30e législature, 3e session

L017 - Mon 29 Mar 1976 / Lun 29 mar 1976

The House met at 2 p.m.


Mr. Speaker: Statements by the ministry.

Oral questions.


Mr. Lewis: I have a question of the Minister of Natural Resources, if I may. Can I ask him to table with the Legislature the recent readings at the United Asbestos Mine in Matachewan, to which he has publicly referred and the Minister of Health (Mr. F. S. Miller) has referred, but which readings I don’t think are yet posted in the mine nor are they known by members of the House?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: I’ll be glad to table those readings. I can say to the Leader of the Opposition that in my recent visit to Matachewan the report had not reached the union or the mine as yet when we were there but we did leave them a copy of our report which we had with us, and they were instructed, I believe, to post those reports. I’ll certainly check into that and make sure that the readings are tabled in this House.

Mr. Lewis: Thank you. Did the minister realize that United Asbestos is advertising, even today, about “immediate opportunities available” for electricians, fabrication welders, sheet metal workers, mill shift bosses, all of them available at Matachewan? Did he know they say, “Our employees enjoy good competitive wages, a good benefits programme and an outstanding home ownership policy”? Might he advise them to recommend as to the hazards of working in such an environment as well as the joys and the money?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: This is a matter that we went into in some detail with the company itself. I’d have to admit I was not perfectly satisfied, myself or my staff or other members of the various ministries, with the way that the company handled new employees. I think I might say we were very firm in suggesting that the company get on immediately with some employment information and training programmes so that the men really know what the dangers of asbestos and asbestosis can or will be in the future.


Mr. Lewis: I have another question of the Minister of Natural Resources, if I may. Because of the controversial resignation of Pierce Plato, whose name he will know in the Chatham district conservation office, he instituted, I gather, an inquiry into the problems of commercial fishing in Lake Erie and the enforcement of the law. Can he indicate to the House when that inquiry within his ministry will be over and when the results can be tabled with the Legislature?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Speaker, this was an internal request I made to my assistant deputy minister for southern Ontario, Bill Foster. He was at the meeting. I was not totally pleased or satisfied with the information reaching me; I asked him to do an in-depth study and report back to me. He has done that and I would be pleased to give the hon. member the results of that particular study.

I might say that Mr. Plato has resigned, as a result of certain differences. I might also say that he has already applied for a position in other parts of Ontario with the Ministry of Natural Resources. We are certainly considering that because he is an excellent conservation officer.

Mr. Lewis: Yes; you described the situation as disgraceful, as I recall, at one point.

Might I ask the minister, in the process of the investigation, did he look into the material coming from his ministry on the state of commercial fishing generally in Lake Erie; and the remarks from Mr. Gage, which were supported by Mr. Fortner, the district manager in Chatham? Mr. Gage said, some months ago, and I quote his memo to the government:

“The government will likely be going to the electorate within the next six months. In the interval, any law enforcement officer who embarks on a law enforcement crusade into an area where he has not been a strong presence will indeed soon learn that there is a fine art in timing the initiation of new plans.”

Has the minister discussed with his ministry the election orientation of much that takes place? It has happened before.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: No, Mr. Speaker, there was no reference or discussion within my ministry about an election or the possible enforcement of any laws at that particular point in time. I have never done that. This is certainly not a point. We have a responsibility to manage resources, regardless of any political overtones that may or may not be around. That doesn’t enter the picture at all.

I will say to the member with regard to fish management for Lake Erie, that is an area we have gone into in some considerable depth. In fact, very recently I have indicated to the commercial fishermen on Lake Erie that there will be some very strong corrective measures taken. Recent reports reaching me indicate they have accepted this, knowing they have to protect the fisheries of Lake Erie or their future is in jeopardy.


Mr. Lewis: A question of the acting Minister of Health, if I may. How is it that the minister immediately to his left, the member for Hamilton Mountain (Mr. J. R. Smith), knew three weeks ago of the government’s intention to close the acute part of the Chedoke Hospital, and said so publicly yesterday, when that information was in fact not shared with other members from the Hamilton area; nor was it shared with members of the community in advance of the closing?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I would have to say that I really don’t know; except that I would anticipate that perhaps the minister discussed it with the member for Hamilton Mountain but I didn’t find out about it until Friday.

Mr. Lewis: That’s just not the way to work.

Mr. Deans: Can the minister indicate whether the commitment made by the Premier (Mr. Davis) about a week ago that the hospital closings were subject to discussion and subject to reappraisal means there would be an adequate opportunity given to the citizens of Hamilton, either through the health council if they chose to act now or through some other appropriate body, to re-evaluate the government’s position as it is put forward in the most recent letter and to come up with a proposal which may be more satisfactory and deal in a better manner with the health care delivery system in that area?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, the hon. member from the opposition knows that this afternoon I am meeting with representatives of Chedoke Hospital and other interested citizens, including some members of the NDP caucus and the Liberal caucus, to discuss this problem. We have also been informed by the Hamilton District Health Council that they intend to hold a meeting on April 7 to receive briefs and papers on this subject. We are about to relay to them the information that we will be delaying any decision regarding this until after we have heard from them, after their April 7 meeting.

Mr. Deans: Supplementary. Could I ask the minister, when she talks about delaying until after the government hears from them, is she talking about hearing from them on April 9, as was indicated in the letter; or is she prepared to give them a sufficient period of time in order that they can re-evaluate?

Let me ask a further supplementary: How can it be that the Ministry of Health and the health council, together, could approve expenditures in excess of $2 million within a 12-month period in that facility, including the hiring of an architect to build new facilities for the very purpose of active treatment, and then turn around and make a decision to close the facility?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I’m aware that money has been spent and is in the process of being spent at that institution. I understand it was for the purpose of extending and improving the chronic care and rehabilitation --

Mr. Deans: No, no.

Hon. B. Stephenson: -- area of that hospital and the emergency unit of that hospital. That I shall explore and get back to the member.

Mr. Deans: X-ray and operating facilities.

Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary: Is the ministry now determined to insist that the regional health council in Hamilton take on its proper responsibilities and make the decision instead of in fact abdicating its responsibility and giving it back to an altogether too-eager ministry, delighted to have its centralizing tentacles reaching out once again to Hamilton? Will the minister insist that the regional health council make the proper decision there and take its responsibility seriously, or else dismiss them?

Mr. Lewis: You just order local autonomy to work; don’t play around with it.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, if the leader of the Liberal Party could give me some direction about how this might be done, I think this is a manner which might be considered.

Mr. S. Smith: If they won’t do it, you get rid of them and put in people who will.

Mr. Lewis: That’s right.

Hon. B. Stephenson: In fact, the former district health council did make recommendations which are very much in line with those which the ministry has suggested. The present district health council, I gather, disagrees with those. I would hope they would assume their responsibilities; that’s the role of the district health council.

Mr. S. Smith: Insist on it. Tell them they have to do it.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, if I may, these are voluntary citizens who function on behalf of their community, in the area of improvement of health care services. As volunteers I think we should welcome their assistance and, indeed, ask for their assistance at every opportunity.

Mr. Sargent: They will have a lot to say.

Hon. B. Stephenson: We should welcome their assistance.

Mr. S. Smith: Oh, come off it! Let them resign if they won’t do the job.

Mr. Cunningham: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Given that there are over 400 jobs and a great deal of money involved here, does the minister think that two weeks is a sufficient amount of time to make an intelligent appraisal as to the efficiency and the effectiveness of this hospital in that area?

Mr. Deans: Didn’t you say no?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I think we should await the meeting this afternoon and the report from the meeting on April 7, and then we shall be able to give the members much more specific dates regarding this problem.

Mr. Lewis: In relation to this continuing matter of hospitals, may I ask Minister of Health, has she had a chance to examine carefully the growing controversy in Perth, I guess it is, in Lanark county at the Great War Memorial Hospital where the cutback originally started at over $300,000, is now over $200,000, and still involves the loss of the obstetrical ward? Can the minister explain why that hospital was chosen in the fashion it has been, given the amount of money it saved each year coming in under budget for the last several years? The people of the community are perplexed by the action.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, to my knowledge the degree of cutback in bed service in the Great War Memorial Hospital in Perth is not of the magnitude that was first suggested. In fact there will be 53 beds available for active treatment in that hospital.

As far as the obstetrical unit is concerned I have not investigated that specific aspect of it, but I shall and I shall report to the member.


Mr. S. Smith: Would the acting Minister of Health be able to tell us, with regard to the standards of maximum allowable exposure for arsenic in air, whether in fact the standard for ambient air has remained in Ontario 25 micrograms per cubic metre, given the fact that in the United States the maximum exposure permitted is four micrograms of arsenic per cubic metre and that is for factory workers over an eight-hour period? Normally, as you know, factory workers are supposed to be exposed to standards much --

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Question.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Question.

Mr. S. Smith: The question has already been asked; I’m helping her answer it.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I have news for you; she doesn’t need your help.


Mr. S. Smith: We will see that in a moment. Could the minister explain the government’s excuse for allowing the Ontario standard to remain at 25 when the standard in factories in the United States is only four micrograms per cubic metre?


Hon. B. Stephenson: I would have to ask whether they were using the same sorts of monitoring devices and the same standards in the acting terms of the equipment used. But I really am not sure that they are not equal at the moment and I promise that I shall investigate that and report to the member as well.

Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary: While this minister is investigating that -- and perhaps the Minister of the Environment (Mr. Kerr) could help her on this -- it has been reported that Canada Metal --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Is this a supplementary question?

Mr. S. Smith: Yes. It has to do with arsenic.

Mr. Yakabuski: Question.

Mr. Speaker: Well, state the question then.

Mr. S. Smith: The question is, is the minister aware that Canada Metal’s stack will be putting out 460 lb of arsenic a year over the surrounding neighbourhood and can she assure us that this will fall within the Ontario standard and within the American standards, especially for the surrounding neighbourhood?

Hon. B. Stephenson: I shall find that out as well.

Mr. Germa: You don’t know very much.


Mr. Williams: I have a question of the Minister of Agriculture and Food. In 1970, the ministry introduced a food replacement programme to replace over $5 million worth of imported foods into this province in the late 1970s. Could he advise what the status of this programme is at this time?

Hon. W. Newman: I can’t give the member the total programme but I know part of the programme. We have a replacement programme for baby pickling onions which is about a $2-million industry that we are developing here in the Province of Ontario to replace imports. We are doing some experimental work with what we call baby carrots to replace imports of baby carrots into the Province of Ontario. We’ve done a great deal of work with corn, but we are now on an export basis with corn in the Province of Ontario.

An hon. member: That’s your field.

Hon. W. Newman: We’re also doing considerable experimental work with growing peanuts down in the tobacco country as a replacement for tobacco. We had a very successful year last year in our experimental work with peanuts.

Mr. Lewis: Yes, those peanuts are excellent. I am serious. They are excellent. I tried them in Guelph.

Hon. W. Newman: Great.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. W. Newman: It’s a multi-million-dollar business. We import them and we want to develop them here, and we are doing a great deal of work and research in that area. I can’t remember what other products we have on but those are four of the major products we have on right now.


Mr. Mackenzie: To the Minister of Labour: Is the minister aware of the concern of employees of the Ontario Psychiatric Hospitals that should they be moved under control of local boards the 9,000 employees involved across the province would come out from under the Crown Employees Collective Bargaining Act and be under the Labour Relations Act and, as there are no automatic successor rights, they could lose all of their accrued benefits such as sick leaves, vacations, seniority and pension credits? Is the minister prepared to guarantee successor rights and protect the benefits, should this happen, and not treat them as employees of a new company or concern?

Hon. B. Stephenson: I am aware that there is a very active committee functioning on behalf of those employees at the moment which is making every effort to ensure that they will remain within the same status, and every effort is being directed toward that end at the moment.


Mr. Sargent: A question to the Premier: In view of the government’s gesture to give Syncrude $100 million and that $90 million is still outstanding on this, and in view of the fact that the acting Minister of Health tells us there are still 24 hospitals on the list to be closed, etc., what is more important, the fact that the government has cut back on hospitals or Syncrude? The $90 million left to pay could be put in the pot --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The question has been asked.

Mr. Sargent: -- to keep 5,000 jobs and keep the hospitals open.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Yakabuski: Is this a speech or a question?

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Trudeau said, “Put it in Syncrude.”

Mr. Sargent: Do you want it again?

An hon. member: Sure.

Mr. Speaker: No. Order, please. The hon. minister heard it, I believe.

Mr. Sargent: Mr. Speaker, you’ve got to get a better system than this. We can’t hear you down here. Get citizens’ band radios.

Mr. Speaker: I didn’t hear that.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I think I was able to hear the member for Grey-Bruce without any need to resort to a citizens’ band radio or any other form of communication. I think the question was, would we re-evaluate our investment in Syncrude? It is not a gift to Syncrude, the investment being made by the public of this province in an undertaking which will hopefully add to stability of supply for the consumers of Ontario, which we think has significance for every person in this province as well as having, I think, some national importance also.

On the basis of that re-evaluation, would we do something about some 24 hospitals that are still on some list? I would only say to the member for Grey-Bruce, I don’t know of any other hospitals on a list where the government is contemplating closure and I make that abundantly clear.

Mr. Sargent: A supplementary question: In view of the fact that the Syncrude project is a $3-billion next-generation project, doesn’t the Premier feel that his government’s $100 million is only a gesture and it is more important --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please; that is not a supplementary question. Thank you very much.

Mr. Sargent: Just a minute, Mr. Speaker; I want an answer!

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member is persisting in a debate and that’s not the purpose of this period.

Mr. Sargent: Give him a chance; he can look after himself.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please!


Mr. Angus: Mr. Speaker, a question to the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations: Further to my letter of March 10 regarding Sanadius Fiddler, a lay preacher in the town of Sandy Lake, has the ministry decided whether or not it will license this lay preacher to perform marriages in the native community?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, the letter has been referred to the registrar and we will be getting a report from him. We have made no decision on it yet, and as soon as the decision is made the hon. member will hear about it.

Mr. Angus: Supplementary: Is the minister or his staff aware that the licensed preacher, who must come from Thunder Bay at a cost of $300, must have his sermon translated simultaneously by the native lay preacher?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: No, I am not aware of that and, as far as I can recall, it wasn’t included in the hon. member’s letter either.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Misleading the House.


Mr. Sweeney: Mr. Speaker, in the absence of the Minister of Education, a question of the Premier: In view of the report released last week of a $75,000 study by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation, which showed that standards are definitely lacking in this province, can the Premier continue to justify the $500,000 study being conducted by the Ministry of Education?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I can’t give the hon. member details with respect to any study by the ministry as it relates to the quality of education in this province. I would think that the hon. member asking the question, with his own knowledge of the subject area, would be the first one to encourage any ongoing evaluation or study within the ministry that would assist us in maintaining what is one of the highest-quality educational systems anywhere in this country and I would be sure that he would be in support of it.

An hon. member: Oh, come on.

Mr. S. Smith: A waste of taxpayers’ money. It is only taxpayers’ money.

Mr. Bullbrook: You don’t really believe that?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh, I do.

Mr. Bullbrook: You don’t believe it?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Sweeney: In view of the response given by the minister in the estimates last fall, that there is nothing wrong with the standards of education, would the Premier be prepared to admit now that in fact there is something wrong with the standards of education in the Province of Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I don’t want to become involved in a lengthy discussion as it relates to the quality or standards within the educational stem, but I could be provoked into doing so.

An hon. member: Go ahead.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would say to the hon. member that if the recent study conducted by the OSSTF indicates some concern on the part of the profession that is more directly responsible than any other single group as an organization or as individuals, including administrators, for the quality of education in this province, if they themselves are suggesting now that there should be some improvements or alterations, I find it most encouraging. And I would remind the hon. member, because he was very directly involved, that a good deal of the alterations or some of the directions for change that took place within the secondary school programme were at the initiation and insistence of the secondary school teachers here in the Province of Ontario.


Hon. Mr. Davis: And what’s more, you know that it is true.

Mr. Nixon: That’s the way to get into the cabinet, kid.

Mr. Bullbrook: That’s how Lorne got in.


Mr. Leluk: Mr. Speaker, a question of the Minister of Labour.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We can’t hear the question.


Mr. Leluk: A question to the Minister of Labour, Mr. Speaker: Can the minister advise this House what progress her ministry is making regarding the recent distribution of racist literature in the Toronto and Ottawa areas on the letterhead of the fictitious Canadian Society for Commonwealth Relations?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, a letter has been sent to the Hon. Robert Andras and to the Hon. Bryce Mackasey, asking Mr. Andras’s help in attempting to trace the source of this racist literature and asking Mr. Mackasey to do what he can to ensure that the mails are not used for this kind of activity.


Mr. Lawlor: My first question, Mr. Speaker, is to the whole world. Has it ever occurred to the government the so-called rationalization programme would turn out to be irrational --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please, direct it to a minister.

Mr. Lawlor: The particular minister, in terms of irrationality Mr. Speaker, is the acting Minister of Health. What conceivable justification has the ministry, or does it pretend to have, with respect to the splitting and destroying of the child care and adolescent units at the Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I think we have a great deal of justification. As the hon. member for Lakeshore knows, the Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital contains a multiplicity of services, including child psychiatry, adolescent psychiatry, in-patient and outpatient services, a very good psychiatric ambulatory unit for children and for adolescents; and it also houses a rather large institution which deals with adult psychiatric problems. Within that institution there are no provisions and no facilities, for recreational purposes, for children, nor is there any area in which they can be provided. At Thistletown there are such facilities and there is one entirely unused cottage; therefore the children, only, are being moved. The inpatient children are being moved from the Lakeshore psychiatric institution to Thistletown. There will be a unit remaining at Lakeshore for adolescents.

The separation, in fact, may be entirely useful and of great benefit to the children. It may be of even more benefit to the small children to be separated from the adult psychiatric unit. The out-patient service, for both adolescents and children, will be maintained exactly as it is, and in fact enhanced, at the Lakeshore psychiatric institution. I think that is justification enough.

Mr. Conway: Could the minister tell us the cost of this reorganization? Is it true that new construction will have to take place at Thistletown to accommodate them?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, no new construction will have to take place at Thistletown. The cottage is there, already built -- it has, in fact, been remodelled -- and the recreational facilities are there.

Mr. Lewis: I have a supplementary, if I may Mr. Speaker: Why does the minister not speak, in this whole discussion, of the different approach to treatment that Dr. Marcilio brought to Lakeshore and what the ministry is doing to a whole mode of child and adolescent --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Lewis: -- care at Lakeshore in transferring it to Thistletown.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. Leader of the Opposition is carrying this to the status of a debate. Is there an answer to his question?

Mr. Lewis: I would think so.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I would say that Dr. Marcilio’s programme will still be functioning at the Lakeshore institution if Dr. Marcilio remains there. The children who require in-patient treatment will be treated at Thistletown.


Mr. Stong: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Attorney General: Tomorrow in the Supreme Court of Ontario two men are going to be sentenced on a charge of robbery, after charges of attempted murder and kidnapping were withdrawn. I have here a petition signed by over 560 people --

Mr. Speaker: Is there a question? That’s all we need; we don’t need an elaboration, just the question thank you.

Mr. Stong: Is the Attorney General prepared to intervene in the course of justice, to make sure that the proper course is followed in view of this petition -- which I now present to you, Mr. Speaker -- so that the two people charged and to be sentenced will be properly charged and tried on the charges which best fit this crime?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. member I am not going to attempt to interfere in a matter that is now before the courts.

Mr. Lewis: The member wants the minister to speak to the judges? A Liberal asking someone to speak to judges?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: The facts of this particular case are well known to me. For the hon. member for York Centre to suggest that the plea of guilty to robbery with violence was not proper in the circumstances, just indicates that he is very misinformed as to the facts of this particular case. I have reviewed the matter in some detail and I’m quite satisfied that the plea of guilty in the circumstances to robbery with violence was a proper plea, and that the Crown attorney conducted himself, again, in the best interests of the public. As to what the disposition of the matter will be, we’ll simply have to await the verdict of the trial judge tomorrow.



Mr. Swart: Mr. Speaker, a question to the acting Minister of Health: In view of the trend of referring at least some of the hospital closings to health councils and also the referring of the community facilities for the retarded to health councils, is the acting Minister of Health prepared to hold the closing of the public labs in abeyance until she has a report from the health councils or the health units on the closing of these public labs?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, no.


Mr. Eakins: Mr. Speaker, to the acting Minister of Health: The Peterborough Civic Hospital has been cut back by $552,000 approximately, and the Ross Memorial in Lindsay, a much smaller hospital, by $59,300. Could the minister tell me what criteria are used in hospital cutbacks and in the Ross Memorial cutback in particular? How do they arrive at these criteria?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, it depends primarily on the number of beds necessary for the population in the area and on the number of hours service per patient which is necessary for the treatment of patients in that hospital. If either of those figures is over the reasonable average for an institution of comparable size in a comparable community then the cutbacks are suggested.

Mr. Bullbrook: Why did you build the beds in the first place?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The member is asking a supplementary.

Mr. Eakins: Could the minister tell me if the large summer population has been taken into consideration in this case? Also, does this now mean that the Bobcaygeon Hillcroft Hospital will remain open?

Hon. B. Stephenson: To answer the second question first, it does not mean that. Secondly, the summer population has most definitely been taken into consideration in all areas in which cutbacks are suggested. The information is that, in fact, the vast majority of patients treated who are summer visitors to the area do not require hospital inpatient treatment.

Mr. Sargent: Supplementary.

Mr. Speaker: Final supplementary.

Mr. Sargent: Will the Premier tell me how many --

Mr. Speaker: Oh no; order, please. That’s not a supplementary to this ministry.

Mr. Sargent: Will the minister tell us the number of cutbacks made in the riding of Peel and Brampton?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. That is not a supplementary. The hon. member for Cornwall has the floor for a question.

Mr. Sargent: Do you know or don’t you know? It’s a hell of a good supplementary. Are there any cutbacks in Brampton or Peel?

Mr. Speaker: Order. The hon. member will take his seat, please. The member for Cornwall.

Mr. Sargent: Right on target.


Mr. Samis: A question, Mr. Speaker, directed to the Solicitor General: Can the minister inform us what action he’s taken to ensure that there won’t be a repetition of what happened last week in Alexandria regarding their police force and some of the things they did?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Speaker, I hope there will not be a repetition, but, contrary to the editorial in the Globe and Mail today, there are regulations governing this, and one of the regulations requires that any time a service revolver is used there must be an investigation by the local commission. That commission will be investigating the shooting in Alexandria, and I hope to have a report in due course, sir, but I can’t guarantee that it will not happen again. We draw the regulations, and I might refer my friend to them; it’s regulation 679 under the Police Act, and he will find it all set out in sections 9 and 10 of that. I suggest that he take a look at them. I don’t know how we can do more than those regulations provide.

Mr. Samis: Supplementary: Would the minister be willing to table a copy of that report when he receives it?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Speaker, not knowing what may or may not be in that report, I hesitate to --

Mr. Deans: That is why we are asking if you will table it.

Mr. Lewis: Give it to Sid Handleman. He can put it through his shredder. A bunch of paranoids over there. You all need help.

Mr. Speaker: Order. Let’s get on with the question period. Thank you.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Occasionally, Mr. Speaker, there are matters of procedure which we don’t regard as being in the best interests of the public to make public. In other words, if it was a procedural matter and we let the criminal element of our society know all the details about it, it might not be in the best interests of all of us. I do not suppose that there will be anything of that nature in the report, and really I can see no reason why that report should not be made public, but subject to that -- my friend is telling me to be careful -- subject to that, though, I expect I will be able to make it public.


Mr. Singer: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Attorney General. Could the Attorney General advise whether or not the Crown attorney in Toronto has reviewed the provisions of the federal Bank Act in relation to the unusual actions of two Toronto police officers a day or two ago which led to their being charged with theft and public mischief? The particular section of the Bank Act I am referring to is one which makes it an offence to destroy or mutilate paper currency. It would seem much more appropriate if the facts are as they were related in the newspaper.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I understand that the matter -- the charges -- referred to by my friend are now being reviewed by the Crown attorney in the county of York, and I am quite pleased to have his helpful suggestions in that regard.


Mr. Godfrey: A question to the acting Minister of Health: Will the minister tell us when she is prepared to release to the general public and interested organizations the report of the task force on smoking and health?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, the hon. member who asked the question I gather did not receive the copy that was sent to him. In actual fact, although I think we would like to release the task force report, it’s a perfectly dreadful report and I am not sure that anyone is going to learn anything from it. However, the member for Durham West will have a copy and I am sure that he will distribute it to the members of his caucus.

Mr. Godfrey: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Do I take it then that there is no intention of implementing such recommendations as the report recommends -- that all billboard and newspaper advertisements of cigarettes no longer be permitted in Ontario, etc., etc., nor sponsorship by tobacco companies of athletic meets, cultural presentations and the like?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, that is not what I said.

Mr. Lewis: Supplementary: Since those recommendations are obviously in the realm of the desirable rather than the dreadful, why doesn’t the minister release this report, and as a matter of fact, tell us how much it cost?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, it was not the recommendations which were considered dreadful. It was the body of the report which was considered dreadful.

Mr. Lewis: Can anybody else make that judgement?

Mr. S. Smith: Will the minister release the recommendations, then?

Hon. B. Stephenson: However, those recommendations are in fact being considered, and I am sure there will be a report regarding this in the near future.

Mr. Lewis: What is this? You make a value judgement on its contents. It is a public document.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please, order.


Mr. Riddell: A question to the Premier: In the absence of the Minister of Health (Mr. F. S. Miller) -- and with due respect to the acting Minister of Health, cognizant of the fact that she didn’t participate in the meetings we had with the Premier -- is the Premier prepared to make a decision on the proposal by the Huron county delegation in connection with the continued operation of the hospital in Clinton?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I had hoped that prior to the mid-term recess I had indicated to the members opposite that there were, as I recall, four appeals or four or five delegations that made personal representations to myself and the Minister of Health and that these are being evaluated. Some decision obviously is going to be made and when that decision is made the hon. members will be fully informed.


Ms. Sandeman: A question for the acting Minister of Health: Is the minister aware that many doctors in the province are now charging a fee for filling out forms from the Workmen’s Compensation Board, Ministry of Community and Social Services, etc., and that that fee is not payable either by OHIP or by welfare departments where that would be applicable?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I know that it is against the law to charge a fee for completing a workmen’s compensation form, and if the hon. member will give me the names of the physicians involved I shall be pleased to pass them on to the College of Physicians and Surgeons.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Ms. Sandeman: Is the minister perhaps aware that one reason why the doctors are doing this is because of a sense of frustration at the complexity and the multiplicity of the forms, and they are charging a fee of the patients in many cases because they find that the Workmen’s Compensation Board is asking them --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. This is not a true supplementary.

Ms. Sandeman: -- three or four times for information that has already been obtained? Would the minister speak to herself in her capacity as Minister of Labour and ask herself to simplify the forms and streamline the procedure?

Mr. Reid: If she finds herself answering back, she’s in trouble.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I really don’t talk to myself very often, although there are times when I find the conversations with myself are much more interesting than those with some others across the floor.

Mr. Lewis: It’s a good thing.

Mr. Sargent: You would get some crazy answers if you did.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: There’s the old Lone Ranger over there.

Hon. B. Stephenson: None the less, as a practising physician of not too long ago, I am very much aware of the frustration of physicians regarding the multiplicity of forms. I think the hon. member should know that it is not workmen’s compensation forms which drive them mad; it’s insurance forms and return-to-work forms required by various unions and various companies in order to allow the workmen back to work. Those are the forms which are, in fact, most troublesome to them.

Mr. Foulds: The insurance companies are the villains.

Mr. Speaker: The member for Windsor-Walkerville with a final supplementary.

Mr. B. Newman: Mr. Speaker, if I may ask the acting Minister of Health a supplementary, can the doctors charge for exemption certificates for seatbelt use?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I should think they may decide to. I know that it is not included within the OMA fee schedule, because it is just a new piece of legislation.

Mr. Speaker: That was hardly supplementary.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Would you believe the legal fees you guys charge cause heart attacks?


Mr. Good: A question of the Minister of Natural Resources. In view of the fact that the restraint programme has been in place only a few months and could not have any bearing on this, why is his ministry’s Fathom Five park programme at Tobermory, the underwater park, three years behind the schedule that was proposed by the minister’s former colleague, the member for Cochrane North (Mr. Brunelle)?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: It is underwater.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Speaker, this is of course one of the parks, in light of our restraint programme, we had to look at very carefully. I would say to the hon. member we are working very closely with the local people and with the Ministry of Health in setting up a decompression chamber for the assistance of those divers who may want to use the park. It’s still on our list, but I have to say in all honesty we will do very little until further funds become available.

Mr. Good: Supplementary: After the unfortunate accident there about a year and a half ago, the minister promised at that time in connection --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. What is the supplementary question?

Mr. Good: What steps have been taken even to begin to get the medical clinic, the administration building, the decompression chamber --

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

Mrs. Campbell: Yes, he is asking it.

Mr. Good: -- and all the necessary things that are required to make this underwater park what it should be?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, we are working very closely with the local people and with the Ministry of Health in bringing this needed facility to fruition at the earliest possible point.

Mr. Bullbrook: They have already decided.

Mr. Good: A year and a half and they haven’t done anything.


Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Treasurer. The executive coordinator for women’s programmes, in the report which was tabled last fall --

Mr. Good: You are not even listed in the yellow pages under water.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: The whole thing is under.

An hon. member: We can’t hear the question.

Mr. Speaker: If there was less noise, you could hear better.

Ms. Bryden: -- drew attention to the fact that 38 per cent of the Ontario public service is women but there are no women managers in the civil service and only four per cent of the 778 civil servants designated as senior executives are women.

Mr. Yakabuski: Question? Question?

Ms. Bryden: I would like to ask the Treasurer if he is prepared to implement the recommendation of that report that there should be specific and separate budgets in each ministry for affirmative action to correct this imbalance?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, I think this is a question which more properly should be directed to the Chairman of Management Board (Mr. Auld). He is not here today but I understand he will be here tomorrow.



Mr. Conway: In the absence of the Minister of Education (Mr. Wells), I will direct this question to the Treasurer. What, in general terms, would the minister be prepared to commit in the area of public policy by way of compensation or special consideration for those areas like Renfrew county, which, given the economic disparity they suffer, find it very difficult, for example, to meet the education restraint demands in terms of taxation? Is the Treasurer prepared, and is the government prepared, to give special consideration to compensate for the economic disparity and difficulties they face?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Is the hon. member speaking of the education grant system?

Mr. Conway: Yes.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: That is a question that I think properly should be directed to the Minister of Education (Mr. Wells).


Mr. Deans: I wonder if the Premier could tell me who has taken the place of the former member for Hamilton West with regard to manpower policies so that I can direct a question.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I think if the hon. member would direct that question to the acting Minister of Health and the Minister of Labour she might be able to help him.

Mr. Deans: Oh, you are a biggy.

Mr. Nixon: The lady with the answers.

Mr. Deans: Now that she has that problem -- and very appropriate, incidentally -- I wonder if she could explain to the House what policies she is prepared to introduce in the Province of Ontario to provide employment for the 5,000 or more people who will be unemployed as a result of the cuts the Minister of Health is currently making in the health field?

Hon. B. Stephenson: I cannot explain in detail at the moment the policies which the Ontario Manpower Co-ordinating Committee is in the process of developing with the federal government. As a matter of fact, we meet with Mr. Andras tomorrow morning in the hope that community employment strategy will be one of the areas which we can explore with some benefit in two specific areas in the province.

Mr. Deans: A supplementary.

Mr. Speaker: All right, one supplementary, then we’ll switch off.

Mr. Deans: Would it be possible for the minister to give us but one example of one policy that is either in place or about to be put in place in this province that will provide employment for any of the 5,000 who will be unemployed as a result of the cuts the government is making in connection with her portfolio in health?

Hon. B. Stephenson: The policies of the government regarding assistance in readjustment of individuals who have been laid off or who have lost employment are policies as such. We do not have make-work programmes.

Mr. Deans: I’m not asking that; I’m asking for one policy.

Hon. B. Stephenson: We do, in fact, utilize the services of the federal Manpower agency, the counselling services within that agency, and other counselling agencies and employment agencies in order to provide employment.

Mr. Deans: The minister is wasting her time.

Mr. Speaker: I recognize the member for Halton-Burlington with a question.


Mr. Reed: I have a question of the Minister of Correctional Services. What action is the minister taking in response to the grand jury report of March 17, 1976, concerning the Milton jail and courthouse, in which a number of rather desperate situations were listed as to the condition of that very antiquated building and the condition of at least one of the inmates at the time?

Hon. J. R. Smith: All grand jury reports are fully investigated. I’ll follow it up.


Mr. Speaker: The oral question period has expired.



Mr. Speaker: Order, please, we’re a minute over the question period now.

An hon. member: We deserve an answer to that.

Mr. Good: Will you go on for two minutes?

Mr. Speaker: We’ll be here tomorrow.

Mr. Singer: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: On a point of order, the member for Wilson Heights.

Mr. Singer: I wonder if you, sir, could do anything about the sound system in this chamber?

Mr. Speaker: Actually we are having some difficulties, which doesn’t need to be said.

Mr. Sargent: I can do better than that. I can yell louder.

Mr. Speaker: We hope it will be better tomorrow. The hon. Leader of the Opposition.


Mr. Lewis: Mr. Speaker, just as an aside, while I’m upon a point of privilege, I wanted to point out to the members -- I’m sure on all sides of the House they would share it -- that the House should observe that the father of a very famous hockey player is with us in the galleries. Syl Apps Jr’s father has made it to the Legislature again and should be applauded.

Mr. Speaker, I want to appeal to you briefly to take a look, in your official capacity as Speaker, at the secretiveness which surrounds the government in its behaviour over general documents which should be public and indeed are in the process of their formation considered to be.

Mr. S. Smith: What is that a point of?

Mr. Speaker: I am sure the hon. member knows that’s not within my purview.

Mr. Lewis: I’m not so sure it’s not within your purview and I want to ask it. I won’t prolong it.

Mr. Speaker: Very briefly then.

Mr. Lewis: I would like you to use the one instance which was raised today of a government document which has been in their hands for over a year and had to be released by press conference by other agencies this morning, a document in their hands for over a year which was designed by terms of reference for public agencies, voluntary groups and others in the field but never released by government. I think, Mr. Speaker, that there is something to be said for an effort to see what happens with the government in the requisition of such documents and I would ask you to take a look at this case as an example of it.

Mr. MacDonald: There’s a simple solution. Bring in a freedom of information Act to protect yourself against yourself.

Mr. Speaker: That’s the answer I suppose.


Mr. Speaker: I shall consider if it’s within my sphere of jurisdiction.

Presenting reports.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell, on behalf of Hon. Mr. Welch, presented the annual reports of the Ontario Science Centre for the year ending March 31, 1973, and for the year ending March 31, 1974; and of the Ontario Education Communications Authority for the year ending March 31, 1975.

Mr. Speaker: Motions.

Introduction of bills.


Hon. Mr. Timbrell moved first reading of bill intituled, An Act to amend the Ontario Energy Board Act.

Motion agreed to; first reading of the bill.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, today I am introducing a bill to amend section 37(a) of the Ontario Energy Board Act which concerns the review by the Ontario Energy Board of a proposal by Ontario Hydro to change the rates which it charges to its customers. As you know, Mr. Speaker, in 1975 Ontario Hydro’s proposal for rates effective on and after Jan. 1, 1976, were referred after an OEB review to a select committee of the Legislature.

In December, the select committee recommended that as an interim measure Ontario Hydro be allowed to increase its hulk power late by 22 per cent on Jan. 1, 1976. The term of the select committee was extended until March 31, 1976, and a further extension for the select committee to report by May 31, 1976, has been made.

Since the select committee, Mr. Speaker, will not complete its final report until May 31, 1976, it is not considered practical for Ontario Hydro to file Pa proposal to change rates for 1977 on or before May 1, 1976, as currently required by section 37(a) of the Ontario Energy Board Act. Therefore, the purpose of the amendment I have introduced today is to change the date for filing from May 1 to July 1. This change would be applicable only to 1977.

The amendment, Mr. Speaker, will also move the date for an interim report of the Ontario Energy Board on the proposals from Sept. 1 to Oct. 1, again only for the purposes of 1977. All of this is necessitated, Mr. Speaker, I repeat, by the extension of the select committee’s life.


Mr. Nixon moved first reading of bill intituled, An Act respecting McMaster University.

Motion agreed to; first reading of the bill.


Mr. MacDonald moved first reading of bill intituled, An Act respecting the Borough of York.

Motion agreed to; first reading of the bill.


Mr. Bullbrook moved first reading of bill intituled, An Act to amend the Municipal Act.

Motion agreed to; first reading of the bill.


Mr. Drea, on behalf of Mr. Morrow, moved first reading of bill intituled, An Act respecting St. Andrew’s Church, Ottawa.

Motion agreed to; first reading of the bill.

Hon. Mr. Meen: Mr. Speaker, before orders of the day, I would like to table the answer to question No. 15 on the order paper.

Mr. Speaker: Orders of the day.

Clerk of the House: The first order, resuming the adjourned debate on the amendment to the amendment to the motion for an address in reply to the speech of the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor at the opening of the session.


Mr. Ferrier: Mr. Speaker --

Hon. Mr. Davis: I will tell everybody what really went on at that meeting.

Mr. Ferrier: I would love to have the Premier tell them, because --

Hon. Mr. Davis: Tell them the truth.

Mr. Ferrier: I always do. The Premier wouldn’t suggest that I would say anything else but, would he?

Mr. Speaker, I would first of all like to congratulate you on your performance in the Legislature. You certainly are carrying out a very difficult jib in an impartial way and you do have the confidence of the members of the assembly. We are very pleased with the work that you are doing. You certainly have an expanded role now that the legislative buildings and the services to members are directly under your jurisdiction. I think those of us who have been around here for a little while are quite pleased that members are getting more attention and the working conditions under which we carry out our responsibilities are much more conducive to getting things accomplished. So we hope you carry on your work in the usual high standards we have come to expect and appreciate from you.

In another week’s time we will be voting on the non-confidence motion and the amendment to that motion as put forward by the Liberal Party. We have seen the Liberal Party do a lot of fancy footwork in the last couple of weeks and we’ll be interested to see how their members actually vote on this amendment to the amendment.

I think those of us in the House will be extremely interested as to what goes on. Some of those who are in areas where there have been cutbacks in hospital services -- like the member for Huron-Middlesex (Mr. Riddell), I believe, and the member for Grey-Bruce (Mr. Sargent), and the member for Grey (Mr. McKessock), and even the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon), will be interested to see whether they have confidence in the government over the way the people in their riding have been treated by shutting down of the hospitals there, and whether they feel the government does have the confidence of the people, and whether the people of this province would like to have a chance to express their feelings at the polls.


People I talked to are quite happy at going to the polls, because our area of the province has been given some pretty tough blows by this government; they’ve been given blows that were not talked about during the election campaign. In fact up in our area the things that were promised and the things that were going to be done by the Tory candidate, suggested nothing of restraint. What the government has done is the exact opposite of what was put forward in our area.

I would suggest, Mr. Speaker, that probably both parties, the Liberals and the Conservatives, are afraid to go to the electorate at this time because they both know they will stand to lose support, and lose it drastically.

Mr. Ruston: Are you, Bill?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Do you want an election?

Mr. Ferrier: In fact, I’d be very surprised if they can even get a Liberal candidate up in my area this time.


Mr. Ferrier: And I’d also be very surprised if they got a Conservative.

Mr. Ruston: I think you were in trouble up there. I was up there a few weeks ago.

Mr. Ferrier: You fellows won’t even get a candidate up there this time. They had an awful time last time; finally, at the last --

Mr. Ruston: Don’t be too secure; don’t he too sure.


Mr. Ferrier: It doesn’t matter whether they have one or not; the Liberal Party in the northeast is almost a thing of the past now.

Mr. Deans: It’s the same all over.

Mr. Ferrier: I must say, Mr. Speaker, that the riding I represent was very thrilled in February when one of our citizens, Cathy Kreiner, won the gold medal in the giant slalom and brought real honour and tribute to our area, and to Ontario and to Canada. I would like to thank the Premier and the government for the warm recognition and honour accorded to her from the Province of Ontario. She certainly won the hearts, if she had not already done so, of the people of Timmins. I never saw the community so warm and pleased with any of its citizens and the wonderful things she brought to us. She brought out a sense of pride and joy and happiness in her accomplishment. We all continue to wish her well and look forward to even greater victories from her.

We are in the period of rapid growth and development in the Timmins area, because of the expansion that is contemplated for Texasgulf, where there will be a copper smelter and refinery. There will also be a fertilizer plant built. Originally it was to be $500 million or $600 million --

Mr. Nixon: Are you in charge of that?

Mr. Ferrier: I have been told by -- I think he is now a vice-president of Texasgulf -- that when they break the champagne bottle against the new facilities, he’d be glad to have me come and break the bottle.

Mr. Nixon: That’s good thinking, because you voted against your party to get them some help. You remember the NDP didn’t want to help up there.

Mr. Ferrier: We’re all entitled to one mistake, Bob. Even you made one mistake.

Mr. Nixon: I just wanted to be sure you didn’t forget that.

Mr. Ferrier: In fact it’s a bottle of champagne that was donated by Inco, so that will on quite an occasion.

Mr. Nixon: You’d be in favour of breaking that.

Mr. Ferrier: The construction programme is soon to get under way. We’re expecting up to 1,500 construction workers, some with their families, to come to our area, to live in our midst and to contribute to the economy. At the same time it’s going to put serious strains on facilities we do have in terms of housing, in terms of sewage -- trunk sewers -- roads and this kind of thing. For this reason it is vitally important that there be a developmental agreement signed between the Department of Regional Economic Expansion and the Treasury of this government.

We have talked about getting an agreement signed for the northeast and the Timmins area for a long, long time. Various Treasurers have said they have been working on it and have been trying to push it through.

About two months ago the federal Liberal member in my riding got on television and he said the province was the one that was all at fault. He said that if they would do a little more there would be no problem getting the money and he could get the money, I think -- if there was any problem at the federal level he would get on the phone and give them hell and in about half an hour the money would be there, So we did a little bit of looking into the matter and we find the Ottawa government has not been as co-operative and as willing to sign an agreement as they say they are.

I must say that I think that the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) has run into some problems with a lack of adequate response from the federal government. The next thing we heard was the federal member for Cochrane --

Mr. Nixon: Another great name; great member.

Mr. Ferrier: Yes, he is a great member. A great supporter of yours, Bob. He really went out of his way to help you.

Mr. Nixon: Right. We have been friends for years.

Mr. Ferrier: He said he would vote against and work against any money coming from DREE under an agreement in connection with some sewers for the Timmins area. It seems the federal Liberals are not too anxious in proceeding to help the Timmins area as they ought to be.

Mr. Nixon: If it weren’t for that Texasgulf wouldn’t have been able to expand at all. Look at all that federal money going to Texasgulf.

Mr. Bain: Taxpayers’ money, not federal.

Mr. Ferrier: Texasgulf got $9.2 and some million. I think we should revise again David Lewis’ statement about corporate welfare bums, because anything welfare people get by way of assistance is less than peanuts by what we are still giving to the big corporations in this country.

Mr. Nixon: They are giving them jobs up there, I understand. Aren’t there any jobs?

Mr. Ferrier: Oh, there is the odd one.

Mr. Nixon: It’s expanding.

Mr. Ferrier: Yes, it is expanding.

Mr. Nixon: It’s necessary, you just said.

Mr. Ferrier: Yes, that’s necessary, but one would wonder --

Mr. Nixon: How can you have it both ways? Are you going to get jobs or not?

Mr. Ferrier: -- with such a rich ore body, whether you need to have this kind of giveaway to the big corporations. I know, Bob, that you have always been in favour of giving the money to the big boys. You are not --

Mr. Nixon: But you voted with us on that against your people.

Mr. Ferrier: You would even outdo Mitch Hepburn when he was in this House in giving to the mining companies. In those days Hollinger Mines were making 50 per cent profit on their production; that is how good Mitch was to the mining companies and you wouldn’t be any less good.

Mr. Nixon: The north was really booming in those days.

Mr. Bain: And Mitch would send in the OPP every chance he got.

Mr. Ferrier: Bob would rather ride with the -- what was it? -- walk with the workers than ride with General Motors.

Mr. Nixon: I walk with the farmers.

Mr. Father: I don’t know whether the farm community would be so happy with your close tie-in with the corporate sector or not.

But anyway, we are getting very concerned in our area about this DREE/TEIGA agreement being signed. We hope that the Treasurer and the Chairman of Cabinet (Mr. Brunelle) will utilize their influence and their pressure to bring this to a head. The province has promised about $2 million in regional priorities grants to help with the programme this year and that certainly is welcomed, but there could be considerably more made available if this agreement was signed and the two senior levels of government would move in there and give the assistance that is needed.

We would call upon the government to keep after the federal government to get this agreement signed and to get the money for the substructure that is needed to help us in the Timmins area.

The major blow we have suffered in the northeast this year is the government’s shutting down of the Northeastern Regional Mental Health Centre. I don’t intend to go into that in great detail because I went into that the other night in the Health estimates, but this is a blow in terms of jobs. There were 223 people employed when that was a psychiatric facility and on Wednesday of this week they will all be gone. It is turned over to a schedule 2 mentally retarded centre and there will be just 54 people employed to keep that going until July or August, at which time they expect to bring in a few mentally retarded residents. The most it will go up to in terms of staff complement will be about 110. We are a net loser of over 100 jobs in the government’s closing of the psychiatric facility.

I think that from the amount the mentally retarded group are intending to use that hospital, if it was under-utilized in psychiatric care it will be more than underutilized in the hands of the mentally retarded. One of the reasons given for closing it down was that it was underutilized. The government has that facility there and I think it has got to be utilized to its full capacity, if it is going to be an economic institution in this province. The administrator of the mental health hospital has said that and made that recommendation and I think the government is going to have to utilize that very fully.

A lot of people are going to be out of work as of Wednesday of this week and of those who have got jobs, some have had to compete for their own jobs and a lot of them have seen other people come in and take their jobs, people who didn’t have the same seniority. Some who were even probationary employees in the Ministry of Health have come in and taken jobs in the mentally retarded institution. There is a lot of dissatisfaction among some of those workers, so much so that I understand last week the employment standards people of the Ministry of Labour were called in to investigate some of these complaints. It’s a loss of jobs, a loss of benefits and a loss of credits that have accrued to those workers. A lot of older people who are out of a job, and who support a sick husband or are the sole support of a family, will not have a job, and that’s pretty disappointing.

One of the reasons Mr. Spooner was so insistent on the hospital being there was that it would provide a different kind of employment for people who were not able to do the heavy work in the mines, who perhaps had injuries or were not in the best of health and would have an alternative kind of employment. Those kinds of people are now the kind who are hurt by this close-down, and it’s most discouraging.

As far as services to the area are concerned, it is proposed that there be a team working out of the health unit, I believe in New Liskeard, and there’s to be a team working out of the Sensenbrenner Hospital in Kapuskasing and another team working in Timmins in a 20-bed psychiatric unit. It was hoped that a psychiatrist who was at Northeastern would continue and look after this 20-bed unit and be on a consultation basis for Kapuskasing and for New Liskeard, but he has decided he is moving away and so he is not going to be there.


There was a young doctor, who has most of his work completed for his psychiatric specialty, doing private practice in Timmins and a lot of work was going to be on his shoulders. He’s decided to leave April 1, so the only psychiatrist who will be serving the area will be a psychiatrist in North Bay, and general practitioners will be doing all the work in the northeast. I think that’s a real cutback in quality of services and scope of services.

It’s a real anxiety to those people who have already had a member of their family Scot to North Bay for in-hospital treatment. It’s difficult to visit, it’s a real inconvenience and it’s a real expense, but those are some of the consequences of this move. I suspect we’ve only heard the beginning of the protest as far as the people of the northeast are concerned. I can say that this party is going to do all it can to try to get adequate psychiatric services restored to the northeast and undo a lot of the harm that’s been done by this government.

For this reason, the people in my riding would like to go to an election as early as possible, because they’re pretty fed up with the kind of rotten treatment that’s been perpetrated on us by this move. They were angrier still when the government was going to take away 25 active treatment beds at St. Mary’s Hospital and make it more difficult for us to attract any specialists or to provide any kind of extra services by way of specialties for our people, rather than always having to come down south. That was a mistake, the Minister of Health (Mr. F. S. Miller) said, and he has referred that order to the health council to further investigate and make recommendations. It certainly didn’t win many friends for the government and it’s made the people pretty suspicious of anything the government is proposing by way of health care services for our area.

The children’s programme? It’s still not clear what’s going to happen to replace the child care programme that Northeastern had. When we have serious restraints of a 5.5 per cent budget increase on the Children’s Aid Society and have taken away from them the support service they relied on very heavily for assessment and diagnostic purposes and consultation purposes -- with some other unknown group supposedly to come in and supply it but it’s not being there -- one can realize the dissatisfaction of people in the Children’s Aid Society circle as far as this government’s concern about the children goes and how they’re going to have such a difficult time to even come near to living within that budget constraint.

I understand that certain efforts may be made to give some of these boards a little extra because of extenuating circumstances. I made that suggestion to the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Taylor) when he was in Timmins, and he shot that down saying: “Oh, you don’t have any unique problems here. Everybody wants something extra for his own riding.” But I can tell you when there are extenuating circumstances any minister worth his salt will at least recognize them. I hope he’s had something of a conversion, because he was pretty arrogant that day until I got up and spoke, and then he began to realize that instead of sending his insulting remarks our way maybe he’d better change his tactic, which he did, and be was able to sell his programme a little but not very much.

One thing that has disturbed me about the cutbacks in the social services is they’re saying that people on welfare had better take the jobs that are available for them. Of course, if there is a job then certainly we believe that an able-bodied person should be able to go and work at that job. But I have run into a couple of instances in my riding that make my blood boil, and I don’t think that any government would condone this kind of action by a welfare administrator.

A man got laid off his job; there was some dispute as to the reasons for it, but he got laid off. Whether he had alcohol on his breath or not, I don’t know, but they laid him off. So the man went to look for a job down in the Orillia area and he had paid off his commitments at home before he went to get this job in Orillia. Well, the job in Orillia didn’t materialize -- and he was looking for quite some time. In the meantime, what funds he had had run out and I don’t believe the unemployment insurance had come in. The family was at home with no food and the rent wasn’t paid; the wife applied for welfare and she was turned down. The Children’s Aid were called in and they in turn suggested she call the Salvation Army; the Salvation Army had to put $100 of groceries into that home where there was a woman and children with nothing and the husband was away looking for work, Maybe he should have stayed at home and sat on his hands and not looked for work. At any rate, I brought it to the attention of the people in the Ministry of Community and Social Services down here and I suggested that they also should go to the board of review, and I believe some assistance was given.

Then, a week ago, another call came about the same administrator in the Cochrane district. A man from Iroquois Falls went out vest and got himself a job. With the first two weeks’ pay he thought he would have money to send back home to his family, but they took all the money in his paycheque to pay his travelling expenses and so on to the west, and he had nothing to send back. Back in Iroquois Falls was a woman without any fuel and without any food; her brothers and sisters were looking after her. Finally, the children’s allowance came and she was able to buy some oil. I got in touch with the Ministry of Community and Social Services down here and they suggested two weeks’ emergency assistance.

Now, if a man is out looking for work and he gets a job, but there are difficulties, then I don’t see why they can’t tide the family over in a difficult set of circumstances, rather than let people get down to nothing. Where there are children involved, I think we have got to support these kinds of families and encourage a man who is trying to get work or who gets work and keep him working so he will be a productive member of society.

I hope this government’s programme does not go to that extent, where it discourages those who are trying. The major emphasis has got to be to provide jobs and make more jobs available. One of the major points is that there are a whole bunch of people in the health care field who have been laid off, and it is going to be a difficult time for our people. So when we lay off people by deliberate government policy on one hand and then we tell them that other people have got to find jobs, then for goodness’ sake we have got to make sure there are jobs there for them; or if there are not jobs there for them, then we have got to look after our people until there are.

This cutback in the social services field is difficult in our area because the homes for aged need to consider additions and rebuilding to look after the chronic care patients, to make the homes for the aged more than chronic hospitals, which they are becoming. But we shall have to forego that because of this restraint programme. That’s one of the things that is difficult to swallow as far as this restraint programme is concerned, that services to people are put away down at the bottom of the priority list.

Another thing that continues to aggravate and does not get resolved is this stupid distinction between disabled and non-employable as far as receiving family benefits is concerned. Their needs are similar and they should have the same degree of support. Nobody out there understands it; and I don’t blame them for not understanding it because it’s a most unfair and an unjust way of treating people. The sooner that distinction is done away with, the better. I think members on all sides of the House have tried to convince the government that it’s wrong. If this government can’t renegotiate the agreement with the federal government, then it should go it alone and see that this group of people does get some justice.

We have talked about doctors having to sign forms. To get themselves reconsidered disabled as distinct from unemployable, they have to take a form to a doctor to get signed. Some people have been in to see me and said “I have had the doctor sign three and four forms and he’s getting tired of it. He’s going to throw me out of the office.” We create bureaucracy by this; and it’s such an unjust and unnecessary category and distinction to make. We’re all very angry and the government surely should soon do away with that.

Another thing that has bothered the people of all of the north -- Sudbury, Thunder Bay and all up through the north -- is this government’s decision to postpone educational television in northern Ontario. They’re going ahead with the programme down here in the south and will guarantee that all the transmitters they plan to build in places like Chatham and elsewhere down here will get built. Down in the south people are usually within driving distance of a number of cultural activities that they can go to and take advantage of them. Those kinds of cultural opportunities are not available in anywhere the same degree in the north. In our area, cable television has not come on in a very big way; and in addition, even when it does come in not everybody is going to take it.

The cutback to save, I believe about $2.5 million in northern Ontario for this government, by cutting us out of educational television, when it has already spent about $900,000 to do the preliminary work, is all going to be wasted, because unless the government proceeds the money is all gone. That’s some kind of economics and management. To single us out and to deprive us of something the government is going to give to the rest of the province down here in the south makes our blood boil. We know again it is discriminating against the north; we’re the poor country cousins who are being left out. The government doesn’t care about us and the northern communities are extremely annoyed. I think the government could very well go ahead with that programme and look after our needs.

One of the recommendations Judy LaMarsh is going to make, from what she said on television in Timmins, is that there is a problem of violence in the media and because it is having a detrimental effect on people -- on children and that -- and because we do not have very many TV channels and because other cultural opportunities are not there, we do need educational television; and she is recommending it for northern Ontario.

The decision to cut back is most unfair. It is unjust and I ask the government to reconsider that. I have written to them and I know people of all stripes in the north are very distraught at the decision to do us out of educational television. If necessary, I think a special grant could be made available from Wintario to provide the capital funding to make educational television available in northern Ontario. That’s culture; it’s going to do a lot more good than some of the grants that are being given now. Reconsider that and see what can be done.


The leader of this party in his address of two weeks ago made another unusually fine speech, particularly documenting again the problems of occupational health and the lack of proper enforcement by the Ministry of Natural Resources. It was only when the Minister of Health got extremely tough and wasn’t prepared to fool around with these Natural Resources people who continually make excuses for the mining companies that they got any action at the United Asbestos plant in Matachewan.

The number of people who are suffering chest problems as a result of their exposure to silica in the gold mines, in the Elliot Lake mines, and who have asbestosis from their exposure in the Reeves Mine in Timmins and the Munro Mine in the Matheson area -- and now this mine in Matachewan -- is just legion. The mining industry has not been concerned about its workers. It will do anything possible to make a bock, but the worker is expendable and the industry doesn’t care what happens to him or how his health is impaired or how that disadvantages his wife and family.

What the mining companies have perpetrated on the people of this province who are in the mining industry is a very sad tale. The sooner the Ministry of Natural Resources takes its enforcement provisions seriously and does something about it, the better it will be.

You would think after all that went on over a year ago -- the fights we had and the minister’s setting up of the Ham commission -- that they would not tolerate any of these blatant violations of government standards any longer. After the issue was fought as it was in the last election, surely an intelligent government would make sure that the kind of damage perpetrated against workers would stop. But here we just have another example of the indifference of the Ministry of Natural Resources. Only when somebody else brings it out into the open and makes a public issue of it do we get any action. I think there were some changes in that ministry after the Elliot Lake situation and it appears there should be a lot more changes. The miners of this province should be properly protected in their work place against unsafe working conditions.

There was concern in my area over the pricing of natural gas. I know the price went up considerably because of the wellhead price in Alberta and this was only passed on by the Energy Board, but some of the prices in Timmins were beyond rhyme or reason, it appears. There was a lot of anger and the council asked that I bring it up in the House. I know that they met with people of Northern and Central. It just seems that the consumers are getting it on the nose and the Energy Board is supposed to be protecting us. Sometimes one wonders if they do.

I could go on for quite a length of time but I think I’ve dealt with the issues that particularly concern the people of my riding and why we feel that we haven’t confidence in this government. We would be very happy to have a chance to express ourselves at the polls and give a message to this Conservative government that it’s had the biscuit and we don’t want any more of it and we would like to send it packing. They were given a good jolt in September last year and we would like to give them the final jolt by an election this spring.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Niagara Falls.

Mr. Kerrio: I am proud to represent the constituency of Niagara Falls, Mr. Speaker, and I wish to reaffirm my commitment to my constituents that I will represent Niagara impartially and in the best interests of all. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon) for his personal interest and I would like to tell our leader, if he were here at this time, that I would be loyal to his cause and support him in the future of this party.

I would like to pay tribute to those who dedicated themselves to my campaign and subsequent election. You can appreciate the fact that the unseating of the Attorney General of this province was not a singlehanded effort. The complete dedication to my campaign by many of my friends and acquaintances was certainly a revelation to me and I will be forever grateful.

I would further like to congratulate the Speaker on his appointment to a most difficult task. His impartiality and fairness is obvious to all members of the assembly, and at times the House is a difficult one to control. I would join those who have already thanked him for his patience and understanding.

In this session’s Speech from the Throne, the government stated that we faced some critical economic realities and must adjust our priorities, and there was a need to streamline government programmes to prune out redundancies or waste which may arise. I must confess that I thought perhaps some of the Liberal Party’s campaign literature from the last election bad been incorporated in the Throne Speech. We were constantly calling upon the government to be financially responsible, to cut clown on bureaucratic waste and extravagance.

Obviously some of the financial problems which the province has experienced can be put down to worldwide inflation, but the government of Ontario has been guilty of gross mismanagement of the taxpayers’ money in recent years and has made no attempt to be financially responsible.

Since 1971, the government has paid lip service to the need to maintain firm control over public spending, of exercising restraint, of coming to grips with the problem of inflation. Yet over that same period government spending has continued to increase out of all proportion to the services which are provided to the people of Ontario.

In the four years from 1970 to 1974, the province’s accumulated net debt more than doubled, from $1.4 billion to $2.9 billion, and by March, 1975, this had risen to $3.5 billion. Deficit financing may be all very well over the short term, but for a wealthy province like Ontario to have deficits totalling in excess of $6 billion over the last five years is surely an indication that the government’s management of the taxpayers’ money leaves a great deal to be desired.

The former Auditor General, Maxwell Henderson, chairman of the special programmes review committee, has warned the government public spending has gotten out of hand; and the committee’s report, tabled in the Legislature last November, made nearly 200 recommendations of methods which might hopefully bring the situation under control.

Typically, the government has been very selective in the recommendations of this repost which are to be given priority. They have arrogantly ignored constructive suggestions which reduce bureaucratic extravagance, choosing rather to implement financial cutbacks which severely affect the services provided to our communities. Hospitals are being closed down regardless of local needs. Municipalities are faced with serious financial problems because of the reduction in anticipated government support. Mr. Henderson himself has taken the government to task for failing to give priority to putting its own financial house in order, He was absolutely right when he said:

“Our present political leaders are downright irresponsible to think they can spend our hard-earned tax dollars so recklessly. All it does is fuel our domestic inflation still further.”

The sad part of it all is that so much of the hardship which is being caused by the government’s current restraint programme could have been avoided if some attention had been paid to opposition-called-for financial responsibility in the past.

Like many other people in this province I’m seriously concerned about the shortcomings of our present education system. There was some comment on the floor of the Legislature today, and the Premier (Mr. Davis) was attempting to justify spending some $500,000 in doing a report which, if in fact the system was well accepted as he would suggest, would not be needed.

In recent years we have heard a great deal about modern methods of teaching and learning. Those of us who expressed reservations about drastic changes in time-tested methods were made to feel that we were old-fashioned and not sufficiently knowledgeable about the subject. Yet today, with education taxes at an all-time high, it is generally accepted I that there are many and very serious problems. Teachers complain that students cannot read, write, spell or do simple arithmetic; high-school credits have been described as meaningless, with the high-school graduation diploma referred to as a useless piece of paper by many people.

Even at the university level, professors have found that many students cannot read or write properly. We owe it to our children and young people to ensure that they receive the best possible education at every level, from primary school to university. Let’s get away from putting the emphasis on school buildings and equipment and give priority to the vital and essential part of the educational system -- the students and the teachers.

I’m sorry that today the Minister of Culture and Recreation (Mr. Welch) isn’t here because I would direct this question to him. It’s one of grave consequence to me. As the Liberal critic of Culture and Recreation I have a personal commitment to bring as much pressure as possible to bear on the minister to redirect lottery funds to more needful use. How in all conscience can we close hospitals and labs, and cut back on health care, and still continue to buy the frivolous activities in the “Try Us” branch of the government?

The decision of another branch of this ministry to cut back on the educational TV services to Peterborough, North Bay, Timmins and the Soo is a disastrous blow to these areas. It would seem that these areas had the most need initially because of the limited access to research facilities that exist in many areas of the province. I feel that in fact those TV programmes should have been initiated and started in the north. In the restraint programme as it exists today, I’m afraid the third phase will be cut, which is the service to the north.

In other areas of interest to me, as a member of the Liberal housing committee I would criticize the ministry in regard to the open-ended programme of first-home ownership. We will never control the economy as long as open-ended programmes are to be initiated. The validity of the programme is not in question, but if we are ever to balance this budget we must in fact establish the need and the funding that is necessary, and have the courage to stay within those limits.

After the last provincial election, members of our three political parties in this House were saying that we must all get together to make minority government work in Ontario. Historically speaking, minority governments have had fairly good legislative records, and certainty here in Canada a lot of very important legislation has been passed by minority governments.

During the first session of this Legislature the prospects of effective minority government were quite hopeful. Because of the change in the balance of power here in the Legislature government members and ministers attended the House on a more regular basis. Combined with the enthusiastic participation by the greatly enlarged opposition, this meant that we had some very constructive debates and some very important amendments were made to government legislation because the opposition members were able to exert some pressure.


It seems the honeymoon is now over. The government has chosen to embark on a financial restraint programme with little regard for its human and social consequences. Hospitals are being closed down arbitrarily and in the face of a tremendous outcry from the communities affected. Municipalities are seriously concerned about their financial problems because of the reduced rate of increase in transfer payments. Mill rates are likely to increase, programmes are threatened and essential services will almost certainly have to be reduced. Meanwhile, opposition attempts to influence government action are being completely disregarded.

We are living in difficult times. Many of our traditional values and standards seem to have gone by the board. Violence and crime are on the increase. Inflation is a worldwide threat to stability and to people’s way of life. There is considerable labour unrest. Just recently, we witnessed an enormous demonstration in Ottawa by members of the CLC protesting against the federal government’s imposition of the anti-inflation guidelines. We hear talk of a three-day general strike. Where is this all going to end? What kind of a society are we building for our children?

Is this the time for the kind of political games we have been engaged in in the past few weeks? The Premier says it won’t be the government’s fault if we’re forced into an election. Are the opposition parties to be blamed if the government, knowing full well the implications of the minority government situation, fails to respond to the criticisms and objections of the opposition members? Are we to be held responsible because the government is performing major surgery on the province’s health budget using an axe rather than a scalpel? Is it our fault the government has been spending the taxpayers’ money with such abandon in recent years that drastic and immediate action is necessary in a panic-stricken attempt to bring some kind of order out of this chaos?

Make no mistake about it, Mr. Speaker, if we are plunged into an election campaign in the near future we shall all be equally to blame. The government will be guilty because the Premier and his colleagues chose to fly in the face of the expressed objections to government policy by the opposition parties, knowing that there is a risk of the government being brought down by a combined vote of the opposition members. The New Democratic Party will be responsible because they persist in playing the game of brinkmanship, taking it for granted that the Liberal Party will avoid lighting the fuse to the explosive situation that they, the NDP, have helped to create. The Liberal Party will be responsible because we have failed to persuade the government to act in a responsible and humane manner.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: The nature of the sound system in the chamber today is such that I feel almost tempted to move the adjournment of the debate. I would not want to deprive the members opposite, however, of the pearls of wisdom I am about to cast in their direction and, therefore, I will struggle though as best I can.

Mr. Nixon: I am not sure that I like that allusion. Are you going to explain your liquor policy?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: It’s strange, Mr. Speaker, that we’ve been sitting here for some six months now and this is the first opportunity I’ve had to congratulate you on the assumption of your office. Having cut my legislative teeth under the supervision of the Speaker, I know that the office will be handled with dignity, integrity and fairness.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the mover and seconder of Her Honour’s address. The member for Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry (Mr. Villeneuve) is an old colleague of ours from eastern Ontario, a veteran of the federal House and the provincial Legislature. He acquitted himself honourably in his motion. And, of course, the member for St. Andrew-St. Patrick (Mr. Grossman) is carrying on a tradition -- not a dynasty but a tradition -- in this House. He acquitted himself very well, including his critical comments concerning the government. Having been in that position myself, where I felt constrained to criticize the government from time to time, I understand the position he’s in.

Mr. Grande: He’s going to quit.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: We’re dealing with the Speech from the Throne and I would like to deal very briefly with the amendment proposed by the leader of the Liberal Party on Tuesday, March 16, and in particular with item one of that amendment I understand some of my colleagues may be dealing with the other points in that amendment, as well as the amendment of the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Lewis). I would like to deal particularly with the one in which the leader of the Liberal Party said:

“This House further condemns the government for its financial irresponsibility in forcing Ontario municipalities and school boards to increase inordinately the property tax on homeowners and tenants.”

Of course, the key word in there, and the one that I disagree with completely, is the word “forcing.” I see no compulsion on the part of this government placed on municipality or school boards. I want to speak particularly about my own constituency --

Mr. Reid: You mean you are not going to support our amendment?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: -- because I am not as familiar with all of the constituencies in Ontario as I would like to be, although I have learned a great deal about them in the past two years. But I must say that I know the two municipalities in my constituency very well. I want to say that those two municipalities and the townships of March and Nepean have embarked on the most grandiose spending programmes you have ever seen in your life.

I have tried to maintain contact with those two municipalities because as their representative in the Legislature I should know what is going on, and I have watched with increasing amazement the priority as reflected in some of the council decisions. Each of those two municipalities has a locally-elected council. They are fully responsible and accountable to the people in the two townships. Therefore, what they are doing is perfectly within their power and there can be no suggestion whatsoever that this province has forced some of those decisions on them.

I would like just to outline some of the things they are doing, so that the members of this House will know whether or not this government is forcing municipalities to raise taxes. Further, when they run out of ideas on their own they join together to run other grandiose spending schemes jointly, so that the taxpayers of both of the municipalities will be burdened.

Mr. Nixon: They pretty uniformly disapproved of your actions too.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Oh, I have heard that.

Mr. Moffatt: It may be a Liberal council.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Yes, most of them are.

I am just going to deal with the most recent one at some length because it is a fairly controversial scheme.

Mr. Nixon: Trying to defend his flank or something.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: The most recent ambitious project to be joined in by the two townships is known as the national capital equestrian centre. I heard the member for Niagara Falls (Mr. Kerrio) talk about culture and recreation.

Mr. Nixon: That is like the old boys’ football team you are using Wintario money to send overseas.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: They are flying to get Wintario money at the present time.

Mr. Nixon: If there was any political advantage for you they would get it.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: If that centre is carried to its completion as planned by the two municipalities, my constituency would be the equestrian capital of the world.

Mr. Nixon: You could ride two horses at once.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Not yet. Montreal at the present time has the Olympic facility but we are going to outdo that.

You wouldn’t believe, Mr. Speaker, that they propose to spend $1.5 million to provide what private enterprise is already providing in sufficient quantity in the Ottawa-Carleton area -- namely, stabling for horses, riding instruction, and bridle areas for recreational purposes.

Mr. Nixon: That is what your government did in the community colleges for witchcraft.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: There are 12 riding academies listed in the yellow pages of the Ottawa-Hull telephone directory -- all private enterprise, and all of them providing the services these two municipalities want to spend $1.5 million on. I am not against horses; perish the thought.

Mr. Nixon: Some people say you are part of one.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: I am not against riding. I am not against the equestrian centre. I am against the taxpayers paying for it.

Whenever something has to be looked into in our municipality, it never seems possible to buy a book. I remember when I was Minister of Housing they told me there was model town in Finland I should look at. I charged to the ministry -- the taxpayers did pay -- $3 for a book in which there was something like 20 opinions and assessments of that new town in Finland. In my municipality, the reeve, the chairman of the planning committee and the chief planner of the township decided to take a trip to Finland. That’s the way they do things there.

Mr. Nixon: You must really feel they are breathing down your neck.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Not really.

Mr. Nixon: You are talking like a person who is in his last session of the Legislature.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: I don’t recall the province or the Premier (Mr. Davis) or anybody sending out orders to the municipality to undertake that kind of research.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Reid: You didn’t do that well last time.

Mr. Nixon: You took over a safe Tory seat and they are going to knock you off.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Last fall we had a great event in Calgary called the Grey Cup -- a wonderful event; national, and most of us watched it on television. It turned out that in conjunction with Grey Cup weekend there was a casino being held in Calgary. It was decided that since our township might sponsor a casino at some time in the future, three councillors and the executive assistant to the reeve would go to Calgary on Grey Cup weekend to examine the casino; which they did. They came back and then they made a call to our ministry and of course they were told that such casinos were illegal in Ontario. They might very well have checked that out before they went.

As the former leader of the Liberal Party well knows, my Liberal opponent in 1975 just happens to be a councillor in the township of Nepean.

Mr. Nixon: The reeve is not on your short list either.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: I am not too sure whether he is on my friend’s list; maybe his successor will be able to do something about that. But in that campaign it was claimed the new industrial park in Nepean township would return a profit of approximately $2 million a year to the taxpayers in Nepean. I believed everything my Liberal opponent said and I backed the cabinet decision to allow that industrial park to go ahead when it was being opposed by some of the ratepayers because there had never been a financial statement.

I believe that industrial parks can benefit municipalities. But we were told that this one was not going to cost the taxpayers anything; it would pay for itself in a period of a few months; there was a lineup of buyers ready to buy lots in the industrial park and all we had to do as a government was approve it.

Well we did. The first thing that happened was that they retained a real estate agent to sell the lots because they couldn’t find anybody to buy them.

Mr. Nixon: The second thing was you opened one in Spencerville in competition to them.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: The most recent thing, of course, is an application for a loan through my colleague, the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Bennett), to assist the industrial park to pay its debts. Since there is very little communication between me and the council, I haven’t received a copy of the application but I have received a letter asking me to support the application. I think I am going to have to reply by saying I don’t support applications I know nothing about and I would like to see the details. Certainly I would hope that the industrial park proceeds and that it will provide the tax base which my Liberal opponent attributed to it.

Mr. Bullbrook: You should help us get the pension increase. I think you sound as if you might.

Mr. Nixon: I think it is time you started working on the pension.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, restraint on municipal spending is long overdue. There is no question about it. We have had restraints on the school boards for the past several years; I was a school trustee when they first came in, so it is going back about six or seven years. We have stabilized the mill rates in both municipalities in Carleton over that period of time. I believe in Nepean the public school mill rate now is 0.05 of a mill different than it was in 1969; I consider that to be a remarkable achievement directly resulting from the ceilings on education.

I don’t propose that there should be ceilings on municipal spending, simply because standards must vary from municipality to municipality, but certainly the restraint measures that have been taken by the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) are long overdue and I have some hope they will be effective.

Mr. Nixon: So you admit you have been overspending all these years?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: All of those municipalities have been, sir, and I hope that they will now sit down and decide --

Mr. Nixon: But not this government; never this government.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Prior to ceilings, all of the proposals that came before school boards were good; but when ceilings came in, they decided that some were better than others and some of them had to be deferred. I hope that process now takes place in municipal councils.

Recently, the leader of the Liberal Party was in my riding, and I am not too critical of him for not really knowing where he was when he talked about the Queensway-Carleton Hospital in Ottawa. It is not in Ottawa; it is in Nepean township.

Mr. Moffatt: Do you have a tennis court in your riding?

Mr. Ferrier: Did he play a game of tennis when he was there?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: I really don’t blame him. In his perambulations to Hamilton West via Mount Royal and Burlington, he probably got a little lost. Unlike the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Lewis), he doesn’t even scatter crumbs to the natives in eastern Ontario; but he did make this brief appearance in my riding. He came back with a dramatic question for the Minister of Health (Mr. F. S. Miller) -- probably fed to him by a member of the hospital board who happens to be a member of the council and who happens to have been my Liberal opponent in 1975 --

Mr. Moffatt: Is he a member of a tennis club?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: He asked the minister to explain to the House why the Queensway-Carleton Hospital was going to be delayed and told how all those people were being upset by this delay and how it was a great worry to the people of the area. “I would like to hear your explanation, Mr. Minister,” he said.

Well, as I said, the Queensway-Carleton Hospital is not in Ottawa, but he had been in a number of places that day and he probably got a little lost. The hospital will serve all of Carleton, all of eastern Ontario. It is certainly not a great worry to the people in the area; it is a source of great pride, because that hospital resulted from the efforts of a generation of school children, their parents and the community as a whole. As a matter of fact, it was only last week that the formal order in council designating it as an OHIP hospital was passed and the hospital is ready to go into operation.

I don’t know where the leader of the Liberal Party got the idea that the Queensway-Carleton Hospital was causing great worry. Fortunately, the members of the press gallery who thought they might have a good story took the trouble to call the director of the hospital, and he couldn’t understand what the Liberal leader was worried about either. He said there was no worry among the people in the area, the hospital was proceeding on schedule and, when officially open, it will add 200 beds to the stock in the Ottawa-Carleton area.


On that evening, Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader went to my riding to address the annual meeting of the Carleton Liberal Association. I suppose he went to declare a war and unfortunately nobody came. The press didn’t come. But what I did do -- and I always do this to ensure that there is some attendance at the Liberal meetings -- I sent a couple of people over to watch what was going on. It serves two purposes: It usually enables me to find out what’s going on in my riding; and it also doubles the attendance at the meeting, which is very helpful.

I don’t know how far the Liberal leader has gone in attempting to obtain a candidate for the next election, but I would like to make a suggestion to him, because a situation exists in my riding which is not to the advantage of the people, at least of Nepean township. Prior to 1975, elections in Carleton were relatively gentlemanly affairs and I was involved with five of them on behalf of my predecessor Erskine Johnston. Mostly it was the Conservative and the Liberal candidates discussing issues, and the NDP candidate tagging along for the experience.

In 1975, things changed --

Mr. Nixon: You got a little panicky and became anti-French.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Unfortunately the NDP candidate -- who was a very credible candidate and gained a great deal of experience -- apparently has decided not to contest the next election. I hope the Leader of the Opposition maybe will prevail on him to do so. He is a fine gentleman; a man I could discuss issues with. Unfortunately, however the campaign in Carleton did descend into gutter. It was a campaign which I was uncomfortable with and I quite frankly admit I was unable to cope with.

Mr. Nixon: You certainly didn’t cover yourself with glory in your position with the French situation.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: I didn’t cover myself with glory in dealing with the mud-smearing and the mud-slinging.

Mr. Nixon: You were the one who was throwing it.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: It was quite a personal campaign based entirely on my performance on behalf of the people of Nepean township, which is one township in the area.

Mr. Nixon: The council doesn’t think you are doing a good job.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Well, there are some members of the council who don’t, Mr. Speaker, and I quite agree.

Mr. Nixon: They are elected too, you know. They are elected.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: The chief sufferers in this whole situation are the people of Nepean. I’m okay and I’m sure the reeve of Nepean is okay; as a matter of fact, he’s better off than I am financially. But I would think that in order to serve the people of Nepean he might see fit to do what he tried to do by proxy in the last election -- that’s stand for election and stand up and be counted, instead of sitting at the back of the hall prompting the Liberal candidate on the stands he should take on various issues.

Mr. Nixon: What a strange speech this is.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: It’s a little bit partisan; and I’ve been accused from time to time, Mr. Speaker, of being partisan.

Mr. Nixon: It is a very strange speech attacking the whole council of Nepean township, a democratically-elected council. It is a very strange thing for a minister of the Crown to do.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Order.

Mr. Nixon: Surely you have got enough job to do keeping your own house in order. You are making a spectacle of yourself.

Mr. Handleman: I’m suggesting that the municipalities have come up to their own priorities. The motion of the Liberal Party says we are forcing them to raise taxes. Nobody’s forcing them at all. They’re making their own decision; and they are legally elected and they are accountable --

Mr. Nixon: You are not abiding by the election commitment; and they are a good council, too.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: -- and I want to point out that we are not forcing them and we will not permit municipal councils to say, “The province forced us to raise taxes.” They’re making their own decisions.

Mr. Nixon: We are saying it.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, I don’t want to concentrate entirely on the Liberal Party because there is an official opposition in the Legislature.

Mr. Nixon: The Liberals are the ones who are going to beat you.

Mr. Bullbrook: In Japan they call it hara-kiri.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition has, for the most part, been quite calm, I think, in my dealings with him, but when the rent review legislation was transferred to my ministry he made some cutting remarks about my track record in the interests of the consumer and those were remarks I found a little bit unkind.

I’m aware of the fact that nobody in this Legislature can come up to the level of compassion, the compassionate concern for the consumer, which is exhibited by the members opposite in the official opposition. This great consumerism that they seem to think they have a lock on -- I keep having it thrown at me.

The member for Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy) one day as an interjection said, I believe, “If you don’t have a remedy, find one. Pass a law, spend money; that’s the way to do things around here.” That, I think, is the answer of the members in the official opposition: Government can do anything it wants to do and therefore it should. That’s the attitude. Therefore I don’t find too much criticism there about restraint; except, of course, we are not spending money in the areas in which they would spend it.

Mr. Lawlor: Enforcing the present law would be better.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: I find in that party, sir, there is a mistrust of the business community so thick that you can cut it with a knife. While paying lip service to small business -- and this is what I find so ironic about the NDP at the present time --

Mr. Moffatt: You don’t like that.

Mr. Bain: We like small business, but it’s the multinational corporations we don’t like.

Mr. Speaker: Order please.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: They pay lip service to the virtues of small business. A few weeks ago I made a speech in Markham in which I praised the Better Business Bureau, which is made up almost entirely of small business, and one of the members opposite --

Mr. Bain: What is your relationship with Inco?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: -- not on the floor of the House, but very quietly, said: “You wouldn’t trust those guys to handle consumer affairs.” Well yes, I would. I think the small businessman should be encouraged to handle consumer matters, and they are doing a great job wherever they are given the opportunity to do it.

Mr. Renwick: Certainly you’re not doing very much.

Mr. Moffatt: You are not even a spectator at the game.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: I don’t accept that they are rip-off artists. They are essentially honest, hard-working people, and they are intent on making a living and a profit and profit is not a dirty word in this society yet, no matter what some people up in Ottawa and members opposite may say. Profit is a legitimate goal of business.

Mr. Davidson: We don’t begrudge the small businessman a profit.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Some of the members of the House who have not been here very long may not know that we have been dealing in consumerism, and I am not going to dwell at great length on that, but I would like to point out there are a number of consumer initiatives in the speech that we are debating.

Mr. Lawlor: You are not a very vigorous department.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: While we have done a number of things and --

Mr. Ferrier: Weak-kneed, deluded.

Mr. Lawlor: All this and Heaven too.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Since I am being charmed by the member for Lakeshore, I would like to respond and tell him some of the things that we are doing. He should know; he should know. There are others here who may not know, but he does.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please; the hon. member for Carleton will continue.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: One of the things we have done over the past five years is to try to dismantle the rule of caveat emptor in this province. We are trying to take away from the buyer the necessity of investigating every transaction.

Mr. Renwick: Keep trying; you haven’t done very well yet.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: We haven’t succeeded entirely, no; nor do I think any government will ever succeed entirely in that. We say to the consumer, the best consumer is an informed consumer. If I may borrow from my colleague, the Minister of Health (Mr. F. S. Miller), we think you should be your own consumer protection bureau. But we have a role to play and certainly we are prepared to carry it out.

Mr. Renwick: You can’t spend your whole life protecting yourself.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: We think that in exercising good, sound, common sense by bringing in legislation which enables the consumer to avail himself of government protection we can create some balance in the marketplace.

Mr. Moffatt: Some balance.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: We don’t want to spend our time threshing about with ideology or trying to find some nasty capitalist under every bed, like some of the members opposite. We have gone out and changed the rules of the marketplace and we have made the changes stick. We haven’t had the degree of confrontation that perhaps some of our socialist friends would have relished in this process. It has not been a cabbage-throwing contest. I doubt -- and maybe the member for Lakeshore reflects this -- that anyone opposite has noticed how things have changed over the past five years under the leadership of our present Premier (Mr. Davis); but they have changed, and they have changed for the better.

What we have done is we have established a network of rights, firmly established by statute. These rights are being extended every day in court decisions, by decisions of the commercial registration appeal tribunal and in the ongoing procedures of letters and replies and investigations and judgements being made in the ministry every day.

I know that if I spend a great deal of time informing the members of our consumer initiatives over the past five years, some of the effort will be wasted, because some of them may not be long among us. I hope they have taken the opportunity to send out their first constituency newsletter, because the member for Hamilton West (Mr. S. Smith) might very well change his mind again tomorrow and we will be back on the hustings.

Mr. Nixon: Whatever we do it will be the end of you. You won’t be back, Sidney.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: I say it will be good to have known the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk.


Mr. Bullbrook: Lorne, you didn’t hear him attack his council. That’s the last thing Lorne would ever do. He is here in perpetuity; he will never leave here.

Mr. Speaker: Order please.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: I am so happy that I know no matter what happens to me personally I will always have a friend at court; and I mean at court, not in the opposition benches.

Mr. Bullbrook: What do you mean in court? He is the head man.

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

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, some of the rights that we --

Mr. Nixon: You don’t need a friend in court, do you?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: -- provided to Ontario citizens are the right to sound information about the product or service he is buying; the right to performance of the standards promised by the salesman; the right to disclosure of all of the pertinent information of the buyer and the seller; the right to cancel a contract which has been signed under duress; the right to speedy redress under our Consumer Protection Act.

Now they have succeeded by relying upon three basic methods or procedures. First, we set out rules of practice for more than a dozen major industries, which is the subject of a number of Acts. Now we’re going on to more general types of legislation, such as is reflected in the Business Practices Act. In addition to dealing with specific industries, we’ve registered the practitioners of these industries. And third, we’ve established procedures to deal with complaints and bring about their effective resolution. Nearly everyone; the consumer, the honest businessman and everyone else has benefitted from this work. The only people who have suffered have been the unethical or the incompetent.

The Business Practices Act which was made law in May of last year makes hundreds of unethical sales practices illegal for the first time. We keep hearing of the consumer legislation of British Columbia as being the most progressive and the most effective and the toughest in the world.

Mr. Lawlor: Somebody is watching you.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: They started with nothing; they copied our Act and now with a great many press releases, the former minister, Phyllis Young, has made the world aware of the fact that British Columbia has a consumer services department. I met with the new minister and he tells me he is not going to stop that practice at all. In other words, they are going to blow the horn of their effective consumer legislation. It is our Act; it is the Business Practices Act translated into the British Columbia milieu. It was taken out there by their present deputy minister who was a consultant to my predecessor, John Clement, in the drafting of the act.

We praise the British Columbia legislation, we think it is great; but we want you to know, Mr. Speaker, and we want the people of Ontario to know, that we bad it first.

Mr. Moffatt: Well you might as well use it.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: We use it and we use it effectively. We are using it all the time and we will use it increasingly.

Mr. Moffatt: Talk to the people of Bowmanville.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: I would like members to consider the Consumer Reporting Act which was brought into effect in 1974 by my predecessor, John Clement. It provides for the registration of consumer reporting agencies. This is the Act that protects the individual from false information and provides for disclosure of his own file to any consumer in Ontario.

Mr. Lawlor: Did you ever read that debate?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Yes. We took this up in estimates and I am satisfied that Act is working. We’ve had very few complaints about it.

Mr. Lawlor: You don’t protect privacy.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: The only places in which we’ve had any complaints are in border areas where some Canadian merchants are using collection agencies outside the boundaries of Ontario. It has now been drawn to the attention of those merchants and I think those situations will be corrected. It has been suggested, of course, that we have an amendment to the Consumer Protection Act which would provide for a 48-hour cooling-off period on Liberal non-confidence notices.

While that might prevent the Liberals from causing themselves further embarrassment, and certainly save the politicians from worrying about unnecessary elections, it would lessen the public cynicism about the whole political process. However, I don’t think it would be constitutionally sound for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations to take that action.

These are the legislative initiatives we’ve been taking in the past five years. The leadership of the Premier and my predecessor, John Clement, has been the major factor in our progress in consumer relations.

There are a number of initiatives in the Speech from the Throne which we’re debating which I think we should be dealing with, particularly the home warranty plan which I expect I’ll be introducing in the Legislature within a matter of a few days. We have to consult with a number of people as to the direction we’re going to go or the form in which the warranty will be administered. But it is my understanding that we have reached agreement with most of the members of the industry, with the lenders and with the consumers. We will be talking to the municipalities very shortly -- as soon as they have had an opportunity to study the Act -- then, hopefully, we will proceed with the debate after everybody has had an opportunity to assess the proposal. I expect it will be discussed in committee of the whole House.

Mr. Lawlor: How about consumer warranties?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: You took the words right out of my mouth.

I would like to talk just for a moment about consumer product warranties which are based on the Law Reform Commission report. It has been a concern of mine ever since I came into the portfolio -- as a consumer, not as the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. It is very difficult to remain objective in your judgement of product warranties when, as a consumer, from time to time you run into problems. I am not going to mention my problems because I think it would be unfair to those who have caused them.

Mr. Reid: Your problem is obvious.


Hon. Mr. Handleman: There is no question at all that a consumer product warranty Act is necessary. What we do require is a minimum basic warranty free of all disclaimers. I think we can achieve that in the Act that I hope I will be able to introduce.

I want to make it quite clear that this Act has been discussed with other provinces. Hopefully, some of the provinces to the west of us will be introducing somewhat similar legislation, although not identical, and we’ll be able to take a look at what the provinces are thinking.

Mr. Lawlor: Yes, you are always the pioneer.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: We’re always first.

Mr. Lawlor: Always going to New York, California, and wherever else.

Mr. Reid: First to borrow.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: We’ve looked at theirs and we find that they’re not suitable for us. Rut we’re certainly going to provide for a straightforward redress procedure. I think that’s the most important thing in a consumer product warranty Act -- that the consumer has immediate, straightforward, simple redress procedures available to him.

Despite the fact that we’re always in the lead, we know that there has to be national uniformity of standards --

Mr. Lawlor: Liechtenstein is ahead of you.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: -- in any consumer product warranty Act. Our manufacturers, and those who import, of course, do not do so for a provincial jurisdiction; they do so on an optional basis. The former Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs and, possibly, the future Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs again, did ask that the provinces show on the table the direction in which they’re heading so that the national government could look at what the provinces feel is right and act upon it.

One of the problems in dealing with consumer affairs, particularly with an NDP opposition, is that they feel miracles can be accomplished. Sometimes they’re right.

Mr. Young: We have faith in you.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: In British Columbia they took a perfectly good general insurance industry, turned it into a government monopoly and then ran it into the ground. They lost millions of dollars in the process. They had a strike of 13 weeks among their very faithful employees.

Mr. Moffatt: You’ve been reading the wrong press again.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: If a government can do that, then they can work miracles -- there’s no question of that. They did a tremendous job on the insurance industry.

Just try to imagine what a socialist government would do with a consumer products warranty programme. Maybe the member for Lakeshore would say I’m exaggerating.

Mr. McClellan: You asked Saskatchewan to consult with you.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: It would probably start off in the preamble with a declaration saying: “All products and goods should last forever.” That’s the first thing. That’s an absolute must in an NDP product warranty Act.

Mr. Moffatt: That’s absolutely ridiculous.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Then they would say: “Since the repair shops are charging those exorbitant amounts for repairs of goods, we will set the fee and we’ll charge $2 to repair a colour television set. But would you mind waiting three months because the repair man is on strike at the present time?” Somebody once said, and I’m going to steal these words: “If the Sahara became socialist, there would soon be a shortage of sand.”

Mr. Moffatt: You like that one.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: It’s not funny? Okay.

Our approach would be a reasonable one, we hope. We will make use of the flexibility of the Business Practices Act, which gives the government power to eliminate deceptive practices. We will also provide ready access to the courts for both my ministry and consumers, making it possible to not against the retailer, the manufacturer or both.

Government adjudication is something else we’ve been asked to bring into legislation. It’s far too slow; far too cumbersome; far too expensive to contemplate. We simply do not believe that government should interfere in an adversary system. We’re providing consumers with rights which we believe to be unparalleled anywhere in Canada, but it does not follow that the only responsibility of the consumer is to complain. He has some responsibility to act on his own.

Some people will have to go to court to enforce their rights, and what’s wrong with that? The courts were established to provide justice for the common man and to protect him from the arbitrary action, both of his fellow citizens and of the government. There is no effective substitute for the rule of law. This is a tradition which has been very valuable to this country in the last 100 years.

The government does have responsibility to help consumers and it takes that responsibility seriously. We have a responsibility to investigate complaints. We have a responsibility to take legal action against offending businessmen. The problem always is, in any type of litigation you have to have proof. It’s all too easy to make allegations without being able to prove them. Now, there can’t be a separate system of justice for every social ill; and there certainly can’t be a bureaucrat for every consumer. I believe it is incumbent on each of us to be our own consumer protection bureau, as I have already said, and government must create the balance in the marketplace to make this effective.

I want to simply say again that we on this side of the House believe that the consumer does deserve protection against the abuses of the marketplace, that the way to achieve that protection best is by creating a balance, by giving the consumer easy and effective redress procedures without incurring tremendous expenses. One of the things I found in the exanimation of my estimates last year was that we were being criticized for not being more expensive in many ways, more expensive in our information services because there was some criticism that we weren’t telling people what we were doing. There was some criticism we didn’t have enough people out in the field to assist consumers. We feel that we have provided sound leadership, exercising sound fiscal practices; and we are now looking for comparable efforts from the public we serve.

One of the great problems we face as a party dedicated to the private enterprise system is the fact that there are times when the business community lets us down. It is just as clear to us as it is to members opposite that some of the attitudes of business must change. And I have kept saying this to them ever since I became minister. Those changes must take place if the consumer’s reasonable expectations are to be met.

But it is a mistake to think that businessmen are intrinsically evil -- even the large corporations, which is said with an invisible sneer. No, private enterprise does not inevitably work against the wishes of the public. It is also a mistake to ignore the very real transitions that are taking place in business thinking and methodology.

I meet businessmen all the time, and sometimes they do get a little over-fascinated by their own schemes and ambitions, the health of their industry and the sales of their products. Sometimes we charge them with lack of social conscience and it comes as a surprise to them. They really don’t understand the feeling out there in the marketplace and in government. But their position, sir, is not one of intent. It is not one of evil conspiracy to defraud and to rip off. This is, I think, the consequence of obsession in the business community with their own activities. We are asking them to broaden their horizons, to look at the public interest; and I expect a positive response from the business community to that request.

They have never made a decision to be bad corporate citizens, despite the feelings of some people in this Legislature. The problem is they sometimes can’t see themselves as others do from the outside.

But many of the adversaries of business certainly are no better, and I meet many of them too. Many of them have never had a serious discussion with a businessman. They know nothing of his work or his problems. Their image of big business is still pretty close to the top hat, the big cigar and the cane of capitalism, which was made famous in those early days of the revolution over on the other side.

The pressures and difficulties of producing and marketing a successful product really never occur to them. They don’t think of the kinds of problems that arise. It’s all fixed in the boardroom, they say. The idea that business responsibilities sometimes require sacrifices too is quickly forgotten. It’s stereotyped thinking --

Mr. Renwick: Why don’t you leave this apologia for your colleague the Minister of Industry and Tourism and try to deal with the consumers in the province?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: We have to deal with the business community if we are going to deal with consumer problems and we are trying to deal with both.

It is stereotyped thinking by both businessmen and consumer advocates that has in the end forced the government to take greater and greater responsibilities in the marketplace. It is this same kind of thinking that is helping to drive up government expenditures. We are trying to keep them down; we hope that we will succeed.

We don’t want to be the indispensable policemen. It is simply unnecessary and we think it can be made completely redundant by a change in attitudes. I hope in the next few months to be encouraging local businessmen to take more responsibility for consumer complaints. I feel that the Better Business Bureau, the Chamber of Commerce and Boards of Trade can take these responsibilities and handle them very responsibly. I am going to be speaking to businessmen about what we expect from them to ensure that my ministry does not grow in size; we do not want to build an empire. We have to widen the circle of participation in consumer protection if we are to make it as effective as we would like to see it and also to keep it inexpensive. That will be a major objective in my ministry in the months ahead.


That doesn’t have the cardboard-cut-out simplicity that we might expect from the members of the official opposition, and of course I’ll never make enough changes in policy to qualify as a member of the third party in the House. But in the end, we expect that co-operation -- voluntary, as much as we can make it -- will bring the consumer his just expectations.

The consumer initiatives in Her Honour’s address warrant the full support of all members of this Legislature. It will be disappointing to me if, on the night of April 5, I see the opposition parties vote against them. I hope they won’t. Probably they will on at least one vote, and probably they will split on the other. I’m looking forward to that vote on April 5 very much.

Mr. Renwick: Now we will hear some sense.

Mr. Breaugh: I wondered what they did with the stuff after it went through the shredder. Now I know. It becomes the minister’s speech.

The other comment I wanted to make before we get settled on the Throne Speech is that maybe the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations could do a little investigating about how badly we got ripped off on the sound system in here. Just before he goes, he could snake a small note of that.

I wanted to make some reference to one of the things we heard a lot about last fall and we keep hearing a good deal about -- it’s mentioned often in the Throne Speech -- and that is the field of justice. It’s now called justice; if I remember rightly, last fail it was called law and order. We were going to embark on a great law and order campaign in Ontario. I think we all looked forward at least to the experience of what might happen there. We had a new Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry), and at least if we watched the TV every night we saw there was a lot of legislation being proposed out in the hall. When the cameras were going and the lights were on there were all kinds of ideas being bandied about.

The problem was, there wasn’t very much going on in here. There was a lot of talk outside the House, a lot of comments, a lot of opinions and a lot of different ideas tried, but not very much legislation put before the House. The problem that he’s got, I suppose, is that the cameras have moved inside the House and something is going to have to happen, because the whole TV studio mill is now in here.

One of the things that has resulted from all this -- and I think it is a very significant point in Canadian history -- is that we’ve now managed to charge one of the members of the Detroit Red Wings with assault. So far that’s the high point in the new law and order campaign. One professional hockey player did it -- in front of a lot of people, which I suppose, is what makes the difference -- and he got charged.

Mr. Samis: Wait until the next football season starts.

Mr. Breaugh: That’s true. In the football season it’s going to be a problem because there are going to be a lot of assault cases laid there --

Mr. Samis: A lot of meanies among those Roughriders.

Mr. Breaugh: -- except when the Argonauts are playing, but that’s normal for our guys.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: You couldn’t charge them with assault.

Mr. Samis: It’s impossible.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: It’s impossible.

Mr. Breaugh: Not with the Argonauts playing, you’re right.

An hon. member: Maybe the baseball team.

Mr. Breaugh: Maybe the ball team, but not the Argos.

The other thing we have seen so far is the great escapade in investigation into television violence. Frankly, I like my violence on television; I’d rather have it there than on the streets. I really dislike people who take pot-shots at Kojak; anybody who sucks lollipops has got to be okay by me.

Those are really the two notable changes that we’ve had toward a law and order society in Ontario. One is charging a hockey player and the other is picking on Kojak. I don’t understand that. I don’t think that’s really a significant move, or at least the kind of thing that we anticipated.

The other place where justice is mentioned in the Throne Speech now is that there’s a lot of backlog in the court system, and what are you going to do about that? Of course, there are a lot of problems that are associated with that, some of which are jurisdictional and some constitutional. It’s not hard any more to identify the accused; he is usually the guy who is out on bail. If one talks to police officers, one of their biggest problems is to try to keep up with the arrest system -- to get the arrests written out before the guys are oat on bail again. That’s a very significant problem, particularly when it gets to the courts and one is talking about sentencing.

The backlog in the courts being such, it is very difficult now for police officers to really remember who actually committed the crime. If it weren’t for his notes and the fact that the accused generally sits up near the front of the court, the policeman very often has a difficult time identifying who actually is the criminal in the case, or the alleged criminal. In fact, a lot of what’s going on is as a result of what was once called, I suppose, a correctional system; it became sort of a holding tank, where you dumped them. And in a lot of cases, they became training schools for crime. That’s where they got their finishing touches on how to break safes and low to conduct various forms of criminal activities. There seems to be a lot of that kind of lack of balance. There doesn’t seem to be much common sense anymore; I must say there is not very much coming from the government side of the House in particular.


One of the things I’m supposed to take a look at in this House is the work of the Solicitor General’s (Mr. MacBeth) ministry. In recent weeks we’ve had some discussions about the kind of ammunition that police officers use and the kind of procedures they use when there’s a police chase on. These are rather small things, I suppose, unless you happen to be on the receiving end of the ammunition or you happen to be the one who’s being chased at that particular moment.

There are some bigger problems, ones which really aren’t very dramatic. The amount of police training that goes on in Ontario, although it’s much better than it once was, is still not really significant. The kind of budget cuts that are going on in my area really mean that small police stations are being closed. The kinds of programmes that are being cut are really odd, because they’re really the first occasions when the police departments were getting out into the community. They had community relations programmes in Toronto and a number of areas for the first time in many years; they were an attempt by the police force to kind of associate with their community, because they sensed, as many people have, that police forces by and large have lost touch with their community.

There aren’t very many places in Ontario where everybody knows the cop on the beat anymore. It’s a major problem. So they set out to rectify that by setting up community relations clinics, by training officers in special ways and by running things which sometimes accomplished much more than they set out to accomplish.

What I suppose might be considered in some respects as a frivolous thing, a safety programme, not only taught kids school safety but brought police officers back into human contact with kids. In some of the schools where I taught, that was the first non-threatening situation that those kids had ever seen in which a police officer participated He wasn’t trying to bust them for ripping off the local five-and-dime store. He was trying to be nice to them and he was trying to explain things to them.

Although the major thrust of that programme really was kind of traffic safety or all kinds of safety for kids in school, a major part of what occurred there was that the police officer established a relationship with the kids in that area. He got to know them on a first-name basis and the kids got to know him, and many of them they lost their fear of a police officer through that. Some of them regained it shortly thereafter, but at least temporarily they had some security in that situation.

In a lot of places it means that the little local cop shop, the local police station, isn’t there anymore. There’s now a big one, 20 miles away. The people don’t know who’s policing that area and they don’t know where to go if they want to talk to somebody. In my home town, there always was a little police station and three or four police officers who worked the town and every/body knew each one of them; and if they weren’t your friends, at least they weren’t your enemies. That’s hardly true anywhere in Ontario anymore.

There used to be a great tradition, if you like, about police officers doing foot patrols. The cop on the beat was a great guy; you didn’t do bad things when he was around, and if you did, and it wasn’t of a serious nature, it was a discussable item. He had considerable respect in his community. In a lot of major urban centres in Ontario now, there really aren’t very many foot patrols; there aren’t very many police officers walking up and down the streets talking to people. There are two in a cruiser and that’s much different than one officer with whom you can stand and have a little chat with on the corner. There are still some, but at a time when they’re really putting on budget restraints, that’s one of the first things to go.

I think one of the biggest problems we have is that there are much larger police organizations in Ontario now. Almost everywhere there’s that bureaucracy at work; there’s kind of a dehumanized process involved. One of the things that it does, oddly enough, is that it seems to put the police officer under a good deal of pressure. He can no longer be relaxed in his job. There are things happening in Ontario that never used to happen here. There are bureaucracies to answer to; there are procedures to be followed; there are a great many complicated things which make it difficult for an officer to try to even survive as an ordinary guy trying to do his job.

One very simple thing is that there’s an increased population in Ontario; and with that increased population, the percentage, if you like, of people who actually commit a crime also increases. In simple numbers, there’s more there. There is, right now, a withdrawal of a great many social services in Ontario. A lot of the things that used to stop crime before it started, a lot of the families who needed counselling, a lot of the kids who needed some help are feeling that pinch from that withdrawal of social service. Those people who a little while ago might have had a chance to go and talk to somebody about problems they might have in their own home or in their own little community are finding now, and are going to find, that that’s becoming increasingly difficult because those people aren’t there anymore; because their caseload is much higher than it was, say a year ago and because there is just not quite as much for them to rely on in any sense.

There are those who, I guess, make the argument that although the welfare system could be abused in a lot of cases it’s that welfare system that keeps them out of crime. If you want to be very crass about it, if you don’t have to steal for money, if you can get it from another source, the chances of your stealing for the money are somewhat less. I think if you looked at the statistics from American cities where welfare systems at one time at least were much worse than the ones we had here, you would find some considerable support for that.

The worst thing, though, that I think I see in modern police work is probably the unreal expectations that are put on the officers. They are expected to do things and to be correct all the time, and to get very little support for doing so. They have to make decisions in split-second situations with very little guidance in many cases and very little support in a great many other cases. Then their decision is scrutinized over the next six, or eight mouths, or sometimes a year or two years. It is scrutinized by the press and by all the politicians; nobody wants to be associated with that guy who in 30 seconds had to decide what to do in a given situation.

We saw the Solicitor General say that’s part of being a police officer. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was some support for that officer who had to make that kind of decision? Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a little better training for that police officer? Wouldn’t it be a much better idea to provide him with a controlled situation where he didn’t so often have to make that kind of decision?

We can make lousy decisions and come back tomorrow and change our mind, that has been done before; but a police officer maybe can’t. He may be firing a weapon and he can’t pull that bullet back. He is, I think, in an increasingly complicated and uncomfortable situation. One of the things I have some reservations about in Ontario is that there is certainly a lot of training going on that not many people are aware of. I don’t think very many people in the general population are aware that our police have riot training. They have, and they drill regularly. Not very many people are aware that in Ontario it is legal for the chief of police or the commissioner of police actually to declare any kind of weapon or any kind of ammunition to be legal for his officers to use.

I don’t know how you would put this in a gentlemanly way, but there is kind of a concentrated training schedule going on here. People are being trained in certain skills that I think emulate what is going on in American cities and at some point in time they are going to want to use those skills. Whether they have sufficient discretion to use them wisely or not is a good question, but we are spending a lot of money in aiming our police forces at that kind of thing.

In Ontario we have this impression that we will never become like American society with that kind of police ethic, if you like, working around in our urban area; we don’t have SWAT teams in Ontario, we think. But we do have one in Toronto. We, think we won’t have special weapons floating around all over the place; but we have them, and every once in a while you can watch the news and see that happen. You can see that American-style cruiser roll up; you can see the battle wagon, fully charged on the inside, with specially trained police officers aboard.

What do those gentlemen do? They practise. I had a report the other day that the special weapons squad in Toronto rolled up to the U of T campus and spent an hour or so chasing a dog around because they needed the practice. That’s a lot of money and that’s a lot of skilled help chasing a dog around a university campus.

We have in Ontario a kind of British tradition, if you like, of police training and police officers. We do allow them to carry weapons here and they don’t do that in England all the time, but we have their aspect of it as opposed to the American approach or tradition of an officer being somewhat a little more aggressive in the carrying out of his duties. I see some problems there and frankly I don’t see very much that is going to help us. There certainly isn’t very much in the Throne Speech that would help our system of justice. Some of the frustration signs that I see are much more militant police associations. I can never remember seeing a police association in Ontario taking out a full-page ad on anything, and that’s currently what’s going on.

I think too it is only fair to say that the policemen themselves have a rather poor image these days. It is a little difficult to defend some of their actions, but it is also unfair to take the two or three who do things that are not perhaps quite according to Hoyle and put them up as being what every police officer really is. On the other side of the coin there is considerable lack of respect for police officers in Ontario, and we can see that on virtually any street. We can it in my riding. We can see it in Toronto. We can see it anywhere. I don’t really remember when I was a kid that I had at least that attitude. I don’t ever remember loving the police force or anything like that, but I don’t ever remember seeing those open signs of disrespect. It’s here and frankly I don’t see anybody doing very much about it.

One of the things that happened just over this weekend was the incident in Toronto’s Chinese community and I find that unreal, even the allegation the police officers went into a place where there was supposed gambling going on. I didn’t see anything about gambling charges being laid. I saw something about somebody burning money on a table. That’s surely a sign of frustration.

Mr. Lawlor: That’s a capital crime in our society. Imagine; burning money!

Mr. Breaugh: I rarely do that myself.

An hon. member: It is better to go to the paper shredder.

Mr. Breaugh: I think part of the problem, though, is that being a police officer in Ontario has become a thankless job. There is very little support for them. There is a lot of pressure on them. There is the higher crime rate. There is perhaps the lack of public support. There is a lot of time spent on useless jobs; serving bench warrants, driving around, waiting for judges; and the paper work that’s there, as there is in every bureaucracy.

There are perhaps several indications that organized crime is here, although we very often spend a lot of time, especially in this House, denying that there is organized crime; but it’s difficult to figure out how they can one day break up a supposed $70 million drug ring in one city and then turn around and say there really isn’t any organized crime in Ontario. It takes considerable organization to get that kind of thing together.

There used to be an OPP investigation branch that did criminal investigations on organized crime. I am told it’s barely in existence anymore. There seems to have been some drop or change in priorities. I remember at one time all the discussions about organized crime were hot and heavy in Ontario. It seems to run in cycles. It doesn’t seem to get discussed anymore and therefore perhaps the government is letting down on that a bit. Perhaps public pressure is the only thing that wakes them up. Maybe it is just that people have seen “The Valachi Papers” and are sick and tired of hearing about organized crime or whatever it might be.

At any rate, I don’t see very much in this Throne Speech and I haven’t seen very much on the part of this government that really is, even by anybody’s stretch of the imagination, leadership. I haven’t even seen them take much of a stand in terms of responsibility. I haven’t seen anything that would guide or support or help a police officer doing his job, and I haven’t seen very much that dealt with the role of a police officer. From what I remember when I was growing up, he did a much different job from the one I see is being done now; much different. I think there really needs to be some stabilization of that whole effort and some alteration of the expectations that we have of those officers. I think, quite frankly, that’s an area of justice that can be changed and ought to be changed, and I really don’t support the idea that the way to alter your system of justice is go out and appoint 40 or 50 more judges. I think there are some fundamental problems there that no one has even looked at yet, at least no one is willing to make very much of a to-do about or to make a public statement about.

I want to say a couple of words too about something else that seems to have been forgotten since last September. Last September there was a lot of talk about occupational health. There seems to be that cycle in Ontario, and we seem to be hung with it. I see it mentioned in the Throne Speech. It is really given a lot of time and effort.

It says in the Throne Speech that the occupational health problem is a top priority item. I don’t know what that means. I seem to remember everybody always saying that it’s a top priority item, but I don’t see anything to correct the situation at all. I don’t even hear any minister of the Crown saying anything about it, let alone introducing legislation in that field. I remember some promises that were made about task forces here and an occupational health commission, terms of reference undefined. I am waiting to see that happening.

I really wonder, aside from the television ads and the odd occupational health meeting that’s held around Ontario, if the government cares at all in that field. Perhaps we should redefine that word, they probably do care but are they willing to do anything about it? That’s what I don’t see.

For one thing, every time an issue is raised you are immediately into a jungle that involves three ministries -- Health, Environment and Labour. No one seems to be able to bring those three together. You ask a question one day of the Minister of Labour and you get one answer; the next day you can get something from Health; the next day you can get something from Environment. They never seem to operate together.


Mr. Renwick: And, meanwhile, Leo Bernier carries on without them.

Mr. Breaugh: True, true. One of the problems that I see is how do you sort out three bureaucracies? God knows, you have a tough enough time trying to make one work, but three of them together seems really to boggle the mind.

The fact simply seems to be that there really isn’t any uniform policy in Ontario about this. There seems to be a great deal of difficulty enforcing what laws are there. It seems to be very difficult to get the one ministry to do any monitoring on a regular basis; and then more difficult than that, to get them to release the results. They don’t want to tell you what happened. It’s more difficult, perhaps, even than that to get somebody to set some standards and explain those to people.

The real killer seems to be the enforcement of the present laws in Ontario. I really don’t know of very many occasions when those laws have been enforced except by mutual agreement between the company and the government. They seem to be most reluctant to do that.

What happens in fact is that we seem to just kind of lurch from one disaster to another -- a big scandal someplace and a health scare there and a lot of press that surrounds that. The government is quite prepared then to do something in that situation. But if you’re around six or eight months later the same thing is going on. The promises are forgotten.

Some of the people in my riding work in a plant in Scarborough, Johns-Manville. If you recall, in the last election campaign there was a lot of discussion about that particular plant. Those problems still aren’t solved. Although there were a few investigations, although some results were tabled, the basic problem in the plant is still there.

How long does it really take? How many have to die -- and that is not a word to throw around -- but how many people do have to die before the present laws are really enforced, before they’re carried out?

All of these things seem to come about too, through the effort of people working in these plants. I would have thought that one of the ministers would be doing this job; but in fact what I find is that all of this stuff is uncovered by workers, individuals, or by their unions; or worse yet, by some politician or by some newsman who doesn’t even work in that place. But who gets paid and who’s responsible for enforcing those laws? Sometimes that’s a little difficult to get out.

What seems to happen is that agreements are made that companies will, over a long period of time, clean up their act. In the interim the government will be satisfied to kind of monitor the situation, look after any real disasters that people find out about and others are okay, others are exempt.

Probably the main cause, really, is that the cost of a safe workplace is pretty expensive. Cleaning up factories, especially ones that are old, can be an expensive piece of business. But it’s expensive in more than one way. That cost can be borne by the taxpayer. You can pay for it out of your health care system, you can pay for it through compensation, you can pay for it in terms of damage to the environment around those plants -- and they do pay that price. We’re paying it now.

I suppose, in theory anyway, it could be paid for by that industry itself; the industry that’s making the profit the minister referred to as being okay. I don’t have anything that much against an industry making a dollar, but I do think it’s high time in Ontario that this thing came of age -- that the legislation was changed substantially so that the prime cost of providing a safe workplace is put on those people who make the profit.

That seems to me to be a reasonable attitude. But in Ontario today they really don’t do it unless they have to, and, quite frankly, that’s probably because there isn’t any profit in occupational health for most companies. The profit, if there is one, is only to the workers and to the people who live and work in that community; and these are things you can’t see on a little balance sheet.

There is, I guess, a kind of corporate tradition in Ontario that there really isn’t any problem with the workplace until someone discovers it. There’s no need to go in and do that job, to monitor, to require a safe workplace; and really, in the end you only do that if you have to.

One of the things I hear all the time from the other side of the House is that this side, the opposition, doesn’t have a monopoly on social conscience. That’s true; we don’t. Yet the government must have more than just a conscience. It needs to carry out its responsibilities; and this government seems quite prepared, all the time, to stop just short of that.

I am sure they do think about those situations that are unsafe, they are quite prepared to talk about it; they do sponsor television commercials and they do sponsor the odd seminar, but they stop just short of actually doing anything about it. They stop just short of enforcing existing legislation; and that’s a crime and that really hasn’t been addressed in any significant way in this Throne Speech or in anything this government has done since last Sept. 18.

I want to cover another point, and that is the federal wage control programme, because that economy that is being discussed in Ottawa, and hasn’t been discussed at all, at least not in a formal way, in this House, has some pretty serious ramifications for Ontario. I wonder -- and this small question has been raised during the question period from time to time -- how legal is it for the Province of Ontario to throw itself into that kind of a major economic programme, without even debating it formally in the House at all, not once, simply by signing it. How constitutional is that?

And setting aside those two points, which the government could always send off to a good judge for eight or nine years, how democratic is it? Maybe even more pertinent, is it a self-defeating process to do it in that way? There is no option covering provincial employees; and I suppose that’s probably a politically popular thing because not many people are all that happy with our teachers and our civil servants, but I wonder how fair that is. I would like to think that a government that purports to have a social conscience all the time, ought to at least once in a while consider fairness as being something that’s worthwhile sticking your neck out for.

Frankly, it strikes me that that’s a rather convenient copout that’s been used. To sign an agreement outside the House and not bring it before the House in any way, shape or form gives them the added advantage of two things. They won’t have to listen to all this extraneous debate; secondly, there is no possibility that the government will be defeated on that particular motion, particularly if the motion can’t even get before the House. There is a fringe benefit, if the whole thing goes screwy one can always blame Ottawa, and that’s a favourite sport that everyone uses in this minority government situation there has been an increasing tendency for the government to operate outside of the House. If you recall, the major cuts in health care services were announced outside of the House; the signing of this Anti-Inflation Board agreement was announced outside of the House. In fact, a great deal of the day-to-day operation of the government has been done outside of the House with no debate, with no vote. That’s convenience, if you like; I am not so terribly sure that that’s brilliant though.

In Ontario we have a heavily industrialized economy in the steel industry and the auto industry. Those two major industries are going to be drastically affected by that programme, and that is going to happen this year. Those contracts are up for negotiation. In some of the other industries, in pulp and paper, that’s already happened. I just wonder, in a matter of time how many people are going to be affected and what the time frame will be.

In my own riding, just before Christmas, we did some surveys to find out what people thought about that anti-inflation programme. The rough consensus was, very simply, well they didn’t understand it, but somebody ought to do something and apparently Trudeau had done something, so let’s see whether it works Or not.

But in my community they are now beginning to understand it. They are now beginning to understand what that means to their wages, what that means to their business; and they don’t Like it anymore. If members happened to watch the news last Monday they might have seen 20,000 or 30,000 people on Parliament Hill protesting, and that’s part of our democratic process. It’s unfortunate the members of this House haven’t even had a chance to debate that particular agreement. That hasn’t been brought here.

If one wanted to I suppose one could say there are political motives for doing things in that way, that at some point in time all of us have to get charged up and loaded, and at some point in time there will be a major confrontation in the Province of Ontario, probably this summer or this fall, and that that would be a good time for that government to call an election on that particular issue. In a pinch they really can’t be accused of unfairness, because after all they didn’t design the programme, Ottawa did; and then in a real hind they could probably say: “At least we had the courage to do something,” whatever it might have been.

One of the things I think it is going to do, though, is destroy the economy of Ontario, particularly the industrial economy; and I think it’s going to bring about industrial strife like we have never seen it. I really am afraid that in this instance they opted for a move which perhaps was politically wise, as perhaps it wouldn’t have been smart to bring that agreement before the House, but I think it was most unfair and in the long run will turn out to be unwise because people these days like to know what actually happened.

I want to say a couple of words about the restraint that ain’t. As a result of the restraint system that has been announced in Ontario, particularly in a number of areas like day care, it is really questionable whether in the end anybody will ever save any money. I don’t know that they have. I certainly haven’t seen any figures to support the idea that that restraint programme really will save anybody any money in the long run. I know it is going to put some hardships on people. I know that in the municipalities decisions are being made now that are really rather sad.

There are some tax bills that are going to be out in May and June of this year that are going to impose real hardships on people; we know that. There are projects that ought to be carried out that won’t be. There are services that have been rendered in the past, that are necessary to the life of a community, that are going to be cut. It’s fine for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Handleman) to stand up and say that people shouldn’t take junkets. That wouldn’t be a bad idea if he made that a ministerial order for his own ministry or if the government decided that none of our government people from Queen’s Park will take junkets, because they seem to do their fair share of that particular exercise as well.

One of the things that in particular is a real problem is this thing called day care, because a lot of people don’t use it and a lot of people have an ethic that really says they should not da that, that one of the members of the family should stay home and look after the kids and they don’t want to use that kind of facility. But for a great many other people such facilities are a really necessary part of their lives and it’s something that has given them a mechanism, if you like, to break out of some rather severe social problems.

Again, the cuts were made in such a way that really what we’re talking about is the quality of care, and that always defuses the argument. The dramatic thing, as the government well knows, is to shut down the thing entirely. When you want to convince people that you’re serious and that you’re brutal folks and you’re going to take dead aim at something, you shut down something somewhere. They’ve done that in a number of spots in Ontario and have done a little backtracking. But in the field of day care, they really have not done that. What they’ve said is that they’re going to alter the quality of care; and then it becomes a somewhat more nebulous argument.

Also they’re going to increase fees. For a lot of us a couple of bucks a day doesn’t seem like too much, except that if you’re a one-parent family and you have a couple of kids, that’s another $20 or $30 a week to you. There are a lot of those people on borderline jobs for whom that’s a dead end. That extra $20 or $30 a week is the killer. That’s the one that puts them back on the welfare role.

There are a number of people, and I’ve heard it said in my own riding, who really say that you ought to go to private day care systems and that the government ought to get out of that. Private day care seems to be working well.

Again, it probably works reasonably well. It’s one of those areas, though, where I have some qualms about whether people ought to be making a profit on that particular kind of care. In that and in care for the aged, I have my doubts that anybody ought to be in there with a profit motive. I don’t doubt that if you want to give luxury day care or luxury care to senior citizens and charge a big buck, if people can afford to pay, that’s okay. But in terms of basic care, where quality is necessary for the poor as well as for the rich, I see the obligation of the government quite clearly to get in there. This government, up until this year, has been quite happy to enter into that field and has done so on numerous occasions all over Ontario. In fact the very minister who speaks rather disparagingly from time to time on day care and working mothers and things like that has been quite elated on other occasions to rut the magic ribbon at the opening of a day care centre. Government has taken great pride in many of their press releases to show at least what they have done -- not what they should have done, but at least what measures they have taken so far.

The real problem with all of this cut in the daycare field is not really what went on but who is affected, because for those who can afford it I suppose daycare at any price is no problem. Raise the price and they’ll come up with it somehow. Shortage of spaces really affects those people who need to get to work, in some sense; and many of them -- at least in my experience -- have been fighting for a number of years to get back on the right track. They have come off welfare of some form, or mother’s allowance of some kind, and have finally managed to get themselves a job again. That’s no easy task these days; particularly for many of those people, some of whom are not that well educated and most of whom are in service industry jobs -- waitresses and what not, who don’t make a lot of money. According to the Minister of Industry and Tourism, they really don’t deserve the minimum wage in Ontario because they probably will pick up a tip or two here and there. That’s the kind of person who is hit, and that I find most unfair.


There are some problems in understanding the minister in this case because he has a tendency to say one thing and mean another, but he did say he was quite prepared to subsidize. But you see, there is that problem in there, that anyone who is living on welfare allowance in Ontario knows that is not exactly a luxury existence, it’s a pretty confining one, so there isn’t really much money to play around with.

There’s kind of a base that you get at. One of the things that bothers me about it all is that it hurts those people the most, and they seem to be the ones the government has decided to go after. I don’t know why; maybe they’re just unpopular people. But those borderline recipients who have managed to get themselves over that and back into the mainstream of life again, who feel satisfied and productive with their lives once more, are the ones who are going to be tossed back.

It’s interesting to follow the press releases on the opening up of new facilities. It doesn’t really matter that they’re opening up new facilities with old funds; nonetheless the government can, in some honesty, say that new ones are going to open up this year. It doesn’t really matter they withheld funds for some time. I suppose to them if you open it up you open it up. It doesn’t matter how many spaces you need. It doesn’t matter how long the money has been held. When it’s open you can cut the ribbon and that’s the purpose of it all.

I don’t really think I’ve ever heard anybody say that Ontario had a daycare system which was luxurious or which was way beyond what was actually needed. Most people will recognize that in that particular field we are well behind what we ought to have. There is that need for good-quality day care, and there is, if you want to be very selfish about it, a need for the general population to see that that is provided. If you’re unhappy with the idea of people living off welfare and you really want to encourage them to use the old work ethic and get back to work and support themselves in large measure, then you’ve got to give them the means to do that

The fact is, it’s not there; it just isn’t there. What small movements were made in the last few years to get there -- in terms of counselling, in terms of rehabilitation, in terms of providing daycare services -- all of that is being cut back.

I fail to see how there is going to be any saving in the long run. Somehow or other you’re going to pay for that. Whether you’re into some kind of private daycare storage system, where you shove the kids in; or whether you want to do it properly and give them some care, one way or the other you’ll pay. You’ll either pay now when they’re young or you’ll pay later when they’re older. If you want to get at something like the crime problem which I discussed earlier, this is one of the ways to do it -- provide good-quality daycare for that kind of child in that kind of home.

One of the highlights of the House so far has been the performance of the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Taylor). I have some appreciation of the difficulties he has from time to time. I would like to think that he’s not really a bad person. I would like to think that he’s a little ignorant, by times, of the ramifications of the things that he does, and that as he becomes more awl more aware of what happens when he says something, or does something, or makes some motion like restricting a budget, he will change his mind.

We have seen some small indication of changing statures, I suppose. I really don’t think he saved anybody any money, but I am firmly convinced that he has caused a lot of people a lot of grief; and that is really a pretty hefty price to pay.

I really don’t understand all of the discussions of savings that he purported to put not in the first place, and then the rather unfortunate comments he made from time to time. I certainly understand his problems with the press and media, who have that disturbing habit of actually saying today the things one said two days ago, and then repeating them tomorrow so that one can’t forgot about them. That’s a cross we all have to hear.

If not on economic grounds and if not on intellectual grounds, at least on compassionate grounds I would like to see the govern men respond to that need in the community. The need is real -- I don’t see anybody arguing about that -- but I don’t see that response. I hear it promised a lot. I heard the Premier of the province (Mr. Davis) say they were compassionate people who dealt with people’s needs. I heard the Minister of Community and Social Services say, quite plainly, that he was going to see that no one in need would ever really suffer. He is going to have some difficulty reconciling that. I would really like to see them do it.

One of the other things I want to discuss is the role of the ordinary citizen in Ontario. We have a pretty rich history and tradition of people participating in their community. This morning I attended a mental health banquet; it was just chock-full of people who had spent their time and efforts over the last few years working in the area of mental health, with the civil servants and supposedly with the help and encouragement of the government of Ontario.

I can quote a number of other small things in my own riding to illustrate this point. There is a little thing called Handy Transit, which I suppose is kind of a silly name, but it does very good work. It’s just a couple of little vans to take around people who are handicapped. Now that seems like nothing. But for someone who is in a wheel chair and can’t get anywhere, that’s the key or mechanism that gets them out and into the community. Over the last couple of years, when we have had that little organization working in the city of Oshawa, we’ve seen our people out a good deal more. In fact, a fellow by the name of Doug won the “man of the year” award, and he is handicapped. As a matter of fact, he is now the president of the Handy Transit organization. It’s a very important little key; it’s not all that expensive and not all that cumbersome an organization. It doesn’t have a big bureaucracy; it’s run out of one person’s home. But it is having trouble, because it can’t get any money. This organization has applied to the government. It’s too bad they weren’t running a grape-stomping festival or they would have qualified for Wintario; or that they weren’t an established bureaucracy or they would have got some money out of somebody else. But because they are new, because they are different and because they don’t fit into anybody box, they don’t get any money. They have tried twice and we have talked -- but there is still no money forthcoming.

There is another small organization -- there are similar ones throughout the province -- called Helping Hand. Again it is not a big deal. It’s just a group of people who got together and said there are lots of people in our community who need a little help to do small jobs. They need a porch repaired, they need something painted, they need some backyards cleaned up -- little, everyday kind of handyman things. And there is this little organization that provides that. But it too is having its financial difficulties. It doesn’t pay big money but it does have a staff of two or three people, who oddly enough are those same people who once were on welfare and are now employed in this field. They do these little odd jobs for senior citizens or people who need that kind of help. It can’t exist anymore either.

The classic one from my riding is a boys’ club that has been established for some time now, Simcoe Hall, a place called Eastview Boys’ Club. The entire budding was put up at no cost to the government, and the club has been running successfully for some time. It applied to the government for operational funds. The classic answer that came back from the Ministry of Community and Social Services was, “We are sorry. You don’t get the money, because you are not innovative enough. You’ve been in business too long. In other words, you don’t get it because you work. The thing you’ve got is actually operating. It’s not pie in the sky. It’s there. It’s delivering a service to the community. And because of that, you don’t qualify. You don’t get any money.” That’s a ridiculous approach, I think, for a government to take.

I recognize the need for restraint as well as anybody else does. But in Ontario there is a tradition of small community groups getting together and, with a little bit of help from the government, providing a service to that community at a much cheaper dollar value than anything else we’ve got. If you want to see a real foul-up, watch a government bureaucracy move in on one of those; watch them hire the supervisory staff that never was there before and watch the paper work multiply. This is a government that seems to have a penchant for saying that if we ever got into power we’d riddle you with bureaucracy. I want to say very frankly that there is no chance at all, not a snowball’s chance, that anybody could ever put into Ontario a larger and snore costly bureaucracy than the Conservative government has put in here in 32 years. It’s impossible. It has just hit bottom or top or whatever. It is just totally impossible to do anything.

These volunteer organizations -- and they are all over the place in Ontario -- have really served us well, and the funds are being slowly but surely withdrawn from these groups. We heard this morning that maybe mental health associations will get some funds later on when the government has sorted out this whole health care mess. One of the things that has got them really mad and upset -- and they are an odd group to be mad and upset, because they are usually reasonably well off, they are usually people who have a little bit of time to donate to their community; they are at least people who aren’t suffering, although lately more and more people in the lower economic brackets are getting involved in these kinds of groups -- but what really gets them mad is that nobody can tell them why all of this is happening.

You see, all of this has been decided on some secret priority list and nobody is prepared to tell us which of the many thousand secret task force reports are being used in any given situation -- a kind of situation that we were discussing earlier today. Nobody really is prepared to tell us what criteria are involved. We can’t have an argument about it all.

The government has a tendency to say, “We are now going to do this,” then if they need to they will pull out some task force. Of course, any good administrator who’s worth his salt can find you a task force somewhere that proves your point. I’m told that in certain ministries they keep a file and when the minister wants a task force to prove whatever particular point he’s on that day, the administrator’s job is to pull that particular report and give it to him. And that’s the only one that comes out -- and even then only those parts of it that he really wants to use.

That’s kind of unfortunate, because what it really means is that the people of Ontario who need that kind of service are subject to straight political shifts. The government is not in a position where it has to rationalize the situation. The government’s not in a position where it has to produce facts and figures and statistics and reports. It produces only what it wants. It first does the action and then subsequently will send somebody out to find out why they did it. That has happened again and again in the last six months and it’s still happening.

One of the difficulties they are having in all of this is to try to sort it out. The plea I heard this morning at the mental health association was a very simple one and’, I thought, a most reasonable one, and one put in a very reasoned and responsive way. What were the priorities in all these health care cuts? What was number one and what was number two? What criteria were used? What reports did they use? Where did you get that kind of information?

“Who decided?” is an interesting one. There were some interesting discussions this morning about whether or not health councils decided these things. There weren’t health councils, so it couldn’t have been them. It must have been somebody on the ministry staff, but who did that and was his report right? What was the magic formula that was arrived at?

All of those are questions that I can’t answer to my people, because the government hasn’t bothered to bring it to the attention of the House.

Another thing -- and this little part is sort of inspired by the Premier (Mr. Davis) himself, who on one day, in interjections back and forth across the House, raised the point that really rather hit me sorely. He said that we in the opposition didn’t understand rural Ontario -- none of us. There are a lot of us who were born and raised in rural Ontario; I spent 20 years there. I rather take offence to that. There are a number of people of these benches who have lived their life in rural, eastern Ontario, and I rather think we do understand.

Mr. Samis: Some ridings of eastern Ontario have dirt farmers from Toronto representing them.

Mr. Breaugh: I know one.

Mr. Samis: Prince Edward-Lennox.

Mr. Breaugh: One of the things that I think you’ve stumbled on in some faint way -- and I think it’s a bad move -- was the little thing about the small hospitals in Ontario. In one sense, in a very crass political sense, I can understand that if you are going to make some cuts that people will see, you’ve got to shut down the whole machine. Never mind 24 beds here or 16 beds there, close the whole schlemiel; shut the door, pack them off somewhere. Certainly they will see that.

And the way these cuts were announced certainly tended to heighten that kind of an idea. The minister each day went to a new place, followed by the press, and if he got lucky somebody threw a snowball at him and a small riot ensued. But you shut it down, entirely.

I think what you misunderstood in all that is that that’s not really the point. The point is not saving a few dollars, three or four per cent cut of the health care budget. The point is where you hit. I think it shows a real lack of understanding on the part of the government of what a small rural, Ontario town really is. It’s much more, a whole lot more, than a health care delivery system. As a matter of fact that’s maybe not even the priority item in some instances. It’s much more than that.

Those hospitals in many cases were put up, brick by brick, by the people there. They were paid for by those people, by and large. The equipment that goes into them is put in, not the way it is done in a big city where everything goes in at once, but this year the women’s auxiliary buys this and next year the Rotary Club buys that, and the following year the Lions Club buys something else. Each little component in that health care unit or that hospital, if we want to talk English about it all, each little bit of that hospital is a part of that community.


That’s how they got a hospital in the first place, and to a large extent the services that are rendered there are done so by volunteers, they’re done by the people in that community, and they take great pride in going back to that hospital, having achieved that initial success of getting one up, and making it a better place, and putting in their time on volunteer services in that hospital. I really think that is a major flaw, and perhaps a fatal one, in what the government has done in that particular area. That hospital is a focal point for that community. That’s a big deal. Drive down University Ave. and there are hospitals all over the place, but go to little rural Ontario and the hospital is a big deal there.

It employs a lot of people, for one thing. It’s a source of great local pride. It’s a place where the doctors and the nurses and the attendants go every day. There’s that other tradition there, that if one lives in a place in Napanee, where I come from, when somebody is sick, one goes and sees them. We don’t send flowers or stuff like that, although that happens as well, but almost everybody who knows that guy goes to visit him in the hospital and they do that two or three times while he’s in there. One can’t do that if the hospital isn’t there, and one sure can’t do that if the hospital is 50 miles away.

Maybe that’s got nothing to do with health care services, although I would make the argument that it really does. I think that when my dad was in the hospital recently it meant a lot to him that people he knew could come to see him. I think that’s an important part of health care services, frankly. Some bureaucrat sitting in Queen’s Park has his little secret formula and his little secret documented report there that says that hospital ought to close because it’s within 10 or 15 or 20 miles of some other major hospital, and he says according to all these criteria that thing ought to shut down. We ought to take that gentleman and we ought to park his rear end in the middle of Chesley in the winter and let him watch the snow fall and then get out his little criteria and let him see if they still fit, let him try trudging down the road.

I think it’s just that kind of misunderstanding of rural Ontario that’s causing some problems here. If there’s too much snow on the road, people in Toronto take the subway. There’s a lot of places in Ontario where there isn’t any subway and if there’s too much snow on the road you stay home. There is that difference. There are all kinds of examples of that and they’ve been raised in the House quite thoroughly.

I’m not terribly sure that criteria, whatever it was, that was selected, fits anywhere. One of the things that’s causing a problem now is the projected fear. Even in those places that haven’t had a closing everybody is worried about it. Frankly, I read the game plan on the other side of the House to be this way: they would announce 24 closings and then they would say, “We won’t close 24, we’ll close 12. Twelve hospitals say, “We’ve missed it, somebody else got it.” Everybody else in a major urban area will say, “It didn’t shut us down. It might have cut us back but it didn’t shut us down,” and only 12 little places get it in the head. Then they can probably move that back to eight, and if they’re prepared to discuss it a bit more and the heat gets hot they just move it back to six. And if they’re left with six Liberal ridings in the western part of the Province of Ontario, who cares anyway. That’s the game plan that I read from the other side of the House.

Where it went wrong, quite frankly, is that people do relate to that. People understand that. Members would be amazed at the number of people from my riding who know those hospitals. They go to those areas for their vacation. A great many of them, surprisingly enough, have relatives there, and that’s why they care. A great many of them just plain care because they think that was a wrong move on the part of the government The savings may have been great, but one of the added expenses they had was they had to go out and buy the deputy minister another Buick, and there’s another $9,000 or $10,000 there that really isn’t a saving. It might have been good in the first instance, but it wasn’t a saving in the long run.

One of the things they have done, that’s a fatal move is that they have made a number of people from rural Ontario who didn’t know this government from beans come into contact with this big bureaucracy. It’s quite one thing for a government to have a cabinet minister come and cut the ribbon at the opening. Everybody likes that in a small town. They don’t like dealing with the big wheels in the Ministry of Health or Community Services, or anything else for that matter. They don’t understand those people, they don’t understand the way they operate and they don’t like it, and unfortunately more and more people are being exposed to that.

One of the things that I heard in this House the other day that I thought was really cute was a lecture on the work ethic. It was a lecture on the work ethic to this party and I guess to the members of the Liberal Party, although it was a little difficult to discern which way the finger was pointing from time to time. I got a lecture the other day on the work ethic from somebody who I don’t think has worked in my definition of work one day in his life. I just don’t take lectures from Bay St. lawyers or large financiers on the work ethic.

The benches over here are full of people who have spent their lives working in mines; they are full of people who are farmers’ sons who have put themselves through university. If you like, they are self-made men. Perhaps they chose not to be great capitalist entrepreneurs but at least in their own term they put themselves through school and they worked very hard. I think we all get a little upset when the lectures are delivered on the work ethic by somebody who really hasn’t done that kind of thing at all. In my view, a great deal of that is from somebody who really never worked a day in his life.

I want to make reference to one other thing here and it refers to the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Taylor). It’s a column .that I read actually in a paper that I suppose has not been quoted in this House many times -- the Napanee Beaver. I want to explain that the Napanee Beaver is from a riding that has been Conservative provincially and federally since Confederation. I want to point out that this is the first time in history that the Napanee Beaver had ever criticized a member of the government, let alone a government minister.

Mr. McClellan: It won’t be the last time.

Mr. Breaugh: They did. What I found extremely interesting is that it makes reference to one of my high school history teachers who is probably the most conservative man that I have ever met in my life. That’s with a small “c” -- and I think with a large “c” as well. He certainly is no radical. He makes some interesting comments in here and they have to do with this kind of difficulty that the government has in relating to the people of Ontario. The paper says:

“One of Mr. Taylor’s problem’s is that he says one thing but the government departments do another, This has been the case with the Children’s Aid Society, the hospital, and the water and sewer project undertaken by the joint efforts of three municipalities -- Napanee, Richmond and North Fredericksburgh.”

That’s tough stuff coming from that kind of a paper. Let use just pursue this, a bit more. Here they are referring to my high school history teacher. I really love this because he is into politics now and it’s great.

He continues with what is perhaps the nub of the whole issue as far as feelings in this community are concerned:

Get this: One would almost think that this Tory who is selected from that riding actually wasn’t born and bred there and that he doesn’t understand eastern Ontario, because it says here:

“Years before you arrived here our community took the initiative to conceive and pay for almost half the cost of a county hospital, and have continued to give freely of time and money since. You keep speaking publicly of the need for the return of the old-fashioned virtues of private community involvement, and yet wield a powder puff when the fruits of our individual initiative are being undermined in your own constituency.”

I have just one last little bit out of here because this is kind of precious stuff for me, although it is meaningless to everybody else.

“A lot is being said about the gigantic provincial debt and the need for belt-tightening. No one argues with this. But did you speak out publicly in this riding three or four years ago when your government was permitting the $1.3 billion urban transit plan or spending $250,000 simply publicizing the new transportation scheme in the media? Our frightful provincial debt didn’t start yesterday. It has been growing for years and informed insiders like yourself should have known this and spoken up a year sooner. My point is that your eleventh-hour conversion to economy, like cutting one-third of our hospital beds, for example, smacks of political pragmatism and insults our rural eastern Ontario intelligence.”

Somebody from the ministry, one of the ministries, ought to send somebody out to eastern Ontario to talk to those people.

Mr. Bounsall: They are afraid to go.

Mr. Breaugh: Clearly they don’t think that you understand rural Ontario. Isn’t that unusual? I want just to sum up a couple of points. I appreciate that the Throne Speech is not always meant to be a great and glorious document but this one really was rather inept in terms of what was in it -- virtually nothing. I hear a lot of flak floating around on the benches about the amendment over here

I simply want to state very clearly, as everybody else has said, that this part of the House is devoted to the opposition and that’s what we intend to do -- tell the government the ways in which we differ from it, tell how we would propose alternatives to it, propose amendments to its legislation and to its Throne Speech, and that is precisely what happened. The amendment is right there. All one simply has to do is read it, and if one agrees with it so much --

Mr. Bullbrook: You voted with the government in December. Have you that short a memory?

Mr. Breaugh: If you agree with it so much that you really want to pose a subamendment, go to it -- any way you want to do it; subamendment first --

Mr. Samis: Did you want a January election?

Mr. Good: Do you want a May one?

Mr. Breaugh: Mr. Speaker, while the opinion poll continues over here on whether they will or they won’t, I warn them: Don’t decide early --

Mr. Bullbrook: Don’t pontificate. You voted with the government in December.

Mr. Breaugh: Leave your option open. Leave your option open.

Mr. Speaker: All right. The member for Oshawa has the floor.

Mr. Breaugh: Well, that discussion will go on for a few more days at least.

I simply want to say that I believe in the amendment that we put. I think it identified very simply some very crucial issues on which the government has chosen not to move. We think we have identified -- and in fact surveys show the people in my own riding, if the members are interested, support us on this -- we have identified some major areas in which this government is not worthy of support. We have posed an amendment to that effect, and that’s precisely how we will vote. In this particular Throne Speech I think we have seen a government that in many cases refuses to listen, doesn’t want to hear, and has opted for a political expediency route. We are not about to support that and we won’t support it on April 5.

Mr. Conway: Mr. Speaker, I shall endeavour to telescope my remarks into the remaining 30 minutes before the evening recess. I think being one of the new boys and certainly being rather junior in age, I would think it to be something less than proper for me to presume that I would have a great deal to say in matters that predate my presence here. Unlike my hon. colleague from Oshawa (Mr. Breaugh), it is not my intention to pontificate at any great length.

I was particularly interested, though, that the hon. gentleman from Oshawa, in the kindness of his heart, had so many pertinent, I might say, and endearing comments about those of us in the fine and eastern portion of this province -- a portion which has been moving in a certain electoral and political direction which I am sure brings more than a little bit of discomfort to more than the Napanee Beaver.

It is a great pleasure for me to be here with my colleagues not only in the Liberal Party, but of the government and official opposition parties. My background is more restricted and certainly more limited than my hon. friends, from places like Toronto Lakeshore (Mr. Lawlor) and Burlington South (Mr. Kerr) and Guelph (Mr. Worton) and those areas where the representatives represent years of experience, which at my tender age I cannot presume to have; not to forget my good friend from Sarnia (Mr. Bullbrook), who is something of a mentor to those of us of his caucus --

Mr. Bounsall: That’s what the problem is, is it?

Mr. Conway: -- who have growing pains in this very trying time of minority government.

Mr. Mackenzie: It’s not very trying as long as you’re not a Liberal.

Mr. Conway: It is also very interesting to hear my good friends from Oshawa and, peripherally or parenthetically, from Hamilton East (Mr. Mackenzie), tell us just how it is their very distinguished party intends to react to those propositions to be squarely put in the next few days. It interests me as a student of history in Canada and in the Province of Ontario that the democratic left is behaving as it now is, with, by its own admission, no little bit of consistency and honour. It was a movement that began with what we used to call “gingerism,” moved through a very apoplectic state of what one might call extreme leftism, and now has moved nicely, so it would appear, into the Mackenzie King-styled moderate centre.

Mr. Samis: Sounds like Kingston whiggery; Queen’s University philosophy --

Mr. Conway: And oh, how things change. Yes, how things change.

Mr. Samis: The philosophy of Queen’s.


Mr. Conway: I couldn’t help but think, when I listened to some of the earlier comments from those members to my right, about the sense of purity and, what shall we say, consistency that is the preserve of our good friends in the democratic left. Again, I was thinking about where that particular movement began, just to make myself intellectually more comfortable with what it was they were saying and where it was that they came from. I was looking at those two gentlemen who offered that famous doctrine, I suppose, to which the gentlemen to my right still how in reverence every evening and in the morning, that so-called Regina manifesto. It was kind of interesting, I thought, that two of its authors, one of whom I was talking to not so very long ago, should begin in those humble days in 1932 and 1933, castigating, for whatever good reason, those horrible Grits and awful supporters of that now very interesting man, Mackenzie King, for all which was unheroic, disgusting --

Mr. Samis: Now you’re obsessed with him.

Mr. Conway: -- lacking in principle in polities. Then I thought how interesting it was that those two authors would end up where they did. One of them ending up curator of Mackenzie King’s home in Ottawa and, worse still, writing eulogistic and positive commentaries on what that man had to offer and what that man had to tell us about success in the Canadian political spectrum. Indeed, those lessons have been learned by the hon. member for Scarborough West (Mr. Lewis), whose sense of moderation is indeed --

Mr. Lawlor: As you get older you cool out.

Mr. Conway: -- different from that which he naturally expressed --

Mr. Nixon: Move over, Patrick.

Mr. Conway: -- in those days when he, like me, was the tender age of 24 or 25. I thought it was interesting, too, that one of the other gentlemen, who so principally and so self-righteously -- as is the case with that party sometimes; not always, because I’ve heard the member from Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) express a certain opinion from the spectrum from which he, I presume, once came -- that one of the other gentlemen would end up, of all places, appointed by a Liberal government to the Senate of Canada. I simply, by way of digression, draw attention to these two, Mr. Speaker, and perhaps footnote the fact that if there is a lesson in history it is that the politics of purity, consensus and consistency belong to and can be appropriated by no one group. No matter what the hon. gentleman to my right might like to tell us, such is not the case.


Mr. Conway: But to return to the most pure part of this great province, the fine and glorious county of Renfrew, with some hopes I come --

Mr. Samis: You are skipping a lot.

Mr. Conway: -- bearing greetings from those --

Mr. Samis: That’s intellectual dishonesty.

Mr. Conway: If the hon. gentleman from Cornwall would cease being so obstreperous --

Mr. Nixon: You mean provocative.

Mr. Conway: Seeing that I, in the goodness of my heart, listened to the orations of his hon. colleagues, I’m sure that the member for Stormont will bear with me as I try to get in under the hour of 6 o’clock.

As I say, the people of Renfrew county, both north and south ridings, send their best wishes not only to Her Honour but to all the ladies and gentlemen of this very august body, which they tell me they have been watching with no little bit of enthusiasm on the electronic media these days, and telling me that they’re impressed with what they see, and certainly they have every right to be.

Mr. Mackenzie: And they don’t want an election.

Mr. Conway: The good people of Renfrew county feel now that there is a certain balance brought to their political diet which, for these many years, has been somewhat missing. It’s indeed interesting --

Mr. Foulds: Only in political, not in personal terms.

Mr. Conway: Oh, certainly. I wouldn’t ever dispute the wisdom of the member for Port Arthur, whose patience and whose foresight I’m always willing to listen to.

Mr. Samis: Get a New Democrat in Renfrew North.

Mr. Conway: I think the occasion certainly presents itself to me, as a new member, to acknowledge and to recognize the contributions of my predecessor, Maurice Hamilton, who for 17 years sat as the member for Renfrew North. While Mr. Hamilton and I certainly shared few political allegiances and no party affiliation, I certainly think it would be remiss of me not to take this opportunity to express, on behalf of my constituents, thanks for his years of effort on behalf of those constituents. While we have had differences politically, I think it is important that each and every member of this House certainly acknowledges the contribution made by Mr. Hamilton, and I do so with a great deal of enthusiasm.

I was thinking about that election. We had a fairly interesting election in Renfrew North --

Mr. Nixon: They always are.

Mr. Conway: It was back in September. 1975, I think it was; it seems so very long ago. We had three people running, representing the three political parties in Ontario. Again, I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to congratulate the honourable representative of that very honourable party, a representative of the democratic left, who I might say did not do too badly with the good burghers of Renfrew county, and certainly in the north riding. They tell me there may be some truth to the rumour that he may be riding the horse again; I notice a great deal of interest in the recurring visits of the member for Scarborough West (Mr. Lewis), who while he admits that he didn’t know where we were for the years previous to September, 1975, has certainly landed with a bit of a crash, and has been there more often than not. And let me say that I welcome him with open arms.

Mr. Bullbrook: Was your opponent a socialist or a social democrat?

Mr. Conway: Well, he did not quite determine that.

Mr. Samis: NDP all the way.

Mr. Ruston: They are not sure what they are.

Mr. B. Newman: He’s still trying to figure it out.

Mr. Conway: He may very well end up in the Senate. I never know these things, the hon. member for Sarnia might know, because quite frankly I am a man who looks upon party affiliation with some degree of suspicion, given my years of experience and natural conservative tendencies.

Mr. Samis: How many years a Liberal?

Mr. Conway: How many years a Liberal? Well, I also bring greetings from my grandfather, who at 96 is still alive and --

Mr. Samis: An open mind -- an open mind.

Mr. Conway: -- who sat in this assembly from 1929 to 1945. He told me last night that he hoped that when I spoke today that I would remember that restraint was certainly an issue when George Drew, Ted Jolliffe, Mitchell Hepburn and company were trying to deliberate the affairs of this province back in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. So I bring his greetings as well.

I hope that the good member for Cornwall understands, briefly, that I am a man of ecumenical political tendencies --

Mr. Samis: No, no. You haven’t convinced anybody of that.

Mr. Conway: -- and not any narrow-minded fool who thinks that the liquor interests are out to undermine the hon. Premier in such a malicious way as to discountenance the Province of Ontario and its fine members of cabinet and government. Clearly there are those in this House who share something less of that view of the world than I might have.

One thing I have noticed in the months following my election -- and it was a narrow election, I must say; it was not what one could call a great and glorious popular mandate, for 36.3 per cent of the vote is certainly not the kind of thing that makes one feel that there is a tremendous consensus about what it is --

Mr. Nixon: That’s what the government got.

Mr. Bullbrook: It was just a beginning for you in any event.

Mr. R. S. Smith: But the end for them.

Mr. Conway: Well, that being the case I think again that it would be presumptuous of me to say that the county was of a particular mind insofar as who it would send to this particular assembly in representation of its particular interests.

Mr. Bullbrook: You mean you are the best of a bad lot?

Mr. Conway: That, of course, is for their determination at a future date.

Mr. Foulds: It is pretty bad when you get heckled by your own guys.

Mr. Conway: Well, the clear Grit tradition in Ontario, as the hon. member for Port Arthur knows, is one which values the independence of the individual member; and we certainly feel a reluctance to subscribe to that authoritarianism which has produced in Ontario, and in federal politics in this country, more purges than Stalin possibly could have conceived --

Mr. Foulds: You are talking about Trudeau now.

Mr. Samis: That’s right. Defend Trudeau. Don’t knock him.

Mr. Conway: No, we are talking about the Waffle perhaps, and a few other such types. But with that kind of discussion, we can happily return --

Mr. Nixon: Some of you guys used to be Waffles.

Mr. Foulds: You want to Waffle? You can have it.

Mr. Conway: I am quite anxious, certainly now that my good friend from Durham East has returned to keep me on a moral path, if nothing else --

Mr. Moffatt: What would you do without us?

Mr. Conway: -- that we will return to those deliberations and associations that federal and provincial parties might have, particularly in this, the central province of the fair Dominion of Canada.

Mr. Mackenzie: How come you always come to us for help?

Mr. Conway: I allow my good friend from Hamilton East a cottage in the county of Renfrew; I hope he doesn’t push his luck.

But one of the things that was interesting, subsequent to my election in September, was the feeling held and expressed by some in some areas of the county that the change of party representation in that particular part of Ontario -- which obviously has not seen a great deal of that in the past 35 years at any rate -- might do certain things to the local political culture which might not be healthy. As a young person who grew up in the area I refuse to believe that there could be a ten- dewy on the part of any political group to strike out at a particular riding that, for whatever reason in a democratic election and in a parliamentary kind of society, might have opted for something other than the government alternative.

So I began believing that this, in rural eastern Ontario -- and I know rural eastern Ontario both personally and to some extent historically. I know what the political traditions are there and they are not traditions which, we, I think, as a group, want to bring into the 1970s. It represents a kind of Tammany Hall politics, if you will. We can appreciate them in a different set of circumstances, but I simply will not accept them and hone others will not either. But with that set of values and set of ideas I began approaching my new job -- and. I’ll admit my first job, to those who might not think that I had such before --

Mr. Moffatt: An honest job, too.

Mr. Conway: -- and certainly an honest job. That I certainly couldn’t dispute.

Mr. Samis: You have no work ethic.

Mr. Conway: The work ethic and I are clear friends.

Mr. Moffatt: From a distance, mind you.


Mr. Conway: One of the things that has concerned me in the brief period of time since my election in September, 1975, is a certain amount of evidentiary material which supports the contention that there still is in rural eastern Ontario, in Tory eastern Ontario, a sense of party affiliation that normally permeates the government service. That’s changing; and for that the government must take its hare of praise and I grant it that. It’s a slow process, one which I would like to see move with a greater degree of dispatch and openness, but it is changing.

But I want to tell you, Mr. Speaker, that if I see in the next few months any more evidence of the fact that the Progressive Conservative Party still considers eastern Ontario the kind of fiefdom that it was in the electoral sense for all these many years, I intend to make loud and frequent protests. I know I am supported in this what I hope is a modern approach to politics in our society. I know, for example, the hon. member for Lambton (Mr. Henderson), as a new representative in the government and as a minister of the Crown, shares with me any enthusiasm for this kind of non-partisan politics.


Mr. Bullbrook: Right on. Right on.

Mr. Good: He gets everything that a member needs for his riding.

Mr. Conway: And in a quiet way, because I am a quiet person, I want to register this in advance to some extent, because although the bulk of the population in the constituency which I represent, does not subscribe to this view of the world and view of the province, and view of party politics any longer, they assume that the polities of Tammany Hall as they apply to our area are a picturesque and academic part of our historical record. I hope, for the goodness of us all in that area, that no member of this government and no member of the government party is as indiscreet, is as unwise, to move in a direction that might attempt to reinstitute or cultivate that kind of Neanderthal policy.

Mr. Bounsall: Without it going through you.

Mr. Conway: Without it going through me, because I am the kind of moral clearing house and the kind of social arbiter of whom not only the Pope and the Queen can be proud --

Mr. Samis: What kind of candidates are the Grits recruiting?

Mr. Moffatt: Don’t be so sanctimonious.

Mr. Conway: That’s certainly a man in a mould, and of a moral conscience from whom even the hon. member for Cornwall could take rectitude.

Mr. Moffatt: You’re socialist material, that’s what you are.

Mr. Conway: I just register that for the record of this House.

Mr. Samis: Don’t forget Michael Houlton.

Mr. Conway: It concerned me to some extent when in December of 1975, in an effort to pay tribute to a man who deserved the tribute that was given to him: my predecessor, the Progressive Conservative member of this assembly -- and applaud you should; I think it is proper and I would do so myself.

But on that occasion I found it insulting to the man, and silly and improper for the government party to take advantage of, not a party occasion but a constituency occasion to pay tribute to a fine and honourable man, that a representative -- thankfully not a cabinet representative, because they couldn’t find time, in England, to pay that tribute to a man who had belonged to their group for 17 years -- but as I say, I found it repugnant and I found it unacceptable that my hon. colleague the member for Renfrew South (Mr. Yakabuski) should have thought it advisable, on the advice, presumably of his government friends, to stand up and mutter, in the way that only he can mutter, that statement that the Pembroke Marina would receive $2 million. It was not so much that the Pembroke Marina would receive the $2 million, I was improper in stating that; but he got up and said, much to the complete surprise of everyone there, that there was going to be a $2 million appropriation made by the government to something in Renfrew county.

When asked by various people present what this might be, no one seemed to know. But the fact of the matter is that it represented the kind of polities which we will not accept any longer. The government has a right to make its announcements and I welcome ministers of the Crown, including my hon. friend from Prince Edward-Lennox. In fact, we welcome our good friends from the democratic left but we presume that on such occasions we will not see the kind of partisan polities which, I think, we have all agreed --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. minister.

Hon. Mr. Meen: Mr. Speaker, I’m advised that the Honourable the Administrator, in the absence of Her Honour, the Lieutenant Governor, awaits outside the chamber to give royal assent to the interim supply bill. If the hon. member would care to adjourn the debate while we look after the royal assent, then we can reconstitute the debate before 6 o’clock.

Mr. Conway: I would be delighted to, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Conway: I move the adjournment ci the debate.

Motion agreed to.

The Administrator of the Province of Ontario entered the chamber of the legislative assembly and took his seat upon the throne.


Hon. G. A. Gale (Administrator of the Province of Ontario): Pray be seated.

Mr. Speaker: May it please Your Honour: We, Her Majesty’s most dutiful and faithful subjects of the legislative assembly of the Province of Ontario in session assembled, approach Your Honour with sentiments of unfeigned devotion and loyalty to Her Majesty’s person and government, and humbly beg to present for Your Honour’s acceptance, a bill intituled, An Act granting to Her Majesty Certain Additional Sums of Money for the Public Service for the Fiscal Year ending March 31, 1976.

Clerk of the House: The Honourable the Administrator of the Province of Ontario doth thank Her Majesty’s dutiful and loyal subjects, accept their benevolence and assent to this bill in Her Majesty’s name.

The Honourable the Administrator was pleased to retire from the chamber.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Clerk of the House: The first order, resuming the adjourned debate on the amendment to the amendment to the motion for an address and reply to the speech of the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor at the opening of the session.

Mr. Speaker: May I inquire of the hon. member if he has more than three or four minutes, if so I --

Mr. Conway: Yes, I have, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: I would be pleased to recognize the clock then and recess the House.

The House recessed at 6 p.m.