30e législature, 3e session

L033 - Tue 13 Apr 1976 / Mar 13 avr 1976

The House met at 2 p.m.


Mr. Speaker: Statements by the ministry.


Hon. J. R. Smith: In recent years the ministry has increased its emphasis on the use of community-based programmes. In the juvenile field the ministry has concentrated on the development of group home settings, both to complement and to serve as alternatives to the programmes in institutional settings.

The group home programme was started in 1972 and there are now over 40 of these small, usually eight-bed, home-like settings located throughout the province. In the same period of time two training schools for juveniles have been closed; Elmcrest in Toronto and Glendale School in Simcoe. In addition, doe to the expanded use of probation and other alternative dispositions, there has been a reduction in the number of juveniles assigned by the courts to the training schools operated by the ministry.

The shift away from high utilization of institutional programmes has resulted in unused bed space in the training schools. The present capacity of juvenile institutions is 1,300 and present indications are that a capacity of 1,100 would meet any foreseeable peak requirement under existing legislation.

Because of these encouraging developments, I wish today to outline further plans to reallocate and reduce the use of some of the ministry’s juvenile institution resources in keeping with present and future programme needs.

In moving toward community-based programmes it is the ministry’s intention to phase out three facilities for juveniles, to reduce the use of a fourth and to partially privatize another. One of the units to be phased out will be converted to accommodate adult offenders.

Most of the changes I am announcing will be phased in over the next three to six months although one small facility has already been closed and the operations of another have already been curtailed for some time. Each staff member affected by these changes will be offered alternative employment within the ministry.

Two of the facilities to be phased out are Coldsprings Camp near Bowmanville and the Portage Lake DARE Camp near Britt.

The third facility to be phased out -- Churchill House, a maximum security unit for juveniles at Cambridge -- will be converted to accommodate adult offenders.

The fourth facility -- the 105-bed Grandview School at Cambridge, located on the same property as Churchill House -- will be modified to serve eventually as an adult training centre for men.

A fifth facility -- the Project DARE Camp at Loxton Lake near South River -- will be partially privatized.

The specific details of each move are as follows:

Operations of the Project DARE Camp at Portage Lake, which provided an outdoor programme for juveniles, had been gradually reduced in preparation for a possible takeover by private operators. However, our reduced juvenile numbers, plus recent research findings, indicate that the ministry no longer requires its use either directly or on a lease and purchase of service basis. The few members of the ministry staff involved at the camp have been offered alternative employment in the ministry.

In addition, it is our intention to revise the programme at the Project DARE camp at Loxton Lake in order to use that facility to its full potential. One change in the operation will be to employ Outward Bound Venture staff on contract for all outdoor camping activities. At present our staff is primarily composed of full-time civil servants whose terms of employment relate poorly to the needs of a camp where routine shift work does not correspond to the programme demands. Fifteen staff members at the camp will be transferred to vacancies elsewhere in the ministry as contract employees are recruited for Outward Bound Venture activities.

Coldsprings Camp has not been operated on a full-time basis for some time. It may serve in future as an occasional day camp and this usage is currently being explored by boards of education in the area.

Churchill House, at Cambridge, is a maximum security unit which has been used as a treatment facility for juvenile girls. This relatively new structure will be used as a backup detention centre to accommodate adult offenders and thus help reduce overcrowding in jails serving the city of Kitchener and Guelph areas. A portion of the reception and assessment centre at Oakville will be renovated to provide secure facilities for juvenile girls who are presently housed at Churchill House.

Grandview School, also at Cambridge, accommodates juvenile girls. As the programme at that school winds down over the next few months, girls who would have been admitted to Grandview in the past will enter coeducational programmes at other training schools which are already co-educational or in the process of becoming so. Grandview School will then be upgraded and altered by an inmate working group for eventual full use as an adult training centre for young men.

This reallocation and reduction of ministry resources, which I have outlined, will provide for more economic use of existing facilities without reducing the overall quality of services provided. These changes in our available facilities bring our juvenile division in line with current requirements and research findings but still allow a safety margin should some increase occur in institutional placements.

Mr. Bullbrook: Is there really a verb to privatize?


Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to announce two changes affecting Ontario Housing Corp.’s Home Ownership Made Easy plan.

You may recall that last year a special programme committee examined ways and means of restraining the costs of government. One area scrutinized was the apparent duplication of identical or similar services at more than one level of government. The report of the special programme review, published last November, cited “considerable overlap in federal-provincial housing programmes.” The steps I am announcing concern mortgage insurance guarantees and construction inspections.

Ontario Mortgage Corp. has applied for and been designated as an approved lender under the provisions of the National Housing Act, similar to chartered banks, trust companies and insurance companies which are also in the mortgage business. As such, its mortgage loans will be insured through Central Mortgage and Housing Corp. Any mortgage loan foreclosures will be covered by the National Housing Act insurance fund and the province will be relieved of any contingent liability.

As the insurer of OMC loans, CMHC will assume the responsibility for building inspections during the construction period. Municipal inspectors also have a responsibility for ensuring construction complies with the Ontario Uniform Building Code.

These changes are scheduled to affect all HOME projects approved on or after April 1. OMC intends to insure all its loans, including those for the accelerated rental housing programme and preferred lending programme, under the National Housing Act. It is also expected that the proposed provincial warranty programme will enhance purchaser satisfaction.

OHC’s HOME inspection staff will complete inspections on projects that are underway at present. When those are completed, every effort will be made to place these employees in other areas of the ministry; for example in the care and maintenance of OHC’s expanding senior citizen portfolio, where their skills can be readily utilized.

I would like to take this opportunity, Mr. Speaker, to inform the hon. members that at 3 o’clock this afternoon I will be tabling two reports prepared for my ministry.

The first report is on urban development standards, which explores the means by which the development costs of new housing in subdivisions could be lowered by reviewing existing standards in the province. The report examines the possibilities of either reducing these standards where it is felt they are gold-plated or excessive, or by substituting innovative techniques which would result in cost reductions.

Four sets of standards were devised. Typical or conventional figures that reflect current practice in the province were developed for metropolitan areas and for the rest of Ontario. These were then compared with the proposed new standards for these areas. The study indicated that savings in the order of $6,000 to $8,000 a lot were possible, depending upon the land cost and location. These significant land savings were achieved by using standards and design techniques which are realistic in terms of the present state of subdivision design and development in the province. The study examined single family housing types -- detached, semi-detached and street front row housing.

The recent urban development institute report, entitled “Lowering the Cost of New Housing,” indicated ways by which the development industry believed it could lower housing costs. Essentially, that report sought to do so by rather drastically altering current municipal development standards and significantly raising densities by utilizing various forms of low-rise multiple family housing.

While containing some interesting proposals, the implementation of those recommendations depends upon municipalities largely abandoning conventional forms of subdivision development. Our study, on the other hand, has recommended a comprehensive set of criteria which attempts to maintain traditional concepts of single family home ownership, utilizing reduced or modified standards.

I will also be tabling the report of the Ontario task force on leasehold condominiums. This report concluded that the disadvantages of this system outweighed the advantages as far as its application in Ontario is concerned. The authors state the introduction of this system would require major legislative amendments and that leasehold condominiums would not be attractive to mortgage lenders. It recommended that Ontario not move in this direction until a need for this type of housing is demonstrated.

This latter report is a discussion or green paper designed to encourage industry, governments and professional groups to examine the matter and make their views known.

Mr. Singer: Are these reports government policy?

Mr. Speaker: The hon. Chairman of the Management Board.


Hon. Mr. Auld: Mr. Speaker, this House was officially advised in the Treasurer’s (Mr. McKeough) budget address of the government’s plans to achieve a further reduction in the public service complement -- the authorized staffing level -- in 1976-1977. This reduction of an additional 1,000 complement places underlines this government’s commitment to reverse the tendency for the bureaucracy to grow each year. Instead, we are placing stress on delivering programmes and services by better utilizing the people who are now on staff through improvements in efficiency and productivity.

The reductions in complement which have taken place over the past year and which will take place during the current year apply primarily to the classified staff. Thus, the complement constraint has not applied to the bulk of the unclassified staff or as some members call it, the contract staff. There are very good reasons for this and I will outline them in a moment. I do want to stress that the unclassified service has been a part of the Ontario government’s staffing practice for many, many years.

The Public Service Act assigns to the Civil Service Commission the responsibility for control over appointments to the classified service but assigns directly to each minister the responsibility for appointments to the unclassified staff because of the need to have a fast response to the varying manpower requirements in a whole host of decentralized delivery areas. It is natural that ministries will accomplish many of their services and programmes in a more economical manner through the use of seasonal, part-time or project employees.


In past years we have controlled the size of the unclassified service through the allocation of dollars to each programme and activity for salaries and wages. Although this has provided an effective harrier to any significant growth in the unclassified service, it does not provide the same type of control over numbers that is provided through complement. However, as hon. members can appreciate, an authorized staffing level for unclassified staff would be rather meaningless since many employees work only part-time while others work full-time for only a few weeks or a few months out of the whole year.

Despite the validity of the procedures we have followed, the present climate of constraint has caused the government to decide to increase control over the unclassified service by limiting the kinds of appointments which ministries are permitted to make. Management Board has advised all ministers there will be a freeze on a wide range of new appointments and strict limits on the length of reappointments and on hiring of seasonal staff. Before further outlining in brief these control measures, I would like to remind the members of this House of the nature and use of the unclassified service as provided for in the Public Service Act.

The unclassified service was established by the government to provide for types of employment which cannot be adequately accommodated within the civil service. The unclassified service is divided into two groups:

Group 1 consists of those unclassified staff members who are employed for one-time projects of a fixed duration, for example the rent review programme; as professional or special appointments, examples of which are local staff hired for overseas offices of the Ministry of Industry and Tourism; as temporary help, usually on an hourly or daily basis, for example clerical staff replacing civil servants who are on vacation or who are ill; part-time staff working loss than 24 hours per week; and students during their summer vacations or under the student co-operative scheme.

Group 2 consists primarily of staff engaged on projects of a seasonal or recurring nature, for example snow-clearing crews, parks attendants and tree planting crews.

In answer to a question asked in the House, I tabled the following information showing the number of unclassified employees on strength as at July 7, 1975 and Nov. 10, 1975. In Group 1 in July there were 19,595. This had shrunk to 9,516 on November 10. In Group 2 in July there were 9,046, which had reduced itself to 4,754 in November.

The reduction in the number of Group 1 employees between July and November is attributable to two factors; the reduction in the number of summer students and to the effects of the constraints imposed on ministries by the supplementary actions announced by the Treasurer last July. The Group 2 figures, which refer to seasonal employees, reflect the seasonal adjustments which occur every year as summer employment ceases.

Hon. members will appreciate that these figures simply represent a snapshot or still photograph on the two dates selected by the member who asked the question and that there is an infinite variety to such snapshots due to local fluctuations in both head offices and field organizations.

There are a number of factors affecting the level of employment in the unclassified service which are unpredictable and to a certain extent uncontrollable. These include, for instance, the needs for forest fire fighting and winter maintenance, both of which are affected by weather conditions.

Mr. Lewis: Or speeches for the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. W. Newman) at $4,000 a shot. That is also unclassified.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Auld: I would like now to return to a brief outline of the additional control measures which were effected April 1 of this year on unclassified service appointments.

First, with the exception of student employment and temporary staff replacements, there will be no new appointments to Group 1 of the unclassified service without the specific approval of Management Board. Second, renewals of existing Group 1 contracts will be limited to a period of six months. Finally, appointments for seasonal work in Group 2 will be limited to a six-month maximum and will not exceed the level of previous years.

I should point out that the exceptions noted above have been established so that student employment and essential work will not be adversely affected. For example, appointments under the Ontario career action programme and Experience 76 will be exempt from these guidelines. Furthermore, provision has been made in the estimates for maintaining the number of summer students at least to the same level as last year.

I hope hon. members will realize that the measures which I have just announced, in addition to the complement constraints announced by the Treasurer in the budget, will fulfil the government’s intention to restrict the total size of provincial manpower requirements for 1976-1977.


Hon. Mr. Snow: For some time now there has been a growing concern in northern Ontario about the cost of transporting goods both to and from that region of the province. Representatives from action groups, industry and the general public have urged that we take some action to alleviate the disparity they claimed exists in transportation costs between northern Ontario and other regions in Canada.

In the Speech from the Throne in March, 1971, it was announced that a study would be undertaken to determine if this disparity did exist. My ministry was given the responsibility of carrying out a detailed study to determine if there were inequities, if these inequities were detrimental to the competitiveness of northern products and what could be done to balance the picture.

I am happy to report to the House that this comprehensive study has been completed. Copies of the report will be distributed to each of the members for their information. In the meantime, I would like to take just a few minutes to outline the essence of the report.

First of all, it concludes that while an effective transportation system exists in northern Ontario, there are a few serious inequities which result in higher transportation costs in special cases. Of particular concern is the fact that higher transportation costs ailed the final price and competitiveness of goods shipped by northern producers to southern Ontario and other national or international markets.

As a result, most of the recommendations made in this report are aimed at effecting some very important long-term benefits to industry in the north. If accepted and implemented they should result in the expansion and broadening of our industrial base in northern Ontario. As a side effect, these recommendations are also expected to enlarge the consumer market, bringing additional benefits to all northern Ontario residents. On a short-term basis, however, these recommendations will have little impact on the consumer market, where higher transportation costs are reflected in the purchase price of certain goods.

This emphasis on industry rather than on the consumer market is based on the fact that while some items do cost more in northern Ontario, the overall cost of living in the more populated areas is comparable to southern Ontario. While this is the situation in the more populated areas of the north, there is a serious problem in remote areas where the cost of living is considerably higher. Because of this, my ministry has already initiated a special investigation and at a later date we will be making a separate recommendation regarding ways and means of assisting these residents. In the meantime, the recommendations outlined in the study I am tabling today will be implemented a’s soon as possible.

I would like to point out that implementation will be complicated to some extent by the fact that although some of the recommendations can be effected by the province alone, others will require the co-operation of both industry and the federal government.

We are prepared to take immediate action on those recommendations that are our responsibility. With regard to those recommendations involving the co-operation of the trucking industry and the railway companies, I am prepared to meet with representatives of these industries as soon as possible. Recommendations concerning regulatory practices that adversely affect northern Ontario will have to be dealt with by the federal government. We already have an appropriate agency through which to discuss these changes, the Federal-Provincial Committee on Ontario Transportation. I propose to take these recommendation to this committee at the earliest possible opportunity.

Mr. Reid: Five years, that’s not bad.

Mr. Speaker: Oral questions. The hon. Leader of the Opposition.


Mr. Lewis: A question, initially, of the Minister of Rousing: Now that we finally reached the point, after years of struggling to build up an inspectorate that can handle the often shoddy building practices on HOME lots, of which there have been endless descriptions in the House, why would the minister choose this precise moment in time to dismantle that whole building inspectorate and turn it over to the federal government, which simply doesn’t have the numbers to do the job?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has already indicated there was some question as to the standard of the inspection to begin with and I fail to see how we can improve that inspection by having three different levels of government inspecting the same building.

Mr. Lewis: You finally worked it out.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: As far as I am concerned, I think the inspection programme can be carried on by the Central Mortgage and Housing inspectors and the municipal inspectors. We don’t need a third level of inspector at the Ontario Housing Corp. level.

Mr. Deans: Supplementary. How does this minister propose to keep a check on the builders, many of whom do work which is totally unsatisfactory, to determine whether or not they should be working under the HOME programme at all, if the inspection is going to be given over to Central Mortgage and Housing? Does he realize the amount of frustration people feel in not knowing which agency to deal with? They go to OHC for the draw; they go to Central Mortgage and Rousing for their mortgage; and they have to try to determine whether the inspection should be municipal or federal rather than provincial. Why doesn’t the minister assume his responsibilities? It has taken years to get the inspection up to a standard and now he is dismantling it.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is one of those who for the last number of months has continually been critical of the situation --

Mr. Deans: The last number of years, I’ll have you know; not months.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: -- and I would say probably with good cause.

Mr. Lewis: Yes, we finally got OHC doing the job.

Mr. Speaker: Order please.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I’m suggesting to the hon. members that --

Mr. Deans: You opt out because you can’t do it.

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

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: If you will shut up for a while, I’ll answer your question.

Mr. Deans: You are incompetent.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. minister has the floor.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: You are incorrigible.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Deans: Maybe so, but you are incompetent and that’s worse.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I don’t think you have the capability to make a judgement on who is competent or not in this House, I’ll tell you that.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Further questions, the Leader of the Opposition.

Mr. Roy: He has been known to change his mind.


Mr. Lewis: Now that we have begun on an amicable note, perhaps I could heat it up a little.

May I put a question to the acting Minister of Health?

May I ask how is it that none of the hospitals whose final plans were announced here yesterday were afforded the courtesy of being told in advance what to expect, despite the fact that some of them had been promised that commitment, and it served them as a simple repeat on all that had beers done in December and January? Second, how is it that the minister’s letter to them did not convey the undertaking put forward to the Legislature by the Premier (Mr. Davis) which made no mention of ambulatory or ancillary or related kinds of care? What happened in this whole process?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, we attempted to telephone the chairmen of the boards of the various hospitals involved in time to have them hear the information by the time the Premier had made his statement in the House. We were not successful in all instances.

Mr. Lewis: You’re not kidding.

Mr. S. Smith: Any instances.

Hon. B. Stephenson: It was not intentional on my part that they were not informed before the decision was publicized because I did not realize that commitment had been made. If it had been made and I failed to carry it out, I apologize to those institutions. However, there was mention in each of the letters about alternative methods of providing service. It was not spelled out. They have all been contacted by telephone. They have been informed of the proposals which have been made and we shall be meeting with at least two of them in the very near future.

Mr. Lewis: So you have started all over again.

Supplementary, if I may: Is it not true -- let’s just have it out on the floor -- that all of the so-called consultations over the last several months, entered into in good faith by the hospitals, were a determined charade by the government, doomed to failure in advance? Isn’t that what happened here yesterday?

Hon. B. Stephenson: No, Mr. Speaker, that is not true.

Mr. Lewis: What difference is there in any of the submissions they made? What a way to deal with communities.

Mr. Speaker: Perhaps we should have a supplementary from the member for Hamilton West first.


Mr. S. Smith: A supplementary question: If the minister says the consultations are meaningful and the decision was one which could be conveyed reasonably, how does she account for the fact that the letters sent to Clinton and Durham simply informed people: “Make sure your staff receive termination notices. You must stop. Your hospital must close”; period? The letter also says: “In addition, may I also emphasize that the Ministry of Health staff are available at your request to assist you in developing health care services in your community using existing buildings to some extent.” How does the minister make that correspond in any way whatsoever with what the Premier said in this place yesterday?

Mr. Yakabuski: The member is a disappointment.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. B. Stephenson: The letters to the hospitals were to outline the steps which they must take at this point in order to comply with the Employment Standards Act of this province and with the intent of the statement the Premier made. There has been a determined effort on the part of the Ministry of Health to contact the boards of governors involved to inform them of our willingness to work with them to develop the kind of services which are appropriate for their areas.

Mr. Lewis: Always after the event.

Mr. Speaker: The member for Grey had a supplementary, I believe.

Mr. McKessock: I would like to ask the acting Minister of Health if, due to the fact the people in Durham, and I suppose other places, still don’t know what has happened by the notices that went out yesterday and the letters they received, she would send them immediately a letter stating full particulars about what they have, covering the ambulatory service, the labs, the x-ray service and the nurses that they may maintain at the hospital?

Hon. B. Stephenson: We will do more than that. We will send a team from the ministry to Durham to discuss it with them.

Mr. S. Smith: They have already had some of those.

Mr. Singer: What are you doing for the member for St. Andrew-St. Patrick (Mr. Grossman)?

Mr. Lewis: May I ask a further question of the acting Minister of Health? What is she going to do in the case of Paris-Willett now that their board has resigned?

Mr. Breithaupt: Send it, “To whom it may concern.”

Hon. B. Stephenson: At the request of the mayor of Paris, a team from the ministry will be going to Paris tomorrow morning and that problem will be resolved tomorrow.

Mr. Riddell: Supplementary: I wonder if the minister will be sending a team to Clinton to explain the details of the closing of that hospital, being that her letter and the Premier’s statement seem to be in contradiction.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, there is absolutely no contradiction between the letter and the Premier’s statement, none whatever. If people choose to invent contradiction, that is up to them. They are entirely in the same spirit.

Mr. S. Smith: Oh, come off it!

Hon. LB. Stephenson: We will be happy to send a team to Clinton to discuss it with them.

Mr. Shore: Have you got enough teams?

Mr. S. Smith: The people will be given the choice.

Mr. Lewis: May I ask the minister a related question? Is she prepared to table in the Legislature the material from the ministry indicating on what basis she rejected all of the alternatives put forward to her by each of the four hospitals whose services she effectively terminated yesterday? Would she care to show us what process was gone through in the ministry and what material was prepared which allowed her to arrive at the one decision which not one of them requested?

Hon. B. Stephenson: I doubt that the hon. Leader of the Opposition would understand that material if we did table it.


Mr. S. Smith: Weaker by the moment.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.


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

Hon. B. Stephenson: Since I do not have it today I cannot table it. I shall seriously consider the request.

Mr. S. Smith: Another Timbrell.

Mr. Singer: That sounds like Timbrell.

Hon. B. Stephenson: That’s not Timbrell, that is me.

Mr. Lewis: You will shorten your cabinet career with stuff like that.


Mr. Lewis: May I ask a question of the Attorney General? Given the difficulties or uncertainties which attach to the Ombudsman’s decision around the Bradley-Georgetown Hydro transmission corridor, and given some of the potentially controversial matters with which he has yet to deal, might he be encouraged to use section 15, subsection 5, under the Ombudsman’s Act to seek a declaratory intent from the courts when he is uncertain of whether or not cabinet material is involved?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, the section to which the hon. Leader of the Opposition refers is the section that gives the Ombudsman power to refer a matter to the Supreme Court of Ontario if there is a dispute as to whether or not the Ombudsman does have jurisdiction in the matter. I am satisfied, by reason of the legal expertise that is available to the Ombudsman and that which is available to this government, it’s not likely that many disputes will ever seriously arise as to whether or not there is jurisdiction. In the event that it does, I’m sure this government -- or, speaking for myself, I would encourage the Ombudsman to make use of the legislation which is available to him in the event the matter cannot be satisfactorily dealt with by the respective parties or the ministry or the Ombudsman’s office, as the case may be.


Mr. Lewis: One last question of the Minister of the Environment, in two parts: Does he have the Environmental Hearing Board report on the lead smelters ready to table yet? Has he made a decision on the hearing board report on the Stouffville dump?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: The Environmental Hearing Board report on lead is at the printers at the present time. We finally received the task force report that we had been waiting for, with some statistics. We hope to have that tabled within 10 days to two weeks at the latest.

I’m still waiting for the decision regarding the Stouffville dump.


Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, a question to the Minister of Community and Social Services regarding the Huronia Regional Centre:

Following the comments of the acting Minister of Health (B. Stephenson) on Apr. 8 in response to a question by the member for Simcoe East (Mr. G. E. Smith), and in view of recent revelations, what is the minister doing to allay the fears and some of the ill feeling that has developed in the community in Orillia around the Huronia Regional Centre, especially in view of some of the headlines and some of the feelings that have been created around that?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: The hon. member may be thinking in terms of the lack of jurisdiction to retain residents within that particular institution. As members know, tinder the Developmental Services Act we do not have the power of custodial care; so if there is a person who may be considered a person who would do harm to himself or to others, the procedure that is followed is to refer that person from Huronia to Penetang, where the examination is performed. Of course, under the Mental Health Act there is power within that legislation to exercise custodial care.

The problem arises in terms of whether we should reverse our philosophy in terms of preventing persons from signing themselves out of our institutions, out of the facilities that we have. We don’t think we should exercise that type of custody in the type of facilities that we have, so it certainly is not our intention to introduce any changes in the legislation.

In terms of supervision, that is always a problem. We are doing what we can. As members know, it is a two-way street. There’s education on the part of the public in terms of what we’re trying to do, and understanding on the part of the public as to what mental retardation is all about. There are difficulties, but I think because we see these singular instances we shouldn’t condemn the entire programme or what we are trying to do in our ministry in terms of mental retardation.

Mr. S. Smith: If I may ask a supplementary question, sharing with the minister, as I do very sincerely, the desire that this not he smeared and that our philosophy not be reversed in this: I wonder if he shares my concern that, with the public in the area becoming more and more excited about this, the good things about the programme could be endangered? Would he be willing to entertain the possibility of an inquiry into the way the retardation centres have functioned since being transferred into the Ministry of Community and Social Services, so that public fears can be allayed? Comments, headlines about the co-ed policy and so on, I think are not helpful, and I would be very pleased if the minister would give an answer to that.

Would he consider a public inquiry into the status of these institutions, since separation from Health into Comsoc?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: No, I wouldn’t think that would be the best course of action. We have an ongoing review. The hon. member mentioned the matter of co-educational facilities -- actually that’s not a part of our programme. We did check into that particular problem. I might say that the programme director has been suspended in regard to that particular section until we can conclude our own internal investigation rising out of the circumstances. So it’s a matter of ongoing review.

We’ve had, as I think the hon. member will appreciate, quite a few changes to make. When you transfer a facility from Health to my ministry and you introduce an entirely new philosophy, it’s not one merely of medical treatment, it’s one of frying to develop that person to his or her capabilities. We like to do that within our own ministry without trying to focus on some of the idiosyncrasies that may exist.

Mr. G. E. Smith: Mr. Speaker, in view of the fact that some of the parents of residents of the Huronia Regional Centre are concerned that the residents have the privilege of signing themselves out at the age of 16 years against the desire of the parent, would the minister consider reviewing the Act and perhaps bringing in an amendment which would give the final decision as to being able to sign themselves out into society to the parents in consultation with the ministry, rather than having it a unilateral decision of the ministry?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Again, Mr. Speaker, the staff does the best it can in terms of counselling that particular resident to do what is in the best interests of the resident. Certainly, families are consulted, but it’s difficult to have it both ways. Either you’re going to exercise a legislative right of confinement, or you’re going to have to leave it on a voluntary basis. Presently, I’m not considering legislation which would provide for custody against the resident’s will. That’s not to say we’re not trying to improve our facilities -- whether that’s supervision or what have you. But as far as legislating the right of custody is concerned, that is not something I have considered at the moment.

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

Mr. McClellan: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mrs. Campbell: Final? I want to ask a question.

Mr. Roy: We haven’t had a supplementary.

Mr. McClellan: Would the minister not consider the establishment of a halfway house facility under the jurisdiction of the Mental Health Act in conjunction with the Ministry of Health to deal with the real problem at Huronia, which is the referral of people to Penetanguishene and then their remission back to Huronia? The suggestion is that he consider a halfway facility under the jurisdiction of the Mental Health Act for harmful and dangerous retardates at the Huronia Regional Centre in conjunction with the Ministry of Health.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: I think the capability is already there in terms of the Mental Health Act. If the assessment warrants the confinement, of course, that is carried out. I don’t think any legislative changes are necessary.

Mr. McClellan: But there is no facility.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Are there more supplementaries requested on this particular question?

Mrs. Campbell: Yes, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: We will allow one question from the party that asked the first question. The member for St. George.


Mrs. Campbell: Mr. Speaker, in view of the answer given by the minister in which he refers to certain idiosyncrasies, when we see crimes of violence which include at least three murders in 15 months by those who have been released under his policy, does he not realize that the vast majority of those who really shouldn’t be affected by this kind of operation are, in fact, being jeopardized -- and that they have not even been permitted to go out into the community because of this whole circumstance surrounding these problems? Is murder an idiosyncrasy?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, I am not certain of the thrust of the member’s remarks. Murder, hopefully, is an uncommon event in our social system. We certainly don’t advocate it, if that’s what she is suggesting.

Mr. Singer: We will explain it to the minister again.

Mr. Reid: Quit while you are ahead!

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Insofar as the freedoms exercised by those who may be mentally retarded are concerned, it is all right to condemn and focus on an unhappy situation because the person happened to be mentally retarded, but maybe we should compare the murders in other segments of the community as well.

Mr. Lewis: That’s the most positive thing you have said since you became minister.

Mr. S. Smith: No, we are not doing that; we are being very reasonable.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I think we should go on. If there is time we can go back to this question later, because we have taken quite a bit of time. The member for Hamilton West with a further question.


Mr. S. Smith: For the Attorney General, please, Mr. Speaker: Was the Attorney General being completely candid when he said on Feb. 26 that his government supported fully the gun control legislation introduced by the federal government -- and, in fact, the federal legislation meant that Ontario wouldn’t have to enact its own because it was quite similar? Was he being totally candid in giving his government’s option at that time?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I can’t recall precisely what I said, but I certainly would have indicated that we were generally in support of the federal proposals.

Mr. Reid: It’s not going to do a thing.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I can’t say I have studied them in any particular detail. The matter does not fall directly within our ministry insofar as there has been the necessity for provincial legislation.

Mr. S. Smith: As a supplementary: Would the minister undertake to check with one of the other cabinet ministers -- the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Bernier) -- and inquire from him what he meant by his comments on the radio today when he said his government was not interested in gun control, only in “hunter competence”; that he does not support the federal gun control bill; that he thinks controls on guns are a nightmare, they are just ridiculous and simply more bureaucracy? I quote word for word from his interview this morning on the CBC.

Mr. Roy: Somewhat embarrassing.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I am always interested to have the views of my good friend the Minister of Natural Resources.

Mr. S. Smith: They should tell the same story in the city as they do in the country.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I can assure the hon. member we will continue to communicate with one another.

Mr. Lewis: That’s not going to work.

Mr. Reid: I agree with you.


Mr. S. Smith: A question for the Solicitor General: Will the Solicitor General confirm the rather troubling report in a newspaper that residents of a housing project, I think it was in Kitchener, were compelled to form their own vigilante committee to protect their property, and that protection from the police was simply insufficient? I am rather disturbed by this. Can he confirm that this is, in fact, what has happened?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Speaker, I can neither confirm nor deny it.

Mr. S. Smith: As a brief supplementary: Would the Solicitor General undertake to look into the matter, and also to let us know whether any other communities have had to set up such vigilante groups?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Speaker, the last part of that question might be a rather impossible task, but I will certainly get information on the first instance.

Mr. Lewis: Oh, vigilantism is everywhere.


Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, the member for Kenora-Rainy River --

Mr. Reid: Just Rainy River.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- just Rainy River, asked a question on Friday, and I would like to elaborate on my answer to that question, concerning discrepancies in the trade figures in the April, 1975, and April, 1976, budgets.

In the 1976 budget, the import and export figures have been placed for the first time on the balance-of-payments basis in conformity with Ontario’s system of provincial income and expenditure accounts. In previous years, the figures were presented on a customs or ports -- of-clearing basis.

There are two principal reasons for this change in presentation: First, to place the budget review and forecast of the foreign sector on the same provincial and income expenditure accounts basis as the rest of the budget economic outlook. Second, to present a summary of foreign sector activity which more accurately reflects the impact of the foreign sector on the Ontario economy.

Whereas the customs basis is a record of imports and exports of goods only, the income and expenditure accounts basis includes services as well as goods. Thus, to exports of goods are added tourism, banking and financial services rendered abroad, freight and shipping, and international consultation. Excluded from the provincial accounts figures are goods produced in other provinces and shipped from ports of clearance in Ontario.

On the import side, the income and expenditure accounts basis excludes imports received by Ontario ports and subsequently shipped to other provinces for final consumption.

In the 1976 budget, exports are projected to increase by $3.7 billion over 1975. This is an increase of 20 per cent in current value terms. The physical volume of Ontario exports will increase substantially in 1976 as recovery in the United States economy continues. US manufacturers are increasing production and rebuilding inventories, so the demand for Ontario’s primary and fabricated metal products will be strengthened during the year. We should also retain most of our share of the now healthier American auto market. In addition, the settlement of labour dispute in the pulp and paper industry will be of obvious benefit to our exports.

Of course, our potential for export growth may be limited if we do not continue to vigorously pursue policies to limit inflation particularly in the area of energy prices and to improve our productivity performance.

Mr. Reid: One short supplementary for clarification: Are we talking in both cases about constant dollars, or annual dollars? Secondly, I take it then the difference is on the basis of reporting?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Yes, and current dollars.

Mr. Reid: Current dollars.


Mr. Deans: I have a question for the Minister of Labour: Does the Minister of Labour understand the continued anxiety that’s felt by many employees and the economic threats which they face when they make the judgement not to enter a job site, whether it be in construction or industry, that they feel to be unsafe? And doesn’t the minister feel it might be better if she were to introduce legislation guaranteeing their economic well-being during the period when they might either be unemployed as the result of the action that they took, or if their employment is in question during the investigation, rather than simply tell them to walk off the site?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I do understand the anxiety felt and, yes, I will consider that.

Mr. Speaker: The member for --

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, could I provide the answer to a question which was raised I think three days ago by the leader of the --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I think we will get to the answers in turn, please. Thank you.

Hon. B. Stephenson: All right.

Mr. Speaker: Supplementary? You have a supplementary, the member for Rainy River?

Mr. Reid: No.

Mr. Speaker: The member for Downsview, please.


Mr. di Santo: I would like to ash the Minister of Labour, Mr. Speaker, how does she reconcile the statement she made last week on a specific safety project when she said it’s working extremely well, with the statement of Mr. Edward Trelford, who is the officer supervising the project, who actually says the project is not working very well and is extremely slow?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, the quotation in the newspaper I think did not state that Mr. Trelford suggested the project was not working well. What he suggested was that the numbers of inquiries regarding safety were limited. However, there are a number of inquiries about related subjects and non-related subjects which we think to be of value to the people using that hot line and I think our statements are entirely compatible.


Mr. Reid: A somewhat related question to the Premier if I may: Does the Premier not agree that in view of the problems regarding occupational health, the collective bargaining process and industrial and construction safety, now is the time to set up a select committee of this Legislature to operate this summer to look into these very serious problems which, to a large extent, have been ignored by this government for so many years?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I think the hon. member was quite sincere in the early part of his question and then decided to become a little bit provocative toward the end.

Mr. Reid: Even at the end I was sincere.

Mr. Ruston: You do that once in a while, too.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I am the last one to question in any way the need for far greater study and understanding in the whole field of occupational health. I would make this general observation: That while there is much yet to be done, a lot which is not known and I think government action which probably yet needs to be taken, in some slight study of my own I have ascertained one thing -- that it is perhaps not factually correct for the hon. member to imply that it has been neglected in this province because the fact is, in terms of occupational health and standards and government activity -- and I hate saying this from time to time but it happens to be true --

Mr. Sweeney: Like every day.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- even with the difficulties which exist the policy and the record in this province is comparable to and superior to many other jurisdictions on this continent and elsewhere.

Mr. Reid: That is not good enough.

Hon. Mr. Davis: It is true.

Mr. Reid: When you have to close a plant for safety; when you have to close an asbestos plant.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Davis: We closed a plant because there was a problem for the workers there and I make no apologies for it, none whatsoever.

Mr. Reid: How about Elliot Lake? That is not an enviable record.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am also concerned that the way those people would run the course, not only would they close the plant, they would forget about the fact we need to keep the economy moving so that we can do some of the programmes --

Mr. Reid: Baloney.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Certainly you would.

Mr. Roy: I think he’s out of order.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, however, to get back to the reasonable part of the hon. member’s question.

Mr. Roy: You are being provocative now.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am not sure that necessarily all three parts relate one to the other. I am encouraged, though, by the member suggesting that select committees do have validity, because that has not always been the view expressed by members of his party.

Mr. Reid: If they deal with something pertinent, they do.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I will certainly take his suggestion as one worthy of consideration although the latter part of his question I reject totally. While I’m on my feet, as a matter of personal privilege, Mr. Speaker --

Mr. Roy: He is out of order.

Mr. S. Smith: Now that we’ve heard the provocative part, what about the reasonable part of the answer?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, as a matter of personal privilege, which I think is always in order -- and I will say this quietly and non-provocatively if I can -- the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Lewis) suggested earlier in the question period, and I have assessed this very carefully, that the appeals which were launched by the four or five hospital boards were not considered sincerely or genuinely by the government, including the Premier of this province.


Hon. Mr. Davis: I want to say the Leader of the Opposition may object to the solution. This I understand but I want to tell him as concisely and clearly as I can that those appeals were looked at objectively; they were looked at constructively; and there was no predetermination on the part of the Premier or anyone else in the government prior to those appeals being launched as to what the result would be.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. Minister of Labour may give that answer at the present time.

Mr. Lewis: If that was true, you would have told the communities yesterday before you made the statement. It is called good faith.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The Minister of Labour.


Mr. Speaker: I have been calling for the Minister of Labour and other people haven’t been able to hear me.

Mr. Roy: Do we get extra time for that?

Mr. Speaker: No.


Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, it is as acting Minister of Health that I am responding to this question which was posed by the leader of the Liberal Party (Mr. S. Smith) and by the member for High Park (Mr. Ziemba) in a supplementary, regarding the cost of prescription services by pharmacists in multiple prescriptions, multiples of one month’s supply.

The contract with the pharmacists in the Province of Ontario entitles the pharmacist to some discretion in this matter. If he feels, for good reason, that the patient does need more than one month’s supply he may so supply. He may supply not more than six months at a time provided this is on doctor’s prescription or at his discretion. If he does so, he may charge exactly the same fee he would ordinarily charge for one month’s supply or he may charge what he would ordinarily charge a cash-paying customer for dispensing that drug in that quantity.



Mr. Makarchuk: Mr. Speaker, a question of the Minister of Housing, who is responsible for zoning in the Province of Ontario. Can the minister at this time indicate what were the reasons considered by cabinet in order to overrule an OMB decision to deny the town of Haldimand a request for a change in zoning to permit a quarry to become operative in the area, in view of the fact there are quarries in the vicinity, and the fact that 1,000 acres of land will be sequestered or taken out of farming for this purpose? Could he tell me what were the reasons for overruling the OMB decision?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: No, Mr. Speaker, I can’t give the hon. member the reason at this time. I may have lost him a bit in the early part of his question and I apologize, but I think I know what he was referring to; I would like to get him the information. I can’t give him that answer now, but am I correct that he is inquiring as to the refusal for the issuing of a permit to operate a gravel pit operation in Haldimand-Norfolk?

Mr. Makarchuk: The request was by King Paving to change the zoning in Haldimand and Norfolk to begin operation of a quarry in that area.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Speaker, I will get the information for the hon. member.


Mr. Stong: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Community and Social Services. In the light of the fact that his ministry saw it necessary to suspend Mrs. Jo Ellen Atherton, the programme unit director at Huronia, because of the policies she had instituted with respect to the mentally retarded in that institution, and in view of the fact that in answer to my question in this House on March 30, the minister recognized problems in Smiths Falls, is the ministry prepared to conduct a public inquiry into the management of all these mental health institutions in Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Firstly, Mr. Speaker, I would correct the hon. member in terms of his appellation of our facilities; certainly I don’t consider them mental health facilities. In terms of what we are doing, I would just like to repeat that it’s certainly not my intention to launch any investigatory procedure outside of our own internal workings to clarify and to rectify any problem that may emerge.

As I mentioned earlier, there was some suggestion -- and I think the hon. member made ft -- that some coeducational activity was taking place at Orillia. That was investigated. As a result of that investigation a programme director has been suspended pending a fuller investigation, because that certainly is not the policy of my ministry and was being permitted contrary to the knowledge of the administrator.

Mrs. Campbell: Are you sure of that?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: So I believe that we can look after those particular problems as they arise. Of course our intention is to do anything we can to improve our facilities and to continue with our programme of developmental work and, of course, community integration.

Mr. Stong: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Was the minister not aware that this situation existed, and at least if he wasn’t aware of it, why has action not been taken against the director, Mr. Blakeman, arising out of this situation?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: The administrator is Mr. Blakeman, who is in charge of the overall institution. It’s a very large institution. This was one particular section under this person who had a supervisory capacity, and a condition existed which the hon. member mentioned -- that is, I believe, toileting and brushing teeth and so on --

Mrs. Campbell: Showering.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- where there wasn’t the privacy that we expect, so that I don’t think that one can fault an administrator if an activity happens of which he was not aware for good reason.

Mrs. Campbell: Over a two-year period.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: He certainly is attending to that, and matters will be put straight.

Mr. Speaker: I think we should get on because there are many more people who wish to ask questions.


Hon. Mr. Meen: In reply to questions raised in the Legislature last Friday and in accordance with an undertaking that I gave to the members at that time, I am pleased to table a list of the persons to whom a copy of the budget was delivered after 8 o’clock on the evening of April 6.

Mr. Reid: Is that just from yourself or all the ministers?


Mr. Cassidy: A question to the Minister of Housing: Does the government intend to implement the proposed reductions of standards that were reported on today and, if so, how?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: One learns, I guess, as one gets older. I offered the courtesy of sending the hon. member advance copies of them. Obviously, he knows I’m not going to answer his question. He’s made his point. He can ask it next week when I have had a chance to make up my mind.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: Does the minister consider that the price of $20,000 per lot in the metropolitan area, which is the average cost of lots after the reductions of standards proposed here and which is created in large part because of the high cost of urban land, is affordable to the vast numbers of people who want housing in the Province of Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: No, I don’t suppose that would be considered affordable but it is a lot more affordable than the present price on the market.


Mr. Singer: I have a question for the acting Minister of Health. While appreciating her prompt attention to my concern yesterday about Maryjean Boetto and her advice this morning that the operation scheduled on this young lady was going to take place today, can the minister tell me what steps she is taking to make sure that this series of circumstances will never again take place whereby a young 12-year-old girl facing a major operation suddenly is advised that the operation will not take place since, because of the restraint programme, there are not enough nurses to man the operating room?

Hon. B. Stephenson: The major operation which the hon. member mentions was the amputation of three toes which is a reasonably traumatic experience for a 12-year-old.

Mr. Lewis: Reasonably traumatic?

Hon. B. Stephenson: There was a two-pronged difficulty in the Hospital for Sick Children. One was the scheduling of so-called dirty cases in operating rooms. Unfortunately, there had been a clean case scheduled immediately following this one and, although there are 11 operating rooms functioning daily in the Hospital for Sick Children with sufficient staff to ensure that they do function, there is no extra staff on standby to ensure the staff involved in a dirty case would not be involved in dealing with a clean case immediately thereafter.

There are two problems involved in this area. The chairman of the department of orthopaedics at the hospital is concerned primarily about the surgical and sterile techniques involved and he is attempting to look after that part of the problem. I am also looking at the staffing problem of the operating room.

Mr. Singer: By way of supplementary, can the minister tell us whether or not it is not reasonably possible that a hospital as efficient as the Hospital for Sick Children can arrange for appropriate scheduling for the various operations on its list so that this tragic event could never take place again?

Hon. B. Stephenson: I would think it would be quite possible for the Hospital for Sick Children to do this. Scheduling is a difficult manoeuvre at times, but it is not all that difficult.


Hon. Mr. Bernier: The member for Rainy River (Mr. Reid) asked a question last week of my colleague, the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development (Mr. Irvine), concerning the killing of valuable timber on 1,200 acres of land in the Parry Sound area.

The Bracebridge office of the Ministry of Natural Resources has reported to me that the operation referred to was on 950 acres in Bethune township and that they did not kill valuable timber. This was a stand improvement operation in a maple forest which was last cut in 1950.

Mr. Stokes: That’s therapeutic logging.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Therapeutic, that’s right. Now we don’t know what that is in northern Ontario.

Mr. Reid: What if somebody cut a ring around your stomach? How long do you think you would last?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: They did that last week.

Mr. Reid: It would take a long time to do it but what would happen? It would be cosmetic if not therapeutic.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: They are going to do that. The maple trees in that area are about 12 to 14 inches in diameter at breast height. The ministry girdled 10 to 12 trees per acre, leaving about 100 trees per acre to continue growing. The girdled trees were defective, possibly rotten, crooked, diseased, insect-infested or damaged. They were girdled to avoid damage to the remaining trees, and to permit the growth capacity of that site to concentrate on the good trees. This is a normal silviculture technique practised in hardwood forests.

The trees to be girdled are marked by professional foresters and forest technicians. In this girdling operation it was recognized that 10 to 12 trees per acre were defective. They were of no use for sawlogs. They were the remnants of a previous cutting operation in which that forest bad been highgraded. To help the trees which were left the defective trees had to be removed. Cutting them would possibly damage the remaining trees; thus girdling is used to prevent such damage.

One final factor relates to this operation. The mills in this area use only sawlogs. There were not enough sawlogs in the girdled trees to make a profitable logging operation. There is no local market for pulpwood, hence the trees in question could not be sold for pulpwood, as is our normal policy when a market can be found.


Mr. Speaker: The oral question period has expired.


Mrs. Campbell: Mr. Speaker, I have a series of petitions. I have examined them as to form in accordance with our new policy. They pertain to petitions against the closing of Doctors Hospital and are, I believe, in six languages.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: Presenting reports.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes presented the report of the Ontario task force on leasehold condominiums and the report on urban development standards

Mr. Speaker: Motions.

Introduction of bills.


Hon. Mr. Wells moved first reading of bill intituled, An Act respecting the Sault Ste. Marie Board of Education and Teachers Dispute.

Motion agreed to; first reading of the bill.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, the effect of this piece of legislation would be to open the schools completely in Sault Ste. Marie when school begins next Tuesday after the Easter holiday. It would mean that the 405 teachers would be back in their classrooms and the 6,600 students would have school resume normally for them.

There has been a state of strike, in one way or another, in Sault Ste. Marie since Feb. 5, 1976. There was work to rule in the first instance; then rotating strikes; we are now in about the eighth day of a straight general strike.

All the schools, seven of them, in that particular area are on the semester system. It certainly is apparent to me that progress is not going to be made and only by this Legislature putting this matter to arbitration can we protect the interests of the students in this particular dispute.

I must tell the members, however, that the Education Relations Commission did not indicate to us that the pupils’ programmes were in jeopardy but the cabinet decided it felt that they were from the information we had, and we are proceeding with this piece of legislation.


Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order or clarification, through you to the Minister of Transportation and Communications. What exactly is an “executive summary,” a phrase used in reference to this report on freight rates and related problems? Is it an abridgement of the study? If so, what were the guidelines in deciding what would be left out and what would be published? In short, is there any possibility that this is what the government agrees with and what was disagreed with has not been published?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I would have to get the detailed answer for the hon. member, but I would expect that is a summary of the findings and the recommendations. I would think the full information which would relate to this study would be something that would be very difficult to publish. It would be that thick.

Mr. Speaker: Introduction of bills.



Mr. Renwick moved first reading of bill intituled, An Act to provide Assistance to Elderly Tenants.

Motion agreed to; first reading of the bill.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, this bill would permit any municipality to make payments to tenants of residential real property on the same terms and conditions as if such tenants were owners of real property entitled to uniform credit against real property taxes under the Municipal Elderly Residents Assistance Act, 1973. It parallels the private bill which was introduced by the township of Nepean in the private bills committee recently.


Mr. Speaker: Before the orders of the day, I want to announce that yesterday a complaint was made to me with respect to Mr. Andrew StuParick being released early from the room when the press and others were locked up prior to the presentation of the budget. I must remind the House that not only do I have no jurisdiction over Mr. StuParick or the television room but I do not have any say as to who is locked up for the preliminary briefing prior to the budget nor when they are released. These are all matters within the jurisdiction of the appropriate ministries.

I also wish to advise the House that my report respecting the public galleries and the safety therein has been sent to all members because of its length.


Hon. Mr. Welch tabled the answer to question 40, standing on the notice paper.

Mr. Speaker: Orders of the day.

Clerk of the House: First order, resuming the adjourned debate on the motion that this House approves in general the budgetary policy of the government.


Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, many members in this House will know that I have been a long-time budget watcher from the chairs at the back of the chamber. It is a new experience to be part of the process in the House and to have the honour of leading off our party’s reply to last week’s budget.

It is probably also a first for a woman to be making the reply to the budget speech in any Legislature in Canada. I must say that I’m rather concerned that I find no references in the budget to the problems which women experience in obtaining equality in both the public and the private sectors nor any concern about the special way in which women are affected by the cutbacks in the budget.

In fact, I’m rather disappointed to see that the provincial Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) has not taken the advice of the executive coordinator for women’s programmes who recommended that each ministry’s budget should include an identifiable portion for affirmative action to bring women forward in the public service.

I would like first of all to congratulate the provincial Treasurer -- who seems to have left us -- on his presentation of the budget. He always makes a good show of it and puts forth his fiscal philosophy in no uncertain terms.

However, when business seems to be the only group in the community pleased with the budget, I begin to wonder whose side he is on. When I hear that his colleague, the Minister of Revenue (Mr. Meen) runs a special courier service to deliver the budget to stockbrokers and other businessmen on budget night, my suspicions are not allayed.

I would draw to the attention of the government that the federal government makes local businessmen stand in line at the Bank of Canada building in Toronto until the Minister of Finance has finished speaking in the House in Ottawa if they wish to obtain a copy on budget night.

Mr. Roy: No favoritism there.

Hon. Mr. Davis: We just want to inform the public; we just want them to know.

Ms. Bryden: Moreover, non-businessmen can get on the list by applying, as the NDP research department has done for several years.

Hon. Mr. Davis: You mean you have always stood in line --

Mr. Ferrier: You do not want to make the stockbrokers stand in line. They may not give to your party’s campaign funds next time.

Ms. Bryden: The present Treasurer has the distinction of having delivered four budgets over a six-year period.

Hon. Mr. Davis: All of them good.

Mr. Roy: I am glad you are saying that. You really like those deficits.

An hon. member: What a Freudian slip over there.

Ms. Bryden: His career as Treasurer had a two-year hiatus in 1973 and 1974, when he reverted to the status of being only the member for Chatham-Kent, and then sidled back into the cabinet as Minister of Energy.

It is interesting to note that three of his four budgets are bound in Tory blue covers. Perhaps this confirms the consistency and purity of his fiscal philosophy. It is also interesting to note that his budgets come in neat pairs, spanning an election year and a post-election year. In both cases he has been faced with the task of picking up the pieces after hog-wild, uncontrolled pre-election spending and tax giveaways, after they have left the province with an overblown deficit.

Mr. Moffatt: That’s terrible.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Do you know your colleagues voted for those things?

Ms. Bryden: I’m not sure that they voted for all of them.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Well, I think they did.

Some hon. members: No, no.

Mr. Foulds: We took our direction from her for the last four years.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I think they voted for the introduction of sales tax.

Mr. Moffatt: How about the interest rebate plan?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Ms. Bryden: Looking back to the Treasurer’s first pair of budgets in 1971 and 1972, we find that his forecast cash deficit, or total budgetary and non-budgetary deficit for 1971 and 1972, was a mere $344 million, but he actually required over $1 billion when the books were closed.

This was the first time Ontario’s cash deficit hit the $1-billion mark, so the present Treasurer can claim that distinction in his first year as Treasurer. He nearly doubled his record last year when he came up with a cash deficit of almost $1.9 billion. I don’t know if the Guinness Book of Records recognizes provincial Treasurers’ achievements but he must be a candidate for the largest provincial deficit in the history of Canada.

An hon. member: All for the sake of losing an election.

Ms. Bryden: This whopping deficit was not a planned stimulus deficit but was the result of drunken, uncontrolled pre-election spending. It was also due to the giving away of $590 million in tax cuts and concessions, including the payment of $90 million in home buyers’ grants. Incidentally, we have learned from our questions in the estimates committee that 342 of these grants went to purchases of homes in excess of $100,000.

Mr. Peterson: Shame.

Ms. Bryden: The deficit is a measure, not only of the government’s failure to control its own wasteful spending, but also of its mismanagement of the economy. The Treasurer pats himself on the back for stimulating the economy in the second half of 1975, but much of the activity was borrowed from 1976; for example auto and house purchases.

In actual fact, the gross provincial product in 1975 went up at a slower rate in Ontario than in the rest of Canada. Only 63,000 new jobs were created and unemployment rose from 4.1 per cent to six per cent; I’m using the unrevised unemployment figures to ensure comparability.

This loss of production and of tax revenue from unemployed workers, and the corresponding increase in welfare costs, account for a good part of the budget deficit. To the extent the deficit had to be financed from the money market, it added to inflationary pressures by pushing up interest rates. Last year the government went to the money market for $743 million, or 40 per cent of its deficit, on top of the heavy demand on the market by Hydro.

This fiscal and economic mismanagement is the cause of the government’s overblown deficit. The provincial Treasurer may try to say that the US recession and world-wide inflation were responsible, but the government’s pre-election irresponsibility and giveaway sprees are the main cause.

Hon. Mr. Davis: And you voted for them.

Mr. Ferrier: It didn’t work very well for you in your re-election campaign.

Mr. Renwick: We opposed a number of items in the last budget.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Not the ones she is referring to.


Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Beaches-Woodbine can continue.

Ms. Bryden: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. A look at Ontario’s fiscal history shows a pattern of fiscal bounce. In non-election years, borrowing or deficits accounted for 11 to 12 per cent of revenue. In election years, borrowing jumped up to 19 to 20 per cent. Consequently, post-election budgets are always corrective in Ontario; that is the fiscal pattern the provincial Treasurer has been following in his two pairs of budgets.

The tragedy of this pattern of fiscal bounce is that the post-election budget is always a backward-looking budget. The fear of a shaky credit rating makes the Treasurer concentrate only on the deficit and not on planning how to meet the ongoing needs of Ontario. His budget is simply a reaction to past mismanagement. It is not a fiscal plan for the future.

To correct the election excesses, the provincial Treasurer had three choices: He could raise taxes, cut waste, or cut programmes. He chose a mixture of all three. Our quarrel is with the way he did it and with the nature of the mix.

Let’s look at the taxes first.

To cut his deficit by approximately one-third, or $659 million, he imposed a net increase of $330 million in taxes and restored two of the three sales tax cuts he had made at a cost of $392 million in 1975. He put back the sales tax on new autos and returned the general rate to seven per cent from the election-year rate of five per cent -- a 40 per cent increase is hardly within the anti-inflation guidelines, incidentally.

Significantly, he did not put back the sales tax on production machinery and equipment, which he also took off in 1975 for a 33-month period and which it is estimated will cost him $220 million in lost revenue this year. Instead, he chose to get almost the identical amount of revenue from OHIP premium payers; $228 million of his $330 million tax increases come from this regressive form of tax.

He did not need to punish the struggling wage earners and pensioners not yet 65, who are just above the poverty line, with a 45 per cent increase in premium; the same amount of money could have been obtained by cancelling the exemption for machinery and equipment.

While the latter is supposed to stimulate the economy, to date we have never been able to get the government to produce a cost-benefit analysis showing how many jobs have been created by this programme. It has already cost us $108 million in 1975 and will cost $410 million before it finishes Dec. 31, 1977. In fact, this particular programme is not even included in the boastful chapter in the budget recounting government measures which are purported to have contributed to a turnaround in the Ontario economy in the second half of 1975.

The OHIP increase of 45 per cent is far beyond the levels which the AIB allows wage and salary earners, and the federal finance minister, Donald S. Macdonald, has bluntly stated that it will hurt the inflation fight. It goes counter to the provincial Treasurer’s stated objective on page 1 of his budget: “Reducing the rate of inflation remains the No. 1 objective for economic policy in 1976.”


It seems particularly ironic to increase OHIP premiums at a time when less hospital service will be available under the savage and unplanned cutback being imposed on hospitals. In many cases, the increased costs of travelling further to obtain hospital or psychiatric services or waiting in longer queues at out-patient clinics or making private arrangements for relatives who should be in convalescent beds that just aren’t there, will fall on the same people who are being asked to pay higher premiums.

As my leader has already stated, the OHIP premium increase is totally wrong. It leaves Ontario with the highest premiums in Canada, almost three times as high as Alberta’s and about twice as high as the new rates which come into effect in BC on July 1; although it is difficult to compare Ontario and BC rates because BC will be charging a $4-per-day deterrent fee as well and has different rates for families with more than two people in them. Our family rates will also be about three times as high as the maximum paid by a Quebec wage earner under the payroll tax system there.

The Treasurer tries to claim that OHIP premiums are not a regressive tax because he is adding 363,000 people to the number eligible for premium assistance. However, if one excludes those over 65 and persons on social assistance who get free coverage, a total of only 509,000 low-income individuals and families qualify for full premium assistance. An additional 98,000 people will qualify for half premium but that means they will still face a premium of $96 a year if they are single and $192 a year if paying the family rate. All other subscribers will pay exactly the same amount, $192 single and $384 for a family, which is why we call it a regressive tax.

It is not tailored to ability to pay. The cut-off points for full premium assistance are close to the poverty line. They are $3,911 gross income for a single person and $7,188 for a family of four. Beyond that, a single person with income up to $4,425 and a family of four with income up to $8,225 will pay half premium; but as soon as income exceeds these amounts, by even $1, the premium payer is hit with the full premium of $192 single and $384 for a family.

The provincial Treasurer also makes much of the fact that employers now pay 88 per cent of group OHIP payments, and about four-fifths of subscribers are in groups. However, those employer payments have been negotiated in lieu of wages; and the increases will in most cases have to be negotiated in the same way and will not automatically be paid by employers. In fact, an AIB spokesman said that employers would not be allowed to pay the increase if they have already granted wage increases up to the AIB limit.

In his budget speech the Treasurer assumed that all employers will continue to pay the same percentage of premiums as before. Therefore he blithely calculates that, of the $228 million in extra premium, employers will pay $164 million or 72 per cent; employees will pay $22 million or 10 per cent; and pay direct subscribers $42 million or 18 per cent.

The true facts come out in budget paper B, and I am surprised that the Treasurer neglected to mention them in his speech. In the budget paper it is pointed out that employers will save an estimated $50 million on corporation income tax because premiums are a deductible expense. This will cut their costs from $164 million to $114 million.

On the other hand, premiums paid by employers are a taxable benefit to employees and they will pay $92 million more in personal income tax, so their costs go up to exactly the same amount as the employers’ costs, $114 million. Nowhere is attention drawn to the fact that employers may pass on this $114 million in increased premiums to the consumer in prices, as often happens, with what is in effect a payroll tax.

The OHIP premium increase will also add to the cost of many school boards and local governments and at post-secondary institutions which pay all or part of their employees’ premiums. For example, the Wellington county board of education has estimated it will have to find an extra $66,000 for this in 1976, at a time when the board is scrambling to make budget cuts. The Metro Toronto school boards will need $500,000 for this unexpected cost.

These are some of the reasons we consider this cornerstone of the provincial Treasurer’s tax increase package completely wrong. We will be debating the matter in more detail at some later date this month, we hope, as we propose to move a separate motion on it.

Mr. Lewis: Your budget was quite dishonest when it dealt with OHIP premiums. You know that, of course. I am surprised you introduced it that way.

Ms. Bryden: As I have already said, the same revenue could have been obtained in a much fairer way from those with real ability to pay, the companies which are installing new production machinery and enjoying a sales tax exemption.

The Liberal Party’s position on the premium increase is, like most Liberal policies, difficult to discern. In one breath, on the Harry Brown show on CBL radio in Toronto the day after the budget, the Liberal leader said he opposed the premium increase; but in the next breath he conceded that everything is going up and people should pay something for health care. The health critic for the Liberals, the member for Huron-Middlesex (Mr. Riddell) as recently as March 10, said in this House:

“Has the minister ever considered increasing OHIP premiums with consideration being given to those who cannot pay? If the people were approached and told they had a choice between paying a little more toward the premium and having the hospital closed down, I am sure those people would say they could afford the additional cost of the premium.”

Mr. Cassidy: That’s where it came from.

Ms. Bryden: I grant that the member for Huron-Middlesex was desperately trying to find a means of keeping Clinton and Goderich hospitals open --

Mr. Sweeney: It is more than some of your people did.

Ms. Bryden: -- but his philosophy is that a regressive tax should be increased to finance such essential services. We agree that the Clinton and Goderich hospitals are important community facilities that should be kept open, but we think the money should come from more progressive taxes and the fraud should be to phase out premiums, as has been done in six of the 10 provinces already.

In addition to hitting most of the people with premium increases of $60 and $120 a year, those who need or desire private and semi-private accommodation in hospitals face ass increase of 83 per cent in private room rates and almost 41 per cent in semiprivate. This has resulted in a tripling of Blue Cross non-group fees now paid by 550,000 people. Many elderly persons and those with special health problems who really need this type of hospital care, but have limited incomes, will find it hard to meet the increased Blue Cross charges or to pay the higher rates when they become ill. Some sort of premium assistance will be needed here.

The provincial Treasurer also appears to be practising a little sleight of hand on this item. He doesn’t show the $20 million extra which the sick will pay as additional revenue, but he doesn’t let the hard-pressed hospitals have it either. Instead, he lets them collect it but will reduce their approved budgets by the amount collected, so that the $20 million will show up as reduced hospital expenditures in his desperate effort to keep the total health spending within his target. Hospitals used to be able to keep part of the fees for private and semi-private rooms to supplement their budgets.

The other parts of the provincial Treasurer’s tax package are more acceptable. I think most people agree that we would be better off if we used less tobacco and alcoholic beverages in our lifestyle.

Mr. Renwick: Only the alcoholic beverages.

Ms. Bryden: Higher taxes may deter some consumption or stop some young people from starting their use. However, I find it hard to understand why cigar and pipe-smokers get off without an increase.

Mr. Bain: They are in the Tory cabinet.

Ms. Bryden: Also I think it unfair to allow liquor purchases at the old rates until April 20 to permit the well-off to stock up. I would also like to urge the provincial Treasurer to set aside a larger part of the revenue from these commodities to educate people about the health hazards of what might be called these drugs. He might also consider collecting money for such an educational campaign by taxing all liquor and tobacco advertising although I really think it would be better to ban such adds.

Mr. Laughren: Or ban the Treasurer.

Ms. Bryden: We support the change in taxation of small business as a more efficient and equitable way of giving them some offset for the disadvantages they suffer due to lack of power in the marketplace and in the credit world. However, we feel that much more is needed to re-establish real competition in our society and we hope the government does not feel that it has solved the problem by this small change. Our party is particularly concerned with devising measures to ensure that the investment dealers give Canadian entrepreneurs a better break, instead of encouraging Canadians to put their money in Wall St. and foreign corporations.

The $20 million extra from the insurance companies appears to be the government’s only gesture to obtain more revenue from business. An increase of one percentage point in the corporation income tax would yield about $80 million. Three provinces are now above our 12 per cent rate.

The extra $5 million to come from increasing the uninsured driver’s fee from $60 to $100 is, in our opinion, no answer to the problem of the uninsured driver. However, rather than advocating compulsory insurance in the present jungle of high rates and many carriers, it is time the government took a fresh look at the economies which can come from an efficiently-operated public system of automobile insurance.


Ms. Bryden: Besides OHIP premiums, the tax increases we oppose the most are the municipal and school board tax increases. The provincial Treasurer will say he doesn’t levy those taxes but in effect he does. When he cuts back the rate of provincial transfers to local government below the rate of inflation, he is insisting that the local government either raise property taxes or cut programmes. In most cases, they have been forced to do both. In the past few years the government had embarked on a programme to lighten the burden of the regressive property tax through increased provincial grants. Election pressures and strong urging from this party and from local governments no doubt had something to do with adoption of this enlightened policy.

In 1973 the government made the Edmonton commitment to keep grants in step with the increase in provincial revenues. But in 1975 it started to welch on this commitment, made amidst applause at a tri-level conference at Edmonton. When its expenditures got out of control in 1975, the provincial Treasurer came up with a new interpretation of the Edmonton commitment. In November, 1975, his interpretation said that the increase in local government grants for 1976 should be reduced from 15 per cent, which was the anticipated revenue increase, to 5.5 per cent, due to a so-called overpayment on the commitment in 1975. Of course, the over payment resulted from the provincial government’s cuts in its own tax revenue.


In December, 1975, the Treasurer came up with a recalculation of the commitment, which raised the rate of increase from 5.1 per cent to 8.1 per cent. But a new set of figures in the budget dropped it down to 7.8 per cent. While it may have been salutary to put pressure on local governments to examine their programmes and cut waste, the evidence is now rolling in that the provincial Treasurer’s action is resulting in false economy and curtailment of essential and cost-saving services, such as preventive work with children and day care which keeps single parents off welfare. At the same time, local governments are being forced to raise taxes by as much as 20 per cent just to maintain existing services. The abrupt change in the structure of provincial government grants to schools and high salary settlements bringing teachers closer to other university trained professionals, have caused school boards to raise mill rates by as much as 40 per cent.

My colleague, the member for Welland (Mr. Swart), will give a fuller report on the municipal tax crisis facing this province when he speaks in the debate later. If the provincial Treasurer has any concern for homeowners and tenants in this province, he will reconsider his priorities and find more unconditional grants for local governments. He might consider taking over some of the shared cost programmes, like welfare and health, to lighten the local load, provided he would permit decentralized administration of such programmes.

If the Treasurer has any philosophy which say taxes should be borne by those with ability to pay, he will moderate the huge tax increases which are coming at the local level. So far, he has not even improved the property tax credit, which was a small step to make the tax more progressive. Because of his present formula, only 10 per cent of tax increases are taken into account and its benefits are eroded as incomes rise with inflation.

Incidentally, the figures which the Treasurer gave at the presentation of his restraint programme to Toronto local government representatives in February in an attempt to prove that the property tax is not regressive, are open to question. Most taxpayers in the city of Toronto will find it hard to believe that the average tax paid by a family with a $10,000 income was only $370 last year, or only $480 for a family with a $15,000 income. This was before the tax credit.

I challenge the Treasurer to make available the figures which correlate family income with property tax assessments and credits so they can be checked out. I rather suspect that his figures are mainly guesstimates, since 1975 income and tax figures are not in yet. I venture to suggest that a proper study would show the tax is still regressive.

His table for the out of Toronto presentation of the restraint programme is even more questionable. The average tax and income figures for the province as a whole are meaningless when examining property tax burdens. Governments which resort to such poorly supported statistics are, in my opinion, not fit to govern.

The Treasurer’s proposal to set up a commission to study suggested reforms of the property tax structure outlined in budget paper E is not the answer to the present municipal tax crisis. In fact, it looks more like a diversionary tactic to justify yet another postponement of market value assessment.

The province took over the assessment function in 1970 with the avowed object of eliminating gross inequities in the existing municipally operated system, and bringing all assessment up to market value. It has built up a huge bureaucracy of 2,430 employees, including 1,525 assessors in 31 regional offices. The average annual cost to the province over the past six years was $35 million and, to the end of 1975-1976, a total of $211 million has been spent on this function.

The job was supposed to have been finished by 1974, but every year for the past three years the Minister of Revenue (Mr. Meen) has announced a postponement of implementation, giving a variety of reasons, such as the surge in real estate transactions in recent years. The real reasons appear to be political and administrative.

It soon became apparent that in some areas market value assessment was going to result in a huge shift in the tax burden from commercial and industrial to residential properties because property values in the latter field had gone up faster and because previous assessments had undervalued residential. The government didn’t want to face this potential shift before the election and it had not heeded our demand for working out a policy to counteract this.

But each time it postponed implementation it froze the inequities in the present system and continued to deny local governments a fair tax base. It also continued the common practice whereby apartments are assessed at about twice as much as residential properties in relation to market values so that tenants, in effect, pay twice as much property tax as homeowners.

The province knows that perpetuation of these anomalies results in endless problems in handing out grants to local bodies on a fair basis. Its frequent postponements have cost some local governments millions of dollars. It also creates serious problems of equity within municipalities.

But rather than getting on with the job of implementation and adjustment to prevent the shift, it is now resorting to a commission to study the matter and cause another year’s delay. While we believe that opportunity for public discussion of the proposals is essential, the proposals should have been made two or three years ago. It is another example of why we think this government is not fit to govern.

It is to be hoped that the commission will also look into the operation of the assessment branch. One wonders if part of the reason for the delay in implementation and in formulating proposals for reform of the property tax is due to administrative inefficiency. Does the government really know the impact of its reassessment on the different categories of taxpayers? What have we got for our expenditure of $211 million on this branch since 1970?

I have heard that one of the decisions was to adopt a California assessors’ manual because the Ontario government had never developed a manual of its own in the years when it supervised municipal assessment. The California manual did not recognize that a basement was an integral part of the house so it required considerable modification. I understand that the assessments based on this manual came out away below market value and had to be redone.

The commission might look into the work of the branch and see if there are areas for cost savings there. I understand that the branch collects data on apartments which would duplicate what the rent review officers are also collecting. That is an area to explore. The branch will ultimately have a complete inventory of all housing in the province which could be a valuable planning tool for the Ministry of Housing.

If the commission on the property tax is to provide any real answer to the municipal tax crisis and not just tinker with the property tax base or the business tax, its terms of reference must be expanded to include the interpretation of the Edmonton commitment, and consideration of making some points of the income and corporation tax and sales tax available to local governments so they will have an assured source of revenue which grows with the economy and can begin to moderate their demands on the unfair property tax.

Having dealt with the tax side of the provincial Treasurer’s formula for reducing his deficits, let us look at the cutback side. The cutbacks are the government’s second front in its deficit-reducing programme. In our books, there are good cutbacks and bad cutbacks. No one will deny that there is plenty of waste in the ministries. For example, a great deal of so-called public relations advertising; high publication costs; the Premier’s office and the superministries -- we haven’t heard whether there are any cutbacks in staff in those offices.

Mr. Lewis: You could get rid of those superministries tomorrow and never know the difference.

Ms. Bryden: Many of the trade missions; some of the Ontario Development Corp. grants which may have gone to industries which were going to move to their locations anyway. The Ontario Economic Council, the Pickering land purchases, empire-building bureaucracies and so on. But not very many of these have been eliminated or even cut back substantially.

Instead, the government has chosen cutbacks in health and social services. It has concentrated on the weakest members of society, those who have little public voice and whose needs are little understood: Disturbed children; welfare recipients; people in old folk’s homes and nursing homes; single parents needing day care and so on.

In the health field it has cut back hospital budgets to the point where services will be seriously impaired and staff has to be laid off. It has closed down valuable community hospitals and public labs. It has increased the residency period from five to 10 years for senior citizens who qualify for GAINS, which means that many will have to go on lower-paying welfare for many years.

These cutbacks do not represent large sums of money and are not very significant in the overall budget. But they are highly visible and designed to indicate that the government is doing something about inflation. It is; it is fighting it on the backs of the poor and the disadvantaged.

We cannot support such cutbacks, because they are very damaging to society. They reversed years of developing a humane response to the less fortunate. They turned their backs on the trend to making health care a community resource.

If sufficient cutbacks of the other kinds had been made, the money would be there for maintaining these vital services. In the health field there are probably enough savings to be made internally by redesigning delivery systems, eliminating unnecessary surgery, bringing lab costs under controls and restricting the overuse of beds by physicians and other abuses of medicare.

In the social services field the total cutback probably amounts to $25 million. There is far more than that amount in the waste which the government hasn’t eliminated. The government’s own internal expenditure restraint looks good on paper but one wonders how serious it is.

For instance, the Treasurer tells us that the civil service complement has been cut by 3,200 persons from the 1974 level. But he doesn’t tell us how many casual and contract employees were on staff at the two dates he is comparing. So we only have part of the picture. We do have figures, from a question in the House, which showed that in July, 1975, contract and casual employees accounted for 29 per cent of total public service employees. In the winter the figure goes down, but we do not know whether the regular employees who are being cut back are being replaced by contracts and casuals.

The freeze on hiring may be depriving ministries of key replacements. Cutbacks such as the firing of the educators who explain the highly technical displays at the Ontario Science Centre may make the exhibits worthless as an educational tool. And the report last week that the Ministry of Natural Resources did not intend to provide any beach patrols at provincial parks this summer, indicates another cutback of the wrong kind, one which may cost lives. Moreover, one has a feeling that the tight rein on travel, hiring, computer time, supplies, furniture and so on, will be let go when attention has been diverted from the restraint programme, and the bureaucracy and high spending will take over again.

To the extent that the trimmings of the government bureaucracy and wasteful expenditures are real, it is an indictment of the government’s past lack of control. The same can be said for the need for an embargo on year-end spending by the ministries. Why have they been allowed this practice in the past? Once again, I say that a government which permitted spending excesses and overblown bureaucracies to grow is not fit to govern.

The Treasurer’s claim that he has almost met this target of keeping expenditure increases down to 10 per cent is another exercise in slight-of-hand bookkeeping. When he announced that target in December, he was talking about budgetary expenditures. But when he boasts of an expenditure increase limited to 10.4 per cent in the budget, he is now talking about budgetary and non-budgetary expenditures together.


Hon. Mr. McKeough: As I was in December, totalling $ 12.512 billion.

Ms. Bryden: The totals which he showed at the slide show in December included only budgetary expenditures. The ministry released it.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Budgetary and non-budgetary, totalling $12.512 billion.

Ms. Bryden: I recall the table which the provincial Treasurer showed to some of the restraint meetings showed a 10 per cent target showing only budgetary expenditures.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: No, $12,512 billion total budgetary and non-budgetary.

Mr. Lewis: Considering the way you played around with the OHIP premium stuff in your budget statement there’s a lot of deception taking place, so we’ll just trust our colleague to deal with you in the shambles in which you function.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: You really should do more listening.

Mr. Lewis: I was listening very carefully. I most certainly am, my friend. And we’re getting a little anxious over what’s emerging.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Foulds: How come there are none of the Treasurer’s colleagues on the front benches to support him?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Ms. Bryden: Looking back at budgetary expenditures only -- and really they are the ones that should be taken into account because non-budgetary are extremely difficult to predict and usually turn out to be quite different from the figures in the budget anyway -- in actual fact the provincial Treasurer is planning an increase of 11.7 per cent in budgetary expenditures, which is considerably above his 10 per cent target and sharply above the 7.8 per cent increase which he is allowing for grants to local governments.

I have pointed out only a few of the shortcomings of the budget but perhaps the members opposite would like to know what we would have done. Our budget philosophy differs sharply from the government’s. The provincial Treasurer in his first budget in 1971 did categorize it as “an imaginative and forceful fiscal plan for Ontario” aimed at restoring full employment and economic growth and assuring attainment of other priorities. But in subsequent budgets he interpreted this role narrowly, limiting it to fostering maximum expansion in private sector activities.

In 1976, this same approach of fostering growth through the private sector only is the sum of his policy. Let me quote from page 21 of his budget. He says:

“It provides for non-inflationary growth and private sector expansion in Ontario by controlling the use of public resources.”

This means that he fights recession with one hand tied behind his back. In fact, he states categorically that he has concluded that “the Ontario economy does not require government stimulation at this time.”

Mr. Lewis: Unemployment went up today.

Ms. Bryden: That is correct. The rate for Canada went down but the seasonally adjusted rate for Ontario went up --

Mr. Lewis: Of course, and will continue.

Ms. Bryden: -- from 5.9 per cent in February to 6.2 per cent in March.

Mr. Lewis: Quite a record.

Ms. Bryden: We disagree with this approach to budgets. We believe that budgets should be more than an accounting of revenue and expenditures. They should be a creative instrument of government planning in which the government assesses the needs of the province and takes the lead in involving both the public and the private sector in meeting those needs.

Our first move would therefore be to increase productivity and create jobs and to put our human resources to work. This cannot be done overnight, we admit, but it will add to the GPP and provincial revenues in time. Butt immediate jobs could be created by making funds available for the municipal and school projects which have been put on the shelf this year. A reordering of priorities could provide some of these funds. Eliminate the Highway 400 extension and the Spadina Expressway. Perhaps some of the ODC grants could be reduced or eliminated.


Ms. Bryden: Curtailment of government advertising and publishing budgets would produce additional funds.

Other jobs could be created by increasing public housing construction in order to provide more housing at reasonable cost and take the heat off house prices and rentals.

We might look at increased pollution control measures and industrial health and safety changes in plants which are desperately needed. Some of these changes could be charged to the industries which are responsible for the conditions but effecting these changes would create work.

Our second move would be to bring all energy prices under provincial control. Energy is the lifeblood of our economy and its costs are reflected in every product, every home, every institutional and government expenditure. We must have all our energy prices controlled by one marketing board. We recognize that we do not have full control over the prices of products which we import but we can bargain better if we have one marketing body for the whole province planning our energy resources and their use.

Our third step would be to start to plan now for changes in delivery systems of our services to people. No doubt health care can be provided in less costly ways. No doubt some social services can be phased out or reduced if adequate programmes are offered to get people off welfare or if preventive services are available. It can’t be done by the shotgun approach of this government which results in money-wasting unplanned cutbacks. It would be done after hospitals are closed and staff dispersed to the four winds or to foreign countries.

Where will we get the money for this kind of programme? It won’t necessarily cost all that much because some of it will be reordering of priorities; some of it will be cost saving; some of it will create employment which will produce growth in the tax revenues and savings in welfare costs.

Money for investment in housing and in new industries based on our resources can come from a redirection of our investment capital. We don’t need as much capital going into huge office towers or shopping centres but the government has to step in and insist that financial institutions set aside a certain percentage of their investment funds for the high priority social investments which I have mentioned. They will pay for themselves over time as rent is paid, productivity is increased and exports are increased.

I do not believe that we need to increase the deficit by one penny in order to implement our kind of budget. The present deficit of $1.22 billion is manageable and leaves our debt still below the nine per cent of GPP considered reasonable by the Smith committee on taxation.

Let me outline the kind of alternative actions we might consider to the present budget. First, as I have already suggested, we would not increase OHIP premiums and could obtain $220 million of the $228 million expected from them by eliminating the sales tax exemption on production machinery and equipment.

That seems to be an eminently reasonable and sensible approach. We would also restore the damaging cutbacks in the rate of social security transfers to local government and institutions and Children’s Aid Societies. We estimate that would cost about $25 million.

In order to get some immediate action on the job front to counteract the rising unemployment rate, we would restore some of the capital projects cut from the budgets of local bodies this year. We could allot $50 million to this move and cover both it and the social security needs which I mentioned, by a one percentage point increase in corporation tax which, as I said earlier, yields about $80 million a point. That also seems like a reasonable trade-off.

We would also restore some hospital budget cutbacks and ensure that viable community hospitals were enabled to stay open. We think that the $40 million needed for this could be obtained by eliminating waste in the health delivery system, cutting out duplication in teaching hospitals, controlling lab fees, and attacking abuses in medicare payments which permit some physicians to earn as much as $228,000 a year.

If our fears that municipal tax increases are going to rise by as much as 15 per cent are confirmed, we would like to look at means of finding additional money for unconditional grants which could contain the tax increase to no more than the rate of inflation. That is all the property tax owner should be expected to bear or can possibly bear. Many of them cannot even bear that if their own incomes have not gone up with the rate of inflation.

We figure that to reduce average municipal taxes across the province by one percentage point will cost about $25 million. The money could perhaps be found by eliminating some of the waste which is still evident in many ministries, instead of increasing the deficit.

Mr. Speaker, you will note that we are not suggesting any new programmes without also suggesting how they could be paid for. We believe there is money available to this government for other new programmes, such as a farm income stabilization plan, and I will outline some of the potential sources of revenue later. It seems that the principal hind of restraint that the Treasurer is practising is restraint on taxing those with real ability to pay, those who have benefited from inflation, from windfall profit gains, from land speculation.

Let me cite the figures showing the government’s taxing priorities. In the 11-year period since 1965-1966, corporation taxes as a percentage of total government revenue have gone down from 17.5 per cent to 10.4 per cent. Personal income taxes, including the federal revenue guarantee which was to compensate us for federal income tax cuts, have gone up from 20.2 per cent to 21.5 per cent. Retail sales taxes have gone up from 15.4 per cent to 19.1 per cent. Succession duties have gone down from 3.9 per cent to less than one per cent; actually 0.6 per cent. Mining profits tax has stayed almost level but it now yields only 0.9 per cent of total revenue. Gasoline and motor vehicle fuel taxes have gone down from 17.4 per cent to 5.7 per cent.

This government has joined forces with those who have the ability to finance our needed public programmes but who are unwilling to contribute their share. They are evading that responsibility by peddling the theory in every luncheon speech and shareholders’ meeting and in the media that government spending is the main cause of inflation. The public, in search of a scapegoat and somewhat misled by these speeches and statements in the media, has bought this simple answer to inflation.


Let me assert that wasteful spending by government and the private sector is the real cause of inflation, and since three-quarters of our goods and services still are used by the private sector, the potential for waste there is three times as great as in government. Huge office towers are inflationary because they bid up labour and material costs, office overheads and mortgage rates. Business high living is just as inflationary as government high living, since it all gets passed on in prices; but there is no official opposition in the board rooms of the nation to ferret it out and bring this misuse of our resources under control.

Mr. Speaker, we oppose the wasteful use of our resources by either government or the private sector. The first attack on inflation is to attack that waste. By accepting the conventional myth that government spending is the cause of inflation and cutting spending, whether it is beneficial or not, this government has made an unholy alliance with those who seek to escape paying a share of their increased income for our collective needs. As a result, we have private affluence and public squalor, as John Kenneth Galbraith characterized it.

Along with our highly capable research department, I have made a study of the potential sources of revenue which this government might tap if it had the will and the desire to bring in the kind of programmes which this province desperately needs to get its economy operating at full potential. Let me run through some of them and the revenue potential they have.

But let me make it clear that I am not saying that we would adopt any of them the minute we were elected, or even that we would adopt any of them at some time in the future. What I am saying is that they are there if money is needed for valuable new programmes essential to the health and wellbeing of this province.

Take corporation tax, for example. Each percentage point yields about $80 million; and our present rate is 12 per cent. BC is at 15 per cent; Newfoundland at 14 per cent; and Manitoba at 13 per cent.

Look at capital gains. When the federal government finally heeded our urging and got around to taxing capital gains, it limited its tax to only half of capital gains. We see no reason for preferential treatment for dollars arising from stock market or other speculations and those earned in employment or business. As was said by Mr. Carter, the head of the royal commission on taxation, “a buck is a buck.”

Mr. Reid: Well, that’s not exactly true. That’s what got us into a lot of problems -- right?

Mr. Good: That is what Stan Randall used to say.

Mr. Reid: The only one who believes “a buck is a buck” is a dope.

Ms. Bryden: If the province moved into the untaxed half of capital gains --

Mr. MacDonald: You’re still in the woods.

Ms. Bryden: -- and applied the full federal-provincial tax rate, which they are now escaping, the provincial Treasurer could raise $158 million by the time the capital gains tax matured. It takes about five years for such a tax to mature, since the gain depends on base year. If we held the tax to the Ontario income tax rate alone the provincial Treasurer could still get an estimated $37 million.

There is additional revenue available also from taxing the other half of capital gains under the corporation income tax. Taxing them at the full corporate rate of 48 per cent, $187 million could be obtained. Taxing them at the Ontario corporation tax rate of 12 per cent would raise $47 million, with an additional $4 million for each extra point of corporation tax.

This is a tax field which the federal government has left vacant. If we moved into it other provinces would likely follow, so we would not be less competitive. While incentive arguments may be raised against it, capital gains tax does have the advantage that deductions for losses are allowed and therefore encourages risk taking.

While we are looking at corporation taxes, we might consider the capital tax in Ontario. The rates have not been increased since 1973. If we doubled the rate, which is one-fifth of one per cent, we would raise an additional $120 million, less a loss of $14.4 million in corporation income tax revenue since it is a deductible expense, for a net of $105.6 million in additional revenue.

Ontario’s sales tax at seven per cent is at about the mid-rate in Canada. The Atlantic Provinces and Quebec are now all at eight per cent, while the western provinces -- except Alberta, which has no tax -- run at five per cent. Each point in Ontario yields $275 million.

Mr. Speaker, we don’t favour any further increase in the sales tax rate, because we do not consider it a progressive tax. However, some additional revenue could be generated by eliminating the present exemption for production machinery which, as I mentioned, will cost $220 million this year and $82 million next year, for a total of $410 million.

Mr. Lewis: That’s just ridiculous.

Ms. Bryden: We could also obtain an extra $19 million if we re-imposed the tax on some production equipment which was exempted in 1970. There might also be added revenue from a higher rate of sales tax on a few luxury items such as big, gas-guzzling cars.

Our gasoline and fuel oil taxes are also at about the midpoint compared with other provinces. Each one cent of gasoline tax raises about $27.5 million, and each one cent of motor vehicle fuel tax brings in $2.8 million. These taxes have not been raised since 1972. Last year, these taxes were eliminated for industrial, commercial and institutional uses. We could eliminate this exemption, which mainly benefits corporate consumers, and regain the $19 million in lost revenue.

With regard to the mining profits tax, it is virtually impossible to identify the base for this tax because of the methods of calculating taxable profits. We can get an estimate of a potential amount that could be raised if we scrapped the mining profits tax entirely and substituted a combination of a tax on production income in Ontario and a tax on mineral reserves. For example, a 15 per cent tax on production income of $2,340 million in 1975 would yield $351 million. This covers metals, non-metals and industrial materials such as sand and gravel. A 10-cent-per-ton tax on reserves would yield $38 million from Inco alone and $100 million from the whole province. These figures are minimal amounts. The Treasurer expects to get a mere $100 million from the mining profits tax this year, or about 0.43 per cent of the value of production. Taxes at even half the above rates would more than double this yield.

With regard to tobacco taxes, even with the 57 per cent increase in the budget, we are still below Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island in the rate of tax. Ours works out to 0.71 cents a cigarette, Newfoundland is at one cent, and PEI is at 0.80 cents. If we raised the tax to one cent, we would raise an additional $38 million. As I mentioned, cigars and pipe tobacco were omitted from the budget increase this year. If they were increased by 50 per cent, an extra $15.5 million could be obtained. That’s part of the gift to the cabinet, I guess.

Mr. Deans: But then the Treasurer would have to pay it.

Mr. Ferrier: How come you let yourself off the hook on that tax, Darcy?

Ms. Bryden: With regard to liquor the province expects an 18 per cent increase in LCBO profits after imposing a $50 million price increase this year. Liquor prices in Ontario are still not the highest in the country so there is probably some additional potential in this field. The health argument gives some justification for further increases. We get about $7 million from each percentage point we increase prices.

Looking at succession duties, this is a field which the province has been downgrading although most people agree that the taxation of transfers of wealth between generations is an essential part of a society with egalitarian objectives. Succession duties are expected to yield only $62 million this year and have dropped from $88 million in 1973-1974.

Most of the loss has been due to explicit changes in the Act. With some of these we do not disagree but we feel that the province’s tax take, as a whole, should not be eroded by changes which are made to bring the succession duty system up to date or to accomplish other policy objectives. Therefore, we suggest that succession duties might be adjusted to offset the revenue just from any liberalization of the Act. If the succession duty system of 1970 were in effect now, we would be raising at least $120 million from this source -- $58 million more than we are now raising. We feel that this could still be done by transferring tax burdens within the system.

Looking at the land transfer tax, this tax has generated significant revenue in recent years. It was last revised in 1972, outside of the addition of the foreign land transfer tax in 1974. If we raised the rates by 50 per cent, revenue would go up by $27 million. The tax payable on a $60,000 house would go up by $145. In today’s high house-price market this would be quite a blow to new home buyers so we do not really favour an increase here.

The foreign land transfer tax, which was introduced in 1974, is another potential source of revenue but so far it appears to have generated very little revenue because of the exemptions allowed. Only two per cent of the 1975 fixed revenue from the land transfer tax came from the foreign tax. Until we know more about the exemptions allowed, it is difficult to talk about raising more from this tax.

The land speculation tax is expected to produce only $4 million in this year which indicates that the tax base is very small. The tax should, in our opinion, be reviewed to see if its nature can be changed to recapture some of the gains which speculators are still making on lot prices going into production today.

The motor vehicle registration fees now raise $220 million. They were last raised in 1972. We could suggest some fixed percentage increase such as five per cent which would yield $11 million or we could redesign the system to tailor fees to energy efficiency, to the value of the vehicle and to other factors in order to put fees on a more rational basis.

The race track tax is another source which has a potential for increase. Each point of the seven per cent pari-mutuel tax raises $6.3 million.

These are only some of the potential revenue sources which are available to the government if it wants to introduce worthwhile new programmes and still not increase personal income taxes, sales tax rates or OHIP premiums but I am not advocating this series of tax increases. I am simply telling the provincial Treasurer that we have looked at all the potential sources of revenue and there is money available for whatever programmes he thinks should be introduced. He does not need to say that we cannot afford worthwhile programmes.


There is also a potential $60 million coming from Wintario this year, plus $32 million unexpended from last year, although some of it, I understand, has been committed. Some of this revenue could be used for new programmes, if the legislation governing the purposes for which the Wintario money can be used was changed. I urge the government to look at this growing source of revenue. At present, the uses are limited by the Act to recreational and cultural activities.

Mr. Lewis: I think, given the amount, we are wondering about it.

Ms. Bryden: Because of the time at my disposal, I have touched only briefly on some issues raised by the budget. But my colleagues will follow in the next few months with more in-depth comment on these issues. We have a strong shadow cabinet in the NDP caucus. Our total contribution to the budget debate will outline what sort of a budget the people of this province can expect when they complete the job begun in September and turn this province over to the official opposition.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Heaven forbid!

Mr. Maeck: You are dreaming too.

Mr. MacDonald: That’s what you said last time.

Mr. Lewis: Well, heaven opened up last time. Who knows what will happen next?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: We don’t want a repetition of BC here.

Mr. MacDonald: When they get the gun laws on you, you are going to be in retreat.

Mr. Deans: How did you make out, by the way, with the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry)? Did you have a quiet chat?

Mr. Speaker: We will have the hon. minister for Beaches-Woodbine continue her remarks.

Mr. Lewis: Well, she has already supplied the shadow cabinet. You are right. It’s a natural assumption to call Marion a minister.

Mr. Speaker: It seems to me there is an extra microphone on.

Mr. Lewis: There is every microphone on. We haven’t even been able to have a private conversation over here because of these microphones. You can’t do anything about it. They have 1,000 microphones in the United Nations General Assembly and each of them works, and individually. What’s wrong with Ontario?

Mr. Speaker: I might inform the hon. Leader of the Opposition that by next Tuesday I am promised everything will be in place.

Mr. MacDonald: We need a new government.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Beaches-Woodbine.

Ms. Bryden: That event that I just mentioned about when the turnover in government occurs, it would appear, will not occur very soon since the leader of the third party has already announced he will not support any want of confidence motion based on the budget unless “it is a really dreadful budget.” He hasn’t defined what he considers really dreadful. But he may have to look at our amendment very carefully to see if he can in fact support the points it raises in criticism of this budget

We are not introducing an amendment simply to challenge the third party over there to bring down the government. We have studied this budget very carefully and have concluded that it fails to meet the urgent needs to control inflation by getting the economy operating at full capacity and using our human and natural resources to the utmost.

As a responsible opposition we must make this clear and propose an alternative prescription. We would like to see the government change its course and at least try some of our proposals before we have another election, but we cannot abdicate our role as the opposition because an election may occur.

Mr. Ruston: You don’t want an election now. You have changed your mind.

Ms. Bryden: Minority governments can work for a period of time --

Mr. Ruston: Didn’t the member for Windsor-Riverside (Mr. Burr) say he wants a two-year guarantee of tenure?

Ms. Bryden: -- if the government in power is prepared to be flexible.

Mr. Ruston: We never had a guaranteed tenure yet.

Ms. Bryden: We would like to give them a chance to show what they can do but they must be a more responsive government -- responsive to the jobless, responsive to property taxpayers, to those in need of reasonably priced houses, to the weak and the poor, to northerners and others in disadvantaged regions, and to farmers and the alarming loss of our agricultural land.

Mr. Speaker: Ms. Bryden moves, seconded by Mr. Lewis, that all the words after “that” in the main motion be struck out and the following added:

“This House regrets the introduction of a budget responding only to the fiscal impasse of a government which, having over-borrowed and overspent during its four years in office, recorded an election-year deficit approaching $2 billion; and regrets the paralysis of the government when faced with 250,000 people unemployed and the passive acceptance of a continuing unacceptable rate of unemployment in excess of six per cent;

“And regrets the most inequitable feature of the budget, the increased premiums for health care, which highlights the preoccupation of this government with unfair and regressive taxes without considering existing and other alternative sources of revenue; and regrets the choice by the government of policies dictated by this impasse and paralysis which fail to create jobs and which cut back vital programmes in health, education, and social services, causing more unemployment, and which force regional and other municipal governments and school boards to increase taxes on property;

“And regrets the failure of the government to introduce programmes stabilizing the income of farmers, preserving land for agriculture, making available medical, dental and other social services within a basic economic framework in northern Ontario, particularly in unorganized municipalities, in any way comparable to southern Ontario, providing the incentives and opportunities which would stimulate the ordinary economic development of eastern Ontario, protecting the health of people working in our industries, meeting the needs of public transit in the regions, towns and cities, producing quality housing at reasonable prices, and reducing the dependence of our natural resource industries on foreign capital.”

Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, we have lost the confidence of this government.

Mr. Shore moved the adjournment of the debate.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Lewis: Do we not have a vote any longer in this House?

Clerk of the House: The 12th order, resuming the adjourned debate on the motion for second reading of Bill 51, An Act respecting the Central Algoma Board of Education and Teachers Dispute.


Mr. Speaker: I believe the debate on this had been completed and we have to place the motion, is that right? Had the minister summed up on it? Are we still debating it then?

Mr. Renwick: We are still debating Bill 51.

Mr. Lewis: Mr. Speaker, I just can’t handle this unless the House leader (Mr. Welch) himself takes control; please don’t second it to the Minister of Revenue (Mr. Mean). Now where are we in this situation?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I thought it was generally agreed that we would resume the debate on second reading of Bill 51 and get it into committee. It was my understanding the member for Kitchener-Wilmot (Mr. Sweeney) had carriage of the debate.

Mr. Lewis: Where is John?

Mr. Foulds: That’s correct, Mr. Speaker, the member for Kitchener-Wilmot had adjourned the debate.

Hon. Mr. Welch: We’ll have to have a bell to divide on the Minister of Revenue’s bill with respect to GAINS, and we perhaps could do that just before 6 o’clock, if we could wind up this discussion, then we go into committee to do all the committee work tonight.

Mr. Speaker: I understand the member for Kitchener-Wilmot had the floor but he’s not here. Do any other hon. members wish to speak to this bill? Is the hon. member for Peterborough (Ms. Sandeman) rising to speak?

Mr. Foulds: I want to speak on the bill.

Mr. Good: He has gone to get the member for Kitchener-Wilmot.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Why doesn’t the member for Port Arthur go on then?

Mr. Foulds: I want to speak on the bill if they wish to do so.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Well, we wouldn’t want to miss them.

Mr. Speaker: May I ask if the hon. member for Kitchener-Wilmot was in the midst of his remarks or did he just adjourn the debate?

Mr. Foulds: He just adjourned the debate, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: He can pick up at any Time then. If there’s another hon. member who wishes to speak on this --

Hon. Mr. Welch: Go ahead. The hon. member for Port Arthur.

Mr. Foulds: Can I have a minute, Mr. Speaker --

Mr. Speaker: Yes. The hon. member for Port Arthur.

Mr. Foulds: -- because I do want to submit a reasoned amendment on a more recent bill, if one of the pages could carry it; it’s not on this debate but on another bill.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. There may be agreement to change the programme.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, perhaps to provide some time for hon. members to gait in their places, we might proceed to divide the House with respect to the 10th order and then we can get into the education bill. With your permission, I would call the 10th order, please.

Mr. Lewis: Call in the members.

Clerk of the House: The 10th order, resuming the adjourned debate on the motion for second reading of Bill 47, An Act to Amend the Ontario Guaranteed Annual Income Act, 1974.


Mr. Speaker: I understand the debate on this had been completed and the minister had concluded his remarks, so it’s a matter of placing the question.

Hon. Mr. Meen: No, I had not quite finished.

Mr. Speaker: Oh, I’m sorry.

Mr. Lewis: It was a disgraceful apologia for discrimination. Your whole speech --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. minister will complete his remarks then, and other people will kindly keep out of the debate.

Mr. Lewis: This bill should not proceed. This particular bill should be withdrawn.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please, by the hon. Leader of the Opposition.

Hon. Mr. Meen: I recognize the merit, Mr. Speaker, in some form of staging --

Mr. Lewis: Staging?

Hon. Mr. Meen: -- of the winding-down of benefits in the five-to-10-year residency category.

Mr. Lewis: Winding-down? It is a bill of simple discrimination.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Meen: Although preliminary examination by my staff to date of various avenues we might use to approach that problem aren’t all that optimistic, we’re still looking at that and --

Mr. Lewis: Withdraw the bill then; only you can do it.

Hon. Mr. Meen: -- I do invite assistance from the hon. member for Waterloo (Mr. Good), who made the suggestion in the first place. I’d invite him, if he has any thoughts on a way in which this might be accomplished, to offer them to me --

Mr. Lewis: What do you mean? He raised it because it is a deficiency --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. Leader of the Opposition will please restrain himself.

Hon. Mr. Meen: -- when we get the matter into committee.

Mr. Speaker: The debate having been concluded I now place the question. The motion is for second reading --

Mr. Lewis: This is a shameful bill. There Henderson Lupusella hasn’t been a bill for a long time that --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Good: You weren’t even here.

Mr. Lewis: That’s right. I wasn’t here. But three of our members put our position.

Mr. Speaker: Order. Order!

Mr. Good: You weren’t even here to talk about it.

Mr. Lewis: You should be voting against this bill. This is a ridiculous bill.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Don’t force the Speaker to take further action. I’ve asked for order. Could we get on with the business of the House, please?

The motion is for second reading of Bill 47, and there was a reasoned amendment placed by the member for Algoma (Mr. Wildman), I believe --

Mr. Lewis: No, not on this bill.

Mr. Renwick: No, this is for second reading of Bill 47.

Mr. Speaker: Oh, yes, I’m sorry. I’m still mixed up on this thing. The motion is for second reading of Bill 47.

The House divided on the motion for second reading of Bill 47, which was approved on the following vote:




























Johnson (Wellington-Dufferin-Peel)

















Newman (Durham North)

Newman (Windsor-Walkerville)





Reed (Halton-Burlington)

Reid (Rainy River)









Smith (Hamilton Mountain)

Smith (Hamilton West)













Worton -- 73.







Davidson (Cambridge)

Davison (Hamilton Centre)


di Santo























Ziemba -- 33.

Clerk of the House: Mr. Speaker, the “ayes” are 73, the “nays” are 30.

Motion agreed to; second reading of the bill.

Mr. Speaker: I understand this to be ordered to committee of the whole House?

Hon. Mr. Meen: Committee of the whole House.


Clerk of the House: The 12th order, resuming the adjourned debate on the motion for second reading of Bill 51, An Act respecting the Central Algoma Board of Education and Teachers Dispute.


Mr. Sweeney: Mr. Speaker, here is the third bill of this type presented to this House. With the Metro Toronto bill the teachers had been out for 38 days; with the Kirkland Lake bill they had been out, I believe, 44 days; and here we have a group of teachers out for 35 days. At the risk of repeating myself, I would point out once again that, surely, after two experiences we can expedite these situation more quickly.


I would also repeat that the situation in a northern Ontario community is even more precarious, for the students particularly, than it is in a large metro area. In a metro area the students do have the opportunity of alternative --


Mr. Speaker: Could we have a little order, please.

Mr. Sweeney: The students in a metro area do have an opportunity of alternative educational experiences. There are such things as the art galleries and the museums whereas in a northern community there are none. The students also have the opportunity of short-term employment. The same kind of opportunities are not available in the north.

More important, in this situation we have a school which is on the semester system and therefore 35 instructional days are equivalent to 70 days of a normal school year. We are talking here of the students being out for almost 40 per cent of a normal school year.

I think, once again, it is difficult for us, as members of this Legislature, to justify either to the students or to their parents that they can be absent from their class for 40 per cent of their instructional time and no serious action has taken place.

I would like at this time to congratulate the teachers of this board for going back willingly into the classrooms rather than waiting for this Legislature to order them back. I understand, of course, that there are undoubtedly certain pressures on them to do so. The fact remains, however, that they did consider the welfare of their students and go back on their own and they need to be congratulated for that.

I would also take this opportunity to congratulate the minister and the government for bringing in a move that is slightly more innovative than the past two. Unlike some previous speakers, I do not agree that final offer selection is a less worthy method than compulsory arbitration.

Compulsory arbitration surely has been with us as part of labour negotiations for many years and while it is one method of solving them it certainly has not proved to be the best method. Final offer selection has not been with us very long but it does show some sign of a more innovative approach to labour negotiations.

For one thing, I believe that at least it compels the two sides to be somewhat more honest with each other than does compulsory arbitration. By its very nature arbitration almost forces the two sides to be as far apart as they possibly can. The employer tries to be as low as he can, the employee tries to be as high, knowing that the normal pattern is for the arbitrator to settle somewhere in the middle.

Final offer selection, on the other hand, demands that the two sides do everything they possibly can to get as close as possible and, on their own, to resolve as many of the differences as they possibly can because they know that the selector is going to take one of the two total packages without making any changes whatsoever.

If anything, this Legislature, at least in this period when we’re trying to find out if there are better ways to resolve labour disputes, certainly should be encouraging an approach which allows the two sides, as much as possible; to settle most of their differences before they go to a third party. I would certainly say that although there may be some difficulties with final offer selection, it is more innovative; it is more honest. It is more directly hearing upon the sides themselves, rather than on the interference of a third party, which none of us really want in the final situation but which as we have seen in several occasions becomes necessary.

I would, therefore, just say to the minister one more time, and maybe that’s what we’re going to see in the legislation he’s going to bring forward tomorrow, that we have learned from our experience, that although there are two sides in this dispute that have a very personal claim to our attention, there is also a very important third party which makes it so different from any other kind of labour dispute; and that is the innocent party, the students and their parents. By its very nature, this is a much more significantly different kind of labour dispute. We simply cannot permit them to go on as long as we would in other kinds of labour disputes. I say it is significantly, peculiarly different and must be treated differently.

Mr. Deans: I don’t have very much to say about this bill but I want to recall to the minister’s mind comments that I made on a bill not so many weeks ago, in which I stated that I had a very uneasy sense that we were becoming trapped in this Legislature into positions which would require us to deal, time after time after time, with labour disputes in the Province of Ontario; particularly within the educational field at the moment, but no doubt they would extend outside education at some point and this Legislature would be required to deal with those too.

I don’t think we’re helping the board, I don’t think we’re helping the teachers; and I don’t think, in the long run, we’re helping the parents or the children by allowing ourselves to be put in the position, as frequently as we have in the recent past, of having to deal with the resolution of a labour dispute.

The boards of education are elected just as we are elected and they’re answerable to their electorate as we are answerable to our electorate. The boards of education and the teachers have got to find ways to solve their own problems. They can’t expect that other elected representatives will be forever bailing them out when they come to an impasse in the contractual negotiations that are taking place. They can’t sit secure with the feeling that, even though they are intransigent, even though they fail to recognize the validity of one or the other positions being put forward and even though they fail to move repeatedly forward to recognize reality, this Legislature will either be called back from recess or will be required to come to order and deal with a bill sending the teachers back to work and resolving the dispute.

I frankly feel this is wrong and that we’re undermining the very powers we give to the boards of education and the responsibilities we give to the teachers. I don’t believe it is our job to be constantly dealing with these disputes. There are any number of emergency matters that arise in the Province of Ontario, matters which have a long-lasting detrimental effect to the welfare of people in many sectors and many segments of this province, and yet rarely, if ever, do we see legislation brought in requiring the Legislature and the members of the Legislature to deal with it.

I say to the minister that I’m convinced as I stand here that if we made it clear as a Legislature that we had no intention of dealing with the disputes the boards and the teachers get themselves into, that we had no intention of sitting and providing for them a resolution to the things which they themselves could easily resolve if they were required to, if we made it clear we didn’t intend to do those things, you would find that boards and teachers and others negotiating would then sit down and find a way to solve their own problems.

If we had appointed the boards of education, then I would say yes, we have a responsibility for them. If we somehow or other exercised jurisdiction over who sat on the boards and the powers they were able to use other than by law, then I would say yes, of course, we should deal with it, it is our responsibility. But these people go out and they campaign from door to door in the constituencies we represent; they ask for the opportunity to sit on the board and to make decisions on behalf of the ratepayers.

One of the decisions they have to be able to make is how to go about resolving the dispute. When the going gets tough, they can’t simply turn to us in the Legislature and demand that we do it for them. Maybe the public of Ontario would take more interest in those things which fall within the jurisdiction of school boards if the public of Ontario knew that those people they were electing had to deal, themselves, with the problems they create.

We pass legislation and we make certain things available to people in this province -- all different kinds and classes of people -- and they can use them or not use them in accordance with their own dictates. But let me tell you, Mr. Speaker, once having passed the legislation and said these are available to them for their use in the resolution of dispute, then we leave it up to them to decide how to solve the problems they create for themselves.

If somehow or other in the process of solving those they cause some harm to be done to the education process in the area they represent, then it is they who should be answerable to the people who elect them for the decisions they have arrived at, for the policies they put into practice and for the teachers they hire. I say to the minister we have got to draw a halt to this; we have got to stop it, because every time we come back to this Legislature to deal with a dispute of this kind we make it infinitely easier for another board and another set of teachers to sit back and wait, knowing full well that inevitably we will be called on to resolve it for them.

I don’t agree with the process. If the Minister of Education wants to solve everything, if he wants to take on the responsibility of deciding everything on the basis of what this Legislature does, then bring education into the Legislature and let’s deal with it all. But if he is going to give the powers to local boards to deal with education, to deal with hiring, to deal with policies for their employees, to negotiate collective agreements and to resolve disputes, then let’s allow them to do it and make it clear we are not going to be here to solve it for them when the going gets tough.

I just don’t agree with what the minister is doing. I think we are going to find ourselves repeatedly placed in the situation that we are now in and that by the end of the year and by the end of next year and two years later, we will be required to deal more and more with the resolution of disputes between teachers and boards simply because they understand that if they don’t, we will. As far as I am concerned, we won’t.

Mr. B. Newman: I wanted to make a few comments concerning the bill. I could read into the record the attempt on the part of the teachers in the Algoma situation to resolve the issues starting back from Feb. 12, 1975, but I think all members have received that and I am not here this afternoon to assess blame to either of the two parties. My concern is essentially the consumer who is being deprived of an opportunity to further his education in a school system.

We could very easily lay blame on the teachers. We could likewise lay blame on the board. We could maybe even go so far as to say that maybe some of the parents are at fault. But that doesn’t resolve the issue if we simply go on blaming one another.

It is also easy to come along and say that the two parties in the dispute must resolve their own problems. That’s all well and good. I am afraid, also, as the previous speaker did make mention, that if we always resolve the problems for the two parties, then we are going to find neither of the two sides is going to be too concerned in resolving the issues themselves.


But what does one do, for example, in this situation, where students on the semester programme have been denied education for 35 days? That’s the equivalent of 70 normal days in the regular programme in the school. And that’s 35 days out of an 85-day or 90-day semester programme. The minister can’t tell me that their education has not been placed in jeopardy by such a long period of absence from the benefits of a classroom teacher.

What does one do when both sides reach an impasse and both sides are intransigent? Do we tell them, “All right, bat your heads together and come to a resolution”? They have reached an impasse. Maybe the Education Relations Commission should be reporting to the minister. When the Education Relations Commission finds that the two sides are at an impasse, maybe the intercession of the minister could have some beneficial effects in getting the two parties together once again in an attempt to resolve the issue.

I am extremely disturbed that in this instance 35 days of schooling has been denied to the students. They are suffering, education-wise. That may not be true of students in a phys-ed programme, because they can do push-ups at home -- in fact, they may have improved their physical conditioning as a result of not being in a classroom environment -- but their academic development is extremely important, and it’s extremely important in certain types of education.

For example, the information provided by the OSSTF concerning the Algoma situation makes mention of psycho-motor skills -- that is, skills such as typing -- which require constant practice over a period of time. It would lie all well and good if each student had a typewriter at home and could keep on practising and, as a result, wouldn’t miss that amount of schooling; but not everyone has that type of an advantage. As far as that type of a skill is concerned, denying it to an individual or not providing it to him for 35 days does have a harmful effect on the individual’s education development. Cognitive skills likewise are adversely affected. There are other skills too where the student is deprived of the development of these skills as a result of a fairly long interruption.

Having been in education for quite some time, I know just one day can adversely affect the education of students, especially if in that one day the educator or the teacher is preparing something that is a basis for a whole series of follow-up lessons. So it is difficult to come along and say that one day doesn’t matter at all. In some instances it doesn’t, but in others it can have a substantial harmful effect on the educational development of the individual.

Some members mention that we are forcing the two parties to get together. Well, what do we do if neither of the parties wants to resolve the problem on their own? And I know we are going to come into this same position when we discuss another bill, and I would think the other bill actually will affect my own community, where the two sides are at an impasse. One can come along and justify the position taken by either of the two sides or one can blame both of the sides, but that doesn’t resolve the problem. We want the teachers to get back into the classroom.

Mr. Wildman: They are back.

Mr. Renwick: They are back.

Mr. B. Newman: We want the boards to open up the schools. And we want the student to be able to get the education --

Mr. Renwick: They are back. They are back in school.

Mr. B. Newman: Well, I am not only referring to this situation when I say that. I know they are back in the classroom, but in other situations they aren’t necessarily back in the classroom. I am fully aware that in the Algoma situation the teachers were the ones who decided they wanted to go back; they wanted to show their good faith and they did show it by going back into the classroom. They are the ones who wanted the type of legislation, or one of compulsory arbitration, really -- and the minister has introduced this type so that final offer selection is the avenue used to resolve the dispute. But quite often someone suffers in all disputes.

Now, in this dispute the teachers are suffering financially. They also suffer because they are generally dedicated and want to impart the benefit of their knowledge to the student. But, really, the one who is suffering is the third party, or the consumer -- and that happens to be the student who is not being given the education that a normal school year would provide to him.

I would suggest to the minister that maybe Bill 100 should be looked at again in an attempt to improve the legislation so that we aren’t always going to have to be coming into this Legislature and putting the opposing sides back to work simply because they have not been able to resolve their differences in the normal fashion.

Mr. Foulds: I’m going to take some considerable time winding up for my party because there are a few things that need to be said in this debate in terms of the principle involved in this legislation and the principles involved in collective bargaining in the educational system of Ontario.

I want to start by saying I do not have a sense of déjà vu in this debate because this debate has been considerably different to the debate that we had in January surrounding the Metro Toronto teachers’ strike and the debate that we had over the Kirkland Lake dispute.

I want to pay tribute to my colleague, the member for Algoma (Mr. Wildman). I was hoping that in his leadoff yesterday he would have been far less modest than he was, because he has spent a considerable amount of time in central Algoma almost as an additional mediator on behalf of the ERC, talking to the ERC, talking to the ministry, talking to the teachers and talking to the boards. And he has done, within his role as a member of this Legislature, everything humanly possible to try to effect a settlement so that the children in that school system in central Algoma could be back in the classroom.

Thirdly, I want to deal with the position of my party and why we are opposing the bill and putting our reasoned amendment. We fully realized as a caucus, when we sat down to discuss the matter in some detail yesterday morning, that we had three choices facing us. We could proceed with the reasoned amendment that we had put on the paper Friday. We could vote against the bill on second reading and move into the clause-by-clause debate and move to have certain sections removed. And we fully realized that we could have supported the bill.

The argument that has been put, of course, is that we should support the bill because this time it’s directed against the board. And I think that many members of the teaching profession -- I think the minister himself and certainly the members of the Liberal Party -- felt that we would support the bill for that reason.

In fact, I have been surprised by some of the positions taken by teachers on the bill, that it was supportable because it was directed against the board. That was indicated certainly in the teachers’ statement, the federation update of April 12, in which they stated that the legislation was introduced compelling the school board to go to final offer selection. They also say the legislation makes no mention of the teachers or their federation; its compulsion is directed solely against the board.

I think that what we must say, as a party, is that anyone who thinks we would support compulsory arbitration does not understand our position. We are not, as a party, necessarily pro-teacher or pro-board; or against board or against teachers. We, as a party, are in favour of full and free collective bargaining in the educational sector. We held that position before we introduced Bill 100 into the Legislature and before the federation themselves came around to that viewpoint.

Mr. Maeck: That isn’t what the member from Windsor said.

Mr. Foulds: That is certainly true.

Mr. Bounsall: I certainly did.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Foulds: I will ignore the interjections and get on with the main thread of my argument.

I remember speaking to a group of public school men teachers in Durham county prior to the watershed development of December, 1973, and suggesting to them they should have full and free collective bargaining rights, including the right to strike. It was interesting that in that speech, when I told these elementary teachers they should have equal pay for equal work with secondary teachers, given equal qualifications, I got loud applause. When I told them I felt the province should move toward an equalization of the grant structure between secondary and elementary teachers, I got loud applause. But when I told them that they should have full and free collective bargaining rights, including the right to strike -- in March, 1973

-- I was soundly booed, hissed and so on. The federation had not come to the position they have now come to and we, if I may be immodest, led the way.

We do not believe in cutting down a good law, Bill 100, even temporarily. We do not believe in cutting down a good law, Bill 100, for a so-called purpose. The reason for that, I think, is succinctly put in Robert Bolt’s play, “A Man for All Seasons,” about Thomas More, when he is arguing with his son-in-law, Roper, about the necessity and the validity of law.

“Roper [to More]: So now you’d give the devil benefit of law.

“More: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to go after the devil?

“Roper: I’d cut down every law in England to do that.

More: Oh? And when the last law was banned and the devil turned round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being plucked? This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast, man’s laws, not God’s, and if you cut them down, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the devil benefit of law for my own safety’s sake.”

We will give the boards and the teachers the benefit of the good law, the general legislation, for our own safety’s sake and for the sake of the safety of the people of our society in Ontario.

If I might use an example or a parallel that smacks, I admit, of some hyperbole, I think it was the great Protestant theologian, Niemoller, of Germany, who said:

“When they came for the Communists I would not protest because I was not a Communist. When they came for the socialists, I did not protest because I was not a socialist. And when they came for the Jews, I did not protest because I was not a Jew. And when they came for me, there was nobody left to protest.”


Mr. Speaker, we protest. We protest at this time against this particular bill because in principle it’s a bad piece of legislation, and because if we don’t how can we protest when this government introduces a bill on behalf of Inco or Abitibi against workers?

It’s strange the attitude that this government has, as opposed to the attitude that this minister has, toward collective bargaining. The government lets the collective bargaining process as it is outlined in the general legislation run its full course when it suits the government’s purposes. In the pulp and paper dispute, for example -- which I submit to this House had a far more devastating effect on the lives of this province, both social and economic, than any single teachers dispute has had -- this government let that dispute grind on and on and on without any intervention and let collective bargaining take its full course.

Very simply, we are voting against this bill because of the element of compulsion in it. We are fully aware of the irony of the situation. We are fully aware that teachers themselves have agreed -- had agreed -- to go voluntarily to final offer selection, and we admit that the minister has at least attempted within his frame of reference to meet the needs of this particular situation.

However, where we quarrel and where we differ is that the minister’s first act in breaching the general legislation in January was a bad mistake. Doing it in Kirkland Lake compounded that mistake and indicated, and I think we said it at that time, that the danger that was being run was not only the breaching of Bill 100, but that it could possibly encourage both boards and teachers to sit back and let the minister and let this Legislature get them off the hook and let them avoid their just responsibilities.

Bill 100 makes teacher-board negotiations a local matter. We don’t think this Legislature should be used to remove that local authority. It is the duty of the local school board to see that the children get the education they deserve. If, as in this case, through irresponsible negotiations the board members are depriving their children of education, that is their responsibility.

The government cannot be in favour of local autonomy in one way -- for example, when it lifts the ceilings in December and argues that it gives more local autonomy, and also when it changes the grant structure in such a way that the individual boards can raise additional local levies -- and against local autonomy, or centralist, when it brings in special legislation such as this to abrogate Bill 100.

If I might, I would like to read a letter that was written to Canada’s so-called national newspaper and printed this morning in which a trustee, Mr. D. C. Thrush from the Hastings county board of education, said this:

“The editorial “A Game of Leapfrog,” (March 27) brought into sharp focus the role of trustees on boards of education. The editorial was correct when it stated the Ottawa high school teachers used the Windsor settlement as a lever to obtain what they wanted in the way of salaries from the Ottawa board. I disagree with what I consider the implication in this particular editorial that as a result of the salaries given the Windsor and Ottawa high school teachers by their boards, we should now have province-wide negotiation.

“Members of boards of education are elected representatives, accountable to the local people for the salaries they pay their employees (including teachers) and as trustees we have no mandate from the voters to shift this responsibility to the province.”

And that, Mr. Speaker, I submit is what is happening in this situation in central Algoma; and we are accepting a responsibility in this Legislature which we should not be accepting.”

I do want to put forward one small quarrel I have with the minister with regard to his statement yesterday; a couple of comments he made yesterday rather disturbed me. One of them was that this legislation was exactly what the parties wanted. That’s true only up to a point. It’s true that the teachers want final offer selection and it is true that the board wants to be legislated back. But the board doesn’t want final offer selection -- and final offer selection, we should understand, is simply another form of arbitration. It is arbitration and we should understand that.

The minister also said that the legislation has got the teachers back into the classroom. Mr. Speaker, as long ago as last Tuesday at the ERC hearings -- and I read the brief the teachers presented to the Education Relations Commission very carefully -- they said they would go back to the classroom if there had been an agreement for voluntary binding arbitration of either type, or if there was a negotiated contract; or if negotiations resumed for the weekend they would go back on the following Monday. So that it is not the legislation itself which has the teachers back in the classrooms, and we should understand that.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Oh, yes it is, come on.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: You had better understand it. It was the legislation.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Right.

Mr. Wildman: They offered to go back before the legislation was brought in.

Mr. Foulds: They offered to go back and they said they would go back without the legislation if --

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Oh no, they didn’t.

Mr. Foulds: Oh yes, they did.

Mr. Bounsall: Voluntarily?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: You have been too long in Thunder Bay.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Wells: I will send you a copy of the letter I received.

Mr. Foulds: I have read the copy of the letter they sent to the minister, that he read into the record yesterday. I also have read their submission to the ERC last Tuesday; and in their submission they said they would go back if one of three things happened.

Hon. Mr. Wells: That’s right.

Mr. Foulds: It so happens that the minister chose to introduce the legislation. If one of the other two options had been exercised they would also be back in the classrooms.


Mr. Foulds: And let me point out this to the minister. The mere introduction of the bill sparked the announcement that they would go back, and there is no indication they would withdraw from the classroom should we suspend reading on this bill and not proceed with the vote on principle. There is no indication of that. I want to give the minister his due.

Hon. Mr. Wells: You have missed the point.

Mr. Foulds: I didn’t miss the point.

Hon. Mr. Wells: You missed the point and someday I will fill you in -- you and your friend from Algoma who didn’t know all the details.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Foulds: Now, I want to give the minister this much credit.

Hon. Mr. Wells: I don’t want any credit. I don’t need any credit from you.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Foulds: I know it embarrasses you to have me give it to you. And wait till I wind up this speech -- you are going to be ostracized by your own caucus.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Will the hon. members direct their comments through the Chair?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, he is being provocative.

Mr. Foulds: I want to give him and the ministry this much due, that the bill itself does vary from the patterns we have seen in the past, the last two bills. It does try to adapt to the special circumstances. It does try to deal with this particular situation if -- and it is a big if which we as a party cannot accept -- if the government believes it necessary to use the full weight and authority of the Legislature to abrogate another bill that this Legislature passed.

I want to turn, if I might for a few moments, to one element which has emerged in the last month and which has really quite disturbed me as it has emerged in the collective bargaining pattern in the educational sector of Ontario. That is the obstructionist view of collective bargaining as is has been expressed in a memorandum of March 8 by the school trustees council to boards of education and which we see being carried out in central Algoma, Sault Ste. Marie and Windsor.

I want to read a couple of quotations from the memorandum. The first topic is the ground rules for negotiations and what stand boards should take on those ground rules. The trustees council’s advice to the boards is:

“If ground rules are entered into prior to full and complete knowledge of the branch affiliate’s substantive request, they should be confined to strictly procedural matters and should not deal with any matters which are considered substantive.

“The best advice this office could give is that the board should know the full and complete branch affiliate’s request before establishing any ground rules.”

It seems to me that indicates a reluctance to accept the collective bargaining process on the part of the trustees council. Over on the page is this:

Numerous school boards have been asking the following questions [they deal with three; I just want to excerpt one]:

“Should we agree to final offer selection or arbitration in the ground rules in order to resolve a possible impasse to negotiations?

“[Part of the answer] As a general statement, final offer selection is preferable to arbitration in that the parties must defend their position from the outset as being most rational.”

Over the page there’s this caution that is indented and highlighted:

“However, under no circumstances should a board agree to final offer selection or arbitration on matters that are not directly related to salaries and fringe benefits. Matters relating to the control, nature and quality of the educational programme should not be left to third party adjudication.”

I submit that attitude is contrary to the spirit and the principle of Bill 100 as outlined in clauses 3 and 9. It seems to me the minister and the Education Relations Commission should investigate that particular memorandum to see if it is an incitement to bad-faith bargaining on the part of boards.

Mr. Speaker, I’m going to proceed, I think, for about another 20 minutes, and this is an appropriate time to curtail my remarks.

Mr. Foulds moved the adjournment of the debate.

The House recessed at 6 p.m.