37th Parliament, 3rd Session



Wednesday 23 October 2002 Mercredi 23 octobre 2002
















































Wednesday 23 October 2002 Mercredi 23 octobre 2002

The House met at 1330.




Mr Michael Bryant (St Paul's): The Harris-Eves government has bungled on Hydro again, this time botching the Hydro debt retirement charge and playing tax collector of the GST for a charge that deserves no tax at all.

It turns out that the Tories failed to structure the Hydro debt charge to exempt it from the GST. Worse, the self-described tax fighters actually volunteered to collect the GST for the federal government on the debt retirement charges back in 1999.

Now that hydro bills are unbundled "gobbledygook," according to the Tory energy minister, Ontarians know we're all paying GST on something that simply should not be taxed, the retirement of the multi-billion-dollar Hydro debt, which somehow continues to increase under Tory rule.

While provincial and federal members of Parliament have appealed to the federal finance minister on this matter, the Harris-Eves government has managed to, first, attract the GST for the charge through their own negligence, and then failed to lift a finger to relieve consumers of this unfair tax.

Today Dalton McGuinty and Ontario Liberals repeat our demand that the province stop playing tax collector for the feds on the debt retirement charge. Cease and desist collecting the GST on the debt charge.

Next, I say to the government, fix your bungled debt retirement charge so that it is exempt from the GST. As the federal finance minister makes clear in his letter of yesterday to MPs, the Ontario government could have structured the debt charge such that there would have been no application of the GST.

How badly have the Tories bungled Hydro? Somehow this provincial government managed to heap a federal tax on a charge to reduce a provincial debt, itself partly of the Tories' own making. It's time for this government to stop royally penalizing consumers, clean up this hydraulic mess and remove the GST from the debt retirement charge.


Mr John O'Toole (Durham): I respectfully rise in the House today to pay tribute to an important milestone in the history of the Women's Institutes in Ontario.

Women's Institutes is a nonprofit, charitable organization that supports local hospitals, libraries, museums, shelters and community endeavours across the province. They build safe and healthy communities. Through their Tweedsmuir histories, Women's Institutes are also stewards of local history. Through the widely supported ROSE program, they provide vital health care information to women and their families in remote and rural parts of Ontario.

This past weekend, the Central Ontario Area Women's Institutes celebrated their 100th anniversary. It is estimated that in the past 20 years alone, the central Ontario area has raised $1.3 million and provided almost a million hours of volunteer service. The achievements are indeed a cause for celebration.

I'd like to congratulate each of the Women's Institute branches in my riding for their role in this celebration. Some of the branches and presidents in our Durham riding include Jennifer Bowman from Solina, Bernice Puk from Bowmanville, Marjorie Prescott from Maple Grove and Marilyn Martin from Providence-Shaw's.

In the northern communities of Durham riding, the branches and their presidents include Margaret Bruce of Bethesda-Reach, Gloria Fralick of Scugog Island, Muriel Wotten of Shirley, Pat Sleep of Blackstock and Dorothy Tindale of Honeydale.

I'd also like to extend congratulations to Billie Power, chair of the Central Ontario Area Women's Institutes, and to Viola Ashton, first vice-chair. They have given much to their country.

It's time we celebrate home and country along with the Women's Institutes of Ontario.


Mr Mike Colle (Eglinton-Lawrence): Sadly, our provincial government has struck a secret deal with developers that makes the $10-million gift they gave to professional sports teams look like pocket change.

Not only has Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Hodgson ordered that Richmond Hill council and the Ontario Municipal Board permit the building of 8,000 homes smack in the middle of the Oak Ridges moraine, its most sensitive area, he is also about to further compensate some of these same developers by giving them thousands of acres of provincially owned public land in north Pickering and Seaton, also an environmentally sensitive area.

Concerned environmentalists and citizens in Durham and all across the GTA are asking the Eves-Harris government to make the terms of the secret land swap deal public. They are asking that they justify why they are allowing developers to build 8,000 homes on the moraine and then further compensating them with thousands more acres of public land in Durham and Seaton. The public is saying that if you've got nothing to hide about this secret deal, Mr Hodgson, let's see what the terms and the land values are. Put it on the table and let the Provincial Auditor look at it. Why are you keeping this deal that's going to mean maybe $500 million to developers secret? Why is it in the public interest to keep this deal or make this deal?

Stop the Seaton land swap immediately. It's a scandal.


Mr Michael Prue (Beaches-East York): Today all members of the House have learned what housing advocates and tenants in this province have known for all too long, and that is that the government's housing policies are simply not working.

The former minister stood up in this House some four years ago when he introduced the Tenant Protection Act and talked of great, huge promises. He promised there would be 10,000 apartment units built a year; that there would be cranes across Toronto, Ottawa and Hamilton, building new apartment units; that there would be rental housing for everyone who needed it; that there would be homes for everybody who was desirous of having a rental unit.

But we have seen in the past four years, since that disastrous policy was adopted, what has really happened. The Tenant Protection Act has not protected tenants at all. We have learned today that, in that period, 40,000 housing units have gone from the rental portfolio in Ontario; we have learned about vacancy decontrols and the escalating costs that tenants have to pay to live in their homes; we have seen the above-guideline increases; we have seen the record number of evictions under this act; and we've seen the homelessness on our streets.

The minister and all of the associate ministers must take responsibility for this. They must do something about the housing crisis that is facing the tenants of this province. They have to take control of this. Today's news in today's newspapers has to be resolved. I would invite all the ministers to do something about this very serious problem.


Mr Toby Barrett (Haldimand-Norfolk-Brant): Every year, people from across Ontario converge on the quiet community of Waterford for the annual Pumpkinfest celebrations. While visitors to this weekend's festivities were thrilled with the usual impressive pumpkin-themed displays, not to mention the parade and the pies, there was an added attraction for many this year as the small school of W.F. Hewitt celebrated its 50th anniversary. To mark the occasion, faculty and alumni got together to hold a reunion for former students and teachers.

Despite the years, the school has withstood the test of time and soon reminded returning visitors of their days spent learning and living within those same halls and classrooms. Hundreds of alumni spent this past Sunday roaming the halls, gazing at the collection of pictures of old friends and rekindling good memories of what it meant to attend W.F. Hewitt. The extensive collection of photographs provided a detailed history of life at the school, thanks to a tradition of taking photos every month of the students and the school, and while there is little doubt that much has changed, the smiling and earnest faces of rural-area students who have passed through the school remain constant.

W.F. Hewitt opened its doors to the people of Waterford and area in 1953, and it stands today as a testament to the importance of rural schools to our smaller communities.


Mr James J. Bradley (St Catharines): Today is an historic day in Ontario, as members of the Ontario Legislature will be voting on a very straightforward, unequivocal resolution which reads as follows: "The Legislative Assembly endorses the ratification of the United Nations Kyoto Protocol in Canada." This Legislature will have an opportunity to send a positive, encouraging message to the people of this province, this nation and the world by endorsing the Liberal resolution this afternoon.

Included in the long list of supporters of the Kyoto Protocol is the Society of Alberta Medical Officers of Health, who in May of this year passed a unanimous resolution encouraging governments to work to meet or exceed Kyoto targets. Unfortunately, Dr David Swann, one of the most respected public health experts, was fired from his job as the medical officer of health for the Palliser Health Authority in Alberta for speaking out in favour of the Kyoto Protocol.


Prominent scientists across the world have warned of the dangers of inaction in dealing with the problem of global warming and climate change. Traditionally Ontario, its Premier and its Legislature have played a leadership role in national environmental initiatives, urging other provinces to join us in working hand in hand with the Canadian government to achieve genuine environmental progress. Our first obligation is to the health and environment of the people of Ontario, not to the protection of the financial interests of the coal and oil industry and its long-time defenders. It is time to reject the tired and predictable arguments of the environmental naysayers and to embrace positive change, which will be of immense benefit to both our health and our economy.


Mr Bert Johnson (Perth-Middlesex): I rise today to tell my fellow members of my visit to the North Perth Public Library in Listowel this past weekend. Rather than the usual hush of a library, when I entered the Listowel branch this Saturday I was welcomed by music from Listowel's Senior Serenaders. They were helping to launch the library's newly automated services.

After I picked up my new library card, I was pleased to see first hand the new services, which include a Web site where people can search the library's catalogue from their home computer. The newly automated services were unveiled this weekend to coincide with Ontario's Public Library Week. That is particularly appropriate, considering that the theme of this year's Public Library Week is Get Internet Smart at your Public Library.

Public libraries play a crucial role in their communities, offering access to information as well as a place for the community to come together. Despite this important role, libraries are often taken for granted, so it's important to recognize Public Library Week.

I want to take this opportunity to congratulate chief librarian Gay Kozak-Selby and her staff, as well as the members of the North Perth public library board, headed by Chair Mary Turner, for their ongoing efforts and accomplishments.


Mrs Sandra Pupatello (Windsor West): The question we have is, who is the real Ernie Eves? Yesterday he tried to pretend that he was a rural boy from Perry Sound. We know this is the same Ernie Eves who eats at Bigliardi's steakhouse in downtown Toronto so often that he doesn't get a bill, he gets a monthly statement.

Today we learn from a confidential memo from Janet Ecker that Ernie Eves says he's a Windsor boy. But that doesn't mean he wants to solve our border crisis. He'll come down for a quick photo opportunity, but what the memo reveals is that Ernie Eves will say anything at any time just to buy himself a vote. On the issue of the Windsor border, this memo is crystal clear. He won't support a solution based on merit. He won't look at facts or evidence. What the memo says very clearly is that Ernie Eves will make a decision based on "what makes political sense."

So the real face of Ernie Eves is revealed. The Bay Street boy will pretend to be rural and he'll pretend to care about Windsor, but when push comes to shove, it's all down to which way the wind is blowing or, I suppose, who makes the best steak.

The government is in crisis, with no agenda and no leadership. We have a Premier with no plans for the Windsor border, the most significant border in the country, and on health care, on the environment, no plan to bring down skyrocketing hydro rates either -- a Premier who's prepared to say anything to anyone in order to get their vote. The people of Ontario will see right through it.


Ms Marilyn Mushinski (Scarborough Centre): I rise today to extend my sincere appreciation to the Minister of Transportation for his announcement this morning that two additional GO Transit trains will travel the Lakeshore east route in the morning. This is good news for commuters along the corridor that runs from Oshawa to Union Station, including a stop in Scarborough. I believe today's announcement will mean that more commuters will decide to choose public transit over the use of their cars.

This is a very important issue. My constituents have been telling me that gridlock is a serious problem for them. As today's announcement makes clear, the Ernie Eves government is responding to the concerns expressed in my riding. More commuters using GO Transit means there will be less congestion locally than there otherwise would be. This means that people who must use their cars will also benefit as well as those who enjoy the improved convenience that two additional morning trains will offer commuters along the GO Transit Lakeshore east line.

I commend the minister for addressing this concern of my constituents, and I look forward to further good-news announcements of initiatives that will reduce congestion on our streets and improve the environment.


Mr Monte Kwinter (York Centre): On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I have the privilege and honour of recognizing a group of students from St Robert school in my riding of York Centre, who are here with their parents and teachers. They are a wonderful young group, and I have to tell you why. While I had a question-and-answer period, one of them said to me, "How old are you," and I said, "Very old." He said, "40?" and the other one said, "No, he's probably only 30."

I just want to tell you that I really appreciate that comment. Thank you.

Mr Gerard Kennedy (Parkdale-High Park): On a point of order, Mr Speaker: It's a privilege to ask the Legislature to acknowledge Mary Szkambara, who is the past president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, and her guest here from the Ukraine, Iryna Holobyeva, who is the assistant to the Minister of Youth and Family, president of the National Council of Women of the Ukraine and also assistant to the mayor of Kiev. They're in the members' gallery.

Mr Steve Peters (Elgin-Middlesex-London): I'd like to ask everybody in the House to recognize the presence in the members' gallery east of Mr Bob Eaton, who served as member of provincial parliament for the riding of Middlesex. Welcome, Bob.

The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): I'd like to welcome at the table Marian Johnston, who is the Clerk Assistant and Clerk of Committees at the Prince Edward Island Legislature. She will be visiting our Legislature for the next two weeks. Please welcome our special guest.



Mr Toby Barrett (Haldimand-Norfolk-Brant): I beg leave to present a report from the standing committee on justice and social policy and move its adoption.

Deputy Clerk (Ms Deborah Deller): Your committee begs to report the following bill as amended:

Bill 30, An Act to amend the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997 in order to protect the employment of volunteer firefighters / Projet de loi 30, Loi modifiant la Loi de 1997 sur la prévention et la protection contre l'incendie afin de protéger l'emploi des pompiers volontaires.

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

All those in favour 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 1348 to 1353.

The Speaker: Mr Barrett has moved the adoption of the report of the standing committee on justice and social policy regarding Bill 30.

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


Arnott, Ted

Baird, John R.

Barrett, Toby

Clark, Brad

Clement, Tony

Cunningham, Dianne

DeFaria, Carl

Dunlop, Garfield

Ecker, Janet

Elliott, Brenda

Eves, Ernie

Flaherty, Jim

Galt, Doug

Gill, Raminder

Guzzo, Garry J.

Hodgson, Chris

Hudak, Tim

Johns, Helen

Johnson, Bert

Kells, Morley

Klees, Frank

Martiniuk, Gerry

Mazzilli, Frank

McDonald, AL

Miller, Norm

Molinari, Tina R.

Munro, Julia

Newman, Dan

O'Toole, John

Ouellette, Jerry J.

Runciman, Robert W.

Sampson, Rob

Snobelen, John

Spina, Joseph

Sterling, Norman W.

Stockwell, Chris

Turnbull, David

Wettlaufer, Wayne

Wilson, Jim

Witmer, Elizabeth

Young, David

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


Agostino, Dominic

Bisson, Gilles

Bountrogianni, Marie

Boyer, Claudette

Bradley, James J.

Brown, Michael A.

Bryant, Michael

Caplan, David

Cleary, John C.

Colle, Mike

Cordiano, Joseph

Crozier, Bruce

Curling, Alvin

Di Cocco, Caroline

Dombrowsky, Leona

Duncan, Dwight

Gravelle, Michael

Hampton, Howard

Kennedy, Gerard

Kormos, Peter

Kwinter, Monte

Lalonde, Jean-Marc

Marchese, Rosario

Martel, Shelley

Martin, Tony

McGuinty, Dalton

McLeod, Lyn

McMeekin, Ted

Patten, Richard

Phillips, Gerry

Prue, Michael

Pupatello, Sandra

Ramsay, David

Ruprecht, Tony

Sergio, Mario

Smitherman, George

Sorbara, Greg

Wood, Bob

Clerk of the House (Mr Claude L. DesRosiers): The ayes are 41; the nays are 38.

The Speaker: I declare the motion carried.


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



Mrs Bountrogianni moved first reading of the following bill:

Bill 193, An Act to proclaim a day and a month to celebrate Hellenic heritage in Ontario / Projet de loi 193, Loi proclamant un jour et un mois de fête du patrimoine hellénique en Ontario.

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 opposed will please say "nay."

In my opinion, the ayes have it.

The member for short statement.

Mrs Marie Bountrogianni (Hamilton Mountain): The Hellenes, the Greeks of today, are the proud descendants of a culture that originated in the glorious civilization of ancient Hellas. Many of the ideas, ideals and institutions upon which modern civilization is based, such as freedom and democracy, were first developed by the ancient Greeks.

Today, over 100,000 people of Hellenic descent thrive in Ontario. Ontario citizens of Greek descent continue to make significant contributions to the economic and cultural growth of Ontario and Canada.

In honour of Hamilton's Greek community's 50th anniversary and in recognition of all people of Hellenic descent living in Ontario, the bill would proclaim March 25 as Hellenic Heritage Day.




Mr Dalton McGuinty (Leader of the Opposition): My question is to the Premier. Premier, when you were running for your job, you made some very deliberate statements about the private school tax credit. You said the fact that there was no accountability on the part of private schools for the public money they were about to receive was, to use your word, ludicrous.

I have here a memo to your Minister of Finance and it says that you are backing off even the meagre standards you were going to enforce for the private school tax credit. Instead of the standardized test that we use in public schools, your plan "would result in a lesser standard of a test per se and therefore would not deliver the same calibre of accountability."

All of Ontario knows where I stand when it comes to your private school tax credit: we will cancel it and we'll invest the money in public education. We know where you stand in terms of being in favour of the private school tax credit, but can you tell us, Premier, why private schools receiving public money should not be subject to the same standardized tests as public schools?

Hon Ernie Eves (Premier, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs): The leader of the official opposition asked several questions there and made several statements, so I'll try to deal with each of them.

With respect to where he stands, no, the public doesn't know where you stand. In the Canadian Jewish News of December 17, 1998, you're quoted: "Opposition leader Dalton McGuinty told Ontario's Jewish leadership that he had no ideological opposition to ensuring public funds to support Jewish day schools. It is believed that this is the first time any provincial party leader has made such a declaration." Then, Dalton McGuinty of June 17 of this year: "Liberal leader Dalton McGuinty meanwhile is urging the government to cancel the private school tax credit introduced in last year's budget."

For your statement that the public knows where you stand, you stand wherever it's convenient, depending on what audience you're talking to at that particular time on that particular day. Where we stand is on equal opportunity for every student in Ontario.

Mr McGuinty: Premier, since you would appear to be the last person left in Ontario who understands so little, I'm going to give you a copy of our Excellence for All plan. I'll ask one of the pages here. Grant, you might take this to the Premier.

I strongly recommend that you take the opportunity. There are some very good ideas about supporting public education.

This, further, from the memo summarizing the rigorous testing standards that our Premier would impose on private schools for the public money he insists on giving to them: "The Premier does not want finance to prescribe a testing approach for private schools." I go on: "We need something that is flexible and something that the independent schools will agree with. The Premier's office indicated that this could be as many different types of tests as we have independent schools."

Premier, again, I will cancel the tax credit. No strings or standards will save it. You, sir, are doing nothing more than catering to special interests at public expense. Why are you allowing special interests to dictate your standards?

Hon Mr Eves: I'm not going to comment on what some staff person speculates he thinks somebody told somebody that I might have thought. But I will tell you what I have said very directly to the director of communications of the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools in a letter of February 19 of this year.

"As I travel the province, most supporters of independent education tell me that it is very important to measure how our children's education is progressing in the critical core subjects of reading, writing and arithmetic. For that reason I am supporting" -- this is my letter, this is what I think -- "measuring the progress of students in both public and independent schools. This can be accomplished in different ways and I would look forward to discussing this with you in detail."

Now, we know where I stand. We don't know where you stand. In 1998 you stood on one issue, in 2002 you stand on another side. But we do know where your member for St Paul's stands. He says, "I can't suck and blow on the tax credit. I've got to support this. This is a step in the direction of equity." Exactly, and you should get on board with your member for St Paul's.

Mr McGuinty: Premier, you are spending more time on the fence on this issue than John Snobelen spends on a horse. At least John Snobelen has the benefit of a saddle. It must be very painful for you, sir, to spend all that time on the fence.

Public schools are in trouble. Students are struggling, schools are closing and teachers are leaving. The record speaks for itself. I've got a plan to fix and improve our schools: smaller class sizes, kids learning until 18, and better and more learning opportunities for our teachers. I will cancel the private school tax credit and invest that money in public education. Your own confidential cabinet document shows that you cannot be trusted. You say one thing publicly; internally, you give different instructions to your own cabinet minister. Premier, how can you continue to sell out all those students, in fact the 96% of Ontario students who find themselves in our public schools?

Hon Mr Eves: The leader of the official opposition knows very well that the supposed memo he talks about is not an official cabinet document. I'm sure you would want to do the right thing and correct the record.


Hon Mr Eves: You are really grasping.

The leader of the official opposition might want to get onside with some of his own caucus colleagues. We've talked about where the member for St Paul's stands.

With respect to the member for York Centre: "I've always supported it. As a matter of fact, I've advocated it for 16 years, since before the last election; I sponsored a rally outside Queen's Park. We had 5,000 people in support of that position, and there's the real issue of discrimination." I couldn't agree more.

Your honourable member has also said, "I'm not thrilled with the idea that we're going to repeal the tax credit."


Mr Dalton McGuinty (Leader of the Opposition): I would suggest there's a lesson there, Premier, when it comes to strong leadership.

My next question is also to the Premier.

Today, after months of bobbing and weaving, hopefully the people of Ontario will learn where their government stands on the Kyoto accord. Later this afternoon, the Legislature is going to debate an historic resolution, one introduced by our caucus. It reads as follows: "The Legislative Assembly endorses the ratification of the United Nations Kyoto Protocol in Canada." Premier, it's time you climbed down off that fence. How are you going to vote, how is your government going to vote, on this historic resolution?

Hon Ernie Eves (Premier, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs): This government is not in favour of the technical interpretation of the Kyoto accord, and neither is the federal government of Canada.

Mr McGuinty: Those splinters have got to be painful, Premier. They've got to be causing you some significant pain. You look at the Kyoto accord and all you see are problems. I look at the Kyoto accord and I see a tremendous economic opportunity for our province. I see high-paying, high-skill jobs.


Progressive, visionary governments around the world are rushing to embrace the very important economic shift away from fossil fuels to cleaner sources of energy. You've got a choice, Premier. You can stay with the Flat Earth Society or you can join Ontario families -- and by the way, you can join companies like BP, Shell and DuPont, which have been busy reducing their greenhouse gases and making more profits. Where would you like to take us, Premier? Will you take us to a bright future or a bleak one mired in the past?

Hon Mr Eves: The leader of the official opposition proves exactly the point. These firms he just rhymed off were doing this without and before the Kyoto accord was even thought of. His idea of a bright future is to willy-nilly follow some technical wording that even the federal government admits is flawed and has no intention of following, and he's going to put 450,000 Ontarians out of work in the process. If you want to talk about the Flat Earth Society, you're a charter member.

Mr McGuinty: Premier, the difference between DuPont, Shell and BP and your government is that those companies had the benefit of strong leadership that embraced economic opportunities to be found in the future. That's the difference between them and you.

Let's talk about renewable energy. Unlike you, I've got a plan to bring those new jobs to our communities. I will ensure that 10% of our electricity comes from renewable sources. That's a powerful incentive to bring those jobs of the future here.

Let's talk ethanol now. Agriculture is one of the most important industries in our province. My plan to require that all gasoline contain 10% ethanol is going to clean up the environment and create thousands of new farm jobs.

Let's talk about conservation. My conservation plan is going to help save the environment and help consumers save money on their electricity bills, something I know you know very little about.

Premier, when are you going to get it? It has to be, it must be win-win when it comes to the environment and the economy. When are you going to do the right thing on behalf of business and the Ontario environment and stand up for the Kyoto accord?

Hon Mr Eves: The leader of the official opposition has a plan all right; he has a plan to black out part of Ontario by shutting down certain plants before there are other sources of energy to take over.

We over here on this side of the House came up with the Drive Clean program, which has reduced emissions from vehicles by 25%, something you and your member for St Catharines, although he chattered a lot about it when he was Minister of the Environment, did absolutely zip about. We have set goals and they are being met by OPG and others. And those companies he talks about are taking those steps because they are the right thing to do, exactly as the province of Ontario has done for many years.

Your plan is to put 450,000 people out of work. Our plan has already created 955,000 jobs in Ontario.


Mr Howard Hampton (Kenora-Rainy River): My question is for the Premier. Ralph Klein, the Kyoto killer, wants you to join his gang. It seems you're ready to kill Kyoto and ride off with Klein and Chrétien, leaving Ontario citizens choking on more smog and global warming. Tell us again, Premier, why are you, Klein and Chrétien so ready to put the kibosh to Kyoto?

Hon Ernie Eves (Premier, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs): I want to say to the leader of the third party that at least he understands the Prime Minister has no intention of implementing the Kyoto accord as it's drafted because he understands it's unworkable and would put hundreds of thousands of Canadians out of work. I would say to the leader of the third party that I'm sure your friends in labour unions across the province and across the country would not want to put literally hundreds of thousands of people out of work by signing on to an agreement that is unworkable.

What Ralph Klein has proposed for Alberta, as I understand it, is a plan he thinks is appropriate for his province. I would suggest to the honourable member that every single province is different. They all have different economies. All we've ever asked for is an opportunity to sit down with the Prime Minister of Canada and propose a plan where we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and not lose hundreds of thousands of jobs at the same time.

Mr Hampton: Premier, I've spoken with some of those trade unions. They want you to get on board with Kyoto, because they've talked with other trade unions elsewhere in the world which acknowledge that you can actually create jobs by moving to counter global warming.

If you don't act, global warming will get worse. You're inviting killer smog, deadly heat and more global warming, more climate change. And your scheme of hydro privatization will make things worse because it means burning more dirty coal. It's high noon for global warming. Do you support Kyoto or do you support Klein?

Hon Mr Eves: We agree that you have to act and act now. We have been acting and we will continue to act. Indeed, as the member of the official opposition has pointed out, many private enterprises are already doing this. We should be acting, as Ontarians and as Canadians, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

That is not the subject of debate here. The subject of debate is, is the best way to do it the highly technical interpretation of the Kyoto accord? By everybody's admission -- even the Prime Minister of Canada's -- except for the leader of the official opposition, it's unworkable in its current form. We have to find a made-in-Canada solution to lead the way in greenhouse gas reductions while at the same time protecting, in fact I would argue creating, hundreds of thousands of new jobs.

Mr Hampton: Premier, it's obvious from your comments that you've already swallowed everything that Ralph Klein has had to say. Take a trip to Norway or Sweden or anywhere in western Europe and look at the changes that are already being implemented, changes that are creating jobs -- a whole new industry in terms of wind turbine power -- and paper mills that have lowered their emission of greenhouses gases. They're not talking about privatization and burning more coal. They're already implementing Kyoto.

Why have you swallowed Ralph Klein's arguments hook, line and sinker, and ignored all of the arguments from the rest of the world? Why are you following Klein and ignoring all of those countries in western Europe that clearly are already two and three years down the road in terms of implementing Kyoto?

Hon Mr Eves: Ontario, and Canada for that matter, all of Canada, have led the way in greenhouse gas reduction. We have led the way. We on this side of the House actually provided for independent operators and generators of power to come on the grid, which your government steadfastly for five years would not allow to happen. So don't lecture us about wind turbines when your government wouldn't allow one single new producer of electricity to come on the grid. What kind of leadership is that? I'm glad we didn't follow you off the edge of the cliff like a bunch of lemmings.


Mr Howard Hampton (Kenora-Rainy River): Premier, it has emerged that you're letting private schools set their own test for qualifying for over a half-billion dollars of private school tax credits. Across Ontario you're creating a growth industry of private schools fuelled by public money with no strings attached.

Why have you created a testing mania for public school teachers and students but you let private schools get off scot-free?

Hon Ernie Eves (Premier, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs): Perhaps the leader of the third party wasn't listening earlier in question period when I read out the text of my letter of February 19 of this year to the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools.

Mr George Smitherman (Toronto Centre-Rosedale): Just read the last line.

Hon Mr Eves: Read the last line? To the members opposite and to the leader of the third party, every school system is different. The important thing is whether you can measure the progress of students in the important areas of reading, writing and arithmetic -- basic skills. I see no reason why you can't accomplish those goals and sit down with different schools throughout the system and make sure that every student in the province of Ontario is qualified and has an equal opportunity in education.


Mr Hampton: Premier, if you're a public school student in Ontario, you are the subject of a $50-million testing bureaucracy which insists that everybody write the test on the same day, under the same regimen. But if you're a private school and you get money from the private school tax credit, they're completely different rules. In fact, it doesn't appear as if there are any rules at all.

I ask you again, why are public schools subjected to a testing mania but your private school friends can organize it any which way they want? Why the double standard?

Hon Mr Eves: Talking about double standards, the leader of the third party is against testing students in the first place, and now he's there arguing that everybody should have the same test.


Mr Sean G. Conway (Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke): My question is to the Premier, the leader of the government. Mr Premier, it is widely reported in today's press that you are expected to have had, or to have, a meeting with Mr John Snobelen, MPP for Mississauga West, today to discuss how he intends to discharge his public responsibilities, for which he is paid, as all members of the Legislature are, $82,757.

Can you indicate to this Legislature, Mr Premier, whether or not you have had that meeting, and if the meeting has occurred, whether or not you intend -- and have accepted his resignation?

Hon Ernie Eves (Premier, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs): Whom I choose to meet with during the course of a day, especially if it's with a member of my own caucus, quite frankly is none of your business.

The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): Supplementary?

Mr Conway: Well, a supplementary --


The Speaker: Come to order. The Premier had quiet for his answer. The member?

Mr Conway: Mr Premier, I'm trying to imagine taxpayers in Orangeville or Parry Sound or Pembroke reading the papers today and faced with this situation, particularly from a Conservative government led by Ernie Eves, late of the Common Sense Revolution, which was all about taxpayer responsibility and accountability and citizens' responsibility. We've got a situation, apparently, where a Conservative member of the Legislature, who is being paid $82,757 a year, wants to spend his time in a foreign country while accepting $82,000 of public money from the people of Ontario. If Mr Snobelen wants to be in Oklahoma, the people in Orangeville, Parry Sound and Pembroke would say, "Let him resign and go to Oklahoma." But you, as the leader of his party and leader of the government, surely must do one of two things: ask for and accept his resignation, or demand a work plan from our friend the member from Mississauga West which would justify the people of Ontario paying $82,757 for his salary.

Hon Chris Stockwell (Minister of the Environment, Government House Leader): On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I would just ask if you --

The Speaker: If I had, I would have jumped up, but he didn't talk about his attendance in the House.


Hon Mr Eves: Mr Speaker --


The Speaker: Order. Thank you very much. I will make the decisions. We don't need any comments on it. Whoever yelled it out, I would appreciate it if you wouldn't do that. We're going to have a good debate between two fine members here. People want to hear the Premier. We've got a member asking a good question. They don't want to hear the rest of you; they want to hear the two people who are asking the questions.


Hon Mr Eves: Mr Speaker, there are many members of the Legislature who are absent at various times for various reasons, including the honourable member himself, I might add, from time to time, and including myself. All of us have various reasons why from time to time we are not in our chairs during question period or while the Legislature is sitting.

Talking about a double standard, the way our system of government works is that people in each constituency elect who they think is the appropriate representative in each election or by-election, as the case may be. There's an appropriate accounting for that, of course, when that individual comes up for re-election from time to time.

But I would urge the members of the official opposition to tread kind of lightly before they start going down this path, because their leader of course introduced a mandatory two-thirds-attendance-for-question-period plan, and according to the records we've been keeping, about 30% of your members don't meet your own qualifications.


The Speaker: Order. The member for Scarborough Centre now has the floor.


Ms Marilyn Mushinski (Scarborough Centre): My question today is for the Attorney General. It's about an issue of very serious concern to my constituents in Scarborough Centre. There's been a great deal of media coverage recently about the Internet and the exploitation of children. In particular, there have been very disturbing stories about how the Internet has led to an increased prevalence of child pornography.

Clearly, protecting children from exploitation is one of our most important responsibilities in this House, and a major priority of mine, as you know. I'm very pleased our government has put record investments toward child protection and toughened the laws around abuse and neglect, but certainly we must do more. Last week you made an announcement with regard to Internet child pornography. I'm wondering if you could tell this House how this action will help to combat the tide of child pornography on the Internet and protect children from sexual exploitation.

Hon David Young (Attorney General, minister responsible for native affairs): I would like to thank the member, not only for the question but for the fact that she has been a tireless worker in relation to protecting victims across this province. In relation to this particular initiative, which she spoke about a moment ago, I want to say that this has happened largely because of her work. She has come forward and has advocated on behalf of victims across the province, in this case, some of the youngest and most vulnerable people.

We live in a time where technology is causing our society to change, in many respects in very positive ways, but there are some greater challenges for law enforcement now. That's why I was so pleased to step forward on behalf of the Ernie Eves government, with representatives of the Toronto Police Service, and talk about a new initiative, an innovative measure that will allow for the purchase of additional computers, will allow for the hiring of additional officers. It's to stop those who are using the Internet to lure children and to engage in activities that are, frankly, disgusting.

Ms Mushinski: Thank you for that response. It's certainly a welcome step that more resources are being directed toward protecting children from sexual exploitation. I've heard very strongly from my constituents that we must always be mindful that the voice of the victims always be heard. Our justice system must always work to balance the rights of the accused with the interests of the innocent victims. I know that one way the government has worked to achieve this goal is through the victims' justice fund. Minister, I wonder if you can tell me what investments you have made recently from the victims' justice fund, and also explain the range of people for whom these services will provide much-needed help.

Hon Mr Young: This government has moved forward on a number of different fronts in relation to protecting victims across this province. The domestic violence strategy that we announced very recently has supplemented the government's rather substantial spending in this area with a further $12.6 million to help police and crowns better understand this very challenging area.

We've also come forward with an elder abuse strategy that exists nowhere else in the world, one that has been applauded internationally, one that will likely serve to end the abuse of many of our senior citizens across this province, abuse that sometimes involves financial matters, sometimes emotional, sometimes physical. We have a victims' support line in place, and victim/witness assistance programs throughout the province. We're very proud of that, and the Ernie Eves government will continue to work to protect victims wherever and whenever we can.



Mr Gerry Phillips (Scarborough-Agincourt): My question is to the Premier and has to do with the Minister of Finance memo that became public yesterday. I might add, it looks a little bad on you. Five months after you became Premier, it's pretty clear that cabinet didn't know who was responsible for the waterfront file. In the memo it points out that while Minister Hodgson thought he was in charge of it -- and this was in the middle of September, five months after you became Premier -- he wasn't going to do anything until he got some written confirmation of that. In fact, the Ministry of Finance said they have several letters that were supposed to be being signed on this, important matters that weren't being dealt with.

My question is this: it seems strange that not only were decisions not being made, you hadn't even appointed the person to make the decisions. What was going on here? Why couldn't you at least have made the decision on which cabinet minister you wanted to be in charge of the waterfront file?

Hon Ernie Eves (Premier, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs): First of all, it's not a Minister of Finance memo. It's an opinion of a staff member and some suggestions of a staff member to a minister.

Members on all sides of the House will know that all the time that I was Minister of Finance under the Mike Harris government, I was in charge of the waterfront file. Minister Flaherty, when he was Minister of Finance, was in charge of the waterfront file. Minister Ecker, since she's been Minister of Finance, is in charge of the waterfront file. Nothing has changed. Our commitment is there in the $500 million for regeneration of the waterfront, and there's $500 million from the federal government and $500 million from the municipal government.

Mr Phillips: The problem with that is that the problem is you. The memo points out that "We need confirmation ASAP" on who's the lead on the waterfront. There are letters that need to be signed on this. The board could be moving ahead. It points out that nothing's happening on it. A decision was urgently needed by you, and you couldn't seem to make up your mind who was in charge of it.

Unless you're saying this memo is just simply incorrect, the question is, what in the world were you doing? You've been Premier for five months. The waterfront is a huge issue for the city of Toronto and you couldn't even seem to make up your mind who you wanted to be in charge of it. Can you give us some hint of what was holding you up for five months in making the simple decision, signing the letter and at least letting some minister get on with making decisions? Why couldn't you make that decision after five months?

Hon Mr Eves: There is no letter required by me to do any of this stuff. If that's somebody's opinion, then unfortunately that's their opinion, but that has nothing to do with the fact. The fact is, it was the Minister of Finance while I was Minister of Finance for six years and for the year-plus that Mr Flaherty was Minister of Finance, and while Minister Ecker's been the Minister of Finance she has been in charge of the waterfront file.


Mr Bert Johnson (Perth-Middlesex): My question is for the hard-working, energetic and highly effective Minister of Enterprise, Opportunity and Innovation from Whitby-Ajax. Minister, our province's economy and my riding's economy rely heavily on the success of small business. To recognize Small Business Week, the Community Futures Development Corp of Middlesex county has been running seminars in Komoka on such topics as advertising, employee retention and exporting for small business operators, each and every day this week, starting at 7:30 o'clock in the morning.

I'm concerned that the small business owners attending these seminars face too many obstacles to running a profitable operation. Can you tell me what the Ontario government is doing to ensure that our small businesses are strong and profitable?

Hon Jim Flaherty (Minister of Enterprise, Opportunity and Innovation): I thank the honourable member for Perth-Middlesex for his incisive and thoughtful question.

This is Small Business Month in Ontario. It's Small Business Week this week across most of the province. I had the pleasure earlier this week of speaking with the Whitby Chamber of Commerce and earlier this month with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in London, Ontario.

Small business is big business in Ontario. Almost half the jobs that have been created in Ontario since 1995 have been created by small business, that is, businesses with fewer than 50 employees in the province, and that's half of almost one million net new jobs in the province in the past seven years.

More than 90% of Ontario's businesses are in fact small businesses. They ask for a solid foundation. They ask for reductions in taxes, they ask for less red tape -- and we've reduced the regulatory burden by more than 1,900 regulations in the province -- balanced budgets, and a welcoming attitude toward investment and entrepreneurship.

There is help available. We have 41 small business centres across Ontario --

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

Mr Johnson: Thank you very much, Minister. I know this government's efforts to remove barriers to business are appreciated by my constituents. I want to remind everyone here and you, of course, that I consider most of the thousands of farms in Perth-Middlesex as small businesses.

Minister, I understand that small business in Ontario accounts for nearly half of the 987,000 jobs created since 1995. As a matter of fact, you and I both remember the opposition benches shouting, "Where are the jobs? Where are the jobs?" starting in September 1995 and continuing for a year or more. I haven't heard that chant lately, because it was estimated in the Common Sense Revolution document that we would help businesses create 750,000 jobs.

Entrepreneurship is obviously a driving force in our economy. What is our government doing to promote skills training that will encourage entrepreneurship?

Hon Mr Flaherty: We have a wonderful strategy in Ontario called the young entrepreneurs strategy, which applies not only to urban Ontario but of course to rural Ontario and to the strong rural community represented by the honourable member for Perth-Middlesex.

This includes future entrepreneurs, a program for young people in grades 7 and 8 which is being assisted by the excellent teachers who are helping us and the mentors in the community, so that young people in grades 7 and 8 who are bright-eyed and have great ideas can see that that's a viable career option, that it's a choice for them to be entrepreneurial, to put their ideas into action in Ontario. Then, as teenagers, through the Summer Company program, there is assistance of $1,500, mentoring by entrepreneurs in the community so they can create their own summer businesses.

There are many success stories across the province. There is yet another program for young people 18 to 29 years of age where they can also get government assistance to get their own entrepreneurial businesses going. It's a great success story in Ontario.


Mr Tony Martin (Sault Ste Marie): My question is for the Premier. Premier, can you tell me how anyone can be expected to live on $520 a month?

Hon Ernie Eves (Premier, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs): We all have people who are in difficult situations in Ontario and I believe it is incumbent upon all of us in society to do what we can to help the most unfortunate.

Mr Martin: Premier, my question was clear and precise: how can anyone live on $520 a month?

I just came back from the Kimberly Rogers inquest. Kimberly is just one example of many people who end up needing social assistance to get through a bad time, for whatever reason. That assistance should cover what a person needs to survive, but it doesn't even come close.

Your government has cut social assistance so much that no one can live on it and, then, if they mess up, you cut them off completely. Your welfare policies forced a pregnant woman to stay locked in her house without any income. This is beyond inhumane.

Premier, will you raise social assistance rates to cover the minimum cost of living and at the very least will you end your government's inhumane lifetime ban?

Hon Mr Eves: I do not feel it is appropriate to be talking about an inquest that is ongoing in Ontario. I think you should let the inquest do it's job, and we certainly will be very cognizant of any recommendations that come out of it.



Mr Dominic Agostino (Hamilton East): My question is to the Minister of Education. Minister, on Monday night in Hamilton, your hand-picked, appointed supervisor cut 40% of the budget for supply teachers from the Hamilton board of education as compared to last year. Not only did he unilaterally make these cuts, he also tried to hide these cuts. He tried to keep them out of the public domain. In a memo to the chair of the board, he said, "Remove the topic from both agendas. I do not want it discussed by the trustees at this time." He goes on to say, "My decision stands. If you want to make an issue of it ... that is your choice.... It certainly is not as big an issue for the public domain as you make it out to be."

This is a 40% cut in supply teachers. This is going to impact kids in the classroom every day. This is going to impact the ability of kids to grow and function. This is going to impact the value and quality of education. Do you think it is appropriate, Minister, for your hand-picked supervisor to make these decisions and then make an effort to keep this from the public?

Hon Elizabeth Witmer (Deputy Premier, Minister of Education): I think it's really important to keep in mind that the supervisor in Hamilton is making decisions after a tremendous amount of consultation with parents and staff. You need to recognize that the recommendations coming forward are recommendations that have been very carefully considered by the staff. Certainly, all that is happening is in the best interests, in order to continue to provide stability and enable the students to achieve success within the system.

Mr Agostino: Minister, you didn't answer the question in regard to why he went about it the way he did.

I want to ask you about the cuts specifically. This is now 40% fewer classroom teachers when it comes to replacement, when it comes to teachers who are absent, when it comes to teachers who are ill and you need someone in the classroom. According to the board report, this is going to impact things such as in-school activities, inter-scholastic programs, school trip coverage and literacy programs. This means that as a result of these cuts, the kids who are in special literacy programs for reading and writing will not be given a supply teacher when their teacher is away.

This is the harsh reality of decisions you have made. It's not your supervisor, Minister. You appointed Mr Murray and you appointed yourself chair of the board. Now you have to be held accountable for the fact that kids in Hamilton are going to go without classroom teachers when their teacher is sick or off on a school trip with other kids or in some other activity they are required to do.

Minister, explain to me: do you agree with this and do you guarantee to every single child in Hamilton that when their teacher is away, there will be a replacement teacher in the classroom that day?

Hon Mrs Witmer: It's important that the member opposite take a look at what really happened. Maybe I'll share some facts with you.

In 2001-02, the use of supply teachers in the Hamilton-Wentworth DSB was considerably higher than expected. In fact, the actual cost increased by 50% compared to what the board had budgeted for. So the supervisor took a look at the problem. He asked the staff for recommendations, and the recommendations include proposing to increase, by the way, the supply teacher budget by about 26% over 2001-02, to better reflect the actual cost of supply teachers. Second, he wants to take a look at a program that can help reduce the demand for supply teachers. So he wants to address the issue and he's providing 26% more money this year than last year.


Mr Raminder Gill (Bramalea-Gore-Malton-Springdale): My question is for the Associate Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing responsible for urban issues. Coming from the predominantly urban riding of Bramalea-Gore-Malton-Springdale, I am pleased to hear the dialogue coming from this government concerning the vitality of urban centres across this province. I believe it is important for those who live in urban areas to be assured that we, the Conservative government, have invested in strong municipalities and that we remain globally competitive in the 21st century.

This government has demonstrated its commitment to cities through its responsible funding decisions and sound policy initiatives. Minister, please tell the House specifically what we are doing to ensure our cities are a place where the people of Ontario will be able to live, work and raise their families.

Hon Tina R. Molinari (Associate Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing): I want to thank the member from Bramalea-Gore-Malton-Springdale, who works very hard for his community, for the question. This is an important issue to address and I'm pleased to have the opportunity to address it here, not only for the member's riding but also for the province of Ontario.

This year at the AMO conference, Premier Eves emphasized the need to respond to the challenges facing cities across this province in urban centres. He highlighted how we are addressing these challenges through a number of initiatives, including Smart Growth and the memorandum of understanding.

Our government has also taken a number of steps to strengthen the municipal sector: the new Municipal Act, local services realignment, and the brownfields legislation. These are all intended to give municipalities new flexible tools to encourage local economic development and improve municipal revenues.

My colleague the Minister of Finance stated during the budget speech that we are willing to join --

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

Mr Gill: Minister, I'm happy to hear that you are personally visiting other municipalities to better understand this issue. I'm very happy to hear that our government's commitments have been followed by action.

Recently the federal government laid out its plan for Canadian municipalities in its throne speech. I must say that I was encouraged by the direction that was taken to ensure that our cities remain globally competitive. Minister, you have been meeting with people across the province. Tell me, are they encouraged by the federal throne speech and the federal Liberal promises, or are they just like other federal Liberal promises, for example, eliminating the GST?

Hon Mrs Molinari: We are encouraged by the direction the federal government has given in the throne speech. Our government agrees that continued competitiveness for its urban centres is crucial, very important. We are pleased that the feds have also clearly recognized what we the province have been saying all along, and that is that the feds have to take a significant long-term responsibility in helping municipalities to deal with their infrastructure challenges.

We will continue to demand that the federal government play a greater role as a full partner to help fund infrastructure needs that are coordinated and to co-operate with the provincial government and the municipalities. Our government looks forward to working in partnership with the federal government once they make that long-term funding guarantee to the municipalities.

At this point we cannot overlook the need to address the fiscal imbalance between the provinces and the feds. Any new deal for cities requires a new deal between the federal government and Ontario to restore the balance between revenue and funding responsibilities at all levels of government.


Mr Gerard Kennedy (Parkdale-High Park): I have a question for the Premier. I want to ask you about things you've said over and over again in the Legislature and elsewhere about all the problems in education. You've been hiding behind the Rozanski commission every time you've been asked about a variety of issues confronting students. Yet we find out that the Premier has already given direction, has already predetermined how much money he's prepared to put into any needs in education this year.

Premier, I want to ask you very simply, how can we believe you when it comes to education when you've already decided ahead of time that there's only a certain amount of money you're prepared to put into education, before Dr Rozanski has even reported about the problems that exist in education? Can you tell us that?

Hon Ernie Eves (Premier, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs): Nothing could be further from the truth. First of all, I have been consistent in acknowledging throughout our party's leadership campaign -- about a year ago now that started -- that we had to have an immediate review of the funding formula, which is ongoing, which Dr Rozanski is doing.

We understood that there were some pressures in the system that had to be addressed, and we addressed them, I think very substantially, by putting an additional $557 million in the system this year.

We await Dr Rozanski's report and we'll see what he suggests and recommends, because somebody is musing that we might continue increasing year over year the education budget by half a billion dollars a year. Would that everybody had the money to do that. That, to me, would indicate a very substantial commitment to public education in this province as we go forward, and much larger than your leader is suggesting, I might add.

Mr Kennedy: The Premier may think that shows a substantive commitment. But he knows, and his Minister of Finance and the Minister of Education should know, that the money they're talking about is enough for inflation and enrolment. It doesn't touch the $2.2 billion you've allowed to come out of the education system in the cuts you've made.

All around the province and here in this House on September 26 you said you're waiting for Dr Rozanski's report to make "a further commitment." You said you'll take "further action" at that time. It's clear from that memo and your statement just now that you intend to only give base amounts to education, that you have no money put aside to actually deal with the problems that you've created.


Out there are parents who have been hoping against hope that the Harris-Eves governments might be in for a bit of a change. Premier, you have a way to prove this differently. Today, commit to making changes in-year. Dr Rozanski recommends, as many parents are demanding, changes right now. Tell us that you'll fund those appropriately.

Hon Mr Eves: First of all, on this side of the House we have increased commitment and funding to public education from $12.9 billion to $14.36 billion. I know that Liberals are not very good with math; we saw that with the massive deficits and debts that you left behind. I will tell you this: the musing that was in that memo is far, far in excess of what your leader is committing in his little plan. His little plan is $1.6 billion over the next five years. We are talking over here about $556 million for this commitment. He's talking about a commitment that's between $300 million and $400 million a year. How can you stand in your place and suggest that we have not put substantial money into the public education system? We have asked Dr Rozanski --


Hon Mr Eves: Enrolment went up this year by 0.8%.


Mr John O'Toole (Durham): My question is to the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. Minister, as you know, a university's first function is to educate their undergraduate students. Yet another very important contribution that universities make is indeed in research. Researchers, as you know, are working today to make discoveries to ensure our quality of life and to improve the future for our young people.

Minister, you will soon be honouring the recipients of the 2002 Polanyi awards, prizes to recognize outstanding research. Can you tell the House and share with those listening today about these awards and how they recognize outstanding young researchers' work in Ontario universities?

Hon Dianne Cunningham (Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, minister responsible for women's issues): It's always a pleasure to answer the questions from the member from Durham, who cares so much about young people.

This is a special prize in Ontario. John Polanyi prizes are awarded every year in recognition of the achievement of Dr John Charles Polanyi, our Nobel laureate, University of Toronto winner of the 1986 Nobel prize in chemistry for his work in reaction dynamics.

These prizes are worth $15,000, and they're awarded every year to exceptional young researchers in the early stages of their career who are currently working at an Ontario university. They're awarded in the same fields as the Nobel prizes -- medicine, economics, physics, literature and chemistry -- and we'll be honouring our recipients on November 13 at Massey College at the University of Toronto.

Mr O'Toole: I'd like to thank the hard-working minister for her answer. Minister, by recognizing Ontario's best and brightest young researchers we are indeed recognizing the future of all Ontario. At this point it's important to mention that I want to thank you personally for the work you've done in moving forward with creating for all Ontario the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Durham. This is further evidence of your commitment to improving the lives of all Ontarians.

I understand that the winners of this year's Polanyi prizes have already been chosen. Can you tell the House -- this might be inappropriate to ask and to name -- the researchers who are going to receive these awards and be recognized next month?

Hon Mrs Cunningham: It is an honour for me to do so. We are pleased to inform the House that the winners of the 2002 Polanyi prizes are Jeremy Yethon, from McMaster University, in medicine; Thomas Crossley, again from McMaster University, in economic science; Alison Sills, again from McMaster University -- they're doing a great job; they've got enough money to get all these people in the Nobel laureate category here; Alex Adronov, again from McMaster University, who won the award for chemistry; Juan-Luis Suarez, from the University of Western Ontario, who won the award for literature for his study of baroque Spanish drama.

These young researchers who we're so proud of have been encouraged by our own challenge fund, which is $800 million, leveraging over $2 billion in our universities; the Ontario Innovation Trust, over $1 billion; and finally, our Premier's Research Excellence Awards, $85 million over 10 years. It's never been better --

The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): Thank you, Minister.


Mr Gilles Bisson (Timmins-James Bay): My question is to the Minister of Natural Resources. Minister, you'll know that for the past number of weeks I've been working to try to do something about the terrible job losses that are going to happen in Kirkland Lake as a result of the Tembec mill closure that's announced because of the decision by your ministry.

You know that for that community, that particular mill going down is akin to a community like Timmins losing its major employer such as Falconbridge. I think you'll agree with me, as all members of this House do, that to lose those 80 jobs is a piece of news that Kirkland Lake just can't afford.

You know we've set up a number of meetings. You'll be meeting with IWA representatives this afternoon. We'll be meeting again tomorrow with representatives from the community of Kirkland Lake. They're coming forward with some proposals to look at how we can avert these massive layoffs we're going to see in the community of Kirkland Lake.

My question is a very simple one: are you prepared as minister to review the decision of the Ministry of Natural Resources and to take seriously the proposals that the IWA reps and the community will bring forward to you today and tomorrow?

Hon Jerry J. Ouellette (Minister of Natural Resources): I know very well that the member has been very active on this file. As a result of yesterday's question, we have received a number of inquiries regarding the fibre in that area. Quite frankly, as all members know, any job loss at this sort of level in communities such as Kirkland Lake are very significant.

The ministry will look at the best interests of the workers, both in the forest and in the mill, the community, and the best interests of the forest itself, and will review all proposals that we receive regarding that fibre.

The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): Supplementary?

Mr Bisson: I just want to thank the minister.

The Speaker: Very good.


Mr Mike Colle (Eglinton-Lawrence): A question to the Minister of Municipal Affairs. You promised the people of Ontario that you would not allow the building of homes on the most sensitive areas of the moraine. As you know, this summer you passed a secret ministerial order that gave the unfettered right to developers to build over 8,000 homes in the middle of the moraine. Not only did you compensate them with the 8,000 homes, now you're going to compensate them with more land in Seaton that could be worth maybe $500 million to these developers.

Mr Minister, will you table before this House the terms of this development deal that you made with these developers to give them the right for 8,000 homes and to give them public land in Seaton? Would you table that deal with this Legislature?

Hon Chris Hodgson (Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing): To the member opposite, he's got a good reputation, but quite clearly he's totally confused on this issue. If you're not aware of what you voted for, what the Crombie accord entailed, I can try to arrange a meeting with David Crombie and yourself so you can get educated on the information if you so wish.

Mr Colle: It's about a deal you made secretly to give developers, for the first time in the history of this province, the unfettered right to build in the middle of the moraine 8,000 homes. You signed a deal also to give them even more land, which is public, in Seaton.

We representing the public have the right to know what you gave up and how much you paid for it. We told you to make this public when we discussed this legislation. You instead have made a secret deal. Why not put the deal on the table and let us see if the taxpayer got value for money? Let's see how much per acre you gave them, what it's worth to them. Put it on the table, or even give it to the Provincial Auditor.

Why are you afraid to make the deal public? Is it a bad deal? Is it a good deal? Make it public. That's all I ask.

Hon Mr Hodgson: Let's be clear here. This Legislature passed it, and you moved second and third reading. This creates the largest urban park on the Oak Ridges moraine, right in the prime corridor of Richmond Hill. We couldn't find an on-site solution. In that accord that Crombie negotiated was an exchange of lands.

Your numbers are wrong. I've offered to get you educated by Crombie, who set up the accord. I know you walked all across the moraine. You supported the extension of the Keele Valley landfill site, which is located right on the moraine. You probably supported the selling of the jailhouse property for extra dollars so it could be developed on the Oak Ridges moraine. And now you question the whole thing you voted for in here.

The deal is transparent. Crombie's out holding public hearings. You've attended one; you know that. You're just playing cheap politics. I'm offering you an opportunity to sit down with David Crombie and get the facts so you can stop misleading the people of Ontario.


Hon Ernie Eves (Premier, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs): On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I'd like to clarify the record. I said earlier in response to a question from the member for Parkdale-High Park that enrolment in the public education system went up by 0.8% this year. I am informed by the Minister of Education that the projected enrolment will only be 0.4% this year.

Hon Mr Hodgson: On a point of personal privilege, Mr Speaker: I'll withdraw that inappropriate comment about misleading the people of Ontario, but I still hold that I will offer a briefing with David Crombie for the member.

The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): I thank the member for that. I didn't hear it, but I thank him for his generous --


The Speaker: Come to order, please. Petitions.



Mr Michael Gravelle (Thunder Bay-Superior North): Our public is still very angry about the Ontario Energy Board approval for Union Gas of a $120 retroactive charge. The petitions keep coming in. I'd like to read some more:

"To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

"Whereas the Ontario Energy Board has consented to allow Union Gas to retroactively charge $40 per month for a three-month period to recover additional system operation costs that occurred during the winter of 2000-01, totalling approximately $150 million;

"Whereas Union Gas will recover accrued costs over the peak heating season, causing undue hardship;

"Whereas this retroactive charge will affect all customers who receive Union Gas, including new homeowners and new customers to Union Gas;

"Therefore, we demand that the Ernie Eves government issue a policy directive under section 27.1 of the Ontario Energy Board Act disallowing the retroactive rate hike granted to Union Gas; and we further demand that the Legislature examine the Ontario Energy Board, its processes and its resources, and make changes that will protect consumers from further retroactive rate increases."

Hundreds have come in. This is from Myles Penny in Thunder Bay. I am very grateful and I will add my name to this petition.


Mr Peter Kormos (Niagara Centre): I have a petition addressed to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

"The regional council of Niagara have presented to the social services minister the following recommended changes to the legislation:

"(1) That the province of Ontario amend the Child and Family Services Act to recognize custodial care by extended family members as a legitimate intervention and that the related funding to support these care arrangements be made available;

"(2) That the temporary care allowance rate pursuant to the Ontario Works Act be altered to reflect established rates for similar care by foster parents;

"(3) That the regional municipality of Niagara along with the Niagara Family and Children's Services train their respective staff on the program options available to extended family members wishing to care for children;

"(4) That the region of Niagara along with Family and Children's Services advocate for the recommended changes with the Ministry of Community and Social Services as well as relevant associations, such as the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies;

"(5) That other consolidated municipal services managers be informed of this issue through circulation of this committee report;

"(6) That the province of Ontario be encouraged to consider a legislative change to permit open adoptions;

"(7) That the regional chair correspond with the Minister of Community and Social Services to advise the minister of these recommendations;

"We, the undersigned support these recommended changes to the legislation."

I have affixed my signature as well in full support.


Mr Richard Patten (Ottawa Centre): I have a petition to the Legislative Assembly:

"Whereas the Canada Health Act requires that provincial health insurance plans extend to all insured hospital services on uniform terms and conditions and on a basis that does not impede or preclude reasonable access to those services; and

"Whereas such hospital services include out-patient services where medically necessary to maintain health, prevent disease or diagnose or treat an illness or disability, including physiotherapy facilities; and

"Whereas the province of Ontario has recently funnelled $60 million in federal health care funds to private health care providers, but has not reinvested the $17 million taken from G-code clinic budgets and supposedly allocated for essential hospital based and publicly accessible physiotherapy services; and....

"Whereas this has resulted in the closing of out-patient physiotherapy clinics, which leaves the few remaining facilities with such unmanageable waiting lists that reasonable access no longer exists; and

"Whereas the only alternative for many individuals is to pay directly for treatment in privately-owned physiotherapy clinics; and

"Whereas for many Ontario citizens, this is not an affordable option;

"We, the undersigned citizens of Ottawa, where the average waiting list time for physiotherapy at ... hospital-based outpatient clinics is 6.8 months for all but the most urgent cases," want the Legislature and the government to "correct this situation by designating adequate funding for hospital-based and community health centre outpatient physiotherapy services so that waiting lists never exceed a reasonable period of four weeks."

I have the names of hundreds of citizens from Ottawa on this petition. I sign my signature as well.


Ms Shelley Martel (Nickel Belt): I have a petition that has been sent to me by Little Ark Day Care in Oshawa. It reads as follows:

"Whereas 70% of Ontario women with children under age 12 are in the paid workforce;

"Whereas high-quality, safe, affordable child care is critical to them and their families;

"Whereas the Early Years Study done for the Conservative government by Dr Fraser Mustard and the Honourable Margaret McCain concluded quality child care enhances early childhood development;

"Whereas this government has cut funding for regulated child care instead of supporting Ontario families by investing in early learning and care;

"Therefore, be it resolved that the Ontario government adopt the NDP's $10-a-day child care plan and begin implementation by reducing full child care fees to $10 a day for children aged two to five currently enrolled in regulated child care by providing capital funds to expand existing child care centres and build new ones, by funding pay equity for staff, and by creating new $10-a-day child care spaces in the province."

I agree with the petitioners. I've affixed my signature to this.


M. Jean-Marc Lalonde (Glengarry-Prescott-Russell): « Pétition à l'Assemblée législative de l'Ontario :

« Attendu que dans la Révolution du bon sens de 1995, Mike Harris a promis d'instituer des pratiques budgétaires axées sur les patients dans le secteur des soins de santé;

« Attendu que les centres d'accès aux soins communautaires doivent maintenant collectivement faire face à un manque à gagner de 175 millions de dollars en raison d'un gel de leur financement par le gouvernement provincial;

« Attendu qu'en raison de ce manque à gagner dans leur financement, les CASC ont dû réduire les services de soins à domicile, ce qui a des répercussions sur bon nombre d'Ontariens et d'Ontariennes malades et âgés; et

« Attendu que ces réductions dans les services ont principalement été effectuées dans les services d'auxiliaires familiales, ce qui oblige les Ontariens et Ontariennes à recourir à des établissements de soins de longue durée plus coûteux ou à retourner à l'hôpital,

« Nous, soussignés, demandons à l'Assemblée législative de l'Ontario d'instituer immédiatement des pratiques budgétaires réellement axées sur les patients dans le domaine des soins de santé, et cela inclut les soins à domicile, de telle sorte que les familles de travailleurs et travailleuses en Ontario puissent avoir accès aux services de soins de santé dont ils ont besoin. »


Mr Peter Kormos (Niagara Centre): I have a petition to the Ontario Legislature.

"Whereas the Legislative Assembly of the province of Ontario will be considering a private member's bill that aims to amend the Optometry Act to give optometrists the authority to prescribe therapeutic pharmaceutical agents for the treatment of certain eye diseases; and

"Whereas optometrists are highly trained and equipped with the knowledge and specialized instrumentation needed to effectively diagnose and treat certain eye problems; and

"Whereas extending the authority to prescribe TPAs to optometrists will help relieve the demands on ophthalmologists and physicians who currently have the exclusive domain for prescribing TPAs to optometry patients; and

"Whereas the bill introduced by New Democrat Peter Kormos (MPP, Niagara Centre) will ensure that patients receive prompt, timely, one-stop care where appropriate;

"Therefore I do support the bill proposing an amendment to the Optometry Act to give optometrists the authority to prescribe therapeutic pharmaceutical agents for the treatment of certain eye diseases and I urge the government of Ontario to ensure speedy passage of the bill."

I've affixed my signature as well.


Mr Ted McMeekin (Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Aldershot): Although we've asked for petitions to stop coming in on this issue, they continue to come. This is a petition on audiology.

"Listen: Our Hearing is Important!

"Whereas services delisted by this government now exceed $100 million in total;

"Whereas Ontarians depend on audiologists for the provision of qualified hearing assessments and hearing aid prescriptions;

"Whereas new government policy will virtually eliminate access to publicly funded audiology assessments across vast regions of Ontario;

"Whereas this new government policy is virtually impossible to implement in underserviced areas across Ontario;

"Whereas this policy has lengthened waiting lists for patients and therefore had a detrimental effect on the health of these Ontarians;

"Therefore, be it resolved that we, the undersigned, petition the Ontario Legislature to demand this government move immediately to permanently fund audiologists directly for the provision of audiology services."

I, of course, once again affix my signature to this.



Mr Peter Kormos (Niagara Centre): I have a petition provided to me by A Child's World on Elm Street in Port Colborne. It's a petition to the Ontario Legislature.

"Whereas 70% of Ontario women with children under age 12 are in the paid workforce;

"Whereas high-quality, safe, affordable child care is critical to them and their families;

"Whereas the Early Years Study done for the Conservative government by Dr Fraser Mustard and the Honourable Margaret McCain concluded quality child care enhances early childhood development; and

"Whereas this government has cut funding for regulated child care instead of supporting Ontario families by investing in early learning and care;

"Therefore, be it resolved that the Ontario government adopt the NDP's $10-a-day child care plan and begin implementation by reducing full child care fees to $10 a day for children aged two to five currently enrolled in regulated child care by providing capital funds to expand existing child care centres and build new ones, by funding pay equity for staff and by creating new $10-a-day child care spaces in the province."

I'm affixing my signature and giving this to the page, Hin-Hey, from Markham.


Mr Michael Gravelle (Thunder Bay-Superior North): A petition again containing comments related to the massive increase to residents of long-term-care facilities.

"Whereas the Eves government has increased the fees paid for by seniors and the most vulnerable living in long-term-care facilities by 15% or $7.02 per diem effective August 1, 2002; and

"Whereas this fee increase will cost seniors and our most vulnerable more than $200 a month; and

"Whereas this increase is 11.1% above the rent increase guidelines for tenants in the province of Ontario; and

"Whereas the increase in the government's own contribution to raise the level of long-term-care services this year is less than $2 per resident per day; and

"Whereas according to the government's own funded study, Ontario ranks last amongst comparable jurisdictions in the amount of time provided to a resident for nursing and personal care; and

"Whereas the long-term-care funding partnership has been based on government accepting the responsibility to fund the care and services that residents need; and

"Whereas government needs to increase long-term-care operating funding by $750 million over the next three years to raise the level of service for Ontario's long-term-care residents to those in Saskatchewan in 1999; and

"Whereas this province has been built by seniors who should be able to live out their lives with dignity, respect and in comfort in this province;

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

"We demand that Premier Eves reduce the 15% fee increase on seniors and the most vulnerable living in long-term-care facilities and increase provincial government support for nursing, support services, programming and personal care to adequate levels."

I'm very grateful again that these are coming in and I'm very happy to add my name to the petition.


Mr David Caplan (Don Valley East): I have quite an old petition that's recently come in. It's entitled Fair Rent Increases Now.

"To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

"Whereas the number of tenants receiving above-guideline rent increases is growing exponentially, and;

"Whereas many of these increases are for increases in utility costs, many of which have gone down since; and

"Whereas tenants should not have to pay for improvements forever, even when the costs have been realized by these rent increases; and

"Whereas the Tenant Protection Act" -- so-called -- "does not give a tenant relief due to the costs being realized or a drop in utility costs; and

"Whereas tenants should not be receiving rent increases where there are work orders issued for the building;

"Therefore be it resolved that we, the undersigned, petition the Ontario Legislature to immediately pass MPP David Caplan's Bill 134 entitled the Fair Rent Increases Act at the earliest possible opportunity so that tenants can get relief from above-guideline increases once the bills have been paid."

I agree wholeheartedly with this petition and I have affixed my signature to it.


Ms Shelley Martel (Nickel Belt): This petition has come in to me from S. Carcedo of Ottawa. It reads as follows:

"To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

"Whereas the Ontario government is shutting down the heart surgery unit at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario; and

"Whereas the closure of this program will restrict the accessibility to life-saving surgery for children in eastern Ontario; and

"Whereas every year the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario treats 140 cases of seriously ill children close to home; and

"Whereas centralization of children's heart surgery in Toronto would force patients and their families to travel 400 to 600 kilometres away from home at a traumatic time; and

"Whereas there is a waiting list for cardiac surgery in Toronto but not at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario; and

"Whereas the people of eastern Ontario demand accessible, quality health care for their children;

"We, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to immediately override the government's decision to close this life-saving program and to ensure that top-quality accessible health care remains available to every child in eastern Ontario."

I have affixed my signature to this.


Ms Caroline Di Cocco (Sarnia-Lambton): "To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

"Whereas the Eves government has increased the fees paid by seniors, the most vulnerable living in long-term-care homes, by 15% over three years, or $3.02 per diem in the first year and $2 in the second year and $2 in the third year, effective September 1, 2002; and

"Whereas this increase will cost seniors and our most vulnerable more than $200 a month after three years; and

"Whereas this increase is above the rent increase guidelines for tenants in the province of Ontario for the year 2002; and

"Whereas, according to the government's own funded study, Ontario still ranks last among comparable jurisdictions in the amount of time provided to a resident for nursing and personal care; and

"Whereas the long-term-care funding partnership has been based on government accepting the responsibility to fund the care and services that residents need; and

"Whereas the government needs to increase long-term-care operating funds by $750 million over the next three years; and

"Whereas this province has been built by seniors;

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

"Demand that Premier Eves reduce the 15% increase over three years in accommodation costs to no more than the cost-of-living increase annually."

I affix my signature to this petition and the page is going to take my petition to the Clerk.



Mr James J. Bradley (St Catharines): I move the following:

The Legislative Assembly endorses the ratification of the United Nations Kyoto Protocol in Canada.

The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): Mr Bradley has moved opposition day number 2. The member for St Catharines.

Mr Bradley: As I said earlier today in a statement in the House, I think this is a somewhat historic day for Ontario because this assembly will have an opportunity today to vote on the endorsement of the Kyoto accord, which was signed by some 83 countries in 1997 under the auspices of the United Nations.

The reason I say it is a historic occasion is that as I look down the history of the province, Ontario, its Premier, its cabinet and its Legislative Assembly have traditionally taken the lead in a positive sense on environmental issues. Whether this was the old government of Premier Robarts or Premier Davis or the Liberal government of Premier Peterson or the NDP government of Premier Rae, it was always expected at federal-provincial conferences that Ontario would take the lead to ensure that progressive measures were passed across the country. Our role at the federal-provincial conference was to cajole, encourage, persuade and, yes, sometimes even pressure other provinces to work with the federal government to bring about positive environmental change.


One example I think of as a classic was the federal Conservative government under Brian Mulroney, which was trying to bring about an accord with the United States on acid rain and in doing so to enlist support across this country for measures which would significantly reduce acid rain, and that would be through reducing sulphur dioxide. Ontario, under the Peterson government of the day, was part of that accord. Ontario worked hard with the federal government, minister to minister, Premier to Prime Minister, officials to officials, to ensure that we would have an agreement that first of all would protect Canada, a pretty radical, pretty drastic, pretty comprehensive agreement to significantly reduce acid rain. At the same time we would be dealing with our American friends with what we call clean hands, that is, with a record and with plans and programs and proposals which were designed to persuade our American friends to follow suit.

That is what I would like to see happen with the Kyoto accord. That is what I am worried about when I see the Premier today meeting -- and I don't deny him the opportunity to meet with Premier Ralph Klein, but Premier Klein was speaking to the Empire Club today and, as always, was in effect defending the economic and financial interests of the oil industry and the gas industry and the coal industry in Alberta. Now, you may say that's the Premier's job. I disagree with Ralph Klein on environmental issues, I disagree with him on the issue of the Kyoto Protocol, but I do understand what his position has been over the years in terms of defending the oil patch, the oil industry. He has received tremendous support from them financially and otherwise over the years. He recognized it as a significant economic engine in his own province.

What I would be concerned about is Ontario in this case lining up with Alberta to block a national initiative which I believe can have a profound positive effect on the health and the environment and, yes, even the new economy of Canada, of Ontario and its various provinces, and ultimately of course a positive effect on the world in terms of global warming and climate change issues. A side-effect, nevertheless a significant effect, in some of these measures -- not all of them, but some -- is to bring about clean air in Ontario, or at least cleaner air in Ontario.

Premier Klein today trotted out all of the tired old arguments of the group that was here the other day down in the Legislative Assembly dining room trying to cajole and persuade members of the lack of desirability in dealing in a positive way with the Kyoto accord. The same arguments were put out there.

I was looking instead for arguments that might be found in our own Ministry of the Environment, in the 411 pages that the Minister of the Environment has yet to release to the opposition, to the news media and to the public of Ontario which deal specifically with the Kyoto Protocol. You will recall that I requested that through a formal request, through what we call the freedom-of-information procedure almost seven months ago. The ministry admitted it has the 411 pages; it has still not released those to the public of Ontario. I think that would have been useful material to have for this debate and for the public debate that is going on concerning the Kyoto accord.

There was an outstanding book, among many books that were published, called 2030: Confronting Thermageddon in Our Lifetime, by Robert Hunter, a well-known environmentalist. Countless scientists across the world have spoken out passionately about the issue of global warming and climate change. You go right across country after country and you will see that they have.

Now, there have been three or four who have not, the ones who are in the pockets of the oil industry or the industries who are there to hire them to say why we shouldn't take environmental action. There are a few of those. But by and large in the world -- and I ask the minister not to dismiss these people. Frankly, I am myself surprised at the consensus developed, because it's difficult to develop that kind of consensus. But there are many, many scientists, dozens upon dozens of scientists, who have expressed grave concern about the problem and have called upon all of us across the world to take action.

Canada and Ontario can show leadership in this regard or we can simply follow the likes of Ralph Klein and the industries who are opposed to this, the so-called coalition for what they would call responsible environmental change.

We have a danger of the melting of the ice cap. That is not some theory. That is something that can definitely happen and would have dire consequences for all the low-lying areas in Canada and elsewhere in the world. We can have massive flooding. We can have disruption of our oceans. We can have disruption of our climate to such an extent that we have prolonged droughts in some areas, and perhaps far more precipitation than they ever anticipated in others. In other words, it could be turned around completely. By the year 2030, most scientists will say that that kind of climate change will be virtually irreversible, that almost no matter what action the world were to take, it would be difficult to reverse that.

That's why I think it's important for Ontario to assume this mantle of leadership today. If you had said to me -- and you will say I'm being political and I'll tell you I'm not, and you can make your own judgment. If Premier Harris had been Premier today, despite what I've heard him say in a positive sense about it, I would have anticipated this resolution would be defeated, that the government would take a hard line against the Kyoto accord. I would have thought, with the elevation of Ernie Eves to that office, that we would see a different approach to it, that Mr Eves, unlike Mr Harris -- and I respect both individuals, but I disagree with them on some occasions and agree on other occasions. I would have thought Mr Eves would have taken a different approach, what I call the Robarts-type approach or the Davis-type approach, where they are the nation-builders, the people who take the positive national leadership. Instead of simply looking for a fight with whatever federal government is there, or defending the interests of those who have mocked people in the environmental movement, I would have thought they would have shown this kind of leadership.

So Ontario has that opportunity to put forward its program. It's already trying to make a beginning at that. The select committee on alternative fuels came forward with a wonderful report which could provide an outstanding basis for many of the measures that would be needed to implement the Kyoto accord. The Ontario Liberal Party has put forward a number of proposals which we believe would be of great benefit in achieving not only cleaner air in Ontario, which is a goal that we have -- eliminating smog -- but which also would have the effect of dealing with the issue of climate change and global warming.

I am on the side of the Ontario Medical Association, the Canadian Medical Association and the Society of Alberta Medical Officers of Health, who are calling upon all governments to work together to either reach or exceed the goals that are set out in the Kyoto accord. It was most unfortunate that Dr David Swann, who was a medical officer of health for the Palliser Health Authority, was fired in a message which was delivered by the local Progressive Conservative riding association president, Len Mitzel, who is the president of the association where the environment minister of Alberta, Mr Taylor, is the member. That sends out a chill in our world. It sends out a chill, certainly, in the province of Alberta, when you find that people are being fired because they're expressing genuine concerns and support for something they consider to be very important.

I hope this afternoon that members of this Legislature will in fact support this resolution, and unanimously, and we can go forward in a positive, constructive, encouraging sense from this assembly to others across the country, to bring them along, to work with the federal government, to work out the details, yes; but for Ontario once again to assume its mantle of leadership in the environmental field rather than following behind the blocking pattern of Premier Klein and members of his Conservative government in Alberta and others who are negative about what I consider to be very positive environmental improvement that will improve public health, the public environment and the new economy in our province.

Ms Shelley Martel (Nickel Belt): It's a pleasure for me to participate in the debates this afternoon. I should say at the outset that the bulk of our time will be taken up by comments that will be made by our environment critic, Ms Churley. It will be an important contribution, so I'm going to make sure that I leave her lots of time.

I am health critic for this party and I just wanted to get on the record from our perspective, from a health point of view, if nothing else. Marilyn will speak to the environmental point of view and jobs point of view. Of course, all of these are connected. We really need to be doing something very serious.


We would do whatever we could at this point to urge this government to ratify the Kyoto accord -- no more delay, no more excuses. Let us take a leadership role, frankly, a leadership role that I hope the federal government will demonstrate soon and stop the delay as well, so that we can ensure that we are starting to do something significant, something serious, something concrete with respect to greenhouse gases, with respect to smog and with respect to the impact that those are having on the health not only of Ontarians but of people right across this country.

If you look at polling that has been done even most recently, it's very clear that people want this deal to be ratified. The polling numbers coming out of Ipsos-Reid September 7, 2001, put the support for Ontario for ratification at about 81%. That's even higher than the Canadian average, which is at about 74%.

If you look at Decima's polling, that poll showed that 76.7% of Ontarians said we should endorse Kyoto, and that was just a little bit higher than the Canadian average at 76.3%; 9% said no; 2% said "it depends," and 11% don't know. That question, as posed to people who were being surveyed, was, "Do you think Canada should endorse Kyoto at Johannesburg?"

I think that clearly people are aware of the issue. People are aware of the implications of not proceeding. People not only in this province but right across the country have said, "It's time now to show a leadership role and take a positive step with respect to doing something about this very serious issue."

From the point of view of health, the Ontario Medical Association has been very clear with respect to its estimates, its work done on smog. The OMA itself has estimates that they use frequently and consistently, and those are that about 1,900 Ontarians die prematurely from smog. They also state, and they do this very consistently and very regularly, that about 9,800 people are admitted to Ontario hospitals and 13,000 people make emergency room visits because of the effects of air pollution in Ontario. They began using that statistic in 2000 and have consistently used it from that point till now.

Anyone who has to live through some of the summers in Toronto that people in this city have had to live through will know that we have a serious environmental problem. We have a serious air quality problem, and that is driving a very serious health problem, which frankly in the short term is ridiculous and in the long term is just going to increase the costs to the health care system about something that we can do something concrete about.

If you look at our population aging and our population increasing -- because both of those things are happening -- the OMA also estimates that the number of people who will be affected by air pollution is also going to increase. For example, the number of people dying from air pollution is expected to rise to about 2,600 people in the year 2015.

The OMA again estimates that air pollution itself costs Ontario more than $1 billion a year, and that stems from the cost of hospital admissions, the cost of emergency room visits and the cost to the economy of absenteeism from those people who are so dramatically affected and who then have to access health care in order to deal with that very negative effect.

The OMA has also said that when pain and suffering and loss of life from polluted air are added into these costs -- and those are effects that it's very hard to put a definite financial figure on -- the total annual economic loss from polluted air was estimated at $10 billion a year. It will increase to $12 billion in the year 2015.

Again, this goes back to figures that the OMA first released in 2000 and have consistently been using to make the case since then. That is an enormous cost. It is an enormous cost in terms of human suffering of those who are affected, of those who can't breathe in this city and many others on many hot days, not only during the summer but this year it was well into the beginning of May when we started to have the first smog alerts in this city and in many others. When you think about the human suffering, it's enormous. People are literally choking to death trying to walk to work, trying to get to the subway, trying to get to any number of appointments they're supposed to be at. The magnitude of the people who are affected in that way is really overwhelming. It should not only cause us a great deal of concern; it should be a motivator to action.

I'm particularly worried about the impact on kids. The numbers of children, for example, who are contracting asthma are growing by leaps and bounds. I'm sure that having to deal with second-hand smoke in some of their homes might be a cause of part of that. But I do not think that we can underestimate that particular epidemic among children and not understand that what we do or don't do with respect to smog is having a really serious impact on kids as well. Those problems are only going to increase, given that we are seeing that epidemic in the child population now.

If you look at the cost in terms of absenteeism, there's a huge cost, over $1 billion alone associated with absenteeism, hospital admissions and emergency room visits. This is a cost that we should be doing something about, that we can be doing something about. It's a cost that we could avoid if we started to get really serious, first as a province and second as a nation, about dealing with greenhouse gases and their effects, and then the impact on smog over and above that. Frankly, I think we could spend that $1 billion we are now spending on all those Ontarians who have to seek help because they can't breathe on something a whole heck of a lot better.

What's important to note is that not only are we spending those costs on hospital admissions and visits to emergency rooms and absenteeism, people are dying. They are dying prematurely from smog, and 1,900 of them are dying every year in this province. If that isn't a reason to be motivated to action, I don't know what else is. These aren't people who contract a terminal disease that we don't have a cure for, such as many types of cancer. These aren't people who are killed in automobile accidents, boating accidents, skiing accidents or anything else. These are people who are dramatically affected by the state of our air quality and who die as a result. That's something we can do something about and that's something we should be doing something about.

I endorse what the member for St Catharines has said today in terms of bringing forward a resolution that says that this assembly should endorse the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol in this country. My concern, however, is the dilly-dallying, the delay, the excuses that I'm seeing not only in this chamber from this government but at the federal level too. It is high time that Prime Minister Jean Chrétien showed some real leadership, stopped the delay, and brought this accord forward for a vote and got on with the important business of implementation. We cannot afford to delay any more.

When I look at what Ralph Klein is doing, and I see that the Conservatives have dragged Peter Lougheed out of retirement, or wherever he has been dragged from, to mouth the industry line in Alberta, I've just got to shake my head. I was even more frustrated a number of weeks ago to hear the Alliance leader actually question the legitimacy of the link between greenhouse gases and medical problems. I couldn't understand where he was coming from except to say that he too must be so deep into the pockets of the oil and the gas industry in Alberta that he would ignore every bit of environmental, medical and scientific piece of evidence to show all of these links, and try to suggest, as he did -- I'm not sure if it was in the House of Commons or outside -- that he really didn't think there was a link between all these things, between greenhouses gases and medical effects, between what the industry is pumping into the air and the negative effects on the environment.

We've got to get beyond those people who are deep, deep, into the pockets of the oil and gas industry. We have to get beyond what they're saying, which is effectively to trash this deal and to find a Canadian solution which will be voluntary. I can tell you that if it's going to be voluntary, it's not going to happen; it's not going to get done. The industry will look for every excuse, legitimate or not, to not do the right thing. This is a group of folks that have a lot of money, that have very deep pockets financially, that can put a lot of ads into the media, on television, on radio, and do a lot of work to convince people of the reasons why we shouldn't.

Thankfully, I think most Canadians still agree, this is a protocol we should be signing. If you look at the most recent figures from October 7, at least those in Ontario are overwhelmingly in support. I hope it stays that way. I think the provincial and federal governments should look at those polls and move now on the ratification.


As I said when I started, there are environmental issues, they will be dealt with by my colleague for Toronto-Danforth, but as the health critic, I just clearly believe that we cannot afford to delay any more -- not for the cost on our health care system, not for the cost on our economic system because of absenteeism, and not, especially, for the cost on the families who are losing loved ones prematurely because of smog, which is directly related back to this whole issue.

Hon Chris Stockwell (Minister of the Environment, Government House Leader): I appreciate the opportunity to speak today to the members assembled with respect to the Kyoto Protocol. The opposition position on this issue is to endorse, sign, ratify the agreement immediately.

There are some fatal flaws in the rationale that they're using to actually move forward to sign the accord. I guess the first question you have to ask yourself, I say to the member opposite for St Catharines who spoke, and the other for I think it's Nickel Belt -- Sudbury, anyway -- what are you signing? What exactly are you signing?

Ms Caroline Di Cocco (Sarnia-Lambton): Targets.

Hon Mr Stockwell: The member for Sarnia says "targets." OK. What are those targets?

Ms Di Cocco: Sixty per cent to 70%.

Hon Mr Stockwell: And how are you going to get there?

Mr Raminder Gill (Bramalea-Gore-Malton-Springdale): Nobody knows.

Hon Mr Stockwell: Nobody knows. What we have is a situation where we have two opposition parties asking to sign a protocol that they have no knowledge of how they're going to achieve the end.

Let me ask this -- and these are questions that I put out to the public at large, the opposition members too: what are the credits that we get with respect to the Kyoto Protocol? What are the credits that the world has given us in reducing greenhouse gas emissions? The answer is, we don't know. Why don't we know? Because the federal government is still trying to negotiate those credits. So you're going to sign a protocol that you don't know what credits you have. By not knowing the credits, you know what else you don't know? You've no knowledge, no idea whatsoever, of the megaton reduction that you are being asked to make, between 1990 and on, at 6%, and what that megaton reduction is.

The opposition parties say, "Let's sign this accord; let's sign this protocol," but they have no idea what they're signing, they have no idea what they're agreeing to, they have no economic plan at the cost of signing, and they have no idea how they're going to achieve these goals.

Let's get something straight off the top: the Kyoto Protocol, from a Canadian perspective, hasn't got any flesh on the bones. Nothing. You'll be signing a pig in a poke. You'll be signing something that really doesn't exist. You say, "That's your opinion." Look, why is the federal government not moving on this? The federal government isn't releasing their plan, not telling us the credits and not letting us know what the megaton reduction is because they don't know. They're now going to the European communities, those that have signed the accord, asking for credits for planting trees in other countries. That's what they're asking. They want credits for planting trees in other countries. They're asking for credits for clean energy exports. So if you export nuclear or hydro power to the United States, they're asking the other countries that signed on, signatories to the accord, to give them a credit for that. So far, nobody is giving them any of those credits. Nobody has agreed to give them those credits. So what is the number we're being asked to reduce? We haven't got the whole number.

It goes even further. What is further about it? We don't have the numbers of reduction targets for provincial governments. We're not told what our megaton reduction, by province, is.

Mr Richard Patten (Ottawa Centre): Your ministry has it.

Hon Mr Stockwell: No. Nobody has told us how we meet the Kyoto Protocol, because that protocol says, "If you sign it and you don't meet those targets, you're faced with very heavy and stiff penalties and fines."

So we have clearly established one thing that the federal government agrees with: we don't have the information, the plan, the credits for the megaton reductions that we have to meet.

Now let's look at it from the other side. They ask us to sign this Kyoto Protocol today. What is the economic loss of this Kyoto Protocol? Is there an economic impact? Maybe that's a fairer question: is there an economic impact? Well, if you don't know the credits and you don't know the megaton reductions you're asked to approve, how can you possibly know whether or not there's an economic impact? You can't. Why can't we know that? Because you don't know what you're being asked to do.

The federal government has been promising for about a year or two to provide us with this information. It isn't just Ontario that's saying, "We need this information before we can commit to Kyoto"; it's Alberta, it's British Columbia, it's Ontario, it's Saskatchewan, it's Nova Scotia, and now it's Quebec. They're also saying the same thing.

Ms Di Cocco: They have no leadership.

Hon Mr Stockwell: And I hear the heckle from the deep thinker from Sarnia saying, "Well, they have no leadership." Apparently there's a void in leadership in every single province in this country. The only true leaders, their thinking is, the only two people who would sign this, would be Howie and Dalton, but everybody else is crazy; they've got no leadership in any other province or any other party. The reason is the economic impact.

Ms Marilyn Churley (Toronto-Danforth): Don't forget Gary Doer in Manitoba.

Hon Mr Stockwell: Gary Doer, the NDP leader in Manitoba, who has no -- minimal, minimal -- commitment to the Kyoto Protocol, who's hardly impacted at all, signed on. That's the only guy. And his impact is practically negligible. He's the only one who's signed on. Those provinces that are affected, the manufacturing associations say -- potentially up to 450,000 jobs, 3% to 4% drag in your GDP, billions and billions of economic dollars, prosperity and investment. Those are the kinds of numbers we're hearing. They would like to know what the deal is.

Mr Patten: How do they know that?

Hon Mr Stockwell: I'll tell you how they know. They know it. If you sit still, I'll tell you. Here's how they know: because, according to the agreement signed, there's a whole number at the top of the list that we have to reduce by right across Canada. They're taking that whole number. They're presuming no credits, and they're applying that number to all of Canada. Have they applied that number to individual provinces? No. They're saying the Canadian economy would suffer 450,000 lost jobs, a 3.7% GDP drag, and billions of dollars of lost investment.

Mr Dwight Duncan (Windsor-St Clair): So they're assuming.

Hon Mr Stockwell: No, the only thing you can't assume about this is the total number. But those numbers --

Mr Garry J. Guzzo (Ottawa West-Nepean): They should have read it.

Hon Mr Stockwell: You should have read it, actually.

Those numbers aren't assigned yet. No province knows what their share of that whole number is, and they don't know the sectors it's going to impact.

We know one thing: the energy sector is impacted. Why is Alberta opposed? Because they've got a huge energy sector. Do you know who else is impacted? Manufacturing. Who's got the manufacturing sector? Ontario. Ontario's got the manufacturing sector.

Interjection: Right, not Manitoba.

Hon Mr Stockwell: Not Manitoba, exactly; not PEI -- Ontario.

Who's got the resource sector? British Columbia. Why do you think they're -- because they're the ones who are going to have to make the commitment for jobs, lost investment, lost prosperity.

Let's get something on the record. We are all in favour of greenhouse gas emission reductions. We're all in favour.


Hon Mr Stockwell: We've done lots about it. We have done lots about it, I say to my friend from Sarnia, the deep thinker from Sarnia. I will say to her, there have been a number of initiatives this government has taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Consider Drive Clean. Vehicles account for 29% of all greenhouse gases. This is the government that instituted Drive Clean to reduce that.

Hon David Young (Attorney General, minister responsible for native affairs): They were against it.

Hon Mr Stockwell: I don't know if they voted against it, but there were certain people out there who were against it.

The electricity market, by opening, has been competitive. The OPG has put voluntary restrictions on emissions that they've met, and they've also put regulated restrictions on emissions. There is not a person in this august chamber who's in favour of greenhouse gas emissions. No, we're not. We're all in favour of reducing those emissions. But you must have a good plan, a thoughtful approach to reducing these emissions. Why? Because my belief is, and I know the belief of my government and my Premier is, that you can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and not have economic loss and loss of prosperity, loss of investment, loss of jobs. You can do both. The problem is that the federal government won't tell us what the plan is. They won't give us the credits we get, and they won't tell us the megaton reduction.


We're now faced with a situation that's very perplexing -- I know the member for Beaches-East York is going to speak to this -- because do you want to know the one real, big problem with the Kyoto Protocol?

Ms Churley: Toronto-Danforth.

Hon Mr Stockwell: Sorry, Toronto-Danforth.

It may happen. The way this Kyoto Protocol works is that not a single reduction in greenhouse gases could occur. Why? Because if you don't meet your targets, do you know what you have to do? You simply buy credits from developing nations. What does that mean, buying credits from developing nations? You don't take your greenhouse gas emissions down. You just write a big, fat cheque to India, Russia or China. Probably the worst polluters in the world get a big, fat cheque from the taxpayers of Ontario and there's no reduction in greenhouse gases.

You did not know that. You couldn't have known that and stood in your place today and suggested we sign this thing, bada-bing, bada-boom. You couldn't have known that, because if you knew that, you would say, "Jeez, that's not a very good deal. That's not a very good idea." That's not protecting the environment. That's just writing a big, fat cheque and not reducing greenhouse gases, shipping jobs out of the country, shipping prosperity out of the country and shipping money out of the country. Who would be in favour of that?

We have to analyze this situation very carefully. I know there is this moral suasion that has come over the opposition. They want to do it because it feels good. They think they're doing something for the environment, and it feels good. But in reality, with this protocol, you may not be reducing any greenhouse gas emissions at all and you may cost your economy jobs, investment and prosperity.

We support the Kyoto Protocol's initial ambition, which was to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We believe in that. But if you can simply buy credits by shipping money offshore, why would we not take that money and invest it in the bright minds we have in Ontario, ask them to take this money and develop better strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions? Why do you want to send that money offshore? Don't you think we're bright enough to come up with the ideas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and have a better environment in this country?

Interjection: Absolutely.

Mrs Sandra Pupatello (Windsor West): You never come up with a new idea.


Hon Mr Stockwell: Sure we can. I agree with the member from Ottawa.


The Acting Speaker (Mr Michael A. Brown): Order.

Hon Mr Stockwell: I know the member for Windsor is heckling. I challenge her to read the protocol. I challenge her to go over the protocol. I would ask her to read the protocol, or I would ask her to have somebody read the protocol to her, because I'm sure once you're finished having that read to you, you will have some very real questions, because any reasoned and thoughtful person would have questions after you read the protocol.

You ask yourself, how many countries in the Americas have signed the Kyoto Protocol?

Hon John R. Baird (Minister of Energy, minister responsible for francophone affairs): How many? Twenty?

Hon Mr Stockwell: Answer the question. How many countries in South, Central and North America have signed the protocol?

Interjection: More than a dozen.

Hon Mr Baird: Twenty.

Hon Mr Stockwell: Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. None. You've got to ask yourself why.

Mrs Pupatello: You're just like the showboat for the government.

Hon Mr Stockwell: Oh, now --

The Acting Speaker: The member for Windsor West.

Hon Mr Stockwell: Did you hear the member for Windsor actually suggest that someone else is a showboat? That may be a glass house you're residing in.

How many have signed the protocol? Zero. I know there's going to be an issue about the United States of America not signing the Kyoto Protocol. We have to deal with that reality because we compete very directly with the United States of America on many manufacturing, resource and energy sector businesses. The reality is that we have to create an opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that doesn't make us uncompetitive. Businesses will, without doubt, if the border is a few short miles away and they realize they can do something on that side as opposed to this side and it's going to be costly and penalize them -- they won't stay. We have to create a situation where we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and get to the point of creating opportunity.

Mr Gregory S. Sorbara (Vaughan-King-Aurora): Those are tired arguments, Chris. Get a new writer.

Hon Mr Stockwell: I hear the member. This is very funny, "tired arguments." That member right there was one of the few people alive who would still admit that they opposed the free trade agreement. But that member is one of them, and he's the guy talking about tired arguments. He and Maude Barlow are going to come up and steal our water, remember?

Mrs Margaret Marland (Mississauga South): And he's the president of the Ontario Liberal Party.

Hon Mr Stockwell: And he's the president of the Ontario Liberal Party, yes.

I'm not really sure I'm going to take my advice from one of the opponents of the free trade agreement.


Hon Mr Stockwell: Well, Maude Barlow has a charter member over there.

The other problem is the approach the feds have taken. You've got to ask yourself, I say to the members opposite, why won't the feds issue a plan? Why not? Why won't they issue a plan? Come on. Why won't they give us a plan? Why won't they tell us what the reductions would be? Why don't they tell us what the credits are? You have to ask yourself that question, and the only conclusion you can come to is one of two things: either they don't have a plan -- hard to believe that you've been working on this since 1997 and you don't have a plan -- and the second one is, they do have a plan but the numbers are so ugly, they don't want people to know.

So what they did is, they released a plan a week or so ago. The federal government has based its analysis on implementing its plan on 70% of the Kyoto targets. The remaining 30% that will be involved, the more costly and difficult initiatives, are not included in the federal plan. Now, come on; be fair. I'm asking the members opposite to be fair. Why would you take a federal initiative that they willingly admit only includes seven tenths of the Kyoto Protocol and excludes the final three tenths, which is the most difficult three tenths to capture? Why? You know why: if you release the full plan, the economic downturn, the losses in jobs and investment and prosperity, would be absolutely horrendous.

Now, you ask yourself, why doesn't the federal government give us the studies they've done on the Kyoto Protocol and the cost to the economy? Why won't they release those? You've got to ask yourself why. You've got to know that if they were beneficial, if they helped their cause, if it created an opportunity to advance their case, they would have released these plans. They haven't released them because it does exactly the opposite.

So we have to take a --

Mr Sorbara: Classic Tory junk about, "Oh, my God, the sky is falling."

The Acting Speaker: Order.

Hon Mr Stockwell: Thank you, Mr Speaker.

So what we have to do -- I would chide the members opposite. I listened very carefully to your member speak and I heard what he had to say. Frankly, I don't agree with him, but I think this is an important situation, an important issue that you've got to offer dissenting opinions on. I'm just offering a dissenting opinion to that of your party. I'm trying to get across the point -- I'm trying to be successful at it and I think the people watching understand -- that we have no idea, you have no idea, the NDP have no idea what you're signing; none. You don't know.

Are scientists out there saying that the Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse gas is a good idea? Yes, we agree. We want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. If the Kyoto Protocol is a vehicle to do that, that's good. Now you have to tell us how that protocol is going to work.

Interjection: Seems reasonable.

Hon Mr Stockwell: It's a very reasonable position to take.

Right now I think we're looking at a 240-megaton reduction Canada-wide -- a 240-megaton reduction. That's a lot of greenhouse gas emissions reduction. Frankly, I think the feds got fleeced at the world table. I think they cut themselves a far worse deal than a lot of other countries did. Having said that, that's done; it was in 1997. I think they did get fleeced.

A 240-megaton reduction: let's translate that into workable numbers. I think we as a province, and I'm guessing, maybe could do -- and this is just based on my review of the protocol after reading it and seeing what the impacts would be -- 15 to 18, in that sphere. It would still have economic loss, but we probably still could work very hard to find a way to mitigate the damage.

Under the 240 scenario we're probably going to get 30% to 35% of the reduction. Think that through: 30% to 35% on 240. You're looking at an 80-megaton reduction. I've not seen any responsible, reliable report on the economic impacts, including the federal numbers, that doesn't call for hundreds and hundreds of thousands of job losses at that level. Not one. Even the federal numbers themselves talk about hundreds and hundreds of thousands of job losses.

Where are those jobs? I know the opposition always likes to talk about flipping burgers. Well, you know what? They're not the flipping-burger jobs, guys. They are hard-earned, mostly union jobs in the resource, energy, manufacturing and automotive sectors.


Hon Mr Young: Any in Windsor?

Hon Mr Stockwell: Lots in Windsor. Lots. Lots in the automotive centres. And why are we doing that?

Mr Gill: And in Sarnia?

Hon Mr Stockwell: Sarnia? Absolutely -- very much an energy-based sector out there, pharmaceutical-producing.

Mr Joseph Spina (Brampton Centre): And Ottawa?

Hon Mr Stockwell: Ottawa? Of course. Ottawa will be least hit because they have the federal members. But there is a serious impact on those sectors and costing those jobs.

Mr David Caplan (Don Valley East): The sky is falling.

Hon Mr Stockwell: I'm not suggesting the sky is falling at all. I'm just telling you what the economic prognosticators are saying.

Mr Caplan: In the petroleum --

Hon Mr Stockwell: The CMA, the manufacturing association, is in the petroleum -- they're manufacturing-based.

The automotive: why would the automotive industry make this up? What benefit would there be to make it up? What benefit at all could the automotive industry and the manufacturing sector have to make up some number? Why would they be just diametrically opposed? A lot of companies work toward reduction of greenhouse gases already. Your leader talked about them today. They're doing it on their own. Now, we need to work together and get a made-in-Ontario and a made-in-Canada plan, but why would they be just making these numbers up, I say to the member for Don Valley West, as you're claiming? Why would they just make it up? They wouldn't. It doesn't make sense.

So what have we asked the federal government for, in closing? We've asked a couple of very fundamental questions.

One, "How much are you expecting us to reduce our megaton greenhouse gas emissions by?" I know the member for Vaughan-King-Aurora thinks that's reasonable. Why would you not want to know how much you're expected to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions by?

Mr Sorbara: Absolutely.

Hon Mr Stockwell: Absolutely reasonable.

We're also asking them, "Can you give us an idea of what credits you have so we can determine how much of a megaton reduction we need to make?" I know everybody would say that's a reasonable question.

And before I sign, I have a third question: "What is the economic cost to the people of the province of Ontario if we were to implement this plan?"

I know the member for Vaughan-King-Aurora would ask that question too. I've got to believe the leader of the official opposition would ask that question. Wouldn't any reasoned and thoughtful person want to know how much we have to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by and what the credits are that we're going to get so we don't have to reduce them by that much? And after that is said and done, you might want to ask, "And what kind of economic impact would that have on, say, the resource, energy, manufacturing and auto sectors that happen to operate to create jobs, prosperity and investment in the province of Ontario?" You'd think somebody would want to ask those three questions.

Well, apparently not, because today, without any of those questions asked, we have before this House a motion by the Liberal Party, without any of those questions answered, to endorse the Kyoto Protocol. They have no idea, none -- and I'm going to be very interested in listening today to the opposition. I'm going to really be interested to hear the opposition tell me how many megaton reductions we are obligated to do under the Kyoto Protocol. I'll be very interested in hearing from the opposition what the credits are that the federal government has got agreement to around the world to reduce our commitment. I'd be very interested to see if they have that.

I would also be interested to find out if they've got any economic impact studies to talk about job loss, investment loss, drag on the GDP, to sign the Kyoto Protocol. You know what? The reality is, they don't have any of those answers. So they want to talk about, as Mr Bradley did, and as Mr McGuinty does on a regular basis, "Sign the Kyoto Protocol."

Then you ask them, "Well, what's our megaton reduction?" "I don't know. Just sign it." "Well, what are our credits that we're going to get?" "Oh, who cares? Just sign it." "How many jobs are we going to lose in the province of Ontario?" "That doesn't matter. Sign." "What's the prosperity loss?" "I don't care. Sign." "What's the GDP?" "Just sign."

Mrs Pupatello: Ten million dollars for sports teams? "Just sign."

Hon Mr Stockwell: I say to the member for Windsor West, $10 million is peanuts compared to the amount of money, is peanuts compared to the amount --


The Acting Speaker: Order.

Hon Mr Stockwell: I think I'm interrupting Sandra, Mr Speaker.

The Acting Speaker: The member for Windsor West will come to order.

Hon Mr Stockwell: I was interrupting her. I apologize. I've learned: don't interrupt Sandra. When she wants to talk, she wants to talk.

The question then becomes, if all they want to do is sign, when do you get these answers? When are they going to get those answers? Well, after you've signed the protocol, you get your answers. You know what the federal government's going to do. Classic case. They know they've got trouble in Alberta and British Columbia, and they know they've got trouble in Quebec. You sign that protocol before they sign on, guess who is doing all the megaton reductions? Ontario. Sure, why wouldn't you? You've got somebody who's signing this deal. They can't wait. They're salivating, they're slobbering on themselves to sign this deal at an economic cost they have know idea of, megaton reduction they have no idea of, greenhouse gas emission reductions that may not happen. "Sign it, sign it, sign it," they say.

So do you know what they're doing in Alberta and BC and Quebec right now? They're saying, "Jeez, I hope those Liberals and NDPs actually pass that silly motion they put on the Legislature today. I really want them to pass that motion, because if they pass that motion, then all our worries are gone." Because I know the federal government is saying, "Don't worry guys, Ontario signed on. They're going to make all the greenhouse gas emission reductions. They're going to lose all the jobs. They're going to have all the cost." That's what they'll do if you sign.

You've got to ask yourself --

Mr Sorbara: Boy, that's a load, Chris. Bring a bulldozer in to deal with this.

Hon Mr Stockwell: You've got to ask yourself, I say to the member for Vaughan-King-Aurora, if that isn't the case, tell me why no other provinces signed. Tell me why. It's kind of suspicious, isn't it? No other province has signed on. Doesn't that twig your large mind, I'm sure? Doesn't it twig it just a little bit that no other province has signed on? Doesn't that make you say, "Jeez, I wonder why they haven't signed?" You've got to ask yourself that question, those reasoned and thoughtful questions. All you're telling me is you're living in a Neanderthal world, the sky is falling, you should just sign the accord, sign the protocol, regardless of its economic impact, regardless of those costs.

We're in favour of reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. If we can make those emission reductions within the Kyoto Protocol, we will. If we can't, then we'll do it by a made-in-Ontario, a made-in-Canada solution. We will do it that way if that's what we're forced to do, because we want to see greenhouse gas emissions reduced, but we have to be able to do it without penalizing jobs, prosperity and investment. It can be done. It's been done for the last 10 years by this government through the initiatives that we put forward.


Hon Mr Stockwell: Oh, Mister Speaker, that's out of order.


Hon Mr Stockwell: Well, Mr Speaker, then it's fairly obvious that we're faced with a situation where these are simple questions that are being put to the public and these are simple questions being put to the opposition. They don't tell the truth, so there's no point in putting these out there because they're going to go around the province and not tell the truth, because apparently that's their modus operandi.

Interjection: They just said that.

Hon Mr Stockwell: That's what they just said, I know. So our job is to fight this untruth that comes from the Liberal caucus with truth. By doing that, we have to provide them with accurate information out there to combat the information that's being used by the Liberals, and I am going to provide that information.

As we go through, I just want to tick off the last few. Consider the Drive Clean program.


The Acting Speaker: We can't have this. The Minister has the floor. He's the only person that has the floor. He wants to continue without all this chatter. Minister.

Hon Mr Stockwell: I would ask you to consider some of the initiatives this government has taken. The Drive Clean program: 29 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions come from vehicles. We're the government that put in the Drive Clean program. The Drive Clean program is expected to cut these emissions by some 100,000 tonnes annually, the rough equivalent of taking 23,000 cars off the road for good. Our government has also required Lakeview generating station to cease burning coal by 2005, the first government to actually put in place a plan to stop a coal-fired plant from operating. Also, by opening the electricity market to competition on May 1, 2002, our government is the first government in the history of the province to let green energy on the grid.


We have also shown strong support for public transit. Through SuperBuild, we have committed more than $3 billion over the next 10 years for transit expansion and renewal -- $3 billion.


The Acting Speaker: Order. I'm going to have to start naming people if this continues. So let's just let the minister proceed by himself.

Hon Mr Stockwell: We're also creating tax incentives for consumers to purchase products using renewable fuels. In the June 2002 Ontario budget, we introduced an exemption from the 14.3 cents per litre fuel tax for biodiesel fuels. We also introduced an extension of the sales tax rebate for hybrid electric automobiles to cover sport utility vehicles and light-duty trucks. These are the types of concrete initiatives that we need to see in a federal plan.

Mr Sorbara: And you cut all the funding to the TTC.

Hon Mr Stockwell: Oh, I beg to differ; nearly $1 billion for the Sheppard subway line alone.

Unfortunately, we're left with a vague federal approach that gives no indication of exactly how ratification will affect Ontarians. We need to support a resolution in this House asking the federal government to bring the information forward. We need to ask them what they expect from Ontarians. We need to ask them what they expect from the Ontario economy, from the auto sector, the energy sector, the resource sector, what they expect in reductions, and we need to ask them to provide us with a plan that talks about the economic impact on Ontarians.

That is not a troubling, trifling little issue. That's the very issue that we fought for when we got elected. The very issue was that we want prosperity; we want growth; we want environmentally sensitive issues. We understand them and we've passed legislation for them.

But if you're asking us to sign a deal that the Liberals want to sign, along with the NDP, that doesn't tell you what the reduction in megatons is, doesn't tell you what the credits are that you get in reductions, doesn't give you the economic impact on job losses, GDP reduction and investment, why would you sign an agreement that you don't know anything about?

Finally, apparently not just the Progressive Conservatives but Quebec, BC, Alberta, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland -- nobody signed the deal. Why? For the very same reason we would not sign it today: we need the plan, we need the account, we need the cost. Those are not trifling little questions; they're fundamental questions that you need answered before you would sign any agreement.

With the greatest respect to the opposition parties, if you were in government and you simply unilaterally said, "Oh, don't worry about it; we'll just sign," you would be in dereliction of duty, because your duty is to represent the people of Ontario by reducing greenhouse gas emissions without savaging their economy, their jobs and their prosperity, and we will not be part of that party.

Mr Dalton McGuinty (Leader of the Opposition): I listened with great interest to the minister, and with tremendous disappointment, I might add. Every once in a while there comes a time in our history when we can leap forward and embrace tremendous promise. In this particular case, when we're talking about the Kyoto accord, we're talking about a future that could give us a better and cleaner environment, a safer environment for our children and grandchildren and, at the same time, help us make the transition into a carbon-constrained world. The experts are telling us that the greatest economic shift we are going to witness in this century will be the shift away from fossil fuels toward cleaner, renewable sources of energy.

The argument put forward by the minister and by the other members of this same government is somehow grounded in the notion that the numbers simply aren't all there. To my way of thinking, what this is really all about is who in our country today has the determination, the commitment, the imagination and the courage for us to move forward into that new carbon-constrained world where there is a better, safer, cleaner environment and better, higher-paying, high-skilled jobs for all of us. That's the ultimate decision we're making here today.

I want to quote just a little bit from that left-wing socialist magazine known as The Economist because there was a very interesting edition put out on July 6. The front page has a cover that says, "CO2al: Environmental Enemy Number 1." In this magazine, a very reputable business magazine, it says as follows with respect to the issue of global warming: "Atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases have risen from around 280 parts per million two centuries ago to around 370 parts per million today. Both surface temperatures and sea levels have been rising for some time." Climate change may be slow and uncertain, but that is no excuse for inaction. It goes on to say, "That, in a nutshell, is the dilemma of climate change. It is asking a great deal of politicians to take action on behalf of voters who have not even been born yet." That's what The Economist says. That's how they frame this issue of global warming.

We have an opportunity before us. People at the international level, working feverishly, have come up with a protocol, an accord. It is an agreement, and they've asked that we sign on. I think we've got a responsibility here in the largest province in the Dominion, the greatest economic engine of our country, to sign on to that and to play our part in helping to reduce the challenge of global warming in our world.

The government says that this is going to do nothing but wreak havoc of Biblical proportions. There is the requisite wailing, gnashing of teeth, rending of garments, "The sky is falling," and the like. But there are some wonderful examples to be found in the business world in terms of what you can do when you set your mind to it.

I want to talk just briefly about British Petroleum's experience. They happen to be the single largest supplier of oil and gas to the US. They're one of the biggest petroleum companies in the world. In 1998, the leadership at British Petroleum decided not to wait for international approval of the Kyoto Protocol. Instead, the company implemented its own even tougher targets right away, pledging to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to a level 10% below that of 1990 by 2010. The Kyoto Protocol would have us reduce our levels 6% below 1990 by 2012. They took it a step further. They went to 10%. Do you know what? Achieving that goal didn't take nearly that long. In March 2002, British Petroleum announced that the company had already reached its target, eight years ahead of schedule, and was setting still more ambitious ones. The question is, what did this cost British Petroleum? Nothing. In fact, the company saved US$650 million by using energy more efficiently.

Here in Canada, Interface Flooring Systems of Belleville, a manufacturer of carpets, reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by 65% since 1995. The company has also set for itself a target of sourcing 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by the end of 2002.

If you spend any time at all looking at the experience in California, for example, or in Europe today, those jurisdictions are rushing to embrace the economic opportunities to be found as we move into this so-called carbon-constrained world. They are putting themselves at the cutting edge, putting themselves in a position to be leaders of the pack.


A good example to keep in mind is the case of Inco, which I referred to in this House earlier. During the late 1980s, when the Liberal government put into place Countdown Acid Rain, because we had learned that acid rain was killing our lakes and forests and this government decided to do something about it, we heard from industry telling us, "If you force us to abide by that kind of tough regulation, you're going to put us out of business. We simply will not be able to compete with people around the world. You can't do that to us. It's unfair, because they're not going to put that in place south of the border. You're going to put us out of business."

Mr Sorbara: That was the Tory view.

Mr McGuinty: That was the Tory view then.

Inco in particular, the world's largest producer of nickel, was very concerned about the economic impact this would have not only on their business but on the community of Sudbury. Today I am proud to report that Inco is the most cost-effective producer of nickel in the world, and the technological know-how they had to develop to reduce the emissions coming from their smokestack is something they are now selling to the world.

Green industry, environmental industry is the fourth-largest industry in our country. It employs in excess of 100,000, 150,000 people -- the number escapes me right now. That's the way we've got to move forward. It's not by digging our heels in and saying, "the sky is falling"; it's by embracing opportunities that are being found there.

We are doing, I would argue, more than our share on this side of the House. We put forward a clean air plan that takes us three quarters of the way to satisfying Ontario's responsibilities under the Kyoto accord.

We talk about cleaner air. We're going to shut down those filthy coal-fired furnaces. Remember the Economist? "CO2al: Environmental Enemy Number 1." When I made that commitment, many people could not believe that at the beginning of the 21st century, in a progressive technologically developed jurisdiction like Ontario, we were still burning coal to generate electricity. They've read about the blight of coal on 19th-century London to be found in Charles Dickens's writings, but they couldn't believe we were still burning coal in Ontario. Well, we are. I'm ashamed to admit it. Do you know what? We're going to do something about it. We're going to shut those things down by 2007.

We're going to clean up our gasoline by requiring that we blend it with ethanol. Ethanol is made from good old-fashioned Ontario homegrown corn. So at the same time we clean up our gasoline and clean up our air, we're going to create thousands of new high-end jobs for our farmers.

We're going to invest in public transit. We've got to give people a viable alternative. We all want people to get out of their cars but we've got to give them a viable, practical alternative. Our cities simply cannot continue to invest in public transit in the way we need them to in order for us to accommodate our growing population, especially here in the greater Toronto area. So we're going to give to our municipal partners two cents of the provincial gas tax on condition that they invest it in public transit.

We are doing our share on this side of the House toward satisfying the responsibility we owe to the international community, but more importantly, the responsibility we owe to people not yet old enough to vote and people who have yet to be born in our province.

Every once in a while in our history there comes to us an opportunity that allows us to choose between embracing a bright and promising future and being mired in a bleak past. This is the opportunity, this is the resolution, and we're asking this government to do the right thing and support this resolution.

Ms Churley: I think all members in this Legislature take this issue quite seriously, despite the bantering back and forth. We're talking about future generations here --


Ms Churley: Yes, right.

The Acting Speaker: Members will come to order. The member for Toronto-Danforth has the floor. We don't need all this chatter and rude behaviour. If you want to talk, take it outside.

The member for Toronto-Danforth.

Ms Churley: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I was saying that I don't feel very lighthearted or feel like bantering over this issue because --

Mr George Smitherman (Toronto Centre-Rosedale): We were applauding our leader.

Ms Churley: I'm not talking about you; sorry, I mean overall. I know what you were doing. Let me for the record say I am not --

Mr Smitherman: It's a sober issue.

Ms Churley: It is a sober issue, and I'm just talking about some of the debate to date.

I want to start, as a backdrop to my remarks, by reminding people what will happen, what we're talking about here, if we don't sign Kyoto now and aggressively meet the targets we need to meet, and beyond. In fact many scientists are saying, and this is so key and what we need to understand, that 6% below the 1990 levels, which is all this is at the moment, is just the beginning, that we need to do at least 10 times as much as we're being called on to do now to stop what is considered possibly a catastrophic future for our children.


Ms Churley: I didn't heckle the members over there when they were speaking, and I would appreciate it this late in the day if they didn't heckle me. I'm feeling fairly grumpy, and let me tell you why I'm feeling fairly grumpy about this issue. The reason I wasn't in question period this afternoon is that I was at the Empire Club at the Royal York Hotel.

Mr Mike Colle (Eglinton-Lawrence): Shame.

Ms Churley: Yes, exactly -- shame.

I managed, as I'm wont to do, to sneak in and actually have lunch with people from --

Interjection: Did you pay?

Ms Churley: Actually, I did pay.

People from the Sierra Club, Greenpeace and others who were there had a table, and I listened to Ralph Klein's speech.

Mr Bradley: How was it, Marilyn?

Ms Churley: I'm red-hot angry, or maybe it's white-hot; I don't know what it is. I heard him stand up there and tell, shall I say, canard after canard. We sat there and listened to this, where Ralph Klein comes to our province, not to sit down with us and talk about what our needs are in this province, but to stand up there with Mike Harris, for God's sake, on the stage with him and start telling us what we need to be doing here in this province.

Furthermore -- talk about scare tactics -- Mr Klein stood up there and started to basically threaten what might happen to jobs in Ontario if we actually don't go along with him and support his views on Kyoto. He talked about the contributions his province makes to provinces across the country that are reliant on good jobs and the tar fields in his province. He made people very angry and very upset.

Elizabeth May, who is a very well respected and well known environmentalist in this country, got tossed out of the room today. She was upset after. It's the first time in all her environmental career that had happened. We were sitting there, had to be quiet, watching Mr Klein say very untrue things about the real meaning of --


Ms Churley: It's true. I'm sorry; you've got to hear it -- about the real impacts and what Kyoto is really all about.

I told you at the beginning that I'm going to tell you some of the things we're looking at if we don't move and move rapidly. How many people here have children? How many people here have grandchildren? How many people, if you don't have children, are planning to have children? How many people out there have children or are planning to have children or have grandchildren? Because this is what we are talking about today. Those of us in this room, I would say almost all of us -- there are a few exceptions; those who are somewhat younger -- are at a stage in our lives where pretty well everything we do now is not about us, it's about the future generations. You get to a stage in your life and you pass over --



Ms Churley: Yes, but this is not just about jobs. This is about the jobs for our grandchildren and their children as well. This isn't just about the economy and jobs. Supposing you were on the Titanic, supposing -- because that's what we're on here.

The Sierra Club of Canada makes a very good analogy, and I'm going to tell you what they said. They say, "To environmentalists" -- and to me as well -- "it can seem like the Titanic is heading toward the iceberg and the accounting department is still telling the captain `full steam ahead' because it's concerned about an arrival-time bonus. What good will these be at the bottom of the ocean?"

That's exactly what you guys over there are saying. We are on the Titanic. We are heading for that iceberg. There's no more argument. Even Ralph Klein isn't bothering to argue any more that climate change is not a problem. There is no more argument about that. Over 1,000 international scientists got together and said, "We've got a major problem here and Kyoto targets aren't even enough."

I started to tell you about some of the impacts it's going to have on Canada and here in Ontario, the province that we're supposed to be taking care of. The global environmental effects include: the collapse of the ecosystems; risk of drought -- which we're already seeing; flooding and other severe weather; reduced availability of drinking water; changing range of infectious diseases such as the West Nile virus -- and let me tell you, the West Nile virus is just the beginning; that's pretty innocuous compared to what may be coming if global warming continues; and the rise in ocean level.

Let's talk about what that translates into in Ontario: lower Great Lakes levels and flow, which increases shipping costs, reduces hydro production, and reduces access to water -- that's pretty serious. Think about how many jobs are going to be lost -- not to us; we'll be gone -- think of our children and our grandchildren if that happens; reduced water availability and water quality problems due to reduced flows and less groundwater recharge; heavier short-duration rainfalls causing floods; increased threats of pollution runoff; heat waves; increasing smog days and heat stress -- which we're already seeing in this province and across the country -- crazy weather patterns leading to paralyzing winter events, such as the ice storm.

Those are just a few of the things that we're talking about here, and I don't have time now because there are some other things I want to talk about to explain some of the ramifications and implications, catastrophic implications, when these things happen -- and they will happen; they're beginning to happen; nobody's arguing that any more. We've got to do something about it.

So when I hear Ralph Klein get up and say that -- let me give you some examples. For instance, he said, "We don't need a bunch of international theorists" to tell him or "to tell us what to do here in Canada," and then he went on and congratulated Mike Harris and what his government did toward reducing its emissions and said, "Well, he didn't do it because of international agreements but did it on their own." He's wrong. He got it wrong.

I don't know if you, the Tory members here, know that in fact we started reducing emissions in Ontario and we're behind on them because of -- there are many different agreements, but there's a Canada-US, I forget the exact title of it but ozone annex, something agreement -- with direct targets. That's why we started reducing those emissions here. So when the government and Ralph Klein says that they just did it out of their own ingenuity and common good sense, there have been international targets that we have -- Great Lakes -- there are all kinds of international targets that we've signed on to and that led to these kinds of proactive programs that have been put in place.

Mr Klein said, as the minister here says, that this is not a Canada agreement, that we need a made-in-Canada agreement. Well, it was our federal government, no matter what you might think of them, who were elected, who agreed to the deal and it was Canada who agreed that this country would sign on to the 6% at 1990 levels by whenever it is -- is it 2012? By 2012. It was Canada who said we would do that. It is a made-in-Canada agreement. He was wrong on that one as well.

Another one that the minister here keeps repeating and repeating, and I believe my colleague Mr Bradley dealt with this, but it's the whole issue around -- and Mr Bradley and I both got these letters from the industry group. I can't find their name right now --

Mr Bradley: A bogus coalition.

Ms Churley: That'll do. A bogus environmental coalition, an industry-based coalition who came here one night last week and a couple of days later to meet with MPPs. Mr Bradley and I, and maybe others, received this sample letter for members to give to their local newspapers with sample Qs and As: What is Kyoto? What does it all mean? Of course, it was accidentally sent to us. I didn't know that. I thought, OK, I guess they have the right to do this. I don't agree with what they're saying and we need to counteract it. I will use it in the House every time a government member stands up. I will say, "Oh yeah, I know where they got that information from." I know that they are being used as a propaganda mouthpiece for the anti-Kyoto industry -- and not all industry is there; let me be clear about that. There are some industries who want to do the right thing here. Then we get a covering letter saying, "Oops, sorry; it wasn't meant to go to you." Obviously, it was meant to only go to Tories.

One of the myths that Mr Klein mentioned today, and the minister keeps saying over and over again, is that it is important to remember that the Kyoto Protocol does not address air pollution or smog. Those very important problems aren't covered by the protocol. What a load of bunk that is. He's trying to say to people, "Look, the kinds of things that you're worried about, smog days and air pollution, are not included here, so why worry about it so much?" For instance, if you shut down your coal plants, which contributes to climate change, you're also burning far less fossil fuels, which contribute to smog, air pollution and about 29 toxic substances that are bad for us.

One of the other things that I want to say that I find -- I can't use the h-word; I'll just say "the h-word" when I hear --


Ms Churley: The h-word could mean anything. You take it how you want.

Mr Spina: Point of order, Mr Speaker: is there a quorum in the House?

The Acting Speaker: Is quorum present?

Deputy Clerk (Ms Deborah Deller): Quorum is not present, Speaker.

The Acting Speaker ordered the bells rung.

Deputy Clerk: Quorum is now present, Speaker.

Ms Churley: I was just talking about the h-word -- I heard the minister today, and I've heard other members from the Tory caucus over there and those who are opposed, like Mr Klein and others, say, "We don't have the details" in great histrionic tones. "You expect us to sign on when we don't have the details? It's a pig in a poke. We don't know what we're signing on" -- hysteria and histrionics, hoping that the bluster will make it go away.


Ms Churley: Let me say to the minister who's laughing now as he blusters away, remember the free trade deal? Remember when, I believe it was then a Mulroney government who started -- I have to say, the Liberals then proceeded to bring in -- the free trade deal? Oh boy, do I remember this, because I was quite engaged on the opposite side of that issue. People like Chris Stockwell and Mr Klein were standing up saying, "Details? Oh, we'll work all those out after." And I've got the transcripts, so don't argue with me on that one. I remember categorically --

Hon Mr Stockwell: Show me those transcripts.

Ms Churley: I'll show you. I don't know about you in particular, Mr Stockwell; I'm talking about the right wing and a lot of industry-based who supported bringing on free trade. Talk about signing on without the details.


When unions, workers, political parties and citizens' groups across this province were arguing, saying to the Mulroney government at the time, to the then Tory government here and all of the other right wing governments and those that wanted to sign on to the free trade deal; when we were all expressing concerns that we didn't have the details, concerns about the loss of jobs, all of those things that they are conveniently saying today, then it didn't matter, it was, "Hey, come on, trust us. We'll do the right thing. In fact, it will increase jobs. Things will get better."

I'm going to say to the minister, our side is not doing that. We do have plans to reduce these emissions; we do have the plans. Environmental groups like Greenpeace, like the Sierra Club of Canada and many others, TEA, the Toronto Environmental Alliance, all across the globe, have hired scientists, have worked with scientists. They have data coming out their ears.

Even this government here put together, and I sat on it, the select committee on alternative fuel sources. Mr Bradley, the environment critic from the Liberal Party, and Steve Gilchrist; Doug Galt, from the government side, chaired it. Overall, that was a pretty good committee, but you know what? When the minister stands up and says we have to develop a plan -- we've got a plan. We got a plan. In fact, we're moving toward a gaseous, hydrogen-carried energy system; that's what we're moving toward. If we start bringing in more and more green power and we find a way to generate the hydrogen through the power of renewable energy, we're on the road to sustainability. In fact, signing on to Kyoto and having a good list of ways we're going to achieve it here will put us in the forefront; it will actually create more jobs.

One of the interesting things that's happening is that CEP -- a union that deserves credit and congratulations from all parties in this House -- has taken a stand in support of Kyoto and meeting the targets. What they say is that they look at it as a forward-thinking job creation strategy that meets the Kyoto Protocol and protects jobs.

Instead, what we're seeing the Ontario Tories do here is more following in Alberta's footsteps and being on the wrong side of history here and on the tail end of investment. Everything is changing. In job creation in the energy sector, there are other jurisdictions that are far ahead of us. This is an opportunity for us to jump on that bandwagon and take the lead. I want to tell you this, and you may not be aware, that the truth is that jobs in the energy sector have been declining -- declining -- over the past decade, over 80,000 jobs since 1991 and still declining. It's true, Minister, it's true.

Killing Kyoto pretty much guarantees job losses in that sector without the aggressive accompanying new investment in green industry and energy and energy conservation and efficiency.

The challenge here is for Ontario to be a leader, which it used to be. It used to be all across the world.

Mr Sorbara: Before the NDP came to power.

Ms Churley: It used to be clear across the world, indeed much more so when the NDP came to power. When these --

Mr Sorbara: That's when the decline started.

Ms Churley: When these guys here -- you weren't around then, Mr Sorbara. When the Tories were elected in 1995, they got rid of most of the environmental protection that we had in Ontario -- in fact, under the red Tory government before, the Davis government, under the Liberals, under our government -- including the energy conservation and efficiency programs that the NDP brought in; those were killed. The challenge is --


Ms Churley: I can't talk when you're doing that. The challenge is to make the inevitable transition from an economy heavily reliant on fossil fuels to one of energy efficiency, renewable energy and public transportation, which the minister has been talking about. But when I said that you guys already have the plan, you said no, you don't. Well, where is your plan? You've had more than two years to be looking at it. I know ministries have been looking at this, and it's the first time I've heard you say, "Gee, the feds haven't told us what to do." That's a new one, isn't it? That's a really good new one. "We're waiting for the feds to tell us what to do," the Minister of the Environment whines. "They haven't told us, so we don't know what to do."

I would say to the minister that he should go to the recommendations of his very own select committee on alternative fuel sources. There are many recommendations in here. Should he put those recommendations on fast track, we would go a long way to meeting the targets of Kyoto.

What I don't understand -- and I asked the minister yesterday in estimates. I don't get it. Mr Klein is saying that this minister is saying, "Well, gee, we want to come up with our own made-in-Canada plan. We want to come up with our own plan, and we don't want to sign on to Kyoto because we don't have the details." Come up with the details. Say, "We'll sign on. We're committed to meeting our targets, and this is how we're going to do it." Doesn't that make sense to you?

Mr Sorbara: That's what a good government would do.

Ms Churley: That's what a good government would do. So why not say that? It seems to me what the minister is doing is using the fact that they believe the federal Liberals have not consulted enough and they don't like some of their ideas as a reason not to sign on, not to try to meet the targets.

It's clear for the doubters -- and we have many here -- that implementation will not happen without ratification. We have seen how volunteerism works when it comes to volunteer compliance. It doesn't work, particularly because it doesn't create a level playing field. We've seen that. That's why a regulatory regime with clear targets, guidelines and outputs is important.

Industry doesn't like this, in fact. When you've got a situation where it's all voluntary, than the good guys do it -- we've seen this -- and the bad guys don't. Then you don't have a level playing field any more because the good guys end up spending more money to do the right thing, to put in the pollution abatement equipment, do the changes, whatever, and the bad guys keep on polluting, don't get charged for it and they go ahead. So you create a very unfair situation. Industry is far better off when there is a level playing field and they know that everybody is playing by the same rules.

Some industries do play by the rules, but there are an awful lot out there -- you've got Mr Klein there today. He's not speaking up for his farmers; he's speaking up for the oil and gas guys who give him tons of money for his election campaigns. His farmers are already in serious trouble, partly because of global warming, and he is not speaking up for them. He didn't speak up for them today.

We're talking about ways to make this happen. What I would suggest to the minister and to all of us here, when we get into this kind of normal, routine way we have of debating, of trying to one-up each other, trying to score points, trying to get our own plans out -- and I'm going to do that now. I'm going to talk a bit about what the NDP has proposed. We're always happy to listen to what other people have to propose as well. I know the groups I mentioned earlier have some very good ideas. When we sat on the select committee on alternative fuel sources, we had incredible suggestions, recommendations and representations to that committee. Our ideas came from environmental groups, industry groups, municipalities, you name it. The ideas are out there.

We've seen what's happening in other jurisdictions, particularly Europe. But you know what? Ironically, even though it's quite true that George Bush has changed the landscape when it comes to environmental protection in the US and they decided not to sign on to the Kyoto accord, the interesting thing is that they are actually far ahead of us. Despite that, in terms of dealing with issues around global warming, they are far ahead of us. We have to sign the Kyoto accord and try to meet those targets just to catch up with them. So we can complain all we want about the US, that it wouldn't be a level playing field and it would interfere with our competitiveness, but in fact, if you look at what the US has done, it won't at all, because we have catch-up to do, and under this government we have more and more catch-up all the time. We have situations now where we see more and more hazardous waste coming into this province because the rules about the storage of hazardous waste have become so strong there that they can't store it there, so it's coming here. We've become the dumping ground for hazardous waste. Overall, they have much stronger environmental laws than we do here in Ontario and indeed in Canada.


I want to talk a bit about why there are some concerns about the Ottawa Liberals. I'm talking here about the Liberals in Ottawa, who, we have to say -- it has been problematic over the years. We should be further ahead than we are now. It took them a long time to show any leadership on this issue. I believe it's now because Prime Minister Chrétien is leaving and he wanted to leave a legacy and this would be a good one. Indeed it would. But the work that should have been done over the last several years, it is quite true, has not been done, although it is true, and the minister should be aware of this, that there have been round tables. A lot of the environment groups that I talk to, along with industry groups and others, were indeed invited to sit on those. So there is some background material. But I've got to say that over the past few years -- and we're seeing a breakdown happening among some of the ministers now -- the corporate and industry pressure is starting to rear its ugly head again, and I'm afraid it's going to delay the issue again.

When I read in the paper today that they're thinking about making deals with the likes of Ralph Klein, whom I have no use for whatsoever -- if you heard that speech he gave today and the way he provoked and made fun of those of us, the environmentalists and others, who are trying to come up with the right answer on Kyoto, it was just absolutely shocking. But now, when I hear Minister Anderson, the federal environment minister, say that overall he's thinking that what Ralph Klein is saying is not so bad, that there are some arguments about timetables and all of that kind of stuff but they're on the right track, and then we have Ontario saying they're looking at going the same route, we know it's going to go down the tubes.

I don't know if you're aware of this, Mr Speaker, but Ralph Klein's own made-in-Alberta plan or protocol would actually increase greenhouse gas emissions. That is a fact. The Alberta plan is an absolute joke and won't do anything but make matters worse, yet the federal environmental minister is saying that the kinds of things the Alberta plan calls for are not that far off what the federal government is considering except on the targets and timelines. I'm quite alarmed about that.

I understand that the federal Liberals are in a very difficult position; it's difficult working with the provinces on all of these things. But they've just got to take a tough stand here for the good of our country in the future and for the future of our children and for the economy.

What we've got to say to Mr Klein and to the federal government and to the minister here is that the targets and timelines are what Kyoto is all about. In fact, the key to Kyoto is making sure that those targets are met in reducing those greenhouse gas emissions within certain timelines or we'll be so far down that path, we'll be so close to that iceberg that like the Titanic we will go down, and once we start going down, all this talk about trying to balance jobs and the economy and, "It's not that bad," won't matter any more. Like the Titanic, when it has gone down, there'll be some people who will be able to get into lifeboats and swim away and pick up their lives again. But if people are concerned now about job loss due to signing this accord, just think about the implications of that.

When the minister says that nobody has a plan, nobody is telling them what needs to be done -- I believe the minister is working feverishly away. I've been hearing from people that they're getting some phone calls now from municipal affairs and others asking environmental groups about some of the things they're doing, some of the things they've been suggesting, so I believe the minister is scrambling now to try to find a made-in-Ontario plan. Again, I despair of the fact that after all this time the government doesn't have a plan and doesn't say, "Here, yes, we'll sign on and this is the way we're going to do it."

There are lots of ideas out there and there are ideas that can be implemented, some faster than others, but again I want to say that when the Liberals talked about the situation when Inco was required to reduce its emissions --

Mr Sorbara: Thanks to Jim Bradley.

Ms Churley: Yes, it was Jim Bradley. He did a very good job on that and I supported him. I wasn't here then, but as an environmentalist in the community I was there urging him on, behind him and making sure there were voices in my community supporting him.

Mr Sorbara: And the Tories were fully opposed to it.

Ms Churley: The Tories were fully opposed it. But I would say it's quite true that once it happened, they knew they had to meet those targets, they met the targets and now they're doing better than they would otherwise.

Another example: when the NDP was in government, we forced the pulp-and-paper mills to reach zero levels for organo-chlorines by a certain date, which is a major environmental health hazard, and there was a lot of kicking, screaming and yelling. I know the Tories were opposed to it. Quite frankly, I can't remember if the Liberals were opposed to it, but I will find out. I'd like to think they weren't. But I do know that it was the same situation as with acid rain, Inco and the organo-chlorines: kicking and screaming, "Had to do it" --

Mr Caplan: Who was the minister at the time?

Ms Churley: I can't remember.

Mr Caplan: Was it Ruth?

Ms Churley: It might have been Bud Wildman. I know they both worked on this.

But the plants retooled, they reinvested and they ended up being able to compete with the Europeans. Part of the problem was, of course, that it was getting harder and harder to sell their paper in Europe. In fact, once they reduced and got rid of those organo-chlorines, they actually increased their market share.

There are all kinds of examples. Those are just a few of the things we've done here in Ontario that have made a huge difference. It gives companies, industry, the ability to be on a level playing field. But also, when there are clear targets and everybody has to play by the rules, and they've got to do it because it's breaking the law if they don't, they get on with it and they actually end up being more competitive.

That's what I said earlier about using the Kyoto accord, signing on, finding ways together to reach those targets, making sure we reach them and at the same time putting all the incentives in place. There are lots of ideas for those as well that came up in the committee I sat on for alternative fuels. We talked about the fact that energy conservation and efficiency are absolutely key -- there are many "keys" to the Kyoto accord, and that's another one: shutting down the coal plants, bringing back not just the programs that the NDP brought in -- we called it Jobs Ontario, green economy or something like that -- retrofitting a building, just finding ways to conserve. We are real energy hogs here.

There are all kinds of things we can be doing that the government has the blueprint for. I'd like to call it "greenprint." We should be just moving forward and acting aggressively on all of those. Not only can we meet the target by 2012 but we would set an example, be the leader, show the way and be ahead of the target.

The NDP has a plan for accountable public power. We are the only party in this Legislature that is fully in support of accountable public power. We believe that has to be the bottom line. You have to set the table with public power. Of course we have to change it from the way it used to operate when we were in government, and governments before, talking about a Titanic that needed to be turned around, and we were doing that. We certainly don't suggest we go back to the way the old Ontario Hydro was run, because it's quite true -- and the minister says it was very difficult under that system to bring in alternative green power. It was a problem. We acknowledge that. The plan we have now would take that very clearly into account and would bring on wind power, solar power and other kinds of alternative green energy.

What we're calling for is no more coal. We all agree it absolutely has to go. It's archaic that we're still burning dirty coal.


Mr Bradley: Ralph wants to build more plants in Alberta.

Ms Churley: Ralph wants to, it's true. I don't want to talk about Ralph any more. I think I've given him enough of my time today.

No more coal. Green power and conservation, those are the goals. Those are the keys to Kyoto: no more coal; green power and conservation; and the NDP plan for accountable public power. We would keep Hydro public to ensure a greener future.

Mr Sorbara: You can't keep Hydro public. It's not public any more.

Ms Churley: Absolutely you can. Only public power will bring it back. We'll make it public again.

Mr Sorbara: Oh, you'll bring it back. You'll buy it all over again.

Ms Churley: Yes. The Liberals don't agree with us on this and they're wrong. They went along with the government on it.


Ms Churley: I wouldn't provoke me on this, Mr Sorbara.

Only public power allows an early shutdown of Ontario's coal-fired generating stations and the replacement by conservation, renewable energy and cleaner-burning natural gas.

We've got a very aggressive target. I know what the minister says about the Liberal plan on this and the NDP plan. Our plan is the only way it can work, though. Closing down the coal-fired plants by 2007 under a private system is just not going to happen. It can happen with a public system with a very aggressive plan.

Mr Sorbara: Only the state can create great things.

The Acting Speaker: Order.

Ms Churley: What we would do is replace the plants with an extensive program of conservation. I've got to say again, conservation and efficiency are not talked about nearly enough; renewable energy and publicly owned, gas-fired generating stations. Instead of relying on private sector decisions with a desire to make profits, the NDP would bring publicly owned plants through Ontario Power Generation, with some changes in the way it works. With power at cost instead of private profit, the costs would be $2.50 per month for the average residential consumer.

We would require the Ontario Energy Board to give priority to conservation, efficiency and renewable power when new generating capacity is needed. They can't do that now.

We'd require all generators to produce an increasing proportion of the electricity they supply from renewable sources, like wind, solar and small hydro. By 2010, at least 10% of all power -- and I say "at least" at this point -- would have to come from renewables, and by 2020, at least 20% would have to be renewables.

Also, we'd impose what's called a system benefits charge of 0.3 cents per kilowatt hour to fund conservation incentives for residents and businesses. This would produce about $450 million a year and would go to an independent conservation agency run by conservation experts. Only the NDP has an ambitious plan to do this.

In closing, I would urge the government to get off its high horse, stop making excuses for not being able to sign the Kyoto accord and show some leadership. Eighty per cent of residents in Ontario want you to sign that accord and tell us and Canada and the rest of the world how we're going to achieve those targets.

The Acting Speaker: Further debate?

Mr Gill: It is once again a pleasure to speak about Kyoto, against Kyoto. In fact, as you will remember, there have been a number of instances ever since Mr Chrétien decided, first of all, that he's going to finally leave. Eventually he set the date somewhere beyond 2003. He decided there's nothing that the people of Canada will remember him by. He wants to leave a legacy of having done something. He tried it with eliminating the GST. He wanted to be the one to eliminate it. Then he actually wanted to increase the GST. I don't know where that's heading. Nonetheless, now that he's finally leaving, he wants to do something about Kyoto.

Kyoto is something that was hatched in 1997, five years ago, and now all of a sudden there's a big rush in ratifying Kyoto, without even knowing what Kyoto is all about.

First of all, I want to assure this Legislature as well as the people of Ontario that the government is very conscious about protecting our environment. I think that's foremost. Premier Harris earlier and Premier Eves have both taken steps to protect our children from environmental hazards. Contrary to Liberal fearmongering, if you're looking for a sensible record on the environment that really matters, the Ontario Conservative Party is second to none.

It was this government of Mike Harris and Ernie Eves that established more publicly protected parkland in Ontario than the Liberals and the NDP before us. It was us on this side of the House who took steps to reduce car emissions through our Drive Clean program. The Drive Clean program has the added benefit of reducing emissions that actually cause smog. Smog, as I've said earlier, has nothing to do with greenhouse gases. Cutting greenhouse gases is not going to reduce smog at all; they're two different things. When they say there's too much smog on a certain day, it has nothing to do with greenhouse gases. I've said it before: if you really look at the records, we have many fewer smog days now than we ever had before. I can go back to my days in Ontario, about 33 years ago. From 1999 to 2000, the program cut smog-causing emissions from vehicles in the GTA and Hamilton, the two program areas at that time, by 15.2%.

Our government has also been working diligently to prosecute polluters. We increased the fines and sentences for those who would recklessly destroy our environment.

In the Ernie Eves government, we are taking steps to close down the coal-fired power generators at Lakeview and across Ontario, and we have a firm commitment. In my riding of Bramalea-Gore-Malton-Springdale, Sithe Energies out of Oswego, New York, is planning to invest $1 billion to build a plant that will burn natural gas to produce electricity. This is clean energy that does not create pollution.

As much as the opposition may wish to deny it, these positive actions are happening in an Ernie Eves Ontario. Our strong record of achievements backs up our commitment to sensible action. I say "sensible action" because it is what separates Ernie Eves's Conservatives from Liberals. Liberals will act blindly and try to figure out the consequences later. They will rush into projects and, after making a mess, will leave the taxpayers to pick up the bill. The Liberal resolution before the House today is an attempt to bind our hands to a policy no one knows any facts about. All we have are theories, projections, models, and scaremongering by radical environmentalists. Just because the word "environmental" has been placed on the Kyoto Protocol does not mean it's a sensible plan. Real environmentalists want us to ban all cars, close down our nuclear reactors and freeze all development. These people, like the Liberals across the way, care little about jobs or the costs of the projects, but rather would prefer that we acted, as they put it, "for the betterment of the planet."

For the record, no Conservative, Liberal or NDPer wishes to harm the environment. We on this side of the House recognize that we must carry on living and progressing. Ontarians are real people who want real solutions. All that we ask is that governments do not act in a way that will prevent us from earning a living and putting food on our tables. Most Ontarians do not know what the Kyoto Protocol is all about, yet this Legislature is being asked to support it and commit our tax dollars for many years to come.

There is no public outcry for Kyoto. The people of Ontario have not been marching on the Legislature, demanding that we pass Kyoto. They have not been calling my office, demanding that we support Kyoto, nor have they been doing that anywhere else in Canada. Yet we are being pressed to agree to this treaty today without knowing all the facts.


First of all, we must ask, what is the Kyoto Protocol? I think that's a fair question.

Rex Murphy, probably the brightest mind at the CBC, said last night on the National, "I think Kyoto is Japanese for inexplicable." That's what he said. There you have it, the best explanation for Kyoto I've heard. Murphy went on to add, "Kyoto, despite the government's rhetoric now, was not logically arrived at after a long discussion. It was global policy for Canada on the fly." Never at a loss for words, Murphy noted, "Any scientist or layman who says climate change is a finished discipline, that it has the reliability or grounding of the real sciences, is either dreaming or ignorant."

Last night Rex Murphy raised two important points about the Kyoto accord, and I would like to explore both of them as they are the fundamentals of this debate. The first is climate change and the science around Kyoto, and the second is, should we ratify this treaty in light of its glaring problems?

Kyoto is not good science. It is a theory based on models and projections cooked up by thousands of bureaucrats in Ottawa and at the UN. These are the same people who 25 years ago were warning us about the coming ice age. Are their projections any better now? Their models may be more fancy and pleasing to the eye, but they do not make their theories any more factual today than they were 25 years ago.

Today we in the Legislature are being asked to agree to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and we are not even sure of the science behind it. What we do know from the C.D. Howe report is that it will not reduce any smog in Ontario.

Our Liberal friends would prefer that we ratify this treaty before we confirm the science. We on this side of the House, we common sense Conservatives, would prefer to confirm theories and double-check the facts before we rush ahead and spend billions of taxpayer dollars.

Lacking a solid, detailed Kyoto plan from the federal government, no one can honestly assess the consequences for Ontario if Canada ratifies Kyoto. We know that the federal government has projections in terms of job losses and higher taxes, but we cannot accept these numbers blindly. Many believe that the federal government's figures are really on the low end, and I can understand why.

Without a doubt, important questions remain unanswered. How badly will it harm the provincial economy? Will our current level of employment be sustained? Will Kyoto improve the quality of air in Ontario? Will our taxes be used to subsidize China, India and other nations through Kyoto credit sharing? Can Ontario's and Canada's economy cope with the increased competition from America and Mexico following the ratification of this protocol?

These are not inconsequential issues. The prosperity and well-being of all Ontarians depend on honest and factual answers to these questions. Let us not forget that our prosperity is the very thing that enables us to take aggressive, meaningful action to protect our precious air, water and land, our health care, education and jobs. Families that are without work cannot be expected to make the environment their number one priority.

We in Ontario are fortunate that our economy is strong, and it is this strength that allows us to place strong safeguards for our environment.

I want to thank the members of this Legislature for allowing me to share my thoughts on the Kyoto Protocol. This is not to say we do not recognize there is more work to be done to improve our environment. Premier Eves and all members of the Conservative caucus want a cleaner environment. We all want what is best for our kids and for every child in Ontario. That is why we are seeking meaningful, common sense approaches to addressing our environment, while protecting Ontario jobs, Ontario businesses and ordinary citizens from the high home heating costs, new taxes and other unknowns that come with Kyoto.

It is time we sought a made-in-Canada solution which will include our major trading partners and which will keep us competitive. Let's not rush into agreeing to something the impact of which we do not know.

Ms Di Cocco: It's a pleasure to rise and speak on the motion by the member for St Catharines, who has been for a long time, I believe, a champion for environmental protection in this province both as minister and as critic. I don't think anybody would dispute that.

I think this is important, and I'd like to read it into the record.

"The Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is an international agreement to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that result, in part, from the burning of fossil fuels. A large body of scientific evidence suggests that greenhouse gas emissions are responsible for climate change....

"Under the Kyoto Protocol, Canada committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 6% below 1990 levels by 2012....

"Implementing the protocol will require provincial co-operation since many of the actions Canada may want to take fall under provincial jurisdiction."

Thus, we have a responsibility at the provincial level to co-operate so that we can reduce these emissions.

One of the things about Ontario, as Canada's most populous province: in 1998, greenhouse gas emissions totalled 197 megatons. Emissions in Ontario increased 7.7% in the period of 1990 to 1998, and they were projected to increase, and have increased, more than 17% by the time we get to 2010.

I would like to see Ontario become a leader in setting the highest standards for health and safety and environment, and to create economic viability that would be an example of sustainable development. I don't know if the members on the government side understand this, but one of the new trends in corporate Canada and in the world is what you call a triple bottom line. A triple bottom line doesn't just talk about the economic aspect; it talks about the social responsibilities and also about the environmental responsibility. That is the balanced approach to sustainable economic development, something I don't hear from the government side because they only look at it in a very, very narrow focus that is not about sustainable development; it's about short-term gain for long-term consequences.

Ontario has fallen behind most other jurisdictions in its environmental track record. Nobody disputes this. And no one disputes the fact that we've had many smog days this year, more than ever before in Ontario. The medical association figures of 1,900 premature deaths and 13,000 emergency visits because of poor air quality haven't been challenged by anybody. The question is, who is going to have the political will to actually take some steps to clean this up, and when? Is this cost in human life and health the price we're willing to pay to keep on the path of least resistance? That's what the neanderthal environmental comments from the government side are all about. I would like to give some examples.

I listened very carefully to the Minister of the Environment, and I have to say that the minister is a lot about theatrics: little on substance and a lot on bluster. That happens to be his style. I don't see any vision for progressive, sustainable development in Ontario. They are not with the public on this one. They're way behind the times. I'd like to say that this motion to ratify an international accord to set targets to reduce emissions is the right step to take.


I don't know if anyone has heard of John Browne. Anyway, he is a chief executive with British Petroleum. He was hosted by the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He happens to be a business executive, and these comments come from what he said to the business school at Stanford.

"I found that climate change is an issue which raises fundamental questions about the relationship between companies and society as a whole; and between one generation and the next. It is an issue which is about leadership," which we obviously are trying to show, but the government doesn't want to follow the leadership; it follows what Ralph Klein is suggesting we do.

"How did we come to this issue?" he says, "What was the logic of the position" that British Petroleum "adopted five years ago?" He spoke in March of this year.

"First," he said, "it was clear that reputable science could not be ignored. The science wasn't complete -- but science is never complete." That's a fact. He goes on to say this to the students, and these are the future business people who are graduating.

Hon Mr Stockwell: I got it, I got it.

Ms Di Cocco: I'm glad you have it, Minister.

"It was clear that the issue was global, potentially affecting everyone. And it was equally clear that the only practical solutions would be ones which recognized the human desire for improved living standards....

"That logic was the starting point of the international policy debate on the issue -- at Berlin, Kyoto, in the UN Framework Convention and in many other" areas.

"In 1997," he says, "we accepted that logic. We accepted that the risks were serious and that precautionary action was justified. We were the first company in our industry to do so, and the first to say that if we were asking other people to take precautionary action we had to show what was possible and to set an example.

"That was a break with the consensus of the past -- but a break was inevitable because companies composed of highly skilled and trained people can't live in denial of mounting evidence gathered by hundreds of the most reputable scientists in the world....

"That's why we set our own target -- to reduce our own emissions of greenhouse gases by 10% from a 1990 baseline by the year 2010."

I listened to this man speaking, and he has shown that it can be done, and the reason he says he could do it was because there was a will to do it.

Unfortunately, we don't have a political will. I'd like to say again that this motion sets us apart from the Conservatives. The Ontario Liberals have the political courage, we have strong leadership, and we have the intellectual integrity to be on the right side of this environmental matter. I certainly hope the Conservatives will see the error of their ways and vote for this motion.

Mr John O'Toole (Durham): I really appreciate the opportunity to rise today on the opposition day resolution by Mr Bradley with respect to ratification of the United Nations Kyoto Protocol. I listened intently to both the minister here -- Dave gave a very enthusiastic presentation -- as well as the member for Bramalea-Gore-Malton-Springdale.

Earlier, I listened to the member for Ottawa South, and I think he hasn't been listening on this issue. Perhaps he's got to talk to the people of Ontario. Actually, the member for Toronto-Danforth, who spoke earlier, may have had it right. In fact, I want to start by giving her credit. She's been true and consistent -- mostly wrong, but still true and consistent -- in fighting this, with her friends from the Sierra Club and the other people with the bicycles.

I wouldn't like to discredit anyone's view on this. There isn't a person in this House who doesn't want cleaner air and a better environment for all of us and for our children. I think it's the wrong question we're debating and it's the wrong leadership by Jean Chrétien and his government. If you look back, it's my understanding that on September 2 he was at some convention or something. I'm not sure if he stayed up too late or not, but he made mention that he was going to ratify the Kyoto Protocol in Parliament before Christmas.

Prior to that, in the discussions I heard -- this has been in the press for some time; it's not some recent newsflash -- he was going to have consultations with our Minister of the Environment, with all the Ministers of the Environment from across this country. There were going to be consultations on this very important policy initiative, again reinstating the importance of having a clean environment. This is certainly key to our government. The member for Bramalea-Gore-Malton-Springdale has demonstrated a number of initiatives, some of which I'll cover this afternoon in the very few moments he left me.

I want to put on the record here that since September, New Brunswick has stated that Canada should not act independently of the United States; Saskatchewan's industry minister has spoken against ratification prior to the release of the federal implementation plan; Alberta and Newfoundland have strongly opposed it; and Ontario and British Columbia are calling for more information prior to making decisions. I think that's quite important. In fact, Quebec and Manitoba have been the only ones, who have basically hydroelectric generation. My point, though, is that if you look at the conditions, Quebec in a press release said that their acceptance of ratification is conditional, respecting the implications of the protocol decision, upon Canada recognizing actions taken by Quebec. They want a side deal, as probably on most issues.

To date, the government has had, as has been said, many initiatives: Drive Clean has been talked about; the Lakeview re burning coal with respect to 2005; as important as tax incentives is a commitment to exempt biodiesel from the 14.3-cents-per-litre fuel tax -- a very innovative approach; using alternative fuels in the government fleet; requiring mandatory monitoring and reporting of air pollutants and greenhouse gases; and establishing the alternative fuels committee, which brought forward a lot of policy initiatives which I think are important, like renewable portfolio standards.

The member for Bramalea-Gore-Malton-Springdale did say something that I want to pay attention to. Last night I also watched the National. I believe the CBC often has a broader liberal impression of the world, but Rex Murphy I think got it right. I think it's important. If I can find my notes on that, I will read into the record some of the comments he made.

"I can't be certain, but I think `Kyoto' is Japanese for `inexplicable.' Why did we sign on to Kyoto? Until the moment the Prime Minister did, it was to most people uncertain whether we were going to or not. There was certainly nothing like a national debate. There was the odd parliamentary exchange but there may not have been even a cabinet consensus. Kyoto, despite the government's rhetoric now, was not logically arrived at after a long discussion. It was global policy for Canada on the fly, so we didn't buy into it because we thought about it and debated it properly.

"Or did we sign on because of the science? But the science is only half-science. Any one scientist or layman who says climate change is a finished discipline, that it has the reliability or experimental grounding of the real science, is either dreaming or ignorant. A quarter century ago, the consensus of the world's climate experts, a phrase that should always be in quotation marks, told us we were heading for an ice age. They have not explained their massive turnaround, nor how their certainty then is any more to be trusted than their certainty now."


So from the ice age we go on. I'm quoting again: "So we didn't sign on to it because of the science, because in any real meaning of the term, the science isn't ready yet. Did we sign on to it because we knew what it would mean? How we would achieve its goals?"

I continue: "Well, we still don't know what it will mean, because the choices we have to make to meet its goals either haven't been figured out or they're" --

The Acting Speaker: Thank you. Further debate?

Mr Ted McMeekin (Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Aldershot): First things first: Kyoto's clearly about leadership, leadership that doesn't flinch in the face of a tough challenge. It's also about setting a goal. People say, "Well, what's Kyoto about?" Well, it's very, very clear. Anybody who has reviewed the protocol, as I have, knows exactly what it's about.

The references to not buying in, presumably because we want a made-in-Canada solution, well, that's exactly what Kyoto's going to be, a made-in-Canada solution. We made references in some of the ministry's own reports on the quality of air and on climate change, about working co-operatively to implement Kyoto.

A week or so ago we had this meeting downstairs with this Canadian Coalition for Responsible Environmental Solutions. I and a graduate student who works out of my office went down, quite excited about having some opportunity to dialogue, and we kept eating these little shrimpy things and drinking the wine and such and talking to some really nice folk, waiting for the dialogue to break out. But you know what happened? No dialogue broke out; in fact, we had Minister Baird stand up and give a brief set of comments where he said, "You know, we don't want to rush into things. We want to make sure we have full discussion and debate before we do something."


Mr McMeekin: What was ironic about that is that both he and I had rushed down to this gathering downstairs after going through one of the many time-limiting motions to end debate on some item here.

I guess the other irony too is that this government is forever talking about important pieces of legislation -- nutrient management, water systems and what have you -- and they're saying, "Trust us. We want to get this in place. We're going to put the regulations there. We'll get the regulations there. Don't worry about it." But when it comes to doing something collaborative with 87 countries around the world and the other provinces and the federal government, they flinch; boy, do they flinch.

If you want some real dialogue, you ought to come out to my riding, ADFA, meet with our environmental advisory committee and speak to people like Dr Jack Santa-Barbara, who's a world-famous economist, who wrote a piece in the October 8 Spectator entitled, "Why Kyoto Is Absolutely Great for Business." Has the minister read that? You should. Good piece. It was a really good piece. Or meet with Martin Ince of the Positive Power group out in my riding, who is probably one of Canada's foremost authorities on wind power as an alternative to burning coal, which creates, what, 28% of our greenhouse gases in the province?

Kyoto is about transforming, not just tinkering. It's about moving away -- I used to be a counsellor, a social worker before I came here. I can tell you that we would bump into a lot of alcoholics out there who would deny, deflect and delay things. When I look at what's happening in Alberta with their so-called plan, I see this same denial, deflection and delay. In fact, their plan makes things worse.

Some would say we need to take the lead from the United States, who hasn't signed on. I heard some of that. This is the same country that refused to sign the international land mines treaty, the same country that refused to sign the international human rights treaty, the same country, while they make military incursions around the world, that refused to sign on to the military world court tribunals.


Mr McMeekin: Well, listen: you can bomb the world into pieces, but you can't bomb it into peace. You should remember that.

On a good day, all members of this House get up and I think we look at ourselves in the mirror and we say, "We'd like to make a difference." What sort of world are we leaving our kids if we don't get on with the kinds of things we're talking about with Kyoto? Let's be honest about it. It used to be we could predict the seasons. Now we've got some moron at the National Post writing about how neat it is to be able to golf in the middle of January.

Fish stocks are at significant risk. We've fewer old growth forests than ever before. Forty years ago, 25% of our forests were old growth; today, it's less than 1%. That may be good for the GDP, but it makes a heck of a lot of difference to a 10-year-old who's walking through the forest. We have species being depleted now at 1,000 times the natural rate. Childhood asthma is skyrocketing. We've got a toxic soup of new illnesses and, as we look around, more stress, less free time.

Hon Mr Stockwell: It has nothing to do with gas emissions.

Mr McMeekin: The point I'm making is that it has to do with values, about the things we hold to be important and self-evident. I believe we need better measures of what constitutes our well-being. We may be better off materially, but our children, if we're not careful, will inherit a natural world that is significantly diminished.

I know that what is counted doesn't always matter and what matters isn't always counted. In that context, I believe that we need to create new social policy indicators, because what gets measured gets done. We need new indicators of our well-being that speak to what my colleague from Sarnia spoke of: the triple imperative that connects economic, social and environmental factors.

We need ecosystem indicators, something the Minister of the Environment should be interested in, that look at the ecological footprint we're leaving. We don't have anything that measures the irreversible loss of land conversion due to urban sprawl. We don't have anything that measures the irreplaceable rate of wetland depletion. We don't have any index for vulnerable threatened species.

Hon Mr Stockwell: Yes, we do.

Mr McMeekin: We don't. We don't have any natural land use account. If you can show me a natural land use account, I'd like to see that. We don't have a health-adjusted life expectancy index or a measure of the rate of new water-borne illnesses as a result of the environmental negligence that so many people have been practising in various parts of this country lately.

How does Kyoto show us the way? I think that's an important question. The minister mentioned free trade in the debate, by the way, a classic example of how we bought into something as a nation --

Hon Mr Stockwell: Who imposed it?

Mr McMeekin: It was a Conservative Prime Minister who proposed free trade and we bought into that.


Mr McMeekin: Well, it worked. I think in many areas, it has worked. It's a good example of how we get into things.

Mr Duncan: Six conditions.

Mr McMeekin: Six conditions, right on.

Kyoto provides some hope. It moves us away from our isolated perspective to a more collaborate model where we actually get to work with each other to find solutions. It gives us the opportunity to lead and express some of those new values that our kids are always talking to us about. It gives us a chance to reward environmental excellence, to emphasize conservation, to begin to work at the difficult task of changing consumer habits, to promote innovation and new technologies, the kind of job creation imperatives Dr Santa-Barbara talks about.

Since Kyoto was envisaged in 1997, the production of greenhouses in this province has increased by 18%. We're heading in the wrong direction. It's time to say "stop." It's time to say that we collectively care about the environment and the world we're going to leave to our kids and grandkids.

Some say there's no specific plan out there. I just want to share some of the things that have come out recently with respect to Kyoto. It talks about ecological tax reform, emission intensity reductions, carbon caps, carbon sinks -- for those who may not know what a carbon sink is, it's tree-planting -- carbon tax credits, alternate energy use, wiser public transit and more integrated land use.

Kyoto will help us to think smarter and plan better and to quit abrogating our responsibility and to work collaboratively on a range of issues to really give terms like "corporate social responsibility" and "sustainable development" some real meaning and teeth. Change is good; choice is better. There's a choice that's being offered on this side of the House. I urge all members of this House to make the right choice and vote in favour of this progressive, futuristic, people-oriented, environmentally oriented resolution.


Mr Caplan: I am very pleased to speak to the resolution put forward in the name of the member from St Catharines, Mr Bradley, on ratification and Ontario's support for ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. I'm even more delighted to say I will be supporting this resolution, and I encourage all members of the House to do so.

I am disappointed, however, to hear some of the smug, arrogant, even glib language coming from the government side, saying that people don't know what Kyoto is all about, that they don't understand it, this paternalistic kind of argument that somehow the public out there are children and now the petroleum industry is going to tell you what is the right thing to do.

We know where the speakers from the government side got their marching orders from. I have my marching orders from the people of Don Valley East and they are very clear. They know what global warming is. They know what greenhouse gases are. They know what impact these things have on their families and their neighbours. They want leadership and they want it now.

I speak a little bit from experience. In a past life I was a member of the recycling industry, where we reused metals to the effect that it was cleaner for our environment and made for a better world. It was also economically viable. Earlier, before I was a member of this House, I was a member of the board of education. We engaged in an energy retrofit program of all our schools through companies we engaged in a partnership, Tescor and Rose Technologies. We developed a unique technology for energy reduction, for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from our schools.

We projected a payback period of 10 years from the savings that would accrue through the more efficient use of energy. Lo and behold, what happened? A seven-year payback period, which meant that not only was the project self-financing, but we had technology developed in Canada; we had jobs created in Canada, in our schools; we had less energy consumption; we had fewer greenhouse gas emissions; we had more jobs created from this kind of leadership.

That's what the Kyoto Protocol is all about. It's about the will to lead. It's about going and developing new technologies that are going to benefit us all.

Kyoto is good for Ontario business. Kyoto may not be a great deal for other jurisdictions in the world. Perhaps Ralph Klein has a problem with it, but in Ontario's case this is a good deal and we should be signing on and supporting it, because we are leaders and have been, at least until the current administration has been in power, in developing unique businesses. We have world-class universities that give us a competitive advantage.

We can stand by and try to hold back the tide, or we can get in front of it, we can get up and surf on the wave and lead it and ride it out, and not only ride it out but we can thrive and prosper.

This is a real opportunity and the people of Don Valley East understand that. They understand that our seasons are changing, that our summers are getting hotter. They understand what our farmers are facing, that the most serious drought in years has occurred over the last short while. They know the government is making excuses for its foot-dragging because they are in the pocket of the petroleum industry. They know that's not acceptable. They know it's not acceptable to blame somebody else or look to leadership at other levels of government.

It is the responsibility of the Ontario Legislature to stand up for the interests of Ontario -- Ontario residents, Ontario businesses -- and that's why I'm very proud to support this resolution standing in the name of my colleague from St Catharines, Mr Jim Bradley. That's why I'm proud of Dalton McGuinty and his plan for clean air, which is not only going to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but is going to create new jobs in Ontario. That's what this is all about. That's why this is positive. That's why we should be supporting it.

This resolution is good for Ontario. It is leadership sorely lacking in the province today. I call on all members of this House -- all members of this House -- to support the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol and of the framework.

I want to tell you, Speaker, that I have been receiving on an almost-daily basis e-mails, phone calls and letters from Don Valley East residents who want to know why there hasn't been concrete action, why the Ontario government does not have a plan to lead the world in this regard. They want to know why.

Well, I say to the people out there in Don Valley East and across Ontario: there is a leader. There is a leader in the province of Ontario, and whenever Ernie Eves has the guts to call an election, there will be a change. There definitely will be the will to implement it and to make for not only a cleaner environment, not only better health benefits but new and creative jobs in sustainable industries and green technologies.

I'm proud of Dalton McGuinty and his bold vision, and I'm proud of my colleague from St Catharines for bringing this initiative forward.

The Acting Speaker: In response, the member for St Catharines.

Mr Bradley: The opportunity to wind up today -- I must say I watched the press conference with Premier Ralph Klein and Premier Ernie Eves standing side by side, and if there was any doubt that the Conservative caucus might be voting for the Kyoto accord in this House, it was quickly removed when I saw those two standing side by side.

When I saw the lips of Premier Ernie Eves moving, in essence I could hear Premier Ralph Klein speaking. That's most unfortunate, because I don't consider the two of them to be exact in all of their views. I was very hopeful, I say to my friend from Ottawa, that instead of the attitude of the Harris government -- which was obvious because they won't produce the information from the Ministry of the Environment; it was obvious that all they were interested in doing was thwarting and getting out of the provisions of the Kyoto accord -- I would have thought that under the Ernie Eves government a new leaf would have been turned and in fact that they would have been moving in the direction of environmental improvement.

It is virtually impossible, then, to tell the difference between Ralph Klein and Ernie Eves. I know that Ralph Klein's job is to protect the oil industry; it always has been. He receives considerable support from it. But I've always thought it was the obligation of the Premier of the province of Ontario to protect our environment not only for ourselves but for future generations.

I have come to the conclusion, as I say, that the 411 pages that are being kept from me by the Ministry of the Environment are going to be embarrassing to the government because they'll reveal that the government is making no effort to deal with the provisions of the Kyoto accord. Instead of taking this challenge on, instead of moving forward so that all of us in this House could applaud the government, we see the government acting in a blocking fashion, cavorting with other provinces that are opposed to this particular measure, and that's most unfortunate.

I listened to these arguments against the banning of chlorofluorocarbons, which are CFCs. I listened to these arguments when there were ambitious programs to reduce acid rain. I listened to the same arguments from the same kind of industry coalition and anti-environment crew when we promised, after six years of it being on the books, to proclaim the spills bill, which was a very radical piece of legislation. Everybody said it could not be done, that you couldn't write any insurance in Ontario, that the world would come to an end; and of course it did not. It turned out to be a very progressive piece of legislation that has been hailed by people across this province and across this country.

So I cannot believe that there aren't some progressive elements in the Conservative caucus, few as they might be, who really, in their heart of hearts, would want to be voting for this resolution this afternoon. But it was clear from the speech of the Minister of the Environment, and it was clear from the performance of the Premier, standing side by side with Ralph Klein, that these people are going to be on the side of the oil patch.

The Acting Speaker: This concludes the time allocated for debate.

Mr Bradley has moved opposition day number 2. Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry?

All in favour will say "aye."

All opposed will say "nay."

In my opinion, the nays have it.

Call in the members. This will be a 10-minute bell.

The division bells rang from 1750 to 1800.

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


Agostino, Dominic

Bisson, Gilles

Boyer, Claudette

Bradley, James J.

Bryant, Michael

Caplan, David

Churley, Marilyn

Cleary, John C.

Colle, Mike

Conway, Sean G.

Cordiano, Joseph

Crozier, Bruce

Curling, Alvin

Di Cocco, Caroline

Dombrowsky, Leona

Duncan, Dwight

Gerretsen, John

Kormos, Peter

Lalonde, Jean-Marc

Martel, Shelley

Martin, Tony

McGuinty, Dalton

McLeod, Lyn

McMeekin, Ted

Parsons, Ernie

Patten, Richard

Peters, Steve

Phillips, Gerry

Prue, Michael

Pupatello, Sandra

Ramsay, David

Ruprecht, Tony

Smitherman, George

Sorbara, Greg

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


Arnott, Ted

Baird, John R.

Barrett, Toby

Chudleigh, Ted

Clark, Brad

Coburn, Brian

Cunningham, Dianne

DeFaria, Carl

Dunlop, Garfield

Ecker, Janet

Elliott, Brenda

Eves, Ernie

Flaherty, Jim

Galt, Doug

Gill, Raminder

Guzzo, Garry J.

Hardeman, Ernie

Hastings, John

Hodgson, Chris

Hudak, Tim

Jackson, Cameron

Johns, Helen

Johnson, Bert

Kells, Morley

Klees, Frank

Marland, Margaret

Martiniuk, Gerry

Maves, Bart

Mazzilli, Frank

McDonald, AL

Molinari, Tina R.

Munro, Julia

Mushinski, Marilyn

Newman, Dan

O'Toole, John

Ouellette, Jerry J.

Sampson, Rob

Snobelen, John

Spina, Joseph

Sterling, Norman W.

Stewart, R. Gary

Stockwell, Chris

Tascona, Joseph N.

Tsubouchi, David H.

Turnbull, David

Wettlaufer, Wayne

Wilson, Jim

Witmer, Elizabeth

Wood, Bob

Young, David

Clerk of the House (Mr Claude L. DesRosiers): The ayes are 34; the nays are 50.

The Acting Speaker: I declare the motion lost.

It being past 6 of the clock, this House stands adjourned until 6:45 of the clock.

The House adjourned at 1804.

Evening meeting reported in volume B.