32nd Parliament, 3rd Session



























The House met at 10 am.



Mr. Kennedy: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. It was pointed out to me that the bill I introduced yesterday was out of order as being a money bill, which cannot be proposed by a private member or without a message from the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor. I therefore wish to withdraw the bill. I have filed with the Clerk a resolution asking the House to call upon the government to take this action; that is, that the maximum awards under the Compensation for Victims of Crime Act be doubled as they have not been changed since the legislation was passed 12 years ago.



Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, I will ask a question of the Premier if I may. A week ago, the Premier will recall, we had a discussion in this House about some of the contracts from the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Last week, it was reported that Mr. Horswill, the assistant deputy minister, said that ideally those contracts should have been tendered.

In today's press, the Premier no doubt will be aware that there is some discussion in the ministry now about whether those contracts were in "the normal form," according to the current Minister of Industry and Trade (Mr. F. S. Miller). He goes on to say that releasing those contracts, letters of intent, or whatever they are, will require cabinet approval.

Last week we asked the Premier to look into this matter. Will he table those contracts? If he will not, why not?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I stand to he corrected, but I think I am -- right in fact, I am almost sure; I am never 100 per cent sure -- but my recollection is that there was a question to the Chairman of Management Board (Mr. McCague), and he undertook to review this and said he would report back to the House. That is my recollection, and I think it is fairly accurate. The Chairman of Management Board is away this week, and I expect he will be doing it some time next week.

Mr. Peterson: I refer the Premier to Hansard when he responded thus to the question to table the contracts: "I will not give any such undertaking. I will certainly look into it. I really do not anticipate there are very many." He then said he would look into it. It has now been a week. The rationale --

Hon. Mr. Davis: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: The Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Peterson) should read all of Hansard. One of the members opposite posed a subsequent question related to those contracts to the Chairman of Management Board, where this responsibility lies. If the member would only try to remember what goes on in this place, it was subsequent to that where the Chairman of Management Board made it clear that he would do this.

Mr. Peterson: The Premier also made a promise to this House. If his promise is the same as the Premier's, that is fair enough.

Mr. Speaker: Question, please.

Mr. Peterson: The Premier rationalized the whole matter last week, saying the question was "value for money," and he referred to section 50 of the Ontario Manual of Administration. No doubt he is aware that document suggests that any contract has to set out the mutual responsibility of both the contractor and the contractee. I am referring specifically to the Martyn contracts. What are the mutual responsibilities under these contracts, which generated $153,000 worth of public expenditures?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am not in a position to answer that question. I replied to the question when it was initially raised with my views. There was a subsequent question. I am not sure whether it was from the Leader of the Opposition. As a matter of fact, but I am not sure of this, I think it was the member for Port Arthur (Mr. Foulds) who was quoting the Manual of Administration. I think he directed his question, which I thought put this issue in perspective, to the Chairman of Management Board, who undertook to take a look at them and see whether they complied with the Manual of Administration or whether the Manual of Administration had application to these contracts.

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, can the Premier inform us whether these two specific agreements, whatever they are called, received cabinet approval, at what time they received cabinet approval and under what conditions they received cabinet approval?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, matters of this nature do not come to cabinet as a matter of course. They do not come to cabinet at all.

Mr. Peterson: Just so I am clear today: The Premier is saying the Chairman of Management Board will report back to this House, having investigated the matter. Is he going to instruct him to table those contracts, those letters of intent or whatever they are, and make them public so that there can be an independent look at the stewardship of the taxpayers money?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I think we would all be fooling one another if we believed the Leader of the Opposition was suggesting "an independent look." There is no question how objective he would be in any analysis of anything this government does; his objectivity in that field is, with respect, somewhat suspect. I understand that, but I say to him to please not try to con me into thinking he is objective about any of these issues.

Mr. Peterson: Just as long as the Premier does not try to con people into thinking he is objective when he is the one who is trying to suppress the contracts, not me.

Mr. Speaker: Question, please.

Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, I have another important question for the Minister of Energy. Perhaps you could advise me whether he is going to be coming into the House. If not, I will address it to the Premier. I will stand it down if he is coming.

Hon. Mr. Davis: For such an important question, my advice is that of course he is coming. I do not have the foggiest idea, but I will find out. I think he is supposed to be coming.

Mr. Peterson: If I may, I will stand down my question, Mr. Speaker. Thank you.

10:10 a.m.


Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the acting Minister of Community and Social Services, the Provincial Secretary for Social Development. It is about the Social Assistance Review Board, that refuge for weary Tory campaigners.

Is the minister aware that board has been breaking its own regulation which stipulates that all decisions made by the Social Assistance Review Board will be made within 61 days of the date of hearing? In response to a written question I asked, we have learned that 70 per cent of the cases being heard by this quasi-judicial body are exceeding its own regulation limit. In fact, 800 people in the past year have had to wait more than 91 days to receive some word as to whether they would get their appeals approved through the Social Assistance Review Board.

Given that these are people who are waiting to get disability pensions and family benefits, does the minister not think this board needs a good raking over in terms of serving the needs of these people and should not be allowed to break its own regulations?

Hon. Mr. McCaffrey: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member is as knowledgeable about the issue as anybody in the assembly. He knows full well that the minister, the member for Scarborough Centre (Mr. Drea), met in the spring, I think it was, with the study group looking at the Social Assistance Review Board. At that point, he made his views clear. I have no reason to think they have changed. Following that meeting, which I think was in the spring or summer, a fairly detailed press release articulating his views was made public.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Does the minister think it is appropriate that individuals such as those who are among the 800 who have been waiting should have to go through the following situation?

A Portuguese couple who were both trying to apply for permanently unemployable benefits were denied family benefits by a local administrator because of some lack of information about property in Portugal. They had their hearing on December 8, 1982, and on April 5, 1983, there was a decision granting benefits. That is 112 days from the hearing to the decision. They also waited another six months. to September 30, to receive a cheque.

Mr. Speaker: Question, please.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Is that acceptable in the minister's view? Does it not say that this board is out of control and is not protecting the people who need it most? Instead of it being a last hope for people, it is now becoming a last straw.

Hon. Mr. McCaffrey: I have two responses. The member knows this is a nonministry group made up of lawyers and social agency personnel. I do not want to repeat the issues that were outlined in the press release I referred to. I think it would he most appropriate if I could report hack on Monday, if that is fair enough, with the detailed responses his question should be given.

Ms. Copps: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the provincial secretary on the same issue. In view of the fact that when it comes to the Family Benefits Act, the Ministry of Community and Social Services can be up to one year behind in assessing overpayments, and in view of the fact that people who have been assessed overpayments one year after the fact are required to pay back moneys which were given to them and which they have already spent in good faith, does the minister not think he should consider solving at least part of the Social Assistance Review Board dilemma by making sure that when decisions are rendered, those decisions also include retroactive pay to the time when the application was tendered?

Hon. Mr. McCaffrey: Mr. Speaker, while I am not an expert in the area, that seems to me to be a reasonable suggestion. I will look into it.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: It is very disruptive because the practice at the moment is that when a person wins, he or she has to go back and apply again to get that money. It goes against the present rules. I will send the minister a number of other examples of cases where people have been waiting 16 months for assistance.

Since the minister is going to review this, I want to ask him whether he would please review the role of the medical advisory board, something we have been complaining about for quite some time.

Mr. McClellan: Since 1963.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Since 1963, the member for Bellwoods (Mr. McClellan) tells me. I would like the minister to investigate in particular the length of time it is taking for the medical advisory board just to make a decision on out-of-Toronto requests, even before it gets to the whole question of a hearing. We have examples from Ottawa and Sudbury of the medical advisory board taking four to five months and six to seven months just to make a recommendation one way or another before the whole hearing process can even take place.

Hon. Mr. McCaffrey: I would appreciate receiving the information referred to by the member, and I will report back in detail as soon as I can.


Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Energy. He said outside the House yesterday that in addition to the garter springs being out of place in the new unit 6 at Bruce B, the garter springs are out of place in three of the four operating reactors at Bruce A. Can he tell me why he did not reveal this to members of the House yesterday? More important, can he tell me what he plans to do in terms of examining the garter springs in the other operating reactors?

Hon. Mr. Andrewes: Mr. Speaker, the question of the garter springs is being reviewed on a continuing basis by Ontario Hydro, which is the agency operating those reactors. The details of the garter spring migration are being monitored using some very sophisticated sonic equipment. The theory that the movement of garter springs might contribute to hydriding as a result of the tubes sagging in the operation of these reactors is under consideration on a daily basis.

If the Leader of the Opposition would like those kinds of details, I would be pleased to take the question as notice and supply those details.

Mr. Peterson: We asked about this yesterday. When the minister is delving into this matter, I would like to know how soon he plans to examine the other reactors at Bruce and Pickering, how long it will take to examine each reactor, how long they will be out of service and how much this is going to cost.

Also, in view of the fact that we understand the tooling has yet to be developed to move these garter springs, how is he going to get them back into place?

Hon. Mr. Andrewes: Mr. Speaker, I said I would take the question as notice and would be pleased to respond to the Leader of the Opposition.

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, in the absence of Milan Nastich in the House to account for Ontario Hydro, does the Minister of Energy not feel it is his serious responsibility, as the minister responsible for Hydro in reporting to the House and for policy, to make a statement to this House within the next day or two about Hydro's commitment to nuclear energy?

Does the minister not feel it is necessary to state how the government may be re-evaluating that commitment in view of the number of incidents, accidents or flaws that are coming to light so that we do not necessarily have the blind commitment that Hydro has of trying to achieve 60 per cent of its generation by nuclear power within the next 10 years?

Hon. Mr. Andrewes: Mr. Speaker, the key to that question posed by the deputy leader of the third party is the question of policy. I am responsible for reporting on behalf of and conferring with Ontario Hydro in relation to policy. I am not responsible for the day-to-day operation of those reactors, and he knows it. That has been discussed very thoroughly at a select committee.

I will be pleased to provide the details requested in the question if, in fact, it does relate to policy. I said at the outset that I would bring the House up to date periodically as there were changes in the status at the Pickering generating station and in terms of the whole operation of the nuclear program.

Mr. Peterson: The minister has not answered my original question. I will ask it of him again. Are there or are there not, as he said yesterday outside of this House, garter springs out of place in three of the four operating reactors at Bruce A?

Hon. Mr. Andrewes: I can report basically on the status. Of the reactors that are under construction, Pickering units 7 and 8 and Bruce units 5 and 6 all show a significant percentage of springs displaced to some extent. That has been discovered in checks that are currently under way and that have been done on a random basis.

Ontario Hydro is checking the position of garter springs in reactors at Pickering B and Bruce B stations that, as I said, are in the construction stage. I cannot provide for the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Peterson) the details in terms of the migration of garter springs in reactors that are currently under operation. Although these reactors would not have to be taken out of service, they would have to be taken off line for that information to be compiled.

10:20 a.m.

I am very concerned about the statements the Leader of the Opposition has made with respect to the whole nuclear program and this whole question of garter springs. It is alleged that he said to a reporter of the Globe and Mail yesterday that every nuclear reactor in the province might be a danger to the public safety.

In saying that, I think he does a great disservice to a national industry that adds substantial economic value to this country and substantial economic potential in terms of exports. Also, he does a substantial disservice to the dedicated people in Ontario Hydro and Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., who have built these reactors, who are operating them and will continue to operate them.

Mr. Cassidy: I think you have been captured by Hydro in three months.

Hon. Mr. Andrewes: If the Leader of the Opposition and members of the third party want to preside over the demise of the nuclear industry in this nation, that is their choice.


Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Deputy Premier, the Minister responsible for Women's Issues and affirmative action. He will recall that the Minister of Education (Miss Stephenson) indicated on June 3: "There is no impediment at this time to the entry of women into training programs in nontraditional areas. It needs only their desire to move in that direction . . . One of the major difficulties we have to overcome is that impediment of attitude . . . However, one of our major attacks certainly has to be upon the attitudes of families to the career decisions of young women, particularly in the school system."

The minister substantially repeated that argument last week during the debate on the private member's resolution that was before us, at which time she said: "There is no doubt that one of the factors in the wage gap that has been traditionally in place has been the traditional attitudes about and expectations of women."

Would the minister reponsible for affirmative action not agree that one of the ways and one of the places where we can attack those attitudes and change them around is through the equal opportunity advisers attached to community colleges? If that is the case, would he not think that is an area in which we should have full funding and year-round advisers?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I find myself in general support of the preamble. It is too bad that the Minister of Education, in her speech in June and in her contribution to the debate on the resolution a week ago, did not have the opportunity to really say all that she had prepared to say on that occasion, because it was a very valuable contribution to all of this.

It is my understanding that there are many projects now in our community colleges which are directed to that very objective of attempting to be helpful in pursuing that approach in order to make sure that women do see their opportunities in the nontraditional occupations. Niagara College has a very active project in that regard. It is not unusual that such progressive things would emanate from that part of the province.

Mr. Foulds: Could the minister then explain why a community college such as Loyalist College of Applied Arts and Technology in Belleville, which has an equal opportunity adviser, considers it is necessary to have that adviser simply on a contract basis for 40 weeks? No preliminary or advance work can be done over the summer months to lead up to the school term, and at the end of each contract one starts from square one again.

Hon. Mr. Welch: I think it is very important and I hope I would be seen as underlining the emphasis in the preamble to the honourable member's question. There is no doubt in my mind that one of the greatest strides we can make in narrowing the wage gap is encouraging more and more women to consider career opportunities in what up to now have been considered nontraditional occupations. Indeed, we should strive for a time when we would have jobs without gender in this province, if I can put it that way.

As the Minister responsible for Women's Issues, I would want to identify myself with whatever can be done to facilitate that and would support the Minister of Colleges and Universities (Miss Stephenson) in that way. I am not able to comment on the practical situation in that community college, but I would be happy to provide whatever encouragement I can from our responsibility in that regard.

Mr. Wrye: Mr. Speaker, since the Minister responsible for Women's Issues is responsible for advising his colleagues on what can be done to enhance the goals I think we all desire, and since the comments he has made this morning are appropriate in terms of his own personal views, why does he not move to recognize the role community colleges can play in this area?

After all, the programs vary to meet changing needs. As they vary and as they open up opportunities for women to move into nontraditional jobs, surely what we need in place is an equal opportunity adviser on a 52-weeks-a-year basis, not on a contract which may change advisers at the end of one year but on a staff position basis. Why does he not go to his colleague the Minister of Colleges and Universities and suggest she fund such a program with one staff position in every community college in Ontario so that we can get on with the job?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, as the honour- able member will know, the speech to which reference was made by our friend the deputy leader of the third party did provide some resources in this regard. I think it would be unfortunate if we left the impression that there were not a number of very positive initiatives at present going on with respect to this whole area in community colleges. I mentioned Project Techtrain at Niagara College and others, all with this particular emphasis.

I should also point out the workshops which the women's directorate is organizing, starting in Thunder Bay next weekend. There will be one in Windsor and different parts of the province with this whole emphasis of career opportunities for women. In the spirit of that, the member can be assured that this minister will be supporting the Minister of Colleges and Universities in all she is doing in this regard.

Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, is the Minister responsible for Women's Issues aware that the Ontario Federation of Labour and other community and women's groups are sponsoring a public forum tonight and all day tomorrow at city hall in Toronto to hear from the public on the question of the need for mandatory affirmative action to change these attitudes and to see what is needed, and also for equal pay for work of equal value?

Is the minister planning to attend this forum, or will he send an observer to the hearings to find out at first hand the experience of women with the present voluntary affirmative action program and with the present ineffective equal pay legislation?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I am aware. In fact, I want to publicly commend the women's committee of the Ontario Federation of Labour for organizing these workshops. That is how we have to approach many social issues such as this, to get the public more involved and into situations where they can better understand the aims and objectives of these types of programs.

My colleague the Minister of Labour (Mr. Ramsay) was at the first of them, which was held in Sault Ste. Marie. I personally cannot be at the one in Toronto this weekend because I am leaving right after question period to spend today and a good part of tomorrow in Windsor, meeting with a number of women's groups in that part of the province. I will have an opportunity to follow the results of these seminars because there are other workshops in other parts of the province.

The organizers of these seminars were in to see us as part of the consultative process. They shared their plans with us. They are to be commended for organizing this opportunity for the public to understand better the whole area of affirmative action and equity matters in so far as women's issues are concerned.

10:30 a.m.


Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Energy. Whether the minister realizes it or not, he made a major admission in the last question that gave this House new information which he has not been prepared to share in the past.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Is that what your advisers told you?

Mr. Bradley: What do your advisers tell you?

Mr. Speaker: Order. The question, please.

Mr. Peterson: What he said was that there has been major garter springs migration in nonoperating reactors in Bruce and in Pickering as well. Obviously the serious question is, what is the state of migration of the garter springs in the operating reactor? We have asked the question several times and finally he has reluctantly come forward with what he knows. I want to know now, what does the minister know about the operating reactors at Bruce? Does he know or does he not know?

Hon. Mr. Andrewes: Mr. Speaker, I told the Leader of the Opposition that in order to make that determination, those reactors have to be pulled off line. If the Atomic Energy Control Board and Ontario Hydro feel it is necessary to make that determination, I am confident that the utility will pull those reactors off line and do just that.

Mr. Peterson: This is the same agency that turned Pickering unit 1 on and off. It has not demonstrated all that much consistency of purpose in this whole matter. The minister has to he involved in this.

When is the minister going to look into the Bruce A situation? Does he have a time frame on it? What is the extent of the seriousness of the problem? How long does he have to take them off line? When is he going to know and when is he going to report back to this House? It is a very serious matter, whether the minister understands that or not.

Hon. Mr. Andrewes: The Leader of the Opposition continues his scaremongering tactics. The question of the garter springs, as I told him quite clearly, is one of many considerations in the Pickering unit 2 problem. As those priorities are set, as those determinations come forward and as the board and the operating utility move to collect further evidence into the problems of Pickering unit 2, I will report to the House.

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, does the Minister of Energy not consider it is his reponsibility as minister to have already asked Ontario Hydro for a detailed explanation of the flaws that have occurred in the nuclear reactor system, the implications for the mix of Ontario Hydro's electrical generation and the cost implications of those flaws? Does he not also feel it is his responsibility to inform the House and the public of Ontario whether it is time to re-examine Hydro's blind commitment to nuclear energy?

Hon. Mr. Andrewes: Mr. Speaker, again the key is a question of policy. Ontario Hydro will be making those kinds of determinations. In fact, it is making them on an ongoing daily basis. The discussions in terms of the government policy related to Hydro are quite clearly set out in terms of operating agreements and memoranda of understanding. My role here is to make sure that those policies are implemented.


Mr. McClellan: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations arising out of the research information bulletin from the Thom commission which, curiously enough, is dated November 1, 1983. I guess the only thing that is on schedule is the research bulletin.

There is a comment on the first page of this research bulletin: "The phase 1 report is currently being written. The report will be released at the earliest possible date later this year or early in the new year." That is much later than anyone had anticipated. Can the minister give the House a commitment today that the provisions of Bill 198, which set a five per cent limit on rent increases for financing costs resulting from the multiple sale of a building, will not he allowed to sunset on December 31, 1983?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I still have firm hopes that part 1 of the Thom commission report, or at least portions of it, will be available for this government to consider before this House adjourns for the Christmas period, and that we will be able to make determinations about what matters should be brought before the House prior to that adjournment.

I am as interested as the member to evaluate the need for continuation of Bill 198, and certainly that is an issue that is in my mind and will be before cabinet in the event there is some delay in the forwarding of the Thom report to us.

Mr. McClellan: I did not hear a commitment there, but I did hear a concern. I am reassured about that.

I also have another memorandum which is part of the same package dealing with the different items which will be dealt with in phase I and phase 2. Is the minister not concerned that the Thom commission has relegated to phase 2, which is in the far distant future as far as anybody can realistically tell, the question of whether or not the exemption of units renting for $750 a month should continue or be abolished? Is the minister not aware this is a matter of crisis proportions?

Between 1981 and 1982, in Toronto alone, more than 700 apartment units were inflated out of rent review. There are literally thousands of units on the brink of being inflated out of rent review because $750 a month is no longer a luxury rent. It is now the basic rent for very modest accommodation, particularly in places like the city of Toronto. Will the minister instruct the Thom commission to deal with this issue as part of phase I and not put it off to some far distant phase 2?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Being the concerned member he is, the member for Bellwoods would be concerned if the minister endeavoured to direct the Thom commission with respect to its priorities. I did not so direct the commission, and indeed had nothing to do with the commissioner's decision to deal with that matter in the second phase of his report. If the member has concerns, it should be with the members of his party in Manitoba who set a $650 ceiling in that province last year.

Mr. Epp: Mr. Speaker, the minister is aware the average increase allowed last year under the rent review system was 14 per cent. Is the minister not concerned that this is excessively high, taking into consideration the fact that we had a restraint program of much less last year and the government tried to give the impression it was in support of restraint?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker. thoughtful analysis of that report would indicate to the member that those figures, reflecting as they do April 1982 to April 1983, would by and large be a reflection of the very difficult period with respect to energy costs and interest rates in the refinancing of mortgages. Certainly that has been acknowledged by members on the opposite side of this House in the past and I would not think they would wish to change that view.

The important thing one should recall is that following that April 1983 figure there was also a release put out by this minister, about a month ago, which the member may not have read, indicating that during the three-month period following April 1983 average rent increases dropped to 10 per cent. Again, I have no statistical reason to suppose that downward trend will continue, but it would be in keeping with the downward trend in energy costs and interest rates. I hope the member will agree with that.


Mr. Wrye: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the acting Minister of Community and Social Services, if I can get the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (Mr. Bennett) to let him give me some attention. In his recent explanation to the House regarding the St. Lawrence Regional Centre closing, the minister did not address the relocation of three residents four times since June 30 or the fate of other former residents at risk or returning to institutions.

This issue is addressed in a report called Moving Time, completed by the National Institute on Mental Retardation. I would like to quote briefly from it: "In the opinion of key staff of the services unit, nine individuals who have been sent to institutions from community-living arrangements since the closure could have succeeded in the community had the crisis intervention network been fully operational. In addition to these nine, there are several others who are at risk."

Why did the minister not listen to the voices of the local associations across the province regarding the need for backup services? Will he begin to listen now with regard to future closings?

10:40 a.m.

Hon. Mr. McCaffrey: Mr. Speaker, I think I heard the whole of the question, but it was just a little bit noisy towards the end. If may ask for clarification, does it deal with the question that some people at present in institutions are going to communities and then returning to the institutions?

Mr. Wrye: People who were in St. Lawrence Regional Centre were moved and have continued to be moved around because there were no backup services.

Hon. Mr. McCaffrey: I understand now. I do not and cannot obviously speak to the specifics of the nine people in question, but if the member will provide me with some names and what have you, I will undertake to do that. I do know in general terms there have been instances where patients have been moved from an insitution to a group home and, for a variety of reasons, it has not been successful, neither for the present inhabitants of that group home nor for the patient in question, so in some instances more than one move has taken place.

I know off the top of my head that there have been a couple of examples where such a transfer occurred and a person was returned to the institution while they looked for another more appropriate facility within the community. The fact that there are some moves is not uncommon. I cannot comment on those specific nine, but I will be happy to do so next week.

Mr. Wrye: I would remind the minister the report is called Moving Time. It should be available to him through his ministry.

The five-year plan the minister has alluded to is contingent on successful community placements for residents. I think he would agree with that. I think it is appropriate to ask this supplementary in that the Bluewater Centre is slated to close exactly three weeks from today. In the short time remaining, 89 of the 150 residents are still without concrete plans as to their fate. The minister has been unable to place 40 residents in London owing to his failure to meet previous community funding commitments and the fact that London already has 50 people waiting for residential placements and 60 more waiting for workshop placements. This is before the Bluewater closing.

Mr. Speaker: Question, please.

Mr. Wrye: The minister is now considering sending up to 60 people, as he said earlier, to the Palmerston Midwestern Regional Centre, which is rapidly increasing its numbers to more than 200 residents.

Will the minister agree to placing the closings on hold in Goderich, St. Thomas, Aurora, Cobourg and Whitby until such time as he can assure this House that the five-year plan is one of deinstitutionalization and not just one of reinstitutionalization?

Hon. Mr. McCaffrey: Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Drea) has made that commitment on more than one occasion and that commitment still stands.

Mr. Boudria: It is not working too well.

Mr. Wrye: Nobody believes it.

Mr. Boudria: It has been a flop so far.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, will the minister not agree that the reason he is having problems with the community placement is not to do with percentage terms about how this happens in all cases, but is to do with his having accelerated the deinstitutionalization process unreasonably and these people cannot adjust, and also because he has not put into place the proper community support he is putting more people back into institutions than he planned in the first place? Is the whole thing not becoming more costly than he ever presumed? Will he agree that he is not doing effective deinstitutionalization, and therefore it is time to stop and take stock of the situation before we go any further with it?

Hon. Mr. McCaffrey: Mr. Speaker, there will be no stopping as far as the government's commitment to deinstitutionalization is concerned, and there is a long history to that which everyone knows.

It should be made clear that no institution will close, be it in three weeks or whatever earlier date, until all of those patients are adequately and properly looked after.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: They put people in Brockville through hell when they closed it. Don't give me that.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. McCaflrey: If that means there would have to be some adjustment in the announced closure date, then obviously that goes without saying, because the commitment has been made in this assembly and outside on a number of occasions that nothing will be done until all the patients in the named institutions are properly and adequately placed.


Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, I have another question for the Provincial Secretary for Social Development. Has the minister read the brief sent to him last month by the Older Adult Centres' Association of Ontario drawing to his attention the shocking fact that the maximum provincial grant for operating costs for elderly persons centres has not been raised from the miserly $15,000 set in 1966, despite an increase in the consumer price index of 236 per cent since that date?

I would like to ask the minister how he and his colleagues can talk about their concern for seniors in this province and, at the same time, continue to underfund centres that provide essential recreational and social opportunities for, and promote the health and welfare of, seniors in the community.

Hon. Mr. McCaffrey: Mr. Speaker, neither I nor any member of this government has any difficulty talking about our record and our commitment to seniors. With regard to the Elderly Persons Centres Act, I respect the fact that the ceiling of $15,000 has been in place for some years, but the number of centres being funded has grown over the years. As most members have, I have had first hand experience visiting and being involved with centres in my community. They are like anything else; more money could be used. But the number of centres being funded has grown over this period of time.

Ms. Bryden: The brief indicates there is a backlog of 20 applications for funding for elderly persons centres and some of these date back to 1974. In addition, the Ministry of Community and Social Services anticipates that funding will be sought for another 50 in the near future because of the unmet need.

I would like to ask the minister if he can make a commitment to deal with that backlog of 20 this fiscal year. What request is he making to the provincial Treasurer (Mr. Grossman) for additional funds in the coming year to maintain and expand these very important facilities, to index the ceiling and to provide adequate capital funding as well?

Hon. Mr. McCaffrey: I cannot make such a commitment, but I can assure the member that the whole question, not only of the elderly persons centres, the number to be funded and the ceiling which is at present operative, but the broader question about funding and support for seniors' needs is very much a priority of the Treasurer and the government and is, on any given day in our deliberations around here, of the highest urgency.

Mr. Wrye: Mr. Speaker, let me ask the minister if he will completely review this whole matter. He will be aware that last year the senior citizens centre in my community of Windsor ran into exactly that problem of the $15,000 ceiling. It found itself in great need to expand because we have a burgeoning seniors population. Yet the ministry's level of $15,000, which is more than a decade and a half old, I believe, completely shut them out for funding for months on end and threatened their ability to move to a larger facility.

Will the minister give us a commitment today to sit down and review that level, understanding as we do that we have more centres, but I am sure, understanding as he will that we have had great changes in the value of the dollar over the past 15 years.

Hon. Mr. McCaffrey: Mr. Speaker, I will take a look at the number on the waiting list and the priorities to be funded. It is terribly important that the member and all of us remember when we are talking about the Elderly Persons Centres Act and the existing $15,000 ceiling, this should not be seen in isolation from things this government, through a variety of ministries, is doing to meet the burgeoning demands and the growth in the number of senior citizens.

10:50 a.m.

In the member's own community some capital commitments have been made in the recent past that I am aware of. I do not think we should see this in isolation. That is not the only yardstick about what we are doing to meet the growth in demand for services.


Mr. Ruprecht: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. I would like to ask the minister how well he thinks tenants are being protected when, after two years, hundreds of tenants are still owed literally thousands of dollars by landlords. As he well knows, in one building the landlord overcharged 54 tenants in varying amounts between $2,000 and $17,000. and two years' later they have not yet been paid back.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I am not sure which building the member is talking about. As he knows, there are some that are under appeal and some that are not. As a general principle, I think my response to that has to be that the commission has addressed those issues. The commission has now commenced action before the courts with respect to some of those matters the member may be referring to, so that those people who have not been complying with the Residential Tenancy Commission orders may be charged with contempt.

We are awaiting the outcome of those charges before the government reviews the whole matter. I hope the member, being the thoughtful member -- or is that true? -- being the thoughtful member he has the potential to be, let me put it that way, would also agree that is an appropriate way to proceed.

Mr. Ruprecht: The minister is really being very complacent. Not only are hundreds of tenants still being overcharged in spite of the present situation, but they are at present still overcharged --

Mr. Speaker: Question. please.

Mr. Ruprecht: -- because the landlord is asking for two cheques, one for the rental accommodation and one for the furniture in the building.

Will the minister at least give us a commitment that he will recommend to the Thom commission that clause 4(a) of the Residential Tenancies Act be changed so this situation can be overcome?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: I think I have already responded to that question.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Labour with respect to the situation at the The Mill restaurant in Ottawa where employees are now in their fourth month of being on strike in search of a first contract.

Is the minister aware the employer in this case is now demanding the right to exclude three of the workers who have led the strike, Fernando Cagigal, Rad Daher and Pierre Hardy? The employer wants to take their jobs away as a condition for settling a collective agreement.

Will the minister make a clear statement in this House that it is not acceptable behaviour in Ontario for employers to victimize workers who stand up for union rights and that this demand should be withdrawn in order that the contract can he settled?

Hon. Mr. Ramsay: Mr. Speaker, it is my understanding that the other issues have basically been resolved and this remains the outstanding issue. There will be a further meeting, which will be mediated by one of our officers, on Tuesday of this week and I am optimistic the problem can he resolved at that time.

Mr. Cassidy: Will the minister make a clear statement that kind of behaviour is not tolerable in Ontario and that kind of demand is simply not an acceptable demand for an employer to make, to seek to victimize the very workers who are responsible for forming a union? Will he make that statement in this House now and make it clear where the government stands, or is he saying that is tolerable behaviour?

Hon. Mr. Ramsay: I would never say that is tolerable behaviour, but what I would say is this is a practice that is used in many negotiations. It is usually down to the last items to he considered. This happens to be a first contract, but in other cases there are people the management perhaps feels have not behaved properly during the course of a work stoppage and so on. It is a matter that is best attended to through the mediation services of our ministry. Our ministry has an excellent record in resolving these situations.


Mr. G. I. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. I would like to make the minister aware that a tornado went through the townships of Norfolk, Walsingham, Wyecombe and Langton. Fortunately, it did not do a tremendous amount of damage, but for the few farms and homes that were hit it was devastating. Can the minister indicate if the disaster fund will assist the people who were affected by this tornado?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, some of the ministry people have been down in the area reviewing the situation with some of the local councils. I do not know at this time if an official request has been placed before me or the ministry asking the government to activate its disaster relief fund. As the member knows, if the situation qualifies, then the province will make an announcement indicating its participation. There again, it would only be in conjunction with participation by the community itself.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Does the minister not think it should be simplified and the same money be made available at low interest rates as it was to the people at Woodstock where I believe they could borrow money at a reasonable rate?

Anyone can he wiped out in a few seconds. There was one farmer whose barn was completely wiped out, and five kilns and his greenhouses were destroyed. He could be out of business in a flash. I know one is supposed to have insurance, and he did have insurance, but it is not adequate to replace the facilities because of devaluation through age. Should there not be a simpler way of providing funding for cases of this type?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: I think we have to keep a balance in the situation with which we are dealing. The government has at no time said it is going to become the insurance position for everybody in this province. If we started to try to simplify the process and to make it much more generous from a general taxpayer's point of view in Ontario, there would be people who would take the next step and ask, "Why should I be self-insured or be insured through a private corporate system?"

We have always been very considerate in trying to deal with people who have really and truly met with a disaster and who did not have insurance, in some cases because it was not available to them. But in no way do I wish to leave this House or the people of this province with the idea that we are going to broaden the disaster relief fund to the point where it will weaken the position of the general insurance people in this province in selling to those who want to protect their own financial interests.


Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Citizenship and Culture. Can the minister comment on the sheer stupidity and insensitivity of the public relations of the Royal Ontario Museum in placing in the Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal this advertisement: "ROM whirls away from the everyday. Once they traded, transacted, conned, bargained and bartered for these treasures. You can enjoy them for the price of a ticket. 'Silk Roads, China Ships,' ROM, Royal Ontario Museum. Avenue Road at Bloor"?

Could the minister tell the officials of ROM that there is no Avenue Road and Bloor in Thunder Bay. that there is no silk road between Thunder Bay and Toronto and that the price of a ticket for the people of Thunder Bay to attend this function would be around $325 Air Canada return fare or two days' driving time on bumpy highways?

Hon. Ms. Fish: Mr. Speaker, I will be pleased to convey the honourable member's wishes to the ROM.

Mr. Foulds: Can the minister also inform the PR officials at the Royal Ontario Museum that such an advertisement is more likely to do damage to its very fine reputation than to enhance it? There should be some sensitivity about the placing of ads across the province. Surely, if there is going to be this kind of advertising campaign, it should he very clearly pointed out that this kind of thing is available only in Toronto at present.

11 a.m.

Hon. Ms. Fish: Notwithstanding whether the ad should have changed somewhat in its wording, the member is aware that the intention of the Royal Ontario Museum has been to make people right across Ontario aware of the exhibit housed in the museum so that when they are here in Toronto. where the museum happens to be located, they will be aware of it and perhaps take advantage of it.

If the particular wording of the ad, or the indication that is there is something that has given offence or has been a cause of concern to people in the member's riding, I know that would concern the appropriate officials at the Royal Ontario Museum. They see their role, as do I, as serving all the people of Ontario. I believe their attempt should be applauded for its spirit, which was to make available to people across this province the knowledge of the shows and exhibits at the Royal Ontario Museum.


Mr. T. P. Reid: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the acting Minister of Community and Social Services with regard to the new home for the aged to be built in Fort Frances, serving the Rainy River district.

The acting minister may be aware that the province through the Board of Industrial Leadership and Development program is providing something like $4.25 million for this 168-bed facility. I wonder whether the minister, and I refer this as well to the Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Bernier), knows that this is going to cost the township of Atikokan something like $778,000, the township of Emo $305,000 and the town of Rainy River more than $167,000.

As well, these municipalities are being charged for and have financial problems related to programs under the Ministry of the Environment about which they were not aware.

Will the acting Minister of Community and Social Services, the Minister of Northern Affairs and perhaps the Treasurer (Mr. Grossman) review this matter with a view to providing further financial assistance to this much-needed project for the Rainy River district?

Hon. Mr. McCaffrey: Mr. Speaker, I am a little bit aware of the background. I thank the honourable member for his interest in it. I will undertake to raise that specific question with the Ministry of Community and Social Services. My colleague the Minister of Northern Affairs too has something he would like to contribute to the answer.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Speaker, in answer to the honourable member's question, I certainly appreciate his interest and concern because it is a concern in the Fort Frances-Rainy River-Atikokan area.

The reeve of Atikokan did contact me with respect to special assistance for Atikokan in its predicament. I had to indicate that we did not have the funds he was looking for, but I did point out to him as strongly as I could that the Ministry of Northern Affairs and the Ministry of Health had approved a 16-bed extended care facility for Atikokan which will cost in excess of $1 million. It will take the pressure off its extended care requirements in the long term.

I also pointed out to him the long-standing legal commitment to the Rainycrest Home for the Aged. When we brought in the extended care program, we were adamant in pointing out that the agreements the communities got into with the regional homes for the aged had to remain in place.

I have the same situation in the Kenora area. I am also told that Atikokan does have the wherewithal to debenture for those kinds of funds.



Mr. Boudria: Mr. Speaker, I wish to table a petition with 287 signatures, and it reads as follows:

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

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

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

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

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

This petition is signed by 287 teachers from the following schools: Fairfield Public School, Terry Fox Public School, Blackburn Public School, Glen Ogilvie Public School, Convent Glen Public School, Lamira Dow Billings Public School, l'Ecole élémentaire française Le Phare, Henry Munro Middle School, Carson Grove Public School, Manotick Public School, Robert Hopkins Public School, Emily Carr Middle School, Blossom Park Public School, Ramsayville Public School and Fisher Heights Public School.

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker. I have a petition. which reads:

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

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

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

"Whereas we believe that an extension of the act or measures which 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 signed by elementary school teachers in Thunder Bay and area: Crestview Public School, Algonquin Avenue Public School, McKenzie Public School, Grandview Public School, Balsam Street Public School, Edgewater Park Public School, Pine Street Public School, St. James Public School, Gorham and Ware Public School -- at which there was a magnificent opening of the new wing last Tuesday night, which 500 people attended -- McKellar Park Central School and Section 15 of Twinhaven School for the Trainable Retarded.

I would like to say very clearly that I support this petition.



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

That supply in the following amount and to defray the expenses of the Provincial Secretariat for Resources Development be granted to Her Majesty for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1984:

Resources development policy program,



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

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

Ministry administration program, $9,564,300; institutional program, $169,798,300; community program, $39,179,000.

11:10 a.m.



Hon. Mr. Elgie moved, seconded by Hon. Mr. McMurtry, first reading of Bill 102, An Act to amend the Corporations Information Act.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, this bill is part of a companion pair of bills I am putting in today. I will make some remarks following the second bill.


Hon. Mr. Elgie moved, seconded by Hon. Mr. McMurtry, first reading of Bill 103, An Act in respect of Extra-Provincial Corporations.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce for first reading the Extra-Provincial Corporations Act, which I believe will be welcomed by the Canadian business community. I am also introducing for first reading the Corporations Information Amendment Act, which is ancillary to the proposed new act and which includes three other housekeeping changes.

The new act will remove the need for Canadian companies incorporated outside Ontario to obtain an extra-provincial licence to carry on business in this province. As honourable members are probably aware, companies incorporated by the Quebec and federal governments are now exempt from licensing requirements that apply to companies in the eight other provinces.

This new legislation would remove that discrepancy, treating all Canadian corporations equally. By making it easier for Canadians to do business in Ontario, we hope to encourage a freer movement of capital and enterprise within this country. Under the new act, companies incorporated by jurisdictions outside Canada will continue to need an extra-provincial licence to do business here.

The new act will replace an outmoded section of the existing Corporations Act dealing with extra-provincial corporations. Of course, this new legislation will not change the licensing or registration requirements of any other act for companies engaged in certain business activities in Ontario.

The removal of licensing requirements would immediately affect 2,683 companies, a small percentage of the approximately 32,000 Canadian corporations active in Ontario. The new Extra-Provincial Corporations Act will also (1) more clearly define the meaning of carrying on business in Ontario, (2) codify provisions for company representative agents in Ontario, (3) stiffen penalties for breaches of the act and (4) set out procedures for determining whether the name of a corporation is acceptable for use in Ontario.

I want to emphasize that the dropping of licensing requirements in no way lessens our control over corporations operating here. In fact, changes I am proposing today in the existing Corporations Information Act will require extra-provincial companies to file additional information on other activities in Ontario.

The other changes proposed for the Corporations Information Act are simply intended to clarify the legislation, and I trust members will co-operate with speedy passage of these bills.


House in committee of supply.


On vote 601, ministry administration program:

Mr. Boudria: Mr. Chairman, I believe that at the close of the debate the other night I had enumerated two questions for the minister. One of them was on how he felt about the decision of the Board of Internal Economy with regard to translations when a member of this Legislature is corresponding with his constituents. I wondered whether he still interpreted that to be a privilege accorded to me rather than a right that should he accorded to me.

I qualify that by referring to the decision taken recently by the Board of Internal Economy not to recognize translation services as being a service of the assembly but rather as a service that is offered to each member individually. I find that unfortunate and I think the minister who is responsible for French services should have some views on that to offer to us.

Another matter I raised with the minister was l'Accueil medical francophone, and I described what the service did. I am looking forward to finding out whether the minister intends to have this project run in any other way than as a pilot project, because although the present program works quite well, the people in charge of l'Accueil medical francophone continually have to apply for funding, lobbying and so forth to ensure the continuing existence of this service, which is so vital to francophones all across Ontario who require medical services.

The reason I am bringing this to the attention of this minister, although it is a medical service, is that part of the grant for this service comes from this ministry and part of it from two other ministries. In case you wonder whether I am off on a tangent, Mr. Chairman, that does not belong in this ministry. The fact is that it is a francophone service and this minister is responsible for all services to francophones ultimately, with perhaps the exception of education, which I could add is unfortunate because we probably would be quite a bit further ahead if this minister were in charge of francophone education as well.

I indicated in the House yesterday that I was very happy the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry), who is with us this morning, introduced a new Courts of Justice Act. I am specifically pleased with page 97 of the act, which says in section 135:

"The official languages of the courts of Ontario are English and French." It says "new" right beside that. That is really an understatement, "Precedent-setting," "historic" or all kinds of other things should have been there after the word "new," because it is also all those things as well as being new.

In a conversation I had yesterday with the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs (Mr. Wells), the minister said this is not such a big deal: it is not all that new. I read an article by John Cruickshank in the Globe and Mail today quoting the Attorney General as saying, "I think the legislation is of great symbolic importance."

It is interesting that of two ministers favourable to francophone issues, one minister does not think it is such a big deal while the other minister says it is quite important, historic, symbolic, etc. It is interesting to see those two ministers having those two different views.

As a francophone member of this Legislature, I do think it is very symbolic and I want to congratulate the Attorney General, as I have done in the past. If others do not have the nerve to put those things on record, certainly he does, and I congratulate him for that.

I had the pleasure of visiting the ministry's office in England this summer. I was only there for about an hour. I was not invited to visit so I just saw the person in charge, Mr. DeGeer. I would have enjoyed visiting longer and learning more about it; however, it was a very brief visit, and that is about all I can say about it because nothing else was afforded me at the time.

As the minister responsible for Franco-Ontarian issues in cabinet, the minister should have a few words to say on the bicentennial. I will not pretend to he a historian, but I certainly know the history is inaccurate. I can recall some historical dates and there is one common thing: there are very few historic dates in our history ending in "84," whether we go hack to the original colonization of our country, or whether we think of the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713, the Quebec Act of 1774, even the Treaty of Paris of 1763, the Constitution Act of 1791, the Act of Union of 1840 or even the repeal of the corn laws in 1846 by the Parliament of England. None of those dates has anything to do with 1784. It is very confusing why that particular year was chosen, although there is one thought that does come to mind.

Mr. Cassidy: The election.

Mr. Boudria: The member for Ottawa Centre may have just hit it. They are going to celebrate the bicentennial before an election.

11:20 a.m.

I thought of something else recently. It is interesting that when the real bicentennial happens in 1991, I can challenge the members that they will celebrate it again. We are probably the only place in the world that will celebrate its bicentennial twice in seven years.

Mr. Cassidy: They will have an election after that too.

Mr. Boudria: Yes, in order to celebrate that fully we will have to have an election to commemorate the Constitution Act of 1791.

Contrary to popular belief, the Constitution Act of 1791 was not signed in 1784. It was signed, of course, in 1791. Notwithstanding that we have modern math and that the Minister of Education (Miss Stephenson) and the Premier (Mr. Davis), when he was Minister of Education, totally ransacked our educational system, 1791 plus 200 still equals 1991 and not 1984.

I recognize that we celebrated the centennial of the Loyalists in 1884. I do not recall that we celebrated the centennial of Ontario in that year. I asked the member for Scarborough East (Mrs. Birch), in her previous role as Provincial Secretary for Social Development -- and I think she still has responsibility for the bicentennial -- if she would table in the Legislature the research paper that was prepared for cabinet to legitimize the year 1984 as the bicentennial of Ontario. She did say to the committee that such a research paper had been prepared.

The minisier replied to me, through a question I placed on the order paper, that no such reply would be forthcoming because that was a cabinet document and, like all other cabinet documents, it is secret. We must never know the real reason why 1984 is being celebrated as the bicentennial of this province. The logic of that escapes me.

Mr. Grande: You said you knew it was to be a party before the general election.

Mr. Boudria: We do have some reason to think that, to answer the member for Oakwood. I think the member for Ottawa Centre and I agree on that point.

I have two more items that I would like to cover very briefly. First is the matter of Ontario-Quebec workers. I have raised this many times with the minister. It is mostly a local problem in eastern Ontario. The member for Cornwall (Mr. Samis) would know of this as well. It does affect his area. It also affects the member for Ottawa Centre and my constituency a lot.

We have a problem when contractors from Quebec come to work in Ontario. It is all fine and well provided we could do the reverse, but it is extremely difficult to tell my constituents in Hawkesbury why a contractor from Grenville or Lachute or Calumet in Quebec can come in and reconstruct or rebuild the inside of the church at Hawkesbury when a contractor from Hawkesbury, the minute he crosses the bridge into Quebec, gets stopped.

There were some negotiations between the government of Ontario and the government of Quebec a number of years back on this issue as it inolved the heavy equipment industry, the bulldozer people. The minister will remember they had threatened to block the bridge crossing from Ottawa into Hull in the late 1970s. Because the issue is not a province-wide issue, only an eastern Ontario issue, we certainly do not hear much from the government on it.

Since I have been here I have written to the minister once or twice a year about this continuing to happen all the time. I wonder if the minister has any new developments to report to the House on this situation. Has he had any meetings in the last year? Has any progress been made?

I know the construction workers per se have this agreement. It is the contractors who do not. If the minister is going to reply just on the issue of the construction workers, I know that was settled a few years ago.

The matter of the Senate was raised by some members of this House. I for one do not believe we should abolish the Senate. I think it has a very useful place in our country. I do not think we should have one at the provincial level; there is no need for it there. The very purpose of having some kind of a Legislature which represents the interests of the provinces per se is certainly one I like, one I think should continue.

I know the Senate already has that role and it also has a role of giving sober second thought to legislation. It probably works quite well in the second area; it does give that sober second thought and reviews laws. But in so far as representing the provinces is concerned, I do not think there are very many people who actually think the Senate is doing such a good job.

I was just wondering if there has been any proposal made by the provincial government to either the Senate committee or in federal- provincial discussions concerning the issue of an elected Senate, which is one that I like. I wonder if it was ever addressed. I personally would like to see an elected Senate that would be elected at the time of the provincial elections.

Here in Ontario we have 24 Senate seats, as does Quebec. Our Senate seats do not have ridings at this time. as do Quebec Senate seats. Quebec is the only place in the country where there are Senate ridings, based on the original 24 seigneuries of Quebec. In any case, in Ontario, if the thought were given to electing half of the senators at every provincial election, we would have senators in Ottawa for an average of six years, which is the same tenure as American senators. Half of them would be elected at the same time as every provincial election.

On average, if we look back in our history I think we could say that provincial elections are held once every three years. I know our terms are five years. but we do have an occasional minority government and other kinds of things; an occasional government that tries to get itself elected when there is a propitious moment in the Gallup polls and so forth. The elections do occur at a quicker pace than the maximum five years.

This would mean that under this formula, with half of our senators being elected every three years. we would always have continuity in the Senate. We would have an elected Senate, one that would represent provincial interests because it would be elected at a provincial election in every province in Canada whenever provincial elections are held. Therefore, I think it would give a structure which would be most responsive to provincial needs. I am just wondering if anything like that was ever addressed by the minister or by the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs.

I could go on all morning but I know other members want to speak and we have only 46 minutes left in this debate. I would invite the minister to respond to some of those issues.

The Deputy Chairman: Does the minister want to respond at this point?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Yes, I think so, Mr. Chairman. First, at some point before we conclude, I would like to indicate to the members some of the things that have happened in the language services area which I think should be put on the record.

Certainly we view seriously the new Courts of Justice Act, Bill 100. It has a very significant number. Bill 100 was the number for several significant bills in this Legislature. As my friend will know, Bill 100 was the number given to the school boards and teachers collective bargaining legislation, a very progressive piece of legislation that this Legislature passed a few years ago. Now this Courts of Justice Act also carries that number. It is an important step forward.

Mr. Boudria: It is a symbolic step.

Hon. Mr. Wells: It can be symbolic. I am happy the member sees it as a symbolic step forward. It certainly represents exactly what the Premier, the Attorney General, myself and this government have said in so far as French-language services in this province are concerned.

11:30 a.m.

We have said we do not need entrenchment in the Constitution and we do not need an overall French-language services act. What we need is specific legislation in areas where that service can be fulfilled and carried out. The courts have moved to the point where we can make English and French the languages of the courts. That is now done in this new piece of legislation, just as we did in 1967 in education. After years and years of--

Mr. Boudria: The Education Act does not say "official languages."

Hon. Mr. Wells: It does not matter whether it says "official languages."

Mr. Boudria: Yes, it does.

Hon. Mr. Wells: No. My friend misses the point. What the Education Act says is that French is a language of instruction in the schools of Ontario. In 1967 that was a very significant thing. I guess it was not 1967; 1968 in the secondary schools. Prior to that there were French-language schools. French became an official language of instruction in the schools. Whether the word "official" appears or not is probably immaterial, but if it is significant to people I am happy to accept that.

That is only part of what we have been doing. I am sure the member has received the 1982-83 annual report of the co-ordinator, the directory of offices with French-language service capacity and the Renseignements Ontario information kit which outline the things that are happening in French-language services.

I would like to outline quickly some of the specifics of the government policies and programs we have taken in the 1982-83 period. In March 1983 there was the publication of the white paper on the governance of minority language education. Shortly, we will be debating in this Legislature amendments to the Education Act which will fulfil one of the requirements of that report. Actually. I am not sure that was in the report. Anyway, we will be bringing in amendments to the Education Act to guarantee that anyone in this province whose mother tongue is French will have the right to minority language education. That will also apply to anglophones in areas where they are a minority.

In the education field, as was announced earlier in this session, the study of French has been made compulsory in grades 7 and 8 in the elementary schools, the intermediate program, and one credit in French will be required for the secondary school certificate. As I said, in 1984 the Ministry of Education is going to require that everyone in grades 7 and 8 take French.

In other legislation, as was announced in June, changes are being made in the Public Libraries Act, which comes under the responsibility of the Ministry of Citizenship and Culture. These changes will guarantee French-language services in this area, especially with a guaranteed representative number of francophones on the Ontario Provincial Library Council.

I have already dealt with what is happening in the justice field. We will have adequate time to debate the new Courts of Justice Act. This is something I wholeheartedly support. This office. in its capacity as the office, and myself in my capacity as the minister responsible for French-language services are most happy this act is now coming into this Legislature.

Initially, the office of the co-ordinator in this ministry has been working with all ministries so that offices in Sault Ste. Marie, Windsor and St. Catharines are soon going to have a capacity to provide services in French. This is as well as the capacity that has been developed in all the designated areas of the province.

The co-ordinator's office has also expanded its activities with an information campaign centred on a new poster and information kits for Renseignements Ontario. This campaign has received wide support in Ontario's francophone community and we will be continuing to build on our work in this area. As well, we are promoting Ontario's French-language services, as my friends will note, through print, radio and television advertising campaigns and through specialized articles which are running in the Quebec media.

We are working with the Civil Service Commission to develop a comprehensive personnel policy on the designation of bilingual positions. In this regard, we have obtained an exemption from Management Board from the current outside hiring freeze for these positions that require knowledge of both languages. Those who read Topical regularly will have seen those positions advertised. They are open and not restricted.

We are also establishing a task force to look at the availability of bilingual professionals in such areas as health care and community and social services. We have organized a series of eight seminars for the benefit of directors and staff members of regional offices throughout the province. We will be discussing new aspects of the French-language services policy and we will also be attempting to inform regional employees of their role in the delivery of these services.

Finally, as I think I may have announced already but I am happy to announce it again, we recently hired a deputy co-ordinator of French-language services, Louise Beaugrand-Champagne, who will be working with the co-ordinator Don Stevenson, my deputy minister, and a number of other very capable staff members on the continuing expansion of services. This group is working with the Conseil des affaires Franco-Ontariennes and Roger Régimbal in their role of highlighting for us needs that must be met in this very important area. Ms. Beaugrand-Champagne takes up her duties on November 1.

As to the specific question that was asked about l'Accueil medical francophone, it is a very important service. I am in the very fortunate position today of being able to answer the question not only as the minister responsible for French-language services in Intergovernmental Affairs, but also as the acting Minister of Health, two of the three providers of money for that service. I can guarantee that the service will be funded for the next year.

Those who have been worried about that know that because it has been funded from programs that come up for review each year, the appropriate or necessary form letters always go out suggesting that one must resubmit and so forth. That is as I think all members would want it, that all those kinds of programs in this Legislature be reviewed.

Mr. Cassidy: It was more than a formality. They were told quite specifically they were down the drain.

Hon. Mr. Wells: I beg your pardon. I do not know that they were ever told they were down the drain.

Mr. Cassidy: They were told there was no funding. It was quite specific.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Perhaps the honourable member would like to bring me some letter that shows exactly that, because I have asked that question and I have been told they were never told they were down the drain. They were sent the usual letter which said, "Your funding ends as of March 31, 1984, and if you apply again you will be considered."

Mr. Cassidy: They were also told in personal contact --

Hon. Mr. Wells: I do not know what they were told in personal contact, but I want to tell my friend that I consider it an important service. I have already told people it should be funded next year and I have said. "Let's find a way to put it on a permanent basis."

Mr. Cassidy: That is the answer I want to hear.

Hon. Mr. Wells: And that is what we are going to find.

Mr. Boudria: That is a very important service.

Hon. Mr. Wells: I know it is a very important service. My friend and colleague the member for Cochrane North (Mr. Piché) had a number of his friends down. Members met them all in the Legislature yesterday. We talked about this problem then and they indicated the great help that this service is for the people from Cochrane North, and I am sure from a number of other areas in this province.

Mr. Boudria: From everywhere.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Yes, from everywhere, for people who come in for very highly specialized medical services in this city. I can assure the member that the program will be continuing and we are going to try to find a way to put it on a more permanent basis.

Mr. Cassidy: Will the minister stop any cutbacks in it next year?

Hon. Mr. Wells: I do not know whether there are going to be any cutbacks. I have to say to my friend that in the whole area of government services we have to talk to people about what constitutes a reasonable amount of funding. There is no bottomless pit of money available and we have to see what a reasonable amount of funding is. We will be working with them and they will be funded and that service will be provided.

In so far as the construction workers' mobility issue is concerned--

Mr. Boudria: The contractors, not the workers.

Hon. Mr. Wells: That is what I was going to say. If my friend is talking about the matter of contractors, he knows the policy of this government is in favour of the free flow of goods, individual services and capital across provincial boundaries. We believe that a contractor in the member's riding should he able to bid on any job in Quebec, just as any contractor living across the river in Quebec should be able to bid on a job in Hawkesbury, in Ottawa and so forth.

11:40 a.m.

We know that is not possible at the present time for various reasons, a number of which I have no control over. I make that position very clear at the various federal-provincial meetings, interprovincial meetings, private dicussions with Quebec ministers and so forth. Really, we agree to disagree in this area on some occasions because I understand there is a prohibition against out-of-province contractors tendering on provincial or municipal work in Quebec.

I believe that whole practice began well before the present government was there. In fact, it started back in the 1960s under some of the Liberal and Union Nationale governments.

Mr. Boudria: The workers, yes, but not the contractors.

Hon. Mr. Wells: No, the contractors. The requirements on province-only companies bidding on jobs began well before the present Parti Québécois government was there and it has been an ongoing irritant. I believe it is one that should be removed. All I can say is that the policy of this government is to try to encourage removal of it, but so far we have not arrived at that particular point.

Rather than take up more time, because I am sure other members have things they would like to add, I would just like to say I am very pleased that, along with all of the other hardworking staff of the ministry. Adrienne Clarkson, our agent general in Paris, is here today for these estimates.

Those who had the opportunity to hear her at the Canadian Club last Monday heard a very interesting and excellent speech on the French situation, Ontario's presence there, why we have an office there and how effective that office is. It can be duplicated in Brussels and in London, as has already been alluded to, and in the new operation that is just getting going in New York City.

Mr. Boudria: I have just one further question.

The Deputy Chairman: There are others who want to participate. I would like to pass around.

Mr. Boudria: I will be very brief.

Mr. Piché: I will be very brief, too, on the next one.

Mr. Boudria: First, on behalf of our party. I want to welcome Miss Clarkson, the agent general, who is here today.

I would like to go back to the question on l'Accueil medical francophone. It is not that the funding was to he lost; it is that it would be severely cut back. The grant from the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs was a one-shot deal, as I understand it, that they received last year.

In any case, the grant they had received from the ministry last year, which I understand was $20,000 --

The Deputy Chairman: The minister has a response.

Hon. Mr. Wells: It was $20,000; and from the Ministry of Northern Affairs, $25,000; and from the Ministry of Health, $53,779. I have not talked to my friend the Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Bernier) yet, but I can guarantee that the $20,000 will be available. The Health one will probably be equal or slightly raised. We will have to talk to Northern Affairs, but I am sure that with the support of my friend the member for Cochrane North we will be able to convince the Ministry of Northern Affairs to continue. That will give us time to develop a model for ongoing --

Mr. Boudria: I was informed just yesterday that they were told the Health grant they were getting was on a downward type of scale and was shrinking every year in the hope that they would find external funding.

If the minister is telling me they are going to get $53,000 or more, that is much better than they have heard so far. They were expecting their money to go down on a yearly basis. I thank you for the equal or better funding than last year that they are going to get. I am sure they will he pleased to hear that. Can I consider that a commitment?

Mr. Piché: Mr. Chairman, I just want to add my support for the l'Accueil medical francophone. During the past year I have given my total support to l'Acceuil medical francophone of Toronto. This was accomplished in the following way. Articles appeared in Le Nord, a newspaper published in my riding in French, in my monthly news column. It also received coverage through the CBC French provincial affairs program, both on radio and television. I am currently working with parish priests in my riding, as well as local doctors, to encourage the francophone population to make use of this most valuable service to our northern regions.

Finally, I heard yesterday that the government intended to continue to offer financial support to l'Accueil medical francophone for the next fiscal year.

I would urge the minister to ensure that this most important program remains on a permanent basis instead of only on a year-to-year basis. It is a most important service for those francophones in Ontario who have trouble expressing themselves in English who come to Toronto for medical attention.

The minister was with us yesterday morning when we met with the mayors, reeves and administrators of Cochrane North, and we had a discussion in which this matter was brought up and they indicated their full support to the minister. I think it is a very important program and I would like to see our government continue it on a permanent basis so we can go on with other things.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Chairman, I wanted to say a few words to the minister about French-language services in the province. It is refreshing, I have to admit, compared to the situation 10 or 11 years ago when, at that time, there was virtually no recognition in this province about the need for Ontario to serve its members of both official language communities and not just to serve people in English.

It is refreshing that we can now be talking about where to go and how far to go, despite the frustration I have as a member of the New Democratic Party at the resistance of the government to enshrine in the Constitution rights which ought to be there and which we have long ignored at the time of constitutional change.

I think the minister is being a bit theological and hairsplitting when, in his reference to French being an official language in the courts, he says "probably immaterial." If it is probably immaterial, then why the devil has his Premier such reluctance to accept the terminology? Why does the minister, who is familiar with the concerns of Franco-Ontarians, treat this issue so lightly when he knows perfectly well how much of a concern the issue is to Franco-Ontarians?

Hon. Mr. Wells: With respect, I did not mean that it was immaterial that it was there. I was really referring to the word "official." It has somehow been said that the inclusion of the word "official" was something going beyond what was there. I think it is very important that the words in English and French are the languages of the courts, which is what is in the other acts.

About the addition of the word "official," I am very happy to have that word in there, but I think if it is there or is not there, it would not change the commitment we have to that or the fact it is the language that can be used in the courts.

Mr. Cassidy: I would simply say to the minister that he has stated his position, but he must surely be aware that among the 500,000 or more Franco-Ontarians it is perhaps a good deal more material to them.

It is a matter of symbolism as well as a reality. I do not think there is anybody out there who believes that were we to pass the constitutional amendments now, that would automatically mean that overnight the necessary services not now available in areas like health and social services would suddenly start to be provided in French. It would still take time, just as it has taken time to translate the statutes of Ontario into French. That is accepted. But it is a symbolic step. It is the ability among Franco-Ontarians to be able to get on with their lives without feeling the basis of their culture and of their society in this province is still not assured because their rights were given on a grace-and-favour basis by the government.

I guess I would be interested in knowing whether this step-by-step approach is the new policy of the government and whether we will find French being recognized as an official language in other statutes, in the health area, in social services or in other areas like that. None the less, we stay with our position, which we think is a good deal more direct to get the thing over.

11:50 a.m.

The minister knows perfectly well this is not something that should be left to referenda or popularity polls. The defence of the rights of minorities is always a test of how effectively a democracy is working. The challenge has been met by Howard Pawley and the New Democratic Party government in Manitoba, which intends to go forward despite the results of the referendum this week. I would hope this province could start to show more leadership in the future rather than constantly hanging back until the pack is ahead before running to catch up.

I want to talk specifically, because the time is limited, about two or three matters related to the area of language policy. I am of the view that this minister, being responsible for the co-ordination of French-language services in Ontario, ought to have at least a guiding hand in what is being done by other ministries. I would, therefore, start by bringing to the minister's attention the situation that still prevails in the Ministry of Education.

My party today is joining as an intervener in a court case which is going to the Supreme Court of Ontario. In that case, a number of Franco-Ontarians are attempting to have the Charter of Rights and Freedoms applied to ensure the right to French-language schooling in areas such as Iroquois Falls, Mattawa and other areas in northern Ontario where school disputes over the right to French-language education and to the formation of French-language entities still prevail to this day, some 15 years after the initial moves by the government to create French-language secondary schools.

We are intervening because of frustration, just as l'Association canadienne-française de l'Ontario and l'Association des enseignants franco-ontariens -- the teachers' union -- have gone this route because of their frustration in using the procedures put into place by the government.

The minister must surely know by now of the discretionary provisions that are there and the mandate of the Languages of Instruction Commission of Ontario to do no more than investigate and recommend but not to enforce its action. The lack of any implementation power on the part of the minister has created situations which are festering, which are unfair to the people in the communities affected, and which do Ontario and Canada untold damage in repercussions in the media, particularly in Quebec.

All that has been gained -- and a great deal has been achieved in terms of the provision of French-language education and other services in the French language in Ontario is nullified so long as we continue with the present situation where there are still areas where, because of lack of generosity and lack of leadership, the essential rights of Franco-Ontarians in matters of education are not being respected.

I visited Mattawa and Iroquois Falls and I talked to the people there. The situation is very difficult for people in the local areas to resolve. In Mattawa, for example, there are strong feelings about the creation of a French-language entity and they have gone about 90 per cent of the way to doing it. Everything is in place except the step which one might call symbolic but which, none the less, is the essential final step -- of declaring that the French-language entity actually exists.

The people who were leading the effort to form the entity are in a very frustrating situation because in that community the major employers -- and there are not many -- are wont to put pressure on people not to stand up too much, not to speak out too much. The situation is rather similar in Iroquois Falls as well. Economic pressure is being put on people not to speak up for their rights as Franco-Ontarians. Even when they do speak out, they run into school boards of the English-speaking majority which is unsympathetic to French-language rights.

In the case of the Nipissing Board of Education, there is an excellent French school in Sturgeon Falls which is operating very effectively. The record is not all one-sided. None the less, when it came to Mattawa, they dug in their heels.

The case of the Cochrane Iroquois Falls Board of Education is even more reprehensible. Not only has it furthered dissension and ignored the clear recommendations of the languages of instruction commission in the case of the Iroquois Falls school, but where the community spoke clearly with respect to the formation of a French-language entity in Cochrane, where there was not dissent, where there was not opposition either from the English-speaking group or a portion of the French-language community in Cochrane -- and these things had occurred in Iroquois Falls -- none the less, the school board dug its heels in and refused to form the entity there as well. That matter is once again before the Languages of Instruction Commission of Ontario.

I do not know what power this minister has, but I know he is very sensitive, as is his deputy minister, to questions about the rights of Franco-Ontarians. Is there some concern about this, and can the minister not bring some pressure to bear on the Minister of Education with respect to the shameful way the assistant deputy minister for francophone services was totally bypassed in the creation of policy for the governance of French schools and, the incumbent having moved on, possibly having quit in disgust, although he has kept his counsel, in the way that position has just simply been left vacant?

Is the minister aware that within the Ministry of Education, the assistant deputy minister for francophone services has no one who responds to him? The curriculum consultants in that ministry and the other people who are responsible for French-langugage aspects of education have no responsibility to respond to the assistant deputy minister for francophone services. There is a staff of two, a secretary and somebody else. There is no one there. It is pure make-believe, papier mâché and nothing more, in terms of what it actually does.

Mr. Boudria: Un homme de paille.

Mr. Cassidy: A man of straw, as my colleague says.

I have to contrast what has happened in education with what has happened in the justice area. We see in the bill proposed by the Attorney General the culmination of about eight or nine years of effort. I guess that began when the present Attorney General took office, and he must get some credit for it. I do not give him credit for everything, but in this area I think he has been forthright and the ministry has kept moving.

With respect to the Ministry of Education, there are now proposals before the House or coming to the House, we are told, with respect to the governance of French schools. These have proven to be unacceptable to the major Franco-Ontarian organization, l'Association canadienne-française de l'Ontario, and unacceptable to the school boards affected. By any objective standards they promise to create and foment dissension, tension, division and more fighting along linguistic grounds rather than seeking to resolve the basic rights of Franco-Ontarians to be able to control their own schools.

If the ministry and the government were prepared to be more flexible and more adaptable, I think there are a number of things that could be done to ensure that the French-language education situation could now be resolved. Those solutions range from the need for an homogeneous French-language school hoard in Ottawa to other possible solutions in the Niagara region or in Toronto or in other parts of the province where the density of French-language population is less.

Without having all the encumbrances of administration, I think it is possible to give powers to the French-language advisory committees to run the schools and to give them the resources on an equitable basis compared to the English side of a particular system. In many cases that would be an appropriate kind of answer, but it is certainly not what the Minister of Education is proposing.

This minister is the fellow who can speak up and can enforce, it seems to me, a reasonable solution to these problems rather than the unreasonable and divisive solutions that are now coming forward from the Ministry of Education. The one good part of that statement of policy in the spring was the commitment to the right of Franco-Ontarians to have an education in French. That we support. That should and that will be, I am sure, enshrined some way.

I was glad to hear this minister indicate that it will go forward, whatever happens with the proposals for governance. The government should neither go forward with proposals that are divisive nor use the dispute over the implementation as an excuse to do nothing once again. I suggest a new look is needed and that legislation should be brought forward in time for the spring session of the Legislature.

12 noon

Much has been said about l'Accueil medical francophone. I would just point out that at Doctors Hospital in Toronto, as part of the funding of that hospital under the Ontario health insurance plan, the services provided include social workers, nurses and doctors who speak many of the different ethnic languages of this multicultural city. At the Mount Sinai Hospital, again as part of the OHIP funding, there is a specific focus on the needs of the Chinese community with social workers, admitting staff and others capable of communicating with the patients and their families in Chinese.

The question I would raise about French- language services is why the devil can that not be provided through OHIP rather than being a kind of add-on service, as in the case of Toronto, which has to be fought for by people like the member for Prescott-Russell (Mr. Boudria), the member for Cochrane North and myself as a spokesperson for Franco-Ontarian affairs in our caucus?

It is not good enough to say there will be funding for another year, although that is a welcome respite. It seems to me that what should he done now is to find ways of working with l'Accueil, which is probably the most appropriate way of reaching out to service more than half a dozen specialist hospitals, and providing that kind of service within the funding mechanisms of OHIP, rather than as a body that has to lobby to survive.

I suggest that the ministry responsible for Franco-Ontarian services in general should be looking at the question of health services in general. Far too little has been done to implement the recommendation of the Dubois report of eight or nine years ago.

In Ottawa, the district health council has just prepared a report on French-language health services. When I talked to them about that the other day, they said, "We are going to present it to the ministry, but we suspect they are going to tell us the money is not there to provide it."

I suggest in general that the ministry should be focusing on such problems as those we had with the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, which is ostensibly bilingual but which is not bilingual in practice, and other institutions such as the Rideau Regional Centre in eastern Ontario which, the last time I was there, was incapable of providing services to the Franco-Ontarian community in its own language.

The minister should be flagging these situations through the ministry and through the co-ordination functions. Perhaps he should be bringing some public pressure to accelerate efforts to ensure that those services are provided.

The final point I want to make is that the government funds a large number of services across the province that are not directly government services. While progress is being made in terms of provincial social services and other means to provide services in French, I do not believe sufficient attention is being given in the health area, in the social services area or in other areas to ensure that where the government is the source of the major portion of funding for services that are provided to the voluntary sector or by other means, those services also provide in an appropriate fashion for the needs of Franco-Ontarians.

I suggest that matter must now go on the agenda of this ministry at the same time that we move through provincial action to widen the area in which French is recognized as an official language, I hope by the amendment to the Constitution my party would like to see adopted.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Chairman, I listened carefully to my friend and I am going to take under consideration all the things he has indicated. I do not think he raised any particular questions there. He was really asking rhetorical questions and giving us some suggestions. I guess I could specifically comment on the situation in regard to the governance of French-language school boards.

I have indicated that the Minister of Education hopes to bring forward the legislation that will remove the "where numbers warrant" condition from our legislation and make it a guaranteed condition in Ontario that any francophone student in this province is entitled to education in his or her mother tongue, which in this case would be French.

As to the matter of the governance of school boards, there is no question that proposal has run into oppositon from both francophone and school board areas and has to be reworked. The minister has indicated that, and it may take a little longer. I do not want to see the "where numbers warrant" legislation held up on account of that particular ongoing discussion.

I am very aware of what is happening in the Ministry of Education, and as the ministry responsible for French-language services we will again make the point very forcefully that the position of assistant deputy minister for French-language schools should be filled. I am not sure what the problem is in filling it, but as my friend knows, the first incumbent of that position, who I am very pleased to say was appointed when I was Minister of Education, has now gone on to be a very distinguished deputy minister in this government, Gerard Raymond, who is the Deputy Minister of the Environment. That is the calibre of person who should be in that position.

Mr. Stokes: I am glad you moved him out of that entity called the Provincial Secretariat for Resources Development.

Hon. Mr. Wells: He has moved out into active service. The second incumbent was Bert Kipp; he is now the director of education for the Metropolitan Separate School Board of Toronto --

Mr. Grande: You knew that a long time ago.

Mr. Boudria: He resigned last January.

Hon. Mr. Wells: I am just indicating the calibre of people who have held that job. I would underline again that it shows the calibre of people who have occupied that position and where they have now gone. Bert Kipp is now the director of education for the largest school board in Ontario, and that board is here in Metropolitan Toronto. He is an outstanding representative of the Franco-Ontarian community.

The Minister of Education is currently searching for a person of equal calibre to fill that job. We will be encouraging them to do that, to find a person--

Mr. Boudria: He resigned in January.

Hon. Mr. Wells: If my friend would like to talk about the specifics of how they are trying to fill that job and what those problems are, he will have to ask the minister.

Mr. Boudria: I did.

Hon. Mr. Wells: All I can say is I feel they should fill that job as quickly as possible.

I am not going to read into the record about the bicentennial, because we do not have time. I regret the criticism that is coming from some sides of this House about a matter we really should all rejoice in, that we are going to he celebrating the 200th anniversary of this province.

That does not in any way downgrade the settlements that were here before then. Without reading all the quotations, one can look at some from Professor Steven Wise, Professor Emeritus A. R. M. Lower of Queen's University and Dr. Maurice Careless of the history department, University of Toronto, and they indicate that there are some problems with some people's perception. Something happened in 1784 -- the beginning of a settlement -- when it can be said that the Ontario we know today began.

It did not just begin because of those people, but we can pinpoint that part in history and we celebrate together the coming of the people who have come since then. I suggest we all can have a very excellent time if we accept it in that spirit.

I am told that about 554 Ontario communities now have indicated they want to take part in these celebrations.

Mr. McClellan: Anybody will celebrate if you give him money.

Hon. Mr. Wells: The time has come to put aside the academic argument about whether or not it is a bicentennial; we have made it a bicentennial.

Mr. Boudria: You have changed the geography; now you are changing the history.

12:10 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Wells: It is the 200th anniversary of that event when the beginning of the Ontario that we know came about.

Mr. Boudria: It is a bicentennial, give or take a decade. What's 10 years?

Hon. Mr. Wells: It is not a bicentennial, give or take a decade. We celebrated the centennial of Canada in 1967. There were settlements here before 1967.

Mr. Boudria: I am not arguing that, but the British North America Act of 1867 was signed in 1867. The same cannot be said for 1884.

Hon. Mr. Wells: We can have another celebration at some time to celebrate --

Mr. Boudria: There you are; that is what I wanted to get from you. You are celebrating it twice.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Why not one every four years, just before elections?

Hon. Mr. Wells: I fully expect, and we all hope to be sitting over here --

Mr. Piché: Some of us will be here.

Hon. Mr. Wells: I think all of us. As I look around, all of us who are here today will be here then. We will be here in 1991 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the treaty that created --

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Is that an election year?

Hon. Mr. Wells: I do not know; I have not looked ahead yet. We will be here to celebrate John Graves Simcoe holding the first parliament in Niagara-on-the-Lake; but right now, it is a very significant thing, I suggest we should all get behind the bicentennial of this province. Members will have a great opportunity, including all my friends on the other side, to go into these 554 communities, many of them in their own ridings, wear the buttons and take part in the bicentennial of Ontario. They should do it proudly because they believe, as I do, in this coming together, which is the whole multicultural-bilingual status of this province.

Mr. Breaugh: Mr. Chairman, just one quick question, and since Ms. Clarkson is with us today, maybe she could explain it. There is an item in the briefing notes which appears to be in neither of our official languages and I would like an explanation. It says here: "Additional payment of $3.3" -- and I take it to be thousands -- "to Paris agent general in lieu of PSSF, as per her contract (S and W); reduction ($6.5) in employee benefits to reflect the unclassified staff status of the Paris agent general."

What the hell does that mean?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Which page is it on?

Mr. T. P. Reid: On every page of every speech written for you people. It's called bafflegab.

Mr. Breaugh: Page 31 of the briefing notes.

Hon. Mr. Wells: My friend the chairman of the standing committee on public accounts should be used to that terminology.

The member is talking about the third sentence on page 31. It means there is an additional payment of $3,300 to the Paris agent general in lieu of the public service superannuation fund as per her contract -- salaries and wages -- and a reduction of $6,500 in employee benefits to reflect the unclassified staff status of the Paris agent general. It is all very clear to me. I can understand exactly what it means.

The Acting Chairman (Mr. Barlow): I trust the member will remember that so he will not have to ask the question next year.

Hon. Mr. Wells: It merely states that there was a little extra money paid for the public service superannuation fund and for employee wages and benefits.

Vote 601 agreed to.

Votes 602 and 603 agreed to.

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


Mr. Stokes: Since Mr Speaker, who is responsible for these estimates, is not present to participate in the debates for the concurrence, might I ask the chair which minister is going to be responsible for chairing these estimates?

The Deputy Speaker: Would the House leader reply.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I bow to my friend's judgement, but the official Speaker of the House is usually the person who is in charge of these estimates.

Mr. Stokes: Is it the government's intention, then, to proceed with these estimates in the absence of the person responsible for chairing them?

Hon. Mr. Wells: If the member would like the Speaker to be here for these estimates, I would be happy to --

Mr. Stokes: No, I am not insisting on that. I want the government House leader to indicate who is going to be responsible for answering my questions and getting involved in the debate.

Hon. Mr. Wells: As my friend knows, we do not have a debate on this; all we do is make speeches on the concurrences. There is no debate, someone winds up for the government. If the member means would I wind up on that matter, I think the answer would be no.

Mr. Stokes: The government House leader means this is just a futile exercise where there is an opportunity to speak on the concurrence motion, but there will not likely be any reaction from anybody over there. Is that what he is saying? Shall we proceed with that understanding?

Hon. Mr. Wells: I do not know whether the other members of this House would like to give me the right to speak on behalf of all of them. These estimates are not like regular estimates. They do not concern any ministry; they concern the Office of the Assembly, all of us. The chairman of the Board of Internal Economy is the Speaker. He is the one who rightly should respond on all our behalf to these, but I do not know of any mechanism by which he can respond in this forum. Perhaps all we can do is register our praise as to how well the Speaker is doing as chairman of the Board of Internal Economy and so forth in this debate.

The Deputy Speaker: If the members would so indicate, I would be happy to leave the chair and sit in my capacity as Deputy Speaker. As the honourable member knows, I did attend the estimates when they were in committee. The Speaker is not able to do it. If the members are prepared to proceed, I am prepared to take part in any of the comments that I might feel I am able to respond to.

Mr. Stokes: I have some things to say on the concurrence motion and I --

Mr. Rotenberg: Say it.

Hon. Mr. Ashe: Speak up.

Mr. Stokes: I fully intend to.

Mr. Breaugh: I think he might handle this all by himself pretty well.

Mr. Rotenberg: He has done it so far.

Mr. Breaugh: Just about as well as you have done so far.

Mr. Stokes: I am not going to be provoked by the member for Wilson Heights (Mr. Rotenberg). As usual, he shoots from the lip but has very little to contribute to the proceedings in this House.

12:20 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker: May we assume that the critic is in agreement with our proceeding and that it would be appropriate if the government House leader were to attend to the wrapup?

Mr. Stokes: I think he is more knowledgeable than anybody in this House, as government House leader and as a very active member of the Board of Internal Economy. He was not at the estimates, but the Speaker was there and we had a very useful exchange.

I do not suppose many members of this House will ever take the trouble to read what was discussed in the estimates of the Office of the Assembly, so I am going to take advantage of this opportunity to explain to the House what I think we can do by way of improving the Office of the Assembly. Whether the government House leader chooses to get involved in it is a decision he will have to make. Frankly, I hope he does.

The Deputy Speaker: As the member is aware, we have two and a half hours of discussion.

Mr. Stokes: I do not think I will need nearly that long.

The Deputy Speaker: I recognize the member for Lake Nipigon.

Mr. Stokes: This situation highlights the very basic and fundamental problem we have in coming to grips with a very important problem in the way we run the affairs of the Office of the Assembly, this place, as a democratic institution. The members are collectively responsible for the way we conduct our affairs, not only in this assembly but in the committees, which are a very integral and important part of our collective responsibilities in this House.

It also speaks eloquently to the need to have a separation of your responsibilities, Mr. Speaker, and those who share those responsibilities in presiding over the proceedings in this House. In addition to that, there is the way we look after all the administrative detail that falls on the shoulders of the Speaker as the chief presiding officer, the person who is responsible for the enforcement of our standing orders, responsible for the administration of the Office of the Assembly and ultimately responsible for the expenditure of in excess of 3O million for all the things we collectively have found necessary to set in place so that we can conduct our affairs in a responsible and responsive nature.

It seems to me what we collectively should be doing is making absolutely certain, not just in theory but in practice, that we have a clear separation and understanding of what this assembly is all about, as opposed to what government is all about in the province. All too often the lines become so blurred, and I am not saying this in a disparaging way, that I think we drift into assuming that as long as somebody is taking care of whatever administrative detail is our collective responsibility all is well with the world.

I do not think that is necessarily the case. Just look at this Legislative Building itself.

I am sure you, Mr. Speaker, as Deputy Speaker and Chairman of the committee of the whole House, see your responsibilities in your new position much differently than you did when you were the member for Mississauga North with some responsibilities for the social development policy field and the youth secretariat. Now that you are sitting there, I hope you see your responsibility shifting dramatically, not as it applies to your constituents, you still have that ongoing responsibility, but in your responsibility to the House.

What about this building? I do not think there is any doubt that when we are in this chamber you, sir, and your two colleagues are charged with the responsibility of upholding and enforcing the standing orders, maintaining decorum and civility, making sure the business of this House is conducted in an efficient manner, making best use of the time that we have allocated to us. But there is also another very basic and fundamental responsibility and that is to make absolutely certain that the decisions made by the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker are clearly seen as being separate from government decisions.

I know that you, sir, have not had sufficient time to make an appraisal of that in your own mind. If you have made a comparison with legislative assemblies generally in Canada and other jurisdictions, I think you will see that in the vast majority of them the legislature is separate from government and totally the responsibility of the Speaker.

That has never been the case in this jurisdiction. If you look back upon it historically, you will see that when government and the membership in this assembly were much smaller, members, the support staff and all of the things we do did not require the amount of space we do now.

As a result of this transition and the growth of government, the additional responsibilities on members of this assembly generally, as opposed to what was generally perceived or accepted many years ago, have changed very dramatically.

The problem is that we have not changed with the times. It was not too many years ago that the membership in this House was less than 100. It was not too many years ago that we changed from less than 100 to 107 to 117. We are now at 125, and when one talks to the commission responsible for the redefining of electoral boundaries across the province there is a very real possibility that the membership of this assembly will increase yet again.

It is going to require that we change the configuration of this chamber. It may well be that we will have to dispose of these desks as we know them for a bench kind of arrangement. The two ministers who are sitting here will not be as comfortable in sitting here and yet looking after their ministerial responsibilities. There could be a configuration roughly comparable to that of Westminster.

12:30 p.m.

I do not think we will ever be in the position where we will have 640 members and accommodation for only 350, because if they all showed up at once it would be sheer mayhem. The fact remains that in the not too distant future we are going to have to look at a different configuration, perhaps a circular or a horseshoe- type one. We are going to have to accommodate all the members of this assembly in a much different fashion than we are doing now.

It is obvious to me and to anybody who thinks ahead about these things and ponders about the way we do things now, that we cannot even accommodate all our members in this Legislative Building. I do not know the exact numbers but I know there are at least two members of this assembly who do not even have offices in this building. They must journey elsewhere if they want to conduct their ministerial responsibilities. I am sure there are a good many parliamentary assistants who are not accommodated in this building and must park their carcasses elsewhere.

In a previous emanation, I know we had very active discussions with those who are responsible for providing accommodation, not only for us but for government ministries and agencies. Because of restraint and retrenchment, a lot of these things have been put on the back burner.

It seems to me, if we are going to make sure that we, as an assembly and as individual members, are going to continue to be effective in representing our constituents and being responsible for the expenditure of $23 billion or $24 billion a year, responsible for making legislation and for all the things we are collectively responsible for as an Office of the Assembly, we are going to have to decide how we are going to best carry out those responsibilities. This is nothing new, but I think what we are going to have to do is decide whether this Legislature -- I am not talking about this assembly, this chamber -- this Legislative Building should be dedicated wholly and solely for the members of this assembly.

If any of the members have taken the trouble to look at the colour coding that clearly defines the areas of this building that are the responsibility of the Speaker, as opposed to those areas of this building that do not fall within the purview of the Speaker -- I can think of the legislative counsel offices; I can think of all the cabinet offices and all the backup staff for the Office of the Premier, whether they are assisting him in his responsibilities on a daily basis or whether they are licking postage stamps and writing greetings cards for next Christmas -- I think the fact remains that, for the first time, we have to decide whether or not this building should be reserved for members to carry out their responsibilities.

It makes no sense that the member for St. George (Ms. Fish) or the member for Durham West (Mr. Ashe) should have to take a 10-minute or 15-minute jaunt from here to meet a delegation when carrying out their responsibilities. They should be accommodated here. Not all of their staff; that is a physical impossibility. However, I think we should have the wit and the will to begin the process of making absolutely certain we provide the types of accommodation and services that are required for every member of this assembly to carry out his or her responsibilities in an effective manner.

Many proposals have been put forward about the north wing being changed, and protecting the cultural integrity of this building while at the same time expanding it in such a fashion as to accommodate all members who have a legitimate right to be here, and really have a responsibility to be here, much closer to the action. We have a collective responsibility to ensure that members have the opportunity to do that.

There have been a number of kites flown about how this can be accomplished. However, during the estimates, the Speaker said clearly that all of those options -- all of the planning that had gone on for a number of years -- are definitely on the back burner and the status quo will be with us for the foreseeable future.

Mr. Speaker, I do not think that is good enough. I do not know whether it is the responsibility of the Board of Internal Economy, whether it should start with the members' services committee, or whether some other structure should be set in place. The problem is not going to go away. It is going to be further aggravated.

Most members will know that right after the last cabinet shuffle some members of this assembly were no longer holding ministerial positions. There was the fastest shuffle one ever saw to accommodate those members who have a legitimate right to he here. However, in the process, there was an invasion of the domain of the Speaker of this House by literally evicting the Ombudsman's representative from the office on the first floor of the east wing.

Hon. Mr. Ashe: That has nothing to do with the Speaker's jurisdiction. Come on, be accurate.

Mr. Stokes: Oh yes, it has.

Hon. Mr. Ashe: The member had better look at his map again.

Mr. Stokes: I was there. I know.

Furthermore, for the edification of the Minister of Government Services, the Ombudsman and his staff report to this assembly and to the people of Ontario through the Office of the Speaker.

Hon. Mr. Ashe: There is no problem with that. That is not what the member said.

Mr. Stokes: Is there anything more ridiculous and more ludicrous than having a representative of the Ombudsman housed in this building? I am not saying whether he should have been; the fact is he was.

12:40 p.m.

If the Minister of Government Services has played around with the colour coding and has said, 'We are prepared out of the goodness of our heart to house an employee of the Ombudsman," something which is clearly the responsibility of the Speaker, this highlights how ridiculous the colour coding and the allocation of space is in this House.

That is what I am trying to impress upon you, Mr. Speaker. I am glad the Minister of Government Services is here because I do not hold him responsible for any of it. How ludicrous the whole process is that we should be arguing about whether this belongs to the Speaker, the Minister of Government Services, the Ombudsman or the government. That should not be a problem at all. I realize the historical events that have gone on around here for years. All I am saying is that is clearly not acceptable. I think it is time that we, as an assembly, address those very pivotal and important issues.

I want to go a little further about us assuming what I consider to be our collective responsibility. We know how the Speaker is chosen in this House and we know how the Deputy Speaker and the Deputy Chairman of the committee of the whole are chosen, but how many members of this House know the way in which the Clerk of the House is chosen? It has nothing at all to do with the Office of the Assembly except in an advisory role when the Speaker is consulted from time to time. I know I was never consulted in the time I occupied that position; clearly, I was never consulted.

What about the Ombudsman who is a servant of this House and who assists members in dealing with problems the public has in dealing with government ministries, boards and agencies? He is a distinct emanation of this assembly, and yet we have no say as to who that person is going to be. I am hearing some talk that the acting Ombudsman is going to be confirmed as the Ombudsman. I have heard some talk that Flora MacDonald is being considered for the position. I have heard two or three other names bandied about, but they are not being bandied about by the Board of Internal Economy or by members of this assembly who are responsible for such things.

We have nothing to say about who the Clerk of the House is going to be, who the Ombudsman is going to be, who the chief election officer is going to be or who the chairman of the Commission on Election Contributions and Expenses is going to be. We have to confirm them. We have to pass the moneys that are necessary to pay them and for the carrying out of their responsibilities, but we never have anything to say about them.

One wonders how many members think about that. Is it any way to run a show or any way to run a store? I think we have that responsibility and we should insist on exercising it. Most members who have a heavy work load will be aware we need additional staff to carry out our responsibilities. It is not an immediate problem for members of the executive council. If we, collectively as an Office of the Assembly, do not provide them with the resources, both financial and human, to carry out what we see as their responsibilities, an accommodation can be made within the ministry. Invariably, that is done, but that is not the case with regard to members of this House generally who are not members of cabinet and the executive council.

Before the member for St. George became a parliamentary assistant and had specific responsibilities for a ministry, because her riding is located so close to Queen's Park I am sure she was inundated with calls from her constituents. This is not because of the demographic makeup of her riding, but because of the closeness of her riding and the accessibility of the member to people who, for whatever reason, insist on her intervention with government ministries, boards and agencies.

I do not know whether the member will want to get involved in this concurrence debate, and I do not presume to speak for her, but from my experience around here, the more accessible the member makes herself or himself, the more onerous is that responsibility for representation.

We have been asking for research assistants for a good number of years. Sure, there is a research component in the moneys we are talking about in these estimates, and it is on a per capita basis, but it is applied globally within the caucuses and there is a research component attached to each of the three caucuses. In large measure those resources and a lot of the time and effort that is spent by those researchers is dedicated to the leaders because of the high profile nature of the responsibilities that a leader has in this assembly.

I commend the estimates and the minutes of the Board of Internal Economy to all members, who will quickly learn that this is something that has been under discussion for a good long while. It is one thing to say each member of this assembly who needs one should have the ability to hire a research assistant. Some of them will not be able to carry out their responsibilities effectively until they get them. Others, owing to the nature of their responsibilities and the way in which they carry them out, will feel they will not need one.

To get back to the point I was making earlier, if it was decided that even half of the members of this House felt the need of a research assistant, I do not know where one would put them. What we are doing is putting the cart before the horse. First, we have to decide the legitimate and affordable resources we should make available to ourselves to carry out our responsibilities more effectively, but do we have the physical capability of accommodating those people, assuming the allocation of those dollars is legitimate and supportable?

Another area that is our responsibility -- and we have at least one committee member here right now who, I am sure, thinks about what his responsibilities are on our behalf in committee is what we can do to make our committee structure more relevant and meaningful so it will be the kind of extension of this chamber that allows members more closely to scrutinize the billions of dollars we approve in the 26 or 27 ministries that make up this government.

12:50 p.m.

Members will know that by the time we get around to talking about estimates it is pretty well a rehash of things we have said in this House or in committee for many years. It is not an appropriate forum for a close and relevant scrutiny of whether or not we are spending to the best advantage the tax dollars of all the citizens of Ontario. Members will know that by the time we get around to discussing the estimates, whether it be in the Social Development policy field, the Resources Development policy field, the Justice policy field or the General Government policy field, a good deal of those moneys has already been spent.

We can talk about the need for a road here or a road there, the improvement of a certain social program, whether or not we are, in general terms, spending taxpayers dollars wisely, but by and large, if we want to be fair with ourselves, it is just a forum for us to talk about the state of affairs in Haldimand-Norfolk, Essex county, Waterloo county, Metropolitan Toronto or in eastern or northern Ontario. It has very little to do with the amount of dollars being prayed for and that we have the responsibility of voting in the various estimates.

There are people at the table here and their colleagues who gave a good look at the committee structure. Dr. Graham White showed some leadership, or at least offered some guidance, to the procedural affairs committee in the recommendations they brought in with regard to the changing of the standing orders to make the whole committee structure and process much more relevant.

On the basis of my observations since that exercise began, very little has changed to make our committee structure much more relevant and meaningful. I am not saying this just from the perspective of an opposition member. If we really set our minds to it, we could restructure the whole committee system in such a way that it would be of assistance to ministries that are receptive to change.

I watch ministers and their staff sitting at those committee meetings and I know they are just as bored with the whole process as we are from time to time. In spite of everything we say and do in committee, we know before we start what the end result is going to be. It is just a political forum for members to spout off about the things we would say in another forum if given the opportunity.

Members will be aware that at one time we used that opportunity during the budget debate that used to go on for weeks in order that members could get up and talk about a variety of items that affected their constituents. We did the same thing in the throne debate for that very purpose. Now in our collective wisdom we have decided that is not the way to go. Budget speeches are now irrelevant; throne speeches are now irrelevant. We are using up the committee time to give our little political speeches about how good or how bad things are back in the boondocks, when I think we could make better use of our time to make sure that the $24 billion we vote in supply is being used to the best advantage.

I am not saying I have the answers. All I am saying is if we are satisifed with the status quo it speaks eloquently as to the relevance, or might I say the irrelevance, of this place and the way in which we spend our time, expend our energies and, more important, spend our dollars on behalf of the taxpayers of Ontario. I think that is what we should be talking about.

I want to talk a little bit about parliamentary exchanges. I spoke about it in the estimates. I know there is not much travel between this jurisdiction and other jurisdictions across Canada or to Commonwealth or non-Commonwealth countries. However, I think it is very important that we remind ourselves we are in the most affluent jurisdiction in the richest country on the face of the earth. Sure, we have financial problems and we do not have enough money to go around, but we hope this is a temporary aberration. If we can get an upswing in our economy, which I am sure we will, I think we should re-establish the leadership that once was ours for assisting those who are less fortunate, some in the Third World, some within the Commonwealth family, some who were not and are not. We can play a very important role in assisting those jurisdictions that are coming off military juntas.

I can recall the first time we ever had a delegation from Ghana. It was while they were setting up a constitutional democracy in that country. We had them here as visitors for a week and they got a lot out of the exchange. We were able to assist them not only in apprising them of the way we conduct our affairs in the chair, at the table and in an administrative way, but through discussions they had with our library and research services and with legislative counsel. These are the things I think we do reasonably well --

The Deputy Speaker: Noting the clock, I wonder if I might ask the member whether he expects to complete his remarks or whether this might be an appropriate time to adjourn the debate.

Mr. Stokes: All I am saying is I think we can continue to play a very important role in parliamentary exchanges. I know one of our members is away doing that right now. One of the things I would like to ask is, and I have already asked the Speaker, when members do go away they make a report back so they can share what they have learned with us, and if anybody is coming here and we act as host, whether it is the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs or the Speaker or some emanation of this assembly, that the ideas, the exchange, the communication be shared with all members. We will all be the better for it.

On motion by Mr. Stokes, the debate was adjourned.

The House adjourned at 1:02 p.m.