32nd Parliament, 3rd Session






























The House met at 10 a.m.




Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to report that the Lieutenant Governor in Council will be proclaiming the Toronto Futures Exchange Act today and appointing the first board of governors of that exchange.

As members may recall, the act received third reading on May 17, 1983, and royal assent on May 26. The act creates a separate exchange for commodity trading in Ontario, bringing futures dealers under a self-regulatory umbrella. The act is an important step forward for Ontario investors, who have had to direct much of their futures trading to major American exchanges. Winnipeg has the only other separate exchange in Canada.

The statutory provisions that govern the establishment and operation of the new exchange are similar to the provisions of the Toronto Stock Exchange Act, 1981. The act provides a regulatory framework under the supervision of the Ontario Securities Commission for trading in commodity futures contracts, including those based on financial instruments such as government securities and currency.

As members are aware, futures markets enable those who deal in financial instruments or commodities to hedge -- that is, to insulate themselves -- against adverse changes in future price levels. Through the device of the commodity futures contract, this risk is transferred to others who, prompted by the opportunity for profit, voluntarily assume the risk.

In proclaiming the act today, the Lieutenant Governor in Council is appointing the first board of governors of that exchange on the recommendations of the board of governors of the Toronto Stock Exchange, which is the sponsoring agent behind the act. This board will hold office until an elected board is established, which must occur within three months of the act coming into force.

The first board consists of the following five people. Mr. Kenneth A. Field, a member of the Toronto Stock Exchange board, executive vice- president and director of McLean McCarthy and Co. Ltd., and a member of the TSE futures committee; Mr. Albert D. Friedberg, a member of the Toronto Stock Exchange futures committee and general partner and director of Friedberg Mercantile Group; Mr. Mark D. Kassirer, chairman of the Toronto Stock Exchange futures committee and a director of Burns Fry Ltd; Mr. R. James Williams, vice-president, domestic investments, treasury division of the Bank of Montreal; and Mr. Charles R. Younger, chairman of the board of governors of the Toronto Stock Exchange and chief operating officer and a director of Dominion Securities Ames Ltd. Mr. Younger is also chairman of the new TFE board of governors.

These new directors are present today in the Speaker's gallery, accompanied by Mr. Huntly W. F. McKay, vice-president of markets and market development for the Toronto Stock Exchange. I would like to extend our welcome to them and our best wishes.

Under the proposed bylaws of that exchange, a total of 300 seats may be issued on the exchange. It is also proposed that when issuing seats the exchange will be opening up its membership to commodity dealers and financial institutions, including independents who are not currently members of the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The act requires that the affairs of the exchange be managed by a board of directors, who may be referred to as governors, consisting of: (a) the president of the exchange; (b) two public directors or, where the bylaws so provide, up to four public directors; and (c) eight other directors elected by members in accordance with the act and the bylaws.

As previously stated, Toronto Futures Exchange members will be electing their representatives within the next three months.

The TFE is subject to the supervision of the Ontario Securities Commission and the provisions of the Commodity Futures Act, 1978.

Since September 1980, there has been a limited form of commodity trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange by TSE members and nonmembers who are registered in Ontario as futures commission merchants. This temporary practice will continue until the Toronto Futures Exchange is operating, we hope in mid-January, from the Toronto Stock Exchange tower.

I want to extend my thanks to the financial community for its invaluable input in bringing about the creation of the new Toronto Futures Exchange. It is a big step forward for Ontario.


Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure today to announce to the members of the House that more than a quarter of a million visitors have taken a free 2.2-kilometre round-trip ride on the demonstration section of the greater Vancouver's advanced light rapid transit system. These visitors included area residents, transit experts and engineers from around the world.

The Vancouver line, as I am sure the honour- able members know, is using the intermediate capacity transit system developed by Ontario's Urban Transportation Development Corp. In addition, Metro Canada Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of UTDC, is building the 21.4-kilometre line for BC Transit.

The two-car demonstration, offered on June 27, had logged 23,754 kilometres as of October 14, familiarizing British Columbians with their new system while demonstrating the reliability of its components.

During its scheduled running hours, the train established a record of 99.8 per cent service availability. On the comment forms provided, well over 90 per cent were positive, with qualifiers such as: "How about coming to Surrey?" "Ride too short!" "Can't wait until it's finished!" "Needed since year one!" and so on.

In closing, a total of 114 vehicles are being built for Vancouver at our plant near Kingston, where ICTS vehicles and similar transit systems for Scarborough and Detroit are also being manufactured.

Vancouver's full service system will begin in 1986 in time to showcase this Canadian transit technology to the world during Expo 86.

10:10 a.m.


Hon. Ms. Fish: Mr. Speaker, members may be aware that the Hamilton-Scourge project has come under considerable scrutiny this week in articles appearing in the Hamilton Spectator on October 18 and 19, 1983.

The Spectator writers interviewed former project archaeologist Ken Cassavoy, who resigned at the end of August this year because of his disagreements with the direction and management of the project.

As project archaeologist, Mr. Cassavoy held the licence issued by the provincial government to study the ships. He could not be present at the time the city of Hamilton decided to conduct a side-scan sonar survey. The survey took place anyway on September 1, 1983, two days after Mr. Cassavoy's resignation from the project. Mr. Cassavoy claims that the survey was an archaeological investigation requiring a licence which he had held and that the city of Hamilton therefore conducted an illegal survey.

The city of Hamilton has responded that the survey was not archaeological in nature. Since then the issue has been referred to the Ontario Heritage Foundation for its consideration and recommendations. The archaeological committee met just recently and advised that the members of the archaeological committee of the Ontario Heritage Foundation agree that the side-scan survey undertaken by the Hamilton-Scourge committee was archaeological in nature and therefore required a licence.

While the activities which occurred on September 1 should have been licensed, the documentation indicates there may have been mitigating circumstances which require careful examination and this is now being done.

The committee also recommended that all interested and involved parties be drawn together to review the current circumstances and to determine future directions for the project.

This project is of international archaeological significance. The Scourge and the Hamilton are two arms schooners that sank in a furious squall on Lake Ontario during the War of 1812. We might never have learned of this part of our history if it had not been for the invaluable recollections of Ned Myers, a survivor of the Scourge disaster and a friend of the American writer James Fenimore Cooper. Cooper immortalized the sinkings in his work, Ned Myers; or a Life Before the Mast.

It is thanks also to the unflinching efforts of Dr. Nelson, an underwater enthusiast and expert, that we have discovered these two archaeologically significant ships, preserved almost entirely intact. Since he began his labours 11 years ago, the Scourge and the Hamilton have been the subject of a 1980 Jacques Cousteau film on the Great Lakes and a cover story in the March 1983 National Geographic.

We are in the middle of one of the most exciting and important underwater archaeological stories in our history. Therefore, I have accepted the recommendation of the Ontario Heritage Foundation, which is an agency of my ministry, and will call a meeting of all those involved at the earliest possible time.


Hon. Mr. McCaffrey: Mr. Speaker, on Monday the member for Bellwoods (Mr. McClellan) raised a question regarding funding for the Metropolitan Toronto Association for the Mentally Retarded's community residential program, the extent of the association's waiting list and the impact of the five-year plan on this situation.

With respect to funding, I would like to stress that MTAMR is not the only agency providing community residential services in Metro Toronto.

Mr. McClellan: I know that.

Hon. Mr. McCaffrey: Hold on. Second, in the past 18 months, 74 community residential places have either opened or been approved in principle in Toronto.

MTAMR has opened six adult group home beds and six children's group home beds and has received approval in principle for another 32 adult group home beds. The John Howard Society, Frank Drea House, has opened 10 new adult group home beds. The Salvation Army has opened nine adult group home spaces and three adult apartment spaces. The Reena Foundation has opened eight new apartment places.

In addition to these 74 new spaces, we have given approval in principle to MTAMR for 11 new apartment places as part of our five-year plan. We have also, in the last 18 months, approved new day programs for 112 clients in Toronto -- 42 with MTAMR and 70, again under the five-year plan, with the Reena Foundation.

With respect to MTAMR's waiting list for community places, we have already approved funding for the association to conduct a review of this list. I want to clarify for the member that a waiting list does not reflect actual need. Reviews of the waiting lists of other agencies have revealed that there is a substantial difference between the number of names on the list and the number of people who actually need service.

A recent review of the Reena Foundation's waiting list showed that of 117 names on the waiting list, only 52 people required services, and the services they required were not always residential: they included parental relief, services required for independent living, general support services and the like.

Sixty-five people were eliminated from the list after the review because 40 no longer required service; 12 had applied in anticipation of future need, but at the time of contact did not require service; three were outside the catchment area served by the agency; and 10 were from outside the province. I might point out that of the 52 people who did require community places, a number were residing in facilities and therefore already receiving service.

Similar results were found in a review of another agency in an urban setting. Of the 37 people on that waiting list, 26 people were already receiving service from other agencies or facilities. We anticipate that the results of the review of MTAMR's waiting list will be similar.

With respect to the last part of the question and what impact the five-year plan will have, I wish to remind the honourable member that this plan calls for the establishment of new community services well in excess of those required by the 989 residents who will be discharged from facilities.

Specifically, we are creating 1,000 new places in the family support program, 750 new supervised community living spaces, 244 new group home places, 1,381 new training and employment places for higher-functioning developmentally handicapped adults, 500 new training and employment places for lower-functioning adults, 200 new beds for severely handicapped children and, lastly, 250 new places for severely handicapped adults.



Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Premier. The Premier is no doubt aware of press reports yesterday and today with respect to questionable practices in a senior ministry of his administration.

Does the Premier agree with Mr. Les Horswill, Assistant Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, who said that the subject contracts should have been tendered, or does he agree with the minister, who said that the subject contracts did not have to be tendered?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I really think the contracts probably fall into two separate categories. I do not purport to be totally knowledgeable on the nature of all of the work performed by the two organizations that were assisting the ministry and the minister. I think it is fair to state that with respect to those services one retains, say in the field of speechwriting etc., there is no question that the Manual of Administration was followed.

I did not listen to the discussions on the radio this morning, but I understand that the reporter who wrote this story initially indicated that the Manual of Administration in the government was thorough, probably one of the most comprehensive --

Mr. Foulds: Those were not her exact words.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I did not hear it, so I may be wrong in what I said, but that is the impression that others gave.

Mr. Foulds: Oh yes; second-hand reports.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Listen, you people deal with second-hand reports for 50 per cent of the questions you put to this House.

Mr. Speaker: Order. Never mind the interjections, please.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I also have great respect for Mr. Horswill. I have known him for some time. He is a very competent person. I guess it is one of those decisions, made at the discretion of the minister -- ministers do have discretion -- where the determination was made that there was a certain real measure of urgency, that the necessity to move the tech centres ahead was very genuine.

I think from the press reports -- once again, I have not had an opportunity to talk to the people at the various tech centres and so on -- there is a very general feeling that the company involved in that exercise performed extremely well and the public received very excellent value for its money.

I can anticipate the supplementary question but, instead of answering it in advance, I will wait for it.

10:20 a.m.

Mr. Peterson: I just wish the Premier had answered the question I asked rather than trying to anticipate what I might ask in the future.

Mr. Speaker: Order. Question, please.

Mr. Peterson: He chose not to answer the question.

Very serious suggestions have been made about the practices. The Premier is also aware that the same minister has said that other ministers -- indeed, all ministers, I believe -- follow the same practice. Will the Premier undertake to table all the untendered contracts that have been signed not only by that minister but also by other ministers under his jurisdiction?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I will not give any such undertaking. I will certainly look into it. I really do not anticipate that there are very many.

I would only point out to the Leader of the Opposition that I think contracts of this nature fall into rather distinct categories and those related to the ongoing function of a ministry -- related to, shall we say, activities that are not directly related to the activities of a minister -- would be different from those people that one retains or puts on contract, say in terms of speechwriting.

In the case of the Leader of the Opposition's office, I did not see any ads before that distinguished gentleman from Vancouver was added to his office. I somehow sense that he is probably being paid out of taxpayers' money, as are most people in the leader's office. I did not see any tendering procedure or any advertising for the most competent person irrespective of political affiliation. In fact, I have not sensed this in his office since the day he assumed his responsibilities, and understandably so. I have never seen a card-carrying Conservative sitting under the gallery who is a member of his staff.

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, if the Premier was quoted correctly in the press reports and does not feel the necessity to ask for the minister's resignation, does he feel the necessity to toughen up the standards so that the public purse is not overcharged to enhance the reputation of a cabinet minister?

Does he not think it would be a good idea if this whole matter were referred to an investigation of the standing committee on public accounts so that the conflict between the statement he made this morning, that not all cabinet ministers engage in this practice, and the statement the minister made at his press conference last night, that all cabinet ministers do engage in this practice, can be clarified?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I think the Manual of Administration and all of these things can always be subject to review. The government has never been reluctant to do that. We have done it over the years on many occasions. I do not think there is anything inconsistent in that and what I said last evening to the press. They asked me whether I was seeking a resignation and I made it quite clear that I was not. What is really at issue here is whether the public received value for the advice that it was given.

Mr. Renwick: No, it isn't.

Mr. Foulds: The answer to that is obvious: no. The minister's reputation is in tatters.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Davis: With great respect, I could ask the honourable member the same question. He has a certain amount of public funds being spent by his research office. There are some days I sit here and think. Is the public getting value for the calibre of questions that his researchers are paid to give him to ask?"


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Peterson: The issues at stake here are very clearly the proper use of public funds: whether those are being administered properly and whether the public has a right to know on what basis those funds are being spent.

I have asked the Premier to put forward and table those untendered contracts. I remind the first minister, if he will refer to the order paper, that questions 82, 83, 97, 98, 113 and 128 were originally tabled on September 29, 1982, and again on April 22, 1983, and his government has chosen not to answer them.

Why is he not prepared to share this information with respect to untendered contracts with the public of this province, the people who are paying for all those friends to be on the payroll?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I will not get into the discussion again as to whose friends are on whose payroll. In terms of the public payroll in the member's office, I think I would be very surprised if he had any enemies. He has had some who have left, but I do not recall any enemies. They are friends of his and they are being paid by the public. That should not come as any great surprise to anyone. I would not anticipate that the member would go out and hire for his office somebody who is somewhat dedicated to his political demise. That would be very foolish. But he should not forget they are paid out of the public purse.

I say to the member that we are not reluctant in terms of who is assisting or providing consulting services to the government. I think the issue here is, did they produce value for what they did?

Mr. Foulds: No, no; the issue is whether the proper procedure was followed.


Hon. Mr. Davis: With great respect, I say this to the member for Ottawa East (Mr. Roy): I may be wrong in this, but I know I am right with respect to the member for Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy). I can recall one tech centre opening in Ottawa which was extremely well handled and very important to that community. A great deal of effort went into the organization of the tech centre there getting the people in place. There was a very significant opening ceremony, and my recollection is that the member for Ottawa East and the member for Ottawa Centre were front and centre in terms of participating in that opening. In fact, he was there insisting that his picture be taken along with everybody else. That is my recollection. If I am wrong, let him tell me.


Mr. Conway: Mr. Speaker, I have a new question for the first minister. I would like to resume with the first minister my conversation of yesterday having to do with the promise and the practice of restraint by his government.

The Premier will recall that yesterday we discussed the fact there is on record the knowledge that he has condoned the awarding of an untendered contract that has set a $900-a-day consultant to work in this province.

Keeping that fact in mind, just yesterday at noon at the Brampton Board of Trade, the Premier said: "Ontario can take pride in its record of restraint. The facts speak for themselves. Ontario has achieved this record of fiscal prudence by way of sensitive and careful management. It will require us to keep very careful control of our costs."

Mindful of the Premier's injunction, what does the Premier suppose it signals to the 400,000 unemployed people in this province from Pembroke to Kenora and Windsor to read in the public press today that some $400,000 worth of untendered contracts have been awarded to close friends of this government at a time when we have on record 81,826 public servants at work for the province in March 1983?

What kind of effect does the Premier suppose the action of his Provincial Secretary for Justice (Mr. Walker) has upon the public confidence in the restraint program he was speaking about as recently as yesterday in the great city of Brampton?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I guess it is fairly regularly that the member for Renfrew North is not totally aware of his facts. I do not say this to tease him; I just say it very factually. I am delighted that he is quoting from the speech I made in Brampton, except I never made that speech in Brampton. I was there, I delivered an excellent speech, but I did not get to the first page of the prepared remarks; so when he quotes me --

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Which is often the case. We've noticed that tendency before.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am not sure whether we were cautious enough --

Mr. Ruston: You gave it to the press, though.

Mr. Wrye: You distributed it.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Certainly we distributed it, but I explained to the press yesterday --

Mr. Bradley: Now back to the question.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am telling the honourable member that when he is quoting me from the speech made in Brampton, he should be accurate and say he is quoting from a text given to the press gallery. It was not a speech delivered in Brampton. I departed very substantially from the text.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: A telling point.


Mr. Speaker: Order.

10:30 a.m.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would also say to the member that I remember the dialogue of yesterday and the fact that the member wishes to seize upon certain gossip or conjectures made. I think, in essence, it gets back to the question of the value produced by those who were performing for the government.

The member can make his judgement; the minister has made his. I can only tell the member that I am more knowledgeable about one aspect of this, and that is the question of the development of the tech centres. I can say that in terms of the economic impact, there is the need to move them ahead with great speed. There is the fact that they will have, and are having, a major economic plus in terms of the economic life of this province. There is the fact that some of the member's colleagues were amongst the most enthusiastic people at the opening. Two or three of his colleagues are absent today who were at those openings. It was a clear demonstration to me of their commitment as well, in their own communities, to the tech centres and what they would produce for the people of Ontario.

I think the minister has made it clear in his observations to the press that for the particular aspect of the contracts that are here under discussion there is no question as to the performance, what happened and the value that the public receive for that amount of money.

If the member does not agree with the tech centre proposals, if he does not agree with those government initiatives, I think it is fair for him to state that. I would not quarrel with it; that is the point of view he can have. I can only say that I was there with many of his colleagues who, I almost got the sense, were trying to convey to the press that it was their idea these tech centres should be created within their own communities.

Mr. Conway: Does the Premier not agree with me that at a time in this province, when we have 400,000 unemployed and beleaguered taxpayers everywhere, and the Premier under these conditions trumpets a restraint call, when we have 81,000-plus public servants, it is a charade and an outrage of the first order to read in the public press that a minister of the crown, on an untendered basis, hired a personal friend -- "my executioner," to quote the minister in question -- to "stage manage" the political openings of six tech centres across the province?

The issue is surely this, would the Premier not agree, that under these conditions, now a matter of the public record, it holds his restraint policy up to ridicule when we see that, within the Family Compact of Ontario Toryism, the good and close friends of this government are being so well provided for under very questionable practices --

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Conway: -- when the taxpayers everywhere are being asked to restrain themselves?

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Dealing with the tech centres, I know the fact that the gentleman involved in this very important responsibility has been identified as being a supporter of this government upsets the member. I can understand that.

I will not get into chapter and verse as to the practices and how ours differ from those of the member's federal colleagues in the government of Canada. I could give the member a litany here that would make this appear to be very insignificant by comparison. I never heard him say a word about those practices and what has happened over the years. He has never made any public statements.

I only say to the member once again, it may disturb him that the gentleman who is the head of this organization happens to be a supporter of the party. I regret that it disturbs the member, but I can understand it. The real essence of the question is, was there value for what was done?

Some hon. members: No.

Hon. Mr. Davis: That is fine.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I do not think the member would acknowledge there was value, but in the view of the minister, in view of the importance of the tech centres and their potential in terms of economic growth in this province, the fact was that the government determined they should move ahead expeditiously and the gentleman involved played a role in making that happen.

The minister has made it very clear to the press and to the public that in his view value was more than received in the performance of that activity. The member is never going to agree with that, I understand that; but that is the judgement that ministers make.

Mr. Conway: Can the Premier indicate clearly and unequivocally that he is satisfied this morning that all aspects of the Management Board guidelines or rules with respect to the tendering or the letting of contracts were adhered to in the matters under discussion here this morning? Is the Premier prepared to say that he is now satisfied that all government guidelines with respect to such contacts were adhered to?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I cannot be that totally unequivocal, because the guidelines -- the member has read them, I am sure. Has he? I assume he has read them.

Mr. Speaker: Back to the question, please.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I know the member for Rainy River (Mr. T. P. Reid) has read them. I am not sure the member for Renfrew North has, but I assume because he has asked the question that he has read them. If he reads them, he will sense there are different kinds of "contracts" or there are areas where ministers have a certain measure of discretion. I think it is fair to state I am satisfied there was no intended contravention of the Manual of Administration.


Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct a question to the Chairman of Management Board. I wonder whether the Chairman of Management Board can clearly indicate to the House a response on the essential question that is before us, not the one the Premier (Mr. Davis) is trying to avoid, and that is whether the proper practices and procedures with regard to tendering contracts and competition have been followed in the case that is being discussed this morning in the House.

Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Speaker, I have not delved into the matters that are before us this morning or that appeared in the press. The person who wrote the article contacted me about speechwriting for ministers and whether it is covered in the Manual of Administration, which it is not. I understand that some other contracts are in question; if the honourable member would like me to, I would be glad to look into it.

Mr. Foulds: Does the minister not think the guidelines and procedures outlined for management consulting services should have applied in the case of the tech centre business? The guidelines say very clearly that before seeking assistance from management consultants, the ministry shall establish the feasibility of the project, ensure that consultants' output can be measured against defined objectives, that the scope and terms of reference for the project are clearly understood and documented, that skilled resources are not available for this project within the ministry and that, and I quote directly: "Ministries shall not retain individuals as management consultants for purposes other than management consulting as defined above. For example, ministries shall not use consulting services in a quasi-employee or quasi-supervisory role to supplement ministry staff on a temporary basis."

Can he tell us whether the project tendering requirement that all exceptions require the prior approval of Management Board for an exemption from tendering was followed?

Hon. Mr. McCague: The member always starts off with "Does the minister not think ... " and I am not sure what that means. As I said, I do not at this moment recall a request for an award of a contract or whatever it is to the gentlemen in question ever having come to the board, and I told the member I would look into the matter.

Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, I have just a couple of very simple questions for the minister. Does he agree with the Provincial Secretary for Justice (Mr. Walker), who is quoted in the article as having said, "Contracting is a legitimate way that every single minister follows"? It goes on to say at another point, "Mr. Walker says all ministers have contract employees."

10:40 a.m.

Does the minister agree with the statement that all ministers have contract employees?

Second, if that is the case, why would the minister not be prepared to bring all of these contracts before the House? After all, they are expenditures of public funds and the public has a right to know how the funds are being spent.

Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member asked me whether I agreed that all ministries have contract employees. I agree that every member of this House has contract employees -- every member of this House, as I understand it.

Mr. Philip: Mr. Speaker, the minister no doubt will be aware that --

Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order: I think there has been some confusion in the minister's interpretation of the nature of major contract employees that the minister was referring to --

Mr. Speaker: Order. The member for Ottawa East will please resume his seat.


Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, the minister is confused by what we mean about contract employees.

Mr. Speaker: No, no; that is up to the minister, not me.

Mr. Roy: He is hiding behind deliberate innocence.

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

Mr. Roy: The public knows what you are up to over there.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Philip: Mr. Speaker, the minister no doubt will be aware of the fact that time and again members of his party have used their majority in the standing committee on public accounts to quash any move on my part or by other members to have a look by the Provincial Auditor and by the members of that committee into the tendering processes on information and advertising contracts.

If the minister has nothing to hide, will he go on record at this time, while members of the public accounts committee are here, as favouring a full investigation of this matter by the Provincial Auditor and by the public accounts committee as well into whether the Manual of Administration should be changed to include this type of contract?

Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member knows, and I am sure it can be verified by the member for Rainy River (Mr. T. P. Reid), that I have always been very supportive of the work done by the public accounts committee and the work done by the Provincial Auditor. It is not in my purview to order anybody -- not even the member -- to do these kinds of things.


Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier about the speech he did not give last night. In that nonspeech --

Hon. Mr. Davis: It was yesterday morning at 8:30.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: I thank the Premier. In that speech, the Premier is reported to have been proud of the fact that we are now paying a lower percentage of our gross provincial product than we did in 1975. In that context, today is the anniversary of the last announcement of a welfare increase in Ontario, October 21, 1982. When are we going to receive notice of a new increase and what are those levels going to be?

We surely know that those people have lost something like 25 to 30 per cent against the cost of living in the past couple of years. Does the Premier not think it is time to use part of our gross provincial product to allow those people to live with some semblance of dignity?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, that matter is currently under review.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: I am pleased to know it is under review. I hope we will get a systematic change.

As the first minister must be aware, a number of municipalities and the Association of Municipalities of Ontario have requested that the government consider doing what most other provincial governments of this country do: to assume, with the federal government, 100 per cent of the cost of general welfare assistance. Will this be part of that review? Will he be announcing a decision, and when?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I cannot guarantee that this is part of the review. This has been a request from the municipalities. I am always intrigued how the honourable member wishes us to follow activities in other provinces when it suits his interests. However, if we were ever to follow the activities of some other provinces in some other areas, he would be the first one on our backs.

Mr. Conway: Mr. Speaker, does not the Premier of this province think the time has come to exercise greater restraint on the backs of the Family Compact -- the Gwyn Williamses and the Donald Martyns of this province -- and to ask less of the underprivileged of this province, who have underwritten far too much of this government's restraint programs to date?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I know the honourable member loves to use rhetoric, etc. I will not go into how he is so reluctant to be critical of his federal colleagues, who have their own family -- much larger than ours, I should tell him. In terms of our sensitivity to the lower-income people in this province, we have always recognized that responsibility and obligation and we have discharged it in a sensitive manner for many years and will continue to do so.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: In that context, given that year over year in Hamilton the welfare rate is 30 per cent above the welfare rate last year, in Metro it is 15 per cent above and in Thunder Bay 24 per cent more people were on welfare than last year, will the Premier guarantee us today in the House that these people will not be caught in the restraint package that will be coming forward but will, like his minimum wage decision now reported, be above that rate, recognizing they have greater need than many of the rest of us in society?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I can only say that the review is going ahead on the basis of need or necessity and is being done with sensitivity. While he will never acknowledge it, the restraint package last year took into account those people on the lower end of the income scale; it did. I know he never understood that. I can remember the rhetoric here in the House, how people were going to be so disadvantaged and the inflation rate was going to be around eight per cent. Our figure, in terms of the public service, was around five.

Is he prepared to acknowledge today that our guess was closer than his and that, with the rate of inflation at five per cent, the people he says were going to be so seriously affected by the restraint package last year, as it turns out, are not too far off the actual rate of inflation? Is he prepared to stand up and acknowledge that today? Of course not.


Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, I would like to put a question to the Premier. With the Minister of Industry and Trade (Mr. F. S. Miller) unable to come into the House for the last two weeks, would the Premier report to the House and through the House to the 1,000 unemployed people in Brantford who are waiting patiently for a disposition of the continued receivership of White Farm Equipment?

The Premier is aware that Ontario had advanced credits and cash to the extent of $7 million to this company. What can we report to the unemployed people, who are rapidly running out of resources, as to the prospects of the company being re-established as a working organization with some employment at least? In the alternative, what disposition does the government contemplate will be made of the assets so the taxpayers are not going to be losers all the way around and so the workers are going to have some prospects in the immediate future?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I am aware of the interests of the member in this question and I had anticipated a question yesterday. There was not much I could tell him then and there is not much this morning, but I will tell him what I know. The member for Brantford (Mr. Gillies) is also very involved in this. As I understand, certain proposals were made to the receiver on Monday or Tuesday. The proposals have been assessed; they are being considered now by people in the government of Canada. Hopefully, there will be some determination within the very next few days.

I do not want to hold out any false optimism because we are only involved in being informed of this situation. I feel some measure of optimism, but I do not want that to be translated into a statement by me saying the problem has been solved. I can only say to the honourable member that we are being kept informed. The matter is under consideration by the appropriate people in Ottawa, relative to the proposals that were made to the receiver.

Mr. Nixon: Could the Premier explain why, since we are involved in this to the extent of seven million taxpayers' dollars, we are not taking some sort of a leading role, rather than a passive role, in moving this thing forward to the benefit of the community of Brantford and the workers who are so dependent on White Farm Equipment?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I hope the honourable member understands that there is a certain measure of confidentiality involved in these discussions. I do not purport to know all of the intricacies and details. I think it is probably apparent to the honourable member that one or two of the proposals will involve, or could potentially involve, the decision, say, of the Foreign Investment Review Agency, which is within the federal jurisdiction.

I can assure the honourable member that we are being asked for our views. We are giving as much impetus and support to this as we can, but in terms of the ultimate decision, it probably rests, not with the government of Canada per se but with perhaps an agency of the government of Canada. The moment we have any further information I will be delighted to share that with the honourable member and members of the House.

10:50 a.m.

Mr. Gillies: Mr. Speaker, would the Premier reassert the opposition of the government of Ontario, as already expressed by officials of the Ontario Development Corp., to the Buhler proposition which would see the assets and jobs of White Farm Equipment transferred out of Ontario to Winnipeg, Manitoba?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, not only would I be delighted to reiterate that position, but I would say to the member for Brantford we have always adopted a position that would give encouragement to the retention of employment opportunities in the city of Brantford. It is not just a question of being opposed to something; it is a question of being in support of something that we think will be meaningful to the citizens of that community.


Mr. Mackenzie: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Labour. Is the minister aware that Canada Packers' share prices are up 76 per cent from last year, its first half earnings up 77 per cent; and that Canadian General Electric's first half dividends are up 20 per cent, its share prices having doubled in the last half year? At the same time, Canada Packers is getting rid of 950 workers and CGE more than 400 workers.

When the minister compares the fate of the investors with the fate of the workers, does not the social justice involved bother him? Does he still believe it is appropriate for the Minister of Labour to make comments, such as he did in the Toronto Star on October 13, that he did not want to or would not consider additional legislation because it would be interfering in the private enterprise system?

Hon. Mr. Ramsay: Mr. Speaker, as I indicated in this House yesterday and have done so on previous occasions, the closure of plants has been the most troublesome matter before my ministry during the 18 months I have been there. As I indicated also, most of the plant closures a year ago dealt with insolvencies, receiverships and bankruptcies. This year, to date, most of the plant closures have been a matter of rationalization, which is even more difficult to wrestle with.

I would like to repeat what I said yesterday, though, that there seems to be -- and I say this again in a guarded way -- some light at the end of the tunnel. The number of employees affected and the total number of plant closures have decreased by about 50 per cent in the period from January to August of this year, as compared to January to August of last year.

The member for Hamilton East has asked me whether I would be interested in introducing legislation that would provide for disclosure and so on. I really do not think that would help the situation whatsoever. I am being consistent with what I have said before, that I have no intention of introducing that type of legislation. I believe it would be a disincentive for industry.

While I have to deal with the problems of those people who are laid off, I have to deal with the problems of those who are working and the creation of jobs in this province as well, and a balance has to be maintained.

Mr. Mackenzie: It would appear that we have more a minister of industry than we have of labour. The corporate rationalization in the case of CGE and Canada Packers and so many other companies that we have had before us in the last year or two usually means increased profits and a leaner and meaner approach for these companies, but it is always the workers who get the leaner side.

If the minister is not prepared to reactivate the committee on plant shutdowns, is he prepared to set up a committee of this House to take a look at measures that might be taken to assure that workers are not always the losers in terms of the corporate rationalization that usually results in healthier companies? In many cases these workers have given their lives to the particular companies. Is he prepared to see that something is done so they may share in the benefits of corporate rationalization?

Hon. Mr. Ramsay: Certainly, I would give that consideration. May I also say, however, that I would welcome suggestions, and I say this sincerely in a nonpartisan way, from the members of the third party as to how we could go about dealing with these very serious matters of severance and layoff. I will accept advice from anywhere and look at it in a most serious manner.


Mr. Elston: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Agriculture and Food. Does the minister agree with his deputy minister, Mr. Duncan Allan, when he tells beef producers from my vicinity of the province that he is prepared to tolerate an elimination of 50 per cent of the beef producers in Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, with respect, I think the honourable member has taken the remarks out of context. I had a chance to talk to the deputy about it last week. I think it arises out of a conversation he had with some producers at the ploughing match at Richmond about three weeks ago.

If one looks at what has been happening in the beef industry, there has been a reduction in the number of operators going back over the last 10 or 15 years. There has been a significant reduction in the numbers of cows in the province and the production of calves, linked, I suppose, directly to the reduction of better than 20 per cent in the consumption of beef in the last five years. I do not really think my deputy was predicting or saying he would tolerate as much as --

Mr. Elston: The question is, would the minister?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: To answer the supplementary, which is not on the record, my goal is to find ways to sustain the industry we have and to find ways to improve upon it in the future.

Mr. Elston: I wonder if the minister can tell us how much it is going to cost this province, the federal government and the beef producers of this province to maintain themselves in the stabilization program which he has agreed to on the deputy minister level, as I understand it, and from whence the funds for that program are going to come?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: The funds will come from the taxpayers of Ontario, at least our portion of them will. I cannot at this point -- I could but I will not -- give him the numbers because I think that should wait until we have the meeting of the ministers of agriculture which I asked the federal minister 10 days ago to call as soon as possible.

I assume the member got a copy of the note I sent to his friend the member for Huron-Middlesex (Mr. Riddell) in which I gave him the phone number in Ottawa for the federal minister. I would hope that each member who has an interest in this matter will join me in talking to him to make sure that meeting is held as soon as possible. Once the meeting is held and once the agreement is finalized by the ministers, I would be happy to share all those details, but the cost will be considerable.


Mr. Philip: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of the Environment. The minister will no doubt be aware that in 1982 his ministry issued a green paper proposing reduced grants to municipalities for termite control. Since then many municipalities have used up their funding and some never received any funding in the first place.

Since the problem of termite infestation is increasing, what assurances will the ministry give that increased funding will be forthcoming for cities like Etobicoke, which is experiencing problems in the south end, and Toronto?

Hon. Mr. Brandt: Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to have an opportunity to respond to that question and to indicate to the member that over the course of the past two years the amount of money my ministry has contributed towards the termite control program has doubled from some $250,000 to $500,000.

We are looking at a revision of that program. The policy is under active discussion, and I will be discussing it with the municipal officials as well because, as the member is aware, it is a program that involves not only the province, but our co-ordinated program with the municipal levels of government in addition to that.

Mr. Philip: As a reminder of the seriousness of this problem which his ministry has been sleeping on since 1982, I would like to provide the minister with a piece of wood destroyed by termites in the lakeshore area of Etobicoke. Perhaps he can put it under his pillow at night and sleep on it. There are no termites in it, so he does not have to worry about infesting himself.

I would ask the minister if he agrees with the recent statement by the Etobicoke building commissioner that once insects take --


Mr. Philip: I am sorry if this question is boring the members opposite.

Once insects take hold, as they have done in the Lakeshore area, the city of Etobicoke building commissioner takes immediate action to stop the infestation from spreading. The minister has known for two years there was a major problem. Can he tell us why he has not commissioned a major study to find out exactly the extent of the problem and what action should be taken by his ministry to stop it?

11 a.m.

Hon. Mr. Brandt: Before laying those kinds of accusations on the ministry, I think one should do a little more research. If the honourable member had done that, he would know we have determined exactly the locations of the infestation that have occurred to this point. Our ministry is, in fact, moving on it.

Instead of simply laying the accusations on this side of the floor, the member could help if he went to the municipalities and encouraged them to implement the block application we have been suggesting. This would eradicate the termites in certain sectors of the community. Part of the problem is that the municipalities have been wanting to go about clearing up this problem on a house-by-house basis. I will speak slowly to try to explain the situation.

Mr. Foulds: Don't trip over your tongue.

Hon. Mr. Brandt: The reality is that there must be a comprehensive program if one is going to eradicate the termites in infested areas of Metro Toronto.

I feel it only proper that I should thank the honourable member for this great woodcarving he sent over to me. I will have it reviewed by my staff and will certainly cherish it as a very opportune gift this Friday morning.

Mr. Philip: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order: To correct the record, there have been no provincial studies. The ministry has relied entirely on American studies and I hope the minister --

Mr. Speaker: Order.


Mr. Wrye: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Provincial Secretary for Justice.

The minister is aware the complaints support program operated by Hiatus House in Windsor was Ontario's first legal support program. Since the program began on a pilot basis back in 1981, more than 400 women have been helped and more than 200 charges have been laid against their assailants.

However, despite its overwhelming success, the sword hangs over the head of Hiatus House. It will close on December 1 unless funding is found. A funding proposal was submitted to the minister's predecessor earlier this year for $169,000 for two and a half years. Since the buck has now been passed to him, can the provincial secretary say where the proposal stands at this moment?

Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, we are awaiting the final evaluation of Hiatus House being conducted by the federal government and some provincial officials before deciding whether or not funding should be continued.

One should keep in mind that this project was started by the federal government. That jurisdiction is now bailing out of it and saying "Okay, province, you have to pick up the cost of this." That is quite usual and I think we really should be condemning that type of approach. However, the fact is that Hiatus House does seem to be providing a very good service. From many accounts, there seems to be a very valuable and useful effort going on there and many women are being helped in the process.

All of this has some connection with the whole issue of battered women. That issue will be before us next week as we make our pronouncements in response to the government's initiatives that will be taken relative to the report that was issued by the standing committee on social development last year.

That report will becoming forward next week and the evaluation being conducted by the federal government will be completed within a matter of a month. The federal government was to have bailed out at the end of September but it gave an extension for a period of months. The fact is that the Hiatus House is still in business and is still providing a service that many continue to consider very valuable.

Mr. Wrye: What the provincial secretary did not bother to mention in talking about funding was that a unanimous report of the social development committee last year said that the province should be involved in funding victim advocacy clinics.

Given that there are reports that the preliminary evaluation of Hiatus House was a positive one -- I think that is very clear -- and given that there has been no dispute as to the value of this service, which has been given the support of the crown attorney, the chief of police and a large number of Windsor's legal community, can the minister tell me that, should the evaluation be positive, he intends to recommend the funding of Hiatus House for $169,000 for two and a half years? Or is it going to be another victim of this government's restraint program, which restrains these kinds of services while rewarding its friends?

Hon. Mr. Walker: We have no intention of destroying any of the victim advocacy clinics. We have no intention of predicting what the evaluation will produce; we will have to see what it is. If it is a positive report, we are going to be favourably disposed to accommodating Hiatus House, whether it is the precise amount that has been proposed or whether some other funding formula has to be determined. At the moment we are waiting for the evaluation. We will see much more of that unfold next week when our report, our response and our initiatives are tabled in the Legislature.


Mr. McClellan: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the acting Minister of Community and Social Services in response to the six-page bafflegab manifesto he read at the beginning of proceedings today. I want to ask the minister if he will caution himself not to take the advice of his minions and boffins and try to pretend that there are not serious problems around accommodation for the mentally retarded in Metropolitan Toronto.

Does he not understand that the Metropolitan Toronto Association for the Mentally Retarded has indicated that there are 437 people on its waiting list in Metro, regardless of the gobbledegook in the statement? What advice does he have to give to my constituent whose case prompted the question in the first place, who has been waiting for group home accommodation since December 1982? Is he supposed to live under this piece of paper?

Hon. Mr. McCaffrey: Mr. Speaker, as I was reading the statement I heard the member for Bellwoods say with reference to the waiting list that they did not all represent immediate need. I heard him say, "I know that." If he thinks that on behalf of the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Drea), in what I hope is the short period of his absence, we are going to go back and forth exchanging numbers, I am sorry, he is wrong. We are not going to do that.

I have a suggestion. We can pick a time Monday morning, six or seven o'clock. He can come to my office or I will go to his office. We will meet with the appropriate people. Let's go to the centre, let's look at the list, let's go through it one by one. It is not fair to the people on the waiting list or to this assembly in view of the time we are consuming here in exchanging numbers back and forth.

I am prepared to meet with the member at the earliest opportunity Monday morning to deal with the specific people on the list, and with him and with the assistance of the people in the ministry we will go through each one.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, there is no need to sit down around this list. Is it not a fact that his own ministry people admit that people who have been on the waiting list for two years in Metro in crisis situations, whose families can no longer support them, are not able to be placed in group homes? At the same time he is placing people from Pine Ridge, where he tried to deinstitutionalize them, into those homes; he is putting those people ahead of people who have been waiting for two years for accommodation in Metro. Is that not a fact?

Hon. Mr. McCaffrey: Mr. Speaker, going back to last week, it is a fact that many of the residents in the six named institutions that have been marked for closure are being moved to other institutions; that was part of the exchange last week. Further, it is a fact that the ministry made a commitment that no institution would increase in the number of its patients because of the closure. It follows, then, that some people in existing institutions -- not the six named institutions -- will be moved to other facilities in the community to meet those objectives.

11:10 a.m.

Mr. Wrye: Mr. Speaker, I want to go back to the question my friend asked because it was what I was going to ask. The point is that when people are moved from Pine Ridge they are going to be moving into Metropolitan Toronto, into those homes that are needed by people who are on the waiting list of MTAMR and a number of others.

Mr. Speaker: Question, please.

Mr. Wrye: Does the minister think this is an appropriate response on the part of the ministry of which he is acting minister, or does he think that is simply going to lengthen the already long waiting list suffered by the people in Metropolitan Toronto?

Hon. Mr. McCaffrey: Mr. Speaker, I think the real impact will be that there will be within the community, as there is within the ministry, an acceleration in finding alternative accommodation.


Mr. Pollock: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Agriculture and Food. Will he assure this House that under the new proposed beef financial assistance program he will continue to sell beef under the free market system?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I can respond to that in two ways, based on rumours that have come to my attention from the farm community. One is that we are contemplating introducing or imposing a marketing board, a supply management system. I can assure the honourable member that is not the case. We are not about to impose supply management.

Second, a rumour has come to my attention that the stabilization program on which we are working with the federal government and the other provinces is somehow tied to rail grading. I can assure the member that has not been part of any of those discussions.

Mr. Swart: Mr. Speaker, is the minister then telling this House that if the beef producers should opt for supply management he would not support that and would not permit it?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: That is not what I said, Mr. Speaker, and the honourable member knows it very well.

The legislation in this province which has been on the books since 1937 is very clear. The producers of any commodity can have a vote on the subject. Our policy is that where two thirds or more of the producers of any particular commodity vote for supply management, there is a process that then begins to implement it.

I must say, though, and I have said this repeatedly to cattlemen's groups across the province, that in the case of beef, and hogs for that matter, we are talking about North American commodities.

Mr. McClellan: Go ahead.

Mr. Foulds: Go ahead; carry on.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Sorry; did I pique the member's interest in this? Good.

We are talking here about North American commodities. Frankly, in western Canada the opposition to supply management is so intense that it is hard to conceive how we could end up with a supply management system for hogs and cattle in this country.

Mr. Elston: Mr. Speaker, I am trying to flesh out this red meat program a little. Since the minister indicated earlier he was intent on preserving the level of production here in Ontario, I presume, can he advise what level of production in terms of numbers of producers he wants to see maintained in this province, or will he indicate what level of pounds of production of beef he is willing to see here in Ontario under the new program he has so long spoken about?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, there are several aspects. First, for 18 months now we have been working on the stabilization proposals. Essentially, that is aimed at trying to stabilize the existing industry.

We have also been examining a wide range of other issues that affect the beef industry, realizing and recognizing that the stabilization program, in and of itself, will not be the cure-all. It is part of the answer to the problems of the red meat industry, just as the beginning farmers assistance program is part of the answer, just as the Ontario farm adjustment assistance program is part of the answer, and just as a number of other things we have done attack basic structural problems.

The member will recall that we held a conference in the spring of this year -- I believe it was April 25 or 26 -- at which we released a series of studies we had done on the red meat industry, examining everything from producer preferences to consumer preferences, the processing industry, the matter of the supply of calves and every aspect. We followed that up with seven regional meetings around the province, chaired by one of my assistant deputy ministers.

We are following that up with further discussions with individual groups of cattlemen and red meat producers and we will be laying before the House -- I hope in the not too distant future -- some further ideas we have not only to keep the existing industry but also to build and improve on what we have so we will have a stronger red meat industry in the future.


Mr. Bradley: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Treasurer. For some time, a number of municipalities along the Great Lakes have been requesting funds from the provincial government to assist them with shoreline protection projects, and even though the water is not at a high level at present, this erosion continues each year.

In view of these facts, could the minister indicate to the House whether he has any plans to provide new funding for shoreline protection? Could he outline to the House his long-term plans for assisting municipalities, probably in conjunction with the federal government, in their shoreline protection projects?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, I can report that we are in the middle of our next year's allocation process right now. As the member knows, we have been trying to do that at an earlier stage this year in order to give the municipalities better advance information upon which to plan.

I would hope that in the next year or so we will be able to do something in that area, without making a commitment right now. One of the reasons I can say that is because, as I look over our finances and our financial state, while we still have a very difficult year yet ahead of us, none the less we have done relatively well in terms of controlling our spending in the last couple of years so that we are poised, not to have to wait three or four years as some other governments will have to before trying to mount some new initiatives.

My colleagues have been able to bring some new initiatives to the allocations process this year and we might have some for 1984-85, which is earlier than many people would have expected.


Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order: May I just take a minute to recall that 12 years ago today, October 21, 1971, was an equally pleasant fall day and I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate my colleagues in the class of 1971, from all three parties, on this our 12th anniversary as members of the assembly.



Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, I have a petition and I am very happy that the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) is in the House, because I know he is sensitive to these matters.

I have 14,700 names which were gathered in response to a recent Middlesex county court case of alleged sexual abuse involving a grandfather and his 12-year-old granddaughter. I know the Attorney General is aware of this.

One of the issues at stake was whether or not the testimony of the 12-year-old girl could be admitted as sworn evidence when there was some question of a cognizance of the traditional biblical oath. I recognize this is a complicated legal question, but I wanted this House to be aware of the very high degree of feeling in this matter. The petition reads:

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

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

"That consideration for both a biblical and a civil oath be entertained by the Canadian justice system and that alleged victims be afforded at least the same rights and courtesies as alleged offenders in the pursuit of justice."

I know the Attorney General will convey this message to his federal colleagues as he undertakes discussions on this complicated matter.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I share the concerns of those who have signed the petition. The Leader of the Opposition might be interested in knowing that this was a matter of some discussion in the estimates as recently as yesterday and it is a matter that is being addressed.

11:20 a.m.


Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, there is one petition I am proud to introduce on behalf of the people in St. Andrew-St. Patrick. It appears the local member was not prepared to introduce it and I was asked to do so.

"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."

There are contained herein 160 signatures, on behalf of the great people of St. Andrew-St. Patrick.

While I am on my feet, I have another petition. It says the same thing, but I would like to read it into the record again.

"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."

A total of 371 names of teachers is contained therein from London, Ontario: H. B. Beal Secondary School, Central Secondary School, Forest City School, Montcalm Secondary School, Thames Secondary School, Westminster Secondary School and G. A. Wheable Secondary School.

Mr. Wrye: Mr. Speaker, I have a petition which reads as follows:

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

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

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

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

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

It is signed by 11 teachers who teach in areas outside of but live in the riding of Windsor-Sandwich.

Mr. Ruston: Mr. Speaker, I have a similar petition with eight names on it from people in different parts of the area.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I too have a long list of 116 names from the Haldimand elementary school system. Their petition reads:

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

The schools represented are: Dunnville Central Elementary School, Dunnville Senior Public School, J. L. Mitchener Elementary School in Cayuga, Walpole South Elementary School, Walpole North Elementary School, Northview Elementary School in Hagersville, Canborough Central Elementary School, Seneca Unity Elementary School, Seneca Central Elementary School, Fairview Avenue Elementary School and Caledonia Centennial Elementary School.



Mr. Kolyn from the standing committee on administration of justice reported the following resolution:

That supply in the following amounts and to defray the expenses of the Ministry of the Attorney General be granted to Her Majesty for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1984:

Law officer of the crown program, $3,664,500; administrative services program, $54,318,000; guardian and trustee services program, $10,082,000; crown legal services program, $27,861,000; legislative counsel services program, $1,696,000; courts administration program, $126,414,000; administrative tribunals program, $14,424,000.


Mr. Barlow from the standing committee on resources development reported the following resolution:

That supply in the following amounts and to defray the expenses of the Ministry of the Environment be granted to Her Majesty for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1984:

Ministry administration program, $12,065,200; environmental planning program, $40,468,700; environmental control program, $36,599,800; utility planning and operations program, $223,734,800.



Hon. Mr. Elgie moved, seconded by Hon. Mr. Baetz, first reading of Bill 97, An Act respecting Central Trust Company and Crown Trust Company.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, members will recall that in February this year the Crown Trust Company Act, 1983, was passed to empower the registrar of loan and trust corporations to dispose of the assets and liabilities of Crown Trust Co. and to appoint a substituted fiduciary to act on behalf of Crown Trust Co. in respect of that company's fiduciary obligations.

Pursuant to that power, an agreement was entered into with Central Trust Co., a copy of which was tabled in this House. The agreement contemplated Central Trust Co. assuming the intermediary and fiduciary responsibilities of Crown Trust Co. in return for certain payments of compensation to Crown Trust Co. The agreement with Central Trust, coupled with the Crown Trust Company Act, 1983, enabled Central Trust to take over the intermediary business of Crown Trust, but did not provide for the transfer of fiduciary responsibilities to Central Trust in other than its capacity as an agent of the registrar of loan and trust corporations. This result was intentional, as the transfer of fiduciary responsibilities requires the enactment of enabling legislation in each province of Canada where Crown Trust was carrying on business.

We believe we have now put in place processes that will lead to the passage of appropriate legislation in other jurisdictions, and it is therefore appropriate that comparable legislation now be enacted in Ontario. This legislation is the logical consequence of the agreement under which Central Trust undertook the administration of the intermediary and trust business of Crown Trust Co.

It therefore follows that the purpose of this bill is to substitute Central Trust Co. for Crown Trust Co. in respect of the Crown Trust agency and trust business and thereby vest in Central Trust Co. all real and personal property held by Crown Trust Co. in its estates, trust and agency business so that the rights and obligations of those who have had such business dealings with Crown Trust Co. can now deal directly with Central Trust Co.

This bill will not apply to properties situate outside of Ontario held by Crown Trust Co. for its own use, nor to property held by Crown Trust Co. as trustee, for which Crown Trust is not subject to an Ontario court. As previously stated, these assets and obligations will be dealt with by appropriate legislation in each province where Crown Trust is carrying on business. It will also not apply to the funds received for guaranteed investment by way of deposit or guaranteed investment certificates, as these funds were previously transferred to Central Trust under the authority of the Crown Trust Company Act, 1983.

11:30 a.m.


House in committee of supply.


Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Chairman, in presenting these estimates, I would like to make a few opening remarks. Over the next few days, we will have a great deal of time for full discussion of the various components of the activities of the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs. However, in this leadoff debate, I would like to review several matters which I consider to be of special importance within the general purview of our ministry, matters which I think are of special importance to Canada at this time in our history, both in the federal-provincial area and in our relationship with the United States of America.

Over the past six months we have seen the beginnings of a return to a fresh sense of optimism in Canada, a renewed feeling of harmony and goodwill among Canadians and some clear signs of improved relationships between governments. This trend towards a sense of national renewal is in contrast to the preceding five years, a period during which strained relations between the various regions, provinces and governments of Canada seemed to be at the forefront of Canadian politics.

Major national issues -- we all know them -- ranging from constitutional reform, the constitutional reform process and so forth, to energy policies, to the threat of Quebec separation or sovereignty-association, often tended to focus upon division and differences of opinion. Of course, the economic difficulties which we have all shared cast a grey shadow over these and other national and regional concerns.

Today, I believe the harsh edge of these concerns is largely behind us and there are unmistakeable signs that the renewal process has begun. We now have the challenge and opportunity to return to the harmony and the drive which has long been the essence of our Confederation. To give this trend some support and some momentum, what this country needs now is a renewed thrust by all governments towards more harmonious and co-operative relations.

I am encouraged by what I see around me. For example, the recent Premiers' conference set the stage for optimism and constructive solutions to some of the problems facing all Canadians. It has been years since we have seen such an absence of recrimination among governments and, equally, such unanimous optimism about the potential of our economic strength if we all plan and adapt wisely for the future. Put very succinctly, the mood among governments, and among Canadians today, is promising.

I have just returned from a visit to Alberta, during which I met with my counterpart, the Alberta Minister of Federal and Intergovernmental Affairs, the Honourable Jim Horsman, as well as with other cabinet ministers, members of the Legislature, senior business people and the media in that city.

Certainly there are still westerners who continue to view Ontario and central Canada with suspicion, but generally I was most favourably impressed and encouraged by the evolving attitudes and renewed commitments that are becoming evident again in the west. There is an open and obvious willingness to look for new ways of co-operation between our provinces that has not surfaced to the same degree in recent years.

This positive mood is also reflected in other provinces. Let us look at Quebec, for example. I think Quebec made very useful contributions at the Premiers' conference this year. Premier René Lévesque made a point of noting how constructive the meeting had been. Ontario has had an ongoing dialogue with Quebec. Despite our basic disagreement -- and we would still have that basic disagreement with the separatist policies of the present Quebec government -- we have worked hard to maintain and improve lines of communication between cabinet ministers and officials in both our provinces in addition to the consultations arising from regular federal-provincial and interprovincial conferences.

We believe it is essential to maintain such liaison, and I am sure the members of this House would agree with me on that sentiment. We think it is essential to let the people of Quebec know and understand that we continue to see and want them as a vital part of our country.

Canadians are, if nothing else, realistic. For this reason alone, it is instructive to reflect upon these past five years in Canada and upon the challenging and promising position that I think we are in today. Wherever you go in Canada today, you can sense that people have had an opportunity to reassess the kind of heated feelings that surfaced over recent years. Most people have come to realize that we are all Canadians and that we are all going to have to work together to solve our country's problems and to improve our economic situation.

But maybe the most important message of all is the clear reminder that uniformity has never been, and never will be -- and I underline that -- the essence of the strength and vitality of Canada. Within our Confederation, the future of Canada lies in the distinctive status and collective strength of our various regions and provinces, held together in the framework of a strong national identity.

In our new Constitution we clearly recognized that Canada is a bilingual and multicultural nation. Having accomplished this, I now see two top-priority matters for Ontario and for Canada, matters that impact very directly upon our regional diversity and that can help inject strength and vitality where divisiveness continues to fester.

One of these priorities has to do with the genuine aspirations and concerns of our friends in the great province of Quebec. The other has to do with what I view as a crucial need at the federal level, a need to increase regional influence on national decision making and to facilitate consideration of national interests at the provincial level.

First, some observations about Quebec and its place within a strong Canada. I know full well that some people believe that "the Quebec question" has preoccupied Canadians' attention too much. While I understand the sentiment behind this view, I am none the less convinced that in the interests of a strong Canada, we must continue to reach out in a spirit of understanding and accommodation.

Let us remember that the people of Quebec remain divided about the course of their political future. I believe the majority in Quebec believe that their future lies within Canada, and even though the vitality and strength of the pro-Canadian forces in Quebec have been very evident during this past week, there are still concerns among them that we in the rest of Canada must address. At the same time, we must remember that support for separation in Quebec is still in the minds of many.

On the political stage, the present Quebec government remains committed to its option of political independence and is committed to campaigning in the next election on the question of Quebec's separation from Canada. The same government has not accepted the legitimacy of recent constitutional reforms. It continues to portray the new Constitution of Canada as an attack on the fundamental powers of the Quebec government. It even sees the Constitution as an attempt to block the efforts of francophone Quebeckers to ensure their cultural, political and economic survival.

It is against this backdrop that we in Ontario and the rest of Canada need to chart a course that will in the end strengthen our nation, not fractionalize it. I would like to see a renewed partnership between English-speaking and French speaking Canadians, a partnership based upon mutual respect and trust, grounded in our historical traditions and reinforced in our constitutional arrangements.

I suggest we adopt two principles to guide renewed constitutional discussions. The first principle, I believe, is that we should explicitly acknowledge in the Constitution of Canada the historical and contemporary reality of Canada, namely, that more than a quarter of the Canadian population speaks French and that more than 80 per cent of our French-speaking citizens live in Quebec.

11:40 a.m.

To me, this is a very important point. After all, as I said a few minutes ago, the multicultural nature of Canada is entrenched in our Constitution. It is there in several sections of the new Constitution. Therefore, I would suggest that our English-French duality should likewise be entrenched.

The second principle is that we should be willing to consider further ways in which Quebec can be assured constitutional powers in recognition of its special role as guardian and leading spokesman for the French language and culture in Canada. This is not a revolutionary thought. There are many precedents already by which one province or another has different powers and programs to recognize special needs or circumstances.

Already our new Constitution provides for the right of provinces -- and I underline this -- to opt out of changes that would diminish the powers of a province, changes to the distribution of powers in our Constitution to which that province does not agree. In issues involving culture and education, such opting-out decisions must be accompanied by appropriate fiscal compensation if they are in the cultural and educational area.

I believe there is room in future negotiations for some change in this clause to ensure that Quebeckers receive greater assurance that any powers of their provincial government that are diminished are not in danger of being diminished without their consent. The point is, I do not believe we and the rest of Canada need to be so reticent about acknowledging Quebec's special challenge and role in preserving and enhancing the French language and culture as a vital element in our national fabric.

Today, obviously, I am not attempting to be very specific about the constitutional and political changes which a new sense of English-French partnership might imply. Rather, my intent is based upon a sincere belief that our Quebec compatriots must realize that the province of Ontario and the government of Ontario are open to dialogue and that they must understand what the basis for a new dialogue might be.

Similarly, I would hope that these thoughts might also be viewed with a fresh sense of purpose in other predominantly English-speaking provinces and that they, too, will reflect upon the possibility of a renewed and positive partnership with French-speaking Canada.

The other area I want to address today is also related to the overall objective of harnessing our nation's provincial and regional diversity into a strong and positive national plus for Canada.

There has been in Canada, perhaps inevitably, a tendency for the federal and provincial governments to carry out their respective functions at too great an arm's length. In a major sense this relates back to the original division of powers and responsibilities that were assigned to each level of government in 1867. As things have evolved, there are ambiguities, grey areas and even duplications -- not to mention purely political motives that arise from time to time.

Today, too often for our own national good, Canadians frequently witness situations in which two levels of government are seen to be arguing over matters which one would think could have been resolved by means of more open and co-operative consultation and discussion in the first place. Many thoughtful Canadians have been considering this particular problem and ways to reform our national institutions and practices in order to ease some of the problems expressed by various regions and provinces across this great country.

There is no doubt in my mind about the need for a strong central government representing all Canadians on matters of national interest. I want to emphasize that very clearly and strongly at this point. This is a view and position I have always most strongly supported. At the same time, I think we must realize there is a growing feeling that ways have to and should be found more effectively to accommodate the fact that we are a confederation, to recognize the fact of our federal-provincial makeup.

To my mind, there are four main objectives which speak to the need for reform in this area: to moderate regional and intergovernmental conflicts; to ensure that regional concerns are properly addressed in national decision-making; to facilitate consideration of national interests, the interests of the central government, at the provincial level; and to encourage consensus for operation and co-ordination among all governments.

A mistake which I believe many people have made and which has hindered the development of solutions has been to focus entirely on the reform of one existing institution, and that existing institution is the Senate. Frankly, I sincerely believe the very best starting point for reforming our institutions in this country would be to abolish the Senate altogether.

A body such as our current Senate is no more necessary to the work of the House of Commons than provincial upper houses were to provincial legislatures. As members of this House are well aware, some provinces in this country had upper houses and all have abolished them, most of them many years ago. I am afraid that if Canada were to adopt an elected Senate, which is a proposition proposed by many people, rather than helping things we would be adding to the difficulty of reaching consensus in Canada. We would be adding to the difficulty rather than moving to a solution.

Besides, the House of Commons, which is accountable to the electors of Canada, can surely undertake its federal responsibilities just as the provincial legislatures do in the provinces without the need of an elected upper house or some kind of quasi-appointed upper house.

Improvement of the regional sensitivity of Parliament has to come about through reforms in the House of Commons. This is the first reform that I believe is necessary and should be considered. In this regard, I have suggested on a number of occasions that it is time we looked at an element of proportional representation in the House of Commons and how that would help address the problem we are talking about. This type of reform, of course, is the responsibility of the federal government and federal parties to devise and carry out. I am not going to deal in any more length with that in these remarks.

An even more crucial need for reform, I believe, lies in strengthening the relationships between the provincial governments and the federal government in the interests of all Canadians and all regions of Canada, and in the major interest of improving the way we are governed.

There can be no doubt in the minds of thoughtful people that the time has come for Canada to move beyond the ad hockery of the present relationship between the provincial and federal governments. As a country we have grown too complex and too mature to continue to function in such a piecemeal and makeshift fashion, especially on matters important to our nationhood and to our national wellbeing.

I believe that all Canadians would benefit if there were created a totally new intergovernmental institution composed of members of the governments of the provinces and the federal government. This body could be called the Council of Canada, the Council of the Federation, or by some other designation that might appropriately reflect its role and function.

The main thing is that this is a new and different body. This council would be a brand new type of institution, a constitutionally established intergovernmental body where the first ministers and their ministers would meet in regular sessions and on an ongoing basis, supplemented by special sessions as particular issues demand.

There would be appropriate participation by first ministers -- the Prime Minister of Canada and the Premiers -- by federal and provincial cabinet ministers and by other elected members from the two levels of government.

Indeed, in many important ways, this council would be a logical and formalized outgrowth of what we have come to know in Canada over the years as first ministers' conferences and, to be sure, the many other federal-provincial conferences and meetings that are at present convened but are now all convened on an ad hoc basis. That goes for the first ministers' conferences, except for those that are mandated on aboriginal rights in the Constitution. All others are there on an ad hoc basis.

11:50 a.m.

Such meetings even now are an essential thread of cohesiveness, however, in the Canadian political fabric. But they are just that, a thread, when the need is clearly for a stronger tie that binds.

There can be no substitute for interaction. Our political leaders must meet on a more regular and systematic basis. Regularity is the key. We have learned from experience that the more frequent and concerted the interaction between the two levels of government, the more likely we are to achieve agreement without undue rancour and delay, and without the atmosphere of crisis or confrontation we have witnessed much too often in the past.

A council of the type I am proposing would have appropriate constitutional powers related to federal legislation which directly affects the provinces. I suppose most such powers would be of an advisory or consultative nature. But, without doubt, this body would also require some measure of authority to force further discussions and consultation, perhaps even alterations in legislation, with regard to certain proposed federal government legislative initiatives in specific areas that impact most directly upon the provinces.

It might be enough to require prior clearance of any such legislation through the council, leaving the official opposition in the House of Commons to pursue any of the council's issues unresolved by the federal government; or we could consider -- and I think this is a very real possibility -- the use of a device such as a suspensive veto.

However, I would say that it would be essential to structure the council in such a way as to avoid undue interference with the appropriate national role and jurisdiction of the federal House of Commons. In fact, by adding this provincial component to the national stage, the council would probably enhance and strengthen the role and ability of the House of Commons to act effectively and expeditiously on all matters within its clear jurisdiction.

Without, at this time, looking at the specifics related to the structure and operating practices of a council such as I have indicated, it is not difficult to envision such a federal-provincial body adding a new dimension of dialogue and co-operative consultation in Canada.

Let me say this: I believe that had such an institution existed in recent years, the sometimes bitter, rancorous debates on various constitutional issues could undoubtedly have been tempered. In a similar way, the destructive confrontation over national energy issues would not likely have become so harsh, and thus all Canadians would have benefited. Matters related to economic planning could have been discussed and expedited, I believe, in a much more favourable and effective fashion.

In any event, I believe the general concept of a formal council, in the fashion of the basic framework I have described, should be pursued as a priority for Canada. I believe that should now happen.

As in all things on such a plane, affecting, as it will, the very constitutional foundation of our nation, it is a proposal that will require exhaustive and extensive scrutiny from every angle. It is the kind of thing I believe the House of Commons/Senate committee will be looking at as it reviews the Senate. However, I believe this can be an important key to a new harmony and co-operative spirit in Canada. I hope it will enter the mainstream of discussion relating to reform at the national level.

During the next several days there will be ample opportunity to discuss these and other federal and provincial issues. Before I conclude these remarks, however, I would like to turn for a few moments to two other aspects of my ministry's mandate, namely, international relations and our co-ordinating role in the area of French language services in Ontario.

Mr. Conway: I hear Omer Deslauriers is bored and wants to come home.

Hon. Mr. Wells: No, no.

At this point in our history there is very clear evidence that the future strength and growth of our economy will depend, in large measure, upon whether Ontario manufacturers and producers are able to compete in world markets. One third of Ontario's gross provincial product is already exported to other countries, but we must achieve an even higher percentage of export business.

This means, first, there is a responsibility on the part of the private sector to pursue export opportunities vigorously. In an increasingly competitive world we simply cannot rely on the status quo. But it also means that we as a government have a responsibility to do all we can to make sure that relations between governments are as positive and as supportive of open trade relations as possible. While this is ultimately, of course, the responsibility of the federal government, Ontario has shown on a number of occasions that this government is determined to take the lead in improving relations with our major trading partners.

Nowhere is this more evident than with the United States. Besides being our closest friend internationally, the United States of America is the market for 78 per cent of Ontario's exports. We cannot afford the luxury of having an inconsistent policy towards the United States, nor can we permit unnecessary bilateral irritants to persist and to cloud an overwhelmingly positive relationship

In the past year the Ontario government has made a conscious effort in a number of areas to clean up and clear up some problem areas and to demonstrate in a concrete way the high value we attach to our relationship with the United States. We are glad to see that other governments are also recognizing the importance of devoting care and attention to Canada's relationships with the United States. This view is shared by many of our counterparts in other provinces, and I am encouraged to see that it is increasingly reflected in the activities of the federal government as well.

This is not to say that our relationship with the United States has become entirely problem-free. For example, acid rain remains a problem and a challenge, and the same might be said in a couple of other areas as well. The point is that there is strong and continued willingness on the part of Ontario to foresee potential opportunities and potential areas of concern and to be prepared to deal with them in a responsible and businesslike way. I think this bodes well for the maintenance of a healthy Canada-US trade environment in which there will be excellent opportunities for Ontario manufacturers and producers.

We have not forgotten the important export opportunities that also lie outside the North American continent. In the past year we have continued our efforts to make governments in Europe and Asia aware of our willingness to pursue commercial opportunities with their countries. As this House knows, the Premier (Mr. Davis) has taken a very personal role in these efforts. In the past six months alone he has visited France, Belgium and Britain on results-oriented trade missions, and last week he returned from another one to Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.

These and other markets represent significant opportunities for exports of the goods and services that Ontario is best at providing, not only manufactured goods but also our experience and expertise in education, job training and other areas that are of special interest to so many countries in the world today.

Throughout these and other efforts this ministry has been active in ensuring that Ontario is in a position to take the best advantage of the international opportunities that are open to us. It represents a high priority in the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs because it is quite obviously essential to the strength and vitality of this province now and in the future.

I might add here that the international relations branch recently completed a year-end review of its programs and activities. This document is entitled Ontario's International Relations: A Perspective. It was intended as a working paper, but I feel that it contains a great deal of useful information about the vast scope of Ontario's international activities that I would like to share with the members of this House.

Therefore, I am sending copies to the Clerk's table and, at the same time, I want to inform members that copies of this document are in their mailboxes today. I think members of this House will find it very interesting and informative to read this perspective on Ontario's international relations, something that is important for this province, this country and their constituents.

Finally, in these opening remarks I want to mention the importance I also attach to my role as minister responsible for co-ordinating, improving and promoting services for our French-speaking residents.

12 noon

I might just add, in case the members have not seen it, that we have had a new appointment in the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs in the area of the French language co-ordinator's office, with the appointment of Louise Beaugrand-Champagne to the position of deputy co-ordinator of French language services. She will join the ministry on November 1 in this important role and will be adding strength to the operations of the co-ordinator's office. Louise Beaugrand-Champagne is now director of the translation bureau of this government and has a wide background in these areas. She will be an important addition to this ministry's operating staff.

I believe we have been making steady and substantial progress in ensuring that the 500,000 French-speaking residents of Ontario have the opportunity to receive a full range of government services in the French language. The office of the co-ordinator of French language services, as well as the Council on Franco-Ontarian Affairs which reports through me, are constantly pinpointing areas where improvements in our service structure are required and they are setting in motion methods of meeting these requirements.

This ongoing process is continuing. I believe this steady process, coupled with legislative entrenchment of minority language rights in specific acts, as we have done in the past in the Education Act and as is proposed in the new Courts of Justice Act, is making a solid contribution to bringing their government closer to the French-speaking people of Ontario.

With these remarks, I will be happy to answer any questions concerning the estimates of this ministry and discuss them fully with the members of this House.

The Deputy Chairman: The member for Ottawa South.

Mr. Roy: Ottawa East.

The Deputy Chairman: Ottawa East.

Mr. Conway: That is an unfortunate confusion.

Mr. Roy: Yes. Mr. Chairman, your colleague the member for Ottawa South (Mr. Bennett) may well be annoyed by that unfortunate comment. At any event, we will excuse you to start with.

Hon. Mr. Ashe: Now I know why you are here on Friday.

Mr. Roy: The minister can be sure of one thing -- I am not here to see his pretty face. Mr. Chairman, I trust you will control the -- what is he now? -- Minister of Government Services (Mr. Ashe).

Mr. Conway: He took over from the member for Lanark (Mr. Wiseman).

Mr. Nixon: He can live with any deputy.

Mr. Roy: That is right. I understand he is the only person in the whole province who thinks he got a promotion in the last cabinet shift.

The Deputy Chairman: The member is speaking to the resolution before him, the estimates of the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs. These interjections lead us so far astray. I do apologize that I did not have your riding correct.

Hon. Mr. Ashe: One thing about my commitment here, it is full-time, not part-time.

Mr. Roy: Mr. Chairman, I accept your apology. However, I trust you will control the Minister of Government Services.

The Deputy Chairman: It is very difficult, but I will do my best.

Mr. Roy: He gets so excited I am afraid he is going to slip and fall over that tie clip of his and hurt himself. I would not want that to happen.

The Deputy Chairman: The honourable member has the floor.

Hon. Mr. Ashe: You will know where it is in the meantime; bend over.

Mr. Roy: Has he been bragging about being full-time since he got back from a trip in France?

The Deputy Chairman: Order. Does the member want to speak to the motion?

Mr. Roy: Yes, I do.

The Deputy Chairman: Then speak to it.

Mr. Roy: Mr. Chairman, as usual, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs has made a thorough and thoughtful address. I intend to review part of the address at different times and point out the gaps between the words and the actions, or the thoughts and the evidence.

If I may be uncritical of the minister, as I have been on many occasions, when one listens to his comments or reads through his speeches I think there is near unanimity around that the minister is always so reasonable and always so thoughtful. There are not many things in what he has said a critic such as myself -- who I hope is at different times considered to be reasonable as well -- can really disagree with. What the minister has said on a variety of topics dealing with federal-provincial relations and with international relations are matters much of which we agree with.

He has made some interesting comments this morning pertaining to the abolition of the Senate and proportional representation, as to how we get representation from regions, groups, etc., as to how there would be proportional representation in the House of Commons. I intend to make a few comments about that at a later time.

If I may deal with some of the aspects of the comments made by the minister, he starts off his speech and mentions the fact that there appears to be a different mood in the country than there was in the past. This has been quite true over a number of years, especially when there were federal-provincial discussions about amendments to the Constitution. The whole process led to serious division, because at one time there was a group of provinces, in which Quebec was an active participant, opposing the position taken by the federal government, which was supported by Ontario and in part by New Brunswick. Then there were discussions of differences about energy and so on.

I suspect one of the reasons there is more harmony now is that these discussions are now completed. The constitutional discussions have been completed, though not completely. There are still discussions about a variety of areas -- for instance, native rights and so on -- but by and large the serious discussions about the division of power and about what should be inserted in the Charter of Rights are completed.

The second and important point is that there has been a serious shift of priorities where there have been serious economic problems in various areas of the country. When we talk about the attitude taken, for instance, by Premier Lévesque in the last meeting of provincial Premiers and about how he was optimistic about the discussions that went on, Lévesque basically reflects what many of the people in Quebec are thinking at this time. Basically they have had enough of rancour over language, culture and independence and they want job guarantees.

There is high unemployment in the province. Many of the people in Quebec were forced to find employment outside of its borders. They are forced, for instance, to work out west in Alberta, in British Columbia and other western provinces, and here in Ontario. Unfortunately, there has been a serious setback from an economic point of view in these various provinces, and they have had to go back.

So we have this unfortunate situation where Quebec is facing very serious economic problems and the people of Quebec are very critical of the existing administration, feeling that they may have spent far too much time in discussing language and culture rather than in discussing such important aspects as jobs and the economic future of the province.

In that sense the Premier of Quebec reflects basically what the majority of people are thinking in that province, and I think that is one of the important aspects of the change in attitude. I think it is also one of the reasons for the change of attitude in the provinces.

Take, for instance, Alberta. The minister talks about his last trip in Alberta and how there seemed to be a better spirit of goodwill and so on. When my colleagues and I visited Alberta two years ago when we were on the committee discussing constitutional changes, many of us were somewhat surprised by the sort of aggressive attitude, not only of citizens in the province but also of elected members from that province, towards Ontario, central Canada and Toronto.

I recall that our colleague the Provincial Secretary for Social Development (Mr. McCaffrey) went back. His first trip caused confusion and consternation and he had to go back as a special guest to try to smooth out the relations between Ontario, or at least some representatives from Ontario, and Alberta.

But things have changed in Alberta. I keep reading about the good times in Calgary. I can recall that I was at the bar convention in Alberta two or three years ago and one could not go half a block without running into sidewalk construction. Cranes were all over the place and heavy construction was going on everywhere. The place was booming. Edmonton was the same. The province was really in the midst of an economic boom.

12:10 p.m.

One had a sense that this stimulated a certain amount of aggressiveness and it encouraged a certain feeling of independence and pride. They felt they could say to the east, or at least to Ontario: "Things are going well in this province. It is due to our resourcefulness. We can do it on our own. We do not need you. Some of the action should be going on here."

Unfortunately things have changed for that province, and we do not take any pride in that fact here. They are a couple of years behind the economic setbacks that were suffered in other regions of the country but they are feeling it now in Alberta.

I see from a recent statement by the Treasurer of Alberta that the government will have to increase personal income tax in the province by 13 per cent because it needs revenues. If things keep going the way they are, I suspect the Alberta government will be forced to think about imposing a sales tax such as is in force in the rest of the provinces.

The fact that there has been this economic downturn tends to moderate and influence nationalistic tendencies not only in Quebec but I suspect also in Alberta, and unfortunately in British Columbia as well. The latter province has had serious economic problems over the last few years.

For all these reasons, there is a realization in the country that the best way to have some stability across the whole country and the best way to solve these problems is to get all the regions working together. In a large and diverse country such as ours, when there is a problem in one area the people there can receive support from another area of the country.

A strong central government which is able to distribute income is then able to get involved in programs which affect the whole country. These are the times when the balance of Canada can be so helpful; when there is some difficulty in one area another area helps. In other words, the west's economic strength can be going full steam ahead when there are problems in the eastern part of the country.

The federal government should continue to have the resources to be able to distribute benefits and keep some balance -- a minimum standard of service and a minimum standard of living for Canadians right across the country.

I should not use the word "benefit" when an area is suffering economic setbacks, but from that experience there can be a realization that it is to our benefit to get some co-operation right across the country. To that end Ontario has an important and traditional role to play. The minister can be assured of support from my colleagues, at least, for this type of approach.

The minister dealt with Quebec in his statement. He said there appears to be more of a sense of co-operation there. On page 4 of his speech he states: " ... generally I was most favourably impressed and encouraged by the evolving attitudes and renewed commitments that are becoming evident again" -- and he talks here about the west -- "and the positive mood also reflected in other provinces.

"Quebec, for example, made useful contributions at the Premiers' conference and Premier Lévesque made a point of noting how constructive the meeting was." He goes on to say on page 5, "We believe it is essential to maintain a liaison and to let the people of Quebec know and understand that we continue to see and want them as vital parts of the country."

In discussing our relations with Quebec, let us look at two particular areas. I agree with the minister that discussions, interchanges, economic ties and trade must continue and understanding must flow from Ontario to Quebec without any admission on the part of any one of us here that there is any support whatsoever for the ultimate goal of the present administration in Quebec.

As the minister has said, there has been some undertaking on the part of the Premier of that province that the next provincial election will be on the question of independence. I am not so sure they are not going to try to find a way out of that. With the present mood in Quebec, I get the feeling that if this continues, if economic relations do not improve in Quebec, the Premier of that administration will be committing suicide if he thinks they are going to have the next provincial election based on independence. It is a sure way to lose power in that province.

It has been my experience in watching that government, like other political administrations, that their principles become flexible, because after all the ultimate goal is power. I am not sure that particular commitment will be followed for the next provincial election.

When we are talking about understanding for Quebec and for the people of Quebec, we always have to make the distinction that in spite of the fact that for the present administration, the Parti Québécois, the ultimate goal is independence, the fact remains that there is still an overwhelming majority of Quebeckers who feel they must stay. They believe in Canada. They feel their future lies as Canadians and as Quebeckers. I think there is no doubt about that and I think the last referendum proved that. I think if there was another one in the next short while, it would prove it again.

That distinction must be made by the people in English Canada, who often confuse and equate the actions of the Parti Québécois with the people of Quebec. At times that can be misleading. The signals we send back should not be recrimination towards the people of Quebec because of the actions of the Parti Québécois. We must keep that in mind. Our message must be to the people and not necessarily to the government, because often the attitude of the government is that anything you do here does not matter anyway. Of course, they would want people to believe that.

Godin, who is their minister, seems to make comments that anything that happens towards francophones outside of Quebec does not matter at all because it is only a question of time before they will be all assimilated and the only real true jurisdiction or area where their language and culture can continue is in Quebec. I think Lévesque is backing off from that position and not accepting the position of his minister.

The point I want to make is that I would suspect what happens in Ontario is more important than what happens in any other province. They always keep looking to Ontario and what happens here. So it is important, as the minister said, that relations and interchange must continue. But there are other tangible goals which must be achieved in Ontario. There are other signs that must be sent.

I look at two areas. One concerns some of the statements and some of the understanding that has been expressed by some people, including the minister and his colleague the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry), about understanding the concern of Quebec about the present Constitution and the charter and how that is a challenge to their language, culture and institution. The minister talked about this on page 8:

"The same government has not accepted the legitimacy of recent constitutional reforms. It continues to portray the Constitution as an attack on the fundamental powers of the Quebec government. It even sees the Constitution as an attempt to block the efforts of francophone Quebeckers to ensure their cultural, political and economic survival."

12:10 p.m.

From what the minister said, I gather he showed some sympathy for what his colleague the Attorney General talked about, a sort of limited veto for Quebec in areas of culture, language and education. Quebec, quite rightly, has always felt that because it is a minority in the country, in such things as language, culture and education the ultimate responsibility should always lie with the province and the francophone majority of that province. I think we understand that.

I think anybody could understand that a minority within a larger number would not leave the ultimate decision for the question of language, culture and education to that majority. They would want to retain the ultimate decision in such an area. I would think that even the former Minister of Revenue, the present Minister of Government Services, could understand such a position.

It is important that the position of Ontario in that area is clearly stated. In some ways the minister has helped in his comments here this morning, when he said: "The second principle is that we should be willing to consider further ways in which Quebec can be assured constitutional power in recognition of its special role as guardian and spokesman for the French language and culture in Canada."

In some ways I am pleased to see that the minister is approaching the position of his colleague the Attorney General. When I look at some of the recent statements made by the Attorney General, and I am sure the minister is familiar with this article in the Queen's Law Journal --

Mr. Conway: It is a very interesting article.

Mr. Roy: It is. The title of the article is "The Search for Constitutional Accord -- A Personal Memoir." The minister is smiling; I gather he agrees with the position of the Attorney General --


Mr. Roy: My colleague the member for Renfrew North mentions to me that one of the active participants in the constitutional discussions, the Attorney General, has written a memoir. We are still waiting for the other participant, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, to write his memoirs about his participation, his involvement, his view of things that went on.

Mr. Conway: Roy comes off in a pretty good light in this.

Mr. Roy: That is right.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Chairman, on a point of order: I have done that; I did it in a speech in this House. I do not tend to write at quite the same length as my colleague. I have done that in this House, and it is available in a small blue pamphlet, a copy of which I will be glad to send the honourable member if he wishes.

Mr. Roy: I would appreciate getting the pamphlet, because my experience has been that, as usual, the minister is a much more modest and moderate fellow than his colleague the Attorney General. Looking at the Attorney General's comments in the Queen's Law Journal --

Hon. Mr. Wells: Do you also have a copy of the publication No Small Measure, by Senator Nurgitz and one Hugh Segal? I would be glad to --

Mr. Roy: I could hardly digest Segal when he was here, never mind trying to read him when he is gone.

Mr. Conway: I would rather buy Gordie Walker's book than that.

Mr. Roy: I would not go quite that far, although we may have more to say about that member's book seeing that the taxpayers of Ontario have made such a large contribution in the preparation.

Mr. Conway: You would never know Tom Wells existed from that article.

Mr. Roy: As the member says, the Attorney General is not immodest in the book and he puts himself in a very favourable light. I notice he has not spent too much time talking about this minister's involvement or about the involvement of the Premier (Mr. Davis), as I recall the article.

In any event, he says some very interesting things. One of the things he states, at page 68 -- if I can read it, Mr. Chairman --

The Acting Chairman (Mr. Hodgson): If I said no, what would you do? You would read it anyway, would you not?

Mr. Roy: No. I am one who respects the chair, no matter who is sitting in it. If the Chairman prohibited me from reading it and I did it, I would do it with some reluctance because of my respect for the chair.

It says:

"The absence of a Quebec veto undoubtedly has created a great deal of apprehension in that province. There has been much rhetoric about the 'surrender of a veto' by the PQ government which together with that government's continuing allegations of betrayal by the English-speaking provinces has, of course, contributed to this sense of unease. The fact that no province has ever actually had a veto is no answer, since it was always assumed to exist. It is also no real answer to argue that the opting-out procedure afforded all provinces, in relation to future constitutional amendments, can provide sufficient protections for Quebec's distinct linguistic, cultural and social identity. "In public life and indeed in most human affairs, the perception is as important as the reality."

Do they not know that out there? He should ask the Premier about how important the perception is.

"I believe that the people of Quebec must be satisfied that no future amendments to the Constitution could be made that would undermine the "duality" of our nation. The appropriate form of a constitutional guarantee is, of course, debatable, but the federal government and the English-speaking provinces must be prepared to declare that they are committed to this goal."

The Attorney General goes on to say that during the 1980 referendum, certain promises were made which were not kept by people at the federal level or by the leaders of other provinces. I think some progress and understanding is certainly being shown in Ontario when we have leading ministers, such as the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and the Attorney General of Ontario, who are prepared to give some undertaking.

When they talk about perception as opposed to reality, it is important that Ontario should not be bashful about this position and should make it quite clear to the people of Quebec that is the position of the Ontario government as opposed to the position of just a couple of cabinet ministers. I am not clear about that. On other occasions, when I have talked to the Premier and when questions were asked of the Premier, he has taken an approach that is somewhat different from the Attorney General's.

I say to the minister that there have been confusing signs coming out of Ontario on this very issue. The minister will recall that it was a year or so ago, I believe, when I asked questions of the Premier and there seemed to be a position taken at that time, at least by the Premier, that was somewhat different from the position taken by the Attorney General on different occasions and in this particular article.

In fact, as I mentioned here, what I understand the minister to be saying this morning is that he has some sympathy with at least some recognition that Quebec should be entitled to some limited veto in the areas of culture, language and education. I do not know whether there should be other areas; I have not explored them completely.

12:3O p.m.

The other area where I think it is important for Ontario to take some leadership is the area of providing French-language services. I note that the minister in his speech did not really spend very much time dealing with this issue. He talked about it basically in one or to pages towards the end of the speech. Frankly, considering the debates that have been going on here in the last while, I think there should have been more discussion of that issue.

I said before -- and I apologize if I am being repetitious -- that what happens in Ontario is so important. I do not know whether people here understand and realize that. There may be things happening in Manitoba, there may be positive steps happening in New Brunswick; but for some reason, and I guess it is based on historical and traditional reasons, what happens in Ontario is more important than what happens in any other jurisdiction. It may be because of the fact that in sheer numbers there are more francophones in Ontario than there are in any other province except Quebec.

In other words, what I am trying to say is that there are as many French-speaking Canadians in Ontario as there are in the rest of the country outside of Quebec; so the largest number is here. It may be because of our proximity and our relationships, trade and otherwise, with the province.

However, I must say that I have been saddened in the last while by the debate that has gone on in this place, in the press and across the country generally, and I have been saddened by the position taken by the Ontario government in this debate.

I thought the approach taken by the federal leaders at least merited our congratulations and our support. In the debate that went on a few weeks ago in the House of Commons, all three leaders rose above partisan differences.

I want to emphasize that originally when the debate started it appeared that the Liberal government was trying to take advantage of the Manitoba question to embarrass the new leader of the Conservative Party. But in fairness to them, I think there was a realization that the goal to be achieved -- in other words, unanimity on this issue and unanimity on the message that was sent back to Manitoba -- was more important than trying to exploit partisan differences or political differences within the Conservative Party. An opportunity -- a way out -- was given to Brian Mulroney and he took it; and to his credit he performed extremely well in the process.

It was with some satisfaction, I think, that all Canadians saw their three national leaders take a position above partisan differences and send a clear and unequivocal message to Manitoba about the position and the protection of that very small minority.

Picture the magnanimous approach taken by the federal House; on the very same night when it came across on the national news, the comment coming out of Ontario by the minister, who was the spokesman because the Premier was out on a trade mission to the Far East, was so negative. The minister was quoted as saying basically, "A constitutional guarantee for the francophone minority in this province is not necessary." We have a situation where a message is sent to Manitoba dealing with fewer than some 50,000 francophones, and yet for 500,000 in Ontario the same guarantees are not necessary, the minister said.

In some ways it is a position taken by the minister that I suspect at times he personally does not believe. I suspect the minister does not believe that constitutional guarantees are not important in this province. The minister said on different occasions -- and he got some editorials in the Toronto Star that were very favourable to his comments last year -- that he personally favoured constitutional entrenchment in the area of former section 133 of the British North America Act, guarantees in the area of the Legislature and the courts.

These confusing signs by the minister, or the position taken by the government as expressed by the minister, were unfortunate. I will quote a headline of a few days ago that followed the minister's speech: "Wells Fears Swift Backlash If Ontario Made Bilingual." Then in an article in the Globe and Mail on October 12, 1983, the minister is quoted as follows: "Mr. Wells yesterday described official bilingualism as a symbol that could set back progress for Franco-Ontarians by creating divisions in the province." It went on to say:

"Mr. Wells said the government has not canvassed opinion to find out what groups in Ontario would oppose official bilingualism. He said his position is based on 'my general reading of the climate.'" He went on to mention the very unfortunate period of 1977 when there was a debate about the creation of a French-language school in Essex and the difficulty and division that caused at the time.

The minister said Ontarians do not want the division that happened in Manitoba. I think that statement is misleading. He knows full well that what is happening in Manitoba now is being created in large part by the Leader of the Opposition there. Mr. Lyon is leading the forces opposing a very necessary agreement entered into by the Manitoba government with the French-language minority in that province. The minister knows full well that any initiative taken by this government has never been opposed or undermined by either of the opposition parties.

I challenge the minister to say on what occasion the government has ever taken any initiative in that area that has been opposed. I refer to initiatives in the establishment or the guarantee of French-language services in this province. Can he name an occasion when the Leader of the Opposition, the leader of the New Democratic Party or any member of the opposition has gone about trying to exploit, for political purposes, the initiative taken by the Ontario government?

I am not the only person to say that. A recent editorial in the Globe and Mail, headed "No Better Time," talked about "the unfortunate position taken by Ontario and the lack of leadership in that area." It went on to say:

"Moreover, unlike Manitoba's New Democratic Premier, Howard Pawley, Mr. Davis would have the support of the opposition. Both provincial Liberals and New Democrats have been urging the Premier to entrench official bilingualism in Ontario. They have even offered to join him in an all-party resolution in the Legislature. That is a very different case from Mr. Pawley, who has faced an ugly public clamour ever since Conservative leader Sterling Lyon forced the bilingualism issue to public hearings around the province."

The minister knows full well that he cannot compare Ontario's situation with that of Manitoba. He knows full well that any initiative he is prepared to take will receive the support of the other parties. I am saddened to see that he did not avail himself of the opportunity given by other leaders in this House to try to remove this from partisan consideration.

12:40 p.m.

I am sorry he did not accept the opportunity to get the three leaders involved in a position which would further enhance and give further linguistic guarantees to the francophone minority without being in a position where it became partisan, or a division, or where one party was trying to exploit it for political purposes.

I know the minister will say, and I hear some of my friends in the New Democratic Party say, "Look at the position of your party or your leader in that area." First, I want to say the leader of this party on one situation was misquoted by the Canadian Press and there was a retraction. He was quoted as saying constitutional guarantees were not necessary in Ontario. That was wrong. He has said so, and Canadian Press has made a retraction on it.

What the leader said is that he personally favours constitutional guarantees. He said this and he has repeated it on various occasions. There is some difficulty, and I am the first to admit it, about the party position, which is -- the minister smiles. This party is apprehensive sometimes and that is because his party has tried on different occasions to exploit initiatives taken by this party.

What did the Premier do in 1978 when he vetoed a bill that had been accepted by the House? What did he do in 1980 in Carleton when they were going around distributing material saying the Ontario provincial Liberals were in favour of what they called wall-to-wall bilingualism?

Hon. Mr. Ashe: Well?

Mr. Roy: They exploited it. The Minister of Government Services says exactly that. We have our answer. The Minister of Government Services has just said it. The record should show that he was still trying to advance for political purposes a position which is not the position of this party.

Hon. Mr. Ashe: Come on now; go back and read the record.

Mr. Roy: Because of initiatives, because of attempts --

Mr. McClellan: You should not try to cut him off. His interjections are very interesting.

Mr. Breaugh: You may want to get it on the record.

Mr. Roy: I am sorry. If the minister wants to get up and put his position on the record as to how they tried to exploit the issue for political purposes in a by-election, I am prepared to yield the floor.

Hon. Mr. Ashe: Just clarify the record; that's all.

Mr. Roy: I think his comments have said it all.

Mr. Conway: The Premier did it in the national capital region --

Mr. Roy: That is right.

I can recall another occasion when I was attending a federal-provincial conference. There was some talk that Ontario might accept guarantees along the lines of constitutional guarantees under section 133. I can always recall the morning at the National Conference Centre in Ottawa when the Toronto Star came out with a large, red headline. It said something about "Ontario will give" -- I guess it was more offensive to the Premier than that -- about "Ontario to become bilingual," or something. I can recall the Premier's violent reaction that morning at the conference, stating again, and unequivocally, that was not the position of Ontario.

That was another occasion. I thought that reaction was typical. The Premier and the minister talk about leadership given in Ontario. I found it interesting during the constitutional discussion that what the minister as a participant was prepared to do in Ontario was let the federal government force guarantees on Quebec for its linguistic minority, but he was not prepared to do the same thing for Ontario. He let that happen. He wonders sometimes why our position vis-à-vis Quebec is so confused and why they do not understand the initiatives we have taken.

I should read again from the Attorney General's statement in the Queen's Law Journal where he states on page 71: "The issue of official bilingualism in Ontario does have ramifications beyond her borders, particularly in Quebec. The unwillingness of the Ontario government to accept section 133 has, of course, produced a high degree of controversy in both provinces. Regrettably, this controversy has overshadowed the very extensive progress that has been made in Ontario, particularly in the area of French-language education and bilingual court and legal services."

He is absolutely right. This is what gets headlines in Quebec. The minister has been in politics long enough to know that when something is negative, when one refuses to grant something, usually one gets far more press than when one takes the initiative and when one shows progress. In other words, there is more press, more activity created by being negative than by being positive.

The frustration of the minister, along with that of many of his colleagues, is obvious when he goes on to say that in Quebec they do not understand what we are doing. For instance, they do not understand that we have some 100,000 students taking French-language education. They do not understand that an individual charged in this province can have his trial in one of the two official languages in criminal courts and in the civil courts in certain areas of the province. They do not understand that we are giving services in a variety of areas, including health, government services, etc.

Of course they do not because there is a perception in that province that on an occasion when Ontario could be giving leadership on that particular issue a negative approach is taken. I would say to the minister it is time that initiative was taken in this province because, even though in Quebec their current priority may be economics, the message coming out of Ontario is going to be very important at a later time.

How are we going to convince the francophone majority in that province that they are welcome in Ontario when we continue to refuse to give the minority in this province -- their cousins in Ontario -- the same guarantees that Quebec gives its anglophone minority? How are we going to convince them of that?

I think there is a way out. Why would the minister not give consideration -- and I asked this of the Premier the other day -- to a resolution that I proposed, which basically would give constitutional guarantees in the areas where services are already being provided, namely, in the Legislature, in education, in the courts, and for government services where there is sufficient demand or numbers warrant?

The concern of the minister and the Premier seems to be, "What we do not want to do, what we cannot do, is establish laws, give constitutional guarantees, raise expectations, when we cannot fulfil them and we do not have the services." That is not the case here; we have the services. What is stopping the government from giving a constitutional guarantee? Is it the backlash?

I think Ontario has evolved considerably since 1977, since the problems the government got involved with in Essex. In fact, the problems in Essex were in some ways created by the indecision in that area. It dragged on for seven years. It was small wonder the community was divided. Had the government accepted the recommendations of the Symons report five years earlier, it might have avoided some of the rancour there was, not only in Essex but in Cornwall and Penetanguishene.

It is unfortunate, given the spirit of co-operation in the country that the minister spoke about, that Ontario does not see fit to take the leadership offered to it on this particular occasion. Nothing requires more justice than that particular issue at this time, and nothing would undermine the forces of separation in Quebec more than the initiative that could be taken by Ontario for its minority.

12:50 p.m.

The other area when one is talking about French-language services, and the minister could talk about this to his colleague in the Ministry of Education (Miss Stephenson), is the education proposal. I must go back to this. Sometimes when the minister talks about backlash, I really think he is missing the boat. When he talks about bilingualism in Ontario, how can he talk about backlash when his government said four or five months ago that every francophone in Ontario, no matter where he is, is entitled to French-language education. One would have thought that something such as that, going further than the constitutional guarantee, would create a backlash.

More recently there was the latest statement that French is going to be mandatory in grades 7 and 8 in the province. If the people were going to get excited about French being shoved down their throats, or the rednecks were going to come out, I would have thought that issue would have stimulated a backlash.

Has the minister seen any backlash on that? Has the Attorney General, for instance, been threatened because he has taken initiative in the areas of justice? Has there been any problem by other ministers who have taken initiative? Where is this so-called backlash?

Hon. Mr. Wells: It is the way we did it.

Mr. Roy: Yes, it is the way the government did it.

Unfortunately, the minister knows as well as I do that often the backlash is gauged by what the government does over there. The backlash can be as strong or as weak as the government wants to make it. I am saying the minister is offered an opportunity here to give leadership and he has not done it.

In areas of education, for instance, the minister keeps persisting in coming out with these crazy formulas about guaranteeing French-language trustee representation on these school boards. I do not think there is one area of the province which is in agreement with that proposal made by the minister's colleague, the Minister of Education; and small wonder. The minister keeps having this obsession of refusing to take what is a logical solution for an area such as Ottawa-Carleton and allowing them to have their own French-language school system.

What is the government's obsession with that particular initiative? Because of this particular obsession, what is likely to happen is the courts -- there is a challenge now before the Court of Appeal in that area -- are probably going to force the government to do it, and that may cause more backlash than had it taken the initiative to allow the experiment in Ottawa-Carleton or perhaps in other areas, which would be more practical than the solution proposed about French-language representation on school boards. In many areas it is impractical.

In the area of French-language services, there is certainly room for improvement. I am saddened that the minister has not succeeded in advancing a position on the part of government which was more productive at this time. I am saddened by the fact that the minister's personal views and his position do not jibe with many of the things he is saying publicly on behalf of the government. For some of the things he has said, he should know better.

It was interesting the other day when the Premier said there were a lot of francophone leaders who agree with the government's position. Right away the press ran out to get some comments from some of the spokesmen for the French-language community. They went to M. Régimbal from the Conseil des affaires Franco-Ontariennes, and he did not agree. I thought if anybody was going to agree with the government's position, it would be Roger Régimbal.

I see him under the gallery. I am not always complimentary towards him, but I would have thought if anyone should have been toeing the line and saluting at the Tory call, it should have been M. Régimbal; but he did not, he expressed concern about the position taken by the government.

I recall there were some other francophone leaders who were interviewed, but the press was not able to find anybody in that community who were supportive of the position taken by the Premier on that issue.

Mr. Conway: We all have crosses to bear.

Mr. Bradley: Maybe René Piché.

Mr. Roy: Some of my colleagues mention the member for Cochrane North. Of course, he is not heard from very often on that particular issue.

Mr. Conway: He liked the jet.

Mr. Roy: Yes, the jet was an important issue for him. I do not know if it is because he does not fit into the water bomber or what it is, but he seems to be annoyed about that. I do not want to be too harsh on my colleague the member for Cochrane North when he is not here, because he should be here to defend himself.

I would like to move on to another area the minister discussed briefly this morning. He is not giving us very much notice of some of the papers he is publishing before his estimates. Ontario's International Relations: A Perspective, came out on October 21, today; so I looked only briefly at Ontario's position on this issue.

I suppose before I get into the meat of this --

Hon. Mr. Wells: Adrienne Clarkson is speaking at the Canadian Club on Monday.

Mr. Roy: Adrienne Clarkson is at the Canadian Club on Monday?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Yes.

Mr. Roy: Has Omer been invited to speak? I understand that the minister is reluctant to get Omer back to Canada because he does not want to leave. He may drift towards an area of the province called Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry. That is the scuttlebutt. As agent general in Brussels he is lonely. He would like to come back à son pays natal, if I may say.

Mr. Bradley: Lonely but well paid.

Mr. Roy: Yes. The loneliness of Omer over there in Brussels is comforted by the fact that there is a heavy paycheque that comes in every two weeks.

Mr. Conway: Could we be so lucky as to have him in Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry? Could we pray for that?

Mr. Roy: The word is that the minister is going to lose his agent general -- not that I think he is going to have any difficulty filling the position should he lose Omer and should he make an attempt to become an active participant in this profession. But the word is around Ottawa, I want to tell the minister -- and he is going to be given an opportunity to correct difficulty filling the position should he lose Omer and should he make an attempt to become an active participant in this profession. But the word is around Ottawa, I want to tell the minister -- and he is going to be given an opportunity to correct this -- that Omer wants to come back; he is lonely out there in Brussels.

I have been prevailed upon further by some of my colleagues to congratulate one of the minister's initiatives, and that is the naming of our representative in New York, our good and dear friend Jake Dunlap. I want to put this on the record. Maybe the minister does not hear these things. Does he get press clippings when I am complimentary about the appointments of government? He does not remember them. He just looks at the criticisms.

My colleagues and I applauded that particular appointment and said that we think he will be an excellent representative for Ontario in New York. Some of my colleagues -- I will not mention who -- are scrounging around for invitations or, let us say, approval or some sign that they would be welcome on a visit to that great state to see our representative in New York. We are looking forward to glowing reports of increased trade with that state following the appointment of Jake.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Omer would be happy to see you too.

Mr. Roy: Yes? Would you tell Omer to send the invitations? I hear everybody else is getting an invitation but me. I do not know why. We made him welcome in Ottawa East. Considering how little support he had in that riding, I thought we treated him pretty well. We did not treat him badly enough for the government to compensate him overwhelmingly the way it did with that job. In fact, I think the minister annoyed a lot of long-standing Conservatives who felt they were more deserving of that important appointment than Omer. Nevertheless, I hope Omer will finish out the term, but I hear that he keeps looking and keeps wanting to come back.

Mr. Chairman, this may be an appropriate time to adjourn the debate because I intend to discuss briefly the question of Ontario's International Relations, A Perspective. I would say to my colleagues in the New Democratic Party that I do not have that much longer to go, but I shall require more time than is given here. Can I adjourn the debate, Mr. Chairman?

The Acting Chairman (Mr. T. P. Reid): The minister will adjourn the debate.

On motion by Hon. Mr. Wells, the committee of supply reported progress.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, before moving the adjournment of the House, I would just remind my friends that the debate on interim supply will continue on Monday afternoon, legislation on Tuesday afternoon and these estimates at eight o'clock on Tuesday evening.

The House adjourned at 1:01 p.m.