The House resumed at 8 p.m.
IMMUNIZATION OF SCHOOL PUPILS AMENDMENT ACT
Mr. Mitchell moved, on behalf of Hon. Mr. Norton, second reading of Bill 134, An Act to amend the Immunization of School Pupils Act, 1982.
Mr. Mitchell: Briefly, Mr. Speaker, I am quite aware, and in fact the members opposite have made the comment to me, that the compendium provided for them was very thorough. I would suggest that because of that thoroughness there is little need for me to make a statement at this time. I think the members are all clearly aware of the reasons for these amendments and I would elicit their support.
Mr. Conway: Mr. Speaker, I am substituting entirely, or pinch-hitting I should say, for the member for London North (Mr. Van Horne) who has a keen interest in these matters but who has not yet repaired from dinner. May I suggest that in his absence I shall retire to see if I can find him. Perhaps somebody from the third party would be pleased to fill the void while I go in search of my lost colleague.
Mr. Mitchell: Perhaps it would help the member for Renfrew North (Mr. Conway) if I gave a brief explanation.
He will recall the passage of the Immunization of School Pupils Act in 1982. This legislation empowers the medical officer of health to order the suspension from school of pupils who are not immunized or are in the process of being immunized subject, of course, to exemptions on the basis of religious or medical grounds. In the event of an outbreak of any of the diseases the medical officer of health is also empowered to exclude from school all pupils who are not completely immunized or exempt because of natural immunity.
The amendment that is being put forward today concerns an appeal mechanism. The current law provides that an order of a medical officer of health may be appealed to the Health Facilities Appeal Board which has been established under the Ambulance Act. This amendment redesignates the board that will hold the hearings as the Health Protection Appeal Board to be established under the Health Protection and Promotion Act of 1983.
As well, the members will be aware the latter act is to be proclaimed shortly. The Health Protection Appeal Board which will have jurisdiction over other public health matters is clearly the more appropriate forum for appeals under the immunization statute. At present, lengthy absence from school can result pending the hearings as well, since there is no requirement in the present act for the board to act within a specific time period. While appeals have been few in number, the ministry recognizes that parents and pupils are entitled to a speedy decision.
Parents have 15 days in which to file an appeal. The amendment will require the board to hold a hearing within a further 15 days of receiving such a request. Therefore, hearings will normally be held by the end of the initial suspension period of 20 school days, or four weeks. I think those are the basics of the bill.
Mr. Conway: May I say at the outset what a pleasure it is to welcome my good friend the member for Carleton (Mr. Mitchell) in his capacity as parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Health.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Assistant, not secretary.
Mr. Conway: He is the parliamentary assistant, as the omniscient Minister of Education points out.
I am delighted to see the member for Carleton taking so active a part in departmental affairs. We have always said over here, at least those of us from eastern Ontario, that young man from Nepean was certainly a man on the make. I wish him well.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: That is not the appropriate expression.
Mr. Conway: On the political -- sorry, I do withdraw that. My mind does not quite operate as does the mind of the member for York Mills (Miss Stephenson) and I do take her advice on these and other matters. I will withdraw it because that might have left a wrong impression. I congratulate the member on his new responsibilities and thank him most sincerely for his helpful explanation of what Bill 134 is about. As he knows --
Mr. Stokes: All you had to do is read the explanatory note.
Mr. Conway: As the former Speaker and member for Lake Nipigon (Mr. Stokes) points out, all one has to do is read the bill and the explanatory notes and one gets a good idea. Many members of this assembly are not much given to reading the bills, sad as that may be.
As far as we are concerned, we have no difficulties with Bill 134. From my experience as a member, when I met with a number of parents -- not a great number, just a couple who had very serious concerns about the appeal mechanism that was in place under the initial legislation -- I know they will be pleased to see this additional safeguard now being built into the immunization process by virtue of this amendment act. On behalf of the Liberal Party --
Mr. Stokes: Is it right you were inoculated and it did not take?
Mr. Conway: Is it right that I was inoculated and it did not take? If I can digress for a moment, a lot has happened to me in my time and it never took.
Mr. Martel: All you had to do was say you support this, but it takes you 10 minutes.
Mr. Conway: Yes, the member for Sudbury East (Mr. Martel) is a wise counsel. On behalf of my colleagues, we are pleased to see this amendment act. From my experience I know it deals with a concern of some parents and I will resume my seat giving my personal endorsation to the good works of my friend the member for Carleton, whose explanation I appreciate.
Mr. Cooke: Mr. Speaker, I will take only about two minutes. We will be supporting the bill. It is sensible. It is unfortunate there were not some time limits for appeals in the former legislation. Obviously, problems have been part of the system under the old appeal mechanism. The 15 days seems logical. I congratulate the ministry on the compendium supplied to us. It allows one to read the meaning of the bill in English rather than in legalese. Tonight we congratulate the member; tomorrow, when he is filling in for the minister, we shall attack him in estimates.
Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, I want to say a few words on this bill. I am pleased to see this amendment. I have some interest in the legislation as a whole because there has been a major controversy in Thunder Bay, where the medical officer of health suspended a number of school children from the system this past fall, the separate school board in particular, including the child of one of the trustees. They had never been notified they were supposed to be immunized. There was a very great lack of information put out about the program in the first place, regarding the necessity of having immunization.
In one case that was brought directly to my attention, one of the children had a letter from a doctor which indicated it would be dangerous for the child to be immunized and even that child was suspended from school. I am pleased to see this appeal mechanism has come into place so in circumstances such as that there can be a quick and easy remedy to the situation. I would suggest, as a matter of direction, that the legislation as a whole be applied with some intelligence and not in a dictatorial and authoritarian manner.
It will take time to alert all people to the positive benefits of immunization. It is amazing that in this day and age, the latter part of the 20th century, a number of people are unaware of the benefits. Some people are unduly afraid and worried and some people object for genuine religious reasons. In a pluralistic society, all those considerations must be taken into account.
Mr. Mitchell: Mr. Speaker, I have no further comments. I am aware of the particular cases the member mentioned. Might I also say that we recognize this bill has created some problems. It is under further review and there may be other amendments coming forward at a later date.
Motion agreed to.
Bill ordered for third reading.
CONCURRENCE IN SUPPLY, MINISTRY OF EDUCATION
Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Minister, we are going to speak on a couple of issues that concern us very gravely.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: What?
Mr. Martel: "Mr. Minister." Oh well, Bette, so much for him.
Mr. J. A. Reed: It was an honest mistake.
Mr. Foulds: No it was not. It was slanderous.
Mr. Kerrio: What did I say? "Mr. Minister"? I am sorry. I will withdraw that.
The minister should back up a step and listen carefully. If she will recall, I wanted to change a bill and have "his or her" inserted. She is the one who insisted that should not happen, that we should leave it as it was. So if I say "Mr. Minister," the minister, above all others, should accept it.
One question has always concerned me greatly and I would like to put it before the minister. It was brought to light again very recently when a group went to England to recruit help for some jobs here. I am going back to the concerns we had when we had to do the same thing for technicians for our nuclear reactor involvement. I would like to think that is one issue to which the minister might address herself.
Mr. J. A. Reed: It is education.
Mr. Kerrio: Wherever. It is not being done by any ministry.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Oh, yes it is.
Mr. Kerrio: No. When we had to go to England to recruit for our nuclear plant, it is obvious no ministry was addressing itself to teaching our young people the technology that was going to be required somewhere down the road.
The reason I quarrel with the government, whether it be the Ministry of Education or some other ministry, is that we have so much lead time in the development of a nuclear reactor. We are looking at about eight to 10 years in terms of design and building. Surely with that kind of lead time we could have addressed ourselves to training our young people when the plant was going into operation. We should not have had to look to another jurisdiction to man that plant.
It seems very sad that we are doing the same thing in the higher technologies. I hope that somewhere in the Ministry of Education or elsewhere the minister may decide that this is a high priority of the government and address herself to that situation. All of us agree it would be a step in the right direction to put into place training methods and other ways of making certain that any job on the market in those fields, whether professional, semi-professional or technological, particularly in higher technology, is being filled by young Ontarians or Canadians.
Mr. Stokes: Mr. Speaker, this is the first opportunity I have had to commend the minister for the role she played in the controversy we had along the north shore of Lake Superior in the Lake Superior board. As a result of her personal intervention and the setting up of a commission of inquiry in the person of Rodger Allan, recommendations were brought forth in dealing not only with that specific situation but more generally with the problems confronting most small isolated northern boards.
I know I speak for all of the people within that jurisdiction when I say most sincerely how much we, individually and collectively, appreciate the minister's intervention. I can recall at one point her saying: "We believe in autonomy. Whatever the board does, we will have to live with." It did not turn out that way and thanks to the minister it did not, as a result of her intervention.
Sitting on her desk now is a realistic appraisal of the state of the art in the field of education in most northern jurisdictions, particularly those far spread, such as the Lake Superior board. There are others, such as the Red Rock and the Geraldton boards, and the minister knows them almost as well as we northerners do.
The approach taken by Mr. Allan and the contents of his report accurately reflect the problems facing those boards, where one has declining enrolment, great distances for children to travel and where, of necessity, there is a lot more duplication than one would like in the delivery of educational services. But that is a fact of life in the north. The minister and her ministry have recognized that.
I have had an exchange of notes with the minister and she assures me that early in the new year they will be reacting to that Allan report and I am told through the grapevine that it will be in a positive fashion.
It is important because there is a lot of agonizing about the way in which education costs are spread among northern communities that are constituents of a particular board. Some of those communities have literally no industrial assessment, while others have a good deal of industrial assessment.
Since representation, and to a large extent the assessment, is based on residential as opposed to an overall combination of industrial, commercial and residential assessment, it causes a lot of disparity. Some of the communities that derive the most benefit pay the least taxes. That is not easy to sell even for a person like myself.
We are going to be looking to the Minister of Revenue (Mr. Gregory) to assist us in convincing those northern communities that there must be some equity built into the system. The only way one can have equity built into the system is by having a reassessment under section 86 of the Assessment Act.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: It has a new number.
Mr. Stokes: My colleague tells me it is section 63 now. The minister will know what I am speaking of, as will the Minister of Revenue.
There is a lot of anxiety. As a result of the fact that they were able to save their schools, people realize they are going to have to come up with some extra dollars to make the whole system more equitable. They realize it must not impose an undue hardship, as is the case now in the Lake Superior board where a resident of Manitouwadge pays an inordinately higher amount of money for the same value as a resident in my home town, for instance.
I do not think that is fair and I do not think any fair-minded person in my home town would consider that fair. I think they are holding back and saying, "We will wait until we hear from the Minister of Education so we will have the whole package sitting in front of us. Then we will be able to assess how we should proceed with regard to reassessment under section 63."
My main reason for intervening at this time is to thank the minister for her intervention and to urge her to come up with some recommendation or a policy statement as a result of the Allan report. Then I think those communities can get on with the business of ordering their affairs in a much more equitable fashion.
During an earlier debate on the estimates of the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, I mentioned a trip to northern Ontario. I was talking about many of our first citizens in remote communities in the north where the delivery of an educational experience is the responsibility of the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.
I do not think I am telling any tales out of school when I say that after native children progress from kindergarten, where they have them, or enter grade 1 through grade 8, of necessity they leave their community at a relatively tender age to further their education. From grade 9 upward they attend school in such places as Sioux Lookout, Kenora, Geraldton, Thunder Bay or Timmins. They find when they enrol in a grade 9 class that they are up to two years behind their peers. We know how disconcerting that is for any 13-year-old or 14-year-old. They become very disillusioned.
This is not the responsibility of this ministry, but I know the minister is aware of it and is concerned about it. For all intents and purposes, I think those schools generally follow the curriculum provided by the educational system sponsored by Ontario. In those communities, there are relatively inexperienced teachers and there is not the kind of supervision there is in our system here in southern Ontario. I know the minister knows that has to be turned around.
One of the main recommendations of the recent subcommittee on Indian affairs in Ottawa was the proposal of Indian self-government. That is going to require either a total scrapping of the Indian Act or a radical change in it to give effect to the recommendations of that committee, assuming they will be accepted by the federal government. I would hope if that does come to pass, there will be some arrangement whereby Indian self-governments will seek the assistance -- and I am going to encourage them to do so -- of this ministry in order to get a better educational experience for their children.
I know it is impossible to sell the concept of complete integration by saying it is no longer appropriate for native people to be hived off and isolated in remote Indian reserves in the north. That is not going to happen, certainly not in our lifetime. I think we do have a responsibility to the people in those remote communities to give them a decent and relevant educational experience so that those who wish to integrate and come down to be computer scientists or whatever, will be in a position to make that decision or that determination.
The status quo as it applies to the education of the children of first citizens in the north is completely unacceptable. I know the minister and people in her ministry are monitoring that. Whenever the initial problem is solved in Ottawa to change that whole situation around, I hope this minister and the personnel within her ministry will be more than willing and anxious to improve that educational experience.
There is one other brief comment I would like to make with regard to this ministry. It concerns the northern corps schools. I do not think they are called that now, are they? The minister says no. These are the schools in places such as Auden, Armstrong, Collins, Allan Water and Savant Lake where I think we were successful in attracting some pretty competent teachers. I do not know whether that was because of their professionalism or their dedication. It may have been because there was a little extra financial incentive for them to go there.
I know about the educational experience the pupils get in those schools. Others might argue with me, but I happen to think it is far superior to what they are getting in the very remote communities in the far north. There must be a reason for that. I have never been able to pinpoint it other than that there was that incentive. I am not sure the incentive is still there.
I want to know from the minister how she treats those schools differently from those under the jurisdiction of a school board that is relatively autonomous. The secretary-treasurer in most of the boards is usually somebody within her ministry and, in general overall terms, those schools seem to be operating reasonably well. Every once in a while I do get a problem that leads me to believe they are not quite as good or do not operate quite as efficiently as they once did. The minister knows the schools I am talking about. I do not think she calls them northern corps schools.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Just isolate boards.
Mr. Stokes: They are usually administered by her ministry, giving local people an opportunity for input to the greatest extent possible. Notwithstanding the problems we hear from day to day about the educational system, we know we cannot stand still. In an ever-changing world we must continue to adapt to changes, accept challenges and make the educational experience for our children as relevant as it is humanly possible for us to do.
I am the last one to criticize what the people over there are doing, but we must keep on top of things. I hope the minister will accept our thanks for what she has done for the people along the north shore and for the Allan report. I do hope she will stand in the wings, if nothing else, and be ready to accept the challenge of those schools in the far north whenever that challenge is presented to her. If the minister gets an opportunity to reply, I hope she will tell me what she has planned for those isolate boards.
As I say, I do not get a lot of complaints, but every once in a while I hear a few rumbles and I get the sense that perhaps they are not working quite as well as they once did. Those are the comments I would like to make at this time.
Mr. Bradley: I am going to be uncharacteristically brief tonight simply because I understand we would like to get through several items. I will use the machine-gun approach on the minister. I understand she is not going to reply to everything I say, but will simply take into account all the pearls of wisdom that come from this side of the House, I think.
Mr. Conway: Now that the member has his pension increase, he should smile at the minister.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: That is right.
Mr. Bradley: That has not gone through yet.
I want to touch on eight or nine brief items, in eight or nine minutes or less, to express some concerns to the minister. One concern I have is that the Martin proposal apparently has had some progress associated with it, that progress being that a committee many people consider to be a stacked committee has made certain recommendations on the Martin proposal for a revised funding model for education. The Martin proposal has generated a certain degree of support from those who feel they would benefit directly from it.
As the minister is aware, those of us on this side of the House have expressed grave concern about the possibility of the provincial government getting its hands on the sole source of direct revenue as far as municipalities are concerned. Of course, I am talking about the municipal property tax. Any of us who has served at the municipal level would certainly be resisting the temptation put before us by the Minister of Education through the Martin proposal to begin an assault on municipalities by taking part of those revenues generated through the property tax at the local level.
I once again express the view to the minister that we in the opposition find this specific Martin proposal unacceptable. We feel there are boards of education across Ontario that do not have a great deal of assessment available to them, both in the nondenominational public school system and the Roman Catholic public school system. This could be best rectified by the minister, through the Treasurer (Mr. Grossman), providing those additional funds from those sources of taxation which are considered to be more progressive and are available to the province. I will not dwell at great length on this.
I will leave it at that for the present time except to remind the minister -- and the member for Hamilton West (Mr. Allen) will recall this -- that she is to provide the member for Hamilton West and me with the figures on the percentage of the cost of education in constant dollars assumed by the province since 1975. The year 1975 was my suggestion. I think the minister suggested 1970, but she is probably having a hard time getting those figures from 1971 to 1975, or the computers are slow, or the minister does not want me to have this information before the House adjourns. I know she would want to expedite that matter as much as possible.
I also want to ask her to persuade her colleagues in the cabinet and others to ensure that members of the teaching profession are included under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. I know the discussions have been going on; I would like to see that implemented.
Mr. Martel: We have that done.
Mr. Bradley: I hear the member for Sudbury East saying it is as good as done, so I will leave that topic.
Bill 82 is a matter of concern because of the funding, which many boards of education feel will not be there when it comes to the crunch in 1985. More particularly, I want to isolate again the situation which has been raised by me and by others in this House on a number of occasions, especially during the estimates.
This concerns the developmental centres and what is to be done with those children who at the present time attend developmental centres. I know the minister has said negotiations are progressing on that and discussions are taking place, but those parents who have children attending developmental centres are extremely concerned that there has not been the kind of progress they feel is necessary. As I have said to the minister on many occasions, they feel if things were left as they are at the present time, those children would be served in the best possible manner.
I hope the compromise the minister comes up with is acceptable to the parents and to the staff there and that we are not going to disturb unnecessarily a situation which, at least to the parents and to the staff involved, seems to be working quite well. I want to commend those who have been involved in that system. I also want to commend the Ministry of Community and Social Services for funding it appropriately.
In one sentence I also want to say I hope the minister will prevail upon the Treasurer to remove the sales tax on those supplies for students and other things associated with education that the boards of education have to provide. I know she would want to make that case as Minister of Education.
On the implementation of the Ontario Schools: Intermediate/Senior curriculum guidelines, I want to say it appears there will be very few boards which will come to the minister to ask for a postponement. It is obvious the directors of education are politicians as well. They want to be in the forefront; they do not want to be left behind with everybody else. I think the minister is going to implement essentially a shell in the first year and perhaps down the line.
I want to emphasize to the minister, however, that I think we -- that is, all members in this House -- do not want to create the impression that everything in OSIS is bad. I think the majority of things in OSIS are good. There are a lot of good recommendations in there, and I want to tell the minister that. But we are very concerned about her timetable for implementation and the curriculum -- and the provision and development of the curriculum are the main concerns -- and also the thrust towards perhaps discouraging students from continuing education, which some have contended will happen.
In terms of computers and education, I have another one liner for the minister, because I promised I would be very brief tonight, and that is that I am still awaiting that meeting the minister promised the member for Hamilton West and me. That meeting was to include experts on computers who could offer comments and also the proponents of this computer plan, which I told the minister I hope works.
I am not sitting on the sidelines hoping it won't work so that we have a political gain; I hope it works. I have some doubts about certain aspects of it, but I sincerely hope it works for the sake of the students in the system. But it would be nice to get that big meeting together, maybe in January, where I hope we would have this exchange of views with the press.
The Allan report has been covered by the member for Lake Nipigon (Mr. Stokes). I was with Rodger Allan the other night and I commended him on his fine work. I am waiting for the minister to implement the recommendations and certainly he looks forward to that implementation. I thought it was a good report, if implemented.
I understand the grants will be announced to the boards of education relatively soon. I hope the minister will not be as stingy as her colleagues sometimes would suggest we should be in the field of education and that she will be providing adequate funding to boards of education so they do not once again have to use the municipal tax, which is a regressive tax that does not take into account the ability to pay of individuals in the community.
She has considerable clout in the cabinet, I am told. I have seen many examples of that and I commend her on having that kind of clout in the cabinet. I hope she will kick a few shins and elbow a few ribs and get just a little more money for the boards of education and, ultimately, the students of this province.
The last thing I want to mention is how pleased I was to see the Premier (Mr. Davis) deny the minister thrice on the college of teachers. I know she will say he did not, but I deliberately asked that question of the Premier, rather than of the minister, because I know the minister has been a great proponent of the college of teachers.
She gave me the impression, which I am sure was shared by the member for Hamilton West, that she was ready to move ahead rather quickly without a provision for the 1944 compulsory membership or statutory membership in the Ontario Teachers' Federation as a condition of teaching in a publicly financed school in Ontario.
The Premier certainly cleared that up. When I asked him the question, he skated around a little bit. He is probably the best skater we have in Canada; we should have him in the Olympics.
Mr. Kerrio: Gold medal quality.
Mr. Bradley: Even at the age of 54, he moves around nicely.
Mr. Conway: According to the Globe and Mail, he is ready for a career change.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Bradley: Nevertheless, he did in my view -- I know the minister does not share this -- deny the minister thrice in this issue. I am pleased to see the Premier has exercised the prerogative he has and I know the minister now supports him clearly on this.
Mr. Speaker, I promised I would be uncharacteristically brief and I have been. I know it is difficult for the minister to sit there and listen to some of the things I have had to say, but the final thing I did want to say was I hope she will capitulate to the opposition, to those of us in the Ontario Liberal Party who have for years called for a select committee on education to delve into all of those matters of an educational nature, particularly as they relate to funding, to give people in this province who are interested in education an opportunity to have direct input through hearings and to have as members of the committee those who are not simply in there doing their constituency work but who are in there to talk about educational issues, such as the OSIS document, in great depth.
I hope the minister will prevail upon the Premier. Since she has been forced to capitulate on one issue, she should force the Premier to capitulate on another and set up this committee, which I think would be beneficial to everyone concerned with education.
Finally, I want to commend her on agreeing with those of us in the opposition who felt the Teachers' Superannuation Act should be brought forward for consideration. It will be passed rather quickly on Wednesday with the approval, I am sure, of both opposition parties. What did the member for Renfrew North want me to say?
Mr. Conway: Wish her a merry Christmas. That was all it was.
Mr. Bradley: Of course, I want to add that myself, to wish the Minister of Education and Minister of Colleges and Universities -- as my colleague kindly calls her, czarina of all education -- a very merry Christmas.
Mr. Allen: Mr. Speaker, I, too, will be brief. I do not know whether it is uncharacteristic or not.
I noticed that my critical colleague from the Liberal Party suggested at some point in his latter remarks that the minister might capitulate in some fashion. I had not particularly noticed that was her style, and I would not suggest she should entertain that particular stance. It would shock us all to see the minister capitulate and would so unnerve us that we might find ourselves rather discombobulated. After all, we all appreciate foils; we all appreciate the challenge they present.
I, too, have a very brief list. Perhaps one of the unfortunate aspects of the kind of pressure we are under at this time of year, to pass legislation and a series of concurrences in a very short space of time, is that it does throw us on our books very fast and gives us very little time to reflect and cull the better items we might want to discuss in the concurrences that follow upon the estimates.
I do not want to repeat the issues that my colleague the member for St. Catharines has raised, but there are a couple of items I would like to add to that list. There was some discussion in our estimates of the survey report that the minister received on the kindergarten to grade 1 program in this province. At that time we asked the minister whether she was contemplating following that up with a rather more substantial survey inasmuch as some of the findings of the report itself, which were rather disturbing as reported, constituted a reflection both on the system and on individual teachers.
While I myself have not had a lot of correspondence on that subject in response to that report, what I have had has emphasized that aspect of the report. Can the minister tell us whether she is contemplating following it with a much more substantial survey to lay out more completely what program characteristics are in place as against the guidelines, ideals and aspirations that we all have for that critical sector of education?
With respect to the remarks my colleague made on commercial-industrial pooling, I echo substantially the observation he made that the ministry's move in the direction of availing itself in one way or another of the commercial and industrial taxation resources that are now in the hands of local school boards has, as she knows, caused a good deal of unrest.
Further, I know that the alternative to actually appropriating in the field is simply to make allowances for the amounts that are collected by various boards in the granting system and thereby to leave those resources in their hands but in effect to dispossess them of the avails they would normally have had from exercising those taxation rights.
I would like to ask the minister where that proposal stands at this time. It is apparent to me that the failure of the government to resolve the whole problem of separate school funding has given the minister her one ace in the hole, so to speak, with regard to commercial-industrial pooling inasmuch as the separate system is unable to avail itself of those resources to the extent that the others are.
Had the government seen fit to begin to advance the funding levels of separate schools in the intervening years, the minister not only might have had that support but also the separate school system might have had a much more adequate and equitable resource in terms of moneys for its own purposes.
It seems to me that the same issue tends to cloud the whole discussion of French schools governance, which I would like the minister also to speak on. I understand she had a meeting on the subject with at least the Association of Large School Boards of Ontario representatives, and perhaps others, at the end of November.
I would like to know whether the minister now is beginning to move towards some alternative scheme of French schools governance which would adequately, and without the contention of that proposal, provide suitable and appropriate control over the French school system by French electors themselves. It seems to me to be the central principle we are reaching for in this whole enterprise. The French community, of course, has as much right to direct participation in the direction of its schools as the separate electors have of theirs and the public electors have of theirs.
The real problem facing a small coterie of French school trustee representatives on a much larger board is the kind of distortion that proposal obviously created at a number of levels in terms of both representation, since the electoral base was very different for those trustees from what it would be for the rest, and the artificial increase in the separate school component of those boards, which of course aroused a great deal of anxiety.
That part of the issue of French schools governance, namely, the issue of adding to the Catholic representation on the public school boards, once again would have been resolved if this government had moved more expeditiously over the years to adequate and full funding for separate schools. There has been a substantial rumour moving around in recent weeks that the government is going to augment separate school funding.
Mr. Conway: I heard that rumour in church again on Sunday.
Mr. Allen: If he heard it in church, he is getting it from the most authoritative of sources.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Mr. Allen: I am not sure how much higher one can go. Is that higher or lower than the minister?
Mr. Conway: It is a parallel authority.
Mr. Allen: A parallel authority; depending on one's theology, one might judge that question differently.
In any case, the rumour is out there. One hears it from many sources, and one is not surprised that it has taken an imminent visit of His Eminence, the Pope himself, to move the government on this issue. But how small a step it is, as a response to that great occasion when Pope John Paul II will visit this country, simply to inch up the separate school funding into the grades 9 and 10 frame, where in some measure some of that funding already is there, depending upon the status of the separate school in question.
That does seem to be a small and niggling step. I hope that the rumour is at least false in this respect, that it errs on the conservative side, if I may use that word. I, and, I think, many other members of this House would rather see the minister begin to move a whole new grade level, namely, grade 11, into that funding mechanism.
Mr. Conway: I thought you told us in estimates that grades 9 and 10 had basically all they needed.
Mr. Allen: Yes, but we got all tangled up on that, if the member will remember.
The minister was very clear on the whole issue respecting schools in the continuation mode, but nobody seemed to be clear as to how many schools that was and whether it was a significant percentage of the overall number. If the minister could give us that number and that percentage now, it might clear that up a good deal. It is nice to say some schools have it, but if it is only a handful of six or seven schools in the system of the whole, it is hardly worth the remark.
With respect to the Ontario Schools: Intermediate/Senior reforms, it is apparent that implementation will be going ahead in the fall of 1984. All my reading of the schools I have been in touch with makes that evident. I still think it is very unfortunate it has had to take that hasty course. In the schools in my community where principals have gathered parents to discuss the implementation of these reforms, the exercise has been very cursory and in many respects a rather paternalistic kind of undertaking.
Parents have barely begun to think about what this whole exercise is, and the minister put on a December 3 deadline, which effectively requires that any objection from any system will have to be made by that time; otherwise, the opportunity of extending for a further year is forfeited, as I understand it. What concerns me is that the discussions barely got under way with parents when the bureaucracy seemed to feel it was absolutely necessary to move and to have everything critically in place.
How customary that is. How often that happens. It should not happen, it seems to me, especially in an educational system where the whole point of the exercise ought to be to bring the whole community along together to engage in dialogue and a suitable educational process. That did not happen with respect to the OSIS reforms, with all respect.
In spite of the fact that teachers across the whole range of the profession formally objected, and the headmasters in the Ontario Secondary School Headmasters' Council and in each of the regional councils declared they were still opposed. even a month ago, to the implementation of OSIS, none the less that front at the headmasters' level seems not to have held. A few of them, who got it into their heads that they wanted to get this system under way in the fall of 1984, have set the pace for the rest. It looks as if the rest will follow.
I would like to hear the minister make her own comments in response to the remarks of the Premier with respect to his unreadiness to move on the question of a college of teachers without the "enthusiastic support," to use his words, of the teaching profession. I would like to hear what precisely that means to the minister. Does that mean she will no longer suggest, even though the teachers will not want to negotiate the end of statutory membership in their federation, that it is part of the negotiation process? One cannot negotiate that item with people who do not want to negotiate it.
The Premier made it clear that he would not move on this subject without the enthusiastic support of the teachers. Of those eight points that the teachers suggested to the minister would be the basis of the negotiations with her, how many is she now prepared to concede she will look at?
Finally, I want to refer to a quite different sort of issue that is extremely critical and must weigh heavily on all our minds. In the wake of the debate we had on the nuclear weapons free zone and in the wake of that powerful, although it could have been a good deal more potent film, The Day After, I discovered in my community that, particularly with respect to the senior elementary schools, the word was out that teachers should not discuss that subject either before or after the film.
I have talked with my own area superintendent about that question. He told me a number of concerns: "Some parents might not like us to talk about it," "The teachers are not ready" and "Many of the teachers might find they are not as well informed as many of the students they teach on the subject." This is especially so in my own area where there are a lot of very questioning students who come from very well-informed homes.
I found that very distressing, because this is one of the issues of the age that we should be talking about with our young people. They ought to feel it is possible to communicate with their parents and teachers. But there is the impression given among teaching staff that this is not quite the proper thing to raise in the classroom or to discuss, if a child does raise it.
I wonder whether the minister has seen a moving film called In the Nuclear Shadow. It is a series of interviews with children in the northeastern United States on their feelings and thoughts about the closed atmosphere that hangs around them with respect to that subject.
Surely, if education means confronting our children with the problems in the midst of which they have to grow up and which sooner or later they will have to cope with as rational citizens in a democracy, then somehow the Ministry of Education must be preparing the way, assisting teachers and parents and setting a context or a mood where openness and discussion can take place on an issue such as that.
I hope to hear the minister make some remarks on that subject. I hope she will give some time in the coming months to thinking, in her own way, of course, as to how the ministry might respond to that rather urgent question.
I appeal to the minister again to look at some of the surveys of children's attitudes and feelings on this subject and the extent to which they have the impression that this subject is not one that their parents and teachers will discuss with them at length. I hope she will help us to resolve that apparent problem of reluctance in the school system to undertake an obviously difficult and certainly controversial but none the less immensely crucial question.
Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, I do not want to take a lot of time, but I have just received a report from the Laurentian Hospital dealing with speech pathologists.
The minister will recall that one of my primary concerns when we discussed Bill 82 was the training of staff. As we move closer to 1985, I am getting more and more concerned, particularly about what is happening to the children in my own area who need speech pathology and about their parents' hopes. I do not know the province as a whole in this field. I confess that immediately.
Within the past year, my colleague the member for Nickel Belt (Mr. Laughren) and I met over the problems of speech pathology in Sudbury. If one goes to the Sudbury Algoma Sanatorium, the preschool children are being tested and programs are being provided. Laurentian does the same with those who are severely handicapped. Both Laurentian and Algoma deal with adults, and in the middle are the children in the school system.
One school system has one speech pathologist, and another school system has one it has been able to hire two days a week from a private practice. It is totally impossible to meet the needs of the young people in school, let alone the needs of preschool children, with the number of pathologists available to us. The boards run ads. I believe one board is assisting a student in Quebec so as to have a pathologist to work in the French language.
Ontario is going to have to do something. I speak to the minister in her dual capacity as Minister of Education and Minister of Colleges and Universities. The number of students being accepted into speech pathology programs is not high. For example, the University of Western Ontario has 24.
I have a colleague whose daughter has an honours degree in language. She is in Chicago taking speech pathology because we enrol so few per year. We will never meet the needs. In fact, with regard to speech pathologists, in Sudbury right now at one hospital alone the list is 78. It is going to take 63 months to serve that need with the number of pathologists who are available. It is four to 12 months after their illness before they are even getting around to starting with some of the care that is necessary. They are testing the outpatients immediately in the hospital. Let me quote:
"The outpatient service at the speech pathology department remains underserviced. As of June 1983 the waiting list has been increasing at a rate of 2.1 new outpatients per month and stands at 78 patients. The waiting time varies from four to 12 months, depending on the priority of the case. As of June 27, 1983, there has been recruited an additional staff therapist.
"With a referral rate of 3.8 outpatients per month, a rate of referrals seen at 4.8 per month and a waiting list of 78 outpatients, it would require approximately 63 months to reach an acceptable waiting list of 20 outpatients."
I am trying to combine both so that I will not speak on Colleges and Universities.
I am saying to the minister that there is a problem. There are not enough pathologists available. We do not have enough of them, I would think, in university to meet the demand that Bill 82 is going to create. Given the hopes of parents for what this bill is going to do when it comes into full force, we are going to leave a lot of parents disappointed.
The real problem is that the government has Health, Education and Comsoc involved, and I am not sure, I understand there is a study going --
Hon. Miss Stephenson: You said that is a problem.
Mr. Martel: Yes, it is a problem because I am not sure how the minister is co-ordinating her efforts yet. Everybody seems to be waiting. Apparently there was a study that was supposed to come out this spring, or is coming out now, that is going to indicate who is going to do what, when and where.
Surely the minister is not saying there is great co-ordination among those three fields at the present time. She will recall -- and I raised this with the minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Drea) and I am glad he is here -- in Sudbury Comsoc was being asked to fund for school children when the education system was not doing it, and the health system or Comsoc would pay if they were in institutions; but when they were back in the community they were without any type of program whatsoever because there were no therapists available.
You have these children in schools and they are not getting any treatment or help. If they were institutionalized they would get help and the type of speech therapy they need, but when they are in the education system and Education is supposed to be looking after it -- the minister shakes her head no. Who is? When I named the three ministries, the minister said, "That is not a problem." I think that is what she said.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: I said that you said it was a problem.
Mr. Martel: Yes, and I am saying again that it is a problem, because in fact I do not think the government has sorted out who is responsible for what and how much and who is going to provide the funding and the personnel. In the case of my colleague the member for Nickel Belt there were only 15, but I am told by the social worker that that represented about one tenth; that we are looking at maybe 150 kids in Sudbury who needed help and were not getting it.
It is a real concern on two fronts. We have to get some clear statement from the government of who is responsible for what, who is going to provide the funding. I think it is incumbent on her as the Minister of Colleges and Universities to look into the number of places in universities that are going to be turning out the pathologists we need to meet the need with the full implementation of Bill 82. I think we are very late out of the starting gate and if we do not get started shortly to rectify it we will be into serious problems.
As I say, Western is taking only 24 a year and they are not all going to graduate. I do not know what Toronto is taking. That is not going to meet the need, I do not think, because in Sudbury the need now just for the hospitals, Sudbury, Algoma and Laurentian, is 16 in the study I have before me. The minister shakes her head. She is going to have to provide a therapist for Manitoulin who speaks Ojibway and I do not think we have one who speaks Ojibway.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Maybe Algonkian, not Ojibway.
Mr. Martel: That makes the problem much more difficult because we at least have to have some in that district who are French-speaking and some who are English-speaking. She is going to have to have some who are native-speaking. With the numbers we are turning out, either we are going to have to have it shelved or we are going to end up recruiting them in the United States. To me, that is an error.
I see my colleague's daughter with an honours degree in language going to Chicago at a tremendous cost to get a training she should be able to get in Ontario. She will come back here and do a magnificent job. In fact, one of the cabinet minister's wives is a psychologist and indicates to me that this young lady will come back as well trained as anyone we turn out in Ontario. That says to me there is something wrong with the system in Ontario. If we cannot turn out enough speech pathologists --
Mr. Conway: I know who you have been visiting, but I will not tell.
Mr. Martel: I was having dinner the other night.
I am saying that if that is the case, surely we should be really pushing the universities to meet some of the need that is going to be created by Bill 82 and that is really present, I suspect, in most of northern Ontario and perhaps in some parts of rural Ontario. I do not know about Toronto. As I say, I speak primarily for my own area from experience, having been involved. I would be interested to hear what the minister has to say in responding to the suggestions I have made about moving along.
Mr. Haggerty: Mr. Speaker, I want to address myself to the concurrence of the ministries of Colleges and Universities, and Education.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: We are not on that.
Mr. Martel: We are not there.
The Deputy Speaker: Order. I am sorry. The chair has been very tolerant. I followed the debate of the member for Sudbury East (Mr. Martel). He did ask that he tie the thread together from the estimates of Education. Some comments had to do with Bill 82 and he acknowledged he was putting some remarks forward. He was not going to be contributing in the next debate. We are going to hold him to that. I would ask the member if he will make it quickly or I will have to rule him out of order, because we have to get back to these estimates.
Mr. Haggerty: One never knows what they are going to do in this House from one day to another day, from one hour to another hour. The time changes --
Mr. Martel: That is not fair.
Mr. Haggerty: The member for Sudbury East should keep quiet. He had his say. I will tie my comments with Bill 82 then.
I am sure the minister is concerned about the frustration that has taken place in the Niagara region, particularly in relation to the developmental centres. My colleague the member for St. Catharines (Mr. Bradley) brought it to her attention previously. The present centres provide services for the severely handicapped children through programs which provide meals, individual instruction and medication. The program is funded directly by the Ministry of Community and Social Services.
I have a letter here, which I am sure the minister has received, from a number of concerned parents in the region. It is addressed to Dr. Bette Stephenson, dated November 23, 1983.
"Trust that you are now well aware of the concerns of parents who have children attending Harmony and Lincoln developmental centres.
"We are parents of a developmentally handicapped child presently attending Harmony in Niagara Falls and are very disappointed in the Ministry of Education that to date no definite stand has been taken in regard to their care and education come 1985." I suppose that is when the introduction will come into effect.
"We feel the ministry should be taking a very serious look at the whole viable facility. The consistent quality of service and care is excellent and the cost minimal in comparison to the education being provided to 'normal' children by local boards.
"At this point we as parents are satisfied that our children are being well looked after, as must the taxpayers who will have to pay more if this quality of service is to be maintained in 1985.
"Bill 82 failed to provide for our developmentally handicapped children, Why cannot legislation be changed to accommodate these children and purchase of services be made allowing Harmony to operate in the present manner at reasonable cost to the ministry?
"The wishes of the parents have been totally ignored by her office and we feel that the above is the most logical solution also for the local boards who do not feel confident handling our children.
"All of Ontario's developmentally handicapped could be receiving the same quality of service if the idea were implemented throughout the province, thus eliminating the institutionalized child, of which Niagara has the least only because of Harmony and Lincoln.
"Trust a reply is forthcoming from you, I remain,
"Sincerely, Dorothy Veenstra."
She does raise an important matter of concern to a number of residents in the Niagara Peninsula. I have had some dialogue with the parents concerned about Bill 82. They definitely feel they might be shortchanged on the present care that is provided at Harmony Developmental Centre in Niagara Falls. They are concerned that if that educational system is transferred from Community and Social Services to the Minister of Education under Bill 82 it will cost far more under the Niagara South Board of Education than as it is funded at present by the ministry.
I suggest the minister should take a good, serious look at their request. Perhaps that is the route she should be going, purchasing that service from the Ministry of Community and Social Services and letting Harmony Developmental Centre continue, as it is now, to provide excellent care for the needs of those children.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, in response to the many items raised by the members, I must admit it sounded like a repetition of the estimates debate that was held not very long ago.
The member for Niagara Falls (Mr. Kerrio) raised the matter of nuclear technology training. Indeed, as I am sure the honourable members know, an extremely good nuclear technology training program has been established by Ontario Hydro in this province. It has been, I think, exemplary in the quality of the program it has provided.
I am also very much aware, of course, as are the members of this House, that each college in the college system, which has nothing to do with the present estimates of the Ministry of Education, has a program that relates specifically to the technological needs in the area of that college. Probably we will expand a little more on this in the concurrence of the Ministry of Colleges and Universities estimates.
I am pleased that the member for Lake Nipigon mentioned the Allan report and I am also pleased to report to the House that the response to that should be available early in the new year. A significant impact on the general legislative grants will be noted as part of the response to the Allan report. There is very real concern that we can make a tremendous advance in educational opportunity equalization for children in both the northern boards that are relatively small and also in the isolated boards that were of concern to the member for Lake Nipigon in introducing a complex mixture of the technologies that have been developed related to education.
Some of our experiments, and they are experiments, in using the Ontario Educational Communications Authority educational microcomputers and videotext and itinerant teachers this year have been reasonably successful. In some instances they have been much more successful than we thought we would have an opportunity to hope for. I am optimistic that we are going to be able to meet the educational needs of those students, not simply through the traditional methods of delivery of educational program but through innovation in the delivery of educational program through distance education capability which we are rapidly developing.
I would like to remind the member for Lake Nipigon that about 6,000 of the status Indian students in this province are receiving an excellent educational program because they are attending schools that are under the control of Ontario school boards rather than under the control of the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. In those instances the total curriculum of the public system is maintained for the students.
The level of the educational program or the quality of the program that is provided under the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development is of concern. We have had a number of consultations with DIAND and with the representatives of the native people in an attempt to improve the quality and to improve the program that is made available under those circumstances.
There really needs to be some greater uniformity for the native students, particularly in northern Ontario; there is no doubt about that. At the present time the comparisons between certain of the programs -- for example, at Summer Beaver -- and the program that is provided in some instances in the DIAND schools show they are really monumentally different.
It is unfortunate this difference should occur simply because of the place in which the student is living and because of the responsibility for the educational program, which is within one government's jurisdiction rather than another's.
The member for St. Catharines raised a number of issues in his usual machine-gun style. I would be happy to tell him and the member for Hamilton West (Mr. Allen) that the Martin proposal is related to a matter that, I would remind them, Dr. Robert Jackson suggested very strongly we should investigate, and we have committed ourselves to investigating it.
The proposal and all of the responses to it have been placed before the Advisory Committee on Financing Elementary and Secondary Education, and that advisory committee has been working diligently in the direction of finding a more equitable distribution method for the general legislative grant. I had anticipated that I would have a recommendation from them early in December. It has not been forthcoming as yet, but I expect we will have it, I hope, before the end of next January.
It certainly is not going to be implemented in the 1984 GLG; that is not about to happen. But our commitment to examine this means of improving the equitability of education fund distribution I think is a moral obligation for the Ministry of Education and for the government of Ontario in spite of the rhetoric that is spouted so vigorously by the member for St. Catharines.
Mr. Martel: Oh.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Well, it really is. It is a matter that was of grave concern to eminent educators and pedagogues who have looked very carefully at the methods of school financing and have determined that there is no means at the present time under the general legislative grant regulations to improve that equitability without making some major shifts, and it was on the basis of those recommendations that we carried out that examination.
I believe we were morally obligated to do so. I really believe that the philosophy of education in this province, which is based on as equal educational opportunity as is possible, is one that all of us would like to foster as vigorously as we can.
Both the member for St. Catharines and the member for Erie (Mr. Haggerty) have mentioned the developmental centres in relation to Bill 82. As the parents in those centres know very well, because I have communicated with them in a relatively full manner, consultation is in fact going on.
At both the central level and at the local level, the boards and the agencies in the area are being asked to examine the problems of providing educational programming for those children in those areas, and in the new year there will be, I think, a relatively definitive statement from the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Community and Social Services and the Ministry of Health that will delineate the responsibilities carefully.
But I would remind the honourable members that Bill 82 very clearly states it is the responsibility, or will be the responsibility on September 1, 1985, of the boards of education of this province to provide educational programs for every child within their jurisdiction, regardless of exceptionality.
It does not say anywhere in that act that the boards will be responsible for providing the care and treatment for those children. This is why it is essential that there be co-ordinated effort on the part of the three ministries responsible and all of the agencies responsible to provide the support that is necessary for some children in order that their educational program may thrive.
Mr. Martel: It is not happening yet.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Don't be so impatient. You are always so impatient.
Mr. Martel: Because those kids are suffering out there. Those kids need help now.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: All right. Just relax for a while, okay?
I am really pleased to report to the honourable member for St. Catharines that the ICON computer is moving very well indeed and is living up beyond the expectation at the present time. It really looks as though it is going to be of great assistance to the students. I do want the honourable members to realize it is not going to replace teachers. It is an adjunct to education, a stimulus for children, a mind expander. We hope it will provide them with an improved educational program as a result of the commitment of a very large number of teachers and experts in computer programming now to the development of the appropriate courseware for students in Ontario and elsewhere.
I hope the general legislative grant will be available. I believe the Treasurer (Mr. Grossman) will be making a statement some time within the next few days about --
Mr. Martel: Thursday.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Thursday, is it? Fine, I am glad the members know about the transfer levels. From that the Ministry of Education will have an opportunity within a period of about six weeks to develop the appropriate regulations under the general legislative grant.
Mr. Van Horne: You said by Christmastime.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: I had hoped so, yes, but I have to have the information from the Treasurer first. I am sure the honourable member for London North knows that. Is it London North, South, East or West?
Mr. Van Horne: North. Save me from the South.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: He is London North, right.
The question regarding speech pathologists falls into that category as well. I think it is a mistake to suggest that for every child who has a pathological condition regarding speech there must be a full-time speech pathologist working constantly in conjunction with that child.
The role of the speech pathologist is to make the diagnosis, to prescribe the treatment and then to tell the teacher who is responsible for speech teaching how to go about doing it in order that the child may be appropriately dealt with. The suggestion that there have to be 16 speech pathologists for Sudbury is just a little exaggerated.
Mr. Martel: No, no. I am talking about the hospitals that are saying they need that right now.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: The hospitals really need to look at what it is they require as well. They may need them for stroke victims, but they do not need them for children with speech difficulties within the school system.
There are a significant number of young people going into those programs at our universities; there is no doubt about that. But we still live in a democracy in which free choice is the basis of career establishment for young people --
Mr. Martel: They do not take in enough students.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: I think they take almost as many as apply. There are indeed a significant number who are applying, and it is certainly our hope that the increase in demand for the courses will be a stimulus to the universities as well, because the universities determine which courses and the size of the courses they are going to offer.
It is somewhat like the faculties of education, which have expanded their capacity for special education instruction for teachers dramatically within the last couple of years, so that in September 1984 it will become an integral component of the teaching experience of all graduates of faculties of education in the province. I think we will be seeing the same thing regarding those specific support staff who will be required.
There was an interesting comment from the member for Hamilton West regarding the two films. There was, specifically, no central direction from the Ministry of Education related to the requirement to discuss or not to discuss them within the classroom. That was left entirely to the local teachers unless certain boards made some statements to their teachers.
No one knows the capacity of students to accept, to understand and to deal with such subjects better than the teacher who is dealing with them on a day-to-day basis. We rely very heavily on the professional capacity of those teachers to make the appropriate decisions regarding that. Surely there is a fear in much of the population regarding free and open discussion about subjects such as that, and I understand that.
I am not sure it is the responsibility or the duty or even the right of the Ministry of Education to suggest there must be that kind of open discussion in all circumstances within the classroom. I think that kind of central direction is somewhat 1984-ish. I would hope the determination would be made at the local level about the way in which such sensitive subjects and difficult subjects will be dealt with. Certainly, we will be happy to talk to teachers and to boards of education about dealing with those subjects.
I would like the members to know that early in 1984 a long-awaited event is going to take place with the distribution of the first published document on the teaching of values education within the schools of Ontario. It has been developed not only for support and as a resource guide for teachers, but also in a way that is understandable to parents so they will know what is being taught in that area within the school system. It is not going to be taught as a separate subject but integrated into the educational program for all children.
I have already moved concurrence.
Resolution concurred in.
CONCURRENCE IN SUPPLY, MINISTRY OF COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES
Mr. Sweeney: Mr. Speaker, just very briefly, as the minister well knows, my critic area now is the Ministry of Industry and Trade. It is no longer the Ministry of Colleges and Universities as it was at one time.
However, in the new critic area, as I am sure the minister would expect, from time to time I come across the problem of training, particularly in the industrial domain and environment. The minister will recall when I was her critic I frequently had to draw to her attention my concern about the quality of training available to people moving into an Ontario industry and, in some cases, the lack of that training.
The minister will be well aware that there is a considerable amount of criticism throughout Ontario from faculty members, from university presidents and from students about the facilities available to them. I would draw to the minister's attention an article that was in the Toronto Star on December 8. The minister may want to comment on one section of this article.
It was quoting some comments by an executive of Crowntek. As the minister knows, that is one of the new subsidiary companies of Extendicare Ltd. It is not really all that important. However, the point was that this particular executive was pointing out that Ontario students -- he was talking about Canadian students as well -- are at a distinct disadvantage with respect to the facilities available to them.
I will quote directly and then the minister can refer back to it later on. He was comparing Ontario universities with those in the United States. He makes this observation: "I have been turned off mightily. I see magnificent buildings, but junk as far as equipment goes. They don't have palace buildings; they have palace labs at Stanford."
I would draw to the minister's attention that there are a number of faculty people in Ontario universities -- to a certain extent less so in the colleges, but certainly in the universities -- who would not go quite that far, but who would and are continuing to be concerned about the quality of the labs that are available to them.
The minister will well remember the great hullabaloo we had at the University of Toronto about a year ago over the condition of the zoology labs, biology labs and chemistry labs, of people doing experiments in washrooms, according to one such reference.
This particular commentator goes on to say that in his judgement the University of Waterloo is one of the exceptions. I presume he is referring to the computer facilities, the math facilities and things of that nature. The point does remain that we are getting some serious criticism about the facilities in this new high-tech age. I also want to draw to the minister's attention a recent Globe and Mail report entitled Report on Ontario. The heading is "High Tech Will Be the Focal Point of Strategy."
The minister is well aware that the Minister of Industry and Trade (Mr. F. S. Miller) for Ontario, and I suspect for cabinet as a whole, has made such things as the technology centres and the Innovation Development for Employment Advancement Corp. the focal point of the Board of Industrial Leadership and Development strategy on the industrial policy for Ontario.
Let me draw to the minister's attention what this particular writer said about the kinds of things I just mentioned. The article says: "But there is a weak link in the province's master plan. Concerns are growing that, despite the host of programs available, Ontario universities may not be able to supply enough brain power to implement them.
"The Canadian Council of Professional Engineers earlier this month warned that several universities and their engineering graduates may not receive immediate professional accreditation because of the steadily deteriorating quality of courses."
Hon. Miss Stephenson: That is not true.
Mr. Sweeney: I am sorry. The minister is quite free to comment on that particular point.
The point that I want to make, and I am making it very briefly, is that there is a growing concern, and there has been for quite a while, about the validity of the new high-tech thrust for this province if we are not going to have the proper training, the proper facilities and the proper access for Ontario students to get the kind and quality of education they need in order to capitalize on the new technology.
As a matter of fact, along with a member of our research staff I recently did a survey of a very large number of Ontario industries we felt could particularly use the facilities of the tech centres. We asked them what their thoughts were. Again and again the question of training came up. In their judgement the tech centres have some viability and validity, but they did not see the associated training mode and the training model. This was simply a survey of industries across Ontario.
I want to refer once again to a point raised in this House recently. I would have to use the word "embarrassment" the feeling that is present in most of us when we hear increasingly of recruiting teams having to leave Ontario to go over to England. I think that was the most recent reference. Of course, there was some problem about the amount of money the teams are spending. That was a concern of some of my colleagues, and I share their concern in that regard, but much more important, my concern has to be why it is necessary for that to happen.
My colleague the member for Niagara Falls (Mr. Kerrio) mentioned earlier the whole question of having to go to England for several years to recruit nuclear technicians for the nuclear power plants in Ontario. The minister points out that is perhaps no longer necessary because Ontario Hydro is doing it itself. At the time when that was the problem it should not have been a problem because the nuclear generation industry had been well in place in Ontario for approximately 10 years at that time.
Yet we are facing the same problem now. We are having to have ministries of the government of Ontario go to England and other countries to recruit people who should be receiving their training right here in Ontario. It is all a part of one circle in that the needs of the province in terms of the new technologies and the new directions that the industrial development of this province is going to have to take are not being met by our own training facilities. I would certainly appreciate hearing the minister react to those comments.
Mr. Allen: Mr. Speaker, I want to make a few remarks in this concurrence on the estimates of the Ministry of Colleges and Universities.
First of all, let me simply underscore what the last speaker has just said with regard to equipment and laboratory facilities in the university system. He is quite right. He and many others have been hearing about problems in that respect at a time when we should at all times be providing our students with the level of equipment that produces the sort of training we need for a crop of young, oncoming professionals in all areas to equip our economy and our service sector with the first-class services and training they require.
I know the minister last year felt quite happy she provided some $12 million to $13 million as a special one-time grant to deal with this question. I think the House and the public did not realize the $13 million lay over against a system requirement which was hugely in excess of that. The Council of Ontario Universities had estimated, having tallied up the quantities needed, that a rational program of equipment replacement, quite apart from the library acquisitions that were built into that grant, would itself have required a $31-million starting fund.
When one looks at the backlog in library acquisitions, which many university libraries are now not going to be able to make up because the books are not in print any more, having fallen to 21 per cent of the level of expenditure in real dollars of the early 197Os, the shortfall there is somewhere in the order of another $20 million. So the $13 million in that grant lies over against the $51-million price tag that would go to a rational replacement of equipment and library facilities.
I have been around to many of the universities in the course of the last few weeks and I asked them specifically about how they were able to take advantage of that money. Of course, they were pleased to get it. For example, at Queen's University, where they doled out their approximately $800,000 in $40,000 grants to various departments to spend on equipment, there was not a single head of one of those departments who did not have a minimum budget of at least four times that amount. That is the backlog that exists at the equipment level, department by department, in the sciences across this province.
Let me make a remark or two about accessibility. This season began with a controversy about accessibility. The minister inaugurated it by a number of ill-chosen remarks and followed it by three different positions before she finally came back to the Frost-Robarts formula. The main proposition of the minister that there would be a place in the full secondary system for all qualified graduates, however else one slices her remarks, just does not hold up in terms of this fall's statistics.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Oh, really.
Mr. Allen: Yes, quite.
If one looks at the university applications as against the university acceptances on a preliminary basis -- not all those figures for the universities are available to me and I have phoned them all to learn them -- there is almost double the number of applicants. There is, for example, a 5.9 per cent increase in application levels over the previous year, whereas there is only a three per cent increase in acceptance. With that slippage in the university system, the question then arises as to whether there is space in the colleges. When one looks at the college system, it is quite apparent there simply is not space.
For example, in 1982, as against 97,000 some applications, there were 45,000 acceptances into the first year of that system, half the number who applied. In 1983 there were almost 112,000 applications to get into the system and the first-year enrolment is up only some 2,000, for a total enrolment of 47,600.
As for the universities, the increase in applications is running ahead in percentage of the percentage of increase in the enrolment; namely, for the system as a whole a 15.1 per cent increase in applications against a 5.1 per cent increase in first-year enrolment. In Metropolitan Toronto and the commuting districts around it, there is even a greater gap in the figures. The applications in 1982-83 went up by 17.9 per cent while enrolment increased by only 4.5 per cent. One has escalating applications on one hand and only marginally increasing enrolment on the other.
It is true, as some have said, that many of those students ought to be able to go north where there are places in the universities and colleges. My discussions with students in the university and college system is that they simply are not able to afford to go away. That is especially true in some regions of the province such as the Niagara Peninsula. I have talked with students who were not accepted at Brock because they only had a 64 per cent average and they are not able to afford the money to go to Windsor where there were places.
There are certainly places in the northern colleges, where the applications went up by 13.7 per cent but for some reason or other the actual enrolment there increased by only 1.2 per cent.
As one looks at the bare statistics on the university and college system and tries to reflect on them, it seems that qualified students are not finding places in the university system and they do not have a backup system to go to that will necessarily fulfil their needs in the colleges. It may not be what they wanted in the first place, but even if they compromise to that extent the accessibility problem is there, it is obvious, it is manifest and it is created by the minister and her ministry in a funding trend that has been undermining the capacity of the system at the college and university level.
The minister, when speaking just a few moments ago in the Education estimates, said this province strives to provide equal educational opportunity. Equal educational opportunity is simply not there in the college system, and it is not there at this time in the university system.
There are other remarks I could make on this subject to carry it further, but I simply wanted to make that one salient remark about the post-secondary system as a whole and to confine my remarks to that.
Mr. Conway: Mr. Speaker, I told my friend the member for Scarborough West (Mr. R. F. Johnston) that I would make these remarks in two minutes or less, notwithstanding the fact someone on the other side sent over some bathroom tissue that carries a caricature of our esteemed Prime Minister. On so historic an evening as this, I would consider that to be a slight, if not worse.
I have only one question to the Minister of Colleges and Universities. She will know that in recent days there has developed within Toronto and in the province beyond a very active debate about the future of the Royal Conservatory of Music.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: That is not in my bailiwick.
Mr. Conway: The minister says in a private aside that it is not in her bailiwick. Since her bailiwick is indeed a considerable one, I wonder whether she would care to offer an opinion about the plans of the University of Toronto with respect to this historic, 96-year-old, world-class conservatory.
We have read in today's paper that some offshore airline is about to move into historic McMaster Hall and potentially turn it into a hotel or whatever. I know the music students of York Mills and Renfrew county are quite concerned that this historic and outstanding conservatory ought not to be compromised or detracted from in any way. Perhaps the minister might favour us with a view or a comment on her responsibility, if any, with respect to the Royal Conservatory of Music.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, there are just one or two comments I would like to make. First, I would like to reassure the member for Kitchener-Wilmot there has been a considerable effort made over the past five years in the skills development programs, which are bearing fruit.
I am delighted that in spite of the recession we have managed to maintain a significant increase in many of the apprenticeship and technologically regulated skills development programs over the past two years. I am also pleased there are larger and larger numbers of young people attempting to participate in such programs. I see this bodes well for both the college system and the other skills development programs that are in the process of being expanded.
I have some real concern about the expression the honourable member has provided related to the university system. The autonomy of that system ensures they make the decisions about the way in which they will spend money. I will continue to try to provide as much as possible for them, but I do not decide whether they are going to spend it in one way or another. It is my understanding that the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario does not state there is a concern or that there is jeopardy related to the accreditation of the engineering faculties in Ontario at present. I have been told they are quite safe for another five years. I am sincerely hoping there will be a significant turnaround within that time.
As far as the member for Hamilton West (Mr. Allen) is concerned, I should like him to understand that the figures I have related to the acceptances and the total number of applications for the universities are almost exactly the same this year in percentage terms as they were last year. There has not been a very significant difference, in fact there has not been a major difference at all, in the rate at which students are being accepted at universities. As of September 30 there were large numbers of places left in arts and science programs in various universities of the province, including southern Ontario.
I should also like the member to know that the multiple application syndrome which prevails within the college system is very much involved in those relationships of the figures he announced a few moments ago. But, as of September 30, in 50 per cent of all the courses provided in all the colleges of applied arts and technology in Ontario, there were vacancies. At this point we are not overloaded.
I am not sure what is going to happen next year, because the demographic crunch actually begins to hit the post-secondary system in 1984. I am hopeful the participation rate will continue to increase in order that there will not be a major shift in attendance at those post-secondary institutions.
As far as the debate that is going on related to the faculty of music and the Royal Conservatory of Music, I have the same kind of warm feelings -- or warm fuzzies, as my deputy would call them -- about the conservatory, which is designed to help young people to become performers. The faculty of music is designed to help young people to become knowledgeable scholars in the area of music. They are two quite different things. Are they compatible? I do not know. Indeed, it is not a matter that falls within the jurisdiction of the Minister of Colleges and Universities.
If the honourable member has some real concerns about this, he would do well to make those concerns known to the president of the University of Toronto and to the dean of the faculty of music.
Resolution concurred in.
PUBLIC SECTOR PRICES AND COMPENSATION REVIEW ACT
Hon. Mr. Grossman moved third reading of Bill 111, An Act to provide for the Review of Prices and Compensation in the Public Sector and for an orderly Transition to the Resumption of full Collective Bargaining.
Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my colleagues in the New Democratic Party caucus, I would like to oppose Bill 111 on third reading.
It may well be this is the last time in this Legislature that I rise to speak against the bill, but I want to assure members and the government that we will be speaking against this bill and its provisions on the hustings. We will oppose this kind of legislation whenever and wherever it appears.
By preaching restraint in this fashion, this government commits two fundamental flaws. First, it continues to victimize the victims of recession. It practises and victimizes public sector workers in particular. It is not the people who are working in the public sector, the nurses' aides, the men who operate the graders for the Ministry of Transportation and Communications or the people at the municipal level who collect garbage for municipalities who have caused inflation. It is not those people who caused the great recession of 1981-83. Yet this government's sole economic initiative to combat the great recession of 1981-83 is to impose restraint on public sector workers. They did it in 1982 with Bill 179 and they do it in this legislation this year.
The Deputy Speaker: Order. Could I just remind all members that, as the honourable member well knows, the principle of the bill has been debated. The individual sections have all been debated, and now we are debating whether it shall proceed to third reading; a member is either opposed to that or is for it. If we could keep our remarks within the perimeters of those orders --
Mr. Foulds: I was just leading up to that, Mr. Speaker, and I thank you for outlining the terms of the debate.
During the course of the debate on first and second reading and at committee stage, a number of questions were posed to the Treasurer (Mr. Grossman). None of those questions has been answered. That is what third reading debate is all about: picking up the pieces of items that have not been dealt with during the course of the previous debate.
The Deputy Speaker: With all due respect to the member --
Mr. Foulds: I suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, before we allow this bill to pass, certain flaws in the legislation which have been pointed out have to be addressed. This is the last chance this Legislature has to deal with this bill. I suggest to you that it is not your job to intervene and to interfere in legitimate concerns that have been raised during the course of the public and private debate.
The Deputy Speaker: Order. Will the member please take his seat. I remind the member that I am not entering into the debate. My function is merely to assist the members in staying within the rules of the debate.
As to third reading, I remind all members that we are debating whether it shall be reported for third reading. The member is either for that or against it. We are not going back to the principle; with all due respect, I tell the member we are not, nor are we dealing with the individual sections. I am sure he can agree with that.
Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, let me explain to you why I think the bill should not be reported for third reading and why it should not be passed.
The Deputy Speaker: I have to remind the member that I am not proposing to enter into a debate with him.
Mr. Foulds: You certainly are, Mr. Speaker. You have entered the debate.
Mr. Martel: You have jumped into it with both feet.
The Deputy Speaker: Third reading.
Mr. Foulds: Let me just say that a number of questions were posed to the Treasurer, both in the public hearings and during the course of the clause-by-clause debate. None of those questions has been answered. Because none of those questions has been answered, I am going to raise them again on third reading so the Treasurer will have a chance to allay our concerns. Is that not fair?
The Deputy Speaker: Fine. If the member is going to be putting his reasons for being opposed to it going to third reading, then that is quite within the orders.
Mr. Foulds: Okay, Mr. Speaker, these questions were raised in the committee. I am specifically raising them here so the Treasurer can address them. These were questions that were raised by Mr. O'Flynn of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union. The Treasurer did not take the opportunity in committee to respond to them.
Mr. O'Flynn put these questions directly to the Treasurer: "How do you justify one law for the rich and a different law for those at the bottom of the wage ladder? Why did the doctors get a catch-up raise while women workers at the low end of the wage scale got rolled back? Ability to pay was not a problem in finding money to pay doctors. Why then is it such a problem when it comes to paying secretaries?
"Ability to pay simply means your willingness to pay. You are willing to pay 20 per cent increases to doctors, but you are unwilling to correct your past failures to implement equal pay for work of equal value for your own women employees. Why? Why are you making public sector workers the scapegoats again? Why are the public sector workers' rights being restricted even more, in spite of the Supreme Court's ruling? Where are you going to find an arbitrator with any integrity to do your dirty work for you? If an arbitrator awards more than five per cent to any group within the public service, will the Ontario government honour the award?
"Bill 179 at least recognized the special situation of first contracts whereby newly unionized workers could achieve comparability with union rates. Bill 111 does not. What if an arbitrator awards more than five per cent for a hospital group's first contract? How is the hospital to deal with this?
"The federal government has suspended implementation of the metric system because the courts have ruled that it violates the Charter of Rights. Since the Supreme Court has ruled that Bill 179 is also largely unconstitutional, why does the Ontario government not do the same and restore our rights to us?"
Those questions have not been answered during the course of the debate. That is why I am saying this bill should not be reported for third reading.
The second reason I believe the bill should not be reported and passed for third reading is the government's callous, thoughtless and senseless defeat of the amendments put forward by my colleague the member for Welland-Thorold (Mr. Swart) on the price side to put some real teeth into price control through this legislation. The government has shown that it has failed totally to deal with the problem of controlling prices. If the purpose of the bill is to provide an orderly transition, which is one of the things it pretends to do, surely the government must hold faith with the people of Ontario and try to control prices. It has failed to do that either in this legislation or at large over the past 10 to 12 years.
Third, one of the reasons given for Bill 179, and one of the reasons given time and time again for this legislation, is that it provides security and that somehow the security of the workers is unquestioned. I point out that in our hearings not one person could testify before the committee that workers had more security because of either Bill 179 or Bill 111. Time and time again they pointed out they had lost membership, that there was contracting out in nursing homes, for example. The much-vaunted security, the much-vaunted tenure supposedly granted to public servants is a fallacy.
This bill proves again that the government does not have the will to manage the economy. It is because it lacks that will to manage the economy that it has brought in this kind of legislation. I want to read into the record a new piece of information that has come to me since the conclusion of the clause-by-clause debate. It is a letter from the Thunder Bay branch of the Canadian Red Cross Society. This is a volunteer organization that provides a very worthwhile service in Thunder Bay. The letter says in part:
"The projected 1983 deficit for the homemaker service provided by the Canadian Red Cross Society in Thunder Bay is $10,000. The United Way was unable to meet our request for funding, and the overall projected deficit for the Canadian Red Cross Society, Thunder Bay branch, amounts to $12,000. Unless the act is lifted, our financial situation in 1984 will be worse.
"Although the wage restraint legislation included mandatory increases of five per cent, plus $750 to $1,000 for low-income workers, the government exempted the Red Cross from compensating its homemakers in 1983. Because the Ontario division is experiencing similar problems elsewhere, our branch has been directed to freeze homemakers' wages in 1984. It is unfortunate" -- and this is the part I want to emphasize -- "that these low-income, often sole-supporting wage earners should be required to bear the burden of the restraint program.
"Our major concern is that two consecutive years of insufficient rate increases will not allow us to compensate our employees fairly. These dedicated women who acquire training and experience are earning little more than minimum wage."
This letter shows that what this bill has done is to shift the responsibility for paying decent wages to employees on to local volunteer boards as well as on to the municipal boards.
What this bill has done is destroy confidence and trust. This bill should not be reported and passed for third reading because it is a fundamental attack on collective bargaining, and in those cases where collective bargaining had been forgone, and this was the evidence that came before us in committee stage, it is a fundamental attack on arbitration.
I just want to read into the record a portion of a letter sent by Rory F. Egan, chairman of the Ontario Police Arbitration Commission. It says:
"The Ontario Police Arbitration Commission is responsible under the Police Act for the selection of a panel of arbitrators to deal with interest disputes. That being the case, we feel duty bound to express our apprehension concerning the continued availability and effectiveness of our arbitrators if the proposed legislation is passed.
"The Ontario Police Arbitration Commission has been able to build a panel of independent arbitrators over the years who have fulfilled the purposes of the act. Our concern is that these expert and independent arbitrators may cease to be available, since the proposed legislation will impinge upon their independence and experience and render their decisions neither final nor binding. They will see the quid pro quo which they have been appointed to provide virtually taken out of their hands, while the right to strike nevertheless continues to be unavailable.
"In sum, we are fearful that the arbitrators selected by the commission will lose their effectiveness in being perceived as emanations of the review board rather than independent neutrals."
This matter was raised with the minister. No answer has been forthcoming. Nothing the Treasurer has said has allayed the fears that I think the Ontario Police Arbitration Commission rightly expressed.
The sweeping powers this bill gives the government to include other groups is dictatorial and authoritarian. No piece of legislation should ever be passed in a democracy that gives the cabinet the right to apply this bill to any other group of workers. I point out that the Treasurer refused to accept an amendment to clause 11(1)(b), which reads:
"11(1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations ... (b) adding to or deleting from the schedule any person or any class of persons or any agency, authority, board, commission, corporation or organization of any kind."
I am happy to give the Treasurer the authority to delete any group that is included; but to give him carte blanche -- and I point out that the wording of this clause is very serious -- to add to the schedule any person or any class of persons or any agency, authority, board, commission, corporation or organization of any kind gives to a cabinet the kind of sweeping power that simply should not be given in a responsible and democratic government.
We have fought long and hard for responsible, accountable and democratic government and this, it seems to me, simply negates it. I suggest that, if for no other reason, the bill should not go forward for third reading because, although the Treasurer or the cabinet may not exercise the power, the power is there to include any employee of any kind of corporation; not just a public corporation, any corporation. It says, "agency, authority, board, commission, corporation or organization of any kind," and I suggest this is a very serious flaw.
Finally, this is legislation that is arbitrary, this is legislation that is discriminatory, this is legislation that is sneaky. It is the antithesis of fairness and decency. It destroys not just private corporations but any corporation. It says board, commission, authority, agency, corporation or organization of any kind. I suggest that is a very serious flaw.
Finally, and I just want to conclude, this legislation is arbitrary. This legislation is discriminatory. This legislation is sneaky. It is the antithesis of fairness and decency; it destroys trust and confidence. It is the kind of legislation proposed by a government with the weakness of a bully, a government which no longer has the ability to be intelligent, no longer has the ability to negotiate, no longer has the ability to be decent, fair, honest and straightforward.
For that reason, we will vote and divide the House on Bill 111. We will oppose any legislation of this type, wherever and whenever we find it, and we will do so as long as we have voice to speak and strength to fight injustice in this province.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, I listened with interest to the remarks of the member for Port Arthur. He has suggested that this bill should not be called for third reading because there are unanswered questions.
Mr. Speaker, I have to offer this to you and the members of the House; we sat through a fairly lengthy discussion in this House on second reading and during clause by clause, during which time a great number of good questions were put and I think they were answered. They may not have been answered to the satisfaction of the member for Port Arthur and I understand that and respect it; however, I want members of this House to know, before calling this bill for third reading, that those questions were answered.
I understand how the member for Port Arthur feels about this legislation. Indeed, the New Democratic Party had determined before the legislation was introduced, before they had read it, that it must violate the court decision brought down. They had decided before it was introduced that it would interfere with collective bargaining. They had decided before it was introduced that it must be opposed.
I know in all honesty members were surprised to see that when the bill was introduced on November 8 it in fact restored collective bargaining. The member for Port Arthur asked, "What happens if the arbitrator awards more than five per cent?" The answer, which has already been offered many times to the member for Port Arthur, is clear; the amount is paid.
The government has no recourse in the event there is an arbitration award of more then five per cent. There could be no more eloquent description in confirmation of the fact that collective bargaining has been restored and the arbitration procedure restored than that simple analysis. If it is more than five per cent, it is paid; if it is less than five per cent, it is paid.
I would suggest it is quite obvious there is a fundamental difference in this House between those who believe the economy is still in such a circumstance that some form of continuation of restraint is necessary and appropriate and those who do not. We respect the difference on this side, but we do not agree with it.
I have listened to the member outline his party's position and it is quite clear his party does not believe the restraint program was necessary last year and does not believe a continuation of restraint in any form is required this year. I can only say that when we assess the state of the economy this year, we in all fairness do not know to what extent this government's public sector wage restraint program contributed to the recovery we have.
I do have to say that we have 196,000 more people at work in the economy this year. We have a gross scenario in our economy. We have inflation down to 4.9 per cent. I have to say for those who suggest that all this would have happened with certainty, if it were not for the courage of this government, and may I say the current Minister of Industry and Trade (Mr. F. S. Miller) and the great effort he put into this bill in getting it through this House, we would not have those figures with us today. We would have a much bleaker scenario.
Some would take the easy route of not having legislation. Some would gamble with our economy. Some would want to say: "Just let it happen out there. Worry not if we get another round of inflation." Some would say, "Sure the private sector, in fact, is running an unemployment rate of 18 per cent to 20 per cent, while the public sector is running effectively no unemployment rate." Some would say that is equitable, the burden should not be shared by everyone in society.
We on this side of the House say it is equitable that everyone share to some extent. We on this side of the House believe that in order to meet our social obligations during this very difficult period it is important we run our affairs responsibly and with restraint. We on this side of the House have met a lot of people who are unemployed. We have met a lot of people --
Mr. Laughren: You are doing a lot for them.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: It happens to be true. A lot of those people voted for us before and will vote for us again. They will vote for us again because they see the wisdom of the policies we have followed.
Mr. Rae: That remains to be seen.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: The leader of the New Democratic Party says, "That remains to be seen." I will be happy to greet him here 48 hours hence and we can see what the people in one riding of Ontario think and we will compare --
Mr. Rae: That is not exactly a cross-section, Larry. Even you will agree it is not exactly a cross-section. I am conceding nothing.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: I see. The member has his excuses ready and the election has not been held.
Mr. Laughren: You are a real class statesman, Larry.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: The third row this evening has as much going for it as the first row.
Mr. Wildman: What does the minister mean by that crack?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: I withdraw that, Mr. Speaker. I insulted the member for Algoma.
May I simply say that I listened to the remarks and I understand that the member for Port Arthur (Mr. Foulds) was obliged to say some of those things. He suggested -- I wrote down some of the words -- that we no longer had --
Mr. Laughren: Cheap shot, Larry. Take the low road and stay on it.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: I am going to read the member's colleague's words and he can decide whether they are low road or high road. I invite him to listen to them.
He said this government was no longer able to legislate intelligently. He also went so far as to say we could not legislate or act decently, fairly or honestly. This bill is not nearly as controversial, as overpowering or as restrictive as the bill the members were anticipating. We know that. This bill restores free collective bargaining because we believe in free collective bargaining.
This party has stood up and talked honestly to the public of Ontario, saying we needed a restraint program. We were prepared to sit last year when the then Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) took a difficult bill through this House. It took him 90 days to get the bill through this House in difficult circumstances. To say we do not act honestly or decently is a lot, not a little, hypocritical.
A lot of people in the public sector expected and suggested the government ought to have introduced yet another very restrictive bill this year. This government has had the courage to trust people, to listen to people who had told us, "Yes, we will bargain responsibly and fairly," and "Yes, we understand restraint." This government had the courage to come out and stand up and be counted for collective bargaining, for the rights of people to rectify the wrongs that have been created, for them to right their own circumstances, for the right of people to determine their own salaries vis-à-vis one another. That is courage and that is talking in a straightforward way.
I want to conclude by telling the member for Port Arthur what is not acting in a straightforward way. I will not use those other words because I would not accuse him of not being decent, fair or honest. I will tell him what is not straightforward. It is to suggest that if only we pay the public sector 10, 12, 14 per cent that will create lots of jobs for the poor, that the people who are unemployed throughout the private sector will be really thankful if we pay that to the public sector.
Mr. Rae: You pay 10 per cent to the doctors. They are the only people you are prepared to pay 10 per cent. You are prepared to pay 12 per cent to the doctors.
The Deputy Speaker: Order. The Treasurer will conclude his remarks.
Mr. Rae: They are not going to vote for you, Larry.
The Deputy Speaker: Order. Does the Treasurer have any final remarks? We have provided latitude in the matter of minutes all evening to all of the debaters. If the Treasurer could just conclude his remarks we do have an agreement to honour.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, might I say this bill, as last year's bill, will go a long way towards making sure that in 1984, as in 1983, this government and the economy in this province once again lead the way across Canada in restraint, in fighting inflation, in getting new growth --
Mr. Laughren: That is garbage and you know it. You came from Bay Street, did you not, Larry?
Mr. Cassidy: You want to get to Bay Street.
The Deputy Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: -- new factories and, most of all, new employment.
The House divided on Hon. Mr. Grossman's motion for third reading of Bill 111, which was agreed to on the following vote:
Andrewes, Ashe, Baetz, Barlow, Bennett, Bernier, Birch, Bradley, Brandt, Breithaupt, Conway, Cousens, Cunningham, Cureatz, Dean, Drea, Eaton, Edighoffer, Elston, Epp, Eves, Fish, Gordon, Gregory, Grossman, Haggerty, Harris, Havrot, Henderson, Hennessy, Hodgson, Johnson, J. M., Jones;
Kells, Kennedy, Kerr, Kerrio, Kolyn, Lane, Leluk, MacQuarrie, McCague, McLean, McMurtry, McNeil, Miller, F. S., Miller, G. I., Mitchell, Newman, O'Neil, Piché, Pollock, Pope, Ramsay, Riddell, Robinson, Rotenberg, Roy, Runciman, Ruprecht, Ruston;
Scrivener, Sheppard, Shymko, Snow, Spensieri, Stephenson. B. M., Sterling, Stevenson, K. R., Sweeney, Taylor, G. W., Taylor, J. A., Timbrell, Treleaven, Van Home, Walker, Watson, Welch, Wells, Williams, Wiseman, Wrye, Yakabuski.
Allen, Breaugh, Bryden, Cassidy, Charlton, Cooke, Di Santo, Foulds, Grande, Johnston, R. F., Laughren, Lupusella, Mackenzie, Martel, McClellan, Philip, Rae, Renwick, Samis, Stokes, Swart, Wildman.
Ayes 83; nays 22.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, just before adjournment perhaps I could indicate the business for tomorrow. As previously ordered, the House will meet at 10 a.m. We will first consider Bill 148, the Teachers' Superannuation Act, followed by Bill 142, the Barrie-Vespra Annexation Act. Then the House will be in committee of supply to do supplementary estimates for the Office of the Assembly, the Ministry of Citizenship and Culture and the Ministry of Community and Social Services. Then will follow concurrence in supply for Community and Social Services, committee of supply for the supplementary estimates of the Provincial Secretariat for Social Development and concurrence for the Provincial Secretariat for Social Development.
The regular proceedings are at 2 p.m., followed by consideration of the confidence motion on the order paper in the name of the member for York South (Mr. Rae). I should remind the House that the vote on that occurs just before six o'clock with a five-minute bell.
Mr. Kerrio: You can have my vote now.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
The House adjourned at 10:43 p.m.