REPORT OF CONFLICT OF INTEREST COMMISSIONER

MEMBERS' STATEMENTS

ASSISTANCE TO LEARNING DISABLED

GREATER TORONTO AREA

MAY DAY

NORTHERN TRANSPORTATION

NORTHERN HEALTH TRAVEL GRANTS

HUGH EDIGHOFFER

TOURISM INDUSTRY

BUDGET

MAY DAY

VISITOR

PORTRAIT OF FORMER SPEAKER

STATEMENTS BY THE MINISTRY

ASSISTANCE TO BUSINESS

SOCIAL ASSISTANCE

RESPONSES

ASSISTANCE TO BUSINESS

SOCIAL ASSISTANCE

MINISTERIAL STATEMENTS / DÉCLARATIONS MINISTÉRIELLES

ASSISTANCE TO BUSINESS

SOCIAL ASSISTANCE

ASSISTANCE TO FARMERS

ORAL QUESTIONS

TAX INCREASES

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

BUDGET

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

TAX INCREASES

WOMEN'S LEGAL CLINIC

SOCIAL ASSISTANCE

TAX INCREASES

ASSISTED HOUSING

PURCHASE OF URANIUM

COMMERCIAL CONCENTRATION TAX

QUESTION PERIOD

PETITIONS

PURCHASE OF URANIUM

SCHOOL TRUSTEES

PURCHASE OF URANIUM

SCHOOL TRUSTEES

PURCHASE OF URANIUM

SCHOOL TRUSTEES

REPORT BY COMMITTEE

STANDING COMMITTEE ON REGULATIONS AND PRIVATE BILLS

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

HIGHWAY TRAFFIC AMENDMENT ACT (VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS), 1991 / LOI DE 1991 MODIFIANT LE CODE DE LA ROUTE (POMPIERS AUXILIAIRES)

DEVELOPMENT CHARGES AMENDMENT ACT FOR THE AIRY & SABINE DISTRICT SCHOOL AREA BOARD, 1991 / LOI DE 1991 PORTANT MODIFICATION SUR LA REDEVANCE D'EXPLOITATION POUR LE CONSEIL SCOLAIRE DE CIRCONSCRIPTION DE DISTRICT D'AIRY & SABINE

DEVELOPMENT CHARGES AMENDMENT ACT FOR THE ASQUITH-GARVEY DISTRICT SCHOOL AREA BOARD, 1991 / LOI DE 1991 PORTANT MODIFICATION SUR LA REDEVANCE D'EXPLOITATION POUR LE CONSEIL SCOLAIRE DE LA CIRCONSCRIPTION DU DISTRICT D'ASQUITH-GARVEY

DEVELOPMENT CHARGES AMENDMENT ACT FOR THE ATIKOKAN BOARD OF EDUCATION, 1991 / LOI DE 1991 PORTANT MODIFICATION SUR LA REDEVANCE D'EXPLOITATION POUR LE CONSEIL DE L'ÉDUCATION D'ATIKOKAN

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

DEVELOPMENT CHARGES AMENDMENT ACT FOR THE ATIKOKAN ROMAN CATHOLIC SEPARATE SCHOOL BOARD, 1991 / LOI DE 1991 PORTANT MODIFICATION SUR LA REDEVANCE D'EXPLOITATION POUR LE CONSEIL DES ÉCOLES SÉPARÉES CATHOLIQUES D'ATIKOKAN

TOWN OF FORT ERIE ECONOMIC PROTECTION ACT, 1991 / LOI DE 1991 POUR LA PROTECTION ÉCONOMIQUE DE LA VILLE DE FORT ERIE

TOWN OF NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE ECONOMIC PROTECTION ACT, 1991 / LOI DE 1991 POUR LA PROTECTION ÉCONOMIQUE DE LA VILLE DE NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE

APPENDIX

PORTRAIT OF FORMER SPEAKER


The House met at 1330.

Prayers.

REPORT OF CONFLICT OF INTEREST COMMISSIONER

The Speaker: I beg to inform the House that I have today laid upon the table a report of the Honourable Gregory T. Evans, commissioner on conflict of interest, regarding the Honourable Zanana Akande, Minister of Community and Social Services.

MEMBERS' STATEMENTS

ASSISTANCE TO LEARNING DISABLED

Mr Callahan: I rise today to speak to many of the ministers of this House: Health, Correctional Services, the Attorney General, the Premier, the minister for the disabled. I want to relate a few facts to them.

Do they realize that learning disabilities is one of the seven most disabling conditions in Canada, that 85% of young offenders show symptoms of learning disabilities, that 50% of young suicides suffered from learning disabilities, that 50% of criminals are learning disabled, that 16% of Canadian children have learning disabilities, that up to 80% of referrals to outpatient psychiatric clinics for children turn out to be handicapped readers, that between 30% and 50% of all basic adult learners have some form of learning disability?

There are 64,000 persons in the region of Peel who are learning disabled.

I am not asking those ministries to spend more money. I am suggesting that they use it more wisely in looking into this problem. Perhaps they can correct the problems that will arise in the future, if they are not looked at. I suggest to them that in my years of practising criminal law, in many of the cases when I rose to speak to sentence, the pre-sentence report started out like this: "The young person had a learning disability which went undiagnosed. As a result of it, they were pushed on from class to class, lost interest in themselves and eventually wound up being people out there in the criminal process."

GREATER TORONTO AREA

Mrs Marland: When the NDP government unleashed its irresponsible budget on the people of Ontario, it argued that tripling the deficit to almost $10 billion was necessary to help solve some of the province's social problems.

Let's take a look at how well that will work in the greater Toronto area. Twenty-eight million dollars is being pledged for expanded recycling programs. Metro council's works committee chairperson, Joan King, told the Toronto Star that is a drop in the bucket. She says it is impossible to finance new initiatives to reduce, reuse and recycle with so little money.

While the GTA carries about 35% of the provincial welfare load, Metro's commissioner of community and social services, Don Richmond, says his department will get only $5 million of the $125 million earmarked for welfare spending. He points out that Metro welfare costs have jumped $60 million in the past year. So the NDP claim that the higher deficit is justified in the name of social benefits is simply hogwash.

Not only does the GTA not receive the kind of help it needs, the new fuel taxes imposed by the New Democrats will cost the area $850,000 this year and $2.3 million in 1992.

Just like everyone else in the province, residents of the greater Toronto area will pay the price of the NDP's monster deficit and get precious little in return.

MAY DAY

Mr White: May Day, 1 May, has long been marked as a celebratory day for labour activists.

I would like to take this opportunity to recognize the very progressive accomplishments of a modern union local. CUPE Local 1000 represents the employees of Ontario Hydro.

After the previous government gutted the worker health and safety bill, it introduced into its next collective agreement the right for its members to refuse unsafe work. This should be particularly commended, given the number of workplace accidents and deaths that we mourned on 28 April, the national day of mourning.

CUPE 1000 also has a comprehensive employment equity plan that would enhance the representation of women and minorities in Hydro's employ.

This union local is also involved with environmental and conservation groups in developing new strategies to meet the energy needs of our provincial economy. They are profoundly concerned about any environmental contamination and state clearly that nuclear plants should be upgraded to achieve zero environmental emissions.

I feel that such progressive unions and such progressive moves should be commended, particularly today on May Day.

NORTHERN TRANSPORTATION

Mr Brown: On the same day as the NDP pulled the plug on Elliot Lake, the NDP thinks it can pull the wool over the eyes of the people in northern Ontario.

On the one hand, the NDP is eliminating the charge to northerners of a vehicle registration fee, a saving of $33. On the other hand, the gas tax increase will mean an average $110 a year in added costs to northern residents. That means that the registration fee will leave $33 in each northern driver's pocket for about two seconds, and then the other hand will reach in and take out $110.

My friends in northern Ontario, the NDP will give the north $15 million and take away $50 million. Do the Treasurer and the northern members of the government caucus believe that this is going to play?

It is unbelievable that higher costs to northern drivers have been delivered by this government, a government that campaigned on the platform of controlling gas price gouging and giving northerners a break. It was the Minister of Northern Development's literature which stated, "Gas prices must be equalized across the province." All I can say is she got it half right. The increase is equal across the province but the prices are still higher in northern Ontario.

The quality of northern roads, our climate and our distances combine to dictate the purchase of larger vehicles in northern Ontario. Four-wheel-drive vehicles and sports utility vehicles are going to have tax increases. The real reason the northern Ontario four-laning highway projects are not going ahead is because no one will be able to afford to drive on them.

1340

NORTHERN HEALTH TRAVEL GRANTS

Mr Eves: Speaking of getting things half right, I refer to page 10 of the Treasurer's budget, introduced in this House two days ago. He indicated that there was good news, at least for the constituents in Parry Sound riding in the districts of Parry Sound and Nipissing, in that he was reducing the minimum distance for the northern health travel grant program to 100 kilometres for travel one way within northern Ontario or Manitoba. I want to emphasize the word "within," because it is very important in this discussion.

I then contacted the Minister of Health's office both on the afternoon of the budget and yesterday afternoon, only to have explained to me that as far as the Minister of Health's office was concerned, it knew of no change in the northern health travel grant program.

I then contacted the Treasurer's office yesterday afternoon and was informed that what I suspected was correct, that it did not address the other part of the northern health travel grant program. They have not changed the distance of 300 kilometres for travel from northern Ontario to southern Ontario for specialized treatment, ie, in the city of Toronto, where many constituents from the district of Parry Sound and the southern part of the district of Nipissing have to come for specialized treatment. Those people will not be helped at all by the Treasurer's grandiose announcement on page 10 of his budget.

I would ask the Treasurer and the Minister of Health to reconsider their positions in this matter.

HUGH EDIGHOFFER

Mrs Haslam: I rise in this House to honour a former Speaker of the Legislature, whose portrait is to be unveiled today.

Hugh Edighoffer is one of five generations of Edighoffers who have lived in Mitchell in my riding of Perth since his grandfather settled and opened a department store on the main street in 1924. He was first elected as a provincial member in 1967 by a majority, I am told, of 184 votes. Ten years later, however, he was elected with the largest plurality of any rural riding and again in 1985 with the largest majority of any candidate in the provincial election.

He was appointed as Speaker in 1985 and always tried to serve in a fair, impartial but firm manner. Mr Edighoffer is widely respected for his unbiased judgement, calm manner and his informal yet not heavy-handed style. He was well respected by the members and was described by many people as one of the most non-partisan politicians at Queen's Park. He is now a country gentleman in a town of approximately 1,200. I am told that he promised 15 years ago to clean out the basement and that he hoped to get time to do it now.

Today we are unveiling his portrait as the former Speaker and I know all members join me in showing appreciation to Mr Edighoffer and wishing him good health in his retirement.

TOURISM INDUSTRY

Mr Miclash: This is the type of letter that members of this government can expect to soon receive from tourist operators across Ontario.

This letter is an example of what can be expected from a tourist operator running a fly-in operation in the north.

"Dear Mr Minister,

"I have tried to understand you, but I sometimes feel that this government just doesn't want us in this business.

"Your budget that came down this week is the last straw. It sure is tough to build up a loyal clientele of returning customers when they think I am robbing them at every turn. All I can say is, when I tell them it is all the taxes you people have piled on us, they stop yelling at me, but they start saying some pretty unpleasant things about you.

"The tax on gas for the car to get them here is bad enough, but then I have to pass along the tax from the gasoline for the outboard motor, the diesel for the generator and the aviation fuel to fly them in to my operations. They sure aren't happy about the increase in the liquor prices, and they cannot believe what the new tax on my four-by-four means to my bottom line. They sure ain't happy campers. I think more and more of my guests are going to find alternatives south of the border.

"Mr Minister, as a fly-in operator, this budget is causing a lot of turbulence in our industry and my final words to you are, 'Mayday, mayday, mayday.'"

BUDGET

Mr Turnbull: The budget was indeed a historic document. Not only is it the first socialist budget in Ontario's history, but it has produced a deficit of historic proportions. It took 124 years to give us a debt load of almost $39 billion. The socialist government will manage to double this amount in only four years.

The Treasurer has predicted that Ontario will begin to come out of the recession this year. Yet, as my graph shows, the massive deficits are to continue each year for at least the next four years. Our children's future is being mortgaged to pay for the lack of control today. A baby born in Ontario before this budget was born owing $4,000 as its share of the debt; after four years of socialism an Ontario baby will start life $8,000 in debt. What a gift for our new citizens.

Not only is our Treasurer out of sync with the collective wisdom of every other treasurer in all of Canada, both federal and provincial, but his lack of control on our money has threatened our credit rating. The Premier spoke of the hocus-pocus of the triple A rating, calling it a monkey on our backs. Should our credit rating drop, this monkey will cost us an additional $15 million of interest charges in 1991-92 alone.

My constituents work hard for their money. They demand their government have more respect for it.

MAY DAY

Mr G. Wilson: May Day is an ancient holiday celebrating the arrival of spring. More recently it has been associated with the celebration by workers in many parts of the world of their achievements in creating more just and humane social conditions. The international solidarity of workers is particularly important at a time when multinational companies, aided and abetted by neo-conservative governments, are pushing a concept of competitiveness that will worsen conditions for workers in both the developed and the developing countries.

I am pleased to say that the celebration of May Day is enjoying a revival in Ontario. Mayworks, a festival of working people and the arts, is thriving in its sixth year in Toronto. Mayworks in Windsor has activities running from 27 April to 5 May. In my riding, May Day, a workers' festival, is making its first appearance. Tonight there will be lectures on working-class experiences in Kingston, Canada and abroad. Friday will feature films on working class themes. Saturday night at the Steelworkers' Hall, Kevin Head and David Archibald will play music appropriate for May Day.

In the words of its brochure, Mayworks emphasizes that art should belong to everyone, not just the élite, and that art can mirror the concerns and crises of society. In these difficult economic times, when the labour movement and the arts are both under attack, it is only natural that we support one another.

I would like to add that by building solidarity among workers everywhere, we can create a world that is truly worth celebrating.

VISITOR

The Speaker: Before continuing, members may wish to welcome to our midst this afternoon the former member for Scarborough Centre, Bill Davis, seated in the members' gallery, west side.

PORTRAIT OF FORMER SPEAKER

The Speaker: I also would like to invite all members of the Assembly to the unveiling of the portrait of the former Speaker, Hugh Edighoffer. The unveiling will take place in the main foyer of the grand staircase at 6 o'clock this evening.

In the past, the proceedings of the unveiling ceremony have been recorded by Hansard. Would it be the wish of the House to include this as an appendix to Hansard?

Agreed to.

[See appendix, page 1115.]

1350

STATEMENTS BY THE MINISTRY

ASSISTANCE TO BUSINESS

Hon Mr Pilkey: It gives me great pleasure to present to the House the details of two important budget initiatives that will be managed by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Technology.

In his budget on Monday, the Treasurer presented a comprehensive plan to assist the people of Ontario during the process of economic recovery. My ministry, including the Ontario Development Corp and Innovation Ontario Corp, will play a vital role in this process. As the Treasurer said, "Government alone cannot create sustainable prosperity, but it can start providing the framework and stimulate strategic investment, both public and private, that will be needed to achieve it."

There are some small and medium-sized manufacturing firms in Ontario which are fundamentally viable, but which are having financial difficulties because of the recession and high interest rates. These firms provide quality jobs with solid future prospects and have long-run strategic value to our economy. This government has promised to support Ontario's small and medium-sized businesses, and now we are delivering on that promise. My ministry has designed programs aimed at those businesses that need assistance now and that can best be expected to lead the recovery once this recession is over.

The manufacturing recovery program is a $57-million financial assistance package to help fundamentally sound, small and medium-sized manufacturing companies recover from the recession. It is estimated that these targeted companies employ some 25,000 people. It is my ministry's intention to support the recovery of these firms that might otherwise succumb to the current economic difficulties.

This program is designed to inject confidence and provide support for a vital but often neglected sector of the economy and to ensure that we do not lose sight of our commitment to technological change as a guiding force in the Ontario economy.

The manufacturing recovery program is open to manufacturing companies in Ontario, foreign-owned or domestic, that consider this province their home base, that is, companies whose key decisions are directed from Ontario. If these companies have been unable to market their products because of the economic downturn here and in our major markets, then we will work with these companies to assist them in reclaiming their share of the market. If they have been unable to generate the cash to invest in new technologies and new equipment upon which their survival will depend, this new program will give them the funds to proceed. It is here that we foresee the best return on investment and the most promise for success.

We expect that up to 200 companies will benefit from the program, companies that normally employ between 50 and 500 workers and with annual sales volume of between $5 million and $75 million. This program will recognize the rather special needs of the north, where firms with as few as 10 employees will also be eligible.

Interested companies are encouraged to contact my ministry's small business hotline. All applications must be made prior to the end of the current fiscal year, which will end 31 March 1992.

The program consists of three elements: a recovery plan based on an expert assessment; financial assistance to hire management, technical or marketing personnel, and loans and loan guarantees where identified and seen as necessary in the recovery plan. Further, investment in our technological infrastructure, the network of people and institutions that gives us technological capability, is important to Ontario's future success.

But the problem of acquiring access to capital for high technology firms has become even worse in this particular economic climate. Private sector capital is moving farther away from the small startup operations and seeking more stable, larger companies with a proven track record. This is a rather critical concern to our ministry.

Over the past five years, Innovation Ontario has worked closely with 177 high-technology firms in Ontario. This MITT agency has provided computer hardware and software, telecommunications, environmental protection and energy conservation firms with investment seed capital to grow and to expand. Usually Innovation Ontario works with companies that are too small to attract the bigger venture capital firms.

This fiscal year we will double Innovation Ontario's budget to almost $22 million. This program will allow the government to invest in promising technology firms as well as allow greater funding options for early-stage companies, and it will allow for the provision of financial services not currently available to these types of companies. In addition, we expect this funding increase will enable Innovation Ontario to become a key instrument in this government's long-range strategy of shifting our economic base to higher value added, technology-oriented production.

The programs I have talked about today build on a long list of MITT services offered to our manufacturers, retailers and service sectors.

Finally, allow me to conclude my statement by repeating our commitment to work as partners with the business community and with labour. It is only through such partnerships that we will be able to create sustainable prosperity and the high value added products and services that will move Ontario to a healthier and more productive economy.

SOCIAL ASSISTANCE

Hon Ms Akande: This government is announcing some first steps towards the revitalization of social assistance reform in Ontario. This announcement concerns employment, job creation and back-to-work initiatives and is part of the $215 million announced in the budget by the provincial Treasurer. These measures re-establish and reactivate the plan to reform the social assistance system.

In 1986 the Ontario government established an independent committee, the Social Assistance Review Committee, SARC, to undertake a public review of the province's social assistance system. In 1988, SARC produced a comprehensive report known as Transitions, which reflected the input of individuals and community groups province-wide.

In May 1990, the Advisory Group on New Social Assistance Legislation was created. This community-based group, chaired by Allan Moscovitch, was charged with transforming the many recommendations contained in Transitions into new legislation. Last October, we asked this group to fast-track its important work. I asked for recommendations that would be of significant benefit to people, recommendations that could be implemented without changing the legislation. In March of this year, the advisory group's report, Back on Track, was released.

We believe this initiative will put social assistance reform back on track after the previous government allowed the momentum for reform to dissipate. I would like to provide further details as to how some of that money will be spent.

The first step I am announcing today will demonstrate that this government is committed to helping social assistance recipients find employment and reduce their dependency on social assistance. Of the $215 million announced in Monday's budget, we are allocating $48.8 million to back-to-work initiatives. They include full recognition of child care costs in calculating net earnings, continued general welfare assistance eligibility for persons working full time but still in financial need and an increase in the percentage of earnings, from 20% to 25%, that recipients of general welfare and family benefits can keep.

As well, we will establish opportunity planning pilot projects in a number of communities. Opportunity planning is fundamental to the vision of a reformed social assistance system, as highlighted in the Back on Track report. These pilot projects will be designed to help some social assistance recipients develop personal plans to help them find employment. Others will be helped to find the community supports and services that will reduce their dependency on social assistance.

In addition to our $215-million response to Back on Track, we have established a $30.5-million job creation fund, with new money, for this fiscal year. This fund is expected to create at least 1,700 jobs for people who are receiving social assistance. This new funding for job creation is in addition to the $23.9 million announced early in March.

We believe that people would rather work than receive social assistance. This new fund will create opportunities in the broader public sector to give social assistance recipients new skills and work experience.

This announcement of job creation and opportunity planning is only the first step. Today I have accounted for about $49 million of the $215 million announced by the Treasurer on Monday; tomorrow I will explain how we will use the remainder of that annual funding.

Today I would like to take this opportunity to thank all members of my Advisory Group on New Social Assistance Legislation, and its chair, Allan Moscovitch, who I am pleased to note is with us today in the Legislature. Without their hard work and dedication, this progress towards social assistance reform would not have been possible.

Members may rest assured that the important process of social assistance reform is indeed back on track.

1400

RESPONSES

ASSISTANCE TO BUSINESS

Mr Kwinter: I listened with interest to the statement by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology. Even if it were accurate, I would be critical. But it is obvious that the minister has no idea what is going on in his ministry, because what we have today is a total rehash of programs that have been in place for the last couple of years. We already have a technical personnel program. We have the Ontario Development Corp, the Northern Ontario Development Corp and the Eastern Ontario Development Corp. What we have now is a program that claims to be spending new money for new programs.

Let me tell members that the budget that was just presented negatively affects 6,000 small businessmen. The 70,000 so-called jobs which are going to be maintained or created -- the key word is "maintained," which means there is no guarantee that one new job will be created -- is going to take up 43 days of a year. What is the government going to do about the other 320 days, where more jobs are going to be lost at the rate of something like 1,500 jobs per day?

I know the minister will go out into the scrum and say,

"That's ridiculous; we're putting new money." If we look at the budget, and this is a budget that shows a 13.4% increase in expenditure, on the line that says "Industry, Trade and Technology," it is $192 million last year and $192 million this year. When we consider that inflation is in there, the ministry is spending less money this year than it did last year. Instead of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, why does the minister not get out there and fight for some money and do something to save some jobs in this province?

SOCIAL ASSISTANCE

Mrs McLeod: This week of disbelief just keeps going on and on. We have an announcement today from the Minister of Community and Social Services regarding one of the only tangible commitments that was made in that budget, and yet we have almost nothing here in this announcement.

There are very few details. There is no indication here of the planning that would be needed for immediate implementation. I would point to the opportunity planning portion of this announcement, which is something we have been calling for repeatedly in this House, and yet there are no criteria here for establishing a program, and no indication of where the program might be offered, in spite of the fact that this is exactly the same program that was recommended in the Back on Track report.

The announcement about job creation is even more perplexing, both in terms of the funding and just what is intended. The minister may be aware that in the last budget of the past government there was a $54-million allocation. That $54 million, to the best of our knowledge, has not yet been allocated, unless in fact it is part of the $215-million announcement which was made in the budget, which in reality is $158 million in terms of its impact in this particular year.

That money was intended to be for job readiness programs, programs that would help people who are currently unemployed to be ready to go into the productive workforce. It was never intended to be a job creation fund. Surely the Ministry of Community and Social Services has enough pressures and enough to do to meet the social policy needs, to meet the real needs of the unemployed people, to help them get back to work, that it does not also have to take on the responsibilities for creating the jobs for unemployed people to go back into.

It concerns me that if the Ministry of Community and Social Services is now becoming a job creation ministry, it can only be because there is a total absence of any long-term planning for economic renewal or job creation on the part of any other ministry in this government, and I think the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Technology announcement today is an indication of that.

If in fact the $54 million from the past budget is not part of the $158 million in this current budget announcement, we would look for some indications in the future announcements of how that money will be allocated and what priorities will be set. We would assume that tomorrow the minister will announce $12 million for municipal assistance for those municipalities where the number of people on social assistance exceeds 3.5% of the population, whereas currently 90% funding is given where the number of people on social assistance is greater than 4%. That is a tragic indication of just how many unemployed people there are in communities across this province.

Nevertheless, we have also advocated municipal assistance at a greater level, and we will welcome that announcement from the minister tomorrow. We would question why this particular announcement has even been broken up. We wonder whether this raises a question of whether there really is any integrated planning, any comprehensive programming, or whether we are just scattering water where the fires are hottest.

MINISTERIAL STATEMENTS / DÉCLARATIONS MINISTÉRIELLES

M. Grandmaître: Monsieur le Président, j'invoque le Règlement. J'ai mentionné auparavant que les déclarations ministérielles qui sont faites en cette Chambre sont très importantes et je dois féliciter la ministre des Services sociaux et communautaires qui nous a procuré une copie en français.

Par contre, je déplore que le ministre de l'Industrie, du Commerce et de la Technologie, qui a fait une annonce substantielle en Chambre, n'a distribué aucune copie en français. Il existe en Chambre non seulement une pratique ou une politique, nous avons une loi en Ontario qui gère ces déclarations-là. J'espère que le ministre de l'Industrie, du Commerce et de la Technologie en prendra note aujourd'hui.

The Speaker: To the member for Ottawa East, I sincerely appreciate his point of order. In our standing orders there is not an obligation, but it is a matter of courtesy. I take it that your remarks have been received by the government ministers, and perhaps the courtesies will be extended further.

ASSISTANCE TO BUSINESS

Mr Sterling: I would like to respond to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology. There are three ways that the minister can help business out and attract investment to Ontario in the long run.

The first is to keep taxes at a competitive level. Ontario has the highest taxes in all of North America, and as a result of Monday's budget we can look forward to even higher taxes. Second, we can keep regulations and red tape to a minimum. This government is bent on increasing red tape regulation for businesses to encourage them -- ha, ha -- to invest in Ontario. Third, they can build the proper infrastructure for business to operate in the province of Ontario. The Treasurer's budget on Monday increased, in a percentage proportion, the amount spent on social services and the part relating to building infrastructure shrunk once again.

The people of Ontario are angry about this government's budget. They are tired of governments spending more than they take in. They are outraged at the tripling of the deficit in this budget. They are tired of governments spending their money to buy off special interest groups.

The leader of the third party helped elect that government on the basis of the spendthrift Liberals in the past government. When is this government going to learn its lesson? Why does it not return this money to the taxpayers or reduce its deficit, spend properly? This is not a correct expenditure of the taxpayers' money in this province. This program is a disgrace. Quit buying off the people of Ontario. They no longer will take it from this government.

1410

SOCIAL ASSISTANCE

Mr Jackson: I would like to publicly acknowledge the hard work and efforts of Allan Moscovitch and his group, the Advisory Group on New Social Assistance Legislation, and the predecessor work of George Thomson and the Transitions report.

I would like to say that the persons most affected by the minister's announcement today are perhaps the most eloquent spokespersons for what they think of the minister's announcements today. I quote from the Toronto Star a headline, "New Funds Fall Short, Poverty Groups Say." Here is what the groups directly affected are saying about this announcement today. "'We expected so much more and we're terribly, terribly disappointed,' said Gerard Kennedy, executive co-ordinator of the Daily Bread Food Bank." Metro chairman Alan Tonks and Toronto Mayor Art Eggleton both "said the NDP program was lopsided and doomed to fail." FoodShare executive director Richard Yampolsky "accused the NDP of 'backsliding' on pledges made to get it elected.... 'This is a zero-sum budget for the poor.'"

They are saying that because they realize the government can assist them with day care costs, it can put more dollars in their pockets, but what they want is the dignity of a job. That is what Ontario residents want, and until this government realizes that it has to create an environment in order for there to be work, these paper announcements of the minister will fall short of expectations.

The government has committed $30 million for training, I want to advise the Premier, who is listening. The federal government transferred, in January and in March of this year, $36 million for technology development just from the drug-related technology field alone. It was a fund of $100 million. Ontario got the largest portion, $36 million. Where did that money go? Into general revenues. We could have put that money into universities, as they did in Saskatchewan. We could have put that money into the heritage fund for the future of the people for job training, as they did in Alberta. But no, this government has to put it in general revenues so it can expand the civil service. These people are not going to get civil service jobs. These people need meaningful jobs that are not temporary but in fact give them long-term employment.

If this government was serious, it would look at other options. How can the poor get a few dollars extra in their pockets now to deal with the Treasurer's new increases? With all the taxes that he has brought in, do members think the poor have been insulated from that? There are many things that could be done. The members opposite should read the Transitions report. I could not agree more with the poverty groups in this province that say the government fell short.

ASSISTANCE TO FARMERS

Hon Mr Laughren: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: Yesterday, in response to a question from the member for S-D-G & East Grenville, I gave an answer which I think at least needs clarification, if not correction.

The question was how the Ministry of Agriculture and Food can have new spending of $90 million in 1991-92 when the difference between the ministry's 1990-91 interim spending and its 1991-92 budget plan is only $21 million. The reason for this is that in 1990-91 there were one-time expenditures that related to the farm income assistance program.

In the spring of 1990, the federal government announced a $500-million, one-year farm assistance program for grain, oilseed, horticulture and fur producers in Canada. OMAF was able to secure $54.6 million of this funding by using Ontario's $48-million interest rate assistance program to lever the federal money. This interest rate assistance program was also a one-year-only program.

Thus the 1991-92 budget plan for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food reflects the reduction of $103 million for the 1990-91 farm income assistance program. With the 1991-92 new program initiatives of the gross revenue insurance plan, with which the member I know is very familiar, of $40 million, and the farm interest assistance of $50 million and the ongoing program adjustments of $34 million added, the 1991-92 budget plan of $576 million is reached.

In summary, $103 million was taken out of the allocation and $124 million was added to the allocation, resulting in a difference of $21 million. I appreciate the attention of the member in listening to my response.

ORAL QUESTIONS

TAX INCREASES

Mr Kwinter: I have a question for the member for Oshawa, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology. The minister has been caught napping again by the devastating budget presented by his government. The NDP, which has come to stand for 'Nother Dumb Policy, has introduced a tax on Canadian families and auto workers which will heavily penalize consumers who drive family size vehicles and thousands of auto workers who make them, and this at a time when GM, Ford and, as recently as today, Chrysler have announced that they have had the largest deficits in their history for the first quarter, the largest losses in their history.

Will the minister share with the House the consultations he and the Treasurer have had with the auto manufacturing industry and, more important, the representations that he had made to the Treasurer on behalf of the auto industry in the runup to the budget?

Hon Mr Pilkey: I would be pleased to respond, but I am going to defer to the Treasurer, since it is his budget recommendation.

Hon Mr Laughren: I think that the member for Wilson Heights would appreciate the fact that when this government came to office, one of the major planks in our platform was that we were going to be an environmentally conscious government and we were going to put a lot of emphasis on conservation of energy. I think that the member for Wilson Heights, to be fair -- and he sits right behind the former Minister of the Environment -- would appreciate the fact that it is important to send a message to consumers and to the industry that when cars are purchased, conservation and the environment should be considerations in that purchase decision.

Mr Kwinter: I really feel it is sad when there is a question that is addressing the major sector in our manufacturing sector, one that impacts on virtually everybody in Ontario and is the one thing that makes us really economically different from any other province in Canada, the automotive industry, and the man who has cabinet responsibility for it cannot stand up and answer that question which has nothing to do with how they dealt with the budget but has to do with the jobs that are on the line.

We have a situation here where the president of Ford Motor Co and the president of General Motors, both of whom I spoke to today, are literally beside themselves because they had no consultation. The minister has never talked to them about it. There are jobs that are going to be on the line, and when the Treasurer talks about the environment and when he talks about efficiency, he should know that the minister lives in Oshawa, just down the street from where General Motors makes the Chevy Lumina, which is the most efficient automobile of its class.

The Speaker: And the supplementary?

Mr Kwinter: They make the Buick Regal, which is the most efficient automobile in its class. In Ingersoll they make --

The Speaker: The member for Wilson Heights, would you please quickly get to the interrogative part?

Mr Kwinter: The largest sector in our economy is saying that this particular tax is going to devastate it, it is not going to do one thing for the environment, and I want to know what the Treasurer is going to do to save those jobs in Windsor, St Thomas, Ingersoll, Oakville, Oshawa and the other parts makers in Ontario that are going to be impacted by this ridiculous tax.

Mr Carr: Those jobs are on your head. It's a direct result of you, Floyd. No jobs in Oakville.

The Speaker: The member for Oakville South, all of us I know are conscious of the efforts to get as many questions in as possible and your co-operation would be helpful.

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Hon Mr Laughren: As part of my response to the member for Wilson Heights, I cannot resist the temptation to comment to him that I find it very difficult to accept interjections from a member of the Conservative Party whose federal party cut $100 million out of the Canadian Jobs Strategy.

I hope that whenever this government makes any kind of attempt or a move for environmental enhancement in this province that the member for Wilson Heights will not be on his feet in opposition to it.

Interjections.

Mr Kwinter: Mr Speaker --

The Speaker: The member for Wilson Heights, my observation of this first five minutes is that if we continue this way, it may be necessary for us to take a little recess, because we are not making any progress in terms of giving members an opportunity to ask questions.

Mr Kwinter: Mr Speaker, here is an honourable man. He is a man whom I have a great deal of respect for, and I have to take it that he believes what he says. But if you take a look at the facts, he is saying that the whole purpose of this is environmental when experts have said that 10% of the automobiles are responsible for 50% of the pollution and those 10% are old cars and cars that are not properly tuned.

What he is really doing is sacrificing the jobs of Ontarians, the economy of this province, for some symbolic gesture. All he is really doing is catering to some symbolism that is not going to do anything other than destroy the economic base of this province. How can he stand there and say, "This is why I am doing it"?

Hon Mr Laughren: There is nothing symbolic on the part of this government in its determination to protect the environment and conserve energy, nothing symbolic about that whatsoever. I would remind the member for Wilson Heights to put this in perspective. South of the border the gas-guzzler tax had already been doubled. It is not as though we suddenly decided that we were going to be out in front of everybody else in terms of the tax on gas-guzzling automobiles.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

Mr Elston: I have a question for the Premier. The Premier now has the report of the Conflict of Interest Commissioner in respect to his minister. The contents of the report are very clear indeed. Will he now outline for the House what actions he intends to take?

Hon Mr Rae: The member has stated that the contents of the report are very clear. The report states, and I have had an opportunity to read it obviously, that the minister "indicates that she wished to sever her relationship with the organization" -- this is referring to Earthtone Women's Magazine -- "and I am satisfied that she will take the necessary legal and administrative procedures to achieve that purpose."

It states further on page 9 that, while she was in violation of section 8(1)(c) of the act:

"I am satisfied that her default was not an attempt to avoid the provisions of the act, but rather a failure to appreciate that the incorporation of a company and being a director of the same requires certain procedures to be followed in terminating one's association with the company."

The commissioner also says that he entirely accepts the minister's letters, which she filed with him, and her affidavit with respect to the fact that she in both cases, on 10 October 1990 and at a similar date with respect to both corporations involved, did attempt to sever her relationship, that she did so in good faith, but that because of the technicalities of the Corporations Act there was still more work to be done.

I want to say to the member that under the act the commissioner has the power to reprimand the member. He did not do so. He also has the power with respect to the issue to recommend that the member resign her seat. He did not do that in this instance. There is no reprimand coming from the commissioner with respect to the conduct of the member.

I am satisfied that the minister attempted to resign both directorships. She did so in good faith. I am also satisfied that, having met with the commissioner and having dealt with this issue, she fully intends to comply with all of his recommendations.

Mr Elston: The Premier will know that the act the commissioner was acting under and the portion that he acted under was merely to make a report, as was requested by the Premier. He knows full well that what he has done in this case is accepted the same excuse that he accepted from the Solicitor General, ie, "I didn't know." Is it the intention of the Premier to absolve all his ministers of responsibility in questions of conflict or inappropriate behaviour by accepting the excuse of ignorance of the law?

Hon Mr Rae: I will tell the member very directly what my approach is. There is no question here of a financial benefit, no question here of a challenge to the minister's integrity in terms of her conduct, no question of her desire, in terms of the letters, that she has expressed to sever any connection at all with these two organizations.

In that regard, I really think what I have to deal with as the first minister is: Did the cabinet minister do what she thought was adequate? Yes. Is there any challenge to her integrity here at all? None at all, not an ounce, not an iota, not a jot. There is absolutely no sign of that. I am sure the minister has learned a lesson with regard to the technicalities of the acts in question, but there is absolutely no question in my regard of her having to resign from cabinet. It would be entirely excessive in terms of exactly what the report of the commissioner says and in terms of all that I know about the minister's conduct.

Mr Elston: On 3 July 1986, the member for York South, as he then was known, stood in the House and said: "What difference does it make what guidelines exist if the Premier is not prepared to do what is necessary to see that those guidelines are enforced?" What difference does it make that the Premier has talked about how tough his guidelines are? What difference does it make whatsoever about what actions his ministers take if he is prepared to accept on all occasions ignorance of the law or good intentions as an excuse for a violation of provincial statute and his very own guidelines?

Hon Mr Rae: This matter was referred to the commissioner. The commissioner has the power to recommend a reprimand, or the power to recommend; he has the authority to do that, as I understand the act. The test that I have to apply in looking at the report is, what does the commissioner in fact say?

He says, "In fairness to Ms Akande" -- those are his words on page 7. How can I apply a lesser standard than that, than the standard of fairness? -- "it is obvious from the letter to her associates that she either did not appreciate" that the partnership "had in fact become by letters of patent of incorporation a separate and distinct legal entity of which she was a director and a shareholder."

This is a non-profit company that never paid her and there was no payment involved. There was no remuneration involved. There is no financial interest involved. There is not a nickel involved in terms of financial interest here, and to argue that somebody should resign because of that strikes me as entirely excessive, just excessive.

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Mr Sorbara: Mr Speaker, on a point of order arising from the Premier's answer: I know that the Premier would not want to mislead the House and I think he did inadvertently mislead the House when he suggested that the commissioner had the power to issue a reprimand.

I just point out to the Premier that on the first page of the report of Mr Justice Evans he says, "I have elected to conduct an informal inquiry under section 16 rather than exercise the power of a commission under parts I and II of the Public Inquiries Act." The Members' Conflict of Interest Act does point out that it is only under a public inquiry that the commissioner has the power to reprimand. I am sure the Premier would want to correct the record if he just referred to those sections.

The Speaker: It is not a point of order. It certainly is a point of difference of opinion.

BUDGET

Mr Harris: My question is to the Treasurer. I assume the Treasurer wants to come back in here and defend this budget. I will start while he is walking back, to save time.

The Treasurer will know that Ontario represents 40% of the national economy. This means that any inflation increase in this province caused by his disastrous budget will boost the cost of living across the country. In other words, if the NDP decides to sneeze, and in this case I would say it is sneezing continuously, the rest of Canada inevitably is going to catch a cold.

It is bad enough that the people of Ontario have to put up with this budget. I wonder if the Treasurer could tell us if he thinks it is fair to impose his misguided policies and the disastrous results of those on every other province across this country.

Hon Mr Laughren: I heard what Mr Mulroney and Mr Wilson said as well. It seems to me that this province and this government not only do not need, but do not intend to take the advice of the very people who put us into this mess in the first place, absolutely no intention. The federal government did not need a high deficit in Ontario to raise interest rates to unheard of levels and to keep the value of the Canadian dollar at unacceptable levels. Because we are fighting the recession at least partly because of activities of the federal government is no reason for the leader of the third party to assume that what we have to do in Ontario as a result of what the federal government has done is going to cause problems in other parts of this country.

An hon member: That's your friend Brian.

Mr Harris: I was asking about the other Premiers. They are my friends. They do live in this country, and I am concerned about keeping this country together, not driving it farther apart.

In 1988 Robin Sears, chief strategist for the NDP, said this to the Treasurer's caucus: "A Keynesian solution" -- it is so passé I have trouble getting it out -- "to rising unemployment and declining growth would be risky and probably short-lived, even in Ontario. We would not have the capacity to double the deficit to kickstart the economy as was done in the past in sharp recessions."

The deficit then was $2 billion. He said we do not have the capacity to go to $4 billion, because we would lose more permanent jobs than short-term ones would be created. Now the Treasurer believes that going to five times that deficit, $10 billion, is somehow going to help solve our current economic problems by creating jobs. I suggest to the Treasurer that this is a scam. He knows the jobs he is going to create will be short-lived, temporary jobs. Will he admit today that the 70,000 temporary, short-term jobs his $10-billion deficit creates is a drop in a bucket to the hundreds of thousands of permanent jobs that are going to be lost as a result of these policies?

Hon Mr Laughren: I have enormous difficulty following the logic of the leader of the third party. He seems to think that if we did not stimulate the economy, if we laid off employees in Ontario, this would somehow stimulate the private sector. He is going to have to explain that to me. It does explain, however, why he choked on the word "Keynesian." I can appreciate why he would do that.

It really is difficult to accept advice from the leader of the third party. One of his members stands up prior to question period and says we are spending too much money, and another member, the member for Burlington South, stands up and says we are not spending enough money. I wish they would get their act together over there.

Mr Harris: I know the minister will not take my advice. I was asking him to listen to Robin Sears's advice.

Let me try one more time with the Treasurer. On page 3 of his budget -- page 3 if he wants to check the program -- he said this, "We have made some difficult decisions on program reallocations this year." This means money was taken away from existing programs presumably for some other purpose. Would the Treasurer tell us what programs he cut.

Hon Mr Laughren: As a matter of fact, there were a great many programs. During the process, so ably chaired by my friend and colleague the Chair of Management Board, more than $700 million of program allocations were changed around, over $700 million of reallocations as a result of that process.

I want to say in conclusion to the member for Nipissing that I know what he wants us to do in this province, but I believe the people of Ontario have sent us enough signals that they do not want a country based on the model envisioned by Brian Mulroney; they want a model based on our vision.

Mr Harris: My second question is to the Premier, and it has to do with this mandate the Treasurer is talking about. On 6 September, 25% of eligible voters in Ontario voted for the Premier and his party's candidates. That is not a mandate to mortgage this province's future. Fully 75% of eligible voters did not want the Bob Rae government. Even the 25% who did surely never expected the blow they were delivered on Monday. In view of the fact that this budget contains a record-setting deficit --

Interjections.

The Speaker: The member for Downsview, it would be a great courtesy if the leader of the third party were allowed to place his question without interruption.

Mr Harris: Given that the budget contains a record- setting deficit which will have implications for future generations for years and decades to come, will the Premier today commit to full public hearings on the total budget before we proceed any further?

Hon Mr Rae: We have an estimates process which is there, which involves hearings and involves discussions open to everyone. We have a budget debate which is open to everyone. We also have a statement from the Treasurer which I think is very clear, that with respect to future budgets -- remembering that our preparation for this budget took place halfway through the last financial year -- this next year is our opportunity to begin to change the process and begin to open it up. I think the Treasurer said very explicitly and very clearly, and he has my full support in this regard, that we do want to create a process in which people can see the choices that are ahead of us, how difficult these choices are.

Yes, if the member has some consistent advice we would like to hear it, but just earlier I heard the member for Carleton saying we were spending too much and then I heard the member for Burlington South saying we were not spending enough. Let's get clear what the messages are over on that side. We know where we are going. Do they?

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Mr Harris: The member for Burlington South said they are spending in the wrong direction, the wrong way.

Monday's ill-conceived and irresponsible action on the part of the government, in our view and in the view of everybody who is calling our offices, will destroy Ontario. By the time Ontarians go to the polls in four years, we will have at least a $75-billion debt, assuming they hit their predictions, which we do not think are achievable. Each and every individual in this province will have to bear the burden of that debt for years to come.

The Premier has said they want to be a government that represents all the people. Before he embarks on a 180-degree opposite direction to what the majority of Ontarians want him to go, would he not agree they deserve a say? I ask him again, before proceeding any farther with this nonsense, will he agree to refer the whole budget to a legislative committee to allow the public to have its say before we proceed any further with debate and budget bills and implementing this budget?

Hon Mr Rae: This will happen. This is an open forum. This is a place where discussions will take place. The estimates process is where the discussion will take place.

We have been elected as a government. I know it is hard for the member opposite to accept that fact, but that is true; that is the reality of what has happened. We are exercising that responsibility with as much care as we can, given the circumstances of the recession. I want to say to the member for Nipissing that we have made a decision as a government that we put fighting the recession as the first obligation we have. I do not think, really, that the people of Ontario are surprised that the New Democratic Party government would put fighting the recession as its first priority. I think that is what they expect of us.

Mr Harris: I cannot believe anyone has called the Premier and said, "Thanks, Bob, that's exactly what we needed."

An hon member: Bob White did.

Mr Harris: Other than Bob White and Susan Eng. I am sure she likes it too.

I doubt the taxpayers are stopping the Treasurer on the street and saying, "Gee, Floyd, you did just exactly what we'd hoped you would do." The people of this province are furious. The government is destroying permanent jobs and replacing them with temporary jobs. The people calling our offices, the people I see on the street, the people I heard on the Andy Barrie show this morning are telling us that to get out of this recession and to save Ontario's permanent jobs, governments should be spending less money and collecting fewer taxes.

The Premier does not want to listen to me, he does not want to listen to us. He refused to listen to the advice he got before the budget. Will he not allow the public to have their say by sending this whole budget to a legislative committee before we proceed with debate on this budget and before we proceed to implement this absolutely disastrous disgrace?

Hon Mr Rae: The member has indicated that he would like us, as I understand it, to refer the entire matter to a parliamentary committee. I can only tell him that the standing rules of the House call for a budget debate, a response to the budget from the opposition parties. That is coming today, as it did yesterday. There was a very vigorous debate about a number of issues and there will continue to be.

I want to say to the honourable member that there is a budget debate, there is an estimates process and, as I have said before, there is a commitment from the Treasurer for a new process with respect to a new budget in which we set out very clearly the choices that are there. That is the way we intend to proceed. We think that is the fairest way to proceed and we think that is the best possible approach we can take on behalf of the taxpayers of the province.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

Mr Elston: I have a question for the Premier. The Premier had fun reading from the report and he also had fun telling people that Mr Justice Evans had powers he did not have. If he would read the statute, he would rise and correct the record, that Mr Evans did not have the authority to do what he said he did.

My question will relate to some of the statements made on page 7. The minister was "in violation of section 8(1)(c) of the act." On page 8, "No returns, annual or otherwise, have been filed under the provisions of the Corporations Act since June 17, 1982 in violation of the statute in that behalf." On page 9, "the minister was a director of Zarida Associates Inc when she filed her disclosure statement and was in violation of section 8(1)(c) of the act."

The Premier has tried to hide behind Mr Justice Evans. The Premier knows that he alone has been set up as the sole arbiter, sole judge and sole executioner in matters of this sort. I ask the Premier, when will he stop hiding behind other people and do his job?

Hon Mr Rae: First of all, I am not hiding behind anybody. I am just telling the member the facts of the case. I am telling him that the matter was referred to the commissioner and the commissioner has made a report. That is what I am saying. I am not denying for a moment that the commissioner, as finder of fact, has found with respect to both corporations, the Earthtone non-profit magazine and the family trust, that the minister tried to resign but that this did not take effect.

The member is asking me to be the executioner in this case. I am saying to the member that I have no intention of doing that and I am going to tell him exactly why: because I have read the report and because I have read what he says. "I am satisfied with her explanation." That is what he says on page 8 and he says on page 9, "I am satisfied that her default was not an attempt to avoid the provisions of the act." That is the fact of the matter.

With respect to my interpretation of the act, there is no constraint under section 16 or any other section. If the commissioner had wished to make any recommendations with respect to the conduct of the minister, he could have done so.

Mr Elston: In the province of Ontario today, we have standards that were set in place by the Premier of his own will. Nobody forced him to set those standards. Nobody was assigned by the Premier to read the results of a violation of those standards or to make the final decision on those standards. He retained it unto himself. To this date he has retained it unto himself.

I am asking the Premier how he intends for the people of the province to have faith in the standards he himself has set when he allows ignorance of the law or good intentions to act as sole and sufficient defence to a violation both of a provincial statute, breaking the law, and of his own guidelines.

Hon Mr Rae: I think the member's characterization of the issues is inaccurate. I would only say to the member that of course I will be judged by the public and I will be judged by others with respect to how I exercise whatever authority is vested in me.

I am satisfied there was absolutely no intention -- in fact, quite to the contrary, there was clearly the intention to resign. The clear intention was there in all cases to comply fully with the guidelines and requirements of the conflict act. That intention was fully there. Under those circumstances I am satisfied that the minister should not have to resign as a minister of the crown in this government.

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TAX INCREASES

Mr Stockwell: My question is to the Treasurer. On reading his budget, there are two very interesting reviews that I would like to bring to his attention. On page 2, on the economic outlook, the Treasurer said in his projections that real growth would be some 3.7% in his three-year fiscal plan. In his revenue projections, the Treasurer gave increases in revenues of some 10% per year for the next three years. They are right here.

Those are the Treasurer's predictions: real growth at 3.7%, revenue projections at 10%. Deloitte and Touche commented on this and their comments were very clear. I would like to ask the Treasurer to respond to these comments. They said:

"The government's three-year fiscal plan indicates a growth in revenues of almost 10% per year. Implicit in those revenue forecasts is a 3.7% growth in the economy. Therefore, the Treasurer is looking at substantial tax hikes each year in the next three years to attain those revenue projections."

Those are the Treasurer's numbers; those are his calculations. What tax hikes is he looking at? How much is he going to hike the taxes? Why does he not tell the public so they can be just as upset today as they were yesterday?

Hon Mr Laughren: I am sure the member for Etobicoke West will forgive me if I try to cope with the problems within Ontario today and with this budget before I start writing the next one and the one after that.

I think the member for Etobicoke West does ask a fair question about the out-year numbers, though. It was very clear that those numbers are in there. It is not a normal tradition in Ontario to put those in, although there have been cases where that has happened, I gather.

Those numbers were put in there to give an indication to people who are concerned about the level of the deficit this year, and I understand that concern, to show that we do intend to make sure by a mix of the growth in the economy and new revenues and expenditure controls in the years after this one when we are out of the recession, after we have made a major commitment this year to fight the recession, that we will attack the deficit and start working it down in a very systematic, serious way.

We are committed to those numbers. We are committed to reducing the deficit by a combination of revenue and expenditure control and a growth in the economy which gives natural growth in revenues as well. It is nothing complicated.

Mr Stockwell: With all due respect to the Treasurer, that is bafflegab. The Treasurer knows that is bafflegab. When he talks about his revenue projections, revenue is revenue coming into this province; revenue is generated through increases in taxes, licences, etc.

The Treasurer's own people in his own ministry have said he is going to hike revenues by 10% per year for the next three years. Let's cut to the chase. That means simply that he has to hike taxes. He cannot deny that. The only way to increase revenues is to increase taxes. The Treasurer has a serious problem.

The Speaker: And the question?

Mr Stockwell: The Treasurer has a 3.7% growth in his economy and a 10% growth in revenue. He should come clean with the public. Whom is he going to hammer, how many more jobs is he going to lose and why is he going to increase taxes when no one agreed with this deficit-financed budget?

Hon Mr Laughren: The member for Etobicoke West is plain and simply wrong. He is not wrong when he reads the numbers that are in the budget statement, but he is wrong when he says they are going to continue to cost jobs.

Mr Stockwell: Come on, answer the question, Floyd.

Hon Mr Laughren: This budget, with its attack on the recession, has saved or created over 70,000 jobs and I can tell you as well, Mr Speaker, that --

Mr Stockwell: Come on, answer the question. You do not want to answer the question.

Hon Mr Laughren: I am going to have to send that man a brown paper bag pretty soon if he does not calm down. I am trying not to be provocative.

The member is simply wrong when he says the only way to increase revenues is to raise taxes. That is fundamentally wrong. We believe the growth in the economy itself will increase revenues. As well, I have never said there will not be new tax measures in the years ahead.

Why would I say something like that? But I think they will be fair taxes based on recommendations to the Fair Tax Commission.

I think the member for Etobicoke West is not painting the picture correctly when he implies that the only way to increase revenues is to increase taxes. It is simply not true.

Hon Mr Pilkey: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: The member for Ottawa East raised a very bona fide question at the time of the minister's statements. I would like to advise him that the French version has now been circulated to all members of the House. We regret the delay. We also regret any inconvenience to him and other members.

Mr Eves: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: The honourable minister should not be taking up question period time correcting the record he made with respect to a ministerial statement.

The Speaker: Earlier, during question period time or prior to it, a member raised a point of order and the point of order has been responded to. Under the orders, the clock continues to run.

WOMEN'S LEGAL CLINIC

Mr Frankford: I will try not to be provocative. I have a question for the Attorney General. Michele Landsberg reports in the 20 April edition of the Toronto Star that my colleague the member for Scarborough Centre is working to create a women's legal clinic in Scarborough. I think we all agree this would be a positive step in improving the lot of women in Scarborough and across the province. Can the Attorney General tell me whether such an application has been received by his ministry?

Hon Mr Hampton: I can tell the member that I saw the article too, but to my knowledge no application has been received in respect of such a clinic at this time.

Mr Frankford: Can the Attorney General tell the House the process by which the funding decision would be made?

Hon Mr Hampton: With respect to this question and with respect to any community legal clinic, applications are to be sent to a subcommittee of the Law Society of Upper Canada, which is called the clinic funding committee.

The fact of the matter is that the Ministry of the Attorney General provides funding to the Law Society of Upper Canada, which then puts that money into the hands of the clinic funding committee. But the clinic funding committee is not an arm of government; it operates at arm's length from the government and for good reason. Many of the community clinics get involved in litigation against the government or against agencies of the government or take the government to court with respect to social service issues, labour issues and a number of things. Any application must go to that clinic funding committee.

SOCIAL ASSISTANCE

Mrs McLeod: My question is for the Minister of Community and Social Services. We on this side of the House are attempting to determine just what planning has gone into the budget that was presented this week and what priorities this government has set in what is an unprecedented level of spending at an increase of 13.4%.

If we look specifically at the new funding for social assistance, we see an emphasis on assistance to municipalities and opportunity planning which we have called for and which we support. We assume the difference between the $215-million annual cost and the $158 million that is in this budget will have to be covered in next year's operating deficit.

We know there is also a very substantial increase in the overall cost of social assistance, but members should understand that is almost entirely for the growth in case load along with the 2% supplementary increase in rates the minister announced earlier. But we would also anticipate that there would be within the term of this budget some further increase in rates to keep pace with inflation.

I wonder if the minister could confirm, as we have learned from Treasury officials, that there is no allocation in this budget to provide for any further increase in rates in January 1992 to at least keep pace with inflation.

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Hon Ms Akande: Actually, the social assistance rate increase is not part of the $215 million of which I have spoken. That referred to Back on Track. Any of those social assistance rate increases would be dealt with later on in a separate announcement, as they normally are, and not as part of this particular budget.

Mrs McLeod: I was quite well aware of that fact and indicated that in my question, that the 2% further increase in rates the minister had earlier announced was the balance of the increase in budget in social assistance, not in the $158 million that is here. My concern was to try to establish what provision has been made for the costs that will surely have to be incurred over the course of this budget year. It gives me great concern that there has been no provision made.

I do recognize that the social assistance program is a costly one. It is particularly costly when unemployment is going up at the rate that it is across this province, and the only way you really control the costs is to get people back to work. But I think we also know, and I think in honesty we have to acknowledge, that there are concerns expressed by the public about the costs of the system and about the integrity of the system.

I think the minister herself felt compelled to write to the Financial Post to correct misinformation about rates, which indeed continue to be below the poverty line. But the concerns that we hear expressed are as much about potential abuses of the system as about the benefits that are provided.

Could I ask the minister if she could tell us how she plans to deal with potential abuses, as it is suggested in the budget that these would be addressed, so that we can ensure social assistance funding goes to those who most need it and that public confidence and therefore support for the system is restored.

Hon Ms Akande: Certainly it was a concern to us and it was recognized that many of the newspaper articles did refer to abuses in the system. One of the things we have certainly focused on is how to address those concerns in a way that does not imply to those on the system that they are in fact presumed guilty and therefore must be focused on in a negative way.

In order to do that, we have focused on increasing the number of workers within the system and increasing the kind of contact time that those workers have so that they might be involved in counselling and the kind of support to the recipients that would focus them not only towards back-to-work initiatives, but towards the kind of support they need. This would also allow for sufficient interaction so workers would be able to identify whether in fact these people are getting the correct rates.

One of the things I want to point out is that there were as many errors in the system that caused recipients not to get a sufficient amount as there were that caused them to get more than they needed.

TAX INCREASES

Mr Stockwell: My question is to the Treasurer. Just as an aside, when he is ordering that paper bag, maybe he should get about 10 million of them, because everyone in this province is hyperventilating after this budget. Maybe he should have been in Barrie last night for the public debate with his member for Simcoe Centre, because he was hyperventilating at the same time when the public got wind of this budget.

My question is back to the original question I put to the Treasurer. His economic growth is 3.7% for the three years. His spending is 10%. He has a shortfall in there of at least $1 billion to $2 billion every year. He has outlined clearly that he is going to have to increase taxes. A respected firm commented on it and suggested that his taxes are going to have to go up, with massive tax hikes.

The Treasurer should explain to me how he can have a 3.7% growth in the economy and a 10% increase in revenue and still not increase the taxes. It is a very clear question. Please explain that to the people of the province.

Hon Mr Laughren: I will try again. I do not think it is the people of the province that need further explanation; I think it is the member for Etobicoke West.

I said before, and I will say it again, that we are basing those projections on the fact that during those years there will be growth in the economy. I have not seen anybody who questions the fact that they all anticipate a growth in the economy after this year. We will be able to meet the numbers in that medium-term fiscal forecast by accommodation of the growth in the economy and by serious expenditure management.

Finally, I have never, ever said to the member for Etobicoke West or to anyone else that there would not be any tax increases in the next three, four or five years. I have never said that.

Mr Stockwell: It is not just me the Treasurer has to explain it to; it includes all the employees at Deloitte and Touche who do not agree with the interpretation that he gave us today. But he did admit he is going to have to raise taxes, considerable taxes. He raised a billion dollars annually. That is significantly short of what he is going to have to raise in the next three years.

He is also going to run a deficit that is going to double the debt for the people in this province in the next four years. The federal government doubles its debt every five years. He is doing them one better; he is doubling his debt every four years. That is irresponsible budgeting in my opinion, and the people in the province think it is irresponsible as well.

He has $1 billion to $2 billion in tax hikes every year for the next three years on a public that does not want tax hikes. He is crucifying the border towns with gas hikes, alcohol hikes, cigarette hikes. Which items is he going to increase taxes on, and where is he going to generate the revenue? He knows full well that he is going to have tax hikes in the next three years. He should come clean with the public, because they would just like to know how he is going to gouge them in the next three years.

Hon Mr Laughren: One reason we appointed the Fair Tax Commission was to enable us to have a tax regime in this province that has more equity in it than there ever has been.

Second, I think the member for Etobicoke West surely does not expect me to tell him or anybody else at this point in time precisely what taxes will be changed or what expenditures will be reduced three or four or five years from now. I simply do not think the question makes any sense.

ASSISTED HOUSING

Mr Sutherland: My question is to the Minister of Housing. In the budget on Monday, the Treasurer announced that there would be approximately 35,000 approvals for non-profit and co-op housing this year and that approximately 13,000 units would be available for people to move into this year. I was wondering if the minister could comment on what impact he feels this will have on the working poor of this province and on the issue of people using food banks and poverty in general.

Hon Mr Cooke: I certainly appreciate the question from the member. I certainly understand why the opposition would not be asking any questions about housing these days, because this government is so committed, as was demonstrated in the budget.

The Treasurer, in his budget the other day, indicated not only that there were 35,000 units at one stage of production or another now in Ontario, but that he was committing an additional 10,000 units for a total of 45,000 housing units in this province. When you combine that with the announcement by the Minister of Community and Social Services of $215 million in welfare reform, and you put in the additional assistance to people at low income levels being taken off the tax rolls, all of that put together, I think, is a very comprehensive approach by this government to helping people at low income levels in the province of Ontario.

1510

PURCHASE OF URANIUM

Mr Brown: I have a question for the Minister of Northern Development about the practices of cabinet ministers in the NDP government. I have a question about Elliot Lake.

Two days ago, we had a budget in this House. Two days ago, exactly simultaneously, there was a press conference in Elliot Lake cancelling the jobs of 1,100 workers. Yesterday, the Minister of Northern Development gave this House some information about uranium contracts and uranium costs which were wrong. The member for Fort William pointed that out. The minister retracted. The minister then went outside the House and gave to the media exactly the same information she had given in this House.

The minister also said that she did not know about uranium contracts. She did not know about how the costing worked because it was all secret information. She would know that in 1978 members of the NDP, including the ex-Minister of Health, heard testimony from all involved parties about those contracts, and if she had just gone down to the library, she could have checked out this little book that tells her all about the cost implications of those.

Given the fact that the minister had the historical knowledge, or should have had it, could she tell us what is different now. Why is the minister breaking her commitment to the people of Elliot Lake now, when she was so pleased to make grandiose promises before 6 September?

Hon Miss Martel: It is my understanding that in the report it says very clearly that the contracts were cost plus, that there are no figures attached as to exactly how much those contracts were worth. The point I raised yesterday in this House was that when we came to power in this province we were stunned to discover that in fact the cost, the premium at that point in time as compared to the market price, was $1.2 billion.

As I said in this House yesterday, it would cost us well over $500 million to continue that contract at Denison over the next 10 years. It is a price that we do not think Ontario Hydro or ourselves or the taxpayers can afford to pay. We would prefer to divert some of that money into diversification of the economy, not only in Elliot Lake but in the communities along the north shore. Once the negotiations with Rio Algom are complete, I will be more than pleased to tell this House and the public just what the commitment by Hydro to that community and the north shore will be.

Mr Brown: That is just not an acceptable response. Even the minister's friend Leo Gerard does not think that is a reasonable response.

What are the people of northern Ontario to think about the abilities and commitment the minister has displayed? She is the minister who said yesterday that her government could not afford the people of Elliot Lake. She is the minister who said -- now Atikokan, listen to this -- "Unemployment is higher in southern Ontario than it is in northern Ontario." This is the minister whose city of Sudbury received $20 million in anti-recession funds while Elliot Lake, which is going to 85% unemployment after her announcement of two days ago, has not received anywhere near that kind of money.

Can the Minister of Northern Development now tell this House what she and her cabinet colleagues have decided about the cancellation of the contracts, about the penalty money that is coming to the shareholders of Denison, and whether the workers of Elliot Lake get any percentage of that money. Can she tell us how much of the money for cancelling those contracts the workers of Elliot Lake are going to see.

Hon Miss Martel: I want to back up a little bit and just point out to the member what our commitment has been in Elliot Lake. In December 1990, this member and I were very pleased to hold a press conference in Sudbury and announce $15 million to the community of Elliot Lake. I should point out that that was $5 million more than the previous government wanted to put into Elliot Lake last year -- $5 million more, my friend.

Then when we had our anti-recession money, I can also tell this House that this government put another $2.6 million into Elliot Lake and the surrounding communities through the anti-recession fund. That was more than what the previous government was prepared to put in.

I want to repeat that we have said to the people in the community and I have said in this House that we recognize that Hydro has an obligation to the community. When the Rio negotiations are finished, we will be in a position to tell the public what that obligation will be.

COMMERCIAL CONCENTRATION TAX

Mr Harris: I was going to ask the Treasurer about a couple of the taxes. I guess I only have time to ask about one of the taxes. I wonder if the Treasurer could explain to me why a year ago he and his party vigorously opposed the introduction of the commercial concentration tax. His party voted against the introduction of the commercial concentration tax. His party pointed out, as our party did, that it would cost thousands of jobs in Toronto.

Given that those predictions are true, given that jobs are moving out of Toronto in record numbers, given that many Canadian companies are looking to Quebec, to Alberta, to Saskatchewan, to Manitoba for a cheaper place to do business because they are overtaxed in Toronto, why, when this government opposed this, when this government committed in the last campaign to do away with it, has it now left $110 million of taxes on the commercial concentration tax in Toronto, which is costing thousands and thousands of jobs in our province?

Hon Mr Laughren: First of all, I do not think that the commercial concentration tax is costing thousands and thousands of jobs. I simply do not believe that.

Second, when I first occupied the Treasury building, one of the first taxes I looked at was the commercial concentration tax because I was concerned about that as a form of taxation. But having examined that particular tax, plus all the other possible sources of revenue, given the unusual cost of providing services in the greater Toronto area, agonizing over the decision of which taxes to leave there in order to ensure that the deficit does not go any higher than it already is -- which has already got the leader of the third party upset -- I made the agonizing decision to leave the commercial concentration tax in place.

QUESTION PERIOD

Mr Eves: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I would like you to take under advisement the issue that I tried to raise earlier about points of order and privilege being taken during question period. I would refer you to Beauchesne's sixth edition, page 123, paragraph 415, which says, "A question of privilege or point of order raised during the question period ought to be taken up after the question period, unless the Speaker considers it to be an extremely grave matter."

I am becoming very concerned about the fact that points of order and privilege seem to be being raised on a more routine basis during question period, thereby eating up the time of question period. I would ask you to take this matter under consideration and get back to us with it, please.

The Speaker: To the member for Parry Sound, I am very concerned about the point which you raised. I draw the member's attention to our standing order 32(a), which states that, "The oral question period shall be limited to 60 minutes, including supplementary questions and points of order."

The Speaker has no way of knowing whether the matter about to be raised by a member is indeed a valid point of order or privilege unless the Speaker hears it. I have asked members, and I will request them again, unless they believe it to be an urgent matter and a matter truly deserving of consideration as a point of privilege, to keep those points of order until outside of the question period time. It makes it very awkward for the Speaker to determine whether they are legitimate points of order until I listen to them.

I appreciate the matter raised by the member and hopefully it will get smoothed out over the next little while. I am sure members are disappointed to know that the time for oral questions has expired.

PETITIONS

PURCHASE OF URANIUM

Mr Brown: I have a petition to the Parliament of Ontario:

"Whereas the cancellation of out-of-province contracts has resulted in more than 2,500 job losses in the mining community of Elliot Lake; and

"Whereas the unemployment rate in Elliot Lake is at more than 62%;

"Whereas economic diversification efforts require time before results can be experienced and, without a strong anchor industry in Elliot Lake, any diversification effort becomes tremendously difficult; and

"Whereas Ontario Hydro, which is ultimately responsible to this government, made commitments to Elliot Lake and its mining companies which resulted in the community's rapid and widespread expansion in the early 1980s; and

"Whereas Ontario Hydro has the means to stabilize the economy of Elliot Lake; and

"Whereas Premier Bob Rae and his New Democratic government made a specific promise to the community;

"We petition the Parliament of Ontario as follows:

"To fulfil that promise to the people of Elliot Lake by instructing Ontario Hydro to purchase all of its uranium requirements from within the province of Ontario, namely Elliot Lake, until economic diversification efforts in the community are successful."

This is signed by quite a number of my constituents, and I will affix my signature to it.

Mr Miclash: I have a petition to the Parliament of Ontario:

"Whereas the cancellation of out-of-province contracts has resulted in more than 2,500 job losses in the mining community of Elliot Lake; and

"Whereas the unemployment rate in Elliot Lake is at more than 62%;

"Whereas economic diversification efforts require time before results can be experienced and, without a strong anchor industry in Elliot Lake, any diversification effort becomes tremendously difficult; and

"Whereas Ontario Hydro, which is ultimately responsible to this government, made commitments to Elliot Lake and its mining companies which resulted in the community's rapid and widespread expansion in the early 1980s; and

"Whereas Ontario Hydro has the means to stabilize the economy of Elliot Lake; and

"Whereas Premier Bob Rae and his New Democratic government made a specific promise to the community;

"We petition the Parliament of Ontario as follows:

"To fulfil that promise to the people of Elliot Lake by instructing Ontario Hydro to purchase all of its uranium requirements from within the province of Ontario, namely Elliot Lake, until economic diversification efforts in the community are successful."

I agree with and have attached my name to that petition as well.

Mr Cordiano: I have a petition to the Parliament of Ontario:

"Whereas the cancellation of out-of-province contracts has resulted in more than 2,500 job losses in the mining community of Elliot Lake; and

"Whereas the unemployment rate in Elliot Lake is at more than 62%;

"Whereas economic diversification efforts require time before results can be experienced and, without a strong anchor industry in Elliot Lake, any diversification effort becomes tremendously difficult; and

"Whereas Ontario Hydro, which is ultimately responsible to this government, made commitments to Elliot Lake and its mining companies which resulted in the community's rapid and widespread expansion in the early 1980s; and

"Whereas Ontario Hydro has the means to stabilize the economy of Elliot Lake; and

"Whereas Premier Bob Rae and his New Democratic government made a specific promise to the community;

"We petition the Parliament of Ontario as follows:

"To fulfil that promise to the people of Elliot Lake by instructing Ontario Hydro to purchase all of its uranium requirements from within the province of Ontario, namely Elliot Lake, until economic diversification efforts in the community are successful."

I too affix my signature to this petition.

Mr Sola: Due to the serious effect that this decision has on Elliot Lake, despite being repetitious, I will read the whole petition:

"Whereas the cancellation of out-of-province contracts has resulted in more than 2,500 job losses in the mining community of Elliot Lake; and

"Whereas the unemployment rate in Elliot Lake is at more than 62%;

"Whereas economic diversification efforts require time before results can be experienced and, without a strong anchor industry in Elliot Lake, any diversification effort becomes tremendously difficult; and

"Whereas Ontario Hydro, which is ultimately responsible to this government, made commitments to Elliot Lake and its mining companies which resulted in the community's rapid and widespread expansion in the early 1980s; and

"Whereas Ontario Hydro has the means to stabilize the economy of Elliot Lake; and

"Whereas Premier Bob Rae and his New Democratic government made a specific promise to the community;

"We petition the Parliament of Ontario as follows:

"To fulfil that promise to the people of Elliot Lake by instructing Ontario Hydro to purchase all of its uranium requirements from within the province of Ontario, namely Elliot Lake, until economic diversification efforts in the community are successful."

SCHOOL TRUSTEES

Mr Tilson: I have a number of signed petitions from Palgrave and Bolton and Caledon East in my riding which state:

"Whereas as residents of Peel living in the town of Caledon, we are extremely disturbed with the minority decision of the Peel Board of Education to eliminate the representation of trustees in Caledon by 50%. The vote was 15 for two trustees, 6 against; and

"Whereas one vote out of a 20-member board is unfair; one trustee cannot attend all of the standing committee meetings, ad hoc committee meetings, and fully attend to the 14 schools in their community; and

"Whereas we need two trustees in Caledon to cover our vast area of 270 square miles;

"We, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to support the private member's bill introduced by our provincial member of the Legislature, David Tilson, entitled An Act to amend the Education Act, 1991, which, if adopted, would permit an appeal with cause to the Minister of Education of such decreases or increases in trustee representation in school boards."

PURCHASE OF URANIUM

Mr McGuinty: I too have a petition directed to the Parliament of Ontario and it is connected with the community of Elliot Lake as well. I present it out of a sense of frustration that we have been unable to move the government to assist the people of Elliot Lake. It reads as follows:

"Whereas the cancellation of out-of-province contracts has resulted in more than 2,500 job losses in the mining community of Elliot Lake; and

"Whereas the unemployment rate in Elliot Lake is at more than 62%;

"Whereas economic diversification efforts require time before results can be experienced and, without a strong anchor industry in Elliot Lake, any diversification effort becomes tremendously difficult; and

"Whereas Ontario Hydro, which is ultimately responsible to this government, made commitments to Elliot Lake and its mining companies which resulted in the community's rapid and widespread expansion in the early 1980s; and

"Whereas Ontario Hydro has the means to stabilize the economy of Elliot Lake; and

"Whereas Premier Bob Rae and his New Democratic government made a specific promise to the community;

"We petition the Parliament of Ontario as follows:

"To fulfil that promise to the people of Elliot Lake by instructing Ontario Hydro to purchase all of its uranium requirements from within the province of Ontario, namely Elliot Lake, until economic diversification efforts in the community are successful."

I have attached my name to this petition.

Mr Ruprecht: I have a petition which is worth repeating in order to ensure that the government understands the deep-seated feelings of the people of Elliot Lake. This is to the Parliament of Ontario:

"Whereas the cancellation of out-of-province contracts has resulted in more than 2,500 job losses in the mining community of Elliot Lake; and

"Whereas the unemployment rate in Elliot Lake is at more than 62%;

"Whereas economic diversification efforts require time before results can be experienced and, without a strong anchor industry, any diversification effort becomes tremendously difficult; and

"Whereas Ontario Hydro, which is ultimately responsible to this government, made commitments to Elliot Lake and its mining companies which resulted in the community's rapid and widespread expansion in the early 1980s; and

"Whereas Ontario Hydro has the means to stabilize the economy of Elliot Lake; and

"Whereas Premier Bob Rae and his New Democratic government made a specific promise to the community;

"We petition the Parliament of Ontario as follows:

"To fulfil that promise to the people of Elliot Lake by instructing Ontario Hydro to purchase all of its uranium requirements from within the province of Ontario, namely Elliot Lake, until economic diversification efforts in the community are successful."

I have affixed my name to this petition.

SCHOOL TRUSTEES

Mr Tilson: I have a further petition from my riding which states that:

"Whereas the Peel Board of Education recently voted to reduce the number of Caledon school board trustees by 50% after the November municipal and school board elections; and

"Whereas this action leaves the town of Caledon with only one school board trustee for the first time since 1975; and

"Whereas a single trustee cannot effectively discharge their duties and responsibilities on behalf of the citizens of the town of Caledon;

"We, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to support the private member's bill introduced by our provincial member of the Legislature, David Tilson, entitled An Act to amend the Education Act, 1991, which, if adopted, would permit an appeal with cause to the Minister of Education of such decreases or increases in trustee representation on school boards."

1530

PURCHASE OF URANIUM

Mr Brown: I have a number of petitions addressed to the Parliament of Ontario:

"Whereas the cancellation of out-of-province contracts has resulted in more than 2,500 job losses in the mining community of Elliot Lake;

"Whereas the unemployment rate in Elliot Lake is at more than 62%;

"Whereas economic diversification efforts require time before results can be experienced and, without a strong anchor industry in Elliot Lake, any diversification effort becomes tremendously difficult;

"Whereas Ontario Hydro, which is ultimately responsible to this government, made commitments to Elliot Lake and its mining companies which resulted in the community's rapid and widespread expansion in the early 1980s;

"Whereas Ontario Hydro has the means to stabilize the economy of Elliot Lake; and

"Whereas Premier Bob Rae and his New Democratic government made a specific promise to the community;

"We petition the Parliament of Ontario as follows:

"To fulfil that promise to the people of Elliot Lake by instructing Ontario Hydro to purchase all of its uranium requirements from within the province of Ontario, namely Elliot Lake, until economic diversification efforts in the community are successful."

I agree with this petition. Over the last week and a half, my colleagues and I have presented the names of hundreds of Elliot Lakers who are most concerned with this question.

SCHOOL TRUSTEES

Mr Tilson: I have a number of signatures from Inglewood, Cheltenham and Bolton:

"Whereas as residents of Peel living in the town of Caledon, we are extremely disturbed with the minority decision of the Peel Board of Education to eliminate the representation of trustees in Caledon by 50%. The vote was 15 for two trustees, 6 against; and

"Whereas one vote out of a 20-member board is unfair; one trustee cannot attend all the standing committee meetings, ad hoc committee meetings, and fully attend to the 14 schools in their community; and

"Whereas we need two trustees in Caledon to cover our vast area of 270 square miles;

"We, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to support the private member's bill introduced by our provincial member of the Legislature, David Tilson, entitled An Act to amend the Education Act, 1991, which, if adopted, would permit an appeal with cause to the Minister of Education of such decreases or increases in trustee representation on school boards."

REPORT BY COMMITTEE

STANDING COMMITTEE ON REGULATIONS AND PRIVATE BILLS

Mr Hansen from the standing committee on regulations and private bills presented the following report and moved its adoption:

"Your committee begs to report the following bills without amendment:

"Bill Pr3, An Act to revive Lauramar Holdings Limited;

"Bill Pr24, An Act respecting the Town of Oakville.

"Your committee begs to report the following bills as amended:

"Bill Pr37, An Act respecting Eastern Pentecostal Bible College;

"Bill Pr54, An Act respecting the City of North York."

Motion agreed to.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

HIGHWAY TRAFFIC AMENDMENT ACT (VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS), 1991 / LOI DE 1991 MODIFIANT LE CODE DE LA ROUTE (POMPIERS AUXILIAIRES)

Mrs Fawcett moved first reading of Bill 87, An Act to amend the Highway Traffic Act with respect to Volunteer Firefighters.

Mme Fawcett propose la première lecture du projet de loi 87, Loi portant modification sur le Code de la route relative aux pompiers auxiliaires.

Motion agreed to.

La motion est adoptée.

DEVELOPMENT CHARGES AMENDMENT ACT FOR THE AIRY & SABINE DISTRICT SCHOOL AREA BOARD, 1991 / LOI DE 1991 PORTANT MODIFICATION SUR LA REDEVANCE D'EXPLOITATION POUR LE CONSEIL SCOLAIRE DE CIRCONSCRIPTION DE DISTRICT D'AIRY & SABINE

Mr Harris moved first reading of Bill 88, An Act to amend the Development Charges Act for the Airy & Sabine District School Area Board.

M. Harris propose la première lecture du projet de loi 88, Loi portant modification de la Loi sur la redevance d'exploitation pour le Conseil scolaire de circonscription de district d'Airy & Sabine.

1540

The House divided on Mr Harris's motion, which was agreed to on the following vote:

La motion de M. Harris, mise aux voix, est adoptée :

Ayes/Pour-91

Abel, Arnott, Bisson, Boyd, Brown, Buchanan, Carr, Christopherson, Conway, Cooke, Cooper, Coppen, Cunningham, Dadamo, Daigeler, Drainville, Duignan, Elston, Eves, Farnan, Fawcett, Ferguson, Fletcher, Frankford, Gigantes, Haeck, Hampton, Hansen, Harnick, Harrington, Harris, Haslam, Hayes, Hope, Huget, Jamison, Johnson, Jordan, Klopp, Kormos, Lankin, Laughren, Lessard, MacKinnon, Mackenzie, Malkowski, Marland, Martel, Martin, Mathyssen, McGuinty, Miclash, Mills, Morrow, Murdock, S., North, O'Connor, O'Neil, H., O'Neill, Y., Owens, Perruzza, Philip, E., Phillips, G., Poirier, Poole, Rae, Ramsay, Runciman, Ruprecht, Silipo, Sorbara, Stockwell, Sullivan, Sutherland, Tilson, Turnbull, Villeneuve, Ward, B., Ward, M., Wark-Martyn, Waters, Wessenger, White, Wildman, Wilson, F., Wilson, G., Wilson, J., Winninger, Wiseman, Witmer, Wood.

Nays/Contre-0

Mr Harris: This bill will suspend the right of the Airy & Sabine District School Area Board to pass a bylaw for the imposition of an education development charge against land in the area of the board in respect of residential development or residential and commercial development until 1 January 1993 in order to stimulate housing starts in the province of Ontario.

If the Airy & Sabine District School Area Board has already passed a bylaw for an education development charge, it will not come into place until 1 January 1993.

DEVELOPMENT CHARGES AMENDMENT ACT FOR THE ASQUITH-GARVEY DISTRICT SCHOOL AREA BOARD, 1991 / LOI DE 1991 PORTANT MODIFICATION SUR LA REDEVANCE D'EXPLOITATION POUR LE CONSEIL SCOLAIRE DE LA CIRCONSCRIPTION DU DISTRICT D'ASQUITH-GARVEY

Mr Harris moved first reading of Bill 89, An Act to amend the Development Charges Act for the Asquith-Garvey District School Area Board.

M. Harris propose la première lecture du projet de loi 89, Loi portant modification de la Loi sur la redevance d'exploitation pour le Conseil scolaire de circonscription de district d'Asquith-Garvey.

The House divided on Mr Harris's motion, which was agreed to on the following vote:

La motion de M. Harris, mise aux voix, est adoptée :

1552

Ayes/Pour-72

Abel, Bisson, Boyd, Bradley, Carr, Christopherson, Conway, Cooper, Cunningham, Daigeler, Drainville, Duignan, Elston, Eves, Farnan, Fawcett, Ferguson, Frankford, Gigantes, Haeck, Harnick, Harrington, Harris, Hayes, Hope, Huget, Jamison, Johnson, Jordan, Laughren, Lessard, MacKinnon, Malkowski, Marland, Martel, Martin, Mathyssen, McGuinty, Miclash, Mills, Murdoch, B., Murdock, S., North, O'Connor, O'Neil, H., O'Neill, Y., Owens, Perruzza, Philip, E., Phillips, G., Pilkey, Poirier, Poole, Runciman, Ruprecht, Silipo, Sola, Sorbara, Sutherland, Tilson, Villeneuve, Ward, B., Ward, M., Wark-Martyn, Waters, Wilson, F., Wilson, G., Wilson, J., Winninger, Wiseman, Witmer, Wood.

Nays/Contre-0

The Deputy Speaker: Order, please. When a vote is taken, I would encourage members to remain in their seats, please.

Mr Harris: A little explanation of that one: This bill will suspend the right of the Asquith-Garvey District School Area Board to pass a bylaw for the imposition of an education development charge against land in the area of the board in respect of residential development and residential and commercial development until 1 January 1993 in order to stimulate housing starts in the province of Ontario.

If the Asquith-Garvey District School Area Board has already passed a bylaw for --

Interjections.

The Deputy Speaker: Order, please. I would encourage members to hold their conversations outside the House. I can hardly hear.

Mr Harris: If they have already passed a bylaw for an education development charge when this bill comes into effect, that will not come into place until 1 January 1993.

DEVELOPMENT CHARGES AMENDMENT ACT FOR THE ATIKOKAN BOARD OF EDUCATION, 1991 / LOI DE 1991 PORTANT MODIFICATION SUR LA REDEVANCE D'EXPLOITATION POUR LE CONSEIL DE L'ÉDUCATION D'ATIKOKAN

Mr Harris moved first reading of Bill 90, An Act to amend the Development Charges Act for the Atikokan Board of Education.

M. Harris propose la première lecture du projet de loi 90, Loi portant modification de la Loi sur la redevance d'exploitation pour le Conseil de l'éducation d'Atikokan.

1607

The House divided on Mr Harris's motion, which was agreed to on the following vote:

La motion de M. Harris, mise aux voix, est adoptée :

Ayes/Pour-52

Abel, Arnott, Bisson, Boyd, Bradley, Brown, Carr, Chiarelli, Christopherson, Conway, Cunningham, Daigeler, Elston, Eves, Ferguson, Gigantes, Haeck, Harrington, Harris, Hayes, Hope, Huget, Johnson, Jordan, Laughren, Lessard, Marland, Martin, Mathyssen, Murdock, S., North, Offer, Phillips, G., Poirier, Ruprecht, Silipo, Sola, Stockwell, Sutherland, Tilson, Turnbull, Villeneuve, Ward, B., Ward, M., Wark-Martyn, Waters, Wessenger, Wilson, F., Wilson, G., Wilson, J., Winninger, Witmer.

Nays/Contre-0

Mr Harris: This bill will suspend the right of the Atikokan Board of Education to pass a bylaw for the imposition of an education development charge against land in the area of the board in respect to residential development and residential and commercial development until 1 January 1993, in order to stimulate housing starts in the province of Ontario. If the Atikokan Board of Education has already passed a bylaw for an education development charge, it will not come into place then until 1 January 1993.

Mr Eves: In view of the fact that the Premier obviously needs more time to consider my leader's request, I would like to move adjournment of the House.

1637

The House divided on Mr Eves's motion, which was negatived on the following vote:

Ayes 14; nays 71.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

DEVELOPMENT CHARGES AMENDMENT ACT FOR THE ATIKOKAN ROMAN CATHOLIC SEPARATE SCHOOL BOARD, 1991 / LOI DE 1991 PORTANT MODIFICATION SUR LA REDEVANCE D'EXPLOITATION POUR LE CONSEIL DES ÉCOLES SÉPARÉES CATHOLIQUES D'ATIKOKAN

Mr Harris moved first reading of Bill 91, An Act to amend the Development Charges Act for the Atikokan Roman Catholic Separate School Board.

M. Harris propose la première lecture du projet de loi 91, Loi portant modification de la Loi sur la redevance d'exploitation pour le Conseil des écoles séparées catholiques d'Atikokan.

1646

The House divided on Mr Harris's motion, which was agreed to on the following vote:

La motion de M. Harris, mise aux voix, est adoptée :

Ayes/Pour-60

Abel, Arnott, Bisson, Boyd, Brown, Carr, Carter, Christopherson, Conway, Cooper, Coppen, Cunningham, Dadamo, Daigeler, Drainville, Eves, Farnan, Ferguson, Gigantes, Grandmaître, Haeck, Harnick, Harrington, Harris, Hayes, Jamison, Johnson, Jordan, Klopp, Lessard, MacKinnon, Malkowski, Mathyssen, Miclash, Mills, Murdock, S., Nixon, North, O'Neil, Owens, Poirier, Perruzza, Runciman, Ruprecht, Silipo, Sola, Sterling, Stockwell, Sullivan, Sutherland, Tilson, Turnbull, Ward, B., Ward, M., Wark-Martyn, Wilson, F., Wilson, G., Wilson, J., Winninger, Wood.

Nays/Contre-1

Duignan.

Mr Ruprecht: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I am looking at the desk of the leader of the third party. Would you be so inclined as to determine whether he would be tabling all his bills at once so that we might expedite the business of the House?

The Deputy Speaker: The member for Parkdale very well knows this is not a point of order.

Mr Harris: This bill is actually rather similar to the previous one. This will suspend the right of the Atikokan Roman Catholic Separate School Board to pass a bylaw for the imposition of an educational development charge against land in the area of the board in respect of residential development or residential and commercial development until 1 January 1993, in order to stimulate housing starts in the province of Ontario. If the Atikokan Roman Catholic Separate School Board has already passed a bylaw for an education development charge, it will not come into place until 1 January 1993.

We think this is an important companion bill. Because the previous one carried by the House unanimously for the public school board, we think there should be a parallel one for the separate school board. I am sorry it did not carry unanimously. This is the explanation.

TOWN OF FORT ERIE ECONOMIC PROTECTION ACT, 1991 / LOI DE 1991 POUR LA PROTECTION ÉCONOMIQUE DE LA VILLE DE FORT ERIE

Mr Harris moved first reading of Bill 92, An Act to protect the economy of the Border Community of the Town of Fort Erie.

M. Harris propose la première lecture du projet de loi 92, Loi pour la protection économique de la communauté frontière de la Ville de Fort Erie.

1657

The House divided on Mr Harris's motion, which was agreed to on the following vote:

La motion de M. Harris, mise aux voix, est adoptée :

Ayes/Pour-53

Abel, Arnott, Bisson, Boyd, Brown, Carr, Christopherson, Conway, Cooper, Dadamo, Daigeler, Drainville, Duignan, Elston, Eves, Farnan, Ferguson, Fletcher, Gigantes, Haeck, Harnick, Harrington, Harris, Hayes, Hope, Johnson, Jordan, Klopp, Lessard, Malkowski, Marland, Martin, Mathyssen, Miclash, Mills, Morrow, Owens, Poirier, Runciman, Sola, Sterling, Stockwell, Sullivan, Sutherland, Tilson, Turnbull, Ward, B., Ward, M., Wark-Martyn, Wilson, F., Wilson, G., Wilson, J., Winninger.

Nays/Contre-0

Mr Harris: I have a little explanatory note on that previous bill. The purpose of this bill, and I thank members for their unanimous support, is to protect the economy of the border community of the town of Fort Erie by ensuring that government-imposed costs do not undermine the competitiveness of firms in said community.

Mr Eves: Mr Speaker, I think the Premier still needs more time to reconsider his position, so I would move adjournment of the House.

1731

The House divided on Mr Eves's motion, which was negatived on the following vote:

Ayes 12; nays 61.

TOWN OF NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE ECONOMIC PROTECTION ACT, 1991 / LOI DE 1991 POUR LA PROTECTION ÉCONOMIQUE DE LA VILLE DE NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE

Mr Harris moved first reading of Bill 93, An Act to protect the economy of the Border Community of the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake.

M. Harris propose la première lecture du projet de loi 93, Loi pour la protection économique de la communauté frontière de la Ville de Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Motion agreed to.

La motion est adoptée.

Mr Harris: The purpose of this bill is rather similar to the previous bill in that it is to protect the economy of the border community of the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake by ensuring that government-imposed costs do not undermine the competitiveness of firms in the said community. I thank all members of the House very much for unanimous support of this bill. I am sure they will want to proceed to second reading shortly.

Mr Sterling: I had a few words with the Treasurer earlier this afternoon. He was asking me which committee we wanted the whole budget referred to. I think it would be helpful if we adjourned the House today so that I would have an opportunity to discuss with him what committee might be appropriate for dealing with all these budget matters, so I move adjournment of the House.

1807

The House divided on Mr Sterling's motion, which was negatived on the following vote:

Ayes 11; nays 63.

The House adjourned at 1809.

APPENDIX

PORTRAIT OF FORMER SPEAKER

The Speaker: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, Speaker Edighoffer, other honoured guests, and a special welcome, if I may, to some grandchildren who are seated here at the front, for whom this is an extremely proud moment. It is my pleasure and privilege to welcome everyone here to the assembly and to pay tribute and honour to my predecessor, Hugh Edighoffer.

Special thanks go to the three party leaders, Premier Bob Rae, the Leader of the Opposition, Bob Nixon, and the leader of the third party, Mike Harris, for making time in their very busy schedules to join us on this occasion. All were members of the Legislature when Hugh was Speaker, and during many hours of debates I am sure they must have heard the line, "I'll just wait," at least once or twice, perhaps more often.

The role of Speaker is not an easy one, as I am discovering. The constant daily concerns and points of view of all the members must be balanced so that the business of the assembly is handled in a fair and just manner. I am sure everyone will agree that as Speaker, Hugh managed to accomplish this.

The Speaker also chairs the Board of Internal Economy and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the assembly. Hugh provided direction to everyone concerned, and it was during his term as Speaker that the start was made to the restoration and refurbishment of this building as it approaches its centennial.

One of the key components of this whole project is a memorandum of understanding which was signed by Mr Edighoffer and the Minister of Government Services turning over the responsibility of this building and its grounds to the members of the Legislative Assembly, quite an achievement.

During his term, 21st-century technology became part of the 19th-century site. Broadcasting of the House started and gavel-to-gavel interpretation was introduced.

Before I turn the platform over to others scheduled to speak, I would like to give you a little background on the artist who painted Mr Edighoffer's portrait. Istvan Nyikos, a native of Hungary, has lived in Canada since 1969. He started painting while studying at the University of Toronto, and after graduation he enrolled at the Ontario College of Arts and studied painting in Toronto and in Florence, Italy. This led him to Europe, where he spent six years painting commissioned portraits in England, Germany and Spain. Since returning to Canada permanently in 1983, he has been painting portraits here and in the United States.

This is the end of my prepared notes. Before turning over the platform to the Premier -- and, Hugh, you will get an opportunity to respond -- I just want to add a couple of personal comments. As someone who served as a private member during part of Mr Edighoffer's term, I can certainly attest to the fact that Mr Edighoffer fulfilled the position always with dignity and always with a sense of fairness. He served with extreme good dignity and, I must say, at all times preserved a sense of humour which I as a member appreciated. I know others did as well.

His calmness and his approach to matters were something of which everyone in the assembly and indeed throughout the province could be most proud. He is a man who has served this province with distinction both as a Speaker and prior to that as a private member.

Mr Edighoffer, I wish you the very best in your retirement. The work you have done has made my job easier, and I for one want to thank you.

[Applause]

Hon Mr Rae: Mr Speaker, Mr Speaker Edighoffer, and my colleagues Bob and Mike, and to the artist and of course to Nancy, whose presence here is a reminder of her time here with Hugh when he was Speaker: Let me just say to everyone that Hugh Edighoffer has achieved that status which we in public life all like to think we can aspire to, and that is of somebody who is truly revered and admired by people in all parties.

Hugh, it is not just the representation that you provided for many years to the people from your constituency in Stratford and Perth county. It is the quality, the kindness, the enormous dignity which you carry so naturally in everything you do, and that I think was a remarkable feature of your time as Speaker.

I am probably as responsible as anyone for giving you a difficult time. You called me to order on a number of occasions and there are those here who wish you had done even more than that over the years. I admire you a great deal. You have been a magnificent Speaker for the House. You presided over the chamber at a time of transition and at a time of tremendous change. You brought to the job a firmness and at the same time a kindness which I think will remain with all of us who worked with you for a very long time.

I am particularly pleased that there are so many members of your family here of all generations. It is a remarkable tribute to your sense as a family person and the great affection with which you are held, I know, by all of them. I am sure they appreciate having you around a little bit more than was the case when you were a member and Speaker.

This is a great occasion. Of course Mr Nyikos's paintings are seen and can be seen in this building. His work is well known to all of us and I am sure we are all looking forward to exactly what he has made of you, Hugh. I want to welcome him particularly and say how proud we are to have yet another of his paintings in this great Legislative Building.

Now, without further ado, I would like to turn it over to my counterpart and superior, Mr Nixon.

Mr Nixon: He is talking about weight.

Mr Speaker, Mr Speaker Edighoffer, Mrs Edighoffer, my colleagues in the Legislature and good friends, and particularly all the little Edighoffers, I am delighted to see so many old friends and the family of Hugh here today. Hugh and I go back a good long time and our association has been particularly close. You might think he is much younger than I, but in fact our birthdays are just within a few weeks of each other. I do not know how he has preserved his youth quite so effectively, but one way is by skiing.

His family knows about this, because I did not realize that Hugh and Nancy had decided to become international skiers until Hugh showed up in the Legislature with a cast from hip to ankle a few years ago. It lent even more dignity to a dignified man.

Long before Hugh had to shed his liberalism, at least in these precincts and elsewhere, we were close colleagues contesting rural constituencies and sitting together in the Liberal caucus while we made these tremendous advanced and progressive decisions that have earmarked our party over these many years. Since the Premier has already spoken he does not get equal time, so I thought perhaps it was a good time to throw it in.

I do want to say what a pleasure it has been working with Hugh, who has always been intelligent and experienced, as well as moderate. There has already been a reference by the Speaker to his good humour, which is unfailing. I have never seen him get angry under any circumstances. That is quite a thing for a Speaker who must remain calm and perhaps outwait the tides of fury as they wash back and forth occasionally, signifying nothing. Of course it is quite a theatre upstairs. Hugh is used to that, being the member for Stratford, and in that connection his experience has been excellent.

It is a great thing for a man like Hugh not only to be elected repeatedly by his neighbours and the constituents in Perth, but to be selected as the Speaker of this House in this fine historic building and in a chamber which, in my view, is gorgeous and very much like home to all of us, where every now and then something useful happens and where the democratic process continues to evolve under the moderating hand of Mr Speaker of the day. Hugh had that responsibility for more than five years and, in my 30 years' experience, has been among the most effective in performing those duties, always maintaining a close, personal friendship with all members of the Legislature in all political parties and also setting an example, I think, in decorum which, from to time I am told by letters I receive, all of us could follow.

I am delighted to be here on this important occasion. I am very interested in the art that is in this building and look forward to seeing this particular portrait which I know will be excellent and will be much admired for many, many years to come.

Nancy, I am delighted to see you looking well and enjoying Hugh's retirement. Hugh, I am not sure what the future holds for you, but I think it is a little bit more than just a few rounds of golf. Your experience and your abilities are well known and I know that you will continue to serve your community as effectively in the future as you have in the past. My very best wishes to you both.

Mr Harris: I get to go after both Bob and Bob, but I will not take advantage of that situation. It is not that kind of day and we are honouring a non-partisan, at least for the five years that Mr Edighoffer was Speaker. So Mr Speaker, Mr Edighoffer, Nancy, Premier and Mr Nixon, and family, I am delighted to bring greetings on behalf of my party on this special occasion, and also to add a few words of my own of a personal nature on how much we have appreciated Hugh taking on the job as Speaker.

You go back in history and the Speaker had to be dragged forward to take on this task because it was the Speaker's role to report to the King or the Queen the will of the commoners in this House of Commons, and if the King or Queen of the day did not appreciate the message, the head came off. It is quite a challenge, even today, to take on this role and to shunt aside your partisanship of the party that you represent to be a voice of moderation and control for all of us from all parties.

I can recall being sent into Perth to campaign for my party earlier on in the 1980s. I do not know why they sent me there, because I knew we were going to get walloped, but they did send me there, I suppose to wave the flag. But the sense I had when I went into the riding was that even those who might have been favourable towards the bent, if you like, of my party were very quick to say how much they admired and appreciated the work and the representation they received from Hugh Edighoffer. So the people of Perth had a marvellous representative obviously for -- how many elections?

Interjection: Quite a few.

Mr Harris: Quite a few elections. I would like to say as well to the family: For those of us in public life, and I now, and I know the Premier and I know Mr Nixon, our families give so much in allowing us to do what it is we feel we are compelled or our calling calls us to do on behalf of our constituents and on behalf of our province. It is a huge and tremendous sacrifice for children and grandchildren and all members of the family, and I am proud to be here with you today as we thank Speaker Edighoffer, as we wish him well certainly into retirement. But we are honouring one of so very few people who obtain this position to preside over this Legislature. It is very unique, a singular honour enjoyed by very few people in our province. I applaud the sacrifices one makes and the family makes that have allowed Hugh to perform these years and these five years as Speaker.

I conclude by saying I was hoping that I got to speak after the unveiling so I could comment. However, perhaps it is better that I do not. I too look forward to this unveiling, this immortalizing of Speaker Edighoffer here in our hallowed halls of the Legislature. Thank you very much.

[Applause]

Mr Edighoffer: Mr Speaker, Mr Premier, Mr Nixon, Mr Harris, my friend who was so patient with me when I wanted to move around in the seat a little bit, Istvan, my family, friends, ladies and gentlemen, this is a day that I will always remember. It carries with it many, many fond memories around this place, because 23 years is a long time, so that I guess really it seems like home when I come back here.

I could not help but think when Bob Nixon referred to the fact that I may not have lost my temper at any point, and then I looked at my grandson, Jeffrey, who is just moving there now, is a little restless. One day there was something taking place in the House. As usual, it was on the legislative television and I guess he had it on at home. I was ejecting a member from the House, and while I was doing that and he was watching it in his home in Lambeth, he hollered out to his mother, "Papa's mad." Believe it or not, that is a true story, so I guess I did lose my temper.

The time has really passed quickly, and I have really enjoyed every part of the parliamentary process. I have to say it has been a real learning process for me. I learned, of course, having been Deputy Speaker for four years and then Speaker for four and a half years. That is not quite half the time I spent here, but it is quite a long time to be a presiding officer. I certainly had the opportunity to probably get a little closer to many members on a non-partisan basis. It also gave me an opportunity to meet with many of the Speakers throughout Canada to try, of course, to let them know how we operated in Ontario. But I think more important, it was an opportunity for me to find out how they operated in other parts of Canada and hopefully have an opportunity to work it in here.

After all those kind words, it is really hard to know what to say. I really appreciate the four speakers who have gone before me and have so kindly made comments about me. When I think back to the time I became Speaker -- I believe it was on 4 June 1985 -- I did have the honour of being nominated and seconded on two occasions by Frank Miller, David Peterson and Bob Rae. It really made me feel that I was part of the place and could play the role as an impartial Speaker.

There is one thing about the history of this place I did want to tell you today. I just put some dates down, because many of you may not be aware that this building came into operation in 1892. The Speaker of the Ontario Legislature was a man by the name of Thomas Ballantyne. He served as Speaker from 1891 to 1895. His constituency was Perth South. In other words, he just lived a few miles south of the city of Stratford.

I thought it would be interesting for many of you, and particularly for the politicians sitting up here, if I would just inform you that before Thomas Ballantyne became Speaker there was an election that was held on 5 June 1890. On 11 February 1891 Thomas Ballantyne was elected Speaker. The House sat in that year from 11 February to 4 May; in 1892 it sat from 11 February to 14 April; in 1893 it sat from 4 April to 27 May; and in 1895 it sat from 14 February to 5 May. There is quite a difference from then until now.

But I feel that maybe there is a little chance that I have brought a continuity from Perth. Thomas Ballantyne was the first Speaker when this was a brand-new building and I was the 32nd Speaker during the last Parliament when, as was referred to by Speaker Warner, the renovation and restoration committee was formed, to try to make certain that this building is maintained for another 100 years. So I feel that there has been a very close connection between the two Speakers, the Legislative Building and Perth county.

I could go on and reminisce. I promise you I will not. I know you have all been very well behaved standing there. But I want to sincerely thank, first of all, my wife and my mother, who is in the audience and who is 93 years old and was, of course, a regular watcher of the legislative channel. With their help, with the help of the rest of my family and the support of all my friends, it has been a tremendous experience. I thank you very, very much.

I must say to Istvan once again that I appreciate his work. I did have a chance to have a sneak preview some time ago, but I think at that time he said: "I just have to put a few more wrinkles in it. There aren't really enough wrinkles." Thank you, Istvan. I think you have done an excellent job and I appreciate the friendship, and even your wife's baking when I was sitting at your place for the portrait.

Thanks very much to all of you. Thank you again, Mr Speaker, Premier, Mr Nixon, Mr Harris. It is much appreciated. It will be an important part of the memories of my life.

[Applause]

The Speaker: I thought the artist made you look 20, and that is terrific.

That concludes our formal ceremonies, but I want to make sure that we have extended a very warm welcome to everyone to join us for a reception downstairs in the legislative dining room. For those of you who are not familiar with the building, you simply have to go around on either side of this staircase and down one short flight of stairs. The legislative dining room is there, where there will be a very pleasant reception for you, and I know that Mr and Mrs Edighoffer might have an opportunity to say hello to the many friends and family.

Again, thank you very, very much for coming for this extremely special occasion.