The House met at 2 p.m.
DEATH OF JOE MORGAN
Mr. Wrye: Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a colleague of mine in my former profession of broadcast journalism, a unique individual whose thoughts and outspoken opinions over the years provided an early-morning stimulus to hundreds of thousands of people in southern Ontario.
Joe Morgan, it is fair to say, became a media celebrity at a time in his life when most of his generation were preparing for their retirement years. Every morning, as we slept comfortably in our beds, a taxi pulled up in front of radio station CKEY at about three o'clock carrying a man with his Globe and Mail, his thermos of coffee and his desire to give people what he called the heart of the news, delivered in a voice and with a style and an enthusiasm that made him one of a kind.
I was privileged to work for and with Joe Morgan for nearly two years at a time when I was fresh from school and filled with the ideals and the obstinacy to realize those ideals which seem to come to all of us in those high-spirited days of our early twenties. From Joe Morgan I learned to blend a sense of humanity with those ideals. The powerful and the powerless all received fair but uncompromising treatment from this very caring individual.
As a professional broadcaster, I also learned the importance of the written word, whether printed in a newspaper, read into a microphone or delivered to a television camera. Joe took my most brilliant prose, tightened it and toughened it; in short, he gave it maximum public impact. Indeed, he probably would have read over this tribute, taken me aside and said, "Wrye, you have forgotten just about everything I taught you when you were at CKEY."
I said earlier that Joe Morgan was strongly opinionated, but he had a wonderful turn of phrase. When I learned of his passing late Tuesday, I had been discussing with a colleague of mine the Prime Minister's current peace initiative and the debate we will be having on the nuclear issue in this chamber in the days to come.
During my days with Joe Morgan, an ugly war was raging in southeast Asia. Every so often, in reminding his listeners of the futility of war, Joe used to make this comment to his audience in his typically outspoken irreverence: "The generals who send young men off to die in battle always die themselves in bed with their boots off." Whether we agree or disagree, that was Joe Morgan.
All of us who knew him will deeply miss the man we affectionately referred to as Papa Joe. On behalf of my colleagues in the Liberal caucus, I want to express our deepest sympathies to his wife Anne and his son Geoffrey.
Mr. Speaker: Before proceeding, I would like to announce to all the honourable members that during the recent Legislative Assembly United Way campaign the total amount raised was $13,900. I think it is interesting to note that this is approximately 23 per cent higher than the amount raised in last year's campaign. I know the members will wish to join me in congratulating all those who worked so very hard on this campaign.
STATEMENTS BY THE MINISTRY
PARIS OPERA HOUSE
Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the House today that -- and I know members will be very pleased to hear this -- Toronto architect Carlos Ott of Neish Owen Rowland and Roy has been selected by the government of France as the winner of an international competition to design the new Paris Opera House.
Carlos Ott, an internationally known Canadian architect, was selected by French President François Mitterrand from more than 744 world-recognized architects for his "homogeneous and harmonious" design. The selection jury particularly praised the "serenity and appropriateness" of the project and its "clarity, directness and suitability to the neighbourhood."
Mr. Ott was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, and obtained architectural degrees from the University of Uruguay and Washington University School of Architecture. He was a Fulbright scholar in 1971 and moved to Canada in 1974.
The new Paris Opera House, to be built near the Place de la Bastille, was commissioned to mark the 1989 bicentenary of the French Revolution.
Mr. McClellan: Where is the Ontario opera house?
Mr. R. F. Johnston: We've never had one in this province.
Mr. McClellan: We need a socialist government to get an opera house.
Hon. Mr. Wells: It is coming. We will be having another bicentennial and at that time the opera house will be built.
The new complex in Paris will be worth more than $300 million and is the largest architectural project to be built in Paris since the construction of the Pompidou Centre in the mid-1970s. Mr. Ott's design includes two amphitheatres, a 3,000-seat opera house, four large staging areas, workshops and public areas.
Last year Ontario had the pleasure of hosting Mr. Christian Dupavillon, technical consultant to the French Ministry of Culture and a member of the selection committee. At that time, this gentleman had an opportunity to see firsthand Mr. Ott's new Royal Ontario Museum expansion project. At a meeting following his tour, he told the Premier (Mr. Davis) how tremendously impressed he was by this latest Toronto landmark.
The announcement by President Mitterrand is front-page news today in all the Paris newspapers. I am, therefore, extremely pleased to share with members of the House the obvious prestige this award will bring to Ontario and to Canada. I am also grateful -- and I am sure the House will be grateful -- for all the assistance our déléguée générale in Paris, Adrienne Clarkson, was able to offer to Mr. Ott.
ARCHITECTS AND PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS BILLS
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, later today I will be introducing for first reading the Architects Act, 1983, and the Professional Engineers Act, 1983. This is the first major revision in the legislation governing the practice of architecture since 1935. The Professional Engineers Act was last revised in 1969.
The two bills, which are complementary to one another, are based on the April 1980 report of the Professional Organizations Committee. The committee was composed of J. Alex Corry and J. Stefan Dupré with H. Allan Leal, former Deputy Attorney General, serving as chairman.
One of the most significant accomplishments of the committee was to assist the Ontario Association of Architects and the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario to come to an agreement on the scope-of-practice issue that had been an area of contention between the professional organizations for a decade. The principle underlying the agreement, "that architects should do architecture and professional engineers should do professional engineering," is simple. Because of the interrelatedness of architectural and professional engineering work with respect to the design of certain buildings, the principle was difficult to develop into a practical set of rules to govern the professions in the building field. That agreement is embodied in these bills.
To prevent a recurrence of jurisdictional disputes, the Professional Organizations Committee recommended, and these bills establish, a Joint Practice Board to be composed of three architects, three professional engineers and a person appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council as chairman. Disputes between professionals concerning the appropriate interpretation of the rules of jurisdiction must be brought to the Joint Practice Board before a prosecution is brought under these acts.
Another important function of the Joint Practice Board is in relation to grandfathering. The Joint Practice Board will receive applications from architects who have been practising professional engineering and from professional engineers who have been practising architecture. Where the Joint Practice Board is satisfied it is appropriate to do so, it will recommend to the council of the appropriate association that a licence to practise architecture be granted to a professional engineer or that a licence to practise professional engineering be granted to an architect.
The provisions of the rules governing the work that is properly architecture and the work that is properly professional engineering are of great significance to architects, professional engineers and others involved in the construction industry business. However, there is much in the new bills that will be of significance to the public in general.
It is by now axiomatic that self-governing licensing bodies exist only to serve the public interest. The financial or other interests of their members should not be a concern. The economic benefits that may inure to the possessors of a licence are a possible byproduct of licensing, but they are not a reason for the Legislature to confer the licensing power on a self-governing organization. A licence is an exclusive right to practise an occupation.
As a general principle, every person should be free to utilize his or her abilities, education, training and experience in earning a livelihood. Therefore, it is wrong to create a restriction on this general principle by establishing licences unless this Legislature is satisfied that licensing is necessary to protect the public. The Professional Organizations Committee recommended that no new occupational licensing should be created until a public inquiry establishes the need for restricting access to an occupation to protect the public. In essence, this was the recommendation of the McRuer report as well as that of the Professional Organizations Committee.
The Professional Organizations Committee found that the licensing of architects and professional engineers was necessary in the public interest and should continue. The introduction of the bills today is a statement that the government believes it is necessary in the public interest to license architects and professional engineers. It is also an expression of its belief that the Ontario Association of Architects and the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario in the past have discharged their statutory duties to serve and protect the public. The government is confident that in future, under these bills, the respective associations will improve the service to and protection of the public.
There are many innovations in the bills. The bills are designed to meet the particular needs of the OAA and the APEO in governing their members and contain new and important mechanisms for demonstrating to the public that the organizations are there for public protection and not for private gain.
The number of lay appointees -- that is, persons who are not members of the profession being regulated -- to the council of each association is to be increased. The Ontario Association of Architects, which now has no lay appointees, will have between three and five. The Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario, with a larger governing council, will have the number of lay appointees increased from two to between five and seven. Like appointees to the Law Society of Upper Canada and the colleges under the Health Disciplines Act, the expenses of the appointees will be paid from the consolidated revenue fund. This will permit the appointment of persons who otherwise would be financially unable to accept the responsibility.
One of the appointees for each association will be designated the complaints review councillor. He or she will have the function of reviewing the procedures whereby the association deals with complaints from the public against persons allowed to practise. Another function of the complaints review councillor is to provide assurance to the public that complaints are being appropriately dealt with.
Furthermore, a complaints committee is established for each association to consider and investigate complaints against those entitled to practise and, in appropriate cases, to refer matters to the discipline committee for hearing. The discipline committee is given a full range of penalties that may be imposed for incompetence or for misconduct.
Architects and professional engineers offering services to the public would be required to carry professional liability insurance. Until now, only the law society required members in practice to be insured.
While the legal prohibition against conducting the practice of architecture in corporate form is removed, the specific requirements of the legislation will ensure that professional decisions remain in the hands of professionals. Where architecture is practised in corporate form, the corporation must have a majority of its shares beneficially owned by architects or professional engineers, or by a combination of these professionals. A minority of shares may be owned by individuals who are full-time employees of the corporation. These provisions in the Architects Act will permit multidisciplinary, architecture-engineering corporations to practise for the first time in Ontario. Because professional engineering has never been subject to shareholder restrictions, no new restrictions have been imposed.
Furthermore, the provisions of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms with respect to employment mobility rights are incorporated into the statute. Membership in the Ontario Association of Architects and the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario will be available to every citizen of Canada and every person who has the status of permanent resident of Canada who meets the academic and experience requirements for membership.
There is also a new, narrower definition of the "practice of professional engineering" in the Professional Engineers Act, designed to describe better the acts that persons who are not professional engineers or who are not acting under the supervision of professional engineers are prohibited from undertaking. The new definition should help to relieve the concerns of many in the scientific community by making a clearer dividing line between the work of scientists and that of professional engineers.
The new definition should also relieve the concerns expressed by industrial designers, interior designers and others who commented on the discussion draft of the act. With the narrower definition, the work of many persons that creates no risk to the public will be excluded from the definition. Of course, the new definition does not prevent professional engineers from competing with others in areas that are not exclusively within the practice of professional engineering as defined in the statute.
Provision is contained in the Professional Engineers Act for recognizing the continuum of education, training and experience that are involved in professional engineering. Scientists and engineering technologists in employment situations who become competent at an aspect of professional engineering will be able to apply for a limited licence to practise. So long as the professional engineering done by such persons is within the ambit of the limited licence, the limited licensee will have the right to practise professional engineering.
Mr. Speaker, I believe the two bills to be introduced this afternoon to be a significant improvement over existing legislation. Because of the importance of the legislation, we would like to see the legislation enacted as soon as possible.
Mr. Speaker: I would ask all honourable members to please curtail their private conversations so we may all have the benefit of the statements.
Hon. Mr. Ramsay: Mr. Speaker, as I am sure all members are aware, there have been significant increases in wages generally as well as in the cost of living since the level of the general minimum wage was last raised in 1981.
As a result of our review of this issue, I am pleased to announce today that the general minimum wage will be raised from the present level of $3.50 per hour to $3.85 per hour on March 1, 1984, and to $4 per hour on October 1, 1984. This increase, totalling 50 cents per hour, represents an overall increase of 14.3 per cent in the general minimum rate.
The various special minimum wage rates also will be increased consistent with this rise in the general minimum. There is, however, no change proposed at this time in the harvest workers' minimum wage, pending consultations with the agricultural sector.
These increases will benefit some 200,000 workers in the province who are earning at or close to the minimum wage. It also will be of special benefit to women in the work force, who represent a majority of minimum wage earners.
I feel this increase represents a reasonable balance between the need to assist minimum wage earners in keeping pace with the cost of living and the equally urgent need to maintain employment opportunities by ensuring that increases in the minimum wage do not have a detrimental effect on employment levels.
With respect to domestic workers, I have asked my officials to review the employment standards provisions applicable to them in view of recent representations made to me. This is to ensure fair and reasonable treatment of this group of workers. I hope their report will be available shortly.
Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Energy regarding press reports today about the new discoveries with respect to Pickering units 1 and 2 and the potential cause of the sag and rupture.
Would the minister be so good as to bring this House up to date on what exactly is happening at Pickering units 1 and 2? How many pressure tubes are being examined? Will there be a full investigation made or just an inspection of selected tubes? Is there equipment available to make those inspections?
Hon. Mr. Andrewes: Mr. Speaker, I would be pleased to update the House. Perhaps I could start by dealing with the last question the Leader of the Opposition posed. There is equipment available to do the examinations, and the examinations currently are being done.
It is likely that a number of tubes in both units 1 and 2 will be examined. The difficulty is that the available equipment is not perfected to the extent that the determinations that are necessary before repairs are completed have to be verified by tube removal. That will take place on a random basis as well.
Mr. Peterson: The minister is now saying, as I understand it, that some eight tubes have been looked at and that some 50 per cent of them show evidence of sagging, which could have caused the rupture. I understand some 15 tubes have been identified at Pickering unit 1 as having to be scanned, even though Hydro now believes it may have to look at some 50 tubes, not 15. So this problem would seem to be larger than previously contemplated.
The minister is now saying that the scanning equipment, the so-called cigar, is not adequate and therefore a large number of those pressure tubes presumably will have to be removed to verify whether there has been sagging causing the rupturing.
How long will those reactors be out and what will be the cost to the public for replacement fuel for doing the complete examination on those pressure tubes?
Hon. Mr. Andrewes: At this time it is difficult to determine how long the reactors will be out of service. It is still planned to bring unit 1 back into service some four weeks from now. Unit 2 will not be brought back into service until such time as a determination is made as to the necessary repairs. That will be determined when the information is available. All of this information is ongoing; all of it is adding to the evidence and helping Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., Ontario Hydro and the board to make some determination as to what extent those repairs will be made.
On the question of the replacement cost, I think at this time we want to be careful not to play with arbitrary figures. The Leader of the Opposition is aware that the payback agreement is in place on Pickering units 1 and 2, and this reduces significantly the cost to Ontario electrical consumers.
Mr. Rae: Mr. Speaker, it means the cost is being paid by the Ontario taxpayers.
I would like to ask the minister why, in briefings that were given to me and to our party by Hydro in August and I assume to members of other parties who asked for such briefings, Hydro at that time said it did not intend to carry out the examination on a random basis because it did not think it was necessary.
How can the Minister of Energy preside over the startup of unit 1 if there are still problems with the pressure tubes? How can he possibly argue that unit 1 should be started up again in a month if he does not know what the problems are with the pressure tubes?
Hon. Mr. Andrewes: Mr. Speaker, I am not arguing that unit 1 should be started up at any time if there is some determination by the agencies responsible that the unit should not be started up.
Mr. Peterson: It is regrettable, but it appears the Globe and Mail and various other reporters, as well as the opposition, know more about what is going on at Ontario Hydro's Pickering units 1 and 2 than does the minister. I want to be fair and allow the minister to bring us up to date today. Clearly, we know more than he does already, but there are still many unanswered questions.
I believe the minister has a responsibility to inform himself of these serious developments that we discussed a month or so ago, which he pooh-poohed at the time and which have now turned out to be very real concerns.
Would he not agree with me that at present Ontario Hydro has only one ultrasound scanner and needs two to get the reactors back on in any reasonable time? Would he not agree with me now that the cost is going to be substantial, at least $30 million additional than previously contemplated, to check those tubes with the scanners?
If a removal is contemplated, those two reactors could be out of commission for a long time, given the fact that 50 per cent of the tubes examined up to this time have shown evidence of sagging. Hydro is probably going to have to examine at least 50. With the current technology, it can only examine one a day. It is going to be out for many more months before we have any resolution.
Hon. Mr. Andrewes: I am not sure there was a question contained in that supplementary. I am confident the equipment is available, the ultrasound scanner is operating and these random samplings are being made on a daily basis.
The question of costs is not one we can deal with on a hands-on basis. The Leader of the Opposition's estimates, Hydro's estimates or anyone else's estimates, whether they be Mr. Claridge's or not, are purely speculative at this time. We do not know what is necessary in terms of rehabilitating those reactors.
Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations, the minister of trust company regulation in this province. A couple of days ago he tabled three reports in this House. One was the internal review, one was the white paper and the other was a special report released by the registrar on the state of the trust companies. It is that report I want to deal with today.
The minister will be aware that signals were coming from those companies and that, indeed, the registrar was aware as early as 1980 that there were problems emanating from Seaway Trust. He will be aware also that in March 1982, some six or eight months prior to the major problems, there were signals coming from Greymac Trust that there were problems.
The minister extended the licences and that kind of thing. He allowed major increases in capitalization, and he allowed them to carry on business as usual. But now we have definite proof that his ministry, his registrar, was seized of knowledge that there were major problems.
My question to the minister is this: Did he know at that point there were major problems in those trust companies? Why did he not use the powers available to him under the act to act on those trust companies at that time?
Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I must go back to the beginning, to the remarks that prefaced the question. Certainly there were signals, which are well documented in the registrar's special report. We have discussed at some length the fact that regulators' activities are constantly dealing with signals and working at trying to correct them. The report the Leader of the Opposition read is a reflection not of inactivity but rather of regulators doing their utmost to deal with problems facing them in the traditional ways. The record shows that very clearly.
The honourable member spoke of Seaway, but what he did not say was that Seaway was put on a quarterly licence in 1981 because of the desire to reinforce the feeling regulators had that there had to be changes made in that company's procedures. He did not go on to mention that Seaway was put on a monthly licence in 1982, again to reinforce the desire of regulators that the company had to change its modus operandi. Neither did he mention that Greymac similarly was put on a monthly licence.
I do not think we are talking about people who were not using traditional methods. Some may say they were not appropriate to the times. They were certainly methods that had been used and that had been examined by a previous royal commission, but they were methods I have said will no longer do in this time. Our legislation last December signalled that change.
The registrar now has tools in his hands to be very strict and to be able to set deadlines and to set terms and conditions, rather than endeavouring to use other means to coerce those into positions that help them recognize the fiduciary obligations they have as holders of other people's money.
Did I know things were going on? Certainly by the summer of 1982 the registrar and the deputy and I had spoken of his concerns with respect to a number of matters, including the valuations that were being placed on properties. At that point, a determination was made to have discussions with the federal government, the Canada Deposit Insurance Corp. and the superintendent of insurance, as is documented in the report the member has before him, and to combine a team from the federal government and ourselves to explore in depth some of the individual transactions.
That is what we did. Why did we not do something else? The member is asking why did we not take away their licence.
Mr. Bradley: The former minister, the member for London South (Mr. Walker), said --
Hon. Mr. Elgie: He was talking about mortgage brokers and the member knows that.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. That was an extremely long answer.
Mr. Peterson: It is not easy getting information out of these people, Mr. Speaker. But now we have established that the minister and the registrar did know for some time what was going on. They put the companies on shorter licence periods, even though the minister said he did not have the power to do it on one other occasion in this House. He treated the companies differently, always exercising judgement and discretion but, in hindsight, always turning out to be wrong.
He took in some $300 million worth of deposits in the six months before those companies were taken over. Under his nose, he allowed depositors -- indeed, he was selling those deposit certificates through the Province of Ontario Savings Office. He was selling them, encouraging people to invest all the while he knew something was fishy in those companies.
Mr. Speaker: Question, please.
Mr. Peterson: The minister always tries to pretend he did not have the power, but he had the power under section 158 of the existing Loan and Trust Corporations Act to make very significant moves. I refer him to clause 158(2)(a). The minister had the power to "make the corporation's registry subject to such limitations or conditions as he considers appropriate." Since the minister and his officials knew, my question is, why did he not move then to prevent this great fiasco from happening?
Hon. Mr. Elgie: First of all, let me again deal with the introductory remarks. I find it difficult when a Leader of the Opposition says it is difficult to get information out of me or this ministry, when he virtually quoted verbatim from the internal review yesterday to make up almost the entirety of his press release. It is lucky that somebody is giving out some information, because he made good use of it for his own purposes while pretending he could not get any information from anybody.
Mr. Nixon: That's a strange criticism.
Mr. Roy: We woke you up last year.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. Elgie: Certainly, regulators are always exercising judgement. Does the Leader of the Opposition expect them not to exercise judgement? Even he exercises it, and occasionally he is right. I heard he was once right. What was that time he was correct in his judgement? I cannot recall it.
To suggest this province was actively pursuing the sale of guaranteed investment certificates of Greymac or Seaway is quite interesting. The Leader of the Opposition knows that banks and other institutions, at least institutions such as ours, make access to those GICs available, and to say we were singling them out to offer to the public is really inaccurate, and he knows it.
With respect to the powers the registrar ultimately had, he did not have the power to impose orders and conditions, such as he has under the new legislation of December 21. The Leader of the Opposition knows that. Now the registrar has that power, and he is able to deal with problems more effectively.
Mr. Rae: Mr. Speaker, the fact of the matter is that Seaway was placed on a monthly leash in April 1982 and the public was not informed. In July 1982, the ministry came to the conclusion that "the affairs of Seaway Trust were being conducted with the objective of maximizing profits for the owners with little or no regard for the interests of the depositors or their investments which were held in trust." I am quoting from page 5 of the registrar's report, which was released on Tuesday.
The crucial question is, why was the public not informed that the ministry had come to this conclusion, specifically with regard to the motives, intentions and conduct of the directors of Seaway Trust, that they were carrying on "with the objective of maximizing profits for the owners with little or no regard for the interests of the depositors or their investments which were held in trust"? Why were these depositors and people who had these investments not told that the ministry had reached this very conclusion in the summer of 1982?
Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I hate to hark back to statements the honourable member has already made, but he has acknowledged that regulators have a very difficult role and that many of the problems they face may be resolved. If the member is suggesting that every time a regulator encounters a problem with a particular company, he should quickly run out and issue a press release and cause a run, not only on that institution but also on the sector in general, that is a unique proposal, and I do not think it is one the member really means. I understand he has to say some things here, but I do not think it is a suggestion he wants anybody really to act on.
Why was the public not informed? Clearly --
Mr. Rae: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: I do not mind the minister distorting my remarks, but I do wish he would assume that when members make statements in this House they mean them, and that is what they expect the minister to respond to. I do not appreciate having a motive attributed to me that is simply not there.
Mr. Speaker: Having said that, that is hardly a point of order, as you well know.
Mr. Foulds: It certainly is.
Mr. McClellan: Attributing motives is a point of order.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. Elgie: In any event, if any motive was imputed that the member finds offensive, I withdraw it.
To say that this particular statement in the report indicates a final conclusion had been reached along the lines the member had outlined very clearly would be inaccurate. That was the opinion they held at the time, those were the concerns they had, and we needed to gather the evidence to confirm that opinion. That is why discussions were held with the federal government with respect to teams of investigators going into those companies.
Mr. Peterson: The minister has not answered my question, which is an important question, and I want to go back to it, if I may.
We have established that the registrar felt the problems were serious by mid-1982. I refer the minister to the act and the existing powers he had. The Loan and Trust Corporations Act, section 158, says that "where the registrar is of the opinion that the assets of a provincial corporation are not sufficient to meet its liabilities," he has to report to the minister. That clearly gives him the responsibility to report it to the minister. Obviously he reported it to the minister because he thought it was serious.
Mr. Speaker: Question, please.
Mr. Peterson: I have to remind him of the legislation, Mr. Speaker.
Then, when the minister gives full consideration to the matter, he has options. One of his options is to make the corporations' registry subject to such limitations or conditions as he considers appropriate, including revaluing assets and a whole variety of powers the minister had under the existing legislation to take action. He cannot wriggle out of it by saying he did not have the power, because he did have the power.
Mr. Speaker: Question, please.
Mr. Peterson: The minister knew and he had the power. My question is, why did he not act? He could have saved the taxpayers of this province over $500 million.
Hon. Mr. Elgie: First of all, to say that $500 million could have been saved is inaccurate. The Leader of the Opposition knows the statement made by CDIC related to guarantees and some loans that are outstanding. They have no idea how much of a call is going to be in those guarantees and the member has no idea how much would be recovered. So to make those bland statements as if they are authoritative does him no justice and does not do the public any good.
With regard to section 158, what the member has read to me and what I understand it to mean is, where the registrar is of the opinion that the assets of a provincial corporation are not sufficient to meet its liabilities, to make that determination, an in-depth evaluation of the quality of the assets that were there had to be made. That is exactly what was being put in place through discussions with the federal government and CDIC in order to determine whether or not those assets were of such quality that they would fail to meet this test.
Mr. Rae: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Treasurer. Does the Treasurer feel it would be appropriate for the Land Compensation Board, acting under the terms of the Expropriations Act in assessing the value to be placed on property which it is the intention of a ministry of his government to expropriate, to have to take into account the government's ability to pay in assessing the value of that property?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, the member is obviously asking me that with regard to the restraint program.
What one has to assess in these things is the government's decision to proceed in these areas. When expropriations are undertaken, the government obviously makes certain decisions predicated upon how much it generally intends to pay for a particular piece of property and whether it is worth that particular endeavour. When we are talking about land compensation, obviously the government is prepared to pay somewhere within a general area which it can guess fairly accurately.
If the member wants to put the opposite proposition, that when it comes to public sector compensation, something the government essentially has no option on because it has not only contracted and hired these people but essentially does not or cannot let them go and choose not to proceed with a certain number of employees, then I have to say it is only fair for a person who is asked to arbitrate to consider the ability of the taxpayers to pay for the services it is already committed to purchasing.
It is a rather long leap from suggesting that on land compensation one can draw a clear parallel between the acquisition of land and the hiring and paying of continuing salary increments for civil servants year after year. It is a long leap.
Mr. Rae: The difference is between property rights and the rights of employees. That is the difference. The difference is between human rights and property rights. We have seen where the Tory party stands on that.
Mr. Speaker: Question, please.
Mr. Rae: The minister knows it would fly in the face of everything he thinks is appropriate. I think everybody in the House would feel it was appropriate when it comes to compensating people for land that is being expropriated. What I do not understand is how the government can maintain that arbitrators have to be put in this straitjacket and that putting them in a straitjacket is not going to take away their independence.
I would like to refer the minister to the speech that was made by Mr. Teplitsky last night to the labour law section of the Canadian Bar Association. I would also like to refer him to judgements that have been made by Judge Anderson over 25 years ago, as well as by arbitrator Shime, by arbitrator Adams and by Mr. Johnston, who, in carrying out the hospital disputes inquiry in 1974, said it would be entirely inappropriate for arbitrators to be forced to consider ability to pay at the same time as they are being asked to make market comparisons between the public sector and the private sector.
Does the minister not recognize that he is taking away from the credibility of the entire arbitration process and is leaving the government open to a serious legal challenge with respect to this legislation in so far as it has been seen by arbitrator after arbitrator that including the terms "ability to pay" and "the government's overall fiscal policy" means arbitrators are being turned into deputy sheriffs for the government of Ontario? They do not like it and they think it interferes with their independence and the credibility of the whole process.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Among the differences that exist between the expropriation process and the circumstance with public sector employment is, of course, that in an expropriation the government has decided that, for the benefit of the taxpayers, someone's land is going to be taken from him and somebody's property is going to be taken from him with no choice. I would hardly say that civil servants, who in essence are negotiating the value of the services they have chosen to provide voluntarily to government, should be valued in the same way. That is a rather large extreme.
In land compensation, one is saying to someone: "Your land is going to be taken by the government. You have no option." That is what expropriation is all about. When it comes to someone deciding he is going to work for government and enter into a negotiation culminating in arbitration, the employee can say, "The value that has been placed on my services by the arbitrator is not high enough in my view and therefore I choose to withdraw and I will sell my services somewhere else."
That is a lot different from the circumstance when the government is coming and taking someone's rights and it is a forced sale.
Mr. Foulds: Tell us how.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Very simply; on land it is a forced sale and on employment of course --
Mr. Mancini: Where do they go?
Mr Rae: Tell us where a nursing home worker is supposed to go. "Take it or leave it," that is your approach.
Mr. Renwick: I never heard a distortion of the public service such as that.
Mr. Speaker: Order. The minister has answered the question.
Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, I believe it was Professor Harry Arthurs who was quoted as saying that including the consideration of the ability to pay or capacity to pay really obliges the arbitrator to do nothing new and is a meaningless inclusion in the considerations that an arbitrator has to take into account.
Would the minister agree that the net result of that would be that he has really added nothing new to legislation and that the leader of the New Democratic Party is getting excited about nothing?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, is this a Hobson's choice or whatever it is? How about none of the above? It is multiple choice. The answer is none of the above. Might I say that on the one hand the third party wants to take the position that this is an incredible muzzling and constriction of the arbitrators --
Mr. McClellan: Just send him a valentine and sit down. Blow him a kiss and sit down, Larry.
Mr. Bradley: No. Let's have an answer.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: He is going to get it. On the other hand, the Liberal Party suggested it is nothing. I must say I would hope Professor Arthurs, who taught me labour law at Osgoode Hall Law School lo these many years ago, is closer to the truth because I would have liked to have believed all these years that arbitrators were taking into account ability to pay.
If they have not been, I think it is a signal accomplishment to codify in the legislation, at least for this year while we have an opportunity to assess the arbitration process, the fact that one party to the negotiations, that is the taxpayers, has the right to have its ability to pay for the employment it is purchasing taken into account.
That after all -- as I know at least the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Peterson) understands, if not the third party -- is the essence of what labour negotiations are all about, the value of services offered to an employer and the ability of the employer to pay for those services. If arbitrators have not been taking that into account, I think they ought to be and I am not afraid to say that quite clearly.
Mr. Rae: The minister has been joined by the Leader of the Opposition in failing to comprehend something which is quite basic and which has been understood by every single arbitrator who has looked at this question in the last 15 years.
Mr. Riddell: You tell us then.
Mr. Rae: It may be unpalatable to those members, too. Why do they not just walk over and join the government members and give them all the support they have been giving them?
Mr. Speaker: Question, please.
Mr. Rae: Go on, cross over. That is the coalition that really works around this place.
How does the Treasurer of this province deal with the fact that the one piece of credibility -- and it is a slender piece of credibility -- which the arbitration process has as a replacement for the right to strike in the public sector in this province is that arbitrators have been seen by public sector unions to have been independent of the government? Now arbitrators are basically being instructed, "You are there to act as enforcers for the government's fiscal policy."
Does the minister not realize that takes away from the credibility of the independence of the whole process? In fact, it is going to throw the legislation into complete disarray.
Mr. Barlow: Read it again.
Mr. Riddell: Now that was a good question.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: It was a poor speech but a good question.
Mr. Bradley: No, no. You are supposed to say that is an excellent question.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Yes, that is an excellent question. I am glad the member asked that.
Might I say that I think history will show the arbitrators in this province are not about to become hatchet men or enforcers for the government. I think the member underestimates the arbitrators who have been used if he thinks that is what is going to happen. The member may underestimate them; I do not. I think most arbitrators would find that the responsible thing to do is to take into account the value of the services offered, as interpreted by those offering the services, and the ability of those purchasing those services to pay for those services.
Let me be very clear. If the proposition the third party wishes to put forward is that the taxpayers' ability to pay for the services they are purchasing should not be taken into account by arbitrators or anyone else in the process, then I must say that I, this government and most of the people of this province just dramatically, forcefully and four-square disagree with that proposition.
Mr. Rae: The chairman of the Ontario Labour Relations Board said in 1982, "To base wages on ability to pay would force employees to subsidize these services to the public and render interest arbitration under the Hospital Labour Disputes Arbitration Act largely irrelevant."
Those are not my words, those are words of the chairman of the Ontario Labour Relations Board.
Mr. Rae: Mr. Speaker, I would like to address a question to the Minister of Labour, dealing with public sector workers and the very real problems they are facing today.
The question deals with a problem that I am sure he is aware of since he met this morning with representatives of the Service Employees International Union. He was asked a question on Tuesday by my colleague the member for Hamilton East (Mr. Mackenzie) with respect to what has happened. The minister will know that in the last two and a half years at least 192 jobs, a figure which we have been able to document in the very brief time available to us, have been lost by contracting out in the nursing home sector.
He will know that Kennedy Lodge Nursing Home is now announcing a layoff of 92 workers. I would simply like to ask the minister what he intends to do about this attack on the integrity of bargaining, on the integrity of bargaining units and on job security in the public sector in this province?
Hon. Mr. Ramsay: Mr. Speaker, it is correct that I met this morning with Mr. Roscoe of the service union. He expressed his deep concerns about the current situation, which I share. He does have two or three options open to him which he intends to exercise. One is that grievances are being prepared. In addition, an application has been made before the Ontario Labour Relations Board and there is also a possibility that court action will be taken.
Mr. Rae: It is not a question of the service employees' options. They are very few. It is a question of what the government intends to do about a practice within the public sector by nursing home operators who are receiving the bulk of their money from the taxpayers of this province.
Mr. Speaker: Question, please.
Mr. Rae: Specifically, I would like to ask the minister what he intends to do about the attack on the integrity of bargaining units, given the position expressed by Bora Laskin 25 years ago when he talked about the contracting-out problem as it affected job security and said that contracting out, in his view at that time, represented an attack on the integrity of the bargaining unit and the integrity of collective bargaining itself and was something which had to be dealt with.
Arbitrators were unable to deal with this 25 years ago in terms of individual contracts. It was then left up to individual units to bargain and try to solve the problem. This has not been able to work in the public sector because public sector workers have not been able to bargain to the extent which they should.
Mr. Speaker: Question, please.
Mr. Rae: What is the minister going to do about it, given the fact that it is the taxpayers of this province who are paying for these kinds of shoddy practices which are taking jobs away from people in the public sector?
Hon. Mr. Ramsay: I made a commitment to Mr. Roscoe this morning at our meeting that my senior officials and I would begin immediately to review the circumstances involved. We intend to do this in a very serious manner.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Mr. Speaker, the minister will know, because I have discussed this with him briefly, that a hospital in my riding is laying off permanent registered nursing assistants and hiring casual RNAs to do the same jobs. We have the same kind of situation going on here, where the unionized employees are losing permanent jobs to casual workers who are doing the same jobs but presumably for less money because the benefits do not have to be paid. What recourse do the people have who are laid off in such a situation?
Hon. Mr. Ramsay: Mr. Speaker, I believe we should give the system an opportunity to work. By "the system," I am referring to the grievance process in the matter which was brought to my attention by the member for Rainy River (Mr. T. P. Reid). This process is ongoing at the present time.
In respect of the circumstances which have been described to me by the leader of the third party, by others, and relative to our meeting this morning, a complaint has been laid before the Ontario Labour Relations Board, not only in the case of the Kennedy Lodge home, but in the case of the Ballycliffe home, the Willson home and other homes which are similarly affected.
The Ontario Labour Relations Board in this province has an excellent record of resolutions of problems of this nature and I feel we should give it an opportunity to address this one.
Mr. Rae: This is a totally inadequate response and I think the minister knows it. He knows what our critics found in the last 10 years with respect to contracting out and he knows the problems.
Mr. Speaker: Question, please.
Mr. Rae: I would simply like to ask him, with respect to this specific example, is he aware that the owner of the Kennedy Lodge Nursing Home is also the owner of six other homes, controls 685 beds, and that Mr. Earl Daynes is in the process of purchasing the 111 beds at the St. Lawrence Estate outside of Cornwall from the public sector for $832,000?
Specifically with regard to this proposed purchase, I would like to ask the Minister of Labour if he is prepared to go to the Minister of Health (Mr. Norton) and say, "Hold up the sale of those public sector beds," at least until we have a guarantee from this employer that he is not going to be contracting out jobs outside Cornwall as he has done in Toronto?
Hon. Mr. Ramsay: The acting Minister of Health (Mr. Wells) and I discussed that very matter before question period today.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION
Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development and minister in charge of freedom of information in this province. On October 25, in response to the latest of my series of questions on freedom of information in Ontario, the minister said, "I hope to have a new proposal in front of the cabinet in relation to that matter in the very near future." Did the minister grant an interview about freedom of information to a reporter from the Globe and Mail and present to her the contents of his fifth draft of a bill? If so, will he make a proper and full statement to the Legislature on the contents and the timing of his expected bill?
Hon. Mr. Sterling: Mr. Speaker, the answer is no.
Mr. Breithaupt: We will see what the supplementary brings. A year ago the minister was asked about the contents of various data banks and further questions were put on the order paper, which brought forth little information. Is it correct that all the data banks in this publication, called the Index of Personal Information Services, are unchanged for the past two years so that very few subjects bring rights of access to ascertain the accuracy of the information on file?
Finally, will the minister rise in his place to correct the last line in the article written by Rosemary Speirs, which says, "But in the meantime he is out selling the cause"? Would he correct that to read, "But in the meantime he is selling out the cause"?
Hon. Mr. Sterling: I do not think the question deserves a response.
Mr. Laughren: Mr. Speaker, would the Minister of Natural Resources, who was formerly responsible for freedom of information, tell us what in the world is going on in his ministry with regard to various responses this party is getting in its attempts to learn more about the government's regeneration efforts in our forests?
In August the director of his forest resources branch promised us some very specific information on the regeneration success rate. In October, when questioned by my leader the member for York South (Mr. Rae), the minister promised the information very soon. Four days later we got a letter from the deputy minister refusing to give us the information. Yesterday the minister made a promise in his opening statement to the standing committee on resources development that there was going to be a "new politics" of resource management in Ontario which included much more openness.
Would he tell us what in the world is going on in that ministry? Why does he have such a bunker mentality? Why will he not release information on the public forests on public lands? He does not have a right to refuse us simply because the information is embarrassing to him and his government.
Hon. Mr. Pope: Mr. Speaker, information on forest management agreements and regeneration activity, site preparation activities and tending activities, is provided to this Legislature on a regular basis and was filed with the Clerk of the House this morning.
For the member's information, these take each forest management agreement with the corporate name, and he can see for himself the regeneration activity and the acceleration in regeneration activity that is going on. We explained to the member that the use he and his party leader were making of the not sufficiently regenerated category or classification on an acreage basis was inaccurate and the statement he was making with respect to that in northern Ontario, that it meant no tree would ever grow on those acres, was grossly inaccurate.
He said it in three different places in northern Ontario in the month of September, and he cannot deny it. He said it was a desert, it was a wasteland, that no trees were growing there. He knows that is nonsense. He deliberately manipulated those statistics to try to prove a point.
Mr. McClellan: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: The minister accused my colleague of deliberately manipulating statistics. That is clearly out of order.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. Pope: Mr. Speaker, I will withdraw that. I will say he did not understand.
Mr. Laughren: I appreciate the response from the minister. Am I correct? Will the minister tell me I am wrong if --
Hon. Mr. Pope: You are wrong.
Mr. Foulds: Wait for it.
Mr. Speaker: Order. I hope that was not your question.
Mr. Laughren: Perhaps I will rephrase the question.
When the minister talks about the information he tabled this morning concerning regeneration, would he by any chance be referring to these one-page statements that talk about the forest management agreement annual reports for each company that signed an FMA? If that is the information the minister is talking about, perhaps, Mr. Speaker, you will allow me to read one or two sentences that appear in every single one of those annual reports.
"The annual report data presented areas harvested, regenerated and tended as a record of activities only and does not provide for any direct measure of the relationship between harvesting growth, including regeneration, on the agreement area."
To be fair, there is one final sentence, which says, "This information will be provided at the end of each five-year term of the agreement."
Does the minister not understand these documents tell us absolutely nothing? If he wants us to use accurate information, he simply has to provide us with the data. We have never used information other than that obtained from his ministry. There is no other source of province-wide data. Why does the minister not release the information in the format his ministry agreed to release it? Why is he hiding behind figures?
Hon. Mr. Pope: I am not hiding behind anything. These are annual reports issued on a regular basis. They show the number of acres regenerated, the number of acres tended, the number of acres site-prepared. They also show the number of acres harvested.
If the member for Nickel Bell wants to know that information on a company-by-company basis, he can just put it together himself with a list of all the companies. The member went throughout northern Ontario and said the survival rate was 25 to 30 per cent with respect to our reforestation efforts. We gave him in detailed form the survival rates for both bare-root nursery stock and containerized stock, which showed the member was all wet.
Mr. Van Horne: Mr. Speaker, I have not had the opportunity to look at what the minister tabled today, but I would like to ask a further supplementary. In the land use guidelines released in June of this year, the minister stated the situation in wood supplies is "fully manageable through appropriate strategies." Can he tell us whether or not the material he tabled today gives the detail of those strategies?
I raised the Swastika situation with the Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Bernier) a few weeks ago. This was a case that saw a project of this minister's cancelled after the regional director called it "a bit of a mistake." Can the minister tell us whether or not part of his strategy was to start and then stop a project?
Hon. Mr. Pope: Our strategy was to accelerate our reforestation efforts. It said we were building, through public and private nurseries, the capacity to produce 132 million seedlings a year for reforestation. That was a significant acceleration, from 80 million to 85 million in a two-year period. To do that, we needed to have private growers in small and large communities throughout northern Ontario involved in this on a contract basis. That allowed us to expand our capacity in one year alone by 35 million trees to meet the demand of the forest management agreement, to meet the accelerating demand for reforestation stock.
That is the strategy. No one has challenged the fact that we are now planting two trees for one. I straightened out the member for Nickel Belt on the five-year survival rate of the trees so he would know what he was talking about. We will continue to accelerate our reforestation efforts.
LAKE ERIE COMMERCIAL FISHING
Mr. Mancini: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Natural Resources, who used to be the minister responsible for freedom of information. My question to him relates to the Lake Erie commercial fishing industry. I would remind him that over the past 18 months I have arranged for representatives of the Essex and Kent counties fishermen's association and the Essex and Kent counties processors' association to meet with the minister on the very serious matter of long-range planning for Lake Erie's commercial fishing industry.
The minister will recall that during these meetings he assured us that no definitive decisions would be made without first informing me and representatives of the industry, that he would work with us to devise ways to prevent the catching of undersized perch, and that the industry would be properly policed.
In view of this, could the minister explain his comments as reported in the local media in the Windsor area? It was indicated that he stated the imposition of quotas was near and that he would have the modernization process in operation by 1984.
Hon. Mr. Pope: Mr. Speaker, as I indicated in the article in question, I expected progress on three specific issues, which were outlined in a modernization report, by the beginning of 1984. One of those three issues is an enforcement system that could include a self-policing system that is now in effect in the western basin of Lake Erie. It, therefore, would involve on a voluntary basis the processors and all the commercial fishermen.
I expressed reservations about whether or not we could have a voluntary self-policing system if any processor or fisherman could opt out. Therefore, we would have to have a way to make sure that everyone was involved in the self-policing system. I indicated that in the text of the article.
I also said we had to have some consensus on an assessment program for Lake Erie and for all the Great Lakes, There is no assessment program that will count, as Mr. Anderson has asked we do, the number of yearlings in any lake basin. It is simply impossible to do so. All we can do is expand our efforts and our data base and calculate trends as to whether or not there is an expansion of a certain fish stock or a decrease in the stock.
It is up to the commercial fishermen, and I put this to them, to come up with an assessment system that will involve them, will involve a commitment of their time and money as well as our increased efforts, so that we will have a mutually agreeable assessment system. But when one has the system, one has to abide by the results. If the results show there is a decline in the stock, then everyone has to take measures to restrict the catch.
The third issue was with respect to incidental catch, on which I indicated we had to have some progress by the early part of 1984. I set out a detailed proposal before the commercial fishermen, the Ontario Council of Commercial Fisheries and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, on how to deal with incidental catch. They are to get back to me in the near future with a response of yes or no to that system.
I believe that system of dealing with incidental catch will resolve a lot of the conflict between commercial fishermen and sport fishermen.
Mr. Speaker: Thank you. Do you have a supplementary?
Hon. Mr. Pope: I have not finished.
Mr. Mancini: I want to thank the minister for his detailed answer and to assure him that the many fishermen involved in the Lake Erie commercial fishing industry certainly want to co-operate with the minister concerning the incidental catch and, at the present time, are co-operating with the minister on self-policing.
What we have to know today, however, is whether or not the comments he made to the Windsor Star are accurate as they are printed? Is he or is he not imposing a quota on the Lake Erie fishing industry on the amount of perch that can be caught? Will it take place in 1984? If the answer to those questions is yes, then does he not believe that he has in some way lost the goodwill we have tried to build up between him and the commercial fishermen, who have been trying to co-operate with him in every sense possible?
Hon. Mr. Pope: Where was I? In my discussion with Mr. Vasey of the Windsor Star, we were discussing quotas on a species-by-species basis. I indicated we already had individual quotas in place for smelt and yellow pickerel, that I did not see that changing, that I did not see any demand by the commercial fishermen to change that system, and that with respect to other species from time to time, it might be we would have to have quotas on a specific-species basis listed on the licences.
But I also indicated, as he quotes on the second page of the article, I would not make any decision or take any position on the matter of quotas for the commercial fishermen in Lake Erie or any of the other Great Lakes until we had some resolution of these other three issues. In some instances, based on information I have, it may not be necessary; in other instances, it will be necessary. Those kinds of decisions will have to await progress on the three primary problems we have to face together.
Mr. Wildman: Mr. Speaker, the ministry should also be taking market forces into account in looking at the catch over the last couple of years and determining whether or not quotas should be established in various of the Great Lakes. Are the market forces that determine largely what is caught and what fishermen attempt to catch being taken into account?
Hon. Mr. Pope: Mr. Speaker, the commercial fishermen to whom I have talked over the past four months have indicated market forces do play a determinant role in the level of catch and, therefore, that is one of the issues we have to address, as well as whether we have an acceptable biological base on top of that for imposing any quotas at all.
GRIFFITH ISLAND CLUB
Mr. Mackenzie: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Labour. Has the minister checked into the comments of numerous ex-workers of the Griffith Island Club in Georgian Bay, as reported in the story in the Toronto Star of Saturday, November 12?
Can the minister inform the House if his ministry has had any complaints lodged with regard to this situation? Will he clarify for members of the House the status of the employees and their coverage under employment standards? Can they be employed for 12 to 13 hours a day for weeks at a time at disgraceful wages, whether cleaning, cooking or dressing the tame deer that the clients seem to get their kicks out of shooting?
Hon. Mr. Ramsay: Mr. Speaker, I am not totally aware of the activities that go on at Griffith Island. I have never had the opportunity to be there. In answer to the questions asked by the honourable member, there has been a complaint filed with the employment standards branch. It is being investigated. However, the actual investigation will not begin until Tuesday of next week. At that time, once it has begun, I will be able to provide additional information to him.
Mr. Mackenzie: May I ask the minister that he not only undertake a thorough investigation into the charges and the complaints raised, but assure us he will come back to this House with the information as to whether current legislation does cover these employees and, if not, bring in legislation that will guarantee they are covered under these circumstances?
Hon. Mr. Ramsay: We have already committed ourselves prior to today to doing an investigation, and it will commence, as I have said, on Tuesday. I certainly will make a commitment to bring the information back to this House. Until I see that information, I am not prepared to go any further as to any changes in legislation.
Mr. Speaker: The acting Minister of Health has the answer to a previously asked question.
Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, this is an answer to a question that was raised by the member for --
Mr. Roy: Is it my question yesterday?
Hon. Mr. Wells: No, it was not the member's question yesterday. The member for Hamilton Centre (Ms. Copps) asked it. As she is not in the House, perhaps I could wait until she returns to the House.
Mr. Bradley: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Treasurer. In view of the fact that the St. Catharines-Niagara area, as they refer to it in Statistics Canada, is once again the highest area for unemployment in Ontario, I believe, and has ranked among the highest areas of unemployment in this province for several months now, competing with Sudbury and some other centres, would the minister indicate to the House what action he is prepared to take to assist this specific area of the province to help not only the young people who are unemployed in great numbers in the Niagara Peninsula and who need the Ontario career action program and other kinds of funding for programs but also people who have been dislodged from their jobs because of automation or who have been dislocated for other reasons? Can he address the problem that confronts the Niagara Peninsula and give specific answers this afternoon in the House?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, we have been discussing the Niagara area as well as several of the other areas the honourable member has mentioned. The Minister of Labour (Mr. Ramsay) has been speaking to me at some length about the particularly difficult problems being faced in Sault Ste. Marie. The member for Sudbury (Mr. Gordon) has been talking to us for some time about Sudbury. Happily, Sudbury's figures are improving fairly dramatically.
Yesterday, at the request of my colleagues the Minister of Energy (Mr. Andrewes) and the Deputy Premier (Mr. Welch), we spent an extensive length of time at the Board of Industrial Leadership and Development committee meeting discussing some alternatives for the Niagara area. Those discussions have not been completed, and we would likely wait upon the meeting with the Minister of Finance on December 8 in Montreal so we can get a sense for how much money, if any, is going to be made available through various of their promised job creation programs, particularly in the youth employment area.
As the member may recall, it was mentioned in the House in the last week or so that I have asked that the question of youth unemployment be added to the agenda items for that December 8 meeting. When we have concluded that meeting, we will have a better sense about where the federal money, if any, is going to be coming from and going to.
I can assure the member, as I have assured the Deputy Premier and the Minister of Energy, the Niagara area remains very high on the list in terms of providing some assistance. The BILD discussions of yesterday, I hope, will culminate in some initiatives in that area in the not too distant future.
INFLATION RESTRAINT LEGISLATION
Mr. G. I. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I have a petition signed by 40 nurses from the Norfolk General Hospital.
"To the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:
"We, the undersigned nurses, 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."
I have a similar petition signed by five teachers.
STANDING COMMITTEE ON RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT
Mr. Barlow from the standing committee on resources development reported the following resolution:
That supply in the following amounts and to defray the expenses of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications be granted to Her Majesty for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1984:
Ministry administration program, $34,423,400; policy planning and research program, $10,425,400; safety and regulation program, $71,510,000; provincial highways program, $531,249,900; provincial transit program, $98,968,000; provincial transportation program, $8,019,100; municipal roads program, $485,319,000; municipal transit program, $233,352,000, and communications program, $2,612,700.
That supply in the following supplementary amounts and to defray the expenses of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications be granted to Her Majesty for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1984:
Provincial transit program, $21,822,000; municipal roads program, $16,106,000, and municipal transit program, $17,500,000.
STANDING COMMITTEE ON REGULATIONS AND OTHER STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS
Mr. Kerr from the standing committee on regulations and other statutory instruments presented the following report and moved its adoption:
Your committee begs to report the following bill with certain amendments:
Bill Pr26, An Act respecting the Institute of Management Consultants of Ontario.
Motion agreed to.
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS
TELEPHONE AMENDMENT ACT
Hon. Mr. Snow moved, seconded by Hon. Mr. Wells, first reading of Bill 117, An Act to amend the Telephone Act.
Motion agreed to.
Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, today I have introduced some amendments to the Telephone Act that are necessary to modernize existing legislation while making it more flexible and adaptable to new developments in telecommunications.
While most telephone services in Ontario come under federal jurisdiction, we are still responsible for the very important services provided by 31 independent telephone systems and the Ontario Northland Telecommunications Commission.
To ensure that these telephone systems provide the best possible service to subscribers in the future, we must have regulations flexible enough to distinguish between those services that are a monopoly and those that are competitive. To that end we propose policies and regulations be made by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, while the commission will be responsible for applying these directives in an operational environment.
In addition, four basic changes are proposed: to improve the depreciation procedures so that modernization programs will be easier to plan; to provide better means of ensuring that rates are just and reasonable; to improve administration efficiency and present unwarranted discrimination, and to provide the regulator in extraordinary circumstances the discretion to allow subscriber-owned municipal systems to earn sufficient revenue to carry out modernization programs.
We believe these changes will benefit the companies in operating and improving their services and their subscribers in having the best possible service available, something I am sure we all take for granted.
LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY RETIREMENT ALLOWANCES AMENDMENT ACT
Hon. Mr. Wells moved, seconded by Hon. Mr. Eaton, first reading of Bill 118, An Act to amend the Legislative Assembly Retirement Allowances Act.
Motion agreed to.
Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, this bill is very much the same as one introduced last year, providing for some minor amendments to the act.
The first amendment is that the section in part I is re-enacted to provide for benefits similar to those provided by section 19 of part II of the act in so far as survivors are concerned. Provision is also made for an allowance to the child or children of a former member who dies while receiving an allowance if he or she is not survived by a spouse.
The other amendment in here changes the words "three fiscal years" as a basis for calculating the pension to "36 months."
REGIONAL MUNICIPALITIES AMENDMENT ACT
Hon. Mr. Bennett moved, seconded by Hon. Mr. Eaton, first reading of Bill 119, An Act to amend Certain Acts Respecting Regional Municipalities.
Motion agreed to.
MUNICIPAL PRIVATE ACTS REPEAL ACT
Hon. Mr. Bennett moved, seconded by Hon. Mr. Eaton, first reading of Bill 120, An Act to repeal Certain Private Acts Related to Municipalities.
Motion agreed to.
MUNICIPAL AND SCHOOL TAX CREDIT ASSISTANCE LIEN DISCHARGE ACT
Hon. Mr. Bennett moved, seconded by Hon. Mr. Eaton, first reading of Bill 121, An Act to provide for the Discharge of Liens Registered under the Municipal and School Tax Credit Assistance Act.
Motion agreed to.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry moved, seconded by Hon. Mr. Wells, first reading of Bill 122, An Act to revise the Architects Act.
Motion agreed to.
PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS ACT
Hon. Mr. McMurtry moved, seconded by Hon. Mr. Wells, first reading of Bill 123, An Act to revise the Professional Engineers Act.
Motion agreed to.
NUCLEAR ARMS FREE ZONE
Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order: I wanted to inform the House that I have received 26,000 signatures in support of resolution 1 but, because it is not appropriate for them to be given to the House because of the way they are made out, I have sent around copies of the petitions to all the individual members so they will know who has signed in their own areas and, if they wish to make contact, they may do so.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BUSINESS
POWER CORPORATION AMENDMENT ACT
Mr. Conway moved second reading of Bill 105, An Act to amend the Power Corporation Act.
Mr. Speaker: I remind the honourable member that he has up to 20 minutes for his presentation and he may reserve any portion of that time for his windup.
Mr. Conway: Mr. Speaker, as you know, 20 minutes is far more than I need to deliver any speech; so I will restrict myself to the lesser portion of that.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: I will stay.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Conway: My redoubtable friend the Minister of Education (Miss Stephenson) has returned from Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry adorned in black from head to toe. I wonder whether that is some comment on the by-election prospects of that former Ed Lumley Liberal who is running for the provincial Tories,
Hon. Miss Stephenson: It is to match the by-election prospects for the honourable member's candidate.
Mr. Conway: Bill 105 has a very specific purpose. It would require the approval of this Legislature, after a hearing by one of its committees, for the appointment or the reappointment of the chairman of Ontario Hydro. I know honourable members on all sides of this House will want to share with me the sense of reformist zeal that brings me to this long overdue and very progressive reform. I know it will enjoy the full support of the Progressive Conservative Party, the New Democratic Party and the Liberal Party.
The Deputy Speaker: Perhaps the member could just ignore the interjections and carry on with the debate.
Mr. Conway: If I was able to ignore them this morning on the CBC, I can certainly ignore them here.
Mr. Nixon: That was a ruthless attack from the Deputy Speaker this morning, I thought.
Mr. Conway: I wondered why the Deputy Speaker would be there with such political things to say.
Mr. Nixon: Did he have his frock coat on when he said it?
Mr. Barlow: You are being heckled from your right there.
Mr. Conway: I am indeed.
We in the Liberal Party of Ontario feel the issue of Hydro and its public accountability is a matter of urgent and pressing concern to the 8.8 million Ontarians who see this great public utility embroiled in controversies that strike at the very heart of our economic and political reality. For a long time now, almost since its inception some 70 years ago, Ontario Hydro and often its chairman have enjoyed a very testy relationship with the government of the day, to say nothing of the Legislature.
Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mitch knew how to handle them.
Mr. Conway: My good friend the member for York East (Mr. Elgie) points out quite accurately that in the government that the father of my friend the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon) had the pleasure and privilege of serving as Deputy Premier, there was testiness between the government and the hydro commission.
Mr. Nixon: We renounced their contracts.
Mr. Conway: Indeed we did.
Hon. Mr. Elgie: So you could buy them back again.
Mr. Conway: I do not intend to belabour the point, but to prove the point that for the past 70 years there has been difficulty between the principle of parliamentary democracy and the accountability of this public utility, formerly known as the Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario.
I want to refer to a marvellous book by Professor Nelles, which I know my colleagues will have read, called the Politics of Development: Forests, Mines and Hydro-Electric Power in Ontario, 1849-1941, in which he sets out in elaborate detail the development of the resource sector in this province and in particular the development of the hydro corporation.
Most of us, even in the hardwood hills of the upper Ottawa Valley, were raised to believe that Hydro was some kind of endlessly positive corporation which never ceased to do good for the people of the province. It is a very main plank in the mythology of this great province. The member for York East nods his head approvingly.
Professor Nelles points out that it was not always so. More often than not, the relationship between the government, the Premiers of successive governments, Liberal, farmer and Progressive Conservative, and the chairmen of Ontario Hydro was difficult to impossible. I will refer momentarily to one of the most extraordinary exchanges about that particular relationship. However, it is fair to say that in the 75 years since Hydro began in this province it has not been able to enjoy the kind of relationship with parliamentary democracy which many people, I believe on all sides of this House, would like to see for it.
Adam Beck, the father of the hydroelectric power idea in this province -- he is certainly a father in terms of the initial structure -- was a very creative, forward-looking genius in some respects. However, in others he was an absolute tyrant, as the Conservative Premier of the late First World War years commented in a letter.
At this point, the then Conservative Premier was concerned about the Napoleonic scheme of the Hydro corporation of the day. He was greatly concerned about the radial railway program which Mr. Beck was advancing very vigorously, and the Chippewa-Queenston project, down in the territory so ably represented by my good friend the member for Niagara Falls (Mr. Kerrio).
On the eve of the 1919 provincial election, the chairman of Ontario Hydro said in a letter to the then Premier, "I am going to have to go public, Mr. Premier, about your complete lack of support for this great scheme that has a vital role to play in the future economic development of this great province."
The then Conservative Premier, Sir William Howard Hearst from Sault Ste. Marie, was flabbergasted; he was dumfounded. He went on to say, and I quote from a letter from the then Premier to the then chairman of Ontario Hydro: "I might further add, if further explanation is necessary, that you, Adam Beck, have never taken me into your confidence in connection with this radial railway undertaking" -- the Darlington of its day. "I know nothing of the facts or arguments in favour of the scheme, except what I have read in the newspaper." My God, Phil Andrewes 60 years ago!
To continue: "I do not even know the names or qualifications of the experts who have reported on the scheme, nor have I been furnished with the report of these experts as to the cost of the road, the probable earnings of the road and the other data that would be necessary for a Premier or a cabinet minister to have before undertaking to speak on the subject and give advice to ratepayers who are assuming heavy financial obligations in this matter. Surely, Mr. Chairman, you would not expect a member of government to take part in a campaign unasked for by anyone, so to do, and lacking full and complete information relating to the subject."
There is just one Premier after another quoted about the dictatorship of Hydro. My friend the member for York East is quite right that the Liberals under Hepburn had their equal measure of difficulty. The relationship between the Hydro corporation and the responsible ministers and the so-called people's assembly here has almost from the beginning been an extremely difficult one, as Professor Nelles and many others have indicated.
I want to say to the House that in my own case I have enjoyed a very good relationship with the current chairman of Ontario Hydro. I think Mr. Nastich, in his dealings with me, has been very agreeable indeed. I certainly do not approve of some of his publicity activities these days.
I note that in response to a very favourable editorial in Toronto's only national newspaper, with respect to the principle of my Bill 105, Mr. Nastich, in the October 15, 1983, Globe and Mail, wrote about the particularly fond memory he has of Mr. Hugh Macaulay, who served for some years as a most recent chairman of Ontario Hydro. Surely the issue is whether this assembly is going to have an understanding about what that corporation is all about, the corporation which is engaging now in much more than just the provision of power at cost.
I was struck in a recent annual report from Ontario Hydro by the response of the then chairman Mr. Hugh Macaulay when he was asked: "Hydro appears to be a major instrument in the government's determination to stimulate the provincial economy. Can you comment on this?" One thinks about that question and how far we have come from the old narrow mandate about just the generation and distribution of electrical power at cost.
As we saw in the 1981 provincial general election, with the Board of Industrial Leadership and Development, this government was taking the Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario and making it a major instrument of its economic policy. The head of that corporation is probably second only to the Premier (Mr. Davis) himself in terms of importance to the public policy formation of this province, however painful that might be for the upwardly mobile but often troubled Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Elgie).
In response to the question put in that recent annual report, what did the then chairman Mr. Hugh Macaulay say? He said, "Instead of working merely to meet anticipated demand, we are now looking at a wider role for Ontario Hydro and considering the effects our large construction projects, our exports, our rates and in fact all of our activities can have on the social, environmental and economic life of the province." The then chairman Mr. Hugh Macaulay clearly indicates that Hydro's mandate was ever expanding into all areas of social, economic and environmental import for this great Ontario of ours.
Mr. Speaker, as a successful business luminary from Mississauga you know that this people's corporation this year will have expenditures in the neighbourhood of $3.4 billion, revenues, we are told, something slightly more than that, in the range of $3.6 billion to $3.7 billion, and a consolidated debt now approaching $18 billion or $19 billion. These are very big bucks. These are extremely important questions over which the chairman of Ontario Hydro has an extremely important role to play.
Why, one might ask, are we interested in having the Legislature's involvement in the approval? We think that no one of that significance should be allowed that responsibility without giving an accounting of himself or herself to the people's representatives. We do not view this process as anything but the most positive one. If Dr. E. E. Stewart wishes to withdraw from the Pitfieldian confines of his most recent incarnation and enter the full glare of public responsibility as the next chairman of Ontario Hydro, let that most distinguished member of the Premier's political breakfast club come into the legislative committee and give an accounting of his view of this great public corporation and its future.
I saw Julian Porter here earlier today. Maybe the son of the great Dana Porter will be the next nominee. Maybe Mrs. Jean Pigott will be the first woman and maybe it will be the distinguished member for Scarborough East (Mrs. Birch). These are all very interesting and well-known individuals, some with more connections to the Conservative cause than others, but I am sure that no one from Mrs. Birch to Mrs. Pigott to Dr. Stewart to Mr. Porter would be reluctant to submit themselves and their view of Hydro for the 1980s and beyond to a committee of this people's assembly.
I was struck a few years ago when, before the Porter Royal Commission on Electric Power Planning, the then Deputy Minister of Energy, the notorious Malcolm Rowan, in response to questions raised about the fact the government did not, when it struck the Power Corporation Act in 1974, accept all of the recommendations of Task Force Hydro which grew out of the early 1970s committee on government productivity, rejected the idea that there be some kind of express contractual arrangement between the government and Hydro so that the obligations and mandates of both were clearly spelled out.
In rejecting that before the Porter commission in 1976, Malcolm Rowan said some very interesting things. I will just quote briefly from the transcript of that exchange. He noted they did not accept that recommendation and said, "I think we have come to the realization that the key variable is not the formality of the contract but the personalities and intrapersonal relationships of the individuals who are responsible for making the system work."
So no less a planner, no less a senior bureaucrat than the redoubtable Malcolm Rowan himself said the reason we will set aside the contractual idea is that it does not take into account the key variables, and that is understanding the personalities who make the system work. I accept what Mr. Rowan said then.
Accepting the advice of the then deputy minister and now president of the Ontario Energy Corp., I say with all regard to the partisan concerns of my friends in the Progressive Conservative Party, let us better understand the personalities involved. Let us draw into the public forum the nominee of the government of the day, whether that government be Liberal, Tory or New Democrat. Let this new reform be proceeded with so that the reason so articulated by Mr. Malcolm Rowan can be lived up to.
It is unfortunate that we have seen the demise of the select committee of this Legislature dealing with Hydro affairs. We have now no capacity as elected members to inquire into the operations of this great people's corporation. All members interested in and concerned about what is being done at that multibillion-dollar corporation would like to have a better relationship, would like to have a more positive regular communication between this assembly and that great people's corporation.
We think one way the public input could be increased, the public awareness of the views of key personalities might be effected, is by allowing the Legislature through one of its committees to entertain the nominee and to offer its endorsation, or if it felt it could not do so, its rejection, and of course we do that in a related way in other areas.
In concluding these few remarks, I am concerned that this Legislature lacks the will to discharge its very important democratic responsibility. We, as the people's representatives from Algoma-Manitoulin, Niagara Falls and Chatham-Kent, have an obligation to our electors to ensure that the public interest is protected in this marvellous public experiment known as Ontario Hydro, about which we all have our feelings, some positive and some negative. This would be one small step, but an important and positive step in the right direction, in helping to improve the relationship between the people's assembly and the people's great power corporation.
With those remarks, I invite my colleagues to comment on this proposal and to join with me in endorsing it. I see I have about one minute left, which I might use to quickly summarize the remarks of others.
Mr. Di Santo: Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to join the debate and I would like to comment briefly on the bill introduced by my friend the member for Renfrew North (Mr. Conway).
This bill is a modest attempt in the direction of trying to make accountable a corporation that has been criticized recently and which will be subject to even more criticism in the future, given the sort of operation it is running and the way it is run.
Our concern with Ontario Hydro is that it is the largest corporation in Ontario. Even though it is a public corporation, to date it is unaccountable to the Legislature and is unaccountable to the people of Ontario. Despite all the criticism and debate provoked by the recent accidents at the Pickering and Bruce nuclear reactors, we have seen an attitude by Ontario Hydro that amounts only to an operation of public relations. This leads me to conclude that even though we have a public corporation we are actually faced with a monolithic organization that is impenetrable to the public and even to the Legislature of Ontario.
Ontario Hydro is guaranteed for all its borrowings by the province, which means, in effect, that all of us collectively should be responsible for the operation of Ontario Hydro. I think this relationship with Ontario Hydro is becoming more and more crucial for the future of this province.
Even though the temporary chairman of the corporation tells us Ontario Hydro has huge assets and therefore we have nothing to worry about in regard to the $18 billion of debt it has contracted to build its nuclear system, and even more in regard to the $20 billion more the corporation will borrow in the next year to complete its nuclear programs, we know very well that the funds available to Ontario are limited, as is the case with any other public organization, government or private. Therefore, the more funds committed to Hydro, the less funds available for other projects and for the economic development of this province.
We are faced with this situation and with the impossibility of our questioning, let alone investigating the operations of Hydro. We do not have any mechanism today. The legislators of Ontario can only ask questions of the minister in this House and the minister will tell us most of the time he does not know much or that he is fully informed. We discover the next day he has not been informed of the major reports that are circulating in the Hydro building.
When we discuss the estimates of the Ministry of Energy, the Ontario Hydro officials make a hasty appearance and give us half-truths. In fact, in the Toronto Star of November 10, the temporary chairman of Hydro, Mr. Nastich, is quoted in a headline saying, "'We Do Tell Half-Truths,' Hydro Chief Admits." I think the implication is the public is not entitled to know everything about Ontario Hydro because we do not understand what happens in the sanctum sanctorum, and only a few people who are the experts, the elect, the chosen ones, can understand.
This is a corporation that is supported by the consumers of Ontario, which means by all the citizens of Ontario; therefore, it should be responsible to the citizens.
This bill calls for the appointment of the chairman of Ontario Hydro and for his selection through a process that involves a committee of the Legislature. My friend the member for Renfrew North (Mr. Conway) said that this government, having recovered its majority and the arrogance it had before 1975 and having put minority government into the closet, unfortunately decided we could do without the select committee.
We are faced with a situation where the government itself has lost control of Ontario Hydro. To sum up the situation, let me quote what Barry Solomon says. He says:
"At the time" -- 1974 -- "Premier Davis's determination to control the utility led to open criticism from former Hydro chairman George Gathercole, who charged that 'there was seldom government interference until Davis came along. Leslie Frost and John Robarts never interfered, but with Davis, everybody gets in on the act.'
"This determination continued at least until 1974, when the Premier, in uncharacteristically explicit language, said that despite cabinet's apparent power in appointing Hydro commissioners and in approving certain activities, 'Hydro has none the less acted as any independent agency. Now the circumstances call for a change.'"
The Premier said that in 1974. In 1983 we are in exactly the same situation. Despite the fact that the Premier appointed his friend Hugh Macaulay, the government was unable to control the corporation. When the memorandum of understanding was tabled, quite understandably after the Legislature adjourned in December 1982, we were faced with a memorandum of understanding that was almost a verbatim repetition of the Power Corporation Act of 1974, which left the situation as it was before.
We now have a minister who is responsible for the policy of Ontario Hydro, but who is unable to have any impact at all. In 1979 the former Minister of Energy tabled in the Legislature the policy of the government, called Energy Security in the Eighties. That policy was intended to create a balanced mix of energy sources in Ontario. Ontario Hydro, regardless of the policy, is going the route we all know, with nuclear plants and nuclear expansion. This is not even necessary because Ontario is plagued with an excess capacity of energy it cannot even use.
One of the provisions of the policy was that Ontario Hydro would develop 2,000 megawatts of new hydraulic energy. That project has been shelved. When I asked the chairman of Ontario Hydro in committee during the estimates who made that decision, he said, "We made the decision." We are faced with a situation where the government sets policy for Ontario Hydro and Ontario Hydro totally disregards the policy of the government.
If that was not enough, now we are faced with a situation where the appointment of the chairman of Ontario Hydro is becoming a game within the Conservative government of Ontario, as my friend said. We think that is not good enough. Perhaps this bill does not address the total problem, but certainly it is a first step. Unless we make Ontario Hydro accountable, we will be faced with more and more problems. Even though the government does not want to recognize it, we have to come to terms with the problems because they are accumulating.
Mr. Watson: Mr. Speaker, I have listened with interest to the remarks of the member for Renfrew North on his proposed amendments to the Power Corporation Act. However, his arguments, presented in his usual enthusiastic and eloquent manner, have failed to persuade me that the amendments proposed by Bill 105 are necessary.
On behalf of the members on this side of the Legislature at least, I can say the primary purpose of Ontario Hydro is to provide secure energy to the people of this province at cost. I do not feel that because a chairman is appointed by a legislative committee it will make this individual more responsible in carrying out that mandate.
The triple-A credit rating Ontario Hydro has received in the past and continues to enjoy is ample indication that Hydro is highly thought of by major financial institutions. Exactly what will be accomplished if the chairman of Ontario Hydro is appointed by an all-party committee? Does the bill before us imply that the current chairman of Ontario Hydro, or others before him, has been negligent or irresponsible or has perhaps operated in such a manner as to ignore the energy needs and requirements of this province?
After listening to the opposition members in these past few weeks, one would think Ontario Hydro and its chairman operate in a manner so as to abuse the mandate under the Power Corporation Act, with no accountability to the government, the Legislature or the people of this province. One would think Hydro's performance goes unreviewed and that its programs, financial plans and load forecasts all forge ahead with not so much as one ounce of scrutiny. Ontario Hydro, as a publicly owned corporation, reports to the Legislature through the Minister of Energy. Hydro cannot borrow money, build facilities or buy or sell anything without the approval of the Ontario cabinet. In addition, the accounts are audited annually by auditors appointed by the Lieutenant Governor. Hydro must be reviewed by the Environmental Assessment Board for all its construction plans.
During the Energy estimates last week, Milan Nastich, the chairman of Hydro, stated: "Over the past decade or so, Ontario Hydro has been subject to the scrutiny of several provincial inquiries, including Task Force Hydro, the select committee on Hydro affairs and the Royal Commission on Electric Power Planning, to name a few. That is why I find it difficult to understand the statement that Hydro is not accountable." I, too, find it difficult to understand the opposition's comments that Hydro is not accountable.
In building new transmission lines, Hydro has also shown its willingness to try to resolve the concerns of residents over and above the required public hearings. I quote again from the comments of the chairman, who said: "In southwestern Ontario we have held 67 information centres, had 100 meetings with citizen committees and interested groups and have mailed information about the proposed facilities to the 30,000 households in the affected areas. Virtually the same format is being followed in eastern Ontario."
Ontario Hydro has been criticized for building too many nuclear plants and not diversifying our sources of generating electricity when, in fact, Ontario has the most diversified electric utility system in Canada. About one third of our power is supplied by nuclear means, one third by coal and one third by hydroelectric. Even without the completion of Darlington, Ontario Hydro will still have one of the most diversified electrical systems in Canada.
The allegations continue, as we know. Hydro has been accused of being irresponsible in its long-range forecasts. Although it might come as a surprise to some of the members of the House, I am not aware of any individual or any group or organization that has been able to forecast what the future holds for us. Does the member for Renfrew North think a committee-appointed chairman would be blessed with some special powers to allow him or her to forecast future energy needs with dead-on accuracy, or that perhaps this individual would be gifted with the ability to foresee technical breakdowns in our nuclear plants? I do not think so.
Our private sector, in its efforts to forecast economic trends anywhere from one to five years ahead, has not been able to succeed. If this were possible, I think there would be fewer bankruptcies in this country. We read different forecasts by different experts and none of them has any guarantees.
Canada, Ontario or any other jurisdiction that is not self-sufficient and therefore affected by outside influences for energy sources is certainly subject to matters way beyond our control. Yet when it comes to Ontario Hydro, which must forecast Ontario's energy needs 12 to 14 years in advance, it is expected to be accurate. One can hardly call that constructive criticism.
There is no magic wand Hydro can wave to build an instant generating station. It takes at least 14 years to design and build a generating station. When economic experts cannot agree on a five-year forecast, I think it is somewhat stretching a point to expect Ontario Hydro to forecast accurately the requirements up to 14 years.
What disturbs me more with regard to the suggestion the chairman of Ontario Hydro be appointed by a legislative committee is to suggest that the government of this province should shrug off its responsibilities and place them with an all-party committee. I would like to remind members across the floor that the Premier of this province has never shied away from his responsibility to make decisions on behalf of the people of Ontario, nor has he failed to take responsibility for those decisions.
Let us say for the moment that the chairman of Ontario Hydro were to be elected by a legislative committee. Where do the members opposite propose to draw the line? What about the other agencies, boards and commissions in this province? Are we to create legislative committees to elect chairmen of various boards?
I would like to see the member for Renfrew North put such a proposal to his federal leader, Pierre Elliott Trudeau. That would be an interesting dialogue. I suggest the Liberals sell tickets for that performance. Frankly, I think the member for Renfrew North has lost his sense of reality when we think of what would happen if that were done on a federal basis.
When the people of this province or country elect a government, they expect that government to carry out its mandate. That is exactly what this government is doing, has been doing and will continue to do under the leadership of the Premier.
In case anyone has any doubts, I would like to make it clear, as a member of this government, I take pride in the accomplishments of Ontario Hydro. Why not? Its rates are among the lowest, not only in Ontario but in the world. It is a power-generating facility with a record of achievement and financial responsibility that is envied by many power corporations around the world.
What is truly unfortunate here is that the reputation of Ontario Hydro is being tarnished unjustifiably in an effort by the opposition to create an issue where none exists. It is probably the credibility of the opposition which should go under review and not Ontario Hydro's proven record of responsibility and accountability.
I do not believe the system being suggested, which I would suggest is similar to the confirmation proceedings that go on in committees in the country to the south, should be adopted in a British parliamentary system, a system of responsible government at the present time, in the past and in the future. One of the people who would stand up for that system is the member for Renfrew North. Although he is flying a nice flag here, he really would not do this if he were in a position to do so.
Mr. Kerrio: It is a pleasure for me to join this debate on Bill 105. At the outset, I would like to suggest I am going to support the bill because it makes uncommonly good sense.
It does not surprise me that government members will stand up one after the other as apologists not only for Ontario Hydro, but for the position their government takes in choosing someone to head up this corporation. In the days when Sir Adam Beck had the vision he did to provide power for this great province at cost, I am sure he did no envision the current degeneration of Ontario Hydro, which is not by any stretch of the imagination dedicated to that same cause.
Ontario Hydro could be more applicably described as the Ontario Energy Enterprises Corp., probably under a mandate by Empire Builders of America or some such company that would have agreed with the direction Ontario Hydro is going in. When we on this side fulfil our mandate as described by British parliamentary procedure, that is, as Her Majesty's loyal opposition, we certainly are most willing to point out what this government and what some of the commissions and power corporation people do that is really a disservice to the people they are supposed to serve.
In most enterprises there are two distinct ways of having top executives who would have the vision and the tools to make important decisions. One is that they would be educated along specific lines that would set them up as professionals to perform a duty to head up such an organization as Ontario Hydro. Alternatively, in many large organizations and many large corporations, there are those who work themselves up through the ranks and certainly earn the right to head up a corporation or a company by the very fact that they have learned from the ground up how that corporation should function.
Such is not the case with Ontario Hydro, I am sorry to say, given those people who have gone before in the leadership of Ontario Hydro. That is no discredit to them, but this is strictly a political appointment. It has been proved that Ontario Hydro right now is on automatic pilot and it makes little difference whether the government chooses someone to head that corporation or does not. It has developed into a monolith that is so huge and burdensome that it does not require someone who has any kind of vision or tools to perform the job.
The government has proved that right now. I say with the greatest respect to all those that went before it is certainly a political plum that many people vie for. When the parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Energy gets up and apologizes, we on this side have to point out that there are so many inadequate things Ontario Hydro participates in, it is time someone was chosen who had the kind of tools that would give Ontario Hydro a new vision, a new thrust from the top and a new responsibility to the people who are supposedly the owners of Ontario Hydro.
In fact, that is a contradiction. When many corporations put out a stock issue on the market, if one owns a bit of stock in one of those companies, he is allowed to go to a meeting to make his feelings known. One would think the people of Ontario would have a larger voice in the function of Ontario Hydro. Such is not the case. The Power Corporation Act is very specific. It says the chairman of Ontario Hydro will answer to the board of directors, and that is as far as his responsibility goes.
The fact remains that those people who are supposed to be served are completely left out of any determinations that are made by Ontario Hydro. We on this side happen to think, and we put it to the acting chairman, there are many things that could have been done in Ontario Hydro, had there been a delineation of where it should fit in an energy program that does not exist in Ontario. That is a sad state of affairs. It is one of the reasons Ontario Hydro has been allowed the kind of latitude it is enjoying right now.
What a contradiction in terms that we are going to have someone who has gone full turn from conservation to trying to sell surplus electrical power being put in charge of conservation. There is nowhere in the world we could hope that people would be involved in those two diametrically opposed involvements and do a proper job. The thing that Hydro does to justify its existence is to have nearly as large a staff in public relations as the Minister of Energy has to run his whole ministry.
That is another contradiction, but it just proves that Hydro needs that kind of apologist. As well as the apologists who sit on the government benches, it has hired apologists who will go out, make speeches and become involved in trying to convince the people of Ontario that they are well served by the mandate that was given to the power corporation.
It is about time we took a good hard look at describing more clearly where Ontario Hydro should fit into the scheme of a proper energy policy, describe where we are headed and describe to Hydro the areas where it will be left to its own resources and where there would not be any interference from the Legislature. But it would not be allowed to move in 44 different directions at the same time, one confusing the other, one in complete contradiction to the other.
We who sat on the select committee were privileged to watch while two former Ministers of Energy were told by the then chairman of Ontario Hydro that those Ministers of Energy could not promise that information would be given and that there would be a more open policy at Ontario Hydro. They were told publicly at the select committee. In particular, as I recall, the member for Ottawa West (Mr. Baetz) was told by the then chairman that he could not make specific promises to our committee, that with the Power Corporation Act they could conduct their affairs the way they saw fit and just be governed by the chairman.
With the greatest respect, I say to those people who would apologize for Ontario Hydro, it is time to do something about the Power Corporation Act that would more clearly define Hydro's role in a meaningful energy policy future. We would have executives at the top end of Ontario Hydro who had come up through the ranks and who had some distinct training in the area so they could give Hydro new vision and new direction, which is certainly nonexistent when there is a political appointee as head of Ontario Hydro.
The members on the other side like to recall those appointees at the federal level. I will not sit back and be embarrassed by that kind of comment. It certainly happens, but I am just as much against it happening there as I am against it happening here. Witness the fact that there were appointees to Air Canada and, when the government changed, it changed the top management. It would mean there was really no necessity in the first place for having a political appointee there except that it was a pretty nice job. He could be changed at will and it did not change the direction of an important crown corporation.
By putting in place such a bill where those people would apply in some fashion rather stringent rules to the kind of person who would head Ontario Hydro, we would not be dealing with a political appointee. We would probably be dealing in the way big corporations or any other efficient group would deal in choosing top management who would have something to offer in an executive way that would send Hydro in a direction that would make it more efficient and make it back off on criticism from this side that in most cases is highly justified.
Ontario Hydro is going about its business in any way it sees fit. It has no accountability, and it is time it did. This would be a very good way to start.
Mr. Charlton: Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of Bill 105. The very fact that this bill is before us this afternoon and that we are having this debate -- I think it has been reflected in the debate I have heard so far this afternoon -- means there is a much wider concern about the way in which Ontario Hydro operates than just the question of the chairman. However, the question of the chairman becomes a symbol for the lack of accountability which so many of us perceive in terms of the way Ontario Hydro operates.
The question of how the chairman of Ontario Hydro is appointed is an issue we have dealt with and fought over in this House on a number of occasions in relation to other functions of this government. We have had the same concerns raised about how the Ombudsman is appointed. We have had the same concerns raised about how the Speaker's position is filled, I say to you, sir, as you are sitting there at present representing the Speaker appointed by the government.
It seems to us that if the business of the government in this province is going to operate efficiently and be properly accountable both to this Legislature and ultimately to the people of Ontario, then this Legislature has to be the body that appoints those who will provide the service, no matter what the area of concern happens to be.
In the present system, with the chairman of Ontario Hydro or with any of the other positions I have mentioned, and with hundreds of others we have not even discussed here, what we have is a very serious lack of trust and a very serious lack of credibility in many of those positions because on every occasion when we request consultation and input into the process of selection, that is denied.
The only conclusion left for opposition parties to make is that there has to be a reasons for those exclusions. The reason is, as the member for Niagara Falls suggested in his comments, that the positions are being filled as political appointments in a very political way, in a way that does not relate at all to the jobs to be done in those positions.
In the case of Ontario Hydro, we have a monolith, a giant. Hydro spends billions of dollars every year. It is a public corporation. It is imperative that as a public corporation it has to be accountable, both to this Legislature and to the public whom it is intended to serve, and it is not.
There are a number of reflections of that lack of accountability. For example, if one were to take the Energy Security for the Eighties paper, which was issued by the then Minister of Energy in September 1979, and look through it in terms of a policy direction for energy policy in the 1980s and compare that document with the approach to energy with which Ontario Hydro is now involved, one would find two policies that are totally different, in contradiction to each other and, in many cases, headed in opposite directions and being totally counterproductive to the goals set out in the government's so-called energy policy for the 1980s.
This bill does not deal with a number of concerns which many of us have about Ontario Hydro, but the bill, as I suggested earlier, is a symbolic way to start getting at the process of accountability and responsibility for Ontario Hydro. It is my view that we have to get back into some kind of regular process of review by this Legislature or by a committee of this Legislature of the policy directions Ontario Hydro is making and will continue to make as long as it is left out there on its own, as it has been.
Policies of Ontario Hydro have to be reviewed from two perspectives. There are probably a thousand perspectives we could talk about, but there are two perspectives in general terms. First, how does the policy direction of Ontario Hydro fit in and mesh with the policies that are being espoused by the government across the way, the government to whom Ontario Hydro is supposed to be responsible? Second, how do the policy directions and the proposed money expenditures by Ontario Hydro fit into the economic structure and direction of this government for the economy of this province?
With the kinds of dollars Ontario Hydro spends, which I have suggested are in the billions every year, Ontario Hydro becomes, whether it likes it or not, a major economic force in this province, a major economic direction-setter in this province. As a result, if Ontario Hydro's policy direction is in contradiction to the directions this government is taking, which in many cases it is, it creates economic problems for this province. The government is now telling us it is beyond its control.
We frequently listen to the Minister of Energy in this House telling us that he has no direct control over, for example, the front-line item from Hydro, which is its rate structure, but he merely refers Hydro applications for rate structures to the Ontario Energy Board. The Ontario Energy Board deals with questions and approvals, and this government has continually refused to get involved in that rate-setting structure.
Let us face it, with the kinds of dollars every family in this province spends on Hydro, that rate structure becomes not only a very important economic determinant but also a very crucial one in the day-to-day lives of the average families in this province. The $75 or up to a $100 a month many families are forced to spend on Hydro makes it a major expenditure on the part of the family.
What this government is continually telling us is that the structure is totally out of the control of this government, that Hydro is an independent crown corporation setting its own policy and its own directions. We have to change the way in which that operates. Once policies have been set, Hydro should operate independent of political interference. But this Legislature has to be a clear and major part in determining the policy directions that Ontario Hydro will take.
Because of the economic impact that corporation can have and because the things it does are so often in contradiction with or counter to the espoused direction of this government -- and we have to stop that -- I see this bill and the approach to how the chairman of Hydro is appointed as a first step in the direction of regaining control over that massive and powerful corporation which has caused so many of us so many problems over the last number of years.
The Acting Speaker (Mr. Robinson): I want to draw the honourable members' attention to the clock. There are about seven minutes available to the member for Hastings Peterborough, as the member for Renfrew North reserves some 45 seconds or so.
Mr. Pollock: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have this opportunity to say a few words in this debate on the bill introduced by the member for Renfrew North. My colleague the parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Energy (Mr. Watson) in his remarks has expressed a number of concerns that I have about this bill. I will not take up the time of the House by reviewing them now.
The accountability of crown agencies and corporations and their role in the political and economic system are a matter of growing concern to members of all parties at both the provincial and federal levels of government. I believe it was only two weeks ago that this House debated a resolution introduced by the member for Wentworth North (Mr. Cunningham), in which a number of members spoke to the issue of the accountability of crown agencies and crown corporations.
As I understand it, the bill before us proposes a measure which, in the opinion of the members opposite, would increase the accountability of Ontario Hydro and bring it under the control of the Legislature. The mechanism proposed to achieve these ends is review by a committee of this Legislature and approval by this Legislature of the nominee for the position of chairman of Ontario Hydro.
As my colleague has noted, this constitutes something of a departure from parliamentary conventions. The member for Renfrew North advises that we, in this case, adopt a system not unlike the confirmation hearings used in the American Senate for executive appointments and at the state level for gubernatorial appointments.
I note that students of the American political system have identified a number of shortcomings in this type of confirmation hearing process. Some have suggested that this system distorts the relationship between the legislative and executive branches, reduces administrative control of the executive over its appointees and inflates the power of the committee system.
Of course, the American presidential- congressional system is much different from our own, so direct comparisons are difficult. None the less, I think adoption of the amendment proposed by the honourable member would distort the relationship that has developed between the executive and the Legislatures in our system.
The problem of the accountability of crown corporations is a real one. Governments across this country have devoted considerable effort to finding ways to improve the accountability of crown agencies. Recent events at the federal level have demonstrated all too vividly what can happen if the accountability issue is ignored. The $1.4-billion loss sustained by Canadair Ltd. was but the latest and most spectacular of a series of disasters.
In Ontario, we have developed one of the best and most comprehensive systems for ensuring the accountability of crown corporations and agencies currently in place in Canada.
Ontario Hydro, its chairman and its board are held accountable for the actions of the corporation to the Legislature, the government and the people of Ontario by the Power Corporation Act and the memorandum of understanding between the corporation and the Ministry of Energy.
The Power Corporation Act, which gives the utility its mandate, clearly establishes limits on the actions the utility can take without the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council. Hydro cannot build, borrow or sell without this approval.
The memorandum of understanding identifies and defines Hydro's objectives and priorities and the operating relationship between Hydro and the ministry. The memo stresses that it is Hydro's responsibility to provide the Ministry of Energy, in a timely manner, with information on Hydro matters that are of concern to the public or this Legislature.
Furthermore, Hydro, its structure, organization, program and plans have been subject to close review by the Legislature. From Task Force Hydro to the current inquiries being conducted by the Provincial Auditor on the direction of the standing committee on public accounts of this House, there is probably not one aspect of the corporation which members of the Legislature have not had an opportunity to review or that Hydro officials have not been called upon to explain. Even beyond that, the activities of the corporation are subject to public review by a number of agencies and boards.
Of course, one might say that all this would count for little unless the chairman of Ontario Hydro and the board were sensitive to the need to keep the government, the Legislature and the public informed on its activities.
I have taken the time to review the statements made by the chairman of Hydro at the estimates of the Ministry of Energy in the past few years. I am sure that any member who would read those statements would admit that the chairman was very conscious of the need for keeping the corporation accountable to the Legislature.
I find it difficult to accept the view that Ontario Hydro is not accountable to the Legislature and this government. As the current chairman of Hydro pointed out in his statement on November 9 during the Energy estimates --
The Acting Speaker: I have to report that the member's time has expired.
Mr. Pollock: -- there are no cases in which Hydro's actions have conflicted with the stated policies and desires of the government of Ontario.
Mr. Conway: Mr. Speaker, in summary I want to thank my five colleagues for their comments on this bill of mine. In the closing moments, I want to draw attention to the presence in the lower gallery of that mother-in-law of Ontario Hydro, so to speak, my good friend the former member for York South and former chairman of the select committee on Hydro affairs.
I simply want to indicate once again that from my point of view the issue here is, how can we improve the accountability of this gargantuan public utility which, under the aegis of the Premier, has undertaken responsibilities never dreamed of by previous administrations?
People can read recent reports and recent statements from people like George Gathercole and Hugh Macaulay to see how far afield the mother of all public corporations in this province has gone. I invite public support and public discussion for the principle of my bill, which I believe can bring Hydro forward to a better level of public understanding and, more important, a greater degree of accountability by us, the people's representatives.
The Acting Speaker: The time for debate on Bill 105 has expired.
WOMEN'S ECONOMIC EQUALITY ACT
Mr. Rae moved second reading of Bill 108, An Act to provide for Affirmative Action and Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value.
The Acting Speaker (Mr. Robinson): I would remind the member at this time that he has 20 minutes in which to make his remarks and that he may reserve any portion of that for conclusion and summary at the end.
Mr. Rae: Mr. Speaker, this bill is intended to deal with perhaps the most challenging problem facing our social economy and facing the people of this province. That is, it is intended to get government to face the challenge of systematic inequality which exists between men and women in the work place.
We had an opportunity to discuss this a few weeks ago when we were dealing with the resolution that was put forward in the name of the member for Hamilton Centre (Ms. Copps). The House had an opportunity to deal with this question in 1979 when it considered a private member's bill dealing exclusively with the question of equal pay for work of equal value.
I am very pleased to be able to introduce this bill. It is the first private member's bill I have been able to move since my election to the Legislature a little over a year ago; indeed, a year and two days after my introduction to this place.
I believe it is practical, I believe it is direct and I believe it faces up to the problems and challenges of inequality in the work place that have been amply documented by the government itself, by advisory groups to the government and in the experience of literally millions of working women in Ontario.
I refer my remarks to the systematic inequality and I simply want to put on the record and document for purposes of those members who do not think there is a problem -- and I assume there are still some who do not think there is a problem -- the results of research conducted by the Ontario Manpower Commission.
Even the name of the commission reflects certain residual sexism in the official appellations of the government of Ontario. Why not call it "the Ontario employment commission" and get rid of these various names that simply reflect an attitude of time past?
Nevertheless, the commission did put forward a document in October 1983 that outlines a situation that can only be described as shocking. It is a situation in which unemployment is unequally distributed between men and women, in which employment is unequally distributed between men and women, in which wages and income are unequally distributed between men and women, in which poverty is unequally distributed between men and women, in which occupation and occupational opportunity are unequally distributed between men and women, and in which it can be shown that whether it is in the private sector or the public sector, the approaches taken by government thus far have not done a great deal.
Indeed, it can be demonstrated it has scarcely done anything to close the very real gap that has existed in the work place for literally hundreds of years in industrial societies and that exists today in 1983 in Ontario.
If I could just put some facts on the record, because I think it is important for people to know them. In 1981, full-time female workers in Ontario earned an average of 63 per cent as much as male full-time workers. Part-time female workers' earnings were 67.4 per cent of part-time male earnings. Income for female-headed families in Canada is considerably lower than that of male-headed families: $13,910 as compared to $25,397 in 1979.
In 1979 -- this is a shocking statistic -- 36 per cent of all female-headed families were classified as low-income, compared to 10.4 per cent of all Canadian families; three times the number of female-headed families were living in conditions described by Statistics Canada as "low-income."
It is important to notice that in various occupations the gap is wide and in some instances the gap is growing. It is also important to notice one conclusion from the report of this commission.
There are those who say the answer is time, the answer is education, the answer is -- if I may use the words used by the Minister responsible for Women's Issues (Mr. Welch) -- a "staged progress." Where I come from and in my background, "staged" has more than one meaning. "Staged" can sometimes have the show business sense of staged. That is the theatrical sense of staged, that is the play-acting sense of staged and that is the sense of staged with which we would interpret the minister's remarks.
There has been staged progress all right, carefully stage-managed by the Tory party of Ontario. But there has not been an effective change in reality with respect to the condition of women in the work place.
The minister knows that if he looks hard at the statistics, and it is time the people of Ontario recognized that, he would know it is time we moved beyond the phoniness of the, quote, "staged" approach towards the reality of government taking a leadership role and seeing that women do in fact and in reality have an equal place in the work place alongside their male counterparts.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order: Is not this the member who in question period was concerned about the imputation of motives? Is this the same member who was decrying all that earlier today? I suggest to him that is very unfair. How about some consistency? He knows very well what I mean by staged progress.
The Acting Speaker: That may be a point of interest but it is hardly a point of order.
Mr. Rae: Let us listen to the staged progress. I am quoting from the report of the commission: "Wages and education. It can be demonstrated quantitatively that education does not equalize wages for women, both in the case of women in the labour force and recent graduates beginning their career. Statistics Canada data shows that in 1979 women in the Ontario work force with a university degree earned an average of $12,983 as compared to men with a degree who earned $24,143. Women with high school and some post-secondary education earned on average $7,549 as compared to men with similar education who earned $14,844."
It is not just a question of unemployment or wages; it is also a question of opportunity. Some time ago a member of my staff wrote to the Ministry of Colleges and Universities and asked for the most recent data with respect to the ability of women to participate in active apprenticeship programs in the province.
I quote from the letter from the director of operations in the Ministry of Colleges and Universities who had this to say in answer to our question. He did attach some data I will be presenting to the House. At the end, he added this gratuitous comment: "I might add that the need for accurate data in this area may not be one that should be considered of great priority. Male/female apprenticeship rates reflect in large part employer selection criteria for hiring purposes and thus are not easily amenable to direct government action or intervention."
That is the editorial comment. It is not important to have the facts because it has nothing to do with the government. It has to do with employers' hiring preferences. After all, according to the view of this civil servant working under the aegis and direction of the government of Ontario, there is nothing the government can do about those things. So here are the data but they really do not matter.
If we look at the data, we know why he said it. In 1981-82, there was a total of 40,506 active apprentices in Ontario. Fewer than 2,000 of those were women. Women as a percentage of the total: 4.5 per cent.
In 1982-83 we see a decline in the number of active apprentices to 38,117. We see an even greater decline in the number of women who are active apprentices, to 1,761, 4.4 per cent. There is an absolute decline and a relative decline in the number of women apprentices. That is the staged progress the minister spoke about with such pride last month.
What does this bill do? This bill is intended to address a problem. The problem is inequality and lack of opportunity. The problem is inequality in wages and in terms of occupational chance. That is why the party has decided on, and my private member's bill reflects, an approach which is balanced and which deserves the support of the government and all members.
First, it says let us move. Let us fight the staged progress from the resolution with respect to equal pay for work of equal value from the member for Hamilton Centre which passed this House unanimously, the same spirit which pervaded this House when it was passed by the House in 1979 when it was moved by Ted Bounsall, a member of our party. Let us make it part of the law of this province.
The government has an opportunity today to start the process by which equal pay for work of equal value will become the law of this province. It has a chance to stand up today and say whether principle or spirit mean anything, and whether the government is prepared to put that spirit into effect and fact by moving in terms of changing the law on employment standards in this province to deal with the question of equal pay for work of equal value. I challenge the minister to stand in his place today and explain to this Legislature why something which was acceptable to the Tory party in October is not acceptable to the Tory party in November, if that is the case. I challenge the minister to give us a clear answer on that.
The second thing the legislation is intended to do is to deal with the problem of apprenticeship, the problem of discrimination in terms of occupational chance. It is contained in the bill as a specific direction to the government of Ontario to get a move on in terms of real equality between men and women in all the occupational categories and give women a chance.
I was in Wawa yesterday and I went down the mine at Algoma. I asked the mine manager, "Have you any women working?" He said, "Before the layoffs here we had a number of women working, but now we have only one." Why? Because they were the first to be laid off, given that more than 200 people have had to be laid off in the mine at Wawa.
What happened to women who took that first step in the late 1970s in terms of being able to break through that barrier of occupational discrimination has been wiped out by the recession and the minister knows it. That is why the issue of affirmative action has to be confronted.
The labour movement has expressed a willingness to confront it and deal head on with this issue. It will not be good enough for the Tory party to hide behind the labour movement and say, "No, no, that is not something they are prepared to consider," because the minister knows full well they are prepared to consider it and deal with it. They are prepared to deal with it along the lines I have set out in the private member's bill I am putting forward in terms of affirmative action.
That is what I want to turn to today in closing these initial remarks, the question of affirmative action. It is not enough for the government simply to say, "We can do a little bit with equal pay for work of equal value," because the minister knows that is merely the tip of the iceberg in terms of the number of people who are being affected.
I would like to quote very briefly from the report in terms of wages. The report dealt with wage discrimination in the public sector, saying it is not as great as it is in the private sector of Ontario but it is still too great. What does it say? It says, "Occupational segregation and distribution are the major determinants of the wage gap." Until we deal with that issue with respect to affirmative action in the public sector and in the private sector, we are not going to be able to move.
This bill calls for companies with more than 20 employees to establish committees on a consensual basis within their firms whose objective would be to reach a consensus with respect to affirmative action.
It does not impose an edict from Queen's Park on each and every employer, which I know is the argument that is going to be used by the Tory party and those in other parties who may wish to object to this legislation. It does not do that.
It says with respect to employers of over a certain size: "Sit down and reason with your employees with respect to affirmative action. Develop those programs." It has a possibility of an affirmative action tribunal within the Ministry of Labour that would have the obligation to go to these employers and say, "Let us see what kind of program you have developed with your employees." Let us put a little teeth into the so-called voluntary program that has been established by the ministry.
There were 296,241 companies in Ontario as of July 1983. Of these, 243,000 have fewer than 20 employees. There are 53,000 companies that would be affected by this legislation. I want the minister to recollect certain other facts, As of November 15, the number of Ontario companies that have developed an affirmative action program, according to the women's bureau in the Ministry of Labour, is 233. I simply want to point out to the minister that this represents fewer than 30 a year.
If we follow the approach that has been prescribed for us by the Tory party of Ontario with respect to doing this only on a voluntary basis and resisting any attempts at mandatory affirmative action, it would take 1,822 years to bring that number of companies into line with the notion of affirmative action and equal opportunity. That is the Tory definition of staged progress, a mere 1,800 years to accomplish equality for women in Ontario.
Mr. McClellan: That is the fullness of time.
Mr. Rae: That is the definition of the fullness of time we hear from the Premier (Mr. Davis) and from the Deputy Premier (Mr. Welch) from time to time. I want to say to the minister that we on this side of the House are not prepared to wait that long, and I do not think the women of Ontario are prepared to wait that long. I think the women of Ontario want action. They want action today. They do not want action in 1,800 years and they do not want action in five years.
They want it now with respect to a workable, sensible program that is voluntary in the sense it has to be worked out on a plant-by-plant basis by people sitting down and reasoning together, but mandatory in the sense that the government of Ontario is finally going to be prepared to stand behind the idea of affirmative action and give that idea some reality.
I want to point out that in its report to the government and the public in April 1982 the then Ontario Advisory Council on Equal Opportunity said, "The greatest disappointment of the council has been the absolute lack of response to the repeated recommendation for legislated affirmative action." Absolute lack of response is what we have seen. This government has patted itself on the back for so long it has failed to recognize there is progress out there that is waiting to be made and has to be made.
Mr. Speaker, I see from the time on the wall I have approximately two and one half minutes to respond to the comments that will be made by other members. But I want to say to the minister in all sincerity the women of this province are waiting. They are waiting for action on equality that is long overdue.
It is all very well for this Legislature to pass things in principle and for governments to pat themselves on the back, but if that is not matched by real progress, then the women and, indeed, the men of this province have been cheated of the right to equality, which I believe is fundamental to what it means to be a citizen of this province and a human being living in Ontario today.
We have to move. This bill provides the opportunity for the government to move. I urge the government to support it, get it into committee, hear the presentations from people and take the concrete steps, the real steps to progress I believe are contained in Bill 108.
Mr. Barlow: Mr. Speaker, I would first like to commend the member for York South (Mr. Rae) for his efforts in bringing this bill before the Legislature. While its parentage is not entirely clear, I gather some tribute is due to, and he did recognize the former member from Windsor, Ted Bounsall and his Bill 3 in 1979. Also, some credit is perhaps due to the member for Beaches-Woodbine (Ms. Bryden) for her bill of last year, Bill 210.
While the practical results for women in the work force of the bill before us today are unclear, I must say I share the member's sense of priorities and his commitment to fair treatment and the opportunity for employment and advancement of women in the work place. Indeed, the government has reiterated its commitment in the general area of women's issues by assigning this responsibility to my friend and colleague the Deputy Premier. In creating the Ontario women's directorate, he has increased resources to address the various problems faced by women in employment.
I think it is important to realize these problem are both dynamic and multi faceted. The extensive study published in 1981 by the United States National Research Council and a study done by Professor Morley Gunderson of the University of Toronto have both concluded that equal value does not provide a single satisfactory answer to the problem of discrepancy in the wages earned by women and by men.
Mr. Wildman: What does?
Ms. Copps: No single satisfactory answer; there are lots of answers.
Mr. Barlow: I think a figure has been brought out that something like about a five per cent change would be the maximum. The problem of providing equality of opportunity to overcome the concentration of women in lower-paid jobs is central to this issue and must be addressed.
Ms. Copps: Oh, come on.
Mr. Barlow: The member will get her shot at it in a few minutes.
In recognition of the need, our government has been a pioneer. Ontario was the first jurisdiction in Canada to address these concerns when we enacted the Female Employees Fair Remuneration Act back in 1951. We have been clearly committed to the principle of equal pay for equal work since that time 32 years ago.
Mr. Barlow: I do not know whether the member voted for or against it. He was probably in favour of it at that time and probably still is.
Eleven years later, in 1962, equal pay for equal work was incorporated as part of Ontario's first human rights code. In 1968 it became part of the Employment Standards Act. This permitted the government to perform routine investigation of pay differentials as part of the regular employment standards audits.
That is an important advance which even now we share with only half the provinces in Canada. It permits the investigation of possible equal pay for equal work infringements even when no complaint has been laid. Very important, our system protects the anonymity of a complainant or a claimant. Moreover, the scope of an investigation can easily be widened to include all employees in the work force.
In 1968 the act made it illegal in Ontario to pay a female employee less than a male doing the same work. The concept of "same work" was clarified in the mid-1970s. Section 33 of the Act says: "No employer ... shall differentiate between his male and female employees by paying a female employee at a rate of pay less than the rate of pay paid to a male employee, or vice versa, for substantially the same kind of work performed in the same establishment" -- although not necessarily in precisely the same location -- "the performance of which requires substantially the same skill, effort and responsibility and which is performed under similar working conditions." Exceptions are allowed only for seniority and merit systems and productivity measured quantitatively or qualitatively.
We are actively ensuring compliance with this legislation throughout Ontario. In 1980 the Ministry of Labour added a special investigation unit with new resources to conduct equal pay settlements of more than $2.2 million for approximately 1,900 women.
I quite agree with the assumption of the member's bill that more must be done. I am mindful, however, from the experience of my own constituents, that prevailing economic realities put a premium on the preservation of opportunities for women.
Mr. Barlow: I have constituents who come into my office, just as the people opposite do.
I have reservations about Bill 108 in this regard. In the coming weeks and months the government intends to bring forward a broad and multi faceted strategy to address the problems of women in the work force. It will be an approach I am positive will address the broad aspect of problems faced by women, including these to whom the present bill is directed. It will do so in a way that is appropriate to the current situation faced by working women.
I would now like to address some specific concerns I have about this bill. There remain a number of practical questions with respect to the implementation of equal value for dissimilar jobs to which I have not heard satisfactory answers. What, for example, would be the effect on the wage and salary structure that is determined to a large extent by the labour and supply demand? Would resulting wage rates have a negative effect on the ability to attract or retain workers in desired occupations? What would be the impact of the skills shortage that Ontario faces and will be facing in the very near future as we come out of our recession?
In addition, in terms of the operation of labour markets, what impact would it have on the existing collective bargaining system? As we return to active collective bargaining in the public sector, it is worth noting that equal value applied across the spectrum of dissimilar jobs might very well lead to a de facto incomes policy -- something I am sure my friends opposite would really be attracted to, but something that leaves many unanswered questions.
What would be the impact of equal value for dissimilar jobs on the unemployment situation? Would it lead employers to automate more quickly many jobs currently held by women and thereby decrease the female component of their labour force to avoid higher payroll cost or possible administrative complexity?
Would equal value comparisons between jobs filled by males and females not lead naturally to comparisons, even where sex is not a factor? If so, could this lead to the pressure of universal job evaluation schemes for the entire labour force? Very soon the Minister of Labour (Mr. Ramsay) will be introducing specific amendments to the Employment Standards Act to address the problem of wage discrimination and several other pressing problems faced by women.
In conclusion, while the objectives of this bill are certainly laudable, the specific means chosen to achieve those objectives raise fundamental questions of practicability. We, on this side of the House, are committed to the same goals but have a disposition to workable measures that will bring real benefits, through staged progress towards implementation, to the working women of this province.
Mr. Wrye: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to join in this debate today on a bill that attempts to come to grips with two of the most important issues that can provide a significant measure of economic improvement and economic justice to the working women of Ontario.
For too long, as legislators in Ontario, we have simply ignored the plight of the women of this province, as if by ignoring them the problem will disappear. However, the stark facts remain for all to see, and I want to repeat a couple of them.
On average women earn 63 per cent of what men earn. More than four of every 10 female-led families today, in 1983, live below the poverty line. It is true there are more women in nontraditional professions today and in the upper levels of traditional professions than ever before. I acknowledge that.
However, this is really only because of the explosion of women entering the work force. Today more than one out of every two women are in the labour force, but most of them are simply doing the same work women have always done. Let me cite just one example. Women attempting to move into skilled trades where many new jobs are opening up face real barriers. In 1981 there were just 174 women apprentices in nonservice trades. In that same year there were 36,000 men.
What is the solution? The leader of the third party has come to this House today with a piece of legislation to attack this problem on two fronts -- with implementation of equal pay for work of equal value and with legislated, mandatory affirmative action for most of the businesses of this province.
Obviously, I have little difficulty with the equal value provision, following as it does in legislative language the excellent and timely resolutions sponsored by my colleague the member for Hamilton Centre and passed in this Legislature unanimously several weeks ago. I want to praise her for her initiative, which has made this issue one of the most important priorities for action today and one the government cannot ignore.
The part of this proposed legislation, Bill 108, which troubles me is obviously the proposal by the leader of the third party for mandatory affirmative action. After careful review of the bill, I have decided to support this legislation because I believe it is now necessary in Ontario to have a mandatory affirmative action program.
I hold no brief for the intrusion of government into every aspect of business life in Ontario, but the simple fact is that the private and public sectors in this province have had long enough to get on with the job. After eight years of the voluntary approach, barely one in four of the largest employers in this province have involved themselves in an affirmative action program. In short, the Legislature has given the private and public sectors nearly a decade to examine their consciences and to come up with a plan to end the systematic discrimination and occupational segregation of one half of our population.
Employers have failed to meet the voluntary challenge, and it is now up to us to redress the inequity through legislation. But I want to make it clear I do not support the specifics of the solution proposed by the leader of the third party in all respects. Indeed, it is such an extreme measure that its impact may be exactly the opposite to what we all desire. Rather than finding a business community ready to accept its medicine, the specifics of the members' affirmative action plan seem almost to throw down the gauntlet.
I will use but one example because my time is limited. This legislation would force every employer with more than 20 employees in Ontario to come up with a program within six months after an affirmative action committee is established. This preposterous idea would force more than 50,000 firms in Ontario, and perhaps more, to come up with a plan for submission to the director of the affirmative action office.
Then that poor individual would have to approve it, modify it, or send it back for reworking. Clearly. this is the New Democratic Party's idea of a novel solution to the job crisis in Ontario -- employ everyone in a new bureaucratic army to bring the world of affirmative action to virtually every place of employment of any significant size in Ontario.
The suggestion we should choose the level of 20 shows that the member does not even understand today's definition of a small business, which is 50. Such an idea makes for lovely rhetoric but lousy reality, and I reject it.
In my view, a mandatory affirmative action program should be put in place with three components: all private sector companies with more than 250 workers; all public sector organizations with more than 100 employees; and those companies doing a substantial level of contract work for the government of Ontario. That is where we should start to bring justice to the women of the province -- with a relatively small group of employers who employ more than one half the work force in Ontario. Clearly, that is our starting point. We could expand as time went on and reduce the level in the private sector and in the public sector.
Mr. Rae: What are you going to do with your third hand?
Mr. Wrye: I know my friend does not care about small business in Ontario, but I do.
In my remaining time I want to remind the government of its own dismal record in this field because my major quarrel is with the government's abject failure to do anything of a substantive nature to end this crass discrimination against women. I want to say immediately I reject arguments that we cannot afford affirmative action initiatives. Economic rationalizations for perpetuating discriminatory practices are not acceptable. Indeed, affirmative action may be an appropriate response to what has become both a major political demand and a significant economic structural need.
After 10 years of affirmative action within Ontario's own civil service, 58 per cent of the female crown employees still work in the traditional women's office and clerical categories. Recently, the annual report on the status of women crown employees indicated that the specific goal of 30 per cent representation by women in all modules and categories may not be realistic; it suggests the goal and methodology be re-examined.
I have already reviewed the pathetic response from the private sector -- an indictment which instead of bringing corrective action by the government brings another shrug of the shoulder. The typical approach to affirmative action in organizations in this province can be characterized by a lack of management commitment, superficial analysis, no emphasis on results, reluctance to question established policy, reliance on individual complaints, fear of reverse discrimination and a focus on women's problems. In its totality, voluntary affirmative action has gone almost nowhere in equalizing employment opportunities.
It is well and good for the government of this province to put on a charade of sensitivity to the needs of the women of Ontario by naming a specific individual to assume broad responsibility for women's issues. That is a start. But with this government it has also become a conclusion. I do not believe that is good enough.
I admit and acknowledge that we can never hope to improve women's position relative to men without affecting some of the advantages and some of the privileges men now hold. Affirmative action means real change, and such change is long overdue. It has not been forthcoming from either the public or private sector. It is time the situation were corrected. Faced with the failure of the carrot of volunteerism, it is obviously necessary to employ the stick of legislation.
In conclusion, I shall support the principle of this legislative approach but I reiterate my own position that legislation must come forward in a positive sense, not in a way that would pit the business community of this province against the Legislature of this province. To do that would set back the cause of affirmative action to almost the same extent as the current refusal of the government to do anything but place individuals in offices, give them titles, then force them to hope and pray that someone calls and asks for assistance. The phone has been silent long enough. It is time for the Legislature to make a few calls of its own with the mandatory affirmative action program.
Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, I am proud to support the continuing efforts of the New Democratic Party members to bring in equal pay for work of equal value and affirmative action legislation and to bring this government into the 20th century in the field of economic equality for women.
Back in 1979, this House gave second reading to an NDP member's private bill. Ted Bounsall, a former member, brought in such a bill, but government speakers at that time opposed it and the government let it die on the order paper. Last December, I introduced an affirmative action bill calling for mandatory affirmative action, but that too died on the order paper.
I am glad my leader, the member for York South, has combined these two bills and my updated bill for equal pay for work of equal value of last June into the comprehensive private member's bill we are debating today. By making this his first private member's bill in this Legislature, he has indicated the importance he attributes to these issues.
This bill is the moment of truth for all members in the House who on October 20 voted unanimously to endorse the principle of equal pay for work of equal value and ask that it be enshrined in the Employment Standards Act. But there is a big gap between endorsation of the principle and implementation.
If the Conservative members block the vote on this bill today they will show they want to stall on implementation. They will show they are still listening to their friends in the business world who are opposed to ending discrimination because they want a continuation of a supply of cheap female labour.
Even if the members opposite do not agree with every line of this bill, there is still opportunity to amend it in committee, but today we are voting on whether we are ready to move from endorsation to implementation by legislation.
If the members opposite use as an excuse for blocking that we have not yet seen the long- promised amendment which the Minister of Labour (Mr. Ramsay) is going to bring into the Employment Standards Act, I say that no tinkering with the present equal pay section of the Employment Standards Act is going to close the shocking wage gap between women and men and overcome the under-representation of women in many occupational categories.
This bill would repeal the present equal pay section completely and replace it with an equal pay for work of equal value section, and that is the only way the principle that was endorsed by this House can be enshrined in the Employment Standards Act. So all members who voted for the resolution on October 20 will be showing their sincerity, or lack of it, by the way they vote today.
I would like to remind the members that efforts to obtain equality for women go back a long way in this Legislature. The progress has been at a snail's pace.
Back in 1951, when the predecessor of the New Democratic Party, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, was trying to get the words in the proposed fair remuneration act changed from "the same work" to "comparable work," Leslie Frost, who was then Premier, said, according to press reports, since there was no Hansard at that time: "Why should we as legislators substitute a vague phrase like this? What would it mean? What would our wives think?"
Agnes MacPhail, who was a member of the Ontario House at that time, interjected, "I often wonder." In the debate, Agnes MacPhail stated: "I think it is a straight case of justice. I think it is a disgrace to men that they are not willing that women should get the same pay for doing the same work." In the context of the debate she meant comparable work or work of equal value.
She added: "Men are used to women doing a lot of work for nothing so they don't see why, in factories and other places of employment, they should not do the same."
Any member in this House who opposes the principle of this bill today is still back in those days 30 years ago when Leslie Frost said, "What would our wives think?"
Last month, the Ontario Manpower Commission gave us a reading on how the present equal pay legislation and reliance on voluntary affirmative action has been working. Let me quote the final statement in its report on the Employment of Women in Ontario:
"The statistical profile of men and women in the labour force serves to highlight the ways and degree to which women are disadvantaged relative to men in the labour force. Despite improvements in the employment status of women, significant discrepancies continue to exist between men and women in the work force, largely owing to their continuing concentration in different occupations and at different levels within the occupational hierarchy."
That sums up why we need mandatory affirmative action and equal pay for work of equal value.
As my colleagues have pointed out, women still make only about 64 per cent of what men make. The gap is growing during the present economic recession as catch-up and mobility programs are frozen, and percentage wage restraints mean smaller increases for women in low-paying jobs.
The argument is made, particularly by the Minister of Labour, that we cannot afford equal pay legislation at this time. I say we do not accept the argument that business cannot afford any extra costs in this time of recession.
If the price of oil or hydro goes up, employers have to pay it. Why should they be shielded from the price of fairness between women and men in the labour market? Why should women have to continue suffering discrimination because the government has mismanaged the economy?
Besides, equal pay adjustments to underpaid women would be a shot in the arm to our faltering economy. It would increase purchasing power tremendously. That is what this economy needs at present. It would also, by stimulating the economy, increase the opportunities for employment.
Any people who think equal pay would be bad for the economy, and would be discriminatory against men, are not looking at the overall effects of the stimulation of the economy and the increase in opportunities. They are also not looking at the effects of harnessing the great amount of unused talent in the female labour force because they are kept in occupations where their full talents are not being used.
The stimulating effect of bringing in this kind of legislation would be of great value to our present economic situation, and that is another reason for looking at it. Its time has come. As Agnes MacPhail said, it is a straight case of justice we are debating today and I suggest that anybody who votes against it does not believe in justice for women.
Mr. Rotenberg: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased this afternoon to have the opportunity to express my views on this most important subject. My colleague the member for Cambridge (Mr. Barlow) has discussed the issue of equal pay. My remarks will be directed more to affirmative action. Really they are both parts of a larger issue; that is, achieving economic equality for all citizens of Ontario and closing the wage gap between men and women.
Let me state most emphatically at the outset that I and my colleagues on this side of the House are totally supportive of affirmative action and totally supportive of equal opportunity in employment. The only difference I have with the members opposite and with this bill is the method of implementation.
Before getting into the details of the bill, I think it would be useful to describe in some detail what affirmative action means and, because the term is so often misunderstood, to specify what affirmative action does not mean.
An affirmative action program is a series of positive activities implemented by an employer to identify and correct systemic discrimination; that is, policies and practices that have a negative effect on certain groups such as women and tend to assign them to limited roles in the work place.
Let me give members an example, Mr. Speaker. Discrimination can be built into a hiring policy when height and weight requirements are maintained. Standards such as these, when based on male norm rather than actual job-related criteria, can prevent many women from entering jobs for which they are capable. The Ontario Human Rights Commission quite properly considers requirements such as height and weight to be discriminatory.
It is still widely believed, however, that affirmative action means one or all of the following: arbitrary quotas, the promotion of unqualified women and reverse discrimination. In Ontario, none of these descriptions applies to affirmative action as it is promoted or as it is implemented.
For example, employers are encouraged to establish flexible goals and timetables as they would for any co-operative initiative. Unlike fixed quotas, these goals reflect an employer's capacity to hire and train and to take into account the numbers of qualified women who are available. I stress the word "qualified," because the purpose of affirmative action is to ensure that qualified women are given equal consideration and that qualified women receive equal opportunities in the hiring and training process.
Finally, the affirmative action process does not involve the exclusion of men or discrimination against men but ensures that women are included on an equal and competitive basis with respect to all employment opportunities.
In Ontario, the government has actively supported the principle of positive affirmative action through its vigorous promotion of voluntary action in the private sector and by its own example as an employer. Our affirmative action program within government is most successful. The wage gap between men's and women's salaries decreased by 1.6 per cent in 1982 and by an additional 2.2 per cent this year. This brings women's salaries in government to 76 per cent of men's salaries, compared with only 63 per cent in the private sector.
Equally encouraging is the significant increase in the number of women at the executive level of the Ontario public service and the dramatic improvement in the administrative module, where women now represent just under 30 per cent, a target originally set for the year 2000. This government has made great progress, but we must do better and we will do better.
Positive results have also been achieved in the private sector, where the women's bureau affirmative action consulting service has assisted 230 major employers to implement affirmative action strategies for more than 300,000 women. Many of these employers are reporting important economic benefits, such as reduced turnover and lower levels of absenteeism among women employees. These 230 firms represent one quarter of all major employers operating in Ontario; that is, firms with more than 500 employees. The larger employers are important, because they tend to be the pace setters that establish policies the smaller employers can follow.
The ministry consultants have reported a number of encouraging results from their clients' affirmative action initiatives. I would like to describe two such programs.
Imperial Oil reports that since 1975 women in management, professional and technical categories increased tenfold from 83 to 833, and women at the professional level increased from 19 to 260. Control Data Canada Ltd. reports that since the introduction of its affirmative action program in 1979, women in senior management have increased fourfold from six to 23, and the number of women in professional, technical and engineering jobs doubled from 36 to 72.
Such increases in traditionally male-oriented fields are encouraging but, as with government, much more needs to be done in the private sector and much more will be done.
The bottom line in the issue of employment is that a wage gap does exist between working women and men. As we all know, the factor most responsible for contributing to this earning differential is occupational segregation or the grouping of women in traditionally low-paying jobs. Women must set their sights higher by acquiring education and training in nontraditional jobs in the professions, science, engineering, the skilled trades and high technology.
I am most encouraged by the full-time enrolment of Ontario universities. In 1960, only 25 per cent of these students were female, but by 1980 this had almost doubled to just under 50 percent. In 1973, just 10 years ago, only 7.5 per cent of those called to the bar in this province were women. By 1982, this had quadrupled to 33 per cent. In the same period, female registrants in commerce and business administration doubled, from 23 per cent to 46 per cent, and the number of women students in engineering had tripled. As these women enter business and the professions in what used to be male-dominated areas, we will see a significant closing of the wage gap.
As I said at the outset, we firmly believe in affirmative action. There must be equality of opportunity. There is no question that there is still a wage gap. There are still inequities. But we do not believe in tokenism. No one step and no single piece of legislation will correct the situation. For an affirmative action program to be a success, there must be co-operation of women and men involved in management, labour and government. There must be positive commitments to these programs by all. It is this co-operation and commitment that will achieve the goal we are all seeking.
Consistent progress has been made over the past three years and more consistent progress will be required in the near future. Therefore, this government shortly will be bringing forward new initiatives so that all our citizens, women as well as men, will have equal opportunity and economic equality.
Ms. Copps: Mr. Speaker, I am very sorry that neither the Minister of Labour nor the Minister responsible for Women's Issues chose to participate in the debate. I am also sorry that neither of them is able to be here for the full discussion. It is an issue that affects all of us very much. The fact that they have chosen not to speak indicates that this government is not prepared to make the kind of commitment it unanimously supported in the resolution on October 20.
The member for Cambridge talks about the Gunderson report not being the full answer. It is obvious the Gunderson report is not the full answer. It is obvious equal pay for work of equal value is not the full answer. It is obvious that affirmative action is not the full answer. But they are part and parcel of a strategy that must be embarked upon by this government in a leadership role if we are ever to get women out of the job and salary ghettos we find ourselves in at the moment.
For the member for Cambridge to laud the equal pay for equal work legislation this province has had in effect for more than 30 years is an indication that he does not even understand the fundamental basis of the problem.
When the member for Wilson Heights (Mr. Rotenberg) points to the fact that women across this province should set their sights higher, he does not understand that this kind of legislation would reach out not only to the Aggie MacPhails of this province -- and we will have our Aggie MacPhails and hopefully we will have them in the future -- and not only to the Margaret Campbells of this province, but to many women across this province who, exercising skill and effort and facing difficult working conditions and responsibilities, are paid less than their male counterparts who are doing different jobs in the same company which in many cases require less skill and effort and easier working conditions and responsibilities.
While the government is patting itself on the back for the equal pay legislation, I would like to point out an example that crossed my desk just in the last week. It was a brief that was also presented to the Minister responsible for Women's Issues by the president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 2067, in Windsor.
In this brief, the president of the union points to a situation which I would suggest is a typical one. In a Canada-Ontario employment development program launched at a library in Windsor were jobs requiring "a graduate of grade 12 preferred with accurate typing skills, ability to work with the team to ensure completion of the project within 27 weeks." Those particular COED employees, who all happened to be women, were paid $195 a week. At the same time, COED employees employed by the same employer who were "to understand verbal instructions and an ability to work co-operatively with others, pride in doing a clean, workmanlike job," were paid a weekly rate of $240.
This is in an organization where presumably the present laws governing equal pay for equal work apply. How can anyone suggest that a COED employee who is required to have grade 12 with accurate typing skills should be paid $195 a week, while a fellow employee who has an ability to understand verbal instructions, that is spoken English, as well as an ability to work co-operatively with others is paid $240 a week?
That speaks to the very difficult issue employees across this province face when there is no legislation governing equal pay for work of equal value. As long as this government continues to bring in cosmetic, smoke and mirror legislation, and as long as this government is not committed to bringing real change to the Employment Standards Act to make sure the equal value concept is included in law, then I say this government has not responded to the unanimous resolution that was passed on October 20. Indeed, it has perpetrated a sham on the voters of Ontario, in particular upon many women of Ontario who were watching every member of this Legislature when that vote was taken.
Likewise, I would challenge all members on all sides of the House who supported that legislation to rise again in support of this legislation. It is clear to me and to many women across this province, many of whom have not had the opportunity of going to law school or medical school, and it is apparent from the Gunderson report that the women we want to reach out to are those women who are living at or below the poverty line, many single-parent families, women who are working at minimum wage, women who face the kind of white-collar ghetto we have allowed to exist in this province for too long under the guise of economic stability.
For the government to suggest it is not prepared to move to mandatory affirmative action indicates to me that it is not really committed to equality of the sexes.
Earlier, the member for Burlington South (Mr. Kerr) accused me in this Legislature of being sexist because I had the gall to suggest it was unfair that women earned 63 cents for every dollar earned by a man in this province. I would suggest to the member for Burlington South that if he looked at the women who work in his riding in the low-paying ghettoized white-collar jobs, if he looked at the women who work in Hamilton, in Oakville and in other areas across this province, as long as that wage gap, which will not be completely closed by this resolution, by the previous resolution or by the Legislature in general, is not at least started towards closing, if we are not making an effort to show leadership in this area to private industry across this province, we do not have the right to stand and say we unanimously support the kind of resolution that was supported two weeks ago and that is spelled out in the legislation presented by the member for York South.
It seems to me that if we are sincere and if the minister responsible for issues affecting women is sincere and if the Minister of Labour is sincere about their alleged commitment to changing the job ghetto situation for women across this province, then they should be here and participate in the debate, and introduce legislation and for a first time in a long time take a leadership role in what is going to be one of the most crucial issues facing the economic development and economic justice for women across this province.
It is imperative that all ministers participate in the debate and I again reiterate how sorry I am that the Minister of Labour has only now chosen to come into the chamber. It seems to me that if those individuals are not spearheading the debate then the empty phrases spoken by the member for Cambridge and the member for Wilson Heights are hollow promises which will not see fruition in this session of the Legislature or indeed in many more sessions to come.
Mr. Rae: Mr. Speaker, I just want to say in the time that is left to me that I find it astonishing that when it came to a resolution in this House which would not require action from the government, the Minister responsible for Women's Issues was only too eager to participate in the debate and to express the position of the government with respect to a matter which was really only a resolution.
But when it comes to a bill which can be made into law, which can, by the expression of simple voting on the part of members of the government, members of the Liberal Party, become the law of Ontario, the Minister responsible for Women's Issues has absolutely nothing to say, nothing to contribute to the debate. That silence in itself speaks far more eloquently of the position of the government of Ontario with respect to the improvement of the status of women and the struggle for equality in this province than anything any of us can say.
That silence with respect to the possibility of passing the law is a silence that will be remembered by the men and women of this province who care about equality and who care about real achievement with respect to the law in Ontario.
POWER CORPORATION AMENDMENT ACT
The following members having objected by rising, a vote was not taken on Bill 105:
Andrewes, Ashe, Baetz, Barlow, Bernier, Birch, Cureatz, Dean, Elgie, Eves, Gillies, Gregory, Harris, Havrot, Hodgson, Johnson, J. A., Kolyn, Lane, Leluk, MacQuarrie, McCague, McLean, McNeil, Mitchell, Piché, Pollock, Pope, Eaton, Ramsay, Robinson, Runciman, Scrivener, Shymko, Stevenson, Taylor, G. W., Treleaven, Walker, Watson, Wells, Williams, Yakabuski -- 41.
WOMEN'S ECONOMIC EQUALITY ACT
The House divided on Mr. Rae's motion for second reading of Bill 108, which was negatived on the following vote:
Allen, Bradley, Breaugh, Breithaupt, Bryden, Cassidy, Charlton, Conway, Cooke, Copps, Cunningham, Di Santo, Epp, Foulds, Grande, Haggerty, Johnston, R. F., Kerrio, Laughren, Lupusella;
Mackenzie, Mancini, McClellan, McGuigan, Miller, G. I., Newman, Nixon, Peterson, Philip, Rae, Reid, T. P., Renwick, Riddell, Roy, Ruston, Stokes, Swart, Van Horne, Wildman, Wrye.
Andrewes, Ashe, Baetz, Barlow, Bennett, Bernier, Birch, Cureatz, Dean, Eaton, Elgie, Eves, Gillies, Gregory, Harris, Havrot, Hodgson, Johnson, J. M., Jones, Kerr, Kolyn, Lane, Leluk, MacQuarrie, McCague, McLean, McNeil, Mitchell;
Piché, Pollock, Pope, Ramsay, Robinson, Rotenberg, Runciman, Scrivener, Sheppard, Shymko, Stevenson, K. R., Taylor, G. W., Timbrell, Treleaven, Walker, Watson, Wells, Williams, Yakabuski.
Ayes 40; nays 47.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, could I indicate the business of the House for the remainder of this week and next?
Tonight, we will do second reading of Bill 111.
Tomorrow, Friday, November 18, estimates of the Ministry of Northern Affairs.
On Monday, November 21, estimates of the Ministry of Northern Affairs.
Tuesday next, we will do second reading of Bill 111 in the afternoon and the evening.
On Wednesday, November 23, the usual three committees have permission to sit in the morning.
On Thursday, November 24, in the afternoon, private members' public business in the names of Mr. Allen and Mr. Pollock.
On Thursday evening we will continue, if necessary, with second reading of Bill 111.
On Friday, November 25, estimates of the Ministry of Northern Affairs.
I would also like to indicate to the House that we will begin sitting Monday evenings, effective November 28.
The House recessed at 6:03 p.m.