36th Parliament, 1st Session

L255b - Wed 3 Dec 1997 / Mer 3 Déc 1997




The House met at 1830.


Hon Chris Hodgson (Chair of the Management Board of Cabinet, Minister of Northern Development and Mines): Mr Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to call the 89th order, second reading of Bill 167, An Act to change the name of the geographic township of Creighton in the Territorial District of Sudbury to Creighton-Davies, and to make a consequential amendment to the Territorial Division Act, which stands in the name of Mr Laughren.

The Acting Speaker (Mr Bert Johnson): Unanimous consent to move to the 89th order? It is agreed.


Mr Laughren moved second reading of the following bill:

Bill 167, An Act to change the name of the geographic township of Creighton in the Territorial District of Sudbury to Creighton-Davies, and to make a consequential amendment to the Territorial Division Act / Projet de loi 167, Loi visant à remplacer le nom du canton géographique de Creighton dans le district territorial de Sudbury par celui de Creighton-Davies, et apportant une modification corrélative à la Loi sur la division territoriale.

Mr Floyd Laughren (Nickel Belt): I should say right off the top that I appreciate very much the cooperation of the government members and the government House leader in bringing forward this bill for debate this evening, and the cooperation and generosity of the member for Sudbury and the participation of my colleague from Sudbury East.

This changes the name of the existing township of Creighton to Creighton-Davies. As some members will know, Creighton used to be a town. It is now only a township because the town doesn't exist any more, but we're renaming it Creighton-Davies in honour of the retiring chairman of the regional municipality of Sudbury, Mr Tom Davies, who was born in Creighton and raised in Creighton and didn't leave there, as a matter of fact, until it was time for him to raise his own family.

Mr Davies is retiring after many years as regional chairman. He is held in very high regard by the entire community of the regional municipality. He served as mayor of the town of Walden and then as chairman of the regional municipality of Sudbury. He was a good chairman and he was a good mayor, he was a good family man and he was a good friend. I first met Tom when he was a school bus driver for my children. That's how I first got to know him, and he was very good. He was not an ordinary school bus driver; he would stop the bus if he saw a partridge or a pheasant at the side of the road and point it out to the children and tell them about it. He was an unusual man in that he took a great interest in the people around him.

There was a Tom Davies tribute in the local Walden arena about three weeks ago to which several thousand people came out to pay tribute to Tom. That Walden arena is now known as the Tom Davies Arena. As I say, several thousand people came out to pay tribute to a very fine man.

The town of Creighton doesn't exist any more; it is now simply a township. Creighton as a town was a company town, an Inco town. Inco removed that town from the face of the earth a number of years ago, but the township, of course, remained. There is a monument there that notes that fact.

It's most appropriate that we now in this Legislature are going to change the name of that township of Creighton to the Creighton-Davies township. As I said at the beginning, I appreciate very much the cooperation of everyone concerned and, as I said earlier, the government House leader and my two colleagues in the Sudbury area have been most generous in their support and in their willingness to share in this tribute to Tom Davies.

Hon Chris Hodgson (Chair of the Management Board of Cabinet, Minister of Northern Development and Mines): I rise today on behalf of the government to give our unqualified support to Bill 167, An Act to change the name of the geographic township of Creighton in the Territorial District of Sudbury to Creighton-Davies. It is with genuine appreciation for the initiative of my legislative colleague the member for Nickel Belt, and with heartfelt affection for a man upon whom this honour is bestowed, that I offer this support today.

By unanimously supporting this bill, this Legislature will give long-lasting and historical context to the words of praise and honour that have been echoing across the Sudbury region since regional chair Tom Davies announced his retirement earlier this fall.

There have been a number of tributes in Tom's honour over the last several weeks. The Sudbury community recently held a gala evening in his honour, and it is typical of Tom that he insisted that the wonderful celebration not focus on his achievements but on the achievements of the people he has served long and well.

Last month Tom was given an honorary degree by Laurentian University, and he chose to use that occasion to encourage his young audience to set goals and cooperate and collaborate. In Tom's words, "If a young baseball-playing kid from Creighton mine can show up in Rio de Janeiro to accept a United Nations award for Sudbury region's land reclamation work, you can go far too."

Last week Sudbury regional council unanimously voted to rename Civic Square as Tom Davies Square. At the meeting where this decision was made, Tom was presented with a sketch by local artist Oryst Sawchuk. The sketch is entitled The Pathfinder, and it perfectly illustrates the impact Tom has had during his 29 consecutive years in municipal government service. The sketch shows Tom standing tall, surrounded by the Creighton mine and the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory.

For three decades Tom Davies has dedicated himself with courage and integrity to leading the community he so passionately loves. He has taken it from an honourable past to a fearless future brimming with new opportunities.

Over the last few years, I have come to know Tom as a friend and as a trusted adviser on issues of importance to the Sudbury area and to the broader community of northern Ontario. A few weeks ago, I thanked him when I joined him in Sudbury for the planting of the three millionth tree in the Greening of Sudbury, a project that Tom himself began.

There are three million trees, and that is a tremendous testimonial to what one man can do. I know that Tom would want me to tell you he did not do it alone, and he would be right, because Tom's greatest talents are those of catalyst and consensus building. Whatever the project, from tree planting to a leading-edge search for the secrets of the universe at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory, Tom Davies pulled together the partners that could make the dreams reality.

Just in case you think that only the big dreams matter to Tom, I want to tell you a story about him. In March 1995 a Ministry of Northern Development and Mines employee got a call from Tom Davies asking him to come over to his office. When he got there, Tom, who was all smiles, presented him with a variety of gifts and mementoes from the Sudbury region. Tom had heard that this employee's son, along with another local boy, was heading off to Finland to represent Canada at the World Winter Games for the Deaf. Tom wanted to make sure that they had lots of great Sudbury gifts to pass around as proud ambassadors for the Sudbury region.

The people of the township of Creighton know where Tom's mettle was forged - if you will allow me a little play on words. He was born, grew up and lived and worked in the tightly knit community of Creighton, a community where neighbours, friends and strangers go out of their way to help one another without being asked.

I am proud to stand in my place today as Minister of Northern Development and Mines and ask all my colleagues in this Legislature to join me in recognizing the accomplishments of Thomas M. Davies. I ask you to support this bill so that, from now on and for always, the township of Creighton will be known as Creighton-Davies township.


Mr Rick Bartolucci (Sudbury): I'm proud to stand and say a few words about Tom this evening.

On behalf of the Davies family and the region of Sudbury, I would like to thank Floyd for working so closely with Jim Rule and Gerry Lougheed Jr and myself to ensure that this private member's bill came to fruition. The family and the region would like to thank ministers Leach and Sterling for their cooperation and their expeditious efforts in this regard.

Tom Davies is a Creighton boy who grew up on the streets of Creighton to lead the region. He is a ball player, a scholar, an accomplished politician, but mostly he was a gentleman and a man who dedicated himself to the community and to his family. He was a man whom all of us were proud to call a friend.

Certainly Tom Davies will not only be missed by the people in the region of Sudbury, but he'll be missed by all politicians at all levels of government for Tom was indeed a person who wanted always to build bridges, a person who was intent on ensuring that the survival of the Sudbury region came not through confrontation but through consensus, came from the efforts of many coming together, pooling their many, many talents, their many extraordinary efforts to one cause to ensure that the Sudbury region was a very, very viable community, one - and he devoted himself to this - ensuring that the youth of the Sudbury region could come home to jobs, to remain in the community so that the region would always be strong.

I spent 12 years on municipal council with Tom and he ensured that every one of his colleagues dedicated themselves to that task, to ensuring that they would work with whomever they had to. The youth of the region of Sudbury was his cause, the survival and growth of the region was his mission, so Tom did not at any time show partisan political favouritism. He said, "In order for us to ensure that Sudbury remains viable and grows as a region, we must make sure that we build bridges, not barriers," and Tom dedicated his many years to that cause.

When anyone thinks of Tom Davies, they think of children. Tom's favourite poem was entitled A Heart for Children, and I want to read it to the House and to the people who are watching because it best exemplifies what Tom Davies is all about:

One hundred years from now

It will not matter what kind of house I lived in,

How much I had in my bank,

Nor what my clothes looked like.

One hundred years from now

It will not matter what kind of school I attended,

What kind of typewriter I used,

How large or small my church,

But the world may be

a little better because

I was important in the

life of a child.

That's exactly the way Tom handled himself at all times. He devoted himself to nurturing a baby region and bringing it to fruition and to adulthood in a very, very healthy manner. He continued to do that in his efforts at ensuring that the youth of our community had jobs.

Tom has waged his battle with terminal cancer as he has faced all the challenges he faced as a regional chairman, with a positive outlook, a focused purpose, a ray of hope and, most important, a sense of humour.

As my time winds down, I'm reminded of the saying that said, "Love is friendship that has caught fire." Tom, Sally, the people of the region have caught fire and we all love you very much. Thank you, Speaker.

Ms Shelley Martel (Sudbury East): I am pleased to be here this evening to support the private member's Bill 167 that has been put forward by my colleague from Nickel Belt.

As he has mentioned in his opening remarks, the purpose of the act is to change the name of the geographic township of Creighton to Creighton-Davies and it has been moved as an act tonight to recognize the very significant, the very substantial contribution which has been made by Tom Davies to political life in his own community of Walden and to the regional municipality of Sudbury. His political contribution has been made over many years, both in the time that he served as the mayor of Walden and in the time that he served as chair for the regional municipality of Sudbury. There are others in this chamber tonight and at home on council who have served with Tom under both capacities and can attest to that long and very distinguished political career.

Tom had a unique ability to get regional council members representing some often very different and diverse points of view to work together. That is not to say that regional council under Tom's leadership did not have its share of very acrimonious and very heated debate on very important public policy issues, but it is also true to say that during the course of those debates and during the course of his time as regional chair Tom very skilfully managed, sometimes through subtle and sometimes through not-so-subtle means, to get people on board, working together to have a common interest and to have a united sense from all the players with respect to the issues that needed to be dealt with.

He could be as a politician very persuasive, very forceful, engaging, critical and complimentary, but I think it's safe to say that his colleagues on regional council continued both to recognize and to appreciate his leadership abilities and his very deep sense of commitment to improving the quality of life for people who live in our community. That is why regional council members continued to endorse Tom as regional chair, continued to select him to be regional chair after each municipal election over a 15-year period.

Tom was also very instrumental in his capacity as regional chair in bringing together some very diverse interests and opinions and representatives from across the whole community to try and further the interests of the whole region. In the face of concrete evidence over a decade ago that our two major employers in the community, both Inco and Falconbridge, would provide declining not increasing levels of employment, he made a very conscious decision that he would work with members across the community to focus much time and much energy on trying to diversify the Sudbury region.

He was very much the driving force behind the work and behind the effort to bring in federal representatives, provincial representatives, labour, business and the academic community to lobby together to try and bring public sector jobs to our community. This did contribute greatly to the diversification of the Sudbury economy and did very much result in new jobs and new economic benefits for our community, and given that we are looking for unanimous consent on third reading tonight for this bill, I won't make partisan comments now about how this Conservative government has affected that strategy. But there is no doubt that there was a great deal of effort made over those years and Tom Davies was the driving force behind that effort to change the nature of our economy in the Sudbury region.

On a very personal level, it is true that I did not always agree with Tom Davies's point of view on different issues, and that was certainly very true in the times that we were in government. We did clash on several occasions quite vehemently with respect to issues that we were concerned about with respect to our same community. However, I suspect on those occasions that he clashed just as vehemently with my own opinions. That is the nature of politics and the nature of the whole game.

I did appreciate and acknowledge and continue to do so today Tom's very long-standing commitment to improving the quality of life in our community. His concern was always to do that. It was always paramount and it very much motivated all of his political action and all of his political lobbying.

It is fitting tonight that this assembly would honour Tom Davies by renaming the township of Creighton the township of Creighton-Davies because it will serve as a lasting tribute to a fine politician, to a fine father and to a good friend.

The Acting Speaker (Mr Bert Johnson): Is there any further debate on second reading? Is it the pleasure of the House the motion carry? It is carried.

Mr Laughren: I seek unanimous consent to move third reading of Bill 167.

The Acting Speaker: Is it agreed? Agreed.

Mr Laughren moved third reading of the following bill:

Bill 167, An Act to Change the name of the geographic township of Creighton in the Territorial District of Sudbury to Creighton-Davies, and to make a consequential amendment to the Territorial Division Act / Projet de loi 167, Loi visant à remplacer le nom du canton géographique de Creighton dans le district territorial de Sudbury par celui de Creighton-Davies, et apportant une modification corrélative à la Loi sur la division territoriale.

The Acting Speaker: Do you have a statement?

Mr Laughren: No, other than to once again thank all my colleagues in the assembly for allowing this to proceed this evening.

The Acting Speaker: Is there further debate?

Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? It is carried.

Resolved that the bill do now pass and be entitled as in the motion.



Mr Baird, on behalf of Mr Eves, moved third reading of the following bill:

Bill 140, An Act to establish the Financial Services Commission of Ontario and to make complementary amendments to other statutes / Projet de loi 140, Loi créant la Commission des services financiers de l'Ontario et apportant des modifications complémentaires à d'autres lois.

Mr John R. Baird (Nepean): At the outset of my remarks, I just want to know if all parties would like to split the time equally between the three parties. I'm asking unanimous consent.

The Acting Speaker(Mr Bert Johnson): Is there unanimous consent that the three parties split the time equally? It is agreed.

Mr Baird: C'est toujours un privilège d'avoir l'opportunité de participer dans le débat d'un projet de loi qui est assez important, comme le projet de loi 140.

I'd like to indicate at the outset of my remarks that I would like to share my time with the honourable member for Muskoka-Georgian Bay, my predecessor as parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Finance, who, I might add, very capably led the debate on this legislation for the government at both second reading and in the standing committee on finance and economic affairs, I believe.

This bill, Bill 140, will merge the Ontario Insurance Commission, the Pension Commission of Ontario and the deposit institutions division of the Ministry of Finance into one agency: the Financial Services Commission of Ontario. The merger will result in a more efficient and better coordinated financial services regulatory system while providing the public with greater protection. The public, the people of Ontario, depend on that protection. Whether it's a retired individual living in Kitchener-Waterloo or a young girl named Aynsley living in Niagara Falls, people depend on that important protection afforded by the regulations in this legislation.

The financial services sector that will be governed by the new commission includes pension, insurance, loan and trust companies, credit unions, les caisses populaires dans la province, cooperatives and mortgage brokers. Merging regulators for these sectors will make the most effective use of public resources, especially given the industry trends occurring in the financial services sector.

In recent years there has been a steady trend towards business integration in the sector, with cross-ownerships and networking of financial services and programs. The new commission's integrated structure will allow regulators to see the whole picture and know what diversified participants in the industry are doing.

The Financial Services Commission of Ontario will strengthen the protection of consumers, depositors and pension plan members. One cannot state how important these types of initiatives are. Whether it's those young children of parents being able to depend on an effective insurance corporation or a pensioner wanting to ensure the integrity of our pension system in Ontario, it's an extremely important responsibility, and this bill will help the government of Ontario exercise that responsibility effectively, wisely and well.

Mr Bill Grimmett (Muskoka-Georgian Bay): It's certainly a pleasure and an honour for me to follow up on the comments of the member for Nepean, who seems to be fitting very well into the -

Interjection: Big shoes.

Mr Grimmett: - big shoes that I left behind in the Ministry of Finance.

I wanted to speak about the extensive consultation that was conducted by the Ministry of Finance people before Bill 140 was presented. In speaking to the bill on second reading and also during the public hearings on the bill, the number of consultations that had occurred was quite obvious. There were only a few groups that had asked for public hearings, and we certainly accommodated those people, but the number of groups and stakeholders in the financial community who seemed satisfied with the main thrust of Bill 140 I think is a testament to the amount of extensive consultation that took place between ministry personnel and people from the various sectors in the financial community.

It's also worthwhile noting that the type of integration that's occurring in Bill 140, in the financial sector, and the kind of economies that are being found by moving these three sectors together into one agency have already been done in three other jurisdictions in Canada.

It began as early as 1983 in Quebec, where the deposit-taking institutions, the market intermediaries and the regulators of insurance were brought together into one Inspector General of Financial Institutions. So Quebec really led the way in this integration of regulation in the financial sector.

This was followed in 1987 by the federal government as they set up the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, which merged the regulation and supervision of a number of financial sectors, including banks; pension plans; insurance; loan, trust and investment companies; and also federally registered cooperative credit associations.

In 1989, British Columbia established the Financial Services Commission to regulate credit unions, trust companies, insurance, real estate and mortgage brokers.

In all those jurisdictions there seems to be an acceptance generally that the new approach is in keeping with the integration of financial services that's occurring in the marketplace as well, where we see insurance, lending institutions and pension providers moving together, often in one corporate entity, to be more competitive in the marketplace.


The main savings that will accrue from Bill 140 and the integration of the three entities into one agency have been estimated at about $3.8 million yearly. Most of the savings are going to be in what's referred to as back-office functions, such as administrative and support services, which to some extent are duplicated in each of the organizations. There continue to be discussions within the ministry on the most effective way to find those savings while at the same time maintaining the protection of the public, which is really the number one goal when it comes to financial sector regulation.

The scheme of Bill 140 in establishing the new commission is that it will have an independent appeal body, the Financial Services Tribunal, to provide expert, prompt and effective review of those regulatory decisions that this commission will have to make from day to day.

The act has been carefully drafted to make sure that when appointments are made to the commission, the expertise that's currently in the three separate financial sector regulatory entities will be preserved. In allowing for the flexible approach of having nine to 15 members, we can preserve the expertise around pension decision-making and still allow for other appointments to be made to the commission to take into account the other main areas in the financial field. Possibly those people could start to acquire expertise in each area so that they would be flexible and could sit on different panels to hear different issues from the financial sectors. The kind of staff expertise that currently exists within the ministry for financial institutions and within the pension commission on pension matters and also with regard to insurance matters will be preserved within the newly formed commission. I foresee the possibility of, at one time, having all of them located in one geographic area. That will lead to further savings and further efficiencies in operating the general regulation of the financial sector.

Bill 140 provides a framework under which the commission's expenditures, and those of the Ministry of Finance supporting the regulatory regime, would be analysed and allocated to each of the regulated sectors. This is something that to some extent is already taking place in some of the sectors; in other sectors, they're not currently paying for their own regulation.

When we had the public hearings and heard from the credit unions and the co-ops, my impression was that there was a willingness to participate in that kind of structure provided they had an opportunity to be part of the preparation of rules and regulations around fees and levies that would go out to make sure that it was a cost-recovery program. We assured the people who appeared at the hearing that they would have the opportunity to continue to work with finance ministry people to make sure they were part of the process of developing those rules and the type of fee structure that would make sure we had a self-supporting regulatory scheme.

In wrapping up my comments, I would like to say that I think the creation of the Financial Services Commission through Bill 140 will be seen as a step towards smaller, more efficient and cost-effective government in keeping with our government's approach in other areas. It should lead to better regulation of Ontario's financial services while having continued consumer protection and an enhanced contribution by Ontario's financial sector to the province's prosperity.

The Acting Speaker: Further debate?

Mr Gerry Phillips (Scarborough-Agincourt): I appreciate the chance to comment on Bill 140 and to say that our party has been supportive of this bill. As previous speakers have indicated, it's a bill that pulls together three separate organizations dealing with deposits, dealing with insurance and dealing with pensions. It's a bill that is designed to improve efficiency and to save costs.

Having said that we are supportive of it, I will point out some challenges, because I think the new board should be aware of concerns that at least our party has as it embarks on its quite important task.

The first concern, which was expressed at committee, is that this board will play a role in perhaps some of the most sensitive things for Ontarians. I don't think anybody is as sensitive about an issue as pensions, and the protection of one's retirement savings is crucial. That area will be under increased scrutiny in the years ahead. I think most organizations are now moving to different pension plans. We've gone through a period where the equity markets have done exceptionally well. It's difficult to see that kind of growth sustain itself, so many pension funds right now look very good, but I think pension managers would acknowledge that the growth they have seen in the assets in their portfolio is unsustainable.

That, coupled with insurance, coupled with the deposits - those, as I say, are three of the most sensitive things. As you will recall, Mr Speaker - Mr Conway would know better than I. I think it was Greymark, was it, Mr Conway?

Mr Sean G. Conway (Renfrew North): Greymac.

Mr Phillips: The collapse of a trust company perhaps 12 years ago was the cause of some considerable concern here in Ontario. We've been lucky, fortunate, and I guess partially through good management, that we haven't seen a similar instance, but I just say to all of us that we are relying on this organization to be a watchdog on those things.

Interjection: Confederation Life.

Mr Phillips: My colleague mentions Confederation Life. Luckily, it shook the industry but the industry was able to recover.

The point I'm making is that we are now putting those three related but none the less separate organizations together. It is at least a concern that as they staff those organizations, we not lose the expertise in each of those three rather distinct areas.

The second concern we have on the bill is for our co-op sector. They historically have not been paying the same fees as some of the other organizations that will come under this umbrella. While they certainly were not arguing that they should not be paying their fair share, they at least are concerned about how their fair share will be determined.

As a side issue, I think through almost an accident, the entire co-op movement has now moved under the umbrella of this organization. This is called An Act to establish the Financial Services Commission. Its expertise is finance. Its expertise is in being a watchdog over pensions, deposits and insurance, but all the co-op movement now falls under this. It is in my opinion an accident. They are orphans there, and in my opinion it's a mistake.

The reason for it is that the financial institutions in the co-op sector have to be brought in here, so the entire co-op sector is. For example, the co-op food organizations, co-op child care organizations, all now fall under this umbrella. I dare say my own hope would be that the organization, as it begins to function, will give us some recommendations on whether that's appropriate or not. My instincts are that it's not appropriate.

The reason I stress the pension issue - and it's rather timely, because if one is not careful, we can in the province get into some considerable difficulties in the pension area. I use the teacher pension as an example.


Mr Phillips: The member for Nepean said something there, but it's timely because here's what's happened on the teachers' pension. In 1975, just around an election, the then-Conservative government said to the teachers, "We're going to give you a fully indexed pension," and it was successful. As a matter of fact, I ran in the 1975 election and was defeated by the Conservative candidate, a fine candidate, I might say: Mr Wells, Minister of Education I think at the time.


But the point was that the government of the day decided to give a fully indexed pension, not to be funded by the teachers but to be funded by the taxpayers, added on to the benefits of the pension plan. The problem was that the teachers were given that fully indexed pension plan. It wasn't something they demanded; it was a campaign promise that the government of the day decided was a good idea. For 15 years, from 1975 to 1990, there was never a penny put in to fund that. The auditors obviously, as we all know, began to look at that and said: "This is an unfunded liability. It's as sure as anything you want a debt that the province of Ontario owes." But the way, the province of Ontario owes 100% of that debt, the unfunded liability for the indexed pension.

The reason I'm somewhat familiar with it is that from 1985 to 1990, the Liberals were the government of the day and were under a lot of pressure to begin to fund that operation, the pensions, and rightly so, because it was a liability that had to be funded. By the way, it was growing into literally billions of dollars.

In 1990, a plan was put into place to fund that unfunded liability and the payments began to be made in 1990. Then, in December 1993, the NDP government of the day had an actuarial study done on the pension fund and found that the unfunded liability wasn't quite as large as was thought. The investments had been growing not badly. They did something in conjunction with the teachers that I think was a mistake. As a matter of fact, at the time - this was December 13, 1993 - I said to the public, "This is a mistake." What the NDP government and the teachers decided to do was take a three-and-a-half-year holiday from making any payments against that. To me, that was a mistake. I said at the time that the government was saying, "Let's take a 42-month holiday from any principal interest payments so we can get the pension fund into as bad a situation as we thought we had before."

Bear in mind, we're talking hundreds of millions of dollars here. For three and half years there were no payments made against that unfunded liability. In 1992-93, the payments were supposed to be $328 million; they were $188 million. They were supposed to be $293 million, they were zero; $396 million, zero; $405 million, zero. Then, of course, the new government was faced with the challenge of restarting those payments because they were due to begin again actually on August 1, 1996, at the rate of $35,000 a month.

The unfunded liability still is there. It dates back to 1975 and it is 100% the responsibility of the taxpayers of Ontario. Whether that was fair or not fair is not for us to judge because the government of the day made that decision. But I would say this: In 1993, in my opinion, the government of the day made a mistake taking a three-and-a-half-year holiday. Now the new government is required by law to pick up that payment. By the way, in 1997-98 it will be $465 million.

The reason I raise this is because the new commission will have to monitor this. It will have to monitor it carefully because when the government of the day passed a bill to give itself this holiday, it bypassed the pension commission. The reason I go through all of this is because, as you may recall, during the debate on Bill 160 Premier Harris and Mr Johnson said, "We're actually spending more money on education in 1997 than we did in 1996 or 1995."

That is true exclusively because the government, by law, was required to restart the payments against the unfunded liability and the pension. So the pension payments went from $685 million in 1995 to $927 million in 1996 - if you remember, I talked about payments cranking up in 1996 - to $1.145 billion in 1997. That's directly as a result of the government of the day taking a three-and-a-half-year holiday from making payments against the unfunded liability.

I also want to point this out because the educational community is saying, "Listen, in real terms, money for classrooms, we've been seeing a decrease," and that is true. Every year since 1994 the amount of money actually spent on operating has dropped. In spite of the fact that we now have 86,000 more students, we're spending dramatically less money in 1997 on operating than we did in 1994.

It is important for these reasons: one, this commission now will have responsibility for monitoring these things. It's important for a second reason. I have a suspicion that the government of the day once again is looking at ways to cut off the payments against that unfunded liability. We've heard some hints about that. When there was the debate on Bill 160, the government was indicating, "Maybe we don't need to make the payments against the unfunded liability," but you can see the trap we get into when governments play games with pension payments.

At the time that the NDP took that three-and-a-half-year holiday, I said, "Listen, in reality you may have a justification for reducing the payments by 15% to 85% of what they should have been, but not to zero." It is essentially deciding you're not going to make any payments against your mortgage for three and a half years. It built way back up. If you read the Ontario teachers' pension plan annual report, they report this as an asset. They say, "It's guaranteed by the province; the province will pay it; it's an asset for us."

I hope this new commission monitors these pension things carefully because I can see coming - I don't know if the Conservative back bench wants this too - the possibility of some more games paid with pensions, teachers' pensions and perhaps OMERS pension, particularly because there has been a huge run-up on the assets of the pension plans because of the quite extraordinary growth in the equity markets, and most of them are heavily invested in equities.

The reason the province of Ontario, on behalf of the taxpayers, finally started making payments was because the financial community recognized that if we leave these unfunded liabilities growing, we're making a substantial mistake.

I hate to be one of those ones who say, "I told you that this would happen," but I have the documents here from December 13, 1993, and the headline was, "NDP Holiday is No Break for the Taxpayers." "The Rae government plans to hide the real deficit by adding $2.3 billion in new debt during a three-and-a-half-year holiday from scheduled payments." That's one of the tasks for the new organization.

Mr Gilles Pouliot (Lake Nipigon): Let's talk about the balanced budget when you were the government.

Mr Phillips: I don't mind you speaking last because I'd like to know about the teachers' pension here.

The other one that I want to talk about is the Provincial Auditor's report. The reason I want to talk about that is because one of the purposes of this document is to downsize the organization that monitors these three key areas: the insurance, the pensions and the deposit insurance. We have in the auditor's report the first evidence of the possible problems when you begin to cut the resources to monitor things. The 1997 auditor's report is for the period from April 1, 1996, to March 31, 1997, the first full year of the new government, which came into power midway through the previous fiscal year.


The auditor points out to the taxpayers some of the problems that we've run into with downsizing, with cutting the staff in the public sector. There's broad-scale support, I might say, for efficiencies, for finding ways that we do things better with fewer resources and all those things. But sometimes we are penny wise and pound foolish.

A couple of significant concerns were pointed out in the auditor's report. One is that when the cutbacks occur in our criminal justice system, the court backlog begins to grow. The reason I point this out is that this bill will mean substantially fewer resources allocated against these areas. I do not have a problem with that as long as there's an assurance that we have enough resources to ensure that the consumer is protected in insurance and in deposits and in pensions. But in the area of the court backlogs, where we've had cutbacks in the levels of service, the growth in the number of criminal charges pending in Provincial Division have gone from, in 1994, 44,000 to 70,000, a dramatic increase. That's as a result of fewer resources.

It goes on later in that same document to say, "In March 1997 program staff informed us that Management Board had approved the selection of three private collection agencies and that it had begun to transfer" fines over to them. "According to staff, the transfer of fines that became overdue after March 1996 would begin once Management Board Secretariat had completed its selection....

"On average approximately $4 million in fines go into default each month.... We noted that over 75% of the overdue fines are more than one year old."

What they point out here is that as a result of the cutbacks in staff, fines are not being collected, student loans are in some considerable default and, consequently, the savings from fewer staff have been far more eaten up in the loss of revenue from fines. So the Provincial Auditor points out the dangers of cutbacks in services without adequate management of them.

The bill, which is designed to streamline activity, has those dangers. As we transfer these sensitive services - I went through the issue on pensions that I suspect in the next few days we'll be looking at, if not in the budget coming up in April. We need a strong commission to monitor that, coupled with a commission that can ensure that our deposits and our insurance are well managed. As I said at the outset of my remarks, I don't think there's anything that will shake the confidence of Ontario as much as if several pension plans somehow or other go off the rails or if any of our deposit institutions - we're not talking about the banks here, by the way - go off the rails or if our insurance industry in any way isn't functioning well. By the way, I will say we're blessed in Ontario. We've got a very strong world-class insurance organization, our financial institutions are second to none and we've had relatively few problems in the pension area.

But this is a significant change and I hope, as this new organization begins its work, that the staff is selected well and the resources are selected well and, if anything, that for a period of time, if we err, we err on the side of having slightly more resources rather than slightly less resources until the organization is functioning smoothly.

The Acting Speaker: Further debate?

Mr John Gerretsen (Kingston and The Islands): It's always a pleasure to listen to the member for Scarborough-Agincourt explain to the people of Ontario so precisely what exactly happened with respect to the pension funding situation as far as the teachers' pension funds are concerned. I know that the government line, as you well know, Mr Speaker, over the last number of weeks as we've been discussing Bill 160 has been that no, actually, they're putting more money into education or at least the same amount as they have over the last couple of years. The only thing that really is true about that is that the total amount of money that they've put in may be the same but it does include the substantial pension contribution in the last year of $1.1 billion that wasn't there before for a number of years, ever since 1993. If you take that $1.1 billion out of there, as not being classroom expenses, you can understand that in actual fact the amount of money that's being expended in education is much less from a practical viewpoint in the last couple of years than it was before.

As has already been indicated, we will be supporting this bill but at the same time we have some concerns. I suppose the major concern that I have deals with any bill that talks excessively about regulation and regulatory powers, whether they be held by a commissioner, as in this case, or whether held by a particular minister. I think we must all remember that regulations can be passed in a minister's office. They may have to go to cabinet or they may not, but basically it's not a public process. Regulatory government means that the people of Ontario will not only not have a say in the matter as to what the regulations ought to be, but may not even know that it's being passed or has been passed until it has actually happened.

When you look at the record of this current government over the last two and a half years, you can see the concern that some people have about the excessive amount of regulatory powers that ministers have retained for themselves. I suppose it all started about - what is it now? - two years ago when Bill 26 was introduced. I'm sure that at that time a lot of people said to themselves: "What's this all about, Bill 26? Why are people getting so excited about it? Why are we having these sit-ins in the Legislature?"

Of course the main aspect of Bill 26 dealt with the fact that ministers were given substantial regulatory powers of the kind and nature that they had never had before. We have seen it in the health restructuring area, where a minister unilaterally took a whole bunch of powers on to himself and then gave them off to a health restructuring commission to do the work around the province, from which he or she can now take the position, "It's not I who am taking those actions of closing hospitals or recommending that hospitals be closed, it's the independent commission," when the ultimate decider is the minister in the long run. That's the accountable person who is elected here.

As a result of the kind of regulatory powers that were given to various ministers - not only in the health area, but also, for example, in the municipal affairs area. How many unilateral orders of amalgamations, restructurings have been taking place in Ontario over the last couple of years? Some the people of those particular areas have liked and the results may be good from a restructuring viewpoint, but in many, many cases they were forced down the throats of people who didn't want to be restructured and where so far at least there hasn't been any indication whether the restructuring actually has made any sense or not.

Government by regulation is a government that decides issues away from the Legislative Assembly, away from the general public, so that people will not have an opportunity to see what's actually being changed. That's the concern that we have about this bill as well and about any bill that talks excessively about regulations.


The other concern that my friend has already pointed to deals with the issues of co-ops. I know there were a number of presentations made to the committee by the Canadian Co-operative Association, for example, in which they stated - and I'll just read from their brief, Mr Speaker, if you'll allow me a minute, that, "This aspect of the bill will have a significant impact on the cost of doing business for co-ops, and is the most serious issue for our system." This is from a brief presented to the standing committee on finance and economic affairs by the Canadian Co-operative Association, Ontario region. They say:

"The commission will have the power to levy an assessment on the sectors." This organization does "not believe that an assessment is the appropriate way to levy against co-ops.

"Unlike the financial services sector that is heavily regulated, co-ops have little and in some cases no ongoing relationship with the ministry. Most not-for-profit and small co-ops only deal with the ministry on incorporation and bylaw changes. Given the nature of our business relationship with the ministry, a sector-wide assessment is not justified. Other forms of businesses and not-for-profit organizations do not have that type of levy and it would be a competitive disadvantage to incorporate as a co-op."

They therefore recommend that Bill 140, subsection 25(1), be amended to exempt co-ops incorporated under the Co-operative Corporations Act from assessments.

This is a concern the concern that in effect co-ops will be charged fees that weren't there before, and obviously that's a charge ultimately against the members of the co-op. They raise some very interesting statistics. In one of the briefs they say that for every $40,000 that they may be charged in assessment, in effect it's going to mean one job within the co-op sector.

We're concerned about that. We're concerned that in effect co-ops that haven't been subjected to these kinds of fees - and they can be unilaterally set by the commission - may now be subjected to them, and obviously it's going to affect their total operation because the guiding principle of this new commission is that it be self-financed. For credit unions basically this means a substantial new user fee being imposed upon them without really any formula being set for the kind of assessment that may be given to them.

The other concern, and the member for Scarborough-Agincourt just dealt with it to some degree, deals with some of the comments that the Provincial Auditor made in his auditing report. I wonder if I could just refer to them again. This is a report that was tabled with the Legislative Assembly about a week or so ago in which the Provincial Auditor of Ontario, who's not a government official -he's an official who is responsible directly to the Legislative Assembly, to the 130 of us who are elected here. He basically looks at a certain number of ministries in any particular year and he reviews those ministries, whether or not we're getting value for the money that's being spent by those ministries. He takes four or five different ministries and he looks at what's happening in those.

For example, in the year 1997 he looked at the Ministry of the Attorney General, the Ministry of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation, the Ministry of Community and Social Services, some of the programs that are involved there, the Ontario student assistance program in the education and training area. In the Ministry of Environment and Energy he looked at the conservation and prevention division, and in the Ministry of Finance he looked at the employer health tax situation.

Those are the prime areas that the Provincial Auditor looked at this past year, and as has already been pointed out by the member for Scarborough-Agincourt, certainly in the courts administration program that is operated by the Ministry of the Attorney General, there are some very startling statistics. I know I've talked about this before in this House, but I think it bears repeating as to what can happen when adequate finances to ensure that the programs that are being run by the province of Ontario through one ministry or another are simply not available.

The Provincial Auditor talked about the total criminal charges that are pending in Provincial Division. My colleague just referred to that, that as of the end of 1996 there were 224,000 cases outstanding, which just so happens to be the same number of cases that were outstanding back in 1989-90 when as a result of the Askov decision - and we can blame past governments for that, both Liberal and NDP, whoever was involved in that. I don't shirk away from that responsibility. But there was the same number of cases outstanding, and as a result of the Askov decision that came out about that time, I believe about 50,000 cases were thrown out of court.

Nothing undermines the public's reliance upon our legal system and upon the legal protections that they have in this country more than the knowledge that 50,000 legitimately laid charges that still needed to be proved in court, and I'm not for a moment suggesting that all these 50,000 people were guilty, but they were legitimately laid by the individuals involved, police officers, crown attorneys etc, were thrown out because of delay. As we all know, justice delayed is justice denied. The fact is that 50,000 cases that people in our province worked on, that they felt were properly laid were thrown out because of delay.

The startling fact about that is the case that now we are right back again to the position that existed in 1989-90 where we've got the same number of outstanding criminal charges that haven't been heard yet, namely some 225,000. What's interesting is that 70,000 of these cases go back more than eight months and it's particularly in that area of cases that have been outstanding for eight months or more that there has been a significant increase over the last two years.

Back in 1994, for example, there were 43,000 cases that were more than eight months old and now it's over 70,000 - not quite double but almost double the amount that there were two years ago. Who knows what the result will be there? That is as a result of there just not being adequate resources made available in the department of the Attorney General to make sure that these cases are tried and are dealt with in an expeditious fashion.

Mr Pouliot: Bill 140 will fix that.

Mr Gerretsen: Bill 140 will fix that because it talks about regulations. We're talking about the regulatory power that this government has taken upon itself in so many, many different areas, whether we're talking about municipal restructuring, hospital restructuring.

How about Bill 160? Let's take a look at Bill 160. When you think about it, the regulatory power that the Minister of Education has taken upon himself to levy in effect a total of $6 billion worth of taxes with the stroke of a pen, $2.5 billion in the residential sector and $3.5 billion in the commercial sector, he can do that with the stroke of a pen without any of us knowing about it. I know there's been a commitment given this year that for the year 1998 that's all the government wants to extract from the local property taxpayer for education. But who is to say that next year, when the government may be under certain financial pressures, all of a sudden by way of regulation the government will not decide to say, "Well, if we got $6 billion last year, why don't we take $7 billion this year or $8 billion or why don't we change the apportion between the amount that we take in the residential tax sector as opposed to the commercial tax sector?" That can all be done by regulations.


Even the minister himself, Mr Speaker - and I know you're asking yourself, "What's this got to do with 140?" It's regulation. It's the regulatory power that we're talking about in 140 and the regulatory power that the minister now has under 160. Even the minister himself said: "It's not preferable that I have this power, but I have to have it during this transition year. I have to have it, and maybe next year we'll put a new act in that somehow regulates it a little bit better than doing it purely by regulatory powers."

That simply isn't good enough because it leaves the people of Ontario, who are already distrustful of this government in so many, many different areas, very leery as to exactly what will happen next year when all of a sudden the government figures: "We're not going to raise income taxes, we're not going to raise user fees, we're not going to do any of that. Why don't we raise the property taxes - the education levy by way of property taxes - by another $1 billion?" Guess what? Who's going to get blamed for that?

Mr Wayne Lessard (Windsor-Riverside): Nobody will notice that.

Mr Gerretsen: Nobody will notice that; that's right. When will you notice that? When you get your tax bill and you say: "My gosh, last year the taxes on my house were $1,200 in total; this year they're $1,600 in total. It's got to be that local council that did it to me." And then you find out that maybe about $200 of that $400 tax increase was as the result of the education levy that has been unilaterally imposed upon the property taxpayer by the Minister of Education.


Mr E.J. Douglas Rollins (Quinte): Talk about the bill, John.

Mr Gerretsen: I see the members across - as a matter of fact, I even felt something flying past me here. I know I'm not in a danger zone or anything like that. I know the members opposite don't want to listen to this kind of argument. They don't want to listen to it because they know it's the truth. It's your hope that your local councillor, those hardworking people, those people who are closest to the people, who truly know what's going on in their communities, will be blamed for the kind of tax increases that you have given the Minister of Education the ability to raise by simply a stroke of the pen or by regulation.

I don't want to take too much time, but there's so much still to say. Going back to the Provincial Auditor's report, I've got to mention these two things. There is another statistic here on page 38 of the report that I find absolutely amazing for a government that says to the people of Ontario: "We are going to run the business of government in Ontario in a businesslike fashion. We are the business party, the party of Bay Street." For the life of me, if you are -

Mr Douglas B. Ford (Etobicoke-Humber): Cancel the GST too.

Mr Gerretsen: Yes, and even you, sir. You are part of the business party here.

For the life of me, I cannot understand why, when there is $139.9 million outstanding in Highway Traffic Act fines, of which $82 million the ministry has knowledge of the driver's licence information of the people who owe this money. As a matter of fact, it states right here there are 15,800 individuals who owe $1,000 or more and there are 116 individuals who owe $10,000 or more under the Highway Traffic Act. Those are horrendous statistics. That $139 million comes out of your pocket, sir, and mine, and that of every taxpayer in Ontario. That is money that could be well spent in paying down the public debt, or in new programs for the people who are really suffering and vulnerable out there, or in reducing the deficit for this current year. Why aren't you doing it? You can do it.

Listen to the next paragraph that the Provincial Auditor states in his report. I really want you to pay close attention to this, Mr Speaker, and I appreciate the attention that you've paid so far. It says, "The payment notices from the ministry warn that, in addition to licence suspension, failure to pay fines can result in other measures, such as the ministry informing the credit bureau of the debt, requiring banks to deduct the money owing from the person's bank account or registering a lien against the person's real property." This is the most frightening sentence perhaps in the whole report.

He then goes on to say: "We noted that none of these measures" - garnisheeing their bank accounts, putting liens against their property - "had been initiated by the ministry. While we recognize these measures would not be practicable in every case, some could be effective depending on the nature of the cases and the amounts of the fines," especially of those individuals of whom you know their driver's licence numbers and everything and you can simply suspend their licence until they pay up.

I ask you, sir, the member for Etobicoke-Humber, why aren't you after the Attorney General and saying: "We are out this $139 million. We know where you can get at least $82 million from the people of Ontario who have been levied these fines after a due process in court etc. Why aren't you doing something about it?"

You run a business. Most of you have run businesses. You wouldn't put up with an $82-million bad debt. You would try to collect it. Why are you not collecting it?

When I've brought this point up before, I usually got blank stares from the government members, and even some other members too, who will go unnamed at this point in time.

Mr Pouliot: You still do.

Mr Gerretsen: We get blank stares. They say, you know: "Why is this man so vindictive? Why should he insist that the people of Ontario who legitimately owe these fines actually pay it back to the taxpayer of Ontario?"

Mr Ted Chudleigh (Halton North): On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I believe we're debating Bill 140 and I'm not sure the comments of the member for Kingston and The Islands have anything to do with it. I'd like him to stick to the matter at hand.

The Acting Speaker: That is a point of order. I've been listening quite carefully to the member for Kingston and The Islands and I'm sure that there is something in there that will address Bill 140.

Mr Gerretsen: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for your excellent ruling once again. If the member had just waited one sentence, I would have said to him, as I was about to say then, that just shows you the regulatory powers that can be abused by the wrong minister, just like they can in Bill 160 - in Bill 140. In Bill 140. You see, we sometimes make mistakes on the numbers, but we never make a mistake about what we're really talking about.

What we're really talking about is a government that likes to act like a bully in so many different ways, as they have for the last two and a half years. They liked to act as a bully by first of all taking on the most vulnerable in our province when they cut their welfare by 22%. They acted like a bully when they implemented Bill 26. We actually had a member sit here a whole night in agony and pain, you may recall, about two years ago at this time in order to force the government to hold public hearings on this bill in January 1996.

The government acted like a bully when it took on the OPSEU workers and then the doctors. They took on the doctors, and lo and behold -


Mr Gerretsen: I've got one of the members here from the NDP pleading for more information on this; I know he is. The doctors actually won. They actually won. They beat the government down; they retreated. I wonder why.

Then they went on with their bullying tactics against the teachers. The Premier and the Minister of Education actually said in this House and elsewhere that the education system in Ontario was in a serious state of affairs and they attacked teachers on a daily basis, yet at the same time they went over to Europe to try to get more industry here and said: "Come to Ontario. We are the number one country in the world. Come to the number one province of this number one country as far as the quality of life is concerned."

Mr Rollins: Come by Kingston.

Mr Gerretsen: As I always say to people, our quality of life has an awful lot to do, to the member for Etobicoke-Humber, with the good, quality programs out there that are provided for the people of Ontario at the local, provincial and federal levels. They're not the whole thing, but the fact that those programs are out there, the fact that health care is available and accessible to people on a universal basis and the fact that education ought to be out there available for people, whether they are youngsters just ready to obtain knowledge or whether they're older people in their 20s and they need to go back in order to get that life skill training, in order to get those educational requirements etc, in order to meet those new job requirements of the 21st century.


A lot of those things you have put at risk by the kind of actions that you've taken. Maybe you don't know it yet, sir, but you have. You have put them at risk, and I think that more and more people in Ontario are starting to realize that. It all stems and starts with the regulatory powers that ministers have been given in Bill 160, and we ought to be careful that the regulatory powers that are being transferred in Bill 140 are not of the same nature, and I hope they are not, but we always have to be very vigilant.

Having said all that, let me assure the members of the government that we will be supporting this bill, but we also want to make sure the people of Ontario realize we have to be as vigilant as possible over the next couple of years while this government is still in power, to make sure that some of the drastic things that have happened over the last two to two and a half years will not continue. Maybe then the people of Ontario can retake this province and really build it up to the best province in the best country in the world as we head into the 21st century. Thank you very much for your undivided attention.

The Acting Speaker: Further debate?

Mr Pouliot: We will be supporting Bill 140. It is concise, fairly straightforward, and therefore, like Henry VIII said to his wife, "I won't keep you too long this evening."

But a few words of caution. The government must not, through Bill 140, allow a financial services monolith or a mega-bureaucracy, because this is centralization. What's happening here, Speaker? What are we debating under the auspices of Bill 140? You would in business - I know you to have a strong and prominent business background - be talking about a merger; well, the close cousin to a merger, sort of a takeover where three becomes one, or a stock split where you would have three for one if you wished.

What's in and what's out? This is important. The Ontario Insurance Commission, in; the Pension Commission of Ontario, they're in also; and the deposit institution. There's a fusion. They merge and they become one, with one superintendent of financial services, one very important person. In fact, at committee someone asked the question whether the superintendent of this now big, mammoth institution would have the same clout as the Minister of Finance. This is big time; this is noblesse oblige. When you see her, or more likely him, just picture in your mind a main person, because we will be watching very, very closely. We're cautioning the government about giving that much power to someone.

They will administer the changing world of pensions. I'll give you an example, because it's changing out there very rapidly and very significantly. You have groups of employees who are still under a defined pension plan; for instance, 500 people at the ABC Steel Co. Corporations, companies, employers are getting away from this arrangement. Today they wear another accoutrement. If you're by contract and you have some past service, what they will do is go from a defined to a commuted, to buyout. From a commuted, then you'll have to enter the institution of a locked-in retirement arrangement, and in order to get some money out, you'll have to go from a locked-in to a life income fund, and it's very restrictive.

At the present time, when you reach the ripe old age of 80, you must annuitize. In other words, you fork over the money, you shell out your pension money to an insurance company and they annuitize you. Annuities, given today's very low rate of interest, don't yield too much. Take the case of someone in the riding of Lake Nipigon. A person who has worked for a company for over 30 years gets a settlement of $171,000 - a true story; we're monitoring it closely. The person is in his late 50s. The money is locked in. He now has access to the money, but he has a maximum.

Don't wave that book at me. You're talking about an RSP. This is a different kind of RSP arrangement. Yes, they both pay a minimum, but under your RIF there's no maximum. Here's the catch. Here's the inconsistency. Here is what the pension commission superintendent will have to address.


Mr Pouliot: It's $171,000; terminal cancer. He wants to go back to England to visit relatives. It's his money, but he can only access 7.5% out of $171,000. The money will be there, but he won't be. This is the responsibility of the new superintendent, except the person will be very, very busy. The person will be asked to monitor and also to police - the same person. Conflict? Hopefully not. You'll be dealing with people who are most ethical, who value statutes, so it shouldn't be problematic; nevertheless, it's certainly worth a word of caution. The same people who monitor the system are the people who self-regulate, not each and every one of them, but the heavies, the puppeteers if you wish, the choreographers, the architects, the engineers, and the legislation does not address it. It's the same people. You go outside, take off your hat and put on another hat to perform a related duty. We're just saying, with respect, not imputing motives, that we will have to be careful.

Who's out? The securities and the banks are out. They are not included in this. Nevertheless, this is a mega-menu, this is many courses, this is big time, and we will be watching carefully.

On Monday we had the beginning of a slow but systematic and deliberate death of the education system through Bill 160. On Tuesday we were confronted with Bill 152, which is the downloading bill, the new responsibilities that will start right after Christmas, January 1. Yesterday we had the final assault, the mechanism -

Mr Rosario Marchese (Fort York): Coup de grâce.

Mr Pouliot: The coup de grâce - the taxes to make all this domino theory happen. So today is a departure from form. It's not nearly as consequential, not as telling, not as impacting. There is not the human dimension that you'll find under 160, 152 and 149. This is nuts and bolts, a bill without soul. It makes it somewhat simpler. It saves the government $3.8 million.

Another caution: Credit unions administer the savings of average people, mostly middle-class people, ordinary citizens. They're asking: "What will the cost be? Can you tell me a year ahead of time what the cost will be to participate? What will be my fee?" That's a very logical question in any business, in any endeavour. Before you buy in or if you're forced to buy in, you must know the price. I see people shaking their heads in unison across. It goes without saying.

Bill 140 will make it simpler and we will be supporting it.

The Acting Speaker (Mr Gilles E. Morin): Further debate?

Mr Baird has moved third reading of Bill 140. Is it the pleasure of the House the motion carry? Carried.

Be it resolved that the bill do now pass and be entitled as in the motion.

Orders of the day.

Hon Cameron Jackson (Minister without Portfolio [Seniors Issues]): Mr Speaker, I move adjournment of the House.

The Acting Speaker: Is it the pleasure of the House the motion carry? Carried. This House is adjourned until 10 o'clock tomorrow morning.

The House adjourned at 2002.