32nd Parliament, 3rd Session








































The House met at 2 p.m.



Mr. Speaker: I beg to inform the House that owing to a strike by the Toronto pressmen's union, the formal printing of Hansard has been temporarily suspended. The draft transcript of proceedings in the Legislature and its committees will continue to be produced by our own Hansard staff for distribution to members and other regular recipients.


Mr. Speaker: I ask all members of the assembly to join me in recognizing and welcoming the following guests in the Speaker's gallery: Mr. John Carter, member of the House of Assembly and chairman of the select committee on election expenses for Newfoundland, and Mr. Wilson Callan, member of the House of Assembly and deputy chairman of the same select committee.

As well as these distinguished visitors, we have others who are visiting the Ontario Legislature and meeting with elected members and those associated with various responsibilities in the government. I ask you to join me in welcoming the Honourable Tony Brummett, Minister of Lands, Parks, Housing and Environment for British Columbia, and the Honourable Clarke Ashley, Minister of Housing for the Yukon.



Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, today I would like to take this opportunity after the summer's hiatus to bring the House my promised update on my ministry's response to the Uffen commission on truck safety.

As members will recall, Professor Robert Uffen completed the report of his inquiry into safe trucking in Ontario last April. As a result of his intensive investigation, Dr. Uffen offered 61 recommendations covering a range of concerns including drivers, vehicles, highways and traffic laws. We agree with the vast majority of Dr. Uffen's proposals. In fact, since the report was tabled, action has been taken or is pending on more than half of his recommendations for improving truck safety in Ontario.

The more far-reaching of Dr. Uffen's suggestions will take more time to consider in all their implications. Longer-term recommendations are being studied in detail to decide on the best way to implement them. It may well make sense to dovetail some of these with our overall trucking regulation review program and include them in the new Public Commercial Vehicles Act.

Members will find the comments of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications on each recommendation summarized in a report appended to their copies of this statement, which will be in their mailboxes this afternoon.

It is too early to judge the effect of the actions we have taken so far. I will be reporting back to the House periodically to keep the members informed of our progress. But I am confident, as the new legislative framework governing the trucking industry is informed by Dr. Uffen's proposals over the next few years, we will see trucking in Ontario become a much safer and more efficient enterprise.


Hon. G. W. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, members of the Legislature will be aware that yesterday His Honour Judge Stephen Borins ruled that 11 videotape movies featuring bondage, victimization and sexual violence were beyond community standards. His Honour has recognized particularly society's concern with the degradation and dehumanization of women which is found in these videotapes.

As Solicitor General, I previously cautioned members of the public, particularly parents, about the availability at retail rental outlets, and I indicate "at some retail rental outlets," of videotapes the police believed were obscene. I welcome Judge Borins's ruling that these 11 films are obscene. It is a step in the right direction and confirms the guidelines that have been followed by the dedicated officers of Project P in the performance of their duties.

I advise videotape store operators and members of the industry to remove copies of the offending tapes from their shelves immediately to avoid possible criminal charges in line with the dictates of His Honour Judge Borins's judgement.

Members of the public are also entitled to know the titles of these obscene videotapes, which I believe have not yet been published in the news media. The titles are: Anna Obsessed (Ontario version and Quebec version both convicted), A Coming of Angels, Erotic Women in Love, Games Women Play, Skintight, Summer of '72, Tale of Tiffany Lust, Les Aventures Amoureuses de Monsieur O, Bruteuses Infernales, Jeux de Corps and Scrabble d'Amour.

I put those forward because I think the public is entitled to know those names and to be aware that some on the shelves should be removed.


Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, yesterday members opposite asked several questions about the decisions of the Divisional Court in relation to the Inflation Restraint Act, 1982. In answer, I said I would be studying the decisions, along with my senior constitutional law advisers, and would be making a statement today. As well, I said I would not necessarily take the interpretation of the decisions made by the leader of the New Democratic Party and others.

It is now obvious, after examining the 180 pages of reasons for judgement, that this is a complex matter that did not lend itself to the instant analysis of the leader of the third party and some others who have made comments upon it clearly without having digested the facts. Today, I would like to set out briefly but clearly what in fact the decisions do say, not as others would seek to interpret them.

The Divisional Court released judgements in three judicial review applications concerning the Inflation Restraint Act, 1982. One application, brought by the Ontario Public Service Employees' Union, sought a declaration that the Inflation Restraint Act is unconstitutional and absolutely void and inoperative. The other two applications challenged decisions of labour tribunals and sought declarations declaring all or part of the Inflation Restraint Act to be invalid.

The effect of these decisions is that the Divisional Court unanimously upheld as valid the core of the Inflation Restraint Act, namely, the restraint on public sector compensation and the prohibition of strike activity in relation to the issue of compensation. The ruling is that the limits on compensation and the associated denial of the right to strike over the issue of compensation are justifiable and reasonably necessary to effect the legitimate economic policy objective of the act, namely, to combat inflation.

2:10 p.m.

The Divisional Court unanimously declared invalid section 13(h) of the Inflation Restraint Act, 1982, as infringing freedom of association under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in that it suspends the normal collective bargaining procedures, including the right to strike with reference to noncompensation issues. Freedom of association under the charter was interpreted to protect the freedom of individuals to act in concert to pursue all lawful objectives of the association and to include the right to strike. This freedom is, however, not absolute.

The limits imposed under the Inflation Restraint Act on public sector compensation were held to be reasonable and demonstrably justifiable in a free and democratic society. With respect to the limits imposed under section 13(b) of the act on noncompensation issues, the court ruled that a sufficient nexus between those limits and the act's declared objective in combating inflation had not been demonstrated.

In their extensive written reasons, the three Divisional Court judges began the process of judicial interpretation of section 2(d) of the charter. It is a beginning but certainly not the last word. Members will recall the debate in this House in October 1982 when we were told in no uncertain terms by members opposite that Bill 179 was utterly and totally unconstitutional. The results in these three cases establish quite the contrary: the core policy of the legislation has been held to be valid and not contrary to the charter.

Much has been said in these judgements and in broad general terms about freedom of association and the right to strike. I suggest in conclusion that we would do well to remember the dictum of the late Lord Chancellor, the Earl of Halsbury, in Quinn versus Leathem in a House of Lords decision at the turn of the century, when he wrote:

"Every judgement must be read as applicable to the particular facts proved, or assumed to be proved, since the generality of the expressions which may be found there are not intended to be expositions of the whole law, but governed and qualified by the particular facts of the case in which the expressions are found."

This caution is particularly applicable to charter decisions.

It is open, of course, to any party to the proceedings before the Divisional Court to apply for leave to appeal. Such a decision should follow a most careful analysis of the reasons for judgement. For our part, until that process has been completed, no decision on that issue will be taken.


Mr. Speaker: Before proceeding, if I may have the attention of all honourable members, it is with a sense of sadness and regret that I must inform all members of the passing of Mrs. Philip, the mother of the member for Etobicoke. I do not have any details; I have just been made aware of this situation and thought I should apprise all members of it.



Mr. Peterson: I have a question for the Attorney General with respect to his statement, Mr. Speaker. The Attorney General has distilled the statement, and he has determined that the nub of the issue is section 13(b) of the said act, where it was ruled three to zip that the section was unconstitutional. He will be aware that my colleagues in our party moved on four different occasions to strike that section from the legislation both in committee and in this Legislature. He will be aware of that.

Mr. Speaker: Question, please.

Mr. Peterson: So that there will be no unnecessary delay and because the rights of thousands of people are still affected by that act, will the Attorney General move immediately to strike section 13(b) from Bill 179 to restore it to constitutionality?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I know the Leader of the Opposition is hard of hearing when it suits his purpose, but I will repeat what I said a couple of minutes ago, that until any decision has been made with respect to an appeal it would be inappropriate for me to comment further.

Mr. Peterson: The Attorney General may want to get into a partisan fight about who has the best legal advice in this House, but his record does not stand up very well in this or any other matter.

The judges severely criticized the Attorney General personally for his delaying tactics and obstructionism when the minister objected to the jurisdiction of the court to hear the application. His Lordship said, "It seems to me to be a waste of time and effort, dilatory and, in short, pointless," referring to what the Attorney General went through in delaying the time frame for hearing this appeal.

Will the Attorney General now proceed with dispatch, at the very least either to clear the matter up through further appeals or to remove the offending clause? Surely he cannot leave thousands of people not knowing their rights just because he wants to sit down with all his crown law officers and read the decision a few more times.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I am not going to respond to the customarily silly statements by the Leader of the Opposition. I have nothing to add to what I have already said.

Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, does the Attorney General not understand that until the matter has been overturned on appeal, the decision of the Divisional Court is the law? We have just had evidence of this from the Solicitor General (Mr. G. W. Taylor). These people are saying that section 13 is offensive and contrary to provisions of the charter, and that is the law until it is overturned on appeal.

Given that situation, why would the Attorney General not proceed immediately to change it? Second, if I may come back to that point, how does he explain the conduct of his ministry --

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: You know that doesn't even deserve an answer.

Mr. Roy: Let me tell the Attorney General --

Mr. Speaker: Never mind the interjection.

Mr. Roy: Our record before the court is as good as the minister's any time.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Roy: His record on constitutional issues is pretty poor.

Mr. Speaker: Will the honourable member please place his question?

Mr. Roy: May I continue?

Mr. Speaker: Place your question, please.

Mr. Roy: He was provoking me, Mr. Speaker. How does the Attorney General explain his ministry's conduct? As my leader has mentioned, Justice Galligan said the approach of the ministry was to delay this matter. Why was this approach taken on such important legislation when the ministry has not done so in other circumstances?

For example, in the French-language reference case that is now referred to the Court of Appeal, the Attorney General seems to have taken the approach that he wants a decision immediately; but in this case, apparently steps were taken to challenge the court's jurisdiction and delay the matter, with the result that we have a decision one year after the matter is law and confusion reigns right across this province.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, there is nothing I could ever do about the confusion that reigns all the time in the honourable member's head.


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, this man is the chief law officer of the crown. Is there nothing you can do under your powers in this House?

Mr. Speaker: Question, please.

Mr. Roy: He and Al Lawrence will get along well together.

Mr. Speaker: Order.


Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for my friend the Minister responsible for Women's Issues pertaining to the pornography issue that was discussed in a statement by his colleague today. Unfortunately, the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Elgie) is not here; I would have preferred to have addressed the question to him. However, knowing of the minister's interest in this matter and because he is trying to co-ordinate the government's response to it, I want to ask him this question.

Is it going to be the government's approach to have the police lay obscenity charges under the Criminal Code for every videotape that is found in various video stores, achieve a prosecution and then come into this House and have the Solicitor General (Mr. G. W. Taylor) read out the titles for all to know? Or is it going to be the government's approach to try to move, after consultation with his colleagues, into some kind of control mechanism here; i.e., the Ontario Censor Board? Will he have or has he had discussions with his colleagues with respect to that initiative? What are the results of those discussions? What is he going to do about it?

2:20 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, those discussions are still going on. Certainly, the Criminal Code is beyond the jurisdiction of this Legislature. Indeed, the Criminal Code is quite clear with respect to offences. No doubt the law enforcement people will continue to enforce the provisions of the code.

As to the other aspects of the honourable member's question and the relationship between the activities of the censor board at present and the expansion of its jurisdiction, this matter is under review by the ministry.

Mr. Peterson: The minister will recall I asked him this question on May 26, shortly after he assumed his new responsibilities. He said at that point he was going to defer giving specific answers until he had a chance to communicate with his colleague. How long is it going to take him to deal with this issue and to catch up with this explosion?

It is admitted on all sides that is what is happening: there is an explosion of new pornographic material. In the circumstances, does the minister not think that having the censor board look at this matter and giving it jurisdiction would be a reasonable way to handle it?

Hon. Mr. Welch: I would assume all members of the House would be appreciative of the decision which was made within the last day or two where we now have a current statement with respect to community standards on a very important subject matter. I do not think there is a member of this House who would like to stand by idly and see women or children degraded in the ways to which reference is made in that decision.

Whatever is the most effective way to accomplish the purpose, I see nothing particularly partisan in this approach. It is a cancer in society that has to be addressed, whatever the effective ways are to do it, consistent with other rights with respect to artistic expression and all those sorts of things. All these matters have to be taken into account. The member would be the first to agree it is a matter of balance.

We do not take this responsiblity lightly. I know the minister in due course will have some views to express on this subject.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, I wonder whether the minister would take into consideration what is within the jurisdiction of this assembly; namely, develop the kind of legislation which would provide some kind of regulation in the field of those who distribute videotapes so there will then be some way in which this government, through an act of this Legislature, can effectively deal with the major question, the question of volume of distribution and the extent and degree of distribution of videotapes which may be held to be obscene.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I think both the tone and substance of that question are very helpful and should be taken into account.

Mr. Peterson: That is a proper point of view, but the minister will recognize the issue for this House is not the Criminal Code. Of course, I expect the minister to take his views to the federal minister on this matter, as we have. The question is, what can we do here? Clearly, the Ontario Theatres Act can be amended. He can move to give his friend the minister jurisdiction over licensing and distribution.

Does the minister not feel we have a responsibility to move now, or else we are going to see the courts tied up ad infinitum? His friend the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) of course is very much against tying up the courts unless it serves his own interest in this matter. We do not need a speech about how serious this is. We need action in Ontario.

What time frame is the minister going to give us so we can develop a plan here in Ontario? Will he take our suggestion that the members of this House from all sides be involved in a select committee in the development of those community standards to get around the prior constitutional problem we had?

Surely there is a specific plan of action we can take here to stem this rising tide of pornography. Why does the minister not do something?

Hon. Mr. Welch: I am sure it will come as no surprise to my friend the Leader of the Opposition that the Solictor General and the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations have been meeting on this subject over a period of time and no doubt will be assisted greatly by the terms of the decision to which the Solicitor General has made reference in the House.

I think I have also on another occasion had the opportunity to review with the House the actions that have been taken. The Attorney General has written to the Honourable Mark MacGuigan, calling for amendments to subsection 159(8) of the Criminal Code. Metro Toronto's Special Committee in Response to Street Violence against Women and Children is addressing this issue and expects to have some helpful suggestions in its report expected later this fall. The women's directorate has been meeting with concerned citizens.

I think the spirit is here with respect to wanting to move. I think we want to move in those areas in which we have some jurisdiction, making it quite clear that we view quite seriously the exploitation of women and children in this way. Indeed, it will be the subject matter of some concerted activity.


Mr. Rae: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Attorney General. I must say I find it ironic that on the same day the Solicitor General (Mr. G. W. Taylor) is able to rise in his place and comment extensively on a decision taken yesterday by Judge Borins without equivocation and with clarity in terms of the position of the government, today from the Attorney General we have total side-stepping equivocation and no clarity --

Mr. Speaker: Question, please.

Mr. Rae: -- at all with respect to workers' rights in this province.

I would like to ask the Attorney General, getting to the nub, the heart and the pith of the judgement that was made by the three judges of the Divisional Court -- all three judges found that if the freedom of association guaranteed in the Charter of Rights means anything it means a freedom to organize, a freedom to negotiate and a freedom to strike -- whether he accepts the judgement of the Divisional Court when the judges say the freedom of association contained in the Charter of Rights implies those three basic rights for all the working people in Ontario.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, an example of the confusion in the member's own mind is the fact that he would compare Judge Borins's decision on a videotape with obscenity prosecution with this 180-page judgement under a very complex piece of legislation. That he would see an analogy between the two judgements, I think, is quite a vivid illustration of the confusion that reigns in his own mind.


Hon. Mr. McMurtry: It is quite clear the member for Ottawa East (Mr. Roy) does not have any monopoly in that regard. I do not know what I am going to do about it.

The fact is that the member for York South (Mr. Rae) was called to the bar not long ago and he knows that case must be read in the context of the particular piece of legislation and in that context alone.

Mr. Rae: The Attorney General is equivocating on a basic constitutional issue in this province.

Mr. Speaker: Order. Question, please.

Mr. Rae: I would like to ask the Attorney General, without condescension for a moment, if he would have the courtesy to come clean with the people of this province and say whether he understands the meaning of freedom of association in the Charter of Rights or not. Does he think workers have a right to organize in this province or does he not?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: That is an unrelated question.

Mr. Rae: It is not an unrelated question.

Mr. Speaker: Supplementary. The member for Ottawa East.

Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, if I may --

Mr. Martel: The minister is more of a joker than I thought.

Mr. Rae: The minister does not understand the first thing about this legislation. He does not understand the judgement. He does not understand the case.

Mr. Speaker: Order. For the edification of the member for Sudbury East (Mr. Martel), and I will not say this again, I have no control over the way ministers choose to answer questions.

Mr. Martel: No, he can be insulting and you can protect him when he plays the part of a buffoon.


Mr. Speaker: I thought the member for Sudbury East had a better understanding of what went on. I am going to have to ask him to withdraw that. You are imputing motive, the very thing you object to every day of the week.

Mr. Martel: All right. I will withdraw the imputation.

Mr. Speaker: Thank you. The member for Ottawa East.

Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, I address my supplementary with some trepidation because it appears we are all confused except the Attorney General of Ontario who, at different times, has faced the Supreme Court of Canada and, in this case, the Divisional Court where three judges, without equivocating, said he was wrong.

Mr. Speaker: Question, please.

Mr. Roy: He is the one who is wrong. Let us see if we cannot help him pick up the pieces here.

Mr. Speaker: With all respect, I would have to point out to the member for Ottawa East that this is not that period of time when he instructs what is to be done by others. This is oral question period. You may place your question.

Mr. Roy: I apologize, Mr. Speaker. I got carried away a little bit there.

2:30 p.m.

May I ask this? The Attorney General stated, and we have all read, that the Divisional Court --


Mr. Roy: Reuben, did you want to get in on this?

Mr. Speaker: Never mind the interjections.

Mr. Roy: Is he the one who is giving advice to --

Mr. Speaker: Order. Excuse me, but this is an abuse of question period. I must ask the member to place his question immediately.

Mr. Roy: The Attorney General will understand, all of us will understand and none of us is confused by the fact the Divisional Court has struck down and said section 13 is contrary to the charter.

Given that situation and given the Attorney General's statement that there may be an appeal, is he prepared to get in touch with the federal Attorney General to see whether he can refer this matter directly to the Supreme Court of Canada so we can get a decision on this as expeditiously as possible?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, if the member had any understanding of our procedure, he would know the Attorney General for Canada has no such authority.

Mr. Rae: Mr. Justice Smith on pages 26 and 27, Mr. Justice Galligan on page 33, and Mr. Justice O'Leary on pages 60 and 61, all say almost precisely the same thing. The judgement of Mr. Justice Smith says, "The freedom to associate as used in the charter not being on its face a limited one, includes the freedom to organize, to bargain collectively and as a necessary corollary to strike."

I am asking the Attorney General of this province a very simple, basic question with respect to a fundamental question of constitutional law in this province. I would like a very simple and direct answer from the Attorney General. Does he accept that interpretation of the meaning of the phrase "freedom of association"? If he does not accept it, what is his interpretation of the meaning of "freedom of association" in Ontario in 1983'?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I took great care in including in my very succinct and clear statement, the statement of the Lord Chancellor. I hoped that the member might have encountered it on the occasional days he attended class in law school. He obviously did not, because he is deliberately attempting to create a great cloud of smoke about this whole issue.

I will just repeat the words I said. One cannot take one judgement and one particular piece of legislation and a judgement in relation to that, and say it applies to all legislation that might deal with freedom of association, collective bargaining and the right to strike. That is why I read the words of Lord Halsbury.

This is an important issue. The member is the one who is trying to obscure the point of the judgement and trying to do it very deliberately. I repeat the words that I said before. "Every judgement must be read as applicable to the particular facts proved, or assumed to be proved, since the generality of the expressions which may be found there are not intended to be expositions of the whole law, but governed and qualified by the particular facts of the case in which the expressions are found."

If that case is not appealed it may be appealed by some of the other parties who won a battle but lost the war -- and if the Divisional Court has had the last word on this particular case with respect to that particular section, then that section will fall.

What the member is trying to suggest is if that section falls, therefore any other legislation dealing with the issue of collective bargaining or the right to strike is somehow caught up in the same question. That is how I interpret his question.

Mr. Rae: All I can say is that one of the things I did as a law student was to attend the Supreme Court of Canada hearings in 1975 when the Attorney General fell flat on his face representing this province --

Mr. Speaker: Question please.

Mr. Rae: -- and I have not noticed any improvement in his performance in the eight years since then. I say this with great respect.


Mr. Rae: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the minister's seatmate, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, in his capacity as acting Minister of Health.

It concerns the privatization of health services in Ontario, and in particular the AMI (Canada) Ltd. contract in Hawkesbury, Ontario. I would like to ask the minister if he could comment on the following remarks made by the head of the Toronto General Hospital, who pointed out in an interview to a reporter from Canadian Business in September 1983:

" ... 'a nonprofit organization, such as the Toronto General, could have supplied the contract management to Hawkesbury just as efficiently as AMI. The advantage of a nonprofit doing it is that savings created at the hospital would be guaranteed to go back into the health care system, rather than being returned to the investors in a for-profit company.' To the suggestion that the profit motive creates the efficiencies that create the savings, Vickery Stoughton has a one-word reply, 'Baloney.'"

I would like to ask the acting Minister of Health -- I know he is being prompted by his seatmate the Treasurer (Mr. Grossman), but if he could just answer the question for a moment on his own -- I would like to ask him, quite simply and quite directly, if there was a problem at the Hawkesbury hospital, why was the contract for management given to a for-profit American company rather than to a not-for-profit hospital in Ontario that would have been willing to do it, when the savings would have been kept within the health care system rather than them going to the United States'?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, the answer to the question is, first, the decision to have AMI run that hospital was made by the hospital board. That is first; remember that. Second, they put out tenders; they put out a call and there were three responses. One was the Ottawa Civic Hospital, the other was AMI, and I cannot recall the third one offhand. The hospital board picked AMI to do the job; remember that now. The hospital board, the local community board of that hospital picked this organization.

One of the reasons they picked it was that the AMI arrangement was to help the funding for the new addition to the Hawkesbury hospital and that new hospital would not have been able to have been funded if it had not been for the arrangement with AMI. I am sure that was one of the further reasons that particular firm was chosen to carry out this particular task.

Mr. Rae: Would the minister care to comment on statements that are made in this same article? I am quoting from this article written by Mr. Daniel Stoffman in Canadian Business of September 1983, "What really won AMI the Hawkesbury contract was the $6-million loan at prime rate plus half a percentage point that AMI arranged with the Bank of Montreal in consideration for making the bank one of its international bankers."

I would like to ask the minister, did any of the competitors on the nonprofit side have, in any way, shape or form, financial backing from the public sector that in any sense matched these kinds of preferential rates given by the Bank of Montreal for its own reasons with respect to AMI?

Hon. Mr. Wells: I really do not think that is relevant. The relevant thing here is that a community board decided that this was the organization that could undertake the task of managing the hospital, could get the finances it needed and the new building done. I am not saying that every hospital in this province, or even nearly every hospital, should be run in this way. However, I am saying that this province should not be afraid to try some innovative ways of handling the health care system. Let us give the AMI experiment in Hawkesbury a little further chance. It happens to be succeeding now, so the member is starting to throw mud on it and I do not think that is necessary.

Mr. Boudria: Mr. Speaker, in view of the fact that the hospital board likes the service, that the medical profession, the staff and the patients are all pleased with the service there, and that the leader of the third party equated the qualifications of the administrator to that of a first-year business student, thereby insulting my constituents, I wonder if the minister would instruct them to keep out of Prescott-Russell before they lose the remaining 10 votes they have left?

2:40 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr Speaker, I have learned one thing in my 20 years in this House and that is I always pay attention to what the local member for any riding says about institutions in his own riding.

Mr. Rae: The Liberal Party has a new version of a prayer. It is, "Give us this day our daily position."

I would like to ask the minister a question with respect to the anti-trust suit against AMI involving the acquisition of a Beverly Hills, California hospital for which AMI paid double what the vendors were willing to accept in order to obtain a monopoly in that city. When I asked a question last year with respect to that conviction of his predecessor by one, his seatmate the Treasurer, the Treasurer replied that it would be inappropriate to comment on it before judgement had been rendered.

Now that judgement has been rendered, would the minister like to comment on that conviction and on the appropriateness of that company operating in Ontario, when there are lots of qualified people in the community of Hawkesbury and in the nonprofit sector right across this province willing to provide an efficient value for service without seeing the profits simply get siphoned off and go to the United States as is now the position of the Liberal Party of this province?

Hon. Mr. Wells: I think my proper position right here, and I do not have that judgement, is to tell my friend that I will undertake to get that judgement. I will give it to my legal adviser and colleague the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) and see what he might have to say about it. Considering the way the member opposite seems to have the other judgement rather mixed up, or perhaps misconstrued, I would like to wait until I have his comments.

Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development (Mr. Sterling) who just left the chamber, so I will have to stand that down in favour of my colleague.


Mr. Eakins: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Tourism and Recreation. With respect to the change in last spring's budget which restricted retail sales tax rebates for tourists only to those purchases of $100 or more, would the minister inform us as to whether this move to impose a minimum sale level on the purchase is part of an overall plan eventually to phase out the visitors' retail sales tax rebate; and if so, does the minister support such a move?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, as the member for Victoria-Haliburton knows, we will be beginning our estimates tomorrow and I would be very pleased at that time to go fully into that question.

Mr. Eakins: This is the forum for asking questions. We have had a lot of inquiries about this. I would like to further ask the minister, was a poll taken during 1982 on the usefulness or effectiveness of the sales tax rebate and also on who benefited from it the most? If so, could the minister make the results of that poll available to the Legislature? I would also ask the minister why this brochure is never displayed at the government information office on Bay Street, as intended, but hidden instead under the counter as though it was some pornographic material. Why is it not being displayed where it should be?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: There certainly has never been any intent or practice on the part of my ministry to hide or in any way cover up the idea that American tourists coming in here can get a rebate on the sales tax. There has never been anything; never once has this been brought to my attention. If that is the case, I will certainly correct it. I want to tell the member that in our advertising, in our campaigns and in our marketing material, we are constantly telling our American friends that if they do come here they can get their seven per cent sales tax rebate.


Mr. Cooke: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the acting Minister of Health. I wonder if the minister could tell me under what authority the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Pope) operates when he fires a subcommittee of the district health council in Cochrane which was planning for a new district hospital and appoints his own committee to plan for that hospital. Under what authority is the Minister of Natural Resources operating and which committee is now legal, the district health committee or the Pope committee?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I am aware of what has happened there. I think there was a long-standing agreement that some kind of joint board would be appointed. I have full confidence that the local member up there has the situation in hand and that the matter will be proceeding.

Mr. Cooke: The minister has not answered my question. There was a committee in place that was authorized, as I understand, by legislation that sets up district health councils and gives that board the authority. I would like to know what authority the Minister of Natural Resources, as the local member for that riding, has to fire an existing committee and appoint his own board when there has been no order in council passed to legalize that committee.

The executive director of the health council does not know which committee is legal, and even the local press is now asking -- this happened a month ago -- which committee is legal, the Pope committee or the one that was set up by the legislation which set up the district health council.

Hon. Mr. Wells: We are at present in the process of appointing that board. It has not been appointed.

Mr. Cooke: What gives him the right to fire a board?

Hon. Mr. Wells: He has not fired any board or anything. He is working with it to make sure that the proper facilities are provided there. I say again that one thing we do here is work with the local member in his area to make sure that the problems are taken care of. I am sure he knows more about it than the member does.


Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Premier pertaining to the location of a famous power grid coming out of the Bruce Peninsula to service the London area. Now that the Chairman of Management Board (Mr. McCague) has made it clear to his cabinet colleagues and the Premier that he feels insufficient notice was given to the people concerned in this important matter that is concerning many land owners in southwestern Ontario, can the Premier tell the House that he is taking steps to have the joint board hold a rehearing on the proposals from Ontario Hydro?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I would ask the honourable member to allow me to correct on Thursday any errors in information I might repeat to him at the moment because I am going strictly by memory. My recollection is that the combined hearing board made a recommendation with respect to a certain alignment. I think the legislation now provides for a hearing as to the particular location within the general alignment.

I think our Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) has felt what Hydro's legal people have agreed to is appropriate. Those who felt they did not receive proper notification in the first hearing would have an opportunity--

Mr. McKessock: Which they didn't.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am just trying to be helpful. If the member wants to interrupt and tell his recollection, I would be delighted to sit down, but I am trying to recall for his colleague what the approach is going to be.

I understand that those who felt they had not had proper notification when the combined hearing board was suggesting -- what were there? -- six possible routes will have an opportunity to appear at this hearing as it relates to a specific route within the corridor recommended by the hearing board and they will have an opportunity to raise whether or not the hearing board should have selected that route vis-à-vis some other route.

It is not a question of ordering a rehearing per se, but it is giving these people an opportunity at the next hearing to present their concerns with respect to the decision made initially. I think that is my best recollection generally of what is being entertained. If there is some variation from that, I will be delighted to clarify it for the honourable member on Thursday.

Mr. Nixon: Is the Premier not aware that the Chairman of Management Board has submitted new evidence to the chairman of Hydro and also to his cabinet colleagues, according to a story in the Globe and Mail, that indicates -- and I simply quote from the Chairman of Management Board -- as follows: "I am convinced that local residents should be given a full opportunity to persuade the joint board that plan M3 has significant disadvantages in comparison to the other plans previously rejected by the board"?

2:50 p.m.

The Premier must surely be aware that the second set of hearings are simply as to the exact location in the corridor already selected and approved by cabinet. In no way is that going to meet the objection that those people concerned with the power lines are not going to have any input as to whether they should run through their community or not. Would the Premier not agree that only a rehearing on this important matter will provide the sort of solution that will meet the objections expressed by the Chairman of Management Board and many others, including myself?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I think we have to be a bit careful. I do not want to create any expectations with the constituents of some of the member's colleagues and my own as to what one means by a rehearing.

My understanding is that those who felt they had not had proper notice for the initial hearings will be given an opportunity at this hearing to make their objection. I assume they are going to say the initial decision by the hearing board as to one of the five or six routes was in error and that there is a preferable route. So it does not really amount to a rehearing per se, but it is an opportunity for them to state to the board their views as to why the board should have selected some other route.


Mr. Allen: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Education on the subject of the Ontario Schools: Intermediate and Senior Divisions program reforms she has recently announced in their final form. As I look at these, I note the ministry itself has prepared a list in which 18 of the 24 proposed courses will not be ready before the fall of 1984.

Principals planning for calendar deadlines next month do not have courses to enter in their calendars. Also there is no evidence in the estimates of funding for new texts and learning resources. Furthermore, publishers meeting with the Circular 14 committee to establish publishing deadlines for new materials are aghast at the state of unreadiness of materials for publication. Parents and children do not know anything at this time and will not know until next spring about prerequisite subjects --

Mr. Speaker: Question, please.

Mr. Allen: Why is the minister pushing the boards into this reform when nothing appears to be in readiness for actual staging next fall? She is putting a paper structure of credits in place but no content. Is she seriously interested in reforming the curriculum in the light of today's needs or just making cosmetic changes in time for the next election?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, in response to the final question of the member, I am deadly serious about the reforms in education at the secondary school level. It is essential that we move forward. The advice we had from all the secondary school headmasters was that if the structural arrangements could be clarified for them by the fall of 1983, they were ready to integrate the new program in the fall of 1984. They required the arrangements regarding the organizational patterns only and the basic requirements in order to prepare their staff to move forward.

The regional offices of the Ministry of Education are in the process of arranging intensive workshops with representatives of the educational system throughout the province in order to help them with the development of plans and programs for introduction in 1984.

The member is quite incorrect. Within OSIS there is very clearly the statement that it is the board's decision to determine whether they are going to be ready in 1984 or not. If they feel they are not, they may apply to the minister for permission to delay a further year. The flexibility and the matter of choice, which is an integral part of the re-establishment of secondary education throughout this document, is an integral part of OSIS as well and a part of that proposal for the school boards.

Mr. Allen: Anybody in the field is really unaware that the ministry is coming down pretty hard on implementation in the fall of 1984. I wonder if the minister can ignore the widespread, almost unanimous concern among the teaching profession with respect to the pressure the new, rigorous, rigid program is going to place upon basic level and general level students.

Given that in recent years much larger percentages of students in that group have persisted to the end of the system or near the end of it, and given that there remains a substantial drop-out rate in the school system, does the minister not think the new program will increase the drop-out rate, increase youth unemployment and add to the numbers of functionally illiterate in this population, who are already 20 per cent of the adult population? For this group, is she choosing the old, failed solutions the education system has long since passed by?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: No, we are not choosing old, failed solutions. What we have done is listen to the concerns of educators at the level from which the honourable member has lately departed, and we have listened very carefully to the concerns they have expressed. We have also listened to the concerns of students, parents and employers, people who are going to be involved in the educational programs, the training and the further life experience of all of these young people. We have provided a means which is anything but rigid and anything but outmoded and does understand and does define the needs of young people in a society which is increasingly complex in terms of their basic educational requirements for future advancement.

I hope the member will look very sympathetically at OSIS and at Renewal of Secondary Education and understand that it is for the benefit of all children, particularly the children who are educated within the general and basic levels of education.

Mr. Mancini: That's not what you said in February 1981.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: That's exactly what I said.

Mr. Bradley: We explored this with the minister last week in estimates.

Mr. Mancini: You said exactly the opposite.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: You're wrong.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Bradley: When we explored at some length the issue of the implementation of OSIS in the estimates last week, it was revealed by the minister in answer to some of our questions that it would not be as easy as some would think for boards of education to opt out in this initial year. I do not want to get at that specific question; I want to get at this question because it has arisen out of the OSIS implementation.

Does the minister not recognize now that virtually every school in the province will be forced to go to the semester system in order to implement OSIS as she has suggested it be implemented, and that the adjustments she has suggested for those schools that do not want to go to semestering are simply not practical?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: For the members of this House, I would like to reiterate that the primary purpose for establishing the secondary education review project in the first place was to deal with our concerns regarding the students educated at the general level and the basic level.

We have been saying that right across the province. Anyone who suggests something different is misinformed.

In response to the question from the member for St. Catharines, there is very real concern there might be pressure to move the entire school system into the semestered mode. I would remind members there is no rigidity in terms of the school day and there is no rigidity in the numbers of hours of educational programs that must be provided. There should be flexibility in those who are concerned about the scheduling within the school system, and that kind of flexibility can ensure the program can be accommodated within a nonsemestered school.


Mr. Speaker: New question, the member for Port Arthur.


Mr. Speaker: Fort William, sorry.

Mr. Bradley: Join us, Mickey.

Mr. Hennessy: It is not an honour.

Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Labour. Has the minister any further news or information regarding the Port Arthur shipyards' lockout of 65 employees by management? The situation is very serious, with no payment from the union, no unemployment insurance, no welfare and no money coming in for the families of the workers. If the minister has any information or news, I would like him to give it to us.

3 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Ramsay: Mr. Speaker, I am afraid the information I have is the same as I gave yesterday; that is, it takes two parties to mediate. Our director of conciliation and mediation services has been attempting to get the two parties back to the bargaining table but thus far has been unsuccessful. He is optimistic that he will be able to do so in the near future, but at this point he has to have the approval of both parties before he gets them back.

Mr. Hennessy: With all due respect, when is the minister going to have something positive? The people in Thunder Bay cannot wait for management to unlock the doors. I have had a few women calling my offices here and in Thunder Bay in regard to the anxiety they are experiencing. Instead of us just dilly-dallying around, we should get in touch with the management and tell them to get off their backsides and open up the bloody doors.

Mr. Kerrio: That's a good question.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Best question in weeks.

Mr. Van Horne: A straight question; it deserves a straight answer.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Ramsay: I assure the honourable member I will do everything possible to untangle the deadlock currently in existence.

Perhaps I can take this opportunity to point out with some measure of pride on behalf of the department of conciliation and mediation services that there are probably fewer people on strike or, putting it another way, more people working than there have been for quite some number of years. There are fewer than 2,000 people on strike at present. That is a tribute to the very capable conciliation and mediation officers of our ministry. I hope that those circumstances of having fewer people out on strike will continue.


Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development, who continues to be responsible for freedom of information and who suddenly this past summer was transformed into rather a zealot in the protection of individual privacy.

He wrote a letter to the Globe and Mail, published on August 26, just two months ago, in which he stated that "a small government agency could be created which would have the authority to ensure that personal data was only used in accordance with general principles." He went on further to write, "If we are going to protect the privacy of individuals, we must give them certain rights of access to their records in addition to the ability to correct any false information."

Since these are two of the very principles I enshrined in my own private member's bill, Bill 6, which is on the order paper, and they can easily be put into general legislation, can the minister inform us why he has not yet presented a government bill to the House on freedom of information?

Hon. Mr. Sterling: Mr. Speaker, I think I may have answered this question once before. I want to indicate to the honourable member that the remarks made in my letter to the Globe and Mail during the summer related to the privacy aspect of the access to information and privacy act that I have been charged with framing.

I also wish to tell him that just yesterday I met with one of the three commissioners of access and privacy law from Quebec, and last evening I met with the privacy commissioner of Canada to discuss with him some proposals I intend to put forward to my cabinet colleagues in the very near future.

Mr. Breithaupt: Since the minister also wrote in that letter that "a watchdog of our privacy is required and I would hope that we will be able to meet this challenge successfully," and since he has had further meetings now and there is still no legislative action to accompany these very laudable and high-sounding comments, will the minister not agree that there is a grave disappointment among those persons who are interested in this subject that we have not seen legislation? Can the minister give us a commitment to introduce a bill on this subject in this fall session of the House?

Hon. Mr. Sterling: I believe the matter I was referring to in my letter concerned data protection in relation to electronic means of collecting information. As the member may be aware. there is no legislation that I am aware of in any jurisdiction in the world covering this particular area. I indicated this in the speech to businessmen in September, and I have invited various colleagues from across the country to meet with me, in the perhaps not too distant future, in relation to developing privacy law relating to data protection in the electronic area. That was what I was referring to in the article.

I am not able to give a commitment to the House that I could submit legislation during this fall period, because I have not developed that area of the law. The member is mixing that matter with the other initiative I am also undertaking. As I indicated in my answer to his first question, I hope to have a new proposal in front of the cabinet in relation to that matter in the very near future.


Mr. Wildman: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Labour. More than one third, or $254,438 of the total funding of $642,967 for the clinic at St. Michael's Hospital, the only occupational health clinic of its kind in the province and indeed the whole country, came from this ministry. In view of this fact, can the minister explain why the ministry has informed the clinic that it cannot expect continued financial assistance from the provincial government?

Hon. Mr. Ramsay: Mr. Speaker, I do not believe we have indicated that there would not be financing available. What we are trying to indicate is that our resources are not as unlimited as they may have been at one time and that we have to be very cautious about the use of our money.

The St. Michael's Hospital occupational and environmental health clinic is a model establishment. We are very pleased with its operations; there is no criticism at all of that. It is just that we are having very serious problems in trying to meet all the demands upon the mandated responsibilities of our ministry.

Mr. Wildman: The minister is aware that his officials have informed the clinic that it would have to obtain broader financial sponsorship. Can the minister explain to us where the clinic is supposed to get this financial sponsorship and still be able to maintain its independence, especially when one considers that the scientific research done at the clinic often results in verification of workers' compensation claims in the area of occupational health and illness?

How is the clinic to maintain its independence if it has to get financial assistance from places other than the ministry and the education community?

Hon. Mr. Ramsay: We have to make one point abundantly clear. The letter the honourable member refers to did not necessarily mean that government funding would be cut. We simply cautioned the clinic that the funds were not unlimited and that it would be practical for them to look around for other funding.

The member has asked, "Where would that other funding come from?" It might be available through the hospital itself, through the university, through --

Mr. Martel: The Workers' Compensation Board.

Hon. Mr. Ramsay: I am coming to that -- through the Workers' Compensation Board and possibly through companies and labour unions. We are just suggesting that the pot is getting a little low and that we have to be very practical as far as long-term plans are concerned.

The important point I have to make today is that my ministry has not said the funding would be cut off or limited. We have just indicated a measure of caution to the clinic as far as long-term planning is concerned. In the short term, our ministry certainly is committed to looking after the clinic.

3:10 p.m.

Mr. Mancini: Mr. Speaker, the letter sent by the minister certainly is a matter or concern. It indicates that in the very near future this clinic can depend less and less on government funding.

In view of the fact that the minister feels the clinic can obtain funds from other sources, and in view of the fact that occupational health is such an important matter, why does he not take it as one of his responsibilities to head up a group that will work together to ensure the clinic will not be short of funds?

If he feels this group should consist of people from the Workers' Compensation Board, people from industry, people from unions, etc., why does he not assist in putting a group like this together to ensure the clinic will be able to operate in a smooth manner over a long period of time? I believe that is one of his obligations.

Hon. Mr. Ramsay: Mr. Speaker, there have been comments here today relative to a letter from the ministry. I do not believe there has been any letter from the ministry indicating that their funds are going to be curtailed.

As I understand it, in late September of this year Ms. Goldhar, the director of communications for the occupational and environmental health unit at the University of Toronto, wrote to our communications branch to ask whether a speaker could be made available for an immediate visit to the St. Michael's Hospital clinic. The visit was to be a part of university day activities.

It was decided that Dr. Pelmear should present a short statement on behalf of the ministry. The presentation, which was made on October 5, commented on the work of the clinic and discussed the ministry's participation in this and other endeavours. We have other obligations as well in the occupational health field.

The point was made that lottery grants are only available as seed money and, consequently, that the clinic would be advised to seek broader financial sponsorship. There has been no letter from this ministry, and certainly I have not written any such letter, telling them that their funding would not be readily available.


Mr. Haggerty: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Transportation and Communications relating to the reciprocal agreements between Ontario and the different American states.

Blue Apple Consulting of Toronto, commissioned by the Ontario Trucking Association, prepared a truckers' report which warns of dislocation under the border policy. It states that US truckers already enjoy an advantage over Ontario carriers in opening the border to full deregulation. As many as 5,000 jobs, $1 billion in annual revenues and $350 million in annual government revenue could be at stake.

Is the minister aware that the present government policies in this sensitive area of negotiations, if not reviewed now, may well lead to an additional loss of Canadian jobs in the trucking industry?

As to the present situation regarding Red Star Express Lines of Auburn Inc., New York, it has laid off a number of employees with long years of service by moving its operations to New York state, with a dispatch office in Toronto, phasing out its operations in Fort Erie.

Will the minister review the present government policies so that jobs and revenues are the top priorities for Ontario? Will he refer the matter of deregulation to a standing committee for review?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I had some trouble following the gist of the honourable member's question. The matter of deregulation is not up for consideration as far as I am concerned.

For the past two years there has been a joint committee of the industry and the government. By the industry, I mean the trucking industry, the manufacturing industry, the shipper as well as the hauler. Along with the government, they have spent two years on the public commercial vehicles review committee. They have made their recommendations to me, and those have been tabled. Now an implementation committee has been established to review and plan the implementation of the recommendations, which were fully supported by the trucking industry. But that is not deregulation. It is changes, updating and the creation of a new act to regulate the trucking industry.

I heard the member mention the reciprocity agreements that we have with the United States. That has nothing whatsoever to do with regulation. That is a reciprocity so that the Canadian truckers can drive in the United States with their plates, and the American truckers can drive in Ontario with theirs. We have reciprocity agreements with our sister provinces as well. That has nothing to do with regulation. It does not give them any operating authority whatsoever. It only gives authority like he has with his automobile to drive into New York state without having to buy a New York plate.


Mr. Rae: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: In the course of asking questions to the Minister of Health, I misstated myself. I said the hospitals in question in the United States, owned by American Medical International Inc., were in Beverly Hills. That is not correct. The headquarters of AMI is in Beverly Hills, but the hospitals in question are in the county and city of San Luis Obispo in California. I just want to clear the record on that.



Mr. McKessock: Mr. Speaker, I have a petition:

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

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

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

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

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

This is presented by four pages of names of teachers from the Minto-Clifford Elementary School in Wellington county.

Mr. Samis: Mr. Speaker, I have a petition to the same effect from 250 teachers in Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, representing Lancaster Township Area Elementary School, Elma Elementary School, Chesterville Elementary School, Dixon's Corners Elementary School, Morrisburg Elementary School, Central Elementary School, Viscount Alexander Elementary School, Maxville Elementary School, Newington Elementary School, Rothwell Elementary School, Osnabruck District High School, East Front Elementary School, Martintown Elementary School, Finch Elementary School, Gladstone Elementary School, Roxmore Elementary School, Lancaster Elementary School, Seaway District High School, Iroquois Elementary School, Maple Ridge Senior Elementary School, Sydney Street Elementary School, John Sandfield MacDonald Resource Centre, Morewood Elementary School and Sir John Johnson Elementary School.

Mr. Eakins: Mr. Speaker, I have similar petitions to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

These petitions bear the signatures of 165 teachers representing Jersey Elementary School, Keswick Elementary School, Mount Albert Elementary School, Park Avenue Elementary School, Sharon Elementary School and Sutton Elementary School in Durham and York, South River Elementary School in Parry Sound, K. P. Manson Elementary School in Muskoka, Bancroft Elementary School in Hastings-Peterborough, and Coldwater and Medonte East Annex Elementary School in Simcoe East.

Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, I have petitions to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario along the same lines as the petitions presented by the other members.

They are from two schools for the trainable retarded, one in the borough of Scarborough and one in the city of Toronto, and they are signed by 10 teachers from the Beverley School for the Trainable Retarded and two teachers from the Birchmount Centre School for the Trainable Retarded. They ask that "the Ontario Legislature restore our free collective bargaining rights forthwith under Bill 100, the School Boards and Teachers Collective Negotiations Act."

I support these petitions, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. J. A. Reed: Mr. Speaker, I have a large number of petitions of an identical nature. They bear 538 signatures from 27 schools in the riding of Mississauga North. There are 15 signatures from Montclair Senior Elementary School in the city of Oakville, 13 signatures from the Silverthorn Elementary School in the riding of Mississauga East, signatures from Joseph Gibbons Elementary School in the town of Georgetown, Robert Little Public School in the great town of Acton, Limehouse Public School in that great village of Limehouse on the Niagara Escarpment, Stewarttown Senior Public School, and one petition from an individual teacher, Mr. A. J. Dennich, of Milton, Ontario.

3:20 p.m.

Mr. Martel: I would like to present a petition, Mr. Speaker.

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

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

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

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

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

The petition is from the great town of Capreol. I support this petition, and I hope all members who are introducing it will do the same.

Mr. Bradley: I have the following petition, Mr. Speaker:

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

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

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

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

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

This petition came from teachers at the following schools: Caistor Central Public School, College Street Public School, Jordan, Memorial Public School, Maywood Public School,Vineland Public School, Lincoln Centennial Public School, Gainsborough Public School, Queen Mary Public School, Westdale Public School, Campden Public School, Ferndale Public School, Lakeview Public School, Prince of Wales Public School, Lingarden School for the Trainable Retarded, Smith Public School, Edith Cavell Public School, Colonel John Butler Public School, Meadowvale Public School, Power Glen Public School, Consolidated Public School, Parliament Oak Public School, Jacob Beam Public School, Victoria Public School, Prince Philip Public School and Central Public School.

They are from residents in the provincial constituencies of Lincoln and Brock.

Mr. Di Santo: Mr. Speaker, I would like to present a petition in a similar vein, signed by 455 teachers of the following schools.

Dickson Hill Public School, O. M. MacKillop Public School, Westminster Public School, Bayview Glen Public School, Stornoway Crescent Public School, Flowervale Public School, Milliken Mills Public School, Willowbrook Public School, Crosby Heights Public School, Royal Orchard Public School, German Mills Public School, Thornhill Public School, Parkview Public School, James Robinson Public School, Franklin Street Public School, William Armstrong Public School, Reesor Park Public School, Unionville Public School, Roy H. Crosby Public School, Roselawn Public School, and Kleinburg Public School.

Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Speaker, I have two identical petitions, one from Wellington Square Public School, which is located in the great riding of Burlington South.

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

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

Although these teachers who teach at this school are constituents of mine, in the continuing absence of the Premier (Mr. Davis), I am very pleased to table a similar petition on behalf of 11 teachers at Fallingdale Junior Public School.

Mr. Grande: Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions. The first one reads:

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

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

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

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

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

This petition was signed by all of the teachers from J. R. Wilcox Junior Elementary School in the great riding of Oakwood.

The second petition, which is of the same nature, is signed by all of the teachers of Glenview Senior Public School in the great riding of Eglinton.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I have a petition addressed to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

"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 five teachers from Lynedoch Public School in Norfolk and 12 teachers from the North Public School of Simcoe.

Mr. Mackenzie: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present this petition addressed to 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;" -- how prophetic --

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

This is signed by 16 teachers of Collegiate Avenue School in the riding of Wentworth.

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, I have a petition in the same terms, signed by 10 teachers from South Windham Central Public School.

Mr. J. M. Johnson: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to present several petitions addressed to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

Last week I received a brown envelope containing petitions addressed to myself and the member for Cambridge (Mr. Barlow), and also five petitions addressed to the member for Grey (Mr. McKessock), the member for Halton-Burlington (Mr. J. A. Reed), the member for Kitchener-Wilmot (Mr. Sweeney), the member for Waterloo North (Mr. Epp), and the member for Kitchener (Mr. Breithaupt). I did not feel I had the right to table these petitions so I present them to the pages and ask them to deliver them to the honourable members on that side of the House.

Having said that, I would like to read the petition.

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

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

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

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

As chairman of the government caucus, and on their behalf, I am tabling the petitions addressed to my Progressive Conservative colleagues.



Mr. Boudria moved, seconded by Mr. G. I. Miller, first reading of Bill 98, An Act to Amend the Vital Statistics Act.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Boudria: Mr. Speaker, this bill removes all restrictions on the choice of the surname a child is given at birth and eliminates references to birth within or outside of marriage.

3:30 p.m.


Mr. Boudria moved, seconded by Mr. G. I. Miller, first reading of Bill 99, An Act to amend the Change of Name Act.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Boudria: Mr. Speaker, this bill would clarify the circumstances under which a divorced parent may change the name of children in his or her custody without the ex-spouse's consent, and would enable an unmarried parent to change the surname of the children in his or her custody to his or her own name by a similar procedure.

Mr. Speaker: May we have the permission of the House to revert to motions?

Agreed to.



Hon. Mr. Wells moved that Bill 61, An Act to regulate Off-Road Vehicles, be referred back to committee of the whole House for a minor amendment.

Motion agreed to.



Mrs. Scrivener moved second reading of Bill Pr2, An Act respecting Frontier College.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Mr. Kells moved second reading of Bill Pr17, An Act respecting the Canadian National Exhibition Association.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Mrs. Scrivener moved second reading of Bill Pr19, An Act respecting Family Day Care Services.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Mr. Watson moved second reading of Bill Pr21, An Act respecting the Institute for Christian Studies.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Mr. Runciman moved second reading of Bill Pr32, An Act respecting the Brockville Young Men's Christian Association/Young Women's Christian Association.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Mr. Renwick: In the absence of Mr. Shymko. I move second reading of Bill Pr36 --

Mr. Speaker: Order. The member for St. George is rising on a point of order.

Hon. Ms. Fish: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order: As provided for under standing order 22, I wish to declare a possible conflict of interest in this matter and advise that I will now remove myself from the chamber.

Mr. Speaker: The member for St. George (Ms. Fish) has declared a conflict of interest and is vacating her seat.

The member for Scarborough-Ellesmere.

Mr. Robinson: Mr. Speaker, I am not sure what my friend the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) is doing with this bill, but in the absence of Mr. Shymko, if that is your wish --

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, it seems to me the motion can be moved by my friend the member for Riverdale. He was interrupted by a point of order from the member for St. George, but I would have thought the matter should revert to the member from this side.

Mr. Speaker: As a matter of fact, as the member noticed, I did not recognize either of the two who rose. I recognized Ms. Fish. I waited for what I thought was a reasonable length of time and the member for Riverdale did not rise again so I recognized the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order: Before my friend the member for Riverdale goes too far with this, I did not hear you interfere with him at all when he was moving the motion. Are we to assume now that no motion was moved unless you have decided after the fact that it was appropriate or not?

Mr. Speaker: I have not made any such decision. I told the member how I made my decision.

Mr. Cassidy: Have you no sense --

Mr. Speaker: The member is arguing with me and that is not provided for.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, on the point of order, have you no sense of the frustration on this side when we have a chance to move a bill and actually see it enacted, and you interfere with that right which should belong to all members who before you should be treated as equals, and not some of the blue persuasion being more equal than others?

Mr. Speaker: Having been through the mill myself, as the member well knows, I can sense or appreciate --

Mr. Cassidy: Not the same mill as me, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: Perhaps not, but in actual fact the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere did rise and I did recognize him. He is about to place the motion.

Mr. Stokes: I wonder how Hansard is going to report what went on.

Mr. Speaker: I am not too sure, but it should be interesting. Let it be noted that the member for Lake Nipigon has made an interesting observation.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, on the point of order, is there not a danger that this motion may be improper? The city may not get its bill because of the fact that two or three members wound up moving second reading. Should we not revert to where we were a minute ago before the member for St. George rose?

Mr. Speaker: No, two or three members have not made the motion and I want to make that exceptionally clear. I have recognized the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere.

Mr. Robinson moved, on behalf of Mr. Shymko, second reading of Bill Pr36, An Act respecting the City of Toronto.

Mr. Speaker: Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry?

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker --

Mr. Speaker: The member for Riverdale, I presume you are going to debate this.

3:40 p.m.

Mr. Renwick: No, no, yes, sir.

Mr. Speaker, out of courtesy to the member for St. George (Ms. Fish), and as she did stand in her place to indicate the conflict of interest, the record should show this bill authorizes the council of the corporation of the city of Toronto to reimburse a former alderman, now the member for St. George, and another former alderman, Allan Sparrow, for legal costs which they incurred when a libel and slander action was brought against them during the course of their tenure in office and while they were acting in that capacity. The legal action against them was dismissed with costs. The record should simply show the interest which the member for St. George declared.

Mr. Speaker: The member for Riverdale, as always, has explained the point very clearly.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Mr. Cousens moved second reading of Pr38, An Act respecting New Horizons Day Centre Incorporated.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Hon. Mr. Ramsay moved second reading of Bill 68, An Act to amend the Employment Standards Act.

Hon. Mr. Ramsay: Mr. Speaker, as honourable members know, the purpose of the bill before us is to prohibit the use of lie detectors in the area of employment. While the use of lie detectors is not as widespread in Ontario as it is in the United States, there is evidence to suggest their use is increasing.

Let me give some examples of the types of situation which have come to the attention of my ministry with respect to lie detectors. All applicants for employment at a chain of dry cleaning stores are being required to submit to a lie detector test before being considered for employment. All of a microcomputer company's sales staff are being required to take routine lie detector tests. All employees of a restaurant are being required to take a lie detector test and those who refuse or fail the test are being discharged without consideration of other evidence.

From these examples, it may be observed that lie detector tests are being used in three ways in the employment context.

First, lie detectors are used to screen applicants for employment. The job applicant may be required to submit to a lie detector test and may be denied employment on the basis of the test results alone. The applicant may also be refused employment because he or she refused to take such a test.

Second, they are used in some establishments, such as certain convenience stores, to test employees at regular and frequent intervals. Discipline, including discharge, may result from a refusal to take a lie detector test or from inappropriate test results.

Third, they are used to test employees when a particular event, such as a theft, has occurred. Again, discharge may result from a refusal to take the test or from inappropriate test results.

As a matter of principle, in the opinion of the government, lie detector tests in the spirit of employment constitute an unwarranted invasion of privacy. The nature of the employment relationship puts the employee or prospective employee in a position where his or her employment is dependent upon submitting to and passing a lie detector test. In these circumstances it is manifest that the employee does not give a free and genuine consent. Moreover, a refusal to submit to the test is taken in the typical case to be sufficient in itself to trigger a decision as to whether to hire or fire an individual.

Similarly, unsatisfactory test results are taken on their own as sufficient evidence on which to base a decision to hire or fire. In either situation the employee or prospective employee is without recourse. This feature distinguishes the use of lie detectors in the employment context from their use during a police investigation, a distinction reflected in the bill.

Lie detector tests are not used by police forces in Ontario as a random screening device. Instead, they are one part of an extensive investigation focusing on an individual or, at most, on a very small group of individuals. The test results do not lead to the imposition of a sanction but are only one of the factors taken into account in deciding whether to lay charges in a particular situation. The ultimate decision on such charges is made by a court which does not have access to the test results and, thus, does not take them into account.

I note, as well, that Canadian judges have expressed great reluctance to admit lie detector test results as evidence in our courts. I might add that concerns have also been expressed in this House and elsewhere about the intrusive nature of the questions that make up the test. In my view, to require an individual to submit to a test which consists in part of intrusive questions about personal habits, alcohol or drug use and about one's family and friends, is unacceptable in the employment context.

These views are reinforced by a consideration of the operation of lie detector tests and their rate of accuracy and reliability. Of course, the term "lie detector" is a popular rather than scientific one since no machine literally detects lies. The polygraph measures involuntary responses and psychological stress evaluators measure changes in stress in the human voice. Both require interpretation by the operator of the machine.

The polygraph is generally held to be the most accurate lie detector. However, from the available information it appears that test results have a probable accuracy range of about 70 to 90 per cent. Less accurate lie detectors have a likely accuracy range of 50 to 90 per cent with the higher end of the range not commonly attained.

To my knowledge, there is no reliable data available on the accuracy of the polygraph for pre-employment screening or periodic employment tests, although the general nature of such tests would lead to the conclusion that they are less accurate than tests which arise from the occurrence of a particular event, such as a theft.

To illustrate the consequences of inaccuracy, let us assume that a company has 1,000 employees of whom 50 have committed some pilferage. Let us assume further that the employer decided to administer lie detector tests in an attempt to identify and then discharge those he believed to be guilty. If testing is 90 per cent accurate, 45 of the guilty employees will be discharged, that is, 90 per cent of the 50 guilty employees. But an additional 95 innocent employees will also be discharged, 10 per cent of the 950 innocent employees. Two thirds of the 140 who lose their jobs as a result of the testing will be innocent. If one assumes a still higher rate of accuracy, 95 per cent, half of those fired would be innocent.

In conclusion, I would like to remind honourable members that the use of lie detectors was reviewed extensively by the Royal Commission into Metropolitan Toronto Police Practices. The commissioner, Mr. Justice Morand, urged the Legislature to take action to deal with the use of lie detectors in the employment context. Since then several of my colleagues, including the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry), have expressed their disapproval of such tests, as have certain members opposite.

3:50 p.m.

The use of lie detectors in the work place is unacceptable to the government. They constitute an unwarranted invasion of privacy. They are of questionable accuracy and reliability. They engender a sense of fear in the work place that is destructive to good employer-employee relations. In prohibiting their use in employment, Bill 68 is a piece of progressive legislation.

In the United States, where the use of lie detectors is more widespread than in Ontario, at least 20 states have enacted legislation containing some form of prohibition of compulsory lie detector tests as a condition of initial or continued employment. The passage of this bill will make Ontario the first Canadian jurisdiction to provide particular statutory protection against lie detector testing and will enable us to avoid the problems that have been experienced in other jurisdictions.

Complaints of violations of these provisions will be dealt with by the employment standards branch. Employment standards officers are given the power to make appropriate remedial orders, including the reinstatement of the employee and the payment of compensation up to $4,000.

I am pleased to note that both parties opposite support the bill in principle and I look forward to hearing the comments of other members of the House.

Mr. Mancini: Mr. Speaker, I rise to join the minister in support of this legislation. As he has already indicated, the bill seems to have general approval in principle throughout the Legislature.

I have done some reading on this matter of lie detectors to apprise myself of the situation that is going on in the industry, how these lie detectors are being used and for what purpose they are being used. I understand that at the present time in some work places all types of closed-circuit cameras, mirrors and all kinds of gadgets of that nature are being used. Some people would use the argument that lie detectors would be used in place of these other so-called snooping devices.

That argument in itself breaks down when one looks at the accuracy figures we are given, not only by the people in the industry who use lie detectors and tell us they have a 92 per cent accuracy range, but by others who are not in the industry who tell us the accuracy range is as low as 70 per cent. Given that situation on its own, without considering any other matter in relation to lie detectors, it would suffice for all of us in the Legislature to have serious doubts and want to make it a tool that cannot be used. The minister in his remarks clearly gave us a scenario whereby many innocent people could be fired. That in itself is enough to prohibit the use of lie detectors.

The other matters which cause us concern and which should be discussed even if only briefly are, first, individual privacy and, second, the ability to have a work place which can be termed decent.

I am not sure how other members feel about it, but the use of lie detectors would have -- I think the word is chilling -- a chilling effect on the work place as their use does in every other location where they are being used. To think that one can be subjected to a lie detector test whenever an employer feels the need for one, or whenever a problem may arise, and to know you might be one of the innocent people fired, truly these are chilling feelings.

Over the past many years all of us have endeavoured to try to make the work place as decent and as humane as possible. Lie detectors, in my view, from all the information I have available and from the representations I have received, do not go forward in any way to make the work place a better place to work or a more humane place.

I could say a lot of strong things against lie detectors, but the information is available: the information is there. It appears we have agreement in principle on the use of lie detectors. I do not believe it would serve any purpose at present to bash the people who have used lie detectors or to bash people in the industry who are agreed on the principle of the bill, who are agreed on the need to pass the bill.

With those few comments, Mr. Speaker, I hope I have been able to state the party position. We support the general principle of this bill.

Mr. Mackenzie: Mr. Speaker, my party will obviously support the bill to ban the use of the polygraph machine. I noted with some interest that one of the examples of concerns that have been raised with the ministry by the minister is a laundromat operation. I suspect it was the Coinamatic operation that my colleague raised in this House last June when he pointed out the use of a lie detector to intimidate the employees in that particular operation.

I would also point out that we have raised this issue time and again, and also the issue of cameras, the kind of surveillance that goes on with workers, and the issue of improper questions asked in employment applications. It seems to me there are a number of areas a bill like this should be covering, not just the polygraph.

I am sorry if my feelings in this matter are a little strong for the Minister of Labour (Mr. Ramsay). I do not think there is one heck of a lot of credit coming to this government. I say that for this reason. We get a heart-wringing presentation about the effect on workers, about individuals' rights and civil liberties. We get this bill about the use of this kind of surveillance and how it should be done away with. We take one step forward to deal with one small area, the use of the polygraph.

At the same time, this government is kicking the living bejasus out of workers by cancelling contracts, denying them their rights, putting them under restraint and taking away very basic rights of collective bargaining. It seems to me we are going a mile backwards at the same time as we go a couple of inches forward.

I am sure nobody could oppose the bill. It should have been in a long time ago. Not only is it a violation of individual rights, but as has been pointed out by both the minister and the previous speaker, it is a machine that is not very accurate or effective. There are ways with certain drugs that one can completely get around it.

It is legislation dealing with interference in workers' rights that should have been done away with in this province a long time ago. But it pales in comparison to the destruction of workers' rights that we have seen within the last year in Ontario. Obviously, we will support this bill, but it is not giving us one heck of a lot in return for the damage that is being done.

Mr. Wrye: Mr. Speaker, I want to make a few remarks on this legislation. I want to start by congratulating this minister for what I think is a decent piece of legislation and a progressive change in the labour relations of this province. It is a change that is not going to be without some opposition from the business community. I regret that almost as much as I regret the fact that some members of the business community have chosen to use lie detectors in the first instance. I am very pleased to see that we are going to be putting an end to that kind of terrible invasion of the privacy of individual working men and women who wish simply to be employed in this province.

4 p.m.

The point should be made at the outset that, as the minister and all of us are well aware, we have had about 500,000 people out of work in Ontario over the past year or so. Today we have some 400,000 unemployed, if my memory serves me correctly. If an individual is brought before a company that uses a lie detector and is asked to take a lie detector test, faced with the fact that on the one hand he may object to it but on the other hand he has a wife and children and he needs to put food on the table, I cannot imagine that worker saying, "I will not take the test."

What a terrible dilemma that must be. There is no doubt in my mind, and I think this is generally believed and accepted by all parties in this Legislature, that these tests are a terrible intrusion. Licensed or unlicensed, and they certainly are not licensed today, these tests are a terrible intrusion upon the privacy of the individuals in this province.

In my previous incarnation, I was a journalist. When I went down to my previous place of employment in Windsor, that operation had been owned, until a few months before I was employed, by RKO General, which is a US broadcasting giant. I had my pre-employment interview. At the end, the individual who was interviewing me said: "Here is the application form. Fill it out. I think you are going to have the job."

I filled out the pre-employment application form, but when I got down to the bottom line, it said, "I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Communist Party or any of its affiliates," etc. I said, "I am not going to sign that." He said, "Well, you have to sign it." I told him that if I had to sign it, then maybe I did not really want the job, because I had another job in Toronto.

However, I can imagine myself in that same situation with a lie detector, with a certain firm of cleaning companies, which is present throughout Ontario and right now uses lie detectors, not only for pre-employment but also for casual checking as well as for incident-related checking. I do not believe for one minute that is acceptable in this day and age.

I think the minister has alluded to a number of the problems. First of all, there is the impropriety of the questions. Many of these unlicensed, so-called lie detector firms have attempted to use lie detectors ethically, if I can use that word, but others have just gone holus-bolus.

For example, I am aware that in a number of firms lie detectors are not used for preemployment screening only. They are not just used when there has been an incident, a shortage of cash or some other incident. They are used, rather, on a six-month, 12-month or two-year basis to simply make sure the employee has remained honest or for whatever reason.

My colleague the member for Essex South (Mr. Mancini) made a very important point in commenting that even those who are expert in the field, and who would have us retain this method of snooping, say the accuracy level is no more than 90 or 92 per cent. Indeed, as he has pointed out, some of the critics of polygraphs say the accuracy level may be 75 per cent or lower. That means, as the minister gave us some examples, that for every 10 dismissals, one will surely be for the wrong reason.

I can appreciate that my friend the member for Hamilton East (Mr. Mackenzie) feels very strongly about one step forward and a number of steps backward. I can appreciate his position on it. I may not entirely agree with him, but I do appreciate his position. However, I would not want his views to represent those of all of us, that this is a fairly major step forward for this province.

I am aware that while the minister points out that some 20 states in the union ban either outright or partially the use of polygraphs and lie detectors, there are some 36 that allow all or part in terms of lie detector testing. Indeed, in the United States the direction is the opposite from that which we are taking in Ontario.

For good and harmonious labour relations in this province and in each and every work place in this province -- not in the ones that use it and not in the ones that do not, but in each and every work place in the province -- I think it is very important that this aspect be brought to a halt.

The supporters of the system have suggested it is an excellent way of checking out prospective employees. Over my lifetime I have been a prospective employee, and I have been an employer. As an employer, I found that when I had an opening and a number of people applying for that opening, the best way of checking was to get on the phone to the references, to talk to people from the industry and from the applicants' personal lives and to discuss with them the qualities the applicants could bring to the job I was offering.

I do not think the polygraph is going to do that. I do not care whether one is talking about a professional individual in the industry I came from, or about somebody who is going to work as a clerk in a store. I think it is important that an individual put forward reasonable information, references and background, understanding of course that it may be checked out, and that the employment of an individual be done on that basis.

I join with my colleague the member for Essex South and my friends from the other two parties in saying I will be pleased to give this bill my support on second reading.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, as usual the minister brings in a bill that causes me a considerable degree of concern, but on balance I have to support the bill.

I have serious reservations about the section of the bill which provides that, "Nothing in this part shall apply so as to prevent a person from consenting to take and taking a lie detector test administered on behalf of a police force in Ontario or by a member of a police force in Ontario in the course of the investigation of an offence."

I have no specific knowledge of the extent and degree to which any police force uses the technique of a so-called lie detector test for the purpose of investigating crime, but I say to the minister that I cannot understand how a bill such as this would get through cabinet when it has that kind of exception in it. I would have assumed that the Attorney General Mr. McMurtry) or the Solicitor General (Mr. G. W. Taylor), who must have had something to do with carving out of that exception which appears in the bill, would have been very clearly aware of the Constitution of the country.

When I first heard the statement of the Minister of Labour when he introduced this bill, I thought he was just getting one jump ahead of a challenge, if anybody had wanted to, of the constitutionality of requiring anyone to take a lie detection test of any kind. In my view, humble as it may be, the provisions of the Charter of Rights, which are part of the Constitution of the country, specifically provide that, "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person" -- I underline "security of the person," and if I were writing it for the purposes of this debate I would put it in italics -- "and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice."

The document I happen to have before me also has a commentary with respect to that right: "The rights outlined in these sections spell out the basic legal protection that will safeguard us in our dealings with the state and its machinery of justice. They are designed to protect the individual and to ensure simple fairness should he or she be subjected to legal proceedings, particularly criminal cases."

4:10 p.m.

These rights are an expansion of those included in the Canadian Bill of Rights in 1960, and most of them already exist in Canada by precedent and practice or ordinary statute law. Enshrining them in the Constitution will assure Canadians that they will not be able to be taken away from us easily by the state or its law enforcement agencies.

Specifically, we are guaranteeing that the right to life, liberty and security of the individual will not be able to be taken away from us by the authorities of the state except by laws and procedures that are lawful and fair.

By including this clause, we give some credence or countenance to the view that the practice of the police in Ontario, to the extent they are using lie detection methods in the investigation of crime, is in accordance with the principles of our society and that it is in some way or other consistent with and not in breach of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

I do not happen to care particularly whether the machines are expert, refined, sophisticated or competent, but it is an intrusion on the security of the person for the police to use lie detection methods of the kind that will be prohibited by this bill in the investigation of offences.

It will be pointed out to me that the exception provides for a person consenting to take and taking a lie detector test administered on behalf of the police force in Ontario. That makes a caricature of the word "consent," because everyone knows if one is being investigated by the police for a crime that there is no way one can give or be said to give in any real sense a voluntary, free-will consent to taking such a test.

I simply say to the Minister of Labour that we support the bill. Certainly we will support the bill. But the exception of this particular provision in the bill is extremely offensive to me. For that reason, I am pleased that the Solicitor General inadvertently happens to be in the assembly at the present time, because I want to draw to his attention that I hope at some point the practice of the police will be subject to scrutiny by the courts on the question of whether it is an infringement of the right of a person to the security of his person. To me there is nothing more intrusive in our society on the security of the person than the intrusion of so-called pseudo-scientific psychological testing operations.

For those reasons, I wanted to comment on this bill. I do not happen to think the exception the government has spelled out in the bill is worth the paper it is written on, and it is certainly not worth my time to stand in committee of the whole House and move its deletion, but I did want to express those views.

I say to the Solicitor General that if he had any sense of the Constitution of the country, he would lean over and say to his colleague the Minister of Labour: "Put it into committee of the whole House. Delete that particular section of the bill." However, I know that is not the way the government operates when it has before it a matter affecting the individual liberty of the citizen; it is not a matter of major concern to this government.

Hon. Mr. Ramsay: Mr. Speaker, I simply want to thank the honourable members opposite for their comments on this bill.

Motion agreed to.

Bill ordered for standing committee on administration of justice.


Resuming the adjourned debate on the motion for second reading of Bill 86, An Act to amend certain Acts respecting Regional and Metropolitan Municipalities.

Mr. Swart: Mr. Speaker, in the few moments I had available to me last Tuesday night before adjournment, I was making some comments about the history of police authorities in this province, how they had evolved, and particularly the evolution within my time, which of course goes back a little way, from small forces operating directly under the jurisdiction of municipal councils to the large, non-community-based forces and the police commissions we have today throughout most of the province.

Put another way, I guess that evolution or transition was from poorly trained and small forces directly under the influence of council to the well-trained officers in large forces removed from all the political pressures and accountability.

I do not think anybody wants to return to the old council-police relationship. In many ways it was a more corrupt and less accurate administration of the law and policing than we have at present. Anyone who has travelled in the United States will know how corrupt and deviant the police are in the administration of the law in many places there where they are directly under the administration of the council.

The point I was leading up to and wanted to make was that we have to find the balance between that accountability and sensitivity to the public and, on the other hand, the size of the police force, which ought to be efficient, and the division of the authority over the police from purely political authority.

Perhaps it is true to say that the pendulum has swung too far in some respects. This bill, as my colleague the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) has already mentioned, makes a move in the right direction. It is no longer mandatory to have a judge on the commission, and we support that.

I have to say immediately that in some respects it is a mixed blessing, and I say that as a person who sat on a police commission for a number of years. When we have a judge on a police commission, we have at least one person who is very knowledgeable about the laws of the province and the laws of the nation and who is very competent in policing matters. Without a judge, we will lose some of that expertise and some of that knowledge.

With a judge on a police commission, we also have a person who is more independent from partisan politics than the government appointees to the commission, who invariably are prominent people in the Conservative Party. From the composition of many police commissions, I would say that is the basic criterion for their appointment, not their knowledge or concern about the administration of justice.

4:20 p.m.

On the other hand, one finds that when there are judges on a police commission they tend to dominate that police commission. Many other people on the commission think they do not have the expertise that the judge has and therefore he dominates the commission. I suggest that is partly because judges are used to being within an authoritarian context and therefore to some extent they use that in the operation of a police commission. That is the disadvantage to having judges on it.

Second, generally speaking I do not think judges are terribly sensitive to the public. They are not politically sensitive to anything like the degree that elected politicians are.

It is also true that judges sitting on a commission have some conflict of interest. I think that is obvious. They not only are in a sense directing the police, making decisions about the administration of the police force, but then when they sit in court those same policemen are in front of them giving evidence. They may be negotiating on one hand with members of the police commission and there may be some very strong feelings expressed there, and then the same day those same policemen may be in court in front of them again. So there is some inevitable conflict of interest.

Also, it means the use of time of judges whose time is valuable and who are frequently needed elsewhere.

On balance, we in this party think it is better to exclude the judges from police commissions. If that is going to be done, then it should say so in the bill and it should be uniform across the province. The purpose of one of the amendments my colleague the member for Riverdale will be moving will be to bring that about.

I want to say the move proposed in this bill -- the option to eliminate judges from police commissions -- is not going to resolve the problems that have surfaced in the police commissions. Police forces are too far removed from the public and insensitive to the public.

This is partly -- there is no question about it -- due to this evolution to the much larger forces, the regional police forces we now have across the province. Perhaps apart from the criminals and other people within those municipalities, no one knows the policemen in their area.

They are removed from that personal contact, from being on your street, from the same policemen being in your town and getting to know them and respect them and them getting to know you and perhaps in some instances having respect for you. So the larger forces themselves tend to remove the accountability to the public and the sensitivity of the public.

But I suggest it is more of a problem because the publicly elected people do not have an adequate voice on the commissions. This is why we in this party are moving amendments to change these bills to provide that there will be a majority of elected people administering the police forces within at least the regional government of this province.

I want to point out to this House some of the problems that exist, some of the arrogance exhibited by police commissions and by police chiefs because they are that far removed from the public.

In our area in the Niagara Peninsula, we had a police chief who last June bought a new $16,649 car for himself out of police commission funds. No one was aware of this until a member of the regional council, who had been opposing the purchase of an extremely expensive car for the engineer, found out that an even more expensive car had been purchased by the police chief for his own use. He was particularly concerned -- I quote from a newspaper article -- about the purchase of the chief's car because it did not go to tender and it was not processed through a regular police commission meeting.

"The three provincially appointed members and the two elected regional councillors, Mayor William Thomson of Niagara Falls and Bill Dickson of St. Catharines, were polled by telephone about the purchase and given few details about the car," Mr. Konkle said. "They were told the price was $10,600, omitting the value of the trade-in, and that it was a demonstrator.

"Mr. Dickson said yesterday that he was away on vacation when the board members were polled and he had asked the administrator, Larry Quattrini, a member of the police commission, for a full report on the matter."

I quote him and want to point out that Mr. Dickson is an elected member of the regional council and therefore feels much more accountable to the public. Mr. Dickson said, "I do not think we should squander the taxpayers' money to have a public official driving a luxury car, especially in these times of restraint, with 10.6 per cent unemployment in the area and inflation hitting 11 per cent."

What was the reaction of the chief of police to this? He said: "The alderman can criticize if he wants to, but he does not run the police force; my board does, and this was an autonomous decision of the board." He did not see anything wrong with driving a luxury, $16,649 car despite hard economic times. "I like to think it is one of the few privileges my position should enjoy, and I think I am worth it."

That was the answer of the chief of police to criticism by elected people about buying this car without tendering and, apparently, according to regional councillor Konkle, without giving the full information to the police commission. It was not processed through the police commission.

That sort of thing would not be so likely to happen if one had the majority of the police commission being elected people. Can anybody in this House picture a municipal council permitting the clerk, for instance, to get away with those kinds of actions, let alone those kinds of methods and comments? Of course we cannot. It is because that police commission is too far removed from the public.

To further show this insensitivity of the police commission and the chief of police and put in perspective the public relations stupidity, or whatever, of the Niagara Regional Police Commission, I want to recount briefly the case of Laurianne Robert, a businesswoman in St. Catharines, which I raised with the Solicitor General (Mr. G. W. Taylor) yesterday in the House.

This was a businesswoman, Mrs. Laurianne Robert, who prior to Christmas 1981 had no police record and had never been accused by the police or had any charges laid against her. Then on Christmas Eve of 1981, because the lights of a police car were trained for a long period of time directly in the front windows of her establishment, she went out to ask the police to please turn off their lights. I do not know what happened. One can hear two sides of the story.

4:30 p.m.

The result was that she ended up in the cruiser and was taken to the police garage where she was interrogated. When she was released, she was taken to the hospital with lacerations and bruises, released from the hospital the next morning, went to her doctor and was under doctor's treatment for quite a period of time.

She was charged with disturbing the peace and assaulting an officer and had two charges laid against her. It is a bit bizarre -- because she is a women in her forties and not a terribly large woman, who had real physical damage to herself and there was none to the police -- that she would be charged with those two charges, but she was.

During the weeks and months subsequent to that and when she threatened to lay assault charges against the police, the police offered tradeoffs. They said, "We will drop the charges against you if you do not lay any charges against us." The Solicitor General can verify all of what I am saying here this afternoon. She said, "I am innocent and I will not drop those charges."

Ultimately, the day she was to appear in court, the charge of assault against her was dropped. They kept the charge of disturbing the peace and she went to court and was acquitted of that charge. Then this was made an issue in the local area. There was an internal investigation by the police force to determine whether the police had used excessive force and, in fact, violence.

The report made by the chief was that he found no fault with the officer. But the strange part about this is she was never interviewed to get her side of the story. She had put her complaint in writing, but he did not even bother interviewing her to hear her side of the story, and the policeman was exonerated.

Then, over a year ago, she requested a hearing before the police commission of the area. I would like to read into the record, because this puts things pretty well in perspective, an editorial in the St. Catharines Standard, which anybody in the area will know has quite a tradition of Conservative support. The lead editorial of Friday, October 7, 1983, is headed, "Niagara Police Commission Confirms its Incompetence."

"The system under which the Niagara Regional Police Commission deals with citizens' complaints against the police has variously been described as a 'joke' and a 'farce.' Earlier this week, with its ruling in the case of the Mrs. Laurianne Robert, the commission itself has confirmed the accuracy of these descriptions.

"For almost a year, the St. Catharines woman has been trying to appear before the police commission to voice her complaint about police mistreatment. And throughout this time, the commission using a variety of excuses, some of them contradictory -- has refused to hear her complaint.

"There is a mass of evidence that suggests the Robert case deserves, at the very least, a hearing before the police commission. Mrs. Robert suffered extensive injuries during her arrest on a charge of which she was subsequently acquitted. A transcript of her trial reveals a number of discrepancies between her testimony and that of the arresting officer, as well as discrepancies between the statements given the court by the arresting officer and his partner.

"The evidence regarding Mrs. Robert's mistreatment at the hands of the police as well as the conflicting statements given in court appear to have left the police commission unconcerned. In their latest ruling -- reached at a closed-door meeting -- the commissioners (all five of them) decided to choose the narrowest interpretation possible in dealing with Mrs. Robert's complaint.

"They said that the only question to be determined was whether or not Mrs. Robert had been assaulted by the police during her arrest. And that question, the commissioners agreed, had already been decided by 'an internal investigation' that indicated the complainant had no cause against the police.

"In short, the police have investigated themselves, have found themselves innocent of any wrongdoing and thus see no merit in listening to a citizen whose complaint is obviously unjustified."

I might add, in my own words, that is in their view.

"One cannot help but ask oneself why the five commissioners -- a judge, two provincial government appointees and two regional councillors -- would play such a leading part in this travesty of justice. It certainly cannot be put down to coincidence or temporary pressure of business. The commission has a consistent and unenviable record of stonewalling citizens' complaints involving members of the police force.

"There is obviously more to it than readily meets the eye; all of which makes it clear that the commission has amply demonstrated its incompetence in acting as an impartial arbitrator in matters affecting the department it claims to supervise."

I suggest that is a pretty damning editorial. I suggest that it puts the whole situation in perspective with regard to the police commission of the Niagara region.

I could read a great deal more into the record -- perhaps I should about the procedures, about the letters that were written to her saying that they would not hear her until she gave them, in writing, a statement that she would not proceed with police charges and would not proceed with charges of assault or any other charges against the police.

The commission says -- and I talked to one of the commissioners -- "Our bylaws prohibit us hearing a complaint unless that complainant is not going to proceed with a criminal action against the police."

I have seen that the St. Catharines Standard has read the rule about complaints. It says: "We cannot find any such interpretation. But the significant thing is that if they do have such things in their bylaws, they have the power to change them."

It was a year from the time that she asked for her complaint to be heard by the commission before they finally made this asinine ruling. They could have changed that bylaw a half-dozen times, but they did not do it. I say they did not do it because they are not really accountable to the public.

Do members know that there is no phone number listed for the Niagara Regional Police Commission? The address on their letterhead is only a box number. That does not sound as though they really want to be very close to the public, does it?

I think perhaps I should read another comment by the St. Catharines Standard, which is dated June 2, 1983. It is headed, "Public Scrutiny" and this goes back to the decision by the commission that it would not hear Mrs. Robert because the internal investigations had proved she had no foundation for her charges. This editorial reads:

"After a 'searching and detailed inquiry'" -- that is what the police called their own internal investigation -- "during which they talked to no one but their own senior officers and themselves, Niagara regional police commissioners announced this week that all is well with the police and there is no need for a public inquiry into civil rights abuses and citizen harassment by police officers.

"The so-called searching and detailed inquiry was a total sham. The commission did not search a thing and it glossed over the details. It called in the chief, the heads of the region's three police divisions and the president of the police association and by its own account it was impressed by their sincerity in unanimously disclaiming that there was reason for concern.

"With that 'searching and detailed inquiry' the board declared itself satisfied. The board claimed there was really nothing to investigate. It referred to allegations, 'anonymous complaints, innuendoes,' and used irrelevant statistics in an attempt to prove that all was well.

4:40 p.m.

"The board not only failed to investigate what was at issue, it even missed the issue. At issue were not simply 'innuendoes' but facts. They had the details at their fingertips and in the police files but chose not to look. They ignored the fact that the complaints statistics mean nothing because most people are simply afraid to complain about the police. They ignored the fact that when people do complain, they are sometimes subjected to countercharges which are then used by the police in a trade-off -- you drop your charge and we'll drop ours. That is the Laurianne Robert example.

"And the police commissioners said nothing about the fact that in those few instances where citizens have had the courage to face the police in court, the intimidating countercharges were strangely withdrawn at the last moment.

"Here we have a classic example of how the police commission has failed the public. In refusing to allow public access to police complaint hearings, what do they have to hide? The commission has set itself up as some sort of court of last resort, a supreme arbiter between the public and the police. But, as this investigation shows, when push comes to shove, the commission fails in its role. It had a clear duty to investigate this whole issue without fear or favour -- and ended up doing next to nothing."

I see the Solicitor General was smiling while I was reading that. I do not know if he was smiling about that or something else. But he would not be laughing if he lived in Niagara and had the same numbers of this kind of complaint brought to him that I have. He would not laugh if he represented the citizens who complained about the indifference of the commission, the constant authoritarian action of the chief of police and the failure to investigate all kinds of complaints that are made.

There was also another editorial in the St. Catharines Standard. All these things pertain very much to the bill we have before us, Mr. Speaker, because we are talking about the composition of police commissions. This editorial, dated October 2, 1982, is headed: "Chief Harris and the Law." It says:

"Is Niagara Regional Police Chief Don Harris kidding the public or is he kidding himself when he suggests that internal police discipline hearings are really no different from the kind of hearing an employee is subjected to when he is called on the carpet by his boss for, say, spending too much time at the water cooler.

"These police hearings, the chief said this week, are private matters and should remain private. To drive home this point, Chief Harris asked a reporter, 'How would you like it if one of your newspaper articles was printed upside down by accident and a public inquiry was called'"? The editorial writer said, "He can't be serious."

"We are not talking about the case of a police officer being reprimanded by his sergeant for failing to have his boots shined, nor are we comparing the operation of a public law and order organization such as a police force to a private business. What we are talking about are police discipline hearings conducted under provisions of the Police Act, a law of this province."

It goes on to say: "It disturbs us to think that we have a police chief with so little respect for the public's constitutional right to know, a police chief who prefers to deal with matters of public law in private rather than public. Maybe Chief Harris forgets that the police are accountable to the public and are not a law unto themselves."

To give one further example about the police situation in Niagara, some four or five years ago the Thorold city council -- I know all its members -- invited the chief of police there to explain two or three things. One was the closing down of its headquarters in the city.

One of the councillors there spoke to the other officer who was with the chief, Superintendent Lee. He is one of the most respected officers in the whole force. The councillor referred to him as an inspector rather than as a superintendent. The chief immediately said, "When you refer to any officers in my force, I want them to be referred to by their proper title." That was his comeback.

When the meeting was about one quarter over, they questioned him further. He said: "I have had enough of this; I do not have to take this; I am not going to take this." He slammed his briefcase shut. He ran out, jumped in his car and squealed those tires for a distance of 50 to 100 feet -- something for which his officers would have laid a charge against a young person. But that is his temper.

The council sat there dumfounded. They could not believe that the chief of police, a man who is getting $73,000 a year, would do that sort of thing. When this was taken up with the police commissioner, he was upset. When this was taken to the police commission, there was no action taken whatsoever. He takes this kind of attitude against an elected council. I want to say this would not be permitted for employees of an elected commission.

The foregoing are the obvious reasons why the police chief and the police commission are held in something less than high esteem by the public in the Niagara region. More, I suggest it is irrefutable evidence that the police commission there is not functioning in the public interest and is not adequately accountable to the people of that region. I want to say that the composition of that police force is partly responsible because there is not enough input from the elected people in that area.

This is one of the reasons why this party is moving an amendment to have three members of the police commission elected from council and only two to be the appointed representatives of the government of this province.

There are other reasons why this bill in its present form, with three appointees and two elected people, cannot be supported. The Solicitor General must be aware that over the last five, 10, 15 or 20 years, almost every year every municipal association in this province has asked to have the composition of the police forces changed in line with the amendments we are moving.

They have said, and rightly so, "We want the police more accountable to the public through their elected representatives." They have said, "We, the property taxpayers, are paying the bulk of the costs of policing." Therefore, it should be their representatives, a majority on that commission, making the decisions about how much money is going to be spent and how it is going to be spent. At every convention they have passed a resolution and submitted it to the government, and this government has ignored the obviously unanimous requests of the elected municipal councils of this province.

Apart from the isolation of the present commission, apart from the requests of the municipalities, there is the very real issue of who is paying the piper, who is paying the commission.

I checked the Niagara regional police once again. This year their budget was $31.5 million. Of that, $25.3 million, or 80 per cent, is being raised by the property taxpayers within the Niagara region. The total costs for regional services for all other purposes in the Niagara region, whether it is welfare, sewers, water or whatever, are some $38 million. This means that the police costs on the taxpayer are something like 40 per cent of the total taxes levied by the region.

For all of these reasons, but mostly because of the need for greater accountability, we in this party are supporting this bill on second reading so we can get these amendments before this House, hopefully amendments which have the full backing of municipal councils and of the great majority of the people in Ontario. We hope they can be dealt with and accepted by this government. I want to say here that if this government decides it is not going to accept these amendments, we will not give that same kind of passage to this bill on third reading.

4:50 p.m.

Mr. Haggerty: Mr. Speaker, I want to address myself to the amendments to the regional bills. The explanatory note is that this bill would remove from the acts establishing the regional municipalities the present requirement that one member of a board of commissioners of the police be a judge. In listening to the member for Welland-Thorold (Mr. Swart), I wished he was in the House back in 1970 when the regional bill for Niagara was passed. I think two members of the Legislature were opposed to it, and the other was my colleague the member for Niagara Falls, George Bukator, who was the sitting member at that time. These were the issues I believe we raised at that time.

We were not too pleased with the proposed establishment of the regional police force because we thought it would not be accountable to the taxpayers or serve them as they had been previously served by local police forces. I can recall our comments that we strongly objected to the appointment of a judge as a member of the police commission. I think our viewpoint was pretty well expressed. We thought all members of the police commission should be elected at large since they would have to have some accountability to the taxpayers.

We were concerned about the appointment of the judge on the police commission because he should be impartial in any decisions on police matters and in the business of the courts. He should be an independent person and should not have any affiliation whatsoever with police matters. If he was going to sit and judge the accused before the courts, he should not be part of the police commission. That was our view at that time.

I see that we are now still going to have provincial appointments under this act. As explained to us at that time, one of the reasons we were having appointments by the Lieutenant Governor in Council was it would remove any political presence in local councils. There was a question it might not be above board if they were all elected by the taxpayers who were paying the biggest shot.

When one appoints someone to the police commissions by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, as was done in the past, that is more political than anything because usually the majority of those who sit -- and I am looking at the region of Niagara -- are lawyers. They are sitting on the police commission when sometimes in their own practices, where they have a number of practising lawyers, they may be defending the accused. Whichever way one looks at it, there is always that possibility of influence because of one's colleague sitting on the police commission.

I know from the past history of some of the police departments in the area there were some improper procedures in cases that were handled years ago. Even at that time it was based upon the politics involved in it.

I do share some concern today about matters coming before the police commission and before the courts in the Niagara region where there is plea bargaining. Sometimes I wonder if justice is really done in this procedure where we allow plea bargaining. It is difficult when one has legal counsel going before a court; they can back out through plea bargaining and neither one loses the case. That may give them a top rating within the bar association of a county or region, but there are still problems that constituents bring to my concern.

Over the years I have had a number of complaints of police brutality within the Niagara region. I am satisfied from letters I have written to the police chief and the deputy police chief, particularly to Deputy Chief Gayder, who is now the police chief of the region, with his review of the charges made. I sent letters back to the people who brought to my attention accusations of police brutality and I asked them: "Are these the true facts? Do you have anything to add to them? Has anything been omitted?" In no instance have I received a reply back from those who have complained of police brutality.

I have often gone to the local police departments and checked the complaints out myself. After getting the stories there and talking to accused persons, I am satisfied that a reasonable approach had been taken on the matter of police brutality. I do not think it is going to be wiped out or cured. It is going to be there regardless of what police department is there. People who have objections to the present method of inquiry still have the opportunity to go to the Ontario Police Commission for a further review of charges of police brutality. Normally, that is the proper step to take.

I have always shown concern here on matters related to police costs in Ontario, particularly in the municipality of Niagara. At times I have talked in the House and to former Solicitors General about the matter of cost-sharing of policing in the regional municipality of Niagara. The present minister responsible and, as I can recall, some of his predecessors have indicated there have been some discussions with the federal minister in Ottawa concerning a bigger cost-sharing transfer of payments from the federal department to the province and to the local police departments in Ontario.

At present they often cannot enforce a bylaw in a municipality without having to hire bylaw officers. That puts an extra cost on the municipalities. Before, the police used to do that. I understand the police have more important things to do than to enforce local bylaws. One such thing is their involvement with the Criminal Code, which is federal legislation. I think local police forces are spending more of their time in that area than they are in providing good police protection within the municipality of the region.

As my colleague the member for Welland-Thorold has indicated, 40 per cent of the municipal taxes paid by the taxpayers of the region is required by the police department or by the police commission for their financial needs in operating the police force in the region. That means there is a bigger shift of the cost to the taxpayers in the region. Perhaps it is getting out of hand.

I suggest to the minister responsible he should review those past discussions with the federal department to find out if it is coming through with additional transfer payments for policing. I will say they are doing a good job in the Niagara region in relation to drugs. Just in the past week, working with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Ontario Provincial Police on a drug investigation, the regional police have come forward with a good case within the region. But I suggest this is putting additional cost on the taxpayers again.

Meanwhile, we do not see policemen on the street any more in local municipalities. I can recall one of the statements made by the former police chief in the region, Don Harris, that he was going to put policemen back on the beat again. There are not too many school children or youngsters out on the street any more who even know what a policeman looks like. The only time they see them is when they are driving through. I suggest that one way to get better communications and a better relationship with the police department and police officers is to put them back on the street.

5 p.m.

One of the difficulties I find in the Niagara region is that somebody who has been raised in the city of St. Catharines or Niagara Falls may be put in a cruiser and told, "Your shift this week will be in Fort Erie" -- someone who knows nothing about the location of the streets or the people in the area. I can recall that in Port Colborne, for example, when a crime occurred, the old police force could almost tell you right away who did it, because they had an idea; they were on the streets, and they saw it almost before it even took place.

Just the other day I passed through St. Catharines on a bus coming to Toronto. It was in the early morning, and I went by the police headquarters in St. Catharines. I think I counted 25 or 28 police vehicles sitting in the parking lot. I could go to the police administration building in Welland, and I bet I could count 14 or 15. I suppose if I went to Niagara Falls, I would find another 15 vehicles sitting there, idle.

In the morning I sit back and listen to the radio news from St. Catharines. One usually hears that another place has been robbed or violence has occurred at one of the Avondale or Becker's stores or something like that. This happens all the time in the evening. One wonders whether we are not providing police protection at the wrong time of the day and whether perhaps we should have more officers on in the evening.

If one talks to some of the officers, they say, "We have to come back, and we get extra time to investigate something that happened during the night." Perhaps if they had been doing their shift during the night, with more officers on, we would not have the crime rate there is in the Niagara Peninsula.

Also, when I look at the reduce impaired driving everywhere program in the peninsula, I am lost. I guess it is a good program. It is supposed to remove the drunks from the road, and yet in another four or five weeks, we will find a great number of vehicles in the Niagara Peninsula under the RIDE program because it is coming around Christmas -- the joyous season, I guess it is.

I saw the Ontario Provincial Police in the Sherkston area this summer with their spot checks. Quite frequently they were on Empire Road, leading to the Sherkston beaches, which is a major summer tourist attraction for persons who want to go camping and have day use of the beach. The police are there too, stopping all vehicles, I suppose in the hope that they are going to get somebody in there who has been drinking or who has opened beer bottles or something in the back of the car.

If they were to use that same practice in one of the major tourist cities of Canada, I do not think the businessmen or the chambers of commerce would tolerate it. But it seems in the Niagara region they single out the RIDE program, perhaps more so in Fort Erie and Port Colborne. It does not drum up tourism if the tourists coming into the area have their cars searched, and this is what they are doing.

I raised that matter with the minister reponsible for policing in Ontario. If they are going to have a program of that nature, particularly the RIDE program, they should apply it not just at Christmas time or for two months in the summertime, but for 12 months of the year.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Cousens): I am having difficulty finding that the member is really speaking to the bill.

Mr. Haggerty: I am speaking to the matter of the police commissions that are responsible --

The Acting Speaker: No. I say that you are going a little bit beyond the terms of the bill.

Mr. Haggerty: I am doing it very well, because I am dealing with the principle --

The Acting Speaker: No. The member is even going beyond the principle. I ask the member to stop straying. I have let the member have a long lead. Will he please come back home?

Mr. Haggerty: This is the policy of the police commission. Is that satisfactory now, Mr. Speaker?

The Acting Speaker: I do not think totally, but just try to make that point.

Mr. Haggerty: I am close to the borderline, but I suggest to you that this is the policy of the police commission in the Niagara region. I suppose it comes back to the matter I spoke of before, that all police commissioners should be elected and accountable to the taxpayers.

The Acting Speaker: Now you are relevant.

Mr. Haggerty: Those are the problems I am concerned about. I come back to the RIDE program, the policy of the police commission and the policy of the chief administrator of all the police forces in Ontario.

Every time New Year or another holiday comes along, what does this government do? It extends the drinking hours for the joyous season, and then it has the RIDE program out there, knowing full well this is going to happen to a person who goes overboard perhaps once a year.

I do not want the minister to misunderstand me. I do not think anybody who drinks should be driving an automobile on the roads today. I take that view because I have some strong reservations about drinking.

I bring to the minister's attention that we cannot have it both ways in policing in Ontario; we cannot have the RIDE program and then extend the hours for drinking. If we want to control drinking and driving on the roads today, we should be looking at reducing the number of hours that the taverns and hotels can be open. Perhaps that is a theory the minister should be looking at, cutting down the hours during the Christmas season.

The Acting Speaker: I thank the honourable member.

Mr. Haggerty: All right. I will get back on the topic. I suggest to the minister responsible for this bill that I have some strong reservations on the section dealing with the regional municipality of Niagara, which provides that we are going to have five members of the commission, three to be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council and two from the council appointed by resolution of the regional municipality.

I do not think that is a fair approach to resolving a problem in the peninsula where we want more accountability to the taxpayers for police expenditures. One way to do it is to appoint three members representing the regional municipality of Niagara and to have two appointments by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

I would even go further than that. I am sure there are a number of interested citizens in the Niagara region who would be only too pleased to have the opportunity to sit on the police commission. Maybe we should be looking at electing them at large. Then they would be accountable to the taxpayers and to the people who are looking for responsible policing in a municipality.

I understand the New Democratic Party will be moving an amendment in this area. I suggest that a majority of the members of the police commission should be appointed from members of council, the elected body. Maybe that is an approach this minister should follow.

The Acting Speaker: I thank the honourable member. The member for Ottawa Centre.

Mr. Cassidy: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It is good to hear your voice.

I want to make a few comments about Bill 86 and the modest efforts being made by the government to try to bring the administration of policing in the province into the 20th century. I remind the Solicitor General (Mr. G. W. Taylor) that since these reforms seem to be made about every 30 or 40 years, I suppose this is a reform that the government -- since it believes it will be in power forever -- intends will last us until the 21st century. I suggest it is not good enough in view of the type of society we face and in view of the difficult problems that are faced in the administration and management of policing in the province.

The purpose of the bill is to bring about reform in an anachronistic system of governance of police in Ontario. But all the bill is going to do is knock judges off the police commissions of the regional municipalities and replace them with Tory appointees. It is not going to change the balance. The balance will continue to be a minority of local elected representatives and a majority of people who are essentially Tory hacks. Some of them may be high level. Some of them may be just Tory hacks. Some of them may be quite public-spirited. However, they still will be appointees and nothing more, responsible -- if responsible at all -- to the government which brought about their appointment.

5:10 p.m.

I am afraid that kind of reform by degree is not adequate for the kind of situation we face in the coming years. I want to talk a bit about this. It is an issue that has concerned me for a long time, and it is an issue to which sensitive and positive responses can be brought, not necessarily and only through the reform of police commissions, although, as my colleagues have indicated, we will have amendments in that direction when we get to the committee stage of this bill.

Let me take the Solicitor General back to 1970, when I was a member of local council in Ottawa along with the member for Ottawa South (Mr. Bennett). It was the end of the 1960s, and there was perhaps less understanding then than later about the gap between the establishment in mainstream Canada and young people who at that stage were very numerous.

There was conflict between the community and young people, and the police were put into the centre. From time to time, there were some regrettable incidents in which people were hurt and where it was alleged they had been beaten. Certainly no dialogue to speak of took place with respect to the right of citizens who chose to wear blue jeans and beads rather than three-piece suits and nice ties.

At that time I suggested that in view of the limited background or the kind of group from which the police force in Ottawa tended to be drawn and the problems we had, there should be a community advisory board -- a police community relations board, I think I called it -- which would be appointed by city council in Ottawa to provide an input by different elements of the community into the operation of the police force.

This would have been an advisory body. It would not have had any powers to direct what the police did, but it would have been a means by which the views of young people, the ethnic communities, perhaps old people and women could be felt and heard by the police commission and through them by the police force itself. Unfortunately, that did not occur.

The council of the city of Ottawa by a rather overwhelming vote at the time said: "We do not think that is necessary. You are trying to politicize the police." They said: "The police are to fight crime. Therefore, we want them to continue to fight crime the way they have been organized over the course of the previous six or seven decades."

As my colleague the member for Welland-Thorold (Mr. Swart) has pointed out, a lot has changed even since that time in people's perceptions of what it is police have to do. Police, most of the time, are acting as civil agents of authority and as administrators of our laws rather than fighting violent crime. In 1970, the average policeman in Ottawa made something like one or two arrests a year in connection with a violent crime. In other words, most policemen did not have contact with a violent crime during the course of the year. I suspect that picture has not changed remarkably over the course of the decade since then.

The police do the same kind of job as a civil servant but they do it in a much tougher environment and under much tougher conditions. They have to make real-time decisions as to whether our law in this Legislature, that "Thou shalt not drive more than 50 miles an hour or 80 kilometres an hour," will apply in the case of somebody who is buzzing by in a car at 55 or 60 miles an hour. They have to make those discretionary decisions all the time.

It is a difficult environment. Not everybody a policeman comes into contact with is a savoury character. There is an element of risk and violence in the job. It is an unstructured and difficult job in that way as well. We say that when civil servants sit in the Macdonald Block or in the city hall of Ottawa, the accountability for the work of those civil servants should be through the elected officials to whom they are responsible. In this Legislature, that means the Legislature itself and the cabinet, Her Majesty in right of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

In the case of a city government, we talk of accountability occurring through the elected officials; that is, through city council, the mayor, the board of control or executive committee, if they happen to have that type of arrangement. When it comes to police, however -- and as my colleagues have pointed out, the major single expenditure of local government in this province, apart from education, is on the policing function -- that kind of accountability does not occur.

It quite explicitly does not occur not only because of the structure of police commissions but also because there is not even budgetary control over local police forces in the hands of the people who pay the piper.

Local councils pay the piper to the tune of 85 or 90 per cent of the costs of policing in Ontario. But they do not have the power to call the tune even by imposing financial controls, because in the case of a disagreement between the police commission and the local council over the budget, the local police commission is put into a completely different status than, I think, almost any other body. The only other similar body I can think of is the children's aid society in its dealings with the province.

The police commission locally can go to the Ontario Police Commission to arbitrate a dispute over budget if it is dissatisfied with the decisions of the local council as respects the financing for the coming year.

The situation that exists right now, and that will be perpetuated if this bill is not changed, is that in budgetary matters the police force through its police commission is not fully responsible to the local council, despite the fact that it is more heavily financed out of local funds than any other city or local government function.

In addition to that, the local police commission is not accountable to the local council because the majority of its members are and, as the government proposes, will continue to be appointed at the provincial level; they will be provincial appointees.

That raises the question, how then does one acquire two things? One is effective management and the second is sensitive and responsive administration with respect to the police duties of administrating and seeking to enforce the laws. In both of those areas we suffer seriously because of the existing structure of police commissions and because of what is proposed here by the ministry on behalf of the government.

Let me talk first about effective management. Effective management would surely ensure that there is a close look taken at the expenditures of the police, at the goals for which that expenditure is directed and then at how best to achieve those goals.

In many cases, the police are doing their job in an effort to meet goals that are shared by other organs of local government. A very good example is helping to deal with young people who may be unemployed and feeling rather tempestuous and steaming at the age of 15 or 16 as they get in the mid-teenage years and therefore may be acting out or acting up, causing some problems in school and the shopping centres, possibly committing some petty crimes or disturbances of the peace.

There are many ways of dealing with that specific problem. One may deal with it through social services, the provision of hostels, the children's aid societies, the recreation services of a community, by stepping up street patrols by the police force, by starting to send more policemen around perhaps dressed informally rather than in uniform to youth clubs and centres and shopping malls just to establish a dialogue with young people and to help to direct their considerable energies into areas that are more constructive than breaking windows, vandalism or that kind of thing.

When the police force is insulated by the present structure from the rest of local government, that kind of dialogue and that kind of consideration of goals is much more difficult to carry out.

5:20 p.m.

It is always open to the majority in the police commission simply to say -- I have had it said to me in Ottawa and I suppose it is said elsewhere as well -- "We are here to fight crime. And because we are, all of this stuff does not mean anything to us and therefore we are not going to do anything about it. We will do things our way. We are the experts in this field. Therefore leave us alone and stop trying to get us to co-operate with you in all of this artsy-fartsy bleeding-heart stuff you are trying to do."

I know I exaggerate a bit. That attitude is not prevalent in all police forces. It is certainly not prevalent among all officers of the law or members of police commissions across the province. None the less, because commissions are essentially responsible to no one, or responsible only in a very indirect way to this government, they are left free to take that view. I suggest that view is an anachronism.

I do not think all wisdom about fighting crime exists only in police forces. Certainly it does not exist only in the members of police commissions, most of whom are there as citizens rather than for any expertise they may happen to have. Nor could I maintain that all expertise about solving problems of rebellious teenage kids is in the hands of social workers or recreologists or other people in the community. Everybody has something to contribute to a problem of that nature. That could be acknowledged if the police were not segregated from other agencies of local government as they have been in the past and as the government proposes they continue to be.

The question of how to provide services effectively in hard-to-service areas of the community --


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, does somebody else want the floor? I am sorry.

The Acting Speaker: No, I believe you have the floor.

Mr. Cassidy: Thank you. Perhaps you could use your powers then to ensure that I do have it, Mr. Speaker.

The Acting Speaker: I ask the members who are disturbing the member for Ottawa Centre to restrain their conversations and keep their voices to less of a roar.

Mr. Cassidy: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The question of how to ensure services to people in the community who may feel their needs are being overlooked is another which I think suffers. Therefore, both the commission and the force suffer in terms of social responsiveness and also in terms of efficient management as a consequence of that.

I will give an example. It is a question of the way in which police seek to protect women against sexual assault in the community. That is a very real problem, both in trying to prevent rape and sexual assault and also in what happens afterwards if a woman is sexually assaulted, how she may be treated by the police. The police commission has had a program of trying to do some educating of police forces in terms of how to deal with the victims of rape or sexual assault. There has been possibly some modest improvement about that.

None the less, a lot of women in this province fear how they will be treated by the police if they are sexually assaulted and they lay a complaint. They are already feeling terrible over what has happened, yet there is still a fear abroad, a sense that they will not be taken seriously. They fear they may not be believed, that they may even be subjected to some type of ridicule or to comments suggesting they were responsible for the act taking place. They fear this could happen when all they were trying to do was to live their lives normally.

That women in Ottawa, Toronto and other places have felt moved to hold such rallies as the one called Take Back the Night -- aimed at having a situation where women as well as men can feel free to move around and to go about their affairs, their recreations, whatever they want to do; their work at night, in many cases, as well as by day -- is an indication of the fact that we certainly have not succeeded fully in ensuring that women feel as secure in our communities as men do in terms of their personal security and their freedom from sexual assault.

When a group of women want to raise this question, what do they do? If it is a shortage of rink time for ringette for young girls, or if it is a shortage of facilities in the swimming pools and athletic facilities for young women, or if it is other matters which relate to the actions of city hall, they go to city hall. But if they go to city hall to talk about this particular question they may well get a mayor like Marion Dewar in Ottawa, who says, "I think you are right; I will even try to raise it with the police commission," of which she is a member.

However, the elected officials are powerless if they run into stonewalling from the majority on the police commission, possibly backed by senior staff, senior officers in the force who say, "Yes, that is interesting but it is not a priority at this time." There is no political sensitivity built in there to very legitimate and to very real concerns so long as the elected local people are not in a majority and therefore cannot be held accountable for the actions of the police commission

Not only that, I had occasion the other day to talk with a very senior law officer from another province. We were talking about the question of the degree to which the law officers of the crown have discretion or control over actions of the police, or of crown attorneys and crown prosecutors.

My friend said to me: "There is very little room for discretion, or room to manoeuvre, even though you may nominally be the guy at the top. There is very little room for that because you are being watched like a hawk, and because what has happened is that the people in the legal system, both at the provincial level and at the local level, have carved out an enormous area for autonomy where politicians are essentially told, 'Tread in here if you dare.'''

What that means is that if women in Toronto who are concerned about taking back the night want to come to this place and talk to the politicians, who presumably are accountable since it is the government that appoints the police commissions, they still get the runaround. They get told: "That is a matter for the police commission. That is an independent body and, boy, we would not want to interfere with that." They get told what my friend the member for Welland-Thorold was told by the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) and by the Solicitor General. They are put off. They are told that their complaints, their queries or their problems are not really serious. They find the word that the police come forward with is taken invariably and the concern of the local citizen, or of the local people, tends to be overlooked.

The situation has improved. We now have a complaints procedure across the province. It is not ideal but it is better than having none at all. There are certain avenues, but as my friend the member for Welland-Thorold indicated, those avenues are not always wholly open.

There have been cases recently, not far from this Legislature, of actions by the police in terms of lodging charges which on the face of it look to be nothing but vindictive retaliation against someone they did not like very much because of actions that person may have taken with respect to police powers in the past.

If the Solicitor General would come out of this chamber and talk objectively, realistically and privately about this, he would acknowledge that this is the case. We are not in a situation where there are no problems, even though at the same time we are in a situation where there is a great deal of respect in our province for our police. We are prepared, as a society, to pay for policing. We put more resources into that area than they do in the United States, for example, in cities with much higher crime rates than exist here. There may be a correlation between those two facts.

There is a great deal of latent and innate respect for the police, which I share and which most people in the community share, even if from time to time that faith and that confidence are undermined or are affected by specific incidents and specific problems.

5:30 p.m.

Where there are specific incidents and specific problems, it seems to me accountability is a way of helping the local forces resolve those problems and to either retain or re-establish the public's confidence, which I guess is their most important single asset. Let us face it, most policing is the policing we do ourselves. We regulate ourselves in this society. It is not so much what the cops do; it is what we do ourselves. The police are there to assist in that in order to maintain an overall fabric of law and order.

When the community feels the police have for one reason or another overstepped their bounds, it would also be possible to define just what it is they ought to be doing and to set some reasonable parameters within which the police should exercise their discretion.

To take a hypothetical example, let us suppose along the Gardiner Expressway and Highway 401 -- that is the Ontario Provincial Police -- but along the Don Valley Parkway and the William R. Allen Expressway in Toronto, if the police were to start stopping every driver who exceeded 90 kilometres per hour and arresting them, and doing that at the height of rush hour morning and night, the Solicitor General knows perfectly well the place would quickly turn into chaos.

It is not effective policing for that to occur. We do not have an accountable body which can say to the police, "Let's talk about how you exercise your discretion in terms of administering the law with respect to speed limits." We leave that out in limbo, and effectively it is done by the senior officers of the force who say to the boys: "Let them go up to 60 miles an hour. Above that is where you should move in, because it is beyond that point that people are starting to be a danger."

What about the case where public funds and public respect are being undermined because of what one can only assume are attitudes within the police which are worked out in police actions which wind up in ruinously expensive law cases with little impact except in the deterioration of public respect for law and order?

I have in mind, for example, the police raid on the bathhouses in Toronto in 1981. If the police at that time felt there were abuses in the bathhouses, effective police administration would have begun by seeking to talk to the people in charge of the bathhouses -- which had, after all, been operating for dozens of years in this community -- telling them what they thought were matters of concern and seeing whether an appropriate accommodation could be reached.

If that did not work, they did not need to go in and arrest 85 or 150 people to make their point. It was quite feasible to indicate that a test case would be brought, a couple of people would be arrested, the case would be tried and the courts would effectively be asked to determine standards in an area where the police view of community standards was different from what was actually going on.

I think this is particularly relevant where one has matters such as sexual orientation, lifestyles, crimes which are victimless crimes essentially. These are the areas where I think the police have the greatest difficulty in terms of how they are going to enforce the law.

There was no accountable body down there in the Board of Commissioners of Police for the Metropolitan Corporation which could seize that question when council was outraged over the behaviour of the police in the bathhouse raids. Here they are spending $80 million a year or something for the policing of Metropolitan Toronto. They could turn around and say:

"Look, guys, we do not want that to happen. Go and catch crooks, for Christ's sake, but do not go and harass ordinary people and force people to commit suicide and that kind of thing. That is not the kind of community this is. If there are specific problems you want sorted out, there are other ways to do it."

However, this did not occur. In the end, the cases went out to some court in Scarborough. Goodness knows how much public resources were spent. The failure rate in terms of getting convictions was of the order of 90 or 95 per cent. I cannot think anybody could have felt proud about that case.

There is a case now before the courts in Orillia. I cannot comment on the particular case, but I can comment on what happens when irresponsible police commissions are in control of local forces, because in that particular case the police decided, gratuitously, that they would have a press conference. They called everybody in and they said, "Boy, do we have a story to tell you." They proceeded to tell a story and to provide to the press the names of everybody who had been arrested only an hour or two after the raids had taken place.

This is a clear signal; here is a great big siren to say, "This is a story to splash over the front pages of your paper." In addition to that, after wasting police resources over the course of the summer by having surveillance in some hidden little office where dirty-minded little officers looked into toilet cubicles -- that is what happened -- after that occurred, then at 8 a.m. on the first day of school the police came down and, forthright in their battle against crime, arrested teachers who were preparing for the first day of the return to school on the grounds that they had committed some offence, some one, two, or three months previous, in a cubicle in the toilets in the Orillia Opera House.

What happens in the case is a matter for the courts. I would predict the success rate in getting convictions will be as low as it was in the case of the bathhouse raids in Toronto in 1981. I would suggest that is a waste of police resources, inefficient management, and that those people should have been better occupied doing other things.

When the police want to curb speeding on Highway 401 they put a cruiser in a very prominent place next to the highway and everybody gets the message and slows down. If they were concerned about what was happening in some toilet stalls up at Orillia they could have put a sign up, they could have sent the janitor in, they could have closed the place after 6 p.m. or they could have had a police officer go on his patrols and look in there two or three times every evening. There were many other approaches that would have been a hell of a lot more efficient and a lot cheaper than what was done.

What happens if a bunch of women who are concerned about the protection of the rights of women at night or a bunch of citizens who are simply outraged at the behaviour of the police in Orillia want to raise the question? My friend the member for Welland-Thorold has indicated what the Niagara Regional Police Commission did in the case of a woman who simply wanted to appear before the police commission and lodge a complaint. They told her to "stuff it" and said they were not accountable in any way. The elected members of that police commission were powerless, as they told my colleague.

In the case of Orillia, the commission can tell the people there to "stuff it" and say that they are "not interested in hearing from you because, after all, we are not responsible to you, we are responsible to our masters down at Queen's Park, the people who actually appoint us."

The question that is raised was raised when the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (Mr. Bennett) and I were on the council in Ottawa. I suggested the creation of an advisory board by which some of these questions could be raised and dialogue could take place with the police. There was the fear that somehow we would create a Tammany Hall situation in Ontario where the police would become corrupted and where politicians would be playing games with the police force. One could get the situation that occurred in Chicago or in New York back in the years between 1913 and 1919, but this is not that time; we have moved a long way since then.

In this province, the respect for the police that exists, coupled with the fact that the Ontario Police Commission has the right -- either with the instigation of a local municipality or on its own initiative -- to investigate any behaviour of police of which it disapproves, provides the checks and balances in the situation. I do not dispute that policing is somewhat different. That is why the amendment we put forward does not seek to rule out provincial appointees entirely on police commissions; it simply seeks to make them a minority and give majority control to the local elected representatives who are chosen by the council.

5:40 p.m.

I think that a structure of accountability is important if police are to retain efficient management and if they are to retain the respect they enjoy in the community right now, particularly if they are to retain the respect of ethnic communities, minority groups, people of different political persuasion, people in trade unions, working people and from all other groups that tend to be excluded from power, authority and influence in this province.

In certain cases police in this province respond to those groups fairly well. I was involved in the mill strike in Ottawa some time ago. In that case there were problems because the police did not know how to handle a labour dispute. They did not know how to turn around and think through how they would handle a labour dispute. It took about two and a half months before they got it straight and began to behave in a reasonable and appropriate way -- in a way the Metropolitan Toronto Police have been able to do in labour disputes for many years.

But if one wants that accountability and responsiveness there and if we want to keep this province a secure, law-abiding and law-supporting society into the next generation in a world which is increasingly the opposite -- lawless, anarchistic and insecure -- one has to do more to adapt to the times than simply tell the judges they cannot stay because the government wants to create 10 or 12 jobs for a few more Conservative appointees.

That is why, although we are supporting this bill on second reading, I hope very much that the amendments we have to propose will be accepted, or the government will enter into dialogue with other parties now in order to suggest some alternatives which might ensure effectiveness, responsiveness and social responsibility on behalf of police forces in Ontario.

Hon. G. W. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, I thank the members for their comments on this particular piece of legislation. I might suggest I do not agree with all of their comments, which would be understandable, nor their reasoning in arriving at their comments, which again is understandable.

I have heard the arguments before and I am sure this Legislature has heard them before. There is not an enormous amount of originality to them. When the numbers come up and have been inserted in the legislation, the arguments on both sides of the issue have been heard before. I cannot add any more to the comments or their originality, or lack thereof, before this legislative chamber.

I heard the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) add that it should be three and two and they would like it two versus three and, but for a typing error, it would be two versus three. Even after all that is sorted out and given the mention -- and he has said it is perhaps a typographical error -- one cannot accede to the argument put forward.

I am sure the members opposite are going to put forward all the amendments and the arguments will be repeated when the bills go to the committee of the whole, so I will not add any great amount of detail to debate the positions put forward by the numerous members who have spoken on the matter. I can assure them their views have been heard before and recognized. I might say that when the amendments are put forward we shall consider them further at that time.

I might add that I think I can get no support on the amendment of the member for Riverdale for the increase in the Metropolitan Toronto police commission to 19 individuals, be it magical, be it a prime number, or be it any other configuration of 19. Not knowing any other police commission throughout North America that has any bodies in excess of five members, I would not accede to any other number. I have no other recommendations, other than the members, to exceed a number of five or in excess of five.

Mr. Renwick: Would the minister believe 13?

Hon. G. W. Taylor: Is that another prime number?

Mr. Renwick: Yes, it is.

Hon. G. W. Taylor: I find no magic in the prime numbers the member puts forward. The workings of the Metropolitan Toronto Police have been handled exceedingly well by those members in consultation. By having conversations with those members, elected as well as appointed, the operation of the Metropolitan Toronto Police moves along very smoothly.

Motion agreed to.

Bill ordered for committee of the whole House.


Hon. G. W. Taylor moved second reading of Bill 87, An Act to amend the Police Act.

Hon. G. W. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, this bill establishes five-member boards of commissioners of police in municipalities with a population of more than 25,000. Twenty-one municipalities would be affected. Smaller municipalities would continue with three-member boards of commissioners of police, but would have the option of establishing a five-member board. Where a board is being enlarged, one of the additional appointments would be made by the municipality and one additional appointment by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

The legislation basically responds to a widespread desire to enlarge the membership on boards of commissioners of police. It has been recommended by municipal councils in past years and it is intended to afford a greater flexibility to the boards in obtaining a quorum and giving a greater representation to municipal councils on these boards.

It is a matter to which we have given some consideration. Although these two amendments in Bill 87 and Bill 86 are not precluding any review when the Police Act is completed -- it is at present under review -- they are a commencement to trying to get some matters done now, considering that a great deal of the legislative timetable is not available to us at this time.

Mr. Spensieri: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of our party, I would like to state at the outset that we are going to support this bill, although we see it as a bit of a slap on the face for the committee that has been studying wholesale amendments to the Police Act for a number of years. We feel this type of piecemeal introduction, this so-called modest step, as the Solicitor General himself called it, is ultimately counterproductive because there has been for some time the perception in Ontario, especially in the smaller municipalities, that the Police Act is long due for an overall review and an overhaul.

It seems to me to be an extreme case of squandering public resources when a special committee is appointed. It deliberates, it talks, it has hearings, and then we find ourselves with this very inconsequential amendment. The amendment itself is good to the extent that it gives municipalities with more than 25,000 people the right to additional representation. That is something that has been called for throughout and has been the subject of many discussions in the course of previous estimates of the Solicitor General.

5:50 p.m.

We are not quite sure how the Solicitor General envisages the optional clause. Perhaps in his response he would care to comment further on it. Is it going to be something that is going to be initiated in the municipalities that do not have 25,000 individuals? Will it be initiated by the head of the council'? Will he make a request basically of the mechanism for entering into this optional larger commission? It appears to me to be unclear, and certainly one would have thought that it could have been more adequately spelled out in this amendment.

In the dying minutes of this particular discussion, it seems to me not in any one's interest to prolong discussion of this amendment. I would just like to say we will certainly be supporting it in so far as it goes, while regretting that it does not go far enough.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, we do not find the principle of Bill 87 offensive to this party and we will, therefore, not oppose the proposal. Indeed, there is a considerable merit to providing the obligatory need for municipalities of 25,000 or more to have an enlarged board and to provide the flexibility for smaller municipalities.

The way in which the bill happens to be drafted, and perhaps the Solicitor General would respond to this matter, is that if a council of a municipality with fewer than 25,000 people passes the resolution for which provision is made in this bill, the province will go ahead with the appointment of the additional provincial member.

I assumed that would follow as a matter of course, that that would be an informal precondition of a resolution of the council being passed, but I would not want anyone to interpret this bill until the consent of the government had been obtained. What this says is that a council having determined they want the enlarged board, it would then be, in my reading of the bill, pre-emptory on the government to appoint their appointee to the board.

Mr. Speaker, I do not intend to repeat the arguments we made a week ago today on the second reading of Bill 86 and which have been commented upon by my other colleagues today with respect to Bill 86, in relation to the balance on the board between those appointed by council to these police boards and those appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council; nor to the second aspect of the bill which goes back to 1979, I believe, when the provision with respect to the mandatory appointment of judges was removed from the Police Act.

Nevertheless, the act is still unclear as to whether or not it is permissible to appoint judges to the police commissions by the Lieutenant Governor in Council. We would, accordingly, move two amendments in committee of the whole House dealing with the balance on the board and to preclude the appointment or renewal of appointments of judges to these police commissions.

Therefore, I need not elaborate upon those arguments. It is our intention on Bill 86, as I indicated, to divide on the three amendments on that bill. We will move the amendments in committee on Bill 87 on two of those points, but we do not propose to divide on Bill 87.

Mr. Swart: Mr. Speaker, if I could very briefly, I do not want not to repeat any of the arguments I put forward before, but simply would ask the Solicitor General if he will comment, when he rises, on any consultation he has had with the municipal associations since he has been minister about the changing of the composition of the police commission to three elected people. I know, as I stated before, that all kinds of resolution have been passed and it is a matter of great concern.

I would like to know what contact there has been and whether he has been asked to make this change. It is obvious that the municipal associations which had some consultation with him were not aware this bill was coming forward to the point where there would be the opportunity to change it. In making changes in a bill such as this involving all the regional municipalities, did the minister notify the regional municipalities of his intent to make these changes?

Hon. G. W. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, in reply to the member for Welland-Thorold's last comments, it has been a matter of complete knowledge by the Solicitor General, by previous Solicitors General and, I am sure, by many of the members of this House that many of the municipal councillors, the elected municipal people and those who make up the body known as the Association of Municipalities of Ontario have had many resolutions of which I am aware and which they have deposited with me. They are in the archives as well. They have made representations to me that they would prefer and have sought that the majority of members on police commissions be either elected or appointed by municipal councils.

The arguments they have put forward are historical arguments and line up no greater on one side than those who have put forward, as we have done as a government, the position that we should have the three provincial appointments versus the two elected appointments or, as it will be, the potential of having two elected municipal councillors or one elected municipal councillor and one appointed by them, giving the two to three position versus the three to two.

The member for Welland-Thorold asked me what I had done with these pieces of legislation. The intended principles of these particular pieces of legislation were announced by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (Mr. Bennett) to the last annual conference of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario. I have made the same announcement to the Association of the Governing Police Authorities, as well as in a press release on the subject. I think most, if not all, of the municipalities would have some knowledge of the intended changes in principle in this piece of legislation. I would hope their knowledge of it would allow them to respond if they so desire.

I have not had any response, but I am sure they would say that goes to the next step. I know it is not what the Association of Municipalities of Ontario desires as its ultimate goal. There is always the argument put forward that they produce more of the dollars and, therefore, they should have a greater say. The other argument always put foward opposite to that is that when one has more elected officials from the municipal area, one will have some political interference, some difficulties and some lack of independence of the police. All those arguments are put forward.

If there is any weight to the argument that because they provide most of the money they should have the greatest number of appointments, I am sure one could point to many boards and commissions -- I use the prime example of the numerous hospital boards throughout Ontario -- where the province has either none or very few but not the majority of members. Yet they spend millions, indeed billions of dollars, of provincial money where there is no representation. The weight of numbers versus the dollars spent can be lined up and challenged in as many ways as can be put forward in support of the arguments for the changes in the numbers.

There is some consideration to the amendment of the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) that judges be prohibited from sitting on the different boards. That is what the legislation does not do. The amendment I am putting forward no longer requires them to sit. I could tell him -- and I am sure he would not be satisfied with it as a provision -- that I will not be making any further appointments to those committees by way of judges. I am sure he would rather see it printed because he will say I will be gone next week, the week after, a year after or some time thereafter and thus the policy could change.

I have an amendment, which I am sure will probably meet with his approval, to Bill 87 rather than Bill 86. If it meets with the opposition's approval, it will go a little way to meeting their distance, their philosophy and principle in not having judges appointed to police commissions.

That would be an amendment to Bill 87 whereby no judge or justice of the peace will be appointed to be a member of the board in future, but those who are already on there would be grandfathered. When they come up for reappointment, they would not be reappointed. That allows some flexibility to the particular request they are asking for. I have those amendments and I will have them delivered to the member.

Motion agreed to.

Bill ordered for committee of the whole House.

The House recessed at 6 p.m.