34th Parliament, 2nd Session















































The House met at 1330.




Mr J. M. Johnson: I would like to bring to the attention of this House a serious problem being experienced in many municipalities, particularly in small rural areas, pertaining to capital funding for upgrading and expanding their sewage and water systems. Hopefully, in tomorrow’s budget the Treasurer (Mr R. F. Nixon) will be addressing this problem and will provide the capital funds necessary to undertake these projects, for without this assistance the government’s much-publicized initiative for creating affordable housing will have little or no hope of success.

The Minister of Housing (Ms Hošek) has called upon municipalities to designate 25 per cent of their housing stock for moderate-income families. In these municipalities, where the existing number of serviced lots is limited and the funds for extending sewage and water services for the development of new lots is not available, the result can only be more expensive housing.

If the government is serious about achieving its objectives and addressing the housing crisis in this province, it must take a more practical and realistic approach to the problem, by increased capital funds to municipalities for sewage and waterworks projects, improving the priority rating system and developing a speedier and less complicated approvals process.

In my riding, Wellington, the town of Fergus and the village of Arthur have been waiting for over three years for approval. The town of Mount Forest was notified on 4 May that its request for direct grant assistance has been denied, which means the town will have no growth potential in the next three to four years or more. How can these municipalities and others like them provide new housing, affordable or not?


Mr Dietsch: I would like to take this opportunity to bring to the attention of members of this House the efforts of several groups within my riding of St Catharines-Brock that were involved in a cleanup campaign in recognition of Pitch-In Week.

Mathew Blyde, a student from Maywood Elementary School, expressed his interest in doing something for this event. In co-operation with his mother, Nora Blyde, and his school principal, Mr Lockier, they organized the participation of Maywood School in the pitch-in program.

Also, Lucie Piche-Cantin, a teacher from Immaculate Conception school, along with the students of this school, is to be commended for involvement in the cleanup en route to and in Montebello Park. This effort served to add to what is already one of the most beautiful parks in the garden city of St Catharines.

St Vincent de Paul School, the Boy Scouts of Canada, Applewood School, Merritton School Outers Club, St Theresa School and the young moms and tots program are also to be congratulated.

In closing, I would like to commend all these fine young people, their teachers and their parents for their efforts in helping to ensure that the beauty of St Catharines-Brock is maintained for all the residents of and visitors to our area.


Mrs Grier: Last Sunday, Access for Parents and Children in Ontario closed its doors for the last time. Access is a program of the Lakeshore Area Multi-Service Project in my riding.

Access has provided opportunities since 1981 for noncustodial parents to have supervised visits with their children. In 1988, 517 families were served, for a total of 1,298 visits. Also in 1988, Access logged 1,180 volunteer hours. Over the years, 90 per cent to 95 per cent of the cases handled by Access were referred to it by the courts and 40 per cent of the parents served developed to the point where they no longer needed the program.

Access has closed because voluntary sources of funding were no longer available and because this government has refused to help. Despite pushing ahead with Bill 124, which will make Access and programs like it even more important, the Attorney General (Mr Scott) says funding is not his responsibility.

The Ministry of Community and Social Services opened a pilot project from which the minister said he could learn whether or not Access was justified. He has now closed the pilot project and allowed Access in Etobicoke to die, a sad thing to happen on Mother’s Day. While most members of this House celebrated their family relationships last Sunday, the one program in the province providing children whose family relationships have broken down with a place to visit their parents went out of business.


Mr Runciman: I rise to address the unfair policies of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. Consumers are being lured to LCBO stores to purchase imported beer because of the preferential treatment the LCBO gives to imports. For example, the consumer can purchase a six-pack of foreign beer for as little as $4.40; the same case of domestic beer would cost $2.15 more.

While the prices may seem attractive to consumers, the net result may be significant job losses in Ontario in both the brewing and manufacturing industries. Ontario’s brewing and manufacturing industries are not asking for the same kind of favouritism now offered by the LCBO to their foreign counterparts; rather the Ontario industry only requests a level playing field.

Ontario brewers pay a substantial service charge to the LCBO to defray the board’s cost of retailing its products; however, imports are exempt from such charges. Ontario brewers absorb all costs for warehousing, inventory and transportation directly to LCBO stores; however, the imports do not. Domestic brewers pay deposit charges on their products; this fee is not paid by the imports.

It is time for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr Wrye) to change LCBO policies to create a level playing field so that jobs in Ontario’s brewing and manufacturing industries will not be jeopardized. The minister should be giving this House his assurance that he will take quick action to establish a policy whereby domestic products are treated no less favourably than imported products.



Mr Adams: Since I was elected, I have been pointing out that Peterborough riding is a microcosm of Ontario: Half is Canadian Shield, with lakes, mining, lumber and tourism, like northern Ontario; the other half is limestone with mixed farming, like southern Ontario. We have a diverse economy with heavy and light and high-technology and low-technology industries, higher-education and health sectors and a tourist sector. Our residents include native persons and people from over 50 countries.

Because Peterborough is a microcosm of Ontario, many companies use it as a product test centre. However, the riding is also a microcosm of the provincial government. I say this because of the number of provincial institutions we have. We have a community college, a university, a housing authority and a penitentiary. Many ridings do not have one, let alone two, hospitals, a women’s health centre and a regional centre for the judicial system.

Peterborough has all of these thing. In addition, at least 10 other ministries have offices in the riding. This institutional presence means that every single ministry in our government has direct dealings with Peterborough riding. I want to thank public servants in all ministries for their patience and efficiency in dealing with questions and concerns which I raise on behalf of my constituents.


Mr Wildman: I rise on a question of particular importance with regard to the Ministry of Natural Resources maintenance program for the CL-215 water bombers. I raise with particular concern questions about the competition NR-2010-89 for 10 engineers for the maintenance program for the water bombers.

Eleven-month contracts were terminated for qualified personnel and, subsequently, engineers who were wholly unfamiliar with these aircraft were hired for the permanent positions. In the competition, the job specifications written said only a willingness to acquire the CL-215 endorsement was necessary. Would it not have been an asset to require the endorsement on these aircraft for the engineers who were hired?

We now have a situation where engineers in Dryden, who are sent out to Red Lake during the fire season, will have to get approval for their endorsements from qualified engineers at great expense to the ministry, where that would not have been required if they had hired qualified staff. The integrity of the CL-2 15 program has been compromised. Not only have qualified and able personnel been coerced out of their jobs, but they have been replaced by undertrained and unqualified people who will have to take a year to qualify.


Mr Cousens: On behalf of the people of York region and southern York region, I would like to just call upon the Minister of Transportation (Mr Fulton) to be able to have a smile on his face tomorrow so that we can all smile when the budget comes out and there is an announcement that there is going to be a significant increase in funding for Highway 407.

Should that come through, the people around greater Metropolitan Toronto will begin to realize that the government is putting its money where its mouth is and our smiles will be meaningful. Right now, the traffic is chaos. We need to have an investment in transportation and in that infrastructure. Highway 407 should be very high in those priorities.


The Speaker: Just before I call the next order of business, I would like to inform the members that we have a guest in the Speaker’s gallery, Dr Daniel Micallef. Dr Micallef is a member of Parliament from Malta and a former Speaker of the House of Representatives of Malta.



Hon Mr O’Neil: I would like to take this opportunity to announce that the Ministry of Tourism and Recreation is reviving the tourism redevelopment incentive program, otherwise known as TRIP.

The eight-year program helped to finance 351 tourism projects, representing a total investment of $250 million and creating well over 2,400 jobs. The new TRIP offers loan guarantees of up to $1 million for new projects and up to $750,000 to improve or expand existing operations. It also offers interest subsidies of up to three per cent per year for up to three years.

TRIP is only one of a broad range of tools we place in the hands of the tourism industry, tools which can help to open the doors to financial assistance programs worth $50 million. This particular tool will help fulfil the government’s commitment to encourage the physically disabled to take advantage of all possible sports, fitness and recreational opportunities. As of now, all projects receiving new TRIP funding must be accessible to the physically disabled.

The new TRIP, in keeping with the long-term economic development strategy of the throne speech, will help tourism entrepreneurs invest in themselves and their communities. As part of that strategy, my ministry is directing its efforts to successfully position the Ontario tourism industry within the increasingly integrated global economy. We are aggressively pursuing new markets and we are consolidating our resources to give more effective assistance to our clients.

We are targeting our support to small operators in regions where credit is difficult to secure and where a vibrant tourism industry is central to the viability of the local economy. Our industry consultants in 23 field offices throughout Ontario can help tourism entrepreneurs to identify the most effective assistance package and help secure the right kind of support.

In addition to TRIP, my ministry provides the industry with access to financial assistance from the Ontario development corporations, the Canada-Ontario tourism development agreement, Destinations East and Destinations North, the northern Ontario regional development program and more.

I urge all members to join in helping to build a stronger, more prosperous Ontario tourism industry by helping to bring the news of our many assistance programs to their constituents.

Following on today’s announcement, and as this is Tourism Week, I would also like to introduce the special guest that we have in the members’ gallery today, Peter Elmhirst, who is the chairman of Tourism Ontario. I would ask Peter to stand and be recognized.


Hon Mrs Caplan: Today I am pleased to announce a $10-million hospital incentives fund, a fund that will encourage hospitals to develop innovative ways of achieving more effective delivery of quality patient care. This new incentive program for hospitals is part of the transitional funding initiative now being developed by my ministry in association with the Ontario Hospital Association and the Ontario Council of Administrators of Teaching Hospitals.

For approved projects, the ministry will provide matching funds of up to $500,000 to hospitals to develop new approaches for the more effective management of hospital resources and the provision of enhanced care to patients. Ministry representatives will be presenting details of this fund tomorrow at an OHA conference on new developments in hospital funding.

I am hopeful that some exciting new ideas and concepts will be developed in response to this hospital incentives fund, proposals that could be significant to the entire hospital community and the patients that it serves. My ministry wants to encourage innovations that can be shared with and benefit all the hospitals in this province. For example, there is potential to develop more effective ways of using hospital resources, including new types of day surgery, other outpatient services and physician-managed admitting systems.

Hospitals may look at human resource management and planning to try to improve productivity, job satisfaction, retention and recruitment. More effective scheduling systems for nurses could be developed, or hospitals might measure the health benefits to patients as a result of changes in certain treatment patterns, such as length of stay or the rate of readmission.

Projects will be funded for up to two years. Hospitals will be required to present an evaluation of the project at its conclusion so that the entire hospital system may benefit. Projects submitted for funding will be assessed by a joint review committee consisting of representatives from hospital management, health professionals, universities and government.

Aside from matching the amount of money being funded by the ministry, each hospital must be prepared to assume the full cost of the project after the evaluation period has ended.

Our hospitals are a source of creative people and fresh ideas. This fund is intended to mobilize these resources to develop new directions in hospital care. In partnership with the ministry, hospitals will be able to try out new approaches, new ideas and methods for better management of our very precious resources.




Mr Reville: Here comes the Minister of Health with instalment 4, in which she lavishly spends the taxpayers’ money as she fights to save her ministerial life. Each succeeding announcement makes one wonder about the time zone in which the minister is living. She is going for broke today by finding $10 million to give to an institution that has $6 billion. After she beat up on the hospitals for a while, she has put away her stick and has come up with this tiny little carrot.

She is giving it to the hospitals, in which whole floors have disappeared. Call up Toronto General Hospital and ask what happened to the haematology floor. Poof, it has vanished. Look at retention and recruitment in hospitals. Local 97 of the Ontario Nurses’ Association has blacklisted the biggest hospital in this province. That is the kind of job the minister’s hospitals are doing in dealing with their employees.

There is no question that hospitals are a source of creative people. When the previous government enriched community mental health spending, the hospitals got virtually 100 per rent of that money, and I think that is pretty shocking as well. The people of Ontario would be very happy if this government would start talking about health promotion instead of self-promotion.


Mr Farnan: In response to the Minister of Tourism and Recreation (Mr O’Neil) and to this government in general, I want to draw their attention to the budget submission made by small business to the Treasurer (Mr R. F. Nixon). The budget submission of small business said to the Treasurer of this province that the government should get out of the business of direct grants to business, that it should get out of the business of largess, which is simply a system of selective funding by ministerial handout for government favourites.

It should not be the business of the government to encourage access for the physically disabled; it should be mandatory that there be access for the physically disabled. It is a disgrace that a minister of this government would stand up and say, “We will encourage access for the physically disabled.” In 1989, the disabled should have access and this government should be ashamed that it is still talking in terms of encouraging access.

If there are any funds available -- we know the government has a huge resource of funds available only because it is bleeding the taxpayers of this province dry -- small business is saying this: “Don’t give it to your favourites. Don’t go out and hand it, by ministerial cheques, to government supporters who simply attend your government functions at $400 a plate. Put it in the form of an incentive to the small businesses of this province. Make it available to all the small businesses of this province. Make it fair and the small businesses of this province will then realize there is a stake for them in Ontario, that you do not have to be a huge corporation in order to get millions of dollars of largess because you happen to be in cahoots with this government.”

This statement speaks very directly to the budget we are going to hear tomorrow. Two things in this budget tomorrow, the physically disabled --

The Speaker: I just hope you are not in advance. You are referring to the minister’s statement?

Mr Farnan: Let me say that the physically disabled should not have to wait and simply have encouragement for access; it should be mandatory. The individuals who are hiring four and 20 employees, the small businesses of this province, are looking and they know this goes to the government, I say to my friends. It should be in the form of a tax incentive for all the small businesses of this province.

Mr McLean: After many months of consistent pressure, I am pleased to see the minister has done what I have asked him to do and reinstated this TRIP program This program has served the tourist industry well over the past several years. It is an industry the ministry sees the value of. I hope this announcement today is not to lighten the load that may hit them tomorrow.

I welcome this announcement because I know many small businesses in this province that this has helped. I am pleased to see the minister has reinstated the program and hope many small businesses take advantage of it.


Mr Eves: I am not going to say much in response to the minister’s statement today. I know that would meet with a lot of approval from the government benches anyway. We will wait until tomorrow to see what the real meat of the announcement is and comment on it then. So far it is $10 million worth of window dressing, but we will wait to see the dressing. It would run the health system for about three hours.



Mr B. Rae: I have a question for the Treasurer today.

When he was the Treasurer after the 1985 election, just a few short years ago, Mr Wilson brought down his tax reform proposals. I want to remind the Treasurer of what he said at that time. He said, and I am quoting: “In my view this” -- that is to say, a fair system -- “can only be accomplished by moving to a system where provincial tax is based on a measure of income other than on federal tax.”

I know the Treasurer has read, as I have, and has heard, as I have, the speculation concerning the possibility of yet another increase in the provincial income tax which, as the Treasurer knows, is a pure and simple tax on the amount of federal tax payable.

I want to ask the Treasurer this question: Given the extraordinary unfairness today of the federal tax system, an unfairness about which he himself has spoken on a number of occasions, what is holding him back? What is stopping him from saying to the people of Ontario, “We are going to have an Ontario income tax system that is administered by the government of Ontario that is based on our own standards of fairness and justice”?

Hon R. F. Nixon: Common sense. The honourable member will know that there is sufficient flexibility in the tax collection agreement that allows us to have a tax reduction program that eliminates about 250,000 to 260,000 people from paying provincial taxes who do pay federal taxes.

At the other end -- he knows this because I have mentioned it a couple of times in the past week -- we have a 10 per cent surtax on incomes above $80,000. So we have reintroduced an additional measure of progressivity that I know he would support, however insufficient he might deem it to be.

Directly in answer to his question, I have not given up hope that the federal authorities will within the next 12 months see the usefulness of the proposal the honourable member has put forward and allow provinces to levy their taxes on taxable income. That would mean the flexibility we otherwise forfeit would be restored.


Mr B. Rae: The Treasurer will know full well that the current collection agreement between the feds and the province requires that the province accept the federal definition of income, which is why he said, when Mr Wilson announced tax reform some time ago, the exact opposite of what he is saying today. Instead of saying that the current system is flexible enough, he describes the personal income tax system and the existing collection agreement, and I am quoting, “as too rigid.” That is what the Treasurer said when he was asked directly about it a short time ago.

What is flexible about a tax system in Ontario that means $477 million in capital gains is lost in revenue to the provincial government, when there are 3,000 people who are making over $50,000 in this province who are not paying any tax regardless of whether there is a surtax or not and --

The Speaker: Thank you.

Hon R. F. Nixon: I have not given up hope that negotiations with the government of Canada will restore sufficient flexibility so that the policies of the government independent of, let’s say, Mr Wilson, would be forthcoming. But even if we had that flexibility, I am not at all sure our view of what is fair and equitable would be the same as that of the Leader of the Opposition. As a matter of fact, I hope and pray it would not.

Mr B. Rae: I can assure the Treasurer those hopes and prayers are felt equally strongly on this side of the House.

The Speaker: Final supplementary?

Mr B. Rae: I have a final supplementary to the Treasurer. I know the Treasurer realizes there has been a dramatic shift of taxation away from those with the greatest wealth in this country, not only in the last few years but in the last 25 years. He will know that in the last 25 years, Canada has effectively abolished all taxation on wealth and has effectively abolished all taxation on inheritance.

The Treasurer was particularly critical when Mr Wilson brought in the capital gains exemption. He knows Canada stood 13th on the table of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development 25 years ago and now stands 23rd when it comes to taxation of wealth.

The Speaker: Question?

Mr B. Rae: Why has the Treasurer rejected out of hand any taxation on inheritance, any taxation on wealth in Ontario when the evidence is overwhelming that Canada is falling way behind?

Hon R. F. Nixon: I think the honourable member would know that there is competition even in revenue-producing processes. We have moved away from the taxing of estates and inherited wealth in all the jurisdictions in Canada. Before that, it led some of our richest citizens to pick up their bag and baggage and move out of Canada. The late lamented E. P. Taylor died yesterday and his estate will be probated in the Bahamas.

I think the honourable member will remember, though perhaps at his age he will not, that when succession duties were still chargeable in this jurisdiction and other provinces got out of that business and even gift taxes were not chargeable, there was a considerable exodus of wealth from this province to those tax havens, so that the process in Canada has been to tax the ability to pay on a measure based on income as one of the main taxes. Naturally, there are other taxes.

I appreciate the honourable member’s recalling my objection to the initiative taken by Mr Wilson, when he first became Minister of Finance, to exempt a substantial amount of capital gains. I am very glad to see that in his recent budget he has restricted that substantially, except of course for farmers in the transference of their lands.

The Speaker: New question.

Mr B. Rae: Under this Treasurer, Ontario is becoming a tax haven worthy of the Cayman Islands.

The Speaker: Your question is to which minister?


Mr B. Rae: My next question is to the Premier. I want to ask the Premier this question arising out of the problem we have been dealing with directly in this House, the possible poisoning of fuel and what various ministers and authorities have known and did not know. My question is directly to the Premier. It relates to the statement the Premier himself made just the other day when he was meeting with the governors.

The Premier said it is a question of “raising the consciousness level and then sort of getting in agreement to put the regulatory authorities on the case.” That is what the Premier said when he met with the governors at the hotel on Thursday night.

I would like to ask the Premier this simple question: How does he square raising true consciousness level with the fact that his own Minister of the Environment (Mr Bradley) did not tell the Premier, did not tell the Minister of Health (Mrs Caplan), did not tell the Solicitor General (Mrs Smith) and did not tell the federal authorities in any way, shape or form about the information he had on his desk in the month of January 1989?

Hon Mr Peterson: My honourable friend is quite right. I did discuss this with my colleagues the governors. They arrived in this country at a time the great debate was going on with respect to tainted fuels. Some of them expressed concerns, as the member may know, that it may be happening in their states as well.

We agreed to share information in that regard and with the regulatory authorities. Governor Thompson of Wisconsin is going to have a meeting within 30 to 45 days gathering all the various enforcement agencies together to see if we can assist each other on this problem that appears to be transboundary. That is the first part of the member’s question.

On the second part of his question, he is asking me to call into question the abilities or the judgement of the Minister of the Environment. Let me say, and I say this without reservation, he has exercised superb judgement in this matter, in my opinion. I have great confidence in his ability to handle it, far more confidence than I have in the member’s ability to deal with a question like this, let me tell him.

Mr B. Rae: Let me then ask the Premier a very specific question, since he did not answer the very specific question I put to him. I will put it to him and ask him to answer this question.

Does the Premier agree with the undeniable, indisputable fact that the Minister of the Environment did not tell the Premier, did not tell the Minister of Health, did not tell the Solicitor General and did not tell the federal Minister of the Environment about this question from the month of January, the month of February, the month of March and the month of April until such time as the item appeared in the Globe and Mail newspaper? Does the Premier approve of that behaviour by his own Minister of the Environment?

Hon Mr Peterson: Certain allegations were made. There are investigations going on all the time through his enforcement branch, as there are with the Ontario Provincial Police and many other investigative and regulatory agencies. I am not aware of all the investigations going on, nor should I be. I think he handled the situation absolutely properly. I really say to the member, as a lawyer, as someone who is presumably concerned with enforcement, that if he thought it through with any depth, he would come to the conclusion that he did absolutely the right thing.

Mr B. Rae: All right, Premier, let’s have it out. Let’s have it out. Do you want to stand up on your feet? Stand up on your feet and tell us how, Premier, come on --

The Speaker: Order Perhaps the questions and the responses could be put through the Speaker.

Mr B. Rae: Perhaps the Premier can explain to this House, since he has not had the courtesy to do so since this first became public some time ago, how it is possible that one minister of the crown in this country knew about a problem back in January and did not tell the Premier, did not tell the Minister of Health, did not tell the Solicitor General and did not tell the federal authorities about the information he had available to him in the month of January.

Despite all the Premier’s bravado, and I know he has to do that, can he tell us how that is in any way, sense, shape or form helping those citizens who were troubled by this information when they heard it, how it is dealing with a public health crisis and how it is in fact resolving the very real problems we now face in this province?

Hon Mr Peterson: I want us to be very serious about this. My friend talks about false bravado. I can tell the member that I have never seen such an exhibition of false bravado as this person would use in this House. When he stands and talks about -- he just used the term -- a health care crisis in this province, he has no evidence, no facts whatsoever. The minister is picking up the facts, and the member for his own partisan purposes would try to create the impression that there is a health care crisis. My friend has been thoroughly irresponsible and he has not, in my opinion, respect for the kinds of things he was taught in law school about establishing the case before you draw a conclusion. He has been the irresponsible one in this matter.



Mr Brandt: My question is for the Treasurer.

While he and the leader of the New Democrats engage in the further carving up of the taxpayers carcass in terms of the various methods by which the government can extract still more taxes from the people of Ontario, I want to point out to the Treasurer, and for the edification of my friend the leader of the New Democrats, that the Ontario tax system now extracts, according to the Fraser Institute, some 52 per cent of the income, on the basis of its last budget, not on the basis of the budget the Treasurer plans on bringing in tomorrow. That is up front some 45 percent just a few short years ago.

In other words, the total tax grab on the part of the government of Ontario continues to go up rather substantially without any relief for the taxpayer --

The Speaker: Do you have a question?

Mr Brandt: -- in spite of the fact that we have enjoyed since 1983, fully two years before this government came to power --

The Speaker: Order. Do you have a question?

Mr Brandt: My question to the Treasurer is, when can the taxpayers of this province expect some relief in a budget in terms of a tax reduction?

Hon R. F. Nixon: I do not know whether it would risk my tenure if I answered it with one word, which would be “tomorrow,” because the member will not know whether that is correct or not until tomorrow.

I think the honourable member, when he would take thought of his question, would have to remember that the government of which he was a part just four years ago left the province with a deficit of over $3 billion.

The budget he was supporting on his way out of office was such that it took 16 months of revenue to pay off our debt, and that number is now below 11 months. He would be aware that we have moved in a position of fiscal responsibility so that the number of cents in every dollar of tax that is required for us to service the debt is below 11 cents, but in the Progressive Conservative government in Ottawa it is more like 33 cents.

Without being immodest or patting myself on the back, I would say I may be in danger of too much fiscal responsibility.

Mr Brandt: At the time the new government took over, the Treasurer made a statement that the finances of this province were in good shape when he inherited the economy in the province. I have to say to the Treasurer that that was quite unlike the unholy mess our federal colleagues inherited in 1984 in Ottawa, and he knows it.

I want to say to the Treasurer as a reasonable man -

The Speaker: By way of question.

Hon Mr Riddell: This is last night’s dissertation. Was your speech worth $350 last night?

Mr Brandt: It is worth more than my friend’s ever was.

I want to say to the Treasurer, if I might --

The Speaker: A question?

Mr Brandt: There have been transfers of responsibilities and portions of the tax load to both boards of education through new programs and new demands on their services and upon municipalities. We are seeing, across this province, double-digit increases in excess of 10 per cent for local municipal tax increases. People are concerned about losing their --

The Speaker: Order.

Mr Brandt: Is the minister prepared to stand up and say: “Enough is enough. There will be no tax increase on Wednesday”?

Hon R. F. Nixon: I think the last time I said that was the budget just two years ago. Yes, it was the budget two years ago. So when the member asks when I am going to do that again, I am not prepared to make a definite projection, but perhaps the honourable member might assist me in that.

I can say that I am concerned at the views expressed by school boards and municipal councils that they are inadequately funded by provincial resources. The honourable member has heard me refer to the decisions made by Michael Wilson; he should be sending the provinces more money. We are probably all correct, but when they look at the exchange of views among the politicians and treasurers at three levels of government, the taxpayers might not be blamed if they say, “We are the people who pay the bills.”

I believe it is incumbent on us, as politicians at the provincial level, to simply respond to the requirements that face us. It is our constitutional responsibility to see that we have an adequate level of education quality; that our health care programs are properly funded; that our roads are good and progressively leading to the kinds of development in the province that we want to support; that we have environmental programs that have sufficient capital, for example, to see that they are carried on in a progressive way.

We simply have to make those decisions on the basis of our responsibilities, and that is what I intend to do in the budget that I present tomorrow.

Mr Brandt: I hope the Treasurer would break the trend that he has established over the past four years whereby he has now received recognition from virtually every single jurisdiction in Canada as being the Treasurer who has raised taxes and government expenditures faster than in any jurisdiction in Canada. That is the legacy he leaves. Nobody is spending at a quicker rate than he is, fully double the rate of inflation.

In the last budget, the Treasurer raised taxes $1.3 billion, and that did not include the revenue increases as a result of the normal expansion of the economy. I would like to remind the Treasurer that the last time he brought in a balanced budget with no tax increases was --

The Speaker: Do you have a question?

Mr Brandt: Certainly I have a question. I will ask it for the next 15 to 20 seconds. Is that too long?

The Speaker: Plenty.

Mr Brandt: I like to speak slowly so that the Treasurer and can stay on the same wavelength.

The last budget the Treasurer brought in that did not include a tax increase was just before the 1987 election, just to help him out with his memory.

The Speaker: Order.

Mr Brandt: Does he intend to bring in substantive tax increases in tomorrow’s budget? That is the question.

Hon R. F. Nixon: In referring to the rate of expansion of the economy, I think the honourable member was extremely helpful to all the members of the House, because they would know that although we have been spending more money to recoup the insufficiencies that we inherited and also to meet the needs of the community, we have kept our spending well within the boundaries of the expansion of the economy.

As far as tomorrow’s budget is concerned, I assure him that there will be no tax increases whatsoever that are not imminently necessary and applied in a fair and judicious way.



Mr Eves: I have a question of the Minister of Health. There is some concern out there this morning that Ontario is going to implement an envelope system of funding the health care system in the province, possibly as early as next week. Is the minister planning on doing such a thing?

Hon Mrs Caplan: I am aware of a press conference sponsored by the Progressive Conservative members for Physicians for Change. I believe that is the name of the group. I have to tell the member that I am not familiar with this particular group. However, he should know that we are working with all of our partners in; health care -- physicians, nurses, all of the allied health professionals -- and we are listening to their concerns. I want to tell him that I know of no regulations that were referred to this morning that were mentioned at this press conference.

Mr Eves: The minister still has not answered the question. The question is a very simple one. On 8 June 1988 I asked the Premier (Mr Peterson) in this House whether Ontario was considering rationing health care services in the province in any way, shape or form. He said no.

Is the minister in a position today to tell the people of Ontario unequivocally that she and the government are not even considering, in any way, shape or form, rationing health care services in the province of Ontario, that they are not going to put limits or caps on any spending and that there is going to be universal access to the health care system for everybody in Ontario?

Hon Mrs Caplan: I want to assure the member opposite of my commitment to the fundamental principles of our medicare system which are just as valid and important today as they were when we began this journey two decades ago.

I want him to know that I believe that through quality assurance, through working together in partnership, with greater accountability within the system, we can ensure that those fundamental principles, the values that we hold so dear in our society, can be not only maintained but enhanced as we bring forth the kind of structural changes that will lead us confidently into the future.

Mr Eves: The minister still has not answered the question. The government in Quebec probably thinks it is providing a health care system in concert with the Canada Health Act. We on this side of the House, at least in this party, do not happen to think so.

The consequences of the Quebec model of rationing health care have led to isolated communities being without certain services, a deterioration of health care; they have led to physicians leaving the province of Quebec, and they have led to a growth in clinics because that is the only way physicians and other health care professionals are prepared to work in the province of Quebec.

Is the government even remotely considering that or any other type of envelope or rationing of health care services for the province of Ontario? Yes or no? Is the government considering it or is it not considering it?

Hon Mrs Caplan: I think it is important for us to be very clear that we have a national medicare system in this country. The Canada Health Act governs the medicare system. I can tell him that nothing is further from my agenda than the words “rationing of health care services.” In fact, I want equity and access to effective quality health, the very best that we can provide in this province as close to home as possible. I want the people of this province to have the opportunity to be well.


Mr Philip: I have a question to the Minister of Citizenship. The minister has kindly provided to me, at my request, a copy of the terms of reference of the review he has ordered into the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

Would the minister agree that this review of the human rights commission, which he has ordered as of today, does not provide for public hearings, does not provide for the calling and questioning of present and past employees publicly, does not provide for the protection of present employees who may have testimony to give on this important matter and does not even provide for the public release of that report when it is completed?

Why would the minister proceed on such an important issue in such a secretive manner rather than having a full public inquiry, which the public has a right to?

Hon Mr Phillips: I think it is important to remember two things. One is that I said in the House, I guess it was a week ago, and the chief commissioner has repeated it on many occasions, that he is anxious to appear in public at an all-party legislative committee to review what the commission is doing so that there is a full public airing of the issue.

The second thing is that I was anxious that we delve into the specific allegations that were raised last week around the hiring and termination of certain specific individuals.

What I have said is that this review must take place within two weeks and that the results of that will be a matter of public record.

Mr Philip: The allegations which were made by employees and ex-employees were very specific. Why is it that this minister does not call for a full public inquiry in which not only Mr Anand but also past employees would appear and answer questions under oath, so that the public that is questioning what has happened at the human rights commission would find out once and for all what has happened, since the human rights commission under its present form cannot proceed in an effective manner? Why is the minister so against a full public inquiry?

Hon Mr Phillips: I am actually in favour of a full public hearing. I think it is extremely important that the commission appear before a legislative committee. It is extremely important that the commission have an opportunity to lay out its plans and lay out its priorities.

I think the second thing is, I am anxious that there be a thorough look at the specific allegations, that that be done quickly and that the results of that study be a matter of public record. I do not think I could be more forthcoming.

Mrs Marland: May I first of all thank the Minister of Citizenship for reacting to my request for immunity to those employees at the human rights commission who would like to come forward with information that may throw some more light on the very serious allegations of the last week without fear of persecution.

The Speaker: Is your question to that minister?

Mrs Marland: My question is to the Minister of Citizenship. While I do not applaud the actions of Patricia Starr, the chairman of Ontario Place Corp, I do applaud her move to take a leave of absence and step aside from her post until the investigation of wrongdoing has been completed. Ms Starr holds a far less sensitive position than Raj Anand of the human rights commission, yet she has shown the decency to step aside from her job, recognizing the conflict.

Without the minister washing his hands of this matter any further, if Mr Anand does not have the diplomacy to step aside, why will the minister not ask him to step aside pending the outcome of the investigation into the commission?

Hon Mr Phillips: There are two things on that. One is that we are talking about a period of two to three weeks; two weeks for this investigation. The second thing is to remember that, I think, in the particular case the member is referring to there was an investigation done. There was someone who looked at it and there was a report prepared on it.

I frankly urge all of us to be cautious about reaching conclusions in a sensitive matter such as this before one has any evidence on it. I just think it is very important that we deal with this. Due process should take hold here.

Mrs Marland: The minister sent over the terms of reference for the investigation, for which I thank him, but I notice there are a number of areas that are not addressed in this investigation.

One of them is where the $1 million that was allocated last year to the human rights commission has been expended and what the human rights commission was going to do with the additional $3 million the minister gave it the week before last. I ask the minister whether he does not see that expenditure of $4 million as being something that should be within the terms of reference for the investigation.

Also, while the minister is having his internal staff look at that -- and I recognize there are staff from two other ministries as well -- why is it that he is reacting to this crisis only at this point in time? Did he know about it prior to the headlines of last week in the newspapers?

The Speaker: Order. That is your third question.

Hon Mr Phillips: There are several questions there. I will try to deal with the last one first.

I think it is important to remember that from the day I came in as minister, the human rights commission was my number one priority, because it was determined that there was a need for substantial change in the commission. I think that is of no surprise to anyone in the House. So there is no question of the need for substantial change clearly identified, as I say, 18 months ago.

The second thing is that the all-party legislative committee clearly needs to look at where we had planned to allocate the resources. Where the human rights commission had planned to allocate the resources was both in terms of dealing with faster resolution of complaints -- and I think, actually, it submitted its plan to all members of the Legislature in the last week or so -- and beginning to deal with some of the systemic issues of discrimination. I am certain the all-party legislative committee will want to look at that.

I think the third thing members should be aware of is that if they read the terms carefully, they do refer to this audit, the human resources review, looking at how the new funds were allocated in 1989-89 and how they are planned to be allocated in 1989-90.



Mr Owen: I have a question for the Minister of Transportation.

Some of my constituents in the Barrie-Bradford area commute to Toronto daily, and they have brought to my attention what they perceive as an increase in the number of speeding transports and buses. Interestingly, only this morning one of the Toronto radio stations commented on the very same thing and said they have difficulty in trying to catch the speeding transports and bus drivers because they communicate with one another and alert other transport and bus drivers as to radar traps which are located on highways 400 and 401.

I am wondering if the minister would have any information or any statistics which could identify whether this is a problem of transports and buses speeding on our major highways.

Hon Mr Fulton: I thank my colleague from Simcoe Centre for his question and his ongoing interest in highway safety.

There is no question that there has been a dramatic increase in the number of commercial vehicles, tractor-trailers in particular, on Ontario’s highways, created by a number of events: the offloading from the seaway, the offloading from rail and, frankly, Ontario’s booming economy in the last four years.

However, there is no evidence that, as a percentage, the truck transports are responsible for any greater number of accidents than you and I might be in our personal vehicles. Having said that, there is no question that when they do have an accident, it gains much more attention and prominence, but statistics in fact suggest that the ratio is not out of what we would expect to be norm.

Mr Owen: The minister has referred to the fact that because of their bulk and because of their size, if they are involved in an accident, it is usually a very serious accident. This has been pointed out to me again and again by my constituents.

In the past, Ontario has followed a procedure where it has had lower speeds for transport trucks. I know that the province, in its wisdom, some years ago did away with the differing speeds, but I wonder if the minister has thought whether his office should again look at the different speeds or whether that might be a further contributing cause to more accidents.

Hon Mr Fulton: Obviously, we are very concerned with highway safety. That is really our primary mandate as Ministry of Transportation. We would share any concern and any effort to reduce accidents and fatalities and injuries on our highways. I think our recent legislation, our commercial vehicle operator’s registration in Bill 86, will address in no uncertain way a number of measures that will enhance vehicle safety, particularly in the commercial field.

Our studies here and elsewhere, however, would indicate that a variable in speed limits in fact contributes to unsafe conditions on the highways. We are not presently considering it. I am not familiar with too many jurisdictions that would and it is not within our purview to do that, certainly in the foreseeable future.


Mr Farnan: I would like to draw the attention of members to this logo, Skills Okay. The logo for the new project to improve the image of skilled occupations province-wide has elicited the following negative reactions among members of the Cambridge community industrial training committee, the very people expected to promote the project.

“It offends women,” says Paul Olinski, manager of training and development at Babcock and Wilcox Canada.

“It’s disgusting; it’s sexist,” says Carol Webb, co-ordinator of the Cambridge CITC.

The Speaker: The question is to which minister?

Mr Farnan: My question is to the Minister of Skills Development.

“It’s revolutionary. It is a military logo. It is militant,” says Jeff DeJong, apprentice electrician, Babcock and Wilcox.

Finally, “What has it got to do with trades? It’s not even mentioned.”

“OK” is seen as a negative rather than a positive slogan.

The Speaker: Thank you. The member has no question, so --

Mr Farnan:: My question to the minister is: Will the minister --


Mr D. S. Cooke: He’s putting the question.

The Speaker: Put it quickly.

Mr Farnan: Will the minister withdraw the logo from the community industrial training committee project funded by the Ministry of Skills Development and request the changes so that the campaign will not be so offensive?

Hon Mr Curling: I had hoped that the member would have brought that to my attention. As he knows, we toured his area with him. The type of work we are doing in that area is quite impressive, also endorsed by him. I will look into the matter of that logo which the member says is offensive and get back to him on it.

Mr Farnan: Mr Speaker, I sat behind your chair with the minister only two weeks ago and reminded him to get on with this. Perhaps the minister would comment on the following process. The local CITCs were not given an opportunity to take the logo back to their local groups for discussion. They were told: “If you don’t accept the logo, the entire project comes to a halt.” The logo was already at the printers when --


The Speaker: Order.

Mr Farnan: Being aware of the concerns of the professionals within the field who say this is offensive, who say it is sexist, who say it is militaristic, is the minister going to withdraw the logo?

The Speaker: Order. I wish all members would remember that the way to put a question is to request information, not particularly to give information.

Hon Mr Curling: As I indicated, I will look into the matter and get back to the member on it.


Mrs Cunningham: My question is to the Minister of Community and Social Services. Last year the Social Assistance Review Board was restructured in order to delete a backlog of appeals, and on December 8 the minister stated in the House, “Mrs Campbell... indicated to me that, by the end of this month or early next month, they expect to have the bulk of the backup caught up.” We are aware that board members are still signing decisions from a year ago, so my question is, when will this backlog of cases be deleted?

Hon Mr Sweeney: My understanding from the chairman of the board is that as of the end of December the backlog effectively was caught up. They have, I think, somewhere in the neighbourhood of about 300 decisions which they deal with approximately once a month. That is what they had on their order book, if you will, at that point in time. Their sense is that they can handle roughly that many each month. That is how many they had. Given the kind of time line they are looking at, they say it was caught up.

However, Mrs Campbell did make one observation to me, that there were two or three former members of the board who still had decisions to sign who were being -- let me put it carefully -- somewhat difficult to deal with. Since she had no capacity to force them to sign it until they were completely satisfied it was exactly the way they wanted it, she indicated that there were continuing to be a few cases -- I think it was in the neighbourhood of about 20 or so -- that were dragging on an awful lot longer than she wanted them to but over which she had relatively little control. She simply said she would continue to deal with them as quickly as she could.

Mrs Cunningham: My supplementary question will change just a little bit, because I thought the reason we were building this review board was to take care of a backlog. Now the public ought to know we have 21 members sitting on it earning almost $60,000, many of whom are called vice-chairman and earning another $5,000. This is expensive. We will give the minister the chance to answer this question. We thought this $4-million program was to help with a backlog. Now I am hearing we do not have a backlog. That is one case a day, at a $60,000 salary. That is too much. We are looking at a budget tomorrow from the Treasurer (Mr R. F. Nixon) who will --

The Speaker: Question.

Mrs Cunningham: -- probably talk about more than four per cent. My question is this: With a 35 per cent increase over just two years, what is the minister going to do to restructure that board to wind it back down now that we no longer have a backlog?

Hon Mr Sweeney: The restructuring of the board was not just to deal with the backlog. I would remind the honourable member that a total review of that board was done by an outside consulting firm and indicated several changes that needed to be made: a different chairman; full-time members; legal staff on-staff; an expanded support staff; new facilities away from this government building; in most cases, at least three people to do the hearings, and board members who were located in several places around the province.

Those were the restructuring things that needed to be done and that have been done. That is what the money was spent on. It was not spent just on catching the backlog. We indicated that the backlog would be done. The board would then go ahead and, in my judgement, the board is operating quite effectively today.



Mr Faubert: My question is to the Treasurer. In reviewing the federal budget, I am concerned with what could be perceived as a trend on the part of the federal Progressive Conservative government to move aggressively into traditional provincial areas of revenue-generating jurisdiction. The national sales tax scheme is one well-known example.

However, I have also noticed that the federal government will also be taxing large corporations on capital in excess of $10 million at the rate of 0.17 per cent of capital. I would ask the Treasurer whether this has not always been traditionally a provincial revenue source. Does this federal move into traditionally provincial tax jurisdiction not limit the Treasurer’s revenue-generating options to some degree?

Hon R. F. Nixon: It is a very useful question indeed. The honourable member is correct in his surmise that it has been a provincial source of revenue. The capital tax actually has been much criticized by corporations, particularly banks, since it is not a tax on productivity but a tax on the capital that can produce productivity.

However, the way the tax returns have come from some corporations, I feel that the capital tax has been necessary and it is 0.8 per cent, as the members know, as it applies to financial institutions.

I would agree that the movement of the federal government into that field does mean the invasion of a provincial area of taxation, but of course it has every constitutional and legal right to invade as it sees fit. One of the areas that does concern me just as much as the one the honourable member raised is the decision taken by the federal Minister of Finance to move into the gas tax field in a big way. The honourable member would know that it now taxes gasoline in Ontario at a higher rate than the province does, even though it does not build any roads.

I do not know what the defence is when the federal authorities move into an area such as the gas tax. Should we retreat? Should we stay the same? Or should we maintain our position?

Mr Faubert: I can recall, as we all can, the big public outcry over the Miller budget of 1982, which taxed fast foods in Ontario for purchases as low as $2. I think we can also recall the relief felt by students, young people and other Ontarians when this government lifted that tax when elected in 1985.

Could the Treasurer advise this House if the national sales tax plan proposed by this Progressive Conservative federal budget will once again place that undesirable tax on fast foods?

Hon R. F. Nixon: I am sure that the honourable member’s reference to the Miller budget of 1982 placed a cold hand on everyone’s heart because, in spite of what some honourable members have said, the Miller Progressive Conservative budget of 1982 was the biggest tax grab in the history of the province -- that is, related to the actual productivity of the province at the time.

I was very glad to be the Treasurer who removed the sales tax from fast foods up to $4. I have received many letters thanking me for that. I think the count now is up to about six. But I believe the leadership the Premier (Mr Peterson) gave in that regard was much appreciated by everyone.

In answer to the member’s question, as far as I understand the new federal sales tax, it will reimpose not our tax, which was then seven per cent, but a nine per cent tax on fast foods.


Mr Hampton: In the absence of the Premier, my question is for the Minister of the Environment. The Premier, in his earlier answer today to my leader who is the Leader of the Opposition, indicated that discussions have been held with governors of the Great Lakes states regarding transboundary pollution and transboundary movement of hazardous waste.

Given that the Premier acknowledges that environmental pollution is a problem that crosses international and provincial boundaries, would the Minister of the Environment commit the government of Ontario to holding public hearings in northwestern Ontario and in the city of Winnipeg, if it desires, on the issue of the proposed Shoal Lake gold mine development before that development goes ahead?

Hon Mr Bradley: I want to assure the member that any proposal that is put before us, and this proposal in particular, would receive extremely great scrutiny from an environmental point of view.

I think what the people of Winnipeg would be interested in, and certainly I would share that concern, is that there would be no damage to their water supply; that there would not be an adverse impact on their water supply, which, as the member points out, is Shoal Lake.

I understand that, as a result of some discussions which have taken place, the mining company has its proposal forward and has already decided to move one part of its process which has an effluent away from the island itself, and that in fact further discussions will be forthcoming.

I do not know whether we would be allowed to, or wise to, have hearings in another province. Certainly I agree with the member and others who have advocated this that there should be a good opportunity for all of those who are directly affected by such a proposal to have the input into a hearing. I would assume that there is going to be a hearing into this matter --

The Speaker: Thank you.

Mr Hampton: I am somewhat astounded at the Minister of the Environment’s answer, because this is the Minister of the Environment who insists that he should have some input on an incinerator in Detroit, who insists that acid rain in Ohio is Ontario’s business. Now he has the government of another province saying, “Look, your development may affect us; we would like to have public hearings.”

Will the minister commit himself to public hearings involving a city whose water supply may be threatened by the arsenic and cyanide that are necessarily involved with gold mining? A simple answer. They have requested the hearings; will he commit himself --

The Speaker: Minister?

Hon Mr Bradley: In fact, I met previously with a former Minister of the Environment of Manitoba concerning this matter to discuss any concerns they might have, because they have, as I understand it, one of the few places in North America that has an untreated water supply. Most of ours would have a treated water supply. I understand their desire to maintain that.

There have been discussions with the Ministry of Energy. I want to ensure that those people have input into this process. I have indicated already to them that there will be a hearing on this matter; that they will have that kind of input; that they will be invited to have that kind of input.

Mr Cummings, the minister, and others both federal and provincial, Mr Axworthy included, have indicated an interest in this and the ability to have some input. Certainly we welcome and encourage that kind of input into this process. The member can be assured that that will be the case, because our ultimate desire, I think his and mine and the people of Winnipeg’s, would be to ensure that the water supply of the city of Winnipeg is protected. I know there are many people in northern Ontario concerned about the jobs --

The Speaker: Thank you.


Mr Cureatz: I have a question to the Minister of Correctional Services. I would like to inform the minister that Bill Walker of the Toronto Star and I had the opportunity of visiting the Don Jail, and at that time --


The Speaker: Order.

Mr Cureatz: I would just like to quote Ian Harvey of the Toronto Sun, quoting one of the inmates, who said, “We’re here because we screwed up, but that doesn’t mean we should be treated like animals.’”



Mr Cureatz: I know all my colleagues in the House will do me the courtesy of allowing me to ask this question.

As the minister is well aware, there is extensive overcrowding in the Don Jail. Could he bring us up to date on what his plans are to alleviate the overcrowding? Does he think that the making of new spaces available in the surrounding Metropolitan Toronto area is necessarily the way to alleviate the overcrowding? Does he not think that new avenues of rehabilitation might be a way to alleviate the problem?

The Speaker: Order. Minister.

Hon Mr Ramsay: First of all, I would like to pass on my condolences to the member that he found himself in the Toronto Jail. I hope he was treated with great courtesy while he was there and enjoyed his experience.

As the member will know, from time to time the correctional services are faced with an overcapacity problem. I am sure the member is aware that this is cyclical in nature. For example, when there is a major arrest in a community, obviously the correctional services cannot turn away people charged by the police and, therefore, the count rises. What we try to do in that circumstance is to make sure that we move people around to other facilities that have lower counts.

I am aware of the tremendous growth in the Golden Horseshoe area and I am examining the detention bed needs in this area. I opened up 86 new detention beds last month in Mimico and will be looking at the needs in this particular area in Metro. We are making some announcements soon.

Mr Cureatz: As the minister well knows, it is chronic overcrowding and he has yet to resolve the problem. In addition to the overcrowding, time and time again both the correctional officers and the inmates have brought to his ministry’s attention the physical plan. There are extensive problems with the air circulation -- something fundamental to human beings, and that is breathing.

In regard to the air circulation and the extensive problem of heat during the summertime, not to mention the din that occurs on the various floors and ranges in the wards of the institution, what are the minister’s plans for the immediate future to alleviate the air circulation difficulties that are causing severe problems to both staff and inmates, as summer is coming upon us?

Hon Mr Ramsey: Recently, we did conduct some air quality tests in the Toronto Jail. The counts for carbon dioxide proved to be well within acceptable limits.

However, tests for micro-organisms did prove to be high. Since the results of those tests have come in, we have made adjustments to the air handling system and the counts for micro-organisms have been reduced. I would like to assure the member that I have now entered into an agreement with the Minister of Government Services (Mr Patten) to tender for engineering air quality studies, which will commence shortly. We will have those results in August of this year.


Mr D. R. Cooke: My question is for the Minister of Health. The minister is aware that there has been a great deal of effort and planning at the local level in Kitchener with regard to rationalizing certain selected services between Kitchener-Waterloo Hospital and St Mary’s General Hospital.

As part of the most recent rationalization plan, I understand that there is a request for an approval of a CAT scanner at St Mary’s Hospital. I wonder if the minister would respond to that request and also give us an update on the rationalization plan.

Hon Mrs Caplan: I would like to thank the member for a very timely question. In fact, it was just yesterday that I responded with my support for the collaborative efforts of the two hospitals. I also would like to acknowledge the leadership role played by the district health council. I believe that this is a very effective use of community resources as the two institutions came together with the DHC to develop a plan to deliver the services for a changing community in a very effective way.

Regarding the request for an additional CAT scanner, I will be requesting the district health council to assess the need for CAT scanners in the region. I will ask the DHC to undertake the review with regard to what already exists within the region and to look at the options around providing that service in its community and I will look forward to its recommendations.

Mr Pope: The answer is no.

Mr D. R. Cooke: The answer was not no.

As I also understand, the rationalization plan includes provision for a dialysis service at Kitchener-Waterloo Hospital. Would the minister please inform the House of the ministry’s intention with regard to the dialysis situation at K-W Hospital?

Hon Mrs Caplan: As the member knows, I am very aware of his interest in this important matter to his community. I want him to know that I am very aware of the planning which has gone on between the two hospitals and that as a part of this, there is a proposal to relocate and consolidate dialysis services within the Kitchener-Waterloo Hospital.

We place dialysis services as a provincial priority, and I am certainly willing to receive a proposal from the hospital for specific changes that might be required to accommodate this change. I would once again like to acknowledge the interest of this member and the other members from this region and the support of the district health council for what I see as a very important local planning initiative by two hospitals working together co-operatively.


Ms Bryden: I have a question for the Minister of Transportation. The minister should be renamed the minister of traffic congestion, since he gives subway extension in Metropolitan Toronto a very low priority in his transportation planning.

Metro planners, in their Network 2011 report, put the Sheppard Avenue subway as number one on their priority list for extension of subways. Newspaper reports indicate that the minister is indicating that this year he will fund only their number four priority, a one-stop extension of the greatly underused Spadina subway.

Can the minister tell the House why he has apparently chosen to spend his scarce transportation dollars on subsidizing construction of a fourth-priority subway, which really goes nowhere, when the Sheppard Avenue subway is so urgently needed to relieve traffic congestion across the top of Metro and to get drivers out of their cars and into modern, efficient transit --

The Speaker: Order.

Hon Mr Fulton: I was unable to hear the last part of the question of the member for Beaches-Woodbine, but I do recall her asking the same question at estimates last fall and also her response that she drives to work each day and does not ride rapid transit, to my surprise.

The short answer is that she knows we have worked very closely with the Toronto Transit Commission and Metro authorities. Indeed, the Metro council only recently, I think two weeks ago, voted 26 to 6 to support the Spadina extension as its next initiative. I think that is a pretty clear indication of where we would like to go. It is certainly local decision-making, as the TTC and Metro council are justifiably elected to make those decisions.

The member will be aware that the Spadina alternative gives us several options in the future to extend in different directions and facilitate the ongoing needs for rapid transit in this great Metro area.



Mr Pope: I have a petition to the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

“Whereas the government of Ontario in its discussions with the Ontario Teachers’ Federation on amendments to the Teachers’ Superannuation Act has refused to allow an equal partnership between teachers and government in management of the pension fund, establishment of an acceptable contribution increase, benefit adjustments, equitable treatment of future surpluses and a satisfactory dispute resolution process,

“We, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly to insist that the Treasurer of Ontario negotiate with the Ontario Teachers’ Federation towards an equitable settlement.”

It is signed by the teachers of Iroquois Falls Secondary School. I support their petition and have attached my signature to it.

The Speaker: I would say to the members that I have called for petitions, but it is difficult to hear.


Mr Ferraro: I have a petition addressed to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

“We, the undersigned, beg leave to petition the Parliament of Ontario as follows:

“We hereby urge the Honourable Robert Nixon, Treasurer of Ontario, to release the $200 million to $400 million in his next budget in order to implement the first stage of the Judge Thomson report. We are aware that this will be a five-stage process aimed at encouraging self-reliance among welfare recipients.

“We are of the opinion that spending money to implement this report will ultimately save the province money in the areas of education, health and welfare and social services and that indeed spending money in the short term will save it in the long term.”

This is signed by 128 members of my constituency and I have affixed my signature to it as well.


Mr D. S. Cooke: I have a petition.

“We, the undersigned, beg leave to petition the Parliament of Ontario as follows:

“To act with us and for us to ensure a decent standard of living and dignity for all Ontario’s people, and where many people in Ontario live on the edge of poverty and more than 360,000 children live in families with incomes below the poverty line, we urge you to implement the report of the Social Assistance Review Committee fully.”

It is signed by 25 people in my riding plus me.


Mr Wiseman: I have a petition to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislature Assembly of Ontario:

“We, the undersigned, beg leave to petition the parliament of Ontario as follows:

“Whereas on February 17, in the Toronto Star, Treasurer Bob Nixon suggested tax changes. including ‘increasing the land transfer tax’; and

“Whereas that will be the second time the Liberal government of Premier David Peterson has increased the land transfer tax, these taxes have risen by 300 per cent since 1985; and

“Whereas property owners will pay over $560 million in land transfer taxes this year;

“We petition the Ontario Legislature to call on the government of Premier David Peterson to stop punishing people who contribute to the economy! David Peterson, don’t even think of raising the land transfer tax again!”

These petition cards have been collected by the St Catharines and District Real Estate Board. The petition has been signed and supported by myself.


Mr Owen: I have a petition addressed to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

“We, the undersigned, beg leave to petition the Parliament of Ontario as follows:

“We support the expansion of home care and visiting nurses services as the most cost-efficient mode of health care delivery. We therefore want our government to adequately fund the Victorian Order of Nurses.”

It is submitted under my signature.


Mr Eves: “To the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

“We, the undersigned, beg leave to petition the parliament of Ontario as follows:

“Whereas on February 17, in the Toronto Star, Treasurer Bob Nixon suggested tax changes, including ‘increasing the land transfer tax’; and

“Whereas that will be the second time the Liberal government of Premier David Peterson has increased the land transfer tax, these taxes have risen by 300 per cent since 1985; and

“Whereas property owners will pay over $560 million in land transfer taxes this year;

“We petition the Ontario Legislature to call on the government of Premier David Peterson to stop punishing people who contribute to the economy! David Peterson, don’t even think of raising the land transfer tax again!”

These petition cards have been collected by the Parry Sound, Sudbury, Kingston and Ottawa real estate boards and the petitions have my support and my signature.

Mr Cousens: I have a petition to present to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

“We, the undersigned, beg leave to petition the parliament of Ontario as follows:

“Whereas on February 17, in the Toronto Star, Treasurer Bob Nixon suggested tax changes, including ‘increasing the land transfer tax’; and

“Whereas that will be the second time the Liberal government of Premier David Peterson has increased the land transfer tax, these taxes have risen by 300 per cent since 1985; and

“Whereas property owners will pay over $560 million in land transfer taxes this year;

“We petition the Ontario Legislature to call on the government of Premier David Peterson to stop punishing people who contribute to the economy! David Peterson, don’t even think of raising the land transfer tax again!”

These petitions have been collected by the York Region Real Estate Board. This petition has my support and my signature.

The Speaker: I was just thinking while the member was reading the petition, that I believe the sign was part of the petition from your constituents. Therefore, you might want to send it to the table as well.

Mrs Cunningham: No, we need the sign.

The Speaker: It was not part of the petition. Okay.

Mrs Marland: I rise with a petition to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

“We, the undersigned, beg leave to petition the Parliament of Ontario as follows:

“Whereas on February 17, in the Toronto Star, Treasurer Bob Nixon suggested tax changes, including ‘increasing the land transfer tax’; and

“Whereas that will be the second time that the Liberal government of Premier David Peterson has increased the land transfer tax, these taxes have risen by 300 per cent since 1985; and

“Whereas property owners will pay over $560 million in land transfer taxes this year,

“We petition the Ontario Legislature to call on the government of Premier David Peterson to stop punishing people who contribute to the economy! David Peterson, don’t even think of raising the land transfer tax again!”

These petition cards have been collected by the Mississauga Real Estate Board. The petition has my support and my signature.

Mr Cureatz: I rise with a petition to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

“We, the undersigned, beg leave to petition the Parliament of Ontario as follows:

“Whereas on February 17, in the Toronto Star, Treasurer Bob Nixon suggested tax changes, including ‘increasing the land transfer tax’; and

“Whereas that will be the second time that the Liberal government of Premier David Peterson has increased the land transfer tax, these taxes have risen by 300 per cent since 1985; and

“Whereas property owners will pay over $560 million in land transfer taxes this year,

“We petition the Ontario Legislature to call on the government of Premier David Peterson to stop punishing people who contribute to the economy! David Peterson, don’t even think of raising the land transfer tax again!”

These petition cards have been collected from people and real estate agents from across Ontario and the petition has my signature on it.

Mr Jackson: I have a petition to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

“We, the undersigned, beg leave to petition the Parliament of Ontario as follows:

“Whereas on February 17, in the Toronto Star, Treasurer Bob Nixon suggested tax changes, including increasing the land transfer tax; and

“Whereas that will be the second time that this Liberal government of Premier David Peterson has increased the land transfer tax, these taxes will have risen by 300 percent since 1985; and

“Whereas property owners will pay over $560 million in land transfer taxes this year,

“We petition the Ontario Legislature to call on the government of Premier David Peterson to stop punishing people who contribute to our economy! David Peterson, don’t even think about raising the land transfer tax again!”

These petition cards have been collected by the Oakville, Milton and District Real Estate Board. The petition has my signature and my support.

Mrs Cunningham: “To the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

“We, the undersigned, beg leave to petition the Parliament of Ontario as follows:

“Whereas on February 17, in the Toronto Star, Treasurer Bob Nixon suggested tax changes, including ‘increasing the land transfer tax’; and

“Whereas that will be the second time the Liberal government of Premier David Peterson has increased the land transfer tax, these taxes have risen by 300 per cent since 1985; and

“Whereas property owners will pay over $560 million in land transfer taxes this year;

“We petition the Ontario Legislature to call on the government of Premier David Peterson to stop punishing people who contribute to the economy! David Peterson, don’t even think of raising the land transfer tax again!”

These petition cards have been collected by the Welland District Real Estate Board. The petition has my support and my signature.




Hon Mr Conway moved that, notwithstanding standing order 71(h), the requirement for notice be waived with respect to ballot items 5, 6, 7 and 8.

Motion agreed to.


Hon Mr Conway moved that the select committee on education be authorized to meet following routine proceedings on Wednesday, 24 May 1989.

Motion agreed to.



Hon Mr Wrye moved second reading of Bill 205, An Act to amend the Amusement Devices Act.

Hon Mr Wrye: I want to present for second reading An Act to amend the Amusement Devices Act. As members are aware, the act was passed some two years ago. Last summer marked the first full season the people of Ontario enjoyed uniform safety protection on amusement rides through this new province-wide regulation.

We are very pleased, and I am pleased to point out to my colleagues, that this was a season which was unmarred by major accidents or casualties. We want to be prepared for the upcoming season with a number of amendments which have proven to be necessary through our first season of operation. They will provide for smoother administration of the law and also for higher standards of public safety.

The fine-tuning of this legislation will help out inspectors to do their job more effectively. For example, inspectors will have the authority to shut down on the spot any ride found to be operating without a permit indicating it has passed a safety examination. Those investigating accidents will be given the ability to require testing of failed components by technical specialists, and a wider time window will be provided for complex investigations.

In brief, let me just summarize the amendments which will improve efficiency and enforcement in a number of areas. I will just list them: specifying the conditions under which ride operators must pay inspectors’ expenses and special fees; enabling the ministry to require third-party tests; authorizing the elevating devices branch to shut down any device operating without a permit; allowing inspectors to issue orders with deadlines attached; permitting the director to grant technical variances; requiring licensees to notify the ministry of incidents and accidents; and giving the ministry a year after an incident has taken place to lay charges.

As well as recognizing the responsibility of the ministry and ride operators, the amendments acknowledge the responsibility of customers by making unsafe behaviour in and around amusement rides an offence under the act. I think these amendments will not place any undue burdens on ride operators, or indeed on those people who are consumers and customers of rides. With the changes in place, the public will be able to be assured that the amusement rides and water slides operating in this province meet some of the toughest safety standards in the world, and that just as the new season is coming forward. That is why I am so pleased we have been able to get these amendments forward today, just as the important season for these rides is about to begin.

Mr Farnan: As the critic for the New Democratic Party, the party of consumer protection in Ontario, I say we welcome the bill. We are pleased there is an improved record of safety within this area, and naturally, with the generosity of spirit New Democrats are known for, we are always open to commend the government when we feel it is doing something right. We believe the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr Wrye) in this regard is indeed taking his responsibility seriously and taking the right actions. We commend the minister and we will support the legislation.

Hon Mr Wrye: I appreciate the comments of my friend the member for Cambridge. I am pleased to see that the legislation, which is essentially housekeeping but does have some important improvements in safety standards and administrative procedures, has the support of my colleagues in the Legislature. With that, I will sit down and allow us to move second reading.

Motion agreed to.

Bill ordered for third reading.


Hon Mr Wrye moved second reading of Bill 206, An Act to amend the Elevating Devices Act.

Hon Mr Wrye: This is really a brief companion piece of legislation. The bill makes a very minor change to bring it into conformity with the Amusement Devices Amendment Act, to which we just gave second reading, and with other legislation including the Occupational Health and Safety Act. It will extend the period of time during which charges may be laid from six months to one year and is consistent with those other pieces of legislation.

With the time which is required to test thoroughly today’s high-technology elevating equipment, plus the fact that other agencies are involved or may be involved, this allows a more reasonable framework for a full accident investigation. As a result, because it will improve the administration of justice, I think it does in a sense provide a newer measure of public protection.

Mr Farnan: Again on behalf of the New Democratic Party, consumer protection is of the highest priority for New Democrats. When legislation is brought forward that protects consumers, the government can be assured, guaranteed, that it will have the support of the New Democratic Party.

Albeit the minister refers to this particular legislation as housekeeping, we look on it as having additional consumer protection, because of the increased amount of time from six months to 12 months during which a charge may be laid. In that sense, it does allow for the type of investigation into fairly sophisticated technological devices which provides the consumer with protection.

Again, we commend the government on tidying up these areas and at the same time providing increased protection for the consumer.

Mr Runciman: Dealing with the Elevating Devices Amendment Act, I do have some concerns with respect to this bill. I am not going to be moving amendments. I may be dealing with an area of concern which does not really fall under the scope of this act -- I am not sure -- but I would certainly like to take this opportunity to put those concerns on the record.

Essentially, they deal with the question of elevator joyriding and the fact that that issue has been hanging around now since this government came into office, if not before. I certainly recall the very prominent news stories in 1985 arid 1986 with respect to a number of deaths in Toronto, with teenagers gaining access to the top of elevators in residential buildings and falling off.


I know this minister’s predecessor, the member for Wilson Heights (Mr Kwinter), was talking a couple of years ago about moving rather quickly on this issue to bring in measures that would eliminate this as a real danger in our public housing projects in this province. That is my major concern in reference to public housing.

We had a death just a few weeks ago in Ottawa. The minister may be able to shed some light on this one. Mr Speaker, you may be familiar with the case. Again, it was in a public housing project where a girl was caught somehow -- I am not quite certain what happened -- between the elevator and the wall of the door opening with the elevator moving. There was some suspicion at the time that that may have been related to joyriding. I am not sure. I do not believe the inquest has been held at this point.

I think it is incumbent upon the minister, after two and a half to three years at least of dealing with this issue in this House and receiving assurances from at least his predecessor that action was forthcoming, that we hear today exactly what is transpiring with respect to this matter and what plans the minister does have in this regard. I know it is a complex issue: How does one do something that is going to be fail-safe?

There are devices on the market at modest cost. We were made aware of those a couple of years ago during the height of this debate. I am one who does not feel we should be imposing any kind of device or changes on the private sector in residential accommodations at this point, because all of the incidents I am aware of have occurred in public housing projects in Toronto and now the one in Ottawa.

I think the minister’s first steps should be to address the concerns in the public housing sector. If, indeed, at some point in the future we find that this is a problem that goes beyond public housing and into private sector residential accommodations in the province, we can address the problem at that time, but right now we have had several deaths over a period of several years. I would be interested in hearing the minister’s comments with respect to that very valid concern.

Hon Mr Wrye: First, I thank the member for Cambridge (Mr Farnan) for his complimentary remarks on this housekeeping legislation. I appreciate that.

The member for Leeds-Grenville (Mr Runciman) has certainly, and I guess quite validly, as this extends the period of time for laying charges from six months to a year, introduced the issue of joyriding, which in some ways is related to it. I am pleased to put on the record and to report to the member for Leeds-Grenville, and through him to colleagues in the House and to the public, on what has been happening with joyriding.

First, let me deal with the Ottawa incident. The inquest is scheduled for next month. It was not a joyriding incident as far as I am aware. As far as I am concerned, the incidents the member is speaking of usually involve, to some extent, youths who fall while playing on top of elevators or while trying to. In this case, this young person who was tragically killed was getting on an elevator.

There has been a very full investigation of this matter. It was a very complex issue, even in the early days. I have not had a briefing lately, but I can say to the honourable member that there was a very detailed investigation under way, because our early investigation did not indicate very quickly exactly what had happened to cause this accident. We wanted to assure ourselves that we were able to report to the inquest that the investigation had determined a reason, but it was not a joyriding incident.

On the other matter, I hear what the honourable member is saying in terms of the incidence of joyriding being in public housing units. The comments are not totally inaccurate, but they are not completely accurate either. There have been a number of incidents we are aware of which did not take place in Ontario Housing Corp units. It was a substantial number, though not the largest number.

I can report to the honourable member that Ontario Housing Corp has had a program of retrofit under way, using some of the more modest cost approaches the member has spoken of, and it is well under way now. The honourable member would know, just from the fact that we have not had any recurrence of these tragedies, and indeed I can tell him, that the number of incidents is way down.

We will not be satisfied, of course -- I do not think any of us would be satisfied -- until that number of incidents has been reduced to nothing, and we continue to work in that regard, but for now the retrofit program is well under way within Ontario Housing. I would be pleased to report at any point and to speak to my friend privately if he wants more information or certainly to respond in here if he has any further questions.

This amendment will allow us, where we have an investigation and indeed where we have an inquest or we have a very complex accident such as the terrible Scotia Plaza incident of the fall of 1987, to have a longer period of time in which to do our investigations. Sometimes, as Scotia Plaza proved, those investigations can be very complex indeed, involving a lot of testing of these units in order to determine the cause of accidents and sometimes culpability.

So I think this is an important amendment which will allow us to have that longer period of time in which to lay charges where that is deemed appropriate. I hope the Legislature will give it its support.

Motion agreed to.

Bill ordered for third reading.


Hon Mr Wrye moved second reading of Bill 207, An Act to amend the Energy Act.

Hon Mr Wrye: Essentially, these again are housekeeping changes, although they are important. They will clarify the ministry’s ability to grant technical variances and delegate specific inspection responsibilities to the natural gas utilities.

These variances enable us to deal with situations which were not anticipated in the act’s safety standards for the use, transportation and handling of hydrocarbon fuels. For example, the propane code that is contained in the Energy Act requires steel posts around a propane tank. However, installers may wish to seek a variance so that they can use steel beams, which are actually much stronger. As a result, the ability to grant variances is not just a practical consideration for the ministry’s fuel safety branch; in many cases variances will actually strengthen public safety.

Similarly, the delegation of responsibilities is particularly helpful in unexpected situations where qualified utilities personnel are already on the scene. We already delegate to the natural gas utilities the responsibility to inspect and approve a new system in a house before turning on the gas. These amendments would clarify the authority of the utilities employee -- again, to give an example -- to make on-the-spot decisions about the proper installation of a vent or a chimney. Because this type of arrangement works so well, we want to be able to apply it to more situations than we have in the past.

I think, judiciously applied, these measures will promote and improve our high safety standards, and, in any event, as the members will be very clear, any of these variances that are given are variances that can only be given if they will not in any way adversely affect safety standards. We think quite the opposite: There will actually be some cases where in giving these variances we will improve safety standards and improve our ability, and our ability as a community, to meet safety standards in a very timely manner.

Mr Farnan: Recently, a resident of Cambridge said to me: “Mike, do the opposition parties automatically oppose government legislation and initiatives as a matter of course?” Sometimes there is a perception out there that opposition simply reacts in a negative manner. Of course, this is an opportunity today, I think, to reinforce the fact that we in the New Democratic Party take our responsibilities very seriously.

We will support legislation that is constructive. Where we see room for an amendment, we will propose such, but in this particular case and in the case of all of the bills the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr Wrye) is presenting before the House today, Bill 205, Bill 206 and Bill 207, we see these as constructive and therefore they gain the support of the New Democratic Party.


We will, of course, where necessary and where we feel justice demands it, take a very strong and principled stand in opposition to legislation. But as the minister pointed out in his comments, in Bill 207 we are talking about the ability to grant variances that would improve safety factors. New Democrats are not going to take a position in opposition to something that is obviously common sense, nor will they take a position against something that is obviously in the best interests of consumers.

Once again, I say to the minister and to the government, when they bring forward legislation that makes sense and is worthy of support, they can count upon the support of the New Democratic Party. We commend the minister for his initiatives in these regards.

Mr Runciman: I guess we are not going to oppose this legislation. I would be interested in hearing a little bit more of the rationale behind the changes the minister is proposing. He has discussed it, but not in detail.

With respect to the safety elements, he assures us we do not have any need to be concerned with these proposed changes; but I guess when one is dealing with this area in terms of the transmission of energy, propane appliances and so on, one always has to be somewhat cautious with respect to approvals being granted.

No matter whether it is the installation of a specific post versus some other form of protection, I think the public and the members of this Legislature merit perhaps some more elaboration from the minister of the reasoning behind this proposal. I assume there are some cost savings involved for the government with respect to this.

The minister is shaking his head; there are not. He is indicating then it is simply a move that is going to benefit consumers in the long haul, over expediting approvals that are not going to pose hazards to the people of this province. I am simply looking for reassurance with respect to that concern. I think that is the one area some of us on this side of the House would wish to have further details on.

Hon Mr Wrye: I thank my friend the member for Cambridge (Mr Farnan) again for his support. I think today we are setting a very, very positive standard for the way I hope this Legislature will move forward this spring, in a very collegial fashion with the New Democratic Party supporting all of the very positive efforts of this government.

I can assure my friend from Cambridge that we have attempted through these very positive bills, to set a tone for him and his colleagues. We know he will report back to his colleagues, who because of their other duties are not able to be here at this moment, what a positive tone we are setting with very positive government legislation and that we can carry this element of collegiality through the rest of the spring. I do appreciate his support of this legislation.

I certainly understand what my friend the member for Leeds-Grenville (Mr Runciman) is saying in terms of the safety standard issue. If the member will look at the amendment to section 28 of the act, the new subsection 28(4), he will see it allows variances where, “in the director’s opinion, the variance would not detrimentally affect the safety of the appliance, pipeline or work.” It is quite specific. There are a number of matters -- I gave one example of what can occur -- where we will actually be upgrading, in the director’s opinion in that case in terms of the steel beam, and we would be not detrimentally affecting the safety of the appliance, pipeline or work.

As well, there are occasions where there will be technological changes which, until the code can be changed -- and the member will note again the code adopted under the regulations -- literally, at the present time, tie the director’s hands and the branch’s hands.

Because these various bodies that approve code changes meet only every six or nine months, and sometimes only once a year, we could have a major technological change which everyone knows will improve safety and which indeed is receiving approval from a number of code committees that do not allow variances until those standards can be formally changed.

Again, there is an element of that, and I acknowledge it, but I share the concern, as we all do, of the honourable member to ensure that safety is being enhanced and not diminished. I have reviewed this matter very carefully with my officials and I am convinced that this is an issue which actually will enhance safety, allow for better delivery for business and consumers alike of these important matters and do so without any danger.

In terms of the other aspect of the changes -- for example, safety inspectors of a gas company can be on the site, do an inspection and take action, in effect, not to turn on gasoline which has been installed in an unsafe way -- I would not want to say in a huge number of ways, but in some ways, the changes that are being proposed actually augment the kind of government forces that we have now.

I hope my friend will agree with me that what we have here is actually an enhancement of safety and, certainly in my judgement and the judgement of the government, no threat to the public safety of the province; rather, exactly the opposite. I hope the Legislature will again give its enthusiastic support to this amendment contained in Bill 207.

Motion agreed to.

Bill ordered for third reading.


Mr McClelland, on behalf of Hon Mr Bradley, moved second reading of Bill 218, An Act to amend the Environmental Protection Act.

Mr McClelland: The purpose of this bill is to enable Ontario to control, reduce and in fact eliminate, hopefully throughout the course of time, ozone-depleting substances within our boundaries.

It will be well known to most members here and indeed a number of people in our province that ozone-depleting substances include families of chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons, commonly known as CFCs, as well as Halons and individual chemicals such as methylchloroform.

CFCs are used as coolants in refrigerants, air conditioners and chilling equipment, as blowing agents in foam product manufacturing, as cleaning solvents for electrical circuit boards and as propellants in aerosol sprays and hospital sterilization procedures. Halons are similar to CFCs but also contain bromine. They are used in fire extinguishers.

Once vented from the products and processes in which they are used, CFCs and Halons rise in the atmosphere and react with and destroy stratospheric ozone. A single chlorine atom released when CFCs break up can destroy thousands of ozone molecules in the stratosphere during the 70 to 100 years it remains active.

Worldwide consensus has emerged that chlorine, bromine, fluorine and certain synthetic chemicals are decreasing ozone concentrations in the stratosphere. Although the chemistry of these changes in the earth’s ozone layer is not fully understood, there is certainly sufficient scientific evidence indicating that it is critical to control ozone-depleting substances.


Scientists warn us increases in ultraviolet radiation result in more skin cancer and cataracts, reduced crop yields and damage to aquatic life. A three per cent reduction in stratospheric ozone protection is estimated to produce 2,000 additional Canadian skin cancer victims each year.

In September 1987, an international treaty to reduce ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons and Halons was signed in Montreal -- it was known as the Montreal Protocol -- to control substances which deplete the earth’s ozone layer. This treaty called for a cap on production of CFCs at 1986 levels by July 1989 and a cap on production of Halons at 1986 levels by February 1992. CFC production is then to be reduced to 80 percent of 1986 levels by July 1993 and to 50 per cent in 1998.

The treaty was ratified by Canada and other countries which consume two thirds of the world’s CFCs and Halons. In Ontario, we consume about 1.25 per cent of the world’s CFCs. Ontario will phase out the use of these substances as quickly as practical. We will do this by adopting regulations under the bill, which will require that CFCs and other ozone-depleting substances be recaptured and recycled when devices containing them are being maintained or taken out of service.

We also have regulations banning categories of uses of ozone-depleting substances as substitutes become available and regulations that will require ozone-depleting substances be destroyed when taken out of service, once a safe method of destruction has been perfected.

The bill takes the first concrete step by banning, as of 1 July 1989, the manufacture, sale or use of ozone-depleting substances as an aerosol propellant except those used for prescription drugs.

We will also ban, as of 1 July 1989, the manufacture, sale or use of packaging, wrapping or containers made with ozone-depleting substances. The act will enable Ontario to phase out other major uses of these substances as soon as possible.

Ministry of the Environment officials are meeting with environmentalists and industrial representatives now to plan the prompt and orderly removal of major categories of uses from the Ontario marketplace and manufacturing base.

The world is awakening to the fact that stratospheric ozone damage is even more serious than was originally thought at the Montreal meeting. Already many concerned and knowledgeable people are calling for further CFC production cuts beyond those specified in the new treaty.

Certainly, it is our intent to reduce and eliminate CFC use in Ontario as quickly as possible. Accordingly, it is a pleasure for me to move second reading of Bill 218, and I look forward to the comments and helpful exchange in the House from my colleagues opposite.

Mrs Grier: I am glad to have the opportunity to participate in this debate and that we have before us today legislation to limit the use of CFCs in our environment. Of course, our party will be supporting that legislation.

It was almost a year ago now that I raised in this House with the Minister of the Environment (Mr Bradley) the question of what he was going to do about the threat to our environment posed by CFCs. At that time, I got a long involved answer that talked about federal-provincial initiatives, consultation and meetings, but did not end up with any specific commitments to action. So I am very pleased, even though it is a year later, we now are going to have some action. I congratulate the minister on getting that far at this point.

I think the awareness that all of us have of the dangers to our environment posed by CFCs has certainly grown more quickly than any other consciousness-raising process I can think of. It was in 1987 that the Montreal Protocol was signed. Since then, I think we have realized that the targets that were established in 1987 were far too low and the danger that is posed by CFCs is greater than any of us had thought.

Just this morning, I heard about a conference in New Zealand that was pointing out, yet again, the danger to the plankton, that provides the beginning of the food chain nourishment for sea animals, which is posed by the reduction of the ozone layer and has the potential to affect all of us, if nothing is done about this issue.

As I pointed out in the House in 1988, industry has recognized the problem. Industry has moved, in a number of areas, to make changes and to reduce its use of CFCs. In fact, many experts feel that the controlled technologies are there to reduce CFCs and Halon emissions by some 90 per cent.

But we need to have stricter standards: We need to have stricter standards in the recycling of those CFCs that already exist in plants, in air conditioners, in machinery. We need to have stricter standards regarding the venting of those into the atmosphere, either when they have come to the end of their useful life or when there are repairs being done.

I regret that in this bill the time frame within which any of those actions are going to be taken is much longer than I would wish it to be.

The Montreal Protocol was designed to stop a two per cent decline in global ozone, but in our latitudes, the year-round decline has been three per cent between 1969 and 1986, so it is obvious that we have to move more quickly than we might have thought we were going to have to, because as the ozone diminishes we get more ultraviolet radiation and we get more skin cancers and more cataracts and we get a depression of the human immune system. There are reduced crop yields, depleted marine fisheries, materials damage and increased smog.

The overwhelming conclusion of the United States Environmental Protection Agency studies is that the benefits of limiting future CFC-Halon use far outweigh the increased costs these regulations would impose on the economy.

This is a problem that is almost exclusively a problem for the northern hemisphere. Our hemisphere consumes 84 per cent of the world’s CFCs. It is not a problem we can blame on anybody else. It is not a problem we can wait for anybody else to tackle. It is something we have to tackle and we have to tackle quickly.

It is interesting to look at what is happening in Sweden, because there the development of alternative products and processes is seen as an economic opportunity. That is what we fail to do in this country. We have not seen: “What can we do in order to take advantage of the world’s need to limit CFCs? What can we do to speed up the development of new technologies, to find alternatives, to phase out far more quickly than this legislation contemplates the ways in which we use CFCs?”

In Sweden, they have set themselves targets. Their consumption is to be halved by 1991 and virtually eliminated by 1995. They phased out sterilization uses and aerosols by the end of 1988. Their use of CFCs as a solvent or a blowing agent for flexible foams and for rigid foams in dry cleaning and coolant uses is to cease by the end of 1994, and their government is proactively participating in the economy to bring this about, with incentives, with supports for research and recycling and recovery and with the development of alternative products.

Here we have seen some action taken even at the municipal level that goes beyond what this minister contemplates. We saw the city of Toronto moving to bring in a bylaw that would limit the use of CFCs, and I suspect the cynics would say it was that action at the municipal level that might even have prompted the calling of this legislation and getting on with doing something about it in this jurisdiction.

When we look at the actual legislation, we see it is a far cry from banning CFCs and from even reducing them as fast as needs to happen. It is interesting to look at a submission that was made to Management Board of Cabinet by the air resources branch in December 1987, which pointed out the problems with CFCs and recommended that Ontario should take steps to reduce CFC emissions in order to protect the ozone layer, pointed out that CFCs can persist for about 100 years and suggested that the government get on with it.

That was December 1987, and here we are in May 1989 looking at a piece of legislation which is a strange amalgam of legislation and things that are normally in the regulations. We have two specifics in the legislation, that the use of CFCs as a propellant will be ended as of 1 July 1989 and that the use of CFCs in packaging will be ended by 1 July 1989. Then the bill goes on to say that the minister may make regulations relating to further depletion from the uses of CFCs. In the fact sheet that was distributed with the bill, the minister laid out that timetable.


By December, we will establish an infrastructure to collect and recycle CFCs; by July 1990, we will ban rigid foam insulation; December 1991, ban the use of CFCs as a solvent; December 1992, require that Halons no longer be vented to the atmosphere during fire-extinguisher tests; by 1 July 1994, end CFC recycling and require that these substances be captured and destroyed at a destruction facility to be established by this date, and 1 July 1998” -- almost 10 years since the air resources branch recommended they be phased out --”ban their use in refrigerators, air conditioners and coolers.

I know the minister or his parliamentary assistant is going to say: “The technology isn’t there. We’ve got to wait that long.” In fact, what this legislation does is recognize the existing technology. It does not do anything to spur on the development of new technology. It is reminiscent of the other actions by this minister that also have very long time frames. We have the municipal-industrial strategy for abatement program. What happened to MISA? It certainly is not in place at this point. It certainly is not on target. We have the clean air program. What has become of air-monitoring regulation 308? What has become of the time frame and the target that was proudly announced when that review was introduced?

My point is, what guarantee do we have that the targets and timetables set out in the fact sheet distributed with the legislation -- which are presumably going to be put in a regulation, though we have not seen the draft regulation -- are in fact going to be met?

I hope they are going to be met. It is certainly going to be my task, as long as I am in this place, to remind the minister of the targets he said were going to be in the regulations. It is certainly my hope that we see this regulation very quickly. Of course, I have no choice but to support the legislation, but I just want to make the point that it is a rather small step in the face of a very large and growing problem.

The Deputy Speaker: Any questions and comments on the member’s statement?

Mr Fleet: Thank you. Mr Speaker. It took a long time to get to this stage here. Actually, I sometimes worry a little bit about the cynicism that may develop in this place, because we have just heard from the honourable member for Etobicoke-Lakeshore (Mrs Grier) about her concerns about the commitment. I just want to assure her and all who are either reading Hansard as a result of this speech or watching through the facility of television that we are committed.

I am very pleased this bill has come forward. It is not, as has been suggested, a small step. In fact, it is a rather dramatic advance in the area of CFCs.

I had an opportunity shortly before the announcement to speak to the minister about the serious concerns I have about CFCs. I was pleased that he and the whole ministry had been aiming at advancing the schedule for when CFCs would be attacked, if I can use that word. As a society and through all the industries and through all the users in society, we are making a very clear statement to say that we want to eliminate CFCs. We want to move as fast as is feasible to do that and the commitment we have for that kind of advance is really what our government is about.

I appreciate that the critic of the official opposition will always encourage us to do more, regardless of how much we have done, but quite frankly I think there are very significant advances in this bill. It goes way beyond the international convention at Montreal. It is far beyond any other jurisdiction I am aware of in North America. It has really led the federal government. It is something we should all be proud of.

The Deputy Speaker: Any other questions or comments from other members? If not, would the member wish to respond?

Mrs Grier: Merely to say that it is that phrase, “We are moving as fast as is feasible,” that strikes a chill into my bones.

Mrs Marland: In rising to take part in this debate on Bill 218 today, I obviously want to indicate at the outset that the Progressive Conservative caucus will be supporting this bill, although we too are disappointed this bill does not go further, sooner.

The truth of the matter is that the use of chlorofluorocarbons as propellants in aerosol cans is in fact only eight per cent of the problem. This bill bans the use of CFCs in aerosol cans as the propellant agent as of 1 July 1989. If you look at the fact that it is dealing with eight per cent of the problem, of course that begs the question of what is happening with the remainder of the problem, namely, the 92 per cent.

Before I address the 92 per cent problem, I just want to be very clear about why I am going to be placing two amendments to this bill this afternoon. The first amendment I am going to be presenting is one that would require mandatory labelling of all aerosol cans. We are in a rather ironic situation where this bill bans CFCs as propellants, but the public does not know what aerosol cans contain CFCs today.

When the minister had his press conference on this bill, it was really a big deal, of course, because this was going to be the white knight saviour who was going to save the depletion of the ozone layer, because the government was going to ban all the aerosol cans and bottles and so forth. However, when I asked the minister if he had a list of those products that contain CFCs, he had to admit that no, his ministry did not have a list of those products.

What is significant about not knowing what products contain CFCs is the fact that there are very conscientious companies in the industry that have already eliminated them from their products, not the least of which would be a very well known company with a lot of very well known products: Boyle-Midway Canada. In fact, while oven sprays and those kinds of products were listed as examples of products that violated the ozone layer because they contained CFCs, Boyle-Midway has for over a year been manufacturing its spray without the content of CFCs, in terms of its oven spray and some of its insecticide sprays for human use.

I hope that while this ban becomes law there will be some credit and some recognition given to the forward planning and the research and development that existing companies in Ontario have already done to protect the ozone layer, because I do not think everyone should be damned with all the battleships in terms of this subject. When a company like Boyle-Midway does its research and development and changes its product without being legislated to do that, that is a significant step that indicates good corporate citizens, and they too share the concerns we do for the environment and the risk to the environment that chlorofluorocarbons have caused.


While we understand that 1 July 1989 is indeed the date the ban on the sale, use or manufacturing of ozone-depleting substances as aerosol propellants, except for use in prescription drugs, will take place -- they are talking about regulations that will be put in place to address the utilization of existing stocks and to allow appropriate disposal -- we certainly hope that will be fair to those industries that have not been forewarned prior to this date. It seems to me the press conference was three months ago, so industries in fact had only three months’ notice in a formal sense.

If we can have compulsory labelling, it gives the consumer a choice whether he buys the product with CFCs in it or not. Since CFCs as propellants for aerosol use are going to be permitted to stay in prescription drugs, if they are labelled, then the persons who are using that product can make a choice. Even though it is a prescription drug, it means they share in the responsibility about whether that product is used or not.

I also noticed that this bill, as of 1 July 1989, will ban the manufacture, sale or use of packaging, wrapping and containers made with the ozone-depleting substances of CFCs. It also will include items such as household sprays using CFCs as propellants and foam products blown with CFCs. What I want to ask the ministry is, if it is going to ban the manufacture, sale and use of packaging, wrapping and containers, how does it plan to address the very serious question of all those containers, wrapping and packages that come from off this North American continent, particularly from outside Canada?

As we are aware, Canada has a tremendous import market. We do a tremendous importing trade with the Pacific Rim countries and the European countries, where all products that can be very fragile, such as televisions, radios, camera equipment, microscopes and other kinds of electronic devices that have very delicate components are shipped to Canada, and indeed to Ontario, in some type of foam packaging and wrapping.

It will be interesting to see how the ministry will address those items being imported into Ontario, because those items also have to be disposed of as garbage in some way or other. I hope that will be a question the minister will be able to address, but I suppose it will not be addressed until we have some kind of commitment, through direction of the ministry to the industry, that industry indeed develop alternatives to these products through its research.

I also think it is significant to mention that the minister has not blocked two new factories that produce CFCs. This does not make sense, in light of the fact that Ontario’s aim to eliminate the chemical by 1998 is stated in this bill. It does not make sense to allow two new factories to be built for a nine-year period of operation. In September 1988 the ministry issued a certificate of approval for Techni-Therm Inc to operate a plant in Cornwall that makes rigid foam insulation using chlorofluorocarbons. The ministry has also allowed Fiberglas Canada Inc to start production of a similar product.

This shows the minister is running his ministry on an ad hoc basis with no forward planning. He gets an idea, thinks it is great, announces it, and then decides how to implement it. He did the same thing with his 50 per cent recycling announcement. He cannot provide us with the list of products that presently use CFCs as propellants, so as I said a few minutes ago, how does the consumer know which product not to buy after 1 July 1989 without compulsory labelling?

In a way, this eight per cent solution to the 100 per cent problem in fact ends up banning a ghost. Until the Ministry of the Environment and in particular the minister show some leadership and sincere commitment to the problem of the 92 per cent balance of products that use CFCs, we are really crawling towards a solution to this problem.

I think the industries that use CFCs as coolants in refrigeration and air-conditioning systems have to be the pioneers to spend money, to invest money in research and development to find the alternative product that can be used to replace CFCs in cooling and refrigeration. Quite simply, without direction from the ministry, those industries will not commit money for research and development, so it is going to be up to the ministry to show that kind of leadership.

Because of that, I will be moving a second amendment this afternoon that will require certain industries to devote a certain percentage of their budget to undertake research and development to develop substitutes for ozone-depleting substances. It is a responsibility we all share. If industries spend money on research and development, they will not lose that money. That money will be added onto the cost of the product, the cost of the air-conditioning unit, the cost of the system that is in our cars or buildings, in our domestic and commercial refrigeration.

Quite frankly, I can stand here today and tell members with complete assurance that the public in Ontario is willing to pay more for any product that is an alternative to what we have been doing with our present products in depleting the ozone layer. When we look at the risk to our health of losing protection from ultraviolet rays, when we have the thinning of the ozone and the holes that are now appearing through it and therefore the increase in skin cancer and other diseases that has already been referred to earlier this afternoon, it is obvious all of us are willing to share in the investment in the alternative, by paying more for the end product because the industries have been asked to spend money on research and development for alternatives.

We certainly look forward to support for the Progressive Conservative amendment that would make that a requirement of industry, because obviously it has to be an alternative to the 92 per cent problem that still remains after we pass this bill today dealing with the aerosol propellant in cans.

The Acting Speaker (Mr M. C. Ray): Are there any comments or questions?

Mr Fleet: I am pleased to hear the Progressive Conservative Party is going to be supporting this bill, but I was a little bit surprised to hear the nature of some of the criticisms. The problem inherent in the kinds of criticisms that were made is really that the suggestion for better information is rather interesting but completely overtaken by what this bill does. The whole purpose of the bill is to phase out things as quickly as possible.


One of the difficulties that exists with CFCs, and with Halons in particular, is that there are certain products currently being used for which there is no substitute for the CFCs. I thought the third party would rather have addressed itself to that reality, and that is one of the difficulties that exists for industries and for consumers.

I quite agree that consumers are wiling to pay more for more environmentally appropriate products, not just in this area but in others, and in fact I proposed an environmental protection tax in this Legislature. I do not know if tomorrow we will hear of something like that from the Treasurer (Mr R. F. Nixon), but it is certainly a policy basis I hope other members from all parties would adopt.

It seems to me that the reality of dealing with CFCs is that we must persuade people to change their behaviour. It is not just a question of the companies and how they cope with it, although I am again pleased to reinforce that those companies which have been progressive are to be acknowledged, and there are other companies.

In terms of the labelling suggestion, I know that in the corner drugstore near where my community office is -- Pro Re Nata Pharmacy -- they have Styrofoam cups and people come and ask whether CFCs are in the cups. That store owner has decided not to have CFCs in the products she is handing out. I think that is the kind of advancement of education and activity we want to encourage.

Mrs Marland: Simply in response to the member for High Park-Swansea, he obviously was not listening to what I said.

Mr Fleet: I listened very carefully.

Mrs Marland: That is sometimes a problem for the people who talk while we are speaking. Then they jump up on their feet and make a statement, and they have not actually heard what has been said. Obviously, I would not be asking for research and development by the industry if there existed a substitute for the product. When we are looking at at least another 10 or 15 years down the road, that is far too long to look at the kind of damage and depletion that can be done while we have an existing situation as we do today.

What I am saying is that we must encourage industry to act as quickly as possible, but without that encouragement -- and it may even end up being in some different form of incentive by some level of government. Certainly the federal government too must be given credit for the leadership it has shown on this whole subject of CFCs from a national viewpoint.

Mr Fleet: They followed right along after us.

Mrs Marland: For the benefit of the member, who is still yapping away with his interjections, he should know that it was the federal government which initiated the Montreal agreement back in 1987. It has been a little bit of a “me too” situation, but nevertheless we are happy it is here. We are just saying to the minister: “Don’t stop here. We need no go further to make sure we have a real commitment to stop the damage that is being done, so that our children and grandchildren will be safe living in the North American continent and the rest of the world.”

Mr McClelland: As my friend the member for High Park-Swansea said, I as well want to thank the members opposite, the member for Etobicoke-Lakeshore and the member for Mississauga South (Mrs Marland), for their participation and contribution to the debate. Notwithstanding some of their comments which I may take issue with, I will not do so at the present time, because I think in the spirit of this very worthwhile and progressive legislation they have seen fit to support it and we thank them for that.

I want to draw particular attention to members of this House and the people of this province that, in the absence of any leadership in terms of legislation at the federal level, Ontario will in fact be the first province in Canada to act with legislation to protect the environment by phasing out the use of ozone-depleting substances.

At present, my friends opposite, and indeed everyone in this House, would know that there is no provision in Ontario law allowing the government of Ontario to control the chemicals which are doing damage, the chlorofluorocarbons, the Halons and other ozone-depleting substances. This legislation, the ozone layer protection bill, or more properly entitled the Environmental Protection Amendment Act, will fill this legislative void and enable Ontario to control ozone-depleting substances.

The member for Etobicoke-Lakeshore made some very thoughtful comments with respect to the international scope of this problem. We hope, as a government, to complement the international efforts to protect the ozone layer. We are going to move to phase out the use of these substances as quickly as we practically can.

I understand the criticism of my friends opposite and how they would like to see things move along at a much more rapid pace. We also will be looking at every possible opportunity and avenue we have to accelerate the targets we have. We take this very seriously, and as we work in consultation with industry, producers and manufacturers, we believe that, together, the problem can be solved.

In terms of the international scene, I want to tell my friend opposite that we will be continuing discussions with importing industries to encourage them to talk to their suppliers of the need to stop exporting to Ontario products used in CFCs and foam packaging with CFC-blown materials. We have been meeting with industrialists, environmentalists amid industrial representatives to plan the prompt, orderly removal of major categories of uses from the Ontario marketplace and manufacturing base.

I want to say to my friend the member for Mississauga South that there are many companies -- and she is indeed correct. I had the privilege of being in Brantford not too long ago, and I am not going to get into mentioning the list of the many environmentally conscious and responsible corporations, for fear of leaving some of them out. I believe they all are due the recognition that she has drawn to at least one corporation that has acted responsibly.

I want to say also to my friend from Mississauga South that I will be commenting about her proposed amendments at a later time in this afternoon’s proceedings. I want to thank her for her helpful and thoughtful suggestions to this act.

I want to say also -- my friend the member for Mississauga South and also, I believe, the member for Etobicoke-Lakeshore raised this point -- that our government will be commissioning and funding research to develop a safe, efficient CFC-destruction method. It will then require the capture and destruction of ozone-depleting substances as they are taken out of service.

Until facilities are available, we will promote the capture and recycling of used CFCs in the electronics industry and from refrigeration equipment as it’s taken out of service. We recognize that an ideal world would be able to deal with it and ban them altogether. We have to have some efficient, safe method of destroying it that will not just create another environmental problem. Accordingly, we will be funding research to that end.

We will also fund studies on how other current applications of ozone-depleting substances can be reduced and, ultimately, eliminated altogether. Imprudent human activity has had a destructive impact on our environment in many respects in the natural ecology system that we enjoy, including the atmosphere. One part of our life-supporting environment, the stratospheric ozone layer, shields us from overexposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun, and we have discussed that with my friends opposite, the critics, this afternoon. This bill enables Ontario to act to protect the ozone layer.

Having regard to the importance of this legislation and the significance of Ontario’s becoming the first jurisdiction in Canada to move with some concrete legislation to deal with this problem, to set out an action plan and -- I would say with respect, if I can disagree with my friend the member for Mississauga South -- to set out a very well thought out, carefully planned, prudent approach to deal with this problem in a holistic way, not to respond just emotively but to respond in a systematic, holistic way, I am delighted that my friends opposite will be supporting this legislation. I thank them for their comments this afternoon.

Motion agreed to.

Bill ordered for committee of the whole House.


House in committee of the whole.


Consideration of Bill 218, An Act to amend the Environmental Protection Act.

Mr McClelland: I request permission of the House to sit in the front row and have staff join me.

Agreed to.

The Deputy Chairman: With regard to Bill 218, are there any comments, questions or amendments that members wish to propose?

Mrs Marland: Yes; I have an amendment to part V-A.

The Deputy Chairman: First, before the member reads her amendment, would she indicate how many amendments she has and to which sections?

Mrs Marland: I have one amendment to section 1. My second amendment is not to section 1.

The Deputy Chairman: Section 1, part V-A, the first amendment. And then, the second amendment?

Mrs Marland: The second amendment is to section 2 of the bill, to add subsection 2(4d). It is section 136 of the act.

Section 1:

The Deputy Chairman: Mrs Marland moves that the bill be amended by adding thereto the following section:


“47m. After the 1st day of July, 1989,

“(a) anything that formerly contained an ozone-depleting substance that acted as a propellant;

“(b) any designated thing or anything of a designated class that formerly contained an ozone-depleting substance;

“(c) any packaging, wrapping or container that was formerly made in a manner that used an ozone-depleting substance;

“(d) any designated thing or anything of a designated class if that thing was formerly made in a manner that used an ozone-depleting substance;

“shall be labelled in a manner prescribed by regulation to indicate there are no ozone-depleting substances used to make, use, transfer, display, transport, store or dispose of the thing, designated thing, packaging, wrapping or container.”

Mrs Marland: I will not take very much more time on explaining this amendment, because I did address it earlier in my comments. I do see it, however, as a very important amendment, because it obviously makes sense that if we are going to be banning something, we know what it is and, where it is not being banned, we have it identified.

At this point in time, today in Ontario, we do not have any idea at all how many products there are that contain chlorofluorocarbons as a propellant for the aerosol medium. It is common sense that if we are going to ban something, we had better know what it is and where it exists. To make it compulsory for all labelling means that the ban itself will in fact be real.

To suggest that it can be done in regulations, of course, begs the question about why it was not done in regulations before. Obviously, if it was a requirement before with food, which it was -- all food aerosol cans had to have CFCs identified, but not any other product -- therefore, I see a very real need for the labelling to be compulsory.

Mr McClelland: I think I understand the rationale behind the amendment of my friend the member for Mississauga South. Let me simply say that the whole purpose and intent of the act is to eliminate the use of those substances in any event. It seems very clear that you do not label after the fact if these products do not contain a substance which has been banned from use. That is the intention of the act and that will be the effect of the regulations that are passed under the act, to eliminate it, so in effect, with respect to the intent, it is a redundant amendment. The act already contains that.

I think it is also important to note that many industries, as my friend has already pointed out, seek to do that in terms of their own marketing and the sale of their products. I think that ought to be left in their hands to determine how they want to appeal to the marketplace. I do not think it is for us to tell them how to appeal to the marketplace in that sense.

They clearly will be in a position where it will be illegal to market, to produce and make available for sale in this province products containing the substances, so we see it as redundant to require labelling saying that the products do not contain them when in fact that is what the legislation does. With respect, we will not be supporting that amendment.

Mrs Grier: I have some sympathy with the comments that have been made by the parliamentary secretary, because I think it is clumsy to try to label something to say that a product has been eliminated, and I think it is something that perhaps more properly ought to be addressed in the regulations, but I would say that the fact that the bill is drafted in the way it is with things that ought normally to be in regulations -- ie, the deadlines by which products are going to be phased out -- has opened up the minister to these kinds of amendments.

If he was going to do everything by regulation, he should have done everything by regulation. If he was going to put some elements that are normally in regulations in a bill, then it is perfectly acceptable to add other things that are normally in regulations. For that reason, and for one other, I am going to support the amendment.


The other one is that I think labelling is very important and that it is useful to establish the principle that we begin to label things so trial consumers can make informed choices. I would be much happier if this amendment said everything containing CFCs and Halons were labelled, so those of us who do not wish to buy products containing ozone-depleting substances could try to find our own substitutes, even if the manufacturers have not produced them. I think it is of some merit to have a section known as “labelling” in the legislation. Presumably, it can be further dealt with by regulation, if ever we see the regulation.

I will support the amendment, with some qualifications as I do so.

Mr McClelland: Not to join in any significant debate on this matter, I just want to advise my friends that the industry and its association have agreed in any event to label their products. I think that speaks well for the goodwill of industry, which my friend the member for Mississauga South referred to earlier, and it will be accomplished. Having regard to the fact they will be outlawed anyway, they are going to try and impress that point in terms of their own strategy.

The Deputy Chairman: All those in favour of Mrs Marland’s motion will please say “aye.”

All those opposed will please say “nay.”

In my opinion the nays have it.

Motion negatived.

Section I agreed to.

Section 2:

Mrs Marland: I move that section 2 of the bill be amended by adding the following clause to subsection 136(4a) of the act:

Mr Chairman, this is not as you have it written. This has just been handed to me with the correct wording as to the requirement, I guess, of the legislative counsel.

The Deputy Chairman: If you would read on, I think I have it here.

Mrs Marland: It is practically the same wording.

“(d) prescribing that designated industries devote a designated percentage of their budget to undertake research and development to develop substitutes for ozone-depleting substances.”

The Deputy Chairman: I think, just for clarity’s sake, that I will read it.

Mrs Marland moves that section 2 of the bill be amended by adding the following clause to subsection 136(4a) of the act:

“(d) prescribing that designated industries devote a designated percentage of their budget to undertake research and development to develop substitutes for ozone-depleting substances.”

Mrs Marland: I addressed this too, earlier in my comments. This is just to reinforce the fact that unless we find a solution to the major use of CFCs, which is air-cooling and refrigeration -- those are very major, both in domestic and industrial and commercial use -- and unless there is an incentive to research and develop substitutes for CFCs in that application, this bill will indeed not take us further ahead, other than, as I have mentioned earlier, the eight per cent solution.

It is my understanding that although my original amendment defined the ozone-depleting substances very specifically -- I was in fact defining them as those “used in air-conditioning and refrigeration units” -- I am advised that if I remove the description of where those substances are used specifically, the ministry will support my motion. For that reason, I am no longer being specific about the ozone-depleting substances application, and therefore we are just asking for research and development to develop a substitute for ozone depleting substances, period.

Mr McClelland: I want to thank the member for Mississauga South for the very helpful suggestion. We appreciate the input from time to time, notwithstanding the fact that as is the nature of this business, we do not always agree to agree. In this case we do, and I want to thank her for her contribution in this regard.

I might add, inasmuch as my friend the member for Mississauga South made some comments, that I want to explain why we asked for the change from her original, since it is on the record.

Simply said, it is our opinion and the opinion of our counsel that it gives us more latitude. It does not become restrictive, as it was as originally drafted. We thank the member for her indulgence in accommodating us in that regard and thank her again for her positive input in this regard. We look forward to that continued spirit of co-operation as we move ahead with this very important legislation.

Mrs Grier: Far be it from me to spoil this atmosphere of constructive harmony. I will be glad to support an amendment that indicates this government is going to prescribe that certain industries devote a certain percentage of their budgets to a certain undertaking. I think that is indeed an important commitment to have been made by this government, one that I am sure it will be reminded of on other occasions. But at the risk of being called cynical, perhaps I should say that I suspect it will be a frosty Friday before we see such a regulation.

Motion agreed to.

Section 2, as amended, agreed to.

Sections 3 and 4 agreed to.

Bill 218, as amended, ordered to be reported.



Consideration of Bill 194, An Act to restrict Smoking in Workplaces.

Hon Mr Sorbara: May I have permission to move down to the front of the House and have officials join me for consideration?

The Deputy Chairman: Yes, the minister and his staff to the front, please.

Are there any members who wish to offer comments, amendments or discussion? If so, to which sections of Bill 194?

Mr Sterling: I believe I have submitted to you a number of amendments. I know my colleague the member for Hamilton West (Mr Allen) also has a number of amendments. I do not know whether he has given them to you.

The Deputy Chairman: I have copies, but could you just recite the section numbers in the order in which you wish to see amendments.

Mr Sterling: I have three amendments to section 1. The member for Hamilton West has an amendment to section 2. Each of us has amendments for sections 3 and 5. In fact, the member for Hamilton West has put forward four amendments to section 5. I have put forward one amendment. I have one amendment for section 6, one for section 10 and one for section 13.

The Deputy Chairman: Are there any other members who have amendments to put forward?

Mr Allen: I will send these down to the Clerk’s table. I have amendments to sections 2 and 3 and four amendments to section 5, which are the critical amendments that I think are essential to this bill, and I will send them down to you now.

Hon Mr Sorbara: I wonder whether the member for Hamilton West is going to provide us with copies of his amendments. We now have received the copies from the member for Carleton.

Section 1:

Mr Sterling: I just want to indicate that the very first amendment, as I originally gave it to you, Mr Chairman, was incorrectly drawn and I have replaced that particular amendment with another one. That is because of the change to the bill during the committee and it was an error on my part. I believe I have given that changed amendment to the member for Hamilton West and to the Minister of Labour.

Mr Sterling: I move that section I be amended as follows: that “‘employer’ means a person who employs one or more employees or who contracts for the services of one or more persons” be deleted and the following substituted therefor:

“‘employer’ means any person or persons who has control and responsibility for the workplace.”

The Deputy Chairman: Mr Sterling moves that section I be amended as follows: that “‘employer’ means a person who employs one or more employees -- dispense? Agreed.

Mr Sterling: Mr Chairman, were you following along the amendment? Although they dispensed with it, which is a normal procedure, I just wanted to make certain because there was a bit of confusion.

The Deputy Chairman: Let me then read it.

Mr Sterling: I think it would be wise.

The Deputy Chairman: Mr Sterling moves that section I be amended as follows: that “‘employer’ means a person who employs one or more employees or who contracts for the services of one or more persons” be deleted and the following substituted therefor:

“‘employer’ means any person or persons who has control and responsibility for the workplace.”

Mr Sterling: In April, the standing committee on social development considered Bill 194, An Act to restrict Smoking in Workplaces. Perhaps I could make some general comments at the beginning, so that people who might be interested in this debate would have some idea of the framework in which these particular amendments are put forward.

Bill 194 was introduced in this Legislature in November 1988 and received second reading in the Legislature, 2 March 1989. In addition to Bill 194, there have been other pieces of legislation put forward by various members of this Legislature dealing with controlling smoking in the workplace and public places, and with the sale of cigarettes or tobacco to minors. Legislation dealing with advertising of tobacco products has also been put forward in previous legislatures.

At the present time, we really have two pieces of legislation in front of the Legislature: Bill 194, the one we are debating this afternoon and for which I have put forward the first amendment, and Bill 157, a bill which I have sponsored and which would allow different municipalities across this province to make bylaws with regard to controlling smoking in the workplace and in public places.

I think it is important to note that there is a distinction with regard to making the two kinds of rules; that is, rules controlling smoking in the public forum, in public places and in the workplace. In our province we have about 60 municipalities which now have implemented bylaws to control smoking in public places. We have only three municipalities in Ontario that have made bylaws to control smoking in the workplace. The three municipalities that have made those bylaws are Toronto, Etobicoke and the town of Markham.


There are many other municipalities across this province that are poised to enter this field of legislation at this time. However, some of them have been waiting for the outcome of this Legislature’s decisions with regard to Bill 194. It is important that the context of that be placed, because Bill 194, while imposing some restrictions on the workplace -- or the minister alleges that it places some restrictions on the workplace; I would debate that particular point -- also permits a municipality to make bylaws in the future which would be more restrictive than this piece of legislation.

As members know, municipalities, under our constitutional domain in our province, are children of the provincial government. A municipality’s ability to make certain types of law depends upon provincial legislation. In each of the three cases I indicated before, Markham, Etobicoke and the city of Toronto, these particular municipalities have come forward to this Legislature and sought private legislation in order to gain the permission of this Legislature to go back to their council chambers and make bylaws controlling smoking in the workplace.

In the city of Toronto, over the past year we have experienced a regime of bylaws which are now in place across the city. Quite frankly, these particular bylaws are of much greater importance than Bill 194. I would argue, and I will be developing that argument over the course of the next few days or weeks, that this particular bill does nothing at all to protect the smoker in the workplace.

The bill which I introduced some time ago, Bill 157, gives to each and every municipality across the province the right to do what the city of Toronto has already done. It allows each municipality -- there are some 800 of them -- to set up its own regime of bylaws and therefore put forward more restrictive or meaningful laws to control smoking in the workplace. I put forward Bill 157 because he cities of Ottawa, Hamilton and Windsor, for instance, are considering this kind of legislation and I did not want to see the taxpayers in those particular municipalities having to go to the necessary expense of hiring legal counsel to draft the particular enabling legislation and come down here to Toronto; I did not want to see the Legislature of Ontario having to waste its time, with respect to each and every municipality, and essentially do the same thing which we have already done for Toronto, Etobicoke and Markham.

So Bill 157 is a general enabling piece of legislation to allow each and every municipality to make its own bylaws to control smoking in the workplace and also to control smoking in the public place. It clarifies the jurisdiction of the municipalities to make those kinds of laws. The standing committee on social development, to which that bill was referred in November 1988, has not in fact dealt with Bill 157 at this time.

Bill 157 is my second choice. I would have preferred to see the province, be it the Minister of Labour (Mr Sorbara) or the Minister of Health (Mrs Caplan) or any other minister, take an aggressive stance with regard to smoking in the workplace.

This particular piece of legislation, quite frankly, is a joke. Therefore, it is necessary for myself and I know my colleague the member for Hamilton West to attempt to make substantial amendments during this particular time in this debate.

I think it is important to note as well that in April when this committee was considering this legislation, it was not able to have the Minister of Labour with it due to illness on his part, and that was understood by the members of the committee. Unfortunately, at the very same time, the parliamentary assistant, who was handling that particular matter for the minister, could not even attend all of the hearings during that week, and in fact missed all of the 22 public presentations before the committee in April.

Therefore, when we came to the clause-by-clause consideration of Bill 194 in the social development committee, at that time we basically had a parliamentary assistant who had been with us for the ministry briefing on Monday afternoon, had missed all of the public input, came back into the process on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning not having had the opportunity to either view the tapes, because these particular proceedings were taped, or review the Hansard, as it had not been printed at that time, and therefore gave instruction, direction or whatever you might want to have it to the six Liberal members of the committee.

Therefore, I felt it was important that the Minister of Labour himself have the opportunity of hearing these amendments and perhaps give greater weight to them after considering some of the evidence which was put forward during those hearings.

In my view, Bill 194 is an attempt for the government of Ontario to create the impression in the public’s mind that something is being done about controlling smoking in the workplace. The complete failure of the legislation as it now stands reported from the committee was brought forward by some very substantial groups in the province.

We are talking about groups that do a tremendous amount of good for the people of Ontario. I am talking about groups like the Canadian Cancer Society, like the Canadian Lung Association, and other very substantial groups that know very much about these issues and are concerned about the very ill effects of both firsthand and secondhand smoke

On being questioned by opposition members during the hearings, they came to the conclusion that they would rather not have Bill 194 at all in its present state. They came to that conclusion because they have a concern which I believe is probably even greater than any other member of this Legislature could have with the health of the people of Ontario as it comes down on their associations, because the Canadian Cancer Society, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, the Ontario Lung Association and the Ontario Medical Association, which almost to a man in this province want some action taken in this part, have said this bill is not only not a step forward but is actually, in effect, a step backward.


There was evidence to that during the committee hearings. That is exactly what the evidence brought forward. Members will note that the last amendment I will be putting forward to section 13 in fact reflects my attitude and the attitude of many other groups that appeared in front of the committee towards this bill.

It is interesting to note what Bill 194 really does. Bill 194 puts all of the discretion, in the final case, in the hands of the employer to make the decision about where smoking and nonsmoking areas may or may not be. The employer has the final word. That means that if an employer is insensitive to the nonsmoking employees’ plight, he can, under this legislation, have a nonsmoker sitting at one desk and a smoker sitting immediately adjacent to him.

It is interesting that under Bill 194 we have created two classes of citizens in Ontario. The provincial government has decreed for each and every public servant in this province that he or she shall be guaranteed a smoke-free environment when he or she goes to work. Under this government, they have said that government offices shall be smoke-free.

It is interesting to note as well that this Legislature, I understand, will very soon become the first Legislature in Canada to be a smoke-free Legislative Building. I congratulate the Board of Internal Economy on making that particular decision, which I understand will take place on 30 June, so that we will not, in Ontario at least, have a double standard between what happens to our public servants and the politicians and their staff. There will be one rule and one rule for all.

I do also want to congratulate the New Democratic Party caucus, which I believe took a step with regard to banning smoking in its work area prior to any other caucus, including my own. I congratulate them on that particular move. Of course, all caucuses will have to become smoke-free on 30 June of this year.

But what we have done here is to say that if you are a public servant, you can go to work each day and you are guaranteed a spot where you can enjoy working and not be harmed by secondhand smoke. What we are saying under Bill 194 is that you may go to work and the fellow or woman next to you may be smoking a cigarette all day or part of the day.

Fortunately, most people are more considerate than that and that will not happen to a very great degree. But the problem is that when it does happen there has to be a right for that nonsmoker to be guaranteed that he or she may go to work each day and work in a clean environment, an environment which is set and away from smoking.

During the committee, we heard from many of the people who were presenting evidence the fact that the studies have now conclusively come to the conclusion that secondhand smoke is a hazard to people who inhale it. That, of course, was most succinctly put by the Surgeon General in the United States, Dr Koop, in 1986 when he said:

“Critics often express that more research is required, that certain studies are flawed, or that we should delay action until more conclusive proof is produced. As both a physician and a public health official, it is my judgement that the time for delay is past; measures to protect the public health are required now. The scientific case against involuntary smoking is a health risk is more than sufficient to justify appropriate remedial action, and the goal of any remedial action must be to protect the nonsmoker from environmental tobacco smoke.”

Dr Koop, of course, has been known as a leader in this particular area, and it is my hope that the Minister of Labour will see the error of his ways with regard to Bill 194 and will accept some substantial recommendations and amendments to this bill.

I might add that during the committee hearings there was very little difference between the support of my party and the NDP on this subject. I believe I was able to support all but one part of one amendment of the member for Hamilton West.

I want to indicate also that the groups that came before the committee over the two days during which we had hearings in April were absolutely livid with the government members and the Minister of Labour on their reluctance to accept meaningful amendments to this legislation. They did not come to the decision lightly when they stood together and called this bill a farce. This is what the Canadian Cancer Society is saying: “This bill is a farce.” The Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation is saying, “Bill 194 is a farce.” The Canadian Lung Association is saying, “Bill 194 is a farce.”

I do not believe these groups should be taken lightly. They do not, quite frankly, get involved in political debate very often, but the potential for the importance of this particular piece of legislation is immense.

Dr Goodyear, who is a physician from Hamilton, said to the committee that this bill could be the most important piece of preventive health legislation this government would ever undertake. I do not believe the Minister of Labour or the Minister of Health, who is not here with us today, understand the importance this bill could take with regard to the prevention of harm from secondhand smoking and the added benefit of encouraging many of our citizens to cease smoking or to seriously cut down on the amount of tobacco they inhale each day.

It has been shown that if smoking is banned in a particular workplace, for instance, 20 per cent of the workers will cease to smoke. It has been shown that the other 80 per cent will cut down substantially in terms of their intake of tobacco.


Every day, 35 to 40 people die in our province as a result of firsthand and secondhand smoke. If we ever had a disaster in this province where that many people perished in a particular day, it would be in the headlines of each and every newspaper across this province. It would be on the six o’clock television news, it would be on the 11 o’clock television news and it would be on the news the next day.

Last week we dealt with a particular problem which was escalated, it appears now, beyond and above really what it was proposed to be or supposed to be, according to the Minister of the Environment (Mr Bradley), who was tramping around this province up to Ottawa and holding out that there was a great environmental problem. We have a great environmental problem in this province of ours, and that relates to the whole issue of the use of tobacco.

It is interesting to note that the Minister of Health for this province has set a goal of reducing the number of addicted tobacco users from 30 per cent to 15 per cent of our population over the next 10 years, by the year 2000. I believe we could reach that goal much earlier if in fact Bill 194 became a meaningful piece of legislation.

As I have referred to earlier, Bill 194 is in fact the epitome of a piece of legislation which is an attempt by the government to say, “We’re doing something,” when in fact nothing is happening.

It is interesting to note the immediate reaction of the Canadian Tobacco Manufacturers Council, those people who are in a position to benefit from tobacco addiction. They immediately wrote to employers and personnel agents across this province and told them how to get around Bill 194. They said all you had to do was draw a line around a particular desk, and that line could actually move from time to time, depending upon where you wanted to make your smoking area in the future.

During the committee hearings we put forward a number of amendments which would restrict and allow an employer at least some semblance of right in this particular piece of legislation. For instance, I put forward an amendment whereby I wanted, at the very least, a smoke-free place or environment in our nursery schools and in our day care centres. It is interesting to note that the majority of the members for the Liberal party -- and they hold the majority in that particular committee, as they do in this Legislative Assembly -- voted that down.

They do not believe we should be more concerned with the inhalation of tobacco smoke by very young people. It is a medical fact that all of us who have been involved in this particular issue know: that young children in particular have a very difficult time taking on secondhand smoke as their bodies are not as strong as a full-grown adult and therefore it affects them to an even greater extent than it does adults.

Hon Mr Sorbara: What about in the home, Norm?

Mr Sterling: I hear across the floor, “What about in the home?”

Hon Mr Sorbara: That’s where children are really affected, aren’t they? That’s where they spend most of the time.

Mr Sterling: I would hope that a piece of legislation like this would encourage parents to recognize --

Hon Mr Sorbara: Why aren’t you moving an amendment including the home?

Mr Sterling: The Minister of Labour says he wants to control smoking in the home. He wants me to say that. Our party has always tried to be reasonable when we are entering the area of regulation. We wanted to control smoking in the workplace because we believe that if this government took a real, substantial stand on dealing with controlling smoking in the workplace, the message would get out to our public that the issue of secondhand smoke is a serious one, and that they would carry the attitude not only when they went to work, but they would carry it back home when they were with their children and when they were with their family.

However, we are not of such a draconian view that we should enter into trying to legislate what people do or do not do in their homes. I have a real problem, quite frankly, when I see people who smoke, particularly women when they are pregnant. I have a real problem when I see people who smoke around women when they are pregnant. I am not happy when I see that. Quite frankly, I comment on it from time to time when I see it because there is now significant medical evidence that those children are born smaller and usually have learning disabilities as a result of being born smaller.

Hon Mr Sorbara: From secondhand smoke?

Mr Sterling: From secondhand smoke, as well. The minister asks, “From secondhand smoke?” That is the problem that we have with this. I am not sure that the minister’s heart is really behind this particular piece of legislation.

Mr Mackenzie: Give us a bill that means something.

Mr Sterling: The member for Hamilton East says, “Give us a bill that means something.” That is exactly what we are after. We will be moving a number of amendments again to try to convince the minister that, in fact, he should do something on this.

I do not know whether the minister -- and I would like to ask him this and perhaps he would respond to me at some point in time -- has had an opportunity to review the tapes of those two days when all of the groups gave their evidence. I certainly hope he has.

Hon Mr Sorbara: I had a full briefing.

Mr Sterling: He has had a full briefing, but he has not reviewed the particular tapes. I wish the minister would sit down -- because I suspect that this bill is going to be dealt with more than just this afternoon -- and watch those particular tapes because the quality of witnesses was really quite substantial. Regarding the quality of the amendments and the arguments put forward, we probably could have saved time if the minister had listened to the tapes with regard to the arguments around all of the amendments which were put forward at that time.

The minister and I met, I must admit, and I thank him for the meeting prior to this particular bill coming up in the Legislature. I had hoped that he would consider some of the amendments which were put forward before, but I understand that that situation is such that he is not willing at this point in time to accept meaningful or substantial amendment to this particular bill.

Mr Harris: Surely you jest.

Mr Sterling: No, I hope he has seen the error of his ways and that he would, in fact, agree to make Bill 194 --

Mr Daigeler: Are you going to take him up on his offer?


Mr Sterling: I would take him up on his offer if he would come forward with something that was meaningful. The member for Nepean, who is a member of that committee and who voted against some of these amendments before, just asked me that. However, I am not really hopeful that we are going to get that far.

Members know that in our parliamentary system the opposition has several methods of trying to bring some reason to a minister’s head with regard to a legislation. One of them is putting forward meaningful and constructive amendments to legislation and the second is to delay the passage of the bill. I would like to see this bill go through in a quick manner if, in fact, the minister would be willing to accept the amendments, particularly with regard to section 3 of the bill.

I want to close these opening remarks with a quote from the World Health Organization with regard to its recognition of how bad smoking and tobacco addiction is to our general health. In 1975, it indicated, “Smoking-related diseases are such important causes of disability and premature death in developed countries that the control of cigarette smoking could do more to improve health and prolong life in these countries than any other single action in the whole field of preventive medicine.”

We heard from the throne speech, these past few weeks, that the Minister of Health was in fact going to take some meaningful steps with regard to preventive health care. If in fact Bill 194 was made meaningful and was meaningful legislation, I believe that would be the most significant step she could take with regard to preventive health care in this province.

I have put forward a specific amendment to section 1. During the committee hearings section I was amended to include a definition of “employer.” The present definition says “a person who employs one or more employees or who contracts for the services of one or more persons.” That is the definition put forward as an employer.

I felt the definition of “employer” should really mean the person who is in control of that particular workplace, the person who us actually there to make certain, if there is a nonsmoking area as defined by this bill -- he or she is the one who is ultimately responsible or partly responsible for making certain a nonsmoking area as provided, if in fact that was what had been agreed upon.

I changed the definition in this particular amendment. I put forward the amendment that “‘employer’ means any person or persons who have control and responsibility for the workplace.” This would include not only the situation which is already defined in the act, but also other people who have control over the workplace. I wanted to widen that definition, because there are situations where a person is in control of not only his own employees or the environment of his own employees, but is also in control of the office environment, the factory environment etc, of employees of other people.

I put forward this amendment in the hope that the person who actually has control of that particular workplace will, in fact, be subject to the sanctions of this particular legislation. That is my first amendment.

Mr Allen: Mr Chairman, I would like to make a few remarks also on the return of this piece of legislation to the Legislature and to committee of the whole House. While I do not wish as much latitude as you gave the previous speaker, none the less I beg your indulgence for just a few moments.

This legislation quite clearly has not won the support of those who perhaps are its best judges, those who are best equipped to test and measure it as a measure which will benefit workers in terms of health and safety questions in the workplace. It has not received the imprimatur, for example, of the Ontario Federation of Labour, which is perhaps the body that, in terms of workplace health and safety, has the most direct experience of any institution in this province and the backing of a great number of persons who are interested in this kind of legislation.

That organization has stated quite unequivocally that this piece of legislation is not worth supporting. It requests the government to take the legislation back to the drawing boards and to bring forward a more adequate bill that will deal directly, concretely and fully with the real nature of the threat that environmental tobacco smoke provides in the workplace and to do it in a much fairer and more adequate way.

If you look then at the other organizations which equally have lined up in opposition to this legislation, you find that they represent virtually all of those engaged in health research related to cancer, health disease and allergic problems that afflict individuals; namely, if I were simply to name a number of them, the Ontario Public Health Association, the Ontario Lung Association, the Canadian Cancer Society, the Canadian Council on Smoking and Health, the Ontario Medical Association committee on public health, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, the Hamilton Regional Cancer Centre in my own city and then a number of organizations that deal directly with this kind of issue such as Alcohol and Drug Concerns, the Committee of Concerned Tobacco Area Municipalities -- which spoke from another perspective, I must say -- the Non-Smokers’ Rights Association, Addiction Management Systems, the Smokers’ Freedom Society and the Student Movement Aimed at Restricting Tobacco.

All of those organizations, and some of them as coalitions include literally every single major health organization in this province, when they were questioned by myself and the member who just spoke, made it quite clear that if significant amendments were not forthcoming -- and they were not forthcoming -- to this legislation they could not support it. Worse than that, they said the bill would be worse than nothing at all.

The essential points they were making were perhaps twofold. First of all, this legislation is the first provincial legislation to come forward dealing with smoking in the workplace. In that respect, these organizations were hoping this administration would provide a piece of legislation that would be a substantial precedent for the other provinces across this country as they address this issue.


What they discovered, unfortunately, was a bill that was virtually empty. It started out with a strong assertion -- “There shall be no smoking in the workplace” -- but then went on to provide no effective means of preventing smoking in the workplace from happening and, second, getting to people who were nonsmokers in the workplace.

The core of the legislation is a series of essentially pious intentions of no effect which led many of those organizations, one of them in fact, simply to say this is essentially a smokers’ rights bill. Looked at from a certain perspective, one could see how they were making that argument.

The second reason why this bill is worse than nothing is that inasmuch as the government bias introduced it and then, of course, in the legislative process that we all go through here, invited comment, response and reaction, not just from community health agencies, but also from members of the opposition, it was necessary for the government members of the committee, in the course of debate, to reject specific proposals for making this a stronger bill, or for making it a bill that would be effective at all.

In the course of rejecting those arguments, the government in effect has weakened whatever momentum and argument was out there among employers and employees to actually seek substantial legislation, because the arguments at every turn undercut the only effective proposals that would make for an healthful, smoke-free environment in the workplace. By the very token, therefore, of their having introduced a weak bill, begged those arguments and then rejected them, the situation now is much worse out there than it would otherwise have been without the bill.

Addiction Management Systems, an organization which has worked, with 100 companies, through the process of attempting to help them with the problems of smoking in the workplace, to find consensus solutions and to develop a smoke-free and healthful working environment with respect to tobacco smoke said it is now confronted, in the wake of the introduction of this legislation, with a major case. A large company has now been forced to soften a set of strong, nonsmoking proposals, simply because this legislation that was forthcoming was so weak and provided no pressure whatsoever for movement in the proper direction in the workplace.

For some reasons, it is important to say, from the point of view of the health sciences, health services and those who are trying to construct healthful and smoke-free environments in the workplace, it would have been better if this bill had not been introduced at all in the form it was, if the government was not prepared to accept amendments.

The scale of the issue, the threat to health, is quite clear at this point in time in medical research. We know, in the first instance, that firsthand smoke is often not as dangerous as secondhand smoke. The analysis that has been made of secondhand smoke indicates that the burning is less complete and that because of the byproducts that are released into the atmosphere, into the air space of a workplace -- and frequently the quantity of smoke is more from smoke idling from cigarettes lying in ashtrays rather than from direct smoking -- the balance of the smoke-laden atmosphere in a workplace can be worse than the actual smoke that is inhaled by smokers themselves.

When one lists the health risks of firsthand smoke, one has to bear in mind that fact. But the first set of information one has to deal with, of course, is that it has now been conclusively established that tobacco smoking is the cause of at least 30 per cent of all cancers. Thirty percent of the heart disease deaths in Ontario in 1984 have been analysed and are attributed to this practice. Eighty per cent of lung cancer cases are attributable to smoking.

There is a tenfold increase in the risk of myocardial infarction as experienced in women who smoke and use oral contraceptives, a combination that is not at all uncommon. There is an 80 per cent or 90 per cent instance of chronic obstructive lung disease caused by smoking. Over half a million Canadians suffer from this particular problem and smokers are 70 per cent more likely to die than nonsmokers. Pregnant women who smoke have a high incidence of preterm deliveries and infants have lower birth weight.

Obviously, inasmuch as the smoking is much more consistent and direct in its impact on the direct smoker, those figures do not hold for the imbibing of secondhand smoke. But given that the elements of secondhand smoke are more serious in their consequences as carcinogens, there is at least some growing research which makes it quite plain that involuntary breathing of secondhand smoke is of a major health impact, such that the Canadian Labour Board and others at the labour end of things have labelled it a major health hazard. Studies such as Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke, issued by the environmental health directorate of the health protection branch in 1987, also make quite plain the impact, in particular upon women who are pregnant, of the involuntary inhaling of secondhand smoke.

The carcinogens are so serious in both aspects of smoking, firsthand and secondhand, that those who deal with the scale of threat make it quite plain that those carcinogens are among the most serious and deadly known to us in our investigations of environmental health problems. They are so difficult to erase in adequate quantity that ventilation experts make it quite plain, in turn, that in order to remove involuntary smoke as a risk in the workplace from those who imbibe it in a secondhand fashion -- let alone for those who imbibe it in secondhand fashion and smoke as well -- it would be necessary for the air exchange system to exchange the air at such a rate that there would have to be a virtual wind blowing through the workplace constantly. In fact, the load that would be put on any existing ventilation systems would be so great that they would break down.

Regarding the capacity to move to a safe level, I can certainly quote this at some length, if members want. I may do so a little bit later when we come to the actual provision relating to designated smoking areas. There are studies, for example, done in the United States by one of the experts in this field, J. L. Repace, PhD, who is a physicist and policy analyst at the US Environmental Protection Agency.

The studies make it quite plain that, in the first place, even if one ignores the fact that the carcinogens are of such a risk that there is no safe level for some of them, if you were to even attempt to move to anything that might be hypothetically close to a safe level, you simply could not find the ventilation system that either could do it or could be afforded in terms of the heating or cooling of air that would be necessary in winter or in summer.

The issues that we are dealing with here are obviously in some respects technically difficult and complex, but the simple message is quite clear: Unless you provide virtually a complete ban on smoking in the workplace and then provide separately ventilated workplaces as smoking stations or designated smoking areas, you are not going to be able to effectively assure working people that they are working in a healthy and safe environment as far as environmental tobacco smoke is concerned.


We will be coming, of course, to a number of amendments that will relate to various aspects of this bill, including the one the member has just recently introduced with regard to the definition of “employer.” I myself introduced a similar kind of amendment. I was not entirely unhappy with the one the government introduced as an amendment, but I do note that it is missing a certain component.

The amendment to the bill that was passed in committee reads, “‘employer’ means a person who employs one or more employees or who contracts for the services of one or more persons.” What that amendment unfortunately leaves to one side is the person who may have the direct control and responsibility for the workplace. The amendment includes no specific reference to responsibility for the workplace.

In that sense, given the complexity of hiring relationships in a given building where you might have several companies functioning under several different kinds of ownership, where the actual owners are sometimes at some distance but where there are others who are charged with responsibility for maintaining that workplace and have the direct control and responsibility, it seems appropriate in a piece of legislation like this not to allow it to get shuffled down and up the corporate ladder or the ladder of management responsibility, but to make it plain that it not only means those who are the ultimate employer but also those who have immediate control and responsibility of the workplace.

It is in that respect that I am certainly happy to support this amendment to the amendment that was made in committee and I look forward to going on through a number of other amendments as we attempt to make this bill a workable bill for the working people of Ontario. I must say that if this bill is not amended in any substantial form, it will certainly be impossible for this party to support it.

Hon Mr Sorbara: I have been listening as attentively as I can to the comments of both the member for Carleton (Mr Sterling) and the member for Hamilton West. I have to say that I am frankly disappointed, extremely disappointed, to hear my friends the member for Hamilton West and the member for Carleton say that they cannot see their way to supporting this bill.

Indeed I suspect, although I am not quite clear from the comments of the member for Carleton whether he hopes to whip his caucus into opposing this bill when it comes back out of this committee, it sounds to me like the official opposition is going to oppose it as it comes out of committee. If memory serves me, I think they supported the bill when it was debated in the House on second reading, and it would be a shame if the members of that party went on record as opposing the bill.

The reason is this: What we have here in Bill 194, An Act to restrict Smoking in Workplaces, is the most significant piece of legislation ever proposed in a jurisdiction to restrict people from smoking in workplaces; the most significant piece of legislation, which will have the effect my friend the member for Carleton wants to bring about, and that is the elimination of smoking anywhere in Ontario.

I applaud him for that objective, but the fact is that this legislation is designed to control and restrict smoking in the private workplace in Ontario. No other government has undertaken such far-sweeping measures, and I suggest to members of this committee that Ontario’s legislation will become a leader and a precedent as other provinces come to grips with the regulation of smoking in the private workplace.

My friend the member for Carleton will not even acknowledge that in this bill the basic minimum standard is that smoking shall be prohibited in the private workplace. He should read the bill. That is what it says. Then it says clearly that if the employer desires to verify --

Mr Wildman: In this case you are saying half a cigarette is better than the whole one.

Hon Mr Sorbara: The member from wherever he comes from simply will not listen. We on this side paid the courtesy to the member for Hamilton West of listening to what he had to say, so I will ask my friend just to bear with me for a few minutes while I explain the nature of the bill.

The minimum standard in this bill is as follows: that smoking shall be prohibited in the private enclosed workplace and that where an employer decides that he wishes to permit some degree of smoking, having consulted with his workers, with the workforce in that workplace, there may be a designation of up to 25 per cent of the enclosed workplace as an area where smoking may he permitted. That is the minimum standard.

In the Ministry of Labour, we are in the business of providing minimum standards. The fact is that from that minimum standard we fully expect that perhaps the majority of workplaces will simply ban smoking altogether, so the problem of secondhand smoke will not even arise, just as we have minimum standards with respect to wages in the province but that does not mean we expect that everyone simply be paid the minimum wage. We are setting standards, and in setting these standards we are taking probably the most dramatic step ever taken in Ontario to deal with the question of people smoking in public places or workplaces, private or public.

Members opposite should have a look at what has gone on over the past 15 or 20 years. It was the case just a few years ago that people routinely smoked in the loges of movie theatres; it was the case that people routinely smoked when they stood in line to see and visit a bank teller; it was the case that people routinely smoked in supermarkets, and it was the case that people routinely smoked in a wide variety of places. Bit by bit, we have seen a very dramatic change in our culture.

The business of passing laws is the business of moving that process along, so that we have seen, for example. municipality after municipality regulate more effectively smoking in public places. We see it fairly effectively regulated. This bill, by the way, makes it clear that municipalities that choose to take steps for the regulation of smoking within their municipalities continue to be free to do so.

Notwithstanding that we have dealt with movie theatres and other public places, the government has seen fit to say that in the private workplace, in which after all so many of us spend so much of our time, it is appropriate to set a new standard, to create a system where the rights of the individuals who do not smoke are respected as well. We have done that in this bill, and in doing so, we move the yardstick along in a very significant way.

That is why I am so terribly distressed to see the member of this Legislature who has taken this crusade most effectively to the public in this province put himself on record as opposing this bill if it is not amended. I hope the bill will pass; I am sure the bill will eventually pass. The fact is that when it is passed, when it is in place, we will see the changing dynamic of smoking in this province continue apace, achieving many of the objectives that I know my friend the member for Carleton would support.

I would like him, as he argues for his other amendments, to point out to this House and to the members of this House what jurisdictions have moved with legislation on a province-wide, a nation-wide or a state-wide basis to restrict as effectively as Bill 194 restricts the extent to which smoking will take place in private workplaces.


I am a little bit afraid that my friend the member for Carleton, particularly when I see the final amendment that he is proposing, is not taking this subject seriously enough. I know from his crusades that he is serious on this subject. He would like to go very significantly further; I know he would like to see the virtual elimination of smoking right throughout the province.

We have talked on this and we have had our discussions, and I think his objective of improving the overall health and wellbeing of people in this province is an admirable one. I think the objective of what he suggests to me privately, that we could save some lives -- and I do rot know how many thousands of lives -- if we simply eliminated smoking entirely from private workplaces, public workplaces, all workplaces and residences, is a lawful objective. He carries that crusade probably as vigilantly and with as much force as he carried his crusade against the extension of funding to Catholic secondary schools: because he believes in it.

But my responsibility, as Minister of Labour, is not to bring about a virtual ban on smoking in Ontario. That will be perhaps for consideration for another day, at another time, by another Parliament. My obligation, as Minister of Labour, is to propose in this Parliament effective means of regulating the private workplace, whether it is in the area of minimum wages, health and safety standards, appropriate systems of compensation, or appropriate systems for doing a wide variety of things that people in the private sector look to government to do in respect of our workplaces.

This is what this bill does. It sets a new standard; a standard that says, as I mentioned earlier, that smoking shall be prohibited in the private workplace.

Let us look at the experience that we already see in the absence of a statutory provision where workers and employers have asked themselves the question as to regulation of smoking in the workplace. For example, I think of a visit I recently made to the Ottawa Citizen in our nation’s capital. As I approached the building to spend half an hour with the editorial board, I saw a sign on the front of the building announcing to all and sundry who entered the building, “This is a smoke-free workplace.”

What had happened there? The workforce, through their union representatives, had entered into discussions with the employer, had raised the issue at the table, and they had worked it out. Over the course of several months they discussed it.

Mr Mackenzie: Unions are always ahead of you.

Hon Mr Sorbara: I tell my friend the member for Hamilton East that actually in this case it was the employer that first raised the issue and asked the unions to come to the table and work out a specific regime. Indeed, perhaps, I tell the member that they may be way ahead of me, but in this case the government’s action really represents true leadership.

What happened at the Ottawa Citizen, I tell the member for Hamilton East, is that they sat down at the table and asked themselves a few very tough questions. But it got down to this: “Shall we have areas which are designated, or shall we completely eliminate smoking from this workplace?” The decision was made, in that case, to create a smoke-free workplace.

There are dozens and dozens of businesses that are taking those steps. What is new about Bill 194 is that it will require, I tell my friend the member for Nipissing (Mr Harris) as he nods off, every employer in the province to ask itself this question. And they can solve it simply. They can just say, “We are not designating here.” That is what the Ontario public service has done, in anticipation of this legislation. It has said, “As far as the Ontario public service is concerned, as an employer we will go the full route. We will simply not designate areas where smoking is prohibited.”

That is perfectly all right. There have been some rough edges for those who smoke to get over, but the employer in this case has offered the workforce the opportunity to participate in cessation programs and has prepared an implementation strategy, and by and large, it has gone rather well.

As I said at the beginning of my remarks, I am disappointed that the member for Carleton, in particular, who I know is very serious about this issue, would not see fit to encourage the speedy consideration of this bill in committee of the whole House so that it could receive third-reading consideration and then be proclaimed into law. The bill has a commencement date in it of July 1, and I hope this bill can be considered speedily here and be sent back to the House and given third reading.

I look forward to the comments the other members will be making as other amendments are proposed. For my part, I am delighted that the government has been able to bring this legislation forward, and as I said, I hope we can deal with it as quickly as possible.

Mr Daigeler: I just would like to make a few comments, if it is permitted.

The Deputy Chairman: I did not note the House leader for the third party, the member for Nipissing.

Mr Harris: I will be very brief. I was trying, as I listened to the minister’s diatribe, to understand his logic, whether he was arguing for or against the amendment. As I understand it, we are dealing with an amendment that amends section I in the definition of “employer.” This is a fairly lengthy piece of legislation, as I see the number of amendments before us. I suggest to the minister that if we are going to get through it before the summer, as he wishes, we might want to deal with the amendments in a rather serious way.

I would be interested in hearing from the minister if there is some reason why the amendment to redefine the definition of “employer” as moved by the member for Carleton is unacceptable to him. If it is acceptable to him, I suggest the fact that the minister did not even refer to the amendment in his comments suggests to me, as has been mentioned by the member for Carleton, that he does have his blinkers on when it comes to this legislation, that indeed the minister’s heart is not in this particular piece of legislation. The suggestion that has been made by a number of people is that the wrong minister or ministry, or both, is carrying forth this legislation.

I think it really is something important, particularly to the health field. Before I prepare to vote on this particular amendment, I would like to hear from the minister what it is --

Hon Mr Sorbara: Why don’t you sit down?

Mr Harris: The minister says “Why don’t you sit down?” I listened to 15 minutes of the minister’s comments, supposedly dealing with this amendment. I think it is important that I get an understanding, as an interested committee member, of what indeed is the problem with the proposed amendment to the definition of “employer.”

Hon Mr Sorbara: I think the member for Nipissing raises a good question. I did not hear my friend the member for Carleton speak to his amendment directly, but I want to answer the question raised by the member for Nipissing. The answer is simple. The definition in the bill as presented is the mirror image of the definition of “employer” in the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

For the purposes of enforcement it is probably preferable to maintain that symmetry in that because there is reference in this bill to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and it will be enforced through the same mechanism. “Employer” as defined in the Occupational Health and Safety Act has been useful and appropriate for 10 years under that act and we feel we should continue, particularly to avoid confusion. We would not want a situation where an individual feels he is an employer for the purposes of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, but not an employer for Bill 194.

There are some other problems with the definition as proposed by the member for Carleton, including the suggestion in his definition that an employer should be “any person or persons who has control and responsibility for the workplace.” Members will know there are a number of occasions where individuals who are workers have control and responsibility from time to time for the workplace. Members would not want to saddle that individual with the responsibility of the employer as contemplated under the bill and certainly not as contemplated under the amendments as proposed by the member for Carleton.

So there are serious problems with this definition, not the least of which is that under the bill the employer is subject to fines of some $25,000, whereas the worker is subject to fines of some $500. If a worker is, for the time being, a person who has control of the workplace, he could magically go from someone who is subject to a $500 fine to someone who is subject to a $25,000 fine, simply by virtue of the fact that he has been given, as the definition proposed by the member for Carleton suggests, control or responsibility for the workplace. So the definition is somewhat defective.

On motion by Hon Mr Sorbara, the committee of the whole reported progress on one bill and one bill with a certain amendment.

The House adjourned at 1803.