36th Parliament, 1st Session

L016 - Wed 25 Oct 1995 / Mer 25 Oct 1995






























The House met at 1332.



Hon David Johnson (Chair of the Management Board of Cabinet): I have a message from the Administrator of the government, signed by his own hand.

The Speaker (Hon Allan K. McLean): All rise, please. The Administrator of the government transmits estimates of certain sums required for the services of the province for the year ending 31 March 1996 and recommends them to the Legislative Assembly.



Mr John C. Cleary (Cornwall): At this very important time in our country's history, I would like to acknowledge the work of a great Canadian in my riding, Norm Lalonde, and his committee.

Around the Cornwall area, Mr Lalonde is known as "Mr Canada" since for many years he has coordinated the Canada Week celebrations. This past year he organized a Unity Scroll, a message from ordinary Canadians about the importance of a united Canada. So far, more than 9,000 people have signed the scroll, which will be presented to the Prime Minister later this week.

Next Monday's vote in Quebec has many of my constituents worried about the future of our country. Practically speaking, there are many residents in my riding who work in Quebec and there are many who reside in Quebec but work in the Cornwall area.

Many Canadians have been making their voices heard in these past weeks and will continue to do so through public demonstrations for a united Canada in this final week leading up to the referendum.

I've also received from Calvin Preddie his own design of a T-shirt that sums up the feeling of members in this House, myself, Norm Lalonde, Calvin Preddie, Kevin Bradshaw and many of my constituents. It reads, "We chose a united Canada, a cherished nation from sea to sea to sea." I would like to express my support for a united Canada and I encourage all to do the same.


Mr Gilles Bisson (Cochrane South): Last Friday, the Minister of Community and Social Services finally released his long-awaited shopping list. His list was supposed to be a commonsense shopping list, a lesson for single people on welfare, the assertion being that a person who lost his or her job somehow forgot how to shop and needed a reminder in commonsense shopping.

Myself and a number of people in my riding on Saturday decided it would be a good idea to see just how much common sense existed in the Tsubouchi shopping list. Guess what we found out after shopping à la Tsubouchi? The $90 list cost closer to $110 no matter where we went and shopped. The list, if followed, would not even meet the bare minimum standard for nutrition as set out in the Canada Food Guide.

The list even lacked some of the essentials we in the civilized world take for granted. The single on welfare could not wash, as no soap, toothpaste, toilet paper, shaving cream or any of the necessities needed to keep one clean was on the list. How would a prospective employer view an applicant for employment after just a few days on this stinky diet? I guess since the Harris government took power, employers in this province have lowered their standards. We certainly know that the Harris government is an anti-worker government, but I never thought they'd stoop to these lengths to prove it.

I believe that this government, like any good government, should lead by example. I challenge Mr Tsubouchi and the Premier to practise what they preach. Let them live on this diet of misery and see how they feel, or should I say how they smell after 30 days. After 30 days, I assure you that the hunger pangs would change their views on the world and, who knows, they might just call for a stop to this class war they're starting in this province.


Mr Joseph N. Tascona (Simcoe Centre): It is very timely for me to speak on the importance of national unity.

On Sunday, October 29, a unity rally will be held in the city of Barrie in my riding of Simcoe Centre. This non-partisan rally is organized by everyday citizens who have a deep sense of national pride. The rally will start at 2:30 in the afternoon at Barrie's Memorial Square.

This is a fitting location because it is the same place where we honour those brave Canadians who made the supreme sacrifice. It is also where a few people recently got together on their own initiative and built a beautiful flag display. This engineering wonder shows the maple leaf as a torch encircled by a ring of flags from each province and territory, all displayed at equal angles and height on a single pole, a symbol that Canadian strength comes from the sum of all of its parts.

We should not be silent about our commitment to this great country. I invite all members of this House to join the people of Simcoe Centre on October 29 to show our commitment to Canada and genuine affection for our good friends and neighbours in Quebec.


Mr Jean-Marc Lalonde (Prescott and Russell): Last Sunday, I had the honour and the privilege of participating in a ceremony officially inaugurating the town of Hawkesbury's Maison de l'île du Chenail as a heritage site.

En désignant la Maison de l'Île à titre de bien culturel, architectural et historique, la ville de Hawkesbury assure la conservation et met en évidence un des rares trésors de son patrimoine municipal, tout en faisant une contribution importante au développement touristique de la région.

J'aimerais partager avec vous quelques faits saillants de la Maison de l'île :

Construite en 1810, la Maison de l'Île représente un des rares bâtiments du XIXe siècle encore en existence à Hawkesbury. Une des techniques de construction utilisée à l'époque de sa construction, soit celle des billots côte à côte, équarris et aplanis sur le dessus, est très rare et probablement unique dans la région.

In the early 19th century, the Maison de l'Île belonged to the Hamiltons, important businessmen in the area who ran the lumber mill renowned nationally and internationally for its forest products. The Maison de l'Île also once belonged to the Honourable John C. Abbott, Canada's second Prime Minister.

Monsieur le Président, je félicite le Comité du patrimoine de Hawkesbury ainsi que les membres du conseil municipal d'avoir eu la vision de conserver ce site historique pour l'appréciation des générations futures.



Mr Peter Kormos (Welland-Thorold): For over a week now, members of this caucus have been talking about the various and assorted Mulroney hacks, flunkies, bagmen and toadies picked up off the junk heap by the Harris government to serve as their staff people.

The Harris government inherited the largest part of the Mulroney brain trust, and if that ain't an oxymoron, nothing is. You see, Speaker, there's one more, Jayne Sutherland, the executive assistant to the Tory-Harris House leader. Well, by God, if she wasn't one of the staffers for Mulroney's House leader, Harvie Andre.

Unlike some people, I'm not at all concerned about that, because these are the same people who made Brian Mulroney one of the most hated Premiers -- the most hated Prime Minister -- in all of Canada. These are the Tory-Mulroney hack staffers who reduced the federal Tory party to but two members. They hold their caucus meetings in a phone booth.

So I can but encourage Harris, if there are any more of these Mulroney hacks floating around whose unemployment insurance has long expired and who aren't prepared to live on the Tsubouchi $90-a-month food budget, well, by God, I'm encouraging Mike Harris and his gang to hire many more of them, because they'll end up in the same phone booth as Jean Charest and his sole cohort.

This Premier will end up being the most hated and despised Premier in Ontario as Brian Mulroney is the Prime Minister of Canada.


Mr Doug Galt (Northumberland): Tomorrow, we'll be celebrating the 50th anniversary of service by the Haliburton, Kawartha and Pine Ridge District Health Unit. We're delighted to have the parliamentary assistant for the Ministry of Health, Mrs Helen Johns, as the guest speaker.

Because of spadework carried out by the Durham Federation of Agriculture and the women's institutes, the Northumberland and Durham county councils appointed a board of health in 1945. From the beginning, the health unit conducted many activities throughout the area, including mass immunizations, provision of maternity care, monitoring of public water supplies and dealing with tuberculosis.

The health unit's geography and responsibilities have changed and grown dramatically since then. It now works to ensure conditions in which we can all live healthier lives.

The district health unit has offices in Port Hope, Brighton, Campbellford, Lindsay and Haliburton. Activities are carried out in cooperation with many community members, including nurses, physicians, dentists, nutritionists and many, many volunteers.

It is community-based approaches like this one that will allow us to continue to help people improve the quality of their health while controlling spending.

Congratulations to the leaders and staff of the Haliburton, Kawartha and Pine Ridge District Health Unit on achieving 50 successful years of working with and serving their public.


Mr Mike Colle (Oakwood): I've just come back from a rally in support of Northwestern hospital in my riding attended by over 1,000 people. At that rally, it was made very clear that this hospital was built by the community. It was started by Canon Jackson, who raised money door to door in 1949 to serve the people of middle Metro, the city of York, and it has served the people with excellence over the last 40 years.

At that rally, it was made abundantly clear that a hospital that serves people and is part of the family of the city of York should be protected from closure, especially when it provides a completely integrated service. Hopefully, the Minister of Health will look at this hospital as a centre of excellence, protect it and ensure that it will go on serving the community of Metro and the city of York for the next 40 years.

I hope this ministry and this government tread very, very carefully before they start closing hospitals, especially a community hospital, a neighbourhood hospital, like Northwestern.


Ms Shelley Martel (Sudbury East): Today, I rise to talk about an issue of great importance to all Ontarians, indeed to all Canadians, and that is national unity.

As all in this chamber are aware, Quebeckers will be making a choice on Monday, a choice between continuing to work to improve Confederation and Quebec's place in our nation, or a path to separation.

Les Ontariens et les Ontariennes partagent avec les Québécois et les Québécoises depuis des siècles des liens de plus en plus serrés. Ces liens entre nos deux provinces sont assez forts pour survivre le débat actuel et s'épanouir pour les générations à venir.

It is my profound hope that Quebec votes no to separation from the rest of Canada. It is my profound belief that at heart Quebeckers share the same concerns and hopes that we do in Ontario, a concern about jobs and the economy and a hope for the future of our children. It is only within a federal framework that we can make the changes necessary to meet our economic and cultural aspirations.

Saying no really means saying yes to continuing the process of evolution of our federation. Voting yes is a vote for an uncertain future, for Quebec and for all of us.

By all accounts Canada is the best country in which to live. A united Canada provides the best foundation for all of us to achieve all of our goals.


Mrs Helen Johns (Huron): Breast cancer is the most frequently occurring type of cancer among women. In 1995, almost 7,000 Ontario women will be diagnosed with cancer of the breast. That means that one in nine women will be diagnosed. In 1995, 2,000 women, or one in 23 women, will die of breast cancer.

Incidence of breast cancer starts to rise after the age of 25, although the majority of cases occur after the age of 55. It is a disease that often strikes women in the prime of their life, at the peak of their work and family responsibilities. This is not only a women's health issue; husbands, children and families of these women are affected as well.

It was my pleasure to attend the opening of the Marvelle Koffler breast cancer clinic at Mount Sinai Hospital Monday evening with the Minister of Health, the Honourable Jim Wilson.

What is unique about this centre is that it resulted from the efforts of one individual who recognized a need and took action on her own. Mrs Koffler's incentives to improve the experience of women dealing with breast cancer sprang from her own personal experiences in the health system. Modelling the centre upon a clinic she visited in New York, Mrs Koffler has created a more sensitive and reassuring atmosphere for women.

It is a place that will cater to the sensitivities of women's health issues, something that this government is proud to be associated with.



Hon David Johnson (Chair of the Management Board of Cabinet): The 1995-96 expenditure estimates I am tabling today were prepared by ministries in anticipation that they would have been presented to the Legislature this past spring. However, because the previous government decided not to recall the House in March, the estimates were never presented.

In these circumstances, we are tabling the estimates quickly to permit the standing committee on estimates to review the government's spending plan. The most practical and expedient way to do this is to table the estimates prepared by the ministries from the previous government.

As members are aware, the estimates are an integral component of the annual process for the government to obtain legal spending authority from the Legislature.

On July 21, my colleague the Minister of Finance gave a fiscal statement and outlined initial spending cuts directed towards returning the province to fiscal responsibility and accountability, and putting Ontario on the road to economic recovery.

I am also providing members with tables that outline, on a ministry-by-ministry basis, the changes to total spending plans made by this government. These tables show the expenditure cuts this government has already made to the programs included in the estimates I am tabling today. These changes form part of the overall spending adjustments announced by the Minister of Finance on July 21 and reported to this House by me on September 28.

Ministries will provide the standing committee with detailed briefing materials that more fully explain our government's spending plans for this fiscal year.

In addition, I am shortly to table supplementary estimates in the House to provide spending authority for capital grants. These supplementary estimates will reflect the conversion of the previous government's capital loans to grants. This is in keeping with the advice from the Provincial Auditor.

Since taking office in late June, this government has been working diligently to put Ontario's finances in order and will continue to do so. The Minister of Finance will present a fall economic and fiscal statement providing further details.


Mr Joseph Cordiano (Lawrence): I'd like to point out that it's about time that the estimates were tabled in this House by the minister so that we can finally begin to determine where -- the details of the pain that will be unleashed by all these expenditure cuts will become much more apparent at that time, and I think we've been asking for this for some time.

I think it becomes abundantly clear that this government intends to provide very little alternative to those people out there who will be most hurt by these cuts. That's really the defining moment in all this, that the government is saying -- we're all for efficiency on this side of the House, and I think everyone recognizes and agrees, every single member in this House agrees that there is a debt and deficit problem, and everyone agrees that that needs to be dealt with. But I think what has become very clear is that this government is to provide no alternative for people who are on social assistance. There is nothing for them to do other than to witness this 21% cut, with no alternative coming forth from the Minister of Community and Social Services, from any other minister, any other member of the government.

I think it's very clear -- and in this I make reference to the election campaign -- when speaking to my constituents I told them, "Beware of what's being proposed by this party, this Conservative Party, because they're going to take us back to the Diefenbaker era," and that struck fear in the hearts of many of my constituents because they remember that as not a very nice time indeed in which to have lived. It was very difficult.

But it becomes clear to me, and I've come to understand this now, that this government not only wants to take us there, they want to take us further. They want to take us back to a Victorian era when you had to bleed patients in an effort to try and make them feel better, and that's what being done here. It was voodoo medicine and now we're getting voodoo economics. In a sense, I think it's very clear that this government is to provide no alternative for those people who are suffering out there as a result of their cuts.

We will indeed look forward to detailed estimates of what these expenditure cuts will mean for communities right across Ontario that have yet to find out the real consequences. The minister stands up each and every day, along with some of his colleagues, to announce with great fanfare all of these cuts, but what does it really mean to people out there in the communities?

I think we're beginning to see evidence of that each and every day, but in other communities where the cuts have not been dealt with, the cuts have not been felt, I think we'll begin to see the true response from the public out there as to what that means, and every single member of this government will be subject to those questions around what the details will mean for each of their communities. When that begins to happen, I think we're going to hear a different tune from members of the government.

These expenditure cuts are going to -- again going back to where the cuts are being made: education and training, $229 million; health care, a solid commitment of the government not to touch health care and they say they will put that money back into use in the health care budget. That remains to be seen. We will see through the expenditure process whether that is actually going to take place over the next year or two or three, and we'll see what impact that has on each and every one of your communities, because that's where the real pain will be felt.

Mr Gerry Phillips (Scarborough-Agincourt): As I think everyone in the House recognizes, we had requested that the government prepare a budget and present a budget. Every single year in the history of this province, every single year, we have had a budget. That's the document that the Legislature and the public can understand and debate the finances of the province. But for the first time in the history of the province, we will not have a budget.

What we've got today is, in my opinion, an attempt to sneak through the estimates. They'll want them dealt with over the next few weeks with as little debate as possible, and this has become the hallmark of this government: no debate, no illustration of what they're doing. Later today we're dealing with a motion that will cut off debate on the most significant piece of labour legislation in the history of this province, all dealt with in a matter of days.

What we see here today is typical: no budget; no opportunity for the people in this province to understand where this government is coming from on the finances; tabling of estimates that are now six months old; a very limited opportunity for debate on them; and a very limited opportunity for the people of this province to have their voices heard against this government.

Mr Bob Rae (York South): We know that the Minister of Finance is going to be bringing down some kind of a statement later on in the month, when he will indicate to all of the transfer partners how much pain they're going to have to bear as a result of this government's approach to economic life.

Hon David Johnson: Because of your deficit.

Mr Rae: I did not heckle the member for York East when he was making his points --

Hon David Johnson: Don Mills.

Mr Rae: -- and I would hope he wouldn't heckle me on a subject as fundamental to the province as the estimates, though if he chooses to do so, we will govern ourselves accordingly.

I think it's an interesting fact that in preparing the cuts within a couple of ministries -- I've learned, for example, that the accounting firm of Ernst and Young was hired by the government to provide advice to the government and indeed to plan for the government the nature of the cuts that are being made. In the Ministry of Community and Social Services, we understand from many of the agencies involved that the staff in the ministry say they have nothing to do with the decisions on cuts, that these have all been made by Ernst and Young in terms of the advice that's been provided. We haven't seen those reports. We would like to see those reports.

I've heard from the Sharbot Lake health centre that they're now engaged in a battle with the Ministry of Community and Social Services over whether in fact they own the health centre which has been in place since the early 1970s, which has now been shut down as a result of the unilateral decisions taken by this government.

These numbers simply tell a very small part of the story. We would have so many questions to raise about these if we were able to have a proper budget discussion, either now or we'll no doubt be able to raise them in the spring when we have the proper budget made available.

For example, we're now advised, and we now hear and learn, that the Ministry of Community and Social Services has plans to shift part of its budget over to the Ministry of Health. I would raise the issue with my colleagues and ask, does that mean that the $17.4-billion envelope which is referred to in the Tory Common Sense Revolution as the envelope which will be maintained will then receive this additional, very significant Gains-D and they can turn around and, having cut all the institutional side and having cut the hospitals to smithereens, come back in five years and say, "Look, the health budget is still intact" because it's now had whole other areas added on which it previously did not have?

The story, which I still don't think enough has been said about -- and I know there are members of the press here, and I hope they're listening very carefully to the story that's yet to be told -- is that the real agenda of this government is to cut taxes for the wealthiest citizens of the province and to cut services in order to pay for that tax cut. Right through the piece --

Hon Dianne Cunningham (Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, minister responsible for women's issues): Propaganda.

Mr Rae: I'm glad I've got the attention of the minister responsible for women's issues, because we're going to have some very real questions for her. She is one of the executioners of programs and services which have been vital for the women of this province for a long time.

Hon Mrs Cunningham: Name them, Bob.

Mr Rae: I will name them. You be patient. I'll name them. You hang on. Don't you worry.

We see, across the board, services which provide for the most vulnerable -- a service in Ottawa I heard about just yesterday, a farm where people who are severely disabled go to work and provide for themselves; the one bit of work they get to do, that farm for the physically and mentally disabled is being closed by the cuts that are being imposed by this government.

The Tories ran saying they could have cuts and it wouldn't hurt; they could have cuts and it would only be good for the economy. They are wrong. They are wrong, and we will show they are wrong, and the people who are vulnerable in this province know they are wrong. They know they're being asked to pay the price for the rich who are going to be the primary beneficiaries of the tax cut. That's what's wrong with Tory Ontario, that's what's wrong with the Tory vision and that's why we're going to continue to work so hard against it.




Mrs Lyn McLeod (Leader of the Opposition): My first question is to the Minister of Community and Social Services, who we are pleased to see has been allowed to return from exile. Minister, Friday, you'll remember, was the day you released your shopping list, but you refused to stay around and discuss it. There was a newspaper report, which the Premier has since essentially confirmed, that you have hired Jan Dymond, an image maker.

Now, as you know, Ms Dymond is not being paid out of Conservative Party funds, she is being paid out of public funds, and so I think the public deserves an accounting of how much money is being spent and how it is being spent. Minister, I ask if you would please tell the public the length of Ms Dymond's contract, the total amount she is being paid, how much she is being paid on a daily or an hourly rate, and was this contract put out to public tender or even the more limited RFP route before it was given to this well-known Mulroney adviser?

Hon David H. Tsubouchi (Minister of Community and Social Services): Thank you for that kind welcome back; I appreciate it.

I think it's very important to understand here, first of all, that this company was not hired by myself as the minister, it was hired by the ministry, and it was hired specifically to assist us with our long-term programs.


The Speaker (Hon Allan K. McLean): Order. The member for Lake Nipigon is out of order, as are several others. Order. Supplementary.

Mrs McLeod: If it's time for the supplementary, I gather the answer was that the minister didn't hire Ms Dymond, the ministry did. Clearly, there is no one in charge of the Ministry of Community and Social Services, and that's more and more apparent. But beyond that, Minister, I really do think that there is something rather rotten here, and it is not the 69-cent mythical tins of tuna that you keep talking about in this Legislature.

As you say, the ministry hired Ms Dymond. You have a large and, I'm sure, a very excellent communications staff within your ministry now. You have people who will write speeches for you and advise you how to deliver them. You have people who can advise you on how to deal with the media. You even have people, as we have seen, who will speak for you on those days when you decide, or the Premier decides, that it's time for you to disappear. You have all kinds of senior staff who could advise you on matters of policy and organizational structure.

So I ask you, Minister, to tell me, at a time when you're telling poor people in this province that they can get by on two pieces of bread without even so much as a pat of butter to help them go down, at a time when you're asking poor people to live on a $91-a-month food diet, why are you living off a $1,200-a-day image diet?

Hon Mr Tsubouchi: Unfortunately, I think what is rotten here is your ability to listen. In fact, that wasn't the end of the answer. You failed to hear the rest of it, as I had continued. I had said that this company is here specifically to assist with the long-term projects and programs of this government such as our commitment to workfare.

I ought to tell you this right now: We consider it very important for us to have a two-way dialogue with people out there who are going to be affected by the workfare program, and this means people who are on social assistance, it means our front-line workers, it means anyone who is going to have to implement this program.


The Speaker: The member for Cochrane South is out of order.

Hon Mr Tsubouchi: I'm going to tell you something right now. This is all part of our dialogue right now and I'll tell you something: We are taking the lead, unlike prior governments, in terms of consultation. Right now, I'll tell you, it's very easy to stand up and be self-righteous. However, we have already met with several groups in the disabled community, such as Christian Horizons, Ontario Association for Community Living, People First of Ontario, Special Services at Home Family Alliance, Great Lakes Society for Development Services of Ontario, Federation of Ontario Facility Liaison Groups, and they have agreed to work with us to help formulate policies and directions for the disabled community. This is part of our program to consult people --

The Speaker: The question has been answered.

Hon Mr Tsubouchi: -- the families and the caregivers of this province who unfortunately --

The Speaker: The question has been answered.

Hon Mr Tsubouchi: -- the other parties have disregarded.

Mrs McLeod: The minister was so determined to finish his scripted answer that he failed to hear the supplementary question. The supplementary question was indeed related to the fact that you have an excellent ministry staff who are able to provide you with the communications assistance that you so clearly need, as well as with the policy and organization advice that I'm sure people in the communities that are being affected by the daily decisions that you're making without consultation would be delighted to help you with.

Minister, I suggest that you do indeed have a communications problem and, more than that, I truly suggest that you have a comprehension problem, because I don't believe you understand what it is that you're doing and the effect it has on those people you're talking to. More than that, you consistently tell us one thing in the House and then we find out that the reality is quite a different thing, so let me give you one more example.

Over a month ago you told us that you were going to hire in your constituency office a financial planner and the role of that financial planner would be to give advice to those people who were affected by the welfare cuts.

The Speaker: Put your question, please.

Mrs McLeod: We called the office this week, Mr Speaker, and guess what? There is no financial planner. In fact, your office gave us a number to call at your ministry and the person who answered the phone there said they don't give advice, they just explain the system, if they can keep up with it.

Minister, how is it that when you promise a financial adviser to poor people, the adviser fails to materialize, but when you need a personal adviser, they're right there on the spot?

Hon Mr Tsubouchi: Unfortunately, the Leader of the Opposition has not got access to exactly what our plan is. I spoke late last week to the local newspaper and indicated to them that this program will be starting in November and, in fact, I have an opportunity now to mention the gentleman's name. His name is Harry James -- he is with Ross Dixon Financial -- who is not being paid, incidentally. He is donating his time to assist people on social assistance.

This is an example of the type of volunteerism and community spirit that the Premier and I were speaking of before, of how communities have a responsibility to assist their own community.


Mr Gerry Phillips (Scarborough-Agincourt): My question was going to be to the Premier, but in his absence, to the Minister of Finance. I would say first, on behalf of everyone, we're very pleased to see you back, all of us.

I did want to follow up on your government's plans for the finances of the province. Many times in the House your government has said the deficit is the single biggest financial problem facing the province and, frankly, I think we all agree with that. You're asking people like the children's aid societies and people on social assistance, children on social assistance and seniors to fight that deficit problem.

The problem we have with the message is that at the same time as you're asking all of those people to fight the deficit, you're also planning a very major tax cut. In fact, in your own documents, on the direct fiscal impact of the Common Sense Revolution, it says here you're going to cut $6 billion and then you're going to give a $5-billion tax break and you're going to reduce the deficit by $1 billion. In other words, all of the people in the province are being asked to cut expenditures by $6 billion, but for every $6 saving, $1 goes to reduce the deficit and $5 goes for the tax cut.


Can you explain to people like the children's aid society and mothers on social assistance the logic of them fighting the deficit problem saving $6 when only $1 will go to fight the deficit and $5 goes into a tax break? It is not unlike your old six-and-five program, but a very different six and five: six expenditure cut, five tax break. Can you explain the logic of that to those people?

Hon Ernie L. Eves (Deputy Premier, Minister of Finance and Government House Leader): To the honourable member: I think that he misrepresents the financial and fiscal policies of this government. As he well knows, when we assumed office if we had not taken any action the actual deficit figure for this fiscal year 1995-96 would have been in the neighbourhood of $10.6 billion for this year alone. We immediately took steps to reduce that by almost $2 billion of expenditure reductions in-year, and we are on target to meet that target for this fiscal year of $8.7 billion.

He is correct that had the fiscal situation been what it was projected to be by the previous government in its April 27 statement, and other statements by the previous government, we would have only had to cut $6 billion in expenditures. But that wasn't reality, that didn't turn out to be reality, and in fact we will have to cut even more to get a handle on expenditure reduction levels for this fiscal year.

I might also point out to the honourable member that the tax reduction of which he speaks he knows full well will not be felt in one fiscal year alone.

Mr Phillips: I'm using your direct fiscal impact of the Common Sense Revolution. It says program spending cuts $6 billion, tax cut $5 billion, reduce deficit by $1 billion. That's in one year -- one year. You are cutting --


Mr Phillips: Well, then you don't understand your own program, because you are cutting. You're asking everyone to join the fight on the deficit.


The Speaker (Hon Allan K. McLean): Order.

Mr Phillips: You're asking everyone to join the fight on the deficit -- people on welfare with two children cut by $3,000 -- and at the same time you are going to give -- there are 50,000 people in this province making over $150,000. You are going to give them a $5,000-a-year tax break. Two hundred and fifty million dollars will be going to people making over $150,000. Can you explain to all of those people who are working for children's aid organizations, mothers on welfare, the logic of giving a $250-million tax break to people making over $150,000 while you're asking them to cut, cut, cut, and if they cut $6, $5 of that cut goes to a tax break? Can you explain the logic of that?

Hon Mr Eves: To the honourable member: He knows full well that it was never intended and does not say in the Common Sense document that this full impact of the tax reduction will happen in one year. He knows that in our first three full budgets we will achieve the personal income tax reduction that we had projected to achieve in the Common Sense Revolution document.

He also fails to recognize that those tax cuts will leave money in the hands of taxpayers across the province of Ontario, not just those who make $150,000 a year or more. And he also does not point out, I say to him, the effect of the employer health tax, which his government introduced, which we are going to take away and replace with a much more progressive system that will tax those very people who make $150,000 a year that he's complaining about.

Mr Phillips: This becomes more troubling, because the minister doesn't understand his own plan. The $5,000 tax break to those people includes them paying that tax levy. You don't understand your own plan, Minister. The government doesn't understand its own plan.

I'll follow up, and again I say to the people of this province -- it's not me speaking. This is straight out of what they call the Common Sense Revolution, where it says very clearly, "We're going to cut $6 billion, and $5 billion of that $6 billion will go to a tax break."

I want to continue on the tax break, because in the next four years, by your own estimates, Minister, you will lose $15 billion of revenue to this tax break. That's not me speaking; that's from your own document: $15 billion. Every penny of that $15 billion you have to borrow. We continue to run deficits to the year 2001. Every penny, you have to borrow. The interest payments alone for the next four years on that tax break are $2.6 billion.

Can you explain to the people of Ontario the logic of borrowing $15 billion to give a tax break when you say the deficit is your single biggest financial problem to solve?

Hon Mr Eves: The honourable member knows full well that it will not cost us $15 billion over the next four years. He knows that in the third full budget year of implementation, we will then get up to the neighbourhood of $5 billion a year, in the third full year of the tax cut. There's 15% in the first full budget year: 7.5% followed by 7.5%. So he doesn't take that into account in his calculations.

We will not have to borrow, as he puts it, $15 billion to meet that commitment, and he doesn't take into account the stimulation of the economy by leaving money in the hands of taxpayers. Now, I understand that he doesn't understand that philosophy, because the previous two governments increased taxes 65 times over the past 10 years.

I know they don't understand that if you leave money in the hands of hardworking, honest, taxpaying Ontarians it will actually stimulate the economy. If the solution was simply to tax more and spend more, we wouldn't be in a recession right now, because those two parties are living proof that that has not worked over the last 10 years.


Mr Bob Rae (York South): I have a question for the minister of women's issues, since she was so quick to ask me to name examples of where cuts were being made.

Minister, I'm sending you over a copy of a letter that the member for Riverdale has received from Julie Lee, who is the executive director of the London Battered Women's Advocacy Centre.

I'm very troubled by the contents of this letter because in it Ms Lee says that on Friday last, a meeting was held in the minister's constituency office with respect to funding for services to women in need in the London area. She says that in addition to being advised that not only was there no money for this year, there was going to be even less for next year, and that more serious cuts could be expected in the near future.

She goes on to say this, and I have to quote it: "Very quickly after this meeting, I took note of what she said to us. Ms Cunningham" -- referring to the minister -- "said, `Within the context of this government, you need to understand that groups or agencies that are seen not to be working with this government, providing an oppositional voice [at this point she made reference to Harmony House, an Ottawa second-stage housing project which has been strongly voicing opposition to the cuts] will be audited and their funding eliminated.'"

There were others at this meeting who were also present who, I am reliably informed, are prepared to indicate that this is in fact what the minister said. I would like to ask the minister how she can possibly justify taking this kind of position in discussions which she is having with people who are providing such necessary services in the province.

Hon Dianne Cunningham (Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, minister responsible for women's issues): I just received the letter. I haven't read it. I'm trying to listen to the leader of the third party, and I will respond in this regard.


Those words are not my words. I never made that statement. My staff was there making notes. I should tell you also that this was tried on the London Free Press, who checked around to see if I did make these statements. As a matter of fact, obviously I didn't, because she wouldn't even print it. The article that was in the London Free Press on Saturday did not obtain these words because this was not printed.

Mr Rae: Obviously these are words which are not lightly used by the author of this letter. Again, if you look at the bottom of the letter, you'll see that "Mary Ellen Mellanson, the executive director of London Second Stage Housing, has been supported by her board of directors (who were also in attendance at this meeting), to come forward and confirm Dianne Cunningham's statement as noted above."

Now we have clearly here a minister who denies making such a statement, and we have people in the community who insist that this statement was made -- who insist that it was made -- and who are not afraid to come forward and who are very clear in their assertion that these words were used.

I want to ask the minister, how can you explain how people who were present at the meeting are now clearly indicating that in fact this is what was said, that people were told that if they expressed opposition their organizations would be audited and they would be shut down, and that this gives rise to an atmosphere of genuine and deep fear among groups that are working in the community? How could she explain how such a comment would come to be made?

Hon Mrs Cunningham: I think that these kinds of letters -- and I've met with literally hundreds of people in the last few weeks, and I've never, ever had anybody write a letter like this. I have to tell you that this is the kind of letter that does instil fear in our communities. This is not representative of the conversation. For those of you who know me in this House, I encourage people to speak in opposition to this government and give us good ideas about what they're concerned about and how we can find solutions to the problems.

For you to pursue this argument right now is not in the best interests of anyone. If someone wants to make those statements, it's up to them to prove them. I would suggest that my staff was in the room and I didn't make it, and I want everybody in this House to know that if we're going to solve the problems facing Ontario today, we're not going to make any excuses for creating an environment where people can work, go to school, have hope for the future, and, yes, the decisions right now will be tough ones, but I can assure you that in the future, if we don't make these decisions, there will be no second-stage housing or any supports for women who have been victims of sexual assault.

Mr Rae: Having been a first minister, I can tell you there are many occasions when allegations are made against ministers. Indeed, they've been made by various opposition members. But here we have a statement that's attributed to the minister in a private meeting and which the press was not permitted to attend, in which we have several people who apparently are prepared to indicate that --

Hon Mrs Cunningham: Well, they weren't with the Free Press, were they?

Mr Rae: The minister's shouting out and I was talking -- because obviously in a climate which this government has established that intimidation is now the order of the day --


The Speaker: Order.

Mr Rae: I don't know. There is a very specific set of statements that the minister makes about organizations being audited and their funding eliminated. Now, can the minister explain how somebody would come away from a meeting, not simply with an impression --

Ms Frances Lankin (Beaches-Woodbine): Not just one person.

Mr Rae: And not just one person come away with an impression of the fact that funding was going to be difficult, which everybody in the province understands, but how it would possibly be that people who operate one way, that is to say by talking publicly in opposition to the government, how it is that their organizations would be subject to an audit and how their funding would be eliminated? How would somebody come away with that kind of an impression unless something to that effect was said? How could they possibly come away with it?

Hon Mrs Cunningham: Well, I don't know how they could come away with that kind of thinking. I clearly left the meeting with two thoughts: First of all, I have been in touch with the Minister of Community and Social Services around all of the second-stage housing projects, because we are looking to solutions and we do intend to keep the core program there. That's the first message that I left with this particular group.

The second message I left to the group was that we are looking for solutions to the tremendous challenges that we face in Ontario today. I can tell you that I have been in touch with five of the women who attended that meeting who did not raise this issue with me at all, nor would they support the author of this letter.

In closing, I would like to say, if in fact the leader of the third party is trying to intimidate me in the work that I'm doing on behalf of the women in this province, it won't work, because we intend to provide the programs that are necessary and the core programs that we promised during the campaign and for which we have a very strong mandate on behalf of the citizens of this province.


Mr Bob Rae (York South): I have a question, in the absence of the Premier, to the Deputy Premier. I understand that the argument the government is making for its decision to proceed so quickly with the labour relations changes, and to move the closure motion which we all know is being moved today, is because the consultation over labour relations took place in the Common Sense Revolution during the election.

I want to ask the Deputy Premier and House leader, in whose name the motion on closure will stand, where in the Common Sense Revolution it talks about stripping union rights from public servants in the Crown Employees Collective Bargaining Act, where it talks about gutting and reducing the employee wage protection program and where it talks about making it easier for employers to instigate drives to decertify unions. Where exactly was this discussed during the election campaign in the Common Sense Revolution?

Hon Ernie L. Eves (Deputy Premier, Minister of Finance and Government House Leader): The bill that is standing in the name of the Minister of Labour, Bill 7, is an effort on behalf of the government to re-establish some sort of semblance of business and fairness in the province of Ontario. I understand that the leader of the third party and his party would not agree with the contents of Bill 7.

Mr Floyd Laughren (Nickel Belt): That's not the issue.

Hon Mr Eves: The issue, to the former Finance minister, is quite frankly that the pendulum in this province has swung too far the other way and that you have discouraged investment and people from investing in the province of Ontario.

That's what the issue is.

Mr Rae: I don't mind having a difference of opinion with the member for Parry Sound over the question of labour relations in the province. That's a healthy and normal thing to happen. In fact, I suspect we've had that discussion over many days and nights in the last 15 years. The issue is, this plan that you've brought in goes well beyond simply reversing Bill 40. It provides for changes in decertification of unions which are, if I may say so, seen by a great many employers as destabilizing. The Minister of Labour will know the number of representations she's heard in that regard.

It guts the wage protection program, which was never discussed by the Conservatives when they were in opposition, it was never referred to in the Common Sense Revolution and it impacts not on unions but on employees, including employees, for the most part, who have nothing to do with unions. It takes money directly out of their pockets. It also changes all of the rights with respect to crown employees and their rights in the future in the event of privatization.

These are very significant issues. They go well beyond the subject of Bill 40. I can't understand why someone who has always been so reasonable with respect to a process of listening to the public and giving people a chance to influence the government would be opposed to widespread public hearings across the province and why they would be so determined to simply shut debate down in the province, which is what they're doing with their bill today.

Hon Mr Eves: The leader of the third party knows full well that one of the cornerstones of Bill 7, of course, is to provide for secret ballots and democratization of certification and decertification processes in the province of Ontario. I don't understand what anybody in an elected Parliament could have against that, but apparently his government did when they were in power, and they still object to it.


With respect to wage protection, he will know that the province of Ontario will still have the best wage protection program and legislation in this country of Canada.

With respect to crown employees, the honourable member will know that we are in a very difficult deficit situation in the province of Ontario. To enable the province of Ontario to restructure government and do the essential things that government should be doing and free up government from doing things it should not be doing, these changes are necessary.

Ms Frances Lankin (Beaches-Woodbine): So you're going to take it out on public sector workers.

The Speaker: Order. The member for Beaches-Woodbine is out of order.

Hon Mr Eves: The honourable member will also know that an offer was made to his House leader in the form of government notice of motion number 1 on the order paper which would have provided for in excess of 40 hours of public hearings --

Mr David S. Cooke (Windsor-Riverside): Four days.

Hon Mr Eves: -- 40 hours, 9 am to 10 pm, so in excess of 40 hours of public hearings, which would be the equivalent of eight weeks, of sending this bill to the resources development committee, an offer that his government House leader rejected this afternoon.

Mr Rae: Let's compare the record. Since you objected to Bill 40, and we know you did, what did we do on Bill 40? We had five weeks of public hearings in Toronto and six other cities -- Kingston, London, Ottawa, Sudbury, Thunder Bay and Windsor -- we had eight days in committee for clause-by-clause, we had two days in committee of the whole, and we had two days for third reading debate. Prior to that we had a very long and extensive consultation and the bill was significantly amended.


Mr Rae: The Minister of Health is reverting to type now; it doesn't take long.


Mr Rae: Oh, now here we go.

The Speaker: The member for Simcoe West is out of order.


The Speaker: The member for London Centre is continuously being out of order.

Mr Rae: That's the record. What I do not understand, and I say this quite sincerely to the member for Parry Sound, is how it is that you insisted on this kind of process -- quite rightly, and we readily agreed to it -- with respect to Bill 40, but when it comes to your own legislation, which moves far more significantly the other way in terms of where the rights are going -- rights are being taken away which were there under Bill Davis, which were there under David Peterson, were there under Frank Miller, for goodness' sake, and they're not good enough for this government -- those rights can be taken away and you shut down debate in less than a week.

I think we're entitled to ask, if the hearings across the province were good enough for Bill 40, why aren't they good enough for Bill 7?

Hon Mr Eves: The leader of the third party knows that his party has prevented this Legislature, for about the last week and a half, from dealing with Bill 7. They've prevented a routine motion being introduced to establish committees.

They don't even want to establish the committee to send Bill 7 to, let alone have any time. How can you have time in a committee when they won't even permit us to move a motion and pass it -- which is a routine thing -- to have committees of the Legislature up and running?

He will also know that when Bill 40 was passed by the previous Minister of Labour, those hearings were held during a time when the House was not in session. He will also know that his Minister of Labour did not make one single change as a result of those hearings to that bill. You may have made changes that were conducive to labour, but you didn't listen to anything that was said.


Mr Gilles Bisson (Cochrane South): He's lying, Mr Speaker. The Deputy Premier is lying.

Hon Mr Eves: I ask the leader of the third party --

The Speaker: Would the member resume his seat, please. The member for Cochrane South, I heard a word that I don't think is parliamentary. Will he withdraw it.

Mr Bisson: Mr Speaker, how could I be accused of doing -- I rephrase. I apologize.

Hon Mr Eves: Perhaps the leader of the third party can answer why his House leader turned down the offer for the equivalent of eight weeks of public hearings in the resources development committee, over 40 hours of public hearings.

Ms Lankin: Four days.

Hon Mr Eves: Forty hours.

The Speaker: The question has been answered.

I think it's in order that I correct my own record. I had earlier indicated the member for London Centre. I meant the member for London North.


Mrs Elinor Caplan (Oriole): My question today is for the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. Fifty per cent of my constituents are renters, and I'm hoping he will clear the air on the issue of his government's policy on rent controls.

In today's paper, it's reported that last night the member for Eglinton, your colleague, who is the Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism, told a meeting of his constituents, "I can tell you very sincerely that there has been no discussion of rent control in the cabinet."

However, here in this House on October 3 when you were asked by my colleague, the member for Scarborough North, Mr Curling, "Yes or no, will you be abolishing rent control?" you replied, "Yes."

Minister, can you please tell me and the people of this province, is it the policy of your government to abolish, to scrap rent controls?

Hon Al Leach (Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing): As the member knows, the current system is not working. It's not fair for tenants, it's not fair for landlords. What we have said and what we've been very consistent in saying all along is that we intend to bring in tenants' protection, something that will provide protection to tenants that they don't have now.

I concur with my colleague, and at his meeting last night he said exactly the same thing: that the current system doesn't work and it has to be fixed. We intend to fix it, and we're going to ensure that tenants are protected.

Mrs Caplan: I have the copy of Hansard. I have your reply to my colleague, and I'm asking you today, in light of your own comments, is it the policy of your government, yes or no, to scrap rent control?

During the election the Conservative candidate sent around a pamphlet in my riding saying, "Mike Harris will not scrap rent control." What we've heard from you and your colleague the minister is that you will not scrap rent control. Are you standing by your statement to my colleague today? Are you going to scrap rent control? Yes or no.


The Speaker (Hon Allan K. McLean): I would be interested to know if the members would like to hear the answer. I would.


The Speaker: Order. Will the members please come to order.

Hon Mr Leach: I can only assume that the member across has a hearing difficulty. What I said was that we intend to fix a system that is broken, that rent controls as they exist right now do not work. It's our intention to work to bring in an act that will provide tenants with protection, and when we have that ready, yes, we will remove a system that doesn't work.



Mr David S. Cooke (Windsor-Riverside): I have a question to the Deputy Premier and the government House leader. The government House leader knows that if this party or that party ever brought in the draconian time allocation motion that he has suggested and that he's going to be calling today -- there has never been a time allocation motion like the one being presented by this government. If we'd ever brought anything like that in --


The Speaker (Hon Allan K. McLean): Order. I would like to hear the question.

Mr Cooke: If we ever brought a motion like that in, the government House leader, who was in the opposition then, would have been absolutely outraged.

On July 14, 1992, Mr Eves said during the debate on Bill 40: "The whole process is about having the public have its say, coming to committee for as long a period as possible -- that's always negotiated," he said, "and hopefully the government of the day, with the persuasion of the public and the opposition members of the Legislature, will be able to persuade the government of the day to make some significant improvements to the piece of legislation."

That's the process as he saw it when he was over here. Why now has your government brought in a time allocation motion, without any negotiations, any discussion at all, that'll amount to four days, just to give a front for the government, no real public hearings in the province? What you told me today was, "You accept that or you get nothing."

Hon Ernie L. Eves (Deputy Premier, Minister of Finance and Government House Leader): Perhaps the honourable member could explain why on Monday, October 16, Mr Christopherson moved first reading of a bill with a very lengthy title from 4:20 to 4:25; Mr Cooke -- being himself -- then moved for an adjournment of the House from 4:30 to 5; and why we have day after day of this going on for a week and a half, preventing the government from even moving a motion to establish committees. He says he wants this bill out to committee, but he won't even approve the routine motion to establish the committee to send it to.

Mr Cooke: There have been five days of discussion on Bill 7, a bill that has the most significant changes to the Ontario Labour Relations Act in the history of this province. That's a fact.

Yes, we engaged in some procedural wrangling, because we were asking your government for discussions about public hearings on Bill 7. If you had had those discussions, we could have come to some agreement about public hearings here and public hearings across the province.

And it's not just the opposition parties; it's some of your own members, like the member for Etobicoke West, who has publicly expressed concerns about the way your government is operating and the cutting off of any public participation.

I'm asking the government House leader whether he will agree right now to stand down the motion this afternoon, sit down with the opposition House leaders and negotiate public hearings across the province on Bill 7.

Hon Mr Eves: The honourable member knows that we have offered over 40 hours of public hearings on this bill.

Mr Cooke: Four days.

Hon Mr Eves: He can call it four days if he wants. It's 9 am to 10 pm for those four days. Count the hours up. There's at least 40 hours in there --


The Speaker: The member for Cochrane South is out of order.

Hon Mr Eves: We've had five days of second reading debate on Bill 7 --


The Speaker: Order. The member for Cochrane South, you're continuously out of order.

Hon Mr Eves: He has been offered 40 hours. I might say that if he hadn't wasted the House's time for a week and a half, he may have got more than 40 hours, but he chose to waste his time with procedural wrangling. That's how he chose to spend the time, and when offered 40 hours today, he said, "I'd rather have nothing." He may get his wish. He may get nothing.


Mr Marcel Beaubien (Lambton): My question today is for the Minister of Health. Minister, in my riding of Lambton, in the town of Petrolia, we have a small local hospital serving a large rural area, and according to the district health council study, this hospital will not be closed.

However, we have an aging medical practitioner population, and we also have lost two doctors in the past two years who have moved on to other areas. This, Mr Minister, makes it very difficult to provide 24-hour emergency service and to meet the needs of the constituents, yet it is impossible for this area to obtain underserviced designation. Why is it impossible to obtain underserviced designation?

Hon Jim Wilson (Minister of Health): Mr Speaker, I can honestly tell you that's not the question that was planned.


Hon Mr Wilson: Seriously, my colleague the member for Lambton asked a very serious question on behalf of his constituents in Sarnia-Lambton. It's a question that many members of this House have asked me, both in the House in the last couple of weeks and in private conversations.

I reiterate and assure all members and the people of Ontario that we are currently in discussions with the Ontario Medical Association. Some members will be aware of the content of those discussions because the OMA has put out a newsletter to its members indicating some of the very serious points we're going over with them.

I can assure members that this government is ready to move with this issue. Right now in the city of Toronto we have some 40 communities from northern Ontario who have their annual fair which shows what a great place it is to be a physician in northern Ontario. The recruitment fair is on right now, and I'll be visiting that this afternoon. My parliamentary assistant visited it this afternoon already, as has the Minister of Northern Development and Mines.

We will be assuring those communities again today that we will be moving very, very soon to bring solutions to this problem. We committed in the throne speech to moving on the Scott report. That commitment is firm, and I'm finding those reinvestment dollars so we can get ahead with that announcement in the near future.

Mrs Sandra Pupatello (Windsor-Sandwich): Now you need to get some for us too.

The Speaker (Hon Allan K. McLean): The member for Windsor-Sandwich.

Mr Beaubien: I'm glad to see that our Minister of Health is very well versed in what he talks about.

My supplementary is to the Minister of Health again. Will this be addressed in the new report?

Mrs Lyn McLeod (Leader of the Opposition): Yes.

Hon Mr Wilson: "Yes" is easiest, I suppose. I always take advice from the people of Ontario, including the opposition in this House.

As I said, we're moving very quickly. I've had members from the Liberal Party, from the NDP send me notes, send me letters, have personal conversations in this House. What would be very helpful, to push along the Ontario Medical Association, to stress the urgency of this issue with them so they can do that with their membership, would be if members would write the Ontario Medical Association; also explain to them, as you're explaining to me, how serious this matter is for areas like Sarnia-Lambton, for areas like the North Shore, for areas throughout Ontario, including my own, which is only an hour north of Toronto.

It's a serious matter. This government is committing to moving. We want to move in partnership with the physicians in this province, and members should direct their concerns also to the Ontario Medical Association so they know we mean business on behalf of the people of this province.

The Speaker: New question.

Mr Michael Gravelle (Port Arthur): I have a question for the Minister of Health as well. Minister, as I'm sure you're aware, this morning at a press conference the Thunder Bay Regional Hospital announced that it is no longer able to guarantee trauma services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, due to a lack of needed specialists, specifically the departure of a third orthopaedic surgeon this past week.

This is the only trauma centre serving northwestern Ontario, the only one between Winnipeg and Sault Ste Marie. There are over 200,000 people who count on this service. Minister, such a situation causes great anxiety and fear for those of us who live in northwestern Ontario.

You have just now acknowledged responsibility for manpower planning and access to services in this province, so I have to ask you, what will you, as Minister of Health, do today to reassure the people in northwestern Ontario and the members of this House that this situation is being treated as the highest priority by your ministry?

Hon Mr Wilson: It's an important question. I'm aware of the press conference they had this morning, and I'm aware of the shortage and have been for a number of weeks now, particularly of orthopaedic surgeons, in Thunder Bay.

Thunder Bay is currently designated as an underserviced program area for two orthopaedic surgeons. If that community is able to find orthopaedic surgeons on a worldwide search I will not hesitate, under Bill 50 and the tools I have available today, to sign a Bill 50 exemption, provided that physician coming into that community qualifies as a physician in the province of Ontario from the College of Physicians and Surgeons.

I signed a whole pile more of Bill 50s this week and I'm doing it every week that I'm in office. With the discussions we're having with the OMA right now and the urgency of the situation, it has become clear to me that the government of Ontario, like many other provinces, needs more tools than simply Bill 50 and underserviced area programs to address this problem.

We are having those discussions with our partners, the physicians of this province, and I know we'll come to a solution in the very near future.


Mr Gravelle: I think we all acknowledge there's no service more important than trauma care. Simply put, people can die without trauma care. Again, this is the only trauma care service for a vast part of our province. As you acknowledge, you knew about this crisis for some time, so I just simply have to ask you once again, will you guarantee, Minister, that the people served by the Thunder Bay Regional Hospital will have access to trauma care?

Hon Mr Wilson: So that we don't unnecessarily upset people any more than they already are, I'm sure, over this situation, it is a situation this government inherited. Some member heckled, "It's been going on for a number of years," and it's true. I think this government is close to finding a solution in partnership with the physicians of this province, and I'll know that in the next very short period of time, whether we can find a mutual, agreeable solution to this.

There are tools available to governments in other provinces that this province does not have right now, and we're discussing that with the people at the Ontario Medical Association, whom we have to discuss with because the previous government made them the union for the doctors. I'm obligated under the law of two agreements signed by this government to have those discussions, and that's why I'm doing that.

But I'm also going beyond that and talking to front-line physicians and getting their ideas on how this can be solved. We know the Scott report is an important component, and we've committed fully to moving on that, along with some other measures that we're talking about with the Ontario Medical Association.

The Speaker: Would you wrap up your answer.

Hon Mr Wilson: Again, to ensure that the anxiety levels in Thunder Bay don't go through the roof, the hospital is providing trauma services and does have a plan in place if they hit overload and will be able to handle the patients in Thunder Bay. However, they do need our help. I'll expect the cooperation of all parties when we, together with the Ontario Medical Association, move forward to bring solutions to this very serious problem.


Mr David Christopherson (Hamilton Centre): My question is to the Minister of Labour. Minister, you will know that in your anti-worker Bill 7 one of the worker's rights that you are retracting is the employee wage protection program. You will also know that it was reported in the Kitchener-Waterloo Record that you had sent a letter to employees of the bankrupt Epton Industries Inc in your home area that they would have the benefit of the full coverage as provided under the existing legislation up to the $5,000.

I would expect, Minister, that you were rather pleased and relieved that you could let people in your own community know that they would benefit to the full amount that's currently in the law. My question to you is, if it's good enough for the employees in your own home area, why is it not good enough for all the workers of the province of Ontario?

Hon Elizabeth Witmer (Minister of Labour): As the member knows, the changes that were made to the employee wage protection program are such that the cap was lowered from $5,000 to $2,000. Those employees who qualified prior to the change will get the $5,000, and those after will get, obviously, the $2,000. You also know that there are only two provinces in all of Canada that have anything similar, and that's in Manitoba, where the cap is $1,200, and the other one is in Quebec, where it's paid for by the employers. So employees in this province are still very, very fortunate. They are still entitled to $2,000.

Mr Christopherson: Minister, it is so difficult for people to accept the fact that, instead of being proud of the fact that we have some of the best protection for workers in Ontario, you're proud that you're taking them away and gutting provisions that workers have earned and deserved for decades in this province.

In light of this particular program, the implication for more strikes than necessary as a result of changes you're making, the fact that you're taking away rights that have been in law for decades under all governments, the fact that you did not talk about the vast majority of the issues that you're dealing with in this bill during the election should tell you that people are entitled to an opportunity to have input into this -- and the fact that I suspect you know you're going to have to make changes.

I'm asking you again, on behalf of our party, why will you not provide Ontarians with the same opportunity they had under Bill 40 to have input into this draconian law before you change the fundamental rules of labour relations in this province?

Hon Mrs Witmer: First of all, I think we need to make it abundantly clear that our Bill 7 does enhance the rights of the individual workers, rights that you took away with Bill 40, and we are putting into the workplace democracy measures.


Mrs Margaret Marland (Mississauga South): My question is to the Chairman of Management Board. Minister, can you update the House on the government's plans for privatization and contracting out?

Hon David Johnson (Chair of the Management Board of Cabinet): I appreciate the question from the member for Mississauga South because the member for Mississauga South has worked with public servants over many years, as I have, through the municipal sector and through the provincial sector, and I'm sure she shares my view that public servants are hardworking and provide a great deal of services to the people of the province of Ontario.

The member for Mississauga South is also aware, as are all the members of this House, that we are spending $10 billion more than we have.

Hon Noble Villeneuve (Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, minister responsible for francophone affairs): Every year.

Hon David Johnson: Every year; each and every year. Clearly, government is too big.

This government has committed to looking to ways to restructure government, to reduce expenditures, to do business differently within the government, because to have the ability to provide the services for the people in the future, we must restructure government. Privatization is a part of that overall plan.

Mrs Marland: Minister, I hope that when this process begins, you will guarantee to this House that it will be a fair process and that there will be no fire sale. We want to be assured that there will be no fire sale that will take place for the friends of the government.

Hon David Johnson: I can assure the member for Mississauga South that we are looking very carefully and very thoroughly at a process that will be fair. Certainly we do not intend to have a fire sale. Specifically, we're looking at either a system that might be centralized -- and the Ministry of Finance and Management Board Secretariat are jointly studying a process for privatization, for contracting out -- or possibly the process could be decentralized, relying on the various ministries to come forward.

Whatever procedure we choose is being thoroughly studied over the next few months. I would expect in the new year there would be a process that would be announced in this House involving contracting out, privatization, procurement procedures and all other facets to bring the spending of this government in line with revenues.



Mr Dominic Agostino (Hamilton East): My question is to the Minister of Community and Social Services. There were reports this morning, which you have denied, that suggest that a review is taking place within your ministry that would in effect mean the dismantlement of the Ministry of Community and Social Services and the shifting of those services to other ministries or to the municipalities across this province.

Mr Minister, there is a memo from your deputy minister that goes on to blame the media for this report, but also goes on to say, "I want to assure you that the questions of delivery and staffing have not been decided." There was absolutely no reference to denying the fact that this review is taking place, that Mr Rabeau has been moved from Consumer and Commercial Relations to Comsoc to undertake this.

Mr Minister, a simple question for you: Can you tell the House what Mr Rabeau's job entails and promise and guarantee the House today that you have no plans to dismantle or shift any aspect of your ministry and that there's no ongoing review as to the shifting and dealing with the services you currently provide? Can you give us that ironclad guarantee today?

Hon David H. Tsubouchi (Minister of Community and Social Services): I suppose for a change I'd like to thank the member for the question. First of all, Mr Rabeau is purely in a policy area. That's question number one of your first series of questions.

Secondly, I think what we have to look at here, frankly -- and I appreciate this. The real issue here is that we are in the middle of creating a new model of welfare here. We're not tinkering or monkeying around with the system, as has been done over the last 10 years. What we're doing right now is we're creating --


The Speaker (Hon Allan K. McLean): Order.

Hon Mr Tsubouchi: We've gone through two phases. The first phase obviously is we're creating the foundation for the transformation of this system from self-dependency, and we've done this through the reduction of rates to 10% above the average of the other provinces and through the fraud and the eligibility provisions.

The next phase will be to build in the incentives to get people fully back in the workplace. This speaks to mandatory workfare and our learnfare programs. Really, I'm shocked that the member can stand up with such self-righteousness when he forgets that in the combination of the last 10 years we have spent $40 billion --


The Speaker: Order. The question has been answered. Just take your seat for a minute, please.


The Speaker (Hon Allan K. McLean): We have a former member in the west gallery by the name of Margaret Harrington, from Niagara Falls. Welcome.

Mr James J. Bradley (St Catharines): We also have a former member by the name of Ross McClellan.

The Speaker: I believe he's on the payroll.

I would like to inform the members of this Legislative Assembly that we have in the Speaker's gallery today Mr Samarasundara, official languages commissioner for Sri Lanka. Welcome to our guests.


Mr Sean G. Conway (Renfrew North): Briefly, on a point of privilege, Mr Speaker: At noon today I had the opportunity to walk from the west door of this building over to and through the University of Toronto. This concerns --

Mr Bob Rae (York South): You're not going to get my job, Sean.

Mr Conway: No. I must say, I heard the salary that was being paid to the former Premier, and I could get interested if such were offered to me.

But seriously, on the matter of security, and this is a follow-up to several concerns that have been raised by members on all sides, today at approximately 12:15, I left the west door of the Legislative Building and walked on a western diagonal through the University of Toronto and I was really struck by what I encountered.

Like many members, I was aware that there was a demonstration planned for the front lawns of the building today, I think at some point late this morning, at the noonhour. But at about 12:15 or 12:30, I was struck when I entered the grounds of the University of Toronto to encounter as much of a police presence as I met. On Hart House Circle I counted eight --

Mr Floyd Laughren (Nickel Belt): These guys have a bunker mentality.

Mr Conway: Well, I think it's a matter -- and I have a question that I want to direct at the end of this. I've been here over 20 years and I'm seeing things I have never seen before. I appreciate the concern that all members have about valid and legitimate security pressures and problems. Let me be clear about that. But when I walked over through Hart House Circle and saw, I think I counted, eight or 10 mounted police, police vehicles, ambulance vehicles lining very substantial parts of the university grounds, I made some inquiries and I was told what I was told, that this was in anticipation of some difficulty perhaps at the Legislative Building.

Then I walked further and I got up on to Harbord Street between Avenue Road and St George and I encountered yet more -- several motorized police vehicles, quite a number of ambulances -- and I wondered, and I ask this question: What is going on? For example, have we got an agreement with the University of Toronto to use its grounds as a staging area for days on which there are demonstrations? I'd like to know the answer to that.

Is anybody calculating the cost? I counted a half --


Mr Conway: Well, I'm asking the Speaker, because I have asked these public servants today what they were doing and they said they were on standby for potential problems down at the legislative grounds.

I just want to know, not necessarily today but through your direction at the Legislative Assembly committee, have we got an arrangement now with the University of Toronto to use its grounds as a staging area on any occasion when there is likely to be a demonstration here at Queen's Park? Is anybody calculating the ongoing costs of the kind of ambulance and police presence that I saw?

The Speaker (Hon Allan K. McLean): Would the member take his seat, please. That is why I'm interested in having the committees meet and the legislative committee meet. I want to get some input into the security and the whole aspect of what's happening around here, and in order to do that, I would like to have these presented to the committee. But I'm glad to hear your views and I'll report back.

The member for Windsor-Sandwich.

Mr David S. Cooke (Windsor-Riverside): It's Windsor-Walkerville -- you've got me confused now -- Windsor-Riverside, Mr Speaker.

I want, on behalf of my caucus, to share similar concerns. Every day now that there is talk that there's going to be a demonstration -- it doesn't matter the size of the demonstration. Today I went out for lunch and I came back and all the doors to the assembly were locked. You can't get in the building. They did let me in today, and that's an improvement. But the first thing that happens, doesn't matter what the demonstration is, "There's a demonstration here so lock the building," whether it provides inconvenience for staff or inconvenience for other people who have business in this place. There's an immediate reaction.

I understand the process that you put in place, Mr Speaker, but there is something that can be done immediately. You don't need to wait only for the Legislative Assembly committee. I think you should convene a meeting of the three House leaders with yourself so that we can get an explanation from you as to what is going on and what the rules are. I think that needs to happen as quickly as possible.

The Speaker: Thank you.

Routine motions.

Hon Ernie L. Eves (Deputy Premier, Minister of Finance and Government House Leader): Mr Speaker, I would like to request permission for unanimous consent to move to motions to strike the committees for this session of the Legislative Assembly for the province of Ontario. These committee memberships were submitted by all three parties and agreed to, as was the committee schedule. I understand that in my absence in the last week and a half this has been tried on a couple of occasions but not been successful. I do want to impress upon the honourable members that if this request for unanimous consent is not granted, there will not be opportunity to send Bill 7 to committee. Now, do I have unanimous consent?

The Speaker: We have had a request for unanimous --


Mr Rae: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: If, on every motion that's made by the government on a routine basis, the ministers are allowed to make partisan speeches on behalf of their own motions, then I say to you, sir, if you're prepared to let him have it, then if it's sauce for the goose, it's sauce for the rest of us. I expect you to enforce the rules.

The Speaker: Do we have unanimous consent?



Hon Ernie L. Eves (Deputy Premier, Minister of Finance and Government House Leader): There being no unanimous consent, I move that the House do now proceed to orders of the day.

The Speaker (Hon Allan K. McLean): Mr Eves moves that the House proceed to orders of the day.

All those in favour will say "aye."

All those opposed will say "nay."

In my opinion, the ayes have it.

Call in the members. It will be a 30-minute bell.

The division bells rang from 1510 to 1540.

The Acting Speaker (Mr Gilles E. Morin): All those in favour of Mr Eve's motion will please rise and remain standing.

All those opposed will please rise and remain standing.

Clerk of the House (Mr Claude L. DesRosiers): The ayes are 62, the nays 31.

The Acting Speaker: I declare the motion carried.



Hon Ernie L. Eves (Deputy Premier, Minister of Finance and Government House Leader): I move government notice of motion number 2:

That, pursuant to standing order 46 and notwithstanding any other standing order of the House relating to Bill 7, An Act to restore balance and stability to labour relations and to promote economic prosperity and to make consequential changes to statutes concerning labour relations, when Bill 7 is next called as a government order, the Speaker shall put every question necessary to dispose of the second reading stage of the bill without further debate or amendment; and at such time, the bill shall be referred to committee of the whole House;

That two hours shall be allotted to consideration of the bill in committee of the whole House. At the end of that time, those amendments which have not yet been moved shall be deemed to have been moved and the Chair of the committee of the whole House shall interrupt the proceedings and shall, without further debate or amendment, put every question necessary to dispose of all remaining sections of the bill and any amendments thereto and report the bill to the House. Any divisions required shall be deferred until all remaining questions have been put, the members called in once and all deferred divisions taken in succession.

Ms Shelley Martel (Sudbury East): Ernie, you would never have accepted this, ever. It's shameful, absolutely shameful.

Mr Gilles Bisson (Cochrane South): Put the jackboots on, Ernie.


The Acting Speaker (Mr Gilles E. Morin): Order.

Hon Mr Eves: All amendments proposed to the bill shall be filed with the Clerk --


The Acting Speaker: Order. Minister. Order.


The Acting Speaker: Please, order.

Mr Bisson: I remember your speeches in opposition.

Mr David S. Cooke (Windsor-Riverside): You would have been yelling and screaming in this place, Ernie. All you have to do is try negotiation.

The Acting Speaker: The member for Cochrane South, the member for Windsor-Riverside. Order. Minister.

Hon Mr Eves: Thank you, Mr Speaker.

All amendments proposed to the bill shall be filed with the Clerk of the Assembly by 2 pm on the sessional day on which the bill is considered in committee of the whole House.

That upon receiving the report of the committee of the whole House, the Speaker shall put the question for adoption of the report forthwith, which question shall be decided without debate or amendments and at such time the bill shall be ordered for third reading;

That consideration of the third reading stage of the bill be completed on the same day that it is reported from committee of the whole House and that notwithstanding standing order 9(a) the House be authorized to meet beyond its normal adjournment time until completion of the third reading stage of Bill 7;

That two hours shall be allotted to the third reading stage of the bill. At the end of that time, the Speaker shall interrupt the proceedings and shall put every question necessary to dispose of this stage of the bill without further debate or amendment --

Interjections: Shame, shame, shame.


The Acting Speaker: Minister. Order. Sergeant at Arms, would you please remove that person.

Interjections: Shame, shame, shame.

The Acting Speaker: Order. Please remove this man. Please remove the stranger.


The Acting Speaker: Order. Order. I'd like to remind the people in the gallery that you are prevented from making any sounds --

Mr Bisson: Remind the House leader there is a democracy in this province.

The Acting Speaker: -- and if you do so I'll have to ask you to leave the House.

Mr Peter Kormos (Welland-Thorold): These are the people they won't listen to. These are the people they are afraid of.

Mr Bisson: They are not listening to the people. This is not a democracy.

The Acting Speaker: The member for Cochrane South, I would ask you please to refrain from heckling. The member for --

Mr Kormos: They will not listen to the members of this province.

Mr Gilles Pouliot (Lake Nipigon): We are losing our rights, Mr Speaker.

The Acting Speaker: Order. The member for Welland-Thorold, that's sufficient. That's enough. The member for Nipigon, that's enough. Please. Order, please.


The Acting Speaker: Point of order? Do you have a point of order?

Mr Eves.

Hon Mr Eves: That in the case of any divisions relating to any proceedings on the bill, the division bell shall be limited to five minutes and no deferral of any division pursuant to standing order 28(g) shall be permitted.


The Acting Speaker: Mr Eves has moved government notice of motion number 2. Mr Eves.


Mr Kormos: Blue suits are all that counts.

The Acting Speaker: Order, please. Order. We just can't proceed that way.


Mr Bisson: This is terrible.

The Acting Speaker: Order, please. Order. The member for Welland-Thorold, the member for Nipigon, I would ask you please to refrain.


The Acting Speaker: Order, please. Everybody has a right to --


The Acting Speaker: Order, please. The member for --


The Acting Speaker: This is the last time that I advise you to --


The Acting Speaker: Please. Order. Order. I have all the patience in the world.

Mr Bisson: It is shameful.

The Acting Speaker: Please. The member for Cochrane South, please.


Hon Mr Eves: Mr Speaker, the members of the Legislature will be fully aware, in both opposition parties, that an offer was made to both opposition House leaders earlier today --


Mrs Margaret Marland (Mississauga South): On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I plead with you to start naming the members who are causing the disruption in this place.


The Acting Speaker: Order. Order. Please. The member for Nipigon, the member for Welland-Thorold, I ask for your cooperation, please.


The Acting Speaker: On a point of order? Is it a point of order? Take your seat. I have all the patience in the world and I know that you will leave the floor to the minister. These are the procedures --


The Acting Speaker: Order, please. The member for Nipigon.


The Acting Speaker: The member for Welland-Thorold, the member for Nipigon. I understand it is a difficult issue. At the same time we have to debate it.


The Acting Speaker: Order, please. Order, please. Order. Order.

I'll make you smile. I heard once a story that when you are about to lose your patience you say, "God, grant me patience immediately." So I ask you please, please, please, just keep quiet.


The Acting Speaker: Please. I ask for your cooperation and I know you'll give me your cooperation.


The Acting Speaker: Order. Order. Order. Minister.

Hon Mr Eves: Mr Speaker, as I started to indicate, both opposition House leaders were advised earlier today that sending the bill to committee, which the NDP refused to permit to be done by refusing to approve a motion to even establish any committees, let alone this committee, to hold public hearings, they, in effect, have left the government with absolutely no alternative. They would have had 11 hours a day, 44 hours of debate of public hearings. The time allocated for the resources development committee would be the equivalent to almost nine weeks.


The Acting Speaker: The House will recess for 10 minutes.

The House recessed from 1554 to 1604.

The Acting Speaker: Minister?

Mr Floyd Laughren (Nickel Belt): Ernie, haven't you had enough to say already?

Hon Mr Eves: As I was -- no, I haven't made any remarks at all with respect to the motion. It's important to note that the Liberal Party of Ontario was quite willing to accept an offer that would have sent this bill out for public hearings. However, the New Democratic Party was not. As a matter of fact, the NDP was not even willing to allow the routine motion to establish committees for this session of the Legislature to be formed.


The Acting Speaker: Order. Order. Order.

Mr Bisson: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: The House leader is asserting that this party does not want to allow this bill to go out to the public. That is not the truth. We want this bill to go out to the people of Ontario --

The Acting Speaker: This is not a point of order. You're wasting your time. You're wasting the time of the House. Minister.

Mr Laughren: Who is wasting the time? The House leader is --

Mr Cooke: We're not going to listen to this.

Hon Mr Eves: The very people who are objecting introduced similar time allocation motions no less than 20 times between April 1, 1991, and November 29, 1994 --

Interjections: Sit down. Sit down. Sit down.

The Acting Speaker: Order. Order.

Interjections: Sit down. Sit down. Sit down.

The Acting Speaker: Order. I would ask you to refrain from heckling.


The Acting Speaker: Order.

Mr Cooke: You wouldn't have done it when you were on this side -- no negotiations -- you'd refuse.


The Acting Speaker: The member for Cochrane South, the member for Windsor-Riverside, order.


The Acting Speaker: Order, the member for Cochrane North. Minister.

Interjections: Sit down. Sit down. Sit down.

The Acting Speaker: Order.


The Acting Speaker: Order. Order. The member for Lake Nipigon, take your seat.


The Acting Speaker: Order, please. I will now recognize the official opposition.


Mr James J. Bradley (St Catharines): I wish I did not have the opportunity to speak on this motion this afternoon by the government. I want to indicate that my colleagues and I in the Liberal caucus will be opposing this motion when it comes to a vote later in this day.

The motion which has been presented by the government House leader is one which severely restricts, in I think an unprecedented way, the amount of meaningful time that will be available for debate of a very important piece of legislation.

The legislation does not simply tinker with previous legislation which was passed by the government of Mr Rae but, rather, makes some significant and substantial changes, not only to the legislation, by revoking it, but also by making further changes to the Labour Relations Act, which we believe do not provide the kind of balance that the people in this province are looking for.

One of the speeches in which I became most impassioned in this House, and it may sound odd to say so, was one over the change to the rules of the House. I'm not going to revisit that in any significant way this afternoon, as some might wish me to do, but only to say that each one of us in this House has our role diminished whenever closure is applied to the House, regardless of whether it's applied by a Conservative, a Liberal or an NDP government.

Second, when rules are changed and threatened further rule changes are made, as I understand may be the case, what happens is that elected members have a less significant role to play. In fact, you will find out that if the people in the Premier's office had their way, you simply would have nothing to do. When I say "the Premier's office," I say that with a small-case p, not a capital-case P, in this case; not a particular Premier.

What you find in an elected democracy is that those who have most access to the government are those who are the unelected people, usually within the Prime Minister's office in a federal government situation and within a Premier's office in a provincial government situation.

This is why all members of the Legislature have a vested interest in the rules under which we govern this province. This is why some of your own members perhaps privately within the confines of your caucus have expressed some concern about the kind of motions coming forward.

Many of the newly elected members of the Legislature would find some of the tactics that have been employed by the New Democratic Party to be unacceptable tactics, except their members would tell you that on occasions when members of the Conservative Party and Liberal Party felt concerned about the actions of the previous government, the NDP government, many of the same actions were taken by those of us in opposition. There is a reason for that. The opposition already is severely restricted in the way it can influence legislation. The way we can, in opposition, influence it is by slowing it down and allowing for maximum debate.

Governments are always eager to move forward. The Premier's office, the Premier, the cabinet are anxious, as I know the minister will be, to see this legislation implemented as quickly as possible. It means there's less fuss out there. It means there's less concern about demonstrations in front of your constituency offices. It means that perhaps the number of days when there will be demonstrations at this House would be rather limited. So there is that vested interest.

But I say to all members of this House, within the confines of your own caucus -- because I do not expect members of the government to rise in this House to oppose this motion or to express publicly in any significant way opposition to this motion -- I hope within the confines of your caucus you will look carefully at the rules that govern this House.

One thing I can say to the government members is that you will find there is not much interest in terms of the general public or in terms of the news media in the rules of the House or in motions of this kind. The only way there will be some interest is the fact that there was a demonstration today outside of the House, and inside the House by members of the New Democratic Party shouting down or attempting to shout down the government House leader. That will make news. That will be significant because it's, as we refer to it, a dust-up in this House.

But surely that shouldn't be necessary. What would be much better is a debate on the substance of the bill that is before us. What would be useful is to have hearings across the province.

Many of you, I know, many of us in this House who live outside the Metropolitan Toronto area have expressed the view that very often we feel left out. One of the reasons the previous government moved to have some of the government ministries move to various communities across the province was because of that feeling, that many municipalities felt they were disconnected from Toronto, from the huge complex called Queen's Park, from the apparatus that is here, governing the provincial government and ultimately the province of Ontario.

That's why on various occasions we have asked in opposition, or have acceded to in government, when I had the opportunity to be in government, to the request to have hearings across the province, so that the people of Niagara Falls or the people of Timmins or the people of Sault Ste Marie or Ottawa have the same opportunity to make representations to the government which was elected and to all members of the Legislature that those who reside in Toronto do. By having the hearings only in Toronto, that incurs considerable expense and inconvenience for those, and doesn't allow for the kind of regional publicity that's necessary.

When you have these hearings, the government I'm sure will ensure that there are people who are supportive of this legislation who will appear. The representatives of the Canadian Manufacturers' Association, I assure you, will be prepared to appear in all of the communities, and other organizations that government members will organize. That's the way the system works. The opposition will ensure that there are others who will express a point of view, and there are those who of their own volition want to come before a committee of the Legislature to make their view known. This particular motion restricts that severely.

I understand the concern and the annoyance of the government at some of the tactics it has seen over the last few days on the part of the third party. The third party I'm sure felt that same annoyance when members of the Conservative Party -- the leader, I recall very well, in this House read a bill which contained every lake in the province of Ontario. Some of the bills that were introduced by the New Democratic Party were in fact, I understand, exactly the bills which were introduced by the Conservative Party.

This is a matter of great concern to the opposition, and the New Democratic Party, as the government that brought in the previous legislation that the governing side is going to remove, is going to have a special concern about the fact that you're going to dismantle and disregard that legislation that they implemented with a good deal of discussion, with the many hearings they allowed across the province. I know there were many who were concerned that despite all the hearings, there weren't the kind of changes made to the legislation that some felt there should have been. Nevertheless, there was that opportunity right across Ontario to have that kind of input.

I think that's healthy for democracy, and I think you will find that allows people to believe, with justification, that they have at least had their day in court, that at least the members of the Legislature and, through the members of the Legislature and the committee process, the news media have had the opportunity to hear the arguments made on both sides. And they're always hopeful -- and where there is life there is hope -- that somehow governments might just change their mind, accept some of the amendments the opposition might propose or some of the suggestions that might come from the public.

This may be hard for some of you to believe, but not all the wisdom in this province resides in this Legislature, and it doesn't reside in Metropolitan Toronto. It actually resides in the people of this province. They come to all of us as individual members and suggest changes to legislation or new policies that might be valuable. Some of them can't be implemented. They may be impractical. There may be very good reasons why they can't be implemented. But they wish you to at least listen to their ideas, discount them if you will, after due consideration, but at least they have been heard, and once in a while we may see some changes.

That's why it's important that we have these kinds of hearings. That's why we've had this disruption in the House of the regular proceedings over the last several days, because there's a very strong feeling that this is necessary.

We in the Liberal Party will be opposing the legislation which deals with getting rid of all of the aspects of Bill 40. We had suggested that there may be a need for amendments, particularly to sections that may have some detrimental effect on business operations of this province. The New Democratic Party has a different view. They think that virtually everything you have done in this legislation is detrimental. We believe a lot of it is not going to be helpful to labour peace and fairness and balance in this province.


Mr Laughren: Tories don't want labour peace. You guys don't want labour peace.

Mr Bradley: That's why we oppose this legislation, because we happen to believe --

Hon Jim Wilson (Minister of Health): You people are over there for a good reason. We won the election.

Mr Laughren: Oh, that's so arrogant, Wilson. You won the election, so you can do whatever you want. That's your view. It's arrogance.

The Acting Speaker: Order, the member for Nickel Belt.

Mr Laughren: Right. Because they won the election, they can do whatever they want to the electorate. That's the arrogance of the Tories.

The Acting Speaker: Order, the member for Nickel Belt.

Mr Laughren: You didn't win every seat, Jim. I know that would make you happy.

The Acting Speaker: The member for Nickel Belt, order, please.

Mr Len Wood (Cochrane North): It's the Minister of Health who keeps interrupting everybody.

The Acting Speaker: The member for Cochrane North, order.

Mr Bradley: The intervention by the Health minister does remind me of a problem that happens with governments; again, it happens with all governments, some worse than others. There's an inclination to say in these circumstances -- and I've heard it many times, and I must confess probably somebody in the Liberal Party said it at one time or other; the old idea that, "That's why we're here and that's why you're there."

Sometimes that's true and sometimes it's not. But when you lecture the opposition and say, "You people are over there for a good reason; it's because the people agree with everything we're going to do," I don't think that's necessarily true. They may have agreed with the general thrust of your party; I think 45% of the people voted for the Progressive Conservative Party. You are entitled to the right to govern this province, and you will do so. That is the way the system works.

There may be some who say, "Isn't it awful; 55% didn't like them," but I don't remember saying before the election that if I didn't get 51% as a Liberal I would not be prepared to accept my seat in the Legislative Assembly or that we wouldn't be the government. I didn't want to see that happen. But I think it's important to know that in a democracy the opposition has its point of view to put forward.

This is not tinkering with legislation. When I think of the days of William Davis and the kind of legislation that was brought forward -- and I know today in the Conservative Party, particularly among the YPCs in this province, Mr Davis isn't always held in as high regard as he might be with many of the long-time Conservatives in this province who remember that he did bring forward some progressive legislation.

You will remember, for instance, that Mr Davis's government -- I stand to be corrected, but I'm quite certain this is the case -- brought forward legislation which prevented what we called professional strikebreaking firms from operating in this province. There were actually firms that had, for want of a better word, some thugs or pretty strong people who really helped people to cross picket lines where there was a legitimate strike taking place in the province.

If you know people who work in an industrialized setting or any other setting where it is unionized or perhaps even where it's not unionized but they have decided to go on strike, what you will understand is that one of the things they resent the most is someone else coming in and taking their job away.

I come from, I guess you'd call it, a working class background, for want of a better description. My father, for instance, worked in industry all the time. He was not a foreman or anything of that nature but worked in industry all the time. I wouldn't call him a militant union person, but he was involved in strikes because these happen from time to time, and I'm sure his greatest resentment would be somebody crossing the picket line where there was a legitimate strike taking place, crossing the picket line and taking that job away. You have to understand, that's something people feel strongly about in this province.

I can understand, from your point of view and with the mandate you have, that the Minister of Labour wants to change things from what she perceives to be a balance in the opposite direction. I may not agree with that entirely, but I understand that she wishes to do that. But I think you have to understand as well that this bill goes far beyond what many people anticipated. Perhaps many of the people who voted for you in this election, for other reasons, may not have anticipated that you were going to go this far with this legislation, beyond renouncing and getting rid of Bill 40, but making other changes. They may agree with some of the changes that you have out there, but they disagree with others.

Mr Laughren: You didn't tell them you were going this far. You didn't say you were going beyond Bill 40. You misled the public. You misled people deliberately.

The Acting Speaker: The member for Nickel Belt.

Mr Bradley: This is why, when they see this motion, if they knew the consequences of this motion I think they would be, as I am, adamantly opposed to it.

I understand that there are not committees to sit at this time. I'm sure that matter could be resolved with appropriate negotiations between the various parties represented in this House. Nevertheless, the government has decided to proceed with this particular choice.

There were in fact three motions provided. If I had been given the choice of which of the pills I had to take, hemlock, arsenic or -- what is a third one we could say that isn't good for us?

Mrs Marion Boyd (London Centre): Strychnine.

Mr Bradley: Strychnine. If I could choose one of those three -- and I appreciate the member for London Centre suggesting the third that I might take -- if I had to choose from one of the three, I would not have chosen the particular motion that came forward. This was the choice of the government House leader as opposed to the choice I might have made in this case -- not that I like seeing it at any time.

The House leader mentioned, as he must, that the former government had used closure on 20 different occasions. I'm sure the government of Mr Peterson, I recall, used closure on a few occasions as well. None of the motions, I should say to members of the House, was as drastic as this motion; none was as restrictive as this motion in the amount of debate that would be allowed for a major piece of legislation.

If you're wondering why you saw the demonstration you did from the members of the New Democratic Party today, as vociferous as they were, it would be first of all the legislation which you are trying to get through, and second, this particularly drastic method you are using.

It's difficult on the government side to be patient. I understand that. I watched some of the tactics. I saw members roll their eyes on the other side and so on. You notice often, though, that the members who have been here the longest and have watched this process several times are the ones who are usually the least exercised when they see the opposition utilizing the only tools they have at hand.

It's not because we in the opposition wish to be disruptive or cantankerous at all times, though you may gain that impression; we don't really wish to be that way at all. We wish to simply have our day in court and a day in court for the people who are represented by various parties in this Legislature today.

As I say, I can't recall a time when I was much more angry than I was when the changes were made by the previous government to the rules of the House. As I indicated, I don't want to get into that at any great length, because that's not the topic we're dealing with today. I only say that because I think it's important for those of us who are elected to have the most power. I'm not speaking of ego and I'm not speaking of power for power's sake. I simply think it's important that elected representatives, and not appointed people, have the most sway.

After all, we are the only people the electorate can get at. They can't get at the advisers to the Premier, they can't get at the advisers to the ministers, they can't get at the civil service easily, cannot get at anyone else who is not elected. But they are our employers, if you will. We are the ones they can come to and we are the ones they can potentially influence, because they're the ones who will decide whether we are re-elected to this House or whether we are rejected by the electorate. That's why it's important that we not give up that power and that responsibility to others.

The ramming through of the legislation in this way, as I would define it, tends to take away from that democracy for which so many people fought. We will have Remembrance Day ceremonies on November 11, and again I don't want to stretch the point to a great extent, but a lot of people out there did serve in the armed forces to preserve the democracy in which we all believe. Some people in this House may believe that democracy is abused by some of the tactics that you see the opposition employ from time to time, and we may feel of course that it is abused by the tactics that the government uses.


I think it's incumbent upon all of us to ensure that, as much as possible, the parliamentary system works as the people out there would like it to work. What has happened today with this motion, the most draconian of the three motions that I see, is that in fact we're not going to do this. We're simply going to anger people even more.

There are people who are in the gallery today who are quite angry. We have people who are representatives of organizations, particularly the trade union movement, who are present in the gallery today who are obviously adamantly opposed. They are going to, I think with justification, feel that they have not been heard. They're going to, with justification, be able to go to their membership and say that the present administration wasn't prepared to entertain the briefs that they have to bring forward, the ideas, the opposition, if you will, that they have to bring forward, and many of their membership are going to agree with them. Perhaps not all but most of their membership is going to agree that there's just not a sense of fairness there with this particular motion.

One of the things that I mentioned in a previous debate about the rules of the House is that nobody is really interested in them except the members of the House and, even then, members of the House aren't absorbed in them. You can see by the press gallery today, there is no one sitting in the press gallery, although the members --

Mr Cooke: They're all watching on TV.

Mr Bradley: The members of the press gallery are watching on TV, on their television monitors, I'm assured by the House leader for the New Democratic Party.

But when you talk to those people individually about rules of the House and matters of that kind, they will tell you that their editors are simply not interested in those stories. So, though they're very important, the way the process of government works is exceedingly important to democracy, their editors aren't going to care. It's not a story that's going to have people who have television flickers riveted to the story for very long, except of course when there is a disruption in the House, as we saw this afternoon. There were cameras that came back to record it.

If a member is ejected from the Legislature, you will see the camera will follow the person out, because that is something that's different. If there's a different tactic used, a disruptive tactic of any kind used, you will see the news media are interested. Because good news is not news. Only something out of the ordinary, only bad news is news. We may not like that, but that is a fact of life.

Another way we make judgements, I think, on governments is, and it ties in with this point, what will the government do when nobody is watching? Essentially, you're going to find that on rules themselves and on motions of this kind, in and of themselves, nobody in terms of the popular news media out there is going to listen very much unless there's a disruption. Yet I wish they would. I wish the public out there had an idea of how this House actually works and how it should work.

They, I think, would call upon those of us in the opposition to be responsible in the way we oppose legislation or deal with legislation in the House and committee and elsewhere, and they would hold accountable the government for the manner in which it deals with the legislation that it proposes.

You will find in this House when the legislation is not a significant change or not of great importance -- we often call it routine legislation or housekeeping legislation -- that there is cooperation all round. The bill goes through the House; there may even be special consideration given to three readings in one day. I have seen that kind of cooperation take place in the House, but it doesn't happen when motions of this kind come forward and it doesn't happen when those of us in opposition are extremely disruptive to proceedings in the House.

The best way to solve this is to have the leaders of the party and the House leaders and what we call the whips, who are people who are responsible for ensuring that all our members are here to vote -- it's best when we can sit down and come to an accommodation or an agreement. The government may not like it, the opposition may not be entirely satisfied, but at least democracy works as it should. I think the people have much more respect for that than they do for the continuous wrangling that comes about in legislatures of this kind across the country and really around the world.

You'll notice out there that the public doesn't exactly rate political representatives at a very high level, and one of the reasons is that the only time they seem to see us is when there is a dust-up, as we refer to it, in this House, that much of the cooperation that takes place or can take place and much of the good debate that takes place is simply not news. It's simply not very riveting for either the representatives of the news media here or the public at large.

I am certain that if one were to do a Nielsen rating on what is happening in the House this afternoon, I would be the victim of many a television channel-changer at this time, because what I am talking about to most people is not exactly what you would call exciting, but it is extremely important.

Mr John Gerretsen (Kingston and The Islands): We're enthralled here.

Mr Mike Colle (Oakwood): We're enthralled.

Mr Bradley: Some of my colleagues are enthralled. Not everyone would be.

I always ask the question, so where are the editorials, where are the columns, where's the coverage when we talk of rules of this House and procedures in this House? I've had the chance to serve on both sides, and even when I was in government, I thought the opposition had a very significant role to play. In fact I saw a positive role that the opposition could play, and I see some of the members in this House today who have played that role in opposition as well as in government. I think that can happen, but it can only happen when there is cooperation between the parties who are represented in this House and among the parties, because there are in fact three parties.

"We had a mandate," the members of the government will say, "to implement this legislation." It was in what you refer to as the Common Sense Revolution. I have another name for it but I don't want to be provocative this afternoon. But you call it the Common Sense Revolution. It's a document that you were elected on. Well, if you think that all of the people in the province of Ontario read that document from cover to cover, they did not, and they did not read the Liberal or NDP literature from cover to cover either, and they would not be familiar with it. But I think most would want you to be fair with the opponents of this legislation.

The business community, by and large -- not entirely, but by and large -- will be supportive of this legislation, perhaps with some amendments that they feel would be useful. The trade union movement is going to be adamantly opposed to this legislation. In between are going to be people who are not perhaps directly affected by the legislation but who are observers who will say, "How can we achieve balance, how can we achieve fairness, and what method shall we use to achieve that?" Your government will be held in much greater esteem, I would contend, by fairminded people around the province if you were to allow for the hearings across the province in various communities.

I understand the debate cannot go on forever. The opposition may wish it to go on forever. I understand, as an elected representative, that the people out there don't intend a debate of this kind to go on forever and want an ultimate resolution of it.

The best legislation is that which is appropriately amended after hearing from various segments of the community. I don't think you're going to get the best legislation as a government if you don't have that kind of input. Some of it will not be helpful. Some will simply say you must toss the entire bill out, that you cannot make any changes. That's a legitimate point of view to make but it may not be as helpful as some who will come forward and say, "If you're going to make the changes -- we don't think you should, but if you're going to make the changes -- here's the way we believe you can best achieve what you want to achieve and still have some semblance of fairness and labour peace in this province."

You will notice that representatives of some of the larger trade unions have gone to their employers, the employers with whom they have a collective agreement, and have said to the employers that they have a vested interest in not seeing legislation of this kind passed.

Some people have characterized that as a threat. Others have simply said they are pointing out to their employers that the circumstances that exist on the shop floor, for instance, today may be reasonable circumstances for those companies and that a disruption through drastic changes in labour legislation may not be helpful to the productivity within that company or to labour peace within the boundaries of that company, the property of that company.

It's interesting when, side by side, representatives of business and labour can make those kinds of points, and there again is where I believe that the public input is so valuable in legislation of this kind.


I think governments have to use the tactic of closure sparingly. If I were to offer a suggestion, I would have offered a suggestion that the previous government of Mr Rae used closure more than I wanted to see it used. There are some occasions where I understood it was going to be used and I suppose, were I standing in the shoes of the government House leader of the day and had I been in the Premier's office as the Premier of this province, I would have understood why the government wanted to use closure after a lot of debate had taken place. But using it 20 times makes it a little easier for the next government to implement closure with some degree of satisfaction, with some degree of acquiescence.

I had assembled on short notice some of the speeches that were made by previous members, and I told the government House leader actually at our first meeting that one of the first questions I thought I would ask him in the House is whether he would today revoke the rules that the previous government had brought forward which changed the procedures of this House considerably. I have not had an opportunity to ask that question, but I would be interested in the answer.

Let me share with you what my friend from Parry Sound didn't have the time to share with you. In fact, he was probably going to say this in his speech but it was interrupted several times, so he didn't get a chance to say so. But on June 8, 1992, a very auspicious day in this House, the leader of the third party at that time, the Conservative Party, Mr Eves, the member for Parry Sound, rose on a point of order and said the following:

"I just want to express my concern as to the way the government and the government House leader are proceeding. There will be plenty of opportunity, I presume, with the current attitude of the government, to read into the record many speeches by the current-day Premier, the former Leader of the Opposition, and by the current-day government House leader, where they referred to, Mr Speaker -- I am not using this term but I'm sure they have -- Gestapo tactics of majority governments of years gone by of whatever political stripe.

"I just want to" -- I'm still quoting the government House leader of the day because I thought his speech was so compelling, his point of order was so compelling on that day and one with which I was in great agreement. He said:

"I just want to impress upon the Legislature and the people of Ontario that what we see today is an abandonment of parliamentary democracy as we have known it in Ontario for the last 125 years and that now we're going to have government by imperial edict. There's a reason why this Legislature has performed as well and as cooperatively as it has for 125 years with the rules it has. The Premier may laugh if he wants to at that suggestion, but I can tell him that before he was in this place there were House leaders like Elie Martel, Bob Nixon and Tom Wells who understood what compromise and negotiation and the art of parliamentary democracy were.

"Today we see that this government" -- he's referring to the NDP government -- "which supposedly has championed the cause of democratic principles -- until it assumed power, that is -- now believes that it should be able to govern by a stroke of the pen and by imperial edict. If that is the government's intention, as opposed to negotiating and observing rule changes and creating constructive rule changes -- I note there's nothing in here that improves how the committee system works, which the government House leader has often said needs to be improved upon. There's nothing in here that gives more independence and power to individual members. I'm sure the member for Welland-Thorold would be very interested to know that his debate time will now be limited to 30 minutes.

"There's nothing in here that addresses any of those aspects of parliamentary reform. The only things in here are draconian measures so that the government can use its jackboots to walk over the Ontario citizens' and the people's rights and principles."

Members of this Legislature must often regret that we have Hansard, that we have a record of what people say in a very impassioned way under certain circumstances. But I shared the concern that the House leader then of the third party, the Conservative Party, expressed on that occasion and I would suggest to him that there may be members of the opposition who would use the same terms. In fact, some of the interjections I heard -- we're not supposed to hear those at all -- and some of the statements I heard from members of the New Democratic Party in particular used some of the same terminology.

So there was a suggestion that the government House leader made on that occasion, and that was that there be a conciliatory approach, an approach where three parties agree, as opposed to the other approach, which he describes in rather colourful language.

Well, he wasn't the only one. You may find this hard to believe, but the leader of the Conservative Party at that time in terms of being House leader, Mr Eves, my friend from Parry Sound, wasn't the only person. Believe it or not, it says "Mr Michael D. Harris (Nipissing)" -- he is now the Premier of this province, but he was the leader of the Conservative Party -- had a lot to say about it then.

Ms Martel: Read a bit.

Mr Bradley: I could read some of it, but I don't want to prolong too much of this, because then it gets into what Mr Cooke said at that time. So it's really a rather difficult time.

Mr Cooke: Actually, I think I was shouted down.

Mr Bradley: Well, he may have been shouted down. This is either a question or a statement from Mr Harris:

"Mr Premier, your government House leader has served notice that no legislation will go forward in this House until he passes rule changes. We're not opposed to discussing rule changes in this House or outside of the House or in any forum which you would like to do it. But I find it a sad excuse for governing, when unemployment in this province is at its highest level in nine years. I wonder if the Premier would tell me this: How many jobs will be created in the province as a result of this urgent and important discussion on rule changes?"

Now, the point I get to in this is he saw the need as well for discussion between members of the three parties about rule changes, and one of the rule changes we're seeing this afternoon by simply decree of the government is a rule change in the way we deal with closure.

I did not like the previous rule changes because they did three or four things I was opposed to. In fact, I remember petitions being read in this House -- they came in from my constituents -- about the government rule changes at the time.

Mr Cooke: Oh, yes, yes, I remember those.

Mr Bradley: The now House leader of the third party will know they were very good suggestions. But it dealt with the following: It was the length of time one has to debate. And how that relates to this motion is that this motion restricts the amount of time one has to debate.

Today in this House, all members, regardless of how important the legislation might be or the issue at hand might be, except the lead speaker are restricted to 30 minutes. Now, there are some subjects with which I have dealt that could be dealt with in two or three minutes quite easily, and that rule doesn't affect it, but there are also matters that require very extensive debate and a rather lengthy address to the House, and yet the rules restrict members today to only 30 minutes.

This motion that is presented by the government House leader now provides a further restriction for members of the House, because now not only can we not speak beyond 30 minutes, but we are now limited in any speeches at all in terms of the amount of time that is left, when we divide that time among members of the assembly who may be interested in speaking on the subject.

Also, there is a situation that existed where ministers were empowered to determine unilaterally the amount of time to be allocated to debate the bills they initiate. Again, a better method would have been, either between the House leaders or House leaders and the opposition critics and the minister, to sit down and set forward a period of time for debate of any legislation. The change to that rule now allows the minister, almost by himself or herself, to make that determination.


Third, the number of days the Legislature is in session was another matter. I always thought -- as an opposition member you always believe this -- that the House should sit many, many days, should sit at least the calendar days which are accounted for in an agreed-to parliamentary calendar. The previous government, for whatever reason it chose, chose not to sit very often; and I noticed that despite the fact that immediately after the election the present Premier of the province suggested the House should come immediately back to deal with important legislation and matters of policy, in fact the government did not meet until late September.

I was under the impression that was going to happen. In the back of my mind, I kind of thought that one of the non-elected observers and advisers to the Premier would say: "You can't possibly do this. You cannot be prepared. We can do all of these things without the Legislature knowing or without the Legislature consenting, so why bother to call it back into action? Why call it into session? Why bother with all those people who were just elected? We will just do what we see fit with as many items as we can before calling the Legislature back." Again, while the opposition has a vested interest in the Legislature sitting, I suggest that diminishes the power and responsibility and duties of all members of this House, including those who are not in the cabinet and are members of the governing party.

The Speaker had his role diminished, because that person did not have the power to determine the question of whether debate has been sufficient on any matter before the House. There used to be, in other words, some considerable discretion so the Speaker, who is independent, and now independently elected -- that began in 1990 when Mr Rae said that the Speaker, in his view, should be elected. The federal House of Commons has the same situation.

Mr Cooke: Actually, you brought that rule change in.

Mr Bradley: Who did?

Mr Cooke: You brought the rule change in.

Mr Bradley: Thank you very much. I get credit, or at least our party gets credit, for that rule change. But at least the subsequent government to ours was prepared to see an elected Speaker, and I see this government carried on. I like that idea of having the Speaker elected by all members of the assembly.

I was concerned, when those rule changes were put through, that in fact the Speaker would have a diminished role, would not have the discretion the person sitting in the chair once had to determine whether there had been sufficient debate.

That used to annoy governments from time to time, because often the Speaker -- almost always the Speaker -- was from the governing party. You would see the dagger looks from the Premier and other members on the front bench when the Speaker would say, "I don't believe there has been sufficient time for debate and I believe we should continue for several more hours."

But the Speaker was independent. While the government may have been annoyed and the opposition pleased with that decision, ultimately I think the government benefited from that additional debate. There was the opportunity at least, as I say, for members to have their day in court.

The last thing that I mention is something that I mentioned previously in my address this afternoon, and that is the power being shifted everywhere from the elected representatives to appointed people. The opposition from time to time will, and it's not very parliamentary to do so, make a noise like a seal, because they like to suggest that government members outside of the cabinet are trained seals. They gesture as though they're throwing fish to people who are applauding.

I understand that governments want unity and that you probably support most of what the government is doing. But I think it's important for rebellions to take place in the caucuses, or whatever the plural of "caucus" is. I didn't listen well enough to my Latin teacher, I suppose, at the time, Vince Dugo -- I'll mention his name and then send this to him; and Mrs Flora King was also a Latin teacher of mine -- I guess I didn't listen as well as I should have during Latin class, because I would know the plural of "caucus."

But within your own caucus, I urge members of the governing party, as a result of the motion that's put forward this afternoon, to question those who are in the cabinet. The job of the government backbencher isn't simply to applaud, isn't simply to get up and lob questions to ministers, such as, "Oh, Minister, how is it you're able to do such a good job?" I know that may be a compelling question that day, but I think you'll see as you go along that the members who are most respected are those members who, whether privately or publicly, call into question the policies of their own government, because again, we have the luxury, those of us who are elected, of listening to the people within our constituencies. We can be a sounding board for their concerns.

One of the concerns that I have seen expressed through many letters to me and through calls and personal conversations, has been about Bill 7 and the lack of opportunity for members of the public to be heard and to have sufficient debate on this legislation. They are people, by and large, who are going to oppose the legislation and perhaps have from the start, perhaps in some cases, no matter how you modify it, will not be supportive, but they are concerned that they are simply going to be discounted in this debate.

Many of them are not the people you think they are; they're not card-carrying members of the New Democratic Party who are simply echoing that. They may not even be within the executive structure of the trade union movement. These are rank-and-file members who see circumstances arising where their rights will be diminished by this legislation.

I understand it's tricky. I understand there has to be a balance out there. But there are many people who have finally achieved a collective agreement, have finally been able to form a union in areas where it's been difficult before to form a union and have been able to sit down with management and come to a reasonable collective agreement who will see that perhaps slipping away from them or that opportunity not being available to others. That is why they would be concerned about this motion that is before us today.

So I ask the government at all times to restrict its use of closure motions. I ask the members of the Legislature to examine -- and I know you may have other things on your agenda -- the various forms of closure that have been used over the years, the specific wording of each of the closure motions. Compare it to the motion that you see here this afternoon and I think you will agree, perhaps privately, but objectively, that this is a more drastic motion than any that we have seen put before this House previously.

To their credit, again the previous government provided a lot of input into their legislation. The final result was not pleasing to many of the people in the business community, but if you went to various communities in this province, you saw that the business community could make its views known. You saw representatives of the trade union movement make their representations; you saw individuals make representations. Now, whether those representations were heard in a manner that people thought was balanced and reasonable is a matter for the public to decide, but at least that opportunity was there.

What we're seeing today is that that opportunity is being taken away from people, and that's unusual in this province. In the time I've been in the House, Premier Davis and Premier Miller, Premier Peterson, Premier Rae, and now Premier Harris have been the leaders of the government. In many of these cases the leaders have been annoyed with the opposition when they were in government, but if you listen to each of them after, they will say that something positive came out of the process.

When I was Minister of the Environment I well remember how useful members of committee could be. Some of my colleagues in cabinet, and perhaps even the former Premier from time to time, may have been annoyed with what happened in committee. On a personal basis I may have been annoyed from time to time with some jibes which were directed at me, but I often felt that the suggestions that came from the committee, the pressure that came from the committee, from our own members in government and from the two opposition parties, that pressure was extremely helpful in improving legislation and environmental policy in this province, and I have said that on a number of occasions.


One of the former critics in the field of environment, Mrs Marland, the member for Mississauga South, was always a tough critic, whether it was in committee or whether it was in the House. The questions that she directed to me were not always easy to handle --

Mrs Marland: But fair.

Mr Bradley: -- and she describes them as fair; I let others make that judgement -- but I want to tell you that the member for Mississauga South had an influence on the policy in this province under the government of David Peterson, when I was Minister of the Environment, because she had some suggestions that I thought were of benefit. She put the kind of pressure on at key times that enabled me to persuade my colleagues in cabinet that what I was trying to achieve could be best achieved if they were to agree to what I wanted and what was being suggested by the member for Mississauga South.

Now, there are other members of the House who are in similar positions here today. The member for Riverdale is here, and she's an environmentalist of some repute. She used to make some suggestions that some people said were completely off the wall, but I didn't say that. I said that she had something beneficial to say.

We would have some hearings and she would organize people from her community. I remember, as you will, Mr Speaker, when we dealt with the issue of contaminated soil in the Riverdale area, that one of the people who was extremely concerned about that was the present member for Riverdale. She had people come forward, whether through a committee process or another process, to make known those concerns so that the government would address them.

She, as an opposition member, put some pressure on; some of our own government members put pressure on. As a result we had a cleanup that took place there which is trying to be emulated in other places. Again I go to the member for Mississauga South, who suggested there were some problems of that kind potentially in her riding as well because they had some industrial operations which contained that kind of soil.

The point I'm making is simply that you benefit as a government, the people of this province benefit, when we don't employ this kind of motion but rather when we employ negotiation and conciliation between the three parties and when we allow the opportunity for a full and frank debate of the matters before us. I can't think of a member of the government who wouldn't want to speak on Bill 7. This resolution will prevent not only those of us in opposition but will prevent those of you in government, the people who are not in cabinet, from having the opportunity to speak on this legislation.

You may wish to totally endorse what the government has proposed, and that is fine -- that is your responsibility if you wish, that's your choice if you wish -- but this motion will deny you, as well as deny me, the opportunity to debate this legislation in as full and complete and comprehensive and frank a manner as perhaps all of us would like. So by punishing the opposition with a motion of this kind, the government is also punishing members of the Conservative Party who ran on the platform of changing Bill 40, of abolishing, getting rid of Bill 40.

My friend the member for St Catharines-Brock, who is in the House this afternoon, may well wish to make a compelling speech in this House on this issue. I would like to hear him. I'm sure his constituents would like to hear him. But he's not likely going to have the opportunity to be heard on this issue because the government House leader has issued a decree, an edict which says debate shall be severely restricted.

So my friend the member for St Catharines-Brock, my friend the member for Lincoln, who also represents part of the city of St Catharines, won't have the chance to make a speech on this, and I may not have a chance to address the substance of the legislation as I would like because of the restrictions. It is likely that only the critic of the party will have that opportunity.

Mr Kormos: And other critics.

Mr Bradley: And other critics. There are agricultural critics as well on this.

I guess the purpose of my address this afternoon is to try, in a very conciliatory way, a very reasonable way and a very moderate way, to convince the government to change, to withdraw this motion. I think if this motion were withdrawn, there would be an opportunity for the House leaders of the three parties to sit down and come forward with a reasonable agreement.

I cannot speak for the House leader for the New Democratic Party. He will have the chance to speak in this House in the very near future.

Mr Kormos: Starting this afternoon?

Mr Bradley: I want to assure him that he will have that opportunity to speak in this House this afternoon some time.

But if we saw a gesture of goodwill from the government, I would be convinced -- let me put it this way: I would be very surprised if the Minister of Labour would not want considerable input in this legislation, because I well recall how she wanted so much input on Bill 40, and I agreed with her that there should be a full and frank discussion of the provisions and implications of Bill 40.

So when her legislation comes forward, I know, to be consistent and principled, that she must be saying in her heart of hearts, "I would love to see hearings in Moosonee and Geraldton and Timmins and Welland and other places in the province." I would say in her heart of hearts that is exactly what she wants, and that's why I ask her, as well as the others, to convince the government House leader.

By the way, the government House leader, in case you do not know, always acts on orders from the Premier's office. For "government House leader," you translate "Premier."

We used to be critical in opposition of Mr Cooke, the member for Windsor-Riverside, when he would bring something forth. There would be some rather personal and direct attacks on him as the architect of some draconian measures when really many people knew that the --

Mr Cooke: But you always blamed it on the Premier's office, and I appreciated that.

Mr Bradley: I was always the one who was prepared to say that the rule really comes down from the Premier's office and so I couldn't entirely blame Mr Cooke for it. He was complicit perhaps in some way, but it was the Premier's office ultimately who gave the orders when there had to be those 20 motions for closure.

But examine the motions, examine every one of the motions, of the government House leader under the Liberal Party. You will find none as drastic and as restrictive and as anti-democratic as the motion which has been presented here this afternoon.

Some of the early impressions of the government -- and by the way, I want to go to a point. My friend had become exercised because he was being heckled, my friend the member for Parry Sound, but, you know, it's never wise to say, "That's why you're there and that's why we're on the other side," because, as the saying goes, what goes around comes around, or what comes around goes around. It's a circle.

Mr Cooke: What was the famous statement?

Mr Bradley: The famous statement was by Premier Davis. In 1975-77, we had a minority Parliament. By the way, it worked quite well. In 1977-81, we had a minority Parliament. Jack Stokes, the NDP member for Lake Nipigon, was the Speaker and a very fairminded person. You may say: "An NDP Speaker? Wouldn't he be favouring the NDP?" I ask you only to phone Capreol, Ontario, and ask the former leader of that party in terms of the House leader responsibility, Elie Martel, whether he thought that Speaker was favouring the New Democratic Party. He was not.

I thought that Parliament worked well, but what happened was, the government was humble, as all governments are. You remember the Liberal government of 1985-87 was quite a humble government. It was one which really listened carefully to the opposition. Then that government received a mandate having 95 members. Did you see a perceptible change? There may have been. When you're on the inside, you see less of that. You're less objective. I would suggest to you that others may have said the government wasn't listening as well as when it was in a minority position. What happened was there was an election -- awful election at that because it was so cold -- in February and March of 1981.

Mr Laughren: March 19.

Mr Bradley: March 19 was the actual date, and I can remember how cold my hands were outside of the plant gates speaking to the workers as they were going into the plant and enlisting their support in that election which was forthcoming, thankfully, to the many people in my constituency. It was a very cold election.


But what happened, the government came back in here, having been a fairly conciliatory government from 1975 to 1981, and the Premier of the day referred to "the realities of March 19" and you could see it start to deteriorate from there, because they were back in the driver's seat, not having to be accountable.

So the government thought it would buy a jet. I think Mr Harris was a member of that government. Yes, he was. They were going to buy a jet for the comfort and convenience of members of the cabinet and the Premier.

Mr Laughren: A special jet.

Mr Bradley: It was a Challenger jet, a very special jet, nicely appointed on the inside, and it was going to be, as I say, for the comfort and convenience of the Premier and members of the cabinet and other hangers-on who could make it into the jet, because the -- what do we call it? Are they turboprops or what do we call the ones that -- the King Air ones you have, the ones that the Ministry of Natural Resources has. The minister is here; he may help me. The planes that you have available to you.

Interjection: Turboprops.

Mr Bradley: Turboprops they are, I'm sure. Well, they weren't to be good enough for the government, once it had achieved re-election with a majority and reminded all of us in the opposition of the realities of March 19.

Then they decided they would buy an oil company. They said, "Oh well, you know, it's time to buy an oil company." I won't ask the members of the New Democratic Party to intervene in this because they often liked governments to buy oil companies. But no one expected -- at least we would have expected the New Democratic Party to buy one, as we expected the New Democratic Party to nationalize Inco.


Mr Bradley: And to bring in government auto insurance, as the member for Welland-Thorold prompted me to say on this occasion, because it was near and dear to his heart.

But the government had achieved this majority, and so we had Suncor being purchased, the oil company. We had Minaki Lodge being built and the heck with the rest of you people, whatever you think of it, and it's a great place.

Interjection: If you can find it.

Mr Bradley: If you can find it. And all the other things were happening that even some of the members of the back bench were concerned about.

I remember Larry Grossman in this House, and you know how Larry got into the cabinet? He got into the cabinet by being disruptive. He wasn't compliant. He didn't simply sit, as they did in those days before television, and pound on the desk. He instead was prepared to be publicly critical of the government when he felt it necessary.

Mr Kormos: It didn't work for me.

Mr Bradley: It didn't work for the member for Welland-Thorold, but then he was -- he did get into cabinet eventually, but once he got into cabinet probably felt more comfortable being able to speak freely and, if not finding himself in agreement with everything the government was doing, was not always as compliant as premiers like people to be.

I can't recall whether he was fired or whether he left cabinet.

Mr Kormos: You were right the first time. I never quit.

Mr Bradley: He said he did not quit. He was fired then. I'm sorry.

Mr Kormos: It's better to be outside the tent.

Mr Bradley: He's mentioning being outside a tent. Okay, I understand that.

Mr Cooke: And that's something we all agreed on.

Mr Kormos: Except you were inside the tent and I was --

Mr Bradley: I am sorry that I am sowing the seeds of discontent among members of the New Democratic Party at this time. I would never want to do this ordinarily.

The Acting Speaker (Ms Marilyn Churley): You were being a bit provocative.

Mr Bradley: A bit provocative I'm being, yes. I don't know what side you were on, Madam Speaker, at that time when the member for Welland-Thorold was involved in many of these issues, but I think some people admired his independence on that occasion. I'm reluctant to say this because I'm told, if you read his political pamphlets, he takes out of the sentence, mid-sentence maybe, "dot, dot, dot," and then, "Jim Bradley says Peter Kormos is doing a good job." I am told that happened in a pamphlet, and I had to deny it thrice for the Liberal candidate in Welland-Thorold at the time because he did that.

So I will say that within the context of the New Democratic Party he did a good job, within the context of the New Democratic Party.

Mr Kormos: It's still usable.

Mr Bradley: And he says it's still usable.

Mr Kormos: It's quotable. Thank you. I'll do it again in 1999.

Mr Bradley: Who knows? He may not run again. Something like that might happen.

But back to the motion and why this motion should not proceed. I have spoken at some length. Let me inform members of the Legislature why I've done so. I am giving the government House leader a chance to reconsider. I'm giving him a chance to huddle with his advisers, some who have come from the federal field, having worked with the Brian Mulroney government -- I notice that's happening more and more -- to provide advice to the provincial government. I want him to be able to discuss with them some other options, an option that doesn't involve this drastic motion coming before the House today, an option instead which will involve negotiation with the opposition parties.

Once that agreement has been reached, you have to understand that while the opposition may say, "The devil made us do it," nevertheless there's some responsibility we have at that time as well, having agreed to it. So the government wins all around when that happens. If you can't reach agreement, if you make another effort and it's impossible, then you will take whatever course of action you wish.

Perhaps you'll choose one of the other options. I liked Mr Sterling's option, if I had to take poison, which of the poisons I would take: Mr Sterling's poison probably provided for the most debate of anybody. Mr Sterling has been here since 1977, he has seen many of these changes, and it was more moderate than the others. I still didn't like it, but it was more moderate than the one that has been selected by the government House leader today, upon which this Legislature will be voting this afternoon.

The reason I'm also concerned that we be able to get on with this debate, with the substance of this debate, is that there are so many other issues that have to be canvassed and have to be dealt with by this House. If we are preoccupied, as some members have been, with disrupting proceedings, and preoccupied on the government's side by passing by certain proceedings, then the House isn't operating correctly.

Let me give an example. I'm sure all the members here have petitions which have been brought to them -- I have some on my desk -- petitions brought forward to them that we would like to present to the House, because people believe that when a petition is presented to the House their views are going to be heard. This is one dealing with, it says here, the Karla Homolka situation; I won't get into the details of the petition. But many of us have petitions that are forthcoming to us.

Every time one of the cabinet ministers, either the government House leader or acting government House leader, gets up to move that we go directly to orders of the day, when they go to the orders of the day that means none of you has a chance to present bills. There are a lot of opposition people and government people who may have bills they wish to present to the House for consideration, and you don't have a chance to present your petitions. That's limited to 15 minutes, because I think it was the Conservative Party at one time that read petitions forever in the House -- maybe the NDP, maybe the Liberals -- but read petitions one after another, so the rule was changed to limit that to 15 minutes, which is probably reasonable when you think of it.

But we can't even read these petitions, so people are phoning and saying: "Why don't you read the petitions? Are you avoiding us? Are you not carrying out your responsibility as a member of the Legislature?" I have to say: "I'm sorry. I would love to do it, but the government House leader moves daily that we must get beyond petitions and to the business of the day that the governments wants. For that reason, we've not been able to do so." I would not be disruptive of the rules enough to read the petition into the record today. In respect of the rules and respect of the individual in the chair at this time I would not want to do that.


That is what happens when we have a breakdown in the negotiations. I know that as I speak the government House leader is huddling -- it won't be with elected members -- with non-elected members, perhaps with the whip, who can be a very reasonable individual when he wants to be, the member for York Mills, who in opposition used to be rather fiery when matters were brought forward that were of concern to him.

So I implore the government, I implore the House leader if he is watching this on his television monitor and those who advise him, to correct your ways.

I want to give the New Democratic Party a chance to speak this afternoon because I know there's going to be a motion coming forward for a vote on this. There will be a vote at the end of the day unless the government changes its mind.

But in the name of democracy, recognizing that the rules had been changed by the previous government in what I consider to be a very detrimental way -- I was surprised, because I always heard that Bob Rae was a person who believed strongly in parliamentary democracy, but that's past, and I don't want to dwell on that past. I know that the member for Windsor-Riverside is a person who also held the rules of this House in high esteem, and he was obviously forced to make those changes by members in the Premier's office.

I well remember the speeches. I could go into them, but I won't. But I could quote your present Premier, your House leader and others who gave impassioned speeches in this House against the restriction of debate and discussion of important legislation. I'll allow you simply to go to the Hansard. The Hansard is available in the library and in other places, and you will be able to read for yourself. You won't have to take my word that I'm quoting; you'll be able to read for yourself a bit about the history of this.

Despite the rules the NDP has saddled us with over the last five years, and the Ontario Federation of Labour representative in the gallery -- oh, there's Ross McClellan in the gallery as well. Ross McClellan is in the gallery as well, a former esteemed member of this Legislature and one who used to give advice from that side. That's the kind of person I'm appealing to: the Ross McClellan of the new government. Please inform the government House leader that he should change his mind on this motion.

I've been asked by Mr Gord Wilson of the Ontario Federation of Labour to wrap up. He's given me the signal from the gallery that I should wrap up so that Mr Cooke, the member for Windsor-Riverside, can speak.

In conclusion, in the name of democracy, in the name of parliamentary procedure, in the name of acquiescence to the true realities of the province and in the name of common sense, I ask you to withdraw this motion.

Mr Cooke: I can assure you that I won't be speaking as long as the previous member, because I'm not a long-winded teacher. That's why I didn't mind having restrictions put on the amount of time, because it's important to have participation in this place. But I do want to make a few points on behalf of our caucus.

First of all, I think it's important that members on the government side understand why our caucus is so angry today about the process that has been followed to deal with Bill 7. It's got to be made very clear that there have been absolutely no negotiations offered by the government on how Bill 7 would be handled. We have had three or four House leaders' meetings. I can't remember the exact number, but three or four; every Thursday we meet. At every meeting we have had, I have raised the question about how this bill was going to be handled, put very clearly our request for public hearings across the province -- the official opposition party has also supported that position -- and every week we constantly got the same response from the government: "We're considering it. We're going to have some form of public hearings. We'll talk about it later."

Never once was a specific proposal put forward. Never once was there an offer by the acting government House leader, Mr Sterling, to sit down and negotiate. Never once was that put forward.

Hon Elizabeth Witmer (Minister of Labour): You can do it right now.

Mr Cooke: The Minister of Labour says we could have done this.

Ms Martel: "Do it now," she said.

Mr Cooke: Well, I suggested this afternoon during question period, and the House leader for the official opposition has just said the same thing, that they withdraw the motion, stand down the motion, and ask the three government House leaders to negotiate a settlement of how this legislation's going to be handled.

Do you want the floor? You can act as government House leader. You can move the adjournment of the debate and we will go and negotiate. If that's what you'd like to do -- Madam Speaker, I'd be glad to yield the floor to the Minister of Labour, if that's what she's putting forward. Is that your suggestion?

Hon Mrs Witmer: You have the floor.

Mr Cooke: I think that makes it absolutely clear. Use all the rhetoric, say what you have to say to the mikes, occasionally say it in the House, but when it comes to it, you aren't interested in public hearings on this bill. You want to ram this legislation through the House. You don't want public input from across the province and you want to shut this place down.

You've got your 82 members. As the House leader for the official opposition has said, this reminds all of us who have been here for a while of the way the Davis government operated after the March 19 election in 1981. You've got your majority. There is no democracy now; it's just going to be dictatorship -- no negotiations.

One of the things that concerns us is that this is the first piece of legislation being debated that this government has brought forward, the first major piece -- the first piece, period. This is going to be setting the process and the tone of how we're going to be dealing with legislation for the next four and a half, five years.

This is not something you can expect the opposition to agree with, and not just the opposition here but those who do not agree with your point of view across the province.

We know how you view workers in this province. We've seen those kinds of comments from the person who's now the whip for the government and we've seen comments from the current Minister of Labour when they were in opposition. They have no respect for organized labour and therefore they do not believe they need to listen to workers.

They've had their meetings with big business. Actually, it's not even big business. They've had their meetings with their small circle of business friends. They don't want to listen to companies like Nestlé, they don't want to listen to companies like Chrysler, who are saying, "Look, we may not have agreed with Bill 40, but we think what you're doing and the process you're following and the lack of consultation and the lack of involvement is dangerous."

It's not only an offence to the democratic process; it's dangerous in terms of job creation and investment and the labour relations atmosphere that's going to exist in this province. You're sowing the seeds for some very difficult times in this province.

When we were in government and we had legislation called Bill 40 out to committee, we had five weeks of public hearings, because the third party said they wanted to have extensive public hearings and they wanted those public hearings to occur across the province. I think they went to seven or eight communities outside of Metropolitan Toronto.

The first day the committee met, the current Minister of Labour raised a point of order in the committee, and I want to read the point of order. Ms Witmer stated:

"I'd just like to register the concern of the Ontario PC party regarding the starting date of August 4. Unfortunately, we had hoped to give people in this province sufficient time to prepare their presentations, and we're looking at a startup date one week later. Certainly, we're very concerned about the very short time that groups and individuals are going to have for making their presentations."

What a hypocrite the minister now is. In this particular case, we've had five days in the Legislature to debate this bill. Two days have not counted towards the time allocation motion, one because, yes, we engaged in procedural activities to try to make the point to the government that we wanted to have public hearings across the province. The other day didn't count because the acting government House leader was trying to be such a smart aleck that he tried to move to the motion to establish the committees and that meant there was no day towards the time allocation motion. Five days to debate a bill that does represent the most significant changes in the Ontario Labour Relations Act in the history of the province, and many items in this bill were not discussed either during the Bill 40 hearings or during the recent provincial election.


I think it is very dangerous and very wrong for this government to say, "There's no need for public hearings across the province on anything because we had an election and the election gave us a majority, and as a result we don't need to have public hearings because we said there were going to be changes to the Labour Relations Act." I suppose the government will take the same view on employment equity: "We don't need to have public hearings on employment equity across the province because we were given a mandate. We don't need to have public hearings on welfare reform because we were given a mandate."

There are actually good things that can happen when you have public hearings. There has not been a piece of legislation in the time that I've been a member of the Legislature where there have been public hearings where there haven't been amendments to the legislation as a result. And there will be amendments. You pick up problems in the legislation, you hear different points of view, and it will result in changes to your legislation. But if you shut out the public, whether it's drafting errors -- and you've had a little bit of experience with drafting errors in the last few weeks -- or whether there are actual problems in the legislation that require correction, you will pick that up with the experts who make their presentations and with people in our communities who want to make presentations to the committee.

Madam Speaker, I want to give you a couple of examples that I remember from the time that we were in government where public hearings had a very significant impact. I'm glad that Mr Tilson's here because he was involved certainly on the rent control legislation that came in. He will remember that even on the temporary rent control bill the Tory party demanded public hearings across the province. That was the temporary bill. They had several weeks of public hearings across the province, and the member will remember that there were significant amendments that were brought in as a result of that. Significant amendments were brought in. You know in particular the amendment that had a cap on certain rent increases that you claimed was retroactive, where we lifted that cap. That was a major amendment.

There's another example. When the legislation came into the House for market value assessment for Metropolitan Toronto, you'll remember the whole process that Metropolitan Toronto council went through in Toronto. They came forward with their proposal. They needed enabling legislation in the Legislature. We brought that enabling legislation in. The Conservative Party again insisted on public hearings, even though in that case there was a very good case that could be made that there was no need for public hearings because Metropolitan Toronto council had had a lot of public hearings.

We accepted the recommendation from the Tories. We had public hearings. We went on for hours and hours and hours of public hearings, and in the end there were presentations that were made that showed that the Metropolitan Toronto proposal was flawed. The bill was dropped and market value assessment did not come in to Toronto, not that proposal, because it was wrong, it wasn't going to work.

The public hearings can work, and they will show even a government that thinks it knows everything -- even a government like that can learn something from public hearings.

I want to come back to -- because I think it's important, I would dare say that there are a lot of members of the Conservative caucus who haven't even read the time allocation motion that's been called. Let's remember what this thing says.

Three days, as I said. We've had three full days of second reading. That's what we've had up to this point. We've had, as I said, two days that were ruined, one because of some procedural matters that we pursued and another because the acting government House leader made a procedural mistake. So we've had three full days. Now we've got the time allocation motion that will be debated today. This will be passed today, unless the government reconsiders. Then the result will be that there'll be no standing committee hearings at all. The bill will go to the committee of the whole, and that's where amendments will be looked at for a couple of hours, and then we'll get two hours of third reading. So when this motion passes today, the only thing that is left is four hours more and then the most significant changes in the history of the Ontario Labour Relations Act go into effect.

Why did we not accept the other alternative that the government put forward of saying that there could be four days of public hearings next week, starting on Monday? Well, I go back to the quote from the current Minister of Labour when she was the Labour critic: "We would have between today and next Monday where presentations would have to be put together. All of the presenters would have to be organized, and that would be it." They would have -- what? -- four days in order to get their presentations together.

If the government was interested in real public hearings, they would say, "The bill will be referred out, we'll start public hearings and we'll have public hearings across the province." I know that the government is saying, "Well, we want the bill passed by Christmas." There's nothing magical about Christmas. There's nothing magical that says we have to have the legislation passed by Christmas, other than the fact that the government said it wants it passed by Christmas. They want to ram the legislation through.

Normally what would happen is that we could start public hearings now in the resources development committee, we could go through a lot of presentations from organizations that are based in Metropolitan Toronto -- local unions, other businesses, members of the communities that want to come forward -- and we could start those hearings now. The committee could then adjourn and we could have public hearings in January. The law would become the law after there is clause-by-clause consideration in March or April at the latest. So we're talking about a difference of about 16, 17, 18 weeks before the legislation would be passed.

We know and the government knows that the real reason they don't want public hearings across the province is that there is a lot of public opposition to this legislation. They don't want to have hearings in Windsor because if they go to Windsor, they're going to have to listen to plant after plant in Local 195, CAW, which is an amalgamated local -- it has all of the auto parts companies in the Windsor area in that particular local, plant after plant where they will be severely impacted by the elimination of certain sections of Bill 40 which did not allow scabs in Ontario's plants when there's a legal strike.

Those are the plants that are going to be hit, those are the workers who are going to be hit: in the auto parts sector, in small plants where there's a lot of new Canadian workers who had been exploited over the years, which now under the legislation that's in place have been able to get unions in representing the workers and making sure that their rights are respected.

But you know that if you go to Windsor you're going to be confronted with workers who do not support your legislation. You don't want that bad publicity that will come out of that, whether it's a visit to London, whether it's Thunder Bay, whether it's eastern Ontario. You want to shut it down so that there's no public understanding of what you're trying to do with this labour legislation.

It has nothing to do with the need for any particular reason to have to have this legislation passed by Christmas. It's just a matter that you've decided that you can do better politically by ramming it through, avoiding any public involvement, avoiding any involvement outside of Metropolitan Toronto, any of the TV cameras and radio and newspaper that would come and cover those hearings. You don't want that. You don't want to face the people who have a right in a democratic society to make those presentations.

I want to go back to a little bit of the history of where we have come in terms of rule changes, because I heard the member for St Catharines make the comments that he made about the rule changes, and I understand his point of view on them. I agreed with the rule changes that came in, and I still agree with those changes, but I remember very clearly the negotiations that we were in.

I believe Mr Elston was the House leader for the Liberal Party and Mr Eves was the House leader for the Conservative Party. We brought in a set of rule changes; you didn't like them. We adjourned the debate on those rule changes and we went into negotiations, and Mr Elston, Mr Eves and myself came to an agreement on the rule changes. In the end, the Conservative Party supported those rule changes. But I remember the discussions that took place. Very clearly, Mr Eves said on behalf of the Conservative Party that they had to have three days' debate -- a minimum of three days -- at second reading before there could ever be a time allocation motion brought in.


We then had extensive discussions about what should happen and what provisions there should be in the standing orders for any piece of legislation that is considered important in terms of public hearings. We couldn't come up with a section that could apply across the board, because what you would define as an important piece of legislation might be different than what I would define. But there was an absolute commitment given that significant pieces of legislation would go out for public hearings across the province.

I think if you read the debate that took place on those rule changes, you will see that Mr Eves very clearly expressed concerns on behalf of the Conservative Party and the commitments that we had given as a government that all important pieces of legislation would have full public hearings across the province.

Again, the House leader for the official opposition referred to some of the time allocation motions that were brought in when we were the government, and I can tell you, I've gone through many of those in the last 24 hours to refresh my memory.

Bill 4, the temporary rent control bill: We had public hearings right across the province. Anybody who wanted to appear appeared.

The permanent rent control legislation: That had public hearings right across the province as well.

Bill 118, An Act to amend the Power Corporation Act: again, public hearings right across the province. Time allocation was moved, but it provided for public hearings across the province.

Bill 143, which was the waste management bill, the bill that dealt with garbage in Metropolitan Toronto: That had public hearings right across the region, very difficult public hearings, very difficult involvement, but we didn't shy away from it just because we were going to get bad publicity as a result. It was part of the process. It was part of the commitment. It was part of the fundamentals of the rule changes.

Bill 121, which was the permanent rent control bill: weeks and weeks and weeks of public hearings.

Bill 40, as I've said earlier, our labour legislation: five or six weeks of public hearings. Seven or eight communities across the province were heard from.

The auto insurance legislation, Bill 164: public hearings across the province. Time allocation was moved, but every community across the province was heard from.

Bill 47, which was an act dealing with the administration of justice: again, public hearings across the province. Time allocation was used, but the opposition wanted public hearings across the province. We put that into the time allocation motion.

Bill 8, the casino corporation bill: again, public hearings across the province. Anybody who wanted to be involved was involved, and people were heard. The opposition wanted public hearings across the province; we built that into the time allocation motion.

Bill 80, another amendment to the Labour Relations Act: There were hearings out in committee and people who wanted to be were heard from. The opposition wanted public hearings across the province; they got what they were asking for. It was built into the time allocation motion.

Bill 120, an act to amend certain statutes concerning residential property, a housing bill: It had public hearings across the province as well. Again, the opposition insisted on that; we built that into the time allocation motion.

I could go through all of the time allocation motions that we introduced. When the opposition said that it was necessary, we sat down and we negotiated as House leaders and the opposition House leaders. We didn't always agree on the exact terms of the time allocation motion, but there were public hearings across the province. And we allowed that to happen because that's the democratic process.

The approach that's now being taken by this government I don't think is going to allow for the opposition parties to proceed in any fair way. We cannot be seen to be cooperating with a government that's saying four days of public hearings, that they're not going to allow the public to be heard, and on the first major piece of legislation. You may think -- and some of us have been around here long enough to know -- you've got all the tools at your disposal with the new rules to get your agenda through in four and a half years and not to compromise or listen to the opposition. I'm telling you that it is going to be a miserable four and a half years. There are enough options and enough flexibility in certain parts of the rules that we will make your life miserable.

You may want to continue to celebrate the election in June. I can tell you, in the short period of time that I was in the government House leader's office you guys did a real good job of making my life miserable, and it isn't pleasant. If there isn't some sense of cooperation whereby we can sit down and discuss how legislation is going to be dealt with in this place, there will be no cooperation, there will be no opportunities to introduce legislation, and not only are you going to have an angry opposition, but you will make angry community after community, group after group.

People do want to be heard by government. The more arrogant you appear, the more arrogant you are, that will rub off in terms of public support and public opinion. Take a look at the 1981-85 period. One of the major reasons that the Tory party had a significant decline in public support was the arrogance that it wore when it had that majority government. You will wear it as well. It will come back to haunt every one of you.

You do not enjoy unanimous support on this point of view and this approach even within your own caucus. I encourage the members of the Conservative caucus to have this discussion, to talk about what the process should be, to talk about involvement of the opposition parties but, more important, involvement of people in our communities when it comes to developing legislation, discussing legislation and approving that legislation.

I certainly agree with the approach that the House leader for the official opposition has taken. There's still enough time. The Minister of Labour is here. She can do what she said about a half-hour ago she wanted to do, and that was stand down this motion, adjourn the debate on this motion and ask the three House leaders to sit down and negotiate a mature way of handling this legislation, not in the way of just ramming it through and having everything passed by next Thursday.

I'm going to finish by asking the Tory back bench, just think about it. This legislation was introduced just a couple of weeks ago. We've had, as I said, five days of discussion in this place. Next Thursday, according to this time allocation motion, it will be law. Some of you come from municipal government. You know that when you go through the planning process, when you go through the development of bylaws, you involve people in your communities. You would never be able to get a major land development proposal through a municipal council in four or five weeks. You have to involve the community.

Magnify that many, many times. We are making the most significant changes to Ontario's labour laws in the history of this province. If this time allocation motion is followed, it will have been done in about four weeks. That's not good government, that's not good process, that's not democracy, and this should not happen this afternoon.

The Acting Speaker: I thank the member for Windsor-Riverside. Further debate? I recognize the member for --

Mr Bob Wood (London South): London South.

The Acting Speaker: London South.

Mr Bob Wood: Not to be confused with the member for Cochrane North.

The Acting Speaker: Oh, we wouldn't want to confuse that, no. Go ahead.

Mr Bob Wood: He does not wish to be confused, either, with the member for London South.

It's my honour to give my first speech in the House today. I understand it's a tradition that such speeches are to be non-controversial and non-political in nature. Certainly, what I am about to say I consider to be relatively non-controversial and relatively non-political. I have a feeling the members of the House will come to their own conclusion on that.

As this is my first speech in this Legislature, I'd like to pay tribute to all previous representatives of the riding of London South. Each, in his or her own way, made a significant contribution to London and to Ontario. I will mention only two by name: the Honourable John White, former Treasurer, who had a major influence on both the Robarts and Davis governments; and the Honourable Gord Walker, former minister of Industry and Trade, who was noted for his courage in speaking out and willingness to propose new ideas. Much of what Gord Walker proposed 12 years ago is now the policy of the government of Ontario. His determination to stand up and be counted is an example for all.


As many members of this House know, I am a strong supporter of the Common Sense Revolution, and passage of this bill is an important part of the implementation of that plan. I might say that I intend to be quite candid today and I'm going to do so in the spirit of what the dean of this House, the member for Nickel Belt, said to the new members when he was kind enough to spend a day in assisting us in getting oriented. What he said was that he believed in tough questions and he believed in tough debate but he did not believe in personalities in this House. I would like to suggest to this House that the dean of the House was quite right in what he said.

What I'm about to say today I think will be fairly firm, but I want to share with all members of the House that it's not meant, in any sense, to be personal about anybody.

I think everybody here has strong beliefs. We know that the third party in particular has strong beliefs about this bill, which they're quite entitled to have and which they've been elected to put forward. On the other hand, it is also true that all members in this House have strong views and all members are here to put forward the point of view that they have been elected to put forward.

The suggestion has been made by some about the role of government backbenchers. I would like to assure this House that there are no trained seals among the government backbenchers. I would like to suggest to you and inform you that government members take their role as members of Parliament very seriously, and no one is going to be stronger in standing up to this government where it's needed than the members of this caucus. I would like to draw to the attention of this House that the government has the complete, 100% support of this caucus for this time allocation motion.


Mr Bob Wood: I am pleased that the first speech I make in this House is indeed about a time allocation motion, because this very much goes to the heart of the democratic process. The people of Ontario elected this government to bring jobs, investment and economic growth back to this province.


The Acting Speaker: Will the members please come to order.

Mr Bob Wood: I understand why the third party is conducting a filibuster, and I think that's their job. They have the responsibility to attempt to put their point of view forward in whatever parliamentary ways they are able to do.

Mr David Christopherson (Hamilton Centre): You're shutting down debate. How are we supposed to put our point of view forward if you're shutting down debate?

The Acting Speaker: The member for Hamilton Centre, please come to order.

Mr Bob Wood: He's just getting rolling, Madam Speaker.

I understand that that's the job of the third party and all parties in this House. I would like to suggest, however, that they also have to take responsibility for the results of what they're doing. I would like to suggest to the House that the third party has demonstrated disregard for the democratic will of the people of Ontario by delaying and obstructing the business of this House.

We have heard discussion about consultations. I might say, there is no cabinet that has been more open to consultations and there's no cabinet that's been more open to consideration of suggestions about the implementation of this program.

Let me suggest, however, that this bill has been mandated by the voters, and if there are those who want to come forward, as some do --

Mr Christopherson: Show us. Show us in your speech, where this is in there.

Mr Bob Wood: -- as some do, and ask this government to break the promises it made to the people of this province, if there are some who want to do that I'd like to suggest that the answer to them should be and will be a flat, unequivocal no.

I think that many in this province find it refreshing that there's a government that is actually doing after the election what it said it would do before the election. The people have spoken.

In closing, I would like to suggest to you that the opposition has a duty to fight the government agenda and they're doing that. We have a duty to keep faith with the people of Ontario, and we're going to do that as well.

The Acting Speaker: Further debate?

Mr Christopherson: I appreciate what limited opportunity is being given to us to comment on what's happening. I want to say to the member who just spoke, I don't know him, but I feel sorry for the fact that somebody sucked him into making his first speech on the most anti-democratic motion that this House has seen in the history of Ontario. I truly feel sorry for you. You've been had.

I only have a few moments. The comments that are coming from across the floor from the government are that they have a mandate to implement Bill 7, which is their anti-worker bill, and the reality is that most of what's in here was never talked about during the election. It's not mentioned in the Common Sense Revolution. They've got something like 67 words, or 65 words, in the CSR about what they'd do with labour law and they've got a 132-page bill that absolutely transforms, in a negative way for workers, the way that labour law is conducted in this province, and they have the audacity today to stand in their places and say, "There's no further debate; this is not going to committee," and they're arguing because we wouldn't accept their three flimsy excuses for public input, that somehow this is our fault.

Guess what, folks? You're the government. The reality is, you're ramming this through with no public input. Your motion today denies any committee input. You're seeing to it that the most undemocratic move that a government could make is being done. That's what you're doing. You're taking the rules to the extreme, far beyond anything the Liberals or our government ever did or anything your predecessor Tories have done. You're consistently showing how afraid you are to face the people on these changes, because they've never been put to the people of Ontario.

Let me say to you and put you on notice that when you jam this through, you're going to make major mistakes in addition to hurting an awful lot of people and you're going to be held accountable for those mistakes. The drafting errors we saw from the Minister of Community and Social Services that almost put tens of thousands of disabled people out on the streets is only the beginning of the damage that can result from jamming through this kind of law with absolutely no input.

There have been no discussions. The Ontario Federation of Labour -- the president, Gord Wilson, is here -- beyond a cursory discussion with the minister there's been no substantive input. There will be no opportunity for opposition members to make amendments. There's no opportunity for communities to talk about how they've not only benefited from the law that existed, to put the lie to your claim that it would do damage, but they don't have the opportunity to show you where you're making mistakes.

This is so foolish, and it would be laughable if you weren't doing so much harm. You're going to regret this. You're going to regret it every day until the end of your term, because in Ontario, regardless of who gets elected and what their mandate is, the people expect fairness, which I remind the members is a word this government removed from the labour relations law. They took out the word "fair," took out the words "just cause." The people of Ontario expect a certain level of balance and fairness, and our House leader has shown, chapter and verse, where on every controversial bill we brought in -- and we brought in our share of controversial bills -- we made sure there was an opportunity to take that legislation out across the province and let people have their input. And today, this government, this Tory Harris government, on its first bill is denying the people of Ontario the chance to have their say. You ought to be ashamed.

The Acting Speaker: Would the member please take his seat.

Mr Eves has moved government notice of motion number 2. Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Those in favour, please say "aye."

Those opposed, say "nay."

In my opinion, the ayes have it.

Call in the members. This will be 15-minute bell.

The division bells rang from 1801 to 1812.

The Acting Speaker: All those in favour of the motion, please rise one at a time and be recognized by the Clerk.


Arnott, Ted

Gilchrist, Steve

O'Toole, John

Barrett, Toby

Grimmett, Bill

Ouellette, Jerry J.

Bassett, Isabel

Guzzo, Garry J.

Parker, John L.

Beaubien, Marcel

Hardeman, Ernie

Pettit, Trevor

Boushy, Dave

Harnick, Charles

Ross, Lillian

Brown, Jim

Hastings, John

Runciman, Bob

Carr, Gary

Hodgson, Chris

Sampson, Rob

Carroll, Jack

Hudak, Tim

Shea, Derwyn

Chudleigh, Ted

Johns, Helen

Skarica, Toni

Cunningham, Dianne

Johnson, Ron

Smith, Bruce

DeFaria, Carl

Jordan, Leo

Spina, Joseph

Doyle, Ed

Klees, Frank

Sterling, Norm

Ecker, Janet

Leach, Al

Tilson, David

Eves, Ernie L.

Marland, Margaret

Tsubouchi, David H.

Flaherty, Jim

Martiniuk, Gerry

Turnbull, David

Ford, Douglas B.

Maves, Bart

Villeneuve, Noble

Froese, Tom

Munro, Julia

Witmer, Elizabeth

Galt, Doug

Newman, Dan

Wood, Bob

The Acting Speaker: Opposed?


Agostino, Dominic

Crozier, Bruce

Laughren, Floyd

Bartolucci, Rick

Curling, Alvin

Marchese, Rosario

Bisson, Gilles

Duncan, Dwight

Martel, Shelley

Boyd, Marion

Gerretsen, John

Martin, Tony

Bradley, James J.

Grandmaître, Bernard

Miclash, Frank

Brown, Michael A.

Gravelle, Michael

Morin, Gilles E.

Caplan, Elinor

Hampton, Howard

Patten, Richard

Christopherson, David

Hoy, Pat

Pupatello, Sandra

Cleary, John C.

Kormos, Peter

Sergio, Mario

Conway, Sean G.

Lalonde, Jean-Marc

Silipo, Tony

Cooke, David S.

Lankin, Frances

Wood, Len

Clerk of the House (Mr Claude L. DesRosiers): The ayes are 54, the nays 33.

The Acting Speaker: I declare the motion carried.

It now being past six of the clock, the House stands adjourned until 10 am tomorrow morning.

The House adjourned at 1816.