32nd Parliament, 3rd Session
































The House met at 2 p.m.



Mr. Mitchell: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege: It seems to me it was about a year ago that some honourable members stood in this House and extolled the results of the International Ploughing Match that was held in the riding of Middlesex last year. Some comment was made on the prowess of the winners. As members know, the great ridings of Carleton and Carleton-Grenville were the hosts of that same International Ploughing Match this year.

Mr. Bradley: Who won?

Mr. Mitchell: I am getting to that. It is all right.

I realize it has been some time coming but I have been waiting for an appropriate time, on behalf of the member for Carleton-Grenville (Mr. Sterling) and myself, to point out these things to the members, particularly those opposite: and just to show everything is always on the up and up in those two great ridings I mentioned, we are quite prepared to acknowledge the skill and prowess of members opposite.

I would like, with your permission, Mr. Speaker, to deliver to the member for Haldimand-Norfolk (Mr. G. I. Miller) the trophy for winning the championship of the MPP Plough. If he makes a return comment, I am sure he will acknowledge the extremely good hospitality that was provided.

Mr. Speaker: I am not sure we should encourage this sort of thing, but the member for Haldimand-Norfolk.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I have always been proud to represent the riding of Haldimand-Norfolk, which has provided a lot of good ploughmen over the years. As a matter of fact, the championship ploughman for Ontario was Bill Huffman, who won that honour this year. I am also proud to represent the Liberal caucus and have the opportunity to plough at Ottawa.

I would like to say not only to the member who made the presentation but to the member for Carleton-Grenville that we did enjoy the hospitality. It was a pleasure to spend a few hours and participate in this successful and worthy match.

Mr. Swart: Mr. Speaker, it would be somewhat remiss if the winner from last year did not get up this year to express his congratulations to the member for Haldimand-Norfolk. I understand he deserved to win because my wife, who was there, said it was between him and me as to who ploughed the best furrow of this year. My wife may have been a little prejudiced and, therefore, he is the rightful winner.

I rise to compliment the hosts in the Ottawa area for the excellent welcome they gave, not only to all the ploughmen from across Ontario but particularly to the members of this Legislature. Certainly, that commendation is deserved.


Mr. Speaker: Before proceeding with the routine business of the House, I would ask all honourable members to join me in greeting Mr. Martin Bravo, member for the constituency of Nottingham in the House of Commons at Westminster, and Mrs. Bravo, who are visiting Toronto. They are in the Speaker's gallery.



Hon. Mr. McCaffrey: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my colleague the Minister of Labour (Mr. Ramsay), I am pleased to table the report of the minister's Task Force on Employers and Disabled Persons.

As the honourable members know, the question of employment for disabled men and women is a particularly challenging one. I might just say, by way of an aside, that the Minister of Labour is at this moment in Ottawa dealing with and making public a report called Linking for Employment.

Historically, disabled people with the ability and the desire to work competitively in the open market have had a particularly difficult time finding jobs, and the unemployment rate among disabled people has been persistently high.

In recent years, significant strides have been made in handicapped employment through the enlightened and energetic efforts of community- based organizations serving disabled people, employers in both the private and public sectors and governments at all levels. At the provincial government level, handicapped employment initiatives through the secretariat for disabled persons, the Workers' Compensation Board, the Ministry of Community and Social Services, the new provisions of the Human Rights Code and the Ministry of Labour have all played a part.

In 1981, the International Year of Disabled Persons focused particularly important attention on the issue of employment for the handicapped. During that year, the then Minister of Labour met with a number of employers throughout the province, discussing the issues. He was greeted by genuine interest and a genuine desire to help. At every stop, private sector employers wanted to know how they could help and how they could get involved.

In 1982, my colleague the Minister of Labour appointed Mrs. Jean Pigott of Ottawa to chair a task force to hold more detailed discussions with the private sector and to make recommendations. Mrs. Pigott, with her eminent background in business, community and public affairs, was an ideal person to chair the task force. She has brought sensitivity and keen insight to this important work and the government is most grateful for her efforts and those of her colleagues.

The report I will place before the members at the end of question period today is a culmination of those efforts. It contains a prescription for closer links at the community level between employers and disabled people. The principles of that prescription strike me as being inherently sensible.

I know my colleague the Minister of Labour is confident that the report will stimulate broad public discussion, and I know he looks forward to that commentary in the coming weeks and months. I also know he is confident the report will be of immediate use to the Ontario Manpower Commission as it prepares its advice for the government on continuing approaches to improving the employment circumstances of handicapped people.

2:10 p.m.



Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Energy, to pursue some of the matters we were talking about yesterday. He will be aware now, I am sure, that a report in 1976 talked about some of the problems that were involved in the Zircaloy-2 tubes that were put into Pickering units 1 and 2 and about some of the advantages of the new upgraded models that went into the other units at Pickering. This was the first indication that there were problems with those tubes. He is also aware of the study that was discussed yesterday with respect to those problems.

Why would he try to give the House the impression that this study pertained only to units 3 and 4 when, in fact, it said in that study, "It therefore appears to be desirable to remove tubes from units 1 and 2 as soon as possible"? Indeed, the study we talked about yesterday put the priority on units 1 and 2 and went on to say, "The time factors for the decision of tube removal for Pickering units 3 and 4 appear to be less severe." In other words, the priority was placed by that study on units 1 and 2. Why did the minister choose not to address that problem?

Hon. Mr. Andrewes: Mr. Speaker, the report that was referred to yesterday -- I believe it is 82-37-K -- was prepared by a technical review subcommittee made up of representatives from Ontario Hydro and Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. to review concerns with respect to hydrogen in reactor pressure tubes. Its primary direction dealt with the buildup of hydrogen in the ends of pressure tubes, which, together with the stresses left by improper rolling of the pressure tubes into the end fittings, had resulted in small cracks in units 3 and 4 at Pickering. I am told that 72 tubes were removed as a result of this problem that initiated the study and the report.

However, at the time the report was initiated, the cracking was confined to the rolled joints in units 3 and 4 at Pickering. No cracking had occurred at that time in units 1 and 2; nor was any cracking expected in units 1 and 2, because they were made of a different Zircaloy alloy. I think it is significant to point out that to this day no cracks of this type have been detected in units 1 and 2 at Pickering.

Mr. Peterson: The minister will be aware that the whole thrust of the report is, in fact, that cracking and embrittlement could develop and that no one would know the answer to that for sure without testing, and the report very specifically recommended testing. That is what this whole issue is about.

Mr. Speaker: Question, please.

Mr. Peterson: It said very clearly, "Unplanned outages can he expected if hydride-related problems develop over the next few years," and it went on to say that the only way to check for sure is to do the testing. This relates to units 1 and 2 and not units 3 and 4.

The question again is, why was that not proceeded with, as recommended as far back as 1976?

Hon. Mr. Andrewes: I can only emphasize again that the thrust of the report related to the cracking at the rolled joint ends. It did not relate to problems that caused the failure of unit 2 at Pickering. If the recommendations of the report had been followed, if a random sampling removal had been made on Pickering units 1 and 2 reactors, the chances are that the G-16 tube that caused the failure on August 1 might not have been one of those that had been removed, might not have been one of those that had undergone the subsequent testing.

The chances are relatively small that the problem of blistering that caused the failure of unit 2 would have been detected.

Mr. Rae: Mr. Speaker, can the minister explain why still, as of today, no random tests with respect to the tubes at unit 1 are taking place?

Hon. Mr. Andrewes: Mr. Speaker, the question the leader of the third party has raised refers to the continued operation of unit 1, and I have told the House that the operation is indeed continuing under the supervision of the Atomic Energy Control Board, that Hydro is acknowledging that the problems associated with unit 2 may indeed follow into unit 1, but at this point there is no compelling evidence to point in that direction.

Mr. Peterson: The minister is right that the report did address the problem of the rolled joints, but it went on to talk about the hydriding which caused the problem in this particular instance we are talking about. There was very clear indication ahead of time, as far back as 1976, in a report the minister has probably not seen as well as the one we are discussing, that this potential problem could develop.

in another report called CRNL-2329, in appendix 4 of this study entitled Hydrogen (Deuterium) Ingress at Rolled Joints in Pickering NGS Units 1 and 2, by Mr. V. F. Urbanic, it goes on to say: "In summary, the assumptions regarding the deuterium ingress rate at tube ends and the corrosion deuteriding rate along the tube, introduce uncertainties in the predictions of deuterium concentrations in Zircaloy-2 pressure tubes in P-1 and P-2. Improvements in the predictions can only be made by removing tubes from P-1/P-2. Obtaining data from other sources, including Douglas Point, is not expected to lessen the uncertainties in the predictions."

We have now at least three studies that say the tubes had to be removed in order to check for the hydriding problem and it was not done. Is the minister aware of all these studies and the mountain of evidence that suggests it should have been proceeded with? The question again is, why did the minister not do it?

Hon. Mr. Andrewes: The question of hydriding, as I have said on many occasions, is related to the problem of the cracks in the rolled joint ends, not related to the crack in tube G-16 that caused the outage on August 1. We are talking about a different phenomenon on unit 2 than the question of the rolled joint cracks. To that extent, recommendations made in Hydro's research reports are not relevant to Pickering unit 2.

Mr. Peterson: I believe the minister is getting very bad advice on this whole matter and I recommend the reports to him.

Let me ask another question about this entire matter. The minister is aware that Mr. Furness indicated the cost of retubing would be about $600 million if that should become necessary. The minister will be aware that in report 77073 in 1977 the Canadian Nuclear Association said that retubing of each reactor would take between 49 and 59 weeks, and that is not the most perfect objective. Their perfect objective would be between 37 and 47 weeks, if they can work 24 hours a day.

Is the minister aware of report 77073, entitled Retubing a Candu Reactor, by G. J. Field of Ontario Hydro, which talks about the exposure level for the workers who would be involved in retubing those plants? Is the minister aware of that paper, and what risks is he prepared to expose those workers to?

Hon. Mr. Andrewes: If the Leader of the Opposition is going to ask me if I am aware of all the reports that are in the public reference centre of Ontario Hydro, I might as well tell him right here and now, no, I am not aware of all the reports that are in that centre. There are literally thousands of reports and I do not have enough hours in the day to review them, to receive or to précis them.

2:20 p.m.

I would only suggest to the Leader of the Opposition that the question of exposure levels in the retubing of Pickering unit 2 will be dealt with prudently and judiciously by Ontario Hydro and that workers will not be exposed to excessive radiation in the retubing of any reactor if, in fact, unit 2 in its present state requires that retubing.

Mr. Peterson: This is a new minister and I want to be charitable, but has he heard of the theory of ministerial responsibility, that he is responsible for what goes on under his ministry? if we can read these reports, why can the minister not read them? Why does he not insist that Ontario Hydro brief him on the relevant material that he must be involved with in order to make intelligent decisions in running that ministry?

Will the minister study the problem of the potential radiation exposure that workers will he subjected to if they are involved in a retubing, and will he tell this House if it is possible at present to meet the dose target of 500 rems using currently available techniques and how many workers are going to be required to retube these reactors over a period of time?

Hon. Mr. Andrewes: I will take the detail of the Leader of the Opposition's question as notice and will respond at some later date.

Mr. Sargent: Mr. Speaker, when there are significant events, reports come out. The minister has made the statement that such reports are available to the public. They are not. The only way anyone can see them is to go to the Hydro building and stand there and be watched by a person while reading them.

Mr. Speaker: Question, please.

Mr. Sargent: In taking over this job, will the new minister undertake to provide reports on significant events to all members of the Legislature so that we will know what the hell is going on?

Hon. Mr. Andrewes: Yes, Mr. Speaker.


Mr. Rae: Mr. Speaker, my question is also to the Minister of Energy about Ontario Hydro. It has to do with the impact of what has happened with respect to the pressure tubes at Pickering unit 2 on the future of the nuclear program in terms of cost. Mr. Nastich replied to a question at a press conference on September 21 by saying that the estimates for all four Pickering reactors for materials, labour and design, not including replacement fuel cost, would be $330 million. If we take a replacement fuel cost of $250,000 per day, we come up with a figure that is roughly the same as the cost of the original construction of the four units at Pickering.

I would like to ask the minister to tell us today in the House, if he can, the impact that the replacement of these pressure tubes is going to have on the cost of nuclear fuel and on hydro rates in this province.

Hon. Mr. Andrewes: Mr. Speaker, I assume when the honourable leader of the third party refers to nuclear fuel, he refers to electricity generated through a nuclear reactor. The current work that is going on at Chalk River to determine the extent of the problem at the Pickering unit 2 reactor has been reported to this House and will continue to be reported to this House.

At this time Hydro is not in a position to make a judgement on either the extent of the problem with the Pickering unit 2 reactor or the extent of the work that will be undertaken to rehabilitate that reactor and to put it back in service. As that information becomes available, judgements as to costs will be more obvious and it will be easier to make that estimate.

Mr. Rae: At the same time as the minister is delaying answering this question, the government is engaged in going full steam head with respect to the rest of its nuclear expansion program. When does the minister anticipate being able to tell the House what the cost of the pressure tube replacement is going to be and the impact that this is going to have on hydro rates in the foreseeable future?

Hon. Mr. Andrewes: As soon as those costs are available, as soon as those estimates are available and as soon as the utility has consulted with the Atomic Energy Control Board as to the kinds of activities that are necessary to rehabilitate unit 2, I will report to the House.

Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, is the minister telling this House that studies have not been made on the cost of repair and replacement? Mr. Furness has a figure. Is the minister aware of his figures? Does he agree with him? Is that not the answer to the leader of the New Democratic Party's question?

Hon. Mr. Andrewes: The studies have been made on the various case scenarios, but I am telling the member that the accurate kind of information for me to put before this House or to give as cost estimates is not yet available because the extent of the repairs is not yet determined.

Mr. Rae: Mr. Speaker, the nuclear systems department of design and development, the department which, according to the report we discussed yesterday, was supposed to prepare cost figures within a few months, has told our researchers it is still busy working on any cost damage estimates and will not release anything now.

Mr. Speaker: Question, please.

Mr. Rae: Can the minister please tell us why it has taken so long for the nuclear systems department of design and development to calculate the cost, even from the program that was established in 1982?

Hon. Mr. Andrewes: Mr. Speaker, I would assume the prolonged length of time is related to the question of information and the kinds of information that are available as a result of the studies that are being undertaken at Chalk River. Until that information is complete, until the studies are complete and until Hydro and AECB have consulted as to the extent of the rehabilitation, as I said before, it is impossible to make that estimate.


Mr. Rae: Mr. Speaker, my new question is for the Premier. It concerns the question of French language rights, a subject we have discussed before in the House.

I would like to refer the Premier to the answer he gave me the last time I addressed this question to him on October 13, 1983. He talked about the fact that "there is always a tendency to concentrate on the things we are not doing and talk about entrenchment when they do not fully appreciate, in terms of the legal system, in terms of our educational system, that they are there by way of statute, which in this province has the same legal impact as if they were in the charter."

With respect to the legal system and the educational system, if the legal impact is the same as between a statute and a charter, what is holding the government back from moving ahead with amendments to the Constitution Act which would allow us to entrench French language rights with respect to the courts at the very least? If the legal impact is the same, what is holding the government back?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I believe I answered this question on the previous occasion but I will repeat it. The policy of this government is to move, as we have, progressively in terms of providing services in the French language for Franco-Ontarian citizens. It has been the policy and one which I think has worked really quite well, and that is exactly what I told the member several days ago.

Mr. Rae: Mr. Speaker, with great respect, I do not think the Premier is giving the House the answer it deserves to have on this question.

Mr. Speaker: Question please.

Mr. Rae: The question is very simple and very direct. If there is no legal impediment and if he does not have, to quote him directly, "a concern with respect to the 'political backlash,' if one wishes to use that terminology," would the Premier tell the House what it is holding the government back from moving ahead with respect to entrenchment? He still has not answered that very basic question.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I will only repeat what I said in reply to the member's question, which is exactly the same question he asked several days ago. The fact that the answer I give does not suit him does not mean it is not an answer. I say that with great respect. We happen to disagree on this particular approach to the language matter in Ontario. I did not say there was not a concern and I was not concerned. I think I used the phrase, "I am not preoccupied." That does not diminish the fact that there is some concern.

I say to the member he will find the word "preoccupied" by it, if he will look very carefully. I do not read my own Hansard, but I do know I used that phrase. Am I right? Is it there? I think he will find it there.

Mr. Rae: If you look hard enough, everything is there.

Mr. Foulds: And nothing.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am concerned about many things. I take a look at the polls and I am concerned about the honourable member. They are the last ones who should chuckle about that.

Mr. Bradley: Back to the question.

2:30 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Is the honourable member satisfied with the answer? The answer is very simple. The policy of the government is to do what it has been doing and we think we have been doing it relatively well.


Mr. Speaker: Never mind the interjections, please.

Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, I have listened to this discussion and I have had discussions on this topic with the Premier since 1971. I would like to ask him a question. He has stated on a number of occasions that one of his concerns about entrenching rights, either in legislation or in the Constitution, is that he does not want to build up expectations which his government or the bureaucracy would have some difficulty in fulfilling. The second concern he has indicated is that if he moves too quickly he is afraid of stimulating a backlash out there.

Given these particular circumstances and admitting that he has moved in certain areas, why is the Premier reluctant to entrench in areas where he has already taken the initiative, for instance, the Legislature, education, the courts and certain government services? Why is he afraid of entrenching in those areas along the lines I have proposed in a resolution that is at present on the order paper of the Legislature? Why is he reluctant to do this and what backlash is he afraid of encountering when he would likely have the support of all the parties and most likely of all the members in this assembly?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I have to confess to the honourable member that over the past two weeks I have been somewhat at a loss really to understand the position of his party. I have always understood his, but if he reads the record very carefully, he will find that in his absence the leader of his party has had four positions on four different occasions in the last three weeks.

Mr. Conway: Roy McMurtry has positions which are not the Premier's. Read this document and it is not your position.

Mr. Speaker: Order. The member for Renfrew North will please contain himself.

Mr. Roy: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: The Premier will know when he talks about different positions of different parties in this House that some of his colleagues, even those on the front bench, have had different positions --

Mr. Speaker: Order. The honourable member will please resume his seat.

Mr. Bradley: In the Carleton by-election.


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Roy: Why doesn't the Premier answer my question?

Mr. Speaker: The time of this House is being abused and I shall have to take drastic measures.

Mr. Conway: And the Runciman position.

Mr. Speaker: The member for Renfrew North, this will be your final warning. Thank you.

Mr. Rae: For the record, Mr. Speaker, the government has passed legislation with respect to courts and education. Education has even gone into the Constitution, as the Premier knows. It is moved on registration of wills and land title deeds and with respect to town councils in terms of legislation.

What is holding the government back with respect to something as fundamental as health and social services? Does the Premier not feel that francophones in Ottawa or Sudbury who are denied access to social services in their own language should he entitled as of right to challenge the government of Ontario in court, to have their day in court with respect to minority language rights? What is holding the government back from moving in that area?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I cannot speak with the same degree of knowledge in some areas of social services, but I have discussed with ACFO and other Franco-Ontarian groups the question of legislating in, say, the field of health.

I think the honourable member would appreciate and would not expect to legislate that, say, a surgeon should be bilingual. To legislate in the health field poses certain very real practical problems, and it is one this government has addressed. We have had reports on it. We have made substantial progress in terms of the provision of services in the health system in the French language to our Franco-Ontarian citizens. I must confess I am drawing upon my memory now in saying that we really have not had many strong representations after discussions on legislating in the health field. I think I say that advisedly.


Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. As we have now heard from the minister with respect to the operations of certain trust companies in Ontario, I would like to remind him of another area I raised before the adjournment of the spring session regarding the re-emergence of the broker-dealer problems in Ontario.

Since that question prompted an investigation by the Ontario Securities Commission over the summer months, will the minister now report to the House on the investigation and, if not, when might we expect to have a report on this subject?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker. I have not received a report from the Ontario Securities Commission, nor can I assure the member it is a report that will be public. That will be a matter for their determination, but I certainly will inquire into it on behalf of this Legislature.

Mr. Breithaupt: Since most of the losses suffered by the persons involved have been either by pensioners or others on fixed incomes who are totally unsuited to getting involved in the kind of risk investments which these proved to be, and since the actions of a few companies can quickly blemish the reputation of the investment industry, will the minister consider interim measures that may deal with this particular concern and put his mind to those kinds of problems with the hope they are going to be resolved by the results of this investigation and the report made to the securities commission?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: We are certainly always looking at areas of the law with relation to securities that need to be looked at and reviewed from time to time, but I think the member will agree that the broker-dealer community in this province has served a valuable role. Whether that role should change or not, of course, is a matter that is always open to review and consideration. At this time, I cannot make a commitment that the government is prepared to make any changes in the legislation which was passed in this House in, I believe, 1978 or 1977.


Mr. Mackenzie: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Solicitor General. It is our information that the principals of Securicor are now operating under the guise of another firm, namely, Brown Security. Is the minister aware of this matter?

Hon. G. W. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, no, I am not aware of it, but if the member wants to give me more information, I will inquire into it and get back to him as to my awareness of the matter.

Mr. Mackenzie: Inasmuch as the ministry did not go after the principals back on June 28, but only went after the licence of Securicor, and with some four months having gone by without the hearings having been yet held, what assurance do we have that this company is not now an empty shell with the business and contracts transferred to another firm?

Hon. G. W. Taylor: I cannot give the honourable member any guarantees on what is taking place. There is a licensing and regulatory process. If the individuals have gone through that and there is a prosecution against a particular company in a forthcoming hearing, the determination will be made by the hearing board.

I cannot inform the member as to whether the new company is operating or whether there will be, as he might have suggested, a shell of a corporation left there. However, the hearing will proceed and a determination will be made by that board.

Mr. Conway: Mr. Speaker. I have a question for the first minister, who is somewhere in the precincts.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: He went out. He will be back.

Mr. Conway: Then I will stand my question down until he returns.

2:40 p.m.


Mr. Wrye: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister responsible for Women's Issues. Last August, as the minister knows, Manitoba became the first province to enact legislation prohibiting discrimination in pension payments to men and women in employer-sponsored retirement plans. This bill prohibits unequal pension benefits to men and women who make the same contributions to their retirement plan.

As the minister will know, insurance companies use sex-differentiated tables to calculate annuity payments. Because women as a group live longer then men, they receive smaller pensions so that their benefits will be spread out over their retirement period.

Has the minister heard of the legislation, has he had a chance to review the Manitoba law and does he intend to urge its adoption here in Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, as the honourable member will know, the whole question of pensions and pension benefits is under review at the moment. We are in fact conducting a fairly intensive study here under the leadership of the Treasurer (Mr. Grossman), and the women's directorate is a part of that. We know too that the federal parliamentary committee is hearing representations. Recently our own Ontario Status of Women Council was before that committee making some representations.

In summary, this and a lot of related matters dealing with the whole area of pensions are under very active review.

Mr. Wrye: The minister will know that Manitoba is not the only jurisdiction to pass such a law or to speak to it. In July of this year, the US Supreme Court banned unequal pension benefits to men and women as well.

It seems to me to be unfair, and I hope the minister will agree, that a man who retires at age 65 would receive $617 a month if he buys an annuity with a $5O,OOO pension while a woman with the same annuity receives only $558 a month. Is the minister recommending to the Treasurer (Mr. Grossman) in his review that Ontario's pension laws be reformed to erase this kind of discrimination?

Hon. Mr. Welch: All of these issues, as I have already indicated, are currently under review. In fact, our Treasurer will be convening a meeting of all provincial ministers charged with this responsibility as part of that.

Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, since this is Persons Day, which marks the 54th anniversary of the day on which women were recognized as persons in Canadian law, I think it is very appropriate that we are discussing a question of equality for women.

I wonder whether the Minister responsible for Women's Issues will undertake a full study of the Manitoba law as it was passed recently and of the green paper produced by the Manitoba Legislature before that law, and consider some of the other recommendations in the law Manitoba has adopted, because I think that province has led the way in a great many pension reforms of value.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Making some reference to the preamble, I was well aware of the special day, the anniversary of when the Privy Council reversed the Supreme Court of Canada on that whole question of the definition of a person. I join the honourable member in drawing public attention to that landmark decision of the Privy Council. I certainly assure her that the matter to which she and others have made reference in this whole area of income support through pensions is under very active review.


Mr. Cooke: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the acting Minister of Health. The question concerns rest homes and the lack of regulation of rest homes in the province.

Our research department has carried out investigations into some of the rest homes across the province. One such rest home is Elm Lodge Rest Home in Windsor. Our investigation has found that the staffing is inadequate; in fact, there is only one staff member paid at that lodging home. The inside of the rest home has holes in the wall, the outside looks like a slum dwelling and there is absolutely no activities program or rehabilitation program for the ex-psychiatric patients who by and large make up the population of this rest home.

Mr. Speaker: Question, please.

Mr. Cooke: Does the minister not realize that because of the lack of provincial regulation, the individuals who reside in these rest homes are not getting the proper kind of care, that there is no rehabilitation program and that we are simply adding to the revolving-door process in and out of our psychiatric hospitals in this province, which is inhuman to the individuals and very costly to the taxpayers of this province?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I would like to be able to help my friend, but the Ministry of Health does not license or have any responsibility for rest homes as far as I am aware. The regulation of conditions rightly falls within the municipality and the question should he directed to the municipality.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: That's the whole damned problem.

Mr. Rae: That's the problem and you know it.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Cooke: Perhaps the acting Minister of Health is aware that the city of Windsor is one of, I believe, four municipalities across the province that have bylaws. When we attempted to amend the City of Windsor Act in the Legislature to give the city wider-ranging regulation powers, members of the government party on the standing committee on administration of justice blocked those amendments to the City of Windsor Act so the city could not regulate the rest homes properly, thanks to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (Mr. Bennett).

Does the acting Minister of Health not realize that by his lack of responsibility and by abandoning thousands of ex-psychiatric patients in this province to privately owned rest homes that are not regulated, he is neglecting these people, abandoning his responsibility and costing the taxpayers millions of dollars in the interim? When is he going to get on the ball and regulate these rest homes? It is desperately needed and it is supported.

Hon. Mr. Wells: I cannot recall the circumstances in the justice committee, but I certainly would not personally be opposed to giving Windsor the powers they wish to handle rest homes. It strikes me as the very appropriate thing. I am sure the very progressive city of Windsor could handle it very well, and I would be happy to see them do that.

Mr. Wrye: Mr. Speaker, it is wonderful to hear that the minister has a personal position. It is too bad he did not give that position to his colleagues before so that our changes would not have been blocked.

Mr. Speaker: Question, please.

Mr. Wrye: Does the minister not believe that the time has come for the province to undertake immediately the drafting of comprehensive legislation and the integration of existing legislation with respect to the licensing, standards, funding, monitoring and jurisdictional responsibilities related to adult residential facilities? Is it not time that the ministries involved sat down and discussed the speedy introduction of such legislation?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I will he very happy to pass that on to the Minister of Health (Mr. Norton) when he returns, because I know the ministry is doing a study of homes for special care.

Advances are being made in the nursing home area, but the honourable member has to remember that there are certain levels of care and that the Ministry of Health has responsibility for those institutions that require certain degrees of medical care or some types of criteria that would apply to those homes. Basically, rest homes have not fallen within that category of certain medical areas. With the proper powers, there is nothing wrong with municipal regulation of rest homes.


Mr. G. I. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Treasurer. Is the minister aware that sales of tobacco products continue to drop because of the high percentage of tax levied against them? The tax rate on these products increased by 26 per cent in 1982, by 52 per cent in 1983 -- plus the five cent increase on October 1 -- the ad valorem tax, plus the seven per cent sales tax.

The tobacco growers and their board are concerned that this industry could be in serious trouble. Will the Treasurer consider reducing these taxes to the inflation levels?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, I have already met with some of the representatives of the industry. They were brought in by the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. Timbrell), who is very concerned about this issue as well. At that time, we reviewed all the circumstances with that group and they requested that we simply review the information they brought to us in some depth, undertake to review all the circumstances surrounding the drop in sales this year and consider in some depth the impact that additional taxes have had over the last period of time in causing that drop.

We undertook to do that, and we undertook to follow the results of the review that the federal Minister of Finance, Mr. Lalonde, is also doing at their request. Mr. Lalonde and I discussed this issue when we met last Thursday, and there was an agreement that this kind of review was appropriate and timely right now.

I cannot add very much at this time because, to be fair to all those involved in trying to assess this difficult issue, we have to complete this review process, which will very much involve the interested tobacco farmers in the area and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

2:50 p.m.

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker. will the minister undertake to the House and to the tobacco industry that he will not increase the levy in the budget he is just beginning to prepare now?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, obviously I cannot give any undertakings with regard to any particular tax loads at this time, because it would be unfair to other people in the economy if we reduced our options right now. However, they have our undertaking both to study this particular area in some depth before further action is taken and to meet again with them well prior to the next budget so they may have significant input into all that.


Mr. Wildman: Mr. Speaker, can the Treasurer tell us whether it was one of the qualifications for those appointed as members of this government's so-called Inflation Restraint Board, or for its staff, that they have basic literacy? If they are supposed to read, who instructed them not to read the submissions made to them by public sector unions on behalf of their members when the board was considering decisions on public sector compensation rates?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, I do not think the initial part of that question was quite fair or appropriate in the circumstances.

Mr. McClellan: Just read the answer.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I can close my book. How is that?

Mr. Allen: Has the minister memorized it?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: That is right, I have memorized it. Who wants it? Some of the members opposite could use this a great deal.

Mr. Speaker: Now for the answer, please.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mind you, some of them could not do anything with it anyway.

Mr. Foulds: Do you want a suggestion, Larry?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: That would not help the member either.


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Wildman: It would feel good, anyway.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: To the member perhaps.

I believe the case the honourable member is referring to is one that is under review once again by the Inflation Restraint Board. There were changed circumstances which caused a misunderstanding by the Inflation Restraint Board with regard to that matter. The coverage seemed to indicate at the time that the information was clear and available but not read.

As we have reviewed this with the Inflation Restraint Board, it turns out that this is not quite a fair interpretation of what happened. The case, as a result of a change in ownership of the nursing homes involved, is being reviewed once again by the IRB, and I believe justice ultimately will be done in the circumstances.

Mr. Wildman: As the minister knows, I am referring to the case of the former employees of the CiKent nursing homes. If the matter is being reviewed again by the board, can the minister confirm that the union made a submission on June 7, while the board was considering a decision that came down on July 4, which indicated there would be a rollback if the board ordered a cut in the arbitration award and yet the board still ordered a cut, which ended up in a rollback, and then indicated afterwards that it did not know it would mean a rollback?

The employees have had to pay back this money. What can be done to alleviate the hardships that these employees have suffered because they had to pay back the money so quickly?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: As I recall, there was a misunderstanding with regard to the submission made on that point and the years during which the decision would impact the settlements. As a result of that, the board, in all good faith and having reviewed the documents -- let me be clear, having reviewed the documents, as I understand it -- misunderstood the application of the statement made by the union in that case to the various timings of the phase-in of Bill 179 and its effect.

Therefore, it was not a matter of not having read the documents. It was a matter of the documents submitted being interpreted in a different way and being interpreted so as to leave the Inflation Restraint Board, I believe, not aware that the impact of its decision, given the timing of Bill 179, would be such that there would he a significant payment back owed by the employees. The change in ownership changed all those circumstances once again; so I believe the circumstance we are concerned about will turn out to be an academic one.


Mr. Eakins: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Natural Resources. The minister is no doubt aware that the recently announced fee increases in nonresident angling licences have caused some concern with our neighbours to the south. As the Northern Ontario Tourist Outfitters Association has pointed out, had the changes been announced in the peak tourist season months: "Our members could explain the increases to United States visitors on a one-to-one basis while they were in camp. Now it is going to take a major public relations campaign in the United States to explain the program."

Could the minister explain to the House the reason behind the timing of this announcement? Could he tell us that the government now plans to mount a public relations advertising campaign in the United States to explain the new fee increases, and if so, what does he estimate the cost of this advertising campaign to he?

Hon. Mr. Pope: Mr. Speaker, we would be pleased to announce an advertising and publicity campaign.

Mr. Rae: Anywhere, any time.

Hon. Mr. Pope: Anywhere, any time. This is the second time they have come across in favour of that kind of expenditure. The fact of the matter is that these changes were announced in January 1983, and throughout the spring and summer months we had letters from Congressmen, Resorts Ontario, NOTOA, various tourist establishments in Ontario, fish and game clubs in the province and American tourists.

On the basis of those discussions and that reaction, we have substantially amended our original proposal. The honourable member will recall that our original proposal was for a four-day licence with an increase from $8 to $10 and a 21-day licence at a charge in excess of the $15 seasonal charge under the old system.

On the basis of the reaction from our American friends, we reinstituted the seasonal licence concept. I indicated that to a sports club in Sarnia in June of this year, with a lot of the American media present. The member will also know that in Sarnia this year I indicated we thought the fee for the seasonal licence would be in the neighbourhood of $50. He will also therefore know that in the light of reaction to that over the summer months, we reduced the fee to $30 from $50.

I do not think it is fair to say there was a lack of notice for American travellers this summer. In fact, American tourists were writing to me and discussing it with various tourist operators in Ontario over this entire past season.

Mr. Eakins: It is obvious the northern Ontario tourist outfitters certainly do not agree with the minister. There must he something wrong with his public relations. Why does he not take the Minister of Tourism and Recreation (Mr. Baetz) into his confidence before he makes major announcements affecting the tourist industry in Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Pope: The member knows that we did work with the Minister of Tourism and Recreation on this issue and have since the very beginning.

Mr. Wrye: Then it is his fault.

Hon. Mr. Pope: No. I am just indicating, contrary to what the member is trying to suggest, that the Minister of Tourism and Recreation was aware. We relied in part on his information that 94 per cent of the American tourists in Ontario stay once a year for 15 days or less and, therefore, would pay only $5 more for their fishing privileges this year over last year.

While we are talking about NOTOA, that association wrote to me on April 21, 1983, to express its concern about the rate. I replied and met with them twice during the discussion of this fee increase, and did so as late as last week; so the member should not tell me there has been no consultation or discussion.


Mr. Philip: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. Is the minister aware that yet another Etobicoke apartment, located at 557 The East Mall, is being converted to tenancy in common, despite Bill 32, which was passed recently in this House? Is the minister aware that elderly widow tenants in this building are being harassed by being given notices that they either buy their apartments or move within 10 days?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I would have thought the member would have appreciated that is a landlord and tenant issue and would have directed the question to the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry), who deals with landlord and tenant matters.

3 p.m.

Having addressed it to me, however, I would assume the member is saying that the remedies for ordinary landlord and tenant measures open to individuals who are being harassed as he has indicated have been sought in the courts and there has been no success. Is that what the member is saying? Or is he saying that the ordinary remedies have not been approached?

Mr. Philip: The minister is responsible for the administration of the act. He well knows that he is responsible for the Condominium Act and he knows perfectly well that the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (Mr. Bennett) is too intransigent to change the Planning Act to give local municipalities the power to stop this kind of erosion and the throwing out of tenants on the street. Therefore, is this minister prepared to at least amend sections 59 and 60 of the Condominium Act to stop this practice once and for all?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: There, the member did need some help with the question after all. It was lucky we forced the member to get that question worded properly.

I do not think the member really means it when he says that the Condominium Act should be amended to deal with tenancy-in-common issues. The landlord and tenant issues related to the tenancy-in-common matter were dealt with quite expeditiously and adequately by the Attorney General of this province in a bill submitted to this House last spring.

Mr. Ruprecht: Mr. Speaker, does the minister still consider that there are no loopholes in the Landlord and Tenant Act and the Residential Tenancies Act? When I questioned the minister previously in connection with the manner in which the Toronto Apartment Building Co. was conducting business, he either denied that the act needed amendment or hid behind the Thom commission. The Speaker will remember that question.

In view of the fact that the Residential Tenancy Commission has now asked the Supreme Court of Ontario to proceed against this company because of its illegalities, does the minister still feel this is a watertight piece of legislation that requires no further examination by this House?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, in spite of the interesting prologue, if the member will take the time to review Hansard and reconsider the answers given in the past, he will agree that what I have said is that this issue was specifically addressed by an all-party committee of this Legislature that wanted some flexibility with respect to conversion matters. That is exactly what was achieved in that act.

In the past, I said that the Residential Tenancy Commission had shown that it could address itself to those issues. It has now done so by making an application to the Supreme Court of Ontario asking that certain representatives of certain companies be found in contempt of the commission.

That is not to say that the government is not at all times ready to review a number of issues, and this may be one that we are prepared to look at -- stop waving at me; the member for Quinte (Mr. O'Neil) keeps waving at people over here. If the member wants to say hello to me, he can just come over and say hello. Stop waving at me.

Mr. O'Neil: Mr. Speaker, I am waving at some of my constituents in the gallery.

Mr. Speaker: That is no point of privilege. However, we are very happy to have them with us.

Mr. Ruprecht: Surely the point is that in the meantime, while the minister is dithering, there are hundreds, and I would even say thousands, of tenants being harassed and thrown out on to the streets because of this whole business of conversion. What we want the minister to do -- and I hope he is not going to insult our intelligence over here -- is to act and bring in amendments.

He says there has been an all-party committee and it is going to look into the matter. The question is, when will this minister act so that tenants are not thrown out on the street? Specifically, what is he prepared to do to amend this legislation?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: I have already answered that question.


Mr. Samis: Mr. Speaker, I have a question to the acting Minister of Health relating to the situation at St. Lawrence Estate in Glengarry county. In view of the fact that the administrator of the nursing home estimates that approximately 45 per cent of the residents are there because no private nursing home in the united counties would accept them, would the minister intervene to work out arrangements with the united counties to arrange the needed capital funding to do the necessary repairs and to keep it open as a nonprofit facility to ensure that these people are guaranteed proper care in the upcoming years'?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I would be very happy to look into this matter. I understand a meeting was held around October 11 with the staff from the ministry, the board and the administrator of the nursing home. The nursing home, St. Lawrence Estate, was asking for tenders for someone to buy the property. I am not aware of what has happened in the interval but I would be glad to look into it. Certainly the interest of the government is to he sure that the best services are available in the united counties, as they are in the whole province.

Mr. Cooke: Mr. Speaker, since the Ministry of Health will have to approve the sale of this nursing home as it has been approved by the local government, and since the sale of this licence is really a sale of residents -- because that is what the sale of a licence to a nursing home is, a sale of people to a new private owner -- and since the municipal government --


Mr. Speaker: Order. Will the member please place the question?

Mr. Cooke: I am trying to.

This nursing home has been nonprofit and has taken heavy bed care patients, which the private nursing homes shy away from because those people are not as profitable for the private owners. Does the minister not think it is up to the ministry to take the initiative and get involved with the local government to make sure this nursing home stays as a nonprofit, so that we do not have problems in that area with the heavy bed care patients either having to remain in active treatment beds or chronic care or at home or some other place where they are not getting the kind of care they need in a nonprofit, as they do in this nonprofit nursing home?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, obviously concern for the patients and the quality of care in that area has already been demonstrated by the ministry, because the people from the nursing home services branch have been meeting with people from that institution. The information I would like to ascertain is why the locally elected people in the united counties and the city of Cornwall want to sell this particular institution.

Some hon. members: Money.

Hon. Mr. Wells: It is very easy to say money, but a municipality is one of the partners in government and it cannot just abdicate its responsibility. If the member feels so strongly about the need for a nonprofit care facility in the area, I am sure I can guarantee him that this government and the ministry would be happy to sit down with the people from that institution and see if there is not a way out of the problems they have.

Ms. Copps: Mr. Speaker, this is not the first time we have dealt with the issue of licensing nursing home beds. The minister will no doubt remember a discussion that impacted very heavily on Ridgetown during the tenure of the last Minister of Health. Would the acting minister consider letting the standing committee on social development take a look at the present licensing procedure to prevent the kind of wholesale transfer of licences, sometimes out of communities altogether, and to prevent the pressing situation that presented itself last year in Ridgetown and again here in Cornwall?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I am always happy to look into any reasonable suggestion, which is, of course, what the member has made. But I draw her attention to the fact that at present a sale has to be approved by the ministry and there is district health council input and involvement in any such transaction that occurs. So there is public participation to make sure there is no abuse of the system.


Mr. Riddell: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Agriculture and Food, if I can get his attention. I am posing this question on behalf of numerous young farmers and parents of young farmers who are shocked at the criteria established under the beginning farmers program.

Is the minister aware that he is excluding the farmers we should he helping with this program? The program excludes those farmers who have been renting land or getting the majority of their income from rented land. How else can these young farmers start if they do not rent the land?

3:10 p.m.

Second, he is excluding those farmers from the program who got a start in the farming business within the last two or three years at a time when they were faced with escalating interest rates, something that was not of their doing. Will he amend the criteria in that program to help those farmers who are renting land and collecting most of their income from rented land so that those young farmers who started in the business over the last three years may benefit from this beginning farmers program?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, no matter which date we chose as the effective date for the new program, the honourable member would have been able to provide examples of cases where somebody fell outside of that date. We chose to go with the date of the budget this year in which the commitment to the program was finalized.

I would point out to the member that there have been a number of government programs in recent years that have assisted those very same people to whom he referred, who have been in farming for two or three years. I am thinking, of course, of the Ontario farm adjustment assistance program. Most of the participants in that program have been in the 18-to-40 or 45 age bracket.

With regard to the question of rented land, we tried to anticipate all of the objections or thorny issues, some of which we resolved in a way that the member would probably agree with and some he would not. We decided ahead of time in reviewing this matter to treat rented land the same as owned land because the basic criterion for a beginning farmer is one who has derived the majority of his income from and spent the majority of his time in farming, whether it has been on rented land or land he has owned -- or that has been given to him, for that matter.


Mr. Martel: On a point of order. Mr. Speaker: Yesterday the member for Mississauga South (Mr. Kennedy) raised a question respecting question period. Question period went better today, but could I ask you to have the Clerk's table record the times for questions and supplementaries, separate them from answers and provide the House with a weekly or biweekly report so we will know who abuses question period? Then maybe pressure can be brought to bear on those people who are abusing it so that back-benchers get the time for questions they got today.

Mr. Speaker: That is an interesting observation. In my unbiased position, sitting up here dead centre, I would have to say, as I said yesterday, that all members must share equal responsibility.

Mr. Martel: Are you saying you will not have the Clerk record those times and prepare a weekly report on it for the Legislature?

Mr. Speaker: I really do not see the need for it. We did that before, as you may know, and it just confirmed what I had already said: that it requires the co-operation of all members on all sides of the House.

Mr. Rae: On that point of order, Mr. Speaker: I would simply like to ask you to consider very carefully -- and, if you will, it is a formal request from our party -- that there be some timing mechanism with respect to questions and answers. I think such factual information would be very informative and would give us a factual basis on which to perhaps make some changes with respect to the question periods, which are a subject of ongoing discussion among the leaders of the parties.

Mr. Speaker: I must point out to all the honourable members that the assembly has spent a considerable amount of money on putting in clocks so that everybody can watch them and be aware of the time that is spent. I think the system is working well.

Mr. Sargent: Mr. Speaker, I am just going to ask the Minister of Energy (Mr. Andrewes) if he would come back to his place, please.

Mr. Speaker: Order. It is not really a point of order, and it is not even a point of privilege.

Mr. Mancini: Mr. Speaker, I want to point out to all members of the House that if there is any particular party being shortchanged during question period it is the Liberal Party, because we are the official --


Mr. Speaker: Order. Quite obviously the consensus of the House is that everybody is treated equally.


Mr. Sargent: Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Energy has sent me a note. It says: "Eddie, I tried to arrange for the immediate delivery of your reading material. However, I can only arrange for the truck and 85 boxes to arrive next Monday. I know you will he disappointed." It is signed "Philip."


Mr. Sargent: This may be funny to members. I think it is very serious, in view of the fact that this man has one of the most important jobs or the most important job in Ontario today, and I suggest that significant events and happenings are matters of concern for the protection of the public. That is what they are. My concern is that an independent body be allowed to assess the screening of what Ontario Hydro does and does not consider a priority.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Sargent: You can bounce me out if you want to, but I am getting the point across.

Mr. Speaker: No.

Mr. Sargent: He cannot do this to the people of Ontario, and make a joke of --

Mr. Speaker: Order. Would you resume your seat for a moment, please?

I would like to enlighten the honourable member. Obviously this is a matter between the member and a minister of the crown. I have no jurisdiction over what kind of information flows back and forth. I have no authority to intervene in any way, shape or form. I can understand what you are saying. Obviously, the minister and everybody else is aware of your problem now and I am sure it will be redressed.



Mr. O'Neil: Mr. Speaker. 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 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."

This petition is signed by 337 teachers from the following schools in my riding: Prince of Wales Public School, Belleville; Marmora Street Public School, Trenton; Queen Elizabeth Public School, Trenton; Bayside Secondary School, Bayside; Belleville Collegiate Institute and Vocational School; Centennial Secondary School, Belleville; Quinte Secondary School, Belleville; Trenton High School; and Moira Secondary School, Belleville.

Mr. Sargent: Mr. Speaker, I have something they will be able to understand over there. I have a petition.

There are 66 teachers in West Hill Secondary School in Owen Sound, 48 in Owen Sound Collegiate and Vocational Institute, 32 in Wiarton District High School, 11 in Bruce Peninsula District Secondary School, seven in Chesley District High School and 44 in Georgian Bay Secondary School. I am presenting this petition on behalf of the teachers.

Mr. McClellan: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition from 178 teachers in three of the high schools in the great riding of Bellwoods: Bickford Park, Central Commerce and Harbord Collegiate. It 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."

3:20 p.m.

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

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

It is signed by 140 teachers from the following schools: Port Dover, Fairground, North Walsingham Central, Port Rowan, St. Williams, Vittoria-Walsh, Walsingham and Simcoe.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, as a member for a Scarborough riding who supports the petition of the teachers, I have the pleasure of introducing a number of petitions.

"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,"

I have petitions from these Scarborough-Ellesmere schools: David and Mary Thomson Collegiate Institute, Winston Churchill Collegiate Institute and Bendale Secondary School. As a member who supports their position in Scarborough, I have them from high schools in my own riding: W. A. Porter Collegiate Institute, Midland Avenue Collegiate Institute and Birchmount Park Collegiate Institute.

I have 65 pages of them from the riding of the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs (Mr. Wells) in Scarborough North. Again, as I am the one member in Scarborough who supports them, I would like to introduce those 65 from the schools of Wexford, Lester B. Pearson Collegiate Institute, Sir William Osler Vocational School, Sir John A. Macdonald Collegiate Institute, Stephen Leacock Collegiate Institute, Timothy Eaton Secondary School and Albert Campbell Collegiate Institute.

I also have 35 pages of signatures from the riding of the member for Scarborough East (Mrs. Birch). Again, as the member from Scarborough who supports these resolutions, I have them from West Hill Collegiate Institute, Sir Oliver Mowat Collegiate Institute, Maplewood Vocational School, Sir Wilfrid Laurier Collegiate Institute and Sir Robert L. Borden Secondary School.

Last but not least, I am pleased to stand and support these petitions from the good riding of Scarborough Centre as well, from Tabor Park Vocational School, R. H. King Collegiate Institute and Cedarbrae Collegiate Institute. There seem to be no racing forms here at all.

Hon. Mr. Wells: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: My friend the member for Scarborough West has introduced petitions from a number of schools that are not in his riding, the implication seeming to be that the members from those areas would not introduce the petitions in this House, which I think is an erroneous position. I think the record should show that all the petitions that have been forwarded to members of the government party have also been tabled in this House.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: I did not indicate at all that the members would not present them. I indicated that I was the member who supported the petitions.

Mr. Bradley: On the point raised by the government House leader, Mr. Speaker, while it may be true that the petitions are introduced in the House, my understanding is that certain members on the government side will not themselves introduce the petitions from the ridings they represent and have instead given them to one individual member to introduce. Therefore, in essence the government members are not introducing the petitions from their ridings. Is that correct?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I would just like to say that I have heard a lot of talk about streamlining the procedures of this House and getting on with the real business of this House. It is the opinion of the members on this side that it is a far better procedure to table the petitions in one bulk on behalf of all of us by one member than to take up the time of the House as we are doing at the present time.

Mr. Epp: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order: I wonder if the House leader would indicate whether this is a precedent and whether all petitions in the future will be submitted by one member.

Mr. Speaker: To try to clear up this situation, it is my understanding that ministers of the crown, by virtue of their position, cannot present petitions and other matters before the House. I hope that is clear. I might say neither can the Speaker.

Mr. Robinson: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order: On the same point indeed, I simply wanted to indicate for the record that I thank my friend the member for Scarborough West for introducing those petitions from the schools in my riding on my behalf and to say, had they been presented to me, I would have done likewise.

Mr. Riddell: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: I would simply like to know the reason the member for Wellington-Dufferin-Peel (Mr. J. M. Johnson) has been roped into presenting all the government members' petitions. Do they consider his seat safe?

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Ruprecht: Mr. Speaker. I have a petition with which I agree, and which reads as follows:

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

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

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

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

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

This petition is signed by over 236 teachers from five schools in Parkdale: Parkdale Collegiate, West Toronto Secondary School, West Park Secondary School, Shirley Public School and Parkdale Public School.

Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, the teachers in my riding called me and asked if I would present a petition on their behalf. I said, "Of course, I will." As their representative. I believe in democracy and I will present their petition.

Mr. Speaker: Now for the petition.


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Roy: I think it is shameful that the House leader would not allow individual members on that side to present their own petitions.


Mr. Speaker: Order.


Mr. Speaker: Now for the petition.

Mr. Roy: Yes. Mr. Speaker, you will he pleased to know the petition I have reads as follows:

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


M. Roy: Monsieur l'orateur, si vous voulez cela en français je vous le donnerai après… Monsieur le président, le ministre de l'Education m'a dit qu'elle veut un peu de variété dans sa vie, alors je vais présenter cette pétition ici, en français, si vous me le permettez... une en anglais et une en français.

"Whereas we oppose the extension of the Inflation Restraint Act because it is inequitable in its application" -- of course, I agree that it has been 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."

3:30 p.m.

Mr. Speaker, I have 50 names from Fisher Heights Public School, Viscount Alexander School -- that is on Canadian Forces Base, Ottawa, which Mr. Speaker is familiar with -- and Elizabeth Park Intermediate School at CFB Ottawa.

I have a further petition from McArthur High School and Sir Wilfrid Laurier High School. There are 104 names on this particular petition, so there we are. I am pleased to present this petition.

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, I have a petition in the same terms signed by teachers from the North Windham Central School, W. F. Hewitt Public School in Waterford, Courtland Public School and North Townsend Central Public School.

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

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

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

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

"We petition the 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 512 teachers from Hamilton Wentworth from Westwood elementary, Lisgar elementary, Buchanan Park elementary, Fairview elementary, Cardinal Heights elementary, James Macdonald elementary, Comley elementary, Cecil B. Stirling elementary. Holbrook elementary, Civil elementary. Chedoke elementary. Richard Beasley elementary, Hampton Heights senior elementary, Lawfield elementary, Vincent Massey elementary, Highview senior elementary. Westover elementary, Inverness elementary, Norwood Park elementary, Burwood Park elementary, George L. Armstrong senior elementary, Lloyd George elementary, R. A. Riddell elementary, Mountview elementary, Sherwood Heights elementary, Ridgemount elementary, Huntington Park elementary, Thornbrae elementary, Peace Memorial elementary, Vern Ames elementary, Franklin Elementary and Ryckmans Corners Corners elementary schools.

Mr. Bradley: Mr. Speaker, I have petitions in the following wording to the Honourable 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 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."

These petitions have 244 names on them. They are from the following schools: Oakridge, E. I. McCulley, Alexandra, Jacob Beam, Prince of Wales, Westdale, Lynn Garden, Briardale, Edith Cavell, Smith, Carleton, Lakeview, Colonel John Butler, Meadowvale, Power Glen, Lakebreeze, Ferndale, Parliament Oak, Maplewood, Victoria, Queen Mary, Central, Vineland, Lincoln Centennial, Gainsborough, Prince Philip, Crippled Childrens' Centre, Park, Burleigh Hill, Jordan, Memorial and Maywood.

Mr. Wildman: I have a petition to the Honourable The Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario 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 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 43 teachers from Blind River Public School, Iron Bridge Public School, Spanish Public School and Rockhaven School at Serpent River. I am in support of it and also in support of the divisions which are developing within the Liberal Party with regard to free collective bargaining in this province.

Mr. Renwick: I have a petition to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in similar terms to those which have just been presented, signed by 43 members of the Eastern High School of Commerce in the riding of Riverdale.

Mr. Boudria: I have a similar petition signed by 78 teachers from Pleasant Corners Public School, Rockland Public School, Russell Public School, Plantagenet Public School and Cambridge Public School, all in the great riding of Prescott-Russell.

Mr. Swart: I would like to read into the record this petition from 159 teachers in our area:

"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."

These 159 teachers are from Welland High and Vocational School, Westbrook Secondary School, Special Branch Allanburg, Resources Centre, Thorold Secondary School, Centennial Secondary School, Welland.

In tabling this, I just want to repeat one sentence made by the member for Ottawa East (Mr. Roy) when he said he is tabling them because he believes in democracy. I believe in democracy and tabling. All our members in our party believe in democracy so much that they should go further than that and give the free collective bargaining to the teachers.

Mr. J. M. Johnson: I beg leave to present several petitions to the Honourable Lieutenant Governor in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Under the circumstances, I should read this very carefully:

"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."

As chairman of the governing caucus and on their behalf, I am tabling these petitions of my Progressive Conservative colleagues.



Hon. Mr. Wells moved that Ms. Copps and Mr. Mancini exchange places in the order of precedence for private members' public business.

Motion agreed to



Hon. Mr. Gregory moved, seconded by Hon. Mr. Timbrell, first reading of Bill 90, An Act to amend the Assessment Act.

Motion agreed to.

3:40 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Gregory: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this bill is to provide for the return of assessment rolls for municipal taxation at present levels of assessment, except where market-value-based reassessment has been introduced.

The bill will allow us to continue with the market-value-based reassessment program, which has been successfully implemented in 389 municipalities to date. Approximately 90 more municipalities are considering implementation of the section 63 reassessment program for 1984 taxation.

Further, this bill allows for the distribution of assessment notices only to those owners and tenants of real property in respect of which a change to any of the recorded information on last year's notice has occurred.

In addition, I am proposing in this bill an administrative amendment to clarify and update the provisions for an application by a municipality for a review of its equalized assessment and equalization factor by the Ontario Municipal Board.


Mr. Wrye moved, seconded by Mr. Riddell, first reading of Bill 91, An Act to amend the Employment Standards Act.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Wrye: Mr. Speaker, this bill would have the effect of prohibiting all differentiation on the basis of sex in employee benefit plans. At present, the act permits differentiation on the basis of sex as provided in the regulations, and regulation 282 of the Revised Regulations of Ontario, 1980, authorizes a wide variety of differentiations based on sex and determined on an actuarial basis.


Mr. Riddell moved, seconded by Mr. Elston, that pursuant to standing order 34(a), the ordinary business of the House be set aside to discuss a matter of urgent public importance, that being the desperate financial situation facing the red meat industry in Ontario, particularly the beef sector which is in need of immediate emergency financial assistance, and the refusal of this government to provide any suitable relief, which will force many of these producers into bankruptcy.

Mr. Speaker: I beg to inform all honourable members that the motion Mr. Riddell has just moved was received at 10 a.m. I will be pleased to listen to the honourable member for up to five minutes on why he thinks the ordinary business of the House should be set aside.

Mr. Riddell: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to see in the gallery a very prominent farmer by the name of Gerry Long, who farms in Middlesex county. I am sure he will be listening very attentively to this debate. I am also sure he will agree with the points we are making; because he happens to be in the beef business as well as in eggs and other agricultural endeavours.

To give some indication of the seriousness of the problem facing the red meat industry, I would like to compare it to an industry that this province lost a few years ago. At one time we had a thriving sugar beet industry in this province. Because it encountered some difficulties at a time when we were importing sugar cheaper than we could produce it, and because the government failed to come to the assistance of the sugar beet industry, we lost it to another province, namely, Alberta.

If this government does not come to the assistance of the beef producers now, we are going to find the beef industry moving to other provinces, and I do not think we do not want to see that happen.

If the members think it is a pipe dream that I have, I want to let them know that the task force of which I am a member, and which has been travelling all over the province, has listened to excellent presentations from the red meat producers in this province crying out for help now. They are taking very low prices. They are going to have to rely on the banks once again for their operating capital. If the banks see that this government is not interested in saving the beef industry in this province, they are going to be very reluctant to give the beef producers the kind of money they need to carry on.

Not only that, but the manager of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association, Charlie Gracey, tells me the situation is very serious: "It is now an emergency situation for beef producers." These are the words he stated to me. And in the words of Graeme Hedley, the manager of the Ontario Cattlemen's Association, "the situation is beyond emergency for many beef producers."

The red meat industry in Ontario is in desperate financial difficulty, and we are losing efficient and competent producers. Many of the producers who are in trouble today were seen as aggressive and progressive farmers when they made their financial decision on the advice of the government and often at the urging of their banks a few years ago.

In the most depressed red meat sector -- beef -- we must have emergency assistance now. Cattle prices have declined from $83 per hundredweight in the second quarter of 1983 to a low of $70 currently. Beef producers are losing between $100 and $150 for every finished animal marketed, and Ontario is the only province of those with significant production that is not rendering financial assistance to its industry.

Our beef producers are facing one of the worst financial situations ever. Many beef producers lost equity in the period of unprecedented high interest rates in 1981, they carried a high debt load in 1982 and today they have their backs against the wall. If some emergency assistance is not forthcoming for this year, many of them will not be producing next year.

The minister continues to shirk his responsibility to our producers by repeatedly talking about the need for a stabilization plan. He has taken this approach for the past two years, and we have yet to see this plan materialize. We are now told that any such plan would not be made retroactive for this year, which means this program will be useless to the farmers who need the assistance for this year's production, not to mention the past two years' production. Ontario farmers must be put on an equal footing with the farmers in other provinces, otherwise they can never catch up, if indeed they will ever survive.

The minister has dismissed outright our call for emergency assistance because of his concern that Ontario would be accused of bargaining in bad faith if he were to do so. We believe the approach of the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. Timbrell) should rather be one of attempting to bridge the gap between the assistance we provide to our producers and that provided to those in other provinces by their governments. His arguments are not good enough for our farmers facing bankruptcy every day.

Mr. Speaker: The member's time has expired.

Mr. Riddell: While other provinces are building up their beef production, the government of this province is allowing our industry to be torn down.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Riddell: Is that the end of my time? Mr. Speaker, I could really go on to tell you the seriousness of the problem, and I hope you will allow this debate to go forward.

3:50 p.m.

Mr. Swart: Mr. Speaker, let there be no doubt that I and my party support the motion for the emergency debate put forward by the member for Huron-Middlesex. Members will recall that I called for a general debate on the serious financial situation in agriculture last May 31. Incidentally, the government said it was not an emergency and blocked that debate, and certainly the situation has worsened since then, particularly as it pertains to the red meat producers.

We all know about the crunch that the hog producers, the beef producers and, yes, the sheep producers are in at the present time, and we know it just by reading the daily papers and farm journals. We know, for instance, that hogs are selling at about $62 now. The cost of production varies, of course, according to the amount of equity a farmer may have, but the average cost of production is about $76, a deficit of $14. Beef is selling for $72 to $75 and, although the beef producers have not gone as far in determining their costs of production, it is still costing around $1 a pound or $100 a hundredweight to produce the beef.

I have been meeting with the producers in certain parts of the province. I will tell the minister that experience can he quite traumatic. With many of them, it is no longer just an academic discussion relative to whether they are meeting their costs. I found there was either quiet, fatalistic desperation or exploding anger at the governments that let this sort of thing happen to them.

One middle-size hog producer, after explaining his financial situation in some detail, said to me: "If things do not improve, I will be through in six months. My eight years of work, of establishing my home, of practising my chosen profession, my way of life, will be destroyed and taken away from me."

This government stands condemned for its inaction in this regard. With great rhetoric, the minister proclaimed the $60 million for the Ontario farm adjustment assistance program and then claimed to add another $20 million. We know they have paid out only $24 million out of that $80 million and, even at the end of the program they will not have paid more than $35 million.

There is no ad hoc farm program such as other provinces have -- for instance, Saskatchewan and Quebec -- to pay their beef producers and the other red meat producers. There are no long-term loans as every other province has for its producers and there is less of the budgeted money of this province going into agriculture than there is in any other farm province in this nation.

There is no immediate hope for these farmers, nor does even the outlook in the medium term look very bright. With higher prices for grains, producers' costs are going to rise still further and the projection for meat prices is that they will continue at a low level.

The minister says he has finally arranged a stabilization program for four provinces and the federal government, but it is going to be the old, old story of too little, too late. The farmers need the help now, not further down the road. The farmers in need do not have the cash now to pay into a stabilization program. Such a program will not be adequate to meet the need.

The minister himself said he did not anticipate the cost would be much greater to the province than what is now being paid out in assistance programs. That amount certainly will not meet the need. They need emergency help. They need assistance now for steers or hogs and sheep.

I want to acknowledge that the federal government also has been grossly negligent towards the red meat producers. How long did Whelan stall? Why? His fellow Liberals would not give him the money, of course. Also, it was the high-interest policy of the federal Liberals that put the producers in the present bind, and this high-interest policy was defended by the member for Huron-Middlesex; so the provincial Liberals share the guilt.

This debate ought to proceed, however, because this provincial government is doing less than any other provincial government and, despite Ottawa's shortcomings, the minister here should be prepared to say what he is going to do now.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, quite frankly, in the two hours and eight minutes available to us this afternoon, we could not possibly begin to describe the complexities of the red meat industry in this province and the problems it is faced with. We could debate the matter for days, citing example after example.

We could touch on the problems, be they problems of the reduction in the cow herd of 20 some per cent in the past five or six years or the reduction in consumer demand for beef of more than 20 per cent in the past four or five years; the problems associated with interest rates; the problems associated with competition in the North American market; or the problems associated with the competition with programs in other provinces. We could never spend enough time talking about the matter.

I want to suggest, though, that rather than taking those two hours and eight minutes to talk this afternoon, there is something constructive and positive which the members opposite could do and which would assist the beef producers in particular, and all red meat producers in this province. I will come to that in a second.

I should also add that the problems of the red meat industry are not confined to the producers. It is well known that in this province, indeed in the whole of the country and the continent, the meat processing industry is itself going through a very difficult period. It is currently operating at something between 60 to 70 per cent capacity, making some of the older plants in the province and the country completely outdated and cost-ineffective, leading to such matters as the recent decision by Canada Packers to cease slaughtering hogs and cattle in Toronto and to move those operations to Kitchener and Burlington.

When I became Minister of Agriculture and Food a little over 19 months ago, we had just paid out $57 million a few months before in an emergency program for the beef industry. Even though it was so recent, already the question was being raised, "Are you going to do the same for 1982?"

I spent a lot of time evaluating the situation and concluded that repeating that program year after year would do nothing to address the problems of the red meat industry -- the problems of the supply of calves, which bulls are used, whether they are indexed or just run of the mill -- the problems of the meat processing industry and the problems of marketing beef in the province. We set out to do an in-depth analysis of the red meat industry, with particular emphasis on beef, and we have been involving all sectors of the industry in that analysis and in the development of proposals which members will see in the fullness of time.

Even more particularly in evaluating that situation, I determined that we had to go after a stabilization program. As members know, this is supported by the cattlemen's association and by countless individual producers in Huron, Middlesex, Grey and Bruce with whom I have met as recently, in some cases, as last week. They realize that what we are doing in the government of Ontario is what is needed: to develop this stabilization program.

I have met with countless individual red meat producers and groups of red meat producers from time to time, and all of those meetings have given me the necessary encouragement and courage to carry on in the battle to get a stabilization program. There have been so many obstacles and delays in the process that it would have been easy to give up, point the finger at Ottawa and say: "We cannot do anything. It is all their fault." But we did not give up. We have sustained the effort.

I want to suggest that we should not take the time of the House this afternoon to just talk. Instead, I am going to send to the member for Huron-Middlesex the telephone number for the Minister of Agriculture for Canada. I would like to suggest that his time would be better spent and he would do more for the beef producers of this province if he would get on the phone -- and he should give the number to all his caucus colleagues, because they are all members of the same party -- and urge the minister to accept my call for the earliest possible meeting of the ministers of agriculture of Canada, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta to give our approval to the accord on stabilization and get on with it.

Mr. Riddell: The fact of the matter is that you do not understand the problem.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Riddell: What do the other provincial ministers do? The other provincial ministers did not sell their farmers down the drain. They helped their beef industry, and you are letting ours go down the drain -- nobody but you.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Elston: You have no backbone, Dennis. Do something important.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Elston: "Do not talk to this Minister of Agriculture and Food." That's what you are saying.

Mr. Riddell: You are the only minister who is prepared to let our beef producers go down the drain.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: You are stating something that is not true.

Mr. Riddell: It is as true as I stated.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: As true as you stated -- not very true.

4 p.m.

Mr. Speaker: Order. I have listened carefully and with great interest to the submissions put forward by the members of all parties. I must rule that in my opinion the motion is out of order because of my interpretation of standing order 34(c)(i), which says very clearly, "The matter proposed for discussion must relate to a genuine emergency, calling for immediate and urgent consideration."

I must point out to all honourable members that this has been a problem, as serious as it is, for a lengthy period of time. In my opinion, it does not meet with the conditions of the standing order.

Mr. Riddell: Mr. Speaker, I regret having to do this, but I have to challenge the ruling. It is an emergency situation. The beef producers must have help now. No stabilization plan will come into effect until next year, and it is this year, it is now, that the beef producers have to get help.

4:25 p.m.

The House divided on the Speaker's ruling, which was sustained on the following vote:


Andrewes, Ashe, Barlow, Bennett, Bernier, Brandt, Cousens, Cureatz, Dean, Eaton, Elgie, Eves, Fish, Gillies, Gordon, Gregory, Grossman, Henderson, Hennessy, Hodgson, Johnson, J. M., Jones, Kells, Kennedy, Kerr, Kolyn, Lane, Leluk, MacQuarrie, McCaffrey, McCague, McLean, McMurtry, McNeil, Mitchell;

Piché, Pollock, Pope, Ramsay, Robinson, Rotenberg, Runciman, Scrivener, Sheppard, Shymko, Snow, Stephenson, B. M., Sterling, Stevenson, K. R., Taylor, G. W., Timbrell, Treleaven, Walker, Watson, Welch, Wells, Williams.


Allen, Boudria, Bradley, Breaugh, Breithaupt, Bryden, Charlton, Conway, Cooke, Cunningham, Di Santo, Eakins, Elston, Epp, Foulds, Grande, Haggerty, Johnston, R. F., Kerrio, Lupusella, Mackenzie, Martel, McClellan, McGuigan, Miller, G. I.;

Newman, Nixon, Philip, Reed, J. A., Renwick, Riddell, Roy, Ruprecht, Ruston, Samis, Spensieri, Stokes, Swart, Van Horne, Wildman, Worton, Wrye.

Ayes 57; nays 42.

4:30 p.m.



Resuming the adjourned debate on the motion for second reading of Bill 61, An Act to regulate Off-Road Vehicles.

Mr. Eakins: Mr. Speaker, I was speaking when the debate was adjourned on Bill 61.

Mr. Speaker: Yes, I realize that.

Mr. Eakins: I just want to follow along with a couple of comments following the adjournment of the debate last week.

I want to bring to the minister's attention the growing interest in this sport among many young people. It is a growing sport in the cottage country, where it is becoming very popular, but there are also some problems developing. I want to ask the minister if he is planning any restriction on the age of the operators of these machines. I do not see that in the bill, other than the age for ownership. I would also like to ask the minister just what plans he has for greater education in regard to the enactment of this bill and also for the use of these machines.

Generally those are the comments I would like to make. I would also suggest to the minister that perhaps there should be some committee input so that the various groups and organizations can bring to the minister's attention some of the concerns they have.

Mr. Philip: Mr. Speaker, his bill answers a problem I wrote to the minister about some time ago, and I appreciate that the minister is now responding to that need.

In Etobicoke, there has been a major problem with these vehicles, as the minister knows from correspondence I have sent him regarding resolutions passed by Etobicoke council and complaints I have received from constituents who are living close to the hydro corridors and also close to the valley lands.

The minister will recall that I also wrote to the Solicitor General (Mr. G. W. Taylor) about the problem because the police chief of Metropolitan Toronto and also local police officials in Etobicoke expressed concern that, while only a minority of users of these vehicles were creating a nuisance, they found it next to impossible to catch the few offenders and to stop the nuisance because there was no way of identifying the vehicles and a police car cannot pursue a fellow on one of these vehicles.

I simply want to say that this bill will be met with considerable enthusiasm by the municipal politicians in the city of Etobicoke, and particularly by me, because I happen to live right next to a corridor where some of my neighbours and I have been disturbed by a few offending parties.

Mr. Riddell: Mr. Speaker, I want to say a few words about this bill. It has been indicated that we are going to support it, and I want to say at the outset that I appreciated the consideration of one of the ministry officials contacting me to get my view on the use of three-wheeled vehicles on farms. So I sent him a letter -- although it was late in arriving on his desk, I understand -- outlining the uses that farmers make of these three-wheeled vehicles, and I indicated to him that there was probably never a greater demand than there is at present on the part of the farmers for the 1984 models, simply because they now have a reverse gear.

The farmers find these vehicles extremely useful because of their flexibility. They can back the three-wheeled vehicles into a drive shed and move a piece of equipment out of the way in order to get at the next piece of equipment that may be stored behind it.

I also indicated that they use these vehicles to check fences, instead of using the horses they used years ago. Also, they not only use the vehicles to travel throughout the farm, but from farm to farm to check the crops for their stage of maturity or for disease that may be growing up, or for insect infestations. We even see the farmers using these vehicles to transport themselves from the farm on which they may be working with their big tractors, back home for lunch, then back to that farm again.

As the minister knows, many of our farmers own acres of land in different lots and they have to travel down the road with their big equipment to get from one farm to the next. With a lot of our farmers using these big four-wheel-drive tractors, once they get them in the field they prefer to leave them there rather than having to bring them when they go home for lunch and then back again. So we find that they are using these three-wheeled vehicles in order to transport themselves from one farm back to the home farm and back again after lunch or after dinner, if they are going to work until dark.

They also are using these vehicles to transport themselves from one farm to the next in order to check irrigation. I could go on and mention several other uses made of these vehicles.

In this bill, the minister is permitting the farmers to cross a road in order to get from one farm to another. But the fact of the matter is that these farmers --

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker. if I could just have a moment. I have asked that a copy of an amendment be sent to the critic. This expands on the amendment I will be introducing when we get to the appropriate stage this afternoon, which will allow the three-wheeled vehicles exemption to go from farm to farm.

Mr. Riddell: I am pleased to hear the minister indicate there is an amendment. As I understand it. the minister is going to permit the use of these vehicles up and down the road if it is a case where the farmer has more than one farm.

Hon. Mr. Snow: I tried to make that statement earlier, but they would not give me the floor.

Mr. Riddell: That is fine. Once again, democracy is working. I want to thank the minister for taking some of our views into consideration.

Mr. Haggerty: Mr. Speaker, I want to address myself to Bill 61. I have written to the minister on a couple of occasions. He responded indicating that he would be bringing forward legislation to control the off-road vehicles. I appreciate his bringing forward the bill.

My concern is the nuisance they cause on private property and the noise that usually goes along with it. Some of these machines with the types of mufflers they have, and some without mufflers, cause a considerable amount of noise in communities.

I was concerned when I looked at the bill, where it defines highway. Clause 1(b) reads: "'highway' includes a common and public highway, street, avenue, parkway, driveway, square, place, bridge, viaduct or trestle, designed or intended for, or used by, the general public for the passage of vehicles."

The problem, at least from the complaints I have received, is that it is the youngsters more than anyone else who are using the vehicles to cross private property. Sometimes there might be a vacant strip of property or number of acres in a community with no one looking after the property. It is privately owned. But these people are making use of the property for their own entertainment.

Perhaps private property should be included in the same way as when a person gets a gun licence, to indicate that the person has the right, the privilege to hunt because of having a licence but he must obtain permission to enter private property.

4:40 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Snow: That goes without saying.

Mr. Haggerty: That goes without saying. That is what I am saying. I bring to the minister's attention that often there are private property owners who say, "It is great for the government to issue a licence, but it does not give one the right to come on my property." I think there should be something in there to include private property so that when they do have consent from a private property owner who may have some extra land in the township, the county or the municipality, they do have a right to enter it without having a police officer go in and perhaps bother them with checking out their vehicles and even telling them to get off the property.

The other area I am concerned about is that it mentions here that "the purpose of this bill is to regulate the use of off-road vehicles, which include trail bikes and similar all-terrain vehicles but does not include four-wheel vehicles." I do not know whether that means four-wheel drive or four wheels. They happen to have what they call dune buggies down in my area, which are travelling up and down the roads, too, and they are going to places such as Sherkston Beaches. They are making use of a larger type of vehicle, particularly Volkswagens, that are stripped down.

Hon. Mr. Snow: They will be in here.

Mr. Haggerty: They will be in there. I do not know if it includes that or not. It says four-wheel vehicles. I do not know if it means a four-wheel-drive vehicle or not.

Then it comes to the point of four-wheel vehicles that are stripped down. The body may have deteriorated and, instead of repairing them, they still strip them down and use them for some type of land vehicle to get out and have some fun going through certain trails on property. I suggest that this is not quite defined in there and I think the government may have some difficulties in it.

Perhaps what we should be doing when we look at the trail bikes and the tricycle type of trail bike is looking at some way of controlling the size of horsepower or the number of cubic centimetres that a bike may develop. There are many young persons out there today who can get a trail bike and can have one that is really souped up, which may cause some difficulties to a youngster 16 years of age.

One of my younger boys purchased and still has a motorcycle at home and uses it out on the property I own at Sherkston. I suggest that sometimes if these bicycles are not controlled by the size of horsepower or cubic centimetres, they may cause some difficulties with youngsters 16 years of age.

My colleague the member for Huron-Middlesex (Mr. Riddell) mentioned the use of these trail bikes and the tricycle type of machine used on farms. I think there are many youngsters on the farm who can go out and drive a tractor at the age of 12. The government is telling us here that they cannot drive a bicycle --

Hon. Mr. Snow: No, we are not.

Mr. Haggerty: It says 16 years of age.

Hon. Mr. Snow: If the honourable member would only read the legislation, he would know one has to be 16 years of age to own one, to register it, not to drive it.

Mr. Haggerty: I am having some difficulty with it and no doubt other persons will, but I am sure I read there that one has to be 16 years of age before he can own one. The minister is telling me now that a 10-year-old youngster can go out and drive one.

Mr. J. A. Reed: Right. At any age.

Mr. Haggerty: Is that not going to cause some difficulty?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Which way do you want it?

Mr. Haggerty: I am saying there are youngsters on a farm who handle a tractor. They are educated in the area, but I have seen some young tots --

The Deputy Speaker: I think the member is aware that this could be dealt with in committee.

Mr. Haggerty: That is correct, but I am thinking that my area may be different from other areas. Where Americans come in who own summer homes and cottages, their youngsters today are driving up and down roadways and they may be only about 10 or 11 or maybe even younger than that.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Seven or eight.

Mr. Haggerty: Somebody was saying seven or eight. I do not know what the ages are, but I think we are going to run into some difficulties there. I think any youngster who is seven or eight or 10 should not be permitted to handle it even on private property because he is going to have to travel on the roadway to get across certain pieces of property and it is going to cause some problems. I think there should be a specific size of the vehicle, cubic inch or cubic centimetre displacement, and the age factor should be spelled out. If it is a farmer's son or daughter, then it is a different area where consideration has to he given, but I do not think any youngster of the age of 10 or 12 should be able to handle any of these machines.

Mr. G. I. Miller: There is a point of clarification in regard to the licensing of off-road vehicles. We had an incident in our area where an older chap, I believe he is 76 years old, had a three-wheel Honda with off-road tires. He had a safety check with the turning lights, proper brakes and everything to meet the standards of the Highway Traffic Act. He was licensed under his driver's licence. After he was able to do that, they came along, checked it out and indicated that because of the off-road tires he was not able to use it on the road right of way.

I believe he had to go to court, but after discussion with the people in the ministry, I think perhaps they were reasonable and I do not believe he had to pay the fine, but it did put him to a lot of trouble and concern because the vehicle was licensed. I believe there were several hundred licensed under the same provision and they were hassled because the tires were stamped off-road tires. They are the only tires available for the Honda bike, according to the information he provided to me. He has checked it out across the United States and with the company itself and there is no other tire available for use on this particular machine.

I wonder if the minister would like to comment on that. Is that going to be clarified under this new piece of legislation?

Mr. McGuigan: Mr. Speaker, I am very glad to see the minister has brought about this amendment to allow farmers to move from farm to farm.

I just want to point out an item in the legislation, and I think it is very fine that is there, about persons in the business of repairing, customizing, modifying and transporting off-road vehicles. My concern is that this is going to become a very popular vehicle. I would predict that it will take the place of most snowmobiles, at least in southern Ontario, where we have variable conditions as to whether or not there is snow. It is going to find a lot of use on farms, in businesses, semi-businesses, racing and all those sorts of things.

I am concerned that when the customizing people get hold of these vehicles, they will step those motors up to as high as 18,000 revolutions per minute, which they have done now in motorcycles. I was watching some people engaged in hill climbing on TV the other day and they had an ordinary motorcycle up to 250 horse power with revolutions per minute of 18,000. When these people move in with such a popular vehicle, it seems to me they will be setting up some very dangerous situations for some of the children and others whom members have mentioned.

I simply mention this as something we should be cautious about and be ready to move if and when that happens.

Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Speaker, I am grateful that some of my colleagues have helped with this legislation in my absence.

I have several concerns and I want to put them on the record so that the highly qualified, hard-working staff of the minister, who are somewhere to his left, will contemplate in the fullness of time possibly some amendments to this legislation to correct what I consider to be several deficiencies. I would not say or be presumptuous for a moment to suggest I have all the answers to the problem, but the major problem I see relates to the age of the persons who can get their hot little hands on what I would characterize as trail bikes.

4:50 p.m.

I know many municipalities in Ontario have been most concerned about the inability of their police forces to deal with the people who drive these vehicles. Sometimes they drive at all hours of the night and morning through cottage areas, farms and urban areas.

No amount of legislation we can bring forward in this House will inflict a sense of responsibility on these people or on their parents. However, I think we will have to have a very extensive communications program with municipalities and police forces specifically to outline the responsibilities the owners of these vehicles are going to have.

One of the major problems I sense we are going to have with implementing this legislation involves the provision of insurance. I know of no law in Ontario that will force upon the insurance companies of Ontario or Canada a requirement to write insurance to cover the activities that would be associated with the operation of these vehicles.

In the absence of that power -- and I am not suggesting necessarily that we have it -- I anticipate there are going to be very few companies in the private insurance market that will want to get into this business. I know, Mr. Speaker, you have had some modest experience in the insurance business and would understand it is still a profit business. I heartily concur with that.

It may not be profitable for insurance companies to involve themselves in underwriting insurance, particularly liability insurance, for the operation of these vehicles. Without that I sense the general public can be at risk, and we will have a number of serious problems.

For example, a situation could arise where a 16-year old has gone through the proper process of obtaining his permit and, wisely or unwisely, allows his 13-year-old friend to operate his vehicle. That individual, perhaps without the benefit of any kind of experience with such a vehicle, then becomes involved in a very serious tragedy. The cost and damages associated with that, even the hospital bill itself, could be horrendous.

I do not think there is a constituency in this Legislature where there has not been either a fatality or a very serious injury to a youngster. It is primarily youngsters we are talking about who are operating these vehicles. A child in my own constituency with a three-wheeled vehicle was impaled on the handlebars. I cannot think of anything that could be more horrendous than that.

I see that as a major problem. I would be reticent to see a piece of legislation taking away the fun some people find in operating these vehicles. However, we as legislators may have a responsibility to determine that these vehicles should not be available for use by young people of a certain age.

We do this, of course, with motor vehicle operator's licences for cars and trucks. We impose an age limit for the franchise in elections and also for the consumption of alcohol. These are judgement decisions we make. I think no less a standard should be applied when we contemplate the licensing and use of these vehicles.

That, very simply, is my primary concern as the critic. I want to take a moment, as I always do, to commend the minister for bringing in this legislation. It is not exactly a box of chocolates to deal with the various groups that have opinions at variance with the legislation.

I would say, in conclusion, that I hope the minister, his staff and the staff of the Solicitor General, who is here today and listening, as always, very intently, will endeavour to work with the OPP and, more particularly, our municipal police forces to ensure that they make an effort to enforce this legislation. All too often when we pass legislation in this House, we leave the building feeling we have discharged our responsibilities and everything is all well and good and, of course, such is not the case.

I would reflect on our experience with seatbelts where there may be some differences of opinion, but generally I think the compliance level with seatbelts is somewhere in the area of -- what would it be? -- maybe 60 per cent or 65 per cent or thereabouts?


Mr. Cunningham: Lower, unfortunately, is indicated to me by the Solicitor General, which is a very great disappointment. We have enacted legislation that deals with restraint devices for youngsters and --

The Deputy Speaker: I remind the member that I have been very lenient about having some leeway on the principle of the bill. I wonder if he is not getting away from the bill.

Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Speaker, I am mindful of your admonition. I would conclude by saying the point I was trying to make very simply was that this legislation is of very little use to us if it is not enforced. We have a statute on the books right now pertaining to the use of seatbelts and child restraint devices that the minister and I know is not enforced; for those people who are involved in accidents and are not using them the legislation is of absolutely no value to them.

The point I am making to both the Minister of Transportation and Communications and my friend the Solicitor General is that we expect and we anticipate that an aggressive effort will be made to enforce this legislation, not only for the protection of the people who use these vehicles, but also for the protection of people who may be run over by them -- and I can state from personal experience that almost happened to me -- and the people who live in areas where it has been the tradition of the owners of these vehicles to run wild through the trails and the woods, making all kinds of noise and disturbing other people.

Those are my comments on the legislation.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable members for their comments with regard to Bill 61 and the amendments I have forwarded, unfortunately not to all members of the House or they would have been aware of them, but certainly to the official critics who have had the opportunity to be briefed on these matters and how we propose to deal with them.

Many of the members mentioned similar concerns and problems, mainly the one of insurance. That matter has been and is of concern to me as well, that insurance be available for these machines. I have every reason to believe it will be.

I have agreed to an amendment to the bill, which I will introduce, that will set back the date for the requirement of insurance from June 1 to August 1, 1984, as it is my understanding that the insurance companies come down with their rates and schedules for this insurance on these types of vehicles and on snowmobiles and so on on July 1 each year. I think we can accept that delay in the requirement for insurance to give a little more time to make sure the insurance industry is ready and has the time to bring down reasonable rates for this coverage.

5 p.m.

I have every reason to believe that the insurance industry will respond to this requirement. I know the concern when the moped legislation was introduced about the requirement for insurance; the insurance came out quite high and that was reduced at a later time. I am hoping that will not happen on these but, of course, I do not have control over the insurance industry.

There was some comment about the provision for regulations in the bill. That is necessary, I think everyone would agree, especially with this type of vehicle. We have not specifically included in the bill other than the two- and three-wheel vehicles. Now, all of a sudden, there is a new beast on the road with four wheels and other things that have six wheels, and probably in the near future there will be one on eight wheels. We have proposed that this legislation cover the two- and three-wheel off-road vehicles with provision for specifically bringing under the control of the bill these unusual beasts as they arrive on the market. It would be almost impossible to deal quickly with the situation by way of changing the bill every time, but it can be handled in regulations.

My colleague the member for Cornwall (Mr. Samis) mentioned the northern Ontario exemption. We propose to have the exemption similar to that in the snowmobile legislation. In other words, the area north of the Canadian National Railways main line, which I believe is the line that is used, will be exempt under the act from licensing and so on. Basically, that will allow these vehicles to be used in the Indian reserves and so on, where quite often they are a very good method of transportation. Basically, with the proposals in this legislation, we have tried to parallel the snow vehicle legislation as closely as possible for enforcement purposes and so on.

When it comes to private property, the operators of these vehicles will be under the Trespass to Property Act, which was passed a few years ago and which sets down the rules as far as trespassing on land is concerned. It will apply to these vehicles the same as it does to snowmobiles. Such things as dune buggies and these home-made contraptions also can be brought under the legislation by way of regulation.

We propose to exempt certain classes of vehicle that can be considered to be vintage motorcycles where a person who may own half a dozen or a dozen of these things does not drive them on private property, in parks or on public property. A collector of vintage motorcycles may use them only at displays or at meets. It is proposed to exempt the vintage make. If somebody comes along and says, "Everything before 1980 is vintage," I will not agree with him; but the real vintage machines would be exempt.

Also, we propose to exempt organized meets of clubs where they take the vehicle on a trailer or a pickup truck. If they use it only at the meet and not outside of an organized meet, we would exempt that particular meet. This would get away from some of the problems of the honourable member who was worrying about one-day permits for somebody coming across from another province into Ontario. If they were coming across for a meet, they would not require a one-day permit. We do not propose to have one-day permits, but we probably have, in the regulations, a way of dealing with out-of-province vehicles.

Age limit is something that has been of concern to us all, and several members have mentioned it. We do not have an age limit for the operation of these vehicles. We do not have an age limit for the operation of an automobile on private property or of a truck, a tractor, a snowmobile or anything else.


Hon. Mr. Snow: I do not know what the member is saying. I ask him to please wait until we get the regulations.

Anyone driving these across the highway or down the highway, under the exemption, has to have a driver's licence and be 16 years of age.

I know, I was driving tractors, trucks and everything else, long before I was 16 years of age, on my father's farm. I do not think we want to bring in a regulation that would prevent that from happening.

I believe we do need an age limit for ownership of the vehicle. It means that if a youngster is going to drive one of these vehicles, the parent or someone over the age of 18 has to be responsible for it and has to have it registered in his name. A person under 16 years of age cannot go out to buy one and have it registered, because he cannot have it registered in his name; it must be registered in the name of someone over the age of 16.

I think that this answers most of the comments. When we move into committee, there will be other things to be discussed, no doubt, as I introduce the four or five amendments I have.

Motion agreed to.

Bill ordered for committee of the whole House.

House in committee of the whole.


Consideration of Bill 61. An Act to regulate Off-Road Vehicles.

On section 1:

The Deputy Chairman: Hon. Mr. Snow moves that subclause 1(f)(ii) be amended by inserting, after "activities" in the second line, "there."

Hon. Mr. Snow further moves that clause 1(g) be struck out and the following substituted therefor:

"1(g) 'Off-road vehicle' means a vehicle propelled or driven otherwise than by muscular power or wind and designed to travel (i) on not more than three wheels or (ii) more than three wheels and being of a prescribed class of vehicle."

Hon. Mr. Snow further moves that clause 1(h) be amended by inserting, after "constable" in the first line, "municipal law enforcement officer."

Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Chairman, the customary habit here, as a matter of courtesy, is to give us a copy of the amendment.

The Deputy Chairman: Have copies of the amendments been circulated?

Mr. Cunningham: I have copies of some, but I do not believe I have that one.

Hon. Mr. Snow: I am sorry. These amendments were delivered last week and they were redelivered today, I am told.

5:10 p.m.

Mr. Samis: Mr. Chairman, we will support all three amendments. I especially commend the minister for making the amendment in clause 1(g) and responding to the correspondence he received from various groups and individuals on that.

The Deputy Chairman: Does the member for Wentworth North (Mr. Cunningham) have a copy of the amendment now?

Mr. Cunningham: Yes, thank you.

Motion agreed to.

Section 1, as amended, agreed to.

On section 2:

The Deputy Chairman: Hon. Mr. Snow moves that section 2 of the bill be amended by adding thereto the following subsection:

"(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), and section 7, subsection 18(1) and subsections 44(1), and (3) to (26) and (28) to (32) of the Highway Traffic Act, a holder of a driver's licence issued under section 18 of the Highway Traffic Act who is not contravening any provision of this act may drive an off-road vehicle,

"(a) directly across a highway if the vehicle is designed to travel on not more than two wheels, or

"(b) on a highway if the vehicle is designed to travel on more than two wheels, the driver is a farmer using the vehicle for agricultural purposes, and the vehicle or a vehicle drawn by it bears a slow-moving vehicle sign.

"(3) Subsection (2) does not apply to a motorcycle with a sidecar, a farm tractor, a self- propelled implement of husbandry or a roadbuilding machine as defined in the Highway Traffic Act, or to off-road vehicles that are exempted from section 3 of the act by regulation."

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Chairman, this is the amendment I said I would be bringing in to deal with the use of the three-wheeled vehicles for farm purposes.

Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Chairman, we will support the amendment, and I commend the minister for bringing it in. In the first section of the act, under definitions, I do not see a definition for a farmer, and in my experience in this House I am not familiar with one, but I wish him well none the less.

Mr. Samis: Mr. Chairman, we will support it.

Motion agreed to.

Section 2, as amended, agreed to.

On section 3:

Mr. Boudria: Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment to section 3, which I am circulating now.

The Deputy Chairman: Mr. Boudria moves that section 3 be amended by adding subsection 4:

"'(4) Except under subsection 3, no person under the age of 14 years shall drive an off-road vehicle."

Mr. Boudria: Mr. Chairman, the purpose of this amendment is to eliminate the situation which we have now where children six, seven and eight years old are driving these vehicles and will continue to drive them unless we have an amendment like this or one similar to it.

One of the unfortunate things we have seen over the past few years is the injury and death of small children. As good as the proposed legislation is, unless we have some restriction as to the age of the young people who can drive them we are still going to have these very serious injuries. I very much recommend to the minister that we have an amendment such as this passed.

The reason I would like to exempt subsection 3(3) is so that "where the owner of the vehicle is the occupier of the land" would cover cases where a 13-year-old or 12-year-old farmers son may be able to assist his parents on the farm. It would exempt farmers by having this exception for subsection 3(3). Otherwise, everyone else would have to abide by the minimum 14 years of age amendment.

Mr. Samis: Mr. Chairman, we will support the motion.

Mr. J. A. Reed: Mr. Chairman, this motion brings to the fore an obvious need to clarify just what constitutes submission to either the Highway Traffic Act or other laws that apply.

Some of the problems occur in off-road vehicles with very young children in cottage country driving over what are probably commonly owned private roads into cottages and so on. Quite frankly, this member does not know whether, for instance, the provisions of motor vehicle licensing or the provisions of the Highway Traffic Act apply to those roads; or are vehicles not required to be licensed and insured and driven by people of a certain age there? There is some question.

This is one of the areas where the major problem does arise and where some of these injuries and fatalities have occurred. I wonder whether the minister can enlighten us.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Chairman, it is my understanding that the Highway Traffic Act does not apply to a private road.

Mr. J. A. Reed: Assuming that is the case, it is obvious that some sort of control over the age of the driver becomes important.

Mr. Cunningham: Very briefly, Mr. Chairman, I would like to speak in favour of the amendment offered by my colleague.

I really do feel we are responsible for implementing an age standard with regard to these vehicles. They travel at great speed. They are rarely used on the well-designed, well-engineered highways that we have in Ontario. They are used on trails, up creeks, around bends, over rocks or among trees. It is mind-boggling that we would permit that kind of activity, which could involve a youngster of seven, eight or nine years old, or perhaps even younger. But the minister would have more information on this than I have.

If we pass this amendment, I realize we are all going to get letters from people saying: "I bought young Charlie a bike. He is age 11 and is the best kid in the world and really knows how to operate this thing." That may well he the case. However, I suggest that for every kid who may have a sense of responsibility there are probably half a dozen or a dozen sitting out there who really like to get these things wound right up.

5:20 p.m.

On my trip home in the evenings, I pass a section of property that the minister may well he familiar with. It is in the city of Burlington, in the northern part of King Road. It is owned by a brick company that the minister also has some acquaintance with, I believe, that operates in that area. For one reason or another, they allow people to use these dirt bikes throughout the entire area.

Hon. Mr. Snow: It is a tile company.

Mr. Cunningham: It is a tile company, that is it. I think Mr. Nu is the president of the company. I think the minister has some passing understanding of Mr. Nu.

Hon. Mr. Snow: A very generous man.

Mr. Cunningham: He is a wonderful man and I understand he participates in the election expenses process regularly and generously in some constituencies -- but not mine. However, that is not relevant to the discussion of the bill.

For reasons I cannot understand, Mr. Nu and his company permit a great collection of people to use these vehicles. I must say that as I drive by, invariably working my way back to Carlisle, Ontario, I see these guys and they are backing these little trail bikes off trucks with little ramps. Obviously somebody with a driver's licence has got the truck to that point. But these guys look like little gladiators. They have shin pads and hip protectors and shoulder pads. They look like Ronnie Stewart used to look like when he played for the Ottawa Rough Riders. They have helmets and face guards -- the smart ones have helmets. I have seen a lot of them driving around without a helmet, which bothers me just more than just a little hit.

They go tearing through this property that Mr. Nu has the responsibility of administering, at incredible speeds. It almost reminds me of the James Watt Memorial Park; there is hardly a living thing left in it because these little guys have desecrated it all. No living thing, with the exception of some weeds and few trees they have not hit, remains in these clay pits.

If I had the time I would go down to the emergency ward of the Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital, which is the closest medical facility to these clay pits, and I might inquire just how often and how frequently we get people who have been wheeled in to the emergency ward all banged up after some kind of disaster out on these clay pits.

I am of the view that when one reaches the age of 14, 15 or 16 one starts to develop a little common sense. That is one of the reasons one is allowed a driver's licence at age 16. That is one of the reasons why drinking is allowed at age 19, and responsibly, I hope. At 18, voting is allowed. I am not quite convinced that at age seven, eight or nine -- or even less -- these people should have the responsibility for operating these vehicles, which can go at absolutely incredible speeds.

I referred in my previous comments to the difficulties we have with not only the people who operate the bikes, but people who would be walking through the woods, or walking through the area, or walking on a cottage lane.

The minister should know I had a call from a gentleman who worked in the civil service. He was complaining to me and once he got this bill he was happy with most of it, but he was concerned about the lack of an age requirement in it. He complained that some of these youngsters would just absolutely terrorize people on the roads to his cottage and around his cottage. He endeavoured to ask these young gentlemen, all of whom I think were under the age of 14, if they could just sort of calm down a bit. About five or six of them endeavoured to -- "punch him out" I think was the phrase he used. That may be a comment on some of the kinds of individuals who use these bikes.

I hope the minister will give very serious consideration to this amendment. I think it would make a great deal of sense.

Mr. Boudria: Mr. Chairman, if I may just add a few more words, with the indulgence of the House, I was just looking over the Motorized Snow Vehicles Act. Under section 8 of that legislation there is the restriction of 16 years of age for someone to drive on the public highway, a restriction of a minimum age of 14 to cross a public highway and a minimum age of 12 in order to drive on a public trail.

If one pictures the situation, it would be the following. We would have a situation under the present bill whereby a six-year-old could drive a three-wheel motorcycle in the summer on the same trail that is used in the winter for snowmobiles. At six years of age it would be perfectly all right for him to do this. As we know, some of those all-terrain vehicles are used both summer and winter. In the winter he would have to park it because he is not old enough to drive it in winter, but he is old enough to drive it in summer. That is just ridiculous.

The present situation is that a child is not old enough to drive one of these vehicles in winter when at least if he falls down, presumably he falls on soft snow rather than hitting his head against a rock in the summer. We have a situation where in the summer, as long as he could walk and get on the machine, he could really drive it. There is nothing that we are doing as legislators to prevent that.

In conclusion, I would just like to urge the minister again to have some sort of age restriction. If he does not deem 14 years of age to be appropriate, I would fully concur that perhaps some other age be used, be it 15, 13 or whatever. The situation we have now is that these micro-mini models of those machines can be driven by a six-year-old or seven-year-old because of their physical size. I just think that is ridiculous and I ask all honourable members to consider my amendment.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Chairman, I have listened intently to the suggestions of the honourable members. Under the Motorized Snow Vehicles Act, as the member has quoted, I did not take the time to look it up explicitly but certainly it does require 16 years of age to travel on a roadway, 14 to cross and an age limit for the public trails. As I understand it, there is no age limit when one is off a public trail. If one is on a lake or on private property which one owns or other people's private property with permission, one does not have an age limit.

I would be very concerned with six-year-olds and so on handling these machines. There is such a great difference in the machines. They can be 100 cubic centimetre machines, very light and not very powerful, or there are the ones that are 300 cubic centimetres. That is about the largest one I know of in this three-wheel type of machine that we are talking about. They can be quite powerful and they can travel 40 miles an hour or so at top speed.

The problem is to enforce any type of legislation on someone under the age of 16 unless they have a driver's licence, unless we extend the driver licensing system to license 14-year-olds or to have some proof of age. I understand what the members are saying, but I do not want to get us into something here that kills the whole act and the enforcement of it.

To drive snowmobiles on a trail one has to have a motorized snow vehicle licence. There is a training program set up by the snowmobile clubs and the federation, through my ministry, where they give training, do tests and grant a snowmobile operator's licence to those who are 12 years of age and over.

Mr. J. A. Reed: What is the difference?

Hon. Mr. Snow: To my knowledge, the difference is that there are no recognized organizations, clubs or anyone else that would he prepared to do that for these machines.

5:30 p.m.


The Deputy Chairman: There is an opportunity to respond.

Mr. J. A. Reed: I would respectfully submit to the minister that there are indeed organizations -- I have correspondence from them right here -- and if that kind of proposition was put to them, if that is what it would take, I do not see any reason the same kind of co-operative spirit could not apply here as applies to snow vehicles.

As my colleague the member for Prescott-Russell (Mr. Boudria) quite correctly pointed out, under this proposed legislation, something a person can do on a vehicle in one season of the year he cannot do in another season of the year on what may very well be the same vehicle.

Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Chairman, I would like to seek a commitment from the minister; maybe we can get some understanding here of how we might sort this out.

The minister stated that because of some difficulties with the insurance industry we will not be able to have schedules of rates until some time in August, 1984, so that the force of the act is not immediate; which is unfortunate.

I would ask this -- and maybe the minister can make a commitment to us this afternoon -- in the time that transpires between now and then, would the minister take it upon himself to have officials from his ministry consult the appropriate section of the Ontario Medical Association, be it the neurologists or be it the orthopaedic section of the Ontario Medical Association?

Would he endeavour to meet with the groups that my colleague the member for Halton-Burlington (Mr. J. A. Reed) just made reference to, to seek their opinion on the value of implementing an age standard that might be workable and realistic?

The minister is very correct in his assumption that we are going to have difficulties in the context of enforcement when these young people to whom we are referring do not have licences. That does not stop us from making some kind of provision for a fine for them. I want the minister to know this and I want him to understand this as clearly as I can say it to him -- we are going to have a lot less difficulty with the insurance industry in developing reasonable rates for the people who want to use these vehicles if such an age limit were to be brought into effect.

It will be far easier for the actuaries and the underwriters of that insurance to develop an understanding of what kind of damages they might anticipate if they knew how young the drivers of these vehicles might be. As members have heard, there is absolutely no limitation in terms of power capacity on them, so it is not inconceivable that a six-year-old could be on an 800 cubic centimetre vehicle if he or she could get it off the kickstand.

That is something we have to think about. I ask the minister's commitment to contemplate that and to endeavour, if he is not prepared to favour this amendment at this time this afternoon, to give a commitment to contact the Ontario Medical Association, particularly the neurological section and the orthopaedic section of the OMA, and also the appropriate groups that might act as instructors in the use of these vehicles, to determine whether or not we have a very real problem with physical damage to youngsters below the age of 14, and the extent of it, and contemplate bringing in an age standard.

I think deep in the minister's heart he understands that is probably the right thing that we should be doing.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Chairman, I am quite prepared to look at the age. I just do not feel in my own mind and heart that 14 years is the right age. I just don't. I think we would be doing an injustice to a great many young people if we were to pass such an amendment. On the other hand, I certainly do not believe that seven-year-olds or eight-year-olds should be running around on these machines either.

Mr. Nixon: How about 10?

Hon. Mr. Snow: The member says 10. Perhaps 12 might be a better age. I do not know.

Mr. Boudria: Let's make an amendment to the amendment.

Mr. J. A. Reed: Will you contact the association?

Hon. Mr. Snow: I am a little confused. To contact a medical association to get advice on what age we should put in to drive a vehicle --

Mr. Cunningham: The minister was asking questions and I would like to respond. Maybe we will have it some day. I am just young enough that perhaps it might happen in my full life.

I think we should spend some time with the people who run the emergency section. Perhaps we might take half an hour or an hour out of our day to go and see the brother of our Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) at the emergency section at Sunnybrook Hospital and talk about the kinds of injuries these people get to their heads, their brains, their arms and their legs, the internal injuries they get and the kinds of paralysis some of them get.

It happens to be the harsh fact of reality. Perhaps I am wrong -- it has happened before -- but I happen to think that when people get just a touch older they get a little more responsible and get a little more experience. From a physiological point of view, they get strong enough so they might even be able to maintain the vehicle a little better and keep it on the road or on the trail a little better. They might avoid some of the situations we have endeavoured to describe to the minister as graphically as we can this afternoon.

I know this amendment may come as a big surprise to the minister, I know it may be difficult to work out, but frankly it is something that would make this bill 100 per cent better. If we do not do it, the harsh facts of reality are that we are going to pick up the paper and we are going to find out that a nine-year-old has impaled himself or herself on one of these vehicles. If we had passed a law or entertained this amendment this afternoon, that may have not happened. If it was just one child, it might well have been worth while.

I would suggest we are not just passing this legislation to be in operation for a year or two, or a temporary period. This is something we would hope would apply for a long time and, consequently, a lot of lives could be saved.

The Chairman may want to rule me out of order as I compliment the minister and his ministry for the work they have done with seatbelts. As I read his little notice the other day in relation to child restraint devices, I was mindful that since 1975 to the present we have reduced the number of fatalities by approximately half. That is something the minister, his ministry, his officials and all of us who voted for the legislation should take some pride in.

I implore the minister to contemplate supporting this amendment this afternoon or, at the very minimum, to make a commitment to seek some professional advice from the Ontario Medical Association with regard to the extent of damage, terrible, tragic damage, that is being done to so many young people who are dealing with these high-powered vehicles.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Chairman, I have a little additional information from my staff on this. I am not saying it will solve the problem for us at all. During the process of this legislation we apparently had correspondence from the paediatric intensive care unit at McMaster University Medical Centre. They wrote to us of their concern about the legislation and inquired regarding the requirement for helmets. It made no mention of the driving age in the correspondence.

More appropriate or more meaningful perhaps, there was, as the member knows, a double fatality in Victoria county, I believe at Minden, involving one of these vehicles and there was an inquest. Mr. McCombe from my ministry attended that inquest.

Mr. Nixon: They were driving on the road.

Mr. Cunningham: It was a highway traffic violation.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Yes, I believe it was an accident involving one of these little vehicles in collision with a car. They had an inquest and Mr. McCombe attended that inquest on behalf of the ministry. He tells me that the leading expert at that inquest, Dr. Simpson, who heads the Traffic Injury Research Foundation of Canada, told the inquest that he did not feel driver licensing for juveniles operating these machines was an appropriate answer. He also said he was unable to recommend any specific suitable age.

5:40 p.m.

Just to bring this matter to some conclusion, I understand the concern of the members. I have it to some degree myself. Even though my staff have a lot of concerns about how this can be enforced properly, I am prepared to consider an amendment to put in a minimum age, but I would like to suggest that it be something more in the area of 12 years with the provision that we will consult everyone over the next few months. If we find there are good reasons for that to he adjusted, I will bring back some amendment in the spring that we would discuss and, hopefully, put through in five minutes.

Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Chairman, on that note, I would graciously thank the minister for his consideration in that regard. It almost reminds me of the days of minority government.

Hon. Mr. Snow: I am not accepting the specific wording of my colleague the member for Prescott-Russell, but legislative counsel will draft the amendment and give it to the Clerk's table to implement, if that is satisfactory, on the age of 12.

Mr. Boudria: That is satisfactory to me. I really appreciate the minister passing that amendment and I think the legislation will be much better for doing it.

Mr. Chairman: Shall section 3 then he passed as amended?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Chairman, my legal staff over here have some modest recommendations to the resolution of the member for Prescott-Russell, putting it in more legalese, the same thing exactly, as I read the two. I have trouble reading both their writing. Lawyers never could write so that one could read properly.


Mr. Nixon: The minister is not suggesting we pass it as amended until we amend it?

Mr. Cunningham: Perhaps we should stand down this clause.

Mr. Chairman: We will stand this section down with agreement.

Sections 4 to 8, inclusive, agreed to.

On section 9:

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Boudria moves that section 9 be amended by adding a clause 9(c) that would state that clause 9(b) shall not apply to organized racing competition.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Chairman, it is proposed that the racing competition would be exempt from this act, so I do not know why it would be necessary to put that in.

Mr. Boudria: I will tell the minister what the purpose is, and if the amendment is unnecessary, I will gladly withdraw it. This particular section of the act has to do with keeping the numbers of the licence plates clean at all times, which is not necessarily possible in the case of a race of dirt motorcycles. If the minister can indicate to us where else the same could be accomplished. I would be willing to withdraw the amendment.

Hon. Mr. Snow: As I said to the honourable member when there are organized races at a track or some site, it is the intention that such races will be exempt under the regulations. I know how difficult it is to keep a licence plate clean on an automobile, let alone anything else.

On the other hand, it would be very easy for somebody who wanted to raise havoc through a neighbourhood or through a public park if we did not have a provision to keep the licence plate clean. If someone takes a whole handful of mud and covers up the licence plate, what is the use of having it? We have to rely on the reasonableness of our enforcement officers. They are not going to fine someone for having a dusty licence plate. But if it is caked with mud and people are running riot through the community, I think they should suffer the penalty.

I agree, however, if they are having a mud race at an organized track, then that would be exempt under our proposed regulations.

Mr. J. A. Reed: Mr. Chairman, I think the question really is where in the act the provision is made for exemption. I am trying to find out where. Clause 22(b) says "designating classes of off-road vehicles and exempting any class from all or any of the provisions of this act." But a class of vehicle, as I understand it, means a certain kind of vehicle and not a certain kind of activity.

I wonder if the minister could tell us where provision is made for regulating exemption for the specific kinds of activities the minister has mentioned. That might answer the member's proposal for amendment.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Clause 22(b), my legal advisers tell me, is the clause under which such an exemption would take place.

A vehicle used in competition, for instance, would be a class of vehicle. As a somewhat unusual example, in our regulations regarding seatbelts, taxis carrying passengers are a class of vehicles. They are not all Fords, Dodges or Plymouths, but taxis carrying passengers are exempt from the seatbelt legislation.

Mr. J. A. Reed: In order to clarify this section properly, you would suggest that classes of off-road vehicles in this case can be interpreted in terms of the end use or the use of those vehicles. Is that correct?

I think there is going to be some confusion with the Canadian Motorcycle Association and those people who race in competition. When they talk about classes of vehicles, they talk about 50 cc classes, 200 cc classes and this kind of thing. I am asking the question for purposes of clarification because I know the Canadian Motorcycle Association, the Halton Off-Road Riders Association and the people I have had correspondence with are going to be questioning that.

Hon. Mr. Snow: The drafters of the legislation advise me that this clause deals with certain classes of vehicles. I do not think classes necessarily mean 50 cc classes or any other classes. This is the clause, I believe, under which we would exempt vintage bikes from the act or some other particular group of vehicles. That would be drafted and it would be very plain in the regulations. It is this clause that would provide for the regulation to be developed.

Mr. J. A. Reed: Just one further point of clarification. Will these exemptions be proposed by the ministry itself or will the ministry accept applications for exemption?

5:50 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Snow: My ministry always responds to any reasonable suggestion for regulations. We would, no doubt, be working with the motorcycle associations in drafting these regulations as we have in working with the legislation. They would have the chance for input. I have met several times with the Motorcycle and Moped Industry Council in drafting this legislation to discuss many of the aspects of it. They have been very helpful.

Mr. Boudria: I am still not completely clear on this, and I hate to take up any more of the House's time. However, as I look at clause (b), which the minister is referring to, I wonder if it should not say something like "designating classes of off-road vehicles and/or classes of use of off-road vehicles." This would make sure we are not just talking about the class of a vehicle. That is recognized in the industry, as noted by my colleague the member for Halton-Burlington (Mr. J.A. Reed), as referring to the size of vehicle.


Mr. Boudria: I recognize that, but the reason I am bringing it up at this time is to analyse whether or not I should be withdrawing my previous amendment. If the minister can satisfy us that nothing else is required, I am willing to do that.

Perhaps what I should do is just withdraw my amendment to section 9 and reintroduce an amendment under clause 22(b) to ensure this is exactly what that does. I know the legal people are there advising the minister. I just want to be sure we are not going to be stuck with a situation, immediately after we pass this, where what we tried to do today is just not covered.

Mr. Breaugh: I have a little problem with the proposed amendment and with what the minister has said.

The minister is proposing to the House this afternoon that certain regulations will be drafted under another section. The difficulty for the members here is that we do not get to see those regulations until they are published. We are in a position where we have to take the minister at his word that he intends to publish some regulation at a later date. It makes it difficult when one is going through this kind of legislation to know what the minister has in his mind. If we do not see these regulations until they are published we will not have a chance to debate them.

It strikes me that the amendment is in order precisely because there is no other published regulation that specifically covers this difficulty. The difficulty I have with the proposed amendment is that it does not do very much to define what is meant by "an organized racing competition" or "competitors." It could mean anything from a nationally organized and sanctioned competition to two people who decide to organize an off-road race on their own.

As it now stands, I think we are left with a rather unpleasant choice. I believe the amendment probably should be withdrawn. We can trust to the good faith of the minister to provide us with some information as to exactly how he intends to regulate these. At some point I presume we will get to see the regulations.

Hon. Mr. Snow: I can assure the honourable members that will be done. Legislative counsel assure me that is possible under the present wording of the act.

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Boudria withdraws his previously proposed amendment to section 9.

Sections 9 to 16, inclusive, agreed to.

On section 17:

Mr. Chairman: Hon. Mr. Snow moves that section 17 of the bill be amended by adding thereto the following subsection:

"(3) Subsection (2) does not apply to prohibit the use of a vehicular hazard warning lamp, commonly known as a four-way flasher."

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Chairman, this is so that if one of these vehicles should have four-way flashers on it, it would not be illegal.

Motion agreed to.

Section 17, as amended, agreed to.

Sections 18 to 21, inclusive, agreed to.

On section 22:

Mr. Chairman: Hon. Mr. Snow moves that section 22 be amended by adding thereto the following clause:

"(e) classifying vehicles designed to travel on more than three wheels and designating any classes of off-road vehicles."

Motion agreed to.

Section 22, as amended, agreed to.

On section 23:

Mr. J. A. Reed: Mr. Chairman, I have a question surrounding section 23. I just wonder if this section may provide an avenue. The Canadian Motorcycle Association has agreed to put forward a resolution to allow a sound level clause to go into this bill. I am wondering whether this omnibus regulation clause would allow the ministry to adopt a sound level resolution if that were considered to be beneficial and after consultation with the Canadian Motorcycle Association.

Hon. Mr. Snow: I am told, Mr. Chairman, that there is no provision in the legislation to adopt this sound decibel maximum level.

Mr. J. A. Reed: Knowing that, Mr. Chairman, I wonder if the minister has had correspondence with the association on this matter. If not, would he entertain correspondence from the association to look at the possibility of a sound level clause and have his ministry study the effectiveness of such a clause?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Chairman, we have, of course, had discussions. I met for an hour this morning with their industry association, so I am in very close contact with them. I realize that the industry association has indicated it would not object to a sound level clause being in the bill.

I think the biggest problem I have with that is how to enforce it. There is noise legislation that municipalities have; there is legislation in the Highway Traffic Act where it is an offence to create undue noise. If you say it shall be X number of decibels, unless you have the policeman and three expert witnesses standing there with decibel readers to get a noise level as the motorcycle goes by, I do not know how you are going to enforce this. I think it is better to leave it with some leeway where a charge can he laid for creating a disturbance.

Mr. J. A. Reed: Mr. Chairman, is the minister suggesting that general legislation on noise bylaws and so on at the present time is really all that can be done to exercise some sort of control? The business of noise goes well beyond the noise created by off-road vehicles, There are on-road motorcycles, too, that are noise problems in the same way that some trucks are very serious noise problems at the present time.

Is the current legislation sufficient? Is the minister satisfied that all is being done here?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Yes, Mr. Chairman, I am satisfied at this time. As with all legislation, if problems develop, we would be prepared to look at them.

Section 23 agreed to.

On section 24:

Mr. Chairman: Hon. Mr. Snow moves that subsection 24(3) of the bill be struck out and the following substituted therefor:

"(3) Section 3 comes into force on June 1, 1984.

(4) Section 14 comes into force on August 1, 1984."

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Chairman, subsection 24(4) is the one I mentioned earlier relating to the insurance.

Motion agreed to.

Section 24, as amended, agreed to.

On section 3:

Mr. Boudria: Mr. Chairman, this is the same amendment, so I will just reread it in its slightly modified wording.

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Boudria moves that the bill be amended by adding thereto the following subsection:

"(4) No person under the age of 12 years shall drive an off-road vehicle on land except where the owner of the vehicle is the occupier of the land."

Mr. Boudria, your first motion was withdrawn?

Mr. Boudria: Mr. Chairman, I withdraw my first motion and substitute this one for it.

Motion agreed to.

Section 3, as amended, agreed to.

Section 25 agreed to.

On motion by Hon. Mr. Snow, the committee of the whole House reported one bill with certain amendments.

The House recessed at 6:03 p.m.