The House met at 2 p.m.
Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the opposition, may I say "Welcome back" to the Premier (Mr. Davis). But I think you should send forth a little expedition to find out why brothers Grossman, Walker and Timbrell are not here applauding the return to the House of the Premier today.
Mr. T. P. Reid: They jumped out of the Macdonald Block last night.
Mr. Peterson: They maybe in the cell down in the basement.
Mr. T. P. Reid: The sound of screaming could be heard for miles -- all the way from Switzerland.
Hon. Mr. Ashe: That's the Liberal tie the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Peterson) is wearing; it has every colour of the rainbow.
Mr. Peterson: I am going to ask the Premier a question, and he can talk about my tie on that occasion if he would like to do so; it is as relevant as anything.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I didn't say anything about your tie at all, except that you need sunglasses.
Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, the Premier is no doubt aware that we had some 233,000 unemployed young people aged 15 to 24 in this province last month, constituting an unemployment rate of about 22.2 per cent; and for males that is almost one in four who is unemployed. The Premier will realize, I am sure, that while the young people make up only 19 per cent of the population, they currently account for 41 per cent of the unemployment of Ontario.
With these high levels of youth unemployment, I am asking the Premier why his government is not responding. He is aware, of course, that the last budget's supplementary allocation of some $7 million to the Ontario youth employment program was underspent by some $6.3 million; so even the money that has been allocated is not being spent. It is creating, in this year's terms, some 11,000 fewer jobs than in 1981 or 1982, and 13,000 fewer jobs than in 1980-81. So the government response, given the magnitude of the problem, has been very dismal.
When is the Premier going to direct his government and his Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) to direct resources into this most critical problem?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, the government is aware of the concern expressed by the Leader of the Opposition. This has been addressed by the government in the past and will continue to be so. I suggest that he wait until roughly four o'clock on Tuesday afternoon.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Mr. Speaker, is the Premier aware that about 160,000 Ontarians will turn 19 years of age in 1983 and that, of this group, about 95,000 will either drop out of school or get no further apprenticeship or gain other skills? What does he intend to do about the fact that about 78,000 people will enter the work force with neither a university degree, a college diploma, completed apprenticeship nor certification?
Can the Premier indicate now exactly which direction we are heading in to provide these people, who otherwise are going to be permanently unemployed, with some hope for the future?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I am far more optimistic and have far more confidence in the future of this province than perhaps has the honourable member. If he looks back historically, that confidence and optimism is based on substantial fact. I think it is fair to state that, compared with almost any other jurisdiction with the same growth in that age group, unlike West Germany, the United Kingdom, etc., our record in this province really is unequalled by those of comparable jurisdictions.
I suggest to the honourable member that if he too, along with his leader, waits until approximately four o'clock on Tuesday, I anticipate that the Treasurer will have some observations to make.
Mr. Cooke: Mr. Speaker, in view of the fact that in Mr. Lalonde's budget he is projecting unemployment is going to be running at 12 per cent this year, 11 per cent next year and 10 per cent after that, and obviously that means youth unemployment is going to continue at around 20 per cent, is the Premier prepared to assure us that in next week's budget there will be major job creation programs addressed to the young people of this province so that we do not continue to have more and more young people unemployed, a generation of young people who will never experience the value and dignity of work in Ontario?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I say to the honourable member, who is once again on a bit of a fantasy flight, that no generation is going to be without employment. I do not agree with Mr. Lalonde's projections. They may be relatively accurate; I do not know. All I can say is that former federal budgets have not always been totally accurate.
It is fair to state that once again, as I said to the member for Rainy River, if one looks back at the historical record of this province and compares it with that of any other industrialized community in North America, one will find that not only have we been able to assimilate people within the work force in competitive numbers -- in fact, better than in most jurisdictions -- but also that once again will be the future of this province.
I suggest that for the member to hint there will be a whole generation of young people without employment is just totally inaccurate but consistent with his point of view on many other issues, which once again has been totally inaccurate since he has been a member of the House.
Mr. Mancini: Mr. Speaker, in 1980-81 this government spent $58.80 per person on programs for unemployed youth. In 1981-82 this fell to $53.94. Last year, real funding levels were cut even further to $45.28. Given the announced funding cutbacks and the current employment trends, the ratio probably will fall to about $36 for the 1983-84 fiscal year.
Will the Premier ask the Treasurer to accept the suggestion I gave to him yesterday in an open letter and use moneys from the unnecessary government advertising in the Ontario youth employment program so the youth of this province will have an opportunity to find work this summer, fall and winter?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I actually read the open letter from the honourable member. I really understand his creative approach, but I find it a shade unfortunate that he is attempting in a statistical way to evaluate either government programs or the successful nature of our employment programs for youth based on a percentage of the dollar.
With respect, if the member looks at the total commitment last year -- I think it was in the neighbourhood of $21 million -- he will find that it provided a large number of jobs for young people in this province. He will find on Tuesday that the Treasurer will demonstrate not only a sensitivity but also a realistic logical approach to this matter, as he has done in the past.
FUNDING FOR EDUCATION
Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, I have another question for the Premier. He will recall, when he left the Education portfolio a decade or so ago, that the education share of the budget was some 23 per cent. Even acknowledging that there have been declining enrolments, it now constitutes some 14.6 per cent of the provincial budget.
The Premier will be aware that the entire thrust of the new directions in education, such as the reports of the secondary education review project, OSIS, or Ontario Schools Intermediate and Senior divisions, and a variety of other new proposals that presumably will be statutorily enshrined and will oblige the school boards to do a variety of things, are going to cost a great deal of money.
He is also aware that the financial effects of Bill 82 are putting real pressure on the school boards and that, for example, the 3,000 or 4,000 new French classes we will require are going to cost a great deal of money.
How can the Premier reconcile these two divergent approaches? On the one hand he is cutting back funding in real terms, and on the other hand he is demanding more of the school boards. How is the Premier going to explain to the boards how they are going to fund these new programs?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I am always intrigued by the approach of the Leader of the Opposition, who will take up an issue if he senses there is some political mileage inherent therein. At the same time, I will predict with total accuracy that when he gets on the news as he rushes out of here on Tuesday at six o'clock, he will say the government should be spending less and should have a lower deficit at the same time as he comes in here and tells us that in program after program we should be spending more. I will give 11-to-two odds that is exactly what he will do. He has done it every year he has been here.
Mr. Bradley: We'll settle for an answer; never mind the 11 to two.
Mr. Peterson: Is there anything the Premier would like to say about my tie while he is up on his feet? I will tell him what I am going to say. I am going to tell him to sell Suncor and cut the outrageous expenditure on his advertising. He should spend money appropriately for a change. Why is he cheating kids when he has money to spend constantly on his own aggrandizement over there?
The Deputy Speaker: The question being?
Mr. Peterson: It is his priorities that are screwed up over there, that is the Premier's problem, and I will say the same then as I am saying now. Now, does he want to answer the question?
He is aware, now the figures will come out, that the provincial share of education now has fallen below 50 per cent from 60 per cent or so some five or seven years ago. The incredible pressures the government is putting on the school boards, and thereby the municipal taxpayers, are creating a crisis in funding in the educational system. What is the Premier's approach to that?
Hon. Mr. Davis: The member may find, if he analyses it very carefully, that there is the odd school board in Ontario with a budgetary surplus. I know that will come as a great shock to him and will be contrary to what he is suggesting. He may find that. He should get his researchers to use that public money he talks about to analyse it just a shade more closely. The member for Quinte (Mr. O'Neil) is smiling, because he happens to know I am telling the truth.
Mr. Sweeney: He is smiling in disbelief.
Mr. O'Neil: I will not even comment on that.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I certainly was right in the first instance. He was smiling. He cannot deny that.
Mr. Sweeney: In absolute disbelief.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I say to the member for Kitchener-Wilmot (Mr. Sweeney) --
Mr. Bradley: Call him to order.
Hon. Mr. Davis: The member should tell his colleague to be quiet; and he might do the same himself.
The Deputy Speaker: Yes, there is something to that.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I was saying to the Leader of the Opposition that if he looks historically at the level of --
Mr. Mancini: We can see now why you didn't go.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I just say to the member for Essex South (Mr. Mancini) that without a leader we are doing substantially better than his national party. And with his present leader, we are doing an awful lot better in this province than they are. I may even tell him a bit more about that later this afternoon.
Historically we have been over 50 per cent in some years, no question. This year it will probably emerge at 49 plus some per cent of the cost. I say to the member from St. Catharines (Mr. Bradley), who likes to interject, if he also includes in that figure the amount -- which is a legitimate educational expense -- that goes into the contribution by Ontario to the very valid area of teacher superannuation, with which he will be very familiar, and the amount of money that is allocated in terms of property tax credits for the educational levy that relates to the school board expenditure, he will find that on average we are well above 50 per cent.
I also say to the member that while the school boards of this province do have additional responsibilities, I think it is fair to state that if he calculates the expenditure per student related to many competing jurisdictions in terms of salaries for our elementary and secondary school teachers -- and I say to him to please go back to what he said about them as a professional group not too long ago -- it will be sensed that in terms of priority, or as a sense of total public expenditure, the elementary and secondary school systems are being well served.
There is no question there are some pressures; however, we are all dealing with pressures in terms of public expenditure, and I think the contribution of the province to the school system this year will enable it to provide a high level of educational service; a level that, with great respect, is not equalled anywhere else in this country.
Mr. Allen: Mr. Speaker, with all due respect, that is not the message we are getting from teachers and those who are closest to students. In 1943 Premier Drew promised to maintain provincial funding at 50 per cent. It took 27 years for this province to achieve that and now it is backing away from it. The Premier assures us that given the new initiatives his government paints with a beautiful red brush, Bill 82 --
Mr. Sheppard: Blue.
Mr. Allen: I'm sorry; it is blue, blue is the order of the day today.
Mr. T. P. Reid: The ones who are not here are wearing black.
Mr. Allen: In any case, regardless of colour, there are two new major initiatives out there, Bill 82 and the Renewal of Secondary Education report. We know that will cost a lot more money if either of those projects is going to be done decently.
Will the Premier assure us that the money will be in place to ensure adequate funding to put special education into the classrooms and to satisfactorily reorder the secondary curriculum, so it will be meaningful and not simply a hollow sham?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I could not hear for the interjections from some members of the honourable member's own party. He referred to --
Mr. Martel: We were talking about the coronation that didn't happen.
Hon. Mr. Davis: No, no; I could not hear the member for some of the things some of his colleagues were saying. I understand --
Mr. Swart: If you listened you would do a lot better.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh no; the member from Welland (Mr. Swart) has only to whisper and we are inundated.
Can I say to the honourable member that I heard him refer to the one report. What was the second report?
Mr. Wildman: The ROSE report.
Hon. Mr. Davis: The member means the secondary education review project report.
Can I suggest, with respect, that whatever reorganization may take place within the secondary school system, I do not think it is inherent in any reorganization or alteration that it necessarily requires substantial increases in the amount of funding. In my own mind, I do not think I have ever been able necessarily to equate quality in education with the amount of money that is allocated. I think that is a bit of mythology which the member should take a careful look at.
I assure the member that we are committed to special education. I have made that statement a dozen times in the past 21 or so years in this Legislature. But I also suggest to the teachers who come to the member with their concerns, and I appreciate they are genuine, that in terms of the amount of funding, the priority that has been given and the traditional approach to education in this province, our teachers and our students are being well served. I say that without fear of contradiction.
I give the member an opportunity to show me statistically how they are being better served in any other part of Canada or, quite frankly, in any part of the United States. Even in California they do not do as well.
Mr. Bradley: Mr. Speaker, I think the Premier recognizes that all members of the House are pleased we have Bill 82 and commend the efforts of his government in that regard, as well as for the initiatives in terms of French-language education.
Will the Premier give a commitment to the House that money will not be taken from other essential areas of education to pay for the implementation of Bill 82 and other initiatives that flow from OSIS?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, as far as the general legislative grants are concerned we certainly will not be taking money from other important or, as the honourable member phrases it, essential areas of education. But there is not just a responsibility upon government but also, and I say this with respect, a modest responsibility upon the local school boards, which have democratically elected individuals and competent and relatively well-paid professionals at the head of their systems, to organize their priorities to see what efficiencies they can create within the school system.
While I suggest they have done a certain measure of this, and I do not quarrel with it, I think there are still some areas where greater creativity can be shown, such as in the area of administration, perhaps in the numbers of people involved, so the dollars -- which are scarce, and no one is going to argue with that -- can be appropriately spent. That includes special education.
Mr. Rae: Mr. Speaker, in the absence of the Minister of Health (Mr. Grossman), I would like to address a question to the Premier.
Can he explain why the Ministry of Health approved a contract between Queensway General Hospital and Extendicare Ltd.? That contract gives ownership of a chronic care unit of 120 beds to a private, profit firm called Extendicare, in exchange for which the provincial government and the taxpayers of this province will be providing that private, profit institution with capital funding of $2.2 million, operating revenues well in excess of $400,000 a month and private and semi-private fees, as well as user fees, at a rate, for private and semi-private fees, that has been described by an official of the Ministry of Health as whatever the traffic will bear.
How can the Premier possibly justify that kind of approval and that kind of a project when it simply means the taxpayers of this province are handing over large chunks of money to private, profit medicine in Ontario?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I guess there is a philosophical difference between this party and that of the leader of the New Democratic Party. Profit over here is not an ugly word. I know it is with him. I understand that. I do not agree with it.
If he will trace the history of the involvement with Queensway, he will find it was initiated by the board of Queensway General Hospital, a group of people who represent that community. They are a group of people who have had some success, in my view, in administering that hospital. They came to the government with this proposal. It is not a new principle and it is not unique. We have seen many hospitals contracting out requirements for laundry services and things of that nature.
There is no question that, in terms of the assessment of the Queensway General Hospital board and in terms of the economics, this is an excellent way to go. I know it offends the honourable member philosophically but if the level of care is there, and we agree it will be, if economically it is as efficient as other ways of funding extended care or chronic care facilities, why should the leader of the third party be reluctant to see whether this pilot project will create greater efficiencies within the health care system? What is so offensive to him?
Mr. Rae: What is offensive is that we are squandering taxpayers' dollars and handing them over to private, profit individuals. The Premier says there is a philosophical difference between our two parties. He is quite right. He and his party believe health care is a commodity that should be sold to the highest bidder, and we in our party find this view offensive to the notion that health care is a right for every citizen.
In that regard, since the Premier brought up the question of contracting out and the activities of the Ministry of Health, does he really think it is appropriate that the Ministry of Health should be contracting out the ownership and operation of large-scale operations to private companies whose senior executives, in the case of Extendicare and AMI (Canada) Ltd., are former senior officials of the Ministry of Health itself? Does he not think this kind of relationship and this kind of contracting out is totally inappropriate in Ontario?
Hon. Mr. Davis: I must confess to the member that I am not familiar with the senior executives of Extendicare at all. I do not even know who they are. But I think, if memory serves me correctly, he may find that the same sort of operation -- maybe even the same company -- was doing some of the same kind of service work in Saskatchewan under the leadership of his former friend and colleague Premier Blakeney.
Ms. Copps: Mr. Speaker, when the Premier says the discussion with Extendicare was entirely --
Mr. Hennessy: Louder, louder.
Ms. Copps: Does my friend want it louder? I will give it to him louder.
When the Premier says the discussion was a discussion between the board at Queensway hospital and Extendicare, can he explain to me why I spoke with a member of the institutional planning division of the Ministry of Health last year and was told that the discussions with Queensway were under way, and when we called the administrator of Queensway to get information about the project, he stated: "Don't ask me; ask Larry Grossman. I have been working on this deal for eight months and I am not about to blow it now"?
Hon. Mr. Davis: I haven't the foggiest idea.
Mr. Rae: Truer words have never been spoken by the Premier.
Since I gather from the Premier's earlier answer that not only does he not find these contracts and this trend in the province offensive but also it is a trend he favours, I wonder whether he can comment on a remark that was made by the vice-president of AMI, who said: "We have done our homework. We are anxious to move forward just as other situations arise. We think we have a big future in Ontario. We are focusing on Ontario for our achievement list." Similar statements were made by Extendicare in its annual report for 1982 in the sense that it sees this as the beginning of a trend in Ontario.
Can the Premier give us an assurance today that no more hospitals and no more chronic care units will be turned over to private, profit medicine for use of a private and semi-private user fee system in Ontario? Can he also give us an assurance that this tendency to demolish accessibility and universality in Ontario with respect to health care finally will be brought to an end?
Hon. Mr. Davis: I say to the member, don't get so excited, eh? The first part of his question he already asked last week to somebody. I can recall that --
Mr. Martel: He didn't get an answer.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Listen, he used exactly the same quotation.
Mr. Rae: I didn't get an answer.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I just thought I would remind him that I heard the same question last week to one of the ministers, and a very excellent answer.
I cannot speak with the same knowledge about the arrangement at Hawkesbury hospital. They did not speak to me. I am familiar, not with the details but with what the Queensway hospital board is developing. They came to see me. I directed them to the Ministry of Health. I think the ministry has already said this is not a trend; it is a project the government has supported. We want to see how effective it is, how efficient it is, the standard of care. We are relatively confident that the assessment the Queensway hospital board has made in its desire to initiate this project will turn out to be correct.
The member's suggestion that we are turning over the entire hospital system in this province to private entrepreneurs is totally erroneous. Do not get carried away. Do not exaggerate the problem. Leave room for a little creativity. Leave room for a little entrepreneurship that may be more efficient and may even provide a better level of health care. Do not get so excited about it.
Mr. Rae: The so-called nursing home industry in this province is a monument to the Tory government's commitment to private, profit medicine in Ontario and the Premier knows it.
DEATH OF GARY GUILBEAULT
Mr. Rae: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Labour. It concerns the tragic death of a young man named Gary Guilbeault, who was only 24 years old, in an accident on April 26 in the Stanleigh mine at Elliot Lake. I am sure the minister knows about this accident.
There was a very strong feeling on the part of the union health and safety committee that this was an accident that could have been avoided. Mr. Guilbeault was hit by a ventilation door that came down on him as he was driving a scoop tram through. Thirty general ventilation orders with respect to the ventilation system were issued last year and four have been issued so far this year, on February 7 and 28, March 10 and April 22.
Can the minister give the House the categorical assurance that none of the orders involved could have affected the safety of this individual? Can he explain why so many orders have been issued over the past while? As the minister knows, 1,700 orders were issued against Rio Algom and Denison Mines last year. Can the minister tell us why that number of orders has been required? Can he give us the assurance that nothing could have been done to avoid the tragic death of Gary Guilbeault at Elliot Lake?
Hon. Mr. Ramsay: Mr. Speaker, the leader of the third party raises an excellent point. It is one I looked into on a personal basis as soon as I learned about this tragic accident.
It is my understanding that Mr. Guilbeault was driving in second gear when company policy requires driving in first gear. Apparently he did not stop to activate the switch but pulled the switch on the run.
We are trying to investigate this completely and also to look at the training and supervision aspects of the operation. I am expecting a complete report on that in the very near future.
Mr. Rae: I would like to tell the minister that the union has yet to receive the accident investigation report from the Ministry of Labour. They would appreciate receiving a copy of it.
Our information from both witness and company reports is that the alternator belt on the scoop tram was broken, the headlights were not working properly and, perhaps most important, Mr. Guilbeault was not licensed to run a 320 scoop tram. The fact that he was not licensed had not been checked by his supervisor. That is the information we have. Could the minister report back to the House with respect to that?
If the ministry had policies with respect to refusal on a group basis when a union feels an operation is unsafe, such as were recommended by my colleague the member for Sudbury East (Mr. Martel) in his ground-breaking report entitled, Not Yet Healthy, Not Yet Safe, does the minister not feel that kind of measure would have given the union the ability to protect the life of Gary Guilbeault when it felt it needed that right?
Hon. Mr. Ramsay: In response to the first part of the member's question, I believe when I answered originally I stated we were looking at two aspects of the company operation: first, whether or not he was properly trained; and second, whether or not he was properly supervised. We are looking at the very points the member has raised and I indicated that right at the beginning.
As far as the suggestion the honourable member is putting forward, it is something we will simply have to take a look at.
Mr. Wildman: Mr. Speaker, I hope the minister looks at it very seriously, because if the recommendation of my colleague from Sudbury East had been implemented, perhaps Gary Guilbeault would still be alive today.
Is the minister aware the Atomic Energy Control Board has recognized the danger of the ventilation doors but has refused to deal with that in its regulations, arguing it is a matter of conventional health and safety and is therefore up to the provincial authorities? This again raises the federal-provincial jurisdictional dispute that has bedevilled regulation of health and safety for uranium miners for far too long.
Is he now prepared to accede to the requests made by the union and order the installation of audio and visual warning devices on these doors? If he is not because of the jurisdictional dispute, is he prepared to get out of the field of health and safety for uranium mines altogether?
Hon. Mr. Ramsay: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member brings up a good point. We have been holding ongoing negotiations with the federal government, with the mining industry and with the unions as to whether we should get out and turn those responsibilities over to the federal government.
We have found great reluctance on the part of the industry for us to do that. We have found some reluctance on the part of the unions for us to do that. Yet the federal government is telling us it feels it should be taking over those responsibilities. We are attempting to come to grips with that.
Mr. Martel: Four years.
Hon. Mr. Ramsay: I agree it has been far too long. I do not disagree whatsoever and I wish I could bring it to a satisfactory resolution. In the meantime, while we are trying to make the necessary arrangements with the federal government, I will not apologize for the calibre of the inspectors or the calibre of the inspections being done by the personnel of the mine safety branch of the Ministry of Labour.
Hon. Mrs. Birch: Mr. Speaker, I would like to respond further to a question raised with me on Monday by the member for Bellwoods (Mr. McClellan) concerning the continued treatment of Debbie Sutherland.
As I promised, I discussed this matter with the Deputy Minister of Health and with the acting minister, the member for Eglinton (Mr. McMurtry). We are pleased that since her birth Debbie has been able and will continue to be able to receive this unique treatment within the Ontario health care system. However, we do not believe patients or their parents should be faced with the unbearable debt to pay for necessary medical treatment in the public hospitals of Ontario.
I have asked the deputy minister to contact the Ontario Medical Association and ask it to review this entire matter in the light of the repeated assurances of the medical profession that opting out does not restrict access to medicare or place undue financial burdens on those with limited income.
Regarding the unpaid portion of the medical bills, the Ontario health insurance plan schedule of benefits has a provision under independent consideration. This provides flexibility when considering situations such as this, under which the experts in the medical field, as well as the Ministry of Health, can determine whether unique situations such as Debbie Sutherland's would warrant special consideration for funding.
I will review this further with the Minister of Health (Mr. Grossman) when he returns and ask him to report to the House.
Mr. McClellan: Mr. Speaker, if I understand the minister correctly, and I hope I am not putting too uncharitable a cast on it, the Ministry of Health will be going cap in hand to the Ontario Medical Association on behalf of the Sutherland family and, in effect, begging for charity.
I would like to ask the provincial secretary if she is aware that the stupendous volume of opted-out claims in this province -- which now amounts to three million claims a year, 8,219 opted-out claims each and every day of the year -- means there are many cases of severe financial hardship, the majority of which are specialist opted-out claims? It is totally preposterous for her government to be in the position of trying to deal with these on a case-by-case basis. Even if it is able to solve the Sutherland case, and it has not yet solved it, it cannot possibly solve all the cases of hardship created by this level of opting out.
The Deputy Speaker: The question is?
Mr. McClellan: When are they going to put an end to opting out and extra billing?
Hon. Mrs. Birch: I would suggest the member address that question to the Minister of Health when he returns. At this time, there is no indication the government will be issuing any such kind of regulation.
Ms. Copps: Mr. Speaker, will the provincial secretary make a commitment to table in the Legislature the response of the Ontario Medical Association to the question?
Hon. Mrs. Birch: Mr. Speaker, I will leave that consideration to the Minister of Health.
SALFORD LANDFILL SITE
Mr. Elston: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of the Environment. As he will recall, on December 22, 1982, the joint board under the Consolidated Hearings Act made a decision on the Salford landfill question. Has the minister now come to a decision as to whether he supports that decision of the joint board?
Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, as I am sure the member knows, there is an appeal which is currently before cabinet on that decision or flowing from that decision. As is routinely the case, an appeal has been circulated I believe to all parties and they have had an opportunity to respond. Among those, of course, would be my ministry, but any response that has been submitted would be a part of a cabinet submission and I would not be free to divulge the specific contents of any such submission to cabinet.
The matter will be dealt with by cabinet in due course and the decision will be made known to the member and others then.
Mr. Elston: The minister will realize the hearing that was held under the Consolidated Hearings Act went on for quite some time. There is a great deal of expense on the part of the interveners. There is a great deal of expense on the part of the proponents who, as I understand it, were under the care and guidance of the ministry. As a result of that, a great deal of technical information was passed in front of the board.
As a result of the technical nature of that hearing, that whole process, does the minister not feel it is probably not appropriate that the cabinet intervene to press its decision on top of a decision that was made by a fully qualified board under legislation which was sponsored in the past by this government?
Hon. Mr. Norton: Obviously when cabinet considers any appeal from any tribunal from which an appeal to cabinet flows, it considers very seriously and very carefully all aspects of the matter before it. This matter would be no different.
Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Treasurer. The Treasurer will be well aware that the high welfare levels have caused great hardship for municipalities around Ontario because of the burden on the property tax. I presume he is also aware that the Association of Municipalities of Ontario has a group that is now studying some alternatives to this particular format we have at the moment for dealing with welfare payments.
Will the minister in his budget, or around the time of his budget, be making a statement which will indicate a percentage reduction in the amount of money that would be coming from the property tax base? Or will he be announcing a number of direct grants to a select group of municipalities which he decides have been sufficiently hard hit to warrant some bailing out but not without touching the basic structural inequity at all?
The Deputy Speaker: Before the response, there seem to be an awful lot of private conversations taking place in the assembly. I am wondering if all members would co-operate, so we might hear the, I am sure, eloquent answer from the Treasurer.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Absolutely eloquent.
Mr. Speaker, my colleagues, the two ministers most commonly involved with the problem -- the ministers of Community and Social Services (Mr. Drea) and Municipal Affairs and Housing (Mr. Bennett) -- have also been monitoring the situation. Obviously I cannot make any commitment as to what is or is not in my budget; obviously, however, there has been concern. I believe the member will find answers from a number of ministers from way back on this issue saying there would or could be assistance programs for municipalities which are having a problem raising the money.
On average, the load has not significantly increased the mill rate, but on average it does not allow for the specific communities with real difficulties. I have to depend upon advice from them, as the member can understand, before determining which communities are involved or what assistance programs might be beneficial.
Mr. Wildman: Mr. Speaker, is the minister not aware that the reason the mill rate has not been affected in many communities such as Sault Ste. Marie, which is facing a 45 per cent increase in its welfare costs this year as more and more exhaustees come off unemployment insurance benefits, is that those municipalities such as the Sault have cut back on their other services, especially the roads budgets and other projects they would normally be spending on this year, and that means extra costs in the near future?
Can he confirm that the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing will be making an announcement of ad hoc grants to some of these municipalities in the near future? If that is true, what are the criteria that will determine which municipalities will get special assistance and which will not?
Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, no, I cannot confirm anything at this moment, and in fact I would point out that while there has been a growing general welfare assistance load in most municipalities, such as Metro Toronto, I believe it was just a couple of days ago that Metro said for the first time in quite a few months that the trend line had reversed. It was too early to say it was definite. However, when one looks at cities such as Windsor and Sudbury, where I believe employment has improved lately --
Hon. F. S. Miller: Sudbury has recently improved in employment.
Mr. Martel: It hasn't in the Soo, though. There are 2,200 guys not going back to work at all.
Hon. F. S. Miller: No, it has not in the Sault. I quite accept the fact. The trend lines may be improving. The other thing I would point out to my friend from the north is that one of the great beauties of municipal government is that they do have some flexibility in programs. It is a very wise thing to allow that flexibility. That does not mean we have not a provincial one. We have never denied that.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Mr. Speaker, does the Treasurer not recall that he already put an extra burden on the municipalities with the expansion of the seven per cent provincial sales tax? Besides that, is he not aware that his colleague has not been increasing the unconditional grant as compared to the conditional grant and that municipalities do not have the flexibility or the ability to make those kinds of decisions that the Treasurer is indicating? The government again has let the municipalities down in doing exactly what it had promised would be done in years past.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, if my friend's comments are correct, then why is the burden of municipal taxation a lower percentage of family income today than it was five years ago?
Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the member for Ottawa South and the senior minister for Ottawa-Carleton. For 10 years, he has been a minister in this cabinet and for 10 years we have experienced a shortage of acute care hospital beds in Ottawa-Carleton.
Can the member, as a senior minister, tell the people of Ottawa-Carleton when we are going to get additional acute care beds, in view of the fact that we now have not a political but an objective report from the Ottawa-Carleton Regional District Health Council?
This indicates that instead of making progress over the past 10 years, we have been going backwards. We are now short 214 adult acute care hospital beds for Ottawa-Carleton. In the meantime, we are having a situation where people cannot get into certain hospitals. We are having difficulty treating cancer patients and so on. What can he say to the people of Ottawa-Carleton to solve this very serious problem?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, first, I have had the opportunity of meeting with the members of the hospital planning council in Ottawa and reviewing with them some of the statistics in that report. In questioning the report, they were not quite sure of some of the bases it happens to be derived from.
The question should really be directed to the Minister of Health (Mr. Grossman), but I am delighted to have an opportunity to answer because I have met with them and have gone through some of the aspects of that report.
I think it would be fairer to say that some of the criticisms the member has levelled at this government for not having some of the provisions for heart treatment and so on have been answered by one of the most outstanding doctors in the community -- indeed, if not in the province and the country -- in the field of heart surgery, and that is Dr. Keon. He very clearly indicates that this government has gone an extremely long way in bringing on stream later this year, some time in the month of September, a relatively large number of units, or beds, for the treatment of heart patients.
Indeed, I asked the hospital planning council in the Ottawa-Carleton area one very straightforward question, "Are you indicating clearly to me that people cannot derive emergency service at all of the institutions in that general geographic area of our province?" That statement is not sustained or upheld by the hospital planning council. They know very well that the capacity is there to look after emergency cases. Where selective surgery is involved, there are sometimes delays in getting that surgery completed.
Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, the minister quoted from that great surgeon Dr. Keon, and that is the only thing I agree with him about: that he is a great surgeon.
But here is what Dr. Keon said just a very few weeks ago about Mrs. Henriette Renaud, who died because she could not be admitted to the cardiac unit: "But in this case there is just no excuse. She waited seven days, and if we had got her a few days before, even four or five hours before, she probably would be alive today." The reason he did not get her -- and he is quoted as saying this -- is that he did not have adequate beds.
The minister is well aware that the committee he met with has indicated the necessity is for active hospital acute care beds.
Mr. Rotenberg: Question.
Mr. Roy: Yes, I am coming along. I know it is very sensitive out there because the situation in Ottawa-Carleton is embarrassing.
The committee the minister met with has indicated that the occupancy rate for Ottawa- Carleton is the highest in the province, and what is necessary is more active or acute care beds.
Instead of just voicing generalities, will the minister and his colleague the member for Ottawa West (Mr. Baetz) or the member for Carleton-Grenville (Mr. Sterling), on behalf of their colleagues in cabinet, advise the people of Ottawa-Carleton when we will get additional acute care beds so that patients can get normal treatment in Ottawa-Carleton, as they do in the rest of the province?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Instead of trying to grandstand, the member for Ottawa East should look at the situation in its very clearest form. Indeed, he should read through the entire remarks of Dr. Keon, who recognizes the fact that the individual to whom the member refers should have been admitted to the hospital in advance; but that is a decision of that hospital, not of this government.
I question anyone who will tell me that in the great part of this province, eastern Ontario, the hospitals and the administrations of those hospitals are not responsive to emergency cases. If the member is saying they lack the intelligence, the understanding and the appreciation of emergency cases, I doubt very much that he understands the service of hospitals at all.
Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, when hospitals are pressed to the wall because of the shortage of resources to provide beds, they are going to be forced into making decisions they will regret, but they will be forced into them by the government.
Is it the policy of the government of Ontario, in addition to keeping a lower ratio of hospital beds to population in eastern Ontario than in any other part of the province, that more than 10 per cent of those beds will have to be taken up with chronic care patients? If not, what action will the minister take to ensure that there is space outside of acute care beds for chronic patients so that the acute care beds can be used for emergency needs?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, I have responded to the member for Ottawa East; I would suggest that the question of the member for Ottawa Centre is similar and I will refer any further questioning or answers on that to the Minister of Health.
EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN
Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Labour with regard to the government's goal, announced in 1980, to achieve 30 per cent representation of women in all modules and categories in the public service by the year 2000. I draw attention to an alarming statement in the introduction to the recently issued report of the women crown employees' office for 1981-82 which seems to indicate a backing away --
The Deputy Speaker: Order. I am sorry to interrupt the honourable member. I hate doing this but actually I am having trouble hearing the question. I wonder if all honourable members might be so kind as to keep their quiet conversations quiet.
Ms. Bryden: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
The comment in the women crown employees' office report for 1981-82 which alarms me and seems to indicate a backing away from the 30 per cent goal is as follows: "The result of this examination was an agreement that the specific goal of 30 per cent representation by women in all modules and categories may not be realistic in some categories and that the goal and methodology be re-examined." They are referring to an examination by the Provincial Auditor and the public accounts committee of the operation of the office.
Does the minister agree that both the goal and the methodology need to be re-examined? Does he feel such a modest goal as 30 per cent representation to be achieved 17 years hence is unrealistic, particularly in view of the opportunities his ministry and the government have to change the atmosphere and to increase the supply of qualified women and the openings to which they may apply?
Hon. Mr. Ramsay: Mr. Speaker, I agree with the honourable member. I think the goal of 30 per cent is the one we should be working towards. That is what we are attempting to achieve. In fact, that report also indicates that in the past year which the report covers there was improved representation in nine out of the 10 under-represented modules or categories. In the 10th, which was a technical module, the women maintained their representation. That is an indication of definite progress.
Ms. Bryden: Is the minister aware the criticism of the Provincial Auditor was directed to some specific categories involving technical and legal positions? What are the minister's plans to improve the opportunities for training women in these fields? Also, what are his plans to improve the projection techniques for vacancies in these fields?
The public accounts committee recommended both those procedures should be re-examined to see what programs can be developed for training qualified women and for improving the projections.
Hon. Mr. Ramsay: I agree with the recommendation that they should be re-examined and that is what is going on at the present time.
Mr. Wrye: Mr. Speaker, is the minister not concerned that while there was an overall increase noted in the report the increase in women's representation in the executive category in the past year was, I believe, only from 6.3 per cent to 6.9 per cent, a total of only 44 women in that category?
Has the minister's staff any studies that may have been done, and can he share them with us, to indicate whether the narrowing of the wage gap by 1.6 per cent as reported in that report was due more to large increases negotiated in collective agreements within the civil service than to any affirmative action by his own ministry?
Hon. Mr. Ramsay: Mr. Speaker, I am delighted the honourable member brought up the decrease in the wage gap by 1.6 per cent, because that is the most significant decrease we have had in a single year. We are proud of that and I am convinced it has been because of the affirmative action program.
In respect to the other part of the member's question, I just had a conversation yesterday with my colleague the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Pope). He was telling me very proudly, as well he should, of some executive changes involving women in his ministry.
He has a woman assistant deputy minister and there are now two or three regional directors who are women. That is certainly a breakthrough in that particular ministry, and the same thing is happening across government. This is particularly a breakthrough at a time when there has been a virtual freeze on employment and so on. All of the movement within the civil service is of an internal nature.
EMPLOYEES' PURCHASE OF PLANT
Mr. Van Horne: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Industry and Trade regarding yet another company closing in the province. Given the response of his colleague, the Minister of Labour (Mr. Ramsay), to a request for assistance to employees to purchase a plant about to close that he would do everything he could to persuade the company to arrange for the possibility of a buy-out by its employees, and given the minister's response to a request for legislation requiring companies first to make an offer to employees to purchase a plant about to close which was a flat "no," I would like to ask the minister if he still holds the same view in light of the imminent closing of a company on his own home turf in London, Ontario, PPG Industries; would he consider assistance in this and other cases to help employees buy companies which are about to close?
Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, I have indicated I am not prepared to see a law passed, and I do not think the member is prepared to see a law passed, that would oblige a company to sell out. In some cases it might not be in the interests of the company to do that. We have to realize they have a right to determine the approach they take to the business and who they might sell to. They have the right to not sell and this might sometimes work to their competitive advantage. Examples of this have come up in recent times.
However, I have agreed to use whatever persuasion my good offices could be to a company, in this case one from Hamilton, to try and be part of that process. I may say we did, to no avail. At least we made an attempt at it and I am prepared to do that in other cases.
I am told of other examples where we have been successful in encouraging an operation to sell to the employees. We are prepared to be a part of it. Indeed, the member might raise the matter with his colleague the member for Kitchener-Wilmot (Mr. Sweeney): in that riding, there is a company with which we are actively playing a role in encouraging a sell-out arrangement to the employees. We will try and do that wherever possible. If we are advised of the situation, wherever it is, we will certainly tackle it.
Mr. McNeil: Mr. Speaker, I would like to present a petition containing over 3,450 signatures opposed to the proposed closing of the St. Thomas Adult Rehabilitation and Training Centre.
Ms. Copps: Mr. Speaker, I have a petition for the Minister of the Environment (Mr. Norton): We the undersigned residents of Lake Avenue North and Lake Avenue South, Barlake Avenue, Eastview Avenue, etc., wish to call to your attention the flagrant violation of rules and regulations concerning the health and welfare of all citizens in this area, particularly the children in schools and playgrounds, by McCarthy's Sandblasting. 255 Lake Avenue North. There is a long explanation which I will forgo. There are 20 signatures attached to this petition.
STANDING COMMITTEE ON REGULATIONS AND OTHER STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS
Mr. Kerr from the standing committee on regulations and other statutory instruments presented the following report and moved its adoption:
Your committee begs to report the following bill with a certain amendment:
Bill Pr4, An Act respecting the Missionary Church Canada East.
Your committee begs to report the following hills without amendment:
Bill Pr8, An Act to revive Dave Holliday Limited.
Bill Pr10, An Act to revive Thunder Bay United Church Camps Incorporated.
Bill Pr11, An Act to revive Thomas-Hamilton-Webber Limited.
Bill Pr16, An Act to revive Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria, the Church of the Virgin Mary and St. Athanasius.
Your committee recommends that the fees, less the actual cost of printing, be remitted on the following:
Bill Pr4, An Act respecting the Missionary Church Canada East.
Bill Pr10, An Act to revive Thunder Bay United Church Camps Incorporated.
Bill Pr16, An Act to revive Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria, the Church of the Virgin Mary and St. Athanasius.
PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BUSINESS
Hon. Mr. Wells moved that, notwithstanding standing order 64(d), Mr. Lane and Mr. Dean shall exchange positions in the order of consideration of private members' public business.
Motion agreed to.
INTRODUCTION OF BILL
WORKERS' COMPENSATION AMENDMENT ACT
Mr. Haggerty moved, seconded by Mr. Mancini, first reading of Bill 30, An Act to amend the Workers' Compensation Act.
Motion agreed to.
Mr. Haggerty: Mr. Speaker, the explanatory note says: "The purpose of the bill is to broaden the criteria used by the Workers' Compensation Board in assessing the impairment of earning capacity resulting from an injury that causes permanent disability. The act currently states that the impairment of earning capacity shall be estimated from the nature and degree of the injury. The board is authorized under the act to compile a rating schedule of percentages of impairment of earning capacity for specified injuries that may be used as a guide in determining the compensation payable in permanent disability cases. The bill repeals the provision that authorizes the board to compile a rating schedule and directs the board to estimate the impairment of earning capacity in the light of all the other circumstances of each individual case."
ORDERS OF THE DAY
THRONE SPEECH DEBATE (CONCLUDED)
Resuming the adjourned debate on the amendment to the motion for an address in reply to the speech of the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor at the opening of the session.
Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, I want to indicate to the House that we will be moving a further amendment to the amendment to the speech from the throne. As soon as the final delicate wording of that arrives in the House we will be distributing it to the other two parties. I will be moving it at the end of this discourse.
The speech from the throne was as vapid, as vague and as indecisive a document received in this Legislature as I have seen during the decade of this Premier's (Mr. Davis) administration. Considering the nature of throne speeches, this one reached new heights, new heights that gave indecision, procrastination and vagueness, always a hallmark of this administration, a bad name.
Mr. Barlow: Does that mean you didn't understand it?
Mr. Foulds: No. What it means, for my honourable friend in the back benches of the Tory party, is there was nothing there to understand. What it means is it was, as the great American novelist Faulkner would say, quoting Shakespeare, "A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."
Mr. Barlow: I'm sorry I asked.
Mr. Foulds: I'm sure you are.
My personal view is never have people been so disillusioned with their governments, either provincial or federal, and never since the 1930s have the people of the province looked for and desired decisive leadership that contains at least some hint of vision.
Here in Ontario in the last eight weeks, the whole government seems to have been on hold while the Premier made up his mind about whether or not he would run for the federal leadership of the Conservative Party. Will-he Davis or Won't-he Davis: will he run or won't he?
To paraphrase a commentator in Thunder Bay yesterday, Arthur Black: "After the Premier danced his dance of the seven veils, what do we get? We got Premier William Davis revealed in a pale blue body stocking." The central question was: could a vacuum replace a vacuum? The answer came a resounding "yes." The Premier succeeded himself here in the Ontario Legislature.
What we need in this province is leadership, not mere generalship from behind relying on the safety of public opinion polls, relying on the safety of ad hoc decisions that just might get us out of difficult times temporarily.
What we have seen in the last few months, and it was typified by the speech from the throne, is a government in disarray, a government at war among themselves: The minister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Bernier) opposing the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Pope); and the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) frozen in incompetence, indecision and lack of action over a number of major public policy questions, whether they had to do with the Norcen affair, so clearly outlined by my colleague the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick), or whether they had to do with the tragic events at the Hospital for Sick Children.
Leadership does not mean waiting forever to hear what the polls tell you about everything from the Darlington nuclear station to the province's increasingly artificial bicentennial project. Leadership does not mean waiting forever while the Big Blue Machine takes its polls and tells one whether or not one has a sure thing going into the federal leadership race -- or should I say suicide gamble?
What has happened over the last 10 years in this province is that underneath the politics of blandness in Ontario there has begun to emerge, unfortunately, the politics of meanness, the politics of pettiness, the politics of bread and circuses and the politics of absolutely no substance.
This administration has led us from the great expectations of the 1960s, the great hopes of our province and our country at that time to the acknowledged hard times of the 1980s. When the annals of history come to be written of this administration, it will indeed be condemned for its lack of vision, lack of courage and lack of imagination. It will be praised for some political astuteness and shrewdness. It will be praised wherever men praise and revere indecision, public manipulation and procrastination.
Let me quote a couple of paragraphs from this year's speech from the throne:
"Ontario is now emerging from a period that has proven to be difficult for all jurisdictions within the industrial western world. The economic setbacks experienced in 1982 were, beyond doubt, more severe than any public or private observers had foreseen. For the first time since 1975, real output for the industrialized" world's "economies as a whole declined; and, more disturbing, unemployment rose to unprecedented post-war heights. Clearly, steps must be taken to overcome this situation."
Further on, it says, "The personal economic outlook for many Ontarians, however, will remain challenging." There indeed is a misuse of words if I have ever heard one. Challenging indeed: how can it be challenging when many of those people have no hope of a job?
To go on with the quotation: "My government is well aware of the hardships imposed by high levels of unemployment. These hardships have been borne by men and women in all regions and from all walks of life. The lessening of these difficulties will continue to head the list of matters requiring the full attention of this Legislature."
So far, so good, even if vague. However, as is typical of this administration, here comes the cruncher, the disclaimer, the washing of hands, the abdication of responsibility.
In the next paragraph it says: "It is obvious that no single province has at its disposal the means to solve all of the problems resulting from current economic conditions. However, the government of Ontario" -- get this, Mr. Speaker -- "will continue to give the highest priority towards the fashioning of initiatives designed to provide badly needed job opportunities."
Let me repeat that just in case anybody missed it, "The government of Ontario will continue to give the highest priority towards the fashioning of initiatives designed to provide badly needed job opportunities."
What the blazes does that mean? In very simple language it means this government has no idea how to create jobs. It means the Premier's and the government's writers and advisers will sit down to fashion words, slides and advertising to try to make things look good.
Actually, that particular sentence elevates verbal qualification to new heights. It may be the first sentence I have ever read that has four qualifying verbs between the subject and the object.
We in the New Democratic Party lack confidence in this government. That should come as no surprise. We think this government has failed dismally the people of Ontario.
It has failed the farmers of this province in view of the number of farm bankruptcies just this spring. When the Canadian Farmers' Survival Association is driven to the action it has taken, and has received the attention it has, it is because the farmers of this province simply have not received the attention and the leadership they expect and deserve from this government.
When the residents from remote northern communities experience the price discrimination they do, as outlined so ably by my colleague the member for Lake Nipigon (Mr. Stokes), and when a relatively stable and large town such as Marathon is barely saved from the precipice of disaster by the closing of their mill, it is obvious that over the decade of this administration they have not received the leadership from this government that they expect and deserve.
When the elderly of this province face extra billing for medical services, and when they face a lack of housing, chronic care, extended care and nursing home beds, it is obvious they have not received the leadership they expect and deserve from this government.
When we have youth unemployment at an unprecedented high rate, I suggest the youth unemployment question is not merely a question of unemployment, not merely a question of job creation but a question that will divide, badger and bedevil this society unless it is remedied, so that social ills in this province will see an unprecedented unfortunate outcome unless they are remedied.
When married young people who require housing cannot afford it, even though there is housing stock they cannot afford on the market, it is obvious they are not getting the leadership they deserve and expect from this government.
When school boards are mandated to provide special education programs; when the Ministry of Community and Social Services, which has been covering some of those programs, has announced that it will no longer provide this funding; when the Ministry of Education will no longer provide that funding and throws it back on to the local school boards; when the municipalities of this province are obliged to provide ever-increasing general welfare assistance by the province; and when we have the province, on the other hand, steadily reducing its share of the costs of these programs, it is obvious the school boards, the municipalities and the people they represent are not receiving the leadership they deserve and have expected from this Conservative government.
My colleague the member for Scarborough West (Mr. R. F. Johnston) demonstrated the other day that people all over this province are seeking and desperately want work. All of us in our constituency offices across the province have experienced similar cases of a very real, heartbreaking and touching nature. I do not know how a government can sit on those benches across the way, in the face of the kind of evidence they have been and must be receiving from their own back-benchers and from the letters that were received by my colleague the member for Scarborough West, and show such complacency, indecision and sheer vague vapidness.
It is obvious that the unemployed, and the unemployed who are in the most tragic situation, those whose unemployment insurance benefits have been exhausted, are not receiving the leadership they deserve and expect from this provincial government.
When my colleague the member for Sudbury East (Mr. Martel) heads a task force on occupational health and safety and, after very careful and thorough examination over the course of a year, comes to the conclusion the Ministry of Labour is failing to enforce the act in literally hundreds if not thousands of instances, it is obvious the workers of this province who are working are not getting the leadership they expect and deserve.
As one witness before that task force put it so graphically, "If the provincial police were to enforce the highway speed limits in the same manner as the Ministry of Labour enforces the Occupational Health and Safety Act, then the only thing on the highways doing less than 150 miles an hour would be a jogger."
The government in this province has given us absolutely no economic leadership in the past year. It has given us little in the past 10 years.
I would for the moment like to turn to some so-called federal initiatives, those initiatives that were greeted so warmly by this Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) initially and by many people initially. In the past 10 days or so, there has been an erosion and a realization that Marc Lalonde's budget was not what it was initially cracked up to be.
I suppose the best thing one can say about it is the reason it looks so good in the first place is that it was preceded by Allan MacEachen's two disasters. If one thinks back far enough, there was John Crosbie's fiscal suicide before that. At a time when Canada's unemployed were expecting a new deal, they were given a raw deal by Mr. Lalonde.
Although it is couched in the language of economic recovery, there is little in the Liberal budget that alleviates the suffering of the unemployed or the insecurity of working Canadians. The federal budget is wrong-headed. The private sector has made it clear that high debt loads and excess capacity have put the brakes on any hope for an investment-led recovery. The Liberals, however, have ignored these facts and gone ahead to strengthen those same tax expenditures which have failed to create jobs in the past.
When 40 per cent of the manufacturing capacity of Ontario, for example, is not being used, how does anyone expect industry to invest in building new capacity? Recent studies have shown Canada's very generous tax incentives in research and development have failed to entice industry into investing in research and development in Canada. In fact, shamefully, only Ireland and Iceland spend less on research and development than is spent in Canada.
The failure of the Lalonde budget has provided the Ontario Treasurer with a responsibility and the opportunity to assist directly the unemployed of Ontario. But we have had no hint, either from the speech from the throne or more recently, that that will be the case.
The Treasurer has been so preoccupied in the past with investment giveaways that he must now concentrate his attention and Ontario's financial resources on job creation and economic stimulation. His budget should contain a major housing initiative. It must create direct jobs through investment in the health care system, in environmental control and in the major industrial sectors.
The Lalonde budget has given investors in the private sector more than enough room to manoeuvre. The Treasurer's budget has to provide those same opportunities for our youth, for our farmers, for our consumers and for the unemployed in Ontario.
The recession has produced a job crisis, pure and simple. There are three quarters of a million unemployed in Ontario. Our youth and our women seek to take their place in our economic life, but their hope is fading. The human cost of this recession is measured in the despair of young graduates looking for their first job, of people in their most productive years suddenly forced into idleness and in older workers cast aside and in fear of never finding another job.
Economists in the Globe and Mail Report on Business and in the Financial Post can talk all they like about economic recovery, but until the unemployed have the dignity and security of a job, the recession remains a recession, if not a depression.
The recession is not even-handed. The government is not accurate when it tries to imply that it has affected men and women equally in all sectors and in all regions of the province. It has affected them deeply but not equally. It affects women workers more than men. It affects the young and less experienced slightly more than others. It increases the ranks of the poor relative to the rich.
Without disregarding the influence of the 1980 oil price shock or the real, ongoing shifts of manufacturing to low-wage countries by the multinational corporations, the prime responsibility for the rate, depth and extent of this recession lies with the government's monetarist experiment, and a cruel experiment it has turned out to be.
The response of conservative governments, whether they be called Liberal, Conservative or PC, to the economic crisis has been cutback and retrenchment. Social programs are suffering. Thousands of the unemployed are in danger of exhausting their unemployment benefits, and the six and five or nine and five public wage restraints have further strangled the sick economy while discriminating against specific workers and trampling on collective bargaining rights.
One of the side effects of the government's wage restraint program on public service workers is coming to my attention more and more from small businessmen in my community. They have people coming into their stores, looking at furniture or appliances and saying, "I really would like to buy a new refrigerator because mine is 10 or 15 years old but, because the government has cut back on my wages, I cannot afford it this year." That is what they say to small businessmen in my community.
It is not just trampling on a small segment of our society. The ripple effect of that trampling on a segment of our society is beginning to be felt by the whole economy. Simply put, we in the New Democratic Party believe strongly that government action, direct and indirect, is required to dig our way out of the situation.
What is the one single economic initiative this government can take credit for over the past year? There is only one. With the help of their Liberal partners here in slavishly following the Liberal lead in Ottawa, they brought in wage controls on public service employees. These are public service employees all across this province; not merely those working with the provincial government but those working for municipalities, school boards, nursing homes, hospitals, universities, schools and all those institutions that provide needed and necessary services for the citizens of Ontario.
This government brought in those controls in September 1982. That was supposed to be the big initiative to get the economy back on the tracks, to get the Ontario economy working again. Has the program succeeded? Has Ontario's economy picked up since last fall? Has the cutback in government spending, the ripping up of contracts, the keeping the lid on the wages of these employees created employment in Ontario? It has not created one single job.
When the program was announced, the unemployment situation was something like this. There were 689,000 out of work in Ontario. Of the women in the Ontario work force, 11.2 per cent were out of work. We had a youth unemployment rate of 16.1 per cent. Let us look at a few randomly selected cities across the province. Thunder Bay, which was one of the best off, had an unemployment rate of 10.1 per cent. St. Catharines and Niagara Falls had unemployment rates of 12.4 per cent. Hamilton had an unemployment rate of 13.1 per cent. Sudbury, the mining capital of Ontario and once the mining capital of the world, had an unemployment rate of 26.9 per cent.
When the government introduced its legislation, I said those figures were scandalous. What are they today, after eight months of those wage controls? The unemployment rate for Ontario is higher at 11.4 per cent. In Thunder Bay it is higher at 14.5 per cent. In St. Catharines and Niagara it is higher at 17 per cent. In Hamilton it is higher at 15.7 per cent. In Sudbury, believe it or not, it is even higher at 27.1 per cent. All those figures have been exceeded in the intervening eight months at some point.
The government's single economic action, the one initiative it took to put the economy back on the road, has not helped our most crucial problem in this deep and abiding recession, the problem of unemployment, one little bit. Furthermore, unemployment for women increased to 11.9 per cent and unemployment for youth skyrocketed to 22.2 per cent. How can we get across to this government, which is largely absent this afternoon, that remedying the unemployment line is far more important than the bottom line?
Finally, the real number of unemployed in the province has jumped in the eight months since September by almost 100,000 to 782,000. That demonstrates just how the Davis government has failed in this past year.
Let us look briefly at the Davis decade. In April 1971 the speech from the throne, the first of the Davis government, contained this statement; I quote directly: "The current unconscionable levels of unemployment which have been forced upon the Canadian people will be combated with every means at the disposal of this provincial government. The budget will be presented on April 26. Its purpose will be to restore the inherent vitality of our economy."
What were the "current unconscionable levels of unemployment which have been forced upon the Canadian people" in April 1971? In our province, it was 6.1 per cent, with the number of unemployed at 192,000. Youth unemployment was still high but, at 11.5 per cent, about half of today's figure. Unemployment of women in the work force was at 5.3 per cent, less than half of today's figure.
What took place in individual cities across the province, in the same cities I compared for the period from September to this month? We went back and looked. The statistics are not exactly parallel, because there has been some minor adjustment of the way Statscan reports. But in the figures we can compare there has been an adjustment of only about 0.2 per cent at the very best.
In Thunder Bay unemployment was at 7.1 per cent, about half of today's figure. In St. Catharines it was at 5.9 per cent, less than half of today's figure. In Hamilton it was at 6.7 per cent, less than half of today's figure. Mr. Speaker, just take a guess at what unemployment in Sudbury was in April 1971. You were in the Legislature in 1971. You were elected in 1971 for the first time. Unemployment was 5.6 per cent. Unemployment in Sudbury was at one fifth of what it is today.
So much for the Premier's vision of the north; so much for diversifying the economy of the largest one-industry town in northern Ontario, let alone the many other one-industry towns.
If those figures were unconscionable, to use the government's phrase in 1971, what can we say about today's rate of unemployment? What can we say about this government, because every one of those figures represents human beings in every region of this province? We can only say that today's unemployment figures display the moral, economic, social and human bankruptcy of this government.
The Davis decade has led us from the great expectations of the 1960s to the hard times of the 1980s. If the creation of a powerful economy, an exciting society, full employment and a place for all our people to stand requires resources, skilled workers and a sound infrastructure, we have all of those here in Ontario. What we do not have is a government that has the guts and is willing to take a hand to put all of these things together and provide the lead for a growing and prosperous economy. What we have is a government that believes in the law of the economic jungle of meanness and of leanness.
At this time I want to put forward a number of proposals for creating jobs. The proposals, quite frankly, will require some deficit financing, but that deficit financing will be a productive deficit and a deficit designed specifically to put people back to work. It will not be the kind of deficit this government has engaged in during the 10 years of the Premier's stewardship, investing in stupid and exotic government spending from the white elephant of Minaki Lodge to the self-serving $40 million in advocacy advertising of this government.
The Premier's government may not have bankrupted this province fiscally, but it has bankrupted this province of its hope and its future and it is dangerously close to bankrupting this province of its faith in itself.
This government's deficit is no more stimulative, no more genuine than the deficit of the federal Liberal government. In fact, the kind of deficit financing that both these levels of government have carried on goes to show that the Premier should not have been seeking or considering the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party at the federal level. He should be pondering the leadership of the Liberal Party at the federal level, and perhaps that is what he is holding off for.
I believe the people of this province and the province itself will fight back. I believe the people of this province will work to make this a place, as the prayer at the opening of this Legislature says every day, "where prosperity reigns and justice prevails," particularly where economic justice prevails. It is economic justice this party has put on the front burner. It is economic justice that we will fight for every day of this sitting of the Legislature.
Prosperity and justice will prevail if the people of this province get the leadership they desire and need. We in the New Democratic Party make no bones about it. We are prepared to accept that leadership. We are prepared to take direct government action and direct government intervention in the economy of this province at any time to help the working men and women and the unemployed people of this province.
We are prepared to work in co-operation with industry, business, small business and the workers of this province. Only by developing a co-operative sense of the future, a co-operative sense of ownership and a co-operative sense of our own strength will we turn this economy around. It is no good to pit one segment of society against another as this government has done by its nine and five per cent wage program. It is no good to victimize the victims of recession as this government has done with social services, with the unemployed and with the throwing of economic costs back on local school boards and municipalities.
It is increasingly apparent that the recovery, which has been welcomed with such relief by the Liberals and Conservatives, is a profit recovery, not a job recovery. The true nature of the recovery is there for anyone to see in last month's Liberal budget projections. Those projections expect unemployment of more than 12 per cent in 1983, more than 11 per cent in 1984 and more than 10 per cent through 1985 and 1986.
What happened to the unconscionable level of unemployment in 1971 of 6.1 per cent? We are going to get back to those unconscionable levels of 6.1 per cent only if we have the guts to aim for full employment and to start some direct intervention in the economy now. Recovery is a meaningless term in the face of continuing high unemployment.
There is no recovery for the 176 Ontario farmers who went into bankruptcy in 1982. There is no recovery for the additional 47 farmers who lost their farms to creditors in the first quarter of 1983. There is precious little recovery for the workers in Sudbury, Hamilton and Sault Ste. Marie, in Brantford, Chatham, Windsor, the Niagara Peninsula and in eastern Ontario, where the recession has meant unemployment rates of 15 to 27 per cent.
The recovery is a cruel joke to the thousands of employable people in Ontario who have exhausted their unemployment claims and have been forced on to the welfare rolls.
What must be done immediately is to restore the conditions under which consumer spending will resume, jobs will be created and necessary investment will be undertaken, and under which social services and health services must be not only maintained but also strengthened. In the face of the inability of the private sector to provide those jobs, and the incomes so desperately needed for the economic recovery in Ontario, government must act. There is a good deal that can be done and an NDP government would do it.
An unemployment recovery program must respond to cyclical, seasonal and structural unemployment. This means harmonizing a range of policies to promote economic development and community wellbeing. My friend and colleague the member for Windsor-Riverside (Mr. Cooke) will be outlining those policies and strategies in detail in his response to the budget to be presented by the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) next Tuesday. However, I would like to comment and outline some of the highlights.
The policies must include general spending and taxation policies that will provide the most efficient use of government supports for industrial development activity, the most effective direction of government expenditures, both direct and indirect, in relation to job creation. In other words, government expenditures should be job-intensive, and the most progressive kind of tax funding must be included in the government's program.
Second, when we build on public assets we are not simply throwing money away; we are investing in the future. When we build new schools, hospitals or health care clinics we are building for the future of this province; they are assets that this province and the communities of this province will enjoy for years to come. We must do that so the people of Ontario will continue to derive future benefits from current government spending. In other words, the kind of spending we are talking about is the kind of spending that will pay off in the future and not simply go up in a puff of smoke.
We must build human resources. We must do that through career choices and through retraining opportunities, and career opportunities, if I may say so, should be not merely in the new high-tech areas but in some traditional job areas as well. We must support community initiatives; we must have direct job creation initiatives; we must have economic planning in public investment. Finally, we must have in many cases, particularly in the case of plant shutdowns, direct legislative intervention to give us protection.
Real economic recovery must begin with action to protect existing jobs. We have long argued for improvements in plant closing legislation to bring Canada into line with its European counterparts. Proposed plant closings should be subjected to public scrutiny, with an open-book examination of the company's operations. In any shutdown, workers should have the right of first refusal to purchase the operation, and government should support such initiatives via preferential financing terms.
We have found over the past year that many of the closings in this province have been closings of plants that were profitable or potentially profitable. It was "rationalization," and the rationalization sacrificed the Canadian worker and the Canadian branch plants. We have to get that kind of protection.
However, if a plant closing really is unavoidable, companies should provide and pay for retraining as well as encouraging and paying for early retirement. Severance pay obligations, pension provisions and collective bargaining rights must be strengthened to protect jobs in Ontario.
What follows is, very briefly, the kind of job creation program that we in this party believe in and believe in very strongly. We are proposing a $2-billion, short-term employment program to create 150,000 jobs and a five-year, $5-billion program to create 200,000 new jobs throughout Ontario. The program is creative and it is workable. It is principled but pragmatic. It is ambitious and it will cost sonic dollars, but I submit that it is fiscally responsible.
Youth unemployment is at a crisis level in Ontario. Our proposals would put at least 140,000 of our young people to work. They should increase the pool of skilled labour in our province so that those young people could continue to have jobs in their middle age and until their retirement.
Other proposals in the energy field, in agriculture, in the environmental sector and in the health and social service sector would create useful jobs and provide Ontario with services and facilities that are needed now. These proposals, although they are short-term in the sense that they would create short-term jobs, are investments for today and tomorrow to give people experience and skill so they can become part of the permanent work force of Ontario and be pulled into a growing and developing economy.
In the longer term we are proposing a five-year program of industrial restructuring. That is what we need in this province; let us face it. Despite the claims that the economy has begun a fragile recovery, the private sector continues to dismantle productive capacity. Branch plants are closing down. Private sector reinvestment is falling short of necessary levels of retooling and product development. We must begin to implement an economic strategy for recovery based on the creation of permanent jobs, industrial restructuring, resource development and local and regional development.
Ontario imports more than $35 billion worth of manufactured goods. If we replaced only 15 per cent by domestic products, 60,000 direct jobs could be created and many other jobs would be created by the spinoff activities. Whether it is auto parts, agricultural products, mining machinery or electronics, we have significant trade deficits. These deficits represent opportunities for jobs and industrial development. Government must undertake public investment today for tomorrow's jobs. Our five-year program is designed to take advantage of these opportunities in key sectors of Ontario's economy.
The talk, which is very disappointing, is about the recovery that is "under way." Catch phrases such as "increase in investor confidence" are supposed to indicate that the recession has bottomed out and that we are on our way to so-called sustained growth. However, when we have unemployment predictions that point to a continuing unemployment crisis, what we have is a government that has failed to come to terms with creating jobs. The Liberal budget projected unemployment at more than 12 per cent for the rest of this year, more than 11 per cent for 1984 and more than 10 per cent for 1985 and 1986. Very simply, we believe these figures are unacceptable.
I want to conclude by indicating that this speech from the throne has got to be the biggest non-event, the biggest pile of pap, the biggest abdication of authority, the biggest abdication of responsibility that even the Davis administration has engaged in during its whole decade and that is saying a lot. As I have emphasized before, what the people of Ontario want is leadership, not abdication. What they want is hope, not despair. What they want is the understanding that jobs will be created now, not starting in 1985 or 1986.
What they want is a bicentennial that is really worth celebrating in 1984. One of the biggest and best bicentennial projects this government could bring in would be a massive job creation program all across this province. That is the kind of bicentennial project that would speak to all the groups in all the regions of this province, and that is the kind of bicentennial project this party would be delighted to implement and to support.
What the people of Ontario want is a government of substance, not a government of image. The people of Ontario are willing to pitch in. They are willing to bear their fair share of rebuilding this province and this economy, but they are no longer willing to be victimized by an insensitive, callous and floundering administration.
Because the speech from the throne fails in every conceivable way to come to grips with the major problem of our province, the problem of jobs, the problem of human need, the problem of decent housing, the problem of health care, this speech from the throne does not have our confidence. This government has given the people of Ontario not a glimmer of hope, not a glimmer of vision for the future direction of this province, and we in the New Democratic Party have absolutely no alternative but to vote against this government.
Mr. Speaker: Mr. Foulds moves, seconded by Mr. Rae, that the amendment to the motion for an address in reply to the speech of the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor be amended by adding after the word "times" and before the words, "Therefore, this House declares its lack of confidence in the government," the following:
"And further, this House regrets that the provincial government has utterly failed to respond to the bankruptcy of Liberal government policies and has instead simply produced a vague and aimless speech worthy of liberalism itself rather than acting decisively to provide jobs, health and housing for Ontario's people."
Mr. Conway: Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure and an honour for me to wind up this throne speech debate on behalf of my Liberal colleagues.
At the outset of my remarks, as is customary, I would like to extend to you, Mr. Speaker, my very best wishes on the manner in which you are discharging your responsibilities in the chair. I think it is no secret for me to suggest we have had differences of opinion, but I like to believe we are growing together. I have been increasingly impressed by the way in which you are discharging the very difficult responsibilities that are yours.
As well, I would like to have you communicate those best wishes to your colleagues the member for Durham East (Mr. Cureatz) and the member for York Centre (Mr. Cousens).
Also at the outset of my remarks, I would like to offer a word of thanks to the good people of the Ottawa Valley and Renfrew North who continue to support me in most of my causes. I certainly enjoyed the legislative recess during which I had an excellent opportunity to travel about the hills and valleys of Renfrew county. I profited greatly from that opportunity.
I would like to turn my attention to the speech from the throne, which was read by the Lieutenant Governor in this place on Monday afternoon, April 18, 1983.
Given the recent events of this place and the politics of this province, I dare say upon rereading this particular speech from the throne on a number of occasions in preparation for this afternoon's reply that I have to think there was no more clear indicator than this speech from the throne that this was a government and a Premier (Mr. Davis) who truly have and had no plans to have any plans.
When one reads and rereads this speech from the throne, it is hard to imagine there was enough here to entice even Zena Cherry to this assembly on that sunny afternoon two or three weeks ago. One of my constituents to whom I offered the speech for reflection said it was "a tribute to longitude and platitude."
Before I turn to this tribute to longitude and platitude, I want to comment quickly upon much of the throne speech debate which it has been my pleasure to have heard over these past number of days. Once my leader asked me to prepare these remarks for the summary debate on our part, I must say I tried to listen to as many of the interveners as possible. In my humble estimation, I have to say that on balance the speeches in the debate on the throne speech were decidedly superior to the document itself.
I was disappointed, as were many of my colleagues on this side of the House and I dare say some on the government side, with the efforts made by our ebullient friend the member for Sarnia (Mr. Brandt), the parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Labour (Mr. Ramsay). Many of us imagine that the member for Sarnia has a considerable future in this place and I just wanted to share publicly my sense of disappointment at his leadoff. I know it was his first and it was credible but perhaps not to his usual standard.
One of my colleagues allowed as to how it was almost robotic. I thought perhaps that was a good word. Those of us who know the member for Sarnia know that he is a lively and engaging orator and he did not show those qualities as he marched methodically through a script which, dare I think it, might have been prepared elsewhere.
There were many serious and thoughtful and some entertaining speeches. To cite but some, I want to say in his absence to the member for Prince Edward-Lennox (Mr. J. A. Taylor) that his observations, reciting as he did some of the recent periodical literature that he had been reading in the Atlantic Monthly, I thought made a good speech. I thought he properly directed our attention to some of the very major structural changes that are taking place in the North American economy.
I thought the member for Carleton East (Mr. MacQuarrie) was very good in his discussion about technology transfer and what future lies ahead in that connection. I listened the other night with my friend the member for Ottawa East (Mr. Roy) to the histrionics of the member for High Park-Swansea (Mr. Shymko) who treated this House to, if nothing else, entertaining and elegant French.
I want to say as well that I read the speech of the government House leader, the member for Scarborough North (Mr. Wells), who seems to have taken his marching orders from Peter Oliver in his recent treatise on how the Conservative Party of Ontario has been much given to intervention, therefore one can live more easily with the trust company legislation and, dare I say it in the presence of my illustrious friend the member for Leeds (Mr. Runciman), the intervention in the oil business.
I did not want to go on at length about that but I thought the member in his comments about Ontario Hydro might do well to read some of the other literature, because it is not quite as Mr. Oliver would have one believe.
I want to say seriously that in my eight years here I have seldom heard as timely and as well prepared and as excellent a speech as I heard from the House leader of the New Democratic Party, the member for Sudbury East (Mr. Martel). It was a long speech, but it was a speech I would recommend to the attention of every member. It deals, as many will know from being here and having heard it, with the issues of occupational health and safety. I say, as at least one member, it is a model of the kind of work that all of us should aspire to in our parliamentary responsibilities and I congratulate the member for Sudbury East for an excellent address on a very important subject.
I thought the intervention by the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) was exceptional, not only for what it told us about his views in terms of the Ontario Securities Commission but also for the fact that it was the first time in eight years that I ever heard the member for Riverdale read from beginning to end a speech in this place. I thought perhaps he had the night before been with myself and the Premier to a dinner with the Aga Khan, where the Aga Khan treated us to a script which was almost as methodical, and perhaps the Aga Khan left a very substantial impression with the member for Riverdale.
I want to say I thought the member for Hamilton Centre (Ms. Copps), my colleague the Liberal Health critic, did our side well and proud in her leadoff.
I thought the member for Prescott-Russell (Mr. Boudria), surveying as he did the hapless procurement policies of the Ontario government, was excellent.
I thought the member for Brandt-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon) as he surveyed the current political environment in somewhat truncated form was also very entertaining.
I thought as well, as I always do, that the member for Kent-Elgin (Mr. McGuigan), as he takes us through the intricacies of agricultural philosophy and politics, presented this House with a very timely intervention.
I heard or read at least eight or 10 speeches that I think are a credit to this place. To reiterate what I said earlier, many of the responses in this debate have been vastly superior to the document read by His Honour some three weeks ago. Let me repeat, I cannot imagine a more clear indicator than this speech from the throne that neither this government nor its leader has any plans to have any plans.
I agree entirely with the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Peterson) when he says that this throne speech "lacked vision, vitality. It is full of well-worn platitudes and rehashed promises." It is hard not to agree as well with the leader of the New Democratic Party that in fact this throne speech "simply indicates to the people of Ontario that there is light at the end of the Tory gangplank."
I would like to digress for a moment. I would like to coin a phrase, and the leader of the New Democratic Party is very apt in that connection. I want to say in digression that there were a couple of observations in terms of the situation on the day of the Lieutenant Governor's address which I think deserve brief comment by me.
The seating plan was one. There was one small indicator in the seating plan that struck me as perhaps more than passingly important. I know the Office of the Premier fairly well organizes who sits where and who is invited and all of that. As I looked out over the distinguished heads of those gathered here on the floor and elsewhere, I thought of how many opportunities and how many places there were for government people to sit. I was struck to see over there in the middle of the floor Dr. E. E. Stewart cheek by jowl with Mr. Eddie Goodman, QC.
I thought it was interesting that of all the places in this chamber, of all the opportunities, the government's chief bureaucrat was cheek by jowl with the government's chief political aide, the Premier's chief political aide. Perhaps that tells us something of the neutrality of the Ontario public service, about which I have sometimes complained. There may be some opposite who will say, "Oh, just an overly suspicious opposition member."
Let me just say I am delighted the federal Tory leadership campaign is under way, because it has taken away from this place the former Deputy Minister of Tourism and Recreation, the former national director of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, Mr. John Laschinger, who while he was here in his senior public service function, I am told by very good sources within the confines of the Ontario bureaucracy, was not only running his department but was actively engaged in two leadership campaigns, one for the member for St. Andrew- St. Patrick (Mr. Grossman) provincially and another for the federal Conservative member for St. John's West.
I am pleased that the federal leadership campaign of the Progressive Conservative Party has taken away that esteemed former public servant to his more likely calling. But I thought too it was interesting in so far as just how neutral is the Ontario public service at its senior levels.
A quick word about television. It strikes me yet again how difficult it is for many of us to convince the government to bring an electronic Hansard to this place. I know there are discussions; I know there are debates; I know there are countless government members who decry the millions of dollars that might he involved.
But it strikes me, as I know it attracts itself to your fancy, Mr. Speaker, that on the two major government occasions, the speech from the throne and the budget, there is no difficulty; the government is more than a little bit interested in lending its heart and its soul and its resources to the electronic media. I think this Legislative Assembly, as an independent parliament for those of us who know or care, might think about extending those practices that we have here on the throne and on the budget.
I want to say that this speech from the throne is, of course, as the member for Port Arthur (Mr. Foulds) pointed out, directing our attention to the hoped-for economic recovery. Certainly the document is full of hopeful language in that connection. It cites a number of indicators. The consumer price index, we are told, is now roughly at half its level of two years ago. There is "moderation in the unit labour costs, which are a healthy sign for the economy. There is consumer confidence which has expanded to some degree."
The throne speech goes on in its very early pages to remind all of us that there really is not very much that any provincial government can do to materially assist the economic recovery of the nation as a whole.
I thought my friend the member for Kent-Elgin, who, I want to reiterate, is one of the most insightful people and politicians it has been my experience to have known, pointed to a very interesting fact in comparing this throne speech with earlier versions of same. The member, in his very excellent remarks of some days ago, noted with interest the almost complete lack of what the analysts call fed-bashing. They seem to have made up, but there were throne speeches in my time here that were full of, "It is all Ottawa's fault."
I think this speech is important for what it does not say in that connection and that fact struck my attention, as it did the attention of my colleague the member for Kent-Elgin.
I want to note in this connection that the throne speech indicates the Progressive Conservative government of Ontario applauds the recent appointment of the Macdonald federal royal commission on the economic union. On page 7 it says, "While the recently established federal Royal Commission on Economic Union and Development Prospects for Canada was a welcome initiative." So it is interesting to note for the record that the Macdonald royal commission -- complete, presumably, with its per diems -- is thought of approvingly by the Ontario government.
Mr. Brandt: We didn't buy the whole package.
Mr. Conway: The member for Sarnia says they didn't buy the whole package. This is a government that will not talk too loudly about the per diems of that royal commission. If one were to survey the public accounts and do the proper arithmetic, Donald Macdonald maybe a piker by comparison to what is paid out by the Ontario government.
Certainly we note that the government of Ontario calls out again to the Prime Minister of Canada to convene a first ministers' meeting on the economy at the earliest opportunity. Presumably that is the kind of initiative this government has in mind for economic rehabilitation.
I was pleased to see that the auto sector attracted the attention of the government; but I was surprised, with this paean of praise to protectionism in that sector, that the Premier did not treat us to his Lada speech, the one he gave in Ajax or Pickering two or three years ago. I think Hughie floated that once, the Premier read it and someone told him that perhaps it just was not as Mr. Segal had written it. We have never heard that speech again.
I know there are distinguished members in the gallery here, perhaps in the Canadian Press or others, who can refresh my memory, but I think we heard that Lada speech only once. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that the only Lada I used to see in the legislative parking lot belonged to a former distinguished member of the executive council who shall, of course, remain nameless.
I want to read from the last paragraph of page 7 of the throne speech:
"For its part, the government of Ontario is resolved to bear its full share of responsibility and to continue to provide leadership in the weeks and months ahead. My ministers, therefore, in their several responsibilities, will be placing before you, in this session, components of a clearly defined three-part program.
"Measures will be introduced to contribute to an enduring economic recovery which will create the jobs necessary to allow all Ontarians to lead productive lives; to strengthen the management of the province's affairs and to respond to the critical concerns and needs of Ontarians."
If I may digress for a moment, what, pray tell, could that mean, "to strengthen the management of the province's affairs"?
I would like to stop for a moment and talk a little bit about some of those things. My colleague the member for Rainy River (Mr. T. P. Reid) very excellently and not very many weeks ago produced a document that indicated just how vacant and how hollow the Board of Industrial Leadership and Development experience has been.
I draw to members' attention the very excellent speech made by the member for Rainy River as he took us through chapter and verse, step by step, of the two-year BILD experience. It is really extraordinary that this government imagines it as a comprehensive industrial strategy and economic recovery program.
I will try to be a little bipartisan here, if I can. I read the federal budget of the member for Outremont, Mr. Lalonde, a few weeks ago and I was struck by that part of his budget -- I think it is called the economic recovery package, the $4.5-billion grab bag of initiatives --
Mr. Stokes: It was $4.8 billion, was it not, after the revision?
Mr. Conway: It was $4.8 billion? Perhaps. It was several billion.
I have to say to the member for Sarnia I think Mr. Lalonde has been reading provincial political papers in Ontario from the early days of 1981. In that federal Liberal budget of but days ago I think I see BILD II. I will look forward to seeing how it develops.
Mr. Brandt: You are putting some distance between you and your federal colleagues. aren't you?
Mr. Conway: As an objective observer of the political scene, I want to say to the member for Sarnia -- who, unlike me, cannot say he has known but one political affiliation in his adult life -- that while I am not perfect, I am less spotted in that connection than he.
In response to that second item, "to strengthen the management of the province's affairs," just last weekend I was struck by the ads that festoon most of the daily press, those great big, quarter-page or half-page ads, "Tax Grants for Seniors." There they were again. Let me just say that if the Premier and the Treasurer want to streamline the province's affairs they will reconsider that initiative. In talking this week to my constituency office in the great community of Pembroke, I find my constituency assistant is upset all over again about the number of seniors who continue to be confused by that program.
None of us here is in any way disposed to reduce assistance to the seniors in this province who require it. But if there ever was a boondoggle, the public accounts committee and others in this Legislature -- I well remember my very distinguished colleague the member for Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry (Mr. Villeneuve) 18 months ago, in a discussion with the Deputy Minister of Revenue, relaying the frustration of a very capable constituency politician, and it really has not got any better.
Everyone knows that program has nothing to do with delivering assistance to seniors, but everything to do with the so-called visibility question, a cheque from the Premier at Queen's Park. If this province wants to do something about streamlining the management of its affairs, it might well start there.
My illustrious colleague and friend the member for St. Catharines (Mr. Bradley) has pointed out, as have my good friend the member for Wentworth North (Mr. Cunningham) and others in this caucus, the shame that this government continues to spend at such outrageous levels, millions more than ever before, on government advertising. My friend the member for Wentworth North supplied me with data to indicate that in 1981-82, a year after the election, the total advertising account in this province is $40.3 million, almost double what it was four years earlier.
No wonder the Treasurer is so handicapped as he seeks to find funds for the social policy envelope. He would do well to listen to my friends the member for St. Catharines and the member for Wentworth North in reviewing that budgetary appropriation. He could start by scrapping that tax grant program and going back to the more efficient, more progressive tax credit scheme that was well accepted, well in place for many years and delivered much-needed assistance to the seniors in this province who required that kind of help.
Mr. Eakins: You did not need a hot-line number either.
Mr. Conway: You did not need a hot-line number, as my friend the member for Victoria-Haliburton points out. I do not know whether anybody in Burnt River, in Coboconk or in the great village of Haliburton, which sent some of its illustrious journalists here today, can get that hot line. Perhaps the member for Victoria-Haliburton might confide in this House. In Pembroke, in Deep River or in Deux-Rivières one cannot get that hot line at all.
If this government is serious about efficiency factors, that is a good place to start. There are thousands of senior citizens in this province who, this very week, are bewildered about what is going to happen to their much-sought-after assistance in the coming weeks.
From the point of view of myself and my colleagues, nothing concerns us more about this throne speech than the complete want of direction in terms of new initiatives in the area of job creation. He is not here right now, but my friend the member for Wellington-Dufferin-Peel (Mr. J. M. Johnson) the other night in an especially personal and poignant way pointed out just how close the trauma of unemployment cuts for most of us.
For those members not here the other night, the member for Wellington-Dufferin-Peel talked about family experience in that connection. I thought he made the point perhaps better than any of us. I would only hope that the member would at least privately confide in the leader of this government that this kind of platitude and this kind of empty shell does little or nothing for those now almost 750,000 young, middle-aged or older Ontarians looking for work and not able to find it.
In that connection, I point to the very excellent work done by my colleagues the member for Kitchener-Wilmot (Mr. Sweeney), the member for Essex South (Mr. Mancini) and the member for Prescott-Russell (Mr. Boudria) who, over a period of many months, worked very hard and travelled very far, often under circumstances that were not nearly as agreeable as those of our illustrious parliamentary assistant colleagues across the way, the ones who ride in a ministerial car or fly in the government's aircraft, while opposition critics find themselves somewhat less generously provided for.
The Sweeney task force report on youth unemployment, the Liberal task force on jobs for youth, is reading I would recommend to every member, including the member for London South (Mr. Walker) who has important responsibilities in this connection. I want to quote very quickly from some of the Sweeney task force update of March 1983.
"When the Liberal task force reported in June 1982, it noted that unemployment among those aged 15 to 24 was at 16.4 per cent, equal to 186,000 young people. By February 1983, scarcely eight months later, the numbers had increased further to 20.4 per cent and 211,000 persons. The unemployment rate for those 24 and under is more than twice as high as the rate for those over that age."
This Liberal task force report also draws to our attention the incredible views of the lead minister in this respect, the Provincial Secretary for Social Development and member for Scarborough East (Mrs. Birch), who on one occasion allowed as to how students and young people were perhaps not nearly as aggrieved by these economic hard times as unemployed executives. From that kind of comment, can we take any solace at initiatives which are really going to mean anything for those 200,000-odd young Ontarians out of work, people spoken of, as I said earlier, by the member for Wellington-Dufferin-Peel?
The task force goes on to point out, for example: "In 1980-81, the province of Ontario spent $58.80 on job creation per unemployed youth. This year, the ratio fell to $45.28 per youth, a decrease of 23 per cent. In essence, available funding for youth programs has dropped by almost a quarter during exactly the period when young people are most in need of help.
"The situation is not likely to improve in the summer of 1983," says the Sweeney report. "With youth unemployment expected to be near 25 per cent, it would seem logical for the Ontario government to devote extra resources to combating the problem. Indications are that this will not occur. Funding for one of the three major summer programs has already been announced and, of course, that is the so-called summer Experience program. It is sharply down.
"Experience '83 will receive $12 million, exactly the same amount as in 1982. By the government's own estimate, 300 fewer jobs will be created this year than last. From peak support of $19.5 million in the Experience '79 program, where it created 13,610 jobs, the program this year will create something in the neighbourhood of 8,500 jobs."
What are we paying the member for Brantford (Mr. Gillies) for? He sat here the other night and offered great advice and what he and his superminister are doing. The young people of Brantford city and elsewhere in this province will judge this government by the record. The record of that particular Experience or youth employment initiative is clearly inadequate.
As the curve of youth unemployment rises sharply, the curve of Ontario government support drops commensurately. That is not what we consider to be an adequate response.
My friend the member for Essex South pointed out the other day, in what I thought was a very good release, that one of the other programs, the Ontario youth employment program whereby the government subsidizes the hourly rate to $1.45, was clearly something less than we had been led to believe. In 1982-83, although $23.4 million was provided to the Ontario youth employment program by regular budgetary means, with a further $7 million voted in supplementary appropriations, only $24 million was actually spent. This government is not even spending the money this House appropriates for youth employment at a time when the requirements are everywhere.
I want to give the government credit. I think the summer Experience program and the Ontario youth employment program are essentially good programs. In some ways they are innovative. The fault we find with this government is it will not fund these good programs to anything like the levels required by the current economic exigencies. That I think is the shame, and that I think is how and why the promise of 1981 has not been kept to those 211,000 unemployed Ontarians, at least in the spring of 1983.
The Liberal task force and the update are excellent directions for this government to consider, and in terms of policy -- I do not have time to read it all -- the recommendations are several. They are practical. They deal with everything from student aid to the whole question of manpower retraining and a whole series of issues in between.
The record of this government is not particularly good. I was reminded when I looked through the throne speech that about three or four years ago the government in another throne speech announced that, in consideration of increasing obligations for manpower policy, it was going to restructure the Ministry of Labour and call it the ministry of labour and manpower. What has come of that?
All I heard at the time was there was an enormous fight between the then Minister of Labour, now the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Elgie), and the Minister of Colleges and Universities (Miss Stephenson). The members know who won that. They know who would win any combat involving the Minister of Education and Colleges and Universities. That commitment, of course, has fallen into the back corners of the Deputy Premier's office. That says a lot about our expectations of these throne speeches.
As I travel across the length and breadth of the Ottawa Valley, there is nothing more compelling than the concern felt everywhere -- in my own household, with younger brothers who are graduating from the educational establishments of this province, through to older people who are being thrown out of work for the first time in 35 or 40 years. This throne speech offers them nothing. This government, as my friend the member for Essex South pointed out, is not even spending the moneys this Legislature has appropriated in that regard.
I would like to say a brief word about agriculture, not because the subject deserves that since clearly it deserves a lot more, but I have never been prouder of the activities of any of my colleagues than I have been in recent days of my friend the member for Huron-Middlesex (Mr. Riddell) who, without exception, is the most knowledgeable, most articulate and most innovative farm leader in this place. I want to say, in his absence, that not many days ago my friend the member for Huron-Middlesex with my leader and the member for Huron-Bruce (Mr. Elston), in a tour of the western peninsula and in the great town of Wingham, outlined the kind of agricultural initiatives that we as a party see as absolutely central to the rehabilitation and recovery of that sector.
Briefly, we are all, including the member for Lincoln (Mr. Andrewes), aware that the Ontario farm adjustment assistance program, the so-called OFAAP program, has not delivered the kind of assistance we think it could or should. For example, we think its criteria should be relaxed in the lowering of the 10 per cent equity factor. We think as well there should be -- the member for Lincoln nods his head and let him stand on the side of a tougher line with the farmers of this province --
Mr. Nixon: I can hear him nodding his head.
Mr. Conway: The member can hear him nodding his head. Well, I do not know about that, but we think OFAAP should be amended immediately to allow for the inclusion of many farmers who, under the current regime, cannot take advantage of its offering.
I note that of the $80 million allocated to that program, the latest research would indicate something in the neighbourhood of only $20 million has been spent. We believe, on the basis of our best data, there is a substantial amount of money available to distribute to a farm community which, in some areas, requires it very much.
Only days ago I met a delegation in my constituency office headed by the president of the Renfrew County Federation of Agriculture. They brought the needs of agriculture in rural eastern Ontario to my attention. I want to tell my friends the members for Algoma (Mr. Wildman), Lincoln (Mr. Andrewes) and elsewhere that the problems in eastern Ontario are not often the same as they are in the more prosperous reaches of perhaps Brant county or Kent and Elgin. We have farmers who are more marginal. They need assistance that can be delivered by a more relaxed interpretation of the rules of OFAAP.
We think the time has come for this government to deliver on a young farmers' credit assistance program, a long-term credit assistance program. It is true, as my friend from Brant would say if he were on his feet, that for years this long-term credit program has been announced and promised to young people in this province. It is repeated again in this document.
Mr. Nixon: I was a young farmer when the government started it.
Mr. Conway: Exactly. The member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon) was a young farmer.
Mr. Nixon: I was too late.
Mr. Conway: We say to the member for Don Mills (Mr. Timbrell), the putative Premier of the dying days of the Conservative dynasty, where is the program? It has been offered many times before.
I say the member for Huron-Middlesex has devised a farm strategy that incorporates real and meaningful assistance to young and middle-aged farmers that will deal with many of the current problems that can be addressed.
I say again, we take note of the fact this government has an $80-million appropriation but to this day it has spent only $18 million. Again, as we pointed out on the Ontario youth employment program, it is absolutely pointless to put money into those programs and then not spend it. We do not see any problems of expenditure when it comes to its enthusiasm for advertising. Undoubtedly, and invariably, it goes over budget.
Mr. Ruston: There is more there.
Mr. Conway: Certainly, as the member for Essex North (Mr. Ruston) points out, there is lots of time and money for advertising but it appears that for OFAAP, for the young farmers' long-term credit, there is decidedly less enthusiasm to spend the money.
In the remaining moments I want to talk about two issues that are of interest to me. I will touch upon them briefly.
I note in the throne speech there is a paean of praise to the women of this province. I will not go on reading that part of the throne speech which invites our attention to the important role that 52 per cent of the population of Ontario, which is female, is playing. It is 52.4 per cent of our population, according to page 14 of the document.
I want to say now in the presence of my good friend and party leader, the member for London Centre (Mr. Peterson), there are two initiatives which this government could take now to deliver the kind of assistance that would alleviate critical difficulties for women, particularly older women, in one category at least.
It is not good enough to appoint the Premier's former press secretary to the chairmanship of the Ontario Status of Women Council and think it has done a good job. Boy, did I chuckle the other day when I heard Sally Barnes thought the two pages and four paragraphs in this document were quite appropriate, thank you. Can one imagine that? I know Sally fairly well. I rather like her. I certainly respect her. But as the cutting edge of independent analysis in this province on women's issues, she is hardly that.
I want to say the Leader of the Opposition in this Legislature has put on the floor of this House two specific initiatives which could do something for women. One is not to appoint the recycled Deputy Premier (Mr. Welch) into some high chair of judgement on women's issues. Clearly, that is an indication of absolute and abject bankruptcy in terms of government policy.
I thought it was interesting in this connection that a few years ago we had a throne speech, I think it was 1978, where we were told that the Ministry of Labour -- that was about the same time it was getting the manpower responsibilities -- was going to play the lead role. This throne speech indicates a want of confidence in the capacity of that junior ministry to do anything meaningful.
The Leader of the Opposition a year ago, and in one other case two years ago, put on the floor of this chamber two specific initiatives I want to touch upon briefly. I will read his resolution of a year ago. It stands in the name of the member for London Centre.
"That, in the opinion of this House, the government move without further delay to deal with the immediate and urgent needs of senior citizens, particularly the single elderly, by increasing the level of Gains payment to bring their incomes up to at least 60 per cent of the income level of a married couple in order that they might better be able to maintain a more adequate standard of living and thus a more dignified lifestyle, and implement other much-needed reforms to our pension system, including dropping its veto of the child-rearing drop-out provision to the Canada pension plan."
The government often asks the opposition, with justification. "What are you for?" The Leader of the Opposition has put before the government of Ontario two practical, necessary initiatives that will deliver much-needed help to women in this province. Let the Premier of this province stand in his place moments from now and say to the Leader of the Opposition and the 52.4 per cent of our population that he is really serious about doing something in respect of women's issues, that he will move immediately to support the guaranteed annual income system enrichment along the lines of this resolution and that the government of Ontario will also withdraw its veto, the only veto left, of the child-rearing drop-out provision.
If the Premier of this province and his government want to give substance to these words, let him follow and let them follow the very able advice of the Leader of the Opposition, my colleague the member for London Centre.
I see the member for Brampton (Mr. Davis) arriving and I appreciate his attendance.
Very briefly, my colleagues in the caucus as well have proposed a program we believe would be an important stimulus to the housing sector. As a member from the hardwood hills of the Ottawa Valley, where the lumber industry is an important positive influence on the economic life and times of the 50,000-odd people it is my pleasure to represent, I want to say that, when the Leader of the Opposition proposed to the government of Ontario a $145-million rental stimulation program that would encourage the construction of 15,000 units and create 26,000 person-years of employment directly, not to speak at all of the tens of thousands of man-hours of indirect employment, he tendered to the government of Ontario good, sensible, workable advice.
As I read the last pages of the throne speech, my eyes turned to the bicentennial. I do not want in the presence of more Loyalist types than I am to indulge in a great debate on that, but I was thinking of it last night as I watched the nightly news. I can imagine the summer and early fall of 1984. I can see the landscape. The sun shines across this Edenic Ontario of ours, and in royal procession are the member for Brampton, the Queen of Canada, the Pope of Rome and Walter Borosa. I can see it now, and God only knows what George Gallup and Lou Harris will have to say when it is all over.
The Acting Speaker (Mr. Robinson): Order.
Mr. Conway: I want to say in the presence of my colleague and sometime friend the member for Brampton that I am pleased he is here for the nine minutes of my remarks, because I have wanted to share with him brief observations about some of the more governmental aspects of his administration in recent days.
The member for Port Arthur (Mr. Foulds) anticipated some of my thoughts in this connection, and I will even use some of the same words. It has been my view, objective and dispassionate as it always is, that we have seen in recent months a government adrift and in many respects at war with itself.
My friend and colleague the Leader of the Opposition says this was a throne speech without vision, vigour or direction. I ask, is it any wonder, with the way the government, the executive council, has been behaving of late?
In the early days of the mid-1970s, at least in my experience here, the public disputes of members of the cabinet of Ontario were reasonably rare although often entertaining. Who among us can forget the day when the member for Ottawa South (Mr. Bennett), the then Minister of Industry and Tourism, allowed as how, with respect to the Edwardsburgh land assembly, his colleagues the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development or Housing, as it was at the time, Don Irvine, the member for Grenville-Dundas, and the former Treasurer, John White, must have "been off their nut to have bought the Edwardsburgh land assembly."
That was a reasonably rare occurrence. Now what are we treated to? A spectacle. I am going to recite quickly some of this. Mindful as I am, loyal British subject and all that, of the requirements of the British parliamentary tradition, the notion of responsible government, cabinet solidarity, common cause, and of course disagreements of a major kind on major issues, allow one the opportunity of resignation if there cannot be agreement.
What has the recent experience been? We have seen the Treasurer publicly disagree with the Premier on the issue of the government's single most significant initiative of this parliament, the purchase of Suncor. I will not embarrass the Treasurer with his public differences of opinion with the Minister of Industry and Trade (Mr. Walker) --
Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I challenge the honourable member to verify there was any such public disagreement at any time. Many times there was agreement in this House.
Mr. Conway: I have speeches. I do not have time, but I will refer them to the Treasurer.
The Minister of Industry and Trade says government does not provide any real jobs and the Treasurer, responding to the Leader of the Opposition in the spring of 1982, talked about all the wonderful jobs he had been creating. I am only taking their public utterances at face value.
Much more interesting is the fact the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry), a man who has played a lead role in the constitutional debate, has publicly disagreed with the leader of the government on a critical policy question, namely the issue of the veto for Quebec. Not only has he disagreed with the Premier and the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs (Mr. Wells) but, after he was slapped, he got up and did it again. Days after he was scolded and rebuked by the government leader, a headline in the Ottawa paper Le Droit on February 8 said of him, "McMurtry ne cède pas." No concession from the Attorney General though the Premier enjoins him to join the government line.
I found it interesting as well that the government House leader, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and the Attorney General publicly disagree with the Premier on the issue of section 133. They have indicated different opinions on a variety of occasions.
I do not want to embarrass my good friend the member for York East (Mr. Elgie) but the public dispute between the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Elgie) and the Attorney General on the role of the Ontario Securities Commission and the publication of its various and sundry reports is a matter of record.
Clearly, the Attorney General, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and the poor Minister of Tourism and Recreation, the member for Ottawa West (Mr. Baetz), have publicly different positions on the efficacy of municipal referenda on nuclear disarmament.
Of course, the Attorney General and his boss, the Provincial Secretary for Justice (Mr. Sterling), and the member from Timmins, the minister of natural disaster, the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Pope), all have different positions in public on freedom of information.
We know the Attorney General and the Minister of Health (Mr. Grossman) have very different opinions on Bill 127 than the czarina of all education. We know the Minister of Education (Miss Stephenson) and the Minister of Health disagree almost completely on the business of medicare and I can imagine what she has been telling him about that latest regulatory change on the health disciplines matter of opting out. I can just hear them.
We know the member for St. George (Ms. Fish) publicly rebuked the Minister of Revenue (Mr. Ashe) on the question of equalized assessment.
We have seen the public disagreement of the Minister of Natural Resources and the Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Bernier) on the whole question of the Indian fishing treaty. What did the Minister of Northern Affairs say? For any Politics 100 student this would be mind-blowing but, quoting the Minister of Northern Affairs, he said, "As the Premier would say, it is healthy that we have different points of view."
Does that not say something for responsible government and cabinet solidarity? For example, we have seen the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Drea) publicly disagree with my good friend the former Liberal spear-carrier in Elgin, the distinguished long-time member from the St. Thomas area. He says, quoting the St. Thomas newspaper of recent days about the minister's decision to close the St. Thomas Adult Rehabilitation and Training Centre in this fair town: "I don't know why the minister would want to close up a program that is working as well as START. Governments do some funny things sometimes."
We all know the Minister of Community and Social Services and the Minister of Health are not talking on group home policy. We know the Minister of Community and Social Services took a Parkdale initiative affecting the Minister of Health without even the minister's knowledge of what he was doing.
I will not go on to embarrass the Premier with the views of the member for Leeds (Mr. Runciman) on metric.
We have seen the Minister of Community and Social Services disagree fundamentally with the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development (Mr. Henderson). We know that the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development and the Minister of Community and Social Services disagree on the agreement for rehabilitating the English Wabigoon communities.
I want to say to my friend the Premier, welcome home, welcome back. I am delighted he has returned here and that his fanciful voyage on the spaceship Challenger is now ended.
We have learned a lot in that intervening time. We know the former Conservative Prime Minister thinks he is a regional candidate. We know Norman Atkins has forgotten the campaign of 1971 and Allan Lawrence. It was mind-blowing to see Atkins on television lately with this effusive praise of a man about whom he felt somewhat differently about 11 or 12 years ago.
We hope the Treasurer's forecasting strength in terms of the budgetary policies in his charge are better than his knowledge of the Premier's intentions. The member for Ottawa West (Mr. Baetz) was quoted not long ago as saying, "I am 99.9 per cent sure that he'll go." Well, does that not prove what we have always thought about the member for Ottawa West? I have got to say in fairness to the Premier, I personally think one of the contributing causes in his staying here was 14 months of watching the leader of the NDP in this province and being determined not to repeat that mistake.
In conclusion, this is a government adrift, at war with itself, and we strongly encourage this House to vote with our amendment and turn to a new and fresh approach to the management of the public's affairs.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, it is always a difficult task to follow such an excellent speech and to use my limited persuasive powers to persuade the members opposite to support what the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Peterson), as he went through the receiving line after the delivering of that speech, said to His Honour:
"Your Honour, that was a great speech and well delivered." He says his most realistic and objective things when he thinks he is in private and cannot be quoted. Except, I happened to be standing next to His Honour and I remember what he said.
I was unable, like the Leader of the Opposition, to hear all the comments of the leader-in-waiting of the Liberal Party as he wound up this traditional debate, and I apologize to the member for Port Arthur (Mr. Foulds), but I do have a few notes. I did get some of it from the speaker in my office, which interrupted another gathering, and I will say his speech was more interesting than the discussion I was having.
Mr. Renwick: There is a leader-in-waiting to your left.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I would say to the senior citizen of the New Democratic Party, the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick), as I said the other day, we would treat him with far greater respect and affection if he had been on this side. We would never have done that to him.
We have a feeling in our hearts for senior citizens. Not only do we have a feeling, we demonstrate it. If he decides to cross the floor of the House, I will put him on the front bench. It may be away at this end, it may be away at that end, but I assure him we will not kick him upstairs. If he brings his daughter with him, he is more welcome.
Mr. Conway: Failing that, there is always the municipal board for Kitchener.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Well, I have to say with that I just go by rumours. He teases us about one Mr. Rosenberg. I understand the other was at his leader's fund-raising dinner. I know it is not true.
An hon. member: He was at yours, too.
Mr. Nixon: All he needed was $200.
Mr. T. P. Reid: He did not pay. He gave us an apartment instead.
Hon. Mr. Davis: He is not confessing. When somebody told me that, I said the Liberal Party of Ontario would not have that gentleman at its dinner. Now, tell me I am right, that they did not. Tell me he was not there. I just cannot believe it. I guess I only assumed from the total lack of denial that -- Is that why he did not mention the Rosenbergs in his address for the first time?
Mr. Conway: I was not aware that he was.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh, he was not. There were so many there. I understand. It was a John Turner-for-leadership dinner. I understand why they were there.
Get out into the real world in Brampton, I would say to the member for Renfrew North (Mr. Conway). A well-advertised fund-raising dinner for the Liberal leader of Ontario and they had a phone booth with 39 people in attendance at the dinner.
An hon. member: There were free tickets.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Hope springs eternal.
Mr. Conway: How are you doing in Brant-Oxford-Norfolk?
Hon. Mr. Davis: I will tell you, we will get more than 40, maybe not a whole lot more, but we will get more than 40.
Mr. Nixon: You cannot get more than 40.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh, yes we can. I think we can.
Mr. T. P. Reid: There aren't that many derelicts or kids under nine there.
Mr. Gillies: No, they are all Liberals out there.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I was going to say to my good friend, it takes one to know one, but I would not say that to him. I am talking in a political sense. He is a political derelict when one comes down to it. He does not even confess to being a Liberal.
Mr. T. P. Reid: I represent all the people.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I dare him in the next election, if his wife lets him run, to use the words "community party" up where he is. It ill not work. I forewarn him; it will not work.
Mr. T. P. Reid: I think we have heard that once somewhere before. Joe Clark tried that one.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I listened to a number of the observations and read some, and I guess the proper thing for me, sir, is to congratulate you, as have others, on the excellent way you are governing this House.
I was delighted to hear the leader-in-waiting of the Liberal Party make the same observations. I just hope he sticks to those over the next several weeks. I assure you, sir, I have made a note of them and I intend to remind him of them on the first occasion he gets up and says, "What I said then really did not apply to what I am saying today." But I will remember.
I also, of course, would like to thank the member for Sarnia (Mr. Brandt), the distinguished gentleman from that community giving such able representation, for his eloquent and excellent address in moving the throne speech itself, and of course to the --
Mr. Van Horne: You will find another way to reward him, in the fullness of time.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Well, of course, unlike the member's party, we earn what we get on this side of the House. We really do. How did he get up into the front row?
I also want to thank the member for Parry Sound (Mr. Eves) for his excellent remarks and his contribution, and the members of the government who have participated in this debate. I think it is fair to state that the members on this side of the House gave some focus to their comments and demonstrated some confidence in terms of the future of this province. They were not negative, carping or critical. They understood the realities of this province.
Mr. Conway: I heard the member for High Park (Mr. Shymko). I understood him too.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Has my friend read some from his members?
Mr. Martel: The Tory speakers were looking for cabinet posts.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I know what the member for Sudbury East is looking for, and I have done my best to accommodate; but he has failed every test.
I understand the Leader of the Opposition has a pressing engagement; I do not quarrel with that. But I offer this brief observation, because I have been in this House a shade longer than he has, a shade longer than most members of the House, and have watched the political process.
As the member from Sudbury once observed, this is not a tea party; we are not here to enjoy ourselves, although I must confess that I do enjoy myself on most occasions. But I am intrigued by the approach of the Leader of the Opposition. I hope the leader-in-waiting will convey this to him in a constructive sense.
I observed at the conclusion of the 1981 throne debate: "Not once was there a comprehensive, constructive policy enunciated by the Liberal Party of Ontario. That is one reason they are over there and we are over here." Nothing really has changed in that two-year period.
Mr. Nixon: You should have been in here listening to the last speech. You would have heard the alternative put forward very effectively by my colleague when you were having tea with your unwelcome visitors.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I never said my visitors were unwelcome, and I want to assure the honourable member that I was not having tea.
Mr. Nixon: I am not prepared to comment on what you were drinking.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I assure the member that I was consuming nothing. That will come as a surprise and disappointment to him, but in my office I am afraid that is sort of the tradition.
The Leader of the Opposition actually realized this fact on September 25 last year when he was addressing the members of his own party, the Ontario New Liberals, in London. He stated, and I think he was right in this observation, "It is no accident that there is no longer a single provincial Liberal government today." That obviously was a very factual statement made by the Leader of the Opposition and one that reflects the malaise of that party, which has been a great party in this province.
At the same function in London, he urged young Liberals to be "agents of democratic revolution." I have to say to the acting leader of the party, that was not the impression the Leader of the Opposition created when he was interviewing the chairman of the board of Norcen on David Peterson's Ontario. Did the acting leader see that tape?
Mr. Conway: No.
Hon. Mr. Davis: No? I have some advice for him. As leader-in-waiting, he should have a look at that tape.
On Tuesday this week, I understand, the Leader of the Opposition, because he really did not have any relevant issue to raise since I was not here, said, "We are becoming a province without a Premier." I was not here Monday and Tuesday; I make no apologies for that fact. But I want the leader-in-waiting to convey to the Leader of the Opposition that I am going to be here as Premier. I guess the most disturbed persons yesterday at 10 minutes before one o'clock were the leader of the Liberal Party and the leader of the New Democratic Party of this province.
Another great quote was in the London Free Press again. The leader of the Liberal Party was quoted as saying: "Those guys, Tories, can do more after tea than I can do in a lifetime in opposition." Hallelujah! I agree with him. It is true.
He was quoted by the Canadian Press wire service -- I just want to tell the members that I pay attention to what their leader tells me -- on January 21, 1982, as stating, "Stupid policies will hurt this party in the future as they have in the past." I say, "Amen." It is true.
I have a lot more but I do not have time. I just suggest to the leader-in-waiting that in my political experience, while I have never had the responsibility of leading a party in opposition --
Mr. Martel: Is that why you wouldn't run federally?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Yes, I gave it thought. I say very sincerely that there is great merit in attacking the policies of a government in power. That is the responsibility of an opposition party. But I also know there has been a growing tendency to become very personal in terms of attacks on ministers.
I would ask the leader-in-waiting to talk to a law class at a faculty of law not too far distant from here and sense what its impressions were when the leader of his party attacked the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) of this province in a very personal way. I think he will find this also in terms of the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Elgie).
I happen to know what the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations has gone through in the discharge of his responsibilities. It is fair to be critical of his ministry's function. It is fair to be critical of what the policies may be. But to say that he does not believe him or he does not trust him when he gives his best information to the House is not the way, in my humble opinion, the political process should work.
I do not say for a moment that ministers of the crown are above making mistakes. I cannot think of any, but sure, they make them; I make them. To err is to be human, and we are human on this side of the House. We do not err too often. But I do not think it helps the Liberal Party of Ontario to create the perception of these personal attacks upon individual ministers of the crown. I have tried to stay away from that in terms of my own political experience.
I will give members some factual information.
Hon. Mr. Davis: No, I was not. I was quoting exactly what the member's leader said. I did not make any comments.
I will give members some factual information. They can be critical of differences of opinion that may exist on this side of the House. He can exaggerate them, I say to the leader-in-waiting, but it is the public perception that counts and he should know that in terms of public perception the Liberal Party of Ontario is at one of its lowest ebbs in recent political history.
Mr. Van Horne: Baloney.
Hon. Mr. Davis: It is true.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I want to say, before its members take too much delight, that the New Democratic Party is not much better off. I read what the leader of the New Democratic Party said about my being distracted by the leadership of our federal party. I confess that I was. I took two days -- actually it was a day and a half. I gave it my undivided attention.
But I have the whole chronology of what happened when the member for Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy) announced his resignation. I know exactly how many weeks it took the present leader of the NDP to decide whether he would move from the major leagues to the minor leagues. I know how long it took him to decide whether he would run for a seat in this House. I know how long he sat up there leading the fortunes of his party, 30 feet away from his responsibilities as a member. He should never speak to me about being distracted, because he did not have the foggiest idea of what he wanted to do then; I am not sure he has the foggiest idea of what he wants to do now.
What intrigues me -- I say this to the leader of the New Democrats -- is a quote I have got for him.
Mr. Martel: Is this a quote from the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. Timbrell)?
Hon. Mr. Davis: No, this is a quote from a very prominent member of the New Democratic Party. I will not identify him yet. He was commenting on the results in the 1968 election. Nothing really has changed. I do not believe much changes in history. "The almost unbearable self-righteousness of the NDP was revealed in all of its glory." That was not Stephen Lewis. That was not any other noted journalist. That was the member for York South (Mr. Rae) in the University of Toronto Varsity in 1968, and nothing has changed.
Mr. T. P. Reid: They have got more self- righteous.
Hon. Mr. Davis: What does the member mean, who was in charge? I was Minister of University Affairs. I identified him then as potentially an intelligent young man who might have the wisdom to become a member of this party, but knowing full well he never would; so I kept track of him. Does he want some more? No, I am taking too much time.
Some hon. members: More.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Can I come for a few moments to --
Mr. Wildman: To the throne speech.
Mr. Breaugh: Don't be distracted.
Hon. Mr. Davis: No, I do not want to be distracted. If it were not for the distractions I would not have half as much fun.
Mr. Martel: You have nothing to say.
Hon. Mr. Davis: The member for Sudbury East is just about provoking me.
Dealing with some of the objectives in the throne speech, I listened very carefully to the observations about youth unemployment and the activities of the task force. I will make no comment. I think the leader-in-waiting was endeavouring to be constructive. I respect that. I am not sure how helpful the ideas were, but I think the motivation was fine.
I said earlier today that in terms of particulars, it is necessary for the members of this House to wait until the presentation of the Treasurer's budget on Tuesday of the coming week. I think I am fairly objective, and I do not minimize the depth of the economic problems this province and this whole country have faced, but I said a year ago and I believe it to be true that we are emerging from the economic difficulty. We have weathered it better than many other places in terms of the impact.
I heard the member for Renfrew North (Mr. Conway) -- and I will not tease him any more about being the leader-in-waiting; we all know it is true, so there is no point stating the obvious any further -- and the observations he made about my neighbour the member for Wellington-Dufferin-Peel (Mr. J. M. Johnson), who represents that great riding that takes in Caledon.
I do not think any of us in the past six to eight months has not experienced individual problems presented to us in our constituency offices or here at the House in terms of the impact of the present economic situation upon the lives of individuals. For me, as head of the government, it has been a very difficult period. While we here are, I hope gainfully employed, I think we can have a sensitivity, an understanding and an awareness of what these people are experiencing.
Once again I can fairly state that this government, in terms of what it has attempted to do, has demonstrated a sensitivity. Sure, it can be argued that we could do more, that we should spend more, but at the same time we have a responsibility to retain some measure of balance and some capacity in terms of fiscal management.
I do not minimize the present situation, but at the same time I really have a genuine measure of optimism. I look at the auto sector. While not as deeply involved as the member for Essex North (Mr. Ruston), the member for Essex South (Mr. Mancini), the member for Oakville (Mr. Snow) and the member for Oshawa (Mr. Breaugh), we do have some modest interest in the great riding of Brampton.
Mr. Cooke: Who owns that company?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Listen, I make no apologies. I went to see the Prime Minister of France, and I said to him, "Prime Minister, irrespective of your political philosophies, the more you invest in Brampton, the more I will take." I make no apologies for it. I say to the financial critic for the New Democrats that I have listened to him and I have listened to others who, over the past two years, have said how Windsor is going down the tubes, the auto industry is going down the tubes and we are never going to recover, we are never going to survive.
I ask the member to look at the figures today. I ask if he is prepared to make the same observations today, because the reality is that the auto industry, particularly in Ontario, shows real signs of recovery. In terms of any percentage figures, we have a higher level of employment in the auto sector in this province than does any state of the union. This is true. Partly that is because of good management by government and partly because of product allocation, which turns out to be beneficial. I accept that. However, there was a readiness to write them off a year and a half ago. In fact, it has not happened. When I am speaking about the auto sector --
Mr. Martel: Things are so good in St. Catharines.
Hon. Mr. Davis: There are problems in many places. There are still problems in Sudbury; I accept that.
Mr. Martel: Still? They are monumental.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I accept it. Briefly, because I did not have much time, I read the member's presentation; I read the task force report that he publicized today. I do not know who was smoking what when they drafted it, but ask him please to analyse the mathematics of it. It is great to say, "We are going to spend $11 million" or whatever it is "over five years." The members are telling the people of Ontario they are going to nationalize just about everything in sight, but they should tell everybody how they are going to afford it.
Mr. Martel: That is Jim Gordon.
Hon. Mr. Davis: The members probably have not even read the document; they probably have not read their own policy paper. Oh, they have not read it. It only came out this morning; they have not had the time.
Dealing with the auto sector -- and I am not totally comfortable in these approaches, because they can appear to be contradictory -- I have said in many speeches, as have the Treasurer and the Minister of Industry and Trade (Mr. Walker), that it is fundamental that this province export and be competitive. We have to understand that to survive economically we are going to have to deal with our competitors in a constructive, friendly fashion.
While there may appear to some members of the House to be some measure of contradiction when we say in the throne speech that we would support particular measures for the auto sector, I put it very simplistically on this basis: I think we are dealing with a market situation that cannot be described as being totally free in that sense of the word. Ontario does not have the capacity to adjust the value of the Canadian dollar. We are not in a position, as are some nations, to alter our dollar values to make our product more competitive in the marketplace.
The auto sector is so fundamental to the economic wellbeing of Ontario and, through that, of Canada that I am prepared to support certain initiatives that do not protect our auto sector but rather give it a better opportunity to compete, to adjust and to see that it gets a fair share in terms of what is happening in other countries.
I was in western Europe very briefly and talked to some people at the European Economic Community, who are great believers in free trade. I said to them, "How many automobiles do you allow in from the Far East?" The figures are staggering. Some countries allow 2,000 units and some 3,000; one allows 5,000 units. These people believe in free trade, but they have policies that restrict free access.
In Australia, when I was there for business purposes, I found intriguing that in a country that has some feeling about "competitive nature and free trade" there is an 85 per cent Australian content rule so that their auto sector can survive.
Mr. R. F. Johnston: We have been saying that for years.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Some of the positions of the opposition are a shade contradictory; those of the government are always consistent.
While I think it is fundamental for Ontario business and all of us to understand that our ability to compete economically must be geared to an international situation, we cannot fight that. It is fundamental as well that we recognize that this industry is fundamental. While some opposite might point out a contradiction, and I do not think they will, I hope they understand the rationale behind it.
When I am speaking of this I should point out it is fundamental, as we look down the road not just in the next two months or six months, that as we see signs of economic recovery taking place we have to understand something fundamental. It is not a popular thing to say, but all of us must maintain a real measure of moderation in terms of what we expect to take out of an economic upturn.
The competition out there is, without question, tough. We have to understand what is happening in countries where we compete. We have to look at the experience in the United States. Whether the people over there like it or not, they happen to be our best customers, they also happen to be our strongest competitors. There must be a degree of moderation. We must understand that when the economy picks up, and when profits begin to improve, if they are not reinvested the recovery will not be sustained.
My late mother always said "moderation in all things." She was referring to another matter, but I think it applies. It is essential for Ontarians and Canadians to exercise a degree of moderation. This has to be understood by the public sector, by the private sector and by government.
I listened to some of the observations of the member for Renfrew North in terms of financial management. The Treasurer will deal with this on Tuesday, but I may not get the opportunity because I will not be speaking immediately after Tuesday.
I have to say that on any objective assessment, one reason this province has been able to give some encouragement to a recovery, one reason we have been able to maintain a degree of stability through these difficult months, is because this province happens to have the best-managed government of any government in Canada. I say that without fear of contradiction. It is not an easy responsibility.
Mr. Nixon: You believe in moderation but not in humility.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I would say to the member that if I have one attribute it has always been humility. He may not agree with that.
Hon. Mr. Davis: There are some days. I know exactly the quote the member is prepared to use but it is very old. I have a better one for him but I will not tell him today.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I tell the member for Kitchener (Mr. Breithaupt) that he worries about the age of this government. I wish, and I know he wishes, that he was as vital, as enthusiastic, as energetic, as confident and as capable as the members on this side of the House because if he felt that way he might he over here instead of over there. Look at this group of people. They are energetic, enthusiastic, confident and capable.
Hon. Mr. Davis: To retain the members' modesty, they are not to applaud themselves. They can applaud me but not themselves.
When I say this about the need to understand the financial management, the Treasurer is pressed and every minister of the crown is pressed, as the members opposite are, by individuals, groups or organizations seeking more by way either of assistance or encouragement from government.
Part of our responsibility, unfortunately, is to say "no" on occasion. Part of our responsibility is to say to people for whom we have great sympathy, "We cannot afford it." That has been a policy of this government and one reason we have been able to manage the affairs of this province effectively in a financial sense. I want to give the Treasurer full credit because I do not sense the members of the opposition will do so on Tuesday even if, in their heart of hearts, they would like to do so.
Mr. Speaker, I cannot keep track of the clock. How much longer have I got?
Mr. Speaker: The Premier has 21 minutes and 40 seconds.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I will not take 21 minutes.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I expect to see ads go across there any time.
Mr. Rae: It won't be long. We will be paying for them.
Hon. Mr. Davis: The Minister of Tourism and Recreation (Mr. Baetz) will have "Yours to Discover." The members opposite should have that on their side right now, "Yours to Discover," or "Preserve It, Conserve It."
I want to deal with one other part of the throne speech that --
Mr. Martel: You have not dealt with any yet.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I have. I have dealt with the auto sector, the economy and youth employment. I do have some words of advice for the member for Renfrew North. Before he comments on what this government is doing with respect to women, on the policies that will be emerging, and on the fact we will have some definitive proposals for the public of this province, before he sets himself up as an expert knowing anything about it, he ought to change his marital status so he can speak with some modest degree of knowledge.
I have said this to Ronald too. That was friendly advice.
Mr. Wildman: Are you serious? Susan Fish, do you agree with that?
Hon. Mr. Davis: What do you mean? Susan, stay away from him.
I want to deal with the reference in the throne speech to certain initiatives the government will be proposing with respect to altering the legislation in the area of French education. I want to deal with it simply and in a very constructive fashion. Some have suggested there is a modest degree of contradiction in the proposal the government will be bringing forward during the course of this Legislature and positions the government had taken in previous constitutional discussions.
I would like to remind all members of the House that the determination and initiative taken by this province to include in the Canadian Constitution the education of young people in either of the two official languages of Canada where numbers warrant was done to encourage some of our sister provinces to participate. It has been the law of this province for some years that where sufficient numbers or heads of families are together, the school boards will provide an educational experience. We have done it in a way I think has been acceptable, in a way that has been understood and in a way that has been sensitive.
It has been the view of the government, and I say this as a personal view as well, that we have reached a point in this province where, in the field of special education for instance, if a youngster was in Orangeville and the Dufferin board was not able to offer a course in special education of some kind, he was able to purchase that service from the Peel board or vice versa.
It is not a new principle. It is not unique. What we are doing in this proposal is extending as a matter of principle to the francophone youngsters and the anglophone youngsters, in those areas where they constitute the minority, the opportunity for an education in either of the two official languages of Canada as a matter of legislated right here in the province.
Mr. Bradley: I did not hear about that in the Carleton by-election.
Hon. Mr. Davis: The member for St. Catharines (Mr. Bradley) misunderstood. Some day I will try to explain it to him and to the member for Renfrew North. I hope to be able to do that on a personal basis because, with great respect, the member's former leader -- I will not get into that since he is not here. The member does not understand it.
Mr. Bradley: I understand very well. I saw --
Hon. Mr. Davis: Come on. The member does not understand it because he is disappointed he lost.
Hon. Mr. Pope: Did you hear what Stuart Smith said in Timmins?
Hon. Mr. Davis: That is right, and what your friend said up in Mattawa.
I am trying to deal with this without being controversial. I can remember what some of his members said in Essex if he wants. I will not, but do not raise that with me.
Mr. Bradley: Don't set yourself up as a man of virtue on that issue. I saw those --
Hon. Mr. Davis: Come on. I would never be as presumptuous as the member is to set myself up as a person of virtue on any issue. I do it out of conscience and out of sensitivity. The member should not let his ego get in the way of his own good judgement. I mean it.
Mr. R. F. Johnston: Take some time to talk about the unemployed for a moment.
Hon. Mr. Davis: If the member opposite does not think this is a serious issue, I regret that. I want the record to state that the member for Scarborough West (Mr. R. F. Johnston) does not believe the education of francophone youngsters is a serious issue. Is that what the member is saying?
Mr. R. F. Johnston: Don't give me that garbage. I am talking about the unemployed.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I will come to the unemployed, but can I not deal with this issue? Is this not an issue important to the member's party? Then do not interrupt.
Mr. R. F. Johnston: Certainly it is. We know where you have stood on it for the last 20 years, so don't start that on us. We know where you have stood on this for a long time.
Mr. Rae: Don't get on that stuff.
Hon. Mr. Davis: He started it. Tell the member for Scarborough West just to relax, sit back, and let me finish.
Mr. R. F. Johnston: Don't get into name calling. Deal with some substance.
Hon. Mr. Davis: No one is name calling. The member is the only one who has that tendency.
I recognize sensitivity, but this is a matter that is important not just in terms of the educational rights of these young people, but in terms of a principle and a policy for the Legislature of this province.
I will not deal with the other aspects which will be more complicated in terms of what is going to be presented, in terms of school board structure and the responsibilities of the minister. To me, the significant aspect of what was contained in the throne speech under that section was a simple, basic right, and that is the right of a francophone or anglophone youngster to have an educational program in his or her own language. That is something we will see carried out.
Mr. McClellan: On the applause meter, I would say that is a minus three.
Hon. Mr. Pope: I didn't hear you applaud.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I did not see him applaud at all. I thought the member for Cornwall (Mr. Samis) would show some measure of enthusiasm. I certainly know the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick), if he were still on the front bench, would have applauded.
I will not deal at length with further economic discussions because we will have ample opportunity on Tuesday.
I would like to finalize my observations by going back to the member for Renfrew North when he was observing about what he felt were certain contradictions emanating from ministers of the crown. I have been Premier for 12 years and I was a minister for nine years. I have heard this sort of tactic used before.
The member from Sudbury used to do it with eloquence. He used to do it with a certain flair. He had a style. I sat there and listened. He reorganized the total front bench and then sat down knowing in his own heart of hearts that he or his party would never be in a position to assume the responsibility for the actual judgements that are made on this side of the House.
Things have not changed. I have listened. I have tried to encourage their co-operation. I am earnestly seeking their support for this enlightened throne speech and what it means for the future of this province. I know in advance I have failed because nothing has changed. The New Democrats are captives of their own theology. They have that tunnel vision which has no real future in terms of the people of this province.
I look at the Liberal Party or community party of Ontario. I see contradictions, I see lack of leadership, I see no cohesion in caucus and I see them being there five years hence. The faces may change but the policies will not alter and this government will be here for some years hence.
Mr. Speaker: On Tuesday, April 19, Mr. Brandt moved, seconded by Mr. Eves, that an humble address be presented to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor as follows:
To the Honourable John Black Aird, an officer of the Order of Canada, one of Her Majesty's counsel learned in the law, bachelor of arts, doctor of laws, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario:
We, Her Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Legislative Assembly of the province of Ontario, now assembled, beg leave to thank Your Honour for the gracious speech Your Honour has addressed to us.
On Thursday, April 21, Ms. Copps moved, seconded by Mr. Nixon, that the motion be amended by adding the following thereto:
"This House, however, regrets that the speech from the throne fails to address the most serious problems facing Ontario today, reflecting a total lack of government initiative, leadership and policy necessary to resolve these concerns, namely, the continuing unemployment crisis, particularly among this province's youth; the pressing need for a definitive industrial strategy, particularly the need for massive training and retraining programs; the urgent need for affordable housing in this province; the preservation of Ontario's health, social and educational sectors, and particularly support for hospitals, day care, services for the elderly and post-secondary institutions; the continuing problems facing farmers during these recessionary times. Therefore, this House declares its lack of confidence in the government."
Today Mr. Foulds moved, seconded by Mr. Rae, that the amendment to the motion for an address in reply to the speech of the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor be amended by adding after the word "time," and before the words, "Therefore, this House declares its lack of confidence in the government," the following:
"And further, this House regrets that the provincial government has utterly failed to respond to the bankruptcy of Liberal government policies and has instead simply produced a vague and aimless speech worthy of liberalism itself rather than acting decisively to provide jobs, health and housing for Ontario's people."
The first question to be decided is the amendment to the amendment to the motion.
The House divided on the amendment to the amendment by Mr. Foulds, which was negatived on the following vote:
Allen, Breaugh, Bryden, Cassidy, Charlton, Cooke, Di Santo, Foulds, Grande, Johnston, R. F., Laughren, Lupusella, Mackenzie, Martel, McClellan, Philip, Rae, Renwick, Samis, Stokes, Swart, Wildman.
Andrewes, Ashe, Baetz, Barlow, Bennett, Bernier, Birch, Boudria, Bradley, Brandt, Breithaupt, Conway, Copps, Cousens, Cunningham, Davis, Dean, Drea, Eakins, Eaton, Edighoffer, Elgie, Elston, Epp, Fish, Gillies, Gordon, Gregory, Haggerty, Harris, Havrot, Henderson, Hennessy, Hodgson;
Johnson, J. M., Jones, Kennedy, Kerr, Kerrio, Kolyn, Lane, Leluk, MacQuarrie, Mancini, McCaffrey, McCague, McEwen, McGuigan, McKessock, McLean, McNeil, Miller. F. S., Miller, G. I., Mitchell, Newman, Nixon, Norton, O'Neil, Peterson, Piché, Pollock, Pope, Ramsay, Reed, J. A., Reid, T. P., Riddell, Robinson, Rotenberg, Runciman, Ruprecht, Ruston;
Sargent, Scrivener, Sheppard, Shymko, Spensieri, Sterling, Stevenson, K. R., Sweeney, Taylor, G. W., Taylor, J. A., Timbrell, Treleaven, Van Horne, Villeneuve, Walker, Watson, Welch, Wells, Williams, Wiseman, Worton, Wrye, Yakabuski.
Ayes 22; nays 94.
The House divided on Ms. Copps's amendment, which was negatived on the following vote:
Allen, Boudria, Bradley, Breaugh, Breithaupt, Bryden, Cassidy, Charlton, Conway, Cooke, Copps, Cunningham, Di Santo, Eakins, Edighoffer, Elston, Epp, Foulds, Grande, Haggerty, Johnston, R. F., Kerrio, Laughren, Lupusella;
Mackenzie, Mancini, Martel, McClellan, McEwen, McGuigan, McKessock, Miller, G. I., Newman, Nixon, O'Neil, Peterson, Philip, Rae, Reed, J. A., Reid, T. P., Renwick, Riddell, Ruprecht, Ruston, Samis, Sargent, Spensieri, Stokes, Swart, Sweeney, Van Horne, Wildman, Worton, Wrye.
Andrewes, Ashe, Baetz, Barlow, Bennett, Bernier, Birch, Brandt, Cousens, Davis, Dean, Drea, Eaton, Elgie, Fish, Gillies, Gordon, Gregory, Harris, Havrot, Henderson, Hennessy, Hodgson, Johnson, J. M., Jones, Kennedy, Kerr, Kolyn, Lane, Leluk, MacQuarrie, McCaffrey, McCague, McLean, McNeil, Miller, F. S., Mitchell;
Norton, Piché, Pollock, Pope, Ramsay, Robinson, Rotenberg, Runciman, Scrivener, Sheppard, Shymko, Sterling, Stevenson. K. R., Taylor, G. W., Taylor, J. A., Timbrell, Treleaven, Villeneuve, Walker, Watson, Welch, Wells, Williams, Wiseman, Yakabuski.
Ayes 54; nays 62.
The House divided on Mr. Brandt's main motion, which was agreed to on the same vote reversed.
Resolved: That an humble address be presented to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor as follows:
To the Honourable John Black Aird, an officer of the Order of Canada, one of Her Majesty's counsel learned in the law, bachelor of arts, doctor of laws, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario:
We, Her Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Legislative Assembly of the province of Ontario, now assembled, beg leave to thank Your Honour for the gracious speech Your Honour has addressed to us.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I would like to indicate the business for the remainder of this week and for next week.
Tonight we will deal with legislation: first, committee of the whole on Bill 7, followed by second reading and committee of the whole, if necessary, on Bills 3, 4, 5 and 13. If there is time, we will have second reading of Bill 2 and committee of the whole, if necessary.
Mr. Conway: The waste bill?
Hon. Mr. Wells: Not tonight.
Tomorrow, Friday, May 6, we will continue any legislation that is not completed this evening.
On Monday, May 9, we will also continue with any legislation that has not been completed, and then as time permits we will debate government notice of motion 6 standing on the order paper respecting concurrence in the appointment of the chairman of the Commission on Election Contributions and Expenses.
On Tuesday, May 10, routine proceedings will begin as usual at 2 p.m. When they are completed, there will be a short recess until precisely 4 p.m., when the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) will make his budget address. As indicated before, the House will not sit next Tuesday evening.
On Wednesday, May 11, any of the usual committees may sit.
On Thursday, May 12, budget replies by both opposition Treasury critics will be in the afternoon, and in the evening we will begin the budget debate, which will also continue on Friday.
The House recessed at 6 p.m.