30e législature, 3e session

L007 - Thu 11 Mar 1976 / Jeu 11 mar 1976

The House met at 2 p.m.


Mr. Speaker: Statements by the ministry.


Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, on Feb. 18 last, I wrote to the federal Minister of Justice requesting that his government direct a reference to the Supreme Court of Canada to determine the constitutionality of the federal anti-inflation legislation and the legality of the agreement entered into between the government of the Province of Ontario and the federal government in relation to the application of the federal anti-inflation programme.

Mr. Renwick: The Court of Appeal of Ontario is the proper jurisdiction.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: In furtherance of this matter, on Feb. 20 the provincial Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) and I attended in Ottawa and met with the Minister of Justice and the federal Minister of Finance to pursue our request with respect to an early reference to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Today, Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice advised me that such --

Mr. Renwick: I cannot understand it. It is in total subversion to the system.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: -- a reference would, in fact, be directed to the Supreme Court of Canada, and I am advised by the federal Minister of Justice that the details of the reference will be made known later this afternoon.

Mr. Renwick: Who would be able to intervene on behalf of the people let alone the government of the country? This is the most improper statement made by you.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Renwick: This is the most improper statement that has been made by you.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please, the member for Riverdale,

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, please tell the hon. member opposite to learn how to behave himself; he has been here long enough.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Renwick: I rise on a point of privilege. My privilege and the question I put to the Speaker is, is it the role -- I would like to have the attention of the Attorney General and not the smile. The Attorney General plays to the cameras all the time, let’s get it straight.

Mr. Deans: He even brought the cameras in so that he could play to them here.

Mr. Renwick: My question to the Speaker of the assembly is a very simple one: In the democratic system, as we understand it in this province, is it proper, when there is a case before the courts of the Province of Ontario, for the Attorney General and his cohort, the Treasurer of Ontario, to interfere in the regular judicial process which would permit a case before the courts to go to the divisional court, to the Court of Appeal of Ontario and to the Supreme Court of Canada?

Hon. Mr. Wells: You are debating.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Renwick: The reason I ask that question is that the rule --

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I would like --

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, will you hear me out?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member will continue.

Mr. Renwick: May I continue my point of privilege? When a matter is sub judice, which is part of the standing orders of this Legislature, is it appropriate or proper for the Attorney General of the province to subvert the system by intervening, as he has done in the assembly? I refer to the precedent set out in the Legislature about the ruling on sub judice, and in particular to my letter to the Attorney General about this very intrusion which he has made upon the system of justice in the province.

Mr. Speaker: I am in no position to comment on anything that is before the courts and therefore sub judice at this point in time.

Mr. Renwick: There is, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: I am not aware of that, so I haven’t anything further to say at this time.

Mr. Bullbrook: What brought this all on anyway?

Mr. Singer: Where is the sub judice rule? Which rule is that?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

An hon. member: Simmer down.

Mr. Renwick: I won’t simmer down at all. You don’t understand the constitution of the country. He doesn’t have the dignity --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Will the hon. member for Riverdale please obey my request?

Mr. Renwick: He doesn’t even, have the dignity to reply to the letter that I addressed to him on the subject.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I think I will give the Attorney General a moment to respond.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I have been called upon to reply to what I view, Mr. Speaker, as a most ludicrous and irresponsible statement made by the hon. member for Riverdale.


Hon. Mr. McMurtry: To suggest that the Attorney General of this province is in some manner subverting the --

Mr. Renwick: You certainly have.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: -- justice processes, or indeed the constitution of this country because it is our desire to have a ruling on this matter by the highest court of the land at the earliest possible opportunity --


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Renwick: And it will never have the benefit of the Court of Appeal of the Province of Ontario.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: It should be understood by my friend that this is in the very real interest of the administration of justice of this province. There will obviously be a number of interveners in the Supreme Court of Canada in order that all interests will be represented.

For the member to suggest that the Attorney General was subverting the administration of justice, in my view is the most irresponsible statement that I have yet had the privilege to hear in this Legislature.


Mr. Speaker: I would ask that the matter be dropped. Order, please.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, in view of the seriousness of my friend’s allegation --

Mr. Nixon: The Speaker said to sit down.

Mr. Cassidy: You are subverting this House as well.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. There is obviously a difference of opinion. We will begin the question period. I will call upon the Leader of the Opposition to put his first question.

Oral questions.

Mr. Lewis: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have carefully evaluated the arguments of the Attorney General and the member for Riverdale. I agree with my colleague.



Mr. Lewis: I would like to put my first question, if I could, to the Chairman of Cabinet: I gather that on Jan. 28, the Chairman of Cabinet was assigned the overall responsibility for co-ordination of policy in relation to native affairs on behalf of the government. Can I ask him in this new capacity what extraordinary bureaucratic foul-up occurred to force the resignation of Jeff Perkins, the co-ordinator for the government of activities in Grassy Narrows and Whitedog in the northwestern part of the province?

Hon. Mr. Brunelle: I would say that Mr. Jeff Perkins -- I have known him for quite some time -- is a very able and excellent resource officer. He used to be in my area and did excellent work and then he was transferred to Kenora and continued his work with the native people as a community resource officer under the Indian community secretariat.

I believe it was some time in January that he was appointed a special co-ordinator to provide special assistance to the two reserves, the Whitedog and the Grassy Narrows Indian reserves, which were, as the hon. Leader of the Opposition knows, severely affected by the contamination of the English-Wabigoon river system. The federal government, in turn, also appointed a co-ordinator, a Mr. David Jacobs, I believe, also to provide assistance. I visited those two reserves about two weeks ago and I was quite impressed with the work that is being done by the two levels of government, working closely with both Indian bands.

I was surprised to hear that he was leaving us. At the same time, he has only been, as far as I know, with the ministry for two years. Prior to that, I believe he was in the Northwest Territories and now he is going to the Province of Alberta to work again in a similar role. So again, I believe it’s a personal decision on his part and again I regret very much that he is leaving us. However, we certainly will be filling his position.

Mr. Lewis: By way of supplementary, does the minister realize that in the process of leaving his post, he indicated publicly that the reason involved the difficulty, the impossibility for him, of dealing with the bureaucracy in the Ministry of Natural Resources at Queen’s Park and that he could not fulfil his mandate to the people of Whitedog and Grassy Narrows because of the interference of government? Is the minister prepared to correct that and how can he explain it?

Hon. Mr. Brunelle: I would say to the hon. leader that what he should do is get in touch with both Indian bands in those communities and they will attest to the positive steps that have been taken. This government has allocated $50,000 specifically for those two hands. A substantial part of those amounts has already been spent in resource developments and so forth. I would say that the hon. member should get his facts first before --

Mr. Lewis: I spoke to Mr. Perkins this morning.

By way of a supplementary, did the minister know that the straw that broke the camel’s back was a request for $1,000 for Whitedog for women to do handicrafts and that that couldn’t even be cleared sufficiently quickly to allow the band to use the money?


Hon. Mr. Brunelle: I wasn’t aware of that specific request but, again, I would like to show that substantial sums of money have already been sent in the last month to assist the Indian bands.


Mr. Lewis: Mr. Speaker, a question to the Minister of Community and Social Services: Am I right in understanding that the Metropolitan Toronto Children’s Aid Society, in 1975, had a disagreement with the ministry over the total amount of the budget which should go to that society? The society said it needed roughly $19,700,000, your ministry said only $19 million and it went to a board of review which decided that the figure would be $19,400,000 plus. If that is so, and that is provided under the Child Welfare Act, why then do you base your increase to the Metro Children’s Aid Society on the lower figure which you determined and which the board of review repudiated?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: May I explain that initially it wasn’t really a dispute insofar as the initial budget of the Metropolitan Toronto Children’s Aid Society was concerned. Of course, it was reviewed and approved at a certain figure. There was a dispute in regard to the number of additional personnel that the Children’s Aid Society thought it should hire and which it did. As a matter of fact, I think it wished to hire an additional 115 persons up to the end of last year. I believe they’ve hired about 91. The appeal process was exercised and the hearing took place. The recommendation was made. I accepted that recommendation and provided the additional funding.

Insofar as Children’s Aid Societies throughout Ontario are concerned, it has been the practice in past years to carry operating deficits into the next year and then to incorporate those operating deficits as a part of the base and build from there. I looked upon the additional money that was required as an operating deficit and, of course, that wasn’t included, in accordance with the guidelines which applied and apply to the 50 Children’s Aid Societies throughout Ontario.

Insofar as the impact of that is concerned, of course, much has been said in terms of the effective rate. May I say, while I’m on my feet, that several weeks ago I met with the chairman and directors of the Toronto Children’s Aid Society in connection with the particular problems surrounding that society, and the whole budgetary problem has been under review since then on a day to day basis with our respective staffs. I expect to be meeting with Mr. Edwards early next week to finally resolve the matter of the budget.

Again, if I can impose upon the time of the House to explain in conjunction with this question, I have indicated that I was actively seeking additional funding because of the transfer of burdens to Children’s Aid Societies because of such things as the repeal of section 8 of the Training Schools Act. I have done that and I may say that I feel confident of success in that area and I expect that whole matter to be resolved.

In the meantime, the board of directors of the Metropolitan Toronto Children’s Aid Society indicated and promised me that we would deal in good faith on an ongoing basis and there would not be any pressure through publicity action to try to interfere with that process.

Mr. Lewis: They’re quite desperate.

Mr. Cassidy: You’re blackmailing them. You’re telling them to shut up.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Unfortunately, the president has informed me that he is unable to control the activities of his staff and the association, and he apologized for that. But I am confident that early next week we’ll have the whole matter resolved to our mutual satisfaction.


Hon. Mr. Taylor: That’s not a question. When you ask a question, I’ll respond to your question.

Mr. Lewis: May I ask then by way of supplementary, does the minister recall the name, and could he give it to the Legislature, of the person who chaired the board of review, whose decision he repudiated by refusing to base the increase upon that decision? Can he promise us now that the amount of the budget on which the increase for the Children’s Aid Society will be negotiated will be the board of review level so that that society does not have to strip its preventive services and take kids out of institutional care because of the folly of government?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Again the member is making an accusation; he is making a statement which is not based on fact at all. It is just another distortion that he proposes as accurate.

Mr. Lewis: That’s what they have said.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Just a minute.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Lewis: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order --

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Please let me respond to your question.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Let me respond. I stated that the report was rendered and I accepted the recommendations of the report. The member has just accused me of repudiating the report.

Mr. Lewis: Who was the chairman?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Lewis: Who was the chairman?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: The chairman of the committee was William McMurtry.

Mr. Lewis: Oh, yes? The honourable one.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Yes.

Mr. Speaker: Any further questions?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Not honourable now.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Lewis: That’s whose words you threw out in the process.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: He has always been an honourable person and a very capable person but he’s not a member of this House, if you are trying to impute that.

Mr. Lewis: Then you should have accepted

Mr. Speaker: Any further questions? A supplementary, the member for Bellwoods (Mr. McClellan). I am sorry, one moment; the member for St. George with a supplementary first.

Mrs. Campbell: May I get through to this minister and just get a simple answer to a simple question?


Mr. Ferrier: Good luck.

Mrs. Campbell: Is it not a fact that the 5.5 per cent increase which you have allowed to them has been based upon the figure which you permitted to them last year and out upon the figure approved by appeal? Can the minister answer that directly?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: That’s a simple question from a simple person and --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Cassidy: Withdraw that.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I am sure the question period proceedings would proceed much more smoothly if we kept personalities out of this. Does the hon. minister have a short answer for the question?

Some hon. members: Withdraw.

Mr. Breithaupt: Is the Speaker so minded to require the hon. minister to withdraw those remarks?

Mr. Speaker: I consider such comments most unparliamentary and unnecessary and I regret to have heard them. I would think that the hon. minister might withdraw those remarks.

Mr. Lewis: Typical of him.

Mr. Speaker: If he has an answer for the hon. member, would he give it please?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Well, the simplicity wasn’t --

Some hon. members: Withdraw.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- wasn’t intended to reflect on the cerebral abilities of the member opposite.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I didn’t ask for an explanation of the remark.

Mr. Lewis: Everything to the right of Bob Welch is falling apart.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Will the hon. minister please do as we requested?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: I will withdraw the word “simple.”

Mr. Speaker: Is there an answer to the question?

Mr. Singer: You are certainly a gracious person.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Certainly I will.

May I say, in response to the question, that the 5.5 per cent is based upon the approved budget for 1975; that was the basis of the 5.5 per cent.

Mr. Lewis: But not the amount that William McMurtry authorized.

Mr. Ferrier: Or the actual expenses.

Mr. Speaker: The member for Bellwoods with a final supplementary on this.

Mr. McClellan: Since the minister has assured the House that he will be bargaining in good faith with the Metro Children’s Aid Society, I wonder if he will give this House an assurance that we will not witness a repetition of the kind of attack he made on the Metro Children’s Aid Society on Feb. 16 when he used senseless statistics with respect to the relationship between Catholics and non-Catholics in Metro Toronto which don’t bear the scrutiny of the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies, where he uses statistics which don’t bear up to figures in his own memo of --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. This doesn’t seem to be a supplementary. You will please allow the minister to answer.

Mr. McClellan: I simply want to ask the minister to assure this House that he will in the future avoid attacking agencies which he has put into a vulnerable position by his own actions when they try to assert their rights.

Mr. Speaker: Thank you.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: If that’s the question, Mr. Speaker, I will attempt to respond. There has never been any attack by me or my ministry upon any Children’s Aid Society in this province. We work together in partnership to share a common concern in connection with the activities of the societies and the care of children in this province and we will continue to do so.

Mr. Lewis: Oh come on. Then accept Bill McMurtry’s report.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Furthermore, it’s not a question of bargaining with Children’s Aid Societies --

Mr. Cassidy: That’s what you are making it.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- to ensure that children who are in need are adequately looked after.

Mr. McClellan: What a hollow remark that is.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: I made a representation right around this province as I toured this province and met with the various agencies that there would be no child in need who would do without, and I meant what I said.

Mr. Cassidy: But you won’t do anything about it as you promised.

Mr. Lewis: That’s nonsense.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: We’re very sensitive to the needs of children and I intend to ensure that that is carried out in terms of dealing with all of the Children’s Aid Societies and it is not a question of bargaining or negotiations.

Mr. Lewis: Just on a point of privilege, my supplementary question was based on the evidence from the Children’s Aid Society of both staff layoffs of up to 30 people and removal of 45 kids from institutional placement and those are facts, sir. They are not allegations.


Mr. Lewis: Now, I want to put a question to the Minister of Natural Resources if I may. Has any further testing been done at the United Asbestos plant in Matachewan since the original test by the occupational health branch in late September or early October, 1975?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Yes, Mr. Speaker, there have been a number of tests in that particular mine site and if the House will permit me I would just like to outline to the members of the Legislature that this particular plant, this new asbestos mine, came into production about last September. It’s operating at about 40 to 50 per cent capacity. About June or July this year we hope to have it -- at least the company hopes to have it -- in full operating condition. There are a number of start-up problems of course, as we all realize, with a new plant.

In direct answer to your question there have been a number of tests. In fact, my inspectors have been there as late as March 2. Health tests have been done or are in the process of being done and reported at this particular time.

I would add further, Mr. Speaker, that my staff have met with the union employees of that particular company, with the safety committee, and you will be interested to know at no time was the dust conditions in the mine raised as a matter of concern to that particular --

Mr. Lewis: Oh come on, come on. We know the conversations.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: And the member can check the record, sir. He is free to do so. I just want to make the record clear that maybe some of the facts that the Leader of the Opposition is using are not totally correct.

Mr. Lewis: Just by way of a quick supplementary, I don’t quite understand this number of tests. Is the minister saying that the occupational health branch is in the process of retesting the workplace for the workers now or retested it recently after the weekend shutdown? There have been no concrete occupational health tests that we yet know the results of since late September or early October, I take it?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: I just informed the member that there were tests recently taken.

Mr. Lewis: When?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Within the last week.

Mr. Lewis: Within the last week?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Yes, we are waiting for the results of those tests.

Mr. Martel: Was that after you had it closed for the weekend?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The member for Hamilton West has the floor. Thank you.


Mr. S. Smith: A question for the Minister of Colleges and Universities: Has the minister finally persuaded his cabinet colleagues not to waste $750,000 by establishing a course for preventive dental technicians in Sudbury when, as he well knows, there is an already adequate programme in North Bay?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: There is a very long answer to that and I’m prepared to give it.

Some hon. members: Go ahead!

Mr. Yakabuski: Good, you’ll get more TV time.

Mr. Bullbrook: Good, that’s the kind of spunk we like to see.


Hon. Mr. Parrott: First of all, we’ve decided that there will be level 2 hygiene courses in both North Bay and in Sudbury. We think there is great value in those courses being established not only so that the people of the north will have perhaps more educational facilities than the people of the south. There is a far larger area to serve and we think that’s valuable.

We think it’s important that you look at some of the ramifications of what that programme might do for the profession at large. It’s very necessary to have facilities scattered as best we are able so that the profession, as well as the auxiliaries, will have facilities at their disposal to update their own education. Given those leads, I think there’s every justification for having facilities in three locations in the north. There will be 11 locations in all.

We have reduced from $750,000 to $420,000 the amount of dollars allocated to the dental programme in that particular institution. We think now that we do have a very balanced programme in Ontario for the education of the dental auxiliaries not just as it pertains to one level but, indeed, for the three levels of dental auxiliaries that were previously known as one.

Mr. S. Smith: As a supplementary: In view of the fact that the minister well knows that North Bay has already been wall equipped to handle this with the limited number of dentists in the north and the limited number of positions for these technicians, and in view of the fact that the minister himself expressed to officials of Canadore College in North Bay that the Sudbury programme is unwarranted, and in view of the fact that the minister --

Mr. Renwick: Question?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I think it has been established that the member should ask a question.

Mr. S. Smith: I am getting there.

Mr. Speaker: Will the member ask the question?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I thought the member didn’t like the north.

Hon. Mr. Davis: One question at a time.

Mr. Sweeney: What’s the matter? Is the government worried about the answer?

Mr. Speaker: We’re not supposed to be presenting a lot of information during question period.

Mr. S. Smith: In view of the fact that $750,000 in capital expenses will be required to put these dental chairs into Sudbury and in view of the fact that the minister has asked the North Bay people to cut back on the number of people taught there --

Mr. Speaker: Is there a question now, please?

Mr. Renwick: Question?

Mr. S. Smith: -- will he reconsider his decision to duplicate unnecessarily a facility which will produce more technicians than can possibly be absorbed in the north of this province?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I’m afraid that the leader of the Liberal Party either didn’t hear all of the first answer or didn’t comprehend it.

Mr. Shore: He didn’t accept it.

Mr. Good: Or doesn’t believe it.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I’m not too sure which, but let me go over the facts once more.

Mr. Martel: He doesn’t like the Soo either.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: That’s right. He doesn’t. Or Sudbury or North Bay.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. You’re wasting the time of the question period.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I never said, nor would I infer that a level 3 programme was ever desired in all locations in Ontario. The member is talking about a level 3 programme which I said was not necessary. Never did I say that about the level 2 programme.

Mr. R. S. Smith: He is talking about level 2.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I’m afraid the member is totally mistaken in the observation he just made.

Mr. Speaker: Are there any further questions?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: A supplementary again?

Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, I hope we can have assurance from the Minister of Colleges and Universities that he will not play the game that the new Liberal leader has, of trying to cut back facilities in other communities.

Mr. Speaker: The question?

Mr. Martel: I’m just looking for assurance, Mr. Speaker, that we won’t have this happen to us in the Sudbury basin.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I am more than pleased to tell the member that we are more than servicing -- and with a very equitable distribution of those services -- the north and the south. I believe we have done that in a very logical and sensible fashion. Three of the locations are in the north; that’s as it should be. We will have an excellent programme in all phases of hygiene.

Mr. S. Smith: That’s not what you said in North Bay.

Mr. R. S. Smith: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Is it not a fact that the minister made a statement at a bear-pit session he held at the college in North Bay that the decision to go into Sudbury was made before he was minister and was irreversible because it was made before he was made a minister?

Secondly, would he not agree that within a period of two years we are going to have an over-flooding of the market for level 2 dental assistants? Would he tell us where those people are going to go for employment, other than the fact that we are going to have the drain of our young people from the north to the south perhaps, and that is apparently the policy which he is following?

Mr. Yakabuski: Denticare programme coming.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Richard, you are being silly.

Mr. Speaker: Is there an answer?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I am not at all convinced that we will have an over-flooding, but if we do I think we’ve answered an immediate need for the profession to have an adequate supply of level 2 dental auxiliaries, and that is most important for the dental health of this province. It is the one way that we can adequately prevent dental disease. It is not by graduating more dentists; it is by having an adequate number of preventive dental assistants.

That programme will come to fruition in about another year. Given a good result of that programme -- and I believe in it implicitly -- we will then see far less need for dental services. I would be more apt to think we might be able to cut back on the number of dental graduates rather than the number of preventive dental graduates, because the future of dentistry rests in preventive dentistry, not in corrective dentistry, which is part of the problem.

Mr. Speaker: Did the member for Nipissing have a further supplementary?

Mr. R. S. Smith: Yes. My further supplementary is this: Could I ask the minister to answer my first question?

Mr. Speaker: We have spent quite a bit of time on this, and I think we should have a new question from the member for Hamilton West.


Mr. S. Smith: I have a question of the Minister of Health. Could he explain to the House why his ministry has found it necessary to inform the director in charge of the newly built and long-awaited Queensway-Carleton Hospital in Ottawa -- which by his own ministry’s admission has a shortage of beds -- that the hospital must not open before receiving specific further instruction from the ministry? This is a great worry to the people of that area and I would like to hear his explanation.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, first of all, the Queensway-Carleton Hospital has been co-operating with us through the district health council in Ottawa to assist us in relieving some of the problems in Ottawa. They have volunteered to give up their obstetrics section and I understand it is opening -- if it hasn’t already opened -- as quickly as those facilities are open, as a chronic ward. They just don’t need obstetrics anymore. That was a local decision made by local people. They have also volunteered, I understand, to give us another 43 of their beds for chronic purposes as quickly as they are ready for use. That may be a month or two yet.

It’s pretty normal for us to gauge the opening of a hospital in a given area to match up with the dollars available for it. I think this is the only caution we put, “Please do not start facilities until we have ensured you the money to operate during the balance of the year.” When they have told us they are ready, we will be able to match our dollars to their budget.


Mr. S. Smith: I have a question of the Treasurer. With reference to the proposed “midway” complex on 320 acres of agricultural land in part of the town of Vaughan, could the Treasurer explain to us why he and members of his government have not made it very clear that there is simply no way that particular complex will be tolerated by this provincial government?

Mr. Lewis: He has made it clear.

Mr. S. Smith: No, he hasn’t. Read the letter.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, basically we would not want to take that position until we had heard the position of the local municipality and the region of York.

Mr. S. Smith: Will the minister undertake to report to this House on the volume of garbage that will be generated by this midway proposal, plans for its disposal and, in addition, the amount of energy that it is calculated this particular midway will use?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I will certainly take that under consideration, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Lewis: How gentle of him. Well, he is but a lamb with all the lights around him. May I ask the minister, am I not right in recollecting that he has written letters about the midway complex indicating his basic displeasure, or his basic hesitation, about the development of a project in that particular area and indicating that he wasn’t inclined to approve it? Has he in fact heard further from the municipality?

Mr. Renwick: We could read the frown in his letter.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I have written that sort of a letter but I have not indicated that it is something that I would be approving or disapproving. Essentially it will be a determination of the region, although the promoters have come to us and I believe will meet with us next week. They’re meeting with a number of ministries. They have certain environmental studies and we’ll be glad to take a look at them all. But, essentially, a determination will I be made by the region which, to my knowledge, I don’t think we’ve heard from.


Mr. Grossman: A question of the Minister of Health: Has the ministry, in making its calculations of the alleged $6.5 million saving in closing the Doctors Hospital, taken into account the termination and sick pay which will have to be paid upon the closing, which I’m informed this year will amount to approximately $1 million?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I dare not make any more comments to voices behind me because I understand the now Leader of the Opposition starts looking at my Freudian problems as a result of that, right?


Mr. S. Smith: Just the leader of the Liberal Party. Don’t burden me with that bunch.

Hon. F. S. Miller: That’s a Freudian slip too.

Mr. Lewis: I see you as a Marxist not a Freudian.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Is that the answer to the question?

Hon. F. S. Miller: And I want you to know we shall overcome.

Mr. Nixon: How is the member for St. Andrew-St. Patrick doing? Is that satisfactory?

Mr. Speaker: Is there a further answer to the hon. member’s question?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I think, Mr. Speaker, while I recognize the hon. member has legal training, that in the House he doesn’t need to use the word “alleged.” Those savings are definite.

Mr. Grossman: Oh yes I do; so far I do.

Mr. MacDonald: An engineer’s retort.

Mr. Nixon: How would the member for St. Andrew-St. Patrick like to be Minister of Health?

Mr. Grossman: If I thought it was soon I might consider it.


Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, the savings we showed are annualized operating savings based upon those which will be made once the hospital closes and we have allowed for the cost of transfer of patients and other costs associated with the closure. They would go on from the date of, let’s say, winding up of assets or of obligations to employees. Of course, in the first year the costs associated with the closure will minimize total savings.

Mr. Grossman: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Is it then the case that when all the calculations are completed, including the addition of the $1 million involved here, that with relocation and other unusual costs this year there may not be any savings whatsoever in the closing in the 1976 fiscal year?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Not at all, Mr. Speaker, as a matter of fact, I could have argued that the savings are greater than $6.5 million, because they are based on 1975-1976 budgets; 1976-1977 budgets would have been inflated by a minimum of 10 per cent, that’s $650,000, and that would come very close to the cost the member just described.

Mr. Speaker: We will allow one supplementary on this; the member for Ottawa Centre.

Mr. Cassidy: Could the minister give us the specific figure for the number of dollars that he alleges will be saved in this coming fiscal year through the closing of the Doctors Hospital? He is not giving a clear answer now at all.

Hon. F. S. Miller: I have found a great deal of difficulty in four years in ever making the member think I had a clear answer on anything.

Mr. Lewis: That’s quite true.

An hon. member: That’s your problem, not ours.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Does the hon. minister have an answer?

Mr. Singer: That’s one of the minister’s problems.

Mr. S. Smith: You need psycho-analysis.

Hon. F. S. Miller: The savings in this year obviously cannot be determined until the date of the closure is finalized. The date of the closure will not be finalized until in fact the appeals have been heard and we have been able to set a date by which the hospital should be closed.


Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, if any part of my remarks should be misconstrued as a ministerial statement I hope you will extend the question period.

Mr. Speaker: Ask the question.

Mr. Lewis: You might say we are enjoying things.


Mr. Renwick: There are so many questions to ask of all the ministers that I have decided today to direct my remarks for this month to the Attorney General of Ontario -- and I want to ask him a two-part question.

Mr. Lewis: That’s Bill McMurtry’s brother over there.

Mr. Renwick: It may be difficult for the Attorney General to understand the connection between the two parts; I had some difficulty myself.

The first part of the question is: In the reference which his distinguished friend is going to make to the Supreme Court of Canada, without the benefit of the Chief Justice of Ontario and his colleagues’ views about the constitutional impropriety of what he is doing, is specifically the question of the constitutional validity of the agreement between the government of Canada and the government of Ontario going to be before the Supreme Court of Canada?

My second question is -- and I am sure that the Attorney General will understand the relationship: Will the Attorney General table in this Legislature, dedicated as he is to the public administration of justice, a copy of every memorandum, directive or instruction which he has given to the assistant Crown attorneys or to the Crown attorneys throughout the Province of Ontario with respect to plea bargaining and other matters before the provincial courts’ jurisdiction, so that we will have the benefit as a member of the public, of the specific views of the Attorney General on those questions?

Mr. Speaker: I think the hon. Attorney General could answer one of those questions. Even I see no relation between the two.

Mr. Lewis: Oh, come on!

Mr. Renwick: You are not a lawyer.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I am quite prepared to answer both questions. The second question I might answer first. I will certainly table any relative memorandums that have been distributed to the Crown attorneys about the province of which I am aware -- and I believe that I am, in fact, aware of those that are in existence. But I obviously can’t guarantee that about memorandums of which I do not know.

Mr. Singer: You might ask someone.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: With respect to the constitutional reference, I have requested, on behalf of the government, that a specific question be directed to the Supreme Court of Canada in relation to the validity of the agreement entered into by this government and the government of Canada. I believe that was the member’s first question.

I am very concerned about my hon. friend’s statement that I was in some way interfering with the judicial process in this province in directing this reference to the Supreme Court of Canada. He spoke of certain lawsuits that had been commenced in the Province of Ontario. I think one which he probably was referring to, undoubtedly, was the action commenced by the Renfrew teachers.

I think in fairness, Mr. Speaker, I would like to have the opportunity to quote briefly from a letter directed to the Premier of Ontario (Mr. Davis) from the Ontario Teachers’ Federation, of which the Renfrew teachers are represented through the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation. This letter is dated March 6, 1976, Mr. Speaker. It states as follows:

“It is the federation’s understanding that, while the resolution of this question could be left to judicial review, a more appropriate course of action would be a reference to the Court of Appeal of Ontario or the Supreme Court of Canada. Leaving the question to judicial review raises the likelihood of a multiplicity of proceedings as well as a lengthy delay in reaching a final decision as the matter is taken through the appellate court.

“A reference to the Court of Appeal of Ontario, while satisfactory in many ways, is subject to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, and this too would cause delay. I think you will agree that, if the agreement were found to be ineffective after a period of one year or more, a large number of otherwise avoidable problems would arise.

“It is the federation’s opinion that in the circumstances, a reference directly to the Supreme Court of Canada would be most beneficial.

“It is the federation’s understanding that the Attorney General for Ontario publicly announced that he was considering asking the federal Minister of Justice for Canada to make such a reference to the Supreme Court of Canada.

“Would you be good enough to give consideration to requesting the Attorney General to proceed with this at his earliest convenience so that the intent of the federal-provincial agreement might be implemented with a view to preventing a number of problems which are going to arise, given the legal opinion the federation has.”

So, Mr. Speaker, I would respectfully request that the hon. member for Riverdale perhaps consult with the solicitors for the Ontario Teachers’ Federation, who have strongly endorsed the course that this government has taken.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, by way of supplementary, his attitude for the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, even at this late date, is most commendable. I hope the Attorney General will convey that view to the minister sitting on his right.

Mr. Speaker: Is there a supplementary question?

Mr. Singer: No, it is just time for a statement.

Mr. Renwick: My question to the Attorney General is a very simple one --

An hon. member: It sounds like it.

Mr. Renwick: -- and I won’t withdraw it.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: A dangerous word.

Mr. Renwick: My question to the Attorney General is a simple question. On constitutional matters of immense importance, does it not appear to the Attorney General that the concern about the constitution of the country requires the Court of Appeal of Ontario, under the Chief Justice of Ontario, Mr. Gale -- a full court -- to have the opportunity to express its views with respect to a matter related to the relationship between the government of Ontario and the government of Canada --

Mr. Ruston: Order.

Mr. Renwick: -- rather than to require this matter to be dealt with directly by the Supreme Court of Canada?

Mr. Bullbrook: Come on, Mr. Speaker. Come on!

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Renwick: Well, my friends, the living-room Liberals, pursue it the wrong way every time.

Mr. Ruston: They’ve turned the cameras off.

Hon. Mr. Davis: What is a living-room Liberal?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I believe the question has been asked.

Mr. Renwick: Does he not consider that in the tradition of Sir Oliver Mowat and in the tradition of the Hon. George Ferguson --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Renwick: -- this question should be dealt with initially --

An hon. member: Sit down!

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Renwick: -- by the Court of Appeal of the Province of Ontario?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. A question like that at this time of the day takes up far too much time. Not being a lawyer --

Mr. Ruston: They’ve shut the cameras off.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Not being a lawyer, I am not sure whether it is the same question over again or not.

An hon. member: He is not sure either.

Mr. Reid: Being a lawyer, he’s not sure either.

Mr. Speaker: Does the Attorney General have a brief answer or was that the same question?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I have a brief answer. The answer is no.

Mr. Speaker: Right The next question; the member for London Centre.


Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, in view of the fact that this question involves more than one ministry, I would like to direct it to the Premier.

In view of the serious conflicts of expert opinion with respect to the Port Hope situation, is the Premier now prepared to consider a full, open and public inquiry of that situation so that the good people of Port Hope can have some honest, objective information about what transpired there and what the government is going to do about it?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I recognize there is more than one ministry involved in this matter but, in that the Minister of Health has been very closely related to this and has been giving it a great deal of guidance and direction, I would suggest that that question properly should be directed to the Minister of Health.

Mr. Reid: He is going to close down the town.

Mr. Peterson: May I redirect that?

Hon. F. S. Miller: The hon. member will have to repeat it to me.

Mr. Peterson: The question is, what steps is the minister taking to ensure that there is an open, objective and honest inquiry of all the facts of the Port Hope situation? As well, I would like to hear what the minister is doing to clean up that situation.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, it has been acknowledged, even by the federal government of late, that the real responsibility for Port Hope was theirs. I think that fact needs to be realized. The Ministry of Health stepped in because there was a hazard to the people in the town, and not because we created it. The control of the disposal of those goods was entirely the federal government’s and up to this point in time has been acknowledged as such because they have been paying for the costs involved in any of the work done. The federal Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources has made this statement publicly. He has said there will be an inquiry. I think the hon. member should call him.

Mr. Moffatt: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: I will allow a supplementary. The member for London Centre first.

Mr. Peterson: With respect, Mr. Speaker --

Mr. Speaker: If it’s very short.

Mr. Peterson: -- I am not saying this in a partisan way but I believe it’s a very serious situation that has very bad implications for the good people of Port Hope --

Mr. Speaker: Your question?

Mr. Peterson: My question is: What guarantees is the minister going to give those people, being responsible for the health of those people, that they have that full inquiry, that they know the facts, that they can make decisions with respect to their own community?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I am encouraging and will co-operate with the federal government to do just that. But please don’t ask me to set up an inquiry into an area where the jurisdiction is not mine. One of the things I pointed out in this whole deal was that, in fact, we needed clarification of the relative borderlines of authority in this kind of area.

I think we acted commendably down in Port Hope. I think the fact that in the papers today, or yesterday, you’ll find very encouraging news about the final testing of one family down there who have lived in the home with the greatest known radiation hazard for over 20 years; the best tests available to medical People today showed them to be clear. I hope this has alleviated the fear that quite properly was generated in the minds of many people. We are working with the federal government to try and find out where the other potential sites were. Mr. Gillespie recently told us where he believed them to be, and I can assure the members we’ll be looking at some of these sites more intensively in an attempt to prevent any other hidden risk.

Mr. Peterson: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: No. Order, please. The time has now expired and very few people have had a chance to ask their questions.


Mr. Speaker: The order has been felt on many sides and in many quarters, so we’re not going to place any blame. The question period has expired.

Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege, if I may.

Mr. Speaker: Point of privilege.

Mr. Cunningham: I’d like, through you, Mr. Speaker, to possibly get an explanation from the Minister of Correctional Services and the member for “Sanity Island,” the justification --

Hon. J. R. Smith: What do you call your riding?

Mr. Cunningham: -- for something that I read in what would appear to be a government-sponsored newsletter; and I quote:

“Temporarily, I am the only Conservative member from the Hamilton area, so my constituency workload is substantial. With your help now this situation will see a dramatic change as the next election brings victory to my fellow Conservatives in adjacent ridings.”


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Speaker, if I may: “Please call 385-9661 to volunteer.” Is it my understanding that that is the minister’s constituency office funded by public money?

An hon. member: Answer the question.

Mr. Speaker: Would the member take his seat?

Hon. J. R. Smith: Your light just went out.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: All over the world.

Mr. Speaker: Petitions.

Presenting reports.


Mr. Villeneuve (Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry) from the select committee appointed to prepare the lists of members to compose the standing committees of the House, presented the committee’s report which was read as follows and adopted:

Your committee recommends that the lists of standing committees ordered by the House be composed of the following members:

1. Procedural Affairs: Davidson (Cambridge), Givens, Henderson, Johnston (St. Catharines), Lupusella, McCague, McEwen, Newman (Windsor-Walkerville), Nixon, Philip, Rollins, Smith (Simcoe East), Wildman -- 13.

2. Administration of Justice: Breaugh, Drea, Gregory, Kennedy, Lawlor, Leluk, Moffatt, Norton, Renwick, Roy, Sandeman, Singer, Stong -- 13.

3. Social Development: Belanger, Dukszta, Eaton, Ferris, Foulds, Grossman, Jones, Kerrio, Maeck, McClellan, Sweeney, Villeneuve, Warner -- 13.

4. Resources Development: Bain, Bullbrook, Cunningham, Evans, Gigantes, Johnson (Wellington-Dufferin-Peel), Lane, Laughren, McNeil, Riddell, Samis, Williams, Yakabuski -- 13.

5. Public Accounts: Angus, Ferrier, Germa, Grossman, Hall, Hodgson, MacKenzie, McNeil, Peterson, Sargent, Williams, Wiseman, Ziemba -- 13.

6. Regulations: Belanger, Bounsall, Conway, Davison (Hamilton Centre), di Santo, Johnson (Wellington-Dufferin-Peel), Johnston (St. Catharines), Maeck, Miller (Haldimand-Norfolk), Morrow, O’Neil, Ruston, Young -- 13.

7. Miscellaneous Estimates: Bryden, Cassidy, Drea, Edighoffer, Evans, Grande, Gregory, Lane, Mancini, McCague, McKessock, Shore, Swart -- 13.

The quorum of the private bills committee will be 13; the quorum of all other committees will be 7.


Mr. Speaker: Motions.

Hon. Mr. Welch moved that the following supplementary estimates be referred to the miscellaneous estimates committee: Ministries of Housing, Government Services, Revenue, Agriculture and Food, Environment, Transportation and Communications, Office of the Assembly; also that standing committees have authority to sit concurrently with the House while considering estimates.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. Welch moved that the select committee on Hydro rates be authorized to extend its deliberations until May 1, 1976.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Speaker, could I have a brief word on that?

Mr. Speaker: Yes, I think so. I carried it through very quickly.

Mr. MacDonald: The hon. members of the House might be interested in a word of explanation. In the original terms of reference of this committee, we were to examine the proposed rate for 1976. An interim report presented before Christmas did that, but pointed out that the main determinant was the expansion programme of Hydro in the years beyond, and requested permission to continue that study to get a clearer picture of what is the impact of that expansion programme. As members might well judge, the problem of investigating Hydro in the kind of detail that is required for that purpose has proven to be a somewhat longer one than we had originally anticipated, and therefore it will require hearings on into April -- we are trying to curtail them -- and a careful consideration of the report. It is our hope in the light of this motion that we will have a report before the end of May.

It does raise another matter that I know the Minister of Energy is very cognizant of, that is, that there are statutory requirements imposed upon Hydro for initiating the process for consideration of its rate for 1977, and there will have to be amendments to the Act to facilitate that this year. I will leave any comments that the minister would like to make in that connection.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Responding, first of all, to the latter comments of the hon. member for York South, I would say that the ministry has prepared an appropriate amendment to Section 37(a) of the Act and will be proposing it to cabinet in the next few days and hopefully introducing it to the House in the next couple of weeks.

I am interested and intrigued by his comments about the difficulty, if I can call it that, when one starts to investigate Ontario Hydro. If one looks back at Hansard in November, 1975 and looks at some of the comments of the members of the third party and the debate that occurred in this House in December, one would have got the clear impression that Hydro is a piece of cake, that it is a very simple thing, that you look at a profit and loss sheet and take it from there.

I am pleased to hear the hon. member acknowledge, as I am sure all reasonable members of his committee would acknowledge, that in fact it is a very complicated question and one which I know they are taking very seriously and which of course my ministry and the entire government take very seriously.

We will look forward with anticipation to the comments of the select committee. As I have indicated to the select committee on one or two occasions, am particularly interested in knowing what they are going to recommend on the question of conservation. If there is any one area which is of prime importance to society in general and Ontario specifically, it is the question of conservation, how we can better use our resources to extend their lifetime and to do everything possible to main- thin the standard of living and the kind of society that we have in the province at this point.

Mr. Speaker: I believe the motion was agreed to.

Introduction of bills.


Mr. Speaker: Introduction of bills. The hon. minister.


Hon. Mr. Handleman moved first reading of bill intituled, An Act to amend the Personal Property Security Act.

Motion agreed to; first reading of the bill.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, I know this is a great anti-climax but this very important bill eliminates the 30-day period which is now required for a secured party to register a financing statement. The remainder of the amendments are purely housekeeping.

Mr. Speaker: Orders of the day.

Clerk of the House: The first order, consideration of the Speech of the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor at the opening of the session.


Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry.

Mr. Villeneuve: Thank you.

Mr. Cassidy: Your maiden speech.

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Sit down.

Mr. Villeneuve moved, seconded by Mr. Grossman, that a humble address be presented to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor as follows:

“To the Honourable Pauline M. McGibbon, QC, BA, LL.D., D.U. (Ottawa), BAA (Theatre), Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.

“May it please Your Honour:

“We, Her Majesty’s most dutiful and loyal subjects of the legislative assembly of the Province of Ontario, now assembled, beg leave to thank Your Honour for the gracious speech which Your Honour has addressed to us.”

Mr. Villeneuve: Mr. Speaker, it is an honour for me to move adoption of the second Speech from the Throne of this 30th Parliament and of the government chosen by the people of Ontario on Sept. 18 last.

While this honour is often reserved for a new member of this Legislature I am pleased to speak, in moving this address, on behalf of the members of my party and as a member who has served in the Legislature for some time.

Those of us on all sides of the House who have served in this assembly have, I think, a particular reason to support the approach to the priorities of our province set out in the government’s programme as contained in Her Excellency’s address. The decline of the power of sterling in recent days is evidence of a world economy that is in trouble.

In my constituency, people are quite concerned and anxious about the economic circumstances that they and their children can expect in the months and years ahead. I suspect, if we each think about it for a moment, there is little of more importance in the realm of our duties here in the Legislature than that of providing my constituents and the constituents of all members of this assembly with an economic future which they can count and depend on to maintain a standard of living that gives an equal opportunity to all who apply themselves.

Mr. Samis: Say that in eastern Ontario.

Mr. Villeneuve: The people of my riding want to know that their jobs are safe; that their farms yield continued good incomes; that their businesses can make a fair profit in the future and that the life to which they have become accustomed in Ontario -- good roads, good schools in English and French --

Mr. Riddell: And hospitals.

Mr. Villeneuve: -- good hospitals --

Mr. Cassidy: You don’t know what’s happening with your government.

Mr. Villeneuve: -- that these things on which they depend are safe and well managed.

En ce qui concerne mes électeurs canadiens-français, ils ont le droit d’être assurés que la qualité de la vie franco-ontarienne supportée par des programmes de gouvernement ontarien, sera protégée par un gouvernement efficace, moderne et sensibilisé au fait français à l’Ontario.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Villeneuve: These concerns, these desires are perhaps no different from concerns expressed years ago by other Canadians at other times in their own province’s history.

Mr. Cassidy: Comment Windsor et Essex?

Mr. Villeneuve: When I first came to the Legislature in 1948-1949, Ontario had a total budget of less than $258 million. Health costs amounted to less than $22 million in total for the province in that fiscal year.

Mr. Good: That would just about do the Premier’s office now.

Mr. Villeneuve: The largest expenditure was education with a little over $44,221 million.

Mr. Foulds: Thousand.

Mr. Villeneuve: Thousand, pardon me. Although this province has seen continual prosperity and growth, absorbing almost 50 per cent of the total number of immigrants --

Mr. Laughren: Not in the east.

Mr. Villeneuve: -- who have come to Canada in the last 30 years today in 1975-1976, the total budget is over $12 billion.

Mr. Nixon: Why are we so hard up then?

Mr. Villeneuve: I sense that we are, in fact, at a very crucial crossroads in the history of our country and in the history of our province. It is a time for sitting back for a moment and looking carefully at the options before Ontario -- the options our province has to choose from.

For example, I guess it is fair to say that there is an option that comes forward from the federal government’s approach -- regulate everything; control as much as you can; make government bigger; keep government spending high while no one else can afford to expand their own spending because of general economic problems.

Mr. Nixon: Still you say it is not enough.

Mr. Cassidy: You are opposing the anti-inflation programme, is that it?

Mr. Villeneuve: I can say to you, Mr. Speaker, and to my colleagues in this House that the people of my riding won’t accept that option.

Mr. Good: Against the AIB?

Mr. Villeneuve: They won’t accept it because they believe that larger government means more bureaucracy, more impersonal dealings with people --

Mr. Nixon: Your people know all about that.

Mr. Villeneuve: -- more insensitivity to the real local and regional problems that people have.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member will continue.

Mr. Villeneuve: My people also pay high taxes on their earnings which is why they reject more government spending; more civil servants; more expensive control programmes.

Mr. Nixon: They have to pay Judy LaMarsh.

Mr. Samis: Why did they vote Liberal in your riding, federally?


Mr. Villeneuve: Which is why the Dave Barrett option for Canada is also not accepted by the people of my riding. They reject that option, because they sense --


Mr. Yakabuski: Smarten up.

Mr. Villeneuve: -- when the air is taken out of the private enterprise system, when government determines by itself and without advice or consultation the direction of a society, then government has too much power and the individual citizen has too little.

I am also certain that they have no interest in the third option, which a young student in my riding wrote me and described as the hard-hat gloom-and-doom option. These are the people who want you to close hospitals when you are opening them, and open hospitals when you are closing them. These are the people who want to cut back education costs but expect more money for the local school board.

Mr. Yakabuski: Right on.

Mr. Villeneuve: The people who want to save farmland but don’t want government to have authority at the regional or provincial level to do anything about it.

Mr. Nixon: Which one are you, Osie?

Mr. Villeneuve: It’s the backwards-forwards approach that my friends in the third party might have some awareness of, and which they will hopefully try to do something about, because it hurts Ontario as much as it hurts them. It’s an option that the people of my constituency want nothing to do with. This is why I am honoured, as someone who has served in this Legislature for a while, to speak in support of the Speech from the Throne.

Mr. Nixon: They finally asked you to do something.

Mr. Villeneuve: C’est un discours qui démontre un programme pragmatique et efficace qui va répondre aux besoins actuels de la province, et non aux besoins créés par des fonctionnaires qui sont absolument capables de créer des programmes seulement pour assurer leurs propres emplois. C’est un programme qui ne coûtera pas de nouveaux impôts aux payeurs de taxes.

Mr. Nixon: Spoken like a man who speaks French intelligently.

Mr. Villeneuve: It is a programme which is committed to creating new opportunities for income security for the Ontario farmer, a security which is vital to the style of life those of us in eastern Ontario have come to enjoy.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Villeneuve: Representing a rural riding, I will have more to say on agriculture in general on some other occasion. It is a programme which clearly understands the importance to Ontario of our system of justice, and indicates a sensitivity to initiatives with regard to its administration that are crucially important for all of us.

The commitment to the best health care system in the world is a commitment upon which I would like to reflect for a moment.

Mr. Foulds: Are you talking about Sweden now?

Mr. Villeneuve: Mr. Speaker, it is not an easy task for a Minister of Health to personally go into an area of the province to close a hospital.

Mr. Sweeney: It’s not necessary either.

Mr. Nixon: Not unless his predecessor opened them.

Mr. Villeneuve: I can sympathize with any community and its people when a decision is made to close a hospital, and in particular in a rural area where there are already limited opportunities to offset the attraction of large urban centres that offer better chances for employment.

After a careful study by officials of his ministry to make sure that no area of this province would be without needed hospital care, the Minister of Health (Mr. F. S. Miller) accepted this responsibility.

Mr. R. S. Smith: That is where you are going wrong.

Mr. Villeneuve: Those areas directly affected find it very hard to accept, and this is understandable. But when you are faced with spiralling costs beyond our capacity to pay, a responsible minister must make decisions and sound government administration is necessary.

The opposition is raising from day to day as many personal, bad news stories as their researchers can find. I don’t quarrel with their right to do that, although it would not be the way I would choose to seek improvement in systems or programmes which warranted improvement.

I was recently hospitalized for a period of time. While in the hospital I received great care from a very competent, highly trained medical staff. Modern medical equipment had an important role in assisting with my recuperation. Intensive medical care of this type is very expensive. I was fortunate that this province not only provided the tremendous medical facilities but that it also paid for a very substantial portion of the cost of my hospitalization.

Mr. Riddell: You were fortunate that your hospital was there.

Mr. Villeneuve: I know of hundreds of other cases where lives have been saved, where premature babies have been given a real chance at life and where old people have been nursed back to health and always they have done so without risk of personal financial debt or setback.

We all know that it isn’t that way across the border, in the richest nation in the world. We all know that there was a time when it wasn’t that way even here in Ontario.

Mr. Nixon: It is a federal programme; it always has been. Paul Martin started it and Mike Pearson finished it.

Mr. Villeneuve: So when I see my Minister of Health making cuts -- painful and difficult cuts --

Mr. Foulds: Incisions, you might say.

Mr. Villeneuve: -- to keep the system affordable and the standards high, I say to you that I understand what he is doing, and so do the people of my riding. They know what he is fighting for and why.

Mr. Nixon: Because it didn’t happen to them.

Mr. Villeneuve: Anyone who has ever had a sick relative, a personal ailment or a hospital stay knows precisely who he is fighting for -- the good people of this great province.

Mr. Samis: Are you going to show the Minister of Housing (Mr. Rhodes) the text?

Mr. Villeneuve: This is the fundamental challenge that we face in Ontario today: The capacity to order priorities to avoid redundancies and cut back duplication. It takes courage, stamina and leadership, and this government has it.

I urge my colleagues opposite to claim no monopoly on concern about these cutbacks. But if they choose to remove themselves from understanding the larger issues, the greater needs that a responsible government must move to protect, then I regret that they choose not to see or understand.

Ontario is filled with hardworking people who have themselves had to cut back on luxuries and plans because of the overall fight on inflation and who expect their government to have the courage to do the same. It is an Ontario that is prepared to pay tax dollars to help those who are truly in need. I’ve nothing but admiration for my colleague, the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Taylor) when he states that we must put an end to helping those who simply choose, with no handicap or reason, not to help themselves.

Mr. Nixon: You have gone too far.

Mr. Warner: You are not serious. You can’t be.


Mr. Speaker: Order please, the hon. member has the floor.

Mr. Villeneuve: It is an Ontario that deserves and requires stable, responsible government that can look ahead beyond today’s headlines to tomorrow’s needs and problems and respond with commitment and leadership.

Mes amis, M. l’Orateur, c’est toujours mon privilège de servir un comté fier de son histoire, confiant de son futur et fort commis à l’avenir de l’Ontario.

As a member of the Progressive Conservative Party and of this government, it is more of a privilege than ever to serve at a time of such importance in Ontario. A time when so many of the courageous and important choices for this province’s future are being made by my colleagues in caucus and the cabinet of this government.

As is the case with seatbelts, I do not pretend that all decisions are accepted without debate or disagreement. I would like to suggest to the hon. Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow) that design improvements in seatbelts be encouraged to make them easier to get in and out of.

Mr. Kerrio: Put Johnston on the committee.

Mr. Villeneuve: Recent amendments to seat- belt legislation have been favourably received.

In summation, I plead with the hon. Minister of Labour (B. Stephenson), and all clergymen of every faith in my area to join with me on humanitarian grounds and ask her to intercede through her good offices with capable, experienced negotiators to get Domtar paper management, along with labour representatives, back to the bargaining table.

Mr. Samis: They did not ask her. They didn’t single her out.

Mr. Villeneuve: This long strike of 1,200 workers is having a very adverse effect, not only on the city of Cornwall --

Mr. Samis: She has tried to do something about it.

Mr. Villeneuve: -- but the three united counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry.

Mr. Samis: They broke off negotiations.

Mr. Villeneuve: It is these very decisions which mark the courage and vitality of the government within which I am pleased to serve and whose Throne Speech I am so pleased to move.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for St. Andrew-St. Patrick.

Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity and, indeed, the honour to rise to second the motion of the hon. member for Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry.

I think it was 15 or 16 years ago that the man who is now the Premier of this province (Mr. Davis) had the honour of moving the address, and my predecessor had the honour of seconding that address. I don’t know if the mover today perhaps aspires after the then mover’s job, but there are plenty of days when I aspire after the present job of the then seconder.

Mr. R. S. Smith: You will have to decide to sun again.

Mr. Grossman: I would hope that all members of this House would join me in thanking Her Honour for her address, which laid down a solid foundation and base for our deliberations and actions over the ensuing months. These months will require the type of hard work, careful deliberation and responsibility which Her Honour has referred to on many occasions. I am sure the members on all sides of the House will join me in assuring her of a very high degree of concentration, responsibility and thought in dealing with the very difficult matters which will be coming before us in this session.

It is by now repetitious and redundant to say that the times demand this level of behaviour and this responsibility, but it nonetheless is a fact. While some would be foolhardy enough to say we are in a state of dire emergency, nonetheless it would be equally foolish to suggest that the past does not slope towards that state unless a combined effort is made, each being guided according to his or her own conscience to legislate and deliberate fairly, judiciously and properly -- hopefully after the cameras are gone -- without partisan considerations; notwithstanding tile ever- present spectre of an early election.


The tendency to legislate in order to get re-elected -- or, in the case of this Legislature, elected -- is a tendency which has never been one fraught with dignity, honour or even a shred of respectability. At this point in time, efforts along that vein would be treasonous and a total abrogation in all respects of the mandate with which we have been sent to this minority parliament. I hope that we will succeed in jointly mounting the necessary battle over the ensuing months regardless of the decisions which result in order that our responsibilities be met. It is trite but also equally true to say that the time call for restraint. Anyone who has sat in this assembly, either on the floor or in the galleries, cannot be unaware of the seriousness of this statement. Anyone who has glanced at the front pages of our newspapers or caught the slightest portion of the smallest newscast cannot help but be aware of the seriousness of the problem. Certainly, anyone who has spent even a few minutes watching the deliberations of our select committee studying Hydro’s rates for 1976, cannot help but have a deep appreciation of the enormity of our task.

At that committee, we have seen the basic assumptions upon which our world-leading hydro-electric system has been based come under severe scrutiny and review. At the beginning, we acted with an eye on the economic factors and the enormous costs of hydro-electric power. As time went on and the pressure of events changed, it became very clear over the short ensuing months thereafter that rather than just keeping an eye on our economic situation, we, like other bodies of this Legislature and this government, were going to have to be governed and controlled by the economic facts of life. Ontario Hydro itself is now reassessing its entire concept of simply meeting demand by providing power and doing so at cost. It is no longer a simple assessment of the demand of the public of Ontario for power and a simple determination of how we will meet that demand. The starting point, it appears, will now be the availability of money, our access to capital markets, our ability to borrow, our ability to support that borrowing and the ability of the public to bear the rate. The bottom line of that equation is the amount of money that Hydro will have available to it to provide power, and from that point we will obviously be moving to determine how much power we can provide for that amount of money, and then assess what we must do about adjusting demand to meet that supply of power rather than adjusting, as we historically have, our financial and other resources simply to meet demand.

Demand for electrical power will have to be like the demand for every service, and that is, it will have to meet the supply we can afford to produce. Anyone who has sat and listened to our committee must have been speechless to hear us discuss, just this past week, the possibilities of brownouts and blackouts as possible alternatives as soon as 1981 or 1982.

Mr. Ruston: Closing plants.

Mr. Grossman: We are convinced that there are ways to avoid that, but let’s consider the reality of even approaching those two alternatives as, in fact, alternatives. For the first time, we are assessing those as alternatives and it’s shocking and frightful to have to do that. It is an eye-opener even to veterans of parliamentary dollars to begin to deal with the direction issued to Ontario Hydro to strip $500 million from its borrowings in each of the next three years; $500 million. Those dollars are large dollars even here, even to those persons who are daily in the business of dealing with global dollars and global terms, and so the question that this assembly must face is surely one of sorting out priorities and choices. We are going to do what I suppose we should have begun to do some time ago and that is more carefully rank our needs and demands, having determined that we can no longer simply be slaves to our demands, our feelings and our wants.

Our emphasis will now shift from providing what is demanded and what we would just like to allow as legislators and good governors -- shift to an emphasis of meeting immediate needs and only where and if those needs are established, and for those who are in need only. Our responsibility is not just economic but also sound financial management. And sound financial management requires a careful reassessment of our priorities. Not only do we and should we demand it in this Legislature but our poor taxpayers, the ones who are paying the dollars, which is sometimes forgotten across the floor, demand it.

It seems to me that there is finally some appreciation, not only in this House but in all Houses in all provinces and in all Parliaments, that the days of wine and roses are over for the time being. There is finally some appreciation that someone pays for medical services, that someone pays to build the luxurious institutions and that someone pays the salaries that it takes to support government. It’s even a fact that someone pays for the social and human services that so many people, quite rightly, have come to rely upon.

Mr. Ferrier: What about the taxes on the corporate sector?

Mr. Grossman: It’s not just enough to say: “Well, that’s okay, go tax the big corporations.” When you start to tax those big corporations and then the corporations face some difficulties and lay some people off, who is the first to scream? The package of programmes set out by the Lieutenant Governor indicates a mixture of those concerns.

Mr. Warner: They pay less income tax than we do.


Mr. Grossman: The package indicates a careful awareness of those areas --


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for St. Andrew-St. Patrick has the floor. Would you give him courtesy?

Mr. Makarchuk: The poor banks are really starving this year, aren’t they? They are going broke.

Mr. Grossman: It is funny what happens when you just mention the NDP bogey about tax the big corporations.


Mr. Grossman: Suddenly a very quiet Legislature gets angry.

Mr. Makarchuk: How are the banks doing this year?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Grossman: The package indicates a careful awareness of those areas in which an increase of dollars can assist those who from time to lime may be defenceless against the onslaught of inflation or recession or both. We have a package which can ensure that human, social and public services, while stripped to the bone, are not in jeopardy.

This province has been able to create an extremely high level of social, human and public services, one that stands the test of any administration of any party of any jurisdiction in North America. These high standards have created reliances and dependability which are otherwise sometimes not so desirable.

Mr. Warner: Tell that to the asbestos workers.

Mr. Grossman: But this is one of the difficulties one faces when one tries to do everything one wants to, wishes to and likes to do. It’s a difficult trick to readjust this but one which this government is responsible enough to try to accomplish, that is, to maintain the same level of human and public service by seeing that fat is stripped and where abuses exist they’re caught and eliminated.

Mr. Warner: Tell that to the Children’s Aid Societies.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Grossman: All the painting that the opposition will seek to do of this administration as being right wing or redneck won’t work.

Mr. Makarchuk: You’re taking it out on the children; that’s what you’re doing.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Warner: Tell that to the Children’s Aid Societies, go ahead.

Mr. Makarchuk: You’re taking it out on the kids.

Mr. Grossman: Over there you can’t tell the difference between redneckism and responsibility. A careful assessment of our choices and priorities --

Mr. Warner: Who has been running the province for 30 years?

Mr. Grossman: -- listen to that one -- a careful assessment of our choices and priorities -- do you know what that means? -- a re-evaluation of the programme bit by bit beneficiary by beneficiary --

Mr. Good: That means your dad bungled it when he was here.

Mr. Grossman: None of this touches any of his old ministries -- ministry by ministry, municipality by municipality, will be required, in order to strip the system down to where it’s providing and maintaining that necessary, but only necessary, amount of social and public service. This is something that Her Majesty’s loyal opposition find difficult to understand.

Mr. Warner: Difficult to accept.

Mr. Grossman: More efficient dollars don’t mean less human or effective dollars.

Mr. Makarchuk: Tell that to the Children’s Aid Societies.

Mr. Warner: Tell that to the Children’s Aid too.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Warner: A three per cent increase.

Mr. Grossman: So the question is this, is it possible to accomplish the restraint without one iota of loss in necessary social services, in necessary, needed human services?

Mr. Wildman: Municipalities are dependent on the property tax.

Mr. Grossman: No riding will be a better judge of that than St. Andrew-St. Patrick. No one, I might add, can better attest to the fact that the programme is being implemented without the slightest nod to partisan considerations or politics than I can.

I might say that when I called the minister, as I did when I found out about the closing in my riding --

Mr. Ferrier: The minister knows you are in his party.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Grossman: -- I didn’t mention for a moment the fact that we were in the same party, the fact that I hold my seat by 440 votes.

Mr. Foulds: Perhaps you should have.

Mr. Grossman: What I did was I discussed the facts; I reviewed the figures. I attempted to show him that his ministry’s calculations were wrong, and I attempted to convince him.

Mr. Wildman: He doesn’t listen to facts and figures.

Mr. Grossman: -- that the social and human cost was so great that the hospital ought not be closed.

Mr. Ferrier: Are you saying the minister’s computer is wrong?

Mr. Warner: You support his closing?

Mr. Grossman: But not for a moment did I suggest that the fact we are in the same party should have any bearing whatsoever on his decision.

Mr. Warner: You support the closing then?

Mr. Grossman: So I can attest and he will attest at first hand not only to the impartiality of the restraint programmes --

Mr. Ferrier: It’s more important for some than it is for others.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Would you extend courtesy to the speaker? The member for St. Andrew-St. Patrick, please.

Mr. Nixon: He is making out very well.

Mr. Grossman: They will, so long as I don’t hurt them over there.

Mr. Warner: Do you support the closing of Doctors Hospital?

Mr. Grossman: We will get to it and we will talk about how your party supports the closing, if you will just sit tight. We will get to it and it will be worth waiting for.

Mr. Warner: I hope so.

Mr. Nixon: That’ll be quite a story.

Mr. Grossman: My riding maintains a vast number of those types of social service outlets which have grown up over the last 10 or 15 years -- under Progressive Conservative administration I might add -- which social agencies have become in some cases the very core and root of their communities.

To mention a few: St. Christopher’s House; University Settlement; St. Stephen’s; St. Alban’s Boys’ Club; the Chinese Dramatic Society; COSTI; the Learning Resources Centre; and so on. All of these and many more have become so significant in their own work that they have become, in some cases, an integral part of the everyday life and wellbeing of many of our residents.

Many of these residents, in spite of the fact that they live in downtown Toronto, in spite of the fact that they belong to unions, in spite of the fact that they belong to that group of people who our government is, from time to time, alleged to have no concern for, continue to vote Progressive Conservative.

Mr. Foulds: As of last Sept 18.

Mr. Grossman: In case my friends over there are rubbing their hands in glee, let me tell them that whether I choose to stand or not they will continue to vote Progressive Conservative in St. Andrew-St. Patrick.

Mr. Warner: Do you want to bet?

Mr. Foulds: Why don’t you?

Mr. Shore: Is this your resignation speech?

Mr. Grossman: I look at my own responsibility, as the representative of persons using those social agencies, to see that there is not one iota of loss in any of these necessary services. Surely this is the responsibility and task of all members, from all constituencies? That is to scrutinize, examine, dissect and analyse the restraint programme as it applies riding by riding across the board to see that inequities are avoided and to see that avoidable harm is avoided.

The types of facilities I have referred to provide a wide range of community service. I would like to deal specifically with some of them since those institutions which serve the public in downtown Toronto have come to form such an important part in the day-today life of the various neighbourhoods.

There is extensive community development work wherein residents and citizens are made aware of such things as existing housing standards, their rights and abilities to improve their neighbourhoods -- I might add with extensive provincial funding -- and the availability of services to the neighbourhood and individual citizens. The whole question of delivery of services to the community is one which is fraught with problems and red tape, and the availability of those services does not mean that those who most need those services know how to exercise their right to ask for and receive that assistance.


Secondly, in the general area of social services, these centres assist and encourage personal, family and individual responsibility for meeting their own needs. I can’t continue to refer to some of these institutions with their extensive social contribution without noting the fact that not only do these institutions receive a large amount of aid from the provincial government and the federal government and the United Way, but they also get a great deal of support -- large support -- from the big corporations.

In many instances, particularly during this period of restraint, the big corporations are the ones that will help keep some of these institutions going. These are not institutions which ought to or should create reliance upon themselves per se, but which should encourage the individual to be aware and use the existing facilities, so that those who cannot acquire them on their own, with their own dollars, will motivate themselves to use the facilities which this government and other governments have made available to them.

There are, of course, extensive daycare centres, more properly referred to, I would think, as child development centres in many cases. That proper designation speaks for itself with regard to their importance in the communities. They’re not luxuries, they’re not baby-sitting services, they’re not drop-off centres. They are child development centres.

There are less important services than the daycare centres, but to some that are affected by these programmes they are integral. There are music schools, for example, running out of places like the University Settlement House, which in some cases not only make instruments available on loan to those who can’t afford to buy or rent instruments, but in many cases they also provide practice facilities, for example use of a piano. Even more important, some of these institutions specialize in giving music lessons to those with behavioural or emotional problems.

Fifth, there is the whole area of recreational fulfillment of leisure time. This includes arts and crafts, gymnasium equipment availability and the provision of pools and hockey rinks and so on. The fulfilment of leisure time is certainly not a frill and can’t be treated as such. Of course, there are the extensive interpreting services which are available throughout downtown Toronto to various of the institutions; these form a self-descriptive, important facility in filling a need.

This describes some of the package covering what can be done with selective money. The value and importance of these programmes are hard to estimate. After all, we can measure our dollar savings simply; it is a matter of how many dollars have we saved? But we can’t measure the value of human services and the importance of those facilities in the same way. They are measureless. If we are to err in implementing restraints, we should certainly err on the human side, not on the financial side.

Some of the criteria we must surely assess are: Is it developing mature adults with socially acceptable goals and desires? Is it redirecting someone who may otherwise become misdirected? Is it filling time -- leisure time -- that might otherwise have been filled carelessly? Is it fulfilling emotional needs not met in the family unit? Is it teaching about life by thought and example rather than by mistake? Is it assisting a family to develop itself in a healthy way? Is it assisting an individual to be an individual? All these criteria cannot be assessed in dollar terms, but only in human terms, and must be weighed carefully against our restraint programme as it is implemented.

Downtown Toronto is in many ways midtown Canada and so the test of our programmes, quite properly, falls upon my riding and my neighbours to the east and west. The values I’ve talked about are not replaceable or purchasable at other places. They are not commodities that we can buy next year rather than this year. A lapse, a delay, a vacuum or a vacancy sometimes creates an abyss out of which some may well never emerge. So, carefully must we watch and scrutinize; to liberate, challenge, anticipate and criticize, in order to make sure that the programmes are implemented without any social or human cost. The parameters are set; they’re proper and applaudable, but the implementation must be scrutinized and alterable.

In the same vein, we must not play down or write off the problems of municipalities. Their problems are great. It’s only fair however, to point out that they do have some ability to attack, in accordance with the level of services demanded by their own ratepayers and taxpayers. If the ratepayers and taxpayers in an individual municipality demand a certain level of service, they’ll have to be taxed for it. That’s the very basis of local government.

Mr. Wildman: Property tax.

Mr. Grossman: After all, that’s the same criterion that has been placed upon our ministries at Queen’s Park. I might add there was some internal assessment. It wasn’t 10 per cent across the board. It was done carefully; by an analysis, ministry by ministry, of which one could and should bear the load in the next year. So it’s quite fair to say to the municipalities: “Sure, we have created reliances. Sure, we gave you money in years past. But you did live high and well and not very frugally off our largess in years past.” It’s fair and equitable. It’s funny, now that the initial flack is gone and the road show having been closed --

Mr. Foulds: It is not funny at all. It is tragic.

Mr. Grossman: -- how some municipalities have got down to business -- and are now admitting that they’re going to raise do with the lower rate of increase in the mill rate that they went crying about.

Mr. Warner: You haven’t seen the tax bill. Wait until you see the tax bill.

Mr. Grossman: They did it.

Mr. Bullbrook: Are you referring to Darcy as the “road show”?

Mr. Grossman: The municipalities do themselves no credit by simply whimpering and crying at the announcement of a reduction in the increase of transfer payments. First let them put their houses in order and conduct the same type of critically intensive, inward analysis that the provincial ministries have done before they announce they can’t live with the guidelines.

Mr. Shore: Larry, who wrote your speech?

Mr. Grossman: I wrote my own speech.

It’s their duty, it’s their obligation, their responsibility to first exercise every conceivable effort to live within those guidelines. It’s election year for them just as it might be for us, but we bit the bullet here at Queen’s Park; the municipalities don’t like it too much.

Mr. Wildman: Did you bite the bullet?

Mr. Grossman: By crying wolf, the municipalities lend no credibility to the national anti-inflation effort. And if governments don’t lead the way, then how can we expect the taxpayers to follow? This government has led the way; and having led the way, this province can quite properly look to its municipalities to do their share. In turn, the province is setting a scenario within which all Canadians can participate individually in a programme of restraint and the national anti-inflation effort.

Mr. Bullbrook: Has the House bit the bullet with Wintario?

Mr. Grossman: It is with this in mind the Ontario government has opted into the federal anti-inflation programme, notwithstanding opposition bleating. It is precisely that participation which will permit Ontario’s residents to participate in the programme without undue prejudice to their own marketing, wage-earning and competitive positions vis-à-vis the other provinces, and indeed the entire United States; albeit with some prejudice perhaps to the oppositions hopes of getting ejected.

In an effort to make the national programme work, and in an effort to show up what I believe to be a somewhat incomplete federal programme, it is essential that the largest and key economic province in this country join the programme. There’s no marching to the hand and beating your own drum, for if we are out of step with the rest of the country and that programme, we in this province have the singular power to destroy that programme. So, as in so many other instances and situations, this province will lead the way and come through this crisis, having convinced the taxpayers of this province that our interests have been and will continue to be protected, by doing what we can to bring staggering inflation and recession under control over the next year and a half.

Fortunately, the economy is here to do it. We have created a healthy enough climate, not at nil by accident, to support us through this period of time. Fortunately our employment picture, while unsatisfactory, is better than can be expected; and fortunately, we still maintain the necessary support programmes to help persons through that period of unemployment, at least in a financial way.

Mr. Wildman: Unemployment insurance is federal, not provincial.

Mr. Grossman: Contrary to the picture that the opposition wishes to paint, this is not to say that any amount of unemployment is acceptable or approvable. I reject those arguments that deal with unemployment in terms of numbers and those politicians who may simply qualify their statements about unemployment by saying, “While I don’t mean to be harsh,” and then go on to talk about how much unemployment we will have to live with.

That’s abhorrent. It’s harsh to the person who loses his job and is laid off. All the welfare cheques are not going to give that person the self-respect and support and personal integrity that he needs to raise his family and get himself up in the morning.

Mr. Wildman: Right; he needs a job.

Mr. Grossman: Searching for a job is not finding a job. Maintaining one’s income doesn’t mean one is earning one’s income. Being assured that one’s unemployment is all in the name of the national endeavour is no solace at all. I detest and abhor those who take an attitude that some have to suffer for the sake of many.

While the restraint programme is appropriate and necessary, its application must be so careful, so shrewd, so delicate and so humane that there is not even a minimal effect on those who cannot get through a period of unemployment. That’s our test.

Mr. Grande: That’s rough justice.

Mr. Moffatt: Which is why you want the federal Liberals to do it.

Mr. Grossman: We must not let restraint harm the economy and business and cause layoffs without any thought to re-employment or more efficient employment.

Mr. Wildman: There aren’t any jobs for nurses in the province.

Mr. Grossman: We are getting to your part.

When people are laid off, as surely they will be under the hospital restraint programme, let some real efforts he undertaken to be sure that employment will be picked up by either other levels of government, other ministries or private industry. Let us make sure that the lead time given is appropriate. Let us make sure they are not thrown out in to the cold as statistics in the inflation game, but are adjusted, relocated and otherwise looked after.

I can’t complete my remarks without referring to the singular instance in which I find I must express rather strong disagreement with one particular decision made by the government in the name of restraint, although that decision is still not final.

Mr. Nixon: That’s the one on the not-final list.

Mr. Grossman: That decision, of course, is the recently taken decision to close Doctors Hospital, which is located in my riding.

Mr. Ferrier: It may yet be mandatory. The minister did not pay any attention to our arguments for Northwestern.

Mr. Grossman: The forcefulness of my disagreement with the government is certainly no secret. It is based on two facts, both arising out of my intimate knowledge of the riding as its member and the hospital as its former vice-chairman.

Firstly, it is my firm belief, after many weeks of careful analysis, that although the hospital was being closed in the name of restraint, it is, in fact, a closing which will result in more governmental expenditure, not less.


Mr. Moffatt: Same all over.

Mr. Grossman: I am convinced that the patients formerly treated at Doctors Hospital can’t be picked up by the other hospitals; or that those who can, simply cannot be treated as efficiently or as inexpensively as they are being treated at the Doctors Hospital.

Secondly, I oppose the closure on the basis that the special nature of that hospital makes it so key, so important, to that particular community that its closure, even if it were an inefficient hospital, which it is not, could not be supported. The peculiar nature of the hospital, its staff, its location and its history, is such that it has developed as a very special community which can’t be replaced, either in whole or in part, by parcelling it out to two or three other large teaching institutions. The social cost of the closing, the human cost, is so great, so inhumane, that I would be obliged to oppose the closing even if it did save some money.

I might say that I would oppose that closure even if it were in another riding, if I were as familiar with the statistics as I happen to be in this particular case.


Mr. Reid: Do you want to hear about Clinton and Durham hospitals?

Mr. Grossman: I’m not an expert on the Durham hospital.

Mr. Moffatt: You just need a wealth of statistics.

Mr. Grossman: That might be the case. But as I said earlier, the challenge is thrown out to all members of this assembly to scrutinize the programme and to let the ministry know where the social costs and human costs are great, or where their facts and figures just don’t work. I’ll have plenty more to say during the estimates of the Ministry of Health with regard to that closure.

Ms. Gigantes: That is what we have been doing.

Mr. Foulds: I am glad that you are making this speech before the Minister of Correctional Services (Mr. J. R. Smith) makes his apology.

Mr. Grossman: That is great stuff. The NDP was a great support to the Doctors Hospital -- not at all their contribution to the fight on the Doctors Hospital has been predictable and disappointing; but let me tell you what happened. Immediately upon the announcement, in trooped the members for Bellwoods (Mr. McClellan) and Parkdale (Mr. Dukszta) with their Doctors Hospital badges on their lapels. They marched in. The troops came in; all the NDP troops. All their members from downtown Toronto and all their friends on Toronto city council. They suddenly were terribly interested in a hospital that many of them have been fighting with for years and years. Suddenly they were --

Mr. Foulds: Which will now be closed.

Mr. Grossman: I’ll tell you what I’m talking about. The NDP alderman for the area, while I was vice-chairman of the hospital, and while the hospital was trying to acquire land for expansion which would have permitted an earlier construction of a new facility, were fighting the expansion, were fighting the acquisition of land on the basis -- are you ready -- that it would have been an intrusion on College St.

Mr. McClellan: Point of privilege.

Mr. Grossman: There they were --

Mr. Speaker: Order please, the hon. member for Bellwoods has a point of privilege. Would you state it please?

Mr. McClellan: if I understand the member for St. Andrew-St. Patrick to say that the member for Bellwoods was involved in attempts to curb the expansion of Doctors Hospital, then that is simply not true. I may have misunderstood the member, but I’d like a clarification.

Hon. Mr. Welch: He didn’t say that.

Mr. Grossman: I know the member is excited. I said his friends on Toronto city council did that; and they don’t deny it because they can’t. I didn’t say the member was involved. In fact, he was never seen or heard of at Doctors Hospital until a couple of months ago when he was elected. So I certainly couldn’t accuse him of that.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member will continue.

Mr. Foulds: As a matter of fact, nobody has seen or heard of you.

Mr. Grossman: Instead of rolling their troops in to help a threatened group defend itself and prove what I feel to be a very provable case against the closure of the Doctors Hospital, they rolled in instead to collect some support for the NDP. There they were at the meetings organized in downtown Toronto by their NDP friends in the communities. They were saying; “Listen fellows, I know you’re threatened, but what you’ve got to do is join the Clinton hospital and Durham hospital and the Bobcaygeon hospital and fight the entire programme.”

Now, those of us in downtown Toronto, we’re not experts on the Durham hospital. The other hospitals have very adequate representation and their members will speak for them. They’ll be looked after. We are looking after the Doctors Hospital. We are not looking after the Progressive Conservative Party; that’s obvious. But no, what kind of support did we get! Boy, it really hurts, doesn’t it!

Mr. Foulds: Watch what you are doing with that finger.

Mr. Davidson: Just your own riding.

Mr. Grossman: That’s okay.

Interjections by hon. members.

Mr. Grossman: What kind of support did we get from the party of the people? The party that is the only one, it says, that is supposed to care about people. They rolled in and they had so much support for those people that they started to hand out “Coalition Against Cutback” buttons, and say: “Come on, we’ll march on Queen’s Park to support Clinton and Durham and Bobcaygeon. Take your very good Doctors Hospital argument and help us fight the government on the whole programme.”

Mr. Davidson: We will be there.

Mr. Grossman: We don’t need that kind of support in downtown Toronto. We need people who will come in and help us analyse the facts and figures, who will help us prove the argument --

Mr. Ferrier: You present your case over tea and crumpets.

Mr. Grossman: -- in downtown Toronto about the importance of that hospital; we don’t need the NDP rolling in to try and scoop up votes with a group of threatened people.

Mr. Moffatt: You certainly don’t.

Mr. Grossman: It’s the old group. Not only do they roll in and say, “Only the NDP will help you.”

Mr. Laughren: Another paranoid Grossman.

Mr. Grossman: Instead of hanging around looking at figures, helping us sign petitions, what did they do? They ran to Queen’s Park --

Mr. Warner: You lack all logic.

Mr. Grossman: -- and they printed up a delightful little press release talking about Frank Miller spreading death throughout downtown Toronto. That’s what they said in their press release.

Mr. Laughren: Do you see faces in the crowd too?

Mr. Grossman: That’s great stuff. That’s certainly going to help keep the hospital open since it wasn’t a press release issued by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Lewis), I wonder if he really thinks so little of the minister that he would accuse him of spreading death throughout downtown Toronto? Or were you fellows just playing politics? Can we write it off to that? I suppose we can.

Mr. Laughren: Never.

Mr. Foulds: What is your accusation?

Mr. Grossman: We look on it a little more seriously. I took my argument up with facts and figures and will continue to take it up with facts and figures.

Mr. Warner: Are you going to save it?

Mr. Grossman: To compound the felony, they can’t just say, “We disagree with the government’s decision on the Doctors Hospital.” No, no; that is never enough for the socialists in downtown Toronto. They have to go one step further. They have to go in and tell everyone that the decision was not made in spite of the fact that there is an immigrant population but because of the fact there is an immigrant population. Well, that’s right I Do you think it is true? Stand up and say it. Stand up and be counted. Who said it’s true?

Ms. Gigantes: Who said it?

Mr. McClellan: I don’t deny saying that at all.

Mr. Grossman: He said it is true.

Mr. Speaker: Order please. There are far too many interjections; and will the member on his feet direct his remarks to the Chair.

Mr. Makarchuk: I think this is rather provocative.

Mr. Grossman: Her Majesty’s loyal opposition, as they are so proud to call themselves, tramped around downtown Toronto looking to assemble votes for themselves. I want to tell you, at every meeting that we have been at in the community in downtown Toronto, the staff of the hospital, the doctors --

Mr. McClellan: Are you closing Doctors Hospital? You are closing Doctors Hospital.

Mr. Grossman: -- and the nurses have been talking about the tactics we will use in proving the ministry’s decision to be wrong. We know we can do it with facts and figures.

Mr. McClellan: Why don’t you do it with your own minister who is closing Doctors Hospital.

Mr. Grossman: Save your heckling for the meetings downtown; it goes over well there.

Mr. Deans: You are missing a great chance to present your facts and figures to the minister.

Mr. Grossman: We do it with facts and figures. At all those meetings, while some of us were on the podium explaining how we were going to make the presentation and seeking for some assistance in making the presentation to the ministry, our friends in the back were handing out leaflets; running through the back sowing the seeds of prejudice and hatred throughout the back. “They did it,” they say, “because you are immigrants.”

Mr. Laughren: Subversion you mean?

Mr. Warner: You will be disappointed with the by-election.

Mr. Grossman: When their turn to speak came up, when the member for Parkdale took the microphone -- he was parachuted in to try and help collect votes in St. Andrew-St. Patrick -- there he was saying: “This is why we have to bring them down. The restraint programme across the board has to be thrown out. Come on and help us defeat the government.” I was saying: “Come on and help us reopen the hospital.” And to their everlasting credit the public meetings even the one started, run and controlled by their NDP friends throughout downtown Toronto, rejected the pleas of the NDP.

Mr. Laughren: The paranoids are chasing you, Larry.

Mr. Grossman: That’s the way you help the Doctors Hospital? You don’t help them. Her Majesty’s loyal opposition says to the threatened minority: “Come on and help us defeat the government. We are not so sure we are going to come down and help you reopen the hospitals. We want your help up here at Queen’s Park.”


Mr. Deans: That’s nonsense.

Mr. Grossman: They rejected it and quite properly.

Ms. Gigantes: What do you know about it?

Mr. Grossman: That’s the way it is. Mr. Speaker, I would be happy to tell you what I know about it. I have lived through a lot of elections in downtown Toronto. I know their tactics.

Mr. Foulds: Did you find this speech in the wastepaper basket of the Minister of Correctional Services?

Mr. Grossman: One of the reform aldermen, who has been fighting the expansion of the hospitals and now wears a “Support Doctors Hospital” badge, was the NDP candidate, the Waffle candidate, in 1971 in St. Andrew-St. Patrick. So we have lived with that type of NDP tactic. In that election, I think the allegation was that the Tories had so many canvassers because they were all on government payrolls. I mean how else could we get all those canvassers? Only the NDP has canvassers. Only the NDP knocks on doors three and four times. They can’t understand it.

Mr. Warner: Is this a confession?

Mr. Grossman: We are used to it. That’s how I know what happens in downtown Toronto.

Mr. Deans: I wouldn’t worry about getting into it.

Mr. Grossman: So there you go. That’s how we get the trade union vote in downtown Toronto. The sort of irresponsibility that they have been festering in the heart of this city among threatened people is political garbage.

Mr. Laughren: Use the word subversion. Did the Minister of Housing (Mr. Rhodes) write this speech for him?

Mr. Grossman: Some of your supporters consistently fought that hospital. I am convinced, and I hope, that the NDP’s tawdry performance in this tragic episode --

Mr. Makarchuk: The only riding of sanity in downtown Toronto.

Mr. Foulds: Do you feel that you are unsanitary?

Mr. Reid: Did the Minister of Correctional Services have the first choice of which speech to give?

Mr. Grossman: Yes, but he gave it outside the House.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Grossman: It is the usual stuff, Mr. Speaker. Her Majesty’s loyal opposition sees these people as votes and defines a means of manipulating them to achieve power in Ontario rather than to reopen their hospital; but we will carry on the fight for the Doctors Hospital anyway.

Mr. Deans: That is nonsense. Even you don’t believe that. I don’t know how you can say that.

Mr. Grossman: There is no better witness than I and I certainly believe it. I might add that all those who were at some of the public meetings organized by all the NDP friends down there not only believe it but rejected it. They had their opportunity. I must tell you, at one of the meetings there was handed out --

Mr. Kerrio: Point of order, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: Point of order.

Mr. Kerrio: I am wondering if the member is certain of his direction when he suggests that --

Mr. Kennedy: That is not a point of order.

Mr. Kerrio: Just a moment, just hear this. I wonder, when he refers to the NDP, if he shouldn’t, in fact, be referring to it more specifically. If he is directing those remarks to the NDP, they are the official opposition; we are all members of Her Majesty’s loyal opposition on this side.

Mr. Grossman: Well, I can understand the member’s desire not to be associated with Her Majesty’s loyal opposition, but I would have been happier had Her Majesty’s second opposition supported the Doctors Hospital rather than having its leader say: “I think there is a supportable case for closing the Doctors Hospital

Mr. Angus: If they had supported it, you would have accused them of going after votes.

Mr. Grossman: I would give you a little more attention, but I can always spot my enemies very clearly. It is the fellows in the NDP who suddenly want to be my friends that I can’t back. I can’t take that.

Mr. Deans: Don’t you dare accuse us of that.

Mr. Grossman: I could find a hell of a lot better -- a heck of a lot better -- bedfellows. Even my friend the member for Niagara Falls (Mr. Kerrio) I would rather have as a bedfellow.

Mr. Foulds: I’d get up on that on a point of personal privilege.

Mr. Grossman: Not as much as I would like to have his predecessor; but certainly under no circumstances the NDP. You can relax now, boys.

Simply put, the restraint programme is proper and appropriate. When I oppose it as strongly as I do in one, and only one, of its specifics, I am not just saying: “Do it; but do it to someone else, not me.”


Mr. McClellan: That’s exactly what you said.

Ms. Gigantes: That’s exactly what you said, do it to Durham.

Mr. Wildman: Why are you seconding this government’s Throne Speech?

Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, that’s precisely what I did not say. I said specifically --

Mr. Makarchuk: He is provocative, Mr. Speaker.


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Laughren: Tell us which ones should be closed. Give us your list.

Mr. Grossman: You can go back to your offices, the cameras are off; just relax. If you’ll relax, I’ll go on to the rest of my speech and leave you alone.

Mr. Ruston: We thought you were finished.

Mr. Laughren: Which ones would you close?

Mr. Grossman: What I’m saying is do it where it actually saves money.

Mr. Warner: Where?

Mr. Grossman: Do it where there is no enormous counter-weighing social cost.

Mr. Warner: Name one.

Mr. Grossman: Your constituency office is a waste of money. I want to assure the members of this assembly that my objection to one specific is not political posturing done for the sake of my constituents.

Mr. Shore: Is that why you’re resigning?

Mr. Grossman: Sure I’m aware of the situation because it’s in my riding; but I am, as I have stated, equally aware of the situation because I formerly served on the board of that very fine hospital.

Mr. Warner: Try visiting the others.

Mr. Grossman: I can -- well they’ve got members and I hope they’re as effective as I am.

Mr. Bain: I hope not I

Mr. Grossman: I know you do. I can say, without bowing to anyone, that it is certainly a time which tests the mettle and responsibility of all members of this Legislature.

Mr. Deans: Officially.

Mr. Grossman: It is a time that tests the opposition -- Her Majesty’s loyal opposition -- as much as it tests the government. It tests their seriousness, if any; it tests their ability to sacrifice their own desires to seize the reins of office and pits those desires against their responsibilities as members of this assembly and as representatives of the taxpayers of this province.

Mr. Deans: You are the only person I’ve ever heard who had support offered to him and who rejected it.

Mr. Grossman: You should have stopped there: I’m the only person you’ve ever listened to.

Mr. Foulds: Don’t flatter yourself.

Mr. Deans: I doubt that.

Mr. Grossman: I doubt it, too; frankly, I doubt it. I might add, in closing, that my riding will surely hear its share of being asked to tighten the belt on many programmes and projects.

Mr. Foulds: And bite the bullet.

Mr. Grossman: My riding, I hope, will agree to do as all taxpayers will be asked to do, in one form or another, over the next period of time.

As the government undertakes a reassessment of its priorities it does so with quality of government, not quantity, as its model -- certainly not one of the NDP models -- and with job security, employment stability, economic stability and the maintenance of our high level of human and social services as chief among its goals.

The economic goals are subject to assessment, review and measurement; the social goals are harder. Purchased with raw dollars they are implemented and tested only through understanding, devotion of purpose, commitment, spirit and a belief in the equity and equality of the system.

Daycare centres are not like highways. Children’s aid societies are not hobbies for the rich.

Mr. Warner: Tell that to the Treasurer.

Mr. Grossman: Medical treatment facilities are not placebos. Community centres are not just gymnasia; and multicultural programmes are not token bows to immigrants. The whole package -- all of these social, really human goals -- is more than just a goal. They are needs; they are essential. They are the source of our strength today and the kernel of our prosperity tomorrow.

Mr. Laughren: Now for the bad news.

Mr. Grossman: If we apply ourselves to the provision of those items -- quality not quantity -- and at the same time keep the economy one in which price, wage, jobs and employment security and stability are the cornerstones, then our province can be the healthy province it is today; healthy both in financial terms and, equally important, social terms.

We, on this side of the House, won’t permit Her Majesty’s loyal opposition or any opposition to paint this government as one which is trying to do anything but find more efficient dollars and spend them more efficiently. We will continue to see that they’re spent as extraordinarily humanely and with as much social benefit as has been the case in the past.

Mr. Laughren: What’s your view on the Ontario Economic Council?

Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, in seconding the motion for the adoption of the Speech from the Throne, I invite and expect my colleagues in the assembly to join me in scrutinizing the restraint programme, so that we can accomplish the double goal of restraint and progress without social or financial cost.

Mr. McClellan: Like your double talk.

Mr. Deans moved the adjournment of the debate.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Wells moved second reading of Bill 2, An Act respecting the Kirkland Lake Board of Education and Teachers’ Dispute.

Mr. Speaker: Does the minister have an opening statement?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Yes, Mr. Speaker, provided that my hon. colleague, the member for Sarnia, doesn’t object to my making an opening statement and then perhaps having a few words of rebuttal to close the debate.

Mr. Bullbrook: Not at all, not at all.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Thank you. I like to get his assurance ahead of time.

Mr. Speaker, Bill 2 is an Act respecting the Kirkland Lake Board of Education in the dispute between it and its secondary school teachers concerning the renewal of their contract which expired on Aug. 31, 1975. The purpose of the bill is to bring an end to this dispute which has been going on; and the part of the dispute that this bill brings to an end is the strike which has been in effect for 44 days, as of today.

I would like to review very briefly for the House some of the events that led np to the action that we are taking today. Negotiations started on April 9, 1975 -- about 11 months ago, and five months before the contract of the secondary school teachers employed by the Kirkland Lake board expired in August. Meetings were held, and as far as I can ascertain, and I certainly have no reason to believe to the contrary, negotiations continued in good faith.

Of course, as with other disputes, in the interval Bill 100 was passed by this House and became law and became operative in this province. As a result of that and since no contract was in effect on Aug. 31 -- or in effect Sept. 1, 1975, in fact -- the provisions of Bill 100 that provided for the appointment of a fact-finder took effect. On Sept. 11 a fact-finder, Mr. Grant Gillespie, was appointed to study, listen to comments about and make a report concerning that dispute. This report was presented and it was made public on Oct. 30.

Subsequent to the report being made public, and no negotiated settlement of the dispute being arrived at, the Education Relations Commission appointed Mr. Vic Pathe as a mediator, and he met with the parties on numerous occasions between Nov. 24 and Jan. 7, 1976, in an attempt to assist them to bring about a negotiated settlement.

However, no settlement was arrived at and on Jan. 12, 1976, after a vote, again under the ground rules provided for by Bill 100, a strike began of the secondary school teachers against the Kirkland Lake Board of Education. While that strike has been in effect, Mr. Pathe has continued to be available for mediation; and has indeed been meeting with the parties on certain occasions during the course of the strike, this at the direction of the Ontario Education Relations Commission.

That then brings up down to March; and as we moved into the month of March it began to appear that we had here an insoluble situation. On March 1, I received a letter from the director of education of the Kirkland Lake board, indicating that he and the board were very concerned for the programmes of the students under their jurisdiction. On March 3, I asked the Education Relations Commission, through a letter, to assess whether the students’ programmes in this jurisdiction were now in jeopardy.

As a result of that letter and the deliberations of the Education Relations Commission, it was decided to hold a public hearing in Kirkland Lake on March 6, last Saturday. At that time, the chairman of the commission, Mr. Owen Shime, held a hearing and listened to the parties concerned and to arguments concerning the pupils’ programmes and whether they were in jeopardy and indeed the whole matter of whether this dispute could be settled or was likely to be settled in the very near future through negotiations. In other words, could a mediated settlement be arrived at in a reasonably short length of time?

I think it is fair to say that the Education Relations Commission, as they reported to me, believed that there was not too much difference between the parties and that perhaps, with a little encouragement, the parties might arrive at a negotiated settlement. As I’ve said many times in this House, and I will say it again, the preferable way to have these disputes settled, for all concerned, is through a negotiated settlement -- a settlement that is agreeable to both parties, that allows a spirit or atmosphere of the highest accord to be brought back to the schools where there have been certain feelings built up because of a strike and because of contract negotiations. So certainly a negotiated settlement is the preferable way to have a dispute such as this, and indeed all disputes, settled.

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the minister would permit a question so we can understand the chronology here. The minister mentioned that the ERC still felt a negotiated settlement could take place. At what time was that? Could he give us the latest date?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Yes, after the hearing on Saturday, they still believed that because there didn’t seem to be that much difference between the parties, it might be possible to arrive at a negotiated settlement. Therefore, on Monday the commission in Toronto asked both the parties, the teachers and the board, if they would come to Toronto to meet with the commission on Tuesday of this week. The parties agreed and they met with the commission in the afternoon of Tuesday of this week. The commission then talked to the parties about the dispute and pursued with them different ways of perhaps bringing the dispute to some kind of a negotiated conclusion.

As a result of those discussion, they again asked Mr. Pathe, the mediator, assisted at this time by Mr. Douglas Lawless, the chief executive officer of the Education Relations Commission, to meet here in Toronto to see if they couldn’t arrive at some conclusion to their differences and arrive at a settlement to their contract. The parties met through Tuesday evening until about 4 o’clock Wednesday morning. However, I’m told that at that point in time there appeared to be no way that the parties could arrive at a negotiated settlement. They were in fact at an impasse.

The commission at that time, reviewing the events, wrote to the cabinet and indicated in a report, a portion of which I read yesterday, that they felt the continuation of this dispute in Kirkland Lake could jeopardize the programmes of the students. I’ll just quote two sentences from the report, which I will be happy to give to my friend if he wishes to see it or to any of the education critics for the two opposition parties. But the two operative sentences in the report, I think, are these -- and I’m quoting from the report:

“We believe that the time at which the students will have been placed in jeopardy will almost certainly have arrived before a negotiated settlement is concluded.

“[Further, they said] It is our opinion that the continuance of the strike in this dispute will place in jeopardy the successful completion of courses of study by the students affected.”


Now, as members will recall, when we were here in January and discussed the bill concerning the Metropolitan Toronto dispute, I quoted from a statement that I made to the Legislature last spring when we introduced Bill 100. That statement was this:

“This government has no intention of allowing this legislation, that is, Bill 100, to be used to cause a main disruption in the education of pupils, and it’s our public responsibility to retain the right to take specific action, including legislative action, if necessary, should serious disruptions of educational services occur. We have that responsibility and we will not shirk it.”

That’s what we said when we introduced Bill 100, which we think and which we know provided a much more logical and ordered process for the settling of contract disputes between teachers and school boards in this province.

Therefore, the government having received the report yesterday from the Education Relations Commission, felt that we must act and that we must act quickly in this dispute and that we bad only one course of action, given the fact that the dispute has gone on for 44 days, that the Education Relations Commission had reported to us that the pupils’ programmes were in jeopardy and that there appeared to be no way that a negotiated settlement could be arrived at in a very short length of time. Therefore yesterday we indicated our intention and tabled Bill 2 which brings a legislated settlement to this dispute.

The question which logically arises, and I’m sure will arise during this debate, is, when do we exercise this responsibility that we, as a government, indicated that we have and which we cannot shirk and which we will not shirk -- that is, the responsibility of when should we legislate a settlement in a dispute such as this?

Mr. Reid: You didn’t wait that long in Toronto.

Hon. Mr. Wells: We’re not very far off. I would like to stress that we have to consider each dispute as an individual situation. Each particular situation has to be looked at in the context of what is happening there and not as part of a general precedent set by other disputes. We have to find out whether certain things have occurred. I think I indicated what those things are: whether there is no chance of a negotiated settlement being arrived at; whether there is an impasse; what does the commission say about the programmes of the students and the effects that the disturbance is having on those programmes.

Therefore, certainly as far as I’m concerned and this government is concerned, we will look at every dispute as a particular individual situation, not using any particular ground rules. I must say to my friend from Rainy River who interjected that the Toronto dispute didn’t last quite that long, that the thing that bothers me most is that some people say we were more concerned about the Toronto dispute than we were about the dispute in northern Ontario. Nothing could be further from the truth. Anybody who would think such is completely wrong because every dispute in this province, be it in northern Ontario, eastern Ontario, southwestern Ontario or Metro Toronto, gets the same attention by the Education Relations Commission sod the same attention by this government.

Mr. Foulds: Yes, but not by the minister.

Hon. Mr. Wells: By the minister and the ministry. It gets the same attention by everyone.

Mr. Foulds: Not in this case.

Mr. Martel: You were not directly involved.

Hon. Mr. Wells: I was very aware of what was happening at all times in this particular dispute.

Mr. Martel: You’re not directly involved.

Hon. Mr. Wells: In this particular dispute or any of these disputes.

Mr. Martel: How many times were you directly involved in this one as opposed to the Toronto one?

Hon. Mr. Wells: My friend, of course, misses the whole point of Bill 100.

Mr. Martel: I am not missing the whole point.

Hon. Mr. Wells: The point is that I am not supposed to be directly involved in disputes in this province. You may say, “Why were you directly involved in the Metropolitan disputes?” I was wearing two hats in that dispute.

Mr. Martel: Why?

Hon. Mr. Wells: I was also a local member in one of the areas that was affected --

Mr. Reid: That is pretty weak.

Hon. Mr. Wells: -- to the same extent that the member from that area was involved in the dispute in that particular area. How many times did he come and see me and talk to me about it? Perhaps he’d like to indicate that to you.

Mr. Foulds: He will.

Mr. Bain: He won’t have to.

Hon. Mr. Wells: I just have to tell the members, though, that if they think that we consider these matters, because they happen to occur in other areas of the province, with any less seriousness or in any less serious way than we would consider a dispute in Toronto, they are wrong.

Mr. Foulds: Where are your members?

Hon. Mr. Wells: They are wrong.


Hon. Mr. Wells: I want to stress again that we do not, we will not and we have not set any rule that, after a certain length of time, any dispute must be legislated, because to do so would completely abrogate some of the principles of Bill 100.

Mr. Foulds: Quit stealing my stuff.

Hon. Mr. Wells: No, you are stealing my stuff.

Mr. Foulds: No way.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Each dispute must be looked at in its own particular context as a unique matter and that is the way we do it.

Taking everything into consideration, Mr. Speaker, we have concluded that the Kirkland Lake schools must reopen and the teachers return to school this Monday which we believe will and can happen with the concurrence of this House. We think that failure to proceed with this legislation now might place the students in that jurisdiction in an irreparable position as far as their future education and career plans are concerned.

Mr. Spence: Mr. Speaker, might I ask the minister a question?

Mr. Speaker: If he will permit it.

Mr. Spence: When the teachers of secondary schools work to rule for 93 days, when do you take action after 93 days and the teachers go out on strike and they have a school lockout?

Hon. Mr. Wells: I really don’t think that that particular question is relevant to this piece of legislation.

Mr. Speaker: It is not relevant to this piece of legislation.

Hon. Mr. Wells: I would not want to be a party to abusing the rules of this House.


Hon. Mr. Wells: Perhaps the hon. member could direct that question to me during the question period.

Mr. Lawlor: Which school did you go to to learn all the right answers?

Hon. Mr. Wells: I have been listening to you.

Mr. Martel: He’s been taking lessons from the Minister of Correctional Services (Mr. J. R. Smith).

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, the bill that we have introduced today follows, in identical pattern, the bill that was introduced in January to bring to an end the Metro dispute. It requires that the teachers return to school on Monday so that full programmes for the students will be restored immediately.

All matters that remain in dispute will be referred to an arbitrator for a decision. The decision will be given by the arbitrator within 30 days and will be binding upon both parties. Professional activity days will be cancelled for the balance of the school year so that every available day can be used to help students make up the time lost during the strike.

The bill also defines strike as it is defined in Bill 100. The penalty provisions are the same as those which apply in Bill 100.

I think I should say in this debate that we are not enthusiastic about bringing in legislation like this, particularly twice in, I guess, two months’ time. I believed when we brought Bill 100 in that we wouldn’t have to bring in this kind of legislation but, likewise, I have to say that we cannot shirk our responsibility if there is solid evidence that students are being harmed or being detrimentally affected by a dispute.

Therefore, we feel that we really do not have any other alternative but to arrive at the decision we have arrived at. That it, to introduce this bill at this time for this dispute. I hope it will be passed very speedily by this House.

Mr. Bain: This afternoon I would like to introduce a reasoned amendment to the bill that has been brought in by the minister. Briefly, before I deal with some of the important aspects of this dispute, I would request the indulgence of the House. As I’m sure the minister appreciates, yesterday the time frame did not allow us much time to submit a reasoned amendment. If the reasoned amendment is passed, I assume that the minister and the government would allow for a deletion of subsections 4, 5 and 6 in section 3, when we move into committee.

The situation that exists in Kirkland Lake, where the students at Kirkland Lake Collegiate and Vocational Institute have been without their classes since Jan. 12, is indeed a serious one. As the member for the riding I would like to make the members of the House aware of some of the background that has led to this dispute.

Not only is the dispute important for the people of Timiskaming, it is also important for the government -- because the introduction of Bill 2 is beginning to set a precedent. It is also important because of the AIB and its interference in the negotiating process.

Finally, this bill is important because it was wide-reaching implications for the whole collective bargaining process in this province.

As was mentioned, I will officially move the reasoned amendment when I have completed the rationale for its discussion. The introduction of this reasoned amendment by myself and seconded by the member for Port Arthur (Mr. Foulds), the education critic for our party, is an attempt to alleviate what is a very difficult situation. It is an attempt to provide the proper atmosphere in the school once it is reopened. I will deal later with a clause-by-clause presentation of the reasoned amendment.

If you look at Bill 2, which the minister has just presented, or dealt with officially -- he presented it yesterday -- you will find it is a straight piece of back-to-work legislation and arbitration. Unfortunately, it is nothing very creative. As the minister admits, there is nothing that separates this bill from the bill that he introduced to put the Metro teachers back to work.

When the bill was introduced dealing with the dispute in Metro Toronto, my party attempted to add a new element to try to resolve these disputes that result in a strike. We feel that this is an innovative introduction and that it would be very useful in preserving the validity of Bill 100.

Negotiations between the high school teachers and the Kirkland Lake Board of Education began in April, 1975, for the 1975-1976 contract. Prior to the strike vote being given to the board as an official notification, the last negotiations occurred between the board and the teachers on Oct. 22, and the last mediation session occurred on Dec. 4, 1975.

It was not until the notice that strike action would commence on Jan. 12 -- this notice was given on Jan. 6 -- that a flurry of mediation sessions occurred that day, Jan. 6, and on the following day. Despite this last-minute attempt, the board’s offer remained unacceptable to the teachers. On Jan. 2, the teachers of Kirkland Lake Collegiate and Vocational Institute went out on strike. The strike lasts to this day, today being the 44th day of the strike. There are over 1,600 students affected by this strike.


This is some of the short-term background to the present situation in Kirkland Lake. The long-term background, I feel, will help the House to understand the reason for the supposed impasse between the board and the high school teachers.

Before the reorganization of Ontario school districts into regional school boards there was good rapport between the board and the teachers. Indeed, the board paid the high school teachers $400 to $500 on the average above a comparable salary in Toronto. The rationale for this, as presented by the board, was that it was more difficult to attract and keep qualified teachers in the north than it was in southern Ontario, especially in the large urban areas, where there were more amenities and where teachers had easy access to university facilities to upgrade their education.

The secondary school board, it is interesting to note, had the entire administrative staff in a small office in the secondary school. The administrative staff consisted of two people, and at that time the enrolment in the high school was basically the same as it is today. With the advent of regional school boards across the province a massive bureaucracy grew up, and this was also true in the case of Kirkland Lake.

Although there was still only the single high school, there had to be a new regional school board office, there had to be a director of education and the innumerable superintendents all earning large salaries. This meant an additional burden to the taxpayers.

For the teachers, something much more important happened in this transition. The relationship that existed between them and their trustees was eroded and finally obliterated. It was no longer possible for an individual teacher to discuss a problem with an individual board member. That problem had to go through the formal channels and eventually it may or may not get to the board, at the director’s discretion.

I am sure that this is true of most areas in this province. Prior to the regional school board, all the school board members knew the parents and knew the teachers. The board members got together with parents and teachers on a regular basis; everybody knew and respected each other’s opinion and everybody worked together to improve the quality of education.

I recently had an example mentioned to me by a lady in Toronto that brought home this whole problem of regional school boards to me. When she moved to the city she started to teach for the separate school board in Toronto. The first day that she was sick she duly phoned up the number that her principal had given her to report her illness if she should ever have to miss school because of illness. She had automatically assumed this was a number in her own school. It turned out to be a number at the school board that was answered by an answering service. The voice came on and told her that they were grateful for her phoning, could she please leave her name, her address and the school that she teaches in, and the subject she teaches.

Needless to say, she didn’t recover in time to put the message on the tape the first time and she had to phone back. This is the ultimate in impersonality that has been inflicted on the board and the teachers because of regional school boards.

Teachers also feel that the standards in education have fallen, that discipline is eroding, and they look to the minister for leadership. Unfortunately, the Minister of Education -- and I don’t personally fault the minister -- has been willing to take up every “progressive” innovation, and again I think that’s an improper word, that has failed in the United States.

Mr. Martel: He is talking about you, Tom.

Mr. Bain: By the time these innovations were proved to be ineffectual in the United States, they were in full force in Ontario and now we are stuck with many of them, and fortunately I assume the minister will re-evaluate some of these and put education back on a very simple person-to-person basis.

The most important thing in education is the relationship between the student and the teacher and the problems that have arisen because of declining standards, declining leadership, declining discipline, have eroded this relationship. Teachers feel that they are holding np the whole system by themselves.

They need a classroom size that allows them to be able to relate to their students on an individual basis. They also feel it is legitimate to maintain their purchasing power and increase their own salaries. Unfortunately budgetary restraints imposed by the Minister of Education over the last number of years have made it more and more difficult for the teachers to keep pace with inflation. All these problems that are evidenced all across the province have been crystallized in’ Kirkland Lake.

To cap the whole evolution of the impersonal relationship that has arisen, the final crunch came in 1974-1975 when the board hired a professional negotiator from Toronto. Now the board would no longer negotiate directly with its own teachers but would use a professional to do its job.

Specifically, the salaries of the teachers under the jurisdiction of the board continued to fall at the high school level. In 1974-1975, the average salary for a high school teacher at KLCVI was $13,913. The provincial average was $15,231.

As the teachers looked around at the contracts that were awarded by boards in other parts of northeastern Ontario, they found that in 1974-1975 their contract was the lowest. Nipissing, Timiskaming, Timmins, Kapuskasing all had better contracts. For the teachers at KLCVI, this was their catch-up year. If they didn’t get an increase now, with the maturation of the AIB they never would get it in the foreseeable future.

At best, the board’s attitude at times was rigid, if not truculent. I appreciate the board’s position as the provincial government continues to increase grants. Recently I attended a board meeting in Kirkland Lake and the board did not vet know what their exact grant would be and they were extremely worried about the reduction in grants.

On Jan. 23 of this year, Mr. Fred Nuttall, the chairman of the Leeds and Grenville Board of Education, stated that because of the reduction in ministry grants his board faced a 25 per cent increase in the mill rate, simply because of the reduction in grants, not because of any increased costs. The unincreased costs obviously would increase this mill rate even more.

On Tuesday of this week the minister mentioned in his introductory remarks that the ERC met with the board representatives and the teacher negotiating team in an attempt to bring about a negotiated settlement. It is true that the Education Relations Commission summoned the teachers’ negotiating team and board representatives to Toronto to defend their position that the students’ education was in jeopardy, but according to the chairman of the board, the board at no time’ was informed that they would be expected to undertake negotiations while in Toronto -- at no time. Indeed, before the board representatives came to Toronto, a meeting of the board on Monday evening instructed those representatives to offer no more money to negotiate, nothing that would mean an additional payment by the board. Now that is not my idea of constructive negotiation.

We now turn to the problem that my party faces and that I personally face in dealing with any back-to-work legislation. The thought of back-to-work legislation for any group of working people in this province is repugnant to me as it is to the rest of the members in my party. It is with great difficulty I that we support the principle that the school must be re-opened, despite the fact that this entails that the teachers will be legislated back.

I believe that with the reasoned amendment we have introduced we have been able to accomplish the necessity of re-opening a school while -- and this is most important -- contributing to the development of an atmosphere that will be conducive to learning once the school is re-opened. Forcing the teachers back to work without salvaging anything from the board-teacher negotiations will jeopardize the return to a normal school environment.

It is very important now more than ever that the students and the teachers be happy and be ready to get down to work. This cannot be accomplished if the teachers feel they have not benefitted in any way from negotiations and that they are merely being forced back to work now to be hit over the head by the arbitrator later. Decisions by arbitrators are notorious for taking from working people what has been gained by collective bargaining.

Keeping in mind that arbitration is just another way of stepping on working people and hoping to establish a good atmosphere in the school from I the first day it re-opens, I am introducing this amendment which basically says that the progress that was made in the last round of negotiations between the teachers and the board is important and that it must be salvaged. The board and the teachers should resume negotiations. The interim settlement in the first year of the contract would be the board’s last non-prejudiced or non-tabled offer, which was presented on Feb. 27. At that time, both the teachers and the board presented non-prejudiced offers and the offers were only $12,000 apart in the first year.

I believe that this is remarkable progress that the two parties could come this close. I think it says a great deal for the community that this round of negotiations only took place after there was a public board meeting on Feb. 23 and the public would not tolerate the board’s unwillingness to negotiate.

Before I get into the clause-by-clause development of the reasoned amendment, I should simply like to say that the same solution that the government felt was a solution has had serious repercussions in Toronto. You talk to students who are now back to school and they will tell you that things are just not the same. The teachers are not happy, the students are not happy, there’s a tremendous feeling of frustration. I believe it’s important to re-open the school, but it is even more important to re-open the school with a good atmosphere in the school.


This kind of legislation which the government has introduced in Bill 1 -- back to work and arbitration -- has a wider implication for this province. How long will it be before this legislation is introduced again for the teachers in Central Algoma who are also presently out on strike? How long before it will be introduced for the teachers in Sault Ste. Marie who may depart from rotating strikes and embark upon a full-fledged strike? How long will it be before too many Bill 2s have been introduced and Bill 100 has had the last nail driven into its coffin? How long?

Mr. Ferrier: It’s getting easier all the time for them over there.

Mr. Bain: How long will it be before the government uses this bill as a model for the civil servants, for the nurses and for the whole spectrum of the public service that have, believe it or not, used the right they were given -- a right I am sure the government thought they would never use or, at least, hoped they wouldn’t ever use? The right to strike, when all is said and done, is the only right working people have. If we take that away, we are taking away the only thing that makes collective bargaining work in this province. Although it works by a very halting, faltering method -- the government has ensured that -- strike action is the only I safeguard that working people have when they undertake collective bargaining.

How long will it be before that right is removed by this government?

Mr. Bain moved that Bill 2 be not now read a second time but be read a second time one hour hence and that it now be referred back to have incorporated therein the following amendment:

Section 1: Delete subsection (a) and re-letter the remaining subsections.

Section 2: Subsections 1 and 2 to be deleted and the following substituted therefor:

“During the period from and including the first Monday after this Act comes into force, until an agreement as defined under the School Board and Teachers Collective Negotiations Act, 1975, comes into effect, no teacher shall take part in a strike against the board of education, and the board of education shall not lock out a teacher.”

Subsections 3 and 4 to be renumbered 2 and 3.

Section 3: Subsection 1 to be deleted and the following substituted:

The terms and conditions offered by the board to the teachers in a document entitled “Non-prejudiced Offer” dated Feb. 27, 1976, shall be implemented on an interim basis.

Subsection 2 to be deleted and the following substituted:

“The parties involved are instructed to resume forthwith negotiations in good faith in order to resolve all matters remaining in dispute.”

Subsection 3 to be deleted and the following substituted:

:The parties shall each give written notice to the Minister of Education within seven days after the day this Act comes into force setting out all the mattes-s the parties have agreed upon for inclusion in an agreement and the matters remaining in dispute between the parties, and the notice shall be deemed to be a notice to the commission and thereafter, except as provided by section 57 of the School Board and Teachers Collective Negotiations Act, 1975, a party shall not withdraw from the negotiation hereinafter provided for.”

Section 4 to be deleted in its entirety.

Mr. Bain: It is essential that the school be reopened in Kirkland Lake but it is also essential that a good atmosphere be established in the school. The amendment that I have just moved, and Mr. Foulds has seconded, will accomplish both goals: The school will be reopened; the students and the teachers will resume their studies. The board’s non-prejudiced offer will be the interim settlement of the monetary items in the first year of the contract, and the board and the teachers will be instructed to resume negotiations in good faith in order to resolve all matters remaining in dispute.

This means that the minister must take a more active role than he has in the dispute between the high school teachers and the Kirkland Lake Board of Education. To resolve the problems through negotiations, it will be essential that the minister lend his good offices to that effort.

This amendment is not the easy way out but, as both the parties involved -- both the teachers and the board -- have said a negotiated settlement would be the best kind of settlement, this amendment would reopen the school, take the pressure off both the board and the teachers and allow them to resolve their outstanding differences. This course of action will be the best for the community, for the parents, for the teachers, especially for the students and for the collective bargaining rights of working people all across this province.

Mr. Ferris: Mr. Speaker, I would like to address the House today on this matter. As a party, we will support the legislation and, as was true in January, we will not agree with the reasoned amendment as put forward.

Mr. Foulds: Not surprised.

Mr. Warner: I’m not surprised.

Mr. Ferris: The reasons for going to legislation of this type are no different than they were in January; in fact, it is almost like we never left the subject. It’s only three legislative days ago, I believe, that we were doing the same thing. And we said that we would be here; we knew these people were on strike and we expected it.

But let’s not forget that we also are the people who were involved on the educational boards of the province; we knew last June, when this bill was passed, that the minister would be doing this at some time or other. So it certainly can’t come as a total surprise.

Of course, the reason we are here is the 1,500 students who are involved in the Kirkland Lake High School dispute. Already, we are told, approximately 130 have opted to go to other jurisdictions to get their education. It’s not possible for all of them to do that. We are also told that some of them have terminated their school programme and have started working. The question is, will these people ever come back? So we must first of all think about what is happening to the students.

We have gone through, as the minister has said, 11 mouths of negotiations since it began. No school, in effect, has been taught for 44 days, which is longer than the Metro strike and perhaps raises the question in my mind, who is ever going to decide what the magic number is? I totally agree with the minister when he says this is not a judgement that can be made on a number of days. Each one has to be treated, as he states, exactly as a unique situation.

But it bothers me a little bit that in this small community, where there would probably be much fewer facilities of a community nature -- libraries, resource centres or even people who are qualified to help students because of their background, perhaps at university -- there is obviously much less of that type of input available to help these students than there is in the Metro area, yet here we don’t even go and get into it until it’s a longer strike than the Metro situation. That upsets me rather strongly that we are not asking a quicker or more positive look in getting involved in the smaller areas.

The area for which I find the greatest criticism is in the workings of the ERC. They should be a very independent body. We have been told they are. The minister uses them once in a while in a fairly good stick- handling method to protect himself. I believe their role is to begin very early in the process to get involved, to really analyse the local situation much more publicly than they are doing at this time. I think they have this responsibility to do it. I don’t think that they should be waiting for a call from the Minister of Education to say: “Tell me, are they really jeopardizing the programmes?” I think that is their responsibility to begin with. I don’t think they have to wait for the minister.

We come down to the real question of how we would make the ERC more effective. That is surely what must be addressed in the near future.

I would also concur with the member of the NDP who thinks there could be some positive effects by the minister’s office, or even the Premier’s office, getting involved in the actual bargaining process -- even if it is bringing them together in the minister’s office, or any place else that they would be willing to meet, and sitting down and trying to work out some positive settlement before the prolonged period goes on.

Of course, the end result is that we’re here for one purpose. We listened to all of the arguments that were made through the two days we spent in January. I believe that we should move reasonably quickly. We have learned nothing -- although we probably should have -- from the debate and the settlement in Toronto. It would appear that the ERC has not learned to move more quickly. And so, we will support the legislation to restore the programmes for these students -- which, in my judgement, I believe were irreparably damaged a long time ago. We would not support the reasoned amendment for the same reasons we gave before. All it should do would be to sot an interval salary and negotiations would have no meaningful reason to ever come to any culmination. It would simply drag it on, on and on. I don’t think that that would, in fact, create any better spirit within the school.

Mr. Bain: It wouldn’t if the minister got involved.

Mr. Ferris: The minister has a firm position. He doesn’t want to become involved.

Mr. Warner: It is his problem.

Hon. Mr. Wells: I’ve been involved in so many.

Mr. Ferris: The problems that are brought to the minister from the people of the north seem to be valid. Many times there seems to be a direct relationship about the acuteness of a problem depending on how close you are to the city of Toronto. I think there may be a great deal of truth in that. I think that we should proceed at this point with this legislation and help these children to get back to the school -- reopen it.

We recognize that there are problems between the teachers and the students in relationship to the Toronto situation. Hopefully, this will not continue. It certainly demands on the part of all the people involved in it, a great deal of effort to restore a positive atmosphere after such a prolonged period. We would certainly hope that if this is carried out it could possibly restore the excellent system that exists, or had existed in the Kirkland Lake area.


Mr. Foulds: I rise with a tremendous sense of frustration, with a tremendous sense of déjà vu and with a tremendous sense of anger.

Mr. Shore: What does that mean?

Mr. Foulds: I rise with a tremendous sense of anger, because as I look around me I see that this Legislature, this government, the teachers’ federations, the trustees’ associations do not take a dispute in northern Ontario nearly as seriously as they do one in Metropolitan Toronto. That, being at the centre of the media, has a tremendous influence on the way government and legislators and agencies of government respond to a crucial problem.

Whatever side of the question you happen to be on, there can be no doubt, as you view the emptiness of the benches in the House, the emptiness of the galleries, that somehow in Ontario a small northern board and the education of those children and the concerns of that board and those teachers are not elevated to the prime level that the Metro Toronto dispute was. Once again, it seems that the judgement is made on the basis of numbers, not on the issue involved. The legislation that we have before us is an exact parallel, with one or two minor differences in wording, to the legislation that we had before us on Jan. 15 and our response, I suppose, was predictable. Our response is a parallel response.

Our response, I want to explain, tries to separate the two principles that are incorporated in the bill. Like any responsible political party, we feel, with the minister, that the time has arrived for the re-opening of the schools, but we do not feel that compulsory arbitration is the answer. We feel that that is almost a knee-jerk response on the part of the government and the Liberals and that it takes away a very hard won right. I want, if I may, to develop a little excursus -- and I wish the current and temporary leader of the Liberal Party were here. On Feb. 28 in the Globe and Mail, if the Globe and Mail reported Mr. Stuart Smith’s speech accurately, he accused this party, Her Majesty’s loyal and official opposition, of irresponsibility. I want to quote from the report. He was talking about the hospital cuts, in fact, but he said --

Mr. Sweeney: Deal with the issues, Jim.

Mr. Foulds: I am getting into the issues. He said:

“The NDP is forced to take such a position because of its ties to big unions. That is why the party had to argue for seven hours before they came out with what eventually was a ridiculous amendment to the teachers’ back-to-work legislation. The amendment talked about the need for negotiation and the need for a ceiling. but the plain fact was that they voted against the legislation and don’t forget to tell people that when you are going door-to- door in the next election, especially at houses where there are children. It was the NDP who refused to vote the teachers back to work to get the kids taught.”

I say, Mr. Speaker, that is complete irresponsibility. It is crass political talk because --

Mr. Sweeney: How did you vote, Jim-?

Mr. Foulds: -- they did so badly in Metropolitan Toronto --

Mr. Good: But it is true, nevertheless; it is true.

Mr. Foulds: -- and it misrepresents our position, because our position was to reopen the schools then, as it is now.

Mr. Sweeney: How did you vote, Jim?

Mr. Good: Actions speak louder than words.

Mr. Speaker: Order please.

Mr. Foulds: I would like to point out, in speaking to this bill as in speaking to that bill, the present and temporary leader of the Liberal Party wasn’t in the House very much during that debate because he was too busy out hustling votes for the leadership. Considering the narrowness of his margin, I can understand why.

Mr. Sweeney: You seem unusually concerned about it.

Mr. Speaker: Order please. Will the hon. member return to the principle of the bill?

Mr. Foulds: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I’d be delighted to return to the principle of the bill.

Mr. Sweeney: Put your actions where your mouth is.

Mr. Speaker: Order please, order.

Mr. Martel: It’s not him; control those jackals.

Mr. Speaker: Would you give the courtesy to the hon. member so that he might continue?

Mr. Foulds: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As the previous speaker in the debate, the leadoff speaker for the Liberal Party indicated that the principle in this bill is the same as the one that we’ were debating in January, I thought it might be appropriate to cite some parallel situations: The absence of the Liberal leader in the House today during this important debate in terms of the north, the absence during that debate in January and his subsequent erroneous comments.

Mr. Sweeney: Here’s your speech, Jim, do you want to read it again? Do you want to read it again, the same speech?

Mr. Shore: Where’s your leader, Mr. Foulds?

Mr. Sweeney: Where is he? The Toronto gallery isn’t here to play to.

Mr. Foulds: He’ll be in, he’ll be in.

Mr. Speaker: Order please, order.

An hon. member: Mr. Speaker, control the third party.

Mr. Martel: It’s those jackals down there.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member will continue.

Mr. Foulds: Yes, I certainly will; you better believe it, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Martel: Grossman is interjecting on behalf of the Liberals because he might jump over there. He’s going to play it safe.

Mr. Foulds: There are substantial differences both in the circumstances and the elements of the dispute. In January, the minister led off on the debate, on Jan. 15, saying this: “Over the past year, every possible avenue has been explored in an attempt to achieve a negotiated settlement.” He did not say that in leading off today.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Oh yes, I’ll say it for you now.

Mr. Martel: You are accommodating.

Mr. Foulds: And the reason he did not say that is that it has not happened.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Oh yes it has.

Mr. Foulds: Because in this particular dispute the minister has not become personally involved, as he felt compelled to do by the pressure of his own caucus and the media in the Metro Toronto dispute.

Mr. Martel: He’s right.

Hon. Mr. Wells: I even left it to the member for the area. He tried to settle it and he couldn’t arrive at a settlement.

Mr. Martel: Did you give him the authority?

Mr. Foulds: Did you give him the ministerial authority to do so?

Hon. Mr. Wells: He’s got the authority as a member of the House --

Mr. Speaker: Order please.

Mr. Foulds: I’m saying, and I’m saying with some seriousness, that this dispute has dragged on longer because the ministry and the government could conveniently let it drag on longer, so that it could become the longest dispute in teacher-board negotiations in Ontario. There was no special session of the House called for the northern Ontario dispute. There were no ministerial interventions called for the northern Ontario dispute. Even the little addition, the clarification in the language of the bill, which clearly points out that the cost of the arbitration for each side will be picked up by the parties, didn’t happen in the Metro dispute.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Oh, yes it did.

Mr. Foulds: What happened? Did you get stuck with the bill or do you just have to sort that out?

Hon. Mr. Wells: We made them pay.

Mr. Foulds: Those kinds of discriminatory things happen and speak volumes about the attitude towards the dispute and its importance in the picture of Ontario.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, in Metropolitan Toronto the parties did pay but it was pointed out to us that it was rather ambiguous in the bill. That means that the parties paid for their own lawyers and the legal time and so forth to prepare their case.

Mr. Foulds: They had a little trouble with that so they thought they would clinch it up this time. But I don’t object to the addition in principle. I wished you had had it in the last one.

Hon. Mr. Wells: No, no, it’s the lawyers.

Mr. Foulds: It’s the lawyers’ fault is it? The principle in our reasoned amendment is twofold. One of them is to get the schools open and the second one is that compulsory negotiations take place. Those seem to me to be two quite reasonable principles that an imaginative government would try to embody in legislation.

I suppose the members of my party feel as we sometimes did in the 1971-75 session, a little beleaguered; we have a little feeling of “Why do we fight this battle?” because we know the Liberals aren’t going to support it. We knew that from our experiences in January.

Mr. Sweeney: That’s why you introduced the amendment.

Mr. Foulds: If it’s a labour dispute, the Liberals won’t support it.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please, would the hon. member address the Chair rather than the third party?

Mr. Foulds: As a matter of fact, before I was distracted, Mr. Speaker, I was speaking directly to you.

An hon. member: He was even pointed at you.

Mr. Sweeney: Provocative!

Mr. Foulds: And this brouhaha to my left made me glance in this direction briefly.

Mr. Warner: The anti-labour Liberal.

Mr. Foulds: As I said, we know that this ragtag and bobtail group over here will not support us. We knew that we are going against the government legislation; we know that we are going to go down to legislative defeat on this particular reasoned amendment. It is still important to us because the rights of working men and women are important to us and to this party.

Mr. Warner: And not to the government.

Mr. Laughren: And not to the Liberals.

Mr. Foulds: The authoritarian nature of compulsory arbitration is not an acceptable principle to this party.

Mr. Warner: It is repugnant.

Mr. Foulds: Every single time that the government withdraws that right, every single time that it does, it compromises the collective bargaining process and the hard-fought rights of working men and women, whether it is with teachers or elevator workers or railway workers or transit workers.

Mr. Martel: In fact, the liberals have never supported labour. They have always voted for compulsory arbitration.


Mr. Speaker: Order please.


Mr. Nixon: The Liberal-Labour Party supports us.

Mr. Foulds: I would like, if I might, to explore for a few moments the crisis in education that this particular bill points up, because there is, there must be, something profoundly wrong with an educational system in which the workload and the frustrations are so great on the part of teachers, on the part of administrators and on the part of trustees, all of whom I believe to be reasonable people, when a breakdown such as this has occurred when they were apparently so close.

There is something profoundly wrong, and it seems to me that we should as legislators examine that question very closely. I think that the solution may not be the obvious one of some reworking of what we refer to as Bill 100. I want to refer to one of the things that disturbed me when I and my colleague from Timiskaming met with some of the representatives of the board yesterday, late morning or noon --

Mr. Hall: He is here now.

Mr. Foulds: Terrific, I am glad to see him here. Mr. Speaker, I am glad to welcome the pink panther or toothless tiger, the leader of the Liberal Party, to the debate.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Would the hon. member return to the principle of the bill, please.

Mr. Martel: This is the old leader. The new leader was trying to steal the mace today.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.


Mr. Foulds: If I can get back to the principle of the bill, Mr. Speaker, to one of the things that disturbed me. I thought the meeting was a very good one and I felt that the representatives were fairly reasonable and objective people and they were trying to present as objectively as they could their position to us. One of the things that disturbed me is that they felt -- at least they indicated to us -- that it was already too late in some instances, that the dispute had gone on too long, that the courses would not be completed. If that is so, then the fact that this piece of legislation will simply reopen the schools emphasizes the fact that it will simply be an opening of the schools rather than a reopening of the educational system that will fundamentally assist the young men and women in it.

During the debate in January I think I put a fairly spirited defence of the Education Relations Commission and certainly of the bill, the general legislation. I must confess that at the present time I have some doubts about the effectiveness of the ERC either in the beginning stages of negotiation or in those final stages before the breakdown comes. I think that it very seriously needs to pay attention to upgrade the kind of personnel that it puts into those situations so that an effective mediation fact-finding can take place.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Are you suggesting that the mediator wasn’t of the calibre that should have been there?

Mr. Foulds: What I am suggesting is that in educational disputes there is some additional expertise that needs to be gained by the commission and the people working in it, even by the mediators that have very good and traditional labour mediation backgrounds. I think that some of the traditional tactics, if I may say so, that have been associated with so respected a figure as Mr. Dickie may not apply particularly well in the teacher-board negotiations procedures; there needs to be adaptation of some of those tactics. That’s what I am saying.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Pathe is very highly qualified.

Mr. Foulds: I know Mr. Pathe and I know of his work and it’s very good but he still was unsuccessful. I know you win some and you lose some, but I think that one of the primary jobs of the Education Relations Commission over the next few months, as we examine these disputes that have occurred -- and it could very easily be done in conjunction with the Ministry of Labour -- is to look at this whole question of public sector disputes and some of the particular items, which may not be monetary, that seem to cause the greatest friction and how these could be solved relatively early in negotiations.

I don’t have any magic solution. My party, believe it or not, doesn’t pretend to have any magic solution in this area. But I think it’s an area that we have found has not worked as effectively as we would have hoped when we originally passed the bill.

I want to deal very briefly with my remaining 16 points --

Mr. Grossman: Sixteen?

Mr. Deans: He read those same 16 points in caucus this morning.

Mr. Grossman: It could be 60; let’s not complain.

Mr. Foulds: Yes, the same 16 I read to the caucus this morning.

Mr. Martel: It took three hours and there were no interjections. Can you imagine?

Hon. Mr. Wells: I can’t imagine you not making an interjection.

Mr. Martel: I sat quietly through it all.

Mr. Deans: He wasn’t there.

Mr. Foulds: I suppose the major question is, what is the government up to and what are the results of this kind of legislation? I think that the government, on Jan. 15 set us, as a Legislature, on a course that is slowly becoming irreversible; and I think it is a dangerous course that the government has set out for us. What are we going to do?

Are we going to set aside every second Thursday for single-bill emergency legislation dealing with unsettled teachers’ disputes? Can we expect a bill entitled, An Act respecting the Kent County Board of Education and Teachers’ Dispute, two weeks from today? Can we expect a bill four weeks from today entitled, An Act respecting the Central Algoma Board of Education and Teachers’ Dispute? Can we expect a bill six weeks from today entitled, An Act respecting the Sault Ste. Marie Board of Education and Teachers’ Dispute? And can we expect, maybe eight weeks today, a bill entitled, An Act respecting the Provincial Schools Authority and Teachers’ Dispute? There’s a road that we’re on that I really don’t like.

If I may take a little excursus to talk about the Provincial Schools Authority, I think that the ministry has a lot to answer for there, because the principle is the same. The Provincial Schools Authority, far more than boards of education across the province, are almost provoking those teachers to a strike vote. When that particular group volunteered to submit all outstanding items to arbitration, one of the negotiators for the provincial schools authority -- I’m not sure who -- answered them and this ties into the principle of this bill: “Do you want to give up your right to strike? We’ll take it out of the legislation right now if that’s what you want.” That seems to me to be sabre rattling. And the government itself --

Hon. Mr. Wells: No.

Mr. Foulds: I’ll swear to it.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Oh, I can imagine --

Mr. Foulds: The government itself has set a damnable example and those particular teachers have not received an offer since the fall. Now, if we’re preaching to the boards of education and to the teachers’ federations across the province to bargain in good faith, I think that the government should set an example.

Mr. Martel: They’re setting an example -- a bad one.

Mr. Foulds: But they’re setting a confrontation example, which is what worries me. And, for example, by the Provincial Schools Authority refusing to bargain working conditions, they are encouraging boards to not bargain working conditions. In this respect, I must say that the boards to a large extent have been far more progressive than the ministry.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Can I just correct my friend, if he will let me, Mr. Speaker? Certainly we are not refusing to bargain on working conditions; that’s in the legislation. If our negotiators are not working in the spirit of the legislation and bargaining on working conditions, they are not adhering to the spirit of that legislation. They are certainly doing so without our authority.

Mr. Foulds: I am saying to you very seriously, Mr. Speaker, and through you to the minister, that the negotiators are not observing the spirit of that legislation.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Of course, there is a fine line between not bargaining and sort of saying “Look, that’s what it will be.”

Mr. Foulds: No. They are saying that’s not even going to be in the contract.

Mr. Shore: This is not a debate.

Mr. Foulds: If we can expect a bill a week or every two weeks, when can we expect the final bill? The final bill imposing compulsory arbitration on all teacher-board disputes?

Mr. Laughren: That’s a good question.

Mr. Foulds: That is the question that I think every member of this Legislature has to examine today. Are we going to say this is the last bill?

Mr. Laughren: The Liberals would.

Mr. Foulds: Or are we going to say there are going to be six more?

An hon. member: Do away with Bill 100.

Mr. Foulds: I really am very disturbed about this question, I think it’s a fundamental one that faces us.

Mr. Shore: How you are going to vote?

Mr. Foulds: How are we going to vote? We are going to vote for our reasoned amendment and against the legislation.

Mr. Nixon: I just want that clear. You are voting against opening the schools?

Mr. Foulds: No. That’s what the member for Hamilton West tried to say.

Mr. Bain: We are in favour of reopening the school, we are not in favour of sacrificing the whole collective bargaining process in this province.

Mr. Laughren: That’s just your smokescreen.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Martel: Now, Bob.

Mr. Foulds: I am glad to see that the elder statesman of the Liberal Party has joined the debate and will be making a contribution to the debate.

Mr. Speaker: Would the hon. member please go back to the principle of the bill.

Mr. Sweeney: Straight talk, no beating around the bush.

Mr. Nixon: You are going to vote the same way you did on the Toronto bill? Fine, go ahead. You are making the same speech and it’s almost as good as it was last time.

An hon. member: After a remark like that, he won’t be the elder statesman.

Mr. Foulds: I hope that his contribution will be more than the extended interjections he has made so far.


Mr. Foulds: Coming from you that’s high praise indeed. I appreciate it.

Mr. Cunningham: Put your jacket on.

Mr. Martel: It was cold in those days.

Mr. Foulds: If I can get to a few specifics -- we opposed the bill on Jan. 15, 1976, because of the principle I have just enunciated. The erosion starts --

Mr. Nixon: Your leader made it quite clear he didn’t oppose the bill. He was supporting the amendment when he voted against it.

Mr. Martel: Where is your leader?

Mr. Breaugh: Where is that other Liberal leader? He does much better than you.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Everybody will have an opportunity to enter the debate.

Mr. Martel: Mr. Holton ran out with the mace.

Mr. Foulds: Will the real Liberal leader please stand up?

Mr. Speaker: Will the hon. member continue with the principle of the bill, please.

Mr. Wildman: The leadership of the Liberal Party is illegal, remember.

Mr. Foulds: I am just consulting my floorplan to see --

Mr. Martel: He can’t find Holton’s seat.

Mr. Foulds: -- who those cheap jibes are coming from.

We opposed the individual piece of legislation on Jan. 15 because it eroded a basic hard-won right for full and free collective bargaining. We are opposing this piece of legislation for the very same reason.

Mr. S. Smith: The member for Scarborough West (Mr. Lewis) said it was because there was no floor. That’s all he said.

Mr. Foulds: Are you going to enter the debate?

Mr. Nixon: We are trying to improve your speech.

Mr. Foulds: Terrific; which one?

Mr. Speaker: Will the hon. member please ignore the interjections and proceed with the presentation?

Mr. Martel: Is the member for Armourdale (Mr. Givens) getting in on this debate later on?

Mr. Foulds: Yes, where is he? Is he coming in on this debate?

Mr. Martel: If he gets in he can tell us about the working slobs. I will wear my button and send him one.

Mr. Shore: Can you read it?

Mr. Martel: Get him in here.

Mr. Foulds: In the minister’s statement yesterday, the minister said that the commission held a hearing in Kirkland Lake last Saturday, “And a further hearing with the board and the teachers here in Toronto yesterday. The parties negotiated from yesterday afternoon until 4 o’clock this morning. However, they came to an impasse.”

I would have to say that negotiations in this particular dispute appear to be at an impasse. Nothing further seems to be taking place, nor does it seem possible that anything further will take place.


I think the Education Relations Commission made a very serious error if what the board reported to us is accurate. Because when they were told after the commission hearings on Saturday, to come to Toronto, they had no idea that it was for further negotiation and they were not informed, to the best of my knowledge, according to the information that they gave us yesterday, that they would be expected to negotiate. The team that came down in this last-minute attempt from the board did net have a mandate from the board for further negotiation.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Why did they negotiate, then?

Mr. Bain: They were told they had better; so they sat down and listened, but you weren’t going to do anything.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Will the hon. member continue with his remarks?

Mr. Foulds: In fact, the minister’s interjection is a germane one. Ultimately the result was that they didn’t negotiate because they did not move from their position. The exercise, although dramatic and apparently real, was a fraudulent one and deemed to failure. I think that that is something we should clearly understand and that both parties in the commission should get on the same wave-length about, that when they’re calling people together they clearly outline to them that they’re calling them together to talk turkey, to talk negotiation. If they don’t have the mandate to do that, let’s not fool around with the grandstand gesture of the last moment.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Did they think they were coming down here for a tea party?

Mr. Martel: I wouldn’t be surprised. It wouldn’t be the first one you guys threw.

Mr. Foulds: They probably thought that the Minister of Government Services (Mrs. Scrivener) was going to award the great seal of Ontario to someone.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Foulds: I just want, very briefly, to sum up, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Martel: That’s only point 12.

Mr. Foulds: According to the material that I have in front of me, according to the board, there are only five or six outstanding items. The parties are extremely close on the first year. The teachers seem to be willing to submit the second year to voluntary but binding arbitration. The board seems, as I understand it, willing to submit only three of the outstanding items in the second year of binding arbitration but they don’t seem that far apart.

What we have here is a genuine tragedy, a breakdown in collective bargaining. We have a tragedy in view of the intervention by the Legislature to erode once again the collective bargaining process. I am disturbed that the Education Relations Commission did not see fit in the judgement that the minister was good enough to pass on to me to include in its decision the reasons for its conclusion that a negotiated settlement was not possible.

I have a very uneasy feeling that they were instructed to rush to judgement by the minister and that the commission is not as independent an authority as he would like to make it out and behind which he sometimes hides when he says it is not his job to intervene directly in these disputes.

My colleague from Timiskaming has outlined the reasons for our reasoned amendment. We have outlined those reasons and some of my other colleagues will be elaborating on those points. It seems to me that our proposed legislation accomplishes a couple of things that the minister’s legislation does not. It goes further in that it provides for a floor agreement. It is the model by which both sides can get out from under the impasse that they are presently at and it does not impose the very repugnant and repulsive erosion of collective bargaining. For all these reasons it was my honour to second the reasoned amendment and to oppose the bill as it is presently drafted.

Mr. Sweeney: Mr. Speaker, members of both opposition parties, both now and back on Jan. 15, have given many of the arguments. I don’t intend to repeat them. However, there are a couple of points I would like to exchange with the minister at this time because I think they are fundamental. They have been touched on but perhaps I can put them in a slightly different context.

The first one is: How many times do we have to go through it and when are we going to learn? If I may repeat something that was said on Jan. 15:

“We are studying a precedent at this point in time knowing full well that very shortly, in other places in this province, we may have to deal with similar situations. We know right now, for example, that in Kirkland Lake a strike vote has already been taken and, further, a lot of damage has already been done but, surely, the time has come to put an end to it.”

Mr. Bain: They’ve been out on strike since January.

Mr. Sweeney: To continue:

“It is going to take a long time to retrieve that damage but we cannot let it go on any longer and we must do whatever possible to retrieve it.

“Finally, the longer we let this drag out the deeper and more intransigent it is going to become. The sooner we can retrieve it, the sooner it can be resolved, the sooner we can return to some kind of normalcy.”

Mr. Laughren: Who said that?

Mr. Lewis: Who said that?

Mr. Bain: Who said it?

Mr. Sweeney: I would also like to remind the minister that on Jan. 15 he, in his remarks, made this observation towards the end:

“This strike has emphasized, if it needed emphasizing, that there are seldom winners in a dispute of this kind.”

Mr. Lewis: Who is he quoting from? Himself? He quoted himself in the Legislature. Come on!

Mr. Mancini: To make sure it is on the record.

Mr. S. Smith: He is entitled to quote from a previous address.

Mr. Sweeney: Mr. Speaker, the point that I would try to make is that we cannot afford to go on doing this time after time. It was understandable that in the first strike perhaps there was some justification for going on for 38 days. We were all in a learning process at that time: The board, the teachers, the Education Relations Commission and this Legislature. Surely, we must have learned something from that?

As a matter of fact, this particular strike that we are now dealing with began three days before we brought in the former legislation. Why was it necessary to let this one drag out for 44 days?

The minister pointed out that each case is different; each case must be judged on its own merits. Surely, in this particular case, we could appreciate the fact that a smaller northern community did not have the local environmental resources to support a strike even as long as the Toronto one. It did not have the alternative educational opportunities for the students. It didn’t have the alternative work opportunities for the students. If anything, surely, this one needed to be ended sooner. Surely, we didn’t have to go through the same old ground over and over again?

How, I ask, are the members of this Legislature supposed to explain to the parents and the students of this province that we can justify a group of students taking out in excess of 40 school days -- 40 instruction days; the equivalent of two months of the school year -- and that it is not going to hurt their programme? It has to go on that long before we say that their programme is in jeopardy.

Surely, there has to be something drastically wrong with the programming of the secondary schools in this province if we can take 20 per cent of it out before we say it has any impact on those students. How long do we have to go on? How many times do we have to repeat the process by which we allow the morale of teachers to degenerate and degenerate? Are we going to allow the same thing to happen in Kirkland Lake as happened in Toronto? We see the continuation of that depression, that bitterness, that lowness of morale still in the schools of this city. Are we going to let it happen again in Kent and Sault Ste. Marie and the other places? Mr. Speaker, I say, surely if we are responsible legislators, we must learn something from what is happening in this province. Let me speak very briefly of the Education Relations Commission. We really have to ask ourselves if it is working effectively. According to Bill 100, it says that “the powers of the commission shall be exercised by resolution and the commission may pass resolutions,” etc. In other words, the commission itself is supposed to decide what it is to do. And further on it says: “To advise the Lieutenant Governor in Council when, in the opinion of the commission

Why is it that that commission is not acting sooner? Why is it not using the powers that it has? Why does it appear it has to wait for a statement or a request from the minister of this government to say, “I think you should go in now and check up on it”? Why does it have to wait for 38, 39, 40 days before that kind of direction is given to it? And even when it is given, when the commission is supposed to go up to Kirkland Lake and meet with the people, why is it that only one member of the commission, in fact, does go? Surely that commission is not doing its job.

Let me make one other observation. In Bill 100 a strike is defined as including any action “that is designed to curtail, restrict, limit or interfere with the operation of the school programme, including work to rule. My colleague earlier this afternoon mentioned that in his jurisdiction a school board has had a work to rule in effect for 93 days -- and the Education Relations Commission has not even looked into it. That school board is now lucked out, as far as we know.

Hon. Mr. Wells: That is not correct.

Mr. Sweeney: I stand corrected, Mr. Minister, if you have different information.

Mr. Nixon: They have looked into it and done nothing.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Well, I just have to tell my friend, Mr. Speaker, that in the context of what they looked for -- that is, the pupils’ programme being in jeopardy and the context being the academic programmes -- they are not and have not been in jeopardy in that particular case.

Mr. Sweeney: We have had phone calls from the parents of these children who say that, in their opinion, the programme is in jeopardy. Should that not be taken into consideration?

Hon. Mr. Wells: In the Kent county situation, I would be happy for you to send those over to me. But I am talking about the academic programmes, the gaining of credits; if those programmes are in jeopardy because of the situation --

Mr. Shore: How do you know?

Mr. Sweeney: It is the opinion of the parents that those programmes are in jeopardy. The only point I am trying to make is that in our opinion in that case, and in these two particular cases where we have a strike, where we have had to introduce a bill, it would not appear as if the commission is doing the task assigned to it by Bill 100. We don’t seem to be learning from the experience.

Mr. Speaker, the critical point right now is to examine once again how many times are we going to allow this to go on. How many days does it take? How often do we have to be faced with this before we move in quickly and accurately without abrogating the jurisdiction of the boards or the teachers in this matter? We cannot repeat it.

Mr. Laughren: Good question.

Mr. Speaker: Perhaps before the next speaker gets started, I might recognize the clock.

Mr. Lewis: The member from Nickel Belt has the floor?

Mr. Laughren: I was about to move the adjournment of the debate, Mr. Speaker.

The House recessed at 6 p.m.