32nd Parliament, 1st Session






























The House met at 2:04 p.m.



Mr. Speaker: Before proceeding with the routine business, I would like to address all members of the Legislature on the alleged point of privilege brought before the House by the member for Rainy River (Mr. T. P. Reid) with respect to the newspaper article in the Globe and Mail of December 12, 1981, relating to remarks made outside the House by the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry).

After carefully reviewing the article, I find that the remarks by the Attorney General, while perhaps unfortunate, hardly constitute a breach of privilege. I might say to the members of the House that had the remarks been made in the House during the debate on the Highway Traffic Act, it is likely I would have called on the minister to withdraw the allegations against the official opposition as being out of order in accordance with standing order 19(d).

Since these statements were made outside the House, I can hardly be expected to rule them out of order as the very fact they were made outside the House takes them outside my jurisdiction. I find I am reinforced in this opinion by Beauchesne's Parliamentary Rules and Forms, fifth edition, page 12, paragraph 19, subparagraph (3), "Statements made outside the House by a member may not be used as the base for a question of privilege."

The member made reference to the fact that the former member for High Park-Swansea (Mr. Ziemba) made comments in a similar vein directed at the Premier (Mr. Davis) and the government. After reviewing the records of debates in 1975, I find at page 747 that even in that situation the Speaker of the day stated that the matter happened outside the House and therefore he had no control over it. However, at page 768, Mr. Ziemba rose on a point of privilege and apologized to the Premier for his statements made outside the House. He was not ordered by the Speaker at the time to withdraw the comments.

I might also add that I have been able to discover three separate occasions when Ontario Speakers have ruled that statements made by members outside the House are not subject to the rules respecting unparliamentary language, which would include imputing motives.

On March 9, 1965, Mr. Speaker Morrow ruled: "If the accusation by one member that another is a liar is made outside of the House, there does not have to be a retraction in the House. If the statement was made in the House, then I would ask the member to withdraw it in the House."

On October 9, 1969, Mr. Speaker Cass ruled as follows: "Yesterday the member for Sudbury East raised what he deemed to be a matter of privilege concerning statements made by the member for Nickel Belt outside the House. I pointed out to him at the time that I deem it no privilege of the House or of the member that is offended by remarks made by a member outside the House."

On October 6, 1980, Mr. Speaker Stokes ruled: "I am sure it is regrettable any time any member of the House accuses another of telling a falsehood. However, it was something that was said outside the House. The member is responsible for what he says out there and that is something over which we have no control here in the House. If he does not choose to withdraw the remark or apologize for it, there is nothing I can do. It was done outside the House."

Mr. T. P. Reid: Mr. Speaker, I thank you for that ruling and I concur in it. It shows great wisdom on your part. I would only say that, since the comments were made outside the Legislature, I would hope the Attorney General would act in the spirit of the former member for High Park-Swansea. I am sure he would not want to be outclassed by that particular individual and will do the right and proper thing and withdraw those remarks. He demeans not only himself but his office if he allows that to continue.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, I might welcome the mayor of Thunder Bay, Mr. Assef, and members of his council.

Mr. Nixon: He would have made a great member of the Legislature.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: No, not at that time.

Mr. Stokes: Why are you discriminating against other members of the delegation on this side of the House?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: It was a generic introduction.

2:10 p.m.



Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, today I am making an announcement which relates to the establishment, location and mandate of a new microelectronics technology centre.

The members of this Legislature will recall that when this government announced the economic development strategy of the Board of Industrial Leadership and Development, we pointed out that high-technology industries were a major priority to any nation that hopes to be domestically and internationally competitive in the next decade and beyond.

In fact, the development of high technology and its application throughout the economy hold the key to our future economic growth and prosperity. How we plan and nurture these industries today will determine to a great extent the health of our economy tomorrow.

Other jurisdictions are vigorously confronting this same problem. As manufacturing spreads to lower labour cost countries, productivity improvements through technological innovation become more than ever a key part of any prudent industrial strategy. Ontario manufacturers need the tools to upgrade their capacity to compete with the best high-technology-supported firms in the world.

Last month when I tabled the report of the Ontario task force on microelectronics, I noted at the time that it had fully endorsed the BILD strategy to establish a microelectronics technology centre and that it had called for the early establishment of such a centre. Today, I am pleased to announce that the new microelectronics technology centre will be established in Ottawa.

Mr. Bradley: Albert gets action!

Hon. Mr. Grossman: As a matter of fact, the member for Ottawa East (Mr. Roy) was the only member from Ottawa who did not contact me on that issue.

In addition, the government will continue discussions with the National Research Council with regard to the establishment of an Ontario technology transfer facility.

Ottawa was chosen as the site because it is the nucleus of a rapidly growing, export-oriented microelectronics industry. These industries have already communicated to us that they have a need for the centre's services and are prepared to help make it work.


Hon. Mr. Grossman: Don't you care about microelectronics?

This commitment assures the centre of an immediate clientele of more than 100 companies which currently employ over 7,000 people. The centre has received the enthusiastic support of the regional municipality of Ottawa-Carleton and of the academic institutions in the area.


Mr. Speaker: Order. The minister has the floor. Proceed, please.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: They have a hard time with good news over there.

As well, Northern Telecom and Mitel have offered to transfer technology to the centre and other companies in the region have pledged their assistance and co-operation through the provision of staff and technical assistance.

In addition, the National Capital Commission has offered an attractive site to the regional municipality of Ottawa-Carleton for the location of the microelectronics technology centre. The proposed site is on Moodie Drive at the Queensway in the heart of Ontario's high-technology area.

We are undertaking this major new initiative because small and medium-sized Canadian firms need to have secure access to custom-designed computer chips to compete effectively. Therefore, the mandate of the microelectronics centre in Ottawa will be to provide a design, production and testing capability for these firms to acquire here in Canada the custom microelectronic circuits they need.

In addition, the centre will assist the province's emerging microelectronics industry by acting as a resource centre for design and applications assistance. It will also promote and encourage the adoption of microelectronic technology in all sectors of the economy throughout the province.

The centre will have three basic functions: It will arrange for the production and testing of custom chips using the best available technology; it will provide and arrange for design assistance and training programs for specialized microelectronic applications; and it will conduct programs to increase awareness of microelectronic technological opportunities among small to medium-sized firms.

The microelectronics technology centre will report to the Ministry of Industry and Tourism with funding of up to $28 million over five years with an immediate commitment of $250,000 for the balance of this current fiscal year. It is projected that by the fifth year half of the operating costs will be recovered through fees, royalties and licences. Following legislation, the government will appoint a board of directors for the centre and together we will recruit an executive director as early as possible in the new year.

I am also pleased to report that Bell-Northern Research has offered to undertake a one-year contract on a fee-for-service basis for the startup and implementation phase of the centre. Construction will begin in 1982 and once fully operational the centre will employ about 60 professional people. The majority of the staff will be contract employees or personnel seconded from the private sector, educational institutions and government. Indeed, the centre has been designed to enable people from universities, industry and government to pool their expertise and work together for fixed periods of time.

The centre's largest client group will be Canadian-owned small and medium-sized firms that require advice and assistance to obtain on a contract basis their own custom-made chips. These chips are essential if firms are to be capable of offering unique products for the Canadian and international markets.

Honourable members will wish to be assured that this centre will not compete with the private sector. It has been designed to assist and complement the private sector. For example, any patents that may be obtained by the centre will be offered to Ontario manufacturers for commercial development. Moreover, we expect the promotional and educational activities of the centre will create a substantial market for the services of research organizations, private firms and for consulting engineers.

The government of Ontario has made a strategic policy choice through BILD. We will develop our high-technology industries not only to upgrade our traditional industries but as a cornerstone for our longer-term program of industrial restructuring, economic diversification and expansion.

Because this is a major new initiative, we sought the advice of many groups during the course of our deliberations on the mandate and location of the centre. We were most gratified by the response of individuals, municipal officials, experts from our leading universities, the members of our task force on microelectronics and many companies which have offered assistance to enable this centre to get under way.

High technology was one of the six major themes of BILD's economic development strategy for the 1980s. As the BILD program noted, Ontario must continue to compete successfully in the international marketplace if we are to maintain our economic growth. To compete successfully we must be able to utilize modern technology to ensure that our emerging industries are able to grow and prosper.

This government is proud of its record of support and its commitment to high technology. I shall soon be making other announcements in the area of high technology.

Mr. Nixon: You mean the others are designed to keep them quiet a bit longer. Keep them on the hook up there in Cambridge.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: In the event some members did not hear that, let me repeat: I shall soon be making other announcements in the area of high technology -- indeed, later this week. These will expand on the BILD commitment to implement medium and long-term economic diversification and growth strategies in this province.

I believe the microelectronics centre I have announced today to be located in Ottawa will enable Ontario to play a prominent role at the leading edge of high-technology development in North America and beyond.


Hon. Mr. Pope: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce that the sixth of my ministry's forest management agreements was signed this morning with Mr. W. J. Johnston, vice-president of Abitibi-Price Inc. The agreement, which is funded entirely by BILD, covers the 7,524 square kilometre or 2,905 square mile Spruce River forest in the Thunder Bay area, and is the second forest management agreement entered into with Abitibi-Price.

2:20 p.m.

Under the terms of the Spruce River agreement, the management plan provides for sustained-yield harvesting of the forest area over a 20-year period. During that time, the company assumes responsibility for tending the forest, regeneration of cutover lands and construction of necessary roads. The ministry will pay for the cost of regeneration. Road construction and maintenance will be subsidized by the crown.

This agreement reflects my ministry's new policy of providing for public interests in the management agreement. Over the past several months, a series of consultations and meetings with citizens and special interest groups, plus examination of the forest area by biologists and other experts, has led to exclusions from the agreement of certain areas that do not contain a forest production base.

These exclusions amount to an area of about 10 to 15 per cent of the harvestable area. The exclusions to be built into the agreement will protect both existing and potential park and reserve areas, cottage and camping areas, canoe routes, road access and mining sites in the Spruce River forest. Fish and wildlife habitats have also been protected. Eagle, osprey and heron nesting sites will be safeguarded by no-cut zones, moose habitat will be maintained by cut and uncut stand patterns, and moose trail preservation will be ensured.

Reserves of uncut trees will be left on lake, stream and river banks to provide protection for fish habitats. Stands of timber are to be left around 12 trout lakes in the area as well as the large block of forest at the site of the Dorion fish hatchery. Aesthetic values of the forest in popular recreational areas will be maintained by 100-foot to 650-foot tree reserves. Areas susceptible to soil erosion and blow sands will be protected to maintain the productivity of these fragile areas.

By considering all the land uses in the agreement area, we have designed management programs that are concerned with much more than timber allocation. Eventually, about 30 FMAs will cover all the harvestable timber crown land in the province and will help us achieve our goal of integrating all harvest and regeneration procedures. By including public participation in the planning process, we ensure the long-term benefits to all users of the forests.

As is the case in all our forest management agreements, this FMA will be subject to a thorough review by my ministry every five years to ensure that all conditions of the agreement are being met. If performance is satisfactory, the agreements will be extended. And, if changing conditions in the forest agreement areas necessitate further public involvement, the agreements will be flexible enough to adapt and encompass new planning details.



Mr. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Transportation and Communications. He has just been on his feet and he has heard the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman) speak of a microelectronics centre in Ottawa. The Minister of Industry and Tourism took pains to say: "This centre will not compete with the private sector. In fact, it has been designed to assist and complement the private sector."

Since that seems to be a reasonable policy, why does the minister not follow exactly the same policy with respect to the Urban Transportation Development Corporation? Can he explain, when employment at the Can-Car plant in Thunder Bay, which used to have over 1,000 workers, is now down to 135 and will be about 65 in the new year, why in a situation like that UTDC is going into the manufacture of vehicles business, when there exist perfectly competent manufacturers like Can-Car and others in Ontario which are presently drastically unemployed?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, that is a very good question. I would have to say that what UTDC is doing at Kingston, Ontario, is exactly what the Minister of Industry and Tourism explained. We are co-operating with the private sector in the development of a system that will produce thousands of jobs across this country in the years ahead.

Mr. Smith: The question may have been very good. I wish I could say the same for the answer.

The minister must surely know he is speaking now of a matter where cars are being assembled at Kingston, where a manufacturing process is going to go on with an existing company in that area, which certainly does not have a great record up to this point. Why is UTDC entering into manufacturing, rather than just the development of the technology?

Why is it now entering into the manufacturing phase along with this new company in Kingston when there exists a perfectly good vehicle manufacturer that has had to lay off about 1,000 people, where employment is going down to next to nothing by next year? Why would it start from scratch with a company with virtually no track record at all in the Kingston area?

Hon. Mr. Snow: I really do not think the Leader of the Opposition can say that the Toronto Iron Works and the Central Bridge Company of Trenton, one of its subsidiary companies, are companies that have no track record. Those companies have certainly been around and in the business as long as I can remember and that is a few more years than the Leader of the Opposition can remember, although not that many.

Mr. Smith: TIW?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Yes, Toronto Iron Works and Central Bridge or Canadian Bridge, I forget the --

Mr. Smith: Central Bridge.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Central Bridge at Trenton. Those are companies that have been in the steel and manufacturing business for many years.

As far as the Can-Car plant of Hawker Siddeley Canada, I am well aware of their capabilities. They have carried out a number of contracts for this government directly and indirectly. Can-Car has built all the GO Transit cars that have been built in the last 15 years. They have had a number of contracts for the subway cars.

The honourable members of the opposition were somewhat critical a few years ago when we gave Can-Car the contract for the Canadian light rail vehicles. The members were critical that we gave the contract to Can-Car rather than to Bombardier in Quebec.

Mr. Smith: Only on the subject of tendering.

Hon. Mr. Snow: We did tender it. I can assure the honourable members that we did tender the streetcars.

Mr. Smith: Why doesn't UTDC tender?

Hon. Mr. Snow: That is how much the member knows. UTDC did tender the contract for the Canadian light rail vehicles. Although Can-Car were not the low bidders, they were given the contract for the 190 light rail vehicles. In fact, some $250 million worth of vehicles, contracted directly by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, UTDC or by the Toronto Transit Commission, have been manufactured in the past 10 years by Can-Car.

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, can the minister not supply this House with the information that I have asked him for on two occasions; that is, the submissions made by each of the five competitors? Will he not at least table in this House the evaluation purportedly done by UTDC of each of the competitors and submissions?

Can he explain to this House why Toronto Iron Works could submit a better proposal when they have no track record in building transit vehicles? Since one of the primary objectives of government policy must be the maintenance of jobs and full employment, will he not consider taking over in public ownership at least part of the Hawker Siddeley plant to build these vehicles?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, first of all, I know the board of directors of UTDC met with the member for Fort William (Mr. Hennessy), with the honourable member who just asked the question, and with the delegation that is here today from Thunder Bay. I understand they met for two and a half hours this morning, from 10 o'clock until 12:30 p.m. As I understand it, it was a very good meeting. All the criteria were explained to the member.

Mr. Foulds: The evaluation was not given.

Hon. Mr. Snow: The terms of the evaluation were explained to the member. UTDC management and board of directors made the decision that the TIW proposal was the most advantageous in the long run for the manufacture of these cars.

Mr. Foulds: Table that.

Hon. Mr. Snow: The member was given it this morning.

Mr. Smith: What did the minister have to say to the delegation from Thunder Bay with regard to employment in that area, given that his ministry has also been involved in the matter of shipbuilding, another form of transportation, and where the Board of Industrial Leadership and Development program had promised the upgrading of the shipyard in the Thunder Bay area, although the facts show that, on November 30 of this year, 150 workers were laid off at the Port Arthur Shipbuilding Company in Thunder Bay?

Did the minister have anything constructive to offer to the people of Thunder Bay with regard to how they are going to benefit from the transportation business rather than be losers of employment?

2:30 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Snow: First of all, I have not yet met the delegation from Thunder Bay. The Premier (Mr. Davis) and myself are to meet them at three o'clock this afternoon. As I said, if the honourable member had been listening to my answer, the delegation met the board of directors and the president of the Urban Transportation Development Corporation this morning for two and a half hours.

I also point out that a couple of months ago my ministry and the Toronto Area Transit Operating Authority awarded a $60-million contract to the Hawker Siddeley Can-Car plant for 71 new bilevel cars. That order is keeping that plant alive right now. It is a contract we gave to maintain employment in that plant in Thunder Bay.

Mr. Foulds: That's going to keep 80 men in work.

Hon. Mr. Snow: With all due respect to the member, that is 80 men who would not have been there if we had not arranged that contract. I point out that this was a negotiated extension to the previous contract, under which that company built 80 of the bilevel cars. They are excellent cars and have proven out very well. Unfortunately, the sales efforts of Hawker Siddeley have not been that great. They have not been successful in selling that car to other users, although I do understand, from discussions with the company, that they have a number of discussions going on as to possible sales at this time, but nothing firm.

With regard to the BILD commitment for the shipbuilding industry, that matter is being worked on very actively by my ministry at this time. Three locations for assistance to the shipbuilding industry are being considered: Port Weller, Collingwood and Thunder Bay. Negotiations between the federal government, ourselves and the three companies involved are going on at this time. As soon as something is concluded, I assure the members that the House will be the first to hear about it.


Mr. Smith: I have a question, Mr. Speaker, of the Minister of Health. The minister may be aware that I had occasion in the Premier's estimates to read two lists into the record, a list of prosthetic, orthotic and assistive devices that are not covered by the Ontario health insurance plan, and a list of the features of the luxury jet plane which this government was able to find money to purchase for the Premier and his staff.

May I ask the minister how he is able to continue to serve in a government that believes taxpayers' money should be used to buy a luxury jet plane while apparently it is unable to accept his proposals that OHIP coverage should be granted for prosthetic and orthotic devices and for hearing aids for deaf children?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, the proposal that my staff and I have developed have not been rejected by the government. The final decision has not even been made.

Mr. Smith: May I ask the minister how he can serve in a government where the priorities are such that it is able to act very quickly to approve a jet plane for the Premier and his staff, whereas it has taken some very considerable time and the government still has not seen fit to act on the proposal for prosthetic and orthotic devices being covered by OHIP? Does it not represent to the minister a very serious distortion of priorities?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: While we are talking about priorities and about aircraft, I might point out to the Leader of the Opposition that long before any decision was taken by the executive council with respect to the purchase of an executive aircraft, the executive council approved my proposal that there should be a jet ambulance in Timmins, a jet helicopter ambulance in Sudbury, a helicopter ambulance in Thunder Bay and a King Air ambulance in Sioux Lookout.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, since there are only 16 days left in 1981, which was designated as the International Year of Disabled Persons, will the minister assure the House that, to mark Ontario's participation in the year of the disabled, there will be an announcement before the end of this year to ensure that prosthetic and orthotic devices, which benefit the disabled and handicapped in our province, will be covered under the Ontario health insurance plan?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, the concern of my colleagues and I for the disabled, and indeed for all the population, does not begin and end in a year designated by an external body. I point out that we started the year with a very significant program introduced under the International Year of Disabled Persons. That is the program I announced in February, I believe it was, with respect to high-risk pregnancies, the establishment of more perinatal units, and the establishment in time of secondary obstetrical units to reduce the incidence of morbidity and mortality among our high-risk neonates.

Mr. Smith: The minister must surely know that is not the question he was being asked. Given that the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) stated in this House the other day that there has been no sacrifice of any necessary government program because of the money being spent on such things as the Suncor deal and the jet plane, can the minister explain to the House why, after these many years of people asking for OHIP coverage for these necessary devices, we still have to wait for an answer from the government? We do not even have a guarantee it will be now. Will the minister use whatever influence he has in cabinet to get them either to sell the jet or to install OHIP coverage for prosthetic devices or, preferably, to do both?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I do not believe the honourable member was in the House on Thursday when I took part in the no-confidence debate and listed a lengthy list of new facilities and new programs that have been announced within the past 12 to 18 months with the support, obviously, of my colleagues in the government. The government which he tries to portray as being so tight-fisted on such matters is the same government that has approved my proposals for increased funding to our hospitals in this and the last two fiscal years of more than 30 per cent when one includes the amount of money being applied to phase two budgets right now. That is more than 30 per cent in two years.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a new question for the Minister of Health, who on December 8 assured the public of Ontario that mental patients are not in danger. Will he review that conclusion, and is he now prepared to take some action to improve psychiatric care as a result of the public commission on mental health organized by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union which has gone across the province and which has found evidence of problems across the province?

This is witnessed by the headlines about that commission: "Patients are Exploited" was the headline in Kingston. "Cutbacks Hurt Mental Care" was in the Hamilton Spectator. "The Message is Clear" said the London Free Press. "Mental Health Spending Cuts are Hurting, Province Blamed for Mentally ill Becoming Derelicts" was in the Toronto Star. In the North Bay Nugget it was "Psychiatric Patients Lack Follow-up Care." In Thunder Bay it was "Desperate Mother Slams Mental Health Care for Son."

What is happening in the mental health field, and why has the minister been putting mental health patients in the province in that situation?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, he says the union has been collecting evidence. They have been collecting headlines, that is true, but they have not been collecting the kind of evidence he suggests they have.

Mr. Swart: All the papers are wrong, of course.

Hon Mr. Timbrell: No. As I said to the member's colleague, who is my critic, during the estimates, I think that group started out with the report basically written and sought to find the headlines and the briefs to support a preconceived --

Mr. Breaugh: That's cheap, Dennis. Come on!

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Listen, if he is trying to tell me and the world that commission is an objective body that has set out in a short period of time to write the definitive report on mental health care, then he is even more deluded than I thought.

I might remind the member of a number of initiatives we have taken to improve the quality of mental health care. I am not about to stand here and say there are no problems. I would not do that. I know there are problems. A system as large as that, a system dealing with serious personal problems of a psychiatric nature, is bound to have difficulties from time to time.

2:40 p.m.

We are taking steps. I will not go through again the list of things we are doing to improve the system; we have gone through them in the House and in estimates. It should not be said, let alone believed, that mental health care is anything but a priority with this government.

Mr. Cassidy: If mental health is a priority with the government, why did the administrator of the Kingston Psychiatric Hospital, Mr. Thomson, circulate a memo to his staff on September 11, saying: "There have no doubt been rumours and speculation about the hospital these past three or four months concerning the need for budget constraints. Such have become a reality"? He went on to say that the Kingston Psychiatric Hospital was required to contribute $360,000 in cuts towards a further psychiatric hospital branch budget reduction of $4 million for the fiscal year 1981-82.

Why did that same administrator send another memo on December 2, talking about the need for further cuts of $100,000 at the Kingston Psychiatric Hospital and saying to department heads, "You are therefore asked to scrutinize all your department spending and to reduce its expenditures to all but the most essential activities"? How can an adequate program for mental health be carried on when the minister behaves like such a Scrooge with respect to mental health?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: The plain and simple fact, and we have gone over it many times previously, is we have insisted that administrators of the 10 provincial psychiatric hospitals act in exactly the same way that we have insisted administrators of all public hospitals act, and that is to find ways and means wherever possible to become more cost-efficient. But the bottom line always has been, and always will be, that we must maintain quality of care. Surely my friend would expect that we would do no less than to insist that our managers manage properly.

Ms. Copps: Mr. Speaker, last week the minister admitted to this House that he does not have a plan for housing ex-psychiatric patients, even though the deinstitutionalization program began some 15 years ago. Yesterday, the Provincial Secretary for Social Development (Mrs. Birch) said he did have a plan. Does he or does he not; if he does, what is it?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I would like to see what the honourable member is quoting. I sat here last week and listened to her supposedly quote things I said. There were speeches I never made and things I never said. I would like to see what she is quoting, or what she thinks constitutes an admission on my part that there is no plan.

I have repeatedly told the House of plans that are under way. Again, there is the homes for special care program which at present accommodates, if memory serves me correctly, about 4,000 individuals in Ontario. With respect to Metropolitan Toronto, because of changes in the real estate market this year, a lot of housing went out of the market. We have taken steps for interim accommodation over the winter on an emergency basis. We have called -- I believe ads have appeared already -- for proposals for 120 homes for special care beds in the Metropolitan Toronto area. We have established an assessment unit at the Queen Street Mental Health Centre. We are maintaining a housing registry at the Queen Street Mental Health Centre to assist the discharge planners in directing individuals to available housing.

With respect to more than that, the psychiatric component of the homes for special care program is under review. I am told that review is about finished, having reviewed the mental retardation part of the homes for special care program first and announced changes in that a year and a half ago. There likely will be some significant changes to that, but it is incorrect to say that we do not have any plans at all. Further plans are evolving, but we do have systems in place now.

Ms. Copps: Just to correct the record, Mr. Speaker, if I may, I wish to read into the record from page 4498 of Hansard of December 10, 1981. In answer to my question whereby I suggested that psychiatric patients have basically been thrown out into the streets with no support systems and no backup, the minister's answer is, and I quote: "What would you do? Act without any plan?"

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: With respect, if the honourable member will look at the full context, she was talking about the fact that we have Peat Marwick investigating the Queen Street Mental Health Centre. I remember very well; it happened last Thursday, December 10. She is quite right.

Ms. Copps: You did not specify it; you said, "Act without any plan?"

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I am sorry; we were talking about the review of the Queen Street Mental Health Centre and the fact that we have engaged outside, objective consultants. The member was going on, blathering about something or other, and I said to her, would she have us just make arbitrary changes without some plan. That was the context.

Mr. McClellan: Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the Minister of Health whether he recalls the memorandum from the president of the medical staff at the Queen Street Mental Health Centre, dated October 22, 1981, in which Dr. Gray describes Queen Street, as a result of the minister's cutback, as an impotent typical second-class custodial care facility in which treatment of patients will have no meaning at all.

I ask the minister why he is cutting $4 million out of the psychiatric hospitals branch budget and how long he thinks it will take before the rest of the provincial mental health centres in Ontario are in the same state of chaos and turmoil as Queen Street.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, first I refer the member to my estimates and point out to him that we have insisted our managers, the administrators, manage properly and find ways in which we can continue to provide the level of care we have in a way that is as cost-efficient as possible. I think that is acting responsibly to both the patients and to the people who are paying for the system. I remind the member that my estimates show something in the order of $250 million to be involved with the psychiatric system. We are not talking about an insignificant part of this ministry's or the government's program.

Second, with respect to the remarks about Queen Street, I remind the member again that even having placed a hiring freeze on Queen Street at the time we engaged consultants, at this time, according to my director of psychiatric hospitals, we have only eight positions frozen. There are more than 1,100 full-time equivalent positions at Queen Street. That is hardly what one would call a decimation of the staff. In fact, the total number of staff there today, I am told, is within 10 or 12 positions of what it was a year ago. That is hardly making wholesale cuts.

As the member knows, and as I have repeatedly said, we accepted some time ago that the program at that hospital was and is not what we would like to see it be. That is why we took the unprecedented step of engaging outside consultants in carrying out a thorough, objective review of the facility, including the use of external psychiatric consultants, and we intend to act on their findings once they are completed.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Labour. The minister will be aware that the Ontario Manpower Commission was meant to come up with a women's employment strategy report early in the year. I believe that has still not yet been produced. While awaiting that report, will the minister explain why, year after year, women continue to be shut out of apprenticeships in most of the skilled trades in Ontario?

Will he explain specifically why in March this year, according to the latest figures, only 21 women were apprenticed in the construction trades out of 12,391 apprentices, 49 women out of 12,380 in the motor power trades, only 13 women out of 3,100 in the industrial trades and only 91 women in the nonregulated trades? Why is it that in those four areas only half of one per cent of the registered apprentices were women? How will women ever be able to achieve equality in the work force when they keep being barred from apprenticeships in Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, there is no barring of women from apprenticeship programs. The member knows, if he has been reading the estimates material that has been coming out, that our ministry through the women's bureau has been actively involved in interesting women in pursuing skilled trades and apprenticeship training. He knows we have funded programs like INTO, introduction to nontraditional occupations, to encourage women to enter into nontraditional occupations. He knows the women's bureau worked quite actively in consultation with my colleague the Minister of Education and Colleges and Universities (Miss Stephenson), again to encourage women to enter into these nontraditional occupations.

There is no barring going on. He knows very well historical changes have to take place --

Mr. Cassidy: They are not taking place.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: What does my friend want to do? Snap his fingers and say "Change"? We are now involved in an educational process to try to change attitudes that women and employers have had, and that unions have had too, by the way. That is not a snap-of-the-fingers process. There is no barring of women from entry into those trades.

2:50 p.m.

Mr. Cassidy: Does the minister not agree that the greatest job in education that has to be done is within the government of this province, the Conservative Party of Ontario? If not, can he explain why it is that when the Ontario Status of Women Council reviewed the progress on the 10 recommendations it had made in 1980-81, it found the government had not implemented adoption of the principle of equal pay for work of equal value; had not implemented legislative affirmative action and contract compliance; had taken no new initiatives in the area of strategies to train women to enter nontraditional jobs; had not moved in terms of changing the position about dropouts for women on Canada pension plan, something that was accepted by every province except this one; had not come up with a new strategy for immigrant women; and had not implemented any new provisions with respect to maternity leave?

Why is it that so much was offered or promised and so little has been done, and when will the minister start the job of educating his own government to ensure that policies for equality for women are a reality in Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: It is easy to sit on the opposite side of the House, but if we look across Canada at what other provinces are doing and at what we are doing, I have to say that neither the provinces nor the federal government are doing anything like what we are doing in terms of encouraging women to enter the upper echelons of management in this government. It is happening. The member knows very well that each ministry has targets that are subject to annual review. He knows those changes are occurring. The status of women council thinks it might change more rapidly if it were in legislation. We happen to feel that an order in council and Management Board direction will accomplish the same thing, and it is happening.

I do not want to review the whole list of recommendations the status of women council made. The member knows the government's position on equal pay for work of equal value. Although it is a very laudable abstract concept of equity, he knows the problems with it. We spent several weeks discussing them in committee. I appeared before that committee, and he knows the government's position. There is no other government that is encouraging women into nontraditional jobs within the government like this one is; so I reject his statement once again.

Ms. Copps: Mr. Speaker, how can this minister preach to the private sector and to the federal government when, if he looks at his own government's record in the past three years, the number of women who earn less than $15,000 a year has jumped to three to one as compared with men? For every one man in the public sector earning $15,000 a year or less, there are three women, and that record is two or three times worse than the federal situation. How can he stand here and say his government is doing its job when its record has worsened over the past three years?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I do not understand this. You would think we went to standing committee to review estimates just so we could talk out the window. I realize there is value in that, but the member was there and she knows the percentage of women who have entered into middle management and upper management in the past three years has far exceeded the rates for men. She knows that. Why in the world she stands up here and tries to pretend the government is doing nothing is beyond me, unless perhaps it is for some other purpose I do not understand. I am new at this game, and I may not understand what it is all about.

Mr. Cassidy: In September, the minister said in his speech, and I quote, "It has been estimated that four to six jobs become redundant every time a word processor is installed." The minister knows perfectly well that the four to six jobs that become redundant are jobs occupied by women, secretarial jobs and that kind of thing.

Can the minister explain why it is that the government is standing idly by, not moving at all, waiting for some educational effort that it expects will take years and tolerating a situation where only 174 out of 34,000 nonservice apprenticeships in this province are given to women, while word processors are being installed in the province by the thousands, and that means tens of thousands of women's jobs are being eliminated with nothing to replace them because of the government's inaction?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Let us face the facts; I know doing that troubles the member, but I think we have to do it once in a while. He knows the Minister of Industry and Tourism had a task force on the microelectronics industry. He knows part of that contains some aspects to do with manpower, and he knows the Ontario Manpower Commission is now looking at an employment strategy for women.

Having said all that, there are changes taking place in society anyway, and I know there is a great need for women in clerical positions to accept those changes and to get involved in the skilled training that is going to be there and be needed. We all know that the majority of people entering the work force during this decade will be women. Society is adapting to that through the educational process and through the better understanding by the trade union movement of the problems. It also leads to a better understanding of the problem by industry.

We are trying to address all those issues. I know the member wishes it was done yesterday, but we are attempting to do it.


Mr. Riddell: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Agriculture and Food. With all the signs showing that the farmers' frustrations with an inert Tory government have reached the boiling point, I want to ask the minister whether he and the Treasurer have yet met with the action committee that was established to consider the recommendations made by the Ontario Federation of Agriculture task force, whether this committee has made any proposals to him and whether the minister will introduce a program that will commit at least $100 million to the agricultural industry, which is less than half the yearly interest on the Suncor investment, to fulfil the promise that the Treasurer made, which was that a program would be announced before the end of this session, which is likely to be this week.

Has he met the committee? What proposals did they make? What programs is he going to introduce?

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, I had lunch with that committee a week ago Monday, and I announced in the House that Mr. Fred Lewis, whom the honourable member knows quite well, had agreed to sit as the farm member of that committee. That committee has met on several occasions during the past week. I spoke to my deputy this morning to see whether they had a report for me. He told me there was still to be a meeting tomorrow before there would be any report to the Treasurer or myself.

Mr. Sargent: Mr. Speaker, I say to the minister, all we have been getting is talk, talk, talk. I understand he is going to appear on the centrefold of Playboy with his most vital organ covered: his mouth --

Mr. Speaker: Does the member for Grey-Bruce have a question? We are waiting.

Mr. Sargent: At a time when Quebec has about $300 million for an emergency cushion, the farmers there are prosperous; they pay 20 per cent less for hydro than we do here. Compared with the states to the south of us and every province in this Dominion, we are the Ontario island of high interest rates. How does the minister expect our farmers to compete in the same market as these farmers, when he is giving hundreds of millions of dollars to the pulp and paper industry? He gave $339 million interest free to Mr. Denison.

I am asking the minister why, in all decency, can he not come clean with the agricultural industry, the home owners and all the vital parts of our economy and have the government set up a cushion to stave off what is going to happen to this very important part of our economy?

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, I am shocked at getting that question from that member, who has contact with Ottawa through his Liberal Party, the people who are creating the high interest rates. He has a direct route to Ottawa. The Ontario government is the only government that has helped the farmers in Ontario.

Mr. Sargent: Answer the question.

Mr. Sweeney: What are you doing?

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. MacDonald: At the Ontario Federation of Agriculture convention three weeks ago, the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) said there would be a response to the OFA task force report before the session ended. Will that happen, yes or no?

Hon. Mr. Henderson: The session has not ended. We will be here several days yet.

3 p.m.


Mr. Mackenzie: I have a question for the Minister of Industry and Tourism. Would the minister bring this House up to date on his monitoring of the crucial refinancing talks involving International Harvester and the consortium of 225 banks? A large number of Canadian workers are involved including more than 1,800 in Hamilton alone.

Several deadlines have gone by in the arrangements that were supposed to have been made for the refinancing. Given this fact, is the rumour throughout the plant that December 23 is the date on which they could face receivership an accurate assessment of the situation?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Our government has not been asked to become a major player in any refinancing for International Harvester. Consequently I could not confirm that date for the member.

Mr. Mackenzie: I take it from the minister's answer he at least is monitoring the situation. What does the minister intend to do about the company moving the product engineering branch -- in effect its research and development branch -- as well as 78 employees, from Hamilton to Hinsdale, Illinois?

Would the minister also let the House know what the $100 million employment cost reduction the company has had to agree to is going to mean in terms of Canadian workers? Further, has the minister been informed of the number of management people who were cut or transferred last Friday and how many more cuts are expected in the near future?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I would be pleased to assemble all that information for the member before the end of the week and provide it to him.

Mr. Nixon: Supplementary: Has the minister been approached by representatives of the Canadian company or its American parent to assist them in their fiscal problems and particularly to meet their interest payments in the same way Massey-Ferguson approached the government about a year ago?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: No.


Mr. Robinson: I have a question for the Minister of Health. The government of Canada has announced it will come to the assistance of certain home owners who installed urea formaldehyde foam insulation. In light of this is the Ministry of Health prepared at this time to dovetail into that federal program immediately when the details are announced so that those home owners who have used the product in Ontario may have the maximum benefit afforded under the federal scheme?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: We will be pleased to make available to the federal government any and all of the information we have pulled together. I would remind the members on all sides of the House we have likely done more in this province with respect to the testing of homes where this product is installed than the rest of the provincial governments and the federal government combined.

The federal government has finally said they are going to be specific about a program to assist people with health problems associated with this product. We are in a fortunate position in that as soon as they announce the details of their program, which they tell us will be within a matter of days, they can move immediately in many homes in Ontario. They will not have to wait as they will in the rest of the country.

Mr. Robinson: Supplementary: The announcement by the federal minister, Mr. Ouellet, indicated in a preliminary way the federal program would provide some measure of relief only to those people who have suffered adverse health effects. As a standard of measurement for that, they are using an indoor level of formaldehyde gas in excess of 0.1 part per million. Will the minister continue, on behalf of this government, to pressure the government of Canada to provide relief not only for those medically affected but to those home owners whose houses have suffered structural damage as a result of faulty installation of the product?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: It has been our position that the federal government, pursuant to the report they had last spring which recommended they establish a retrofit program, should assist not only where health problems have been brought on or aggravated by the gas emitted by the product but also in those cases where structural damage has occurred.

Mr. Speaker: Final supplementary; the member for Welland-Thorold.

Mr. Bradley: How come it goes to the NDP?

Mr. Speaker: Order. A point of privilege has been raised. I will go through the procedure again. There is one main question; the person who asked the main question may have a supplementary, and then there is another supplementary. I saw the member for Welland-Thorold first.

Mr. Swart: Mr. Speaker, in addition to pressuring the federal government, which of course is very simple, will the minister recognize his government's responsibility in this débâcle -- its responsibility for health and its responsibility for the building code, admitted by the Deputy Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations, whereby the Ontario government could have prevented the use of urea formaldehyde foam in terms of its responsibility for licensing the installers?

Will the minister make a commitment here that the Ontario government will provide some assistance to these people who have urea formaldehyde foam insulation in their homes, in addition to what the federal government does?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I think it is very clear the Ontario government has already done a great deal with respect to the testing program. If the honourable member will look at the figure, there are thousands of homes that have already been tested and thousands more that will be tested by the time we have completed the list of the requests. We have already done more than any other government in the whole of the Dominion.

As part of his question, the member asked about a number of points that are not in my domain; they are the responsibility of the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Walker). With respect, I think those should be asked of him.

It seems to me the federal government's responsibility has been clear from the beginning, when the report was given to the Minister of National Health and Welfare by her expert advisory committee. They said, admittedly outside of their terms of reference, that the federal government has, if not a legal, a moral responsibility to help all of those individuals who answered the federal government's call to use the product under the Canadian home insulation program. We will continue to keep the pressure on them to accept full responsibility.


Mr. J. A. Reed: In the absence of the Minister of Energy (Mr. Welch) and the Treasurer I want to try this on the Premier, since he has expressed certain familiarity in the past few days with certain elements of Ontario Hydro mismanagement; this is another one of those questions.

I refer specifically to the $900-million heavy oil contract with Petrosar. The Premier is aware it is a take-or-pay contract. Can he tell us now what will be the total cost to Ontario consumers as the result of a miscalculation -- and that is to be very gentle at this Christmas season with Ontario Hydro -- in the expiry date of this contract in 1992, understanding that until this time it is reputed to have cost the electric power consumers of this province about $33 million unnecessarily? Can he tell me what the full cost will be?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I cannot tell the honourable member what the full cost may or may not be. I will be delighted to try to obtain for the honourable member as close an estimate as I can.

Mr. J. A. Reed: The Premier will remember that Ontario Hydro would not reveal the details of the contract to the Ontario Energy Board in 1977, making the statement that the bargaining position of the utility would be jeopardized. Now that it is 1981, and now that we know the decision was an incredibly bad one, will the Premier table the contract so we may examine it and understand its full impact?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I will be delighted to discuss this with the Minister of Energy. I seem to recall there have been some discussions between Ontario Hydro and Petrosar. I am going strictly by memory, but I think that is factually the case. I am not sure just where those discussions stand and what, if anything, has been finalized, but I will get as much information for the honourable member as I can.

3:10 p.m.

I would only hope that in his charitable frame of mind at this time of year he will recognize that by the reduction of the use of that fuel and moving to others, Ontario Hydro has still been able to maintain the most competitive rate, I think, for that source of energy anywhere in North America.

Mr. Mancini: Sit down.

Hon. Mr. Davis: To the member for Essex South, who has invited me to sit down -- he is always so polite -- just for his edification I would make it abundantly clear these prices have been made competitive. So his constituents in the great county of Essex can compete very favourably with those rates that people in Michigan are paying to Consolidated Edison and those other utilities in that great part of the United States. In fact, if he does not believe me, he can slide across the river, check the bills and he will find I am right.

Mr. Sargent: Final supplementary, Mr. Speaker. In related committed contracts, is the Premier aware that with regard to the uranium contract, the four companies have been indicted and have been described by Maclean's magazine as a Watergate-type of scandal?

Is the Premier in a position to tell the House he will renegotiate these contracts, the same as Westinghouse did in the States? We are talking about $7.5 billion, 40 years down the way, to the year 2010. Is the Premier prepared to tell the House it was a bad deal and that he will try to renegotiate that contract because these companies have been indicted for --

Mr. Speaker: Order, order. That is not a supplementary, with all respect. The member for Nickel Belt with a new question.

Mr. Sargent: On a point of privilege, we are talking about $7.5 billion of taxpayers' money and you say it is out of order. What do you think is important?

Mr. Speaker: Order, order. There is no point of privilege. The member for Nickel Belt with a new question.


Mr. Laughren: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have a question for the Minister of Natural Resources. Following his statement that earlier today he signed a forest management agreement with Abitibi-Price, why did the minister persist in signing that agreement right in the middle of his land-use planning process which he is so concerned about in northern Ontario? Does he not understand what that says to everybody in the north who is concerned about that planning process? Does he not understand it says, "We are taking this block of land out of the district. You can fight over whatever is left in terms of land use"?

This makes an entire mockery of both land-use planning and public participation. Why did the minister not wait until the land-use process had been completed at the end of 1982?

Hon. Mr. Pope: Unfortunately I do not think the honourable member understands either the process or the results of the forest management agreement that has been entered into. If he would go over to the fifth floor of the Whitney Block he can go into the theatre and see the exclusions and the cutting practices starting to be used in certain areas with respect to moose habitat.

Mr. Kerrio: The minister is planting trees in the Whitney Block but not in the north.

Hon. Mr. Pope: I know the member does not listen but I am trying to tell him if he would like to learn about the north -- and his party has never gone up to look at the forest management agreement during the public hearings, he has never commented in two years on the FMA agreement and now he is --

Mr. Speaker: Order. The question was asked by the member for Nickel Belt.

Hon. Mr. Pope: If the member is now interested and he would like to get involved --

Mr. Speaker: Order, order.

Hon. Mr. Pope: If the member now wants to get involved to run as a leader or candidate, come on over, we would be glad to talk.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. J. A. Reed: A point of privilege, Mr. Speaker. The minister made the statement that not one of the members on this side has been in the north recently. I want the minister to know that I have just finished a tour of the north and witnessed the mismanagement of this government.

Mr. Laughren: Mr. Speaker, despite the fact the minister managed to avoid my question, I would ask a supplementary of him. Since he seems to think he can smear the opposition who disagree with him perhaps he could comment on the following statement by one of his own regional directors. I quote:

"I am extremely concerned with the direction the forest management agreement program is taking across this region. I am concerned by the apparent almost total disregard by main office for us for proper integrated resource management. I am extremely concerned that the headlong rush to sign the forest management agreement will create conflicts which will jeopardize the past 10 years of land-use planning and will take the credibility of the Ministry of Natural Resources in many of our public eyes to new lows."

Perhaps the minister could comment on that feeling within his own ministry which not only is bringing his ministry to a new low out there in the public but also within his own staff within the Ministry of Natural Resources?

Hon. Mr. Pope: Well, Mr. Speaker --

Mr. Smith: Send him for a ride in your jet.

Hon. Mr. Pope: Pardon?

Mr. Speaker: Never mind the interjections.

Hon. Mr. Pope: Has the member at any time in the last four years commented about the management? What does he know about it?

Did the member go up to Thunder Bay --

Mr. Speaker: Order, order. Never mind the interjections. Answer the question of the member for Nickel Belt.

Hon. Mr. Pope: Mr. Speaker, since I became minister this is the first forest management agreement that has been signed, so I hardly think I am rushing headlong into signing FMAs. Since I became minister we have gone into a public open house system in northwestern Ontario, in Dorion and Thunder Bay.

Mr. Laughren: That is a joke.

Hon. Mr. Pope: What does the member mean it is a joke. Did he go there? The member for Port Arthur went there, but did that member go there? The member for Port Arthur was there. Why does the member not ask him because he does not know what he said when he was there. He does not know. He would rather yell. Why does he not ask him. He would not understand anyway.

The fact is this forest management agreement takes into account every competing resource used in that area. Why does not the member go over, look at the map and see it. Why does he not get from his colleague from Nipigon (Mr. Stokes) the cutting practices, the description of the exclusions and then make his comments before he comes up with those ridiculous points of view he is trying to make.

Mr. Renwick: Sit down.

Hon. Mr. Pope: What does the member mean, "Sit down"? Does he not want to hear the answer? Okay.

Mr. Kerrio: The minister is being very provocative.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Sweeney: Mr. Speaker, the minister is aware that two different public bodies have suggested that in any such agreement the cutting pattern be done in a checkerboard pattern, roughly in 300 acre squares, so that regeneration and reforestation would have a better chance of being successful. Has he introduced anything like this into the agreement?

Hon. Mr. Pope: I welcome the honourable member's interest in this matter. Again, if he looks at the overlays that are provided over on the fifth floor he will see a series of exclusions that relate to the buffer zones for sensitive areas for fish and wildlife, buffer zones for cottage lakes, for candidate parks, both of the wilderness type and the waterway park type, for canoe routes, for potential mineral development areas, for nesting sites and for moose yards, as they are called, or moose habitat areas.

Mr. Smith: He didn't ask about checkerboards, he is asking about clear-cutting.

Hon. Mr. Pope: Do the members want to hear the answer or not? I know that member is not interested in it, but the other honourable member is. Would they mind if I gave it to him?

Mr. Stokes: The question was about clear- cutting.

Mr. Smith: Clear-cutting versus checker- boarding.

Mr. Speaker: Never mind the interjections.

Hon. Mr. Pope: The honourable member has been kind enough to express some interest in this and the specific agreement, which that member has never done. I am trying to help him. If the member would look at the moose habitat areas he will see there is, indeed, a checkerboard or alternate cut and uncut area to be provided. So, yes, we have adapted some of those policies to the forest management agreement, but he will have to look at the different exclusions to note the different cutting practices that will be used in each of the exclusion areas.


Mr. Cureatz: Mr. Speaker, in the absence of the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow), I would like to ask a question of the Minister of Industry and Tourism. As the minister is well aware, the federal government is proposing to close the Via Rail passenger line from Havelock to Toronto in the upcoming year. I want to remind him that rail service serves many communities including many members in this House. They are myself, the member Durham West (Mr. Ashe), the member for Scarborough North (Mr. Wells), the member for Peterborough (Mr. Turner), the member for Hastings-Peterborough (Mr. Pollock), the member for Northumberland (Mr. Sheppard), and the member for Victoria-Haliburton (Mr. Eakins), on the other side of the House.

There has been great concern about the termination of this rail passenger line. First, would the minister please stress in his cabinet caucus the possibility of the Ontario government taking over that service?

3:20 p.m.

Second, would the minister -- this is a Mel Swart special -- please take this replica of the small train so he can keep in mind those people who will be losing that service in the event the Ontario government does not follow through and take over the service of the line?

Mr. Breaugh: Careful now, Sam, careful.

Mr. Cureatz: Third, the member for Oshawa (Mr. Breaugh) and myself would like to know when the Go train is coming to Oshawa.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, I will indeed consider the honourable member's remarks. Certainly, I will be considering bringing my efforts to bear on my colleagues and supporting what he has said as I watch the honourable members vote on the Toronto Islands bill which will follow question period.

It may also be influenced by the fact this toy train, which could perhaps be a ring for my colleague with hands that size, was made in Great Britain and I will supply his constituents with Canadian-made locomotives.

All of my colleagues -- the member for Victoria-Haliburton (Mr. Eakins) has not found my office address yet -- have brought to my attention, as they have to the attention of my colleagues in the resource policy field which has been looking at this matter over the past several weeks, the terrible havoc being caused by this decision by the federal government. It was arrived at without any prior notification or discussion and will cause some hardship for the great people living east of the city of Toronto.

My colleague the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow), sensitive as always to those concerns, has not only been dealing with the federal government on this matter but has been looking at several options which he must study carefully in view of the cost and other implications of the government taking it over.

I want to assure the honourable member his views are being carefully considered by my colleague and he hopes to be in a position to respond in the next short period of time while he continues to bring severe pressure on those naughty folks in Ottawa who did this to us.

Mr. Speaker: The time for Oral Questions has expired.


Mr. Speaker: I am sorry. However, I can advise all honourable members on the usually good authority of the member for Peterborough that I am told there was, indeed, a meeting in the minister's office this morning to discuss this very matter.

Mr. Eakins: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: the minister has indicated I have not found his office. If he was as accessible as the Minister of the Environment (Mr. Norton) and if he knew how concerned I am for the people in my riding, he would know about this.

Since transportation is also a provincial responsibility, I want to ask the minister to take into consideration that there are many people living on provincial highways in Ontario north of Toronto who have absolutely no transportation whatsoever.



Mr. Eves from the standing committee on regulations and other statutory instruments presented the committee's second report, 1981.


Mr. Breithaupt from the select committee on company law presented the committee's fifth report.

Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present the fifth report of the select committee on company law, which deals with the subject of accident and sickness insurance in Ontario. Members will be pleased to know this completes our review of the insurance industry in Ontario. Since 1965, the select committee has presented reports on the Corporations Act, credit unions, co-operatives, mergers and amalgamations, and loan and trust companies. The committee was reformed in 1976 under the chairmanship of Mr. Vernon M. Singer, QC, the former MPP for Wilson Heights --

Mr. Nixon: Did you say "reformed"?

Mr. Breithaupt: Yes, and I served in that year as vice-chairman. The committee began its review of the insurance industry with a study of automobile insurance. In 1977, I became chairman of the committee and have had the privilege of presenting the second, third and fourth reports to the Legislature. Those reports have dealt with further automobile insurance concerns, with other aspects of general insurance and with life insurance. I am pleased to know the government has accepted nearly all the recommendations of the first four reports, and that the insurance law of Ontario has substantially changed because of our work.

In the fifth report, on accident and sickness insurance coverage, we make 76 recommendations. They are generally in the areas of financial protection against the costs of medical and dental care, considerations regarding a comprehensive disability income protection system, rehabilitation, and the duration and termination of disability income protection, safety and prevention, and the confidentiality of health information. There was one particular area of interest I would like to bring to the attention of the Legislature.

The committee was particularly concerned with the provision under Ontario health insurance plan coverage of artificial limbs, braces, wheelchairs and other devices. Our view is unanimous that OHIP should provide those services now. On the special flagpole in front of this building flies a flag for the International Year of Disabled Persons. Before that flag is hauled down within two weeks as that year ends, we would especially ask the government to accept this recommendation and announce its commitment in this area before December 31.

I must thank at this time two special persons, Mrs. Fran Nokes, who has been the clerk of our committee since 1965. Her fine ability and good spirits have been a real advantage to me, especially as chairman for the past four years. Mrs. Frances Davidson has been the secretary of our committee and again has done an exceptional job in proofreading and preparing the completed report. Her skills have been greatly challenged, and she has done a superb job for us.

Finally, also along with those two ladies in the gallery, I would recognize in the gallery Mr. Paul Boddy, CA. Mr. Boddy is a partner in the firm of Woods Gordon and has been our senior consultant through our five years of study of the insurance industry in Ontario. His expertise and guidance have been of great value to us. I also thank the members who have served on the committee over the past five years. They have all worked hard to bring to this House the best reports and recommendations we could prepare.

Mr. Martel: It's 15 years.

Mr. Breithaupt: I have only been involved for five, as far as the member for Sudbury East is concerned. We have been unanimous in our recommendations, except on a couple of occasions. The acceptance by the government of our recommendations has shown to me the commitment the members of the committee have made to the task we were given by the Legislature in our terms of reference. I might advise that copies of our report have been placed in the mail boxes of the members of the Legislature, and further copies will be available to interested members of the press gallery through our clerk, Mrs. Nokes, and are available in room 110.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Before you adjourn the debate on that, Mr. Speaker, as the minister who was aided greatly in most of the reforms in general insurance, I really wish to compliment the committee on the work it did. Here is a committee that over the course of its deliberations in the general insurance field, particularly auto, has made Ontario now the continental leader in that regard.


Hon. Mr. Drea: Every one of those was adopted. Ontario is the continental leader in automobile insurance and it was the work of that committee. The state-owned automobile insurance companies are still deadbeats.


Mr. Speaker: Order.


Mr. Mancini: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: You may be aware that last night the estimates of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications were allowed to begin. You may not be aware of that. I am informing you the estimates did begin yesterday evening at eight o'clock.

3:30 p.m.

It was brought to our attention by the chairman of the committee that our time was to be drastically cut because it was found to be next to impossible to arrange for adequate space and time for the statutory instruments committee to sit. It was discussed further last night that the committee would try to sit this evening. It has now been brought to my attention by the government House leader and by the House leader of the NDP that we are not going to be able to sit because the NDP cannot find enough bodies. Mr. Speaker, do you think that is fair?

Mr. Speaker: Order. With all respect, it is nothing that I can do anything about. That is not a point of privilege.

Mr. Mancini: Mr. Speaker --

Mr. Speaker: No, I do not want to debate it.

Mr. Martel: Tell him to read the rules just once in his life.

Mr. Mancini: Why is it possible for you to disrupt the whole system?

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Mancini: Why do we have to cater to him all the time?

Mr. Speaker: Order.


Mr. Mancini: It is very objectionable, Mr. Speaker, that --

Mr. Speaker: You are out of order. I ask the member for Essex South to resume his seat.

Mr. Mancini: I think it's time the government House leader --

Mr. Martel: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker --

Mr. Speaker: There is no point of order.

Mr. Kerrio: You just told him he was out of order. You cannot have it both ways.


Mr. Speaker: He was out of order. There is nothing out of order. Will the member for Niagara Falls please just calm down.

Mr. Kerrio: You can't chastise our member without --

Mr. Martel: On a point of order --

Mr. Speaker: I will listen to it.

Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, the member for Essex South has made the accusation that just because I do not want to sit this evening that is why I have --

Mr. Speaker: That is not a point of order. No. You are out of order. Will the member for Essex South please refrain?.



Mr. Newman moved, seconded by Mr. Wrye, first reading of Bill 200, An Act to amend the Municipal Elections Act.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Newman: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this bill is to limit election expenditures during municipal election campaigns, to require candidates to file audited statements of receipts and expenses and to require disclosure of election contributions exceeding $100.

A mechanism is provided for evaluating contributions made in the form of goods and services. The maximum penalty for exceeding permitted expenditure levels is pegged to the amount by which the permitted levels have been exceeded. A candidate who has been elected may forfeit his seat if he fails to file the required statements and the candidate who has not been elected may not, in case of a failure to file, run in elections up to and including the next regular election. All excess funds raised are to be devoted to charity.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, before the orders of the day --

Mr. Ruston: They're holding something over your head. What is it? Blackmail or something?

Mr. Speaker: Would the member for Essex North please refrain. Mr. Wells has the floor.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I do not know what the member for Essex North is talking about. Perhaps he has made a statement he would like to withdraw, although I am not going to press him for it. Certainly nobody is blackmailing me with anything in this House. My friend knows the object of this House is to work in a manner that is compatible and agreeable to all.

If committees are going to have extra sittings it is usually done with the agreement of the three House leaders. At the present time, we do not have that agreement for the committee that is reviewing the estimates of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications. I hope we will have it at some point, but if my friend was really interested in the workings of this House he would not be yelling out like he did, he would be working around trying to get things settled.

Mr. Ruston: Mr. Speaker, when the critic for the New Democratic Party agrees to sit tonight to deal with the estimates, what is the matter with that?

Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, on this point, if the member were sincere about what he wanted to do, he and his critic would have looked at what was going on in the House. There are supplementary estimates tonight that members are on who are also supposed to be in committee. It is quite impossible to be in two places at one time.

When committees go fooling around and making changes without checking what is on the Order Paper, then there is no possibility of ordering the business of the House in an orderly fashion and getting through what we all want to get done.


Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I wish to table the answers to the following questions standing on the Notice Paper: 192 to 220, and 276. (See Hansard for Friday, December 18).



Hon. Mr. Wells moved second reading of Bill 191, An Act to amend the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto Act.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I do not have a long statement on second reading. I fully explained the bill when I introduced it last week, and members have had a chance to study the bill and we will now have a chance to debate it.

I would like to say that in the interval since the bill was introduced into this House on December 9, it has been studied by the solicitor and the council of the city of Toronto and they have had a chance to comment on it. We have received the city's comments from a meeting held this morning. The Toronto Island Residents Association has had a chance to review the bill, and we likewise have a brief from that organization.

Our legal staff is studying the various requests that have been made by both the city and the islanders, and they have submitted some suggestions for rewording and some amendments to the bill. I would be prepared to see the bill go into committee of the whole House and I would like to move a few amendments.

We received the briefs only this morning and it is too early for me to tell the honourable members exactly what the amendments will be and in exactly what form they will be put forward, but I will get them drafted as quickly as I can and hope to have them in the hands of both other parties by tomorrow. Perhaps we can consider the bill tomorrow afternoon or on Thursday.

Perhaps in my summing up, when I have had a chance to study the amendments a little more and listen to some comments from various members of the House on the sections of the bill, I can give a little more indication of what we would be agreeable to and what we would not be agreeable to.

I might say in the beginning one thing we will not be agreeable to -- and I said this yesterday in answer to a question in this House -- is a request from the city of Toronto that the province contribute 50 per cent of the costs incurred on future sewer construction. I regret to inform the members we cannot accept that. If there are any normal grants that would accrue to the city because of the sewer construction work, those would be paid, but there will be no special grants.

3:40 p.m.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order: Would it be possible for the minister to provide the critics with copies of those two submissions he has had from the islanders and the city of Toronto?

Mr. Ruprecht: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order: If I understand the minister correctly, will this bill be brought forward again tomorrow so members can speak on it? I was not quite sure what the honourable member was saying.

Hon. Mr. Wells: I was saying the bill will be going to committee of the whole House. There will be some amendments, so there will be ample opportunity to speak on all the individual sections. I will supply the member with a copy of the amendments we are proposing to put forward. I will probably supply him with those amendments by tomorrow morning.

Mr. Ruprecht: Mr. Speaker, I would like to tell this House the Liberal Party supports Bill 191 in principle because we think this is an important piece of legislation. We want to make clear to everyone that we have been supporting maintaining the homes on the island right from the beginning.

As the members know, the Swadron report has been discussed in much detail. What should be noted, however, is that the Swadron report is an independent report that is supposedly not biased. Some newspaper reports indicate the Swadron report is really a report that supports totally and wholeheartedly maintaining homes on the islands and that Mr. Swadron is really a lawyer for the islanders. We maintain this is total nonsense. This report, as we indicate here, is independent and it serves us well.

The principle we have believed in from the beginning is that community living should be supported wherever it occurs. The future of the city means we should support enclaves of community life wherever possible. That is what we should have done right from the beginning. The basic philosophy of our city should be that we want to establish small communities wherever we can.

That brings me to the cost. There have been some reports that maintaining these homes on the island will cost up to $12 million. Some sources say $6 million and some say $12 million. As Mr. Swadron indicates, this is a falsehood. According to one newspaper report, he says the cost will be $2.8 million and those people who are saying the total cost will be $6 million to $12 million are blowing the whole cost structure out of proportion. We would indicate that the cost is close to $3 million and not twice or thrice that much.

The other reason we support this bill is because we believe not only that community life should be preserved there, but that the meaning of the islanders living there would also indicate that the security of that place, of those surrounding parks, will be enhanced at no cost to the taxpayer. I think that is one of the things that was brought home recently when a life was saved.

I say to the member for Niagara Falls (Mr. Kerrio), a life was saved on the island. Was it saved by a policeman? Definitely not. It was saved by one of the people living on the island. That is also one of the reasons why we should have the islanders living there.

If people fall into the water and there is no one around or they get into some kind of trouble, it will be much too late to wait for the police or an ambulance or to wait for other people to arrive to help them out. What we are saying basically is the islanders not only deserve to stay, but are performing a useful function on the island.

It is interesting to note that there are people on Metro council who have in the past supported the expansion of an Island Airport. That has been a very hot issue. There are also some people on city council who have supported that. We find there is a correlation between the people who are expanding the Island Airport and the people who want to get the islanders off the islands. The reason there is a correlation is that if they get the islanders off the islands, there is no reason why the airport should not be expanded. That is an important point to consider.

Let me finally indicate that at last the islanders will be treated equally. The red herring my honourable friend is referring to, which has been hanging over the heads of the islanders, was the threat of being moved out, the threat of physical force to move the islanders out. Those of us who were on the islands in those days and supported the islanders know full well what that means. Some sheriff on a 10-hour notice could come over there, lock the houses up and throw the islanders off. Under those conditions, how can anyone expect these homes to be in tip-top, 100 per cent shape? The islanders could not get a permit to fix those homes up or do anything to them.

I hope everyone will support this bill. The reason is very simple, now we have equal treatment for those people who are on the islands. That is why it is important. Now the islanders are able to make repairs and bring those homes up to par. I am sure we will find tomorrow, when the amendments are being made, there will be other and perhaps more important reasons why we support this bill. But at this particular juncture, I would indicate that our party unquestionably and unequivocably supports Bill 191 in principle.

Mr. Ruston: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: I would like to withdraw an interjection. I do not know if it went on the record. It concerned blackmail with regard to the government House leader. I do not want to impute motives. I am not going to be like the Attorney General (Mr. McMurty) and say it outside where I do not have to withdraw it.

Mr. Kerrio: Now if you will take the money back.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Cousens): Order.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Did that get on the record? I hope it did.

It is a pleasure to stand and support Bill 191 in principle on second reading. I am feeling very much in a Christmas mood today. Unlike my comments of a few days ago, I --

Mr. Kerrio: You have to move down a couple of places.

The Acting Speaker: Order.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Something is going on with the member for Niagara Falls today. I think he has been drinking too much of the water from that area.

Mr. Kerrio: I wouldn't be joking and laughing if I had.

The Acting Speaker: He is very difficult to control today.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: I have noticed that.

It is a pleasure to rise in support of this bill, which finally acknowledges the presence and the ability of the community of islanders to remain, not just for individuals on the islands to remain, until they are to move.

I made some comments on the morning of the introduction of this bill. I have no idea how I managed it, but I somehow doubted that the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs (Mr. Wells) would be able to pull this off. I said to the press I was convinced somewhere in this bill we would find an attrition clause. Somewhere there would be some mention that the individuals could stay but the community could not. I must withdraw those comments totally and apologize to the minister. In the battle between him and Paul Godfrey, I never imagined the minister would have come through as absolutely as he did on this bill.

3:50 p.m.

It has been a long battle to get Bill 191, a battle in which I have not been involved since the beginning. I am glad to see that it has come to an end, even though some members of certain jurisdictions have yet to recognize the fact that the battle has come to an end. They are still sending out ads and making phone calls, believing they should continue the fight. The victory is not primarily won for any of us in the Legislature, even those who have been fighting it for many years, as have the member for St. Andrew-St. Patrick (Mr. Grossman), the member for Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy) and others. It is primarily a victory for the islanders.

If we look back over the years and see the kind of pressure they were under, the kind of incredible intimidation they were under at various times, it is amazing that a community could hold together so strongly against all the pressures to disband and to throw up their hands and give up, and still continue. I think they are the ones who have won this victory.

It is a great symbol, I hope, for community groups across the province who believe they have a case and believe they should stand and fight for it. Even though they have been to the Supreme Court and lost, even though they have been unable to take equipment over to repair their houses for the last number of years, even though they have been subjected to the kind of unfortunate attack that Metro council is undertaking at the moment and on many occasions in the past, they continued to persevere.

They actually had a confrontation; members will remember that amazing photograph in the Toronto Star when the sheriff actually came to the islands and was confronted en masse by the islanders. It has been an incredible experience for all of them.

They have been through situations of brinkmanship which would have added to their stress factors; most normal people would have crumbled under this. But consider that, time and time again as we have come to deal with this issue at the provincial level it has always been at the eleventh hour that finally some bill extending their stay for another six months or other has come through. The battle has been won at the last minute, and they have got a reprieve.

Even this bill, coming as it does -- and I understand it is not for reasons of not wishing it to have come in earlier -- in terms of the continuing negotiations that the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs had with Metro Toronto, even this time it came in very much at the end. People like myself were very nervous about whether we would be in a position to try to amend something very seriously in the last few days of a session like this. I am very pleased we will not be in the position of having that kind of a major battle here.

I would just like to, if I might, praise those islanders as an example to citizens around the province and as an example to members of the Legislature, of what people can do when they want to get together.

Just to speak a little bit on my role in all of this, since I have been Metro spokesman for our party, I fought this battle with the islanders and others at the city of Toronto council as well as members of both sides of this House. I am pleased I was able to play some role in it.

If I was to look at where I was most effective, I think it might have been that I, besides the minister, was probably one of the first people to read the Swadron report and to understand how significant its contents would be, and then decide that it was probably a good idea for people in the province to be able to read at least the recommendations of that report. I hope I could take some credit, without being immodest, for the early release of that particular document and for the Tory government to have to put itself on record during an election as to what it was going to do in the long run for the islanders.

As I say, the islanders are not politicians, like myself, who have played the role here. There is one other individual, Barry Swadron, who I think deserves some praise for a brilliantly documented report. I remember flying back with him from Thunder Bay two months afterwards and discussing the report on which I was praising him. All he really wanted to know was how I managed to get hold of a copy of it. I was unwilling even to admit, of course, that I had and I do not say today.

It was not only the most comprehensive piece of work I have seen on this kind of issue, but it was very thoughtfully done. It was not pointing fingers of blame at either Metro or the city of Toronto and others who have developed very hardened positions over the years. Rather, it tried to put the whole question into a matter of various kinds of principles that needed to be asserted.

I was very pleased that most of those principles seem to have found their way into this act we have before us. The notion that it is not just individuals who are to remain but that the community remains, I think was a vital principle with which I know the minister had difficulty prior to the Swadron report. The notion that for this period of 25 years the ownership or the overseeing of the island community should revert to the city of Toronto was an important principle he accepted.

The principle that there should be no profiteering by the individuals who live there, who in some cases might be seen to have had some advantages in terms of the cost of their housing or of taxation for the last number of years, was important as well. There are many others in the 34 recommendations Mr. Swadron came through with.

I do have some difficulties with this bill. One is the notion of the cost to the city and to the potential tenants of the recommendations that were brought forward. I presume that although the minister is not willing to move on the recommendation from the city of Toronto as he outlined it at the beginning of the statement today, he will not be indisposed, as he has said, to have the regular kind of financing for sewage, et cetera, continue so the city will not be hamstrung in trying to provide the necessary services which Mr. Swadron indicated were vital to maintain that community.

The notion of market value for these homes causes me some concern. I am not sure if the references in the paper today to the minister's assessment of what some of those costs might be per month are accurate, but if they are my concern is this: At the moment we have a fairly broad community there in terms of economic means, with some people who are quite well off and many others who are not. There is quite a range of ages as well.

I worry that if we have the community assessed at some rate at this stage which will place it at a high market value, we may actually move to what none of us particularly wants to see, an upper-middle-class neighbourhood developing on the islands which does not reflect the kind of mix we have now. I have some concern that might be the end result of too high a market value being placed on these homes. I would be interested to hear the minister's expectations as to what these costs might be.

The notion of the cost of the back taxes is one which is slightly more technical in terms of the liability of individuals who have been there for only a year or so but where the taxes have not been paid for longer than that.

These are small matters given the fight we have been involved in, which is the need for that community to stay. These are fights I think the islanders and the city of Toronto are quite capable of taking on in trying to gain justice through the act and through the arbitration process that has been set up by the minister. Therefore, I am not saying we would vote against this bill in any way because of this notion.

If we had been drafting the bill we would probably have placed a greater emphasis on the co-operative side of housing on the island and maybe tried to use that as a means of guaranteeing the social mix that is important to us in maintaining the same style of community we have at the moment. I have just received a copy of the islanders' recommendations. I notice they have the notion of co-operatives as one of their recommendations for additions to the bill. I would be interested to know later on the minister's feelings about that.

The other thing I think it is important to include is that the community must not decrease in size. Reading the bill, I have some concern there is not sufficient protection to guarantee the number of homes will not decline. I would like to see the possibility of having a slight addition to the number of homes to spread some of the costs. There is potential for infill in the present residential areas which would not inhibit the notion of a park by any means because it would just be, for instance, one lot between two houses which is not occupied.

In keeping this a viable community for the next 25 years, and hopefully for the next 50, 75 and 100 years, the community must maintain a certain size. If it decreases beyond the size it is now, I suggest the pressures on that community against it being able to survive will increase.

4 p.m.

This is one of the few times I have risen on a bill to be so unqualified in my support for government action. I hope and promise today that although I fought in the past for this bill and will be glad to continue through committee to try to make it as good as possible, I do not intend to be here in 2005 to take on the battle again. I hope somebody else besides ourselves will be in that battle then.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, may I say to the previous speaker, the member for Scarborough West, that I share his sense of relief that we will not be here in 2005 to fight the battle again, although I intend to leave the problem in my will to my children as my father, indeed, left it to me.

Mr. McClellan: Does the minister know something that we do not know?

Mr. Cassidy: What makes the minister think his children will be here one day?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: It is the family business. It carries on from generation to generation. It is like tickets to the Maple Leaf Gardens; you will them to your family.


Hon. Mr. Grossman: We try our best. This is an important moment for me; will the members let me finish? Let me put that in perspective. I trust the voters in my riding will deem the Grossman family has served them well over many decades and will continue the tradition, if my daughter or sons decide they wish to continue that tradition.

It is with some satisfaction and pride that I rise on second reading of this bill. The day this bill was introduced in the House was the culmination of many years of fighting on behalf of a community on the Toronto Islands. I say that not only as the member for the riding but also as someone who has come to know and work with the residents of the community and as someone who resides in the city of Toronto. I say that, dealing with the latter point, with some depth of feeling, because I believe the maintenance of communities in this great city is one of the things that has helped build the community to the kind of diversified, sane, safe, great city that it is.

Just in my riding, one can walk through every place from Forest Hill on the north to the Kensington neighbourhood in the middle of the riding, as it were, and on to a totally different community in the Toronto Islands and experience three totally different experiences. I could extend that to other neighbourhoods in my riding, such as the great republic of Rathnelly and the Casa Loma area; each one of them has its unique characteristics, and it is important for politicians at all levels to do what they can to try to maintain a community wherever found and however unique. Indeed, their very uniqueness argues in favour of their maintenance.

I know that over the years there have been very hard feelings built up on all sides of this issue. Some of the arguments on various sides of the issue have gone far beyond the moderate levels that arguments should go, both in terms of the volume and in terms of interpretation of facts, shall we say. I have always believed that if we could find a forum in which these issues could be discussed in an objective and impartial fashion, that tribunal or that hearing would ultimately rule in favour of a residential community on the Toronto Islands.

That was done last year when this government decided to appoint Barry Swadron to head what came to be known as the Swadron commission. That commission investigated, on an impartial and objective basis, I believe, all of the merits, all of the history and all of the variables relating to the Toronto Islands community.

I regret that some people chose not to participate in that process. I think it would have been better for everyone involved had Metro council participated in that process. None the less, I am satisfied there was a complete and full airing of the issues at that hearing. Mr. Swadron worked very long and hard on that report, took many more days, I believe, than he anticipated, ended up with a more lengthy report than he anticipated, but had the opportunity to think things over, to get and to enumerate all the facts and to reach some objective and impartial conclusions based upon a long new look at the situation.

I was gratified by the outcome of that report because, as I say, it did validate what I believed would occur; that is, that anyone looking at that issue on an impartial basis would decide that the maintenance of a community on the Toronto Islands was important to the city of Toronto and to Metropolitan Toronto as well as to, obviously, the residents of the community. We can debate the costs and the interpretation of costs in very many ways. However, I do not think second reading, the discussion in principle on this bill, will add very much new material to the very differing views on the real cost of maintaining that community.

I, for one, believe there would be very great social costs if the community were removed, not only for those who would lose their homes and would have to relocate but also for those of us who live in the city of Toronto who want to use the Toronto Islands and want to enjoy a variety of experiences on the Toronto Islands, including the very great experience of walking through the residential community area, to step into homes and talk with the people there, who bring a certain joie de vivre one does not find in very many other places. It is a unique experience and, as I said earlier, the maintenance of unique neighbourhoods has always been a hallmark of the Metropolitan Toronto community. I hope that tradition is maintained and continued in every borough in every part of this great municipality.

I hope that after all these years of hard feelings, of strong feelings on all sides of the case, all parties involved will now begin to get together constructively and make sure that hard feelings are set aside, that the community is now made to work and allowed to work and given the freedom to reach maturity and full development. I do not say that in terms of new development but in terms of upgrading the homes, allowing the residents to live in adequate accommodation, complying with the housing standards and bylaws and, in fact, paying their way.

I think very many Metropolitan Toronto residents have been of the opinion, and I think unfairly, that there was somehow a free ride involved, that Toronto Islands residents were not willing to pay their way, not willing to pay increased rents. Of course, without going through all the history of that, I would say, with all due respect to those who maintain that position, it is somewhat inaccurate.

In any case, we find ourselves in a position today where at least our level of government can say we believe in neighbourhoods, we believe in the maintenance of neighbourhoods, we believe in this particular community and we believe a certain mechanism should be put in place to ensure that, for the next 25 years at least, this important asset to Metropolitan Toronto is maintained and kept in place. The tradition of fighting for the community on the Toronto Islands has gone on, certainly on this side of the House and on other sides of the House, for many years.

There have been a lot of champions of the cause, and I like to believe the reasons for that go far beyond the sheer politics of the issue. The politics of the issue vary, depending upon where one lives, where one comes from and one's view of what motivates the voters of this city. I happen to believe that, politically, morally, socially and on every other count, the maintenance of the Toronto Islands community is important.

The representation of the Toronto Islanders case has gone through many generations of islands' residents. Indeed, my father, as alderman for ward four in the early 1950s, was there for part of it and continued his interest in the maintenance of the Toronto Islands community after he became the member for the St. Andrew-St. Patrick riding, also representing the Toronto Islands in this assembly. My colleague the member for Wilson Heights (Mr. Rotenberg) continued that tradition when he succeeded my father as alderman for ward four, representing the Toronto Islands.

4:10 p.m.

Indeed, I would say if it had not been for the presence of then Alderman Rotenberg in 1968, there was a very real possibility that some forces would have succeeded in having the Toronto Island community decimated. Subsequently, the member for Wilson Heights has argued that case in this forum, articulately and well as always.

Other members on all sides of this House have joined me and my colleague and several people who are not members of this assembly, who are on Toronto city council and in other places, in arguing, and I think fairly articulately, moderately and well, the case for maintenance of that community.

For those who believe that the motivating factor here is politics, I point out that my colleague the member for Wilson Heights no longer represents that area. He has no particular vested interest in ensuring that the Toronto Island community stays. He simply believes, as did the member for Scarborough West, that the maintenance of that community happens to be important to life in this municipality.

For my part, as the islanders know, and I see some of them in the gallery today, I have in three elections not succeeded in winning the Toronto Island residents' vote.

Mr. Cassidy: Every time. Three times in a row.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: The NDP did not even come second last time. Oh no, they came first. Did they come first there the last time, in 1981?

Mr. Cassidy: We should have if we didn't.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I do not think so. In any case, I know I did not win the polls on the islands --

Mr. Cassidy: What's he got that you haven't got?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: My colleague? Yes, my colleague used to win them all the time, but I, like my federal colleague, Mr. Crombie, cannot seem to win the vote on the Toronto Islands. I have resigned myself to the fact that however long I am there, and certainly for the next 25 years that the Island residents are there, I am not likely to win the majority of votes on the Toronto Islands.

I have consistently lost them by at least 20 votes, and for those who think that it is important for me politically to make sure that people who vote for me are kept there, let me say that if the island community were removed tomorrow morning, or had it been removed before the last election, I would have won by 20 or 25 more votes. I think that is probably going to hold true by the next election.

None the less, I intend to be here for the next election, the Toronto Island residents will certainly be there at the next election, and I suspect I still will not win those votes. But I want to encourage the residents to consider that carefully; they need not feel obliged to continue to vote against me at that time.

I am reminded that my colleague the former alderman for ward five, now the member for St. George (Ms. Fish), is also one of those who on city council and for many years has championed the cause of the Toronto Islands, and I should not neglect to thank her for her role in the history.

Mr. Cassidy: It's almost the only progressive thing she has done.

Mr. McClellan: What if St. Andrew-St. Patrick and St. George disappeared?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: That is really ridiculous for the member to say.

Mr. McClellan: What if both of your ridings disappeared?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: We listened; the member is not that particular.

May I say that politics are not the motivating factor, quite obviously. I believe in that community. I believe in that community notwithstanding the fact that I lose votes in those two polls in my riding. None the less, I think it is important that politicians honour their commitments to stand up for what they believe in, even when it costs them votes.

Let us make no mistake about it: it costs me votes to have the island residents there. None the less, I happen to believe that they ought to be there. They ought to be there for at least the next 25 years, and I wanted to take this opportunity on second reading to address that very point, in that I think that it is unfair to the island residents and those who believe in the importance of the maintenance of a community on the Toronto Islands to ascribe my motives to ones regarding politics.

The politics do not speak to my continuing to fight for the Toronto Islands. The politics are, in fact, the reverse. The reality is, though, that as one member of one assembly who happens to believe in that cause, who has enjoyed many days and nights on the Toronto Islands with my wife and children, I happen to think maintaining that community is important, important even though it hurts me politically in terms of votes. Therefore, I am prepared to stand here, as I have been prepared for very many years, beginning with my private member's bill introduced shortly after I was elected in 1975, to argue the case in this assembly for the maintenance of that community.

It is a day for me to feel some pride and satisfaction at the fact that this bill is before us. I urge members to support it so that it is passed and this long, long history of dispute and antagonism is finally ended; so we can say, at least for the next 25 years, acrimony is behind us and the maintenance of a community has been established, this assembly having voted overwhelmingly in favour of those values that have maintained this city, this municipality, Metropolitan Toronto, as a great place to live.

Finally, it would be negligent of me not to acknowledge the role played by my colleague the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs (Mr. Wells) in handling this matter over the past year or so. He has met with hundreds of people and shown great determination and patience in trying to bring together varying views on this matter. He came up with the suggestion that the Swadron commission should proceed and very vigilantly watched over the results of that, interpreting the results and trying time and again to bring all the parties together to a more peaceful accommodation at this time.

The fact that various parties were not able to reach an accommodation should not be taken to mean my colleague did not do a masterful job of working on the situation and in trying to bring people together after all these years. His determination to see that community values were maintained and that the community remain in place for the next 25 years is the major reason why I believe all people involved in the island situation, at least those in favour of maintaining the community, have come to understand they were getting a full, complete, fair and honest hearing from my colleague.

I hope those who do not agree with the ultimate decision of the government will at least agree that my colleague was open, honest and straightforward in his dealings with them in an attempt to arrive honestly at a peaceful resolution to this unfortunate dispute between the two municipalities. None the less, it is a happy day for me. It is a happy day not only for the islanders but also, in my view, for all residents of Metropolitan Toronto, because this important community will be maintained for at least the next 25 years.

Mr. Stokes: If you are happy, we are happy.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I have not heard that before.

Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Speaker, before I address myself to the bill, the gentleman who is aspiring to be the leader of the socialist party, the member for Scarborough West (Mr. R. F. Johnston), took some exception to my interjections. I shall not apologize. I wish to make one comment, though, which I think is appropriate. I have never had to resort to vulgarities or profanities to make my position known. And I have never had to withdraw; they will have to suffer with my interjections until Mr. Speaker decides he has had enough.

Mr. Cassidy: Why don't you put up or shut up? Throw your hat in the ring. Let us see you become a candidate.

The Deputy Speaker: I have had enough.

Mr. Kerrio: I thought that was exactly and precisely the time I should quit.

If I may address myself to the bill that is before us, I have a couple of comments to make that I think are important to me as a taxpayer in Ontario, because we are going to be subjected to some substantial costs of maintaining that position of the islands community.

When the minister was examining this whole involvement, I wonder if he did take everything into account. And if this was not a political decision, why was the government not intent in clarifying the legality of entering an agreement where those people could buy the homes and maintain the community as they do in every other part of Ontario and then subject themselves to the kind of assessment that would pay for their services and do those things that in our society today would be meaningful and responsible?

4:20 p.m.

I have no objection to that. If they want to maintain a community on the island, they have every right to do so. But it should have been given the same opportunity to become a community as exists everywhere else. Title to the land should have been cleared and the land should have been sold to those islanders.

If they decided they wanted to pay the money it would cost to maintain services and everything else there, that could be done. Many people choose to live in communities in our society where all the services cost a great deal more; they are then subject to the extra cost.

The minister should look into the fact that the money the government will spend over the next 25 years could very well accommodate people in their own homes somewhere so that we would not be looking, somewhere down the road, to subjecting these people to the same exercise we are going through today.

If the minister had been sincere, he would have clarified the position of that land. He would have made that land available to those people. They should have been able to buy it and then to continue as long as they wanted to on land that belonged to them. That has not been done. This is makeshift. This is something that is not done in a responsible way. The government does a disservice to the islanders, to Metropolitan Toronto and to the people of Ontario, because I cannot believe the whole thing will ever be resolved in a fair way.

I would be the last one to suggest those people should be made to move but if the government were doing anything else but playing politics in this matter it would have made the land available to the people. That is the way to have ownership in this country. One buys the land. One owns the land. One owns the home and no one can put one off that land --

Mr. Cassidy: You are unbelievable, absolutely unbelievable.

Mr. Kerrio: Do I have to listen to that, Mr. Speaker?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I am going to love this Hansard in the next election, Vince.

Mr. Kerrio: I have to think that in any community where everyone suffers through buying the land, building his home and paying everything he does to maintain his community and his home, one is going to decide I have taken a responsible position. I suggest the government is not.

In this day and age, when we are looking at building homes that are going to take some of the heat from the sun and are going to be built in such a way we are going to cut down on overhead, it is a poor time to be encouraging involvements that cost tremendous amounts more than it would cost to have a community in a place that could be serviced in an easy fashion and in an economical way.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Are you voting against the bill?

Mr. Kerrio: I say to the minister, make the land available to those people on the island. Sell them the land. Let them own the land and the homes thereon. Then we will not be dealing with it 25 years hence.

I want to thank the honourable member for his interjections. They were substantial, and I will take them under advisement and answer him another day.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I am proud to be a member of this Legislature today because, after far too long and far too many political disputes, fights and so on, we have a victory for the Toronto islanders.

I have identified with and been part of the battle to help save the island homes for about 10 years now but, before taking any credit for myself or for my colleague the member for Scarborough West (Mr. R. F. Johnston), I think first and foremost the credit has to go to that tiny group of 650 people who live on the Toronto Islands who have, year in and year out over some 15 years now, battled to maintain and save that community.

When 600 people take on the political leadership of a metropolitan municipality of two million people and win, that is quite a triumph. It is a triumph because their cause was right. It is also a triumph because of the energy, initiative, imagination and the sheer guts and hard work they put into it.

Peter Dewdney, who is the cochairperson of the Toronto Island Residents Association, and other members of the island group are here, and I want to say, on behalf of the New Democrats, that this province is a better place because there are people like the islanders who are prepared to fight the way the islanders have fought and who are prepared to be public-spirited in the things they are proposing.

I want to thank Peter and ask him to take the thanks to all the islanders as well as our congratulations on the victory which, first and foremost, has been wrought.

I want to say as well, since the minister seemed to forget about people on this side of the House in apportioning credit, as far as the victory is concerned -- and I recognize this is a very unusual situation even within the Conservative Party -- that the member for Wilson Heights (Mr. Rotenberg), the member for St. George (Ms. Fish), the member for St. Andrew-St. Patrick (Mr. Grossman), who says in a note that I should not be inflammatory, and the member for Scarborough North (Mr. Wells) are probably the only members of the Conservative caucus who wholeheartedly support this particular bill. But they too have fought.

Perhaps the member for Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry (Mr. Villeneuve) is a secret supporter of the islanders, and I welcome that support too from the dean of the House. None the less, I think they have done a certain amount of battling within their caucus to get the Conservative Party to overrule the czar of the Tories in Metro, Paul Godfrey, and to defend the island cause.

In so far as the Liberals are concerned, the Liberals in supporting this bill are doing their best to make sure they get absolutely no political support or credit from it with the kind of ridiculous comments that were made by the member for Niagara Falls (Mr. Kerrio) just a few minutes ago. But I do not think the occasion should go by without giving a few words of credit and thanks to the predecessor of the member for St. George, Margaret Campbell, who throughout her political career was a staunch friend of the islanders and a staunch supporter of the island cause.

This is a victory that comes after some 25 years and, as a politician, I have to say that I regret the political energy and time and the amount of money that have gone into this battle between Metro and the city of Toronto. The vendetta that Paul Godfrey and some of his supporters on metropolitan council have carried out is absolutely indescribable.

I was looking through some clippings from the file of my friend the member for Scarborough West (Mr. R. F. Johnston). At one point they hired Alan Eagleson to present the Metro cause at $1,000 a day or more. Because of Metro's intransigence, they provoked the Swadron report, which was a good report but which cost $200,000. That would have gone a long way to helping catch up on some of the needed improvements that should have taken place on the island a long time ago but were stalled because the Metro government was so intransigent and so obsessed with the policy it took on back in the 1950s and from which it was unable to turn.

I have been in politics long enough to know that situations change, ideas change, political perceptions change. Therefore, what seemed a good idea at the time back in the 1950s when, let it be said, the city of Toronto gave up control of the islands to Metro, did not seem such a good idea in the 1960s and 1970s, as people became much more aware of the need to protect communities and recognized that where people lived was important and how important the kind of communities we had in this city were. That message was clearly learned in the city of Toronto by politicians of many stripes -- and of none, I have yet to discover what politics John Sewell actually has.

David Crombie is a Conservative and has never hidden the fact; he certainly understood the islands issue and has been a staunch defender. He is one of the many people and some are in this House, who from time to time enjoy going over to the islands, as I do, and enjoy the unique atmosphere that exists on the islands. Because it is unique, for God's sake, how can one defend the politics of envy we have been getting from Paul Godfrey all along that say because something is unique and good we have to destroy it?

I am sorry to say this to the Minister of Industry and Tourism, as I know he is in the same party as the minister, but because of the role of Paul Godfrey in this situation, if he ever aspires for leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party, I hope the thing that eventually prevents him from getting it is the meanness of spirit he has chosen so consistently over so many years --


Mr. Cassidy: No, on this one the member for Wilson Heights (Mr. Rotenberg) worked with him as well.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Today is not the time to be inflammatory.

Mr. Cassidy: I am not being inflammatory; I am just telling the truth. I want to talk about this issue. I felt strongly about it. I have taken a few political licks over this because, after all, my riding is 265 miles away from --

4:30 p.m.


The Acting Speaker: Order.

Mr. Cassidy: The Minister for Industry and Tourism should sit down if he wishes to interject.

The Acting Speaker: He should not interject at all. You have the floor.

Mr. Cassidy: As opposed to the politics of hope or even of pragmatism of which the Conservatives normally are so full, this is an issue that has cost Metro far too much in terms of the time, energy and effort it could have been devoting to other things.

I have learned in politics there are times when one cuts one's losses. Whatever Paul Godfrey felt or feels about the issue, why could he not have devoted his considerable political talents to other things that might benefit people more?

I suggested the other day to one or two of my friends that if Paul Godfrey was so concerned about how people could relax, disport themselves and enjoy themselves down by the waterfront, surely he would have done a great deal more good for the people of Toronto and Ontario if he had put the same energy and effort he has put into the Toronto Islands issue into fighting to have beer in the ball park. Then people who watch the Blue Jays could find solace, as they watched the Blue Jays go down again, with the occasional glass of beer, as is enjoyed in every other major league ball park in North America.

Why does Paul Godfrey not use his talents for that purpose, which would benefit as many as 30,000 or 40,000 people on a Sunday afternoon, rather than trying to fight, with his politics of envy, the islanders' right to stay over there.

A few members know I was a resident of the Toronto Islands for a year. It was a great year. It was an excellent year for me and my family after we had suffered some of the initial bruises of being in politics. It lent to me the title of "member for Ottawa and the Islands." That was something I resented. I went to the islands simply because I needed some time with my family and I resented the subject of my family being brought into this House the way the Premier (Mr. Davis) did in those days.

We discovered a community there. To Paul Godfrey, who says it is the most exclusive place in the world, I would put on the record that when I moved over to the island, I wandered over one evening, I got off the ferry, I talked to a few people and I was immediately welcomed. In the course of an evening back in 1973, a June evening I think it was, I was able to find a house that my wife and I subsequently rented.

That certainly does not happen in Forest Hill, the Bridle Path or any of the neighbourhoods Paul Godfrey seems to think are less exclusive than the Toronto Islands. If I had knocked on anybody's door and asked that kind of question in those neighbourhoods I know the kind of response I would get, particularly if I was not wearing the right kind of clothes, the right kind of tie and driving the right kind of car. If he is looking for exclusivity, it is not on the islands, it is up there and people should realize it.

In 1973, I was asked to be an interlocutor with Tommy Thompson, then the parks commissioner. Tommy Thompson was a great parks commissioner in many respects, but he was a man who had a blind spot when it came to the island homes. In the end, on a long shot, I said to Tommy:

"If you are really keen on this issue, why have you accepted an honorary membership in the Royal Canadian Yacht Club on the island? Why are you prepared to give the yacht club a perpetual lease while you are so anxious to kick 60 islanders off and take parkland back from them? If you want the parkland, why do you not take it from the yacht clubs rather than from the people who live there?"

Tommy became frustrated. He pulled out his yacht club membership and threatened to tear it up. He carefully refrained from actually tearing the card, but he said he was going to. I am not sure if that did not shut him up for a few months, but certainly not permanently.

The yacht club has 33 acres on Toronto Island compared with 29 acres devoted to housing. Yacht clubs are the preserves of the rich, with only the rare exceptions of a few young people who are able to sail in the junior sailor programs. Apart from that, if one wants to be a member of the RCYC or the Queen City Yacht Club, one has to be able to afford a boat, a mooring, an initiation fee, several hundred dollars a year to belong and visits to the restaurant from time to time. It is a multi-thousand-dollar investment and therefore, open only to a privileged few.

Ironically, for their 33 acres, the yacht clubs pay a lease that is only one third of the amount of the taxes paid by the residents. The yacht clubs have had this position for many years. When it comes time to determine the market value costs of the land the islanders are using I trust that is the standard of values that will be taken as far as the islanders are concerned.

I talked about living over there. We have friends there now, friends to this day. There is a closeness and co-operation among the people who live on the island, born partly of the common situation they live in. They have to travel on the boat and they have to help each other. These past years they have had to take building materials over by pirate ships because they could not take them on the ferries. The physical conditions create some of that closeness and co-operation.

Houses are cheek by jowl, much closer than most houses are located in an urban setting anywhere else in the city. Probably some special regulations will have to be made to allow that to continue. In winter they make their own entertainment because some of the ferries stop running at 6 p.m. Even if they go on into the evening they only come until 11:30 p.m. and after that residents are on their own. They either stay in the city or else make their own entertainment over there.

There is no shop on the island. If they want cigarettes they have to go and borrow them from a neighbour or find somebody who will quietly sell them some. There is no liquor store on the island and the islanders have always have some unique arrangements as far as that is concerned; I hope it is still the same. The island used to be the only place in Metropolitan Toronto where not only would the milkman put the milk in the refrigerator if they were away at work during the day, but would also leave 24 bottles of beer. Is that still the case? Not any more? Shucks. Well, the old order changes, but up until 1973 --

Mr. Stokes: I think we should review these arrangements.

Mr. Cassidy: Right.

Actually he would not put the beer in the fridge, let that be said, but he would put the beer inside the front door.

The islands community -- and I suspect this is still the case -- is one of the very few left in Toronto where many residents customarily leave their front doors unlocked during the day when they are absent. It is still sort of like this -- not quite as much as before.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Many of them have not got doors.

Mr. Cassidy: It is a unique community as well in the sense that here -- I heard the member for Niagara Falls (Mr. Kerrio) talking about the need for energy-efficient communities -- the major motive power on the island is foot power and bicycle power. There are no cars on the island apart from the police cruisers, the fire engines and one or two delivery vehicles that are allowed over there occasionally.

Mr. Kerrio: That is a step in the right direction, Michael.

Mr. Cassidy: That is right.

In all the time I lived on the island, for an entire year, I drove to my front door twice, once to deposit my household goods in a rented truck and once to take them away. It was interesting when I was taking my household goods there because, unfortunately, as we drove the truck onto the island somebody opened the back door, revealing that we had household goods to be taken on, which I believe was not legal at that time. But fortunately the people who operate the ferries have been good friends of the islanders and had a certain selective blindness when the islanders were carrying out some of the normal operations of --

Mr. Rotenberg: You are breaking the liquor law.

Mr. Cassidy: What is that?

The Acting Speaker: Order.

Mr. Cassidy: This was a situation into which the islanders were put because of the stupid machinations of Paul Godfrey and of Metro council.

As I recall what we were talking about in this Legislature yesterday, if 250 islanders can bring Metro Council to a halt, to the point where finally, in defiance of political allies, this government is going to give the islanders a 25-year lease on life, then maybe 10 million Poles can bring the military regime to a halt in Poland as well. Maybe they can get democratic human rights and rights for working people. I wish them well. The principle is very much the same, except a bit larger over there.

The thing is that the island is a unique community. It does not have any roads. The roads are sidewalks that are four and a half feet wide. There are not two-way streets. There is no place for traffic. I remember when Michael was born. He is the youngest son of Peter Dewdney, the co-chairman of the Toronto Islands Residents Association, now aged seven. I remember watching him grow. In a car-free community, that child could be totally free.

4:40 p.m.

The island children develop in a unique way, rather like kibbutz children in Israel, who are special kinds of kids. They are not constantly, from a very early age, under the kind of fearful eye of their parents for fear of going out on the street, for fear of being run over or for fear of being picked up by some pervert or something like that. By the age of three or four, those island kids are wandering all over the place. Everybody knows who they are. If they happen to get a bit too far they are steered away and sent back home. That kind of thing does not occur in most other communities. If some kid happens to fall into the water he is pulled out and brought home or else he is taken into a neighbour's home and dried out --


Mr. Cassidy: I mean from the water. The member for York South (Mr. MacDonald) understands only one meaning of that; I am a bit worried about that. They are looked after.

The existence of the island community has been a benefit to the people of this city in a very major way. Anybody who has ever enjoyed the solitude and peace of going for a walk on the Toronto Islands any month from the end of September until the beginning of May has to thank the islanders. I am damned sure that if the islanders had not been there, requiring as a consequence that there be a regular and frequent ferry service during the winter months, the ferry service either would have been cut back to negligible proportions or quite seriously could have been eliminated entirely. In other words, the access to the Toronto Islands, which is a unique park, would not have been there.

Moreover, over the course of the winter months as well as during the summer months on Ward's Island, here was Tommy Thompson and Paul Godfrey saying: "We want the island to be used for the residents of the city of Toronto. Park land is being taken away." But who operated the concessions and made sure that Cokes, milkshakes and hamburgers were available to people who came to use Ward's beach? Metro never opened a concession; it was the islanders who did it.

Who used to ensure that in wintertime, when people went over to the island to cross-country ski or to skate on the canals, there was a warm house they could go to? It was not Metro Toronto; it was the islanders who provided the warm house. Who has provided the events, spring and fall, summer and winter, that have attracted people to that community? It is the islanders who have done that.

Who has helped to pullout of the canals other people's children who happen to be visiting, and helped to mend visitors' scrapes and bruises and those kinds of things? It has been the islanders. Who has provided direction to people who were lost? It has been the islanders, knowing the community and being able to make that kind of contribution to the community.

If there were a rare ecological area in the path of the Spadina expressway, with unique flora and fauna, we know what would happen. We know the situation where whole dams, hydro projects and those kinds of thing have been diverted because of the existence of rare biological or ecological features. That has occurred many a time now, because there is that kind of concern for the environment in North America today.

I cannot explain why it was that Metro Toronto council did not realize it had a unique human community here. It is a car-free community with the unusual kinds of characteristics of an urban village unlike any other part of Metropolitan Toronto or, for that matter, almost any other part of any city that I know in Canada, let alone in North America. I think that kind of thing should be saved; it should have been saved if only as a laboratory of other ways by which we can organize ourselves in metropolitan conditions.

As the price of fuel goes higher, as we become more and more energy-conscious and energy- short, as people get less and less willing and more and more reluctant to drive hundreds of miles on weekends through heavy traffic to a summer resort, we will be spending more time together in our cities. I can see this in my own riding of Ottawa Centre. Fifteen years ago one would have been able to shoot a gun down many of the streets in downtown Ottawa on summer weekends, because no one was there. Now the streets are thronged with people who want to enjoy the city during the summer months rather than going outside.

In Ottawa we have the Gatineau just a few miles away; it is not a matter of travelling two or three hours up to Wasaga, Rice Lake or Muskoka. If that happens in Ottawa it is clearly happening here as well. We need to know the kind of community we can build where people can learn how to get together. I know some of that kind of getting together is taking place at the Crombie co-op down in the St. Lawrence area.

The other day I was up at Beech Hall, the senior citizens' co-op residence in the borough of York, which is in the riding of my friend the member for York South and which was saved only at the last minute after a boneheaded effort that just about paralleled what Metro council has tried to do to the islands. It is a community there as well, but in our high-rise buildings we do not have those communities. We need to build them, and people can learn from what happens on the island.

In many of our residential communities we used to have a sense of community co-operation after the war because people had to get rinks and facilities for kids. But some of that has been lost now. We need to learn how to provide that again. People need to mix and mingle, not just on the basis of social class, or on the basis that I am an engineer or you are an engineer, or at the press club where the journalists mingle, or for reasons like that, but also people who are relatively comfortable and people who are of modest means, people who work with their hands and people who work with their brains, people who are retired and people who are young, little children and older children all together, young adults and older adults, different generations and different stages. That occurs on the islands. Almost uniquely, it has been occurring on the islands, and I hope very much that will be saved

Over the 25 years and beyond it will be priced out of existence because of the further vendetta Metro council may try to bring when it sits down to negotiate with the city.

I think you have gathered, Mr. Speaker, that I am speaking warmly and strongly in support of the bill. Perhaps I can give one other vignette.

When my son Matthew was about six and we were on the island he went half days to the island school, because it happened he was not allowed into their grade one program and he had a half a day free. There was an outdoor rink, and we happened to have a cold winter which gave us about 75 or 80 days of good ice on the rink the islanders maintained. My little kid, Matthew, who was learning how to play hockey, used to go out there. He would play hockey with Ronnie Handy, who was about 10 or 11 at the time. Ronnie Handy has now been signed to become a player in the National Hockey League and is a star with the team in Kingston. He used to be at Sault Ste. Marie. He was about 10 at that time.

Matthew played with him and with some of the teenagers of 15 and 16. They saw nothing unusual in slowing down their pace a bit in order to help this little kid of six who was nuts on hockey and was just so proud to be able to play with the big kids. That is the kind of spirit I like to see in every community, but unfortunately there is just not enough of it happening.

I give the member for St. Andrew-St. Patrick (Mr. Grossman) credit in this one area where he at least as a Conservative has not only kept the promise but has got his government finally to keep the promise. I happen to think that perhaps some years ago the province should have stepped in, and rather than just delaying the inevitable decision they should have cut the Gordian knot and resolved the situation far sooner.

I think even now there are some problems that will be entailed with what happens, partly because of the bitterness and partly, because of the fight that has gone on; like boxers, both are lying down almost exhausted on the mat. This has affected and afflicted a whole generation of people on the islands.

The member for St. Andrew-St. Patrick said this is a matter of the preservation of a neighbourhood. If the principle of preserving a neighbourhood is important in downtown Toronto, in the suburbs, if it is important in my riding, in Wellington ward where I live in Ottawa Centre, in Dalhousie ward, in LeBreton where we are building a new community in Ottawa Centre; if it is important in Scarborough West and other places like that, it is important there as well.

We are all diminished as neighbourhood after neighbourhood has been threatened or is being demolished by the wrecker's hammer, or because of the gentrification which alas is taking place in too many neighbourhoods in Toronto, in Ottawa and across the province.

We cannot be selective in terms of this principle. If we believe in the principle in general we have to be prepared to apply it. Praise be, the government has been prepared to apply it in this particular case of the Toronto Islands. I regret that the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (Mr. Bennett) says he thinks the rights of private property owners are being abridged too much when it comes to interfering with their right to demolish low- and modest-income housing in order to build luxury condominiums or convert to luxury apartments. Surely the principle is the same?

There are apartments in the riding of the member for Eglinton (Mr. McMurtry) where people have lived for 30 or 40 years. They can afford to stay there and they are a part of a community every bit as much as my friends from the islands are part of their community.

4:50 p.m.

Now that the government is accepting the principle with respect to the islanders, perhaps they could be consistent and accept it as well with respect to these communities in older, modest-income apartment houses in various parts of Toronto. I refer to houses on Eglinton Avenue, on Heath Street and places like that which are menaced by the wrecker's hammer. They should look not only at the bottom line but at the lives of the people which are being disrupted because they are trying to kick them out.

I suppose I could say more. I will desist. My friend the member for Scarborough West was at the point of suggesting even that, unless there were further notes that he wanted --

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Further notes.

Mr. Cassidy: Further notes. That is fine, thank you. I just want to echo the member for St. Andrew-St. Patrick when he said there has been far too much anguish over this issue. There has been far too much conflict over this issue. I regret to say -- perhaps the member would not want to say it, being a Tory, quite as directly -- the root cause of it has not been the people of Toronto. They have supported the effort to save the island homes. It has not been the people of Metropolitan Toronto because poll after poll has shown they have supported the fight. It has not been the people using the islands, because even on the most crowded of summer weekends the park land area of Ward's Island has been beautifully empty and had very few people using it. It has been Paul Godfrey and his small coterie who have been moved by jealousy or envy or something like that.

In conclusion, I would appeal to Mr. Godfrey and to the other people on Metropolitan council not to spend any more political resources, not spend any more tax dollars in trying to fight a further rearguard action or in trying to screw so much money out of the city of Toronto they wind up making the islands into what it is not now, but what they keep on alleging it is, an upper-income community. Do not do it that way. Show some generosity. Show some magnanimity. Accept the fact that this time the people of the province, through the Legislature, are using the powers we are granted under the constitution of this province in order to say that this community should stay.

Co-operate in it and help in making the islands a unique, small, urban, downtown community, a jewel in this city, a tourist attraction, something people have come hundreds of miles to see and should continue to come hundreds of miles to see, something else of which this great city of Toronto can boast in talking about its reputation as a new world city.

We earn that title in this Legislature by acting with respect to the islands. I wish that Metro Chairman Godfrey and his friends would understand what the issue is all about, would yield with grace now and co-operate with the city of Toronto in ensuring that the next 25 years for the islands are good and fruitful ones and that the islanders can continue to contribute to the diversity, variety and richness which make this city great.

Ms. Fish: In consideration of the hour and of the fact that many speakers from all sides of the House preceding me have reviewed the history of the islands as well as made mention of the wide variety of people at all levels of government and of all parties who have been active in support of the islanders, I will confine my remarks simply to sharing with you, Mr. Speaker, my very particular delight that after having spent so very many long years working at city hall on behalf of islanders to preserve their community I now find myself, not very long after coming to Queen's Park, being able to participate in continuing that effort and finding myself in a position where I trust this day will give second reading to a bill which will, in fact, preserve the community.

I also wish to share with the House the best wishes and delight that is also expressed by my colleague, the former mayor of the city of Toronto, David Crombie, who is now the federal member for Rosedale in whose riding the islands also rest. He was pleased to have seen the results of his labours over the years, not only municipally but also in his continued interest and attention on behalf of his constituents as he dealt with myself and other members of this House in considering the bill before us. So I wish to share the delight both of myself and David Crombie, and urge the House to support this bill on second reading this day.

Mr. McGuigan: I rise to support Bill 191 and I congratulate the minister for presenting it. Our members might wonder what interest a member from southwestern Ontario has in a bill that affects the city of Toronto.

First, as other members have expressed it, especially the member for St. Andrew-St. Patrick, there is the principle of standing up for a group of what we might call "little people," people who find themselves standing in front of the juggernaut of big government, people who feel helpless in their situation, yet finally, through their perseverance and the perseverance of members speaking on their behalf, finally find they are being recognized by the government itself.

On that principle I support this bill. As a member has stated, there is not much politics in it although I wonder when I listen to the length of some of the speeches that have been made. On a matter that has so little politics, one would wonder why there were such long speeches. Nevertheless --

Mr. Stokes: Some people don't need a reason.

Mr. McGuigan: I guess that is right. My reason is because I feel for these people. I have a community in my riding which I submit parallels this group on the Toronto Islands. I am speaking of the residents of Rondeau Provincial Park. This was a park that was established I think in 1894. It is the second oldest provincial park in the province.

One of the reasons it was so successful in its early days was it leased land to cottage holders. These cottage holders put up quite substantial places. A good many of them in the early days came from the city of Detroit. They were reasonably affluent people and they put up quite decent cottages. Many were from the city of Chatham and many are farmers from the rich lands of Kent and Elgin counties.

They built a rich community within the park that, as other members have stated, provided stability, provided help for those who might need it in times of stress and was a great education for surrounding people. When I was a youngster, it was a habit of my mother, dad and family to go for a picnic on Sundays. We would drive to Rondeau park, go to the picnic grounds and have our meal.

There were also slides, swings and a few amenities of that sort. We would take a drive through the wilderness area of the park and come around to the beach-front where the cottages were. It was a great outing for people in that day to look at those cottages and see a lot of the automobiles there from Detroit --

Mr. Philip: A point of order, Mr. Speaker: This is a very specific bill and I ask whether or not the member is in order.

The Acting Speaker: On the point of order, I can see the honourable member for Kent-Elgin is drawing a parallel between another park and this situation. Therefore I am allowing him to continue.

Mr. McGuigan: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I was contemplating whether I would speak on this. I knew that in your fairness you would see the parallel. I am supporting this because I witnessed this in my riding.

Bringing it down to the present, each year I am called upon to go to the Rondeau Lease-holders Association, which has since 1954 been presented with a policy of phasing out the cottages in the park, a policy with which I really do not quarrel. If the land is needed for other public purposes and it is demonstrated it is needed, I think an orderly way should be devised to bring those people out.

But it seems a most cruel way has been devised. That is to allow the people to stay there until their leases are up or until the leaseholders have died, cutting out their heirs or children from maintaining their interest in these leases.

5 p.m.

The result of this is we now have an ageing and sometimes feeble community, populated with older people. There are very few young people there. They are not taking any interest in their cottages, they are not maintaining them, they are not painting them and keeping the roofs up. So I am called every year to these meetings. It really touches my heart to hear these older people talk about their problems, the fact there are no young people about to reassure them, to add strength to the community. They find themselves an ageing and dying community.

The Acting Speaker: I assume the member will draw this together into Bill 191.

Mr. McGuigan: Yes. So viewing this situation and realizing it is a dastardly way to treat good people, I can understand how the people of the Toronto Islands felt when they were faced with the same sort of phase-out policy. I call upon the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs (Mr. Wells) to speak to his colleague the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Pope) and ask him to review this situation in Rondeau Park and allow the community to go at least as a community of young and old people to a certain date. If at a certain date they are required to move out, then have them all move out together.

As the member for Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy) has said, things change. I think there have been many changes since 1954 that would call for a review of the policy. People's recreational habits have changed. We have many more backyard pools, we have many more recreational facilities, gigantic facilities. I am thinking of the Wheels Inn in the city of Chatham, which some members may be familiar with, or some of the large complexes that now take the place of the swimming beach. I call upon the minister to use his influence to review whether the policies made in 1954 are really called for today. I support this bill.

Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, I too rise to support this bill, and I hope all members of the Liberal Party will join us in supporting it, even though there are so few of them from Metropolitan Toronto who may understand how long this issue has gone on and the importance of settling this long-standing dispute.

Mr. Kerrio: Certainly we are going to support the bill.

Ms. Bryden: As long as they support it, for whatever reasons, we will be glad to have that support.

The island community is not that different from the Beaches community. I am sure we would have resisted any effort by Metro council to say they needed any more of our waterfront for Metro parks, and we would have said that residents also have rights. But I hope the city of Toronto would defend any such proposed takeover and would not make some of the mistakes it made when it let Metro council get the upper hand on the island community. It may have been done in good faith and the council may not have expected Metro council to act the way it did, but unfortunately the city almost lost the battle for a community, which has been a part of the city of Toronto for many years and only recently under the jurisdiction of Metro council.

We know that Gallup polls have shown a majority of the population of Metropolitan Toronto favour preservation of the island community. They know we cannot afford to destroy neighbourhoods, particularly in this time of housing shortages. They know the island community is an asset to Metropolitan Toronto. They know there is plenty of park land on the islands already. I have been to the islands many times each summer and I have never yet seen it overcrowded.

When Metropolitan Toronto council attempted to destroy the island community it was going against the wishes of the majority of the people in Metropolitan Toronto and going against their best interests for the preservation of neighbourhoods and of park land.

It is rather sad this issue became a field for such an unseemly battle between the Metropolitan government, the city government and the province. The Metropolitan Toronto council used the slogan of municipal autonomy as its shield. But if the so-called preservation of autonomy is used to obstruct the wishes of a majority of the population they presume to represent then it is not an exercise of autonomy, it is an exercise of tyranny. It is using electoral power obtained from an inefficient electoral system, which is an indirect election system, to wage a vendetta against a particular neighbourhood. That use of electoral power should be condemned.

The methods used by Metropolitan Toronto council were, to say the least, despicable. They continued to harass the island residents throughout the dispute, over many years, both in the courts and in other ways. They spent a lot of taxpayers' money on these manoeuvres, but their final desperate effort to mobilize hate against the residents by a series of advertisements is the nadir of their vendetta.

What they put into those advertisements should have been outlawed by our hate literature laws. It might even have been called a form of attempted genocide. It certainly should be subject to a charge of false or fraudulent advertising under the Business Practices Act.

As Mr. Swadron has pointed out in interviews, many of the figures in the advertisements are either completely false or torn out of context. The use of taxpayers' money to put this kind of advertising into the newspapers is rivalled only by the advertisements of Colin Brown and the Citizens' Coalition or the Moral Majority and their intemperate statements.

I would like to commend the gallant band of island residents who fought the battle. They are not freeloaders. They are ready to pay their way but Metropolitan Toronto council made it appear they were not by refusing to accept their taxes or accept any increase in the ground rent. These citizens do not want special privileges. They want to be allowed to remain as a neighbourhood in Toronto in the same way as other neighbourhoods remain. They are ready to pay their way, I am sure of that.

There will be credits on the side of allowing them to stay, not all of which have been counted. There will be less vandalism in the public buildings in the parks if there is a community on the islands. I would say the police costs will probably be less because there are people living on the islands.

5:10 p.m.

The fire costs have to be there any way for other buildings on the islands. There will be the presence of a friendly and welcoming neighbourhood for people who wish to visit the islands, unlike the closed gates of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club.

I am very happy a solution to this long drawn out debate appears to have been reached. I hope all members of this House will support the bill.

Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Speaker, in the long battle over the islands, I have never raised my voice once. Not out of disinterest, but enough other voices were in it to produce that cacophony of sound in confusion. I view the whole thing with detached objectivity. Therefore, I think I can come before this House and say, from that objectivity, I strongly support this bill.

I rise to make only one point. Listening to the exchange this morning between Barry Swadron and John Downing, and some of the comments of the "super mayor" with regard to this whole affair, I heard some interesting charges made against Mr. Swadron for having breached what was described as the proper conduct for a commissioner. It was improper, it was not the thing to do. Mr. Swadron came back and accused Metro of dealing in misrepresentation and of deception in its ads . This, I suppose, provoked the retort from "Mayor" Godfrey.

I would just like to remind you, Mr. Speaker, that not only was it not improper, not only was it not unprecedented, there are some very illustrious precedents for commissioners who went out and battled in defence of their report. Members may recall, perhaps they have forgotten, but back in the middle of the 1960s when Mr. Justice Hall made his report on health insurance in this country, and inevitably it became the butt of attacks by the chamber of commerce and all economic establishments of the nation, Mr. Justice Hall, a distinguished former Conservative with a long and distinguished career on the bench, went on a nationwide speaking tour to defend his commission report and to refute misrepresentation and attacks made on it.

I think the record should be set straight. Perhaps Mr. Godfrey should note what some other distinguished Conservatives have done on some occasions when their commission or report was misrepresented. This bill is worthy of support and I support it with enthusiasm.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank all members who have taken part in this debate, thank them for their words, their sentiments and for their summations of all the reasons why this bill is before us today.

Also, I would like to echo the words of thanks that many have included for a number of people: the island residents themselves, the people at all political levels in this province, the people at the municipal level who fought on behalf of the islanders, the people at this provincial level and indeed the former mayor who is now at the federal level and who has continued, quietly behind the scenes, to fight on behalf of the islanders. I am, of course, referring to David Crombie.

Mr. Kerrio: We knew why.

Hon. Mr. Wells: He has consistently, of course, supported the island cause.

Numerous people have fought on behalf of what I think is a very legitimate cause and have caused us to be at the stage where we are today with this bill before us.

I particularly want to pay tribute to my colleague the member for St. Andrew-St. Patrick (Mr. Grossman) in whose riding the islands are located and who has consistently and unswervingly supported that cause and I think he has outlined today to this House why he has taken that particular course of action.

Mr. Bradley: It is called political survival.

Hon. Mr. Wells: As I have told members, it is not political survival. That is why we all the more have to appreciate and recognize the reason he fought for this particular issue. It has nothing to do with his political survival.

I would like to tell members why in the last year and a half I have fought on behalf of this particular cause. I am very proud of the fact that I was born 51 years ago in a community in Toronto now known as the Beaches and then known as the Beaches. It is a community with a spirit somewhat akin to the original Toronto Islands community. As the member for Beaches-Woodbine (Ms. Bryden) has already alluded, it is a community that would also rise up if people tried to destroy its character.

I was a lifelong resident of this city, or at least of this municipality. I am not now a resident. Living in the suburbs, people tend to think I will be with that group of political figures who at this time are opposed to anything but park land on the Toronto Islands. Having had that association with this city and with the Beaches community, having visited the Toronto Islands at least once a year since I was five years old, and many years many more times, I have appreciated the kind of environment we had on the Toronto Islands.

Looking back, at one time I would have agreed completely that the whole of the Toronto Islands should become park land. I agreed with what Metro was doing and I saw nothing wrong with it, but in the last few years I have become more deeply involved with this particular cause. When I go over to the Toronto Islands now, I regret that some of the homes were destroyed. I see the kind of thing going on in other communities in Toronto like the Beaches, the old Cabbagetown area, Bloor and Spadina, Bloor and St. George and a whole host of other areas.

There used to be homes on the road from Hanlan's Point where one got off the ferry and walked around the sewage treatment plant and the school, but nothing is happening there now. It is a nice area to walk around in, but nothing is happening. There were some beautiful homes there which, if renovated properly, would have been a great addition to that island.

Probably we went a little overboard in creating the park over there. There has always been a park on the islands. Ever since I began going over there in 1935, there has been a park there where we held our Sunday school picnics. That park area has been expanded. I think that is great; we needed that for the residents of all Metropolitan Toronto. That park area has expanded particularly around Centre Island. However, Hanlan's Point is still largely unused. In fact, it is probably not used as much as it was in the 1920s when there was a baseball field and amusement park over there, which are no longer there.

The residential community adds a dimension to the islands and that is why we are very pleased to bring in this bill to preserve it. The Toronto Islands can be a composite of a number of uses. Contrary to what appears in the Metropolitan Toronto ads about Metro needing more park land, Barry Swadron says there is enough park land there for the immediate future. Anyone who has seen the use of that park land knows there is adequate park land and recreational facilities. The homes at the other end of the islands, the Hanlan's Point end, that have not been demolished can remain there for the 25 years this bill guarantees and be a viable residential area.

It is important to remember, as Barry Swadron states in the early part of his report, that we are talking about 33 acres out of 612 acres, about five per cent of the whole island, is now being left in residential use. That is not a grab of park lands. It is not that we who are bringing this bill in are opposed to park lands.

5:20 p.m.

I really resent very much the statements in John Downing's column of a few days ago, where he said that if the Minister of Industry and Tourism and the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and I think he included the member for St. George (Ms. Fish) in the triumvirate, had been in charge of things New York City would not have had Central Park, San Francisco would not have had Golden Gate Park, London England would not have had Green Park and so forth. What utter nonsense. We are not opposed to parks.

What we are proposing is protecting communities, preserving communities, and an integrated proper use of all the land in a municipality. Here we are talking about five per cent of the islands remaining in residential use.

The one other thing I want to comment on in second reading, just to set the record straight, is that in the ads run by the municipality of Metropolitan Toronto there is talk about the cost of fire services, the cost of schools and the cost of police services. I think it must be made very clear, and I just want to quote this, "In 1959, the cost for fire services was about half a million dollars, $500,000."

Whether there is a residential community or not on Toronto Islands, there are a number of buildings. There are yacht clubs -- and not all the yacht clubs, I might say, and here I will differ from some of my friends, are of the very exclusive nature of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club -- there are a number of yacht clubs on Toronto Islands where people are keeping boats, all those people feeling that they are valuable property --

Mr. Di Santo: All the workers from Downsview have their yachts there.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Well, there are a number of yacht clubs there, and as I recall there is a public yacht club where people can dock their boats. Anyway, the fact is that whether there are homes there or not, because there are these facilities plus Metro buildings, there is a constant need for 24-hour fire service. So there have to be fire facilities. The crews are there, and the facilities would have to be there whether the residential community was there or not.

The same could be said for the police facilities. There is, of course, need for an enlarged police facility to assist during the crowded seasons in the summer, spring and fall, when the park is used to maximum capacity, but at all times of the year some protection facilities are needed because of the very nature of the islands.

The other thing is the schooling facilities. I am told that 30 per cent of the students who go to the school on the islands -- that is, the public school facility as opposed to the outdoor natural sciences school, which is another very important facility there used by Toronto school children from all over the area -- are brought over from the mainland to attend that facility, a number of them from the apartment facilities just around where the ferry docks are, the Harbourfront apartments and so forth. So those school facilities are used both for children coming from island homes and from the mainland, and I think that is a good use of school facilities.

One other point I would like to comment upon at this particular time is the matter of the cost to the tenants and the way the cost will be worked out. I want to indicate again how this is going to work out in the bill. There is going to be a leasing of the lands by the city of Toronto from Metro. Because of the 1956 amendment, Metro was given the lands for park purposes. We are now reversing that for roughly 33 acres so the residential community can remain.

The lands will now be leased by Toronto from Metro. That will be done at market value. In other words, the market value for all the land on which the residences are located will be computed and the rent Toronto will pay to Metro will be based on that market value. If they cannot agree on that amount, there is provision for arbitration under the Arbitrations Act with a single arbitrator.

That is where I, for instance, got the figure of $1 million or $1.5 million after trying to do some quick computing on $500 a month for 250 properties. It could lead one to believe that, if that kind of figure or something like that applied, the amount paid by Toronto to Metro could amount to about $1 million or $1.5 million.

Metro, then, has rented or leased the lands and Toronto is now the one that can give the leases to the occupants, to the people who it is decided shall be the occupants under the ground rules laid down in the legislation. Toronto will use the market value as a guide to setting the rent, but the bill does not provide, and I think it is important to realize this, that the actual market value used to compute the rent Toronto pays to Metro will be used for Toronto to compute that rent for the residents.

The city of Toronto has within its discretion the power to set the rent that will be charged using as a benchmark or a guideline, if there is a dispute, the amount it is paying to Metro. I think it is important to remember that is the situation and --

Mr. Stokes: Are you saying it is possible for them to subsidize their rent?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Yes, I am saying it is possible. The city of Toronto will have the freedom to decide what it wants to do in so far as rents are concerned in the lease it grants to the occupants of the homes.

I point that out because when we come to discuss the amendments there is an amendment or a suggestion from the islanders that they should have some prior presence at the arbitration between Metro and Toronto. I am trying to point out that the situation as to how the rent is decided, while it may be a benchmark, is not where the crunch is going to come as far as the rent they pay is concerned; it is their negotiations with Toronto as to the leases they get.

There is no provision in the bill that says the market value decided for the other rental between Toronto and Metro has to apply. There are two different situations, and it will be between the occupants of the homes and the city of Toronto to decide what the rents will be. There are provisions as to how that will be worked out.

There are a number of other things I could comment upon. One other thing I would like to say is my friend the member for Niagara Falls talked about public ownership. All I can do is quote to him the second recommendation of the Swadron report. As he knows, we pledged before the election we would implement the essence of the Swadron report. We always keep the promise, so what I want to --


Mr. Grande: That sounded hollow.

Hon. Mr. Wells: No, it is not hollow. I said we would implement the essence of the Swadron report. The first recommendation of the Swadron report is to have a residential community for 25 years and the second recommendation is that the subject lands remain now and forever in public ownership. Mr. Swadron then goes on to explain why he made that particular recommendation.

5:30 p.m.

In my earlier thanks to the many people who worked on this matter over a good number of years, I did not say a particular word of thanks to Barry Swadron.

Barry Swadron is a very competent and intelligent lawyer in this city who has made a great contribution to the public domain in this province. I recall when I became Minister of Health back in 1969, when I first met Barry Swadron I learned that he had been one of the moving forces in drafting the new Mental Health Act at that time.

Mr. Kerrio: Was he impartial?

Hon. Mr. Wells: He certainly was impartial. He was one of the moving forces in drafting the new Mental Health Act back in the 1960s which was legislation that was followed by many other provinces. He has done a lot of work in the social welfare field, in the community and social services field and, as some of the members may or may not recall, he also did a commission report for us on welfare, family benefits and general welfare assistance and so forth.

He provided a very good report at that time and some recommendations which, if they read back, members will find were very prophetic. He also does a fair amount of work with the Ministry of Health to this day. In this case, although the last thing he needed was more things to do and more tasks to undertake, it was because I asked him that he said he would take on this commission.

Mr. Kerrio: Did you pay him?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Yes, we paid him.

Mr. Kerrio: I thought he volunteered.

Hon. Mr. Wells: We paid him, but to some people it is not a case of whether you are paid or not that counts, it is whether you have the time to really undertake a study such as this.

Mr. Kerrio: How dedicated was he?

Hon. Mr. Wells: How dedicated?

Mr. Kerrio: What did you pay him?

Hon. Mr. Wells: We paid him something like $80,000, but that took a lot of work.

Mr. Nixon: What a sacrifice that really was.

Hon. Mr. Wells: My friend and I, not being members of the legal profession, do not have an appreciation of all the costs that go with that. You have to take care of your partners too.

Anyway, what I want to say is that the original idea was that Barry Swadron would head a commission that would be made up of five people and that Barry, being the chairman, would have two representatives of Metro and two representatives of the city of Toronto, and it was hoped that through his work we would be able to come up with a solution to the island situation that would be acceptable to all and would provide a blueprint for the solving of this problem.

Because Metropolitan Toronto council in its wisdom decided not to participate, although the city of Toronto appointed its two representatives, we were not able to realize the original idea of the Swadron commission being a commission that would hear all the facts, study the situation and, supposedly with people from both camps, would be able to come up with a solution that would be mutually acceptable.

Metropolitan council chose not to appoint any representatives and, in fact, shunned the Swadron commission. Swadron, however, did hold hearings. He listened to all sides. He brought forward all the facts and did the first really authoritative study on the matter. I think his report, Pressure Island, is a good background piece of information with recommendations the essence of which this government was happy to accept. We based our bill on the report.

We thank Barry Swadron for the job he did. We thank all the people who have worked over many years to bring us to the point where we are today.

I commend this bill to the House for its passage.

Motion agreed to.

Ordered for committee of the whole House.


Resuming the adjourned debate on the motion for second reading of Bill 151, An Act to amend the Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires Act.

Mr. Boudria: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak in favour of Bill 151, as I hope all members of this Legislature will be. Unlike one member of the New Democratic Party who expressed some concerns yesterday, I am not particularly concerned with the veto that the government is going to have over the appointments listed in the bill. Having consulted the president of the Fédération des Caisses Populaires de l'Ontario, Mr. Jean-Baptiste Alie, who lives in my riding, I want members to know that the federation of caisses populaires is not all that concerned with that feature of the bill either.

However, I am a little concerned with one aspect of the bill, and I wish to propose an amendment later on to deal with that. My concern is that once the government has decided to take over a credit union or a caisse populaire, there would really be no process of appeal. This concern was also expressed by the Fédération des Caisses Populaires de l'Ontario, and it wanted an amendment that would allow an appeal by some mechanism to the government. As I say, I will be proposing an amendment to that effect later. I understand the New Democratic Party also will be proposing an amendment to that bill.

Mr. Di Santo: A better one.

Mr. Boudria: I notice one member says that it is a very good amendment. The Fédération des Caisses Populaires de l'Ontario thinks we should be against that amendment, because it says the government should have had this authority all along. The federation is not in favour of this particular view, which says they are going to have it for only a little while and then revert back to the original principle of the act in 1985.

I think this bill is very necessary. In Quebec, not long ago, we saw some of the runs that occurred on the caisses populaires. We certainly hope such a situation would not occur in Ontario. Of course, we know that our financial institutions here in Ontario are in far better shape; at least the caisses populaires certainly are.

Nevertheless, for the public to have the confidence that it has had in those institutions, it is necessary to have this legislation. By having this kind of legislation, there will not be the fears that occurred elsewhere about the investments in credit unions and caisses populaires.

I am sorry to see that some credit unions are in the financial shape they are in today. That is a rather unfortunate set of events. I guess it is a worldwide phenomenon because of the high interest rates and, unfortunately, our country is part of that process. We know that some of the credit unions have invested money at 10 per cent and are trying to attract new money in at 17 per cent. Obviously, they are short of funds and, until the interest rates go down, that situation will not improve.

5:40 p.m.

Somebody said yesterday that Ontario Hydro, which has sold some of these bonds to credit unions, should refinance them at a higher interest rate. I think that would be very improper. Ontario Hydro should be run in a more businesslike fashion. This is what we have advocated as a party. It would not be in anybody's best interests to refinance to pay more money; that suggestion is ludicrous.

Having said that, I will conclude my brief statement on this bill. I want members to know that the Fédération des Caisses Populaires de l'Ontario is very much in favour of this bill. However, they would like to see some form of amendment such as the one I will be proposing later. The minister and everybody concerned has a copy of this amendment now.

Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, in speaking to the principle of the bill before us, Bill 151, An Act to amend the Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires Act, I would have to say that the amendment you see before you today, in terms of Bill 151 and the subsequent amendments that will no doubt be introduced in the next few minutes, presuming that we go into committee at that time, are basically the results of a grass-roots movement within the credit union movement.

In fact, on November 7 a special general meeting of all member credit unions of Central was convened here in Toronto. After some very lengthy discussions, they ultimately concluded that they would set up a task force for the purpose of studying their financial future and their economic outlook. It was not a secret by then, of course, that there was some difficulties related to the matching of funds, difficulties that have been found in virtually every jurisdiction in Canada and in every jurisdiction in the United States.

Matching high interest rates is a real problem, making life very difficult. To the credit of the league and the member unions who gathered that day, they set up a task force for the purpose of redirecting their future. That task force has been meeting incessantly since November 7 to attempt to resolve its direction. With that in mind, they came forward with a number of amendments.

It may appear a bit complicated. I ask members to bear with us in this complication. But it is in the best interests of the credit union movement that the proposed amendments, both those to be introduced later on today and those already in Bill 151, be approved and passed by this Legislature during this session, and obviously during this week, to avoid any difficulties. Once they have determined the direction to head in, it will be time for us to put that action into place.

In fact, there are a number of people representing both Central and the task force in the west gallery: the president of the task force, Mr. John Buddle, who is from Burlington; the vice-president, Mr. Bill Goertz; Mr. Tony Niessen; Mr. Warren Hanstead, who is the chairman of Central; Mr. Al Charbonneau was there a few moments ago, and I believe, if I see clearly up there, there is Mr. Fred Jones of Thunder Bay, who is from the Great Lakes Credit Union. These people show that it is a grass-roots movement to provide for the best direction of the credit union movement in Ontario.

Regarding the amendments that members will see in a moment, I just want to make a comment, not about a specific amendment but about the purpose for bringing them in and tying the two together. The basic principle of Bill 151 is to establish a procedure to protect investors and shareholders of credit unions. This was done by providing for a guaranteed procedure and a procedure to take over credit unions operations that found themselves in extreme financial difficulties.

The amendments are in keeping with this principle and provide an additional procedure to protect the interests of the credit union movement by establishing a liquidity fund and by clarifying the power of the Ontario Share and Deposit Insurance Corporation to take over leagues finding themselves in trouble. While amendments are lengthy, the principle is the same, and that is the protection of the credit union movement.

Once it was determined by Bill 151 to provide support for the credit unions by the Ontario Share and Deposit Insurance Corporation, it was necessary to clarify how this would be done.

The proposed section 118(a) of the act that I will make reference to in a few moments provides for a guarantee upon terms and conditions. As a result of our discussions with the Credit Union Central of Ontario, we have determined a specific set of circumstances under which the guarantee could be given to the central.

Thus the amendments set out one set of circumstances and conditions that might have been prescribed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council. We think they should now be in the bill and, as a consequence, that will be what we will be proposing shortly. With that, I think it would be appropriate for us to move into the committee of the whole House.

Motion agreed to.

House in committee of the whole.


Consideration of Bill 151, An Act to amend the Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires Act.

On section 1:

Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment that has now been distributed to everybody in the House.

Mr. Chairman: Hon. Mr. Walker moves that section 1 of the bill be struck out and the following substituted therefor:

"1. The Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires Act, being chapter 102 of the Revised Statutes of Ontario, 1980, is amended by adding thereto the following sections:

"92a. (1) A league may maintain a liquidity pool designated as a 'mandatory liquidity pool.'

"(2) Subject to section 92b, a league shall not maintain a mandatory liquidity pool unless (a) it has submitted a plan for operating the pool to the director and the director has approved the plan, and (b) the Lieutenant Governor in Council has by order authorized the league to maintain a mandatory liquidity pool.

"92b. (1) Where in the opinion of the Lieutenant Governor in Council a league should maintain a mandatory liquidity pool, the Lieutenant Governor in Council without holding a hearing may by order direct the league to maintain such a pool and the league shall thereupon maintain such a pool.

"(2) An order made under subsection 1 may contain a plan for operating the mandatory liquidity pool.

"92c. (1) A league that maintains a mandatory liquidity pool shall operate the pool in accordance with the plan approved under clause 92a(2)(a) or included in an order under subsection 92b(2).

"(2) Each credit union that was a member of a league on July 1, 1981, or such other date as may be prescribed by the regulations, which league has been authorized under clause 92a(2)(b) or directed under subsection 92b(1) to maintain a mandatory liquidity pool, shall deposit and maintain assets, which are authorized investments under subsection 4, with such league, as part of the mandatory liquidity pool, having a market value that is not less than 10 per cent of the member credit union's share, deposits and borrowings determined as of the 31st day of December of each year.

5:50 p.m.

"(3) A credit union required to make a deposit with a league pursuant to subsection 2 shall be exempt from the requirements of section 92.

"(4) Subject to such limitations and restrictions as may be prescribed by the regulations, a league shall invest the assets of a mandatory liquidity pool in (a) cash, including deposits with a chartered bank in Canada, a loan or trust company registered under the Loan and Trust Corporations Act, the Province of Ontario Savings Office or a league, providing that such deposits are callable within 90 days, (b) unencumbered bonds, debentures or other obligations of or guaranteed by the government of Canada, or by the government of any province, valued at market value, and (c) such investments as may be authorized by the regulations.

"(5) A mandatory liquidity pool shall be managed by an investment committee consisting of three members nominated by the league who have been approved and appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council and where the league fails to nominate members, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may appoint the members.

"(6) A league shall file with the director, within 15 days of the end of each quarter of its fiscal year, a statement of operation with respect to its mandatory liquidity pool, a balance sheet in relation to the pool and the auditor's report, if any, and the statement shall also contain such other information as to compliance with this section and regulations as the director requires.

"(7) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by regulation, (a) prescribe limitations and restrictions on the investment of the assets of a mandatory liquidity pool, and authorize additional investments for the purposes of subsection 4, (b) establish a rate of interest or method of determining a rate of interest to be paid on deposits made under subsection 2 and a league shall pay to credit unions the rate of interest so established or determined on deposits made under subsection 2, (c) prescribe alternate dates for the purposes of subsection 2, and (d) exempt any credit union from the requirements of subsection 2 subject to such terms and conditions as may be set out in the regulations.

"2. Section 95 of the said act is amended by striking out '118' in the first line and inserting in lieu thereof '118b.'"

Hon. Mr. Walker further moves that section 2 of the bill be renumbered as section 3.

Mr. Bradley: Speaking very briefly to the amendment, Mr. Chairman, we in the official opposition will be supporting it. We have had the opportunity now to review it over the evening; we did have most of this amendment available to us last night. I have asked for any input from members of my caucus, who are no doubt hearing from the credit unions and caisses populaires across Ontario.

We feel that the amendment does make sense. We feel, once again, that we are protecting the very people who have brought these problems to the attention of the government, and we are maintaining confidence in the credit union and caisse populaire system in this province. We see no real problem with this amendment, and we will be supporting it.

Mr. Swart: Mr. Chairman, we too in this party will be unanimously supporting the rather large and comprehensive amendment before us. I want to say, though, that we do it with a bit of anxiety, not so much about the legislation but about the proceedings that have brought us to this point and some of the timing in this amendment.

We are aware that this is a replacement for the decision that was made on November 7. A tentative decision was made then that would have requested each credit union to deposit six per cent of its assets with the Ontario Credit Union League, which would pay a low interest rate, 10 per cent, because it was receiving low interest rates on long-term loans, particularly with Ontario Hydro. In a sense, they are giving up that, which of course required no legislation, for the amendment we have before us, which will require that credit unions deposit, as I understand it, 10 per cent of their assets in this mandatory liquidity pool of the credit union league.

Through that method, even though the difference will be substantially higher in what they will be paying the credit unions for the money deposited with them, there will be more funds there and therefore they will perhaps receive as much revenue. I am not sure whether that has been worked out, but at least it will be satisfactory to the credit union league, and they are supporting this.

Our first concern is that it is mandatory, whereas it was voluntary before. This will require all credit unions to deposit 10 per cent. Granted, under the other section of the act, they will not then have to have this 10 per cent deposit, which most of them have deposited now in various banks and other financial institutions. There is also a limitation on that in their own area; this will be pooled centrally and, therefore, it will obviously be more available for the need of the credit union league.

We have two or three minutes yet, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman: The government House leader has a couple of motions he wants to propose.

Mr. Swart: Perhaps you would like me to move the adjournment of the debate and I could pursue this further at eight o'clock.

Mr. Chairman: If you have other comments, we will just call on you when we come back in committee of the whole House.

Mr. Swart: Yes, I would expect that would be the case. Do you want me then to move the adjournment of the debate?

Mr. Chairman: No. That is not necessary.

On motion by Hon. Mr. Wells, the committee of whole House reported progress.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, with the consent of the House, I would like to ask you if we could revert back to "motions."

Mr. Speaker: Do we have the consent of the House to revert?

Agreed to.



Hon. Mr. Wells moved that the standing committee on regulations and other statutory instruments be authorized to sit tonight, Tuesday, December 15, 1981.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. Wells moved that the standing committee on social development be authorized to sit tomorrow morning, Wednesday, December 16, 1981.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, the House tonight will consider the remaining committee of the whole debate on Bill 151. We will also be doing the supplementary estimates for the Office of the Assembly and the Ombudsman and then concurrences as listed on the Order Paper.

The House recessed at 6:01 p.m.