30e législature, 3e session

L070 - Mon 31 May 1976 / Lun 31 mai 1976

The House met at 2 p.m.


Mr. Deputy Speaker: I wish to draw to the attention of members of this House and other persons the book of condolence which has been placed in the rotunda of the library in memory of the late W. Ross Macdonald. The book will be available for signatures until 6 this evening.


Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, once again this House must note with profound sadness and regret the death of another distinguished servant of our nation and province. Maj. Handley Geary died on Saturday at Niagara-on-the-Lake in the fullness of years and honour.

He served this House as our Sergeant-at-Arms for 24 years, until his retirement in 1972. He carried out these responsibilities with dignity and good humour and he was a friend to all of us who served in this House during these years.

Handley Geary came to public life in Ontario at a time when men normally think of retirement. He had already distinguished himself as a soldier and he wore our country’s highest military honour -- the Victoria Cross -- as evidence of his courage; what his citation called “most conspicuous bravery and determination in holding Hill 60, near Ypres in April, 1915.”

He was a fine gentleman, a brave soldier and a distinguished servant of Ontario.

Therefore, I move, on behalf of the Premier (Mr. Davis), seconded by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Lewis), that the House note with regret the passing of Maj. Benjamin Handley Geary, VC, and that we observe one minute of silence in his memory.

On resumption:

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Statements by the ministry.


Hon. J. H. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I met with representatives of the DeJonge Group last Friday, May 28, to learn of their actions and intentions regarding the two plants owned by Essex Packers Ltd. in Hamilton.

On May 14, the loan to Essex Packers Ltd. from the Bank of Nova Scotia was retired and the plants were returned by the receiver to Essex Packers. Better Beef arranged to lease the plants from the trustee, Peat Marwick Ltd., and closed them temporarily to take inventory of plant and office equipment and supplies. The inventory was taken by representatives of Better Beef, Essex Packers, and staff of Sid Ray Services Ltd. of Hamilton, a firm engaged in inventory services, possession, etc.

The plants are now operating on a skeleton basis, employing 25 persons, with Better Beef paying all operating expenses.

The DeJonge Group has now determined that it does not wish to operate these plants itself bccause of their specialized nature, but are keeping the plants operating while it negotiates with prospective tenants or purchasers.

The DeJonges have invested $500,000 in the purchase of creditors’ claims, together with additional investments in operating costs at the plants for over two months, together with legal and accounting fees, etc. This investment is now stated to total approximately $1.2 million.

This investment can only be fully recovered if the plants are capitalized as fully operational concerns. I believe this remains the best guarantee that they will abide by their commitment to make the plants fully operational once more.

The matter of the claims for separation pay of the former employees of Essex Packers is being reviewed by the trustee in bankruptcy and the Ministry of Labour, having in mind relevant federal and provincial legislation.

I would like to point out that all the affairs of Essex Packers are being administered under the Bankruptcy Act, and are open to complete scrutiny under the supervision of the bankruptcy court and the trustee.

As a result of the information provided in the meeting on Friday and subsequently, I am of the opinion that the DeJonges are seriously attempting to comply with their commitment to provide continued employment in Essex Packers’ Hamilton plants and have considerable financial investment as their surety for doing so. I understand they are engaged in some quite difficult negotiations to bring this about.

I believe, Mr. Speaker, that unnecessary harassment can only make this task more difficult and endanger opportunities for employment in the Hamilton plants.


Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, later today I will be introducing the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act, designed to provide major protection for purchasers against the added cost and inconvenience caused by poor workmanship in home construction.

High consumer demand for new housing has resulted in a situation where even houses which are poorly built are readily sold at high prices, although I want to emphasize that the number of complaints is small relative to the number of homes built.

The economics of modern construction place a premium on speed and the use of a number of subcontractors results in conflicting priorities. These are only two of the many circumstances under which mistakes can and do occur.

The risk of purchasing a poorly finished home is bad enough, but some purchasers have been left in a position where a builder went bankrupt, taking a substantial deposit with him. This is another serious problem that must be solved.

Thousands of skilled contractors and builders should not have to suffer a bad image as the result of the incompetence and negligence of the few exceptions. But as long as the public remains unprotected from these few, it will blame the industry as a whole.

A rapid resolution of home buyer complaints is clearly needed and representatives of consumer groups, the building industry, municipalities and the mortgage insuring industry are all agreed upon this point.

The Ontario New Homes Warranties Plan Act provides this solution. It establishes warranty protection with the following features: a warranty that a home is constructed in a workmanlike manner, free of major structural defects, free from defects in materials, fit for habitation, and constructed in accordance with the Ontario Building Code; protection against loss of a buyer’s deposit or advance payment made to a builder; a fund to pay compensation and damages arising from a breach of warranty; a provision that the benefits of the warranty will apply to subsequent owners.

It also appoints a non-profit corporaton responsible for administering the warranty and compensation plan and enforcing its requirements. Representatives of the building industry, the Ontario government, the Consumers’ Association of Canada and others, will sit on the board of directors of the corporation.

Currently, the unsatisfied home buyer must seek redress through the courts, a costly and time-consuming procedure. With this legislation, he or she will be able to call upon the services of the corporation for conciliation.

The corporation will register all builders who meet requisite standards and registration will be mandatory to operate in Ontario. This means that all new houses built for sale to the Ontario public, with the exception of cottages, rental units and shell housing, will be covered by the warranty plan.

Builders failing to meet the standards will be deregistered but will have the right to appeal to the Commercial Registration Appeal Tribunal.

The warranty and insurance package will be paid by the builder at a fixed rate for each house. Registered builders will be responsible for repairing any defects in materials or workmanship during the first year after completion. Should the builder default in this responsibility, the corporation will undertake the work at its own expense. During the following four years, the corporation will repair major structural defects.

The intent of this Act is to maintain healthy competition throughout the building industry and to ensure that registration is neither costly nor time-consuming to the individual builder.

We have worked closely with HUDAC in the development of this consumer protection package for buyers of new homes and I would like to congratulate the organization for the spirit of co-operation and innovative thinking which it has exhibited.

Last Friday, the Premier (Mr. Davis) and I travelled to Brampton to launch the programme by presenting the first warranty certificate to the purchaser of a new home.

Considerable time has been devoted to studying the efforts of other jurisdictions to establish similar protection. We feel that the new Ontario legislation will provide more comprehensive home buyer protection than that available anywhere else in Canada.


Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Speaker, I would like to make a statement concerning remarks contained in this morning’s Globe and Mail article concerning the operation of a freezer on the Grassy Narrows Indian Reserve, located north of Kenora.

This article quoted the chief of the Grassy Narrows band as stating that a malfunction of the freezer occurred about two weeks ago, that representatives of my ministry had been notified and, I quote: “No one has visited the reserve to do anything about it.”

This morning I instructed that an inspection be carried out on this freezer with the servicing representative of the company which holds a contract for its maintenance. I am advised that there is, today, approximately 5,000 pounds of fish rotting in this unit. I am also advised that the freezer was turned off manually and that this unit is in perfect working order.

The Grassy Narrows band has a telephone number to call at any time service is required for this freezer. On one occasion in the past they reported a malfunction, which was also the result of a manual interruption of electrical supply. At no time has this unit gone out of service as a result of malfunction. The service company which holds the maintenance contract for this unit and the freezer at the Whitedog Indian Reserve, has a 24-hour telephone emergency number and no report of a mechanical breakdown was received.

I should point out as well, Mr. Speaker, that at a meeting held on May 20 in Kenora with representatives of the Grassy Narrows and Whitedog Indian bands and representatives of the federal and provincial governments, the Indians reported that there was no fish in the freezer.

On Jan. 5, my ministry stocked the freezing unit with approximately 10,000 pounds of fish purchased by the Ontario government from the Fresh Water Fish Marketing Corp. in Winnipeg at a cost of $28,037.25. The same amount of fish was purchased for the Whitedog band.

I am also advised that had a mechanical breakdown occurred, fish stored in the freezer would be safe for up to 36 hours because of the way it is packed and that a service call would have taken place within this period of time, as was the case in the one instance that a problem was reported. At my request, my staff are arranging with the Indians to remove the fish from the freezer unit and bury it in a safe place.

Other statements contained in the newspaper concerned the availability of food supplies for this current year. I would point out, Mr. Speaker, that funds are currently available for this continued programme. Two freezing units were acquired by the provincial government at a cost of about $120,000. In addition to this stocking programme, my ministry has spent almost $60,000 in salaries and equipment costs to encourage Indians in fishing, at their request.


Other programmes are in place on both these reserves, which have been reported previously in this House. As this is a second instance of apparently deliberate sabotage of this freezer at Grassy Narrows, and because of the importance of the availability of safe protein food for these Indian people, I will ask the Solicitor General (Mr. MacBeth) to make a complete investigation on this matter and will report back to the House.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Oral questions.


Mr. Lewis: I’d like to ask a question of the Minister of Natural Resources regarding his statement. Since it’s so easy to correct the manual failure he describes, does it not strike the minister as a pretty frightening commentary on the complete breakdown of relationships between the Grassy Narrows band and the government of the Province of Ontario, that several thousand pounds of fish were allowed to rot in that freezer for many days, without either the ministry being notified, according to the minister’s statement, or having relationship sufficiently close and with sufficient confidence with the native peoples to be involved almost automatically? Doesn’t the minister think he needs to find an alternative policy to those he has undertaken, rather than to engage in some kind of prosecution on Grassy Narrows and undermine what little credibility he has left?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Speaker, I can’t accept the comments that there is a breakdown between the Grassy Narrows and the Whitedog Indian band in relation to this particular ministry. I would have to say to you, sir, that we have an excellent working relationship with that band, as we do with all our native peoples in the northern part of the province.

Mr. Lewis: Oh, wonderful.

Mr. Warner: They love you up there.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: And I’m sure, sir, in your position as Speaker of this Legislature today, you will agree with that particular statement, having complete knowledge of the excellent relationship and working field we have with the native peoples of this province.

Mr. Lewis: They speak warmly of you, Hon. Mr. Bernier.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: I have to say to you, sir, that there is a certain amount of onus and responsibility on the native people.

Mr. Lewis: Of course.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: There is excellent communication between Grassy Narrows and the outside world. The telephone communications are excellent, and all we do require is a telephone call. No report was received by the maintenance company, and they are on a 24-hour service. We are as concerned as anyone in this House to make sure that protein food, free of pollution, is available to those native people.

Mr. Roy: That’s why it took you four years to do something.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: As I indicated to the House in my statement, this programme will continue; it’s fixed, it’s there. We’ve made that commitment to the native peoples and we will continue it and we will honour it.

Mr. Roy: That’s right, it took you four years to do something.

Mr. Lewis: Mr. Speaker, a supplementary, if I may: Since the reply of the minister certainly speaks to the confusion, can I ask him is he not aware that at the meeting of May 20, which he referred to in his statement, members of his ministry and other ministries, provincial and federal, indicated there was no lake anywhere in the vicinity where fish could be taken with mercury levels sufficiently low to be safe for native peoples’ consumption? Is he not aware that his colleague, Rene Brunelle, wrote a letter on April 8 saying effectively that the “Fish for Food” programme was over? How can the minister talk to us about budgeted moneys for alternative protein when the programme has collapsed, when the fish aren’t available and when nothing is happening? The native peoples are still eating the fish and so are the guides; and the minister knows it.

Hon. Mr. Brunelle: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, I think it would be good, since my name is mentioned, that I would read --

Mr. Deputy Speaker: I think I would remind the hon. Leader of the Opposition that it’s the hon. Minister without Portfolio, or the hon. member for Cochrane North (Mr. Brunelle) when he makes the type of reference be made.

Mr. Lewis: I’m sorry, I think both would apply.

Hon. Mr. Brunelle: On Apr. 8, Mr. Speaker, I wrote to Chief Isaac Mandamin of the Whitedog Indian Reserve, and on the bottom of page three, item eight, in reference to alternate sources of protein, this is what I said:

“The provincial government does not feel it can provide, without charge, alternative food supplies to the Whitedog Reserve.”

Mr. Lewis: What does that mean?

Hon. Mr. Brunelle: Please listen; I listened to the member, listen to me.

Mr. Lewis: What does that mean?

Hon. Mr. Brunelle: Take it easy: It continues:

“As mentioned, the representative of Agriculture and Food can provide advice for the production of alternative protein sources on the reserve. Furthermore, the increasing development of employment opportunities for reserve residents will provide the necessary income for the purchase of appropriate food supplies.”

Now my understanding, Mr. Speaker -- and I can be corrected in this -- my understanding is about a year ago it was agreed that fish would be provided free of charge to those two Indian reserves. My understanding is that this is still being done; there’s no charge for the food.

What the native people are asking for is an alternative protein, for instance like red meat, which is very understandable; and all the meetings we’ve had so far concern the whole question of providing employment opportunities. I think the hon. Leader of the Opposition will agree with me that the native people would much prefer to work and earn money --

Mr. Lewis: Yes.

Hon. Mr. Brunelle: -- and buy the things they want themselves.

Mr. Lewis: That’s right.

Hon. Mr. Brunelle: So this is what I’m referring to. This was the alternative source of food and that is why representatives of Agriculture and Food and others have been dealing with the question of the Indians having their own cattle, assistance for gardens and other employment opportunities. Again, I’d like to correct the hon. member.

Mr. Lewis: For six years you’ve talked about it.

Hon. Mr. Brunelle: At no time have I or has anyone said that they would not continue to obtain fish free of charge.

Mr. McClellan: If the “Fish for Food” programme is working as well as the two ministers seem to suggest, perhaps they can explain to this House why it was necessary at the meeting on May 20 for Grassy Narrows band and Treaty 3 to ask that the “Fish for Food” programme be reinstated -- and it was asked twice -- and in response Mr. Herridge replied there are no lakes with fish that are suitable. There’s a clear conflict of information that I hope could be cleared up by the minister.

Mr. Warner: Let’s have the true goods this time.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Speaker, I think there is a misunderstanding on the part of the hon. member.

There are two specific programmes; the programme to supply uncontaminated sources of protein such as fish in the freezers is one specific programme.

Mr. McClellan: It’s collapsed.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: No, it has not collapsed. It has definitely not collapsed. It’s an ongoing programme. The freezers are in place and they’re operating. There’s no question with that programme except the malfunction --

Mr. Lewis: They’re not eating the fish.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: -- except the malfunctioning of this particular programme.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: The particular programme to which the hon. member refers --

Mr. Lewis: This is surreal.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Will the hon. minister reply specifically to the supplementary from the hon. member for Bellwoods and ignore the interjections?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: What I’m trying to do, Mr. Speaker, is to clarify the two specific programmes. One is to supply an alternate source of protein, the other is a “Fish for Food” programme whereby the commercial fishermen would be allowed to go and reap their own catch within the bodies of water adjacent to their particular reserves.

Following the tests we did in 1975 the advice of the health authorities indicated to us that that fish provided to those two Indian bands should be below the 0.2 parts per million, because they are heavy consumers of a fish product, to protect them further. There was no fish available in those lakes that had a level below the 0.2 parts per million and this is why we filled the freezers with fish from the Freshwater Fish Marketing Board in Winnipeg. They were purchased from lakes in Manitoba that were free of mercury pollution.

So there are two specific programmes.


Mr. Lewis: A question to the Chairman of Cabinet, if I may: Since the Indians, whatever he has to say about it, are not eating the fish in the freezers and since the “Fish for Food” programme doesn’t work and he wants to provide money to buy alternative protein sources, can the minister tell us in the House exactly what are these increasing employment opportunities which he spoke of in his letter? How many additional jobs are available on Whitedog and Grassy Narrows Reserves and in what areas? What has been achieved in the last six months, one year, two years, six years? Can he give it to us?

Hon. Mr. Brunelle: First, I’d like to say to the hon. Leader of the Opposition I think he knows as well as I do that on all those remote Indian reserves there are limited employment opportunities and we all agree that as a result of the mercury problem there are even less; there’s less guiding and so forth.

At the same time, this is an Indian reserve and a lot of the responsibility lies with the federal government. We acknowledge we also have a provincial responsibility.

Mr. Lewis: You closed down the commercial fishing. It was this government that did it.

Hon. Mr. Brunelle: We also have a responsibility in this government and we are living up to it; there have been several meetings to discuss various proposals. In funds alone we have made available -- this is not a large amount but it is a substantial amount and more could be made available if necessary -- $50,000 for local initiatives. We are also investigating forest operations with them, a saw mill; we are also looking into other types of operations in conjunction with other levels of government.

There is no easy answer. It is all right for the members to sit there; it is all very easy to say provide jobs.

Mr. Lewis: Right; there isn’t an easy answer.

Hon. Mr. Brunelle: It is not easy but it will be done.

We are also looking into tourist establishments, motels, service stations -- these are all things which are seriously being looked into with the federal government and with our own government.

Mr. Cassidy: Fifty miles off the highway.


Mr. Lewis: I have one last question I would like to put -- maybe we can come back to this tomorrow, but I would like to put the question to the House leader who is in charge of the Indian community secretariat.

Given the continuing and depressing fiasco around Grassy Narrows and Whitedog might he discuss with the Premier (Mr. Davis) the following proposition: That a member of this Legislature be appointed from the government side -- or that members of each of the three political parties be appointed who transcend the normal partisan considerations, who have regard within the House -- and they be given a term of reference, extending over a six or eight-month period, to provide the focus and the channel to overcome many of the problems at Whitedog and Grassy Narrows which, for whatever reason, for the last six years have stymied all of us; and finally allow some politicians, with respect, to deal with the civil service and with the various levels of governments and get the situation resolved -- or there will be a disaster at Grassy Narrows and Whitedog?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, obviously, having been asked if I would discuss something with the Premier, I would be quite willing to discuss matters with the Premier.

I think, in fairness to those who have now responded to questions, it should be pointed out that the government does recognize some need to co-ordinate an overall approach to our native peoples. Indeed, this has resulted in the appointment of the Chairman of Cabinet (Mr. Brunelle) with some specific responsibilities for native people generally. I would be very pleased to make sure that he and the Premier have the benefit of the discussion and the suggestion of the Leader of the Opposition.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Does the hon. Leader of the Opposition have any further questions?

Mr. Lewis: I have taken too much time; thank you.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: If not, the hon. member for Hamilton West.


Mr. S. Smith: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The first question is of the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. In light of the statement released -- I guess it was last week -- by the Canadian Standards Association about kettles made by Eastern Tool and Mfg. Co., I believe, which exploded or caused electric shock, can he tell us what steps his ministry is prepared to take in assisting the CSA and informing anyone who might have purchased these kettles about the potential danger they face?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, I think I have said on many occasions that the question of product safety is one which quite properly belongs in the federal government’s hands. It has a Hazardous Products Act; it has supervision over the Canadian Standards Association. The particular problem the hon. member mentions has been brought to my attention but we have absolutely no jurisdiction to do something at a provincial level which should be done on a national level.

Mr. S. Smith: A supplementary: If the federal department is not acting properly in this regard, do I take it that the minister’s own department will be making representation to it to act swiftly. Can the minister -- or will he -- make his ministry available to the CSA to assist it in informing residents of Ontario whose health might be endangered by this particular hazardous product?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, first of all, we have no expertise within our ministry concerning hazardous products. I have not suggested that the federal government is not acting properly. I am sure it is aware of its responsibilities under the relevant Act. Certainly we are prepared to assist in any way possible. I will be meeting with Mr. Makasey within a few days and I will draw it to his attention.


Mr. S. Smith: A question of the Minister of Agriculture and Food: In view of the statement made recently by the chairman of the Ontario Grape Producers’ Marketing Board, regarding the fact that in his opinion imported grapevine stock has in some instances had a 70 per cent infection rate which, he says, lessens the whole grape growing industry, what action has the minister’s department taken to ensure that Agriculture Canada does not give exemptions for infected grape stock to come into the grape growing area of this province in order to protect our industry from the virus?

Hon. W. Newman: Mr. Speaker, I am not fully familiar with the matter except to say that at our Vineland station we have some very capable people who keep a very close eye on all the grape varieties coming in and replacement grape crops in our programme are now in place. I am not aware of any high rate of virus such as the member is talking about but I will look into it and get back to him.


Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, and so that we can make sure that we have an informed discussion, is the minister aware of the statement made by Mr. Moyer, who is the chairman of that particular board, who says, as quoted in “Farm and Country” I believe, that the exemptions granted by Agriculture Canada are irresponsible? He says one unnamed winery this year imported material with a 70 per cent infection rate. He goes on to say that if there is just one virus outbreak we will be looking for a wine or grape industry. Why should we knowingly be importing diseased stock? Would the minister please look into that and report to the House what his findings are?

Hon. W. Newman: Mr. Speaker, Ron Moyer is a very fine person. I know him very well personally and I wholeheartedly agree that if he has a problem we will look at it. If Agriculture Canada is doing something wrong, we will be the first to let them know.

Mr. Shore: Any friend of yours is a friend of mine.


Mr. S. Smith: A question of the Minister of Energy, Mr. Speaker, a brief one: Could the minister bring us up to date on the situation with the Hydro moving contract we discussed some time ago, wherein he admitted that a false statement had been made to Hydro and signed by the moving company -- Tippet-Richardson, I believe it was? Could he bring us up to date on what has happened there and whether any charges have been laid and how the matter has resolved itself?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I answered an earlier question several weeks ago in the House. I thought the member was here but, if not, I can send him a copy of my answer. Ontario Hydro was still holding back several tens of thousands of dollars on the last payment of the contract until it was resolved.

Mr. S. Smith: What happened?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: So far as I know, it still stands at that point but I will check again.


Mr. S. Smith: I have a question of the Minister of Correctional Services: I would like to know what the minister meant by protecting Better Beef from harassment? What form of harassment has occurred? Has he received, in his conversations with the DeJonge Group, any guarantee that the Employment Standards Act is not going to be circumvented and that anyone who ordinarily would deserve severance pay will not be deprived of it because of the layoff which was engineered in this particular occasion?

Hon. J. R. Smith: Mr. Speaker, in response to the question, really, what I meant by harassment, I was referring to remarks which have been made by the member for Huron-Middlesex (Mr. Riddell). The state of the matter is that the DeJonge-Better Beef group is basically --

Mr. Singer: The member for Huron-Middlesex is a harasser -- my goodness.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: The minister has them chirping over there.

Hon. J. R. Smith: The DeJonge brothers are actively carrying on negotiations --

Mr. Roy: Is that parliamentary?

Hon. J. B. Smith: -- apparently with a number of business concerns, business people, who are interested in taking over one or both of the Hamilton plants either by purchase or by lease. The more it is discussed in the Legislature -- that there’s something wrong with the assignment of the lease of the abattoir at Guelph correctional centre -- it certainly makes those interested in this very nervous. It was felt by the DeJonges that the more that is said about it, the value of these properties goes down. By the word “harassment” I don’t mean any personal harassment but continual statements that there should be a judicial inquiry is causing concern to the principals of Better Beef; that would be a better way of putting it. Secondly, there is --

Mr. Shore: A supplementary question.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: A supplementary from the hon. member for London South.

Mr. S. Smith: He is still answering the first question.

Hon. J. R. Smith: I would like to answer both parts, Mr. Speaker, if I could, please. On Friday I spoke to the solicitor, Mr. Herman Turkstra of Hamilton and one of the DeJonge brothers about my concern and that of the Minister of Labour (B. Stephenson) that there could be some circumvention of the statutes regarding severance pay and to ensure that they were not trying to do anything of that nature.


Mr. Riddell: On a point of personal privilege, Mr. Speaker, the minister indicated that I was the one responsible for harassing the DeJonges. I would like to say that, surely, in the interests of and for the protection of my constituents I have every right to pursue the matter. Furthermore if the minister would get up and give us honest answers in this House we wouldn’t have to keep pursuing this.


Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. J. R. Smith: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order, please. No member of this House can accuse another member of being dishonest and I think you should withdraw it.

Mr. Riddell: I will change that from an honest to a complete answer, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: That’s acceptable.

Mr. Roy: Is the minister going to apologize?


Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Speaker, may I ask the Minister of Correctional Services if the government was aware of the intention of the DeJonge brothers to shed this portion of the operations when they shared in or at least approved the agreement? And if he wasn’t aware of it, is it not his obligation to insist that the DeJonge brothers maintain the operation of this plant and not lay off the people until they find somebody who will take it over from them?

Hon. J. R. Smith: They gave a commitment they would do everything possible to continue the operations of the old Essex firm in Hamilton. Basically, at the request of the receiver, they did this for two months and I think they explored the possibilities. With their business knowledge and financial resources they put a real effort into providing employment; there are approximately 90 to 100 employees of that operation. They have lost money on the venture and they are now of the opinion that it takes some operating expertise because of the specialized nature of a processing plant and there are a number of people interested in assuming these responsibilities.

Should this not occur during the next two to three weeks, Mr. DeJonge informs me, because of their commitment -- it’s over $1 million into the venture so far -- they will be obliged, because of the commitment to the bank, to start up production on their own.

Mr. MacDonald: Good.

Mr. Shore: Mr. Speaker, through you I’d like to ask the opposite side of this question. Has the minister assured himself there is not going to be the possibility of quick, non-earned profit that may take place in the transfer between DeJonge and some other parties in a very quick order?

Mr. Cassidy: But you’re in favour of that.

Hon. J. R. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I am unable to answer that question.


Mr. Gaunt: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Agriculture and Food. Is the minister aware that some banks in the Province of Ontario are not aware of the deferment plan for the IMPIP programme?

Hon. W. Newman: Mr. Speaker, if that’s the case I’d like to hear about the particular banks. We’ve talked to all the banks; if they have not informed the appropriate branches there is something wrong with them. But I’d certainly like to hear about it if there is not.

We’ve had discussions with them and I was of the understanding that they were all fully aware of the situation. If you’ve got a particular situation I’d like to hear about it so I can pursue it.


Mr. Swart: Mr. Speaker, in the absence of the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) and the Premier (Mr. Davis), I would like to direct a question to the Chairman of Cabinet. I assume he is aware that his colleague, the Treasurer, projected in his budget that new jobs would increase this year by double the rate of last year. In view of the increase in unemployment by all statistics that we now have, and particularly last week’s report from Statistics Canada whereby job openings are 22 per cent below last year at this time and two-thirds of that shrinkage is in Ontario, may I ask him what plans the cabinet is proposing to implement some special job creation?

Hon. Mr. Brunelle: Mr. Speaker, I would be pleased to bring this to the attention of the hon. Treasurer.

Mr. Swart: Supplementary: Do I assume then from the minister’s answer that no consideration has been given by the cabinet to special job creation? And would he therefore convey to the cabinet that this party at least wants some special action on this matter and we think we’re speaking for the people of Ontario in doing so?


Mr. Mancini: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have a question of the Minister of Education. Is the Minister of Education aware of the fact that the Essex County Separate School Board and other separate school boards across this province are laying off experienced teachers and are now hiring inexperienced teachers? And what is this ministry going to do about this?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I am aware that certain school boards across this province have indicated that they will not be renewing probationary contracts with their teachers. This in the separate school area.

This was indicated to me on Friday by the secretary of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers and at a meeting between the Ontario Teachers’ Federation and myself. I indicated at that time that we would, along with them, attempt to find out the reason and what is happening in these particular boards. But I brought it to my friend’s attention that the matter of hiring teachers is between the local boards, which have a high degree of autonomy, and the teachers whom they hire.

Mr. Mancini: Supplementary: Is the minister aware that the Essex County Separate School Board and other separate school boards are using the green contract for the purpose of mass layoffs and not for the purpose of dismissing incompetent teachers. Would he look into that aspect of the situation?

Hon. Mr. Wells: I think, Mr. Speaker, it is perhaps wrong to draw that complete assumption at this time. There may be other factors involved. Probationary teachers’ contracts can be severed without giving reasons, as my friend knows, under the education Acts of this province; and that, in fact, is what we were going to look at when the facts were brought to our attention last Friday by the Ontario Teachers’ Federation.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: A final supplementary; the hon. member for Hamilton West.

Mr. S. Smith: Would the minister not agree that the probationary contract ending is normally meant to take into account those situations where the teacher proved unsuitable and is not meant as a way of getting around the fact that a firm contract has been signed with new teachers; and the green contract is less firm and, therefore, open to be cancelled? Isn’t that a distortion of the purpose of the green contract?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Certainly, Mr. Speaker, it is a distortion of the contract; but it also remains that it is not necessary to give reasons to a person when the green contract is severed. You only have to state reasons to the teacher when you are severing a permanent contract, not a probationary contract.

Mr. S. Smith: But it is a distortion.


Mr. Samis: I have a question of the Minister of Industry and Tourism, Mr. Speaker. In view of the continuing high unemployment in the Kingston-Brockville-Cornwall axis, and in view of the fact that in the past nine months three plants have been closed and last week closing of a fourth one was announced in Cornwall; can the minister tell the House what efforts his ministry is making to assist the municipalities in that area to attract industry, especially in view of the special problems in that area?

An hon. member: The answer is none.

Hon. Mr. Bennett: First of all, Mr. Speaker, on the plant closings, you will recall that on May 3 I made a statement to this House related to what we consider to be the real cause of the problem down there, and that is in the textile industry.

We have been consulting with the federal government on the question. While they are temporarily closed, I believe that if the market position was made favourable for them those plants would return to production in a short period of time. In addition to that, as far as working with municipalities is concerned we continue to consult with them in order to assist them, along with their development officers, to locate industries that would be properly located in their communities.

Mr. Samis: Supplementary: May I point out that in the case of Cornwall three of the plants have nothing to do with textiles?

I would also like to ask the minister if he could bring us up to date on what is being done in Spencerville; if the consultants are at work, when that report is expected and if the government is making any other efforts to develop the Spencerville project?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, about two or three weeks ago I announced that the consultants had been appointed for the Spencerville project and that we anticipated by late summer we would have a complete report from them on the facts and figures as they relate to the Spencerville project and the possibilities of development.


Mr. Shore: I would like to direct a question to the almost converted socialist minister -- I guess Hamilton must have had a great effect on him -- the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations.

Hon. J. R. Smith: Good Tory city.

Mr. Samis: You don’t know him very well.

Mr. Shore: Is the minister aware of a property owner in London who recently applied to the Ontario Supreme Court for an injunction and a prohibition against the rent review officer for not giving proper 30-day notice on rent reviews? If so, has he also been advised that other owners have been advised to follow the same principle and hold up any rent review?

In addition, in view of the fact that I have talked to the minister on several occasions, is he aware that the rent review officers are not taking into consideration at any time the investments and dollars that owners have in these properties when they are making rulings on rent review. Could the minister comment on those three questions, please?


Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, there was a comment and two questions, I believe, in the hon. member’s question. First of all, I want to deny completely that I am almost socialized or even close to being socialized; I wake up screaming at the thought that it might ever happen.

I am aware of the fact that actions have been taken by some landlords concerning the failure of rent review officers to select a date for a hearing within 30 days. It wasn’t necessary under the Act to give 30 days’ notice, but it was necessary for rent review officers to select a date for a hearing within 30 days of the receipt of the application. We have a number of cases pending on that, and until such time as we get a judgement from the courts I would prefer not to comment, except to say that we have instructed the rent review officers to make their selection of the hearing dates within 30 days of the receipt of application in the future. We don’t know what the results would be if the court were to find against us in that case.

As far as the second question is concerned, which is completely unrelated to the first one, the answer is no.

Mr. Shore: What was the answer? That the minister is not aware of it? Would he please undertake to do something about it?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: I’m not aware of the fact that the rent review officers are not permitting a return on investment simply because the Act doesn’t provide for it.


Mr. MacDonald: A question of the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations, who confessed last week that he has growing disillusionment with the free-enterprise system. I don’t know whether that makes him a socialist or not.

My question to him is this: In view of the repeated evidence of cheating that is going on in the processing and food retailing business by reducing the quantity and increasing the price as they switch from traditional weights to the metric system, what, if anything, is the government doing about it? Specifically, will they pass a law that there will be penalties if there is cheating by reducing the amount and raising the price as they switch to the metric system?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: First of all, the accusation that there is cheating going on, I think is completely off the cuff and without any foundation whatsoever. What the hon. member is suggesting is that when the size is reduced in terms of quantity of the product, there should be a pro rata reduction in the price of that product, but quite obviously the cost of the product is made up of more than simply the raw material cost. If I may use cereal as an example, if you buy the large economy size, which contains twice as much as the small size, you don’t get a reduction pro-rated in accordance with the size; it simply doesn’t happen. If you buy the small size, you pay more than one-half the amount you would pay for double that quantity in a package; that’s simply because there are packaging costs, promotion costs and a variety of other costs involved in the manufacture of that product, and not simply the raw material cost.

Mr. MacDonald: Would the minister not fudge the issue? Take the example reported on the front page of the Globe last Thursday or Friday, where a two-litre package is 12 per cent less than a half-gallon -- in other words, that isn’t a significant change from an economy size to a small package -- and yet the price is only six per cent less. There is 12 per cent less product, but the price is only six per cent less. Will the government do something about making it mandatory that you can’t have that kind of obvious cheating on the public as they switch to the metric system?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, I thought I had explained that to the hon. member, but I guess he’s called that fudging.

Mr. MacDonald: The minister ignored the facts.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: It’s simply an economic fact that the cost of a product is more than simply the cost of the materials in that product. The member must be aware of the fact that when you buy a different size, you don’t get a pro-rated difference in the retail price. That certainly doesn’t seem like cheating to me. We did inquire into it and we found that the total reduction in cost was being passed on to the consumer.

Mr. Warner: You don’t care what they charge.


Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for Huron-Middlesex seemed to have a question.

Mr. Riddell: My minister has left, sir.


Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, if I may, I would like to ask a question of the same minister in line with his frustration with private enterprise and the gap, sometimes, between advertising and performance. Would the minister, as the protector of the consumer, look at the advertising and promises made by certain political parties, including his own? The Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, in their fund-raising, make a promise, and I quote: “It also intends to reduce the provincial debt, to keep the province on a sound financial footing.” I wonder if the minister might compare that with the budget figures which came out a few months ago and which indicate that the provincial debt has gone from $1.5 billion in 1970-1971 to $5.9 billion in 1976-1977?

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Can we have the question, please?

Mr. Roy: Yes. Will the minister, as Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations or as the protector of the consumer, look at this as being false and misleading advertising as the debt has gone up and not down, as promised in this letter?

Mr. S. Smith: Another Vic Tanny’s.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, it’s quite true that I have been disillusioned with some advertising claims but I want to make it quite clear that the one organization that I have every faith in to carry out its promises is the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario.

Mr. Roy: If I might ask the minister a supplementary, in view of his answer: Since this advertising has gone out that he intends to reduce the provincial debt, is he aware that the budget has come out showing that the increase in the provincial debt has gone from $5 billion to $5.9 billion? How does that compare with his advertising? Is the minister not prepared to protect the consumer and give a proper example by his party, if he intends to lecture private enterprise?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, the budget papers to which the hon. member refers prove the truth of the advertising of this party.

Mr. Roy: Is it up or down? I tell you, we are in trouble with you as minister if you can’t even add.

Mr. Lewis: Albert, you should pick up the mace and advance on him.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: The contents of the previous question can be debated in the budget debate.


Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Government Services. We’ve all received the hon. minister’s entry into the mail order business with her handsome giftware catalogue of Ontario souvenir items. I would like to ask, since the catalogue came with a covering letter addressed specially to cabinet ministers and executive assistants to ministers, as well as to other MPPs, is it the intention of the minister in issuing this catalogue to encourage ministries to provide gifts to visitors at public expense, or is this purely a private catalogue? Is she encouraging gifts at public expense to the value of $110 for an Ontario pendant, or $77.50 for a pair of cufflinks, or $59.60 for a ring? At this time of restraint I certainly think that that should not be encouraged.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order, please. The member has asked the question.

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: Mr. Speaker, as the member noted when she prefaced her remarks, that memo was addressed to cabinet ministers, their deputies and members. It’s for their personal and individual ordering.

Mr. Roy: Oh, maybe it’s for cabinet ministers only.

Mr. Lewis: It’s a very elitist mail order business the minister is running.


Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I have further information in connection with a question asked in the House on May 20 by the hon. member for Niagara Falls (Mr. Kerrio), who I see is with us this morning.

Mr. S. Smith: It is afternoon, Jim.

Mr. Mancini: He is usually here.

Hon. Mr. Snow: As a matter of fact, the last time I replied to this question the hon. member was not here.

Mr. Breithaupt: That’s the St. Catharines one you are thinking of.

Mr. Shore: He tries to be here when you are not here.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order, please. Would you please give a direct answer to the question that was asked?

Mr. Sweeney: He knew you were going to speak.

Hon. Mr. Snow: The Queen Elizabeth Way between Highway 405 and Mountain Rd., known locally as Sand Plant Hill, has a narrow median which is occupied by a railway bridge pier.

In order to reduce the possibility of cross-median accidents and of collisions with the bridge pier, 4,000 ft of steel beam guiderail will be installed this summer at a cost of some $80,000, with anticipated completion by September of this year.

Ministry engineers anticipate that the installation of the steel beam guiderail will alleviate the accident experience at this location. However, we will continue to monitor the situation after the installation of the guiderail.


Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, the member for York Centre (Mr. Stong) asked me last week a question concerning education facilities in the German Mills community. As my friend knows, there’s a public school there called the German Mills Public School that was opened in 1974. It has several portables on site now and has an enrolment of around 600. The projections for that area indicate that next year there will be around 700 pupils -- that is, in September, 1976 -- in September, 1977, there will be 750 and in September, 1978, there will be 880 pupils. These are the projections of the York County Board of Education.

It is my understanding that that board is going to submit in September a proposal for a new school for that area to be built and opened by September, 1978, and that at that time that school will house the pupils who up until then will be housed in portables at the present German Mills Public School.

The other matter that would be of concern in the area is that the separate school board has a relocatable on-site called St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Separate School. It has a capacity of 273 pupils and is filled at the present time. That board has submitted a project of very high priority for 485 pupils. They are going to need that as soon as possible. It is one of several that the York County Roman Catholic Separate School Board had submitted and that were held up in the embargo placed on all 1976 projects at the beginning of this year. That list is being studied at present, and if there is real need in that area, as I’m sure there will be from what I have learned, that project will probably move ahead very shortly.


Mr. Sweeney: Mr. Speaker, a question of the Minister of Education: Is the minister aware of the very strong objection registered by Robert Scott, a trustee of the Etobicoke Board of Education, to the inclusion of a compulsory study of abortion methods in the phys-ed programme for grades 9 and 10 of that school system?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I am not aware of the physical education programme that is being taught in grades 9 and 10 of the Etobicoke school system. As my friend knows, under the physical education guidelines, there is a high degree of latitude allowed for local boards to develop their own programmes. I would say the responsibility for approving those programmes rests ultimately with the local trustees, in this case the Etobicoke Board of Education.

I think in a number of speeches that I have made to physical education teachers I have emphasized time and time again that, while there are many topics that could be taught in the area of physical education, family life, training and so forth, the utmost discretion must be taken to be sure the programmes represent the feelings and the wishes of the parents in the community that those schools serve. In this particular case, if the parents in the community represented by trustee Scott feel that what is being done in Etobicoke is not right, the place for that to be taken is to the board.

Mr. Sweeney: Supplementary to the minister: At the present time a student is faced with either taking the course as is, or no phys-ed. Would his ministry approve that particular situation?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I personally would not approve that situation. I don’t think someone who has a particular, real, serious concern about that type of programme being taught -- either the parent of the student or the student himself being taught that programme -- should be placed in jeopardy of not taking a complete physical education programme.

But the real remedy for that rests with the Etobicoke Board of Education, and I would hope they would show the concern to be able to work that kind of programme out. If we can’t work these programmes out on the local level with the local people who are charged with that responsibility, autonomy in this province means nothing.


Mr. Ziemba: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Revenue. Why are Ontario’s 11 hospital-owner laundries not exempt from, or reimbursed for property taxes, as are hospitals?

Hon. Mr. Meen: Mr. Speaker, this matter has been gone into time and time again. I am trying to think of the name of the gentleman -- it was Ralph Cowan -- who has been in touch with me and with my predecessor in this ministry on numerous occasions. We have investigated this and on every occasion have concluded that with the structure of ownership in the particular laundries concerned, there is no qualification for exemption under the Retail Sales Tax Act.



Mr. Spence: I have a question for the Minister of Natural Resources. Has the minister received the report of the advisory committee that was set up by him two years ago in regard to the operation of Rondeau Provincial Park?

Mr. Shore: Too early, isn’t it?

Mr. Spence: Has the minister accepted or adopted this advisory committee’s report? Will he make available those portions of or all of the advisory committee’s report that have been adopted or have not been adopted?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Speaker, I’m very pleased to respond to the hon. member. As he points out, there was a 16-member committee, very ably chaired by Garnet Newkirk -- I believe that was his name, and I think that I will take this opportunity to commend him on an excellent report. About 104 recommendations were presented to my ministry.

Mr. Boy: Have you accepted them all?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: To date we’ve accepted 89 of those. Nine have been referred for future study.


Hon. Mr. Bernier: A total of six have not been accepted. I’ll say to the hon. member that copies of the advisory committee reports are available. If he’ll just tell me the numbers I’ll be pleased to get it for him.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: The oral question period has expired.


Presenting reports.

Mr. Edighoffer from the standing miscellaneous estimates committee reported the following resolution:

Resolved: That supply in the following amounts and to defray the expenses of the Office of the Provincial Auditor be granted to Her Majesty for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1977:

Office of the Provincial Auditor Administration of the Audit

Act and statutory audits.... $1,593,000

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Motions.

Hon. Mr. Welch moved that Mr. Eaton be substituted for Mr. Gregory on the select committee considering the fourth and fifth reports of the Ontario Commission on the Legislature.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Peterson: Not acceptable, he will ruin it.

Mr. S. Smith: Don’t you care about that committee?

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Introduction of bills.


Hon. Mr. Handleman moved first reading of bill intituled, An Act to provide certain Protections for Purchasers of New Homes.

Motion agreed to; first reading of the bill.

Mr. Renwick: The Minister of Revenue (Mr. Meen) isn’t in favour of that.


Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, before the orders of the day, I wish to table the answers to questions 19, 86 and 91 standing on the notice paper.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Orders of the day.

Clerk of the House: The 16th order, House in committee of supply.


On vote 2803:

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Is it the wish of the committee to take the vote in its entirety or item by item?

Hon. Mr. Welch: I think we were into this vote.

Mr. Samis: We were on the first item. I think I have just two final questions on that item, while my Liberal colleague can ask any questions he’d like.

Could I ask the minister if he has reconsidered at all the position he took last year regarding requiring publicly-financed institutions to purchase books from local suppliers as has been instituted in the Province of Quebec quite successfully I understand? Has he given any further consideration to that method of assisting Canadian publishers?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Chairman, I’m sorry, I missed the first part of the question. Would the hon. member repeat it?

Mr. Samis: Yes. Could I ask the minister if he has given any further consideration to his position as enunciated last year, which was opposed to the idea of Bill 69 in the Province of Quebec whereby publicly-funded institutions are obliged to give priority to purchasing books from domestic wholesalers and publishers? Has he given any further consideration to that priority?

Hon. Mr. Welch: I think I have to be very frank and say we certainly haven’t developed any particular policy response to that at the moment.

Mr. Samis: In view of the statistics brought out by the Independent Publishers Association -- which are a bit dated admittedly but apparently are the most recent -- that in school libraries only 12 per cent of the books are Canadian in origin; in public libraries the figure is eight per cent; in university libraries it’s five per cent; and knowing the minister’s concern for this, is he making any efforts with his colleagues in the Ministries of Colleges and Universities and Education, and in public libraries, to try to see that there is greater attention given to Canadian books; and if so, what?

Hon. Mr. Welch: I think that’s a very good point to underline. Certainly, if the hon. member wants to discuss it in the Wintario section, we have special criteria there by which we make money available for libraries to increase their stocks of Canadian publications and Canadian books. Certainly we did have some special response as far as the libraries were concerned in that regard. Naturally library boards, being autonomous groups, are making certain determinations themselves with respect to their acquisitions but you’d have every encouragement from us, in a financial way -- particularly in the Wintario programme -- to assist libraries to increase their Canadian editions.

Mr. Samis: Since the minister has mentioned the Wintario project, could I ask if he has given serious consideration to the possibility of entrusting the Arts Council with administering a certain fixed percentage or sum of the total Wintario funds for cultural projects? For example, in my remarks I suggested a figure of $5 million as a ballpark figure. Has he given any consideration to that?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Actually, when we get to that vote I’d be quite happy to share with the hon. member the fact that we’ve been doing an awful lot of thinking in connection with how we might change or add to or expand the criteria as far as Wintario is concerned. There’s no doubt there’s been a number of approaches with respect to how we might best assist various agencies with respect to fulfilling their purposes.

I should point out to the hon. member at this stage that when we analyse and give consideration to Wintario applications there’s a very close working relationship now with the Arts Council and we are making the distinction with respect to the sources of money. I have no plans at the moment actually to make a block transfer of funds to them. I rather think we should keep the whole operation within the ministry and we will consult with them, as we are doing on an ongoing basis, with respect to those areas to which they feel there could be some financial help directed.

I think we’ll accomplish the same purpose. It’s just a matter of procedure.

Mr. Samis: I’ll come back to that question when we get onto Wintario. Could I ask, regarding the Arts Council -- first of all, I’d like to reiterate our view that the Arts Council has done an outstanding job in discharging its responsibilities and we wholeheartedly support the principle of having people within the community affected administering the funds rather than having them administered through the ministry and other people. Could I ask if the minister could explain why the regional development offices in Thunder Bay and Niagara Falls were closed? How many are there left in existence and how many were there as of a year ago?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Of course, the Arts Council doesn’t maintain regional offices as such. It has had some type of field operation known as correspondents and I’m wondering if the hon. member is making some reference to that, rather using the term regional offices?

Mr. Samis: Unfortunately, I haven’t got my OAC report with me. In the OAC report it was specifically mentioned that those two regional offices had been closed. I’m sorry I haven’t got the actual title of those offices.

Hon. Mr. Welch: I think those particular offices were simply opened on an experimental basis and the Arts Council took a decision to have its field operation conducted in another way rather than through fixed offices by the employment of what they call correspondents.

Mr. Samis: I noticed in that description it said that they would rely on the regional correspondents and the justification given was “they provide greater insight into the individual character and priorities of specific communities.” I wonder if the minister could explain how officers do a better job than having offices right in the region itself, among the people?

Hon. Mr. Welch: I think it gives some flexibility. I think the emphasis is on the individual, who is available to be consulted or to consult, rather than having necessarily a fixed address with an office and all that’s involved with this. I think, too, there are some obvious savings in not having to maintain an office as such, and we have our field personnel or the correspondents available throughout the province and they are not fixed to any particular address. I think the Arts Council has exercised a great deal of wisdom in moving to this type of approach.

Keep in mind that the Ministry of Culture and Recreation has its field operations and there is, indeed, a fixed address throughout the various regions of the province where there can be contact made, and the people at those locations would know how, in fact, to get in touch with the regional correspondents as well.

Mr. Samis: Could I ask the minister, have you had any personal dialogue with your counterpart east of the Ottawa River -- personal, not through your officials?

Hon. Mr. Welch: No.

Mr. Samis: Do you intend to?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Yes, I am always anxious to speak to my colleagues.

Mr. Samis: Soon?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Sure, any time.

Mr. Samis: Would you consider an operation that he employs and is rather fond of? The idea would be that within the overall provincial council they have designated in the Province of Quebec nine regional sub-councils and 20 per cent of the total budget for their Arts Council is divided among those councils to be distributed according to their view of the regional needs, problems and priorities. Would you see value in that system of regional councils within the overall structure being applied to this province? Or have you given this consideration?

Hon. Mr. Welch: I would have to seek the advice of the Arts Council itself. I have had no evidence placed before me that the Arts Council, operating in its present form, with regional correspondents and a tremendous amount of input going both ways -- that is, from the council out to the province and from the province in to the Arts Council -- has, in fact, had too many difficulties in reacting to a legitimate need throughout the province.

In the name of equity, from the standpoint of the distribution of resources and the availability of resources, I certainly am not aware that anyone feels that there is any particular concern there.

In Ontario today there is a number of local councils unrelated to the Arts Council as such; that is, community arts councils that have been forming on their own, bringing together various groups and co-ordinating the activities, and I am sure they are finding a way to relate to the Arts Council as well.

At the moment -- and I haven’t closed my mind to this -- I don’t see formalizing that type of regional approach that you have just described. I would rather see things continue to develop from the local communities and the local level than to deal directly with the Province of Ontario Council for the Arts. I would have to have some further evidence that there are some regional differences or disparities or inequities that aren’t being responded to now that could be better handled that way if, in fact, it was to be handled that way.

Mr. Samis: Can I ask the minister if he could check into another matter? I don’t expect the answer now, but could he find out why a periodical from Sherbrooke, Que., received a $2,000 grant? The name of the periodical is “Ellipse.”

Also could you bring us up to date on the status of the three pilot projects that were initiated I believe by the Arts Council in publishing, dealing with the supply of Canadian books in Canadian book stores, the use of Canadian books in the school system and the Canadian book information centre? Have you received those three reports from the pilot projects, or what is the status of those projects?

Hon. Mr. Welch: No, I have not received those reports as yet.

Mr. Samis: When are they due?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Of course, in this environment in which I work I think it is more important that things be done well, and if the choice is “Do you want it Wednesday or do you want it done well?” I always answer: “I want it done well.”

Mr. Samis: I would ask when?

Hon. Mr. Welch: I don’t have any particular deadline and I will be glad to share the results once I have them.

Mr. Sands: There is no deadline? Could I ask one final question --

Hon. Mr. Welch: I think there may well be a deadline -- I am getting a communication that may suggest it. In fact, on second thought, those particular reports are due at the end of June.


Mr. Samis: Thank you. One final question: Could you explain to us on the third item, why it is that the Ontario Science Centre is still under your aegis --

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order, please. If we are going to take these item by item, shall item 1 carry?

Mr. Samis: I thought the agreement was, Mr. Chairman, we would do them all at once.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: We are taking them collectively?

Mr. Samis: That’s the way we have been doing it so far, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: All right.

Mr. Samis: Final question: Why is the Science Centre still under your aegis and Ontario Place still under the Ministry of Industry and Tourism? There would seem to be a certain inconsistency, since they are both similar type attractions. Are they all going to eventually be under you or are you going to opt this one over to your confrere?

Hon. Mr. Welch: It would be presumptuous of me to indicate I have any great plans of empire building, but certainly at the moment this is as far as the assignment of responsibility has gone with respect to the Science Centre.

I am quite open to admit there are activities at Ontario Place, particularly the programmes at the Forum, which are obviously of a cultural nature and, indeed, provide a tremendous opportunity for many people to have access to those particular programmes -- but at the moment, in its wisdom, the government has felt it best to leave that responsibility with the Ministry of Industry and Tourism.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Shall vote 2803 carry?

Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Chairman, I haven’t related to this particular vote as yet. The hon. member for Cornwall was just summing up and concluding his remarks and questions relating to this vote.

I would like to address myself to two particular areas in this vote. As long as we are handling the three items on one vote, I would open by suggesting that I have some concern in turning over grants to the Ontario Arts Council, which in turn are sent down to other art groups. It puts the Legislature in a position that it’s very difficult to really trace the funding right through to the point where we can convince ourselves that the grants were put to the use for which they were initially intended.

I have some concern, not having the report in front of me. If it were something similar to the Heritage Foundation report, it would disturb me to find reserve funds in some of these grants as they are passed down, and great sums of money tied up in such a way that it would be better used through the general funding of the province.

So by way of a question, I would ask the minister in regard to these particular grants going down through the ministry to the Arts Council and, subsequently to, say Theatre Ontario, do we in fact have reports all the way down the line so that we can subsequently determine whether all these funds are used in the way they were intended?

Mr. Minister, if you would respond later, I would go through everything I have, because with the restraints in time I think we are going to have a difficult time dealing with all these votes.

I would like to relate in the arts part of the programme to a matter of particular interest to one of my colleagues. He wasn’t able to be here, so I would like to just make mention of the film part of our arts in this regard. The Council of Canadian Film Makers has made some comment relating to this industry in the province. The council believes there’s both profit and purpose to the development and support of an indigenous English-Canadian film industry, and that we in this province are certainly not taking advantage of the market interest indicated by Hollywood films. For many years Hollywood films have maintained a higher interest in Canada than almost anywhere else in the world. In fact, as recently as 1975 their export to Canada was the second highest. In 1974 it was highest, in 1973 second; and so on through the past eight or 10 years in that industry Canada has ranked very high. It is of some great concern to the industry, as they suggest and ask, that the legislation that will allow the films to compete on an even footing in our own market is elementary, essential and easy to implement. It is a product of several years of collective thinking within the industry and represents a solid consensus of that industry as well as strong support from the public, press and other levels of government.

We would ask then, is it possible to legislate protection of their market, guarantee a return from the Canadian box office in the way of a levy and get the co-ordination of the Ontario government in the art aspect of the film-making industry?

As I said before, because of the restraints on time I would like to ask a couple of other pertinent questions in regard to this vote. One of them relates to arts development. I’d like to know how it differs from the grants for culture support and multiculturalism and who receives these grants of approximately $400,000.

Mr. Samis: That’s not in this vote.

Mr. Kerrio: I think it is; isn’t it in the Arts Council?

Mrs. Campbell: It is indeed in this vote.

Mr. Samis: Next vote.

Mr. Kerrio: In item 1?

Mrs. Campbell: Cultural development.

Mr. Kerrio: All right?

Mr. Samis: Okay.

Mr. Kerrio: Last year there was no such category, Mr. Minister, and no such grants. I’d also like to know why the grants for cultural exchange have increased some $100,000 over last year. Those are the matters that I’d like to relate to, if you will respond to them. As I said before, I don’t think we can go through this point by point or we won’t finish this debate in the allotted time.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Chairman, may I respond to the hon. member for Niagara Falls, perhaps starting where he left off.

The last time we were into these estimates we were sharing, without going through the whole list, a series of capital grants provided in this particular area. There was everything from $140,000 for the Blue Mountain concert shell in Collingwood to $6,000 for the Global Village Theatre in Toronto and the Orillia Opera House, just to pick out a number of these commitments and other proposals that were made there. These grants, as you can see, are in the arts area. When we get to multicultural support, you will see how the criteria there are obviously geared for different purposes.

The hon. member has made some reference to the whole film industry, which we were chatting about last time. The question is very much before us at the moment as we attempt to find our role as a provincial jurisdiction in the overall development of the Canadian film industry. We have a number of meetings which I’ve already reported in my response to the hon. member for Cornwall. I simply want to assure the hon. member that I’m looking forward to meeting with the Secretary of State, because we feel that any policy that is developed should be a national one. I recognize, quite quickly, that we have some responsibility, obviously by virtue of the Theatres Act; and, as he will recall, an amendment to the Theatres Act was brought in last session to provide for the possibility of quota if it was considered that was to be the route

. Therefore, that possibility is there.

It is perhaps overly simplistic on the part of the hon. member to suggest that there is a fairly obvious or straightforward answer to this situation. It’s sufficient to say that for the first time, under the auspices of this ministry, we have convened meetings of all the parts of a film industry. It would also be fair to say that there isn’t a general consensus when you get to the area of solutions, but I’m very hopeful that as we keep working and thinking about it, with the purpose of making sure that in fact we are working towards the establishment of a viable film industry, then ultimately we will be able to come to some satisfactory arrangements. I’m looking forward to trying on some ideas with the Secretary of State. We completed some meetings with his officials within the last two weeks.

Reference was made to the transfer to the Arts Council. I would point out that, of course, it’s a matter of principle to us that the judgements made with respect to those grants are left with the Arts Council. I have no reason to believe its members are allowing any great reserves. The only reserve I know about is the Ontario Heritage Foundation to which we make grants. That's capital grants and, as you know, that becomes necessary through a cash flow arrangement as to when the money would be required following a commitment.

The Arts Council, if we’re going to speak upon that point particularly, has been established in order that there would be an outright transfer from government to the council and that a council at arm’s length from the political wing would assess applications and would make the judgement calls with respect to those applications. I’m quite satisfied that, as part of that process, there is a very careful scrutiny of the financial situation of the applicant, be it an individual or an organization.

I’d be very surprised if any client dealing with the Arts Council had any particularly large reserve. I’m sure that would influence the Arts Council in the ultimate determination as to the benefit it could have.

I would point out, too -- to get to the third question, if I might go back to it for a moment -- these grants for regional arts development do amount to some $403,500. A consolidated programme of grants for regional arts development, of course, is planned and we have a breakdown as to how we will see this money operate. Rather, it will become available on a regional basis for the crafts council, arts development, the Canadian Drum Corps, Theatre Ontario and Visual Arts Ontario as part of the ongoing programme in this regard.

Mr. Sweeney: Mr. Chairman, I have a couple of questions to the minister. Firstly, under the heading of cultural development, does this ministry have any policy intentions with respect to the Symons report entitled “To Know Ourselves”? I know most of that report is directed toward educational institutions but there is also a number of sections in it which would certainly -- seemingly, anyway -- apply to this ministry in terms of cultural development.

Secondly, the minister referred just a minute ago to the Arts Council having a certain autonomy in terms of its decisions. I’m sure he’s aware of the fact that for quite a number of performing artists in this province the Arts Council can be a matter of life or death as far as their careers are concerned. I understand this must always be taken with a grain of salt but there is a sense among a number of performing artists in this province that the Arts Council has, shall I say, its favourites or there are some people who get more consideration than others. Whether or not that is true -- I guess that is what I’m trying to say -- what provision is there for such artists to appeal or to come through another route? Or are they in a sense helpless in this situation?

Hon. Mr. Welch: The hon. member has spoken to me about this in connection with a particular matter which, following our discussion, I have referred back to the Arts Council because I think the points the hon. member made at that time should be reviewed. I don’t want to appear overly defensive.

I have a great deal of respect for the Arts Council. I don’t mind sharing a very open affection for many of the people who work pretty hard to fulfill the mandate which the Legislature gave that council. I suppose in any organization made up of human beings there may be preferences with respect to areas of interest and I use that not in relation to the Arts Council but referring to the development of any organization. I would feel that anyone who feels they have not been successful with the Arts Council should feel they could re-apply to appeal to that council if there is some new evidence.

I suppose, in any organization where there can be either a yes or a no answer, those who get the no answer are not usually particularly delighted. Indeed, my experience has been that some who get a yes answer in less than the quantitative way they had hoped for don’t feel very well done by either. I’d have to rely on what I consider to be the good judgement of the Arts Council as it is advised. Certainly, any evidence which is brought to my attention, as the hon. member did, I refer to the chairman of that council.


On the question with respect to the Symons report, may I briefly go into two things? Mr. Symons, the author of the report, is a member of the Arts Council and I’m sure will be bringing to the attention of the council those sections of the report that will deal particularly with the area of cultural development. The report is about six or seven weeks old. There are two or three sections of the report which have, in fact, been drawn to my attention as worthy to be considered in the development of any policy.

The hon. member will recall the other day, when we were last at these estimates, I mentioned the fact that Paul Shaffer, formerly of York University, was doing some research for us and, certainly in my most recent discussions with him and others, there is no question that the contents of the Symons report have influenced them and have been brought to their attention as well.

Mr. Sweeney: Mr. Chairman, I have a question of discretion. Is this the proper place to bring in a question on TV-Ontario or does it come under some other vote? I don’t see it anywhere.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Vote 2805.

Mr. Sweeney: Thank you.

Mrs. Campbell: I have two questions: One, I note the assistance to book publishing and, of course, I endorse that but I do wonder why there is a difference of opinion when it comes to periodical subsidies or subsidies for periodicals promoting the Canadian arts.

Second, could I know from the minister, on the grants for open sector education, is this sum available to Ryerson alone, or to whom is it available and what is the situation with reference to Ryerson? That seems to have been fudged under for quite some time now.

Hon. Mr. Welch: I am very excited about what is going on as far as the Ryerson development is concerned. I have been meeting with them; in fact, I’ve had frequent meetings with them. I am tremendously impressed with the public response to their campaigns and to the special concerts.

Certainly, I think we have a very good relationship. The fact that you perhaps don’t see the ministry too prominently involved in that respect is a good thing in a way for that type of facility. We are continuing our support as was our commitment and, of course, it’s always been predicated on the fact that there would be a fair involvement on the part of the public who are benefiting both from the course development and the general broadcasting.

As for the other grants, we are still continuing our assistance to the Committee on Post-secondary Education as far as Brantford is concerned. Indeed, I’m delighted that the hon. member has raised some questions about this. I see the possibility of some pretty exciting developments in this field because of its emphasis on not going the institutional route and, perhaps, providing services to people where they are. Certainly, just to go back to the Ryerson programme, it’s amazing the number of people who are taking advantage of those particular courses.

I do know of the interest of the hon. member in the periodical field, and in particular the meeting that the hon. member had with our officials in connection with a particular periodical. I would hope that we would all benefit from that exchange. In the breakdown of support, we have been more directed to helping people with their manuscripts and, also, in the underwriting of certain borrowing charges as far as the Ontario Development Corp. is concerned in the book publishing area generally. As the hon. member would know from that particular meeting, it isn’t that we’ve been ignoring the other, but it doesn’t quite fit into the same pattern and approach as we, in fact, have used in the other area of responsibility.

Mrs. Campbell: Just one quick point, Mr. Chairman. I’m glad that the minister feels that we might all benefit. I must say that in that case they went out of business.

Hon. Mr. Welch: In that case, all that glitters wasn’t gold.

Mrs. Campbell: That wasn’t glitter. It was another one. Glitter is a different thing.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Oh, I’m sorry.

Vote 2803 agreed to.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Vote 2804 is next; multicultural support and citizenship programme.

Mr. Grande: I would like to begin my remarks perhaps by --

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Welch: I just wanted to say to the hon. member for St. George, there was one particular figure I didn’t share with her. Last year the Ontario Arts Council support was about $300,000 to some 57 periodicals. I’m sorry, I didn’t give her that figure. Thank you.

On vote 2804:

Mr. Grande: Mr. Chairman, I would like to begin my remarks by perhaps going a little back in time to 1972, when the Province of Ontario held its now famous or infamous Heritage Congress, in June, 1972. I would like to talk a little bit about the broad feeling the people of diverse cultural groups in Ontario had that that particular conference was nothing else but a grand gesture of tokenism by the government.

Virtually no one thought that anything constructive was going to evolve from that event. No one believed for one minute that the Conservative government was going to even mildly listen to the needs of the ethnic groups as expressed and articulated for the so-called resource people.

The scepticism was total among the resource people themselves. Today, four years later, we know the real purpose of the Heritage Ontario congress and the formation of the Ontario Advisory Council on Multiculturalism, which was set up, in the words of its first chairman, Mr. Checkeris: “This council is charged with the responsibility of advising the government, through the Hon. Margaret Birch, concerning policies and programmes with direct implication for Ontario’s cultural communities.” I realize that this particular discussion should perhaps be held under the Hon. Margaret Birch, the Provincial Secretary for Social Development. Nonetheless, this particular conference, Heritage Ontario developed in the minds of the many different cultural groups in Ontario a tremendous number of expectations; expectations that this government finally, after many years, was going to move in a positive way, in a positive direction, to look after and to look seriously at the needs of the different cultural groups in Ontario.

As I was saying, there was a tremendous amount of scepticism there at that particular conference. We know, though, that the Heritage Ontario congress and the Ontario Advisory Council on Multiculturalism represent well planned action by this government, very much in the vein of the Premier’s trip to Italy, in order to gain votes from the different cultural groups. I don’t apologize for saying that, because really the feeling is there. That’s the reason why Heritage Ontario took place, that’s the reason why the Premier decided to go to Italy and to take that trip.

I really believe that there has never been any kind of other motivation behind those particular well-planned acts.

I want to quote from a bilingual monthly magazine called Mosaico -- and by the way, before I do, let me tell you that the people who publish this magazine are certainly no friends of the New Democratic Party. They are friends of the other two parties in this House.

This was said after the general election of 1975 in response to an article which appeared in the Globe and Mail. Let me read the whole article, because I think that this particular article captures the tone and the feeling in the different cultural communities across Ontario. It’s titled “Davis Trip a Lesson” and I quote:

“Soon after Premier Davis’s trip to Italy last year, commenting on the CBC’s John Zaritsky’s filming of the event, Blaik Kirby of the Globe and Mail in Toronto wrote: ‘Clearly the CBC’s John Zaritsky formed an opinion of Premier Davis’s Italian junket. It was to win votes from the Italians at home and for no other purpose.’ He went on to comment: ‘Perhaps worst of all, it is a reflection on the naiveté and credibility of Italian Canadians and that the trip seems very likely to accomplish its vote-getting purpose.’

“Well, Mr. Kirby, eat your words -- you and anybody else who thinks like you. Not one of Davis’s candidates was elected by the Italian-Canadian electorate -- not here in Toronto, and not in other areas where Italian Canadians are numerous.

“We have said it before and would say it again: Generalizations like Kirby’s about any group by the news media are most despicable. But lest the lesson be lost, let the Ontario election results be a warning to all politicians and political leaders alike, that over one million people of this country whose origin is Italian will not be taken for granted any longer. If you court our support, then be prepared to acknowledge our existence by recognizing and meeting our needs, because trips to Italy, appearances at Italian functions prior to elections, token gestures of any kind alone, will not gain you any support.”

The reason I quoted that particular article at length is because I really do think it captures the attitude that this government has toward the different cultural groups in this province. The government, as far as I am concerned -- and let me tell you at this particular time that I am speaking on behalf of myself at this point in time -- is not interested in moving beyond the rhetoric and the gala events. It is not interested and concerned in developing good community-based programmes to encourage the immigrant to integrate within the larger society. It feels no responsibility whatsoever toward the eventual integration of the immigrant.

It doesn’t understand the process of integration because its policy is one of assimilation. Its policy is to destroy as fast as possible the cultural differences that make up Canada, and the Province of Ontario in particular. It is not necessary to destroy these unique qualities of cultural groups in order to encourage the members of a group to become good, solid, hard-working Canadians and hence make their contributions in their own terms to our country.

To return for one short moment to the Ontario Advisory Council on Multiculturalism, I would suggest to the minister that the council ought to be directly under the responsibility of the Minister of Culture and Recreation. The reason I mention that is because, in taking a look at the minutes beginning in November, 1975, and right up to March, all they are dealing with in their deliberations has to do with the Minister of Culture and Recreation. There is very little else going on.

As a matter of fact, even that particular council, which supposedly was set up to advise the government on policy, in effect sends letters to the different government ministries and says, “Please tell us what we should be discussing in the next month.” To me, that is not a council working to develop policies for the government. It is a council working for the benefit of government.


I mentioned earlier that the government does not understand the process of integration, and I say that in all sincerity, I really think you don’t understand it. All you are interested in saying to the immigrants, “You’ve come to Canada. As fast as possible forget about everything that you are and become Canadians. Learn our ways, learn our traditions, learn our values and then you will be accepted as Canadians.

I suggest to the minister, through you, Mr. Chairman, that does not have to be the process. To point to one specific instance in which this particular ministry does not understand that concept of integration, let us take a look at the different kind of services provided for immigrants. They are solely provided for the immigrants in order to integrate better with Canadian society; in order to allow the immigrants to get some knowledge of the English language; to get some knowledge of the different services provided so that they can become fully participating Canadians in Ontario. I subscribe to that.

However, as soon as these particular organizations or particular groups spring up to take care of a felt need in the community, the government does not provide any funds to them whatsoever. The minister knows that quite well because in September last year a group of us approached him with this particular kind of problem because about 20 community organizations were going to close as of March 31 because they had no funds.

I realize it is just not your responsibility; I realize that. I realize the federal responsibility in this matter but when the federal government does not come through what are you going to do? Are you simply going to say, “Forget it; we will give you a certain amount”; it lasts for a month or two months but that is okay.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Tell the House what we did after that meeting.

Mr. Grande: What did you do? You will have the opportunity to tell the House. I am sure you will.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Why don’t you tell them? Don’t just leave it there.

Mr. Grande: My concern in this particular area with these programmes is that what the coalition of immigrant and migrant services back in September, 1975, was saying to the minister was, “If you really think these particular services we are providing are necessary to integrate the newest immigrants or the immigrants we have in Metro Toronto and in the Province of Ontario, we suggest to you that what we require, what we need, is some kind of permanent funding.”

I also realize that some discussions were going on between your ministry and the federal government regarding this permanent funding. As a matter of fact the coalition suggested a 50-30-20 break -- 50 per cent from the federal; 30 per cent from the provincial; and 20 per cent from the municipal government or Metro. What has happened to that permanent funding scheme?

You said why didn’t I mention what you had done for them. You said, “Sure, we will do our best to find funds so that they can keep open for another two months. Is that what you said? Or am I misquoting you?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Are they still open?

Mr. Grande: I don’t know that, seriously. I am being --

Hon. Mr. Welch: I think they are.

Mr. Grande: If I may continue -- you will have your chance to respond; I am sure you will. I am concerned about these people who are very active people within the communities. They are very energetic and willing to do something to help the different communities, the different cultural groups, integrate with Canadian society. By the way, I use that word integration; I do not use assimilation which you tend to use all the time.

In order to do that what happens is that they are penalized all the time because they have to work very hard in order to make sure that they’re going to have funds in order to keep open for the next month. And I suggest to the minister that when these people have to be put through that kind of useless wastage of energy, then they cannot be providing the best possible service.

Another thing which intrigues me is that with the minister’s understanding of the integration process -- and by the way, I will not continue for a long time although there are a lot of things to be said in this area. If the minister is concerned about these services and the integration process, why is it that he specifically says in his policy that the ministry does not fund unilingual community-based programmes? Since when does the immigrant come into the Province of Ontario speaking the English language? I mean, if they did, they would not need that programme. Obviously the process of integration begins unilingually, and there’s no doubt about that.

Again, at the same time it seems to me that you have a kind of a fear about funding those particular agencies. Perhaps later on again I hope that you will really tell us what is it that you intend to do in this particular area. With that, given the constraints of time, I stop.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Needless to say I want to respond to this.

I respect the interest, the sensitivity of the member for Oakwood in this area and I appreciate having the benefit of his comments. May I say quietly that I disagree with him almost violently with respect to some of the things that he has tried to suggest are our motivation.

I couldn’t exaggerate the feeling I have at the moment with respect to taking exception with the fact that he can’t possibly have read a speech of mine on the subject of multiculturalism and stand in this House to say that I used the word “assimilation.” You won’t find it anywhere in a speech that I’ve made. I do not believe in assimilation; I believe in integration. My commitment to this concept is, perhaps, well known in the communities where it is of some importance, and I can only say that perhaps once we can correct some of this misinformation we’ll find ourselves working very closely together to accomplish some of the things which are obviously very close to the hon. member and about which he feels very keenly.

An examination of these estimates will produce the fact that last year the House voted about $386,000 to the citizenship field. This year, because of representations made by the new ministry, that’s $1 million. I ask you to find any other programme that’s been increased by 250 per cent. That shows something of the commitment we have to some of the very important matters to which the hon. member has made reference.

We have a division now -- and we were not as quick to get all these positions filled. We have the executive director now in place coming to us from the Human Rights Commission. We have very dedicated directors in the field of citizenship and multicultural development and a staff who have worked over the years in these fields in a very unselfish and very effective way. My first post in the government was with respect to this, so I perhaps can be excused if I have some feeling with respect to my response in this area.

I want to respect the fact there are other questions to be raised in this and other votes, but when you go through the whole reception service programme; when you go through the language training development programme; when you think in terms of the grants we’ve provided for organizations and awarded to voluntary agencies and organizations for the purpose of promoting immigrant adjustment and integration -- I could recite grants totalling some quarter of a million dollars; to the Chinese Community Centre of Ontario and the Ethnic Referral Centre and the Black Education Project and the Italian Community Education Project and the Jewish Aid Society and on the list would go -- that shows we have put some of the resources of the taxpayers of this province where our commitment is.

When we think of community projects like in Cambridge and in Belleville and in Toronto and in North Bay and in Sarnia and in Niagara Falls with respect to other worthwhile endeavours and what’s going into ethno-cultural development, intercultural development, community development and grants for intercultural activities which totalled another $50,000, I’m a little hard-pressed to understand how anyone could make some of the statements that have been made here. However I think our record in this regard is quite well known.

I couldn’t agree with the hon. member more when he says no government can avoid multiculturalism. The government didn’t create it; it’s a reality of today. You can’t understand Ontario or Canada without understanding multiculturalism or cultural pluralism; it’s a fact of life. Governments don’t create it and they don’t dictate people’s attitudes with respect to it; they have to respond to it at all levels of government. It’s a cultural heritage which makes this particular jurisdiction very special.

As the hon. member has correctly said, I would resent anyone in any party, at any level of government, who thinks he can give token service to this field or in some cheap way deliver a bloc of people in any partisan or political way. You treat them as individuals who have sought opportunities here, or whose parents or grandparents did; they are entitled to equal access to government services and understanding that to which they are entitled, that was the basis of the whole programme when the Department of Provincial Secretary and Citizenship was developed some years ago.

I don’t see this as a great area for partisan differences. I invite the hon. member, as I did the day when we met with members of his caucus, to discuss those special programmes. I invite him to share with me the areas where he feels there may be some direction needed. We have added resources. I’m asking the House to vote these additional resources in order that we might respond.

There are a number of points that have been made, and I want to respect the time limitations that are here, but the accountability of the advisory council is of some interest to me. When I was the Provincial Secretary for Social Development, there wasn’t a Ministry of Culture and Recreation at that time. The whole model we followed, in so far as the establishment of advisory councils was concerned, was to have them available to the whole government.

I think it would be unfortunate if we saw the question of multiculturalism as only the responsibility of the Ministry of Culture and Recreation. We have some special responsibilities in the citizenship and multicultural development area because of some special programmes but, as Heritage Ontario has reminded us, it should be a total government response; whatever disadvantage anyone suffers in this jurisdiction, it should be eliminated in the name of equality of access to opportunity. It should be just as important to me, as the Minister of Culture and Recreation, as it would be to the Minister of Community and Social Services or indeed to any ministry.

The idea was to have an advisory council that could be sensitive and able to advise the entire government. This is why the reporting relationship was that with policy minister rather than with any particular ministry in the same way that we had our senior citizens, our handicapped people and multiculturalism as special concerns which the government should be addressing in its total approach. I’m saying that, for different reasons, we have a great commitment to continue this.

This is not an easily understood area. I was at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre today, speaking to some North York teacher administrators during a wonderful series of meetings going on in that educational system. I realize that it takes a great deal of time. You can’t legislate. You can’t be overly heavy in government directives with respect to it. You’ve got to live it; you’ve got to believe in it, you’ve got to feel it, you’ve got to realize the reality which multiculturalism really is. And you’ve got to appreciate that it’s more than just folk dancing or folk festivals; it’s the wider, broader lifestyle which is ours. It’s that and more. And where would we be today if we didn’t acknowledge it?


I take it very seriously. I appreciate the counsel and I appreciate the advice. I disagree with the assessment of our motives. I almost violently disagree with some of the value judgements that you have imposed on us with respect to what we are doing, but I do share with you a concern for these particular services.

Mr. Lewis: Mr. Chairman, a point of order.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order, please. The hon. member for Scarborough West has a point of order.

Mr. Lewis: Mr. Chairman, I would like to say to the House leader, because of some things in these estimates which are important and to which some little time should be turned, I am going to ask the Liberal Party through the House leader -- and unhappily because of events today people aren’t as generally around -- I am going to ask that one hour be taken from the timetable later to be turned exclusively over to Wintario, since that was the intention. We are already intruding into and eroding that hour now anyway. Personally, I would like to give up the hour which was designed for the Premier’s (Mr. Davis) estimates, because I have never seen much sense in that. I am hoping that that is where the trade-off will occur. I suspect the Liberal Party would agree.

I would like to speak on this vote for a few minutes, and some other people would like to get into it. I don’t want to intrude on the hour for Wintario, which I understand a lot of members want to get in on and which all of us, if we spoke, would erode. So I am putting that to you, Mr. Chairman, as a point of order that I suspect the opposition parties would concur in and that I hope the government would concur in, since, if we do away with the Premier’s estimates, it is only the leader of the Liberal Party and the Leader of the Opposition who lose the joy of taking that fellow apart.

Hon. Mr. Welch: I imagine some spokesman from the Liberal Party will want to respond to that. I understand that what would happen then is, we would carry on until 5 o’clock and complete all the votes except Wintario, we would have one hour for Wintario on Thursday afternoon from 3 to 4, and then we would start the Ministry of Education and that additional hour would then be taken off the time allocation for the Premier’s estimates.

Mr. Lewis: I would like it like that but the whips may decide on something else.

Mr. R. S. Smith: Mr. Chairman, our party would agree to that, with the exception that we would like it left to the House leader to decide where the other hour is taken from, in order that a decision can be made by the three House leaders.

Mr. Lewis: That’s fine.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Does the committee agree? Agreed.

Hon. Mr. Welch: The Provincial Secretary for Social Development (Mrs. Birch) has volunteered to give up an hour.

Mr. Lewis: The Provincial Secretary for Social Development would doubtless be happy not to bring her estimates to the House at all. It is under negotiation.

Hon. Mr. Welch: I appreciate what the hon. member has said and I will discuss it with my colleagues, the other two House leaders, as to where we find the hour. The idea is that we will finish everything up at 5 o’clock except Wintario and then we will have one hour on Thursday on Wintario.

Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Chairman, I am sure we concur with the thinking that would allow us to go through until 5 o’clock to carry the votes up to that particular vote on Wintario, which is vote --

Mr. Lewis: Vote 2807.

Mr. Kerrio: Vote 2807, yes; thank you very much.

Mr. Chairman, I would address myself to a particular aspect of multiculturalism that I think would bear some investigation in regard to a re-assessment of this particular aspect. If it is part of the mandate of the Ministry of Education to acquaint children with the historical roots of the community and the culture of their origins, I am wondering in this ministry, where we have some $16 million expended, whether those moneys could not be reconsidered and redirected in the areas of multiculturalism in the particular Ministry of Culture and Recreation. What I am suggesting is that the moneys that are expended under this mandate -- some $11 million at the secondary level and $5 million at the elementary level -- be utilized to provide reception and orientation classes for all children who need them. I am wondering whether, in fact, those moneys couldn’t be reconsidered and brought into the Ministry of Culture and Recreation where they would better identify with the multiculturalism aspect of that part of education.

I’ll touch on all three of these particular votes because we’ve handled them in the past as one vote. On item 2, community development for native peoples, I think I would ask all my questions if I may because I think that would expedite getting the votes done with.

I’m somewhat concerned that we’re spending some $574,000 on salaries and wages to government employees in the area of community development for native people. I wonder if we couldn’t somehow bring into focus, with the needs of the people, some expenditure or allotment to developing native peoples in some of these particular aspects of community development and help them in that regard?

On item 3, I wonder if you could translate for me the $233,900 for translation services? I would like to know who this translation is done for. Is it in any way involved with the translation of government advertising, the origin of which we don’t find listed? Is this translation of material from other ministries? Is it a case of the ministry paying for translations when other ministries should be involved? In view of the time restraints, I restrict myself to those particular pertinent questions in this vote and I defer to your answers.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Chairman, to move through the questions from the last step, we provide this service. It is an essential service across government and other ministries using this service are charged for it. There is a charge-back arrangement for the translation of government documents and to provide us with a facility to respond to correspondence which comes to us in other languages. There is a charge-back arrangement and the funds are provided here -- in other words, we have it for ourselves as a ministry and we provide this service for other ministries as well.

It used to be part of the establishment of Government Services, I think, as part of its central services. We saw the closer relationship with ourselves because of our work in multicultural development, but a condition of its transfer was that we would continue the charge-back arrangement.

I think the hon. member quite correctly raises questions with respect to native development and the employment of native people as part of that employment group. I understand that we have three officers and three clerical staff at the moment who are native people.

I don’t disagree at all -- I think they would obviously have that much more appreciation in the area of responsibility and I think the point is well made. I think we do everything we can to encourage the development of that type of leadership among the native peoples themselves for that particular work.

The first question, if memory serves me correctly, had something to do with the transfer of moneys from the Ministry of Education. I think when the Education estimates come before this committee -- and they follow us -- there would be some point in discussing once again this question of the introduction of young people from other cultural backgrounds to the educational system and the transition arrangements that are there. I think that would be best left as part of the educational responsibility.

I was talking about that this morning actually with the North York administrators. There are some interesting things going on in educational jurisdictions to provide for the transition of students from different cultural backgrounds and with some language problems in order that they can benefit from the established courses. We would maintain some interest in that, in the general area of integration, but would see the specific problems there as being more adequately looked after by the education people than by our own.

Mr. Lewis: Mr. Chairman, I want to speak to the question of the Indian community secretariat as the Minister of Culture and Recreation knows. I’m glad to be speaking to him because I like him and I have regard for him. I feel that it’s good, therefore, on a subject as important as this to be speaking to a minister who will understand the necessary partisanship but try to discount it and perhaps see some merit in the positions that are being put as well.

I start with two very brief ironies: First, the irony that this estimate should be up at this very moment in time, my colleague from Bellwoods (Mr. McClellan) and I having returned from an extensive trip with other New Democrats and members of the media through some of the reserves in northwestern Ontario -- Sandy Lake, Whitefish, Whitedog and Grassy Narrows, to be specific.

I also note with irony that there is a certain -- how shall I phrase it? -- a certain symbolism implicit in the fact that the Indian community secretariat is buried in a vote of the Ministry of Culture and Recreation and has been shifted from ministry to ministry over the last decade, showing, I guess, justifiably or unjustifiably, the way in which we tend to view this rather important little secretariat.

I am reluctant to be combative about the positions I want to take. I know that the minister must and will defend the action of his government, but there are some things I want to say to him and they were added to, in my mind, by the statement that was made before the orders of the day by the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Bernier).

If Mr. Bernier persists in the decision that was made today to ask the Solicitor General (Mr. MacBeth) to launch what will be an OPP investigation into the Grassy Narrows reserve, I think that a greater single mark of failure of government policy cannot be imagined than proceeding with that kind of investigation. I truly believe that it will destroy what little may be left in the relationships between government and the communities of Grassy Narrows and Whitedog. I want to ask the minister to speak to his colleague the Minister of Natural Resources in the best sense and ask him please to reconsider, because it would be a kind of nightmare finale to a sequence of events over six years for which such governmental behaviour would, I submit to you, be absolutely inexcusable.

I understand the sense that if there is a criminal act or an act of sabotage it must be investigated and ferreted out, but in an instance of this kind there are greater issues at stake and I simply want to try to put it to you. I want to say first that I have doubts about what the Minister of Natural Resources said today -- not that he is lying; I just have doubts as to the quality and concept of the statement.

I have heard much from the Ministry of Natural Resources which upon careful scrutiny has turned out to be inadvertently false -- like saying that Matachewan was the best-ever asbestos operation in Ontario. I remind you that that was said within two months of closing it down as the worst and I want to remind members of everything from Elliot Lake to God knows what, the Ministry of Natural Resources has not been the single most reliable ministry in the world.

The Minister of Natural Resources says that the switches were simply turned off at Grassy Narrows. Well, maybe they were. I don’t know whether they were. I guess if he says it they must well have been. But that also strikes me, just incidentally, as a peculiar aspect of all of this, because I would have thought that the switches are inside the locked building and you would have to get at them. It just doesn’t strike me as logical, knowing the way the reserves work and how everything is under lock and key, to think of it in those terms.


But, let me concede to the Minister of Culture and Recreation for a moment. Suppose there was a deliberate acts of switching off the freezer, rather than an accidental act or rather than something going wrong with the machine? What does it show? It shows that the Indians were engaging in a particular act of social protest or social outrage. Or it could show that the freezer was so alien, and the fish were not being eaten, that they didn’t care anyway. Or it could show that there is such total breakdown in the relationships between the Indian community at Grassy Narrows on the one hand and the provincial and federal authorities on the other, that nobody thought to communicate to each other the problem that emerged on that reserve. So when we walked into it on the weekend, we walked into 5,000 lb of rotting fish in a freezer.

What happened? Did no one go into the freezer in the whole reserve in that period of time? Was it so little used that it was never discovered? Or did people who are perfectly presentable and decent human beings, like the Bill Fobisters, and the Matthew Beavers and the Stephen Fobisters and the Joe Quoquats and all of the leadership of Grassy Narrows, did they go in and see the rotting fish and just walk out and tell nobody about it? Is the entire reserve complicit in an act of sabotage? Or does it say to the minister that the relationships between Grassy Narrows and the government are so bad that nobody thought of telling anybody exactly what was going on?

May I say, Mr. Chairman, through you to the minister, does the minister know that the day before we were there the member of his secretariat who is responsible for the supervision of all of the northwestern part of the province was in Grassy Narrows sorting out a number of band council resolution problems -- the chaos left after Jeff Perkins departed? And isn’t it almost unimaginable that such an excellent man as Gary Bashera -- and he is, I concede that -- such an excellent fellow as Gary Bashera spends so many hours on the reserve and comes back, and the things that were in that famous memo were true, that in fact fish has been discarded or buried or whatever, and kind of isn’t himself involved in the confidence because there is so much lack of confidence?

Doesn’t this episode speak to the incredible breakdown in human relationships which all of this represents? That’s why I don’t think the OPP should go in. That’s why I think the OPP will destroy what little is left. I just don’t think that makes any sense at all. It’s like saying to the Indian communities at Grassy Narrows, this is a final act of retribution. It’s vindictive. It’s like saying, we’ve been wrong for six years and you’re going to pay for our errors of judgement and our lack of responsiveness. The government extracts from the community the retribution which the government seeks as compensation for its own unenviable guilt, and that’s just no way to behave.

When the Minister of Natural Resources stood in the House today and talked about sabotage, I want to say to the minister, Mr. Chairman, what ran through my mind. Sabotage has many definitions. I suppose you could use the word sabotage to describe turning off a switch in a freezer, with several thousands of pounds of fish thereafter rotting. Could you not also use the word sabotage to describe a sequence of events which destroyed the life of an entire community in 1970, allows it to fall into total social disintegration over the intervening six years and six years after still can’t respond to it?

Is that not cultural sabotage? Is that not more important in the scheme of things than turning off a switch in a freezer as an act of social protest or an accident or, indeed, an error in description on the part of the Ministry of Natural Resources?

What is it about our response about what we’ve done to Whitedog and Grassy Narrows that would allow a respectable minister of the Crown at this point in time to stand up and say, we will seek retribution from the Indians by launching an OPP investigation, rather than saying to himself, as surely he must have for a moment have thought, that the freezer is a symbol of cultural despair? That’s what it is. Whether it functions or it doesn’t function, I want to tell you I couldn’t care less.

The Indians aren’t eating the fish in the freezer. They haven’t got alternative “Fish for Food” programmes working. They can’t get alternative protein. The whole thing is just a miasma of confusion. The problem is not who turned off the freezer, or why the fish were rotting, or all of the incidents that related to that in particular terms, the problem is that the whole situation on Grassy Narrows and Whitedog reserves has gone to hell for six years and no one is able to retrieve a semblance of order.

When I visited, I was really surprised, Mr. Minister, at the way things were still going at Grassy Narrows and Whitedog. I was surprised because I had thought that the freezer programme was working; I want to tell you that.

On April 29 in this House, the acting Minister of Health, the Minister of Labour (B. Stephenson), in response to a question from the Liberal leader implied to the Legislature very strongly, she said -- I have it in front of me: “They have been supplied with alternative fish sources and other protein foods in order to help them to overcome the possibility of eating fish from those rivers.” That was three weeks after Rene Brunelle, the Chairman of Cabinet, had written to the reserves to indicate that the alternative protein supply situation was already in trouble. I was astounded to walk into those reserves and find that nobody was eating the fish from the freezer and the alternative “Fish for Food” programme had collapsed. At no time in this Legislature were we told about it. At no time.

Do you recall with what enthusiasm Allan Grossman rose in his place to talk about the introduction of the freezers? Nobody said anything to this Legislature about the whole programme collapsing. No one. How do you treat a situation like that? Why don’t you take the Legislature into your confidence? And what I guess I’m asking the Minister of Culture and Recreation is -- and I’m not asking it very effectively -- can’t the cabinet, can’t the Minister of Natural Resources be persuaded to look at the episode of the freezer with the question mark, why did it happen? What’s going on out there? What is this tragedy of Grassy Narrows and Whitedog? That’s what I’m begging you to look at.

I think it’s true that after commercial fishing ended in the spring of 1970, life has been downhill every step of the way for those reserves and the whole situation is an unutterable shambles. There was a lovely elderly Indian fellow who walked up a kind of rise with us in Grassy Narrows. His name was Stephen Loon. He said: “I worked as a guide for 23 years up until the spring of 1970, and I haven’t had a day’s work since.” He was very bitter about it and it simply speaks the volumes of truth about the Grassy Narrows Reserve.

Isn’t it also true, that the competing bureaucracies, provincially and federally, have forever frustrated themselves and each other over that intervening six-year period? Isn’t it true that there are too many ministries involved, too many changing bureaucrats, too many areas of competing jurisdiction?

The minister from Cochrane North (Mr. Brunelle) mentioned today in question period that there was a meeting on May 20, the minutes of which stated such and such. May I say, Mr. Chairman, to the House that the meeting on May 20 was the first meeting in six years of a whole range of civil servants to deal with the problems of Grassy Narrows and Whitedog.

Do you know, there were over 30 civil servants there representing 12 federal and provincial ministries? And do you know the minutes of that meeting read like a take-off on the absurdity of bureaucratic complexity? You could fashion a positive theatrical scenario around those minutes, and the constant competing jurisdiction that was involved.

Isn’t it also fair to say that the fight between the province and the federal government has been used as a device to avoid responsibility over the period of the whole six years? Isn’t it kind of unhappy for the hon. Chairman of Cabinet to have to stand today again and say that it’s a federal responsibility to provide jobs?

We closed the English-Wabigoon system. We took a hammer to the head of the bows on the system and we smashed them. Then we say it’s the responsibility of the federal government to provide long-term jobs. That’s not an intelligent distribution of federal-provincial relationships; that’s a use of those relationships to avoid moral and social responsibilities. If we ended life on those reserves as it was known, then we have an obligation to compensate for it, to do something about it. Six years have passed and very, very little has been done. I don’t understand that. I’m asking again through the Chair that something be changed.

My colleague from Bellwoods has pointed to me and to members of the media and others that the Ministry of the Treasury, Economics and Intergovernmental Affairs wasn’t even at the meeting of May 20, so even if the federal government wanted to enter into some long-term agreement, it wouldn’t be able to because the appropriate ministry wasn’t there to do it. All of this talk about motels and service stations is just so much falderal. It’s never happened; it will never happen. It’s a gasp into the wind again in the hope that somehow the wind itself will silence your adversaries. It doesn’t work anymore, because there is too much militance developing and too much anxiety developing, of which the crazy freezer business is just a symbol.

What is the government going to do if, I say through the Chair to the Minister of Culture and Recreation and the Chairman of Cabinet, if Isaac Mandamin and the Whitedog reserve close the road on June 10? What are you going to do about the tourist operators and about sports fishing? How are you going to handle all that? How come when they asked you on Oct. 31 last to give them an answer to that you still haven’t responded? That’s just palpable bad faith. You responded on April 8 and said that it’s going to take a very long time to work through the legal complexities and said you were not in a position to give an answer yet. Some response. What’s going on?

You’re going to have a real social cause célèbre on your hands which in time could make Anicinabi seem relatively modest. What are you going to do about it? What are you going to do about the whole alternative “Fish-for-Food” programme. Suppose it was all conceived in good faith -- let us assume that -- what happens now? The fish in the freezer for whatever reason will not be eaten. The fish in the freezer for whatever reason is believed by the Indians to have a mercury content which even though low is too high for them to ingest. There are no lakes identifiable within reach where they can fish for alternative sources where the fish don’t have mercury content. For their shore lunches they still eat mercury-contaminated fish.

If I were to ask the Minister of Culture and Recreation what he thinks the tourist operators pack for the Indian peoples as an alternative to fish for lunch, could he tell me? Do you know? Suppose I told you that what they pack for the Indians for lunch for a seasoned guide is a can of Spam? Would you consider that as a reasonable response to having sort of destroyed the normal cultural, social eating habits of the people?

Matthew Beaver sits in the meeting and says, “You go out there and you fry the fish for the tourists and it looks so good and it’s so delicious.” And you can practically taste the fish, as he is talking about it. How do we work out an alternative to a protein situation which is verging on disaster? Look at what happened last week, to which very little credit has been given because very little has been said about it. For the first time in what I can remember the Indians on Grassy Narrows started to get letters saying that they may in fact have Minamata disease. I’ve never heard it conceded by the Province of Ontario before, or by anybody. But here is a letter from Dr. Prichard at the Sick Children’s Hospital saying exactly that.


I say to the minister and to the Chairman of the Cabinet that this letter speaks volumes. If you had a patient, Mr. Minister, whom you had examined and he might have a crippling and ultimately fatal disease, would you send him a form letter with his name typed in? It’s very hard to believe how all of this happened up there. Here is the original letter to Steve Fobister -- and the name is typed in.

“Dear Mr. Fobister:

“We found some minor neurological signs when we examined you recently. These can be caused by mercury poisoning, as well as from a number of other reasons. They are not serious, and you should not worry about them but please do not eat any of the fish from your local contaminated waters. I will be glad to send a more detailed report to you or your family physician if you wish.”

This was dated May 24 last. You know this Dr. Prichard, who has done the study for the provincial government and visited Japan and did the study on Grassy Narrows and has submitted it to the federal government -- and as an aside, I would like to know where both those studies are -- this Dr. Prichard needs a quiet lesson in common, human decency.

You don’t send form letters to patients, or prospective patients telling them they may have a serious disease.

But doesn’t that speak to the whole crazy business of the northwest reserves? Doesn’t that speak, Mr. Chairman, to the breakdown in relationships which we have tried to describe? Doesn’t that speak, if I may say, to the Chairman of Cabinet, to the sequence of promises unfulfilled, from the wild rice crops through to the daycare centres, through to the expansion of the sawmills, through to all of the possibilities which would have given a genuine and viable economic base to those Indian people?

Isn’t it the ultimate irony that we destroy their culture in 1910, and then in 1974 and 1975 we flood their wild rice crop so badly that they can’t even get a penny in compensation? And that a Crown corporation and the Lake of the Woods control board are both involved in the flooding?

Don’t you see it as a kind of conspiracy focused on the Indian people of Grassy Narrows and Whitedog, from which there appears to be absolutely no escape? Nothing ever gets resolved; nothing ever gets done. And you go back to the reserves and you see the same despair and the same demoralization and the same sense of frustration -- although if the leadership is particularly good, as it is in Whitedog, there is a kind of determined confrontation with government to get it sorted out.

Mr. Chairman, I just want to end by putting to the minister, again briefly, the proposition I put to him at question period. I don’t know what the answers are to some of these problems. I think I understand some of it. And I wish at times like this I was out of politics. I would love to offer you a consultancy. I would like an opportunity to go up there and do it, except that I suppose a civil servant can’t do it. Jeff Perkins tried to do it, and look at the shambles that apparently occurred.

So, maybe there is another alternative. If there was one vivid reality about the whole experience of this last weekend, it is the absence of a focus. It’s the absence of a channel. It’s the absence of trust between the hands and some representative of government; someone or some people with authority who get things done in a deliberate and progressive fashion.

I think we should, therefore, take some members of this Legislature and do it. We have tried to do it with members of the cabinet. It hasn’t worked. Those things often don’t. We tried to do it with a senior coordinator, a civil servant named Jeff Perkins. It didn’t work.

I can’t appeal to the Premier to go in and usurp the authority of the Minister of Natural Resources, because that is too much an explicit attack on the minister; politically, I understand that can’t be done. So, even though I would like to invite the Premier to go up to Whitedog and Grassy Narrows and see for himself, I know that that probably won’t happen.

We are trying to suggest, Mr. Chairman, an alternative which would work. The alternative is to take one of the Tory backbenchers, who has the regard and respect from the members of the House, regardless of political association -- or a member of each of the three parties who have that regard and respect, and who are seen as first-rate members regardless of ideology, and give them terms of reference for six or eight months. Say to them as follows:

“We want you to go intermittently back and forth from Grassy Narrows and Whitedog, in addition to your normal duties. We want you to make sure that money gets to the daycare centre. We want you to make sure there is no more flooding of wild rice and that the dam is repaired.

“We want you to make sure that the sawmill operation is expanded. We want you to make sure that everything from paddles to caskets are considered in the process of job alternatives. We want you to try to be able to have your traplines and the animals which are caught service the fur plant in Whitefish Bay rather than having to go to North Bay to be sold so that there is some integration of associated Indian economies.

“We want you to develop a long-term economic plan in conjunction with the federal government. We want you to explore the kinds of things which the Indian guides will eat at lunch when they are guiding -- if the waterways are to remain open, although I don’t think they should -- and we want you as well to look at an alternative food programme generally which we can phase in.

“We are giving you political authority and we are saying to you you can tell the civil servants what they have to do. We want to have it delivered. We know the Chairman of Cabinet (Mr. Brunelle) can’t do it because he is responsible for all Indian peoples in a co-ordinated sense, and can’t just handle Grassy Narrows and Whitedog.”

We are finally going to put some people on the front line who, in six or eight months, can restore to a legitimate relationship the ruptures and futilities of the last six years. We have no right, Mr. Minister, through the Chair, to be doing what we are now doing; we just have no right at all. There is something so terribly nutty -- it is surreal -- the Minister of Natural Resources to stand in his place, his ministry, and say we are going to launch a police investigation when we have just clobbered the life-blood out of Grassy Narrows. Six years later we are investigating them for a quite natural if inadvertent human response which speaks far more about our incapacity to deal with a civilized and decent people whom we have savaged rather than our capacity to be vindictive and retributive about it.

I am asking you, as an excellent minister, to speak to the Premier and to speak to your cabinet colleagues and to call them off and to get the thing onstream.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Chairman, I think I would do a great disservice to the committee now if I spent too much time apparently in a defensive way. I think there is general agreement that the situation is one which has to be addressed. I would like to say in the interest of those who have had the responsibility -- one which has been approached from that type of dedication -- that I want to make one or two observations.

I know that when you have a particular problem -- and I speak in terms of another responsibility I had when I was the Attorney General; in particular the park situation in Kenora -- in responding to that one has to look beyond the immediate problem and how cautious you have to be as you attempt to respond to that particular concern.

I draw attention to that very briefly only because it became obvious to me and to my colleagues at that time that the question of a focus here at Queen’s Park was a very real need. After that particular situation appeared to be in hand it was important to follow up quickly with the co-ordinating development here so that there would be some place or some focus as the Leader of the Opposition mentions, to which the native peoples could look to respond to their overall concerns.

It has been in the spirit and since that particular time -- and I speak from that personal experience -- that we have been developing it with senior staff. Then, of course, there was the very significant appointment of my colleague, the Chairman of Cabinet, who has a particular interest in it and I think is ideally suited to give leadership to this role of co-ordination.

As the Leader of the Opposition and the members of the committee will know, he and a committee of senior civil servants -- three or four deputy leaders and other senior personnel from other ministries -- meet on a regular basis to address themselves to the responsibilities which have been assigned to my colleague by cabinet on this overall responsibility for native peoples.

It would seem, and I am sure my colleague would agree, that maybe this would be the tone of our exchange. I appreciate the sincerity of the comments and I appreciate the feeling with which the comments were shared with all of us in committee today.

I know the hon. Leader of the Opposition would be fair to say that, the problems having just developed, the situation is one that avoids simplistic solutions. He has been fair enough to point out the fact that there are so many other factors to be taken into consideration. I’m sure the Chairman of Cabinet, in view of the new evidence that has been developed in the last few days, would want at a very early opportunity to review the statements that have been made to see whether or not there isn’t some other approach that could be made for this particular problem. As we do that, we think in terms of the overall responsibilities of co-ordination. It’s the duty even of civil servants to figure out all the jurisdictional matters.

Perhaps with that exchange and with the assurance that my colleague and the members of this committee will address themselves to that and my assurance to the Leader of the Opposition that I will discuss his proposition or his proposal with the Premier tomorrow on his return, that would be the only contribution that I would make now. I wouldn’t want its brevity in any way to be interpreted as a lack of interest and a lack of concern nor to be interpreted in any way but in a positive way to be some indication of how anxious I’m sure we all are to solve this and indeed to provide an opportunity for the resolutions of all problems.

Mr. Chairman: Let me remind members of the committee that we agreed to complete all of the votes in this estimate by 5 o’clock with the exception of Wintario. I believe that the remaining time should go to a spokesman for the Liberal Party.

Mr. Samis: On a point of order, Mr. Chairman, I don’t think we necessarily agreed to that. We agreed to set aside another hour beyond 5 o’clock. It’s quite likely that there will be several votes here that may have to be included in that remaining hour.

Mrs. Campbell: Oh, no.

Mr. Chairman: All right.

Mr. R. S. Smith: I just have a question under item 1 of vote 2804. As I understand it, the minister has had a task force set up on community organization development and delivery. Would he indicate to me just where that task force stands now and when it’s expected that its report will be tabled? I understand this crosses a lot of different ministries, but it comes under your ministry actually.

Hon. Mr. Welch: I must admit I need some help. Are you talking in terms of some specific work that’s being done as far as newcomer integration is concerned or multicultural development?

Mr. R. S. Smith: No, support for community organizations in the first item, in regard to the task force that has been set up.

Hon. Mr. Welch: It may be that you’re having some reference to a study that was commissioned some time ago on the whole question of volunteerism.

Mr. R. S. Smith: That’s right.

Hon. Mr. Welch: I have had a meeting with those who were engaged in that activity, some two or three months ago. I guess it’s at least that time. I think that within the last week they’ve had a further meeting at Couchiching. They were doing somewhat of a training session at that time. There are a series of recommendations that we will be considering with respect to the whole question with relationship between government and the volunteer sector and the types of response. In answer to your question, yes, there has been an ongoing study for some months. I have met with those who are involved to be introduced to some of the recommendations at this stage. I have some arrangements made with those who are involved in that study that they will be coming to see me following the Couchiching meetings which were completed, I think, just a week ago.

Mr. R. S. Smith: Is their study almost coming to an end, and should we expect the report within perhaps the next few months?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Yes, that’s right. I do also agree with what the hon. member has said that the implications of this report will cross into many other ministries, Health and Community and Social Services, when you think in terms of this resource called volunteerism and how it might be organized, if that’s a proper word to use. To answer your question simply, the answer is yes.


Mr. Chairman: The hon. member for Bellwoods. Will you share the remaining time with the hon. member for St. George?

Mr. McClellan: Yes, I would be happy to Mr. Chairman.

Mrs. Campbell: On what basis? 100 to nothing.

Mr. Chairman: No, we have 14 minutes before the committee rises and reports. In the interest of fairness, I think you shouldn’t go beyond half of that time.

Mr. McClellan: I wanted to follow up on the remarks of the Leader of the Opposition. I’ll shorten considerably the range of things that I had hoped to be able to cover and focus on one particular piece of, I suppose, government policy. It’s the same issue that impelled me to resign from the Indian development branch seven years ago. That is the position that was restated here in this House again this afternoon that Indians, in essence, native people on reserves, are a federal responsibility first, foremost and, I suppose, for ever and ever. It’s simply unacceptable.

That policy is at the back of the catastrophe that has now come to light at Grassy Narrows and Whitedog. If that policy is allowed to continue as the basis of government response to native peoples for even another month, we may lose the opportunity to be able to deal forever with the situation at Grassy and Whitedog. Let’s not forget what we’re talking about. We’re talking about 1,000 people who are eating poisoned fish. We’re talking about 1,000 people who are now beginning to get reports from doctors of neurological damage as a result of prolonged mercury poisoning. That is now starting to become apparent.

The amount of time we have to deal with the problem is rapidly running out. We have now wasted six years. The crux of the matter remains the long-term, economic development in the area to provide an alternative to the way of life that was destroyed in the English River system by the Reed Paper Co. and by this government’s neglect.

All of the food freezers in the world are so much irrelevance if we fail to deal with the long-term economic development problem. I had no assurance from the minister other than that this government was prepared to do other than follow along, to drag its heels and to wait for the federal government. It is unclear what this policy really means, whether you intend to wait for federal initiatives or whether you refuse to participate in federal initiatives. That remains ambiguous. At any rate the letter of April 8 which the member for Cochrane North (Mr. Brunelle) sent to Chief Isaac Mandamin at Whitedog is in its entirety a description of --

Hon. Mr. Brunelle: Why don’t you read it into the record?

Mr. Lewis: The letter is the silliest travesty you have ever done.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order, please.

Mr. McClellan: This letter is as clear a piece of evidence of paralysis within an area of government policy as anything that I’ve ever seen. With respect to long-term economic development, the minister simply says: “It should be noted that the primary responsibility for economic development on reserves is the responsibility of the federal government.” That is precisely what I’m telling you is no longer good enough.

Hon. Mr. Brunelle: You ask the Indians themselves and you will find out what their answer is.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order, please.

Mr. Lewis: Oh, come on! Did you read the minutes of May 20?

Mr. McClellan: Could I just continue my remarks, Mr. Chairman, without these kinds of interjections?

Hon. Mr. Brunelle: All the remote Indian reserves.

Mr. McClellan: The meeting on May 20 had a number of very clear requests for provincial assistance in building up an alternative economy. It is very unequivocal.

The second request was for a joint federal-provincial northlands agreement, similar to the Manitoba programme. A. Herridge who is Assistant Deputy Minister of Natural Resources, I understand, stated that the second item is the crux of the matter -- development of a long-term agreement between the federal and provincial governments. Mr. Graham of DREE pointed out the lack of a TEIGA representative as indicating a lack of provincial commitment. I gather a TEIGA representative had been invited to the meeting. We understand the refusal of TEIGA and the minister in charge of TEIGA to engage in any further federal-provincial agreements. The consequence of that policy is quite simply to sabotage any fruitful outcome of a meeting such as the one that took place on May 20.

Native people are still citizens of this province. The Ontario government has direct complicity in what happened at Grassy Narrows and Whitedog. As long as you grab at the cop-out of federal jurisdiction, you are dooming to failure any attempt to deal productively with this disaster. One gets the sorry sense that even the good response from the Minister of Culture and Recreation has been somewhat nullified in our minds by the continued stonewalling from the minister in charge of native affairs. If the feds aren’t willing to move, you have at least some structures that make it possible for you to proceed.

It isn’t an overwhelming task that is faced. What is required is a clear commitment. What is required is that there be commitment at the highest level within this government to deal with the things so that we don’t have further documents like this letter of the member for Cochrane North to the chief of Whitedog, which goes on to deal with some 16 items, not a single one of which has been satisfactorily resolved.

I don’t attribute that to a failure of the minister in charge, the member for Cochrane North. Let me make that very clear. I am not blaming him for any personal failure. What I am saying is that this letter is evidence of a complete failure of government policy, a complete paralysis on the part of the entire government. It is obvious that the minister is not able to make his co-ordinating role work and that he has a delay of six months, during which time presumably he tries to secure co-operation and agreement from the various other ministries with a total lack of success, with a complete failure to get them to move.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order, please. I wonder if the Chair could interrupt for a moment? It was my understanding that there was an undertaking between the hon. member and the hon. member for St. George to share the remaining time. I wonder if the hon. member has finished?

Mr. McClellan: I’ll conclude immediately, Mr. Chairman. I just want to stress again that it is a fundamental failure of government policy that is at the root of this catastrophe. If that policy is not changed and if Ontario is not willing to say to the native people of this province: “We are responsible for improving your lot regardless of jurisdictional hassles; we can negotiate and we can form a partnership to try to move ahead;” if you’re not even willing to move in that direction and you continue to take the jurisdictional cop-out, then the consequence quite simply is that people are going to die.

Mrs. Campbell: If I may follow along on some of the remarks which have been made by the official opposition, my remarks cannot be quite so dramatic because the cause is not seen to be so dramatic. But I would like to address a few remarks first to the problems of the native peoples in the large communities. I was present when the Chairman of Cabinet met with the native women recently and at a banquet following that discussed their problems and their deep concerns.

One of the things that follows on from what was said by the opposition about the treatment of native people on their own reservations is quite consistent with what happens when many of them feel driven to come into a big city, and they do not have the kinds of assistance that are needed.

The one person who spoke out at the luncheon, wanting to talk to the Chairman of Cabinet, was a woman who is trying to deal with the problem of the young native girls, in this case -- although she’s dealing with native boys, too. But there are the young native girls who come into the city and face grave problems and can find no help because, again, of this kind of “the federal government must do it before we do it,” or “the municipality must do it before we do it.”

You have in this ministry a commitment to these people, who have in many cases been forced from their reservations into a city which is alien to them. I have raised in the past their problems in the courts, and the dreadful situation where a middleclass social worker can get up and testify that a little native boy doesn’t articulate. This sort of treatment of native peoples in our city has got to be stopped, and you, surely, must draw to yourself the resources to do it. We must not continue to go scampering to the executioner, in the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Taylor), or to the Minister of Health (Mr. F. S. Miller), or somebody else.

You are trying to make these people fit into slots that suit the bureaucratic processes of government, and they don’t fit into them. I beseech you to take some concern for their problems in the large communities.

And what can I say when I look at translations services? I recognize the need for those services, but why is it that we have to fight day and night just to get interpreting services for the multicultural groups in our community? Surely their problems should be your problems? But we face the threat every so often. You say: “We can’t give any funding to the Portuguese community centres, because we haven’t that kind of funding.” There has to be a commitment, not just a mental acceptance of multiculturalism. It is to be something in depth, and it has to have the same thrust for the multicultural groups in our community as for the native peoples -- for all people who have need.

This is something that I believe this government has failed to see. Not because you’re evil people, not because you’d like to do something if you knew what to do, but you go about it in a bureaucratic fashion, trying to fit people into slots, trying to accommodate them to programmes, rather than working with them to understand what their needs really are. And that has to be a grass roots commitment.

We have many people who’ve made it in this country who often interpret what the community needs, having in some cases forgotten what that community needs because they no longer need it. And I would beseech you to do something to bring into focus the very real needs of these people, all of them, as they appear in the large city.

Mr. Chairman, I can’t go beyond this point. I very much feel that if we are to have agreements about times, we’re going to have to have commitment as to the length of each individual’s speech, because there’s obviously no way to honour a commitment when one party refuses to honour the time restraints.


Mr. Ferrier: The Liberal Party is also at fault.

Mr. B. Newman: Share equally, fellows.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Shall this vote carry?

Vote 2804 agreed to.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: It was the Chair’s understanding, on the point of order raised by the hon. Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Lewis) and concurred in by the hon. member for Nipissing (Mr. R. S. Smith), that this would carry all of the votes of the Ministry of Culture and Recreation with the exception of the Wintario section of the estimates; that that hour would be debated at a later date and that in order to compensate for that hour there would be one hour taken from one of the other estimates to be debated, the estimate to be concurred in by the three House leaders. Is this agreed?

Mr. Samis: I understand, Mr. Chairman, that the final resolution of this suggestion -- and I emphasize that word -- made by the Leader of the Opposition is to be by the three House leaders.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: I think as I recall it, his suggestion was that the votes be passed with the exception of Wintario. I distinctly remember that.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Chairman, I am in somewhat of a difficult position. After all, these are my estimates and I don’t want to be trying to suggest how they be considered if I could as House leader put on that hat for just a moment, I would draw your attention to the fact that, although vote 2807 is the Wintario grant it would be very difficult to go through the Wintario grant without some implications with respect to the programme and the criteria. If, in fact, the idea was to add an hour to these particular estimates and you wanted to have them confined to vote 2807, that vote would provide an opportunity to talk about some of the other programmes because you would be interested in the criteria.

It is entirely up to the committee. If you carry votes 2805 and 2806, that would mean when we reconvene as a committee on Thursday we would have an hour on vote 2807, which is what was my understanding from the Leader of the Opposition. Here once again I remind you I am in your hands, because this was the arrangement that we made with respect to the apportionment of the time that remains in committee of supply.

Mr. R. S. Smith: Mr. Chairman, I believe you are correct in what the understanding was except that there was to be some time left for votes 2806 and 2807. We have now come to the point where we have no time at all for votes 2806 and 2807, including such important matters as ETV.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Votes 2805 and 2806.

Mr. R. S. Smith: Yes, votes 2805 and 2806 not 2807; sorry, vote 2807 is Wintario. If we could have the House leaders meet in regard to providing some time for votes 2805 and 2806, perhaps a half an hour so that we can talk about ETV and some of the important things that are in there a bit, and then have an hour for vote 2807, I think that would be much more agreeable to most members.

Mr. B. Newman: A good idea.

Mr. Samis: Could I just make one comment, Mr. Chairman? When the suggestion was made, I don’t know if the assumption was that that particular item would last, I think, for 65 minutes’ discussion to the detriment of votes 2805 and 2806, as just pointed out by my colleague from Nipissing. I would suggest to the government House leader that some compromise be worked out to allow limited discussion of votes 2805 and 2806, even if we have to limit it to 20, or 25, or 30 minutes as the ultimate compromise and fix a limit for Wintario.

As critic, I would be prepared to limit Wintario to 30 minutes if that allows votes 2805 and 2806 to be discussed as well. I think we, as the opposition, should have the opportunity, even if it is very limited, to discuss all three items.

Hon. Mr. Welch: The government House leader would want some direction. After all, it is very easy and, as far as I am concerned, you can take the time that is required. It is other people who pay for it, the critics for other ministries, who will then feel that they have been deprived of some time.

We have now carried the votes to 2804, and we have 2805, 2806, and 2807 to discuss. I assume that I am now talking to my colleagues, the other House leaders, as to how you would accommodate that in the hour. All we did agree on at that time was that we find another hour from some of the other estimates. That would mean that three votes would have to be considered in that hour, unless there is some agreement that you are going to take away time from the other ministries. Keep in mind we have Education, Health and Community and Social Services yet to be considered in this committee.

Mr. R. S. Smith: Could we not leave it that three votes have not been passed at the present time and an agreement will be reached between the three House leaders?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Yes, but then are we assuming that we are at 2804 and that there are three votes yet to be carried and that you will have an hour for the three of them on Thursday afternoon?

Mr. R. S. Smith: We’ll leave that to the agreement of the House leaders.

Hon. Mr. Welch: There is no question that it is going to be Thursday afternoon?

Mr. R. S. Smith: Yes.

Hon. Mr. Welch: But where the hour comes from will be for the --

Mr. R. S. Smith: Or the hour and a half they might want.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Don’t put me in that position. I couldn’t care less if it’s five more hours, but the thing is, is there agreement between the two opposition parties that they want an hour or an hour and a half? What are we going to talk about?

Mr. Samis: Sixty minutes; obviously 90 would be delightful, but 60 minutes for the three votes.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Agreed.

Ms. Bryden: Mr. Chairman, I would like to observe that since Wintario is a new programme and people are following it with great interest the maximum amount of that hour should be given to Wintario. I would hope that would be part of the understanding.

As to the other things, we have had other opportunities to discuss them and we will have other opportunities in the future for ongoing programmes but a new programme deserves special attention.

Hon. Mr. Welch: On that note, I would move the committee rise and report.

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

Motion agreed to.

The House resumed; Mr. Deputy Speaker in the chair.

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

Report agreed to.



Mr. B. Newman moved second reading of Bill 23, An Act to amend the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Mr. B. Newman: Mr. Speaker, if I’m not mistaken this is the third time I have introduced this bill in this Legislature, hoping we could get some type of action from the government and that it would hesitate delaying any longer and would implement the suggestions contained within Bill 23.

The purpose of the bill is very simple. I intentionally made the bill extremely simple so that we wouldn’t have any other elements of discussion but the one which is the elimination of discrimination on the basis of or because of a physical handicap where that physical handicap does not prevent the individual from performing the responsibilities he has undertaken.

I could have come along and broadened the bill quite substantially but because I have made it so simple I thought it was necessary to see that there was a fairly concise definition of a physical handicap. The definition of a physical handicap is contained in section 9.

“Physical handicap means a physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement which is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness and includes epilepsy and any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical co-ordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment or physical reliance on a seeing-eye dog, wheel chair or other remedial appliance or device.”

The reason for my introducing this bill for the third time is the discrimination we find in our society today against those who can least afford to be discriminated against -- those who have a serious handicap because employment opportunities are extremely limited and in many instances not available at all to them.

The legislation is taken directly from legislation introduced into the Nova Scotia House; it was introduced on Nov. 27, 1974. It was Bill 134 and it was an amendment to the Human Rights Act of that province. Nova Scotia was farsighted enough to attempt to resolve the problem back in 1974, whereas the Province of Ontario approximately two years later is still simply having a committee that is going about the province to find ways of amending the Human Rights Code.

I regret very much, Mr. Speaker, that the government did not see fit to see that the members of the Human Rights Commission who are going about the province seeking amendments or suggestions from the public as to the ways of improving the Human Rights Code are not here present today to hear the debates. I think it would have done them good to have been in the House during the time of the debates and got the input from the various members who will be partaking in the debate.

As I mentioned earlier, the legislation that I proposed was very simple. I could have included a bill introduced by the member for York West (Mr. Leluk) who asks to prevent discrimination because of marital status with respect to occupancy of any commercial unit or any housing accommodation. I could have included the amendment to the Human Rights Code by the member for Windsor-Sandwich (Mr. Bounsall) who asks to prevent discrimination in employment on the basis of physical disability, criminal record, political affiliation, or sexual orientation. I could also have included the bill introduced by the member for Ottawa East (Mr. Roy) who introduced a bill, An Act to establish an Ontario Bill of Rights. I wanted the bill to be as simple as possible hoping that the government would accept the principle of the bill implemented and at least this type of discrimination would have been ended once and for all.

Mr. Speaker, for the fact that I’ve introduced the bill I think I have to give credit to an individual in my community, a young individual with a handicap by the name of Lyle Kersey, who suggested to me that the Province of Nova Scotia had implemented legislation. When I asked him for a copy he provided me with it, and the result of our discussion is the bill that is before us today.

When the bill was first introduced in the House at a previous Parliament, the borough of Etobicoke took notice of the bill. In a meeting of its council on April 28, 1975, the borough adopted the bill as is, and suggested to the hon. Premier (Mr. Davis), to the hon. Provincial Secretary for Social Development (Mrs. Birch) and all members of the Legislature that they support the principle of the bill.

In their presentation and comments concerning this legislation the following is contained. I’m quoting from their presentation and their comments concerning this bill.

“As the explanatory note on the copy of the bill attached states, the purpose of the bill is to prevent discrimination on the basis of physical handicap.

“All the evidence I have read and that which I am personally aware of shows that statistically the disabled is either underemployed or unemployed compared to the able-bodied. This is not merely that they are physically unable to work, but that they are, for the most part, not given equal opportunity to get employment to work.

“I recently learned that an employer-union contract contained in a clause of no discrimination which reads in part: ‘The employer agrees there shall be no discrimination with respect to any employee in the matter of hiring, wage rates, training, upgrading, promotion, transfer, layoff, recall, discipline or otherwise by means of age, race, creed, colour, national origin, political or religious affiliation, sex, marital status and physical handicap.’


“In the State of New York, an Act to amend the executive law in relation to discrimination because of disability became effective Sept. 1, 1974, and in that Act each section commences to read: ‘It shall be unlawful, discriminatory practice to, because of race, creed, colour, national origin, sex or disability of any person directly or indirectly to ... ’ It thus seems to me that Ontario should adopt a similar amendment so that the disabled can be privileged to participate as equals with others in our society and that this privilege be incorporated as a human right in the Ontario Human Rights Code.

“Your committee recommends that the foregoing report be adopted and that the Hon. William G. Davis, Premier of Ontario, the Hon. Margaret Birch, Provincial Secretary for Social Development and myself be so advised.”

This was concurred in by the board of control on April 28, 1975. So you can see, Mr. Speaker, the borough of York was very much interested in the legislation.

Mr. Speaker, on April 16, 1974, in the question period, I had asked the Minister of Labour of the day if he was recommending to his cabinet colleagues that they adopt the principle that a certain percentage of jobs be set aside in the civil service for those who have a physical handicap. Nothing has been done as a result of that suggestion to today.

On April 19, 1974, in the questions before the orders of the day, in a discussion of hiring procedures of liquor store employees, I had asked of the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations if he was prepared to increase the opportunity for the handicapped in obtaining employment by hiring handicapped women as cashiers in liquor stores. The minister of the day thought it was a very good role for an individual so affected and was going to consider it. I don’t know, Mr. Speaker, if anything actually has been done, if that is a policy on the part of the government to at least put aside certain types of employment for those who have a real disadvantage.

Not only are the physically handicapped disadvantaged when it comes to job opportunities; they’re even disadvantaged when it comes to exercising their democratic right. I know, Mr. Speaker, that the comments I’m making at this point have nothing to do with the principle of the bill, but I’m only illustrating another way in which they’re being disadvantaged in our society today; they’re discriminated against because of their handicap when it comes to exercising their franchise.

On Nov. 8, 1974, I suggested to the Minister of Treasury, Economics and Intergovernmental Affairs that he set up a system of voting where the individual could vote by means of a drive-in operation. He could exercise his franchise the same way as one would go to a drive-in to purchase commodities. He could vote in the same fashion; the handicapped would actually never have to leave the car, he would be given the ballot, could mark the ballot in the car and the ballot box would be put next to him and he would insert the ballot or have the ballot inserted in the ballot box by the returning officer.

Mr. Speaker, one of the questions asked of the then Minister of Labour on May 16, 1975, by myself was:

“Is the minister aware that the council of the borough of Etobicoke has endorsed private member’s bill [that day it was Bill 19] An Act to amend the Ontario Human Rights Code? The purpose of this bill is to eliminate discrimination as a result of a physical handicap. Is the minister prepared at this time to accept that as legislation?”

Now the minister in replying made a statement that sort of shocked me that the government would react in this fashion. His last sentence is:

“If we start putting things such as the handicapped in it, I don’t think it’ll do much for the handicapped and I think it will detract from the basic principles of the code.”

Imagine, in 1975, a minister of the Crown coming along and openly recommending discrimination because of a physical handicap, by refusing to come along and accept a basic right -- the right to get employment -- or thinking that individual should be deprived of that because, in his estimation, it would be cluttering up a code. The Province of Nova Scotia didn’t hesitate for one minute to amend its Human Rights Code by inserting it.

Mr. Haggerty: There’s Liberal government in Nova Scotia.

Mr. B. Newman: Following up on exactly that same thing, the same minister, four days after he made those comments to me, in replying to another member of the House on the same topic mentioned, concerning a policy on the part of the government, “It is only really at formative stages. We are investigating what they have done in other places as well as our own ideas of what might be done to ensure that a reasonable number of jobs in industry and business will go to handicapped people.” Members can see he started to waffle at that stage.

On Nov. 3 this past year I asked the Minister of Labour (B. Stephenson) if she was prepared to amend the Human Rights Code by accepting exactly what I have here and the principle contained in the bill under discussion. She simply mentioned that the Human Rights Code of the Province of Ontario is to undergo a complete study and revision within the next 12 months. Surely, we don’t have to wait to revise the whole code? All we’re asking for is to eliminate discrimination because of a physical handicap where that handicap does not interfere with an individual performing the services required of him by his or her employer.

The handicapped really need work. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce recently surveyed its members on other attitudes toward hiring handicapped workers. The results, to say the least, are astonishing. What emerges are several simple facts of life. Basically, business generally doesn’t understand the handicapped person and is unaware of his abilities as a potential employee and doesn’t want that handicapped person around. The handicapped persons have enough problems, of course, in the business community and we certainly would like to see some of those problems being eliminated.

Being handicapped is tough enough; being handicapped and out of work because people are ignorant of your potential is tougher. The handicapped are not freaks. They are human beings and recognizing that can make all the difference for an employer. It can bring a handicapped person back from the dark rage of helplessness into the feeling of worth and productivity.

A gentleman by the name of Douglas Fullerton writing in one of the Toronto papers comments, “We have denied the handicapped the self-respect that comes from earning a living and we have denied ourselves the contribution that they can make in society.” He suggests designating certain jobs as sheltered competition or providing a handicapped preference such as that given to veterans.

There are many other comments I could make concerning my legislation but for the sake of time I’m going to curtail them. The status of the disabled adult in our society may be likened to that of disadvantaged minority ethnic and religious groups. The able-bodied majority tend to maintain a certain social difference, often treating the disabled as outsiders, generally because many people feel uncomfortable in the presence of the disabled individual. The disabled adult is subject to group stereotyping and therefore discrimination on a whole basis. The handicapped person is discriminated against not only because of his physical disability but is also handicapped by the limitations imposed upon him by society.

Mr. Speaker, to conclude my remarks, the problem, or I should say the --

Mr. Deputy Speaker: The hon. member has one minute.

Mr. B. Newman: Mr. Speaker, the problem of ignorance, which seems to be at the heart of the problem insofar as employment of the handicapped is concerned, will not be diminished by the amendment of the Ontario Human Rights Code. But government, however, does have a responsibility to enact such changes by removing at least some of the existing barriers to employment of the handicapped. We will be brought face to face with the question of ignorance.

If the government takes the lead through affirmative action of the kind I am proposing, it will facilitate the eventual battle with ignorance. Slowly, over a period of time, there will be no excuses remaining to deny equal employment opportunities to the disabled.

If government takes the lead through affirmative action of its own, there can be little or no excuse for others not to follow. Right now we are behind other jurisdictions as it relates to banning discrimination against the handicapped. And as we pride ourselves as being the province of opportunity, we have no excuse not to enact this legislation.

Mr. Williams: Mr. Speaker, I will be speaking against this bill in its present form for two reasons, which reasons I will specify and elaborate upon in a few moments. However, before doing so, I wish to make it abundantly clear that I am as supportive as is the member for Windsor-Walkerville of the principle that there be no discrimination against a person or persons on the basis of a physical handicap.

I am certain that all members of this House take this position without exception. However, I am satisfied that the safeguards that the member seeks are already contained in the universal definition of the basic condition of man as set out in the Ontario Human Rights Code. Let us remember that the basic and fundamental purpose of the Ontario Human Rights Code is to codify the public policy in Ontario that every person is free and equal in dignity and rights without regard for race, creed, colour, sex, marital status, nationality, ancestry, or place of origin.

Mr. Speaker, that dignity and those rights are specifically provided for in the Act in the use of notices and signs in public places, in housing accommodation, in employment and in employment ads, in membership in trade unions, or in self-governing professions. In short, Mr. Speaker, the Act is to -- and does in fact -- ensure against discrimination of any type based on the human condition of man.

I would concede that this proposal has much greater merit than the amendment proposed to the Act last month by the member for St. George (Mrs. Campbell). That amendment related to a choice of human behaviour, rather than to the basic human condition, and as such was not, in my judgement, four-square within the parameters of the statute. However, while the bill before us today does pertain to the basic human condition, I suggest that the particular bill would tend to weaken rather than strengthen the legislation.

While the member may argue to the contrary, the laws as formulated in the courts of this country would indicate that when legislation is enacted, when universal provisions are contained therein, when attempts are made to incorporate specific situations into the legislation that are intended to reinforce the universally applicable provisions of the Act, such specific references tend to dilute or weaken, rather than to strengthen the legislation.

This point of view has been expressed in case law on more than one occasion by learned judiciary, even when the universal catch-all clause, “without limiting the generality of the foregoing,” is set out in the legislation, as it is in section 9 of the Ontario Human Rights Code.


In addition thereto, the proposed bill before us is further watered down when one looks at subclause 5 of section 5, the employment section of the bill, which states:

“The provisions of this section do not apply where the nature or extent of the physical handicap would reasonably preclude the performance of the particular employment.”

I suggest that the term “reasonably preclude” is a matter of subjective opinion that has defied legal interpretation in the courts since the evolution of the English common-law system.

In order better to make the first point, I raise my second objection. I suggest that the proposed bill is itself highly discriminatory. I would never support a bill that purported to prevent discrimination on the basis of a physical handicap only, when the member has in this bill completely ignored that segment of our society which is handicapped because of mental condition.

The bill shows concern for the basic human physical condition while totally ignoring the basic human mental condition. Consequently, I suggest fairly that the bill which purports to fight against discrimination is itself discriminatory.

Mr. Swart: That sounds like a Conservative interpretation.

Mr. Mackenzie: The brightest I have heard.

Mr. Williams: Accordingly on these two grounds, while supporting the principle of being opposed to any form of discrimination, I would be opposed to this bill in its present form because it would dilute the existing provisions of the Ontario Human Rights Code rather than reinforcing the existing provisions and protections contained therein.

Ms. Sandeman: Mr. Speaker, I am a little confused by the argument of the previous speaker about this dilution.

Mr. Mackenzie: So is everybody else.

Ms. Sandeman: I presume he would like to remove all the preamble about without regard to race, creed, colour, marital status and so on, but I don’t want to pursue that argument.

As the previous speaker said, we are all in favour of the principle of this bill. It is very important to the handicapped that discrimination cease. There is no doubt that there is enormous amount of discrimination. If one way to help that process along is to codify our objection to discrimination by including it in the Human Rights Code then that might not be such a bad idea. But it seems to me that the Human Rights Code itself speaks to the difficulty of the handicapped, when it talks in generalities and specifics about acquiring jobs, finding a place to live and so on, because it is in those particular areas that the handicapped very often have their most difficult and frustrating experiences.

It seems to me, if our basic goal is to promote job opportunities and improve the potential of handicapped applicants to fill them, we must do more than just protect them under Ontario Human Rights Code. We must start by changing public attitudes about the capabilities of the handicapped. I know that is a difficult and lengthy procedure and the bill before us today speaks to the problem of changing public attitude. Then we have to go further than that; we have to concentrate on the removal of physical barriers that impede the handicapped in getting or doing a job. We are woefully backward in this province in that regard. We have actively to find job openings and help the handicapped to compete for them.

It is rather depressing when you discover that even within the government of Ontario, which has a vocational rehabilitation branch dealing with the handicapped, there is no active programme for the hiring of handicapped people even into that branch of government. If the people within the Ontario government who are concerned with rehabilitation of the handicapped don’t give a lead, I don’t know who would.

As the member who introduced the bill said, this bill is simple. He wanted to keep it simple to point out to the government that action is needed. I think we must go beyond that, in keeping with the principle of the bill, and make sure that this government understands the need for broader action for the handicapped.

It is salutary to look at the experience of other jurisdictions and to see where legislation in other jurisdictions handles the very basic needs of the handicapped which we in Ontario are still ignoring in terms of jobs and places to live. For instance, in the United Kingdom the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act of 1970 first of all made it the duty of every local authority to inform themselves of the number of handicapped people within their jurisdiction. In other words, the first task you have to follow is to find out who you are providing services for; we don’t even do that in Ontario. We say we don’t want to discriminate against the handicapped; we don’t yet even know, really, who our handicapped are.

The British law goes on to say that having discovered who the handicapped people are -- there are very active programmes in many jurisdictions in Britain right now, many of them using students in summer jobs, to discover by going house to house where the handicapped people are. Having discovered that, it must be the duty of local authorities to meet the needs of that person by making arrangements for all or any of the following matters.

The list is very interesting: The provision of practical assistance for that person in his home. What are we doing about home care for the handicapped in Ontario? The provision for that person of or assistance to that person in obtaining wireless, television, library or similar recreational facilities. They go on to suggest we must provide lectures, games, outings and other recreational facilities outside the home; or assistance to that person to take advantage of educational facilities available to him.

They talk about the very basic problem that handicapped people have in moving around from their homes to the job. If we can persuade people not to discriminate against them in hiring, the handicapped person, having found a job, still has enormous difficulties in getting to it in many cases. The British legislation says that local authorities should provide that person with facilities for or assistance in travelling to and from his home for the purpose of participating in any services provided or jobs or so on.

They talk about adapting people’s homes to help the handicapped person live there. They talk about facilitating the taking of holidays by handicapped people. That is for the kind of severe handicap which prevents a person working and keeps him in his home 365 days of the year, often being helped by members of the family. We in Ontario haven’t even realized yet that people like that cannot afford and do not have the opportunities for holidays. In other jurisdictions legislation is provided so that people shall take holidays at holiday homes or otherwise.

They talk about providing meals in the homes for the handicapped. They talk about providing telephones and any special equipment necessary to enable him to use a telephone. It is going far beyond the basic problem of discrimination and speaking to the practical everyday matters of how you live if you are a handicapped person.

In the United States, as we know, there is an ongoing president’s committee on the employment of the handicapped. Every state in the union has a governor’s committee on the employment of the handicapped. In Ontario we don’t see a premier’s committee on the employment of the handicapped or any local committees for that matter. The President of the United States recently announced that here would be a White House conference on handicapped individuals in December of this year and the goals stated for that conference should be our goals in Ontario.

Those goals reflect the needs of citizens with mental and physical handicaps. Their goals are to stimulate a national assessment of problems faced by individuals with physical or mental handicaps and, again, as in the British experience, speaking to the need to discover where we are lacking in our programmes.

Their second goal is to generate a national awareness of these problems. And the bill before us today, I think, is all part of that process of generating awareness of the problems of the handicapped and making us face them and meet them head on.

The third goal of the president’s conference is to develop recommendations for legislative and administrative actions to allow individuals with handicaps to live their lives independently with dignity, and with integration into community life. Again, I would say that we have to move from the specifics of this bill in preventing discrimination into making sure that we do the very practical things which allow handicapped people to live independently, to find jobs, to be integrated into community life.

I think one of the most frustrating things for handicapped people at the moment is to recognize that across the province and across the country there are many, many government bodies working on their behalf. An American consumer group recently commented that it is no secret that there are more able-bodied people making a living off the handicapped, than there are persons with physical impairments making a good living in this affluent nation. I think we in Ontario have to reverse that procedure.

I think the bill before us today is a small, first step in the direction of making sure that handicapped people are recognized as full members of the community who are able to work, and very often who are denied that opportunity because of ignorance and prejudice which we must make it our business to overcome.

Mr. Haggerty: I am pleased to have been asked to express my views in support of Bill 23, An Act to amend the Ontario Human Rights Code, sponsored by my Liberal colleague, the member for Windsor-Walkerville, as a member who is dedicated to the principle of equality of opportunity for life enrichment for all of Ontario’s citizens.

The purpose of the bill is to prevent discrimination on the basis of physical handicaps. The bill requires some 10 amendments to the present legislation and the major changes would require the inclusion of the words “physical handicap.”

The present Ontario Human Rights Code prohibits discrimination in employment in several areas. That includes age, colour, creed and marital status, but does not include physical handicap or disability.

Mr. Speaker, it has been a long road for many individuals and organizations, such as the many service clubs, the local associations to aid the mentally retarded, the Canadian Rehabilitation Council, which continues to enter upon programmes to make the public aware of the wide individual differences in living standards -- and perhaps they haven’t got through to the member for Oriole (Mr. Williams) on this particular issue -- that exist among both the young and elderly citizens who, through some misfortune, such as a personal injury, birth defects or deformities, had been denied a place of employment and a place in our society.

I can recall just a couple of weeks ago when I had a young university graduate come into my constituency office in Port Colborne. He has obtained his BA and has an excellent mind. However, through some unfortunate circumstance during childbirth, he developed a breathing problem. This later caused a motor co-ordination problem, and he has little strength to make full use of his hands. The youngster perhaps now will have problems trying to be accepted as a law student in one of the universities in the Province of Ontario. I would say that if this happens, it is discriminatory that such practice should continue in the Province of Ontario. Such arbitrary standards of value are not helpful to the person who is learning to recognize a wide range of abilities and interests in himself and others.

Mr. Speaker, if time would permit I could cite many cases of individuals with whom I have been in contact who have similar problems. Often employers may discriminate against those who have been emotionally upset or mentally ill. And even though there has been a complete recovery, they have not been hired or have been dismissed within a few days once the employer has been informed of the personal medical history of that individual. Many individuals have been excluded from major activities of a community on these bases of equal opportunity to employment. Many interest groups have provided ways to develop and provide stimulus and satisfying ways of providing a living to each individual.


I recall attending with the member for Welland-Thorold (Mr. Swart) the official opening of the rehabilitation centre in the community in which he resides. It’s called NTEC, Niagara Training and Employment Centre. I’ve talked on a number of occasions about this particular organization and the wonderful work that they’ve done in the community of the Niagara region. They’ve gone out and taken individuals who through some misfortune are not able to continue in the normal course of education -- they may have an emotional problem or be mentally retarded -- and developed a programme that has put many of them back into employment, back into the community to be useful citizens. I can cite cases where they go out to do this.

Right now, greenhouse facilities have been opened at Port Robinson. NTEC is going to train these students or youngsters and handicapped persons to look after greenhouses and to provide the plants for the different communities throughout the region. They will even go out and do the gardening work in a particular area. They’ve been able to look after the maintenance, the cleaning up and the environmental programmes at the Fort Erie race track. It just shows if an association or a group of citizens is interested in such a programme it can do a job and provide the interest that these persons are looking forward to. Once this person has an opportunity to be gainfully employed, he’s going to be a respectable citizen. I’m sure there are a number of good programmes over the last couple of years that the government has moved into in this particular area but, once a person can gain employment, he gains self-respect in that community.

I’m not a bit surprised that the member for Oriole indicated he does not support the bill. I think that’s typical of the Tories at the present time. They talk about wanting to make a minority government work. This is one particular area where they can make it work. The amazing thing is it doesn’t cost the government a cent, not one penny. There’s no restraint required in this particular area. As the member for Windsor-Walkerville has indicated, Nova Scotia has entered into such a programme.

Of course, that’s the difference between a Liberal and a Conservative. I think Liberals are interested in the particular areas of disability and the handicapped persons and they want to pursue policies of full employment which is so vital an issue to the disadvantaged in the Province of Ontario. And this is our main goal. The member for Windsor-Walkerville has stated he has spoken on it on three different occasions. I think it is the second time I have supported such a bill in the Ontario Legislature.

Perhaps the government may change its views. I look across the floor and I see the member for Cochrane North (Mr. Brunelle). The minister did a great job in Community and Social Services and provided much in the direction of improving equality of opportunity, particularly in the fields of the mentally retarded and the handicapped persons in Ontario. We miss him in that particular field at the present time.

Mr. Speaker, I concur with the principle of the bill. It’s a good amendment to the Ontario Human Rights Code and I support it most heartedly.

Mr. Acting Speaker: The hon. member for St. Andrew-St. Patrick.

Mrs. Campbell: Is he coming into the 20th century?

Mr. Grossman: I’ll manage. The member knows I will.

It’s a pleasure to rise today for very many reasons, not the least of which is I get to follow the member for Erie who suggested that hesitancy, if that’s what is in fact occurring, is typical of the Tory government and Tory governments generally. I grant him the point that on most occasions Tory governments tend to look very carefully and come up with rather more specific programmes than, for example, the Prime Minister of Canada did today. I think the headline in the Star said that the solution to our problem was to love everyone which is not a bad idea but hardly a simple solution to all the world’s problems.

Mr. Haggerty: He is quoting from the scriptures.

Mr. Swart: You people act carefully, like in closing hospitals.

Mr. Kennedy: Fun trying.

Mr. Grossman: In any event, I could stand here and use up not only the rest of private members’ hour but the rest of the evening session in running a comparison of Liberal governments throughout Canada versus Tory governments. I suppose the latter would start with the Bill of Rights of Canada but as the Premier would say, I don’t want to be controversial.

What I do want to do is make the point that I wholeheartedly support this legislation, this bill, as indeed I did support that proposed by the member for St. George a couple of weeks ago.

Mr. Haggerty: The hon. member for St. Andrew-St. Patrick should move over to this side.

Mr. Grossman: No, you should move over here.

The whole point of the Human Rights Code, of course, is that it has to be a living code. It has to be one which changes and moves with the times and meets problems as they come along and as attitudes change and, unfortunately, as other attitudes harden. After all, the two concepts of human rights -- and there are two concepts there -- form the foundation of a free society or, in a word, democracy. The rights are theoretically for all but the responsibility to see that the theory is translated into reality lies here, in the assembly, in the chambers of government. It is my view, in supporting the member’s bill, we can go a long way toward discharging this vital responsibility which the people have conferred upon us.

What is government? To quote Burke, he described it as “A human contrivance designed to meet human needs.” Surely the extent to which all governments spend money, create legislation and implement legislation to provide such things as educational equality, economic equality of opportunity and so on, is very important and goes a long way toward meeting human needs. But as important -- perhaps more important -- is that human need of human dignity, self-respect. These are matters which have been referred to earlier by previous speakers.

I do quite agree that particularly in an area where no governmental expenditure is required; particularly in an area which contrasts so dramatically with those vast steps we take, those vast expenditures of money, in order to provide dignity and equality when it comes to education and economic matters, surely we can move immediately to provide that dignity and peace of mind which makes a physically handicapped person able emotionally and humanly to participate meaningfully in our society and to take advantage of some of the very expensive programmes we provide in order to provide equality of education; in order to provide some economic security. Without emotional security, without equality, emotionally, all of the other expenditures surely are meaningless.

I suppose in some respects, notwithstanding some earlier remarks, this is a motherhood issue we are discussing today.

Mr. Bounsall: It is needed, though.

Mr. Grossman: If it is a motherhood issue, why is it necessary? Why must we codify it, as I think we must, in the Human Rights Code? Obviously, although it is a motherhood issue, although it is something that all of us here, I would hope, believe in and others pay lip-service to, others are indeed only paying lip-service to it. When the crunch comes, so many people are prepared to disregard the ramps and handrails which building codes have required and say, “They may be there but I still prefer someone who is not physically handicapped.” They don’t say it; they just do it.

I think it is important that we reinforce the value of each and every citizen, of each and every person who is able and willing to take employment; he has a right to take that employment; he has a right to access to all the facilities of our country and of our province regardless of any physical handicap.

Sure, any piece of legislation in itself is not going to change attitudes but it can begin to force a change in attitudes or to encourage a change in attitudes. Most importantly, it can surely be of some significant solace and support to the persons we are concerned about today, the physically handicapped, to let them know that this assembly, this Legislature, is prepared to codify in the Ontario Human Rights Code their right to participate fully in every way possible in our society.

I would not urge only the passage of this legislation but I would say I agree wholeheartedly that this is one of those matters which need not await the completion of the study currently going on to revamp the Human Rights Code. I can’t resist the comment that I think it is fair to conclude that the study is going to widen the number of items, the number of subjects which come within the scope of the Human Rights Code. I think it is fair to assume that there is a realization on this side of the House that the Human Rights Code is a living code. It is one that must change and envelop more matters and take into account more disabilities and more prejudices.

Again, as I did several weeks ago, I can’t help commenting that I’m sad that I have to rise in the House, many of us have to rise in the House, and deal with the reality of prejudice whether it relates to racial prejudice or whether it relates to physical handicaps or sexual preference.

Mr. Acting Speaker: I would draw to the hon. member’s attention that there is one more speaker who would like to speak if he is not going to be too long.

Mr. Grossman: Very good. In conclusion, may I say I would hope that the mere fact of this debate today will be a clear sign to those physically handicapped persons that this assembly has very great concern for their rights and their problems in society. The day surely is not that far away when this debate will be reflected in legislation.

Mr. Bounsall: Mr. Speaker, in making the concluding remarks in the last two or three minutes of this debate, I want to state that I certainly regret that private members’ bills do not come to a vote in this Legislature. I think the select committee may well recommend that. If they did, this bill would carry with no one voting against it except, perhaps, the member for Oriole and one or two other incredible neanderthals who might be in the House.

I want to assure the member for Oriole that this amendment is not covered in any way, shape or form by the present Act. I can give chapter and verse over the last four or five years, as Labour critic in this House and critic of the Ontario Human Rights Commission of the number of times on which attempts have been made to enforce this. Because it is not covered by the Code there is no way in which a penalty for discrimination on this basis can be made effective against the company involved.

I am more than disappointed in the Ontario Human Rights Commission choosing to go on tour around the province to determine areas of changes. At best, it’s a foot-dragging exercise and an excuse for not taking some immediate action which is very long overdue. For almost five years now I’ve spoken in this House, in the Labour estimates, in favour of including physical disability in the Human Rights Code as one of the areas in which discrimination is prevented. The Human Rights Commission is very aware of it; the field officers are very aware of it. They do not need to go around the province trying to determine if this is one of the areas in which change should be made.

I don’t have very much time at all.

In conclusion, because that’s all we have now, really, a conclusion, let me say that we actually need more than this in the Province of Ontario. In my last survey in my riding, I asked a question: Would you favour legislation requiring employers to hire a percentage, two to four per cent, of disabled persons?”

Twenty per cent didn’t know; 50 per cent said yes; and of the 30 per cent which said no, many of them stated that disabled persons shouldn’t be required to work, or expressed concern that the particular work fit the disability. That’s the reason that they were saying no. An overwhelming number of people wanted to see employment available to the disabled persons.

If industrial companies in this province were required to hire even that two to four per cent among the workmen disabled by industrial injuries in their own plants, you would see safety committees spring into action all across this province and you would see much safer working conditions right across this province.

That’s the kind of legislation we need to ensure that the disabled, particularly those injured in an industrial accident, are returned usefully to the workplace, as well as all those other persons who simply cannot get a job -- for example, an epileptic -- because companies simply will not hire them.

In conclusion, we need this in the Human Rights Code and we need further legislation requiring companies to hire a percentage of their work force from the category which can be defined as disabled, including hiring back and putting on the payroll in some useful form all of their own injured workmen.


Mr. Lewis: Mr. Speaker, I would like to rise on a point of privilege, if I may. Earlier this afternoon in debate I was very critical of Dr. Prichard at the Hospital for Sick Children, in letters which he had written to members of the Grassy Narrows band indicating the possibility of neurological symptoms of mercury poisoning. I’m now given to understand that Dr. Prichard used form letters with the authority and approval and the knowledge of senior medical officers and consultants in the Department of National Health and Welfare in Ottawa. So, let me say that I regret identifying him alone, although I must add that I am astonished that senior bureaucrats would also agree to a process quite so anonymous as form letters for a matter of a serious health issue. And I wanted to correct that as quickly as possible.

Hon. Mr. Brunelle moved adjournment of the House.

The House adjourned at 6 p.m.