly, that a unique arrangement was required, something different than either the government setting out to build its own museum somewhere or the McMichaels setting out to run their own collection. In fact, a sharing was required, something perhaps unprecedented. In 1965, they came up with an agreement to share the responsibility for the operation of this collection and its future development.

Of course, things have progressed. The minister has pointed out there has been an evolution of the collection and the grounds. That, I would think, is a good thing. It should not stagnate. Mr. Robarts was a far-seeing man who believed at the time that there might well be an evolution of the collection. I do not believe he ruled that out when he put his signature to the agreement.

Because the McMichaels were not super wealthy and Ontario was not in a position to start its own collection of the Group of Seven, a sharing was agreed upon. This sharing was not quite 50-50. The province was favoured, and understandably so where public funds are involved. The sharing, in terms of control, had a board consisting of the McMichaels as two persons, two other persons appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council and a chairman agreeable to the four of them but appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council. Therefore, the government had a veto over anybody who might occupy that position.

This board functioned very well. At the time of the 1973 act, there was no clamouring to have this board supplanted in some way. The McMichaels were brought in to listen to the act the government presented on behalf of the cabinet, the McMichael Collection Act of 1973. The minister says we changed the board from five persons to a board consisting of from five to nine persons, which is the way the act reads.

"The McMichaels did not object," says the minister. He is right about that. I have talked to the McMichaels, and they admit to being very naive. They did not have a lawyer advising them at the time. They came here in the belief that the very government with which they had arranged this deal in the first place, to which they had made a donation and with whom they affixed their signatures, could be trusted. They have learned differently since. Certainly at the time, they believed the government was entirely trustworthy.

They were given assurances by the government which said, "We say from five to nine persons, but that will not materially change anything. The spirit of the act as it was before will be continued." Quite plainly, the spirit of the act was that there be an equal number of directors appointed by the McMichaels and the government. There was nothing in the wording of the act to preclude, when these five to nine members were going to be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, those appointments occurring half on the recommendation of the McMichaels, including the two they themselves represented, and half on the recommendation of the cabinet alone, and then there being a neutral chairman, acceptable to all, appointed by the cabinet.

There was nothing to preclude that, so the McMichaels believed the government. They believed, when they were reassured by the very government John Robarts represented when he affixed his signature to a solemn document a few years ago, that the spirit of the original agreement would be maintained, and that they had nothing to fear from the fact that we were moving from a five-person advisory committee to a board consisting of five to nine persons appointed by the Lieutenant Governor.

In fact, for the first two or three or maybe even four years after the enactment of that legislation it appeared to the McMichaels they were right in trusting the government, they were right in not being represented by legal counsel at the time, and they were right in accepting the assurances given by members of Her Majesty's government at that time, because for the first three or four years no appointment was made to the board without checking it out formally or informally with Bob and Signe McMichael.

In fact, most appointments were made of people they themselves suggested, and that was at the wish of the government. That was not an attempt by the McMichaels to do anything contrary to the wishes of the government. The government wanted it that way. They found it easier that way.

Then things changed about three or four years ago. We have heard since then about the alleged shortcomings of the McMichaels as administrators, the alleged shortcomings of Bob McMichael as an organizer of the paperwork involved. We have heard that certain experts were brought in to look at fire safety and the humidity aspects and various aspects of this kind, and that there were shortcomings involved in Bob McMichael's administrative capacity.

I do not think anybody is insisting that Bob McMichael be regarded as the world's greatest administrator. He himself was quite prepared to have administrative help come in, to have another director come in to take over the day-to-day management. There was no concern in his mind about that. Of course, in all this business about the fire regulations and so on, one would think there was no board at all, that it was all Bob McMichael somehow undermining fire safety in Ontario.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. In the first place, one will find out if one examines the record that any request made for additional funds from the government was frequently met with refusal. Much of the time they were held to a zero increase in terms of capital cost involvements and a very small increase indeed in terms of staffing.

Many times, there were questions of fire and of this and that, which people are accusing Bob McMichael of ignoring, but the board was not exactly clamouring for these things to be done. Many other times, the danger was not quite as represented by some of these experts. It is an interesting fact, for instance, that the very fire chief who is frequently quoted as saying there was a fire danger is now a member of the council up in that municipality, and as a member of the council asked that that particular collection remain open during the present renovations when there was recent debate in Kleinburg about it.

If people were truly in danger, one would hardly expect this former fire chief to be voting in favour of keeping the place open even another day. I think a lot of this has been overstated, but, be that as it may, even accepting that Bob McMichael may not have been the best administrator, there is nothing to say we cannot have another administrator. There is another person there now directing things, as the minister well knows.

But I think it is very understandable that Bob and Signe McMichael, when they signed with John Robarts back in 1965, wanted to believe that Ontario would at least honour its commitment that the nature of the collection would be along the lines the McMichaels had envisaged when they had this great concept in the first place. It is one of the most successful cultural concepts ever to be presented in Ontario. People come from all over to be there, to breathe in the atmosphere of that place, to enjoy and appreciate the aesthetics.

The McMichaels have made a great achievement. The minister and all his mandarins and all his clerks put together will not live long enough to achieve anything of the creative scope and brilliant originality of the idea the McMichaels conceived and which they and Premier Robarts put their signatures to in solemn agreement in 1965.

4:30 p.m.

Yet all these clever mandarins and these wonderful business people are now saying we have got to shunt the McMichaels aside somehow, that we have somehow got to get them out of the way. It may well be that on administrative grounds we need other people to administer it. Nobody denies that; we all understand that. But it is not at all reasonable or fair -- and for that matter it may be counter-productive if we ever hope for further donations of this kind in Ontario -- to undermine the very spirit of shared responsibility that was recognized in the original agreement and that the McMichaels had every right to expect would be maintained now.

Accuse the McMichaels of naïveté, if you like, in trusting the government when the 1973 act came in; accuse them of lacking the administrative expertise needed nowadays for a very large multimillion-dollar operation, if you want to make those accusations. But that does not give the government the right to go back on the very fundamental concept that the nature of the collection should be something over which the McMichaels would have, not control as the minister likes to pretend in his misleading statements, but a shared control on an equal basis with the government on the board of directors and with a neutral chairman who is appointed by the government but acceptable to all the directors. That surely is a concept the government ought to accept, and that is the reason we are going to accept the reasoned amendment of the member for Riverdale when he has a chance to present it.

We are aware that bits and pieces of the original agreement might have needed to be updated in legislation, and we have no objection to the fact that legislation has been presented to the House. But back in 1973 a very fundamental matter was slipped through against the will of the McMichaels, even though they did not object at that time. They did not object because they honestly trusted the government to do what it said it was going to do, and that is to make no fundamental change in the concept of the 1965 agreement with respect to shared control.

For the first several years the government made no change from their previous practice. It was only afterwards that there came to be this power struggle, this eventual clash of personalities and this very unfortunate event in which other members of the board, along with the government, seem to have turned against the McMichaels, who began to feel more and more isolated in a very tragic, personal way.

I think this matter has been abominably mishandled by the minister. I just cannot imagine any government handling a matter as sensitive as this in such a ham-handed way. It is only the experience we have had with this minister, who has demonstrated the same ham-handedness in so many other ways, that leads us even to begin to understand how things have gone in the relationship among the McMichaels, the ministry and the board.

We are not here to denigrate the contribution made by the board -- not at all. Never have we said anything against the members of the board; they have undoubtedly served to the best of their abilities. But there was a change in recent years. In recent years, instead of discussing the appointments with the McMichaels and having this sort of shared responsibility, the government appointed the board members without a word to the McMichaels. Names the McMichaels never heard of, people who were perhaps door-knockers for the Conservative Party in elections, were being appointed, and not necessarily people with any background in the cultural community either.

I think the government has mishandled this entire matter. The administrative problems with the McMichael collection are perhaps real, but they could have been dealt with in a much more sensitive way without occasioning the tremendous personality clashes and the unfortunate lack of sensitivity that has been demonstrated.

To sum up, the problem started in 1973. At that point the government brought in an act which superseded in many ways the spirit of the agreement of 1965. It pretended it did no such thing. It told the House and the McMichaels it did no such thing. For several years it acted as though it did no such thing.

Then in the midst of a personality clash and some administrative difficulties, the government resorted to using that act in a way that is totally contrary to the fundamental essence of the shared responsibility envisioned by John Robarts and Bob and Signe McMichael back in 1965.

That is when the deed was done. The legislation presented to us now is virtually of no consequence. It is a watered-down, gutted version of something which would have been much more harmful had we not intervened publicly to draw public attention to the duplicity of the minister. It is the 1973 act that really has to be changed to bring fairness back to the McMichael collection issue.

We will say publicly that we believe the government has gone against the fundamental spirit of the agreement reached with the McMichaels and signed solemnly by John Robarts. We are with John Robarts in this way and not with the Minister of Culture and Recreation, let me assure the House.

We believe the McMichaels have been meted out very shabby treatment by this minister. Whatever he will present by way of evidence in committee, whatever he will say about administrative problems, whatever he will say about fire regulations or donations and so on, the fact is McMichael has done more for Ontario than Ontario has ever done for McMichael. Let us never forget that fundamental fact, no matter how many documents the minister cares to present about fire regulations or administrative difficulties.

McMichael has done more for this province and this country than a million Reuben Baetzes will ever do. Let us make that very plain. I will stand with Bob McMichael, I will stand with John Robarts, but I will not stand with the Reuben Baetzes of this world no matter what documents they care to present in committee.

We obviously are going to committee on this. In committee, the minister will undoubtedly do his best to blacken the reputation of one of the greatest benefactors in the history of Ontario. He will succeed only in blackening his own name, which is already a deep shade of grey and is well on the way, after today and other debates, to becoming blackened of itself.

If he wants to do that, that is fine with us. We will stand with those millions of Ontarians who know that John Robarts was right in signing a decent, shared-control agreement with the McMichaels in 1965. We will stand with those people against the bureaucrats and those who seek to blacken the reputation of one of the finest citizens this province has ever known.

Consequently, we will vote against this bill. We will do so not because of anything in it particularly. It is an almost meaningless piece of legislation. There are some things we would like to change in it, but basically we will vote against it because we support the reasoned amendment of the member for Riverdale.

Then we will see in committee, when the public has a chance to learn of the underhanded way in which this ministry has dealt with the McMichael people and the McMichael collection over the years, especially the last few years, that this unfortunate clash of personalities, this unfortunate division between the board and the McMichaels, is something that could have been avoided had it been more sensitively handled by the government. We will see that the only way to recapture trust is to return to the real spirit of the original agreement solemnly signed by John Robarts in 1965.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, first I would like to move the reasoned amendment which stands in my name.

4:40 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker: Mr. Renwick moves, seconded by Mr. Lupusella, that Bill 175, An Act to amend the McMichael Canadian Collection Act, be not now read a second time but be referred back to the minister with instruction to return the bill with provisions which will ensure compliance by Her Majesty the Queen in right of the province of Ontario, hereinafter called the crown, with the letter and spirit of the agreement between the crown, Robert McMichael and Signe McMichael, and the Metropolitan Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, dated November 18, 1965, namely:

(1) by reflecting the obligation of the crown, with the advice and assistance of Robert and Signe McMichael, to develop and maintain in perpetuity at Tapawingo the collection of art reflecting the cultural heritage of Canada known as the McMichael Canadian Collection originally established by gift to the crown from Robert and Signe McMichael pursuant to the agreement;

(2) by defining the term "McMichael Canadian Collection of Art" in a manner consistent with the intention of the agreement;

(3) by requiring the corporation known as the McMichael Canadian Collection to covenant expressly to be bound by the provisions of the agreement as required by the agreement;

(4) by reducing the number of the members of the board of trustees of the corporation to five and making provision for the composition of the board and the appointment of the chairman to be consistent with and comply with the provisions of the agreement respecting the advisory committee as originally established;

(5) by annexing the agreement to the McMichael Canadian Collection Act as a schedule so that the agreement will form a permanent part of that act.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, it is with difficulty that one enters into debate on this matter, because one cannot understand the course of events that led us to this impasse which the minister has presented to us and which his government is now perpetuating.

The minister knows full well that when I placed the notice of the reasoned amendment it was with the intention of conveying to the minister and to the government of which he is a minister -- and I took the liberty of speaking to the government House leader some days ago about it -- an indication that there was a spirit of willingness and co-operation on both sides of the House, apart from the minister and the government, so that in some way the inadequacies of the present bill and the problems that this bill reflects as unsolved could be solved by mutual co-operation. The minister rejected that overture.

I want to make one comment about the reasoned amendment. I spoke about the letter and the spirit of the agreement of 1965. I referred in my reasoned amendment to one portion of it, to a reconstruction of the board of trustees of the McMichael Canadian Collection, that is, the corporation, on the basis of the balance that was created in the original agreement.

I specifically told both the minister and the government House leader there was no magic in the numbers; if it was the intention that Robert and Signe McMichael would have the opportunity to nominate an additional number, such as four or six or eight, and the government would nominate the other number and the two groups would appoint a chairman, that was within the realm of discussion and we could certainly reach agreement about that matter.

I also very clearly indicated to the minister and to the government House leader that if that was not acceptable, another alternative could be put forward that Robert and Signe McMichael would name a panel of 10 or a dozen names from which the government would select, say, six, and then the government would appoint another six and the two groups of six would select a chairman.

I want to make it very clear that the reasoned amendment I placed before the assembly is not etched in stone. It was an effort, joined in by my colleagues in the Liberal Party on this particular occasion, to see whether we could not have agreed with the government to withdraw the bill and to reintroduce a bill that dealt with the guts of the problem that has been created by this issue. The minister saw fit to reject it.

I am not interested in going into what may or may not happen when the bill goes out to the committee. I want to say I am pleased, given the attitude of the government, that the bill must go to committee. The reason the bill must go to committee is that there are significant issues raised about the capacity of this minister, and the capacity of the ministry, to deal with the public institutions of the province of Ontario in the cultural field.

The very existence of this present issue indicates very serious concern, which will reverberate through all of the institutions in which this government is a participant, whether it is at the community level, or at the level of the Art Gallery of Ontario or the Royal Ontario Museum, or, by coincidence -- which is reflected in another bill, I believe the next bill, which is to be called very shortly in this House to establish another collection -- another benefaction to the province. It is not a question of the benefaction; it is a question of the capacity of this government to deal with these matters.

I want to make one other point. I want to make it very clear to the assembly that everyone understands what the minister is saying, that when a gift such as the gift of the McMichael collection originally was made to the province, it implied that as the years went by, and as the contributions of the government increased, the interest of the community of Ontario was going to take the place of the original private interest. Everyone understood that, and the obligation of the government was to protect that public interest.

But I disagree with, and I dissociate myself from, any view that having originally made the gift that created the collection, in the name of the province of Ontario, somehow or other the passage of time and the contribution of moneys by the government will be allowed to denigrate the act of Robert and Signe McMichael, let alone denigrate them in the eyes of the public of the province.

Perhaps I need to refresh the memory of the assembly, collectively, about the circumstances in which the gift was made. The only way I thought I could appropriately do that was to read the very brief statement made by the then Prime Minister of the province, as he liked to be called at that time, John Robarts.

I want to quote, and I then will not have to recapitulate in my words, because it says in substance what it is all about. I would ask the members of the assembly who are here now to cast their minds back to try to envisage the mood of Ontario at the time this gift was given to the province. These are the remarks by the Honourable John Robarts, Prime Minister of Ontario, at the official opening of the McMichael Conservation Collection of Art, Kleinburg, on July 8, 1966:

"Mr. Chairman, may I preface my remarks by saying that the privilege of participating in the official opening today of the McMichael Conservation Collection of Art is an honour to be cherished throughout the years. It is one of those rare occasions which truly transcends all partisan considerations and can, therefore, be enjoyed to the utmost by all of us. However, let me add immediately that we would not be assembled at Tapawingo for this happy event were it not for the selfless devotion and generosity of two remarkable Canadians, Signe and Bob McMichael.

"In preparing my remarks for today's official opening, I reviewed again the course of the negotiations which led to the gift of Tapawingo to the people of this province and nation. I went back particularly to an evening in the fall of 1964 when, at the invitation of the McMichaels, I came to Tapawingo for a quiet discussion of their proposal and, equally important, my first view of their magnificent collection of Canadian paintings. Any of you who have enjoyed the privilege of a visit to Tapawingo with the McMichaels can predict the result. Despite the fact that no precedent existed for the arrangement envisaged, the conclusion was inescapable -- we must proceed at once.

4:50 p.m.

"Consequently, just one year later in November 1965, the land, premises and art collection were officially transferred by the McMichaels to the people of Canada.

"In my view, the major objectives of Mr. and Mrs. McMichael can be set out in three parts.

"The first is to collect and display in an appropriate setting the works of 10 eminent Canadian artists -- Tom Thomson, Emily Carr, David Milne and the renowned Group of Seven, composed of J. E. H. MacDonald, Lawren Harris, A. Y. Jackson, Arthur Lismer, F. H. Varley, Franklin Carmichael and A. J. Casson. I might say that we are greatly pleased and honoured to have with us today three members of that famous group, A. Y. Jackson, A. J. Casson, and F. H. Varley.

"The second is to preserve forever for the people of this nation, this outstanding collection of Canadian art.

"The third is to encourage, by example and by the provision of full assurance of permanent care and display, the enhancement of Tapawingo's galleries through the donation of additional art treasures by others whose love of their country, its history and its art is akin to that of the McMichaels. Furthermore, the establishment of the McMichael Conservation Collection of Art may very well inspire the creation of similar galleries and treasures of Canadiana elsewhere in this province and nation.

"Clearly, the first two of these objectives have already been achieved, the first by the dedicated efforts of Signe and Bob McMichael, and the second through the signing last November of the formal agreement with Ontario. Shorn of its legal phraseology, the agreement provides a lifetime interest in Tapawingo, its grounds and its galleries, for the McMichaels; an inviolable obligation on the part of the province to maintain the land, premises and art collection in perpetuity; assignment of responsibility for the operation of the program to the Metropolitan Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, and an assurance of public access to the collection on a planned and reasonable schedule.

"The third objective, a continuing one, is being realized in a most impressive fashion. Mr. R. A. Laidlaw, of Toronto, has augmented the collection in a very substantial way with the gift of a group of 26 paintings by Tom Thomson, J. E. H. MacDonald and Lawren Harris. Moreover, within the past few days, a most exciting and important addition to the McMichael Conservation Collection of Art has been provided by Mr. Percy Hilborn and his family in memory of the late Mrs. Hilborn. Their gift to the collection, A. Y. Jackson's First Snow Algoma, was painted in 1919 and is acknowledged to be this distinguished artist's most important work. So clearly does this gift exemplify the ideals and ultimate success of the McMichael Conservation Collection of Art that it was agreed. in consultation with Signe and Bob McMichael, to symbolize today's official opening by the unveiling of this magnificent painting.

"May I express again to Mr. and Mrs. Robert McMichael, and to all who have supported them in this most worthy and demanding endeavour, the gratitude of every citizen of this great country.

"I now take great pleasure, on behalf of the people and government of Ontario, in officially opening the McMichael Conservation Collection of Art by unveiling the Hilborn family's gift to the gallery, Mr. A. Y. Jackson's First Snow Algoma."

Mr. Speaker, I labour as always in this assembly under the misfortune of being a lawyer by profession, which means that whatever I say, either persons can say they do not understand it or the person to whom I am addressing my remark feels that somehow or other he can attack me as a lawyer, because he is not a lawyer and I am putting something over on him. I am going to try, therefore, to stay away, as far as I can, from speaking as a lawyer. I am speaking as a member of the assembly who was fortunate enough to be sitting as a member in this chamber at the time when those original remarks were made, and other remarks were made in this assembly.

I happen also to have been in the assembly in 1972 when the government, for reasons which I will never understand, chose for the first time not to admit its obligation. I say this because I want to revert to that obligation. By that time, the Honourable John Robarts was no longer the Premier of this province; the present Premier (Mr. Davis) was. That is not to say that he had anything to do with the admission in that statute that the province was not going to fulfil its obligation to the McMichaels.

I do not intend to review the remarks I made at that time other than to indicate that they can be found in the debates of the assembly on Thursday evening, November 23, 1972, I believe, in this chamber on second reading and in the clause-by-clause discussion of the bill, on pages 4773 through 4779. They are available for any member who may, at some point, care to refresh his mind about the point I want to make.

I do not intend to regale the assembly with any lengthy statement about the historical development of the matters before us. I adopt a great deal of what the Leader of the Opposition said in his remarks; I do not intend to advert to them in my remarks. Nor do I intend to advert to the long apologias presented to the assembly by the minister on November 26 and earlier on November 19, when he got himself so far out on a limb that he was unable to retreat, either with or without grace, to a reasonable position on this matter of such concern to us.

I do, however, want to indicate to the chamber that I believe the McMichael Canadian Collection issue, the issue we are debating now and the issue that will be before a committee of this assembly early in the new year, is an important one for the public confidence in the operation of our cultural agencies. I do not think it should be allowed to pass away without a careful investigation of the administration of public cultural institutions in this province. The lack of public policy in cultural agencies is now being revealed. It is most unfortunate that the McMichaels, whose original generosity is most apparent, are in the centre of a storm that will only pass with great difficulty.

I may say that I do not intend either to go through a voluminous amount of information, which I have available since this issue came to the forefront, other than to comment that it is this agreement -- a copy of which I happen to hold in my hand -- that it is the intention of this minister and his government to cancel in the original draft of the bill, which was made available to those who were interested for their consideration -- not the bill which is before us, because the public outcry forced the government to eliminate that portion of the proposed legislation which would have declared this agreement null and void as of April 1, 1973, I believe.

5 p.m.

What does this agreement say? This is where I am going to be a layman reading a legal document, because I believe that a layman can understand what this says, particularly with the introduction into the jargon of the assembly of the term "non obstante" through the discussions of the Canadian constitution. This particular clause starts out with that word:

"Notwithstanding any of the foregoing provisions of this agreement, in the event that the province of Ontario establishes a foundation for any of the general purposes of preserving, maintaining or developing lands, buildings and collections of art for the public benefit, the crown may assign the whole of the lands and premises in collection vested in or subsequently acquired by it pursuant to this agreement, including all its rights, powers and privileges and subject to all its obligations in connection therewith, to the said foundation, provided that the crown agrees not to make such an assignment until the said foundation covenants to be bound by the provisions of this agreement to the same extent as is the crown herein."

It was that clause that spurred me into the debate in November 1972 to say that there is nothing in the act establishing the McMichael Canadian Collection. That is the name of the corporation -- not the description of the art collection, remember; just the name of the corporation. They did not do the McMichaels the honour in the act of designating the collection with their name. They did them the sort of honour this government would understand by simply saying, "The corporation without share capital will have your name, because that can be changed readily." They did not want to dignify the collection with the name McMichael.

In any event, the government would not require the McMichael Canadian Collection -- that is the corporation the minister refers to -- to accept the obligations of the crown as provided in this agreement.

Let me make another point. This agreement was signed under the seal of Ontario by one person, the Premier of the province.

Let me make a further point. The agreement is quite clear. I will read the whole agreement if anybody wants me to. I leave it to each member of the assembly to get a copy of the agreement and to decide whether or not I have adequately expressed what the agreement states. One of the paragraphs states: "And whereas the McMichaels desire that both Tapawingo and their collection be preserved, maintained and developed for the public benefit and for this purpose have entered into this agreement It was their desire, their purpose and their motive that both Tapawingo and their collection be preserved, maintained and developed for the public benefit.

My friend in the chair will know what this means, and I quote one paragraph, item three of the agreement: "Now, therefore, in consideration of the premises" -- in consideration of the carrying out of that intent -- "the crown agrees to preserve and maintain in perpetuity the lands and buildings of Tapawingo as a setting and gallery for the collection of art to be established by the crown as hereinafter provided."

Then we skip over a little way and we find in paragraph 13 of the agreement what the crown then established: "The crown shall, with the advice and assistance of Robert McMichael and Signe McMichael, establish, develop and maintain in perpetuity at Tapawingo a collection of art reflecting the cultural heritage of Canada." Then it goes on to state: "The said collection shall be known as the McMichael Conservation Collection of Art, and comprised of and I have given the names of the artists who were involved in it.

Let us remember that was the obligation of this government. No matter what device they use -- whether they use a corporation, or the corporation in its place or the corporation as its agent -- no matter how they compose the board of directors, no matter how they organize its affairs, the obligation of whoever is responsible for the discharge by the crown of its obligation must discharge that obligation. And the obligation is that "the crown shall, with the advice and assistance of Robert McMichael and Signe McMichael, establish, develop and maintain in perpetuity at Tapawingo a collection of art reflecting the cultural heritage of Canada."

There are other provisions in the agreement. One which has not been mentioned but needs to be is that not only was there a gift at the time of what Robert and Signe McMichael gave to the collection, but they obligated themselves to agree to donate to the crown for inclusion in the collection "all works of art hereafter acquired by them and deemed by them to be suitable for permanent inclusion in the collection."

I am not going to refer to the other provisions about their desire to be buried on the property or their right to remain on the property. Nor do I think for one single moment the agreement was vitiated in any way by the decision of the Lieutenant Governor in Council to provide some remuneration for the indefatigable contribution made over the years by Mr. McMichael to the ongoing work of that collection.

Let me make another point to the minister. Does he think for one single moment that collection would have had the magnificent development it has had, and attracted the people it has attracted over the years, if it had not been for the original initial gift? That is where the whole dynamic of that collection began, and the minister must know that and try to understand it. However I do not believe he is at this time capable of understanding the havoc he may well be wreaking in the cultural institutions of the province, because of his absolute inability to have any conception of the dynamic that was established by the original contribution made by Robert and Signe McMichael.

In 1972 the government established this corporation, a bloodless creature without share capital, and called it the McMichael Canadian Collection. The collection was defined in the agreement but not mentioned as the McMichael Canadian Collection or the McMichael Conservation Collection of Art, as it was originally called. If one looks through the agreement, apart from the name of the corporation, there is no reference whatsoever in the agreement to that gift, nor is there any reference to Robert and Signe McMichael, except at the very end. There it makes certain provision with respect to the place of interment, the place of residence and their right to remain as trustees of the corporation or members of the board of directors during their lifetime, when Mr. McMichael during the pleasure of the Lieutenant Governor in Council could continue as director.

When those events were past, there would be nothing. It would be that kind of rewriting of history we are so familiar with, where what is past no longer exists and did not take place. It was therefore with that in mind that it seemed to me it was possible now, even at this late date, to so restructure the McMichael Canadian Collection Act by way of an amendment in accordance with the substance of what I was trying to say in the reasoned amendment I put before the assembly, so that in some way or other the original intent would be embodied in the statute.

That agreement of 1965 never came to the assembly. The assembly was not part of that agreement. The assembly was part of the original enactment in 1972, several years later, and the assembly is part of what is taking place now.

5:10 p.m.

I even heard a callous statement that lawyers in the ministry had advised the ministry: "Of course you can wipe out the agreement. The Legislative Assembly can do anything." Perhaps this assembly likes to undo what it has done. But it did not create the McMichael collection. It did not sign the agreement. It did not confirm the agreement, but it is this assembly that is being asked by this minister to disown that agreement and to perpetuate the nonrecognition by the government of Ontario of its sacred obligations. I use that term advisedly.

The minister has listed the names of the members of the board of trustees, or the members of the board of directors as it is more colloquially known, of the McMichael Canadian Collection -- who they are and what their contribution has been. I have no quarrel with them. I do not know any of them. The statute we are discussing imposes on the board of directors the requirement: "The affairs of the corporation shall be under the management and control of the board, and the board has all the powers necessary or convenient to perform its duties or to achieve the objects of the corporation."

It goes on to make this provision: "The board shall, with the approval of the minister, appoint a director who may, but need not necessarily, be a trustee of the board, and may with the approval of the minister remove the director, and the director shall be responsible for the management and administration of the corporation subject to the supervision and direction of the board."

I am not one who needs to have the Who's Who of any director read to me to avoid having that raise a serious question. Is there a case to be made that the board of trustees, under the chairmanship of Mr. J. Allyn Taylor, holding this collection of art for the public of Ontario under the terms of that agreement entered into by the crown, may be in violation of its duties?

May they have not supervised adequately the affairs of that organization? May the problems which we are faced with today in that collection, according to the minister, have had their origin in the failure of the board of trustees to carry out its obligations? Those and a number of other questions will undoubtedly be the kinds of matters which may -- I say "may" very carefully -- be before the committee when the time comes it raises a serious question in my mind.

I believe that is all I need to say at the present time about the actual agreement, my understanding of it, the default by this government and the request to this assembly to give our imprimatur of agreement to the disowning by it of its obligations and responsibilities. I do not believe I need to say anything further on that aspect of it.

But I do want to come back to the question I originally raised. Is it not really true this has raised for us in this assembly a serious question about public confidence in the operation of our cultural agencies? Is it not time for a careful investigation by this ministry of the administration of the museums and galleries and other community organizations of the province.

I say that, having read the Museum Notes for Community Museums in Ontario published earlier this year. I have read that in the light of the Community Museums Policy for Ontario published either last year or early this year by this minister. Those community policies and those museum notes do not speak to the fundamental public question which is going to have to be addressed.

It is strange that on occasion what happens in the United States happens here. I read with interest, and I recommend to the minister if he has not read it, an article by Lee Seldes in the Saturday Review of July 1981. In it he recounts the serious problems beginning in 1972 that came to the surface with respect to the management and conflict of interest problems and questions of acquisition and disposal and sale and reacquisition in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He also dealt with similar problems in 1975 in the Museum of the American Indian in New York city and later at the Brooklyn Museum, in the Art Institute of Chicago and finally in the museum of art in Greenville, South Carolina.

It is very strange that those charged with the discharge of the public obligation have used the same argument on occasion. The argument is the one we have heard in the case of Mr. McMichael -- that is, that he has now become an overzealous benefactor who interfered in the affairs of the art gallery, wanted to have everything his own way and wanted to deal with it as if it were still his own. Those are the common forms of rhetoric we have heard about this matter.

I shall quote the last paragraph of that article. Maybe this has "opened up a Pandora's box of questions about museums" -- and galleries and this ministry of the government -- "that hitherto have not been exposed for the record ... In the Eighties the public will demand more scrutiny into the guardianship of the treasuries of our nation's artistic heritage. But, with the traditional secrecy inherent in art dealings and the lack of legal regulation or outside watchdogs, such inquiries will not be easy, especially in museums" -- and galleries -- "with private corporate boards. So when museum people start talking mysteriously and hinting at happenings that might damage 'the museum's' " -- or gallery's -- " 'reputation,' be sure to prick up your ears."

That is exactly what the minister has done. The minister has on occasion indicated to us that if we only knew the whole story we would be anxious not to raise the matter publicly. He indicated the matter somehow is going to be on our head because this minister has introduced this inept legislation into the assembly. For whatever reason, be it stupidity or incomprehension, the minister has gone along with this bill, I want him to understand he has now opened that Pandora's box.

I come as a newcomer to the field but one need only read, Professional Practices in Art Museums, published in 1971 by the Association of Art Museum Directors in the United States. One need only read Museum Ethics -- in the United States art galleries are commonly known as museums as well as the kind of institutions for which we use that phrase -- published by the American Association of Museums. These statements of museum ethics are intended to be guidelines against which current museum policy and practice can be tested for ethical content.

5:20 p.m.

I charge anyone to find in the policy of this ministry any such concern for the ethical content of the practices that are going on in the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Royal Ontario Museum or in museums elsewhere.

There is a significant lack of policy direction and policy statement by this government in fields dealing with management of these institutions, or the trustee responsibility, the prejudiciary responsibility of those who accept appointments as members of boards of these organizations. There is a very significant lack of concern about the rules and guidelines to be provided to those who are employees or volunteers in the work of these institutions.

I understand there is a document about 100 pages long finally coming before the board of directors of the Royal Ontario Museum. It deals with this question of the ethical content of the policy with respect to the management, supervision and care of art treasures which are held for the public benefit and in the public preserve. It is directed to persons who act for us as trustees, even though they are appointed by government and accept the obligations in many instances without any remuneration.

We will all be aware of the same problem which has been raised in very similar context, but in a different way, with the Art Gallery of Ontario. I refer the minister to the publication of local 535 of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, to serve or collect, funding and priorities at the Art Gallery of Ontario. I was reading through this brief by concerned employees at the Art Gallery, and one sees the same problem reflected again.

An immense secrecy surrounds those who make up the board of governors, the board of trustees, or the board of directors of institutions in which a large part of the funds have been contributed by the public. But we are not allowed to understand any of their policies. They do not have modern, up-to-date policy statements to guide them. The government has never provided any such overall supervision for them. Every now and then, when the question is raised, the minister indicates, "yes, let us have an independent public inquiry."

He did the same with the Art Gallery of Ontario earlier this year. An editorial in the Toronto Star on June 28, which was headed "Gallery should agree to inquiry," says: "Baetz' offer of an independent inquiry into the gallery still stands and the AGO board of directors has not, so far, turned him down. In light of this week's layoffs," which were only the tip of the iceberg of problems that were involved in that gallery, "they would be wise to accept the offer."

Needless to say, before they even got around to public pressure to accept the offer, the minister had withdrawn it. The matter is now returned to an internal ministry Art Gallery of Ontario private discussion about the public interest. The time has long since past when that question is interesting.

If the government persists in this bill it stands indicted for the failure of its policies, in cultural and ethical matters, with respect to many galleries and museums throughout Ontario. When the bill goes to the committee I trust the minister will see fit to deal with it on that broad public issue.

This sad affair we are debating today may have a beneficial outcome if, when resolved, it restores public confidence in the McMichael gallery and in the way the government is discharging its trust. This was imposed by way of a gift by the McMichaels on the government, and is now held by the board of trustees for the people of Ontario. The affair could also go a long way towards finding out whether in the 1980s the Pandora's box of hidden concerns can be brought out in the open, and the practices and policies of this government re-established on the level that will result in public confidence.

I say to the minister I do not for one moment believe that will occur under his leadership in that ministry. I do not look forward to the meeting of the committee because the minister will be engaged, as he has been engaged, in a process of innuendo and denigration of Mr. Robert McMichael for reasons and motivations I do not understand.

It is passing strange that a question was raised in this assembly in the closing hours of the estimates of the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs about the funds that were provided for certain public events, one of which was a dinner given earlier this year by the government of Ontario in honour of Robert and Signe McMichael.

How all that fits together must raise in the minds of all the members of the assembly, as it does in my mind and I hope and trust in the minds of the people of Ontario, serious concerns about what the government is about. What is it trying to do? Why can it not graciously do something very simply to re-establish public confidence in this institution and, through this institution, in other institutions?

I can assure the minister that if I were a person looking around for an institution to make a donation to -- I do not have anything of value to donate -- I would look quite far afield before I decided to give it to this government, with the sad state of mismanagement of its cultural affairs as evidenced in this assembly earlier today in question period and in the whole course of this debate.

The government stands indicted on this bill. It will not win any votes. People will still flock to the McMichael Canadian Collection, public concern will disappear overtime, but the fact is this government, this ministry has failed. The government has failed because it listened to, heard, and without changing its course, allowed this minister to proceed with this iniquitous bill.

He will have the consequences whether he likes them or not, and I hope the public of Ontario, out of this bitter issue, will be the beneficiary. But at this time it is impossible to say that will be so.

Mr. Edighoffer: Mr. Speaker --

Mr. Havrot: Hughie for leader.

Mr. Edighoffer: Thank you. I thought I was for a while. I was the only one here.

Mr. Speaker, I have been looking forward to participating in this debate. I have listened with interest to the comments made by my leader, who has certainly spelled out the events leading up to this legislation.

Mr. Nixon: Go over that one more time.

Mr. Edighoffer: Would he like to hear that again? I also want to say I appreciated listening to the comments of the member for Riverdale, who has been very active in the debates, particularly when the original legislation was passed in 1972, when he so clearly and firmly stated that he wanted the government at that time to have the original agreement annexed to the legislation.

A number of weeks ago after this issue seemed to flare up, the minister invited all members of the Legislature to visit the McMichael collection at Kleinburg. I understand two or three members turned up. I was advised by my caucus to write the minister stating we felt there was no point in visiting the bare building at that time but we would be glad to do so at some future date when more construction has taken place.

I was out at that location a week prior to his invitation and visited a number of people who reside in Kleinburg. At that time, I found it was not just a local Kleinburg issue; it is an issue that concerns Ontario and Canada. That is a big statement, but when I talked to the people out there I found they felt it was an important issue, particularly at that time when we were talking constitution and the Gang of Eight was then fighting the present Premier of Ontario and the Premier of New Brunswick and the Prime Minister of Canada. We had the Gang of Eight against the other three.

The comment that seemed to be flowing around that area was that it was an important enough issue to make certain they had support from the Gang of Eight to do their best to fight and save the Group of Seven at Kleinburg. I thought it really was an issue that was considered not only in Kleinburg but in Ontario and right across Canada.

5:30 p.m.

I do not want to get into a lot of detail about the events that led up to this legislation and that led up to the resignation of Mr. McMichael, because I am sure we will have lots of time to discuss many of those items in the standing committee, probably in January or February some time. But I want to say I support wholeheartedly the reasoned amendment of the member for Riverdale because I think it sets out the direction the original director of the gallery had in mind.

Mainly, I think it sets out the obligation of this government to reflect the obligation it accepted in 1965. Of course, it defines the term "McMichael Canadian Collection" a little more clearly and it also includes the annexing of the agreement to the 1972 legislation. I certainly will support the reasoned amendment, along with my colleagues.

I looked back to a number of statements the minister had made, and I know reference has been made to the statement made by the then Minister of Colleges and Universities in 1965. I think it was clear enough when he said he was satisfied that the intent of the bill accomplished the intent of the 1965 agreement. That should certainly be, in effect, enough to make certain that the government really would not hesitate to annex the agreement to the present legislation. By annexing that agreement to the 1972 bill or including it in the amendment before the Legislature now, I feel the main benefit received would be that the content of section 13 of the original agreement would be intact.

I think the member for Riverdale did refer to this section previously, but I would like to read it again into the record: "The crown shall, with the advice and assistance of Robert McMichael and Signe McMichael, establish, develop and maintain in perpetuity at Tapawingo a collection of art reflecting the cultural heritage of Canada." Then it goes on to spell out the artists, and states further, "and other artists as designated by the advisory committee who have made contributions to the development of Canadian art."

As has been stated earlier this afternoon by both previous speakers, the intent is set out very clearly in the original agreement with the five-member board; but if one looks on a little further at section 19 of the original agreement, it states, "The crown agrees that upon the death of the survivor of Robert and Signe McMichael, additions to the collection shall be confined to works of art by the artists specifically named in section 13 above, or designated by the advisory committee pursuant to the said section 13." This shows that some changes should be made, particularly to the new section 7 in the legislation.

Many people in Ontario have been very concerned about this. I do not know if the minister is aware of this, but I have been informed the ministry did hire some sort of public relations firm to get people's feelings and to make sure all the information was brought back to the ministry. I do not know how much was spent on that. Perhaps the minister would give us that information.

I have been receiving a lot of letters from constituents who are very concerned. I would like to place on the record some of the comments made by my constituents. I will read part of a letter from Dr. Rowe of Stratford, that great cultural centre, who says:

"The McMichael gallery is not just another art gallery but is a unique experience which must not be destroyed. The original agreement between the McMichaels and the government must be honoured. This is the first time I have felt strongly enough about an issue to write to my MPP and I hope the greatest pressure will be brought on the government to retain our heritage as originally intended."

I received another letter from a lady in Stratford who says: "I am writing to you as my - member of parliament with hopes that you will be able to deliver my displeasure with our government. In the past few days, the newspapers have reported the McMichael gallery nightmare. What the Conservative government attempts to do is break a solemn promise to the people of Canada and to the McMichael family by welshing on their part of the agreement.

"In 1965, the McMichaels generously donated their home, land, property and a collection of art that has given many Canadians great pleasure. The McMichael gallery is a truly Canadian achievement, an achievement that can make our Canadian people proud.

"I ask you, does the government of Ontario have the right to welsh on such generosity? If so, then the Conservative government does not deserve my vote."

That is signed by Ms. Pat McKegg of Stratford.

Mr. T. P. Reid: One of the few Liberals in Hugh's riding.

Mr. Edighoffer: That's right. I just have one other letter. I will not read it all.

Mr. Lane: Oh, go ahead.

Mr. Edighoffer: Do you want it all?

Mr. Lane: Sure.

Mr. Edighoffer: It is quite lengthy.

Mr. Boudria: The night is young. Tell us about it.

Mr. Edighoffer: Okay. This is written very recently from another constituent in another town:

"Dear Mr. Edighoffer: This last week many of us who have been to the McMichael art collection in Kleinburg have been decidedly perturbed over what is being said and maybe planned about the face-changing of this famous institution. One hears much that is possibly rumour, but I hope you know what is really being done.

"I am writing as a lover of the Group of Seven particularly and as a strong advocate of keeping one's promise." I underline that, "of keeping one's promise." "If the government has signed an agreement with Mr. McMichael or whoever is in charge of that beautiful building and lot with its priceless collection, then the government must be made to keep its agreement."

She goes on for a number of pages, but I think the last part is very important. She refers to making certain that you change your mind, Mr. Minister, "or you may indeed lose my vote. I would not want that so I am sure you will change your mind."

More important, a letter came to many of us from the last surviving member of the Group of Seven. It is a lengthy letter and I am not going to read it all into the record, but I will read the first two and one of the last paragraphs because I think it is most important. This is dated December 7, 1981, addressed to the Premier of Ontario, the Honourable William G. Davis, Q.C.

5:40 p.m.

"Dear Mr. Premier: As the last surviving member of the Group of Seven, I am deeply interested in the future of the McMichael Canadian Collection. I have not taken sides in the current controversy. I have kept my lines of communication and friendship open with all parties in dispute, Bob and Signe McMichael, the chairman of the board of trustees and your colleagues in the government. I have not met Michael Bell, but my friends speak highly of him.

"Surely the time has come to forget the mistakes and misunderstandings of the past, put aside their animosity and work together towards a common goal. The goal should be to preserve the unique character of the McMichael building, to improve the collection and to strengthen and increase the invaluable services the gallery offers to the people of Canada." The letter went on to refer to comments made or letters written by the president of the Ontario Association of Art Galleries, and also referred to the letters in the Globe and Mail between Pierre Berton and the chairman, Mr. Taylor.

I just want to go on to one of the last paragraphs, which I think is most important: "When the Canadian group of painters succeeding the Group of Seven was disbanded in the 1960s, most of the living painters donated their work to the McMichael Collection. The gallery in which they were to be hung was not a large one. The paintings had to be small, and, because of this and the inevitable problems associated with donations, some of the artists are not represented by their best paintings. This gallery can be upgraded.

"It is valid for some to argue that Canada has produced better artists than those exhibited in the McMichael collection, but as the last survivor of the Group of Seven it is my hope, shared I know by my friends past and present whose work is shown there, and by the tens of thousands young and old who visit the gallery each year, that the government will do everything in its power not only to preserve the unique woodland charm of the gallery but also to improve the collection, keeping intact the list of artists who are represented there."

I read this because I wanted to underline that last sentence, "keeping intact the list of artists who are represented there." I hope some changes can be made during standing committee. Much has been said --

Mr. Stokes: Who signed it?

Mr. Edighoffer: I am sorry, I guess I forgot to name who wrote the letter. This was a letter written by Mr. A. J. Casson, the remaining member of the Group of Seven.

Mr. Stokes: Even the letter is a collector's item.

Mr. Edighoffer: Much has been said about the managerial ability of Mr. McMichael. Mr. Speaker, you know we are not all perfect, we all make mistakes at some time or other. Even in regard to this particular legislation, I have to say that probably the ministry has not been perfect in always living up to each section of the act. I know very recently they decided to make some changes at the gallery. However, they forgot to read section 8(c) of the act, which says that changes can be made with the approval of the Lieutenant Governor, that is, to erect buildings and structures on the land. This had already taken place before the ministry even realized it had to get an order in council to approve the changes.

Because this will be going to committee, that is probably all I will say at the moment on the legislation. I have to reiterate that we in this party feel very strongly we have to support the reasoned amendment and, in turn, oppose the second reading of the bill, because we feel we want to eliminate any chance of future benefactors being affected by the province of Ontario and not wanting to believe in the province or leave any items to the province in the future.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, it is obvious, as both parties opposite have noted several times, that they are determined to have this debate and this bill go to standing committee. As I have indicated to both parties, I think that is regrettable in some respects because it continues to drag on a public debate that I do not think is particularly necessary.

I find it incredible that the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Smith) stands up and tells all of us how much he regrets that this legislation has to go to standing committee; he is afraid of what will happen there. At the same time he says there is nothing in this piece of legislation, there is nothing in it, but he has to oppose it. He says it is degutted. That is the word he used: it is degutted, it is eviscerated. If that is the case then why does he take the enormous risk of this thing going to standing committee? Why does he take this enormous chance if he is so opposed to it? I find that incredible.

Perhaps it should go to standing committee, because we hope that there, at least, the discussion can be carried on in a more reasoned, more rational and more detailed way, and that we will not be subjected to the kind of rhetoric that poured across the floor this afternoon, this political grandstanding -- and it really was that.

On the one hand we hear the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) going on at great length and with great generalizations about the precarious state of our great cultural institutions and about how they should be helped. Yet here is one opportunity for him to support a bill that, as we have indicated, is not an enormously contentious bill. I would like to repeat just what it is supposed to do.

It really has two or three points that it wants to make. One is to express in a better and more refined way than ever, the continuation and perpetuity of a unique Canadian collection; surely that should not be too contentious an issue. It sets aside or establishes a position for Mr. McMichael; and that, surely, should not be a very contentious issue. It also addresses itself to the issue that, we have heard, concerns the members across the House: the possibility that art would be sold without the consent of the donor and so on.

These are surely things we can agree on. Yet the members opposite want to block it and drag it on to the standing committee on social development. There is something very mysterious and curious about the stance that comes from across the House.

As I say, the members over there are determined this will go to standing committee. I could say many things here. I could rebut or retort in a thousand different ways right now some of the things the members said across the House. But they are determined. They have made up their minds it is going to standing committee, so there is no point in my going on here and trying once again to present the government's position.

We hear so much from the members, that they are the people who understand Mr. and Mrs. McMichael. I can tell them that we share those feelings. We have shared them for many years, but there is no point in continuing the debate here. So with great reluctance we are in those members' hands and if they so wish, it will have to go to standing committee.

5:50 p.m.

Mr. Speaker: Mr. Baetz has moved second reading of Bill 175. Mr. Renwick has moved a reasoned amendment. Is it the wish of the House that I read that?

Mr. Renwick: I would appreciate it if you would, Mr. Speaker.


Mr. Renwick: The minister has time to change his mind.

Mr. Speaker: Order. Mr. Renwick's reasoned amendment is that Bill 175, An Act to amend the McMichael Canadian Collection Act, be not now read a second time but be referred back to the minister with instruction to return the bill with provisions which will ensure compliance by Her Majesty the Queen in right of the province of Ontario, hereinafter called the crown, with the letter and spirit of the agreement between the crown, Robert McMichael and Signe McMichael, and the Metropolitan Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, dated November 18, 1965, namely:

(1) by reflecting the obligation of the crown, with the advice and assistance of Robert and Signe McMichael, to develop and maintain in perpetuity at Tapawingo the collection of art reflecting the cultural heritage of Canada known as the McMichael Canadian Collection originally established by gift to the crown from Robert and Signe McMichael pursuant to the agreement;

(2) by defining the term "McMichael Canadian Collection of Art" in a manner consistent with the intention of the agreement;

(3) by requiring the corporation known as the McMichael Canadian Collection to covenant expressly to be bound by the provisions of the agreement as required by the agreement;

(4) by reducing the number of the members of the board of trustees of the corporation to five and making provision for the composition of the board and the appointment of the chairman to be consistent with and comply with the provisions of the agreement respecting the advisory committee as originally established;

(5) by annexing the agreement to the McMichael Canadian Collection Act as a schedule so that the agreement will form a permanent part of that act.

Pursuant to standing order 54(a), the first question to be decided is, "Shall the bill be now read a second time?"

6:15 p.m.

The House divided on the question, "Shall the bill be now read a second time," which was agreed to on the following vote:


Andrewes, Ashe, Baetz, Barlow, Bernier, Birch, Cousens, Cureatz, Davis, Dean, Eaton, Elgie, Eves, Fish, Gillies, Gordon, Gregory, Grossman, Harris, Havrot, Hennessy, Hodgson, Johnson, J. M., Jones, Kells, Kerr, Kolyn, Lane, MacQuarrie, McCaffrey, McLean, Miller, F. S., Mitchell, Norton;

Piché, Ramsay, Robinson, Rotenberg, Runciman, Scrivener, Sheppard, Shymko, Snow, Stephenson, B. M., Sterling, Stevenson, K. R., Taylor, G. W., Taylor, J. A., Treleaven, Villeneuve, Walker, Watson, Wells, Williams, Wiseman.


Boudria, Bryden, Charlton, Conway, Cooke, Copps, Cunningham, Eakins, Edighoffer, Elston, Laughren, Lupusella, Mackenzie, Mancini, Martel, McGuigan, McKessock, Miller, G. I., Newman, Nixon, O'Neil, Philip, Reid, T. P., Renwick, Ruston, Samis, Sargent, Smith, Spensieri, Stokes, Swart, Wildman, Wrye.

Ayes 55; nays 33.

Ordered for standing committee on social development.


Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, with the consent of the House I will make a statement on House business today to cover events until the adjournment on Friday. Perhaps at that time I could announce the events for next week rather than in the usual manner tomorrow afternoon.

The House meets tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. We will begin with third readings on the Order Paper, followed by second and third readings of private bills on the Order Paper, followed by second reading and committee of the whole House on Bill 183 and then second reading and committee of the whole on Bill 178. That will be followed by second readings of Bills 184 and 185, committee of the whole on Bill 147, and second reading and committee of the whole on Bill 170.

In the afternoon, we will be considering the no-confidence motion standing on the Order Paper in the name of the member for Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy), with a vote to be held at 5:45 p.m.

In the evening at eight o'clock, the first order of business will be voting on the first report from the select committee on pensions, which was debated and considered in the House last Thursday evening. After that order of business, we will continue any unfinished business, any unfinished legislation left over from the morning. We will then continue on to committee of the whole on Bills 2, 53, 93 and 160. If time permits, we will consider the supplementary estimates of the Office of the Assembly and the Ombudsman.

On Friday morning, the House will consider the estimates of the Lieutenant Governor, the Premier and the Cabinet Office.


Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, I stand on a point of privilege. I believe Hansard will indicate that this afternoon I used the words "inveigled" and "duped" in reference to the actions of the member for Quinte (Mr. O'Neil). If that is the case I would like to withdraw those remarks.

The House adjourned at 6:24 p.m.