39th Parliament, 2nd Session

L076 - Tue 30 Nov 2010 / Mar 30 nov 2010



Tuesday 30 November 2010 Mardi 30 novembre 2010

































































The House met at 0900.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Good morning. Please remain standing for the Lord’s Prayer, followed by the non-denominational prayer.




Resuming the debate adjourned on November 24, 2010, on the amendment to the motion relating to negotiations with the federal government on a comprehensive new agreement to provide funding, planning, and governance for immigrants to succeed and for Ontario to prosper.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Further debate?

Mr. Reza Moridi: It is my pleasure to speak on the resolution calling on our federal government to begin negotiations on a comprehensive new immigration agreement with Ontario.

The success of our newcomers is vitally important to the success of our province of Ontario. Immigration is Ontario’s lifeblood. Almost half of the country’s immigrants settle in Ontario. A few thousand immigrants choose to settle in my riding of Richmond Hill every year. As a result, the population of Richmond Hill has been increased from about 60,000 in 1990 to almost 200,000 in 2010. My family and I are, in fact, immigrants to Canada who moved to Richmond Hill in 1991. It’s expected that the population of York region will reach 1.5 million within the next 20 years.

Newcomers are key components of our labour force growth and prosperity in Ontario. They bring a wide range of work expertise and life experience to our country. They are doctors, engineers, lawyers, teachers, nurses, technicians, technologists, entrepreneurs, business executives, artists, academics and workers, just to name a few. Within the next decade, newcomers will be the only source of net labour force growth in our province.

When the immigrants arrive, no matter the level of their education and work experience, family background, country of origin or ethnicity, they’re all faced with the reality of life in the new land. They have to deal with numerous issues pertaining to settling down in their chosen country—their new home. That’s why we need to ensure that our newcomers have the resources they need to succeed and contribute to our country.

Ottawa has signed federal-provincial immigration agreements with other provinces such as Manitoba, British Columbia and Quebec. These agreements address the unique local needs of newcomers in those provinces. Ontario’s newcomers deserve a comprehensive new agreement that addresses their local needs. The McGuinty government is calling on the federal government to begin discussions immediately on a comprehensive new agreement that provides Ontario with the funding, planning and management necessary for Ontario’s newcomers to succeed. I urge Ottawa to spend the remaining $207 million promised under the first Ontario-Canada immigration agreement on services Ontario’s newcomers need to succeed.

Ontario’s strength and competitiveness depend on new Canadians settling in Ontario, and settling smoothly; on ensuring that they have the tools to succeed. The newcomers’ success is our success, and with almost half of new immigrants to Canada settling in Ontario, this is an issue of national importance. Immigration is a key component of our labour force because newcomers will represent the only source of net labour force growth within the next decade.

Ontario’s newcomers arrive with skills, talents and experience. We have an obligation to help them integrate their skills and talents into our society and our economy. By putting the skills of our newcomers to work, we are ensuring that Ontario remains strong and prosperous. The past generations of immigrants helped to build our province and our country. Today, that tradition continues. But we know that the talents of some newcomers are not being fully utilized. We need a new comprehensive agreement with the federal government to match the realities of our economy and the importance of immigrant success for Ontario’s prosperity. That means funding, planning and the governance necessary for immigrants to succeed and for Ontario to prosper fully.

Earlier this year, the first Canada-Ontario immigration agreement expired. We have repeatedly asked the federal government to begin negotiations, but they continue to delay the discussions. We are also waiting for Ottawa to spend the remaining $207 million that they promised to newcomers under the original agreement. That’s why we are calling on the federal government to come to the table and to begin negotiations immediately on a comprehensive new agreement that ensures that Ontario immigrants have the resources they need to succeed.

According to the Conference Board of Canada, better settlement and integration of immigrants would add tens of thousands of skilled workers to the labour force, resulting in a $4.1-billion to $5.9-billion boost to our national productivity and income. According to the Royal Bank of Canada, if foreign-born workers were as successsful in the Canadian workforce as those born in Canada, personal income would be about $13 billion higher each year than at present. These figures speak loudly. They tell us that every year, we are losing at least $13 billion as a result of issues related to immigrant settlement. Spending on immigrant settlement is not an expense to our governments; in contrast, it is an investment in our people and in the future economy of our nation.

In Ontario, we are a province of 13 million people, competing in a global economy with much larger established and emerging economies. We need a long-term deal with our federal government to ensure that we provide the required services to newcomers to allow them to thrive. We need the talents of new Ontarians.

Throughout the life of the first Canada-Ontario immigration agreement, the federal government underspent what it promised by $207 million. That’s why we need comprehensive new arrangements to support the success of our newcomers to Ontario. Other provinces have agreements with the federal government that respond to the unique local needs of their newcomers. It’s time for Ontario to get a comprehensive new agreement that benefits Ontario newcomers.


Provision of settlement services to the newcomers is not all related to funding. It’s about easy access and improved services for our newcomers. Under the existing system, immigrants face a patchwork of services and duplication by various government agencies. For newcomers, this can be overwhelming and confusing. Immigrants and Ontario are not being served as well as they could be by the current system. We need a comprehensive new arrangement that addresses the needs of newcomers to Ontario. The service providers delivering settlement services such as language training and other supports for immigrants are burdened by two sets of paperwork and two sets of programs for one set of people being served. This is unnecessary and unproductive. Ontario’s eligibility criteria for the programs it funds are broader than the criteria of Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Programs administered by the province will have blended eligibility so that those currently closed to new citizens and refugee claimants are opened.

Ontario is a destination of choice for immigrants to Canada. Almost three million immigrants have arrived in Ontario since 1980. This figure represents about half of all immigrants entering Canada during that period. In 2009, 106,867 immigrants coming to Canada landed in Ontario. This represents 42% of all immigrants to Canada.

Ontario continues to drive Canada’s economy. Ontario generates 39% of the national GDP and produces 43% of total merchandise exports. Ontario is the home for almost 50% of all employees in high tech, financial services and other knowledge-intensive industries.

Successful immigrant integration is closely linked to Ontario’s economic and social outcomes. Immigrants account for approximately 30% of Ontario’s current labour force. In Toronto, nearly one in two—meaning 48%—of labour force participants are immigrants.

The Canada-Ontario immigration agreement was signed on November 21, 2005, and provided $920 million in new federal funding for settlement services over a five-year period, in addition to $540 million in base funding. A one-year extension of the agreement was announced on May 5, 2010, which commits an additional $428 million for the year 2010-11. However, only $713 million of the new money was spent throughout the original agreement; a shortfall of $207 million remains.

Since 2005, the government of Ontario allocated a total of $775 million on immigration programming. Programming includes: settlement, language training and labour market integration services. Ontario supports francophone immigrants and francophone communities by providing access to settlement services and bridge training programs in French, as well as English and French-as-a-second-language instruction, through school boards. To reaffirm Ontario’s investment in immigration, the 2009 Ontario budget committed a total of $94 million over two years to expand mentorship and bridge training support to immigrants in this province.

I urge the federal government to come to the table and negotiate a fair and comprehensive immigration settlement agreement with Ontario. The success of our newcomers is the success of our country.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Julia Munro): Further debate?

Mr. Steve Clark: Good morning, everyone. It’s nice that we see so many people here. I know some of you may have been out at subway stations today, but we’re glad that you’re here today.

I also want to make mention: I hope everyone had a great breakfast. We’ve got the egg farmers downstairs.

Mr. Jeff Leal: It was good, Steve.

Mr. Steve Clark: It was wonderful. I got to talk to a young lady who I went to high school with. We were actually heads of the student council together at Thousand Islands Secondary School in Brockville.

Mr. Rosario Marchese: Is she Conservative as well?

Mr. Steve Clark: I think so, Rosie. Mary Jean McFall is her name, and she’s with Burnbrae Farms. She just got elected to city council in Brockville.

Mr. Rosario Marchese: Uh-oh.

Mr. Steve Clark: No, it’s a good thing. She’s going to make a great councillor, absolutely. So I want to welcome Mary Jean McFall and all of the egg farmers who provided a wonderful breakfast. I think it’s just a great start to the day.

Mr. Jeff Leal: What about the new mayor in Athens? Is there a new mayor in Athens?

Mr. Steve Clark: Absolutely, there is. There is, member for Peterborough. There are a few new mayors around the province of Ontario.

I’m extremely pleased that I’m able to speak on this motion, and especially the amendment that was put forward by PC leader Tim Hudak regarding the Canada-Ontario immigration agreement.

We’ve all heard, especially over the last week, the heckles from the government benches about asking for a plan from our party. Of course, we know why the government is looking for a plan. They’re a bit worried. The Toronto Star poll shows that 76% of Ontarians want a change and, you know, folks on the other side as well are getting a little worried. There are a few of them who are even jumping ship because of the problems that we’re seeing.

Mr. Jim Brownell: No, we’re not.

Mr. Steve Clark: Absolutely.

Mr. Jim Brownell: Absolutely not.

Mr. Steve Clark: I think what’s happening is they’re desperately looking at and looking for ideas from Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak, because over the next 10 months they’re going to make it their vision to twist and distort the facts coming from this side of the House.

I’m so very happy to be able to stand here today and talk about the plan that was proposed by Tim Hudak on this motion. It’s a plan that amends the citizenship and immigration minister’s motion, which I have to admit has some good intentions. But the problem is that, like so much of what we see on that side of the House, it’s got one fundamental flaw. It’s a flaw that should frighten Ontarians because if it was a movie, we’d say, “Premier, we’ve seen this too many times over the last seven years. We didn’t like it the first few times that we saw it and we certainly don’t want to see the sequel.” You see, this motion that was proposed calls on the federal government to blindly hand over $207 million to the McGuinty Liberals. The problem is, there’s no plan on how to spend it and there’s no plan to show Ontarians that it’s working.

That’s why Tim Hudak’s amendment, our PC leader’s amendment, adds a few key words. I’ll say them slowly because I want the government to listen, because sometimes they are words that they rarely use in this House. Our PC leader Tim Hudak’s amendment talks about words like “fully costed plan,” “accountability” and “performance measures.” In other words, before the government creates another $1-billion eHealth boondoggle, we’re demanding they present the federal government and the people of Ontario with a detailed and costed plan on how they’re going to spend the $207 million.


We don’t want the money going to Liberal-friendly consultants, we want it spent on settlement programs that will meet the needs of newcomers to Ontario, as well as the requirements of Ontario communities. We don’t want another slushgate scandal that saw the previous citizenship and immigration minister waste $32 million with a program that had as its main criterion who you knew within the Liberal Party. Groups weren’t even applying for the money, it was getting passed out. There was no paperwork, there was no accountability. I’ll remind my friends opposite about what the Auditor General had to say about that particular plan. Remember what he said? He called the oversight, “the worst that we’ve ever seen.”

Instead of using that money to help newcomers to Ontario realize the dreams that brought them here with their families, the money went to the government’s friends—people with connections. What a terrible lesson for any resident of this province, particularly those who have just arrived here. What a terrible thing for them to learn. We can’t go down that road again.

That’s why I strongly support our PC leader Tim Hudak’s amended motion which reads: “That the Legislative Assembly of Ontario recognizes that Ontario receives, welcomes and benefits from the contributions of nearly half of all new immigrants coming to Canada and calls on the provincial government to support the integration of newcomers and the economic recovery in Ontario by promoting the investment in services for newcomers through a fully costed plan, including accountability and performance measures, which will allow the federal government to spend the $207 million that was not applied for under the existing Canada-Ontario immigration agreement and will aid the province in commencing negotiations on a comprehensive new agreement that provides the adequate funding, planning and governance necessary for immigrants to succeed and for Ontario to prosper.”

I was particularly eager to speak about this amended motion today because of what’s happening in my own riding of Leeds–Grenville. In fact, on Friday just past, I was interviewed in my constituency office by the Leeds and Grenville Immigration Partnership. It was a great meeting. They were taping a video. They’ve actually created a series of videos to help market my riding to new Ontarians, to show them the wonderful quality of life we have in Leeds–Grenville that has brought so many settlers to the banks of the St. Lawrence River, to the Rideau and to the farms and forests in between for hundreds and hundreds of years. It was a great meeting. Those early immigrants worked hard to shape the landscape and build our cities, towns and villages and, in the process, they contributed so much to the social and cultural fabric that makes eastern Ontario such a rich region.

And now we’re looking to a new generation of immigrants from nations other than those in Western Europe. We need them to help us build a new economy that can help eastern Ontario compete with other regions of Ontario, Canada and the world. We need them to add their mark on our communities and their cultural traditions, which will not only strengthen the cultural tapestry, but will make it stronger at the same time.

The reality is that rural Ontario needs immigration. Recruiting these talented, risk-taking family-oriented new Ontarians to live in places in my riding like Brockville, Prescott, Gananoque and Westport must be a critical part of any economic development program. But as badly as we require their skills and as hard as groups like the immigration partnership in my riding are working to lay the groundwork to welcome them, the reality is the provincial government isn’t helping. I know we’re going to hear about how much this government is spending on programs and they’re going to tell us about the great job they are doing. For all that backslapping, it really isn’t helping the people who need it.

In my own riding, part of my meeting last week was interesting; I talked to the 1000 Islands Region Workforce Development Board because I wanted to talk to them about labour shortages in my riding. It was interesting, some of the statistics that they talked about in Leeds–Grenville. We’re going to be facing some unique shortages, perhaps faster than what’s predicted in Ontario and other parts of Canada, in our riding, due to the older median age of its population and the older workforce.

When I met with the immigration partnership in my riding, we talked about the statistics that I’ll read into the record. In the 2006 census, the median age in Leeds and Grenville was 43.6; in Ontario, it was 39. And 45% of our workforce is over 45 years of age in Leeds–Grenville, as opposed to 41% in Ontario. When I met with the 1000 Islands Region Workforce Development Board—and I’m going to be going to a seminar that they’re putting on on Friday. They’ve done some exceptional work on some of the shortages that are taking place in Leeds–Grenville.

Thanks to the federal government for their settlement services to Ontario—and with their support, funding has tripled.

But I guess, again, I want to go back to measurable outcomes. Without accountability, if we don’t know where the funds are going and where they’re most needed, I’m afraid that we’re just not getting there. At least, that’s not the impression that I’m getting from people in my own riding, and I did have the opportunity to get some emails over the weekend that talk about immigration.

As you know, I was appointed a week or so ago to the post of critic. I took over from our leader, Tim Hudak. I had a great opportunity, as I said, to meet with the immigration partnership folks in my riding. I’ve spoken to my federal MP, Gord Brown, and I hope in the very near future to slip up to Ottawa—I’m very close, being in Leeds–Grenville—to meet, hopefully, with Minister Kenney to talk to him about his views and the partnership with Ontario.

But I do, as I said, want to talk about a couple of emails. The first was one that I received on Friday. It’s from a gentleman who was a recent immigrant and moved to Brockville. He was an engineer back in the Philippines and brought with him extensive work experience in manufacturing. He worked for different multinational companies in the past and worked in Hong Kong for five years, as well, as an engineer. He’s had both supervisory and managerial experience and has great technical knowledge in three industries. In fact, he sent me his resumé, and I really was impressed with his background. However, in his three months of job searching in Brockville and in nearby towns, he’s extremely frustrated, as I know many Ontarians are, with the lack of a job opportunity. He’s looking for some help from our office. He’s looking for some help from the partnership and from some of the employment agencies in our community.

The one person who’s copied on the message was from the Employment and Education Centre. I made a member’s statement last week about that great group in Brockville that’s provided employment for all sectors. But again, this gentleman is frustrated over the fact that he is such a skilled worker and that there just aren’t any opportunities for him.

I received a long email on Saturday from a lady in Brockville who read about my announcement that I was taking over the citizenship and immigration critic portfolio from our leader, Tim Hudak. She appreciated some of my comments. She arrived in Brockville in July 2010. They chose the city because it was in close proximity to Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa, right in that little triangle with the 401 and 416. Her husband was a professor of literature. She was an experienced administrator, having great difficulty trying to find work in the community. They have met with the immigration project coordinators. But when you’re starting up a program, they’re more working on some of the portals and the websites for the project, whereas this person talked about her need for researching jobs. She had some interesting comments, because she’s an artist with the council of arts, which is a parallel body that she dealt with in Israel. Their experience since coming to Canada is that they just don’t have the same opportunities. She talks about that in great depth, and she’s given me four great suggestions for moving some of these things forward.


One of the things that they felt extreme frustration on is the fact that they are skilled and their resumés seem to be totally disregarded in the community. It made me think of our leader, Tim Hudak, who, in June, introduced the Newcomers Employment Opportunities Act, 2010. The act would provide incentives for immigrant small business entrepreneurs to invest in Ontario. It also gives incentives for established businesses to provide job-specific language training for immigrant employees and achieves more transparency and accountability in the foreign credential recognition process.

I looked at these letters over the weekend, since my appointment, and it made great sense that a bill like what PC leader Tim Hudak was talking about would certainly help the situation.

Those were just a couple of voices that I believe we should be listening to when we set out for a new program, but it doesn’t seem that they are. No; it’s our party and our leader, Tim Hudak, that recognize that newcomers need programs that will ensure their skills are recognized. We need programs to help cut through red tape and assist them in integrating into rural and small-town Ontario where those communities are filled with opportunities for hard-working, entrepreneurial immigrants, and they need incentives to encourage them to venture outside the GTA to open new businesses. Those ideas can be found in Tim Hudak’s amendment to this motion before this House today and in his Newcomers Employment Opportunities Act, 2010, introduced earlier this year.

Those are the plans. I know that, as well, when we started, there was a lot of discussion about whether we have a plan or whether we don’t have a plan. Clearly, in this regard, there is a plan that our leader has put on the table. They reward those who come here to work hard, to play by the rules, and do away with the policy favoured by the current government that rewards only those who cozy up to them first.

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I appreciate it.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Julia Munro): Further debate?

Mr. Rosario Marchese: I’m happy to speak to the—


Mr. Rosario Marchese: Thank you, Dave. Good to see you.


Mr. Rosario Marchese: I can’t do that.

I’ll be speaking to the main motion and the amendment because I’ll be supporting both of them for different reasons.

I really understand why the minister is introducing this amendment, because there’s good reason to be afraid of federal governments, irrespective of their political colourings. Some of you, of course, were too young and some of you were probably not involved in politics in 1990, but those were the days of—

Mr. Steve Clark: I was a mayor.

Mr. Rosario Marchese: You were a mayor, yes.

Those were the days of Brian Mulroney. I used to love his voice, that mellow voice. I loved it, and I used to love it when he said, “The GST will bring prosperity to the”—I loved that. Of course, it didn’t bring any prosperity, but you remember a couple of those things.

Of course, we were in government in 1990; we, New Democrats, with the then leader of our party, Premier Bob Rae, who has since left us and joined the Liberals. We were having one difficult economic time. Do you remember that? It was tough.

Hon. John Milloy: The Speaker’s too young.

Mr. Rosario Marchese: That’s right.

Of course, the Conservatives used to say, “You don’t got a revenue problem, you got a spending problem.” And so did the Liberals, of course, because the Liberals didn’t cut us any slack, either. They used to say the same thing about the NDP: “You don’t got a revenue problem, you got a spending problem.” The problem is, we had a huge revenue problem, but none of the opposition parties then, Liberals or Conservatives, ever extended a hand out and said, “You’re right, Bob. We’re with you, Bob.” None of them, and of course, that’s the way it works. Politics is like that.

But we were on our own. Some of you are too young or too old to remember that we used to have a deal with the Conservative government. We had a cost-sharing agreement on welfare. Understand this: cost-sharing, 50-50. In that recessionary period, Mulroney decided to end that deal. You understand how difficult it was, because people were unemployed. They were going on welfare. Our welfare bill went from $1 billion to $5.5 billion. We were in desperate times. We were looking for the federal government to continue lending their support to the province at a time when we most desperately needed it, and they cut the cord in 1990. Mulroney; God bless him, wherever he is.

In 1993, another Prime Minister whose name starts with an M, Mr. Martin—Mulroney, Martin; interesting. Marchese: There’s the next logical progression. Martin comes into power. Understand, by 1993, things got better. The economy was getting better. But this is the time when Liberal Martin decided to make huge cuts to our transfer payments as well, and made huge cuts to unemployment insurance as a way of dealing with the deficit that we were left with, in 1990, at the federal level. So he made huge cuts to our transfer payments to Ontario, and of course that made us unhappy. Subsequent governments who followed us, the Conservatives, were, I’m assuming, very unhappy with those cuts.

The reason why I mention this brief little history is to say that there is good reason why these motions are put in front of this Legislature: because they’re worried. They’re worried that in these last two years of recessionary periods, where there is less money, the federal government might decide not to be as kind as they have been in the last five years. So I understand the motivation, as expressed by the member from Richmond Hill, by the Premier and by Minister Hoskins, through his motion. You never know, because it’s quite possible they will start reducing the transfer payments. I have no doubt about it.

I know that the finance minister at the federal level said, “We’re not going to do that. We’re not going to do what previous governments did.” I understand those pronouncements, but I don’t believe them, and I suspect a lot of Liberals don’t believe them as well. That’s why they’re nervous. So we have a motion here that says, “Send the money; frightened as hell.” So we’ve got a motion that says, “Send the $207 million that you told us you would send and let’s renegotiate the deal.”

Now, as my colleague our critic—good heavens. As my friend from—where is my friend?—Beaches–East York said in his remarks, we have, provincially and federally, constitutional obligations. The constitutional obligation of the federal government is to negotiate whatever immigration agreements with the provincial government. It’s a duty. It’s actually written down in law. And it doesn’t say, “They shall need to have an arrangement around immigration issues,” but “they may.” That’s the language that Liberals use in their bills; that I’m assuming we, New Democrats, used when we were in power; and that the Tories used. So, the language is “may,” but the effect is, for legal purposes, the same.

So your motion makes it appear somehow that they’re not going to negotiate with you, but you all know—at least if you didn’t, you did once the member from Beaches–East York told you—that they have a constitutional obligation to meet and discuss and do an arrangement with you; that they will. Except your motion makes it appear as if somehow they will not, and that’s the politics of it, which I understand. I really do. But I hope you accept the fact, once it’s been brought to your attention by the member from Beaches–East York, that negotiations must happen and they likely will.


Now, whether you get the full piñata or not, I don’t know. That remains to be seen, and for that you will have to continue to negotiate, to hammer strongly against the Conservative government federally, which we’re happy to help you with.

Part of the problem is that, around issues of immigration, the federal government has been negligent. We’re not just talking about the current government; we’re talking about their predecessors, the Liberal government federally. They were equally feckless in their approach to these issues. They bring immigrants into the country and then they send them loose to every corner of Canada to fend for themselves. They bring them in, highly qualified people, by and large, the majority with degrees, except for the 30% who have less than a high school education, but the majority with degrees. They bring them into the country with the expectation that they’re likely to find a job in their field, and then, when they don’t find a job, the reaction of the federal government is, “Well, it’s too bad. So sad.” It ought not to be that way. It ought to be that the federal government has an obligation and better manages their affairs so that immigrants, when they come in, know very well what to expect. The problem is, the majority of them, with degrees, have no clue what to expect. They actually believe the government that if they let them in because of their degrees, somehow they’re going to find jobs, and then they don’t. I call that irresponsible governing by federal parties, both Conservative and Liberal, in the last 15 years.

They ought to be doing what Quebec does, and I’ll speak about that in a moment, which is that you’ve got agents who meet with prospective immigrants and basically tell them what to expect, give them the information they require to get their licence, should their licence not be applicable once they come into this country. The point of that is that they know then whether to come to this country or to go somewhere else. At least they’re not in the dark about what to expect when they come as immigrants.

Quebec does a good job with that. Quebec has negotiated an immigration arrangement where they decide on the immigrants that they need and the immigrants that they want. Now, much of that is based on language, which I understand; I really do. I’m a big supporter of Quebec and I’m a big supporter of bilingualism in this country. I wish everybody was bilingual. I accept the fact that Quebec has those diverse interests and needs, and I accept the fact that they are the only province in Canada where they conduct their business in French. It’s great. So to have sought, as a province, the power to do immigration on their own was a remarkable thing. I call that a remarkable accomplishment by the province of Quebec, which is the second-largest province, by way of population, in Canada.

The question the member from Beaches–East York raised is, why isn’t Ontario doing that? Why is it that every four or five years, the province is left begging the federal government to negotiate, and to negotiate a fair deal? Why do you do that? You look like little children begging for more, as opposed to behaving as an independent province with the power to behave independently, and you could if you decided that that’s the power you wanted. Yet none of you seem to speak to it at all: not the members who speak to it, not the minister who spoke to it and not the Premier of this province.

For some reason, some of you are happy to keep this servile relationship with the federal government. I don’t know why some of you don’t squirm in shame around this, as I say it. Some of you are going to speak after me. That’s good. But that’s what you should be demanding, because then you have clarity with respect to what you want to be able to accomplish with immigration.

Now, I suspect the reason why you want to do this is so that you, the province, can continue to blame the federal government for not giving you enough money—because they have the responsibility; not you, really—and so you can continue to take political cover when things fail you. It’s not good, really. You don’t look like statesmen and stateswomen when you do that. It’s a political ploy, I understand, but it doesn’t really work anymore. You should be demanding that you have your own power to determine what immigrants Ontario needs and not let the federal government, that has not done this very well, continue to do it badly in perpetuity. I think it’s time.

I also believe that what the Conservative amendment says is not a bad thing. To demand accountability is something you Liberals should be supporting. What’s wrong with that? If you are spending the money as you claim you are, then show how you are doing that. Account for the money that the federal government is giving you in terms of how you’re spending that to help newcomers once they land in this province. Why would you be afraid to do that? By not accepting this amendment, you are afraid.

And if you reject it, as I suspect you might, you’re saying to the public that you’re quite happy to take federal money and that then you will spend it as you wish, rather than spending it for real immigrant needs, and the needs are quite remarkable. Immigrants come to this province and the majority, 50% of them, come to Ontario—it used to be higher—and 79% come to Toronto. By “Toronto,” I think they include Toronto and the GTA, because nobody can afford to stay in Toronto anymore. When they say “Toronto,” I really do believe they mean the GTA.

That’s why poverty has grown in the GTA, because Toronto has become a very expensive place to live in. So they moved out to the GTA, and all of a sudden, the GTA is experiencing poverty issues—God bless them, because they never had any sympathy for Toronto in the old days when the whole of Canada dumped their problems on Toronto. And they used to criticize Toronto at the same time for being a haven for poverty issues, public housing and whatever else you can think of.

Then, all of a sudden, the GTA experiences problems in health and social services, and lo and behold, they’re asking for help. I love it; it’s great. It’s good that the GTA is asking for help finally. It’s good that the GTA is finally saying, “Oh, we’ve got a little problemo to deal with.” It’s no longer Toronto that’s suffering the problemo; it’s now the GTA and beyond. I love that, because it means they’re beginning to understand what some of us have had to deal with for a long, long time.

It used to be that we had welcome houses in Ontario, until my good friend Mike Harris got rid of them. Oh, I shouldn’t talk about Mike Harris anymore; he’s gone. But he got rid of the welcome houses. You understand, the welcome houses were the places where newcomers could go and say, “I need help. Can you direct me? Can you tell me where to go for assistance, for language training, or any kind of training, or any help? Where can I find any services? How can I get my licence accredited? Where do I go?” I don’t know where they can go anymore. The welcome houses don’t exist and I don’t know what the Liberals have put in their place to support them.


The Liberals are asking for $207 million. I agree with the Conservatives in this regard, because they can be good in opposition. In opposition they are great. I have learned to love them in opposition; I have. I often say, “I hope they stay there longer,” because they get better in opposition, they really do. They become human, or at least humanized.

Hon. Monique M. Smith: Who are you loving?

Mr. Rosario Marchese: The Tories.

Hon. Monique M. Smith: You love them?

Mr. Rosario Marchese: I love them in opposition, yes.

Hon. Monique M. Smith: Wow.

Mr. Rosario Marchese: But it’s equally true that even Liberals, when they were in opposition, were good, too. Something happens on the way to the farm on the other side.

The point is, this is a good amendment introduced by the opposition parties. We need to account for where your money is going. When you stand up to speak, you have to say, “We agree with the amendment because we think it goes a long way. We want to account. We want to tell you, actually, Marchese, where the money is going. We’re going to delineate, line by line, literally, so that you can tell.” That would be good for me, good for Tories, good for Liberals, good for everyone because immigrants are having a difficult time.

Even though Tories and Liberals have opened the doors for doctors—and by the way, if we didn’t need doctors, neither the Tories nor the Liberals would have opened that door to them. But because we needed doctors in the last 12 or 15 years, the immigrants who have degrees, who have been able to become accredited to practice their profession are those who are doctors. In almost every other profession they’re struggling, for different reasons, and they are virtually on their own. Use your constitutional power to stop begging and use your constitutional power, because you have a Minister of Immigration, and actually do something on your own without constantly having to complain about what the federal government is doing to you and not doing enough for you.

It would be good for you to become finally independent. It would be great for you to finally ask the federal government to negotiate a deal like Quebec, which gives you, finally, the independence you need to be able to do this job right.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Julia Munro): Further debate?

Mrs. Amrit Mangat: I’m pleased to stand today in strong support of a new and comprehensive Canada-Ontario immigration agreement, one that puts the local needs of our newcomers first. I would also like to commend the member for Trinity–Spadina for supporting this government’s motion.

When I immigrated to Canada a lot more challenges existed, especially for seeking accreditation, despite having two master’s degrees and 10 years of teaching experience. I must admit that now we have better programs and I would like to share with the members of this House that, having said that, we have come a long way but still we have a long way to go. Many newcomers still face language barriers and difficulty settling. As someone who has immigrated to this country, this new immigration agreement is something that is very important to me and the constituents in my riding of Mississauga–Brampton South, which is a very diverse riding.

Despite the challenging economic times, Ontario continues to drive Canada’s economy. Ontario generates 39% of the national GDP, produces 43% of total exports and is the home of almost 50% of all the employees in the financial sector, high tech and other knowledge-based industries.

Ontario is a destination of choice for immigrants to Canada. In 2009, over 100,000 immigrants coming to Canada landed in Ontario. This represents 42% of the total immigration to Canada. Out of that, 27,000 newcomers settle every year in the region of Peel and many more in my riding of Mississauga–Brampton South. Ontario’s first immigration agreement with the federal government was a good start. It is now time to apply what we have learned from that experience and develop better ways to help our newcomers so that Ontario can benefit from their skills and talents.

There has been a shift in the immigration categories from skilled workers to family class and refugees. As a result of that shift, those immigrants who opt to settle in the province of Ontario need more and more settlement and integration services.

Ottawa has signed federal-provincial agreements with other provinces such as Manitoba, British Columbia, and Quebec. These agreements address the unique local needs of newcomers in those provinces. I see no reason why the federal government should not sign an agreement that addresses the unique local needs of newcomers in the province of Ontario.

To date, Ottawa has withheld $207 million from the first immigration agreement. I urge the federal government to live up to its commitment and release all funds from the previous agreement. In addition, I urge the federal government to step up and begin negotiations immediately with us so that our immigrants can benefit from the services they need to succeed.

We need a new agreement, an agreement that provides all immigrants with the services to overcome language and settlement barriers, an agreement that allows our service providers to spend more time helping our newcomers and less on administration, an agreement that better addresses the needs of our communities to attract and retain newcomers. We believe that by administering language and settlement services provincially, we can help reduce duplication and help our immigrants when they need those services. We want a new comprehensive agreement that puts the local needs of our newcomers first because we strongly believe that when newcomers succeed, Ontario succeeds.

I would like to encourage all members of this House to support this agreement and stand up for the newcomers in your ridings as we move forward to build a stronger Ontario for all families, new and old.


The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Julia Munro): Further debate?

Mr. Jim Wilson: I certainly appreciate the comments that have been made this morning both on the amendment and on the main motion from the government.

Mr. Hudak has been trying to improve the motion that was put forward by the government. The motion that was put forward by the government, as Mr. Marchese, the member for Trinity–Spadina, said a little earlier, sounds a bit whiney. It sounds a bit like the Ontario Liberals once again suggesting that the federal government is shortchanging Ontario—and they might be. There’s always an argument to be made there that you never get enough money from the federal government with respect to immigration. Certainly, my belief is that Quebec gets a better deal from the federal government, and that may be the fault of all three parties in this Legislature, that we failed to seek independence from the federal government with respect to immigration matters in the country of Canada.

We’ve always been the good guys and gals, as it were, in Confederation, and we have sought to keep the country together on almost all program fronts. Now we have labour market agreements separate from other provinces, special agreements with the federal government, so we do have some independence with respect to training and money that comes for post-secondary education. Perhaps it’s time, not through whiney resolutions like this one but through formal agreements with the federal government, that we seek a degree of independence from the federal government, as Quebec has done in the past.

I’m just going to be very short here this morning. I would say that we would hope, as the NDP have indicated, that the Liberals would also see Mr. Hudak’s amendment as an enhancement of what they’re trying to say, an expansion of what they are asking for. It’s a recognition by the PC caucus that we certainly welcome immigration and we believe the federal government should do its fair share. But having resolutions on the floor of this House, which frankly are a bit of a waste of time, and whining at the federal government isn’t the way to do it. We need the Premier to sit down with the Prime Minister and the respective ministers, do the hard work that’s required to hammer out agreements, and then the proper money will flow to the province of Ontario.

I suspect one of the stumbling blocks is that the federal government will want to audit that money. It has always wanted to audit the money in post-secondary education or what they give the provinces for health and social services. I used to work for the federal government at one time back in the mid-1980s, and it was very, very frustrating that you would transfer gobs of money to the provinces, but you weren’t sure whether they were actually spending it on health care or social services or post-secondary education or welfare. I suspect that’s one of the stumbling blocks here.

When it came to training, that was sorted out. The federal government, because of the agreement that we now have, has been able to satisfy itself and the taxpayers of Canada for the same taxpayers in Ontario that the money is being spent on what it is sent to the province for.

With that, Madam Speaker, I’ll yield the floor.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Julia Munro): Further debate?

Seeing none, on September 28, 2010, Mr. Hudak moved that the motion be amended by removing the words “and the federal government to support the integration of newcomers and the economic recovery in Ontario by investing in services for newcomers and therefore asks the federal government to fulfill their commitment under the recently expired five-year Canada-Ontario immigration agreement to spend the outstanding” and “promised to Ontario’s newcomers and immediately” and substitute the words: “[A]nd calls on the provincial government to support the integration of newcomers and the economic recovery in Ontario by promoting the investment in services for newcomers through a fully costed plan including accountability and performance measures, which will allow the federal government to spend the” and “that was not applied for under the existing Canada-Ontario immigration agreement and will aid the province in commencing”.

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

All those in favour will say “aye.”

All those opposed will say “nay.”

In my opinion, the nays have it.

The vote shall be deferred to deferred votes.

Vote deferred.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Julia Munro): Orders of the day?

Hon. Monique M. Smith: We have no further business this morning.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Julia Munro): This House stands recessed until 10:30 of the clock.

The House recessed from 1005 to 1030.


The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): I beg to inform the House that, pursuant to standing order 71(b), the House leader of the official opposition, the member for Renfrew–Nipissing–Pembroke, has notified the Clerk of his intention to file notice of a reasoned amendment to the motion for second reading of Bill 140, An Act to enact the Housing Services Act, 2010, repeal the Social Housing Reform Act, 2000 and make complementary and other amendments to other Acts. The order for second reading of Bill 140 may therefore not be called today.


The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): I beg to inform the House that today I have laid upon the table an energy conservation progress report from the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario entitled Rethinking Energy Conservation in Ontario—Results.


The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): I also beg to inform the members that today the Canadian Hearing Society is visiting Queen’s Park, and we will have sign-language interpreters on the floor.


Hon. Monique M. Smith: To that end, I would like to introduce and welcome Lesley Roach and Paula Bath, who are the interpreters from the Canadian Hearing Society. They’re here for the annual Canadian Hearing Society Day at Queen’s Park. We thank them for their services and we’re happy to have them here today.

Mrs. Christine Elliott: I’d like to welcome a number of members from Durham region here today, who are joining us in the gallery. They’re here to express their concern with respect to the extension of Highway 407 eastbound.

Hon. Christopher Bentley: I’d like to welcome Lorin MacDonald, who is a lawyer and is here today with the Canadian Hearing Society.

Mr. John O’Toole: I’d like to welcome a constituent with a farm business from my riding. He’s here with the Ontario Egg Producers: Hubert Schillings. He has a wonderful farm family in Durham. Welcome, Hubert.

Hon. Carol Mitchell: I’m very proud to introduce members of the Egg Farmers of Ontario board of directors. We have Carolynne Griffith, Scott Graham, Harry Pelissero, Hubert Schillings, Victor Slobodian and Laurent Souligny. Welcome, and thank you for a fabulous breakfast. It was just wonderful.

Mr. Jerry J. Ouellette: I would like to welcome Mayor John Gray from the city of Oshawa, as well as Councillor John Neal, who have joined us here at Queen’s Park today.

Mr. Paul Miller: I’d like to, in the west gallery, introduce my wife, Carole, and our friends who are retired teachers, who taught in my riding: Jim Leavens, Rae Leavens and Barb Gibson.

Mrs. Donna H. Cansfield: I’m more than pleased to introduce the family of Jennifer Boothby, a page from Etobicoke Centre: Christina Boothby, Bob Boothby, Carol Ann Boothby, Frank O’Rourke, Gillian O’Rourke, Ruth Boothby, Dan O’Rourke, Linda O’Rourke, Katie O’Rourke Macole and Susan O’Rourke. Welcome to the Legislative Assembly.

Mr. Steve Clark: I also would like to introduce representatives from the Egg Farmers of Ontario. I’d like to welcome Janet Hueglin Hartwick, who’s here, and also a dear friend of mine—we went to high school together and she is now a Brockville city councillor: from Burnbrae Farms, Mary Jean McFall.

Hon. Deborah Matthews: I would like to introduce and welcome to the House members of the Canadian Hearing Society. They’re here at Queen’s Park today for their annual day of advocacy and awareness. Thank you and welcome.

Mr. John O’Toole: I’d like to introduce Councillor-Elect Corinna Traill from the council of Clarington, as well as Jeremy Woodcock, a citizen who’s here protesting the failure to extend the 407, and Mark Canning, who is a member of the 407 highway extension committee. They’re asking the Minister of Transportation—

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): These are introductions of guests, not members’ statements.

Mr. Jean-Marc Lalonde: Even though we already introduced Mr. Souligny, I would like to say that Mr. Souligny comes from where the sun rises in the morning. He comes from my riding and he’s also the national president. That’s where you get the best eggs in the province.

Mr. Jerry J. Ouellette: As well, I have a number of other guests from Oshawa: Mr. Bob Bell, Mr. Doug Hawkins and a schoolmate and Scouting mate of mine, Mr. Mark Canning.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): I would like to take this opportunity and ask all members to welcome a former member, Harry Pelissero, who represented Lincoln in the 34th Parliament. Welcome back to the Legislature today.



Mr. Tim Hudak: My question is to the Premier. Premier, when you took office, Ontario’s energy prices were among the lowest and most competitive in Canada. Today, under your misguided energy policies, they now rank among the highest in North America, yet you want to continue to drive us down the path of high-cost energy.

Yesterday I pointed out, Premier, that Spain’s energy experiments—that you are copying; of massive subsidies to corporations—cost 2.2 jobs in the economy for every job that was created by subsidies. It gets worse. The Bruno Leoni Institute says Italy’s similar experiment killed 4.8 jobs for every job created in the whole economy and 6.9 jobs for every job created in manufacturing.

Premier, how are you going to avoid the job losses experienced elsewhere when you’re copying an outdated plan from Europe?

Hon. Dalton McGuinty: I’m not sure what my honourable colleague is talking about when he talks about other jurisdictions. I do know that he’s a man without a plan. I do know as well that we continue to have a plan here on our side of the House.

When it comes to jobs, just a couple weeks ago I was in Hamilton and met there with the folks at JNE Consulting. This meeting flowed from a trip I had made just a few weeks before that to China. There’s now a joint venture. They’re establishing 300 new jobs there in clean energy.

Just last week, the Minister of Energy announced 150 jobs in clean energy technologies in Cambridge. I’ve spoken as well about some 10,000 Ontario farmers who are signing on to produce clean energy for the people of Ontario. We’re talking about more jobs, not fewer jobs. We’re talking about clean energy and reliable electricity.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Supplementary?

Mr. Tim Hudak: Hamilton and Niagara families know the Premier has now snuck into town a couple of times last week and then snuck out of town without answering questions from the media.

Premier, let me continue. I think you should know that the Wall Street Journal, earlier this year, had the authors of the institute’s report that I referenced earlier on. It said the evidence of Italian job losses from energy experiments, these massive subsidies to corporations, is consistent with Spain’s. Your “buy high, sell low” policies have created a gold rush when it comes to massive subsidies that are driving up rates and chasing jobs out of our province.

Spain, France, Australia and Germany are now all walking away from their expensive, massive subsidies. What makes you think, Premier, that you have a more intelligent understanding than countries who are now admitting that their expensive experiments went badly off the rails?

Hon. Dalton McGuinty: We know that families want us to shut down dirty coal because they want to breathe clean air. We know that farmers are very excited about participating in clean energy production. Maybe we should hear from businesses.

This is what the Association of Major Power Consumers in Ontario commented with respect to our long-term energy plan. This comes from Adam White, the president. He said: “This plan means a stable investment climate, and that means more jobs.” He went on to say, “Competitive electricity rates are an absolute priority for AMPCO members. The plan sets out a framework to create a reliable, economically viable electricity system for Ontario.”

So if we put it all together: Families want clean air, farmers want to participate in clean energy production and businesses support a stable electricity pricing environment. We’re putting it all together. It’s going to be there for the next 20 years for Ontario families and Ontario businesses.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Final supplementary?

Mr. Tim Hudak: Premier, your so-called energy plan has chased jobs out of our province and is driving up rates for families. It has been an unmitigated disaster for the Ontario economy, and Premier, if you want the next election to be about your plan to double hydro bills yet again, we say, “Bring it on.” We’ll take you on because we’re on the side of Ontario families and Ontario small businesses that say enough is enough. Let’s make it about affordability and bringing jobs to our province.

Premier, I know you have a love affair with European policy-makers who voted for massive subsidies to particular projects. I say to you again: Those countries now are backing away from their expensive energy experiments, but you want to double down. You want to put our economy at risk. You want to put the livelihood of Ontario families at risk. Premier, why won’t you look at the evidence and abandon your expensive energy experiments—

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Thank you. Premier?

Hon. Dalton McGuinty: The Euro-bashing puzzles me and I’ll leave that to others to contemplate. We’re going to stay focused on creating more jobs in Ontario.


The leader of the official opposition may be less than enthusiastic about our long-term energy plan, but I can tell you, one by one, members of his own party are rising in support. The member for Sarnia–Lambton attended our announcement of the world’s largest solar farm in his backyard. The member for Haldimand–Norfolk–Brant said this when he attended our green energy hub announcement: “Our area has significant economic and geographic potential for solar energy generation.” That’s from within their own caucus. Then there’s the MPP for Leeds–Grenville. He said, “Building future jobs in the renewable energy field is clearly the way to go.”

There’s an outbreak of rash reasonability inside the Conservative caucus when it comes to support—

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Thank you. New question.


Mr. Tim Hudak: I know the Premier stuffs his ears with straw to avoid the facts of Europe’s experience with expensive energy experiments like his. You, not too long ago, boasted that you were going to follow in the path of Italy, Germany, Spain and other jurisdictions, but, Premier, as I’ve laid out, they are now moving away from these expensive energy experiments.

But if you’re not going to see the evidence abroad, then perhaps you’ll listen to an important group here at home: The Canadian Federation of Independent Business polled its members, and a whopping 87% said they don’t trust you or believe you when it comes to a clear picture of the Ontario economy, and a similar number, a whopping 82% of small businesses said that you’ve mismanaged electricity pricing in the province of Ontario.

Premier, do you take this to mean that your campaign to confuse Ontario families is really working?

Hon. Dalton McGuinty: I just quoted those folks who arguably might have the most at stake when it comes to electricity: the Association of Major Power Consumers in Ontario. The president said, again, “This plan means a stable investment climate, and that means more jobs.”

Certainly, when it comes to small business, they’ve expressed a tremendous amount of appreciation for our clean energy benefits. Effective January 1, there is going to be a reduction in electricity bills for the course of the next five years. It’s going to benefit our families, it’s going to benefit our small businesses, and it’s going to benefit our farmers.

We recognize that there’s going to be an increase in electricity prices. They on the other side believe somehow that there will be no increases in electricity prices; I think they believe in the electricity fairy. We don’t believe in the electricity fairy. We believe that we’ve got to be responsible, to be fair with Ontarians, when it comes to putting forward a reasonable, responsible plan for them. That’s what we’ve done, and a clean energy benefit will be of real support to families, small businesses and farmers as well.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Supplementary?

Mr. Tim Hudak: It’s a shame the Premier does not take the Canadian Federation of Independent Business’s recommendations seriously. This is one of the largest organizations in Canada when it comes to advocating for hard-working small business people. They should be the economic engine that drives job creation in Ontario, but your high-cost energy policies are forcing them to cut back. One in five of its members now, Premier, is saying they’re going to have to reduce staff in the next quarter, and the vast majority say they’re not going to hire any new staff at all. The reasons they give? Your tax grabs like the HST, and now skyrocketing energy bills are a top concern.

Premier, you’ve doubled prices, and your fantasy plan is going to double hydro prices yet again. Why is it that Premier McGuinty is the only one who sees no connection between job losses and higher hydro rates in Ontario?

Hon. Dalton McGuinty: Again, these are mutterings and musings from the plan-free zone in Ontario. My friend is very negative and pessimistic about the economy and the growth that is in fact taking place.

We heard good news this morning from General Motors. We insisted on being there for the auto sector at a time of tremendous challenge. We invested on behalf of the people of Ontario. They announced today that they are hiring back the last 400 employees that they laid off, but more than that, they’re hiring on 300 new employees. The fact of the matter is that production is up. The fact of the matter is that they’re showing confidence in our tax policies; they’re showing confidence in our energy policies. They’re showing confidence in Ontario and in our shared future. I would encourage my colleague opposite to demonstrate that kind of confidence from time to time, because that’s what the people of Ontario want to see.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Final supplementary?

Mr. Tim Hudak: You know, it’s a bit rich, coming from this Premier, that he has a plan, when he has a plan of the week when it comes to energy. Premier, you have backtracked so often, poor Minister Broten should get out of the way, because you’re going to run her over with all of your backtracks in the province. Clearly, this is no way to run energy policy in the province. It’s impacting on jobs; it’s driving up bills for families and seniors.

Premier, the CFIB even cites your smart meter tax machines as a major concern. Seventy per cent of them say it’s impacting negatively on their ability to create jobs and to do business. Now we see that a number of—I believe nine—local distribution companies are telling you to hold off on this program, that it’s not working properly, and we hear from families that your smart meter tax machines are driving the rates through the roof. Premier, will you admit your smart meter tax machines are a failed initiative and that you need to rethink it?

Hon. Dalton McGuinty: At the end of the day, I’ll side with the Environmental Commissioner when it comes to supporting our smart meters. I’ll also side with the experience of many parts of the world, which demonstrates—including the United Kingdom. I know that my honourable colleague has not made reference to the UK, but the new Prime Minister of the UK has said in no uncertain terms that they’re going to continue to move forward and, in fact, accelerate their plan to put smart meters in homes and businesses.

My friend has made reference to the CFIB on a number of occasions. I want to quote from their press release of November 18. The headline says it all: “Small Businesses Welcome Hydro Relief.”

They say, “We are pleased to see the government acknowledging the impact of its energy policies on the province’s job-creators.”

We’ve got the Association of Major Power Consumers in Ontario. We’ve got the CFIB expressing support for our clean energy benefit. We’ve got farmers lining up to participate in clean energy production. We’ve got families saying, time and time again, “We want to stop the pollution. We want our kids to breathe clean air.” We’ve got tremendous and growing support—

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Thank you. New question.


Ms. Andrea Horwath: My question is for the Premier. Today, the Premier sent his staff and increasingly desperate caucus out into the rain to hand out flyers promising lower hydro bills. Does the Premier think it’s fair for the Liberal Party to promise lower hydro bills when everything, from smart meters to private nuclear deals to the unfair HST, will be driving hydro prices up?

Hon. Dalton McGuinty: I appreciate the question from my colleague. What we’re doing is something that we’re able to do because we have a plan. We’re communicating a plan to the people of Ontario. They can’t go door to door. They can’t go bus-stopping. They can’t stand at the doors of the subway and hand out information about a plan, because they don’t have a plan. We do have a plan. We’re proud of our plan. We want to share that plan with the people of Ontario. We want more and more people to understand that this is about ensuring that we have a clean air future. It’s about understanding that we have a future with all kinds of new jobs and exciting new clean energy industries. It’s about families and businesses knowing that they can have the security that comes from knowing that we’re going to have, for the next 20 years, a reliable supply of electricity. All we need to enjoy our lives and all we need to grow our businesses on top of that is clean energy, and we’re creating jobs. That’s the plan that we have, and that’s why we’re communicating it to Ontarians.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Supplementary?

Ms. Andrea Horwath: The McGuinty government says that they’re helping people save, but the people who run the system are saying anything but that. EnWin in Windsor, like many other utilities, is delaying their smart meter implementation because they’re still scrambling to make it work. The manager of customer service at EnWin says that when, or if, the system is in place, customers will have to work “really hard” to stop bills from climbing. Does the Premier really think anyone believes his Liberals are going to help with the family budget?

Hon. Dalton McGuinty: My honourable colleague should know that we’ve been making tremendous efforts to help families with the budget, in addition to the fact that there’s going to be a clean energy benefit which will be effective as of January 1 this coming year. It’s a 10% reduction in electricity bills for the course of the next five years.

I also note that during the past couple of months, 220,000 Ontario students have been receiving $150 cheques for their textbook and technology grants. I also note that this December, hundreds of thousands of Ontario families will receive the HST transition cheque. That’s $335 per family and $100 per individual. I think those are very welcome supports at a trying time for our families and our students, and we look forward to finding more ways to help our families acknowledge their challenges.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Final supplementary?

Ms. Andrea Horwath: While Liberal MPPs stand in the rain offering false promises of relief, people struggling with their bills can see the facts very clearly. Local utilities like EnWin are saying it will be “really hard” to save money with a smart meter, and even harder as expensive nuclear deals and the HST drive prices up.


Why would Ontario families have any faith whatsoever that the Premier’s latest plan will save them any money?

Hon. Dalton McGuinty: I’m a little bit confused by my honourable colleague’s approach, because for months on end she stood in this very Legislature and asked that we reduce electricity bills by 8%. We’ve done more than that: We’re reducing them by 10%. Again, that is just one small part of a very comprehensive, thoughtful, responsible, honest long-term energy plan for the people of Ontario.

Again, I say to my honourable colleagues opposite that we have a plan. It’s out there for Ontarians to see. They can kick the tires. We’re going to keep talking to them about it. I ask them now, on behalf of the people of Ontario, to put forward their plan. They remain part and parcel in a plan-free zone. We’ve never seen anything like this before. We put forward a 20-year plan; they’ve put forward nothing. I ask them, on behalf of Ontarians, to put forward that plan and let’s take a good, long look at it.


Ms. Andrea Horwath: My next question is also for the Premier. The government continues to say that it’s got an energy plan, but already it’s been torn to shreds. Here’s what people are saying about the so-called plan. Carole Barry from Terrace Bay writes, “Because of the high hydro and because I live on very low income, I have made the decision next year to walk away from my home … this 46% increase coming is very scary.”

Now, given the Premier’s failed seven-year record, why would people like Ms. Barry have any faith whatsoever that the Premier’s latest plan is going to help them?

Hon. Dalton McGuinty: I would encourage my honourable colleague to do everything within her power, and I’m sure she would want to do this, to make sure Ontarians are fully informed when it comes to the details of the plan that we’ve put forward. Over the course of the next 20 years, the electricity bill will go up, on an annual basis, on average 3.5%. During the course of the past 20 years, it went up, on average, annually 3.6%. I want families to know as well that electricity went up during the last 20 years 3.6%, natural gas 4.7%, cable TV 5% and fuel oil 5.2%. The average resale price of a home has more than doubled. I want Ontarians to know that in the natural order of things it is not unusual for prices to go up. We’re ensuring that during the next 20 years it will in fact go up at a lower rate when it comes to electricity costs than it did during the past 20 years.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Supplementary?

Ms. Andrea Horwath: Irene Mielnik from Windsor has her own thoughts about this government’s so-called energy plan. She writes, “I’m not in favour of a temporary fix that you call a rebate … there is also something desperately wrong with the smart meters being installed and the complaints from residents whose bills have skyrocketed.” Why should Ms. Mielnik and people like her believe that the Liberals’ latest attempt to spin their energy plan has any truth whatsoever?

Hon. Dalton McGuinty: Again, 3.5% on average during the course of the next 20 years, and we’ve put out a plan. It’s comprehensive, it’s responsible, it’s thoughtful and it speaks to our future. We want clean air. We want reliability when it comes to our electricity supply and want to make sure that we create more jobs. That’s our plan. We’ve got a plan that’s out. Again, they don’t have a plan out.

These new jobs are an important dimension to our plan. When I was in Hamilton just a couple weeks ago at JNE Consulting, we announced 300 new jobs in the production of clean energy technologies. I wish at some point in time my honourable colleague would stand up and speak on behalf of those families that are going to benefit from those jobs. I think I know what they’d say. They’d say, “Thank you for thinking of our future. Thank you for not just putting before us a proposal for clean air and reliable supply, but, be it in my capacity now as a mum or a dad, to go home and look my kids in the eye and say, ‘We’re going to make it because there’s a new job for me. It’s going to support our household. We’ve got a bright future.’” I wish she’d say that.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Final supplementary?

Ms. Andrea Horwath: The government has slapped an HST on people’s hydro bills, said people are just going to have to pay more and then they scrambled. They scrambled to reverse themselves when their poll numbers started to plummet. People see through it.

John Akermanis from Aurora writes this: “The 10% rebate is a joke and likely has more to do with an election”—unparliamentary word, and I won’t use it; it starts with a B—“than anything else.”

Why should people like Mr. Akermanis believe the government’s latest tale when they have completely ignored those people for so many years—seven long years, in fact?

Hon. Dalton McGuinty: My honourable colleague, for months on end, stood up in this Legislature and asked, I think with all sincerity, that we reduce electricity bills by 8%. We have, in fact, reduced them by 10%. She now chooses to call that a ploy. What was it on her part when she was asking us to cut them by 8%? If we believe her sincerity when it comes to 8%, then she should trust our sincerity when it comes to 10%.

At the end of the day, it’s about ensuring that families have the capacity to manage this transition as we move into a clean energy future. The fact of the matter is that governments of all stripes have failed to rise to the occasion when it comes to ensuring that we have a reliable supply of clean electricity. That’s what we’ve done. That’s what our plan is all about. That’s what we’re going to continue to move forward with.


Mr. John O’Toole: My question is to the Minister of Energy.

Interjection: He’s not here.

Mr. John O’Toole: The other Minister of Energy.


The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): The member from Durham.

Mr. John O’Toole: I guess my question is to the Premier. Yesterday, in question period, Premier, you told members of this assembly that a constituent of mine, Wayne Wilson, a farmer from Uxbridge, was a supporter of your expensive energy experiment.

What does Wayne Wilson of Uxbridge have to say? Here is a quote: “In my opinion the government has not been truthful.” He goes on to say that your expensive energy experiment and taxes doubled his hydro bill while letting you say the kilowatt-per-hour rate has not risen. He calls this “creative accounting.”

Why did you tell Ontario families that Wayne Wilson supports your expensive energy experiment when, in fact, Wayne Wilson doesn’t support your experiment?

Hon. Dalton McGuinty: We do know that there are some 10,000 Ontario farmers who are participating in our plan to generate—


The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Premier?

Hon. Dalton McGuinty: I want to take the opportunity to thank Mr. Wilson, who is a crop farmer in Uxbridge. He grows corn and soy. He was one of the first in the Uxbridge area to install solar panels on the roof of one of his—


The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): No, I’m not stopping the clock.


Hon. Dalton McGuinty: Again, I want to thank Mr. Wilson; he’s a crop farmer in Uxbridge. He grows corn and soy. He was one of the first in the Uxbridge area to install solar panels on the roof of one of his barns. He has 66 panels, generating 10 kilowatts of clean electricity. He has been feeding his power into the grid since August, and we’re very grateful for his efforts.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Supplementary?

Mr. John O’Toole: Premier, I know that we have excellent farmers in Durham—some of them are here today, in fact—but you try to confuse the families of Ontario, including misrepresenting some of the views on this expensive energy experiment.

Page 2 of your Sussex Strategy campaign says it is critical to confuse the public and the media away from the price and to attribute it to farm income. You were wrong to tell Ontario families that Wayne Wilson supports your energy experiment when, in fact, he doesn’t.

Why is Premier McGuinty not simply telling the people of Ontario the truth?

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): I just ask the honourable member to withdraw that last comment, please.

Mr. John O’Toole: Would the Premier—

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): No, I’ve asked you to withdraw.

Mr. John O’Toole: I withdraw the part about the truth.


Hon. Dalton McGuinty: I want to repeat the facts because I think they’re pretty important here. Mr. Wilson is a crop farmer in Uxbridge. He grows corn and soy. He’s one of the first in the Uxbridge area to install solar panels on the roof of one of his barns. He has 66 panels generating 10 kilowatts of clean electricity. He’s been feeding his power into the grid since August, and we’re grateful for his participation in this program.

But you should know that he’s one of 10,000 Ontario farmers who have signed on to participate in our clean energy program. This is great news for families because it’s helping to make the Ontario farm, especially the small Ontario farm, more viable, which means Ontario families will continue to have access to good-quality, homegrown Ontario foods. It’s good for farmers, and it’s good for families.


Mr. Howard Hampton: I have a question for the Premier. Today, the Environmental Commissioner raises questions about the McGuinty government’s non-performance on energy conservation. The Environmental Commissioner says the McGuinty government won’t achieve even its modest 2010 targets for conservation. The Ontario Clean Air Alliance reports that this government spends $60 on new electricity supply for every $1 it spends on energy conservation, and the government has only pursued two thirds of the conservation measures deemed cost-effective by the Ontario Power Authority.

The question: Why does the McGuinty government put expensive new gas and nuclear plants ahead of cost-effective energy conservation and energy efficiency?

Hon. Dalton McGuinty: To the Minister of the Environment.

Hon. John Wilkinson: My question is, when we conserved 1,700 megawatts of electricity in the province of Ontario, why didn’t the NDP support us? I think that is something that we can all be proud of because if we can not use the electricity in the first place, then we don’t have to get into expensive new generation. That’s why the people of Ontario are supporting our plan.

We want to thank the Environmental Commissioner for his good work and his report. He is respected by all sides of the House.

There’s always more work to be done, but it is important to remember that conservation is at the heart of our long-term energy plan. On this side of the House, we have a plan, including a plan for conservation. We’re going to build on the 1,700 megawatts that we’ve already conserved. That’s why we’re moving forward with our ambitious goals. The only way to get out of dirty coal in this province is to conserve and use green energy. That’s what we’re focused on on this side of the House, and we want to thank the Environmental Commissioner for his—

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Thank you. Supplementary?

Mr. Howard Hampton: Conservation is exactly what the Environmental Commissioner says you’re not achieving.

His report was written before the government released its so-called long-term energy plan, and that’s too bad because he would have raised concern about the great McGuinty slowdown on energy conservation, going from a goal of 6,000 megawatts of conservation by 2020 to less than a quarter of that between 2020 and 2030. Why? Because that’s when expensive new nuclear reactors are expected to come online: in 2020.

The question again: Why does the McGuinty government continue to invest all kinds of money in expensive nuclear reactors and gas plants while you continue to ignore thoughtful energy efficiency—

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Thank you. Minister?

Hon. John Wilkinson: I think a little history lesson is important. When the NDP were in power, they cancelled all the conservation programs in the province of Ontario. We’ve had to bring them back.

Why is it that the Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance gave Ontario an A+ for conservation last year, up from a C- just six years ago?

Our home energy savings program has helped 250,000 homeowners make their homes more energy efficient through savings and retrofits. That’s like taking some 83,000 cars off the road. Our conservation of some 1,700 megawatts is the amount of power used by 500,000 homes in the province of Ontario. That is making a measurable difference.

Is there more to do? Absolutely. That’s why on this side of the House, where we have a long-term energy plan compared to the NDP, the “no darned plan” party over there that doesn’t have an energy plan, we’ve made conservation an important keystone of that plan, and we’re—

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Thank you. New question.


Mr. Bob Delaney: My question is for the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. Since the province recently announced its intention to repeal the Social Housing Reform Act of 2001 and replace it with a new piece of legislation, residents in our western Mississauga communities of Streetsville, Meadowvale and Lisgar have asked if there is new money being announced through the measures proposed in the bill. Minister, our patterns of poverty in big cities like Mississauga and Brampton are different from Metro Toronto. Please outline what this proposed legislation will do for those in the 905 belt who face very urgent housing needs.

Hon. Rick Bartolucci: I want to thank the member for the question. This legislation, if passed, is about fixing an outdated, inefficient housing system and building on existing resources. It’s about putting people first, finally. It’s about giving municipalities and service managers the flexibility to do what they need to do in order to serve the people we all serve. It’s about being creative, allowing that creativity to take place so that we can maximize the effectiveness and the efficiency of the $2.5 billion we’ve invested since 2003. It’s about ensuring that the ongoing $430 million we invest in social housing is invested in the wisest possible way. It is allowing those service providers to make those critical decisions that will affect the local people, the people we are mandated to serve.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Supplementary?

Mrs. Amrit Mangat: Like the member for Mississauga–Streetsville, I too have heard many constituents in my riding of Mississauga–Brampton South who have expressed some concerns with regard to the social housing and the amount of funding being provided by our government.

My question is also to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. Minister, having listened to your response, I think there is a lot there that our 905 colleagues can bring back to constituents in our growth-driven ridings. You discussed provincial money being invested both currently and in the past. Can you please outline what these investments are achieving in Mississauga and how this proposed new legislation will enhance the value of those investments?

Hon. Rick Bartolucci: I want to thank that member for the question as well. She certainly has a passion for serving her constituents in a very, very real way.

In Peel, the members on this side of the House have helped secure investments that have resulted in—and this is really remarkable—more than 1,200 newly built units, more than 12,300 units repaired, roughly 950 rent supplements and allowances, and more than 780 evictions prevented. This new legislation is ensuring that the monies that we put in annually, the $430 million, are used most effectively. We want to ensure, as we move forward, if this legislation is passed, that service managers at the local level, which can meet the local needs best, are given that authority.


Mr. Norm Miller: My question is to the Minister of Finance. Minister, last Thursday I asked the Premier about his wage freeze plan that has gone badly off the rails. After question period, media asked the finance minister where the money will come from to pay all of the unplanned wage hikes. He said, “The deficit is so far this year already below what we projected,” suggesting you will spend the billion dollars you didn’t expect to have when you made your projections. But you already spent the billion dollars to pay down debt. How many times does McGuinty math let you spend the same dollar?

Hon. Dwight Duncan: I refer the member opposite to the quarterly report from the Ministry of Finance, which will be audited by the Provincial Auditor. I remind him about the Fiscal Transparency and Accountability Act, which this government put in place because that member and his party left a hidden $5-billion deficit. What they did in those days was they used plug numbers in their budget to try to pretend they had it balanced.


We have worked hard to bring down the average wage settlement, working with our partners in the broader public sector on both sides, labour and management. We reject their approach. We do not believe it is in anyone’s interest to force strikes, lockouts or more bad blood, especially as this fragile economy recovers. We will continue to work with our partners in the broader public sector for the best interests of all Ontarians.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Supplementary?

Mr. Norm Miller: Again to the Minister of Finance: Last week, as acting energy minister, you spent a billion dollars for your so-called hydro credit. Your runaway spending habit is so bad, you want to spend the same dollar a third time in a bid to save face on a wage restraint plan that has gone badly off the rails. So you used the billion dollars to pay the wage increase, you used the billion dollars to reduce the debt and you used the same billion dollars to give the hydro credit. You spent $1 billion in found money three times. No wonder Premier McGuinty is being called Canada’s worst economic manager.

What makes you think Ontario families have a never-ending ability to pay more for runaway spending on all of Premier McGuinty’s expensive experiments?

Hon. Dwight Duncan: I think Ontario families are looking at the results in education; we have higher graduation rates. I think they’re looking at health care—


The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Minister?

Hon. Dwight Duncan: Ontarians have access to a doctor. We have shortened wait times. We have worked hard to get ourselves through the worst downturn since the Great Depression. We’ve recovered 75% of the jobs that were lost. General Motors, just today, had another good announcement: Not only are they bringing back the last folks who were laid off—and those are real Ontario families—they’re hiring additional workers.

Ontarians care about results, not your cheap rhetoric; not your confusing of facts. They want better health care, better education and more jobs. They know they’ll get that from us, not from you, and they need to see one thing—

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Thank you. New question.


Mr. Paul Miller: My question is to the Attorney General. Nortel disabled retirees have been attempting to get the transcripts promised by a judge for the latest CCAA proceedings that dealt with health and welfare trust. Attorney General staff agreed to provide these documents and transcripts, but there’s been a delay of six weeks. The request was made on October 13. Why has this minister not ensured that these transcripts were provided in a timely manner?

Hon. Christopher Bentley: I’m not familiar with the time it will take to prepare the transcripts. Most of the time when you order transcripts, you depend on those who actually were in court, heard the evidence, needed to transcribe the evidence, got it checked, then got it approved by the presiding judge before it gets distributed.

We’ll look into this and find out where it is, but the Attorney General does not have final say on the preparation of court transcripts.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Supplementary?

Mr. Paul Miller: These are disabled workers who have no money and are losing everything as they face today’s deadline for the appeal for the court decision—today’s deadline. They need these transcripts today; they needed them six weeks ago when they started asking for them.

Our staff contacted the ministry to ask for help, but received absolutely no co-operation for these desperate—and soon, destitute—disabled workers. Will the Attorney General finally support these disabled workers and provide these badly needed transcripts today?

Hon. Christopher Bentley: I appreciate the member’s passion and I appreciate the question he is asking.

First of all, CCAA protection issues are federal government issues. That’s number one. Secondly, the Nortel issue: Our government has stood with Nortel pensioners and supported them to a great extent. Third, in his first question, the member said that the ministry was already working to provide the transcripts and to assist with the transcripts, but they would take weeks. Fourth, I don’t control the preparation of transcripts. Those are independent people for the most part. They type, they prepare, they transcribe, and then they get them approved by the presiding judge. That’s not me.

So my friend’s passion is misplaced. We’ll do what we can to assist, but his passion is simply misplaced.


Mr. Reza Moridi: My question is to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. On November 24, the member from Thornhill asked the minister a question and made statements about the chief of staff of York Central Hospital. The information presented wasn’t accurate.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): I ask the honourable member to withdraw the comment that was directed at another member.

Mr. Reza Moridi: I withdraw.

As a member of this House and as someone who represents a neighbouring riding, I am very concerned about misinformation being spread in this House about someone who is doing important and good work in my community.

Can the minister please address this issue and correct the record about the chief of staff of York Central Hospital?

Hon. Deborah Matthews: I, too, was appalled by the cynicism and the disparaging nature of the question from the member from Thornhill. Sadly, though, it was just another in a long list of examples of the drive-by smear campaign that seems to be now commonplace for the party opposite.

I believe that the member from Thornhill owes it to his constituents who are served by York Central Hospital to, at the very minimum, get his facts straight before he attacks the health care professionals there. The member’s assertions related to what he called a salary bonus for the hospital’s chief of staff. It is simply wrong. It was not a salary bonus; it was, in fact, a pay-for-performance award.

I would urge the member opposite to actually understand how hospitals work in this province. They understand the value of a pay-for-performance award—

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Thank you. Supplementary?

Mr. Reza Moridi: Thank you, Minister, for helping to clarify the issue that was raised in the House by the member from Thornhill.

It seems to me that York Central Hospital had an established pay-for-performance policy in place well before the passage of the Excellent Care for All Act, which targets a blend of Ministry of Health, LHIN and hospital priorities. I am proud of the leadership demonstrated by the hospital administration and medical staff, and I am also proud of the care that York Central Hospital provides to the growing population in my riding.

Can the minister please speak to the improvements in care that York Region residents now have access to?

Hon. Deborah Matthews: Just last week I had the wonderful honour of visiting York Central Hospital with many members of my caucus. It truly was a wonderful event. I was there to announce $12 million in PCOP, post-construction operating, funding. This is funding that we provide to hospitals that have had a tremendous expansion, like York Central Hospital.

While I was there, I heard about the improvements to front-line health care. Indeed, I met a young mother who had spent two months in a coma from H1N1 who had recovered and was healthy again thanks to the front-line care she received at York Central Hospital.

Health care is getting better in the 905. We’re making the investments to keep on making it better. We’ve made a lot of progress, but we’ve got plans to do a lot more.


The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): The members will please come to order. New question.


Mr. Randy Hillier: My question is for the Minister of Transportation. Minister, my constituents have been contacting me about police making traffic stops and laying charges based on a vehicle insurance database. A year ago, the member for Newmarket–Aurora asked you to investigate such a database, and you told the House that the database wasn’t ready yet and that you wanted to spend more time to develop it and “get it right.”

Minister, it’s over a year later. Please tell us in the House, have you gotten it right yet?

Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: If there’s a specific case that the member would like me to look into, I can do that, but I assume what he’s referencing is our work with the Insurance Bureau of Canada to make sure that insurance records are combined and that we can accurately assess, when people go to have their licence plates renewed, whether they have valid insurance or not. That work has been under way and we are ready to do that when people go to get their licences renewed.


The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Supplementary?

Mr. Randy Hillier: Well, I’ll have to inform the minister: While you’ve been taking your time getting it right, someone else has indeed done it. The Insurance Bureau of Canada and various police services, including the OPP, confirm that a private company, CGI, is providing the Insurance Bureau data to municipal and provincial police forces. The database, however, is inaccurate, out of date and the data corrupted, and it was never intended to be used for enforcement purposes. There have been numerous mistakes made by the police in its use, including impounding vehicles and false charges of driving without insurance. CGI is aware of these failings but has not stopped its use. Your inaction and incompetence has outfitted our police with faulty tools and they’re charging people who have done nothing wrong.

Minister, are you asleep at the wheel? And how did you manage to miss what was going on in your own portfolio?

Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: We are wide awake and we are on this project. We are the first government that has worked to actually combine the databases to make it possible, when people go in to get their driver’s licences and their val tags renewed, that we can actually make a validation of whether the driver has valid insurance or not. Up until now, that data has not even been available. We’re not going to take any lessons from the party opposite on how to ensure that people have valid insurance.

We’ve been working with Insurance Bureau of Canada. MTO officials are working with the police service. There’s a lot of data, obviously, to combine. We’ve been doing that, and people can rest assured that when they go in to have their val tag renewed, their insurance can be validated.


Ms. Andrea Horwath: My question is to the Premier. Why didn’t the government act on numerous complaints and tips they received between 2005 and 2007 about financial improprieties at the Niagara Parks Commission?

Hon. Dalton McGuinty: To the Minister of Tourism and Culture.

Hon. Michael Chan: Thank you very much for the question. I really appreciate the opportunity to talk about NPC, the Niagara Parks Commission.

Our government is taking action. We are moving forward to restore public confidence, to bring greater accountability and to bring greater transparency. We are having a close look at practices at NPC, everything from travel and meals to hospitality expenses for senior management. As we move forward, I have full confidence in Chair Fay Booker to take all the necessary actions to strengthen this important government agency. She understands that we need to drive change so that the agency operates in a manner that is accountable and transparent to all Ontarians.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Supplementary?

Ms. Andrea Horwath: My question was, why was the government missing in action from 2005 to 2007? With every passing day, Ontario families learn more of scandals at the Niagara Parks Commission. First it was sole-source deals. Then it was expensive Vegas vacations. Now we’re learning that the government and the former Minister of Tourism had information about improprieties but didn’t act on them for four years.

Why did this government ignore the voices of concern and sit by while the Niagara Parks Commission unravelled at the seams?

Hon. Michael Chan: Thank you again for the question. We are moving ahead. These changes are far-reaching. We are looking at everything from procurement of governance. We are looking at everything from travel and meals to hospitality expenses for senior management. Our actions will move the commission forward to bring greater accountability, to bring greater transparency.

I have, one more time, full confidence in the new chair, Fay Booker, a chair that is knowledgeable and experienced, and someone who is determined to strengthen the commission and to make it transparent and accountable to all Ontarians.


Mr. Jim Brownell: My question is to the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. Literacy is a basic skill I know we all feel is essential for any individual to master in order to become a confident and productive member of society. In fact, literacy remains a key skill that Ontarians need to compete for jobs in today’s economy.

Minister, what commitment has this government made to the investment of literacy education in this province?

Hon. John Milloy: Obviously, literacy is a key part of our educational agenda over here. I’m very pleased that this year, the literacy and basic skills program, including academic upgrading, helped over 61,000 learners, with 72% of exiting learners going on to further education and employment.

There is a concern, though. Due to the federal stimulus funding which came to the province of Ontario, this past year we were able to provide service to an extra 13,000 individuals. Unfortunately, this stimulus funding is coming to an end at the end of March. This government, and I call on all members of the Legislature, is calling on the federal government to continue this funding and to recognize that the effects of the recession are not going to somehow magically end on March 31 of next year. We’ve been—


The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Supplementary?

Mr. Jim Brownell: As I understand it, the stimulus funding from the federal government not only affects literacy funding but a whole range of other programs. I am deeply concerned for students in this province, and certainly in my riding, who have trouble finding work, which, as we know, helps them to pay for their schooling and living expenses during the academic—


The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): I would just remind the honourable members who are offering interjections in the chamber today that if they’re so engaged in some of these issues, perhaps during their morning question period pitches they should be pitching for these questions so that they can directly ask these questions.

Please continue.

Mr. Jim Brownell: According to Statistics—


The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): I just remind the honourable members on all sides within the House—


The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): I don’t need help from the member from Sault Ste. Marie, I believe that was.

Please continue.

Mr. Jim Brownell: According to Statistics Canada, the unemployment rate of full-time Canadian students between the ages of 15 and 24 was reported in 2009 to be over 18%.

Minister, what are you doing to help students find employment?

Hon. John Milloy: Again, I’ve been very proud that this year we invested over $90 million to help 107,000 young people benefit from summer employment opportunities. But once again, due to the partnership with the federal government—part of this funding came from federal stimulus funding, which they are threatening to end at the end of March. In fact, if they do pull it, it could jeopardize 37,000 young workers who would not be able to benefit from our summer employment program.

Once again, we appreciate the support of the federal government over the last two years, but I think it’s incumbent upon every member of this Legislature to send a very strong signal to Ottawa to say that the effects of the recession in Ontario are not going to end on March 31 of next year and we urge them to continue support for Ontario workers and for Ontario young people.


Mrs. Christine Elliott: My question is to the Minister of Transportation. During the minister’s recent visit to Durham region and in her answer to my question on October 20, she maintains that she did not breach the agreement entered into between the McGuinty government and the federal government with respect to Highway 407. The Flow agreement dictates that Highway 407 must be completed to Highway 35/115 by 2013, yet the minister has now admitted this might not happen for more than a decade. She blamed the economy, saying, “Infrastructure was our priority before the downturn hit.”

Minister, you had the money to take out a billion-dollar energy loan. You had a billion dollars to squander on the eHealth scandal. The federal government has been able to hold up their end of the Flow agreement. Why won’t you?

Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: I want to welcome the folks from Durham region here today. I know that this road is very important to people who live in Durham. I know it’s very important to people who live in Kawartha and Peterborough, which is why we are going to build the 407 to 35/115. That’s what we’re going to do. The environmental assessment has been done. The road will be built in stages, as I said to the folks in Durham. There will be 13,000 jobs created as we build this highway. The shovels will go in the ground in 2012. The road will be built in stages, as the first 407 was built in stages.


I think, given the economic downturn, this is a very good-news announcement. The fact that we’re going ahead with the 407—I’ve driven the road. We’re building the busiest section first, and we’re going to be working with the mayors to look at the traffic flow issue—

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Thank you. Supplementary?

Mr. Jerry J. Ouellette: It has come to our attention that landowners east of Oshawa’s Simcoe Street are having their properties expropriated. If the McGuinty government is not able to finish the 407 extension to Highway 35/115 right now, then why is the land being expropriated, and why are residents being told that they have to be out of their properties by this spring?

Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: You actually can’t have it both ways: Either we are going to build to 35/115 or we’re not. The fact that we are working on land acquisition means—


The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Stop the clock.


The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): I’d just like to remind the members that the Speaker is hosting the pages for lunch today, and they’re very hungry.


Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: In order to build a road, you actually need land and you need a plan. We are in the process of executing that plan, so we do have to acquire land.

But one of the things I have to say, as the Minister of Transportation, that I think about consistently on this file, is, what if we had retained possession of the 407? What if the 407 had not been sold off in a fire sale? What if we had been able to work on the 407 as a provincial asset all these years? The party opposite sold out the 407 in a fire sale. We’re going to build it to 35/115.


Mr. Rosario Marchese: My question is to the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. In 2008, you promised your bill would allow part-time college workers the right to bargain collectively. It is almost 2011, and those workers are still not allowed to do so because the colleges are circumventing the rules. You’re happy to let this charade continue while thousands of votes remain in sealed ballot boxes. Where is your plan to make colleges respect your bill?

Hon. John Milloy: I was very proud when this Legislature passed legislation which allows the unionization of part-time college workers. The matter that the member is raising is, right now, as he knows, before the Ontario Labour Relations Board. I would also think that he would know, as a former minister, that it’s inappropriate for myself or the Minister of Labour, or any other minister, to comment on a matter that’s before the board. We will allow the parties to work it out with the assistance of the Ontario Labour Relations Board, and leave it to that body, where it should rest, and not here in the Legislature.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Supplementary?

Mr. Rosario Marchese: We’re allowing them to work it out and it’s two long years, so long that the International Labour Organization has also taken notice of this—again—with respect to the minister’s reluctance to help workers. Recently, the ILO took this very minister to task by stating that they regret that the government provides no observations on the complainant’s allegation that mediation and costly litigation at the OLRB can take months, if not years.

It’s no wonder colleges resort to these stalling tactics; they’re broke. They’re frightened because Ontario gives less money to its colleges per full-time equivalent than PEI does. But it’s not the fault of workers that colleges are underfunded. When will you allow these workers to organize so that your bill can pass in a way of which you are proud? When are you going to make it happen?

Hon. John Milloy: I find it passing strange to have a member of a party which cut funding to our institutions, which cut student aid and which made post-secondary education the bottom of their priority list stand up and talk about funding to our colleges and universities. I am very, very proud of this government’s record when it comes to post-secondary education and the significant investments that have been made, and also the changes that we’ve made to labour legislation around part-time college workers.

There is a process before the Ontario Labour Relations Board, and I think that member should respect the fact that the purpose of the board, which was established by this Legislature, is to deal with disputes such as the one that he is referring to and not play cheap politics by raising it here, when he knows that no minister can comment on a proceeding that is in front of the board.



The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): We have a deferred vote on the amendment to the motion relating to negotiations with the federal government on a comprehensive new agreement to provide funding, planning, and governance for immigrants to succeed and for Ontario to prosper.

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

The division bells rang from 1137 to 1142.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): All those in favour of Mr. Hudak’s amendment will rise one at a time to be recorded by the Clerk.


  • Arnott, Ted
  • Bailey, Robert
  • Barrett, Toby
  • Chudleigh, Ted
  • Clark, Steve
  • DiNovo, Cheri
  • Dunlop, Garfield
  • Elliott, Christine
  • Gélinas, France
  • Hampton, Howard
  • Hardeman, Ernie
  • Hillier, Randy
  • Hudak, Tim
  • Jones, Sylvia
  • MacLeod, Lisa
  • Marchese, Rosario
  • Martiniuk, Gerry
  • Miller, Norm
  • Munro, Julia
  • Murdoch, Bill
  • O’Toole, John
  • Ouellette, Jerry J.
  • Prue, Michael
  • Savoline, Joyce
  • Shurman, Peter
  • Wilson, Jim
  • Witmer, Elizabeth
  • Yakabuski, John

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Those opposed?


  • Aggelonitis, Sophia
  • Albanese, Laura
  • Arthurs, Wayne
  • Balkissoon, Bas
  • Bartolucci, Rick
  • Bentley, Christopher
  • Best, Margarett
  • Bradley, James J.
  • Broten, Laurel C.
  • Brown, Michael A.
  • Brownell, Jim
  • Cansfield, Donna H.
  • Chan, Michael
  • Chiarelli, Bob
  • Colle, Mike
  • Delaney, Bob
  • Duncan, Dwight
  • Gerretsen, John
  • Gravelle, Michael
  • Hoy, Pat
  • Jaczek, Helena
  • Jeffrey, Linda
  • Johnson, Rick
  • Kwinter, Monte
  • Lalonde, Jean-Marc
  • Leal, Jeff
  • Levac, Dave
  • Mangat, Amrit
  • Matthews, Deborah
  • Mauro, Bill
  • McMeekin, Ted
  • McNeely, Phil
  • Meilleur, Madeleine
  • Milloy, John
  • Mitchell, Carol
  • Moridi, Reza
  • Murray, Glen R.
  • Orazietti, David
  • Phillips, Gerry
  • Qaadri, Shafiq
  • Ramal, Khalil
  • Rinaldi, Lou
  • Ruprecht, Tony
  • Sandals, Liz
  • Smith, Monique
  • Sorbara, Greg
  • Sousa, Charles
  • Takhar, Harinder S.
  • Van Bommel, Maria
  • Wilkinson, John
  • Wynne, Kathleen O.
  • Zimmer, David

The Clerk of the Assembly (Ms. Deborah Deller): The ayes are 28; the nays are 52.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): I declare the amendment lost.

Amendment negatived.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): There being no further deferred votes, this House stands recessed until 3 p.m. this afternoon.

The House recessed from 1145 to 1500.


The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome guests here today seated in the Speaker’s gallery for the Robert Macaulay tribute. Welcome to Hugh Macaulay, his brother; Paul Bordonaro; and welcome back to the Legislature to Clare Westcott. It’s a pleasure to have you back, sir.



Mr. Ernie Hardeman: I’m happy to rise today to thank the Egg Farmers of Ontario for coming to Queen’s Park this morning to provide members with a great omelette breakfast and to let them know what is going on in their industry. This is the 13th annual egg farmers’ breakfast at Queen’s Park, and the turnout was great, as usual.

Recently, the egg farmers began a campaign to promote awareness of our made-in-Ontario eggs and to highlight some of the great people involved in egg farming in the province. I know how hard our farmers work, and it’s great that, through this campaign, people across Ontario will get to hear their stories. I want to commend them on a job well done. I also want to congratulate them on their continued commitment to research and innovation as well as food safety and quality.

The Egg Farmers of Ontario are a great example of an industry that has taken steps to ensure a perfect balance is struck between the quality, availability and safety of their product. Eggs are a great choice for a healthy, active lifestyle. They are low in calories, high in protein and contain all nine essential amino acids.

But eggs are not only an important part of our diets; they are also an important part of our agricultural and provincial economy. That’s why Tim Hudak and the PC caucus are proud to support our chicken farmers and supply management or—a better name—orderly marketing.

On behalf of the PC caucus, I want to thank the Egg Farmers of Ontario for coming here today, and I want to encourage everyone to talk to an egg farmer today and to watch for the campaign to hear more of their stories.


Mr. Peter Kormos: There’s a scam, one amongst many, that’s travelling the province and North America right now. It’s the Yellow Pages scam.

A fraudulent company called yellowpages-ontario.com is sending out fake invoices to businesses. The businesses, relying upon them as being the invoice for their Yellow Pages listing out of Montreal, are paying the invoice and then getting the traditional zero, nada, nothing—getting ripped off.

A small business operator down on 7th Street in Welland, a business that I know well, received an invoice. This is a small business, family-run and -operated. They got scammed by yellowpages-ontario.com. They came to our office, my constituency office, and we were proud to help them, only to learn that consumer protection here in Ontario does not extend to small businesses.

The ministry, in one email, said, “The Consumer Protection Act, 2002, does not apply to business-to-business transactions, so regrettably the ministry cannot assist in resolving the dispute.” When is a small business not a consumer?

This Liberal government talks a big game, but when it comes down to really helping small businesses in this province, it does zip. It turns its back on them. To suggest that somehow this small business person’s business is not a consumer when it’s getting ripped off by fraud artists like yellowpages-ontario.com is absurd, stupid and nuts.

I say it’s time for the minister to step up to the plate, do the right thing, get involved and protect people and victims like this small business.


Mr. Phil McNeely: On November 18, members of the Orléans Chamber of Commerce gathered at the Camelot golf club for the 12th annual Orléans People’s Choice Business Awards.

Small businesses are the backbone of Ontario’s economy. This is especially true in Orléans, where small businesses employ thousands of local residents, businesses such as Cheddar Et Cetera, which was named retail business of the year, and Boston Pizza, which received the award for restaurant of the year.

The Orléans People’s Choice Business Awards also recognized the efforts of the men and women behind these successful businesses, people like 29-year-old entrepreneur Cristie Vito, from Stellar Events, who received the young business person of the year award this year; and Dr. Michael Mattinen, who was named business person of the year.

Among the 10 businesses and business owners who were honoured at the awards gala were Jason Pilon and Leam Hamilton, from Pilon Hamilton Real Estate, who received the customer service award, and La Coccinelle daycare, which earned the community support award. Portobello Manor received the award for new business of the year. Cuisine et Passion was named family business of the year. Bryan Castilla received the award for professional of the year. Last but by no means least, Geraldine Dixon from Access Print Imaging was named corporate citizen of the year.

Congratulations to this year’s recipients. I know you will join me in wishing them continued success in the future.

Félicitations aux récipiendaires de cette année, et ensemble souhaitons-leur un succès continu dans leur avenir.


Mr. John O’Toole: Citizens from across Durham region have come to Queen’s Park today to urge Premier McGuinty to be a man of his word and to fulfill his numerous promises to complete the Highway 407 extension east 50 kilometres, right to 35/115.

I’d like to welcome Oshawa mayor John Gray—this is his last day as mayor—along with Corinna Traill, duly elected, as well as Rosemary McConkey, who is one of the lead organizers, Mark Canning, and Jeremy Woodcock. I’d also like to thank the work done in the past by those who are not here: Mayor-elect Adrian Foster, as well as outgoing mayor Jim Abernethy.

By not completing the 407 extension as promised, this government is costing residents jobs and costing businesses tens of millions of dollars in lost revenue. Shameful. The region will lose $433 million, and Durham estimates that by not completing the 407, 3,945 years of employment will be lost; plus, there will be a 10% increase in municipal taxes because of maintenance and work that will be required. How many residents will pay for your HST, eco tax and expensive energy experiments if they don’t have jobs?

The broken promise of the Premier has a real consequence to business. Every day, 1,500 trucks work through the area. This is lost revenue.

The McGuinty government’s failure to keep its promise is troubling and worrying at this time. It will cost us everything and, most of all, it will cost the Premier because he’s a man who will not keep his word.


Mr. Bill Mauro: Neebing is a municipality in my riding of Thunder Bay–Atikokan and has some of the most beautiful country and scenery you are going to find anywhere.

With roughly 2,100 residents, Neebing is a relatively small municipality in terms of population, but geographically it’s a very large municipality and, as such, it has a great deal of road and bridge infrastructure to create and maintain with a very limited residential tax base.

That’s why it was a very good day recently when, along with Mayor Steve Harosen, councillors Roger Schott, Bev Mercier, Maureen Schmidt, Dawne Kilgour and other municipal representatives, I took great pleasure in announcing the opening of the Pine River Bridge.

Our government contributed over $400,000 to this $1.2-million project. This is an example of infrastructure that likely could not have been built without the support of other levels of government.

In fact, the bridge was closed for roughly 18 years. The closure forced residents to take much longer commutes, leading to an additional cost for the municipality in terms of snow removal and road maintenance and, more importantly, serious delays in emergency situations, especially for the fire service. All of these problems have now been fixed.

The municipality of Neebing has been very aggressive in addressing their infrastructure needs. The Sturgeon Bay Road, which received $1.4 million from our government, is another good example of their advocacy.

It’s been a great pleasure for me to work with them, and I congratulate them on their foresight in meeting their municipal needs.


Mrs. Christine Elliott: On behalf of the PC caucus, it’s my pleasure to welcome the Canadian Hearing Society to the Legislature today.

Since its founding in 1940, the society has become a leading provider of services, products and information that remove barriers to communication, advance hearing health and promote equity for people who are culturally deaf, oral deaf, deafened or hard-of-hearing. They were last here in May to discuss a vitally important issue: the need for visual fire alarms.

Those of us who have met with members of the Canadian Hearing Society know their members work hard day after day to advocate on behalf of their clients, facilitating fair and equal access to all aspects of life, including employment, education, recreation, housing, health care and social services. They are able to do this by offering a wide range of services across the country which support equality and inclusion for the deaf, deafened and hard-of-hearing. These services include audiology, mental health and addiction counselling, employment services, sign-language interpreting and instruction, and many more, because time doesn’t me permit me to list an entire list. But the Canadian Hearing Society continues to break down barriers on behalf of their deaf, deafened and hard-of-hearing clients. I commend and thank them for the important work they do day after day on behalf of our communities.


Mr. Pat Hoy: Recently, eight individuals were inducted into the Kent Agricultural Hall of Fame. The hall of fame recognizes the sacrifices, ingenuity and plain hard work of present and past generations to agriculture.

Marg Nauta of the Merlin area: She has had a lifetime of service to 4H, to education and to senior citizens. She follows the example of her father, Peter Lugtiheid, an earlier inductee into the hall of fame.

Peter Hensel of the Dover area: He had the unique distinction of being nominated for the hall of fame by the board of directors of Tahgahoning Enterprises after serving as their farm manager.

The late William Albert Chrysler and his son, the late C. Ernest Chrysler: They were outstanding beekeepers, developing innovative equipment still used today.


The late George Alan Fisher of Ridgetown: He was an agricultural ministry farm economist responsible for cost-of-production studies that took much of the guesswork out of agriculture. He was also the valued treasurer for many years of the agricultural hall of fame committee.

There were two brothers inducted: the late John C. Lee of Ridgetown and the late George E. Lee. They raised top-quality livestock on Leeland Farms, carrying on the high standards of their father, Herb Lee, who was also inducted into the hall of fame earlier.

Lastly, the late Harold Webster: He started from modest beginnings and went on to become an agricultural entrepreneur and founder of St. Clair Grain and of other projects that benefited thousands of farmers.

Our government is proud to recognize these leaders and innovators of rural Ontario communities.


Mr. Ted McMeekin: Yesterday, I attended the announcement for the launch of the government’s new long-term affordable housing strategy in Hamilton. It was an exciting day. The housing advocates in Hamilton lined up to speak to the plan presented. They stressed the importance of strong partnerships and collaboration, and there was very much a sense of excitement and support for the strategy.

I want to give special mention to a wonderful person, Paul Johnson, the director of neighbourhood development strategies in the city of Hamilton, who has been an integral part of developing sustainable housing for the residents of Hamilton. Here’s what he said: “Consolidating existing funding portfolios will provide opportunities for communities to develop innovative solutions that will ensure stronger outcomes for the unique needs of the people they serve. This new funding flexibility will assist communities to deliver high-impact investments that maximize the resources available.”

Additionally, Barb Millsap, president of the Ontario co-op housing council, had this to say: “We have called on the McGuinty government to make a renewed commitment to community-based affordable housing....” The affordable housing strategy “is very good news for housing co-ops. The government deserves a lot of credit for listening.”


Mr. Jeff Leal: On behalf of the government of Ontario, I’m pleased to rise today and thank the Egg Farmers of Ontario for coming to Queen’s Park to host their 13th annual omelette breakfast and let us know what’s going on in their industry.

I’m proud Ontario is a home to some of the world’s most delicious, healthy and nutritious eggs, and proud to support Ontario’s egg farmers. Through their hard work and dedication, Ontario’s egg farmers, processors and the Egg Farmers of Ontario’s leadership all make Ontario a great success.

We also know that supply management plays an important role in that success. It brings stability to the industry, provides opportunities for growth and contributes to a strong economy, which is why our government is a strong, unwavering supporter of this system.

I’d also like to thank the Egg Farmers of Ontario for working so closely with our government. With their help, we’ve put together a winning proposal to modernize regulation on eggs and processing eggs, while making sure that food safety remains a number one priority.

The Egg Farmers of Ontario work hard to help Ontarians appreciate that with eggs in their fridge they can always make a fast, nutritious meal. But eggs are not only an important part of a balanced diet, they’re also an important part of our agri-food industry and the province’s economy.



M. Shafiq Qaadri: Je demande la permission de déposer un rapport du Comité permanent de la politique sociale et je propose son adoption.

I beg leave to present a report from the Standing Committee on Social Policy, move its adoption and send it to you by way of page Emily.

The Deputy Clerk (Mr. Todd Decker): Your committee begs to report the following bill, as amended:

Bill 122, An Act to increase the financial accountability of organizations in the broader public sector / Projet de loi 122, Loi visant à accroître la responsabilisation financière des organismes du secteur parapublic.

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

Report adopted.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Pursuant to the order of the House dated November 4, 2010, the bill is ordered for third reading.


Mr. David Orazietti: I beg leave to present a report from the Standing Committee on General Government and move its adoption.

The Deputy Clerk (Mr. Todd Decker): Your committee begs to report the following bill without amendment:

Bill 110, An Act to promote good government by amending or repealing certain Acts / Projet de loi 110, Loi visant à promouvoir une saine gestion publique en modifiant ou en abrogeant certaines lois.

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

Report adopted.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): The bill is therefore ordered for third reading.



Ms. Matthews moved first reading of the following bill:

Bill 141, An Act to amend the Health Protection and Promotion Act / Projet de loi 141, Loi modifiant la Loi sur la protection et la promotion de la santé.

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

First reading agreed to.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): The member for a short statement.

Hon. Deborah Matthews: I’ll make my statement during ministers’ statements.



Hon. Monique M. Smith: I seek unanimous consent to put forward a motion without notice regarding private members’ public business.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Agreed? Agreed.

Hon. Monique M. Smith: I move that, notwithstanding standing order 98(g), notice for ballot item 58 be waived.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): The members have heard the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Carried.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Monique M. Smith: I believe we have unanimous consent that up to five minutes be allotted to each party to speak in remembrance of the late Robert Macaulay.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Agreed? Agreed.

Mr. Gilles Bisson: I rise on behalf of Andrea Horwath and the New Democratic Party of Ontario to speak about Robert Macaulay. I want to say that it is a name that is not unknown to many members in this assembly, even though he served here many, many years ago, back in the mid-1950s and the early 1960s. Mr. Macaulay would have been a name that a lot of people would have heard, being not only a minister of the crown but somebody who, quite frankly, was very innovative in his time, considering the days that he served in this Legislature.

He comes from a family who understood what it was to serve. I understand that his father, Leopold, was also a member of this assembly at a point before that. I’m not sure what riding it was, but I’m sure somebody will mention that. Obviously, the issue of public service was one that was understood. The call was heard in that he came before this Legislature in order to serve.

He was also a soldier. He served back in the Second World War with the 48th Highlanders of Canada, served with distinction in the army with the Canadian Armed Forces, and then was a lawyer who practised for, God, about a half a century. He was known as a brilliant, very effective lawyer in that community. More importantly, he was a husband and a father, and he is missed. He was predeceased by all except his daughter, Leslea, who is still living.

He then came to this Legislature and served in a riding that is not unknown to my seatmate here, Mr. Peter Tabuns, who wanted to be here today. Unfortunately, he has a cold, as many other people are getting in this Legislature. I’ve got two glasses of water and a Halls to prove I’m the next one, so I’m not sitting next to him for very much longer. Mr. Tabuns wanted to be here, and unfortunately cannot be here, because he is in the same seat that Mr. Macaulay had served some years ago.

When you look back and you read what was said about Mr. Macaulay in the newspapers of the day and you take a look at what’s here in the archives of the assembly, but more importantly you talk to people who have been around here, he was quite innovative. He was a hard-working member who understood what it was to represent his constituency, but he also was the type of guy who had a lot of ideas. He is known as somebody who didn’t want to just come here, serve and be another seat in the House. He wanted to be here, and he wanted to be more than just a seat; he wanted to help shape the agenda of Ontario and worked quite hard, first as a backbencher within the Conservative government of the day, but then, more importantly, as a cabinet minister, where he challenged, pushed, prodded and did all of the things that had to be done as a good member of this assembly and a member of the cabinet to move forward issues that were important to him and that, more importantly, at the end of the day, put us in a position in Ontario today that we now take for granted.

Natural gas: Who would remember that it was Mr. Macaulay at the time that he was Minister of Energy Resources who said that it was important that we adopt a policy in this province to establish natural gas across our communities to heat our homes? Back then, some of you might remember—some of us are old enough to remember—wood and coal were used as a primary source of heat in many communities across Ontario. There were many communities like mine and others that did not have natural gas. It was this foresight of the energy resources minister of the time, in the government of the day, under the leadership of this minister, Mr. Macaulay, that enabled them to push forward with that whole agenda so that today we’re able to take for granted what was not taken for granted back then.


He then moved on to the portfolio of our good friend from Windsor—whatever the riding is. He was the Minister of Economics and Development. He understood something that we as New Democrats understand so well: The way you pay for the programs that are so necessary for the citizens of this province, such as health care and education, which he was a member of, many of the innovative changes that happened and were put in place that we take for granted today, have to be funded. He understood that it wasn’t necessarily by raising taxes that you got the money, but you went out and built the revenue. He understood that as a Minister of Economics and Development, and was very active in helping build the revenue for the people of this province by making sure that the businesses of Ontario back then were able to benefit by expanding exports from the province of Ontario into other countries like Mexico, to Europe and various countries around the world.

As Minister of Economics and Development, he established trade offices in many countries around the world but helped our manufacturers become better exporters, and by making them better exporters, he built the revenue here in Ontario that governments since then and today—well, maybe a little bit less today, but up until recently because of what we’ve seen in the downturn of the economy—have been able to benefit from in order to get the revenue that we need to pay for things like health care, education and others.

He is certainly an interesting person in the sense that I’ve got to say a couple of things very quickly—I saw a quote from Bill Davis, and it really struck me. What I didn’t know is that Bill Davis was the campaign chair for Mr. Macaulay when he ran for the leadership of the Conservative Party back in 1961. The fact that he went and got Bill Davis tells me that he knew how to pick a winner, and he was able to recognize good talent at the time, as Mr. Davis ended up becoming Premier here, as we all know, and is revered even today as one of the better Premiers of the province of Ontario.

I just want to end. I know I’m going a little bit over, but I think colleagues will let me do this for a few minutes, because there’s so much to say about Mr. Macaulay. He was really an innovator, and I think that’s the point that we need to understand. He was somebody who understood that at the end of the day, you need to be able to push forward the agenda in order to make this province a better place to live. He was here at a time when there was no support for members, and I want to end on this point because I think this is important to say. Members back in the day of Mr. Macaulay—never mind that they didn’t have constituency offices, never mind that they didn’t have staff—didn’t even have an office in this Legislature. Their office was this desk, and Mr. Macaulay ran his ministry, yes, through the ministry, but ran his constituency and did much of the work that he had to do here in the Legislature at his desk.

He was served by somebody who is here today and I just want to signal Mr. Clare Westcott, who was a former aide and good friend to Mr. Macaulay, who served him well and served others, and I also want to take the opportunity to say, on behalf of New Democrats, a good day to Mr. Westcott, along with Hugh Macaulay and Paul Bordonaro, who was a long-time friend. On behalf of Andrea Horwath and New Democrats, we say to the family and friends of Mr. Macaulay: a person we will miss, a person who served well, and we are so grateful that this man was able to serve the people of Ontario.

Hon. Monique M. Smith: I too would like to welcome to the House Hugh Macaulay, Mr. Macaulay’s brother, Paul Bordonaro and, of course, Clare Westcott, who told me as we were coming in today that he worked in this place from I believe it was 1951 to 1985, so the stories he has to tell I’m sure are legion. I know that Mr. Westcott served with Mr. Macaulay during part of that time and also served a number of Premiers.

Mr. Robert William Macaulay was born in May 1921, and he passed away in August this year. He was the member for Riverdale from November 1951 until May 1964. He was elected when he was around 30 and retired at 43 from this place.

I had the privilege of speaking to one of our former resident historians Sean Conway this morning, who provided me with some insight into the experiences of Mr. Macaulay during that time. He came from a very political family. His father, Leopold Macaulay, had been elected from York South. He was a provincial cabinet minister under Premiers Ferguson and Henry. He was a fourth-place contender in the Progressive Conservative leadership convention in 1936.

He came from the Conservative elite. He was educated at Upper Canada College. He went to U of T. He went to Osgoode Hall and was called to the bar in 1948. He served overseas in Toronto’s 48th Highlanders during World War II.

He had a very distinguished career. He was elected to the Ontario Legislature in 1951, as I said, and re-elected in 1955, 1959 and 1963. He was brought into cabinet in 1958 as a minister without portfolio, and moved into the Ministry of Energy Resources in 1959, until 1961.

Mr. Macaulay was linked very closely to two Premiers, one of whom he helped become Premier and one who he brought along, who later became Premier.

In his book The Power and the Tories: Ontario Politics—1943 to the Present, Jonathan Manthorpe discusses some of Mr. Robarts’s leadership and his rise to the premiership, and in that context he talks about Mr. Macaulay. Mr. Robarts and Mr. Macaulay were both elected in 1951. In 1961, they were both serving in cabinet at the time that Mr. Frost announced he was going to step down from the leadership. There is lots of discussion about Mr. Robarts’s leadership convention, but when they finally get to the convention time in Mr. Manthorpe’s book, he refers to it as follows: “The delegates were faced with a problem as they filed into the arena on the warm, wet afternoon of October 25. The main problem was the long shadow of Leslie Frost, whom many delegates thought irreplaceable. Some thought that the best bet was to elect one of Frost’s protégés, James Allan, the provincial treasurer and an old-man-Ontario type, for a few years until a new man could be groomed.”

He goes on to discuss some of the other candidates, and then writes, “For the delegates who cared to take a chance that Wednesday, there was the magical, mercurial Robert Macaulay, a man whose aura was clearly visible even to those without the slightest psychic tendencies. Against this varied and colourful field, John Robarts did not stand out. He was everyone’s second choice.”

He then goes on to discuss a bit of the leadership race and goes on to say, “After the first ballot was counted in mid-afternoon, Kelso Roberts was in the lead, with Robarts second and Macaulay third. Robarts was doing better than anyone had imagined....

“As the voting went on through the afternoon, Robarts maintained the lead but not by much. The break came at the end of the fifth ballot when, as low man on the totem pole, it was Macaulay’s turn to be dropped before the next vote. His supporters were numerous enough to give the victory to whichever of the two remaining contenders he guided them towards. The crucial decision was his.

“Macaulay was perplexed and upset at his own defeat and he stood silent for a few moments, his forehead creased.” He conferred with his campaign manager, William Davis, who went on to become, as my colleague noted, a respected Premier of this province.

“Macaulay turned to those around him and said, ‘Go tell our people to vote for Robarts. We don’t want Roberts.’ With that he left his seat, and strode smilingly over to Robarts. He greeted Robarts warmly, pointed to the campaign button that Robarts was wearing, and said, ‘Hang it on me, John.’ Robarts was only too happy to oblige.”

Mr. Manthorpe then goes on to describe some of the public service that Mr. Macaulay provided to this province as the Minister of Energy, the Minister of Economic Trade and Development and, as he was known to some around this place at that time, the minister of everything.

He went on trade crusades. He urged the people of the province to buy Ontario products and provided financial incentives to industry to come to the province. It worked well and it improved both the balance of trade and the employment picture of the province.

Macaulay’s frenzied expenditure of energy appeared to take a toll on his health, as is noted in Mr. Manthorpe’s book, and in 1963 he did collapse on his way into the Legislature and that brought him to his retirement.

There is a story in Mr. Manthorpe’s book that I just want to read into the record because I looked to Mr. Westcott for a little direction on this. In his book, Mr. Manthorpe tells us that when Mr. Macaulay collapsed in the Legislature, Mr. Westcott ran over and covered his shoes because on the bottom of the soles it said “Made in Italy.” I don’t know if that’s true, Mr. Westcott, but I think it’s a tremendous story and a statement to your service to the province of Ontario, as well as to the commitment of Mr. Macaulay to his trade mission.

It has been suggested that he could have been a great leader. He was bright, articulate, ambitious, and some say theatrical. He was a powerful minister. He was determined to do great things in this province. He was, in fact, the minister of everything, and I think we owe the Macaulay family a great debt of gratitude for the years that he devoted to this province, for the years he devoted to this Legislature, to the province in his practice of law, and to his service of his fellow Ontarian. So to the Macaulay family, on behalf of the McGuinty government, I send our condolences and I thank you very much.


Mr. Garfield Dunlop: It’s truly an honour to stand here today and pay tribute to Robert Macaulay on behalf of Tim Hudak, our leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, and our caucus members.

Robert Macaulay was the MPP for Riverdale from 1951 to 1964 and he served in four Parliaments: the 24th, the 25th, the 26th and the 27th.

Our guests have been mentioned a few times today. I had an opportunity to meet with them earlier down in the lobby. I did want to say again that Hugh Macaulay, the brother of Robert, is here. We’ve done a lot of talking about Robert so far, but one must remember that Hugh was the chairman of Ontario Hydro. I asked Hugh when I first got here, “How long were you there for?” And he said, “Just before they started putting the prices up.”

Clare Westcott, an executive assistant to Robert Macaulay, finished his career as deputy minister to Premier William Davis. Hugh says, in some notes I got from him, that Mr. Westcott is the most knowledgeable person in the province on the workings of the province of Ontario.

I have some notes here and a lot of the things that I had originally were mentioned by my two colleagues from the other parties, but I wanted to mention some comments that have come from Hugh.

He was the son of Hazel and Leopold Macaulay; he had an older sister, now deceased, and a younger brother. He attended Humewood public school, Upper Canada College, the University of Toronto and Osgoode Hall. He served overseas in World War II with the 48th Highlanders. He was called to the Ontario bar in 1949 and began the practice of law with his father, who had been an MPP—that’s Leopold—for York South from the mid 1920s to the mid 1940s, and a member of the Conservative cabinets of Ferguson and Henry. He was also Tory leader in the House after the defeat of the Henry government in 1932. Again, as we mentioned, he contested the Tory leadership which was won by Earl Rowe. It’s mentioned that Bob cut his Tory teeth helping his father run in the late 1930s and the early 1940s.

While in the early years of law practice, Bob entered politics. He won Riverdale in 1951 during the Premier Frost era and was appointed to the Frost cabinet in the mid 1950s. During that era and the early years of the Robarts government, he had a number of major cabinet jobs and, as Ms. Smith said, he had the fictitious title of the minister of everything.

When Frost quit in 1961, Bob contested the leadership. It was won by his long-term friend and earlier Toronto roommate John Robarts. He had some serious illnesses in the 1960s. He retired from politics and, after a lengthy recovery, he continued to practise law for the next 40 years.

Late in his legal career, he was appointed chairman of the Ontario Energy Board, the provincial energy regulatory agency, in which he served with distinction. Incidentally, he was appointed by the non-Tory government of the day—Bob Rae.

He was married in the 1950s to Joy Wecker; they had two children—Leslea, and a son who predeceased Bob. Joy predeceased Bob by several years.

During his legal career, Bob became a recognized authority on mechanics’ liens and authored reference books on the subject, which he continued to the time of his death. He was a collector of antique porcelain as well as important art.

I think we’ve mentioned a number of the ministries that he served on with passion. I can tell you, going over his biography here, I wouldn’t begin to—there are pages and pages of committees that he sat on for different pieces of legislation. That alone tells you the work ethic.

You might say, “Why is the member from Simcoe North bringing a tribute to Robert Macaulay?” First of all, Hugh’s daughter Barbara Hacker is married to Fred Hacker of Hacker Gignac Rice, one of the prime law firms in Simcoe county. I have to say, they’re Tories, very good supporters of mine. I called Barb and asked her about Robert and she told me about her dad coming down. We really appreciate the fact that you are all here today and I know other members of the family would have liked to have been here as well.

Ladies and gentlemen, what we’ve seen here, knowing the kind of family the Hackers are and what kind of person Barb Macaulay is, and knowing that the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree with you and Robert—you just know the kind of hard-working people that they are in the province of Ontario. That’s what this biography tells us. It’s all about Robert. He’s someone who dedicated his life to this place and succeeded in a very, very positive and fulfilling manner.

I just want to say, ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of Tim and our caucus, we want to pay a special thank you to you folks for coming today. To your whole family, thank you for the many, many years of service and making Ontario a better place to be, and thank you again so much for your attendance.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): I’d like to thank the honourable members for their tributes to former member Macaulay, and I want to take this opportunity to thank his brother and friends who are here today to hear this tribute. We say thank you for coming. Copies of the Hansard of today’s tribute will be sent to you. We’ll ensure that there are extra copies that can be distributed to other family members and friends who couldn’t be present today. Thank you all very much for your attendance.



Hon. Deborah Matthews: Before I begin, I would like to introduce three people in the gallery here who have joined us for this. Dr. Arlene King, our chief medical officer of health, is here, as is Gillian MacDonald and Jason Stanley, both from her office.

Today, I’m introducing legislation to amend the Health Protection and Promotion Act, or HPPA. I’m pleased to inform the House that this government is proposing to take three steps to strengthen Ontario’s response to future major public health events and emergencies, such as a pandemic.

What we’re doing today is making sure Ontario is better coordinated and better prepared for the next major emergency. No doubt, the H1N1 influenza pandemic was the biggest health issue of 2009. Public health units across Ontario worked hard to implement the largest mass immunization program ever. Overall, Ontario fared very well during the recent H1N1 pandemic, and I want to thank the local medical officers of health and the province’s health care professionals who responded so professionally. But there were challenges and there were lessons learned, and it’s our responsibility to act on those lessons.

In her preliminary report on the H1N1 response, released last June, Dr. Arlene King, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, recommended a strong, centralized approach to pandemic response, one that existing legislation does not permit. She suggested that the chief medical officer of health have the authority to direct public health units in real time, so today we’re taking action.

The proposed legislation would provide greater support to local public health units and enable them to respond with greater consistency. There are times when the public would benefit from more clarity and a standardized approach.

Ontario has one of the most decentralized public health systems in the country, and while we value this unique, decentralized model, during the next major emergency, Ontarians could all benefit by being sheltered under one big umbrella as opposed to many different ones across the province. Overall, the proposed amendments would strengthen the province’s ability to plan, manage and respond to future pandemics; to provincial, national or international public health events; and other emergencies that affect the health of Ontarians.

Specifically, the amendments propose to create a new authority for the chief medical officer of health. The proposed legislation would give the chief medical officer of health enhanced oversight authority to help ensure that Ontario’s response is better coordinated. This new authority would be used only under limited and specific circumstances.

If the legislation is passed, the CMOH would have the authority to direct boards of health and local medical officers of health to adopt measures during a future public health emergency, if he or she feels that Ontarians would be better protected by a coordinated response to an outbreak or emerging public health event. Such directives could be enforced for six months, or less if the CMOH decided, and such directives would be limited to very specific situations; for example, infectious diseases, environmental health and public health emergency preparedness. The proposed amendments would also ensure that the appointments of acting medical officers of health are approved by the CMOH and the minister. Finally, the amendments would expand the minister’s power to use a public space on the advice of the CMOH for public health purposes; for example, holding an immunization clinic.


The proposed legislation is part of this government’s larger plan to enhance the way we respond to future public health events or emergencies. Our plan also includes a renewal of the Ontario health plan for an influenza pandemic. Ontario will continue to take steps towards implementing Panorama, a pan-Canadian initiative that will improve public health surveillance and enhance the province’s capacity to deliver immunization programs.

I’m proud of this government’s record of having a real commitment to public health in Ontario. These actions will help us continue to strengthen our pandemic planning and our preparedness for future public health emergencies.

We know it is not a question of whether there will be another public health emergency; it’s a question of when. The H1N1 pandemic was not as severe as it could have been. The next one could be worse.

The proposed legislation would add to the many important tools already in place and enhance our response to public health threats. Our proposed amendments and other coordinated steps are vital in ensuring that Ontario’s highly regarded public health system continues to promote and protect the health of Ontarians. I urge all members to support this bill.

Mrs. Christine Elliott: I’m pleased to rise on behalf of Tim Hudak and the PC caucus in response to the statement by the Minister of Health concerning the Health Protection and Promotion Amendment Act. Unfortunately, as has become the norm here, I am responding to a piece of legislation that has just now been delivered to me, so I’m a little bit short on details.

In any event, as I understand it, this legislation would allow the chief medical officer of health to direct boards of health and medical officers during public health emergencies. These directives would only be given during situations where the chief medical officer of health believes that certain actions would protect the health and safety of Ontarians.

As the members of this Legislature will recall, one of the largest news items from last year was the story of H1N1. This past summer, Dr. Arlene King, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, released a report on Ontario’s handling of the pandemic entitled The H1N1 Pandemic—How Ontario Fared.

Dr. King identified our strengths, which included international as well as federal-provincial collaboration starting from the World Health Organization; a quick response and delivery of vaccine to remote and northern communities; and the fact that schools were able to remain open and provide a consistent message of health and safety. On the other hand, a lot also went wrong. I’m sure all of us can recall lineups of people spilling outside of vaccination centres where high-risk groups stood in the rain for hours and were often turned away and asked to return the following day, just in an effort to be vaccinated. Vaccination was inconsistent across regions in Ontario.

At the time, the Minister of Health defended the province’s vaccination rollout strategy, saying it was up to local officials to coordinate the mass immunization. I am encouraged to see that the minister listened to the chief medical officer of health and has realized the need for better coordination and a hierarchy in health crisis situations such as the H1N1 crisis.

Another issue which Dr. King identified was Ontario’s capacity to deliver the vaccine. As Dr. King identified in her report, “Simply put, perhaps because we have had 10 years’ experience ... delivering a universal seasonal flu immunization program, we believed that we would be able to easily deliver a pandemic vaccine. As it turns out, that was a little like assuming that because you take a brisk walk every morning, you could compete in the Olympic 100-yard dash.”

As a result, Dr. King’s recommendation at the conclusion of the report included, number 1, extending the chain of command to the local level. In her report she advised, “The chief medical officer of health must have the authority to direct public health units in real time as he or she sees fit. That authority didn’t exist during this pandemic. I or my successor needs to have it the next time around.”

Number 2 is the implementation of Panorama, a pan-Canadian solution that will allow us to track who is getting immunized and when, which has been in development since SARS. It does appear from the ministry’s website that the chief medical officer’s concerns have been considered and that the province intends to continue to take steps to work towards the implementation of Panorama. That has been confirmed by the minister herself today.

In conclusion, I would like to thank the chief medical officer of health and her staff, as well as the health care professionals across Ontario who went above and beyond in their efforts to keep Ontario families safe during the H1N1 pandemic. I look forward to the opportunity to review this legislation and to the discussion to take place in this Legislature.

Mr. Michael Prue: On behalf of the NDP caucus and particularly on behalf of the member from Nickel Belt, our health critic, I stand to respond to the minister.

In 2003, the SARS epidemic came to this province and shook, I think, to its very foundations the confidence that Ontario had in its health care system. Thankfully due to Dr. Sheela Basrur, who did an amazing job, the public confidence was restored. But people ask questions still to this day, six years later. How could there have been such poor coordination at the outset? How could our public health system have fallen so short?

Then we had H1N1 a couple of years ago, and Ontarians had their confidence shaken again. Ontarians were unsure why so many of the problems occurred: inconsistent advice, queue-jumping by the wealthy and sports heroes, exceptionally long waits for immunization and general chaos.

As a result, the NDP welcomed the report by Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. King. We think that this is a very positive step, this bill and what is happening here today, but it is obvious that the bill is not moving towards the breadth of Dr. King’s recommendations.

Dr. King, in the process of the detailed review of the ministry’s response to the pandemic, made the following statement in her June report, and I’d like to read this into the record: “As mentioned at the beginning of this report, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is currently conducting a detailed review of its response to the pandemic. When it is released, the findings of the review will paint a much clearer picture of Ontario’s H1N1 response than anyone has seen to date. I would urge those interested in a complete and technically detailed examination of what happened in this province during the pandemic to read it.” Yet no one has seen this report. It has not been made available to this Legislature or to the public, and we have to question why.

We also have to question, why has the government not produced the report in a timely fashion? When will it be ready? I think that’s a logical question in view of the announcement here today.

The government has also remained silent on the whole issue of queue-jumping. We in the NDP have gone and submitted FOI requests, freedom-of-information requests, but have been told that the documents will not be released. These are being hidden from this Legislature and from public view as well. Is the government trying to fix the system, which I think the minister honestly is trying to do? But if that is the case, is secrecy and denial the right way to approach it? I ask this question because when you submit freedom-of-information requests—


Mr. Michael Prue: I hear the groaning over there. When you submit them, you actually want the information, and then you find out that it is denied.

There is no question that it is vital for the chief medical officer of health to have the ability to direct public health units in real time during pandemics, but we have to ask the other questions. Will this lead to better planning and coordination prior to a pandemic? Are there teeth in this bill that would safeguard the system for the future? We need to know that, and we will have an opportunity, I’m sure, over the coming days and perhaps with future instruction from the minister’s office, to study it to see whether, in fact, that’s the case.

We also have to question the whole issue of Panorama. Panorama has been in development now for over six years, yet it is still not operational. That’s a real question: Why is it not operational? It was supposed to have been up. It was supposed to have been running, and six long years later, we don’t see anything. We need to know why. What is the problem that this program cannot get up and running?

We ask as well, when will Ontarians have the electronic health records system that they need? I know—and we on all sides of this House know—that a lot of money was spent on that electronic records system, and to date we haven’t seen any fruits of that. When questioned in other committees about the monies that were spent, it’s clear that we have not, to date, gotten value for the money. Ontarians need those answers as well.


I welcome Dr. King; I congratulate Dr. King on the good job that she is doing. I am thankful that the minister is bringing forward this bill, but we have many, many questions on this side of the House, and the people of Ontario are demanding very real answers. They want to get to the bottom of this and they want to know the details. They don’t want those details to be hidden from them. I’m hoping, in the full course of the debate, that the minister comes forward with all the information that, to date, we have not been privy to. We want to see Dr. King’s report and we especially want to know about the queue-jumping and why we cannot see that detailed information from the report.



Mrs. Julia Munro: “To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

“Whereas, even though health care institutions in Ontario have the equipment and expertise, those MS patients who have been diagnosed with blocked veins in their neck (CCSVI) cannot receive the necessary treatment in Ontario; and

“Whereas many of the MS patients with CCSVI, at great personal expense, have had to seek treatment in other countries such as India, Poland, Bulgaria, Italy and the US, the provincial government still has not authorized the procedure, which is angioplasty, an already approved procedure since the early 1980s; and

“Whereas not all people diagnosed with MS will have CCSVI, and not all people who have CCSVI will have been diagnosed with MS, CCSVI treatment should be authorized and treated on its own merits, regardless of any MS issues; and

“Whereas, [despite] numerous testimonials of exceptional post-treatment improvements in the quality of life for patients, accompanied by detailed presentations by vascular surgeons to the Ontario government, the Ontario government still has not yet approved CCSVI treatment;

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

“That the government of Ontario, through the Ministry of Health, must immediately approve and fund all diagnosing and treatment of CCSVI by qualified Ontario health institutions.”

I’ve given it to page Sarah.


Mr. Bill Murdoch: I have a petition to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

“Whereas the picketing of the homes of people with intellectual disabilities alienates people from their autonomy; security; privacy; relationships with staff, neighbours and community; and also causes discrimination and harm to citizens who should be free to enjoy their homes without harassment and intimidation;

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

“To support Bill 83 and prohibit the picketing of vulnerable people’s residences during a strike.”

I have signed this.


Mr. Steve Clark: I have a petition to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

“Whereas thousands of people suffer from multiple sclerosis;

“Whereas there is a treatment for chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency, more commonly called CCSVI, which consists of a corrective angioplasty, a well-known and universally practised procedure that is low-risk and at relatively low expense;

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

“That the Minister of Health agrees to proceed with clinical trials of the venoplasty treatment to fully explore its potential to bring relief to the thousands of Ontarians afflicted with multiple sclerosis.”

I’ll affix my signature and send it to the table with page Tony.


Mr. John O’Toole: I’m pleased to present a petition on behalf of my constituents in the riding of Durham, mostly signed by the people living in the Columbus area. It reads as follows:

“To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

“Whereas the provincial government’s announcement regarding the eastward extension of Highway 407 indicates construction will end at Oshawa;

“Whereas ending the highway at Oshawa will mean undue traffic on smaller roads leading to Highway 407, while delaying the benefits of a completed Highway 407 for commuters, business, tourism, public transit and all stakeholders;

“Whereas the environmental assessment has not considered impacts of a partial completion of the highway;

“Whereas the completion of the eastern extension of Highway 407 to Highway 35/115”—50 kilometres—“is supported by” all citizens, businesses, community leaders, elected officials, and in fact it’s the number one priority from the regional council of Durham.

“Therefore we, the undersigned, ask the Legislative Assembly of Ontario”—the McGuinty government—“to support the eastward extension of Highway 407 to 35/115 in a single stage, as promised”—verbally and in their program—“by the Dalton McGuinty government in previous infrastructure announcements. We request that Premier McGuinty respond with a commitment for the completion of Highway 407 by a specific date” immediately.

I’m pleased to sign and support it and give it to Elizabeth, one of the pages, on her last week here.


Mr. Norm Miller: I have more petitions to do with paved shoulders from the Peterborough area. It reads:

“To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

“Whereas pedestrians and cyclists are increasingly using secondary highways to support healthy lifestyles and expand active transportation; and

“Whereas paved shoulders on highways enhance public safety for all highway users, expand tourism opportunities and support good health; and

“Whereas paved shoulders help to reduce the maintenance cost of repairs to highway surfaces; and

“Whereas Norm Miller’s private member’s Bill 100 provides for a minimum one-metre paved shoulder for the benefit of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists;

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

“That Norm Miller’s private member’s Bill 100, which requires a minimum one-metre paved shoulder on designated highways, receive swift passage through the legislative process.”

I’m pleased to sign and support this petition.


Mr. John Yakabuski: I have a petition that I’m presenting on behalf of Community Living in the Upper Ottawa Valley.

“Whereas there are over 7,000 people with disabilities waiting for the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services’ special services at home (SSAH) funding and almost 4,000 on wait-lists for Passport funding; and

“Whereas such programs are vital and essential to supporting Ontarians with developmental disabilities, and their families, to participate in community life;

“ARCH Disability Law Centre supported by Family Alliance Ontario, People First of Ontario, Community Living Ontario, Special Services at Home Provincial Coalition, Individualized Funding Coalition for Ontario and the undersigned individuals and organizations urge the Ontario government to take quick action to substantially improve developmental services.

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

“—Ensure that all qualified Passport and SSAH applicants immediately receive adequate funding;

“—Make the application and funding allocation process transparent; and

“—Ensure that sufficient long-term funding is in place so that eligible Ontarians with disabilities can access the supports and services they need.”

I affix my name to it and send it down with Jennifer.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Julia Munro): The member for Durham.


Mr. John O’Toole: Thank you, Madam Speaker. I’m pleased to see the change in the Chair. A petition to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

“Whereas there are up to 40,000 Ontarians living with Parkinson’s disease, many of whom require speech-language therapy to retain essential verbal communications skills and life-saving swallowing skills; and

“Whereas speech-language therapy can make the difference between someone with Parkinson’s retaining their ability to speak or not, and their ability to swallow or not, yet most Ontarians with Parkinson’s are unable to access these services in a timely fashion, many remaining on waiting lists for years while their speaking and swallowing capacity diminishes; and

“Whereas Ontarians with Parkinson’s who lose their ability to communicate experience unnecessary social isolation and economic loss due to their inability to participate as full members of their communities; and

“Whereas it is the responsibility of the community care access centres”—CCACs—“to assign speech-language pathologists to provide therapy to people on the wait-lists, yet people are regularly advised to pay for private therapy if they want timely treatment, but many people living with Parkinson’s are already experiencing economic hardship and cannot afford the cost of private therapy;

“Therefore we, the undersigned, petition the Parliament of Ontario to call on Premier Dalton McGuinty and the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care to intervene immediately to ensure that CCACs across Ontario develop a plan to ensure that all Ontarians living with Parkinson’s who need speech-language therapy and swallowing therapy receive the necessary treatment” where and when they need it.

I’m pleased to sign it and present it to Kyle, one of the pages who has a few days left here.



Mr. Bill Murdoch: I have a petition to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

“Whereas strikes and lockouts are rare: 97% of collective agreements are settled without a strike or lockout; and

“Whereas anti-temporary replacement workers laws exist in Quebec since 1978; in British Columbia since 1993; and successive governments in those two provinces have never repealed those laws; and

“Whereas anti-temporary replacement workers legislation has reduced the length and divisiveness of labour disputes; and

“Whereas the use of temporary replacement workers during a strike or lockout is damaging to the social fabric of a community in the short and the long term as well as the well-being of its residents;

“Therefore we, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to enact legislation banning the use of temporary replacement workers during a strike or lockout.”

I will send it to the table by Tony.


Mr. Steve Clark: I have a petition to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

“Whereas PC MPP Bob Bailey has introduced a significant tax credit for farmers who donate agricultural goods to food banks, to help provide tax relief to farmers and assist local food banks; and

“Whereas stagnating economic growth and increasing unemployment over the last two years have strained the ability of food banks to support Ontario’s most vulnerable citizens; and

“Whereas over 25 million pounds of fresh produce is disposed of or plowed back into Ontario’s fields each year while local food banks across Ontario face an uphill battle as they struggle to assist those most in need; and

“Whereas PC MPP Bob Bailey’s ‘A Bill to Fight Hunger with Local Food’ provides an inexpensive and common-sense solution to a critical problem for Ontario’s most vulnerable;

“Whereas if the McGuinty Liberals truly support a healthy Ontario and wish to fight poverty, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario should immediately pass MPP Bob Bailey’s bill;

“We, the undersigned, call upon the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to call MPP Bob Bailey’s private member’s bill, Bill 78, the Taxation Amendment Act (Food Bank Donation Tax Credit for Farmers), 2010, to committee immediately for consideration and then on to third reading and implementation without delay.”

I’ll affix my signature and send it to the table with Emily.


Mr. Toby Barrett: It’s titled “Haldimand–Norfolk needs an OSPCA chapter:”

“To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

“Whereas the establishment of a local Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) could help deal with the brutality and neglect of horses and other large animals; and

“Whereas the Ontario government could provide training for the Ontario Provincial Police to deal with animal abuse issues;

“We, the undersigned, hereby petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario that the Ontario government request the establishment of an OSPCA chapter in Haldimand–Norfolk to provide the two counties with support in cases of animal abuse and neglect.”

I affix my signature.


Mr. Bill Murdoch: I have a petition to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

“Whereas the residents of Ontario feel that this current Liberal government is directly responsible for their rising household debt by slapping them with higher taxes, such as the health tax and the HST, higher fees, higher hydro bills and higher auto insurance premiums; and

“Whereas the people have lost faith in their government;

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

“That the McGuinty government immediately resign and call an election.”

I’ve also signed it and ask Sarah to take it.


Mr. John O’Toole: It’s my pleasure to present another petition here. This one here—there’s thousands of petitions here, quite frankly. This one here reads as follows:

“To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

“Whereas the Ontario government is cutting front-line health care at pharmacies, which could mean higher prices, less service and even store closures for us;

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

“Stop the cuts to front-line health care at our pharmacies now.”

This is signed by a number of constituents, all of whom are worried generally about health care. I’m pleased to sign it, support it and give it to Jennifer.


Mr. Jim Wilson: A petition to restore medical laboratory services in Elmvale.

“To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

“Whereas the consolidation of medical laboratories in rural areas is causing people to travel further and wait longer for services; and

“Whereas it is the responsibility of the Ontario government to ensure that Ontarians have equal access to all health care services; and

“Whereas rural Ontario continues to get shortchanged when it comes to health care: doctor shortages, smaller hospitals, less pharmaceutical services, lack of transportation and now medical laboratory services; and

“Whereas the McGuinty government continues to increase taxes to make up for misspent tax dollars, collecting $15 billion over the last six years from the Liberal health tax, ultimately forcing Ontarians to pay more while receiving less;

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

“That the McGuinty government stop the erosion of public health care services and ensure equal access to medical laboratories for all Ontarians”—including the people of Ontario.

I agree with this petition and I will sign it.


Mr. Robert Bailey: I have a petition here to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

“Whereas PC MPP Bob Bailey has introduced a significant tax credit for farmers who donate agricultural goods to food banks to help provide tax relief to farmers and assist local food banks; and

“Whereas stagnating economic growth and increasing unemployment over the last two years have strained the ability of food banks to support Ontario’s most vulnerable citizens; and

“Whereas over 25 million pounds of fresh produce is disposed of or plowed back into Ontario’s fields each year while local food banks across Ontario face an uphill battle as they struggle to assist those most in need; and

“Whereas PC MPP Bob Bailey’s ‘A Bill to Fight Hunger with Local Food’ provides an inexpensive and common sense solution to a critical problem for Ontario’s most vulnerable;

“Whereas, if the McGuinty Liberals truly support a healthy Ontario and wish to fight poverty, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario should immediately pass MPP Bob Bailey’s bill;

“We, the undersigned, call upon the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to call MPP Bob Bailey’s private member’s bill, Bill 78, the Taxation Amendment Act ... to committee immediately for consideration and then on to third reading and implementation without delay.”

I agree with this bill, affix my signature and send it down with Kyle.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Julia Munro): The time for petitions has expired.



Hon. Michael Gravelle: I move that, pursuant to standing order 47 and notwithstanding any other standing order or special order of the House relating to Bill 135, An Act respecting financial and Budget measures and other matters, when Bill 135 is next called as a government order the Speaker shall put every question necessary to dispose of the second reading stage of the bill without further debate or amendment and at such time the bill shall be ordered referred to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs; and

That except in the case of a recorded division arising from morning orders of the day, pursuant to standing order 9(c), no deferral of the second reading vote shall be permitted; and

That the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs be authorized to meet on Thursday, December 2, 2010, during its regular meeting times for public hearings and be authorized to meet on Monday, December 6, 2010, at 2 p.m. for the purpose of clause-by-clause consideration of the bill; and

That the deadline for filing amendments to the bill with the clerk of the committee shall be 10 a.m. on Monday, December 6, 2010. At 5 p.m. on Monday, December 6, 2010, those amendments which have not yet been moved shall be deemed to have been moved, and the Chair of the committee shall interrupt the proceedings and shall, without further debate or amendment, put every question necessary to dispose of all remaining sections of the bill and any amendments thereto. The committee shall be authorized to meet beyond the normal hour of adjournment for clause-by-clause consideration on Monday, December 6, 2010. Any division required shall be deferred until all remaining questions have been put and taken in succession with one 20-minute waiting period allowed pursuant to standing order 129(a); and

That the committee shall report the bill to the House no later than Tuesday, December 7, 2010. In the event that the committee fails to report the bill on that day, the bill shall be deemed to be passed by the committee and shall be deemed to be reported to and received by the House; and

That, upon receiving the report of the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, the Speaker shall put the question for adoption of the report forthwith, and at such time the bill shall be ordered for third reading, which order may be called that same day; and

That, when the order for third reading of the bill is called, one hour shall be allotted to the third reading stage of the bill, apportioned equally among the recognized parties. At the end of this time, the Speaker shall interrupt the proceedings and shall put every question necessary to dispose of this stage of the bill without further debate or amendment; and

That the vote on third reading may be deferred pursuant to standing order 28(h); and

That, in the case of any division relating to any proceedings on the bill, the division bell shall be limited to five minutes.


Mr. John O’Toole: On a point of order, Madam Speaker: I was wondering if this particular motion on a budget bill is in order. That’s a question for the table.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Julia Munro): Further debate?

Mr. Robert Bailey: Continuing the debate where I left off yesterday, just to resummarize a little bit, I’m pleased to rise today to speak to this time allocation bill, Bill 135, An Act respecting financial and Budget measures and other matters. I’d particularly like to point out that this is a time allocation bill, like a guillotine bill, as the member from Durham has pointed out, to try to bring to an end some fair comment and debate on this bill, and I think it’s very unfair.

Just to sum up, this omnibus bill is just another in a long string of omnibus bills that this government has introduced. This act looks to amend up to 21 separate pieces of legislation in one fell swoop. Many of those amendments are highly technical, and rather than debate them individually, they have been presented in a single piece of legislation.

I started the debate yesterday, so I’m going to pick up where I left off. What I was doing at that time was reading into the record—because the government is famous for saying that everybody supports this. So what I did yesterday was read a number of letters from constituents who have written to me, to my office, both my constituency office and here in Toronto, telling me their opinions of this. So I’m starting out there.

Another writer to my constituency office said: “I am writing to advise you of our disgust with the HST being applied to hydro bills. Once the smart meter comes into effect, the cost of hydro will increase. As the cost of hydro increases, the HST tax will be compounded. Granted, we can all do our part to use less electricity, but basically we feel that it is immoral to tax a necessity of life. Our displeasure with the Liberal government’s approach”—the cavalier approach—“to the citizens of Ontario re the HST on hydro will definitely influence how we will vote in the next Ontario election.”

Another constituent writes, “Mr. Bailey, I just received my last Hydro One bill for $183.76”—


Mr. Robert Bailey: Some of the honourable members have comments, Madam Speaker. They might wish to rise and debate the bill later; it’s my turn right now. The member from Durham will bring them into line, I’m sure.

“The breakdown shows that I am using $76.31 in electricity usage and $107.45 in delivery/regulatory charges, debt retirement and HST. This is unacceptable. I am on a disability pension which I have to pay taxes on and which does not increase, and these outrageous charges just cut into my earnings.”

A woman from Sarnia, a senior, writes: “I just received my hydro bill, and it was $900, and $200 of it was in taxes, delivery charges and debt retirement. I don’t have a good feeling about these smart meters.” A wise lady. “I feel it is only going to get worse. I need to vent because I work at a minimum wage job and am trying to make ends meet, and then I get this bill. I hope that you can start a petition on this. Something needs to be done. Thanks.”

I have started a petition, and if people want to go to it, they can go to my website, www.bobbaileympp.com, and they can sign on to that petition.

I’d also like to point out that this seems to fall right into that Sussex Strategy Group, that document that happened to fortuitously fall into our hands. I’d like to stand in this House and express my disgust with that leaked document from the Sussex Strategy Group, suggestions for this government’s fortunes in the next election. They said in their document that green energy companies, which are benefiting phenomenally by the Premier’s energy experiments, should “confuse”—and that’s their own word—the public and the media about the price of hydro.

I’m actually surprised that the media hasn’t taken more umbrage with that. It’s one thing to confuse the public. It’s one thing to try to confuse the other members, their own members and their backbenchers, but to try to confuse the media and actually put that in writing—I’m surprised. Maybe that’s why we’ve seen more stories about that lately in the media.

What does this say about the state of our province after seven years of the McGuinty rule when stakeholders like Sussex Strategy and many others feel that promoting the government’s agenda is synonymous with an active effort to “confuse” the public and the media rather than to tell the truth? I’m worried about the province.

I’d also like to touch on the future of the Lambton generating station, which is an important employer in my riding and one of the last coal-fired generating stations in Ontario and, if I might add, one of the cleanest, if not the cleanest, coal-fired generating stations in North America.

I’d like to read into the record the remarks of the member from Thunder Bay–Atikokan. I’d look to add too that we are doing some of the latest biomass research at Lambton generating station with the University of Western Ontario’s research park in Sarnia–Lambton, one of the state-of-the-art research facilities. I’m sure that the OPG and this government, if they knew what they were doing, would take advantage of that and look forward to some input from them.

The member from Thunder Bay–Atikokan said this in the House the other day, “In August of this year, I was very pleased to announce that the Atikokan coal plant will remain a viable asset and be converted to biomass energy production. Just yesterday, I was very happy to announce that the Thunder Bay generating station will also remain open and be converted to natural gas.”

I won’t read all of his remarks.

Mr. Lou Rinaldi: What’s wrong with that?

Mr. Robert Bailey: I think it’s great. What I would like to urge is that there’s even more of a case at the Lambton generating station in my riding. We have a 16-inch main gas line that’s less than a kilometre and a half away which could be accessed. That could keep that plant open. It provides a lot of employment for members in my riding, a number of my constituents. We have over 5,000 employees who are construction workers who could work in that plant, who have got the skills to do that. It wouldn’t be as much of a stretch as it probably is in some of these other ridings to switch to natural gas.

I think the member for Lambton–Kent–Middlesex has also supported converting to biomass and natural gas as well. I look forward to working with her on that: to keep that plant open and to provide those jobs. There’s currently over 300 employees who work there, plus a number of other people in downstream industries who also work in that plant. It will be important downstream that we keep that plant operating.

Going further, there’s also another article I’d like to quote. There’s a gentleman who’s been writing letters to the National Post, among a number of other articles in the paper recently. This gentleman’s a retired banker by the name of Parker Gallant, and I’d like to read into the record an article in the National Post by Parker Gallant, a retired Canadian banker who looked at his Ontario electricity bill and didn’t like what he saw. The article is entitled, “Ontario’s Power Trip: Priced out of the Market.” It ran in the National Post last April, prior to this government’s announcement that energy rates would increase by another 46%. What Mr. Gallant said in the National Post, and on a number of other occasions, is:

“Ontario is getting less and less electricity at higher and higher prices. It’s only going to get worse.

“As a former banker I have no direct expertise in the electrical sector. I was simply curious as to why my electricity bill in Ontario went up when my consumption went down. What I found as I researched is a bewildering story of a province whose electrical sector is in trouble. Ontario is a high-price energy province and, under current policy, it is poised for a further escalation in prices. In short, Ontario is pricing itself out of the market and will not have the ability to attract any manufacturers or service sector companies that require significant energy in their daily processing.

“Electricity is already priced 65% higher in Ontario when measured against neighbouring Quebec and Manitoba, and the gap is likely to get bigger. How Ontario got to this state is not totally clear, but as a banker I looked first to the institutions that make up Ontario’s electricity sector and the numbers behind those institutions. The government entities involved in the electricity sector all present their public profile as open and informative and priced competitively. What’s really going on is another matter. Finding financial information is often difficult. Finding ratepayer information is almost impossible.


“What I did find is a complex, unproductive, costly and expanding beehive of corporate and institutional activity that produces less and less electricity at an ever-rising cost. There are now six ... institutional players in the Ontario power market and one regulatory body. It’s a giant megaplex of state control, each unit a part of the government power structure. How these entities came to be is an interesting story in itself, going back to the previous Conservative government’s plans to privatize the industry....

“The six core players in the market, each controlled by the government, are Ontario Power Generation (OPG), which produces electricity; Hydro One, which manages the province-wide transmission and distribution grid; the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO)”—which I had the opportunity a week ago to visit, and I would recommend to all of the members, if they have the opportunity, to take advantage of that; it’s quite an operation out there, based in Oakville—“which manages the hourly power needs and also operates a trading and pricing system; Ontario Electricity Financial Corp. (OEFC), which holds the stranded debt of the old Ontario Hydro and acts as a funding arm;” and also the OPA, “which acts as the government’s policy execution vehicle.

“The first four of these operations are pieces of the old Ontario Hydro, including OEFC, which was set up in 2000 to hold $30 billion in stranded debt left over from the province’s past electricity management.... The energy board (OEB) has been in place for decades as the independent regulator.

“The current Liberal government under Premier Dalton McGuinty in 2004 set up the sixth entity, the OPA. The OPA functions as the official executor of government policy, and was recently given new powers under the” so-called forward-looking—in their words—“province’s Green Energy Act.” Other people have had different opinions since then on that. “The act removed the ability of any remonstration from municipal, civic or public communities in the province. Via government directive from the McGuinty cabinet, the OPA dictates the course for how electricity is to be generated and distributed throughout the province of Ontario for the next 20-plus years.

“What is this conglomeration of government-controlled agencies doing? One thing is clear. They are doing much less for a lot more money than they used to. The three main companies that actually operate the power system (OPG, Hydro One and the IESO) are a great source of high-wage jobs and rising salaries, but their actual productive activity is declining. I have attempted to consolidate the results of OPG, Hydro One and IESO to try and compare the current year’s results with those that existed in 2000 when the three entities were combined. The number story is simple: Less electricity, higher costs.”

Remember that, ladies and gentlemen out there in the video audience: less electricity, higher costs.

“This is what has changed in the last decade.

“Consolidated revenue grew by $1.3 billion or 14.3% to $10.5-billion, but gross revenue after fuel purchases”—this is at OPG—“were up by less than 1%. Expenses are another matter. Operations, maintenance and administration jumped by 44.9%”—almost 45%—“to $4 billion. This is likely mostly employment costs. Employment jumped from 15,800”—almost 16,000 employees—“to 18,000 permanent and 3,000 contract and non-regular (Hydro One’s word) employees after allowing for the 5,000 jobs OPG and Hydro One outsourced between the years 2000 and 2003. Despite the addition of all those people, electricity sold and distribution dropped 33.8 % and 5.5% respectively. Likewise available power capacity in megawatts fell from 25,800 to 21,729, a decline of 15.7%. Meanwhile, the cumulative debt as of December 31, 2010, had soared to $11.1 billion, a gain of 31% or $3 billion.” These are the banker’s figures. “This doesn’t include the billions in debt held by the Ontario Electricity Financial Corp.

“Collectively the CEOs managing these provincially owned companies took home $4.7 million in salaries in 2009.” Great work if you can get it. “Each of the three operating entities tells the same story. At OPG, whose responsibility is the generation of electricity, revenue is down from their 2000 year-end by $338 million or 5.5%. Net profit is nominally up by $18 million, or 3%. But that number was the result of a $683-million gain from appreciation in the value of the company’s nuclear decommissioning fund.

“Since 2000, OPG’s generating capacity has fallen” almost 16%. I’m sorry; I’ve already read that.

“Hydro One’s responsibility is transmission and distribution of electricity directly to Ontario electricity users and indirectly via municipal electric utilities,” otherwise known as the MEUs. “The company’s distribution system, in terms of size and power carriage, barely changed through the decade, but it keeps growing [in] costs and employment. In 2009, Hydro One distributed 7.7”—almost eight—“terawatts less than it did in 2000, a decrease of slightly more than 5%. The distance covered by Hydro One’s transmission lines increased by only 424 kilometres ... since 2000.

“But its employment numbers continue to skyrocket. Between 2000 and 2009, it took on 1,739 (after outsourcing 900 jobs in 2002 and granting early retirement to another 1,400 ... ) employees, a gain of 52%. Almost half of its employees,” 5,000 in the year 2008, “earned more than $100,000 a year,” according to the sunshine list.

“In keeping with the jump in employment, Hydro One’s debt increased by 48% or $2.251 billion since March 31, 2003. Meanwhile, Hydro One’s rate increases for users continue to climb, by as much as 20% in 2009 alone. It has applied to the Ontario Energy Board for rate increases that could raise residential rates by over 20% in the next two years.

“The third leg to the operating entities is the Independent Electrical System Operator (IESO), which has responsibility for the management of the grid, projects daily usage to ensure adequate supply of electricity.” The IESO, as I said, I visited a week ago, and I think they’re doing great work down there. I’d advise all the members to take the opportunity to tour it.

“IESO gives priority to the most unreliable and most expensive electricity generators; wind and solar ranging in price from 13.5 cents to [a high of] 80.2 cents per kilowatt hour.” When supply exceeds demand, the IESO tells these generators to throttle down the cheapest electricity, which is hydro and fossil, which is either gas or coal or a combination. “IESO also sets the ‘wholesale’ and ‘spot’ price through its trading activity. The ‘wholesale’ price, (when low) creates a ‘provincial benefit’ which is added to electricity bills of all wholesale clients and to direct marketing retail distributors. It adds three to four cents per kilowatt hour to ratepayers’ bills. Excess power is sold or bought at a ‘spot’ price from other distribution networks such as the New York Power Authority,” and others.

“IESO is small by comparison to OPG or Hydro One in respect to employment, but a higher proportion—65% of its 400-plus employees—were paid in excess of $100,000 in 2009. IESO obtains long-term credit from OEFC, the debt-management arm of Ontario’s electricity megaplex, and as of December 31, 2009, IESO owed OEFC”—all these acronyms are something else; no wonder people don’t understand their bills—“$78.2 million. IESO lost $14 million in 2009 and its CEO could have retired at the end of the year with an annual pension”—get this—“of $263,000.

“IESO will also be submitting an application to the OEB to recover the costs of managing McGuinty government directives to install ‘smart meters.’ The costs of this project, not disclosed, will run to more than $2 billion. Consumers will pay on individual consumer hydro bills. IESO’s website is loaded with information and seems to have better disclosure than the others (except for their annual financial report).” Mr. Gallant “charted electricity consumption data from 2002 to get a feel on how demand is fueling the increase in Ontario’s electricity rates. It isn’t. Even though I chose the two ‘highest demand’ months of July and December, average hourly demand, lowest demand and peak demand are all down (anywhere from 6.4% to 23.5%). So if consumption is heading down, why are Ontario electricity bills going up?

“What is exactly behind all this new activity and employment levels? While the private sector has to contend with increasing productivity, downsizing or moving production elsewhere, Ontario’s government-owned energy sector employees just keep getting fatter under legislation that has forced this sector to accept expensive undertakings that have driven capital expenditures up and market share and revenue down, largely to” fuel this green energy agenda.


I’m going to wrap my remarks up, but I would like to urge the government to take a look at it if they’re focused on this green energy agenda. Everyone realizes that green energy is going to be an important component as we go forward. It has to be at prices that people can afford.

I would like to urge that when they’re looking at renovating and retrofitting plants, they certainly consider the Lambton generating station. The Lambton area is a willing host. St. Clair township, where the Lambton generating station is located, relies on the tax revenue and income that’s generated from that Lambton generating station and will when it’s retrofitted, if they make the decision to go to a combination of natural gas and biomass. Research is being done at that research facility at the University of Western Ontario located in Sarnia, and also supported by my colleague from Lambton–Kent–Middlesex, I read in the paper the other day. Moving on that route, we have the employees and the construction workers and the trades who can do the work. We’ve got a willing host, and we’ve got a natural gas supply line there, less than a kilometre and a half away. We could move on that in a short time.

Like I say, I’d urge the government, through OPG, to take a look at that and to keep that plant open for my riding of Sarnia–Lambton, because it’s as important to it as it was to the member of Thunder Bay–Atikokan, who spoke about that importance the other day for his riding.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Julia Munro): Further debate?

Mr. Peter Kormos: We have a scant 40 minutes to participate in this debate because, as you see, this is a time allocation motion, and time allocation motions are inherently time-allocated, which is a regrettable thing. I look forward to addressing it. I’m going to be joined by my colleague the member for Hamilton East–Stoney Creek, who will, in his usual style, deliver a barnburner in short order and rip out a new one for the government members that are here.

I’ll bet you dollars to doughnuts right now, I’ll bet you the farm—I could be wrong—but I’ll bet you the farm that government members won’t be standing up defending their time allocation motion. I’ll betcha dollars to doughnuts that the government backbenchers will be boycotting their own legislation.

Mr. Randy Hillier: Cowardly.

Mr. Peter Kormos: Mr. Hillier notes. For the life of me, why would they bring this kind of restrictive, jackboots, guillotine motion to this chamber, expect it to be passed and not even stand and defend it? You know why? Because it’s indefensible.

I should make it quite clear that New Democrats will be opposing this type of goose-step legislation. New Democrats will resist this as strongly as we can. I’m sure we’ll be joined by our official opposition colleagues. There is a paucity of democracy in this chamber, in this process.

It’s not so much that the government wants to end second reading debate; it’s that the government wants to close the doors to good Ontarians who may want to comment on this bill in the committee process. That’s the most repugnant part of this type of legislative conduct—or misconduct, rather.

Let’s understand what’s happening: “That the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs be authorized to meet on Thursday, December 2, 2010, during its regular meeting times for public hearings” and then on Monday, December 6, 2010, at 2 p.m. for clause-by-clause consideration of the bill.

“At 5 p.m. on Monday, December 6, 2010,” in clause-by-clause consideration, “amendments which have not yet been moved shall be deemed to have been moved, and the Chair of the committee shall interrupt the proceedings and shall, without further debate or amendment, put every question necessary to dispose of all remaining sections of the bill and any amendments thereto.”

That is a tragedy. What that means is that there’s no meaningful input for good folks out there, Ontarians who are hurting bad, Ontarians who on the one hand have been told that they’re going to get a 10% cut on their electricity prices but, then on the other hand—it’s always the other hand that hits you harder—are told that those same electricity rates are going to go up 46% over the course of the next five years. No disrespect to the official opposition, but you can bet your boots once again that those are going to be pretty conservative figures, because it’s the government figures that were put forward in their so-called economic statement of a Thursday or so ago.

Is it any wonder, is it any surprise, does it shock you at all then, to learn that back in September or so, when Ipsos Reid polled Ontarians, three out of four Ontarians believed it was time for a change at Queen’s Park? In fact, 76% of respondents said they would like to see another party in power. Does that surprise you at all? Does it shock you? Does it amaze you? Of course not, because every penny of that 46% increase accrued over the next five years is going to be taxed again by this government’s newest tax, its HST.

On a daily basis, the revelations keep flowing. What did we learn about last week? We learned about installing smart meters down in Windsor on vacant houses that were destined to be demolished. Who’s doing the thinking here? What’s going on? Vacant houses destined to be demolished, and they’re installing smart meters on them. Then the minister, responding to the question, says, “Well, you’ve got to keep the houses heated.” Why? Nobody’s living in them. Are you going to be upset if the paint starts to crack because it gets cold? Come on. The houses are going to be torn down. They’re going to be demolished.


Mr. Peter Kormos: “The pipes will freeze,” he says. No, you turn the water off out on the front yard, and you drain the pipes. They’re going to be demolished. Or you go down in the basement or where the line comes into the house, you go over there, and you turn that valve shut. You shut it by turning it clockwise. I want the members to understand that. You’ve got to turn it clockwise to shut it, and then when you want to open it up again, you turn it counter-clockwise. Or if they’ve got a little petcock, you just swing the handle at 90 degrees to the flow of the pipe.

Andrea Horwath exposed that last week, and the government responds, “Well, we’ve got to keep the houses heated because they’re going to be demolished.” It’s ludicrous stuff. That’s why they’ve got so-called—mind you, let’s be fair. These aren’t smart meters; these are stupid meters. These are dumb-and-dumber meters. Did you see the movie?

Mr. Peter Shurman: Don’t answer.

Mr. Peter Kormos: Mr. Shurman says, and he’s bang on.

Understand that this boondoggle really is a fiasco. It’s a botched-up mess. But there’s a whole lot of people making money out of it; unfortunately, it’s not the taxpayers of Ontario. They’re paying a whole lot of money, $1.5 billion, to install these not-so-smart, stupid, dumb-and-dumber meters, which jack up people’s electricity prices.

Then we learn that in places like Windsor, their hydro utility has no confidence whatsoever in the ability of the meter to communicate with the central computer to be communicated with at the hydro authority, however that conduit happens.

The member over here in the official opposition is an electrician, and he could probably describe it with clarity and detail. He could probably get himself thrown out of the House in the course of doing that if he tried hard enough. But we’ll wait to see whether the member for Lanark–Frontenac–Lennox and Addington participates in this miserable debate. Lord knows, there’s going to be enough time because I suspect the Liberals are boycotting their own debate. Why would they do that?

Mr. Robert Bailey: They’re absent without leave.

Mr. Peter Kormos: Mr. Bailey notes.


Mr. Paul Miller: They’re AWOL.

Mr. Peter Kormos: It’s noted as well by my colleague from Hamilton East–Stoney Creek.

Why does this government have this obsession with ending debate? Why do Liberals obsess about silencing people rather than encouraging debate, throwing the doors open and saying, “Let the debate flourish”? Why does this Liberal government beat up on the people of Ontario, tax them, abuse them, jack up their electricity rates? You just watch, because we’ve got some cold winter months coming on when the furnace is going to be running pretty regularly, when the electric water heater is going to be coming on more frequently. A season when people do their—look at what this government has done. This government has taxed the Christmas turkey. That gal or guy who puts the Christmas turkey in that electric oven to cook it is getting cooked by this government because every kilowatt of that electric power that’s cooking that turkey is being taxed to the tune of 8% more than what it was before.

What miserable people these people are. What an attitude. What a vision of Ontario: Make people pay more for electricity and tax it to boot; make them pay $1.5 billion for not-so-smart, stupid, dumb-and-dumber meters; tell them that their jobs are coming back when, in fact, those jobs are the $11, $12 and $13 jobs instead of the $25-, $26- and $27-an-hour jobs that were stolen away from Ontario under the watch of Mr. McGuinty and his gang of job—

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Julia Munro): I’d remind the member to refer to the Premier.

Mr. Peter Kormos: —Mr. Premier McGuinty and his gang of job stealers. The highwayman, the highwayman came riding, riding, riding. The highwayman, Premier McGuinty, stealing every job that every worker ever had in the province of Ontario; 300,000-plus of them, a whole lot of them down where I come from.

John Deere: 100 years of John Deere in the city of Welland. That plant has been out there on the canal in Dain City for 100 years. It wasn’t that long ago when the last man standing shut the gate behind him. Nine hundred workers: 900 skilled workers; 900 welders, electricians and pipe fitters; 900 skilled people, and it was just a few months ago that the last man standing locked up, shut the door behind him.

You know what? I know those people. I know the women and men who worked at John Deere. I know them well and they’re tough people. They’re hard workers. They’re skilled; they’re talented. And you know what? A whole chunk of them have gotten jobs again, but they’re not the unionized, high-wage jobs, the value-added manufacturing jobs, the wealth-creation jobs that Mr. McGuinty—that is to say, the Premier of Ontario—stole from them.

Just the other day in committee we had the Good Government Act. What a sad ruse when you try to con the people of Ontario with titles on legislation like Good Government Act when it’s the last thing in the world that it should ever be called. Why, that con is contemptuous. That con is downright contemptible. It reveals a government thumbing its nose at the people of Ontario, it reveals a government giving its finger to the people of Ontario, it reveals a government turning its back on the people of Ontario, and it reveals a government which 76% of Ontarians say has no business being in power anymore. Seventy-six percent of Ontarians say they have no business being in power anymore. Let’s say there’s a four-point margin of error. We’ve talked about this before. It could mean that only 72% of Ontarians want this government out of power or it could mean that 80% of Ontarians want them out of power. Eighty-six percent of Ontarians say it’s harder now to make ends meet than it was two years ago: People understand what that means. People are feeling desperation. They’re feeling fear. In some cases, they’re feeling panic.

Just watch and wait. Just watch and wait until those furnace motors start chugging away come the coldest months of the year, January, February and March. People are going to be shaking their heads. People are going to be panicking about—they pay these Premier McGuinty hydro bills. It’s going to be of little comfort to get a bill of $200 or $300 or $350 come winter months—or more—and then to see, oh, there’s a 10% reduction.

Why, just the other day we talked about that child tax credit—$50 per kid—but you’ve got to spend $500 to get the credit. And $500 doesn’t buy very much by way of, let’s say, hockey or soccer or baseball or dance or other pursuits, theatrical classes or language classes. What’s interesting is that you’re going to pay more with this Premier McGuinty government’s new HST on those dance lessons or on the hockey school than you’re going to get back in the $50 rebate. The government is giving you zip.

The member over here from Thornhill painted the perfect picture just a few days ago. He talked about the fellow being out in the overturned rowboat, hanging on for dear life; he’s 200 feet out. Along comes his hero who is going to save him, throwing out a rope with one of those life rings. He’s 200 feet out, and this guy says, “My goodness, finally some relief. Finally I’m going to be saved and rescued.” But as the member from Thornhill says, he throws that life ring out, and the rope’s only 150 feet long. It’s 50 feet short of its target. All it’s doing is mocking that guy desperately hanging onto the overturned rowboat trying to keep his head above water.

That’s what Ontarians are trying to do. Ontarians are trying to keep their heads above water. Again, down where I come from, in places like Wainfleet, Port Colborne and Welland and Thorold and yes, south St. Catharines, a community I share with the Minister of Community Safety, people have lost jobs. People have seen pensions disappear, and people are seeing pensions erode. Fewer and fewer workers who are working have pensions.

Mr. John Yakabuski: Like here.

Mr. Peter Kormos: Oh, no, MPPs must have a pension. Why would they have pension committee that has lunches once, twice or three times a year if they didn’t have pensions? I think they’re called defined contribution pension plans. I was here in this chamber in 1996 when Mike Harris, the Premier then, brought forward a bill that abolished the MPPs’ pension plan, and every single member of this chamber voted for it. Every single member of this chamber voted for it, every Liberal, every Conservative, every New Democrat.

The reality is that, increasingly, workers in the real world don’t have defined benefit pension plans. They’ve got defined contribution pension plans, and they’re funded at nowhere near the generous rate that MPPs’ defined contribution pension plans are funded—the minimum salary here is well into the six figures.

There’s hardly a member of this Legislature who’s been lining up at the soup kitchen. There’s hardly a member here who suffers from malnutrition. There’s hardly a member here who finds themselves hungry.


Mr. Peter Kormos: Perhaps the Minister of Community Safety wants to participate in this debate. Members are being chastised very quietly, and for good reason, my friends—for good reason. Very wise counsel, very sage counsel you just got, member back there. You learned something.

Nobody here is emaciated. I don’t think there are any members who are worried about paying their hydro bills this month.


Mr. John Yakabuski: Well, certainly not the ones who got a payout in 1996.

Mr. Peter Kormos: There’s nobody here who’s worried about paying their hydro bill, and we’ve got a lot of nerve in this chamber turning our noses up at folks who’ve lost jobs, who don’t have pension plans, never mind a defined contribution pension plan, Mr. Yakabuski—10% of your salary every year, your salary in excess of $130,000, in addition, paid into a defined contribution pension plan. That’s not shabby stuff; that’s pretty slick.

Some MPPs will ride off into the sunset come 2011, and some will be propelled into the sunset off the cliff in 2011. I’ve said this because I’ve seen the sweeps. I was here in the Peterson government—huge government, huge rump; biggest rump I’ve ever seen on a government. And I saw them defeated in 1990 in a huge sweep, and then in 1995, I saw that government defeated in a huge sweep; another government defeated and a new government elected. Finally, in 2003, a government defeated and in a huge sweep. Each and every time, it was a government that had become detached, remote, less and less thoughtful, more and more arrogant. One thing I’ve always said about those kinds of sweeps is that good people get defeated, people of all political stripes, and I’ve watched it over the course of those successive elections, and people who have no business being here get elected because they ride in on a sweep. They don’t ride in on any real merits.

There are some government members I’m going to be sad to see go, and I’m not going to suggest to you that it’s at all fair, but you thought it was just fine in 2003, didn’t you? You thought it was pretty darned slick, and you thought it was darned fine, those of you who were watching it on television back in 1987. Remember that, Speaker? You barely remember it, I know that. You were so young.

We’ll have lots of time to say goodbye to my friends across the way, who are now very quiet—they’ve become silent—who are looking down and looking away and perhaps working on their resumés. I wish you well, but you’ve brought it upon yourselves.

I’ll tell you what. One Liberal member stand up today and vote against this time allocation bill, vote against this time allocation motion. Show your constituents that you’ve got the guts and the gonads to stand up to a Premier’s office that bullies you on a daily basis and makes you ask humiliating backbench questions during question period. One of you stand up, and I’ll give you a clip for your householder that will rot your socks. One of you vote against this time allocation motion and show that you’ve got what it takes to be a member of the Legislature and not to be bullied by a Premier’s office or by the lure of perks or the occasional junket. I’m sorry, Mr. Lalonde. I meant nothing personal. There are a few of them who belong to that club, aren’t there? There are a few of them.

I do dearly want to leave time for my colleague from Hamilton East–Stoney Creek. I wait to hear something, anything, other than a squeal or a howl from a government member, or perhaps the blurting of fear of the unknown.

Mr. Randy Hillier: Bleating, bleating.

Mr. Peter Kormos: Bleating. Thank you. No, bleating is sheep. No, no, blurting, as in blurting out.

I will sit in thorough silence, waiting for a government member to stand up and announce that she or he will stand up to the bullies in the Premier’s office and vote against this ill-advised time allocation motion.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Julia Munro): Further debate?

Mr. Randy Hillier: I guess the member for Welland does indeed have insight into the Liberal Party. Not one Liberal member stood up to speak to this time allocation motion, and the honourable member did indeed recognize it.

Madam Speaker, would it be out of order for me to ask that the Liberals wake up and engage in this debate? Would that be out of order?

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Julia Munro): Yes, it would.

Mr. Randy Hillier: I guess we’ll let them have a little snooze there. I wonder if some debate may actually get them engaged and woken up over there.

But looking through this time allocation motion and Bill 135 reminds me of the time when I worked in public works. Back in public works, in construction management and project management, we had in place a very long process system that never worked, but it was a long, cumbersome process. What it was, we would have various levels of people within public works checking over the plans and checking over the specifications on every project. Lo and behold, the person at the end of the project would find out that the project was all mucked up and it didn’t work. They’d scratch their heads and wonder how this did not get caught. How did these problems not get caught? I realize that we had checkers checking the checkers checking the checkers being checked. Nobody actually did their job because somebody else was going to be doing the checking. They had so many levels of checkers, nobody actually had to do any work.

This reminds me of the Liberal caucus. We have people in the ministries, people in the bureaucracies, people in the agencies, all supposedly doing their work, and guess what? The final checkers are asleep. They’re asleep and they’re not engaged. We now understand why Ontario is in such a predicament, with the same process that we saw in public works in construction management in the Liberal Party today.

It really is a travesty to the people of Ontario that this bill is being passed, and it’s being passed by people who have not read it. It is being passed by people who don’t have any interest in actually understanding what their vote leads to.

Let me just give you a couple of examples under schedule 7. We know that this bill affects 21 pieces of legislation, and we know that this time allocation motion is to prevent discussion. This motion is to deny people knowledge of what’s in this bill. But let me just point out a couple of things under Bill 135 that the Liberals either do not know, do not care about, or maybe both. Maybe they just have no interest in their final role of being the checkers.

Under schedule 7, “Several amendments are made to section 1.0.10 of the act, which sets out the authority of treasury board to make regulations, subject to the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.”

So we’re moving some decision-making off on regulations.


Now, listen to this: “Currently, subsection 1.0.16(2) of the act specifies that the Minister of Finance is not permitted to delegate certain specified powers....” This changes now. Under this act, the minister is now permitted to sub-delegate his authority. Did you know that? Did the member from Peterborough know that you’re sub-delegating out that authority? This happens again throughout.

Listen to this one: “An amendment is made to section 37 of the act respecting the use of warrants to enforce the obligation to pay tax. Subrule 60.07(2) of the rules of civil procedure requires that leave of the court be obtained before certain writs are issued. The amendment provides that this rule does not apply for the purposes of section 37.” Did any member of the Liberal Party read that? Did the member for Stormont–Dundas–South Glengarry or the member from Northumberland realize—

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Julia Munro): I’d ask you to make your comments to the Chair, not to members individually.

Mr. Randy Hillier: Did they realize that they are diminishing and taking away our time-honoured protections of civil liberties? We’re now saying the court does not need to issue the writs; it’s just ministerial staff who can do it. We do away with the courts.

This is also done—the same thing applies—under section 132 of the act, respecting the use of warrants to enforce the obligation to pay a tax. This rule no longer applies under here.

There are so many acts that are infringed on here—the same with the WSIB. This act now allows the WSIB to go into its reserve funds. We know that the WSIB has increased the unfunded liability up to $12 billion, and instead of solving that problem, by a little sleight of Liberal hand, we now have another mechanism for the WSIB to keep pumping up that unfunded liability by dipping into their reserve funds.

Did any of the members on the Liberal side understand that? Did they read that? I doubt it very much. We’ve seen by the puzzled looks over there, when they are awake, that they haven’t read this act. That’s so obvious, and really, we can intuitively know that anybody who read this act would not be signing off on it. They would not be approving it or endorsing it; they would be looking for serious amendments to it. However, we have, with this time allocation motion, no viable means to amend this bill. It’s all going to be done on Thursday this week. Any clause that has not been moved will be deemed to be moved on Thursday. It’s a travesty, and it’s a travesty that could be prevented if only the Liberal members of their caucus actually stood up and defended the interests of their constituents and did their job, and were not just concerned about or accepting that all the other checkers did their job.

There are also significant changes under the alcohol and gaming regulations, with significant changes on taxation on beer and wine. Here’s another one: Under section 50 of that act, “subrule 60.07(2) of the rules of civil procedure does not apply in respect of a warrant issued by the minister” under this clause. We can go through hundreds of pages of legislation and see this theme throughout the legislation, that the Liberals just don’t care about due process, about justice or about civil liberties. Again, section 20 of the same act is amended so that the Rules of Civil Procedure does not apply with respect to warrants issued by the minister. On and on and on it goes.

The Financial Administration Act is significantly modified under Bill 135. Here’s another one:

“Accounting policies and practices ...

(2) Regulations made under clause (1)(c.1) may authorize or require public entities to follow specified accounting policies and practices.

I’m not sure what they’re trying to change there, but when you go to the next page, schedule 10 of the Interim Appropriation for 2011-2012 Act—and I just would like any one of these Liberal members to say—here’s subsection 2(1):

“For the fiscal year ending on March 31, 2012, amounts not exceeding a total of $70,400,000,000 may be paid out of the consolidated revenue fund or recognized as non-cash expenses to be applied to the expenses of the public service that are not otherwise provided for.”

What’s this $70 billion for? Does anybody over there know what that $70 billion is for? Has anybody cared to investigate? Or are you just going to put your hand up like puppets and just pass it? Do we need to know what $70 billion is going to be used for? Obviously, this Liberal government, these Liberal members, don’t believe so.

We could go on and on with the travesty of this time allocation motion, but as we do, we know that the Liberals are still asleep at the switch and they won’t wake up until they’re kicked out in 2011.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Julia Munro): Further debate? The member for Hamilton East–Stoney Creek.

Mr. Paul Miller: When I look at the title of this bill, “Helping Ontario families,” I find that very interesting. I’d like to bring forward my own concept of helping Ontario families and what it would look like. I think helping Ontario families would start off by saying maybe they should have accepted—this government turned down, to a person, anti-scab legislation. Why I say that is because anti-scab legislation in BC and Quebec has been very successful in getting people back to work.

Just from my own experience, I can tell you about the nine months at Inco, a Brazilian outfit; Lake Erie Works, one year they were out; now US Steel, Hilton Works in Hamilton, in my own riding. How long are they going to be out? Nobody knows. This is the type of thing that would be avoided if this government had voted for anti-scab legislation. People would be back to work. So they certainly are not helping the families of Ontario like this bill says—“Helping Ontario families.”

Let’s talk about their 10% rebate for hydro. They ask what our plan is. I’ll be glad to address that. You look at the 10% that the finance minister stood up and talked about the other day. He was very proud of it. In fact, he got a standing ovation, but what they didn’t do is look on page 11. On page 11, in smaller print, the minister admits that the hydro rates in the next couple of years—three or four years—are going to go up 42%, and when the Samsung deal gets into play, and other green venture allies for solar and wind power, it’s going to go up to 70%. The 10% that they’re offering is temporary, and as was stated yesterday, at the stroke of a pen by the Premier, that can end. So I don’t get a warm feeling, no pun intended, on hydro. I don’t get a warm feeling about where they’re going with this big rebate.

Several of them will stand up and say, “What’s your plan? You don’t have a plan.” Well, let me talk about the plans that we’ve had over the last three years since I’ve been here that have fallen on deaf ears, were shot down on committee, to a person, by the Liberals.


Let’s talk about revitalizing our economy, getting people back to work. Let’s talk about the 10% tax rebate for manufacturers that the NDP brought forward—dead in the water; didn’t happen. Let’s talk about the bill we brought forward for 50% Ontario content, Canadian content—died; didn’t go anywhere. Let’s talk about the bill that we brought forward for Buy Ontario—died; didn’t go anywhere.

Now let’s go back to that title again, “Helping Ontario families.” I think not.

Let’s talk about the bill that the official opposition brought forward to give farmers a tax credit for donating excess food and excess fruit to food banks—died. Geez, now they don’t want to help them with jobs; they want to starve them. That’s really good for the people of Ontario.

They talk about generation of electricity. I’ll tell you a little story. When I was lobbying for the Steelworkers in Ottawa, at the time, the Liberal government—I believe the member was Tony Valeri from Hamilton; he was the Liberal House leader in Ottawa. He promised the city of Hamilton—Stelco—$30 million for cogeneration from our coke ovens at Stelco. We were going to run coke oven gas and we were going to put the additional electricity into the grid, a wonderful plan. You’ve got coke ovens at Dofasco. They generate a huge amount of megawatts. That could bring a lot of megawatts on to the system, because of the heat that comes out of those furnaces. It’s just enormous what they could do for generators and things.

Did it happen? No. It just died. Mr. Valeri wasn’t in office, and that $30 million for cogeneration on coke ovens went out the window. That was, I don’t know, five, six years ago that they were talking about that. It still hasn’t happened. It would have been enough generation probably to heat and have enough electricity for about 7,000 homes in Hamilton, plus sell to the grid. It didn’t happen.

They had a gas plant lined up for Oakville. Through public pressure—and no disrespect to the member. He was under a lot of pressure not to have that put there. Eventually they backed down, after telling us it was a good thing to generate megawatts. Now they’re looking for a new home for it. That’s interesting. He even mentioned Hamilton to me. We’ve got about 50, 60, 70 acres sitting down on the waterfront that can’t be used for anything because it’s so polluted. Did they talk about going there with it? No. And it’s miles away from any residential area. No, we didn’t hear anything about that. There’s another one.

I could go on all day about the screw-ups that have gone on.

Let’s talk once again about helping Ontario families. Are our pensioners part of an Ontario family? Grandpa, grandma, even younger ones in their 50s and 60s who are on pensions, are they part of Ontario families? I think they are. What did they do to help them? They brought in pension reform: all administrative changes, all changes to how to handle the funds, wind-ups, but not one penny to the PBGF, which hasn’t changed since 1980. It’s still at $1,000. You can’t live on what they’ve got in there, and it wouldn’t last two years if a major company went under anyway.

Then we asked for a pension agency instead of having these slicksters with the financial things and these money managers and that handling the pension funds. We asked for a publicly run pension agency similar to CPP—didn’t happen. This government blames Ottawa. Even though they’re in charge of 74% of the pensions in this province, let’s blame Ottawa.

They won’t even talk about the 66% of Ontarians who don’t have a pension at all—won’t do it. We brought forward an Ontario pension plan that would have helped those people. Where did it go? It fell on deaf ears—wouldn’t read it, wouldn’t look at it, didn’t want to touch it.

Let’s go back to that title again, “Helping Ontario families.” I don’t think so.

Let’s move on to injured workers. Injured workers are in Ontario families. What have they done to take injured workers out of poverty? They’ve given them 1%—1%. What’s that going to do? And they won’t get rid of those terrible, terrible programs called deeming and experience rating, which I have brought forward several times in this House. They wouldn’t get rid of that either.

Cost of living: Give the injured workers a cost of living so they can at least keep their head above water. Didn’t happen.

So I could go on for an hour about things they could do to help Ontario families, but they don’t do it. They don’t do it, and they’re not going to do it, but they’ll find out next year what’s going to happen.

Now I’d like to move on to our favourite thing: time allocation. We’re simply outraged. This government is yet again shutting down debate on this legislation. Why is the government doing it again? Because they’re using the heavy hammer of time allocation. Time allocation only ensures that there are as few people as possible allowed to speak at public hearings or members allowed to bring forward their constituents’ opinions to the bill. Why is this government shutting down debate? Because it’s afraid. It’s afraid to listen to the people of Ontario. They’ll start asking those ugly questions that they can’t answer to get to the real bottom of the issue, the real impact on their lives. They don’t want to talk about it. They want to hide behind time allocation.

Let’s be clear: We’re dealing with basically truncating the time that we’re going to have to debate this bill in the House. For the government to argue that somehow or other the world will come to a stop if they don’t move this ahead without debate I think is a bit of a stretch, to say the least. To suggest somehow that time allocation is about the efficient disposition of business—if we brought that argument forward to a very democratic thing we are charged to do, we would be in big trouble, failing in our jobs as legislators. There are sufficient rules within our legislative processes to provide members an opportunity to express themselves on legislation that they have reservations about. The key word there is “reservations.” But if you can’t bring it forward and you can’t talk about it and they won’t let the public talk about it, I guess your reservations are going to stay inside you. This is a disservice to all Ontarians. It diminishes their right to speak to their government, to the people they elected to represent them.

Rather than making time allocation motions, this government would better serve the people of Ontario by rewriting the rules so that we can divide a piece of legislation and vote on sections of it. I have said this since I got here. The finance minister stands up, the Premier stands up, and many members over there stand up and say, “Your party voted against that.” Well, if you get the budget bill, it’s either you like it or you lump it. You can’t break it down and vote for the things that are good or the things that are bad. They don’t tell the public that. Well, I’ll tell the public that. So if there are two good things in there and you don’t vote for it, they say, “You voted against the budget bill,” but there could be 60 to 100 things in there that stink, and that’s why we vote against the budget bill. That’s what people should know out there, no?

Rather than making time allocation motions, this government would better serve the people of Ontario by rewriting rules so they can divide it. Why don’t you divide it, clause by clause? You do it in committee. Why can’t we vote on the budget clause by clause? No way. No way, because that’s going to make them look bad. Municipal councils do this on a regular basis. I served on municipal council; we went clause by clause. Why can’t they do it here? We did it all the time, and we got a lot of good stuff done. The outcome of this is that the public can actually see what is hidden in the bills, particularly the all-encompassing omnibus bills, as members are asked to vote on individual sections that they agree with. That’s a good, healthy process. You get to vote on particular issues you have concerns about, not the whole bag of goodies that are no good. It is a more transparent way to do business and allows our constituents to speak to specifics and have a real say in the laws that we pass in this House.

It is apparent the government is on the run. They’re hiding; they’re pushing things through that are unpopular. They are on the run. They know that most of their legislation is flawed—it’s minuscule at best—and will not stand the test of full public scrutiny, so they move to time allocation so they don’t have to deal with the public. The public will remember these weak actions of a failing government next year. They will know that, in this crunch, the McGuinty Liberals took the route that prevented them and their elected representatives from fully engaging in the legislative process.


I’ve spoken about this before, and I will likely have to speak about it again in the spring session. Time allocation—what a disgrace. I can’t see this group across the floor recognizing the wrong in their ongoing attempts to keep the public from full input and scrutiny of legislation that will affect their daily lives. People are very concerned about jobs, health care, the economy—the list goes on and on. They get failing marks on all of the above, all of them. I can’t think of anything good.

I will continue to be vigilant in speaking out against this debate-stopping action by a governing party on the run. I will continue to speak up for Ontarians and Hamiltonians and work to ensure that they have full access to debate and finalization of legislation, if that can be done. It’s a very long road, a very big wall to climb, and I don’t have a ladder because they chop the legs out from beneath my ladder every time I get close to something good.

They either want to take it for their own and pass it six months down the road—and it’s miraculous around here. Things that come from this side of the House just magically appear about 10 months later, and it becomes a Liberal idea and a Liberal bill. You know what? Frankly, I don’t care. If it gets through and it’s good, that’s good.

But when Mr. McGuinty stands over there and says on many occasions, “We have to work together for the people of Ontario. We have to stand up,” it’s a load of nonsense. It’s so partisan in here, it makes me ill. They should issue travel bags at every one of these tables, the number of times I get sick listening to it.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Julia Munro): Further debate?

Mr. John O’Toole: In the very few minutes I have, I want to raise some issues of concern. Certainly, our member from Parry Sound–Muskoka, our critic Mr. Miller, is seriously disappointed; I know that. I can just see the time he’ll spend here on Thursday, how frustrated he must be about it—I know personally—and also on Monday the 6th. What this is going to do: They have just rammed this thing through, the guillotine motion of all guillotine motions, to ignore even the most genuine, sincere and compassionate input of anybody on any side of the House. They’re finished listening to us, and that’s the issue.

I can only say that I have so little time that I sort of know—first of all, for the viewers of Ontario, Bill 135 is actually going to give you a 10% cut on your energy bill, but you’re paying for it. In fact, it’s borrowed money. It’s going to cost $1.1 billion to do that, and that’s future debt. That’s future taxes for you and your children. Don’t let them buy you with your own money. That’s just plain foolish.

What I will talk about is a couple of other programs, though, that I think affect the economy. I have three points in the six minutes I have. First of all—my notes are here—the citizens of my riding of Durham have been active, and they’ve been disappointed by this McGuinty government.

The number one issue is—the 407 group is here today. I want to thank the organizers. I specifically met with them. I know Minister Wynne met with them, but she isn’t going to change her mind. She made it very clear. She stood toe to toe and refused even the most genuine of suggestions about how to solve this.

Rosemary McConkey’s, her program, you can look it up, is Don’t End 407 at Simcoe Street. What is really behind this? Let’s put a bit of tone to it. First of all, it was in their election document; it was a promise, much like the one about not raising your taxes. Not only that, I have the original document here with me that Greg Sorbara signed, and he said, “I concur.” That was from Lawrence Cannon, the federal minister, as well as the Minister of Finance, James Flaherty. That was the minister at the time. He agreed. Premier McGuinty agreed. He said it, he wrote it, and now he breaks his word. People who don’t respect their word should not be trusted. That’s the leader.

I’m not making this up. I’m respecting the people from my riding who drove in the rain and bad weather today to come to Queen’s Park to be ignored. The people of Ontario won’t take it. They won’t take this time allocation motion.

I’ve got one more thing as well. This is another one. This one is about an issue that I spoke to Minister Gerretsen on. Our critic Julia Munro, who’s sitting in the chair now, has worked tirelessly on this bill. This is a bill that was introduced after Sunrise. Most members won’t get this, Madam Speaker, so I want it on the record, because I’m going to be sending to it to Gord Ellis and others. This is the issue of the propane regulation. It’s called regulation 440/08.

They have worked openly and honestly with the ministry, specifically Frank Denton. Minister Gerretsen more or less promised me that we were going to meet last weekend and they were going to resolve this barrier. What is this barrier? I put this to you, Madam Speaker: This thoughtless regulation has been hoodwinked by TSSA. What it does is downloads and abrogates their responsibilities to engineers, and if the engineers do this draft plan for each site that has a propane distribution centre, this regulation will put all of the small businesses out of business. That’s what it’s designed to do. They have been hoodwinked by the large operators, and I put to you that this is an example of not working with small business. It’s red tape and regulations that are killing jobs and small business, and mostly affecting small-town Ontario.

Another example—they should give me more time. I’ll seek unanimous consent in a moment.

The real issue here—yesterday I had a briefing from the competitiveness bureau. They issued a book—and you just took it on me, unfortunately—Today’s Innovation, Tomorrow’s Prosperity. What does this report say? I’ll tell you what it says: Your plan isn’t working. These are the experts—and there’s a good article that I’d encourage members to read. In your riding, you’re here to represent constituents, not the platitudes of some hacks from the Liberal side or, for that matter, any side.

This is in the Globe and Mail; it says, “New Skills, No Jobs.” The Second Career plan fails. It’s in this booklet here, and it’s in this article written by an academic. I’ll give you an example. Read this. It says:

“Mr. Khanna, 42, signed up for the Ontario-funded Second Career program. But the experience has been disillusioning. The government didn’t cover the full costs of the nine-month-long training program (tuition costs totalled $24,000, he says), leaving him to pay about $1,000 a month” in expenses.

He went on to say that he has a bachelor’s degree in science and nine years of work experience prior to losing his $33-an-hour job. He can’t find a job and he’s spent about as much as a person would make a year on minimum wage to find a job. This is just one example.

I encourage members on the government side—why you’re losing traction here is, you’re not listening. The Premier’s not listening and most members aren’t listening. This bill is a time allocation. You’ve stopped doing the job of working for the people of Ontario and you’ve lost your way. I am so disappointed that you have to use these draconian motions to limit debate and then foreclose it.

There’s another bill on housing. I’m suspicious of the housing bill as well. On the housing bill they’ve got two days; they’re going to lump it into Christmastime. Nobody’s paying attention. You have a homeless problem that you’ve created, and that bill does nothing. The rent-geared-to-income provision is the only change. There’s not one house built.

Your government is not listening. All I can say in the last minute I have is, I live in Ontario, too, and it’s not all about politics. It’s about doing the right thing for the right reasons in the province of Ontario. You’re no longer governing because you’re no longer listening.

There are things you could do to make this better. I’m hearing it almost every day in the hospitals, pharmacies, schools, farm business, the environment. I’d like them to get up in their rebuttal here and give me one thing in Ontario that’s working.


Mr. John O’Toole: No, no. I want one of them to stand and give me one thing that’s working.


The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Julia Munro): Order.

Mr. John O’Toole: It is so disheartening at this time of year. In fact, the issue is—


The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Julia Munro): Order.



Mr. John O’Toole: The issue, in all sincerity, is that they have been told not to say a word.

Interjection: Zip it.

Mr. John O’Toole: No, no. In fairness, we’ve got to respect that. They refuse to participate in this time allocation. They know it’s wrong, and if they were speaking and representing their constituents in the ridings, I’m sure they would stand and say for once that doing the right thing is the right thing to do. I’m challenging them to respond, to give us a short list, a long list, any list of some of the achievements in the last month or two.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Julia Munro): Thank you. Time has elapsed. Further debate?

Mr. Gravelle has moved notice of motion number 51. Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry?

All those in favour of the motion, say “aye.”

All those opposed to the motion, say “nay.”

In my opinion, the ayes have it.

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

I have a deferral slip to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. Pursuant to standing order 28(h), a request that the vote on government motion 51 be deferred until deferred votes.

Vote deferred.


The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Julia Munro): Orders of the day.

Hon. Monique M. Smith: Government order G122.

Mr. Peter Kormos: On a point of order, Speaker: I’m referring to standing order 79(b). If you take a look at the time allocation motion, it indicated that the bill “may” be called on the day that it is discharged from committee. It was discharged from committee today. Standing order 79(b), however, requires that “when a bill has been amended in any committee it shall be reprinted as the Clerk of the House directs, amendments being indicated, and shall not be further proceeded with until it has been reprinted and marked ‘Reprinted’ on the Orders and Notices paper.”

The third reading of the bill, the bill as amended in committee, has not been reprinted and is not available to us. If the standing order were to be circumvented—because it doesn’t say “shall be” ordered for third reading; it says “may be”—it would be necessary for the time allocation motion to say, “may be ordered for third reading, notwithstanding 79(b).”

There are previous rulings of the Chair, because there is the reference at the very onset to “notwithstanding” in the time allocation motion similar to the one that was just debated, and the rulings of the Speaker, as I understand and recall them, are that that “notwithstanding” doesn’t apply to subsequent parts of the actual motion that’s passed; it applies to the initial proposition in terms of it being a time allocation motion and the usual orders of a process of the bill through its stages.

I also understand that there may be a ruling by the Speaker in a previous instance where the order paper, because it’s printed in the morning, did not have “Reprinted” on it. However, the bill was printed because the bill wasn’t called until later that afternoon—do you understand what I’m saying, Speaker? Clearly, it would be impossible for the order paper itself to be reprinted, but it is possible for the bill to be reprinted.

I put that to you. I acknowledge that there is precedent there, but that precedent is not adverse to the argument I make. Furthermore, there have been previous rulings of the Speaker that make it clear that the original—bear with me for just a second—pursuant to standing order 47—


Mr. Peter Kormos: Shh. The standing orders indicate that a point of order shall be heard in silence.

The previous rulings—


The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Julia Munro): Order.

You may continue.

Mr. Peter Kormos: Thank you kindly, Speaker.

Previous rulings have indicated that subsequent parts of the time allocation motion are not covered by the preliminary paragraph. I’m submitting here that 79(b) is very clear. It says that it “shall be reprinted … and shall not be further proceeded with until it has been reprinted.” It hasn’t been reprinted, and the time allocation motion moved by the government House leader—I didn’t write it; she did—did not say that it “may be called notwithstanding 79(b).” I suppose it’s as simple as that.

Ms. Lisa MacLeod: On the same point of order, Madam Speaker: I’m going to agree with my colleague the House leader from the third party. It’s very clear on page 39, in standing order 79(b), that the bill must be reprinted.

Yesterday we were in committee, and there were several amendments, some of which the government itself had adopted, that were put forward by the NDP as well as by our party. Therefore, they are required to reprint the bill according to these standing orders.


Ms. Lisa MacLeod: They may want to shout us down, but the reality is that these are the rules we work with in this House. They may not like them, but they are the rules, and there’s not a lot of wiggle room there. I will defer to you, Madam Speaker, for your wise advice and counsel on how we might proceed, but it seems that the rules here are very clear.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Julia Munro): Government House leader.

Hon. Monique M. Smith: I would just note that neither of my colleagues has actually indicated any precedents for their conjecture and philosophization over the standing orders.

Under section 47, “The government House leader may move a motion with notice providing for the allocation of time to any proceeding on a government bill or substantive government motion.”

Our time allocation motion reads as follows in the first line, which is what the member for Welland failed to complete: “That, pursuant to standing order 47 and notwithstanding any other standing order or special order of the House relating to Bill 122,” which, in my view, would eradicate the need to adhere to standing order 79.

As well, the time allocation motion is very clear in the third-last paragraph: “That, upon receiving the report of the Standing Committee on Social Policy,” which we did, “the Speaker shall put the question for adoption of the report forthwith, and at such time the bill shall be ordered for third reading, which order may be called that same day.”

We are following the time allocation motion that was duly passed in this House. The time allocation motion included a notwithstanding clause with respect to other standing orders that may impact Bill 122. This time allocation motion is completely in accordance with the rules of this House and the standing orders, and I would argue that we should continue with third reading debate on Bill 122.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Julia Munro): I’m going to take a 10-minute recess.

Mr. Peter Kormos: This is exactly what I spoke to, the phrasing, “pursuant to standing 47 and notwithstanding any other standing order.” The “notwithstanding any other standing order,” I submit to you, qualifies standing order 47.


Mr. Peter Kormos: Sh. The reality is that we literally don’t have a bill in third reading form. We don’t have a bill as amended to refer to, even during the course of a one-hour debate. To be fair, the Clerk’s table has a copy of the bill as it was reported from the committee, but it has the amendments merely attached to it. The amendments aren’t inserted in the bill, for instance, in proper order. So we don’t have the third reading form of the bill to even refer to during debate. I leave that with you as well.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Julia Munro): Thank you. As I already said, we’ll take a 10-minute recess.

The House recessed from 1739 to 1753.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Julia Munro): Earlier today, Bill 122 was reported to the House from the standing committee, with certain amendments. Pursuant to the time allocation motion passed on November 4, when the report of the committee on Bill 122 was received and adopted, the bill was ordered for third reading. The November 4 time allocation motion also contained the provision that the order for third reading of the bill could be called on the same day it was reported from committee, and indeed that is what the House leader did a few minutes ago when orders of the day was called.

I will say that this precise scenario occurred in 1996 when, on January 29, Bill 26 was reported to the House. On the same day, Bill 26 was called during orders of the day even though it had been amended but not yet reprinted. The Speaker at the time ruled that it was in order for the debate to proceed. There are other similar instances where time-allocated bills have withstood similar points of order.

I am satisfied that the time allocation motion the House passed on Bill 122 made clear provision for the ability for the bill to be called in this situation, and I will now allow the debate to proceed.

I will recognize the minister to move third reading of the bill.


Ms. Smith, on behalf of Ms. Matthews, moved third reading of the following bill:

Bill 122, An Act to increase the financial accountability of organizations in the broader public sector / Projet de loi 122, Loi visant à accroître la responsabilisation financière des organismes du secteur parapublic.

Mr. Peter Kormos: On a point of order, Speaker: I wonder if it would be possible for members of the opposition to have a copy of the bill as amended before we embark on debate.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Julia Munro): Order.

If there is no objection, I will instruct the table to provide photocopies of the bill with the amendments. Thank you.

The minister has moved third reading of the bill.

Hon. Monique M. Smith: We are delighted to start moving on the third reading debate of Bill 122. I look forward to hearing what the opposition has to say in the third reading on this bill.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Julia Munro): Further debate?

Mr. Peter Kormos: On a point of order, Speaker: Can you tell me how the bill is amended, so as to debate it? We’ve asked for a copy of it—

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Julia Munro): We’ve agreed to provide that for you.

Mr. Peter Kormos: But how can we debate?

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Julia Munro): The debate has commenced and the bill will be available as quickly as possible.

Ms. Lisa MacLeod: On a point of order, Madam Speaker: Before we start—okay, we have seen them reset the clock. I appreciate that. Thank you very much.

I understand there’s two minutes to debate this.

I am shocked, upset and angered with the government at this point in time, and let me tell you why. First of all, we begin this debate on accountability—


The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Julia Munro): Order.

Ms. Lisa MacLeod: The reality is that the Liberal government has refused to provide opposition members with the third reading printed bill. We have not seen the amended version of the bill that was rushed through this Legislature, the so-called accountability bill with “transparency” attached to its name. The reality is that this is a government that does not want the opposition to speak, does not want to listen to the opposition bring forward our—


The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Julia Munro): Order.

The member for Nepean–Carleton.

Ms. Lisa MacLeod: Thank you very much, Madam Speaker.

I’ve never been so ashamed of my government as I am at this present moment for what they have done to the Legislative Assembly, particularly members in the opposition, whether it is the Progressive Conservative caucus or the third party, the NDP. The reality is that this bill, which is a knee-jerk, gut reaction to an auditor’s report, had so many flaws within it that it had to be amended in the very short period of time that we were able to actually have deputants come to committee and then put forward amendments, many of which were reasoned, which were defeated by this Liberal government. However, a few were brought forward and amended, and we in the opposition have not been given the decency by this government to see what that bill looks like. Then what we have is a very short period of time to debate the merits of Bill 122. And what does this government do? They decide they want to rush this bill through in a 60-minute debate—60 minutes for 107 members to adjudicate—

Third reading debate deemed adjourned.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Julia Munro): I draw the members’ attention to the fact that it is 6 o’ clock and that this House stands adjourned until 9 o’ clock tomorrow morning.

The House adjourned at 1759.