The House met at 2 p.m.
STATEMENTS BY THE MINISTRY
CHILD RESTRAINT LEGISLATION
Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I would like to take a moment today to remind the honourable members of the House that the second phase of the child restraint legislation will become effective November 1, 1983.
Toddlers weighing between nine kilograms (20 pounds) and 18 kilograms (40 pounds) must be secured in an appropriate car seat whenever travelling in their parents' or legal guardian's vehicle. In all other vehicles they must be buckled up with a lap belt.
Many of the honourable members may recall last fall when I announced the first phase of the child restraint legislation. Infants who were born after November 1, 1982, were required to be in a rear-facing car seat, and preschoolers weighing between 18 and 23 kilograms were required to be secured in a lap belt.
Our primary concern has been and will continue to be educating parents about the inherent safety of using child restraints. So, as of November 1, 1983, everyone from birth through adulthood must be buckled up. The driver will continue to be responsible for ensuring everyone under the age of 16 is properly secured.
I want to emphasize that there has been a remarkable decrease in deaths and injuries since January 1, 1976, when seatbelts first became mandatory in Ontario. In 1975, the year before seatbelt legislation, 1,314 drivers and passengers were killed in motor vehicle accidents. In 1982, that number dropped to 783, a drop of 40 per cent. In fact, 1982 statistics show the lowest number of deaths and injuries in 24 years.
I am confident that over the long term this trend will continue, now that everyone at all ages must be properly secured when travelling in their vehicle.
TEMPORARY SALES TAX EXEMPTIONS
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, to ensure early compliance with the progressive legislation referred to in the previous statement by my colleague the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow), I wish to announce today a temporary retail sales tax change.
Effective at 12 midnight tonight, until December 31, 1983, at midnight, there will be no retail sales tax on child restraint devices.
Mr. McClellan: Louder, louder.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: This step is being taken both to encourage the acquisition of these lifesaving devices and to draw attention to the new program in a very visible way.
Is the member for Bellwoods (Mr. McClellan) opposed to that?
I have one additional announcement regarding the recent sales tax holiday for furniture and appliances. Under this program, purchases of designated household furniture and appliances made prior to August 9, 1983, were exempt from sales tax provided the items were delivered by November 7.
The program has been very successful. Household furniture and appliance store sales rose sharply, by 63 and 60 per cent respectively, over the previous year during the May to August period. As well, Ontario manufacturers have stepped up activity considerably in response to the increased consumer demand. In fact, the level of activity is such that manufacturers are having problems acquiring the necessary raw material inputs.
Consequently, manufacturers and retailers will have difficulty meeting the existing delivery deadline. To realize the full success of the program, I am therefore extending the delivery deadline to December 31, 1983.
Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Energy. Just last Tuesday the minister made a statement in the Legislature about the problems with the nuclear reactors at Pickering unit 2. He said, "Ontario Hydro has kept both myself and officials of the ministry fully informed of what they are doing and of their results."
Was the minister or were officials of his ministry informed about the concerns expressed in the Ontario Hydro research division report No. 82-37-K, dated March 2, 1982, entitled, A Review of Current Knowledge on the Effects of Hydrogen on the Pressure Tubes of Ontario Operating Reactors?
The report stated, as I am sure the minister is aware, that "unexpectedly high concentrations of hydrogen were detected in the tubes removed from Pickering." It went on to say that the relative susceptibilities to hydride cracking are not well established for irradiated material.
If the minister knew about this report, why did he not convey the findings to the Legislature? And why did the ministry not act on this report a year ago? Had it done so, it might have prevented the six-foot rupture and loss-of-coolant accident.
Hon. Mr. Andrewes: Mr. Speaker, as to the whole question of the report that has been referred to by the Leader of the Opposition, I have a copy of the report here for his perusal if he wishes. It is a public document and is available in Hydro's research library.
The report in question really identifies possible programs of investigation of the degree to which pressure tubes in Hydro's nuclear reactors are absorbing hydrogen. It is a working document, a report commissioned by Ontario Hydro. Its purpose was to determine the potential for the life of the tubes in existing reactors. It sets out various scenarios and objectives.
Perhaps I should read some of them into the record. I am not sure the technical aspects of the report are all that clear to me or, probably, to most of the members here, but it sets out various objectives for Ontario Hydro in its efforts to make sure the operation of the reactors is carried out safely and efficiently. The document is not one that is readily familiar to me. It is not a document that identifies critical aspects of the operation of the reactors. As I said, it is a working document that talks about the problems of hydriding in a nuclear reactor.
In my statement the other day, I informed the House of the extent of the research that had been brought forward on the activities at Chalk River by Ontario Hydro.
The Leader of the Opposition has posed a question about the knowledge available in the report. I think he should read the report and get some general gist of what it sets out and its purpose. He asks, if we were aware of the report, why the ministry did not act on it. I caution him once again that, under the mandate given to Ontario Hydro under the Power Corporation Act, and substantiated by a select committee of this Legislature, the day-to-day management decisions, which this report deals with, setting out certain priorities in the operation of those reactors to make sure they are operated safely, rest with the management and hoard of directors of Ontario Hydro.
Mr. Peterson: For the minister's information, I do have a copy of that report, and I have read the report. I received it on Friday, presumably before he or his ministry was even aware of its existence. There is a specific recommendation in this report that certain tubes should have been removed, which might have prevented the problems that did occur. Why was this not done, and who made the decision not to go in for that kind of testing?
Hon. Mr. Andrewes: The report sets out certain priorities in terms of the operation of these reactors. The report deals with the specific instances at Pickering units 3 and 4 and specific instances at the Bruce generating station, and it touches on the matter of Pickering units 1 and 2. The report was initiated because of problems in terms of leaks at units 3 and 4 at Pickering and at Bruce. Up to the time of the publication of the report, there had been no such problems at Pickering units 1 and 2. Therefore, the priorities set out by Ontario Hydro in the management and operation of its nuclear facilities were set in terms of dealing with the situation at the Bruce unit and at Pickering units 3 and 4.
Mr. Rae: Mr. Speaker, the minister will be aware that page 23 of the report states, and I quote: "It therefore appears to be desirable to remove tubes from units 1 and 2 as soon as possible if decisions based on the results of evaluation are to be available in 1983."
The minister will recall that I asked him specifically about Pickering unit 1 in my question to him last week with respect to this issue. I ask him whether he was aware at that time of this recommendation and whether he does not feel, with this recommendation now available, that the government should be testing Pickering unit 1 at the same time as it is testing the tubes in unit 2.
Hon. Mr. Andrewes: Mr. Speaker, once again I want to talk about the fact that this report does not deal specifically with the blistering, the hydriding, in the tubes that allegedly caused the break at Pickering unit 2 on August 3. It deals with a series of problems that were encountered at Pickering units 3 and 4 and at Bruce.
On the whole question of the activities, the restitution and the restarting of Pickering unit 2, I reported accurately and thoroughly last Tuesday in terms of the knowledge that was available with respect to the break in the Pickering tubes on unit 2. As I said, I will endeavour to bring the House up to date when further information is available, and will do that forthwith.
Mr. Peterson: I remind the minister that the report refers specifically to the hydriding problems at Pickering units 1 and 2, because only they have the weak Zircaloy pressure tubes. The minister will be aware that the report recommended removal of the tubes from units 1 and 2 for testing. That is very specific and in the report. My question to the minister again is this: Why was that not done and who made the decision not to do it?
Hon. Mr. Andrewes: I think I answered that question earlier. It was not done because there were certain other priorities dealing with Pickering units 3 and 4 and with the Bruce station. It was a decision of the management of Ontario Hydro not to do that.
Mr. Peterson: it clearly speaks to the need for accountability. I am sure you would agree, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Treasurer. He will be aware that last week we discussed the question of youth unemployment in this province. He said, and I quote, "We have about $250 million going to youth employment programs." I do not believe that is the case. In fact, the 1983-84 budget allocated $121 million, or even less, for specific youth programs. Of this amount, nothing is going to year-round programs offering extended periods of employment combined with educational upgrading for disadvantaged youth.
Would the Treasurer not agree that this kind of program has to be a priority for him, for his government and for this Legislature. and would he undertake to bring in that kind of year-round program?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, of course it is a priority. In fairness, if the honourable member put together many of the programs along with extensions, he would find that the effectiveness of some of those programs covers both winter and summer. There is no point during the year at which there is not a significant level of youth employment program being carried on by the government. If the member believes there are more effective programs that might be mounted, we would welcome his input.
I have had the opportunity to discuss this matter with my colleague the Minister of Education (Miss Stephenson) and my officials, and they have discussed it with the federal government. Indeed, last Thursday I met at some length with the federal Minister of Finance, Mr. Lalonde, and we exchanged views about the need to deal with some programs in the youth unemployment area in particular. We are currently reviewing all those programs.
I want to repeat what I said last week. I believe the core of youth employment programs and training programs in this province remains quite strong, and the financial commitment to them is quite significant. None the less, we all have to continue to find ways to supplement that and to improve those programs, and that is precisely what we are about.
Mr. Peterson: The minister will be aware that a 20 per cent minority of all unemployed youth accounts for a majority of youth unemployment and that this speaks to a long-term chronic situation that has developed. Certain people are forgotten, even underneath the umbrella of his own programs.
I am sure the minister is aware that the Ontario youth employment program, the summer Experience, junior ranger, summer replacement, co-op student hiring and other short-term summer programs account for about 72.6 per cent of all the positions for youth. That leaves only the Ontario career action program, winter Experience and the young Ontario career program to make up the difference in other parts of the year. We are still not addressing that group of young people who have not been able to find any skills or any training or any work under the minister's programs.
Would the Treasurer give us his undertaking as the minister responsible for the development of these programs to address that hard-core group of needy youth who are getting no training and no experience and who at this moment face a very bleak prospect?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: To be fair, when the member outlines those programs, he really should add in all the programs the government has; many of them, though they are not labelled under the specific category of youth employment programs, have a very major and dramatic impact on youth employment.
All the training programs the Ministry of Colleges and Universities has mounted in the last year have a quite significant degree of youth participation, as the member very well knows. All the job creation measures we undertook with the federal government, the total number of job creation initiatives, everything in, amounted, out of last April and May's budget itself, to about $500 million. In terms of the amounts of dollars that are being spent in the unemployment and employment area generally, in fairness, one would have to total in all those amounts and all those programs. With youth unemployment being as high as it is, obviously those programs are going to be targeted to pick up a great number of those people, in addition to those who are picked up and targeted by the youth employment programs themselves.
With respect, I want to share with the member the concern about trying to develop programs which continue to address the problem. Also, to be fair, I should like to indicate that the employment programs mounted with the federal government and with us are very comprehensive, very expensive, and really have provided a vast array of training in other kinds of programs in which youth are participating today. The figures would verify youth are participating in a large way in some of these programs.
I would add one other thing. As we see some of the participation rates of youth in post-secondary education programs, it is also quite clear that some of the unemployed youth are choosing to continue their training in educational programs in some of our post-secondary educational institutions, which I would have to say is quite a good thing.
Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, can the Treasurer explain why a maximum of six out of 72 forestry graduates from Lakehead University were able to find employment this year, either with the government or with industry, when there is such a crying need for unit foresters on the ground in order to implement the program the government has talked about through its forest management agreements?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, I can surely tell the member for Port Arthur that one of the priorities of this government over the next year will be to allow the expansion of the FMA program itself. As he well knows, in this past year we had a major expansion in FMA programs, and if one goes across the range of government activities it will be found that FMAs have experienced the largest growth of just about any new program in this government.
In point of fact, I know the member supports the FMAs in which my colleague the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Pope) has taken some significant and courageous initiative. Just to correct the record for the member, I do support those programs and I can tell him this much --
Mr. Foulds: How about the unemployed foresters?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: -- the honourable member can just keep fishing until he gets one I do not support; keep trying.
I can tell the member that not only do we support everything he has mentioned this afternoon, but the policy and priorities board of cabinet has already decided at this early stage of the allocations process that the FMA program shall continue and be expanded.
Mr. Speaker: The honourable member for Simcoe South -- Essex South, sorry.
Mr. Mancini: Mr. Speaker, I was somebody else.
My supplementary concerning youth unemployment is for the Treasurer. Perhaps the Treasurer is aware that during the 1981-82 fiscal year several millions of dollars which were allocated to the Ontario youth employment program were not spent, and therefore many thousands of unemployed youth did not even get the opportunity to take advantage of these government funds which were allocated to help them attain summer jobs and whatever type of skills they could learn during that period.
Will the Treasurer please review the circumstances which led to that money not being used through the system, and can he assure us from now on he will monitor the programs concerning youth unemployment to ensure that the meagre funds that have been allocated to youth unemployment will be spent?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: With respect, Mr. Speaker, I would like to suggest that the member will not find any amounts not spent in this current fiscal year in any of those programs.
Mr. Rae: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Energy. Did the minister know of the contents of this report when he reported to the House last Tuesday?
Hon. Mr. Andrewes: Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned earlier, this is a working document that comes out of the operation of Ontario Hydro. It is a public document. I reported to the House on the status of the Pickering unit 2 problem and the information that has come forward from Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. in terms of its examination of the tube failure. I reported that to the House accurately and I stand behind that report.
Mr. Rae: Did the minister know of the existence of and the contents of this report when he spoke to the House last Tuesday?
Hon. Mr. Andrewes: If it is relevant to the status of Pickering 2, I did not know.
Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, it is quite obvious that the minister did not know; but he will now be aware that the report deals with the platelet formation caused by the hydriding in the Pickering 1 and 2 units, and the platelets caused the blisters.
The report dealt specifically -- and this is the important part -- with the possible rupture-before- a-leak theory instead of the theory that is being put forward by Hydro, of course, the leak-before-the-break theory.
Mr. Speaker: Question, please.
Mr. Peterson: Is the minister aware that this report in essence refutes what Hydro has been saying about some of the disruptions at Pickering?
Hon. Mr. Andrewes: Mr. Speaker, I think that is a conclusion the Leader of the Opposition is drawing from information contained in this report and other information I have presented to the House. It is a conclusion that I do not find particularly accurate.
Mr. Rae: Would the minister care to comment on the fact that Ontario Hydro did not brief him with respect to a document entitled A Review of Current Knowledge on the Effects of Hydrogen on the Pressure Tubes of Ontario Hydro Operating Reactors before the minister reported to this House on that very subject last Tuesday? Does he not find this absolutely incredible? How does he feel as a minister coming into this House and telling us about the plans that Ontario Hydro has with respect to the reactors at Pickering when he has not even been briefed with respect to the contents of this report, which contradicts the kinds of statements he made last Tuesday?
Hon. Mr. Andrewes: I want to remind the honourable leader of the third party that this report deals with a variety of issues that Hydro has, as I understand, embarked on implementing. It deals with the issue of hydriding; it deals particularly with the issue of hydriding related to the leakages that occurred in Pickering units 3 and 4 and at Bruce. These leakages were not caused by the alleged blisters on the tubes, which apparently have caused the problem in Pickering unit 2.
So I think to draw the conclusion that this report simply and solely sets out what might have happened in Pickering unit 2 one year ago is a false conclusion to come to. That is the purpose of the research that is going on at Chalk River; that is the purpose of my report of last week. The further details that are coming out from Chalk River and that research will be reported to the House, as I said earlier.
Mr. Rae: The minister has not only been mugged, he has been left out to dry and is still hanging out there.
I have another set of questions for the minister. The minister will be aware that on page 24 of this report it states: "Unplanned outages can be expected if hydride-related problems develop over the next few years." I do not recall the minister saying anything about that last Tuesday.
"Operation of tubes with low flaw tolerance under certain conditions could also result." I do not recall the minister saying anything about that last Tuesday.
"The consequences of this could be tube rupture and obviously substantial damage to the reactor core." I do not recall the minister saying anything about that last Tuesday.
Mr. Speaker: Question, please.
Mr. Rae: If the substance of what the minister had to say last week was not misleading, why was this information not presented to the House last Tuesday, if indeed it was public information?
Hon. Mr. Andrewes: The question of misleading the House I find a little out of the way at this time. I told members that this report deals with a variety of issues. This report does not specifically deal with the issue of hydriding and blisters on the tubes themselves that have allegedly caused the problems at Pickering 2. This report deals with the question of REFAB, a process of retrofitting reactors to make them operate efficiently and safely and to extend the life of those reactors.
I cannot emphasize enough that this is a generic study related to several problems of hydriding, but specifically to the whole question of the effects of increased hydrogen at the tube ends.
Mr. Rae: I asked the minister a question specifically relating to unit 1 last week. On page 23, with respect to units 1 and 2, this report states quite specifically, "It therefore appears to be desirable to remove tubes from units 1 and 2 as soon as possible if decisions based on the results of evaluation are to be available in 1983." Why was I not given this information last week?
Hon. Mr. Andrewes: May I read further from the report? If the leader of the third party will go to page 23, the third paragraph starts off like this: "The decision dates for rehabilitation of Pickering units 1 and 2 have not been fixed but the feasibility of REFAB is to be established by early 1982." There are another two paragraphs and then the paragraph that the leader of the third party has read.
Once again, I think he wants to be conscious of what was being studied in this report. This report was not specific to the alleged cause of the break at Pickering unit 2. It was a generic study that undertook a variety of observations related to a number of reactor problems.
Mr. Peterson: For the benefit of those who only read executive summaries of various reports, let me refer to page 24 of this report. Paragraph 4.6 speaks of the consequences of tube removal. Paragraph 4.7 speaks of the consequences of not removing the tubes. Then there is the conclusion, which is the bottom line of this report: "The arguments for pressure tube removal have been presented and discussed. Tube removal appears to be necessary and a suggested time frame has been established." That is what the bottom line of this report is.
Mr. Speaker: And now for the question.
Mr. Peterson: Why was it not done?
Hon. Mr. Andrewes: Having had a briefing on this report, again I am quite confident that this is a generic report. The conclusions refer not only to Pickering units 1 and 2 but also to units 3 and 4, as well as to the Bruce units. Many of the programs suggested in this report have been instituted and an ongoing set of priorities will be established. The problems confronting Ontario Hydro with Pickering unit 2 have certainly pre-empted some of the activities outlined in this report and have set new priorities for the utility.
Mr. Rae: Now that the utility has this set of new priorities and the life of pressure tubes is substantially less than that of the life of the reactors themselves, and it now appears that the core of the reactors is going to have to be rebuilt several times over in the life of the reactors --
Mr. Speaker: Question, please.
Mr. Rae: -- can the minister table before this House any estimates with respect to cost, and the very different cost scenario that now appears thanks to the exclusively nuclear future that his government has built for the province?
Hon. Mr. Andrewes: I am not prepared to table that specific detail at this time.
UNCONDITIONAL MUNICIPAL GRANTS
Mr. Van Horne: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. It is a question regarding changes in the unconditional grants program.
Mr. Speaker: Order. I have recognized the member for London North with a new question.
Mr. Van Horne: I was waiting for the endangered species at the end to finish its noise.
This is a question to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. In view of the concern that has been raised by municipalities across Ontario about the government's discussion paper proposals related to changes in the unconditional grant program -- a concern, by the way, that I think the minister referred to in Kirkland Lake as "hysteria" -- will he assure this House that no changes will be made in the unconditional grant program until all municipalities have had the opportunity to fully understand and financially assess the various proposals put forward by his ministry, by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and by the northeastern mayors' group?
Further, will he guarantee to this House that, regardless of whatever changes may be made, no municipality will receive less than it is currently receiving?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, I am sure that if the member were to continue to read the article relating to my remarks in Kirkland Lake, he would see what I also said in relation to the fairness of play with which this government has always treated its municipalities in the transfer formulas. Indeed, I said at the time that this government had never stood by and watched municipalities suffer as a result of a change in formulas relating to this or other aspects of our survival in Ontario.
I said to AMO in August of this year, and I will repeat again, that we will be reviewing with AMO the various briefs they have submitted to us along with those of various municipalities. When we have concluded that and have arrived at whether it is a completely acceptable situation or not, the decision will be with this ministry and this government to make the announcement.
Mr. Van Horne: The question is raised because the minister not only used the word "hysteria" but I think in his comments he also used the term "winners and losers," and he has said more than once that there would be winners and losers in this situation.
Mr. Speaker: Question, please.
Mr. Van Horne: Given that Kirkland Lake would stand to lose $718,000 under his proposal, North Bay would stand to lose almost $250,000, Hearst would lose $157,000 and Red Lake would lose $129,000, can the minister give this House any assurance that these municipalities will not be affected adversely when the changes are implemented by him?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: I think we had better go back and have a look at what the white paper happened to be about. Very clearly, it was suggesting to municipalities that we were trying to fulfil some of the requests that have been made to this ministry over the last number of years in trying to simplify the formula of the transfer of funds between the province and the municipalities.
What we put down in the white paper were examples. Indeed, it was not spelled out in any way, shape or form that they were conclusively a new formula to be established by this ministry and this government in relation to those transfers. I said very clearly at AMO, and I will repeat again in this House, that they were put out as an example to try to draw out from the municipalities some views and positions they would like to take. AMO, as the member is likely aware, has submitted to us a position paper at the moment and is continuing to study further the position of the transfer of funds between the province and the municipalities.
It would be foolish of me to stand here as a minister and say we are going to guarantee that those figures are or are not correct, because there was not a formula put in place that would positively relate to a transfer policy at this time. They were only examples.
I repeat that if the member will look at the article from Kirkland Lake, what I said in relation to the hysteria had to do with one member of that council who went off on the fact that because we had used these as examples, that was what his municipality was going to suffer. It was not the case at all; he knew very well it was not the case. He and other municipal representatives have used it as a leverage factor in trying to say to the government, "We will not accept any transfer unless it has an advantageous position for our municipality."
I do assure this House that if we get into the transfer formula and have it changed, rest assured the municipalities will not suffer.
Mr. Rae: Mr. Speaker, I still have not heard a clear statement from the minister. Is he or is he not prepared to guarantee that regardless of which scheme the ministry eventually adopts, no municipality will receive less money than it was receiving before?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, let us also take into the analysis that at the time we do this transferring there might be other situations that will change in those communities that are not part of the current calculation of the formula, so if we keep it on a static basis as to how we are calculating today -- that is, population and various other factors -- there could very well not be any change or loss to those municipalities.
I said to the municipalities --
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Just a moment, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker: Never mind the interjections.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Very well. I will go back to the question of the leader of the third party. If other parts of the formula that currently are in place have changed -- population has changed, the assessment has changed ...
Mr. Foulds: Oh, if the assessments change.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Oh, isn't that interesting. Those come into play right now in the transferring factors in the municipalities. I said if the formula was changed they would not suffer, provided all other things stayed equal.
CLOSURE OF HOMES FOR DEVELOPMENTALLY HANDICAPPED
Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Acting Minister of Community and Social Services. We missed the minister and his imitation of Frank Drea meeting Marie Antoinette outside this afternoon. I think it would have been a great crowd-pleaser.
We expected a statement from the minister today around deinstitutionalization. I wonder if in his answer to me he might inform this House whether or not his first review of the situation does not bring him to the conclusion that there has been a diminishing of the commitment by his government to deinstitutionalization and to community programs for the mentally retarded in this province, especially when we note that 3,800 people were deinstitutionalized in this province between 1975 and 1983, whereas he is only projecting 1,000 to be deinstitutionalized in the next five years --
Mr. Speaker: Question, please.
Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, if you would follow it, this is part of the meat of the question. Of the 1,000 people the minister is saying he will deinstitutionalize over the next five years, 25 to 30 per cent will actually go back to big institutions, so only 600 as compared with 3,800 people will be deinstitutionalized, and he is perpetuating long waiting lists for community care in the province. Does the minister not agree that in his review there has been a diminishing of a commitment to deinstitutionalization and community programs for the mentally retarded in this province?
Hon. Mr. McCaffrey: Mr. Speaker, at the outset, no, I do not agree there has been any change or alteration in that commitment. If it would be appropriate now, I might tell the member for Scarborough West I indicated to the Speaker I did have the answer today.
Mr. Speaker: No, I would rather have that a little later, if you do not mind.
Hon. Mr. McCaffrey: Then no, there is no change in the commitment to deinstitutionalization.
Mr. McClellan: I would like to ask the minister whether he is aware of the following factual information which was provided to me by the executive director of the Metropolitan Toronto Association for the Mentally Retarded.
Mr. Speaker: Let us assume the minister is aware and put your question, please.
Mr. McClellan: Is the minister aware specifically that the last time they received funding for a new adult group home in the Metro Toronto area was 1981, that they have four additional proposals which are still awaiting funding and that, as of August 31 of this year, the waiting list for community living facilities within Metropolitan Toronto was 437? With a waiting list of 437, he has provided six spaces. Does the minister not understand that the program of deinstitutionalization is virtually in a shambles?
Hon. Mr. McCaffrey: I think I indicated on Friday, and I suspect in fairness to the questioner I should reiterate it, I am not aware of the details to which he has just alluded. I am prepared to discuss the concept of deinstitutionalization and the government's commitment thereto, but the member asked some important and specific questions. With his permission, I think I would like to get back an answer on those specific numbers he has raised.
Mr. Wrye: Mr. Speaker, the acting minister will be aware that the Ontario Association for the Mentally Retarded gave its conditional approval to the closings based on the fact that none of those who were involved in the closing of the six centres would be brought hack to larger institutions. I will return to one of my leader's questions on Friday, which pointed out that of the 99 people, 32 have since been returned to larger institutions. Does the minister not believe the fact that one third are already back in larger institutions is reneging on the promise made to the association and to those people and their families that they would not be shifted back to larger institutions?
Hon. Mr. McCaffrey: Mr. Speaker, I do not want to get into a situation where the prepared detailed response I undertook on Friday to bring back to the House today is going to parallel some other comments I would make, but I guess I am forced to.
In my meetings with the people in the Ministry of Community and Social Services, we spoke to that very point about the commitment that no one would be moved to larger institutions. At the very best, I could not determine there had been such an undertaking, but further and maybe more to the point, the Ministry of Community and Social Services, we spoke to that very point about the commitment that no one would be moved to larger institutions. At the very best, I could not determine there had been such an undertaking, but further and maybe more to the point, the resolution as to the individuals within each of the six institutions on balance has been satisfactory. That is on the basis of discussions with the parents and members of the family. While there are some shifts from one institution to another, I am not aware of any commitment that precluded a move to an institution from a closing institution.
TORONTO TRANSIT COMMISSION CONTRACT
Mr. Hennessy: Mr. Speaker, I direct my question to the Minister of Transportation and Communications. With regard to the Urban Transportation Development Corp. proposal for replacement of subway cars for the Toronto Transit Commission and with regard to Canadian Car in Thunder Bay, would the minister be kind enough to intercede on behalf of Can-Car in Thunder Bay to ask Mr. Ian Sinclair, who is evaluating tenders on behalf of the TTC, to speed up the awarding of tenders, as many workers in the Can-Car plant are facing layoffs if quick action is not taken?
On Saturday I had a delegation come to my office. They were concerned there would be a delay in the awarding of the Santa Clara contract to some time in the summertime. If the TTC contracts do not come in quite soon, they will be forced to lay off a great number of people. They are greatly concerned, and I share that concern. I would like the minister to contact Mr. lan Sinclair, who is employed by the city of Toronto to evaluate the contracts, to see if he can perhaps speed them up a bit.
Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I would like to clarify the point as to whom Mr. Sinclair is working for. My colleague indicated he is working for the city of Toronto. An article in the Thunder Bay newspaper says he is working for the Ontario government. He is working for the TTC. He has been appointed by the TTC to evaluate the tenders which have been submitted by UTDC.
Mr. Peterson: That wasn't the question.
Hon. Mr. Snow: In response to the interjection of the Leader of the Opposition, I have to say that remark was uncalled for.
Mr. Speaker: Never mind the interjections. Let us get back to the main question.
Hon. Mr. Snow: I am very much aware there will be major layoffs, I expect, at Hawker Siddeley's Can-Car plant at approximately Christmas-time of this year. This is brought about by the completion of Hawker Siddeley's only current contract, which is to make the bilevel cars for GO Transit. I understand that contract will be completed and the last cars delivered by the end of 1983.
UTDC's involvement with Hawker Siddeley and Can-Car takes place on January 4, 1984, when the agreement that was entered into a few months ago will be completed and UTDC will become a formal partner with Hawker Siddeley in that plant. I have to say that at least there is a new contract for that plant which will provide jobs, even if not immediately. Without UTDC's involvement, I believe it is quite likely those layoffs at Christmas could have been permanent.
The TTC proposal was submitted to the TTC by UTDC in late August of this year. As with any of those types of contracts or proposals, there have been some negotiations going on since that time. The TTC has appointed Mr. Ian Sinclair to be an arbitrator or a reviewer to review those tenders and proposals and to advise the TTC on his views as to the fairness of the proposed contracts.
I hope Mr. Sinclair will be reporting to the commission so it can make its report by the first week of November. I will have to say that in making a report on a contract like this, from August to November is quite good timing. I also might mention that the bid that was submitted on the Santa Clara contract went in on March 18.
Mr. Speaker: I really do not think that had anything to do with the question.
Mr. Hennessy: With all due respect to the member of my party, my question --
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Hennessy: -- to the minister is: The people of Thunder Bay, whom I represent, have asked me to ask the minister to speak to Mr. Sinclair and not have it come in on November 1, but to have it come in next week or a little sooner, because every day is important.
Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, with all due respect, I was coming to that part of the answer before I was cut off at the knees. I was trying to explain that it does take a reasonable period of time to evaluate this type of contract. The Santa Clara contract took seven months from the submission of the tender until we had the contract.
I am afraid I have to tell my colleague and member of my party that it would not be appropriate for me to call Mr. Ian Sinclair because he is an arbitrator appointed by the TTC. Even though he may be a constituent of mine, I do not think it is appropriate for me to call him on this particular contract. Anyone here would believe that would be inappropriate.
I am very much aware that everyone is anxious to see the contract between the TTC and UTDC concluded so that the additional work for the Can-Car plant could be added to the Santa Clara contract. I will do everything possible to see that comes about as soon as possible. I can assure the member and workers at Can-Car that I can foresee no undue delay. Certainly, the process has been going along very speedily to this time.
Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Speaker, is the minister aware that this very proud Can-Car plant, that at one time employed in excess of 1,000 people, is, according to reports by Mr. Foley in the media yesterday --
Mr. Stokes: Would you believe 5,000?
Mr. Cunningham: I am talking about modern times -- is looking at layoffs that may require its maximum employment in the future to be reduced to somewhere in the area of 300 people?
Can the minister confirm those statements made by Mr. Foley recently?
Hon. Mr. Snow: I am very much aware of that very proud Can-Car plant; but if that very proud Can-Car plant had taken the initiative to get contracts some time ago, perhaps there would not be as big a layoff as there has been.
As I have previously stated, and I do not want to be accused of repeating myself, I am very much aware that there will be major layoffs in December at the end of this current contract. Everything possible has been done to gain new contracts since UTDC entered into the partnership with Hawker Siddeley. I think they have been very successful and should be congratulated.
However, when you enter into one of these contracts, it does not provide jobs immediately, the next day. There is a considerable lead-in period to set up, to expedite, to actually do the construction of the cars on the plant floor. There is an acquisition period when all the orders must be placed, the final engineering completed and the plant got ready.
Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, can the minister confirm that there will be fewer than 100 people working at the Can-Car plant this Christmas? Can he explain why he thinks it is inappropriate for him to put some pressure on a part-time commissioner, a part-time arbitrator, Ian Sinclair, in order to provide full-time jobs in Thunder Bay? Why is it inappropriate for the minister to put pressure on him to come to a conclusion?
Hon. Mr. Snow: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I am aware. I have said it twice and I will say it again. I am aware that there well may be major layoffs at the end of the bilevel contract which is to be completed in December. I will again say that I can only assume, and it is my impression, that those layoffs would have been permanent and the Can-Car plant would have been totally closed had it not been for the arrangement made between UTDC and Hawker Siddeley.
You may say that is conjecture, but I think that would have been the case and I think most of the people in Thunder Bay would agree with me. However, when the new contracts start to roll, I hope that plant will be booming again the way it was some number of years ago, mainly doing contracts for the TTC or for GO Transit; except that we want to make the base much broader than the TTC and GO Transit.
I am not going to try to explain to the member why it would not be appropriate for me to call Ian Sinclair. I do not think it would. I think there would be a conflict of interest if I, as the minister responsible for UTDC, were to put pressure on Ian Sinclair, the arbitrator appointed by our customer, to come up with a decision. If the member cannot see any reason why I should not, then he is not as smart as I thought he was.
CLOSURE OF HOMES FOR DEVELOPMENTALLY HANDICAPPED
Hon. Mr. McCaffrey: Mr. Speaker, this is in response to a number of questions that were asked last Friday.
Honourable members will recall that, of the 100 residents who moved from the St. Lawrence Regional Centre in Brockville when it closed on June 30, 25 were transferred to other facilities and 75 were placed in the community. This issue was discussed fully during the ministry's estimates debates earlier this year and, as the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Drea) reported to this House on April 28, 1983, and on May 19, 1983, the achievements of the Brockville closure exceeded earlier ministry predictions with respect to the number of residents who would be capable of community living.
Since the closure three residents have gone to the Rideau Regional Centre because of behavioural problems, and no further community placements are planned for them at this time. One man has been temporarily placed in Rideau pending return to a community placement. Another resident has been transferred to Rideau from the Adult Occupational Centre in Edgar. Three higher-functioning persons are currently being treated at Kingston Psychiatric Hospital for recurrences.
During the years 1975 to 1982 the Ministry of Community and Social Services has successfully discharged 3,800 people from its facilities to the community. Experience through this period has shown that approximately 10 per cent of the residents discharged from facilities incur adjustment problems. The St. Lawrence experience, therefore, compares with this norm. This is an outstanding achievement of community placement, especially when one considers that detractors of the plan predicted that as many as two thirds of the residents would be transferred to other facilities.
With regard to the two privately operated group homes in the Brockville area, I can give the fullest assurance that community boards will be overseeing these operations within the very short future. In the meantime, these homes are under the direct supervision of the ministry's area office and are providing excellent care to the residents.
With respect to the Bluewater Centre, 67 of the 150 residents have already been placed -- 42 of those in community residences and 25 in facilities. The ministry proposes to move a total of 65 residents to facilities because of program needs, parental requests or to bring these individuals closer to their homes. Most of these 65 will go to the Midwestern Regional Centre in Palmerston, a facility similar in size and environment to the Bluewater Centre. The rest will move to the community residences that are currently being established. Plans have been finalized for all of the 150 residents.
As to the consultation process, all parents, next of kin or interested friends have been individually consulted before final decisions have been made in every case. The consultation process has not been sporadic. In fact, it has provided the first opportunity for those concerned to find out the real facts of the plan.
To date, this consultation has succeeded in assuring the majority of parents that we do have realistic and meaningful community plans for their sons and daughters and that we do indeed intend to keep the promise by assuring that: first, no residents will be moved until a properly supervised residential placement is available, a daytime work training or activity program is in place and the additional community backup and support are available to ensure a smooth transition to the community; second, no facility will close until appropriate provision is made for every single individual; and, last, all parents or next of kin will be fully consulted before a final decision is made.
For examples of the success of this consultation process, one need look no further than to two cases --
Mr. Speaker: I think really you are to give specific answers to specific questions, and having done that, thank you very much.
Mr. Rae: Mr. Speaker, I would simply like to ask the minister whether he can now confirm that as a result of what has happened, centres have been closed and transformed into institutions for young offenders in the case of several of the centres. In fact, as many as a third, or up to 40 per cent in the case of the Bluewater Centre, have simply been transferred to another larger-sized institution.
Given that fact, how can the minister possibly talk about the changes that have taken place in these institutions having been done with the interests of the residents in mind? Does he not recognize that what has happened because of its own internal needs in terms of institutions and in terms of its penal program for young people -- is that the government has decided to shuffle people around from one institution to another in the name of so-called deinstitutionalization and that the program is nothing short of a fraud on the people of this province?
Hon. Mr. McCaffrey: With respect, Mr. Speaker, the point the leader of the third party raises compares to the point raised by the member for Windsor-Sandwich (Mr. Wrye). I have in my possession -- and I have no reason in the world to think I am the only person with this public document -- a News Backgrounder sent out by the Ministry of Community and Social Services which speaks to that very point of transferring to institutions. I quote:
"Those residents of the six institutions to be closed who are not yet capable of living in the community will be transferred to institutions that are closer to their homes or that offer specialized programs they require."
It is a moot point about the size of the institution they are being transferred to --
Mr. Rae: It's not a moot point if you're living there, brother.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. McCaffrey: With respect, the commitment was made by the Minister of Community and Social Services, as I recall in estimates, but it is repeated again in this public document, that the transfers -- any transfers of any residents from any of the six institutions -- will not increase the size of any one of those institutions to which they are being transferred. It is not a shell game, as the honourable member is trying to make it out to be.
The last point the leader of the third party alludes to is that this was somehow a package proposal, to close six institutions and then reopen several of them because of the impending proclamation of the Young Offenders Act. In fact, I think two of the six institutions have been identified as facilities that will be used when the Young Offenders Act is proclaimed, but no undertaking has ever been made beyond those two.
Mr. Boudria: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Agriculture and Food on World Food Day. In view of the fact that Sunday, October 16, was World Food Day, "a day to draw world attention to the issue of food production and supply and distribution," in his words, would the Minister of Agriculture and Food tell us how in good conscience he can allow a situation whereby thousands of chickens in eastern Ontario, equalling millions of pounds of food, will be spoiled by his inaction in refusing to tell the Ontario Chicken Producers' Marketing Board to allow them to go to market in this province? How can he allow that to happen as the Minister of Agriculture and Food?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I have been very concerned to learn in recent months that the apparent position of the official opposition in this province is that the government should dictate to the producer marketing hoards in this province how they are to manage their affairs.
The history of the situation to which the honourable member alludes is a very lengthy one. Suffice to say that we in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food have been attempting for some time now to facilitate an orderly answer to the problem to which he refers. Part of that process has been an offer made to every one of the producers in question, that is, people who do not have quotas, who apparently have been producing chickens outside the marketing system, to have those birds processed in Ontario if they would sign papers agreeing not to place any more chicks until such time as the matter of their quotas is resolved.
I am very disappointed to learn that the position of the official opposition is that the 46-year history of the relationship between the government of Ontario and producer marketing boards should be so substantially changed that now the government should start running the boards and telling them how to conduct their own affairs. That would be a very sad state of affairs.
Mr. Boudria: Is this the best answer the minister can give to Roger St. Denis of my riding, who has lost 7,000 chickens that have overgrown their size and are now collapsing and dying under their own weight because the marketing boards will not allow them to go to market? That is only one farmer. Does the minister not think an answer such as that is not a feather in his cap?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I am sure the member is not going to buy extra copies of Hansard to send that one out to his constituents.
What the member for Prescott-Russell is going to tell Mr. St. Denis --
Mr. Boudria: What I am going to tell him is that it's your policy.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Does the member want an answer?
Mr. Speaker: Order. Briefly, please.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Very simply, what we are talking about is the orderly conduct of the affairs of a group of producers in this province who elected many years ago to operate under a supply management system. I take it that if at any time somebody were to come along and say, "We want to take the quota away from your area for a particular commodity to put it somewhere else in the province because we think we should have the right to do it," the member would defend the marketing system.
In this case, the member has opted instead to make some rather irrational and unjustified statements about members of my staff and about the whole process. I will be glad next spring, when we get into estimates, to go through that with him. The offer to Mr. St. Denis. as to every member of GEVEO, Groupe des éleveurs des volailles d'est Ontario, has been that they could process all their birds, every last one of them, in Ontario if they would sign the legal documents agreeing not to place any more chicks until such time as their quota desires or applications are resolved. That is the best answer I can possibly give. Otherwise, I take it what the member is saying is that the whole marketing system in this province should be disbanded.
Mr. Speaker: The time for oral questions has expired.
LENGTH OF MINISTERIAL ANSWER
Mr. Wrye: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order: I am really seeking your guidance. You will note that section 27(a) says, "The minister may take an oral question as notice to be answered orally at a later sitting" -- and that is what my friend the acting Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. McCaffrey) did -- "but where any reserved answer requires a lengthy statement the statement shall be given under Statements by the Ministry."
I may be incorrect, but I believe the minister's answer ran between four minutes and four minutes and 10 seconds. At what point does that not become a statement? It sounded awfully like a statement to me.
Mr. Speaker: The Provincial Secretary for Social Development is standing in and taking questions for another minister and I was going to speak to him after this session.
Mr. Speaker: Just a minute. He is attempting to answer an accumulation of questions that have been put to him on previous days. He has undertaken to provide an answer, as he said he would. I do not think that could be covered under statements, quite obviously. Perhaps he should deal with them one at a time on a one-to-one basis, perhaps by tabling the answer, perhaps by sending a memo to the individual member. To accumulate them as he has done, and I am not being critical, does take up a lot of the time of the House.
WHITE FARM EQUIPMENT
Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order: It has been many days since the Minister of Industry and Trade (Mr. F. S. Miller) has been available in this House. We heard his quavering voice on Metro Morning from Tokyo, and it may be that he is not going to come back at all because we know they have to spend a week in Maui on their way back.
I wonder what we are going to do, the member for Brantford (Mr. Gillies) and I, about White Farm Equipment since there does not seem to be anybody over there looking after the interests of those 1,000 workers and there is no one we can put a question to. Could you arrange to see that the matter is set right for members of the House who are not supporters of the government?
Mr. Speaker: As the honourable member knows, it is beyond my authority to do that or to keep track of any of the ministers. However, I am sure one of the ministers has taken notice of the member's question and will address himself to it appropriately.
Mr. Nixon: I have another point of order, Mr. Speaker. I know you and all of the members will want to be reminded that this is the 16th anniversary of the general election of October 17, 1967, I believe. A number of our colleagues have survived that long: five Liberals, two New Democrats and three Tories.
Actually, that was a great campaign. The issue was, "It's time for a change after 24 years of Tory rule." The positive aspect we Liberals offered then was the slogan that appeared on every bumper sticker in the province, "Nixon Now."
Mr. Speaker: That was hardly a point of order, but a point of interest indeed. Thank you.
Mr. Kennedy: I have a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker. Indeed, 1967 was a great year. My point of privilege, however, is that I have been trying for a couple of days to get on with a question to ask the status of the appeal in the granting of bail to a young man after the holdup of a Becker's milk store in Peel, and I cannot get on.
I want to explain. On each of the days since the House reconvened, apart from the questions of the leaders of the two opposition parties and the replies, we have had only three or four questions from other members in this Legislature. There are about 120 others who may have very urgent and pressing things to discuss, and this is one of them.
I know you referred to it on the reference to the point of order that was raised across the floor, Mr. Speaker, but I wish the government House leader (Mr. Wells) or someone would take this up so other members could be heard.
Mr. Speaker: That is a point that is well made and well taken. Perhaps some of the member's colleagues on all sides of the House will take note of that. I would point out for the benefit of all members that 32 minutes were allotted to the answering of questions by private members, and everybody on all sides of the House participated.
Mr. Martel: No. no. That is not quite the fact.
Mr. Speaker: It is so. I have nothing to do with the answers, as the member knows.
Mr. Cunningham: On that point of order, Mr. Speaker: Anticipating the sincerity of the question I believe my colleague opposite would advance if he were given the opportunity by way of time, and in view of the fact that we did have some very long answers, might we seek unanimous consent of the House for that honourable member to put his question either to the Premier (Mr. Davis) or the appropriate individual in question?
Those of us who have followed that issue in the press understand the depth of feeling that member and the rest of us have on this subject. Perhaps we might allow him, with the unanimous consent of the House, to put that question.
Mr. Speaker: That is rather interesting. With unanimous consent, the House can of course do anything. Is there unanimous consent?
Some hon members: Agreed.
Some hon members: For what?
Mr. Speaker: Do you not know what you are saying agreed to? The question put forward by the member for Wentworth North (Mr. Cunningham) was that I seek unanimous consent of the House for the member for Mississauga South (Mr. Kennedy) to place a question.
Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, would you recognize a supplementary question from each of the other two parties on the original question'?
Mr. Speaker: If it is the wish of the House, I am obligated to do that, as you know. Is it the wish of the House?
BAIL ORDER REVIEW
Mr. Kennedy: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate very much the point brought forward by the member for Wentworth North and, of course, the consent of the House. My problem is that the minister to whom I want to address the question is not in the chamber. My question is for the Attorney General, but I see he has left the chamber. I do not know whether he is coming in or not.
Mr. Speaker: I am told he is on his way in.
Mr. Kennedy: Could I perhaps address it to the Premier (Mr. Davis)?
Mr. Speaker: I think you can place your question now.
Mr. Kennedy: I thank the chamber again.
Will the Attorney General advise the House as to the status of the crown's appeal in the granting of bail to Clive Brown, which I understand is before the county or regional court in Peel, with respect to the Becker's milk store holdup?
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, as my colleague knows, I instructed crown counsel to have the bail order reviewed in the higher court. I am sorry I cannot give him the precise day of the hearing. I do not think it had been set as of last week. To the best of my knowledge, it will be heard some time this week.
Mr. Kennedy: I would appreciate it being expedited.
In the light of escalating crime and violence, will the Attorney General consider giving a directive to judges to toughen bail conditions or even to cancel bail conditions in the event of crimes of violence to ensure there is still a balance of justice? As justice delayed is supposed to be justice denied, could he also instruct the judiciary to speed up trials? Perhaps that same directive could go out to the legal profession across this province.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I think the honourable member is aware that I do not issue directives to any members of the judiciary. In this respect, my directives would go to the crown attorneys with respect to vigorously opposing bail in the appropriate cases.
I agree with him wholeheartedly in relation to the necessity to expedite trials. I certainly share his concerns with respect to trial delays. I think these trial delays are of particular seriousness in regard to crimes of violence. As the honourable members know, the provisions for bail are set out in the Criminal Code. There is a presumption of innocence which prevails and it places a heavy onus on the crown in relation to seeking a denial of bail, unless the person is already out on another bail.
The member's concern about this matter and about trial delays in general is shared by all members of the Legislature. I will continue to urge my crown attorneys to expedite this matter so that the criminal justice system properly reflects the abhorrence of the public to these very serious crimes of violence.
Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Speaker, with the Attorney General's previous and personal interest in the myriad of other cases, would he take it upon himself, given the severity of the particular case to which his colleague has referred, to personally intercede in this and to do everything in his power to ensure that the provision of bail is rescinded in this situation?
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I certainly have very much personal interest in the matter, given the circumstances. I have instructed my crown law office to monitor the case very carefully and I will advise the House of any further developments that I think are relevant.
I would just reiterate that I do share the concern that has been expressed today.
Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, in considering the matter, would the Attorney General consider two things? One, would he table in this Legislature, as soon as possible, both the arguments put by the crown and by the defence counsel at that trial and the remarks of the judge when he granted bail under the conditions which he did grant it, so that the members of the assembly and in particular of the justice committee would be aware of them?
Second, would the Attorney General consider, if the report is true that Mr. Clive Brown is now unavailable, whether rather than simply appealing the matter he would move in that court to revoke the bail?
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I will certainly make copies of the transcripts available to members of the justice committee and other interested members when the transcripts are available. I am not totally aware of the circumstances surrounding the accused's purported absence from school, contrary to the order of the provincial court judge, but I will review that matter as well. If it is an appropriate case for applying to rescind the bail, as the member for Riverdale has suggested, that will certainly be explored.
Mr. Kennedy: Is it a fact that this man is unavailable?
Mr. Speaker: Order. That was the final supplementary.
INFLATION RESTRAINT LEGISLATION
Mr. Newman: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my colleague the member for Wellington South (Mr. Worton), I wish to table a petition which reads:
"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."
This petition is signed by 47 teachers.
Mr. McKessock: Mr. Speaker, I want to present a petition which is worded similarly to that of my colleague, and signed by a great number of teachers in my riding.
Mr. Eakins: Mr. Speaker, I have a petition which reads:
"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 would 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 petition is signed by 86 teachers representing Queen Victoria Public School, Lindsay; Central Senior Public School, Lindsay; Woodville Elementary School, Woodville; Grandview Public School, Bethany; Parkview Public School, Lindsay; and King Albert Public School, Lindsay.
Mr. Boudria: Mr. Speaker, I have a similar petition signed by 14 teachers of Meadowview Public School in Cumberland, Ontario.
Mr. Rae: Mr. Speaker, I have a petition in my hand signed by teachers at six public schools in Metropolitan Toronto with respect to the Inflation Restraint Act, which, as you will recall, our party alone opposed in the Legislature last year and which was passed with the full support of the members of the Liberal Party in the province.
"We petition the Ontario Legislature to restore our free collective bargaining rights forthwith under Bill 100, the School Boards and Teachers Collective Negotiations Act."
I want to state for the record that we support the petition.
Ms. Copps: Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from teachers at 11 elementary schools in my riding, representing almost 200 signatures, 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 would have a similar effect would violate the spirit of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms;
Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, before I present this petition, might I remind you that again today you noticed the great television coverage we had after the two leaders finished their questions. It was nonexistent for the rest of the members of the Legislature. I draw that to your attention.
Mr. Speaker: Is this part of your petition?
Mr. Martel: No. I will get on to the petition, but I just want --
Mr. Martel: Yes, and the press gallery is helping make sure that people know what is going on in this Legislature.
Mr. Speaker, I want to present a petition similar to that of my leader from a number of public schools in my area representing the Sudbury public school women teachers' federation. I will name the schools, if I may, rather than read the whole petition: College Street Public School, Charles McCrea Public School, Westmount Avenue Public School, Ruth Macmillan Centre, Alexander Public School, Algonquin Avenue Public School, C. R. Judd Public School in the great town of Capreol, Markstay, Wahnapitae and Warren Public School, Pinecrest Public School in Val Caron and finally -- I am sorry, I cannot read it; I cannot make out the writing.
I want to present this petition on their behalf and say that we support their endeavours wholeheartedly. I hope everyone else does.
Mr. Allen: Mr. Speaker, I have a petition to the same effect from a number of schools in Hamilton: Earl Kitchener Junior, Bennetto Senior, Hess Street Junior, Holbrook Junior, Seneca Junior, Central Junior, Dr. J. Edgar Davey Junior, Armstrong Junior, Ryerson Senior, Allenby Junior, Dalewood Senior and Sir John A. Macdonald Secondary School, totalling 198 petitioners, whose petition I support.
Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, I have a petition 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 believe that an extension of the act or measures which would have a similar effect would violate the spirit of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms;
The petition is signed by nine teachers of the student school in the riding of Riverdale.
Mr. Stokes: Mr. Speaker, I have a similar petition signed by teachers from Green Mantle Public School in Nipigon, Red Rock Public School, Dorion Public School and George O'Neill Public School in Nipigon.
Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, I have a similar petition to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, signed by 25 teachers of Jones Avenue Adult Education Centre in the riding of Riverdale.
I have a further petition in the same terms addressed to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, signed by 65 teachers of Danforth Technical School in the riding of Riverdale.
I have a further petition in identical terms addressed to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, signed by 43 teachers of Riverdale Collegiate Institute in the riding of Riverdale.
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS
CITY OF ETOBICOKE ACT
Mr. Kolyn moved, seconded by Mr. Pollock, first reading of Bill Pr47, An Act respecting the City of Etobicoke.
Motion agreed to.
HERITAGE WINDSOR ACT
Mr. Newman moved, seconded by Mr. Wrye, first reading of Bill Pr13, An Act to incorporate Heritage Windsor.
Motion agreed to.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
CONSTITUTION AMENDMENT PROCLAMATION (CONTINUED)
Resuming the adjourned debate on government motion 10: Rights and freedoms of the first inhabitants of Canada, the aboriginal peoples.
Hon. Mr. Sterling: Mr. Speaker, I am honoured today to be able to speak to the Legislature in support of the resolution proposed to amend the Constitution of Canada with respect to aboriginal and treaty rights of Canada's aboriginal peoples.
Before I do, I would like to speak, for the information of the members of the Legislature, of the passing of Richard Pine. Senator Pine, as he was more commonly known, was from the Garden River Indian Reserve near Sault Ste. Marie.
Senator Pine was the great grandson of Chief Chingkawuk, who signed the Robinson-Huron treaty in 1850. He was actively involved in the field of Indian affairs for all of his life. He was once chief of the Garden River Indian reserve, and he was a well respected elder to the Ontario Indian Regional Liaison Council, the chiefs of Ontario and the Union of Ontario Indians. I know that all members of the Legislature would express their condolences to Senator Pine's wife, Mrs. Norma Pine, and his children and family.
As I indicated before, it is with great pleasure that I enter into this debate and support, as all the previous members have indicated, the resolution before us.
I believe our province can be proud that our government has been in the forefront in supporting constitutional recognition of aboriginal rights. Ontario supported the inclusion of aboriginal rights in the constitutional agenda back in 1979. Our Premier (Mr. Davis) and several ministers actively participated in all preparations for the 1983 conference on aboriginal and treaty rights.
During the conference, Ontario worked closely with native leaders and our provincial colleagues to achieve the accord which has resulted in the resolution before us today. With the adoption of this resolution, we begin the process of clarifying the nature and extent of aboriginal and treaty rights in Canada.
The adoption of the proposed constitutional amendment will guarantee that aboriginal and treaty rights will apply equally to aboriginal men and women. The amendment will guarantee that future land claim settlements reached with aboriginal people will enjoy the same protection within the Constitution as existing treaties.
The task faced by the provinces, the federal government and the aboriginal people, required by section 37 of the Constitution, to identify and define the rights of aboriginal peoples in a constitutional conference, is indeed not a very easy one. The result, which we are today considering in the proposed resolution, is but the beginning of a very long process.
In attempting to identify and define aboriginal and treaty rights, numerous legal questions and complex issues arise. However. Ontario has demonstrated in the past and will continue to demonstrate a commitment in ensuring that their special rights are recognized and protected.
The province remains committed to work co-operatively with native leaders to identify just and practical definitions of their rights which will confirm their special relationship with Canadian society.
In preparing for the 1983 first ministers' conference, the province arranged numerous meetings in 1982 and early in 1983 between Ontario officials and staff of the Ontario Native Women's Association, the Ontario Métis Association and the registered Indian organizations in the province.
On two occasions, meetings were held directly between the Premier and several ministers with leaders of the Ontario native organizations to discuss the proposed agenda for the conference and to consider the issues of greatest priority to the native people in our province.
The Ontario native organizations were invited to send their representatives with the Ontario delegation to each of the national preparatory meetings so that the province could consult directly with Ontario native representatives on the issues under consideration.
A total of some $200,000 was provided by the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development to the Ontario native organizations for research and their costs in attending preparatory meetings as well as the first ministers' conference. Of that amount, the four Ontario status Indian organizations received a total of $120,000, the Ontario Métis Association received $50,000 and the Ontario Native Women's Association received $30,000.
I might note that other ministries have also made contributions to this and the other constitutional conferences that are coming up.
Ontario took an active role in developing the conference agenda. Two items of particular interest to the province were tabled for consideration. The first was the question of services for aboriginal people. A second item proposed by Ontario was the equality issue; that is, a guarantee that the rights of aboriginal men and women will apply equally.
It is clear from the accord that these issues were considered quite important. In fact, all parties agreed on a proposed amendment to the Constitution which guarantees that aboriginal and treaty rights identified in the Constitution will apply equally to aboriginal women and men. Ontario's support for this position was influenced by the strong position articulated by representatives of the Ontario Native Women's Association in various preliminary meetings with us.
In keeping with the accord reached at the 1983 conference, the province is already preparing for direct participation in the 1984 first ministers' conference to consider the agenda items not yet fully discussed. Arrangements have been made for the support and involvement of Ontario native people in the preparations for and attendance at the conference early in 1984.
I would like now to return briefly to the first point of services for aboriginal people. As a government we must strive to identify practical solutions, as well as support resolutions such as we have before us today. Towards this end, I would like to review briefly for the members a number of provincial structures and programs which encourage the development of economic and social solutions to many problems faced by native people in urban and isolated areas.
During the mid-1970s the province established a joint steering committee on native affairs in which the minister responsible for native affairs would invite his colleagues to join him in a meeting with native leaders to discuss issues of particular concern to those organizations. More recently, the cabinet committee on native affairs, which I chair in my capacity as Provincial Secretary for Resources Development, was established to review all policy initiatives which may have an impact on our native people. In addition, the committee also provides a forum for delegations that may wish to present their submissions directly to cabinet members on a variety of issues.
In 1978 the province entered into a formal tripartite process with the federal government and registered Indians of Ontario. This process is unique to Ontario and exists to assist the parties in addressing issues of major and common concern. In order to facilitate the often sensitive and complex discussions, the parties appointed Mr. Justice Patrick Hartt head of the Indian Commission of Ontario, a position he still holds.
The registered Indians are represented in the tripartite process by leaders of Grand Council Treaty 3, Grand Council Treaty 9, the Union of Ontario Indians and the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians. The Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development represents the federal government.
As the minister responsible for native affairs in our province, I represent the province, assisted by the relevant line ministers, in discussions. Negotiations are conducted on an issue-by-issue basis. Examples of the issues that have been considered within the tripartite forum include policing on reserves and Indian fishing rights in Ontario.
Under the Ontario Indian policing agreement the Indian band constable program has been in operation on many reserves since the mid-1970s. In 1981 the agreement was renegotiated in the tripartite forum. This provided an opportunity for direct Indian input under the terms of the agreement and ensured a better understanding of the needs of Indian people with respect to policing services on reserves.
Under the auspices of the tripartite council, in 1982 an Ontario Indian fishing agreement was proposed, which provides for the recognition of special Indian rights to fish, as well as a mechanism for Indians to become involved in the management of the fishery resources in our province.
On December 17, 1982, the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Pope), negotiator for our province, and the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development signed the proposed fishing agreement, along with the leaders of the four Ontario status Indian associations and the chief of the Six Nations of the Grand River Indian reserve. Ratification and implementation of the proposed agreement is awaiting signing by the government of Canada.
Also, within the Ontario tripartite process, the parties have established a unique land claims resolution process to identify and address Indian land claims. Through this mechanism parties may seek settlements without resorting to costly court action. Such a process is not available in other provinces where native land claims must be negotiated through a federal land claims office or directly with the province, generally through litigation in the courts.
Another important structure that exists in our province and is unique to our province at this time is the Ontario Native Council on Justice. This council is made up of representatives of all the major Ontario native associations, including the four status Indian associations, the Association of Metis and Non-Status Indians, the Native Women's Association of Canada, the Native Law Students Association and the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres. I believe it is unique in having all those groups under one umbrella.
In 1975 the federal-provincial ministers' conference on native people in conflict with the law recommended that such a council be established in every province. However, it is my understanding, as indicated before, that only in Ontario has this council been continued. This organization is well supported and utilized by the province to improve current justice programs which are particularly relevant to native people. Liaison with the council is maintained through the Provincial Secretariat for Justice which receives an annual report from the council and meets with its members regularly to discuss potential government support for projects and initiatives.
Most recently, the council has been given formal approval and funding to carry out a special project in relation to the implementation of the Young Offenders Act. Through this project the council will focus on the development of community alternatives for delinquent native youths.
Another viable option offered by the Ontario Native Council on Justice has been the development of a wilderness camp for native offenders from Kenora and other areas in northwestern Ontario. The council, which developed this concept at my request as former Provincial Secretary for Justice, in conjunction with the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry), offers an alternative to incarceration for those native persons who have come into conflict with the law. I might note at this time the tremendous contribution of Stan Jolly, who is director of the Ontario Native Council on Justice but is leaving that position at the end of November.
I would like now to turn my focus to the native community branch in the Ministry of Citizenship and Culture. The branch is a consultative agency which works with native communities and organizations to assist them in their efforts to encourage native self-reliance and participation in all relevant provincial programs.
The branch works directly with bands, Metis groups, native women's locals, native provincial organizations and friendship centres. Staff in the branch assist native communities in identifying local concerns, securing resources and developing projects. By linking native communities with appropriate provincial ministries and agencies, the native community branch facilitates and obtains the services of specialists required for a particular initiative.
In addition, the branch assists native leaders in the preparation and submission of proposals to government and advises them how to evaluate new and existing projects. In this regard, financial assistance is provided to cover basic administrative costs.
In order to encourage small business development, the branch provides financial support to native organizations and communities in the development of viable business enterprises. Grants are also available for native-initiated media projects ranging from radio and television to printed and visual materials. Such projects support community and leadership development through improved communication within the native community and through general public education. Grants are also provided for projects of an innovative nature that support community leadership development and cultural activities directed towards heritage preservation and intercultural understanding.
I have given only a brief overview of the variety of structures and programs that have been initiated by this government. However, I believe they are indicative of our commitment to achieving practical goals rather than just abstract ideals. For no matter how noble our efforts may be, if they do not increase native participation in our society, then I question those initiatives' true value.
I hope the resolution before the House exemplifies our commitment in ensuring that the special rights of our aboriginal people are recognized and protected throughout Canada. Through the support of this resolution, the province will continue in its efforts to address the special problems of our native people in Ontario. However, it is not enough for us as legislators simply to talk about a commitment to native rights; we must actively use the resources available to us, the resources which will contribute to their future and wellbeing in this province and throughout Canada.
The Deputy Speaker: We thank the member for his remarks. A point of privilege?
Mr. Wildman: Mr. Speaker, with the indulgence of the House, I would like to associate myself with the comments of the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development with regard to the passing of a great constituent of mine, Mr. Richard Pine, whose memory will be long held in great esteem not only by the people of the Garden River band of Ojibways and the Indian people of this province, but also by the other members of my constituency who knew him and remember him well. He was a man of great integrity, great humour and great energy and one who spoke very well for his people throughout this province and this country. We all mourn his loss.
Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, I would like to speak somewhat briefly about the resolution which is before the assembly. I have listened during the course of the debate to all of the speeches, with the exception of a small portion of the debate on one evening, which I have since had the opportunity to read.
Much has been said, and it is not my intention to attempt to repeat or to restate what has been so ably put before the assembly by my colleagues the member for Algoma (Mr. Wildman), the member for Lake Nipigon (Mr. Stokes) and the member for Scarborough West (Mr. R. F. Johnston).
I do, however, want to speak to certain matters which are of concern to me. I am constrained to do so because the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development (Mr. Sterling), who is obviously just about to leave the chamber, has used the kind of rhetoric which can only be characterized as an apologia for the government of this province in trying to reconcile and convince this assembly that the government has a commitment to the resolution of native rights and the resolution of native problems when, in fact, the record will not support any such statement.
You can recognize, sir, that I would perhaps speak with a degree of scepticism as to whether or not we are engaged in establishing a ritual of discussion, which may well not achieve the results many of us want to achieve, simply by providing within the Constitution for certain ongoing discussions to lake place and, when they do, hoping they will have resolved through discussion some of the very basic and serious concerns of the aboriginal peoples in the country, and in particular, from our point of view, in Ontario.
It all boils down and comes to a very simple question which numerous speakers have spoken to, to indicate yes, it is existing; no, it is not existing; or yes, it will exist. When I speak of what is existing or will exist or is existing at the present time, I am speaking simply about something called commitment. That is the quandary of every thinking member of the assembly, even if he is constrained to speak on behalf of the government or speak on behalf of the opposition in this vexed question of what can be done to ensure the role, the place, the status and the position of the aboriginal peoples in the life of Ontario. It is one to which in a very real sense we have to rededicate ourselves to or, in many instances, dedicate ourselves in the first instance.
Everyone understands that, regardless of the glib talk, the native peoples with few exceptions in Ontario are economically and geographically marginal to the life of the province. It is because of the activities of the leadership of the native peoples themselves that we are at the point where they have raised significant political pressure, which has required a recognition in its initial stages of the kind of constitutional concerns which are embodied in the resolution before us now.
To my way of thinking, the question of commitment has never been better stated than it was by the Honourable Thomas Berger, now a professor at the law school in British Columbia but formerly a judge of the Supreme Court of Canada and of the Court of Appeal in British Columbia, in his longstanding interest as royal commissioner with respect to the pipeline in northern Canada and, further back than that, on the question of the time when he represented as counsel the Niska Indians in the case which went to the Supreme Court of Canada and is a classic statement of a recognition of the principles involved in aboriginal land rights.
I refer to Thomas Berger because he does represent a man of commitment. It may be useful for this assembly to have regard to his remarks in his book, Fragile Freedoms: Human Rights and Dissent in Canada, which was published not so long ago, in 1981, where he says, at page 219:
"Aboriginal rights are the axis upon which our relations with the native people revolve. To recognize aboriginal rights is to understand the truth of our own history, while for the native peoples such recognition is the means by which they may achieve a distinct and contemporary place in Canadian life."
That is what this resolution must reflect in the commitment of this assembly voting, as we will be, unanimously to approve this amendment to the Constitution of the country in order that we can get on with the business of providing that kind of dignity to the native peoples in this province, as well as in the country as a whole, which they have so long deserved and which has been for so long neglected.
I am always interested in what my friend the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) has to say about constitutional matters. He was good enough to send me an extract from the Queen's Law Journal which contained his contribution to that journal in the spring and summer issue of this year, The Search for a Constitutional Accord -- A Personal Memoir.
The Attorney General had this to say about the question of aboriginal rights just prior to the first ministers' conference. He was stating the kind of commitment which is required and the obstacles to that commitment which exist in Canada. While on occasion I like to be in total opposition to the Attorney General on many issues. I find myself constrained to recognize the validity of the kind of problem he places before the readership of that esteemed journal when he speaks about this problem.
I quote from that journal: "The major challenge is once again for governments to demonstrate the political will to resolve what are admittedly very complex political and legal problems." He goes on to comment, of course, that this will be no easy task and makes a further remark about this matter:
"An important challenge, therefore, will be for political bodies to heighten the level of awareness of constitutional issues generally and of the host of issues concerning native peoples. The public must be convinced as to the legitimacy of most of the issues if the politicians are going to be persuaded to dedicate themselves to the task."
"At the same time" -- and I skip again -- "the native leaders must be assured that there is a real commitment to get on with the task. Most of the native leaders do appreciate that the process could well be prolonged."
That again emphasizes the fundamental question we are concerned with, and that is the question of commitment: commitment by this assembly, commitment by the government of the province, and commitment by other leaders in the country to the process that has been commenced after many hesitations and stops and starts over many years, commitment to establishing the right, at the constitutional bargaining table, of the native peoples to participate in those discussions. It is tentative. It is early. We can only say and hope that in one way or another it will be a successful process.
I recognize it is easy for us to say they are very complex and difficult problems and to use that as an excuse for not making progress, when an analysis of each of the problems that are outstanding between the native peoples and the government of this province will show that goodwill could, can and should solve those questions.
Some members of the assembly may be aware that I have had an interest over a period of time in the kinds of problems which this government has failed to deal with. More than a year ago, in June 1982, I placed on the order paper an inquiry of the minister, "Will the ministry table as soon as possible a comprehensive list of all issues known to the government outstanding between the native peoples in Ontario and the government?"
I received in due course the answer to that inquiry. The preamble to the answer before they listed the outstanding issues is extremely important, I think, because it indicates that they are speaking about important issues which have been outstanding in many cases for many years.
The response to my inquiry is as follows: For the purpose of this response, native people are defined as status Indians, nonstatus Indians and Métis. Outstanding issues are defined as major matters of debate or controversy requiring resolution.
"Based on these definitions, the following is a comprehensive list of all issues known to the government which are outstanding between native peoples in Ontario and the government:
"1. The Attorney General versus Bear Island Foundation and Temagami Band of Indians.
"2. Skerryvore Ratepayers Association versus Shawanaga Band of Indians and the Attorney General of Ontario.
"3. Eagle Lake Band of Indians versus Her Majesty the Queen in the Right of Ontario.
"4. Cheechoo versus Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Ontario.
"5. Maracle versus Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Ontario.
"6. Interpretation of provincial obligations related to those sections of the Constitution Act 1982 which relate to the rights of native people.
"7. Requests by native people that the province should substantially increase its commitment to the funding of native economic development.
"8. Requests by the Ontario Métis and Non- status Indian Association that the Ministry of Citizenship and Culture provide an ongoing funding for the administration of OMNSIA's head office and zone offices.
"9. Requests by native associations that the grants program of the native community branch. Ministry of Citizenship and Culture, be expanded.
"10. Completion of and government response to the final research report of the task force on native people in the urban setting.
"11. Requests by Indian associations that Indian people control the planning and delivery of social services to status Indians.
"12. Renegotiation of the Canada-Ontario Indian welfare agreement.
"13. Requests by Indian bands that band welfare recipients be required to perform work as a condition of receiving assistance.
"14. Requests by Indian associations that affirmative action staffing programs for native people be established within the Ministry of Community and Social Services and its agencies.
"15. Requests by native associations that the province establish and fund native specific social services off-reserve.
"16. Requests by Indian people that Indian burial grounds be protected through amendments to the Cemeteries Act.
"17. Allegations by Indian bands and associations that they have not had adequate input into the 1981-82 provincial review on native education and into the secondary education review project.
"18. Requests by native associations and Indian bands that the province develop a position on the status and function of native languages in publicly supported schools in Ontario.
"19. Requests by Indian bands that the province relate more closely to the policy of the government of Canada that Indian bands should have greater responsibility for and control over education services.
"20. The feasibility or necessity of removing mercury-contaminated sediments from the Wabigoon River or covering contaminated sediments in Clay Lake with uncontaminated clay in order to reduce mercury contamination to the fisheries in that watershed.
"21. Renegotiation of the 1924 Indian lands agreement.
"22. Resolution of a number of Indian land claims.
"23. Negotiation of disposition of unsold surrendered Indian reserve lands.
"24. Transfer of provincial crown land for northern Indian communities.
"25. Negotiations under the extended February 10, 1982, memorandum of understanding regarding amendments to the Ontario fishery regulations.
"26. Indian rights to harvest wild rice.
"27. Requests for provincial assistance for housing development on Moose Factory Island.
"28. Employment of native peoples at provincially funded developments such as Minaki Lodge.
"29. Improvement of transportation services to isolated communities in the far north, including the need for increased winter road construction and the location of future remote airports.
"30. Renewal of the Canada-Ontario Indian policing agreement.
"31. Formation of the Ontario Indian police commission.
"32. Requests for Indian reserves for increased staffing from the Indian policing program.
"33. Requests by native communities for special treatment with respect to provincial cost-sharing of capital projects.
"34. A request by provincial native associations that the province core-fund justice co-ordinators.
"35. Resolution of a number of situations involving provincial highway improvements and Indian reserve road improvements.
"36. Completion of the Islington and Grassy Narrows Indian bands mediation process.
"37. Negotiation with the government of Canada and the status Indian people of respective federal-provincial responsibilities with respect to the delivery and cost of services to status Indians.
"38. Revisions to the Ontario-Canada status Indian tripartite process and the mandate of the Indian Commission of Ontario.
"39. Requests by the advisory council on multiculturalism and citizenship that the province develop a corporate native affairs policy to assist the government to address native policy issues.
"40. Completion of and government response to the final report of the joint working group on native drug and alcohol abuse."
Suffice it to say that since I received that list, I have been in communication by letter with each of the ministries, so far as I could ascertain the responsible ministries, to try to get a response about each one of those particular areas that, in the words of the government itself, are defined as major matters of debate or controversy requiring resolution.
There will be an appropriate occasion for me to follow up on each of those headings from time to time, and this is not a time to recite each of the responses of the government to the inquiries I have made in connection with those matters.
It is sufficient to say that I and my colleagues have been trying to keep our friends within the native peoples' associations aware of what we are doing and to exchange with them the kind of information that will enable us to do what we can to urge the government to provide the kind of necessary will and commitment so that, by the time at least that the second of the proposed first ministers' conferences takes place, we will be able in this assembly to say: "So far as the affairs of this province in relation to native peoples are concerned, we are making substantial progress. The commitment exists, some solutions have been found and orderly processes are being developed to resolve all of the other outstanding issues."
That is wishful thinking, I believe, on my part. But I can say that if we simply substitute the ritual of constitutional discussion for the kinds of tangible results that are required for the native peoples in Ontario, then we will have been in serious default.
Everyone in this chamber need not listen to me to see that whether one looks in the field of economic activity, in the field of unemployment, in the field of education, in the field of health, in the field of social services or in the various justice fields, there is no one in this assembly who can say that the native peoples are not significantly and substantially disadvantaged and that when this resolution is passed by this assembly, life tomorrow will not be any different or any better for members of the native community of whatever age or whatever sex as a result of the dissertations that we exchange across the floor of this assembly.
So we do have the immediate challenge, and I would hope that we would brush aside all the obstacles and all the concerns that the Attorney General expressed in that portion of his article in the Queen's Law Journal about the problems of getting on with this kind of embodiment of recognition of what the rights of people are in the province.
I, with what little knowledge I have on these topics in relation to legal matters, am basically and fundamentally indebted to a book that was published some 12 or 13 years ago, Native Rights in Canada. I happen to have the second edition; I do not believe there has been a subsequent edition of it. It is edited by Peter Cumming and Neil Mickenberg. This book is, I believe, the first comprehensive statement of the kinds of problems that confront the country and the native peoples and that need the political, legal and constitutional resolution to which this resolution is addressed.
There is no need for me to repeat what others can read about the nature of the rights that are recognized in the dissertation and the historic background and the academic information to which the Attorney General alluded in the Queen's Law Journal, about the need for that kind of academic research, historical, archaeological, demographic -- of all kinds; to provide the kind of basis upon which we can illustrate our concern and interest in reconstructing, in a very real sense, the valid history of the native peoples in Ontario and throughout Canada.
I am sorely indebted, as I am sure the Attorney General is on many occasions, to the scholarly work of Brian Slattery, who is also a contributor to this Queen's Law Journal compendium on constitutional matters, which was issued in honour of W.R. Lederman, who was a distinguished scholar in matters constitutional and legal.
I am also indebted to a student at the college of law in the University of Saskatchewan, Jocelyn Gagne, who in the Saskatchewan Law Review, 1982-83, volume 147, number 2, had a very fine article about the content of aboriginal title at common law when she looked again at the Niska claim. The Niska claim is in British Columbia, but the principles that were involved in the Niska case, commonly known as the Calder case, permeate a great many of the land claim questions that will have to be dealt with throughout Canada, particularly in western Canada, in the Northwest Territories and in the Yukon, as distinct from Ontario.
Let me very briefly speak to another aspect of the question.
We will have had, quite properly, attention directed to the field of land claims of the native people. Those land claims, as they exist at present, are very important to their protagonists. It may very well be, however, that when we relate to the economic and social wellbeing of the native peoples in Ontario, we should not allow ourselves to be diverted to the question of land claims in the same way that land claims are being asserted in western Canada where different questions come under concern.
To be very clear, we need not in this assembly devote a great deal of our time, apart from understanding the kinds of questions that are being raised, to the question of the resolution of the land claims. Those land claims ultimately, in my view, are going to have to be decided in the courts. I know my friends the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development and the Attorney General have a somewhat different view. They want to treat each land claim as a matter of negotiation and settlement by way of financial compensation.
I happen to believe there are sufficient outstanding land claims in Ontario that must be decided, first of all, by the courts, to determine and clarify and elucidate the nature and extent of the claims before them, before the discussions go on about compensation. It is my impression, and my impression only, that, for example, the case that is before the court in Ontario now concerning the Temagami band claim -- to which I referred in the list and which has been going on now for a sufficiently long time that it has gone through the tenure of office of three Deputy Attorneys General -- is now in, as I understand it, the 60th or 65th day of court hearings.
The issues involved in that case should be decided in the first instance in the court and resolved in the court before compensation discussions take place. To negotiate for compensation and try to persuade the Temagami band at this point that it would be better off to accept a money compensation award and an out-of-court settlement is to my mind to do a disservice to the kind of process in which we are engaged in trying to establish the area, extent and limits of aboriginal rights with respect to land.
I do not think this assembly can deal with those matters. I think we must be aware there is a legitimate aboriginal title, or as it is sometimes colloquially referred to, "Indian title," which was not affected except to be recognized and established by the royal proclamation in 1763. The question of whether or not there has been a relinquishment of that title and the extent and degree of the relinquishment, are matters of jurisprudence in a field which can be dealt with only in the court. It does not mean we cannot understand what the principles are that are involved in connection with those land claims.
I do not think the process the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development alluded to is the way in which one should deal with those questions. I think the matters in the first instance are matters where the court, having done the work which has been done at various levels throughout the country, has now brought home to the people of Canada, and indeed to the judges in the courts themselves, that there does exist aboriginal right and title with respect to land, which is supportable at common law, which is supportable in many of the claims which are put before us in the courts and which ultimately will be resolved in the courts.
I think there are two or three matters directly touching upon this resolution before us to which we must pay attention. One of the matters of concern to me is the appearance in that resolution of the word which was inserted at the time of the constitutional agreement in Ottawa when the native rights clause was reinserted in the proposed charter after having been stricken from the charter, and that is the word "existing."
No matter how one uses it, that word is and must be seen to be a word of limitation. It is not sufficient for those who assert that it should be in the Constitution to say it makes no difference whether it is in or out of the Constitution. 'Existing" poses immediately for the court, as opposed to strict statutory interpretation, the question: does the Constitution refer to a particular time and does the date in April 1983, when the Constitution Act came into force, freeze the time at which one must determine whether there are existing aboriginal rights?
That is a difficult question in normal, ordinary, everyday, constitutional, statutory interpretation. It would of itself be a document which, as my friend the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs (Mr. Wells) and the member for Sudbury (Mr. Gordon) said the other night, in this living document would mean "existing from time to time." I am concerned that if we leave the word "existing" in the charter we will only add to the kind of confusion we are trying to dispel in bringing to the surface and recognizing the rights of native peoples by entrenching them within the Constitution of the country.
It is not just an esoteric legal argument about meaning; it is a substantial question. I do not think anyone can argue that the insertion of the word "existing" will in some way revive Indian aboriginal rights that have been lawfully extinguished. That is not the problem. The problem simply is that the Constitution of the country must speak in an ongoing sense and we must be prepared to recognize from time to time the rights as they exist at ongoing points in time.
I am also concerned, for example, that the word "existing" may in some way be interpreted as meaning "being known or recognized," when we all know that in the world of legal scholarship, until the questions came before the court with respect to aboriginal rights and title there was little, if any, jurisprudence about whether they existed. There are some who have such little faith in the judicial process that they begin to think perhaps they create these rights out of whole cloth, out of their own heads, and call in aid some kind of history that they resurrect in order to give substance to them.
The existence in the Constitution of the word "existing" may very well complicate the judicial problems that will be very significant regardless of what is agreed upon. I am also concerned that any judge or any court would say that the Constitution of the country with the word "existing" qualifying aboriginal rights means that the Constitution of the country has precluded the judges from exercising the kind of jurisprudential skills they are called upon to issue in resolving cases that come before them.
I do not think anybody in particular can answer all those vexed questions. All I can say is I would feel much better if the government would make some commitment to ensure that particular word could be part of the Ontario case for deletion. In any event, Mr. Brian Slattery in his article in the Queen's Law Journal, after going into a dissertation in a very reserved way and with all qualifications but a great deal of scholarship, did have this to say about land claims:
"To sum up" -- and these are his words appearing at page 254 of the Queen's Law Journal -- "the evidence considered above appears to support a number of general propositions.
"First, in so far as there remained any doubts regarding the soundness of the doctrine of aboriginal title in Canadian law or the validity of Indian treaties as a class, those doubts are now dissipated. It can no longer be questioned in the face of Section 35" -- which is one of the sections we are dealing with by way of amendment in this resolution before us -- "that aboriginal land rights and treaty rights are legal entities and not mere political or moral rights or claims on the Crown's favour.
"Second, to the extent that aboriginal land rights or treaty rights were precarious rights revocable at the crown's pleasure, they are now indefeasible. The confirmation of those rights in section 35 operates as effectually as a grant or quit claim from the government.
"Third, where procedural barriers existed to the assertion of aboriginal or treaty rights, those obstacles are now removed. The rights conferred in section 35 are not merely theoretical but fully capable of assertion and enforcement in the courts. In other words, the provisions of the section are self-executing."
The actual resolution which is before us is one of importance because it represents an amendment to the Constitution to include a matter of prime importance for the country, not as a matter of constitutional law but as a question of basic and fundamental justice.
The proposals in the Constitution need little, if any, elaboration on my part when read in conjunction with the appropriate sections of the Constitution. Perhaps certain distinctions are worth making. It is my view, for what it is worth, that the proposed amendment to section 35 of the Constitution Act, which would add the following clause, "Notwithstanding any other provisions of this act, the aboriginal and treaty rights referred in subsection 1 are guaranteed equally to male and female persons," when read in conjunction with section 25 and section 15 of the Constitution Act, when that section of the act is proclaimed, would provide an answer I believe for all time about the question of equality between the male and female persons so far as aboriginal and treaty rights are concerned.
I do not think there could possibly be a contrary legal argument made about the effectiveness of the various provisions of the statute, of the Constitution of the country, designed to provide equality of treatment between male and female persons whether they are native peoples or otherwise. In 1985, section 15 will come into force and at that time I do not think there is any way in which a contrary argument can be made which would deny equality to male and female persons in Canada.
I certainly do not have any comment to make about the limitation which has been agreed between the government of Canada and the provincial governments with the native peoples. When this act is passed, any amendment to that head of power in the Constitution Act known as class 24 of section 91, conferring power on the federal government to make laws in relation to Indians and lands reserved to lndians, that section will not be amended until there has been at any given time a Constitutional conference that includes in its agenda an item relating to the proposed amendment, composed of the Prime Minister of Canada and the first ministers of the provinces. It will be convened by the Prime Minister of Canada and the Prime Minister of Canada will invite representatives of the aboriginal peoples of Canada to participate in the discussions on that item.
I know that has been of concern to the native peoples and they were anxious to have the provision that would require their consent. I am reluctant to say so, but I do believe the solution that has been reached is about the only solution which could be reached under the circumstances. That is a conclusion which I think would be greeted with considerable scepticism by the leadership of the native people.
I think the history of dealing with the governments in this country gives them no reason to believe their rights cannot be taken away in some way or other. It is very interesting that on the one hand we were always certain about what we got from the Indian peoples under the various treaties that were entered into with them, but there were very real questions about what we had agreed to give in return for what we got. Of course, this has concerned the native peoples very deeply when they consider that the Parliament of Canada was able to legislate to affect what to the Indian peoples were sacrosanct treaty rights that they had received in return for the surrender of, in many cases, their fundamental rights to the land in the province.
As I say, I am constrained to agree that the solution which has been reached is one where I hope the good faith and the commitment about which I spoke at the outset will, as the years go on, reinforce the view that the native peoples can safely accept this proposal for discussion and participation in any proposals to amend the power conferred on the government of Canada in clause 24 of section 91 of the Constitution Act of Canada.
I regret that the government of Ontario -- and I do give it credit for it -- was unable to obtain the agreement of its colleagues at the other levels of government to the insertion in this amendment of certain principles that would guide the ongoing discussions that are to take place at the two conferences to be held when this constitutional amendment is passed. I think the principles as they were stated by the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs could well have been accepted and would have provided, as the Attorney General said in his article, some light on the path, some guideline under which the process would take place.
I suppose, therefore, that my principal concerns now are the extent and degree to which the other rights -- that is, the other rights and freedoms apart from land claims and apart from the kinds of questions with which we are all familiar -- can be brought to a fruitful conclusion as a result of these discussions relating to self-government, culture, religion and the family life of the native peoples. Those are the questions that in the long run will determine whether or not the commitment we have is a valid commitment.
The recitation I made of the list of outstanding issues, which the government candidly provided to me, would indicate that in those particular areas there are serious provincial problems that must now be addressed and there are serious problems that, of course, may very well prove intractable in relation to self-government and a number of other areas when the constitutional discussions take place: the recognition -- and I trust there is a recognition -- that the Indian communities in 1763, or whatever historical date one wants to take in relation to what is now Upper Canada, did occupy, in a substantial and significant sense of the term, these lands; that they did have their own self-governing institutions and communities; that they did have their own religion, culture, language and all of the things that go to recognize that particular kind of solid, well-established society.
I note with considerable interest that two or three issues ago in the Ontario Historical Review there was a further indication that in the pre-Huron communities in what is now Ontario, Upper Canada, long before the Huron Indians occupied this particular area, which was the initial contact, there is now significant archaeological evidence that there was a long-established civilization in this part of the world.
I know those are matters that archaeology and studies will confirm or deny over a period of time, but there is a very real indication we were not simply talking, as perhaps we learnt at school, of the Indian life in this province as a kind of nomadic existence with only tentative and limited connection with the land in the sense of settlement, community, government, religion, language, customs and all of the things which go to make up the complex world we have come to know as culture.
It is in those areas I expect this government to take the leadership. The imaginative leadership which would permit in a federal state a recognition of self-governing institutions for aboriginal peoples would be, in my little knowledge of what goes on in the world, a sign that this government and this province are committed to the dignity of all peoples who comprise the society.
It is interesting that after many years of the existence of the Ontario Advisory Council on Multiculturalism and Citizenship it is now taking into account some of the questions which concern the aboriginal peoples and is making recommendations in connection with it.
I know the Attorney General is aware of it because, again, in his comments in his article he refers to the kinds of issues to which attention has to be devoted. He writes: "The issues of the identity and the definition of aboriginal rights, native self-governing structures, native consent to future constitutional amendments, participation in resource development, the protection and enhancement of native languages and culture are, of course, all incredibly complex issues. They will be resolved only in a process that includes a real commitment on the part of the government."
He goes on to speak of the other necessary adjuncts to that kind of commitment.
One of the other items I want to refer to is the excellent reports that were issued by the select committee of the House of Commons in Ottawa headed, Obstacles Dealing with the Rights of Disabled People. In those recommendations there are a large number of recommendations related to the native peoples. They apply equally well in Ontario, as they do in other parts of Canada, to the extent and degree of the disadvantages suffered by native peoples who are disabled persons. I urge the government to deal with that aspect as a specific part of the kinds of concerns where they have a contribution which has to be made urgently and immediately.
I had hoped the new Minister of Citizenship and Culture (Ms. Fish) would have participated in this debate because, representing as I do an inner-city riding in the city of Toronto, let alone in Metropolitan Toronto, I have tried over a period of two or three years to get the study which was prepared in 1981 about native peoples in an urban setting as a result of considerable work before that time.
I wrote regularly and consistently to the deputy minister of the ministry involved in order to get it. Finally, on March 23, 1983, I was able to extract a copy of the report, which is a comprehensive one. It is a report which deals specifically with the problems native peoples encounter in urban settings, whether in the large centres or in somewhat smaller centres. The response is very slow.
I am not certain where I heard it, but I was told that some moneys have been allotted to the second stage -- what I think is called the second era of that report -- to get on now with the implementation of the recommendations and further studies that must be made in that area. These are matters of very urgent concern, but certainly, there is the sense that it does not have the kind of priority which would illustrate the commitment of the government to what is a continuing problem for those native peoples who choose to come to an urban setting in order to try to become a part of the life of the province within that setting.
Our basic fundamental view of the aboriginal peoples in this province must be to provide them with maximum freedom of choice, let alone the elementary necessity to make those choices, as to whether they will pursue their own culture, their own lives, their own world, as near to the traditional way they have in the past, or whether they will be free to choose the extent and degree of their adhesion to that culture as they try to make their way within the urban centres in the province.
Nobody will deny that one can find any number of studies. There are many, many studies, and there is an Indian commission. I had asked my colleague because I had noted that the order in council expired on, I think, October 8, and I understand that it is now intended -- if the order in council has not already been passed -- to extend the life of the Indian commission under Mr. Justice Patrick Hartt for another two years, to provide some kind of co-ordination for the kinds of problems with which we are involved.
There is any amount of study. There is any amount of concern. The speeches made by my colleagues the member for Lake Nipigon (Mr. Stokes), the member for Algoma (Mr. Wildman) and the member for Scarborough West (Mr. R. F. Johnston) illustrate the profound concern in this party, which I hope we share with the members of each of the other parties, about getting on with the orderly, humane, equitable decisions related to the native peoples in the province.
My last word relates to land claims. We are going to find in this province as a constitutional law matter that Treaty 9, and I speak in particular of Treaty 9 -- though it may have some application as well to the Robinson-Huron treaty, the Robinson-Superior treaty, to Treaty 3, to some of the multitude of treaties or deeds to land which were negotiated in the southern part of the province, going back to as early as 1764, I believe, the first negotiation of land claimed by white people as against the aboriginal peoples.
There may very well be the point at which it is going to be said by the courts that in Treaty 9, and perhaps in these other treaties, the native peoples have extinguished substantially, if not totally, their claims. Then, as a constitutional legal matter, we will have the real test of the quality of our commitment because, I say to anyone who reads Treaty 9 -- I have not read the other treaties with the same things in mind, but I understand that the Robinson-Huron Treaty and the Robinson-Superior Treaty were sort of the prototypes that ultimately became in other parts of Canada the numbered treaties -- we are going to be faced with the fundamental question, not as a matter of law but as a matter of equity, are we prepared to renegotiate the unconscionable terms under which this province received the immense tract of land, the great bulk of which we now call northern Ontario? That problem will not be resolved by the amendment to the Constitution. That problem, in so far as it relates to the terms of other treaties, will only be resolved by the conscience of the people of Ontario reflected in this assembly.
When a number of these matters have reached the point where we can face up to that issue of the inequity of the unconscionable terms of Treaty 9. regardless of the pattern that was used in order to acquire that land, regardless of the method by which it was undertaken and regardless of whatever goodwill one wants to extend to those who negotiated it, I would hope that at some point a man of the calibre of the Chief Justice of Ontario, a man with his knowledge and understanding, or an equivalent member of the bar or of the judiciary of Ontario in matters that affect real property, matters of law, matters of equity, matters of compassion and understanding, would be asked to look at Treaty 9, not on the basis of the strict legality, which I believe may very well be determined adversely to the native peoples, but from the point of view of the unconscionable nature of the negotiation and transaction which took place and which requires immediate rectification.
It will not be rectified immediately but it is a matter which is important to me. It is a matter which I have tried to follow ever since I asked -- I am not an antiquarian about this particular place -- why there was a particular vote some years ago of $40,000 to be paid to the federal government for distribution among the Indian peoples of Treaty 9. I was told that was the annuity which was to be paid for the accession to Ontario through the federal government under a complex tripartite arrangement of that vast hinterland, of which we all speak so highly from time to time, known as northern Ontario.
On that note I think I have tried to say what I feel deeply, about in technical legal terms perhaps in some senses, but in a fundamental sense I hope we have the inner commitment, the conscience, the will and the determination to proceed to resolve all the outstanding issues, not as a matter of constitutional reform but as a matter of the obligation of this government representing the people of Ontario so we can, in that way, do some justice to right the wrongs, if one may use that term -- I know that other people do not like to use that term -- of those who have gone before us, regardless of what their good intentions may have been.
With those remarks we support, as my colleagues have said and as other members of this party have said, the resolution which is before the assembly.
Mr. Piché: Mr. Speaker, it will not be often in our careers as parliamentarians that we shall be called upon to debate an amendment to the Constitution, nor is it often that as members of a provincial Legislature we have the opportunity to debate a motion of such clear and immediate national importance.
While this motion is of great consequence for all of Canada, it is, I believe, of special significance for us in Ontario. We have the largest Indian population in the nation, approximately 70,000 Indians in 120 bands, on 118 reserves and a number of satellite communities scattered across the province. We have also the largest single band, the Six Nations band, of the 573 in the country.
This motion then deserves the particular attention of this House. For all the above reasons, I am pleased to be able to take part in this debate.
Canadian political scientists and sociologists, when describing our country, often remark upon the two solitudes of French and English Canada. It seems to me we can identify another two solitudes in our nation, that of the aboriginal and settler people of Canada. The relationship between these groups has been, I suggest, characterized by a greater degree of mistrust and misunderstanding, a greater isolation and a greater imbalance of political and economic power than, even at the worst of times, existed in the relations between our French and English communities.
Mr. Harold Cardinal has said that the Indian and native people of Canada have lived for centuries behind what he aptly referred to as the "Buckskin Curtain." The Buckskin Curtain was built out of indifference, bigotry and ignorance. It is older, and seemingly more impenetrable, than either the Iron Curtain or the Bamboo Curtain. I hope it will not prove to be as difficult to dismantle.
I have the honour of representing the riding and the people of Cochrane North. It is the second largest riding in the province and extends into Ontario's far north. it is a culturally and linguistically diverse riding, with Indians accounting for approximately eight per cent of the total population. Within the boundaries of Cochrane North there are seven Indian reservations: Attawapiskat, Constance Lake, Fort Albany, Kashechewan, Ogoki, Moose Factory and Winisk. The total population of these reserves is approximately 4,660 people.
Also within the riding of Cochrane North are two other Indian bands: the New Post band, which is currently in the process of trying to find some land to call home: and the Mocreebec band, which finds itself in a rather peculiar situation in that its status is only currently being investigated by the federal government when it should have been resolved many years ago.
As any member with a native population in his riding has done, I have worked with them as individuals and with their organizations in an effort to help them achieve their goals. Any member who had done so will tell you, Mr. Speaker, that making progress in this area is a painstakingly slow and frustrating process. All too often the results of our joint efforts are not all that could be hoped for. My experience of working with the Indian people in my riding and visiting the reserves, however, has given me a glimpse of what life is like within the Indian community.
The national statistics on Indian life are appalling. In September 1982, the Globe and Mail ran an article on the findings of the 1980 report by the federal Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. According to that report. infant mortality among Indians is nearly double the national average and suicide three times the national rate. Hospital admission for Indians are more than double the national rate, reflecting their relative quality of life and standard of living. it is estimated that between 50 and 60 per cent of Indian illness and death is alcohol-related. Furthermore, violent death among Indians stands at four to five times the national average.
Just as tragic is the erosion of the Indian family unit. Recent data indicate that more Indian children are under the care of public agencies than any other group in Canada. Births outside marriages occur at five times the national rate. As for juvenile delinquency among Indian families and communities, it stands at three times the national rate.
Little wonder then that Mr. Joe Miskokomon of the Union of Ontario Indians has said that federal policy and programs have not given Indians a decent life in Canada.
In working with the native people of Cochrane North I have learned, as have, I am sure, my friends the member for Kenora (Mr. Bernier), the member for Rainy River (Mr. T. P. Reid), the member for Lake Nipigon (Mr. Stokes) and the member for Cochrane South (Mr. Pope), to name a few, that the native people have a very clear idea of what they want and what must be done to achieve it.
They want some degree of control over the regulation and administration of their internal affairs. They want to be able to maintain and pursue their own lifestyles. They want control of their own lands and resources and input into their land use planning decisions. They want a way of life that will enable them to meet their obligations to their families. They want to be treated fairly, with respect and as equals.
There are also a number of material needs that must be addressed. For example, at Moose Factory housing is a big problem. In fact, there is a tent city in which some Indian families live all year round. This is a terrible situation, which should not exist in this day and age. At Cache, health care is a major concern. There is no hospital, only a nursing station, and the reserve is accessible only by air. The nearest hospital is Fort Albany or then on to Moose Factory. At Fort Albany itself there is a desperate need for a water and sewage system.
I feel I must express a special word of concern for the 11,000 native people living in the remote communities in Ontario's far north. These people must, on top of everything else, contend with the problems caused by geographical isolation, a harsh climate, a narrow economic base and, consequently, extremely limited employment opportunities. The high cost of living in these areas, in part caused by high transportation costs, affects all residents and particularly the very isolated native communities.
Five of the seven reserves in my riding are accessible only by air, and shipping by air is a very expensive proposition. The problem is compounded by the reliance of the population in our remote northern areas on government assistance programs. According to the task force report on transportation and living costs in remote northern Ontario communities, commissioned by the Ministry of Northern Affairs, almost 67 per cent of the population in this study area depends partially or wholly on social assistance.
Let us look at one example of how high the cost of living is in these centres. The task force determined on a 20-item food basket that retail prices in remote northern communities range between 47 and 67 per cent above retail prices in Toronto.
Just to give the House some examples, I checked with the band-operated co-op on the Winisk reserve on the price of a pound of a butter, a loaf of bread, a tin of milk and a gallon of gasoline. The following prices are as of Friday, October 14, 1983. At the Winisk co-op, a pound of butter was selling at $3.60, a tin of milk cost $1.29, a loaf of bread was going for $2.25 and a gallon of gas cost $6.50.
In Toronto that evening I purchased a pound of butter for $2.40, a tin of milk for 71 cents and a loaf of bread for 89 cents, and the average price for a gallon of gas in this city would be about $2.09. I am sure I would have found lower prices if I had shopped around, a luxury not available on the Winisk and other reserves of the far north. I also note that co-op prices in the north tend to be between 10 per cent and 15 per cent lower than those charged by private stores.
These amendments must be endorsed by this House, because they represent a break in what is happening and a new starting point for our relations with the aboriginal people. At future constitutional conferences, I hope efforts will be directed at clarifying a number of questions that surround the issue of jurisdictional competence and responsibility with respect to native affairs.
The task force report I alluded to earlier notes that while there is a theoretical separation of federal and provincial responsibilities, particularly as they relate to Indian reserves and status Indians, there are apparent overlaps, even duplication in some areas.
Further, the report notes that a great many programs and services are cost-shared by the provincial and federal government. The task force was led to the conclusion that overall jurisdictional responsibility is unclear. The problem is not unique to Ontario; however, given our level of involvement, I believe it is one that we must resolve for two reasons.
First, it could help eliminate duplication and waste, and make the delivery of services more effective and efficient: second, it would help reduce the amount of red tape and greatly simplify the bureaucratic process which the native people confront in their dealings with governments.
One way of clarifying the jurisdictional -- I hope Hansard got that right.
Mr. Stokes: Who wrote this?
Mr. Piché: For the information of the member for Lake Nipigon (Mr. Stokes), it was written partly by my office and by myself. This is what I did on the weekend. Sometimes we all have trouble with some of these words. Perhaps I should switch to Cree or French. I do not know.
One way of clarifying the jurisdictional issue and of making the deliveries of services more efficient, which I hope will be explored, is the concept of self-government for native people. This issue of self-government is, as I am sure all members appreciate, a complex one. I will not discuss the matter further other than to note that the federal government has indicated some positive interest in the concept of limited self-rule for native people. It is to be hoped that this will be done soon.
Further, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs (Mr. Wells) said in his remarks on October 13 that one of the principles which this government finds acceptable as a guide to ongoing discussion is that the aboriginal people be entitled to various institutions of self-government within the Canadian federation.
It remains to be seen how the governments of our sister provinces respond to this idea. I believe we would all benefit from an open discussion of this option, which at least would produce a better understanding of it.
These amendments deserve the support of the Legislature of Ontario. More important, the effort to improve the quality of life of our aboriginal people, which one hopes will grow out of these amendments, deserves the support of this House. I have every confidence that both these measures and that support will be forthcoming.
In the interim, it is important to note that this government is making every effort to ensure that a spirit of mutual co-operation and trust continues to develop between the native peoples and the government of Ontario. We recognize that if effective solutions are to be found, it is imperative that policymakers be aware of, and sensitive to, the needs and aspirations of our first citizens.
Over the past several months, four ministers have travelled to the far north to meet with both the native and non-native population to discuss and explore the many unique problems and possibilities of the region. The Minister without Portfolio (Mr. Eaton) has, for example, met with aboriginal and other community leaders. The Minister of Energy (Mr. Andrewes), soon after assuming his portfolio, visited our area to gain firsthand knowledge of the problems of supplying hydro in the far north. The Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (Mr. Bennett) also was in the area dealing with problems that his ministry is now addressing.
I would also note that a very important meeting between the regional chiefs and the Minister of Natural Resources is scheduled to be held in Winisk in late November. This meeting was originally scheduled for October 6, but it had to be postponed because of bad weather. I am sure this meeting will result in productive discussions on a wide range of issues and concerns.
This is the type of contact we will need to have, the type of interaction that is required, if we are to work with our first citizens to build a better province and a better society for all our people.
Also, as I mentioned in the debate last Friday in this House, the select committee on the Ombudsman will be travelling to the far north in January, when we hope to suggest ways to help resolve the many problems that exist in that part of Ontario.
Mr. McGuigan: Mr. Speaker, I rise to exercise my right to speak on this historic occasion and to support resolution 10.
The federal Minister of Justice, Mr. MacGuigan, speaking to the standing Senate committee on legal and constitutional affairs on September 7, 1963, said:
"The accord signed by the federal and nine provincial governments for the participation of the territorial governments and the leaders of the assembly of first nations, the Inuit Committee on National Issues, the Native Council of Canada, the Métis National Council, was accordingly not an agreement to amend the Constitution, but an understanding on the part of the federal government and nine of the provincial governments that a resolution would be laid before the respective legislatures."
We have the resolution before us today. Although I have a local interest that I will speak about later, probably I would not have exercised my right to speak on it if it was not for the time I have spent on the social development committee the past two years, studying first of all the problem of abused spouses and then later the problem of abused children.
One of the things that developed as a picture in my mind as we listened to many of the witnesses who came forward to explain the very terrible situations with which they had to deal, as social workers and as officers of the court and as mothers and fathers and as foster parents, goes back to a lesson I learned in rural sociology. I hope you will allow me to go over that for a minute, Mr. Speaker.
With the exception of special cities, such as Sudbury, which was situated to exploit the mineral reserves, or other cities that were put up for a specific purpose, usually in some remote area, every city in the world really is the excess of rural populations.
If one thinks of the first settlers in Canada coming down the rivers, such as the Thames River in southwestern Ontario -- and it is a geographical fact that every river in the world is surrounded by good agricultural land -- they chose that spot to settle and to wrest their living from the land.
As the population of the little communities grew. they found they had people who could do more than work on the land. They found people who specialized to be artisans in carpentry work or in making shoes or clothing. Of course, those expanded until today we have people in a great many specialized occupations. All of those occupations were made up of people who were not required to produce food.
During our hearings it appeared many of the problems of abused children occurred in situations where children were really not needed to perpetuate the family labour situation as it exists on farms, because in the cities a child cannot work alongside his father in a factory as a child works along with his father and mother on a farm. Alienation develops in those families. I could go on and on about the differences between rural and city life.
Then we went on to Grassy Narrows in northern Ontario, to the Indian reserve just outside of Kenora, which has perhaps the worst problems of any reserve in Ontario brought about by pollution of the river. There is the loss of their livelihood in the form of fish they can no longer take from the river; and the disruption to the farming they did, because they did a bit of farming. They grew some of their own fruits, vegetables and grain. They lost their employment and they really lost their will to live. Seeing those terrible situations and then going into the city of Kenora there seemed to be Indians on the street in rather deplorable conditions.
Just as an aside to that, I think the most heart-rending part of that was to see the young Indians apparently in good health and spirits playing amongst themselves as children would under any circumstance. Then as one watched those children or looked to comparable people of older years, as they got into their teens the glow seemed to have disappeared. When they become young men, the look of confidence and self-assurance that most young men and women carry is pretty well gone. Then if one sees them on the streets of Kenora, Winnipeg and other places where they congregate at about 40 years old, one really sees human derelicts, wrecks of people. It should not be so.
This whole situation of the people on the reserves brought my mind back to the question of rural sociology, to what happens to the excess people on the reserves, because unlike the pre-white man days when populations were held in check by the balance of population and food, and the primitive medical facilities of their own -- they did have medical facilities of their own, but they did not have the antibiotics and systems for maintaining life we have today -- we have excess populations who must leave the reserves. They leave the reserves first of all without much hope and education, and they arrive in a city such as Toronto where we see them.
The member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) spoke about a report that was done some three years ago. I will just read some of it, or at least the account in the Globe and Mail:
"That is a major finding in the preliminary report of a three-year, $1-million study of the native peoples living in Ontario urban areas. The report provides a summary of five separate research projects involving more than 3,000 interviews of native peoples in 32 urban locations.
"More than 75 per cent of those interviewed said that they had moved to a city or town because they or their parents were looking for work. Although employment was cited as the reason for what the report called a migration, only half the respondents were employed and barely half of those had permanent jobs.
"'The lure of urban employment,' the report warns, 'hides a depressing reality. What awaits them in the city is not always satisfying or fulfilling. Our sample has a high unemployment rate. Many have low incomes and the daily struggle to pull oneself up from poverty includes housing frustrations and high use of the medical care system.' Despite the fact that many of the respondents were located through their employment or native organizations, almost 60 per cent of the sample reported had an income of less than $7,000 or no income at all. Fewer than 20 per cent earn more than $11,000."
The article goes on to describe many other well-known plights of the Indians in the cities.
I believe we have a situation where, if we ignore it today and leave it to future generations, we are going to have a problem of horrendous magnitude that I suppose will build up to a point of warfare between two peoples who have been friendly for many centuries and many generations. We have no right at all to treat them the way we are treating them. As their population builds, and it is building faster than most populations in the world, as the needs and the claims for resources become more intense and as our population in southern Ontario becomes greater, as does our need to export more resources to developing peoples of the world, we are going to come to a real confrontation with tragic results.
We must deal with that today. I do not believe for one minute that this resolution or anything that any of us can do or say here today is going to solve the problem, but we must make a beginning to resolving the very basic fact that those people in the north cannot live on the fishing, hunting and gathering mode.
Travelling back from Kenora, I was sitting in the aeroplane alongside a native -- not a native Indian, but a native Canadian -- a lawyer from the Kenora district. He very kindly explained to me the forests and parks that were cut over and the burnt-out parts, and I was very appreciative of what he was talking about. We turned to talking about the Indians, and he said, "You have to face the fact that there is not enough protein down there to maintain the population." By protein he meant fish, animals and herbs.
It goes back to a lecture I heard many years ago. I wish I could tell the members who the author was. The point he brought out was that in the hunting, fishing and gathering mode of living -- in whatever part of the world, although there are going to be differences -- in North America it takes 6,000 acres to provide the food for one family. We might question that when we think of the vast herds of elk, moose, deer and so on that we have in the north, but we must remember we do not feed on that population of animals. We feed only on the excess, we feed only on the increase, because if we attack the herd it will not be too many years before there is no herd. That herd also supports the predators, the wolves, the wolverines --
Mr. Stokes: They will go the way of the buffalo.
Mr. McGuigan: The whole food chain, as the member for Lake Nipigon knows. There is a food chain there and man lives only at the very top of it. I suppose the top of that would be the deer, the elk and the moose. The point is that the Indians cannot live in the old traditional way, and yet we have not left them other resources on which to live.
The people at Grassy Narrows told us they did not have housing. I guess, being a rather simple fellow, I looked around and said: "How can you tell us you do not have housing when all I can see around is trees? There are trees on every hand. If I was a young fellow up here and the bride wanted a house, I would be out with an axe chopping down trees and building myself a log house, because today there are people in southern Ontario putting up log houses as luxury houses. They claim they are the finest houses you can build. The insulation of those houses is tops. They are very fire resistant; they do not burn down easily. I can show you these houses in southern Ontario that cost thousands and thousands of dollars, and they are made of logs."
I said, "Why can you not build a house when you are surrounded by logs?" They said: "We cannot touch those logs. They are not ours. We cannot touch them. We cannot touch the fish because they are not fit to eat." There are no jobs for them because they are not trained, and even if they are trained, one does not find those people accepted in the job market.
We find Indians on the street here and we find some of them washing windows. In the apartment building where I live I noticed this morning there was a young Indian in the hallway washing windows, polishing the brass and so on. I do not think one can walk into a store in Toronto or any other city in southern Ontario and find an Indian clerk. In my part of the country there are Indians in industry, building houses and that sort of thing: but where work is available for women, one will find very few Indian women in those positions unless it is as a domestic or something of that sort.
We have an impossible situation. They cannot live in the north on their resources, they are not being trained to live in the city, and even if they are trained, they come into an absolutely alien culture. It is an alien religion in many instances. It is an alien culture. They are not prepared for it and they fall victim to all of the vices we have in the city. I know we are not going to solve that. As the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) said, it has to be solved in the courts; but even beyond the courts, beyond the strict legal interpretation, we have to add some humanity to that situation so they can live in harmony with us.
On a more local nature as far as I am concerned, in my riding I have the Moravian reserve, which is a reserve that goes hack to the 1790s when a band of Delaware Indians from the north central United States came here with the Moravians, who I believe came from Czechoslovakia, who were themselves a persecuted group because of their religion. It was a Protestant group that had problems with the Reformation in Europe. They came and established on the banks of the Thames River a Moravian missionary village and the Indians from Delaware joined them there. They set up what was an ideal community.
It flourished for many years until it was destroyed in the War of 1812. In fact, just a few miles away the historic battle between the American and Canadian forces took place at which Chief Tecumseh was killed. There is a cairn on Highway 2 near Thamesville commemorating his death. There seems to be a dispute as to where his actual body is. Over on Walpole Island, which is a reserve in the riding of the member for Chatham-Kent (Mr. Watson), they have a cairn -- I saw it just a few days ago -- that says his body rests there.
I saw one of the members smiling at my pronunciation of Tecumseh. We would be more apt to say Tecumseh, but the Indian language is one of one syllable. That is how it would have been pronounced in the Indian language. It would be Tecumseh.
Mr. Wildman: He was the best general in that war.
Mr. McGuigan: He was one of the best generals. He was also one of the best diplomats and politicians the world has ever seen. He was not just a Canadian-class politician, he was a world-class politician. Had he not died at that battle he might well have united all the Indian tribes of North America. He had that potential, that quality, that charisma and sagacity, and that brainpower. He had been very successful down in the American states at harnessing and joining together many Indian tribes. He was a warrior, politician and statesman of world class, not just North American class.
I was listening to the member for Riverdale citing the specific items that are of concern. He touched on several concerns to the people of the Moravian reserve. I think the first one I heard him speak about was the care of Indian graves.
The graveyard at the Moravian reserve is on the banks of the Thames River. The Thames River is eroding the banks at that point, so today those graves are gradually being washed into the river. That is a desecration of their holy ground. It is also our holy ground because I imagine white people are buried in that same graveyard.
One of the jurisdictional disputes that perhaps causes the situation to continue is that the bottom of the river is, in the eyes of the Indian people, part of the reserve. I should have explained that the reserve comes to an end at the edge of the river. In their view, the bottom of the river is still part of their reserve, part of the crown land, but in the view of the province it is not.
That jurisdictional dispute impinges on the question of Indian graves. It also impinges on the question of the right to fish in that river, because in the spring of the year the Thames River up to the bridge at Middlemiss is the prime spawning ground for yellow pickerel for the whole of the central basin of the Great Lakes, especially Lake St. Clair, Lake Erie and, I suppose to a lesser extent, Lake Huron. The yellow pickerel come up that river in great numbers. There is a question as to whether the Indians can fish those waters.
There are questions, too, about Ontario Provincial Police being Indian and being stationed on the reserve. They have put in a request many times to have an Indian policeman as part of the OPP system stationed on the reserve. They keep running up against the point that the OPP says it has 120 of them in Ontario, that is the ceiling and it simply cannot have one until the ceiling is raised. It is very convenient to say: "We have a ceiling and nothing can be done. We have a program and we are on your side. We are on the right side of it. Morally we are with you but we have no dollars for you."
Again, there is the question of who looks after the welfare of children who need care. One of the things that came through loudly and clearly at Grassy Narrows was that our present system of whites taking care of native children simply is not working. When we bring them out of the reserve and place them in the very best of Canadian homes, they have a terrible problem in identifying with the children with whom they associate and go to school. They find themselves at the point of being neither Indian nor white.
Studies show that many of those children perhaps are worse off in the long run than they would be staying in even a poor Indian home, because often we try to put our Anglo-Saxon values, our ideas of housing and so on that we think are required, on everybody and say they must be in those types of homes. I noticed that some of the people who were with us visiting Grassy Narrows were rather upset by the modest homes the Indians had. Some of those homes did not have any doors or windows. I did not think that was the general situation, but there were a few houses with no doors or windows.
We were walking around nearly half frozen and I suppose, with that temperature, to the Indians it was just a nice afternoon. It is similar to the people who come here from the islands of the Caribbean; I see them working in southern Ontario and in September they will put balaclavas on their heads. The rest of us are overheated, but in September they are cold. One will see them working there with balaclavas on their heads.
It is a matter of relativity. I did not see anything wrong with the homes not having windows and doors if the people did not want the windows and doors. They were quite comfortable and I am sure when the temperatures got to the point where some protection was required, they would do it. After all, these people survived for hundreds of thousands of years under a lot worse conditions than those and they know how to survive. Our problem is that we judge them by our mistaken values.
I am sure there are other things that the people of the Moravian reserve would bring up as being matters that they would see as concerns, but these are some of the main points. I simply want to bring them forward to let you know it is not just in northern Ontario and in the area of Treaty 9 that these matters cry out for some resolution.
I want to conclude by saying that the resolution may not be everything the Indians would want, because I notice in all of their literature, and I have lots of it here before me, they want complete self-government and recognition as a nation. I suppose one could carry that to the point where they could say, "We even want to be able to make treaties with other countries."
I am not sure whether either we in this House or the government of Canada are willing to go that far. I do not know, but I think we should make clear to the Indians where they stand and whether they fully accept everything that is finally negotiated or arrived at, at least they would know where they are and they could adjust themselves and their culture to go forward. At the present moment they have expectations that may not be met. Nevertheless, those are expectations. If they are false expectations and if they are not based on good sense or law or practicalities. I think those things should be pointed out to them, so that we can be honest with them.
One of the basic things we are talking about here is being honest with these people and carrying out with our actions what we so often speak of.
Mr. Breaugh: Mr. Speaker, I wanted to participate in this debate for a number of reasons. I think it is a significant debate in this Legislature. It is the first attempt at amendments to the new Canadian Constitution. It is unusual in the sense that a resolution is before the House which really the members here cannot touch. This is "take it or leave it" time. Whether we like the resolution or not, there really is not a great deal we can do about it. It will stay in its present form. We will do what this resolution says or we will get nothing. It has been presented on a "take it or leave it, this is the only game in town" basis. On that basis, we do not have much choice. We will, of course, take it.
I wanted to participate in the debate from another perspective as well. In my experience I first met native people when I was growing up in Napanee, mostly young men from the Tyendinaga reserve just outside Deseronto. One of the first recollections I have of empathy with native people was when I heard people in my own town, who were not nasty people by any means, use the word "Indian." With that, there was something very Canadian. I heard something similar when they used the word "Catholic." We were both minorities in a small Ontario community, and there was a great deal of civility and conservative composure when people used either one of those two words.
Underneath it there was also something else you really could not define There was an attitudinal thing. People were not quite sure who these minority groups were. Particularly when they used the word "Indian," there was not just a lack of understanding; there was a certain amount of fear in there. They did not quite understand what native people were about. They were not at the point of being hostile in a public way very often, though that sometimes did occur, but they were uncertain of their ground. It was almost as if there was a conscience at work here, which said: "In some way. we have mistreated this group. We are not quite sure how and not to the point where we are really prepared to admit it." But there was an acknowledgement of it.
So some empathy was established there. As young people we generally met on occasions when we were participants in sport and we developed a rapport. Many young people did not understand what our parents were talking about when they used words like "Indian" or when they talked about something like "an Indian list." We did not have a great deal of knowledge of that. In reading Canadian history, one does not get much of a flair for what Canadians have done to native people over the years either. But as you study it a bit more and you meet more native people, you do begin to get an understanding.
One of the things that helped me a little bit was that when I was a young man my father used to work on Manitoulin Island in the summers and I met young native people at West Bay, Wikwemikong and Sheshagwaning. I recall thinking at that time that from my own experience we were poor. We did not have a great deal of money or a lot in the way of material goods. But we were never that poor. We never experienced that kind of poverty.
When I talked to them, even as a young boy from Napanee, I always felt there were chances for me to get a job, an education, to do whatever I wanted to do, that were not available to these young people. I really could not ascertain why, except that in a typically Canadian way there have been barriers presented to native people that have not yet been overcome.
In a sense, this resolution is very much like the attitude of this nation towards its native people for a very long period of time. It is not much; it is a bit of a promise; it is an acknowledgement that there are some difficulties, some problems that have to be resolved. But there is not a great deal of hope in here either. One has to be extremely optimistic to read this resolution and feel good about it, feel that something positive is going to happen, that very old wounds are now going to be healed, that all these difficulties are going to be resolved.
To someone who has studied Canadian history, one of the things that always struck me is that when the initial treaties were signed, when the deals were struck, one would have thought a deal is a deal. But as the native people found out, a deal is not necessarily a deal. It does not necessarily mean the problem will be resolved. It does not necessarily mean the Canadian government, in all of its shapes and forms, is now prepared to resolve native land claims and establish native rights.
As we listened to the speeches in the Legislature around this resolution, I think we could see a good deal of what is right and wrong about this country, and what is right and wrong even in this Legislature; about our attitudes towards the native people, that somehow these are special rights that are going to be given to a group in our country, whereas people would look at it in a different light if one took this resolution out of context and said: "We are now going to give to all the Irish-Catholics in this country a resolution to honour contracts, to treaties that were struck a long time ago. We are now finally going to begin to try to resolve those."
We are now going to treat native people in a way that is fair. How is that seen to be a special right? How is that seen to be something that is unique? Do we not all have equal rights? Do we not all have an opportunity to advance ourselves? Do we not all have an opportunity to equal access to health care?
In a theoretical sense, we do. In a practical sense, we do not. If one gets an opportunity to visit reserves in the north or in the south, one will see there is not really practical equal opportunity. We do not talk in these terms in Canada, and none of us escape it.
I spent the previous week in Washington. One of the things we saw there that we do not see in Canadian cities is a group that are called bag people -- the ones I saw were all black -- sitting on a street with all their worldly possession in five or six shopping bags. It struck me that just outside the hotel where I was staying there was an elderly black person, dressed literally in rags, with a half a dozen shopping bags around him. In the five days that I was there, I never saw him move. I never saw him go for a meal. I never saw him go home for a night, for an evening's rest. It really struck me.
In the usual pious Canadian way, I said: "Well, how can a society as wealthy and as strong as the United States of America allow people to sit on a street and literally wait to die? That would never happen in Canada."
After I returned to Toronto, I was out for one of my noon-hour walks when I happened to see one of our native people on College Street, not as badly dressed, hopefully able to go around the corner to the Fred Victor Mission for a meal and hopefully able to go to a hostel in the evening, but it reminded me that here in Toronto, not far from this Legislature, there are human beings who are living on the street, in the city hall garage, who have no place to live, who have not much of a future. One can justify it by saying, "Well, it is not as bad." But one cannot get away from the idea that it happens here in Toronto. In particular, it happens to a great extent with our native people. Those problems have not been resolved and they will not go away.
Part of what this resolution does is provide some hope that some of those wrongs will be corrected, but one has to be extremely optimistic to think this resolution will do that.
When one gets right down to it and tries to peel away the kinds of words and faces that Canadians have put on their treatment of native people, one is hard pressed to think of an atrocity that is not on the record here in Canada. As we were reminded a little while ago by a Conservative senator in Ottawa, in Canada a whole tribe of native people were eliminated, assassinated, done away with. We would tend to think in the Canadian experience that kind of thing would not happen in Canada, that we would never treat any minority group in that way, but one cannot get away from the fact that it did happen here in Canada and it is still being talked about in rather unfortunate terms by some Canadians.
We do not think of ourselves as being that kind of people. We are fair. We are just. We treat people equally, but history denies that. We do not do that. It would be atrocious, I would bet, in most circles to talk about apartheid in Canada. We do not talk in those terms. We do not say, "We would never take a minority group and set them up in some kind of prison camp and treat them in a different way." Yet we did that with the Japanese for a short period of time.
If one goes on to reserves in many parts of Canada and looks at how native people are treated, where they live, how they live and what their futures are, one has to put one's mind to work to make the distinction between the two policies of how Canadians treat their native people and how South Africans treat their black people.
The differences are there, but one really has to go through a mental exercise to find them. I am not so sure if one was on the receiving end of that kind of policy one would make those distinctions, that one would see them in different lights. In other words, if one is starving to death in an apartheid camp in South Africa, I am not so sure there is a hell of a lot of difference between that person and someone who is a native person in northern Ontario.
As I listened to the debate, as was expected and is fair, I listened particularly to government members trot out all the pilot programs that are at work, all the small grants that have been given to native people to do whatever it is the government wants them to do. That is fair. I think the dramatic thing to look at, though, is that we are still talking in terms of grants of $20,000 here, $27,000 there and $30,000 there at the pleasure of the government. We are still talking about pilot programs to accomplish certain things. We are not talking about general programs that will resolve the problems of native people but about what a government wants to do on a given day. I am sure the government members will say, "That is all good; those are good things we are doing for our native people." But I hope no one is pretending that this is going to resolve the problems native people face.
Whenever one looks at efforts by native people to build something of their own, whether it is wild rice crops in northwestern Ontario or any other endeavour, one is constantly reminded that as long as what the native people want to do does not interfere with somebody else's ability to make a buck, it is okay, but the moment it does, the native people are promptly put in their place. The priorities are clear. The history of this nation is consistent that they do not get even equal footing. That, I think, is a sad lesson.
Look, for example, at the west coast. I was watching the Journal the other evening, where they did a piece on the Haida Indians and their culture and what has happened to them. One gets a rather sad sense of how the federal government and, in part, the provincial governments have treated native people over the years, how they have developed little classifications of how the native people must act. They have even set them up in different groups and have applied classifications to them. They have made sure that there is a federal bureaucracy at work so that on many of our reserves our native people cannot do anything that does not fit into a particular box.
On reserves it is true today, as it has been for some period of time, that native people are almost totally dependent, a dependence created by the federal government, on the federal government to do almost anything they need to do, whether it is trying to get a job, trying to build a home, trying to get health care or education or anything. The white man has made them dependent on a bureaucracy that in many ways is insensitive and unfair and appears -- though I am sure in the greatest Canadian tradition set up to do good things -- to do bad things for people. This. I think, is one of the tragedies that people in Canada will have to live down.
I am not so sure they can. I am not so sure we can say to native people: "We are finally getting around to settling some land claims. Finally, a couple of hundred years after we signed the treaties, we will now decide what the terms are. We are finally getting around to providing some rights when other citizens have those rights now. We are finally getting around to providing you with some services such as education or health care."
Some members may know that I am a great fan of the Jesuit order. At one time I thought the Jesuits could do all things. There was no group of men in the history of mankind who would accomplish what the Jesuits could do. One of the things that struck me when I went as a young boy to visit reserves at West Bay was that the Jesuits were there and had been there for some period of time. Although they may have had -- and I am sure they did have -- several things to say about how they had improved the lot of the native people with whom they worked, they certainly had not managed to improve the economic lot of those people. If even the Jesuits have failed to do that in a Canadian society, there must be a lot of work left to be done.
I think the thing that still runs against my grain most of all is that the government of Canada, the government of this province, has made harassment of the native people an accepted thing. That bothers me. Whether we are talking about the provincial Ministry of Revenue dealing with Indian retailers on a reserve, whether we are talking of the Ministry of Natural Resources and their dealings with native people, it is not unfair to say that at all levels of government the harassment of native people is okay. I do not know why that is. There is a long history of it in the Canadian experience and it seems to be an accepted piece of business.
When everyone gets down to the point of view of dealing with native people in terms of getting an education, improving themselves, doing what they want to do, they are given second priority. In the Constitution itself the rights of native people as being proposed to be dealt with by this amendment are given second priority.
The history of the nation -- though, in a Canadian way, we probably would find some nicer way to say this -- in the treatment of its native people is simply abysmal, without question. When one thinks of atrocities that one set of human beings has performed upon another set of human beings, one can find those in the history of this nation in dealing with its native people. I dare say there is hardly an atrocity one can think of that is not on the historical record of this nation as being done against its native people. Somewhere, at some time, we have put most of the atrocities that I can think of upon our native people.
I hope this resolution, in some small way, will move to rectify that. I have heard the resolution referred to as a watershed. If this is true, it is a mighty small watershed indeed. If it does something to rectify what I think is an abysmal record of treatment of native people in this country, we will have accomplished a small bit. However, at best, in my most optimistic tone, that is all I can see us doing.
We are beginning to recognize a problem of substantial stature. We are beginning to try to rectify wrongs that have been going on in this country for literally centuries. We are beginning to restore, I hope, some faith and some hope in our native people that the governmental processes in Canada are not all bad, that there are some means to rectify those wrongs.
On this basis, I support the resolution. As I have said, I have reservations about it, but I do believe we are beginning, now, to try to deal with these problems. I hope the passing of this resolution in this Legislature and in other legislatures across the country will finally bring some of the fairness and justice to our native people which has been lacking for better than 200 years.
Mr. Shymko: Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to be able to participate in the debate on the motion to amend the Constitution of Canada. I know there is five minutes left, and I had contemplated I would speak a little longer than five minutes but not as long as some members may have thought I would speak.
A number of us have noted that this is, indeed, an historical occasion. In my view, the thoughtful remarks made by members of all parties, including the remarks made recently by the member for Oshawa (Mr. Breaugh), have reflected the solemnity and importance of this moment.
There may be some who would question my credentials to participate in the debate. After all, I am a representative of a southern metropolitan riding and do not, as do some of my friends on both sides of the House, deal regularly and frequently with native peoples of this province. Certainly, the speeches we have heard so far reflect an experience. The member for Lake Nipigon (Mr. Stokes) is a classic example of this experience. He, personally, has evoked sentiments of understanding and sensitivity on the part of all of us. I congratulate him on sharing some of the concerns that he has felt over the years in representing his riding. I may say the same thing about the member from Cochrane North (Mr. Piché) and other members.
However, I am fairly convinced that the fate of these amendments is not only of interest to the 300,000 Indians, 25,000 Inuit and between 200,000 and one million Métis people of our nation, but also of direct and immediate interest to all Canadians, whatever our background, whatever our racial or ethnic origin.
I am also deeply concerned, as are all members of this assembly, about the rights and the freedoms in our political system. I am also concerned, as are many other members, about the ability of different cultural groups to determine their own destinies; to build their own futures; to pursue their own ways of life within the framework of our laws, laws that are guaranteed by statutory, parliamentary acts, preferably -- as some would like to say and as I believe -- by the entrenchment of these rights in our Constitution.
I would like to stress, however, it is more important that they be entrenched in the minds, in the hearts and in the attitudes of us all, as members of a tolerant, sensitive, just and free society because, no matter what statutory acts we may have, no matter what Charter of Rights we may possess, no matter what constitutional declarations and guarantees we may see, more or less, we will understand and must understand that all of this depends on the whims, attitudes, values, climate and the perception which pervades a given society at a given period in history. As witness to that, for more than three quarters of a century Negro slavery existed in spite of and despite the existence of a great democratic American Constitution.
It is, therefore, the entrenchment of attitudes that is fundamental to the backing of our laws, charters and constitutions. It is the interpretation we have in our attitudes, in our minds and in our hearts that really is fundamental to the reality of a just, fair, tolerant and democratic society.
Tolerance is, therefore, the key to building that society. I would like to continue. It being almost six o'clock, I would simply like to add that tolerance will only result from an understanding, of the sensitivity, needs, aspirations and the values of our different cultural and racial groups, particularly of our country's native peoples, which are being discussed today.
Mr. Speaker, if I may continue tomorrow, I would like to address some other aspects of this debate.
On motion by Mr. Shymko, the debate was adjourned.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, the debate on this motion did not conclude today as we thought it might have, so it has been arranged that we will continue the debate on this resolution tomorrow evening. As to the bills previously announced, I think the transportation bill standing in the name of the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow) will be on first, followed by the two bills of the Solicitor General (Mr. G. W. Taylor) and then the bill of the Minister of Labour (Mr. Ramsay) on lie detector tests.
Mr. Nixon: I thought we were going to do Bill 61.
Hon. Mr. Wells: Bill 61; which one is that?
Hon. Mr. Wells: I was not aware of that.
The House adjourned at 6:03 p.m.