The House met at 10 am.
STATEMENTS BY THE MINISTRY
Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, exactly a year ago today I announced that cabinet had approved in principle the establishment of an insurance exchange in Toronto. I also announced my intentions to appoint an insurance exchange advisory committee, chaired by Colonel Robert Hilborn, to study the proposal in depth. Today I am pleased to table the committee's report on the feasibility of an Ontario Insurance Exchange.
More than 50 professionals involved in insurance, finance, law, accounting and the Toronto Stock Exchange served on the advisory committee or its five subcommittees. I am very much aware that every segment of this report represents a synthesis of views formed only after careful study, discussion and debate. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all who contributed their knowledge and hard work to make this report possible. It lays much of the groundwork for the establishment of an insurance exchange in Ontario.
While the committee's mandate was to explore the feasibility of an exchange, it also served as a means of bringing together for the first time the many segments of the insurance industry and its regulators. By providing this forum for the exchange of ideas, the committee played a second but equally important role.
As the members will see when reviewing the report, the committee's findings are thoughtful, pragmatic and frank. In a nutshell, it concludes that an insurance exchange based in Toronto is a feasible commercial venture. It also concludes that the timing is right to move ahead with its creation.
As members are probably aware, an insurance exchange provides a central marketplace where insurance risks can be shared by member underwriters for a price negotiated on the floor of the exchange. This concept was created by Lloyd's of London, which has successfully operated as an insurance exchange for some 290 years.
I would like to point out that cabinet is encouraged by the results of this study. We, too, believe that Canadian underwriters and brokers need a market facility to place insurance and reinsurance locally.
This facility would in time reduce the estimated $1-billion worth of Canadian premiums that now leave the country annually. An exchange would also strengthen Toronto's position as a major financial centre, raise the visibility of Canadian insurance companies and attract fresh investor capital. It would be run by its members much in the same way as the Toronto Stock Exchange runs its own affairs, with minimum government regulation.
This report clearly states that an insurance exchange can and should be self-governing and self-financing. However, it recognizes that more government assistance is needed to aid in the structuring of such an exchange. In the near future I hope to present a plan outlining what must yet be done to make the exchange a reality. This would include the drafting of legislation to create the exchange and plans to work out management and administrative structures and their financing.
Once again I would like to thank Colonel Hilborn, who is present in the Speaker's gallery this morning, and all the others who assisted in the first phase of the establishment of an insurance exchange.
TVONTARIO AND CJRT-FM
Hon. Ms. Fish: Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to inform my colleagues in the House of the admirable efforts of two of the agencies of my ministry, TVOntario and CJRT-FM.
For years, TVOntario has been extremely successful in broadening the cultural horizons of Ontario viewers. Since its founding 13 years ago, TVO has brought us award-winning broadcasts both in French and in English. It has won 150 awards at such prestigious international film and TV festivals as the American Film Festival, the New York Film and TV Festival and the Chicago International Film Festival.
As well, TVOntario has been a leader in the new technology, experimenting with direct broadcast satellite transmissions, pioneering the development of educational videotext services using teletext and videotext Telidon and introducing the use of computer-managed learning systems for educational TV.
With the distribution of one of TVO's most highly acclaimed series in Quebec and the United States, we in Ontario have even more reason to be proud.
The Computer Academy -- some of us might know it as Bits and Bytes -- the 12-week hands-on course that demystifies the computer world, is about to be launched in the United States. This series will be available in 10 cities, including New York, Los Angeles and San Diego, through a consortium of US public broadcasting stations serving more than 90 million people.
WNET, the New York Public Broadcasting System television station, will be distributing TVO's program nationwide starting in January to an expected registered audience of at least 75,000. In March 1984, more stations will be added, and by the third year it is hoped that at least 200,000 people will have been exposed to this very successful Ontario product.
I should note in addition that the French version of Computer Academy began broadcasting October 2 to more than 11,000 registered participants in Quebec. A co-production with Quebec's Department of Education, the course already has been broadcast twice in Ontario. A third broadcast starts November 9, and I would like to advise members that registrations and places are still open should any wish to sign up.
In marketing Computer Academy to the United States and Quebec, TVOntario has demonstrated its ability to generate revenue for the station. I should note that 75 per cent of TVO's funding is from the provincial government through my ministry, the Ministry of Citizenship and Culture, through the Ministry of Education and through the Ministry of Colleges and Universities. The rest comes from the sale of their productions such as Computer Academy and, of course, from support from the public.
Tomorrow marks the start of the second annual one-week TVO fund-raising drive. Last year's campaign generated 20,000 new members and $630,000 for TVOntario. I know members will join me in wishing them an equally successful campaign this year.
I would also like to commend another agency of my ministry, CJRT-FM, for its excellent fund-raising efforts. The second membership campaign this year ended October 2 with the station exceeding its goal of $140,000 by more than $600.
CJRT has had an enviable record in fund-raising since the station began its drives eight years ago. Fund-raising now accounts for 40 per cent of the total revenue, the other 60 per cent coming from a grant from my ministry. This year that grant counts for nearly $1 million. So dedicated are CJRT's listeners that the returns on pledges of donations are 91 per cent to 93 per cent. In addition, the average level of donation at CJRT has risen to nearly $40 per person.
At both CJRT and TVOntario, satisfied listeners and viewers have called in and written to show their support. I am proud to have two such outstanding resources under the aegis of my ministry, and I ask members to please join me in commending the fine work of TVontario and CJRT and encouraging them in all their efforts.
PROPOSED SECURITY AGENCY
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, as members may know, a committee of the Senate yesterday recommended a major revamping of the federal government's proposed legislation establishing a new national security agency.
During debate on my ministry's estimates, my two Justice critics expressed interest in this matter and asked to be kept informed. The member for Kitchener (Mr. Breithaupt) and the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) shared many of my concerns about this legislation, and in view of their comments and the interest voiced by other members of the committee, I felt a short statement would be appropriate at this time.
I welcome the committee's report, which endorses most of the concerns about the legislation advanced by provincial Attorneys General and which were set out in detail in my submission to the committee in August.
I am gratified that a committee of senior representatives of both the government and opposition parties in Parliament has seen enormous flaws in the legislation. In fact, the report represents a victory not just for provincial Attorneys General but for all the concerned organizations and individuals who rallied in opposition. It is also a triumph for common sense.
I am confident the federal Solicitor General will now recognize the basic flaws in his legislation, which do represent a significant potential threat to the fundamental freedoms enjoyed by Canadians. The public interest would be well served by a retreat by the federal Solicitor General in the face of the thoughtful and reasoned report of the committee.
Although couched in polite parliamentary language, the committee report eviscerates the proposed legislation. It proposes more than 20 major changes to a 50-section bill. It leaves nothing but a skeleton or framework upon which a proper bill could now be built.
My only significant disagreement with the report is its failure to include the very thoughtful and reasoned dissent of Senator William Kelly in relation to the separation of the security force from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. I have attached a copy of his dissent, which was not included in the report and which may be of interest to all members.
The principal issues raised in May by the provincial Attorneys General, which clearly also concerned the committee, were the excessive mandate to be given to the new security force, the lack of adequate control or supervision of the use of intrusive investigative techniques, the law-breaking power of the force and the lack of any real ministerial accountability.
Specifically, the committee agreed with the concerns set out in our submission on the following matters:
1. That the agency's mandate should be limited to what is strictly necessary for the purpose of protecting the security of Canada;
2. That the crucial definition section, section 2, was too broad and unduly vague, particularly in dealing with the security of all nations allied or associated with Canada;
3. That the protection of lawful advocacy, protest or dissent should be expressed in the affirmative;
4. That subsection 14(2), which would permit the proposed agency to use intrusive investigative powers in the monitoring of the "political, economic and social environment," should be deleted entirely:
5. That the ministerial accountability for the actions of the agency should be significantly strengthened;
6. That there was no real set of controls for obtaining a judicial warrant and therefore the legislation should adopt the criteria, for example, contained in the Criminal Code;
7. That section 21, which would permit the employees of the agency to do anything that was reasonably necessary in carrying out their duties, be changed so that the employees be subject to the same limitations in relation to peace officers as contained in the Criminal Code:
8. That any decision of the federal Attorney General to withhold from provincial Attorneys General any reports of wrongdoing by members of the force be subject to review:
9. That provincial authorities not be required to have federal consent to prosecute security-related offences and that the inspector general should have access to cabinet documents relating to the role of the security agency: and
10. That the federal force has a duty to consult with municipal and provincial forces.
In conclusion, the document is really very thoughtful and articulate. It should be of great interest to all members of the Legislature and indeed to all Canadians. I strongly recommend that it be given the attention it deserves.
Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker. I have a question for the Minister of Energy. Although it is difficult to understand because there are such different noises coming from the various parts of Ontario Hydro as well as from the minister with respect to the cost of refitting the pressure tubes, it appears more and more from the public pronouncements that this is in fact what is going to happen.
On one hand, we have the press reports from Mr. Nastich saying it would cost an estimated $200 million to replace the pressure tubes in Pickering units 1 and 2, which I guess would average out to $100 million apiece. At the same time we lay that against a press report on August 1, 1983, and I quote it to the minister: "Bad news could cost billions of dollars in Candu sales internationally and at least $250 million per reactor if the tubes have to be replaced in similar nuclear units. 'We are biting our fingers on this one,' Hydro spokesman David Moses said yesterday."
Mr. Speaker: Question, please.
Mr. Peterson: What is the cost of replacing the pressure tubes in those nuclear generating units?
Hon. Mr. Andrewes: Mr. Speaker, I think it would help in answering the question posed by the Leader of the Opposition if I were to quote from a speech given by Mr. Nastich yesterday to the Empire Club. I will try to be brief and extrapolate some of the context of that speech.
Mr. Speaker: I think rather than quote the material there has been far too much of that going on -- if you would just answer the question, please.
Hon. Mr. Andrewes: Then I would have to say to the Leader of the Opposition that, in the context of what Mr. Nastich said and what I have said in this House all along. Hydro has not yet reached the stage of saying what in fact needs to be done to repair the reactors, particularly reactor unit 2 at Pickering.
The question of retubing was always weighed in the operation of these reactors; it was always part of a program. It was first viewed as a 10-year program. It was looked upon somewhere down the road after some experience with the operation of these reactors that it could be deferred, that the problems of leaks at the roll-joint ends could be dealt with in a different way and that the length of time for the operation of these reactors with the existing alloy could be lengthened.
I tell the Leader of the Opposition that at this point the decision about retubing those Pickering reactors or Bruce reactors has not been made. Figures that have been thrown around are speculative, and they are not the kinds of figures I would want to say to him are firm.
Mr. Peterson: I am coming to the highest authority on this whole matter to get the indisputable truth. My question is, what is the cost of retubing one of those reactors? It is a simple question. What is the amount?
Hon. Mr. Andrewes: The figure thrown out by Mr. Nastich yesterday in his speech was 60 cents per month per electrical consumer for a 10-year period. It was a figure that was developed from a scenario related to the replacement of the tubes of the four reactors at Pickering and three reactors at Bruce. It included, of course, the replacement cost; it included the replacement fuel cost.
But at this point, given the fact that we do not know whether those tubes have to be replaced, I think it would be inopportune and inaccurate on my part or on Hydro's to say what that precise cost might be.
Mr. Rae: Mr. Speaker, I say with great respect to the minister that neither he nor Mr. Nastich can have it both ways. They cannot go around quoting a figure of 60 cents per month or any other figure per month over the next 10 years and then turn around say they do not have any idea what the replacement cost actually is going to be.
Mr. Speaker: Question, please.
Mr. Rae: Will the minister please do us the favour of providing us with the arithmetic that Mr. Nastich was able to use yesterday in coming up with this figure? Can he tell us what it represents in actual expenditure? Will he add up the figures and tell us what they are.
Hon. Mr. Andrewes: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I will provide that information.
Mr. Peterson: May I ask the minister why he and Mr. Nastich and a variety of other Hydro spokesmen are always saying different things? How does he expect the public to understand what is going on when there are so many conflicting signals, as I have pointed out to him? For example, the minister said in this House on November 1, "I am informed that the projections Ontario Hydro makes with respect to the rates over the next decade allow it to say realistically it can keep the rates on average over the next decade below the rate of inflation."
We have a report on March 23, 1983, from Mr. Nastich, speaking in Vancouver, I believe, saying, "'Electricity users can expect sharp pressure on rates for the rest of this decade.' Mr. Nastich suggested that rates will rise more steeply than the 9.3 per cent a year average during the past decade."
Mr. Speaker: Question, please.
Mr. Peterson: How can the minister say the rates are going to be below inflation, while Mr. Nastich is projecting 9.3 per cent and sharp pressure? What is the truth in this matter?
Hon. Mr. Andrewes: I am not sure I understood the supplementary. Was it related to the question of retubing or are we talking about the question of rates? May I have some clarification from the Leader of the Opposition?
Mr. Speaker: With all respect, a supplementary question must be based on an answer from the minister and not on the main question itself. New question, the Leader of the Opposition.
Ms. Copps: He just asked for clarification from the Leader of the Opposition.
Mr. Speaker: That is not his role.
Mr. Peterson: That is a new defence the minister has raised in this House. Last week he was not paying attention or was not listening to questions. This week he is playing Speaker in your place.
Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, I have a new question for the Minister of Energy. It relates to Suncor. He will recall that we had a discussion in this House -- in his absence we discussed it with the Premier (Mr. Davis) -- about the value of Suncor shares.
The minister knows that I purchased some shares of Suncor for about $15 apiece, which represented about 13 or 14 times earnings.
Is he aware that if one compares that with the price of other major integrated oils, Texaco at about the same time was trading at about 14 times earnings, Imperial Oil A at about 17 times earnings and Gulf at about 16 times earnings? Would he not agree with me that this sets the trading range at from 14 to 16 times earnings for major integrated oils, that this is another reason the value of those Suncor shares is established at about the $15 level and that this represents the real market value today? Would he not agree with that pricing analysis?
Hon. Mr. Andrewes: Mr. Speaker, I would not agree because the Leader of the Opposition had predicated his question on the basis of the purchase of 10 Suncor shares that he likely purchased from one of his friends in London. If he wants to get some sense of where Suncor has been going in the last nine months, following a very difficult situation in 1982 and a very difficult situation at Fort McMurray, that company is now one of the most profitable companies in the oil and natural gas business. He can look at the third-quarter financial statement of that company; it will verify that.
Mr. Peterson: I congratulate the minister because it is true Suncor earnings were up about 44 per cent this last quarter.
Hon. Mr. Andrewes: In the third quarter.
Mr. Peterson: In the third quarter. Does he realize, when he looks at the carrying costs on our share of those Suncor shares --
Hon. Mr. Davis: Aren't you glad you bought them?
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Peterson: Could you contain the Premier's nervous response to this whole question, Mr. Speaker?
I realize earnings went up 44 per cent in the third quarter, but does the minister realize that when one calculates the carrying costs to the taxpayers of Ontario minus the increase in earnings, at least our share thereof, it has now cost $129,879,374 net out of pocket to the Ontario taxpayers to carry that investment for the last year and three quarters? Does he realize that?
Hon. Mr. Andrewes: The Leader of the Opposition should be congratulated on his prudence in speculating in the oil and gas market. He obviously got a good deal for his purchase at $15 a share to be able to reap the benefits of those dividends and those third-quarter earnings.
In response to his question, one wants to take into consideration the background of this whole situation, the question of energy security, the currently deteriorating political situation in the Middle East, the investment of over $1 billion made by Suncor in this country in the last year and the 1,300 jobs that were created as a result of this investment, half of them in Ontario. There is a long list of jobs I could recite for the Leader of the Opposition in ridings of various members, including members of his caucus.
Mr. Peterson: I remind the minister that none of those things has anything to do with Ontario's participation in that company: nothing.
Mr. Speaker: Question, please.
Mr. Peterson: The minister will recall that before he achieved his now elevated position he too expressed some concern as a humble backbencher about the purchase of Suncor. Indeed, as a back-bencher, he went to the briefing held for the Tory caucus at that point. When he emerged from that meeting with Suncor and financial officials, he is quoted as saying: "I am no wiser now than when I went in. I have studied the material and I learned nothing new."
Does the minister know anything new to justify this expenditure?
Hon. Mr. Andrewes: I think one should put the statements I made in some context in terms of why I was at that caucus. As members of this caucus we were given an opportunity, as were members of the Liberal and New Democratic caucuses, to talk to representatives of McLeod Young Weir and the Ontario Energy Corp. about the Suncor purchase.
Prior to that, the Leader of the Opposition was provided with several documents that talked in terms of the reasons and the logic behind this purchase, the company itself and its background. I, along with members of the opposition, was able to consider those documents. My comments with respect to that particular discussion we had related to the evidence that was obviously in those documents for most people to read if they were inclined to do so.
INFLATION RESTRAINT LEGISLATION
Mr. Rae: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Treasurer and it concerns the decision by the Inflation Restraint Board to roll back the award at the Sensenbrenner Hospital, thereby taking more than $1,000 directly from the present wages of an orderly making just over $18,000 a year, and $750 a year right out of the pocket of the nurse's aide making just over $16,000 a year.
How can the Treasurer possibly justify this kind of thing happening in Ontario, given the very difficult circumstances people in hospitals have been working under for many years and given the fact that the rate of inflation is now at five per cent? How can he possibly justify this kind of thing happening today?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, there is no question the circumstances trouble me a great deal, Accordingly, I have asked for a full report to be provided to me by the Inflation Restraint Board as of this morning.
Mr. Rae: It is a little late now. The government passed the legislation last year.
What does the Treasurer plan to do for those workers in Kapuskasing whose wages have been rolled hack to that extent? They were not rolled back in some abstract way, but rolled back in very real terms. What does the Treasurer plan to do when he gets the report? What is the report going to say? We know what the report says, we know what the decision says and we know the statements that have been made by members of the board to the press and other people. Exactly what does the Treasurer plan to do for these people?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Just as I indicated yesterday that I thought we should not be talking about referring legislation to the courts when we had not yet seen the legislation, I think it is appropriate for me first to have an opportunity to look at that report in the context of all the background, which has more to it than the member has presented, and to decide at that time what action might be appropriate in the circumstances. I have already indicated that I share with the member, and I suspect everyone else, some sense of grief at what has happened here.
Mr. McClellan: Don't you think "embarrassment" is the word?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: That is not the case. The fact is, the board believes it is acting within the legislation. The board has acted responsibly over the course of this year in making determinations.
As the member may well know, in this case the board has already exercised some discretion and allowed the first portion of the agreement, the 11 per cent portion of it, to flow through to the workers. In this circumstance with regard to phase 1 of the agreement, the board has exercised its jurisdiction under section 22, I think it is, to try to alleviate the circumstances.
As I understand it, it is the board's opinion at this time that it does not have that flexibility and discretion under the legislation. If their interpretation of the legislation is true and accurate, if they do not have the flexibility to resolve this problem, what it indicates is that the point this government made several weeks ago is accurate and year two of the restraint program is going to require a greater degree of flexibility to ensure that these kinds of things cannot occur.
Mr. Rae: That will come as a real comfort to them. That will make them feel a lot better. You obviously have a report.
Mr. McClellan: You have all the facts.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Why do we not wait until we have the report and the new legislation and see what might be appropriate?
I have already indicated I am looking into the circumstances. It is important to note that the administrator of the hospital agrees with the workers and with the Treasurer that this is a problem and we should get a report on it and see what can be done.
Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, our Bill 39, An Act to amend the Inflation Restraint Act, and I am referring specifically to section 2, says. "Subsection 1 does not apply to a compensation plan that expired before October 1, 1982, and became the subject of binding arbitration on or before September 21, 1982."
Does the minister not realize that if his government had supported our bill this injustice would not have occurred? Will the government support a private member's bill that we are going to introduce today that will rectify this specific injustice?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. If one of his amendments had carried last year they would be locked into a two-year program. The Liberal Party of Ontario was advocating a two-year program last year. To be fair, it indicated at no time that if its other amendments did not carry it wanted a one-year program. From day one it wanted a two-year program. If that had passed, these workers would not only be facing the difficult circumstances they are facing now, about which we want a report to see if anything can be done to correct it, but the Liberal Party would also have locked them in for another year.
Instead, this government wisely reserved to itself last year the option of dealing with a one-year program knowing that some of these inequities could turn up and then we would have the opportunity of taking action at the end of this year if we decided we had to extend the program at all.
On balance, notwithstanding whatever amendments he wishes to make today, the fact is he was in favour of a two-year lock-in program. Our decision on this side, which is that one should not do these things for longer than a one-year time frame, is obviously the right route to go.
Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker. I must rise on a point of privilege because the Treasurer is factually incorrect. I refer him to Bill 39.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. That is not a point of privilege, with all respect.
Ms. Copps: Of course it is.
Mr. Speaker: No, it is not.
Mr. Peterson: I have an obligation to clear that up in this House.
Mr. Speaker: Order. You may correct the record, if that is what it is.
Mr. Peterson: If you will be seated, Mr. Speaker, I will proceed to correct the record and/or inform the Treasurer of the truth of this matter.
Mr. Speaker: Just one moment. You may correct the record in so far as any statements you have made have been misinterpreted or misunderstood.
Mr. Peterson: As Speaker, how can you tolerate a Treasurer who deliberately distorts the truth?
Mr. Speaker: That is not my role in this House and you know that very well.
Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, again you are exercising your discretion, I would suggest to you, in a way that is not commensurate with your responsibilities to govern this House.
Mr. Speaker: No, I am not.
Mr. Peterson: How can you allow him to go on perpetuating an untruth?
Mr. Speaker: There is nothing in the standing orders -- you know it as well as I do -- to question the Speaker.
Mr. Rotenberg: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order: I believe I heard the Leader of the
Opposition say, "The Treasurer is deliberately distorting the truth." I think that is unparliamentary language and I would ask him to withdraw it.
Mr. Speaker: I shall take a look at the record. I honestly did not hear that.
Mr. Rae: Mr. Speaker, to watch a lovers' quarrel really does cause tears in one's eyes. They needed to replace the mace with a crowbar for four months last year because these two people were so close together.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Mr. Rae: I have obviously touched some kind of chord.
Mr. Speaker: Order. I am sure it will work out of everybody's system in a little while.
Mr. Rae: Mr. Speaker, the Treasurer is saying that what happened in this instance shows that next year should be different. I want to make it very clear to the Treasurer that we disagree. It shows that last year was a terrible mistake and that what the Inflation Restraint Board has done is not some kind of accident: it is done because of the lousy legislation which put workers in a straitjacket in Ontario.
Mr. Speaker: Question, please.
Mr. Rae: It is not an accident. I would simply like to ask the Treasurer, is he going to stand up today in this House and say he is going to take measures to make sure that the workers at the Sensenbrenner Hospital in Kapuskasing do not lose the $1,000 they are going to lose if the Inflation Restraint Board decision goes ahead? Yes or no?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: This is a method of proceeding that may be foreign to the member, but I really do prefer to look at the documents and get a report and not make a decision based on the newspaper accounts.
Mr. Rae: Mr. Speaker, my next question is to the acting Minister of Health and it concerns a question about extra-billing practices. I would like to ask the minister if he would comment on this circumstance, in which a young girl was admitted to hospital for a tonsillectomy and the practising anaesthetist advised the mother five minutes before the operation that he was planning to bill an amount above the Ontario health insurance plan rate.
I would like to quote to the minister very quickly from the letter that Mrs. W., as she has asked to be called, has written to the anaesthetist:
"While I was made aware prior to my daughter's surgery that you would be charging more than the amount paid for by OHIP, I hardly had the option to choose another doctor whose fee did not exceed that paid for by OHIP since I was informed of your billing practice only five minutes before my daughter was taken to the operating room, when she was sitting undressed and ready for surgery in her hospital room."
Does the minister genuinely feel that this woman had a choice with respect to extra billing in that situation?
Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, if the facts are as my friend has said, she obviously did not have a choice. But as I stated the other day in answer to a question to the member for Windsor-Riverside (Mr. Cooke), I think we should have the names and have an opportunity to check all the facts out. As a matter of fact, I have checked all the facts out concerning the case that my friend brought up and I think they are slightly different from what he had indicated.
While I hesitate to get into discussing these things in the House, and I do not intend to, I intend to do a little more research. But I suggest that probably the details are a little different from what my friend indicated and that this person will be well served by the system.
I agree that if someone is told five minutes before she goes into the operating room, she obviously does not have a choice, but I would like to check all the details before I give the member any answer or further discuss that particular case.
Mr. Rae: I asked for an answer to my question and not an answer to somebody else's question. I would be very happy to provide the minister with the entire file which has been provided to me. I would like to advise the minister that subsequent to the operation taking place, which it did, the woman in question refused to pay the additional amount the doctor insisted on charging.
Very briefly, I would like to read to the minister another letter from the managing partner -- just one quotation -- and I would ask the minister, does he agree with the statement from the managing partner of Don Valley Anaesthetists, who said: "It is also apparent that you are misinformed," says the good doctor in replying to the lady, "as there is only one fee schedule for medical services in Ontario and it is that published by the Ontario Medical Association."?
Is the minister aware that doctors are sending out letters of this kind? Does he agree with the statement? What does he intend to do about it?
Hon. Mr. Wells: This is the worst kind of situation to comment on. I have not seen the letter. I do not know what was in the three paragraphs before or what was after. I do not know who wrote that letter.
Mr. Rae: If the minister wants me to read it, I will read the whole thing.
Hon. Mr. Wells: No, it is not proper to read the whole letter in question period either. However, there is certainly more than one fee schedule in this province. There is one Ontario Medical Association fee schedule, but there is also an Ontario hospital insurance plan fee schedule of benefits.
Ms. Copps: Mr. Speaker, does the minister believe it is accessibility in this case? Mrs. Lila, from Downsview, who has already had two opted-out babies, is due to deliver again early next year. In contacting the Ontario Medical Association, she discovered that there is no opted-in physician registered with the York-Finch General Hospital.
Does the minister believe that a choice existed in the situation stated by the leader of the third party? Does he believe there is a choice in this particular situation, where a person cannot have a baby at a hospital in Metropolitan Toronto because there are no opted-in gynaecologists available at that hospital, according to the Ontario Medical Association?
Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I am not going to discuss individual cases. I believe there is adequate accessibility in this province and I believe in the system we are now operating.
Mr. Rae: I would also like the minister to comment on this practice in this same instance.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: You don't have to go to a gynaecologist to have a baby.
Mr. Rae: I hope the Minister of Education (Miss Stephenson) is listening to this because it might educate her as to what is going on out there in the streets.
The lady has now received five dunning letters from Dixon Commercial Investigators Ltd. She has also received final notice before suit, which says: "This is to advise you that within 48 hours the court will be instructed to issue a summons. If you intend to pay to avoid the expense and embarrassment of legal action, it is necessary that you remit at once to Dixon Commercial Investigators Ltd. Do it now."
Mr. Speaker: Question, please.
Mr. Rae: Is the minister aware that this kind of practice is going on in the province? What is he going to do to see that it is stopped?
Hon. Mr. Wells: As my friend says, in certain instances one makes arrangements to deal with an opted-out doctor. She knows, if she followed the law, that if she does not pay her bills there are certain procedures that can be taken to reclaim those bills.
I get right back to what I said a few minutes ago. If the member will send me all the details, I will look into it. I have to emphasize that more than ever based on the case my friend from Windsor put forward the other day, the details of which are quite different to those that were put forward in this House, I have to look at all those cases before I am going to comment on them.
OTTAWA-CARLETON COURT SCHEDULES
Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Attorney General.
Mr. Speaker: Order. The member for Ottawa East will place his question and never mind the interjections.
Mr. Roy: It is awfully tough, Mr. Speaker, You realize I am being provoked.
The Attorney General will recall that I spoke to him earlier in the week about the resignation of our most senior judge in Ottawa, Judge Sherwood, a senior judge of the provincial court, criminal division. After 23 years on the bench and with an impeccable reputation for fairness and objectivity, he has resigned from the bench, citing reasons of frustrating delays and lack of expediency in the administration of justice in the Ottawa-Carleton area.
Judge Sherwood went on to say that his frustration was to a point where he had made complaints at various times to his superiors and to superior people within the ministry in charge of the administration of justice with no result. "With no result" is what he said. He said he had made complaints to some of the minister's senior officials with no result.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: That is not quite the fact.
Mr. Roy: That is what he said.
Mr. Speaker: Question, please. Never mind debating.
Mr. Roy: It is right here. I am quoting. I gave the Attorney General notice of this two days ago when he was hiding behind the Tory caucus.
Mr. Speaker: Would the member please place the question.
Mr. Roy: My question for the Attorney General is simply this: Does he agree with the position he has taken, or is he familiar with the situation in Ottawa stated by Judge Sherwood, that if one wants a trial or a preliminary hearing a person cannot have one, if a date was set today, prior to May or June, 1984?
Given these circumstances, what is the minister going to do to expedite matters in the Ottawa-Carleton area so that we stop or do not make a practice of losing people of the calibre of Judge Sherwood?
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker. I am grateful that the member for Ottawa East drew this and the specific press stories to my attention earlier in the week. It did give me an opportunity to speak to John Cassells, the crown attorney. I gather from what he had to say that there are some real problems with respect to scheduling of the cases.
The press clipping the member showed me earlier in the week made some reference to Judge Sherwood having spoken to his superiors. The only superiors Judge Sherwood has would be the senior judges. No judge has any superiors in the Ministry of the Attorney General. I know the member for Ottawa East is well aware of this.
I am told by the crown attorney that more effective or efficient use can be made of the existing courtroom facilities and of the judges who have responsibilities in this area. I am told that, because of some of the scheduling difficulties, unfortunately, the courts often are not being utilized at all except for one or two hours a day. There are problems that have to be addressed. I am going to be discussing the matter further with Chief Judge Hayes and will probably be meeting with him and Senior Judge Hutton in Ottawa, together with Mr. Cassels, in the relatively near future to discuss the matter further.
My only other comment would be that if the situation is as bad as the particular press report suggests, I would have expected the distinguished member for Ottawa East to have brought it to my attention personally because of his own experience in these courts.
Mr. Roy: Even the Attorney General is enlightened enough to know that is what I am doing here. I am bringing it to his attention personally.
I want to know from the Attorney General his exact position on getting more funds to have more personnel to expedite the administration of justice. There are different signals coming out of his office. For instance, in 1982 he was quoted in the Toronto Star as saying, "The government is not allocating enough resources to justice in this province." He went on to say. "We have always been the poor cousins of the government." This was in 1982.
Mr. Speaker: Question, please.
Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, if I may say just briefly, in the estimates which have just taken place -- completed in October 1983 -- the Attorney General was quoted as saying, "Our trial delays in most areas of the province are not a significant problem. They are isolated."
First, Judge Sherwood is not a man who has a reputation for making rash statements. I would ask the Attorney General very simply is he prepared to undertake to have someone speak to Judge Sherwood? I think the administration of justice in Ottawa-Carleton is going to be much poorer with the loss of this individual. Is there a possibility of getting this individual, this man who has such a tremendous reputation, to reconsider?
Second, would the Attorney General, when he is referring to isolated instances of trial delays, indicate whether the situation in Ottawa-Carleton is different from or worse than that in most areas of the province?
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I would certainly agree with the member for Ottawa East that Judge Sherwood has served the administration of justice in this province for 23 years with distinction and that his views are obviously very relevant. But I would also like to make the further observation that when we look at the case load in Ottawa compared to that in other areas of the province and look at the judicial and other resources, including courtrooms, that are allocated to that case load, we find the resources in Ottawa are not less in relation to the case load they have to deal with than those in other parts of the province. It is clear that there is a scheduling problem, and this matter will be addressed.
Mr. Kennedy: Mr. Speaker, would the Attorney General in his discussions with Judge Hayes and other members of the judiciary extend the discussions with regard to court delays and court facilities to other areas of the province as well?
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Yes, Mr. Speaker.
PICKET LINE HARASSMENT
Mr. Mackenzie: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Labour. Is the minister aware of the continuing concern by union members across Ontario with regard to what they perceive as harassment or intimidation by some police forces and security firms?
Specifically, is the minister aware of the continuing problem -- I stress "continuing" -- on the picket line of the Shaw-Almex Industries strike in Parry Sound? Is the minister aware of the more than 800 police visits to the 51-member unit that was on strike at Polysar in Cambridge, a strike that fortunately has now been settled? Is the minister aware of the use of cameras by the company right on the picket line in the Indalex strike in Toronto within the last two or three days?
Hon. Mr. Ramsay: Mr. Speaker, yes, I am aware of the circumstances the honourable member has described. Perhaps I can deal with the Shaw-Almex situation in Parry Sound first and indicate where we stand as far as mediation is concerned because, of course, that is the quickest solution to the problem the member has described.
A number of mediation meetings have been convened to date, and the director of our conciliation-mediation service has been personally involved. A further mediation meeting is now scheduled for later this month. We are hopeful that discussions on that day will prove to be productive.
With regard to the Indalex dispute, a senior mediator there has also met with the parties -- in fact, as early as this week -- but he reports that, unfortunately, they remain quite far apart in their positions. The mediator, though, is remaining in contact and he will try to get them together just as soon as possible.
With regard to the concerns about the activities on the picket line, as the honourable member knows, I am not responsible for the activities of the police. I had thought this morning that my colleague the Solicitor General (Mr. G. W. Taylor) would be in attendance and could perhaps respond to that section of the question, but I will be happy to take the matter up with him the first of next week.
Mr. Mackenzie: I appreciate the comments the minister has made, but they do not deal specifically with the problem I am raising, and that is the problems that lead to trouble on the picket lines.
Given the real problems that police involvement on picket lines causes, the uneven standards that seem to apply across the province between various forces, and the recent comments of Mr. Paul Walters of the Metropolitan Toronto Police Association calling for legislation to achieve a fair set of rules that do not make the police appear to be an extension of a company in a strike situation, will the minister as part of his responsibility as Minister of Labour initiate legislation that more clearly defines and controls the role of police or outside firms in a labour dispute?
Hon. Mr. Ramsay: I am not considering legislation of that nature, but I will be happy to meet personally with the Solicitor General and see if we can come to some agreement on the standards for police surveillance and police activities on the picket lines.
Mr. Mancini: Mr. Speaker, knowing from firsthand experience the problems that are caused when police are sent to picket lines, and knowing that no matter how they carry out their duties they are always perceived by one side or the other to be favouring a particular side, would the minister when he is talking with the Solicitor General convene a task force of very well qualified people from unions, management and police departments to see if they can study this matter and give the minister recommendations so that in the near future he may be able to act with regulations or with legislation or, at the very least, to set down some guidelines?
Hon. Mr. Ramsay: Mr. Speaker, I will certainly take that under consideration. I think I should say here, in defence of our police forces, that for every situation we hear described, such as Shaw-Almex Industries, Indalex and Polysar, there are numerous occasions when the police force has acted in the very best possible manner and has brought stability to the picket lines of this province. By and large, Ontario has an excellent record in this respect in so far as picket line activities are concerned, I attribute a great degree of that success to the efforts of the police forces of this province.
Mr. Mancini: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: I was in no way trying to demean the work of the police departments. I was just trying to point out some of the problems they face.
CLOSURE OF HOME FOR DEVELOPMENTALLY HANDICAPPED
Mr. Speaker: The Provincial Secretary for Social Development has two brief answers to previously asked questions.
Hon. Mr. McCaffrey: Mr. Speaker, it is my expectation and understanding that the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Drea) will be in the Legislature on Monday. There are a couple of outstanding issues I would like to dispose of now.
Earlier this week the member for Windsor- Sandwich (Mr. Wrye) and the member for Scarborough West (Mr. R. F. Johnston) asked a couple of questions with regard to Bluewater Centre and the closing date. There were some specific dates. I wonder if I can just touch on a key aspect of it and perhaps send a copy across to both those members.
With respect to the Bluewater Centre at Goderich, I would like to point out that the date of November 18, which has been referred to as the closure date, is merely the notification to employees of termination of employment date required under the collective agreement. There has been no actual closure date set. The facility will cease to operate only when the ministry's commitments are met. Sufficient staff to ensure the safety and welfare of residents will be maintained beyond the November 18 date if necessary.
ELDERLY PERSONS CENTRES
Hon. Mr. McCaffrey: The member for Beaches-Woodbine (Ms. Bryden) and the member for Windsor-Sandwich had questions with regard to the Elderly Persons Centres Act. Inasmuch as it is relatively detailed, I wonder if those members would be content to have a copy of the answer. I am in the members' hands and I would be happy to get into some aspects of it.
Mr. Speaker: The member for Windsor- Sandwich has indicated he would by nodding his head.
Mr. Boudria: Mr. Spcaker, I have a question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations on the mandate of the Thom commission. The minister is aware that cabinet severely restrained the mandate of the commission by an order in council on August 31 by which phase 2 of the proceedings will be limited to living accommodations to which the Residential Tenancy Commission applies. What possible rationale could the government have had for this decision? How are the tenants supposed to have faith in this system, which was designed as a system in which, in the ministers own words, there would be "the widest possible input into the process of finding better solutions to the current problems of our housing," when it is quietly being watered down without public input and with what seemingly is no rationale at all? How are people going to be able to participate in the phase 2 process, given the amendment the minister made to the mandate?
Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, actually it was the government's view, and I believe the commissioner's view, that the original mandate meant just that. It was felt that if there was any doubt about it, the government owed it to the public to make it very clear.
There are those who have had the opportunity over the years to review the public policy issues that have been faced in this country and in other countries with respect to rent control. I think the thoughtful articles I have had an opportunity to read indicate there needs to be a balance and an opportunity for private interests to construct new dwellings without rent control if we are seriously interested in the construction of new apartment buildings.
That does not restrict members of this Legislature, when legislation eventually comes before the House and before committee, from raising whatever points they wish. The member knows that. To suggest there will not be any discussion on any of those issues is really quite imprudent and inaccurate.
Mr. Boudria: That is a bunch of nonsense and the minister knows it.
Mr. Speaker: Question, please.
Mr. Boudria: The minister's accusations are really unfair. He will know that on November 16 of last year he was the one who said that all aspects of housing would be examined. I did not say that: he did. He changed his mind in midstream on that.
Mr. Speaker: Question, please.
Mr. Boudria: He now wants the report to deal only with tenements that are currently under the Residential Tenancies Commission.
How can anybody have faith in the government when the minister changes his mind in midstream? In the middle of the ball game he is changing the rules. Is this not unfair to the people who have previously gone to the Thom commission in good faith and were told to go back in phase 2 because what they wanted to say to the Thom commission would apply later? Meanwhile, the minister changed the rules. He should not accuse us of being on both sides of this issue when he is the one who is.
Hon. Mr. Elgie: I disagree and my remarks stand.
Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Provincial Secretary for Social Development and acting Minister of Community and Social Services.
Is the minister aware that there are now 500 people who are homeless in Ottawa, that the rents on one-bedroom apartments exceed the monthly income of many of those people and that this fall something in the order of two apartments in every 1,000 are going to be vacant?
Is the government prepared to intervene to meet the needs of these homeless people? If not, how many more homeless people do there need to be in Ottawa before the government is prepared to act?
Hon. Mr. McCaflrey: No, Mr. Speaker, I am not aware of the numbers and I will look into it.
Mr. Cassidy: Since the minister is not aware of it, can he explain why his colleague the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (Mr. Bennett) has deliberately sought also to be ignorant of the fact and has refused to communicate in any way with groups representing the homeless and with the People's Housing Coalition in Ottawa?
Will he undertake on behalf of the government to have some other representative of the government meet with Homes for the Homeless and with the People's Housing Coalition, since the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing wants to pretend that no problem exists in Ottawa?
Hon. Mr. McCaffrey: I said I would look into it. Among other things, I will speak to my colleague the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
Mr. Wrye: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the acting Minister of Community and Social Services. The minister is undoubtedly aware of the growing crisis regarding the lack of extended care beds across the province. Homes for the aged receive funding for extended care beds for up to one and a half hours of care, yet many residents require up to three hours of care and funding remains fixed at $39 per day regardless of that.
When will this government recognize that many homes for the aged across the province provide extended care to residents far beyond the funding limit of one and a half hours of care without adequate remuneration? Why did the minister's colleague not listen to the 1,000 delegates at the recent Ontario Association of Homes for the Aged convention when they repeatedly demanded a fourth category of care, namely, heavy extended care, to bridge the funding gap between extended and chronic care?
Hon. Mr. McCaffrey: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Minister of Community and Social Services, but also as Provincial Secretary for Social Development, may I say that in the social policy field we spend something in the order of 85 per cent of our time on these issues as they relate to home care and the elderly in the short and long terms.
When we talk about priorities of the government, there is simply no question but that this is a priority in terms of more adequate funding and better programs to meet the needs. We all know this is the area for intense emphasis within the next decade. I am aware of it. We make this a priority within the policy field, and indeed it is a priority for the government to deal with this.
Mr. Wrye: This is not a priority for the next decade; it is a priority for the next month.
I have a case for the minister concerning the plight of a charitable home for the aged in my community of Windsor. Villa Maria completed a detailed time study in June of this year that verified a situation of underfunding, which affects many other homes for the aged across the province. Although 35 of the 120 residents were officially receiving extended care, 42 residents received care in excess of one and a half hours. Eighteen of those 42 residents were receiving care in excess of three hours.
Is it not true that many long-term care facilities can now prove that high levels of care are delivered to many residents they serve, without adequate compensation? Is it therefore not also true that the quality of life for residents in long-term care homes is deteriorating and that it is becoming increasingly difficult to care properly for residents under a funding mechanism established 11 years ago?
Hon. Mr. McCaffrey: Mr. Speaker, before I respond to the latter part of the question, I am sure the honourable member will send over the information pertaining to Villa Maria, and I will respond in detail.
Mr. Rae: Mr. Speaker, the minister will know that the average age of residents in the homes for the aged is now well over 80, whereas when the basic standards were set many years ago, the average age was much lower, in the 60s. Given the dramatic change that is taking place in the makeup of the people who are living in homes for the aged, will the minister act now and not put it off and come up with an answer that deals with both homes for the aged and nursing homes, that sets a realistic standard in terms of the kind of care that is being provided by these institutions and that should be provided by them, and that reflects what is going on and the needs of the residents?
The problems we have seen in the nursing homes relate very directly to this problem. This is a matter of some urgency for us, and we would like to see the minister act on it right away.
Hon. Mr. McCaffrey: Mr. Speaker, I agree with the leader of the third party's initial comments vis-à-vis the statistics and the quite dramatic changes. I repeat, it is a priority, and we attach some urgency to the issue.
Mr. Speaker: The member for Windsor- Riverside; a new question.
Mr. Cooke: Mr. Speaker, before I get into my question, I want to raise a point of privilege. I want to point out to the Minister of Health (Mr. Norton), who has now returned to the Legislature --
Mr. Cunningham: No, no.
Mr. Cooke: To correct the record, then, as you let the leader of the official opposition speak --
Mr. Speaker: No, I did not, with all respect.
Mr. Rae: You certainly did.
Mr. Speaker: You may only correct your own record, nobody else's record.
Mr. Cooke: The Minister of Health deliberately distorted the fact --
Mr. Speaker: That is not for me to judge.
Mr. Cooke: Perhaps then the Minister of Health will be honest and deal with these opting-out cases fairly and honestly in the Legislature.
Mr. Speaker: Now to your question, please.
INDUSTRIAL RESOURCE CENTRE DISPUTE
Mr. Cooke: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Colleges and Universities. The matter deals with the strike at the Industrial Resource Centre in Windsor.
I would like to ask the minister whether she is aware of this strike and whether she understands that management in this case is taking a position that it will not recognize seniority rights. This is a first-contract negotiation. This institution is funded totally by her ministry, as I understand it, through St. Clair College. Seniority rights are not being respected, and the people who work at the Industrial Resource Centre are paid 20 per cent less than people doing exactly the same job at St. Clair College.
Does the minister agree with this negotiating stance taken by management? If she does not, will she intervene or have her ministry intervene to settle the strike since this particular institution provides free apprenticeship training, which is so important for our young people when youth unemployment is so incredibly high?
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I am aware of the dispute at the Industrial Resource Centre. I am also aware that there are several trainees whose educational programs are being severely disrupted by the strike. I am aware too that although the funds flow from St. Clair College, and it is accountable for the funds, it is a separate and discrete institution.
It is my sincere hope that both parties in this dispute will take into account the plight of the trainees currently without the kind of guidance they should have, and will immediately settle this dispute through negotiations.
Mr. Cooke: The minister will know that the board of the Industrial Resource Centre has not been the most co-operative right from the beginning, and she will understand the problems the college has had in working with that board as well. Does she not think, now that this centre has only been in operation a year or a year and a half, that it is time either for the ministry to become involved with the operation of the centre to make sure the board operates in a way that is beneficial to the community or, if it is not willing to do such, for the ministry to take direct control through the St. Clair College board?
Hon. Miss Stephenson: If the terms of reference of that board are not being followed precisely by the board, then I shall most certainly look at the suggestion made by the honourable member. It is not my understanding that there is deviation from those terms of reference, which were jointly developed so that the institution could be autonomous and reasonably separate from any other mechanism within the Windsor area.
HAMILTON-WENTWORTH COUNCIL DECISION
Ms. Copps: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister without Portfolio, the member for Wentworth. Can the minister advise us whether he agrees with the very strong position taken by regional council in Hamilton that the position of regional chairman be elected by the people at large rather than by council, as is currently regulated by statute?
Hon. Mr. Dean: Mr. Speaker, I do not agree with that position.
Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Speaker, the duly elected representatives serving on regional council and the regional chairman, who is not elected, are unanimously of the view that this position should be elected at large. Will the minister take it upon himself to make representations to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (Mr. Bennett), who has arrogantly dismissed our council's unanimous position in this regard? How can the minister defend that? Will he not take it upon himself to meet with this minister and endeavour to use his influence to represent his constituents, which is what he was sent here to do?
Hon. Mr. Dean: Mr. Speaker, a couple of things should be said before a straight answer is given to that question. First, I disagree that there was any arrogant dismissal on the part of the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. Second, yes, I continue to represent my constituents. Third, I think the whole question has to be viewed in the context of what is feasible, practical and desirable, not only in the region of Hamilton-Wentworth but in other parts of Ontario as well.
Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Attorney General. I would like to refer to the Attorney General's statement this morning, in which he says:
"I am confident that the federal Solicitor General will now recognize the basic flaws in his legislation, which do represent a significant potential threat to the fundamental freedoms enjoyed by Canadians. The public interest would be well served by a retreat by the federal Solicitor General. . . Although couched in polite parliamentary language, the committee report eviscerates the proposed legislation."
If that is true, does the Attorney General not think the recent judgement by the Supreme Court of Ontario with regard to Bill 179 is also true? Does he not think it is about time he stopped fighting and posing as a civil libertarian when it comes to matters at the federal level, but acting like a pussycat when it comes to acting as a civil libertarian in defending workers' rights here in Ontario?
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I did not hear a question; I heard a little bit of a speech.
Obviously, apart from the very articulate statement I made earlier, from which the honourable member quoted, there is nothing else he said that I agree with.
Mr. Foulds: Does the Attorney General not see the sheer hypocrisy of his position when he will speak out against an attack on civil liberties at the federal level but he has absolutely failed to speak out on the same kind of attack on civil liberties and the freedom of association at the provincial level?
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: My response is that what the member has said is absolute and total nonsense.
Mr. Rae: It is not.
Mr. Foulds: You have a double standard.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I could tell him of hundreds of issues here where I have spoken out in relation to the rights of the individual citizens in this province.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: The NDP members always want to cloak themselves in sanctimony and hypocrisy, and they are just talking sheer and utter nonsense.
Mr. Roy: Can I ask him a supplementary?
Mr. Speaker: Final supplementary.
Mr. Roy: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker: No, I am sorry. I did not look at the clock.
Mr. Roy: That is fine.
Mr. Speaker: The time for oral questions has expired.
Mr. Roy: We will forgive you.
Mr. Speaker: It was your colleague who tipped me off.
Mr. Roy: We will forgive you. You should not protect him, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker: I am not.
INFLATION RESTRAINT LEGISLATION
Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, I wish to table a petition which reads:
"To the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:
"We, the undersigned teachers, beg leave to petition the parliament of Ontario as follows:
'Whereas we oppose the extension of the Inflation Restraint Act because it is inequitable in its application to the citizens of Ontario and restricts our basic free collective bargaining rights; and
"Whereas we believe that an extension of the act or measures which 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 80 teachers who live and work in the Waterloo region. These teachers are on the staffs of Northdale Public School in Waterloo, Forest Glen Public School in New Hamburg, Heidelberg Public School, Floradale Public School, and four schools in Kitchener, namely, Howard Robertson Public School, Stanley Park Senior School, Prueter Public School and Sandowne Public School.
Mr. Newman: Mr. Speaker, I also have a petition addressed to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly. For the sake of brevity, I will say it was signed by a number of teachers from the Windsor area.
Mr. Barlow: Mr. Speaker, I have a group of petitions from all over Waterloo region that were sent to me this morning by the Federation of Women Teachers' Associations of Ontario. There are a number of schools from Cambridge and other communities represented. Rather than take the time of the Legislature to read them off, I will just present them.
Mr. Foulds: Read them off.
Mr. Barlow: Do you want me to read them off? All right. They are from Central Public School in Cambridge, Country Hills Public School in Kitchener, Forest Glen Public School in New Hamburg, Sandowne Public School in Kitchener, Manchester Public School in Cambridge, Crestview Public School in Kitchener -- incidentally, that one was sent to each member representing the Waterloo region in this House -- Smithson Public School in Kitchener, Guiding Light School for the Trainable Retarded in Elmira, Grandview Public School in New Hamburg, Westmount Public School, Carmichael Public School, Suddaby Public School, Sunnyside Senior and MacGregor Senior, all of which I believe are in Kitchener.
Mr. Treleaven: Mr. Speaker, I wish to present a petition with similar wording as the previous ones, from a number of teachers who live and teach in the riding of Oxford.
INTRODUCTION OF BILL
SENSENBRENNER HOSPITAL EMPLOYEES COMPENSATION ACT
Mr. Peterson moved, seconded by Mr. Breithaupt, first reading of Bill 110, An Act respecting the Compensation of Certain Employees at Sensenhrenner Hospital in Kapuskasing.
Motion agreed to.
Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this bill is to override a recent decision of the Inflation Restraint Board requiring certain employees of Sensenbrenner Hospital in Kapuskasing to pay back increases in compensation received under an arbitration award that was made in October 1982.
Under section 1, no employee will be required to pay back any increase in compensation so received and no employee shall have any compensation withheld as a result of the board's decision.
Under section 2, the compensation plan of employees at the hospital will be deemed to be a plan that was in existence on September 21, 1982, and that expires on or after October 1, 1982, for the purposes of the Inflation Restraint Act. The section will have the effect of establishing the entry date of the employees into the restraint program.
I think it is an important bill and would rectify an injustice we have seen under the legislation. Unfortunately, it could have been prevented earlier, had this government respected our amendments to the Inflation Restraint Act.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
House in committee of supply.
ESTIMATES, MANAGEMENT BOARD OF CABINET (CONTINUED)
On vote 401, ministry administration program:
Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Chairman, have I the permission of the House to move down? Thank you.
I have the answers to several questions that were raised, some by the member for Rainy River (Mr. T. P. Reid) and some by the member for Etobicoke (Mr. Philip). Since the member for Rainy River is absent at the moment, I will attempt to answer the questions raised by the member for Etobicoke.
One was in regard to recent problems, as the member said, with compliance and, in view of that, whether Management Board's policies were adequate.
The purpose of the administrative policy is to provide concrete measures through which the government's objectives of economy, efficiency, equity and probity can be achieved. These objectives continue to be held and, in my view, the policies of the Manual of Administration serve the purpose satisfactorily.
To ensure that the policies continue to be useful they are reviewed and, where necessary, revised. At present, the policies on consulting are in the late stages of review and I expect revised versions will be approved by Management Board shortly.
While there will be a number of changes in these policies, the principles of competitive tendering will continue to be upheld. I have directed my staff to review the communications policy with particular emphasis on the possible need to address speechwriting in a more specific manner.
The honourable member also asked to what extent policies on government procurement facilitate purchases from union shops - -
Mr. Philip: Mr. Chairman, that surely is not the minister's only answer to the very long list of questions I asked on the Manual of Administration and on the actions of one of the ministers?
Hon. Mr. McCague: I am sorry, Mr. Chairman, I did not hear the interjection by the member.
Mr. Philip: If I may, as a way of clarification, I asked a very long series of questions directed at the Manual of Administration and possible violations by a minister of this government. I quoted sections and I had very specific questions on it. I hope this very broad, general statement by the minister is not his reply to the very specific and direct questions I asked on that. Are we going to get a reply on whether, in this minister's view, Mr. Walker violated the Manual of Administration?
Mr. Chairman: The member has made his point and the minister can respond as he wills. I would remind the member again, last time in this debate we were referring to names of individuals when I am sure we want to refer to them in their ministerial capacity. Thank you.
Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Chairman, I agree that the member asked various questions about various items. One of them was the one to which he just referred. In regard to the questions that have been raised, the staff of the secretariat did a review of those items brought before Management Board for approval on behalf of the member for London South (Mr. Walker) for purposes of procuring speechwriters and consultants. There were two submissions received. One was for management consulting services and one for speechwriting. I will deal with them separately.
The submission for management consulting services was received from the Ministry of Correctional Services in January 1981, and involved the extension of a consulting contract to Mr. Martyn for the completion of a zero-base budgeting project. The original contract was under $15,000 and therefore it had been awarded without tender. Since any extension would put the contract over the $15,000 limit, Management Board approval was sought and granted after an extensive review of the alternatives. The amount of money involved in the extension was approximately $12,000. The exemption was granted contingent on the written requirement that no further extensions would be sought.
The only other submission germane to this discussion involved the procurement of a speechwriter received by Management Board in July 1981 from the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations. A number of letters were exchanged between the Management Board secretariat and the ministry over a period of two months. The ministry was advised that nonconsecutive assignments involving separate speechwriting projects of a short-term nature with individual contracts and terms of reference could be awarded without tender provided they were less than $15,000 each. Since Management Board's approval of such contracts was not required, Management Board's permission was withdrawn by the ministry.
In my view, in both of the above situations, both the minister and his staff, as well as the staff of Management Board, acted correctly and in accordance with government policy.
The member also asked to what extent policies on government procurement facilitate purchases from union shops, what the government's purchasing objective is and why the government does not apply contract compliance criteria. The member has asked several questions about the government's purchasing policy, specifically, about buying unionized products or those made by corporations paying a union wage, and about the objectives of government purchasing and so forth.
The purpose of government's purchasing policy is to ensure the probity of the governments purchasing transactions. This is to be achieved through the fair, objective, equitable and economical acquisition of goods and services. Under this policy, suppliers are selected in an objective and equitable manner by a process of competitive purchasing and the lowest responsible bid is accepted.
In awarding contracts, Canadian preference and industrial development considerations are also taken into account. All government contractors are expected to comply with all of Ontario's labour legislation. We believe our purchasing policy treats vendors fairly and at the same time ensures that the province gets value for money in its purchasing transactions.
The member for Etobicoke also raised the issue of privacy legislation. I think it would be appropriate if he were to ask this question of the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development (Mr. Sterling), who is the minister responsible for matters of this sort.
Mr. Philip: Does the Chairman of the Management Board of Cabinet have no views on it whatsoever?
Hon. Mr. McCague: I would not wish to comment on it in view of his responsibility in that area.
A further question from the member for Etobicoke asks: "I would be interested in knowing if this minister, as the minister responsible for co-ordinating efficiency and so forth, knows how many contract workers moved with the member for London South when he moved from the Ministry of Industry and Trade to his new ministry. If the contract workers were hired for a specific function within the Ministry of Industry and Trade, then why would they be relevant in going to do work in another ministry?"
The appointment of unclassified staff in the minister's office is at the discretion of the minister. The guidelines which apply are those to do with salaries to be paid which, in essence, are that the salaries should be in line with related levels in the civil service. Management Board does not keep a list of the staff ministers employ in their offices. For such information in the case he raised, the member would have to inquire to the Provincial Secretary for Justice (Mr. Walker) and to the specific ministers from whom he would like similar information.
Under the Public Service Act, a minister or any public servant who is designated in writing for the purpose by him, may appoint for a period of not more than one year on the first appointment and for any period on any subsequent appointments, a person to a position in the unclassified service in any ministry over which he presides. Any appointment made by a designee under this subsection shall be deemed to have been made by the minister.
The member also raised several questions about the matter of the Board of Internal Economy and Bill 78 as it applies to the Legislature. Just to remind him, the bill was arrived at and agreed on by an all-party committee. The hearing board established under the bill has precisely the same function as the Public Service Grievance Board under the Public Service Act.
There is concern about the fairness of the board because of the Speaker's authority to appoint the chairman and the Speaker's representative on the board, but I think that view is unfounded. Unlike other boards, the duty to act fairly is spelled out in the act and will be subject to judicial review by the courts. Unlike the Public Service Grievance Board or the Crown Employees Grievance Settlement Board, the employee has the authority to appoint his representative to the board. The Speaker's consultation with the chairman of the Public Service Grievance Board is designated to ensure that the chairman of the hearing board will be an experienced, accepted arbitrator who is well versed in the arbitration process and the jurisprudence.
There is no change in the rights of the grievor from the original act. There is nothing to prevent an employee from making a complaint about terms of employment or working conditions. However, such complaints may not be adjudicated by the hearing board. This is not unique in labour relations. Some matters, even when included in the collective agreement, are not arbitrable. An example of this would be the assignment of work where such an assignment is not disciplinary in nature and the claims under the insured benefits plan in shift scheduling.
The act provides more rights than most nonunionized employees in the private sector, who must seek redress on dismissal to the courts and who have no grievance rights for any other form of discipline.
In the particular example raised by the member, I am informed that the grievor withdrew her grievance. I should also mention that a civil servant in a bargaining unit would be involved in the same process as the example raised by the member, since it involved the right of the Speaker to determine what work is to be performed by an employee. In that case the assignment of other duties did not change the employee's salary, benefits or classification, and the board would be required to determine whether or not it had jurisdiction to entertain the grievance. That process is not at all unique to a hearing hoard established under Bill 78.
There was only one more question raised by the member for Etobicoke or the member for Rainy River, and both raised the question of merit pay. In the Ontario civil service the merit pay system works as follows. The salary range of each bargaining unit class has a number of incremental steps which are negotiated and incorporated into the collective agreement. Employees are eligible for an increase to the next higher step in the salary range after six or 12 months of satisfactory performance until the maximum rate is reached.
Merit increases may be withheld for unsatisfactory performance. They cannot be withheld for economic reasons, except under constraint legislation. An employee who is denied a merit increase is free to lodge a grievance with the grievance settlement board.
There are no incremental steps in the salary ranges in the management classes. Employees are eligible for an increase of up to five per cent each year, depending upon their performance, until the maximum rate is reached. This amendment permits individual increases to be tailored to reflect the employee's level of performance. Merit increases may be withheld only for unsatisfactory performance, except under constraints. An employee below the executive level who is denied a merit increase is free to lodge a grievance with the Public Service Grievance Board.
On the broader question, there is no universal agreement on the efficacy of merit pay and, in particular, its relationship to the performance appraisal process. This has been well illustrated by the divergent views expressed on Monday by the member for Rainy River and the member for Etobicoke, who went to the same place and presumably talked to the same people and came back with different views.
On the matter of performance appraisal, the process described in the government's policy is in many respects similar to the one endorsed by the member for Rainy River. It is a three-step process in which a manager and an employee define the performance that is expected of the employee during the next review period. They discuss performance on an ongoing basis during the review period and they evaluate job performance at the end of the review period.
The objectives of performance appraisal are to attain high performance levels by ensuring that employees know and are committed to achieving what is expected of them; to assist employees to develop in their jobs through coaching, counselling and training; to improve communications and work relationships between employees and managers, and to provide a better understanding of organizational objectives.
The key ingredient in achieving these objectives is the creation of a climate of trust. Therefore, we do not insist that summary evaluations at the end of the review period be in writing, although the majority of managers elect to do so.
Performance appraisal review provides critical information in determining merit increases. However, I would like to reiterate that the primary purpose is to improve or maintain high performance through the encouragement and enhancement of employee development. The government process has been designed to support this aim. In instances where increments are being withheld, we would advise managers to include appropriate comments on the record.
Mr. Chairman, those were the questions that were raised by the member for Etobicoke.
Mr. Philip: Mr. Chairman, with respect, I raised a number of questions which were not answered. One of the questions the minister has conveniently avoided, or perhaps he answered it and I missed it, is whether he was prepared to table the contracts dealing with the minister I had asked questions about so that we in the Legislature could see whether or not, in our opinion, there were violations of the Manual of Administration. The minister has not answered that question, and I am wondering why he so conveniently forgot to deal with that question.
Hon. Mr. McCague: The honourable member knows that any documents that may be in the hands of Management Board have the same force and effect and are as confidential as those documents the Cabinet Office has. The answer to the question whether I am going to table some documents that may or may not be in another ministry is no.
Mr. Philip: It will be my position in the public accounts committee that this minister be brought before that committee to answer the questions I asked him and which he has, with respect, failed to answer in his apologetics for his colleague. I suggest, if the minister has nothing to hide, he should come clean with those documents. It would be fairly simple to do.
It would be a matter of going to the minister in question and saying: "I have been asked for these documents. The members of the Legislature want to see the documents. Members of the public accounts committee and the auditor will be wanting to see those documents. Is it your intention to hide them from the Provincial Auditor as well? If it is not, then what is the difference between showing it to the Provincial Auditor and showing it to the public accounts committee?"
Hon. Mr. McCague: The member misunderstands this whole thing. What I was looking at were items which had come to Management Board. As I told him, there were the two requests that came to us. I have reviewed those requests. I am satisfied Management Board acted properly in dealing with them. I have not gone to the ministry and asked for any documents whatever. What we have is confidential. I am not hiding a thing. There is some indication the auditor may be looking at this particular matter. I have nothing further to say.
Mr. Philip: I am sorry, I have other questions on that. The minister is saying that his colleague in question only came to him or to Management Board on two occasions with regard to two contracts. Is he saying he is not aware of any other contracts which would have fallen under the category where, according to the Manual of Administration, the minister in question would have been obliged to come to him? On some of those contracts where the Manual of Administration clearly indicates the minister should have come to Management Board first to seek approval, he did not. Is that not what happened?
Hon. Mr. McCague: It is expected that the Manual of Administration will be followed and that there will be compliance. I am telling the member we had before us two contracts which come under the categories I understood he was interested in.
Mr. Cunningham: I am sure the Chairman of Management Board would be aware that yesterday a motion sponsored by myself in the public accounts committee on this subject was defeated by members of his caucus. We lost on a six-to-five vote.
Very simply, we had requested the committee request the auditor to investigate not only the two aforementioned contracts, but also the extent to which this may be a widespread practice. The Provincial Secretary for Justice has been quoted in the press. In an attempt in my view to justify what is a shoddy and sleazy kind of conduct, he has indicated this speechwriting, public relations endeavour is widespread throughout the ministry, which causes me some serious concern.
The second part of my motion dealt specifically with recommendations, to the extent to which this did exist, that the Provincial Auditor might make to us. My question to the Chairman of Management Board, who I believe sincerely wants to make sure we get value for money in this province, is whether he would redirect his members to reconsider that situation and have the Provincial Auditor take a look not only at this particular experience that has outraged so many taxpayers in Ontario, but also at the extent to which it may be a widespread practice, particularly among leadership aspirants, and at the extent to which we could fix an amount of money on the end of contracts and determine that we would get value for money spent.
Would he consider directing his colleagues to that effect, so that the auditor would have a very clear direction? At the moment, it is a discretionary situation. I believe the auditor should be seized with this responsibility and it should not be left up to his discretion. I believe he should get that direction from the committee. I would be very grateful if the Chairman of Management Board would take it upon himself and commit himself today in this House to have members of his caucus ensure that if this matter is brought up again in the standing committee on public accounts, they will not block this issue and endeavour to sweep it under the rug, as I believe they are attempting to do right now.
Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Chairman, I think the honourable member understands, I hope as well as I do, that I have no jurisdiction or power to direct the members of the public accounts committee of whatever political party to vote or discuss a matter in any particular way. No, I will not direct them to do that.
Mr. Cunningham: Supplementary, if you will permit me very briefly, Mr. Chairman: Would the minister then take it upon himself as Chairman of Management Board to write to the auditor almost immediately and indicate his concern about this and the laxity that appears to be going on in controlling the accounts of the public in Ontario? Would he request the auditor to take an independent look at this?
It simply is not good enough for the minister to stand in his place today and say that everything is all right, or for members of his party to prevent an investigation in the public accounts committee and to assure us we are getting value for money, particularly in the case of the relationship of the individual who wrote the book for the member for London South (Mr. Walker) and the extent to which he could separate that activity from his so-called public relations, speechwriting function.
I think the public has a very genuine problem. I am asking the minister to take it upon himself, as one who has demonstrated over the years some very real concern about efficiency in government, value for money, and making sure the taxpayers' interests are respected, to write to the auditor and either table his letter here in the House or favour us with a copy of his letter. Would he take it upon himself to have the auditor take a look at this in an independent, objective fashion and, more important, determine the extent to which this kind of practice is going on across all ministries and whether we are getting value for money spent?
This is a lot of money. I said yesterday in committee that it has developed into a cottage industry in Ontario around this place. I think it is an abhorrent situation when these people can get very juicy contracts without tenders. The former Treasurer himself said the contracts were of a very questionable nature. Will the minister take it upon himself to contact the auditor?
Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Chairman, I have never written to the auditor and asked him to perform any particular function. We have the Manual of Administration with which, as I said earlier, we expect compliance. The auditor has a very specific function given to him by this Legislature. I am sure if the reports in the paper this morning are accurate, the auditor is probably doing exactly what the member wishes.
Mr. Philip: With respect, other ministers have, when they felt there was impropriety in their ministry, invited the auditor to come in and examine the particular problem. In the case of the member for Scarborough Centre (Mr. Drea), who is a former Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations, I recall very specifically he called the auditor on one occasion and said: "There is something wrong in this part of my ministry. Please come in and examine it because we want to clean the house."
Very clearly, the Chairman of Management Board has a responsibility not merely to say, as he did, "We examined it and found the minister did comply in a couple of contracts we have here." Surely the question I directed to him and which my colleague from the Liberal Party was directing the other day, both here and in the public accounts committee, is about the very specific rules whereby a minister must go to the Management Board for permission for certain types of contracts.
The minister's statement that he did come for a couple of contracts and that he complied, avoids the issue. The issue is, were the contracts this particular minister let out of such a nature, either because of their cost or other stipulations under the Manual of Administration, that he should have gone to Management Board but did not go? That is the question we are asking, and he is not answering that.
I find it a complete abdication of his responsibility as the Chairman of Management Board that he did not go to the minister and say: "Here are the specifics of the Manual of Administration in the awarding of contracts. Do you have any contracts? Did you award any contracts in which you did not comply with this manual? As the minister responsible for the manual, I want to know." Why did he not do that?
Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Speaker, the member for Etobicoke is confusing the role of Management Board and that of the Provincial Auditor. I said earlier that we have a Manual of Administration. We expect compliance. If there is some variation from that, it is the function of the Provincial Auditor.
Mr. Philip: it is the function of the Chairman of Management Board to see that efficient management of the taxpayers' dollars is followed. As the minister responsible for it, he has in the Manual of Administration a very clear objective. It is "to ensure that management consulting services are used only when appropriate and desirable." He has not found out. As the Chairman of Management Board, in his attempt to sweep this under the carpet, in his defence of a minister who clearly seems to have violated this manual, he has failed to go after that minister and say, "Are there violations? Let us deal with them." Why is he not prepared to go and ask that?
We know we have a Provincial Auditor, but it is the minister's responsibility as well. Is he or is he not prepared to go to the minister in question and ask to see those contracts, all of his contracts, and find out whether or not there was a violation of the Manual of Administration?
Hon. Mr. McCague: I think I have already answered that question. No, I am not. We expect compliance with the Manual of Administration. If there are any inconsistencies, as the member knows and I know, they are the subject of probably half of the auditor's yearly report, where in certain instances the manual may not have been followed, and other financial matters.
Mr. Philip: He is responsible for the manual but not for the policing of it. Is that the minister's position?
Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Chairman, I have a supplementary about the Manual of Administration which is of interest to me. I wonder if the minister would indicate what he does when the Manual of Administration is contravened?
When the Highway Traffic Act is contravened and it is determined in court that one has violated something, one loses points and pays a fine. Last year in the public accounts committee we dealt with a matter where Mr. Laschinger was ultimately responsible for authorizing about $400,000 worth of work at Future Pod at Ontario Place without benefit of tender. This was at variance with the Manual of Administration and he had the unmitigated temerity, as he was leaving to run the leadership campaign for one John Crosbie, to indicate to us quite boldly that he would do it again.
This is becoming an increasingly serious problem for those of us who would like to put some credence in the Manual of Administration. What does the minister do with someone who is inclined to dismiss casually the Manual of Administration, whether in the hiring of speechwriters or the ordering of something without tenders? What do we do when the Manual of Administration is breached? What kind of sanctions can be brought? If this happened in the private sector, somebody would be looking for work.
Hon. Mr. McCague: The honourable member should understand that we do author the Manual of Administration. The concept is that the minister, his deputy and the ministry, as a matter of fact, are held accountable, and if there are variations from the manual, those are usually turned up in the yearly report of the Provincial Auditor.
I think the honourable members are reasonable enough to understand that we could not audit compliance in all ministries of the government if they chose not to follow the manual. But as far as I know, in all those cases except those turned up by the auditor in his yearly review, there is compliance with the manual, and we are not both doing the same job.
Mr. Philip: With respect, the minister knows the auditor does not audit everything in government every year. Indeed, the new policy, which is a very good one, I must say, is that now in a very systematic way they are doing whole ministries at various times on a scheduled basis, which means that we may be lucky if one ministry is done once every 15 years in a systematic way. The auditor does investigate when he gets tips that there are problems in a particular area, and the minister has a responsibility also to investigate when he has information that indicates there are problems in a given area.
What we in the New Democratic Party and the Liberal Party have been saying is that we have a minister who has not only given some indication that he has violated the Manual of Administration, but even boasts that all kinds of his buddies are doing it. He says all the other guys are doing it.
Does the Chairman of Management Board not feel he has a responsibility when one minister is saying: "There is nothing wrong with this kind of thing. Boys will be boys. My colleagues do it"? Does he not feel it is his responsibility to contact each of the ministries and say: "Here are the terms of the Manual of Administration. Show me the contracts. I want to find out whether the Manual of Administration, which I am responsible for, is being followed; and if it is not, then we will do something about it"?
It is a complete abdication of the minister's responsibility. He should not receive a salary for being the minister.
Let me ask another question, which the minister did not answer in response to my first question, on the tendering process. I asked a very specific question as to whether the minister was prepared at this point to put into the contracts, as has been done in the United States, a fairness clause so that those companies that discriminate against women and those companies that pay nonunion or below-union wages will not receive contracts from the provincial government. The minister has completely avoided that by simply reading again what the manual says about contracts.
Is the minister prepared at this time to say to the public, "Any company that discriminates against women in this year, 1983, will not get any business from the government, and any company that pays below-union wages will not get any business from the government"? Or is he less enlightened than even the Reagan regime in the United States? At least the US government has gone far enough to try to see that women are not penalized and that companies that discriminate against women will not receive awards and contracts.
Hon. Mr. McCague: The board has not considered that. It might well be something the cabinet as a whole might want to look at. I hope the people we are dealing with are not discriminating against women and are not paying discriminating salaries, but we do not have that in our policy at this time.
Mr. Philip: I have another matter I want to raise with the minister, because I am afraid that he inadvertently misrepresented the position of the member for Rainy River (Mr. T. P. Reid). Since he is not here, I would like to simply correct the minister's understanding of what that member's position may have been as a result of the meeting both he and I had with the audit people in the United States and discussing the merit pay issue.
The position of the member for Rainy River has always been that if one is going to have merit pay, one should not have it in the sloppy way in which this government does it. His position is at least identical with mine when we are dealing with the observations of what we learned in the United States.
The report that was given to us and to other members of the committee clearly showed that merit pay is a very divisive form of attempted motivation. Merit pay creates secretiveness, manipulation by employees of management and cuts down on creativity because weak management then will not be challenged by creative people, who know they get less pay when they rock the boat or when they threaten the security of an insecure manager -- there are any variety of reasons. The research was overwhelming.
There is one member here who was with us when we received that report, and he will confirm that was the report we got in Washington, that merit pay simply does not work and is a concept that should be scrapped and that one should use other forms of motivation for employees. That does mean we are advocating that one pays people less or cuts down on the salary they normally would receive under the merit pay approach, but one does not call it merit pay. One gives it to anybody who is in that category and then uses other forms of motivation. I would like at least to correct that misconception which the minister has.
I also asked some very specific questions about advertising, and I wonder whether the minister has any reply on those.
Mr. Chairman: Before the minister does respond, in the early part of your last comment, and I want just clarification from the member, you were not suggesting the minister misrepresented, were you?
Mr. Philip: I was suggesting that he misrepresented our positions, or misunderstood perhaps.
Mr. Chairman: Misunderstood might be better.
Mr. Philip: I was not calling him a liar if that is what you are asking me.
Mr. Chairman: Thank you for the verification.
Mr. Philip: He may be incompetent, but he is not an incompetent liar.
Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Chairman, I am not sure which questions the member is referring to regarding advertising, and I will come back to that in a minute.
If I have interpreted that he and the member for Rainy River have divergent opinions and that is not the case, I offer my apologies.
As I said earlier in my estimates, the word "merit" gives us, as well as the member, some problems. If there is a better way of doing it, we should be thinking about that. It may be an unfortunate word. I do not think the member is suggesting, for instance, that we should not have some kind of grid, a step-by-step progression for people with satisfactory work. Maybe he would suggest that we should not do that; I do not really know. It is a subject on which I think we could have great discussion, which probably would be of some benefit to me. I am willing to discuss that matter at any time, because everybody talks about merit and then somebody says, "But you do not merit it." Where does one end up in that scenario? It is a very difficult issue.
As far as the advertising is concerned, I can answer the questions for the member as they apply to advertising within the Civil Service Commission and Management Board. As far as the advertising budgets of all the ministries are concerned, those budgets are looked at during the estimates processs in late fall or early spring. Other than that, the questions should be asked of each ministry.
Mr. Philip: Does it not strike the minister as being funny that there is no one minister here who can come up with the answer as to the exact amount that is being spent on advertising? There is no co-ordination of the advertising of the different ministries. There is no system in place to see that there are clearly stated objectives for each of the advertising programs and that those objectives are being evaluated.
As the Chairman of Management Board, does the minister not think he has at least some responsibility to see that the advertising programs of the ministries are stated with clear objectives, that he knows how much money is being spent by this government across the board on advertising and that he knows whether there is an evaluation program in each of the ministries?
He manages to do this kind of thing in terms of computer services and various other things that are done by different ministries and somehow, in the fullness of time, he tries to co-ordinate this big machine called the government. Why does he not do it with advertising? How is it so different from some of the other programs? Is he just afraid of what he will find or, more particularly, what we will find if he ever pulls all that stuff together?
Hon. Mr. McCague: I think the member knows there have been various questions asked about advertising from time to time and, more particularly, on the order paper. I believe those questions have been answered by each ministry, or there has been on occasion a co-ordinated answer that was asked for.
When the member mentions computers and advertising, I think trying to link those two together is like mixing apples and oranges. On the computer side, we are anxious that ministries do not duplicate equipment if one piece of equipment would do for both. In the case of advertising, I think it is only good management to leave the advertising program up to each individual ministry and let them make those decisions.
Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Chairman, I want to indicate for the record that as far as I am concerned that answer is simply not good enough. The minister probably knows better than I, but I believe that just in the past three years the already top-heavy advertising budget, which was somewhere in the area of $22 million, has now reached something in excess of $42 million for the second consecutive year. For the most part, most of this is done without benefit of tender.
I have several questions I would like to ask on the subject. The first one is whether the minister would consider opening up this kind of business to tendering. I realize there is a fair bit of creative expertise that is inherent in the advertising agency business, but I know for a fact that it is a hungry business. There are hundreds of free enterprise agencies that are paying taxes and struggling to make ends meet which would desperately like to participate in what I would characterize to be the gravy train that is operating around here.
I reflect back on the situation of the Provincial Secretary for Justice. I made a comment in committee yesterday where I said that if they had taken out an ad for $125 in Marketing magazine and asked for submissions on how we could open the six technical centres across Ontario, there would have been a lineup 50 or 100 long in front of the office to get the tender documents or the submission requirements to participate.
It is just not good enough to perpetuate or to allow to be perpetuated this system where their friends are favoured. We know who their friends are. We know the relationship between Foster Advertising agency, the perpetual agency of record, Camp Associates and that political party and the roles they play in the perpetuation of that government. The record should show that I think that is a direct conflict of interest. I do not know when the principals in those agencies take off their Progressive Conservative hats and put on their quasi-civil service hats.
The other thing I would like the minister to contemplate doing is to table the extent to which advertising budgets are spent at the year-end, or in the last two or three months of the year. I would suggest to him that if he were to table three or four years of expenditure experience, ministry by ministry, we would see that there is a practice, particularly in the pre-election periods, where the balance of the advertising account is spent sometimes in the most reckless fashion one could imagine, holusbolus, to make sure the agencies get their just reward, the commissions that are inherent in the placement of those ads.
Finally, I would seek a commitment from the minister -- in a democratic society, I think this is only fair -- that there will be a direction from Management Board and to every ministry to ban discretionary advertising, unless it is absolutely and totally necessary in the public interest, in advance of a provincial election and during the course of a provincial election. We have seen far too many occasions where the taxpayers are subsidizing self-congratulatory and quasi-political messages, at public expense. They do nothing for the public interest. They merely endeavour to enhance the image of the Tory government. For my part, I find that to be absolutely, totally and morally wrong.
When one looks at the amount of money that is being spent in this province on advocacy advertising, it is far in excess of what the taxpayers require. The minister will be interested to know that it has been calculated that on a per capita basis we are spending more on government advertising here in Ontario than is spent nationally. We are spending more per capita in Ontario than McDonalds, General Motors and General Foods. I think it is wrong.
I ask the minister to address himself to those three questions I have asked. Will he consider tendering so everybody can participate, and not just Camp, Foster and his friends? Will he table the extent to which the advertising budgets are top-heavy at the end of the year so the budgets are spent? Will he contemplate a direction banning unnecessary self-congratulatory advertising, at least during the course of an election, if not in the months preceding it?
Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Chairman, the advertising is tendered. I think the honourable member knows that. There is one tender for the agency of record every three years, and the ministries are required to tender every three years for their advertising budgets. We see them all -- I hope we see them all -- at Management Board.
A very thorough process is gone through with a panel of about five people, as I recall, who look at them and rate the tenders in various categories. Those categories are known to the advertising agencies prior to their putting in tenders. So I do not think there is anything the member is suggesting that we are not currently doing.
As far as the year-end spending of advertising budgets is concerned, I do not believe that happens. We might want to check through our financial information system to see whether that is happening, but I do not believe it is. Of course, it depends on the particular advertising function. If it is the "Yours to Discover!" brochure, the winter one that goes into the paper, then that one is going to come closer to the end of the year than some of the Foodland Ontario ones, which are over the whole year. I do not believe that is prevalent.
As far as banning ads during elections is concerned, that is something my cabinet colleagues and I would have to consider. The members opposite are always raising the issue of government putting in ads they believe are self-serving. Yet in my years here I have heard criticism from many of the members over there about not telling the people what this program or that program is about, and what kinds of things are available to them. I think we have a good, sound advertising tendering guideline and I believe it is being followed.
Mr. Cunningham: I would like to ask how the advertising industry is notified about tenders and about the opportunity to participate. Does the government advertise in Marketing magazine, in the Toronto Star or in the Report on Business? Who is this panel of people who make the decision, and under what criteria are these agencies chosen, apart from their ability to buy tickets to the Premier's annual dinner or their readiness and willingness to work on the next Progressive Conservative election campaign?
From my brief recollection of eight years in this place and from what I can remember before that, it would appear that Camp Associates Advertising Ltd. and Foster Advertising Ltd. have had the proponderance of government business, and it has been uninterrupted. The decision to permit Camp to continue to run our tourism account is as traditional as the Grey Cup and occurs with regularity; it has been uninterrupted. It is inconceivable to me that the minister would disrupt that political cronyism, which is such a tremendous advantage to him from a political point of view.
With regard to tabling the year-end spending, I think it is something the minister should commit himself to do in this House; and he should take a look at three or four years of experience, particularly the extent to which advertising budgets increase in advance of a provincial election. We saw a situation where the government advertising account, I think in 1978, was somewhere in the area of $13 million or $14 million. By the time we had reached the crescendo the Premier wanted to build up before the 1981 election, we were up somewhere in the area of $26 million.
As one who is serious about looking at government waste, I had actually thought that after the 1981 election the extent to which we spend money on advertising would have dissipated. But for the past two years it has been running at $42 million, which is absolutely incredible.
I would like to put this on the record very clearly. I think there are some wonderful programs that we advertise. I support the promotion of Ontario food. I certainly think the tourism promotion is a good idea. But maybe it is time for some fresh, creative approaches, which may be my gentle way of saying that we might move it out of Camp Associates and move away from our good friend Normie Atkins and contemplate maybe even another Tory agency; I do not know. There are more Tory agencies kicking around than there are deer in Algonquin Park, but that is another matter.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: We don't use Vickers and Benson, that's for sure.
Mr. Cunningham: I have nothing to do ith Vickers and Benson. My good friend the minister, for whom I have great affection, indicates to me that maybe I should be familiar with Vickers and Benson. I do not have anything to do with Vickers and Benson, or MacLaren's even. But I know that there are dozens and dozens of agencies all over the place who would like to participate in government work,
Mr. McClellan: You mean Liberal agencies?
Mr. Cunningham: No. I do not care what their politics are, quite frankly, but I think it should be opened up. It is a matter of record; Foster's and Camp around here have the combination to the consolidated revenue fund. There really will be no tag day for those boys. They have done very well.
Just for interest's sake, I used to look at the list of commercial clients that Camp Associates has. I wanted to know to what extent they were as successful in the private sector as they are with the people opposite. In the National List of Advertisers, which is the traditional listing of the accounts, they, by right, indicate that the list of accounts is not supplied. At least Foster's will tell you that they have these five or six accounts they get from the government, as Russell T. Kelley in Hamilton do.
I do not fault the government for supporting Russell T. Kelley, which was owned at one time primarily by a former Conservative member, a minister of the crown here. Now there is a situation where my good friend the president of the company is the chairman of the local fund-raising drive in Hamilton. I do not fault the government for that, I guess, but I would like to see it opened up.
I would like the minister to answer these questions specifically for me. How does he notify the advertising industry of this tendering process, what are the criteria and how may the hundreds of agencies that for one reason or another just do not get involved in the political process, and should not have to so as to get business, be notified that they can participate in this great largess that seems to be growing year by year?
Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Chairman, to quote from the Manual of Administration: "Any suppliers signifying in writing that they wish to be considered for a specific creative communications assignment shall be invited by the ministry to submit an agency questionnaire. Based on the questionnaire, the ministry invites at least three, and normally no more than five, suitable suppliers to a capability presentation."
Mr. Cunningham: I am beginning to see how this all works. Quite conceivably, if I had an ad agency, I would write to the ministry, it would send the thing back and then if I was lucky I would get an invitation. I can just see how it works now: "Let's see. Let's invite Russell T. Kelley, Foster and Camp to bid on the Tourism account." There is a good chance that one of them will get it. "Let's invite, for Industry and Trade, the same three, by virtue of their good credentials," and on it goes.
That is simply not good enough. I think the minister should indicate in the professional trade magazines and in the Report on Business and in the business sections of every major paper in Canada, or at least in Ontario: "These are our accounts. These are our anticipated budgets. We would like your creative approach to how you would deal with these communications problems."
Maybe they should be tendered out project by project, I do not know, but I can say there are dozens, if not hundreds, of free enterprise people who are paying taxes and employing people, whether creative directors or people in the steno pool, who would like to get in on this and they should be entitled to get in on it. We should not have some kind of sham where, if you know enough, you write to somebody at the government and then you get invited back. That is about as meaningful to me as an invitation to the Albany Club. This process should be opened up.
Hon. Mr. Ashe: Don't worry. You won't get an invitation.
Mr. Cunningham: If you are a member there, George, I will tell you right now, I don't want to go. How is that?
Hon. Mr. McCague: There is a slight inconsistency in what the member is saying. On the one hand, he has just finished criticising the government for spending money on advertising and he is not satisfied with the fact that we would invite five people to tender on this, but he says we should advertise it hither and yon. I think that is inconsistent. However, this is the policy the government has. Everybody gets an opportunity to put in a questionnaire. Three to five are invited to make submissions and the people who have been mentioned, Foster, Camp, Kelley and so forth --
Mr. McClellan: Name a fourth. Is there a fourth?
Hon. Mr. McCague: Certainly. Various companies have contracts with the government. I think it is fair to say that a lot of these contracts are, as the member said, big contracts and it does take a good-sized firm to be able to handle them.
Mr. Cunningham: May I have one more brief supplementary?
Mr. Philip: I have a supplementary.
Mr. Cunningham: I am sure the member will defer for 30 seconds.
Mr. Chairman, there is an inconsistency that the minister has just described. When we invite tenders on the Burlington Skyway we do not limit it to five construction companies. If we did, we would find ourselves in the Supreme Court of Ontario or in the Federal Court for restrictive trade. What we do, quite wisely, and I support this process very enthusiastically, is we put notifications in the trade publications, in construction manuals and in the general daily press and we invite tenders.
Then all the hungry construction companies, and there are lots of them in this province, if they decide they want to bid on the twinning of the Burlington Skyway, sharpen their little pencils and get down and get their tender documents and make their submissions. Not by invitation only, not the favourite five; it might be 13. In the case of the Burlington Skyway, where we are spending $37 million, reasonably wisely I might add, we see a situation where the division between the top three or four bids is so narrow it is incredible. They really had their pencils sharpencd. Who is the winner in that? Of course, the Ontario taxpayers. So let us not perpetuate this tomfoolery and this favoured situation for the campaign committee. Open it up and let everybody participate.
Mr. Philip: Mr. Chairman, I must compliment the minister on a certain amount of creativity in at least one area. That is, the creativity with which the Manual of Administration can be structured on this one item so as to limit competition and to ensure that only Tory-dominated advertising firms get the contracts. That is very creative. The minister seems to be quite creative at doing that kind of thing but very uncreative when it comes to investigating how the taxpayers' money is being squandered.
The minister says that ministry programs are not well enough understood. I would like to know what ministry program was being advertised through the "Preserve it, conserve it" ads in the middle of an election. Someone in private enterprise would lose his job if he advertised a product when it was not available. What do we do? Very conveniently, in March, when everybody is going to the polls, we put up big billboards telling people to buy Ontario food products, that things grow better in Ontario. The snow was on the ground. Nothing was growing in Ontario except in a few greenhouses, and that is when the ministry put the ads in.
What kind of insane advertising is that? It is political propaganda. It has nothing to do with the farmers of Ontario any more than "Preserve it, conserve it" had anything to do with the environment. It was the "Preserve it, conserve it" of the Conservative Party.
Let me ask a very specific question, getting back to what is becoming known as the Walker affair. Can the minister tell us whether or not he has examined the contracts that totalled $153,000 and were related to the six technical centres in Ontario? Has he seen those contracts? Were any of those contracts that he said fell within the Manual of Administration related to the opening of those six technical centres? And did the ones that he saw total the amount of $153,000?
Hon. Mr. McCague: I have not seen the contracts.
Mr. Philip: The minister said that he examined two contracts. Were those the contracts?
Hon. Mr. McCague: No.
Mr. Philip: Does it not strike the minister that, when we were asking very specifically about contracts related to the six technical centres, those contracts that add up to $153,000, he should have at least looked at those contracts or asked the minister to show him those contracts?
Hon. Mr. McCague: As far as I know, I was never asked that specific question, but if I had been asked that specific question the answer would have been the same. If the honourable member was listening when I told him what we did look at, he would know that one contract was in connection with the Ministry of Correctional Services, in 1981, and the other one was later in 1981 relating to the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations.
Mr. Philip: The minister was asked that question by me on Monday. If he wants to check the Hansard, I referred to it on page 1650-2, October 31, 1983. That was part of my questioning of him. I would have thought the minister had had a few days since I referred to those specific contracts, the contracts which were mentioned in a motion by the member for Algoma (Mr. Wildman) in the public accounts committee, and that he would have asked to see those contracts. What the minister is now saying is that he did not examine or ask to see any of the contracts related to the six technical centres? Is that what he is saying?
That is correct. He is nodding his head,
The other area which I did not hear the minister reply to was my question concerning -- I am sorry; if he is getting information I am quite prepared to stop, because this is an important issue and I certainly would like to hear anything he has to say about it. So far he has not said anything.
The other area I raised and which the minister has not replied to was the information I gave to him about the federal government's travel agency that co-ordinates the travel and the fact it requires only six people to staff and it serves the whole country. I asked whether the ministry would be prepared to look at that as a method of cost saving. I do not recall the minister answering that question. I may be wrong.
Hon. Mr. McCague: The member is correct. I did not address that. I am not personally aware of that matter ever having been discussed by cabinet. I am sure it was not by way of Management Board. Each ministry has somebody looking after that part of the ministry's daily workings. We have not felt it necessary to do that. I do recall something back seven or eight years ago when that was suggested, perhaps here in the Legislature or in one of the committees the member and I were involved with. I do not think it has ever been discussed since then. It is something we could take a look at. It may have some merit.
Mr. Philip: When the minister says it is something we could take a look at, is that a statement that he will be looking at it or simply that it is a good phrase to have me go away with until I have to ask it next year and he will say, "We have been kind of discussing it or chatting about it over coffee"? Is he going to look at it or not?
Hon. Mr. McCague: Sure, we will have a look at it.
Mr. Philip: When will we get a report back on the results? No doubt if he is looking at it, he will have a file of some sort. He will have the results of his research. When will he share that with us?
Hon. Mr. McCague: We will be glad to report to the member when we finish looking at it.
Mr. Philip: That is about the only thing the minister and Darcy McKeough have in common. He had a much better expression, "in the fullness of time." That is about the way in which this government operates.
The member for Grey-Bruce (Mr. Sargent) yesterday had what I thought was a fairly good remark. He said: "There was a fellow who was being strapped into the electric chair. As he was being strapped in, the priest said to him, 'Is there anything more I can do for you?' He said, 'Yes, hold my hand.'"
The whole thing about the Provincial Secretary for Justice, according to the member for Grey-Bruce, was that the Justice secretary was in fact doing that to the rest of the cabinet.
I simply say to the minister that his inaction on that affair means his hand is also being held in the Walker electric chair at the present time. What he might do is get a little bit of distance, start doing something about looking into that whole thing and answer the questions we have asked on it.
The Deputy Chairman: I thank the honourable member. Are we ready for the vote?
Vote 401 agreed to.
Votes 402 to 405, inclusive, agreed to.
Mr. Chairman: This completes consideration of the estimates of Management Board of Cabinet.
On motion by Hon. Mr. McCague, the committee of supply reported certain resolutions.
The House adjourned at 12:36 p.m.