30e législature, 3e session

L063 - Thu 20 May 1976 / Jeu 20 mai 1976

The House resumed at 8 p.m.


Mr. Chairman: The hon. minister.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I wonder, Mr. Chairman, if I might have the privilege of moving to the front row?

Mr. Chairman: Is it agreed?

Mr. Nixon: There are certainly lots of seats available there.

Mr. Moffatt: It is relatively calm.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: You’ll notice I could even go one further right. I am not completely right, is what I am trying to tell you.

Mr. Nixon: Just move one seat to the right and take over the whole thing.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Chairman, I had intended to speak for 2½ hours but I have changed my mind.

Mr. Moffatt: I hope you have changed your speech.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Yes, indeed I have. I really did intend to be more extensive in my opening statement but because we have a very limited time for the estimates and I would like to make the best use of the time available, I will provide only a very brief summary of the highlights of our ministry and I will attempt to elaborate on the specific issue the hon. members --

Mr. Nixon: You should say my ministry. There is only one minister and that is you. It is not you and your wife.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: That’s true, Bob. Thank you.

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

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I didn’t really expect any heckling from my neighbour from Brant-Oxford-Norfolk. Just because we share that common name of Oxford, there is no sense in us going too far down this programme together.

Mr. Nixon: I want to help you every way I can.

Mr. Foulds: Take it easy on the students.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I am a great defender, you know that.

Vote 2601, the ministry administration programme, slightly less than $5 million, is a relatively small portion of our total expenditures. We continue to economize vigorously and to encourage the institutions we support to do likewise.

On vote 2602, university support programme, both the universities and the Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology are receiving an overall increase in operating support of more than 14 per cent.

Mr. Nixon: Welfare only gets five.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: This increase reflects the high priority the government continues to place on post-secondary education in Ontario.

Our method of distributing funds to the universities has been made less sensitive to enrollment changes this year. This should help maintain an excellent balance and I think you will find that over the years it will make a significant improvement in the way we are funding the institutions.

On vote 2603, colleges and adult education support programme, we have also introduced a new method of distributing colleges’ funds to respond to the individual circumstances of each college without reverting to the line-by-line review of college budgets.

Each institution will receive its operating grant in two parts, one to provide and maintain plant and property, and the other to meet teaching costs. By a review procedure, we will ensure that each college is fairly treated under the new system with no excessive fluctuation of grants while the system is being phased in.

I have referred in this House recently to the added emphasis this ministry now places on industrial training. I will announce membership in the new industrial training council next week and look forward to receiving its advice on future industrial training strategy in Ontario.

I should also draw the members’ attention to the Ontario career action programme budgeted for in this vote. The programme is now well under way throughout the government and under the direction of our college affairs and manpower training division.

On vote 2404, student affairs programme, we have increased OSAP budget by 23 per cent to $61 million. In the meantime a provincial committee is studying alternatives to the student assistance programmes and we are also examining the subject jointly with other provinces through the council of Ministers of Education.

We are continuing a number of other smaller programmes of student assistance and awards, and have substantially enriched the Ontario graduate scholarship programme.

Finally, we have expanded our venture capital programme and have introduced the campus employment for native students programme. This programme will provide summer jobs on campuses for native students to help cushion them against the double cultural shock that many face when they enter college or university for the first time.

I believe that we are fortunate in Ontario in having access to our institutions for all qualified students to have a high quality of post-secondary education. I also believe we should recognize the contribution made by the support staff in my ministry who are not only capable but are dedicated to their duties.

In conclusion, I would like to emphasize again that the brevity of this statement in no way reflects a lack of enthusiasm for the ministry I have the honour to lead. I have touched on some of the highlights of our estimates and I would now be pleased to respond to any particular concerns of the hon. members.

Mr. Warner: Mr. Chairman, after those lengthy opening remarks I will try to keep my statement short. This evening and for the time we have next week I hope we have an opportunity here to discuss a couple of basic items, such as philosophy of the system, and some particular items such as fees. I am looking for both things.

With respect to philosophy I want to make an opening statement which I am sure my colleagues in my caucus will take to be a truism; the government may very well deem it to be quite a revolutionary thing; and I am sure the Liberals will have a caucus meeting to come back with a split vote.

Mr. B. Newman: Listen to the pearls of wisdom.

Mr. Warner: Despite what the Leader of the Liberal Party says I don’t happen to think that community colleges are an expensive form of babysitting.

Mr. Samis: He said that?

Mr. Warner: Yes. As a matter of fact he went on to say that he agrees --

Mr. Moffatt: Which leader?

Mr. B. Newman: I think it was our leader who said that.

Mr. Warner: The leader of the Liberal Party said there was no point in educating people to the ultimate degree; if we are a branch plant of the United States do we need much more than grade 10?

Mr. Samis: He said that really? A Trudeau follower?

Mr. Warner: Schools were built for students. That is the premise upon which I am going to base all my remarks for the next few moments. They may cause some concern to the government, but I will continue in that vein.

Mr. Nixon: Okay, chisel that in stone.

Mr. Conway: You have just added a new dimension to extrapolation. That was a marvelous jump.

Mr. Samis: The voice of a student.

Mr. Warner: Thank you very much.

Mr. Moffatt: Are you on a sabbatical?

Mr. Samis: From Queen’s.

Mr. Warner: At some point I would appreciate it very much if the minister can assure us as to the fees which will be levied in September next year, 1977. The 1976 fees, we realize, are frozen.

Mr. Samis: Doesn’t everybody?

Mr. Warner: What kind of fees are the students to expect in the fall of 1977? When we talk about fees, we are talking about a fraction of the real cost for students. The students still bear the greatest portion of the fees. It is very interesting that the government has always taken the opposite view -- that we subsidize students -- but students still put out about three-quarters of the total cost. For a student who is going to university or college away from home, it is going to cost him in the neighbourhood of $2,500 to $3,000 a year.

Mr. Nixon: Or somebody.

Mr. Warner: If you take into account his lost wages because of the fact that he isn’t in the work force, and a very conservative estimate on $8,000 a year, you are looking then at a real cost to himself or a family unit.

I say that because I’m thinking particularly of students from low-income families who could very well do with an 18-year-old out in the work force, but who happen to think that there are some intrinsic values or other values for their son or daughter to be going to university. You are then talking about $30,000 that student is out of pocket, and some of it in the form of loans, substantial loans -- $3,000, $4,000; even $5,000 worth of loans -- which for the most part he or she must begin repayment on six months following graduation. That’s the real cost and then you add to it the unemployment. It was a serious problem last year, and a more serious one this year. We are talking, I think, in terms of 120,000 students in this province who will be out of work this summer. You are creating a real financial hardship for many, many students.

It is tied in with accessibility. I don’t happen to think, and I’m sure that most students from low-income families don’t happen to think, that someone should go into debt for a great deal of time in order to attend university.

But that brings us around to the point about why they should be going to university. This system doesn’t have any enunciated goals. It’s been pointed out to them on many occasions. It’s pointed out to them in the latest report from the special committee to assess university policies and plans, the Council of Ontario Universities, where the committee recommends. “The government, OCUA and the universities commit themselves to a realistic and frank dialogue on university goals and objectives.”

The minister is also aware of the OECD report, which came out earlier this year, in which those people who came here and took a look at our system, and across the country, came to the conclusion that we haven’t been defining educational goals.

It’s a weakness in the system. I know the minister is aware of it, and it’s one that has to be addressed. If we’re going to be involved as a province in paying a lot of money, and with students who are paying a lot of money, then surely we should have some defined goals. What is it they can expect out of the system? Why should they be going to university? What is the intrinsic value?

At some point a few years ago, it was argued that if you went to university you would end up with a job and you would make more money because you had gone to university. This is not so any more. When we talk about accessibility, I think the ministry or the government has conducted a very successful experiment.


Mr. Warner: Could we have the debate about plumbing at some other time. Is that possible?

Mr. Nixon: I don’t want to interrupt this.

Mr. Warner: I just think it should go down the drain for now.

If we talk about accessibility, I happen to think that the government carried on a very successful experimentation. I take it that the reason for having lower tuition fees at the community colleges was to make them more accessible, and it did that. Knowing that the experiment has worked, can we now expect that next year’s tuition fees for universities will be lowered to $250. And if you answer that, then I would also ask the question of where you place universities in relationship to community colleges.

I take it that a student should be attending a post-secondary institution based on his or her interest and ability, and that we should not be looking at the system in terms of a hierarchy. But I think that you do that -- consciously or unconsciously in terms of philosophy -- but you do it in a fee structure; and I think it should be changed.

I would like to talk for a couple of moments about foreign students. For some reason the government came down hard in the last couple of weeks on foreign students; and frankly I don’t know why. I don’t understand it and I would like some explanation. I don’t know who is advising the minister.


Mr. Nixon: Morty Shulman.

Mr. Warner: He advises everyone, but not everyone listens.

Mr. Samis: He gives a lot of free advice.

Mr. Warner: The government’s advisory body, OCUA, did not recommend to the minister that this kind of treatment be given to foreign students. To my knowledge the minister has not received any direction from organized groups, such as the Council of Ontario Universities or OCUFA or OFS or any of those other organizations, which I take it represent the constituencies of the universities. If he is reacting to a perception that there is a greatly increased number of foreign students in our system, the figures have shown that it has increased by 0.1 per cent from last year to this. I don’t take that to be a great increase -- four per cent to 4.1 per cent, based on the figures you gave me.

When the minister talks in his statement and I referred to the last line of the statement he issued on May 13 to the Legislature:

“Hon. members will also bear in mind that even foreign students ... who will be required to pay increased tuition fees, will still be heavily subsidized by the Ontario taxpayer.”

I would like an explanation of that heavily subsidized portion of your statement. If I work it through, that student who will now be required to pay $1,500 tuition fees and who is enrolled in an undergrad arts or science programme is costing the government somewhere in the neighbourhood of $2,300, when you subtract the $1,500, is costing the taxpayers of Ontario roughly $800.

There is the other side of the coin. That student isn’t allowed to work here, and can’t get grants from the government of Ontario or loans. Some students have been taken to court because they took on a part-time job at less than minimum wages in order to sustain themselves here. I would like some facts and figures. The kinds of figures I would like to see tabled here are the number of foreign students at each university and each college and how many in each faculty. As you know and I know, there are different costs attached as to whether or not a student is enrolled in medical school or in an undergrad arts programme and so on.

You cannot escape the whole problem of decision-making in our colleges and universities, if you want to carry on an intelligent conversation about this whole system. There has been progress in the last few years -- no one would deny that -- in the university system. It does me a great deal of pleasure to see a Laurentian University student sitting on the senate budget committee, helping to set the budget of the university, and faculty members as well. The other end of that is the absolutely terrible situation of the community colleges, where students, faculty and support staff are frozen out of the decision-making process. It’s wrong, and this government has the opportunity and the power to change it. I want to see it changed; I would love to see it changed.

To add to it, I take it that most of those appointments which come through the Lieutenant Governor in Council are made upon a recommendation of the president of the college or the principal or however he or she is designated. He or she -- that’s interesting. I didn’t run into any female presidents in my tour around the province. I may have missed one because I only got to 27 out of 37. At meeting after meeting, there were men all the time, but no women. Where are the women in the system?

An hon. member: Pauline Jewett is at Simon Fraser.

Mr. Warner: Part of the situation, and I know the minister is aware of it, is that the salaries for women in the university system, the college system, are less than those for men, on an average. The promotion opportunities are not there unless a woman proves herself to be so far superior and above those men who are vying for the opportunity.

When you talk about support staff, I guess I could say women didn’t have an opportunity for promotion except I would have to include men as well because in the college system for the most part there are no career development programmes for support staff. That type of condition also exists in universities.

Let me give you a good example. The minister may be well aware of this. At some universities -- and I’m thinking of Carleton University as an example --

Mr. Conway: That’s a poor example.

Mr. Warner: -- those on the support staff who want career development go outside the university to get the career development programmes and courses they need and then they go back to the university. That really is ingenious. The university, with all the facilities it has -- far more than most companies can provide -- cannot bring about good career development.

I’d like to spend a couple of minutes more talking about support staff because one of the things which struck me most when I toured around was that support staff, for the most part, feel they’ve been forgotten. People don’t even know they exist. They’re not part of the decision-making process. Their salaries are grossly inadequate.

In most centres a support staff person can obtain at least $2,000 a year more working for government or some industry in the same town doing the same job. The support staff feel alienated. They don’t feel a part of the system. They have some very good suggestions.

I didn’t find one support staff association which couldn’t say to me in concrete terms where they could save money in the institution, if they were a part of the budget-setting process, they could make concrete suggestions as to how to save money. They’ve been left out. If the minister is at all concerned or perplexed as to why the faculty in this province are unionizing and want collective bargaining rights, he just has to take a look at the wages. Below the full professorship level, high school teachers are earning more than those teaching university who have more years of experience, more degrees and, in some cases, a great deal more responsibility. You can look at pensions which aren’t portable; you can look at fringe benefits which vary tremendously from one institution to another.

I came across a rather interesting designation and perhaps the minister could explain it at some point. Why should a university designate persons as being either single or breadwinners? That’s a very curious designation because, if you were designated a breadwinner, the university would pay 100 per cent of the extended medical cover-up but if you were designated as being single, they pay 37 per cent.

What I’m getting at is why the designation of breadwinner? Does that not conjure up in our mind that the university would ask the person who has applied whether they’re married and who, in the family, earns more money than they do? What business is it of theirs?

Are the faculty really a part of the decision-making process? They are in some instances in the universities but it’s not universal and it does not exist in the community colleges.

At some point I would like from the minister -- if it’s at all possible -- his perception of education and what it means either to a person or to himself. I would like to summarise very briefly and if we come together on this, fine, maybe we can straighten out the system. I take education as being a personal experience. I take it as something which for me started very early in life and will continue throughout my entire life but my educational needs through that period of time will change. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the institutions to meet those needs. It doesn’t work that way. We’ll have the chance to get into it a little later, I am sure.

When you talk about older students who are part-time, particularly if they are single-parent families people or they are housewives or they are single women, the system is very difficult for them, It doesn’t meet their needs because the university for the most part is geared up to those persons who are 18 to 23 years of age.

What does the minister think that a community college or a university should be doing to fit into its physical community? What kinds of things should it be doing to be really part of that community? I take it one of the things it should be doing and doesn’t is to include on the board of governors or governing council people who live in that area.

Now we get down to a few of the nitty-gritty issues to which I think we really need some definitive answer. In addition to the student loans for --

Mr. Samis: The member for Renfrew North (Mr. Conway).

Mr. Warner: -- the member for Renfrew North.

Mr. Samis: I hope not a sabbatical.

Mr. Warner: No, I understand -- if the minister can dispel the rumour that’s fine -- but I understand you are trying to get the province to create a senate here so the member for Renfrew South (Mr. Yakabuski) could have a sabbatical to sit in the senate. If that is not true, I would appreciate hearing.

Mr. Shore: You would be No.2.

Mr. Warner: I think we need some explanation as to what can be done in the Ministry of Colleges and Universities in its own small way to offset the kind of discrimination which exists in northern Ontario. You’ve been there and you are well aware that the distances that have to be travelled by students who live in the north are a problem. The university or any institution up there will by the very nature of where they are have increased maintenance costs because of the climate. They can point to many other real costs. The answer they have always got back on an ad hoc basis, year to year but never really guaranteed, is through the northern grant.

What I would like to know is what is the formula that is used to arrive at that northern grant. Do you take a percentage of the total? What is it you do? How do you see it in the future?

When you look at the colleges up north, does it really make sense that students should be penalized for having an automobile? I take the example of Confederation College at Thunder Bay. They don’t have the residences. The vacancy rate in Thunder Bay is half of one per cent and students who live 25 to 30 miles away have to get to school. How are they going to do it?

Mr. Nixon: How does that compare with Ryerson?

Mr. Warner: I turn to bilingualism.

An hon. member: Take it easy on that subject.

Mr. Warner: At some point this government is going to have to make a statement of philosophy about bilingualism. In the case of the grants which exist at the two larger institutions, Ottawa University and Laurentian, I could not find any formula and I could not find any rationale for the amounts of money which were turned over. In the case of Laurentian, we are talking about $660,000 out of a total, I gather, of roughly $13 million. I don’t see any formula. Yet I understand that university has put to the minister on occasion its suggestion of a formula for arriving at a cost for bilingualism.


I think it is extremely important, not only to discuss the nature of a formula or some basis at arriving at the cost of bilingualism, but also to meet the real costs; because that grant for bilingualism at Laurentian does not meet the real cost. Otherwise students who begin the programmes in French-language instruction would be able to finish them and they can’t in every case. In some cases they can; others they can’t.

Even at Ottawa U, which I take it is one of the minister’s favourite places, they received $3 million out of a total of $51 million, in round figures. That doesn’t meet the real cost of bilingualism there, either. I’m not arguing whether or not they’re receiving the right amount of money. Some could argue that that university, with the same number of students as Carleton, receives three times the amount of money that Carleton does.

That brings in another little problem, doesn’t it? Now we have to look at liberal arts universities and if they are strictly liberal arts and not doing research, not having professional schools, they pay a price for that. When we look at Carleton we have a perfect example, when you contrast Carleton and Ottawa U. I think we need some explanation.

I would like the minister to tell us about the federal-provincial financial arrangements. I would be very concerned, if I were the minister, about losing that federal money. I take it that the federal government is considering pulling out of some of their arrangements?

Mr. Nixon: Including grade 13.

Mr. Warner: The one thing I looked at which I found difficult to comprehend fully was this business about passing over tax credits if you didn’t meet the 15 per cent cap put on the federal-provincial relationship, the grant which comes from the federal government.

Specifically, I would be interested in hearing the minister talk about how much federal money goes into our college and university system, as a percentage of the total. How much, as a percentage of the total, do the students put in? How much of the percentage of the total does the province put in?

Mr. Conway: It’s called the Woodstock committee.

Mr. Warner: It would be very interesting to see the relationship. I suspect that for about 40 cents in the dollar this province has a pretty inordinate sized voice in running the institutions. The figures will speak to that. When we get down to the last vote under which we’re talking about the student aid programme, it would be very interesting to see if we are going to have some figures about the percentage of OSAP in comparison to the total MCU budget and the percentage of OSAP of the total provincial budget. Those are two figures I would be quite interested in seeing.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: How is your arithmetic?

Mr. Warner: Reasonably good.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: If you can figure the percentage I will give them to you fast.

Mr. Warner: The Legislature won’t issue calculators, if you remember.

Mr. Nixon: Because the members lift them.

Mr. Warner: Is this a confession?

An hon. member: An accusation.

Mr. Ferris: First things first.

Mr. Warner: I don’t think we can talk about this budget in isolation. I don’t think we can carry on a discussion about colleges and universities without talking about long-range planning and long-range financing. The message has come through, I think, quite clearly to the minister. We cannot go on in this ridiculous fashion of the university setting a budget, waiting for the government to set a budget, which is always lower, and then adjusting itself downward. Surely we can get out of that and start looking at financing more than a year at a time? We must look at budgeting for more than a year at a time and long-range plans both for the university and for the system. I think that’s what we have to look at as well as a method which doesn’t reward growth for the sake of growth. As the minister knows it’s been part of the source of the problem over the last few years. Granted there’s been some minor alteration here this year to help compensate for that.

Mr. Conway: Make those notes there, Mr. Minister.

Mr. Warner: I think we need some explanation at some point --

Mr. Conway: To say the very least.

Mr. Warner: -- as to the amount of money which the government ended up putting into the system in response to its advisory body, OCUA, both last year and this year. I would take it that those figures are rather interesting, too.

I don’t think, Mr. Chairman, that I can put it anymore concisely or clearly than to say that what we need in this province is a system which meets individual needs, a system that does not have barriers to it, a system which does not discriminate in any way; and frankly, I don’t think we have that. And I say that very carefully and very cautiously; but it’s true.

An hon. member: We hope so.

An hon. member: Sure it is.

Mr. Warner: At some point during these estimates we have an opportunity to discuss the philosophy of the minister and his ministry, or of the government, and perhaps some passing reference could be made to what is now that infamous McKeough-Henderson document. I take that document not to be government policy, but to express some philosophy of government; and if it does, it’s very dangerous. It’s dangerous to the system.

And as a side note, nowhere in that document does it talk about doing something with the fees for foreign students. But that aside, I read that document with --

Mr. Nixon: It’s one of the things that Max Henderson didn’t think of.

Mr. Warner: About the only thing he didn’t think of. That document is a curious one. I’m very tempted just to dismiss it as trivial --

Mr. Nixon: You recall the makeup of the committee.

Mr. Warner: -- because to give it credence is to put it up as a serious document to be taken seriously. But it has had a philosophical impact on the government, I think, and I would like some explanation of that. Personally, I take it to be a document somewhere between “Through the Looking Glass” and “1984,” with the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) sitting as the Cheshire Cat. And you know who the Mad Hatter is behind this whole thing.

Mr. Breithaupt: I don’t even know who’s in the teapot.

Mr. Warner: But I’m sure we’ll get to that.

An hon. member: I hope so.

Mr. Nixon: Right, it’s only 9:20.

Mr. Warner: I’m sure we will.

Mr. Breithaupt: Other than the dormouse.

Mr. Shore: Brevity; oh brevity.

Mr. Samis: Look who’s talking.

Mr. Hodgson: Take your time. Take your time.

Mr. Shore: We don’t speak that often.

Mr. Samis: Well, when you do, it hasn’t been of short duration.

Mr. Shore: What subject are we on?

An hon. member: Speech, speech.

Mr. Nixon: Go on, don’t hang back.

Mr. Warner: I want to make sure you’re able to take careful notes. If you’ve got the pencil out we shall continue.

Mr. Nixon: That’s all right, we will read it in Hansard.

An hon. member: Let us know and we’ll start taking them down.

Mr. Hodgson: Don’t worry, we’ll look after ourselves.

Mr. Makarchuk: We doubt that.

Mr. Swart: You’ll look after yourselves all right.

Mr. Chairman: Order please.

Mr. Warner: At some point in this whole debate over the estimates --

Mr. Eakins: Exercise is the word.

Mr. Warner: -- I would like to see the minister explain what kinds of changes are going to be made to the document, or that which follows the document which set up the community colleges. Because it seems to me that there are a couple of areas which are in desperate need of revision, one of which being the residency restriction. I understand the whole business about that excluding residencies at the time when the colleges were instituted, but it’s no longer valid because the ball game has changed. When you look at a place, such as Sir Sandford Fleming, which attracts students from many surrounding areas and there isn’t sufficient housing in the community, where do the students stay?

And the whole business about the car allowance really has to be explained to a lot of students because they feel they’re being penalized twice -- and I have to agree with them -- on losing $400 worth of grant money and having to pay for the car and the upkeep. So they really are being penalized twice for it. I would like to know what kinds of ancillary services you see being cut through the system because of the budget controls?

I appreciate that the minister didn’t really say his ministry had been more generous than anybody else in this government but he couldn’t be because the colleges and universities, particularly the universities, have been under restraints since 1970. I don’t know how they could have cut support staff any more than they have done now.

When I see ancillary services such as career counselling, marital counselling, day care, birth control counselling, services to foreign students and so on being threatened out of existence, I am concerned. I am concerned about the quality not of the instruction but of the institution for the individual who attends there.

I have a great deal of concern about the institutions, not because they are not trying to do their best; they are. People within the institutions put forward a tremendous effort to try to provide a good educational system; to provide a good education for those students who attend.


Mr. Warner: You are working in a vacuum because this government will not come to grips with the two major problems it faces.

Mr. Conway: What about Dr. Seuss?

Mr. Warner: That is accessibility and the cost. Until you are prepared to do that; until you are prepared to say to the rest of your colleagues that most of our forms of taxation are regressive and we have to get on to a progressive income tax scale; until you are prepared to say to industry, “It is about time you started paying your share for this educational system”; because they are the ones who get tremendous benefit out of it --

Mr. Conway: This is the red herring.

Mr. Warner: -- until you are prepared to make sure that every student in this province who has the interest and ability can go to university without financial problems, then the institutions are operating in a vacuum without leadership.

Mr. Conway: Interesting.

Mr. Warner: I look forward to the rest of these votes.

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

Mr. McClellan: Here come the three Rs.

Mr. Ferris: Sanity at last.

Mr. Conway: Sanity takes over.

Mr. Sweeney: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. May I please open by indicating that the present Minister of Colleges and Universities is one whom I have found to be a very open and a very co-operative minister.

Mr. Ferris: However, now watch it.

Mr. Sweeney: The minister, however, I believe has discovered that the task which has been left to him by his growth predecessors is a much more difficult one. I believe he has probably discovered by this time that the era of re-evaluation and retrenchment which we are entering is a much more difficult one.

An hon. member: Like pulling teeth.

Mr. Sweeney: It is a lot easier to say “Build, build; and grow, grow” than it is to say, “Let’s look at where we are. What is it we are trying to do? Where do we go from here?” But that is the message we are faced with; that’s where we are today and that’s what we have to deal with.

There is no segment of Ontario society which has grown so dramatically over the past couple of decades as our colleges and universities. It has grown in so many ways. In 1951 only six per cent of our people in the age group between 18 and 24 were attending a post-secondary education institution. By 1971, only 20 years later, that had increased to 20 per cent.


During the period of time that threefold percentage growth occurred we also had a doubling of the population which means the population of our post-secondary institutions has grown almost six times. I am not aware of any other service in our provincial social service scheme that has grown at that particular rate. We have increased the number of universities from, I believe, seven to 15. We have introduced during that period of time 22 community colleges that didn’t exist before. The federal government has increased its support from that of 50 cents per student to 50 per cent of the total operating costs. I would suggest that is truly a dramatic increase.

Mr. Shore: It was necessary.

Mr. Sweeney: But there are very obvious things happening in our society which indicated that increase. Shortly after the war, we had a dramatic increase in the birth rate and in the number of immigrants coming to our country. We had a very significant growth in the whole technological environment of our society which needed advanced education and more highly educated people. We had a shift in mobility from the rural areas to the urban with a desire for higher education. We had a tremendous growth in the whole area of business and the advancement of business administration and the need for more highly educated people to fit those particular jobs.

We had our employers, generally speaking, demanding higher educational qualifications from their employees. We had an increase in the incomes of our various families, which made it possible at this period of time for them to permit their young people to go off to higher education, not only because their income or potential income was not needed at home as greatly, but also because there were dollars available to help support them there. We also had at this period of time -- and I think maybe this is one of the things that as we look back may not have been good, but it was there anyway and at that time it seemed right -- a very high expectation of the return on the investment in post-secondary education, indeed of all education, but perhaps more of post-secondary education.

It almost seemed to be a guarantee for a better job. It almost seemed to be a guarantee of upward mobility for the lower income groups, the lower socio-economic income groups in our society. It was also believed, and I believe that many of us were partially responsible for this, that education was going to solve all of our problems, our social problems, our economic problems and our moral problems, I only repeat that at that time it seemed the right thing, and many of us believed it.

One of the major problems we are facing right now today is a very widening credibility gap among the general population, among the parents of our young students and indeed among the students themselves. Finally, the federal government increased its involvement because it had a couple of goals or possible return on investment in mind as well. They wanted to increase the gross national product per capita of this country to that approaching that of the United States, our nearby partner. They believed that it was through education that that was going to happen.

We also wanted through a better educated society to lessen the unemployment rate in our province. Where does that leave us today? My opportunity -- my privilege, I would say -- of being able to move around this province and visit a few of the universities and a few of the colleges would lead me to say, and I have said this publicly in the presence of the minister, that we do have an enviable system in place, a stem which can allow us to meet many of our needs. We certainly have adequate facilities. We have excellent facilities in most cases. A few things need to be done, but I have been told by the faculty and by the administration and indeed by some of the students who have visited other jurisdictions that there are not too many that can match what we have. Let’s recognize that and be proud of it, all of us, proud that it is in place. We also have a very wide distribution of those facilities. They are in the north of this province, in the east, in the southwest and in the centre. No matter where we go, they are there. They may not be there in the way that everyone would want them but nevertheless they are in place.

Mr. McClellan: You should be his parliamentary assistant.

Mr. Samis: Is this going to be a 58-minute speech?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: He is making a lot of sense.

Mr. Sweeney: We also have an improvement in the general level of accessibility in this province. I think there are many problems to be solved in this area, but nevertheless it is there.

Mr. Shore: There are a couple of products right there.

Mr. Sweeney: We have provided some alternatives to the more traditional forms of post-secondary education and we will discuss, I am sure, other alternatives, but the one that has been mentioned already, the community colleges, is certainly a most dramatic one.

I would like, however, to draw the minister’s attention to a quote from the Commission on Post-Secondary Education, and I believe maybe it is another focal point of one of our concerns. It is “a splendidly intricate education machine, but nobody quite knows what it does or what it is meant to do.” I don’t think that is total criticism. I think the point that is being made here is that we have put something in place which is very good, but that we don’t really know completely what it is all about, exactly what we want it to do, or exactly where it is going to go. I would say that is perhaps the most fundamental question that over the next little while the people of this province, the ministry, and this government are going to have to answer.

I think that at the present time, once we know what we have got in place, as I mentioned at the beginning, we have to take a look at a re-evaluation of where we are at and where we are going. I would hope that through our post-secondary educational system we could over a period of time truly turn our society into a learning society, a society of people who believe that learning really is part of living, and that we in this province at least would provide them when they had the desire to do so and the ability to do so with an opportunity to continue to learn and to continue to grow.

One of the main social problems we are facing today is the acquisitiveness of our society, and part of the reason for that is what else is there to do? It seems to be a goal or a thrust of so many of our people. If we were able to put into place, if we were able to advertise, to convince and to encourage the people of our province that the whole concept of growing and learning was a far better vision than just acquisitiveness, then truly our whole post-secondary educational system would be performing a function for our society that would be well worthwhile.

We have to look very carefully at the practice in the past few years at least of simply wanting to house the people who wanted to get in, of trying within the present structure to be all things to all people, of trying to meet every fad that came along, of trying to look at our society and see some of the things that they wanted to do that maybe shouldn’t have been put into place, particularly when they start draining off the funds for more needed and more necessary programmes.

We have to ask ourselves what purpose is post-secondary education to serve in this province? Who is supposed to attend? Whom are we trying to serve? What is the most effective age grouping of our post-secondary institutions? For example, I think we are doing our society a disservice when we allow our post-secondary institutions to be dominated by recent secondary school graduates, I don’t think that is the tradition that we have come from and I don’t think it is what we should continue to allow to do. There may have been some reason for that over the last 20 years, some of the reasons for growth that we spoke about a few minutes ago. But, as we look ahead, I think that we must become much broader in our intent and in the age grouping on our campuses.

I think we have to look very carefully at the old argument of quality versus quantity. I think we have to remember very carefully that at least the more traditional post-secondary institutions must have a level of quality which retains for them and for the public they serve that credibility of service. Finally, I think we have to take a good hard look at something which you yourself have mentioned before and that is this incredible demand for degrees or diplomas or pieces of paper in areas where they really aren’t essential.

I think there is a broader public education involved here. I think we have to realize that in this period of re-evaluation there is a public perception that we haven’t done the things we promised to do. We haven’t been able to solve all the social problems. We haven’t to guarantee every one of our graduates a good job. We haven’t been able to provide that upward mobility of people from many of our lower social and economic strata. I think we have to realize that’s where we are and where do we go?

One of the major problems we’re facing is the whole area of accessibility. If we can truly understand who we’re trying to serve and what we’re trying to accomplish we will have some of the answers to the accessibility problem. I think maybe the simplest way of putting it is that we truly have an opportunity, we truly have a responsibility, to provide for everyone who desires it a higher educational opportunity and for everyone who has both the ability and the will to achieve it an opportunity of post-secondary education.

Coming back to a point made a little earlier I would say we should look carefully at the encouragement -- and I would underline the word encouragement -- of those who are uncertain of their own future in the time lag between the end of secondary school and the beginning of post-secondary education. I don’t think we’re doing our students any service if we encourage them to go into post-secondary when they don’t really know what they want to do or how they’re going to get there. I would suggest that part of the drop-out rate -- the very high drop-out rate in some institutions -- and the failure rate in the first year particularly, are probably due to this more than anything else.

We spoke a few minutes ago about the whole area of quality. I think maybe the experimentation of the last few years has brought us to the point where we have to take a good hard look at some sort of standardized admissions for our universities in particular. I think, in trying to be all things to all people, we have lowered the quality we are providing. I’m not suggesting we shouldn’t provide other kinds of opportunities for other potential students but I do think that what we’re faced with right now is asking ourselves what is this particular institution supposed to be accomplishing?

I think the lack of standard entrance requirements for universities in particular has hurt us in the long run. I am not sure, even in my own mind -- perhaps this is something we can debate over the next few hours -- how we’re going to get at that. I’m only suggesting it as a critical point of discussion.

I think we should appreciate that the reason some potentially good students don’t go on to higher education is not always due to the lack of financing or the difficulty of financing. I think we create a little bit of a guilt complex within ourselves by suggesting it’s all our fault and all we would have to do is put more money into the system and that would solve all the problems.

There has been a number of studies and surveys and discussions take place which would suggest that there are other valid reasons. These include the attitude of the student himself or herself about higher education; the attitude of the family from which he comes; the ability or the inability perhaps of some people in our society to postpone benefits such as income for three or four years. I think also something we tend to forget but is nevertheless very real is the peer pressure on some of our young people in terms of whether or not they should go on.


Looking at this, however, we also have a responsibility to examine this from time to time. I would make as a recommendation, Mr. Minister, the periodic examination of the social and economic demography of Ontario, and the degree to which those students who take advantage of our post-secondary institutions match or don’t match it.

If we find that there is any one segment of our population seriously out of sync, out of whack, then I believe we have a responsibility to move in and do something about that. I don’t know what statistics are available to the ministry; maybe this is something that you already do, and I would like to hear a response on that.

I think now is the time, in terms of accessibility, to examine what our goals are. What is it that we want to accomplish? What do we want to accomplish, for example, in the whole area of professional education? Do we need more people in some professions? Do we need less in others? And what incentives do we provide?

What about technical education? Are we truly meeting the technical demands of our advanced society? Is it still necessary for us to attract from Europe, for example, many skilled tradesmen in areas that we should be able to fit ourselves. Are we meeting that need?

What about areas of research? Surely our post-secondary institutions, particularly the universities, have a very great responsibility in our society to do some of the most important and fundamental research that’s required to help us to grow and to know where we’re going. Research in medicine. Research in technology. Research in business administration methods.

As we look ahead for the next 15 or 20 years, Mr. Minister, our society is going to change dramatically -- and who is it that’s giving us some sense of direction? It’s not some of the research departments in our post-secondary institutions, particularly the universities. I know that there are other sources. But surely we must agree that this is one of the fundamental ones.

Unfortunately, both at the federal level and at the provincial level, the whole area of research has been allowed to decline, to decrease, to be diluted. And in our striving to save dollars, maybe that’s the easiest place to cut them out; but are we perhaps being penny-wise and dollar foolish? Are we perhaps being too short term in our outlook? Are we perhaps not appreciating that the delay in our whole research programme can be one that can catch up very quickly to us, but we can’t catch up to it?

I would strongly suggest that when we’re looking at our priorities and our incentives, that we must look at research. I think we must also examine the ways in which we are upgrading or assisting the upgrading of our lower socio-economic levels of society. What are we really doing for them? In what ways are we encouraging the arts in this province? Drama, literature, the visual arts -- what are we doing there? And whose responsibility is it?

I believe the minister also understands that I am particularly concerned about the whole area of the study of our own history, of our own country and of our own society.

It grieves me when I see surveys done of senior secondary school students across this country, not just in the Province of Ontario, but across the whole country. They show percentages of 50, 60 and 70 who don’t know the answers to the simplest question about our government structure and how it operates, about some of the great people of the past, about some of the communities within our society and how they grew and the contributions they have made.

For example, let’s take one of our own community colleges, Seneca. When they had to cut money back, the place where they made the first cut was in their Canadian studies programme. Now, maybe the pressure on them was such that they had to, but, it’s an indication. Another example, Mr. Minister, is the fact that the secondary schools of this province have, as part of their compulsory programme, two courses in Canadian studies. And yet Laurier University in Waterloo set up a course in Canadian studies and had a number of students enrolled who intended to go into teaching, but when they applied to the teachers’ college in advance, they were told it was not an acceptable course.

There is something really out of whack there. I appreciate that that requires a certain amount of co-ordination between your ministry and the Ministry of Education. But something needs to be done about this whole area of our own history, our own culture and our own background. I don’t think we need to go so far as some other, super-nationalistic countries of the world, but I think we need to go a lot farther than we are going now. These are just a few, Mr. Minister. Okay.

One of the phenomena that we have come upon in the last few years has been this whole business of students coming into post-secondary institutions who are not academically qualified to do so. I’m sure the minister recognizes that there are a number that now have remedial courses, particularly in English, some of them in mathematics, and a few in the sciences, chemistry or biology. There was a bit of a discussion in this House a few days back about that very point.

I think this is another area, Mr. Minister, where you and your colleague in the Ministry of Education need to have a strong heart-to-heart talk because, as the president of the University of Waterloo pointed out, although it is their responsibility as long as they’re going to get those students, it’s a pretty expensive way to provide remedial education and yet it does have to be done.

When we talk about accessibility, I think we should also look at those kinds of students that we should not be encouraging into our post-secondary institutions. For example, the kind we mentioned a few minutes ago; that is, those who are there simply to get a piece of paper because certain employers demand that they have it. I think we’ve got to the point where maybe we’ve got to go to another ministry of the government again, and I’m not sure which one it is -- the Ministry of Labour --

Mr. Conway: Ministry without Portfolio?

Mr. Sweeney: -- the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations; I don’t know. Mr. Minister, you know better than I on that -- and really rap the knuckles of some employers who are over-zealous in this area, because they are, as has been pointed by others, costing us an awful lot of money -- lost income; lost taxation and unnecessary cost in getting an education. And it isn’t going to help them to perform the particular task involved.

An hon. member: Don’t hold your breath.

Mr. Sweeney: I think we also need to very carefully discourage those students who are going to university or community college because they just don’t know what else to do. Here is a point where obviously we must have much more serious counselling at our secondary school level; again, an area of coordination and dialogue between you and your colleague in the Ministry of Education.

Finally, I appreciate that we have some serious unemployment problems in this province and in this country, but I think a very incorrect way and a very expensive way of solving those unemployment problems is to provide a space in our post-secondary institutions. We’ve got to find a much better way than that.

What are some of the alternatives? If we’re going to talk about accessibility, maybe we need to look at something other than the present structures that are in place. How can we provide alternatives? For example, more encouragement for on-the-job training. More encouragement for small, intensive courses at small private schools. And a spectrum of alternatives that provides opportunities different from the revolving door that many of our students fall into at the present time.

In terms of accessibility, I think that another point that we must take a good look at is this grade 12 or grade 13 entrance requirement from secondary education. Obviously, we’re doing a disservice to our students in this province if they require grade 13 to get into university and those same universities in Ontario are welcoming into them grade 12 graduates from other provinces -- such as York University, the University of Toronto, the University of Waterloo, just to mention a few.

I would like to spend a couple of minutes, Mr. Minister, on the whole question of financing. First of all, there is the financing of the institutions themselves. The former member of our party, Bob Nixon --


Mr. Samis: Former member?

Mr. Sweeney: Former leader, excuse me.

Mr. Samis: Oh, Bob!

Hon. B. Stephenson: That’s a Freudian slip.

Mr. Sweeney: He explained very carefully, well over a year ago, that one of the major financial problems facing our post-secondary institutions was the year-by-year financing procedure, and perhaps even with greater difficulty the slip-year procedure. It was put very carefully and very strongly that what we need is at least a five-year funding programme so that the kinds of long-range planning which we say we need as a government and as a ministry we also permit to the institutions themselves -- time, for example, to plan programmes, whether they are going to add programmes or gradually phase programmes out and time to know the kinds of staff they are going to require.

You can’t hire highly qualified staff and you can’t keep highly qualified staff at our post-secondary institutions unless there is some guarantee of a long-term investment. We need time to make most effective use of the facilities and time to make most effective use of the equipment which is needed in so many of the technical, engineering and science programmes. I believe very strongly that we have to take a look at that kind of procedure.

I also think, and we have discussed this before, that we’ve reached the point in time where we must get away from the BIU funding formula for distribution -- and I emphasize the word distribution. I believe you know as well as I do some of the problems that this has created over the past few years, such as the very degrading recruitment drives made by some of our institutions simply to attract into them enough bodies to pay some of their bills. I think this was also part of the reason why so many of those particular students very quickly either fell out or were pushed out.

We also want to monitor very carefully the reserve funds of our institutions. We had one example in this Legislature a few months back of where things can get out of whack and out of organization if they are not monitored. We have to monitor the accumulation of those funds and monitor the distribution of those funds. While we are talking about the financing of the institutions, may I just draw to your attention two of the institutions in this province that have very serious capital needs. At Brock University there is a building, and that’s about all I can call it, a shell maybe that houses the major science biology programmes. I toured that building and I hope you’ve had an opportunity to do so as well or certainly will because you’d really have to question what I said right at the very beginning. It is not a tribute to what we are trying to provide in most of our other institutions. I would suggest that as soon as possible funding be provided to rectify that situation.

I don’t know whether the minister is aware of it or not but at the Conestoga Community College in my own area there is not one single physical educational facility. There is nothing. There is no gym. There are no outside facilities whatsoever. They are not talking about a swimming pool. There just isn’t anything.

Mr. Nixon: There is no gym at Trent either.

Mr. Sweeney: As a matter of fact, someone pointed out that there aren’t even showers. If you haven’t got any phys-ed facilities, I guess you don’t need the showers. Those are just a couple of the examples where we must take a look at the capital freeze that has been placed on most of our buildings.

I would also be concerned about the fiscal arrangement with the federal government. It has come to our attention that they are thinking -- and this is, of course, speculation at this point in time, though maybe the minister is privy to more examples -- of reducing the sharing from 50 per cent to 40 per cent or they are thinking of changing in some way that 15 per cent limitation on growth, and I understand it’s downwards. If that is the case, I think we should be privy to that information or whatever is available.

With respect to financing, may I spend just a minute on that of students? I certainly support the ministry’s action in holding tuition fees for 1976 but I also am concerned about what the ministry’s plans are for 1977.

Mr. Nixon: After an election.


Mr. Sweeney: I would ask -- and I ask it with the greatest respect -- about your commitment not to have any increase in tuition fees for 1976 or the school year 1976-1977 as I thought you said. I believe that has been broken by your decision to increase the tuition fees to foreign students. Maybe you perceive that differently from the way I do but in my discussions with some administrators and some students they feel there has been a break with faith. I would suggest to the minister that it would be a very high price for him to pay with the educational community of this province if that’s the perception out there. Maybe for this school year at least you might wish to reconsider that. I don’t believe we can afford to have the minister perceived as one who breaks his word. As I say, I say that with the greatest respect.

While we happen to be on that particular point I would like to resurrect once again a notion which has been presented. That is that you give serious consideration to the whole area of reciprocity with other jurisdictions. It seems to me that the present arrangement whereby another jurisdiction charges our students more money and we in turn charge their students more money doesn’t really do the student much good.

There is no doubt that it puts extra dollars in the coffers of the two jurisdictions but if we are really concerned about our students and want to give them as broad an educational opportunity as possible, which includes going to other jurisdictions, perhaps a reciprocity agreement with as many jurisdictions as are willing to have that with us, is something which should be pursued. I would suspect that’s probably something you’d have to take up with the federal government rather than operate it alone.

It has been suggested that the tuition fee level in the Province of Ontario has been held for a long period of time and that’s something which is very noteworthy. Other jurisdictions have increased their tuition fee levels. It is true that there are three or four other Canadian jurisdictions which have increased their tuition fee levels but in each case the new level, the increased level, is still lower than ours.

For example, in Manitoba it has been increased to $475 for undergraduate students. In Alberta it has been increased to $500 for undergraduate students. In the universities in Montreal -- I don’t know whether or not it applies to all Quebec -- the range which has just been increased is now up to $450 to $520. Newfoundland has increased its to $500. The only point I’m making is even though those other jurisdictions have increased their tuition fee levels they are still not as high as Ontario’s. That really isn’t an area in which we can take, I don’t think, too much credit.

It has also been suggested that we should compare ourselves with many jurisdictions in the United States which have higher fees. I think if we are going to be completely fair and if we are really going to be comparing apples with apples we also have to appreciate that in many of those American jurisdictions the funds and other financing available to students are much more generous than our own. There are opportunities for them to get funds from so many other sources which are not open to our students or at least not to the same degree. If we are going to compare again let’s put all the eggs in the basket and make those comparisons.

With respect to loans and grants I have indicated that I support the increase from $800 to $1,000 because I’ve also said very strongly I believe that our students should pay a portion of their own education. We may debate how high a portion they should pay but that is another question. However, in no way should that be taken as an indication that we are going to support an even higher increase.

Mr. Bounsall: Talking out of both sides of your face.

Mr. Sweeney: Along that line, there’s no way we would support the suggestion in the McKeough report that the grants be tampered with in any way whatsoever. The grants, surely, are a measuring barometer which will give to those students who need it as much as they need. To put additional ceilings on that would be to defeat the whole purpose of the grants. I don’t understand if that’s intended, I would just put it in as a point for the record.

I would like to make brief mention of our colleges of applied arts and technology. It was, as I have mentioned before, a good move for this province to provide this kind of alternative opportunity for our students. However, in some ways they have fallen on difficult times. I think their credibility with the public has been downgraded considerably and maybe that’s because of the reasons for which they were instituted in the first place have been lost to a certain extent in the shuffle.

It’s pretty difficult to have credibility with the community colleges when you look at some of the courses they’re offering, courses in witchcraft, in log cabin building, in keep trim and keep fit programmes -- taken over, by the way, in St. Clair College from a private entrepreneur who went bankrupt -- and courses in flying. None of these are bad in themselves, but these are the kinds of labels and these are the kinds of identifications with which people perceive many of our community colleges, and I think they’re giving them a bad name. We should take a very hard look at those and ask whether we can really justify them.

We should also take a good hard look at whether or not the colleges are meeting their intended aim. I will just use the title itself, applied arts and technology. Are we really turning out, to meet the needs of our people, the needs of our society and the needs of employers, people who do have a good solid grounding in the areas of applied arts and technology?

For example, at Centennial there is a psychologist assistant’s programme which is supposed to prepare students to work with professional psychologists, and yet a young lady at Centennial who has completed one year of that programme -- I believe it’s a two-year programme -- went to a professional psychologist’s office and described what she was doing, and the way in which she was preparing herself and gave him a copy of the course outline. In his estimation -- and they immediately called back the director of the programme -- it wasn’t preparing her for the job at all.

At Sheridan College, there is a programme in commercial art. I’ve been talking to a couple of employers who have graduates from that college and they are most unhappy and most dissatisfied with the ability of those students to perform the job for which they believed and which the employers believed that they were trained. I think we have to take a good look at that.

We’re going to be looking at the various votes of these estimates and at that time we’ll be able to deal with some of the specifics. I would like to close by drawing attention to the faculties of our post-secondary institutions. I wonder if we’re being totally fair with them when we compare them in some of their programmes with other members of the educational community in this province.

For example, why is it that teachers in the elementary and secondary schools have a pension programme under the Teachers’ Superannuation Act that not only guarantees their income on a province-wide basis, that not only includes partial funding -- as a matter of fact, match-funding from the provincial government -- but is also portable from one community to another? Why cannot the faculties of our colleges and universities have that same opportunity? I don’t think we’re being totally fair to them.

When we take a look at what’s been happening to the salary levels of our post-secondary faculty over the last five or six years in particular, it occurs to me that the restraint programme which the government is imposing upon all segments of our society just this year is one that has, in fact, been imposed upon our colleges and universities for the last four or five years. If, for example, you just look at the rates of inflation over the last four or five years, and the rates of increased employment at those institutions and then look at the increase in funding, in every single year there was a negative discrepancy.

Part of that negative discrepancy had to be reflected in the salaries that we pay to our professors, the teachers at our community colleges and our universities. It is just as true at that level as it is at any other level of education. The quality of your teaching staff is what determines the effectiveness of the whole programme -- of everything that we stand for. I just don’t think we can continue to afford to allow those people to be -- in their eyes and in the eyes of others, myself included -- downgraded that way. I think we must be more sensitive to what we have been doing to them over the last three or four years and what we can be doing for them and with them over the next few years.

Mr. Chairman: Does the hon. minister have a reply?


Hon. Mr. Parrott: I certainly enjoyed some of the remarks of the critics in the parties opposite. I’ll try to stick as best I am able to the script as I wrote it here following your remarks.

To start with, the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere (Mr. Warner) wanted me to make a positive statement about fees for 1977-1978 and my reply, “in the fullness of time.” That is a very original line in this House. I think I have made it very clear that this government said that the fee for 1976-1977 would be established and fixed, and indeed it has been, and for 1977-1978 that will come at a later date. I am not prepared to say tonight at what point that will occur. I would think towards a later part of this year we can expect same understanding of that particular position.

I was amazed that you should suggest, when you were talking about the costs to the students, the potential loss of income. Surely to goodness if that were a reasonable argument very few people in this House would sit here. I don’t think you can really factor in that kind of a cost.

I can assure you from a personal basis that any time that I have spent in those hallowed halls was more than paid for in subsequent years. I think you have to measure that in more than dollars and cents. If the only purpose of attending the post-secondary institution is one of financial reward I am sure all of us would agree, we have missed the essence of those particular years we spent there.

I can’t help but feel a little disappointed that the hon. member did not define the goals of education. It seems to me that the only person in this province who is expected to define the goals and the aims of education is the minister. I believe I do have a very significant responsibility in that regard, but to have had three-quarters of an hour and not identified one goal on a long-term basis, it seems to me you missed your golden opportunity to give me what you felt should be the goals -- and I didn’t hear one.

Mr. Warner: You missed part of my remarks.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Not very much, and I will try to cover them in detail.

Mr. Warner: It is your system.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: You and I have been on the public platform often enough that I am also amazed that you should suggest to this House that I would ever support an elitism in our educational system. If there has been one message that I have tried to deliver into this province in the last six or seven months is that elitism was not a part of the system and should not be encouraged, and so I have to reject that portion of your remarks.

You touched on foreign student fees -- and I have to take some exception to the remarks from the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere. You know, you talked of foreign student fees and you used the example of one BIU and you drew the conclusion that the cost was $800 and that the student contributed X number of dollars well in excess of that to the economy of this province. Well, what you failed to mention is that many of those students are here with a cost of six BIUs.


If you do the arithmetic on that, you will come to approximately $13,800, with a payment of $1,500 on the new fee schedule, which is a deficit of $12,300 per student. I think you would have to agree with me that that is a very significant amount of subsidization by the taxpayers of this province for the foreign students who are enjoying one of the best systems in the world.

An hon. member: Right on.


Hon. Mr. Parrott: I am not for one minute suggesting that all of the students here are on a six BIU level, but I reject that you should use the example of one. You have got to use the average, which might be three or four, if you want to work those out. Or give the range -- that would have been fair.

Mr. Warner: That’s why I asked for the figures.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I just gave you the top and you gave me the bottom, and I am saying the range is in between and that’s the one that we should consider.

Mr. Warner: I asked if you would table the precise figures. Let’s not talk about average or above and below.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: The precise figure on any one particular discipline I will be glad to supply. You know and I know it varies according to the enrolment of that individual.

Mr. Warner: Each university.

Mr. Chairman: The hon. minister has the floor. The member for Scarborough-Ellesmere has made his opening remarks.


Hon. Mr. Parrott: You made some comments about support staff. I have met twice with the support staff of our institutions since last October. I think they feel that, indeed, they have an open door in my ministry. The thing that bothers me most about the suggestion that there was not a concern on the part of the staff, was that somehow or other there’s no compassion in this party. Let me tell you I believe there’s as much -- indeed, I believe there’s more compassion for those kind of people in this party than there is in that party over there.

An hon. member: You’re the exception.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Now don’t excite the minister. Let him speak. You are getting provocative over there.


Mr. Bounsall: I shall have to rewrite my opening remarks now.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: And then you went on to talk a little bit about how the faculties were not heard, and I just can’t agree with you there.

Mr. Warner: I didn’t say that.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Well, that was the inference that I drew from your remarks. Fine, then we are agreed that the faculty is heard in the senates of our universities. Indeed, that’s where they should be heard. And they have a great role to play there, and I believe they do.

Mr. Warner: The board of governors. I didn’t talk about them.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Yes, you did.

Mr. Bounsall: The board of governors, what have you --

Hon. Mr. Parrott: We will talk about that in a minute. You were speaking about one thing that I did want to agree with you in general terms. And that is the value of stop-out education. I think the hon. member for Kitchener-Wilmot also made some remarks in that regard. Surely all of us recognize the great value of the learning process that goes on during our entire lifetime. That concept is so well-founded in this province now that I think it’s almost redundant to say it again. Yes, I think the opportunity is there.

Now, whether all of us have availed ourselves of that opportunity -- I am not going to suggest we have -- but that is still an opportunity that’s readily available to the citizens of this province.

Let me tell you an experience that I had when the senior citizens’ council came to visit our policy field. Of all the ministries that they were happy with, and they were happy with almost all of them, I am sure we can conclude --

Mr. Warner: Oh, I am sure.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: But they made some very complimentary remarks about the Ministry of Colleges and Universities.


Hon. Mr. Parrott: They said that they were to go and obtain the kind of help that they wanted. I am sure if the members of that council were here, they would back up that statement. Now, that in itself is important, but it indicates something much more important -- from where I sit, at least -- and that is that people of all ages feel comfortable within our institutions -- and that’s the way they should. They weren’t designed for people 18 to 25.

Hon. Mr. Welch: More than you can say for Correctional Services.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I am going to have to cut down a few of these remarks. You wanted to discuss a little bit about the role of OCUA and our funding programmes and how the universities can deal with that particular aspect. I think we can deal with that in a subsequent vote -- vote 2, I believe -- and we will leave it until that time.

You asked me for some information on the percentages of the cost of students to the province and to the federal government. I am not going to give you the exact figures but they are going to be very close. About 15 per cent of the cost of our post-secondary education is paid by the students; about 35 per cent by the province; and about 50 per cent by the federal government.

The real question is and it should be phrased this way -- I will now give you the answer to the question: 15 per cent is paid by the students; 85 per cent is paid by the taxpayers of this province. If that isn’t a good buy; if you want to explore for a minute or two whether there is a net flow of cash from Ontario to the federal government and back, I will be glad to discuss that problem at any time.

We in this province pay more than our fair share. I am happy that we are able to but let the record clearly show that indeed we do pay more than our full share into the federal coffers of this country of ours. We are glad to be in a position to be able to do that but don’t think for a second that because we in the province are paying 35 per cent out of our revenue and 50 per cent comes out of federal revenue for our post-secondary education, it means anything less than the taxpayers are paying 85 per cent of the cost, the students 15 per cent. That is the only way to my mind, that you can look at it.

Mr. Conway: Tell that to the Minister of Energy. He will be impressed by the performance.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: There was some concern, too, that we had too large a growth. I don’t agree with that. Your concern was about the growth of the systems -- it happened too quickly. I believe there are qualified students there and I can’t think of anything better than that the system has grown that quickly over these years. It is something for this province to be proud of.

Mr. Good: Especially when you can’t afford to support them now’.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: We are and we are supporting them well. You asked what our budget was in terms of student assistance. This item in the book will suggest that the total is $66,488,000 for student assistance; the total to be voted upon in this ministry is $1,167,807,000. I am sure you will be able to get a percentage of that. I don’t have readily available the total budget for this province in the next year; I am sure it is equally readily available.

You asked if I could see residences for community colleges in the foreseeable future. Quite simply, I think I have to say the answer to that is a very blunt no.

Let me give you a little part of the reason. A few days ago I was informed by the Minister of Housing that the federal government, I believe, has allocated very few, if any, funds this year to assist in housing for universities. That has been and still is a responsibility of the federal government. It never has been a policy that housing within colleges and universities should be considered outside the context of general housing. I don’t believe we should break from the tradition of established community colleges and establish residences. I think the very word implies a community-based college and I hope that persists in the understanding of the college system.

You wanted me to make some commitments about student aid. I have to suggest to you that we have an interim committee studying the whole problem and I think you know that. I have attempted to be very silent on any proposed changes in student aid. I think, in fairness to that committee, I have no other alternative.

They are to report in July. It would be a great disservice to them if I said “Here is what we are going to do; don’t bother reporting.” I am looking forward to receiving that report. I have given them full assurance that I will receive that report with a very open mind and will give it full consideration and try to implement as much as possible. I don’t know what they’re going to say to me but I’m looking forward to that report and will do as much as I possibly can to make the adjustments that are necessary.

I would like to go on for a few minutes with some reply to the member for Kitchener-Wilmot (Mr. Sweeney). I have to say to him that many of his remarks found a very sympathetic ear in this ministry.

Mr. Bounsall: You are not very progressive then.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: He too was concerned about growth and I think he expressed, at least as I heard it, a pleasure that this had occurred because I think we share a very common belief that there is no greater heritage to give to our children than an education. I’m convinced that the backbone of this province rests now and in the future with a good post-secondary educational system. That’s what we covet for our children and what we’re going to maintain in this province is a high standard of post-secondary education so that the future generations will always have the kinds of opportunity they deserve. I think you expressed that thought. I don’t pretend to express it better than you but I share that concern and I agree with you.

I think you asked me where are we going on this. There are two replies I would like to make to you in that regard. It seems to me that education and evolution have a lot in common. It’s a lot easier to look back and see where we have come from than it is to look ahead and to see where we’re going. That doesn’t excuse me from that responsibility. In the first seven months of this ministry, I have attempted to understand how it worked, and visit some of the community.

On May 31 I intend to meet with members of all sections of post-secondary education, the administrations, those that are in the process itself and a large cross-section. There will be 15 or 16 people. I won’t have everybody represented there. That isn’t the point. I hope on May 31 to be able to sit down with some very knowledgeable people and come to grips with some of those problems. I think that before I had an opportunity to add or help in that discussion I needed to have a fair understanding. I don’t pretend to know the system thoroughly yet but I have some slight understanding of it. I think that on May 31 we will start a dialogue that may take a year -- I’m quite content if it does -- that we will come to some very concrete positions on the future policies of this ministry. I look to my advisory council to help me a great deal in that regard.

Mr. Ruston: We will take over for you.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I will not be holding my breath until that happens. You asked me some specifics about what I thought and I can give you two or three things because we have talked about this. I think we both agree in co-op education. I would like to give you an illustration of perhaps where I have attempted on a very individual basis to illustrate that.

As you can appreciate, the Council of Regents does most of the work on most of the courses in community colleges. I would like to think I have a little expertise in dental education. One of the things that I insisted between a preventive dental assistant and the module that she could advance to of the highest nature was that she would have a year’s training in the work force. I couldn’t agree with you more that we’ve got to ensure that people in our institutions, colleges and universities recognize the importance of a practical experience, the in and out, the give and take of society. I think we do that with time and experience. I share those thoughts with you.


I must say that I really had hoped and looked for perhaps a little more direction in the field of post-secondary education; knowing your background, it’s a very difficult thing to describe where we’re going. I think you share that concern with me.

It’s very difficult to put down in precise terms the exact model you want to see five years hence. We must work at it and I accept that challenge.

You then talked about some types of education. First of all you talked about professional education. At least from where I sit that aspect of education is reasonably well controlled, both in numbers and quality. I suspect there are some areas which aren’t completely controlled but we’re not needing great increases in many of our professional courses, and I think that’s recognized and is a part now worked into the system

One of your main concerns, at least as I heard it, was with the technical side of education. I think the recently announced Industrial Training Council which I mentioned in my opening statement -- we’ll name the people on that next week -- is the future of education. Seventy-three per cent of our people aged 18 to 24 years of age are outside post-secondary education and we must recognize that large body and give it the assistance we have given the other 28 per cent. I believe that 28 per cent has had a great opportunity here in Ontario and, the 73 per cent, with the announcement of the Industrial Training Council, can look forward to a greater understanding of their problem.

We indeed do need to help many people in the work force right now who want to increase their knowledge and are willing to work for it. I am convinced we will accomplish that with this particular council. It’s not going to happen within the next month or two months but using our present system it will work. We don’t need more bricks and mortar, in my mind, in this province. We need greater utilization of those services we have now and I think it will be both beneficial and not too expensive. We will be able to afford it.

I would have to remind you that in the area of research a large share of the dollars we allocate in vote 2602 to the universities goes to salaries of the faculty, which in turn generates a great deal of research. I wish the federal government had treated the faculties and the research component nearly as generously as we have this year. As I understand it there is either a cut or a decrease whereas in our particular budget we would say a 14 per cent increase. I’m not suggesting all the 14 per cent went into research but I’m saying a share of that does go into research.

You mentioned arts. I think the community colleges have done a terrific job in graphic arts and in many of the artistic elements. I’ve had a chance to see various works and I’m impressed with what I see in the community colleges in that area. We may not be talking the same language now about the word art. It has a great difference in meaning to different people.

I agree with your concern on Canadianization. I think that’s fairly obvious from the remarks I have made recently.

You asked that a dialogue take place between the Minister of Education and I. I suggest in some place here -- I guess under policy and planning -- we can talk about the interface study which is a very large co-operative programme between the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Colleges and Universities to talk about our common problems. I hope that by February of next year that dialogue will have taken place and we will have some very tangible things to talk about and to consider.

I don’t want to take too much more time but I do have to respond, I think, to whether or not I broke a promise on the fees. I certainly don’t believe I have. We have said to all Canadian and landed immigrant students that their fees 1976 to 1977 are frozen; the universities know that. We used the Jan. 1 date, I think, with a lot of good reasoning. As a matter of fact when that date was going to be established I was helped in the decision, not on whether or not it be announced but that the date was the reasonable and fair one, by the committee of presidents of the universities. They see that as the appropriate time to make a change. We’ve committed ourselves not to just no increase in fees for those people this year but we’ve said they will bear whatever rate applies in this province until 1980. If that’s breaking a promise, I have a great deal of difficulty in understanding it. I really do. These people have been guaranteed that they can finish their course or go to 1980 at the same fee as the Canadian student is paying. I just don’t understand how you can consider that a breaking of a promise.

In conclusion, I have to say the one area I disagree rather strenuously with the member for Kitchener-Wilmot was with the credibility of the tests. It might be his perception that they’re not held in high regard. That isn’t the feeling I’ve had as I have toured the province. In fact, the feeling was to the contrary. I think one of the problems you identified was with the type of course that frequently is used to illustrate why we shouldn’t be sponsoring this or that course. There are some rather, shall I say, instant courses, but almost invariably they’re on a self-sustaining basis. What’s wrong with that?

If that course is being paid for by the students and people taking it, then I think it should be held. But what I say you should consider is that there are many courses that are put on at night, part-time, that are returning to the taxpayers of this province some real participation for the huge dollars they invest. I think they’re entitled to that. I believe if you look through the total community college programme that the many courses that our adults are taking, where there might be a subsidization at a cost to the taxpayer, it’s to the very people that are paying the taxes. I think they deserve that kind of assistance and that kind of encouragement to keep their education a life-long experience.

I’ve wandered on a bit longer than perhaps I should have. If there were areas that I have not covered in specifics, between now and next Thursday I’ll make every endeavour to give you those specific details as the staff in the ministry have an opportunity to look over your remarks.

Mr. Chairman: Perhaps we could deal with the votes in the various items at this point.

On vote 2601:

Mr. Chairman: Item 1, main office.

Mr. Warner: If it’s at all possible, I have two brief remarks to make prior to that vote, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman: On a vote I think the normal procedure is for the critics to speak from each of the opposition parties and then for the minister to respond. Any further discussion concerning the various items would come under individual votes, so I would ask that you restrict your items to the main office, item 1.

Mr. Breithaupt: Agreed.

Mr. Warner: All right. Is it possible to put items 1 and 2 together under that first vote; main office and policy and planning?

Mr. Chairman: I would suggest to you that the general administration or the administerial policies would come under main office. Then policy and planning, I suppose of some of the individual departments, would come under item 2. I would suggest that you deal with item 1.

Mr. Warner: I take it under the main office, ministry administration, that this in some way involves the minister. I think the minister should not really expect to stand there and ask me to present a point-by-point detailed description of the philosophy, the goals and aims of the system when you collectively, not personally, have been the government of this province for 30 years in charge of the system. I haven’t been in charge of the system. If you would like a point-by-point detailed description of the philosophy, goals and aims and objectives at some point I’d be glad to supply them; but I don’t think that that, particularly, is my job of guidance at this point. Because the government doesn’t have particular goals and objectives, let’s not shuffle it off onto somebody else.

I would ask the minister if he is not convinced that all students in the system are under the same type of conditions, let him take a look at a book called “The Adult Learner in the University: Does Anybody Care?” by Jean Skelhorn, from the department of adult education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. He’ll find it interesting.

There is one particular section in there which I think says a lot of it. It describes a woman of 35 years of age who is not a full-time student, a quite mature student.

“She was bright and perceptive, but it was touch and go all fall. Her husband had left her with two small boys after she had worked and put him through school.

“She was up against all the barriers faced by a mature student entering university: Anxiety about academic ability; lack of time; self-doubt; stress; second-shift style of living. And there were extra problems encountered by a single parent: The lack of adequate daycare centres; the daily uncertainties of domestic emergencies; the feeling that nobody cared; the difficulty of meeting essay deadlines because of so many responsibilities; and the perennial problem of lack of money.”

And as you know, those students don’t have the same opportunities towards grants and loans that full-time students do. She was a part-time mature student.

It goes on, and the point is that the system does not provide in an equitable fashion the same kind of experiences for everyone. It’s geared to the 18- to 23-year-old -- I’m not saying that’s bad, in the sense that it does meet the need for those who make up most of the system. But it has to be flexible and meet the needs of other individuals, like single parents and older students.

What concerns me out of the remarks that I heard earlier is the fact that you are perhaps -- and if I have misconstrued your remarks, I am sorry. But I take it that you look at the system as fine the way it is and that it doesn’t have to adjust to take in different groups. I think that’s wrong.

Mr. Chairman, there are other votes I am more concerned about than item 1 in the main office and so I’ll pass for now and come back on some of the others and give other members an opportunity.

Mr. Conway: I’m not so sure that I might be perhaps speaking out of turn. Did I understand you to say that under this particular part of this vote we could make some comments with respect to policy and planning?

Mr. Chairman: Overall ministerial planning.

Mr. Conway: I just wondered, because my comments had a direct bearing on the general policy.

Mr. Chairman: I would think that you should deal with that under item 2.

Mr. Conway: All right.

Mr. Chairman: Shall item 1 carry?

Mr. Bounsall: No, Mr. Chairman. This is precisely the vote which I have been waiting for in these estimates. This is the one that deals with the ministerial office, ministerial planning and, more particularly, ministerial initiative.

The minister knows that I have a high regard for him personally. When you look back at the ministers who have occupied this Ministry of Colleges and Universities, including the member for Leeds (Mr. Auld) who is presently in the House, this minister has by far and away the greatest potential of making a success out of this job than any of the rest of them. I can remind the House the first one was the former member for London South --

Mr. Breithaupt: That’s known as being damned by faint praise.


Mr. Bounsall: Well, it’s not very high praise at the moment when you look at the former crew. The former member for London South could not get out of his mind that the college and university system in Ontario was like a factory and the students coming out of either system were simply a product of that system to be measured and packaged and sold. His more-scholar-for-the-dollar theme for that whole period, certainly indicated his whole idea of the ministry and he couldn’t get beyond that.

The second minister in this portfolio -- again you had them in this ministry at the rate of one a year -- was the former member for Halton West, the current member for Burlington South (Mr. Kerr). He was put into that ministry from the Ministry of the Environment; he did not want to leave the Ministry of the Environment. He would pay no attention to the Ministry of Colleges and Universities because he was still fretting over having lost the Ministry of the Environment and that lasted throughout his entire tenure in the ministry. He paid virtually no attention to it and I’m not betraying any confidences of any of the staff in that ministry when I say that. It was quite widely known and he didn’t hide the fact.

You then got the former member for one of the Hamilton ridings, Mr. Jack McNie and I think he tried. Unfortunately, he didn’t know at all where he was going, what he would do when he got there and why he was there in the first place. He was given the post because he represented the constituency in which McMaster University sat and was a personal friend of the Premier of the province (Mr. Davis). That made him eligible for this ministry. I think maybe with a lot of time that member may have become a good Minister of Colleges and Universities but at no time in his tenure was he up to the post.

Then we come to the one who was your immediate predecessor, who is here tonight in the House, the member for Leeds (Mr. Auld). He tried to run the ministry as if he were the Minister of the Environment still. For every question asked he thought he could flip to page 32 of a particular publication and be able to read off the facts irrespective of whether or not the question had any philosophical content. It just didn’t work. I must admit I kind of agree with that former minister when, in one of his early comments about ascending to the ministry, he said perhaps somebody might give him a bachelor’s degree, something which he lacked.

Now you don’t lack any of those. You have an intellectual grasp equal to this ministry, equal to giving it some real direction from your personal individual policies. There’s a lot of scope for that in this ministry. None of your predecessors had any real concept of what should be done in this ministry.

Mr. Conway: Here, watch this. Take it easy, the minister is blushing.

Mr. Bounsall: You have some idea of what the system needs in the Province of Ontario.


Mr. Bounsall: You have the opportunity such as no other person has had in this job yet to do something with this ministry.

Mr. Conway: Yesterday starts tomorrow.

Mr. Bounsall: I’m criticizing no one in particular in your ministry when I say you are not necessarily going to be led by or be dependent upon officials within your ministry. You have an opportunity to take the very capable people within your ministry and their energies and drive and say to them, “This is where I want you to go,” rather than saying to them “What should I be saying?” which has been too often the case, probably entirely the case, with all your predecessors in this position -- apart from more-scholar-for-the-dollar White, who was very clear on what he wanted out of the ministry. It was simply more scholars for the dollar; more packaged products out the other end, the antithesis of what we’ve heard from the three of you here tonight.

There are two or three areas I would like to suggest where you personally are capable of taking the lead. One of them is the whole apprenticeship programme in the Province of Ontario. You’re not familiar with it as a person with the background you have; I don’t think virtually anybody in this House is. But you’ve got the capacity to see that something is done in that field.

I have had worker group after worker group knocking at my door saying: “Why isn’t there an apprentice programme in my area? Why is the company I work for allowed to get away with a system by which I can work there for X number of years at what are in effect apprentice programme wages, only to be stopped three months shy of putting in the ministry requirement of the number of hours? I am not allowed to complete my full apprenticeship, but I’m given a certificate which applies to that company only; which is a means of preventing me from having journeyman papers.”

The minister has the opportunity to say to the whole electrical industry, and that industry is rampant with it and virtually every other trade industry in this province, you are not going to pay those journeyman’s wages for that pseudo-programme and stop it just a few months shy of what would be proper provincial certification. You’re going to have our proper programme in here and we’ll lay on the programme with you and we want it done within one or two years so this sort of procedure doesn’t continue.

This province is a farce across North America and certainly in Europe because of what we haven’t done in the apprentice programme. The minister can take the lead and get it done, for heaven’s sake, because he is capable of understanding it. No other minister in his position has. It is a question of burning interest right across this province. It makes my blood boil about the way this ministry has sat back. It really didn’t want it in the first place.

It came from the Ministry of Labour, which it probably should have stayed with in the first place, but because there’s going to be some of the course taught by the college, it was a logical step. Let’s get apprentice programmes in all the trades in this province. Say no to companies that are not going to pay journeyman’s wages in their plant and stop that programme one or two months shy of the end so that they can give them their certificate but they don’t qualify for journeyman pay any other place else or in any other plant in the province. That worker is non-mobile. The net effect of this is that if a company needs to employ a journeyman it has to go outside of the Province of Ontario to get them because we don’t train them here. That’s your responsibility and your ministry’s.

I’ve wanted to say this for a long time. It was something I missed a year ago in saying. The minister can take that initiative. He personally can get that ball rolling in a very substantial way in his ministry and make it a top priority. We’re the laughingstock of every European jurisdiction -- that’s for sure -- and many of the other North American ones because of the lack we have of apprentice programmes or movements by the minister and the ministry in saying we should have the proper type of apprentice programmes.

I could hardly believe my ears when the minister talked about the research and the moneys given to the universities in research. The deputy minister knows how much money that the Ministry of Colleges and Universities gives to the universities of Ontario for research in this province. It’s virtually nothing.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: That’s just not true.

Mr. Bounsall: In the percentage you give to universities that goes into research, let’s make it very clear the faculty salaries are not research in this province. Neither through the Ontario Research Foundation nor through a branch for applied research in this province is this province doing virtually anything. Tell me exactly the number of dollars which you give for research of any kind in this province. I’m not even asking for pure research. It can be applied research and probably that’s the role Ontario should play.

Heaven knows, there’s enough areas in which you can apply it. With all the replacements for energy in this province, wind, solar or the electrolysis systems, with which Ontario Hydro should be being involved, all of the environmental projects which could be worked on, and you’re virtually doing nothing in the area, you can decide that the Province of Ontario should go forward and do some applied research in this province.

Every other Minister of Colleges and Universities has virtually said when we have come to this point that this is a federal jurisdiction. They have said if you want money for research, you should go to the National Research Council or go to the Medical Research Council or go to -- what’s the one that funds the arts? I’ve never had to apply to them yet -- the Canada Council. That’s where you go in the Province of Ontario at least for applied research. You should be putting some more money into it.

It makes good planning sense. It’s surprising you haven’t done it in this area because it would follow the Tory philosophy over the ages of funding projects by which you became a partner in it. If you funded some research in all these areas, you might end up owning some technological rights which would pay untold dividends in actual cash terms in the future. It is an opportunity you should grab.

The Province of Nova Scotia is doing more in wind and solar energy than this government is in terms of research.


Mr. Breithaupt: Great Liberal province.

Mr. Bounsall: Mind you, they don’t have to do very much to surpass this government.

Mr. Conway: What about Fred Burr’s windmills?

Mr. Breithaupt: What are they doing in Saskatchewan?

Mr. Bounsall: There is one other area in which I think the minister could take some initiative. It has been touched upon two or three times by speakers already tonight, and let’s just touch on it again.

The minister can take a lot of initiative in any area to lead universities and colleges down the road they should be taking. I would like to see the minister -- and there is no reason why he can’t -- just come out and say to the universities; “For heaven’s sake, why don’t you get together like every other group of associated people in this province and have your common pension plan, your common fringe benefits, so you have portability within the community?”

We don’t necessarily say you have got to have a government plan. I would be the last person to say that the university faculty and staff should be associated with some government plan like OMERS, but you can encourage them that they should get into some common plan to save the funds of the university. Any common plan when put out to bid -- and that is what should be done -- is going to save funds from the employer contribution and provide more benefits for those persons in the plan. It makes good, sound economic sense. Let’s even forget about the great social benefit that would be.

You should be saying to the faculties and staff at the universities: “For heaven’s sake, get a common programme; and we will assist you if necessary.” I don’t think they would need any assistance, but perhaps a bit of co-ordination in seeing that the proper organization takes place so that a reasonable plan could be arrived at, and bids called province-wide.

I don’t expect your deputy minister to agree with this next statement. We have had our differences over this before, but we have talked tonight in terms of admission standards to the universities. I can indicate to you that I still feel very strongly that the minister himself should look very closely at whether or not there shouldn’t be established some common graduate student admission standards, discipline by discipline, across this province. So that someone who enrols in a master’s programme in psychology at the University of Windsor, for example, has at least the same capability of doing that programme as someone who enrols in it at U of T, or at Lakehead, or Ottawa or any other place around this province.

We are not saying that you have to go into them and say: “Look, these are the standards I expect.” Instead you say: “Discipline by discipline, sit down and decide upon reasonable minimum standards.” And apply them right across this province so that when someone graduates with a master’s degree or a PhD from any university around this province, it cannot be looked at as some second-class degree if it comes from a particular institution. It is, in fact, a degree which is comparable right across this province.

Surely if you are going to fund graduate studies to the same extent right across this province, you have got to be interested in some common entrance standard. You have got to be interested in the product -- if you want to use John White’s phrase -- the product being a degree which is acceptable at any institution across this province.

This bears upon the Canadian nationalism question, which you have heard so much about. When you go to hire faculty someone says: “Well, we are not going to hire that Canadian because he graduated from university X in Ontario. We think Oxford, Cambridge, Cal Tech and MIT standards are higher and we will take that other person.”


We are spending enough money in this province, Mr. Minister, on graduate training so that you should be able to assure yourself that that graduate training is adequate and those people coming out with those degrees are capable of being hired anywhere in the world, and backed by our own institutions.


Mr. Bounsall: And you can take that initiative yourself. I suggest that on that particular line you are going to have to circumvent -- and it is well known between the two of us -- your deputy Minister of Colleges and Universities. He has that -- well, let’s just say within your ministry there is a certain 18th century, laissez-faire liberalism which pervades, which somehow you have got to get around -- and using your own initiative you can get around that.

Mr. Breithaupt: What are they doing in Saskatchewan?

Mr. Bounsall: You know one other point. We can put this one under any vote we want to, because you can if you want to do it get involved in them all. With your predecessor I think we should have passed vote 2601, item 1, because we were not confident at all that he would get involved in any initiatives, but you have got the potential for this.

Mr. Conway: Watch out, Harry. I tell you, this guy --

Mr. Bounsall: You have got the potential for this, Mr. Minister. On the student grants, I don’t agree with the $1,000.

Mr. Warner: That’s ridiculous.

Mr. Bounsall: It shouldn’t be increasing.

An hon. member: Give them $10,000.

An hon. member: It should be decreasing.

Mr. Bounsall: The opportunity for student summer jobs this year and last year are much fewer than in previous years. In the view of that to increase the loan portion, based on some assumption that the rates of pay are going to be higher and all the rest of it, is pretty fallacious.

And you know, somewhere, sometime away back, when you were starting your student grant programmes, some functionary within your ministry or in the Ministry of Education at that time said, “Look, in devising this scheme, let’s find out if there is anything we should do.” Someone fixed upon the idea that if you owned a car, that was going to be detrimental and the value of that should be deducted from your student grant loan. Having made that statement, probably some night over a beer, he came in the next day and wrote it into the standards; it has never been reversed.

You should take a look at that whole programme. I can tell you that anyone who came into Windsor -- with the city’s lousy transportation problem -- to attend either the college or the university, has to own a car to get there. If he wants to go to school there he has got to virtually own a car to get there or live in very close parts of the city -- if he can afford to, the way you make your grant and loan structure in the other parts of it. If he is going to have physical access, you are going to penalize him or her all to blazes and gone. This must be true in the whole post-sec community right across this province.

I see absolutely no reason as to why that car allowance, once having been put in there, for God knows what reason -- it’s somebody’s nightmare -- remains.

Now you can take the initiative here and bring in some new and fresh outlook to this post, a post which I think you are interested in. I would say challenge all of those concepts, but don’t be pushed into it by us. We don’t necessarily want to be critical of you. We would like to give you a few months in this post and say to you, Mr. Minister, challenge and question everything, just as if you were a first-year undergraduate student yourself at university and receiving for the first time that advice. You really have an opportunity within your ministry to challenge all those old precepts and that’s one of them. I would say challenge them all. With your capability you might come up with some very interesting solutions and changes which will be of advantage to our system, a system which basically is good -- I agree with you on that -- but which could stand some more improvement and some more clear government thinking on it.

Just one further point on the community colleges in Ontario. They originally were set up, as the minister knows, to go out and meet the educational needs of the community, whatever those educational needs were. We have some colleges in the province which have become eminently successful at that. St. Clair College in Windsor has been one, for over the years they have not only met the need as it has been portrayed to them by the community, they have gone out and they have searched out the needs before people were aware in a vocal sense that courses needed to be given. They have then given the courses and at no surprise to them found students in them.

So very few of our colleges have had that. You, with your perspective, knowing what they should have done, seeing what some colleges have been capable of, should take the initiative. Forget a little bit about your local autonomy; don’t always hide behind the local autonomy argument. You could do nothing in this post.

Mr. Breithaupt: Decentralize it.

Mr. Bounsall: We had a minister in this post who did absolutely nothing, because to virtually every programme, every suggestion and every initiative he could take, he would say, “I really can’t do that because local autonomy prevents me from doing it.”

Don’t hide behind it. Go out and say to college X, “This is the original plan for the colleges. This is what the colleges should be doing in philosophical and physical terms. What have you been doing lately? Why haven’t you gone out and done this, this and this? Don’t make it a carbon copy of what George Brown College in Toronto is doing or St. Clair College down in Windsor. Go out and hire people who can help you take the initiative in the community in which you sit so that you can, in effect, represent the community.”

I have great hopes for you as a minister, and great hopes for changes in this post, but you can’t do it --

Mr. Conway: Watch him.

Mr. Bounsall: -- unless you personally take some initiatives in it, and I urge you to so do.

Hon. Mr. Parrots: Mr. Chairman, do you want me to reply one at a time?

Mr. Conway: I’d like to make one or two brief remarks and perhaps you would care to reply to those because they are very much subsidiary to that very eloquent and passionate dissertation by our friend from Windsor-Sandwich. Ernie Bevin shall never die. There are one or two things with respect --

Mr. Bounsall: It is all a conflict of interest, I understand.

Mr. Conway: That’s true and perhaps appropriate that I should follow in that particular vein.

Mr. McClellan: Give us some more of the little red schoolhouse.

Mr. Breithaupt: We have heard that one.

Mr. Conway: There are one or two things I want to interject because it is not so very long ago that I had a particular interest in this business of colleges and universities.

One or two points I would like to interject and both of them relate to some of the general thrust of your opening remarks. You said something which, I suppose, we all have to say at one point or another in the interest of motherhood and good politics; that is that in our university and colleges system -- perhaps speaking from my own experience I’ll limit it to universities -- there is the business about elitism.

I think it has to be said, however imprudently it might be said, and I think my very good friend from Windsor-Sandwich edged near this particular area when he talked so very recently about establishing some degree of common standard for graduate programmes throughout Ontario universities. I want to say to you, having left the university community about eight or nine months ago, that I think there is a real crisis in terms of the academic community, both teacher and student, with respect to this question of elitism.

Clearly, I think we have to understand that our system be made as democratic as possible in terms of access so far as graduate programmes in universities and, for that matter, undergraduate programmes are concerned. I think it to be the most objectionable form of folly to suggest that elitism is not to be considered, certainly in the academic part of education. From my point of view, and this perhaps is just a personal feeling I have long held, to suggest that there is not a gradation of grasp in the areas of academic education is improper and untrue. That’s my own feeling.

I think that our system, if it is going to progress at those levels, has got to be frank and admit to that. I think anyone, certainly at the highest levels, who would not agree with me there proceeds somewhat at his own peril. It is my understanding, and I gather my friend from Windsor-Sandwich would not altogether disagree with me on that, there is a gradation at that level which, if the system is going to succeed, must surely be acknowledged. I am sure you would care to qualify your remarks to take care of that.

I do hope that we do not, as a group of politicians, protect and push ahead the essential policy that there shouldn’t be and in fact is no elitism in academic education because from my point of view there is no greater untruth.

A second point, a very brief point, relates to expectations today in universities. Again my friend from Windsor-Sandwich mentioned the crisis presently facing a lot of people, not only concerning summer jobs but graduating from undergraduate programmes and other such programmes. One of the things that disturbs me a great deal, and I have maintained a fairly close contact with a lot of people in quite a number of Ontario’s graduate programmes, is this whole question of expectation.

We’re at the point now where people enrolling in PhD programmes are being told over and over and over again that to apply and to be received into the programme is perhaps to realize more than anything else that the chances of getting a job in the academic community are virtually nil. I hope that the government, as I’m sure it must, pays serious heed to that set of circumstances because I think it is a serious one that threatens to undermine much of the stability within the programme.

I have one final point that has been raised by my colleague from Renfrew South. I know that it has a certain frivolity about it for many, as I think it should, given the manner of presentation on a number of occasions, is the question of sabbaticals. I think perhaps it is useful at this point in time to discuss it because sabbaticals reflect one of the basic traditions in our academic community. I don’t think I overstep the facts when I suggest that. None of us here would deny the fact that this particular framework of the institution is abused a times. I certainly wouldn’t suggest that that is not the case.

I do hope that the minister in this particular debate is willing to come forward and elaborate somewhat on his particular views on this particular topic. I well understand how fashionable it is for those red Tories of redder necks to introduce this flaming topic into a public debate because, let me tell you, it is pretty popular out in certain parts of the non-academic community. But I think it would be irresponsible for any of us here to acknowledge the essential thrust of that position, to countenance the pretensions therein and leave the impression with the population that the great sabbatical rip-off is something which should be redressed by virtue of a government restraint programme in that area.

I hope the minister is prepared at some point, as I said earlier in this debate, to elaborate upon his personal views on that one, granted small, area of tradition in the particular estimates that we find ourselves in this particular ministry. I further hope, in the interests of those who are in the sabbatical range in my particular part of Ontario who have been quite interested in this line of inquiry being pursued by the member for Renfrew South, that the hon. minister continues to take into his esteemed confidence the hon. gentleman from Renfrew South who, no doubt, will continue to have questions of one sort or another with respect to this interesting tradition in this ministry. Those briefly are my comments.

Hon. Mr. Parrott moved that the committee rise and report.

Motion agreed to.

The House resumed; Mr. Speaker in the chair.

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Speaker, the committee of supply begs to report that it has come to certain resolutions and asks for leave to sit again.

Report agreed to.


Mr. Speaker: Earlier today the hon. member for Waterloo North (Mr. Good) raised a question concerning the reporting of Bill 9, An Act to amend the Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act, 1973. I understand that the hon. member has now had an opportunity to hear the Hansard tape from the proceedings from 9:45 to 9:50 p.m. on May 18, during which the chairman put the question, “Shall the bill be reported?” and this question was carried. The chairman then proceeded to report the bill to me and the bill was given third reading earlier today.

The hon. member for Waterloo North may have a grievance in that there may have been further discussion from hon. members on the bill. However, I note that there were 85 members in the House, none of whom objected to the bill being reported. Therefore, I find nothing improper in the proceedings.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, before I move adjournment of the House, I think the House leaders are aware that the budget debate will occur tomorrow.

Mr. Speaker: Before we consider the adjournment of the House, I believe the hon. member for Waterloo North would like to speak very briefly to my ruling.

Mr. Good: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, I accept your ruling. I listened to the tape and there is, faintly discernible on the tape among all the other noise and interjections, that the bill was reported. Although it does not appear in Hansard that the bill has been reported, it is on the tape. If that is satisfactory for the Legislature to report a bill, I’ll have to agree with your ruling.

Mr. Speaker: The Chair notes the hon. member’s comment with grave sympathy and concern.

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

Motion agreed to.

The House adjourned at 10:30 p.m.