30e législature, 3e session

L065 - Tue 25 May 1976 / Mar 25 mai 1976

The House met at 2 p.m.


Mr. Speaker: Statements by the ministry.


Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, later today at motion time I will be moving that three select committees of this Legislature be established, all of which will be examining issues of concern to all members of the House. At this point I would ask the consent of the House to introduce this motion.

The select committees are: First, a select committee on truck transportation on Ontario highways; secondly, a select committee on highway safety and accident prevention; and thirdly, a select committee on company law.

The detailed terms of reference and the membership of each committee of course will be specified in the motion.

I wish to recall very briefly the background to these committees. Members will recall that the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow) indicated on April 20 in the House, “No satisfactory overall response has been developed or offered to address the criticisms which have been directed at the system of truck transportation in the province.” The minister indicated then that a select committee, acting as an impartial group, was endorsed by the government as the best way to investigate and make recommendations on the regulating system governing for-hire trucking in this province. The committee proposed today is the fulfilment of that undertaking.

In the Throne Speech opening this session of the Legislature, it was announced that the overall question of highway safety, accident prevention and driver education will be referred to a select committee of the Legislature for preparation of legislative recommendations to the assembly. The select committee on highway safety and accident prevention, proposed in today’s motion, would fulfil that objective.

As House leader, I have found that there is an eagerness on all sides of the House to re-establish the select committee on company law, particularly with respect to a thorough review of law relating to insurance companies in Ontario. We hope the third select committee proposed on motion today will be the proper mechanism for that review.

Mr. Nixon: I thought we had done that.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Finally, Mr. Speaker, I would urge members of the House and interested members of the public to note that their interest in the matters before these committees should, for purposes of expeditious procedure, be directed to the Clerk of the Committee, c/o the Clerk of the House, Main Parliament Building, Queen’s Park.


Hon. W. Newman: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce cabinet approval for the purchase of more than 355 tons of white pea beans to be donated to recognized Canadian international food distribution agencies for use in needy countries.

This gift from the Ontario people will go to the Ontario division of the Canadian Red Cross, the Mennonite Central Committee of Canada and the Unitarian Service Committee of Canada. These organizations will assume responsibility for distributing the food.

The beans will be purchased at $13 per hundredweight from the Ontario Bean Producers’ Marketing Board, for a total cost of about $95,000.

White pea beans are high in protein content and in nutritional value.

I believe many of the members will recall that in 1973 approximately $800,000 worth of white pea beans were purchased by the Ontario government from the Ontario Bean Producers’ Marketing Board and donated to the Canadian Red Cross for world-wide food aid distribution.

While the government of Ontario believes that the government of Canada should be responsible for food aid policy and programmes on behalf of all Canadians, I believe the members will agree that the province should provide emergency relief assistance from time to time as circumstances warrant.


Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, I am tabling today the 1976 Municipal Directory. I think members are aware that this has been amended in several important ways to show the following: 1. The reeves of Ontario’s county towns; 2. The directors of social services, planning, parks and recreation; 3. The area of the municipalities in acres; 4. Local boards such as conservation authorities, health agencies, school boards and planning boards.

The Municipal Directory continues to provide a concise reference to the programme responsibilities of the ministries of the government of Ontario, and to report on the following areas: Municipal populations and households by municipal classification; changes in municipal status; area and regional assessment offices; municipal associations.

Of particular interest and help, I think, to members of the House, is that each member of the House is listed by electoral district and alphabetical listing, and cross-referenced to the local municipality. It is something which was not in last year’s directory because of the problems associated with redistribution but which is back in place again this year and which, from the point of view, I think, of all of us, is a great help indeed.

Mr. Nixon: A great step forward.


Hon. Mr. McKeough: Secondly, Mr. Speaker, I am tabling today the second annual report of the chairman of the Ontario Economic Council. Copies of the report have already been distributed to members of the House.

Those hon. members who have had time to study the 35-page report have no doubt been impressed with the extent and depth of the council’s research and publishing. As you know, Mr. Speaker, this year the Ontario Economic Council produced six policy papers dealing with health, education, housing, national independence, social security and northern Ontario development in the Issues and Alternatives series.

In addition, the council published four working papers and several studies on the socio-economic impact of environmental policies property crime, tariffs and science policies and energy price changes. This independent research body is under the very able chairmanship of Mr. G. L. Reuber.

I might add that when the council held its Outlook and Issues ’76 conference in March, some 350 persons attended -- among them many senior business, labour and academic leaders and several members of this House.

I hope the members will find this second annual report a valuable catalogue of resource material.


Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, finally, I will be introducing today an Act to amend the Municipal Act in which there are a number of amendments to the Municipal Act to present to the House. Most of them are small changes designed to clarify legislation; others are to simplify procedures.

One specific change concerns the municipalities’ borrowing and investment powers. Municipalities will no longer be required to issue all debentures in a set at one time. Also, at present, municipalities may invest only in United States securities issued by the United States government. A provision in the bill will allow them to invest also in those securities unconditionally guaranteed by the United States.

Another change concerns those persons who find themselves unable to run for municipal council because their name happens to be missing from the polling list. As members know, in the past this stipulation has resulted in some unfair disqualifications because the final date to get on the list, if one happens not to be on it, is the second Friday before nomination day.

We now propose that a person nominated as a candidate should be able to run if he or she has obtained the certificate issued under the Municipal Elections Act to persons qualified to vote but whose names have been omitted from the polling list.

Other amendments are included in the bill mainly at the request of the municipalities.

Mr. Speaker: Oral questions.


Mr. Lewis: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I assume that this large cabinet turnout is in tribute to the first day’s return to active duty on the part of the Minister of Health --

Mr. Renwick: It is nice to see his face here again and not the Attorney General’s (Mr. McMurtry).

Mr. Lewis: I shall address to him a very moderate and non-controversial question. I am inclined to ask him how he feels and why is he here, but that aside -- since we have been told that the Public Health Act, dealing with laboratories, has been delayed in the pursuit of second reading until June 8 next, are we right in believing that it is the intention of the ministry to make some amendments of a significant nature to that bill before it is proceeded with or while it is proceeded with? If that is so, can the minister indicate what influenced the decision?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, to answer the first part -- why I’m here -- I’m not sure. I only know that a member of the NDP caucus just sent me a safety pin which I’m wearing on my lapel because he saw me regularly in the hospital and that’s all I had to hold myself together -- ouch, it just got me. I shouldn’t have trusted a safety pin from the NDP!

Mr. Breithaupt: They should have sent you the instructions with it.

Hon. F. S. Miller: I’m bleeding. As far as Bill 59 is concerned -- I believe that is the proper number of the bill -- certainly I am looking at the bill carefully and certainly I will not promise that there will be amendments to it. I am considering possible amendments to it but I’m afraid I can’t say any more until I’ve had a chance to make the review. I have spent most of today doing just that.

Mr. Lewis: By way of supplementary: Since the private lab controversy continues in such central focus and two more doctors, I gather, were rebuked and had privileges withdrawn by the Ontario Medical Association, can the minister indicate the lines of his review, the lines of his inquiry without committing himself to the amendments?


Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, the actions taken by the college, as the member knows were under its own regulations and conflict of interest rule. Most certainly, as he knows, those were being firmed up long before I took ill. I had discussions with the college months ago on better regulations. I believe these have reached the point where very shortly they are going to be circulated to the other disciplines, as required by the Health Discipline Act, for comment. I’d be pleased at that time to make them public to the opposition because we share a mutual interest in that aspect.

As far as the bill itself is concerned I want to achieve those things it’s designed to do. I have read the statements of the Leader of the Opposition in Hansard and he felt it wasn’t doing anything. I have to differ with him because we are trying to do, I think, the same things he wants us to do -- that is to control the total number of licensed outlets in the province so that we don’t have surplus unused capacity in the publicly-owned sector while the private sector is kept very busy.

I think that’s the key purpose of the Act. I’m looking at ways and means of making sure that’s done while being fair to all concerned.


Mr. Lewis: In stark contrast, Mr. Speaker, between clarity and discombobulation, I will address my next question to the Minister of Community and Social Services.

On May 19 last he issued an extensive memorandum to all the senior officials in his ministry on the matter of communication with the media. I genuinely find it a fascinating document making a heretofore unknown or at least undocumented distinction between information and intelligence; can the minister indicate whether this will be applied to other ministries in the way they handle potential or actual public information? Is this purely something within the Ministry of Community and Social Services? Does he feel that it corresponds with the COGP report recommendations?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: I’m glad the member asked that question. I was hoping he would have had a copy of the internal memorandum. As a matter of fact I’ve seen to it that there is additional money in my estimates for brown envelopes and Xerox equipment.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: The internal memorandum was to ensure that my staff conveyed matters of information freely and fully to the members of the public which would include, of course, the Leader of the Opposition and members of the political parties. I think we have to distinguish between information of that type and editorial comment on policy matters under consideration and decisions which have been made, in some cases, by me. I would prefer to deal with it in terms of the interpretation of that decision, rather than leaving it to staff.

I think that’s a responsible ministerial position to take. That’s the position I’ve tried to enunciate, I hope clearly, as one who can distinguish between information and intelligence. It pertains only to my ministry. It was initiated by me and circulated by me.

Mr. Lewis: By way of supplementary, considering the fairly severe proscription on the sharing of what the minister calls intelligence with the media or the public as set out in the memorandum -- rather rich for my blood, frankly, but apparently all right for his -- can he indicate whether he thinks this kind of thing corresponds with the clear wish for greater sharing of information set out even by the recent Conservative convention in its request for elimination of secrecy?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Absolutely, Mr. Speaker. The member mentions the word information and, of course, that’s the service we’re in. We want to make sure that, whatever programmes are available to the public, the public is fully conversant with them. If there’s anything they require to know, I want to ensure that all our district directors and people in our 19 district offices make that type of information fully available to the public. That is distinguished, of course, from matters of policy which should be determined by me or responded to by me rather than having staff interpretations put on them.

Mr. S. Smith: In this interesting distinction between information and intelligence, would the minister regard it as intelligence worthy of being kept secret, if another minister in the cabinet were to say that group homes at $65 a day are a great bargain to the public? If the Minister of Community and Social Services has in his possession a report from his own ministry pointing out that this is a ripoff, does he think that should be made public or is that a form of intelligence which is to be kept very quiet?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: I tried to define the difference for the member’s assistance in case he didn’t appreciate the distinction, but it’s not a question of keeping anything secret at all. It’s a matter of reserving to myself the prerogative of dealing in interpretive ways with policy decisions.

Mr. Reid: Be specific.

Mr. S. Smith: The minister is suppressing the report.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: There’s a ministerial responsibility. I’ll take that responsibility and I’ll interpret my own decisions. I don’t need the member or many thousands of people interpreting my statements for me, if they relate to policy.

Mr. MacDonald: In view of the presentation in that study paper at the annual meeting of the Progressive Conservative Party a week or so ago that there should be a sharing of this background information for purposes of letting the public share in the decision-making process, does the minister not think his definition of intelligence, in effect, is going to exclude the public completely and leave him acting in the role of God for the final decision?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Not at all. I thought the definition was clear to ensure the opposite. I think the member will appreciate that it’s very important to let the people we serve know what we’re trying to do and to ensure that every help is there to disseminate that type of information.

Mr. MacDonald: But the public is excluded from the decision-making process.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: We have a very open party and we had a very open convention.

Mr. Nixon: That’s the first one you’ve had in three years.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: We’re very interested in the views of a broad sector of the public.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.


Mr. Lewis: I have a question of the Minister of Community and Social Services. Am I right in believing that there has been yet another unhappy incident at the Huronia Regional Centre within the last 24 hours? Can he indicate how his ministry intends to respond?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Yes, there was an altercation there last night. I’m having a report made; we’re currently studying it. I don’t think it’s something that I can speak about until I have a full report.


Mr. Lewis: I have a question of the Premier. Given the new and often contradictory positions taken by Mr. Lang federally and the unilateral decision on the financing of rail transit ultimately from Quebec City to Windsor, can he reaffirm in the Legislature his assurance that Pickering will not be resurrected as a second international airport? Can he indicate what discussions he’s having about Malton with the federal government?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I can assure the hon. member it is not our intent to resurrect Pickering. We were very disappointed, as the minister indicated, I believe on Friday morning, at the statement from Ottawa. We were not disappointed on the Quebec City to Montreal route but at the fact it didn’t extend into the Province of Ontario where we think there has been a greater need perhaps -- certainly in the Toronto to Windsor corridor -- and where there is the economic justification. I don’t think there is any question that we’ll continue to press this with Ottawa.

As far as Malton is concerned, I can’t speak of any negotiations. I can just restate the position that I have taken, both as Premier of the province and as one who represents a constituency at the extremes of two runways, that we just will not support any runway expansion at that great international airport.

Mr. Lewis: By way of a supplementary, does the Premier feel he is being pushed, bullied, trapped, whatever the word is, into an effort to resurrect Pickering by the Lang statement on congestion, unsubstantiated as yet, at Malton and the trade-off with Mirabel? Is he as Premier drawn into these discussions?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I personally have not been involved in any discussions. There has been no communication that I know of. I think a certain amount of it is rumour at this stage. I don’t feel we’re being pushed or harassed at this moment.

Mr. Reid: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Can the Premier indicate, or does he know if there could be, in fact, more traffic at Malton? In other words, more take-offs and more landings handled by Malton as it is presently built, without any reconstruction or further expansion of the existing runways?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am not an expert in matters of air transportation. I confine my limited knowledge to magnetic levitation, but --


Mr. Reid: That certainly puts it in perspective.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- in that I occasionally do fly into Toronto International Airport, not frequently, but I do fly in there on occasion. I know that at some times of the day there appears to be less traffic than at other times of the day. So, one can only assume that there could be more traffic if spaced properly during the course of the day.

Mr. Roy: That should be worth a medal for you. You will get another medal.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We are getting too many supplementary questions again; I think we should move on to another question. The hon. member for Hamilton West.


Mr. S. Smith: I also salute the return of the Minister of Health, Mr. Speaker, and greet him with a question. Is he familiar with the situation at the Hamilton Match Plate Co., about which a certain Dr. Newhouse wrote him on May 14 of this year? And can he, in fact, explain how it is that two employees of that very small company should be suffering from very significant lung disease due to asbestos and other fibres that are floating around in that place, and yet the inspections which have gone on have never, until this year, even mentioned the white powder that is in evidence everywhere, and the most recent inspection condemned the place and provided no suitable remedies?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I am not aware of the details, and I will have to get them before I comment.

Mr. S. Smith: Just by way of supplementary; since I visited the plants myself on the weekend and took a sample of dust that was on a horizontal frame -- it was everywhere in the place -- would the minister agree first of all to have this sample analysed for asbestos and other harmful asbestos-like fibres? And could he answer specifically the question of Dr. Newhouse, who says it is rumoured that there are only six inspectors available to the occupational health protection branch, that’s excluding the mining inspectors? How many inspectors are, in fact, available? And does the minister consider this adequate for all the small businesses and small factories that exist in the Province of Ontario?

Hon. F. S. Miller: There are two different points there entirely, Mr. Speaker, and I think they need to be clarified.

First, I will gladly take the sample provided by the member, but I think it would be more important to have samples taken from the plant itself.

Second, there is a great shortage of properly trained people in the occupational environmental health field. My staff, while attempting to hire more, have found that this is a worldwide shortage, not just an Ontario one; you don’t just create them overnight. It is going to take us some time to have enough properly trained experts.

The last point is this: The role of Health, as I see it, and as it is developing from the accord within ministries, is that we are an audit group, rather than the primary inspectors. It is our duty to ensure that proper inspections are being done, rather than being the inspecting agency of daily contact. I think that is a very important differentiation. And, therefore, our job is not to be going to every plant -- which, obviously, hardly any number of inspectors would be enough to do -- but to be able to verify that proper inspection techniques are being carried out, either by other ministries or by companies.

Mr. S. Smith: Just as another supplementary; it’s a very vital point, it seems, Mr. Speaker. Do I understand the minister correctly to say that the occupational health branch of the Health Ministry makes no real effort and intends to make no real effort to carry out these inspections, but that some other agency of government or private agency will do so? In which case, would he please outline exactly how he is going to accomplish appropriate inspections in all the numerous dangerous industries in the Province of Ontario?


Hon. F. S. Miller: As the hon. member knows, we have carried out many inspections, sometimes at the prompting of members of this Legislature, and more often because members of my staff have had cause to suspect or return to a place. As I see it, the primary responsibility for inspection is with companies and other ministries, with us being responsible for making sure it is being done properly.

Mr. Lewis: Supplementary: In the case in question, can the minister table the various reports from the occupational health branch that resulted from the inspections over the last couple of years?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I’m not sure I can; I’ll check to see if it’s available.

Mr. S. Smith: I wasn’t intending to pursue this matter, but did I understand the Minister of Health to say that he feels that these companies will be responsible for their own inspection? This company in particular has a handful of employees; it’s a small, dingy place full of dust, and you can hardly walk in and see 2 ft in front of you. Does the minister seriously think they could carry on their own inspection process? Does that make sense to him?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Unless we want this to be a police state in which government inspectors sit in every company all the time, obviously industry has a major role to play in the monitoring of the working place. That’s a basic responsibility, whether we have rules or not. It is government’s job to double-check, insofar as it can, and that is our role.

Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary: Is it correct that the minister considers the possibility of making periodic, unexpected inspections of places and having the cost of these things applied as a form of tax, etc., on the various industries? It sounds to me like an absolutely revolutionary concept that the minister is coming up with, that places are simply to continue to create lung disease without any inspection process --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. This is not a debate. The question was asked, I believe.

Mr. S. Smith: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, I’m entitled to say, it seems to me --


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. S. Smith: Will you please be as careful with some of the answers the Minister of Community and Social Services gives?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. This is a question period, not a debating session.

An hon. member: He’s being petulant.

Mr. S. Smith: Well, you are entitled to say some things, it seems to me. It is absurd.

Mr. Lewis: Are you answering?

Mr. S. Smith: Is the minister going to answer that one?

Hon. F. S. Miller: What was the question?


Mr. Lewis: May I continue with a further supplementary? In his reply, is the minister changing the terms of the accord as they were enunciated, when it seemed as though the Ministry of Health was the ministry primarily responsible for occupational health matters and that it would inspect, as a matter of course, any environment which was actually or potentially hazardous?

Hon. F. S. Miller: No, I don’t think we’re trying to change the intent at all. I’m quite sure that in my absence certain discussions have gone on, of which I may not as yet be aware, between the ministries; and I know that when you try to make four ministries work together that previously had independent functions, not everything flows smoothly all at once. But I am the lead minister in this area; I am responsible, as I understand it, for supervising the setting of standards. I am responsible for ensuring that the working places are safe. This then goes down to two other levels, the Ministries of Natural Resources, Environment and Labour, which have inspectors in these working places more frequently than we do, on other matters; and in fact for the insistence that programmes of testing in places like the asbestos mines or Inco -- you name it -- are in fact going on by the company on an ongoing basis on the days we’re not there as well as the days we are there. Now that as I see it, is my role.

We have the right also, as I see it, to make these inspections on request, when something such as the one just mentioned may be brought to our attention that has escaped inspection, or when we suspect not everything is according to Hoyle.


Mr. S. Smith: A question for the Minister of Agriculture and Food: Can he tell us whether the government has any intention of assisting Ontario’s greenhouse growers to cope with the tremendous added burden of the fuel costs which they’re facing? Many of them apparently are considering going out of business. Does the minister have any policy on this?

Hon. W. Newman: Mr. Speaker, I’m fully aware of the problems the greenhouse operators of the province are having today, with the importation of tomatoes from outside of the Province of Ontario. I can assure the hon. member that I’m very much concerned. Our ministry has a study going on right now on the way to save energy in the Province of Ontario. But might I just tell the hon. member that the only way we could stop the importation of tomatoes from coming in here is at the federal level, and if they don’t do something about it our tomato growers in the greenhouse operation are in serious trouble.


Hon. W. Newman: Well, good. Why don’t you do something about it with your friends down there?

Mr. S. Smith: I agree with you, but what about the fuel costs?

Mr. Speaker: Order, order. The member for Essex South with a supplementary.

Mr. Mancini: In view of the fact that the minister has already met with the greenhouse growers from Essex county, and in view of the fact that they’ve already submitted briefs, why doesn’t the minister act on those briefs instead of always blaming the federal government? Act on them yourself!

Hon. W. Newman: Mr. Speaker, it’s just too bad. I’d just like to say to the hon. member opposite, he knows full well we have set up a special committee within my ministry --

Mr. Nixon: Another committee?

Hon. W. Newman: -- and including other ministries, to deal with the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade; and if he’s not aware of GATT and the problems it’s creating for the Ontario agricultural industry, he should be aware of it.

Mr. Reid: By the time you get through, there won’t be a greenhouse left in the Province of Ontario.

Hon. W. Newman: Mr. Speaker, we have been requesting a meeting with Ottawa for months to discuss this matter. We now have a date set. We’re not sure how many ministers can come to Ottawa, and we’re very anxious to meet with them and discuss not only this problem but all the problems of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. I’m not passing the buck at all and the hon. member full well knows the fact.

Mr. Gaunt: Supplementary: Does the minister have any programmes to help the greenhouse growers cope with their increasing input costs?

Mr. Nixon: Which is what the question was all about.

Hon. W. Newman: Mr. Speaker, we are fully aware of their increased costs, primarily fuel costs. There are no taxes levied by the Province of Ontario on the fuel they use. We’re talking about federal tax. Yes, we have been in touch with Ottawa about the fuel taxes.

We are concerned about the future of the greenhouse operators in this province and certainly intend to pursue the matter even further.

Mr. Nixon: Why don’t you set up a committee then?


Mr. S. Smith: A brief question for the Minister of Labour: In view of the verbal ruling of the Ontario Labour Relations Board last week instructing CCH Canadian Ltd., which prints Hansard, to resume negotiations with the Toronto Typographical Union, and in view of the fact that the company has so far refused to do so, will the minister please personally issue instructions to the company to bargain in good faith, as directed by the Labour Relations Board?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I hope that the hon. leader of the Liberal Party is aware that this was not, in fact, a direction issued by the Labour Relations Board. The Labour Relations Board has not completed its inquiry into this matter at the moment. At the end of the session on Wednesday, it was suggested, sotto voce actually, to both parties that they, in fact, begin to discuss this matter again before the next hearing of the Labour Relations Board, and the Labour Relations Board will be meeting with both parties on Friday of this week.

We have submitted to each party the statement that we would be pleased to be of service to them in bringing them together for discussions before the meeting on Friday if they so wish.

Mr. Bounsall: Supplementary: With this company still refusing to meet with the Ministry of Labour mediator who is standing by ready to be called, will this minister see that no information from the Province of Ontario, including reports from her own labour relations branch, flows to that company until it at least starts bargaining in good faith?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, as I have said, we have informed both parties that we will be very happy to be of service to them. We stand ready to do this and we are still awaiting the decision of the Labour Relations Board, which has not as yet been handed down and won’t be before Friday of this week.

Mr. Singer: Did you do that sotto voce too?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Only for you, Vern.

Mr. Nixon: Vern is an expert on sotto voce.


Mr. S. Smith: Will the Minister of Health now give us a firm date for a report on Browndale and the tabling of the audit, and given the vast sums of tax money flowing to Brown Camps residential and day schools through property leases and a highly questionable management contract -- over $1 million each year, I would imagine -- will he report on how our money is expended at that level?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, that’s one of the issues I have to get more information on. I know that a meeting was held last week between representatives of Browndale and the acting minister. I know that questions were asked in that regard and we’re waiting for certain answers. I’ll be able to answer this more specifically when my staff has been able to bring me up to date.


Ms. Gigantes: Mr. Speaker, a question to the Minister of Health: I would like to remind the Minister of Health of his promise in November that we would have 200 additional chronic care beds in the Ottawa-Carleton region, advise him that it looks like we will have only 4.3 by the promised deadline of June, and ask him what he intends to do about his old promise?

An hon. member: A good question.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I read a summary of the Ottawa situation during the weekend in which I recall that a number of other locations -- Perley Hospital and Montfort Hospital -- have made recommended changes in the chronic bed count bringing them up to close to that. We are negotiating with Civic, I think on its Westlawn pavilion, for 120 beds. One of the questions will be that of funding and we are working on that right now.

Ms. Gigantes: A supplementary: Is the minister’s failure to meet his promise of 200 beds by June in any way connected with the fact that his ministry is reluctant to close down the abominable MacLaren House Nursing Home in Ottawa?

Hon. F. S. Miller: No.

Mr. Roy: A supplementary: Does the minister not realize the importance of expedition in having these chronic care beds in Ottawa because major hospitals in Ottawa -- for instance, the Ottawa General -- are losing many hospital days because chronic care patients are taking up active care beds and it is very difficult for those hospitals to meet his criteria about cutbacks in spending?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Yes, I am aware of that, Mr. Speaker. I saw flow sheets showing, let’s say, the appropriateness of the location of patients in Ottawa. I am recalling a figure I saw only once -- I think there were 202 patients on a given day in Ottawa who could have been in facilities other than active treatment beds. Interestingly enough, at the same time there were about 190 patients in nursing homes who could have been elsewhere, too.


Mr. Reed: I have a question for the Minister of Government Services. Would the minister tell the House whether or not Kraft Food Holdings in the parkway belt west has been given governmental approval for development and, if so, when was the decision made?

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: I am not aware of such a decision, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Reed: A supplementary: Does this mean that items in the Toronto Star of May 13, the Malton Pilot of May 20 and the Mississauga News of May 19, are false?

Mr. Angus: There goes your Liberal research again.

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: Mr. Speaker, I think perhaps that question would be better directed to the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough).

Mr. Reed: Supplementary --


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I think we will have to allow the original minister to bring back the answer to the first question. A supplementary at that time might be appropriate.

Mr. Reed: I will redirect.


Mr. Lewis: That’s Kraft Foods, Darcy.

Mr. Reed: Should I begin again?

Mr. Speaker: The member for Halton-Burlington may redirect it to the Treasurer.

Mr. Reed: To the Treasurer; would the Treasurer please tell the House --

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

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: You are going to lose the account. No more crackers and cheese commercials.

Mr. Reed: Would the Treasurer please tell the House whether or not Kraft Food Holdings in the parkway belt west has been given government approval for development and, if so, when was the decision made?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: The answer is yes, Mr. Speaker. I am afraid I can’t give the member the precise date but I would think it was probably a month or so ago.

Mr. Reed: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: A final supplementary.

Mr. Lewis: That’s the first supplementary.

Mr. Reed: Does the Treasurer communicate with the Minister of Government Services on this matter of the parkway belt west, in view of the fact that I received a letter from her on March 8 stating categorically that there would be no development of Kraft Holdings in the parkway belt west?

Mr. Stong: Not if he can help it.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: That presumably would be the property it previously owned -- where approval has not been given for it to develop. Part of that property is being acquired by Ontario Hydro, as I recall. I think substantially the letter written by my colleague on March 8 and probably referring to the previous Kraft property, if I can put it that way, would be essentially correct.


Mr. Lewis: Supplementary: Since the government has now granted exemptions to Shell --


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I think we will allow a supplementary.

Mr. S. Smith: It’s only final from this side of course.

Mr. Lewis: Since I recall that the government has granted these development privileges or exemptions for Shell now and for Kraft, are there any other major companies under negotiation in the parkway belt west for which government approval is sought?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I don’t know what my friend means by “major” particularly. There have been a number of amendments to the parkway belt plan. They go forward, though not on a regular basis. We aren’t as concerned as my friend is with the size of the company. We treat little people and big people all the same, which is something they should try to do over there.

Mr. S. Smith: You are in trouble.

Mr. Lewis: Whenever the Treasurer has to answer, he resorts to hysteria.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Whenever you don’t have the answer you go after something big.


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



Mr. Mackenzie: To the Minister of Labour: Is the minister aware of the fear of many of the employees of the Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital that when a change takes place, taking hospital employees out from under the Crown Employees Collective Bargaining Act and placing them under a municipal board such as the Chedoke board and consequently under the Labour Relations Act, they could lose theft benefits? Is the minister prepared to grant successor rights to the employees in the event this takes place?

Hon. B. Stephenson: I am sure that this will be very carefully looked at in such a transfer.

Mr. Mackenzie: Supplementary: Will the minister inform this House as to whether the change to such a municipal board will take place while this House is in session, or will it take place after the House has risen?

Hon. B. Stephenson: It is my understanding that this entire matter is now in the hands of the Hamilton and Wentworth district health council and that they are considering the rearrangements within the health care system in that area. It will be upon their recommendation that any action is taken by the Ministry of Health and certainly by the Ministry of Labour.

Mr. Speaker: We will have a final supplementary on this.

Mr. Deans: Supplementary: Why would the minister not make it part of the negotiations and ultimate settlement that those employees are protected rather than to take it under advisement or give it some consideration? Why doesn’t she just make that a matter of course?

Hon. B. Stephenson: This was a proposal which has been made in the past and which has been accepted and rejected several times. It has come up again as a result of the recommendations of the district health council. It will certainly, I am sure, be discussed with the Ministry of Health people and, at that time, we shall look at it seriously.


Mr. Roy: A question for the Attorney General: In view of the warrants issued against people in the Maclean-Hunter organization under section 159 of the Criminal Code, dealing with pornographic material, and in view of the concern by police forces right across this province that organized crime might be some of the main beneficiaries from the profits of this type of trade, would the minister confirm that one of the firms involved, Capital Distributing, and the Santangelo people are in fact people who are known or suspected by the police to have some association with organized crime?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I am in no position to make any such acknowledgement at this time. All I know is that the company referred to by the hon. member has been charged. I have no specific information that would indicate there are any specific links with organized crime, as stated by the member.

Mr. Roy: Supplementary: Isn’t it a fact that there’s strong suspicion on the part of the police that organized crime is one of the main beneficiaries from the profits of this distribution? Secondly, in view of the fact that some of the people against who warrants have been issued were originally charged in Ottawa in 1973, and that there are now Canada-wide warrants against two of these people, Peter and Victor Santangelo, what steps has the minister taken for the extradition of these people to face charges pending in Ottawa?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: First of all, as a further response to the earlier question, our information with respect to the involvement of organized crime in the distribution of obscene material is related almost entirely to firms carrying out business in the United States.

With respect to the matter that my friend, the hon. member for Ottawa East raises in relation to possible extradition, I will check on the matter, but I don’t believe that this is an offence which is covered by the extradition treaty between Canada and the United States. I could be mistaken, but my belief at the moment is that it is not. I’ll look into that and report back to the House.


Mr. Bain: I have a question for the Minister of the Environment. As it’s almost a year since the Ministry of Natural Resources and this ministry undertook studies of Lake Timiskaming, which culminated in the Minister of Health releasing a statement that cautioned people not to eat the fish from Lake Timiskaming, when is this government going to undertake steps that will clean up the old mill sites in the Cobalt-Coleman area, which are a contributing factor to the pollution in the lake, the mercury entering the lake via Crosswise Lake and Farr Creek. As well, will he undertake a cleanup of Farr Creek and Crosswise Lake?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Those old mill sites, as the hon. member refers to them, are a problem. In some cases we have difficulty associating the particular company with the site, and thereby enforcing control orders or cleanup orders. This ministry itself is doing what it can to stop the leaching from those sites which, in fact, have contributed to some of the conditions of fish in Timiskaming. We’re continuing on with that cleanup as funds are available, but the problem is to get the companies that were there, or may still in some way be involved in that area, to make the necessary expenditures.

Mr. Rain: Supplementary: I’m sure the minister is aware that many of the companies no longer exist. Therefore, is the government willing to accept some of the responsibility, whether financial or otherwise, to ensure that the cleanup takes place? Also, will the ministry enter into some research that will eventually yield the technology that would take the mercury out of the lake itself? I’m sure the minister would probably say that the technology does not presently exist to take the mercury out of the lake itself, so will he also undertake some research that would yield a method of taking the mercury not only out of Lake Timiskaming, but out of the other water bodies in this province that are contaminated?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: There’s a possibility that in northwestern Ontario an effort will be made to remove some of the mercury from bottom muds in those rivers where the situation is even worse than Timiskaming. This is a very dangerous type of move in many respects, and the research isn’t complete. I agree that we need more research.

Mr. Singer: Oh, what a discovery!

Hon. Mr. Kerr: But you may be disturbing the bottom muds, and that in some way will make the condition worse than it is now.

On the first part of the hon. member’s supplementary, it’s a matter of money. In those areas where the company no longer exists, where we have to clean up as a result of analysing the conditions and the fish in the water there, it’s a matter of applying the necessary funds to systematically clean up those old tailings areas.

Mr. Singer: Supplementary: Would the minister not admit that there is no method known to science that can remove mercury pollution from a river with a muddy bottom? That was absolutely established after he began to look at the suit against Dow Chemical. So if the minister can’t do it in the St. Clair River system, how can he do it up north?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Speaker, I am not aware of any such thing.

Mr. Singer: Ask your deputy.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: As a matter of fact, in some rivers in Scandinavia they have dredged mercury mud.

Mr. Singer: Absolutely not,

Hon. Mr. Kerr: They have. I can get that information for the hon. member.

Mr. Singer: I wish you would tell your lawyers about it, too, because they don’t know.

Mr. Roy: I think the minister is being provocative.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: It wasn’t recommended for the St. Clair region for a particular reason, that’s right, because of current and other things, but it has been done and it has been done successfully.


Mr. Gaunt: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Labour. What Act and which section thereunder is the government using as its authority to close arenas across the province?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, this is under the Construction Safety Act, as a matter of fact. The arenas were first examined in 1971 and directions were left with a number of arena boards of management. In 1972 the inspections were again carried out; the same directions were left. The areas in which the arenas have been closed have been notified yearly until 1975.

In 1975, because of new information regarding snow load and their ability to withstand wind, it was suggested that most of these 19 arenas were entirely unsafe -- and it was felt that it would be extremely unwise for any of the municipalities to continue to use them should any such thing as a heavy snowfall and a windstorm occur at the same time. Therefore, under that Act, directions were sent to each of the arenas asking them to carry out an inspection and to give us their own inspector’s report regarding the arenas. It was when we received those reports and they were unsatisfactory that the arenas were ordered closed.

Mr. Reid: Why did you wait until the winter was over?

Mr. Gaunt: A supplementary: Could the minister indicate the section under the Construction Safety Act which gives that authority? Secondly, would the minister consider that the National Building Code snow-load requirement of 75 lb per square foot is rather onerous and unnecessary?

Hon. B. Stephenson: To answer the second question, Mr. Speaker, I really do not think so because we are considering public safety in these buildings and I think that is the issue of prime importance.

To answer the first question, I shall find out the exact section and let the member know. I don’t know.

Mr. Reid: One quick supplementary, Mr. Speaker. Why did the minister wait until the winter was over before she --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I believe the hon. member for Erie had a brief supplementary, too.

Mr. Good: What about summertime use?

Mr. Breithaupt: Will the minister allow summertime use?

Mr. Speaker: The oral question period has expired.


Presenting reports.

Hon. Mr. Welch presented the report of the Ontario Heritage Foundation for the year ending March 31, 1975.

Mr. Speaker: Motions.


Hon. Mr. Welch moved that a select committee of the Legislature on truck transportation on Ontario highways be appointed to examine, investigate, inquire into, study and report on all matters pertaining to the transportation in Ontario of goods on Ontario highways, including all matters affecting or pertaining to the shippers of goods and the transporters of goods, whether for gain or not for gain, the regulatory process and the public interest in general, and, without restricting the generality of the foregoing, including all matters relating to the following:

In present-day circumstances, the types and quality of highway transportation services offered to and used by the shipping public;

the effectiveness of the existing highway transport industry, both private and for-hire, to meet the needs of shippers and the public;

the ability of the highway transport industry to respond to changes in shippers’ needs;

the registration of commercial vehicle ownership under the Highway Traffic Act of commercial vehicles used in highway transportation services;

the impact of the growth in the use of owner/operators, brokers, leasing companies, driver pools on the highway transport industry and the highway transportation services to the shipping public;

the impact of the present-day regulatory process as it affects the public interest, shippers and carriers;

the effectiveness of the test of public necessity and convenience as a device to regulate entry and its capability of uniform application;

the relationship and impact of fleet size of individual operators to the application of a principle of control of entry into the for-hire trucking industry;

the system of classifying carriers in relation to types of commodities, routes or types of vehicles as opposed to general classification of common or contract carrier;


the extent to which commodities exempted from regulation should be expanded or contracted; the impact of rate filing, rate control and rate bureaus; the effectiveness of the judicial process as it applies to highway transportation licensing legislation to achieve compliance of regulatory requirements;

the investigatory powers necessary to enforce the statutory and regulatory requireinents in the courts; the effect of amending sections 10 and 11 of regulation 418 under the Highway Traffic Act to expand or further restrict the terms of reciprocity therein set out and including the benefits to Ontario residents in acquiring such reciprocal rights in other Canadian and American jurisdictions;

the impact of applying fuel tax and sales tax to non-resident owners of commercial vehicles operated in Ontario under reciprocal rights;

and such other matters as may be referred to the committee by the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow); and to make such recommendations as are deemed advisable with respect thereto and to submit an interim report to the assembly not later than Sept. 30, 1976 and a final report not later than Dec. 31, 1976;

and that the select committee have authority to sit during recesses and the interval between sessions and have full power and authority to employ counsel and such other personnel as may be deemed advisable and to hold meetings and hearings in such places as the committee may deem advisable and to call for persons, papers and things and to examine witnesses under oath, and the assembly doth command and compel attendance before the said select committee of such persons and the production of such papers and things as the committee may deem necessary for any of its proceedings and deliberations, for which the hon. the Speaker may issue his warrant or warrants;

and that the said committee is composed of 13 members as follows:

Mr. Gregory, Chairman; Messrs. Angus, Belanger, Cunningham, Urea, Grossman, Lane, Lupusella, Moffatt, Philip, Reid (Rainy River), Smith (Nipissing) and Villeneuve.

Mr. Lewis: I would say that is a good committee.

Mr. Speaker: I should bring to the attention of the House that this is a substantive motion requiring notice, and we need unanimous consent of the House to place the motion without the due notice.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Reid: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if I could just ask a point of clarification. I don’t know if the House leader can answer or not. Is this inquiry also including the dump truck segment of the industry?

Hon. Mr. Welch: That was my understanding.

Mr. Nixon: Notwithstanding the generality.

Hon. Mr. Welch moved that a select committee of the Legislature be appointed to continue the inquiry and the review of the law affecting the corporations in this province as reported on by the select committee of this House appointed on June 22, 1965, and reappointed on July 8, 1966, on July 23, 1968, and Dec. 17, 1971, and to, in particular, inquire into and review the law relating to the business of insurance companies in the province, including, but not restricted to;

(a) the incorporation, licensing, regulation and supervision of insurers as joint stock companies, mutual corporations, fraternal societies, mutual benefit societies, exchanges, syndicates of underwriters and rating bureaus, carrying on all classes of insurance business in this province, mergers, amalgamations and reinsurance of liabilities, reporting to shareholders, policy holders and members their solvency, liquidity and financial requirements, the purposes, scope and functions of their returns, reports, factual gatherings, and the basis for their rates and premiums;

(b) automobile insurance contracts and in particular the provision of accident benefits, fire insurance, life insurance, accident and sickness and marine insurance contracts and generally insurance contracts in this province;

(c) the licensing, regulation and supervision of insurance agents, brokers and adjusters;

(d) the marketing of insurance in this province;

and that the select committee have authority to sit during recesses and the interval between sessions;

and have full power and authority to employ counsel and such other personnel as may be deemed advisable, and to hold meetings and hearings in such places as the committee may deem advisable, and to call for persons, papers and things and to examine witnesses under oath;

and the assembly doth command and compel attendance before the said select committee of such persons, and the production of such papers and things as the committee may deem necessary for any of its proceedings and deliberations for which the hon. Speaker may issue his warrant or warrants;

and the said committee be composed of 13 members as follows: Mr. Singer, chairman; Messrs. Breithaupt, Bullbrook, Germa, Hodgson, Johnston (St. Catharines), Laughren, Lawlor, Renwick, Shore, Smith (Simcoe East), Grossman and Yakabuski.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Lewis: It should be said that with Yakabuski and Johnston, the committee itself will need insurance, Mr. Speaker. I wish you well.

Mr. Roy: The Tories are going to make a great contribution to that committee.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if I might draw attention to an error I made in the preceding motion. With the consent of the House, may I substitute the name Williams for Grossman on the select committee studying trucking on Ontario highways?

Mr. Speaker: Agreed? So corrected.

Hon. Mr. Welch moved that a select committee of the House be appointed to study the overall question of highway safety in all of its phases, including the problems associated with drinking and driving, methods of accident prevention now in general use, driver education in the school system, and public education; and to examine and consider any proposal designed to reduce the number of highway accidents submitted to the committee and to report on methods to achieve greater safety on the highway; more particularly, such matters as:

the regulation and control of traffic through enforcement; stricter enforcement of the laws that pertain to drinking-driving offences for all ages; driver examination and licensing standards; driver improvement and rehabilitation, including the demerit point system and traffic clinics (North York Traffic Tribunal); an assessment of potential benefits of photos on non-counterfeitable drivers’ licences, and methods of implementation and administration; an assessment of benefits of the vehicle registration and title system;

an assessment of benefits of Ontario’s motor vehicle inspection programmes; the transportation of children to and from school and the vehicles and their drivers; the licensing of driving schools; equipment standards for tow trucks; operation of multiple vehicle combinations (truck trailers); the benefits of the application of a penalty against any person who leaves keys in the ignition lock of an unattended motor vehicle; the most appropriate type of helmet for moped riders, and such other matters as may be referred to the committee by the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow);

and to submit an interim report to the assembly not later than Sept. 30, 1976, and a final report not later than Dec. 31, 1976;

and that the select committee have authority to sit during recesses and the interval between sessions;

and have full power and authority to employ counsel and such other personnel as may be deemed advisable, and to hold meetings and hearings in such places as the committee may deem advisable, and to call for persons, papers and things and to examine witnesses under oath;

and the assembly doth command and compel attendance before the said select committee of such persons, and the production of such papers and things as the committee may deem necessary for any of its proceedings and deliberations for which the hon. Speaker may issue his warrant or warrants: and that the said committee be composed of 13 members as follows:

Mr. Young, chairman; Messrs. Bounsall, Drea, Ferrier, Givens, Johnson (Wellington-Dufferin-Peel), Kennedy, Maeck, McCague, Mackenzie, Nixon, Norton and Riddell.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Speaker: Introduction of bills.


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

Motion agreed to; first reading of the bill.

Mr. Speaker: Does the hon. Treasurer have an explanation?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: No.


Hon. W. Newman moved first reading of bill intituled, An Act to amend the Live Stock Community Sales Act.

Motion agreed to; first reading of the bill.

Hon. W. Newman: Mr. Speaker, this amendment is to offer our inspection services at the community sales in the Province of Ontario.


Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, before the orders of the day, I wish to table the answer to question No. 3 standing on the notice paper.

Mr. Speaker: Orders of the day.

Clerk of the House: The second order, House in committee of the whole.


House in committee on Bill 25, An Act to amend the Highway Traffic Act.

Mr. Chairman: This is the bill that was referred back for amendments. The Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) indicates that he has an amendment to section 3. Is there anything in the bill prior to section 3?

Sections 1 and 2 agreed to.

On section 3:

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Chairman, if I just might make sure that there is no misunderstanding. As I’m sure all members of the House know, this bill did go through committee and before it received third reading, the House agreed to have the bill revert to committee so that certain considerations could be given to amendments that were made previously. In the meantime, in addition to certain amendments that Mr. McMurtry has relating to the suspension aspect of the bill, I have two very minor amendments, when we come to them, one for section 17 and one for section 20.


Mr. Chairman: Yes, all right. Mr. McMurtry has an amendment to section 3.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry moves that section 3 of the bill be amended by adding at the end of subsection 1 of section 20 as set out therein:

“Provided that where an order has been made before April 26, 1976, under subsection 1 of section 238 of the Criminal Code (Canada) prohibiting a person from driving a motor vehicle for any longer period, the licence shall remain suspended during such longer period.”

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Chairman, we are in agreement with the amendment proposed by the member for Eglinton, the Attorney General.

Mr. Reid: Will this be the last time?

Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Chairman, I confirm as well our agreement with this. The matter had been discussed by the Attorney General with members of the other two caucuses. It would appear that this amendment continues what the law was before the repeal of the section; that is the apparent intention and wish of the members of the House and we agree with the amendment.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Chairman: The hon. minister has another amendment, I believe, to the same section.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry moves that section 3 of the bill be amended by renumbering subsections 4 and 5 of section 20 as set out therein as subsections 5 and 6 and by adding thereto the following subsection:

“4. Where a person pleads guilty to or is found guilty of an offence referred to in subsection 1 and an order directing that the accused be discharged is made under section 234, 236 or 662.1 of the Criminal Code (Canada), this section applies in the same manner as if the person were convicted of the offence.”

Do all members of the committee have a copy of that amendment? Is there any discussion on it? The hon. member for Riverdale.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Chairman, I want to try to clarify the problem which occurred when this matter was before the House earlier, when the bill went on to the order paper for third reading and when the members of all of the parties agreed it should be reinstated.

What I was concerned about in the deletion -- and now the reinstatement answers my problem -- was that as I understand it, the effect of the reinstatement is simply to say that if a person, for very good reason -- he has no other record and is a man of exemplary character like the Attorney General or me --

Mr. Reid: That destroys the argument.

Mr. Renwick: -- happens perhaps to have had one too many and made the mistake of driving his car, it would still be open for the presiding magistrate, the provincial court judge in the criminal division of the province, to say simply, “All right. I am going to grant you an absolute discharge or a conditional discharge with the full knowledge that really all I am interested in is not your having a criminal record but your staying off the roads for the period of time prescribed by the Highway Traffic Act.”

I was concerned, when the bill was reported out of committee, that the deletion of the clause removed that option available to a provincial court judge exercising his criminal jurisdiction. I would like the Attorney General to confirm that that is his understanding of what this reintroduction or reinstatement of this section does.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Yes, that is my understanding, Mr. Chairman. I think it will give the provincial court judge, in effect, a greater discretion because, as was discussed with the hon. member for Riverdale, there are cases in which a provincial court judge, for very good reason, could believe that an absolute discharge would be appropriate but would be reluctant to do so if he or she thought that the licence suspension would not follow. That is my understanding; it’s simply the same as that of the hon. member for Riverdale.

Mr. Worton: As a layman, I interpret this to mean that if a person is convicted for impaired driving and the judge so wishes, he will have the opportunity or his discretion will be used to grant that licence for work purposes, or am I confused on this?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: No. This has nothing to do with the concept of intermittent driving privileges. This is a matter that was indicated by various members of the House might well be discussed in the future just what the policy should be with respect to giving the provincial court judges the power to grant intermittent driving privileges. But this has nothing to do with that.

Mr. Worton: It has nothing to do with it. All right, thank you.

Motion agreed to.

Section 3, as amended, agreed to.

On section 4:

Mr. Chairman: The hon. Attorney General has an amendment to section 4.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry moves that section 4 of the bill be amended by adding to section 24 as set out therein the following subsection:

“(2) Where a person pleads guilty to or is found guilty of an offence referred to in subsection 1 and an order directing that the accused be discharged is made under section 662.1 of the Criminal Code (Canada), this section applies in the same manner as if the person were convicted of the offence.”

Do members have a copy of that? Any comment on it?

Mr. Renwick: I think again just for the record the reinstatement of this particular subsection has the same effect as the one we’ve just dealt with. It would permit a judge to exercise his discretion, if he saw fit, of granting an absolute or a conditional discharge with the full knowledge that the driving suspension under the Highway Traffic Act would remain effective.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: That’s my understanding.

Motion agreed to.

Section 4, as amended, agreed to.

Mr. Chairman: The hon. Minister of Transportation and Communications indicated he had an amendment on section 19.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Section 17, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman: I have section 19 and section 20.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Section 17 and section 20.

Mr. Chairman: Oh I’m sorry. But we don’t have a copy of that.

Sections 5 to 18, inclusive, agreed to.

On section 19:

Mr. Chairman: Hon. Mr. Snow moves subsection 1 of section 120(a) of the Act as set out in section 17 of the bill be amended by striking out “or a school board” in the third line.

Do all members of the committee have a copy of Mr. Snow’s amendment? Any comment on it?

Mr. Renwick: Yes, I would like an explanation.

Hon. Mr. Snow: This amendment is being made to remove any possible misunderstanding as to the relationship between municipalities, school boards and school crossing guards. This amendment is at the request of the Minister of Education (Mr. Wells). The school crossing guards are employees of the municipality, not the board of education. The board of education does not employ school crossing guards. The Minister of Education has asked for this minor amendment.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Chairman: Mr. McMurtry has a further amendment to section 19.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry moves that the bill be amended by renumbering sections 19, 20 and 21 as section 20, 21 and 22 and by adding thereto the following section:

“19. Section 150 of the said Act is amended by adding thereto the following subsection:

“‘1a Where a person pleads guilty to, or is found guilty of an offence under the Criminal Code (Canada) referred to in subsection 1, and an order directing that the person be discharged is made under sections 234, 236 or 662.1 of that Act, the provincial judge or justice of the peace who makes the order or the clerk of the court in which the order is made shall forthwith certify the order to the registrar setting out the name, address and description of the person discharged by the order, the number of his operator’s or chauffeur’s licence, the number of the permit of the motor vehicle with which the offence was committed, the time the offence was committed and the provision of the Criminal Code (Canada) contravened.’”

Do members of the committee have a copy of that?

Mr. Lawlor: I’m just wondering, on these amendments having to do with absolute discharges and conditional discharges, has the Attorney General any statistics as to the number of discharges of that nature directed to crimes of that nature, particularly the one with respect to driving with ability impaired by drugs or an alcoholic beverage? My feeling is, and I don’t practise in courts to the same extent that I once did, but it’s ruddy hard, if you’re pleading guilty to having 1.7 alcoholic content in the blood stream, to get a judge to exercise that sort of clemency. Are we going to great lengths over very little indeed?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Chairman, I do not have any statistics and I suspect there are relatively few cases where the clemency referred to by the hon. member for Lakeshore is indeed exercised. I think the point that has been made by his colleague, the hon. member for Riverdale, is a valid one; namely, that in this type of offence the suspension is the key element in the punishment and that for certain reputable citizens, it was felt by the member for Riverdale, and I share his view, that justice would be served by effecting the suspension that is desired without, in certain circumstances, giving the individual a criminal record.

Certainly in the absence of this provision it would be unlikely, even in the most proper case, that a provincial judge would be so inclined to exercise his discretion, because of the fact that a suspension would not follow. The purpose of reintroducing these sections into the bill -- and I might say the matter of the reintroduction was initiated by the hon. member for Riverdale -- was to give the provincial court judge exercising the jurisdiction of a magistrate some degree of discretion in this respect. That is the purpose for reintroducing these sections into the bill, and in my view it’s a purpose that’s quite worthwhile.

Mr. Lawlor: Mr. Chairman, while I must concede -- I suppose concede -- the overall merit of reintroduction of the sections, I don’t want to let this opportunity pass to show the independence of spirit and the integrity of purpose I exercise vis-à-vis my own colleagues in this particular regard. It seems to me we are beholding, in the Legislature today, a Janus-faced god, a god who looks in two directions at the same time. He renders clemency with his right hand and he takes it away with his right -- with his left, rather. I don’t care; take what hand you please, but they’re going in opposite directions.

There won’t be a criminal conviction, that’s a blot on the escutcheon; but you’d take away the bloody licence indefinitely, because that’s really where the gravamen of the offence lies. Why not just turn the god around? It’s not January, it’s almost June.

Mr. Roy: Mr. Chairman, I beg your indulgence. I take it we’re discussing sections 3 and 4 of Bill 25?

Mr. Chairman: Those sections have gone through; we’re dealing with section 19.

Mr. Roy: Oh. I wonder, with your permission Mr. Chairman, if I might ask a question of the Attorney General pertaining to the suspension under subsection 3. I was out just briefly --

Mr. Lawlor: Where were you?

Mr. Roy: -- and I would just like to ask a question of the Attorney General pertaining to this because of some amendments to the Criminal Code. I wonder if I could have your indulgence on this?

Mr. Chairman: Is it agreed by the committee that the hon. member for Ottawa East ask a brief question on section 3 on which he might get clarification?

Mr. Renwick: Provided he stays for the rest of the debate.

Mr. Roy: Some of us get in and out. I’d be as gracious as the member for Riverdale in similar circumstances.

Mr. Lawlor: Get on with it.


Mr. Renwick: I am gracious too. I just want you to be here.

Mr. Roy: As you know, section 22 of the Parole Act has been revoked with Bill C-71, and that was the famous section whereby certain individuals who suffered a suspension could go to the parole board and get a -- I don’t know what you called the order --

Mr. Renwick: A pardon.

Mr. Roy: No, it wasn’t a pardon, it was a stay of the suspension order by the province, and the most famous case, of course, was that of the Hon. Jean Marchand who recently had a year’s suspension and had a stay of suspension from the Quebec government after six months.

As you know, that section has now been revoked under the Parole Act and the parole board has no further jurisdiction. Under subsection 3 of the Highway Traffic Act, where the judge has jurisdiction to suspend for life if he feels it is necessary, I was wondering whether the province intends to set up any sort of agency which may, after a number of years, look at this suspension and stay it?

I want to say very clearly that I would hope this would not be abused, but on the other hand if a person is rehabilitated after, let’s say 10 years, and had a lifetime suspension under the Highway Traffic Act, whether the province has any intention at all of having a board, similar to the parole board, which had a chance to look at this suspension and, when it was warranted, to stay the suspension after any period of time it felt was adequate.

I just feel we may have some circumstances where the judge feels that the suspension requirement is, say for 15 years, and yet the individual after five years or even 10 years is fully rehabilitated, and if he is he should be given every privilege that every other citizen has in this province. I was just wondering whether the Attorney General had looked at that and whether it is the intention of the province to set up some form of agency, or whether the registrar of motor vehicles will be able to do that, following one of these lengthy suspensions under the amendments to Bill 25?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Yes, the potential for lengthy suspension that the member for Ottawa East refers to, of course, is in relation to criminal offences where there is a possible penalty of life imprisonment; otherwise it is no more than three years. I think the point raised by the member for Ottawa East is a valid one. This is a new experience for the province and I think it is something that I should discuss with the Minister of Transportation and Communications with a view to perhaps establishing. I don’t think there is any degree of urgency, as the matter is only being introduced, but where a suspension might, for example, be beyond the three-year period certainly I agree in principle with the suggestion from the member for Ottawa East that there should be some procedure or mechanism by which this matter could be reviewed. I think it is a worthwhile suggestion.

Mr. Chairman: We are on section 19.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Chairman, I don’t know whether this is properly in order but I am sure my colleague, the member for Ottawa East, will agree -- I think it is in order but I am not certain about it, the intricacies are so great at the moment. A lawyer, Wilfred Day, practising down in Port Hope, wrote to my colleague, the member for Etobicoke (Mr. Philip), who is the critic of this particular ministry, and may I just quote what he said in his concern about the inability now to grant a restricted licence for the purpose of employment. My colleague, the member for Wellington South (Mr. Worton) is also concerned about this problem.

Wilfred Day, practising in Port Hope, but writing in a personal sense rather than as a lawyer, said:

“I wish to suggest that the caucus [that’s NDP caucus] take a stand in favour of restoring some authority to provincial court judges in the matter of intermittent suspensions or restricted licences for the purposes of employment. Until about three years or so ago someone convicted of impaired driving could ask the court, under section 238 of the Criminal Code, to be allowed to drive for work purposes. The court could make an order prohibiting him from driving a motor vehicle in Canada at all times or at such times and places as may be specified in the order.

“In my opinion, this worked very well in our area. A man who would normally get a three-month suspension, if he had to drive to get to work or for farm purposes, or if driving was part of his job -- construction vehicles, employers’ vehicles, etc. -- could explain the situation to the judge and the judge could make the appropriate order if he felt it was necessary, tailoring the terms of the order to the person’s exact situation and frequently would make the overall suspension six months to compensate for diluting it.

“The Crown attorneys and defence lawyers were quite happy with this also; nor did you have to get a lawyer to do this. I saw accused persons get this on their own.

“Then the Ministry of Transportation and Communications decided to insist on the overriding authority of the automatic suspension under the Highway Traffic Act and issued instructions to their computer to refuse to recognize judges’ orders under the Criminal Code, litigation followed and the Highway Traffic Act won.

“Some judges fought back by trying to give restricted licences by way of conditional discharge but this was clearly illegal. In effect it was an exercise in civil disobedience by the judges and was ruled illegal by the Supreme Court of Canada in the Bradshaw case.

“The result now is that if a man is found driving while impaired, the only discretion is that of the individual constable, whether to charge him or to drive him home. Once he has been charged, there is no legal or judicial process to give any consideration to the individual case. He has an automatic suspension and may well lose his job or may find that his wife has to drive him to work, drive farm vehicles or whatever, penalizing someone who is not a party to the offence at all.”

He goes on at some length and I don’t need to refer to the point at any greater length. I think we in this caucus have from time to time spoken both ways in the same matter. My colleague, the member for Lakeshore, was rather more lenient than my colleague, the member for Wentworth (Mr. Deans), about how tough one should be.

My question really is simply to ask: Is the ministry giving any consideration to a restricted type of licence for employment purposes or does the overriding public interest, from the point of view of the ministry, require this penalty, without any ifs, ands or buts about it?

Mr. Breithaupt: This could even become a debate!

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I think it’s a significant matter of policy and, as I indicated earlier, I would be quite prepared to suggest that it be included within the terms of reference of the highway safety committee which has just been established -- as to where the province should go in relation to intermittent driving privileges. I would be more than happy to see the matter referred to that committee.

Mr. Roy: Mr. Chairman, if for nothing else but the record might I echo some of the concerns mentioned by the member for Lakeshore and the member for Riverdale about this amendment to section 19. I think the member for Lakeshore made a point. When we appoint judges, we give these people the power of discretion. They get certain individuals who come before them and really, out of a variety of factors, whether it is the employment of the individual, the circumstances of the case in which he finds himself, as the Attorney General knows well enough through his long and successful practice -- a lot of which was before the criminal bar -- seldom do you get two individuals alike. There are always shades; the evidence is different; the facts are different in a variety of cases.

It bothers me to see, for instance, a discharge or a conditional discharge given on the one hand by the court and taken away by the Highway Traffic Act. I understand that it’s a difficult situation to come down hard on because we know there are abuses. We know that because the statistics prove overwhelmingly that there are far too many accidents where the percentage of drivers who’ve been drinking is continually increasing.

We thought we had solved the problem to some degree in 1968, I guess, when John Turner brought in the famous law to compel people to take a breathalyser test. I can recall that was brought in some time before Christmas, and it was the talk of cocktail parties; everybody was going around saying you shouldn’t drink too much and some were walking around with their own little Alco-Dials of some sort trying to figure how much they had had to drink. I can understand that this was a momentary thing, but then the statistics shot up again.

There is a political aspect of this and there’s the humanistic or justice aspect of it. We’re trying to be tough, and I think we’re all in agreement here that we’ve got to be tougher. Somehow we’ve got to get it across that if you want to drink you can’t drive and if you want to drive you don’t drink; you’ve got to make your choice.

But as one who appears before the courts and sees a variety of situations, it bothers me that there are circumstances where the court and everyone involved feels there should be a humanistic sort of approach to a case, that a conditional discharge should be given, but we’re precluded from doing it under this section.

I just wanted to register my concern about this, but I also want to say I have some sympathy with both ministers on this, because there are obviously political pressures. Apart from that I’m sure there is a feeling in the ministry, and especially in the Ministry of Justice, that when a loophole or some scheme is found to take away the sting of some particular law, it’s continually pleaded by the lawyers and then I suppose you feel, in the Ministry of Justice, that too many judges are using this method of avoiding, let’s say, harsher law. I can recall that was how conditional and complete discharges were used.

I am convinced there is a fear in the ministry that once this situation is found to work, then every second lawyer and every second accused who comes before the court will plead that for reasons otherwise he needs his licence to drive and he should get a conditional discharge. There is some sympathy, because I suppose if there is one offence that all of us here, but for the grace of God, at one time or another might find ourselves charge with, it’s one of drinking and driving. I think many of us have felt that since the law has got tougher and since we’ve seen the statistics, certainly we’re more careful, but at one time or another I suppose many of us were in that kind of a situation, whether it was after a judge’s party, the bar association dinner or whatever and some judges, I suppose, may well have faced the rigours of that situation.

I’ve got to register my concern about this because, as was stated by the member for Riverdale, who was reading that letter, under that section, unless you’re extremely fortunate that there’s a technicality some place else the only discretion left is with the police officer. In some ways I’m pleased that they may be going to have breathalysers with them; at least the fellow can say, “Let me blow in there to show that I’m not impaired or I’m not over 0.08.” But, as one in the legal field, I have to be concerned about the fact that the only discretion remains with the peace officers. I must register that concern.

Maybe as an aside, as a matter of interest, I could tell you of a situation I handled the other day. I had an individual charged with an 0.08 offence -- care and control over 0.08 -- and, of course, the usual question was asked, “Did you blow within the two hours?” This can only happen in Ottawa. But as I questioned him, I found out that he’d been stopped -- and on the parking lot of the American Embassy; he was on foreign soil. Here was the famous argument that the Criminal Code and our criminal law is local in nature and cannot apply to foreign jurisdiction, and so he was one of the lucky ones. The advice to other people, I suppose, is to go and park on the American Embassy grounds.

Mr. Reid: It’s a long way to drive sometimes to get there.

An hon. member: It’s a long way from Rainy River.

Mr. Roy: I am saying that apart from that type of technicality, the only discretion left is with the police. I think it is going to be extremely important that all of us follow the workings of that law, because police forces, like any other agency, need some continual scrutiny so that this is not abused, and I think we have to express that concern.

Mr. Grossman: Mr. Chairman, like the member for Ottawa East --

Mr. Breithaupt: This is going to be a real confession.

Mr. Grossman: I was just going to say it is not. Like the member for Ottawa East, I am a lawyer who has had occasion to --

Mr. Reid: Have a drink or two.

Mr. Grossman: -- practise in the courts, though not attend those raucous bar association parties. On occasion I have pleaded for the very same type of consideration that we are concerned about here today, although I must say I have never had occasion to worry about my own personal situation.

Mr. Reid: You must lead a very dull life.

Mr. Cunningham: Have you got a driver’s licence?

Mr. Grossman: It may be different in Ottawa, though, I don’t know. I hear it is different in Ottawa.

I just did want to rise and say that in other areas of the law, strictness is something that is honoured. A very strict standard is put on enforcement, without exemption of other laws. This happens to be one area which has been overridden for very many years with excuses and explanations -- some valid, some not so valid. Somehow when it comes to drinking-related offences, there is always some sort of explanation which is acceptable to some -- I suppose because, as the member for Ottawa East seriously has suggested, it is something that almost everyone can relate to.

Surely when you are talking about a break-and-enter or an assault causing bodily harm, not very many people, in this assembly or on the bench or in very many other places, can immediately relate to it in a very personal way. It is not something they have participated partially in, and not enough to blow 0.08. A drink-related offence is something they can relate to.

Because of that, explanations and a dispensation result, which I think has led to a situation where it is nigh about time when we ought to go into a more extended period of time during which we do not have that exemption, particularly in view of the fact that we are in an area in which most of the violations obviously result in someone enjoying themselves and then regretting it afterwards. I don’t think it is too tough, in something that is as widely publicized as this legislation will be, to say, “This is the rule, boys.”

It is severe, yes; but when you look at the toll it wreaks in ruining lives, destroying families and injuring people, I just don’t think it is something in which we can continue to permit the type of ever-increasingly-open relief that has been the case over some period of time. As the member for Ottawa East rises to express his concern, I express my concern as well, except to say that on balance at this particular time I would say it is time for strict observance of the legislation, and I would at this time think that we ought to go without the loopholes as they have been referred to earlier.

Mr. Reid: Unlike the previous speaker, I want to suggest that perhaps some discretion should be left in. I think surely it is within the competence of the minister and the legislation’s drafters that they can lay down fairly rigid guidelines as to whom the discretion would and would not apply.

I am sure, Mr. Chairman, you would agree with me, coming from where you do, that a great many people in the northern ridings particularly -- I won’t say drink, but they do travel some distance to work. My constituency is mining and pulp and paper. People have to travel to the forest to cut the trees, and have to travel by truck to get there. They have to travel in some cases 50 miles to a mine site -- from Ignace to Mattabi Mines, for instance -- or seven miles from Atikokan to Steep Rock or Caland. These people are going to be at a great hardship if their particular circumstances aren’t taken into account. I would think also, for instance, that people who live in the dormitory towns in southern Ontario, who commute to Toronto or Hamilton or Sarnia, and who find themselves in this difficulty, are also going to be in a position where their livelihood and their families and everything else is going to be affected by a much greater degree than those people who, perhaps, have the use of public transit to get to and from work.

I would just reiterate what I said in the previous reading -- hopefully we won’t have a third shot at it -- but I would hope that the minister would give some thought to that discretion.

Mr. Renwick: I am always interested to bear the different views on this sort of question. My experience, basically, is limited to Toronto’s old city hall. I came down on the wish to have this matter reinstated as an equitable matter, rather than as a restriction. The reason was that my experience, and I can only speak of my own experience, is that it is extremely difficult to persuade a provincial court judge, exercising his criminal jurisdiction under the code, to give a conditional or an absolute discharge for driving offences.

Now, that may be different in other parts of the province. But I think it is fair to say that if one were before my good friend, His Honour Judge Bigelow, to ask on an impaired driving charge for an absolute or a conditional discharge would -- regardless of your seniority at the bar -- lead you to be dressed down in public for even daring to make that suggestion. Because I think that’s the view in Metropolitan Toronto, and I think other judges adhere to that view. I would certainly like to hear my colleague, the member for Lakeshore, or any other of the lawyers who practise in those particular courts.

That has been my experience, and my anxiety to have it reintroduced was not for the purpose of making it tougher, but for the purpose of permitting a judge in a proper case, and only as a discretionary matter, to grant a discharge or conditional or absolute with the full knowledge that the person at least would not be driving.

I felt, on balance -- and I recognize both the pure legal argument and the very real practical arguments put the other way in perhaps other parts of the province -- but I think it is fair to say that it would be the general experience of lawyers practising in the old city hail, that it is very difficult to get an absolute or a conditional discharge on a driving offence under the code related to alcohol.

Motion agreed to.

Section 19, as amended, agreed to.

On section 20:

Mr. Chairman: Hon. Mr. McMurtry has a further amendment to section 20.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry moves that section 21 of the bill, as renumbered, be amended by striking out “and 17” in the third line of subsection 1, and substituting in lieu thereof “17 and 19.” And by striking out “section 10” in the second line of subsection 2 and substituting in lieu thereof “sections 10 and 19.”

Do members of the committee have a copy of that? Any comments on the minister’s amendment?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I understand, Mr. Chairman, the amendments proposed in this section just simply provide for the new section 19 to come into force on proclamation.

Mr. Chairman: Shall the amendment carry?

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Snow has a further amendment to the same section, subsection 3.

Hon. Mr. Snow moves that subsection 3 of section 20, which is section 21 of the renumbered section of the bill, be amended by striking out “June” in the second line and inserting “July” in lieu thereof.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Because of the delay in having the bill passed, this allows for a further month for the implementation of this one section.

Motion agreed to.

Section 20, as amended, agreed to.

Section 21 agreed to.

Bill 25, as amended, reported.

Hon. Mr. Snow 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 the whole House begs to report one bill with amendment and asks for leave to sit again.

Report agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Snow moved second reading of Bill 82, An Act to amend the Public Transportation and Highway Improvement Act.

Mr. Philip: We agree with the intent of this. One or two of our members would have a few questions to ask on it and we would like to have it referred to committee.

Mr. Breithaupt: We have certainly no objection to that. I know there are a number of items that my colleague from Rainy River (Mr. Reid) has to raise on it but I think that this bill is not one which has any particular discussion that can be held in the usual debate on second reading. We would be content to have the bill receive second reading and then be directed to committee of the whole where we can no doubt deal with it, probably before 6 o’clock.

Motion agreed to; second reading of the bill.

Mr. Speaker: Shall this bill be referred to the committee of the whole House?

Hon. Mr. Snow: If the members want it, to the committee of the whole House, Mr. Speaker.


Clerk of the House: The second order, House in committee of the whole.


House in committee on Bill 82, An Act to amend the Public Transportation and Highway Development Act.

Mr. Chairman: Any comments, questions or amendments?

Ms. Renwick: The one question I have, simply because I don’t understand it, is on section 5 of the bill.

Mr. Chairman: Are there any comments before section 5?

Sections 1 to 4, inclusive, agreed to.

On section 5:

Mr. Renwick: I just have no idea of the significance of the repeal of subsection 2 of section 45 of the Act which is being amended. Perhaps the minister could tell me what the significance of the repeal of that section is. Perhaps I could read the section as it now stands:

“Where a county has paid over moneys raised on sinking fund accounts to the Treasurer of Ontario under section 315 of the Municipal Act, the amount to be raised for the construction of roads under subsection 1 may be a sum not exceeding the total amount so in the hands of the Treasurer of Ontario with five per cent of the equalized assessment of the county added thereto.”

I repeat, I just don’t understand either the section in the first place or its repeal in the second place.


Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Chairman, this subsection of the Act deals with financing by a county under a section of the Municipal Act which was repealed back in 1970. The subsection in our Act now serves no purpose, and we’re deleting it because the complementary section in the Municipal Act has been repealed.

Section 5 agreed to.

Mr. Chairman: Are there any further comments on the bill?

Mr. Wildman: On subsection 6.

Mr. Chairman: On subsection 6? Is that section 6 or subsection 6?

Mr. Wildman: Section 6.

On section 6:

Mr. Wildman: I would like the minister to clarify the reason for the deletion of the words “ ... of the minister and …” Does he see this as giving the municipality more discretion, or is there any particular reason for this?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Yes, Mr. Chairman, this is the reason for it. At the present time the municipality must receive approval of both the minister and the Ontario Municipal Board to designate a road as controlled access. After consultation with the municipal leaders on committee and so on, we decided to delete the approval of the minister. We even considered the approval of the board but felt that should remain as a protection to individuals who may own property along a right of way. At least this way the municipality would have to get OMB approval and that individual would have the right to appeal to the OMB.

It’s just unnecessary in this day and age for a municipality to come to the minister for approval like this. We’re trying to streamline the process and give the municipalities the authority to make up their own minds.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Chairman, on section 7 there is no reference to the Municipal Board and we’re dispensing with the approval of the minister. Perhaps the minister would give us a word of explanation about the removal of his approval as a condition of the agreements authorized under section 100, subsection 1 of the Act?

Mr. Reid: The explanatory section seems to contradict itself.

Hon. Mr. Snow: This is basically the same thing, Mr. Chairman. It just deletes the requirement of two municipalities to get the approval of the minister to enter into an agreement to construct or maintain a road between two municipalities. They can now enter into an agreement on their own.

Mr. Renwick: What concerns me is why was the minister’s approval required in the first place? I guess that’s why I have the question in the back of my mind. It seemed to be quite unreal that the minister had to give his approval in the first place. I wonder what protection, if any, would be removed by deleting the minister’s approval. It certainly would lighten your workload.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Chairman, there are a great many things in the several Acts under my jurisdiction where my approval is required. I would like to get rid of a considerable number which I really don’t feel are necessary for things that have probably been in legislation for many, many years. I haven’t researched it back to see when this was put in, but I have many such bylaws of municipalities. Even parking bylaws of the city of Toronto, under certain circumstances, have to be approved by myself as Minister of Transportation and Communications.

I think as we amend Acts, and at the request of the municipal liaison committees, we are trying to delete ministerial approvals or municipal actions where they are not absolutely necessary.

Mr. Chairman: Are there any further comments on the bill?

Section 6 agreed to.

Sections 7 to 9, inclusive, agreed to.

Bill 82 reported.

Hon. Mr. Snow 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 the whole House begs to report one bill without amendment and asks for leave to sit again.

Report agreed to.


The following bills were given third reading upon motion:

Bill 25, An Act to amend the Highway Traffic Act.

Bill 82, An Act to amend the Public Transportation and Highway Improvement Act.


Hon. Mr. Auld, on behalf of Hon. Mr. Rhodes, moved second reading of Bill 62, An Act to amend the Planning Act.

Mr. Lawlor: Mr. Speaker, I find it extremely discouraging -- it almost halts me midway in my speech before I even get started -- how can one say anything intelligent without the minister being here?

Mr. Breithaupt: I don’t know that that is a guarantee.

An hon. member: I understand your problem.

An hon. member: What minister are you talking about?

Mr. Lawlor: From time to time one gets a sense of vacuity, a certain emptiness, a certain non-presence over there. When it happens in reality, in a very concrete sense, considering that the bulk of Mr. Rhodes is not reposed where he usually is --

Mr. Nixon: You know he is not reposing where he usually does.

Mr. Lawlor: -- I just wonder whether we should carry on with this particular Act. I am dimmed, as Mantolini said, Mr. Speaker, if I am going to argue a piece of legislation without the minister in charge being present.

Mr. Speaker: Would the acting House leader advise the Chair as to the next order of business or the order of business?

Hon. Mr. Auld: I feel somewhat embarrassed, Mr. Speaker. The minister -- all of us I guess -- didn’t anticipate the rapid passage of the legislation preceding. He went back to his office and I understand is on his way back here.

Mr. Renwick: How would it be if we voted against it and rang the bells?

Hon. Mr. Auld: He may be in the middle of the street so he may not hear them until he got in here.

Mr. Breithaupt: Would it be possible, if the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) is present, to proceed with Bill 84, the Judicial Review Procedure Act? I believe it is likely to take a few moments only because there’s only one section in it.

Hon. Mr. Auld: The Attorney General went down to get that.

Mr. Nixon: He is reposing elsewhere also.

Hon. Mr. Auld: He, too, is on his way here. I can get the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Handleman) who is at the legislation committee meeting. Perhaps we might send the message down there.

I was there a moment ago and told him he could continue with what he was doing there because I assumed that Mr. Rhodes would have been here when I got back. We could do a little deep breathing just for a moment or two and hopefully we will have some legislation to move with.

Mr. Speaker: It would seem to the Speaker that in the event we haven’t got a minister to carry on, perhaps we should recess the Legislature temporarily until a Minister of the Crown gets here to deal with legislation. Ten minutes? We’ll resume the session at 4:20. We’ll ring the bell momentarily to alert members.

Mr. Speaker called for a 10-minute recess.


Mr. Speaker: We await the words of the member for Lakeshore.

Mr. Lawlor: As I was saying, before a curtain interregnum fell on the House, what has happened to the Tory party? Are those fellows falling apart with nobody on deck? Are they scuttling the thing just outside the harbour? Are all the various people deserting the ship?

Hon. B. Stephenson: No, no.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: On a point of order, I would like to explain to the hon. member why I was not present. I was busily entertaining a delegation brought to my office by one of the members of the opposition, and I felt out of courtesy that I should remain and listen to their problem. My apologies to you, sir, and to the hon. members for not being here in time. In the future I will decline to entertain such delegations.

Mr. Lawlor: All right. I personally accept your apology.

Mr. Deans: Why don’t you take off your shoe and bang it?

Mr. Lawlor: It is just that the Attorney General was not here and you weren’t here. The only one left was the Management Board chairman and he is counting shekels under the desk.

The legislation is not, I would say, exactly apocalyptic. It didn’t even really need the minister to be here except that we like the beaming countenance and except that there are more questions raised by the legislation than we have answers to give at the moment, and we will go into committee, I trust.

There are several things I wish to question, particularly in section 2(2). The checker boarding principle is back on our plate, as I take it. It is a thing that has irritated long, like a burr under the skin constantly. Just what the ramifications are of permitting foreclosures under certain circumstances without ministerial order and without planning board approval is a really nice point. This particular section must have been designed to meet a particular situation which, in some way or another, was aggravating the ministry, or someone must have found along the way that exercising power of sale or foreclosure rights was either a neat trick to beat the planning provisions or that the Planning Act was so arranged that once they had exercised the power they were blocked with respect to future and possible conveyances. Whichever way that worked, I would like to have the minister clue us in.

As to the next part there, with respect to agreements and consents, particularly agreements to be registered as between the ministry on one side in some instances, or at least between municipalities and developers, etc., I would only make one point in the thing, and this possibly would be the place in legislation to bring it to a head. The Ministry of Housing is frustrated, precisely by the subdivision agreements and this sort of setup, in expediting expansion of the housing market in Ontario because municipalities have seen fit to undermine the ministry’s plans, whatever they may be, amorphous as they may be, by increasing levies and fees, in some cases astronomically and in some ways as a deliberate act to impinge upon and hinder the housing market in that particular area; in any event, adding a significant factor to the costs, not just the end price of the house, but being a preventive with respect to the people in the building trades from going ahead because they have to have very substantial liquid assets and accumulations of money to play into the depositories of the treasuries of the various localities around the province.

It is true, I believe, in Durham. It is true in hundreds of places in the Oshawa region I know of particularly. Some of them are just going to pull out of the business and walk away; not because of 100 other factors which afflict the housing market, but because of a particular form of abuse involved in this particular area.

It is a very interesting area, this extension to the Planning Act to cover the mobile home. It is a concept on which I personally have misgivings, although my caucus is mainly in favour of the legislation as it stands; and it has good points. The feeling is that this is a form of growth industry and a form of housing accommodation which causes a great deal of dislocation inside municipalities by way of the use of drains, the pollution factor, the septic tank element, the closeness of the mobile homes one to another; the general desperate state of the planning in this particular area. On the other side of the fence, with the grim housing situation that we face, my personal feeling was that a certain flexibility, a certain winking of the eye, if you will with respect, is in order. This is the one form of home that many people can buy who can’t possibly even afford a condominium. They can find accommodation and take the weight off the demand.

It is kind of an awkward time, if I may put it that way, to bring in legislation which regulates this in a fairly tough way, as the Planning Act tends to do with its frontages and its lot sizes and its numerous requisites and consents of planning boards required, under very onerous conditions usually, all being brought in; the panoply of weapons being brought to bear upon this particular area of the housing market.

For the rest of the legislation, it’s basically housekeeping. I am delighted to see the presence of the minister; bless you for arriving after all.

Mr. Hall: The bill sometimes begs the questions that one should ask rather than the questions that are obvious.

I assume section 1 is strictly a housekeeping matter. On section 2, I haven’t seen the definition of a transmission line or utility line as defined in the Ontario Energy Board Act; however, we would hope it’s spelled out very clearly in these regulations so there can be no misuse of the new interpretation this legislation will place upon it.

My history doesn’t go back into the problems the ministry previously had with checker boarding. I can understand certain needs for ability to sever without causing refinancing of a whole investment block; however, going on beyond that, subsection 14 of section 29, reads as follows: “Every municipality may enter into agreements imposed as a condition to the granting of a consent.”

There are already many municipalities where such agreements have been entered into for years. Some of them are quite restrictive in their nature. I understand a municipality, under certain sections, can take on all the powers of the minister, but again it disturbs me a little if every municipality can come up with its own interpretation of these rules.

The minister and I have discussed this considerably in the housing estimates and I won’t belabour the point here. Generally speaking, I find nothing too offensive about the bill.


Mr. Wildman: Again, I rise in support of the principle of the bill, as I understand it. But I have a number of questions which I would hope that the minister, in his remarks, will clarify for us.

Mr. Speaker: I understand the bill is going to committee. Perhaps if there are detailed questions on sections of the bill, they might better be left until we go into committee of the whole.

Mr. Wildman: All right, fine.

Mr. Good: I’d like to briefly ask a few questions, which the minister could probably answer. Do I interpret under section 2 a continuation of problems in Century City regarding the mortgages on those farms out there? I thought we had corrected that at one time in the last session of the Legislature -- or maybe it was two sessions ago -- where there was a problem of foreclosures on the mortgages because of the way in which the legislation had been originally drafted. I would like to comment on that; or maybe the minister could report whether the problems out in Century City have been rectified by the previous amendments that we passed in the last session.

On section 3 dealing with mobile homes, Mr. Speaker, my understanding of this means that mobile homes would not be allowed on any site that could not be conveyed under the exemptions of section 29, subsection 4, where consents are not required. It means mobile homes would have to be placed on either registered plans of subdivision, or one home per unit of transferable land without a consent. That would mean a farmer could have one mobile home on his farm in those areas where they would be allowed. I’m just wondering if that is the proper interpretation. To me, that would make it quite restrictive in some of the rural areas of the province where they do, in fact, allow mobile homes on a more generous basis than they do in parts of southern Ontario. Those were the two concerns I had about the bill; and I’m sure the minister can address himself to those two things.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Speaker, very briefly, regarding changes to the main section of this bill, as the member for Lakeshore has pointed out, the majority of them are merely housekeeping amendments. The main section is section 3.

I guess the House knows we’ve been encouraging the consideration of mobile homes as an alternative form of viable housing. In the past, mobile homes have pretty well just popped out in an unplanned and uncontrolled basis, and this has been the source of considerable problems. Because of the mobility of the units in many cases, they’ve been able to move on to a site in very short order -- and it has caused some problems. We’re hoping that by the passing of section 3, we can prevent the placing of more than one mobile home on a parcel of land unless such land was covered by a zoning bylaw passed under section 35 of the Planning Act; or a minister’s zoning order under section 32 of the Act.

When the provisions are in force, they’ll prevent scattered and unco-ordinated mobile home development -- and at the same time give some effective control in the hands of municipalities. These are things that municipalities have been asking for for some time, both in the rural areas and in the smaller communities, where they have been either very legitimately not wanting to allow mobile home parks to develop, or they have used the lack of this type of legislation for a reason not to consent to the --

Mr. Good: What do you mean, “legitimately not wanting them to develop”?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I used the word “legitimately,” and perhaps I should qualify that. Many municipalities have quite properly said, “We do not have the necessary legislation to give us the type of control we should have over mobile home development.”

I believe this sort of amendment should have been brought in some time ago in order that municipalities could, in fact, have the control that they would like to have over all forms of development in their community and, in particular, the mobile homes. Hopefully, we will have an easier and a better opportunity for the development of mobile home parks in these communities.

If a municipality now decides that a mobile home park would be suitable in a particular location, it can zone the land in that appropriate category. Once the bylaw has been approved then the development can proceed. The municipalities will be able to establish site plans by using the power of section 35(a) of the Planning Act in conjunction with their zoning power under section 35. It is the section which makes provision for municipalities to require a plan to be submitted in conjunction with the proposed development. It also requires that the developer will enter into an agreement for the provision of the facilities that, as the hon. members are aware, are mentioned in section 35(a).

I think the provisions in section 3 are positive in nature and they will encourage, rather than discourage, the development of mobile home parks. I would point out, Mr. Speaker, that I do have two minor amendments to the Act which I will present to the hon. members when we get into committee.

Mr. Stokes: Could I ask one brief question of the minister? Would this apply to the building of mobile homes in unorganized communities where you don’t have that sort of intermediary?

Mr. Speaker: I presume the answer will be disclosed.

Motion agreed to; second reading of the bill.

Mr. Speaker: I understand the bill is to be ordered to committee of the whole House.



Hon. Mr. Rhodes moved second reading of Bill 64, An Act to amend the Housing Development Act.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Lakeshore.

Mr. Lawlor: I hate to say this but I am waiting for a certain member to arrive, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Roy: Is it for me?

Mr. Lawlor: The member for Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy) is in committee downstairs and has some remarks to make on this particular piece of legislation. I couldn’t suffer those things -- he was entertaining somebody that you sent him to see; he is entertaining them. I don’t know -- I am trying to use up time to get him here, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: Does any other hon. member wish to speak to the bill?

Mr. Lawlor: If we can’t do that then I will send the bill into committee and let it go that way.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Speaker, I have some opening remarks I would be pleased to make at this time, and perhaps the hon. member will arrive.

Mr. Speaker: We will be pleased to receive them, I think.

Mr. Stokes: If you had answered my question you would have been all right.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: With respect to Bill 64, you will recall that at the time I moved first reading I pointed out why section 1 was necessary. I said at the time that we wished to remind the members there are three basic reasons for the amendment. First, it will extend the Ontario Home Renewal Programme to include rental housing accommodation. Second, it will remove the conflict between subsections 1 and 2 of section 2(a) of the Housing Development Act, regarding the determination and calculation of the amount of interest on the loans to property owners. Finally, it will enable municipalities to take a promissory note as security in lieu of, or in addition to, a lien.

In particular I think the two matters, as they relate to interest and to the promissory note problem, have been brought to my attention on a number of occasions by hon. members. They were said to create some problem for those who wish to qualify for the Ontario Home Renewal Programme funds, especially those who have land under the Veterans’ Land Act. Under the terms of the present Act it was not possible for them to qualify, but now they would be able, with this amendment, to qualify through the use of a promissory note.

In recognizing that new housing alone cannot meet all the housing needs in this province, a key part of this is to provide affordable and adequate housing with a set of programmes designed to conserve and improve the existing housing stock. I think you would agree that many older homes in many communities in Ontario have the potential of providing good housing for many years to come, and all that really is required is some upgrading and some maintenance work.

Is he here yet?

Mr. Roy: How much money have you put aside for that?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Regardless of the kind of occupancy, owner or tenant, the existing housing in need of and capable of repair at reasonable cost should be repaired. The provision we have here is that funding will be made available to convert existing older homes where if an owner wishes to make an apartment within that home, we will advance the funds under the home renewal programme to convert that home into a second dwelling unit.

Also, it will apply to municipalities where the second floor of commercial areas have been left empty in many communities, particular in small and medium-sized communities. Funds will be available to convert these establishments to housing facilities, but only, in all cases, if the municipal bylaws will permit this sort of conversion to take place in the particular community. We feel this will help add something to the existing stock, and the repair of existing stock will provide extra housing.

The programme in this particular area, though, will be contingent upon the landlord, entering into a rental stabilization agreement, so that if we’re going to be putting these funds into converting and upgrading units, whatever rental facility is made available will have a rental stabilization factor on it at least until such time as the loan has been repaid to the government and so as not to allow the rents to simply run loose just because they’ve been able to provide an extra unit in the building.

I trust and hope that the hon. member who was supposed to be here is now here. If not, then I would follow the hon. member from Lakeshore’s suggestion that we now go to committee.

Mr. Hall: Mr. Speaker, I have a couple of questions I would like the minister to answer. Under the Ontario Home Renewal Programme, which this bill is now extending to tenant-occupied premises, is more money going to be put into the programme to provide a broader base, since we’re opening the door for more applications? I think it’s noteworthy that we are encouraging the improvement of older residences, whether or not they are owner-occupied or rented; I think this is all very well, but I wonder whether it will not result in a demand for more money in this particular programme.

Secondly, I wonder if the minister, in his response, could tell us a little bit more about the interest rates that will be set by regulation. I don’t necessarily mean the specific rates, because I appreciate that they vary from time to time, but the structure on which that rate determination will be based.

I appreciate and understand that the concept of a promissory note as repayment of a loan is used to avoid the present Veterans’ Land Act ownership rules with regard to registration of debts on title, and I trust and assume that this other modification that the minister is suggesting is satisfactory to VLA authorities.

About section 3, I wonder if there has been some problem relative to the legal base for the rent supplement programmes in which the government has been involved, and does this section 3 tend to operate to improve that situation? The specific reference of providing financial assistance for the benefit of any occupant or class or classes of occupants of housing accommodation to assist in the payment of rent, mortgage payment or other charges, brings this question to mind. I think the minister might expand on that when he has an opportunity.

Those are the particular points of concern that I had.

Mr. Roy: I would like to ask a question of the minister as well.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: When we go to committee.

Mr. Speaker: If they are questions about specific matters, they could be asked in committee.

Mr. Roy: I thought we would avoid going into committee --

Mr. Renwick: We are going into committee.

Mr. Roy: You are going into committee? Okay.

Motion agreed to; second reading of the bill.

Mr. Speaker: I understand the bill is to be ordered for committee of the whole House.




Hon. Mr. Handleman moved second reading of Bill 76, An Act to amend the Personal Property Security Act.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, we’re in agreement with this momentous piece of legislation.

Motion agreed to; second reading of the bill.


The following bill was given third reading upon motion:

Bill 76, An Act to amend the Personal Property Security Act.


Hon. Mr. Handleman moved second reading of Bill 77, An Act to amend the Vital Statistics Act.

Ms. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, we’re in complete agreement with this amendment to the Vital Statistics Act.

Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, while we’re on the question of amending the Vital Statistics Act, I just wonder why the minister, seeing that he is in the process of making certain amendments to that Act, would not have gone further and adopted the policy accepted by other provinces in the country and allowed certain individuals who go through sex changes, with the approval of the government and sometimes with payment being made by one arm of the government -- the OHIP people are paying for part of these operations -- would not allow changes to be made to the sex of the individual in official documents.

This matter has arisen in a variety of provinces where legislation has been amended, and it has arisen here. In fact there was a case -- I think it was brought to the minister’s attention some time ago -- a situation in Ottawa involving an individual, and I think the member for Carleton East (Ms. Gigantes) had been involved in this as well. This individual’s case had been referred to the Ombudsman’s office. It seems to me that, as a matter of compassion -- in fact, as I said before, every time I’ve spoken on this I suppose I lose political points. It’s no great issue. The future of the province is not exactly teetering on this, but it does create hardships for the individual involved.

I would suggest that when we’re talking about amending that Act it would have been an ideal opportunity. I don’t know if the minister has received any directives or any correspondence from the Ombudsman on this case, but he is suggesting that changes be made to the Vital Statistics Act to reflect the change in sex of that individual. I would like to hear the minister’s comments on whether he’s prepared to go in that direction, where we’re prepared to see that type of amendment in the near future.

It doesn’t make sense to me that this province would allow an operation to take place, would acquiesce to this, in fact pay for it, and another arm of the government would not recognize the fact that the change has taken place. I would like to hear the minister’s comments. I thank you for your indulgence, Mr. Speaker, although I’m not right on the bill, I’m talking certainly in an area of vital concern to that particular individual.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Of course, I’m pleased at the member for Ottawa East recognizing that he wasn’t speaking to the principle of this bill and I’m pleased, of course, that the principle has been accepted.

I think the only thing I can say with regard to the hon. member’s inquiry is that any further amendments to the Act would be a matter of government policy, policy which I can assure the House has not yet been discussed by the government. I’ve been aware of this problem for some considerable months. I suppose the only comment I can make with regard to that is that I’m prepared to consider it. The Ombudsman has again drawn it to our attention. It’s not the first time it’s been before us. We will be considering future amendments from time to time and I’m sure that amendment will be before the government for a policy decision.

Motion agreed to; second reading of the bill.


The following bill was given third reading upon motion:

Bill 77, An Act to amend the Vital Statistics Act.

Clerk of the House: The second order, House in committee of the whole.


House in committee on Bill 62, An Act to amend the Planning Act.

Section 1 agreed to.

On section 2:

Mr. Renwick: I get concerned when I see the extension of a provision such as this to include a utility line as defined in the Ontario Energy Board Act. I’m not certain -- I’m not knowledgeable in the field -- so I would invite my colleague from Lakeshore and others in the House who know about this kind of provision to talk a little bit about the effect of extending the exception to part-lot control by adding the term, “or utility line” to the term “transmission line” as defined in the Ontario Energy Board Act.

I took the trouble to look up the definition of transmission line which is presently in the Act and it is: “A pipeline other than a production line, a distribution line, a pipeline within an oil refinery and/or petroleum storage depot, chemical processing plant or pipeline terminal or station.”

A transmission line, subject to those exceptions, means a pipeline. Then I find that the term “utility line,” as defined in the Ontario Energy Board Act, means: “A pipeline, a telephone, telegraph, electric power or water line or any other line that supplies a service or commodity to the public.”

We’re really talking about corridors in a very real sense and this is an immense extension of the exception presently in the Act relating to utility lines and part-lot controls. Of course, my concern is reconfirmed when I think of the extremely broad provision of clause (c) of subsection 4 of section 29 of the Planning Act which says:

“The land or any use of or right therein being acquired for the construction of a transmission line, or a utility line or both, as defined in the Ontario Energy Board Act and in respect of which a person acquiring the land or any use of or right therein has made a declaration that it is being acquired for such purpose which shall be conclusive evidence that it is being acquired for such purpose.”

I think that’s an immense extension disguised as a minor amendment to this Act and I would like to understand what it’s about, why it is necessary, and what the government’s intentions are in making this extension. Service corridors as such are very much in the minds of many people in various parts of the province without projecting, I may say, particularly in a riding such as the riding of Riverdale where we are talking about all sorts of corridors cutting right through the heart of my riding, if some people have their way.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: As the hon. member has pointed out, subsection 4(c) of section 29 does now have the words, “for the construction of a transmission line as defined by the Ontario Energy Board Act,” for adding to its utility line. The purpose of that is merely, as the section points out, to provide for municipalities to permit such transmission lines or utility lines to go through the community without having to go through the exercise of an individual land severance consent all the way along.

That has been happening within the terms of the Act now with certain utility companies. They may have resolved all other matters of concern and now are trying to put the utility lines through the particular area. Because it is going over various pieces of property they must make application for a land severance over all the various pieces of property and go through the consent procedures.

We feel, once all other matters have been overcome within the meaning of the Act, that for this utility line, along with the transmission line -- it could be a water line, it could be a sewer line, it could be a Bell Telephone underground line or this sort of thing -- rather than going through the procedure of one after the other getting consents along a number of pieces of land, they would be able to do so with the permission of the municipality.

Mr. Renwick: That is my concern. Let me speak about Riverdale riding. If some people had their way, there would be an expropriation of property for service corridor purposes and perhaps for transportation purposes paralleling the Canadian National Railways line that runs diagonally for practical purposes through Riverdale riding and on out into the riding of my colleague, the member for Beaches-Woodbine (Ms. Bryden). Some people think it should be provided so that people can get from Scarborough to downtown Toronto without seeing the beauties of Riverdale by driving through it.

I am extremely concerned that in the case of the Bell Telephone Co. or Ontario Hydro or both of them or a privately owned pipeline -- Consumers’ Gas, Interprovincial, TransCanada, the Mackenzie Valley pipeline which will likely end up in Riverdale -- any of those companies are simply able to make a declaration that they want it for a service corridor, and that’s the end of it. There is no way in which the people in Riverdale can be either consulted or have notice of it or be given any opportunity to discuss it. Let the minister tell me if I am crazy. If I am wrong about the effect of this, that’s fine.

Then I have the very technical question where it says transmission line means a pipeline and utility line is defined then to mean a pipeline. I don’t understand that either. That’s a technical conundrum which defies me. But the major point is the one which I am concerned about.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Perhaps I should be more clear in what I was saying. Section 29(4) does start off by stating: “Where land is within a plan of subdivision.” So we are talking about that which is in a plan of subdivision only. The utility lines would be exempt from the consent only within plans of subdivision. They would still need consent elsewhere. Within a plan of subdivision they would not need it and that will speed up a lot of development processing for us. As it stands now, if you were going to go in to service an area, for example, with utilities in a new housing subdivision, you can be concerned about getting consent over part lots. We are simply trying in this way to give the utility lines exemption from the consent, but only within the plan of subdivision. In all other areas would still have to have consent.


Mr. Renwick: Can you help me to understand it by giving a specific example of what is the problem that makes the minister bring this amendment into the assembly? Can you give me a specific situation where you run into this kind of problem; where it’s been a difficulty and you’ve decided now that you want to have these utility corridors without having to get the usual consents that are required?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I don’t think I can give the member a specific problem. I think it’s pretty general, in many areas where you do have plans of subdivision and where you are attempting to get utilities in to serve those particular areas. The consents delay the whole process; as long as all other things are equal we feel that the consents will allow these utilities to go in, as long as it’s within the properly registered plan of subdivision. If there is no subdivision, if it’s not properly registered and is open land, then the consents are still required.

I’m sorry I can’t answer the member for Riverdale’s question on the definitions of transmission and utility; I’m just not able to answer.

Mr. Good: Mr. Chairman, I think that’s the crux of the whole issue. Exemption from part-lot control, which is what you’re asking here, is a pretty cherished thing. Very few things are exempt from part-lot controls, except for things listed under the Planning Act.

Municipalities, I believe, can pass bylaws exempting existing new subdivisions from part-lots control. Say, where the subdivision is made up of semi-detached houses and you want to sell one side off and you can’t because they are all shown on one lot, those areas can be exempted, I think, by municipal bylaws. I think there’s provision in the Planning Act for that.

So in my mind I want to know, really, what is the significance of adding those words, “or utility lines,” as transmission lines are already exempt under that section as defined in the Energy Board Act.

If there’s doubt in the member for Riverdale’s mind as to what the difference is, I’m sure there must be doubt in a lot of minds after reading the definition. What does adding those words do, that’s the crux of the whole thing. The exemption from part-lot control is a pretty cherished thing for anybody to get. If utility lines are involved does that mean Bell Telephone; does that mean rural Hydro; does that mean Ontario Hydro; does that mean the municipal utilities commission, cable television and everybody else? What is it, as far as the definition under the Energy Act goes? I think that’s what some of us would like to know.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Chairman, with respect to my learned friend, the member for Riverdale, I think what concerns him, and it would concern me as well, is if this section were to allow the Bell or some other utility to drive a corridor through the backyards of Riverdale or of Ottawa Centre or any other part of the province.

As I understand it, though, this subsection 4 simply requires that a consent from a committee of adjustment is required, except in certain cases. It’s saying here consent from the committee of adjustment will not be required if it’s a utility or transmission corridor. However, consent of the property owner is still required, and if it is not forthcoming then that utility will have to go by its powers of expropriation, with all of the protections that pertain thereto. So it seems to me that the interests of the property holders, in not having a big bejesus transmission corridor in their backyard, remain protected since they were not essentially the subject of this committee of adjustment procedure which is being forgone.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Chairman, I obviously was not really totally aware what the concern being expressed by the member for Riverdale was. The member for Ottawa Centre is correct. This does not in any way preclude the owners of the land from denying access across their property. It only deals with not requiring consent of the committee of adjustment, or the land severance committee or whatever it may be in the particular area. It does not preclude the rights of property owners to deny access to their land for any type of utility or transmission lines through their property.

Mr. Renwick: What bothers me is that the so-called right of the owner to the property is a very nebulous right, if in fact the utility company has the power to expropriate, which is the case in many situations; either to expropriate the land entirely or to expropriate a right of way or an easement across the property. That expropriation power, as we’ve seen it operate in the province, leaves a great deal to be desired -- also the block-busting operation which goes on both by government and by private utilities in acquiring, by agreement, certain areas and then expropriating what is left

Surely the importance of the land severance committee or the committee of adjustment is to give people forewarning of the intentions of the utility company -- what it intends to do and what it wishes to do, rather than to throw people immediately into the expropriation procedure or into the high pressure tactics which are used for acquisition by agreement cloaked as negotiations.

I don’t know whether to vote against the section or whether I just wanted to vent my feeling that we’re doing something immense here.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Chairman, perhaps we can give as an example the Bell Telephone which, right now, if it wishes to put a telephone line on the back lots of a subdivision needs consent for each separate lot for the easements. Those consents are granted by a committee of adjustment and they go through each individual piece of property to get that consent.

We’re saying that the municipality can determine the location. It can be put into a subdivision agreement where the location of it will be. Then, on the matter of actually going across the property, once it has been settled with the property owners, the utility company would not have to go back to the committee of adjustment with heaven knows how many lots, one after the other, and go through a consent procedure or a hearing before the committee of adjustment on each of these individual lots as it proceeds through the subdivision. This can be avoided by simply putting in those words.

Mr. Hall: Mr. Chairman, the definition under the Ontario Energy Board Act that I have is “A pipeline, telephone, telegraph, electric power or water line or any other line that supplies a service or commodity to the public.” The definition is very general and I haven’t thought through what might be contained in any other line which supplies a commodity to the public. Does this extend to privately-owned cable television companies which have to function in subdivisions as well?

Does this imply anything special with regard to types of subdivision which might be of an industrial nature, where commodities could be carried in the line? One plant might be very much concerned about it and another plant may have no reason to be concerned at all, depending upon the hazard of a break in a line or something of this nature.

I raise these points not to be contentious. They’re just some questions which come to mind when you start to reflect on the broad definition as it’s been given to me and what it might have by way of deleterious effect. Certainly the principle that the owner of the property must be made aware of any change in his circumstances by way of a consent is clear.

If an easement is on a plan of subdivision, properly, it should be on, in most instances, at the time of registration of the subdivision itself, by deeding agreements and an understanding with the municipality; actually it’s at the same time as registration of the plan. In that instance any future owner knows very well, with a legal search of the property, that the easement is there.

I gather, therefore, you are concerned about requirements for easements which come along in later years. Could the minister comment on my first remarks as to the definition? Is my definition correct and does it extend to private cable television companies? Does it affect industrial subdivisions where different fluids might be moved in lines?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Chairman, regarding the question of cable television, certainly cable companies are required at the present time to get easements in order to provide their services. If the company is using underground facilities or using the conduit facilities and back-lotting, or if there is pre-wiring that is going in, then they certainly would require easements in order to put that particular service into their area.

They had to get easements and agreements as it is with municipalities if they are using municipal rights of way. So I would say yes -- it would certainly apply to cable companies who are installing this type of service.

If it is an industrial subdivision, then the subdivision requirements would apply here as well. This would then eliminate the necessity of having to go through the committee of adjustment’s consent procedure that we referred to earlier. It is not eliminating any of the controls and the powers of the municipality. On the contrary it is saying that the municipality then can enter into its agreements and arrangements, especially if they can predetermine the location that will resolve some of the problems.

But later on, if they agree to a particular utility going into the area, if the landowners have no objection they can settle their differences, if any, with the particular utility. It does not require going through the very tedious procedure, as it can be, of having to go through the committee of adjustment for each individual consent.

I wanted to make one other point regarding something the member for Ottawa Centre mentioned in his comments on the question of expropriation. If the utility company does have expropriation powers, then of course the consent is not really required and there is no protection for the property owner under section 29 of the Planning Act. They would be protected under the Expropriations Act, and have their rights protected there.

Mr. Renwick: I still need some help about this. The problem of utility corridors one way or another is a serious one -- the location and route of a particular corridor. The fact that it is in a registered plan of subdivision doesn’t seem to answer that question. Just because you are getting into a service corridor or easement within subdivisions does it make the problem of location any more palatable? It seems to me that the question of the routing and the location of a utility corridor through a subdivision is a matter which can be dealt with in the public interest before the committee of adjustment or the land severance committee, not as a series of single applications for each lot but as a connected plan with all of the owners advised that the committee of adjustment is going to hear the application. While the committee of adjustment may have to deal with each lot in its order, they are not going to conduct an individual hearing for each and every lot within the subdivision.

I am sure if the member for Halton-Burlington (Mr. Reed) were here, he would find it difficult, as I and I think my colleague from Lincoln find it difficult, to agree to eliminate the committee of adjustment or the land severance committee for whatever purpose they may serve. They do allow public participation in the kind of decisions which are made respecting, as the member for Lincoln has pointed out, all forms of lines -- there is an immensely broad definition of the term “utility line.”

I am very reluctant to see us take away, for whatever it is worth, hearings before the committee of adjustment or the land severance committee. I speak more out of ignorance than I do out of knowledge in this field. But my colleagues, the member for Lakeshore and the member for Welland-Thorold (Mr. Swart), will comment about it.


Mr. Lawlor: Delphi has arrived. My only thought about it is that the reason for the legislation as it stands, both with respect to transmission lines and therefore with respect to utilities, is that it is conceivable a particular line being erected might have to get, let’s say, 20 or 120 separate and distinct applications before diverse committees of adjustments or planning boards as it came through. That obviously is not feasible. You can’t operate in that particular way. By the time they got all these planning board approvals through on part-lot control, I suppose we would all be dead. It’s hard enough to get one through, much less all these.

But Mr. Renwick’s argument gives me pause. I didn’t want to speak earlier because in dealing with a particular riding and a particular abuse or a particular possibility of some overweaning action by a utility company within certain geographical limits of a riding, the company not only has the power of escaping from the municipality’s control, but there’s no prior permission necessary by the municipality per se or by any instrumentality of it, such as the planning board. It’s just simply taken out of the picture and it doesn’t have to make these applications, provided it files a certain certificate and that’s the end of it.

Not only has it got that type of exemption but it has full powers of expropriation besides. It has a double weapon which can be very onerous indeed with respect to a defined community and with respect to a particular imposition made by a very powerful authority. There is no question about that, and these two things have to be balanced off one against the other. My balancing off is to accede, to say that on the whole, in most instances, the public good is served by giving in and a great disservice is done through any opposite way. I don’t know just how you handle the kind of situation my colleague has in mind. If the legislation were neater, it would carve out definitions saying that over certain dimensions and geographical regions, permission would be required. In other circumstances, if it goes over longer areas and through numerous planning boards, it would not be required. But I don’t think we can be that nice in legislation and perhaps it’s regrettable, so I sit down.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Chairman, there are two points I would like to make. The first deals with concerns the member for Riverdale has raised and which were mentioned again by the member for Lakeshore and the member for Lincoln regarding a transmission corridor. Keep in mind, Mr. Chairman, that the utility company is still going to be required to have permission of the energy board or other agency, perhaps even the municipality, before the routing of any such line can take place, so the public awareness of what may happen will still certainly be there. All that we are talking about through this amendment is to eliminate the need for many hundreds of applications before a committee of adjustment.

Again, I point out that this is applying only to new subdivisions. Because it only applies to new subdivisions coming in, it is not a question of a cable company or any other utility company coming in to serve an already established subdivision. They would still be subject to the necessary consents. We are talking about brand new subdivisions. I think the protections you are looking for are still there, in that this is nothing more than a final sort of consent application. It does nothing at all to eliminate the necessity for approvals of the energy board and whatever agencies may be involved with a particular utility. Certainly, this includes the municipality itself in order for such a corridor as was referred to, to be established in any community.

Mr. Renwick: I just want to continue to express my objection to the provision. I don’t know of any compelling reason for putting it in. Whether I’m talking about a service corridor in the larger sense or about the utility company’s rights in a particular subdivision to put its line through with something other than a public hearing, then it does seem essential to me that we preserve whatever protection the Planning Act does provide.

We simply do not allow utility companies in this day and age to get further exemptions from the planning process. I think they should be subject to it -- I think there must be ways by which applications can be expedited. I think it’s unfair to the property owner not to have the opportunity to listen to and to reply to the expressed intentions of the utility company with respect to its corridor.

I, of course, do not know what my colleagues will do but I will oppose that section of the bill.

Mr. Stong: Mr. Chairman, I too share the same concerns as my colleague from Riverdale with respect to powers being granted to the utility companies. Although the minister has given examples of municipalities -- and each example that he cites deals with a municipality -- the word “person” is used in this section. If the power is going to be restricted, then “person” should be defined and perhaps limited to municipalities, rather than be an all-encompassing term which would give power to utility companies as well. I think I would be very leery about voting for this section when utility companies are being given this power as well.

I wonder if the minister would consider defining “person” in the sense of limiting it to the municipalities acquiring land instead of the use of the word person?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Chairman, I’m finding it difficult to understand what the hon. member is referring to. There is no power being given to any utility company in this section at all. I don’t know how you possibly can arrive at that.

It says, “In respect of which the person acquiring the land or any use or right thereof has made a declaration that it is being acquired for such purpose.” That’s what the person is doing -- making a declaration that it’s being acquired for the purpose of a utility or a transmission line. There’s no power being given to any of the utility companies at all.

It simply is saying that, upon the fact that they have declared the purpose of it, the fact that they have met all other requirements, and have been approved by the Energy Board or any other agency or the municipality if it’s involved, and it probably will be -- once they receive all these approvals they just don’t have to go to the committee of adjustment to get a consent on a whole row of lots, which might be -- God knows how many lots would be involved. I fail to see why you’re concerned about the power in the hands of any company or corporation on this at all.

Mr. Stong: Perhaps I should clarify my position. It’s this necessity of a utility company, for example, to have to go through this procedure that concerns me. Perhaps the municipality shouldn’t have to go through that machinery for the purposes of expediency, but when it comes down to a loss of enjoyment or interference with property rights there should be some system of checks and balances, such as the committee of adjustment.

With respect, why shouldn’t companies such as utility companies or private companies that are dealing in cable TV be subjected to the machinery that’s now available and why shouldn’t they be answerable? Perhaps, as I said, for purposes of expediency municipalities could be excluded. But why shouldn’t a utility company such as a cable TV company be required to get the consent of the committee of adjustment? Why not protect the use of property?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Chairman, I’m almost tempted to simply say “Withdraw the section” because I can’t believe that there is such a misinterpretation of this.

Mr. Renwick: That’s a good idea.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I am totally confused. With the greatest of respect, I don’t think the hon. member has really taken the time to read this in the context of the Planning Act. There is nothing here that takes anything away from the enjoyment of the rights of the land. We are talking about a brand new subdivision. We can have the protection of the land from whom? It is the developer who will be making the application to subdivide the property. He still owns the property until it is sold.

All we are simply saying is that if he owns all of these lots in a registered plan of subdivision, and if a utility company is going to come down the back lots of those properties, then the developer would be in a position to allow him to go through those back lots of that subdivision without having to go with the utility company to the committee of adjustment and get a severance over each lot one after another down the line.

If that’s what you think they should have to do, then I obviously have made an error in coming here with an attempt to streamline the procedure, and hopefully stimulate or speed up the process of getting subdivisions on the market and developed to put houses on. If that’s what I have done, I am afraid I have made an error here.

Mr. Renwick: No.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: That is exactly what we are doing.

Mr. Hall: I am just seeking clarification from the minister. It seems to me that the centring out of most of the easements -- whether they be storm-water swales on real lot lines that the municipality wishes to control with catch-basins, or whether they are, as you have mentioned, hydro or even gas -- would be part and parcel of the details of the final plan of subdivision and in the subdivision agreement itself. This is a lengthy document containing the requirement that easements be granted for many purposes. This is normally what is done, is it not, Mr. Minister? All this is done prior to registration and it comes together at that time.

Is your point that in some instances after registration and after property has become individual lots, they found out something was needed that wasn’t covered in the servicing programme? Unless I am wrong in what the normal procedure is, I would have to ask you just what has been done before this legislation was submitted. I don’t recall that the committee of adjustment, after having severed the property and the land assembly having been made, gets involved in this subdivision process very much. Could you explain that or clarify it for me?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Yes, Mr. Chairman, in section 29(4) it says, “Where land is within a plan of subdivision registered before or after the coming into force of the section.” We are talking about where we have an existing registered plan of subdivision upon which perhaps nothing has been built, but it is a registered plan that is now going to be developed. The intention is to put into that registered plan of subdivision the necessary utilities to serve it, using the back lots in particular, because that is the usual method, as I am sure you are aware.

We can say to the individual utility that all other things being equal, and having satisfied the property developer and the municipality or whatever other agencies may be involved as to what you are going to do, the one thing you don’t have to do is go to the committee of adjustment with a whole parcel of severances and get consent on each of the lots. In fact, we have probably taken more time talking about this here now than it would have taken to get all those consents.

Mr. Hall: I doubt that. On a point of clarification!

Mr. Swart: Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask further clarification from the minister.

Mr. Chairman: Yes, but the hon. member for Lincoln was pursuing a point that he had made earlier.

Mr. Swart: Oh, sorry.

Mr. Hall: My assumption is still correct, is it not, that for the most part such easements are set out in the registered subdivision agreement document and that for the most part, they are not now having to go to committee of adjustment? This legislation is to catch any omission in all the documentation that went into the construction prior to registration of the plan of subdivision? This is merely to catch any omissions and make them more speedily accomplished, rather than go all the way through, because of the fact that the plan was registered and a bundle of lots have been created, so you want to get around the part-lot control problem? Is this the only basis for it?


Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Yes, I think that’s correct. If another utility comes along -- you mentioned cable television, for example. If it suddenly comes along and it is decided to put it into that area where all other utilities may be, it can go in without having to go through the consent procedure.

Mr. Hall: On the basis of that explanation, I have no objection to it.

Mr. Swart: I want to pursue the question further of the limitations on time, when it says before or after the registration. How long before -- and, in fact, could it not apply? And if it cannot, then I would like the pertinent section to read: “to a subdivision which may have been developed some time previously.” Could you clarify that point? Then I may have some other comments to make.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Chairman, what I was reading to the hon. member was section 29(iv) as it now exists in the Planning Act. It is now in the Act, those very words. I took it out of context, but I can certainly read it in its entirety, if you wish. Or perhaps you would rather read it at your own leisure under 29(iv). What I read when I referred to that is not part of the amendment. It’s already in the Act.

Mr. Swart: What’s already in the Act, may I ask?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I’ll read it.

“Where land is within a plan of subdivision registered before or after the coming into force of this section, no person shall convey a part of any lot or block of land by way of a deed or a transfer or grant, assign or exercise a power of appointment with respect to a part of any lot or block of the land, or mortgage or charge a part of any lot or block of the land, or enter into an agreement of sale and purchase of a part of any lot or block of land, or enter into an agreement that has the effective granting the use of or right in a part of any lot or block of land directly or by entitlement to renewal for a period of 21 years or more and then unless … ”

Now I’m sure you don’t want me to read the rest of the section.

Mr. Swart: No, I don’t; but can we just pursue this further? I still don’t know, and perhaps I should, where the limitations are on the time before, that it can’t apply to a subdivision which has already been partly developed and, therefore, would not give the people who now own those lots the right to disagree with the severance.

The utilities have powers to go across private property which other groups don’t have. What will prevent this from being used in an area to put a utility line through, perhaps in a municipality, through properties using the rights which utilities have, and without going through the consent procedures which people have been able to use on their properties to prevent this sort of thing? Do I make my question clear?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I think so. Mr. Chairman, I think we’re ploughing old ground again. I think we’ve gone over this a little earlier -- at least, I thought we had. We’re talking about new subdivisions --

Mr. Renwick: No, we’re not. We’re talking about every subdivision in the Province of Ontario.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: That is registered. A registered plan of a subdivision -- not necessarily developed, but a registered plan of subdivision.

Mr. Swart: Aren’t they all registered? Practically all plans are registered -- this year, last year, the year before, two or three years ago.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Yes. The registered plan of a subdivision that has not been developed into which utility lines are being placed is what we’re referring to. I don’t understand your concerns -- the protection of what properties? Perhaps you can clarify that for me.

Mr. Swart: Land that has not been developed -- where does that wording appear? Where is the wording, “for land that has not been developed,” the registered plan of subdivision that has not been developed?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: That does not appear in the amendment.

Mr. Swart: Where does it appear? Because this is my concern, that it doesn’t apply to registered plans which have been developed or partly developed. This is my question.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Good question; I don’t know.

Mr. Renwick: It affects every subdivision in the Province of Ontario.

Mr. Swart: I could go along with your interpretation, perhaps, if it was in there, but it isn’t. This applies to all plans of subdivision even if they had been there for 20 years and are developed -- and that’s my objection.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: What is your objection? To what? Let’s assume then it does apply to all subdivisions. What is your objection?

Mr. Swart: If land has been sold off -- perhaps the houses have been built -- then this gives the right for the easement without ever having to get the consent of the committee of adjustment or the land division committee.

Should they not have to get it, it gives them some protection. It’s a different situation if the land is all owned by one developer.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Even under the circumstances you’re suggesting, property owners still have their individual rights to either allow or to disallow the easement across their property. As I hope I had said earlier and I am absolutely correct and you know it -- if you owned a piece of property and the utility company wanted to go through your property and did not have an easement to do so, they must negotiate an easement with you. This has nothing to do with the negotiation of easement. This says only that they are not required to go to a committee of adjustment to get a land severance consent or the consent to have the easement go across the property.

Mr. Chairman: Section 2.

Mr. Renwick: There are at least two or three and many other alternatives involved in this section. First of all, we’re not dealing with the supply of the utility service to the particular subdivision necessarily, although that may be the case. A new plan of subdivision is filed and I can say: “All right, before any of the lots are sold why can’t we short-circuit it? Let the developer locate the property and not go before the committee of adjustment.” That’s no problem. If he’s a single owner and has registered a plan or subdivision, he doesn’t have any problem. He’s the only person who’s going to be making the application.

If, on the other hand, you’ve got an existing plan of subdivision in, say, one of the boroughs surrounding Toronto or in the city of Toronto in some place or other that’s been in existence for some considerable period of time, you are saying that the utility company or companies can go right through that subdivision without having to get the consent of anyone before the committee of adjustment or the consent that’s provided for in the Planning Act. It had nothing to do with providing the service within the subdivision. It’s simply a corridor through the subdivision.

You’re saying that we here, for whatever it’s worth, are to take away the provision in item (d) of subsection 4 of section 29, requirement of consent, because they’re utility companies. I simply say in this day and age you don’t do that. I don’t care whether the public utility is a private one or a public one. I just don’t think that existing subdivisions should be subject to this kind of an operation where the utility company doesn’t have to go before the committee of adjustment or the land severance committee or whatever the appropriate names are.

I understand the minister’s case when he says it is a new subdivision and he wants to build houses. That isn’t what this says. This says in every subdivision in the Province of Ontario the utility companies are going to be able without any consent to file the necessary declaration and be exempt from the provisions of the Planning Act. Sure they have to deal with their powers of either negotiation or expropriation, so far as the individual owner is concerned, but as to all of the people in the subdivision having knowledge about what is taking place, you’re saying no, we can’t have it.

I think that’s serious. For the minister to say: “Oh, I’m just talking about new subdivisions” is maybe what he thinks he’s talking about but that’s not what the bill says. My colleague, the member for Welland-Thorold (Mr. Swart) pointed that out to the minister.

Mr. Bullbrook: May I make a comment? I feel constrained to support the position of the minister, although I’m not entirely content with what his position is. As I understand the amendment, it’s purely a matter of facility. It’s not deprivation of a right.

Without excepting the position of the hon. member for Riverdale, as I understand the burden of his remarks, he is saying, in effect, why should a privately owned or publicly owned utility be treated differently than any other citizen? As I understand the minister’s position, we want to treat him differently because of the fact that we want to convenience him in something that is obviously to the public good and not to the deprivation of the rights of any other person.

I just wanted to voice that I couldn’t find myself disagreeing with the minister in the context of my experience with respect to developers. I’ve tried to wrack my brains to think of a situation where the lack of having to go before the committee of adjustment for this type of continuing severance for the public good deprives anybody of a right or might be used unduly for the benefit of the public utility. I thought I’d voice that for what it’s worth.

Mr. Hall: Just to go back, before we had part-lot control -- it hasn’t always been in existence, has it? -- we did have such problems. If there was a new subdivision, there was no problem if arrangements were made under the registered plan and the subdivider’s agreement. But if a need arose later on, the company or public body, or a private cable television company that wished to run a line, did not need to appear before the committee of adjustment, because there was no part-lot control legislation. He did need, however, to negotiate with the owner as to putting that easement against the owner’s title to the property. If what I’m saying is correct, the only reason that the minister is asking for this amendment now is because it’s a downside feature of the part-lot control legislation that was put on the land and which formerly wasn’t on the land. Is that a correct statement?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I think perhaps the clearest statement that has been made all afternoon was the one made by the member for Sarnia. He explained my position rather clearly and much easier than I would have.

Regarding the question of subdivisions that are already in existence if they are already partially or completely developed, the utility company then would be required to negotiate the purchase of each piece of land for their easement or right of way across the properties with each separate owner. If the land is just being developed, then they deal with only one developer to acquire the right of way. Or, if they couldn’t purchase the property, they could possibly use expropriation powers, if they had those powers, quite apart from the Planning Act anyway. So the hon. member is correct when he says that this position would apply to all subdivisions in the province, but for the purposes we’re looking at, it would only really apply to those new subdivisions that would be coming on stream. Although it does apply, the other avenue would have to be followed anyway by the particular company in acquiring easements across the individually owned properties.

Mr. Swart: I would like to say a few more words on this section of the bill. It seems to me that there is some matter of principle involved in this, and it really is the principle of planning.

I can foresee the possibility -- perhaps not the likelihood, but the possibility -- of a gas or power company wanting to run a line up the back of the lots where the people might be willing to provide them the easement at a certain price. If this should pass, the neighbours who may have bought on that property would have no say about whether that line, whether it be a gas line or an overhead line, should go up on the neighbour’s property which might be relatively close to their property. If they must apply for part-lot severance approval, then it gives the opportunity for abutting property owners to have some say, to make some input on whether the utility line should go in this location. They may be able to do so through the council, but otherwise they as individuals would appear to have no say. Therefore, I think it does give some protection as exists now, at least to the neighbouring properties and to the owners themselves who face expropriation powers if they don’t wish it to go through their property or through their neighbour’s property. In effect, I think it takes away from some of the individual’s rights to his property.


Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Very briefly, you also by the very nature of your comments would be prepared then to have someone else take away their individual rights and the abutting property owner would have the right to take away the right of the individual to sell an easement through his property. Your principles bend extremely well to suit the circumstances.

Mr. Swart: The whole principle of planning seems to me to be that the community and the neighbours have their rights taken into consideration as well as the individual property owner. I think you take some of that away.

Mr. Renwick: You are riding rough-shod over the rights of private property in this amendment. I don’t know why we should be defending the private property owner while the Conservative Party simply grants the utility companies, the big multi-national corporations, the right to ride rough-shod over the rights of the small people before the committees of adjustment. I think you would be wise to withdraw this, unless you can say that Bell is really uptight about this whole thing or Interprovincial or Hydro is really upset about this whole thing.

Mr. Bullbrook: He’s really got down to the nub of it now. The key to me was the words “multi-national corporations.” Those two words convey to me what the real essence of the dispute is here. I don’t know which side to come down on.

Mr. Renwick: You are out of order because I had the floor. The minister hasn’t said yet why at this point in the life of this short-lived, I hope, minority government he wants to bring in this particular amendment to the Planning Act. The only reason you give is that it will expedite new subdivisions and the provision of utility services within those subdivisions. This isn’t what this says at all. It deals with every plan of subdivision and it doesn’t matter whether the utility is going to service the particular subdivision or not service it.

What you are saying is let’s eliminate the committee of adjustment. Let’s eliminate the land severance from the necessity of the utility companies coming before it. I say let them come before it. Let them make their arguments. Let them decide where the location is going to be. Then after that’s been decided and, if the committee of adjustment agrees with it, fine, then go ahead and expropriate and buy it.

Mr. Bullbrook: I wonder if I might invite a response from the minister that would help me greatly in this respect? The only actual tittle of relevancy in the arguments of my colleagues, and I say this most respectfully, from the New Democratic Party is the comment from the hon. member for Welland-Thorold worrying about the deprivation of the right of the neighbour that would have existed had there been an application for consent and the normal advertising. That had some glimmering of relevance but not in the context of the consent being given, and I don’t really think the hon. member meant that.

There are two situations here. The hon. member for Riverdale because of, I suggest, his own personal pre-disposition, as somewhat conveyed by the use of the words multi-national corporations and Mother Bell, if that was used, as I said previously, feels undisposed to treat these utilities differently to how an individual would be treated, notwithstanding the response I think the minister and myself made that it’s a matter of pure facility. However, the hon. member for Welland-Thorold does bring up the point, that to me isn’t germane to the question, of deprivation of a right to appear before the committee of adjustment with respect to his neighbour’s property. The question, as I understand it, is almost a question of the evaluation of some maybe imminent or subsequent danger with respect to the laying of a public utility line. He uses, for example, a gas line.

Surely I am correct that there are collateral statutes that provide that these public utilities, not only would they have to get consent but they certainly would also have to get approval -- is it from the Ministry of Energy or the Ontario Energy Board? -- with respect to the laying of these lines. I would think, as far as the safety aspect is concerned, that that is disposed of under a different ministry and a different statute, and it then becomes a question of our evaluation whether there is truly a deprivation of what is an essential right with respect to his neighbour’s property.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Chairman, the hon. member for Welland-Thorold and the hon. member for Sarnia are probably both correct. They are correct, not probably. If you do away with the necessity to appear before the committee of adjustment, the abutting owners would not have that opportunity to voice their displeasure or their concerns. But, again, you are correct when you state that the laying of any such transmission lines, gas and hydro-electric, still requires the approval of the Energy Board. I think in most cases it would also require the permission of the municipality involved.

All we’re trying to do is facilitate, as the hon. member for Sarnia said very clearly, and to speed up the whole process. Each application for a severance for one of these consents costs approximately $100. You also delay the process perhaps by two months. All of this is an added cost factor to those particular lots that are eventually going to go on the market for sale. This is an opportunity, I believe, to help in a small way to reduce some of the time factors and to reduce souse of the cost factors.

Mr. Chairman: All those in favour of section 2 of the bill carrying will please say “aye.”

All those opposed will please say “nay.”

In my opinion the “ayes” have it.

Shall we stack it? Agreed.

On section 3:

Mr. Chairman: All right, the hon. minister has an amendment to subsection 2 of section 3.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes moves that subsection 2 of section 35(c) of the Act as set out in section 3 of the bill be amended by inserting after the word “case” in the sixth line, “except as otherwise so authorized.”

Hon. Mr. Rhodes further moves that subsection 3 of section 35c as set out in section 3 of the bill be struck out and the following inserted in lieu thereof:

“(3) This section does not apply to prevent the continued use of the same location of any mobile home that (a) is erected or located and in use prior to the 1st day of June, 1977, or (b) is erected or located in accordance with the building permit issued prior to the first day of June 1977.”

Do members of the committee have copies of those amendments? Any comments on, first of all, the amendment to subsection 2 of section 3? Shall it be agreed to then?

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Chairman: Any comment on hon. Mr. Rhodes’ further amendment? Shall it be agreed to.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Chairman: Any comments on any other section of the bill?

Sections 3 to 6 inclusive agreed to.

Mr. Chairman: Rather than calling in the members at this late hour is it agreed that the committee will rise and report?

Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Chairman, it is my understanding that we will be voting with the government on this particular matter. Therefore if we could agree to a brief bell, it might be convenient to complete the taking of this vote in committee before 6 o’clock. If we can do that.

Mr. Chairman: The Chair has no control over how long the bells will ring, but if that’s the wish of the committee, call in the members.

The House divided on the motion that section 2 stand as part of Bill 62, which was approved on the following vote:

Clerk of the House: Mr. Chairman, the “ayes” are 49, the “nays” are 23.

Mr. Chairman: I declare the motion carried.

Section 2 stands as part of the bill.

Section 2 agreed to.

Mr. Chairman: Shall the bill be reported?

Bill 62, as amended, reported.

Hon. Mr. Welch 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 the whole House begs to report one bill with two amendments and asks for leave to sit again.

Report agreed to.


The following bill was given third reading upon motion:

Bill 62, An Act to amend the Planning Act.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, just before calling the first order, I assume that since we’ve had a delayed supper recess that perhaps we would have the agreement of the House that we would resume for the evening session at 8:15, and in that connection I would like to call the first order.

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

The House recessed at 6:15 p.m.