37th Parliament, 1st Session

L122A - Wed 20 Dec 2000 / Mer 20 déc 2000

MEMBERS' STATEMENTS

STATUT LINGUISTIQUE DE VANIER

EDUCATION FUNDING

QUARRYING

MALACHY MCKENNA

LABOUR LEGISLATION

VICTIMS OF CRIME

NORTHERN ONTARIO

SALVATION ARMY

STATUS OF BILL 172

MUNICIPAL RESTRUCTURING

REPORTS BY COMMITTEES

STANDING COMMITTEE ON
GOVERNMENT AGENCIES

STANDING COMMITTEE ON
REGULATIONS AND PRIVATE BILLS

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY
AMENDMENT ACT, 2000 /
LOI DE 2000 MODIFIANT LA LOI
SUR L'ASSEMBLÉE LÉGISLATIVE

GREATER JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS
ACCOUNTABILITY ACT, 2000 /
LOI DE 2000 SUR UNE OBLIGATION ACCRUE DE RENDRE COMPTE
EN CE QUI CONCERNE LES NOMINATIONS
À LA MAGISTRATURE

AUDIT AMENDMENT ACT, 2000 /
LOI DE 2000 MODIFIANT LA LOI
SUR LA VÉRIFICATION
DES COMPTES PUBLICS

DAY NURSERIES
AMENDMENT ACT, 2000 /
LOI DE 2000 MODIFIANT LA LOI
SUR LES GARDERIES

DEMOCRATIC HERITAGE ARCHAEOLOGICAL
PRESERVATION ACT, 2000 /
LOI DE 2000 SUR LA PRÉSERVATION
ARCHÉOLOGIQUE DU PATRIMOINE
DÉMOCRATIQUE

WOMEN'S EQUITY ACT, 2000 /
LOI DE 2000 SUR L'ÉQUITÉ
À L'ÉGARD DES FEMMES

BRAIN TUMOUR
AWARENESS MONTH ACT, 2000 /
LOI DE 2000 SUR LE MOIS
DE LA SENSIBILISATION
AUX TUMEURS CÉRÉBRALES

PORTABLE HEART
DEFIBRILLATOR ACT, 2000 /
LOI DE 2000 SUR LES DÉFIBRILLATEURS
CARDIAQUES PORTATIFS

ONTARIO ENERGY BOARD
AMENDMENT ACT
(ELECTRICITY RATES), 2000 /
LOI DE 2000 MODIFIANT
LA LOI SUR LA COMMISSION
DE L'ÉNERGIE DE L'ONTARIO
(TARIFS D'ÉLECTRICITÉ)

MOTIONS

HOUSE SITTINGS

REFERRAL OF BILL 155

STATEMENTS BY THE MINISTRY
AND RESPONSES

GOVERNMENT'S AGENDA

DEFERRED VOTES

EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS ACT, 2000 /
LOI DE 2000 SUR LES NORMES D'EMPLOI

LABOUR RELATIONS
AMENDMENT ACT, 2000 /
LOI DE 2000 MODIFIANT LA LOI
SUR LES RELATIONS DE TRAVAIL

MINISTRY OF TRAINING,
COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES
STATUTE LAW AMENDMENT ACT, 2000

LOI DE 2000 MODIFIANT DES LOIS
EN CE QUI A TRAIT
AU MINISTÈRE DE LA FORMATION
ET DES COLLÈGES ET UNIVERSITÉS

ORAL QUESTIONS

EDUCATION

HOMELESSNESS

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

PARTICULATE EMISSIONS

CHILD PROTECTION

IPPERWASH PROVINCIAL PARK

WIARTON WILLIE

IPPERWASH PROVINCIAL PARK

HIGHWAY SAFETY

AMUSEMENT DEVICES

ASSISTANCE TO FARMERS

AUTISM SERVICES

DOCTOR SHORTAGE

ORDERS OF THE DAY

BALANCED BUDGETS
FOR BRIGHTER FUTURES ACT, 2000 /
LOI DE 2000
SUR DES BUDGETS ÉQUILIBRÉS
POUR UN AVENIR MEILLEUR

BALANCED BUDGETS
FOR BRIGHTER FUTURES ACT, 2000 /
LOI DE 2000
SUR DES BUDGETS ÉQUILIBRÉS
POUR UN AVENIR MEILLEUR


No. 122A No 122A

ISSN 1180-2987

Legislative Assembly Assemblée législative
of Ontario de l'Ontario

First Session, 37th Parliament Première session, 37e législature

Official Report Journal
of Debates des débats
(Hansard) (Hansard)

Wednesday 20 December 2000 Mercredi 20 décembre 2000

Speaker Président
Honourable Gary Carr L'honorable Gary Carr

Clerk Greffier
Claude L. DesRosiers Claude L. DesRosiers

Hansard on the Internet

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Publié par l'Assemblée législative de l'Ontario

 

LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY ASSEMBLÉE LÉGISLATIVE
OF ONTARIO DE L'ONTARIO

Wednesday 20 December 2000 Mercredi 20 décembre 2000

The House met at 1330.

Prayers.

MEMBERS' STATEMENTS

STATUT LINGUISTIQUE DE VANIER

Mme Claudette Boyer (Ottawa-Vanier) : Hier soir, j'ai participé à la toute dernière réunion du conseil de ville de Vanier.

The Vanier city council unanimously and enthusiastically adopted the following resolution, which I will summarize for the purpose of this statement:

Attendu que la région d'Ottawa-Carleton est une région désignée en vertu de la Loi sur les langues officielles du Canada et en vertu de la Loi sur les services en français de l'Ontario ; et

Attendu que la région d'Ottawa-Carleton compte un très grand nombre de francophones et francophiles qui contribuent largement à son épanouissement et à son développement ; et

Attendu que l'usage du français et de l'anglais dans l'exécution des programmes et des services municipaux devra être une pratique courante de l'administration, reflétant ainsi les valeurs linguistiques de la nouvelle ville d'Ottawa,

Il est alors résolu que la ville de Vanier demande au conseil municipal de la nouvelle ville d'Ottawa de déclarer celle-ci officiellement bilingue afin de faire en sorte que la nouvelle ville d'Ottawa soit représentative d'un Canada où les deux peuples fondateurs sont traités de façon juste et équitable.

Il est de plus résolu qu'une copie de cette résolution soit envoyée à l'honorable Mike Harris, le premier ministre de l'Ontario, et à l'honorable John Baird, le ministre délégué aux Affaires francophones.

La résolution a également été envoyée à d'autres politiciens et politiciennes de la région d'Ottawa, ainsi qu'à des représentants et représentantes d'organisations francophones, les encourageant à mettre davantage de pression auprès du premier ministre et de son ministre délégué aux Affaires francophones.

Il est malheureux de constater qu'en décembre dernier, le premier ministre a manqué une chance en or de donner suite à la résolution numéro 4 du rapport Shortliffe. Il aurait ainsi démontré aux francophones qu'il croyait en nous et notre cause.

EDUCATION FUNDING

Mr Bill Murdoch (Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound): Yesterday I introduced a resolution urging this House to introduce legislation that would provide tax credits equivalent to the cost of tuition to people who send their children to private school, including religious schools. This is a fair thing to do. A recent Gallup Canada survey indicated that 80% of people in Ontario favour the provincial government providing at least some support for non-public or other religious schools.

As you are aware, a United Nations human rights committee recently ruled that this province is violating human rights by funding Roman Catholic schools but not funding the schools of other religious groups. The same survey showed that 70% of the people of this province think Ontario should respond by extending funding to other groups.

It is not a question of educational equality, that somehow the public school system is not good enough. It's simply that public schools are like everything else in society: they cannot be everything to everyone. Parents have long realized this. Independent schools flourish because of this.

This resolution puts the fairness back into the system. We are not asking this government to fund these schools. No, we are asking for a tax credit equivalent to tuition, a tax credit that we give so easily to other organizations.

Parents have the primary responsibility for directing the education of their children. Government protects the public interest by establishing educational standards. Democracy blooms through educational diversity and choice. It is in the best interests of society for government to provide fair funding for all students receiving an education that meets the standards for realizing the public good.

I have a school here today, Timothy Christian, and they will be in here later.

QUARRYING

Mrs Leona Dombrowsky (Hastings-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington): This government has presented Ontario's Living Legacy as a document that will protect wilderness areas throughout the province. In my riding of Hastings-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington, however, an aggregate permit application has been made for a quarry within a conservation reserve.

Mellon Lake residents were flabbergasted to learn that the Living Legacy document has been written in such a way as to grandfather quarrying permits, including this one near an environmentally sensitive region. Residents have very serious concerns, as this site is close to the home of rare plants and animals such as the prairie warbler, the five-lined skink and the little prickly pear cactus, the most northern cactus in North America.

The Ontario Living Legacy, a document the government presents as the protector of our great Ontario wilderness, may not offer the protection that the government indicates. The residents of Mellon Lake have asked for an environmental assessment and a review to ensure that quarrying activity would not endanger this sensitive region. The ministry has been reviewing this request since July, and still no decision has been made.

The Mellon Lake area holds some of Ontario's most unique environmental treasures. If the Living Legacy document is worth the paper it is written on, I urge the Minister of Natural Resources and the Minister of the Environment to work together, grant an environmental assessment and protect Ontario's wilderness.

MALACHY MCKENNA

Mr Toby Barrett (Haldimand-Norfolk-Brant): Today I wish to talk about a young Irish man who is entertaining his homeland with stories from a tobacco bunkhouse -- a structure that can be found all over my riding in tobacco country.

Malachy McKenna is an Irish playwright who spent years toiling in the tobacco fields of Norfolk, through the Ontario Flue-Cured Tobacco Growers' Marketing Board's student exchange program. It was in the fields and in the bunkhouse at the farm of Marius and Maryanne Vanbesien that Mr McKenna learned about himself, learned about people from different cultures and the fact people truly are the same the world over. These are the things local young people and exchange students learn during the summer months throughout Ontario's tobacco belt.

Aside from the importance of hard work, which sees one up at the crack of dawn, in an interview with our daily, the Simcoe Reformer, Mr McKenna said it was impossible to put a price on the value of the experience he had as a student working the Ontario tobacco harvest. I think a person like Stompin' Tom Connors would say the same thing.

I'm looking forward to McKenna's play and reminiscing about my years as a tobacco primer in the tobacco fields. I commend the Vanbesien family for providing Mr McKenna, and through him providing people in Ireland, the stories of his wonderful learning experience that is now gaining international attention.

1340

LABOUR LEGISLATION

Mr Dominic Agostino (Hamilton East): Later this afternoon this Legislature is going to be passing some of the most regressive anti-working-people legislation in the history of Ontario. Thanks to Mike Harris, Ontarians will now be forced to work 60 hours a week. Thanks to Mike Harris, Ontarians will work more hours for less overtime.

This piece of legislation attacks the most vulnerable workers in our province -- students, young people, new Canadians -- individuals who are often not represented by labour unions. This legislation is simply a gift, a Christmas gift, to big business, to those friends of Mike Harris who purchase tickets to go to fundraising dinners and who lobby this government. Instead of protecting vulnerable workers, Mike Harris today, with this legislation, is going to expose five million Ontarians to difficulties in the workplace, to harassment, to working more hours for less money, making it harder to organize, making it easier to decertify.

This is a disgraceful, disgraceful day in the history of Ontario. Many of the gains that have been made in the last 50 years are going to be wiped out with this legislation that Mike Harris is bringing in today. The last time we had a 60-hour workweek in Ontario was in 1940. Instead of moving forward, this government has turned the clock back 60 years. You should be ashamed of yourselves. It's a disgraceful performance by a government that is catering to big business, abandoning the most vulnerable workers in Ontario. It's a sad day for labour, a sad day for Ontario, but most of all a sad day for working people in this province.

VICTIMS OF CRIME

Mr David Young (Willowdale): On the evening of March 19, 1997, a constituent of mine was attacked and savagely beaten with a baseball bat as he slept in his home. The majority of the blows were to his head and in particular his face. The culprit then stole money and took my constituent's truck as he fled.

My constituent spent five days in intensive care, underwent five surgical procedures and spent months in a rehabilitation facility where he learned once again how to eat, how to drink, how to walk, how to adjust to life with sight in only one eye.

The criminal trial took three years to complete, three years which were ultimately counted against the imposed sentence as time served. Three different judges presided over this matter. The case was remanded on 21 occasions, often because the correct paperwork was not always available.

My constituent was not allowed to make a victim's impact statement because the lawyer for the culprit successfully argued that such a statement would just be far too personal.

It is said that justice delayed is justice denied. Justice was indeed eventually done in this case, but no victim, nor their family, deserves to be put through this kind of protracted suffering by our judicial system. No victim, nor their family, should be prevented from sharing with the court the details of what happened to them and how it has impacted upon their lives.

The government of Ontario has made great strides in advancing victims' rights. But there remains more to do. I urge the government of Ontario and the government of Canada to sit down, put politics aside and work together to make sure that our system of justice better serves victims and their families.

NORTHERN ONTARIO

Mr Rick Bartolucci (Sudbury): We all know that Santa is from the north. Last night, when I was on House duty, he passed by the Legislature, dropped in and asked me if I would give out some presents for him because he was on his way back in order to make sure that everything's ready for Christmas Eve.

The first present that Santa and people from the North want me to deliver is to the Minister of Citizenship and Culture. Because this is our millennium year, we want her to remember this year, so Santa would like her to have an autographed copy of this book. I'm going to ask my elf Dwight to bring it over to the minister.

For the Minister of Transportation, who says the roads in Ontario are so good, we want him to have some salt in case he travels the roads of northern Ontario. We know he will need this. I'm going to ask my elf Marie to deliver this to the minister.

In the spirit of co-operation that's beginning to exist in this House, I'm going to present the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing with a blank cheque made out to the city of greater Sudbury. All he has to do is fill in the amount and sign it. I'm going to ask Dwight to make sure he brings that across and ask the minister to return the cheque immediately.

You know, there is a good relationship developing between me and the Minister of Northern Development and Mines. Because I want to ensure that he comes to Sudbury often, I'm providing him with what's called the one perfect gift. It's a map of northern Ontario so he won't get lost along the way. I'm going to ask elf Marie to bring it over.

I have a framed original for the Minister of Health. It's a framed original of the petition to the Ontario Legislature to end health care apartheid. Santa wants the Minister of Health to look at this framed original over the holidays, and hopefully it will affect any decisions she makes. Elf Dwight?

We have a gift for the Premier. It's a golf T-shirt, because we know he'll probably be doing some golfing over the holidays. This golf T-shirt says, "Cancer Tumours Don't Know the Meaning of Re-referral: Northern Cancer Patients Want Equality." I'm going to ask elf Marie to bring this over.

Finally, Speaker, Santa is very concerned about your voice and your having to shout over members in the Legislature, so Santa's providing you with the official Speaker whistle. I would ask elf John, who never heckles, to present it to you.

Finally, we want to wish everyone a very happy, safe, joyful Christmas, from the people of northern Ontario to every member in the House.

SALVATION ARMY

Ms Marilyn Mushinski (Scarborough Centre): Recently the Salvation Army approached me to assist them in finding warehouse space for their Christmas toy drive distribution centre. The Salvation Army, as many of you in this House know, plays an important role in my community in ensuring that needy children and families can share in the magic of Christmas.

I am proud to inform this House that with the help of a generous local business, 23,000 square feet of warehouse space was found and located in Scarborough.

The Salvation Army toy drive expects to assist 20,000 needy children this year. The residents of Scarborough provide 70% of the volunteers at the toy depot and donated approximately 30% of the 100,000 toys collected this year.

Minister Margaret Marland has established the $30-million early years challenge fund to assist Ontario's most vulnerable and impressionable children. Mike Harris offered to assist in ensuring that every child in Ontario receives a toy at Christmas. I ask the members of this House and the people of Ontario to help them help Ontario's needy children by contributing to the Salvation Army's toy drive. The army desperately needs toys for girls aged three to 10. They suggest Barbie dolls, stuffed toys, craft kits, children's videos, cassette players and board games.

Lieutenant Colonel Hugh Tilley of the Salvation Army is in the members' gallery today. Please join me in showing our collective appreciation for the good work the army performs all year, and especially for needy children and their families during this season. Merry Christmas to all.

STATUS OF BILL 172

The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): Maybe I'll read this before the last statement.

I beg to inform the House that, due to a drafting error, Bill 172 standing in the name of the member for London West, Mr Wood, was introduced on December 18 with French and English versions that do not accord with each other.

Therefore, pursuant to subsection 3(2) of the French Language Services Act and standing order 33(d), the bill will be removed from the Orders and Notices paper.

I apologize for the inconvenience of that.

MUNICIPAL RESTRUCTURING

Ms Shelley Martel (Nickel Belt): I'm glad to see the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing is here, because we have a little message for him this Christmas season. We say, "Ho, ho, ho, where's the dough for Sudbury, Tony?" It's time for Minister Clement to show a little Christmas spirit and produce a $24-million cheque for the new city of Sudbury so we can pay for the transition costs that have been forced upon us by this government through its forced restructuring of our region.

Minister, you would know that it has now been one full year since your government passed Bill 25, which forced restructuring on our community, and in all of that time you have not committed to pay the restructuring costs that come from this scheme. One whole year and you have yet to publicly announce whether or not you are going to pick up the entire tab, never mind producing the cold, hard cash in order to do so.

Minister, it's now been not one, but two Christmases since you let this matter pass. You are making Scrooge look good on this one. We say to you that it's time to put your money where your mouth is during this Christmastime and produce the cash, especially now, because the transition costs have doubled from $12 million to $24 million. There's no reason in the world why those property taxpayers in the city of greater Sudbury should have to pick this up.

This is your bill; you forced it upon us. Produce the $24 million to pay the transition costs in Sudbury.

1350

REPORTS BY COMMITTEES

STANDING COMMITTEE ON
GOVERNMENT AGENCIES

The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): I beg to inform the House that today the Clerk received the 16th report of the standing committee on government agencies. Pursuant to standing order 106(e), the report is deemed to be adopted by the House.

STANDING COMMITTEE ON
REGULATIONS AND PRIVATE BILLS

Ms Frances Lankin (Beaches-East York): I beg leave to present a report from the standing committee on regulations and private bills and move this adoption.

Clerk at the Table (Ms Lisa Freedman): Your committee begs to report the following bill without amendments, Bill Pr34, An Act respecting the University of St Jerome's College.

Your committee further recommends that the fees and the actual cost of printing at all stages be remitted on Bill Pr34, An Act respecting the University of St Jerome's College.

The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): Shall the report be received and adopted? Agreed.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY
AMENDMENT ACT, 2000 /
LOI DE 2000 MODIFIANT LA LOI
SUR L'ASSEMBLÉE LÉGISLATIVE

Mr Murdoch moved first reading of the following bill:

Bill 178, An Act to amend the Legislative Assembly Act / Projet de loi 178, Loi modifiant la Loi sur l'Assemblée législative.

The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Carried.

The member for a short statement.

Mr Bill Murdoch (Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound): It is my pleasure today to introduce a second amendment to the Ontario Legislative Assembly Act.

I believe that it is an amendment that makes common sense out of a ticklish issue that we faced recently, the salaries of the MPPs. If passed, this act will see Ontario's Integrity Commissioner, a man appointed after consultations with all political parties, to be the one who determines how much members of this House will be paid.

I believe that a truly impartial figure is the only one who should be setting the pay schedules of politicians. I believed this when I was the reeve of Sydenham township, I believed this when I was warden of Grey county and I believe it now.

That's why the Ontario Legislative Assembly Amendment Act, 2000, if passed, also contains a provision that all municipalities in Ontario can opt into using the Integrity Commissioner's services in this manner: an impartial look at a thorny issue.

Also, Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to introduce my resolution yesterday, that, in the opinion of this House, the government of Ontario should introduce legislation that would provide tax credits equivalent to the cost of tuition to people who send their children to private schools, including religious schools.

GREATER JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS
ACCOUNTABILITY ACT, 2000 /
LOI DE 2000 SUR UNE OBLIGATION ACCRUE DE RENDRE COMPTE
EN CE QUI CONCERNE LES NOMINATIONS
À LA MAGISTRATURE

Mr Wood moved first reading of the following bill:

Bill 179, An Act to provide for greater accountability in judicial appointments / Projet de loi 179, Loi visant à accroître l'obligation de rendre compte en ce qui concerne les nominations à la magistrature.

The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry?

All those in favour will please say "aye."

All those opposed will please say "nay."

In my opinion, the ayes have it. Carried.

The member for a short statement?

Mr Bob Wood (London West): A couple of days ago I introduced Bill 172, An Act to provide for greater accountability in judicial appointments. Yesterday the office of the legislative counsel was kind enough to draw to my attention and to that of the table of this House that by mistake the French version of the bill was not an accurate translation of the English version. You quite properly removed Bill 172 from the order paper today.

The office of the legislative counsel has apologized for this error and advises that they have developed a procedure to ensure that such an error will not happen again.

I am, therefore, reintroducing this bill in a form in which French and English versions conform.

AUDIT AMENDMENT ACT, 2000 /
LOI DE 2000 MODIFIANT LA LOI
SUR LA VÉRIFICATION
DES COMPTES PUBLICS

Mr Gerretsen moved first reading of the following bill:

Bill 180, An Act to amend the Audit Act to insure greater accountability of hospitals, universities and colleges, municipalities and other organizations which receive grants or other transfer payments from the government or agencies of the Crown / Projet de loi 180, Loi modifiant la Loi sur la vérification des comptes publics afin d'assurer une responsabilité accrue de la part des hôpitaux, des universités et collèges, des municipalités et d'autres organisations qui reçoivent des subventions ou d'autres paiements de transfert du gouvernement ou d'organismes de la Couronne.

The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Carried.

The member for a short statement?

Mr John Gerretsen (Kingston and the Islands): The purpose of the bill is to enable the Provincial Auditor to have access to the financial records of crown agencies, grant recipients and crown-controlled corporations. The auditor is authorized to audit the financial statements of grant recipients. Auxiliary provisions are included making it an offence to obstruct the auditor's mandate, to allow the auditor to examine people under oath and to require information to be kept confidential.

It's important that the Legislative Assembly, through its officer the Provincial Auditor, holds grant recipients, including schedule A agencies, completely and totally accountable.

DAY NURSERIES
AMENDMENT ACT, 2000 /
LOI DE 2000 MODIFIANT LA LOI
SUR LES GARDERIES

Mr Lalonde moved first reading of the following bill:

Bill 181, An Act to amend the Day Nurseries Act to allow up to seven children to be cared for in rural areas without requiring a licence under the Act / Projet de loi 181, Loi modifiant la Loi sur les garderies afin d'autoriser, dans les régions rurales, la garde de sept enfants au plus sans devoir obtenir un permis prévu par la Loi.

The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Carried.

The member for a short statement?

Mr Jean-Marc Lalonde (Glengarry-Prescott-Russell): I was prompted to bring forward this bill when I was approached by many concerned young families in my riding, as well as a follow-up letter from the mayor of the municipality of Nation, who expressed their concern for the availability of daycare facilities for children in rural areas.

A large part of my riding, as well as many others, is rural. Access to public daycare is non-existent and access to private home daycare is limited due to restrictions in place under the present legislation of the Day Nurseries Act.

The purpose of the amendment I have proposed today is to exempt day nurseries and private home daycare agencies that receive or provide care for no more than seven children from the licence requirements of the act if the nurseries or agencies are located in a rural area or in a town or village with a population of fewer than 3,000.

I feel the proposed change for premises to receive up to seven children in their care, rather than five, will provide some relief for young families in rural communities.

1400

DEMOCRATIC HERITAGE ARCHAEOLOGICAL
PRESERVATION ACT, 2000 /
LOI DE 2000 SUR LA PRÉSERVATION
ARCHÉOLOGIQUE DU PATRIMOINE
DÉMOCRATIQUE

Mr Marchese moved first reading of the following bill:

Bill 182, An Act to ensure the preservation of the site of Toronto's first parliament buildings / Projet de loi 182, Loi visant à assurer la préservation du site des premiers édifices parlementaires de Toronto.

The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Carried.

The member for a short statement?

Mr Rosario Marchese (Trinity-Spadina): The bill is intended to ensure the preservation of the site of Toronto's Parliament Buildings, built in 1798 and 1820.

Section 2 provides that the site is deemed to have been designated under part VI.

Section 3 provides that the minister responsible for the administration of that act shall ensure that a full archaeological excavation and investigation is conducted and shall promote the purchase of the site and its donation to the city of Toronto, the construction of a museum and the provision of operating funds for the museum.

WOMEN'S EQUITY ACT, 2000 /
LOI DE 2000 SUR L'ÉQUITÉ
À L'ÉGARD DES FEMMES

Mrs Bountrogianni moved first reading of the following bill:

Bill 183, An Act to establish real equality for women in the province of Ontario and to provide the essential benefits required to promote equal access to opportunity / Projet de loi 183, Loi établissant une véritable égalité pour les femmes de l'Ontario et fournissant les avantages essentiels à la promotion de l'égalité des chances.

The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Carried.

The member for a short statement?

Mrs Marie Bountrogianni (Hamilton Mountain): The purpose of the bill is to establish real equality for women in the province of Ontario and to provide the essential benefits needed to promote equal access to opportunity for women.

The government of Ontario should:

(a) move toward the reality of pay equity with equal pay for equal work as outlined in existing legislation;

(b) ensure that existing laws are complied with;

(c) introduce one year paternity leave for new parents;

(d) address the problem of violence against women and implement the emergency measures introduced by the cross-sectoral violence against women strategy group;

(e) reinvest in the essential services for women, such as health care, counselling, legal aid, neighbourhood and community supports, emergency shelters, crises lines and second-stage housing; and

(f) promote equality of women in Ontario so that gender, race, ethnicity, economic status or education attainment do not provide a barrier to employment opportunity.

BRAIN TUMOUR
AWARENESS MONTH ACT, 2000 /
LOI DE 2000 SUR LE MOIS
DE LA SENSIBILISATION
AUX TUMEURS CÉRÉBRALES

Mr Wood moved first reading of the following bill:

Bill 184, An Act to encourage awareness of the need for the early detection and treatment of brain tumours / Projet de loi 184, Loi visant à favoriser la sensibilisation à la nécessité du dépistage et du traitement précoces des tumeurs cérébrales.

The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Carried.

The member for a short statement?

Mr Bob Wood (London West): This bill points out that early detection and treatment of brain tumours is vital to survive this devastating disease. Brain tumours strike people of all ages, from newborns to seniors, crossing all economic, social and ethnic boundaries in all walks of life. Brain tumour research, patient and family support services and awareness among the general public are essential to promote early detection and treatment of brain tumours. The bill proposes that the month of October in each year be proclaimed Brain Tumour Awareness Month.

I'm introducing this bill now to give the public a chance to tell us whether or not they think its passage would help in fighting brain tumours.

PORTABLE HEART
DEFIBRILLATOR ACT, 2000 /
LOI DE 2000 SUR LES DÉFIBRILLATEURS
CARDIAQUES PORTATIFS

Mr Colle moved first reading of the following bill:

Bill 185, An Act to help save the lives of Ontarians who suffer from cardiac arrest by promoting the widespread availability and use of portable heart defibrillators in public places / Projet de loi 185, Loi visant à contribuer à sauver la vie des Ontariens qui souffrent d'un arrêt cardiaque en promouvant la disponibilité et l'usage généralisés de défibrillateurs cardiaques portatifs dans les lieux publics.

The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Carried.

The member for a short statement?

Mr Mike Colle (Eglinton-Lawrence): The bill would require that portable heart defibrillators be made available and installed in significant public buildings, including privately owned buildings such as shopping centres, arenas and stadiums that have significant public access.

These portable defibrillators are about the size of a laptop computer. They cost about the same amount as a laptop computer. The United States has just passed similar legislation. This will save thousands of lives in the province of Ontario if one day we have these as readily available, hopefully, as we have fire extinguishers. I hope we get one here as soon as possible.

ONTARIO ENERGY BOARD
AMENDMENT ACT
(ELECTRICITY RATES), 2000 /
LOI DE 2000 MODIFIANT
LA LOI SUR LA COMMISSION
DE L'ÉNERGIE DE L'ONTARIO
(TARIFS D'ÉLECTRICITÉ)

Mr Lalonde moved first reading of the following bill:

Bill 186, An Act to amend the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998 to provide for protection against increases in the rates charged for the distribution of electricity / Projet de loi 186, Loi modifiant la Loi de 1998 sur la Commission de l'énergie de l'Ontario de façon à prévoir une protection contre les augmentations des tarifs exigés pour la distribution d'électricité.

The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Carried.

The member for a short statement?

Mr Jean-Marc Lalonde (Glengarry-Prescott-Russell): This bill amends the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998, to limit increases that the Ontario Energy Board can approve or affix in the rates that distributors charge for distributing electricity to consumers.

As a result of subsection 78(2) of the act, a distributor cannot distribute electricity unless the Ontario Energy Board has made an order under section 78 approving or fixing the distribution rates. Also, any increases are limited to the percentage annual increase in the consumer price index for Canada for prices of all items as published by Statistics Canada. This bill will protect Ontario consumers against sharp increases.

MOTIONS

HOUSE SITTINGS

Hon Norman W. Sterling (Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Minister of Correctional Services, Government House Leader): I move that, pursuant to standing order 9(c)(iii), the House shall meet until 12 midnight on Wednesday, December 20, 2000, for the purpose of considering government business.

The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry?

All those in favour of the motion will please say "aye."

All those opposed will please say "nay."

In my opinion, the ayes have it. Carried.

REFERRAL OF BILL 155

Hon Norman W. Sterling (Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Minister of Correctional Services, Government House Leader): I move that, pursuant to standing order 72(a), the order for second reading of Bill 155, An Act to provide civil remedies for organized crime and other unlawful activities, be discharged and the bill be referred to the standing committee on justice and social policy.

The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Carried.

STATEMENTS BY THE MINISTRY
AND RESPONSES

GOVERNMENT'S AGENDA

Hon Michael D. Harris (Premier): This past September, I outlined a program of continued progress and sustained growth for the people of this province. That program can be described in seven words: more to do to keep Ontario strong.

Today, as we prepare to return to our families and constituencies for the holiday season, I'm pleased to report that we have met the objectives we set for the fall and for the entire year.

In the past year, we have continued our drive to replace an outdated and financially troubled health care system with a modern system that is accessible to all. We have continued to invest in quality education and to expand results-oriented educational opportunities for our young people. We have continued to ease the burden on the taxpayers of Ontario by returning some of their hard-earned money to them.

1410

We have continued with our aggressive welfare reforms, replacing a handout with a hand up. We have continued to stand behind our men and women in uniform. With them, we have worked to create safer streets and communities throughout the entire province of Ontario. We have taken strong new actions to protect Ontario's environment for today and again for generations to come. We've asked the people of this province to join in a partnership that will build a brighter future for all of Ontario's children. In short, we're keeping our promises, we're honouring our commitments, we're doing what we said we would do, and we will continue to do this.

Today, Ontario is once again leading the nation in producing jobs and prosperity. From September 1995 to August 2000, more than 725,000 jobs were created in Ontario. Since meeting that target, an additional 105,000 jobs have been created, putting us on target to keep our Blueprint commitment to create 825,000 net new jobs over the next five years.

The province is indeed on track to achieving its second consecutive budgetary surplus. Thanks to the Taxpayer Protection and Balanced Budget Act, passed in December 1999, the hard-earned money of Ontario taxpayers is now protected by law.

This year, we once again gave much-needed tax relief to the hard-working taxpayers of Ontario. We promised to return more than $1 billion to Ontario taxpayers in the form of personal income tax rebates. Today, I'm proud to report that almost 5 million Ontario taxpayers have received their cheques.

Our efforts to reduce taxes have drawn praise from experts and leaders of all political stripes, including Prime Minister Chrétien. Recently, the Prime Minister told an audience in the United States: "Our tax system is now very competitive with that of the Americans. If you look at Ontario, the income tax, federal and provincial, is competitive with New York, Michigan, California and the state of Washington." Thank you, Mr Prime Minister, for recognizing Ontario's leadership in cutting taxes.

To help taxpayers keep even more of their hard-earned income, we introduced in November the Balanced Budgets for Brighter Futures Act. The act would enable the Ontario government to reduce personal provincial income tax rates, without interference from the federal government.

For our economy to attract new investment and create even more jobs, a balance must be struck between employers and employees in the workplace. The Labour Relations Amendment Act, introduced in November, is meant to create that balance by strengthening the right of employees to choose whether they want to be represented by a union, and by requiring union bosses earning more than $100,000 a year to disclose their incomes, paralleling the public service and broader public service. We've also taken steps to extend parental leave for working families and create fair and modern standards in the workplace.

Since we took office, 568,742 Ontarians have left the province's welfare rolls. This is not an abstract number; rather, it represents 568,742 personal success stories. To help even more people to escape that trap, we've been exploring ways to help those who've had trouble finding work because of substance abuse problems. This government will not turn its back on anyone who needs a hand moving from welfare to work.

The people of Ontario expect and the people of Ontario deserve modern health care. That's why our team continues to reform and improve our province's health care system. Even in the face of unilateral funding cuts by the federal government, we've increased health care spending operating funding by $4.4 billion since taking office, including $850 million for Ontario's hospitals this year alone in increased funding.

In the past several months, we've continued to lead the nation in health reform by making landmark changes to the way people use the health care system. Our goal? Better access to the care provided by doctors and nurses, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

We are creating Telehealth Ontario to give people in the 416 and 905 areas access to round-the-clock health information and advice from a registered nurse. We have kept our commitment to increase access to quality health care in northern Ontario with the enhancement of dialysis and cancer care centres and hospital services throughout the region. We have laid the cornerstone for the health care system of the future with the introduction of legislation to protect the privacy of personal health information of the people of Ontario.

We will be announcing additional health reforms in the coming year.

There can be no greater gift than the gift of life. That's why, through the Trillium Gift of Life Network Act, we hope to make it easier for individuals to give the gift of a vitally needed organ or tissue to a loved one, to a neighbour or to a fellow Ontarian.

This government continues to fight for the right of all our children to get a quality education. That's why we developed a new curriculum, from kindergarten to grade 12. That's why we now require province-wide testing and standards for students. That's why we'll be implementing province-wide testing for our teachers.

We've made major changes, and today our children are learning more and they're performing better. The results of the most recent International Mathematics and Science Study demonstrates that our reforms are working. In the past five years, Ontario students have made significant progress in both math and science when compared to school children in other countries. Ontario students are now better prepared to compete and excel in a knowledge-driven world. There is still more to do, but our education reforms, and our kids, are now definitely on the right track.

We are determined that Ontario's school children receive a first-class education, inside and outside the classroom. We have been fair and reasonable with the unions representing our teachers. Progress is being made and many boards have reached agreements with their teachers. But in the time ahead, as we strive toward promoting co-instructional activities in all boards and all schools, parents and families can count on this government to stand by them.

We are also working for choice and we are working for excellence in higher education. That's why our proposed Post-secondary Education Choice and Excellence Act will give students an expanded opportunity for post-secondary education by permitting the establishment of private degree-granting universities in Ontario.

From the outset this government has come down solidly on the side of law-abiding citizens, on the side of victims of crime, on the side of the men and women in uniform throughout this province who uphold the law. In this session we introduced the Domestic Violence Protection Act and the Victims' Bill of Rights Amendment Act, because for too long the scales of justice in our country have tipped in favour of the offender.

In October we introduced legislation banning the sale of imitation handguns to those under 18, to better protect the public and the police. The Remedies for Organized Crime and Other Unlawful Activities Act, if passed, would take the profit out of unlawful activity by hitting organized crime where it hurts -- in the wallet. The Corrections Accountability Act will ensure that any reduction in an inmate's sentence is earned and that offenders stay drug-free. We are also working to give victims of crime a greater say in parole hearings of our offenders and to protect our children and young people from sexual exploitation.

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The tragic events of Walkerton have served as a wake-up call for all of us. To ensure that the right lessons are learned and such tragedies do not occur again, we have introduced a province-wide drinking water protection regulation, one that sets tough standards for large waterworks and is considered the toughest in Canada.

We have also passed the Toughest Environmental Penalties Act, giving the Ontario government the power to impose on all major polluters the largest fines and longest jail terms in Canada.

To preserve our natural heritage, we have announced a $100-million investment in Ontario's Living Legacy, the largest expansion of protected natural areas in our province's history.

Finally, our team has taken positive action in what is perhaps the most important matter of all: our children. In November, I announced the creation of Ontario's Promise, the partnership for children and youth. At its heart, Ontario's Promise is about creating new partnerships to help us do more for our children by working together. To date, Ontario's Promise has enlisted eight new corporate partners with total commitments of $23 million. To further promote creative partnerships for children, we announced the launch of the $30-million early years challenge fund earlier this month.

In September, our team renewed its drive for more efficient government, for more jobs, for lower taxes, for safer streets, for a cleaner environment, for higher education standards and for better health care.

In short, we continued to champion the principles of the Common Sense Revolution. Throughout the fall and throughout this year, these principles have guided every action this government has taken.

The voters of Ontario support the principles of the Common Sense Revolution because these principles have returned hope and they've returned growth and they've returned opportunity to this province. They have restored fiscal responsibility to the government of this province and they have restored good government to the people of this province.

But while we have accomplished much, the work of fixing government, of reforming government, of improving government goes on. Since our election, we have accomplished much, including the achievements of a very busy and productive fall, but there is still more to do to keep Ontario strong.

That's why in the coming session we will continue to put forth on behalf of the people of Ontario an agenda based on continued progress, not complacency, an agenda based on sustained growth, not the status quo. That's why we will continue to keep our promises and to honour our commitments. In short, we will continue to do what we said we would do. The Common Sense Revolution will continue.

That revolution will keep our province at the forefront of economic growth and job creation. It will raise the bar for quality education and modern, affordable and accessible health care. It will continue to enhance and expand our parks and our wilderness areas. And it will provide a cleaner environment and safer streets and communities for all of our citizens. Together, these efforts will maintain and enhance a quality of life second to none in the world.

Mr Speaker, I understand this is scheduled to be the last of this Legislature before the holiday season. I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate and thank all of the members of the Legislature who have contributed to a very productive session and wish all members and their families and their staff and their staff's families, including all of the officers of the Legislature, from the Clerk and the Clerk's office to the pages, to wish you all a very happy holiday season and a very healthy and prosperous new year.

The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): Responses?

Mrs Sandra Pupatello (Windsor West): The Premier of Ontario has a very selective memory. Do you know how we started this session this year in January? You had the resignation of your Tory MPP over your broken promise and forced amalgamation in the Hamilton area. That resulted in our new member, Ted McMeekin, joining the Ontario Liberal Party. We forgot to talk about that: a 20,000-vote move in just a few short months. That's what the Ontario voters said about the Mike Harris agenda. We're forgetting to tell the people what has happened in Ontario in this last year.

In the spring session of this year, we brought to this Legislature the scandals at the ORC. We remember the Ontario Realty Corp scandals. Now we have yet another OPP investigation under the Mike Harris government.

We talked about the Premier's own attendance record in this House and we demand it be 100%, but so far you're less than 35% attendance during question period, when you're to be held accountable to the people of Ontario. That's what we expect of the Premier. That's not what we got this year out of the Premier of Ontario.

I ask you some very basic questions. In this last year, is our health care system better? Our party knows the answer is no. We had to suffer through and watch day to day the Fleuelling inquiry after a young man died at the hands of the emergency system of our hospitals in the greater Toronto area, something that should never have happened. But thanks to cuts to the hospital system, we left that young man wanting. It shouldn't have happened, and that was under your watch, Premier. You forgot to talk about Mr Fleuelling, who's not here to celebrate Christmas with his family.

I ask you, are the schools in Ontario better? Our party knows that the answer to that is no. We have today an entire generation of young people, high school attendees, who have never known peace in their high school, who have never known what it would be like to have government and school boards and teachers and parents and students actually get along for the betterment of education. Today we have our fifth, final year of more war in the classroom. We heard that yesterday by our own Minister of Education talking about "capitulation," another war term. That's not what our students deserve, but that's what our students got for yet another year.

I ask this question: is the environment better in Ontario this year? We watch day to day the Walkerton inquiry. At the hands of what system and whose responsibility is it that seven people are not in the province to celebrate Christmas this year? We watched with interest: what role did the Ontario government have to play in cuts to the Ministry of the Environment that may have cost those people their lives?

Those are the questions we asked you all this year. Those are not the answers we got this year. Instead we got a litany of photo ops, of the Minister of Community and Social Services, the one cabinet minister who's supposed to be respectful and helpful to the poor, out on a photo op rampage, throwing needles on the ground in a big show of being tough on poor people. We're embarrassed by that kind of behaviour by a minister. It shouldn't happen, but it happened under your watch this year. You forgot to talk about poor people, Mike Harris. That's part of your job.

We ask you the question: is the environment any better? Did you come with more forceful rules? We have no more people in the Ministry of the Environment to enforce those rules. What good is better law, are better fines, if we don't have the individuals to enforce those fines or rules?

We ask those questions because the people of Ontario ask those very same questions. In light of the Walkerton inquiry, these were your words: "What we promise you is rules around agriculture operations." Did we get rules in agriculture operations? We didn't get rules about agriculture operations, and those were your words.

You promised an Ontario disability act. I ask the caucus, did we get an Ontario disability act? We still have disabled people in Ontario who are asking this government for help to lead a full life in this province, and you've let them down. One more year of no action on the part of people with disabilities. I ask the Speaker, could we have more of a Premier who doesn't give us the answers? We, the Ontario Liberal Party and Dalton McGuinty, will keep you to account on behalf of all the people of Ontario.

1430

Mr Howard Hampton (Kenora-Rainy River): Speaker, the Premier started out his statement by boasting about Ontario's over $1-billion surplus.

He started out the fall session by saying his government was going to do all it could to put an end to violence against women. One hundred and thirty women's groups came here and gave this government a long list of things they could do and need to do to ensure that no more women die as a result of domestic violence. We need to recount that this government told those 130 women's organizations to basically leave, that there was nothing this government was prepared to do. And do you know what? This government was honest about that, because the only thing they've done with respect to violence against women is to pass a piece of legislation that will allow an abuser to keep an arsenal of weapons. That is their response to the over 40 women, on average, in this province who die as a result of violence in the home.

When a government has over $1 billion in surplus you would think we should be celebrating here today that a government has made an investment to do something about that problem. Instead, we are pointing out that this is a government that has done virtually nothing about that problem.

The Premier talks about improving our education system. Well, the Premier should go out there and talk to the tens of thousands of parents who have children who need special education, who have need for special education and can't get it because the budget isn't there to meet the needs of all the children in Ontario who need and deserve special education. Or the Premier should go out and talk to all of the parents who are now dealing with high school students who are saying, "School really isn't very interesting any more since we don't have extracurricular activities, since the things that made school interesting and attractive and created some energy around the school have gone." And why have they gone? They've gone because this government, this government that claims to know everything about education, insisted that they were going to ram through legislation that has resulted in teachers being able to say, "If I have to choose between extended hours in the classroom and time for extracurricular activities, I'm sorry, I won't have the time to do the extracurricular activities that I used to." That is not improving the education for our children, nor is it improving the education for our young people or those people who need to return to post-secondary education when we continue to have the highest debt loads in the country for students, when tuition fees have increased dramatically yet the means made available to students to finance their education have not kept up.

We know from talking, not just to students but also to faculty members who teach at our colleges and universities, that we are headed for a major problem in terms of post-secondary education. This government simply doesn't have a strategy other than saying, "Open it up to the private sector." But the very private sector institutions that this government is talking to and talking about have a deplorable record in the United States, have been investigated and have been charged and convicted of fraud with respect to student loans and have, frankly, in many cases left students high and dry without the education they paid for when they've simply moved on into another jurisdiction. That's this government's answer to expanding and increasing the capacity and capability of the post-secondary education system.

But the greatest travesty of all is this: workers across Ontario now, thanks to this government, can look forward to 60-hour workweeks. Workers who used to be able to count on a two-week vacation with their families can now recognize that the two-week vacation taken together is gone, that more and more their vacation time will be a day here, a day there. Workers who used to look forward to a weekend with their family can now recognize that in most cases that is gone.

This is not improving the quality of life for Ontario citizens. This is depleting it, while this government puts more money in the hands of their corporate friends. You're going to be held accountable for that now and in the future.

DEFERRED VOTES

EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS ACT, 2000 /
LOI DE 2000 SUR LES NORMES D'EMPLOI

Deferred vote on the motion for third reading of Bill 147, An Act to revise the law related to employment standards / Projet de loi 147, Loi portant révision du droit relatif aux normes d'emploi.

The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): Call in the members. This will be a five-minute bell.

The division bells rang from 1435 to 1440.

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

Ayes

Arnott, Ted

Baird, John R.

Barrett, Toby

Beaubien, Marcel

Chudleigh, Ted

Clark, Brad

Clement, Tony

Coburn, Brian

Cunningham, Dianne

DeFaria, Carl

Dunlop, Garfield

Ecker, Janet

Elliott, Brenda

Eves, Ernie L.

Flaherty, Jim

Galt, Doug

Gilchrist, Steve

Gill, Raminder

Guzzo, Garry

Hardeman, Ernie

Harris, Michael D.

Hastings, John

Hodgson, Chris

Hudak, Tim

Jackson, Cameron

Johns, Helen

Johnson, Bert

Kells, Morley

Klees, Frank

Marland, Margaret

Martiniuk, Gerry

Maves, Bart

Mazzilli, Frank

Molinari, Tina R.

Munro, Julia

Murdoch, Bill

Mushinski, Marilyn

Newman, Dan

O'Toole, John

Ouellette, Jerry J.

Palladini, Al

Runciman, Robert W.

Sampson, Rob

Snobelen, John

Spina, Joseph

Sterling, Norman W.

Stewart, R. Gary

Stockwell, Chris

Tascona, Joseph N.

Tilson, David

Tsubouchi, David H.

Turnbull, David

Wettlaufer, Wayne

Wilson, Jim

Witmer, Elizabeth

Wood, Bob

Young, David

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

Nays

Agostino, Dominic

Bartolucci, Rick

Bisson, Gilles

Bountrogianni, Marie

Boyer, Claudette

Bradley, James J.

Bryant, Michael

Christopherson, David

Cleary, John C.

Colle, Mike

Conway, Sean G.

Crozier, Bruce

Curling, Alvin

Dombrowsky, Leona

Duncan, Dwight

Gerretsen, John

Hampton, Howard

Kennedy, Gerard

Lalonde, Jean-Marc

Lankin, Frances

Martel, Shelley

McMeekin, Ted

Parsons, Ernie

Peters, Steve

Phillips, Gerry

Pupatello, Sandra

Sergio, Mario

Smitherman, George

Clerk of the House (Mr Claude L. DesRosiers): The ayes are 57; the nays are 28.

The Speaker: I declare the motion carried.

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

LABOUR RELATIONS
AMENDMENT ACT, 2000 /
LOI DE 2000 MODIFIANT LA LOI
SUR LES RELATIONS DE TRAVAIL

The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): We also have a deferred vote on the motion for third reading of Bill 139.

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

The division bells rang from 1444 to 1449.

The Speaker: Mr Klees has moved third reading of Bill 139, An Act to amend the Labour Relations Act. All those in favour of the motion will please rise one at a time and be recognized by the Clerk.

Ayes

Arnott, Ted

Baird, John R.

Barrett, Toby

Beaubien, Marcel

Chudleigh, Ted

Clark, Brad

Clement, Tony

Coburn, Brian

Cunningham, Dianne

DeFaria, Carl

Dunlop, Garfield

Ecker, Janet

Elliott, Brenda

Eves, Ernie L.

Flaherty, Jim

Galt, Doug

Gilchrist, Steve

Gill, Raminder

Guzzo, Garry J.

Hardeman, Ernie

Harris, Michael D.

Hastings, John

Hodgson, Chris

Hudak, Tim

Jackson, Cameron

Johns, Helen

Johnson, Bert

Kells, Morley

Klees, Frank

Marland, Margaret

Martiniuk, Gerry

Maves, Bart

Mazzilli, Frank

Molinari, Tina R.

Munro, Julia

Murdoch, Bill

Mushinski, Marilyn

Newman, Dan

O'Toole, John

Ouellette, Jerry J.

Palladini, Al

Runciman, Robert W.

Sampson, Rob

Snobelen, John

Spina, Joseph

Sterling, Norman W.

Stewart, R. Gary

Stockwell, Chris

Tascona, Joseph N.

Tilson, David

Tsubouchi, David H.

Turnbull, David

Wettlaufer, Wayne

Wilson, Jim

Witmer, Elizabeth

Wood, Bob

Young, David

The Speaker: All those opposed?

Nays

Agostino, Dominic

Bartolucci, Rick

Bisson, Gilles

Bountrogianni, Marie

Boyer, Claudette

Bradley, James J.

Bryant, Michael

Christopherson, David

Cleary, John C.

Colle, Mike

Conway, Sean G.

Crozier, Bruce

Curling, Alvin

Dombrowsky, Leona

Duncan, Dwight

Gerretsen, John

Hampton, Howard

Kennedy, Gerard

Lalonde, Jean-Marc

Lankin, Frances

Martel, Shelley

McMeekin, Ted

Parsons, Ernie

Peters, Steve

Phillips, Gerry

Pupatello, Sandra

Sergio, Mario

Smitherman, George

Clerk of the House (Mr Claude L. DesRosiers): The ayes are 57; the nays are 28.

The Speaker: I declare the motion carried.

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

MINISTRY OF TRAINING,
COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES
STATUTE LAW AMENDMENT ACT, 2000

LOI DE 2000 MODIFIANT DES LOIS
EN CE QUI A TRAIT
AU MINISTÈRE DE LA FORMATION
ET DES COLLÈGES ET UNIVERSITÉS

Deferred vote on the motion for third reading of Bill 132, An Act to enact the Post-secondary Education Choice and Excellence Act, 2000, repeal the Degree Granting Act and change the title of and make amendments to the Ministry of Colleges and Universities Act / Projet de loi 132, Loi édictant la Loi de 2000 favorisant le choix et l'excellence au niveau postsecondaire, abrogeant la Loi sur l'attribution de grades universitaires et modifiant le titre et le texte de la Loi sur le ministère des Collèges et Universités.

The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): Call in the members. This will be a five-minute bell.

The division bells rang from 1452 to 1457.

The Speaker: Would the members kindly take their seats, please.

Mrs Cunningham has moved third reading of Bill 132, An Act to enact the Post-secondary Education Choice and Excellence Act, 2000, repeal the Degree Granting Act and change the title of and make amendments to the Ministry of Colleges and Universities Act.

All those in favour of the motion will please rise one at a time and be recognized by the Clerk.

Ayes

Arnott, Ted

Baird, John R.

Barrett, Toby

Beaubien, Marcel

Chudleigh, Ted

Clark, Brad

Clement, Tony

Coburn, Brian

Cunningham, Dianne

DeFaria, Carl

Dunlop, Garfield

Ecker, Janet

Elliott, Brenda

Eves, Ernie L.

Flaherty, Jim

Galt, Doug

Gilchrist, Steve

Gill, Raminder

Guzzo, Garry J.

Hardeman, Ernie

Harris, Michael D.

Hastings, John

Hodgson, Chris

Hudak, Tim

Jackson, Cameron

Johns, Helen

Johnson, Bert

Kells, Morley

Klees, Frank

Marland, Margaret

Martiniuk, Gerry

Maves, Bart

Mazzilli, Frank

Molinari, Tina R.

Munro, Julia

Murdoch, Bill

Mushinski, Marilyn

Newman, Dan

O'Toole, John

Ouellette, Jerry J.

Palladini, Al

Runciman, Robert W.

Sampson, Rob

Snobelen, John

Spina, Joseph

Sterling, Norman W.

Stewart, R. Gary

Stockwell, Chris

Tascona, Joseph N.

Tilson, David

Tsubouchi, David H.

Turnbull, David

Wettlaufer, Wayne

Wilson, Jim

Witmer, Elizabeth

Wood, Bob

Young, David

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

Nays

Agostino, Dominic

Bartolucci, Rick

Bisson, Gilles

Bountrogianni, Marie

Boyer, Claudette

Bradley, James J.

Christopherson, David

Cleary, John C.

Colle, Mike

Conway, Sean G.

Crozier, Bruce

Curling, Alvin

Dombrowsky, Leona

Duncan, Dwight

Gerretsen, John

Hampton, Howard

Kennedy, Gerard

Lalonde, Jean-Marc

Lankin, Frances

Martel, Shelley

McMeekin, Ted

Parsons, Ernie

Peters, Steve

Phillips, Gerry

Pupatello, Sandra

Sergio, Mario

Smitherman, George

Clerk of the House (Mr Claude L. DesRosiers): The ayes are 57; the nays are 27.

The Speaker: I declare the motion carried.

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

ORAL QUESTIONS

EDUCATION

Mr Gerard Kennedy (Parkdale-High Park): I want to direct a question on this last day of sitting, apparently, to the Premier. I want to ask you about your own hard-nosed, bumbling attitude toward education and what it's doing to deprive the students of this province of the education they deserve. In particular, I want to ask you about your comments of yesterday. Yes, teachers support our plan to put peace in high schools. They do. But so do parents and students and school boards and people all across this province.

Apparently, Premier, you have a problem with that. Last year you unilaterally acted to change conditions in high schools. You created a mess. We've given you a fair, balanced compromise, something you can act on today, and put extracurriculars and better learning conditions in our high schools by February. Premier, this is your last opportunity to do something positive for the high school students of this province. Will you today stand up and do this? Will you agree, will you reconsider and put in place peace in our high schools?

Hon Michael D. Harris (Premier): I know that you and your leader have been claiming that everybody's supportive, and editorially, although I did read this editorial. It said:

"This peace plan sounds as if it was crafted by Neville Chamberlain. It's an attempt to appease the teachers' unions, with no guarantee of any better co-operation on extracurriculars.

"The unions like it, which is not surprising, since McGuinty's plan means a reduced workload for their members....

"There are practical problems, too. McGuinty's solution would reduce the number of students each teacher faces, and that would mean hiring 3,700 teachers. It would also cost $150 million."

I think what we have here is, you revitalize a three-year-old union plan, ignoring all the changes that have been brought in by the minister, including the hiring of thousands of new teachers to actually increase quality and reduce class size. What we have here is a desire among teachers, educators, trustees and parents to see as long-term solution --

The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): Order. The Premier's time is up. Supplementary?

Mr Kennedy: Premier, your actions and your words don't reflect what the parents and the students of this province are saying. Today in the gallery we have Sue Lockington. Sue Lockington is with the Victoria Park Secondary School school council. She is here today to tell you, "It's encouraging to hear the proactive approach of Dalton McGuinty's peace plan. A resolution needs to be done as soon as possible. The damage done to the teaching profession, the lack of trust in the education system, and the emotional and physical well-being of students are all being ignored."

Now, Premier, you're in your place. Ms Lockington is here. This is a parent telling you what the needs of her school are. She represents a school council that is charged with that responsibility, and that has been frustrated over the last 105 days.

Dalton McGuinty has done more in six days since he released this peace plan than you've done in six years. You have the chance today to do something positive. You've got two choices. You can pass this plan today or you can table your own. I guess you have a third choice. If you're not courageous enough to do either of those things, you can slink off and go back to wherever you go for holidays and do nothing for these parents.

Which is it going to be, Premier?

Hon Mr Harris: Also in the Legislature today are a number of Ontario students. This is the report of the Ontario Student Trustees' Association. They say the government must make changes which facilitate long-term solutions when attempting to rectify the situation, not knee-jerk, three-year-old instantaneous-type solutions you propose.

They talk about how every attempt must be made to avert the threat of labour action every second or third year. They want the negotiations sped up. They say this: "The loss of these opportunities due to work-to-rule destroys school communities," and they go on to condemn using students as pawns through the work-to-rule campaigns of some of the union leaders.

The report goes on with many other areas supportive of long-term solutions that the minister is attempting to achieve. I might say to you that I think we all support the minister's actions and we support the teachers' actions to ensure that we don't have the kind of labour disruptions, holding students as pawns, that we've had over the last couple of years.

Mr Kennedy: The language of this government, the idea of a fight, of a war, of pawns, of having to capitulate -- that is what is going on here. Your attitude is not serving these students particularly well. If you'd read their whole statement, the last page, Premier -- you might want to go there. You might want to talk to Karl Baldauf, Peter Doelman and Darya Nadar afterwards about what they want.

They held a consultation. I know that word is a little strange to you, but they actually went out and talked to students. These are student trustees from around the province, and they've talked to the students. This is what they told the Premier and the minister: they have said, after looking at the problem, that one of things that would be helpful to do would be to look at the increase in the length of school periods to meet the ministry's new standards, whether the curriculum is being delivered and understood. They recognize it isn't happening in this province, and they see the increase in school periods, exactly what is in the peace plan, as something to be done.

Premier, because you've seen fit to endorse some of the comments of these students, will you pay them some decent respect by listening to all of it, including the call to action, including the call to consider exactly what is in our peace plan? Will you do that today?

Hon Mr Harris: As you know, the minister has encouraged this group to go out and consult with students. She has met with this group. I think they are well aware of the minister's desire to have extensive consultations all across the province with all groups. I have their report here. They say to leave no stone unturned, but what they mostly say is to make sure it's a long-term solution; make sure this solution isn't one that is arrived at in a coercive way, that is knee-jerk, that is short-term. They talk about the extended school day. As you know, the union offered an hour extended school day at no cost. That was the union position, but for some reason or other, it wasn't --

Interjection: That wasn't the union position.

Hon Mr Harris: Well, it was proposed by OSSTF. It wasn't proposed by the current leader of OSSTF, who clearly has your leader in his back pocket. He wants even more and more, and less workload and more money. We understand that.

This report that you refer to also says, "Many of the problems in the Canadian education system are due to the approximately 2.5" --

The Speaker: Order. The Premier's time is up.

New question.

Mr Kennedy: Back to the Premier. I can't speak for Mrs Lockington. She's there to speak to you, Premier. She's here. She's made special arrangements. She had to pick up her child. She stayed through all our votes, because she wants you to respond to her needs. You've chosen not to do that.

Art Buckman, who is the chair of the Upper Canada District School Board, says, "I heartily support the restoration of extracurricular high school activities. It's vitally important to have them for next semester. Dalton McGuinty's education peace plan is the initiative we need."

He also goes on to say that this is an issue they can't settle. This is an issue, they say, to be settled by you at the provincial level.

Premier, I want you again to reference yourself to the students you were kind enough to reference but not respond to, and to the parents. I want to ask you, are you going to slink out of this House, are you going to take off, having done nothing for the problems affecting our high schools, or will you pass Bill 165, a very simple amendment to the Education Act? Will you today give us your solution?

Hon Mr Harris: The disruption of Bill 165 that cost the taxpayers a quarter of a billion dollars to achieve not one whit of quality in education -- presumably you are opposed to the minister's plan that we are implementing to spend a quarter of a billion dollars to hire all these teachers to reduce class size, the same number of teachers -- in fact more teachers -- to reduce class size. For some reason or other, you want the minister to cancel that, cancel all those teachers, cancel the lower PTR, make sure every new teacher who is hired is to reduce workload. We understand the union wants more dues. We understand the union wants a reduced workload. We understand that is Earl Manners's position. That is not the position of anybody who wants quality education in this province.

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Mr Gerry Phillips (Scarborough-Agincourt): Just keep bombing. Keep on the war. Mike's got to win the war.

Mr Kennedy: My colleagues refer to the Premier sometimes as Bomber Harris, and this is an exact indication, because what has happened instead is that this government unilaterally imposed something on all the schools, all the school boards and all the students. Rather than come back to the table, the teachers have said they would work an extra half an hour. The government doesn't want any of that. The students have said, "We'll go to school for an extra half an hour." The parents have said, "We'll make the adjustments we need to make." The parents of this province are saying about the Liberal initiative, "We are finally seeing some leadership to find a solution to the turmoil in our schools. This plan would truly give our kids more quality time while restoring dignity to our teachers and harmony in our schools." Cathy Balsys, a mother of four, another member of a school council, says she is so pleased that someone is finally putting the needs of kids first.

Premier, this is your last opportunity before you head off for holidays. You've got an opportunity to put kids first, to quit playing around with all the bombast you want to throw. Every group in the province has agreed that there's a need to do something to restore peace in the high schools. There's a solution on the table.

The Speaker: Order. The member's time is up.

Hon Mr Harris: No.

Mr Kennedy: That one word, Premier, summarizes the amount of concern you have, the amount of interest you have. In one syllable, one word, you exempt yourself from your responsibility. We see this House, these government members, afraid to stand up for their students. They will be headed back to their communities. They will hear from their students and their parents. They couldn't, in this House or in their caucus, speak up.

Interjection.

The Speaker: Will the member take his seat. The member for Stoney Creek, come to order. Sorry, to the member.

Mr Kennedy: It seems that the Premier is anxious to escape. He's not willing to buckle down and do something, but instead he wants to get away from this problem. He's not willing to listen to trustees, parents, students or teachers. The members opposite see something wrong in listening to school teachers, whom we want to be able to teach our kids.

Mr Harris, I must give you this. On January 9, we'll be in Durham region. We'll be there speaking to parents and students. We'll be there seeking a solution. I challenge you to be there with your solution. If you're not --

The Speaker: The member's time is up. Premier?

Hon Mr Harris: Let me say that for both myself and the minister this is not our last day at work. We're concerned every day. We're concerned as we continue to advance. The minister continues to meet and consult. We'll not be waiting till January 9 to continue to meet with parents, to continue to meet with students, to continue to encourage parties to come together. You are fixated on a three-year-old, union-led solution that does nothing for class size, nothing for quality education, nothing but massively increase the cost without any benefit to the long term, without any benefit to quality. I'm sorry you're fixated on only the one solution that many in the province have said is the wrong solution, but at least they've recognized the problem. We've all recognized the challenge and the problem. The problem is that unions are using students as pawns in their negotiations, and it has to stop.

Your solution --

The Speaker: Order. The Premier's time is up.

HOMELESSNESS

Mr Howard Hampton (Kenora-Rainy River): My question is for the Premier. This morning I was at Tent City down on the Toronto waterfront. Tent City is where literally hundreds of people who are homeless have come together to build temporary housing at a time of the year when it is freezing outside. They acknowledge that this is not the best solution, but they point out that it is better than freezing on the streets and it's better than your temporary shelters, which are too often unsafe and unhealthy.

While we were there, we learned that your Ministry of the Environment is trying to push Home Depot, which owns the property, to evict these people. Premier, why would your government want to try to push Home Depot to evict these people when all they're trying to do is build temporary housing so they don't freeze to death on the street? Why would your government be trying to do that?

Hon Michael D. Harris (Premier): I don't have all the information before me, but as I understand, the Minister of the Environment has concerns about the contamination on that land. Therefore, he has concerns about the health of these folks. I'm sorry you don't.

Mr Hampton: Premier, here is your solution. Your solution is to put them in temporary shelters, but when you actually sit down and look at United Nations' documentation, your temporary shelters don't even meet the standards for refugees in wartorn countries. According to the United Nations, that's the condition in your shelters. When you talk to a public health nurse, you will learn that tuberculosis is rampant in those temporary shelters. So people, for their own health and safety, are saying, "We would rather try to build something, as temporary as it may be, because it is better than the shelter system this government advocates for a solution."

Premier, I say again, your shelters, your solution to homelessness and affordable housing, don't even meet the United Nations' standards. Why are you trying to evict these people when Home Depot says, "It's OK if you build temporary shelters here. We're prepared to work with you and help you if you want to build temporary shelters here"? Why is your government trying to force Home Depot to evict them when their solution is certainly superior to the unsafe and unsanitary shelters that you're trying to put them in?

Hon Mr Harris: I want to thank the member for the advice, as off-base as it is.

Mr Hampton: The other point those people are trying to make is that while you boast about a surplus in excess of $1.5 billion and, frankly, while your federal counterparts in Ottawa boast about a surplus, neither of you has a strategy for affordable housing. While the cost of a two-bedroom apartment in this city and in other cities in this province has gone up by more than $2,000 a year, there is no money to pay that kind of rent and there is no strategy for affordable housing. Since your answer is either to put them in unsafe, unsanitary, unhealthy shelters or to evict them when they're working with a private company to build something that would be better than your unsafe, unsanitary shelters, if that's the scenario we have now, would you at least come forward with an affordable housing strategy, since, by the way, as you boast, you have a surplus?

Hon Mr Harris: I want to understand. I think the leader of the New Democratic Party is saying the solution should be to leave these people outdoors, with no shelter, on contaminated land. I appreciate that is what you are saying we should do. That's the only inference any reasonable person could take from your question and what you're talking about today.

You criticize the Minister of the Environment for being concerned about their health and about them being outside on contaminated land. You talk about a government solution that is not the government's solution at all. There are others who are trying to assist them to at least have some form of temporary shelter.

What we're interested in are the long-term solutions of a job, of opportunity, of training, of breaking the cycle of poverty that we've been so successful at -- maybe three, five, 20 times more successful than your government was with a solution.

We are concerned about anybody who does not have the resources for decent housing or food or shelter, in spite of the fact that we have the most generous programs in Canada, by every measure. If you look at the increase in poverty and in children living in poverty, it was the highest under your government and it is going down --

The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): Order. The Premier's time is up.

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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

Mr Howard Hampton (Kenora-Rainy River): Another question for the Premier. It is interesting to know that on the verge of Christmas, while your government has a huge surplus, you have no money for affordable housing and no interest in a strategy for affordable housing.

But I want to ask you about a confidential report that was given to your government three years ago by senior officials which pointed out to you how serious the problem was at Walkerton and other small communities across the province in terms of their water and sewer problems. Despite the fact that very senior officials brought this report to you and advised you once again of the seriousness of the problem, you ignored their advice and you ignored the confidential document they brought to you.

Premier, can you tell us why you ignored the concerns they raised about the safety of water treatment and the safety of sewage treatment in communities like Walkerton, when they clearly warned you three years ago?

Hon Michael D. Harris (Premier): I'm not sure what confidential report you are talking about. If it's confidential, I guess I don't know about it.

I can tell you this: this government has never ignored any report, any suggestion of anything that would jeopardize any citizen anywhere in the province, including Walkerton, about water quality.

There was a report I saw in the media that was referred to which recommended that the private sector be put in charge of water facilities. If that's the report you're talking about, you're quite right: we did not accept that as one of I think about 20 recommendations when dealing with OCWA and water systems. Perhaps if the private sector ran anything, it is your position that it would be run better. That was the position of the column I saw in the paper today. Maybe you're an ideologue that way and you think everything has to be privatized. I don't know. What we tend to look for on this side of the House is what makes sense: private sector, public sector, government, extended public agency.

If there's another report you're referring to --

The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): Order. The Premier's time is up. Final supplementary.

Mr Hampton: I think we actually know the answer to the question. Your government was in fact in the process of downloading responsibility for water treatment and sewer treatment on to the municipality and downloading the costs of doing that. You didn't want to hear about the problems that already existed and you didn't want to hear about the further problems and the further threats to public health that would be created by that.

Premier, I want to ask you now, will you make that report public so that all the citizens of Ontario can see how clearly you were warned three and a half years ago and how much you cared about your agenda rather than caring about the public health of citizens across this province, and especially the public health of citizens in communities like Walkerton? Will you make that report public so that people across the province now can see just how negligent your government was in your duties?

Hon Mr Harris: I don't know why the leader of the New Democratic Party is so confused on this issue. Sewer and water have always been, since I've been elected, close to 20 years, under Progressive Conservative governments, Liberal governments, New Democratic Party governments and our government, a municipal responsibility.

I don't know what report you are referring to. If this information deals with the story that I read in the paper today, it's no secret report. I can tell you that there was a recommendation among a whole number -- I can't tell you how many -- suggesting that perhaps all sewer and water services should be privatized. If you want them all privatized, if that's your position, say so.

PARTICULATE EMISSIONS

Mr James J. Bradley (St Catharines): I have a question for the Minister of the Environment. This question is about the largest single purveyor of dioxin in Ontario and probably across this country, the largest single source. I'm referring to the garbage incinerator called Swaru in Hamilton.

Minister, you will be aware that there was at the very least confusion over the provision of testing results, and at the very worst falsification of those testing results from the Swaru incinerator. As a result, it is my understanding that there is total confusion in the Hamilton area at this time. You will know that Swaru, by the way, spews its pollution across Hamilton and across the Niagara Peninsula.

Minister, could you tell us how it could possibly be that your ministry, understaffed as it is, was unable to obtain the information on the contamination coming from the Swaru incinerator and why to this point you've allowed Swaru to be the largest purveyor of dioxin in this country, allowing it to have six times the amount of dioxin that it's supposed to be allowed to purvey into the atmosphere?

Hon Dan Newman (Minister of the Environment): Our government is indeed committed to ensuring clean air for all Ontarians to breathe in our province. We're taking action now to ensure that a clean air legacy is left for generations to come.

As part of its waste disposal master plan, the region of Hamilton-Wentworth established Swaru, which is there as an incinerator in the Hamilton area.

My ministry is dedicated to the ongoing environmental protection of the area. That's why we have a focused review of some of the potential deficiencies in that area.

My ministry did receive an application for review under the Environmental Bill of Rights. Staff from the Ministry of the Environment have now completed their consideration of the Environmental Bill of Rights application for review on this project. Based on all of the information available, they have concluded that while a full technical review of the Swaru certificates of approval is not warranted, a focused review is appropriate to assess some of the potential deficiencies that ministry staff have identified.

Mr Bradley: That's an absolutely, totally unacceptable answer to a question. You have pollution spewing over Hamilton, over the Niagara region, over the surrounding area of Hamilton. You have the falsification of information being provided to your ministry. Your ministry doesn't have enough staff any more, as the Provincial Auditor said, to monitor anything, it seems. The auditor certainly indicated that in his report when he said a 25% staff reduction over the last four years has contributed to a 34% decrease in the number of ministry-initiated inspections conducted province-wide each year.

I ask the minister two specific questions: when are you going to make Swaru, this garbage incinerator, come into compliance with what are considered to be the toughest regulations in this country -- you always say that you have them in this province for garbage incinerators -- and when are you going to end the practice of self-monitoring and self-regulation without the kind of supervision needed from your ministry so that the people of this province can be assured that we don't have a repetition of what's happened in other communities such as Walkerton and other areas in the province? How can you guarantee to the people of this province that Swaru is the only incinerator, industrial or otherwise, that is spewing forth this dioxin when you don't even have the proper supervision of the kind of testing that's going on at this time?

Hon Mr Newman: I say to the member opposite that dioxins are a part of the review the ministry is undertaking in this regard. They're going to be reviewed as part of our Canada-wide standards review. I have been informed by the deputy minister that dioxins will indeed be included in that review. That should be good news for the member opposite. We anticipate that the review will be concluded within the next couple of months. In fact, the progress of our review will be shared with both the applicants and the certificate holders with respect to that Swaru site.

But operation of the site has significantly reduced the amount of waste going to landfill and has extended the life of the landfill site. The incinerator also produces energy for sewage plant operations. As well, its air monitoring reports are submitted annually to the Ministry of the Environment.

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CHILD PROTECTION

Mr John O'Toole (Durham): My question is to the Attorney General. During the holiday season our hearts and minds often go out to the children in our communities. I can tell you, as a parent of five children and as a parliamentarian, it is a concern to me that this government work to protect the children of not just my riding but of course all of the children across Ontario. Protecting children starts, as you know, Minister, at the prevention stage and it continues beyond the court system itself.

I was very encouraged by the introduction of your legislation yesterday. I'm wondering, Minister, if you could tell us what other initiatives you, your ministry and this government have taken to protect children in the early-prevention stage, right through the court system itself.

Hon Jim Flaherty (Attorney General, minister responsible for native affairs): I thank the member for Durham for the question. This government has taken several initiatives to help protect children in the justice system with respect to children being exploited and victimized by prostitution. Yesterday I introduced new legislation that will protect children from the tragic fate of child prostitution, will give the police and children's aid workers the tools they need to place children in this situation in safe locations and disengage them from pimps and remove them from street prostitution, adult entertainment facilities, massage parlours, bawdy houses, escort services, telephone and Internet sex lines, and the pornography industry.

In addition, with funds provided in the budget this year by the Minister of Finance, we've opened more than 20 new supervised access sites and centres. This is particularly important for people involved in family law disputes to ensure that they have supervised access for their children.

Thirdly, in the initiatives with respect to child-friendly courts, regrettably some children have to give evidence in court. We've expanded the number of child-friendly courts. There are 16 now in 13 locations, with more to be added next year.

Mr O'Toole: Thank you for that answer, Minister. Second, the justice system must take into account that children are not as mature as adults and, therefore, do not always fully understand the consequences of their actions. Nonetheless, our justice system must send a signal to our children and their parents that breaking the law does have serious consequences and that a simple slap on the wrist is not sufficient.

I'd like to ask the minister what steps he has taken to ensure that children learn a lesson about the consequence of breaking the law.

Hon Mr Flaherty: The member for Durham of course is absolutely right with respect to the serious problem of violent young offenders. Over the past year, this government has lobbied Ottawa repeatedly to repeal the Young Offenders Act and make the changes that the people of Ontario have told us they want made, including increases to the length of jail sentences for those who commit serious offences, requiring mandatory jail time for youth convicted of offences involving weapons, a guarantee that youth convicted of serious offences such as murder would serve full adult sentences and to stop forcing prosecutors to prove that an adult sentence is necessary for most serious violent offences.

Once again the calls for a change from Ontario have fallen on deaf ears with the Liberal government in Ottawa. The Young Offenders Act is a demonstrable objective failure both with respect to recidivism and with respect to graduation rates of young offenders to adult criminal courts in this province. We urge the federal government to repeal the Young Offenders Act.

IPPERWASH PROVINCIAL PARK

Mr Gerry Phillips (Scarborough-Agincourt): My question is to the Premier. It has to do with Ipperwash Provincial Park and the shooting death on September 6.

You have, over the last few years, maintained in the Legislature that you had absolutely no influence with the OPP actions. I quote one of the answers you gave. You said, "I determined nothing. I gave no direction, I gave no influence on it. We left that entirely to the OPP. I assumed there would be negotiations."

In a memo that has been released within the last 24 hours, it indicates that the day of the shooting death you met with the OPP commissioner, along with at least one other of your cabinet ministers, that they gave you advice that day -- the police did, as well as the Deputy Attorney General -- on how you should proceed, and you decided to ignore or to go against that advice and to seek a particular type of injunction.

My question is, do you still today stand by your comment, "I determined nothing. I gave no direction, I gave no influence on it. We left that entirely to the OPP. I assumed there would be negotiations"?

Hon Michael D. Harris (Premier): Absolutely.

Mr Phillips: You have indicated before, because the matter was before the courts, your reluctance to answer questions. I remind you that this OPP officer was charged in 1996, and the answers that you gave over the last five years have often been answers given when that matter was before the court. I think it is important for the OPP officer that you have indicated many times that you gave absolutely no direction.

Will you confirm today that you did meet with the OPP commissioner the day of the shooting, and will you indicate to us why you ignored the advice you were getting from the police on the type of injunction? I remind you, Premier, that you answered these questions when the matter was before the court and may very well have influenced the action in the courts.

Hon Mr Harris: The document you refer to I think was released months ago, and it confirms that the OPP commissioner was at a meeting that I was at, something I indicated quite freely five years ago at the time of the Ipperwash situation. I can tell you that the OPP commissioner sought an injunction and we gave him one.

WIARTON WILLIE

Mr Bill Murdoch (Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound): My question is to the Premier. Mr Premier, last February you forgot the rules. You forget the part in MPP school where they tell you never to make fun of a national icon. Last February you did just that. You made fun of Wiarton Willie: you compared him to a Liberal senator. Actually, technically you made fun of Wee Wiarton Willie, Willie's successor, who just happened to be found in Ottawa, but that's beside the point. What you may not realize, Premier, is that the people of Wiarton have long memories, so with the help of the organizers of the Wiarton Willie Festival, I'm taking a pre-emptive step here. I'm going to educate you on the importance of that little rodent who resides in my riding of Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound and hopes to soon be in northern Ontario.

With your permission, I have presents to give to you from these tireless organizers: a CD which is highly enlightening about the history of the festival, and also a Wiarton Willie beanie.

Wiarton Willie will make his prediction on February 2, Mr Premier. My question to you is, will you display this Wiarton Willie beanie in your office to show your pride in our provincial winter forecaster?

Hon Michael D. Harris (Premier): I'd like to thank the member for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound for the question. A beanie baby? I was hoping it was a beanie I could wear, but it's a Wiarton Willie beanie baby. I'll be happy to display it, of course.

But let me say that I think the member is referencing a speech I made last February to the Young Entrepreneurs organization. I remarked about the fact that Wiarton Willie had received an HRDC federal jobs grant from Jane Stewart. I pointed out in my speech, regrettably, that with his qualifications, sleeping all winter, working one day a year, I was surprised he hadn't been appointed a Liberal senator. Upon reflection, I want to acknowledge that comparing Wee Wiarton Willie to a Liberal senator is insulting to Wee Willie. I accept that. He works much harder than most Liberal senators. He's also more accurate than the weather forecasters on the CBC, I might add. I thank the honourable member again for the question and I assure him I will have this beanie on display in my office.

Mr Murdoch: Thank you, Premier, for your response and for showing both your pride in Wiarton Willie and your respect for the hard work he does, not only on Groundhog Day but on each and every day of the year. I think we all realize the importance of Groundhog Day. For me, I can't wait to see whether Wiarton Willie predicts an early spring or six more weeks of winter. I have found him to be a reliable forecaster, much more worthy of respect than the pale imitation found in Pennsylvania.

February 2 marks the big day, Premier. Will you personally show your respect to Wiarton Willie and be on hand when he makes his prediction for winter 2001?

Hon Mr Harris: I thank the honourable member and I thank the people of Wiarton for the very kind invitation. I know that each and every year they host a wonderful festival, and I know it does not occur without the very many volunteers in Wiarton who dedicate countless hours of their time. I want to take this opportunity to congratulate those volunteers and offer my best wishes for yet another successful festival.

I commit this to the member and the organizers: I'm going to check my schedule and I will get back to the member and I will get back to Wee Wiarton Willie as well. I assure them that wherever I am that day, I will be watching closely to see if Wee Wiarton Willie indeed sees his shadow.

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IPPERWASH PROVINCIAL PARK

Mr Howard Hampton (Kenora-Rainy River): My question is for the Premier. This is a copy of the September 6, 1995, memo, the day on which Dudley George was killed. Premier, this memo states that the OPP commissioner was called into the meeting. It states that Larry Taman, who was then the Deputy Attorney General, was at the meeting, that he was quite eloquent and forceful. He cautioned about rushing into the situation with an ex parte injunction. He cautioned about interference with police discretion. But then the memo says, "But Premier and Hodgson came out strong ... decision to go ex parte appeared to have already been made."

Premier, what I find interesting about this memo is, can you tell us why it was only made available this summer, five years after Dudley George was killed?

Hon Michael D. Harris (Premier): I think we made it available in September, right away, that we had planned to seek an ex parte injunction. We had a request from the OPP and it was our desire to seek an injunction.

Mr Hampton: I don't think that was an answer. This is quite germane evidence in the death of an unarmed man, and for some reason, your government kept it out of the public for five years.

Premier, I want to ask you this. You've always maintained that decisions to interfere at Ipperwash, decisions to get an ex parte injunction, were made not by your government, but this memo pretty clearly indicates that the OPP commissioner was called into the meeting, that you and your cabinet colleagues were warned, "Don't interfere with police discretion, don't force an ex parte injunction," and then it says, "But Premier and Hodgson came out strong." I think any reasonable person would conclude that you and Mr Hodgson directly interfered, that you and Mr Hodgson made the decision over the heads of the OPP commissioner and the Deputy Attorney General to directly interfere with Ipperwash. If that's not the right conclusion, Premier, please give us your explanation.

Hon Mr Harris: As I have indicated publicly on many occasions over the last number of years, the OPP requested an injunction and we responded to their request for the ex parte injunction. Unfortunately, as you know, that injunction was never acted upon because of a tragedy that intervened, a tragedy that has been a court case, a tragedy that's now part of a civil suit. The document you have, one we made available, is part of that court case. It clearly indicates that we were asked for an injunction; we responded with an injunction.

HIGHWAY SAFETY

Mr Ernie Parsons (Prince Edward-Hastings): My question is to the Minister of Transportation. Last week I had the opportunity to be on an ice surface doing pirouettes and figure 8s -- not a very pretty sight. Unfortunately, I was in my van on Highway 401 at the time.

It is common knowledge that the quality of snow-plowing in this province has severely deteriorated in the past few years. It's a safety issue, with thousands and thousands of motorists on the highways every day. In fact, the highways have become the lifeblood of our industry.

The privatization so strongly heralded has not brought better service. The auditor said that the contracts were given to a few companies and the equipment was given away. The equipment in Ontario used to be out on the highways before the storm started. Now we're seeing them after the storm is finished. The 401 is now routinely closed because of accidents. I'm saying the 401, but it could be any highway in this province.

Ontario was once the leader in snow control on provincial highways. Minister, will you pledge to return to the snow removal standards that were in place in 1990?

Hon David Turnbull (Minister of Transportation): Safety is our top priority. Let me say to the member unequivocally that there has been no change whatsoever in the standards that we apply to winter maintenance. There has been no reduction in winter maintenance. MTO standards are maintained by private contractors before, during and after a storm. There are absolutely no legs to what you're saying.

Let me quote Bob Beatty, an OPP traffic sergeant from Thunder Bay, for example. He was saying, "I would say there is more sanding being done and more plowing being done." That's rather interesting.

The allegations that you make are absolutely groundless. All of the contractors stand to lose their contracts if they do not comply with very strict MTO standards, which are not different to when you were the government or when the NDP were the government or since we've been the government.

Mr Parsons: You need to ask your chauffeur what the roads are actually like. You need to get out of your vehicle and ask some truck drivers what the highways are like in this province.

The basic problem is the contract that you signed with the private operators. They receive the same number of dollars whether they plow all night or whether they don't plow at all. You make our most disadvantaged citizens partake in workfare, be drug-tested and be humiliated -- no work, no pay -- yet you have a corporate workfare that says to your friends with the highway contracts, they have an incentive to not work for the money. Very clearly, corporate welfare is what's being undertaken here. Everyone else in Ontario has to work for their money. Those signs along the highway saying "Your Ontario tax dollars at work" should reflect the actual situation.

Minister, will you renegotiate the contracts to require the firms to be paid only for what they do, rather than the present lump sum contracts?

Hon Mr Turnbull: First, let me reiterate: there has been no change in maintenance standards. Second, the companies can lose the contract if they do not maintain the roads. Third, we have achieved a savings in the cost of maintaining our roads. That is quite clear.

Lastly, I want to say it is very clear that we have to have people --

Mr Howard Hampton (Kenora-Rainy River): That's not what the auditor says. Your nose is growing.

Hon Mr Turnbull: With all due respect to the leader of the third party, you are the government that didn't maintain our roads. Let the record show that we, as a government, are spending more money on maintaining our roads than either the Liberals or the NDP, and we are expanding the system. You, on the other hand, neglected our roads, and you should hang your heads in shame.

AMUSEMENT DEVICES

Mr Brian Coburn (Ottawa-Orléans): My question is for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. I believe some new regulations have been put in place for the province's amusement ride operators. I understand that the Technical Standards and Safety Authority, which is in charge of ride safety, falls under your ministry and your jurisdiction. Could you please tell the House what these new recommendations are and when they will be implemented?

Hon Robert W. Runciman (Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations): Thank you for the question. I am very pleased to say that last week the Technical Standards and Safety Authority announced that they have issued a director's order outlining new licensing requirements for operators.

Now ride operators must provide additional information about the training and experience of amusement device mechanics before they are awarded a 2001 licence. Also, it will now be mandatory for all mechanics to attend a TSSA safety seminar in early 2001, before being put at the controls of a ride this coming summer. These changes are part of TSSA's ongoing commitment to improve public safety at Ontario's fairs and amusement parks.

Mr Coburn: In June of this year, a coroner's jury issued recommendations to improve amusement ride safety in this province in the inquest that was investigating the death of Jerome Charron, where Mr Charron lost his life in a tragic accident on a bungee ride at the Central Canada Exhibition in Ottawa in 1998. I understand that these changes by the Technical Standards and Safety Authority are in direct response to some of the jury's recommendations. Can you please tell us how else the TSSA has responded to the jury's recommendations?

Hon Mr Runciman: As the member indicated, the coroner's jury came back with 29 recommendations for improvements to the operation of Ontario's amusement devices. I am pleased to say that the TSSA and the ministry have implemented or are in the process of implementing 28 of these 29 recommendations.

Today's announcement from the TSSA specifically addresses three of these recommendations surrounding the training and certification of ride operators and mechanics.

This government takes the safety of Ontarians very seriously. We will continue to work with the TSSA to ensure we have some of the highest safety standards in the world.

1550

ASSISTANCE TO FARMERS

Mr John C. Cleary (Stormont-Dundas-Charlottenburgh): My question is to the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. The legislative session is winding down and many of us will be heading back to our ridings with a lot of unanswered questions. First of all, there's a crisis in agriculture, whether you admit it or not. When can Ontario farmers expect the government to finally take a leadership role and provide some of the additional funding desperately needed by farmers? Also, on October 11, you stood in this Legislature and talked about a nutrient management plan. When can we expect to hear from you and what exactly is the status of this plan?

Hon Ernie Hardeman (Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs): Thank you very much to the member opposite for the question. I want to assure him that the agriculture community in Ontario shares his concerns and shares society's concern for public health and the quality of our water. But I want to stress that the issue the member raises on nutrient management is indeed a very important but complex issue. I'm sure he would recognize that we want to get the process right. I want to stress that we've been working closely with the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing on the issue. The issue has broad impacts on all Ontarians, so we want to make sure we consult with all of Ontario before we come forward with legislation. We are confident a solution can be reached if we spend sufficient time to make sure that we come up with a solution that protects our environment and ensures a sustainable agriculture industry.

Mr Cleary: Minister, you didn't exactly answer my question. I watched you and the former minister drain the heart right out of rural Ontario. First of all, you closed local agriculture offices, taking away front-line workers, and there are a lot of other issues. Then there's the role of the struggling farmers who are just asking for some help in this time of need and low prices, high gas prices and all that goes along with them. Now you're stalling on the management legislation. When are you going to start paying more attention than lip service to rural Ontario?

Hon Mr Hardeman: Indeed I thank the member opposite for the question, but I want to say that in fact we as a government are very concerned and very supportive of our agriculture community. Over the last several years, our budget has continued to increase to help our farmers, both in the services we are providing for the farmers and in the money we are putting into the safety nets to make sure that our Ontario farmers get the type of protection and the safety net they need.

The member will be aware that one of the commitments we made in the Blueprint was that we would go to the federal government and make sure we got our fair share for our Ontario farmers of federal safety net spending. In fact, we were very pleased that we were able to accomplish that. We got $30 million more from the federal government that will go toward our Ontario farmers. We are matching that with another $20 million to make sure that we can help our farmers through the time they find themselves in because of low commodity prices. I share his concern --

The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): I'm afraid the minister's time is up.

AUTISM SERVICES

Mrs Tina R. Molinari (Thornhill): My question is for the Minister of Community and Social Services. Recently in my constituency office I met with parents of an autistic child. They wanted to know what supports are in place for this very vulnerable group of children. They specifically wanted to know what services will be provided and the criteria for eligibility for these services. Minister, could you please tell my constituents of the riding of Thornhill what the government is doing to provide services for autistic children?

Hon John R. Baird (Minister of Community and Social Services, minister responsible for francophone affairs): Last year, before the pre-budget consultations, the Autism Society Ontario came forward and recommended that the government invest in providing services for young children with autism, particularly early intervention services so that we can deal with the challenges of young children with autism. At the time, not one single province in Canada was providing a comprehensive program to young children two to five years of age, but this government responded with funding of $19 million to provide these early services.

Much like the Autism Society Ontario, Dr Fraser Mustard spoke about the malleability of a young child's brain. We can intervene at that early stage and provide supports, including an individualized service plan for each child, intensive behavioural intervention for children, particularly at the ages of two and five, and the evaluation for continuous improvement of these services. We're very pleased to have taken the time to build an infrastructure where none existed to train people and to begin to provide these important services to young children in Ontario.

Mrs Molinari: My constituents will be happy to hear that this government recognizes the need for early intervention and investing in the foundation we now have in place. In York region, there are centres that are acting as service providers for this very first program in Ontario. Minister, would you elaborate for my constituents if you have witnessed first-hand the delivery of services for autistic children and made sure that the money is in fact flowing to those who need it most?

Hon Mr Baird: We have taken the time to build a network around the province of Ontario to ensure these important services are available to children and their families. That is particularly the case in York region. I did have the opportunity just last month to visit Kinark child and family services to view two children receiving this therapy and to talk to their families and to hear their stories and to hear how, for many years, they couldn't have these services because they weren't provided. The good news is that they're beginning to get those services. I had the opportunity to meet with the executive director of Kinark, Peter Moore, and with the clinical director, Sylvie Donais. They had to go to the States to get trained because those services weren't available. But we're now providing those services to children and their families right here in the province of Ontario.

DOCTOR SHORTAGE

Ms Shelley Martel (Nickel Belt): I have a question to the Minister of Health. It has been a year since Dr McKendry released a report outlining recommendations to recruit and retain doctors in the province. One of those recommendations clearly emphasized the need to consider establishing a medical school in northern Ontario so that we can end the doctor shortages in our special part of the province.

Minister, instead of acting on that recommendation, you decided to appoint yet another panel to do yet another study when we already know what needs to be done. Many in northern Ontario have a concern about the panel because the chair and the vice-chair both represent southern Ontario medical schools. The concern is that the panel will recommend additional spaces in southern medical schools as the means to deal with the doctor problem.

More spaces in southern schools will not do anything to resolve the long-standing problem of attracting and retaining more doctors in northern Ontario. Minister, it has been a year since Dr McKendry reported. We still don't have the report from the expert panel. Will you now move forward on this very important recommendation and commit your government to establishing a medical school in northern Ontario?

Hon Elizabeth Witmer (Minister of Health and Long-Term Care): As the member knows, it was during the tenure of her government that a decision was made to decrease the number of spaces in medical school, not only in this province, but throughout Canada. We have recognized that we do need an adequate supply and mix and distribution of physicians throughout Ontario, and that's why we had Dr McKendry do the initial analysis of the needs. We have -- as you know and you referred to -- given the information to Dr Peter George, and he has an expert panel. I can assure you the expert panel represents different areas of responsibility and different people from throughout the province. I think it would be premature to speculate as to what they may or may not do; in fact, it's probably quite unfair.

Ms Martel: The question was, will you commit on behalf of your government to establishing a medical school in northern Ontario? We ask that question because we know that the family residency program in Sudbury, for example, established under our government, has had enormous success in ensuring that those doctors who are trained in that community stay in northern Ontario. The same occurs in Thunder Bay at the residency program there.

We know that despite any of the initiatives that you have undertaken and despite the OMA-government agreement, nothing concrete has happened with respect to recruitment and retention of physicians in northern Ontario -- quite the opposite. At the Sudbury Regional Hospital in my community, we have an enormous crisis right now with respect to a loss of physicians. In the riding of my colleague from Timmins-James Bay, the hospital in Kapuskasing cannot operate the emergency ward because of a lack of physicians.

Dr McKendry made it clear. He recommended that a northern medical school should be established. Will your government follow the advice of your appointee and commit now to a northern medical school so that we can finally deal with the problem of doctor recruitment and doctor retention in our special part of the province?

Hon Mrs Witmer: Again I would remind the member that it was your government that cut the spaces in medical schools. I would also remind you that since 1995 we have provided $9 million to a joint OMA-OHA-Ministry of Health initiative to help over 60 small hospitals with physician coverage in emergency rooms.

There is also an agreement for 20 northern underserviced communities to attract doctors. They are given a $10,000 retention bonus if they stay for three years, double stipends for specialty services, guaranteed base salaries and $60,000 for overhead costs. Also, we have provided a 70-hour sessional fee for physicians working nights, weekends and holidays in emergency departments in northern hospitals.

We've established community development officer programs with positions in northwestern and northeastern Ontario. We've designed a medical specialty course. We've established community-sponsored contracts. The list goes on and on.

The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): I'm afraid the minister's time is up.

Pursuant to standing order 30(b), I am now required to call orders of the day.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

BALANCED BUDGETS
FOR BRIGHTER FUTURES ACT, 2000 /
LOI DE 2000
SUR DES BUDGETS ÉQUILIBRÉS
POUR UN AVENIR MEILLEUR

Resuming the debate adjourned on December 18, 2000, on the motion for second reading of Bill 152, An Act to implement the 2000 Budget to establish a made-in-Ontario tax system and to amend various Acts / Projet de loi 152, Loi visant à mettre en oeuvre le budget de 2000 en vue de créer un régime fiscal propre à l'Ontario et à modifier diverses lois.

The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): I am now required to put the question.

Mr Young has moved second reading of Bill 152. Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry?

All those in favour of the motion will please say "aye."

All those opposed will please say "nay."

In my opinion, the ayes have it.

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

The division bells rang from 1604 to 1609.

The Acting Speaker (Mr Bert Johnson): All those in favour will please rise one at a time and be acknowledged by the Clerk.

Ayes

Arnott, Ted

Baird, John R.

Barrett, Toby

Beaubien, Marcel

Chudleigh, Ted

Clark, Brad

Clement, Tony

Coburn, Brian

Cunningham, Dianne

DeFaria, Carl

Dunlop, Garfield

Ecker, Janet

Elliott, Brenda

Eves, Ernie L.

Flaherty, Jim

Galt, Doug

Gilchrist, Steve

Gill, Raminder

Guzzo, Garry J.

Hardeman, Ernie

Hastings, John

Hodgson, Chris

Hudak, Tim

Jackson, Cameron

Johns, Helen

Kells, Morley

Klees, Frank

Marland, Margaret

Martiniuk, Gerry

Maves, Bart

Mazzilli, Frank

Molinari, Tina R.

Munro, Julia

Murdoch, Bill

Mushinski, Marilyn

Newman, Dan

O'Toole, John

Ouellette, Jerry J.

Palladini, Al

Runciman, Robert W.

Sampson, Rob

Snobelen, John

Spina, Joseph

Stewart, R. Gary

Stockwell, Chris

Tascona, Joseph N.

Tilson, David

Tsubouchi, David H.

Turnbull, David

Wettlaufer, Wayne

Wilson, Jim

Witmer, Elizabeth

Wood, Bob

Young, David

The Acting Speaker: All those opposed will please rise one at a time and be acknowledged by the Clerk.

Nays

Bountrogianni, Marie

Boyer, Claudette

Bradley, James J.

Caplan, David

Cleary, John C.

Colle, Mike

Conway, Sean G.

Crozier, Bruce

Curling, Alvin

Dombrowsky, Leona

Duncan, Dwight

Gerretsen, John

Lalonde, Jean-Marc

Lankin, Frances

Marchese, Rosario

Martel, Shelley

Parsons, Ernie

Peters, Steve

Pupatello, Sandra

Smitherman, George

Clerk of the House (Mr Claude L. DesRosiers): The ayes are 54; the nays are 20.

The Acting Speaker: I declare the motion carried.

BALANCED BUDGETS
FOR BRIGHTER FUTURES ACT, 2000 /
LOI DE 2000
SUR DES BUDGETS ÉQUILIBRÉS
POUR UN AVENIR MEILLEUR

Mr Eves moved third reading of the following bill:

Bill 152, An Act to implement the 2000 Budget to establish a made-in-Ontario tax system and to amend various Acts / Projet de loi 152, Loi visant à mettre en oeuvre le budget de 2000 en vue de créer un régime fiscal propre à l'Ontario et à modifier diverses lois.

Hon Ernie L. Eves (Deputy Premier, Minister of Finance): The short title of the act is Balanced Budgets for Brighter Futures Act, 2000. The act provides the legislative framework for a made-in-Ontario, made-for-Ontario personal income taxation system, a system that would allow the Ontario government to make changes to Ontario's tax system to target specific tax credits, exemptions and deductions specifically so that they benefit the Ontario taxpayer directly and ensure that our economy continues to grow and to prosper.

A made-in-Ontario tax system would encourage young professionals to stay here and work in Ontario through innovative tax credits, such as the Ontario research employee stock credit option. With this credit, eligible research employees would not pay Ontario tax on the first $100,000 they make each year in taxable employment benefits and capital gains. This would greatly improve Ontario's competitiveness in the new economy and do much to stem the so-called brain drain to the United States of America of individuals in the fields of information technology and computer engineering.

I think it is important to note that it is our government that first introduced cuts to capital gains tax and challenged the federal government to follow our lead. I am pleased to say they have done that. I would like to point out that it took the federal government almost a year and an election campaign to see the light, but they have done the right thing. As you know, we have now made the reduction of the capital gains inclusion rate to 50% retroactive to October 18 of this year, to ensure that all Ontarians can access this benefit ahead of schedule.

I would like to urge the federal government to work with us on the program for research employees, in the same way they were able to come to the table on the issue of capital gains. To date, they have not responded to our challenge to match this program, nor have they agreed, unfortunately, to administer it at a reasonable cost to the taxpayers of Ontario.

If the federal government remains unwilling to act in the taxpayers' best interest here in Ontario, we'll have no choice but to establish the capacity to provide this benefit directly ourselves.

Investment in R&D-intensive businesses is vital to Ontario's competitiveness in the global marketplace. This legislation would allow the government to increase the tax credit for research-oriented labour-sponsored investment funds from 15% to 20%, providing more venture capital to research companies. The bill also supports the mining industry of northern Ontario by providing a 10-year, or $10-million, mining tax exemption for eligible remote mines.

The government will also be supporting the mining sector through a new focused flow-through shares tax credit. This credit will bring much-needed investment to this very important industry in the province, all the more so now that the federal government has finally accepted our challenge and offer by proposing a flow-through tax credit of its own as well. Amendments to implement this measure will be proposed in the spring.

Our critics have from time to time suggested that our government has ignored the needs and concerns of Ontario's cultural and artistic communities. At this time, I'd like to remind those critics of some of the tax incentives we have provided in this bill to support the arts and cultural communities; tax incentives that support the book publishing, digital media, film and television industries in Ontario. The estimated value of these credits is about $94 million a year.

The new educational technology tax incentive would encourage businesses to support Ontario's universities and community colleges in acquiring new teaching equipment and learning technologies. Ontario's business community is increasingly recognizing the stake it has in our province's educational system. The educational technology tax incentive will mean our students will have greater access to new, up-to-date technology and equipment in the classroom.

This bill would extend the right to incorporate professionals regulated under public acts, while maintaining personal professional liability to protect the public interest. The bill will further eliminate red tape for small businesses and other professionals by enabling them to take advantage of the short form corporations tax return.

The bill would allow Ontario to establish its own separate tax rates and brackets to restore full indexation of Ontario's personal income tax system, thereby eliminating bracket creep and ensuring that no Ontario taxpayer pays more than his or her fair share.

We firmly believe that tax cuts and reductions like these are key to our continued economic growth and job creation in Ontario. They encourage business investment and generate the revenue we need for priority areas such as health care and education.

During second reading of this bill, some in the opposition spoke of a possible recession and downturn in the province's economy. They painted a picture of doom and gloom; quite the opposite, I might add, of what federal Finance Minister Paul Martin is saying in today's newspapers. I would like to set the record straight. What we have in Ontario today is a thriving economy: an employment growth rate of 15.5%, with 184,000 new jobs created this year alone. Ontario's GDP rose 6.1% last year and is predicted to grow by 5.5% this year, and private sector forecasts are averaging out at 3.7% next year.

Our government remains committed to our balanced budget plan and to protecting the gains we have made on behalf of the people of Ontario over the course of our mandate. The Balanced Budgets for Brighter Futures Act will ensure that we stay the course.

1620

Mr Gerry Phillips (Scarborough-Agincourt): I'm pleased to follow the finance minister and say how much we appreciate his description of the bill.

I wanted to spend the few moments I have commenting on the issue of the quality of life here in Ontario. I think all of us appreciate that it's not measured by the bottom line. It is measured by the quality of life in its broadest sense: our health care system; the environment; the education system; how we treat and deal with those most in need in our society; how we ensure that everyone has adequate housing; how, to the best of our ability, we make certain we have the resources to fund those things; and that we have an economy where there are jobs for all those who want them.

I would say to all of us, as we take stock at the year-end and look at this balanced budget legislation, we need to ask ourselves this question: is the quality of life in Ontario better now than it was five years ago?

If we start with the issue of health care -- and that's probably the cornerstone for all of us -- does anyone in this province believe our health care system is better today than it was five years ago? I don't think so. I repeat, I think Premier Harris made a fundamental mistake within the first few months of getting elected by cutting significant funding for hospitals. They were forced to lay off nurses. I remember the Premier saying, "Well, they're like Hula Hoop workers. Their day has come and gone." Most knew that was ludicrous, and now we're desperate to find nurses.

Does anyone here in Ontario believe that particularly our secondary schools are not in more turmoil now than we've ever seen them? There are some young people who will go through their entire secondary school education without any extracurricular activities.

Does anyone believe that our environment is in better shape than it was five years ago? I urge the public, if they are tired of opposition rhetoric, to get out the Provincial Auditor's report. He's the independent person, with a staff, who looks at the quality of the spending of our money in Ontario. He says the government cut 25% of the staff that used to do the inspections on the environment, and now we've got significant problems. He points that out in some considerable detail.

Does anyone now believe that we're not headed for a period of instability in our workplace? We've been blessed in this province to have a very solid relationship between our employees and employers. Again, don't take my word for it. The government publishes a book to attract business to Ontario. They said, among other things, "The labour-management legal framework is streamlined and balanced. Labour-management relations are constructive and stable. Bargaining is rooted in realism and a clear understanding of the competitive nature of the global economy." What we did just literally an hour ago was that the government forced through two labour relations bills that will do an enormous amount to unsettle that balance.

On the housing front, those who look at this will tell us we are building the foundation of a crisis in housing. My colleague Mr Caplan, who is our critic in housing, has done a terrific job of articulating the problem we're going to face in the years ahead and, frankly, solutions for the government that they've ignored.

Even on the economic front -- and I know there's a debate about who's responsible for the growth in the Ontario economy -- I would say there is not one economist you can find in Ontario who will not tell us that the most important factor in the growth in the Ontario economy has been exports. You cannot find an economist who will not tell us that.

I take my hat off to our Ontario industry, our employers and our employees. We've proven that we can compete aggressively and successfully in the US. Ten years ago, exports were equivalent to 29% of Ontario's gross domestic product. According to the economic statement released just a few weeks ago, it's now up to 55%, in 10 years.

We are now very close to producing as many cars and trucks in Ontario as Michigan. We have Ontario plants, and the management and, importantly, the employees in those plants have been recognized throughout North America for their efficiency. The auto industry loves to locate in Ontario, and we've got to keep it that way.

But I just say to all of us, as we look now at the quality of life in Ontario, let's take stock after five years.

Health care system: by all accounts, worse. Education: in more turmoil now than it has been in my memory, particularly in our secondary schools. Environment: it is not just Walkerton. The auditor pointed out that throughout Ontario the number of inspections has dropped, the safety in our water plants throughout Ontario dropped, the number of serious problems increased. Housing: we are clearly sowing the seeds of a significant housing crisis. There's labour relations.

An area I think we all will be judged on is how well we have we have treated those in our society who face the biggest problems, often called our most vulnerable. Let's cast our minds back. Five years ago, the benefits of people on social assistance were cut by 21%. Remember, well over half of the people in the province of Ontario on social assistance are children. The benefits were cut by 21%. A parent with two children on social assistance is living on about $15,000 a year of support.

We will break for our Christmas. Dare I say, tragically, that we will break until, it looks like, the end of March.

Interjection.

Mr Phillips: "Shame," the member for St Catharines said. I agree with him. We will go to our cozy cottages, our condos in Florida. There are members in the Legislature who spend $15,000 a year on vacations. They spend more on vacations than a single parent with two children gets. I think to our shame we will leave here without giving a single cent of help to those children who are on social assistance. Premier Harris just a few weeks ago was saying, "I deserve a 42% increase," and yet those young people on social assistance will get nothing. They've had a 21% cut and nothing over five years.

As the government proudly pats itself on the back for what, in our judgment, is an economy that has had significant good growth -- but I repeat that an economist will tell us the most important reason has been the export business. At the same time, what about the other things that we want to measure the quality of life by in Ontario? Health care, education, the environment, housing, labour relations management, how we are dealing with our most vulnerable -- even on the issue of community safety, there are fewer police officers now in the province of Ontario than when Mike Harris became Premier. Not many people realize that but there are fewer police officers now in Ontario than when Mike Harris became Premier.

As we will be dealing with the balanced budget bill, final reading, by 6 o'clock tonight, I'd ask all of us to step back from it and ask, have we really, on balance, achieved in Ontario what we could have, recognizing that this has been a golden opportunity where governments in other jurisdictions have taken advantage of this opportunity to get their fiscal house in order?

I keep reminding us that Premier Harris has added $24 billion of debt to the province of Ontario. Between now, 4:30, and 6 o'clock, when we vote on the bill, Ontario will spend $300,000 just to pay the interest costs for the increased debt by Premier Harris.

On all those counts, I say that the budget is not balanced for the people of Ontario.

1630

Mr David Young (Willowdale): I certainly am pleased that I have an opportunity to speak on third reading of this very important piece of legislation, An Act to implement the 2000 Budget to establish a made-in-Ontario tax system and to amend various Acts. As we have discussed in this assembly over the past short while, this legislation wasn't drafted overnight. It's the culmination of a rather lengthy and extensive public consultation that commenced approximately 11 months ago, consultation that included Minister Eves meeting with numerous individuals, meeting with numerous organizations across the province, talking to them about what the priorities should be in this province for the future, priorities that would do the utmost to assure the people of this province that the continued prosperity that we have experienced over the last five and a half years would indeed be prolonged.

Some 370 organizations and individuals were contacted directly by the ministry's office, 220 organizations prepared material and approximately 300 participated in that process. They came from all parts of this province. They came from labour and from management. They came from small-town Ontario and large urban centres. They were individuals who simply had constructive ideas that they wished to present to the province of Ontario and they were large organizations that had something they wished to share. Each of their submissions, I should say to you, was indeed considered.

When I had the privilege of joining the Ministry of Finance as the parliamentary assistant in March of this year, I had an opportunity to become involved in the budget process. I can tell you that I was surprised at how much time and effort was taken in that very busy ministry to consider the submissions made by these various interests -- individuals and organizations; how much time was taken to analyze the costs of their various suggestions; and how much time was taken to consider what the results would be, positive and negative. Financial growth and cost were all factored in before those ideas were included in the budget document, or excluded, or taken in some small measure. The results of those hundreds of hours of consultations have made their way into this budget document.

I should say to you as well that the standing committee on finance also spent a great deal of time, and that of course is an all-party committee that toured the province and made itself accessible to Ontarians by travelling to six different cities across Ontario that included Timmins, Kenora and Chatham. Consultations were held throughout the winter, particularly in February, and 102 organizations made submissions. These again included unions, social advocacy groups, individuals, community organizations and businesses. Forty-four written submissions were also received as part of that process. They too were factored into the budget document that was tabled in this Legislature in May of this year and that forms part of the plan for the continued prosperity of this province.

Warren G. Bennis once said that leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality, and our government, in my respectful submission, has provided the kind of strong leadership that was necessary to come forward with the Common Sense Revolution, as we did leading up to the 1995 election, strong leadership that made those promises contained in that policy document a reality. We did that yet again in 1999 with our policy document that was entitled Blueprint -- a blueprint for the future of this province. Most of the provisions contained within the budget legislation fit within the philosophy, the policies espoused and set out in the Blueprint document. So we went to the people of this province in 1999. We said we had some further ideas to continue the growth, to continue the prosperity, to ensure that we continued to have jobs created within this province, and of course we have. We have had 830,000 net new jobs in the last five and a half years.

Mr Speaker, I would invite you and others watching to compare that to what happened in this province in the years preceding our assumption of office. You will find that before we took office, for a variety of reasons, there was a decrease in the number of people working in this province and an increase in the number of people receiving social assistance. Things have changed, changed to the point where we have almost a million more people working and we have in excess of 500,000 fewer people trapped in the cycle of dependency that we euphemistically called welfare.

It's thanks to these extraordinary efforts, to the numerous tax cuts that were implemented, that Ontario enters this new century, the new millennium, strong and ready to meet the challenges of a global marketplace.

However, there are still naysayers. In fact, we've heard from some of them this afternoon -- Liberals -- and undoubtedly we'll hear from New Democrats later. There are still naysayers who refuse to give any credit to the people of Ontario. They believe the remarkable turnaround in this province is simply a result of activities that have taken place south of the border. The Liberals and New Democrats take every opportunity they can find to repeat that very negative approach.

I will tell you now, and I say it sincerely, that I have faith and respect in the abilities of the people of this province. Our government knows that any government cannot depend upon other jurisdictions for continued economic growth, that what is needed is a made-in-Ontario solution, and that is what we implemented, a solution that would ensure a better future for our children.

The other day I invited the opposition members -- the Liberals and New Democrats -- and I will again today, to go to the plants like the one in Mr Dunlop's riding in Simcoe North, where thousands of men and women wake up each and every day and build automobiles. If the Liberals and New Democrats feel so strongly, go to those plants and say to the workers, "No, it's not because of your hard work that Ontario is succeeding and that the fortunes of this province have turned around." If the Liberals and New Democrats feel so strongly about that, why don't they go tell those hard-working individuals in Alliston or Windsor or Oshawa, or those in the high-tech field in Ottawa or Kitchener or Markham, go explain to them that really it has nothing to do with them, that it's because of some eventuality, some decision made south of the border? I suspect they won't take me up on that invitation. I suspect they won't travel to those plants and say to those workers what they say with great regularity within this assembly. I suspect they won't go and tell those workers that the economic recovery of this province has nothing to do with them.

Of course it has everything to do with them and it has everything to do with things that are going on in this province. That's why we have a growth rate within this province that is far greater than that of any other province. That's why we have a net GDP economic growth rate in this province that is greater than that of the United States. That's why we have economic growth within this province that is greater than any of the other G7 countries. It's not just about the economic recovery in the United States. Undoubtedly that has had some influence upon the events in this province, there's no doubt about that, but it is insulting to the people of this province to attribute each and every positive piece of news to results and decisions made south of the border, and it's also inaccurate.

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Let's talk about why it's inaccurate. Net exports, which are exports minus imports, have accounted for less than 20% of our GDP growth over the last five years. By far the largest source of growth has been consumer spending, boosted by tax cuts. The Conservatives of Mike Harris's government have always advocated that if you return money to the hard-working people of this province they will spend it wisely and they will continue to stimulate the economy.

Housing expenditures and business investment have also been very strong over the past five and a half years, and these have undoubtedly also been influenced by the tax cuts. People have more money to spend and they have more confidence. As well, from September 1995 to October 2000, Ontario's total employment grew by 15.5%. I'd invite you to compare that to the growth rate in the rest of this country. In the rest of this country the growth rate was 9.7%, but in Ontario employment growth was 15.5%. Ontario's employment growth has been much higher not only than that of other provinces, but higher than neighbouring states.

Again I invite you to capture the words of the Liberal members in particular, who are quick to say that we're simply riding on the coattails of the Americans' wealth. Perhaps in their comments later this afternoon they can explain why it is that the state of Michigan, as an example, has had, over the same period of time, an employment growth rate of 7.4%. Ontario's is 15.5%, roughly twice as much. In their explanation I'm sure they will undoubtedly touch upon why Ohio has had an employment growth rate over the same period of time of 6.7%, as compared to the Ontario growth rate of 15.5%.

There is something going on in this province, and what's going on here is a combination of the hard work of the people of this province, combined with a government, the Mike Harris government, that believes in the residents, that believes in the workers, that believes that if you give them more responsibility, if you return more money to them, if you tax them less, they will make responsible decisions and continue to stimulate the economy. That's why this budget legislation includes various provisions that continue that tax-cutting strategy.

It also talks in this legislation, if passed by this assembly, about capital gains reduction. I certainly applaud the federal government for coming to the table -- better late than never -- and for accepting the challenge that Minister Eves laid out in May of this year to reduce the capital gains inclusion rate. We believe this will strengthen the economy both in this province and in this country. It will encourage businesses and individuals to invest, to take risks, to make the economy even stronger. It will create jobs, and ultimately the result of that will be that it will improve the standard of living in this country and in this province.

One example of a country that has adopted a philosophy that very much embraces the belief that lower capital gains will result in more prosperity is the Netherlands, a country, I might add, that has a rather elaborate and admired social safety net. So one need not abandon the social infrastructure simply because you believe in cutting taxes. That in fact is exactly where this party is. The Conservative Party of this province believes just that, that you don't have to be a socialist to have a social conscience, as Minister Eves has said on many occasions.

During the break that we're about to commence, I'd invite you to consider the experience of the Netherlands. You will find, as did Bruce Little of the Globe and Mail in a recent article, that they have experienced phenomenal growth -- business growth, job growth, growth in their economy -- as a result of a number of measures that they have implemented. Perhaps the most striking of those measures is the fact that they have no capital gains. The Netherlands exempts all capital gains from taxes. They are indeed an interesting model for us to consider.

The good news here is that we are reducing the overall tax burden in this province and making smart choices in the taxes we are cutting. We're cutting personal income taxes to boost consumer spending and savings, we are cutting corporate taxes to encourage investment and job creation, and as I indicated a moment ago, we're cutting capital gains taxes to encourage investment in Ontario businesses and promote further economic growth across this province.

The members of this House, I think, all come to work each and every day with similar intentions. We do indeed, regardless of our political affiliation, want the best for the people of this province, but the members on this side of the House are very proud of the record, proud of the efforts Ontarians have made across this province and are very optimistic about the future.

We have a rather unlikely individual who has joined our ranks and has commenced bragging about this wonderful province of Ontario. A Canadian leader who was previously well known as a critic of the Mike Harris tax-cut approach to government has recently come forward and acknowledged the level of success that has been achieved in this province. In fact, this Canadian leader, whose name I'll reveal in a moment, has come forward of late and has said publicly in the United States that Ontario is now very competitive with the Americans, and I quote from a recent article where this Canadian leader was quoted as saying, "Our tax system is now very competitive with the Americans. If you look at Ontario, the income tax in Ontario, provincial and federal together, is competitive with New York, and Michigan, California and the state of Washington." This individual, this Canadian leader whose name I'll reveal in a moment, goes on to say, "Corporate tax, too. But the payroll tax in Canada is much lower than in the US."

I know members opposite are anxious to know who it is who has this insight, albeit an insight that was come by rather late in the game, who it is who has come forward and said these wonderful things about Ontario and how competitive it is. Of course, Mr Speaker, you know that was our Prime Minister, Jean Chrétien, who recently spoke to an audience at a university in the United States and bragged about just how competitive Ontario is and what a great place it is for businesses to establish themselves and to grow.

It's becoming more and more clear that our standard of living is inextricably linked to our ability to innovate and create. Ontario's success in the 21st century will depend on its ability to think unconventionally and create and generate new ideas that will translate into new technologies. That is why, as you go through this budget bill, you will see numerous initiatives that will encourage the expansion of a number of high-tech industries. It will make Ontario an even more desirable location for mining companies to come to and take some risks.

It is because of that, because of initiatives like those, that I'm very proud to be supporting this legislation. It is because of prudent business decisions that in many instances were implemented in spite of the fact that many economists suggested they wouldn't result in a positive outcome. Many of the Liberal and New Democratic members suggested it was voodoo economics, that this trickle-down theory simply couldn't work. They said that in 1995 when they campaigned, and they said it again in 1999 when they campaigned, and we have proven them wrong.

We have more people working. We have $14 billion more coming into this province's coffers each and every year, $14 billion more collected in taxes in spite of 166-plus tax cuts. We've proven them wrong in that regard, and I'm very proud of that. I'm not proud because I take any particular delight in saying they were wrong and we were right, even though that may well be the case. I'm not proud of that. What I'm pleased about is the fact that we have $14 billion more coming into this province each and every year. People are paying less taxes, but overall more people are working, so we have more money coming in. We can invest in priority services, in health care and education, as we are doing. We're spending more than we ever did before. We can do that because we have the money now, because we've had two back-to-back balanced budgets and because we now have a province where, instead of the residents therein talking about some sort of economic depression, which was the term that was talked about, and bankruptcy, which was a phrase that was used in 1995, there is hope, there is confidence. I have hope and I have confidence that this budget will encourage the continuation of the prosperity that we have experienced over the last five years.

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Mr Alvin Curling (Scarborough-Rouge River): In the 10 minutes that I have on Bill 152, balanced budgets for brighter futures, which I feel needs some comment -- but before I do that, I just wanted to follow up on something my colleague who just completed his speech talked about. If we all come here to make a difference, we may disagree. Yesterday we saw a demonstration, the frustration of one of our colleagues in this House, although not in my party, whom I respect very much. His frustration was in order to advocate on behalf of the poor in our province. He saw the frustration of the breakdown of democracy, the breakdown of one being able to debate and to bring concerns to this Parliament due to the enormous number of closures; it was 63. We've broken all records here, tripled all the previous records that we have had here in the closure of debates in this House, frustrating members from bringing concerns to this government about the situation of the poor in our province. I just want to say to the member from Sault Ste Marie that I wholeheartedly support his move to highlight the facts of what happened here.

Following up on that, this is my fifth time as a member here, and I would say that one of the most despicable behaviours that I've seen of any minister -- I have come to respect many ministers here from all three parties. I have seen a demonstration of a behaviour here by a minister who should be advocating on behalf of the poor. I speak of no other than the Minister of Community and Social Services, who should be advocating on behalf of the poor to make sure that the wealth we have, this enormous wealth that this Conservative Mike Harris government talks about, is being distributed to help the most vulnerable in our society. We would say that he should be advocating on behalf of those individuals. What he has done is depict them -- all people -- those who are poor or those who are on welfare, as those who continuously are dependent on drugs. In his backdrop, while putting forward programs, were syringes; it is one of the most disgusting things I've ever seen here. I think all ministers here must conduct themselves in a manner that one can have respect for. I don't have to agree with his policies and all that, but I hope that in the shuffle of the cabinet the Premier will see through him, that this individual could never advocate on behalf of the poor in our society.

So we talk about this great success that we have here, the success of this government that has brought so much wealth to this province in the time they've been here. They talk of success, that they have $1 billion worth of surpluses, but they never talk about the $120-odd billion of debt that they have added to this province. A brighter future? Where is that brighter future?

They talk about the success of a balanced budget. Is it balanced for students who are paying far more for their tuition fees? It's harder to access affordable education with the increase of student fees that we have here.

We talk about a balanced budget and success when we have cancelled rent control in this province. It is much more difficult to rent on the income which one is receiving. We talk about the success of a government which has reduced welfare recipients' income by 22%. Then, with the inflation aspect of things, it goes up, they have to try to rent at a higher fee, pay more tuition fees, pay for more daycare, and they say that we have done so well and we have a $1-billion surplus. Where did that money come from? It came from the poor, on the backs of the poor. Today it is harder felt by them, and the government members brag about what wealth we have.

They don't talk about the increased homelessness that we have seen in this province. It's a disgrace. It's almost a national disgrace, what's happening here. We're talking about a 15% increase in jobs when we have an increase in homelessness. They've said at least seven people may have died each week. Inside this place, we don't hear about the cost of no place to sleep, no warmth. This is the government that talks about the great success we have.

We talk about the success of a balanced budget and the surplus we have. We're asking the labour force to work longer hours, 60 hours, breaking down family cohesiveness. People are away from their homes maybe 12 to 14 hours a day and breaking up the family, and they're working for less. We're putting the power in the hands of the big corporations, who can dictate how long we should work, and for less. That's the success we talk about. I'm appalled.

I'm very much appalled that the government could stand here and say that we have this wonderful surplus, when it's all the success of what we have done for people in the motor car industry and what have you. We talk about the success of individuals, and he talks of individuals today, but single parents are having it so difficult. When they come, they don't have any access to speak to their ministers to put their concerns. We talk about success, when the schools are in chaos, when the health care system is in chaos. Children are being born in emergencies regularly -- no beds. They said that's the success we have because we have a surplus.

We talk about success because we cut back on most of the money. We talk about success because we can give $200 to people and say: "Here is your refund. Isn't it wonderful that we have given you $200 from your taxes for fun?" What we have done is put more user fees all over. If you total the user fees over a year, I'm sure they're paying $2,000 or $3,000 more out of their pockets. The government said, "Here is $200, but you had better pay $2,000 or $3,000 more for user fees," for other things that governments were providing.

Who are you balancing this budget on? Where is this brighter future? Who is laughing and who is smiling? Who is happy? It's happy for the corporations you have talked about, that will get a greater tax break on the backs of the poor. That is not, to me, a successful, brighter future. That's not what it is. As a matter of fact, the irony of it all is that we are going to pass this bill on the eve of Christmas, when we have deprived and denied thousands of people within our province not only of Christmas -- Christmas is just a season -- but almost their life. Long after Christmas, in March and April and May, there will still be no affordable housing. There is far less money in the pockets of the poor. Then they say we have a brighter future.

I would like us to feel that at Christmas the ministers and the Premier should be generous. I don't want governments to be generous. They're not being generous one bit, because all the money they have collected, regardless of what party we are, what government they are, is from taxes that people have earned already and passed back to government to be redistributed in a fair and equitable way. It's not to be abusive and offensive, like some of the ministers we have seen here, especially the Minister of Community and Social Services, who should be advocating on behalf of the poor and the most vulnerable in our society -- not one bit. Is that a brighter future? Is that a successful government? I say it's a government that has failed the people of Ontario, failed the real people who asked them to represent them on their behalf.

It's a sad day when we have to say at Christmastime, "I can be Santa Claus," as the Premier said. I don't want him to be Santa Claus; I want him to advocate on behalf of all the people of this province who need the support of this government. That is why today my party and Dalton McGuinty will never support this bill.

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Mr Rosario Marchese (Trinity-Spadina): It's a pleasure to speak to this bill. But before I do, I want to introduce two young people who are here in the audience watching the proceedings and listening to the debates: Maria Lopes and Sonia Fernandes, who are keenly interested in listening to the debates of the various members, and particularly interested in what the Tories have to say about anything, if anything, although you do have a lot to say, which is usually nothing about something. But they're interested. They're keen and they want to learn. God bless, because without these young people and their interest, where would we be -- unlike Mr Young, the member from Willowdale, who in his speech the other day said, "It's clear that we, the government, and you, the opposition, have two different styles of consulting."

He said they could consult ad nauseam, as the other parties would like and have done, or they could simply act, as they are doing. The time, he said, is to act because consulting people and talking the issue to death and debating it, going back and forth, in the end would produce so very little. In his view, I guess he would dispense with consultations because it's so wasteful and so tiring and, I assume, so repetitive that it would serve no purpose whatsoever, and would therefore take the shortcut, do what's right, presumably, according to the world view of the Conservative government, and implement it as quickly as they possibly can.

Given that Mr Harris, the Premier, is so godlike, good heavens, why would you want to consult? Because of the fountain of knowledge that is in that mind of the Premier and presumably the other members, if there is such knowledge, we don't need to consult with the public any longer. Therefore, in my view, if that's the case, we don't need democracy any more. Not only do we not need it, but a dictatorial approach to doing things would be presumably what these people are recommending, because --

Hon Ernie Hardeman (Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs): You don't want to get rid of democracy, do you?

Mr Marchese: Minister of Agriculture, follow the argument. If you guys say we don't need to consult --

Hon Mr Hardeman: But we do.

Mr Marchese: Oh, do you? Then how would you, Minister of Agriculture, explain yourself? I'm happy you're here, by the way. No, no, I'm going to help you out, because I've got the floor and you don't.

Here's the problem: I say you guys don't consult and then you say, jokingly of course, or seriously, "Of course we do. We believe in consultation." What is the nature of this consultation if you do two things: one, limit the debate on every bill in this House, where some bills get an --

Interjection.

Mr Marchese: Minister of Agriculture, you can't do that, because it's a fact, right? You can't shake your head negatively. It's a fact.

So your bills get an afternoon of debate. If, by the grace of God, we are lucky, we get two days to hear deputants, and the second day we hear more deputants and then do clause-by-clause. If we are extremely lucky, Speaker -- you would know because you're in committee -- we might get three days. This because of the benevolence of Mr Harris and the others who deem that perhaps three days might be necessary, although in the mind of the member from Willowdale it perhaps stretches the consultation just a bit too much. But that's about all we get, three days maximum: two days of debate in committee after a bill has been passed in this House as a general rule, but mostly we get one day or, of late, no debate whatsoever, where the government again deems that we don't have to discuss. That's the extent, Minister of Agriculture, of the consultation that you are engaged in with the public.

How do you hold yourself accountable? I presume the minister says, "The way we hold ourselves accountable is during an election." That might be a fair comment if the taxpayers say that all you want is to be consulted once every four or four and a half years. If so, this is your government, because it's exactly what they're doing. If, on the other hand, you, as taxpayers and citizens, believe that you should be consulted a little more regularly in between elections and you might find it reasonable that bills should be taken out -- and not just for consultation with a couple of people in Toronto, but that these bills should be taken out for debate across Ontario -- then this is not your government. We no longer have, therefore, a democratic government that consults and makes itself accountable. We have, in effect, a dictatorial modus operandi government. That's what you have, taxpayers. If that's the world view to which you subscribe, then you've got your party.

But if you're looking for greater accountability of governments to you -- the public, the people, the citizens, the taxpayers -- what you must demand of your Conservative members is that when they introduce a bill, it be aired fully so that most of you across Ontario have an opportunity to debate bills and have an opportunity to read bills. That, I've got to tell you, takes a long time, and not even your own Conservative members read them. If they don't have the time to read them, surely you have less time, therefore requiring you to have the time that is necessary to get hold of the documents, read them, and then consult.

That's the difference between people like me, Marchese from Trinity-Spadina, and people like the member from Willowdale, who quite appropriately says we've got two different styles. He's right. New Democrats want to consult because we believe we need to hold ourselves accountable, and the member from Willowdale is saying, "No, we can't do that. That's too much. It's too much ad nauseam discussion and it probably leads to nowhere in the end anyway, so we'll take the shortcut and implement as quickly as we can." Those are the two styles. I admit that's the case.

Mr David Caplan (Don Valley East): Yes, but the trains won't run on time.

Mr Marchese: You're quite right about how, yes, the trains don't run on time. With this government, the trains do run on time, and yes, it's possible that with New Democrats it might slow itself down a little bit. But if you're looking for the greater good and if you're looking for greater accountability of individual politicians and governments, then it might take a little time, and yes, it's cumbersome. It is an encumbrance indeed. It's a burden that I think taxpayers want to live with. I believe that sincerely. I believe that is the foundation of citizenry. A civic society is based on those very elements that, in my view, are critical, and without them what you've got is Mike Harris and the gang, the dictatorial bunch who are going to let you know what is good for you because you elected them twice, and as far as they are concerned they have a mandate to deliver whatever it is they promised, and that's it. That's the extent of the consultation.

Enough on that. There is so much more to say.

When it comes to the economy, Speaker, your colleagues on the right-hand side of you have said, "We have the magical solution to our economic woes. We know what it is." Do you know what it is? They said, "It's tax cuts."

Mr Garfield Dunlop (Simcoe North): Even the feds agree.

Mr Marchese: Even the feds agree with you. I know. You are in cahoots, as it were, with each other. You are in collusion with each other. I understand. That's why we have often criticized you as the Bobbsey Twins of Canadian politics. But my attack is on the Conservatives at the moment, not the Liberals, because at the moment we're friends -- for now. My immediate attack is on you Tories.

The magical solution to our economic woes, they said, is tax cuts. They say, without any corresponding evidence, that it has created 850,000 jobs in this province by that mere magical tool called tax cuts.

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Boy, are you guys good. You guys have a real gift -- you know that? -- that you can so divinely understand the economy and how it works. You said, "Ha, we got it. If we give tax cuts to the very wealthy, they will produce 850,000 jobs, and growing. How divine you are. You guys are good. You have a gift. It's special. Here's my problemo --

Interjection: Your problemo.

Mr Marchese: My problemo, yes.

The economy is slowing down in the US. Mr Ernie Eves, the finance minister of Ontario, and M. Martin federally from Ottawa, say, "Not to worry." Harris says, and Eves, the Minister of Finance, "It's a recession-proof economic tool that we have adopted, and don't you worry, our prosperity will continue forever because it's recession-proof."

Behold, if it is recession-proof it means it is almost seamless. You can't puncture a hole in this economic boom of yours if it's recession-proof. Isn't that correct, Brad? Brad, follow with me, disagree with me.

Mr Gerry Martiniuk (Cambridge): You're going to elect the NDP again? That'll do it.

Mr Marchese: No, nothing to do with electing the NDP or not. I'm just trying to deal with an argument that you've made. Recession-proof means we are not going to have a recession in this Ontario of ours even if that elephant across the border is having a hard economic time. We only pray it will be a soft landing, not a hard landing. But in spite of it, whether it's a soft landing or a hard landing, M. Eves says, "Don't worry." M. Martin, who also speaks French and can do this in two languages, says, "Ne te préoccupe pas." In both languages we are saved and spared by the magic of tax cuts.

Mr Brad Clark (Stoney Creek): Be happy, don't worry.

Mr Marchese: Brad, my friend, you are in deep, deep doo-doo, I can tell you, deep, deep economic doo-doo in the next little while.

Here's the thing, Speaker, through you to the taxpayers: if the taxpayers in the next little while do not spend this wealth the government has passed on -- they say to the most marginal of people, that they are the ones who got the bulk of the tax cuts; that's what they say -- if these low-income people who got the bulk of the tax cuts don't spend while the economy in the US is interminably going down, we are going to be in trouble, in deep economic doo-doo. Only if those people who have been the beneficiaries of your largesse spend will the economy in Ontario and Canada possibly be spared, possibly for a year, possibly two. Depending on how the economic boom of the US sort of diminishes ever so gently or ever so hard, whichever way, I suggest to you, Brad Clark from Stoney Creek, that you guys are in trouble, because it'll be smeared all over your faces.

Interjection.

Mr Marchese: Yes, that's a visual attack, I know. It's a visual assault, you're quite right. I shouldn't have said it. But if you appreciate the image, as concrete as it is, I give it, I offer it in kindness.

Imagine, you are the people who, when New Democrats said, "We used to spend the money to keep the economy flowing," said, "Oh, no, that was bad." Joe Spina from Brampton says, "We are spending more through SuperBuild on capital projects than any other government before" -- I read the Hansard the other day -- "more capital money than any other government before." So while they attack us, Joe Spina from Brampton says no, that's not true, that they are outspending us on capital expenditures, outspending the New Democrats. When I say we spend, they laugh. The Tories laugh, "These crazy New Democrats spending." Now presumably, according to Joe Spina, the member for Brampton, you guys are spending more than us.

What gives? Are you contradicting yourself a tad? Yes or no? If you're not, somebody is fudging. I suggest to you, Speaker, and I suggest to the member for Brampton, that you guys are not spending enough on capital -- Minister, welcome. You guys are not spending enough on capital expenditures, and if the taxpayers of Ontario don't spend in the next six months to a year, that so-called recession-proof economy of yours that you have built so magically with your divinity of tax cuts is all going to crumble down to the floor.

It will all be for naught and you'll have to start at the beginning. Not only that, but the $10 billion, $11 billion that you have just frittered away, borrowed, to give away for tax cuts, will be gone forever. It will not come back any more because Brad Clark, the member for Stoney Creek, will not tax the corporations again in a recession, not that you'd want to anyway because you're such good buddies, yourselves and those big corporations. You wouldn't do that under any circumstances. Imagine, taxing the corporate sector in a bad economy? They wouldn't dream of that. OK, fine, you don't tax in a bad economy and you won't tax, certainly, the good taxpayers whom you've spared from the worst and you're not going to ask them for money to help you out in a recession, right? We've got balanced budgets on the books, which means they cannot go into a deficit.

Speaker, are you picturing the disaster that will pursue us, that will ensue as a result of these dumb economic strategies? Balanced budgets and no deficits allowed. A recession hits because the US is going down and Canada will be dragged down with it, in spite of the protestations from the Conservative government that it's a recession-proof economy. Imagine: balanced budgets, the economy going down the tubes, no money. They don't tax the corporate sector, they don't tax the taxpayers, and what do we have? Brad, help me. What do we have?

Mr Clark: You've lost me.

Mr Marchese: Of course I've lost you, because the logic escapes you. It escaped you then and it escapes you now. To deal with a recession, Brad Clark from Stoney Creek, where you have --

Mr Clark: Can't you be more positive?

Mr Marchese: I am very positive, but I'm just telling you, taxpayers, what I believe will happen. They are shutting their eyes to it. They don't want to hear, they don't want to see anything. That's why I talk to you directly. When the recession comes and we have no money, if you thought health care was in trouble now, if you thought the education system has been under assault for five years, if you thought housing might have been a disaster, and our attack on the problem we will have with senior citizens in 10 year's time, if you thought all these were problems, you haven't seen a thing yet. It's going to be the ugliest thing that Ontarians, you taxpayers, will have ever witnessed. Then you'll remember the words from the Premier and Brad Clark, who is cocky today, who says, "Don't listen to New Democrats. It's just gloom that he's articulating."

Mr Clark: Don't worry, be happy.

Mr Marchese: Yes, Brad Clark from Stoney Creek just said, "Don't worry, be happy." I tell you, worry now for the future and worry now for yourselves and your children down the line because they are not planning for a bad economy at all. According to them it's always going to be like this and the economy in Ontario will always be on the rise. I tell you, it's not my design to not make it so. It is the mere economic illogic they have given Ontario that will cause this disaster down the line. I know you're looking for tax cuts, good taxpayers, decent taxpayers. I know you want it and I know why you want it, because for many, many years you hadn't seen a pay increase. You were convinced by the corporate media that the only way to get an increase was to get a tax cut.

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The corporate media, God bless them, those who own those corporations said, "Inflation was truly, truly bad in the 1990s," and whole public across the land said, "Yes, inflation is bad." After we beat inflation to the ground, at tremendous cost to the workers, the corporate media then said, "The deficit is the monster in society." They beat that monster to the ground, didn't they?

All the public in Ontario said, "The deficit is the problem." Then, when they dealt that little animal and serpent to the ground, the corporate media took on something else. The corporate media and the big moguls with pecunia, the instruments of which you are -- their servant -- said, "Together we can do it. We can give you the tax cuts you need." The corporate media sold it to the public and the instruments of misdeeds did the worst -- and the best to please those who have the bucks.

You know what the problem is for New Democrats, taxpayer? I've got to tell you what it is, for your own benefit. We don't have any media to counteract what we get on a daily basis from the general corporate media and from the print media in particular: the Toronto Sun, who loves us not; the Globe and Mail, who loves us less; the National Post, who doesn't even love us but detests New Democrats because we attack their agenda. We attack their corporate greed and they don't like it. We are their number one enemy.

What we need, good taxpayers, is a print media so that you can, from time to time, pick up a different newspaper that says, "Here's a different view." Wouldn't it be lovely to have a different view so that people could properly assess the bad, meaning the right, versus the good, meaning the left? In the end, at least people would have an option to be able to say, "OK, now I understand this better, and I can support either the left or the right." But without a media that defends what New Democrats stand for, we are always going to be in political trouble. Do you understand that, citizens? That's our problem.

Many of you assume that the media is neutral, that you read information on the basis of objective coverage. And you would never, never dream that the National Post -- oh, good God, no -- would somehow be so perversely right. Most of you would never say that. Most of you would never say that the Toronto Sun would be so perversely right wing. But I tell you, they are.

It's not objective media that you get. It's very, very unobjective, as a result of which, when you read it you say, "Now we know why we hate New Democrats," because day in and day out the Toronto Sun and the National Post and the Globe attack what New Democrats stand for and they continue to praise what these instruments of corporate greed put out, day in and day out.

David Crane from the Toronto Star said, "One factor, and a big one," that accounts for why the economy has been doing well, "has been the booming US economy, which developed an insatiable appetite for foreign products." If I say that, they'll laugh. If you quote at least another source which is in the Business Today, Toronto Star -- but David Crane is a business writer and he admits, like so many other writers, objectively, that we are lucky because of the US economy and their boom.

I've got to tell you I'm profoundly worried, so I say to you taxpayers: save your money. Save your money for the future, because this government is not worried about what's going to happen to you. I am telling you, you've got to save and don't spend the money, because you're going to be in trouble down the line.

Mr Clark: You're trying to create a crisis now.

Mr Marchese: Brad Clark says, "Don't do that, Marchese, because if you do that, you're going to create the crisis." Good taxpayers, I leave it to your good judgment: either spend now and help the Tories keep this economy chugging along or consider your future options and consider whether or not this government is going to be there for you when the economy tumbles.

In a balanced budget situation, where you cannot incur deficits, you are on your own. All the safety nets we are desperately looking for when things are bad, like welfare, like a health care system, like the education system we depend on, like the social services we depend on -- particularly our mothers and fathers who are a bit older than we are, victims of violence, those people who rely on government's help -- are not going to be there. This is the non-government government that says, "We are relying on volunteers to do the job of helping to tend the seniors and the frail and the people with disabilities and victims of violence. We are relying on the church to help us out. We are relying on the beneficence of the corporate sector to give out its largesse and help out the victims of this society."

I've got to tell you, we've had volunteers in the past, but you folks are now relying, as part of your economic strategy, on churches, on volunteers, on the corporate sector to whom you have given so many billions of dollars; you rely on them to give it back to the poor. You are not the government any more. You are not there. You don't exist. I don't know why you are here if you don't exist. If you are the non-government government, you should just please do us a favour and disappear, for God's sake, because you're not helping anyone. It's a big, big hurting you're laying on a whole lot of people.

Health care: we have a health care crisis, and we've had it for five years. Every year you dump a couple of million dollars back into the system. You take out billions and then you put a couple of million back. Every six months you make another announcement. It's a little patching up of the problem here and there with a couple of million. Then they say, "Oh, we're spending so much more than ever before." The population has grown and inflation has grown, it's true, but that's irrelevant because this is the government that has given more than any other government before.

Education: they cut $1.5 billion out of our education system and then they tell you, "Oh, no, we put in more." If you trust the Minister of Education, Madam Ecker, if you believe her, then God bless, but parents and teachers and activists know that $1.5 billion has been taken out of elementary and secondary schools, making it an injurious thing for the system, making it difficult to survive. Teachers are sometimes saying, "We're not going to help to salvage the system every time this government makes a cut. We're going to do our job, and we'll let them worry about the repercussions."

They introduced Bill 74, which hurts teachers profoundly. It hurts their morale and their profession to the extent that they say, "If we've got to choose between teaching an extra period now and doing the extracurricular, we don't have the energy any more." Then Madam Ecker stands up and says, "The teachers are playing politics," not her. Oh, no, it's not Janet Ecker playing politics; it's the teachers playing politics. She introduces Bill 74 that whacks teachers, their morale and their profession, and then she has the nerve, the fortitude, the guts to blame the teachers for causing the extracurricular problems. You've got to love them. She's got a gift.

Post-secondary education: We have fewer dollars going into our university system than ever before -- $1.6 billion in operational cuts to the university system. It's true, they restored some, but the cuts are severe. So many of our buildings are in trouble in terms of repair because the money is not going in. Within the next couple of years, we're going to need 10,000 professors, and the government is not there to prepare for that loss. We're already short now. We're going to be short of professors in a couple of years, and the minister is not there. We're going to have a double cohort, with grades 12 and 13 coming together in the next couple of years, and the minister is not planning. No one is planning on the part of the government because they are the non-government government. They don't plan. They don't worry. You have to worry for yourself.

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The shortage of professors, dilapidated facilities across our Ontario land, and the minister finds the time to introduce for-profit private universities. They say, "What's wrong with that? It's choice." Taxpayers of Ontario, let me tell you what this choice is all about. It's about paying $40,000 for a general degree, and in a very specialized field it's about paying $80,000 for your degree. What kind of access is that and for whom? How is it innovative for the students of Ontario, except for the few rich little boys and girls that want to get there, the one's who have the money? How does that expand the capacity? How does that deal with the fact that we're going to have 90,000 more students by the end of this decade? The capacity's not there. We won't have it. So in answer to that question, the minister says, "Private universities. That'll do it." But it won't do it. It's only going to accommodate a couple of rich young men and women who will join the club of these private universities, but it's not going to include my children. And it's not going to include your children, taxpayers. It's not. It's a select group. It's a select club where if you've got the pecunia you can go and if you don't, you don't.

How the government accommodates the rich. How this non-government government is the instrument of the corporate sector over and over again in every way. Just the other day, last week or two ago, the Minister of Comsoc went after welfare recipients again and said, "Unless you welfare recipients get tested for drugs, you're not going to receive the benefits." It was a malevolent move by the government -- I wouldn't necessarily say the Minister of Comsoc, because he's but one member of the cabinet; it's general malevolence of the government -- to stigmatize the poor, victimize them even further. You know, you good taxpayers, you never go after those who avoid paying taxes, the real corporate greedy kind of guy who avoids taxes and knows how to do it and has a system behind it to get away with it. You can't see that, can you? But you can see a welfare recipient who is taking money from welfare and then you have this government victimizing them in such a way that they are made to be the malevolent source, the scourge of society.

The real scourge is over there, the perpetrators of this malevolence, right there. Because they don't go after the people who have got the money, oh no. In fact, they go and give our money, your money, away to them; $5 billion in this last budget goes to the corporate sector, and $700 million goes to those who play the market and up to a hundred thousand bucks they don't have to pay one red cent. God bless. Look at this. You understand, these are the guys at the computer, right? Just playing with your money, playing with our money at the computer.

Mr Clark: Stand in your place.

Mr Marchese: I'm just showing you how they're working away on the computer. See how the money moves from one place to the other, and at the end of it, if they make a hundred thousand bucks this government says, "You don't have to pay any taxes because you earned it." You earned it working real hard at the little computer moving money around every second, every minute across the globe and you become rich doing that. That's not corporate welfare, is it, John? That's not corporate welfare, to give my money, your money, the taxpayers' money away?

Hon John R. Baird (Minister of Community and Social Services, minister responsible for francophone affairs): That's his money.

Mr Marchese: Did you hear John? He said, "That's his money." Speaker, stay with me for a minute. John, if you don't tax that guy who makes money, that's my money, because you then go and tax the rest to make up for that. Please, come on, get a grip for God's sake. It's his money? Wait a minute.

Welcome, Premier. I'm going to try to be gentle with you today. Premier, did you hear? Premier, stick with me for a couple of minutes.

Interjection.

Mr Marchese: Brad Clark from Stoney Creek and the minister for COMSOC say, "It is his money." I understand it is his money if he makes it. But if you say to him, Premier, that he doesn't have to pay any taxes, I think it is wrong. It is not good economic politics. It is not good economic policy, is it?

Come on, Speaker, nod; help me out. I need your wisdom. I need somebody's wisdom in here, because it doesn't flow from the other side -- five billion bucks of my money, your money, going away to the corporate sector in good economic times. I say, OK, you might as a Tory government want to help the corporate sector in a bad economy, but you're helping them with $5 billion of my money, your money, in a good economy. John, please. It is my money. When you don't tax that guy who's wealthy, you're taking it from me.

Interjections.

Mr Marchese: Sorry if I am somehow bursting some little balloon of sorts.

Shelley, are we together on this or am I missing something?

Ms Shelley Martel (Nickel Belt): I'm with you, Rosie; you're right on.

Mr Marchese: The poor people -- we have two Canadas. We have two Canadas and we have two Ontarios: the rich and the poor.

Hon Mr Baird: Rosie, you're better on TV than live.

Mr Marchese: Come on, Minister, don't say that. What we saw in the latest Stats Canada numbers the other day reflects a growing inequality in our society. It is a failure, in my view, of the policies of the federal government and your policies. You're both responsible for that because poverty isn't something that provinces are responsible for alone. It is at both levels.

I think the principle of equity, the principle of fairness and even the principle of justice that Pierre Trudeau advocated for in the early 1970s, that principle that was so much a part of the ethos of what it meant to be Canadian, is disappearing because what we've got are two solitudes: the rich and the poor. If you think people are waiting in line at the food banks now in a good economy, imagine what's going to happen in the next couple of months as we see the disaster that is about to befall us when the US crumbles. If you thought the poor were really dirt poor in a good economy, what's going to happen next?

When we talk about these things, we have to talk about how children are affected by these policies. I remember, Shelley, the Tories used to talk about the problems we are leaving for our children and their children's children. I tell you, the legacy you leave when you don't take care of the very poor now, the legacy you leave for our future generations of young people who will perpetuate their own cycle of poverty because you people don't want to get involved and deal with it, is going to cause a health disaster for us all. It is a health issue. People who are poor are going to need more and more help. People who don't eat well are going to need more and more attention. People who are not doing well economically, psychologically, do poorly in school. Those who do poorly in school are likely to commit crimes if they have such deep-rooted problems that none of you worry about solving.

All this law-and-order agenda of yours is superficial fluff that you throw out to the taxpayers to make them feel you are the real crime fighters, the government that's going to take on violence, take on crime -- all fluff, just to make the Tory taxpayers feel good out there. You do nothing except provide good titles of bills that make people feel good, like the Safe Streets Act, the one that goes after the squeegee kids, the horrible of horrible squeegee kids cleaning windows. You cleaned them out of our streets, didn't you? Oh, boy, that goes after real crime against women, against seniors, domestic violence. That really does a lot to help them.

This budget is going to be an economic disaster. This non-government government is not preparing for the bad times. I tell you, folks, we are in for a real rough ride in the next little while. Keep an eye on it because it's not going to be recession-proof.

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Mr Dunlop: It's a pleasure to speak on third reading of Bill 152, the Balanced Budgets for Brighter Futures Act. This act will introduce a made-in-Ontario income tax system that will allow our provincial government to make more significant cuts in taxes for the benefit of Ontarians. I'd like to thank Minister Eves and the parliamentary assistant for their comments on this bill, and as well there were the colourful comments from the member from Trinity-Spadina.

This legislation will enact a budget we introduced last April. As most of you know, the announcement of the 2000 provincial budget in this House was a very historic day for the people of our province, as our government, the Mike Harris government, balanced the books not only this year, but it was shown that we had balanced them in the previous year as well. As the finance minister noted at the time, "The last time the Ontario budget was balanced in two consecutive fiscal years was in 1942-43 and 1943-44," nearly 57 years ago. In fact, we are now in the unique position of having a surplus. In the economic statement, Finance Minister Eves announced that the Ontario government for this year is projecting a $1.4-billion surplus, with the majority of that surplus to be applied to the province's debt. As Minister Eves said a month ago, "Our economy is still growing faster than all of the G7 nations. Our businesses are still creating jobs at a vigorous pace and hard-working Ontarians are still creating new opportunities" by investing in our province.

One of the reasons the economy is running so strongly is the leadership this government has shown in the area of tax reductions. In 1996, this government made 10 tax cuts; in 1997, 20 tax cuts; in the 1997-98 interim budget, eight more tax cuts; and in 1998, 29 more tax cuts; in the 1998-99 interim budget, two more tax cuts were announced; last year 30 more tax cuts were announced; and in this year's budget, 67 more. That's 166 tax cuts since 1995. We've seen the revenues projected. As we've cut those taxes, we've seen the revenues increased. By the end of this fiscal year, we'll have another $14 billion more than we had in 1995 in revenues for the province.

Included in this year's tax reductions is a $200 tax rebate, the tax dividend cheque that is to be issued to what I would like to call the investors in the Ontario economy, the people of our great province. Before this government was elected, the investors were forced to put in more money, but received nothing in return from Liberal and NDP governments. We know that in the lost decade we refer to, they were told to give and give. In fact, 65 tax cuts in that period -- I'm sorry, I apologize: 65 tax increases, 32 and 33. That's what they got in return, more tax hikes. Thanks to this government, they are finally getting some of their hard-earned money back in the form of a cheque. Our government understands that the tax money we collect is the people's money and that they should get some of that money back.

I notice now that the feds are thinking of doing the same thing. They're saying it's for heating, but where do you think they got the idea from? They knew it was successful. I know that in my riding -- the $200 doesn't sound like a lot of money to some of you people who like to spend, spend, spend, but from my point of view I have an awful lot of families, particularly young families, who like to use that money for winter clothing for their kids or for Christmas gifts. It was maybe for a small weekend vacation for a couple. They enjoyed the money and they enjoyed having it back.

The result of those tax cuts has been more new jobs. Let's take a look at the stats from November. Ontario gained 34,000 net new jobs in the month of November. Full-time employment rose by 27,300. Youth employment rose 1,700. The youth jobless rate rose slightly, from 12.4% to 12.5%. Since the throne speech in September 1995, Ontario has gained 830,000 net new jobs. Since the first instalment of Ontario's personal tax cuts in July 1996, Ontario has actually gained 794,000 net new jobs.

Recently -- I think it was two days ago -- we had the announcement from Minister Baird's Ministry of Community and Social Services on the latest rolls. We've now found that our welfare rate rolls have decreased consistently for 34 consecutive months. In my riding, in 1995, we had 11,000 welfare cases in Simcoe county. Those rates have gone down 69.4% and, just in the recent announcement last week, we're now down to 3,600 cases. People may talk about the local services realignment cost to municipalities and that type of thing, but the fact of the matter is, with the assessment growth we've seen in the province and with the number of cases off welfare, it's been very attractive to the municipalities as well.

I'm very happy that the federal government now understands the importance of tax cuts as well, that they can create a strong economy. I remember reading in the National Post where the Prime Minister -- and I know it's been mentioned a couple of times here -- while at Duke University, offered rare praise for the tax regime of our government. He said that basically Ontario has the lowest personal income tax, which creates an attractive investment environment. I praise the Prime Minister for going into the United States and complimenting the work that we've done here in the province of Ontario. The fact of the matter is that almost half the jobs created in our country in the last five years have been created here in Ontario. Of course, you all know that we have about a third of the population.

I was impressed when I saw the tax cuts that were introduced in the mini federal budget, which looked more like a budget introduced by our government. It only took the federal government five years to realize that tax cuts create jobs.

I am hopeful that they will respond to our Premier's letter calling on reduction in employment insurance premiums. We understand, and I think it's acknowledged by pretty near everyone in this country, the same as we acknowledge the federal cuts of Canada health and social transfers to our health care system, that our employment insurance premiums are at an all-time high and need to be reduced.

The 2000 budget that we've talked about here this afternoon, and that we hopefully will pass later on, also called for the creation of a made-for-Ontario income tax policy, which we are fulfilling with this legislation. This will allow the flexibility to enhance Ontario's non-refundable tax credits for students, people with disabilities and their caregivers. The $60-million increase in tax benefits will assist both part-time and full-time students with the cost of their post-secondary education and help people with disabilities live independently and with dignity.

The made-for-Ontario income tax system introduced in this bill is desirable. However, the federal government must begin to realize that the interests of taxpayers are different in different provinces. Taxpayers in Ontario have interests that are unique to Ontario and different from the interests of taxpayers in Saskatchewan, for example, and likewise those in BC have different concerns from those in Nova Scotia or Newfoundland.

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There's been a lot of talk from the opposition about money that might have been increased to the overall debt. I wonder how the Liberals from the opposition side would look at that. I'd like to refer back to the 1995 Liberal red book. They talked about how a Liberal government in 1995 would balance the budget. I'll read from it: "A Liberal government will create a strong and competitive environment that encourages the private sector to grow and create jobs. We will balance Ontario's budget within four years." Really, that means Liberals, if they were going to balance it within four years, would have to run deficits for four years, and that means the Liberals would increase the debt in four years as well. This is from your red book in 1995.

We put in our Common Sense Revolution in 1995 the graphs and plans, and it was obvious that there would be an increase in debt. But you said the same thing in yours. However, do Liberals think our government should have cut $11 billion, the size of the deficit that we were facing when we came into office? Remember, that's the $1 million an hour. How were we going to get rid of $11 billion? By cutting health care and education? Of course we didn't. We slowly added to the debt and, as in the plan and after four years, in 1999, there we had it: a balanced budget. We're very proud of that, because we followed the plan.

We should talk a little bit about tax cuts. From the 1995 Liberal red book: Ontario Liberals "will cut spending by more than $4 billion." You're going to cut spending and you're going to balance the budget in four years. Where was the money going to come from? Is it back to the spendometer again? That's the type of thing we have to think about. You didn't have a plan. You don't have a policy. We're back and forth, back and forth; say one thing in one part of Ontario and say something else in another part of Ontario.

The fact of the matter is that we on this side of the House are very proud of the budget we've presented this year. It comes out with a surplus; 830,000 net new jobs; almost 600,000 people off the welfare rolls. We are proud of what Finance Minister Eves has accomplished. He set out his plan in 1995. We followed it in 1999 in the Blueprint.

I think every member of this House should support this Balanced Budgets for Brighter Futures Act. It's something that every Ontarian should be very proud of, that they have a government that can carry on this way.

Mrs Leona Dombrowsky (Hastings-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington): I am standing in the House this evening as the representative of the people who sent me here to have the members of the government understand that certainly I, as an elected representative and as a member of the Liberal Party of Ontario, will not be able to support the legislation that's before us this evening for many reasons.

I am really very surprised when I hear some of the presentations that are made by members of the government in terms of how well we're doing in this province and to present that this is the very best plan to serve the people of Ontario.

I only have a very minutes so I'll touch some of the issues I think are very important that relate to the children of the province of Ontario. My leader has asked this government, in light of the fact that there are more children living in poverty -- 42% of the people who frequent food banks in the province of Ontario are children. Dalton McGuinty has recognized that a way to immediately address that tragedy, that unacceptable reality in these strong economic times, would be to offer a cost-of-living allowance to those people who rely on the province to support their family. That should be a part of your plan and it isn't.

I'm here to talk about the fact that the largest rising demographic within that group we refer to as "the homeless" are families. Yet your government, in this plan that is before the Legislature today, has nothing to allow families to access more affordable housing. If children are to do well in society, if they are to achieve, they need good food and they need homes. In these strong economic times, ladies and gentlemen, I think it's quite unacceptable that in your fiscal plan you have not aggressively put in place a policy that would address those two very serious issues.

Another item that's not in your plan relates to education. Dalton McGuinty has presented the government with a very reasonable plan for consideration. If you want to, take it and amend it, but certainly do something to alleviate the stress and the strife that has beset our education system. The Education Improvement Commission just last week gave that very direction, that we need to get past the very unhealthy climate in our schools. We have presented a plan and it would require some additional dollars -- only a fraction of the dollars that you've taken from education, but it would require some dollars -- and they would be very well spent because it would support students in this province. It would enable them to access programs that they're not now able to access. It's not part of this plan that's before the House tonight.

Just a few moments ago we heard the member from Simcoe talk about the debt. I have to say that I'm very sad that under your government the debt has increased significantly. What's so very sad about that is debt is really deferred taxation. These children who are right now not being supported are going to be asked in the future to pay for services they didn't get, that they need. That's the plan that we're asked to come here tonight and support. I can't, as a Liberal, as an elected representative of the people who sent me, because the people that I talk to in my riding are looking for things like a healthy education community. They're looking for programs that support children and families in Ontario. I know they would not want their representative to stand in this House and nod to a plan that does not address those very important needs.

If I had more time, I would be able to make many more references to numerous areas that would relate to my riding, but I certainly am very appreciative of the opportunity I've had this evening.

Mr Mario Sergio (York West): I am delighted, actually, to have -- it's less than five minutes.

I'll just make a couple of comments on Bill 152, which is nothing other than the balanced budgets for brighter futures legislation. I think the title is missing something. I think the Premier missed the boat when he didn't finish saying it: "Bill 152, balanced budgets for brighter futures for whom?" I think it's missing that very important part: brighter for whom? I think it's just for some segment of our society.

Let me take this couple of minutes to say to my people, especially the seniors who will be looking at this particular piece of legislation with some considerable concern -- they are facing a long cold winter and they are wondering if now they will have to divert some of their pension money to pay for the increase in heating costs and hydro costs or perhaps spend some on gifts for the little ones or purchase some of the medications that they went without for some period of time. I can tell you that this legislation doesn't do anything to make the future, or even this immediate winter coming, any brighter for my seniors at the Gord Risk Community Centre or those in the Stanley DiLuca Community Centre or those seniors who have no place to go other than one particular room day in and day out -- with no chance of going to Florida -- at the Grand Ravine or the J. Booth Community Centre. That is the only place they go, in and out. They can't afford anything else. Or the seniors in Humber Summit who have nowhere to go other than walking back and forth from their home to the nearest plaza, or the seniors who lost their one room, once a week, because of the cuts of this government. The seniors at Blue Haven don't have one room once a week any more because of the cuts. The school has closed the room on them.

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I don't think that the future looks any brighter for those people. It's quite ironic that just a couple of months ago we had this big hullabaloo with the $200 rebate. I'm still getting calls saying, "When am I going to get my $200?" This is coming from seniors, not from those well to do, not from the rich people. It's coming from the seniors saying, "Look, we are facing the holidays, we are facing the winter, and when am I going to get my $200?"

They won't be getting any $200 because the government of Mr Harris has decided to give that kind of money, more than $1 billion, to the people who really don't need $200. It's hard to explain to some seniors when they say, "This is our government. They should be looking after us." Oh yes, indeed. They say, "We didn't vote for any government to cut our pension, to impose more user fees. That money belongs to us. We should be the ones the government should be giving the $200. We need it." They won't be getting it.

So the future is not looking any brighter for those people in need of assistance. It's even worse. It's more ironic, because with so much pomp, so much pomposity, we have the Minister of Finance and the Premier saying, "We have $1.4 billion and we don't know what to do. You know what? We're going to pay down the debt." That's $1.4 billion of surplus.

This is our people's money, so give it back to them in one form or another, but give it to the people who really make the difference. I hope that the spirit of the holidays could really come down and make the difference for this government, to see that we have a lot of people out there suffering at this time, at a time when they should not be in that situation, because as we know, the economy supposedly is booming.

But for whom? Certainly not for the people on welfare, the pensioners, the single-income people and the people with low income. Having said that, my time is up. I with everyone happy holidays and the best of the New Year, and to you as well, Mr Speaker.

Mr James J. Bradley (St Catharines): There are a number of items you would like to canvass when you have a bill of this kind, but time is always confining. If I were a member of the New Democratic Party, I could speak for about an hour, because under the provisions we have in this House -- I know it makes the House leader of the Liberals happy to a great degree -- New Democrats, despite the fact they won nine seats in the last election and got 12% of the vote, seem to get one-third of the speaking time for bills of this kind. So when people at home wonder why there's so much NDP time, and the member for Sudbury East, now Nickel Belt, will be up the next time for her long period of time, I am confined as a result to 10 minutes in this House.

Ms Martel: How about the MRIs?

Mr Bradley: But MRIs I will mention. We have our MRI now, because we fought for it for a long time.

I want to touch on a few subjects that this bill does not deal with sufficiently. One is retirement homes in this province. We have a genuine need for long-term care, particularly in the Niagara Peninsula, because we have probably the oldest population per capita in Ontario.

There are people who have to go to retirement homes. Those retirement homes aren't the supervised nursing homes inspected from time to time by the Ministry of Health, or municipally operated homes. They are privately operated homes that are called retirement homes. Unfortunately, they are not inspected very much unless they belong to some organization. Often we receive complaints, as MPPs, about them. I think the government would do well to invest in a regime which would inspect and ensure the quality of care that is received in those retirement homes. I call upon the provincial government to do that.

Second, I was delighted to read today -- because we have been preoccupied in this province with the horrible possibility of a film being made about the life of Paul Bernardo and his so-called notorious exploits. I notice today that, "Telefilm Canada will not sponsor a film based on a book about serial murderer Paul Bernardo and his wife, Karla Homolka, the federal government agency announced late yesterday.

"`We just said no to the project because it wasn't up to par in comparison to the other projects that were submitted,' Jeanine Basile, a spokeswoman for Telefilm in Montreal, said." And justifiably so. I know that the provincial government would not want to provide any assistance in terms of either tax incentives or direct assistance to have this film made, or the use of any government properties.

I don't want to dwell on that, but my suspicion is -- and it's strongly supported from what I've heard in this House -- that nobody in this House agrees that film should be made. I think anybody of goodwill would agree that film shouldn't be made. That's why I sent Peter Simpson, the producer and the president of the company, which I think is Norstar Entertainment, a letter asking that they just take a pass on this one, that they not make this film. I hope that comes to fruition.

I want to talk a bit about the cost of energy. My colleague the member for Pembroke and my leader, Dalton McGuinty, have both asked questions in this House about people who are unfortunately facing a real crunch as the price of natural gas, the price of heating oil and the price of other kinds of fuel go up considerably in this province. The cost of the operation of a personal vehicle has gone up considerably. I happen to think there's gouging going on at this time. I just wish the government, which is large as life when it comes to putting the boots to poor people, to victimizing the poorest in this province, to taking them on, would have as much intestinal fortitude when it comes to dealing with the corporate giants, the oil barons and the gas barons that we have.

I recognize that part of the problem is demand. I wish I could say something positive in this regard, but this government has completely abandoned any efforts to bring about energy conservation. We're going to need it in the long run. There's only so much gas out there, so much oil out there, so much of any energy which is non-renewable, and some day it's going to be gone. We have to really get into energy conservation and alternative forms of energy. I hope the government, with the crisis that we're facing this winter, will indeed do that. I don't want to hear from the oil companies, the gas companies sending you, Mr Speaker, or me or any other member of this Legislature a long letter saying, "This is why the price of gasoline is up." I just looked at the profits of the oil companies. I know why the prices are up. The independent dealers, unfortunately, are squeezed in this situation.

I heard the government members brag about the $200. Most people I talked to in the province said, "Why don't you apply that to our health care system, to protecting our environment, to increasing the value of our education system?" Personally, I am giving my money to Community Care in St Catharines, which assists people of very modest means who are having a difficult time economically. I can tell you one thing: I'm not asking them to test them for drug use before they receive the money. I thought that was the most demeaning thing I've seen. Just when I thought this government had reached the lowest of the low by putting a lien on people's personal property, they turn around and say, "We're going to test those who are on social assistance."

The young minister, the 20-something or maybe now 30-year-old YPC, who's the Minister of Community and Social Services, with his backdrop with the needles and so on and I think a line saying, "Here's where you call fraud" -- I'd like to see a fraud line for those who are evading income tax or other big-time crime of a white-collar nature that you see in this province. I just thought that was demeaning -- and I'm no left-winger on those issues, I can tell you that. I'm one who believes that we should never tolerate fraud when it comes to receiving social assistance, but I'm also a person who believes that those who genuinely need that social assistance should not be subjected to the indignity of a drug test.

When my leader, Dalton McGuinty, suggested that perhaps we should test members of the Legislature, he said that tongue in cheek, but it certainly showed what a silly idea it was. I know the people at Community Care, when they show up for assistance, aren't asked for some drug test. All members of the Liberal caucus agreed they would be giving their $200 to some charity within their community or within the province.

I hope the government will commit more dollars to the environment. I raised the issue of the Swaru incinerator today. The problem is that somebody's falsifying the evidence, just as they did in Walkerton, and there's nobody overseeing it, nobody watching. The reason is that ministry staff are stretched to the limit. They're not lazy, they're not stupid, they're not uncaring, they're simply stretched to the limit, and there are so few of them. As I said the other day, if they say they have those 900 people around, some of them must be disguised as empty chairs, because they're certainly not in those offices.

I want to say that it's very unfortunate people in Niagara have to go outside of Niagara to get their health care. People who need an ophthalmologist's treatment for their eyes or need a dermatologist's treatment often have to go outside the Niagara Peninsula, and for cancer treatment and other procedures they often have to go to the United States to get them in a timely fashion. That simply isn't right. We have the dollars, but we decided we would give $4 billion in tax cuts to the huge corporations in this province, the people who attend the fundraisers of the Conservative Party in this province, and that is wrong when there's a genuine need out there.

I know there's a competition out there, as you would know in your community, Mr Speaker, for the charitable dollars, because the government has cut back so much in so many areas that there are a lot of people who are now fundraising who didn't have to do so before. But they're in competition with so many other good causes out there that it's very difficult for them, and I don't think we're getting the service we should.

I want to talk very briefly about the doctor shortage in the Niagara Peninsula. Unless you're in the GTA, the greater Toronto area, you have a hard time getting specialists and family physicians. People phone our constituency offices and we can't produce those family physicians. They become frustrated that we can't do so, but we cannot. That will involve an expenditure of dollars, an investment in health care for the incentives to have doctors come to our area in programs. I strongly support that. I'd rather have that than a darn tax cut.

Last, I want to talk about the roads, because it's wintertime. No matter what the Minister of Transportation says, nobody in this province believes that the clearing of roads in winter, the servicing of roads in winter, is the way it once was. There's now a much more dangerous situation on the highways, with ice on the highways, with snow on the highways and bad conditions. Even some of the information provided to people who are phoning to ask what the road conditions are is not timely.

You can make all these cuts in the world, but we are paying over and over again for the tax cuts for the rich in this province by lost services. I'd prefer to add to the quality of life rather than give money to rich people in the form of huge tax incentives.

The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): Mr Eves has moved third reading of Bill 152, An Act to implement the 2000 Budget to establish a made-in-Ontario tax system and to amend various Acts.

Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry?

All those in favour of the motion will please say "aye."

All those opposed will please say "nay."

In my opinion, the ayes have it.

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

The division bells rang from 1813 to 1818.

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

Ayes

Arnott, Ted

Baird, John R.

Barrett, Toby

Beaubien, Marcel

Chudleigh, Ted

Clark, Brad

Clement, Tony

Coburn, Brian

Cunningham, Dianne

DeFaria, Carl

Dunlop, Garfield

Ecker, Janet

Elliott, Brenda

Eves, Ernie L.

Flaherty, Jim

Galt, Doug

Gilchrist, Steve

Gill, Raminder

Guzzo, Garry J.

Hardeman, Ernie

Harris, Michael D.

Hastings, John

Hodgson, Chris

Hudak, Tim

Jackson, Cameron

Johns, Helen

Kells, Morley

Klees, Frank

Marland, Margaret

Martiniuk, Gerry

Maves, Bart

Mazzilli, Frank

Molinari, Tina R.

Munro, Julia

Murdoch, Bill

Mushinski, Marilyn

Newman, Dan

O'Toole, John

Ouellette, Jerry J.

Palladini, Al

Runciman, Robert W.

Sampson, Rob

Snobelen, John

Spina, Joseph

Sterling, Norman W.

Stewart, R. Gary

Stockwell, Chris

Tascona, Joseph N.

Tilson, David

Tsubouchi, David H.

Turnbull, David

Wettlaufer, Wayne

Wilson, Jim

Witmer, Elizabeth

Wood, Bob

Young, David

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

Nays

Bountrogianni, Marie

Boyer, Claudette

Bradley, James J.

Bryant, Michael

Caplan, David

Conway, Sean G.

Crozier, Bruce

Curling, Alvin

Dombrowsky, Leona

Duncan, Dwight

Gerretsen, John

Lalonde, Jean-Marc

Levac, David

Marchese, Rosario

Martel, Shelley

Parsons, Ernie

Peters, Steve

Phillips, Gerry

Pupatello, Sandra

Sergio, Mario

Smitherman, George

Clerk of the House (Mr Claude L. DesRosiers): The ayes are 56; the nays are 21.

The Speaker: I declare the motion carried.

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

Report continues in volume B.

Lieutenant Governor / Lieutenante-gouverneure: Hon / L'hon Hilary M. Weston
Speaker / Président: Hon / L'hon Gary Carr
Clerk / Greffier: Claude L. DesRosiers
Clerk Assistant / Greffière adjointe: Deborah Deller
Clerks at the Table / Greffiers parlementaires: Todd Decker, Lisa Freedman
Sergeant-at-Arms / Sergent d'armes: Dennis Clark

Constituency Member/Party Constituency Member/Party
Circonscription Député(e) / Parti Circonscription Député(e) / Parti

Algoma-Manitoulin

Brown, Michael A. (L)

Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Aldershot

McMeekin, Ted (L)

Barrie-Simcoe-Bradford

Tascona, Joseph N. (PC)

Beaches-East York

Lankin, Frances (ND)

Bramalea-Gore-Malton-Springdale

Gill, Raminder (PC)

Brampton Centre / -Centre

Spina, Joseph (PC)

Brampton West-Mississauga / Brampton-Ouest-Mississauga

Clement, Hon / L'hon Tony (PC) Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing / ministre des Affaires municipales et du Logement

Brant

Levac, Dave (L)

Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound

Murdoch, Bill (PC)

Burlington

Jackson, Hon / L'hon Cameron (PC) Minister of Tourism /
ministre du Tourisme

Cambridge

Martiniuk, Gerry (PC)

Chatham-Kent Essex

Hoy, Pat (L)

Davenport

Ruprecht, Tony (L)

Don Valley East / -Est

Caplan, David (L)

Don Valley West / -Ouest

Turnbull, Hon / L'hon David (PC) Minister of Transportation /
ministre des Transports

Dufferin-Peel-
Wellington-Grey

Tilson, David (PC)

Durham

O'Toole, John R. (PC)

Eglinton-Lawrence

Colle, Mike (L)

Elgin-Middlesex-London

Peters, Steve (L)

Erie-Lincoln

Hudak, Hon / L'hon Tim (PC)
Minister of Northern Development and Mines / ministre du Développement du Nord et des Mines

Essex

Crozier, Bruce (L)

Etobicoke Centre / -Centre

Stockwell, Hon / L'hon Chris (PC) Minister of Labour /
ministre du Travail

Etobicoke North / -Nord

Hastings, John (PC)

Etobicoke-Lakeshore

Kells, Morley (PC)

Glengarry-Prescott-Russell

Lalonde, Jean-Marc (L)

Guelph-Wellington

Elliott, Brenda (PC)

Haldimand-Norfolk-Brant

Barrett, Toby (PC)

Haliburton-Victoria-Brock

Hodgson, Hon / L'hon Chris (PC)
Chair of the Management Board of Cabinet / président du Conseil
de gestion

Halton

Chudleigh, Ted (PC)

Hamilton East / -Est

Agostino, Dominic (L)

Hamilton Mountain

Bountrogianni, Marie (L)

Hamilton West / -Ouest

Christopherson, David (ND)

Hastings-Frontenac-
Lennox and Addington

Dombrowsky, Leona (L)

Huron-Bruce

Johns, Hon / L'hon Helen (PC) Minister of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation, minister responsible for seniors and women / ministre des Affaires civiques, de la Culture et des Loisirs, ministre déléguée aux Affaires des personnes âgées et à la Condition féminine

Kenora-Rainy River

Hampton, Howard (ND) Leader of the New Democratic Party / chef du Nouveau Parti démocratique

Kingston and the Islands / Kingston et les îles

Gerretsen, John (L)

Kitchener Centre / -Centre

Wettlaufer, Wayne (PC)

Kitchener-Waterloo

Witmer, Hon / L'hon Elizabeth (PC) Minister of Health and Long-Term Care / ministre de la Santé et des Soins de longue durée

Lambton-Kent-Middlesex

Beaubien, Marcel (PC)

Lanark-Carleton

Sterling, Hon / L'hon Norman W. (PC) Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs,
minister of Correctional Services, government House leader / ministre des Affaires intergouvernementales,
ministre des Services correctionnels
leader parlementaire du gouvernement

Leeds-Grenville

Runciman, Hon / L'hon Robert W. (PC) Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations / ministre de la Consommation et du Commerce

London North Centre /
London-Centre-Nord

Cunningham, Hon / L'hon Dianne (PC) Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities / ministre de la Formation
et des Collèges et Universités

London West / -Ouest

Wood, Bob (PC)

London-Fanshawe

Mazzilli, Frank (PC)

Markham

Tsubouchi, Hon / L'hon David H. (PC) Solicitor General / solliciteur général

Mississauga Centre / -Centre

Sampson, Rob (PC)

Mississauga East / -Est

DeFaria, Carl (PC)

Mississauga South / -Sud

Marland, Hon / L'hon Margaret (PC) Minister without Portfolio (Children) / ministre sans portefeuille (Enfance)

Mississauga West / -Ouest

Snobelen, Hon / L'hon John (PC) Minister of Natural Resources /
ministre des Richesses naturelles

Nepean-Carleton

Baird, Hon / L'hon John R. (PC) Minister of Community and Social Services, minister responsible for francophone affairs / ministre des Services sociaux et communautaires, ministre délégué aux Affaires francophones

Niagara Centre / -Centre

Kormos, Peter (ND)

Niagara Falls

Maves, Bart (PC)

Nickel Belt

Martel, Shelley (ND)

Nipissing

Harris, Hon / L'hon Michael D. (PC) Premier and President of the Executive Council / premier ministre et président du Conseil exécutif

Northumberland

Galt, Doug (PC)

Oak Ridges

Klees, Hon / L'hon Frank (PC) Minister without Portfolio /
ministre sans portefeuille

Oakville

Carr, Hon / L'hon Gary (PC)
Speaker / Président

Oshawa

Ouellette, Jerry J. (PC)

Ottawa Centre / -Centre

Patten, Richard (L)

Ottawa-Orléans

Coburn, Brian (PC)

Ottawa South / -Sud

McGuinty, Dalton (L) Leader of the Opposition / chef de l'opposition

Ottawa West-Nepean /
Ottawa-Ouest-Nepean

Guzzo, Garry J. (PC)

Ottawa-Vanier

Boyer, Claudette (L)

Oxford

Hardeman, Hon / L'hon Ernie (PC) Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs / ministre de l'Agriculture, de l'Alimentation et des Affaires rurales

Parkdale-High Park

Kennedy, Gerard (L)

Parry Sound-Muskoka

Eves, Hon / L'hon Ernie L. (PC) Deputy Premier, Minister of Finance / vice-premier ministre, ministre des Finances

Perth-Middlesex

Johnson, Bert (PC)

Peterborough

Stewart, R. Gary (PC)

Pickering-Ajax-Uxbridge

Ecker, Hon / L'hon Janet (PC) Minister of Education /
ministre de l'Éducation

Prince Edward-Hastings

Parsons, Ernie (L)

Renfrew-Nipissing-
Pembroke

Conway, Sean G. (L)

Sarnia-Lambton

Di Cocco, Caroline (L)

Sault Ste Marie

Martin, Tony (ND)

Scarborough Centre / -Centre

Mushinski, Marilyn (PC)

Scarborough East / -Est

Gilchrist, Steve (PC)

Scarborough Southwest /
-Sud-Ouest

Newman, Hon / L'hon Dan (PC) Minister of the Environment /
ministre de l'Environnement

Scarborough-Agincourt

Phillips, Gerry (L)

Scarborough-Rouge River

Curling, Alvin (L)

Simcoe North / -Nord

Dunlop, Garfield (PC)

Simcoe-Grey

Wilson, Hon / L'hon Jim (PC) Minister of Energy, Science and Technology / ministre de l'Énergie,
des Sciences et de la Technologie

St Catharines

Bradley, James J. (L)

St Paul's

Bryant, Michael (L)

Stoney Creek

Clark, Brad (PC)

Stormont-Dundas- Charlottenburgh

Cleary, John C. (L)

Sudbury

Bartolucci, Rick (L)

Thornhill

Molinari, Tina R. (PC)

Thunder Bay-Atikokan

McLeod, Lyn (L)

Thunder Bay-
Superior North / -Nord

Gravelle, Michael (L)

Timiskaming-Cochrane

Ramsay, David (L)

Timmins-James Bay /
Timmins-Baie James

Bisson, Gilles (ND)

Toronto Centre-Rosedale / Toronto-Centre-Rosedale

Smitherman, George (L)

Toronto-Danforth

Churley, Marilyn (ND)

Trinity-Spadina

Marchese, Rosario (ND)

Vaughan-King-Aurora

Palladini, Hon / L'hon Al (PC) Minister of Economic Development and Trade / ministre du Développement économique et du Commerce

Waterloo-Wellington

Arnott, Ted (PC)

Whitby-Ajax

Flaherty, Hon / L'hon Jim (PC) Attorney General, minister responsible for native affairs / procureur général, ministre délégué aux Affaires autochtones

Willowdale

Young, David (PC)

Windsor West / -Ouest

Pupatello, Sandra (L)

Windsor-St Clair

Duncan, Dwight (L)

York Centre / -Centre

Kwinter, Monte (L)

York North / -Nord

Munro, Julia (PC)

York South-Weston /
York-Sud-Weston

Cordiano, Joseph (L)

York West / -Ouest

Sergio, Mario (L)

A list arranged by members' surnames and including all responsibilities of each member appears in the first and last issues of each session and on the first Monday of each month.

Une liste alphabétique des noms des députés, comprenant toutes les responsabilités de chaque député, figure dans les premier et dernier numéros de chaque session et le premier lundi de chaque mois.

Mercredi 20 décembre 2000

DÉCLARATIONS DES DÉPUTÉS

Wednesday 20 December 2000

MEMBERS' STATEMENTS