The House met at 2 p.m.
Mr. Conway: Mr. Speaker, just while members are taking their seats, I note the return today -- and I know he has been here on at least one other occasion -- of our friend the member for Scarborough Centre (Mr. Drea) who looks very hale and hearty. On behalf of my colleagues, I am pleased to welcome him back in apparent good health.
In welcoming him back, on my own behalf and on behalf of my colleagues, I want to send good wishes to a very good friend of mine, the Provincial Secretary for Social Development, the member for Armourdale (Mr. McCaffrey) who, I read in the paper today, has also been stricken and is not particularly well. To you, Bruce, we wish a full and speedy recovery. May you return and recover so that your squash game, among other things, shows no impairment.
Mr. McClellan: Mr. Speaker, I would like to join with my colleague the member for Renfrew North in welcoming back the Minister of Community and Social Services with whom I spent a most pleasant afternoon yesterday in the great riding of Bellwoods opening a facility his ministry did a lot to support. We look forward to having him back in the wars and we too want to share our deepest concern for and extend best wishes to our colleague the member for Armourdale. We wish him a most speedy recovery and a quick return to this assembly.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the comments from the two members. I assure them this is my last return.
I am very pleased to report to the House that I did check on the condition of my colleague the Provincial Secretary for Social Development. He is resting quite comfortably in hospital. We are assured by his wife that he looks 1,000 per cent better than yesterday. The doctors will be conducting more tests this afternoon. I am sure he and his family will be most appreciative of the comments that were made here. Knowing the calibre of people in the House, when I spoke to his family about 45 minutes ago, I told them precisely what was going to happen. So when they go to see him this afternoon, they will be able to give the best wishes of the members to him.
BALLOON AT LEGISLATURE
Mr. Speaker: On Tuesday last the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon) and others raised a question regarding the balloon that was in the front yard on Tuesday morning. I am told it was there to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the first balloon flight in the world.
Just for the information of all honourable members, they are planning to tour the Great Lakes in balloons and would like, if they can arrange it, to travel the world. The important part is they sought and received permission from the Ministry of Government Services to use the area in front of the building.
Mr. Rae: Was it here for refuelling? For hot air? Is that right, Mr. Speaker?
Mr. McClellan: I hope they will not be drinking when they are driving.
Mr. Speaker: You do not want me to comment on that.
STATEMENTS BY THE MINISTRY
Mr. Brandt: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce that the Ministry of the Environment will be acquiring a new air quality telemetry system for use across Ontario.
This system will update and expand our present air monitoring capabilities. The new system will enable us to obtain timely information concerning the air quality in a number of Ontario communities. It will also provide data concerning airborne pollution flowing into Ontario from the United States.
Our present system went into service in 1970. While limited in scope, it has provided seven cities in the province with the widely used and recognized air pollution index. However, public demand for daily information regarding air pollution has grown, the state of the technology has advanced and our present system has become outdated.
Not only will the new system incorporate new features to protect the public, but it will also improve the efficiency of my ministry's operations. An air quality index will be implemented as part of the system to advise the public of air quality levels and, if necessary, provide me with immediate information to order the reduction of airborne emissions.
At the present time the ministry's air pollution index is a measure of sulphur dioxide and fine particulate matter in the air. The new index will also measure the levels of ozone, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and totally reduced sulphur compounds. The public will be provided with an up-to-the-hour air quality index and a general description of the air quality, as well as the possible effects of the substances measured.
We will continue to monitor and publish the air quality index for seven cities which are being monitored at the present time: Toronto, Sarnia, Windsor, Sudbury, Hamilton, Niagara Falls and St. Catharines.
Additionally, this new system will incorporate monitoring which will allow us to expand into the cities of Burlington, Oakville, Mississauga, Sault Ste. Marie, Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph, Oshawa, North Bay, London, Cornwall, Ottawa and Thunder Bay. Other cities may be considered in the future, as the system is implemented.
The new system is estimated to cost $1.7 million and will be purchased after a competitive bidding process has been completed. My staff are working with the Ministry of Government Services, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and Management Board of Cabinet to ensure that Ontario and Canadian high-technology companies are given a fair opportunity to provide goods and services for this project.
The decision to install this innovative technology is a clear indication of my ministry's continued commitment to protecting the public health of the residents of this province.
Mr. G. I. Miller: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege: I wonder if I could ask the minister if he would include Nanticoke in the new industrial park of Ontario in the new monitoring system.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I have to ask the honourable member to place his question during oral question period.
Mr. Sargent: That is a good question.
Mr. Elston: It is a good question.
Mr. Speaker: There is no doubt about that.
Hon. Mr. Pope: Mr. Speaker and honourable members, it is my privilege to introduce today important new legislation, namely, the Mining Act, 1983. I am very pleased to be introducing this legislation at this time, when the exploration sector of our mining industry is extremely active.
If we look at Ontario's competitive position in minerals, I believe we have a formidable list of strengths. We have outstanding engineering and operating capabilities in our mining industry. We have regulatory stability and government economic policies which have been conducive to massive investment and reinvestment in Ontario mining and resource industries. We have a skilled and productive labour force. We have sound and fair patterns of labour-management relations, thanks to effective and responsible unions. We have the resources and, through the continuing development of new techniques, we have the skills to find them.
The mining industry has acknowledged this great potential with an impressive amount of exploration and development activity. This year we are witnessing in dramatic form the prerequisite that should lead to a new generation of mines in Ontario. We are witnessing a very high level of claim-staking, even by comparison with Ontario's historical record.
Ontario recently set an all-time record for the number of mining claims staked in a year. More than 60,000 claims were recorded in the first nine months of 1983, already surpassing our highest-ever one-year total of claims staked. In addition, more than 1.3 million assessment-day credits were recorded in the first nine months of this year. Based on projections to the end of the year, it is likely the level of assessment work in 1983 will approach a record high at more than 1.7 million assessment-day credits.
I am sure members will agree that this high level of activity augurs well for the potential of our mineral exploration and development sector. We can see that potential in the increasingly heavy call on the services of our resident geologists throughout the province, particularly in Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins and Kirkland Lake.
We can also see the potential in the moves to bring old mines back into production. We see real growth occurring in the expansion of several existing mines. For example, we have seen a $30-million expansion of the Macassa mine and a $92-million expansion of the Dome mine at Timmins. Three additional existing mines underwent expansion this year: the Renabie mine at Missanabie, the Dickenson mine at Red Lake and the Goldlund mine near Sioux Lookout.
We see the potential in new mine development in the new McBean open pit gold mine in the Kirkland Lake area and in the Aquarius project near Timmins. We see it at Hemlo, with known resources of at least 47 million metric tons of ore. At Hemlo we see plans for what will probably be three mines and two mills, with a total capital expenditure of nearly $500 million.
We see our potential at Detour Lake, one of Canada's largest-tonnage gold mining operations. Investment to date is about $157 million, with further investment planned well into the 1980s. While our major base metal mines are marking time, waiting for the recovery to improve their markets and prices, we are very fortunate to be witnessing this resurgence in our gold mining activity.
But our potential is not limited to gold. There is the Elliot Lake uranium expansion and other mineral finds in Ontario. We also see increased exploration and assessment work relating to industrial minerals like mica, talc, silica, graphite and calcium carbonate in eastern Ontario. All in all, these new developments present a very positive and promising picture.
As the members well know, this government is currently doing a great deal to encourage the development of the province's mineral potential. Through the Board of Industrial Leadership and Development, the government has undertaken several programs that have assisted the industry. For example, the board has funded the construction of three provincial drill core storage libraries, one each in Timmins, Kirkland Lake and Sault Ste. Marie.
The board sponsors mineral exploration research projects under the exploration technology development fund. It also sponsors the small rural mineral development program and Gomill, the test-custom gold milling project. In addition, the board provides funds for the government's special employment program, including many projects in the mining sector.
The government's efforts to encourage and develop Ontario's mining and mineral potential do not stop here. Under the Ontario mineral exploration program, this government is providing significant financial support to the province's mineral exploration industry.
I am sure the members will agree that this government is doing a great deal to foster and develop Ontario's mineral resources and will welcome my introduction for first reading of legislative changes intended to have a major impact on the province's mining industry. The legislation I am introducing will provide additional encouragement to the industry.
It is also intended to streamline the administrative and regulative activities of the government. The changes have been a long time in the making. They address a wide range of concerns and issues, and I believe they will be warmly welcomed by the industry, the interested public and the members of this House.
The most important thing to be said about most of these changes is that they are really not very big changes. They are essentially further adjustments to the Mining Act of 1906, which has served the province and the mining industry well. The act does, however, need to be updated to reflect better the needs of the mining industry of the 1980s.
The changes I am introducing will provide for the giant strides made recently in mineral exploration and technology. As well, they will streamline the legislation affecting mineral exploration and development in Ontario. Many of these changes have been the subject of considerable public review and scrutiny and have the support of the industry. All the changes are being introduced in the public interest.
The first change I will mention removes uncertainties from the holders of prospectors' licences. The new legislation provides for a lifetime licence. The sole requirement to maintain a claim in good standing will be the performance of assessment work. As honourable members can see, this change ensures that claims will no longer be lost through forgetfulness or failure to renew a licence. The change will also simplify administration within the ministry.
I am also proposing to simplify the acquisition of mining lands, a change that will benefit both Ontario and the industry. The proposed change will permit staking of up to 260 hectares -- about one square mile -- in a single block. This will reduce staking costs.
Another change is that cabinet will no longer need to approve exploratory licences of occupation for areas less than 26,000 hectares. This will simplify administration and provide faster service to the exploration industry. Cabinet will continue to approve all exploratory licences of occupation in special cases and for areas greater than 26,000 hectares.
I am also proposing to change the basis for measuring assessment work from the current man-day basis to a dollar basis. Credit will now be given for all reasonable exploration and geotechnical work, with limited credit allowed for prospecting prior to staking. This change will make Ontario's approach consistent with that of other jurisdictions. It also responds directly to requests from the industry that they be allowed to determine the type of exploration program best suited to their needs.
This legislation also attempts to clarify the relationships between holders of mining rights under a mining claim and private holders of surface rights. The proposed legislation contains specific statements concerning the right of access to perform assessment work. This is in addition to a requirement that the surface-rights owner be given 30 days' prior notice. This is in accordance with the normal practices in most parts of the industry. It should serve to remove the danger of misunderstanding or friction in this area.
The government also proposes to expand the authority of the mining recorder in administrative matters formerly handled by the mining and lands commissioner. This change will provide more immediate and effective service to the mining public and, again, responds to suggestions from the industry. The mining commissioner will continue in a purely judicial role relating to hearings, vesting orders and the like.
Honourable members will notice that the legislation also contains a proposal to end the practice of publishing tax arrears. This is designed to counter the tendency for speculators to take control of mining rights by negotiating with the delinquent owner. It should allow more of these lands to revert to the crown so that they will be available for mineral exploration.
There are two other changes included in this legislation that may be viewed as somewhat controversial by some in the industry. I believe these two changes reflect the new set of attitudes towards our resources and our resource industries that prevails in Ontario. I do not think they should be of any real concern to Ontario's mining industry now or in the future.
The first relates to the filing of a work summary with the ministry. At present there is no requirement that the ministry be informed of all surface exploration work performed on unpatented claims. At present only that work submitted for assessment credits becomes public knowledge.
The legislation I am introducing requires the industry to file a work summary of all surface exploration work performed on unpatented claims at 12-month intervals. The summary will describe the nature and location of the work, but will not disclose the results, and it will be public information. This additional information will permit both industry and government to have a better idea of what exploration work is being done throughout Ontario. This should help to avoid or reduce duplication of exploration activity. It will thus help to make the total exploration effort in Ontario more effective.
Honourable members may be aware that some companies in the industry have a tradition of guarding all information concerning the locations in which they are interested. The new requirement may, for such companies, be somewhat disturbing. I do not think there is any real cause for concern. I hope the longer-term benefits of this exchange of information will be clear to all honourable members. I want to stress that no one will be forced to disclose results unless he so wishes or unless he can make an equitable arrangement with his colleagues who may be seeking those results.
This change reflects our confidence and the confidence of the industry that there are significant opportunities in mining in Ontario today. This government wants to make sure it stays that way.
Another proposed change in the Mining Act, which I view as truly significant, relates to final or ultimate title to mining lands. As honourable members may know, significant concerns have been raised on this point.
In the legislation introduced today, we continue to provide for reasonable title to mineral rights and the surface rights necessary for the development and operation of new mines. In addition, in the proposed new act, even an application for a lease is not mandatory. Claims may be held simply by continuing to do work.
I trust that the publication of these legislative proposals will serve to end any uncertainty that may have existed.
In this legislation, provisions have also been made for restricting the use of surface rights over potentially unsafe, inactive mine workings. This provision is designed to safeguard both life and property.
As honourable members will see, we are also reserving the right of the crown to permit other surface uses that do not conflict with mining operations on all mining lands. I believe this proposed change clearly reflects our firm approach to multiple use of our resources.
We believe in a co-operative approach to resource development. We believe in establishing partnerships with industry and with the public to facilitate development and the multiple use of our resources.
In summary, the changes I have proposed today accomplish three things. They update the Mining Act of 1906, they make allowance for the rapid improvements that have been made in exploration technology and they represent a simplification and streamlining of the legislation affecting mineral exploration and development in Ontario.
I am also confident that the proposed changes I have outlined today have the added benefit of encouraging the wise and responsible development of Ontario's mineral wealth.
Mr. Conway: Mr. Speaker, I have a question to the first minister.
A few hours ago a senior deputy minister appeared before a standing committee of this Legislature. On critical questions about the administration of public funds in the Ministry of Government Services, that deputy minister, Mr. Alan Gordon, appeared not only to have contradicted himself but also to have sharply contradicted his former boss, the Premier's parliamentary colleague, the member for Lanark (Mr. Wiseman), and therefore created a cloud of genuine suspicion about what actually happened in those critical questions raised in the Provincial Auditor's report to the standing committee on public accounts a week ago.
What steps is the first minister prepared to take to remove the suspicion and the cloud of doubt over who is telling the truth in the Ministry of Government Services about what happened in those critical questions raised by the Provincial Auditor's report a week ago?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I was not present during the discussions this morning, but I understand the honourable member who asked the question raised certain issues with the deputy minister and indulged in a certain measure of rhetoric that was totally unsupportable, but I only get that by hearsay.
For the member to ask me my point of view, not having been present and not having discussed it with any of the participants, is asking a great deal. I will be interested as the members of the standing committee on public accounts continue their deliberations, which I understand they will be doing next week, and when their final report or conclusion is reached perhaps then I shall have some comment.
Mr. Conway: This morning's hearings have added a second frame to our initial concern, which was who is running the store over there -- ministers chosen by the Premier and responsible to their electorates or deputy ministers appointed by the Premier and presumably responsible to him?
In addition to the issue of who is running the government of Ontario, as a result of Mr. Gordon's testimony this morning, we now have a second very important question about who is telling the truth about what particularly and exactly happened, for example, in the issuance of the contracts to Allan W. Foster and Associates, the hiring of a $900-a-day consultant, or who actually told whom what about the Telepac contract related to the publication of the government telephone book, in which contract there was the unauthorized expenditure of approximately $750,000 over the stated protest of the then minister.
Mr. Speaker: Question, please.
Mr. Conway: In view of the fact that a number of members of that committee, members of this assembly, are now deeply concerned about who is telling the truth, will the first minister, as the boss, as the man on whose desktop these bucks come to rest, give the people of Ontario and this assembly, as their representative, his personal prime ministerial undertaking this afternoon that he will immediately proceed to set in motion a course of events to get at the truth and to remove expeditiously the cloud of doubt that has arisen about who is telling the truth and who is running the store deriving from this morning's hearings in the public accounts committee?
Hon. Mr. Davis: I would never say, in a government of this nature dealing with a complexity of issues and a budget of some $25 billion or $26 billion, that there are not areas that are open to constructive criticism. But if the member is asking me whether I believe this government is running the store relatively well, the answer to that in very simplistic terms is yes, that is my belief.
If the member is asking me to make a judgment, not having heard any of the discussions this morning, and to accept his point of view as to what his impressions may have been -- as objective as I am sure they were not -- then I think he is asking a great deal.
I say with the greatest of respect that I have listened to the member and many of his speeches about the rights of individuals, integrity and how we should be so careful when we talk about other individuals. I know it is easy to single out a deputy minister who has some difficulty in this forum of defending himself, but to suggest that I can at this moment make certain judgements which in his own mind he obviously has already made, which I find regrettable, I think is asking a great deal.
I take some pride in the way this government is administered. The public accounts committee is dealing with this issue, I hope with some sense of fairness and objectivity. I can assure the members of this House that when the members of that committee have concluded their deliberations on this issue I am quite prepared to take a look at whatever it may be that will be reported.
I can think, perhaps in historical terms, of other issues. If the member had asked the first minister to intervene while a committee, including the public accounts committee, was in the midst of discussing a certain issue, he would have accused me of interfering with the legislative process and with the rights of the individual and of private members. The member should correct me if I am wrong.
The only brief understanding I have of this morning's meeting, from about a 30-second discussion, because I was not present, is that the public accounts committee, in order to clarify some aspects for it, has asked the Secretary of the Management Board of Cabinet to appear next week. If I am wrong in that information, if that is not what the public accounts committee is doing, and if the member has made his final judgement and Mr. Carman is not to appear next week, then will he please correct the impression I have been left with?
Mr. Wildman: Mr. Speaker, if the Premier is interested in the standing committee on public accounts making a fair and objective judgement and in hearing the relevant testimony, can he please explain why the members of the government party on that committee voted this morning against a proposal to bring the member for Lanark before the committee so he could clarify the direct contradiction that was in the testimony this morning and so he could defend himself before the Legislature and the committee?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I have really great confidence in the members of our caucus. They have been able to make their own determinations. They act with objectivity.
Mr. Martel: There should no predetermination then. You just said you do not make a predetermination.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. Davis: On this issue and many others, I will match the conscience of the members on this side of the House with the member's conscience or any of his colleagues' on any single issue.
Mr. Martel: You want a fair determination. You guys have done it before.
Mr. Rae: Coverup; we know a coverup when we see one. If we cannot ask him questions in the House, where can we ask them?
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Rotenburg: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order: Although you may not have heard the remark, the leader of the third party accused members on this side of a coverup. I think that is improper language and I think he should withdraw it.
Mr. Speaker: Thank you.
Mr. Conway: Will the first minister give an undertaking to do the following? Will he find out and report back to this House whether Alan Gordon, the Deputy Minister of Government Services, was, as far as the first minister can determine, telling the truth in August when he said his minister, the former Minister of Government Services, the member for Lanark, did not know about the Foster contracts, or whether the truth was told this morning when the long-time deputy minister, Mr. Gordon, indicated in committee that the former minister did know about those contracts to Allan W. Foster and Associates? Will the first minister give a specific undertaking to make a prime ministerial effort to determine the truth of that matter and report back to this assembly at his earliest opportunity?
Hon. Mr. Davis: I have not been privy to all the discussions, nor have I --
Mr. Sargent: Yes or no?
Hon. Mr. Davis: I rather enjoy the member for Grey-Bruce (Mr. Sargent) on occasion. But once again, in that 30-second report, and it really was 30 seconds as it related to the deliberations of the public accounts committee, I think on careful reflection -- I was going to use some other word -- the member for Grey-Bruce might reflect on some of the personal observations he made at the public accounts committee meeting this morning. It is one thing to be critical and to point out deficiencies or inadequacies, but it is another thing to attack a person in a very personal way. I say that very kindly. It may have been supported by the member for Renfrew North (Mr. Conway); he may have shared the same feeling. I would be surprised and disappointed.
Dealing with the question the member asked, I can only reiterate what I said. I quite honestly do not know whether I read the actual statements that were made or not made in August. I cannot recall what the press reports were. I confess that to the member.
In answer to his initial question, this matter has been referred, and I think properly so, to the public accounts committee of this Legislature; it is in the process of dealing with it. The member has asked Mr. Carman, the Secretary of the Management Board of Cabinet -- and I hope the chairman will correct me if my impressions are wrong -- to appear and to deal with some of the issues that were raised this morning.
In fairness to everyone concerned, if the public accounts committee is going to continue this discussion, then surely the information and advice of people who are much closer to this than I am should be given and discussed with the public accounts committee before any judgement is made. That is all I am asking of the member. To me, it does not seem at all unreasonable. It is the process we have used and the process the public accounts committee is pursuing at present. Surely the member would want to see that brought to a formal conclusion.
Mr. Conway: Mr. Speaker, I have a new question to the first minister on the same subject. Is it not a fundamental corruption of the basic principle of responsible government when we have a former minister of this government, the Premier's parliamentary colleague the member for Lanark, fired, apparently because, among other reasons, he tried to hold the line on public expenditures, while a senior mandarin of 17 years' experience is kept in the public service and defended by the first minister after the Provincial Auditor has reported to the assembly that that particular long-time deputy broke government rules on a couple of occasions and, in one case, with apparent wilfulness? Often, he did a clear end run around his minister.
Would the Premier not agree that it represents a corruption of responsible government to have this civil servant still running around spending public money while the responsible minister was sacked by the Premier and he had the choice to take a stand on this issue?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I will try to restrain myself in answering the question, although there is the temptation to burst that bubble of rhetoric and that great ego that exists in the mind of the honourable member, the self-righteous approach that he takes on so many of these issues.
Mr. Foulds: You always take the high road, Bill.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I say to the member for Port Arthur, he has not seen the high road in quite a while. He has not seen it.
Mr. Foulds: I have been here associating with you for too long.
Mr. Speaker: Now back to the question, please.
Hon. Mr. Davis: The only thing I know about those people is that their leader goes before the Ontario Federation of Labour and says, "Labour in the province" --
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Martel: Change the subject. Change the subject, Bill.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Strictly because he has the good sense --
Mr. Speaker: Never mind the interjections.
Mr. Martel: No, he has to change the subject. That is the usual game.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Martel: Well, you let him run on. He wasn't even answering. You get away with anything, you guys.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I say to the member for Sudbury East, if he would just be quiet for a moment or two he would not leave himself open to this sort of embarrassment.
Mr. Martel: Anything at all; anything irrelevant, Come on. Change the subject, Bill. Get off the hook.
Mr. Speaker: Order. Quite obviously they do not want to hear the answer.
Mr. Conway: If the first minister is interested in getting to the truth of this matter, which is of vital interest to the people of Lanark and Renfrew and to others in Ontario, will he give an undertaking that the member for Lanark will have an opportunity to appear before the public accounts committee to clear his name, because he and his integrity have been impugned, inadvertently or otherwise, by the testimony of the current and the former deputy minister?
Will the first minister, interested as he says he is in the truth of the matter, give an undertaking to see that the member for Lanark will have his day in the public accounts committee so he can tell his side of the story in view of the fact that six of his parliamentary colleagues on that committee, hours ago, stood as one to deny that opportunity to the committee?
Hon. Mr. Davis: I think the member for Lanark, who is a very valued and loyal friend of mine in a very personal way --
Mr. T. P. Reid: What do you do to your enemies?
Hon. Mr. Davis: I only say to the member for Rainy River, he has left himself very vulnerable because on occasion he has asked me to do something for those who are my political enemies.
Mr. Martel: That is a good answer too.
Hon. Mr. Davis: If he wants to see other names on the list --
Mr. Speaker: Back to the question, please.
Mr. Rae: Explain yourself.
Mr. Martel: He has answered the question.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I am attempting to answer the question of the member for Renfrew North, but there are some in the ranks of the New Democratic Party who cannot wait their turn; they keep interjecting. I am just forced to keep reading the headlines about fickle labour not supporting them.
To answer to member's question, I think that is a determination to be made by the public accounts committee and by the member for Lanark.
But if I may, I want to revert to the first question. I expect the member will never accept it, because I have sense of how his mind works, but when it comes to a decision with respect to those who enter cabinet and those who, for whatever reason, are asked to leave the executive council -- which is always the most difficult responsibility of any first minister -- if the member for Renfrew North really believes the one is related to the other in terms of what has emerged in the views of the deputy of that particular ministry, I can only say to the member that he is totally wrong. He can accept it or not -- I have a feeling he will not -- but it just happens to be the truth, and I know the truth sometimes is hard for a political adversary to accept.
Mr. Wildman: Mr. Speaker, repeatedly this morning the deputy minister said that despite what appears to have been a direct disagreement between him and his former minister, he had the appropriate authorities in agreement with what he did. Can the Premier explain what on earth that means? Who are the appropriate authorities a deputy minister must have in agreement with what he wants to do if his own minister is in disagreement?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, once again I have a slight disadvantage here in that I was not a participant in the discussions this morning. I have not read any transcript and I have not discussed it with any of the members on this side of the House who were present. I have not discussed it with Mr. Gordon. Quite honestly, I am not in a position to give my impressions of a fairly lengthy discussion to which I was not a part.
I know the member for Algoma, in his usual fair way, is interpreting what he thought he heard this morning, and I am not going to criticize it; I was not there. I only say to the honourable member that if there are some disagreements as between the views of the deputy minister and those of the Provincial Auditor that might be clarified and solved by the appearance of the Secretary of the Management Board of Cabinet, who does have some responsibility in terms of certain aspects of these deliberations or else the committee would not be inviting him to appear, surely in fairness the member is not going to make his judgements until Mr. Carman has given what he knows of these three or four situations.
The member's party always talks about its great sense of equity and fairness. Do the members practise what they preach, or do they just preach it and at the first opportunity they fail to practise what it is they would like the world to believe they think?
Mr. Conway: The judgement of the independent arbiter, the Provincial Auditor, is now in and before this assembly, such judgement as to suggest that a senior deputy minister of the Premier's government has repeatedly and sometimes wilfully expended hundreds of thousands of taxpayers' dollars improperly or without proper authorization.
What does the Premier suppose that kind of conduct and management attitude says to the beleaguered taxpayers of Ontario, particularly when, in the light of the judgement of the Provincial Auditor, the Premier continues to stand there with his endless bafflegab to defend this spendthrift over the evidence of the auditor, and when the Premier is so anxious to sack one of his parliamentary colleagues who tried in his own way to give effect to the Premier's much-vaunted restraint program?
Hon. Mr. Davis: If there is anyone who can speak as an expert on bafflegab, rhetoric or self-righteous indulgence, it is the member who asked the question. I am not really attributing motivation, but I have been here for many years and I am always intrigued that the person sitting on the left hand of the present leader of the Liberal Party is always the one who is seeking to be the next leader of the Liberal Party. I understand that. I know what it is --
Hon. Mr. Davis: No, it is him. He is on the left-hand side.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Rae: Perhaps it is a question of one left hand not knowing what another left hand is doing, but my question is to the Minister of Labour. It has to do with the epidemic --
Hon. Mr. Davis: You should know all about left hands. Your problem is --
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Rae: What?
Hon. Mr. Davis: I will not say what I was going to say.
Mr. Rae: Go ahead, say it.
Mr. Speaker: Place your question, please.
Mr. Martel: Maybe you could put it for the third time. Let's go.
Mr. Speaker: Order. The member for York South (Mr. Rae) will please resume his seat.
Mr. Breaugh: The Premier wants to ask a question.
Mr. Speaker: It is not his turn. The member for York South has the floor.
NURSING HOME LAYOFFS
Mr. Rae: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Labour. The minister will be aware of the epidemic of contracting-out problems that has afflicted the nursing home field and moved into the hospital field, at Thomson House, Brantwood Manor Nursing Home, Ballycliffe Lodge Nursing Home, Kennedy Lodge Nursing Home and Toronto East General and Orthopaedic Hospital.
I would now like to advise the minister that somewhere around November 9, 1983, 14 full-time staff -- eight nursing aides, three housekeeping and three dietary staff -- at the Nel-Gor Castle Nursing Home 2 in London were given notice of layoff. The aides are to go on November 30, the housekeeping staff on December 9 and the kitchen staff on December 14. They are to be replaced by contracting services to be provided by Para-Med Health Services which, as the minister will know, is a subsidiary of Extendicare Ltd.
It is clear that a pattern is being established in the nursing home field. This pattern simply has to be broken and it can only be broken by the ministry taking some distinct and firm action. What exactly is the minister doing with regard to this epidemic of contracting-out problems which is having such a devastating effect on job security in the nursing home field?
Hon. Mr. Ramsay: Mr. Speaker, as I indicated in this House when the matter was brought to my attention by the member a week ago, there is no problem at the present time that is more pressing or which carries a higher priority as far as my ministry is concerned.
It is a complex matter that requires considerable discussion and deliberation with the parties involved. It is being addressed by the Ontario Labour Relations Board. In fact, the board has set aside three complete days in the first week of December to look at the matter.
Mr. Rae: I am really surprised that the minister is simply stepping back from this issue in the way he is because he knows perfectly well that the Ontario Labour Relations Board as well as arbitration boards have had to deal with the contracting-out question for well over 25 years.
Given the fact that arbitration boards and labour boards have consistently ruled that they will not deal with the problem of contracting out in the absence of specific language in a collective agreement or stronger language in the Labour Relations Act, that these jobs are being lost on November 30 and December 9 and that people are being put on the street, what is the minister going to do to put an end to a problem which is literally devastating job security in the nursing home field?
Hon. Mr. Ramsay: The present legislation in Ontario is no different from the legislation covering matters of this nature in any jurisdiction in the United States or Canada. My officials and those of the Ministry of Health are trying to cope with this problem. We are trying to find a resolution to it, but it is a complex matter. It is just not something on which we can snap our fingers and come up with a solution overnight.
Ms. Copps: Mr. Speaker, how can the minister say his ministry and the Ministry of Health are concerned about this problem and trying to find solutions when the Ministry of Health is about to enter into a contracting-out agreement for nonservice management in the area of psychiatric hospitals?
Hon. Mr. Ramsay: Mr. Speaker, that is a question that could best be responded to by the acting Minister of Health (Mr. Wells).
Ms. Copps: May I redirect it, Mr. Speaker?
Mr. Speaker: The acting minister is not here.
Mr. Rae: I cannot believe the answers we are getting from the minister because I know he has talked with people and he realizes how serious the problem is because he has met the workers who are affected.
Given the fact that American labour board decisions have been different because, in a sense, they have been dealing with different wording, will the Minister of Labour look at the decisions made by Mr. Justice Laskin when he was an arbitrator in the Peterborough Lock and the Falconbridge Nickel Mines cases 25 years ago? Will he read what Mr. Justice Laskin had to say at that time about the importance of protecting the integrity of bargaining units?
Will he put the wording that is contained in those arbitration decisions into the Labour Relations Act so that an attack on bargaining units by means of contracting out will become an offence under the Labour Relations Act, something which will be specifically prohibited and something which employers will not be able to do in the life of a collective agreement since it takes away from the integrity of bargaining units and threatens the job security of every worker in the province?
Hon. Mr. Ramsay: Mr. Speaker, as requested, I will look at the decision by Mr. Justice Laskin.
KENNEDY LODGE NURSING HOME
Mr. Rae: Mr. Speaker, my next question was to be for the acting Minister of Health, but in his absence, because it does involve a question of policy of some importance, I would like to direct it to the Premier.
It concerns the situation at the Kennedy Lodge Nursing Home where there are more than 90 employees. Is the Premier aware that a great many of those employees who have been there for seven years, the life of the home itself, paid for courses themselves at George Brown College and elsewhere in order to upgrade their skills to become registered health care aides because they were told and encouraged by the ministry that this was something the government was contemplating asking of nursing homes in terms of upgrading the kind of care that is being provided?
Given the fact that these employees have taken these courses and upgraded their own training and have developed a relationship with the residents at the Kennedy Lodge Nursing Home for the seven years the nursing home has been in existence, what kind of action is the government prepared to take to ensure that these workers are not out on the street before Christmas, which is the plan of the nursing home operator?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I am quite prepared to pass this question on to the acting Minister of Health. If he is not here before the end of question period, I am sure he will be here and delighted to reply to it tomorrow.
Mr. Rae: While the Premier is doing that, perhaps he would ask the acting Minister of Health to have a look at the report of a coroner's inquest which took place in July 1982 with respect to the death of Mrs. Linda Amory on January 17, 1982, at Kennedy Lodge Nursing Home.
One of the recommendations of the coroner's jury in this case was that a review should be made of the use and employment of part-time staff in nursing homes so that there is a reasonable balance between full-time and part-time employees and so that the nursing home staff can maintain and administer a proper level of care.
I would like to ask the Premier how that recommendation of the coroner's jury in 1982 jibes with the plans of the owner of the nursing home to replace the entire health care aide staff, 92 strong, full-time and part-time, with subcontracted employees who will be making $3 or $4 an hour less than the health care aides who are working there today, many of whom will be working on a part-time basis and who certainly will be working on a here-today, gone-tomorrow basis because they are working for another employer.
Hon. Mr. Davis: As I said in answer to the first question, which I thought might preclude the honourable member from several supplementaries -- I am just trying to be helpful -- I will refer that as well to the acting minister.
If he has a second supplementary, rather than read it all out as he has it, if he wishes to send it over, I assure him I will get it to the acting Minister of Health.
Mr. Rae: Of course, I will provide the acting Minister of Health with all the information at our disposal, as we have always done in these cases, but I do think it is a matter of public record of some importance.
Mr. Speaker: Question, please.
Mr. Rae: Would the Premier agree to meet personally with the nursing aides who have come to meet with me and who have attempted to meet with others with respect to their situation at this nursing home? They have provided service to the public and service to the residents. There is a letter in place from the president of the residents' council expressing a sense of bewilderment that employees with whom they had developed a relationship were about to be fired.
Four of these employees are in the gallery today. Would the Premier be prepared to meet with them and listen to their concerns with respect to their training, their concerns about the quality of care and their concerns about what is going to happen to the residents at the nursing home when they are forced to take to the streets, thanks to the actions of their employer?
Hon. Mr. Davis: I have never been reluctant to meet with groups or individuals. Quite honestly, there are not enough hours in the day to meet everybody who would like to discuss issues with the Premier, in many cases ministers.
I will be quite prepared to raise this matter with the acting Minister of Health. It may be he would be more than prepared to meet with them and if he feels some useful purpose would be served in my becoming involved, I have never been reluctant to do so.
I think the member will understand if I do not agree at this moment to say yes, because tomorrow he quite legitimately would have perhaps four or five other groups. I assure the member I will raise this matter with the acting Minister of Health. I know he will reply to the member tomorrow in his usual excellent and sensitive fashion.
COLLEGE OF TEACHERS
Mr. Bradley: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Premier. The Premier is aware that the Minister of Education (Miss Stephenson) has continued in her speeches across the province to advocate the establishment of a college of teachers. She has done so despite the fact she has been unable to reach a consensus or an agreement on this subject with the Ontario Teachers' Federation.
Will the Premier give an undertaking to this House that he will maintain the policy of one of his predecessors, I believe it was the Honourable George Drew, who in 1944 made it a condition of teaching in the publicly financed schools in Ontario that the teachers must be statutory members of the Ontario Teachers' Federation?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I would be intrigued to raise with the member for Renfrew North (Mr. Conway) whether it is appropriate, talking about idealism and potential conflicts and all the rest of it, if a member of the teaching profession who I assume is still participating --
Mr. Nixon: Former.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Is the member not still participating and contributing? Is his certificate not still up to date?
Mr. Bradley: I do not contribute to the pension plan.
Mr. Speaker: Never mind the interjections.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Does he still have his certificate? He could go back and teach. I am intrigued; I thought he might have had someone else ask the question.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I would not be too sure. I have not been present when the minister has delivered any of her excellent speeches on many subjects across Ontario. They are great speeches.
I am familiar with the discussions that have been going on for a substantial period of time as to the possibility of a college of teachers, if that is the terminology, which I say with respect to the present minister is not all new. There were discussions going on in the 1960s as to the self-governance of the teaching profession. My recollection was that in those days there was a real measure of support. The member is too young to remember that, but I know his colleague on his geographical and nonphilosophical right --
An hon. member: Left.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Both of them will tell him there was this discussion in the 1960s, a discussion as to the possibility of self-governance of the profession. The potential of a college of teachers, if that is the terminology, is one I understand the federation is quite prepared to discuss.
I also understand there is some concern as to compulsory membership, which I assume the member is supporting -- a member of the teaching profession must also be a member of the OTF. I can only say that in terms of government policy that policy has not changed and is not in the process of changing.
Mr. Bradley: Does the Premier not agree with me, then, that in any way to renounce or give a hint that his government is going to renounce the commitment given by Premier Drew would provoke an unnecessary confrontation with those who must deliver educational services in this province, mainly members of the teaching profession? Is the Premier saying he will not proceed with a college of teachers without the agreement of the Ontario Teachers' Federation? Is that what he is saying?
Hon. Mr. Davis: I would like to think the member, at least on this subject, would have some greater understanding of how things work. I really do not think --
Hon. Mr. Davis: I thought he would know. Certainly the former superintendent of education of the separate school system in the Kitchener area knows full well how the system works, because he always took great pride in advising the former minister on how it should work. I remember those days of advice very well.
Mr. Bradley: Are you saying yes or no to my question?
Hon. Mr. Davis: The member took a long time to ask it and I am going to take as long to answer it. If the member really believes -- and I do not think there is a teacher in this province who believes it -- that we would unilaterally construct a college of teachers without the enthusiastic support of the profession in this province, then he is more naïve than I think he is. I think he is naive but not that naïve.
Mr. Rae: Mr. Speaker, what the Premier has just said is extremely important. He may not be aware of it, but every teachers' organization in the province is convinced that the college of teachers scheme as outlined by the Minister of Education is something she is determined to press ahead with, and there is a real danger of her getting the ear of cabinet for a proposal that is literally anathema to every single teachers' organization in the province.
For the benefit of the record, I would like to ask the Premier if he is prepared to state categorically -- not in the double reversal way he did in answer to the question by my colleague the member for St. Catharines (Mr. Bradley) -- that he will not proceed with any scheme that is unacceptable to the teachers' organizations of this province.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I thought I answered the question from the member for St. Catharines in very clear, precise terms. I confess they were not quite as clear and precise as the observations of the leader of the third party to the Ontario Federation of Labour the other day.
Mr. Rae: I wish the Premier had been there.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I am sorry I was not there. Obviously, the member sensed what I had said all along. There are more members of the United Auto Workers who vote for me in Brampton than in the member's political party. But I will not pursue that any further.
Mr. Speaker: Back to the question.
Hon. Mr. Davis: If the member wants my assurance that this government intends no major change of that nature -- and that would he a major change; I think we all acknowledge that -- without the enthusiastic endorsation of the teaching profession in this province; if he wishes me to say, as I thought I had already said, we would not, then I am saying no, we would not introduce a change of this significance and importance without the support of the teaching profession. I say that unhesitatingly because it is the reality.
I thought I had explained that to the member for St. Catharines. However, because of the noninvolvement of the leader of the third party in the teaching profession and in the debates in this House, because he has been otherwise engaged for so many years in the nation's capital and is now down to earth with the real issues, I will repeat what I said. We will not plan a change of this significant nature without the enthusiastic support of the professional teachers of this province. Can I say it any more clearly? Would the member like me to repeat it?
WORKERS' SHIFT SCHEDULE
Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Labour. The minister will be aware that the Supreme Court of Ontario has rejected an appeal by Local 598 of the Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers Union to put an end to the seven-shift schedule that can force working people to work up to 10 consecutive shifts without any time off. Is the minister prepared to introduce legislation that will enable workers to have two days off after having worked five consecutive shifts?
Hon. Mr. Ramsay: Mr. Speaker, I am not prepared to introduce legislation at this time, but we are looking at the matter the member has brought forward.
Mr. Martel: The minister is aware that his own studies and those done in the United States and Europe indicate that people working at night on consecutive shifts have more health problems. He is also aware that his own studies indicate the shift schedule is backwards. They also indicate that there are more serious health problems and more serious accidents occurring after midnight than during the regular schedule.
The Minister of Labour is responsible for health and safety. Surely the time has come for the government to introduce some form of legislation that rectifies all these problems that are now creating serious health hazards for people in Ontario.
Hon. Mr. Ramsay: I can only repeat what I said earlier. The matter is under consideration.
Ms. Copps: Mr. Speaker, when can we expect an answer?
Hon. Mr. Ramsay: Mr. Speaker, I am not in a position at this time to indicate when an answer will be forthcoming.
Mr. Eakins: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Tourism and Recreation. There have been some news reports credited to the Premier of Nova Scotia and others from British Columbia relating to highway signage reverting from metric to imperial. As Ontario's tourism minister, how does he view this change with respect to the effect this difference in measurement will have on tourists travelling across Canada coast to coast? Does he plan to make any similar recommendations as tourism minister in Ontario?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, I can only speak as the minister of tourism and I must be sensitive to the feelings of tourists, especially American tourists coming here. After all, my honourable colleague the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow) has responsibility for highway signage.
As far as tourists are concerned, in the last two years or so I have never heard from one American tourist who has complained about not being able to know how far it is from A to B because we have signage in the metric system here, or to know what the price of gas is because of the metric system. Certainly, as far as tourism is concerned, I am not prepared for one minute to recommend to my colleague or to cabinet that our signs should now be reverting to the mileage system. To me, this would seem to be turning the clock back. It would be costly and it could be confusing.
Mr. Eakins: Considering that metric in Canada would not even be off the ground were it not for the wholehearted support of the provinces across this country, in view of the well- documented support of this government to metric over the years and in view of the passage of the Metric Conversion Statute Law Act in 1978 by the member for St. Andrew-St. Patrick (Mr. Grossman), now the Treasurer, is it the minister's intention to continue to put in place the metric program for this province?
Does it not hinder, confuse and sometimes sabotage his program when federal members of Parliament deliberately open service stations to challenge this government's support of metric? In view of the fact the minister feels a change of highway signage would be confusing to the tourists, does he not feel the opening of service stations is also confusing to people from outside the country who visit Ontario?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: As I tried to say in my first response, the whole question of metric is really far beyond my jurisdiction. It is within the Ministry of Transportation and Communications. I am simply responding here as the minister of tourism. I would simply like to reiterate and underline the fact that I have never heard a tourist from the United States of America come to the great, wonderful and glorious province of Ontario and say he was so confused because we had metric signage.
Mr. Mackenzie: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Labour. I am sure the minister will be aware that the total frustration of the workers at Gardner-Denver forced a takeover of that plant this morning and a sit-in in the plant. The result was that they did achieve a much better arrangement in terms of severance pay than they were able to get through the inadequate legislation we have. Is the Minister of Labour sending out the message that this kind of individual action by the workers in plants is what is necessary to achieve justice in the province?
Hon. Mr. Ramsay: Mr. Speaker, with the greatest of respect, I do not agree with the honourable member when he talks about the inadequate severance pay laws in this province. As I have said time and time again, they are in the forefront of this type of legislation in North America. I am aware of the circumstances the member has brought to my attention. I do not think I am sending any sort of message whatsoever to the work force.
Mr. Mackenzie: Inasmuch as the workers could get nothing more and there was nothing that could be done because of the legislation, and obviously this company was in a position to pay, will the minister now assure us he will take a look at changing the severance pay legislation so there is some fairness which does not now exist? The loopholes are big enough to drive a truck through.
Hon. Mr. Ramsay: I have not had an opportunity to meet with these people as yet, as is my custom to try to meet on all plant closures, although my colleague the member for Oxford (Mr. Treleaven) did meet with them on Monday of this week. I was optimistic that once I had an opportunity to meet with them, I would have been able to gain the co-operation of the company and to come forward with a resolution to the problem.
Ms. Copps: Mr. Speaker, the minister was kind enough to meet with some of the workers on the issue of Consolidated Bathurst in Hamilton and, at that time, there was legislation promised to rectify that situation. No legislation has been forthcoming, and the government continues to do business in the hundreds of thousands of dollars with Consolidated Bathurst. How can the minister do this business, on the one hand, and claim, on the other hand, he is trying to find a fair deal for workers in this province?
Hon. Mr. Ramsay: I am not aware of any business the province may be conducting, but if it is, that is fine. In this province the government tenders its contracts and they go to the low bidder.
However, it is not correct that I made any promises at the time of the Consolidated Bathurst case about changes --
Ms. Copps: Bumping legislation. Yes, you did.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. Ramsay: Preferential hiring. All right, that is correct. I said we were actively looking at the matter of preferential hiring. We did issue a discussion paper, we have got it back and we are still receiving responses to that discussion paper from both management and unions. Those responses are at present being assessed by our senior officials, but there are still a number outstanding as yet.
RADIO READING SERVICE
Mr. Gillies: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Community and Social Services. Constituents of mine who are blind, including people associated with the W. Ross Macdonald School, have continued to express concern about the unresolved fate of the Radio Reading Service.
Mr. Wrye: What a setup.
Mr. Gillies: Wait for it.
My question to the minister is, can he confirm reports in yesterday's Toronto Star that his ministry will be offering funding to the Radio Reading Service?
Mr. Wrye: Hit it out of the park, Frank.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to say that late yesterday afternoon an agreement was concluded whereby funds will be provided by my ministry and flowed through the Canadian National Institute for the Blind so that the Radio Reading Service of Oakville -- indeed of Ontario -- can resume its on-air operations.
While I am on my feet, incidentally, I do wish to thank the CNIB for two reasons. First, they are my funding vehicle in this matter because the law does not permit me to fund directly in this particular operation. Second. I think it is very typical of the very vast expansion of their community services for the visually impaired.
One of the things that has appeared in all of this over the last month or so -- and I presume a lot of it stems from the fact that I have not been here every day -- is that there seems to be a great amount of confusion concerning the future of the Radio Reading Service.
It is a matter of record that the Provincial Secretary for Social Development (Mr. McCaffrey), the Minister of Citizenship and Culture (Ms. Fish) and myself have been working on a solution to this problem since very late in October. One of the problems that occurred was that unfortunately I was not here all the time. There is a very equitable solution in this matter.
The truth of the matter is that as long as the Radio Reading Service and its funding were under the Ministry of Citizenship and Culture, it was a developmental or pilot project program. It has long since passed that stage and it now has achieved the first stage of a very permanent vehicle for its funding. We are looking forward to a very great expansion of this service in the community.
Mr. Wrye: Ask Susan a supplementary. Give her a chance.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Gillies: My supplementary question is, are we making just another one-time grant to the Radio Reading Service or will their future funding be secure?
Mr. Speaker: I think the minister has already answered that question. I heard him very clearly say that the first stage of the process of its being recognized as an ongoing program had been reached.
Ms. Copps: Mr. Speaker, I am happy to hear that the minister has been discussing this with his colleague the Minister of Citizenship and Culture since late October. It is unfortunate that information was not imparted to his colleague when the issue was raised earlier in the Legislature.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I do not like the tone of that remark.
Ms. Copps: There was a legitimate question last week for which there was not a legitimate answer.
If the government is committed to continuing a program which is an extension of the library services which are made available to every person in this province, why is the change of responsibility occurring so that the program is now under the umbrella of the Ministry of Community and Social Services? This inherently implies that it is a program of a community or social service nature, rather than an educational program which should be available and accessible to all people across this province.
Why has the minister chosen to use the Canadian National Institute for the Blind as a funding vehicle when previously direct grants have been successfully made to the Radio Reading Service from the government of Ontario?
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, as usual, the member for Hamilton Centre does not know what she is talking about.
Mr. Rae: We are glad the minister is back.
Hon. Mr. Drea: The tone is not all I do not like.
Under my ministry act, it is impossible for me to fund directly unless someone is providing a specialized type of service. If the member for Hamilton Centre wants me to stop funding, she should say so.
Also, the gratuitous remarks about the CNIB and its role in this are not warranted. The CNIB has long passed the stage in its own operation where it is primarily an institutional, reception or educational area for those who are legally blind or very substantially visually impaired. In the past few years it has broadened its approach in its community endeavours for all the visually impaired, as well as for the legally blind.
This program is not under the umbrella of the government. It is now under the service umbrella of the CNIB where its progress can be monitored. If there are improvements or certain aspects of this service which will bring a better type of service to a larger audience, then the CNIB can do it.
In terms of government, it is perfectly legal and perfectly accountable for the Ministry of Citizenship and Culture to pay direct grants. It is not legal for my ministry to do so. I have chosen a vehicle. If the member for Hamilton Centre does not like the vehicle, that is her problem.
PORT DOVER MARINA
Mr. G. I. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of the Environment. Is he aware that slag is being used as landfill for the new marina which is under construction at Port Dover? Would he be prepared to give a written assurance to the Nanticoke council that this slag will not have a detrimental effect on the environment and water quality?
Hon. Mr. Brandt: Mr. Speaker, our information is that the slag referred to by the member is not an environmental hazard. I have asked my staff to look at any contamination effects, any leachate and any problems with respect to leaching which could be detrimental to the water quality. I have been advised there are not any at this time.
I share some of the general concerns the member has and I will keep an eye on the problem. At the moment, however, it would appear there is not a problem. If there are any further pieces of information which would be of interest to the member, I will bring them to his attention.
Mr. G. I. Miller: The minister is aware that Port Dover has one of the largest freshwater fishing fleets in the world. Given the fact that slag has been used, for example, in Hamilton Bay, where it has ruined the fishing there, we certainly want to make sure the fishing industry is protected in Lake Erie. After hearing the minister's announcement earlier, I want to ask him whether he will be monitoring on a regular basis using the new equipment he announced in the House today.
Hon. Mr. Brandt: We will be monitoring on an hour-by-hour basis for air quality. That may not catch the kind of problems the member is identifying with respect to leachate that may occur from slag, but as I indicated with respect to the latter part of the concern and any problems in connection with water quality. I will very definitely give him the assurance that we will keep our eye on it. The best advice I have from the scientists I have on staff is that it is not a problem. I want to give the member that assurance. I have looked into the matter in detail, but if that condition changes or if there is any new information, I will get back to the member at the earliest opportunity.
GREAT LAKES WATER QUALITY
Mr. Charlton: Mr. Speaker, the Great Lakes Water Quality Board of the International Joint Commission recently released its report. That report seems to indicate that some of the contaminants in the Great Lakes that were previously declining in concentration are now on the increase again. Some of those contaminants have been banned from use for a number of years. Last evening, an official of the federal Department of the Environment confirmed that there are clear indications of increases. Can the minister comment on that and tell us what his ministry is prepared to do to start dealing with that matter?
Hon. Mr. Brandt: Mr. Speaker, in those same reports it was clearly indicated that the vast majority of contaminants that are leaching into the Great Lakes system are coming from the American side. The honourable member is well aware of the representations we have made to some of our friends south of us, primarily in New York state, to attempt to come to some kind of accommodation with respect to that very critical problem.
A very slight deterioration in terms of lake quality has occurred within this past year after a decade or more of improvements. The information I have at the moment is that there is no specific evidence indicating an overall deterioration in terms of any contamination that is getting into the water. We are looking further at information we can get to try to identify those sources of pollution.
At the moment it could just be a problem with respect to a very slight deterioration that may correct itself in the year ahead; we do not know that it is a trend that has set in. But certainly we will continue our representations with the United States, as we have in the past, to improve water quality to the extent we can by controlling emissions and contamination that is leaching from that side of the border.
NOTICE OF DISSATISFACTION
Mr. Conway: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: I rise under the provisions of standing order 28(a) to indicate that I am not happy with the answers offered to my questions by the first minister, who ran from this place and from the press like a hard-pressed hare.
I say to you, Mr. Speaker, that I intend to give you a written notice later this afternoon and I intend to be here at adjournment tonight to discuss the reasons for my dissatisfaction in view of the fact that the first minister ran from this place and the press like a frightened rabbit.
The Deputy Speaker: I thank the member for his remarks. Before the next member speaks, pursuant to standing order 28, the member for Renfrew North (Mr. Conway) has given notice of dissatisfaction with the answer to his question given by the Premier (Mr. Davis) concerning the conduct of Mr. Alan Gordon. This matter will be debated at 10:30 p.m.
Mr. Mancini: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: In a few moments we will be debating a very important resolution, and I would like to place a request before you and before members of the House. As you know, the time allocated for these resolutions is usually divided up by party and it usually ends up with every party getting 20 minutes to speak to the resolution.
We will have three speakers on this resolution today. The member for Kent-Elgin (Mr. McGuigan) and I will be splitting a part of the last 10 minutes that should be allocated to our party. However, the problem arises that once the member for Kent-Elgin takes his seat, we lose the floor and the rotation goes to the New Democratic Party and then to the Conservatives. We will lose out on approximately five or six minutes.
Can I have the unanimous consent of the House to ensure that every party has the 20 minutes, even though the rotation might be somewhat different from what it normally is?
Mr. Speaker: That is an interesting proposal. Obviously, it is in conflict with the standing orders. I would have to ask for unanimous consent if it is the wish of the House to do as the honourable member has requested.
Mr. Speaker: I hear some dissent.
Ms. Copps: No, I hear agreement, over there in the corner.
Mr. Speaker: We will try it again. Do we have unanimous consent?
Mr. Speaker: Just a minute; there is some confusion here. Would the member place his proposal so the government House leader (Mr. Wells) may understand what he has said?
Mr. Mancini: Under normal circumstances, every party is allowed a full allotment of time. After the initial --
Mr. Mancini: Is it all right?
Mr. Speaker: Do we have unanimous consent?
Mr. Speaker: There is some doubt as to what has been asked for and what everybody has agreed to.
Ms. Copps: Everybody agreed.
Mr. Speaker: Yes, I know, but the table -- was it that every party would get equal time, 20 minutes?
Mr. Ruston: Mr. Speaker, all we are asking is that when the member for Kent-Elgin finishes his five minutes, the member for Essex South (Mr. Mancini) be allowed the other five minutes of his time.
Mr. Speaker: You are splitting the final 10 minutes.
Mr. Ruston: That is right.
Mr. Speaker: In the last 10 minutes they are going to have two speakers instead of one. Is everybody clear on what we have done?
Mr. McClellan: Absolutely.
Mr. Speaker: I am glad to hear that.
INFLATION RESTRAINT LEGISLATION
Mr. Speaker: The member for Huron- Middlesex.
Mr. Elston: Huron-Bruce, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker: Huron-Bruce; I do not know why I continue to make that mistake.
Mr. Elston: Mr. Speaker, I have a petition.
"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:
"We petition the Ontario Legislature to restore our free collective bargaining rights forthwith."
This is signed by some 23 members of the nursing profession in the Kincardine area.
STANDING COMMITTEE ON SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
Mr. Robinson from the standing committee on social development presented the following report and moved its adoption:
Your committee begs to report the following bill without amendment:
Bill 90, An Act to amend the Assessment Act.
Motion agreed to.
Bill ordered for third reading.
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS
RESIDENTIAL COMPLEXES FINANCING COSTS RESTRAINT AMENDMENT ACT
Hon. Mr. Elgie moved, seconded by Hon. Mr. Baetz, first reading of Bill 128, An Act to amend the Residential Complexes Financing Costs Restraint Act.
Motion agreed to.
Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce for first reading a bill to amend the Residential Complexes Financing Costs Restraint Act, 1982.
Members will recall that when this act was passed last December, it contained a sunset provision which, if left in place, would repeal the act on December 31, 1983. I had hoped to have the recommendations of Commissioner Stuart Thom before this amending legislation was brought forward. However, the writing of his report is taking longer than he expected and he has not yet completed his report on this issue.
In these circumstances, the bill I am now introducing will simply extend the sunset provision of the 1982 act to December 31 1984, and make a complementary amendment of another date reference in the act. The process will therefore still allow us to consider Commissioner Thom's report when it is received and to make any further legislative changes that may be required in the spring session.
Hon. Mr. Pope moved, seconded by Hon. Mr. Bernier, first reading of Bill 129, An Act to revise the Mining Act.
Motion agreed to.
CITY OF PETERBOROUGH ACT
Mr. Pollock moved, seconded by Mr. Sheppard, first reading of Bill Pr42, An Act respecting the City of Peterborough.
Motion agreed to.
Mr. Speaker: Unanimous consent is required to revert to reports. Do we have unanimous consent?
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 bills without amendment:
Bill Pr22, An Act to revive Silverstone Oil Company Limited.
Bill Pr33, An Act respecting Certain Land in the Town Plot of Smyth, in the District of Nipissing.
Your committee begs to report the following bills with a certain amendment:
Bill Pr34, An Act respecting Eastern Pentecostal Bible College.
Bill Pr44, An Act respecting the Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall.
Your committee begs to report the following bill with certain amendments:
Bill Pr12, An Act respecting the City of Toronto.
Your committee would recommend that the fees, less the actual cost of printing, be remitted on Bill Pr34, An Act respecting Eastern Pentecostal Bible College, and Bill Pr44, An Act respecting the Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall.
Motion agreed to.
Hon. Mr. Wells moved that the time allocation for the estimates of the Ministry of Health be reduced to 15 hours.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BUSINESS NUCLEAR ARMS FREE ZONE
Mr. Allen moved, seconded by Mr. R. F. Johnston, resolution 1:
That, in the opinion of this House, the province of Ontario, Canada, should declare itself a nuclear arms free zone, and the government should prohibit the deployment of nuclear weapons in Ontario, the testing of nuclear weapons and associated equipment in the province, the construction of nuclear weapons and associated equipment, the transport of nuclear weapons and associated equipment through and within the province, and the export of goods and materials for use in the construction and deployment of nuclear arms. In addition, the province should encourage cities, provinces and states throughout the world to initiate similar action.
Mr. Speaker: Just before the honourable member proceeds, I would like to point out that he has 20 minutes for his presentation and may reserve any portion of that time for his windup.
Mr. Allen: Mr. Speaker, I am sure this resolution is one that touches most of us very closely. Certainly it is a resolution that is intended to enable us, as representatives of Ontario electors, to take a small but significant step towards the elimination of nuclear arms from this earth.
A petition based on the same resolution has been circulated in this province for four or five months and to date has 26,600 names upon it from more than 575 towns and cities of Ontario. Names are still coming in, and this morning I learned that the Lutheran Synod of Ontario, which represents 70,000 persons, has just passed a resolution to the same effect.
Both the petition and the resolution represent a remarkable and pervasive peace movement in Ontario today. A quite incomplete count shows that there are somewhere in the order of 194 groups and agencies that are associated in one way or another with the pursuit of peace and disarmament in this province. That simply leaves to one side all the small committees that are attached to various organizations and larger societies in the province.
It is not the purpose of this resolution to become involved in the technicalities of the implementation processes that it implies. It is a resolution; it is not a bill. It is an attempt to establish an objective clearly enough for action and to commit this province to it and to spell out something of the scale of action entailed. It is a resolve, not a program, and it is to be debated as such on its merits.
The proposal has its foundation in international treaties passed in recent decades. In 1968, the Treaty of Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons was negotiated and signed under the aegis of the United Nations. That treaty had three broad objectives in mind. One was to promote a nuclear freeze. That objective has now become a major campaign in the neighbouring republic, supported by 64 per cent of the public in a recent poll by and spearheaded in the Senate by such figures as, for example, Senator Edward M. Kennedy and Senator Mark Hatfield. The proposal is also supported there by such arms control negotiators as Paul Warnke, intelligence experts such as William Colby, military leaders such as Admiral Eugene Carroll and experts on Russian-American relations such as George F. Kennan.
The second major objective of that treaty was to address the whole question of verification and the third, more directly germane to our discussion this afternoon, was to extend nuclear free zones.
Canada is a party to that treaty and is formally committed to its broad objectives. By the time that treaty had been passed, however, there already had been treaties negotiated to keep nuclear arms from the seabed, outer space and Antarctica. The year before, in 1967, a treaty was passed for the prohibition of nuclear weapons in Latin America. That treaty has been formally adhered to by both the Soviet Union and the United States, which have vowed in writing not to infringe on it in any respect. In 1964, the Organization of African Unity approved the Declaration on the Denuclearization of Africa. In 1976, that was reaffirmed through the United Nations.
The point of all this rehearsal is to suggest the idea is not new. It is not for the first time being applied in this province through this resolution, and Canada is a party to that key treaty on nonproliferation which lays the primary foundation for the concept in subsequent years. The idea of a nuclear free zone for this country as a whole was placed on the Canadian agenda in 1981 when a campaign to make Canada a nuclear weapons free zone was initiated by the church-sponsored organization known as Ploughshares International. All the major churches of this country belong to and support that organization and this project.
Why Ontario? Perhaps one should put it in the negative: Why not Ontario? After all, this step would help advance a long-standing Canadian search for the peaceful resolution of world conflicts expressed in so many ways. Second, it would express in a crucial and tense time in our earth's history that Canada's historic commitment not to produce and develop nuclear weapons will remain the centrepiece of our policy in that respect even though we have long had the capability to produce those weapons. In recent years, our Prime Minister has advocated a policy of nuclear suffocation which is entirely consistent with this proposal.
Next, we are currently nuclear weapons free in Ontario. It is true there are nuclear-tipped missiles associated with the still existing CF-100 fighters which are stationed in at least two bases in Canada, in Manitoba and Nova Scotia, but they are about to be phased out within 18 months. At that point, this country will be nuclear free. It is important at this juncture that this country and this province find a way to symbolize our intent to maintain that nuclear free posture.
Our industrial commitment to the production of components and parts of weapons or delivery systems is at this time very slight. Principally, as far as this debate is concerned, it exists with Litton Industries and the guidance system for the cruise missile. At this point, we do not have an industrial military complex such as exists in the United States. That could well develop under such arrangements as the Canada-US defence production sharing arrangement where military spending has increased markedly in recent years. We must ensure that the development of an interlocking domestic and military economy never fastens itself upon this nation to the degree it has with our neighbours to the south and compromises almost every attempt to undertake a disentangling of those elements.
Finally, one year ago, scores of Ontario cities voted, often with very large majorities, to support the idea of an international referendum for balance and bilateral disarmament conducted through the auspices of the United Nations. Some of those cities, like some in Britain and the United States, went on to declare themselves nuclear weapons free zones and they are studying the implications of that step: Hamilton, Windsor, Welland, Brantford, Toronto, Ottawa -- defeated in a close vote but it would have paired with Zagreb, Yugoslavia, in a rather unique and interesting extension of this idea.
So it is not just some 28,000 petitioners on a signed petition or myself alone that are concerned with this question. There are large urban areas in this province that have committed themselves to this proposition. This resolution gives them a further voice.
Some will say this is outside the jurisdiction of the province. To me, the answer that is sufficient is the answer that was given in the debates a year ago this month when the disarmament referendums were in full swing, namely, that nuclear weapons are no respecters of jurisdictions. A nuclear strike or an all-out nuclear war would obviously call upon the services of all kinds of provincial agencies, if they were not entirely devastated in the process. There is no reason those same agencies ought not to be concerned and relate their activities, and principally those of this Legislature, to the accomplishment of the termination of the existence of such weaponry.
Others will add that somehow this proposal breaches our commitments to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. I submit that is a red herring. There are other states in the NATO alliance, such as Denmark and Greece, that have refused to accept nuclear weapons. Spain, which wishes to join the alliance, declared it wishes to do so without obligation to accept nuclear arms. Denmark, Greece, Luxembourg, Spain and Portugal have all refused to accept the cruise missile system. Norway, while it is not in the NATO alliance, is within the western orbit and it refuses both nuclear arms and foreign troops on its soil.
It may also be said by some that this proposal appears to be advocating unilateral disarmament. It may at first glance appear to do so. However, I assure honourable members that the Canadian peace movement is almost solidly bilateralist in its strategies, outlook and convictions. It recognizes that in the last analysis there will be no disarmament, nuclear or otherwise, on this earth unless it is negotiated bilaterally to the satisfaction of the two major superpowers.
That is a bedrock conviction of this proposal as well. At the same time it is absolutely critical that we move in what ways we can and take such constructive steps as we are able to.
The purposes of this Ontario nuclear weapons free zone proposal are three. First, to take one of those very small steps that can dramatize the direction all cities, all states and all powers must eventually take if we are to find a safe haven in the end; second, to provide a measure of hope that significant action can be taken now for a generation of young people, people in their middle years and people in their senior years who, more and more, feel very fatalistic about this issue; third, to maintain pressure on western governments and to say we cannot and will not sit by as a people while the clock ticks on to midnight.
To those who say Russia will never permit comparable action, I would like to observe the following. This is not a subject on which we can afford the luxury of thinking that anything is impossible. The stakes are simply too great. The same charge or observation was made with regard to the disarmament referendums in the cities of our province last year, but Russian embassy representatives in this country have stated they can see no reason why such a referendum, conducted by the United Nations, should not be held in their land.
There are also hopeful signs that some of the eastern bloc nations are very unhappy themselves with the stationing of missiles in their midst. Countries in the Warsaw Pact such as Rumania, for example, are quite outspoken on that subject. Then too, there are periodic discussions under way between the Baltic states and Russia on the proposal for a nuclear weapons free zone in that region.
Most important of all, as an assurance that it is possible to accomplish agreements in significant ways around issues like this and it is conceivable to think that ultimately the Soviet Union itself might be prepared to move substantially, is the fact that there have been at least 14 major arms control treaties negotiated in the past 20 years between the superpowers and not one of them has been violated in any way by either side. I think most of us are not aware of that fact and it will be very reassuring to our fellow citizens to know that.
Moreover, Russia, along with the four other nuclear powers in 1980, through the disarmament committee of the United Nations, gave security assurances to all those states that were nonnuclear-weapons countries. Surely these are all hopeful signs that something of the order of an Ontario nuclear weapons free zone is not something that is whistling in the dark or flying in the wind of reality. There are hopeful indications and we must follow them where they will lead us.
By this resolution now, essentially the same reason that there is an incredible outburst of peace activity around us, there is a profound and growing unrest that we have been betrayed by our leaders, east and west, but not least in the west, into a nightmare world. It would seem we have been led by blind guides into military strategies of the absurd.
Until three years ago the key words were "mutually assured destruction," or MAD, and that was the predominant theory which was to prevent nuclear war. Now we are treated to theories of "nuclear use theories," shortened to Nuts. MAD was had enough, but Nuts are totally insane. We are confronting the theory that it is now possible to conduct a protracted nuclear war and prevail. What does "prevail" mean in those terms? What does winning mean any more?
We are told repeatedly that we must be strong and must bargain from superior strength, but what any more is strength? What has been the accomplishment of that posture? We stand poised across a great divide with some 20,000 Russian warheads confronting 30,000 on the other side. That is 5,000 times the explosives delivered in all the years of the Second World War. The more sane of our military leaders and defence experts are now telling us that strength has become our weakness,
President Eisenhower told us that in 1956. The argument as to the exact amount of available strength as compared to somebody else's is no longer a vital issue. Robert McNamara, the former head of General Motors and Secretary of Defense, now the head of the World Bank, has recently told us that in his estimation the west could simply scuttle half its nuclear arsenal and not be any the less militarily persuasive. In short, there is no longer any ethics of war or any military strategy which can justify our present nuclear postures, east and west.
Members might well ask why we might feel obligated to take a first step. The answer is very simple. According to George F. Kennan, one of the supreme realists in Soviet-American relations in our time, the simple answer is because we are ahead, we have always been ahead and we initiated the nuclear race. I do not want to present any simple white or black picture of either side in this debate, but we do have to reflect and ponder upon Kennan's point.
It is true that the United States exploded the first atomic and hydrogen bombs; organized the first post-war military alliance; first established tactical nuclear weapons in Europe; accelerated the buildup of strategic missiles; created the first strategic supersonic bomber, the first ballistic missile-launching submarine and the first solid rocket fuel used in missiles: and was the first nation, after the limits had been placed upon missiles, to develop multiple warheads to get around that, high-speed re-entry bodies, multiple independently targeted re-entry vehicles and computerized guidance systems.
The only exception in that whole pattern of escalation, led tragically and unfortunately by the United States, was the negotiation in 1963 by John F. Kennedy with the Russians of a ban on above-ground nuclear explosions.
These are the realities of the alliance to which we belong and to which we must render some responsibility. But at the same time that responsibility must not necessarily follow the usual and the normal pattern of assent and complicity. We can and we must turn the tide. An Ontario nuclear weapons free zone may be a small step but it is a possible one and one that we can and must take.
I just want to read a small and touching note. I think we stand very much in the figure of the father in this little story. It is a real story. A grade 7 boy tells his class, "I know there won't be a nuclear war; my daddy goes to meetings to stop it." I think we stand in the same relationship to the rest of Ontario's legislators. What are they looking to us for and what assurance will they get from our actions?
Mr. Kolyn: Mr. Speaker, I rise to participate in this debate with a certain sense of urgency. I think any member who has reflected on the political, geopolitical and military forces which are at play in the world today would agree that the global political environment has been destabilized and is dangerous. The level of tension is reflected in, and is the product of, a number of facts and developments.
Global military spending will this year total more than $600 billion, more than half of which will be spent by the two superpowers alone.
The level of subnuclear violence in the international system is high. The probability of superpower confrontation, especially in strategically important regions, increases with the duration of conflict and with each new escalation in violence.
At the strategic level, the technologies and assumptions of countervalue deterrent strategies are giving way to the technologies and assumptions of counterforce war-fighting and war-winning strategies.
Politically, what some have called a new cold war shows no signs of thawing. Arms control negotiations have stalled and the Soviet Union has suspended the arms control talks in Geneva.
In the West, our mass media -- television, the movies, the press -- all reflect the public's growing fear of and preoccupation with nuclear war and the horrors of its aftermath.
It is hardly surprising then that we should hear all around us, as the poet said, "ancestral voices prophesying war." Nor is it surprising, in response to the tensions and uncertainties, in reaction to the unimaginable terror and finality of a total nuclear war, that millions of people in the West should join in what many of them perceive to be a last chance to crusade for nuclear peace.
The many proposals which have been advanced by the broadly defined peace movement for ending the arms race and averting nuclear war are familiar to us all. They range from what I would characterize as the radical pacifist's demands for total unilateral disarmament to the suffocation and freeze concepts, and to the proposal such as the one before us today which calls for the creation of nuclear weapons free zones.
There is no question that most of these proposals are advanced with the best of intentions. There can be no argument that the elimination of the risk of nuclear war must be the goal of every rational human being. However, though well intentioned, many of these proposals are fundamentally misguided. The resolution before us today falls into this category. It recommends a course of action which, if followed, would at best make us more susceptible to political blackmail and at worst precipitate that very event which we all so desperately seek to avoid.
August 6, 1945, fundamentally altered the role of military force in world affairs. The purpose of nuclear weapons has not been to win wars, but to ensure that global nuclear war does not occur. Nearly 40 years have passed since the last nuclear weapon was used in combat. In that time we have seen a number of changes in nuclear doctrine. Massive retaliation gave way to mutually assured destruction, which is supplemented by flexible response.
Counterforce strategies and delayed response boomerang strategies are now gaining currency. Though there have been many changes in both the hardware and the software of the nuclear arsenal, one vital thing has remained constant. We have not had a nuclear war. We have not had a war which involved the major powers as combatants.
For nearly 40 years we have been able to avoid the Third World War. We have had a generation of Canadians like myself who have never been under arms, who have never been called to serve the colours or pay the supreme sacrifice. There have been wars, but the nuclear peace has been maintained.
It has been maintained because, to paraphrase Winston Churchill, in our age peace is the child of the balance of arms strength. That balance of arms strength, that assured destruction of hostage populations, has underwritten the nuclear peace for the last 40 years. In addition, the balance of arms strength may well have prevented the escalation of conventional regional conflicts to the global level. Korea, the Berlin blockade, the Berlin Wall crisis and the Mid-East in 1973 were each potentially the spark which could ignite the Third World War. However, in each case the nuclear threshhold was not breached.
Nowhere has the effect on the maintenance of a credible capable second-strike deterrent been more obvious than in Western Europe. In that theatre, where the forces of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization alliance are outgunned and outmanned by the massive land armies of the Warsaw Pact countries, security has been dependent on the nuclear trip wire and the credibility of the American nuclear commitment.
Of late, the credibility of that deterrent and of the world of the free nations of the west to use that deterrent has been called into question. Over the last decade we have witnessed a tremendous expansion of Soviet military power both at the conventional and strategic levels. For example, since 1969, when the Americans introduced their last new intercontinental ballistic missile, the Minuteman 3, the Soviet Union has built and deployed five new classes of intercontinental ballistic missiles and has upgraded at least eight items.
By early 1983 the Soviet Union had deployed 1,300 land-based ICBMs in Europe, a force which included the highly accurate, multiple independent re-entry vehicles, the SS-20s. The Western alliance had none. Efforts to correct this imbalance through the deployment of the Pershing 2 and the cruise missile have, as we are all aware, met with considerable opposition.
Since 1974, the Soviets have built twice as many tactical combat aircraft as the Americans and produced 61 attack submarines compared to the American production of 27. Also since 1974, Soviet tank production, a matter of special concern in Western Europe, has exceeded Western production by a five-to-one ratio. As far as artillery and rocket launchers are concerned, the Soviets have produced 14 times as many of these types of hardware as have we in the West.
The resolution before us today is one response to the tensions which have been created by this massive buildup of Soviet military power. As I have said, I believe it represents a misguided but well-intentioned approach which will do nothing to maintain the peace or to encourage efforts at multilateral disarmament. History has shown that pacifism and appeasement do nothing to avert war or to discourage aggressor nations.
Appeasement did nothing to deter Hitler from his course of European hegemony; quite the contrary. It did not bring peace in our time, but a savage, vicious conflict which redrew the map of Europe. The approach suggested by this resolution, and others like it, simply reinforces the perception that we in the West are unwilling to meet the Soviet challenge. Further, such an approach would, if adopted here and if followed by other Western jurisdictions, leave us woefully unprepared to protect our interests and freedoms in any future crisis, leaving us little option but to accept dictated settlements.
What can we do then to help avert war and discourage disarmament? I believe we must do two things. First, we must demonstrate that we are ready, able and willing to take those steps necessary to protect ourselves, to maintain the credibility of our deterrent and to meet the Soviet challenge. We must, above all, show that we in the west share unity of purpose and a commitment to common values.
Currently in Canada, we spend less than two per cent of our gross national product on defence. Our contribution to NATO is such as to be an embarrassment to many of us. I believe that if we in this House are serious about peace, we should encourage the federal government to increase defence expenditures to at least three per cent of the gross national product and to increase our contribution to the NATO alliance.
Second, we must continue to offer the Soviet Union a whole series of arms control, arms limitation and disarmament measures, proposals designed to achieve a balanced, mutual and verifiable reduction in the arsenals of the superpowers, measures which will increase, not decrease, our security. It is vital that efforts to achieve these reductions and to reduce the level of tensions in east-west relations be continued.
I commend the Prime Minister of Canada, the Honourable Pierre Trudeau, for his efforts to promote a constructive dialogue between the two superpowers and to mobilize international support for disarmament. I would join with the Premier (Mr. Davis) in expressing full support for Prime Minister Trudeau's initiatives. However, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics will have no incentive to negotiate seriously if it is convinced we will take the gun from our own hand.
It has been suggested that one reason the peace movement in the west addresses its domestic governments with such vehemence is that it is frustrated by its inability to address directly the government of the Soviet Union. However, I believe their desire for peace has led them to propose certain measures which do much to further the interests of the Soviet Union, but little to further the interests of peace.
The international political system is such that the chances of the meek inheriting the earth are very slim. Rather, we live in an environment in which the dictum "peace through strength" has much to recommend it. Quite simply, we live in a world where there can be no real peace without security.
The Deputy Speaker: The member's time has expired.
Mr. Kolyn: If proper policies are supported the day before, we will never have the day after.
The Deputy Speaker: Order.
Mr. Kolyn: In so far as I believe the resolution before us would compromise our security and, consequently, compromise the opportunity for peace, I must oppose it.
Mr. Sweeney: Mr. Speaker, I join this debate in support of the resolution. I say that not in any way to suggest those derogatory terms which are so easily bandied about can divide a House like this, that there are those of us who are peaceniks and those of us who are warmongers. That is not the issue here. There is not a single man or woman in this House, a single man, woman or young person in the galleries who wants war. That is not the issue. The question is, how do we achieve it?
I appreciated the fact that the previous speaker, the member for Lakeshore, made reference to the activities of the Prime Minister of Canada, but I wonder if some of my colleagues in this House noted on last night's news that the efforts of the Prime Minister of this country are not being taken as seriously as I believe all of us feel they should be because there is a sense that, to use the words of the announcer last night, "He does not have support at home."
We have a chance here and now to indicate that support, to indicate that the leader of our country is supported by all its citizens and is supported by the citizens of this, the manufacturing centre of Canada and the most populous province of Canada,
Very simply, the issue that concerns all of us is whether we and our children and our grandchildren shall live or die, whether there is a future, whether there is a vision, whether there is a hope or whether there will be a holocaust. We have a chance to make an impact on that.
My oldest daughter is a teacher. She teaches boys and girls of five and six. She has drawn to my attention on numerous occasions that when they have free discussions in their classroom, she is always amazed at how many times the issue of a nuclear holocaust or nuclear destruction comes up, how these little five-year-olds and six-year-olds are aware and concerned about an issue like this and how hopeless and helpless they feel.
I have a 10-year-old son who has frequently asked his mother and me about what is happening in the world and what the potential is for a nuclear war. I have seen in the eyes of my son fear and doubt. I have three granddaughters, ages three, two and six months. I do not want to have happen to them what I saw on the CBC news about two weeks ago when, for the first time in over 30 years or 40 years, the films of Nagasaki and Hiroshima were shown publicly. We, as members of this Legislature, representing over eight million people in this province, have a chance to speak and act for those who cannot speak and act for themselves. That is the issue.
I do not quarrel with my colleagues who object to unilateral disarmament, who have grave suspicions about Russian leaders who have publicly talked about world domination, who speak believingly and deeply about the need for balance and parity. I have those concerns too. Any of us would be inexcusably naive not to worry about those. That is not the issue either. We are not talking about unilateral disarmament here. We are not talking about turning our backs or lying down.
My God, it has already been brought to our attention that on one side of the nuclear fence there are 30,000 warheads; on the other side there are 20,000 warheads. We need no more. We need not deploy them in Ontario, we need not test them in Ontario and we need not manufacture them in Ontario. There are already enough nuclear warheads in the world to destroy every single human being 15 times over. That is not the issue.
The issue is how we make a beginning to stop this madness, because that is what it is. Many of my colleagues in this room are students of history and they know that in almost every historical age man has moved to the brink of destruction, but somehow, some way, he has pulled back. Somehow, some way, his humanity, his logic, his reason, his will to survive for himself, for his children and his grandchildren have pulled him back from the brink of that destruction.
I support this resolution not in its technical terms, but in its morality, in its spirit, in what it asks of us; and that is to take one small step to stop the madness. Are we going to be able to stop it ourselves? No, obviously not, but we can make a beginning. We can reach out to like-minded men, women and young people in the United States, France, England, West Germany and Japan -- my God, in Japan, because they know. I have a strong and deep feeling we can reach out to small pockets of people in Russia who want no more than you or I to see their sons, daughters and their grandchildren burned up or destroyed in the holocaust.
We can reach out to them. We can build bridges of understanding and co-operation. We can say, "Let's work together." This resolution does not say we should build a fence around our province and say, "We will look after ourselves. You worry about yourselves." No, that is not what it says. It says, "We want to join you. We want to work with you." Can we have an impact? Can we have any influence? I think we can.
We are the most populous province in this country. If we give some leadership here, it is reasonable to believe that other provinces will follow. It is then reasonable to believe that other non-nuclear countries will follow and, as the tide builds and grows, we may one day soon have enough power and enough influence and enough weight to say to the two superpowers and to the other three lesser powers: "Enough. Stop. We will not let you make the decisions that will destroy us."
Over the United States, Russia, France, Germany, England, Japan and, yes, over Canada there are the unlimited horizons of space. That is where our future lies. That is where our hope lies. That is where we should be directing our energy and our talent and, yes, our knowledge of nuclear energy. That is the vision we can give to those little five-year-olds or six-year-olds. That is the vision I can give to my 10-year-old son, and each one in here can too. Is that not a better vision? Is that not a better hope than what we are facing today? Let us take it.
Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, when I introduced this resolution this spring -- a rather silly, in a sense symbolic, gesture -- I did not expect it would take me over as it has in the last six months or that I would be participating in a debate of the quality we have heard up to this point and I anticipate we will continue to hear.
I want to take a few of my 10 minutes to give some thanks to people. I think that ties into the few remarks I would like to make tonight. I would like to thank the resolution 1 committee, the people from Operation Dismantle and other groups that came together and said, "Do something more with this than just putting it on the order paper." I would like to thank the people from the Performing Artists for Nuclear Disarmament, PAND, who put on that crazy show on Monday, and the leaders of our community who came to the luncheon and took time out of their busy schedules for what many think is a meaningless kind of gesture here.
I especially want to thank my two assistants Terri and Val, who have become as wrapped up in this as I have, and the students who have come to work with me over the last few months and spent so many hours on this. I would like to thank even more especially the people of Ontario -- I do not wish to be maudlin -- the volunteers, about 400 of whom came out of nowhere. They talked to people in their communities about this as something that could be real. People from Emo, Carrying Place, Windsor, Toronto and all over this province took the time to send me little letters and messages of hope, saying: "Go ahead with this. Send us some more resolutions. I want to talk to my family and to my friends."
Some letters, such as this one, came from kids:
"I am a high school student and I can see the effects of this pressure by nuclear weapons on my fellow classmates. Many people feel there is no future for us. I feel there needs to be an end to this nonsense.
"I, myself, am a member of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets and, given time, I would raise arms to defend my homeland against invaders. But by tempting the world with such devastating weapons, there will be no homeland to defend, or even enjoy."
Kids took the resolution around their schools. Grandparents wrote letters saying, "I am doing this for myself and for my children." They believe we actually have the power here to change something around.
I want to emphasize that to these members, because I do not think the political leaders of this world are listening to the people. This is not a partisan issue. This is the ultimate Conservative issue, the ultimate Liberal issue and the ultimate New Democratic Party issue. This is the question of our survival.
We are here to improve our society. If I am here to work on committees about child abuse, how can I turn my back on this prospective act of universal child abuse that is hanging over our heads? If we believe in tomorrow and our ability to act here in meaningful ways, then we have got to make sure there is a future and that we, as provincial leaders, can act.
There is a feeling out there that we have eyes and we are not seeing, that we have ears and we are not hearing and, most desperately of all, that we have tongues and we are not speaking. We can speak, whereas those people around Ontario do not know how to get their words across; but we can if we wish to, and we can speak about this issue.
When I heard the Premier say this should not be passed because it was not within our constitutional right to pass a resolution saying that in the opinion of us here, as legislators, our province should be free of nuclear weapons, I was outraged. The people of this province do not want to hear that we are not debating this or bringing this to a vote in principle because of some technicality. All we are voting on here is the principle. The government can interpret it in any way it wishes.
We have debated and passed many issues that were outside our jurisdiction. Let me remind members of them. The Armenian extermination; we debated that here, we passed a resolution here. The member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) brought in a resolution about Amnesty International and the problems of people around the world whose civil rights have been suspended. We dealt with that here.
I would like to read to members one quotation from a very honourable member of this House. On April 3, 1980, in his speech on an issue that was outside our jurisdiction, he said at page 509 of Hansard:
"What I am trying to bring out, whether we like it or not, is whether we stand up and be counted now; if some of us are not here, some of our children will have to pay dearly for it. That is my feeling, sir. The motion affords this Legislative Assembly an opportunity to speak eloquently to the Parliament and the government of Canada on behalf of the people of Ontario -- without partisan division -- in a way that cannot and will not be ignored."
That was Ossie Villeneuve speaking on his motion in support of the boycott of the Olympics because of the Afghanistan invasion. I suggest that if we could debate and pass that motion in this House, then we can pass this one. The government can interpret it in any way it wishes, in terms of where it wants to go from here; it does not mean when they support this on the other side that they do not have to be in favour of us being in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
They can take the approach of the member for Leeds (Mr. Runciman) on this and they can say, "We want to increase the number of arms we produce in this province," if they want to. He made that argument for conventional weaponry. They can make an argument that we should be increasing our role in NATO in a non-nuclear way, if they choose to, and still support this motion.
The point is that there is no strategical reason in the world for Ontario to have nuclear weapons. They would not add one iota to the balance of power, not just because of the totals, but because there is just no use for them.
The second principle of this resolution is that we should not be producing any component parts. Why should we be? What difference would it make if we do not make them? Others will make them. One does not have to be offended by that, even if one does not believe in my view of disarmament. One can be the strongest advocate for putting more nuclear weapons into Europe, if one wants,
Just before I stood up, I was handed a CP wire story about what the Russians have done in terms of the disarmament talks and what the escalation of putting new weapons into that theatre has done. Within a very short time, we are going to be within a 10-minute strike range of nuclear weapons here. They are going to add more SS-20s, not just SS-21s and 22s and 23s, as they said they would do if this went ahead. The madness is continuing.
We must take a tiny step, as my friend the member for Kitchener-Wilmot (Mr. Sweeney) said. It is not a large step for us to take. It does not undermine our role in NATO. There are members of NATO that do not have nuclear weapons. There are many ex-NATO leaders who believe our policy of building up nuclear weapons in Europe is totally counterproductive -- McNamara, other generals and admirals in that theatre.
I plead with members today not to close their minds to this. Finally, the sense of psychic denial that has gone on in our society of not being able to deal with the enormity of the situation is being broken. I can feel that in the responses we are getting to the campaign we have had over the past number of months; it is among the people. I encourage members here to break down those barriers, to be able to hear and see that we can take action and that there are things we can do.
We do not have to listen to the old, pat answers of peace through strength etc. There are different ways to interpret strength. Thirty thousand weapons on our side are surely enough. Strategic analysis shows all we need is 123 missiles in Europe to guarantee European security. To have 30,000 -- and now they are talking about developing another 3,000 cruise missiles in the next few years -- is insanity.
It is bringing us to a point where we will not be able to control it. Nor would we be able to verify where they are, because they will be in the backs of trucks travelling around North America and Europe. If there is an accident, there will not be time. With six minutes from launch until a missile hits, a field commander could blow us all away and we would not be able to stop it.
I plead with the members of this House not to vote on this in strict terms of whether we can do this on our own. I agree that we have to negotiate with the federal government. It is the principle I am talking about. If members do not vote for it, they are saying, "We want nuclear weapons in Ontario and we want to produce nuclear arms in Ontario."
If that is where a member stands, he should say so; but if he does not, no matter how he stands on disarmament in general, he must support this motion. I urge members to do so with all my heart.
Mr. Shymko: Mr. Speaker, I commend the member for Scarborough West, who has presented this resolution. I commend his sensitivity and compassion. The issue must be debated sincerely, openly and in a nonpartisan way.
I will say something I should not be telling members now. After question period recently, someone from the Premier's office came to me and said: "The cabinet is worrying about what you will be saying. Make sure you don't go overboard."
I was in Dresden on February 11 and 12, a kid in the railway station, when the American and British bombers flew over. Have members read the statistics of Dresden? More people were butchered in Dresden than in Nagasaki and Hiroshima combined. We were civilians, women and children escaping, caught in a war between the Nazi forces of Germany and the Soviet forces of Russia.
No, I am not going to exaggerate. I communicate with people like us by letter where I have to be careful what I say and how I say it. They in turn have to be careful how they answer back. A priest came to see me last night. He sent a parcel containing a Bible that was opened, torn and shipped back after six months because it was subversive material.
We live in a terrible situation. I have blood relatives in that part of the world who do not want war. They are people; they raise their families; they worry about their future just as much as we do. Members will recall pictures of the German people in 1939 and 1940. There was nothing different between the German people and the people of England and the United States. People are people.
However, there is a hell of a difference in the regimes that have the power today to blow up this entire planet. We all saw pictures of the Goebbels family, a loving, beautiful family. We saw Hitler kissing children at a time when human beings were made into soap, when hundreds of thousands of people were gassed by a regime that spoke about peace in 1939, 1940 and 1941. It was not just the Nazis; so did the present regime of Soviet Russia along with them. When we fought the Battle of Britain, they were together. They spoke of peace. The only treaty Soviet Russia has not broken is the Nazi-Soviet pact, the Molotov-Ribbentrop treaty. It was never broken.
That regime had to be pressured for 25 years by the Jewish community and other communities in the free world to put up a monument for Nazi victims at Babi Yar and in Kiev. Do not tell me about holocausts and that I am supposed to be some kind of fanatic in the concern for human life and the depiction of this regime. People are people, but there is a hell of a difference between Jaruzelski' s regime and the 10 million members of Solidarity, and our governments, our workers, and their state and ours. Yes, we are all people.
Churchill was told by a member of the Labour Party in 1939: "You are a warmonger by attacking the peaceful initiatives of Hitler. Listen to his peace initiatives." He replied, "Madam, if I cannot show you the real face of Hitler today, in the spring of 1939, you will see the real face of that regime -- not the people of that regime but the real face of Hitler -- when it is too late."
I am concerned. The danger is not nuclear power but who has it. I respect the honourable member, but I shudder at some of the inconsistency of his rationale.
There is a man who received the Nobel peace prize who is well known to all of us, Dr. Andrei Sakharov. The very night Solzhenitsyn landed in West Germany, I called Dr. Sakharov. I had the privilege of having five conversations with him. In an open letter this year to Dr. Sidney Drell, he agrees. He says discussing the problem of nuclear disarmament and peace is the most important problem facing mankind, and I agree.
He says "the USSR at the present time has 8,000 thermonuclear charges deployed" against the west. "Many of these charges are warheads on ballistic missiles, and many of these are multiple, independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRVs). It should be noted that the basis of the USSR's arsenal (70 per cent, according to statements by Tass) consists of gigantic, land-based missiles ... on mobile launchers." Some of their cruise system missiles were developed in 1974-75 at the peak of détente.
He says "it is doubtful whether masses of aircraft" from the west "could penetrate Soviet territory" to prevent some semblance of balance, except for maybe the cruise missiles. It may give some semblance of balance so they can negotiate. Currently that is impossible.
He is deeply concerned by that. He says, "I am convinced that the following basic tenet of yours is true: Nuclear weapons only make sense as a means of deterring nuclear aggression by a potential enemy; i.e., a nuclear war cannot be planned with the aim of winning it." It is impossible.
He refers to the problem that we have not relied on conventional forces since the late 1940s. He says "the west's lack of political, military and economic unity" was part of the cause of this, as well as "striving to avoid a peacetime militarization of the economy, society, technology and science." Conventional forces were put second, while the numbers doubled on the other side; a regime that is no different from that of Nazi Germany.
He says, "The restoration of strategic parity is only possible by investing large resources and by an essential change in the psychological atmosphere in the west." Are we ready to make certain limited economic sacrifices and to double our commitment of conventional forces in NATO? Are we ready for this? A great deal depends on the west's politicians to be able to carry on such restructuring fundamentally between conventional and nuclear forces. If we are ready, then yes, by all means.
He continues, making a very strong statement:
"Precisely because an all-out nuclear war means collective suicide, we can imagine that a potential aggressor might count on a lack of resolve" and unity "on the part of the country under attack to take the step leading to that suicide; i.e., it could count on its victim capitulating for the sake of saving what could be saved. Given that, if the aggressor has a military advantage in some of the variants of conventional warfare or ... in some of the variants of partial (limited) nuclear warfare, he would attempt to use the fear of further escalation to force the enemy to fight the war on his (the aggressor's) own terms."
The Acting Speaker (Mr. Robinson): The member's time has expired.
Mr. Shymko: I am quoting Andrei Sakharov, who was involved in the development of the nuclear armament in the Soviet Union. He was exiled and is persecuted to this day. One cannot read this in the Soviet Union; I wish we could.
The Acting Speaker: Order.
Mr. Shymko: I want to conclude by saying that we must strive to find a solution to disarmament on the basis of balanced, verifiable means of disarmament, but Denmark is different because its proposal is not the same as ours.
The Acting Speaker: Order.
In recognizing the member for Kent-Elgin, I draw his attention to the clock.
Mr. McGuigan: Mr. Speaker, the member for Essex South (Mr. Mancini) and I have agreed to split the time, but I understand there are only about six minutes left.
I rise to speak to this resolution with a humble heart, daring out of conscience and obligation to touch upon the awesome subject. The military madness of the two great powers is drawing us closer and closer to the end of the world.
As a scientist, I accept the thesis that the day after would be no day at all, but rather the night of a winter that would last for centuries. As a strategist, I conclude that the bomb is not a weapon of war; it is an instrument of blackmail and terror which, once unleashed, consigns us and all generations to the inferno.
I compliment the member for bringing the issue forward. Discussion is a step towards awareness; awareness is a step towards dedication. I respect the peace movements around the world. I believe they are spontaneously erupting from genuine fear of the converging nuclear path the two superpowers are taking.
However, the resolution, well meaning as it may be, in my opinion does not address the problem we as a civilization face today. The situation we face today is a political rather than a military situation and the resolution points to a strategic solution.
The resolution does not address the real problem. Military planners on both sides assume they have an inhuman, ambitious enemy on the other side, an enemy which at the slightest sign of weakness would launch its missiles for no reason or hope of military or political gain but simply because the other missiles were there waiting to be launched under similar circumstances.
Underlying these harrowing assumptions are the anti-intellectual views of persons who interpret the two countries' histories as dictating the way they must react.
The United States, on the one hand, is largely a collection of the descendants of refugees and adventurers who fled the rigours of a class society to form a free-wheeling, relatively classless society in a raw country of enormous natural wealth. They owe their prosperity to hard work, to the oldest and most successful common market in the world, to a lack of nearby enemies and to the protection and insularity afforded by the oceans. They understandably judge their success on their ideology of freedom rather than on their circumstances. They believe with a passion that the American way should be the way of the world. Their own rhetoric carries them along.
The Russians, on the other hand, have their hatred of czarist principles. They believe with a passion that in order to achieve security in a hostile world the individual must sacrifice his or her independence. As a mostly land-locked power, they have maintained huge standing armies. They are paranoid about guarding their territories. They take every opportunity to expand their border. Twice invaded by Germany, having lost 20 million people in the Second World War, they are absolutely determined to hold on to the east European countries to present such a recurrence.
The awful spectre of these two giants squared off against each other is horrifying, impossible to understand or assimilate diplomatically, linguistically, religiously or historically.
Each side must accept the other. There is no democratic government waiting in the wings in Russia. There is no communist government waiting in the wings in the USA. Each of the giants could take some risks, such as declaring that it would not make a first strike. Sadly, however, the refusal to do so guarantees arms escalation. In my opinion, such a refusal enhances the chance that the so-called weapons will be used, and with them will come the consequent end of the planet.
Unilateral disarmament and declaration of nuclear free zones are inadequate and futile. The only hope is in rational discussion, an end of bullhorn diplomacy, an end to rhetoric. If we begin today it would take a lifetime to put the present stock of bombs out of commission.
Sadly, we are going to need slow, painstaking efforts on both sides to try to understand the other, its history and its purposes. We need travel, trade, an interchange of ideas and diplomacy between the superpowers. We need statesmen willing to put their prestige on the line to mediate and defuse the pressure points that will continually plague the affairs of the two great powers.
I close on a note of hope. We have avoided global worldwide war for 38 years. One generation has been spared. Though terrifying, there is hope in the cold, shuddering fact that we cannot escape the consequence of nuclear war. We must therefore face the issue. There is also hope in the knowledge that we have intelligent human beings on both sides. There is a hope in the fact that civilized human beings strive towards a future and strive not to erase the past of human history.
I cannot support the motion because in my opinion it does not offer a solution. I do, of course, support the intent because the problem is not in finding a nuclear free haven. The solution is in the nature of mankind because the problem is mankind itself.
The Deputy Speaker: I thank the member for his remarks. The time for this matter has expired.
AVIAN EMBLEM ACT
Mr. Pollock moved second reading of Bill 67, the Avian Emblem Act.
Mr. Pollock: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Fort William (Mr. Hennessy) for trading slots with me and enabling me to bring forth this bill. I appreciate his doing that. I have always enjoyed his comments in caucus. Also, I have had conversations with him and he is always very concerned about his constituents in Fort William and in particular the Thunder Bay area.
It is my pleasure to rise and speak on the --
The Deputy Speaker: Order. As members may be leaving the assembly and guests leaving the gallery, I would ask them to do so as quietly and efficiently as they can. The member will continue.
Mr. Pollock: It is my pleasure to rise and speak on the Avian Emblem Act, which proposes that the blue jay be made the provincial bird of Ontario. I would like to point out that I have had a lot of comments from members saying, "This bill is for the birds." I appreciate their sense of humour and their lighthearted comments, but I am quite serious in promoting this bill.
Perhaps the House may wonder why I chose a certain bird to be emblematic of our province. There are several reasons. The first reason is sentimental. I can remember as a child, seeing blue jays out the kitchen window in the fall of the year. This familiar sight would always inspire my mother to quote words of Wilfred Campbell's great poem, Indian Summer.
"Along the line of smokey hills the crimson forest stands,
"And all the day the blue jay calls throughout the autumn lands.
"Now by the brook the maple leans with all his glory spread.
"And all the sumacs on the hill have turned their green to red.
"Now by great marshes wrapt in mist, or past some river's mouth,
"Throughout the long, still autumn day wild birds are flying south."
My mother has passed away now, but I know she would have been very pleased to have the beautiful blue jay represent our great land.
Second, is it not the most colourful of all birds in any area? The bright blue of its feathers stands out against the green of the forest in the spring and in the summer. The combination of white, black and blue can be quickly recognized against the autumn leaves and its beauty is very visible in the background of sparkling winter snow.
I am sure there are other birds which stand out because of their colour. However, because of the vivid colours of the blue jay, I feel it is easily recognized throughout Ontario.
This brings me to the third reason, which is that the blue jay is native to all sections of Ontario, from the north to the south, from the east to the west. When considering this bill, I spoke to the Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Bernier), the member for Kenora, who told me that he had all kinds of blue jays in his backyard, feeding at the bird feeder. I would like to point out that he lives north of the 50th parallel.
Blue jays can also be found in the level farm lands of Oxford and Middlesex counties, in the Bruce Peninsula and in every area of southwestern Ontario. In my riding, that fine riding of Hastings-Peterborough, this bird is native to every inch of it. I would just like to name a few of the places where one could find the blue jay: Galway, Nogie's Creek, Warsaw, Buckhorn, Apsley, Chandos, Maynooth, Hybla, Coe Hill, St. Ola, O'Hara's Mills, Murphy's Corner, Sulphide, Tweed, Thomasburg, Deseronto, Tyendinaga Lala, Plainfield, West Huntington, Springbrook, Tiffany Station and Bonarlaw.
In fact, the blue jay can be found in the Laurentian highlands and in the Ottawa Valley. The blue jay is native to our national capital and, most important, to our provincial capital. When I was motoring down here on Monday morning I crossed Northumberland county road 35, proceeded along Highway 45 and happened to notice a blue jay flying across the highway. Even though I was driving at a reasonable highway speed, I still recognized the colourful bird. I think it is a plus for this province to have a bird that is easily recognized.
One thing I would like to mention is that the blue jay is not a nuisance bird like swallows and in particular sparrows and starlings. These birds are a real problem around the barns, drive houses and feed mills. They make nests there and are rather unsanitary. Even the pigeons around Queen's Park are nice, but they can be a real problem. One member of the staff in this building counted 100 direct hits on her car.
I have seen owl replicas or sometimes stuffed owls hanging in feed mills to keep these nuisance birds out. Sparrows will not go into a building if they see owls. The owl is regarded as a bird of prey even though it is a protected bird.
I have given reasons of beauty, habitat and personal preference, but now because of business promotion I bring the fourth. I feel that if we have a provincial bird it would promote the tourist industry. Industries such as Hinterland Handcrafts Ltd. in Bancroft would prosper greatly, as this company makes leather items sold in many tourist shops throughout Ontario. I think most of the members have seen some of their works in leather trillium pins and other souvenirs. Such places have requested a provincial bird and in one of their displays I have bought a leather blue jay which I would like to show.
I would also like to mention that shops throughout Ontario carry figurines of china and ceramics, oil and water paintings, and wood carvings using the blue jay as their subject. The Buckhorn Wildlife Art Festival, which attracts 20,000 visitors each year, would benefit if we chose this provincial bird.
As a member of the Ontario Legislature, I feel that because the province has a provincial flag, a provincial gem, a provincial flower and a provincial tree, let us further the progress of this province and be proud to call the blue jay the beautiful provincial bird of Ontario.
Mr. Boudria: Mr. Speaker, I read the bill in its entirety and was somewhat puzzled by it -- not because of its intent, for who could argue that one wants to have a provincial bird or provincial anything else? What disturbs me, though, is the fact this bill is proposed by a member who, like myself, represents a constituency in eastern Ontario.
Eastern Ontario has had more than its share of trouble, more than its fair share of unemployment and of all the other ills we have suffered in this province over the past few years. It surprises me that when a colleague from eastern Ontario brings forth a bill in the Legislature the most important thing the bill addresses itself to is regarding a bird. While I cannot be against the bird bill, I have grave reservations as far as its relative importance to other things we do in this province.
The member did enumerate some of the towns in his constituency -- Bancroft, Tweed, Marmora and Plainfield. They are all communities I pass through when I drive back to my own riding in eastern Ontario. If we were standing on the sidewalk in Tweed and asked what is the most important issue in Tweed right now, I have grave reservations whether the bird bill would be first on the list of priorities of the people of Tweed.
It would not be first on the list of priorities of the electors of Prescott-Russell. I doubt very much whether it would be first on the list of priorities of the people of Chatham either, or anywhere else. But I am especially concerned about the eastern Ontario aspect because, like the member who proposed the bill, that is the area I represent.
I can recall the remarks made by the member for Northumberland (Mr. Sheppard) not long ago in this Legislature when he discussed something that was needed in eastern Ontario for communicating with the people of this province. The member for Northumberland wanted more towers so we could have TVOntario out in his area and the people of his riding could be served. He said the people of eastern Ontario were treated as second-class citizens because they could not get proper television coverage from this government, the government of which he himself is a member.
I know the two constituencies are near each other. I would be surprised if all the areas in the riding of Hastings-Peterborough were covered with TVOntario. Perhaps they are and they have no such problem. Perhaps all the unemployment problems in Bancroft that we heard about last year have been solved. Perhaps all the tile drainage problems that we have had in eastern Ontario over the last few years have been resolved as well. Perhaps they have all been resolved since I left my constituency yesterday. But I would suspect that is not the case.
I represent an area that has suffered very high unemployment and where farmers have difficulty trying to make ends meet. When one hears at public meetings in eastern Ontario that our pork producers cannot get any more that 58 or 59 cents a pound for their product that cost 85 cents a pound to produce, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, it is very difficult to accept that they cannot get assistance from their government.
As a member for eastern Ontario, it is difficult to accept that the combined constituencies of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry and Prescott-Russell get less in tile drainage loans than the county of Lambton. Why? Why do we in eastern Ontario deserve to be treated this way by this government? I would suspect we deserve better. We deserve better than this kind of legislation. We deserve better than the treatment we have been getting from this government.
The death-bed repentance, as my colleague the member for Renfrew North (Mr. Conway) I referred to it, by the actions of this government when it walks into Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry and other areas of eastern Ontario telling what a great job it is doing and it is going to spread around a few more dollars here and there trying to buy a few votes in our area, is just not going to work. Legislation like that is not going to work to convince the people of eastern Ontario that they are getting their fair representation.
If we were in a traffic jam at this very moment on the Queensway in Ottawa, a traffic jam which will last for the next eight years, courtesy of the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow), a blue jay is not what we would want to hear about. We would want to hear about a program to solve the problems we have of being in a mess in the national capital of this country for the next eight years, courtesy of the government.
I want to discuss briefly issues regarding my own constituency in eastern Ontario where we really need assistance from the government of this province and where Bill 67 should address itself to those issues. Mr. Speaker, if you were a member of eastern Ontario at heart, you could have given another name to this bill because the most important bird in eastern Ontario is not the blue jay. I have another one I would like to offer to all the members. The most important bird for eastern Ontario, given the actions of that government over the past year, should more properly be the broiler chicken.
Mr. Ruston: Not turkeys, chickens.
Mr. Boudria: The electors of my own riding, the chicken farmers of my constituency, deserve much better than they have received from this government.
As the member for Essex North (Mr. Ruston) says very clearly, we have a government that over the last months has persecuted the farmers of my constituency, who have been trying to make ends meet by raising agricultural products, mainly broiler chickens, while we see customers, whether they are McDonald's or other restaurants, unable to get products. We see the people of my constituency driven out of business by an inconsiderate government across the floor, while the best the government has been able to offer to the people of eastern Ontario has been a few crumbs.
The Deputy Speaker: This is not a government bill, as the member knows. It is a private member's bill.
Mr. Boudria: I will come around to that. I am well aware of who proposed this bill. It is a Conservative member of the government from eastern Ontario whose same government has neglected the people of our province. Legislation of this sort, proposed by a member from eastern Ontario who should be well aware of the problems we have had in our area, is inexcusable and it is intolerable.
Of course nobody could disagree that the blue jay is just as good a bird as any other. Some people have referred to other birds as being preferable. However, there is nothing wrong with the bill, but there is very little going for it.
Those will conclude my remarks. As a member representing an eastern Ontario constituency, I feel insulted that some people in this Legislature think there is nothing more important to propose to the people of eastern Ontario than a bird.
Mr. McClellan: Mr. Speaker, I rise with an exquisite sense of the grotesque to participate in this debate on Bill 67. I do want to thank the member for Hastings-Peterborough (Mr. Pollock) for offering to give us the bird that is set out in the bill before us.
He has proposed, as we know, the blue jay as Ontario's provincial bird. While I certainly accept the principle of having a bird, I want to propose that instead the provincial bird for Ontario should not be the blue jay but the cardinal. I have a number of important arguments to make in support of my contention that the blue jay is a totally inappropriate bird, not to say nasty and vicious, which does not represent in any way, shape or form the noblest aspirations of the people of this province.
I should say, by the way, that I have for reference my own copy of a Field Guide to the Birds by Roger Tory Peterson. Members can tell that my approach is nonpartisan and bipartisan. In fact, I want to take politics out of bird watching in this province and give it back to the people.
The genealogy of the blue jay, as I am sure Mr. Speaker is aware, is that it is related to the crow and the raven. It is a misbegotten miscreant. The cardinal, on the other hand, is related to the finch, a fine Irish family.
The colour of the blue jay has been described by the member for Hastings-Peterborough with complete inaccuracy. The Latin name is a dead giveaway, cyanocitta cristata. That, of course, as members know, is the colour of cyanide. It is a poisonous, sickly blue colour. Why is it that the Tories want to inflict this awful colour on the people of Ontario? They have done it to our dining room. The rugs are blue, the walls are blue, the napkins are blue, the menus are blue, the chairs are blue and the uniforms of the waiters are blue. Now they want to give us another dose of a cyanide-like colour.
Then there is the voice of the blue jay. I simply read this; I do not do bird imitations, unlike some of my colleagues. It is described as having "a harsh, slurring 'jeeah jeeah'" or, alternately, "a musical 'queedle, queedle.'" The cardinal is described as having a clear whistle, lowering in pitch, described as "what-cheer cheer cheer, whoit whoit whoit, or hirdy hirdy hirdy." Can Mr. Speaker compare that with "jeeah jeeah jeeah"? Absolutely not.
The blue jay, of course, is well known to my colleagues from northern Ontario and is commonly described as the thief of the forest. It will steal from campers; it will steal from passersby. It is a scavenger. It is related to the crow. It is described in this book as "eating almost anything."
But the cardinal, which is related to the finch, is something of a gourmet. The cardinal dines on seeds, insects and small fruits. It has been known to frequent our finest hotels and is even a fine companion at picnics from time to time. The blue jay's known associates are scavengers, thieves and low lifes, like the crow and the raven. The cardinal associates only with quality.
The range of the blue jay is not the entire province of Ontario, contrary to what we have been led to believe. The blue jay does not inhabit the far north, but the cardinal has been seen as far north as Ear Falls.
The cardinal, in short, is loyal, devoted, easily trained and can become a fine pet. But the blue jay is misbegotten, squawking, thieving, scavenging, poison-coloured and a glutton.
How could anybody propose that the blue jay be our provincial bird? I do not intend to take the full 10 minutes. I propose as an alternative a bird of eminence, the cardinal.
Mr. Stevenson: Mr. Speaker, I am certainly pleased to join the debate on this bill to support the member for Hastings-Peterborough in what I feel is a very good choice in selecting an avian emblem. Of course, I would have no difficulty supporting the member for Bellwoods (Mr. McClellan). He certainly did make a rather eminent choice. I expected that would come out in the debate this afternoon.
I am surprised that so far no one has suggested the seagull, with the publicity this province and Metropolitan Toronto got throughout North America over this past summer.
Mr. Wildman: The Blue Jays defended the seagull.
Mr. Stevenson: Yes, I suppose that is the answer.
Members have made some suggestions, many of them in a rather lighthearted fashion. I am surprised that members of the official opposition did not come up with some bird that was particularly adapted to sitting on fences or flying around in circles.
Mr. Wildman: It is called a mugwump.
Mr. Stevenson: Speaking of the mugwump, there is a good university party song some members may know called the Wild West Show. There is a gullagaloo bird referred to in that song, which I thought was rather apropos to describing birds flying around in circles. I will not describe it here. I am not sure this is the time or place.
As for the members of the third party, I thought they might have selected a bird from an endangered species, something they could identify with, or possibly one with only one wing, which would have to be a left wing. If we do select a bird, it will likely appear in the next $200 calendar of the Ministry of Natural Resources.
It is interesting to note that five provinces have selected avian emblems: Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, which recently picked the black-capped chickadee. Every American state has an official avian emblem. Regardless of what one is selecting for official designation, whether a plant, a mineral or an animal, it is a very difficult task.
Anyone wishing to talk to the Natural Resources people will learn that a great deal of thought and consideration went into selecting the white pine as Ontario's official tree. As a matter of record, it is safe to say we could expect some controversy on this issue. I am sure the member for Hastings-Peterborough was prepared for controversy when he made this suggestion.
Certainly, there was considerable controversy at the time of the selection of the trillium as the floral emblem for this province. There was a Globe and Mail headline on March 11, 1937, which read, "Party Lines Are Split over Floral Emblem." The story related to how members of various parties had some dispute over what the emblem should really be. The debate over the floral emblem became quite heated, with many members referring to the merits of dandelions and shamrocks, Scottish thistles and so on. Finally, the issue was handed over to the agricultural committee before any final decision was made.
I am surprised at the attitude of the member for Prescott-Russell (Mr. Boudria), who started taking exception to the member who brought forth this private member's bill. It certainly is not a government bill. He is showing his lack of knowledge of what an emblem can do.
I would again come back to the trillium. One of the best-known logos in Ontario is the trillium. We use it on a regular basis to advertise the very products the member seemed to be somewhat sarcastic about. We use it in our grocery stores today to advertise the products of our Ontario food producers. The shoppers of Ontario are clearly looking for that emblem when they select food products. We have made use of it in a very great way.
As the member for Hastings-Peterborough points out, the blue jay as an avian emblem possibly could be used to advertise the recreational and tourism activities in our province. Most certainly, it would help small business in merchandising. If it could begin to have the impact that the trillium emblem and logo have had in this province, it would be a major step forward and would help the very people the member was talking about. Not only does the member for Hastings-Peterborough have an excellent idea, but also I think it is very clear that we have the proof it can very well work in the way he has suggested.
I would like to point out that I like the appearance of the bird, its size and so on. We have heard a little bit about the bird's call, which can be a bit harsh at times, but the blue jay does have other sounds most people are not aware of. As a matter of fact, they are very pleasant sounds if one can catch them at the proper time. It is certainly not just the harsh call we are aware of.
Many residents of this province have shown over the years that blue is a preferred colour. If they were given the opportunity, I suspect they would continue in their great tradition of showing their good judgement in selecting a blue-coloured bird.
Some might suggest it is not the best of choices because it does not live in the whole province. A careful examination of bird books -- and I would also use Peterson's bird book that the member referred to earlier -- definitely shows that the blue jay is found at least as far as Kenora, Sioux Lookout and the Lake Nipigon and Lake Abitibi areas. So it certainly includes most of the heavily populated part of the province. I would also point out to the members that we do have a maple leaf on our flag and the maple tree does not grow in all parts of Canada.
In the Durham-York area we have some excellent cross-country skiing, excellent horseback riding trails and all kinds of outdoor activities in and around Lake Simcoe and Lake Scugog. Anything that will help to sell the recreation and tourism industries in that area will be greatly appreciated. I have no hesitation whatsoever in supporting the member for Hastings-Peterborough in his bill to select the blue jay as the avian emblem of this great province.
Mr. Conway: Mr. Speaker, I participate in this debate as an eastern Ontarian. I must say I have a great deal of liking for my friend from Stirling. He has been here two and one half years and I find him to be a very thoughtful, always considerate kind of fellow. It is good to be able to join in his private member's ballot item. I support the principle of Bill 67.
In so doing, I want to note the speech of the member for Bellwoods, which I thought was really a very fine speech.
Mr. Wildman: Don't you think he did it with grace?
Mr. Conway: As the member for Algoma (Mr. Wildman) said, the member for Bellwoods did it with such grace and panache as to make one hopeful for the future prospects of the member for Bellwoods. I congratulate him because it was a fine speech.
Notwithstanding my personal liking for the member for Hastings-Peterborough and my support for the principle of Bill 67, surely we as eastern Ontarians -- particularly, as my friend from Stirling will know, those of us who represent rural, small-town eastern Ontario -- have more pressing concerns on our public agenda.
I have before me a recent copy of the Bancroft Times in which the member for Hastings-Peterborough appears prominently with Sally Barnes.
Mr. Conway: I see I have excited the attention of the member for Chatham-Kent (Mr. Watson).
The Acting Speaker (Mr. Cousens): Order.
Mr. Conway: To you, reverend sir, in the chair, let me say there was a recent public meeting sponsored by the Hastings-Peterborough Progressive Conservative Association -- at which Sally Barnes was the prominent guest speaker and at which women's issues were a number one concern on the agenda of that meeting. I congratulate the Hastings-Peterborough Progressive Conservative Association for having had Sally Barnes, one of the great neutrals in the public debate of this province, to the great town of Bancroft to discuss that great and important issue of women's issues and the role of women in the society of the 1980s.
I might have thought on the basis of what I read in the Bancroft Times that we would have been seized today with a private member's ballot item from the member for Hastings-Peterborough about that issue. For example, I know the member for Hastings-Peterborough is a successful dairy farmer from the southwesterly portion of the great county of Hastings.
Mr. Haggerty: Cattle do not like blue jays, that's for sure.
Hon. Mr. Andrewes: Don't get personal.
Mr. Conway: The honourable member is a very distinguished, prominent and successful agriculturist from the great county of Hastings. I thought we might have had a ballot item today dealing with the matters of urgent and pressing concern that affect so many farmers in Hastings, Renfrew, Lennox and Addington, Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry and elsewhere, but I note with some concern a lack of the kind of agricultural insight I know the member for Hastings-Peterborough possesses.
For example, I know the member for Hastings-Peterborough is keenly interested in the fate of that great northern community in his riding, Bancroft, where some year ago there was a mine shut down with a loss of some 400 jobs in his constituency. I know because we have a mutual interest in that community --
Mr. Stokes: Which principle of this bill are you referring to?
Mr. Conway: I say to the former Speaker, the knight commander of all the good people of Schreiber and Lake Nipigon, I support the principle of the bill, but I note that, in my view, the member for Hastings-Peterborough has not taken full advantage of the private members' hour to discuss issues in which I know he has a great interest and about which he has great expertise. As a fellow eastern Ontarian, reverend sir --
The Acting Speaker: Speak to the Speaker. You are talking --
Mr. Conway: Mr. Speaker, I am sorry, but I know of your roots not only in religion but also in Vankleek Hill and that you are sensitive to the rhythms of rural eastern Ontario. I know you would share with me a sense of surprise that in these troubled times in rural, small-town eastern Ontario, our good friend the member for Hastings-Peterborough advances the cause of avian emblems.
When I stop to have a coffee and a doughnut in Bancroft, they are not as concerned about blue jays as they are about where the job for tomorrow is going to be. They are concerned, I know, in Madoc, Marmora and Plainfield about agriculture. They are concerned in all of Hastings and part of Peterborough, ably represented by my good friend from Stirling. Difficult as it is, I want to be fair and honest in respecting the facts.
Mr. Robinson: First time today.
Mr. Conway: My friend the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere points out that it may be the first time today, but I am proud to say there can be a first time even from a partisan such as myself.
I know the good farm member from Stirling shares with me a private if not public concern about the carryings-on of the asphalt twins, the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. Timbrell) and his deputy, Mr. Allan, who are creating no small measure of havoc in terms of agriculture in Ontario in 1983. These asphalt twins from Don Mills and the Ministry of Treasury and Economics do not even understand the impact of their tax policy on farmers in the Niagara Peninsula. Thank God for the member for Lincoln (Mr. Andrewes), who brought them to their senses, along with many on this side, in holding back that reform, which not only was going to visit destruction upon a lot of farm income and tax situations but also might have sunk the Minister of Agriculture and Food in his leadership campaign and left the member for Cochrane South (Mr. Pope) advancing strongly on the inside.
I would have thought the farm member from Stirling, as he can do very specially from his lifetime in that industry, and with the good help of the squire of Roseneath, seated to his immediate right, who also understands these problems, would have advanced the kind of agricultural insight that they alone have amongst the senior bureaucracy in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.
What do we get? We do not get a ballot item about the concerns of rural life in Stirling or Hastings-Peterborough. We get this esoteric cause of avian emblems. God save and God bless the blue jay. Some wag here was saying the choice may be between the Cardinals and the Blue Jays. Even those of us who are on the Ottawa River frontier and who have loyalties to the Expos, given the choice of the Cardinals and the Blue Jays, would unquestionably have to --
Mr. T. P. Reid: The Premier's (Mr. Davis) choice is the cardinal. I think he wants the cardinal.
The Acting Speaker: Order.
Mr. Conway: Some wag in the precinct said the choice was apparently between the Cardinals and the Blue Jays. Given that choice, I want the Solicitor General (Mr. G. W. Taylor) to know, so that he can tell his friend and mine, the member for York East (Mr. Elgie), that we from Pembroke, St. Catharines and Woodslee support the Blue Jays without any real equivocation.
However, consider the unemployment rates in Hastings-Peterborough. This great party of ours recently put forward a creative and positive alternative in terms of youth employment and skills development. In the process of generating that positive alternative, we ran some material with Statistics Canada on youth unemployment figures in Ontario. The Peterborough area has one of the highest youth unemployment profiles anywhere in Ontario, second only, as I recall, to northeastern Ontario. I know the member for Hastings-Peterborough understands the pressures of unemployment in his great riding. I would have thought there might have been something in his private member's public business in that connection.
I would have thought he and the squire from Roseneath and others from rural eastern Ontario would have wanted to get up in their places and complain about the lack of rural representation from the great reaches of the eastern portion of our province in the cabinet of the Premier, the largest, most bloated executive council in the history of great Ontario. Since the early part of July, we have not had a farm representative from rural eastern Ontario.
I would have thought the member from Stirling might have stood up today and advanced his own cause in that connection or helped with the good and noble cause of the member for Lanark (Mr. Wiseman), whose unceremonious and, in my view, uncalled-for dismissal in early July of this year represented a slap in the face to the good people of Hastings-Peterborough and elsewhere.
Mr. Breaugh: Mr. Speaker, like many, I have been anxiously awaiting this afternoon's debate as one of the highlights of a career in parliament. Before I begin, though, I want to say that the irony is upon us of the tone of the debate that occurred in the first hour of private members' business today, and of its subject matter and this one.
It is the right of every individual member to establish his or her own priorities and to put before the Legislature a bill or a resolution he or she thinks is a priority item. Therefore, the member for Hastings-Peterborough is simply exercising his right as a member to say this is the matter he feels the Legislature ought to debate this afternoon. That is his choice. Whether or not I agree with its being a priority item, I do agree with the concept that each one of us has from time to time an opportunity to put something before the Legislature. I would be reluctant to see that change.
I have listened to the debate so far. At the beginning, I want to say I have no real objection to a bill of this nature coming before us. It strikes me that it is hardly a priority item, but there are many who would feel that some kind of selection process for a provincial bird is a worthwhile thing for a Legislature to do.
Mr. McClellan: Are you suggesting a royal commission?
Mr. Breaugh: No. I am not suggesting a royal commission on picking the bird, or a select committee or anything of that nature. It might be useful to some people. I do not know, but it would hardly be a priority of mine. I am hearing lots of good concepts of what could be done with this bill, but not all of them could be put on the record.
I want to say at the outset that I listened very carefully to the eloquent argument put forward by the member for Bellwoods for his alternative. I was impressed by his arguments. I think it is my own personal disposition this afternoon not to support that well-put argument. I have a little reluctance to associate myself with cardinals these days, and I think it is because cardinals are sometimes caught in bad company. Perhaps it is not their fault, but that is where they are.
If we were going over the record of the government of Ontario and we wanted to choose a bird to represent Ontario, for the last period of time I think some criteria could be established. First of all, it would obviously be a capon of some sort; I do not think there is any question of that. The logical choice most likely would be a turkey. If we were trying to parallel the bird of choice with the government's actions, without question it would be a turkey of some kind.
Hon. Mr. Elgie: You would be the capon. Do you know what a capon is?
Mr. Breaugh: The minister is suggesting he use his surgical skills again. His neurosurgical days are over with, particularly --
Hon. Mr. Elgie: That is a skill you never lose.
Mr. Breaugh: That comment indicates he would be a dangerous man with a knife.
The problem I came to with this bill is not the qualities of the blue jay, but that the blue jay has been associated now with things I would really rather not have pointed out to people. The Blue Jays, of course, are well known as a baseball team in town. The Blue Jays have a close relationship with a brewery. So it strikes me as being inappropriate to pick the blue jay as the bird of choice for Ontario. There are many who would be offended by that obvious connection between a brewery and the province's national bird. I also find the colour blue somewhat offensive, but that is another matter entirely.
The reason I cannot support this bill is that it becomes obvious to me, and I think to anyone who has watched the process of politics in Ontario over the years, that these little logos, which start out as being a simple way to identify Ontario, somehow become obviously entwined with another blue conspiracy sooner or later. The trillium, which started out to be a symbol of Ontario, has been turned into part of the big blue conspiracy.
Hon. Mr. Ashe: We don't have a blue trillium yet. We are working on it but are not successful so far.
Mr. Breaugh: The minister admits failure in that regard too.
Hon. Mr. Ashe: No, just working on it.
Mr. Breaugh: Perhaps he should put out a contract on that concept. He seems to be relatively successful lately at putting out contracts.
It became obvious to me after a short while of contemplation on this bill that in the first instance the concept here is not one that is going to cause me a great deal of concern, but the choice of the bird is wrong. I think that has been clearly demonstrated during the speeches here this afternoon.
The blue jay is not the bird we are after. We are looking for another bird. The member for Bellwoods has put forward his option of the cardinal and made an eloquent case for that. There may be justification and we may well see what some have rumoured that there will be a select committee struck to go into the choice of bird, that a tour of the world is in order and that they will follow the Minister of Government Services (Mr. Ashe) on his next tour around the world and choose the proper bird.
The bottom line for me is that I have seen a prostitution of the process so regularly as to offend me. I am not prepared to accept this bill this afternoon, because it is clear that it is part of a plot to delude the people of Ontario that there are no real problems to be dealt with and that the Legislature of Ontario has nothing better to do this afternoon than to debate which bird will be chosen as the bird for Ontario.
I choose not to be a part of that conspiracy. I am not suggesting it is a communist plot or anything of that nature, but I am suggesting it is an inappropriate time for us to be choosing this particular bird. I find the blue jay is the wrong bird in any case and whether or not the Legislature chooses to send the bill to committee and conduct further deliberations on the choice of bird, that decision would be a useless one.
I cannot support the bill. I apologize to the member for Hastings-Peterborough, who has put before us his priority this afternoon. It is his right to pick that priority. I do wish, though, that other matters had been put on our agenda.
Mr. Speaker: Does any other member wish to partake in this debate? The member for Cambridge.
Mr. Barlow: Mr. Speaker, I will defer to my colleague who introduced the bill.
Mr. Speaker: There is a total of 11 minutes left, The honourable member has indicated to me he wants to use six of those 11.
Mr. Barlow: I will take a few minutes to comment on this avian emblem bill and exercise my support for my colleague's proposal of the bill. The member for Hastings-Peterborough has already stated, as others have, why the blue jay would be a suitable emblem for this province.
Probably there should be some recognition given to the meaning behind symbols and emblems of many sorts in any jurisdiction. We have a provincial flag, a symbol of this province. We have a national flag. We all recall the debate that took place in the House of Commons when the country wanted to introduce and adopt a national flag. There were some of us -- and I certainly remember myself among them -- who were not particularly supportive of the choice that was made originally, but I certainly support, and proudly do so, the Canadian flag we have at present.
We have other symbols. The trillium, which has been mentioned, goes back a number of years. That was introduced as the provincial flower. We are all proud of that being our provincial flower. There is a whole range of provincial and federal symbols we should take pride in.
Mr. Haggerty: Tell us what happened with Galt.
Mr. Barlow: Galt? I had great pride in Galt too, when there was a city of Galt.
Mr. Speaker: Address the bill, please.
Mr. Barlow: I am now proud of being a resident of Cambridge. As those of us who have had our names changed for whatever reason have grown to accept it, I accept it.
Most of us agree it is important to have something significant we can grab hold of. We are proud of the flag, the bird and the provincial stone, the amethyst. Down below we have room 151, a committee room, which we call with pride our Amethyst Room. I have on my finger an amethyst stone which I wear with great pride. It happens to be my birthstone.
All of these cultures and backgrounds mean a great deal to all of us. The maple leaf is another symbol of our country. The maple leaf was formally adopted by resolution as the emblem worn by the native-born Canadians during a visit to Toronto by the Prince of Wales, a little bit of history. He later became King Edward VII. At the time of Confederation, Quebec and Ontario both chose the maple leaf as their provincial leaf and then it became the national emblem of Canada, of which we are all truly proud.
I mentioned the trillium. It was adopted in 1937. My colleague spoke earlier about the trillium. It merits further remarks because the trillium was not adopted with great ease. There was a lot of dissension in the ranks at that time. There was a Liberal member of the House at that time from the great riding of Muskoka whose name was Frank Kelly. He was a Liberal member locally known as the uncrowned king of Muskoka. He expressed fears that if the trillium were legislated as Ontario's official flower, he would have to replace the rose he customarily wore in his buttonhole.
I am pleased to support my colleague in his choice of a provincial bird, one of whom has a nest in my own house. They come back year after year. They stay there. They raise their family each year. I support my colleague.
Mr. Pollock: Mr. Speaker, I would just like to make a few brief comments on some of the speeches that were made here this afternoon.
The member for Renfrew North and also the member for Prescott-Russell made mention of the fact that I was not concerned about agriculture. I certainly am concerned about agriculture. I might just point out to both members that the Ontario government has just announced a program which is going to refund $90 million back to the farmers of Ontario next year. Because both these gentlemen belong to the same political party, and we are talking about a bird bill, I would just like to throw in a little pun here. Birds of a feather fly together.
The member for Oshawa (Mr. Breaugh) mentioned the colour. I would point out to him that if he ever looked at our Canadian flag there are only two colours there, white and red. White is a rather neutral colour, sometimes called the colour of innocence, but the other colour certainly represents another political party. Red represents the Liberal Party. That is their colour, the same as blue is our party colour.
They also mentioned the Blue Jay ball team. Once again I would refer to our Canadian flag. It has a maple leaf in the centre and I have never heard anyone say that flag alludes to the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team. Speaking of colour, we also have a shield pin here. This particular shield pin is passed out by the Speaker's office and it contains the colours red, white, green and yellow. It has no blue on it, but I have never heard any complaints about that from anyone on this side of the House.
The member for Renfrew North said this would not help North Hastings. As I mentioned in my remarks, this blue jay replica was made by Hinterland Handcrafts Ltd. in Bancroft and it is sold all over Ontario. I would be glad to show this to the member if he wants a closer look. That ends my comments.
Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order: I think the debate this afternoon missed the essential element in this item. There should have been a Winfield amendment that referred to the seagull.
NUCLEAR ARMS FREE ZONE
The House divided on Mr. Allen's motion of resolution 1, which was negatived on the following vote:
Allen, Breaugh, Bryden, Cassidy, Charlton, Cooke, Copps, Cunningham, Di Santo, Eakins, Epp, Foulds, Grande, Haggerty, Johnston, R. F., Laughren, Lupusella, Mackenzie, Martel, McClellan, McEwen, McKessock, Miller, G. I., Newman, Nixon, Peterson, Philip, Rae, Renwick, Roy, Ruprecht, Samis, Stokes, Swart, Sweeney, Van Horne, Wildman, Wrye.
Andrewes, Ashe, Baetz, Barlow, Bernier, Birch, Boudria, Bradley, Breithaupt, Conway, Cousens, Cureatz, Dean, Drea, Eaton, Edighoffer, Elgie, Elston, Eves, Fish, Gordon, Gregory, Grossman, Harris, Havrot, Hennessy, Johnson, J. M., Jones, Kennedy, Kerr, Kolyn, Lane, Leluk, MacQuarrie, Mancini, McCague, McGuigan, McLean, Miller, F. S., O'Neil;
Piché, Pollock, Pope, Ramsay, Reid, T. P., Robinson, Rotenberg, Runciman, Ruston, Scrivener, Sheppard, Shymko, Sterling, Stevenson, K. R., Taylor, G. W., Taylor, J. A., Timbrell, Treleaven, Walker, Watson, Wells, Williams, Wiseman, Yakabuski.
Ayes 38; nays 64.
AVIAN EMBLEM ACT
Mr. Speaker: Mr. Pollock has moved second reading of Bill 67.
All those in favour will please say "aye."
All those opposed will please say "nay."
In my opinion the ayes have it.
Motion agreed to.
Mr. McClellan: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: You have not disposed of the bill.
Mr. Speaker: Yes, I did.
Mr. McClellan: No. You did not ask whether it would be ordered before committee of the whole.
Mr. Speaker: Yes. It has to go to committee of the whole.
DIVISION OF TIME
Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I will make the business statement before we adjourn tonight. However, I would like to draw to your attention that it has been agreed we will divide the time tonight for the concluding debate on Bill 111 as follows: one hour for the official opposition, one hour for the New Democratic Party and 15 minutes for the minister to wind up, with the vote to be called at 10:15 tonight.
The House recessed at 6:01 p.m.