34th Parliament, 2nd Session













































The House met at 1330.




Mr Allen: Today is budget day in Ontario. It is the day we prioritize in material terms who gets what in the household of the provincial economy. It is a day in which we state publicly the value we place upon the many participants in our common life. There has been in recent months a great outpouring of concern, an outcry from all sides that we can no longer tolerate the enormity of hunger, homelessness, and especially child poverty in this wealthy province.

The unprecedented coalition, the marches, the rally and the media coverage of the campaign against poverty have called on the government to make stamping out poverty in all its forms the first business of the province and of this Legislature: 360,000 poor children are 360,000 poor children too many.

There is hardly a ministry of this government for which poverty is not a major cost. Business, labour, religious leaders, educators, social workers and poverty groups alike agree on the economic losses, the social costs and the moral decay the old and the new poverty entail.

There is a plan, the Social Assistance Review Committee report, and the throne speech declared an intent to invest “in the future of our children.” Today, the people of Ontario demand nothing less from the province than the $200 million necessary for the first stage of the Social Assistance Review Committee’s attack on poverty. Nothing less will do.

We reject in advance any deferral of action based on federal inaction or the federal budget. The question is simply whether or not all our citizens go forward as equal partners in this great province. Today, this Liberal government will give its answer to that fundamental question.


Mr McLean: My statement is directed to the Minister of the Environment. He recently announced that his ministry was aware for quite some time that United States companies were mixing toxic coolants and lubricants with diesel or heating oil to avoid the high cost of legitimate disposal methods. He also admitted his ministry’s investigators suspected toxic waste was being mixed with waste crankcase oil from the US. That was distinct for Ontario.

These toxic chemicals, like polychlorinated biphenyls, produce toxic emissions like furans and dioxins when burned in normal combustion engines of cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles and boats. There are certainly a lot of these vehicles in Ontario.

It frightens me that his ministry’s poor communications, lack of attention, inactivity and outright bungling have put the people of this province at risk. What about people like me who use furnace oil to heat their homes, people like me who have grandchildren living in furnace-oil-heated homes? The minister has put our grandchildren’s health at risk.

One simply cannot believe he is protecting and preserving our environment, and more important, the people of Ontario. The minister is not right in his statements and yesterday the Premier (Mr Peterson) backed up what he has done. They are both wrong.


Mr McGuigan: We are approaching the Victoria Day weekend, known among young peer groups as May Two-Four weekend, the unofficial beginning of summer. May Two-Four has long been marked with rowdyism and vandalism at provincial parks in many areas of the southwest. The noise and trouble have risked turning many, especially family and senior campers, away from the parks.

Ontario’s provincial parks have an excellent reputation in the province. Campers from our neighbouring provinces and states and many from Europe and elsewhere speak very highly of the network. It is because of this reputation and because of the economic, environmental and natural value of maintaining a healthy provincial parks system that I commend the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr Kerrio) for his decision last year and again this year to place a 10-day alcohol ban on two provincial parks in Essex-Kent.

From 12 May to 22 May, Wheatley Provincial Park and Rondeau Provincial Park patrons will be spared the hazards of alcohol-induced camper rowdyism. The move was very successful in 1988. It is unfortunate this type of ban must be put in place, but I am sure responsible campers will not be impaired by the enforcement.


Mr Wildman: The federal Conservatives have used the creation of the new Department of Forestry as a diversion to mask the fact that the federal government is making severe cuts in the federal financial contribution to forest regeneration across Canada and in Ontario. The Honourable Frank Oberle has admitted that as part of the federal budget cuts, the Tories are reducing the federal share of the federal-provincial forest resource development agreements.

The Mulroney government has cut $28 million from forestry expenditures this year. The Canada-Ontario forest resource development agreement ran out on 31 March, but it will apparently be extended, with these cuts in funding, for one more year while negotiations for new agreements take place. The federal Tory cutbacks on forest spending, combined with the cutbacks by the provincial Liberal government as part of the so-called “emerging vision for the 1990s” of the Ministry of Natural Resources, are occurring despite the fact some sawmills are already facing timber shortages.

There is a huge backlog of unregenerated cutover lands and these cutbacks mean much of them will remain unplanted. This will mean less timber for the mills in Ontario and increased unemployment across northern Ontario. Both governments, federal and provincial, must commit increased funding for forest management. These cutbacks threaten the future economic viability of the lumber and pulp and paper industries and the communities dependent upon them for jobs.


Mr Pollock: Over 92 years ago, at Squire’s Hall in Stoney Creek, the first Women’s Institute meeting was held. Adelaide Hoodless was instrumental in forming the first organization. The Department of Agriculture’s support of this new organization was only natural, given the fact it was aimed at rural women and the express purpose was for the betterment of rural home life.

This was clearly laid out at the second meeting of the organization when it adopted as its objectives the following:

“To promote the knowledge of household science which shall lead to improvements in house construction with special attention to home sanitation, to a better understanding of the economic and hygienic values of foods and fuels and to a more scientific care of children with a view of raising the general standards of the health of our people.”

The Women’s Institute offers scholarships for continued education, sponsors family nights, works with and promotes 4-H clubs and offers prizes for various competitions.

During both world wars and the Korean conflict, the Women’s Institutes lent their support to all members for the improved comfort and aid of our servicemen and women. In 1902, the motto “For home and country” was selected and since then has been universally adopted.

Would all members of this assembly please join with me in welcoming the Wellman’s Women’s Institute, situated in the west gallery.



Mr McGuinty: I wish to express concern about the tragic situation in Lebanon: the systematic bombardment of some districts of Beirut with attacks on civilian targets – hospitals, schools, food depots and power stations; hundreds of innocent victims -- children, the elderly; the population deprived of essential needs.

My Lebanese constituents have expressed their anxiety over the fate of their families still there and of their homeland, where one of the most vicious civil wars in this century has raged for 14 years, with people living under gun law and political violence, entire villages destroyed, thousands homeless and 150,000 people, mainly civilians, killed.

Aware of the complexity of this matter, we implore our Prime Minister to promote a new effort at reconciliation and to come to the help of the victims of this war. The Lebanese people were founding members of the United Nations. They deserve international assistance. They have a right to security and peace. At this tragic hour of its history, Lebanon must not be left alone, forgotten.

We must not be indifferent to the plea of the Lebanese people. Their sufferings should be our concern. Their plight is ours. The rights of all are diminished when the rights of any are violated.

There is a consistent ethic with regard to respect for all human life: a seamless garment; it is all of one piece. The basic qualification to be concerned about the plight of the Lebanese people is that one be a member of the human race.


Mr Farnan: I have a brief message for the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology (Mr Kwinter) from the small businesses of the Golden Triangle.

The minister has a group of backbench MPPs who are organizing small business workshops around the province. The Golden Triangle is the fastest-growing region of this entire province. Of the seven workshops that have been organized, not one of them is in the Golden Triangle.

What good is it to the people of Kitchener and Waterloo to have a Liberal cabinet member and a couple of Liberal backbenchers if the Liberal government will not recognize the expansion of small business within the Golden Triangle?

The second message from small business is to the Treasurer (Mr R. F. Nixon). Small business is saying to him, “Cut out these corporate welfare giveaways with direct grants and put the money into small business tax incentives.”



Mr Charlton: I have a question for the Minister of Energy. The minister will be aware that Ontario Hydro is proceeding with plans to produce about 2,100 megawatts of hydroelectric power in the Moose River drainage basin. He will know that this drainage basin contains about 58 potential sites for small hydraulic development. However, Ontario Hydro has proceeded to designate 14 of those sites as its preferred sites and is presently circulating a proposal in the Ministry of Natural Resources.

To date, there has been absolutely no public consultation on their proposed development of the Moose River drainage basin over the next 30 years. Can the minister tell us why there has been no public consultation in the area?

Hon Mr Wong: The government is very interested in making sure that we encourage small hydraulic development in Ontario. It is one of our priorities. We have many demand management and private sector generation initiatives that this government would like to initiate, along with Ontario Hydro. Then, of course, there are the supply-side options.

In answer to the honourable member’s question, let me say that this is perhaps one of a number of such situations where we have to try to streamline the process. I would like to inform the honourable member that we are in the process of developing a parallel generation policy paper, which I hope will address questions like the one the honourable member has raised.

Mr Charlton: The Ministry of Energy is not the only one that is interested in seeing large numbers of small hydraulic developments in Ontario. Include this caucus and this member. On the other hand, we are more interested in seeing the ministry do it correctly.

We have residents in the Moose River drainage basin, and more specifically, we have native peoples living in the drainage basin. Through two sets of select committee hearings, Ontario Hydro has assured the select committee that the social and cultural impacts of its proposals will be taken into account in the planning process. How can those social and cultural aspects be taken into account when they have already eliminated 44 potential sites in the basin and chosen their preferred 14 sites without any social or cultural input?

The Speaker: Order. The question has been asked.

Hon Mr Wong: As I indicated in my previous answer, what we in the government are trying to do is to improve the process. We want to streamline it. Energy and electricity are extremely profound in their importance to this province. We have to make sure, from energy, economic, social and environmental considerations, that we find the right mechanism so that we can respond and react effectively.

Mr Pouliot: Surely the minister will be aware that what is being proposed by Ontario Hydro will, at a minimum, affect the way people live up north. For instance, it will for ever change their wildlife and crucial and vital fish habitats. This is what Alex Spence, who is the chairman of the Mushkegowuk council, says about Ontario Hydro’s proposals, “There certainly will be a great impact. Our traditional way of life will indeed be jeopardized. Most people are not aware of this. None of the native organizations in the area have received any detailed information, and nobody has approached us for any talks or consultation.” Therefore, the question is simple: Should native people be consulted in the planning and development stages?

Hon Mr Wong: I wish to assure the honourable member that in addition to all of the energy and economic factors, the livelihood and well-being of the native peoples and the peoples in that area and region are certainly important, not only to Ontario Hydro but to the government of Ontario. I assure the honourable member I will take another look at the situation and keep the honourable members informed.

The Speaker: New question, the member for Etobicoke-Lakeshore.

Mrs Grier: My question is for the Minister of the Environment (Mr Bradley), who is expected, I understand, so I would like to stand down my question, with your permission.

The Speaker: Is there agreement to stand down the question?

Agreed to.


Mr Sterling: I have a question of the Minister of Natural Resources. Under the minister’s proposed policy statement on wetlands, he recognizes provincially significant wetlands by category, from one to seven.

According to this document, a wetland is important if it “contains habitats of critical importance to fish and wildlife population and/or have an essential hydrological role in the watershed and/or have a significant social or economic benefit.” What is the minister doing now, before this particular policy paper is accepted and comes under the Planning Act, to protect class 1 and class 2 wetlands in our province?

Hon Mr Kerrio: I feel very pleased that one of the first initiatives I took as a minister was to speed up the whole process of identifying important wetlands across the province. I inherited a plan that was going to take five years, minimally, to identify the wetlands. That has been speeded up by half, and I am pleased to say that the survey that we have made and the identification process is moving a step forward in identifying them. The planning and the protection of those wetlands is now a very high priority.


Mr Sterling: In spite of the fact that I did not get any response as to what the minister is going to do now, I want to point out to him that in the township of West Carleton, near Ottawa, a developer has recently filled in part of Constance Creek, which according to his ministry is a class 1 wetland. The developer intends to use this area as part of a golf course.

One of the purposes of the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act is to provide for the use, management and perpetuation of the fish, wildlife and other natural resources dependent on such waters. The minister now has wide powers under section 10 of that act to make an order to remove this fill and hold an inquiry into this matter. Is he willing to take this step to preserve class 1 wetlands?

Hon Mr Kerrio: There have been many initiatives taken already, and I think one of the major initiatives is that we, together with Ducks Unlimited, have put a considerable sum of money into acquiring great acreages of wetland.

I am not sure that in the short term the government could acquire all the wetlands that are so designated. We are doing everything we can to protect them, but in fact there is going to be movement, by agricultural needs and other needs from time to time, that impacts on our wetlands.

We are working together with the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr Riddell) and all other interested parties, and particularly with those people who are very willing to share some of the costs of the acquisition.

I would be very interested in examining the specific case that the member talks about and reporting back to him on what we might be able to do on that one.

Mr Sterling: We have heard in two answers now that the minister’s heart is in the right place. What I am asking him is whether or not he is willing to take some action.

Evidently this developer has filled in these wetlands but now is seeking a zoning change from the township in order to build the golf course where he has filled in. Since the minister’s own official has been quoted as saying that this is only the tip of the iceberg in the Constance Creek area and that other development will take place, I want the minister to tell the people who are concerned about the preservation of class 1 and 2 wetlands, let alone the other class, what is he willing to do in real action? Is he really willing to do something?

Hon Mr Kerrio: It is very obvious that the member was not listening when I told him that we have taken considerable action. We have put considerable taxpayers’ money into programs to buy, to acquire wetlands. We are also designating important areas that have to be protected. We are working with groups that come forward with funding to help us acquire these wetlands. We are in fact very much involved.

The member is questioning a specific area. I have told him that I am prepared to look at that specific area, but I shall not accept the comment he is making that we are not doing something about acquiring wetlands, because we are doing that very thing, and in huge numbers. We are acquiring wetlands; that is the action.


Mr Cousens: I have a question for the Minister of Transportation in regard to a subject on which I have risen in this House on a number of occasions, a question that is on the minds of thousands of people in Metropolitan Toronto and the greater Toronto area, where they feel there is a crisis now in transportation.

The minister will be aware, I am sure, of a series of articles that have recently appeared in one of the Toronto papers, indicating that it has reached a crisis situation. When is the minister going to reveal his master plan for transportation in Metro and the greater Toronto area?

Hon Mr Fulton: I appreciate my friend’s question. He will be aware that last 24 or 25 May we announced Transportation Directions for the Greater Toronto Area, wherein we outlined through a very lengthy consultative process with Metro and the other three regions, involving all of the transit operations and GO Transit as well, quite a number of initiatives that we were embarking upon. Many of them are under construction and many of which will be under construction, flowing from that document. I would be happy to share some of those projects with my colleague.

Mr Cousens: The minister does confirm that we have had numerous studies on what really needs to be done with transportation. He did have Transportation Directions for the Greater Toronto Area; he has had Network 2011. Now he has reported another study on which he has spent something like $800,000 to see what steps should be taken immediately to resolve the transportation crisis in Metro Toronto.

It is obvious that the need to solve this crisis has been identified. When can the people in Metro and the greater Toronto area expect some action? Studies are an excuse for inaction. When are we going to get specific action to solve this crisis?

Hon Mr Fulton: I would remind my friend the member for Markham of the number of projects that are currently under construction in the four regions: Rutherford- 16th Avenue in the region of York; White’s Road in Durham; Finch Avenue in northwest Toronto, and Eglinton Avenue in Peel. We opened, for Ministry of Revenue service, the GO train extension to Whitby last December. We have announced many service improvements with respect to the Richmond Hill line, the Milton line, added capacities on the east and west Lakeshore lines, added trains, new stations and new parking lots.

We started Highway 407 in July 1987, as the member is aware. We have an ongoing project with Highway 404. We are working closely with the region of Durham on Steeles Avenue-Taunton Road, a major east-west connection planned to start next year. We are working, as I mentioned, on Highway 407, on Highway 410 and on continued expansions on Highway 401. I think that is a pretty good start in one year.

Mr Cousens: We are dealing with an issue that is far greater than the projects the minister has just reviewed, especially when we realize that provincial road subsidies have been frozen at the 1988 levels despite the fact that traffic in Metro Toronto, with its ageing roads, is growing by about four per cent a year and yet the government has frozen it.

The Ministry of Transportation got roughly one third of the provincial budget back in 1955. Now it gets about one twentieth. Today it might be even one twenty-fifth. Who knows? During the past 25 years, vehicle registration in the province has risen by 72 per cent and highway use by 53 per cent. At the same time, the portion of the budget going to the Ministry of Transportation has been trimmed from 13.5 per cent to just over 5 per cent.

The Speaker: And the question?

Mr Cousens: These are common facts. These are the problems. Everyone knows the problems, except the minister --

The Speaker: All right. Thank you.

Hon Mr Fulton: I think the number of projects that are under way in actual physical construction and those that are in the planning stages are a pretty good indication of this ministry’s and this government’s recognition of some of the issues.

If the member wants to compare dollars, he should compare apples with apples: the share of the budget in a day when things like the environment, skills development and colleges and universities were not even considered by the previous government.

I would recall to the member that in 1972 a grand master plan was put forward by one of my predecessors, and the member’s colleague, which was subsequently abandoned. I would remind the member of the cancellation of the GO advanced light rail transit system in 1985 before we took office. His government cancelled that with no follow-upon any single expansion in this province.



Mr Allen: I have a question for the Minister of Community and Social Services with respect to the special services at home program for developmentally handicapped children, which serves some 5,500 children across this province.

Last year, the minister will remember, his ministry reduced the services per family available to the families involved. This year, it appears there is a policy paper circulating in his ministry, dated 11 January 1989, under the heading “Program Mandate Transition,” which is to be phased in by September and which proposes to divert half the dollars now going to support services for families to a ministry agency that would advise how to find resources in the community rather than get them from his ministry.

Will the minister tell us whether this drastic shift in policy is in fact the direction he is going in, and if not, what his plans are for the special services at home program?

Hon Mr Sweeney: I believe that the honourable member knows that there has been a significant expansion of that program, from serving 3,000 families to close to 8,000, and a budget of about $4 million to $5 million, up to around about $14 or $15 million, I think. So it is not really appropriate to say that we have not been enhancing the program.

With respect to his question, we are looking at a number of ways in which we can more effectively use the resources that are available. What he described is certainly being looked at. I would not say to him, however, that that is what we are finally going to do.

We want to expand, as the member knows, into the field to help physically disabled children and developmentally handicapped adults as well. That is going to require even more resources, and we have to find the most effective way to use those resources for all of those groups.

Mr Allen: I think what we do know is that to institutionalize those same children would cost $250 a day, or $100 a day in a group home, as distinct from $27 a day, the maximum expenditure his ministry allows in the special services at home program.

What the minister’s proposal in this document would do is remove a whole series of support programs and equipment available to those families, reduce the hours of service dramatically and expand by fivefold the number of his ministry-paid staff to help these poor folk run around the community trying to find where on earth they can pick up the dollars, the services, etc, to put together a package for their child.

Surely, in essence, if the minister goes in that direction, is that not a policy of abandonment, throwing the families to the limit of resources of already overstressed and financially underresourced community groups?

Hon Mr Sweeney: I would not agree for two reasons. First, one of the things that the families are telling us is that while we provide the resources for them to go and get the services, they are having some difficulty in accessing several different services simultaneously. They are saying, “Would you please provide us with some additional human resources to help us link together and co-ordinate that range of services?” Obviously, the families are saying, “We need that kind of help.” If we are prepared to move in that direction, I think that is appropriate.

The second thing I think we have to take a look at is that if we have a sum of resources that we are prepared to allocate to this program, it seems to make more sense to us that we ask families to access other resources that are already available in the community and use our resources for those kinds of things that are not readily available. That way, instead of serving only 3,000 families, we can serve 7,000 to 8,000 families and even more. To me, that seems to make more sense.

The Speaker: The member for Etobicoke-Lakeshore (Mrs Grier) wished to ask her question when the Minister of the Environment (Mr Bradley) arrived. He has arrived. You might like to place your question now.


Mrs Grier: Several months ago, I asked the Minister of the Environment to designate under the Environmental Assessment Act an area of the waterfront in my riding where massive high-rise development and extensive lake filling to create roads and parks are planned.

The minister referred my request to the Environmental Assessment Advisory Committee for its recommendation. Last November, the committee recommended to the minister:

“The current approvals process does not ensure that environmental impacts associated with lake-fill quality and design will be adequately addressed. These inadequacies should be addressed through the application of the Environmental Assessment Act to shoreline redevelopment activities.”

Can the minister explain why he rejected the advice of that committee and has refused to designate the shoreline under the Environmental Assessment Act?

Hon Mr Bradley: The fact is that the member did raise this as a matter of interest in her constituency. There were a lot of people within her constituency and within her municipality who had views to express on this particular subject. We took into consideration all of the information which was provided, including that of the Environmental Assessment Advisory Committee, and a number of departments of government were made aware of the specific concerns members such as the member for Etobicoke-Lakeshore and others had expressed.

As a result, we have developed a mechanism, with the agreement of the municipality, whereby we will be addressing the environmental issues that are there. We hope the plan which is ultimately developed will take into account the kind of environmental concerns the member has mentioned.

I certainly congratulate the environmental assessment committee and the member herself and others who indicated certain things that should be done to ensure that the development is in keeping with the area and that it is an environmentally desirable development. That is what we have attempted to do through the mechanism we have developed.

Mrs Grier: I am surprised that the minister can keep a straight face as he gives that answer. He knows perfectly well that the mechanism he has devised, an environmental management master plan, is something that nobody has ever heard of before, for which there are no established criteria and, more particularly, no process by which there can be any public participation in the review of the environmental concerns.

The issue has much broader ramifications than merely for my own riding. It concerns extensive quantities of lake fill, and as recently as last week the city council of Toronto recommended that the minister undertake environmental assessments of lake-fill programs everywhere in Ontario.

Can this minister, who received such glowing testimonials from his colleagues as recently as last week, explain --


The Speaker: Order.

Mrs Grier: He needs all the testimonials he can get from his friends, because he is not getting many from the public.

Can the minister explain why, in this very important situation on the waterfront of Metropolitan Toronto, where the sediments are as contaminated as anywhere on the Great Lakes, he has refused to designate this area under the Environmental Assessment Act?

Hon Mr Bradley: While the member for Etobicoke-Lakeshore represents one of the opinions expressed in this matter, it is not the only opinion which has been expressed. I think she would concede that.

Mr Reville: The developer had a stronger one, eh?

Hon Mr Bradley: Of course, being a former municipal councillor, the member for Riverdale will know that the municipal council itself has in fact strongly recommended this particular plan.

When we have the locally elected council indicating that it is prepared to co-operate in whatever way the provincial government deems appropriate in terms of declaring a provincial interest, then I think we have made some significant progress. We have ensured that the redevelopment will include advanced environmental measures, and I think the member would agree that that is important: such things as storm water runoff, which I know she is extremely interested in, storm sewers, better infrastructures along these than exist anywhere in Ontario --

The Speaker: Thank you.

Mrs Grier: The minister is quite right. There certainly were a number of opposing opinions about whether the area should be designated. The city did not want to designate it and neither did the major developer in the area, which happens to be Camrost Developments Ltd, a corporation of which one Marco Muzzo is the vice-president and a corporation that gave over $100,000 to the Liberal Party in the last provincial election.

Can the minister tell the House whether he was aware of the involvement of Camrost? Did he meet or listen to the representations of Camrost? Why has he chosen to protect the developers over the environment?


Hon Mr Bradley: I understand the member’s concern about this, and she has been consistent along these lines for some time; she has certainly been that. I understand that she knows her riding and represents a certain point of view in there and I accept that. But the suggestions she has made are really without any foundation. Really, we worked hard with all of the departments of government to make this a quality development in terms of the environment. It is not as though the local municipality is not an elected group. It is an elected group and it does represent a number of people in that area.

I know that when it suits certain members of the opposition from time to time, they invoke the viewpoints of the local municipality and say: “Why are you not listening to the local municipality? You people are being arrogant and why do you not give some autonomy?” Then when it does not suit the purpose of some members of the Legislature, they say, “Of course, you should be ignoring the local municipality and doing what you see fit.”

We have built in more environmental components to this particular development than any that I can think of in Ontario.


Mr Villeneuve: To the Minister of Skills Development: The minister might be aware that parts of eastern Ontario have a youth unemployment rate of well over 13 per cent. This happens to be Tourism Awareness Week. Many eastern Ontario businesses that will not be able to hire young people are in exactly that business.

We have letters from Pembroke Heritage Inn, from the Deep River area, from Timberland campground in Renfrew, from Nangor resort in Westmeath, the Mayflower in Barry’s Bay and the Whispering Pines resort near Eganville.

Agriculture anticipates an 18 per cent reduction in net income. Farmers used the program extensively. We have letters and calls from employers such as Cameron Woodworking in Green Valley and Dundas Power Line in Chesterville. They all say they will not be able to hire students as before.

How can the minister and his officials have been so insensitive as to not have included rural eastern Ontario along with the north for continued support?

Hon Mr Curling: The honourable member makes reference to our Ontario summer employment program. That program was designed to create summer jobs and employment opportunities for youth by a wage subsidy to employers.

We have found that the unemployment rate has dropped considerably and the economy has improved considerably. We have found that employers are concerned that they are unable to get skilled labour. Therefore, they can employ those individuals without any subsidy at all. Hence, we have directed our program to the northern areas, where unemployment is much higher for young people.

Mr Villeneuve: Since the 1985-86 fiscal year administrative costs in his ministry have soared by 220 per cent: the second highest in this entire fast-spending government. It is now spending $9,930,000 a year more on administration only and the ministry has cut back drastically on summer employment programs. A small portion of this great administration cost would have been more than enough to include the high unemployment areas of rural eastern Ontario. When does the minister intend to make the unemployed youth in eastern Ontario a higher priority than his own administration and bureaucracy?

Hon Mr Curling: If I may emphasize to the honourable member, we are a skills creation ministry. We are not a job creation ministry. We want to improve the skills of our young people. We have, as I said, reduced the programs, where we have seen that the unemployment rate is lower and concentrated our Ontario summer employment program in areas where the unemployment is much higher: in the north.

We have seen our environmental youth program expanded to take a lot of students in to the relevant jobs where they can improve their skills. I would encourage the member to tell the employers within his area that they can employ those young people. They do not need a subsidy because they are the same individuals who are complaining to me they are unable to get people to work. Those young people can be used in those jobs.


Mr Dietsch: I have a question for the Minister of Health. In attempting to remain within its budget, I am informed that the St Catharines General hospital plans to close 54 of its beds for a period of months beginning this summer. Is the Minister of Health aware of the hospital’s plans to close these beds and have they been approved by her ministry?

Hon Mrs Caplan: I want to thank the member for giving me notice of this question and acknowledge his interest in this subject.

It is my understanding, based on the information I have, that a plan has been developed by the hospital administration but still must be approved by the board of directors. I believe the board is meeting later this week to consider the plan.

I would say to the member that if and when it is formally approved by the hospital, ministry staff will be working with the hospital to ensure that any bed closures do not have a negative impact on the availability of services in his community.

He should note it is also standard practice for hospitals to close beds during summer months because of reduced demands for elective surgery and other elective procedures. This provides an opportunity as well for a hospital to do renovations, cleaning and maintenance and enables hospital staff to organize their vacation time.

Mr Dietsch: Assuming that the hospital goes ahead with its plans, can the minister tell me how these bed closures are likely to affect the availability of health care services in my area for those residents?

Hon Mrs Caplan: As the member knows and as I have stated a number of times in this House, we focus on services. The number of beds really is not a benchmark for the quality or service level. Because of new technology, services can be provided in alternative ways. He knows that these advances in technology allow services to be provided, which formerly could be provided only on an inpatient basis, as outpatient, ambulatory or in-the-community kinds of clinics.

I want to tell him that we work with the hospitals to ensure that the service needs within the community are met. As he knows, we expect hospitals to work with other hospitals in the region and to work co-operatively to avoid unnecessary duplication of services as well as respond to changing community needs. We seek advice as well from the district health councils, which have an important role to play in the communities in ensuring and assisting this kind of co-operative planning.


Mr Breaugh: I have a question for the Minister of Housing. The rent review decisions are now beginning to be finalized on the Cadillac Fairview buildings in the west end of Toronto in the area known as High Park. All of these buildings were subject to the most publicized case of speculation in real estate, I think, in Canadian history. Can the minister explain why tenants in the High Park area are now going to be looking at double-digit rent increases for the foreseeable future? Why should these tenants pay the price for speculation in these buildings?

Hon Ms Hošek: As the member opposite knows, the rent review legislation that we have is balanced between the concerns of tenants and the concerns of landlords. In the case he is talking about, the rent review system has decided that the requirements of the law are to pay a rent increase that takes account of capital expenses and financial expenses.

Let me tell him about one of the people who was involved in the creation of the legislation which we now have admitted, though not perfect, was much fairer than the law before. What she said was, “Tenants who’ve been jerked around by landlords won’t be jerked around any more, but people who’ve had it nice and easy paying four to six per cent have to pay a little more.”

That was the view of one of the tenant representatives on the group that helped to draft the legislation and I think this particular decision fits into that view.

Mr Breaugh: There are 2,645 tenant families in these buildings who might disagree with that one tenant.

Can the minister explain why the landlords asked for 9.5 per cent and the rent review board gave them in excess of 12 per cent? It is one thing to suggest that the government is trying to be fair to the landlords, but it is giving them more than they are asking for. How can the minister rationalize that kind of stupidity in law in Ontario?


Hon Ms Hošek: The member opposite is very familiar with this legislation and knows that it is very tight, has many very specific regulations and that the decisions are made on the basis of the fulfilling of those regulations and on the basis of the facts that are gathered. Most people do not get rent increases higher than they asked for, but in some cases this happens because the data, the information used to process the decision reveals that is the right decision to make.


Mrs Cunningham: My question is to the Minister of Education. In April, the minister announced that the London and Middlesex County Roman Catholic Separate School Board would be receiving $16 million in capital grants, money the board desperately needs to solve the serious overcrowding problem at John Paul II High School. We are now aware that the number looks more like $6 million; the other $10 million will not be handed over until 1992. If true, this will delay school construction until 1993. By 1992, this school will need at least 40 more portables. Last year, he gave us the site without the school.

The Speaker: Question.

Mrs Cunningham: This year, he is giving us the school without the funding. What kind of planning is this?

Hon Mr Ward: The short answer to her question is that in my view it is very effective planning indeed. The member will know we have increased significantly the amount of capital we are making available to boards of education. We have moved from a process and a program that used to, I believe, see the influx of about $60 million annually in funding to support school boards, in terms of their accommodation needs, to an annual, four-year program of $300 million a year. This program will generate nearly $2 billion worth of construction in this province.

The member knows full well that we have a responsibility to ensure that the flow of those funds is done in an effective and responsible fashion. That board did receive an allocation for a site acquisition last year. As a matter of fact, that money was preflowed one year in advance. She should know that. She should know full well as a former trustee that the board has significant work to do in terms of getting a program approval and a design approval. I expect they would proceed on that basis, and can proceed with some certainty, knowing that the kind of assistance they need is indeed forthcoming from this government.

The Speaker: Supplementary.

Mrs Cunningham: The practice in this province used to be when somebody read the newspaper and knew he was getting a school, he knew he was getting a school next year. Now the minister is making the announcement and it may be two or three years down the road. It is a practice that is not acceptable to the public. It is misleading and unfair to schools.


The Speaker: Order. Will the member place the supplementary?

Mrs Cunningham: It used to be in this province that when the public heard it was getting a high school, it got it immediately.


The Speaker: Order. I remind the member for London North I recognized her to ask a supplementary, not to repeat her earlier comments.

Mrs Cunningham: We now have a school with 20 portables, never to be seen in London before, ever. There are 20 portables, 40 down the road. I am going to ask a point-blank question. The minister has delayed the process by one year. Would he seriously reconsider the allocations of funds so that we can start building and get kids in that school before 1994? That is disgusting.

Hon Mr Ward: I very much want to set the member straight, because first of all the practice used to be that if you needed a school in this province you were going to have to pay for it out of local taxes, because there was no support for the capital needs of boards throughout Ontario. It used to be the practice in this province that there was a very niggardly one-year allocation that left boards to speculate as to whether or not they were going to be successful in their requests for future support of their capital projects.

The member knows full well that trustees throughout this province and boards across this province have been asking for years for an extended period of allocations, for a three- or four-year program so that they could plan. They could know with some certainty whether they were going to have to meet those needs out of local property taxes or whether that support was going to be forthcoming. We have provided that support. We have done it in a fiscally responsible fashion to the benefit of those students in London, and we will continue to proceed in that manner.

Mrs Cunningham: Forty portables, and this blubbering is what we have to listen to. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Hon Mr Scott: When Cam Jackson is away, you sure come on fast; you really shine, Dianne. You should be Education critic, for heaven’s sake.

The Speaker: Perhaps, once again, this is the appropriate time to remind members that they agreed with certain standing orders in this House. I would remind them of standing order 24(b). I appreciate some memories are not the best, but that standing order does say that any member who is recognized has the right to speak without any other member interrupting.


Mr Cleary: My question is to the Treasurer. It is with respect to the issue of teachers’ pensions. Some of the teacher constituents in my riding have expressed concern that the deficit in the current plan is due, at least in part, to the fact that the government has not been contributing its share to the teachers’ superannuation fund. Can the Treasurer please inform the House as to whether or not this is true, that the government’s contributions to the fund have been made to match the teachers’ contributions?

Hon R. F. Nixon: I can assure the honourable members that the taxpayers, through the Treasury, have met their commitments, not just in my time in Treasury but going back many years. As a matter of fact, it has only been in the past three years that there has been any measurable surplus. During the years when there were deficits, the taxpayers, through the guarantee of these pension funds, have had to make up hundreds of millions of dollars in extra payments in support of the teachers’ pension, which was the responsibility undertaken. I am very proud to be able to report that to the honourable member.

Mr Cleary: If that is the case, and the deficit still exists, can the Treasurer assure my constituents that the pension contributions from both plan members and the government have received a fair rate of return?

Hon R. F. Nixon: I can certainly assure the honourable member that during my tenure in Treasury, all of the contributions from the teachers, by law, are taken into the Treasury and, as honourable members know, have been used for basic finance. In return, the interest payments to the teachers have been based on a formula which at the present time pays 11.03 per cent on 20-year investments. I would indicate that there is no other place in the province where that sort of return can be earned.

The honourable member will know that according to the information that I have provided to the Legislature, it is our hope that the teachers’ contributions will be put out into marketable securities. I believe that is extremely appropriate, and the funding contributions in the future will be based on a return from that innovation.

The other side of that is that for any funding needs we require in the future, we will be able to go to the open market. It is our projection that the cost of that funding will be less than we pay now to the teachers.



Miss Martel: I have a question to the Minister of Labour concerning Bill 162 and deeming. Here is the story of Joanne D’lncognito. Joanne was injured on 22 April 1987, while working as a machine operator at Carlton Cards. At that time, she was making $323 a week. Her doctor advised her she was unable to return to work as a machine operator, but the Workers’ Compensation Board refused to provide any rehabilitation.

In March 1989, she was granted a 10 per cent pension equalling $110 a month. She applied to the Workers’ Compensation Board for benefits to make up her lost wages and was sent for a vocational assessment. She was told she was capable of being a junior office clerk or able to work on an electrical assembly line and could not get benefits because she could make more than before.

The Speaker: Question?

Miss Martel: I want to ask the minister why he has done absolutely nothing to stop the current practice of deeming at the Workers’ Compensation Board.

Hon Mr Sorbara: I think the member for Sudbury East must like this question, because it is very much like the one she asked earlier this week, if memory serves me, and last week as well. I do not want to burden the House or Hansard with a repetitive answer to the question, so I am going to try to take a different tack.

I want to point out to the member that there would be nothing I could say in this House, nor anything I could say in any other context, that could convince her that the system proposed in Bill 162 is dramatically different from the situation we have today. Her position is that she opposes the bill under any circumstances. I would invite her once again, though, to consider the bill and, if she chooses, to make amendments thereto during clause-by-clause.

The member’s example put forward in this House, I think, is some of the best evidence we could present here to move forward on Bill 162 and get rid of the system she herself acknowledges is not working in this province at this time.

Miss Martel: I want to point out to the Minister of Labour that I oppose this bill for the very reason that this type of practice is institutionalized in this bill. The system is grossly unfair and it will continue.

Perhaps the minister was not aware that during the course of the hearings on Bill 162, we had evidence from people from Saskatchewan, who came before the committee and told us how the system is working there -- a system, I might add, which is the same as that being proposed here in Ontario.

The review committee said that the system was not working. The current practice of deeming in Saskatchewan continued and in fact the former Deputy Minister of Labour, Bob Sass, when contacted by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, said that in retrospect, he would not tout this dual system as an advance in any way, shape or form.

I want to ask the minister why is he importing into this province a system which has not worked well, nor at all in fact, in Saskatchewan.

Hon Mr Sorbara: I think one of the major problems with the arguments that have been put forth on this subject by the member for Sudbury East is that she is terribly selective with her evidence.

Let me just remind her that in the province of Saskatchewan, a tripartite committee made up of labour, management and government did a thorough review of the system and issued a report that said the dual award system was fundamentally sound. The changes they recommended to their system -- and I remind the member that labour, government and management were the parties to this report -- are very similar to the system that is currently being proposed in this province. When we pass this bill, we will be in a position in this province, that we can finally respond to the real needs of injured workers in this province without spending ourselves to the poorhouse.


Mrs Marland: My question is to the Minister of Culture and Communications. Ralph McMillen is a seasonal resident of Lake Temagami, and he has been trying for 15 years to have a telephone service installed for about 107 residents of the area, for obvious safety and emergency reasons. The Ontario Northland Transportation Commission continues to discriminate against seasonal residents, by not providing reasonably priced telephone service within the serviced area, the same as it provides to permanent residents and a select group of seasonal residents. When can these residents expect some telephone service, a right given to them under the provincial Telephone Act?

Hon Ms Oddie Munro: I am very pleased to see the member’s interest in the plight of the cottagers. She is right that the situation has been a long-standing one. I am pleased to say, however, that the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission, by virtue of its telecommunications activities, is working with the Ministry of Northern Development and my ministry to ensure that the problems of providing extended service to remote and island locations is dealt with in the near future.

I think the member has highlighted some of the problems. When you have a cottage population, you have all sorts of difficulties with technical equipment and costs. None the less, I think we owe it to ourselves to see that everyone is provided with accessible telephone service. I am hopeful that we are nearing a resolution in that matter.

Mrs Marland: The Ombudsman’s office has been involved with this case for some time now. Last year, the Ombudsman reported that the current policy of ONTC, “unreasonably discriminated against seasonal residents.” The ONTC went as far as to agree with the Ombudsman’s finding and promised some action. The ONTC has a monopoly on phone service in the Temagami area. Accordingly, it has the responsibility to provide service where needed.

Apparently the ONTC people have agreed to meet with these residents in September when, of course, being seasonal residents, they are not going to be there. I would like to know whether, through her office, she could agree to arrange those meetings in August and when Mr McMillen and these others can expect to have the needed telephone service.

Hon Ms Oddie Munro: I think again that the member raises some practical blockages that are all too evident for people who live in the north. I will certainly do my best to ensure that the meetings she is talking about take place during the time the cottagers are there.

Members of the House should understand that the Ombudsman’s office became involved because of the access question and has been able to work in a very diligent fashion with the Ministry of Northern Development, ONTC and also our ministry. I am confident that after so many years, we will be able to resolve the question. The issue is in making sure that the kind of technical equipment we put in and the capital costs speak to the needs not only of the cottagers, but also of the entire lake area. But I will do as she suggests and see if we can speed up the meeting so that people concerned can attend.


Mr McGuigan: The federal budget announced on 26 and 27 April has shifted and reduced its financial responsibilities to Canadian and Ontario farmers. One initiative of the federal budget states that at the end of this year, rebates on excise tax on gasoline and diesel fuels for primary producers will expire. As well, the rebate on sales tax on farm-related purchases will only be extended until the end of 1990.

I ask the Minister of Agriculture and Food what effects this federal budget initiative will have on Ontario farmers who must compete globally, especially with United States farmers who have cheap fuel.

Hon Mr Riddell: My colleague is absolutely correct in suggesting that the federal government has certainly shifted its responsibilities and reduced its responsibilities, so much so that there is growing uncertainty about the future role of the federal government in Canadian agriculture.

By eliminating the rebate on the excise tax on gasoline and diesel fuel, Ontario farmers could feel the direct impact in the amount of at least $6 million in increased fuel costs. That is a very conservative estimate. I think the figure would be closer to $10 million. This increased production cost is certainly going to affect those farmers who are in a very tight financial situation.

It is interesting that in this brave new world of free trade, the United States competition has much lower fuel costs than farmers do in this province, and instead of levelling the playing field, as the federal government said it wanted to do, it has certainly tilted the field in favour of the American farmer.


Mr McGuigan: Would the minister review with his cabinet colleagues, especially the Minister of Energy (Mr Wong), the possibility of assisting farmers to make informed decisions on using alternative fuels, such as natural gas, for running irrigation pumps, other stationary engines and other high-energy-consuming farm equipment? They should look too at the possibility of using natural gas even in mobile equipment. Would the minister look at that?

Hon Mr Riddell: The Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food certainly have had and will continue to have an excellent relationship which will benefit farmers in this province. The Guelph Agriculture Centre, for example, was a direct result of this relationship, and Energy’s main emphasis is on the conservation and the efficient use of energy in the production of food in Ontario.

But as my colleague has indicated, there are other alternatives, there are uses for alternative fuels in agriculture. For the uses that he has indicated, I must tell the honourable member, natural gas and propane receive a tax-free benefit at the present time. I encourage producers to apply for the fuel tax exemption, through the Ministry of Revenue, for fuel used in farm equipment other than motor vehicles.


Mr Pouliot: To the Minister of Health: Surely the minister -- and we raise this on a weekly basis -- will be appreciative of the critical and ongoing shortage of the essential services provided in that special part of Ontario. Yes, northern Ontario. Over a period of years her ministry, in conjunction with the Ministry of Northern Development, has created myriad incentives to attract and retain family doctors up north.

We have just contacted the underserviced area program for Ontario, and the people there tell us the pool is dry. When will the minister give to foreign doctors who are qualified people the chance to provide that essential service to fill the gap, so that the people of northern Ontario can at long last have the kind of family practice the minister and indeed most of her colleagues take for granted?

Hon Mrs Caplan: I am aware of the interest of my friend the member for Lake Nipigon in this issue, but we have a fundamental policy disagreement on it. He knows, for example, that we believe there is an adequate total supply of physicians in this province. We do have some distributional problems and some areas of specific specialty needs.

He knows as well that we have some five medical schools which train for Ontario needs and that we graduate approximately 600 physicians in this province. He knows that the underserviced area program has placed in northern Ontario some 268 general practitioners who are continuing to practise up there, and at the present time there are some 86 specialists plus another 107 general practitioners under that program.

The policy he is espousing would force us away from the policy initiative we believe is so important, the principle that Ontario students should have an opportunity to go to Ontario medical schools to become doctors. The policy he is recommending --


The Speaker: Order. Perhaps the members could continue this discussion during estimates or some other time. That completes the allotted time for oral questions and responses.



Mr D. S. Cooke: I thought, for old times’ sake, we should do a couple of hours of petitions this afternoon.

“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.”


Miss Martel: I have a petition addressed to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario which reads:

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

“We urge the Liberal government not to proceed with Bill 162, An Act to amend the Workers’ Compensation Act;

“Because Bill 162 contains the most significant changes to the Ontario system of workers’ compensation contemplated for many years, and yet the Minister of Labour, as reported in the media, wanted the bill passed and implemented by the end of 1988 -- in other words, without an adequate process for public consultation, debate and discussion; and

“Because Bill 162 represents an attack on injured workers and their families and all of those people who have fought over the years to achieve fairness and justice for injured workers and their families; and

“Because Bill 162 will eliminate the current lifetime pension for lifetime disability and replace it with a dual award system combining a lump sum and wage-loss award that has been rejected by injured workers, their advocates, community legal workers and lawyers working on their behalf and by the trade union movement since it was first proposed for implementation in Ontario by the 1980 Weiler report and the Conservative government’s 1981 white paper; and

“Because Bill 162 virtually ignores the recommendations of’ the Majesky-Minna task force report on vocational rehabilitation that was submitted to the Minister of Labour and suppressed by the Liberal government until April 1988; and

“Because Bill 162 gives legislative form to the unacceptable and reactionary policy of restricting access to supplement awards announced by the Workers’ Compensation Board in 1987; and

“Because Bill 162 restricts an injured worker’s right to appeal decisions within the adjudication process and elsewhere, notably the percentage ‘impairment rating’ and reinstatement; and

“Because throughout Bill 162, injured workers are made subject to increased discretionary power at the hands of the Workers’ Compensation Board, and made subject to ever more intrusive, invasive and demeaning assaults on their dignity, their privacy and their right to fair and just treatment.”

This is signed by 19 members of the Simcoe County Injured Workers’ Association. I agree with them entirely and I have affixed my signature to it.

The Speaker: Perhaps this would be the appropriate time to once again advise the member for Sudbury East and, I am sure, all members that when presenting petitions, it is certainly within order to present the material allegations made by their constituents or people of Ontario. It is not necessary to give all the reasons why.


Mrs Cunningham: I have a petition containing approximately 128 signatures from seniors in London.

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

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

“We, concerned senior citizens of London, are expressing our concern over increases in auto insurance. We feel that many seniors would not be able to afford a drastic increase in car insurance, as their only source of income is through their pensions.”

I have affixed my name to this and will table it with the Clerk.


Mr Adams: I have a petition from people associated with the Eastern Ontario Drama League, La Guilde dramatique de l’est de l’Ontario. It is properly addressed and it begins:

“Whereas the proposed Bill 119, An Act to amend the Ontario Lottery Corporation Act, does not guarantee any level of allocation to the arts in a particular year, therefore impeding planning and development;

“Whereas Bill 119 proposes to transfer to the operation of hospitals unused moneys which were actually designated under the current act still in effect for fitness, sport, recreation and culture; and

“Whereas Bill 119 will create uncertainty and instability which will threaten the very existence of many arts organizations;

“Therefore we oppose the Treasurer of Ontario in the proposed legislation, Bill 119.”



Mr Hampton: 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 urge the Liberal government not to proceed with Bill 162, An Act to amend the Workers’ Compensation Act, Revised Statutes of Ontario, 1980, chapter 539, as amended by the Statutes of Ontario, 1981, chapter 30; Statutes of Ontario, 1982, chapter 61; Statutes of Ontario, 1983, chapter 45; Statutes of Ontario, 1984, chapter 38; Statutes of Ontario, 1984. chapter 58; Statutes of Ontario, 1985, chapter 3; Statutes of Ontario, 1985, chapter 17; and Statutes of Ontario, 1986, chapter 64, section 69,

“Because Bill 162 contains the most significant changes to the Ontario system of workers’ compensation contemplated for many years, and yet the Minister of Labour, as reported in the media, wants the bill passed and implemented by the end of 1988 -- in other words, without an adequate process for public consultation, debate and discussion; and

“Because Bill 162 represents an attack on injured workers and their families and all of those people who have fought over the years to achieve fairness and justice for injured workers and their families; and

“Because Bill 162 will eliminate the current lifetime pension for lifetime disability and replace it with a dual award system combining a lump sum and actual wage-loss award benefits that has been rejected by injured workers, their advocacy groups, community legal workers and lawyers working on their behalf and by the trade union movement since it was first proposed for implementation in Ontario by the 1980 Weiler report and the Conservative government’s 1981 white paper; and

“Because Bill 162 virtually ignores the devastating critique and recommendations of the Majesky-Minna task force report on vocational rehabilitation that was submitted to the Minister of Labour and suppressed by the Liberal government unti1 April 1988; and

“Because Bill 162 gives legislative form to the unacceptable and reactionary policy of restricting access to supplement awards announced by the Workers’ Compensation Board in 1987; and

“Because Bill 162 restricts an injured worker’s right to appeal decisions within the adjudication process and elsewhere, notably the percentage ‘impairment rating’ and reinstatement; and

“Because throughout Bill 162, injured workers are made subject to increased discretionary power at the hands of the Workers’ Compensation Board functionaries, and made subject to ever more intrusive, invasive and demeaning assaults on their dignity, their privacy and their right to fair and just treatment.”

This petition has been signed by eight individuals of the Simcoe County Injured Workers’ Association. I have affixed my signature to it, because I agree with it.

The Speaker: I gather the member enjoys reading and I would suggest he read standing order 31.


Mr Runciman: I have read the standing order and l have a petition.

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

“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 Kingston and Area Real Estate Association. It has my support and signature.


Mrs LeBourdais: 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:

“To amend the Teachers’ Superannuation Act, 1983, in order that all teachers who retired prior to 31 May 1982 have their pensions recalculated on the best five years, rather than at the present seven or ten years.

“This proposed amendment would make the five-year criteria applicable to all retired teachers and would eliminate the present inequitable treatment.”

I have affixed my signature.


Hon Mr Conway: As members will know from a statement I read last week, it is the intention of the Treasurer (Mr R. F. Nixon) to read his budget address at four o’clock this afternoon. That is the order of business for today following routine proceedings, so I now seek unanimous consent to postpone this afternoon’s proceeding until four o’clock, at which time the Treasurer will return and read the budget address.

The Speaker: Is there unanimous consent that the House have a short recess until 4 pm?

Agreed to.

The House recessed at 1455.




Hon R. F. Nixon moved, seconded by Hon Mr Peterson, that this House approves in general the budgetary policy of the government.

The Speaker: As has been the custom in the past, I hope the House will allow the pages to distribute copies of the budget to the members before the speech begins.

An hon member: How many pages?

The Speaker: There are 90.

Hon R. F. Nixon: I have my speech anyway. While the pages are distributing copies of the budget, I thought it would be appropriate if I expressed to the members of the House my appreciation of the staff at the Treasury. The Deputy Treasurer, Mary Mogford, is known to all members, having served in many capacities in government, most recently before coming to Treasury as Deputy Minister of Natural Resources. Her assistance in this connection in the preparation of the budget has been invaluable.

I would like to name one other person, and that is Michael Gourley, who is the assistant deputy minister in charge of the budget. He and his staff have worked very effectively. He has been in charge of confidentiality, and perhaps it is in that respect that he deserves the highest recommendation.


Hon R. F. Nixon: Ontario’s 1989 budget is an expression of the government’s determination to see its commitments met and its agenda for reform implemented.

Each of my previous budgets included substantial improvements to Ontario’s fiscal position. Continuing that policy, this budget produces the largest operating surplus in Ontario’s history, $2.6 billion.

By way of explanation, Mr Speaker, I know you are aware that this simply means that the operation of the government is fully covered by our tax revenues. That means the day to day operation and all of our transfer payments, with the exception of capital grants. The other part of the budget is for capital construction, and these are tangible assets -- university buildings, roads and bridges, environmental works. In this connection, I would say that the operating surplus of $2.6 billion all goes towards the payment of our capital requirements.

The deficit has been cut to $577 million, its lowest level in 15 years, and a reduction of $911 million from last year, which was, in turn, a reduction of $1 billion from the year previous.

The initiatives in this budget will keep Ontario competitive; launch major transportation investments; support a cleaner, healthier environment; reform Ontario’s social assistance; fund innovations in education, and restructure and refinance health care. These initiatives support the reform agenda set by the government under the leadership and vision of the Premier (Mr Peterson).

For six consecutive years, real growth in Ontario has exceeded four per cent, making the current economic expansion the longest and strongest since the 1960’s. In 1988, real output increased by 4.9 per cent, once again outpacing growth in the United States and Europe. Among major industrialized countries, only Japan recorded stronger growth.

In 1989, real output is expected to expand by 2.8 per cent, led by strong growth in business investment. Businesses intend to increase spending on plant and equipment by 11.7 per cent this year. Investment in the manufacturing sector will be particularly strong, with spending on machinery and equipment alone to reach $8 billion, an 18.7 per cent increase from 1988. With higher interest rates, consumers are expected to increase their savings and slow the pace of credit expansion. Income growth will contribute to solid but more moderate growth in spending and housing, consumer goods and services. With continuing job creation, the unemployment rate will average 5.2 per cent.

Faced with increasing international competition under the free trade agreement and a stronger European economic community, Ontario must secure and support its competitive position to keep the economy growing and to maintain our quality of life.

Now completing its third year, the Premier’s Council on technology has recommended measures to promote the development of new industrial processes and encourage the growth of innovative companies. This year, over $132 million will be provided through the $1-billion, 19-year technology fund to stimulate research, development and diffusion of new industrial technologies. Included in this amount is $47 million in tax support available through the research and development superallowance. Over $40 million will be allocated this year to Ontario’s centres of excellence to support research of an international calibre. The university research incentive fund will be extended to provide $25 million over the next three years in support of joint research by universities and industry.

The council has recommended that the government encourage venture capital investment. To support the growth of small and medium-sized companies, Ontario will establish the growth ventures program. Over the next five years, this program will provide up to $100 million in loan guarantees to venture capital companies investing in eligible businesses.

The council has also recommended that the government share risks with companies on the threshold of becoming multinationals. Risk-sharing support for emerging threshold firms will be provided, with extensive private sector involvement, under the guidance of the council.

Ontario’s ability to trade and compete in a global economy will be reinforced by initiatives to strengthen exports and build marketing skills. The province will commit an additional $10 million on a full-year basis for trade-related initiatives, including targeted marketing assistance and investment promotion in co-operation with Ontario’s trade offices abroad.


Steps will be taken to encourage companies to plan strategically for developments in the United States and in Europe and to penetrate Pacific Rim markets. The government will also provide financial support for research and strategic policy analysis of international trade and investment issues at the University of Toronto Centre for International Studies, which will complement the Ontario Centre for International Business at York University.

Industries require a skilled workforce to take advantage of the efficiency offered by new technologies. Ontario’s workers need updated skills to secure well-paying jobs and to cope in a world of technological change and industrial restructuring. There is a greater need to retrain and redeploy experienced workers as the number of young people entering the workforce declines. This budget provide additional funding of $10 million to address these labour market needs.

Negotiations with the federal government are under way for a cost-sharing program to provide extended income support to laid-off workers over 55 years of age. Ontario is prepared to commit up to $9 million for the first year of an agreement under the program for older worker adjustment. In the interim, the Ministry of Skills Development will extend eligibility for the Transitions program to provide retraining assistance to older workers upon notification of layoff.

The United Nations has declared next year International Year of Literacy. Ontario will increase funding for literacy programs by $5 million for 1990, raising the province’s spending on adult literacy to $55 million.

Post-secondary educational institutions play a key role in keeping Ontario competitive. As I announced in December, the government’s operating support for universities and colleges this year will increase by 7.5 per cent and 5.6 per cent respectively. These commitments stand in spite of the reductions in transfers for post-secondary education announced in the federal budget.

The Ontario student assistance program will provide $196 million this year to help students attend post-secondary institutions. This is an increase of 55 per cent since 1984-85.

During this fiscal year, $88 million will be provided to universities for enrolment growth through the accessibility envelope. For the next fiscal year and beyond, a more permanent approach to allocating university operating grants will be introduced. It will take into account recent enrolment growth and will include funding recognition for the flow-through of these students.

The 1988 budget announced a $440 million post-secondary capital program. The $110 million in provincial funding for 1990-91 projects -- that is, not this year but the next -- will be advanced during this fiscal year.

Junior exploration companies and individual prospectors play a vital role in the future of Ontario’s mining industry. In order to offset reduced federal support for mineral exploration, $5 million will be allocated to the Ontario prospectors’ assistance program, the Ontario mineral incentive program and other programs for these groups.

In addition, $34 million will be provided in the next two years to assist Ontario’s film industry, including assistance through the Ontario film investment program.

Ontario’s efficient system of roads, highways and transit is essential to the economy. Spending on the transportation system has increased by more than 30 per cent since 1984-85 and totalled $2 billion last year. However, sustained economic growth will require enriched funding to reduce transportation congestion and improve access to growing markets. The government is committing an additional $2 billion over five years to the new transportation capital program. This program will support highway capital projects, major municipal roads and transit projects and additional GO Transit services.

Included are improvements to northern Highways 69, 17 and 11, expansion of and accelerated construction on Highways 401, 403, 407 and 410, the Queen Elizabeth Way in the Niagara region and Highway 416 in eastern Ontario. Additional GO Transit service will be provided to Milton, Georgetown, Richmond Hill and Stouffville and service will be extended to Oshawa. A new ferry will be put in service to Pelee Island.

Mr Wildman: This must be the fifth time 416 has been promised.

The Speaker: Order.

Hon R. F. Nixon: It takes a little time, but the money is there.

This program includes improved highway access to Mount Hope airport near Hamilton. Federal assistance will be sought in the financing of this project.


Hon R. F. Nixon: Well, they get more gas tax than we do. Why should they not pay? This government is prepared to share the cost of providing improved transit access to Pearson International Airport. Details of the project await the federal government’s plan for the airport.

To complement the provincial highway improvements, the transportation capital program includes $200 million over four years, beginning next year, for major municipal arterial roads and highway connecting links.

Provincial capital spending on municipal transit systems will increase by $44 million, or 29 per cent, to approximately $200 million this year. Specific projects include capacity improvements on the Yonge Street subway line, station upgrading at Yonge and Sheppard, ongoing construction of the Transitway in Ottawa-Carleton and the Harbourfront light rapid transit. Operating support for municipal transit will total $196 million this year.

The provision of public infrastructure frequently results in substantial benefits to specific groups in Ontario. Therefore, the province is adopting a strategy by which those who benefit significantly and directly from the provision of new public infrastructure will be required to make a greater contribution to the cost of that infrastructure.

In this connection, commercial property owners in the greater Toronto area -- that is, the municipalities in the regions of Halton, Durham, Peel, York and Metropolitan Toronto -- realize considerable economic benefit from provincial expenditures on infrastructure. These benefits include capital gains from land and building value increases, greater income from tenants who seek prime locations and ready access for customers, suppliers and employees who rely on an excellent transportation network.

Therefore, beginning in January 1990 owners of large commercial structures and associated parking with gross areas in excess of 200,000 square feet and all commercial parking lots and parking garages within the GTA will be required to pay a commercial concentration levy of $1 per square foot per year. This charge will be paid semiannually and will raise $62 million this year.

To provide additional funding for transportation projects across the province, the rate of tax on gasoline and diesel fuel will be increased immediately by one cent per litre. Effective 1 January 1990, the tax on gasoline will increase by one additional cent per litre. These and other road-related motor fuel measures will raise approximately $140 million this fiscal year.

Passenger motor vehicle registration fees will be increased from $54 to $66 in southern Ontario and from $27 to $33 in northern Ontario. To help meet the critical transportation infrastructure needs in the greater Toronto area, these fees will be increased by a further $24, for a total fee of $90 for residents in the greater Toronto area. These measures will raise $54 million in 1989-90.

This year, capital outlays by the Ministry of the Environment will increase by 40 per cent over last year, including a doubling to $46 million of advances for provincial water and sewage projects for municipalities. Total funding provided to the Ministry of the Environment will reach $528 million, an increase of 71 per cent since 1984-85.

To encourage leadership in the development of new technologies and industries to meet the demands of the industrial world in overcoming environmentally damaging production practices, the government will introduce a new environmental technologies program. Under the guidance of the Ontario Round Table on Environment and Economy, this program will assist companies in the research and development of environmentally sound production machinery and processes. Ontario will allocate $30 million for the environmental technologies program over the next five years.


The province will make available $300 million in loan guarantees under the loans for environmental defence initiative. This seven-year program will provide loan guarantees to eligible businesses installing vital pollution abatement equipment.

To help businesses achieve cleaner production processes while sustaining competitiveness, the Ontario corporate income tax current cost adjustment will be extended to include pollution control equipment at a cost of $3 million this year.

Since 1985, the Ministry of Energy has provided companies with grants to undertake research and develop energy-saving technology in their plants through the EnerSearch program. The government will commit $3 million to extend this program.

To support the government’s environmental programs, the following measures will be introduced. A tax of $5 will be charged on the purchase of each new tire. The tire tax will help fund efforts to support recycling and environmentally sound disposal.

A tax will be levied on new, fuel-inefficient cars. This tax will increase based on a car’s fuel inefficiency.

Pesticides and fertilizers will be subject to the retail sales tax. Those used in agricultural production, of course, will be exempt from this tax.

A disposal charge of five cents will be levied on the purchase of each liquor, wine or beer container for which there is no deposit or recycling system presently in place. This charge will help fund the province’s waste reduction and recycling initiatives.

These measures together will yield a total of $54 million this year.

The government has allocated $212 million to maintain and renew Ontario’s forests. Included in this figure is $15 million representing Ontario’s share of the Canada-Ontario forest resource development agreement.

In addition, pending results from efforts to negotiate an end to the federal softwood lumber export tax, Ontario will use its revenues from this tax to reinforce forest management in the province. The additional $18 million for forest management will bring total spending to $230 million this year, an increase of 50 per cent since 1984-85.

The fundamental principle of our health care system is to provide all Ontarians with universal access to quality health care.

Ministry of Health expenditures will total $13.9 billion this year, an increase of 10.7 per cent. As a share of total provincial spending, the Ministry of Health accounts for 33 per cent, up from 28 per cent a decade ago.

The Ministry of Health is concentrating its efforts on improving the quality, availability and efficiency of health services. As Treasurer, I am committed to securing adequate revenues to fund these services.

The Social Assistance Review Committee indicated that it believes the elimination of Ontario health insurance plan premiums “is essential and would greatly improve access to health care, particularly preventive health care, for many low-income people.” Premiums have been frozen since 1985 and premium assistance has been enriched annually. Premium revenue has fallen below 13 per cent of the total cost of health care.

Therefore, it is a special pleasure for me to announce to the House that OHIP premiums will be eliminated as of 1 January 1990.

Naturally, such good news is accompanied by certain tax adjustments.

The good news first. This is a $1-billion benefit to individuals and families in 1990. This is not a smoke and mirrors benefit. They will realize $550 million in premium savings -- for each family currently paying premiums, this amounts to a saving of $714 a year -- and $450 million in personal income tax reductions from the elimination of personal income tax on employees’ taxable benefits, which includes every person sitting in these seats.

Responsible budgeting requires that the financing of health care be on a solid foundation. The federal government has weakened that foundation by reducing its support for established programs financing by a total of approximately $3 billion over the past three years.

A new employer health levy will therefore be introduced 1 January 1990. The new charge will be 1.95 per cent of payroll. In recognition of their unique circumstances, employers with small payrolls will be given the advantage of a special half-rate levy. This measure will ensure that all employers contribute a share of the financing of health care, a more reasonable approach than the current patchwork that has many employers paying all premiums for their employees and others contributing nothing at all.

Historically, the funding for health care has been shared by people and business. Each realizes benefits from Ontario’s universal health care system. To maintain balance in the funding of health care, the rate of personal income tax will be increased by one percentage point beginning 1 January 1990.

At the same time, an additional 50,000 people will benefit from an enrichment to the Ontario tax reduction program. This means that in total, 365,000 low-income individuals who are liable for basic federal personal income tax will pay no Ontario personal income tax and 195,000 others will benefit from reduced personal income tax.

The government’s priorities for health care will emphasize community-based services and health promotion. The Premier’s Council on Health Strategy recently recommended health goals for Ontario. The government has adopted these goals in setting its agenda for health.

Funding for services including community mental health, public health, emergency health services and assistive devices will total $1.3 billion this year. This funding includes $349 million for home care assistance, an increase of $70 million or 25 per cent; $108 million for community mental health programs, an increase of 30 per cent; and an increase of 18 per cent for alcohol and drug dependency programs.

Provincial support for the operation of hospitals will increase by 8.3 per cent to $6 billion. This level of funding will address specialty care needs in areas such as cancer care, cardiovascular services, dialysis and maternal and infant health.

The Ministry of Health is working with hospitals to develop a new, equitable funding system that will enable hospitals to operate within their budgets. To promote better management, monitoring and planning of health care in Ontario, the Ministry of Health is implementing a new computer system over the next five years. Individual health service numbers and cards will be issued to all Ontarians.

Social assistance is one of the fastest growing areas of provincial spending. It has increased by an average of 12.6 per cent annually since 1984-85. Over the same period, benefit levels on average increased by 37.9 per cent in total.

Even though the Ontario economy is in its seventh year of growth, the number of social assistance beneficiaries has grown by 4.6 per cent each year, compared to 1.3 per cent for Ontario’s total population. Ontario now provides among the highest levels of social assistance benefits in Canada. For example, Ontario provides the highest level of benefits for single parents and disabled individuals. The government is committed to helping recipients attain greater economic self-sufficiency and therefore has decided to strengthen social assistance, in support of recommendations by the Social Assistance Review Committee.

The Ministry of Community and Social Services will implement changes that focus on improvements to benefits for families and children, and that will provide all recipients with greater opportunities for independence. These changes include increased benefits for children, redesigned and enriched shelter benefits, improved employment support programs, and removal of barriers which serve as disincentives to work.

In addition, social assistance benefits will be increased on average by six per cent on 1 January 1990.

With these measures, the government will increase support for social assistance recipients by $415 million on a full-year basis. This year, Ontario’s social assistance benefits will total $2.3 billion, an increase of 92 per cent since 1984-85.

These reforms represent a major economic as well as social investment. The Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr Sweeney) and I have agreed that during the implementation of the reforms, we will provide for an independent review of their effectiveness.

The elimination of OHIP premiums is a major benefit to low-income individuals and families. A family previously paying full premiums will realize an annual saving of $714.

In addition to these initiatives, I am announcing an increase in the minimum wage from $4.75 to $5 per hour, to take effect 1 October 1989.

In support of recommendations by the standing committee on finance and economic affairs, an additional $55 million this year will be provided to improve the quality of services in agencies providing visiting homemaker services, attendant care services, as well as services for young offenders, the developmentally handicapped and victims of family violence. This will be accomplished through adjustments to salaries and benefits for lower-paid staff in those social service agencies.

The Ontario home ownership savings plan, announced last year, attracted 30,000 depositors. Effective immediately, first-time home buyers eligible for OHOSP credits will be able to obtain a full refund of the land transfer tax for homes priced up to $150,000 and a partial refund for homes priced up to $200,000. On a full-year basis, this program will provide $10 million in refunds.

The $2 billion in Canada pension plan funds made available in the 1988 budget for the Homes Now program has been fully committed. To further assist the nonprofit sector with lower-cost mortgage financing, additional funds will be made available to bring the total commitment to $3 billion. A further $90 million will be provided annually to support the operation of the nonprofit housing units made possible by this lower-cost mortgage financing.

This budget’s infrastructure initiatives will greatly assist in accommodating growth by reducing impediments to the development of land for housing. In addition, the government is working closely with municipalities and the building industry to streamline the planning and development approval processes.

Reflecting the government’s many affordable housing initiatives, Ministry of Housing expenditures will reach $537 million in this year, an increase of 28 per cent over the past year.

The shelter subsidy program available to individuals and families receiving social assistance will be redesigned and enriched to provide additional assistance to those most in need.


The government is committed to assisting disabled citizens to participate fully in the economic and social activities of this province. Over the next two years, additional funding of $10 million will be made available for the Ontario home renewal program for disabled persons. As the members know, this program provides interest-free loans for special modifications to homes.

A five-year, $38-million initiative to provide disabled persons barrier-free access to all Ontario government buildings will be introduced. The budget also allocates an additional $5 million this year to fulfil the government’s commitment to improve transportation services for seniors and disabled people throughout the province.

I am announcing additional funding for a number of measures contained in the throne speech to provide safe and secure communities.

The extent to which illegal drugs have affected the lives of people was identified by the Task Force on Illegal Drug Use in Ontario, chaired by the member for Muskoka-Georgian Bay (Mr Black). An additional $37 million will be provided over two years for a wide range of activities, including community-based initiatives, drug abuse rehabilitation and increased law enforcement.

The government will allocate an additional $12 million to assist with reform of the court system and $10 million to fund security and other renovations of courthouses across the province.

Ontario’s contribution to the legal aid plan will be increased by 25 per cent to $123 million to ensure that low-income individuals have access to advice and legal representation. In addition, $2.5 million will be provided to expand the number of community legal aid clinics.

The government is responding to the recommendations of the Race Relations and Policing Task Force with $12 million over two years to promote racial equality in police employment practices and greater access to services, and to improve the relationship between police and the community.

The government will add $7.8 million to expand programs that prevent violence against women and children and to provide additional support to victims.

The throne speech contained significant measures to improve the quality of education in Ontario. This budget funds the first-year costs of initiatives that secure future opportunities for all our children and excellence in education from junior and senior kindergarten through secondary school.

Support for these programs will be phased in over five years, beginning in September 1990. Once fully implemented, up to $194 million per year in operating grants will be made available by the province. In addition, $100 million will be available for related capital projects.

A further $60 million in capital funding will be provided over a five-year period for the renewal of technological education in secondary schools. Funding will be available beginning in the next fiscal year.

The government is committed to ensuring equitable access to financial resources for the publicly funded school systems. Beginning in 1990, the local tax base will be shared equitably by all school boards in the same area. I hope the honourable members on all sides will recognize that this is a historic announcement, bringing fairness and equity to the financing of our public school systems. This initiative will be phased in over six years, at an annual cost to the province of up to $180 million when fully implemented.

In the 1988 budget, the government responded to local needs for school facilities with a $900-million, three-year commitment to school construction and renovation. This commitment has been extended to $1.2 billion over four years. Since 1984-85, more than $2.4 billion in school capital projects has been committed. To further accelerate school construction, $300 million in provincial funding for 1990-91 projects will be advanced this fiscal year.

I draw to the honourable members’ attention, which may not be necessary, that the funding here is advanced for the plan in 1990-91. We feel that the sooner we get the capital construction under way, the better we can meet the problems we are all aware of.

An additional $1 million will be provided to improve services to Ontario’s public libraries.

Transfer payments to the municipal sector this year will total $4.5 billion, an increase of eight per cent or $333 million over last year. Transfers to municipalities for social assistance for individuals and families in need will increase by 13.6 per cent. This increase includes additional assistance for the enriched benefits provided in response to the recommendations of the Social Assistance Review Committee report. Funding for transit facilities will increase by 16.6 per cent, for environmental services by 23.7 per cent and for child care services provided in day nurseries by 16.6 per cent.

The province advanced $413 million of this year’s unconditional grants entitlements to municipalities last year. This action provided a cash flow advantage to the municipalities.


Municipalities and school boards need more resources for schools, roads, sewers and other infrastructure to accommodate development. The government has completed extensive consultation on the green paper entitled Financing Growth-Related Capital Needs that explored a number of options for financing this infrastructure. The Minister of Municipal Affairs (Mr Eakins) will introduce the Development Charges Act, which will give municipalities and school boards the option of establishing lot levies for the local share of growth-related capital projects.

School boards currently raise capital funds from property taxes and debentures. In addition to the option of lot levies, school boards will be given the further option of borrowing up to $200 million in lower-cost Canada pension plan funds. They will also be encouraged to consider payments in kind and other innovative financing arrangements with developers. The Development Charges Act will provide a permissive legislative framework for municipalities’ front-end financing arrangements and will bring structure to existing lot levies.

With the government’s other initiatives in this area, these financing alternatives should reduce the impediments to approval of land for housing and ease the adjustment to rapid growth.

I would like to thank municipalities for their co-operation in holding lot levies constant during the consultation period. I would urge municipalities to consider the intent of the Development Charges Act in establishing their lot levy policies over the next few months.

Ontario’s agriculture industry continues to face a challenging economic environment. In addition to $220 million in sales and fuel tax rebates and exemptions, Ontario provides $524 million in support of the agricultural community in 1988-89.

Direct financial assistance to agriculture, including property tax rebates, low-interest loans and commodity price supports has more than doubled, in fact 110.8 per cent, from 1984-85 to 1988-89, and this year will total $239 million. A five-year, $55-million program to provide greater support for the red meat industry will be introduced. Assistance to new farmers under Farm-Start will increase to over $11 million. The farm property tax rebate program will be targeted to assist those engaged in full-time farming activities.

Other support to the agricultural community includes the balance of a $10-million contribution to a $40-million joint extension of the federal-provincial tobacco exit assistance program, and $29.5 million for programs in support of adjustments in the wine and grape industry.

In recognition of the importance of environmental protection, the government introduced the land stewardship/soil conservation program in 1987. This program provides technical and financial assistance to farmers for soil conservation. This year, funding for land conservation management will increase by $3.3 million to $12.3 million.

In recognition of the economic importance of Ontario’s cultural sector and its unique ability to foster creativity, this budget provides an additional $25 million to a variety of organizations and institutions that contribute to Ontario’s rich cultural environment. This funding will make possible the extension of TVOntario service in eastern Ontario; additional support for artists and art organizations through the Ontario Arts Council; greater support for international touring by the National Ballet and the Toronto Symphony; funding for the International Telecommunications Discovery Centre, and capital improvements to the Royal Ontario Museum, the McMichael Canadian Collection, the Royal Botanical Gardens and Science North.

The fully indexed pension benefits of our teachers and public servants are among the best in North America. However, expert reports have indicated serious shortcomings with the financing of their indexation benefits.

Legislation will be introduced to provide necessary financial reforms. One consolidated pension fund will be established for the teachers’ plan and a separate-consolidated pension fund will be established for the public service plan. To sustain future benefits, the government will increase its contribution by one percentage point. Public servants and teachers will be required to provide a matching contribution. Over the next 40 years, the government will pay for past deficits estimated to total $5.7 billion.

The plans will be permitted to invest in market securities and the contribution rate has been set on this basis. Benefit improvements brought about by Ontario’s recent pension reforms will be embodied in the legislation. This budget allocates funding to place the plans on a sound financial footing, finally.

The federal budget included reductions in federal support for health care and post-secondary education; deferral of the Canada child care bill; increased federal excise and sales taxes, increased personal income taxes and increased corporate taxes, and alterations to the unemployment insurance program. The negative fiscal impact on Ontario of the federal budget is estimated to be $560 million on a full-year basis.

The federal budget further reduces Canada’s commitment to the historic partnership which has supported health and post-secondary education. Previous reductions introduced by the federal government to established programs financing entitlements amounted to approximately $970 million last year and will be about $1.2 billion this fiscal year. With the latest changes, the federal share of these programs will be reduced from a high of 51 per cent in 1979-80 to less than 38 per cent now.

The federal government has also reduced by 50 per cent its commitment for regional economic development in Ontario.

Deferral of the Canada child care bill is disappointing, since the federal program would have implemented Ontario’s commitment to child care announced in the New Directions policy. However, the federal government will continue to share costs of child care programs under the Canada assistance plan.

The federal government’s announced intention to proceed with implementation of a new federal sales tax has significant implications for Ontario’s economy, social programs and fiscal position. It is important that the federal government continue to work with the provinces and the territories to minimize the duplication and confusion that it will create with the introduction of a new federal sales tax.

“Pay as you go” continues to be a fundamental principle guiding the government’s fiscal policy. This budget produces the highest operating surplus in Ontario’s history, which will fund 82 per cent of Ontario’s largest ever annual capital expenditure. I am pleased to report that Ontario will have an operating surplus of $2.6 billion and that the deficit has been reduced by $911 million this year to $577 million, the lowest level in 15 years.

The government’s record of fiscal management has been achieved through its determination to control spending while raising the necessary revenues to meet the needs of the people of Ontario. The province’s per capita spending remains lower than that of four other provinces.

Last year’s budget set a target of $500 million for in-year expenditure savings and constraints. I am pleased to report to the House that target has been achieved.

More than 75 per cent of increased expenditure requirements this year are dedicated to health care, education, housing and social services.

Additional revenue measures are described in budget paper A and include: changes to the land transfer tax, motive fuel taxation, driver’s licence fees, alcohol levies, water power rental rates and retail sales tax rebates on alternative fuel conversions and on vehicles for the disabled; introduction of unclaimed property legislation, which is interesting, and mining tax instalments, and application of a debt guarantee fee to Ontario Hydro.


The government is focusing its resources to support Ontario’s competitive position, while responding to the needs of those less able to help themselves. Sustainable and environmentally compatible economic growth is the key to improving the quality of life for all in Ontario.

This budget addresses the recommendations of the Social Assistance Review Committee. It substantially enriches benefits for children and their families and includes major increases to meet basic shelter needs. At the same time, individuals and families will be able to take advantage of new opportunities for independence embodied in the major reform of the social assistance system.

This budget keeps Ontario competitive, secures the financing of health care, reforms Ontario’s assistance to the socially and economically disadvantaged, provides for major transportation investments, supports a cleaner, healthier environment, and funds the introduction of education innovations.

This budget ensures the necessary revenues are in place to secure the future of Ontario’s essential services. This budget provides individuals and families with $1 billion in direct savings and lower taxes through the elimination of Ontario health insurance plan premiums.

All this is accomplished with Ontario’s future clearly in mind and with renewed dedication to Ontario’s policy of continued fiscal responsibility.

The Speaker: Does any other member wish to participate in this debate?

On motion by Mr Laughren, the debate was adjourned.

Hon Mr Conway: Consistent with normal budget address custom, I seek unanimous consent to revert to introduction of bills.

The Speaker: Is there unanimous consent?

Agreed to.



Hon R. F. Nixon moved first reading of Bill 17, An Act to authorize the raising of Money on the Credit of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

Motion agreed to.


Hon R. F. Nixon moved first reading of Bill 18, An Act to amend the Ontario Municipal Improvement Corporation Act.

Motion agreed to.


Hon Mr Wong moved first reading of Bill 19, An Act to amend the Power Corporation Act.

Motion agreed to.


Hon Mr Eakins moved first reading of Bill 20, An Act to provide for Payment of Development Charges.

Motion agreed to.


Hon Mr Grandmaître moved first reading of Bill 21, An Act to amend the Fuel Tax Act, 1981.

L’hon. M. Grandmaître propose la première lecture du projet de loi 21, Loi portant modification de la Loi de 1981 de la taxe sur les carburants.

Motion agreed to.

La motion est adoptée.


L’hon. M. Grandmaître propose la première lecture du projet de loi 22, Loi portant modification de la Loi sur la taxe de vente au détail.

Hon Mr Grandmaître moved first reading of Bill 22, An Act to amend the Retail Sales Tax Act.

La motion est adoptée.

Motion agreed to.


Hon Mr Grandmaître moved first reading of Bill 23, An Act to amend the Land Transfer Tax Act.

L’hon. M. Grandmaître propose la première lecture du projet de loi 23, Loi portant modification de la Loi sur les droits de cession immobilière.

Motion agreed to.

La motion est adoptée.


L’hon. M. Grandmaître propose la première lecture du projet de loi 24, Loi portant modification de la Loi de la taxe sur l’essence.

Hon Mr Grandmaître moved first reading of Bill 24, An Act to amend the Gasoline Tax Act.

La motion est adoptée.

Motion agreed to.

The House adjourned at 1700.