The House resumed at 8 p.m.
Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, would you count heads?
Clerk of the House: We do not have a quorum, Mr. Speaker.
The Deputy Speaker ordered the bells to be rung.
FAMILY LAW REFORM AMENDMENT ACT
Hon. Mr. McMurtry moved second reading of Bill 93, An Act to amend the Family Law Reform Act.
Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order: Before we go into orders of the day, I wonder if we might have the unanimous consent of the House to revert to statements, because we were given to believe by the Provincial Secretary for Justice (Mr. Walker) that the Attorney General might make a statement, to see if they might release that young woman before the day is out.
The Deputy Speaker: Order.
Mr. Kerrio: That is in order. With unanimous consent we could revert to statements to see if that young woman could be released.
The Deputy Speaker: Would the member for Niagara Falls please take his seat. The minister had already moved second reading. If we could proceed --
Mr. R. F. Johnston: We are willing to give unanimous consent to revert. With unanimous consent we can do anything.
The Deputy Speaker: Order. The minister has moved second reading of Bill 93.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I do not have anything to add to my opening statement.
Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, the amendments proposed in Bill 93 are certainly acceptable to the official opposition. There are only two things these amendments will do. First, there will be the remedy of an attachment order, which is rather effective. It was referred to by the Attorney General as the continuing garnishment which can occur and is now available against payments under a pension plan.
This remedy has been available in other aspects of financial arrangements. The opportunity for the pension to be attached where necessary is something we on this side of the House can accept. Even more important, the amendment allows this attachment order to be varied whenever the circumstances of the parties change.
One of the difficulties we have seen with respect to comments made as the Family Law Reform Act goes through a series of proposals of change is that an area of concern to many persons is the whole matter of variance of orders. We have all received comments from a number of organizations and committees, mainly formed by men, seeking relief from a variety of judgements or court orders. These men complain they have been unable, from their point of view, to receive a fair, sufficient and thorough hearing when they come forward to seek a variance. The concerns we all share in that area will no doubt be addressed as the Family Law Reform Act is thoroughly reviewed.
In the meantime, we have the opportunity to include this one particular point as an amendment to the act. We are prepared to accept the amendment. In our view, it will not be necessary for the bill to go to committee. It can proceed directly.
Mr. Bradley: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order: I would like to take the opportunity to have members show their appreciation for the presence in the members' gallery of Mr. George Nixon, the former member for Dovercourt.
Mr. McClellan: We are always pleased to welcome relatives of the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon).
Mr. Nixon: He is on the Dick Nixon side.
Mr. McClellan: This evening I have the honour of standing in for my colleague the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick). I am pleased to announce he is celebrating his 66th birthday and I know we all wish him well. He has the pleasure of spending this evening with his family rather than with his colleagues.
Following the detailed instructions bequeathed to me by the member for Riverdale, I want to indicate we support Bill 93 on second reading.
We approve of the initiative of the government in adding pensions to assets under the Family Law Reform Act.
We have a modest amendment we would like to move in committee of the whole. My colleague the member for Beaches-Woodbine (Ms. Bryden) will move that when we proceed to committee of the whole House.
Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, as my colleague has said, we are supporting this bill, but we consider it a very small step towards reform of the Family Law Reform Act which was passed five years ago. We have now had five years' experience and have discovered there are a great many deficiencies in that act.
I feel the Attorney General has picked up a small loophole in this bill which permitted people who were receiving pensions to escape attachments for unpaid maintenance orders. However, he has made the amendment rather narrow. It does not cover vested pensions that are not yet being paid out, nor will it cover the attachment of pensions until such time as payment does start.
A woman with a maintenance order in default will not get any relief from this bill except under very narrow circumstances. That is one reason why we are sending it to committee and proposing an amendment to broaden the scope of it.
As I said, it is a very small step towards reform. Massive reforms to the Family Law Reform Act are needed. For example, we still do not have sharing of nonfamily assets in this province except by court decision. There is no automatic sharing of nonfamily assets on marriage breakup as there is in several other provinces, including Quebec, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
There is no mediation system in family law for bypassing litigation. It is really a gift to lawyers. In many cases, a lot of the family assets are even frittered away -- maybe that is not the correct term -- and lost in legal fees.
There is insufficient protection for the matrimonial home as the Stoimenov case has shown us. A spouse can put mortgages on the matrimonial home and then disappear, leaving the other spouse with a matrimonial home that is so encumbered that she really has no home and usually has to default on the mortgages and go on welfare.
We have insufficient enforcement of maintenance orders. That is what this bill attempts to address in some senses. Statistics recently issued indicate that there is something like $42 million worth of unpaid support orders in Ontario and that maintenance orders for about 65 per cent of women receiving maintenance are in default. It indicates there is great need for strengthening the enforcement and the kind of assets that can be attached, which is what --
The Deputy Speaker: Order. If I may, I would like to interrupt the member for a moment. The level of comments and individual conversations throughout the chamber is slowly rising. We have guests in the gallery this evening.
The Deputy Speaker: Order. It is not decorous and does not give the member an opportunity to debate. Could we keep conversations to a bare minimum or outside the chamber?
Ms. Bryden: As I was saying, there is $42 million worth of unpaid maintenance orders in Ontario. This affects something like 40,000 spouses and dependants who are suffering from this spousal default. This is a very serious problem and indicates that this legislation needs a great deal more amendment.
The treatment of pension benefits is certainly one of the areas where we could extend the law to make sure that all pension benefits are subject to attachment. In addition, all pension benefits should be shared on marriage breakup. At the present time, they are not considered family assets. A wife can help her husband during 30 years of marriage so that he can keep a job with a pension attached to it. He receives pension credits and earns a pension, but in effect, he earns that only because he also has a spouse who is providing him with a home. Pension benefits are not considered an asset in Ontario that can automatically be divided on a 50-50 basis in marriage breakups.
Then there are registered retirement savings plans, another form of pension benefits, into which a great many well-off people are putting their money. RRSPs are earned during the marriage and the opportunity to contribute to them comes from the joint efforts of the spouses, but they are not considered assets which are divided on a 50-50 basis either. A man can salt away a lot of money in an RRSP and the wife, on the marriage breakup, will not get a penny of it unless she goes to court and can claim it.
One woman, Mrs. Leatherdale, went to court on this issue and was given only a small portion of the registered retirement savings plan and the stock her husband had acquired as part of a stock option plan because she had not worked full time outside the home. Only the years when she did work outside the home were counted in deciding her share of those pension benefits.
That is another area where the Family Law Reform Act is very defective. There is still no real recognition in it of work done inside the home, where the woman contributes to the family welfare and to the family income, in effect, by providing free labour to raise the kids and to handle the household problems and all the household duties. That is not recognized in any division of pension benefits that are not family assets but are considered to belong to her husband. That is another case where court decisions have revealed the loopholes in the law.
I introduced a private member's bill last February to correct those two loopholes in the Leatherdale case and the Stoimenov case, but unfortunately the government has not seen fit to adopt those amendments.
There is also the question of sharing assets on death, a division of property that should be part of the Family Law Reform Act and is not; it is only on marriage breakup. There can be wives who have contributed a great deal over the years to their husbands, but when a husband dies he can deal his wife out of his will completely. He sometimes has to give a certain minimum to his spouse and a certain minimum to his dependants, but the rest he can give away.
Those are some areas where we would like to see the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) bringing in much more comprehensive reforms in this law. I urge him to consider my motion, which is on the order paper, to have a select committee appointed to study the whole act after its first five years are up, which is right now, and to hear from the people who have been aggrieved as a result of this act and who are suffering considerable hardship.
I get a considerable number of letters, particularly from women who have had a very bad experience under this act. I know there are some men who also have had bad experiences under it and who feel it is not fair to them either. That is another reason we need a select committee --
The Deputy Speaker: I remind the member that we are dealing with the principle of the bill before us this evening. I ask her to hark back to the principle.
Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, I am commenting to the Attorney General that this bill only indicates the tip of the iceberg and that he should have a select committee to study the whole act. It was considered very avant garde reform legislation, but it has been shown to have a great many loopholes in it and it is time for a thorough review of it.
As my colleague mentioned, we will moving an amendment to try to broaden the attachment orders a little bit in the committee.
Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, I thought I should say a few words about the amendments brought forward to the Family Law Reform Act. As one of the people who was originally on the committee going back to 1978 --
Mr. Conway: That long?
Mr. Roy: Some of us do have some experience here.
Mr. McClennan: Were you paid by the hour?
Mr. Roy: Obviously my colleague was not paid by the hour for that last speech of his. He would not have made very much.
As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted, in 1978, when the Family Law Reform Act was originally passed, I can recall all the submissions that were made before the standing committee on administration of justice at that time, the criticism of the bill and of the loopholes, as the preceding member said, that were said to exist. When one looks back to 1978 from 1983, five years later, the Family Law Reform Act has established a principle or criterion which, by and large, if one were to give it marks, has worked very well in the division of property between couples since 1978.
It was, I think, the most important piece of legislation affecting Ontario society since 1971. It was very important legislation, and those of us at the time who had faith in the legislation said we should proceed cautiously. I think I have been somewhat vindicated. The Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) will recall some of the discussions that took place at that time. The member who spoke before me said all family assets should have been divided equally. We felt the courts should be given more flexibility.
When one looks at what has happened since 1978, in the division of property, the equity that was intended to be established by giving flexibility to the courts and to the judges has been pretty well followed. In fact, justice and equity have prevailed in most cases. Of course, there have been some exceptions, and one of the problems is the attachment of orders. Many orders were enacted by the courts, and individuals who were the subject of these orders absconded, did not pay the orders or found ways to get around them.
As I understand this amendment, it is a way of giving some teeth to court orders. It gives some protection to the beneficiaries, most often the wives or children, against husbands who are trying to circumvent the court orders. This amendment will play a useful role in the sense that many people now involved in corporations. governments and everything else are building up pension plans; very often that is the only equity or asset of an individual.
Prior to this amendment, it was uncertain and difficult to arrive at some form of attachment, and that was unfair. I think the Attorney General was convinced of that, which is why he is bringing forward this amendment. For instance, I think people will understand that it was unfair that an individual who was able to waste the assets would find himself in a court, there would be an order for support for either the children or the wife or both, and he could either quit his job or change his jurisdiction.
It is always difficult when an individual changes jurisdiction. Often, if it were not for the pension plan, there would be nothing. There are no other assets that could be attached. This amendment will be important where an individual is saying: "You cannot touch my pension plan. I am going to turn my nose up at the order. I am going to take steps to circumvent it." This is the reason the critic of our party, who spoke previously, and I are in full support of the amendment.
We realize there may be other important amendments coming after the five-year review that I think has been promised by the Attorney General. There is always a way of refining legislation to make it more equitable. I always find it interesting when people in this assembly propose all sorts of legislation as the be-all and end-all, the solution to all sorts of problems. Especially when dealing with family law and family relations, each individual, each situation, each marriage sometimes, is different from another, and that is why the flexibility has to be kept in for the presiding judge in the court that is administering this act.
I see flexibility is being kept in this amendment, if it is going to be an amendment that is going to be positive and is going to give some teeth to court orders. I agree with the previous speaker that too often people are finding ways to circumvent court orders. As you well understand, Mr. Speaker, there is no way an individual who decides to circumvent a court order can be made to pay support if he decides to take off tomorrow, quit his job and go to Australia. There is no way one can get an order that will give some support to his wife or children if he does that, or if he is prepared not to earn any salary at all.
However, very often this individual will have accumulated a pension. This is where it is going to be important. As I understand the amendment -- and the Attorney General can correct me -- this will apply not only to pensions that are vested but also to pensions that will vest in the future. In other words, is it necessary for this attachment to take place where the individual is receiving pension payments? Can it attach to a pension that will vest in the future?
From reading the particular section, I am not sure whether that is the case. When one is talking about "thereafter due or accruing due," I am not sure exactly what it means.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: It has to vest.
Mr. Roy: It has to vest. Given that situation, maybe the Attorney General can explain for me why the order could not be attached to a pension that will vest in the future but is not vested now. The pension will not vest for many years down the line, yet there is equity there. There is something that can be attached. If the individual were to quit his job, at least he could accumulate the payments he has put into the pension plan.
As I recall, there has been some criticism. I have received some correspondence from the bar in Ottawa about individuals who have tried to attach pensions that have not vested and they have been frustrated. I would like to know whether there is some technical or legal reason why it cannot be done. If there is an order, why could it not apply to the payments but also to a pension plan that will vest in the future?
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Very briefly, Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the submissions and the support of my colleagues opposite. The issue addressed by the member for Ottawa East is really the subject matter of the amendment proposed by the member for Beaches-Woodbine (Ms. Bryden).
The difficulty with the pension is that one is dealing with capital. I was going to address this issue when the amendment was introduced. To grab the capital would, of course, jeopardize the pension plan as a whole. The Pension Benefits Act recognizes this in prohibiting seizure of capital in a pension plan for any purpose. We have never departed from that in principle.
As I think the members opposite know, a pension plan depends on stability and predictability. If one starts to pull out capital, then the other members of the plan are threatened with respect to the calculations of benefits and contributions. Unexpected withdrawal of capital can have a very negative effect on other members of the plan. It upsets all the actuarial calculations. This is why the Pension Benefits Act in our province has prohibited that.
So far as the attachment order is concerned, once it is issued it remains in force forever, until the debt is paid; it intercepts payments as they come out. To do otherwise would jeopardize the capital of the pension scheme and would adversely affect all members who are part of the pension plan. This would be, in effect, the objection I would have to the proposed amendment.
Motion agreed to.
Bill ordered for committee of the whole House.
Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order which I think is pretty important.
Earlier today, the Provincial Secretary for Justice (Mr. Walker) told us he would take into the account the fact that a rape victim is incarcerated for contempt. It is a very serious problem that this woman is incarcerated. We were given to believe that something was going to be done today, because we do not sit tomorrow.
This is a very disturbing matter to many members of this House. I ask whether we could not have the unanimous consent of the House to revert to statements so the Attorney General can tell us whether he is going to allow that young woman to stay incarcerated or whether there is going to be something done about it. I think it is time we heard.
I would like unanimous consent, Mr. Speaker, to revert to statements and see whether the Attorney General --
The Deputy Speaker: Before asking for that -- and of course we will; we are in the hands of the House -- perhaps the member would want to know, and others members as they make their replies, whether the Attorney General is in a position to be helpful at this point. Perhaps the member would permit an indication from the Attorney General and that would help people as they make their decision.
Mr. McClellan: Speaking to the point of order, Mr. Speaker: I am sure my colleagues in this party will gladly give unanimous consent if the Attorney General wishes to make a statement. We are pleased --
The Deputy Speaker: Order. We are not talking about a point of order. I have had a request for permission to revert to statements. What I was suggesting was that perhaps the Attorney General could indicate whether he would be prepared with a comment. Otherwise, I will put the question and I am in the hands of the House.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I am quite prepared to make a brief statement at this time but not to get into a debate on the issue, because we have a lot of legislation. I will be making a full and complete statement to the Legislature on Thursday. But if it will assist my friends opposite, with their consent, I want to make a brief statement, which is simply as follows --
The Deputy Speaker: Is it then the pleasure of the House that we revert for a brief time to statements?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
Mr. J. M. Johnson: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order: I would simply like to ask, is this a precedent?
Some hon. members: No.
The Deputy Speaker: Clearly, we are in the hands of the House.
Mr. J. M. Johnson: Is it a precedent?
Mr. McClellan: No. We have done it a million times.
The Deputy Speaker: There will be a brief statement. There will be no questions. We will hear the Attorney General with a brief statement --
Mr. J. M. Johnson: I will agree to unanimous consent if it is simply a matter of a statement; but if not it goes into questions.
The Deputy Speaker: There are no questions; that is not at issue.
Mr. Kerrio: I am not anxious to ask questions.
The Deputy Speaker: The Solicitor General was on his feet earlier and I did not have an opportunity to recognize him. I will allow him one quick comment.
Hon. G. W. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, just as a point of clarification -- and I do not want to debate it with the honourable member who has raised the issue -- I think the Provincial Secretary for Justice did indicate that the Attorney General might be back later on in the question period when questions could be asked of him. There was not a commitment by the provincial secretary that the Attorney General would be back to make a statement.
Mr. McClellan: You check Hansard and see what was said.
Mr. Martel: What are we wasting time for?
The Deputy Speaker: Order. Is there unanimous consent to revert to statements for a brief statement by the Attorney General?
STATEMENT BY THE MINISTRY
DETENTION OF RAPE VICTIM
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I want to make it clear to my colleagues that the very brief statement I am going to make at this time is in no way intended to deal with many of the issues that arise out of this very unhappy case.
However, I would like to make the point so far as it was suggested that the Attorney General should launch an appeal in relation to the seven-day period of incarceration that was imposed by Mr. Justice O'Brien, that it is the view of myself and my senior law officers that the Attorney General has no status in the matter insofar as an appeal is concerned, except to ask for a stiffer penalty.
Second, I should tell the House that the young woman's lawyer advised the crown attorney, who offered to expedite any appeal, that his client did not wish to appeal the matter. As a matter of fact, the crown attorney, who did not ask for incarceration, made arrangements that the young woman in question not be transported from the courthouse in order to expedite an appeal in the event that she wished to launch an appeal through her lawyer. She made it very clear that she did not. That is where the matter rests at the present time, but I will be making a more complete statement on Thursday.
CHARITIES ACCOUNTING AMENDMENT ACT
Hon. Mr. McMurtry moved second reading of Bill 94, An Act to amend the Charities Accounting Act.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, this amendment, as I said when we introduced this legislation, was simply to restore the charities' right to take mortgage security for loans as they are permitted to do under the now repealed Mortmain and Charitable Uses Act.
This was certainly the intention of this legislation and we did not intend to prohibit charities that have surplus funds available, from loaning the money out and taking mortgage security for these loans. This is to remedy an oversight.
Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, the description of this circumstance was set out by the Attorney General when the bill was introduced for first reading. This explanation is satisfactory to us, since the amendment only restores by a correction the situation to what it was meant to have been continued before the repeal of the Mortmain and Charitable Uses Act. As a result, we are certainly prepared to accept the bill.
Mr. McClellan: Mr. Speaker, we also support Bill 94. The bill simply corrects what appears to have been an oversight in the original drafting of the legislation. We understand there was no intention on the part of the government to prohibit charities from investing in mortgages, so we support the bill and see no need for it to go to committee.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker. I appreciate the support of the members opposite.
Motion agreed to.
Bill ordered for third reading.
COURTS OF JUSTICE ACT
Hon. Mr. McMurtry moved second reading of Bill 100, An Act to revise and consolidate the Law respecting the Organization, Operation and Proceedings of Courts of Justice in Ontario.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I really have nothing to say at this time simply because I think it is agreed on both sides of the House that this bill should go out to the justice committee. I think my Justice critics have agreed that there should be at least one week set aside in order to permit interested members of the public to make submissions. Given the fact that we will have time for a very lengthy discussion, I do not think there is anything I can usefully add at this time.
Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, I am certainly pleased to rise and speak in support of approval of Bill 100 in principle. It is perhaps a propitious number for a bill because we probably will not see an exercise like this for another 100 years.
The first reading of the bill was made in this House on October 27, and even though the Attorney General in his opening remarks stated, "I hope the House will enact this bill before the New Year so that the act and the new rules can both come into force next July," there was not much prospect the bill was going to be dealt with.
We received a list of government legislation and Bill 100 was not on the must list or on the likely list. It appeared solely on the desirable list and with the amount of legislation expected to be dealt with, it did not seem as though we were going to be able to deal with the bill.
In spite of the Attorney General's best intentions I thought he might be able to use a little help. Yesterday, with the co-operation of my colleague the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick), I sent him a note suggesting that if there were public hearings for the bill we would be able to deal with it quite promptly on second reading and get his proposal back on the track.
The problem is that by the passage of the bill it was hoped the rules of the court would be dealt with and prepared so they could go into effect on July 1, 1984. I am hopeful the procedure which has been suggested will still allow that to take place. If the bill is dealt with at the committee stage during the winter interval then I hope it can be before this House for third reading in the first week or two of the spring session, with the prospect that the mechanics of the rules can then be in place.
It is impossible in a few minutes to discuss in any detail a statute which will restructure the whole court system of Ontario, although at the outset I would state that any bill which results in the repeal of more than a dozen other statutes of this assembly is most welcome.
The time and energy spent in this place and in many other legislatures to improve upon the Ten Commandments is really worthy of note from time to time. At least we will see by the passage of this bill an end to the Unified Family Court Act, the Vexatious Proceedings Act, the Small Claims Court Act and the Sale of Goods Act. Large chunks of the Solicitors Act and the Judicature Act and many others are going to be repealed. Such daily concerns to the people of Ontario as the Dominion Courts Act, the Estreats Act and the Extra-Judicial Services Act are all going to be repealed by Bill 100.
If that was not enough, Mr. Speaker, the Public Officers' Fees Act, the Quieting Titles Act, and even that one you know so well, the Replevin Act, will all be things of the past once Bill 100 is in place.
The bill is based on a series of very important studies which have been done for the Attorney General over the last several years. We have the 1978 report of the Honourable George Gale on the Provincial Courts Act. This was followed by a massive study under the directorship and chairmanship of the late Walter Williston, QC, of the whole civil procedure revision committee and its report which appeared in June 1980. We had the discussion draft of this bill at the end of March and the proposed act itself in June.
So the time which has been spent on this bill, the preparation for it and the effort that has gone into this whole project represents a staggering total commitment by a great variety of people involved in the administration of justice across Ontario. Indeed, the further revision of the full set of the rules of the court is also nearing completion under the direction of the Honourable Mr. Justice John Morden, who is a long-time and valued friend. I must say that his capability to perform such a task truly sets him apart as one who is really committed to the administration of justice, to the rules of the courts and to the advancing of those particular topics; a tremendous, time-consuming task.
The leadership he has shown in making those changes connect and in weaving this whole procedure by a set of rules into a practical reflection of the statute we are going to have before us should be welcomed with great approval by this Legislature. Since we are not likely to have a chance soon to comment upon the task he and his colleagues are undertaking, then perhaps we have the opportunity this evening to do so, to thank him and to thank the many others who have been involved in all this committee work throughout the piece.
As I have mentioned, we have quite a task before us as we attempt to bring the entire administration of justice in Ontario into the 1980s and to put it into one major source, one reference, one statute of this Legislature. There will certainly be some groups that will make further suggestions at the committee stage.
As the Attorney General is aware, some of the county law associations have expressed interest in particular areas and I am sure they will likely appear before us. Today I received a letter from Mr. Colin D. McKinnon, the chairman of the Presidents of the County and District Law Associations in Ontario, setting out a variety of concerns he had. He forwarded a copy of a memorandum from the family law section, Canadian Bar Association, Ontario branch, concerning its views on certain sections of the bill.
He goes on to say that many of the presidents of the various associations had a variety of comments from their members on these proposals before us. Early on, we were not privy to any of these complaints or concerns by these worthy practitioners of common law across this province. However, perhaps better late than never, we are finally hearing from them in the hope they will be able and have the opportunity to make certain comments when the time comes at the committee stage.
I do not know whether that committee stage will take more than several days or not. It will depend on the time it takes to get through to the members of the committee what the project is about. That might take a day or two of explanation, but we will also have the opportunity to hear a variety of other groups who are interested in particular concerns not only as members of various associations or organizations who have been involved in this procedure but also as individual citizens of the province who may have certain concerns about the operations of the courts or a variety of other points that are going to be included in this legislation.
There is one issue which has been mentioned earlier and that is the proposal we have heard from time to time concerning the merger of the Supreme Court of Ontario and the county court system. This is of particular interest, as I understand it, to the Carleton Law Association and no doubt to others around the province. They will have their chance to come forward and make a variety of suggestions that will be interesting. I hope at that time to remind them that when they are sending a series of their proposals and suggestions for legislative change they should go not only to the Attorney General but to other interested parties; in the future they might even include the opposition, so that --
Mr. Conway: The Carleton bar has an advocate here already.
Mr. Breithaupt: We have that advantage and I am sure we will hear more about that in a moment.
We have also had comments in a number of editorials with respect to the court system and the openness of it, the matter of security in the courts, closing various trials and the powers of judges to deal with those subjects. I have been apprised of two recent editorials, one in the Toronto Star and one in the Ottawa Citizen, which raised that series of themes. I would hope the faceless writers of these editorials might again favour us with their involvements and comments. There may well be persons who will appear before the committee in order to set out these concerns in a more particular way that will be of use as we attempt to revise this entire statute.
Certainly committee hearings are the way to go in this bill. I am pleased to see the Attorney General has accepted that as a useful procedure. The result of the committee hearings will mean, as I mentioned earlier, that we can get on with the completion of the mechanics of passage of this bill through third reading in the early days of the next session. Perhaps we can make that July 1 deadline just the same.
It so happened that I received a comment from Lorraine Gotlib, QC, the president of the Canadian Bar Association, Ontario branch, who was concerned about the prompt passage of this bill so that the publication of the rules would not be delayed until the bill had to be otherwise completed. There is an education program which is now desired by the Ontario Bar Association. I am sure they will be able to proceed with the rules as promulgated even though the bill will not have received third reading. There may be minor changes to the bill at committee stage, but I would think they could get on with their educational program at least in anticipation that Bill 100 will likely be passed substantially in its present form.
There is a certain sawoff of responsibilities in this matter. We have to deal with those who wish prompt passage of the bill because other things hinge upon it. On the other hand, we have to deal with a variety of organizations and groups which may have something to say to us. Their opportunity to say their piece and give their statements at the committee stage is something to which we will all look forward.
I appreciate the opportunity to speak on second reading of this bill. It is a rarity in any jurisdiction that there is an attempt to put all the legislation dealing with administration of the courts into one statute and to clear the decks of literally several dozen other pieces of administrative legislation and procedural statutes that have grown up over the years.
We are pleased to support Bill 100 and we look forward to the committee stage.
Mr. McClellan: Mr. Chairman, we too are not opposed to the passage of Bill 100 on second reading. I know my colleague the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) would want me to thank the Attorney General for agreeing to send the bill out to committee so that public hearings can take place. Those who are most vitally interested in the organization, operation and proceedings of our courts will have full opportunity to come forward and make their views known, hopefully not on a billable-hour basis. Some will come forward on a billable-hour basis, but I am sure that will not be the prevailing spirit of participation. The members of the assembly will have an opportunity to look at this very complex and significant legislation in considerable detail.
I will not be very long in speaking to this bill, but I do have a couple of points I want to make. First, this is the bill that caused such a flap a few short weeks ago when members of the press gallery here at Queen's Park accused the Attorney General of hiding his light under a bushel. This bill is significant and not only because it is printed in both our official languages, English and French. I believe that makes the statute unique. The Attorney General is to be commended for that and we all hope it will become the routine practice in Ontario.
Second, the bill re-establishes the policy of the Ontario government in according official status to both official languages in the courts of Ontario. Some of us appear to have been confused as to what the actual status of both official languages was in the courts of Ontario. If we were confused, not to be carping or critical, I think it is simply because of a certain reluctance on the part of the government to state clearly, loudly and with pride what its accomplishments are in the realm of recognition of both official languages.
We hope the day is not far off when official bilingualism will become the policy of the government of Ontario. That does not appear to be the case with the incumbent first minister. Perhaps his successor will have a more enlightened policy. Perhaps even now I am looking at his successor, I really cannot say. Perhaps we do not have too long to wait before a more significant Canadian policy is enacted by the government of this province.
The Attorney General knows, and I am sure the Premier (Mr. Davis) knows as well, that if they take that step they will have the warmest and the most wholehearted support of the New Democratic Party and, I believe, my colleagues in the Liberal Party. I do not think there is anybody in the opposition who is opposed to the establishment of official status for both official languages in this province. We hope the day is not too far off when the kind of action taken with respect to the courts is extended.
The second point I want to make is a minor one. I am pleased to see the status accorded to the unified family court of Hamilton-Wentworth. This is an experiment many of us, not just in the legal profession but in the social work profession, have been watching with a great deal of interest since it was initiated. Quite frankly, we have been disappointed that the unified family court model has not been expanded more quickly to other parts of the province.
For the life of me, I do not know what the reason has been for the reluctance to expand upon that model. I assume it is cost and a question of constraints and restraints rather than any deficiencies in the model. My understanding, after having looked at the assessment material done over the years, is that the model has been a resounding success and deserves to be extended to other jurisdictions.
My understanding of Bill 100 is that the unified family court model is accorded a kind of integral status within the courts of justice system and that there are provisions in the bill for the extension of the unified family court to other jurisdictions. Again, I hope very much that expansion will take place without much further delay.
I want to make a brief reference to a statement made by the Attorney General on October 27 when he introduced Bill 100. On page 2 of the statement he stated there were a number of changes proposed in the bill. One of them he highlighted concerned the independence of the judiciary. I speak as a layman with no legal training and very little experience of the courts. I have to say the kind of thing that preoccupied the assembly this afternoon has to do not so much with the independence of the judiciary as with the very integrity of the judiciary. I hope the Attorney General understands that.
For those of us who are not lawyers, and I think I speak for many people in this province, it is quite simply beyond our comprehension how the kind of travesty of justice occurred in Ottawa with respect to the woman who was incarcerated because she was a victim of rape and was afraid to testify against those who were charged with the offence. That kind of travesty of justice calls into question the very integrity of the judiciary, to say nothing of its independence.
Any action the Attorney' General can take at this point to deal with that has nothing to do with partisan politics. It has to do with a profound concern about the way the justice system in this province operates. I will not belabour the point. The point has been made, and I think the Attorney General knows very well what the concern is.
My colleague the member for Riverdale made some specific suggestions that are recorded in Hansard, which I hope the Attorney General will take the time to peruse. If there is any way of proceeding upon those suggestions, I hope he will take action.
We have come to a kind of watershed in this country with respect to the judiciary and the way in which judges are appointed. I am not trying to make partisan political points, but we are at a stage now where we have a Constitution that gives the judiciary a new kind of power in relation to parliaments and legislatures and that forces us to reassess the way judges are appointed in this country.
Let me be very blunt about it. It is just not good enough in a political system that relies on judges to interpret a Constitution on the basis of some equality with what was previously perceived to be the supreme law-giving institution of the country, our Parliament. It is no longer good enough for judges to be appointed on the basis of their political loyalty or on the basis of their lifetime contribution to political parties; I do not care whether it is the Conservative Party, the Liberal Party or the New Democratic Party. It is simply not good enough as a criterion or a qualification for judicial office that one has been a loyal party war-horse or a good fund-raiser for the party or some other kind of a party functionary.
Those members who have concerns and objections about the American solution of the election of judges had better come up with an alternative to the present qualifying requirements because they are quite simply not good enough. There are too many judges who are quite obviously unfit to serve and who demonstrate that in their day-to-day courtroom behaviour.
The final point I want to bring up, again as a layperson whose experience of the courts, mercifully, is not firsthand so far, has to do with the centuries-old preoccupation of all citizens having to do with the law's delays. In the nine years I have been here, I have received a steady barrage of mystified complaints from constituents who from time to time enter our judicial system, not as transgressors of the law, but as witnesses before proceedings that are usually of a very minor nature.
The amount of sheer, unnecessary, time-wasting nonsense that is inflicted on the citizens of this province -- and I assume of every other province and every other jurisdiction in the Western world as well because of the wonderful practice of members of the legal profession of appearing to be in two places at once, one of which is not the courtroom in which they are required to appear at a specific time of the day, is absolutely wonderful to behold.
I remain mystified as to why the legal profession has immunity for this kind of irresponsible behaviour. If a doctor is supposed to be in an operating room to perform surgery and has booked himself into another operating room at the same time on the same day to perform other surgery, he is quite liable to be charged with professional misconduct and malpractice. If a social worker, to take an example closer to home, consistently doublebooks himself or herself, he or she is undoubtedly going to be fired reasonably forthwith.
Mr. Kerrio: Who are you kidding? You cannot fire anybody today.
Mr. McClellan: One can fire social workers, I can assure the member. Social workers who engage in that kind of irresponsible malpractice, if they are employed by a family service association and are doublebooking themselves on a consistent basis, would be fired by the employers, make no mistake about it.
A construction worker who was trying to be in two places at once would be fired.
Mr. Kerrio: He would go broke.
Mr. McClellan: He would go broke. There is no great mystery to it. Either a person performs at the level of responsible, professional conduct or he does not.
I continue to be absolutely astounded at the kind of immunity from normal business and professional practices that the legal profession assumes is a matter of professional right unto itself. The level of sheer, galling annoyance the legal profession seems to feel it can inflict on long-suffering members of the public who are dragged into our judicial system, only to have court appearances postponed, delayed, postponed, delayed, delayed and postponed on an indefinite basis, is preposterous.
I do not see anything in Bill 100 that deals with that; I am sure it is a drafting oversight. I know my colleagues in the Liberal Party agree with me on this, particularly the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon), who shares something of this obsession. I really hope the Attorney General can pay some attention to it.
I hope he is aware of just how incensed average citizens are with the justice system when this kind of preposterous behaviour is inflicted upon them. I do not see that it is necessary for lawyers to doublebook and triplebook themselves. They make commitments they cannot keep, and when they fail to show in court, they are not required as a matter of routine to show cause why they have not fulfilled their obligations to the court. If they fail to show cause, why are they not disciplined? I do not understand that at all. If somebody has cause for failure to appear, obviously the courts should take that into account.
Mr. Martel: The Attorney General did not show up today. He had a commitment here.
Mr. McClellan: That was different.
Mr. Martel: He is used to that system.
Mr. McClellan: We were informed that was a matter of urgent family importance. I am sure that is the case.
Mr. Martel: Oh, no.
Mr. McClellan: That is not what I am talking about. I am talking about, I hope --
Mr. Speaker: Bill 100.
Mr. McClellan: -- some things in Bill 100 with respect to the organization of our courts that will require lawyers to appear in court when they are scheduled to be in court, to show cause if they fail to do so, and to be disciplined if they fail to show cause. I think that is a very elementary set of propositions.
I know my colleagues in the Liberal Party who are members of the legal profession agree with me. I can tell by the way they are shaking their heads.
Mr. Kerrio: Albert Roy does not agree with you, but I do.
Mr. McClellan: It was a veritable orgy of head-shaking going on over there and I know they agree with me.
Mr. Breithaupt: As close to an orgy as we ever get.
Mr. McClellan: I notice that I seem to have put the entire Conservative caucus to sleep, so at this point I will withdraw from the fray.
Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, I am sure you would be disappointed if I did not make a few comments about this legislation. You will understand that as a --
Mr. Stokes: Another apologia.
Mr. Roy: No. I want to say to my colleague, the Speaker's predecessor, the member for Lake Nipigon (Mr. Stokes), that I will speak very slowly and I will explain the legislation fully so that even he can understand. I do not want to be overly offensive and I will not be apologizing for this legislation at all.
What I wanted to say was that I am sure, Mr. Speaker, you would have been disappointed, knowing that I sometimes practise on a limited basis, that I would remain silent when the Attorney General brings forward a bill as massive as this. It will force my colleagues and myself in the profession to restudy the law and to learn our rules all over again. That is going to be another challenge.
Although I am not sure what they are saying, I want to say to my colleagues in the New Democratic Party who are commenting that this education will be paid for in due course by the people we serve. I want to say, as well, that this Attorney General is exceedingly popular with the law profession, and well he might be, because he has provided work for the profession such as has no other Attorney General in the history of this province.
We talked earlier about the Family Law Reform Act and what a boon that was to the profession. With increasing numbers coming into the profession, we realize the work is necessary. It is being put to good use. There are a lot of bodies out there and they need the work.
Mr. Stokes: Are you saying this is a make-work project?
Mr. Roy: It could be called that. There was the Succession Law Reform Act and then there was legislation dealing with children. There was legislation dealing with a variety of other topics which has been very important and very helpful to the profession. I do not even mention the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The Attorney General was instrumental in the Charter; he played a key role. All one has to do is read those lectures from the Queen's Law Journal.
Mr. Conway: By his own writing.
Mr. Roy: By his own writing, he played a very important role. In fact, to celebrate it, they had a little do last week. I met Jean Chrétien going back on the plane. Jean kept saying to me that he played the most important role, in spite of the lectures in the Queen's Law Journal by the Attorney General.
With all of this legislation, this Attorney General is very popular with members of the profession, both English and French. This has got to be the precedent in this House -- a massive piece of legislation in both official languages. It should be underlined that this is an important precedent.
I will not get personal with anybody. Some of our colleagues are not overly enthusiastic about this, but to give full marks to the Attorney General, he has given teeth to his promise that he would bring forward French-language services in the courts. He has done that.
Mr. Breithaupt: It is even on metric-size paper.
Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, that is an unfair jibe by my colleague the member for Kitchener. It will not be long until our friend the member for Leeds (Mr. Runciman) will be reaching over to ask the Attorney General why he is undermining his protest.
Mr. Speaker, it should be underlined that this is an important event in this assembly. We are getting legislation in both official languages. My colleague the member for Bellwoods (Mr. McClellan) mentioned it was somewhat unfortunate that when the bill was first presented to this assembly, the press, as misguided as they always are -- the Attorney General and I both know that -- somehow felt the government and the Attorney General tried to spring a fast one on them.
They took the position that the Attorney General did not highlight the fact there was section 135, which made an official declaration of both official languages in the legislation. They felt it was unfair that the English-speaking press on their own should try to find this in this massive piece of legislation. Even the index is massive. It is more --
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I know it is asking too much for them to read a two-page summary.
Mr. Roy: The press like things summarized and highlighted. The English-speaking press felt it was unfair that such a thing should not be highlighted for them when the French-speaking press had been getting calls from the French-speaking co-ordinator saying, "Did you see the nice things which are in this legislation?" They felt this was unfair. In some ways it is unfair, in the sense this is the most press which this legislation had. The legislation is far more important than that.
In that sense, I suppose the Attorney General was unfairly treated, to receive the kind of slings and arrows which resulted from that little escapade. I remember being at home -- it was probably Friday afternoon, because Friday morning I am usually here, as you know, Mr. Speaker. It was probably Friday evening and I saw it on local television. The Attorney General was speaking to the press and he was not amused. He was not amused at all. I can still remember his words when the press were trying to shove cameras and microphones at him. He was saying, "Is that all you want to talk about?"
He was treating the press as though they were part of the defensive line. He had the big shoulder. He was stooped over, and when they persisted, he just turned around and said, "I'm going back into the Legislature." He just turned around, and they filmed the minister's back. By the way, there is no bald spot showing at all.
Mr. Conway: In Ottawa they will call that arrogance, Roy.
Mr. Speaker: Now back to the bill, please.
Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, what I did not say is that the timing of the presentation of this legislation --
Mr. Roy: It is annoying to have a member up here talking about something he knows something about, is it not? The member for Bellwoods --
Mr. McClellan: You are paid by the hour, that is all.
Mr. Roy: He was enjoyable, but his comments had nothing to do with anything in the bill. He is an interesting fellow, so we tolerated him for a while.
What was I saying?
The Deputy Speaker: You were enjoying the interjections.
Mr. Roy: Yes, I am being rudely interrupted.
The timing of the presentation of the legislation is always important to the Attorney General. Usually in mid or late November the association of French-language lawyers, l'Association des juristes d'expression française de l'Ontario, has its annual meeting. and the Attorney General likes to go to the meeting. He is very popular in that assembly, and with good reason.
He likes to come forward after he has done something in the assembly that will advance the cause and will be a stimulus for them to greet him with even more enthusiasm. So it was important that the legislation be presented before this group met, and of course he was acclaimed on this occasion again with open arms. They felt this was an important first step, and I agree with them.
We have an agreement here that we will not speak too long. In spite of some of the comments from the member for Bellwoods, I will limit my comments on this. My colleague the member for Kitchener mentioned some of the concerns we have about the legislation --
Mr. Martel: And you are going to repeat them just to reinforce them.
Mr. Roy: Not at all. The Attorney General and I have one point of disagreement. Just in case people are misled into thinking we get along well, on this issue we differ. I think he is hopelessly misguided and wrong in not dealing with what I would call the amalgamation and regionalization of the courts.
In Ontario there are various levels of courts, but the courts we are talking about basically here are the county court and the Supreme Court. The federal government appoints both of them; so that is not the problem. The problem is that the county courts, which are appointed for every area, every traditional district existing in Ontario, have limited monetary jurisdiction. It is now $15,000, as I recall --
Mr. Sheppard: What are you talking about?
Mr. Roy: Did I wake somebody up back there? I apologize for that, Mr. Speaker. I thought I was talking softly enough not to wake up some of the Tory back-benchers.
The county courts have a monetary jurisdiction, and there is limitation of jurisdiction as to certain things they can do -- injunctions and things like criminal limitations, in other words. I think they can hear matters involving a robbery, but they cannot hear a rape case or -- I have been out of the courts for so long I forget. But basically what it means is that the Supreme Court, over and above this monetary jurisdiction, has the jurisdiction.
The Supreme Court judges are located here in Toronto and they travel out to the boondocks -- Ottawa, Windsor, Kenora and various other places; they go along on a circuit. This has probably existed since before Confederation.
In 1983 -- I want to say this especially to alert all my colleagues in the assembly -- most law associations feel there is no reason to have this distinction between county court and Supreme Court and that we should have one Supreme Court. There should be amalgamation of the county court and the Supreme Court and there should be a regionalization in about nine different districts, the major centres of Ontario. In that way if a case happens to come up in Windsor you do not necessarily have to wait for the Supreme Court judge to come down to hear your case or to hear a particular criminal case.
We feel, and the argument has gone on for some time, that it would make the workings of the court more understandable to the public and that it would be more practical. Most of us have no axe to grind with the Supreme Court judges, who are capable people, do a good job and render justice with equity and a sense of decorum; that is not the problem. The problem is that we should try to simplify the process, and this legislation would have been an ideal opportunity to do that. The Attorney General has seen fit not to do it.
Mr. Conway: Did the judges threaten to strike? I would love to have heard.
Mr. Roy: I do not know. Obviously many of our colleagues in the Supreme Court have talked to the Attorney General. He has been impressed, obviously, by their arguments. I do not know whether the Attorney General is reluctant to proceed on this because he comes from Toronto. Of course, in Toronto it is important to understand that this is the fountain of justice and equity and sets the principles for the rest of the province.
Mr. Kerrio: The major leagues, eh?
Mr. Roy: That is correct. It emanates down to the lower classes in the outlying areas. I do not know why the Attorney General will not look at this matter in this particular bill. I hope that when the bill goes before committee, law associations from various areas will come in and make representation as to why this is a good idea.
I might point out to all my colleagues in the assembly that, by and large, all the law associations except those in Toronto and in the regional municipality of York agree there should be amalgamation, and I hope they will have an opportunity to make their point.
I might also point out that in one of the latest discussions that took place even a former treasurer, George Finlayson, stated that although he does not agree with amalgamation he agrees with the regionalization of the Supreme Court, which is perhaps another alternative for the Attorney General to look at.
That is one point I hope will be discussed. The other very important section is the fact that now there is a provision in the law, section 135, which states that the official languages of the courts in Ontario are English and French. It took a lot of guts to put that in the legislation, especially when the Premier (Mr. Davis), just four seats down, reacts quite strenuously any time you talk about anything official about bilingualism. But the Attorney General is not afraid of symbolism and he has put it in the legislation.
Mr. Conway: And he is not afraid of the Premier.
Mr. Roy: Apparently not.
Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker. I just might mention -- and it is no strenuous criticism -- that the Premier has always said he was afraid of symbolism because he felt that symbolism would raise expectations which the legislation would not fulfil.
The Attorney General goes the other way around. He says: "I am not afraid of symbolism." He puts it in his bill and says both languages are official. But as one reads down, one finds there is one language a lot more official than the other. One finds that if one wants to put pleadings in French then one needs a translation, and so on.
I make this criticism because the Attorney General obviously is not afraid of symbolism.
M. le Président, vous êtes sans doute d'accord qu'on ne peut faire de commentaires sur cette loi sans dire quelques mots en français, surtout pour mes collègues qui écoutent tout ce que je dis, pour le Procureur général qui d'ailleurs prend des notes -- Il se peut même que mon collègue de High Park-Swansea ait quelque chose à dire.
Je dois dire, M. le Président, que c'est là une étape importante pour les services en français en Ontario. Je ne veux pas faire trop de compliments au Procureur général -- il en reçoit suffisamment chaque fois qu'il va voir les juristes d'expression française. Il reste qu'il a tenu les promesses qu'il avait faites en ce domaine. Et je dois dire qu'il est très important, pour la communauté franco-ontarienne, M. le Président, de voir que la loi est changée. Auparavant, la loi disait tout simplement que la langue officielle des tribunaux était l'anglais; il fallait alors faire des exceptions. Maintenant, le Procureur général dit que l'anglais et le français sont les deux langues officielles, et il veut établir l'usage du français --
M. Roy: Je pense que mon collègue de High Park-Swansea vient de montrer que mon discours -- Je vais pourtant continuer --
Sur ce point-ci, tu as parfaitement raison de soutenir ton Procureur général. J'aimerais que tu aies autant d'influence sur le Premier Ministre. Avec cette loi, on pourrait envisager one prochaine étape: avoir des garanties constitutionnelles. Tu peux donc convaincre le Premier Ministre de prendre cette initiative et tous les députés, de ce côté-ci au moins, donneront leur appui.
M. Roy: Si je savais que tu serais ici pour m'écouter le lundi et le vendredi, je ferais des discours tous les jours --
The Deputy Speaker: Order. The opportunity for the member for High Park-Swansea (Mr. Shymko) to speak will come.
Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, if I thought the member for High Park-Swansea would come around and listen I would come and make speeches here on Mondays and Fridays. That would be no problem.
I wanted to say that when I was speaking French I got carried away with my eloquence. The member for High Park-Swansea was making such noises out of a sense of enthusiasm for what I was saying. Do not be too harsh on him.
M. le Président, je disais que c'est une étape importante pour l'administration de la justice en Ontario. Je voudrais toutefois m'adresser au Procureur général, qui écoute tout ce que je dis, car j'aimerais qu'il sache que cette loi -- surtout l'article 135 -- présente tout de même certaines lacunes. Je crois que cela a déjà été souligné à différentes reprises.
Une des lacunes concerne l'article 136, paragraphe 3. Je lis: "Si une poursuite intentée devant une cour désignée aux termes de l'alinéa (1)a) est instruite devant un jury, une partie qui parle français a le droit d'exiger avec le consentement des parties ... " En d'autres termes, pour avoir un procès avec jury, M. le Président, il sera nécessaire d'avoir le consentement de toutes les parties. Je pense que cela peut constituer un problème, car une personne ou un avocat qui veut éviter d'avoir un procès en français pourrait choisir d'avoir un jury et refuser ainsi de donner un consentement pour que le procès se déroule en français.
Ce serait alors ccrtainement un problème. J'ai l'espoir que certaines personnes, parmi mes collègues les juristes d'expression française, vont venir faire des commentaires devant le comité sur cette loi. Mais cela n'empêche pas, M. le Président, je le souligne encore, que c'est une étape importante pour la communauté franco-ontarienne, et je crois que c'est de bonne augure pour l'avenir de l'administration de la justice en français, qui prend de plus en plus d'ampleur, non seulement pour les francophones, mais pour les anglophones qui parlent bien le français.
I was saying to the Attorney General there is some problem with this legislation. I trust the Attorney General has received comments on this. For instance, subsection 136(3) talks about having a trial before a jury that speaks English and French, with the consent of all parties. What that would mean would be that an individual who wanted to frustrate a process in French could elect to have a trial with a jury and then refuse to give consent to proceed before a jury that speaks English and French.
We are going to have to find a way so a trial before a judge and a jury that understand and speak both languages is not frustrated if it requires the consent of all parties. We have avoided doing that before a judge. We are going to have to find a way to get around it with juries. I am suggesting that the initiative the Attorney General is taking could be frustrated if some party withheld consent unreasonably. That certainly could happen.
My colleague the member for Kitchener talked about section 145. There have been some editorials about this. Section 145 talks about public access to the courts. It will be interesting to hear why it is necessary to set out guidelines prohibiting public access to the courts.
For instance, the public can be excluded from a hearing if it is believed a hearing would disclose matters harmful to public security. I cannot think of many civil cases where that would happen. I do not recall any civil cases where that would have happened. Some of the criticism is given because it is felt the courts -- the judges -- have an inherent jurisdiction to deny access by the public and this legislation is not necessary. I look forward to some of the comments of the Attorney General on this.
In looking at the legislation, I note it is in both languages until we get to section 206; then all at once that stops. I do not know why. From then on both pages are in English only. Did the translators all at once decide -- maybe there is some explanation for this.
Mr. Conway: He went to Brussels.
Mr. Roy: My colleague is being awfully cynical in talking about people going to Brussels. There are very few who go to Brussels. Only those who have given the ultimate sacrifice end up in Brussels. Those are the ones who dare run in Ottawa East for the Conservative Party.
Perhaps the Attorney General can tell me. Did the translators go on strike and stop at that point? Why is it that after section 206 the bill is no longer --
Mr. Breithaupt: Look at section 206.
Mr. Roy: Let is look at section 206. Perhaps some other members did not notice it, but I read legislation such as this from cover to cover. The main reason I noticed this was that at the end of the bill subsection 35a(1) of the Solicitors Act as set out in subsection 214(6) of the bill sets out solicitors' charging orders. It is very important for the practising members of the profession to protect the fees of practising solicitors. I was stunned. I looked at the legislation to make sure it was still in the law. It says:
"Where a solicitor has been employed to prosecute or defend a proceeding in the Supreme Court or the District Court, the court may, on motion, declare the solicitor to be entitled to a charge on the property recovered and preserved through the instrumentality of the solicitor for solicitor's fees, costs, charges and disbursements in the proceeding."
In other words, they get first crack at the property. It is very important to protect solicitors' fees. I checked to see whether that was still in the legislation. I found it was there but in English only.
I trust the Attorney General will tell the translators that those of us who use the French language in our practice would like this charging order en français, s'il vous plaît, in both languages.
Mr. Conway: It is legal to bill in both official languages, isn't it?
Mr. Roy: As my colleague the member for Renfrew North said, I hope one can bill in both official languages.
I do not intend to go into detail, but it so happens that during the course of my lengthy practice I had occasion to look to the remedy of this particular legislation on one occasion. I was very grateful to the members of the Legislature who drafted this quite some time ago.
I think it was very wise of my colleagues the critics to convince the Attorney General to send this to committee after Christmas so that members of the public can come forward and make representation and comment.
As my colleague the member for Kitchener says, many people should be thanked for the contribution they made to this very important and massive legislation.
We should not rush into passing something without proper scrutiny. The Attorney General knows that when we say we would like to send it to committee it is only to try to improve the legislation. It is always constructive criticism. If we can improve the legislation in any way we can we certainly will. Even my colleagues to the left have some contribution to make on this.
Are there any other NDP lawyers? Is there such a thing?
Mr. R. F. Johnston: Our leader.
Mr. Roy: Yes, and the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick).
Having made these brief comments, I would like to say to the Attorney General that we look forward to the committee hearings after Christmas. Hopefully, we will see this legislation in place. That is only part of it. Wait until the member sees all the rules that will follow from this. He thinks this is something. Wait until he sees all the rules. The legal profession will be eternally grateful to the members of the assembly and the Attorney General.
Mr. R. F. Johnston: Does this mean you're going to be here two days a week after this?
Mr. Roy: No, no. Why are my colleagues so cynical about my contribution on this? Members know when there is important legislation before this House, when there are important issues affecting my constituents, I am here.
The Acting Speaker (Mr. Cousens): Do not allow yourself to be distracted by the interjections.
Mr. Roy: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I look forward to the committee hearings this winter.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: M. le Président, je suis d'accord avec le député d'Ottawa-Est sur le fait que cette loi est très importante pour l'administration de la justice en particulier, et pour la dualité de notre pays en général. Je reprendrai avec enthousiasme la discussion de cette loi en janvier ou en février, car il y a de nombreux points importants.
Mr. Speaker, I will be brief in response. I would just like to respond to several of the comments made by the member for Bellwoods (Mr. McClellan).
First, I want to say the reason for not expanding the unified family court is really not related to resources, although that is always a challenge for us, but the reluctance of the federal government to proceed with the agreement that we thought we had reached in the summer of 1980 with respect to the creation of unified family courts at the provincial court level. They simply had a change of heart and the problems in relation to section 96 remain.
I will not take the time of the House to deal with court delays. I certainly welcome the honourable member's interest in these matters. These are issues which we deal with every year in the estimates of the Ministry of the Attorney General. We go into some detail on the serious issues and problems related to court delays, which have been recorded from earliest history.
I have to say to the member for Bellwoods, with respect, that I have to take very serious exception to some of the comments he made in relation to the judiciary of this province. In my view, we are served by a very distinguished judiciary made up of men and women who have demonstrated commitment and dedication to their day-to-day responsibilities. I think that if the honourable member had a little more awareness of the process that is followed with respect to the appointments to the judiciary, he would want to withdraw his comments suggesting that some form of partisan political service was a prerequisite for judicial appointment, because that simply is not the case.
I am certainly not here as an apologist for the federal government, but I have to say that by and large and almost without exception in my view their appointments to the courts of the province have been of a very high calibre. I know personally of many appointments made by the federal government to the Supreme Court and county courts. If they had any political affiliation at all it was with parties other than that of the federal Liberal Party. I know they do consult very carefully with the Canadian Bar Association in particular.
With respect to appointments to the provincial court bench, the process is somewhat more formalized. I have been responsible for recommending between 130 and 140, perhaps closer to 150, appointments to the executive council of this province during my tenure as Attorney General. Every single one of those appointments has been recommended by the Judicial Council of Ontario that is made up of the Chief Justice of Ontario, the Chief Justice of the High Court, the chief judges of the provincial courts, the treasurer of the Law Society of Upper Canada and two lay appointees. I think it is very important to be aware of this process in appreciating that the appointments to the judiciary in this province are made on other than partisan political considerations.
With respect to the issue that is of understandable concern to all members of the House I am sure, with regard to this very unhappy case in Ottawa of the complaint in the rape case, I expect I will be making a fairly lengthy statement on Thursday.
But I would like to say that I think the member for Bellwoods misunderstands many of the issues related to this very difficult issue when he makes statements that are capable of being interpreted as an attack on the integrity of Mr. Justice O'Brien. Any such attack is completely unwarranted, and when I have the opportunity to deal with all of the circumstances of this case on Thursday I am sure he will appreciate that Mr. Justice O'Brien was in a very difficult position and it was a very difficult judgement. Certainly I am satisfied that uppermost in his mind was the integrity of the administration of justice in this province; of that I have no doubt. But we will be discussing this further.
I agree with the members opposite, my Justice critics, that this bill should be discussed in the standing committee on administration of justice, where representations can be made and where some of the issues that have been raised can be canvassed very thoroughly. I would simply like to say that although members opposite may not agree with all the details of the legislation, I thank them for their support in voting for the legislation in principle.
Motion agreed to.
Bill ordered for standing committee on administration of justice.
WAGES AMENDMENT ACT
Hon. Mr. McMurtry moved second reading of Bill 124,. An Act to amend the Wages Act.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I made a statement on the introduction of this legislation. This legislation really reflects recommendations of the Ontario Law Reform Commission with respect to the exemptions from garnishment in order to balance carefully the conflicting interests of both the debtor and the creditor.
Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, it was of interest when this bill came forward that the percentage of wages that are exempt was finally moved from the traditional 70 per cent available for garnishment to this new figure of 80 per cent.
As the Attorney General has suggested, this results from an attempt to balance the interests and responsibilities of both debtors, and creditors who have some rights as a result of orders or through the procedures for garnishment, which is a legal procedure with which a number of us are familiar through our own legal practices over the years.
As well, the change in the exemption available with respect to support or maintenance is something we can accept. The 50 per cent figure seems a reasonable one as we look at the principles of the Family Law Reform Act; and of course in both of these opportunities for charges against the debtor there is the power of the court to increase either of those claim amounts if that is seen to be fitting and appropriate.
So we are prepared to accept the amendments proposed in the bill and will not require that it go out to committee at all.
Mr. McClellan: Mr. Speaker, we also support the bill on second reading. My learned colleague the member for Kitchener has summed it up so well that I feel no need to further elucidate the provisions of the bill, but simply to indicate we support it without the need to have it go to committee.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I have nothing further to add. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Motion agreed to.
Bill ordered for third reading.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry moved second reading of Bill 122, An Act to revise the Architects Act.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I made a fairly lengthy statement on introduction of this legislation and its companion Bill 123, the Professional Engineers Act. It is agreed with my critics opposite that this legislation also go out to committee.
There will be ample opportunity to discuss the details of this legislation, which really is a product of the very important Professional Organizations Committee report, a committee chaired by former Deputy Attorney General Dr. Allan Leal. It reflects an important and indeed historic agreement reached by the architects and the engineers of Ontario in respect of the scope of practice.
Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to support the approach taken by the Attorney General and acknowledge that our caucus will support in principle both Bill 122, the act concerning the architects, and Bill 123, the act concerning the professional engineers.
We have before us two major pieces of legislation in these bills. They deal with two of the major and traditional professions within Ontario.
First reading of this legislation occurred on November 17, just a week ago, and it certainly seemed at that time most unlikely that the bills would proceed. Indeed, on the government's list of "must have", "likely" or "desirable" before the adjournment on December 16 to which we are all aiming, the bills did not even appear.
It was a reworking of the traditional legislation that has guided these two self-governing groups and it comes as a result of the Professional Organizations Committee of 1980. At that time three other groups were also included: the Law Society Act and the Notaries Act dealing with the legal profession; and the Public Accountancy Act, which was of particular interest to the chartered accountants, the certified general accountants and certified public accountants, all of whom have organizations and particular opinions as to what should be allowed to be done by any one member to the public and to each other.
The first situation with respect to the law society and notaries has not required particular legislation that would in any way resemble the review for the architects and the professional engineers that is before us.
There was interest throughout the House on having this legislation brought into place, yet it did not appear that was going to be the case unless the bills could go out to committee for some further opportunity for the groups involved to come before us.
My suggestion to the Attorney General that this be the approach was based on the view I have that the Legislature should not simply be a rubber stamp for the proposals agreed upon and coopered together by the various component parts of these particular professions.
Where a profession is involved, I think we have the obligation to have our input and to provide the opportunity for various of the component parts that may be disaffected about one clause or another to come before us and give their views, particularly where this kind of professional legislation is very rarely reviewed in full.
Of course, we also need the opportunity for the public to come forward if they have particular concerns about these particular professions. So there is a need for discussion of these bills and their background in the standing committee. Also, there is certainly a need for the professional organizations and their component parts to come before us if they choose to, so that we have the benefit of their opinions as to how their profession should be organized under the responsible self-governing legislation which we propose to pass on their behalf.
As a result, we may well have the prospect of a week of hearings, perhaps in January next or certainly during the interval, which will allow this procedure to come to pass. The bills can then be dealt with completely in committee and be brought forward in the early weeks of the spring session to be completed and put into place.
Tonight, without even the appearance of these bills on the business paper, we are able to debate them and to deal with them, I hope in a positive way, and in a way which is going to bring better legislation in place than would have been the case if we had attempted to deal with these bills in the committee of the whole.
A number of the organizations were interested in quick passage of the bills; other organizations looked forward to the opportunity for their own input. However, when we are to deal with professional groups where further changes to the respective acts will not likely come before the assembly for another dozen years or so, I think we have the obligation to hear and consider the views of those who are most affected.
Therefore, I am very pleased that the Attorney General has accepted the suggestion which was made so that we can get on with the passage of these bills in principle and with the hearings, which I hope will be a useful experience. This kind of approach gives us an opportunity for progress, and I believe the result will be, as I have said, better legislation.
Certainly, legislation which has a long-term effect on two major professions within our province deserves more than a passing glance and a cursory approval within the assembly. We will support the bills in principle on second reading and we look forward to the detailed discussion at the committee stage which will occur probably during January next.
Mr. McClellan: We, too, are not opposing this pair of bills before us tonight.
Mr. Conway: An orgy of unanimity.
Mr. McClellan: Yes. We are having a veritable symposium here tonight with respect to the bills of the Attorney General. The reason is --
Mr. Conway: The member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) is away.
Mr. McClellan: Not just because he is away, but also because these are most likely the last bills which will be introduced by our beloved Attorney General before he is catapulted into another arena.
An hon. member: We are willing to shoot the catapult.
Mr. McClellan: I happen to have the honour of living in the great federal riding of St. Paul's. Of course, we in our community are absolutely agog at the rumours of --
Mr. Conway: Barbara McDougall.
Mr. McClellan: -- of Barbara McDougall and the great contest which is obviously shaping up for the federal Progressive Conservative nomination in that riding.
The Acting Speaker: The member is not speaking to the bill.
Mr. McClellan: It is true. What can I say? These rumours abound and are confirmed from the horse's own mouth.
Mr. Conway: She will be the Margaret Campbell of 1983.
The Acting Speaker: Order. On Bill 122, An Act to revise the Architects Act.
Mr. McClellan: I would tell the Attorney General that if he wins the Tory nomination in St. Paul's his steady paycheque will be assured.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: One gets used to a steady paycheque.
Mr. Conway: He can play tennis in Ottawa with the member for Ottawa East.
Mr. Roy: I am looking for competition.
Mr. McClellan: This is no reflection on the incumbent, whoever he may he. I did meet my MP once, but I have forgotten him.
The Acting Speaker: Order. The back and forth conversations must end. The member for Bellwoods has the floor.
Mr. McClellan: I am being shouted down by unruly Liberals. The important thing about the two bills that are before us tonight at this point is --
Mr. Breithaupt: We don't have to deal with them.
Mr. McClellan: -- that they will be referred to committee. There has obviously been less than a unanimous greeting to these two bills, one dealing with the architects and one dealing with the professional engineers.
Obviously, there are a number of professionals and paraprofessionals with concerns about the legislation who have been communicating to members of the assembly on all sides of the House. We are pleased that the Attorney General has agreed to provide an opportunity for these concerns to be heard.
I wonder if he will be around long enough actually to preside over the hearing. We will only have to wait and see. I do not know what the date of the nomination is.
Mr. R. F. Johnston: When is the nomination?
Mr. McClellan: When is the nomination? I really do have to comment on one thing, though. One is struck by the scrupulous attention to protocol which has been followed in the production of these two pieces of legislation, one dealing with the architects and the other dealing with the engineers.
First, we had a very distinguished committee, chaired by Allan Leal, make a report --
Mr. R. F. Johnston: Leal.
Mr. McClellan: That is what I said, Leal.
This was the report of the Professional Organizations Committee. On the basis of this report, legislation was prepared in draft form; scrupulous consultation took place with both the self-governing professions and then legislation was brought forward. We now have the debate. We will have further public hearings in committee and then, after all of this very long process of study, consultation, legislation, further consultation, and further legislation process, we will have legislation.
How different this is to the treatment the Minister of Education and Colleges and Universities (Miss Stephenson) had in store for the teachers. How different it is from the way the government was prepared to treat the teaching profession. That minister was prepared to bring in legislation with respect to the creation of some kind of self-governing body without the slightest regard for the wishes of the teaching profession, without any meaningful consultation, without preliminary studies. She was simply prepared in her usual brutal way to bring it in a singularly confrontational manner.
Fortunately, the Premier (Mr. Davis) has pulled the rug out from under the feet of the Minister of Education and that particular process appears to have been torpedoed, as far as we can understand it. How much more sensible it is to proceed in the way we are proceeding with these two statutes, with a calm and reflective study, followed by draft legislation, consultation, legislation in the House, further hearings and then further study of the legislation in committee.
We hope anything that is done with respect to the teaching profession will follow exactly the same set of processes and procedures. We trust not just the Premier, but his cabinet colleagues as well will do their best to keep the Minister of Education in check, confined, caged, whatever the proper verb is.
Again, we are pleased at the way this legislation is proceeding. Since this is the last of the series of bills that are before us tonight and for this session, I guess, we do want to say goodbye to the Attorney General and wish him well as he embarks on his new venture, which may be in the great riding of St. Paul's, where I am sure he will do very well against the incumbent, who has now been designated the Liberal czar for all Metropolitan Toronto. But I want to assure all members that he is going to be beaten.
There are other ridings he could try, such as Eglinton-Lawrence. Of course, he would have to depose the incumbent, as I understand it. If he wants to move downtown to a real challenge in the great riding of Trinity, we will welcome him with open arms and offer him a real contest.
The Deputy Speaker: This is all very interesting, but would the member please return to the principle of the bill.
Mr. Nixon: Is that it? Is that the end of it?
Mr. McClellan: Time is running short.
Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, I must make a confession. Unfortunately, the bills not being on the order paper, I did not read Bill 122 and Bill 123. It is my usual practice to read all legislation that comes before this assembly. So it is with a sense of apology that I must stand here and make the admission that I have not read them from cover to cover.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: It has never prevented you from making a submission before.
Mr. Nixon: This is a first.
Mr. Roy: As my colleague the member for Kitchener said, here we are discussing legislation that is not even on the order paper. It is just like magic. It is just like the Minister of Industry and Trade (Mr. F. S. Miller) releasing his delegates and his leadership organization when there is no leadership contest on. It is the very same thing. It is just like the Attorney General discussing his federal ambitions when there is no federal election on.
The Deputy Speaker: Like the last speaker. the member for Ottawa East is again off track. Back to the principle of Bill 122.
Mr. Roy: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I think it was awfully wise of the Attorney General to decide to send this legislation into committee and give the members of both these professions an opportunity to come in and tell us why the Attorney General has so limited their jurisdiction and their scope of practice within the framework of the legislation.
Some of us may not have the opportunity to sit on the standing committee on administration of justice, because it is decided on the basis of seniority and an rapprochement one may have with one's own House leader. In the past my House leader has not been overly generous in rewarding me with these plums.
Mr. R. F. Johnston: It is disgusting to hear this shameless plea here.
Mr. Conway: Back to legal aid, Albert.
Mr. Roy: That is right. It used to be this or legal aid, and legal aid was more profitable. I rather think now it would be, "Please get me on the select committee."
The Deputy Speaker: Do you want to get back on the principle of Bill 122?
Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, you will understand I may not have the opportunity to hear the good people from the various professions who will come forward and make comments about this legislation. If I should be chosen by the House leader to sit on one of the select committees during the cold months of January and February, if I am prevailed upon by my House leader to serve, I may accept and at that time I promise I will read all this legislation from cover to cover.
At present it is going to be difficult for me to make a positive contribution to the debate if I am restricted within the four corners of the legislation. Having said that and having accepted your stern rebuke, Mr. Speaker, I will just sit down.
Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, because of the general tone of this debate and because I have a brother-in-law who is an architect and my father is an engineer, I felt I should probably speak on this bill, but I will save my in-depth analysis for the committee, to which, no doubt, I will be appointed because of this vast knowledge.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I have nothing further to add, Mr. Speaker.
Motion agreed to.
Bill ordered for standing committee on administration of justice.
PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS ACT
Hon. Mr. McMurtry moved second reading of Bill 123, An Act to revise the Professional Engineers Act.
Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, I will not review the comments made on the earlier bill; they all follow in the same pattern. We again will support the bill in principle and look forward to the opportunity for the variety of organizations involved to make their presentations before the standing committee on administration of justice in due course.
Mr. McClellan: Mr. Speaker, if the Attorney General does not want to run in Trinity or St. Paul's, why does he not run in Spadina?
Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, may the comments I made on the previous legislation be put in by Hansard? I do not know if there is a way of doing it.
Mr. R. F. Johnston: Sure. Just say" ditto."
Mr. Roy: "Ditto"? I think there was a procedure in the southern assemblies where you put in a speech by saying "be it as read" or something. I would like the record to show --
Mr. R. F. Johnston: You can only do that on Mondays and Fridays.
Mr. Roy: So, Mr. Speaker, I just want to say that my comments on the previous legislation apply to Bill 123 as well.
The Deputy Speaker: I am sure they will be duly noted.
Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, I feel it would be appropriate to indicate that the New Democratic Party caucus will be supporting this bill.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I do not want to risk provoking them, Mr. Speaker.
Motion agreed to.
Bill ordered for standing committee on administration of justice.
House in committee of the whole.
FAMILY LAW REFORM AMENDMENT ACT
Consideration of Bill 93, An Act to amend the Family Law Reform Act.
On section 1:
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Chairman, I have a small housekeeping amendment that I would like to move to subsection 30(1).
Mr. Chairman: Hon. Mr. McMurtry moves that the proposed subsection 30(1), as contained in section 1 of the bill, be amended by inserting, after "deduct" in the fourth line, "or cause to be deducted."
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Chairman, the reason for this proposed amendment -- which was not absolutely necessary but I think it is desirable -- is that the payment may be coming from some third source. In order that there be no confusion, if the deduction cannot be made by the employer, for example, then the employer has the responsibility to cause the deduction to be made by whoever is administering the plan. We think this is a necessary precaution.
Motion agreed to.
Ms. Bryden: Mr. Chairman, I had hoped when the Attorney General got up he would be announcing another select committee on the Family Law Reform Act, but he does not appear to have responded to that request.
Mr. Chairman: Ms. Bryden moves that section 1 of Bill 93 be amended by renumbering subsection 30(2) of the Family Law Reform Act as subsection 30(3) and by inserting the following:
"30(2) Where the court considers it appropriate in a proceeding under section 28, the court may make an attachment order directing the administrator of a pension plan of which the debtor is a member to pay or transfer out of the interest of the debtor in the pension fund at the time the order is served on the administrator such amount as is named in the order and to pay the amount so paid or transferred into court."
Ms. Bryden: Mr. Chairman, as I mentioned on second reading debate, we feel the present wording does not make it clear that the debtor's interest in a pension plan can be paid out to a creditor, in particular to a person to whom a maintenance order is owed. In cases where there is default on maintenance orders, we feel all the present wording will allow is the paying out of a part of a payment going to the creditor. Until the payment is ready to start, nothing can be paid out to the creditor.
This amendment would make it clear that some of the interest of the debtor in the pension fund at the time the maintenance order is made can be paid out through the device of paying it into the court so that the maintenance order can then be fulfilled.
As I pointed out in my remarks on second reading, there are something like 40,000 spouses and dependants to whom maintenance orders are owed in Ontario. They amount to about $42 million. We feel that every effort should be made to enforce those orders, not to leave those dependants and spouses in a state of great hardship. It may be that the person who has the pension has a very large interest in it, but unless the persons to whom the maintenance order is owing can get the money out of it they may be in great poverty while the other person has a very large asset there.
The minister earlier put up the argument that you must not tamper with capital in the pension fund. Of course, this is a typical Tory argument that the protection of capital comes before the protection of people. He is apparently not concerned about the hardship of the people to whom this money is owed and he is prepared to let it continue to accumulate in a pension fund even though the person who will benefit from the pension fund has a debt to a person who is in need.
I would also think that if my amendment passes, the amount that is paid out of the capital of the fund would be deducted from the entitlement of the pensioner in future, and if there is any loss of interest because of its being paid out earlier that would also be charged to his entitlement so that in effect the capital is not eroded for other people.
Therefore, it seems to me this is an amendment we should all be in favour of in order to broaden the power of attaching assets in pension funds and protecting the many people who are not getting their proper payments from maintenance orders.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Chairman, I am afraid the member for Beaches-Woodbine (Ms. Bryden) has misunderstood what I said earlier. Obviously, we all share her concern with respect to spouses who are not able to recover maintenance payments and we all want to continue to strengthen our laws to see that this problem is diminished and, in the best of all possible worlds, eliminated.
But the Ontario Law Reform Commission has recommended against the seizure of capital; our own Pension Benefits Act prohibits it. We do care about people and not simply about capital, but you cannot look at capital in the abstract. We are looking at the many other participants in the pension plan whose security would be seriously disrupted; indeed, the whole scheme of the plan would be seriously disrupted.
With respect, if we were to discuss the member's amendment with some people, for example in the labour union movement, who appreciate the importance of maintaining the integrity and stability of these pension plans, they would quietly advise us that the amendment should not be pressed and for that reason we have to indicate that we cannot accept it.
Ms. Bryden: Mr. Chairman, how does the Attorney General answer the argument that it is only the debtor whose entitlement would be reduced and not really the total assets of the pension plan, that the entitlement of the other people in the pension plan would be protected?
Mr. Chairman: Is it the pleasure of the House that Ms. Bryden's amendment to section 1 carry?
All those in favour will please say "aye."
All those opposed will please say "nay."
In my opinion the nays have it.
Section 1, as amended, agreed to.
Sections 2 and 3, inclusive, agreed to.
Bill, as amended, ordered to be reported.
On motion by Hon. Mr. Wells, the committee of the whole House reported one bill with a certain amendment.
The House adjourned at 10:31 p.m.