32nd Parliament, 3rd Session


















The House met at 10 a.m.



Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege: Referring to a question I posed to the Premier (Mr. Davis) yesterday, in his usual inimitable way he decided that when I was talking about Niagara Falls I was talking about natural gas or coal-fired stations. In view of the way it was written in the paper, I think it is important to note that the Premier responded in that fashion.

What I was trying to say, and what I shall say very clearly and concisely, is that I meant the alternative is water power, because of this great province's potential, and I think that should be put on the record.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Interesting as that may have been, it was not a point of privilege.



Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the acting Minister of Community and Social Services with respect to his ministry's plan to close the centres for the developmentally handicapped.

He will be aware that the St. Lawrence Regional Centre in Brockville, which closed on June 30, 1983, has had a number of problems placing its residents in the promised accommodation. Indeed, three residents have been moved four times since June 30, 1983, and approximately 32 out of the 99 residents there have been returned to larger institutions in direct violation of the rationalization of the program, which was to deinstitutionalize and to send the residents back to smaller community-based residences.

The minister will be aware that on November 14 Bluewater is going to close and that about 100 of the 144 residents there still have no place to go. Would the minister not agree that the ministry has violated completely its commitment to the residents and to the families of those residents and that he must reassess his position on this matter immediately?

Hon. Mr. McCaffrey: On behalf of the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Drea) --


Hon. Mr. McCaffrey: I have had a bellyful of these wackos.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. McCaffrey: Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition has asked two serious questions. In deference to him and I hope with his understanding, and with respect to the importance and complexity of the questions. I would like to be able to respond thoroughly, but I would have to ask for the opportunity to do that on behalf of the minister on Monday.

Mr. Peterson: That was a first-rate imitation: I congratulate the minister for that. But will he take it upon himself when he is assessing this position, now that he has the responsibility, to look at the community reaction? The community reaction has manifested itself in petitions from everywhere -- 2,000 names in St. Thomas, 10,000 names in Whitby -- from a number of parents who feel that the promise has not been kept and, indeed, that they have been deceived. The fears have not been allayed.

Now that we see the specific movement of these residents from these centres, the promises are not what they were supposed to be in the first case. Will the minister involve himself personally in this decision, come back on Monday and, it is to be hoped, report a different policy from his government?

Hon. Mr. McCaffrey: I will. I undertake to do that immediately after question period today and to be able to respond on Monday.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, it is good to see that the minister is fitting into his new role so well, except I think two things were missing; one was the Racing Form and the other was a rational answer. I still appreciate it; it makes it easier for me to relate to --

Mr. Speaker: Question, please.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Would the minister also look at the process that has gone on in the supposed deinstitutionalization of the Brockville institution in terms of the setting up of the group homes in that area? It is my understanding there are still no community boards responsible for the new homes that have been established in that area. I would like to have his assurance that we will have those boards in place at the earliest possible opportunity.

Hon. Mr. McCaffrey: Again, Mr. Speaker, with respect to the importance of the question, I undertake to respond on Monday.

Mr. Wrye: Mr. Speaker, when the minister is considering his response on the weekend I hope he will go back and look at the debates that occurred as far back as last January 24, when my colleague the member for Huron-Middlesex (Mr. Riddell) called for an emergency debate on these centres because of the expressed concerns of the many groups regarding the welfare of those residents.

The fact of the matter is that the concerns of the parents and staffs affected by these closings remain to this day, in spite of the fact that one centre has already closed and five more are still due for closing. As my friend the member for Scarborough West (Mr. R. F. Johnston) has said, the consultation has been sporadic at best. Many groups are still waiting to be placed in nonexistent group homes, and regional safeguards for the monitoring and supporting of these new community members are sadly lacking.

As my leader has pointed out, we have already had the experience of one home closing, and that experience has been a sad one. Will the minister please give us his assurance in his answers on Monday that the trauma experienced by the residents of the first home that was closed will be reduced and that this pattern will not be followed in Goderich, St. Thomas, Aurora, Cobourg and Woodstock?

Hon. Mr. McCaffrey: Again, Mr. Speaker, I will meet at the conclusion of question period with the senior people in the Ministry of Community and Social Services to attempt to respond in detail on Monday.

10:10 a.m.


Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Transportation and Communications. The minister is aware of the great hardship his ministry is imposing on Ottawa, the National Capital Region, through his failure to complete with dispatch the Queensway. He is aware of the tie-ups and the congestion. In fact, what has happened has become a national disgrace. He has failed to proceed with an accelerated program on that particular artery.

Will he use his good offices to proceed immediately to complete the reconstruction so we will not see that city tied up for another seven years in the kind of congestion it is tied up in today?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, that is a perfect example of my honourable friend talking about something of which he knows nothing.


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Snow: I would have thought the Leader of the Opposition, who has such close ties with people who are very knowledgeable in the construction industry, would have had better advice.

The proposed reconstruction of the Ottawa Queensway is a major job, as have been many of the jobs carried out by my ministry over a number of years, such as the rebuilding of Highway 401 across Metropolitan Toronto and the construction of other highways throughout the province.


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Snow: My ministry has worked very closely with the region of Ottawa-Carleton, with the engineering department and with the people in Ottawa in designing, studying and scheduling the construction of this project. It is a large project and it would be irresponsible to try to carry out the total length of the project at one time. I think everybody in Ottawa would agree that it would be a disaster for the city of Ottawa to have some 20 kilometres -- some 20 miles, I guess it is -- of the Queensway torn up at the same time.

We have worked with the engineering department of the region. We have established four different contracts to be carried out. At least one is now under contract and under construction and working very well. They are working double shifts. This is not just a case of going in and painting the road black. This is widening, putting in sewers, putting concrete barriers down the median and providing for an extra lane. This highway is about 25 years old, and it is time for it to have major work done on it.

The contract that is under way now is, I think, for something in the neighbourhood of $7 million. The second contract is almost designed, if not final. It is almost ready to go to tender, if it is reasonable to do so. The consulting engineers have been assigned for the third contract, so they will be proceeding with the detailed design on that contract and getting it ready.

This is the normal way the ministry carries out road reconstruction, the same as we have done on the reconstruction of Highway 401. We divide it up into reasonable sections and carry them out one at a time so that we do not have the whole road torn up at the same time. We are doing exactly what is reasonable to do and what has been agreed to do. It is not really a case of money because even if the money were available, which it is not, to do probably $30 million or $40 million worth of work at once on that one piece of highway, it would be a disaster for the city of Ottawa to do it that way.

I think everyone who has any reasonable knowledge and understanding of what we are doing agrees that the program we have set up is exactly the way any rational, ordinary, sensible person who knows anything about construction would do it.

Mr. Peterson: It is admittedly a disaster at the present time; there is congestion everywhere. I was in Ottawa two weeks ago and was tied up six different times while travelling the Queensway, and not only during the rush hour. Nothing moves there. If the minister only drove there instead of flying there, he would realize what a real problem he has on his hands and the problems he is creating for the people of Ottawa-Carleton. That is the reality.

I am asking the minister if he will use his good offices to accelerate that construction program. Rather than letting it drag out over seven years or so, can the minister use his good offices to move immediately to approach this problem with the same enthusiasm that he approached the construction of the James Snow Parkway or the domed stadium in Oakville? Will he use the weight he carries in cabinet to accelerate this program to give those people the same kind of opportunities he would give the people in Toronto or around his own area?

Hon. Mr. Snow: The honourable member is being led down the garden path again by people who are advising him who do not know anything about it.

First, I think I should have my driver and vehicle branch check the member's driving capabilities if he has trouble getting through the Queensway. I was in Ottawa a couple of weeks ago, too, and I went right through that construction site from end to end in both directions. I found, certainly, that construction was under way but the traffic was moving very well. Two lanes of traffic were being maintained very well.

For the honourable member to suggest that we are doing something different in Ottawa to what we would do in Toronto or London or any place else is a lot of hogwash, which the honourable member should understand. When we carried out the construction work on Highway 401 -- the extensions to the east out to Highway 115 and the extensions to the west out to Highway 25 -- we did it exactly the same way as we are doing it in Ottawa. We went along and moved the traffic out on the outer lane, paved the outer shoulder and kept the two lanes in operation to allow the contractor to go into the median, install the sewers and the median barrier, and then paved that area and moved the traffic back on to those lanes.

The procedure being used on the Queensway in Ottawa is absolutely identical to the procedures we used on Highway 401 east and west of Metro, and that were used on the Queen Elizabeth Way when the same process was used there to widen the QEW to six lanes between Toronto and Hamilton. The same type of process is being used for the Burlington Skyway and other areas that are under construction at the present time.

If the member wants to suggest that something irrational be done in Ottawa to create the havoc he is suggesting, then he is going about it the right way.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, the minister says that every reasonable person who has looked at the situation agrees with his view of the solutions for the reconstruction of the Ottawa Queensway. Why is it then that he has not talked to any of the people who actually use the Queensway on a day-to-day basis in Ottawa? They have had two and a half months of reconstruction right now and they do not know how they can go on for another two and a half months, let alone for seven and a half years, of further reconstruction.

Is the minister not aware, because of the location of the Queensway going through downtown Ottawa and its importance as one of the very few crossings of the Ottawa River and the Rideau Canal, that this is not the same as reconstruction of a part of Highway 401 well to the east or the west of Metropolitan Toronto?

Will the minister now indicate that money will be found, if an accelerated timetable can be undertaken, in order that the Queensway reconstruction will not last for eight years? Will he make this commitment now, or is it another case of eastern Ontario taking the back of this government's priorities, while Toronto goes to the fore?

10:20 a.m.

Hon. Mr. Snow: No, I will not make that commitment and create havoc in Ottawa. I understand that yesterday the mayor of Ottawa came out and endorsed fully the program set out to reconstruct the Queensway. That is what I am told. I have talked to many of my people. The Ottawa caucus and many colleagues who happen to represent the vast majority of eastern Ontario have discussed it. They use the Ottawa Queensway and they tell me what is going on down there.

The commitment I will make is that we will try to keep continuous progress on the project. When one contract is nearing completion, we will try to be in a position, financially and otherwise, to award contract 2 and then contracts 3 and 4. That is the way it is set up, the way it is agreed to with the city and the way the city and the region want it done. Regardless of what the member wants, that is what they want and what we are going to do.

Mr. Boudria: Mr. Speaker, it is interesting to note that the Ottawa Citizen refers to the project as seven years of bad luck.

In a reply the minister gave me yesterday, and I quote from his letter, he said, "Funding constraints which apply on a province-wide basis will be the main factor in determining the completion date." Will the minister not admit that when the member for Northumberland (Mr. Sheppard) said in this House on Tuesday that eastern Ontario citizens were treated as second-class by this government, this is exactly what is going on in the case of the seven years of bad luck on the Ottawa Queensway project?

The minister said everybody in Ottawa agrees with him. Can he tell us why Alderman Jim Durrell, chairman of the regional transportation committee, does not agree with him?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I am very tempted to be provocative and to say that there are only certain citizens in eastern Ontario who have second-class representation.


Mr. Speaker: Order. I would hope the minister would not be provocative and would address himself to the question, please. A new question then.


Hon. Mr. Snow: I have not completed my answer, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: I do not think they want an answer.


Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Labour and it concerns the minimum wage. He is aware that we have the pride of being the lowest-paying province in the country at this point. Since he has been reviewing this matter since at least April 21, in response to a question from the member for Cornwall (Mr. Samis), is the minister aware that since 1975 the minimum wage has risen by 45 per cent, from about $100 a week to $140, while the cost of living index has gone up by 97.5 per cent and the average industrial wage has gone up by 104 per cent, from $201 a week to $411.49?

Given that, can the minister tell us who are these people who are on the minimum wage? How many are there out there? How many are government employees or employed by agencies funded by this government? When is he going to do something for them?

Hon. Mr. Ramsay: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate and understand the concern of the honourable member. He raised some of the questions he has raised now in an open letter to me earlier this week, and I have some of the information he has requested. He suggested that perhaps this information could have been put together over the holiday weekend. I just want him and other honourable members to know that a lot of the information he requested is readily available within our ministry.

There was some suggestion that it should have been a portion of the annual report. The focus there is on program and operational matters; it is not a journal designed to detail the findings of various studies. However, we have been making studies in respect to the minimum wage.

Our last minimum wage survey covered a payroll period in May 1979. It was representative of more than 1.9 million nonsupervisory employees in the province. Some industries were excluded from the survey because they employ very few minimum wage workers, such as construction or those that fall under federal jurisdiction. The minimum wage provisions do not apply to them, nor do they apply to employees of the crown, teachers, etc., or to private households that employ domestics.

The 1979 survey found 125,000 employees at or earning less than the general minimum wage, which was $3 per hour at the time. These workers comprised 6.5 per cent of the total number of employees covered by the survey. Another survey figure that is sometimes cited is the 180,000 persons who earn within 10 per cent of the general minimum wage level. The bulk of the minimum wage earners worked in hotels, restaurants and taverns, and in retail trade. Those two industries accounted for three quarters of such employees.

There have been other studies as well as the one done in 1979, and certainly there will be other studies made in the future. One of the other studies collected information on 68,000 low-wage workers in the province, and I will outline its major findings very briefly. All of this information I will provide to the member in detail and in writing.

About two thirds of the low-wage workers were female; almost half were single. Of those who were married, 80 per cent of their spouses had full-time jobs; about 70 per cent of married low-wage workers had no dependants; and of the total number of low-wage workers surveyed, about five per cent supported a spouse and two or more children.

In summary, high proportions of low-wage earners are young as well as female; the spouses of married workers usually have jobs; the vast majority of low-wage workers have no dependants, although a small proportion support three or more family members. These findings are generally consistent with the results of similar studies done in other provinces.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: The fact that we have not had a study since 1979 indicates the priority of this government. I still have not had an answer to the question of how many work for government or for government agencies.

Last evening, a case came into my riding. I cannot use his name because these are the most vulnerable workers in our society and have no protection. He is afraid of losing his job. I am going to give the minister his profile and then ask him a question about it, if I might have the Speaker's leniency in this.

This gentleman is working as a security guard for a hospital in this city, which hospital has contracted out that authority to a private security firm. His wife is also working at the minimum wage in a sweatshop in this city. They have a rent of $350 a month in private housing, and they say they cannot feed their kids meat or chicken more than three times a week on that wage. At the same time, this government has given small businesses a $400-million tax holiday over the next two years.

How does the minister see that juxtaposition as acceptable in this society, and why will he not make a major recommendation right now that there should be a catch-up for these individuals so they are protected against the ravages of inflation, as I indicated to him in my initial question?

Hon. Mr. Ramsay: First of all, the member said there has not been a study since 1979. I do not believe that is correct. I quoted from the last major study, which was done in 1979, but other studies have been done since then and other studies will be done as well.

Incidentally, a couple of the questions the member for Scarborough West asked in his open letter I felt were excellent and should be included in a survey. We will have them included in the next survey we have done. He asks what kind of breakdown exists of concentration of minimum wage earners by economic sector and by geographic region in Ontario and how many families are solely supported by the minimum wage. Those are excellent questions and we will include them in any subsequent survey.

Also, I should say that when I gave the member the results of those surveys, I did not give them on a defensive basis. I gave them strictly on an informational basis. I was not trying to make any points when I gave them to him.

The bottom line of this whole discussion today is what is going to be done about the minimum wage. I realize I did give an answer back in April. I thought I would be able to give a more definitive answer at this time, but I am not in a position to do so. I think I will be in the very near future.

10:30 a.m.

Mr. Wrye: Mr. Speaker, in the minister's first answer, in which he offered the Legislature a profile of the typical minimum wage earner, he pointed out himself that the vast majority of those minimum wage earners are women. The Minister responsible for Women's issues (Mr. Welch) tried to be helpful the other day, but perhaps the Minister of Labour could enlighten us further on what kinds of changes to the equal pay laws in the Employment Standards Act he is contemplating and whether they will be presented to the Legislature this fall.

While he is on his feet and telling us about the minimum wage, perhaps he could tell us whether in his review of this matter he intends to put an end to the ever-growing number of exceptions to the minimum wage laws and give us his assurance that he will be sharply reducing the number of people who are allowed to be paid below the minimum wage.

Hon. Mr. Ramsay: Mr. Speaker, referring to the last part of the honourable member's question, that matter is certainly under very active discussion. One of the reasons for the delay in having a more definitive answer at this time is the impact on youth employment -- high school youngsters below age 18 and so on -- which is a major concern. Those are things we want to be able to come forward with as well as the minimum wage for other workers.

I believe the member was asking me about the package of information that my colleague the Minister responsible for Women's Issues referred to. Was that part of the question?

Mr. Wrye: Equal pay; whether that will solve part of the problem.

Hon. Mr. Ramsay: The Minister responsible for Women's Issues and I have not finalized the package we plan to bring forward to our caucus, to our cabinet and to this Legislature, so I cannot comment at this time on what it will contain. We certainly have some thoughts about it, but the member will just have to be patient and bear with us. We will bring it forward in the not too distant future.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Our patience is being stretched here. Does the minister not understand that, no matter what comprehensive study he is doing at this point, there is a question of fundamental justice and, in fact, a question of political morality?

Mr. Speaker: Question, please.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Does the minister not realize that in the past two years we have had a wage freeze for the lowest-paid people in Ontario at the same time as we have given massive increases to doctors and we have seen fit to give increases to ourselves? In the past two years we have raised our incomes here -- and we have agreed to it as being just for ourselves -- by $4,475 a member and by $5,607 a minister. The total amount that a person on minimum wage receives is $7,280. These people cannot wait any longer.

Mr. Speaker: Question, please.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Does the minister not agree that in fundamental justice he must make an announcement to redress this fundamental inequality and take steps to redistribute the wealth in this province and protect the lowest-income earners?

Hon. Mr. Ramsay: Everything the honourable member has stated, I understand and appreciate; I cannot quarrel with him on it. I just give my assurance that the matter is being addressed, and I feel that I will be in a position to respond in a positive manner in a relatively short period of time.


Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister responsible for Women's Issues, the Deputy Premier.

Sunday, October 16, is Unity Day with Battered Women in Canada, as the minister will know. Last December the social development committee came up with the first report on family violence and wife battering. In the preface we said it was clear to the committee that battered women needed help now and could not await the results of lengthy hearings.

What kind of priority is the minister and the government giving these problems when we have still not had the comprehensive report from the government as a response to this report of our committee? It is 10 months since then and it is a year since the last Unity Day with Battered Women.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, the report from the standing committee has been the subject of a very thorough review by many ministries within government, and it has been co-ordinated by the Provincial Secretary for Justice (Mr. Walker). I have been a party to these meetings and to this review, and I can assure the honourable member that the provincial secretary will be making a statement, as he has indicated, very shortly.

The government, however, has not been waiting for a standing committee to report, nor has the government necessarily been waiting for that response. The Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) has made it quite clear to crown attorneys throughout the province that this type of behaviour is completely unacceptable and that this whole matter should be followed up. The Solicitor General (Mr. G.W. Taylor) has notified all police forces, and some work has been done in the area by the Ministry of Community and Social Services as well.

However, the member's question concerns when the response will be public. I can assure him that the Provincial Secretary for Justice intends to make a statement in this House within the next week or 10 days.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Can the minister tell us whether in that response we are finally going to get our major recommendation brought forward, which involves changing the funding formula for interval houses, so we can have a look at that?

The minister must be aware that interval houses are closing around the province because their funding is inadequate at the moment. At the same time the Minister of Community and Social Services Mr. Drea) has started a program in northern Ontario to provide services through minimum wage jobs. I remind the Minister of Labour that this runs counter to the suggestions we are making.

Will there be a new funding formula to get away from the General Welfare Assistance Act basis -- from this per diem basis it is on at the moment?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Against the background of the special day being observed in both Canada and the United States on this subject, I would note that this whole question of domestic violence is a top-priority issue as far as this administration is concerned.

Also, many details will be set out in our response to the standing committee's report as to what this government has been doing and continues to do in this whole area. In so far as particulars are concerned, perhaps it would be wise to wait until we have the statement of the provincial secretary which will address this and other matters contained in that report.

Ms. Copps: Mr. Speaker, the minister responsible for issues affecting women obviously does not understand this issue. I think government members of the social development committee must feel a sense of shame about this. They joined with the other members of the committee when it made as its top priority a change in the per diem funding to a block system --

Mr. Speaker: Question.

Ms. Copps: Almost a year has passed and nothing has been done. Yet the minister responsible for community and social services has committed more than $1 million to setting up other transition houses across Ontario that have no guarantee of actually continuing.

Is the minister not embarrassed that at the same time as transition houses across this province are facing closure because they do not have a funding formula adequate to carry on, his own government has ignored the unanimous recommendations of an all-party committee on changing those block funding requirements? Is he not embarrassed that the government is going off on a tangent known only to the Minister of Community and Social Services?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member should have been listening carefully to the exchange that occurred after the main question. I indicated that the government, through the Provincial Secretary for Justice, would be making a very detailed response to what was a very careful piece of work done by the standing committee.

The standing committee performed a very useful function in raising the level of public awareness about behaviour in society that is quite unacceptable in this province, and indeed throughout the continent. No one on this side of the House takes second place to anyone on the other side in expressing concern about this horrible behaviour.

I think it is scandalous that anyone in this day, in this province, believes certain types of behaviour are acceptable on one side of the door that are not on the other. It is just not acceptable. The Attorney General and Solicitor General have made that quite clear. I think it is irresponsible to try to suggest in an issue of this kind that some in this House have more concern than others.

We are going to have a report and we attach top priority to this.

Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, Unity Day with Battered Women is being observed across Canada by questions in all the legislatures and in Parliament. I am rather disappointed that we have so little progress to report in this field to the women of Ontario.

I have a particular question for the minister on the implementation of the report on battered wives from the standing committee on social development last December. This report drew attention to the dearth of services for immigrant women who have special needs because of language and cultural differences and who need counselling and assistance in their own language.

Will the minister tell us what plans the government has to implement one of the key recommendations of the committee, one which urged that the Ministry of Community and Social Services should encourage community groups to establish immigrant women's emergency shelters where the need is apparent?

10:40 a.m.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, as the honourable member knows, when I had the opportunity to meet with her to discuss matters of mutual interest some weeks ago I shared with her my agenda and the priorities I had on that agenda in working out these various matters.

Although we were talking in terms of a special emphasis on Sunday, I see this in the large context of domestic violence. I think it is very crucial that we see the importance of addressing this whole matter in a very responsible and sensitive way. All the recommendations contained in the report of the standing committee will be addressed in the statement which the Provincial Secretary for Justice will make.


Mr. Elston: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of the Environment. The minister has been waiting very patiently for a question this last two or three days and I want to ask him a very important question concerning the beaches of Ontario.

As he knows, more than 70 beaches in the province were closed this past summer. There were 16 in Metro Toronto and others along the shores of Lake Huron, some in St. Catharines and Thunder Bay. I wonder if the minister can tell us if he has been successful in asking his cabinet colleagues to increase the budget for the sewage and water treatment portion of his ministry's funding so that he can take direct steps to clean up and make available to the people next summer those beaches which have provided such good and worthwhile recreational activity for those who are unable to go other places for recreation purposes?

Hon. Mr. Brandt: I thank the member for Huron-Bruce for the question. I would like to clarify, for the edification of those who are here this morning, that I did not send the question to the honourable member.

The matter of the beaches cleanup is a very complex question. As the member knows, we have been dealing with the Metro Toronto municipalities for some time now with respect to a comprehensive plan of cleanup, primarily directing the provincial responsibility towards assisting with study of the area to identify pollution sources and to assist the municipalities in the cleanup program in that respect.

As to the amount of money that we have expended to this point on the study alone for the Metro Toronto area, I want the member to know -- and I believe this might be new information for him -- that we have increased our budget provincially through my ministry by some $500,000 this year for a total of $1.7 million that is directed towards that specific program.

Our policies in connection with the assistance of the separation of storm and sanitary sewers has been consistent. There are some programs that we have been involved in for some long number of years. I would remind the member that since about the mid-1950s there has been some $7 billion expended in Ontario with respect to the clean water agreement, primarily in connection with separation of sewers, more sophisticated sewage treatment plants and those kinds of things. Of that amount, approximately one third has come from the government.

This government and my ministry intend to assist, as we have in the past, in whatever way we can in an attempt to make sure that the beaches are going to be open in the coming summer.

The primary responsibility for sewage treatment in the first instance, and for the separation program that is obviously going to assist in reducing the amount of pollution going into the Humber and other tributaries that are affecting the beaches, has been and will continue to be a municipal responsibility, with the type of assistance that the province can give, as it has in the past.

Mr. Elston: I understand from the minister that really his government has not wanted to accelerate its involvement in ensuring the quality of the waters that have gone into the lakes over the past few years. I point out to him that the problems with beaches along the Etobicoke shore have existed for some several years now and there have also been problems well known along the Humber River system for some years.

Mr. Speaker: Question, please.

Mr. Elston: As the minister responsible for ensuring the quality of the water of this province, I would ask him to take immediate steps on a provincial initiative rather than on a municipal initiative to ensure that funding is made available to clean up the beaches and waterways immediately, rather than waiting for the municipalities to be able to afford to get into the separation program he has just talked about.

Hon. Mr. Brandt: Given an unlimited amount of money, of course there are steps that can be taken by the province or by the municipal level of government. I want to assure the member that there is now in place a working committee at the staff level between the municipalities and my ministry that is looking at a broad range of alternatives that might be put into place with respect to the beach cleanup problem.

We are not turning our back on the difficulties of the municipalities. It is interesting to note that the municipalities themselves are coming to grips with the problem. They recognize their responsibility; we recognize our jurisdiction in this whole matter and we recognize our responsibilities as well. We both have a very important role to play. I can assure the member that the kind of co-operation we have given to the municipalities in the past, either through my ministry or through that of my colleague the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (Mr. Bennett), will continue in the future. We will do everything that is within our power to see that the beaches are open, if at all possible, by next year.

Mr. McClellan: Mr. Speaker, in view of the solution of the federal government to the Lake Ontario beaches pollution problem, which seems to be to double the permissible pollution standards for faecal contamination -- which bird-brained idea I understand originated with this minister in his first few moments in office -- can the minister give us an assurance publicly here in the Legislature that he has no intention of pretending he is going to solve the pollution problem on our beaches by increasing the permissible pollution standard?

Second, will the minister assure us that he will not simply continue the old policies with respect to financial aid to municipalities, but will encourage his colleagues to come forward with a special emergency grants program to permit a number of the municipalities within Metropolitan Toronto -- for example, the borough of York -- which do not have the tax base to do the kind of work that is required, to do the work that is required to cut off the source of the pollution?

Hon. Mr. Brandt: Mr. Speaker, there were a number of questions in the member's statement. Let me deal first with the faecal coliform count which he addressed in the initial part of his statement.

At no time did I or anyone speaking on behalf of my ministry say we were going to raise the faecal coliform level in order to open up the beaches. I am pleased that the member asked the question. My initial statement on that question simply indicated that my ministry was going to take a review of the entire question that would take into account such things as the uniformity of testing and the protocol that was going to be used with respect to the whole matter of the procedures in coming to grips with the problem of the counts. At no point did I indicate that we were prepared simply to increase the permissible bacteria counts in order to open up the beaches.

10:50 a.m.

I recognize the concern being registered by the member with respect to the federal announcement. There is no intention on the part of my ministry to increase the bacteria counts to 200, which is the proposal on the part of the federal government, from 100. We intend to maintain the 100 until our own provincial review is completed.

Mr. Breaugh: That is called weaseling.

Hon. Mr. Brandt: No, no, I am not hedging on it at all. From speaking to my own staff people there is no reason to whatever. If the members are looking for a commitment, the position of this ministry is that we will maintain the present number. However, we will improve on the methodology that is currently being used and has been used in the past with respect to the testing procedure.


Mr. Allen: Mr. Speaker, I would like to pursue a question with the Minister of Education which my leader put to the Premier (Mr. Davis) in his questioning yesterday.

In the opening statement the minister made before the estimates of the Ministry of Education, she made a number of rather alarming and I think incredible statements. She referred to the increasing breakdown of social consensus and the rise of narrow group interests in Ontario, particularly in matters affecting schools. She referred to these groups as eroding the whole and threatening seriously to fragment society. She referred to the rise of a nation of self-interest groups living apart in suspicion of each other.

Mr. Speaker: Question, please.

Mr. Allen: She referred to cultural and racial linguistic groups which split and fragment society.

Since she cast herself in the role of a saviour of modern civilization, lest it follow the route of Greece and Rome and decline from the face of human history, what do these incredible assertions of hers mean? Who specifically is she referring to?

Is she referring to the Ontario Teachers' Federation, the Ontario Public School Teachers' Federation, the Federation of Women Teachers? Is she referring to the Association of Large School Boards of Ontario? Is she referring to the Association canadienne-française de l'Ontario? Is she referring to the ethnic groups who are interested in heritage languages and who wish to have some further elaboration of their program? All of these groups are those with whom the minister is in contention.

Will she tell us, please, who it is she is referring to who is fragmenting and undermining Ontario society and forcing the decline of our great civilization?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, the short answer to that long list of questions posed by the member for Hamilton West is, of course, no. Not one of those groups was referred to, nor was it intended to be.

As the minister responsible for the public educational system in this province I have a right to express concern about the appearance from time to time, and not necessarily only within this era, of those who would fracture the structure and the integrity of the principle and the philosophy of a public educational system as established in this province.

There are those of us who have personal interests in a whole lot of areas. We intend to provide direction for those personal interests in the best way possible through the development of consensus by participation at the local level, at the central level in discussion and resulting accommodation. That accommodation, I believe, is necessary.

All I was simply trying to say was that if some groups who are interested --

Mr. Wildman: Who are they?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: -- in developing a specific direction which would, in fact, break apart the structure of public education were more interested in accommodation rather than division, we really could be solving some of the problems. I would hope that direction will be taken by some of those groups.

I do believe it is realistic for someone who is concerned, particularly who is a member of government, to express that concern in the most straightforward way possible without implicating any one individual or any one group, but simply to express the concern.

Mr. Martel: No, just smear them all; get all of them.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: The only group that I would like to smear is the honourable group, so-called, across the floor --


Hon. Miss Stephenson: I will retract that now
-- who insist on trying to make something more of this than was intended.

Mr. Allen: Mr. Speaker, either there is a great danger afflicting our society rising to menace us or there is not.

Mr. Speaker: Question now, please.

Mr. Allen: I will repeat the question: who are they?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: It does not deserve an answer.

Mr. Bradley: Mr. Speaker, does the minister not recognize that when she makes assertions of this kind and does not name the specific people or groups to whom she is directing those remarks, a number of people in our society, some of whom are listed by the member for Hamilton West, are expressing concern that they are being singled out as wanting to fracture this province? Is the minister suggesting that these particular people, who have, perhaps, a specific point of view on a specific subject, are to be excluded from expressing their views on education issues in this province?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Of course not, Mr. Speaker, and that was not what was said in any manner in the remarks I made at the beginning of the estimates of the Ministry of Education. I have specifically answered the member that the list he provided was not a list of people who were intended to be addressed. There is not a specific list. I was simply expressing a general concern which I feel deeply and which I think the member opposite should feel deeply as well.


Mr. Epp: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of the Environment. It is his day, I guess.

The minister is no doubt aware of the problems facing the residents of Elmira, where a large industry, namely Uniroyal Ltd., produced thousands of tons of herbicides for the US Department of Defence which include 681 tons of 2,4-D, otherwise known as Agent Orange, which was used in Vietnam. They are gravely concerned about the storage of these chemicals in areas near the plant.

According to his own ministry officials, leaking of these chemicals may very well be taking place and these chemicals may be getting into the ground water and into the water that the citizens of Elmira are drinking.

Harry Parrott, a predecessor of the minister in that ministry, said in February 1981 -- this was during the provincial election campaign -- that if such leaking was taking place, the ministry would remove the waste.

Using the best methods available, is the minister prepared to do further testing to see if any leaking is taking place? If so, is he prepared to keep the promise of 1981 and remove the waste materials and charge the cost of the removal back to the company?

Hon. Mr. Brandt: Mr. Speaker, I want to assure the honourable member that my party and I are prepared to keep the promise of 1981, or 1980, or 1979 or any other year, and if my predecessor made a commitment with respect to the Elmira situation, I want him to know that we will uphold that commitment.

I take the matter of the Elmira site very seriously. It is a problem. The site has been in operation, as the member knows, since about 1941, some 30 years before this ministry actually came into being. There is a strong possibility of some leachate that is going on offsite in that particular landfill, and the member is aware of that.

I want to assure him, however, that my ministry is working very closely with Uniroyal to make absolutely certain that whatever technology is applied to the cleanup of that site is going to improve the situation. We are looking, as an example, at one type of technology that is known as purged wells to see if there is a way in which we can extract some of the chemical contamination from the landfill site itself and be able to contain it in a safer and more appropriate fashion.

11 a.m.

I share those concerns. I want the honourable member to know I have indicated to my staff that particular site is an extremely high priority. We should have some definite plan of action before the end of this year. I would be very happy to speak further with the member on this matter and keep him up to date in a detailed way because it is one we are watching very closely.

Mr. Epp: Keeping in mind that experts who have experience in purge pumping -- and this is one of the things they are trying to do there -- seem to feel that purge pumping is not successful, or is unsuccessful if wastes are left on-site, why does the minister believe his method of purge pumping will be successful when it has been proved unsuccessful in many instances in this country and in other countries?

Hon. Mr. Brandt: The question of purged wells is one of the technology that is applied to particular types of soil conditions. If the hydrology of that particular site and if the aquifer is such that it lends itself towards purge pumping, then the technical reports and the study that is being taken now, which we should have within the next matter of months, should be able to tell us whether that is going to be an effective treatment for that specific site.

I agree with the honourable member that there are instances and situations where that methodology is not applicable and does not work. However, we are looking very carefully at that as one option. If the member is suggesting that a complete and total removal of all the substances in that site should take place, we are talking about perhaps a multimillion-dollar option. It is a very expensive alternative but one that may have to be considered. We have not in any way ruled out that possibility.

I do want the member to know, however, that we are looking at all of the technologies that are available with respect to the treatment of that site. We recognize the problem and we are going to move on a corrective solution which, I trust, the member will find acceptable.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Education with respect to the proposal she made this spring about the governance of French schools.

The minister must by now be aware that in principle that declaration of commitment to French education was welcomed across the province. The means of implementation in the restructuring of school boards have, however, raised as much concern among Franco-Ontarians as they have among the majority of people in the province, including trustees and school boards.

Is the minister now prepared to withdraw those specific means of implementation, in view of the concerns they have raised, and to allow a means to be invented or created which would be much more satisfactory both to the Franco-Ontarian community and to people who are existing trustees or on school boards, or is she intent on continuing with proposals which threaten to be unduly and unnecessarily divisive?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I think all the meetings with the regional directors of the members of 19 boards affected within the public system have now been completed. We have had a considerable number of responses from those boards. There have also been proposed a significant number of alternative mechanisms which, I think, should be discussed. Therefore, I have arranged to have a meeting at which, I am grateful to say, the Premier (Mr. Davis) is going to be present, at the end of November with representatives of all of those boards to discuss the matters the honourable member raises. I think it is important that discussion be as free, as open and as clear as possible before we proceed in any direction other than that which was suggested in the proposal.

Mr. Cassidy: Franco-Ontarians as well?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Yes, all 19 boards.


Mr. Speaker: Before proceeding, I would like to deal with the matter which was raised by the member for Nickel Belt (Mr. Laughren) at question period yesterday. I undertook to tell him I would report back on his point of privilege. which really was a point of order. He alleged that the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (Mr. Bennett) was imputing motives by virtue of the words used in an answer.

I have taken a close look at what was said, lifting out the words I think he was referring to, and I would quote them directly: "for their own purposes." In my view and in my opinion, that does not impute motive.



Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition, which reads as follows:

"To the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

"We, the undersigned teachers, beg leave to petition the parliament of Ontario as follows:

"Whereas we oppose the extension of the Inflation Restraint Act because it is inequitable in its application to the citizens of Ontario and restricts our basic free collective bargaining rights; and

"Whereas we believe that an extension of the act or measures which will have a similar effect would violate the spirit of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms;

"We petition the Ontario Legislature to restore our free collective bargaining rights forthwith under Bill 100, the School Boards and Teachers Collective Negotiations Act."

The above petition is signed by 157 teachers from the following schools: A. N. Myer Secondary School, Lord Elgin Vocational School, Niagara Falls Collegiate and Vocational Institute and Stamford Collegiate and Vocational Institute, all of the city of Niagara Falls.

Mr. Haggerty: Mr. Speaker, I have a petition to present to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, which reads as follows:

"We, the undersigned teachers, beg leave to petition the parliament of Ontario as follows:

"Whereas we oppose the extension of the Inflation Restraint Act because it is inequitable in its application to the citizens of Ontario and restricts our basic free collective bargaining rights; and

"Whereas we believe that an extension of the act or measures which will have a similar effect would violate the spirit of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms;

"We petition the Ontario Legislature to restore our free collective bargaining rights forthwith under Bill 100, the School Boards and Teachers Collective Negotiations Act."

This is from three different schools: Port Colborne High School, signed by 41 petitioners; Lockview Park Secondary School, 28 petitioners, and the Fort Erie Secondary School, 40 petitioners.

Mr. Ruprecht: Mr. Speaker, I have a petition to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, which reads as follows:

"We, the undersigned teachers, beg leave to petition the parliament of Ontario as follows:

"Whereas we oppose the extension of the Inflation Restraint Act because it is inequitable in its application to the citizens of Ontario and restricts our basic free collective bargaining rights; and

"Whereas we believe that an extension of the act or measures which will have a similar effect would violate the spirit of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms;

"We petition the Ontario Legislature to restore our free collective bargaining rights forthwith under Bill 100, the School Boards and Teachers Collective Negotiations Act."

This petition is signed by over 80 teachers from two schools in Parkdale: West Toronto Secondary School and Parkdale Collegiate Institute.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I too have a petition to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, which reads as follows:

"We petition the Ontario Legislature to restore our free collective bargaining rights forthwith under Bill 100, the School Boards and Teachers Collective Negotiations Act."

The above petition is signed by 149 teachers from the following schools: Port Dover District High School, Simcoe Composite School, Delhi District High School and Valley Heights Secondary School.

Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, I have a petition to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in the same form as the other petitions presented this morning. In this petition the petitioners request the Ontario Legislature to "restore our free collective bargaining rights forthwith under Bill 100, the School Boards and Teachers Collective Negotiations Act."

The petition is signed by 199 teachers from five schools in my riding: Monarch Park Secondary School, Malvern Collegiate Institute, Lakeview Secondary School, Greenwood Secondary School and SOLE School, which is a special school.

I support this petition.



Mrs. Scrivener moved, seconded by Mr. McLean, first reading of Bill Pr9, An Act to revive Roitman Investments Ltd.

Motion agreed to.

11:10 a.m.



Resuming the adjourned debate on government motion 10: Rights and freedoms of the first inhabitants of Canada, the aboriginal peoples.

Mr. Stokes: Mr. Speaker, when we adjourned last evening I was attempting to elicit some response from the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs (Mr. Wells) about his government's position concerning existing treaty and aboriginal rights. I referred to the great emphasis he placed on the need for consultation with the various native groups in order to entrench or enshrine these rights in the Constitution. He had emphasized the need for a more clear understanding of what treaty and aboriginal rights mean in that this government and this province have a responsibility for the social, economic and cultural wellbeing of our first citizens.

I referred to the hearings that were held in Lansdowne House in July of this year by a committee of the House of Commons that was looking into Indian self-government. I quoted from an exchange between the chief of the settlement of Lansdowne House and various members of that committee, including none other than Mr. Allmand who was himself a Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. During the exchange he said he was ashamed of what he saw while visiting the community of Lansdowne House and could not really understand why the government in Ottawa had been so callous, so indifferent, so insensitive and so unfeeling towards the plight of people living in that community.

lt stretches credulity when a former minister of the crown who had specific responsibilities for the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development visits a northern community, asserts that he is ashamed and wants to know what the department he presided over takes exception to in the very modest request being made by the settlement of Lansdowne House in seeking reserve status. Such status would give them a form of local government, i.e., a chief and council that would be recognized by the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development under the Indian Act.

A former minister whose chief responsibilities were to protect treaty and aboriginal rights and to facilitate a meaningful rapport with our first citizens in that community said he was ashamed and asked why the chief, the council and members in the settlement were not able to convince the federal department that their requests were reasonable and urgent. That is almost like having the former Minister of Agriculture and Food in this House saying to a bunch of farmers, "Why can't you convince the present Minister of Agriculture and Food he should be doing something about the red meat industry in Ontario?"

The Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, who is not in his seat or under the gallery, gave a lot of pious platitudes in his 20-page opening statement about existing treaty and aboriginal rights and about the need to set up a useful, productive and meaningful consultation to right many of the wrongs that have been perpetrated on our first citizens by both senior levels of government for many decades.

I want to quote very briefly from the hearings I referred to earlier. I am quoting directly from testimony given by the chief of the Lansdowne House settlement:

"Lansdowne House is an Indian community whose legal status is in dispute. Our community is not an Indian reserve and we are not recognized as a band under the terms of the Indian Act. These two factors -- that we are not a reserve and that we are not a band -- have caused many problems for our community. Since we are not recognized under the Indian Act, we have four councillors in our community. We could have 50 if we wanted to, because we are not recognized.

"Historically, before our people signed the James Bay treaty in 1905, our people had their own chief and we were a band of Indians living in Lansdowne. When the treaty vas signed, our chief and council and our status were lost. Our people became members of the Fort Hope band. There was no reserve land set aside for us at the community of Lansdowne, although the people existed, and they still exist, and they will exist in the future. But instead of settling down at the Fort Hope reserve, our people continued to live in the Lansdowne area, which we call our hunting, fishing and trapping areas. It is still our home and, as I said before, it is going to be our home for the future."

11:20 a.m.

He went on at great length to state why the settlement of Lansdowne House, along with the settlements of Webequie and Summer Beaver, is seeking reserve status and the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Pope), who is fiddling with his papers, will know precisely what I am talking about.

I want to quote further from that testimony. He said: "Our site government has been pushing, we have been pushing, to have our community relocated since 1976. You have a document this afternoon from a study we did with a consultant firm based in Winnipeg. We want to relocate because the land that Lansdowne House is presently on is generally not suitable for the community setting. There is poor drainage, as we saw this afternoon when we toured the community. Because of this poor drainage, our children have to play in mud puddles and they have to wear rubber boots even in sunny weather such as today; even in hot weather when we have 90-degree temperatures. Most of my people have rubber boots today, not because they cannot afford runners or any other shoes they can make out of moosehide or whatever, but because our land is not suitable to wear those sorts of shoes in our community."

He went on at great length and if any members of the House want chapter and verse, I refer them to the House of Commons Hansard, issue 37, the proceedings and evidence of the special committee on Indian self-government.

I want to quote further from the reaction of one of the members who was listening to testimony from representatives of our native peoples. It was from a Ms. Jamieson, who comes from the Six Nations reserve and who is also a member of that committee.

"The only thing I would say is that your description of the community in your brief is a very gracious one; perhaps a very mild one. What I saw today, frankly, really infuriated me. I saw Indian people living in inadequate homes, in a swamp, in unsanitary conditions; while right next door I saw government personnel in beautiful homes, a mission and this hall on high ground in a very nice" -- and there is something wrong with the transcription here.

"The difference is so extreme, it is very shocking to me. I do not know an easier way to explain it than here we are, seeing what is left over from colonialism, in my view. I know the committee members are not wild about that term, but that is exactly what I see. Our committee is to deal with self-government, and that has to do with decolonization, I think."

I think that explains very vividly and very convincingly the attitude of both senior levels of government with regard to their perception of what treaty and aboriginal rights really are.

I want to remind members of this House that I had the privilege of visiting three northern communities this June with the first citizen of this province, who had expressed a wish to travel to remote northern communities to see for himself what life was like on those remote northern reserves.

We stopped first at Pickle Lake and had a nice visit with people in the community. We journeyed from there to the Fort Hope Indian band, spent all day and overnight there and had an opportunity to speak to community leaders and anybody else who had anything to say about the conditions in that community. We journeyed from there to Fort Severn on the shores of Hudson Bay, did the same thing there and returned to Big Trout Lake. Anybody who had anything to say at all was given an opportunity to do so.

The Honourable the Lieutenant Governor made only two promises. He said, "I promise to listen very carefully to everything you have to say and to direct your observations and your concerns to whomsoever you direct me." The other promise he made was, "I hope to be invited back in the not too distant future to see whether or not my visit here has had any effect."

As His Honour stated, as Her Majesty's representative to all of the people in Ontario, he felt he had a responsibility to visit those remote communities and to assist, if possible, in righting some of the wrongs that had been perpetrated on our first citizens for decades.

He is not a political person. He cannot go the political route. I can only assume that His Honour has met the first of his promises, which is to tell representatives of both levels of government what he saw. I visit those communities on a regular, ongoing basis. As a result of my observations and what I have been told, I followed up with the appropriate ministers at both levels of government on the concerns expressed to us at that time.

11:30 a.m.

I am sorry the Minister of Natural Resources has left, because I am going to quote from a letter that I directed to his attention on June 27, shortly after our return from that visit. I tried to relay as forcefully, as honestly and as accurately as I could what I had heard that I felt the Minister of Natural Resources had some responsibility for.

"Dear Mr. Minister:

"During a recent trip to Fort Hope with His Honour the Lieutenant Governor, the chief and members of the band brought numerous concerns to our attention.

"One that was dwelt upon at some length in Fort Hope, as well as at Big Trout Lake and Fort Severn, was the traditional lifestyle of native people and assurances given or implied in treaties that they would have the undisputed right to hunt, fish and trap on all crown lands in perpetuity. Not only was this a guarantee of aboriginal rights to food along with leather and fur for clothing, but an implicit right to harvest vital and essential resources beyond the boundaries of the reserves. For at least 20 years your ministry has allocated trapping areas by the issuance of a licence to individual band members to designate specific areas of harvest. This same approach has been applied to fishing for food in many areas by the issuance of a commercial fishing licence with quotas for various species to protect the resource, with specific quotas in both cases.

"It is argued, and with some justification, that the requirement of a licence is in itself a violation of the original treaty.

"The seizure of gill nets belonging to members of the Fort Hope Indian band and the laying of charges against members of Fort Severn for violations under the Migratory Birds Act (since thrown out of court) are other examples of violations or abrogation of treaties signed in 1907.

"The West Patricia land use plan seems to ignore the provisions of Treaty 9, and it can be argued that your ministry is formulating plans or guidelines which ignore or deny the existence of a formal contractual agreement between our native people and the crown.

"With the exception of the fishing agreement between our first citizens and the province of Ontario (still to be ratified by the federal government) there has never been a genuine effort to more clearly define, confirm or renegotiate treaty and aboriginal rights."

I am going to digress from my letter for just a moment to remind honourable members and the very minister to whom I directed this that I was one of the few people in this House who supported him in his efforts to have an Indian fishing agreement signed. Members know what he said in the past few days. For all intents and purposes, even that is dead because of the intransigence of the federal government to come to an agreement. The federal minister, Mr. Munro, disagrees with our Minister of Natural Resources, saying: "It is not dead. We just want more time to consider it."

One wonders whether the pressure put on the Minister of Natural Resources by some of his cabinet and caucus colleagues has killed the only real effort that has been made by anybody over there in living memory to come to grips with some of the problems I have been talking about. One wonders about commitment to treaty and aboriginal rights; one wonders about consultation. I will leave honourable members to draw their own conclusions.

I will go on:

"The West Patricia land use plan, with its terms of reference, inventories and resource management approach, fails to take into account that there is a legal and binding agreement in effect concerning resource utilization. Many scholars would argue that before any land use plan or guideline is put in place covering the Treaty 9 area, there must be a clear statement of commitment to and definition of treaty rights acceptable to our native people before any meaningful negotiations can take place.

"It is my hope that such a recommendation" -- a faint hope -- "will be part of the Royal Commission on the Northern Environment."

As the minister well knows, the Royal Commission on the Northern Environment has been in existence since 1977. It has spent in excess of $9 million of taxpayers' money. The last official pronouncement I heard from the royal commission, which was something in the order of two and a half or three years ago, was that it was having difficulty putting a focus on what its terms of reference were, and it was really waiting for this government to come out with a policy for economic development in that part of Ontario which the royal commission has been studying.

What we have here is this government saying it is waiting for recommendations from the Royal Commission on the Northern Environment and the commission saying it really cannot put a focus on it until it knows the direction this government is taking with regard to economic development. So there you have it.

"With this as a basis for negotiation, it will then be possible for all northern communities to address the specific components of an overall plan for their area.

"I am aware of the fact that the Kayahna tribal council and settlements like Summer Beaver are proceeding with land use plans for their summer and winter travel areas surrounding their traditional resource harvesting activities of hunting, trapping and fishing, or to put it another way, present land utilization.

"Proposed waterway parks in the Winisk River Provincial Park with the Webequie settlement within its boundaries are a clear indication that existing resource policies within your ministry are or will be in conflict with existing treaties.

"Other undertakings like the Ogoki Road are now under way without any regard to the Environmental Assessment Act, notwithstanding the Detour Lake study done by the Royal Commission on the Northern Environment, or the effect this road will have on traditional lifestyles. This is not to imply that the Fort Hope Indian band is opposed to all development. On the contrary, they are forever vigilant in searching for opportunities to enhance the social and economic wellbeing of its people while preserving and pursuing their traditional way of life. Forestry, tourism, road construction, cottage development will have a profound and irreversible effect on treaty and aboriginal rights.

"You are also aware that the communities of Summer Beaver, Lansdowne House and Webequie are seeking reserve status, something that the federal government has recognized for many years by virtue of core and capital funding as well as education and medical service.

"You are also more aware than most that native people look to your ministry more than any other as a source of employment in tree planting and fire suppression. They now complain that more and more contracts are let to private contractors in the south, thus eliminating many tree planting jobs for their people. With timber licence limits now extended to the south shore of the Albany River, there is now a much greater need for a northern fire centre which should be located on the Fort Hope reserve."

I went on to say: "I am advised that when Kimberly-Clark limits were extended to Fort Hope's doorstep, Mr. Bernier, a former Minister of Natural Resources, approached the band and stated that limits north of the Albany River could be allocated to them. They are now advised that they would not be judged any differently than any others interested in timber limits. If such is the case, white man does indeed speak with forked tongue."

I was up to Fort Hope a couple of weeks ago and asked them again the status of the timber limits surrounding the Fort Hope reserve north of the Albany River; that is, areas that are not under licence to Kimberly-Clark. They still do not have a commitment from this government that the indigenous resources on their very doorstep will be made available to them for economic development on their reserve.

11:40 p.m.

If the government does not do that, do members know what happens when somebody wants to build a house in a place like Fort Hope, Lansdowne, Webequie, or any of the other 30 communities in that area? A contract is let by the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. The lumber is likely purchased in Winnipeg or Dryden or Thunder Bay and sent by ground transportation to a place like Pickle Lake and flown to one of those remote northern reserves. Members know what it costs to fly supplies like that to those northern communities.

But there is no co-ordination between the federal and the provincial governments to provide them with seed money to use resources indigenous to the area that would bring down the cost of things we do up there, such as building schools, houses, medical clinics or whatever it is those people need. Think of how much bigger a bang for our buck we would get just by putting a little seed money in, or something as simple and straightforward as issuing a timber licence so that they could harvest the resources on their own doorstep. So much for consultation. So much for treaty and aboriginal rights.

"They also expressed the feeling that they were unfairly treated as a result of the 1924 Indian lands agreement" -- or the adhesion to Treaty 9. The minister has stated, "this is now a matter for negotiation by the tripartite committee, even though I have been urging a succession of provincial cabinet ministers to amend the provisions of this agreement for over five years.

"Another problem was raised concerning their attempt to take greater advantage of the tourist potential in the area.

"A lodge owner called a resident of the Fort Hope Indian Band asking him to get guides for his fishing camp as it was going to he a busy summer. He sent 19 guides to the operator of this lodge which had 25 tourists, but only five were hired. They were told it was up to the individual tourist, when usually it is the lodge owner who hires the guide.

"Another band member of the Fort Hope Indian band has been trying to get a licence to operate a tourist camp for several years. He feels that your" the government's -- "criteria are much too restrictive and it really annoys him when he works his trap line to see non-Indian tourist operators establishing in that area.

"A number of other issues were raised which I will be bringing to the attention of other ministers. But those enumerated above are those which deal directly and specifically to your ministry.

"In summary, let me emphasize that there is nothing more near and dear to our native people than their relationship to the land and the Great Spirit which put it and the resources there for their use, and might I be so bold as to quote a well-known and often used phrase, 'To preserve and conserve.'

"To your credit and against much opposition, you have persevered with the Indian fishing agreement. We ask that you follow through with the same practical and philosophical approach when dealing with treaty rights and resource and land use in addressing the legitimate and long-standing concerns of our first citizens.

"Your particular and swift attention to them will be most welcome and greatly appreciated by all concerned."

Do members know what happened to the Indian fishing agreement? To quote verbatim and directly from the Minister of Natural Resources, "Even that brief and halting step to come to grips with treaty aboriginal rights, land use planning, resource management, seems down the drain." So much for commitment to treaty and aboriginal rights.

Within the past week I read a band council resolution from the community of Kingfisher Lake. I wish the Minister of Natural Resources, the Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Bernier) and even the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) were in their places now. They would know something of the history or the chronology of what I am going to speak about. Members interested in these things will be aware that the Attorney General enumerated all of the land claims that were being dealt with by the tripartite committee, by the law officers of the crown, with regard to land claims outstanding. I will be interested to hear what the Attorney General might have to say on this issue, if he participates in this debate a little later on.

This will indicate why I, personally, am probably even more infuriated than our first citizens when I hear the talk at the first ministers' conferences about treaty and aboriginal rights, and when I hear the 20-page opening statement by the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, when band council resolutions such as this are brought to my attention once again.

Back in about 1975, satellite communities of the Big Trout Lake band were seeking reserve status; namely, the Wapekeka reserve, Kasabonika, Kingfisher, Wunnummin Lake in my riding, and communities like Sachigo, Bearskin and Muskrat Dam. I see Bill Morris sitting there under the gallery, and he will know precisely what I am talking about; he goes up there quite regularly.

They were seeking reserve status. They were considered to be a part of the Big Trout Lake Indian band. Negotiations had gone on for 10 or 12 years with both levels of government. They were seeking provincial crown land which, if they were to get reserve status, would have to be transferred to the federal crown in trust for the native people living in those settlements. After very long, protracted negotiations, an accommodation was made, roughly, but not precisely, on the basis of an acre-for-acre exchange to accommodate the legitimate needs of the people living in those satellite communities.

There was one snag and it dealt with Kingfisher Lake, where the crown, in its wisdom -- the provincial crown and the federal crown -- said, "We will give you three locations: namely, reserves number one, number two and number three." This was not acceptable to the residents of the settlement of Kingfisher Lake. They expressed their concern about the lands that were to be designated as their reserves. All of the negotiators at the federal and the provincial levels said: "We understand your concerns, we consider them to be legitimate but we don't want to abort the whole process because of your specific concerns. We will sign the blanket agreement with all of the people who were traditionally seen to be members of the Big Trout Lake band and we will resolve the specific problems at a later date. You have our word on that."

11:50 a.m.

That was in 1975. This week I got a band council resolution saying, "The council of the Kingfisher Lake band do hereby resolve that a majority of the electors of Kingfisher band of Indians, for whose use and benefit in common the Kingfisher Indian reserves 2 and 3 were set apart, whereby assented to the surrender for an indefinite term from date of acceptance by the governor in council by that band to Her Majesty in right of Canada, at a general meeting called by the council of the band and held on the sixth day of June, 1978, the whole of Kingfisher Indian reserves 2 and 3, described as situate, lying and being in the district of Kenora in the province of Ontario as shown on plan 15-78-012 and 15-78-013, Marshall, Macklin, Monaghan, OLS" -- that is "Ontario land surveyors" -- "attached in order that Her Majesty in right of Canada may exchange the lands so surrendered with the province of Ontario, Ministry of Natural Resources, for two new reserves to be known as Kingfisher Indian reserves 2A and 3A as shown on plans prepared by" -- the land surveyors that I just mentioned -- "Paul Torrance, on March 14 and 16, 1978 ... that the province of Ontario commence the necessary action to complete the requested land transaction as the province has already agreed on this matter with crown Canada."

I called a fellow in the Ministry of Natural Resources who I think has a heart, a fellow who is responsible for Indian claims, and he confirmed every thing I just related to this House. He confirmed that a commitment was made in 1975 and once they had something definite on paper from the Kingfisher settlement committee they would proceed with it.

I said to Ted Wilson, who is responsible for such things in the Ministry of Natural Resources, "What is the status of this?" He said: "We agree with everything they told you. There was a commitment made back in 1975." He added, "We sent the request for the designation along with our recommendations to the law branch of the Ministry of Natural Resources in June of this year to prepare an order in council for the transfer of land from the province of Ontario to the federal government, to be held in trust for the residents of Kingfisher Lake."

He cannot tell me why the law branch of the Ministry of Natural Resources, after 10 years, had not seen fit to finalize the deal and honour a commitment made 10 years ago. So much for consultation; so much for treaty and aboriginal rights.

What would members of this House do, as individuals or as part of a community living north of the 50th parallel in this province of opportunity, in the most affluent nation on the face of the earth, if they knew that taxpayers' dollars that were appropriated to the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development at the federal level, those precious and scarce funds, were being used to provide accommodation for our first citizens in swamps? After a year or two, the houses sink, the underpinnings of the houses become rotten, the panelling on the walls starts to buckle.

The choice high ground within the community is dedicated to Hudson's Bay stores, weather stations and DIAND cabins. Scarce resources are used to put in water and sewage facilities for the very few white people who live in those communities, while precious resources are allocated by DIAND to build houses for our first citizens in swamps. That is what is going on in many communities in the north.

I want to ask the members of this House what they would do if they were residents of one of those northern communities and wanted to improve their social and economic wellbeing and wanted to set up a tourist camp, only to be told what they had in mind for a very modest hunting or fishing camp to accommodate tourists who are starting to go up into those areas in ever-increasing numbers because of the shortage of fish and game resources much closer by does not meet the criteria that were set by somebody down here in one of these high-rise offices we pass every day.

I want to ask what the members would say if they were residents of one of those northern reserves and they saw valuable timber resources right on their doorstep and they felt that by the orderly exploitation of those resources they could cut out the necessity of hauling lumber and other building materials all the way from Winnipeg, Dryden, Thunder Bay or Geraldton. They could have them produced right on their doorstep using indigenous resources, cut down on the high transportation costs and in the process provide employment for local people, get them off social assistance and give them a feeling of pride and self-worth. Then they find out that is not the way the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development does things. Traditionally, they have always brought building materials in from the south and that is the way it is going to be.

12 noon

I want to ask what the members would say if they were members of a northern community, such as the ones I have been describing, and had some mineral resources within the confines of their reserve they wanted to develop to provide an economic base for the community, where the 1924 land agreement had provisions in it concerning mineral wealth found within the confines of a reserve where so-called traditional treaty and aboriginal rights were respected, and then had the Treasurer of this government say: "No. Notwithstanding the fact that this is a reserve and belongs to the native people, if you exploit any of the mineral wealth, there will be royalties charged against your resources and we take those off the top."

What is it in our psyche or our mentality, in the way in which we organize ourselves as so-called democratic institutions at the federal level and the provincial level, that makes us seem to have the ability and the need to thwart every effort that has been made by our first citizens who have been hived off into those remote northern communities? We say to them: "No. The resources are there but we set the rules and unless you can conform to those very strict and rigid guidelines, those resources really are not for you at all." Why is that?

I could go on for much longer than I want to or much longer than anyone would be prepared to listen about the conditions that exist in those northern communities, and how frustrated honest, sincere, dedicated and well-meaning community leaders up there are, how hard they have tried to convince both senior levels of government that they could indeed, for the most part, become independent, self-sustaining and quite capable of paddling their own canoe if given half a chance.

The member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon) and I talk about these things on occasion. He has suggested we set some time aside, as we are doing here in the discussion of this motion before the House. But when we refer to it every once in a while, we hear a lot of pious platitudes and nothing meaningful ever results from such an exercise.

Senior members of the House will know we had a members' tour in 1965 to northwestern Ontario where members had an opportunity to view at first hand some of the conditions of which I speak. There was another tour for members in 1972, I believe, to northeastern Ontario, where they saw what the Ministry of Natural Resources wanted them to see -- the highlights, the good things.

In a spirit of hospitality and with all sincerity, I would invite members to view at first hand -- in these times of austerity I will not suggest a tour for all members -- what the first citizens of this province and I saw in June. I would like them to see what I have been trying to talk about at every opportunity made available to me in this House over the last 15 years.

Those who would be in the group, I suggest, would include the Premier (Mr. Davis), the Minister of Northern Affairs, the Minister of Natural Resources and even the new Minister of Citizenship and Culture (Ms. Fish), who now has responsibility for the Indian community branch with that very meagre budget she has to look after native affairs. I would also like to include the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development (Mr. Sterling), who has the responsibility for co-ordinating all of the so-called programs within provincial jurisdiction that have any relationship to the social, cultural and economic wellbeing of our first citizens.

I would like to have all those people sitting on the cabinet benches who have some responsibility for the things I have been talking about and the things this resolution speaks to in general terms. I would like to get all of them, with two back-benchers from over there, two backbenchers from the Liberal Party and two backbenchers from this party, and take them on a trip to the north. There they could see whether or not the consultation the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs talks about or the existing treaty and aboriginal rights he wants enshrined in the Constitution have any meaning or any validity. I extend that invitation most sincerely to anybody who gives a damn about this resolution.

12:10 p.m.

The member for Sudbury (Mr. Gordon) read from a prepared text last evening. It was very high-flying; it sounded good. If he had been listening to what I was saying last evening and this morning, the member has missed the real import and significance of what is being attempted by our first ministers if he can say, "All is well with the world and all we have to do is pass this motion and we have set the wheels in motion; that salves our conscience. We have all the governments in Canada on our side, and we are off and running to satisfying the legitimate economic, social and cultural aspirations of our first citizens."

I want members of this House, who for obvious reasons do not get the opportunity, to go up there and see firsthand what it is we are talking about, what the whole process of consultation and the whole notion of treaty and aboriginal rights are all about. We all, individually and collectively, have a lot of soul-searching to do.

This motion is going to pass. We are going to support it. But it is not going to change anything unless there is a definite commitment by those responsible in the government to meaningful and active consultation and unless there is direct and decisive action by those at the federal level who have a responsibility. One can base all the so-called consultations by first ministers and all the things I have been talking about ad nauseam, but they are not going to make one tittle of difference until the government is more aware of those conditions in those northern communities.

Once again, and finally, I extend an invitation to all those people in the government who have some responsibility in that regard. Maybe I should even include the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Elgie) because he will know that a study was unveiled very recently that looked into and investigated the high cost of consumer goods and transportation in the far north. I hope the minister has read that. He has some responsibility for consumer protection. He has some responsibility to see whether there are injustices, inequalities or inequities in the marketplace. I know he will be concerned. If he has not read that report, I commend it to him.

Mr. Piché: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: I should point out to the honourable member that there is a committee, the select committee on the Ombudsman, that will be going to the far north in early January. It is a committee of the three parties and it will be visiting the far north for three or four days. So not only is the member's invitation accepted, but as I mentioned, a committee will be there that includes his party.

The Deputy Speaker: I am sure that the --


Mr. Piché: Something is being done, and the member is still criticizing.

The Deputy Speaker: Order. The member is not in order. If he wants to share that kind of information, perhaps he could send a note.

Mr. Stokes: Mr. Speaker, anything the member for Cochrane North (Mr. Piché) or any other members will do to make themselves much more familiar with the situation I have been talking about will be welcome. I have never heard the honourable member say anything by way of any pronouncements or getting involved in this. I invite him to get up and talk about what goes on at Attawapiskat, Kashechewan and Fort Albany. Sit down; I have the floor.

Mr. Piché: On a point of order. Mr. Speaker: I hope the honourable member will be in the House on Monday when I will be --

The Deputy Speaker: Order. Will the member state his point of order?

Mr. Martel: Throw him out. He doesn't have a point of order.

The Deputy Speaker: That is not a point of order.

Mr. Stokes: That is twice in the last couple of minutes he has indicated he wants to get involved; perhaps the Speaker will recognize him.

The Deputy Speaker: His time will come.


Mr. Stokes: I do not think there is any issue concerning anything in the province I feel more strongly about than this issue I spoke about last evening and this morning.

Mr. Shymko: So do many on this side.

Mr. Wildman: Then do something about it.

Mr. R.F. Johnston: You care more about the jet.

Mr. Piché: All you do is criticize. Let's work together on this. This is very important.

The Deputy Speaker: Order. The members will have their opportunity for debate in proper rotation. Would the member continue?

Mr. Stokes: By way of response to the interjections by the honourable members over there, I ask them to read the 20-page opening statement by the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and also to read the prepared statement by the member for Sudbury and point out to me or, more important, to our first citizens what they have said by way of recognizing the problems I have tried to present to the House.

Mr. Wildman: They weren't even mentioned.

Mr. Stokes: I may have missed something, but I did not see it. The member for High Park-Swansea (Mr. Shymko) and the member for Cochrane North are concerned --

Mr. Wildman: They should settle the land claims if they are concerned.

Mr. Martel: If they are concerned, they should do something. They are in power.

The Deputy Speaker: The member for Lake Nipigon has the floor. Will all honourable members refrain from the interjections.

Mr. Stokes: With the initiatives that were taken by the Prime Minister of this country and a spirit of co-operation by other first ministers, and with the inclusion of spokespersons representing the major native groups, a first step has been taken.

I think the time is ripe now for us to translate our words into meaningful action, something that will put some flesh on the bones they have been talking about. I have heard nothing of that over there. I will listen with a great deal of interest to the Minister of Natural Resources, the Minister of Northern Affairs, the Minister of Citizenship and Culture, the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development, perhaps the Attorney General and maybe even the member for Cochrane North, if they have anything at all meaningful and useful to contribute to this whole debate.

12:20 p.m.

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, I am quite pleased and honoured to follow the member for Lake Nipigon (Mr. Stokes), who has certainly been involved more than any other individual member in the day-to-day problems of the Indian residents of Ontario. I well recall the trip he was talking about when the members of the Legislature did get to Attawapiskat, Fort Severn and Winisk and the other communities to which the honourable member made reference. He has the day-to-day responsibility to see that the residents and taxpayers, the Indians in those communities, are properly represented in this House.

From time to time I can understand his frustration, particularly when he sees various ministries of the government of Ontario dealing with it in their usual protracted bureaucratic manner. No doubt their intentions are good, but red tape involves them and probably the lack of a real feeling not of sympathy but of the fact that the problem can be solved. They are not committed to the solution of those problems, and I feel those delays must account for some of the feelings the member has expressed.

The member has invited the members of the House to accompany him on a repeat tour of those communities more than a decade later. I for one would be delighted to accompany him at his expense -- or even mine, if it comes to that extreme position. I shall certainly look forward to it.

I have nothing but support for the resolution that is before us. I do not think we should get too excited about a constitutional amendment that binds the government of Canada and the first minister of Canada with the first ministers of the provinces simply to have two meetings in the next five years in conjunction with representatives of the native community, but I do feel the resolution does convey what passes in politics for good intentions and individual sincerity.

There is no doubt in my mind that the Prime Minister and the first ministers had that intention when they felt the best they could do was to make this a constitutional promise that the rights, as they are currently experienced, are safeguarded until such time -- I would say in perpetuity -- as they may be expanded and strengthened even further by the discussions that the constitutional amendment envisages.

For my part, I have the honour to represent the most populous Indian reserve in Canada. That does not make me particularly expert in joining in this debate, which in many respects is a listing of the injustices that have been part of our historic dealings with the native people in Canada and particularly in this province.

While a list of injustices could be prepared associated with the Six Nations reserve, it is far easier and, I believe in this instance, more helpful to recount the extremely effective accomplishments of that reserve community under the leadership of its band council and a succession of capable chiefs, most particularly the present one, Chief Wellington Staats, and his council.

The member for Wentworth (Mr. Dean), the Minister without Portfolio, travelled to the Six Nations reserve to represent the government of Ontario at the opening of a new bridge over the Grand River, built at a cost of more than $2 million. The minister in his reticent way was able to convey to all present that the government of Ontario had participated to the extent of 80 per cent in the financing of the structure, which is wholly on the Indian reserve, on both sides of the river, and, of course, the Grand River is in many respects the river of the Six Nations.

This is just the most recent in one of the important developments to add to the quality of life on the Six Nations reserve. I do not want to bore the members who are sitting out this debate until one o'clock with simply a list of what has been accomplished, but compared with what is done elsewhere, it is so significantly different that I am going to put it before the members.

The band council operates out of one of the finest administrative headquarters in my constituency. I do not know of any mayor or corporation in any of the towns or other areas that has a better building with a council chamber and offices for the various officials of the local government. It is an excellent site indeed.

After extensive discussions with the Ministry of Health here, but more particularly with the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development in Ottawa, they have recently completed an extremely fine medical centre. Once again it surpasses the quality of any other medical centre in my whole constituency. They are very proud that they have offices with the most modern equipment for dentists and medical practitioners, who are available there on a regular basis. It really is an excellent facility. It is not a hospital, because the Indians have supported and make use of the excellent active care facilities in Brantford and other communities nearby.

In the mail yesterday I received a very kind invitation from the chief to attend the opening of a new nursing home to replace the Lady Willingdon Nursing Home, which was built in 1923 and which obviously has long outlived its usefulness and safety. The new home is named after the Iroquois Confederacy, and it is an outstanding example of modern facilities designed for the care of our senior citizens.

I hope the Treasurer (Mr. Grossman) will be able to attend. No doubt he has been invited because, when he was Minister of Health, it was he who gave the approval for the extension of the number of nursing home beds that enabled the Indians to go forward with the building of the structure. It was financed federally, almost exclusively in this case, but certainly the co-operation of the government of Ontario was essential and appreciated. The chief is wise enough and a good enough politician to be sure that the present Treasurer, the then Minister of Health, was aware that the Indians understood the importance of provincial participation.

The list goes on, because the main community in the Six Nations reserve, the town of Ohsweken, is well equipped with a sewage system and water. They have just started work on a new subdivision which is going to include a building where the regional office of the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development will be established. It will be removed from the city of Brantford.

Without going on at too great a length on these accomplishments, I would say that among all the communities in the constituency of Brant-Oxford-Norfolk, the one governed really independently by the band council of the Six Nations is probably more progressive than any other, if we are prepared to use a list of concrete accomplishments of the type I have brought to the House as the criterion of modern success.

I should also say that the debates in the band council are excellent. In quality, they probably exceed what we are used to hearing here. They do not simply spend money raised elsewhere; they have had to come to grips with some very difficult political decisions in the recent past.

I am very glad to see that the Minister of Government Services (Mr. Ashe) is here, because in his recent past incarnation as Minister of Revenue it was his, I am sure, distasteful duty to deal in a rather tough way with the Indian community on the Six Nations reserve when it became apparent that millions of cigarettes were being purchased free of sales tax and sold off the reserve as a bootleg commodity. There is no doubt this was happening, and none of the Indian officials denied it. They certainly were quite aware of their rights to purchase these and other materials free of provincial sales tax for their own use.

Frankly, I was very proud that the Indian chief and the council, while they responded toughly to the minister and his officials, still did not go behind the defence of "You are always against the Indians and you are trying to put us down, as you always have in the past." Instead, they came to grips with the situation, passed appropriate bylaws within their own council, which I believe in the long run are going to be the very best protection the Indians themselves can have that will safeguard their rights to buy these products free of sales tax for their own use but not endanger the precious revenues of the provincial ministry.

12:30 p.m.

After all, fair is fair, and I would like them to have everything they can get as well as what they deserve under the law. But in this instance I would say the chief and council have certainly shown their grasp of the law and their capabilities as individuals to deal responsibly and democratically on behalf of their own citizens with a very tough problem indeed.

I refer to this only to emphasize that the capability of the Indians for self-government is certainly not in question in my area, nor, I believe, should it be anywhere else. There are problems in northern Ontario, where the Indian bands are smaller and more fragmented and have been under the special economic problems and pressures of communities that do not have independent sources of revenue for their own support and the support of their community and their families.

This is not true in the case of the Six Nations community, where many of them are very well employed and have special rights under the famous Jay's treaty to cross the border for employment readily. Many of them work in Buffalo and in New York state and have attained an international reputation as high steel riggers and so on.

There are those who say the Indians have a special genetic quality that enables them to work on high steel without the vertigo that affects most of us even when we stand up in the Legislature. I do not believe that is true. I simply believe they are extremely capable workmen and the confidence that goes with being able to do a good job has been handed on from father to son for a number of generations.

One of the developments in the Six Nations community, just by way of example, was the building of what I would say is one of the finest arenas in our whole area. Instead of coming to the government at Queen's Park and trying to get all the money necessary to hire a contractor to put it up for them, they realized that there was a very large structural steel building available in a nearby community. Knowing how to do these things and having the initiative that backs up this ability, they bought the building and moved the thing lock, stock and barrel, having taken it apart, and re-erected it on the reserve.

They have an arena that I would say is far better than the arenas in most of the communities in my area, which were built largely by the direct largess and generosity of Wintario, usually supported by local service clubs working very hard to find the proper money. But in this case the Indians actually did the work themselves, and very good work it was. As I say, it is an outstanding facility for the whole community.

I am very keen indeed that we as legislators recognize not only the desire but also the ability of the Indian communities for self-government. When I list all the things that have been done on the Six Nations reserve, there is no doubt that it is not generosity but the good judgement of the government in Ottawa, and particularly the present minister, the Honourable John Munro, that has to be credited.

There are those who say, "The Six Nations community is in southern Ontario; it is easy for the various officials in the federal department to visit and serve." I suppose that is part of the explanation. But the instance here surely is that the chief, the council and the community have through their own initiative sought out the governmental assistance, particularly federal governmental assistance, that has permitted them to go forward with these things.

I have often felt that the federal Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, while it is well served by its officials, seems to have an awful lot of them. The various people at the local community level always have an opposite number in the district office, the regional office and the office in Ottawa with whom they must consult. I have got to know these people a bit because, like the local politicians, they attend the opening of these various facilities; so we have a chance to meet and talk about what is going on.

My own feeling is that more and more the federal department ought to get its hands off the day-to-day operation of Indian communities and emphasize what is clear to them and to everyone else, that in any community similar to those of the Six Nations the elected councils are quite capable of carrying on their own affairs in an extremely healthy and productive way.

I am very much concerned as well that there be no question that the Indians have the continuing right to support themselves and to have the benefits of any developments in the area having to do with natural resources. In the past. and I would say my ancestors were part of this, the non-Indian settlers would move into the area and say: "This is a pretty good piece of farm land. I guess we'd better get this away from the Indians somehow."

Certainly in the great Six Nations areas, there were large purchases of productive farm lands from the original Six Nations bands who came more than 200 years ago from what is now the United States. I believe the purchases were at arm's length and not improperly influenced in any way, but the non-Indian people moved into the area. The farm that has been in my family since about 1840, while it was not purchased from the Indians was originally Indian land from one of the most fertile parts of the whole of the southern Ontario peninsula.

That is not to say that the Indians in our community, or elsewhere as far as I know, have been forced entirely off the fertile lands. The Six Nations reserve itself does have many extremely productive farms, and, along with the member for Lake Nipigon (Mr. Stokes), I would invite members to visit the Six Nations reserve; it can be reached more conveniently than Attawapiskat or Winisk. The residents of the Six Nations bands would certainly make them feel welcome.

In this connection, there are many things to do as a visitor in that area. They are leading craftsmen. You might be interested to know, Mr. Speaker, that during a recent visit of that great world-class Tory, Margaret Thatcher, the government of Ontario presented her with an extremely beautiful vase that was envisioned and crafted in the Six Nations reserve. If members go up there with a few dollars they too could acquire some of this world-class art. It could grace the various ministerial offices. The nice thing is that their carpets are deep enough that, if dropped, the vase would not be cracked.

There is a real tourist attraction in the Six Nations community that we have done little to emphasize. As a matter of fact, when the bridge I referred to earlier was opened a few weeks ago I suggested that Highway 54, which runs through the Indian community, ought to be redesignated as the Six Nations Parkway. We should make a real effort to inform our fellow citizens in Canada and around the world that as far as Indian culture in Canada is concerned, here is a readily accessible and beautiful community where travellers are welcome to participate in the scenery and the other tourist attractions, but more particularly to take part in the culture of the Indians themselves.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Stay, René. We're waiting to hear from you.

Mr. Piché: I am speaking on Monday afternoon. It will be the first Monday you are here.

Mr. Nixon: Are you going to do something with him, Mr. Speaker, or will I?

The Deputy Speaker: Order.

Mr. Rotenberg: He's being provoked by the NDP. It's not his fault.

Mr. Nixon: He is going home to write his speech.

Mr. Martel: Or to get somebody to write it for him.

Mr. Nixon: It will be a collection of editorial views from the Kapuskasing Bugle.

I hope the developments in the Six Nations can be made a showcase for what Indians themselves, through their initiative and properly backed by provincial and federal governments and provincial and federal revenues, can do for the community and the people. It is nice to know there is at least this instance where the Indian initiatives have in no way been stultified and that we can use it as an example of what can be done elsewhere.

As far as the resolution is concerned, we may recall that early in the tenure of the present Prime Minister of Canada -- and we all know that he is nowhere near the end of that; there will be many years in which his policies to improve Indian affairs will continue -- he was visited by a number of Indian bands. They felt that here was a new approach to the federal government. In response to their requests he said he would be quite prepared to repeal the Indian Act and related pieces of legislation if that was the wish of the Indian community. One can imagine the ferment of discussion that went on for months following in which the Indians realized that the Prime Minister, who had just assumed office, was prepared to take extremely far-reaching steps to respond to the requirements of the Indian community if it was their wish.

12:40 p.m.

in the final event, when the views of the Indian community were completely assessed, it was plain that while they were not completely satisfied or even nearly satisfied with the provisions of the Indian Act, still they felt that it served their special place in the community of Canada and recognized it as proper.

In the instance of many of my constituents, they argue with me that they do not consider themselves to be even citizens of Canada but allies of Her Majesty. When one looks at the traditions of the Six Nations one can see that was so. In fact, they had large lands which they owned and which they had ruled for centuries. I suppose they made the decision, wise or unwise in the view that we might have, of maintaining their allegiance and alliance with the British crown at the time of the American Revolution.

If they had had their way, probably the British would not have capitulated as soon as they did, because they were certainly great warriors and strong in defence of the British crown and the legitimate rule of the colonies. But their leaders capitulated and they found themselves on the losing side. Their position became untenable, and the government in the United Kingdom very properly offered them lands here in what was then British North America, in an area, now Ontario, which was practically not at all settled.

There were two very small French settlements, one in the Detroit area which still exists, but in general there was nothing but bush and, over the years, Indian wars had eliminated almost all of the indigenous Indian settlers in this southern Ontario peninsula. There was nothing here but trees and game and very fertile land -- beautiful hunting -- so the Indians of the Six Nations, who were familiar with this, accepted the offer of the British crown to take up lands six miles on each side of the Grand River. They came over and established themselves in their community near Brantford and have been there ever since. They came here as allies of the crown 200 years ago.

In the coming year, they are celebrating that bicentennial and it is certainly appropriate that we in this House, the legislatures across Canada and the Parliament of Canada are considering the matters of Indian rights and the entrenching of those rights after they are carefully examined and established in our Constitution.

This bicentennial is a most appropriate time for us to be dealing with this. Naturally, I have the greatest enthusiasm in supporting at least the constitutional amendment that is before us. In my view, this shows the goodwill of the Prime Minister of Canada and the first ministers of the provinces to deal directly with the leaders and representatives of the native communities in seeing that their rights are regarded and fairly treated, that those that have been accepted are entrenched and that other rights are established and expanded so that we can live together as Canadians in happiness and prosperity.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, I would be willing to allow the Conservatives to take their turn, if they would like to, rather than have them just leave this to members on this side to participate. I find the rather pro forma performance a little bizarre at the moment, with two set speeches that have been given and nobody rising to involve themselves. This is quite bizarre behaviour considering the importance of this matter.

I am no expert on affairs having to do with our native peoples or Indian communities in Ontario. I do not pretend to be. I had some experience before being elected, when I lived north of Peterborough, and some knowledge of life on the reserves in that area. I have had some experience, through our Constitution committee a couple of years ago in terms of presentations from the major native groups in the province and a little bit during our family violence hearing in the social development committee. I am no expert, as is the member for Lake Nipigon (Mr. Stokes), whom I could listen to speaking on this subject for hours and hours because of his very personal knowledge of the reality of native peoples and Indians in northern Ontario.

I do want to speak very specifically about something falling out from this resolution. We all support the resolution. Many of us wish the accord could have been much deeper prior to this stage and not just be announcements of forthcoming meetings, but we are all obviously in favour of it.

I wish to speak very particularly regarding my portfolio as critic for Community and Social Services for this party and issue a call to action and demand action from this government to redress the harm we have done to Indian communities in this province over the last number of generations. I want to speak very specifically about child welfare in terms of this resolution and in terms of the suggestion of a move towards self-government, autonomy, control by our status Indian reserves of their own child welfare system; our failures in that regard in Ontario in the past and, in fact, the tragic consequences of our past and present policies in terms of native kids.

In Ontario, we have essentially taken a whole generation of Indian kids out of their communities in northern Ontario and moved them into southern Ontario. Huge numbers have been adopted by white families. They have been torn away from their cultural roots as a systematic policy of assimilation of the crudest form over the last 20 years. We are now seeing the results of that in terms of the destruction of a society of northern communities in the province.

Anyone who has read Patrick Johnston's book, Native Children and the Child Welfare System, will understand the enormity of that tragedy where so many kids were taken out to residential schools, brought into care in southern Ontario for specious reasons, never to be able to return to their home communities. The adults felt a sense of deprivation in those communities as we white-dominated government officials and children's aid society officials told them they were not capable of looking after their own children, that their values were not appropriate in terms of the raising of their children and that we could do a better job.

We took virtually half the kids out of specific reserves throughout northern Ontario and put them into care by the children's aid societies which are dominated by white citizens, well meaning for the main part but the instrument of the destruction of society in northern Ontario of the various native bands.

It has not stopped, even though we have realized for some time what has been going on. We have slowed the process slightly, but this is the reality of what we found in one brief trip to Kenora without the experience of going to the isolated bands that the member for Lake Nipigon has been speaking about, which we should have visited as a committee in September when we were in Kenora.

Native children still make up 90 per cent of the case load of the children's aid society in Kenora, even though the population statistics do not warrant that high a number of children in care by that children's aid society. They have only four front-line native workers in 1983; four. There is one Indian representative on the board of directors of that children's aid society in 1983. There have been several attempts to get an advisory committee of native people to that CAS and they have not been successful; there has been a roadblock.

12:50 p.m.

We still extricate kids from those communities. We still find most of them being adopted in white homes with no chance of them being reunited with their families in northern Ontario. So this resolution is meaningless to us unless we understand that it is incumbent upon this government to stop the process of white interference now, the process of us telling them that we know best how their communities should operate, how their families should operate, how to best protect and nurture their children. What we are seeing is a decimation of the society and an abject failure on our part to provide proper care and sustenance and nurturing for those children, through everything we have been doing in the past.

Rather than us doing what we have been doing, which is a kind of pilot project approach to giving some support to some communities like Whitedog or Winisk to provide some services on the reserves through their native control, we must be setting in place immediately the structural underpinnings for the Indian communities in northern Ontario to take control of their own child welfare system.

We must see there is no provincial role for us here, except to have an orderly extrication of our involvement on the reserves and to set in place, in a systematic fashion, the capacity of those reserves to provide the kind of support within their own communities they feel is appropriate to protect children, to nurture children and to provide a sense of continuity in the communities.

For six or seven years we have been having tripartite discussions in this province in terms of getting more control of child welfare and social welfare programs by native communities. But still there are only 50 native workers involved in child welfare around Ontario, 50 in 1983. We do not have one band in Ontario that has control of its own child welfare at this point. There is one pilot project which is coming along well but we have not seen the enabling legislation which would permit them to have control of their child welfare in the Rainy River district.

We can be proud of the successes of some of our pilot projects, but we must contrast that to other jurisdictions in Canada in terms of what is going on. When we do that, we will see that we are failing in an abject fashion.

I would point to Manitoba, which has taken a very different approach to the divesting of control on child welfare matters. If we look at the facts, that we have a couple of group home projects in northern Ontario, that we still have the situation I described in Kenora, that we still do not have one band that is in control of its child welfare, and contrast them to what is in place now in Manitoba we can see we are miles behind. There is a desperate need for immediate action.

In Manitoba they have laid the groundwork for the Indian communities, the status reserve bands, to take control of child welfare administration. The last time I heard, 23 of the 25 bands are participating in that project. They have already placed in operation at this point a combination of white professionals and Indian paraprofessionals to start to develop these services in those communities on a systematic basis for a gradual complete transfer of responsibility to the native communities.

The band councils will now make the decision as to who gets adopted, not some white CAS. The band councils will decide whether or not there is need for a group home or an emergency receiving home in their community and work for the funding of that, not the local CAS.

I think we have a great deal to learn from the experiment that is going on in Manitoba and to understand that we have a major responsibility to move as quickly as we can in that direction, as quickly as the native communities wish to move; and that our role in it must be as Manitoba's, which is to say that as soon as that divesting of responsibility is done we are out of that business and they have the responsibility of looking after their own affairs.

We have always known the funding has only just been laundered through the provincial government anyhow; the funding has always come from the federal government. We should move ourselves away from laying our values on those communities, from usurping their right to self-determination and the provision of the kind of services which will nurture their communities and not destroy their communities as we have done in the past.

One other thing I would like to add to this before I conclude my remarks is that what we have not developed systematically in this province is the capacity of native workers to provide the services on reserves that are taken for granted in southern Ontario and that are provided by professionals: CAS, family support services, day care services, whatever it might be.

It is time we recognize that we have to train as many paraprofessionals as we can, as quickly as we can, among the Indian communities and to get them in place in their communities as soon as we can in a community development sense so they can start to determine the priorities in their own communities and look after their own affairs.

With only 50 workers throughout all of Ontario at the moment we cannot possibly consider divesting ourselves of our responsibilities. We have to put child care workers in place and have good training for child protection workers. We need paramedical workers and native people who are working in early childhood education and we need those people to be trained as soon as possible, ignoring, as we would have to in northern Ontario, the requirements that we have at present for professional qualifications.

We learned at Grassy Narrows that there was only one person who had gone through high school in that community at that time. We will have to recognize people who are interested in the area, who wish to provide the kind of support even if they do not have the educational background and as quickly as possible get them the kind of training which will enable them to look after their own people and at least to start the planning for the kind of comprehensive programs that should be available to native people in their own communities.

It is unthinkable that here we are in 1983 and we have not done that. Here we are dealing with pilot projects, when we have not laid in place the basic structural foundations for the transfer of responsibility in child and social welfare programs in general. For any members on the government side to sit there smugly putting out statements such as the one we have seen, the opening statement by the minister, expressing that this resolution is a wonderful thing, when we have such a tragic history of our involvement in this is outright hypocritical.

There is not one member in this House who should not be up speaking passionately on this situation and demanding in a nonpartisan wav, in a universal way, that we need action now and it needs to be a priority now. I hope that on Monday when Tory members start to participate again in this debate we will hear them saying so and not just mouthing these self-congratulatory kind of words about what we have done up to the present. In any kind of rational look at what has happened, we have failed miserably and we have not given it the kind of emphasis it should have.

It has been a privilege to participate in the debate and I would like to move adjournment at this point.

On motion by Mr. R. F. Johnston, the debate was adjourned.

The House adjourned at 1:01 p.m.