30e législature, 3e session

L032 - Mon 12 Apr 1976 / Lun 12 avr 1976

The House met at 2 p.m.


Mr. Speaker: Statements by the ministry.


Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Speaker, members of the Legislature will recall that about two weeks ago, accompanied by my deputy minister and a number of senior civil servants from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Natural Resources, I made a surprise visit to the United Asbestos plant at Matachewan. At that time, we did a very careful examination of the plant itself. Surveys were taken of the air quality.

We had indications from previous samples that the levels of asbestos in the air were at an unacceptable level. We gave instructions to the plant at that particular time that the 50-odd men who were working in the mill there, must wear masks and that smoking was prohibited as of that moment on. Since that time and that particular moment, you’ll recall, Mr. Speaker, I indicated that a regular surveillance would be undertaken by the Ministry of Health and my own ministry.

You are aware, sir, as other members of the Legislature are, that there are 180-odd jobs there and that the economic base for the town of Matachewan is closely connected to this particular asbestos development. However, the health of the miners and the workers in our mines and in the industries of this province are far more important to this government.

The tests reported to me this morning following a sample survey taken last week indicate things are getting progressively worse. In fact, the report reaching me just about two hours ago indicates the levels are unacceptable. There is an increase in the amount of fibre in the air.

Therefore, an instruction has gone out as of about an hour ago, on the instruction of my deputy minister and staff and in consultation with the Ministry of Health, that the mine cease operations immediately -- that the operators close up, they clean up, and they seal up before starting up. I also indicated to the mine and will be indicating to the mine officials that the mining division of my particular ministry will be available to assist and to advise the company in its technical problems to resolve the situation and, of course, to meet the health standards that have been set by the Ministry of Health.


Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, as mentioned in this House a few days ago by the acting Minister of Health (B. Stephenson), and concurrent with a commitment made by the Minister of Health, the hon. member for Muskoka (Mr. F. S. Miller), I was pleased to have an opportunity to review most carefully the appeal briefs submitted with respect to the scheduled closure of Clinton Public Hospital, Durham Memorial Hospital, Willett Hospital in Paris and Doctors Hospital in Toronto.

In terms of local community interest and convenience, the briefs made what must be considered meaningful cases for a careful consideration both by the Ministry of Health and the government as a whole.

The role of the local provincial members of the Legislature, of all political affiliations, is, I believe, also worthy of note with respect to the re-evaluation. In most cases, the local member worked diligently with the local hospital board and concerned groups in the development of the brief and the appeal.

The decision to reduce duplicated active treatment hospital beds and orient our system of health service delivery toward both an improvement of quality and a more appropriate allocation of health resources, is a policy decision which remains in the best long-term interest of the people of Ontario. The degree of dedication which the hon. Minister of Health applied to implementing this commitment in a fair, humane and frank fashion, is a tribute not only to his skill and ongoing capacity as an elected public servant, but to his humanity and sense of concern as an individual. The decisions which I am announcing now have, of course, been reviewed most carefully by the acting Minister of Health and by the Minister of Health himself.

With respect to Willett Hospital in Paris, it will cease operating as an acute general hospital on June 1. It will, however, remain open as an ambulatory care centre, with full primary care capacity, accommodating physicians’ offices, laboratory and minor surgical facilities, and radiological facilities. The Willett Hospital will also be permitted to provide chronic care service at its present chronic care capacity, awaiting the report of the local committee looking into the long-term-care needs of the community.

Clinton Public Hospital will also close as an acute treatment facility on June 1. In recognition of the specific local concerns made clear during the appeal procedure, Clinton Public Hospital will be allowed to maintain the status of an ambulatory primary care facility after June 1, with x-ray, lab, and minor surgical capacity -- along with physicians’ offices on the premises.

At Durham Memorial, the full ambulatory care status will also apply after June 1, when it too will cease operation as an acute treatment facility.

Similarly, here in Toronto, Mr. Speaker, Doctors Hospital will also move from being an acute treatment hospital on June 1. It will, however, be allowed to provide its particular service to the ethnic and core community of the city as an ambulatory care facility with laboratory, minor surgery and x-ray capacity. Doctors’ offices will also continue to be located in the hospital, as is the case in the other institutions I have mentioned.

In all cases, these community ambulatory facilities will be linked by ambulance to hospitals nearby. The important role played within the communities by each of these facilities will continue in every sense, excepting the acute active treatment function. In all cases the commitment of this government to find opportunities for those personnel who may be displaced will manifest itself in three concrete ways.

The government will negotiate transfer costs for those who find opportunity elsewhere in this province. The government continues to seek new opportunities through working groups, such as the Evans committee now working on the placement of staff members of Doctors Hospital. The government will expect neighbouring hospitals to be responsive with respect to clinic and admitting rights for physicians displaced by a hospital closing. Similarly, officials of the Ministry of Health will begin to work immediately to organize each of the four institutions for the transition to primary care and emergency services during the wind-down period. The ministry will ensure the full transfer of any and all caseloads before the June 1 date.

The government heard the appeals in good faith. The decisions announced today are consistent with both the broad policy goals of the government with respect to health service improvements and the need for government to remain sensitive to local concerns and needs which are very often very particular indeed. I am pleased, as Premier, to be associated with these decisions and to associate my government with the fundamental sensitivity and fairness I believe they represent.


Ms. Sandeman: A point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: On March 18 I brought to your attention an incident during which several of my constituents and those of other members were unable to gain access to us and you promised to check into that. Would you be able to give us any reason for what happened on that day?

Mr. Speaker: I did inquire and I found nothing particularly irregular. There was a large crowd outside, if the hon. member will recall. There were two or three groups and, as quickly as possible, the people were accommodated. I am not sure whether your people were with the larger group or came individually. It was the larger group which was dealt with. They were taken into each of the caucus offices, because that was the arrangement under which they were to meet.

I am sorry if your people were individuals rather than part of the group, but I can tell you the staff was busy getting the larger group either directly to the members or to the caucus offices respectively. If they weren’t part of the group, your people should have been allowed in without any question and that instruction, of course, is very clear to the security staff. There is no question about that.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order: Without in any way questioning what you have said, surely when a member of the assembly raises an important point of privilege with respect to the access to him or her of his or her constituents, it is important that the Speaker consult with the member as to what exactly did take place in the circumstances and submit a formal report to the assembly, rather than the Speaker’s having to ho asked just what the situation was and then giving a totally inadequate reply, with great respect.

Mr. Speaker: Thank you very much for your advice. I probably was negligent in that. It was my understanding, though, that the group was a part of the larger group and I have just determined now that that was not true. If I transgressed, I am sorry and I will not let that happen again.


Mr. Lewis: On a point of privilege -- rather unrelated and very brief, Mr. Speaker, if I may: As one of the people who was in the lockup for the budget through until 8 o’clock, when only with difficulty were we allowed to escape at all, I would like the Speaker to take a look at the behaviour that was accorded the manager of the media studio, Mr. Andrew StuParick, who was in the lockup, left at 7:30 p.m. -- a privilege given to no one else; media representatives or politicians in that lockup -- and wandered about freely for fully half an hour prior to the budget with all of the information which had been shared through the course of the day. In no sense did he use it inappropriately, but clearly it called into question the very special status accorded this one person in comparison or contrast with all those who otherwise participated.

Since this is the second time that members of the media and the Legislature have been concerned about the privileged position of those who run the media studio, I would ask the Speaker to take a good look at it and report to the House.

Mr. Speaker: Oral questions.


Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege, may I please reply to the statement or request just made by the Leader of the Opposition? It is just this, that Mr. StuParick is sworn.

Mr. Lewis: Whether Mr. StuParick swears or not is irrelevant, but I must say, Mr. Speaker --

Mr. Singer: Four-letter words or longer?

Mr. Lewis: -- to the point of privilege I raised, the members of the media are also forced to sign a statement saying they will not reveal the information until 8 o’clock. The assumption, therefore, is that somehow Mr. Andrew StuParick is more honourable in his behaviour. He may be as honourable. He is certainly not more so.

Mr. Norton: The member for Scarborough West has already established how he can be trusted with confidential information.

Mr. Lewis: Can I ask a question now? Now is a bad time to feel unhappy about it, Keith.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. Leader of the Opposition with his questions please.


Mr. Lewis: A question first, if I may, of the Premier: Can he indicate, in relation to the hospital announcement which he made, (a) how many employees these ambulatory care units at Willet, Clinton and Durham are likely to involve; (b) will Willett be allowed to extend beyond -- I guess it must have had chronic care beds for around 25 or 26 when it was closed down -- will it be able to extend beyond that if the Brant county study suggests it should; and (c) since the Premier is allowing Doctors Hospital to do minor surgery, will he allow it a small acute patient unit as part of the redefinition?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, while I have met personally with all of these groups and have some degree of technical knowledge, apart from the general principles that have been established, I would suggest that perhaps the more specific information would be handled by the acting Minister of Health who, I think, could answer more precisely, if that would be appropriate.

Mr. Lewis: Can I refer that, Mr. Speaker?

Mr. Speaker: Yes.

Mr. Lewis: Did the minister recall -- I am sorry that I didn’t do that --

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I remember all but the first question.

On the second question regarding Willett Hospital, we must await the long-term-care study for the Brant-Haldimand-Norfolk area and when that study is available to us, which I imagine will be late summer or early fall, we shall know what the bed requirement is for chronic beds in that area. If there is an increased requirement in that area, it will most certainly be considered but at the moment it will be the same number of chronic care beds which it has at the present time.

The answer to the third question, regarding the minor surgical units at Doctors Hospital, is no.

Mr. Lewis: The first part was about employment; how many people will be involved?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please, I believe --

Hon. B. Stephenson: I am sorry, Mr. Speaker --

Mr. Speaker: -- the member for Brantford --

Mr. Lewis: Can the minister answer the first part of the question?

Mr. Speaker: Is there any further answer?

Hon. B. Stephenson: I am sorry but I cannot give definitive figures at the moment. This is one of the areas we are working on.

Mr. Riddell: A supplementary: As Clinton Hospital is the only one outside of London which has a dialysis unit, will it be allowed to continue the use of that dialysis unit?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, since an inpatient dialysis unit requires inpatient beds, the dialysis unit for inpatients will have to be moved. It is to be hoped that we will be able to develop an outpatient dialysis capability as well; at least, I should say, a home capability.

Mr. Makarchuk: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker, to the same minister: Is the minister aware that the chronic care study committee has indicated to the Ministry of Health that at this time there is a need for something between 55 and 57 chronic beds which could be utilized and which could be put into the Willett Hospital?

Hon. B. Stephenson: At the moment I gather that although this figure has been stated, this is not exact. The long-term study which is being done, I think will be reporting within a reasonable period of time. Certainly if there is emergency need for chronic care beds, some beds might be utilized for that, but I think the future of that hospital depends upon the results of that long-term study.

Mr. Makarchuk: One additional supplementary.

Mr. Speaker: Final supplementary.

Mr. Makarchuk: If a definite need is demonstrated immediately, is the minister prepared to relent and allow the extra beds which may become available in the Paris hospital to be used for chronic care?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, we are always prepared to be reasonable and to assess the situation as it arises

Mr. Lewis: A related but perhaps separate question: Now that the minister has worked this out with such care and precision, I assume she can give to the Legislature today the changed estimates of cost saving which are involved for Willett, Durham, Clinton and Doctors hospitals, given the inclusion of ambulatory and other facilities?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, as the Leader of the Opposition knows very specifically, that is impossible --

Mr. Lewis: Why?

Hon. B. Stephenson: -- because the decisions regarding the eventual status of the four hospitals mentioned have not been totally decided. It will depend upon the input from the local people first before we can, in fact, establish what the savings will be. We can certainly, within a short period of time, give the members the wind-down costs for the institutions as active treatment hospitals. The cost of providing the services which are being suggested and have been suggested to the people in the area is something which we cannot estimate until they tell us what they hope to do with our cooperation.

Mr. Lewis: By way of supplementary, could I try it again; take another run at it? How can, specifically, a system of ambulatory care services be provided in these hospitals without having made an estimate, service by service, of the costs to the government if these things should proceed, as the minister surely knows they will? And why won’t the minister share those figures with us, now that she has made the announcement?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, since the funding mechanism is different, for one thing, since we do not as yet know the scope of the services which will be provided in each of the places --

Mr. Lewis: She is just too embarrassed to show how little money the government is saving.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Oh, that is not the answer at all, Mr. Speaker. There will be, in fact, a shift from active treatment care -- which is what we have been hoping to achieve -- to ambulatory care, which will provide more services for more people more economically than can be provided through the active treatment mechanism.

Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary: This ambulatory care which will be operated at these hospitals, is this intended to be in the form of physicians’ private practices, who will now locate within the hospitals, or is it to be billed on a yearly budget as part of a hospital service? How will the billing actually take place? Will OHIP be billing this through private physicians, or is this a service to be organized centrally?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, that is a decision which will be made when, in fact, the local group and the group from the Ministry of Health --

Mr. Lewis: This is too much. Just too much.

Mr. Reid: Did you make this up on your way here? What do all those planners do?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We will allow a supplementary. The member for Bellwoods.

Mr. Yakabuski: Mr. Speaker, how many supplementaries? Is this a debate?

Mr. McClellan: Since the minister is obviously waiting to finalize plans until she has had input from the local communities, is she prepared in the case of Doctors Hospital to pursue the suggestion that was made, I believe in the brief, that a community task force be established to consist of hospital, community, ministry and city representatives to have a look at the overall health needs in the community service by Doctors Hospital?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Yes, Mr. Speaker, that is our intention.

Mr. Speaker: Final supplementary; the member for Huron-Bruce.

Mr. Gaunt: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker, to the minister: In addition to the role outlined for Clinton Public Hospital, has the ministry done any study with respect to a possible role for that hospital insofar as a chronic hospital is concerned?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Not at the moment, Mr. Speaker.


Mr. Lewis: A question, if I may, to the Minister of Natural Resources, applauding the decision that was made and that he announced today: Can he indicate to the House whether he will attempt to waive the waiting period for unemployment insurance to which the workers at Matachewan would normally be entitled; and whether, if that period can’t be waived, he will negotiate, with the company, continued payment for the workers during what one hopes will be the cleanup rather than permanent close-down, or, alternatively, the difference in income between unemployment insurance and what their wages would otherwise have been had the company conformed to government directives in the first place?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Speaker, as I’m sure the hon. member is aware, the unemployment insurance aspect, of course, is of a federal nature; it is something that we don’t get involved in. I’ve asked my staff, when they do meet with the company itself, that the aspect of continued wages is one area that they look at very carefully.

Mr. Lewis: By way of supplementary: Might the minister use the exceptional powers of a provincial government to speak to the Unemployment Insurance Commission about this exceptional situation, and might he also report to the House the results of his discussions over wages?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: On behalf of the workers in Matachewan, I would be glad to assist in every way possible. I will certainly follow up the Leader of the Opposition’s suggestion.


Mr. Lewis: A question of the hon. Minister of Housing, if I may: What exactly does he have in mind by way of amending legislation to deal with the court’s decision on the various land freezes around Ontario, apparently having had the provincial legislation declared illegal or inapplicable as it involved the Orangeville decision? Where does the retroactivity enter, if it does, or does the minister intend to apply new freezes or new orders across the province to the areas that might now be subject to litigation?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: The intention is that an amendment will be introduced that would strengthen that particular section of the Act so that the situation we have experienced, as the result of the court case involving the Orangeville property, would not recur, and that existing orders would, in fact, be valid as they now exist on the various parts of the province.

Mr. Lewis: By way of supplementary, can the minister explain how he makes the previous orders valid retroactively, and what he might do with the many, many applications which, I gather, are now pending to challenge the law, in light of the amendment which he wants to bring in? I just don’t understand the process. When is the minister bringing it in?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: First of all, I don’t know that we can say there are a number of applications pending.

Mr. Lewis: I have heard of a number of cases that are coming up.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: The member has a distinct advantage. I have not heard of those particular pending applications.

Mr. MacDonald: Did you read the morning Sun?

Mr. Makarchuk: We will put you on the mailing list for the brown paper bags.

Hon. Mr. Davis: You people don’t even support it.

Mr. Lewis: It is the procedure that you use.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: With the greatest respect, the member for Brantford receives an awful lot of material in brown paper bags.

Mr. Martel: Answer the question.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I read the Sun but --

Mr. Godfrey: Supplementary: In view of the fact that the land use in the area surrounding the Pickering airport was frozen in 1972 without the appropriate hearing, will the minister no lift the order and allow natural justice for the property holders in that area?

Hon. Mt. Davis: And you people talk about agricultural land going out of production.

Mr. Martel: You call it rough justice.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: As far as I am concerned, the decision that was made concerning the property at Orangeville was an isolated decision. I do not intend to lift any of the orders at this time, including those on the area the hon. member is referring to. The matter that was before the court was one case. It dealt with the matters that were before the court as they involved that particular application, and I do not consider that particular decision to apply universally across the province in all areas where there are ministerial orders.

Mr. Godfrey: A further supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: One final supplementary.

Mr. Godfrey: I would like to ask the minister why he imposed the freeze in the first place, inasmuch as all of the things he wanted to do could have been done by regulation under the Aeronautics Act, part I, clause 6. I would like to ask if he realized that he was pulling federal chestnuts out of the fire by his freezing order.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I’m not going to debate the merits of the particular federal Act to which the hon. member is referring. But I do believe that particular Act covers only the heights of buildings and does not indeed cover the other areas within the noise cone that would have been developed had the airport continued to be constructed.

Mr. Godfrey: I would be happy to send the minister a copy of the Act.

Mr. Speaker: I announced this as a final supplementary, but we haven’t had one from that section, so we’ll allow this one from the member for York Centre.

Mr. Stong: In light of the reasoning that applied to the Orangeville decision and its applicability toward the province, whether the minister regards it as being applicable or not, what does he intend to do with respect to the Langstaff area, which has been under a freeze and where people have been unable to move because of that freeze? Is the minister considering compensation or lifting the freeze in that area?


Hon. Mr. Rhodes: No, Mr. Speaker.


Mr. S. Smith: A question to the acting Minister of Health: What steps is she taking to ensure that the 30-day limit on the supply of free drugs to senior citizens will be extended and that pharmacists will be stopped from multiplying their dispensing fees?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, as a matter of fact, if a physician writes a prescription for a period longer than 30 days, the pharmacist is supposed to fill that prescription. It depends on the way in which the prescription is written. We shall most certainly inform physicians of their responsibilities in this area, and pharmacists of their responsibility as well.

Mr. S. Smith: A supplementary: Is the minister aware of the contract the government enters into with the pharmacies, paragraph 5 of it, which points out that in special circumstances, when more than a month’s supply of a drug is to be dispensed for eligible persons -- such as when a person is travelling outside the province -- the pharmacist is entitled to reimbursement of an increased amount of that paid to the pharmacy? In other words, if he dispenses six months’ supply of drugs to a person who is leaving, he is entitled to charge six times the dispensing fee. If that is not the case, would the minister kindly explain what paragraph 5 means?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, to my knowledge he is entitled to an increase in the dispensing fee, but not to the level of six times or three times or four times.

Mr. S. Smith: A supplementary: Precisely what is the increase and on what criterion is that to be based?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I would have to look up the regulation they’re under to know the exact amount which is permitted.

Mr. Ziemba: A supplementary of the acting Minster of Health: Now that the minister has discovered the invoice in triplicate when it comes to private labs billing OHIP, would the minister perhaps consider using the same type of invoice in triplicate for pharmacies billing OHIP, to get away from delayed billings which the customer doesn’t find out about in the event they leave the country? There have been cases in which billings have been submitted in a customer’s name. Why involve those people in the OHIP billing?

Mr. Speaker: Order. The question has been placed, I believe.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, there is a method of checking prescriptions and the dispensing of prescriptions now which I think is reasonably accurate and reasonably good. It does involve some accurate information which is given to the subscriber as well.


Mr. S. Smith: A question to the Minister of Natural Resources: In view of the general feelings which have been expressed by the government with regard to gun control, how does the minister condone the auction of seized firearms run by his ministry, including the sale to a 12-year-old -- or to the father of a 12-year-old -- of a pellet gun? Surely he has some views about this which we would like to hear, on whether the government should be condoning this and be a purveyor of firearms in this day and age and in this particular method?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Speaker, under the Fish and Game Act, section 87 I believe, as I’m sure the member is aware, we have discretionary authority either to return or to dispose of the guns or the seized items in question after they have been used for evidence in the courts. This is done, in many cases, through an auction sale. I certainly wasn’t aware that a 12-year-old or his father had been at an auction sale and purchased one of these guns. It certainly is something this government does not condone. I’ll certainly check into it and follow it up further.

Mr. Lewis: No, he didn’t say that.

Mr. Reid: I wonder if the minister could explain the comments attributed to him in the papers some two weeks ago, that he used his discretion to return some firearms which his officers had seized, to some people. I gather it was on the basis that it would cause them hardship? Can he explain how he arrived at those decisions? A lot of people I know are a little upset about this.

Mr. Yakabuski: That’s not supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Speaker, as I pointed out, under subsection 2 of section 87 of the Fish and Game Act, this is a discretionary power given to the ministry. In many cases it is a hardship and in this case it was.

Mr. Reid: Are they all in the Kenora area?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: I would say that the return of firearms is done right across this province. As I look around this Legislature, I can tell the member there are members sitting in this Legislature today who have personally called me on behalf of their constituents --

Mr. Singer: What has that got to do with it?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: -- asking that this discretionary power be used and I have used it.

Mr. McNeil: Most of them sit on the other side.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Some who have called me are smiling at me right now.

Mr. Reid: I am not.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Speaker, I just want to point out that in many cases when the conservation officers do make an arrest and confiscate equipment such as aircraft and cars, these are all returned so that there is no hardship imposed on those individuals once they have paid their penalty in the courts.

Mr. MacDonald: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: If the minister finds the exercise of discretionary ministerial power abhorrent, why doesn’t he remove it?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Speaker, I have already indicated publicly that this is one area we are looking at very carefully.

Mr. Deans: You don’t have to use it.

An hon. member: It is not that abhorrent.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: I certainly think it is something that is worth looking at.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The supplementary got away from the original question and we allowed it. I think we should get on with new questions. If you wish to ask new questions later, that will be line. The member for Hamilton West.


Mr. S. Smith: A question of the Premier, in the absence of the Minister of Education (Mr. Wells): In view of the heavy burden on the Education Relations Commission and the important job that it has to perform now, with many of the disputes in existence, can the Premier in fact condone the appointment of its chairman as the chairman of an arbitration board in British Columbia?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I would be quite delighted to discuss this with the Minister of Education to see just exactly what time is involved with respect to the chairman of the Education Relations Commission. I acknowledge that they are busy, and I am delighted to hear the leader of the Liberal Party acknowledge that they are busy, and by and large have solved the majority of the problems in negotiations across the province --

Mr. S. Smith: We have nothing against them; we just want to be sure they can do their job.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- even though we are left with three or four rather contentious ones. I would be relatively sure, but I will check this with the minister, that whatever other undertakings the chairman has taken on would not affect his responsibilities here, but I will confirm that with the minister.

Mr. Shore: Will it affect his salary at all?


Mr. S. Smith: A further question of the Premier: Does the Premier endorse the opinions of the former Treasurer, Mr. White, the former member for London South, that there will be no action by the government to preserve farmland until there is broader support for such policy, and this broader support must be forthcoming from churches and similar organizations? Does the Premier endorse that particular point of view?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I think what the former Treasurer was saying, and I didn’t have the pleasure of listening to the --

Mr. Reid: You used to have to interpret when he was here too.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- very excellent discussion that took place -- in fact, just thinking about those discussions Saturday, I understand the leader of the Liberal Party nearly entered those discussions himself; he came in the wrong door or something. I told some people who told me about this that he would have been very welcome and might have learned something about the matter if he had stayed.

Mr. Breithaupt: Just before they disbanded.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I think what the former Treasurer was pointing out is one of the difficulties facing government with respect to land use. The former Treasurer was himself involved in the discussions over a period of years. However, I don’t think he really said the government wasn’t doing anything, because the fact is government is doing a great deal.

Mr. Good: You are watering it down.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I think the fact, in spite of what I read editorially in one of Toronto’s foremost newspapers, is that in terms of the preservation of farmland and in terms of land-use control, if anything there are members of the general public who have made it very clear to some of hon. member’s colleagues that this government has been doing too much. While I think we have to weigh this in the balance -- and I look at the member for London North (Mr. Shore) as being one of those members --

Mr. MacDonald: You are backing off.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: So is your friend, the member for Durham West (Mr. Godfrey).

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- in terms of land-use control we intend to move ahead with the proper planning programme for this province. If the leader of the Liberal Party is suggesting an overall freeze on all agricultural land, I wish he would get up and say so.

We think we can find a solution. We are in the process, and it has been working, of preserving by and large the prime agricultural land in this province. What the former Treasurer was pointing out is the area of contradiction. There is no question about it, when we get into some municipalities -- and I can refer to my own -- there are still some farmers in the great riding of the city of Brampton, where the official plan considerations are suggesting that that land be frozen in perpetuity as agricultural land, who are saying, “We are opposed to that. Why should we undergo economic disadvantage for the benefit of the urban dwellers if they are not prepared to pay the proper price for food?” and so on.


Hon. Mr. Davis: There is a contradiction, Mr. Speaker. I think one needs only to look at some of the determinations made in the past two or three years to recognize that this government not only is conscious of the problem, but we are dealing with it and will continue to do so,

Mr. Cassidy: He really didn’t say much.

Mrs. Campbell: It is a convoluted answer.

Hon. Mr. Davis: The member should just say the is going to freeze it and --

Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary: Would the Premier, in view of the statement he has made about unwillingness to put financial hardship on people who now own agricultural land, and in view of his position -- and the former Treasurer apparently is expressing the same view that the Premier holds about this -- would the Premier please tell us precisely what possible options this government is thinking of adopting with regard to compensating people whose land might be frozen? Furthermore, could he tell us by what means we are going to be able to measure when sufficient public demand has come through via the churches and via the other organizations that the government will finally feel compelled to move? How shall we measure this precise response from the population?


Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I don’t like to appear to be in disagreement with my former colleague -- because, as I say, I wasn’t there when he offered his observations -- but I know we have discussed this issue, many of us, for a period of time. I think we have found ways and means of dealing relatively well with the problem.

Mr. Reid: When are you going to tell the rest of us?

Hon. Mr. Davis: If the leader of the Liberal Party is saying simply this, that everybody whose land is zoned for agricultural purposes or recreational purposes, or for something other than future development, is to be compensated out of the public purse --

Mr. Ruston: Are you asking a question?

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- then I would suggest he talk to the member for London North (Mr. Shore) or the member for London Centre (Mr. Peterson) -- anybody who knows anything about the economic factors concerned -- and then he would know there wouldn’t be enough money, even if he were to establish his own mint, which may be one of his policies, to undertake a programme of that kind.

Mr. S. Smith: No compensation, eh?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would also make it abundantly clear, in my brief answer to his question, that this government is prepared to protect and is protecting agricultural land; but we also are not going to prejudice the farmers of this province in the process, because we think we can work it out over a period of time in a way satisfactory to both.

Mr. Singer: You don’t believe it.

Mr. Reid: You think you can have it both ways.

Hon. Mr. Davis: If he is saying to us, as part of his policy, that he is going to freeze all agricultural land in the Province of Ontario, he’s lost 20 seats right here and now.

Mr. Ruston: The Premier lost more than that last time.

Mr. Reid: Now we know what motivates you.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I think the hon. member has had a couple of supplementaries. Does the hon. Leader of the Opposition have a supplementary?

Mr. S. Smith: Is this what his policy consists of -- neither freeze, nor compensation, nor planning?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The Leader of the Opposition with a supplementary question.

Mr. Lewis: As one who has something fewer than 20 agricultural seats to lose, I thought I might ask a supplementary.

Mr. S. Smith: Pure words.

An hon. member: Got lots to gain, though.

Mr. Lewis: Leaving aside the compensation argument, which I concede is a difficult one, does the Premier have any specific legislative undertaking which he expects to introduce this session that will flow from the tabling of the document last Thursday; any Act of the Legislature pertaining to agricultural land and its protection? Or will it simply be left to the outlines of that farm land document?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I don’t think we are contemplating any further legislation which would in fact, as the Leader of the Opposition I think is suggesting --

Mr. Lewis: That’s what you should have called it.

Mr. S. Smith: Eight pounds of paper; pure words.

Hon. Mr. Davis: They’re suggesting that there be a form of legislative freeze on farm land --

Mr. Singer: That’s what John White said.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- and I have to say the government is not contemplating a legislative freeze. What the government is doing and will continue to do is in terms of official plan amendments, in terms of the planning documentation on the parkway belt and the Escarpment. I should point out that both the parkway belt and the Escarpment contain several thousands of acres of agricultural land which are now under control, a move which members of the Liberal Party campaigned actively against in their great desire to maintain agricultural land. Of course, they wanted the Escarpment totally eliminated in the process.

Mr. S. Smith: Why don’t you say something truthful during one part of your speech?



Hon. Mr. Davis: I look at one or two members across there --


Hon. Mr. Davis: Listen, you guys did it and you know it and you can’t have it both ways.


Hon. Mr. Davis: You can’t have it both ways; it is one of the very difficult issues.

An hon. member: Got to get a little high.

Mr. Lewis: That’s what you should have called it.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.


Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, we do not contemplate legislation. We contemplate working through the existing zoning regulations, through official plans, through the planning documents that are there. I can only say to the Leader of the Opposition that in terms of planning. In terms of urban growth, in terms of controlling in a reasonable way the great pressures that have existed in this province --

Mr. S. Smith: We just sit back and watch.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- compared to any other jurisdiction in North America, this province has done a much better job than any other single area he can mention to me.


Hon. Mr. Davis: Anywhere on this continent, they don’t compare to us here; and you know it.

Mr. S. Smith: Let the megalopolis come.

Mr. Speaker: Does the hon. member for Hamilton West have further questions? All right.

The hon. Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations has the answer to a question asked earlier.

Mr. Lewis: It won’t fly, Orville, it won’t fly; but it sounds good.


Hon. Mr. Davis: That’s what they said to Orville, but it flew.


Mr. Speaker: Look -- order, please.


Mr. Speaker: This is becoming a general debate and we’ve taken up 80 minutes --

Mr. Singer: Because you let the answers go on forever.

Mr. Speaker: Order. The supplementaries got far away from the original question, as I recall it. Order.

Mr. S. Smith: That was a speech; it was not an answer. It was a bad speech, but it was a speech.

Mr. Kerrio: They haven’t got an answer.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.


Mr. Speaker: In view of the fact that 30 minutes have gone past, we’ll give the hon. member a chance to come back at a new question in a few moments. The hon. minister.


Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, I have the answer to a question asked by the Leader of the Opposition on April 5, 1976, concerning the rent dilemma at 118 Overbrook Place where notices of rent increases were not given 90 days in advance as required under the Landlord and Tenant Act and the rent review officer claimed jurisdiction in those hearings.

A notice of application for judicial review has been served on my ministry as well as on the Ministry of the Attorney General as a result of another case, not unlike the case referred to by the Leader of the Opposition. I expect the question will be settled in the Supreme Court of Ontario. The hearing of this application should establish whether the rent review officer does have jurisdiction to hold a hearing and to make an order under such circumstances.

I further understand that the rent review officer’s position was taken because of the provision in the Landlord and Tenant Act which suggests the 90-day notice is subject to the provisions of the Rent Review Act, which does not contain that provision.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for -- all right, the member for Ottawa Centre; was this your question?

Mr. Singer: Make up your own mind.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary to this answer by the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations: In the meantime, is the minister prepared to give instructions to the rent review administration that when comparable cases come before it the rent decisions will take effect at the legal time under the Landlord and Tenant Act, rather than at an earlier date?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, there is no such discretion given to us in the Act. The only time this would arise is in those cases where the applications were filed before Feb. 29, which is the date specified in the Rent Review Act. So anything after that, we would have to assume, will have the normal 90 days.

Mr. Singer: Provided you get a rent review officer who does what the Act says, which is too much to expect.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.


Mr. Martel: A question of the Minister of Colleges and Universities: In a letter which I received from the president of Trent University, he makes the following statement:

“In closing, may I emphasize that these moves are made necessary by all-party political pressure and are being taken in an attempt to ward off a legislated quota system or something very close to it.”

This is to his faculty.

“If in fact the universities make some improvement in the number of Canadians they’re hiring, is it the government’s intention to not introduce legislation to guarantee adequate hiring of Canadian personnel?”

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I believe some time ago I made a commitment to the hon member, specifically on this item, that I would reply in detail during the session of the Legislature and I fully intend to complete that commitment. I’m wondering if the member might share with me a copy of that letter so I could share those thoughts with him?


Mr. Peterson: To the Minister of the Environment: Could he tell us what his official ministry position is with respect to municipal bylaws pertaining to non-returnable containers?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: We have no objection to any municipal bylaw being implemented that is valid and upheld in the event it is contested in any way.

Mr. Singer: There is no bylaw that is upheld.

Mr. Bullbrook: The minister can’t be doing this. I don’t believe this.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: They are a great testing ground; they really are. But we would hope --

Mr. Bullbrook: Well it has not been upheld; read the paper.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: I know that. He didn’t ask me about London. He just asked a general question.

Mr. Singer: It is like the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Handleman) then. When the Supreme Court tells a rent review officer he is wrong, he is wrong.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: As I was saying, in the case of any municipality that passes a bylaw that is valid in dealing with that subject, we have no objections to it. However, we would hope that it would be more effective if it was done on a province-wide basis under our own legislation.


Mr. Peterson: Supplementary: Could the minister tell me why a lawyer, Julian Polika, from the Attorney General’s ministry, appeared before Mr. Justice Sam Hughes in chambers last week representing the ministry and said the ministry’s position was against the bylaw? Can the minister tell me why that happened?

Mr. Singer: Oh that’s those fellows. We don’t believe that, that is the Attorney General’s office. Who pays any attention to them?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: The hon. member will have to ask that gentleman. He didn’t represent my ministry.

Mr. Peterson: Who did he represent?

Mr. Singer: They don’t talk to each other anymore.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I can’t hear the hon. member.

Mr. Peterson: If he doesn’t represent the Ministry of the Environment, why is the Ministry of the Attorney General, that is the government, against the municipal bylaws?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: As far as I am aware, government is not against such a municipal bylaw.

Mr. Bullbrook: Supplementary: Does the hon. minister not realize that the courts have now said there is no power under that municipal bylaw? If the government is true to its purpose as a government, will it bring in general legislation or won’t it?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: I realize that Mr. Speaker. I wasn’t unaware of the decision in London.

Mr. Bullbrook: What are you going to do about it?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: All I am saying is if a municipality through its powers passed such a bylaw that is valid and upheld, we have no objection to it.

Mr. Singer: If another court were to decide differently you will like that one too. Is that what you mean?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: We also agree with the suggestion that it would be better on a province-wide basis; we agree with that.

Mr. Bullbrook: Why don’t you do it?

Mrs. Campbell: Do it.

Mr. Speaker: The Minister of Natural Resources has the answer to a question asked previously.


Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Speaker, on April 6, the member for Timiskaming (Mr. Bain) asked the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development (Mr. Irvine), in my absence, a question regarding a building freeze in the Kirkland Lake area.

For the information of the member: On Nov. 27, 1975, an interministerial meeting was held to discuss the purpose and objectives for maintaining the Swastika restricted area order. It was attended by representatives from the Ministries of the Environment, Agriculture and Food, Transportation and Communications, and Treasury, Economics and Intergovernmental affairs. Ontario Hydro and the Timiskaming health unit were also represented.

Among other things discussed at the meeting, such as province-wide policies, guidelines and regulations being appropriate, it was concluded from various inputs that the growth rate in the townships of Lebel, Marquis, McElroy, Boston, Marter, Otto and Pacaud was no greater than in other similar areas that were not under a restricted area order. Since this was the case, it was recommended that the restricted area order he rescinded.

My ministry does not wish to take steps to rescind the order until such time as other ministries, such as Housing, and Treasury, Economics and Intergovernmental Affairs, have had the opportunity to develop rural development control policies for the area. It is proposed that a study team be established involving the three ministries concerned.

The municipality of Kirkland Lake is applying to the Ministry of Treasury, Economics and Interprovincial Affairs for assistance to expand its planning area, which would take in the townships now under the Swastika restricted area order.

Mr. Speaker: We will allow the member for Timiskaming a supplementary since he asked the question.

Mr. Bain: Is the minister contemplating setting up a committee that would involve citizens from these separate townships? They are perfectly happy to work in conjunction with officials from his ministry and others: is the minister going to involve them in coming up with a plan to replace the freeze?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Yes, it has been policy to involve the public to as great an extent as possible. I might say we hope this policy would not take longer than six months.

Mr. Speaker: The member for York South.

Mrs. Campbell: He asked a question.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The member for York South.


Mr. MacDonald: I have a question of the Premier: In view of the Premier’s earlier statement this afternoon on agricultural land use, how does he reconcile that with the following statement:

“Ontario is moving towards tough controls on southern Ontario land that will prevent farmers from using their property for anything but agricultural uses ... Farmers are demanding that areas must be designated for the preservation of agricultural industry just to ensure the basic food supply.”

Since those are quotes from the Premier in a speech in Maxwell under the sponsorship of the Grey County Federation of Agriculture, how does he reconcile that with his complete reversal in the statement earlier this day?

Mr. S. Smith: Same with the mortgage subsidies; very easy.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I recall that speech very well.

Mr. MacDonald: I’ll bet you do.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We are wasting valuable time.

Hon. Mr. Davis: As I recall the question this afternoon, and I think my recollection is reasonably accurate, I was asked by the hon. member’s leader a question as to whether or not we plan legislation -- and the answer to that is no. In terms of existing policy, in terms of existing legislation, there is no question we can maintain the vast majority of agricultural land in this province and we intend to do so.

Mr. MacDonald: All the parties say no.

Mr. Speaker: The member for Haldimand-Norfolk.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Well, they are wrong. The legislation is there.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The member for Haldimand-Norfolk.


Mr. G. I. Miller: I have a question of the Minister of Natural Resources: In view of the fact his ministry is enforcing the regulations on fishing in Lake Erie, is be aware it could create a hardship for some of the small fishing operators who have been fishing for many years on the lake?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Speaker, I am sure the hon. member is aware of, I suppose the laxity maybe, in some of the controls we should have been applying on Lake Erie. I am sure he is well aware of the situation of the fish population in that particular lake. In fact, there is a real concern regarding the perch population and the pickerel population in Lake Erie, and the fishermen are concerned as we are. The restrictive measures we have taken will have some economic impact on a short term, but I can assure the hon. member if we get the co-operation of the commercial fishermen in that particular lake they can be assured long-term activity with regard to commercial fishing.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Is the ministry prepared to support these fishermen, who could be forced out of business?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Speaker, we don’t think anybody will be forced out of the commercial fishing industry. There may be certain cutbacks and there may be a short period of readjustment, but we don’t expect anybody will be put out of work.

Mr. Reid: Is John Smith not writing your speeches?

Mr. Makarchuk: Supplementary?

Mr. Speaker: Final supplementary. The member for Brantford.

Mr. Makarchuk: To the same minister: In view of the fact the fishermen will have to acquire different mesh nets, which would take some time and certainly would involve an outlay of money, would the minister be prepared to adjust the July 1 date in order to give the fishermen time to acquire the necessary equipment so they would not catch the smaller-sized perch?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Speaker, in our discussions with the commercial fishing industry, we arrived at this July 1 date. It was an extension of the normal time given. I have to say to the hon. member that if it’s brought to my attention there is hardship being imposed upon these commercial fishermen, then I would be prepared to reconsider a longer period of time.


Mr. Grossman: A question for the acting Minister of Health -- to return to Doctors Hospital for a moment: I wonder what arrangements might be anticipated for those doctors who, say, have surgery scheduled for the middle of June or middle of July? What can they tell their patients in the next two or three clays?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, any physician who has not, within the next few days, had an application to other hospitals in the area accepted should, I think, apply immediately to the Evans committee, which is patiently awaiting applications from the physicians of Doctors Hospital, or any other hospital in the Province of Ontario where there is a closure of beds. The committee is prepared to deal with applications of those who wish to be transferred to other institutions.

Mr. Shore: Are they eligible for unemployment insurance?

Hon. B. Stephenson: No.

Mr. Speaker: Petitions.

Presenting reports.

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener presented the report of the Public Service Superannuation Board for the year ending March 31, 1975.


Mr. Speaker: Motions.

Introduction of bills.


Mr. Eaton moved first reading of bill intituled, An Act respecting the Township of Bosanquet.

Motion agreed to; first reading of the bill.


Mr. Deans moved first reading of bill intituled, An Act respecting the City of Hamilton.

Motion agreed to; first reading of the bill.


Mr. Deans moved first reading of bill intituled, An Act respecting the City of Hamilton.

Motion agreed to; first reading of the bill.


Mr. Kerrio moved first reading of bill intituled, An Act respecting the City of Niagara Falls.

Motion agreed to; first reading of the bill.


Mr. Yakabuski moved first reading of bill intituled, An Act respecting the Township of West Carleton.

Motion agreed to; first reading of the bill.


Mr. Swart moved first reading of bill intituled, An Act respecting the Welland-Port Colborne Airport.

Motion agreed to; first reading of the bill.


Mrs. Campbell moved first reading of bill intituled, An Act respecting the Institute of Professional Librarians of Ontario.

Motion agreed to; first reading of the bill.


Mr. Grossman moved first reading of bill intituled, An Act respecting the City of Toronto.

Motion agreed to; first reading of the bill.


Mr. Lupusella moved first reading of bill intituled, An Act respecting the Dovercourt Baptist Foundation.

Motion agreed to; first reading of the bill.


Mr. B. Newman moved first reading of bill intituled, An Act respecting the City of Windsor.

Motion agreed to; first reading of the bill.

Mr. Speaker: Orders of the day.


Hon. Mr. Meen moved second reading of Bill 26, An Act to amend the Succession Duty Act.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, my comments on second reading of this bill will be quite brief, and I will ask that when second reading has been given that the bill be put into committee of the whole House so we can discuss certain of the provisions at somewhat greater length.

I need not repeat the position of this party with respect to the need for an adequate taxing statute dealing with the taxation of wealth in order that the wealth of the province may be properly distributed on a realistic social and economic basis. I spoke about a year ago in the assembly and set forth the position which this party takes, which we had hoped each of the other parties would take, with respect to the need to evaluate the taxation of wealth in the province by means of a green paper, by means of public discussion, by means of obtaining the kind of information which we require in order that an equitable tax system may be constructed for the province in the area of wealth taxation.

On that occasion we voted against the amendments to the Gift Tax Act and the Succession Duty Act in order to bring our position before the assembly. I will not repeat those remarks; they were made on April 24, 1975, and reflect the position of the New Democratic Party in this particular field.

The major provision of the bill which is now before us basically deals with a significant change -- but a somewhat less than full change -- in the taxation by the Province of Ontario of land passing from a person domiciled in Ontario on the death of that person to another person domiciled in the Province of Ontario. Little did I think I would be in the assembly when a Minister of Revenue of the Crown reintroduced the principle of Lord Baltimore and Penn which was decided in 1750 and which from that time on, eliminated the taxation of foreign real estate.

I’m pleased to see that the minister has accepted the proposition that foreign real estate should be included in the definition of a transmission for the purpose of succession duties in the Province of Ontario. I am at a loss to understand why the minister did not see fit to accept the proposal made by the advisory committee on the Succession Duty Act that we should move from the transmissions concept to the accessions context and tax a recipient domiciled in Ontario on any property coming to that person, regardless of the domicile of the person upon whose death the property is to pans.

There is an extensive statement in the advisory committee’s report on the Succession Duty Act with respect to the need for the concept of accessions to take the place of the concept of transmissions. I would, at some time when we are in committee, choose to deal briefly with the minister as to why he will not move to accept that principle as recommended by the committee which was established for the very purpose of making recommendations respecting the Succession Duty Act.

We will support the bill on second reading. We will deal with some of the other matters when the bill is in committee and I think we can have a useful but brief exchange at that time.

Mr. Edighoffer: Mr. Speaker, I will just say a word or two about Bill 26. This bill appears to make a number of changes and, of course, also includes a number of changes which were suggested and introduced in the 1975 budget.

I believe most of the questions really should be raised during the discussions of committee of the whole House because, as I say, most of these were in the budget and, as I understand, agreed by members of the Legislature. However, not being a lawyer, I do have trouble with some of these sections and I had hoped that the minister could, some time during the discussion, refer to section 8 which is part of the regulations section and which I’m afraid I really don’t understand. I think the explanatory note is sort of a legal -- I don’t really know what to call it, but if I may just put it on record. It’s something I really can’t understand and I hope the minister could explain this. This is the explanatory note:

“The new clause (f) will permit the making of rules for valuing bequests of income that are expressed as a percentage of the deceased’s estate. The actuarial value of such bequests computed under the present rule’s under the Act is frequently greater than the capital producing the income because the income currently produced by such capital is more than double the income assumed by the present rules for the actuarial valuation of the income interest.”

I would be very happy to have an explanation of that.


Hon. Mr. Meen: Mr. Speaker, I must confess I am surprised that this debate has gone so quickly but certainly we will have an opportunity in committee of the whole to discuss the various sections, section by section.

The member for Riverdale raises a question with respect to the recommendation of the committee and I must say that I don’t know exactly why we did not go that total route. I have asked the staff to get me some material on that point. My recollection, vague though it is, is that it hinges on the constitutionality of whether it is or is not a direct tax and therefore within the competence of the provincial taxing jurisdiction. I will get some further details and perhaps be able to elaborate on those when we get into committee debate on the bill.

The amendment itself is intended to block a couple of loopholes which have developed recently by which competent and very capable estates planners could arrange to have assets of otherwise taxable or dutiable estates in the form of real estate in another jurisdiction which, on the death of the testator, might then in the one case pass to the beneficiaries here in Ontario or, in another and perhaps more sophisticated case, pass to a company the shares of which were held by beneficiaries here in Ontario. In either of them two instances, those being covered in subsections (i) and (ii) of the amending section, there now would be tax attributable end collected bore with respect to, the beneficiaries here in Ontario.

My staff have sent me a note which hon. members might find useful if I were to read it. It helps, I think, to clarify the point raised by the member for Riverdale, if he cared to listen or perhaps he would simply prefer to read it in Hansard. “The accession principle, that is the beneficiary in Ontario, would be taxed by Ontario regardless of where the -- “if I can read the writing --

Mr. Foulds: It would help to have a typewriter.

Hon. Mr. Meen: Yes, it would have helped if we had had a typewriter. It says, “the deceased died in the world was recommended, as indicated by the member, by the Langford committee. It hasn’t been adopted by us at this time as it is part of the general review of the Act and it is still under review.”

I am advised also that it is not necessarily a constitutional question.

Mr. Renwick: Thank you.

Hon. Mr. Meen: I would just observe that there are a number of extensive items on the whole question of succession duty which are under review in my ministry. In particular, I hope to achieve a dramatic simplification in the structure of succession duty taxing. All of this is an ongoing process which may take some months yet before we can reach a conclusion.

The member for Perth (Mr. Edighoffer) has raised what is probably one of the most difficult things to understand in this particular bill. I think perhaps the best way to describe it to him -- I could reserve this, I suppose, for committee but I think I might as well outline it now -- would be to give him an example.

Mr. Martel: You don’t have to read it.

Hon. Mr. Meen: I will certainly read the example because I, too, had spent some time reviewing this section in order to understand what the actuarial types were saying in pointing nest what is really a tax avoidance technique which has recently come to our attention. This technique takes advantage of the methods prescribed by the Succession Duty Act to value income interest as is indicated in the explanatory note.

Briefly, the technique involves providing for the income produced by the estate to be paid to the surviving spouse but for it to be an amount not less than, say, eight per cent of the value of the estate in any year. The surviving spouse is, of course, wholly exempt from succession duty on any amount received; and this is why this becomes a loophole -- because of the fact that the surviving spouse, under recent amendments to the Act, is totally exempt.

Section 3(4) of the Succession Duty Act prescribes the method to be used to value income end annuity interest, and it’s based on a notional four per cent yield factor. In other words, the assumption is that there will be a yield of four per cent in the estate. As an example, an estate of $1 million would therefore be deemed to yield $40,000 per annum for the purpose of determining the interest of a life tenant. However, where the terms of the will provide that the income paid is to be au amount of not less than, say, eight per cent, as in the illustration I just gave, the Act requires that a yield of eight per cent be used.

The actuarial value of the income interest passing to the non-taxable spouse, when the spouse is non-taxable, using an eight per cent income factor, would work out to be greater than the capital producing the income if the spouse were 57 years of age or younger in this illustration. By raising the percentage where the spouse would be older at the date of death of the deceased or by providing escalator clauses in the will, then the same result can be achieved. I might just point out that if, for example, the spouse were expected to be 59 or 60 instead of 57, the testator could then draw the will to make a provision that it be nine per cent, 9½ per cent or something of that sort, so that the entire amount of the capitol, for actuarial purposes, was represented by the life estate of the surviving spouse.

The direct result is that the whole of the aggregate value of the estate is attributed to the non-taxable income of the beneficiary. The beneficiary, the spouse, has a complete exemption under the Succession Duty Act, leaving no amount to be taxed to the remainder men, who fall into possession of their interests on the death of the spouse.

Mr. Good: It’s a good idea.

Hon. Mr. Meen: Yes, it was a smart lawyer who thought it up. Clearly, where the estate is invested to yield a rate of income greater than the percentage provided for in the will, no encroachment on capital will be required to be made for the life tenant, and the whole of the estate, plus any capital appreciation, will pass tax-free to the remainder men on the deaths of the life tenant.

I did a few calculations recently on this particular illustration to see what the present value of that particular life estate would be to a 57-year-old spouse. Let us assume, for example, that the $1 million in the estate could be invested at roughly 10 per cent -- and that wouldn’t be hard to do; it would be it would be very easy to right now -- let us assume it was invested at 10 per cent but was payable at eight per cent out of the estate, or $80,000 a year to the life tenant, whose age is 57; she has a life expectancy, by the tables, of 19.6 years.

If we put that into our pocket computer for interest at 10 per cent -- 19.6 payments at $80,000 each -- the present value comes out to $676,464, which is a whale of a lot smaller than the $1 million in the estate. But if we use the figures that are presently provided for in the Act, which take into account the same life expectancy -- because it’s worked out for various life expectancies -- but a rate of four per cent, it wipes out that figure. My people tell me that that table, at $80,000 times 12.6, comes out to $976,000 or so -- very close to the $1 million in the estate -- and the estate therefore would be free of succession duty in that particular case. That’s the situation we’re seeking to remedy by this amendment.

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the support from both sides of the House.

Motion agreed to; second reading of the bill.

Mr. Speaker: I understand the minister wants it to go to committee.

Hon. Mr. Meen: Yes, committee of the whole House.

Mr. Speaker: The bill is ordered to committee of the whole House.

Clerk of the House: The 11th order.

Mr. Speaker: Would the minister like to move?

Hon. Mr. Meen: Yes, just a moment please, Mr. Speaker. I’m prepared to go with the Retail Sales Tax Act, and I am in two minds as to whether we might want to go into committee with the Succession Duty Act. But there are other bills standing, as I recall it now, on the order paper, for the committee of the whole House, so perhaps it would be more appropriate if we followed the 11th order as called.


Hon. Mr. Moon moved second reading of Bill 40, An Act to amend the Retail Sales Tax Act.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak again briefly on Bill 46, being the Act to amend the Retail Sales Tax Act. Again, we will support the passage of the bill, but we will ask that the bill go into committee of the whole House, because again a taxing statute with specific changes in specific sections of a technical and intricate bill is not properly the subject of a debate on principle on second reading.

I do have two or three comments which may be helpful to the minister when he’s considering the matters which we will be raising in committee.

I’m extremely concerned -- and I’m going to try to put my concerns in order -- about the tough penalty which the minister is imposing under section 4 of the bill, amending as it does the accounting by vendors under section 10 of the Act for the tax which they must collect. It does seem to me that that penalty, coupled with the provision with respect to regulations contained in section 13 of the bill, seems to me to be somewhat Draconian in nature, and there must have been some obvious reason for the minister to move in this way in a drastic sense against vendors who have failed to account. He must feel that there’s been a substantial loss of revenue or a substantial problem about collection which would lead him to impose such penalties.

The second matter, which is one, of course, of immense concern to us -- we’ll not oppose the back on second reading because of it, but we’ll deal with it in committee -- is the whole procedure which occupies a substantial part of the bill relating to the point in time when machinery and equipment for production purposes will be subject to tax in an endeavour to have that tax imposed at the time it becomes affixed to the realty and paid by the person who owns the real property to which the production property is affixed.

We can deal with the technical amendments, all of which will not come into force until Jan. 1, 1977, but of course that points up what has been a major concern to this party and that is why there should be a continuation in the budget and a continuation in this bill of the provision which was enacted last year under the Retail Sales Tax Act granting what, in our judgment, is an exorbitant exemption with respect to the imposition of sales tax on machinery and equipment used in production.

We are, obviously, in favour of the reduction in the sales tax which applies with respect to the definition of fair value in connection with a specific defined type of mobile home, and we’re also obviously in favour of those homes being subject to tax on only one occasion -- that is, in the first instance and then only at the lower rate -- and not on any subsequent transfers.

My last point, on second reading of the bill, is this whole question of the extent to which people coming into Canada and bringing tangible personal property into Canada are, in fact, declaring it to the Treasurer or to the Minister of Revenue so that the tax which is imposed on property brought into the Province of Ontario by persons returning to Ontario is subject to tax. I must say, my impression is that it’s probably more honoured in the breach than in the observance in many cases, and there must be a significant loss of revenue to the province in its endeavour to tax that kind of tangible personal property when brought into Ontario, having been purchased abroad.

Perhaps those points and a number of other points can more usefully be dealt with in some greater depth when we deal with the bill in committee of the whole House. We will therefore support the bill and ask that it go to the committee of the whole House.


Mr. Edighoffer: In reference to Bill 46: In the brief time we have had to review this bill, I have to say firstly that we in this party strongly support the amendment regarding the reduction in tax for mobile homes. I know this has been brought up with the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) on a number of occasions and we were certainly pleased to see that this was forthcoming.

Again, the majority of this bill is set out in the budget. We will have ample time to discuss the changes that are taking place and I can say we are in agreement with most of the changes.

I wonder sometimes when I look at a bill such as this. I know there are exemptions for thermal insulation materials and I just wonder why some of these things aren’t set out a little more clearly in legislation. However, I suppose many of these things are done in a hurry.

But we will support the second reading of this bill and, as the previous member said, look forward to the discussion in committee.

Mr. Cassidy: I want to make a couple of comments on the bill. One is that I don’t think the bill should be passed without remarking on the fact that without a stroke of the pen and without an Act of this Legislature the Ontario sales tax was increased from five per cent to seven per cent at the end of December and --

Hon. Mr. Meen: With respect, Mr. Speaker, that isn’t so, because it was provided in the amendment made about this time last year that the tax would be reduced from seven per cent to five per cent for a specific period of time. And so it was by an Act of the Legislature that it went back up to seven.

Mr. Deans: He said “without a stroke of the pen.”

Mr. Warner: An election gimmick.

Mr. Cassidy: Without one stroke of the pen. The electoral situation had changed very substantially. I hope the minister is aware of it and if he isn’t aware of it then something is wrong with his perception and he has delusions of grandeur.

Mr. Martel: The minister has been around here long enough.

Mr. Cassidy: He still sees the rump over on this side, Mr. Speaker.

I don’t think it should be allowed to pass unnoticed that the Ontario government did, in effect, allow that enactment to go forward without coming to consult the Legislature. That is a habit that you have had more and more, Mr. Speaker -- not you personally, Mr. Speaker, but --

Mr. Warner: A bad habit.

Mr. Speaker: That’s not a part of this bill, though.

Mr. Cassidy: No, of course it isn’t.


Mr. Cassidy: The point I want to make in relation to the bill is a point of principle and that’s why I raise it right now. The deputy minister is looking at it to give some more elucidation and maybe having output of the minister. It is proposed in here that a retail tax on newspapers be levied by the Province of Ontario and the restrictions of that tax be laid down by legislation. I think that is a very dangerous provision and I would like the minister to consider very seriously redrafting that particular amendment or taking it out completely,

As I understand, in the past, newspapers, books and other such articles have quite properly been excluded from the sales tax. The government of the Province of Ontario lies hesitated to tax them because the tax on newspapers is a tax on information and is a form of censorship. The government has now breached that particular barrier and it appears to be coming to deciding that it will, in fact, tax newspapers.

If the minister intends that certain kinds of advertising circulars, which do not contain news or comment of any variety, that are flow being exempted because they are falsely classified as newspapers, should be taxed, it might be possible to find the necessary language to carry out such an intent in the legislation. But I would submit, Mr. Speaker, that this language is quite unacceptably broad. It means that if the minister or the government saw fit they could by regulation deem that one of the classes of newspapers to be taxed was newspapers with a circulation of over 400,000 published in the afternoons in the city of Toronto, thereby picking out only the Toronto Star; or tabloid-sized newspapers appearing in the morning in the city of Toronto; or all weeklies published within 100 miles of the Manitoba-Ontario border which would take in the Kenora and Fort Frances newspapers and none other.

It would be quite possible to discriminate against particular newspapers by use of this particular device. The minister is aware that the regulations committee has no power to govern the use of this particular power which he proposes to give unto himself. There is no provision for reference back to the Legislature apart from the minister’s estimates and there is therefore no effective legislative control. I would ask the minister to agree that, whatever the intent here, it has been inadequately caned out and it should be reconsidered in committee this day.

Mr. Haggerty: Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the minister a few questions concerning the bill as it relates to the matter of section 24(b) section 3, which relates to “thermal insulation materials, as defined by the minister, that are purchased exclusively to insulate a building the construction of which has been completed and that is occupied permanently or seasonally for residential purposes…”

The question I want to ask the minister is, is not having that paragraph or that phrase put in the bill encouraging a number of cottagers in certain areas to live in these places year round, perhaps in violation of local bylaws? I can cite a couple of instances in the Erie riding where municipalities do not encourage the year-round use of certain cottages. Perhaps by allowing them to insulate, the next question to lead into it would be that they are permanent residences and lack of sewers and other services in the area will cause, perhaps, further difficulties to the municipality.

The other matter concerning the matter of insulation is that hopefully when the regulations do apply to this particular paragraph, consideration will be given to the type of insulation and, perhaps, some protection to the property owner who may feel that he’s doing a service to the Province of Ontario by reducing energy costs by applying insulation. Some of the construction materials used today in new homes such as the 2x4s, -- if we call them 2x4s -- may only be in some cases 3 inches in width and perhaps about 1½ in. deep.

In some cases, in our discussions in the Ontario Hydra committee, dealing with the hydro rates, it has been suggested that insulation should be increased to 6 in., 4 in. and so forth. If we are going to encourage property owners to apply this type of insulation I think we are going to have to change the provincial building code so that persons are going to be protected.

If not, what they call a wet rot or condensed rot will occur in the building materials in a home and perhaps in five years’ time, if there isn’t breathing space in there, the person could lose his home or perhaps it will cost him more money. These are the points I want to bring to the attention of the minister.

The other one concerns subsection 3, section 3, I guess it is -- no; it deals with the tangible personal property in Ontario as it becomes liable to tax. Hopefully, this will cover one of the overgenerous conditions which exist along the Lake Erie shoreline where we have our American friends who may come in with a boat and all the equipment necessary for it and they pay no taxes on it. I think at one time under Canadian customs regulations they could bring a piece of equipment in, such as a boat, and it would be valued at $5,000 or $6,000. They would have the use of our Canadian waters over here, then take it back to the United States and pay no tax on it. I understand that now they can bring a boat into Canada as long as they file a report that it’s here for, we might say, the life of the equipment. Again, I feel that persons in Ontario who have to go out and purchase a boat and motor are being penalized when we allow oth.er infractions under over-generosity of the present laws that they can come into Canada and get off scot-free without contributing any taxes at all, and I think this should be corrected.

Those are the points that I wanted to bring to the attention of the minister and, hopefully, he will give consideration to my suggestions.

Hon. Mr. Meen: Mr. Speaker, taking last things first, I guess, on insulation we’re proposing that the exemption apply where the dwelling is complete and isn’t just in the course of being constructed. If that were the case, then the new provincial Building Code would apply to require certain levels of insulation. It has to be a residence; it can’t be a commercial property. The principle doesn’t extend to commercial and industrial enterprises or undertakings, it’s strictly residential and it’s intended really as an incentive to upgrade existing residences that may have little or no insulation in them. It doesn’t really matter whether it’s a permanent residence or a temporary residence. A seasonally occupied premises is just as much a qualified building as a permanent townhouse, we might say. So I want to make that point clear.

I’m not too clear myself on what the hon. member is referring to with respect to boats.

Mr. Haggerty: Summer residents.

Hon. Mr. Meen: Summer residents coming in here with their boating equipment -- that is not much different from winter vacationers from Ontario going to Florida with their cars. Florida doesn’t apply a Florida retail sales tax or some part thereof to any of us who are lucky enough to be able to spend some time there at any time of the year. I don’t think we’ve ever extended the principle, where someone was coming in as a visitor rather than as a resident, that tax would be applied. That’s a principle that I think would be counterproductive in the long run.

The member for Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy) touches on a point which has concerned me; there’s no intention in the bill to tax newspaper. The intention is to try to apply the taxing statute to advertising material put out under the guise of newspapers. The section presently reads, “newspapers however purchased,” and under that we have had a regulation attempting to interpret newspapers meaning publications, usually daily or weekly, containing news, advertising and literary matter. This includes trade show newspapers, but doesn’t include credit or business reports or similar printed matter.

The difficulty with this is that we cannot get a definition which is sufficiently sharp that it homes in on the true newspaper and exempts the true newspaper, be it daily, weekly or whatever, without getting into some difficulties with advertising flyers that may contain some item of news -- and it doesn’t matter how old it is; there’s no requirement that news be current. Some have gone so far as to public excerpts from CF bulletins that might be six weeks old just for the purpose of including in their advertising material some element of news, a masthead, an address and so on, and they would appear, under the definition under the Act and under the definition by the regulations, to be a newspaper and, therefore, free of retail sales tax, in, one might say, unfair competition with those who are legitimately putting out advertising material of one form or another and not trying to get it up under the guise of newspapers.

I think the last thing in the world that would ever happen, I guess, would be if newspapers were dragged in under the Act and taxed the way advertising material is intended to be taxed. But what we’re trying to find is a definition that will distinguish the one from the other.


What does concern me, though, as I said in my remarks, was the concern expressed by the member for Ottawa Centre that this is broad. It does appear to me to be broad and I have expressed this concern to my staff. I had wondered whether it needed to be this broad in order to accomplish what we’re seeking to accomplish. If I can come up with anything when we are in committee on this, any way in which to modify this in some fashion, or if the hon. members opposite can help me in coming up with something that will accomplish what I think is accepted as a desirable goal, then I certainly would be happy to entertain and see introduced an amendment to that section; but we do need something.

The member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) referred to section 4 in his comments, and yet I think he was speaking about the imprisonment provision in section 11 as being rather Draconian. When we get into the details of the bill, I think I can explain to him and to boo, members just what was intended and why we have proposed these particular amendments.

Motion agreed to; second reading of the bill.

Mr. Speaker: Shall the bill be ordered for committee of the whole House?



Hon. Mr. Meen moved second reading of Bill 47, An Act to amend the Ontario Guaranteed Annual Income Act, 1974.

Mr. McClellan: I want to rise to oppose Bill 47 on behalf of this party. I want to inform you, Mr. Speaker, that we are opposed to it in principle, that we will divide on it and that in the unfortunate eventuality that it passes, we will move that the bill be sent to committee of the whole House for amendment.

I want to say that we think this bill in principle constitutes an attack on the rights of new Canadians in this province in no uncertain terms. What the minister is proposing to do is to change the residency requirement for the GAINS pension from five years to 10 years in section 1(2)(3).

We are well aware of the justification for these proposed changes. It’s an exercise in Hendersonian restraint, pure and simple. The government will probably save some $3 million or $4 million, by our calculations, by virtue of the changes in residency requirements. But what is at stake is not simply a matter of dollars. What is at stake ass the fundamental political rights of a group of people in this province, and the government has absolutely no right to take those rights away.

The pettiness of the measure also needs speaking to. At the present time, we are aware that the Ontario government pays the whole cost of GAINS pensions for people who do not meet the eligibility requirements for old-age security. I understand that some two per cent of GAINS clientele are in the category of people who do not meet the old-age security requirement. I am also aware that they constitute something in the order of 17 per cent of the total cost of the GAINS programme. But the very fact that there are inequities in the federal legislation is no excuse for introducing those inequities into Ontario law.

This government’s obsession with the kind of Hendersonian sleight-of-hand politics of switching costs from one level of government to another has gone utterly too far this time. The government has got itself into a tack on fundamental rights of people that is abhorrent to us in this caucus. What the government is doing is establishing two classes of citizenship in this province -- those who are here 10 years and those who ace here five years. It is utterly inappropriate to base the eligibility for government pensions on some kind of a distinction or discrimination as between classes of citizens. The government will be depriving Canadian citizens who happen to be new Canadians of entitlement for GAINS programming, and it is utterly inexcusable to be proposing these kinds of measures to this Legislature at this time, regardless of the sleight-of-hand cost savings.

I might mention, finally, that the net consequence to new Canadian citizens who are now put into a second class status by the changes proposed, is that rather than be eligible for GAINS pension they will be eligible for family benefits under a needs test and an assets test at substantially reduced rates of payment -- the difference between something in the order of $269 for a single person on GAINS, as opposed to $190 a month for a single person on family benefits. Again, the government is simply establishing two classes of Canadian citizens by virtue of the length of their residency in this country. It is absolutely unacceptable to this caucus, and we will oppose the government on it when the matter comes to a vote.

Mr. Foulds: Shameful piece of legislation.

Mr. Edighoffer: Mr. Speaker, I would just like again to make a few comments on Bill 47, an Act to amend the Ontario Guaranteed Annual Income Act This proposal, of course, was made by the Treasurer in the budget. It would appear to me that this, of course, would eventually -- or at the present time -- bring citizens together in receiving their benefits. I think, however, that we will support the legislation, but feel --

Mr. Moffatt: Bring citizens together?

Mr. Edighoffer: -- that it should go to committee to make certain that this is hopefully phased in over a period of time.

Mr. McClellan: You’ll phase it into the legislation, but you may phase people out

Mr. Speaker: Order please. The hon. member for Sudbury East.

Mr. Martel: That’s the first time I’ve heard of phasing-in discrimination. You can cut it anyway you want. In fact, what you are going to have is people now --

Mr. Speaker: Would the hon. member address his remarks to the Chair?

Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, what they now have are people who have been here six years who are in receipt of GAINS, who will be here seven years in receipt of GAINS -- and other people who will have been here nine years and not be eligible for GAINS.

Hon. Mr. Meen: Not now.

Mr. Martel: It certainly will -- when the government introduces this. They have to have a 10-year residency requirement. If they don’t get it now; if they haven’t got it now -- they’ve been here eight years.

Hon. Mr. Meen: They have a year to apply.

Mr. Martel: They have a year to apply. Be that as it may. What happens when they have been here eight years?

Hon. Mr. Meen: They can apply.

Mr. Deans: They may not be eligible.

Mr. Martel: Sure, and they may not be eligible because they may not have been here 10 years. What is even more sinister is the point I want to talk to, because the government can phase in discrimination and the Liberals will accept what they adopt. If you look in the explanatory note and you try to hang your hat on something, it says it is to coincide with what the federal government is doing -- right. Why don’t they do what the federal government does and introduce an escalator clause?

In the GAINS portion -- in all the pensions in Ontario -- the beggars over there went to Ottawa a number of years ago and decried the fact that the federal government did not have an escalator clause in the Canada Pension and the old age pension, and they screamed blue murder that they should put in escalator clauses. When it came time for them to come back to Ontario and to put these escalator clauses into such things as the Workmen’s Compensation Board pension benefits or in the mother’s allowance under family benefits, of course, the Tories backed off -- and here they go again. They nibble. They take what is convenient. Because it coincides with what Ottawa is doing, therefore they will introduce it.

Well, why don’t they put an escalator clause in the pension in Ontario, as Ottawa does? Now, that would be taking it too far. It brings in the discriminatory aspect of it, and that’s all well and good. And because the Liberals in Ottawa believe in discrimination, of course, so too should the Tories. Why be any different? You’ve always been the same. There is not much sense in changing now.

One wonders why they introduced it the way they did a couple of years ago, though. I was involved in those debates, and I guess it was because on the eve of an election a year away, we could bring in that thing. Barrett looked good doing it. Ontario had to, because there was sufficient pressure from the senior citizens in Ontario, and in the face of an election, what in God’s name do they do but introduce the clause in the bill which says five years. That’s what Barrett was doing. But it cost us money. The difference between the Tories and Barrett is, he understood the legislation. He understood the handout game in Ottawa better than anyone else and when he --

Mr. Reid: They caught on to him after one term, I can tell you.

Mr. Martel: Well, we will talk about Barrett, if you want.

Hon. Mr. Meen: It was not a long term --

Mr. Mattel: It’s an indication, I think, of what I said earlier.

Mr. Reid: They are suffering for it now.

Mr. Martel: It’s funny when drowning rats can all get on the same boat, Pat. All the right wing finks could get together in a hurry in BC, and it is obvious they are doing it here this afternoon in the Legislature as well.

But Barrett knew the Ottawa legislation better than anyone in Canada. He went down to Ottawa long before this government did to see if he could get a crack at the Canada Assistance Plan funding, and he got some and so Ontario followed suit. I suppose Wacky Bennett Jr. will now move legislation which will, in fact, bring in discrimination in its rankest form. But we oppose it. We oppose it on that and, as I say, we oppose it because it only goes half way.

If they are going to talk about following the Liberal example in Ottawa, the least the Liberals could have done is insisted on an escalator clause, because there is an escalator clause in Ottawa. The only thing that they accept readily over there is discrimination, but not an escalator clause that this government asked for. The Liberals stand condemned, as the Tories stand condemned, for even introducing the bloody thing. It is not costing the province that much and I simply abhor the fact that if a person has been here for only six years, despite the fact that he is a Canadian, despite the fact he has residency and citizenship, because he hasn’t quite made it he is not going to be eligible. That is rank discrimination.

I would encourage the Liberals -- seated to our left but philosophically to our right -- to change their position on the two grounds. It is discriminatory. I really can’t understand the Liberals supporting that garbage, I really can’t, and I would encourage anyone who is in control over there to have the caucus reconsider the decision and oppose that amendment, and in particular that clause. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: Does any other member wish to participate? The hon. member for Riverdale.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, there are occasions on some bills where another voice repeating, perhaps in a different way, the same arguments that have been made is important and essential, and I intend to do that. The minister knows that his colleague, the Treasurer, in a laconic statement, introduced in the budget the full implications of which are now reflected in what appears on its face to be nothing but a technical bill, referred to this problem, and I quote what the Treasurer said:

“It would be appropriate at this point, however, to state that legislation will be introduced changing the GAINS residency criteria, which is presently five years in Canada. Effective April 7, 1976, new applicants for GAINS must meet the same 10-year residency criterion that is required for federal OAS and GIS benefits.”


What the minister is doing -- for the sake of conformity and for no other reason that we can tell, although we have tried to find out the quantified number of dollars that the government will be saving by this kind of measure -- what the minister is saying is that if you come here as a landed immigrant and obtain your Canadian citizenship or if you have fulfilled the residency requirement that would permit you to apply for your Canadian citizenship, in this particular respect you must wait another five years before you can get the additional few dollars that this government provides to bring a person’s income up to what we call a guaranteed annual income. I can’t understand how this government could say that there can be Canadian citizens in this country, some of whom are eligible to apply and some of whom are not eligible to apply.

We have spent a good deal of time over the last 20 or 30 years abolishing the distinction between citizens who become citizens by application after five years landed immigrant status and citizens who are native-born. A native-born citizen is a person who will have been here for the residency requirement long before the point in time when he has to meet the requirement to be eligible for GAINS, and the minister knows that. The only people who can be hurt are non-native born Canadians who are either citizens or eligible for citizenship. That’s what the minister has done. Why the federal government ever adopted 10 years is beyond me, but it certainly should not be a relevant argument in this assembly as to what this government should be doing with respect to the kinds of discrimination which have been pointed out by my colleagues.

I noticed that the minister interjected and said that of course as of April 6, 1976, if anybody considers himself to be an eligible person, he has a full year in which he can make his application. Therefore, in the so-called technical language of taxing statutes, a notch provision is providing some kind of opportunity for persons who are presently eligible but haven’t as yet made the application. The government is giving them one year to apply. One year isn’t adequate because there’s no arbitrary period of time which will remove the inequities, even for those persons who may now be eligible.

I don’t pretend to have followed all the intricacies of the debate that took place about it, but I know the broad substance of it. One of the major problems we in this caucus face is to endeavour to get persons who are disabled, unemployable and in receipt of family benefits assistance or general welfare assistance transferred to the guaranteed annual income programme, so that those persons will be designated as unemployables and will be eligible for the additional numbers of dollars which are paid under the GAINS programme which are not available when one takes simply into account the funds which are available under family benefits assistance or general welfare assistance on a monthly basis.

So, if my assumption is correct, the government one year from now will be denying persons who may very well meet the present residency requirement hut, who through the arbitrary decisions of this government, are not eligible for GAINS because the government will not admit that they’re unemployable. Then, at some point in the future, if they become in the eyes of the government unemployable, the government will be able to say: “You must still remain at the reduced amount because, where you used to fall within the five-year residency requirement, you now fall within the 10-year residency requirement and you’re not going to be eligible.”

What we think the government is saying is that it wants to take a large number of people out of the GAINS programme, not because they’re unemployable, but because they haven’t been here for the additional five vars. That is another reason why we oppose the bill.

I assume that the statements I have made are specifically accurate because the question of who qualifies is not a decision which is made on some objective test of residency. There are other criteria which are involved to determine whether a person becomes eligible for the GAINS programme.

If the minister insists on extending the five-year provision to 10 years on April 6 or April 5, 1977, there will come a cut-off point for persons who would otherwise have been eligible, in the minds of most persons, and who would be unemployable. If they become unemployable rafter that date, the minister will say, “You may be unemployable now but you’re not eligible for GAINS because we’ve changed the rules and it’s a 10-year period.”

I can’t conceive that the government could justify a saving in the expenditure of funds at the expense of persons who must be, in most cases, 65 years of rage or over; and to do so at the expense not of native-born Canadians but at the expense of Canadians who may be Canadian citizens or eligible for Canadian citizenship after their five years in Canada. They will be told that in order to get this additional supplement they must be here for another five years.

Mr. Martel: Scrooge.

Mr. Renwick: Now in those two gradations of classes of people this government which, in many cases, prides itself on the non-discriminatory nature of its legislation is in fact discriminating in a most reprehensible way. It is disguised as a mere amendment in order to make it conform with decisions or rules which are established by the federal government for old age security and guaranteed income supplements.

We say to the minister, “You’re wrong. Will you reconsider? Would you stand the bill down? Will you withdraw the bill?”

Mr. Bounsall: Withdraw it.

Mr. Renwick: He can simply say, “We have made a mistake. We didn’t understand the implications of it.”

Mr. Martel: The Liberals will support them.

Mr. Renwick: I say to my colleagues on the left, in the Liberal Party, that I don’t understand how it is possible for members of a party which, over the years, has insisted upon the Canadian citizenship requirement for eligibility for a large number of other more remunerative matters, at this point in time to say, “You can be a Canadian citizen or be in the country as a landed immigrant; have been here for five years and become a Canadian citizen; but you are not eligible for the GAINS programme without waiting for another five years.” We can’t possibly conceive that with proper consideration, the Liberal Party would not support us in our opposition to this bill. We ask their members to support us if the minister and the government will not withdraw the bill.

Mr. Speaker: Does any other hon. member wish to speak to this bill? The hon. member for Kitchener.

Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, I was going to ask if this might be an opportune time for the minister to deal at least with the points raised by the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) so that we can have an explanation to see if the bill, as has been suggested, is one which will not deny benefits to persons who are receiving benefits at the present time but will deal to some degree with persons who are here for more than five but less than 10 years and their presumed ineligibility of benefits. Perhaps if the minister could respond to those particular matters, we would have more information which would be of me.

Mr. Good: Mr. Speaker, in order to have the other details answered, would the minister in his reply give us an indication of how the GAINS benefits are calculated for those people who are not now in receipt of guaranteed income supplements? My understanding ha’s always been that the GAINS benefits are directly related to the amount of old age pension and guaranteed income supplements.

Mr. Martel: About $40 a month.

Mr. Good: If the minister is paying now, could he tell us how those benefits are calculated for persons who are not in receipt of guaranteed income supplement or old age security?

Hon. Mr. Meen: Mr. Speaker, the rate established for GAINS is presently $269.30 for an individual or twice that for a couple. That’s predicated on the basis of OAS/GIS art that figure, less $38.88, whatever that comes out to. And, as the hon. members know, every time the OAS/GIS has been adjusted for the cost-of-living index -- the last figure being a $4.30 increase at the beginning of this month -- the government has reflected art least that amount forward through to the beneficiaries under OAS/GIS and GAINS; in this case, bringing it up to $269.30.

The other side of this programme, and a very expensive side of the programme, is that to which the members have been directing their observations in this debate. It concerns at present -- that is, as of the end of March; it will likely be somewhat lower this month because of the requirement for requalification -- some 6,200 GAINS recipients with the five-year residency qualification but lacking the 10-year qualification, which therefore would qualify them for OAS/GIS. That part of the programme, as one hon. member mentioned -- I think it was the member for Bellwoods -- represents two per cent of the total clientele under GAINS and yet roughly 17 per cent of the total budget money set aside for GAINS. It’s an extremely expensive part of the programme, in other words.

I honestly don’t know why we extended the programme to the five-to-10-year group in the first place. I think it would have been a lot wiser to have limited it to the same clientele qualification area as that under OAS/GIS; in other words, the 10-year residency rules, where a very substantial part of the GAINS total figure of $269.30 -- which, I should emphasize, has to take into account any income from any other sources as well; but that is the figure we presently look at as the minimum. This part of the programme tends to be open-ended, because every last cent whereby OAS/GIS is increased therefore is also passed along to those GAINS recipients in the five-to-10-year category.

It is a budget matter which the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) had to weigh very carefully. The expense is about $23 million on a total-year basis and is anticipated to rise to well over $30 million a year in the next two, three or four years, with indexing and the like. These individuals, if they are not on OAS/GIS and GAINS -- some because of their own income or lack thereof -- might well qualify for assistance under the Family Benefits Act or the General Welfare Assistance Act.

Mr. Martel: There is a lot less.

Hon. Mr. Meen: In the case of -- I am not familiar with these because they are under another ministry, but my recollection is that general welfare assistance receives an 80 per cent contribution from the federal government and the Family Benefits Act assistance is 50 per cent. The member for Sudbury East --

Mr. Martel: Both get 50 per cent.

Hon. Mr. Meen: Both get 50? Well, there is some assistance under those Acts from the federal government; and although, admittedly, they do take a look at the means -- they have a means test -- and their payments are not quite as generous as ours have become under OASJGIS -- they are something around $190 or so where it is needed -- it was felt by the government, and it was felt by us, that for this period of five to 10 years --

Mr. Martel: They got as hungry as everybody else, though.


Hon. Mr. Meen: If they are getting as hungry then they can get assistance, and assistance is available to them. There has been some suggestion that we are takin something away. At the very most, one could concede, and I guess one would concede, that one is taking away an expectation held by those who may be approaching the five-year residency qualification date; that come that magical five-year date under the Act as it has existed, they would then qualify for GAINS. All of those who have qualified, and we think there will be a number who are qualified but have never applied to us, for whatever reason -- they have not applied to us but they are qualified -- they have a year in which to make that application. If they qualify, then they are qualified and they will remain qualified right through until the time when a substantial part of the GAINS programme is picked up by OAS and GIS.

I suggest to hon. members that we are not taking away anything in terms of dollars. We are not taking away anything except possible expectation that someone was going to be able to get on the GAINS programme after five years, and there may well be some in that category. There is other assistance available to them where they need it, and we feel that in bringing this into line with the federal government, not only will the savings be there, which are of the order of $3.5 million to $4 million in the first year, increasing in the next year; of course, they double up, so that over a period of five years the total cost of $23 million is saved even at today’s dollars -- $23 million even at today’s dollars -- and by four or five years from now that saving will be substantially greater, but that kind of saving can then be passed forward to the GAINS clientele in the 10-year category and we will then have the additional moneys available for that purpose.

Mr. McClellan: There are still two classes of citizens.

Mr. Martel: Arthur, that is convoluted.

Hon. Mr. Meen: Mr. Speaker, I just repeat that there is the phasing in -- I am not repeating this point, I suppose -- there is the phasing in, in effect, over the next year. No GAINS recipient will lose. Any present GAINS recipient and anyone who qualifies within the next year up to April 6, 1976, will be in the GAINS programme through the five-year period right up to the point where he comes into the final system under OAS and GIS.

I think that concludes my observations, Mr. Speaker.

Hon. Mr. Meen moved the adjournment of the debate.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Wells moved second reading of Bill 51, An Act respecting the Central Algoma Board of Education and Teachers Dispute.

Mr. Speaker: Does the hon. minister wish to make opening remarks?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I would like to make a few remarks that follow along on the very short remarks I made when I introduced the bill on Friday morning. I might just say, first, that I am in receipt of a copy of a letter written to Mr. W. R. Wilson, the director of the Central Algoma Board of Education. It reads:

“Dear Sir:

“In view of the public meetings held this week by the teachers and the concern our teachers have regarding further delay in getting students back to school, the teachers of Central Algoma Secondary School have spoken to the Minister of Education and officially notified him that they are voluntarily returning to school on Monday, April 12, 1976. The teachers have been assured by the Minister of Education that there will be legislation requiring final offer selection. We hereby notify the Central Algoma Board of Education that the teachers are ending their strike and will be in school April 12, 1976.”


“Peter Barrett,


“Central Algoma Division,

“OSSTF, District 30.”

That was a letter, as I say, written to Mr. W. R. Wilson, the director of education for the Central Algoma Board of Education. Subsequent to that letter, the Central Algoma high school opened today and pupils are back in their classrooms and teachers are back teaching in that particular school.

The only thing that remains unresolved is the resolution of the problem, the settlement of the contract which ended Aug. 31 and which has been under negotiation for some time, since April 15, 1975. This bill provides a method for solving that particular part of the problem. It puts the matters in dispute to final offer selection.

Final offer selection was chosen in this particular case because there are actually relatively few matters still in dispute; basically monetary matters plus, as I understand it, one or maybe two other conditions of work.

It is a situation in which final offer selection can work very easily and I hope and I think very well.

It is for a one-year contract because that is what the people in this particular area, the teachers and the school board, have been negotiating about since, as I say, last April. They’ve been negotiating for a one-year contract.

Because of the actions which, as I have indicated, have taken place so that the schools are now open, I propose in committee -- again, this is as I indicated in this House on Friday morning -- to move an amendment which will change the preamble to outline the situations which now apply and which are historically correct as of today and as of when this bill receives royal assent. I will also move an amendment which would remove subsections 1, 2 and 4 of section 2 because they are not necessary because the teachers are back in the schools and the board has not locked anyone out.

As of this bill receiving royal assent, everyone will be deemed to have agreed to final offer selection under Bill 100. Of course, once that happens under Bill 100, for the term of this contract and until the new contract which finally comes about because of final offer selection has expired, there can be no further strike or lockout.

I really see no need for a long debate in the House over this particular bill. It’s a situation which I would hope and had hoped we wouldn’t have to debate further today. I spoke to the board over the weekend and indicated that all it had to do was agree to go to voluntary final offer selection and we could have let this bill die on the order paper. Such was not the case; therefore we need this bill in its amended form in order to put the final piece in the puzzle of that dispute and bring it to a finality.

I see that my friends across the House have moved their usual reasoned amendment on this particular bill. I would suggest to them that there is no real place for that reasoned amendment on this bill. I would hope that they would just forget about it and withdraw it.

We’re doing exactly what the parties want in the Central Algoma situation; exactly what they want. I see some shaking their heads. They want to open those schools and they want the matter put to final offer selection. That is what the parties want; that is what the teachers want; and that’s what we’re doing with this bill. I think we could pass it in the next 20 minutes and the whole situation would be taken care of.

Of course, if they’re going to continue to obstruct the bill in their usual way by placing a reasoned amendment --


Hon. Mr. Wells: The interesting thing is, those members kept saying to us during the last two debates that all we did was bring in the same type of bill -- that we had come back and brought in the same type of bill in these disputes. I said then and I say again we will deal with each situation individually on its own merits, with a piece of legislation if necessary. I hope it’s not necessary but it seems to be in certain cases. We’ll bring in a piece of legislation tailored to the particular situation.

Having a bill which is entirely different from the last two bills we brought in, my friends opposite now drag out their same reasoned amendment and bring it back in -- the same reasoned amendment -- with no consideration for what the teachers particularly up there want. The teachers have asked for exactly what we’ve done.

Mr. Foulds: We are not opposed to it. It’s a matter of principle.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Wells: It’s not just a case of a matter of principle.

Mr. Foulds: You don’t understand the difference between principle and expediency.

Mr. Bounsall: We have the principled position in this matter!

Mr. Foulds: The schools are open today.

Hon. Mr. Wells: It’s a case of whether you are concerned about the students up there and about the morale situation. The schools are open today, the teachers are back there today. So why take the time of this House with a long, convoluted argument repeating all the same things? Let’s just get down to business. We have got a few other disputes to worry about.

Mr. Foulds: That’s exactly what happened last time, Mr. Speaker.

Hon. Mr. Wells: I submit, Mr. Speaker, that the creative people are on this side of the House, and the non-creative people, of course, sit over there on that side.

Mr. Foulds: The theory is that this is a democracy.

Mr. Bounsall: We’ve proposed the only creative solution that looks to the future for long-term peace.

Hon. Mr. Wells: They sit on that side of the House -- right from that aisle down -- and the blinkers are right on them.

Mr. Wildman: I welcome the comments of the minister and I do admit his attempt to be innovative in this particular dispute -- and I mean that sincerely. However, the bill as introduced, even with the amendments which he has suggested and which will come after second reading in committee, still involves compulsion.

Hon. Mr. Wells: On whose part?

Mr. Wildman: On the part of the government toward the board, in this case.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Toward the board, not the teachers.

Mr. Wildman: I agree with the minister. I had hoped that we wouldn’t have had to debate this bill today, either. I would have agreed again with the minister that I would have hoped the board would have agreed to go to arbitration voluntarily, since the teachers had indicated they would do that this weekend.

I had contact with both sides over the weekend, as did the minister. The board, after a long discussion, came to the conclusion that it could not voluntarily agree to final offer selection. It hasn’t done it, and so again we are presented with a situation of compulsion -- that is, in this case, compelling the board to agree to something it doesn’t want in order to bring an end to a dispute.

The impasse between the secondary school teachers in central Algoma and the Central Algoma Board of Education could have been resolved had both parties displayed willingness to resolve the dispute.

Mr. Ferris: It’s resolved.

Mr. Wildman: The dispute is not resolved the school are open but the dispute is still there. Instead, both sides have been involved in personality conflicts which have delayed negotiations and poisoned the atmosphere to the extent that they have proved to be obstacles to fruitful negotiation. From Feb. 6, when strike notice was served, until the ERC hearing last week, there were only four or five meetings between the two sides -- including the two mediation sessions -- and the investigation of the bad-faith bargaining charges brought by the board against the teachers.

The failure to come together for negotiations appears to have been the main reason the dispute has dragged on for so long. For the 45 days or more since strike action was contemplated, the two sides have met across the table only once.

Legislation ending the Metropolitan Toronto and Kirkland Lake disputes was mostly responsible for the unwillingness to negotiate in central Algoma. With the passage of those Acts, Mr. Speaker, boards and teachers across the province were convinced that the government saw back-to-work legislation and imposed arbitration as a final step in resolving labour disputes in the educational field. If strikes are ended in this way, it is ridiculous for boards or teachers to be flexible and to move in negotiation.

Mr. Cunningham: The teachers wanted arbitration.

Mr. Wildman: Whatever is lost in negotiations cannot be won back in arbitration. I hear the comment that the teachers war ted arbitration. It’s important for the members to realize that in this case, and in all other cases, we are not being partisan -- we are considering the principle of compulsion. We are not here to support the teachers or the board; we are here to discuss the principle of compulsory arbitration.

The opposition warned that the passage of the legislation in the Metropolitan Toronto and Kirkland Lake disputes would have this effect -- that is, that people would not want to negotiate; and it certainly has had that effect in central Algoma. As a matter of fact, at one point before the strike, back in January, the two sides were only about $13,000 apart. That’s the total package. Surely a settlement could have been reached if both sides had really been serious about it.


Instead, all those involved have been expecting for at least one month, and perhaps more, that the strike would eventually be ended by legislation. This was hardly conducive to negotiation and neither side really negotiated. As a matter of fact, as I said before, they hardly even met.

Because of the long duration of the strike without any appearance that real negotiation was taking place, the Education Relations Commission held a public hearing last week to determine if the students’ opportunity to complete their credits was being jeopardized. Both the board and the teachers agreed that if the strike continued much longer the students’ progress would be impeded. Since Central Algoma Secondary School is on a semester system where students complete their eight credits by studying four courses in each half of the school year, the effects of a prolonged closure there could be far more serious than it was in other areas.

Up to this point, school closures resulting from strikes has taken place in non-semestered systems or have straddled two semesters, as in some of the schools in Metro. The closure at CASS is the first time a strike has taken place in one semester only.

While the ministry requires 110 hours per credit, the students have lost over 30 hours. They have received 13 hours of instruction and there are only 53 credit hours remaining. Therefore, course content will have to be curtailed. Courses which require repetitive practice for skill development, typing for instance, will be difficult to complete.

As well, a prolonged dispute can only have detrimental effects on the development of the school as a community, and as a centre for community development in central Algoma. If the two sides had really been concerned about the progress of students and the future of CASS, then they should have moved heaven and earth to reach a negotiated settlement. At the public ERC meeting last week, the teachers indicated their concern by offering to return to school voluntarily and to submit to voluntary arbitration, preferably final offer selection, if the board would agree. The board stated that final offer selection would be acceptable, if the teachers would return to the so-called “mediate offer” which they had proposed before the strike began.

Again this indicates that a settlement could have been reached long ago without a long closure of the school if both side had been willing to move just a bit. This offer by the board, however, was not acceptable to the teachers and was not really in keeping with the spirit of voluntary final offer selection the teachers were suggesting. Even all this stage, it appears that both sides could reach an agreement if the government would make clear to them that that is what is required of them, instead of taking the responsibility away from them by imposing arbitration.

The teachers have returned voluntarily to school today, that is all the teachers are in school, and I believe about two-thirds of the students are in school, That obstacle to real bargaining, if it was one, the strike, has been removed.

The school is open, and hopefully this would mean that good-faith bargaining could continue. Surely the government realizes that the bad-faith bargaining charge laid by the teachers recently against the board should be dealt with and ruled upon to make way for real negotiation to bring about a settlement. It is about time the government took the bad-faith bargaining provisions of Bill 100 seriously.

The two sides in teacher-board disputes have to realize, it is their responsibility to negotiate settlement and that government will not continue to allow them to dig in their heels and stall in expectation that compulsory arbitration would be imposed by legislation. It’s the responsibility of the board to negotiate in the interest of the students, the community, the taxpayers and in education in general, just as it is the responsibility of the teachers to negotiate a settlement in the interest of themselves, the community and education.

Both sides must take these responsibilities seriously and not slough them off to the Legislature of this province and to the government. The government must make clear that is its position, that it is the job of the parties involved to negotiate settlements locally. Legislating arbitration does not do that, it will only indicate that intransigence and irresponsibility will be rewarded with legislation rather than penalties for bad-faith bargaining. We believe the bad-faith bargaining charge should be dealt with, and if it is proven penalties should be imposed to force negotiation to proceed in good faith to a settlement.

The schools are open, the strike is over; now let’s have a negotiated settlement.

It’s for these reasons, and the fact that we cannot support the compulsion in the bill, that I am moving the reasoned amendment as printed on the order paper and seconded by Mr. Foulds. If it is passed, as the minister suggested in his opening remarks, Mr. Speaker, then we will move amendments in committee to delete section 2 and renumber the following sections accordingly.

Mr. Speaker: Mr. Williams moves that Bill 51 be not now read a second time but be read a second time one hour hence, and that it now be referred beck to have it incorporated therein the following amendment:

Section 1: Delete subsection f and reletter following subsections.

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

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

Subsections 3 and 4 to be renumbered 2 and 3.

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

The terms and conditions last offered by the board to the teachers shall be implemented on an interim basis.

Subsection 2 to be deleted and the following substituted:

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

Subsection 3 to be deleted and the following substituted:

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

Subsection 4: Delete.

Section 4: Delete.

Renumber sections 5, 6 and 7 as sections 4, 5 and 6.

Mr. Ferris: I would like to make a few comments, Mr. Speaker. I will agree with the Minister of Education that there probably is not a necessity for a great deal of debate. It is probably no surprise to the people to the tight of me that we will be supporting the legislation and we will not vote in favour of the reasoned amendment.

I think that we are looking at a situation where it is good to see that the teachers have taken the initiative and opened the schools again --

Mr. Wildman: A school; there is only one.

Mr. Ferris: A school. That’s right; there is only one. The educational programme has commenced again, and there is much credit to them for this. It is most unfortunate that the board has not seen fit to take the same kind of action and eliminate the possibility of having this bill before us. But since that is the case, and it probably is a sign of what has happened over the last year -- and it is now a year that they have been talking -- it seems only logical that we proceed.

We have once again gone through the normal steps of Bill 100 -- conciliation, fact-finding and mediation, including for the first time on both sides, I guess, a bad-faith charge being made to the ERC.

Mr. Wildman: Both have charged that.

Mr. Ferris: Yes, both have. With respect to the choice of final-offer selection --

Mr. Wildman: The teachers’ charge has not been dismissed. It is still pending.

Mr. Ferris: If my friend would listen, I said they have both made changes.

With respect to the choice of final-offer selection, I believe that could be very useful. It is the first time that we have seen anything other than compulsory arbitration introduce into this. In discussions with people who have been involved, I have learned that both sides at one time or another, albeit never agreeing at the same time, have had discussions on final-offer selection. It will be interesting to see the outcome of this.

Very briefly, I would like to mention a couple of points of concern that we have. One that I feel most strongly about -- and this relates back to the position we took in the other strikes -- is the responsibility of the ERC and their response to the educational requirements of the students. In previous comments we tried to stress that local situations should be viewed and acted upon and not tied up to a number of days or anything like this, particularly in this situation, as has been mentioned, in which it is a semester system. It has been closed for 35 days of a 94-day school term.

It would seem that probably the natural thing would be that perhaps we should be looking at it in half the time that the Metro system or a non-semester system should be looked at. This is why we strongly feel that we have to have this more closely watched while the strike is going on.

I was looking back today -- I wonder if the minister would perhaps comment after -- at a statement made by the minister talking about the ERC on March 11 in the debate about Kirkland Lake. He said:

“They [the ERC] sent me a set of ground rules under which they would operate for this responsibility, one of them being that if I wish to have them give me an opinion they would give it to me if I asked for it. The other was that under various circumstances they would form their opinion themselves.”

It might be interesting for the minister perhaps to talk a little bit today about those various circumstances.

Better still, perhaps the minister could table a document which would explain the ground rules ERC works under, and the conditions, as it views a strike and the various situations. It might be most useful so that those who are concerned, the members of the Legislature especially, would fully understand the workings of this body.

A couple of minor concerns we also have are in relation to subsection 3 of section 2, dealing with the PD days. The clause is exactly the same as that included in the Metro and Kirkland Lake bills. Perhaps in his comments the minister might wish to give us same kind of assurance that his office will take the action necessary, especially in this semester environment, to ensure that these really will be used as instructional time and that we will not be looking at the potential change being made in Metro, where they are now saying we don’t really need those. That in itself is another matter but I think we should also address ourselves to that question and how it can be assured that the term will be used most effectively.

Another comment is I feel it is perhaps unfortunate that we could not be looking at a two-year settlement here. The minister alluded to that early in his comments -- that neither side had talked about it -- but perhaps it could have been introduced as an option. I don’t feel we will make an amendment in this instance but it puts the situation into the unenviable position that, almost on the clay the settlement is announced, negotiations will begin for the following term. I think it would be far better to have had a settling down period, if it was possible, but apparently since neither one made this any part of any offer it would, I believe, also constitute a problem.

In conclusion, as I said, we will support the bill and not the reasoned amendment. We would hope that the school system in central Algoma can once again become a functioning, good educational environment and the students will not suffer any more damage than has been done.

Mr. Bounsall: Mr. Speaker, we appreciated the minister’s remarks when he came into the House and the fact that in this bill he has provided a different route than in the other bills.

It would be a great temptation for us in this party, in this particular dispute, to simple-mindedly ease our way into supporting the government bill, particularly as we know the background of this bill. At one point they were only $13,000 apart. The board laid a bargaining in bad faith charge against the teachers which was proved to be false. The teachers have laid a bad faith bargaining charge finally against the board which is still being proceeded with.


The board, from what anyone in contact with the dispute can tell, does not seem to be very interested in bargaining. The teachers for some time have made an offer that they would be willing to participate in final offer selection, going to that process voluntarily, which is a stance we would support. The board has rejected voluntarily going to final offer selection, clearly indicating that they are the ones who are impeding the negotiations at that point.

It would be very easy in one sense for us to say that a bill coming in which in essence puts both parties to the dispute in the situation of having compulsorily to accept final offer selection is a position which is in support of the teachers’ position, the position which we support, the position of the workers, the working slobs in any situation.


Mr. Bounsall: That phrase “working slobs,” was coined by the member for Armourdale (Mr. Givens) to describe the teachers in a derogatory way.

It would be very easy for us to accept what was in the government’s bill, if we did not look at the bill and the situation from a principle point of view. And that principle tells us that we should not proceed with compulsion as a means to settle labour disputes.

I know the minister has an obligation on him, or feels it very strongly in a particular situation to find what is emerging to be perhaps an easy way to the solution. But one worries, and I worry in particular and our party worries, about a compulsory solution being handed to anyone when either or both of the parties do not particularly want that compulsory solution. We’re opposed to it, not just from the compulsion of it, but because we know it doesn’t lend to good labour relations again in the future. In the case of any board or group of teachers upon which this is placed, we can almost look ahead regretfully to what’s going to happen at the termination of this contract and know there are going to be further labour problems.

The problems will be partly a result of the bill which we have introduced in this House which forces on at least one side a procedure which it has not agreed to. It would be very easy for us, I restate, to say this is what the teachers want, so let’s vote for it in this bill and let’s proceed. The teachers have again shown their good faith by voluntarily returning to school. I would say that our reasoned amendment is a very good position, whereby we let the board know that we are not going to bail them out on this one. They are going to have to bargain to a conclusion. We would say, if we had a provision which rays they must bargain to a conclusion, we are not going to bail you out by either of the two forms available in the bill, compulsory arbitration or compulsorily going to a selector who chooses one of two extremes in each case; you’re going to bargain to a conclusion.”

That’s the kind of compulsion in terms of collective bargaining that we would only tolerate. We would say to them: “Look, here’s a room, get into it. You’re not coming out of it until you have a solution and we stop the food and water on the third day.” That’s what we would like to see in terms of getting an agreement.

Hon. Mr. Wells: You could also learn to listen a little.

Mr. Bounsall: All right, but both sides need to learn to listen to each other.

Hon. Mr. Wells: So do you. You didn’t even hear the letter that I read.

Mr. Bounsall: I heard it and I listened to

Mr. Foulds: Oh, yes he did. We got an advance copy of it.

Mr. Bounsall: We considered that letter this morning.

Mr. Foulds: We know that they want voluntary binding arbitration.

Hon. Mr. Wells: That isn’t what the letter said.

Mr. Bounsall: I might just quote some of the minister’s remarks back to him.

Hon. Mr. Wells: We’re presenting this bill today. That’s why they are back.

Mr. Foulds: Well, why didn’t you suspend reading it? They got the bill yesterday.

Mr. Wildman: They even volunteered to go back at the ERC meeting.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Bounsall: You will have to contain the minister, he is getting agitated about my remarks here.

Hon. Mr. Wells: There may be a little sloppiness in the NDP; you have even a little sloppy mistake in your amendment there.

Mr. Bounsall: Listen, on that very point alone, we have made many fewer mistakes in our amendments than you have made in yours over the years, I can tell you. In fact, the mistakes per bill are much fewer.

Hon. Mr. Wells: You just took the last one and put it in. You didn’t even read it.

Mr. Renwick: Yes, we did!

Mr. Ferrier: You need a new legal counsel, Tom.

Hon. Mr. Wells: You didn’t read it. Well, Jim, you are slipping.

Mr. Renwick: We will ask permission to revert so we can amend it.

Mr. Bounsall: The minister is a little bit inconsistent. Just a week ago today, when I asked him about the Windsor situation, who said: “I have said many times in this House, and will continue to say it, negotiated settlements ore the best kind of settlements.” That is what we, in principle, are saying to you, Mr. Speaker, and we are willing to take a stand on that very statement. That is what cur reasoned amendment, in fact, says.

I won’t be unduly long in my remarks. The minister admitted today that the board, even faced with the type of legislation we have before us, showed again its complete intransigence by not even agreeing to voluntarily put it to final offer selection, so we wouldn’t need to have this bill before us.

In that regard, I have had many representations from people in the Windsor area about Bill 100 and how it could be changed, and the debates we have had here on Bill 100 as it progressed through the various committee stages, and the bills that had to result since then. The only change that I could see that’s required in Bill 100 would be a stronger section on the good faith bargaining provisions, so that there was both quick action on and stiff penalties for bad faith bargaining.

When the charge of bad-faith bargaining is laid we shouldn’t have to wait for three weeks before a decision is reached. A mechanism should be set up, probably within the Education Relations Commission, for those charges to be immediately heard and investigated and reported on within the week. When the charge simply isn’t dismissed, when bad-faith bargaining is found, some stiff financial penalties should immediately apply; not just leave it for the community to believe or disbelieve the person looking into the had-faith bargaining charges.

So we need a speedup and we need some automatic, fairly high, stiff penalties applied and applied for the number of days in which, in the future, it’s evident that bad-faith bargaining is still occurring on the part of one of them. In the Algoma bill, the Central Algoma Board of Education and Teachers Dispute Act, it is fairly clear that if there is bad-faith bargaining, on w inch side that onus lies.

I have two other small points. One is, the minister has chosen to use final offer selection as the route here. It is a new one, it is a different one in terms of compelling them to go that route, but I have profound reservations about final offer selection. One group in this dispute, the teachers, favoured that as the solution. The minister is now bringing it in in a compulsory way.

Final offer selection by any arbitrator who has arbitrated other disputes and then come to a final offer selection dispute, has said about that, when he has made any public comments at all, that it is not nearly as good as the normal arbitration route because he has to pick and choose, in essence, between two extremes and does not have the flexibility to play off and give midway positions among various positions. He is faced with choices which he would prefer not to make, and choices which would result in a poorer contract, than if he had been allowed to write his own arbitrated decision.

So I have much less faith in a final-offer-selection decision than I have in any arbitrator’s decision, and I, therefore, with that strong reservation about final offer selection, dislike it even more when it’s involved in a compulsory manner, as it is in this bill.

One final point: I can see, as I see in the Windsor situation -- if I can draw a parallel but not go into it in detail -- I can see the Algoma board of education’s position being influenced by what I believe to be an Ontario trustees’ association stand, to this year at this particular point or over the last two or three months -- particularly since the Toronto teachers’ bill was brought in -- to not negotiate in good faith to reach a negotiated settlement but to just let the dispute hang on as long as one can. There’s no danger in it because the government will finally come in and bail them out by putting the teachers back to work in some form, either by binding arbitration or by this method, final binding selection of one of the two extremes in each of the points that are in dispute.

They are waiting to be bailed out. They want to be able to say, in an election that they are facing in December, in referring to the final monetary decision placed upon the electors to whom they are responsible: That monetary side of it is not our doing. It was an arbitrator from outside or a selector from outside.

This profoundly disturbs me because of the behaviour we are going to see from boards currently in dispute and the attitude boards are going to take in the future with respect to labour disputes between teachers and boards. They are going to sit back and say:

“It is only a matter of time. We can let the strike or the lockout drag on and the Minister of Education will bring in a bill which gets us off the hook.”

This is evident in tins Algoma board of education dispute with its teachers. It is just as evident, as I see it, as in the dispute between the Windsor board of education and its teachers. So I dislike the compulsion; and I dislike even more compulsory final offer selection as a solution to this dispute, even though in this instance the teachers would welcome it.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Kitchener-Wilmot.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, with the permission of the hon. member, I am wondering if this might be a good point at which to adjourn the debate in order to go into private members’ hour before another speaker starts. Perhaps the member would like to move the adjournment of the debate.

Mr. Sweeney moved the adjournment of the debate.

Motion agreed.


Mr. Drea moved second reading of Bill 37, An Act to register the Referring of Abortions.

Mr. Drea: First, to set the framework for this legislation, I would like to point out to the House that this does not involve any philosophical or any medical dissertation on abortion. This is purely an economic bill. It is aimed at ending the exploitation of those who, for one reason or another, go to so-called professional counsellors where a fee is charged and invariably the advice is that the particular surgical procedure be performed in a jurisdiction outside of either Ontario, or indeed, in this bill, outside of Canada.

Regardless of feelings about the efficacy of abortion, it is a social problem in our time. When I was first in this House, Mr. Speaker, I suggested at that time, back in 1972, that we were not going to abolish abortion by legislation, that abortion has always been with us, that indeed the only reasonable suggestion was to provide the individual who was considering this procedure with all of the alternatives.

At that time, Mr. Speaker, I suggested the deck was virtually stacked against the particular woman who found herself in a quandary as to whether or not to give birth to the child; and that applied for any of the reasons that she felt that giving birth to the child was unacceptable, either socially or morally, and opted for the alternative of giving birth to the child.


Mr. Speaker, the counselling services in this province haven’t really improved since that time for any woman who today is seriously considering an abortion. It’s extremely difficult for her to find alternatives that are as practical as going through with the abortion. I would certainly say, Mr. Speaker, in some fairness, that some of the responsibility for that must fall upon government, whether it be the federal government or this provincial government.

I think that, realistically, all of us know the alternatives just certainly aren’t there; and as such we have a social problem. In terms of that social problem, the federal government does have jurisdiction at the moment over the actual procedure, but it apparently changes its policies with different federal ministers of justice. It now has a third force, which is the federal Law Reform Commission, making other suggestions.

I do not wish to dwell on that. I want to come back to the question of the professional abortion referral agency, which is either charging a fee or sending people outside of the jurisdiction of Canadian law or of the appropriate provincial health authorities. Bearing in mind the social overtones to the problem, I can think of no one more vulnerable in our society.

Perhaps it’s an artificial vulnerability, but it’s been created by all of us. Because there is an enormous stigma attached to the female who is having the so-called unwanted child, either by virtue of the fact that she is not in wedlock with the father, or the fact that society frowns today upon large families -- there are the economic considerations in this latter instance. Indeed there may be health considerations as well. Whatever the circumstance, she is extremely vulnerable to the criticism of society.

As a matter of record, Mr. Speaker, I think she is probably the most vulnerable person in our entire society, considering the whims and caprices of those who, but for the grace of God or good luck, could be exactly in the same position.

Therefore, I find it appalling that anybody can today set up an abortion referral agency with only the price of the business licence involved. There has been abundant disclosures in the press about the practice of fee-splitting with physicians in the United States. There have been rather abundant disclosures of the type of advice given by some of these people. Obviously, their type of advice has to be highly suspect, when indeed a portion or a substantial amount of the profit is delivery the surgical procedure is done in another jurisdiction.

I’m also somewhat dismayed that despite these revelations, that despite pleas from a particularly articulate and a particularly intelligent group of women who compose the task force on women for the mayor of Toronto, the civic authorities throw up their hands and imply there appears to be no way to control this type of agent.

Well I suggest that perhaps the onus is on the Legislature to at least provide economic protection. I think that when, for the price of $10 for an advertisement in a newspaper, someone can become a counsellor; can in some cases enter into a conspiracy or what amounts to a conspiracy to defeat the laws of Canada by transporting someone to another jurisdiction and assuming no responsibility when the person comes back; in this situation surely the time has come for economic control. If the Ministry of Health -- I read this with some dismay -- feels the situation cannot be controlled because it legitimizes it, and if the boards of health of the local municipalities feel they are not in a position to attempt to control this, surely it becomes a matter of economic control.

It has been documented in the press that people are referred to physicians in New York State but the fee the physician receives does not add up to the fee the person here was supposed to provide, many times a great portion of it in advance. There have been complaints from some of the large abortion operations in New York State that people here have been misled; they thought half of their fee had already been paid. It hadn’t. It went to the person who picked up a telephone, who arranged transportation for them, who booked them in.

In short, we have a combination of a business enterprise which deliberately goes out of its way to exploit females, by virtue somehow of becoming a travel agency, by bunking them transportation, sometimes by air more often by bus. Someone takes a fee for telling them where there is an institution in New York State or in Michigan; it is someone who takes no responsibility for the calibre of the institution or of the particular physician who is supposed to perform this surgical procedure.

I would suggest that we would have no right interfering in this type of operation if there were no facilities and procedures available under Canadian law. Whatever our personal opinion is about those procedures, nonetheless they are the law of the land. They are administered in this province fairly and justly. Indeed, if they were administered on the same level in the United States, there are procedures whereby OHIP would pay at least the Ontario rate for the abortion.

However, I suggest we are in a situation in which women are being told they cannot obtain that type of surgical procedure in Ontario -- which is a lie -- by people who are ostensibly in business. Women are being deliberately exploited for profit-making purposes by those who would rather make a profit than accept their social responsibility.

The whole area is surely an important social concern and indeed a moral concern. I concede that it’s an individual moral concern, and that individual concern probably is more pressing than any collective or any communal moral concern.

When someone is faced with that quandary, in a society as controlled as this one; in a society in which we have accepted collective responsibility for the vulnerable to protect them against those who would exploit them, I fail to see why there has been such a delay in accepting responsibility for the abortion referral agencies.

I suppose, and I have some thoughts on this, coo of the answers might be to ban them, I don’t think that would be very practical at all because then it would be an under-the-table type of arrangement. It would be an arrangement which was being forced upon those who we’re the least educated, the least sophisticated, the least cosmopolitan in our society. There are provisions in community-funded organizations, in provincially-funded organizations oud in federally-funded organizations, where people can go to seek information or counselling.

Mr. Speaker, I am sure you are aware, that in the Province of Quebec right now abortion referral centres are the latest target of organized crime. You have in the Province of Quebec what is known now as “la petite guerre.” You have had shootings arising out of just who is going to run these centres and to where they are going to be referred in New York State. I am not suggesting that is the case in Ontario, but there have been links in Ontario in the past between those who are operating referral agencies and a particular physician who is now incarcerated in New York State. There have been extremely close links to organized crime in New York State. Remarkably, since that physician has been incarcerated, the particular people who were doing the referrals to him and to him alone in Buffalo have ceased to advertise. Nonetheless, they are still doing an extremely good business.

In terms of exploitation, this type of service is one that exploits, for a fee, the weak, the helpless and the uneducated. Read the articles that have been prepared by females in the Globe and Mail. I use the word females because they have gone in under the guise of being in a particular situation where they wanted some counselling or some advice about an abortion. There is no question but that the particular type of clientele who frequent these establishments are the people newest to Canada; as I’ve said before the least educated, the most vulnerable, and frankly the most desperate.

In terms of straight economic regulation, and I don’t like to put it on this level -- not for qualms about the particular issue because I think everybody has known for some years, my concern with this particular social problem -- except that these agencies in themselves are not concerned with the social problem. These agencies in themselves, in all fairness, are taking advantage of people to make money. It has always been my practice, when people were taking advantage of others to make money, to find ways to control them by removing as much of the profit that attracts them, as possible. Then we see what their moral standards are, because if the easy money is out of it I wonder how many will stay around to give the advice and counsel they all claim to give.

In terms of the registration, it is quite simple. One of the things is bonding. After all, if they are supposed to be making accommodation for you, if they are supposed to be hooking you into a legal establishment, then surely there has to be some check of the person’s business record, of the person’s credibility; and indeed some deterrent to prevent them from taking a shortcut. I think that bonding, as it has done in so many other industries, will more than meet that need.

The reason I have suggested putting money into trust, particularly where there is a fee-splitting arrangement involved, is that I question the taxpayers of Ontario, through OHIP, should have to pick up the pieces if the woman is referred either to an incompetent or indeed an unlicensed practitioner. When that woman returns here, we have no alternative except to apply the necessary remedial surgery, the necessary hospital care, the necessary rehabilitation, and indeed a great many other things.


After all, if the person could, in the first instance -- except by virtue of their particular predicament or the very many other factors that I have mentioned -- have made a clear choice in Ontario and been provided with access to that free choice, whether it was to abort or whether it was to give birth, why should we allow that person to be victimized. The money to go down there and then, if anything happens, we have to pick up the pieces?

I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, there is no one referring abortions to the United States who is prepared to pick up the medical cost if anything goes wrong. Certainly in the United States, because they have a very backward system of medical care compared to ours, there is no reasonable way that the woman can get the necessary treatment there because she can’t afford it. In short, she is brought back to Ontario as quickly as possible, because if anything is the matter we have the health care system well within the economic means of everyone, through OHIP, whereby something can be done.

I think that if any persons are going to refer people outside this province because they believe New York State is better, then those persons have a responsibility to this province and to the remainder of the community if something goes wrong. I want to say again that perhaps the answer is the fee should be banned. There is indeed to me a very moral question as to whether people should be allowed to charge -- and I am not talking about the physician, I am talking about the very moral thing in society.

Should advice on health care by a layman or a non-practitioner on a referral basis be a matter for funds changing hands? Surely, if this is the type of thing, then it seems to me redundant that we would have such things as the United Appeal; we would have such things as municipal, provincial and federal funding of social agencies. Surely if an Ontario hospital cannot advertise its medical service, why, under the guise of working through an abortion referral, should an institution in New York State or Michigan or Massachusetts be allowed that right? I think these are very serious questions and they may lead indeed to the banning. I have stopped short of that. I regard this, in many cases, as an extremely sleazy business, one in which the vulnerable, as I have said so many times today, are separated from their money and what virtually amounts to false pretences. In some cases, there is a remarkably close line between some of these operations and what we knew in an earlier era as virtual white slavery. Again, there is the vulnerability, the economic costs to be considered, and the person’s own physical and mental state is something that is held in abeyance.

In conclusion, I have presented this bill partially because of my dismay that municipal people don’t seem to be able to come up with an answer, and partially because our own Ministry of Health does not seem to be able to come up with an answer. With all due respect to the present minister, who is incapacitated, I don’t think that moving in and controlling this field will legitimize or cast aspersions or do anything to physicians beyond our jurisdiction. If it did, I would be the first to agree with it. In this area, I do not think it does.

I suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, that to ignore the problem, to say it is complicated, to say there are a great many complexities because of other jurisdiction, because of certain uncertainties in our own social sphere, because of changes that may or may not come, surely this is begging the question by a Legislature that is specifically charged with the obligation to protect the weak, the helpless and the vulnerable, and to say it is difficult to protect them -- if that was the attitude we wouldn’t have a Legislature today. It would have had a demise more than 100 years ago. It has always been difficult. I suggest this bill isn’t the final answer, but I think it certainly does establish the areas in which we can control this industry and we can end the exploitation of people who would really cry out to us, if they could, for an end to the exploitation.

Ms. Sandeman: Mr. Speaker, we cannot support this bill because, in spite of the member’s brave words, it is totally inadequate for the purpose which he says it’s intended; that is, the protection of women who, at a difficult time in their lives, may be exploited. But more than that, we can’t support this bill because it appears to give credence -- it not only appears to, I think, but it does give credence -- to the practice of referring women out of this country for surgical procedures, for abortions. We surely should not condone continuation of a practice which seems to say that we cannot provide health care for our own women in our own province.

Further, we cannot support this bill because it sets absolutely no standards for abortion referral services, and it isolates abortion from the whole field of contraceptive counselling, which I believe it must be closely tied in with.

There is an interesting statistical backup, I think, to what the member was saying. There are indeed many abortions performed outside Canada. The interesting thing is that the majority of those are not referred by abortion referral agencies, but are referred directly by GPs to contacts they have among the medical profession in the United States. Which speaks again, I think, to the absolute necessity of making sure that our health care system can provide the services which Canadian doctors themselves feel to be necessary and apparently are not provided here -- or they would not themselves find it necessary to send their patients to doctors in other countries. Licensing those abortion referral agencies which send patients out of Canada doesn’t help the very fundamental problem that services are not apparently available in this country.

There is no doubt that, at the moment, Canadian abortion referral service centres are providing services. I believe there are centres which are providing legitimate and excellent service and for whom the protection of licensing might not be a bad idea.

Some interesting figures were provided for use by one such abortion referral centre of the clients that they saw during the calendar year from November, 1974, to November, 1975. They saw a total of 1,702 clients during that period, of whom 362 women were sent to them by doctors. These were not women who answered an advertisement in a newspaper or heard by word of mouth from friends that this referral service was available. These women, who came through a physician, were 21 per cent of the total. Another 131 women came directly from hospitals in Metro Toronto -- that’s about seven per cent of the total -- and another 1½ per cent, or 27 women, came from other agencies. In other words, 30 per cent of the women who came to an abortion referral centre came from doctors, from physicians and from hospitals.

In Sudbury, in 1974, the Association for Contraceptive Counselling and Related Areas counselled a total of 242 women who were seeking abortions; and, of those, 110 were referred by physicians. Again, sadly, 162 of that total had to be referred to New York State for the operation, because there was no availability of services in their home area.

If such a service is required, as it seems to be, since doctors and hospitals are using it so freely and so frequently -- and I might say in passing that our own Minister of Labour (B. Stephenson) supports and uses legitimate abortion referral service centres -- then, as I say, the fact that both physicians and individuals use them with such frequency seems to prove the necessity is there.

Surely what we require is not a piece of legislation which addresses itself so narrowly to the problem, but some real effort to ensure that abortion counselling is integrated into the provision of contraceptive counselling and services for both men and women in contraceptive counselling, as outlined in the Minister of Health’s (Mr. F. S. Miller) preamble to the health promotion branch paper, I think it was in January, 1975, should be followed.

The Ministry of Health itself sets out as its general objective for the family planning programme “The development of comprehensive and accessible family planning and conception control services with informational, promotional and service components.” This overall provision of services was reiterated by the minister in a letter dated Feb. 11, 1976. He was writing at the time about the provision of therapeutic abortions in Toronto hospitals and he said, “As our family planning programme develops, we hope to see the improvement in co-ordination and streamlining of patient referral and the accessibility of good, thorough contraceptive counselling.”

The problem at the moment is that we do not have co-ordination and streamlining of patient referral in this province. We do not have accessibility of good, thorough contraceptive counselling for all the men and women of this province and at present the ministry’s family planning programme obviously doesn’t meet all the needs for referral and counselling. If it did meet all I the needs for referral, we would not have the enormous number of physicians and hospitals that we do have referring women to abortion referral centres. If we had excellent counselling, we wouldn’t have the number of repeat abortions that we see.

The bill before us seems to recognize that there is a need for improvement but it doesn’t attempt in any way at all to set standards for those agencies which are legitimately attempting to fill the gaps in the ministry’s programme. These standards must surely be considered as part of a licensing procedure. It’s not enough, as the member has done, to look upon this as a commercial transaction.

Because this bill does nothing at all to set standards; because it doesn’t base the issuing or withholding of licences on clearly articulated standards but solely on the geographical area where women are sent to, we feel we have to oppose this bill.

Mr. Sweeney: Mr. Speaker, listening to the comments of the mover of this bill, the member for Scarborough Centre (Mr. Drea), I have to conclude, first of all, that the bill doesn’t do anything, any of the things, that the member said it was intended to do. That’s one of the reasons I very strongly oppose it.

Secondly, the member said that the whole philosophical basis, whether one agrees or doesn’t agree with abortion, is not an issue here but I suggest it is an issue here. Because one of the things this bill will do, whether we intend it or not, is expand the whole opportunity for abortion procedures.

The member spoke of the vulnerability of women and how it was the obligation of this Legislature, how it was the obligation of the government, to protect women who are vulnerable. I agree with him. This bill will not do that. If anything, it will make them more vulnerable. It will exploit them even more.

What about the vulnerability of the child? He never mentioned that. That’s the philosophical basis that’s here. It’s here whether we want it to be or not. Let’s stick to the bill.

Mr. Drea: Let’s. Be careful what you say about me.


Mr. Sweeney: First of all, this bill, by its very nature, would circumvent the existing law of Canada which this government in its jurisdiction certainly has an obligation to uphold. The existing law of our country says very clearly that abortion is prohibited except when the life or the health of the mother is in jeopardy and when a medical decision is made by a hospital committee. The law of Canada also says there shall be no advertising. Yet by this bill, and I quote from it: “‘referrer’ means anyone…”

Anyone at all, the corner grocer, the taxi driver, anyone.

Under section 4: “An applicant is entitled to registration…”

In other words, anyone who applies automatically gets it. There are a couple of exceptions, granted, but anyone gets it. What we are saying is, this anyone in fact takes the place of a hospital committee. Let’s not kid ourselves, a “referrer” by the very definition of that term is making a medical decision, by the very act of referring it especially outside of this country. The decision has been made that an abortion will be procured.

Mr. Drea: Did you read the Sun?

Mr. Sweeney: That’s circumventing the law of this country. Section 13 of the bill says that where the registrar has grounds to believe that there is false or misleading advertising it may be done away with. But it doesn’t say that there shall not be advertising. By the very nature of that statement, there shall be advertising. We are circumventing the law of this country that way.

We talk about protecting women who are vulnerable, but what are we really doing with the women? We are putting them into the position where they are getting medical advice from non-medical people. That certainly doesn’t protect them. We are putting them in the hands of potential incompetents. That certainly doesn’t protect them. All that is possible through this bill. We are putting them in the hands of people who will counsel them, people who are considering making a profit on it at the very time when they are most emotionally vulnerable. That’s certainly not helping them.

The member’s own words were: “This is a sleazy, dirty business.” I agree with him; it is. Do we legalize, do we legitimize a sleazy, dirty business? That’s what this bill will do.

It is almost like saying that sometimes robbing a bank is a dirty, bloody business. What follows? Do we legalize it?

The member himself referred to New York State. Is the member aware of the fact that referral agencies, which were permissible in New York State, have been abolished by state law? I’ll just give a couple of reasons:

“To outlaw commercial abortion referral services” and “to prevent later blackmail of women who had undergone abortions.”

These are the arguments given in New York State to deal with those “engaged in activities which, in the final analysis, require judicial condemnation.” This law, which sought to emancipate women, did not intend to deliver them as helpless victims of commercial operators for the exploitation of their misery. That’s what happened in New York State when such a law was permitted.

These agencies are referred to as: “A broker in the sale of medical and hospital abortion services in violation of the public policy of the state.” These abortion agencies have, in fact, been rendering medical advice. These agencies were carrying on activities which, if carried on by a legal medical doctor, would be illegal. These are the kinds of things this member would have us support with this bill.

I would concur with something the member said earlier. We shouldn’t be legalizing or legitimizing. We should be banning. We have in place in this country, in this province -- and I don’t approve of if but we have it and I recognize the law and I will support the law as it exists -- opportunities for women to procure an abortion if that’s what should be done. They are there, but for God’s sake nothing like this. We will do more harm to our society, to our laws, to the very women we are trying to protect by bringing in a piece of legislation like this.

I will apologize if I am wrong, but I believe there’s more to this bill than just a private member’s bill. I believe that strongly, that there is something else behind this bill; whether it’s the intent of the government or pressure from outside, I don’t know.

Mr. Williams: The private member’s bill before us today for debate received first reading on March 31. On that same date, I was speaking in the House in response to the Throne Speech. The common thread that runs between these two seemingly unrelated matters can be found in my comments at that time, pertaining to the need to preserve the values that constitute our quality of life in Ontario.

I expressed the view that a desire for change in social attitudes or conditions need not necessarily be equated with a demand for change in basic values. On the other hand, we must be aware of, and respond to, conscious or unconscious effort in some quarters to insidiously distort basic values rather than to openly demand change of values.

I suggested that we, as legislators, tend sometimes to respond too quickly to pressure groups or to “public trends” that we erroneously read into extensive news coverage on a given topic. As a result, we might find ourselves enacting compromising legislation that can emasculate existing laws governing social order and behaviour. I respectfully suggest that this proposed piece of legislation is a good case in point.

It would appear that this bill undoubtedly has been introduced with the best of intentions, possibly in response to the considerable amount of media coverage that has been given to this subject by the Toronto press. This type of legislation might well appeal to that breed of person such as one finds among the reform element which controls and dictates the local politics in the inner core of the city of Toronto.

Mr. Drea: That is libellous, absolutely libellous.

Mr. Williams: However, passage of such a bill would be an affront not only to the vast majority of the people of Ontario who respect and abide by existing laws governing abortion in this country and province, but it would as well offend those very laws. Such a law, in fact, would place in disrepute the present laws that find the principle of abortion on demand to be unacceptable, but which recognize the right of a woman to have a therapeutic abortion for health rather than social or economic reasons.

The matter of therapeutic abortions is itself a matter of debate. As we know, the federal law governing abortion was amended in 1969, whereby a therapeutic abortion would be permitted under four specific conditions; namely:

1. The pregnancy constituted a threat or would be likely to threaten the life or health of the mother.

2. That a presentation of such evidence was approved by a majority vote of a committee of three doctors in an approved hospital.

3. That the procedure was performed by a qualified medical practitioner in an approved hospital.

4. That pertinent records of such cases be kept and reported to the Minister of Health as required.

Unfortunately, no precise definition has been given to interpret what is legally meant by a “threat to health.” The practical result has been that a very liberal interpretation has been given to the term to include the simple, emotional stress experienced by a woman with an unplanned pregnancy. The therapeutic abortion committees of many hospitals in Ontario apply this interpretation so generally as to allow, in fact, abortion on demand. They are paying lip service in too many cases to the responsibility of counselling and discussing with the patient the consequences of an abortion medically and socially. I personally disagree with the shocking laxity in this area.

Anyone who argues to the contrary cannot say that women do not have reasonable access to abortion services in the province under the law of this country. For example, in 1970 there were approximately 11,000 therapeutic abortions performed in Canada, representing three per cent of live births. In 1971, there were 16,000 therapeutic abortions in Ontario, representing 12 per cent of live births. The number is not decreasing. There were 96 abortions performed at Toronto General Hospital in 1969. In 1972, there were approximately 2,500 therapeutic abortions carried out in Toronto General Hospital.

While I personally disagree with the extent to which abortions have been allowed under this amended legislation, at least the patient does have to seek the counsel and approval of a therapeutic abortion committee, comprising three medical doctors in an approved hospital, and the operation must be performed by a qualified medical practitioner in an approved Ontario hospital. These controls and supervision are not assured to a woman sent to a foreign country for an abortion. The argument for more careful assessment and counselling of patients by therapeutic abortion committees in hospitals will have to be the subject matter of a debate in this forum on another occasion.

The announced intention of the bill before us today is to require the registration and bonding of individuals outside Canada for an abortion and to require a post-operative medical examination by the medical officer of health of the woman who has undergone the abortion.

How perverse; how humiliating; how demeaning. It is perverse in the sense of clothing with legal respectability a person or persons who would be party to arranging for an illegal act by Canadian law to be carried out in a foreign jurisdiction where the laws accept the principle of the right to abortion as one of convenience rather than of necessity.

It is humiliating in the sense that such a provincial law would be, in fact, flouting the present abortion laws in Canada by giving a mantle of social acceptability and respectability to a clandestine form of business undertaking set up for the express and sole purpose of counselling people on how to circumvent the guidelines and controls that exist in Canada for allowing a legal abortion.

It is demeaning, not only to the woman who has undergone the abortion by requiring on her return to Canada that she be subject to medical examination by the public health officials, but also demeaning in the sense of the flagrant disrespect such a law would show by, in effect, discrediting the present practices and procedures for obtaining a therapeutic abortion in this country.

The establishment of an abortion referral agency in other jurisdictions has led to disillusionment as to their value, and in some jurisdictions to their outright ban.


New York State is a case in point. As was pointed out by the hon. member for Kitchener-Wilmot (Mr. Sweeney), New York State was obliged in 1971 to ban abortion referral services, as it became apparent to the New York legislators that abortion referral services were a multi-million-dollar business which was exploiting the misery of women for commercial purposes.

During the legislators’ inquiry in that jurisdiction, it was revealed that there were instances of fee-splitting; some doctors were getting fees at both ends by doing the abortion and cashing in on the profits from the referral services. There was also massive evidence that flagrant advertising techniques were used, medical advice was given over the telephone, and women who resorted to this abortion referral service were being open to subsequent blackmail.

Legislators found that the abortion referral service was such a good business, and that so many services sprang up, that it was not possible to provide the requisite surveillance of such groups, with the result all of them were subsequently banned under New York law.

Mr. Speaker: The member has about 30 seconds.

Mr. Williams: It appears that I do not stand alone on this issue. Not only do members from the opposition parties voice their concerns on this fundamentally important issue. I note that the acting Minister of Health (B. Stephenson) has expressed similar views in the past when she was president of the Canadian Medical Association. In July, 1974, Dr. Bette Stephenson called for a ban on all profit-making abortion referral agencies. I agree. However, the basic principle involved goes beyond the question of whether the referral agency is profit-making or otherwise. The profit motive is not the essential consideration.

Mr. Speaker: Thank you. The hon. member’s time has expired.

Mr. Deans: Mr. Speaker, I have very few comments that I want to make. I suppose the member for Scarborough Centre (Mr. Drea) feels a little isolated, as he should. The legislation is drafted in such a way that I can’t help recalling the bill that he introduced with regard to travel agencies and noting the similarities in the two bills. Not only are there similarities, in some cases there are straight lifts from one bill into the other. It surprises me; I never thought I would see the day in this Legislature where we would view abortion in isolation and as a commercial venture.

This isn’t a debate on the merits of abortion, because there is no place in the Ontario Legislature for such a debate. The matter is deal: with under the Criminal Code of Canada, and the debate that must take place mist of necessity take place there. But I would have hoped, if we were ever going to discuss family planning, contraception or any of die matters related to the kind of counseling that people need in the Province of Ontario, that we might do so within the context of the Ministry of Health and not within the context of the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations.

A fee -- why would the member want to establish a profit-making operation that would Fe in the business of referring people for abortions? Why would he want to do that? I can’t understand why he would want to establish that kind of an operation in Ontario for that purpose, to legitimize it in that way and then to make the reward based on the numbers of people you were able to refer for abortion. Why would he not address himself to the much more important issues of counselling, of care, of concern, rather than this whole matter of abortion?

Let me read the bill. The bill, as one would expect it to be from this member, is simply a bill that deals with the registration of a company, the registration of a business. You know, the bill provides for the registration of individuals charging a fee for referring individuals out of Canada for abortion. Why would the member do that? Why would he not simply set it up to register everyone who refers anyone, in or out of the country? If he considers it necessary to do so, why would he isolate it? The bonding of abortion referrers -- for what possible purpose? Is this going to apply equally to physicians as it does to others in the marketplace so to speak? Is that what he has in mind? Then there’s the setting aside of abortion referral fees in a trust account pending the results of a postoperative medical examination by the local medical officer of health of the woman who has undergone the abortion.

If we read this bill very carefully, it reminds us of the school trip on the plane -- that’s what he’s really talking about. He’s not talking of any concern or care about the whole matter. He’s not talking at all with any concern or care. He’s talking about the setting up of a commercial enterprise to deal with what is ostensibly a matter of health.

Mr. Drea: They are there today and you know it.

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

Mr. Drea: Read the Sun every day. They are there.

Mr. Deans: I don’t have to read the Sun every day. My motives are not dictated by the press, so I don’t have to read the Sun every day to find out the difference between right and wrong. I don’t have to read the Sun every day to find out the difference between setting up some commercial endeavour to take advantage of people over and against trying to deal with the legitimate problems that confront them.

Mr. Drea: They are there today and you know it and you won’t do a single thing about it.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for Wentworth has the floor. We have restricted time.

Mr. Wildman: You are in government.

Mr. Deans: If the member were legitimately concerned, as many members are, about this entire matter, this member --

Mr. Drea: You know better than to say that.

Mr. Deans: -- this member would then have proposed legislation which would have enabled people to take advantage of the proper kind of counselling services which might inevitably make abortions unnecessary. Which might. That’s the kind of approach --

Mr. Drea: I have done that. Where were you?

Mr. Deans: -- that ought to be taken. I frankly condemn this as a bit of hypocrisy and it is the usual government approach from that side.

Mr. Riddell: Mr. Speaker, I think I could talk on this matter of abortions for most of an afternoon, but I see I’m limited to about seven minutes. I do find it most distressing and appalling that this House should have to waste an hour of its time dealing with a bill which is attempting to legitimize the whole process of abortions. Surely in the month of April, when we are reminded in so many ways of a supernatural presence and the beautiful lime of rebirth and joy, we should be looking for ways of protecting Ontario’s unborn children rather than looking for ways of doing away with their very existence.

It is as inevitable as the sunrise that man should see the substance of faith and hope in the tangible world so obviously responding to forces beyond himself or his accumulated knowledge. Foetal development in itself is a force beyond man’s control and comprehension, and what right has man to deny the presence of new life in this world?

I don’t know whether the member for Scarborough Centre --

Mr. Drea: Be careful.

Mr. Riddell: -- reads much of Pearl Buck’s writings, but I would just like to take a quotation from this Nobel Prize-winning author. It says:

“Since the foetus is a creature already alive in the process of development, to kill is to choose death over life. At what point shall we allow this choice?”

Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The point of privilege?

Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, my personal views toward abortion are extremely well known in this House and I very deeply resent the implications that I am in favour of abortion.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Huron-Middlesex.

Mr. Riddell: I fail to see the point of personal privilege, but I’ll continue on here with the quotation:

“At no point, either as life begins or as life ends, for we who are human beings cannot for our own safety be allowed to choose death, life being all we know. Beyond life lie only faith and surmise, but not knowledge. Where there is no knowledge except for life, decisions for death are not safe for the human race. I would not add the weight of choice to kill rather than to let live. A retarded child, a handicapped person, brings his own gift to life even to the life of normal human beings.”

It was mentioned that there were something like 2,000 abortions carried out in Toronto. I happen to have some figures here which indicate that last year there were 7,230 abortions carried out in five Toronto hospitals. It estimates the annual cost to the province of abortions in the city at close to $2 million but there are no records of whether the women who had abortions lived in the city. I think this abortion rate is truly alarming.

I also read an article in the Toronto Star dated July 2, 1974, which states, “Commercial abortion referral services should be banned in Canada, Dr. Bette Stephenson, president of the Canadian Medical Association, said yesterday.” The minister said abortion counselling should be provided through voluntary service agencies. She said she would rather see abortion referral services entirely banned than licensed. However, she said licensing would be the next best answer if we find the established voluntary agencies cannot do the job. But who says they are not doing the job?

I also have a letter here which indicates that abortions done outside the province are paid for. I want to bring that to her attention.

Finally, I want to indicate that New York State was obliged, in 1971, to ban abortion referral services as it became apparent to the New York legislature that abortion referral services were a multi-million-dollar business exploiting the misery of women for commercial purposes. During the legislature’s inquiry it was revealed that there were instances of fee-splitting. Some doctors were getting fees at both ends by doing the abortion and cashing in on the profits from the referral services.

There was also massive evidence of flagrant advertising techniques used, medical advice being given over the telephone and women who had resorted to these services being blackmailed. The legislature found the abortion referral service was such a good business and so many had sprung up that it was not possible to provide the requisite surveillance of such groups with the result that all of them were subsequently banned under the New York law.

What are we wanting to do here? Legalize it. I want to close simply by saying here in Ontario let’s show some leadership in solving this problem in a positive way, both for the mother and for the child. Surely, abortion isn’t the best we have to offer.

Mr. Speaker: Does any other member wish to speak for two minutes?

All right; this order of business is discharged from the order paper.

Hon. Mr. Meen: Mr. Speaker, before moving the adjournment of the House, I would advise hon. members that tomorrow afternoon -- and not necessarily in this order -- we will expect to hear the contribution from the official opposition to the budget debate, item 1; we will then proceed with completion of second readings on Bills 51 and 47; go on and do Bill 48, the amendments to the Tobacco Tax Act, and then legislation as it appears on the order paper.

Hon. Mr. Meen moved the adjournment of the House.

Motion agreed to.

The House adjourned at 6 p.m.