The House met at 2 p.m.
STATEMENTS BY THE MINISTRY
SKILLS TRAINING PROGRAM FUNDING
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, in his recent budget, the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) announced a $247-million accelerated capital works project designed to create about 12,000 jobs. The government of Ontario will contribute $167.5 million. The projects to be funded under this initiative have been advanced from the long-range plans of ministries in order to stimulate economic recovery.
I am pleased to announce today to the members the distribution of the $14.5 million allocated to my ministry for the skills development division. This allocation will serve two purposes. The primary purpose is to stimulate job creation, specifically in the construction industry, in communities with high unemployment rates. Second, it will permit colleges to upgrade their facilities in order to enhance the quality of their programs.
Funds will be allocated to six colleges during the 1983-84 and 1984-85 fiscal years.
Conestoga College will receive $2,275,000. The trades and technology addition to the Guelph campus will house welding and electromechanical training facilities.
Confederation College in Thunder Bay will receive $2.10 million for the modernization of the McIntyre trades and technology building, which has been a college priority for some time. This allocation meets the immediate need to renovate the building while reserving for future consideration the college request for funds to expand the building.
Durham College in Oshawa will receive $4,728,000, and the funds will be used to construct a new 3,439-square-metre trades and technology building as well as to expand the college's library, student services and cafeteria facilities.
Mohawk College will receive $780,000 to construct a new electronic laboratory at the Braneida campus in Brantford.
Sault College in Sault Ste. Marie will receive $1.8 million for three projects. The first will provide a training facility in the water resources and pulp and paper occupations. The second is the completion of a trades and technology facility begun in the years 1982-8. The third is the renovation of the power electronics facility.
Sir Sandford Fleming College in Peterborough will receive $2,765,000 to construct a centre for integrated manufacturing. This centre will provide training in state-of-the-art computer-based manufacturing, a most appropriate structure and facility for Peterborough.
AGRICULTURAL PROJECTS FUNDING
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I wish to inform the members of the details of agricultural initiatives that arise from the new job creation program announced by the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) in his budget of May 10.
As the members know, the Board of Industrial Leadership and Development is co-ordinating the acceleration of capital works projects which are targeted to regions of the province with high levels of unemployment. As my colleague just said, the government is expecting that 12,000 jobs will be created over a two-year period as a result of this program. Altogether Ontario is contributing $167.5 million, with the remaining funds of more than $79 million coming from municipalities.
Of the total, $8.43 million has been assigned for agriculture under this program. This will comprise eight separate projects that will ensure greater efficiency and productivity in the agricultural sector. They include teaching, demonstration and research facilities, as well as services to the farming community. We expect they will have a very positive regional impact. We are immediately beginning work, with construction to be completed on three of these projects and tenders called on three others within this calendar year.
In one of those projects the ministry is devoting $3 million to build a new education building at the New Liskeard College of Agricultural Technology. Construction will start this autumn. This complex will house staff offices, classrooms, a lab and library, and other facilities in a much-needed expansion that will serve the essential needs of northern Ontario's future agriculturists. The potential we see for developing a greater agricultural base, particularly in the northern part of this province, will surely be realized in the improved training we continue to offer our agricultural students.
There are a number of services and programs at our five agricultural colleges and the University of Guelph that are vital not only for the education of students but to serve the agricultural community. Research, laboratory testing and a number of specialist services fall into this category.
We at the ministry have decided to invest some of the BILD money towards these programs and services that serve both college and community life. The mechanics buildings at Ridgetown and Centralia colleges are to be enlarged with additions and a new building is to go up at Alfred College, at a total cost of some $495,000. These facilities provide teaching, demonstration and research needed for what will be expanded farm machinery programs. They are also to supplement the reorganization of engineering services, operated now as five regional programs, filling agricultural, industrial and educational needs.
Similarly, a display arena is designated for Kemptville Agricultural College, the oldest of these institutions. At a cost of $1.5 million, this arena will be a demonstration forum where students will display livestock and conduct other work study projects. Again, the space will be available for outside uses by 4-H clubs and the farmers of eastern Ontario.
I referred to the lab and research facilities in the colleges. They are in addition to a network of separate research stations situated throughout the province. They fulfil many functions, not the least of which are the quality testing of food and health diagnosis of livestock.
The capital acceleration program will enable us to improve our lab capabilities at both Brighton and Guelph. The $1.5-million project slated for Brighton is to expand and modernize the veterinarian laboratory services branch. Diagnostic, investigative and consultative services are provided livestock owners and veterinarians in counties from Durham to Frontenac, including parts of Haliburton.
The other grant of $1.6 million is to build a replacement facility in Guelph for rented quarters that house the central milk testing laboratory operating there since 1966. This lab was started at the request of the producers and the processors of milk to provide an unbiased agency that would test milk supplied to the processors. Twice each month, milk samples are collected and tested in the lab for fat, protein, lactose and other substances. Such tests have contributed to our milk being the finest anywhere.
I would like to conclude by telling the House about plans we have to complete the research storage building and horticultural products lab at Vineland Research Station. These projects were initiated last year to enable studies into extending the marketing season of produce through the use of ultra-low-oxygen storage. Processing and testing facilities are also being built for the study of new grapes for use in wine and the manufacture of juice. A total of $250,000 is to be spent on finishing this work.
These BILD projects will greatly enhance our opportunities for offering a better education for agricultural students, for the continuing quality of our food and for improved marketing of new and existing products. At the same time they will generate employment in agricultural and other industries in every major region of the province.
Mr. Speaker: There seems to be an abnormally high level of conversational noise.
SERVICES FOR PEOPLE WITH LOW VISION
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce an agreement between my ministry and the Canadian National Institute for the Blind that will expand existing services of the CNIB for people with low vision. Low vision describes people with seriously restricted vision that results from eye disease or injury.
In the 1982-83 fiscal year, ministry funding to the CNIB amounted to $3,852,000. These funds were used for a wide variety of rehabilitation programs including programs in homes for the aged and vocational rehabilitation centres, adjustment to blindness programs, and orientation and mobility training.
Under the new agreement, a further $135,000 on a fee-for-service basis is being made available. The institute is to hire four registered nurses to be trained in eye service programs to broaden CNIB services to low-vision clients.
As well, $31,000 will be provided to cover the additional costs of starting up the increased services. These services will enhance those available at CNIB regional offices in Hamilton, Toronto and Ottawa. In addition, a mobile clinic, which travels to remote areas in northern Ontario from March to November will utilize the services of a nurse based in Sudbury.
Let me emphasize there are already low-vision services in a number of other centres. I would like to give some detail about these additional services as they relate to people with low vision.
Before I do so, I want to say the CNIB is not the only organization carrying out excellent work on behalf of clients who are blind or have impaired vision, and who need eye care and special assistance. The institute would be the first to agree with that, I know. The role of the physician, ophthalmologist, optometrist and other professionals remains of utmost importance, and the low-vision services of the CNIB are designed to complement that role.
The CNIB will provide direct service in the field of low vision through: low-vision assessments; a selection of special aids to allow optimal use of residual vision; functional assessments that show how well a client is coping with everyday living; teaching and counselling; maintaining contact with the sources that referred the low-vision person to the service; follow-up and referral to appropriate community sources; and rehabilitation services including, for example, training in how to make the best use of visual aids whether at home, in the work place or in leisure activities.
Also, staff of the increased services for low- vision clients will act as liaison between other low-vision services provided elsewhere in the community, and they will continue to promote low-vision services through public relations and education.
In addition to the CNIB, the Low Vision Association of Ontario, as a consumer organization, has been active in supporting improvement of services for low-vision people.
The CNIB in Ontario is making every effort to streamline its programs for the blind and the visually impaired. CNIB staff have reassessed certain of their activities and placed a new emphasis on providing service in the community. They have stressed the importance of community service and home-support services for visually impaired people in every part of the province.
May I say in closing that I am particularly enthusiastic about these increased services because they will help people with low vision to play a greater role in their communities, in keeping with my ministry's policy of supporting community living for disabled persons.
GREYMAC TRUST AGREEMENT
Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I wish to announce that arrangements have been made with the Canada Deposit Insurance Corp. that will enable Greymac Trust Co. to meet all its obligations to arm's-length depositors.
Under formal agreements entered into by Greymac Trust, Standard Trust, the registrar of loan and trust corporations and the Canada Deposit Insurance Corp., Standard Trust will manage the affairs of Greymac Trust as the agent of the registrar, who will continue in possession and control of the assets of Greymac Trust Co. The appointment of Standard Trust will expire on December 31, 1987.
Standard Trust Co., with assets of approximately $650 million, is a well-established and successful trust company.
The business of Greymac Trust is to be carried on in such a manner as to preserve the separate identity attaching to Greymac Trust and its assets. Limitations have been imposed on the registry of Greymac Trust which preclude it from accepting further funds for deposit or investment or from borrowing funds except from CDIC. Greymac Trust is also prohibited from making mortgage loans without the approval of CDIC as long as it is indebted to CDIC. Recoveries on mortgages and other investments made by Greymac Trust in the past will be applied to repay indebtedness to CDIC.
The Canada Deposit Insurance Corp. has undertaken to provide financing to permit the payment of the liabilities of Greymac Trust as they become due, except for liabilities to certain designated persons. I want to emphasize that other holders of existing deposit liabilities and guaranteed investment certificates of Greymac Trust are to be paid in full as they mature or come due.
JAMES SNOW PARKWAY
Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I have a statement to make about "the highway from nowhere to nowhere."
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. Snow: It has been brought to my attention in an article in the Toronto Star, a news item dated June 15 under the byline of Mr. Matt Maychak, that I was responsible for the building and naming of the James Snow Parkway, a three-quarter-mile-long --
Mr. Roy: Do you have the French translation?
Hon. Mr. Snow: Jacques Neige.
-- a three-quarter-mile-long, four-lane highway in my riding. It was pointed out that --
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Foulds: Are you rising on a point of privilege because it is not in your riding?
Hon. Mr. Snow: It will be, don't worry.
It was pointed out that the road was going virtually nowhere, that it was built across what "used to be Snow family property," and that following the official opening there would be a private reception "at a pricey restaurant."
In reply I can state that my ministry did build the highway as part of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications' overall transportation network. In fact, it was part of a $12.1-million contract for the reconstruction of about five and a half miles of Highway 401 and the construction of two truck inspection stations.
It is basically a connection between Steeles Avenue and Main Street in Milton with an interchange at Highway 401. I might say that in Milton it is known as the new front door to Milton. Call it the initial step if you wish, Mr. Speaker, in a proposed Milton bypass, which will eventually connect with Highway 403 and the Queen Elizabeth Way at the Dorval Drive intersection. Because of the potential 1,400-acre Milton industrial development it was considered of primary importance and a primary link.
However, it is not in my riding. It is in Halton-Burlington, currently but temporarily represented by the member for Halton-Burlington (Mr. J. A. Reed), a Liberal. My riding, as a matter of record, is Oakville.
It is true that the link in question cuts across one-time Snow family property, but the Snow family sold those acres many years ago -- in fact, in 1938, and some of it --
Mr. Foulds: That recently?
Hon. Mr. Snow: That was before the Liberal transportation critic was born, I am sure.
Part of it was sold in 1941 and part of it in 1949. All of that land, unfortunately for the Snow family, was disposed of before Highway 401 was ever built.
As for the private reception at the "pricey" restaurant following the official opening, the writer should have pointed out that the town of Milton is hosting this luncheon and has invited my 85-year-old mother and my family to join the council at that event. As a matter of fact, the arrangements for the official opening a week from Tuesday, to which all members are invited, are being made by the town of Milton, which has requested the opening.
My friendly Liberal transportation critic, the member for Wentworth North (Mr. Cunningham), who was quoted extensively in the article, told the writer it was hilarious that I should name this link after myself. If he had paused to check his words before he uttered them, he would have discovered I did not even know this was to be named after me until I had been approached on the subject following a unanimous council resolution to that effect -- a resolution proposed and passed by the town of Milton and then endorsed unanimously by all 25 members of the Halton regional council.
Finally, I would like to remind the members of this House and the member for Wentworth North, in case he does not know, that years ago the Toronto Star wrote a similar article chiding the old Department of Highways for building a road not many people ever would use or need because it was away out in the country. What highway was that? That was the Toronto bypass or Highway 401, which now handles 300,000 vehicles a day.
I have never had an opportunity to meet or speak with Mr. Maychak, who works for that very reputable paper, the Toronto Star. However, on behalf of some of my constituents who are very substantial shareholders in that organization, I feel a little sorry when I read this article.
Mr. Wrye: We do not have a copy of this statement.
Mr. R. F. Johnston: We want a copy of the Star.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. Snow: Just one more minute, Mr. Speaker.
I have never seen an article that had so many errors in it. It says, "Snow lives on a farm in a hamlet called Hornby" -- that is right so far -- "about 9.6 kilometres (seven miles) from the roadway." It is about three or 3.5 kilometres, so the difference is between 3.5 and 9.6 kilometres.
Mr. Rae: We want a copy. Is this a compendium or an appendix?
Hon. Mr. Snow: It says there could be a future extension to Highway 25 "another 32 kilometres (20 miles)." I have to point out that this future extension is three kilometres, not 30.
Mr. Bradley: The minister had better say "miles" for the member for Leeds (Mr. Runciman).
Hon. Mr. Snow: It also says, "The road is also to be extended another 25 kilometres (15 miles) to Derry Road to the south." Derry Road is three lots on concession 4 and each lot is 2,000 feet, so that is 6,000 feet or about two kilometres, and this reporter quotes that as 25.
The only explanation I have is that all this information comes from the research office of the Liberal transportation critic.
Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Speaker, the errors the minister has described are the reporter's, not mine.
Mr. Cunningham: Members may accept that or they may not. I would only say that on this side of the House we have a great deal of affection for the minister. Our preference would be that if we were going to name a highway after him, it would be 30, 40 or even 50 years from now.
Mr. Mancini: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege on the minister's statement, which really was a point of privilege: I want to bring to the attention of the House that some time ago I wrote to the Minister of Transportation and Communications advising him that between Windsor and Amherstburg we have one of the oldest roads in North America, referred to in history books as the Sauk trail. It goes from Amherstburg all the way down to the Mississippi Valley.
I have had correspondence with the minister asking him to have his ministry spend a few dollars so this very important historical road could be marked. The Ontario government has refused my request and yet it will --
Mr. Speaker: Order. The honourable member will resume his seat, please.
Mr. Mancini: -- mark the Eric Winkler Parkway and the James Snow Parkway, names that have absolutely nothing --
Mr. Speaker: The honourable member will please resume his seat.
Mr. J. A. Reed: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker: Are you sure?
Mr. Mancini: I want to know what my score is.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Zip.
Mr. Mancini: You should be embarrassed.
Mr. J. A. Reed: Mr. Speaker, now that the honourable minister has corrected the article in the Toronto Star which indicates that the soon-to-be-opened James Snow Parkway travels through the riding of Halton-Burlington, I would like to point out to the minister that he has not yet sent me an invitation to the opening.
Hon. Mr. Ashe: He just finished telling you --
Mr. Bradley: Bring your own chair.
Mr. Speaker: I would just point out to the honourable member that I heard the minister distinctly say everybody was invited. Then I heard the honourable minister say his ministry really was not funding the reception.
Mr. Nixon: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: I just want to bring to your attention that ministerial statements are surrounded by certain special requirements which are of validity. They also have certain protection in the Legislature since we do not often question the content of a statement as long as it is factual and having to do with the policy of the ministry.
Surely it should be brought to your attention that the minister was rising on a point of privilege to correct the record. We should not allow that sort of intrusion into the time set apart for ministerial statements. I would expect you to use the old whip on those birds every now and then.
Mr. Speaker: I do not even have a new whip, let alone an old whip.
Mr. Riddell: I don't know whether you whip a bird, but you whip a donkey.
Mr. Speaker: I was calling for ministerial statements.
Mr. Speaker: I beg to inform the House that I have today laid upon the table the individual members' expenditures for the fiscal year 1982-83.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
REGULATION OF TRUST COMPANIES
Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations with respect to his ongoing administration of the trust companies in this province.
I want to bring to his attention a property at 65 Harbour Square in Toronto. On September 16, 1982, London Loan financed the acquisition of the Toronto town house unit to a total of more than 100 per cent of its purchase price simultaneously with the purchase of that property. It was bought for $610,000, mortgaged to another company for approximately $450,000 and then London Loan took out a second mortgage for approximately $200,000. The borrower in this case was a person whose company was already in default to London Loan on apartment mortgages in London, Ontario, for $2,125,000, that person being a numbered company owned by Florindo Volpe.
Is the minister on top of this situation? Indeed, is he aware of what is going on with respect to London Loan Ltd.?
Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I think the honourable member will agree that as he continues to raise individual and specific property issues, we have endeavoured to indicate to him successfully, in spite of the fact he trails our investigators around to find the information he needs to ask questions, that we have been able to keep on top of the issues.
In this particular case, I will have to take the question on notice to determine what is going on in the registrar's office with respect to that property.
Mr. Peterson: Presumably, if the minister were on top of it, he would know. It is precisely because we do not believe he is on top of it that we are bringing these matters up.
Mr. Speaker: Question, please.
Mr. Peterson: We have given him a great deal of time to come forward to this House with his white paper, with his internal review, with an independent probe and he refuses consistently --
Mr. Speaker: Supplementary question, please.
Mr. Peterson: I want to bring to the minister's attention other properties in that regard: 34, 36, 46 and 56 Duke Street, and 39, 43 and 47 Bold Street in Hamilton, where London Loan now holds a mortgage of some $2.4 million from a numbered company, guaranteed by BMI Capital. Members will recall that company had a great deal to do with one Mr. Player.
The minister's staff has not yet answered our staff's questions with respect to the total borrowing figures on London Loan for 1982 year-end, but based on 1981 year-end figures it appears this loan is in excess of the regulatory limit for a single loan. In fact, it is more than the entire 1981 shareholders' equity. This mortgage was registered on December 14, 1982, right at the time great attention was being paid by the minister and everyone else to the trust companies affair.
Mr. Speaker: Question, please.
Mr. Peterson: How could these kinds of loans still go on, given the fact that, as the minister says, he is supervising everything?
Hon. Mr. Elgie: I can only reiterate the answer to the first question. If these are specific matters the member wishes to raise and he really wants serious answers instead of just to play games -- I am not going to be the one to decide that -- if there are serious issues he wishes to raise about specific properties and he is really interested in the issues, he should let me know so I can explore beforehand to see what is going on with them and whether there is an answer to be given in this House.
Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, we have had an increasing amount of evidence over the past six months of trust companies granting mortgages that have been equal to or have even exceeded the actual market value; that is, the price paid in the market for properties only a few months before. In view of this, is the minister now prepared to bring in rules that will stop trust companies from fuelling inflation in the price of commercial and residential properties, and limit them to a certain proportion of the value of properties as they change hands in the market, rather than the phoney and inflated appraisals on which those judgements are being made now?
Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I think that is an interesting question. I would ask members of this House just what has been going on during the past few months. I suggest that everything this government has endeavoured to do in the past few months indicates its great concern and its action on that concern with respect to property values in respect of mortgage and trust companies making loans on those properties. If that is not apparent to the honourable member, then he has not been reading the same issues I have been reading or listening to what has been said in this House.
Mr. Peterson: The minister will be aware that our staff is regularly in touch with his staff and frequently his staff is not forthcoming with the answers. Perhaps they are trying to protect themselves and or the minister.
Mr. Speaker: Question, please.
Mr. Peterson: Let me put in context for the minister this entire matter of London Loan, which he should have been aware of. It is disturbingly similar to some of the other things he was not aware of some time ago.
Is the minister aware at this point that about one quarter of the 1980 mortgage portfolio of that company was in jeopardy? Indeed, a representative of the Royal Bank swore in court in an affidavit that an accountant's review in early 1981 showed almost half of London Loan's total $22.8-million loan portfolio was in default and the subject of power of sale proceedings.
A number of these transactions involve directly or indirectly one Bill Player. These transactions have been the subject of an Ontario Securities Commission inquiry as well as a police investigation since 1981, which the minister very well knows about; yet this kind of thing is still going on.
My first question to the minister is, what is the status of London Loan at this time? Second, when are we going to see the minister's white paper on trust companies? Third, when are we going to see his internal review, which was supposed to be supervising all these companies?
Hon. Mr. Elgie: I can only reiterate that I will review the issue with respect to London Loan and determine whether there are matters I feel are appropriate for reporting to this House on.
I think the member is getting a little repetitious. I have spoken to the House on several occasions now and indicated that the white paper, which was originally scheduled for some time towards the end of this month, depended upon a review of the Morrison report in the light of the matters that had been reviewed by Mr. Morrison. This House well knows, as the member knows, that there was a motion to quash this report, which delayed the process, and it was decided only on May 31.
Mr. Peterson: You promised it back this session.
Hon. Mr. Elgie: Oh, don't talk baby talk. We are all getting tired of it.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. Elgie: You know very well, Mr. Speaker, as the Leader of the Opposition knows, that I have indicated to this House in the past that the white paper will follow a thorough review of the Morrison report and any applications the information coming from that report might have for the white paper. If he wishes otherwise, then he is interested in grandstanding and not in the issues.
POLITICAL ACTIVITIES OF PUBLIC SERVANTS
Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct another question to the Premier. It has to do with the question I asked on Tuesday and my concern about the independence and impartiality of the civil service in this province.
In the Premier's answer on Tuesday he indicated that M. Régimbal was not subject to the provisions of the Public Service Act because he was what the Premier called an order-in-council appointment. Is the Premier saying -- and please help me to understand this Public Service Act -- that because the gentleman is an order-in-council appointment he can get actively involved in a political party?
Does the Premier understand that provincial judges in this province are order-in-council appointments? Does he understand that members of the Ontario Municipal Board are order-in-council appointments? Is he saying to the House and to those people that there is nothing wrong if those order-in-council appointments are actively involved in politics in this province?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I will endeavour to clarify for the honourable member what I intended in the answer to the question on Tuesday. I think it is fair to state that there is a distinction. I was not referring to it just as an appointment by order in council; deputy ministers are appointed by order in council and so on. I think if one were to analyse it carefully, one would see that there are varying kinds of "civil servants."
I think there is no question that in the context of pension, etc., M. Régimbal is a civil servant in the broad definition of the term. But I think it is also fair to point out that he is not in the position, for instance, to pursue the statutes with respect to a grievance procedure. It is also true that unlike an appointee to the bench, whom the cabinet of this province cannot unilaterally dismiss, M. Régimbal would be subject to an order in council that cabinet could pass, say, next Wednesday relieving him of his responsibilities.
I should point out that in spite of the fact that M. Régimbal is a form of civil servant -- there is no question about that -- he is not in the same category as many others.
But leaving that aside, I have also asked some views of others in relation to the act and its provisions. I think it is fair to state that one will get not conflicting but varying views as to whether the legislation was ever intended -- and I was not here when it was drafted; at least, I am not sure that I was -- to apply to leadership conventions.
Mr. Roy: Oh, come on.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Well, just let me finish.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Listen, a strict interpretation of the act, I think it can be argued, would not apply to leadership conventions.
I have not personally discussed this with M. Régimbal. There is no question that he was there. I saw him there; so that is not in dispute. There is no question that he was there as an ex-officio delegate to that convention in his capacity as former president of the party. I am only guessing, but perhaps he was there as a delegate, probably from the province of Quebec.
I have not had any personal discussion with M. Régimbal, but I understand he has communicated his concern, his lack of knowledge of the provisions of the act; he is himself volunteering the one or two days -- whatever it is -- of the honorarium he receives.
Perhaps it is a legitimate question to raise, but I regard it as a shade unfortunate that the member would suggest that attending a federal leadership convention would prejudice Mr. Régimbal's views as they relate to his responsibilities here in Ontario.
Mr. Wrye: Oh, of course not.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Well, listen --
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I have to tell the member that if one wanted to research the material accurately as to who attended the most recent provincial Liberal leadership convention, or even the New Democratic Party leadership convention, he might find people who are in the same sort of grey area. I would not preclude that possibility. I caution him in that regard.
I say to the member it is a shade unfortunate that he tends to seek out what I think are excellent francophone representatives working on behalf of the public of this province. He could not accept the fact that somebody who dared run against him in a provincial election should be doing a first-class job for the public of Ontario in Brussels. I know how it goes against the grain.
I am sure he recalls the supportive editorials that were received because of his comments about Mr. Déslauriers and his appointment, and how much credit he received and the credibility he received because of his very unfair criticism of that appointment.
Mr. Roy: The Premier talks about credibility and seeking out candidates, but I remind him, any time he tries to attack me about taking on somebody else, to look at the results in Ottawa East.
Mr. Speaker: Question, please.
Mr. Roy: The Premier's heavyweight candidate nearly lost his deposit --
Hon. Mr. Davis: So he lost.
An hon. member: A Tory never really loses.
Mr. T. P. Reid: I thought he won.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Roy: I have here before me the annual report of the Council for Franco-Ontarian Affairs for 1981-82. The mandate is stated here. Even the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (Mr. Bennett) will understand it. It is in plain English. I will read it slowly just for him.
"In March of 1979, cabinet approved a recommendation authorizing the council" -- that is, the Franco-Ontarian council -- "to act on its own initiative and advise the government of its observations, analyses and criticisms relating to all matters under the jurisdiction of a ministry or government agency and of possible interest to the Franco-Ontarians."
Given that this is the mandate to analyse and criticize the government, how does the Premier expect the Franco-Ontarian community to have confidence in his council when its chairman is actively involved with the Conservative Party of Canada? How does that inspire confidence? How does that inspire impartiality in an individual if he is associated with a political party? Will the Premier please answer me?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I am not going to prolong this discussion.
Mr. Nixon: Oh, I guess not. You wish it would go away.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Does the member want me to go through a list of federal Liberal appointees to boards, agencies and commissions who have been former members of the Liberal Party and are there now discharging matters of public importance? The list would take me all afternoon.
Mr. Roy: It is one thing to appoint a political partisan to a post, be he a Liberal or a Conservative, but it is another thing if, after he has been appointed, he is still involved in something else. Will the Premier please answer this: Does that mean Morley Rosenberg can go out and participate in the next provincial election? Is that what it means?
Mr. Bradley: Which party would he be supporting?
Mr. Roy: That is a good question my colleague the member for St. Catharines asked. Which party would he be supporting?
Mr. Speaker: Is that the member's question?
Mr. Roy: Does the Premier agree with M. Régimbal, who stated, and I quote from the Ottawa Citizen of Wednesday, "My status as a provincial public servant can't limit my right as a Canadian to participate in a national event." Does the Premier agree with that proposition that he can participate in a political convention as actively as he did?
Hon. Mr. Davis: I think one would perhaps get into a less than objective discussion when the member says, "as actively as he did."
Mr. Roy: Well --
Hon. Mr. Davis: Just a minute. I listened --
Mr. Roy: You need a higher profile.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I say to the member for Ottawa East that I am not worried about my profile. I do not have to go wandering around trying to create an issue, as he does to remind his constituents where he is.
In answer to his previous question, no, I do not expect Mr. Morley Rosenberg to be participating in the election. I was really very surprised that Mr. Leonard Rosenberg was a guest at the Liberal leader's fund-raising dinner.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Rae: It is always nice to hear Liberals and Tories fighting about whose pork smells the most.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
CORONERS' INQUEST RECOMMENDATIONS
Mr. Rae: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Labour. I would like to ask him whether he would be prepared to institute, as a matter of basic policy in his ministry, a formal public process by which the jury recommendations from coroners' inquests are considered by his ministry and the ministry then responds within a given period of time to indicate clearly, not privately but publicly, whether it is going to follow the recommendations of these coroners' inquests and, if it is not, to explain why these recommendations are not being followed. I wonder whether the minister would he prepared to institute that kind of process in his ministry.
Hon. Mr. Ramsay: Mr. Speaker, the short answer is no, but perhaps some word of explanation is in order.
What I would be prepared to do would be to table with this House the procedures that are in effect at present, because I think they are complete and I think they answer the concerns of the leader of the third party. I would be prepared to share those with him. I am quite confident they cover his concerns, and I am quite confident they are sufficient under the present circumstances.
The interested parties are all informed of the actions that will be taken by the ministry branch with respect to any of the recommendations that are made by coroners' juries. So this, in a sense, is public knowledge. The persons in receipt of that information can certainly make it public to whomever they wish. There is nothing of a clandestine nature whatsoever; it is very open and very complete.
Mr. Rae: I simply say to the minister, if he wants a list, I can give him a list as well.
Mr. Speaker: Question, please.
Mr. Rae: I can give him a list of those individuals and those trade unions that have had standing at inquests time and again, and have not received any notification from the Ministry of Labour.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Rae: I want to ask the minister specifically, can he give the House the categorical assurance that every individual or organization that has standing at an inquest has received notification from the Ministry of Labour with respect to the action it intends to undertake? Is he prepared to give us that categorical assurance today?
Hon. Mr. Ramsay: It is my understanding this has been done. If the leader of the third party has illustrations of cases where this has not been happening, I will be happy to look into them and to rectify the situation.
Mr. Rae: I can give the minister such a list, and I can assure him it is not happening today with respect to a great many individuals who have had standing at coroners' inquests.
In particular, is the minister prepared to recommend to his colleague the Solicitor General (Mr. G. W. Taylor), who has carriage of the Coroners Act, two amendments to the Coroners Act which I hope he would agree would improve health and safety in the work place? Is he prepared to see that standing is granted as a matter of right to representatives of employees, and is he prepared to recommend that inquests be held in all cases of accidental death at work, which is not the case today?
Hon. Mr. Ramsay: I am not prepared to give that assurance today but, as I said to the media yesterday, I certainly would be prepared to consider such action.
Let me just read into the record some brief information from the coroner's office as to the number of inquests in the calendar year 1982. Inquests were held into 23 construction deaths and 11 mining deaths, and these inquests are mandatory. In the area where they are not mandatory, industrial deaths, 55 inquests were held.
The coroner is given discretion in calling inquests into industrial deaths and exercises his judgement on several factors. It will just take me a moment to indicate what these factors are: first, that criminal charges have been laid; second, that the circumstances of the death are obvious and the facts are well known; third, that a recent inquest has been held on a similar incident; and finally, that the circumstances of death were unique. Those are just some of the factors that the coroner takes into consideration when deciding whether to call an inquest.
LAND USE GUIDELINES
Mr. Rae: Mr. Speaker, my second question is for the Minister of Natural Resources, whom I can just see behind the form of the provincial secretary.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Now what do you mean by that?
Mr. Rae: That it is difficult; that is all.
I would like to ask the minister a question with respect to the forestry policy of his ministry. In the land use guideline statement he made a few days ago, the minister stated that he felt the forestry supply situation was "tight but manageable" based on a company-by-company analysis. Is the minister prepared to table that company-by-company analysis to give members of the Legislature a chance to determine whether they agree with his assessment that the supply situation is, as he puts it, "tight but manageable?"
Hon. Mr. Pope: Mr. Speaker, there is lots of information available with respect to the allowable cut allocations and the calculations of annual available wood supply. There is no secret about it. We explore it every year with representatives of the honourable member's party in estimates. If he wants to, he can come to estimates and get into a detailed debate. The member for Nickel Belt (Mr. Laughren) and I had an extensive discussion on the wood supply issue last year in estimates.
Mr. Rae: I simply want to point out that the minister is falling behind on his own target. The ministry is falling behind in terms of regeneration; the target for artificial regeneration in 1981-82 was 280,000 acres and there has been a shortfall of 24 per cent.
The minister mentions his estimates. In November 1981, he made a promise with respect to the forest production policy. He said it was intended to produce a new document by April 1983, which would incorporate updated costs, a plan for improved integration with other ministry systems, a layperson's version of the document for distribution to the general public, and an annual report format and procedure for informing the Legislature on the state of Ontario's forest management programs year by year. I would like to ask the minister why he has not lived up to that commitment of November 1981 in his estimates.
Hon. Mr. Pope: With respect, I think the leader of the third party had better go back and look again. Every year, as the member for Port Arthur (Mr. Foulds) can tell him, we table details on regeneration activities: how much is available for regeneration, what the lands are that are not satisfactorily regenerated, what kind of reforestation activities are going on.
If he looks at the forest management agreement systems, the 20-year plans and the five-year plans, all developed in a public forum in open houses throughout the province, all available from ministry reading rooms and all filed with the Legislature, he will see the harvesting activities going on, projected over a 20-year period, and he will see the reforestation going on.
We are not falling behind with the forest management agreement process. With the financial commitment of this government, the federal government and industry, we are making great progress. We are planting two trees for every one in this province.
Mr. J. A. Reed: Mr. Speaker, the minister has gone to great lengths to display the openness and forthrightness of his government concerning forest management in Ontario. I wish he would be consistent and tell us why the study on wasteful cutting practices has never been tabled.
Hon. Mr. Pope: Mr. Speaker, with the FMA process, and the commitment of the Premier and this government to reforestation, we are clearly making great strides in terms of our reforestation efforts. For 17 years between 1954 and 1970, Abitibi alone planted a total of 4.13 million trees. In 1983 alone, it is planting nine million trees on its limits, and by 1988 will be planting 26 million; that is already scheduled in the FMAs. If the honourable member would take time to look at the FMA process and at the reforestation that is going on, he would agree with us.
The member knows very well, as we discussed in the estimates last year, that we are now in the midst of bringing in regulations with respect to wasteful practices and harvesting techniques. Those parties opposite know it. Why do they not admit it is going on?
Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the minister could cool down his rhetoric a shade and give us some facts. For example, could he tell us why the area receiving regeneration treatment has declined from 42.5 per cent in the year of the Brampton charter to 38 per cent in 1981-82?
Can the minister tell us why, in the figures his ministry gave us on May 24, 1983, 38 per cent of the land treated was classified as not receiving satisfactory regeneration? Will he tell us what has happened to his facile and obviously inaccurate claim of last June, reiterated this February, that he was meeting his target of planting two trees for every one? If he is planting them, they sure as hell are not growing.
Hon. Mr. Pope: Mr. Speaker, talking about being facile, that is the most facile analysis of reforestation in this province I have heard in months.
Mr. Speaker: Now to the answer, please.
Hon. Mr. Pope: That is the most facile, inaccurate comment on reforestation I have heard for months in this Legislature. That is the same question the member for Nickel Belt (Mr. Laughren) asked four weeks ago.
The honourable member knows as well as I do that the problems hampering reforestation and regeneration in this province relate to access and to mixed stands. He knows that this year alone we are spending $35 million under our forest management agreement system, in addition to our financial commitments under our crown land programs; $35 million additional dollars to get access to inaccessible sites and to get reforestation going.
The member cannot deny we have contracts in place in the private sector and with our government nurseries to produce 132 million seedlings this year; he cannot deny that.
TESTING OF LAKE ERIE FISH
Mr. Mancini: Mr. Speaker, my question is also for the Minister of Natural Resources. I am sure the minister is aware that late last week, municipal officials on the western isle of Japan ordered Lake Erie smelt off the market, suggesting the smelt contained the dangerous chemical dioxin. This unsubstantiated and irresponsible action has completely disrupted the Lake Erie smelt industry. I would like to know from the minister what positive action he has taken so far in this matter.
Hon. Mr. Pope: Mr. Speaker, this issue arose in the last week or two when the Fukuoka municipal government in southern Japan ordered children from 41 schools in a city in that area to undergo health examinations. They had taken tests of carp in Lake Michigan and transposed that to a general attitude with respect to Canadian smelt, which were a very important part of the Japanese market.
This is a potentially serious situation for Lake Erie fishermen because they export to Japan 7,000 tons of smelt worth more than $8 million annually. I appreciate their concern.
We have been in touch with the Ontario Council of Commercial Fisheries and the office of the Honourable Pierre De Bané. Mr. O'Reilly of that office has indicated as late as this morning that through contacts with the Canadian embassy in Tokyo, there are attempts being made to provide the specific test information on Lake Erie fish that shows there is no problem with dioxin in Lake Erie smelt, and the results of the other fish testing that has been done. We have been involved in that program, as has the federal government. There is no problem.
We are attempting to provide that information immediately to the Japanese government. We have offered to go there, either a federal delegation or myself as part of the delegation, or to receive them, to go through these processes with them to prove there is no health hazard and nothing to fear from consumption of Ontario commercial fish species. We anticipate this matter will be dealt with by the Japanese government within the next couple of weeks.
It is a serious situation. The Japanese government has had other municipal governments in Japan join this movement. It has taken the position of removing these species from the shelves. We are prepared to work as hard as we can with Mr. De Bané's office through the Canadian embassy to resolve the situation.
Mr. Mancini: I thank the minister for his detailed answer. I am sure he is aware that already 45 workers have been laid off by Omstead Foods in the village of Wheatley and possibly as many as 60 employees have already been laid off from the Misner fish company in Port Dover, the area represented by my colleague the member for Haldimand-Norfolk (Mr. G. I. Miller), who is also very concerned about this matter. I suggest to the minister that the only way --
Mr. Speaker: Question, please.
Mr. Mancini: Yes. Would the minister agree with me that the only way to resolve this matter is by government-to-government negotiations? Would he agree that it would be most appropriate at this time to bypass the diplomatic role that is usually used in these circumstances? We cannot wait for the diplomats to take three or four weeks to shuffle paper back and forth.
Can I have an agreement and a commitment from the minister that he will negotiate government to government with the Japanese, so the millions of dollars we have already lost -- so the bleeding can stop and we can get our industry back on the right road again?
Hon. Mr. Pope: These kinds of issues have to be dealt with by our federal government. Mr. De Bané is aware that we want it resolved immediately on both a business and a government level. That is our commitment. As a provincial government, we are prepared to do whatever we can to make that happen, including going there with our results.
OVERCROWDED CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES
Mr. Samis: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Correctional Services based on his announcement earlier this week about expansion and modernization of jails in this province. Why does the minister continue to resort to Band-Aid, half-hearted measures in regard to the 150-year-old Cornwall Jail, such as dumping 10 portable cells in the already tiny exercise yard, when the public inspections panel has repeatedly said, "The jail should he closed and replaced with a modern facility"? It did so again last month in its recent inspection. Why?
Hon. Mr. Leluk: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member knows we have some 51 institutions across this province and a limited amount of capital. We do the best we can with those moneys, and have in this case announced 10 work projects that will create a substantial number of jobs and will help to take care of the accommodation problems we have been encountering with overcrowding across this province.
Mr. Samis: What priority does the replacement of the Cornwall Jail have in this ministry, if any? How is it the minister can find $2 million plus to spend at Burritts Rapids, $2 million plus to spend at Sault Ste. Marie, $1 million plus to spend in Sudbury and, I believe, $1 million plus for Barrie, but he cannot find the money for the Cornwall Jail, which is the second oldest institution in the province?
Hon. Mr. Leluk: As the honourable member knows and as I have stated before, we have only so much capital and we have to use that money to maximize the bed spaces across the province. It is a question of priorities.
Mr. Conway: Mr. Speaker, just to be clear, from reading the minister's announcement respecting the jail program the other day in which he indicated the expenditure of $300,000 for the Cornwall and Pembroke jails, I do not recall exactly when he expected work to begin. Do I understand the minister to say he expects ground to be broken on those construction projects within the next three months?
Hon. Mr. Leluk: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I hope within the next three months.
CLOSURE OF RCA PLANT
Mr. McLean: Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask a question of the Minister of Industry and Trade. A number of rumours have been circulating in my riding with regard to the sale of RCA Inc. to a Japanese concern. Can the minister enlighten me on some of the details of the status of that sale?
Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for letting me know of the question in advance. I am pleased to indicate to him, as he well knows, that we have been working on this since last September. We very nearly had a deal with one Japanese firm when it was ascertained there was absolutely no other prospect in Canada or, for that matter, in North America, that would purchase the plant and carry on the operation as a going business.
The RCA plant closed physically in December, and now we hope to be able to make a deal with the Mitsubishi company. At the moment, Mitsubishi have indicated their interest in coming in, and that has been made somewhat public. They are interested in provincial and federal government involvement in the expenditure. While we and the federal government have a number of things yet to consider in that process, I am hopeful that by the end of June, or perhaps by the end of the summer at the latest, we will have the matter fully sorted out and there will be some way of continuing the many hundreds of jobs that look as though they will come out of this particular transaction.
Mr. McLean: Can the minister indicate to me whether there is any certain number of jobs that will be created in Midland under the new sale of the plant?
Hon. Mr. Walker: Initial indications are in the range of several hundred within a very short period of time.
ONTARIO DEVELOPMENT CORP. LOANS
Mr. Sargent: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Premier. I have always felt the Ontario Development Corp. was a big grab-bag; that is why the Big Blue Machine is so big. We have here about 15 pounds of computer printouts showing 6,000 loans involving $675 million since the ODC's inception. In the survey I made, I found many of the recipients of hundreds of millions of dollars have been large corporations already in the excess profits bracket. Forgivable loans are written off in lots of $1 million.
Mr. Speaker: Question, please.
Mr. Sargent: Many of these loans that are written off or forgiven, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, are to major American corporations such as Abitibi, Procter and Gamble, Borg-Warner and Boise Cascade. All these forgivable loans have been written off.
Does the Premier think it is proper that these large American international corporations should be given millions of dollars in forgivable loans and then donate election funds to the Conservative Party?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member would have to give me the whole list.
Perhaps he would take Abitibi as an example and consult with his colleague one row in front and one seat to the right of him, who was with me when we shared the opening at Ontario Paper. The honourable member will recall that occasion, when the head of Ontario Paper and others present there were extolling the virtues of the government of Ontario, with credit as well to the government of Canada, for the kind of program we had introduced that made that particular plant probably the most modern in the world and secured the jobs in that location. The people there, even members of the union, would point out to the member for Welland-Thorold (Mr. Swart), were totally supportive of that program.
If the member really thinks we made a mistake in our support of the pulp and paper industry, its modernization, the environmental concern and the economic return to the people of this province related to the security of the numbers of jobs, then I guess he and I will have to agree to disagree. I really wonder whether the Ontario Liberal Party wants to be on that side of the issue. I saw his colleague the member for Niagara Falls (Mr. Kerrio) sitting there beaming, agreeing and nodding his head with everything that was being said --
Mr. Kerrio: It was entertaining.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Certainly it was entertaining.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I did not see the member stand up and say: "I do not agree with that. I am going to go away and not have lunch." He stayed for lunch.
Mr. Sargent: We know the Premier is a good stickhandler, but he cannot evade the fact that when he gives a man a $1-million forgivable loan and when his bagman approaches that man for money, he is a hell of a good prospect to give the party a good chunk of money. That is totally illegal.
Mr. Speaker: Question, please.
Mr. Sargent: The Premier should tell the House and the people of Ontario he will furnish us a list of all the people who have given to the Conservative Party and who have received forgivable loans in these amounts. It is an important point in the democracy of Ontario that we have that as part of our ball game. What he is doing is totally illegal.
Hon. Mr. Davis: At this moment, the chairman of the Commission on Election Contributions and Expenses is in the gallery. If the member wanted to take a little bit of his time, and it would not take too much, if he wanted to go up and speak to him, he would find it is a matter of public record.
He might even compare the list he gets with a list of those who contribute to the Ontario Liberal Party. He might even see the list of those who have contributed over the years to his own leader's campaign in London Centre. That might make interesting perusal for him. I suggest he should check all that out very carefully and then, if he has any questions to ask, I will be delighted to answer them.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege: This relates to the matter raised by the member and particularly to his reference to Boise Cascade. I would like to point out to him that somehow inadvertently, perhaps through an error in the mail, I received a cheque in my Kingston office made out by Boise Cascade to the Liberal Association of Kingston and the Islands.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Sargent: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege: The fact is that the minister knows what they are doing is totally illegal, and he is defending it.
Mr. Speaker: Order. That is not a point of privilege.
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION PROGRAM
Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister responsible for Women's Issues. When he reported on his first federal-provincial conference of ministers concerned with women's affairs, he stated, "The promotion of affirmative action among private sector employers is a primary endeavour of the Ontario government."
Is the minister aware that in 1982 only 63 employers were contacted under the affirmative action program and only 29 employers instituted programs of any kind whatsoever, which is about the same rate as has been occurring for the last eight years? How can he say, as he did on his first day on the job, "A tremendous amount of progress has been realized through the voluntary approach," unless he is vying for the record for hyperbole in the Guinness Book of World Records?
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, in all fairness, I think the member should be pleased with the results in Ontario when they are compared to other parts of this country of ours.
I indicated to the conference that by May of this year, consultants from the women's bureau of the Ministry of Labour had assisted 220 major organizations in the development of affirmative action strategies. Of these employers, 196 have more than 500 employees. It is estimated, therefore, that approximately 304,000 women in Ontario are covered by affirmative action initiatives.
I invite the honourable member to find where that record can be matched anywhere else in Canada.
Ms. Bryden: Those figures cover a period of eight and one half years and we really have no record of how many of those particular programs are still operating.
Also, when the minister says he is targeting firms with over 500 employees, he mentions there are 900 firms in the province that have over 500 employees. Is he saying all the women in the other 165,000 companies in Ontario with fewer than 500 employees do not need affirmative action programs, or must wait until he has examined all the options and is convinced the voluntary approach does not work and is discriminatory in its application?
Hon. Mr. Welch: The answer is no. I am not trying to suggest anything of the sort.
I think those who have had this responsibility have adopted a procedure to move in on the employers with large numbers of employees to enlist their support and use that as part of the example in the ongoing program of affirmative action. It would be my hope that through this type of encouragement we could expand the numbers even more and indeed make more progress.
In summary, I think we are making great progress and are building on the progress to date. I am quite convinced we will see even better results over the next several months.
Mr. Wrye: Mr. Speaker, on this matter the minister has used the figures himself of 220 major firms out of some 850 or 900 in the province over eight and one half years. I think that is a pretty dismal record.
My question to the minister is this: Given that is all in the past and the minister is now in charge of women's issues and we are going to see great progress in affirmative action, can the minister tell us, first of all, what is his target for this year of the remaining 600 or 650-odd firms with more than 500 employees? Can he separate that into the private sector and the so-called public sector?
If his target is not met, what action does the minister intend to take to make sure we are going to move forward at a little greater than a snail's pace?
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, may I say just this? After making the presentation when I was at the conference -- and the honourable member is quite correct, I was simply reporting on the work that had been carried on under the leadership of my colleagues and I was simply reporting that progress -- I was very impressed by the response at that conference. Indeed, when I was finished, there were at least four other provinces, including New Brunswick and others, that were really quite impressed with the Ontario record and undertook to see those programs were introduced.
I do not think we should downgrade the leadership role Ontario now enjoys in this action. We should not rest on our laurels; we will make even further progress. As far as I am concerned, we have to move forward as aggressively as we can. I do not think this is the sort of thing that can be subject to quotas or targets. There is a great deal of work to be done. Certainly with the resources we have, we will hope indeed to build on the splendid record which is ours.
RE-MOR INVESTORS' SETTLEMENT
Mr. Kerr: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. Could the minister inform the House when the Re-Mor investors might expect settlement of their claims, based on his announcement accepting the Ombudsman's recommendations?
Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I wrote to the investors earlier this month indicating I hoped that by the end of this month there would he information in their hands with respect to an offer in line with the recommendations of the Ombudsman's report.
Mr. Bradley: Mr. Speaker, can the individuals, about whom the minister is talking and with whom he has communicated, be reasonably assured they will receive the two thirds as opposed to the one third?
Hon. Mr. Elgie: Yes, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Roy: Good answer.
Hon. Mr. Elgie: You should make your questions so short.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY DISPUTE
Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, the question is for and I am sure they will forgive me -- both the Minister of Labour and the Solicitor General. I have just received some very disturbing news that they should be aware of, if they are not already, and I would like the Minister of Labour or the Solicitor General to respond to it.
I have just received information from Mr. Roger Aveling, the lawyer with Local 183 of the Labourers' International union. There has been an outbreak of violence during the noon hour today at Meadowfield and Finch at a building site. At lunchtime, apparently, a group of carpenters arrived and went on a minor rampage, cutting wires already installed, demolishing a generator and smashing carpentry equipment. At 11:45 a.m., at the Bramalea Ltd. construction site at Dixie Road and Williams Parkway, a convoy of some 25 vans arrived with, I understand, 150 or so people, who threatened the superintendent on the project, picked up two-by-fours and smashed one of the houses, and threatened members of the Labourers' Local 183.
We discussed this a couple of days ago and brought to the attention of the House that there were threats of violence and, indeed, that a very difficult situation was developing. What is happening at this moment? I know he was attempting to mediate yesterday, but it appears nothing has been done. I want to ask him what consultations he has had with the Solicitor General, who has to put his attention to security on these job sites?
Hon. Mr. Ramsay: I completely concur with the seriousness of the situation. There were demonstrations outside this building earlier this morning, also outside my offices, by some members of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners.
We did attempt to mediate yesterday; we had meetings. I must admit they proved to be disappointing and unsatisfactory. We are attempting to bring the parties together again and will continue to do so. There have been complaints laid with the Ontario Labour Relations Board and they are being addressed just as quickly as possible by the board.
The information the member is bringing to my attention right now is new to me, but it is appalling and it is an extremely serious and sensitive situation. I can assure him, at this time, that everything that can be done to bring this matter to an end is being done.
Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, may I impose on you to redirect my supplementary question to the Solicitor General, who is also involved? Could he assure this House that he will have extra security on those sites where the ministry will know, by and large, there is potential for violence in this situation? Can he stand up in this House now and make a statement that extra security will be in place and we will tolerate absolutely no violence in this jurisdictional dispute?
Hon. G. W. Taylor: I, like my colleague the Minister of Labour, am appalled at the actions taken as a result of this situation. I will give it my attention, through the Ontario Provincial Police and the local police forces, so they will provide sufficient security so this type of situation will not repeat itself.
Mr. Di Santo: Mr. Speaker, the Solicitor General has known for many days that situation was developing. Does the Solicitor General agree that one of the reasons there has not been prevention is that the OPP has limited means, is living under restraints and is unable to monitor the situation? Does he not think that in emergency circumstances an extra effort should be made, in view of the fact that when violence erupts, those who will ultimately pay are the workers on the site?
Hon. G. W. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, I thought the member mentioned the OPP. I understand that in this instance the jurisdiction is within the confines of the Metropolitan Toronto Police force.
In most situations, the police do not take directions directly from the Solicitor General. The local police force is aware of certain situations. I am sure those people involved in labour relations understand the law of this jurisdiction in regard to labour relations, and the other laws of this province.
I am sure where people respect and abide by the law there will be no consequences, but when somebody acts outside that law and it is brought to the attention of those people whose sworn duty it is to enforce the law impartially and objectively, they will carry out those duties.
As I told the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Peterson) and this member, I will bring this situation to the attention of the police force that has jurisdiction within the area. I am sure that by now it will have acted upon the situation and, being sworn to uphold the law in an unbiased and objective way, it will not need much prompting from me. Indeed, if that has not already occurred, the police will soon be on the scene carrying out their duties.
ONTARIO MUNICIPAL BOARD HEARING
Mr. Philip: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister without Portfolio, the member for Mississauga East (Mr. Gregory). He no doubt is aware that on December 24, 1981, the Ontario Municipal Board approved the city of Mississauga bylaw preserving certain lots between Mississauga Road and the Credit River, and that the taxpayers now must pay for the council to go through a rehearing by the OMB even though the board had sided with the municipality.
Will the minister confirm whether or not, at a meeting of the Mississauga council on April 11, he stated he had called the chairman of the OMB and that there would be a prehearing to which all petitioners could be invited? Can he explain whether he made such a phone call, and how there could be a prehearing when the letter from the chairman of the OMB states there is no such thing as a prehearing?
A telephone conversation with that same gentleman indicates that the only time he had talked to the minister was when he ran into him in the Legislative Building, when the minister's only question was about when the hearing would take place. There was no mention of a prehearing.
Who is deceiving the council? Is it the chairman of the OMB or is it the minister?
Hon. Mr. Gregory: Mr. Speaker, at no time did I state, before the city of Mississauga council or anywhere else, that I had phoned the chairman of the Ontario Municipal Board. Let me make that very clear to the member.
I stated an opinion I had received from the chairman of the legislation committee of cabinet as to procedures. I did tell council that I would attempt to get information, which I got through having one of the lawyers from the Ministry of the Attorney General write to the board.
I conveyed that information to the mayor of Mississauga, which the member can very easily verify by calling her.
Mr. Speaker: The time for oral questions has expired.
CLARIFICATION OF RECORD
Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, I would like to attempt to clarify the record.
When my leader, in a question to the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Pope),referred to the ministry falling behind the established guidelines for forestry, the minister stated they were ahead and planting two trees for one. I want to set the record straight because I have two letters from two different people.
One is from a minister of the crown which states, "From your remarks about reforestation it would appear that you are still looking for a relationship between the number of trees cut and the number of trees planted." This minister goes on to say a little later on, "Therefore, it is not meaningful to compare cutover and treatment on a year-to-year basis."
That was the former Minister of Natural Resources. I do not know how one can say we can make the comparison.
Let me continue to set the record straight, Mr. Speaker, because the minister said they were planting two trees for one. I am not trying to get into an argument; all I am saying is that I have material from previous ministers who said it was impossible to do that.
Mr. Speaker: I want to point Out to the honourable member that he may rise to correct his own record but he may not rise to correct another member's record.
Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, the answer was given by the minister --
Mr. Speaker: Perhaps the member could pursue it at a more appropriate time.
Mr. Martel: Where is the rule that says that?
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, would you be so kind, then, as to point out to me what rule in the book says that to clarify the record, one must be --
Mr. Speaker: I would be happy to discuss this with the member later, but not at this time.
Mr. Martel: No, I would be happy if Mr. Speaker would settle it now.
Mr. Speaker: Order. Would the honourable member please resume his seat.
Mr. Martel: No. I would be happy to settle it now.
Mr. Speaker: There is nothing provided in the standing orders for any honourable member to question the Speaker.
Mr. Martel: No, but they say --
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Martel: -- a member can rise on a point of privilege.
Mr. Speaker: That was not a point of privilege, as I pointed out to the member.
Mr. Martel: A member can rise on a point of privilege, which is precisely --
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Martel: Tell me the rule you are using.
Mr. Speaker: Will the honourable member just resume his seat, please.
Mr. Martel: No. Mr. Speaker, on a further point of privilege: You allowed the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow) to go on for 20 minutes --
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Martel: -- at the beginning of question period on something that we all knew was not a ministerial statement, and I questioned that --
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Martel: -- and made that point. The privileges you extend to that side of the House are getting a little ridiculous, because I attempted to catch your eye on four or five occasions when the minister was making his supposed statement. You knew full well what I was trying to get at. It was not a statement, and you allowed it to go on --
Mr. Speaker: I had no advance knowledge of it.
Mr. Martel: Now the Minister of Natural Resources can get up and --
Mr. Speaker: Will the honourable member please resume his seat.
Mr. Martel: The Minister of Natural Resources can get up in this House, make a statement --
Mr. Speaker: I might point out to the honourable member that this is private members' afternoon and he is really abusing the time of the other members.
Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, you are not going to play that game with me that it is private members' hour.
Mr. Speaker: I just caution the member once more.
Mr. Martel: The minister made a statement --
Mr. Speaker: Order. The member does not have a point of privilege, nor does he have a point of order.
Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, you tell me one minute that it is private members' day. You allowed the minister to go on for at least 10 minutes a while ago on something you knew was not a statement and you sat there and chuckled through the whole thing.
Mr. Speaker: No. I did not.
Mr. Martel: Oh, Mr. Speaker, you certainly did.
Mr. Speaker: Order. I am not going to argue. Let the member resume his seat, please.
Mr. Nixon: If only we had a man with a sword here.
Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, I want you to tell me what the rule is --
Mr. Speaker: I do not have to tell the member anything. Would the member resume his seat, please.
Mr. Martel: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker --
Mr. Speaker: This is an abuse of the member's House time.
Mr. Martel: Surely I have a right to know what rule you are --
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Martel: Tell me the rule.
Mr. Speaker: Order. There is no provision for what the member is asking. He knows that as well as I do.
Mr. Martel: There is no provision for what?
Mr. Speaker: Order. Let the member just resume his seat, please.
Mr. Martel: No. There is no provision for what?
Mr. Speaker: Then I have no alternative but to name the member for Sudbury East and ask him to leave this chamber for the rest of the day.
Mr. Martel: Your rulings get better every day, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Martel was escorted from the chamber by the Sergeant at Arms.
STANDING COMMITTEE ON SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
Mr. Robinson from the standing committee on social development reported the following resolution:
That supply in the following amounts and to defray the expenses of the Ministry of Community and Social Services be granted to Her Majesty for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1984:
Ministry administration program, $30,245,500; adults' and children's services program, $2,230,370,700.
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 bills without amendment:
Bill Pr18, An Act to revive the United Native Friendship Centre;
Bill Pr20, An Act respecting the Bernard Betel Centre for Creative Living;
Bill Pr23, An Act to revive the Star of Progress Spiritual Church;
Bill Pr27, An Act respecting Morton Terminal Limited;
Bill Pr29, An Act to revive Andonald Enterprises Limited;
Bill Pr35, An Act respecting St. Augustine's Seminary of Toronto.
The committee would recommend that the fees less the actual cost of printing be remitted on Bill Pr18, An Act to revive the United Native Friendship Centre; Bill Pr20, An Act respecting the Bernard Betel Centre for Creative Living, and Bill Pr23, An Act to revive the Star of Progress Spiritual Church.
Motion agreed to.
Hon. Mr. Wells moved that the hours allocated for the estimates of the Ministry of Colleges and Universities be reduced to four hours and for those of the Ministry of Education to 12 hours.
Motion agreed to.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Hon. Mr. Wells moved that private members' public business not be taken into consideration next Thursday, June 23, 1983.
Motion agreed to.
BALLOT ITEM CHANGE
Hon. Mr. Wells moved that the member for Renfrew North (Mr. Conway) and the member for Parkdale (Mr. Ruprecht) exchange places in the order of precedence for private members' public business.
Motion agreed to.
INTRODUCTION OF BILL
CREDIT UNIONS AND CAISSES POPULAIRES AMENDMENT ACT
Hon. Mr. Elgie moved, seconded by Hon. Mr. Wells, first reading of Bill 71, An Act to amend the Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires Act.
Motion agreed to.
Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce for first reading a bill to amend the Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires Act, 1976. This bill follows extensive discussions with leaders in the credit union movement and the chairman of the Ontario Share and Deposit Insurance Corp., and it has five main thrusts.
The first is to increase deposit insurance from $20,000 to $60,000, as I promised in my statement to the Legislature on January 18, 1983.
The second is to convert the Ontario Share and Deposit Insurance Corp. to an insurer of shares and deposits only. Its other role as a system stabilizer will be returned to the league if that is their wish. The industry membership on the board will change to reflect the insurance role of the corporation.
The third is to incorporate into legislation the lessons learned over the past two years concerning such matters as appropriate levels of surplus and capital, the matching of terms of deposits to the terms of loans and investments, and enabling more flexibility in determining appropriate statutory deposit reserve levels above the existing 10 per cent level and the eligible assets for those reserves.
The fourth is to ensure that, with higher insurance levels and the greater financial exposure entailed, all credit unions are audited. To ensure that the report to the insurer and director of credit unions is tailored to the size of the credit unions, the type of information required will be established by regulation. This will keep costs for small credit unions down.
Finally, some additional powers for the director of credit unions are included.
The bill provides for the insurance increase to come into force on royal assent effective January 4, 1983, and all other provisions upon proclamation.
A number of new regulations are required and, to provide advice, an advisory committee is to be formed and will include credit union representatives.
The credit union movement in Ontario has nearly two million members and some $5.4 billion in assets. I have already received letters from groups representing nearly $4.5 billion in assets who support in general the principles contained in this bill.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BUSINESS
COMPENSATION FOR VICTIMS OF CRIME AMENDMENT ACT
Mr. Kennedy moved second reading of Bill 44, An Act to amend the Compensation for Victims of Crime Act.
Mr. Kennedy: Mr. Speaker, this bill proposes that any person who has been convicted of an offence, whose conviction is subsequently quashed and who meets the eligibility requirements as defined by this bill, be able to apply to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board for compensation of expenses and pecuniary losses resulting from that conviction, subsequent imprisonment and appeal.
To this end, the bill expands the definition of "victim" as set out in clause 1(1)(g) of the Compensation for Victims of Crime Act. The category is expanded to include "a person who is convicted of an offence and sentenced to a term of imprisonment and whose conviction is subsequently quashed" in circumstances as described in the bill.
While this is a very straightforward piece of legislation, it deals with a very complex area of the law. Indeed, as the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) noted in his remarks last December to the standing committee on administration of justice, the issue of compensation for individuals acquitted or discharged of criminal charges is a "very important and sensitive one."
It is also an issue that has attracted considerable public attention over the last year or so. Public interest in the compensation issue has been sparked by and has focused on two sensational cases: the discharge of Susan Nelles after a preliminary hearing and, more recently, the Nova Scotia case that resulted in the acquittal of Donald Marshall. Incidentally, the first illustration I have given is the subject of a resolution I also have on the order paper.
These two cases are very different and raise different questions about the design and administration of a compensation scheme. Whatever the differences between the two cases, they do have one very important point in common: They both raise a very basic question about the administration of justice in our country. Quite simply, people ask themselves whether it is fair that Susan Nelles and her family alone bear the cost of her defence during a 45-day preliminary hearing that resulted in her discharge on the ground that there was insufficient evidence to commit her for trial. Is it fair that she alone has to pay the estimated $200,000 it cost for that defence?
Mr. T. P. Reid: That is not what your bill is about.
Mr. Kennedy: Just bear with me on this whole sensitive subject.
Since Ms. Nelles has initiated civil proceedings, it would be inappropriate to comment further on her case at this time. However, there have been a number of other cases in Ontario that raise similar questions.
For example, members may recall the case of Anthony Attard, who was acquitted of charges of criminal negligence arising out of a 1978 fire at Kimberly-Clark of Canada Ltd. in which three firemen were killed. There is also the case of Mr. Bob Roffel, who was charged with fraud in the sale of four small Rembrandt etchings. Mr. Roffel was later cleared of these charges. In all these cases, the people involved secured their freedom only after absorbing substantial losses and incurring considerable legal expenses, not to mention the mental anguish they must have endured.
The question arises, then, as to whether the crown should in some way compensate people who, after costly legal battles, are acquitted or discharged of the charges the crown has brought against them. It is this question and different answers and alternative methods of effecting compensation that I assume the people in the Ministry of the Attorney General are looking at in the preparation of a discussion paper by that ministry.
My understanding is that the ministry is surveying six different approaches to compensation in cases such as those I have mentioned. Each of these six approaches has its unique problems that must be carefully thought through. Though these need not be reviewed here -- I do not think they are pertinent to the bill, as the member has mentioned -- I am anxious, as I am sure other members are, to see the Attorney General's report on compensation. I understand it is due this summer; I am looking forward to seeing the contents of that report, which in my view is overdue.
None of the cases I have mentioned would be considered compensable under the terms of the bill before us today. I bring this to the attention of the member for Rainy River (Mr. T. P. Reid). None of these cases meets the eligibility requirements set forth in the legislation.
It is important for members to appreciate the fact that this bill deals with a very specific type of case. Under this bill, to be eligible to apply for compensation a person would have to meet the following requirements: First, the person would have to have pleaded not guilty to the offence with which he is charged; second, he would have to be convicted and sentenced to a term of imprisonment for the offence on which he was charged; third, the conviction would have to be subsequently quashed.
Only when all three of these conditions apply would a person be eligible under this bill to apply to the board for compensation. It has a rather narrow thrust but a very important thrust. I am familiar with only a very few cases to which all the aforementioned conditions pertain.
Certainly the most recent and in many ways the clearest example of the type of case this bill is designed to cover is the Marshall case in Nova Scotia. On November 5, 1971, Donald Marshall, then 18 years old -- I ask members to think of that age -- was found guilty of noncapital murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.
In March of this year, after nearly 11 years in prison, he was paroled and ultimately freed when it became known that witnesses who had testified against him had lied under oath and a credible witness was found who completely exonerated Marshall. In addition, new inquiries have turned up serious indications -- I emphasize "indications" -- of police misconduct in the Marshall case.
For 11 years, Donald Marshall professed his innocence while in jail. Eleven years later, deprived of his young adulthood and of all the opportunities of a lost decade, he finds himself a free man with a $79,000 legal bill. Neither the government of Nova Scotia nor the federal government has given any firm indication it will compensate Mr. Marshall for the 11 years lost from his life. Both governments have kept busy passing the jurisdictional buck, at least to date.
Similar cases in Ontario that members might recall include the Shatford case in the early 1970s and the Roberts case in 1977. I have a list here of several other cases of wrongful imprisonment where charges were dropped. I also have a number of sensational ones in the United States. Shatford and Roberts stand out because they are so rare, as are the other two I have mentioned, which can be added to this list.
While our system of justice is not perfect, I could not agree more that it does work amazingly well. We are constantly searching for ways to improve that system. I regard this bill as such an improvement.
Let me call the members' attention to an editorial that appeared in the Globe and Mail last September. The editorial said in part:
"Society can't prevent the arrest of innocent people, but it can provide a system of compensation for those who win acquittal. Forcing them to lose their assets in the fight for release, as we do now, puts them in an unreasonable bind. It shifts on to their shoulders a burden which society, as a direct cost of dispensing justice, should be prepared to bear."
At least with respect to the cases covered by its provisions, this bill will help us to extricate people from this "unreasonable bind." Society is more than willing to absorb the high costs of proving guilt; it seems to me only right that we at least share in the costs of proving innocence. In Ontario, we have always been committed to building an equitable system of justice open to all our citizens. To that end, we have instituted programs designed to ensure that all our citizens have access to the justice system and will be fairly treated by that system.
We have and respect constitutional provisions of due process that establish the rights of the accused. Our legal aid system guarantees that no person shall be denied justice because of the inability to pay counsel. That is the legal aid program. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board attempts to redress through compensation the pain and suffering caused by crime. It seems that the only area in which we have not created special programs to further the administration of justice is that of our treatment of acquitted individuals.
I do not think anyone would object to the use of public funds to compensate people who might find themselves in the position of the aforementioned Mr. Marshall. However, I would object to the use of public funds to compensate individuals who had either contributed directly to their own misfortune through deception or whose convictions were quashed because of some technicality.
In the handling of such cases, this bill gives the board wide discretionary powers. It stipulates that in its review of claims for compensation, the board "shall have regard to all relevant circumstances surrounding the charge, conviction and quashing of the conviction, including the behaviour of the victim." The bill then does provide for a mechanism that will help protect the system from abuse.
The cost to society of maintaining such a compensation scheme is difficult to estimate. The bill defines compensable costs and expenses and sets a $60,000 ceiling on awards for erroneous prison terms. If past experience is any indication, the number of cases eligible for compensation under this bill, as mentioned, would be quite small; thus the cost to society would be equally low.
Whatever the cost, though, I believe it would be a small price to pay for righting these terrible wrongs done to people who have been unjustly convicted and sentenced. Last year, the province contributed more than $40 million towards legal aid. Surely if we are willing to invest that much to ensure equal access to the process of law, then we must be willing to pay a fraction of that amount to ensure the fair treatment of the acquitted.
As well, I am aware that there are civil remedies available to people in situations such as those considered under this bill. However, such remedies are very complex, time-consuming, expensive and uncertain. I believe it is the responsibility of this jurisdiction to provide an alternative.
The people who would be eligible for compensation under this bill are victims. They are victims of those rare breakdowns of our justice system, and they pay a very heavy price in both personal and financial terms.
The administration of the system of justice in this province is our responsibility. Just as we can take justifiable pride in its accomplishments, so it is also our duty to take responsibility for its failures. A breakdown in the system imposes on us a positive obligation towards the people harmed by that breakdown. This bill gives us the opportunity to discharge that obligation at least partially. I do encourage all members to support this bill.
Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in support of the proposition that the member for Mississauga South has set forward in Bill 44, which is before us this afternoon.
I might remind members of the House, if they are not otherwise aware of the circumstance, that this bill deals with a narrow and particular area. At the outset, let me reinforce the comments of the member for Mississauga South that this legislation has absolutely nothing to do with the case of Susan Nelles.
Not only in that case but in others of which we have heard, certain procedures are being considered that may change the law in Ontario to deal with compensation for those persons who have been acquitted of certain criminal charges. Indeed, if the Attorney General brings forward legislation in that area, then we will be able to discuss the merits of that particular case and the procedures by which that sort of difficulty may be avoided in the future.
However, what we have before us today is a suggestion about the rare situation where the conviction of a person is subsequently quashed. Only on that occasion would the suggestion of compensation be made. Under the amendments that are before us, an amount of $15,000 per year for a maximum of $60,000 is a possible payment. What we would be doing is to try to compensate for a clear miscarriage of justice.
Fortunately, as I think we can all agree, such an event is rare in our society. We have before us, of course, the particular example of such a failure in our system, and the sponsor of the bill did refer us to the case of Donald Marshall.
I think it worth while just to place on the record an editorial that appeared in the Globe and Mail on May 20, 1983, setting out a summary of the Marshall case. It reads as follows:
"Donald Marshall has been acquitted of the 1971 murder of Sanford (Sandy) Seale. He spent 11 years in prison protesting his innocence and another year waiting for the courts to find him innocent of the crime. He survived the ordeal thanks to his own strength and that of friends and acquaintances who believed his story and fought to have him released.
"Mr. Marshall's case has been a miscarriage of justice. And if that seems an obvious statement in the circumstances, consider comments made during the past few weeks which may have blurred the central issue.
"Sandy Seale was stabbed in a park which he and Mr. Marshall had entered for the purpose of committing a robbery. Mr. Marshall never admitted this during his 1971 trial. Thus, argued crown prosecutor Frank Edwards before the court last February, 'Mr. Marshall was the author of his own misfortune to a very large degree.'
"In their unanimous decision of acquittal, the five judges of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia also blamed Mr. Marshall for what happened to him: 'In attempting to defend himself against the charge of murder. Mr. Marshall admittedly committed perjury for which he could still be charged. By lying he helped secure his own conviction... By planning a robbery with the aid of Mr. Seale he triggered a series of events which unfortunately ended in the death of Seale.'
"What Mr. Marshall planned to do and what Mr. Marshall said to mislead the court are facts he has to live with, and which, even considering that he was only 17 at the time, can hardly be excused. The fact remains that somebody else killed Mr. Seale and that Mr. Marshall was convicted of murder on the strength of testimony by three witnesses who have since admitted they lied on the stand (they say they were intimidated by the local police). He was not the author of his own misfortune; he was the victim of a miscarriage of justice from which he was rescued by his own persistence and a subsequent RCMP investigation, and for which he has still to be compensated.
"A final note:" -- and this the member for Oshawa (Mr. Breaugh) has suggested to us -- "The case has bolstered one of the central arguments against capital punishment. Because the charge was only second-degree murder, Donald Marshall would not have been executed; but suppose the sequence of events which led to his conviction had occurred to an accused facing a first-degree charge. Mr. Marshall, 11 years on, was around to plead his innocence and secure an acquittal. The death penalty doesn't come with that option."
The major point we should raise is strictly, I think, in this theme, the purpose of which this Ontario legislation might serve to deal here with a circumstance in a case such as the Marshall case. There are three concepts: the not-guilty plea, the conviction and then the quashing, and it is a narrow, particular thrust.
In Ontario, provincial offences are usually met with maximum sentences of two years less a day. Accordingly, the top value of $60,000 as set out before us is likely to be an adequate ceiling for this kind of circumstance. Of course, we now have a Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, which is experienced and which has generally been well received by our citizens. With the competence of the board and with a framework to deal with the mechanics and the procedures that have developed over the last few years, we certainly would be in a position to deal with this kind of rare situation through the board that already exists.
I certainly welcome the amendments the member for Mississauga South has proposed to the Compensation for Victims of Crime Act. I think they would be useful and would try to show some attitude on behalf of the Legislature and people of Ontario to deal with the rare circumstance that could occasionally be before us in which compensation is clearly worthy.
It is compensation to try to replace a year or two of a person's life with some dollar amount, and it certainly would be, I think, a good step in the right direction. I hope that the members of the Legislature will agree to support this bill. It is the kind of thing that should he thoroughly and actively discussed at the committee stage of our deliberations.
It is the kind of thing the standing committee on administration of justice might receive as a task to assist in the review of this theme, just as I would hope this committee would be involved in dealing with the variety of suggestions that no doubt will come before us after the studies have been completed, with respect to a suggestion for compensation for those who have been acquitted, as in the Susan Nelles case.
However, I believe the legislation we have before us would be useful. I certainly am able to speak in favour of it, and I hope it will be well received by the members of the Legislature.
Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the initiative that has been taken by the member for Mississauga South in introducing this bill again this session, to deal with the specific issue that is outlined in the bill to which both he and the member for Kitchener (Mr. Breithaupt) have addressed their remarks.
I share with the member for Mississauga South and with the member for Kitchener the concern which has been expressed about the Donald Marshall case and the question of whether or not some compensation should be paid to a person in Ontario, should he find himself in the same position as Donald Marshal; namely, a person who had pleaded not guilty at a trial after being charged by the police, who had then been convicted and, at a subsequent time, had the conviction quashed.
Even though we all realize that is a very narrow instance to which the member for Mississauga South has directed his bill, we do want to focus on the concern which had been expressed as to what we in Ontario would do if a substantially similar case as the Donald Marshall case occurred in Ontario.
I want to say that, provided we can find the correct criteria to make the decision to provide the compensation, it would be advisable that our law provide for that compensation. I think it would also be extremely important that the tribunal, which had the responsibility for making the determination as to whether the compensation should be paid, should be an appropriate tribunal.
It is because of that, with some regret, that I would disengage myself from the member for Mississauga South, from the member for Kitchener and perhaps from other speakers on the bill, and express my concern, not about the intention and the good motivation of the member, but about the way in which the bill is constructed in so far as the criteria and the tribunal are concerned.
This problem has a long history. In this assembly, as far back as 1971, my former colleague from Parkdale had a study made to try to deal with this question. The Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry), in his private capacity before he became Attorney General, had also been involved in this discussion to attempt to find some solution to this vexed problem.
My colleague the member for Beaches-Woodbine (Ms. Bryden) placed on the record a resolution in the last session, trying to get a handle on this broad question of in what circumstances a person who had been charged by the police was acquitted or discharged; in other words, allowed to go about his business without the imputation of having committed a criminal offence.
I want, therefore, to illustrate with some care the distinctions I make which force me, in my consideration of the bill, to place some distance between myself and my colleagues who have spoken on the bill. We must not forget the cardinal principle which is now enshrined in the Charter of Rights. which states very clearly in subsection 11(d) of the charter, "Any person charged with an offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law in a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal."
Of course, as a matter of semantics, I would have much preferred the word "unless" rather than "until" so that it would be, "to be presumed innocent unless proven guilty according to law in a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal."
Then the charter goes on in subsection (h), "if finally acquitted of the offence, not to be tried for it again and, if finally found guilty and punished for the offence, not to be tried or punished for it again." It is within that framework I wanted to draw the distinction.
What are the criteria which my colleague has put in his bill? It is simply devoid of any criteria and, in section 17 of the act it would say, "The extent and degree, and the decision about whether or not compensation should be awarded is in the discretion of the tribunal, having regard to all relevant circumstances, including any behaviour of the victim that may have directly or indirectly" --
May I just correct that? "...the board shall have regard to all relevant circumstances surrounding the charge, conviction and quashing of the conviction, including the behaviour of the victim."
It goes on to say: "The board may, in its discretion, refuse to make an order for compensation...where it is satisfied that the applicant has refused reasonable co-operation with, or failed to report promptly the offence to, a law enforcement agency."
May I say I do not believe it would be appropriate to use these particular criteria. I say that for this reason, and I want to quote briefly a short excerpt with respect to a study made of this matter, which would indicate as follows:
"We do not agree that the way to relieve that oppression" -- that is the oppression of the person who has been convicted and then subsequently acquitted -- "is to compromise on the high value our justice system places on safeguards against the conviction of innocent persons.
"One of those safeguards now contained in the charter is that an accused is 'presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law in a fair and public hearing.' It is our view that this safeguard would be seriously compromised by a system of costs that would single out the truly innocent from those not so innocent and, thus, all acquitted accused for whom costs were denied or unavailable would be in a worse position than at the commencement of criminal proceedings.
"Though acquitted and entitled to their freedom, they would no longer be presumed innocent but, at the very least, subject to the suspicion of guilt with all of the consequent disadvantages that could attach to that condition."
I am referring to a proposal which was considered by the Law Reform Commission of Canada when dealing with matters of criminal procedure.
Mr. Kennedy: How long ago was that?
Mr. Renwick: This was a report in 1973. There have been subsequent reports affirming this problem and the way in which to deal with it.
Let me make a further comment about what the British Columbia Law Reform Commission had to say: "The reader" -- and it was referring to its own report -- "should bear in mind that the cases are few that lead to a clear-cut conclusion of innocence. Most evidence is circumstantial, and the judge or jury must draw inferences about whether an accused did or did not commit a certain act, and whether he did it knowingly or with a wrongful intention. These are matters for human judgement rather than scientific proof, and an accused who wins an acquittal on such judgement is entitled to have his acquittal taken at face value."
Therefore, my submission is that the extent to which one has been placed in the position of an acquitted person, and has to come as a suppliant to the compensation board on the principle of, "Am I entitled to compensation?" and then is denied compensation, would reflect very much among innocent people, according to our charter, as to which ones were innocent, which ones were not innocent, and the extent and degree of the innocence.
We do not have, of course, the tradition of Scottish law of the verdict of not proven. The criteria we must direct our attention to have something to do with miscarriage of justice or manifest error. I would hope that somewhere we would have the time to deal with what should be the isolated criteria that the judicial council should use for the purpose of making decisions about compensation.
The Acting Speaker (Mr. Cousens): I recognize the member for Oxford.
Mr. Conway: The former chairman of the justice committee.
Mr. Treleaven: Mr. Speaker, we all have our moment of truth and we all get demoted at some point in our lives.
Mr. Conway: I didn't suggest it was a demotion.
Mr. Treleaven: I am pleased to have this opportunity to speak in support of Bill 44. I thank my colleague the member for Mississauga South for giving this House a chance to consider this bill, which deals with such a timely and important matter. The bill changes the definition of "victim" by adding to it "a person who is convicted of an offence and sentenced to a term of imprisonment and whose conviction is subsequently quashed ..."
As the sponsor of this bill noted in his address, the issue of compensation for people acquitted on charges of serious criminal offences has recently received a great deal of public attention. For many years, this Legislature has tried to redress the losses to persons injured in motor vehicle accidents. The history of this over the last 20 years is that there was a most imperfect system of compensation whereby people who did not have motor vehicle insurance had to buy what was colloquially termed government insurance; that is, they paid a fee and for that there was some coverage or compensation available, in the old days of my practice, I might say, through the unsatisfied judgement fund.
Mr. Conway: The old days.
Mr. Treleaven: Yes. In the latter years, this has been refined to the point where there are statutory terms in all insurance policies which give everyone injured through motor vehicle accidents the right to some compensation or relief for such injuries. It is only fair that progress also be made in the field of criminal injuries, although it has sagged far behind the motor vehicle field.
However, this issue has been studied by a number of legal organizations over the last decade or so. The general consensus which has emerged from these studies is that the Canadian justice system should incorporate some form of compensation scheme. Though the concept of compensation for the acquitted has been endorsed in principle by many different groups and agencies, disputes and disagreements arise when it comes to the questions of design and administration of such compensation schemes, and of which level of government is responsible for the institution and maintenance of such programs.
Mr. Speaker, I am not backing up because I am afraid of my paper. I am backing up because my bifocals are letting me down.
For example, between 1971 and 1973, the Ontario bar sponsored a broadly based, 24-member committee for the compensation of the innocent to look into this matter. The work of this committee resulted in the production of a draft bill for a compensation scheme.
In 1973, the federal government's Law Reform Commission of Canada proposed that Canadians charged with a criminal offence and acquitted should have their legal costs paid "according to their financial needs."
At its last general meeting, the Canadian Bar Association commissioned a study of the compensation question. In addition, the president of the Criminal Lawyers Association has said that some system to compensate the acquitted should be developed. However, in spite of the fact this issue has been the object of considerable study and review over the years, we still do not have a compensation system in place. I congratulate the member for Mississauga South for taking the initiative by introducing this bill.
Mr. Conway: A fine fellow.
Mr. Treleaven: Right. A major virtue of the bill under consideration is that it does not attempt to design such a universal system, but rather concentrates on providing for compensation in a narrowly defined set of circumstances.
My friend the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) mentioned and gave his opinion that it was too narrow in its criteria. I must disagree with that member in that the member for Mississauga South is trying to win attention for a clearly defined problem and not shotgunning the solution. To add complicated criteria, as my friend the member for Riverdale suggested, would cloud the eligibility and recovery of the victim. The member for Mississauga South is trying to keep it to a simple problem and a simple solution.
The eligibility requirements for compensation under the scheme proposed by the bill have already been reviewed by the member for Mississauga South. I would simply point out the requirements are sufficiently rigorous to screen out many cases which would perhaps qualify for a compensation hearing under a more general or shotgun type of compensation system.
The requirements as laid down in the bill seem to me to define cases in which there is a strong probability that a miscarriage of justice has occurred, in which case fairness demands some form of compensation. The compensation system proposed by this bill is ideally suited to deal with circumstances such as those involved in the Marshall case. I do not think any member of this assembly would argue that Mr. Marshall is owed nothing for the 11 years he wasted in prison.
This bill is designed to deal fairly with that very small minority who have been victims of a miscarriage of justice. It is simply not right that we forget about those people and release them with only an apology and a new suit of clothes. Those individuals have often experienced substantial losses and endured considerable personal anguish as a direct result of actions taken against them by the crown. When it is discovered that those actions, no matter how well-intentioned, were in error, it is the duty of the crown to accept some responsibility for redressing the damage caused by its actions.
This bill is introduced at a time when, according to a number of surveys, Canadians are growing increasingly cynical about their legal and judicial system. There are many instances of this. The federal Minister of Justice, for example, has described this growing dissatisfaction as "almost a crisis of confidence in the legal system." The bottom line is that people are losing confidence in the ability of our judicial system to dispense justice in a fair and equitable manner.
Mr. Conway: Treleaven to the bench.
Mr. Treleaven: No, some of us semi-retired to the Legislature rather than the bench.
Canadians are also worried about the backlog of cases in the courts and the long delays that have become commonplace in the disposition of cases. People are growing increasingly concerned about the fate of acquitted individuals in our criminal justice system. New initiatives at both the federal and provincial levels have been undertaken to address some of these concerns.
New sentencing practices have been proposed to permit the victim of a crime to have greater input into the sentencing process. Both the federal and provincial governments are working on ways to reduce court backlogs and to speed legal actions. We often hear the Attorney General addressing this and regretting the financial problems he has in speeding up such a process.
The bill before us today gives us the opportunity, by demonstrating in a concrete way our concern for the rights of the acquitted, to help restore the confidence of the public in our legal system. It represents a reasonable and balanced method of providing for equitable compensation in strictly defined cases. Supporting this bill would demonstrate that our commitment to justice and fairness does not end at the prison gates.
The fact that cases such as the Marshall case come to light and are eventually resolved testifies to the inherent strength and fairness of our judicial system. Does that not sound like the Attorney General? That system is not perfect, but it is perfectable. This bill takes us a step closer to a better system for all our citizens. I urge all members to support this bill.
Mr. Van Horne: Mr. Speaker, my comments will be brief and certainly will not take the 10 minutes allotted. I stand to support Bill 44 and, along with others, to commend the member for Mississauga South for bringing it to us.
I would say by way of some explanation for my taking any interest or time here that I have the pleasure and honour of having my oldest son in training to be a lawyer. On occasion, in the past year or two, he and I have got into some discussions about law: the application of law, the dispensing of justice. etc. I find my thoughts and my mind becoming more concerned with the law, which I suppose is natural with a background of teaching and now as a parliamentarian.
In addition, we have had cases, such as the Nelles case and others that have been mentioned here today, to give us, as parliamentarians, a focus on this whole theme of compensation for victims of crimes.
Again, I am not a lawyer, so I cannot get into as great detail as the preceding speaker, the member for Oxford (Mr. Treleaven), but there are one or two concerns I have. In some sections I see the wording is rather permissive. I find a word such as "may," in reference to new subsection 7(3), where the explanatory notes say, "The victim may receive compensation for expenses actually incurred ..." I would ask the member for Mississauga South if he might spend a moment on the permissive aspect of this bill when he responds to some of our comments.
My point is simply this: If a person has been convicted of an offence and sentenced and then later that conviction is quashed, why then- -- if I understand it correctly -- do we get into this rather permissive type of legislation? Where it says "may receive compensation," I am wondering why that should not be straight out "should" or "shall receive."
That is my only observation on the actual wording. I support the theme presented to us and I commend the member for presenting this bill.
Mr. Breaugh: Mr. Speaker, I was interested in this bill, when I had an opportunity to peruse it earlier, because it does something that I think is incredibly important: it addresses itself to a problem which, it is true, is not widespread but which I believe is one that has somehow escaped us all. That is, there have been several instances, which other members have mentioned, of cases where our judicial system clearly did not work in the way it is supposed to work. It has subsequently exposed a major problem that the bill in principle attempts to address. For that attempt, I am going to support the proposed bill this afternoon.
One could go through the bill and say there are flaws in the mechanics laid out in the bill itself. One could focus on the argument about whether it is too narrow, whether it should be broadened or whether there should be other circumstances. If this were a government bill instead of a private bill, I believe this would be precisely what we would try to do when it went out to committee. But I am prepared to deal with it in the most basic of senses in that I want to deal with the principle of the bill.
The principle, which I do find supportable, says there are occasions when a very complicated judicial system misfires, and when it does, and when we are made aware it has misfired, we will attempt to compensate people for that.
I am constantly reminded that our judicial system is made up of human beings who do make errors. Unfortunately, from time to time those errors are not matters of inconvenience or do not create a small amount of financial discomfort; they provide a very real and serious impact on a human beings life and there appears to be not much redress available to the individual.
In that sense I believe the principle of this bill is one that is becoming increasingly important, as the kind of process through which a person must go when charged with a crime becomes more complicated and more expensive. It seems we have not found, in Canada at any rate, a mechanism to try to provide suitable redress. As the bill says, there are some ironies here which are bitter.
This morning I received in my mail -- frankly, this may be the reason I am supporting the bill this afternoon -- yet another example of what most members of this Legislature would look at as an instance of the judicial system's problems that does not seem to be resolvable. It involves the case of a woman named Janise Gamble, who was convicted and received life imprisonment of 25 years without parole. She is now imprisoned at the Prison for Women in Kingston until 2001.
It was an unusual trial. If one reads the press reports of the trial, two things strike the reader. The first is that the law did not intend to imprison this woman in this way; none the less, it did. The second is that there was an extremely harsh sentence.
Basically, it involves the case of a young woman who married a man who, it is alleged in the newspaper articles, did commit a crime. The question revolves around the type of charges that were laid and how they were proceeded with. There are a number of rather complicated legal arguments, which I do not pretend to comprehend. I leave that to the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick), who understands those things only too well.
From a layperson's point of view, it is the case of a woman who was convicted of a crime she did not commit. Most people's assessment of the facts presented would come to that conclusion. If anything, one would take the view, as I did after reading the newspaper articles, that this is a young woman who was victimized and who was without question beaten by her husband.
There seems to be little question that the husband was involved in criminal activity; but there also seems to be a clear pattern to reflect that the woman was not. At the very worst, if she was involved in criminal activity, it was not with a great deal of thought beforehand. She was there, however; there is no question about that.
As one reads the arguments pro and con put by crown attorneys and by her lawyers, one gets a bit of a sense of the legal arguments involved there. That is why we have lawyers and courts. However, from a layperson's point of view, it is reasonable to state that she did not kill anybody. I do not see anywhere in any of the newspaper articles I have read an allegation that she did. But clearly charges were laid, properly or improperly, against this woman, the result of which is that she has been sentenced to a 25-year term without parole.
As one goes through the newspaper and television reports around this case, one is left with a feeling of great desperation. Here is someone who was charged and convicted, and most of the people who were observers of it, except the lawyers. feel there was a gross miscarriage of justice. Worse than that, there appears to be not much of an easy way to provide redress.
At least the bill addresses itself to that kind of problem. For that reason I believe it is supportable. I am not sure the bill would do much for the case of Janise Gamble; it probably would not. But it is a beginning that is worth while supporting.
Here is an instance where lawyers have been at work, charges have been laid, the crown attorneys have put forward a case and there have been some appeals. But the bottom line is that we are all going to wind up sending a legal petition to the federal Minister of Justice and looking for a cabinet decision.
What struck me this morning in reading all this and in reviewing the bill was that even if all this works -- although it appears the entire judicial process, at least for this woman, has collapsed, and if anything it has been a travesty rather than a fair judicial system -- and even if in the end Janise Gamble is given some kind of pardon, some kind of reprieve, some kind of proper judicial treatment, what we have done as a society is we have taken a young woman in some rather tragic circumstances and sentenced her to a long jail period with all the ramifications of that -- social, moral, emotional, physical, mental and financial -- and not offered her much in the way of fairness or compensation or even in the way of a fair hearing.
The bill before us this afternoon is a rather restrictive piece of legislation. It is not broad in scope, but it does recognize that there is a need to have, as a matter of law and fairness, some compensation for victims of crime. In particular, we need to have some compensation available as a legal right for someone who has been charged with a crime, who has pleaded not guilty and for whom the process has evolved to a point where the conviction has been quashed.
As a beginning point, that is not a bad idea. As we would normally do with legislation if we were to go to a committee, we might well get to a case such as Janice Gamble's or to other cases of a similar nature and say that the principle of this bill is to admit in a formal and legal way that sometimes the entire judicial process malfunctions, sometimes it makes mistakes, and when it does, people should not be penalized any more than they already have been for those mistakes in the system.
I believe the bill is worthy of the consideration of the House. I have enjoyed the debate so far, and I believe this piece of legislation is in principle worthy of support and I will do so.
Mr. Cousens: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to be able to participate in this debate and support the bill introduced by the member for Mississauga South.
We are all familiar with those tragic cases in which innocent individuals have been wrongly convicted of crimes they did not commit and as a consequence have been unjustly punished by society. A number of those cases have been referred to by preceding speakers. As has been noted, these cases are rare but they do happen.
The most dramatic of these cases involve people who are proved totally innocent of the crime for which they were imprisoned. In many instances, new evidence is discovered, often years after the original conviction, which completely exonerates the person who was charged. The recent Marshall case, as described so eloquently by the member for Kitchener, is one example. The Roberts case in Ontario is another.
In 1974, Roberts was convicted of noncapital murder and sexual assault in the death of a Kitchener nurse. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. In 1977, at a retrial, Roberts was found not guilty of the offence and was released. The conviction was quashed because of new technical evidence relating to the analysis of hair found near the victim's body. By this time, Mr. Roberts had spent three years of his life behind bars. Upon his release, he said, "I was innocent in 1974 and I am innocent now."
It is repugnant to the most fundamental principles of our justice system that an innocent party be punished. In this country we quite rightly hold that it is better that 100 guilty men go free than one innocent man be wrongly punished. To give effect to this principle, our system of criminal justice is built around the presumption of innocence and we place the burden of proof on the prosecution.
Our laws protect all of us from unreasonable search and seizure and from arbitrary detention and imprisonment. Under our Constitution, an accused person has the right to know the specific nature of the charge against him or her, the right to retain counsel and the right to be tried within a reasonable time.
In spite of all these safeguards, miscarriages of justice do occur and innocent people are convicted and sentenced. One might say that given the imperfect nature of all human institutions, it is inevitable that such incidents would happen.
The fact that such miscarriages occur should not lead us to conclude that our system of criminal justice is inherently flawed. The fact that these cases come to light and are remedied should increase, not decrease, our confidence in our practices and institutions. All in all I would say, and I am sure all members would agree, that our system of justice minimizes the possibility that such cases could occur and thus the number of cases that do occur.
However, cases such as the Marshall and Roberts cases do provide incentive for us to improve our processes for dispensing justice. If it is impossible to totally eliminate the possibility that such cases could occur, then it is incumbent on us to take steps at the very least to ensure the harm done to the innocent party is redressed to the fullest possible extent.
To my mind, nothing is so grievous or calls the administration of criminal justice into disrepute as much as the conviction and imprisonment of an innocent person. How we as a society and as a Legislature respond to such cases is a measure of the responsibility we are willing to assume for the actions of a system which we have created and maintained to further the common good. Our response to these cases is also a reflection of our commitment to a very basic notion of fairness.
The bill before us today deals with a very limited part of the more general question of trial compensation. It does not attempt to address the question of what should be done in a case of a person accused of a crime and later acquitted at a trial or discharged at a preliminary hearing. While a very serious one in itself, this matter is not the issue currently before this House.
Bill 44 deals with the more unusual and serious case in which a person who has pleaded not guilty to an offence is convicted of that offence and sentenced. The key question is, what should we as a society be willing to do for that person when that conviction is quashed? Does our responsibility end with the quashing of the conviction?
A quashed conviction may restore an individual's liberty, but it cannot restore the time taken from his life or the opportunities missed. Nor does a quashed conviction help pay the legal bills. To do nothing to help make some form of compensation accessible to these people simply compounds the injustice they have already suffered.
Essentially we must ask ourselves whether it is right that these people should have a procedure available to them which at least allows them the opportunity to win compensation for the harm done to them. Bill 44 answers this question in the affirmative and outlines a procedure that would allow for fair and adequate compensation.
This is a bill which our government and all members of this House should look at with great sincerity and interest. If possible, we should approve it today and take further steps to see that it is implemented.
Mr. Kennedy: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank very sincerely all those who participated in this debate. It is obvious that it is of wide interest to all members, as it should be.
The member for London North (Mr. Van Horne) said that perhaps there could be a more precise description of the powers; but knowing the circumstances under which the judgement is made as to whether an award is made, such as the conduct of the imprisoned person, I feel we need to leave those wide discretionary powers, as I said in my initial remarks.
The member for Riverdale mentioned some historical references. I am very pleased those are on the record, because this has been a subject of discussion with the bar association and other agencies. I do hope this bill will be a solid base on which we can build further laws or compensation provisions to address other circumstances beyond those which this bill precisely addresses.
The member for Oshawa (Mr. Breaugh) mentioned that it would be a great subject to have before a committee. Indeed, it would. I think it would be of wide interest. I would certainly support a select committee on this because, as I mentioned, if it has gone on for these number of years, there have been convictions, accusations, charges dropped and so on for all these years, and very real personal harm done. It is past time we filled this void, this gap in our judicial system.
I am sorry I do not have time to comment on the remarks of other members, but they were noted and I appreciate them very much. I look forward to perhaps having this in committee.
ALCOHOL USE AND ABUSE
Mr. Eakins moved, seconded by Mr. Nixon, resolution 13:
That, in the opinion of this House, a comprehensive study be initiated by this Legislature to review the expressed concerns associated with the use and abuse of alcohol in Ontario. The review should address: (1) the mandates of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario and the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario with respect to distribution and licensing; (2) the concerns expressed by Ontario's tourism and hospitality industry with regard to the need for revision of hours of sale, industry costs, etc.; (3) a review of the legislation and the enforcement of such legislation dealing with violations of the abuse of alcohol; (4) the current and future role and funding of detox centres; (5) the current and future role of the funding of the Addiction Research Foundation, and (6) industry advertising; and that this review be open and that the public participation be encouraged.
The Deputy Speaker: I bring to the honourable member's attention the normal procedure of 20 minutes. Would he like to reserve any time?
Mr. Eakins: I will reserve about two minutes.
The Deputy Speaker: Thank you.
Mr. Eakins: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of my resolution is to initiate a wide-ranging discussion on the question of all alcohol concerns: its use and its abuse. By the windup of this debate, I hope all members of this Legislature will support my resolution, thereby initiating an all-party committee of this House to conduct a comprehensive review of alcohol use and abuse in this province.
It is time that, as elected political representatives in this province, we stopped dealing with the various areas of alcohol in isolation and on an ad hoc basis. The only times I hear the question of alcohol discussed in this House are when my colleague the member for Cornwall (Mr. Samis) introduces the resolution calling for beer in the ball park, or at Christmastime when the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) initiates the reduce impaired driving everywhere program, and then, a couple of weeks later, when the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Elgie) announces extended hours for licensed dining facilities.
As members know, the annual reports of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario and the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario come quietly to our desks, showing continuing increased profits from the sale of alcohol; but seldom, if ever, do we hear of comparable increased funding for those who are the victims of its use through social service agencies, detox centres, etc.
Let me by example point out the need for a comprehensive review of the question of alcohol use in this province. Just recently, the Ontario Hotel and Motel Association wrote to all members of this House, with enclosed statistics to encourage us to look closely at recommendations it had made to the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario. I agree we must look closely, for the tourism and hospitality industry is this province's largest employer. It generates revenues of $8 billion per year, with a ripple effect of $12.6 billion.
This industry feels it should be permitted earlier Sunday openings and later Sunday closings. It feels also that there should be 2 a.m. closings throughout the week, and Sunday openings for lounges, mini-bars and hotel rooms, similar to proved pilot projects that have been ongoing for some time.
The industry asks for a review of the sale of draft beer by the pitcher in dining lounges and a review of how special occasion permits are approved. They say most hotels sell liquor by the bottle to registered guests and they would like this confirmed so as not to be in a position of doing something not permissible.
It seems this industry must often go cap in hand and lobby support for even minor changes. That is only part of the consumption story I ask to be considered in this review.
On the other side of the issue, I picked up a paper and read a story from Edmonton dated May 28, "Canadian Hospitals May Be Unable to Handle Drug and Alcohol Abuse." Let me read a few paragraphs from that story to the members:
"Canadian hospitals may be unable to handle the rush from increasing alcohol and drug abuse, medical experts told a recent Alberta Hospital Association conference.
"Dr. Alan Gilbert, director of the Royal Alexandra General Hospital's detoxification unit, said alcohol abuse is increasing so quickly that related health problems, such as cirrhosis of the liver, could become Canada's number one killer disease in 10 years.
"'We have a society where children are sent home (from school) because they are drunk,' he said.
"Several speakers said every increase in the abuse of alcohol and mood-altering drugs means more work for hospitals.
"Gilbert said half of all highway accidents and 60 per cent of all murders and suicides are related to alcohol.
"Dr. Ken Thorton, a pathologist at Victoria's Royal Jubilee Hospital, said patients suffering from alcohol-related problems already occupy every third intensive care bed."
On page 12 of the Toronto Star, April 9, the headline reads, "Drunk Drivers -- Scourge of the Roads." The article goes on to tell how it took almost eight years and nine drunk-driving convictions before our legal system gave the particular individual involved the jail sentence required by law. On his 10th conviction he was given 18 months in jail.
The article states, "He was the fortunate beneficiary of an overburdened, often confused legal system." Yet no one in the Ottawa crown attorney's office or the office of the Attorney General could explain why this person was able to avoid jail for periods longer than 14 or 15 days along with a small fine.
This is another reason that we need a full review of the use and abuse of alcohol. The court sentence for abuse needs to be re-examined, and if it is found not to be adequate, it should be stiffened considerably. In Ontario, on average, a driver can drive 2,600 kilometres in an impaired state before getting caught. For every drunk driver caught, 2,000 go undetected, according to an Addiction Research Foundation report. Police detect badly impaired drivers but usually miss those who are less impaired but still above the 0.08 blood alcohol level.
It is my understanding that many officers have not been trained to use the breathalyser equipment. It also often takes four or five hours in some areas to process an impaired driver. This, then, is another area that needs to be examined and can only be effective under a total review.
This is also the only way in which we can examine the mandates of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario and the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario. Should the availability and accessibility of alcohol in this province be enlarged? Many feel it should; many feel otherwise.
The government received over $613 million in profit from alcohol in this province in the past year. Profit alone cannot be seen as the only objective. If this government is going to rake in continuing increased profits, it must also play a more active role in helping those who are the victims.
I want to say to this House that through my colleague the member for Quinte (Mr. O'Neil) I have been kept informed on a number of occasions of one who is very active in the field of rehabilitation, Mr. John Fryters, the director of Serenity House of Quinte in Belleville. Mr. Fryters is very active in this field, and I want to pay tribute to his work. He has offered many solutions on a number of occasions in this particular field.
He has said that since government is directly responsible for the sale of liquors and beers, "I feel it also needs to take over some of the responsibility for the consequences of these sales without fully taking away the responsibility on the part of the consumer."
Across this province, parents and groups have organized to do something about abuse. In Haliburton county, the committee for alcohol and drug education has stated that in view of the high level of alcohol abuse in that county, as statistically shown, it is investigating the possibility of establishing a treatment facility in its geographic area.
But will this province share in their concern with funding? The Premier (Mr. Davis) has stated in a letter that the problem is best dealt with at the community level. The province must play a more visible and a more active role in this field. I do not believe it can he left to the local communities to find the answers to these various problems.
In Victoria, Haliburton, Peterborough and Northumberland counties, an addiction services team was set up on recommendation of the district health council's task force on alcoholism and, as a result, an assessment referral service was set up. This group submitted a proposal for funding to the Ministry of Health in January. A decision has yet to be reached.
If this work is to be taken seriously, we cannot keep these organizations in limbo. I asked the Minister of Health (Mr. Grossman) to report on this on his return from my riding this afternoon. That accounts for his not being in the House. In the four counties referred to, on the basis of the investigations of their task force on alcoholism, it was concluded with respect to the treatment network that there are definite gaps both in the availability of services and in access to treatment and education programs.
As an example, given that there is a minimum of 6,200 alcoholics in the counties of Victoria, Haliburton, Peterborough and Northumberland, on the basis of estimates provided by the Addiction Research Foundation, and given that the readily accessible intervention services are of the self-help variety through Alcoholics Anonymous, there is a serious deficit of alcohol-specific services within this area. I think we can take this as symbolic of the province. The need for review of assistance to the victims of alcohol should be part of an overall examination, as is proposed. This can be brought about only by the approval of this resolution by the members.
Time does not allow me to cover all the areas of concern, such as lifestyle advertising; perhaps some of the members will want to speak on that. I want to say that the Victoria County Board of Education has supported a resolution of the Lakehead board in Thunder Bay to this government as follows. I want to read that resolution:
"In view of the Ontario Ministry of Education's express concern over the incidence of alcohol abuse among students, this board petitions the Ontario government to be consistent in its concern and to enforce its announced directives on all lifestyle advertisements, which suggest that beverage alcohol is a natural and necessary part of all sports and recreation situations.
"We are, as trustees, very concerned about the increased use and abuse of alcohol among young people. It is our belief that lifestyle advertising of alcoholic beverages, with its heavy focus on the young adult, contributes significantly to this very critical problem."
I personally support the content of that resolution.
Alcohol control policies are political footballs kicked around by many governments and by politicians in many jurisdictions trying to balance both the economic and health needs of the nation. Regardless of where, governments are trapped and I understand this in a conflict of interests that are economic, political and social. There is a conflict between governments' interests in both health and economics.
According to Dr. Eric Single of the Addiction Research Foundation, "The health concerns and the problems associated with alcohol use ought to be on the same agenda in policymaking as the revenue concerns and the economic benefits of alcohol." Certainly this means that the Liquor Control Board of Ontario ought to be concerned with health problems. Dr. Single adds, "We as health professionals, when we make policy recommendations, ought to be concerned with what impact that would have on the jobs of people in the alcohol industry and ways in which we might ameliorate a negative impact."
One way governments handle alcohol problems is by redefining them. Since social drinking has a high degree of acceptance, there is a tendency to zero in on the deviant drinker. Dr. Single says this fails to deal effectively with the real problem drinker, the middle-class working male. Instead, concern is focused on politically weak groups, the teenage drinkers and the elderly drinkers. This is the cheaper approach. It is a way of deflecting public attention from other ways of managing this problem.
I have endeavoured to point out that this is one area of our responsibility as members in which we must have a comprehensive review, for the question of alcohol use and abuse in this province is a very urgent one. When we compare with other jurisdictions -- and we often look to other jurisdictions for a comparison -- within the last two years, across the border, 34 states have enacted improved legislation, 33 states have established task forces or commissions to examine impaired driving and other areas, and three states have raised the legal drinking age to 21. The 10 states of California, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Tennessee, Virginia, Idaho and Ohio now have mandatory jail terms even for first offenders.
What is the answer for Ontario? I feel the only way we are going to deal with the subject of alcohol use and abuse is through an all-party committee in which we can sit down and look at all the aspects I have outlined today. We must make sure it is open to the public and encourage participation from all parts of that community. I would ask all members to support this resolution.
The Acting Speaker (Mr. Mancini): The member for Victoria-Haliburton (Mr. Eakins) has five minutes of his time remaining, which he can use at the end if he wishes to.
Mr. Samis: Mr. Speaker, I am going to speak briefly on this resolution. I want to say that I strongly support it and I congratulate the member for Victoria-Haliburton for introducing it. I also congratulate him for the extraordinary lengths to which he has gone to make it a balanced resolution to deal with both the use and the abuse of alcohol in Ontario.
Before this debate, I must confess, I was reading something of a nongovernmental nature. I noticed an article in this week's edition of Newsweek magazine. Those who are baseball fans will recognize the name Ryne Duren. He became one of the worst alcoholics in professional sport. It is rather a good story in that he has now become totally rehabilitated and is very active in drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs involving young people and professional athletes. To give members some idea of the extent of his personal problem, at one stage he was drinking -- this is an almost incredible figure -- 24 vodka martinis a night. That man has been rehabilitated.
There is a problem in society, obviously. There is controversy on the whole question of alcohol in society, and I congratulate the member for the way he has broken it down into six different areas.
The question of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario and the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario deserves considerable study because of their virtual monopoly. There is a feeling out there that these organizations are rather arbitrary, rather bureaucratic and not especially sensitive to changing values and mores in society. They have improved, I think, in the last five years and have shown greater sensitivity, but it is a subject that does deserve public study and public input from industry, from the people at the board themselves and from individuals.
The member talked about the concerns of people in the hospitality industry. I think it would be very worth while to hear from them, to be able to question them and cross-examine them on various things and to ask them how they feel about the operations of the board, the laws and the problems connected with their industry.
I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the member for Victoria-Haliburton for the very efficient, effective and continuous way in which he raises questions that relate to that particular industry. I can think of no member in this House who is a better friend and a better advocate of that industry.
The whole question of the hours, industry costs, etc., and enforcement legislation is one in which there is a great deal of public interest these days, especially the question of impaired driving and whether the penalties are sufficient. I know there are groups of parents and people who have been affected by such drivers who are quite militantly organizing in society now. I think it would be very worth while for a committee to hear from them.
It would be very worth while to hear from the police whether they think the present laws are effective or not. There is a fairly strong consensus building in society that we have to get much tougher with impaired drivers, and I would support that.
However, the real question is what would really work. Is it a drastically simplistic approach, or do we have to be a little more sophisticated? What can we learn from other jurisdictions? A committee would bring that out, and we would all learn from that experience.
On the whole question of the detox centres and the Addiction Research Foundation, it would be good to put them under public scrutiny. They perform a worthwhile role in society, but I am not so sure they are exposed to sufficient public scrutiny. They have a certain fixed position and sometimes they come across as a little bit arbitrary and dogmatic without taking into consideration the views of others in society. They may have a certain vested interest in the whole matter.
It would be worth while to subject some of those people to cross-examination and force them to listen to other opinions, and it would also be worth while to get the benefit of their experience and some of their personal views as well. It may be of great value to us.
The member raised the question of advertising. It is one that should be studied. Personally I am getting a little fed up with all these lifestyle ads on television. They --
Mr. Ruston: Also the lotteries.
Mr. Samis: We are just talking about this resolution tonight.
We allowed it in the first place. and then I recall when the member for St. Andrew-St. Patrick (Mr. Grossman) was the minister and the member for Scarborough Centre (Mr. Drea) was the minister, they were going to crack down on the breweries; they were not going to allow them to violate this.
I would challenge those ministers to turn on their television sets tonight or any night and watch the ads of any brewery. We are at the stage now where the lifestyle ads are the rule, not the exception: Pete and the boys going out on the weekend with their 50 and all this. It is just an endless array of lifestyle ads. It is a legitimate topic for a committee to investigate.
I recall the old ads, where they used to talk about the product. They used to inject a little humour into the ad. It used to have a little entertainment value. Now the whole idea is about the party with the party pack and all this stuff on the weekend, and heading out. There is obviously a tremendous emphasis on lifestyle ads, and yet there do not seem to be any restrictions being put on them. They are not even being slapped on the knuckles, not even being criticized by the government. It is some thing we should seriously consider.
Another area we should consider is the role breweries play in athletic events these days. The breweries become extremely closely identified not only with professional sport but with amateur sport as well. It seems as if you cannot have an event any more without the breweries hanging up their big banners and giving away samples on occasion, or trophies and such like. In one way they have been very beneficial, especially to amateur sport. But they are always there with the emphasis on sports and booze, booze and sports. What effect does that have on young people? We do not really know.
Obviously, the breweries are investing that money to try to get more customers. Obviously, it is a public relations job. That is something we should talk about with the breweries and the people in amateur sport to try to get some handle on the whole subject. It is well worth investigating.
Another topic we have to investigate with a committee such as this is the whole question of the drinking age. There is a very strong push now in North America -- especially in the United States, though it is starting in Canada -- to increase the age again beyond 19. Personally I am not convinced of the value of that, but we should have the opportunity to assess the arguments on both sides.
My view is that instead of always focusing on the drinking age -- because we always put it in the context of the fatality rates on the highways and the impaired driver -- I would like to see us devote a little attention in such a committee to the age when people are allowed to drive cars in Ontario.
It seems slightly ridiculous that it is suggested we should tell people they cannot drink until they are 21, but they can drive a Mustang or some souped-up machine at age 16, and then we wonder about impaired driving. Perhaps we should change the focus somewhat from the drinking to the driving age. This is something that would be interesting.
I could not end a speech such as this without referring to the perennial question of monopolies in the sale of certain products, namely beer, in this province. I find it difficult for a free enterprise government, a government that calls itself conservative, a government that always says it is interested in the private sector and the best interests of small businessmen, to be continually defending a monopoly, the Brewers' Retail Stores monopoly. It always flabbergasts me that they are not prepared to challenge that monopoly.
There is no question on the liquor thing: I do not think anybody is advocating private sale there. But I think a committee would find it very interesting, if not profitable and even enjoyable, to study the whole question of what people think about monopolies in the sale of beer in the province versus other systems, i.e., the province of Quebec, the state of New York.
In my area I have taken several surveys, and overwhelmingly the people have said, "We must get rid of the monopoly and give small business a chance." I do not share the fears that people have who have never grown up under any other system -- that is, people who did not grow up in any other time or outside Ontario -- about the tremendous evils that would result from decentralizing it and allowing the private sector in.
I am perfectly willing to submit that subject, along with the six items listed here, to such a committee. We have never done a comprehensive study of liquor laws. We have never really allowed the public to get involved in every single aspect of this.
I again congratulate the member for focusing on the two aspects: the use of alcohol and the abuse of alcohol in Ontario. I think the resolution makes eminent good sense. I only hope the government will listen and do something about it.
Mr. Andrewes: Mr. Speaker, the member for Victoria-Haliburton will no doubt be disappointed in the fact that I cannot in all conscience support his resolution. Despite the fact that some of the passages indicate a very valid concern regarding the problems of alcohol abuse, one cannot help feeling somewhat disturbed by the scope and breadth of the resolution's proposed inquiry.
Therefore, I want to use my time this afternoon to put these concerns into their proper context and to qualify the sizeable contribution that alcohol sales make to our province's economy. These comments are meant not to undermine my friend's resolution but rather, in the spirit of a good, healthy debate, to provide a different viewpoint.
It is my feeling that a review of the "expressed concerns associated with the use and abuse of alcohol in Ontario" would indicate the following well-known facts: first, that alcohol is a substance used by many in the province and abused by a few; second. that individual abuse exists despite immense public relations advertising warning of the dangers of alcohol abuse, and third, that individual abuse appears to be declining as these public relations campaigns become more effective in their presentations and selection of younger audiences to hear the message.
Members will not be surprised to learn that the province is in the forefront of these public awareness programs, sponsored in association with the Ministry of Health, municipal police forces and the alcoholic spirits industry. What may surprise my colleagues is the long historical pattern of public involvement in the regulation of alcoholic beverages.
To put the current activities of the province into perspective, it might be constructive to summarize the concerns that have been expressed in the past and the laws that have been passed in order to meet these concerns.
The purchase and sale of alcohol in Ontario have been regulated since 1876 with the passage of what was known as the Crooks Act. This was no reflection on the activities of the government of that day. The act assumed control of liquor laws from the municipalities, required that taverns be well-appointed eating houses and imposed a minimum fee on those who wished to take out a liquor licence. As a result of these initial regulations, the number of licences in the province fell by 433 per cent in the first five years of the legislation.
The Crooks Act served to bring the trade of liquor under province-wide control, with minimum conditions established for its sale in order to appease growing public resentment towards alcohol abuse. In 1916, prohibitionist forces succeeded in having all nonmedical liquor outlawed by persuading the Hearst government to pass the Ontario Temperance Act as a wartime measure.
Three years later, an Ontario referendum, including recently enfranchised women -- how far we have come in those 60 years -- voted by a majority of more than 400,000 people to proclaim prohibition as the permanent law of the province.
For seven years Ontario prohibition laws were gradually tightened; yet they were never able to stem the illegal consumption of alcohol in the province and the added criminal activity it involved.
Finally, in 1927, the Ontario Temperance Act was repealed and replaced by the Liquor Control Act, under which the Liquor Control Board of Ontario was established to regulate the distribution and sale of alcohol.
There are two reasons that can be suggested for the decline and fall of prohibition. First, it is possible that Ontario in the mid-1920s was still too British to adopt with any permanence what was essentially an American misadventure.
Second, the intensive temperance campaign on which prohibition was achieved largely ceased when prohibition became law. The program of moral suasion was succeeded by a program of legislative force. Prohibition seemed to have been forced too hard, too fast and too far, leaving public opinion behind.
I mention these causes in detail because they reflect the process in which changing attitudes and preferences can affect lawmakers and laws. In effect, prohibition was temporary because the ideology necessary for its support was short-lived.
I can continue to trace the evolution of Ontario's attitudes towards alcohol consumption by tracing the evolution of the laws passed to control it.
For instance, in 1934, hotel beverage rooms became licensed and were empowered to sell beer and wine. Because of the rather unfortunate short-sightedness of the government of the day, the lawmakers did not restrict the sale of wine to that produced in Ontario. However, they redeemed themselves in 1935 when provincial wineries were permitted the establishment of one retail outlet off their own premises for the sale of their products.
In 1944, the Liquor Authority Control Board of Ontario was chartered, to be replaced in 1947 by the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario. In 1961, permits for the purchase of liquor were abolished. In 1971, the first self-serve liquor store was opened. In 1972, 40-ounce bottles of alcohol were introduced as well as 80-ounce wine jugs. Last year, to the delight of the member for Cornwall (Mr. Samis), beer was introduced in major sports stadiums in Ontario.
Today, our society has evolved to a point where greater freedom for liquor consumption is accepted but where at the same time greater effort is expected on the part of the province and the alcohol industry to warn against the dangers of alcohol abuse. The achievement of this social balance has been decades in the making, and I question the wisdom of disturbing this equilibrium with a limitless study of the problem.
The wine and spirits industry is a very large business today and its contribution to the province's economy cannot be underestimated. In the fiscal year 1983-84, LCBO profits and LLBO fees, licences and permits will account for more than $780 million in provincial revenue.
As the member for Lincoln, I can also speak informatively about the importance of the wine industry to the local economy. In 1982 the value of the grape crop used for wine was $15.4 million. The regions wine output was $116.6 million, a hefty jump in value added for the several thousand people employed in the Niagara wine industry. I should add that the province collects a further $130 million in taxes on these wine products.
In conclusion, I do have reservations about supporting this resolution. I am not convinced that the consumption and abuse of alcohol in Ontario is an extraordinary problem worthy of an unrestrained inquiry. It is my belief that the citizens of this province are satisfied with the safeguards which prevent alcohol abuse as much as possible. Moreover, the advocacy advertising campaign undertaken by the province has received wide support. It educates young and old alike about the dangers of alcohol abuse.
I recognize the problem the member is trying to address, but I question the potency and relevancy of his solution.
Mr. Sweeney: Mr. Speaker, I am a little surprised at the last speaker. I thought I heard him saying he felt it was inappropriate for my colleague the member for Victoria-Haliburton to introduce this kind of package deal.
I suggest that the honourable member consult with his Premier (Mr. Davis). In 1978, the same Premier we have today announced that a legislative package was being considered. I have in front of me a copy of one of the briefs that was presented to the Premier, congratulating him for taking a package or all-embracing approach to it. That is precisely what my colleague from Victoria-Haliburton has tried to do today.
The strange thing is that we never heard very much from that so-called package deal. We have had dribs and drabs all over the place, in many cases to the detriment of the people of this province. My colleague from Victoria-Haliburton is saying: "Enough of that nonsense. Let us take a look at this problem in its all-encompassing form. Let us look at all sides of it."
As the member for Cornwall put it so well, it is a very balanced proposal. It is ridiculous in the extreme to suggest, as the previous speaker from the government party did, that this is a call for prohibition. Nothing could be further from the truth. My colleague from Victoria-Haliburton never mentioned the word "prohibition" in his opening remarks. There is absolutely nothing in this proposal that talks about prohibition. Yet the member of the government party spent almost one third of his time allotment talking about prohibition back in the early part of this century. I say to him, let us get serious about this.
We are not surprised when members of the government party come in with those kinds of statements. I have in front of me a press release dated May 1978, when the then Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations, now the Minister of Health (Mr. Grossman), was talking about the proposals which the Premier was looking into at that time. He made this statement:
"We have now had an opportunity to assess the progressive trend and in general the results are positive. There has been no increase in per capita consumption of alcohol in Ontario in the past three years."
I also have a chart put out by Alcohol and Drug Concerns Inc., one of the private agencies in the province concerned about potential drug and alcohol abuse. What are the real figures for the three-year period in which the then Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations said there had been no increase? Let me tell members what they were.
In 1974, sales by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario amounted to $590 million. In 1975, they had gone up to $690 million, an increase of $100 million. In the next year, 1976, sales went up to $760 million, an increase of $70 million. The next year they went up to $860 million, an increase of another $100 million.
I wonder where all that stuff went. Down the drain someplace? Obviously, according to the then Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations, the people of Ontario were not drinking it.
That is very surprising. That is the three-year period when the then Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations said there had been no increase, everything was hunky-dory in Ontario and we had no problems at all. Is that really the case? Is there no problem in Ontario with respect to alcohol?
Let us take a look at another survey. This one is dated 1982 and was conducted by the Addiction Research Foundation of Ontario. Let me just quote from one set of figures covering the period from 1977 to 1982.
One of the questions they asked was, "How many times have you had five or more drinks at one sitting?" In other words, how many times have you had just a little bit more than you should have? The figure in 1977 was 51 per cent, but in 1982 it had gone up to 57 per cent.
The next question they asked was, "How many times have you got high?" or tight, as the expression goes. In 1977 the figure was 40 per cent, but by 1982 it had gone up to 50 per cent. If that does not indicate a problem in this province, I do not know what does.
Again, let me quote something from the Addiction Research Foundation of Ontario, which is at least partially funded by this government. It says clearly that the principle now is well established that the overall level of consumption is directly related to the magnitude of alcohol problems. "The larger the amount of alcohol consumed by the population, the larger the number of heavy consumers and the greater damage to the public health."
Since 1961 there has been a per capita increase every single year -- not a total increase; a per capita increase. The prediction based upon the line that has been flowing here is that the per capita increase between 1975 and 1985 is going to be 50 per cent.
We know there is a correlated increase between cirrhosis of the liver and alcohol consumption. When one looks at the chart that is presented to us by the Addiction Research Foundation people, it shows an exact parallel: as the consumption per capita goes up, cirrhosis of the liver goes up in an exact parallel.
My honourable colleague has tried to draw to our attention that there are things that need to be looked into and that they need to be looked into a very balanced way.
What are we all about here? First, we have to recognize that the Ontario government is deeply involved in the alcohol business already, whether it likes it or not. For example, we know that in the 1983 budget the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) predicted an income to the province from the sale of alcohol of $550 million. That is in excess of half a billion dollars. That is not small change.
We know that through its health system, Ontario is deeply involved in paying for the costs of the abuse of alcohol. We know that through its social service system and the breakdowns of families, individuals and personalities and the integrity of individuals, we are paying a high cost in Ontario. We know that through our detox centres, where we try to help people who have had the unfortunate experience of abusing alcohol, we are paying the price for that.
Very recently we have learned that there is a new syndrome known as the foetal alcohol syndrome where unborn babies are being affected by their mothers' excessive use of alcohol. We know the effects on our youth; we know there is a direct correlation between young people driving and accidents that are related to alcohol. And so the story goes on and on.
There is a serious problem in this area. We are not talking about prohibition or saying that people should not drink, but we do have to recognize that alcohol is a powerful drug. Through our various educational programs, we have to be sure people are aware of that. We have to be sure people are aware this drug must be used in moderation.
Perhaps we should take a look at the cigarette industry practice --legislated, of course -- of stating clearly on every single package of cigarettes sold, "This is potentially detrimental to your health." Perhaps that is what we have to put on every bottle of alcohol and every bottle of beer, the potential of danger to one's health.
We have to be very much aware, as my former leader has said so often, of the damage, to young people in particular of lifestyle advertising. Perhaps we need to turn that around and say to the young people of this province, and maybe to the not so young people of this province: "Look, there are other ways. You can have a good time with nonalcoholic beverages as well as alcoholic beverages." Let us put some balance back into it.
Mr. Breaugh: Mr. Speaker, when I was a young man my father said to me, "Never trust a man who does not drink or does not smoke." I have to admit, for reasons that somewhat escape me, it has been extremely good advice.
Unfortunately, in this decade the doctors, technicians, scientists and researchers have established that those two activities are probably among the most dangerous to one's health and activities that are now leading our society into much deeper problems than we perhaps ever understood before. Perhaps it is the level of awareness that is the changing factor in all of this.
I am going to support the resolution put forward by my colleague, because I believe it is time to do exactly what he is proposing. On a number of occasions since I have been a member here we have had an opportunity to study portions of this dilemma. It is a dilemma that has several ironic twists.
To go through what he is proposing here in order, which I think is a useful thing to do, I believe it is time to try to get some sanity into the process around the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario. The irony here, of course, is the government has virtually nationalized the sale of booze; and has done more than that: it has made the sale of booze one of its prime sources of revenue. If one took away from the government of Ontario the money it makes off the sale of booze and the numbers racket in Ontario, I dare say this government would be in dire financial straits.
That is a whole new element introduced into the picture here. Through those two activities, this government now has a prime revenue source. If they all of a sudden got in a temperance mood and an anti-gambling mood, it would not just be a moral decision the government of Ontario would be facing, it would be facing a severe financial crunch. It has become more and more dependent on it.
If one looks at things other members have mentioned such as advertising, I have never really been able to comprehend the sanity in the advertising that is so prevalent, particularly around the sale of beer. When one talks to the breweries they all admit they are not really doing much in terms of increasing the total consumption package. What they are doing is attempting a rather mad and expensive game of trying to switch brand preferences. They are constantly introducing new brands.
I really think this society could live without all the wonderful ads on television for the sale of booze. I do not think it is a productive piece of business. I understand there are jobs involved in all this -- no matter what one does there are jobs involved -- but I think we would be all right and I think we would survive if there were no beer ads on radio and television. We would get along just fine.
Another part of the problem he addresses is some funny notions we have about the sale of alcoholic beverages. I suppose there is some logic to all the rules and regulations around applications for liquor or beer licences but I am afraid they escape me totally.
I do not know what they are. I do not know that they make any sense. A year ago, I asked the minister responsible why it was his ministry would not let a local tavern owner lower the price of alcoholic beverages in his tavern for a two-hour period in the afternoon, because it seems to me he made a reasonable case that between the hours of 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. some retirees dropped into the pub for an afternoon drink, and since business was slow, he thought it would not hurt anybody if he lowered the price of booze.
Then I got involved in a little investigation as to the licensing board's requirements as to how one can change the price of booze but one can only do it once a day. We were not arguing the principle of whether the price could change or not; we were arguing about the number of times per day. Then I was told this was a clear violation of the governments happy hour policy. Lord love us, Ontario had a policy which they actually referred to in letters as an "antihappy hour policy."
The members may have noticed the government now has a "pro-happy hour policy." To show the members a touch of the insanity in all this, establishments can have a happy hour and they can advertise a happy hour, but they cannot advertise a happy hour off the premises. They can put a sign in the window which says, "We have a happy hour." If they have big premises on which to operate, they can put an illuminated sign outside which says, "We have a happy hour."
For all intents and purposes, they can advertise a happy hour but, according to the ministry, they cannot advertise a happy hour off their premises. Try as I might, I do not understand that there is a whim of sanity in that whole process.
I want to talk about a couple of other things that have been discussed at some length by other members, so I will not take a lot of time with them. I do want to say that this government, which is capitalizing on the revenue from the sale of booze, has a moral obligation to put in place detox centres in every community in this province. I know there is an argument which runs roughly like this: they will respond to the local community and its needs, and that is true.
We are not talking about amateur hobbies. We are talking about a serious sickness in our society. My community, for example, has a very good detox facility called Pinewood Centre attached to the hospital. It cannot cope with the problems of alcoholism in my community. Some lucky people will go through the process in the following way: a family physician will refer the patient to a specialist at a hospital who will place that person in Pinewood, in which case the hospital insurance plan in this province picks up the cost.
If the family physician does not see it as that kind of disease, the family physician may change one's disease. In other words, one will go from becoming an alcoholic to becoming a drug addict, because he will prescribe a set of pills which may or may not be covered by the plan.
One may find there is an alcoholic in the family, or perhaps it is a relation or a friend who needs that kind of treatment, but the detox centre cannot handle him. In which case, if one needs that treatment right away, and many do, one may find oneself in a private clinic which can cost $100 or $200 a day. In a short period of time, such as a month, a person's entire life savings can be used up. I believe there is a need in every community for detox centres.
There is a need to look at research in this regard. I recall one of my first activities here was to serve on a select committee on highway safety. One of the things we began to generate was research as to what had been done and how earlier research was utilized. One of the things I found appalling were the statistics that were trotted out about alcohol-related traffic accidents. They were impressive, and as we went from one jurisdiction to another we found that was a serious problem.
In every jurisdiction we looked at the basis of the research. People were saying, "There are drunk drivers on the road and there is a 50-50 chance that if you have consumed alcoholic beverages you will be in an accident; and a 90 per cent chance that many of our fatalities are alcohol-related." We asked a simple question: what do you mean by alcohol-related?
We found that the basis of the research was that a police officer had somehow related the consumption of alcohol by somebody involved in the accident to the accident itself; not a very perfect basis. I believe there is a need to do what the member is proposing in his resolution; to take not an isolated view of problems around the use and abuse of alcohol but a concerted and thorough study of the impact of this substance on our society as a whole.
I am not a teetotaller. I am Irish and it is part of my proud heritage to consume alcoholic beverages. I will defend that to my death.
Mr. T. P. Reid: In moderation, of course.
Mr. Breaugh: Yes, in extreme moderation from time to time.
I believe we have a serious societal problem with immense ramifications that requires this kind of thorough, balanced examination. I support the resolution. I hope that members on all sides, even if they have breweries, distilleries and wineries in their ridings, will take a look at the resolution and find it supportable.
The Deputy Speaker: The honourable member for Cochrane North.
Mr. O'Neil: I hope it is what you put together, not what somebody else wrote for you. Give it from the heart.
Mr. Piché: I was also hoping the same thing.
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to speak on the resolution of member for Victoria-Haliburton. Before I proceed, the members will notice my voice is not what it should be. I lost half of it last weekend at a certain convention in Ottawa. It is coming back slowly.
The issue of the abuse of alcohol is of particular concern to all of us who live in Ontario. Those of us living and working in populated and prosperous cities do not always see the immediate and destructive damage of alcoholism, the kind of damage so apparent in communities throughout the province.
We do not always recognize that alcohol abuse is one of the most potent killers we have in Canada today. Alcohol and its consumption is an accepted fact of everyday life to us, yet every day we witness the destruction its overuse causes. There are the tragic highway accidents, and the social and medical havoc wrought on individuals and society.
What exactly is alcoholism, and who are alcoholics? There are no hard and fast answers. Experts concede that alcoholism is a powerful and baffling disease, and that it involves social, psychological, economic and biological factors.
Neither is there a precise definition of an alcoholic. What is moderate for one individual constitutes addiction in another. Nevertheless, all of us can recognize an alcoholic by the negative consequences of his actions, by the violent domestic disputes, by the accidents, by the assaults and even murders. In other words, we recognize alcoholics as those whose drinking interferes with their work, their family and their social and working lives. We recognize those as alcoholics who depend on alcohol either physically or emotionally.
Who tends to be an alcoholic? Again, there is no clear answer. Alcoholics can be found in all echelons of society. Alcoholism does not discriminate between men and women. It is as prevalent in the executive suite as it is in the factory. The Addiction Research Foundation figures show there are three times as many male alcoholics as female, a ratio that has not changed for 20 years. However, hospital personnel and social service workers attest that in the last few years this is changing dramatically.
The social and economic costs of alcoholism are disturbingly high. The Addiction Research Foundation estimated that about 10 per cent of the work force suffered from alcoholism. Working alcoholics cause up to three times as many accidents as other employees. Approximately 25 per cent of their time on the job is unproductive.
Drinking costs employers time and money; therefore, because of the economic considerations involved, employers have begun to take alcohol abuse very seriously. Employee assistance programs are becoming popular. A number of large companies are starting to take an active part in alcoholism prevention programs.
But alcoholism also exists in other less obvious sectors of society. Alcohol is the big drug in schools today. The Addiction Research Foundation has found that some children start drinking as early as in grades 7 and 8.
Then there are the elderly alcoholics, those who are out of the job market, who no longer are looked up to by growing children and who are incapacitated by physical frailties or isolated from the rest of the community. In my mind, the alcoholism of the elderly and the forgotten is part of the larger problem of society's neglect of the aged.
The abuse of alcohol heightens people's economic and social problems. Its effects are evident in the erosion of family life, in the increasing divorce and infant mortality rate and in the number of violent deaths.
Mr. Piché: May we have some order here, Mr. Speaker?
Mr. Speaker: Would the honourable members please limit their private conversations to outside the chamber?
Mr. Piché: Thank you. All these facts show that something is drastically wrong and that something must be done. I realize there is no quick-fix solution that can remedy the problems I have just mentioned. A long-range strategy is needed. We must do what we can to gradually build up the vital structures necessary to community wellbeing, such as the industries, the hospitals, the schools, the recreation centres -- all those things that would do much to alleviate the despair and hopelessness now evident in some communities.
With respect to alcoholism, I have stressed before, and I repeat again, that federal and provincial authorities must work together to educate and sensitize not only the people in this province but also all adults and youths about the negative social and economic consequences of alcohol abuse.
I must point out that the government has not neglected its responsibilities in dealing with the social ill effects of alcoholism. As most of us know, the Addiction Research Foundation plays a major role in researching the use and abuse of alcohol. One of the foundation's stated goals is to support the development at various levels of government, especially the government of Ontario, of an alcohol control policy and to take some measures that will take into account public health aims.
Various government ministries, including Health, Community and Social Services and Correctional Services, have alcohol treatment programs and services available. The mental health division of the Ministry of Health administers community-based services, including detoxification centres. In 1982 and 1983, approximately $5 million was allotted to these programs.
There are currently 16 detox centres in the province operating under the administration of public hospitals. Detox centres are one component of a treatment network including halfway houses, which are under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Community and Social Services.
During their stay at halfway houses, residents are provided with a wide variety of services, including shelter and meals, guidance and counselling, therapy and recreation.
Mr. Speaker: The member's time has expired.
Mr. Piché: That is rather unfortunate, because I was getting to the best of my --
Mr. Speaker: I noticed that.
Mr. Piché: Mr. Speaker, do you want me to continue?
Mr. Speaker: No.
Mr. Eakins: Mr. Speaker, I want to express my appreciation to the members for their comments on this very important resolution today. I also want to pay tribute to my colleague the member for Essex South (Mr. Mancini), who introduced a bill some time ago to raise the age of consumption in this province and who has made a great contribution in this field.
I want to say to the members that I think the time has come to discuss a comprehensive alcohol policy in this province. I believe we need an all-party committee to sit down and discuss this and to have public input by inviting members of the public to come and talk about this subject.
I do not know all the answers, nor have I today tried to give that impression, but we should be able to sit down from time to time and examine our directions. That is all we ask in this resolution, to take into consideration the views of the various groups and associations interested in this particular area.
I mentioned the hospitality industry. I am sure the Liquor Control Board of Ontario and the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario would like to come and talk about their role, as would the Addiction Research Foundation, those who operate the detox centres and the social service people. It is a very important subject and I feel we should set time aside for an all-party committee to discuss this very important subject.
COMPENSATION FOR VICTIMS OF CRIME AMENDMENT ACT
Mr. Speaker: Mr. Kennedy has moved second reading of Bill 44.
Motion agreed to.
Bill ordered for committee of the whole House.
ALCOHOL USE AND ABUSE
Mr. Speaker: Mr. Eakins has moved resolution 13.
Motion agreed to.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, may I indicate the business of the House for the remainder of this week and for next week.
Tonight we will deal with the government motion on the notice paper respecting redistribution.
On Friday, June 17, we will continue second reading of Bill 66, and if there is time we will do committee of the whole on this bill. I should draw to the members' attention that it has been agreed we will defer any divisions that occur Friday until 10:15 p.m. on Monday.
On Monday, June 20, we will deal with second reading of Bill 64 and committee, if required. Then, if required, we will resume work on Bill 66. I should here again draw to your attention that it has been agreed we will defer any divisions required on Monday until 10:15 p.m. on Monday.
On Tuesday, June 21, we will be continuing work on Bill 66, if required, and then do second reading on Bill 62 and committee of the whole as required; then second reading of Bill 40 and committee of the whole as required. Here again, we have agreed to defer any divisions required on Tuesday until 10:15 that night.
On Wednesday, June 22, the usual committees may meet in the morning and if legislation and debates demand it, we may have a Wednesday sitting of the House.
We will have further announcements concerning business for next week, probably on Tuesday.
The House recessed at 5:55 p.m.