36th Parliament, 1st Session

L199 - Wed 4 Jun 1997 / Mer 4 Jun 1997












































The House met at 1331.




Mrs Lyn McLeod (Fort William): Non-teaching personnel in school systems will be the first victims of this government's need to control the chaos being created by their plans to amalgamate school boards across the province. The Minister of Labour talks about encouraging local bargaining, but you don't encourage local bargaining by giving all the power to only one side, and that's what this new labour bill does. The minister talks about giving choices, but the choices all benefit the employer; the employees will have no voice at all.

Employers and employees can choose one of the contracts that currently exist to be the new contract for the amalgamated bargaining units, but what is the chance of both sides agreeing on which contract to choose? That is virtually a non-option.

If the two sides can't agree on accepting one of the existing contracts, they can agree to bargain for a new one, but right at the beginning of that process they have to decide whether to go to compulsory arbitration if the talks break down. The choice can be made by only one side, so the employer can unilaterally decide to suspend the union's right to strike. The government-appointed commissioners are then free to strip the contracts from anything that is in place now and the employees have no sanction power to stop them.

There is no chance here for local bargaining to be allowed to work, let alone encouraged, no need for both sides to agree to arbitration if the process breaks down. The government will say, "We didn't take away the right to strike, the school board employer did," and the school board again is caught in the middle because the government controls the dollars that will pay for any contract they settle locally. This government has imposed a war measures act and they created the war that made them do it. They haven't controlled the chaos ahead; they just created it.


Mr Floyd Laughren (Nickel Belt): Bill 99 is a piece of legislation that amends the Workers' Compensation Act. It is a backward step not just for injured workers, but as social policy as well.

The bill reduces the benefits of injured workers from 90% of net pay to 85%. The bill scraps the Occupational Disease Panel. The bill removes the independence of the Workers' Compensation Appeals Tribunal. The bill declares that vocational rehabilitation is no longer the board's business. The bill reduces cost-of-living protection for almost all injured workers. The bill removes the word "fair" from the phrase "fair compensation." As though all of this was not enough, the WCB has reduced employer assessments by 5%. So there are going to be a lot of unhappy injured workers in Ontario.

The last time Tories were in power in this province, injured workers demonstrated angrily on the steps of this Legislature month after month after month. On one occasion they were literally banging on the doors of this very chamber. Now here we go again. What is it about Tories that they have so little respect for the work ethic that they punish those who get hurt adhering to that ethic? I hope that injured workers still have the energy, the leadership and the heart to once again take on the Tories and make their life miserable.


Mrs Julia Munro (Durham-York): I congratulate the Sutton District High School math teams for moving to the top of the class in the University of Waterloo math contest.

The university sponsors math contests for the most capable math students across Canada. In each school, the students with the three highest marks in each grade automatically form the team. Sutton District High School's Caley, grade 10, and Fermat, grade 11, teams placed in the top half of all schools competing in their grade level.

The grade 10 team included Trisha Niemeyer, Doug Hall, Brian MacEachern, Robert Ruggiero, Bryan White and Marsha Wilson. You will note there are six students instead of three because of a four-way tie for third spot. The grade 11 team featured David Lapointe, David Sutherland and Peter Richards. All members of the grade 10 team and the top two on the grade 11 team also won certificates of distinction for placing in the top 25% of all students writing at their grade level.

The Pascal, grade 9, math students ranked at the 88th percentile, or ahead of 88% of competing schools. The grade 9 team included Shawn Gettler, Heather Pankhurst, Souling Chan and Amy Sue Littleford. It should be noted that Souling and Amy Sue tied for the third spot on the team.

Out of 34,000 contestants across Canada, Shawn Gettler tied for 276th place. Certificates of distinction were earned by Chris MacMillan and Neil Lewis.


Mr Mario Sergio (Yorkview): I invite everyone in this House to join me today in acknowledging that we in Ontario have set aside the month of June to celebrate our province's seniors. This month, let us recognize their contributions and continuing significance in our society. Let us assure ourselves that we are doing our part to respect their human dignity and quality of life.

It is most unfortunate that this government has failed in its responsibility to our senior citizens. Its track record is bleak: user fees on prescription drugs; drastic cuts to hospital care and budgets; unattended elderly patients in hospitals; longer waiting lists for long-term-care beds; downloading of social housing and ambulance services; rent control legislation and higher property taxes due to the government's downloading on to municipalities.

Yes, June is a time for all of us to celebrate how seniors enrich our lives. It is also a time for this government to extend its hand and give seniors the compassion, support and dignity they deserve. Mr Harris, ministers, stop hurting our seniors and give them the respect they so deserve.

The Speaker (Hon Chris Stockwell): I appreciate the cause today with respect to the ribbons, but in my ruling the ribbons were out of order. I would ask that they be removed. In the public gallery as well, if you're wearing a ribbon I would ask that it be removed.

The member for Welland-Thorold.

Mr Peter Kormos (Welland-Thorold): I believe unanimous consent can be sought to permit those. As I understand those ribbons, they are a part of the anti-drunk-driving campaign, and I would seek unanimous consent.

The Speaker: Member for Welland-Thorold, I appreciate it, and you know what? I'll take that up in one second if I could. I just wanted to review my ruling, and I just asked the clerk to see if she could find it. I'll take your unanimous consent up in a moment, if you don't mind giving me that moment. Further statements?


Mr Peter Kormos (Welland-Thorold): Since March of this year and the bankruptcy of Sammi Steel Inc of Korea, the parent company of Atlas Specialty Steels in Welland, there has been tremendous concern about the future of Atlas Specialty Steels. I tell you, and this government should know, that Atlas Specialty Steels is a major employer in regional Niagara and an essential component of Canada's steel manufacturing industry. The loss of Atlas Specialty Steels would be a major blow to the Ontario economy.

Now the Quebec government has moved swiftly to support the Tracy location of a sister plant to Atlas Specialty Steels, yet at the same time both this government of Mike Harris and the federal government have sat on their hands with respect to offering any assistance to ensure the ongoing operation of Atlas Specialty Steels in Welland.

I today call upon this government to respond to the expressions of concern that have been placed before it by myself and by representatives of those almost 900 women and men employed there to act quickly and immediately to get involved in the process to ensure a future for specialty steel manufacturing here in Ontario.

This government has an unfortunate habit of simply shrugging its shoulders and conceding to higher and higher unemployment and greater and greater poverty. I tell you, it's time for this government to act to ensure a future for Atlas Specialty Steels.



Mr Bert Johnson (Perth): It's my pleasure to announce to members of the House that once again the Stratford Shakespearean Festival is up and running. Monday, June 2, marked the official opening of the theatre's 45th season and many honoured guests enjoyed the evening of entertainment, including a fine performance of Camelot.

This momentous occasion is made all the more exciting in the newly renovated Festival Theatre. I'm happy to say the renovations have dramatically improved the theatre. Sight lines and acoustics have been augmented and aisle lights have been added. Downstairs seating width and legroom have been increased, while upstairs the balcony has been equipped with fully reconditioned but original seats.

Congratulations should go out to a number of people, including Richard Monette, the festival artistic director, and Senator Michael Meighen, the president of the board of governors for the festival. Their hard work and dedication to developing a world-class theatre have achieved an enviable goal.

This year the Stratford Festival will be offering theatre-goers the opportunity to see Camelot, The Taming of the Shrew, Romeo and Juliet, Oedipus Rex, Death of a Salesman, Little Women, Filumena, Equus, Richard III, Juno and the Paycock, Coriolanus and Wingfield Unbound.

As always, I encourage members of the Legislature and all others to come to the riding of Perth and share in the excitement of the Stratford Festival.


Mr Rick Bartolucci (Sudbury): I read with some amusement the front page of the Toronto Sun today wherein Premier Mike Harris was urging the unification of the Reform and Tory parties federally.

I wonder, does this mean that Premier Mike Harris supports Mr Manning's views on Quebec -- views, I might say, that would only lead to the destruction of our national unity? They are divisive, they're mean-spirited and they lack compassion. Or does it mean that he supports Mr Charest's efforts to build bridges between the English and the French? Does the Premier now support and endorse those Reform candidates who openly berated visible minorities, or does he support Mr Charest, who, in an article in the Toronto Sun, called Mr Manning a bigot? Does the Premier now think that these two political parties are so similar that they should fly the same banner?

I don't think the finance minister agrees, because in the paper he openly supported Mr Charest on three occasions. One can hardly blame the finance minister, but I wonder about the Tory caucus. Does the Minister of Transportation agree with Mr Manning? Does the minister of consumer and corporate affairs agree with Mr Manning?


Ms Shelley Martel (Sudbury East): Members of the Legislature will know that at midnight Monday night picket lines went up at Inco operations in Sudbury.

Some 4,700 workers in our community are now on strike. This has a serious impact in the Sudbury region. The direct Inco payroll to employees per week is in the order of $5 million. This represents $5 million which would normally circulate in our community to pay for mortgages, food, clothing, gasoline, household goods etc and now will not. This represents a substantial blow to the workers and families in our area.

Over and above that is the impact on contractors and businesses which supply goods and services to Inco. It's estimated that the financial blow to these individuals and businesses is another one third of the $5 million paid out as wages to Inco workers. That results in an additional blow to our community.

Consider that financial loss to families against the profit that Inco made in the past two years. Between 1995-96 and in the first quarter of this year, Inco has made C$500 million in profit. Last fall, both the CEO and the president of Inco received a $500,000 wage increase. But in this contract Inco workers were not offered one penny in across-the-board-wage increases -- not one penny.

The Conservative government and the Minister of Labour cannot ignore the situation. Yesterday, the union contacted the mediation officer and the company to get negotiations under way again. Today, I call on this Minister of Labour to contact Inco and urge the company to get back to the bargaining table. A positive solution can be found, but the company has to be a part of it.


Mr John O'Toole (Durham East): This week I had an opportunity of being part of a telecommunications initiative between Israel and Ontario; more specifically, between Israel and the Durham Board of Education. I'd like to share with members some of the details.

A grade 10 geography class at Port Perry High School, students under the direction of their teacher, Mr Don Farquharson, did a study project this semester in geography. This project paired Port Perry High School students with students enrolled at Yad-Giora High School in Israel and conceived a parallel joint venture project for both students, planning events for both schools.

The final event of the project was a telecommunication link in partnership with IBM Canada where students from both schools presented their research and business plans to each other. This was a very special moment for the students from Port Perry High School, as well as the students from Yad-Giora High School, as it offered each of them the opportunity to exchange information using new technology and to demonstrate how much they have learned about each other's country and their culture through industry development projects.

This was a real example of the global village and the virtual classroom at work today. Dignitaries from both countries assembled at the Durham Board of Education and celebrated with the students the success of this project working together around the world, using the latest of technology.

I think this is one more achievement for the Durham Board of Education.



The Speaker (Hon Chris Stockwell): Minister of Transportation, I ask you to remove the ribbon until I seek unanimous consent, please.

Hon Al Palladini (Minister of Transportation): Thank you, Mr Speaker. Later today I will introduce legislation that targets some of the worst offenders on our roads: drinking drivers, suspended drivers, unsafe trucks, and people who pass stopped school buses.

One third of all fatalities on our roads still involve drinking drivers, and almost 70% of drinking drivers are repeat offenders. Ontarians will not tolerate drinking and driving. To prevent first-time offenders from offending again, they will have to undergo a mandatory education program. Repeat offenders will be assessed and must attend a mandatory treatment program. If they don't, they simply won't get their licence back. It is important to note that the offender, not the taxpayer, will pay for these programs.

As well, suspension periods will increase to three years for a second offender and to life for third-time offenders, which can only be reduced after 10 years if rehabilitation is successfully completed and ignition interlock is installed in the vehicle. Fourth-time offenders will never -- I repeat, never -- get a driver's licence again in Ontario.

As well, drinking-driving convictions will stay on a driver's record for a minimum of 10 years, up from five. If a person driving while under Criminal Code suspension gets caught, the vehicle they are driving at that time will be impounded roadside for 45 days. The suspended driver will face fines ranging from $5,000 to $50,000.

We have in the House representatives from Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the Ontario Community Council on Impaired Driving, Ontario Students Against Impaired Driving and other organizations. Together, today we would like to wear a red ribbon in support of the removal of drinking drivers from our roads.

I would like to acknowledge Margaret Marland, MPP for Mississauga South, and John Baird from Nepean for their support and determination in bringing about these kinds of changes.

As I speak, our enforcement people are taking part in the three-day, North America-wide Roadcheck. They are inspecting vehicles and continue to take trucks and buses off our highways for such major safety defects as faulty brakes or cracked wheel rims.


Now under this new legislation a truck that's found operating with a major safety defect will be immediately impounded for 15 days. That's in addition to the fines, which can go as high was $20,000, and the points that will be added to their commercial vehicle operator's record. This measure is swift, targeted and applies to all trucks regardless of where they are from.

We did not conceive of the roadside suspension program alone. Representatives from government, the truck and bus industry, insurance companies, shippers and our enforcement officers came together and formed the group known as Target '97. Together they came up with a list of measures that will ultimately make our roads safer. The ministry will continue to work with industry to implement Target '97 recommendations.

There were many people involved, but two stand out for their leadership and cooperation. They are David Bradley, president of the Ontario Trucking Association, and Rudi Wycliffe from the Ministry of Transportation. It's people like them who have shown us that industry and government can work together and make things happen.

I said I would return with wheel separation legislation. This bill contains the Wheel Safety Act, word for word. We're getting tougher with the industry by making wheel separation from trucks and buses an absolute liability, an offence that carries a fine ranging from $2,000 to $50,000.

I move on to bus safety. When a school bus is stopped and its red lights are flashing and the stop arm is out, the message to motorists is "Stop." With this legislation we are doubling the fines. Anyone convicted of a first-time offence for failing to stop for a school bus will be fined $400 to $2,000. Repeat offenders will be fined $1,000 to $4,000.

One life lost to a drinking driver is one life too many. One life lost because a truck wasn't properly maintained is one life too many. One child lost because someone passed a school bus when they shouldn't have is one life too many.

It would seem appropriate that during National Transportation Week we would introduce the toughest road safety measures in North America. This government has not worked in isolation to make these changes happen. This truly is a day when I'd like to say thanks and share the credit with a number of people. I would like to thank my former transportation critics, Mike Colle and Gilles Pouliot. We may sit on opposite sides of the House, but they have always recognized and been supportive of the need for safe roads. I am sure our current transportation critics, Dwight Duncan and Gilles Bisson, will be equally supportive in backing the bill so that no more lives are lost.

I want to thank Jill Hutcheon, John Hughes, Mike Weir and the staff at MTO for their ongoing support and hard work behind the scenes on this bill. Last but not least, I would like to thank my cabinet colleagues Bob Runciman, Jim Wilson, Charles Harnick, John Snobelen and Premier Harris for their support in making these changes possible.

It is thanks to your support that I am standing here today with these tough measures, and like you, Mr Speaker, I believe that people in this province are worth it.

The Speaker: The member for Welland-Thorold was seeking unanimous consent -- I'm sorry it took so long; we were just checking with the ruling -- to wear the red ribbons for today. Agreed? Agreed. I just want to say it means the members can wear the ribbons. You can't wear them in the galleries.

Mr Dwight Duncan (Windsor-Walkerville): The official opposition will vote in favour of this bill. We urge the government to bring it forward for second reading tomorrow and we urge the third party to withdraw its opposition day so that we can pass this bill by the end of June.

We are not inclined to wait until the fall. We believe public hearings can be held right away. We'd like to get on with it before the summer season starts. The initiatives around drunk driving are welcome and long overdue, and we support those.

I would like to say that the bill does not address most of the recommendations in Target '97, nor in the Worona inquest. The bill is a beginning. We can support and are prepared to support the provisions in the bill and are prepared to move to second reading tomorrow.

We also urge the government to have public hearings for a few days as quickly as possible. It could be negotiated among our House leaders. Let's pass this bill before the end of June. Let's not wait any longer. The province has been waiting a long time. We'll bring forward amendments to deal with all the issues that were contained in Target '97 that you haven't dealt with in this bill. We look forward to seeing the bill in its full copy.

I think it's only appropriate that my colleague from Essex-Kent, who forced the government to bring forward the bus legislation, has an opportunity to respond as well.

Mr Pat Hoy (Essex-Kent): We welcome this small step towards school bus safety, but we really wonder, if it hadn't been for the public pressure on this safety item, would you have done anything to protect the 810,000 children who ride our buses?

In your bill and in your statement you say you will raise fines, but that is not enough. We know through your staff that you have no intention of levying fines beyond $400 because, as you state, it is a disincentive to the police.

Furthermore, in your statement today you say you will bring absolute liability as it pertains to the truck legislation. But you did not mention vehicle liability as it pertains to school bus safety. Vehicle liability is vicarious liability and we believe it is the only way to protect the children of Ontario as it pertains to school bus safety.

You say it is onerous -- this from a government that has snitch lines, that snoops on WCB claimants and muses about fingerprinting every Ontario citizen. I find it ironic that you feel vehicle liability is such an onerous possibility to save our children here in Ontario.

The 16,000 buses and their drivers that travel our roads daily must have the tools to bring about convictions that will save the lives of children throughout the years to come. The public knows that vehicle liability is the only solution to protect our children here.

I say to the minister that I will support you in this very small step towards protecting our most precious cargo, the children who ride our buses throughout Ontario.

This is not only a rural matter; it is also an urban matter. The incidence of school buses being passed occurs at twice the provincial average here in Metro Toronto as it does in rural Ontario, so the bill has significance for all the citizens, all those parents, all those people who have had their children killed or injured. Far too many have suffered because of a vacuum within the law that doesn't allow the school bus drivers of this province the tools they need to identify those who are flagrantly breaking the law time and time again.

Minister, we will support you in this small step towards protecting the children of Ontario. Will you support Bill 78 to bring about the tools we need to make sure we have convictions? Bill 78 will not go away. Bill 78 is entitled An Act to amend the Highway Traffic Act, and that it will stay. It will stay as long as I can continue to attempt to convince you to protect the children of Ontario.


Mr Howard Hampton (Rainy River): First of all, let me say that we are pleased to finally see the government's legislation in this area. After so much bombast and bafflegab from the minister through the months of February, March, April and May, finally we see some truck safety.

But I have to ask a question. I note he gives credit to some members of the government caucus, but he doesn't refer to the government House leader, Mr Johnson. I hope you have Mr Johnson's support on it this time so that we can get it through the House. Last time you went out in the press and had lots to say without ever conferring with the government House leader. When he told you your legislation was not on, you got yourself into all kinds of problems, so I hope you have the government House leader's support this time.

I have some other questions. I know from my history in government that mandatory education, mandatory alcohol treatment and ignition interlock for repeat drunk drivers was being worked on very feverishly three years ago. What has happened that you're only bringing this forward now? What happened over the last two years? This is work that had been done in the Ministry of the Attorney General and the Ministry of Transportation three years ago. Why did it take you two years to suddenly discover it and bring it forward? I think a lot of people need to have an answer to why it took you so long.

I have a few other questions about this. The Minister of Transportation is saying it may take a while to have this legislation passed. I want to say to the Minister of Transportation that our caucus has a section 125 motion in committee now dealing with truck safety. We'd be willing to waive that section 125 motion so that this can get to committee very early. There's your opportunity, Minister. If you want to get this to committee, if you want to have this legislation passed, we're quite willing to cooperate. Let's see how quickly you're ready to move here.

There are several other problems, however, with what the minister had to say today. The reality of this legislation is that this is legislation that has essentially been produced by the Ontario Trucking Association. There has been no public input up to this point. All those people out in the public who care about truck safety and who care about wheels falling off trucks have been shut out of the consultation process so far. This has been a consultation process strictly between this government and its friends in the trucking industry, its friends at the Ontario Trucking Association. When is the public going to be involved? When are you going to open the doors of democracy and allow the public to be involved in this very important public safety legislation?

Secondly, as I heard the minister speak and as we've had a chance to review what's going on, this government still doesn't realize that transportation trucks are not simply big cars. The minister needs to recognize that we have special rules dealing with trains, that we have special rules dealing with planes in terms of how they're used in transportation. This government still doesn't quite get it in terms of truck safety.

Finally, there are some things in the legislation that we think step back, not ahead. For example, the government says they're going to have self-auditing. If it's a question of self-auditing, we think that's a step back. Self-issuance of oversize permits: The industry is going to issue itself oversize permits. I don't think that's a step ahead. Finally, this government is going to allow longer combination vehicle permits. What does that mean? It means allowing single-axle tractors to pull a second trailer. It means allowing a truck to pull three 28-foot trailers. And this government says that's going to promote truck safety?

This government is trying to advertise this as truck safety, but when you read between the lines, there are a lot of conditions here that will militate against truck safety, will militate against public safety on the highway. We're getting used to that with this government; another spin effort.

There are many things here that need to be examined. Bring the legislation forward and let's get it --

The Speaker: Thank you very much.



Mr Joseph Cordiano (Lawrence): As we fast approach the second anniversary of this government's mandate and of the Common Sense Revolution --

The Speaker (Hon Chris Stockwell): Your question is to?

Mr Cordiano: I have a question for the Deputy Premier. On Monday, the people of Ontario sent a message to you and your government's policies. They said no to your extreme right-wing agenda. Make no mistake, the message was clear. They said no to your Common Sense Revolution. They said no more cuts to seniors, no more cuts to the disabled, but clearly this government hasn't listened, because you slapped on $225 million more in user fees through the drug benefit plan. Your government is forcing some seniors to choose between paying for groceries or paying for drugs. When you talk to seniors, how can you look them in the eye and say you really care about what happens to them?

Hon Ernie L. Eves (Deputy Premier, Minister of Finance): I'd be happy to refer this question to the minister responsible for seniors.

Hon Cameron Jackson (Minister without Portfolio [Seniors Issues]): I would like to advise the member opposite that there has been a considerable amount of consultation going on with seniors in this province. In the pre-budget consultation they indicated their concern for the rising cost of drugs generally in this province, the rising utilization factor. They also understand that in all of North America the lowest cost for low-income seniors for those drug plans is here in Ontario. But the lowest-cost drug plan in North America is also the most costly plan for taxpayers. We spend over $1 billion to maintain this world-class infrastructure for our drug program and that is a considerable cost to taxpayers as well. We believe this program we've implemented is responsible in that regard.

Mr Cordiano: The fact is that things aren't just getting bad for seniors, they're also getting bad for the disabled in this province. You're about to change the definition of "disabled" and cut even more people off. The story is not any better for children and their education. Your cuts to education have been devastating: 25 boards have had to cancel junior kindergarten; 23 boards were forced to reduce special education programs; numerous boards have been forced to cut libraries, transportation and even custodial services; and classroom sizes are getting too large. Our young people are being denied the chance to have a post-secondary education because of huge tuition fee increases. This is the sad state of affairs in Ontario.

Deputy Premier, how can you tell students, parents and teachers that things just got better for them in Ontario as a result of your election on June 8, 1995?

Hon Mr Jackson: Given that the --

Mr Cordiano: I want the Deputy Premier to answer that one.

Hon Mr Jackson: I appreciate that you directed it, but it has been directed. I simply want to mention to the member opposite that if you sit down with the seniors of this province, who made all the necessary contributions to our community and to our province, you will find out that these people made priority settings to ensure they delivered the kinds of programs they wanted for their families: a mortgage, a roof over their heads, food on their table, and saved for a health system. Seniors made those kinds of decisions.

When we inherited this government, with a $100-billion accumulated debt, we did what seniors did during tough times. We set priorities. When we set those priorities, everybody shared, and in the process of sharing, we were able to deliver better quality services at less cost. That's what the seniors did for the last century in this province.

The Speaker: I'll just let the minister responsible for seniors know that you may direct the next question or that question if you like. It doesn't necessarily mean it can be directed just once.


Mr Cordiano: Mr Speaker, he should direct the next question because he's out to lunch. He didn't answer my question. You can't tell students and parents that they haven't been affected by your cuts. None of you can do that. The facts speak for themselves.

Let's go on with this sorry Tory story. Let's talk about your miserable job creation record. The Common Sense Revolution promised 725,000 new jobs. You're 165,000 jobs behind your midterm target. Meanwhile, unemployment is higher, more people are out of work.

The list goes on: cuts to law enforcement, cuts to the environment, to culture, to the north. Then there's the big whopper. Mike Harris said, "It is not my plan to close hospitals," yet everywhere you turn in this province, somehow every community is facing the loss of their community hospital. Ontario has had enough, Deputy Premier.

Minister, when are you going to realize that you and your Common Sense Revolution are leaving behind a very sad legacy in this province?

The Speaker: Minister responsible for seniors.

Hon Mr Jackson: Thank you, Speaker, and thank you for your ruling as well. I'll direct to the Deputy Premier.


The Speaker: Order. Let's be clear: It wasn't a ruling. You had an option. Deputy Premier.

Hon Mr Eves: I thank you for clarifying that point, Speaker.

With respect to employment, the question last asked by the honourable member, I would like to point out to him that in the months of March and April alone there were over 60,000 net new jobs created in Ontario. That's 1,000 jobs a day, net new jobs, created in the province of Ontario.

Seeing as how the honourable member is extrapolating and using numbers which he finds convenient, he also forgot in his preamble to his question to point out that there are more people working in Ontario today than ever before in the province's history. The unemployment rate in the province is indeed coming down. Are we happy with where it is? Absolutely not. But the Ontario economy is performing better than any other economy in Canada, with the possible exception of the province of Alberta. Every private sector forecaster, the Royal Bank, everybody, projects that Ontario will indeed be creating substantial jobs over the next two years. They say a minimum of 300,000 --

The Speaker: Minister of Finance, thank you very much. New question, official opposition.


Mr Gerard Kennedy (York South): My question is also to the Deputy Premier on behalf of the Premier. Seven organizations held a press conference here less than an hour ago. They want to know why your government has taken, unwarranted, $30 million from this province's seniors, and they want that answer from you today. They want to know why.

They question, in the first place, why on July 15 last year you made them start paying user fees on prescription drugs -- 926,000 seniors, many of them at great hardship. That was bad enough. A $100 deductible had to be paid, and hundreds of dollars paid additionally for the individual prescription costs. But then on April 1 of this year, after only eight and a half months, you forced these same seniors to pay again. If you were in business with that kind of activity, it would be called fraudulent behaviour.

Minister, we want to know: How dare you do this to seniors?

The Speaker (Hon Chris Stockwell): Member for York South, I think you crossed the line by accusing the member of fraudulent --

Mr Floyd Laughren (Nickel Belt): It's business talk.

The Speaker: It may be business talk; it's just not parliamentary talk. It's out of order, to the member for York South. You must withdraw.

Mr Kennedy: Mr Speaker, I'm happy to withdraw, because --

The Speaker: Thank you. The question has been put. Deputy Premier.

Hon Ernie L. Eves (Deputy Premier, Minister of Finance): This indeed is a question about seniors and I refer it to the minister responsible for seniors.

Hon Cameron Jackson (Minister without Portfolio [Seniors Issues]): I have informed the member opposite and members in this House on several occasions that when the Ontario drug benefit plan adjustments were discussed they were shared with the citizens of Ontario back in November 1995. The original date set for implementing that was going to be April 1, 1996. We had difficulties -- I've informed members of the House -- getting tax information from the federal government and determining the threshold between low-income seniors and non-low-income seniors. When we were slated to begin on June 1, we had an OPSEU strike in this province, and that's why the date of July 15 was finally set for implementation.

In all the correspondence, if you asked a pharmacy for any information from this government, if you telephoned a ministry hotline, you were informed that the program period would be till April 1.

Mr Kennedy: Well, this is the information sent out by the government. It says July 15 and it says it's good for one year. Here today are seven organizations that didn't want me to direct the question to the minister responsible for seniors because he's not being responsible for seniors. He won't even respond to their letters. They were shocked when they found on April 1, like Iris Johnson did, that they had to pay another $100; $93.73. She was shocked. She almost didn't take a prescription home, thanks to the way you guys are conducting the program.

Minister, they've given you a deadline. By June 18 they want an answer. Will you and your government give back three and a half months' credit to the seniors? You've dipped into their pockets, you've ripped them off. You talked earlier this month about Seniors' Month, about fraudulent financial abuse of the elderly. Will you stop yours? Will you give those three and a half months back to Ontario's seniors?

Hon Mr Jackson: This government consulted widely with seniors. In fact, there were seven different seniors' organizations that met with the Treasurer and myself to discuss issues of concern to seniors. The issue of the copayment and the $2, the lowest in North America, was discussed at that time.

They acknowledge the growing costs associated with the drug plan for the citizens of Ontario. They made a specific request of this government that it sit down with seniors as consumers, sit down with pharmacists who do the dispensing, sit down with physicians who make the decisions about how many prescriptions will be written in this province, and seniors made a legitimate appeal to this government to treat them as consumers at that round table to discuss those solutions.

Yesterday in the House in response to a question we indicated clearly that there are a series of issues which they themselves have expressed as major concerns. But one thing is for sure: Seniors are concerned that they get access to the leading edge drugs and that they have access to those --

The Speaker: Thank you, Minister. Final supplementary, official opposition.

Mr Mario Sergio (Yorkview): Yesterday, with so much fanfare, you announced June is Seniors' Month. I'll just read a couple of short quotes: "It's a time to reflect on the policies and priorities which are implemented on behalf of seniors and the challenges we face as a province," and the effects this will have on our seniors' lives.

Minister, you've already had two opportunities to answer the same questions and I'm going to ask you once again: Will you commit today to the seniors of Ontario to reimburse the three and a half months or make sure that the 12 months in a year -- not eight and a half months -- will commence on July 15 and not April 1, 1998?

Hon Mr Jackson: This government will continue to consult with seniors and we've indicated that very clearly. We've indicated that to the United Senior Citizens and other organizations. This government has made some very important strategic decisions about the health care needs of Ontario citizens, and it invites a very interesting comparison. I recall sitting in opposition when the Liberal minister, then Elinor Caplan --

Mr Dominic Agostino (Hamilton East): You're ripping them off.

The Speaker: Member for Hamilton East, please come to order.

Mr Sergio: Since when does a year have eight and a half months?

The Speaker: Member for Yorkview.

Mr Sergio: You're right.

The Speaker: Thank you. Minister.

Hon Mr Jackson: This government has made a very important decision because it has added 460 new drugs to the Ontario drug formulary, drugs for which in previous years senior citizens were required to go into their own pockets and pay the entire cost and for the cost of dispensing that drug. In fact today in Ontario, by modernizing and updating this system, we are putting drugs on the market as fast as we can for seniors to access at $2 per prescription. I remember when Elinor Caplan held up the formulary for an entire year. There isn't one drug on a waiting list in Ontario and we put 460 new drugs --


The Speaker: New question, leader of the third party.



Mr Howard Hampton (Rainy River): I have a question for the government House leader. It concerns the conflict-of-interest position of this government and the conflict of interest of civil servants who work for this government and their relationship with some of the government's private sector friends.

On April 23 you stood in this House and announced your intention to bring in a lobbyist registration law. You said the law was to include restrictions on senior bureaucrats and political staff moving from government to organizations with which they had had significant dealings within the previous 12 months. Another part was to prohibit people who work on government tenders switching to the other side after the tender is negotiated.

I've got a copy of the May issue of Canadian Casino News. On page 2 it says that the Navegante Group, which runs Casino Niagara, has hired Domenic Alfieri. Mr Alfieri negotiated a contract with them less than eight months ago. Now he's working for them. Where's your legislation --

The Speaker (Hon Chris Stockwell): Minister.

Hon David Johnson (Chair of the Management Board of Cabinet, Government House Leader): We have brought in conflict-of-interest guidelines in addition to lobbyist registration. If there is a case in point, then the matter will be referred and can be referred to the Integrity Commissioner and reviewed.

Certainly the government is most concerned about conflict-of-interest situations. The government has embarked on a series of initiatives to restore some financial integrity to the province to ensure that services are properly delivered, possibly through privatization, through alternative services, but we must ensure the integrity of the system. If the member has some specific information, I'd be happy to receive it and ensure that it's properly pursued.

Mr Hampton: I can already see that we're into situations here where the opposition has to catch the government, but that's not what you said back in April. You said, "Taxpayers have the right to know that dealings undertaken by the government will serve to advance the public interest." You said you were going to introduce legislation to ensure that happens.

Here are the facts, Minister: As of August 1, 1996, Domenic Alfieri signs a contract with Navegante Group Inc, Navegante Corp of Canada, to manage Casino Niagara. The contract is worth, at a minimum, $4 million. On March 31, 1997, Alfieri goes over to be an adviser to the Navegante Group. On April 23 you stand in the Legislature and say you're not going to allow this, that you're going to introduce legislation to stop it.

Minister, where is your legislation to stop these kinds of conflicts to ensure the public interest is protected?

Hon David Johnson: We are very concerned that the public interest be protected. The member opposite has indicated a particular individual, and I'm not going to get into particular cases here, and has quoted the date of March and indicated that I stood in this House in April and that the government is in the process of bringing in conflict-of-interest guidelines, lobbyist registration.

It is certainly our intent that they be enforced as of this point in time. It sounds as if the information the member is bringing forward is before April, pertains to a date in March, but I'd be very happy to see the information he has and have it investigated and simply determine if there has been any sort of conflict, any wrongdoing, any impropriety and that the public interest be protected.

Mr Hampton: You stood in this Legislature and you didn't talk about guidelines. You talked about legislation that was going to protect the public interest, that was going to ensure that people who work in your government and work out deals with the private sector can't then go over to that private sector corporation, into a sweeter environment. That's what you said: legislation.

Minister, this is the crux of the problem: Your government has also set up an extensive privatization process; many government services, including some right here in the Legislature, have already been privatized, yet these privatizations have gone ahead without any safeguards in terms of conflict of interest or in terms of protecting the public interest. The question is, how can taxpayers be sure they're really getting the best deal? How can we be sure you aren't working out sweetheart deals with some of your friends in the private sector?

The Speaker: The question, please.

Mr Hampton: How can we be sure that political staffers and civil servants who work out these privatization deals aren't then going to go over to the private sector and benefit from them? Where is your legislation to protect the public interest, and if you bring it in, is it going to be --

The Speaker: Thank you very much. Government House leader.

Hon David Johnson: I am informed that the Ontario Casino Corp is not involved with the RFP for charity gaming clubs and that the individual involved, who was mentioned, apparently, by the leader of the third party, had no involvement with the RFP released by the GCC.

However, the main message I want to convey is that this government has taken this whole situation seriously. This government is going to bring forward legislation with regard to lobbyist registration. This government is bringing forward guidelines with regard to conflict of interest. This government has set up the Integrity Commissioner to review these cases, to ensure a transparency in this whole process, to ensure that there are no improprieties, to assure the public that there's no wrongdoing.

Did the previous government do this? Did they bring in any guidelines? Absolutely not. Did the Liberal government, when they had an opportunity, bring in any guidelines? Absolutely not. This government has taken it seriously. This government is proceeding in that direction.

The Speaker: New question.

Mr Hampton: I have a question to the Minister of Labour on a similar matter. But I would say to the government House leader, I guess we're going to see the legislation after your sweetheart deals with your private sector friends have all been worked out.


Mr Howard Hampton (Rainy River): To the Minister of Labour, my question concerns democracy and respect for democratic processes and respect for independent quasi-tribunals and the fact that you are now packing the Workers' Compensation Appeal Tribunal with people who know nothing about workers' compensation but who are generous contributors to the Conservative Party.

We understand that you are firing Ron Ellis, the chair of the Workers' Compensation Appeals Tribunal, because he objects to your appointments. He objects to replacing people who know something about workers' compensation with partisan Conservative hacks who know nothing about workers' compensation.

The Speaker (Hon Chris Stockwell): The question, please.

Mr Hampton: How can people have confidence in fair decisions from quasi-judicial tribunals like WCAT when you are packing them with partisan --

The Speaker: Thank you very much. Minister?

Hon Elizabeth Witmer (Minister of Labour): I would simply say that Mr Ellis has had an opportunity to serve the tribunal now since its inception. He is to be commended for the work he has done. As in any other organization, there comes a time for change, and it was mutually decided that Mr Ellis would be replaced by a very competent individual who has also been there since the start.

Mr Hampton: The minister tries to ignore the question and tries to spin off in some other direction. The fact of the matter is, Ron Ellis is being moved out because he disagreed with your attempts to pack a quasi-judicial independent tribunal with partisan political appointments who know nothing about workers' compensation.

Let me give you an example. One of the people you have announced you are appointing is a Kenneth Dechert of Ancaster. Listen to his qualifications that you list: He is a lawyer. He was a crown prosecutor in the past. He is a past president and member of the Hamilton Men Teachers' Choir. He's a past secretary of the Rotary Club of Hamilton. What you didn't mention is that he is a generous financial contributor to the Conservative Party. Nowhere does he have any knowledge, any experience, any background in the Workers' Compensation Appeals Tribunal.


The Speaker: Question, please.

Mr Hampton: Would you tell us, how are people going to get fair decisions from partisan political appointments who know nothing about the field of injured workers, job injuries --

The Speaker: Thank you very much. Minister of Labour.

Hon Mrs Witmer: I feel very confident that the appointments we are making are individuals who are able to make decisions regarding appeals that come to that tribunal. I would just say to you that all of these individuals have a respect for injured workers. They will understand the system and they're going to be able to make decisions. As decisions have been made in the past, they will continue to be made by looking at all of the circumstances surrounding the situation.

Mr Hampton: The minister can try to put a positive spin on this. The reality is --


The Speaker: Who was up? Leader of the third party.

Mr Hampton: I want to say thank you to the Clerk's table for helping the Speaker out here.

Minister, I don't think you understand the gravity of the situation. In a democratic society, courts and quasi-judicial tribunals that behave like courts have to be independent. If democracy is going to work, these bodies have to be independent. They have to be able to make fair decisions without political influence.

You are packing this body, which is like an appeals court, with partisan political appointments who know nothing about the subject area of workers' compensation. This strikes at the heart of democracy. It strikes at the heart of fair decision-making. It strikes, frankly, at the heart of the whole judicial process.

What are you going to do to ensure that we have fair judicial processes, that democratic process is respected and that democracy is respected in terms of how these decisions are reached?

Hon Mrs Witmer: Let me take this opportunity to again commend Mr Ellis for his years of service to WCAT. Let me also take this opportunity to indicate that his replacement has 12 years of dedicated service to the tribunal. I certainly have every confidence that the individuals we are appointing to WCAT are eminently qualified to make the decisions that are necessary and to take on those responsibilities. I think your problem is that you were so used to making political appointments when you were in office, now you're questioning everything we do.


Mrs Sandra Pupatello (Windsor-Sandwich): My question is for the Minister of Community and Social Services. Tomorrow you'll be introducing legislation which will change the way social services will be delivered across Ontario. So far your performance in dealing with people who need help has been less than stellar. In the Common Sense Revolution, you clearly stated, "Aid for...the disabled will not be cut." I'd like you to make one promise today. Could you please stand in the House and say that not one person with a disability will be cut?

Hon Janet Ecker (Minister of Community and Social Services): First of all, the honourable member may wish to check her facts. I'm not introducing legislation tomorrow. Second, all those who are eligible for disability support in this province get that support now and will continue to get that support in the future.

Mrs Pupatello: The Common Sense Revolution said, "Aid for...the disabled will not be cut." Your predecessor, the minister sitting next to you, will remember well when you made massive cuts to the system last year. When you realized, after we pointed it out to you, that thousands of those with disabilities were also cut, your minister stood in the House and had to apologize because he had made such a grave error. We all remember that, as do those with disabilities.

Minister, we know you're busy drafting this legislation. We anticipate that it's coming in very soon. We would like you to make one promise in the House today, and that one promise is simple: that not one person with a disability will be cut. Will you please make that promise today?

Hon Mrs Ecker: First of all, people who are eligible for disability support in this province get it today; they will get it in the future. That has not changed. What we are proposing to change is a system that prevents people with disabilities from achieving what they want to achieve. We have a system that has arbitrary rules that force people with disabilities to be reassessed constantly, whether they need it or not. We have a system that wastes money on administration, when they should be taking that money --

Mrs Pupatello: You cut them off last year, Minister.


The Speaker (Hon Chris Stockwell): Members for Windsor-Sandwich, Kingston and The Islands, and Hamilton East, come to order. I'm warning you, and I'm not going to warn you again.

Hon Mrs Ecker: With all due respect to the honourable member, I know she has only had one briefing from my officials in the ministry. I'm very well prepared to continue that briefing process. It might be of assistance during this discussion.

Under the current program, people with disabilities are right now forced to rely on welfare. That program does not work very well for someone who needs income support perhaps for the rest of their life. We've been listening to what people with disabilities have been saying. They've been saying it for many years. Unfortunately, that party when it was in government did not respond; neither did that one. We are going to be doing what they have recommended to us needs to be done.

The Speaker: New question; third party.

Ms Frances Lankin (Beaches-Woodbine): My question is to the same minister and it follows on this issue.


Mrs Pupatello: They won't be happy with that back home, fellas.

Mr Garry J. Guzzo (Ottawa-Rideau): Remarks in Italian.

Mrs Pupatello: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I would suggest that members of the House use the English language. If it's going to be addressed to me in another language, I don't think it's appropriate in this House.

Mr Gerry Phillips (Scarborough-Agincourt): French or English.

Mrs Pupatello: English or French, but Italian is not allowed.


The Speaker: Order, please. The member for Windsor-Sandwich is correct: It is English or French; Italian isn't allowed. I didn't hear what the member said, but --

Mrs Lyn McLeod (Fort William): It was out or order in any language.


The Speaker: Agreed, and even if I did hear what he said, I'm not sure I would know what he said. All I can ask the members opposite -- and I know it was the member for Ottawa --

Mrs Pupatello: Just ask him to withdraw it, Speaker, please.

The Speaker: Member for Windsor-Sandwich, I appreciate it. I can only say to you, I don't know what the member for Ottawa-Rideau said. I could ask him to speak only in English and French. If he said anything inappropriate, I ask him to withdraw it if he likes.

Mr Guzzo: I meant it as a compliment, but if the member finds it offensive, I'm happy to withdraw it.

The Speaker: Thank you. New question.

Ms Lankin: My question is to the Minister of Community and Social Services and it follows on the previous question. Minister, I understand the arguments you've put forward already about establishing a new program and I essentially agree with those. What I would like to talk to you about, though, is the definition of "disability" and who will become eligible, because that's what disabled people are concerned about right now.

About 140,000, or 80% of those who are currently on family benefits, are --


The Speaker: Member for Beaches-Woodbine, just a moment. I'd ask the members to come to order. The member for Ottawa-Rideau, I don't know what you said, but I've got to say that if it wasn't parliamentary I'll report back, because I don't think it's necessary to say things that are out of order. You say it's a compliment. Well, if I find out what it is, I'll come back and ask you to withdraw it at that time. I give the member for Windsor-Sandwich that undertaking. Member for Beaches-Woodbine, you can start again.

Ms Lankin: I'm going to try one more time to get through this question. Minister, the concern is, under your new program, the definition of "disability" and the criteria for eligibility for that, because members of the public who are persons with disability are very concerned that those who currently qualify or those who have similar disabilities to those who currently qualify will be excluded in the future. We're talking currently about 140,000 people, or 80% of the family benefits caseload.

Today there was a press conference and people who deal with those in poverty and those on social assistance have raised these concerns and they've raised examples. There was a woman who talked about her heart and lung problems and how she has worked for over 30 years and she thinks she could be the type of person who would be forced off. She says: "If I was forced off FBA on to GWA, I could only participate in workfare on the days when my breathing was not too bad and my heart was not acting up. Who decides that?" -- this is the critical question -- "And would I still be eligible for assistance?" What is the answer to that question, Minister?

Hon Mrs Ecker: To the honourable member, I appreciate her concern and if she's relying on the information that was released, as I understand it, at the press conference this morning, I can understand why she would be concerned. Unfortunately, and I did advise them of this last week, they may wish to check their information. They're wrong on the definition they're saying we're using; it's one we threw out last year. They're wrong on the numbers they are using and they're also wrong on what we intend to do.

Specifically, the answer to the question the honourable member has asked as to who should make these decisions, the people who should make these decisions are qualified professionals who understand the needs of those with disabilities. What they need is a program that will allow people with disabilities to have the support they need, and those who can and want to and are able to work also need the supports in order to get jobs and to keep jobs. That's another very clear message we've heard from groups representing the disabled.

Ms Lankin: Minister, I would agree with you that is the message we've heard. Here's the rub in all of this: At this time there are people who would have been determined to be eligible for disability benefits in the past who are currently being rejected, before you've even changed any eligibility rules.

We have examples of people in the Durham area, and I want to quote from your report to Durham council where it says, "There appears to be a very concerted effort by provincial government to reduce as many people from disability pension, Gains-D, as possible." They talk about how the new process will have minimal investigation, and completed applications will be handled by mail -- no human contact; not the kind of response you're talking about, about those dedicated, qualified individuals.

It appears that the government is already tightening up eligibility to disqualify people who would have been eligible for disability benefits. There are no jobs out there for these people to go to. The supports you're talking about are not in place. Minister, what are these people to do? Will you look into this allegation that you are already tightening up eligibility criteria?

Hon Mrs Ecker: With all due respect to the honourable member, if the author of that particular report she's referring to paid more attention to what the government is actually doing instead of making those inaccurate and wrong, highly misleading and, I would suggest, inflammatory comments in that report, he may well be serving the people he is supposed to be helping a little better than what he appears to be doing in making those allegations, as he did some time ago. It's a very old report.

The member is quite right that there are jobs that people with disabilities cannot get because they don't have the supports they need to get the jobs and to keep the jobs. That's one of the reasons we are bringing in a new employment supports program for people with disabilities, so they can indeed do that.

The honourable member is right. They have clearly said this time and time again to her previous government, to that government, to our government. We intend to act on that because we believe that people with disabilities are capable of achieving much more. What they need are the supports from the government in order to be able to do that.

The Speaker: I would ask the member for Ottawa-Rideau: I've had three interpretations of what you said. I don't know how anyone could consider that a compliment and I would ask that you stand and withdraw, please.

Mr Guzzo: I have withdrawn, thank you, and I'll take the opportunity to do it again.


Mrs Lillian Ross (Hamilton West): My question is to the Minister of Environment and Energy. Minister, recently you came to Hamilton and met with several people in my community and we talked about environmental issues. It was a good opportunity for us to talk about sustainable development and to emphasize to you how hard we've worked in our community towards sustainable development and the fact that we are one of only 10 communities across the world, to be recognized in Vision 2020 as a sustainable community.

We talked a lot about air quality as well. Minister, yesterday you were in Windsor and made an announcement about a student-led air quality project for students across the schools in Ontario. I wonder if you could tell this House a little bit about that initiative.

Hon Norman W. Sterling (Minister of Environment and Energy): Yesterday I met with some very bright young students from Riverside high school in Windsor. We are putting forward a brand-new program called Partners in Air. Starting this fall, the program allows high school students to monitor local air, take tests and put the results on their own Internet Web site.

Partners in Air represents a real breakthrough in getting public involvement in this part of the environment. This initiative will encourage high schools to develop scientific and environmental solutions. Guidelines will be provided to ensure consistency in the way information is collected.

Through Partners in Air, students will be learning about smog, its effects, and how to address those problems. Partners in Air will augment data which the Ministry of Environment already collects. Partners in Air is expected to be in as many as 15 high schools across this province by this fall.

Mrs Ross: The minister is correct: Students are keenly interested in the environment. As a matter of fact, I would say that students today are more interested in the environment than they were many years ago.

I think this is an exciting program. I hope schools in my community will take part in this project and I encourage them to do so.

I understand also that the private sector will be involved in this program. I wonder if you could please give us more information on this project.


Hon Mr Sterling: I'm amazed by the reaction of the opposition, not wanting to get young people involved in the whole issue of air quality in their own community.

The Speaker (Hon Chris Stockwell): Hold on. Let's let the minister get his response in, please.

Hon Mr Sterling: Right now we have been meeting with a number of private sector sponsors who would love to get involved in this program and help pay for this program, help pay for some of the testing which is required as a result of the students collecting samples. The reason this problem involves industrial partners is to ensure its long-term sustainability as well as making certain that the program becomes widely known throughout the community, where many of these corporate sponsors already are involved in business.

I believe that this particular program is a unique partnership between our education system, the teachers who are very enthusiastic about it, the young students who are quite anxious to learn about this, put their results on the Internet, and of course the citizens of these communities. I believe it's a real win-win situation for everyone.



Mr Richard Patten (Ottawa Centre): My question is for the Minister of Labour. It relates to the introduction of the bill you brought in yesterday that will make sweeping changes to the way disputes are resolved in this province.

You said, "By creating greater incentives for the parties to settle disputes themselves, this new process will protect taxpayers against unnecessary disruptions of public services...." I ask, incentives for whom? Is this going to be incentives for all parties? I suggest to you that the incentives will be there for the administrators, they'll be there for those who are running the school boards, they'll be there for the municipalities, but at the expense of the employer groups.

You haven't consulted widely with all the stakeholders in this. If you had, you might have received some different suggestions and some different ways of tackling this. Your government has created chaos and now you provide a mechanism to try not to deal with it. Will you consult with those groups before you implement the legislation? If you have already, please name some of them.

Hon Elizabeth Witmer (Minister of Labour): Yes, we introduced new legislation yesterday which is going to facilitate restructuring as it takes place in the next few years in the public sector: the hospitals, the municipalities and the school boards.

As we drafted the legislation, we had an opportunity for consultation. We consulted with the construction industry and we determined that any of the issues relating to the construction industry would be referred to them so that they could determine their own outcomes.

We have also had an opportunity on two occasions to meet with CUPE. We were well aware of the fact that they did not want us to strip collective agreements, to override agreements. They indicated they did not want the elimination of successor rights; they did not want to make sure that contracting out would be a possibility. You can see in the legislation we introduced that we did respond.

There is no override of any collective agreement; there is no stripping of any collective agreement; we did not eliminate anybody's successor rights; and we have not made possible contracting out. What we have here is a process that still encourages and enables the parties to negotiate the first contract after amalgamation.

Mr Patten: But you have stripped them of that, because only one party out of two has the right to call jeopardy, or whatever the term is that you want to use. Then they go before arbitration and they're stuck with those decisions.

There's a pattern here. We've got hospital restructuring, we've got the so-called Education Improvement Commission, we've got commissions for the municipalities, and all these commissions are arbitrary bodies, people who were not elected, people who were appointed by your government. Their decisions are supposedly final. They are not accountable in any particular way. These are bodies that will make judgements on elected representatives, be they trustees, municipally elected councillors etc. You're telling me this is going to encourage people to resolve situations in an amicable way.

I ask you: Will you commit yourself to full hearings on this legislation so we can hear from the over 700,000 people in this province who will be affected by this piece of legislation?

Hon Mrs Witmer: I have a tremendous amount of confidence in people in the province who are going to be involved in these negotiations. If you take a look at the past couple of years, there were dire predictions that there would be numerous strikes. We have not seen that materialize. I believe that people in this province, whether it's employers or employees, are basically committed to working out the differences and determining their own outcomes.

Yes, I commit to you that there will be full public hearings. We will travel the province, we will be in Toronto and we will listen.


The Speaker (Hon Chris Stockwell): I'd just like to take this opportunity to introduce in the Speaker's gallery the previous member for Willowdale, Mr Gino Matrundola. Welcome.


Mr Bud Wildman (Algoma): I have a question for the minister responsible for native affairs. As the minister is aware, later today in this House we will be debating a New Democratic Party motion that takes notes of the widespread concerns in the province about the events leading to the tragic death of Dudley George at Ipperwash Provincial Park in September 1995.

We know this isn't a partisan issue. We know there are a lot of questions that members of this House, not just members of this party or the Liberal Party but also of the government party, want answered and that many people across the province want answered. Will the government allow all members, Conservative MPPs as well as obviously opposition members, a free vote on the resolution this afternoon to be able to vote their conscience after hearing the debate?

Hon Charles Harnick (Attorney General, minister responsible for native affairs): I would agree with the member opposite that the incident at Ipperwash was a tragedy. The government has been clear in the answers we've given dealing with issues that have been raised in this Legislature in terms of court cases that are presently pending before courts. We think that making any decisions while those situations exist would be premature and wrong, and certainly it is the way of this party and has been since I've been sitting here, to be able to vote as we like on these issues, and I'm sure that will continue today.

Mr Wildman: I'm glad to hear that. This motion, as it is worded, does not criticize the government. It is not a matter of confidence. It relates to the concern of many MPPs that there be genuine debate in this House about issues that are really important to the people of the province. We know that many people on the Conservative side of the House as well as the opposition side desire to see the full truth come out of the events at Ipperwash and that we want a public inquiry into those events.

It seems like a perfect opportunity for a free vote, where members can put their position on the record and not simply follow party lines in this House. Will the minister declare categorically now that today's vote on the motion dealing with the events at Ipperwash is a free vote without any effort to whip Conservative members to follow a government line?

Hon Mr Harnick: As I indicated a moment ago, it would be premature to make decisions about matters that continue to be before the courts. As the motion relates to making determinations in that regard, I would say that's wrong. Certainly that will guide me in the way I vote, and I think others should consider that as well. It's quite obvious that cases continue to be before courts and those cases should be completed.



Mr Toby Barrett (Norfolk): My question is for the Minister without Portfolio responsible for privatization. On April 28 this year you announced the Ontario privatization review framework and the first government entities or services to be reviewed under that framework. One of the first candidates is the St Williams Tree Nursery, located in my riding of Norfolk.

St Williams Tree Nursery was established in 1908. It was the first nursery to be established in the province and has stood as a monument to soil conservation and reforestation. It is the birthplace of more than a quarter of a billion trees. Given its long history, the future of the nursery is of obvious interest to the local community, to farmers, tree planters and land owners across southern Ontario.

Minister, would you please indicate the purpose of the review and the process by which the St Williams Tree Nursery will be reviewed?

Hon Rob Sampson (Minister without Portfolio [Privatization]): We certainly understand the history of the St Williams Tree Nursery. Indeed, it was one of the three tree nurseries we announced we would want to consider whether there are ways in which the private sector could help us operate those nurseries more effectively and more efficiently on behalf of Ontarians, whether those Ontarians be in the Norfolk area or whether they be in other parts of this province.

We elected to introduce the tree nurseries, St Williams being one of them, to the process, the first part of the process being a very careful review of the options and alternatives that we have available to us to introduce private sector processes to make these operations more efficient.

In fact, the St Williams Tree Nursery is about to undergo that first part of the process where consultants will be hired to provide us with that assistance. Of course, we intend to defer making any decisions on the St Williams Tree Nursery, as with any other candidates, until we have completed that assessment of the options and understand what those options are.

Mr Barrett: Thank you, Minister, for your response and the opportunity for local people to have their say. Our local community has been holding discussions over the past year and I have had the privilege of meeting with many people in my riding about the nursery. In fact, our Minister of Natural Resources met with several key stakeholders recently during a visit to Simcoe and was able to personally visit the nursery.

The minister's announcement of the privatization framework outlined various components of the privatization process. One of these is public consultation. Given the public interest related to the St Williams nursery, I wonder if the minister could provide some detail on how my constituents may further make their views known regarding this particular nursery.

Hon Mr Sampson: Indeed, we believe it's important for us in assessing the options to hear the views and opinions of a number of Ontarians who would be affected by a privatization initiative. In fact the CEO of the privatization secretariat and the Deputy Minister of Natural Resources will be hosting a public meeting in St Williams to discuss how those options could help that particular nursery get more involved with the private sector to deliver that particular nursery product on a more efficient and more effective basis.

We believe public input is indeed a crucial part of the process. That's why we have dialled it into our framework as we have. I would like to encourage the honourable member and his constituents and other Ontarians to participate in that process, to help us make the right decisions for Ontarians.


Mr Frank Miclash (Kenora): My question is directed to the minister responsible for the promotion of Ontario tourism. In my hand here I have a poster which is produced by your ministry and it promotes what they call 49 of the biggest, tallest, longest, most exciting things that together make us unique. It's got Ontario, Canada, and our symbol on the poster.

Minister, when I looked at the poster, I looked at number 18. It was the Lake of the Woods Regatta in Kenora. I looked at 26, Old Fort William in Thunder Bay, and 33, Casa Loma here in Toronto. But when I got to number 8, I was a little bit perplexed. It was the Museum of Civilization, located as number 8.

Can the minister tell me where this museum is located please?

Hon William Saunderson (Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism): In response to the question, we're very proud of what we are putting out in the ministry regarding tourism.

Mr Miclash: Answer the question.

Hon Mr Saunderson: I am very happy to say that next week in Ontario we are going to be making an announcement about Tourism Awareness Week, which starts next Monday and will run for a complete week.

I think it's important that we make people aware, just as we have in that publication, that there are so many good things about Ontario tourism. But the main thing is, we want people in Ontario to partake of this initiative next week, so we are very encouraged that that brochure has been received by that member -- and read, I might say. It makes us feel better about that. We're very encouraged about Tourism Awareness Week.

Mr Miclash: Minister, I must tell you that the museum is located in the province of Quebec, in Hull, and promoted here: "Ontario, Yours to Discover." I went through the brochure a little bit further and I found a 1-800 number. I thought I'd phone up that 1-800 number and ask them a little bit about resorts in northwestern Ontario. I asked them about five or six resorts. They did not know where one of those resorts was located, yet they could tell me that the museum was located in Hull, Quebec. When I went on to ask the operator why he would not know about our resorts in northwestern Ontario, he advised me that they hadn't paid their $200 or $250 to be registered.

I want to know, has the museum paid its $200 or $250 to be registered on that hotline, and will you commit to this House today to let every tourist operator know how they can become part of your 1-800-ONTARIO number, not just those promotions in Hull, Quebec, but every single one here in Ontario?

Hon Mr Saunderson: As the member is probably aware, we decided that the best way to make information available to people who wish to avail themselves of tourism facilities in Ontario, such as resorts or other facilities, was to have the private sector participate. Accordingly, Bell Canada has taken on that responsibility and looks after that 1-800 line now instead of the government doing it.


The Speaker: Order.


The Speaker: Order, order, order, order, order. That was five orders. We've got 30 seconds left. Let's allow the minister to finish. Minister.

Hon Mr Saunderson: Thank you very much, because this is important information. Not like the previous two governments, we are now allowing the private sector to be very much a part of this government. Therefore the private sector is now looking after tourist information and tourist reservation information, and I think that's a very good step. It is saving approximately $10 million over the next three years. They don't understand that over there. But as long as a tourist destination or a facility wishes to be --

The Speaker: Thank you.

Mr Miclash: Look at that, Minister. "Ontario, Yours to Discover." Have you seen it yet? It is called "Ontario, Yours to Discover": Hull, Quebec.

The Speaker: Member for Kenora, thank you.



Mr James J. Bradley (St Catharines): My petition reads as follows:

"Whereas prior to the Mike Harris government's introduction of the Ontario drug benefit plan on June 15, 1996" --

The Acting Speaker (Ms Marilyn Churley): Take your seat just for a moment. Could I have order, please. Would the members come to order. If you're leaving to have conversations, please do so. Order, please. Member for St Catharines.

Mr Bradley: I'll try again.

"Whereas the people of Ontario want rigorous discussion on legislation dealing with public policy issues like health care, education and care for seniors; and

"Whereas many people in Ontario believe that the Mike Harris government is moving too quickly and recklessly, creating havoc with the provision of quality health care, quality education, and adversely affecting seniors; and

"Whereas the Mike Harris government now wishes to change the rules of the Ontario Legislature, which would allow the government to ram through legislation more quickly and have less accountability to the public and the media through exercises such as question period; and

"Whereas Mike Harris and Ernie Eves, when they were in opposition, defended the rights of the opposition and used the rules to their full advantage when they believed it was necessary to slow down the passage of controversial legislation; and

"Whereas the Mike Harris government now wishes to reduce the amount of time that MPPs will have to debate the important issues of the day; and

"Whereas the Mike Harris government, through its proposed rule changes, is attempting to diminish the role of elected members of the Legislative Assembly who are accountable to the people to elect them, and instead concentrate power in the Premier's office in the hands of people who are not elected officials;

"We, the undersigned, call upon Mike Harris to abandon these proposed draconian rule changes and restore rules which promote rigorous debate on contentious issues and hold the government accountable to the people of Ontario."

I affix my signature, as I'm in full agreement with the sentiments of this petition.



Mr David Christopherson (Hamilton Centre): I have a petition forwarded to me by Karen Rabideau, who is the worker co-chair of the health and safety committee of Local 93B of the Glass Molders, Pottery, Plastics and Allied Workers in Wallaceburg. The petition reads as follows:

"To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

"Whereas the Harris government has begun a process to open the Occupational Health and Safety Act of Ontario; and

"Whereas this act is the single most important piece of legislation for working people since it is designed to protect our lives, safety and health while at work and allow us to return home to our families in the same condition in which we left; and

"Whereas the government has made it clear that they intend to water down the act and weaken the rights of workers under the law, including the right to know, the right to participate and especially the right to refuse unsafe work; and

"Whereas this government has already watered down proper training of certified committee members;

"We, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario not to alter the Occupational Health and Safety Act or erode the rights of workers any further and ensure strict enforcement of the legislation."

I add my name to theirs.


Mr Toby Barrett (Norfolk): I present a petition to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario concerning drinking and driving.

"Whereas drinking and driving is the largest criminal cause of death and injury in Canada;

"Whereas every 45 minutes in Ontario a driver is involved in an alcohol-related crash;

"Whereas most alcohol-related accidents are caused by repeat offenders;

"Whereas lengthy licence suspensions for impaired driving have been shown to greatly reduce repeat offences;

"Whereas the victims of impaired drivers often pay with their lives while only 22% of convicted impaired drivers go to jail and even then for an average of 21 days;

"We, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as follows:

"We urge the provincial government to pass legislation that will strengthen measures against impaired drivers in Ontario."

I support this petition and have therefore signed it.


Mr Monte Kwinter (Wilson Heights): I have a petition to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

"Whereas the final report of the Metropolitan Toronto District Health Council hospital restructuring committee has recommended that North York Branson Hospital merge with York-Finch hospital; and

"Whereas this recommendation will remove emergency and inpatient services currently provided by North York Branson Hospital, which will seriously jeopardize medical care and the quality of health for the growing population which the hospital serves, many being elderly people who in numerous cases require treatment for life-threatening medical conditions;

"We petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to reject the recommendation contained within the final report of the Metropolitan Toronto District Health Council hospital restructuring committee as it pertains to North York Branson Hospital, so that it retains, at minimum, emergency and inpatient services."

I have affixed my signature.


Mr David Christopherson (Hamilton Centre): I have petitions forwarded to me by Buzz Hargrove, president of the Canadian Auto Workers. These are petitions signed by members of the Canadian Auto Workers from London, Cambridge, Hamilton, Toronto and Mississauga.

"To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

"Whereas workers' health and safety must be protected in the province of Ontario, especially the right to refuse work which is likely to endanger a worker, the right to know about workplace hazards and the right to participate in joint health and safety committees; and

"Whereas the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations help protect workers' health and safety and workers' rights in this area; and

"Whereas the government's discussion paper, a Review of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, threatens workers' health and safety by proposing to deregulate the existing act and regulations to reduce or eliminate workers' health and safety rights and to reduce enforcement of health and safety laws by the Ministry of Labour; and

"Whereas workers must have a full opportunity to be heard about this proposed drastic erosion in their present protections from injury and occupational diseases;

"Therefore we, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to oppose any attempt to erode the present provisions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations.

"Further, we, the undersigned, demand that public hearings on the discussion paper be held in at least 20 communities throughout Ontario."

I proudly add my name to theirs.


Mrs Helen Johns (Huron): I have a petition here professing:

"Our world belongs to God, and believing that governments are called to secure justice for all with prejudice towards none and with compassion for the weak and powerless, and believing that VLTs are highly addictive, their wide and easy accessibility encourages broad participation, VLTs are user-friendly, and since computers appeal to the young, it stands to reason that VLTs will sucker-punch especially upcoming generations. VLTs feed the hunger of quick-fix solutions to complex problems. Acting like financial vacuum cleaners, VLTs indiscriminately suck up disposable earnings of those who cannot afford to play the casinos. VLTs do not lead to honest work.

We, the undersigned, urge you to oppose and resist the spread of gambling into the area of Huron."


Mrs Lyn McLeod (Fort William): "Whereas Bill 104, the Fewer School Boards Act, is a threat to our education system;

"Whereas the Education Improvement Commission has far-reaching and unprecedented powers;

"Whereas outsourcing of non-instructional jobs such as school and administrative secretaries, custodians, library technicians and educational assistants will result in chaos and poor service and limited savings, if any;

"We, the residents of Ontario, therefore petition the Legislative Assembly to repeal Bill 104, to limit the powers of the Education Improvement Commission and to guarantee successor rights for non-instructional jobs."

I have affixed my signature in full support of the sentiments.


Mr David Christopherson (Hamilton Centre): I have a petition forwarded to me by the United Food and Commercial Workers and signed by a couple of hundred of their members from across Ontario. It reads as follows:

"To save workers' compensation.

"To Premier Harris and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

"Whereas we, the undersigned, oppose your government's plan to dismantle the workers' compensation system including reducing benefits; excluding claims for repetitive strain injuries, muscle injuries, strains, sprains, stress, harassment and most occupational diseases; eliminating pension supplements; handing over control of our claims to our employers for the first four to six weeks after injury; privatizing WCB to large insurance companies; integrating sick benefits into WCB; eliminating or restricting the Workers' Compensation Appeals Tribunal, WCAT, including eliminating worker representation on the board and eliminating the bipartite WCB board of directors;

"Therefore, we, the undersigned, demand a safe workplace, compensation if we are injured, no reduction in benefits, improved re-employment and vocational rehabilitation, an independent appeal structure with worker representation, access to the office of the worker adviser, and that the WCAT be left intact and that the WCB bipartite board of directors be reinstated."

I add my name to theirs in support.


Mr Tony Ruprecht (Parkdale): I keep getting petitions about our current child care crisis in Ontario. This petition reads as follows:

"Whereas the Ontario Tory government has decided to replace our current child care system with one that lacks compassion and common sense and is fraught with many dangerous consequences; and

"Whereas the concept of affordable, accessible and quality child care is a basic, important, fundamental right for many members of our community who are either unemployed and enrolled into a training program or are working single parents or where both parents are working; and

"Whereas if our present provincial government is sincere in getting people back to work, they should recognize the value of the child care component of the Jobs Ontario program and acknowledge the validity of the wage subsidy to the child care workers;

"Therefore, we, the undersigned residents, business owners and child care workers of our Parkdale and High Park communities, urge the Progressive Conservative government of Ontario to immediately suspend their plans to implement cuts to our present child care programs across our province, and restore funding to their previous levels."

I've affixed my signature to this document.



Mr David Christopherson (Hamilton Centre): I have a petition forwarded to me by members of the United Steelworkers of America, CUPE and OPSEU. The petition reads as follows:

"To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

"Whereas it is vital that occupational health and safety services provided to workers be conducted by organizations in which workers have faith; and

"Whereas the Workers' Health and Safety Centre and the occupational health clinics for Ontario workers have provided such services on behalf of workers for many years; and

"Whereas the centre and clinics have made a significant contribution to improvements in workplace health and safety and the reduction of injuries, illnesses and death caused by work;

"We, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to oppose any attempt to erode the structure, services or funding of the Workers' Health and Safety Centre and the occupational health clinics for Ontario workers.

"Further, we, the undersigned, demand that the education and training of Ontario workers continue in its present form through the Workers' Health and Safety Centre and that professional and technical expertise and advice continue to be provided through the occupational health clinics for Ontario workers."

On behalf of my caucus colleagues, I add my name to these petitioners'.


Mr Frank Miclash (Kenora): I have a petition against fingerprinting, the plan of Mike Harris. It reads:

"To the Legislature of Ontario:

"Whereas the Premier of Ontario, Mike Harris, has proposed the fingerprinting of all Ontario citizens; and

"Whereas fingerprinting Ontarians was never promised in the Common Sense Revolution, or in his election campaign; and

"Whereas universal fingerprinting of Ontario citizens is a direct violation of basic civil rights and fundamental rights of privacy; and

"Whereas the Mike Harris government is intervening and intruding into all aspects of daily life, from megacities, user fees, rent controls, and market value taxes, which he never promised in the election campaign;

"Therefore we, the undersigned, petition the Legislature of Ontario to oppose Mike Harris's plan to fingerprint Ontario citizens, and to respect their privacy and to stop creating a mega-government that does not respect the basic freedom and individuality of the citizens of Ontario."

I've affixed my signature and my fingerprint to this petition.


Mr David Christopherson (Hamilton Centre): I have a petition forwarded to me by the Ontario Federation of Labour in the name of Gord Wilson, the president of the federation. The petition reads as follows.

"To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

"Whereas the current Progressive Conservative government of Ontario is proposing to amend the Workers' Compensation Act; and

"Whereas the proposed amendments include cutting maximum benefits from 90% to 85% of net average earnings; and

"Whereas the government is further proposing to outlaw workers' compensation benefits for chronic stress; and

"Whereas the direct payment by employers to employees for the first four to six weeks of disability essentially amounts to privatizing a huge portion of WCB, giving employers total control and benefiting private insurance companies; and

"Whereas the Occupational Disease Panel will be folded back into the WCB, therefore compromising their ability to do credible independent work on establishing the cause of occupational diseases; and

"Whereas employer assessments under the government's proposal will be cut by 5%, adding billions of dollars to the board's unfunded liability;

"Therefore we, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly to hold full provincial public hearings on any proposed amendments to workers' compensation legislation to provide all the people of Ontario the opportunity for full disclosure of all proposed amendments and the ability and forum to ensure that all the facts and potential impacts are heard and addressed."

The few measly days they've offered don't meet this demand. I add my name to theirs.



Mr Toby Barrett (Norfolk): I beg leave to present a report from the standing committee on regulations and private bills and move its adoption.

Clerk at the Table (Mr Todd Decker): Your committee begs to report the following bills, as amended:

Bill Pr74, An Act respecting 4588 Bathurst

Bill Pr75, An Act respecting 750 Spadina Avenue Association.

The Acting Speaker (Ms Marilyn Churley): Shall the report be received and adopted? Agreed.



Mr Palladini moved first reading of the following bill:

Bill 138, An Act to promote road safety by increasing periods of suspension for Criminal Code convictions, impounding vehicles of suspended drivers, requiring treatment for impaired drivers, raising fines for driving while suspended, impounding critically defective commercial vehicles, creating an absolute liability offence for wheel separations, raising fines for passing stopped school buses, streamlining accident reporting requirements and amending other road safety programs / Projet de loi 138, Loi visant à favoriser la sécurité routière en augmentant les périodes de suspension pour les déclarations de culpabilité découlant du Code criminel, en mettant en fourrière les véhicules de conducteurs faisant l'objet d'une suspension, en exigeant le traitement des conducteurs en état d'ébriété, en augmentant les amendes pour conduite pendant que son permis est suspendu, en mettant en fourrière les véhicules utilitaires comportant des défauts critiques, en créant une infraction entraînant la responsabilité absolue en cas de détachement des roues, en augmentant les amendes pour dépassement d'un autobus scolaire arrêté, en simplifiant les exigences relatives à la déclaration des accidents et en modifiant d'autres programmes de sécurité routière.

The Acting Speaker (Ms Marilyn Churley): Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Carried.

Hon Al Palladini (Minister of Transportation): I certainly would like to thank both opposition parties for their support on this bill. I would, however, like to clarify something the leader of the third party said so that at least he'll understand where this government is coming from. I said we would consider implementing 72 of the recommendations of Target '97. Some of the items the leader of the third party addressed are being further reviewed before any more consideration would be given to implement. I just wanted to get that clarified.



Mr Howard Hampton (Rainy River): This is an opposition motion, and it reads:

Whereas the events at Ipperwash Provincial Park in September 1995, resulting in the death of Dudley George, remain the subject of widespread concern in Ontario; and

Whereas the role of police, government officials and others in these events has never been fully explained; and

Whereas various court proceedings have raised further concerns while leaving many important questions unanswered;

Be it therefore resolved that this House believes an independent inquiry under the Public Inquiries Act into the events at Ipperwash, including all government discussions and decisions leading up to those events, will be essential for bringing out the full truth surrounding this tragic confrontation.

This is addressed to the Premier of Ontario.

The Acting Speaker (Ms Marilyn Churley): Mr Hampton has moved opposition day number 6.

Mr Hampton: Speaker, I'm going to be asking to share the time with the member for Algoma, the member for London Centre and the member for Welland-Thorold.

The Acting Speaker: Leader of the third party, under the standing order for opposition days you can use the time -- it's divided equally -- any way you wish.


Mr Hampton: I just wanted to make the table officers aware of that.

We bring this motion to the House not with any sense of antagonism. Frankly, we bring this motion to the House in a tone of sadness. We bring this motion to the House because anyone who objectively looks at the circumstances surrounding the Ipperwash situation in September 1995 and anyone who looks at all the questions that have not been answered could not be happy with what is happening, could not be satisfied with what is happening. Anyone who looks at this situation through eyes of objectivity, we believe, would conclude that there must be a public inquiry to find out why Dudley George was killed, why an individual life was lost.

We want to raise today some of the questions that remain unanswered. Some of the questions are very basic questions, and it would appear, I think, to any objective observer that these questions must be answered. If the justice system in this province is to enjoy respect and if the justice system in this province is to act fairly, these questions must be answered.

One of the first questions that must be asked is simply this: How did things at Ipperwash Park escalate to the point where the OPP riot squad and the OPP tactical weapons squad were brought to the park and were put in a state of readiness such that they went into the park and as a result Dudley George died? What were the decisions that led to that kind of escalation?

As part of the background for this, I think people need to realize that the occupiers of the park numbered only some 40 individuals. They were not an organized group. They were not the organized expression of a chief and a band council. They were not the organized expression of someone with legal authority. This was a group of individuals who were protesting what they perceived to be a long-standing wrong. It has been found as a judicial fact that they were not armed. How is it that in this context -- these are only 40 individuals; they are not armed; they do not represent some official body; they are individuals -- the government could escalate the situation so rapidly and so fiercely that the OPP riot squad and tactical weapons squad are called in and sent into the park? What sort of discussions, what sort of perceptions, would result in that kind of undue escalation of this situation ending in the death of Dudley George?

Another question that needs to be answered -- we have an incredibly strange situation here. A government backbencher, the member for Lambton, was in the OPP's command post. Not only was he in the OPP's command post, which I regard as highly irregular to begin with, but we know he was exchanging faxes and phone calls with the Premier's office and the Solicitor General's office back and forth. Not only that, but he is specifically referred to in the police logs and the Solicitor General is specifically referred to in the police logs and the Premier is specifically referred to in the police logs, the OPP logs. Anyone who has had anything to do with police officers knows that when police are dealing with a situation, they do not put extraneous information in their police logs. They only include relevant information, information that is relevant to the chain of events.

What was the government member, the Conservative member for Lambton, doing in that police command post? What was he doing sending faxes to the Premier, receiving faxes from the Premier's office, sending faxes to the Solicitor General's office, getting faxes back from the Solicitor General's office, making phone calls back and forth and then relating these to the police? Who was giving the police direction here? Was a political person giving the police direction? Were the OPP in effect subject to two chains of direction?

Were they subject to a chain of direction from the OPP commissioner, but was there also political direction?

This kind of question has to be asked and inquired into. This is highly irregular. It is highly irregular to find a government MPP in the OPP's command post.

Mr Bud Wildman (Algoma): Any MPP.

Mr Hampton: Any MPP. At first blush it smacks right away of political involvement in what is essentially a policing matter, and it is elementary to democracy that there ought not to be any political interference, any political involvement with decisions made by the police or actions taken by the police. In a democratic state those two are to be completely separate. There should never be any political supervision of the police or political direction of the police.

This smacks at first blush of, this points to, that kind of involvement, that kind of interference. There needs to be an inquiry to get at these very serious facts and these very serious appearances which frankly go to the heart of how a democracy functions and the separation between the political state and policing.

We need to ask, what was the role of MPP Beaubien from Lambton in communicating information between the Premier's office and the OPP, or vice versa? A very important question. What did Mr Beaubien mean when he said in one fax that he would refuse to be the fall guy for Ipperwash? What does that mean, that he would refuse to be the fall guy? The language suggests that something wrong is happening and that he is not going to be the person held responsible for that which is out of place or that which is improper. He is not going to take the blame; he is not going to take the fall; he is not going to be the person held culpable. What does that comment mean in one of his faxes? This needs to be inquired into.

Who in the Premier's office gave the instruction to "[G]et the" -- expletive -- "Indians out of the park"? We know that comment is widely reported within the civil service as having been made by someone closely connected with the Premier's office. That needs to be inquired into.

Why did the OPP ignore warnings from Assembly of First Nations Chief Ovide Mercredi about entering the park at night? As we understand it from testimony which was given, Ovide Mercredi called the OPP and said to them: "Do not go into the park and escalate a situation. There are ways to resolve this situation. Do not go into the park." Yet the OPP, receiving good advice from someone who should have the respect and should be acknowledged as someone who is a very responsible leader, ignored that advice. Why did they ignore that advice? What other advice did they get? What other direction did they get which led them to go into the park, when they received specific advice from such a responsible person that going into the park would be the wrong thing to do, that it would simply escalate the situation?

Then, even more difficult to understand, after ignoring this advice from Ovide Mercredi the day before the events happened which resulted in the death of Dudley George, the OPP in a dramatic change of direction then asked, on the following day, for Ovide Mercredi to intervene. The day before these tragic events happened, they appear to have no interest in his advice, no interest in what he had to offer, no interest in his information. The day after the tragic events which led to the death of Dudley George, they suddenly have great respect for Ovide Mercredi, in fact such great respect that they want him to intervene, that they want him to mediate. What a dramatic shift. What a night-and-day shift in position. How could this happen? This too needs to be answered.

What also needs to be answered is this: At what point and by what means did the Ontario Provincial Police change its long-standing practice of negotiating these kinds of situations, of negotiating them down, of talking? When did they change from that long-standing position into one where they escalate into confrontation?


Members of the Liberal Party will know that when they were in government that was the position of the OPP, and I know that when I was Attorney General of the province that was the position of the OPP: Never escalate situations. Always find ways to negotiate them down. Always find common ground you can agree on, then move from that common ground to greater common ground and reach an agreement by means of discussion and negotiation. Never escalate situations into a realm where confrontation can occur, where violence may happen.

That was the long-standing position of the Ontario Provincial Police in this province when dealing with issues involving first nations, yet not two months after the Conservative government came to power that long-standing OPP practice is radically changed. It is radically changed such that, in an instance which I do not think could in any way call for confrontation and escalation, confrontation and escalation actually happen.

A very big question that needs to be asked and a very big question that needs to be answered: Who changed that policy? For what reason did they change that policy? When did they change that policy? The government has not answered that question. There needs to be an answer.

To whom within the Premier's Office did Deb Hutton report on her participation in meetings regarding events at Ipperwash? We all in this Chamber know about Richard Nixon. Richard Nixon was famous as a President of the United States for saying, "I see nothing, I know nothing." Whenever something wrong happened in his administration, his response: "I didn't know about it. My officials didn't tell me. The people who work for me kept me uninformed."

We know that Deb Hutton attended the interministerial meetings dealing with the Ipperwash situation. Deb Hutton is an official in the Premier's Office. Either Deb Hutton did not tell the Premier, in which case there is a huge problem in the chief government office of this land, or we're being kept uninformed as to who exactly she did inform and what directions she was given.

This needs to be answered. Someone died here. Someone died unnecessarily. Someone died in circumstances which call all of this into question. These are questions which in a just society need to be asked, and especially in a just society they need to be answered. Why were OPP officers permitted to manufacture souvenir mugs after the shooting at Ipperwash as if to celebrate the death of Dudley George? Who is in charge here? Who is responsible for this? The government refuses to ask the question and the government refuses to get answers.

Someone died here, and yet within the OPP, following the events, officers were circulating mugs celebrating the event, and the government refuses to answer and refuses to call an inquiry to get to the question. How is it possible that armed Ontario Provincial Police officers would believe it was reasonable to beat a native protestor to the point of inflicting more than 25 blunt-trauma wounds and expect they would be able to get away with it? That is another sad event that took place here: 25 blunt-trauma wounds as established by medical evidence.

How could this happen? The question needs to be asked. How did it happen? Who gave the direction? Who allowed this to happen? Who is responsible over there? The government refuses to ask the questions. The government refuses to hold an inquiry. The government refuses to get the answers.

Exactly what is the policy of this government concerning its relations with first nations in Ontario? If we believe the remarks that were made by this government and are associated with this government, the government said, "Get the Indians out of the park." In fact, we are told by people in the civil service that the statement was: "Get the" expletive "Indians out of the park. We don't care how you do it. Get them out."

Is that this government's approach? Is that this government's policy? We don't know because the government refuses to call the inquiry that will get to the bottom of this. The government refuses to call the inquiry that will start asking these questions.

Some other questions: In dealing with this situation, one would think the rational approach would be that where you believe you have a disagreement with 40 individuals, where those 40 individuals -- and this did not come out of the blue, this did not happen overnight. There's a long-standing issue here. I know it. I knew it when I was in government. I attended in that part of the province to try to lower the temperature. My colleague from Algoma, as the former Minister of Natural Resources and minister responsible for native affairs, knows about the long-standing history.

Given that there was a historical grievance, why would the government not attempt to sit down and talk with the occupiers? Why no attempt at discussion? Not only that, but instead of attempting to discuss the government marched off to court. The government tried to escalate things right away into the hard fist of an injunction. Not only was it an injunction process, the government had two choices as to an injunctive process. They could have proceeded by way of notice. They could have given the occupiers or representatives of the occupiers notice that they were going to apply for an injunction. That would have given the occupiers an opportunity to attend at that court proceeding and to make their case. There would have been an opportunity for discussion there.

Who knows what could have come out of the discussion at that kind of injunction process, an injunction application with notice. There might have been a settlement. But no, the government didn't even choose to do that. They proceeded without notice. They proceeded as if to avoid any discussion. They proceeded as if to avoid any chance of settlement, any chance of discussion and coming together of the minds. They proceeded on a without notice basis, the hardest, the nastiest way of bringing the law into a dispute.

Finally, we believe they directed the police to move into the park.

But the government refuses to call an inquiry so that all of these questions can be asked and all of these questions can be answered.

In our view, if you look at the totality of unanswered questions, if you look at the totality of contradictions, if you look at the totality of what happened here, this cries out for a public inquiry to get to the bottom of this situation. Justice cries out for an inquiry to answer the question: Why did this unarmed person die?

The government refuses to call that inquiry. The government refuses to ask these questions. The government refuses to allow a process that will have these questions answered. Why? What is the government afraid of?


From time to time in this House we've heard the government say, "There's a criminal process happening." We know from other inquiries -- for example, in the Westray mine inquiry in Nova Scotia, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that it is possible to hold a public inquiry around some of these issues as long as that public inquiry does not go to the root of who is criminally responsible. It is possible to do that. The government refuses to do it. The government continues to say, "There is a criminal trial proceeding, and as long as that criminal trial is proceeding, none of these questions can be answered."

In my view, the Westray mine inquiry stands for the proposition that such a public inquiry can be structured and can be held such that these questions will be answered without necessarily pointing the finger of criminal culpability, criminal liability, at anyone. But the government refuses to put in place that kind of procedure. The government refuses to have these questions asked. The government refuses to let these questions be answered.

This is not going to go away. Part of what we want to do here today is to raise over and over again the very serious questions that must be answered. In any semblance of a society that is democratic and believes in the rule of law, these questions must be answered. We're going to continue to ask the questions. We're going to continue to raise the issues until this government does the right thing and calls for a public inquiry.

The Acting Speaker: Further debate?

Hon Charles Harnick (Attorney General, minister responsible for native affairs): I rise on behalf of the government to address the motion before us. Let me begin by saying that the death that occurred at Ipperwash Provincial Park was a tragedy that has impacted on many lives. But as a result of this occurrence and others, criminal charges were laid. As members of the House know, some of these criminal charges are still before the courts. Because charges are before the courts, extreme care must be taken in making any comment that might prejudice the trials that are ongoing and/or the rights of the accused involved in these trials.

It is important for members to realize that statements within the Legislature are public statements. These statements, when referring to matters that are before the courts, could impact on any one of these court cases. It is for this reason that caution must be used in these matters.

It is the best policy for any government or any member of the Legislature to refrain from commenting on these matters until the court process has been completed. I refer members to section 23(g)(i) of the standing orders:

"In debate, a member shall be called to order by the Speaker if he...refers to any matter that is the subject of a proceeding...that is pending in a court or before a judge for judicial determination."

Our position on this matter has been clear and consistent. It is based on respect for due process under the law. It is for this reason that the government has kept its remarks on this issue brief in question period, and it is for this reason that the government will continue to refrain from being drawn into an improper debate. It is because these matters are before the courts that we have repeatedly stated that other options will not be considered until all these court proceedings are completed. It would be premature to make a decision or to comment further while these matters remain before the courts.

In proceeding in this manner, the government is following the proper, traditional and appropriate steps in dealing with this situation. In doing so, we are acting within the boundaries of the law. To ensure that all individuals receive the justice they deserve, I caution members to respect the law and tradition of this House in demonstrating similar caution in matters that are currently before the courts.

As I said previously, what happened at Ipperwash Park was a tragedy. I know that given other circumstances, the member for Lambton would comment directly on the impact this has had on his community, both aboriginal and non-aboriginal alike. I'm sure everyone is aware of the impact of these events on the community. The delay by the federal government in settling the future of the Camp Ipperwash lands has led to frustration and concern within the community. Continued efforts on resolving this issue would be a positive step for everyone involved. Given the legal parameters I have set out, the government will not comment further in this debate.

I do want to reiterate one final comment: At no time did the government direct the OPP. The government sought a civil injunction as a means to end the occupation. As government counsel said when they sought the injunction, this is a nation of laws and there are proper ways to deal with these situations. Relying on the courts and the due process of law was the direction given by the government.

Mr David Turnbull (York Mills): On a point of order, Madam Speaker: I believe we have unanimous consent between all parties that the remaining time will be split equally between the opposition parties.

The Acting Speaker: Is that agreed, that the remaining time will be split equally?

Mr Wildman: It is agreed, but on a point of order, I would just point out that we would prefer the government to participate in the debate.

The Acting Speaker: Is it agreed that the time will be split between the two opposition caucuses? Agreed.

Mr John Gerretsen (Kingston and The Islands): On a point of order, Madam Speaker: I assume that since there are 44 minutes left of the government's time, that would be added to whatever time exists at this point for each caucus.

The Acting Speaker: Yes, that's correct: 22 and 22. Further debate?

Mr Gerretsen: It's with some interest that I join this debate. Mr Phillips, the member for Scarborough-Agincourt, who has been very persistent on this subject for the last two years, will have much more to say later on in the debate, as will our critic for the Attorney General's department and the Solicitor General's department, the member for Timiskaming.

Let me first say that I find it very strange that the government has taken the position that it does not want to have any further debate at all on this motion. I'm saying that because I think the motion itself is very non-confrontational. I know that in this House we are quite often subject to motions put forward either by the opposition or by government that are confrontational in nature, and I suppose if one wanted to find a reason for not supporting a particular course of action, one could always find that in most motions presented here. This motion is not that way at all.

This motion is simply saying there are an awful lot of unanswered questions about this particular matter that ought to be dealt with. It has been almost two years since the occurrence happened back in September 1995, and why not set up an independent inquiry to deal with the many unanswered questions people have? Right now, there's an awful lot of speculation going on about what really happened there -- I suppose our particular version of events is just as valid as somebody else's version of the events that occurred -- and one way to deal with that is to have an inquiry.

As to the government's persistence in not wanting to have an inquiry set up, we realize full well that evidence cannot be taken until all the matters before the courts are totally dealt with, but surely the government can agree at this time to have such an inquiry take place. That will at least show good faith to all the various parties that were involved, be they police, be they native individuals or bands, or be they other citizens in Ontario. The government's reluctance to do that I think leads the general public, who have very little knowledge of this matter other than what they've read in the newspapers and seen on television and heard on radio etc to the supposition, "What does the government have to hide in this matter?" I suppose that's the underlying aspect of this whole situation that people find extremely troubling.


When you look at what happened with the Westray inquiry in Nova Scotia, it is quite clear that in that particular case the terms of reference of an inquiry were, in effect, put together, assembled and written before any evidence was called, while the criminal matters that resulted from the Westray incident were still before the courts. Both processes can go on simultaneously.

For the government to take the position that it doesn't want to have anything to say about this matter at all until all the matters that are presently before the courts are dealt with, you could be looking at a vast amount of time. There's the criminal aspect. We know that all the criminal trials have now been dealt with and that sentencing will take place in two or three months. But there's also the civil case. Is the government saying as well that until the civil case has actually been determined, which may take one, two, three, four or five years -- some of these cases do take an extensively long period of time -- no inquiry will take place until the last possible civil trial in this particular matter has been dealt with? In that case, we may be looking at a four-, five- or six-year delay.

Obviously time in this kind of matter is extremely important. The longer we're away from the actual incident, the more likely people's minds are to be clouded over what actually happened on that weekend. It's from that aspect alone that many people can very easily draw the conclusion about who's got what to hide in this case. What does the government have to hide in this case?

I share many of the same concerns that have already been expressed by the leader of the third party about what the government backbencher was doing on this site. Why did he say he was in constant contact with the Premier's office, by faxes, by telephone etc? These are highly unusual situations.

When you look at the one document, for example, which is the memorandum that was put out by the assistant crown attorney -- it doesn't have a date but it's from the Ministry of the Attorney General -- he talks about why certain charges were withdrawn and why other charges weren't proceeded with. But it's not actually that document that I want to refer to; it's the notes of the meeting that took place on September 5, 1995. That was the meeting that took place here at Queen's Park.

I find it very interesting that on the one hand the option that was approved by the people who were at the meeting -- they were all government employees and OPP employees -- stated that a civil injunction proceeding on an ex parte basis would be proceeded with, yet on the very next page of exactly the same memo it states that the OPP will have the discretion as to how to proceed with removing the Stony Pointers from the park.

It seems to me rather inconsistent that in the same memo there's a discussion about what took place at this meeting, whereby the OPP are basically told how to proceed, how to deal with these people who are occupying the park, and yet at the same time the matter is before the courts as well by way of an interim injunction application. It seems to me that you get the injunction first and then you determine how best to execute that injunction as far as the people in the park are concerned and how they are going to be dealt with.

In other words, by the government not agreeing to have an inquiry take place at this time, I think what has really been added to the whole situation is that this has just given people who are watching out there and people who have been following this over the last two years more and more ammunition, as it were, to think that maybe there was undue government interference.

What does the government have to hide in this matter? Why doesn't it just come clean on the whole issue, agree to an inquiry and at the appropriate time, once the court matters have been dealt with, allow the evidence to be taken? There's an awful lot of preliminary work that could already take place. The longer you wait in these matters, the more clouded people's recollections are going to be as to what actually happened on that particular weekend.

So I say to the government that it's a very ill-advised course of action that they're taking. We know that nowadays the more you try to stonewall a situation, the more the demand is going to be to actually have an inquiry done in a case like this, and sooner or later the truth will come out. I think it would be to the best of all parties concerned, whether they're native, whether they're police, whether they're the political element, whether they're other government agencies and workers, that this matter be resolved as quickly as possible.

It has already been indicated by my colleague from Scarborough-Agincourt on a number of different occasions that this was the only time, I believe, in the last 100 years that somebody in the native community has actually lost their life as a result of an incident like this. This is an extremely serious matter.

We are all always concerned about the powers of police and the powers of the citizens and the powers of the people who are involved in these kinds of actions in our society. I think the earlier we deal with this matter, the better the recollections of all the various parties to the events that took place are going to be and the better the final outcome of the inquiry will be.

The longer we wait, the more it's going to reflect ill on the government and the more it's going to cause more and more questions to arise in people's minds. So I say to the government, agree to an inquiry at this point in time and allow a free vote on this issue.

I found it very interesting in the debate that took place earlier today during question period that the Attorney General simply did not answer the question that was put by the member for Algoma: "Are you going to allow a free vote on this matter today?" Although there were all sorts of beautiful statements given by him at that point in time as to what was going to happen, he did not answer the single central question. He didn't say, "Yes, I am going to allow a free vote," and undoubtedly there won't be a free vote on this matter.

But I would urge the Attorney General between now and 6 o'clock, between now and the time the vote actually gets called, to have a change of mind, to speak with his other cabinet colleagues, to get instructions, if need be, from the Premier to allow a free vote to take place on this particular motion. I think the people of Ontario demand it and I think this situation, this very tragic situation, demands it. Let's agree to an inquiry at this point in time and let's have a free vote on this particular issue.

The Acting Speaker (Mr Bert Johnson): Further debate? The Chair recognizes the member for Algoma.

Mr Wildman: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: Could you ascertain whether or not there is a quorum present?

The Acting Speaker: Could you see if there is a quorum.

Clerk Assistant (Ms Deborah Deller): A quorum is not present, Speaker.

The Acting Speaker ordered the bells rung.

Clerk Assistant: A quorum is now present, Speaker.

The Acting Speaker: The Chair recognizes the member for Algoma.

Mr Wildman: Thank you, Speaker. The reason I asked you to check to ensure that there was a quorum present was because we are particularly disappointed in the government's response to this opposition motion put forward by my leader today.

I listened carefully to the comments of the Attorney General, the minister responsible for native affairs in this province, in which he tried to justify the government's lack of response to this very seriously considered motion we have put before the House today. He argued that it was inappropriate for members of the government to comment on situations that might be before the courts. He argued that as a justification for the fact that he himself was only going to give a token intervention in the debate and that no other members of the governing party were going to participate in the debate, to the point where the government whip then had to ask for unanimous consent that the time be divided among the opposition members so we could indeed have a debate.


The government is taking the position in response to this motion of not wanting to hear, not wanting to participate in any matter that deals with this issue that led to the confrontation in the dark at Ipperwash park and the death of Dudley George. Let's be frank.

Mr Frank Klees (York-Mackenzie): No, I'm Frank.

Mr Wildman: This is not a facetious matter. A man died here. If this government really wanted the truth to come out, it could. If the government were really interested in having all the facts become public, they would. If the government really wanted the public to know who made the decisions, what decisions were made, why they were made and what happened that led to the confrontation and to the death of the first aboriginal person to die in a land claims dispute, not just in Ontario but in Canada, that would become public.

The fact that we do not have all the facts, that we do not have a commitment to a public inquiry, simply indicates that the government does not want us to have the facts, does not want the public to know what happened, does not want to have a full, clear inquiry so we can ensure that we know why this happened, why it occurred and ensure that it never happens again in Ontario.

That raises all sorts of questions. Why does the government not want the information to be public? It isn't, as the Attorney General tried to argue, that it might in some way prejudice a court proceeding, because as my leader pointed out quite clearly, the Supreme Court of Canada had ruled that we could have an inquiry into the Westray mine disaster as long as the inquiry was not mandated to point fingers of criminal liability. We could do that here if the government wanted the information to become public, if the government wanted all the facts to be known.

It has also been argued by the Premier on occasion that yes, there might be a public inquiry into the events at Ipperwash once all the court proceedings are completed -- there might be. But even if you take that view, there is absolutely nothing to prohibit the government now, today, or before now, stating clearly that there will be a public inquiry. They may maintain their position that it can't take place now, but they don't have to put a time frame on it. They can say clearly that there will be a public inquiry. Can't the government do that much? Instead, the Attorney General gets up in his place today and says they will not participate in this debate.

They won't put the facts on the table. They won't explain what happened. They won't explain the reasoning they used that led to the decisions that were made. They don't want us to know. They don't want the George family to know. They don't want the aboriginal community to know. They don't want anybody to know what happened and what led to the death of Dudley George on that night in September.

I'm going to try to put on the record what I have been able to glean about the events that occurred. As my leader said, they raise all sorts of questions, and that's why we believe a public inquiry needs to be held.

As my leader pointed out, in the previous government I had the responsibility for native affairs in this province. During that time, particularly at the beginning of our mandate, not too long after the Oka incident in Quebec, there were a number of occupations and confrontations in this province, as there were across the country.

I was informed, when I became minister, that the previous, Liberal government had established an interministerial committee which in slang was called the blockade committee. This committee had representatives of various ministries: the ministry responsible for native affairs, that is, the Native Affairs Secretariat; the Ministry of Natural Resources; the Solicitor General; the Attorney General; the OPP; and whatever other agencies might be involved in the dispute. The purpose of this group was to meet to consult with one another about something that might become a confrontational situation, to determine how the situation could be dealt with and to ensure it was not escalated. That was the purpose of that committee. Of course, that committee met when we were in government because of some of the confrontations that took place in this province. The whole purpose of the committee, as I said, was to try and ensure that the situations were not escalated into violence and that there could be a peaceful resolution.

I want to make it clear the position taken by the Ontario Provincial Police was one with which I agreed and for which I had a tremendous amount of respect. The committee did not give political direction to the OPP. They heard reports from the OPP, they talked about how we as a government should respond to the situation as understood by everyone involved, including the OPP, but the OPP made the decisions on how to deal with the issue.

The general position of our government, and as I understand it of previous governments, was that we would not negotiate the substance of the issue with the occupiers or some people who had put up a blockade, but we would negotiate and the OPP would negotiate how to bring an end to the occupation or to the blockade. After that happened, then we would go into the substance of the issues and deal with them. That was the position described to me when I was minister and we continued that position. I want to say to you that in every case where there was a blockade or an occupation in the time we were in government, the OPP followed that approach. Essentially they would cordon off the area. They would keep people separated if there were two sides. They would not be immediately in front of the blockade; they would be at some distance. Frankly, as one OPP officer described it to his colleagues, the purpose was to wait the occupiers out, from their standpoint, to cool everything out, and then maybe we could have a reasonable discussion afterwards. That was their approach.

With regard to the Ipperwash situation, I knew when I came into government that there was a long-standing dispute about the national defence camp which is adjacent to the park. That camp, as members know now if they didn't know before, had been established after the land of the Stony Point people had been expropriated by the federal government under the War Measures Act during the Second World War. The federal government had said this land was needed for the war effort and it would be returned afterwards. It was never returned. It shouldn't have been expropriated in the first place, but it certainly should have been returned after the war and it never was. So they were made homeless. Their traditional lands were taken away from them unilaterally by the federal government.

I was also aware that there had been statements made that there was a burial ground in the park, and that when this park was established in the late 1930s by the provincial government, the then Department of Lands and Forests, there were arguments raised that this should not become provincial land because it was traditional land and there was indeed a burial ground.

I was also briefed on the fact that there was a dispute, that the provincial officials said, "No, there really wasn't a burial ground," and so on, and that there was a dispute there. I had meetings, actually, with representatives of the Stony Pointers, and they were difficult meetings, I'll admit, because of the dispute.


I also know that, because of the frustration and the time it was taking to get the federal government to commit to transfer the land back and to clean it up so that it could be of use to the Stony Point people, there was an occupation at the National Defence camp. Not long after the provincial election in 1995, in early September, on Labour Day as I understand it, some of the occupiers in the National Defence camp, at the end of the day, went into Ipperwash Provincial Park.

My understanding, and I may be incorrect on this but my understanding is that the officials of the Ministry of Natural Resources did not attempt to prevent them from going into the park. The park was closing down; it was at the end of the park season. The water system for the National Defence camp is operated out of the park. As I understand it, officials of the Ministry of Natural Resources in fact showed the people who went into the park how to ensure that the water system remained functional. This was not a confrontation. There may have been strong words used, but it was not a confrontation. That's on Labour Day. They're let into the park. They're actually given the keys by the Ministry of Natural Resources officials. The police are informed.

The next day the committee met here at Queen's Park. Again, as I understand it, the OPP indicated that they would follow the process they had followed before: try to cool things out, keep everybody calm. But that's when things apparently started to change. Something happened. Suddenly the OPP started to follow a diametrically different approach. The numbers of OPP personnel brought in -- somewhere in the neighbourhood of 250 officers -- a paramilitary operation. The Canadian military was informed. There was a liaison officer apparently involved, a lieutenant called in.

Anyone looking at this would have questions. Why on earth the change from Labour Day, when the Ministry of Natural Resources people show the occupiers how to operate the water system and give them the keys, to the next day when we have this enormous buildup of forces? What happened? Who said there should be a change? Who gave the direction? On what basis did they give that direction? What information did they have or not have?

We've asked a number of times in this House about these questions and we haven't received satisfactory responses. The Attorney General has repeatedly said that the government did not give direction to the OPP, but he's very selective in the way he says that. He says he did not give them strategic direction. In other words, he's saying the government did not tell the OPP how to end the occupation. But when the documents were provided, with large portions of the minutes of the meetings taken out, they made one thing clear. In the minutes of the meeting, there was a decision made that the Stony Point people would be removed from the park. There's nothing in the minutes that says how they will be removed from the park, so in that sense the Attorney General is correct, but he is not correct when he tries to give the impression that there was not direction to get the people out of the park. There indeed was; it's right in the minutes.

We have a situation where the police apparently have been directed to remove people from the park, and the inference is that they are under the impression at least that they should use whatever force necessary to achieve that. Why? This is a park that was closed for the season. It wasn't stopping anybody else from using the park. Why? That's what we have to know. We have to know why. Why did they have to be removed? What was so necessary that would entail this kind of buildup of forces, and who decided that? Who made the decision? Was it the Minister of Natural Resources? Was it the parliamentary assistant who was in the committee? Was it the representative of the Premier's office who was in the committee? Who, under whose direction, and on whose advice?

There were apparently all sorts of rumours that there were arms within the park. The buildup of the police has been justified on that basis, that the aboriginal people were armed. We now know from the court cases that have been referred to by the Attorney General that it is an established fact that there were not arms in the park, that the aboriginal people were not armed, as they said throughout the peace that they were not armed. The closest thing to a weapon, from the court cases, was a bus that a young man apparently used, as has been established in the court, to try and stop OPP officers from bludgeoning one of the other occupiers and that a judge has decided he was justified in using to try to prevent the beating from continuing.

The fact that the occupiers used a bus to break through a gate: Does that justify the kind of buildup that took place? I don't think so. It certainly doesn't seem that way to me. As my leader said, we have the information that the member for Lambton was at the police post. He's mentioned in the police logs. He's faxing and telephoning back to the Premier's office, to officials in the Premier's office, to the Solicitor General's office, and he's mentioned by the OPP in their logs.

In my experience throughout my career in this place, I have always understood that it is completely inappropriate on any matter that involves the police or the justice system for an MPP, government or opposition, to be involved. It's just not appropriate. That in itself deserves an inquiry. What was Mr Beaubien doing? Who gave him the permission to be there? Who suggested he should be there? Who told him he should be communicating with the cabinet and with the Premier about this situation? And what was his role vis-à-vis the police?


I want to make clear that we are not asking for an inquiry into the fracas that took place for a few minutes in the dark at the entrance to Ipperwash park. That is being dealt with in the court cases. We are not suggesting that matter should be the central part of any inquiry. That is being dealt with in the courts. But the courts are not dealing with the central issue: Who gave the direction? Who made the decisions? Who decided that there had to be this kind of action by the OPP? That is not being dealt with in the courts. Why were these decisions made?

Frankly, I think it's completely inappropriate that one police officer should be left out to dry, hanging out to dry, because this government doesn't want the truth to come out. The courts have dealt with that case. He has been convicted. He will be sentenced. But who made the decisions that led to the actions that led to his conviction? Who made the decisions that led to the actions that caused the death of Dudley George? Why were those decisions made?

This government, if it wants the truth to come out, can commit now to a public inquiry that will bring all the facts to the fore so that we will all know why this happened and we will be able to ensure it never happens again in Canada.

The government is being cowardly. The government does not want people to know. The government would rather sweep this under the rug. Well it won't be swept under the rug. This is a matter that must be inquired into. I call on all members, don't follow the lead of the Attorney General. Follow your own consciences. A man died. We've got to find out why to ensure it doesn't happen again. Vote for this motion.

Mr David Ramsay (Timiskaming): I'm pleased to have the opportunity to speak, on this opposition day, to the whole issue of what happened at Ipperwash two years ago now. It certainly saddens me to find out this afternoon that the government has decided it won't allow its members to speak on this issue. It is usually a tradition in this place that, as is our right, opposition days are brought forward by both of the opposition parties during a session of the Legislature, and that all parties participate as a matter of right and, I guess I would say, responsibility so that the public gets to hear and see the views of all sides of this House, of all three parties that are represented in this House. So it's somewhat disappointing that it would seem the Attorney General has made a decision to muzzle the back bench of the government.

Hon Cameron Jackson (Minister without Portfolio [Seniors Issues]): It's unparliamentary to impute that motive.

Mr Ramsay: It just seems somebody has given an order because usually the case is, as you know, Speaker, that we work in rotation. The Attorney General in his initial statement in this debate, being the second speaker up, basically made a very brief statement and then said he would be the last speaker representing the government this afternoon and it was agreed that the rest of the time be split between the opposition parties. So from that I understand that's the Attorney General's decision. Since then, I have not seen a government member stand in his or her place to speak on this very important issue.

What this resolution speaks to is the very importance of the people of Ontario having a public inquiry so that all of us can get to the bottom of what happened at Ipperwash.

In the history of the province we have, from time to time, confrontations between sectors of our population and the government represented by its police forces. These things happen. We have disputes. People have disputes with their government. We always pride ourselves in Ontario that we can deal with these incidents and these differences in a peaceable manner. We pride ourselves on that because we think it's very important in a mature democracy such as Ontario's that we can deal in a mature, adult way with these issues.

Something went very wrong in this case, and this is why we in the opposition are very puzzled about this. It's really been the modus operandi of the OPP, as the previous speaker has said, to wait these situations out. The OPP is one of the best police forces in the world. They're highly trained, very well equipped and extremely well disciplined. This is not the first incident the OPP has had to deal with over the years. They have the experience and the tradition of dealing with these types of confrontations and disputes.

Something very different happened here, and that's why we in the opposition were alerted by what happened that night in September two years ago, when Dudley George was fatally shot at Ipperwash Provincial Park. It would seem the OPP acted in a way that was different from their history and their tradition of handling such disputes, especially disputes with aboriginal peoples in this province. Something very different happened. This made us wonder why the OPP had acted in a very different way than had been its tradition.

As we go through some of the documents -- and I must say right now that in our party the member for Scarborough-Agincourt, Gerry Phillips, has done a tremendous job in pursuing this incident and the events behind it. That's why we're here today: to put some pressure on this government to have a public inquiry so that all of us can get to the very bottom of what happened here.

We know the government is structured in a way to deal with these incidents and occurrences. In fact, the previous government had set up a committee that would be on call at any time to handle such incidents. So when this incident happened under the new Harris government, this committee was reconstituted, it was recalled to handle the task at hand.

It's interesting to note when you look at the people involved in this committee that it would be, in a sense, the usual suspects; it would be representatives of the various ministries that would be pertinent to this particular incident, the people at the secretariat dealing with aboriginal issues, natural resources, northern development, Solicitor General and corrections, the police. These are the normal people.

We also see that in attendance at these meetings of the emergency planning for aboriginal issue committee were officials, one official in particular from Premier Harris's office, and, as I said before, representatives from all the other agencies involved. What we really want to know is what happened at those meetings. Were there direct orders given to the OPP on how to handle this situation? Again, I stress we're asking that in this case because it would appear that the OPP handled this situation in a very different manner than they had previously handled situations such as this.

It's interesting that the situation really developed to the extent it did when we have a copy of a letter here from the Ministry of the Attorney General's office that was sent out in regard to the Ipperwash prosecutions a year after the incident, whereby the Attorney General's office realized that probably it would not succeed in obtaining a prosecution against the natives who had been charged after this incident because of a legal term called "colour of right."

"Colour of right" means that the people involved in this particular incident had the very best belief in their hearts and minds that there was a cemetery site in this park. Colour of right is recognized as a factor in law regardless of whether the particular belief is true or not in existence. If it is truly believed to be true, then there is this colour of right that this person has.


It was sad that the Attorney General's office and this crisis committee didn't realize this in the beginning and started to argue that, "We don't think there is a burial ground in this area and, therefore, the aboriginals had no right being in this park." Why this sort of research hadn't gone on while this incident was taking place really puzzles me. I think that if it had gone on, then probably we could have prevented this tragedy, and that's sad for everybody involved, especially the George family.

What I think happened is that we had a very newly elected government with its first sort of test, and this is the problem. I think that the newly elected Harris government in the late summer and early fall of 1995 wanted somehow to flex its muscles against this particular intrusion upon, as they would see it, law and order in Ontario. That's what we have to get to the bottom of because there are many, many outstanding questions as to what happened, mysteries, if you will, that are to this day unresolved.

While the Attorney General speaks to the fact that there's still the potential for judicial appeals to come forward, that there are still some civil litigation cases that are to come before the courts, what we are asking for today and have been asking for for the last year at least in this Legislature is that the government make a commitment that either, like the Westray mine inquiry, we make an inquiry in parallel to these court proceedings whereby evidence would only first appear in these court proceedings before the inquiry, or at least make the commitment that, once all the legal proceedings were completed, this government was committed to a judicial inquiry so that we could have that inquiry that would unravel all these mysteries, that would open up some of the dark corners around this incident, so that all the people in Ontario would know what really happened in the late summer of 1995 and early fall when the incident occurred.

There are many, many reasons why we want to have this. In fairness to the George family and in fairness, quite frankly, to the officer who has been convicted of the shooting, I think it's important for everybody involved and the people of Ontario that we have this public inquiry.

There are more detailed mysteries that we would like to know, in particular why the local member, the member for Lambton, was so intrinsically involved not only in the day-to-day operation of what the OPP was doing at the park, but it seemed hour by hour and minute by minute as this incident passed through time. I would tell you that, as a member of this House for 12 years now, I would never get myself involved in any police matter that happened in my riding. I believe the political arm of government should be separate from the enforcement arm of government. That's one of the tenets that this government and this democracy is based upon, that there is a separation between the political aspect of government and the judicial aspect and that independence has to be maintained so that not only is there a perception that justice is being done, but in the reality truly justice is being done.

There's a real problem here with again possibly a newly elected member who obviously had a very hot issue incident happen in his riding with, I suppose, disgruntled and angry constituents upset about lack of access to their cottages in this case, but why he got so closely involved, how he got involved and who he was in contact with during that involvement are questions that have yet to be answered, and I believe the people of Ontario deserve to have that answer.

We try, as I said, the member for Scarborough-Agincourt and others in this House, to bring up every week questions on this issue, but we cannot get to the bottom of this issue through the normal channels of question period or even the discussion we're having today as an official opposition day brought forward by the third party. We still do not get to the bottom of this. That's why we in the Legislature, all the opposition parties, have been calling for an inquiry, because it is the only way this Legislature will ever get to the bottom of what happened at Ipperwash.

It really saddens me to learn that this government is not allowing its members to speak. I don't believe, in the history of this place, I can remember an opposition day when we didn't normally go in rotation between all parties. We all participated. It's a day, from rule changes of a few years ago -- because the government runs the agenda in this place, as you know -- that the opposition gets an opportunity to bring forward issues, policy, subject areas that we feel are important and deserve to have some airing. That's what an opposition day is about. Of course it's usually something that the government disagrees with and therefore the government usually stands up and makes its case so that the people, the public, understand why the government is or is not pursuing a certain action. That's the normal case and procedure around this place.

For some reason we have not seen that today. It is a very major concern for us that we're not getting government spokespeople reacting to this today. We basically just have the line from the Attorney General as to their case, that this is not the time for a provincial or judicial inquiry into this matter.

As has been pointed out in this House many times, as people would remember, when the Westray coal mine had its tragedy a few years back in Nova Scotia, the government, through a ruling from a challenge at the Supreme Court, was able to proceed with a provincial inquiry there in Nova Scotia simultaneously with civil and criminal court actions taking place. The agreement was made that all new evidence would be brought before the judicial system before it came to the provincial inquiry.

As I said, that's certainly one way to handle this. I think it would be the most expeditious way to handle this so that we don't have to wait until a possible potential appeal in the criminal matter and also the resolution of the civil litigation against the Premier and ministers of this government are completed.

I think the people of Ontario want to know what is happening here. I think they want to know: Was there any direction given by this newly elected government back in 1995 to the OPP? Why did the OPP seem to act in a manner different from their traditions in history in dealing with aboriginal disputes in this province? We pride ourselves in Ontario as a mature democracy, having a highly trained and well-disciplined police force and being able to handle these sorts of matters in a very sensitive way. That's been our history. But something changed here, and that's really the outstanding question that remains.

When we look at the different committees that were struck by this government and the participants on these committees, we see that a highly placed official in the Premier's office was at these meetings, and we know there was communication between the Premier's office and the member for Lambton, who happened to be in the command centre at the park. Again, it really amazes me that a politician would want to get involved directly in a police matter like that. The question there is also, did he do that on his own volition or was he asked to be there as a spotter and a reporter for the government, and maybe in the end a messenger from the government to the police? That is a concern we have.

I'm glad we have this opportunity today to speak to this matter. It's very, very important, and I hope in the end the government will listen to the opposition, to our calls for an inquiry, so all of us in this place and all the people in the province can get to the bottom of this matter.


Mr Gerry Phillips (Scarborough-Agincourt): I'm pleased to join the debate as well and to say how important I believe the issue is. It is a symbol of how the Ontario government deals with its first nations, and its implications are extremely broad and extremely important.

Just to refresh our memory and the public's memory, the Harris government was elected on June 8, 1995. Essentially, two months later this incident occurred. The government was aware of the possibility of it. As a matter of fact, the government had undercover police camping in Ipperwash Provincial Park prior to the incident. Then on Labour Day, September 4, the first nations, after the park had closed for the day so they wouldn't be overly disruptive, moved into the park and the park manager actually turned the keys over to them. That was on September 4. Two days later, on September 6, a first nations person was killed, the first incident in well over 100 years where in a land claim dispute a first nations person died as a result of that confrontation.

Here's the issue, the fundamental issue here, and this is why we are supporting the call for a full public judicial inquiry: The Premier has said it was the Ontario Provincial Police that handled this issue all on their own; the government merely was kept informed, but it was the OPP that handled this. The OPP are in our opinion being hung out to dry on this issue. In our opinion, it was the government that played the key role in this most unfortunate incident.

That isn't just an accusation, and what I want to do over the next few minutes is to lay before the public the evidence of that. We wish we could lay that evidence before an inquiry, and we are prepared to do that at any time, under any conditions the Premier sets. We believe there is clear, unequivocal evidence that it was Premier Harris and the cabinet who made the key decisions at Ipperwash that resulted in that tragic situation.

I will begin to lay the evidence as we see it. First, who made the major decisions? The public should be aware that on a daily basis, starting on September 5, there was a meeting of senior people here at Queen's Park, including the Premier's personal executive assistant. That group, as I say, was meeting on a daily basis, with the Premier's executive assistant and, I might add, an elected member of the Legislature sitting at that meeting, one of the MPPs, a parliamentary assistant. They made, I believe under the direction of their ministers, the key decisions.

The key decisions were these: They decided to not treat it as a native affairs issue. They decided to treat it as what they called an MNR issue, a Ministry of Natural Resources issue. In my opinion it was clearly a first nations issue, but they decided to treat it as an MNR issue and they made this key decision: "The province will take steps to remove the occupiers ASAP. The OPP will have the discretion as to how to proceed with removing the Stony Pointers from the park." That's extremely important because it took away from the OPP the option of negotiations.

In my opinion, and we'll table later on, the OPP had a plan, Project Maple they called it, where they were going to have negotiators. They had lined up a series of negotiators; they had discussed how the negotiators were going to handle this. But the government decided, "No, we are going to remove them ASAP, as soon as possible." I think it was a huge mistake. I can perhaps understand how it happened. This was the first incident between the new Harris government and the first nations. Clearly, it was decided to handle it differently than previous disputes. I would say that decision set in course the events at Ipperwash.

The second piece of evidence I want to lay before the House is that we submitted what's called a freedom of information request to the government to try to find out the background evidence from the government. This request was submitted on November 13, 1996. It says that we want "all notes taken by individuals from the cabinet and Premier's office in attendance at the meetings of the interministerial committee for aboriginal emergencies between September 3, 1995, and October 1, 1995, as well as any formal minutes taken at the meetings."

Remember what I said earlier. This meeting took place on a daily basis. It was called a crisis by the government. The Premier's executive assistant was at those meetings every single day. The Premier's communications person was at those meetings every single day. The Cabinet Office was at those meetings every single day. Particularly after that shooting on September 6, this turned into a crisis.

We were astonished. In fact, I ask the public whether you could believe the response we got, and that is that there were no records from the cabinet or the Premier's office. They came back saying, "Sorry, we have no records about Ipperwash either in the Premier's office or in the Cabinet Office." We couldn't believe it, and so we sent another letter to the freedom of information office on January 6, 1997. The original response came December 11.

We said: "You responded that all these records originated from either the Ontario Native Affairs Secretariat or the Ministry of Natural Resources. Specifically what we want to know is, are you saying that no one from the Premier's office or Cabinet Office took any notes at those meetings? No one from the Premier's office or Cabinet Office sent any e-mail or memorandum related to the issues arising out of these meetings or the events at Ipperwash, and no notes have been taken?"

We got an answer back saying, "Apart from the records referred to above" -- that is, from the Ontario Native Affairs Secretariat and the Ministry of Natural Resources -- "neither the Cabinet Office nor the Prem ier's office has custody or control of any records responsive to the request."

In simple, plain language, what the Premier's office told the freedom of information people is that he has in his office no records from those daily meetings that took place starting on September 5, where his executive assistant, on his behalf, went to those meetings dealing with what had to be the most serious situation facing the Premier certainly up to that period of time.

A huge issue, a first nations person shot, a crisis, 250 OPP officers on the site, armoured personnel carriers being called in, armoured helicopters being called in, officers from around the province speeding to Ipperwash, an international incident, and yet the Premier in response to a question in the House, when we asked, "Is this possible that no one from your office ever wrote a memo, a file, a briefing note?" Mr Harris said: "You make up imaginary files. There were no files, there were no records, because we had no involvement."


I ask the public to think about this for a moment: daily meetings of a crisis of the most significant proportions, sufficient that cabinet was called to emergency meetings, sufficient that I don't think there has been an incident where more OPP officers were located on one site -- full armour, armoured carriers being brought from army bases, an enormous crisis.

The Premier has said to us and the people of Ontario: "I have no records, no files. No one on my staff, no one in the cabinet office ever wrote a memo, a briefing note." Really, can anybody believe that? Can anybody in the public accept what Premier Harris told us in the House, that no one ever wrote a memo or a note?

It is just too incredible to believe. It cannot have happened. As a matter of fact, the minutes of the one meeting we do have says that one of the roles of the people at those meetings was to go back and inform their ministers.

What we're being asked to believe is that for a full month, with full crisis, no one in the Premier's office ever wrote a briefing note. If you wonder why we in the opposition, why the first nations people, why people who look at this are so suspicious, I cannot believe for a moment that when the Premier's staff left those meetings, they didn't write a memo, they didn't go back and inform the Premier, they didn't go back and say, "Here's what took place, Premier," and they didn't prepare memos for them.

The third thing I want to talk about again is evidence. I wish we had a chance to lay this before a judge, an independent inquiry. Wherever and at any time, we would be pleased to do it. The shooting took place the evening of Wednesday, September 6, at roughly 11 o'clock at night. What was the headline in the local Sarnia paper that day on September 6? Actually, Mr Beaubien faxed the paper to the Premier's office, perhaps proud of it, I don't know. Here's what he faxed to the Premier's office. This is from Marcel Beaubien to the Premier's office: "Queen's Park to Take Hard Line Against Park Occupiers. Beaubien." That appeared literally hours before the shooting.

The reason I raise it is because the Premier said in the House: "The OPP handled this all on their own. We had nothing to do with it." Again, why would Mr Beaubien be saying, government "to take hard line against park occupiers"?

When the Premier says the government had nothing to do with this, imagine this: The police log showed this clearly and Mr Beaubien himself, the Conservative member for the area, has confirmed on at least three occasions he personally was at the police command post before the shooting. That to me is unacceptable. Here we have our police trying to handle a most sensitive situation, and appearing at the police command post was the local Conservative member. The records will show -- the police records, the command post file, and we've tabled that information -- that Mr Beaubien said, "I have been in touch with the Premier, with the Solicitor General and with the Attorney General." On three different occasions he was there, including, I might add, four hours before the fatal shooting.

If the government is saying the OPP handled this all on their own, the pressure that was put on the OPP -- they couldn't have missed the headline in the Sarnia paper that day, hours before the shooting: "Queen's Park to Take Hard Line." They couldn't have missed the fact that Mr Beaubien -- Mr Beaubien, by the way, faxed to the Premier, and I'm sure let the local police know his intentions, his press release of September 5. He says: "We're not dealing with decent native citizens, we're dealing with thugs.... Enough is enough.... Where's the leadership, not only from provincial officials but from federal officials?"

My point is this: The Premier has said that it was left entirely in the OPP's hands, yet the evidence is that it wasn't: at the police command post, Mr Beaubien, at least three times, his intentions known, saying he's talking to the Premier, the Solicitor General and the Attorney General. All of this is fact. All of this is there in hard evidence by the OPP itself, that we would be pleased to present at any time to an independent commission.

I go on to further evidence of interference at Ipperwash, and that is from another police log. This took place at 2141 on September 6; that is at about 20 minutes to 10. The shooting took place at 11 o'clock that evening. This is a transcript of a discussion between the command officer, Inspector Linton, and his superintendent, Mr Parkin, less than two hours before the shooting. Mr Linton is going over what is happening, and what's happening is that the government has decided to seek an injunction, and this is what the superintendent says: "Well, that injunction surprises me, because the one that we were going for, I guess John told you" -- point number 1, that what the OPP wanted to do was different than what the government decided to do.

It goes on to say that "something went up the MNR side.... that must have been from Mr Kobayashi." Then they go on to say, "The next thing, it was sitting in the Deputy Solicitor General's office, so there was concern that, you know, maybe we weren't doing the right thing."

Now, what that says is that there was a Ministry of Natural Resources person hanging around the police command post reporting rumours to the government and the government was responding to these rumours, and we have the police commander saying the government is worried that, "you know, maybe we weren't doing the right thing."


Then it goes on to say, "Marcel Beaubien was in tonight. He had talked to the Solicitor General." Further evidence of Mr Beaubien, the Conservative member, at the headquarters. He talked to the Solicitor General and the Attorney General. "They were comfortable" but "we called the commissioner tonight and he had been talking to Runciman and they were more than pleased with what the OPP was doing, so there's no problem there. What happened though, by that information about the...weapons going up the MNR side, they went from that regular type of injunction to the emergency type, which you know isn't really in our favour." "Yeah." "We want a little bit more time."

I hope the public picks up on the language there. What we have are the two senior OPP officers, the commanding officer and the commanding officer's superintendent saying, "Government interference here. They've gone after a different type of injunction than we've been expecting. It really isn't in our favour," ie, not in the OPP's favour. "We want a little bit more time." Then they go on to say "but they've gone for that, and that's why these papers must come down tonight for us to serve." and "You know, this is typical, where we get kinda caught, and ultimately the ball's gonna be in our lap anyway."

I use that as further evidence of the government interference. Here we have the OPP trying to deal with a tough, sensitive situation, and yet here is hard evidence that the government had decided. With the minister's consultation, there had been a cabinet meeting that morning where this was discussed, and they've decided to take a different course of action than the OPP had been expecting or wanting.

You can see the language here. First, "There was concern we weren't doing the right thing." In other words, the police felt the government was looking over their shoulder on a constant regular basis. Evidence that what Mr Harris, the Premier, has told us in the House is contradicted by police records. It goes on to say that "they went from that regular type of injunction to the emergency type, which you know isn't really in our favour," and "We want a little bit more time." I table that as further evidence that contradicts what Premier Harris has said in the House: "No, no, the OPP handled this all on their own. We had nothing to do with it."

I want to go on to a further issue -- which I'll find in a moment; here it is, here and here. One of the key reasons why the first nations entered the park to take it over was because they believed there was a sacred burial ground there. They felt it was being desecrated and they felt a need to go in and to secure it. On October 31 we raised this in the Legislature, saying one of the reasons the first nations went into that park and occupied it was that they believed there was a sacred burial ground within the boundary of that park. The Attorney General said, "That isn't why they went into the park." Well, that is why they went into the park. The newspaper accounts on the days before indicate that's why they went in.

What happened afterwards? There were 43 charges laid against the first nations as a result of that incident in the park that night -- 43 charges including assault, assault with a deadly weapon and something called forcible entry. What happened? Let me tell you about 40 of those charges. The Ministry of the Attorney General dropped those charges. Why? Because -- this is legal jargon -- colour of right, that there was a burial ground there. They went into court and said, "We are dropping the charges." This letter, on Ministry of Attorney General letterhead, says:

"The crown has confirmed the existence of correspondence made in 1937 between the federal Indian Affairs branch and the Ontario Department of Lands and Forests, which refers to `the old Indian cemetery which...is located within the territory now being developed as a park' (referred to now as Ipperwash Provincial Park). This documentation gives objective support for the reasonableness and the honesty of the accused's belief.

"Further, it has been clearly indicated by the Provincial Division judges at pretrials that this defence will succeed in all instances when it is raised.

"Accordingly, this `colour of right' defence is of sufficient significance that the crown concludes that there is no reasonable prospect of conviction. The crown therefore must withdraw all forcible detainer charges."

That is an admission by the government that those first nations people had a legitimate right to occupy the park. They had a legitimate right to believe there was a sacred burial ground there. Perhaps the biggest tragedy, although there are many tragedies here, is that the government knew weeks before this occupation took place that they were going to occupy the park at some time and that they were going to occupy the park because of that belief about a sacred burial ground.

If that had been taken seriously and if the government had said, "Let's do a thorough investigation of this to find out whether there's any evidence for that claim," I guarantee that this situation would have been handled totally differently. But it didn't take place. The claim was dismissed. As recently as October 1996, tragically, the Attorney General was still saying, "That isn't why they went in there."

I would just say to the public that every single charge against the first nations as a result of that incident has now been dropped or they were found innocent. I would say as an aside -- I hope I can find the thing I want. I found it offensive. Here it is.

We heard earlier today that the government won't discuss this issue because it's before the courts, but the very day that the OPP constable went on trial, the very day that took place, the Premier -- the headline here is "Ipperwash Group was Breaking Law, Premier Says." That was April 1, 1997. That was exactly the day the trial of the police officer started. I found it extremely offensive, because the government itself had dropped all the charges. The Premier said they were breaking the law, an illegal occupation of the park, but the government had dropped the charges because it agreed they had a legitimate defence for being there.

I found it offensive for two reasons, first that the Premier was still saying they were guilty of breaking the law when the government itself had dropped the charges, saying they were innocent. Frankly, if you're looking for a lawsuit with the Premier, there is a classic case where he's saying, "You're guilty," after he and the government claimed and acknowledged they were innocent. The other thing I found offensive is that the Premier has said, "We can't comment on this thing because it's before the courts," but he certainly was able to comment on April 1 that this Ipperwash group was breaking the law.


The reason I go through all of these is that for the public watching this and interested in this issue, this is a symbol of how we deal with our first nations and it is a symbol of how this government deals with its first nations. Surely we can't let this simply be ignored. Our first nations have every right to demand a public inquiry, and I go through the evidence, which is not hearsay, it's not rumour; it is the government's own documents.

Just to refresh our memory, the Premier has said their own interministerial group made the key decision, "We are going to ignore the native claim." God knows there is and was a legitimate first nations claim on this area, but, "No, we're going to treat this as a trespass and we have made the decision to get them out of that park as soon as possible." That was the first tragic mistake.

Second, does anybody in this province believe that this group that met, meets -- here's what it's called: "the Ipperwash incident crisis communications procedures and contact list...this system for managing this interministerial crisis." It goes on to say: "Members of the core working group, meetings will be held daily. These meetings will be in the executive boardroom. On the weekends, calls will be made on Saturday and Sunday at specific times as initiated by the chairperson. The core working group will maintain a daily log of events citing the specific incident." Then it goes on to say the Premier's executive assistant and the Premier's press office and the Cabinet Office are on that.

We've been told that in spite of the fact that that group met daily dealing with this crisis, all three of those people never, ever once wrote a memo, an e-mail, a file, a briefing note. That's what the Premier says. Can anybody believe that? Yet that's what we're being told and that's what the first nations are being told. The Premier says it was left to the OPP.

Hours before the shooting, Mr Beaubien's comments are in the local paper: "We're going to take a hard line with the natives at the park." Does that tell you they kept hands off? The government said, "They didn't go in there because they believed there was a sacred burial ground," and then the government had to drop all the charges because of what is called "colour of right," the evidence that there was strong evidence of a burial ground in there.

The police log showed they were constantly being forced to deal with a Mr Beaubien, a Conservative member, at their headquarters, that he said he was talking to the Solicitor General and the Attorney General. That is unacceptable. We cannot have politicians at police command posts. You can imagine the abuse that can take place if that's acceptable behaviour in this province. We can't let that happen. But the Premier and the Solicitor General have both said this is acceptable behaviour. It is unacceptable. You're placing the police in an impossible position.

The crisis plan clearly indicates the government viewed this as a crisis of the highest order. Surely memos were in the Premier's office, but he denies they exist.

For all those reasons I charge the government with blatant interference. I will say that in the House and I will say that in the hall. I will say that anywhere. I will challenge them to give us a forum to lay this evidence before anybody, any judge, a legislative committee. I think a judicial inquiry is what's required.

I asked them to table the legal opinion that says we can't proceed with an inquiry and they refused to do that. There is an issue that we in this Legislature cannot ignore. We owe it to our first nations, we owe it to ourselves, to have a full public airing of this very sorry situation.

Mr Sean G. Conway (Renfrew North): I rise to support the motion standing in the name of the member for Rainy River. I join my colleague from Scarborough-Agincourt and others who have spoken this afternoon from this side of the House to raise the concern that I believe most, if not all, members feel about the fact that on our watch, during the early part of this Parliament, a native Canadian living in southwestern Ontario, Dudley George, was killed. That's the first time that's happened in the history of this province. That is an unprecedented and a very serious situation.

I don't intend today to stand and rethrash the evidence that has been advanced by the previous speaker, my colleague Mr Phillips, or Mr Wildman or Mr Ramsay, who spoke earlier this afternoon. I just simply want to make a couple of observations beyond saying that this is very serious, very unprecedented and that we owe it to the community at large and most especially to the family of Dudley George to provide more and better answers than have been provided to date, especially since we now have the ruling of at least one independent judge who has heard some of the testimony and made a very important finding with respect to various aspects of this case.

I want to say this afternoon that on this matter I have listened carefully to what I have been told by the Attorney General and by the Premier, the leader of the government. Had I not spent time in government, did I not know about the competence and the thoroughness of people like Deb Hutton, I might come to a different conclusion than I am inclined to now take. I know and I have a great deal of respect for Deb Hutton. I know a lot about the current leader of this government. I know something about his developed views vis-à-vis the aboriginal community. I know perhaps more than I want to know about Mike Harris and his views on native Canadians living in this province.

I have seen my friend the Premier at public meetings in my community. I've read about his views up in Peterborough late in October 1994. I ask myself, "What would somebody with those views do if he had the opportunity to run the government of Ontario?" Then I ask myself, "Is it possible that government has changed to such an extent since the days when I was there that" -- and I say this very seriously to my friend from St Catharines, and I say it of myself, not of him, because I've had the opportunity to serve in government. Coming from that experience, I have to tell you that I cannot believe what I'm being asked to believe by Premier Harris and the Attorney General, for, among other reasons, my knowledge of the thoroughness and the competence of Deb Hutton. That she was at those meetings and that she did not pass back to her boss what was going on is, from my experience in government, absolutely and transparently incredible. I say that only from my own personal experience and my own very high regard for, among other people, Deb Hutton.

Then I ask myself the other question, "On this matter, given what's happened here, do I want to be Ward Cleaver and give a very generous benefit of the doubt, or do I want to be I.F. Stone and be very sceptical of what might have been done by the leadership of the Ontario government?" I ask myself, "Is there any precedent in the history of my province that might give me some reason to be I.F. Stone the sceptic, not Ward Cleaver the happy, generous giver of the benefit of the doubt to all authority?"


I want to take a few moments this afternoon to draw the attention of the House to an excellent memoir by David Lewis, published about the time of his death in 1981, called The Good Fight. In that book there is a chapter which I recommend to everyone, chapter 12, called "The Gestapo Affair."

Very briefly, what that deals with is a very controversial set of circumstances in the Ontario general election that was held 52 years ago today, June 4, 1945. In that campaign, the Leader of the Opposition, Ted Jolliffe, went on radio on May 24 and accused the then Premier of Ontario, George Drew, of maintaining a special branch of the OPP at 18 Surrey Place, just across the street from where we now sit, the so-called special branch that the Leader of the Opposition said was spying on the CCF and the labour movement in Ontario, and that not only were the provincial police force spying, but that they were causing that spy material to get into the hands of, as Mr Lewis says, virulent anti-CCF propagandists like Gladstone Murray, among others.

Mr Drew denied absolutely any knowledge of anything. To his credit, he appointed a royal commission that made a finding in his favour. Thirty-five years later, a very distinguished Canadian academic, Alan Whitehorn, in preparing these memoirs, got into the Drew papers. Professor Whitehorn found very clear evidence that Colonel George Alexander Drew, Premier of Ontario, appeared -- more than appeared -- to have perjured himself before that royal commission. You can read chapter 12 of this book with all of the documentary evidence that a very distinguished and thorough Ontario academic has advanced.

I make the point that there is a case where in a somewhat similar matter an Ontario Premier apparently did not tell nearly the whole truth of what he knew and what he did in a matter that was very important to our democracy here in Ontario. Could it happen again? Did it happen again? I don't know, but when I read this chapter 12, the so-called Gestapo affair as reported in the David Lewis memoir published 15 years ago, I'll tell you, that more than anything else makes me want to be I.F. Stone, not Ward Cleaver, and that's why I support this resolution today.

The Speaker (Hon Chris Stockwell): Thank you. Further debate?

Mrs Marion Boyd (London Centre): I'm pleased to be able to speak on this motion, partly because I come from southwestern Ontario, partly because I know members of the George family well, partly because Ipperwash Provincial Park is one of the places that I remember very well from my childhood as a wonderful location, and partly because it is always important that we stand in this place and demand the truth.

This is a very serious issue, and it distresses me that the government has taken the tack that it has taken, frankly right from the beginning, on matters that concern native people in this province. It is quite, quite clear that in many statements there has been little, if any, understanding about the complexity of the land claim issues that native people have in this province and little or no sympathy for the reality that our inability as communities to deal with the very real problems of aboriginal neighbours has created for us an ongoing black eye not only in our own communities but quite frankly across the world.

Is quite clear that we as Canadians get very upset when other nations treat groups of people in unfair ways and bring undue force against them when they are attempting to assert their rights, and yet here we have an example in the province of Ontario that is being used worldwide as an example of how Canada has no right to be self-righteous and how Ontario has slipped into this whole way of dealing with problems.

It's fitting that today is not only the anniversary that Mr Conway, the member from Renfrew, mentioned in his speech, but is also the anniversary of Tiananmen Square: people trying to assert themselves, assert their democratic rights, being crushed by government. I don't think it's too far-fetched for us -- all of us remember that sole person standing in front of the tank in Tiananmen Square. Well, the native people in Ipperwash, native people across this country, see Dudley George in much the same way. That image of what happened that night at Ipperwash will forever taint the relationship between native people and their government here in this place and frankly in our national government unless there is a committed effort to expose the truth of what happened, to take responsibility, to ensure that there is accountability, and then to see some commitment to change on the part of this government.

I've been an Attorney General and I confess myself quite amazed at the line the Attorney General has taken. I have no doubt he has legal advice that supports his line, but I also have no doubt he has another whole set of legal advice that tells him that if he were prepared to have a public inquiry, this is how he would go about it in order to avoid the problems with the criminal process and, I would suggest, the civil process, which quite frankly I think is a much bigger problem for this government than the criminal process. The criminal process will go on. In fact, many of the decisions have already been made. I believe this government is much more fearful of the consequences of the civil process.

I can say quite clearly, as the George family have said, that the longer you stonewall on this issue, the worse that liability will become and the more intransigent that family will become in seeking justice. Why? It is because this is a group of people who felt they were simply maintaining their rights. Even the Attorney General's ministry agreed, in the criminal cases cited by the member for Scarborough-Agincourt, that they had reason to believe they had right in terms of the burial ground.

It's also amazing to me, just amazing, that members of this government are not upset by the involvement of one of their own backbenchers in this whole affair. Those of us who come from southwestern Ontario know very clearly about the animosity among some citizens in the area of Ipperwash over land claims by the Stony Point and Kettle Point people. We know that very well. We know they have formed a very powerful group to defend themselves and their own rights, because they of course have competing rights to land that they have lived on, that they have built on, that they've invested in over many years. So what we have are two groups of citizens with competing rights.

What is the job of someone elected to this place from that community? The job of a legislator is to be there on behalf of all the citizens of the constituency, not just one group with which he happens to have identified. The reality is that the statements from the member for Lambton, some of which my friend from Scarborough-Agincourt read out but others of which all of us in southwestern Ontario heard on the radio and on television, were extremely inflammatory. I was on a talk show radio program with him a week after this tragic occurrence on which he in very loud and definite terms said, "The job of government is to move in and stop the problem when someone breaks the law." I might say that the radio talk show host, who is not known to be a friend of mine, said to him very clearly, "What law are they supposed to have broken?" "Well, they were trespassing in the park."


Let's look at the absurdity of bringing in the TRU team, the tactical response unit, for a case of trespass. Why do we have a TRU team? Why do they have expensive training? Why do they have the kind of focused attention they have? Because there are instances when we require highly specialized, highly focused police officers to go into a situation where they have only one job.

Let's look at a hostage situation. That's where you mostly see the TRU team. Someone goes berserk in their house or someplace else, takes someone else or a number of other people hostage, and it becomes an issue of how you get those people out of there safely. There's always a police effort made to try negotiation, try negotiation, try negotiation, wait them out, starve them out, try to be affable to the needs of the person holding those people prisoner. But eventually, if intelligence tells you there is a definite danger to someone, then the TRU team is called in. Their job is to minimize casualties and to protect those who are there to the extent they can, but basically to end the situation.

What we have here is a situation that is totally foreign to the way the OPP have ever operated in the past when it has come to a peaceful occupation of any kind of land, to a peaceful blockade of any kind of transportation route, and we have had many instances of that.

We are in a situation where large tracts of land all over this province are under land claims by native people. They are understandably upset that they are making no progress in terms of those land claim negotiations. They certainly won't now, with a pared-down native affairs ministry that has no money to conduct any negotiations and certainly no funding available to them to give the kind of compensation that all of us would require if we felt our land had been unlawfully taken from us.

We have a situation not six weeks after land was taken, but two days. We have a situation where there were no hostages. The people who went into the park carefully waited until the season was up. There were no campers. They carefully did this knowing that it would not be appropriate for them to put anyone else in danger. They were simply, with their bodies and their presence, saying, "This burial ground is ours by right, and until you talk to us about it, federal and provincial government, this is where we stay."

They had done that some weeks earlier with the army camp after years and years and years of effort to get back their own land, which was expropriated during the war for a base. I know when I was a child growing up in the 1950s and going to Ipperwash that those were early days, and the pain of the Stony Point people looking at their land being systematically destroyed by the use of shells, by the kind of training that went on at that place, was etched in my memory in the 1950s. It was a very, very sad occurrence.

We have a situation were there were no hostages, there were no threats being issued against anybody who lived in the area. My friend from Kirkland Lake is wrong. He suggested that the cottagers couldn't get to their cottages. That's not the case. There was no road blockade. Entrance and egress were not being blocked -- nothing like that.

There were names being called. People were angry. I must say that if you read the press, the names that were being called were equally unacceptable on both sides. The inflammatory nature of the comments from some of the non-native inhabitants of the area, not just in those days but since, have given rise to great fear on the part of native people and their supporters in the area about whether reconciliation can ever be found, and the longer this matter goes on, the worse that hostility becomes.

The family of Dudley George, a large, extended family, many of whom have been committed to obtaining the return of their land, the Stony Point land -- in fact, I first met members of the George family when their father was making an effort to get the previous Conservative federal government to negotiate with the Stony Pointers the return of that land -- all of that family feels they have been abandoned not only by their government but by people they would have assumed would understand them to be their constituents, in particular the member for Lambton.

When the member for Scarborough-Agincourt says this is an international incident, it is an international incident because many of the native people across North America do not regard the borders we have set up between the United States and Canada as borders which have anything to do with them. They see themselves as citizens of North America, not particularly as citizens of Canada, so the shame of this incident has spread far and wide throughout North America.

Mr Wildman: And to the United Nations.

Mrs Boyd: And to the United Nations, as my colleague from Algoma points out. You will all be aware of the delegation that has gone to the Queen around these unresolved native issues, and to the United Nations.

Yet we have a government that persists in trying to hide behind the reason they can't go into this in any depth being ongoing court cases, even though the Supreme Court has ruled on that matter and has ruled against that position, even though we are not putting a time limit on this motion, are not asking for this inquiry to begin until those matters have been resolved.

The Supreme Court has said it's okay to go ahead with criminal and civil matters pending if what you are trying to determine is what the role of government was and what the accountability of government is. We also have the situation where we are not even requiring that of this government. What we are requiring on behalf of the George family, on behalf of all native citizens in this province, is that we get to the bottom of why on September 6, two days after a group of native people calmly occupied a deserted park, a park that was about to be closed for the winter, we have the TRU teams surrounding them, we have the armed forces on alert, we have a whole buildup of a police action that, frankly, looked like Waco, Texas.

We have a situation of a government that made a decision about how it was going to show it was tough on native people and that it was law-and-order, without regard for what was going on in terms of native land claims, and that's all we had.


There is no explanation for the change in policy or procedure on the part of the OPP and we all know that police officers follow orders. We all know that they are trained to follow orders and we all know that the order was given -- it's in the papers that have been obtained -- "Get the Indians out of the park as soon as possible." That's an order and it is quite clear that although -- and time will tell whether this is true or not -- there is some defensiveness that they weren't told how to get those folks out of the park, we will see whether that's true or not once we finally get this matter inquired into in some detail. Even if they weren't told how, they were told that that was a top priority and had to be done immediately.

What we have is a situation where this government is allowing the police to carry the can for a terrible, tragic incident, and one police officer in particular. I believe very strongly that in this matter it is in the best interests of everyone, including the government, to air this matter. When I was counselling battered women, one of the ways in which I tried to help them understand how burying problems, burying mistakes created a problem, was to say, "You know, it's like when instead of throwing your trash down the garbage chute, you put it in a cupboard, and you keep putting it in a cupboard and it gets full and it begins to do what garbage always does. It festers and it ferments and eventually it bursts right out of the closet."

That's what's going to happen in this matter. The longer this goes on, the higher the stench becomes. The Premier stood in this place and said he didn't know anything about any faxes and there weren't any faxes. He looked and there weren't any faxes. And then we found out there was a fax.

Each piece of information that comes out calls into question the integrity of this government, and your only way to deal with it, quite frankly, is to admit that you made a mistake, is to say, "Okay, you're right, we need to get the fresh air at the garbage that has gone on around Ipperwash and find out how we can get back to a situation where we're trying to resolve problems," instead of creating new ones every day by the kind of intransigence that was expressed by your Attorney General today.

There is absolutely no reason in the world why this government, if it truly wants the truth to be out, could not say, "We are following legal advice that we cannot have a public inquiry until all legal and civil matters are dealt with, but as soon as they are, you have our full commitment to call an inquiry." That's all we're asking. That's all we've been asking for almost two years.

Mr Wildman: The truth shall set ye free.

Mrs Boyd: The truth always sets us free because there's nothing more to hide. There are no more little holes to patch up and if the front benches of your government are not responsible enough to take this action, it is too bad that more of you on the back bench are not prepared to act as independent members, as your member for Nepean wants us all to be, independent members who see this place as the rightful place where we should be able to express our views.

You have been muzzled by your Attorney General this afternoon. He announced there would be no speakers, and I see some of you sitting there and I know you're dying to speak. You may not want to speak in a way that I would want to hear, and that may indeed be why you've been muzzled. I don't know, but it is very important on this matter that you understand it will come home to roost.

When it comes home to roost, it will foul your nest as badly as it has fouled the nest of the member for Lambton and as badly as I believe it will foul the nest of your cabinet. If you are seen to be acceding to hushing up a death that could have and should have never happened. It is not acceptable in this province for this kind of behaviour to go unexamined.

The court has found that there were no weapons in case after case after case. The court has found that there is no evidence to support the claims there were shots fired. The court has found that in fact there is no case of trespass against large numbers of those who were tried. The court has found that people were justified in their actions when they did behave in a way that was assaultive in order to protect somebody else.

Something stinks here, and it's very, very important for us to be very clear that the only way to stop the stench from growing, to stop the garbage from fermenting, is to get the light and the fresh air at it. The way to do that is to test the assertions of this Attorney General and this Premier and this Solicitor General and this Minister of Natural Resources, and to clearly test it by subpoena, under oath, in a court of law or in a public inquiry. The courts of law have already found that there was no justification. It is time for us now to be very clear that there must be a public inquiry to clear the air and clear the name of Dudley George.

Mr James J. Bradley (St Catharines): Is there any more time left, Mr Speaker?

The Speaker: No, I don't think so. No, there's no more time.

Mr Bradley: The reason is I was just going to ask if any of the government members wanted to speak.

The Speaker: Oh no, you're out of order.

Mr Hampton has moved opposition day motion number 6. Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry?

All those in favour, please say "aye."

All those opposed, please say "nay."

In my opinion, the nays have it.

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

The division bells rang from 1758 to 1803.

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


Bartolucci, Rick

Crozier, Bruce

Martel, Shelley

Boyd, Marion

Curling, Alvin

McGuinty, Dalton

Bradley, James J.

Duncan, Dwight

Miclash, Frank

Brown, Michael A.

Gerretsen, John

Morin, Gilles E.

Castrilli, Annamarie

Hampton, Howard

Patten, Richard

Christopherson, David

Hoy, Pat

Phillips, Gerry

Churley, Marilyn

Kennedy, Gerard

Ruprecht, Tony

Cleary, John C.

Kormos, Peter

Sergio, Mario

Colle, Mike

Lalonde, Jean-Marc

Silipo, Tony

Conway, Sean G.

Lankin, Frances

Wildman, Bud

Cordiano, Joseph

Laughren, Floyd

Wood, Len

The Speaker: All those opposed, please rise one at a time and be recognized by the Clerk.


Baird, John R.

Harnick, Charles

Parker, John L.

Barrett, Toby

Hodgson, Chris

Rollins, E.J. Douglas

Boushy, Dave

Hudak, Tim

Ross, Lillian

Brown, Jim

Jackson, Cameron

Sampson, Rob

Chudleigh, Ted

Johns, Helen

Saunderson, William

Cunningham, Dianne

Johnson, Bert

Shea, Derwyn

Danford, Harry

Jordan, W. Leo

Smith, Bruce

Doyle, Ed

Kells, Morley

Stewart, R. Gary

Flaherty, Jim

Klees, Frank

Tascona, Joseph N.

Fox, Gary

Leach, Al

Tsubouchi, David H.

Froese, Tom

Leadston, Gary L.

Turnbull, David

Gilchrist, Steve

Martiniuk, Gerry

Villeneuve, Noble

Grimmett, Bill

McLean, Allan K.

Wettlaufer, Wayne

Guzzo, Garry J.

Munro, Julia

Wood, Bob

Hardeman, Ernie

O'Toole, John

Young, Terence H.

Clerk of the House (Mr Claude L. DesRosiers): The ayes are 33; the nays are 45.

The Speaker: I declare the motion lost.

It now being past 6 of the clock, this House stands adjourned until 10 of the clock tomorrow.

The House adjourned at 1806.