30e législature, 3e session

L086 - Wed 16 Jun 1976 / Mer 16 jun 1976

The House met at 2 p.m.


Mr. Speaker: Statements by the ministry.


Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce today that Prof. Eric R. Arthur has been retained by the Ontario government, through my ministry, as architectural consultant to the legislative building.

Prof. Arthur has had a long and distinguished career as an architect and a scholar. His many publications include written and pictorial records of structures that depict much of our history and our heritage. His book, “Toronto: No Mean City,” is a widely acclaimed best-seller.

Prof. Arthur has long been interested in the preservation of historic buddings. Among his many notable accomplishments is the founding of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario. He was awarded the Canada Council Medal for outstanding cultural achievement and was named a Companion of Honour of the Order of Canada. The city of Toronto has also honoured Prof. Arthur with its award of merit for distinguished public service.

As you know, Mr. Speaker, when this legislative building was constructed, it was built to last. One only has to see the solid sandstone foundation and walls, which in some cases are 6 ft thick, to appreciate that the original architect designed this impressive structure truly to be the symbol of government in the Province of Ontario and to house this legislative assembly, as it has since 1893.

Therefore, it is our responsibility to ensure that the architectural integrity of this building is maintained throughout our use of it --

Mr. S. Smith: Solid, thick-headed and unmoving -- just like the government.

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: -- and that the principles represented in its basic design are passed on to future generations.

Mr. Peterson: That’s a wonderful speech; it really is.

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: Prof. Arthur will be called upon for his wise counsel in the evaluation of interior and exterior changes requested for the building and will help to determine the acceptability of such changes as they relate to the integrity of the budding. Prof. Arthur will also be asked from time to time to conduct special studies on various parts of the building, such as the chamber itself.

Again, I can only express my great pleasure in the appointment of Eric Arthur as architectural consultant to this legislative building. Prof. Arthur is seated in the gallery this afternoon, and I would ask the members to join me in welcoming this very distinguished and quite remarkable Canadian.


Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, today I would like to make a brief statement on the subject of pay television. In particular, I wish to comment on the remarks made by my federal counterpart, the Hon. Jeanne Sauvé, at the Canadian Cable Television Association’s annual convention in Toronto on June 2.

Pay television has been of great interest to my ministry for some time. We have watched closely the private sector’s attempts to begin such services, as well as developments in the United States and the federal government’s responses to such developments.

In directing the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission to reopen the issue, Mme Sauvé has taken a significant and positive step. She has also formally requested provincial input, and I agree enthusiastically that the issue of pay TV cannot be addressed without provincial involvement.

Consequently, I am writing to the federal minister to indicate that we will be responding in detail in the very near future.

Like Mme Sauvé, I think the introduction of pay TV on a broad basis is inevitable and desirable. In fact, in Ontario it already exists. The service is offered in hotels and, more recently, in condominium developments. In these locations, the service is distributed by closed-circuit coaxial systems, which we believe fall within the ambit of provincial authority. Now that the service may also be provided by conventional cable systems, there is even more reason for a co-ordinated federal and provincial approach to the question.

The introduction of pay TV will bring about greater choice of diversity in communications services for Ontario residents. It will also provide new sources of revenue for programme production and the cable industry.

Looking to the future, it signals the opening up of a new dimension in the communications field -- the development of new non-broadcasting services delivered to the home.

In its initial stages the delivery of broadcasting services has been the predominant function of cable systems. But, as Ontario has said for some time, coaxial cable technology has demonstrated that it is capable of a greater variety of applications in the provision of communications services.

In speaking of pay TV, therefore, we should not limit our thinking to just one channel offering movies, but to a number of channels which in time will provide specialized literary, educational and other informational and cultural services; and the establishment of pay TV can thus serve as an incentive to the development of those services.

At the same time that we must remain sensitive to the continuing need for a strong Canadian broadcasting system, we believe these developments can be achieved without undue economic impact on the commercial broadcast industry.

As I believe the members of this House are aware, negotiations regarding the provincial role in cable and pay TV have been going on for some time. The developments of the past few months have made it even more imperative that we arrive at an early conclusion to our negotiations. My recent discussions with Mme Sauvé on this issue appear to have been constructive. I am hopeful that the conclusion will be satisfactory to both the federal and provincial governments. During the summer my ministry will be working with Ottawa to arrive at a broad federal-provincial agreement which will ensure a coordinated approach to the question of cable and pay TV.


Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, in its responsibility for administering a number of professional statutes, my ministry has received submissions from certain professional associations and individuals. These submissions and subsequent discussions have raised fundamental questions as to the means of certification, the scope of the authority of the professional governing bodies involved, and conflicting claims as to jurisdiction over particular kinds of service to the public.

I have therefore requested that the Ontario Law Reform Commission review these matters with a view to making recommendations for comprehensive legislation setting the legal framework within which these professions are to operate.

The particular statutes that are to be reviewed are as follows: the Architects Act, the Law Society Act, the Notaries Act, the Professional Engineers Act and the Public Accountancy Act.

The terms of reference include the following specific matters:

1. The appropriateness of the existing division of functions and jurisdiction of these professional groups; for instance, the appropriateness of the dividing line between architecture and engineering in the design of buildings;

2. The possible creation of new professional groups and subgroups or the amalgamation of groups within these professions; for instance, the possible abolition of the existing divisions between chartered accountants and accredited public accountants;

3. The need for recognition and definition of the roles of paraprofessionals, such as law clerks and engineering technologists, and the appropriateness of the possible creation of new governing bodies for these groups;

4. The amount of control these professional groups should have over the training and certification of their members;

5. The appropriateness of permitting members of these professions to incorporate their practices; and

6. Any incidental questions raised by the foregoing issues.

I have asked the commission to give these matters as high a priority as possible and I am pleased to report that the work is already under way.


Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, further, I am pleased to present today the report of the Ontario Law Reform Commission on the law of evidence, which is the culmination of a project begun by the commission in 1967. In addition to the usual discussion of the issues involved and the formulation of recommendations, the commission has prepared a draft bill embodying its proposed changes to the law of evidence in all proceedings in which the Province of Ontario has jurisdiction.

The report contains a large number of proposals for change in the law governing proof of facts in civil trials and quasi-criminal cases, some of which represent major departures from the existing law. For example, the commission proposes new rules allowing the admission of hearsay evidence where the person who made a statement is unavailable to testify. The recommendations include a provision for the exclusion of evidence on the ground that it was obtained illegally or under circumstances which are repugnant to the fair administration of justice. The report also recommends that witnesses should no longer take an oath, but rather should make a solemn declaration that their evidence will be the truth.

The commission proposes the abolition of the right of husbands and wives to refuse to disclose communications between the spouses during marriage, and rejects the suggestion that a professional privilege against disclosing information should apply to the press, doctors or other professional. The commission makes a number of recommendations with respect to the whole question of Crown privilege.

In addition, the report contains a number of technical recommendations that will be primarily of interest to lawyers, including reforms in the concept of res gestae, admissibility of the evidence of children and of expert witnesses, use of notes and records in giving evidence, admissibility of prior statements and prior convictions of criminal offences, and proof of government documents.

The commission also proposes the adoption of the Interprovincial Subpoena Act proposed by the Conference of Uniformity of Legislation in Canada. This would allow an Ontario court to summon a witness from another province in Canada. At present, witnesses in provinces other than Quebec are not subject to the jurisdiction of Ontario courts.


Mr. Speaker, we are indeed fortunate that this year we have both the report of the Law Reform Commission of Canada on the law of evidence and now the Ontario Law Reform Commission’s report on the same subject. I will be thoroughly reviewing the recommendations of both commissions, along with the draft statutes proposed by each. There is no doubt that the law of evidence is an area beset with technical rules which are badly in need of revision, and the government will be working toward that end.


Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege: Six nurses came to my office to see me and before they were allowed into the building they were ordered by the security staff to take off their lapel buttons, which read “Happiness is Community Health.” I don’t know if that’s some sort of weapon that security has decided the nurses might use, but I find it offensive and I would ask the Speaker to find out why it was necessary for these people to take off a button which they were wearing.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I might say that all demonstrations, of course, are to take place outside this building, which has been the case, I think. I’m not just sure whether the interpretation is that a button is similar to a placard. It’s a matter of definition.

An hon. member: That’s pretty obvious.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I think the hon. members realize there has to be some control over such situations somewhere along the line. As to whether that’s reasonable or not, I will give it some thought. May I also --

Mr. Renwick: Why don’t you rule right now that it was unreasonable?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I would also just point out to our visitors in the gallery and elsewhere that demonstrations in this chamber are not allowed. That includes applause and any other form of demonstration, booing or talking -- at least, yelling or anything like that. I’d just point this out at the beginning of today’s session.

Mr. Lewis: Are you not going to rule?

Mr. Speaker: I haven’t made up my mind at this point whether a badge is considered offensive. I would think though --

Mr. Lewis: Maybe “Happiness is Community Health” is a subversive slogan too.

Mr. Speaker: I can’t see too much harm in that, quite frankly, no. No, I’m just talking about the principle of the thing, but I really don’t think it could be considered as a placard. That’s my present decision at any rate, so it’ll be allowed at the present time.

Mr. Nixon: I want to talk on the matter that you are considering, sir. I didn’t want to interrupt you, but I gathered from your first response, when it was put by the member for Sudbury East, that there had to be a line drawn somewhere. I would like to know, sir, while you are considering the point, what you have in mind in that connection?

I can remember on one occasion either you or your predecessor asked someone to be removed who had something that was obviously obscene, but surely in a case like this and many others -- you only need look at the new press gallery to see -- people have the freedom to wear what they choose in here with signs on it, and there’s no offence in any way. I would suggest, sir, that you would certainly be lacking some support in this House if you indicated in any way that a button that is expressing an individual view would be unacceptable here.

Mr. Speaker: I am sure the hon. member --

Hon. Mr. Davis: So there is no misunderstanding as to the feelings of the Premier of this province, Mr. Speaker, I would like to point out that a number of our visitors today come from the great region of Peel.

Mr. Singer: Yes, they can wear buttons.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I had an opportunity to speak to one or two just briefly as I was walking through the corridors --

Mr. S. Smith: This is directly pertinent to the point of order.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- and I admired their buttons. I have to say that they didn’t offer me a button.

Mr. Sargent: You are out of character today.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I can only say to the hon. member for Grey-Bruce, if he says I’m out of character today, then I would only suggest to him that would apply to him seven days a week.

Mr. S. Smith: A comedian you are not.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would only say, Mr. Speaker, as you deliberate upon this -- and I recognize the difficulty for you or for those responsible in determining just what is appropriate and what is not -- that I personally find nothing offensive about the buttons. The colours are quite consistent with those that some of us used -- not as effectively as we would have liked -- last September, but they were used.

Mr. Breithaupt: I hope they have more effect.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Certainly from our standpoint, Mr. Speaker, as you assess this, so long as you know what my feelings are, I don’t find anything offensive whatsoever.

Mr. Speaker: I was going to point out to the hon. member for Brant that I think he has found the Speaker hasn’t been too harsh.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I have to say, Mr. Speaker, they also told me what to take for a sore throat.

Mr. Speaker: Yes, I think you will find the Speaker’s judgement is not too harsh on such matters anyway. I see nothing offensive, but this is the first time I have seen it actually.

Oral questions.


Mr. Lewis: You have got this under control now Mr. Speaker, have you? May I address my first question then to the Minister of Labour? What words of encouragement was she able to give to the public health nurses, or is she able to give, initiating from her ministry, which can result in a settlement of this dispute where clearly one side, in the opinion of all parties in this House, has behaved wrongfully and the public health nurses have been forced out as a result?

Hon. B. Stephenson: I spoke specifically and directly to the public health nurses on the steps of the Legislature earlier today. I told them that I could not promise them anything at this point because we have made arrangements to meet with the Association of the Boards of Health tomorrow. We are still hopeful that we shall be able to persuade them to a rational route of activity which will resolve this problem.

Mr. Lewis: By way of supplementary, in order to avoid a legislated finale, why cannot the cabinet guarantee to the board a sufficient amount of money to provide the public health nurses with a wage level commensurate with those nurses in the rest of the system and then say it will support the health boards before the Anti-Inflation Board in whatever the negotiated level of settlement is and resolve it that way, which is a sensible way?

Hon. B. Stephenson: It is always pleasant and entertaining to hear the hon. Leader of the Opposition provide such direct, sometimes slightly convoluted, but interesting solutions to some difficult problems. I should think --

Mr. Cassidy: Do you mean you haven’t thought about it?

Hon. B. Stephenson: I am sorry, the hon. member across the floor is the one who doesn’t think. However, I would like the Speaker to know that I believe that question should more properly have been directed toward the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) and the Minister of Health (Mr. F. S. Miller) who have specific control over the monetary issues.

Mr. Shore: Very good point.

Hon. B. Stephenson: My ministry is simply using its good offices to attempt to provide a solution to this thorny problem.

Mr. Singer: Supplementary: I wonder if the Minister of Labour wouldn’t agree that it would make good sense that these nurses who have at least the qualification of registered nurses, and most of them have greater qualifications, should get the same pay or a little better and that she, with her colleagues, would exercise all of their efforts to ensure that result comes about instead of passing the buck backwards and forwards along the front row?

Hon. B. Stephenson: I think that I am already on public record regarding the question raised by the hon. member for Downsview.

Mr. Singer: Wilson Heights.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Wilson Heights, pardon me. There are, I am sure, some instances in which public health nurses should be paid more than hospital nurses and some instances in which they probably should be paid less. I think this probably depends on the job evaluation of each individual nurse in each individual region. I do not think that I can make a blanket statement that all public health nurses should be at parity with all hospital nurses because I do not believe that that is factual. However, this is one of the areas of difficulty we are attempting to look at in a rational and sensible kind of way and hopefully to develop a long-term solution, not simply an ad hoc solution.

Mr. Singer: And the minister will speak to her colleagues?

Mr. S. Smith: A supplementary question: Could the minister tell us, since this government was so ready to bring in one bill after another for compulsory arbitration in the teachers’ dispute, why will it not force the health units to bargain on a province-wide basis and accept compulsory arbitration by bringing a bill before this House and let us dispatch this matter now?

Hon. B. Stephenson: As I have said before --


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. S. Smith: They are strangely silent over there on compulsory arbitration.

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

Hon. B. Stephenson: As I have said before on several occasions, this is a matter which is between the boards of health at the municipal levels and the public health nurses in those areas.

Mr. S. Smith: They are not bargaining. You have locked them out.

Mr. Cassidy: Who names the provincial appointees?

Mr. Nixon: It is like the teachers and the school boards.

Hon. B. Stephenson: We are attempting to help those elected municipal officials to assume their rightful responsibility in this area and to function properly.

Mr. S. Smith: And the school boards.

Mr. Cassidy: And your appointees?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Interjections are not adding to the debate. Order. Is the hon. minister finished? Thank you. Any further questions by the Leader of the Opposition?

Hon. B. Stephenson: I’m not as finished as the member is.


Mr. Lewis: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Can I put this question to the Premier? Did I understand him correctly on the CBC morning show today to say it might well be that he would have to disregard the decision of the Legislature last night regarding the farm income stabilization bill and proceed instead to attempt to implement stabilization via regulation for the commodities which the government was entitled to cover without legislation, as it has handled the cow-calf programme?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, as I recall, at a relatively early hour this morning -- relatively early, in that the call came through at 7:30 saying that they were going to call back at 8:20 -- I think I was asked by the gentleman on the CBC, Mr. Harry Brown, whether there were any ways of dealing with this area. I pointed out to him, and I think it’s a very fair observation, that in terms of a programme of stabilization in a certain commodity, we had done this already. We have the cow-calf programme which, for the edification of the members of the New Democratic Party who aren’t totally familiar with the farming community, is a form --

An hon. member: A very poor form.


Hon. Mr. Davis: I have to tell the NDP members opposite that they didn’t get any more farm votes after yesterday than they had before. I am sure of that.

Mr. Moffatt: Well, you didn’t get any. You won’t get any.

Mr. S. Smith: You are both right. We get them all.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would tell the member for Hamilton West, he didn’t get a single farm vote after yesterday either. I have got to tell him that.

Mr. Nixon: We may have to find out about that

Mr. B. S. Smith: There is one way to find out.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Interjections always spoil the question period, so let’s keep order. If the hon. member wishes to remain in the chamber, he will remain quiet when the Speaker is speaking.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, as I was saying very quietly, what I did say to Mr. Brown was, there was legislation already in place that would allow and has allowed this government to move in and meet those genuine problems of the agricultural community. While we will certainly be assessing the amendments that were offered by vote in this Legislature last night, I would say to the Leader of the Opposition, surely he is not saying to the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. W. Newman) and the government of this province that if we see a problem that needs to be solved in the agricultural community during the period of time that was established by the Liberal amendment -- that is up to Oct. 31 -- and we have legislation available to solve it that he would stand up and say we shouldn’t? I have to forewarn him that if there is something we can do for the agricultural community, to assist them with their genuine needs, as we have in every other instance, this government, yes, will do it.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Failed again. Stephen.

Mr. Reid: You mean you are going to fire the Minister of Agriculture and Food?

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Lewis: If the Premier does anything in the next four months it won’t be help, it will be a miracle.

I have a supplementary for the Premier: What exactly is he going to do to implement the explicit directions given to the government by a large majority of the Legislature last night? If he isn’t going to act on those directions, how can he expect to have the confidence of the House later this afternoon?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, if the Leader of the Opposition, in his customary somewhat convoluted fashion, is trying to get me to say just what will emerge as a result of the amendments I saw last evening, and if he is expecting I will have some formal commitment on the part of the government before the question of confidence is raised this afternoon, then he is more childish than his antics demonstrated late last night.



Hon. Mr. Davis: If he wants us all involved in his own calisthenics again this afternoon, I have to forewarn him that I anticipate only one vote and he will only have to jerk his knees on one occasion this afternoon, instead of the three times required last night.

Mr. Nixon: I believe the Premier indicated this morning -- and I heard him at noon as well, since his comments were rebroadcast; but I didn’t listen as attentively the second time -- that there were a number of remedies. Assuming that he’s not thinking of the one so readily available to him -- to let the farmers decide directly on this matter, as well as the other citizens -- what else might he do since, according to him, the legislation yesterday wasn’t even necessary in order for him to go forward with the programme which the minister feels is so important?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I didn’t say that.

Mr. Roy: That’s what it amounts to.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I’m not sure that I can recall as specifically as I might, because it was done a bit on the spur of the moment this morning --

Mr. Nixon: Being so early.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- but I don’t recall saying there were a number of things. I think I did suggest that there could be more than one commodity area. I think I also suggested that this was a policy that had already been adopted and the principle established in the cow-calf programme. And I haven’t heard any objection from the other members across the House as to the cow-calf programme.

Mr. Wildman: What about the premiums?

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Davis: In fact, I think there has been some enthusiastic endorsation -- other than by the members of the New Democratic Party because they don’t have any constituents involved in the programme -- except, as usual, perhaps in regard to the amounts.

Mr. Bain: Don’t you count the farmers in northern Ontario?

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I would say this as it relates to the second part of the hon. member’s question: We thought, and we continue to think, that in terms of establishing a mechanism of broader policy as a first step toward stabilization of the agricultural community, the bill last night was and is a first-class bill.

Mr. Reid: Oh come on. You’re not serious!

Hon. Mr. Davis: The decision by the Liberal Party of this province to stand in the way of assisting the farmers of Ontario was totally their decision and one that they are going to have to explain. I shan’t attempt to do it for them.

Mr. Nixon: This is going to be a great day.

Hon. Mr. Davis: My farmers don’t want any programme.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Wildman: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege --

An hon. member: Sit down!

Mr. Speaker: What is the point of privilege of the member for Algoma?

Mr. Wildman: Mr. Speaker, I would just like to point out that there are many people representing the north who have constituents who are in the cow-calf plan and who would like to know at some time what the premiums and the support price are going to be.

Mr. Speaker: I’m sure the member realizes that is not a point of privilege.

Hon. W. Newman: We already told you, but you don’t listen.

Mr. MacDonald: Supplementary: In as un-convoluted a way as possible, may I ask the Premier whether what he is saying to the House is that he intends to defy the majority decision of this House last night and in a piecemeal fashion, by order in council, cover such of the uncovered commodities as he and the government see fit?

Mr. Shore: Don’t answer that.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I think it’s very obvious that I would never, in any intentional way, defy the majority of members in this House. I may totally disagree with their approach, but certainly I respect the will of this House. However, I will say to the hon. member for York South, who has become the agricultural expert on that side of the House --

Mr. MacDonald: I have been for 20 years -- before you were even in the House.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- as I said to his leader, if we find situations that require the action of government in terms of the farmers and agricultural community of this province, we will discharge those obligations as we have so ably for so many years.

Mr. Cassidy: You have had those powers for years too.

Hon. Mr. Davis: We certainly will. And what’s more, if we do it --

Mr. MacDonald: You’ll do it in a piecemeal fashion, in defiance of the direction of this Legislature.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Lewis: The Premier is always in a better mood when an election is around the corner. He should indulge himself.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am always in a good mood, but today I am in a better mood.


Mr. Lewis: May I ask the Minister of Transportation and Communications, now that he has made such a vigorous public commitment to pay TV and to bringing about a greater choice and diversity in communications services, have part of his discussions with the federal government consisted of the implications of violence on television and whether he is going to try to deal with that broad subject as he expands the television field so dramatically?

Hon. Mr. Snow: No, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Lewis: Thank you very much.


Mr. Lewis: A question to the Minister of Health: Where is the occupational health institute?

Hon. F. S. Miller: The occupational health institute?

Mr. Lewis: Yes, the one that was announced in November.

Hon. F. S. Miller: I received a recommendation from the Advisory Council on Occupational Health about a week ago telling us what form it thought this institute should take, and this recommendation is currently being studied. I expect to have a recommendation to give to the cabinet before too long.

Mr. S. Smith: A question of the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Bernier) -- oh he’s gone, sorry.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Very observant.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.


Mr. S. Smith: I’ll ask the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development: In view of the tremendous losses in forest land by fires -- 600,000 acres -- is the Ministry of Natural Resources considering stepping up its reforestation programme to try and replace some of this acreage; not on the same land naturally, but generally speaking in the province?

Hon. Mr. Irvine: Mr. Speaker, after the minister has a chance to assess the full impact of the forest fires, I’m sure the ministry will be giving a full assessment to that programme.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, since the government has indicated on several occasions that it is looking for constructive suggestions with regard to unemployment among the Indians of Whitedog and Grassy Narrows, would the minister discuss with the leaders of the bands and, in particular, in the meeting with the leader of the Whitedog reserve, the possibility of employing able-bodied members of these particular Indian bands in the reforestation programme?

Hon. Mr. Irvine: Mr. Speaker, I’m sure the Chairman of Cabinet (Mr. Brunelle) and the Minister of Natural Resources will be pleased to discuss or take under consideration this particular idea this weekend when they will be there.


Mr. S. Smith: A question to the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations: Can the minister tell us if there is any connection between the placing into receivership of the $15 million Burlington Square complex owned by Victorian Way Corp. Ltd. and Grand Banks Holdings (Ontario) Ltd., and the role of those same two companies, among others, in the tangled web of land transfers and mortgage speculation -- also involving, coincidentally some $15 million -- as detailed in today’s Globe and Mail?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, I have no idea whatsoever of the matter the hon. member raises. I’ll look into it to determine whether it is within our jurisdiction, but I doubt it.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, if the minister does look into the matter and finds anything that connects these two events -- the one which was reported and the one which I’ve brought to his attention -- could the minister inform the Attorney General about this?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: I would be pleased to do that, Mr. Speaker.


Mr. S. Smith: A question to the Provincial Secretary for Social Development: Can the minister confirm a report in yesterday’s Toronto Sun which states that her office manager in the last election, now the vice-chairman of the Status of Women Council, Mrs. Anne Tomljenovic, expects to be named shortly to replace Laura Sabia as chairman, and can the minister tell us what her qualifications are for this important position?

Mr. Nixon: Other than her ability to choose good candidates.

Hon. Mrs. Birch: Mr. Speaker, as far as I am concerned, I have not received an official letter of resignation from Mrs. Sabia. Until such time as I do, she is still chairman of the Status of Women Council.

Mrs. Campbell: A supplementary: In view of the answer to the question, would the minister tell us whether she agrees with what Mrs. Sabia has said with reference to this sort of appointment when she states that these women’s councils have become nothing better than pacifiers for government and ladies clubs and political appointments, for instance, for someone’s campaign manager? Would the minister comment on whether you agree with that statement?

Hon. Mrs. Birch: I would just reply to the hon. member that Mrs. Sabia has made many comments with which I do not agree, and this is another one.

Mr. Sargent: That’s why she is quitting.


Mr. S. Smith: A question, Mr. Speaker, for the Minister of the Environment: Can he explain why the ministry is encouraging municipalities to use sewage sludge for agriculture fertilizer when there are two very large problems that he is aware of? One is that Environment Canada’s recent task force report on PCBs points out that this is one particular route for PCB entry into the environment. The other is the Ontario ministry’s own experts have expressed serious concern about the long-term effects of dumping heavy metals contained in sludge on agricultural land.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Speaker, any sludge obtained from sewage treatment plants and in turn sold for fertilizer in the province is sold only after it has been processed in such a way that the metals are separated from the actual property or material which could be used as fertilizer. There are various processes and ways of doing this. One is being done in Windsor, for example, as an experiment right now; it is being financed by my ministry. Certainly any product sold as fertilizer and derived from such plants most be pure sludge and must have the material to which the hon. member referred removed from it before sale.

Mr. S. Smith: A supplementary. How can the minister assure us of the purity of this sludge when Mr. Black, the head of the province’s waste water treatment section says, as quoted in the Toronto Star, “One of the major concerns is the long-term effects of heavy metals in sludge applied to soil and this is the reason Ontario is considering other alternatives.”

How can he say this in view of the report of Environment Canada that PCBs find their way into the environment through such sludge?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: The hon. member really hasn’t familiarized himself with the subject.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Among many other things.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: What I am saying is that the sludge has to be taken from the plant. It has to be put somewhere and one of the methods is to use the treated sludge or fine sludge as fertilizer. We are recommending and certainly we are overseeing the sale of any fertilizer from sludge which contains metals.

There are methods in existence now whereby the metals can be removed from the sludge. There are various methods. One is by way of an experiment now in process in the Windsor area, as I say, as a result of some financing by my ministry. We do not recommend the sale of sludge which contains the metals to which the hon. member refers and which would or could possibly contain PCBs. We just don’t use it. The farmers should not use it.

Mr. Breithaupt: We are obviously not as deeply into the subject as the minister is.

Mr. Mancini: Could the minister inform this House when the programme started in the Windsor area in view of the fact he has recently written me a letter stating that he did not want people using this sludge in the agricultural areas of Essex county?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: I don’t want people using sludge direct from the plant on their land for fertilizer. I am sure the hon. member has heard of one Pierre Philip who is well known in that area and who has been attempting to sell the fertilizer he derives from sludge. He is now being financed by the ministry to expand his operation so that more and more people will use this material as fertilizer. It helps us in that it helps the local plants to get rid of the stuff.

Mr. Germa: Is it not true that untreated sludge is being used to reclaim waste land at Frood Mine in the city of Sudbury? Can the minister advise what dangers are inherent in this activity sponsored by his ministry?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: The danger, as I have indicated, is that one doesn’t remove the metals from the sludge. If one uses the actual raw sludge which comes out of the plant, there is a possibility of some contamination, for example, from PCBs if that happens to get into the streams or rivers. In some way, it could contaminate water. If we are using raw sludge in the hon. member’s area, as indicated, it must be by way of experiment. It must be under some type of closed experimentation so that there is no danger of contamination or leakage.



Mr. S. Smith: I have a question of the Minister of Revenue. In view of the habit of this cabinet to continually inform me about these matters, is he ready to change his gratuitously insulting answer of June 4, 1976?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Just ask the question.

Mr. S. Smith: All right. Is he ready to change his answer? You can judge, Mr. Speaker, whether it was gratuitously insulting or not when you hear what the answer was. At that time he said:

“... the manufacturer pays retail sales tax on those consumed articles as they go through in the process. At the end, retail sales tax is charged on the end product. I think the hon. member might just get himself a little briefing on the basic principles of the Retail Sales Tax Act.”

Is the minister ready to change that answer in view of the fact that his own regulation, No. 785, specifically exempts that particular thing from happening?

Mr. Nixon: Maybe the minister better get a little briefing himself.

Hon. Mr. Meen: I think the hon. member should realize there is a fair degree of sophistication built into the Retail Sales Tax Act.

Mr. Roy: Oh yes, which only the minister can understand.

Mr. Peterson: Who understands it over there then?

Mr. Shore: That is what we are saying, nobody understands it.

Hon. Mr. Meen: I think many people understand it.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Meen: When I used the term, “consumed,” I used it advisedly.

Mr. Shore: The minister was consumed actually.

Hon. Mr. Meen: The fact of the matter is that if an article is entirely consumed during the course of manufacture and does not appear in any way in the finished product, then retail sales tax is paid by the manufacturer on that article as he consumes it. I suspect the hon. member is confusing the incorporation of an article into a finished product with the term “consumed.”


Mr. Speaker: Order, please; the member for Hamilton West is asking a question.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of a supplementary: Is the minister aware, or is he changing the meaning, of paragraph 38; which says:

“Materials, as defined by the minister, that in his opinion are to be consumed or expended by the purchaser thereof directly in the process of manufacture or production of tangible property for sale or use.”

Is he changing the meaning of that particular paragraph?

Hon. Mr. Meen: Yes, Mr. Speaker.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: The member better stick to sludge.

Mr. S. Smith: He is changing the meaning?


Hon. Mr. Snow: I would like to respond to a question asked in the House on June 4 by the hon. Leader of the Opposition. This question referred to an accident in the township of Sandwich West where a three-year-old child was killed.

Highway 18, or Front Rd. as it is called, in the village of La Salle is a four-lane highway, two of which are used for parking. The speed limit is 35 mph. The ministry has been monitoring traffic operations in this area for more than five years and we still find that traffic is below normal rate levels at which signals are considered to be beneficial. In addition, there is no evidence of any concentration of accidents in the area.

Located near the intersection of Highway 18 and Laurier Dr. is a municipal park with a swimming pool which generates some additional pedestrian traffic, primarily school children, during the summer months. Playground signs are installed on the highway and the municipality provides a crossing guard when the pool is open.

Some weeks ago there was a regrettable accident in which a three-year-old child was killed. The accident involving the three-year-old occurred approximately 200 ft south of the intersection, and I would think it is unlikely that traffic signals would have prevented this unfortunate accident. However, this matter was also raised during my ministry estimate’s debate by the hon. member for Essex South and I have agreed to have a senior representative of the ministry arrange for another traffic count and a complete review of this matter.


Mr. Deans: I have a question of the Solicitor General. Does the Solicitor General recall my asking last week that he consult with his colleague, the Minister of Customer and Commercial Relations, with regard to the need to investigate Kustom Enterprises and the apparent owner thereof, Bill Greathead? Does the minister think it proper, after having been advised by myself, that Mr. Greathead was going to leave the country -- that’s both the OPP and the Hamilton regional police having been advised by me on Saturday last that Mr. Greathead was packing and leaving -- nothing was done and when the investigation was commenced on Monday he was gone?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Speaker, I recall the member asking me a question in connection with this, suggesting that I should consult with my colleague, and I said that if it was a police matter, as he suggested it was, no consultation was necessary. We immediately passed this message to the OPP. The Ontario Provincial Police made some preliminary investigation to see the nature of the suggested offence. I don’t know what information passed from the hon. member to the OPP, but I am assuming that some did go back and forth. In any event, the OPP found the matter situated within the Hamilton-Wentworth policing area. The Hamilton-Wentworth police entered the situation and said it was a matter that they would look after since it was in their jurisdiction, not the OPP, and that is the last information I have on it. I assumed that the investigation was continuing. This additional information that my friend gives me is new to me, and all I can do is to say that I will get in touch with the Hamilton-Wentworth police and find out the course of their investigation.

Mr. Deans: Supplementary: Doesn’t the minister feel that when a police force -- whether the OPP or the Hamilton regional police -- is informed that someone who is a suspect in what may well be a fraud case is in the process of moving bag and baggage, closing the operation and moving out of the country, they at least have an obligation to investigate it at that point and not wait until the person has moved?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Speaker, until some charge is laid this man is quite free to go back and forth like any other citizen. I don’t know whether they made any investigation or whether they were in touch with him at all, and I assume that -- when you are investigating a person you don’t always go and knock on his front door and have a chat with him. But I don’t know the facts, I don’t know what the situation is, but I know that the policemen when they are investigating don’t always make a frontal approach. Sometimes they get other types of information.

Mr. Deans: Will you talk to your colleague now, because he is involved --

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I certainly said, Mr. Speaker, that I would be very pleased to get additional information and find out the progress of the investigation.


Mr. Sweeney: Mr. Speaker, a question of the Minister of Colleges and Universities: With respect to the Fiscal Arrangements Act which was a matter of discussion in Ottawa in the past few days, what is the position of this ministry to the charge by the federal government that it is intending to reduce its portion toward post-secondary education because this provincial government, among others, has not been contributing 50 per cent toward the cost, but rather including student tuition as part of its share?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I must say to the hon. member for Kitchener-Wilmot that as yet I haven’t had an opportunity to discuss that conference with the Premier and with the Treasurer. We did have some briefing prior to that meeting -- some discussions I should say -- and until I have had a first and full report I am afraid I would not choose to comment on the question at this time.

Mr. Sweeney: Supplementary: If, in fact, that happened, what would be the alternative source of funds? Would tuition fees go up substantially?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I think we made a very positive commitment for this immediate year that we are facing, and we’ll have to give all of those facts a great deal of careful consideration before we make a commitment for the year 1977-1978. I am sure that in due course we will do just that.


Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Speaker, on Monday the Leader of the Opposition asked a question regarding the request by the Islington reserve council for increased policing services.

As the hon. member is aware, members of the Islington band recently attended a meeting at OPP headquarters in Toronto to discuss their problems. Subsequently, another meeting was held in Kenora so that the officers who patrol the reserve could attend as well. Such opportunities for communication are an integral part of the new Indian policing programme by the force.

While the residents of the reserve have asked for an increased presence by the OPP, the level of service has improved considerably with the implementation of the Indian policing programme in northern Ontario. Unfortunately, the financial constraints presently faced by all areas of the government have slowed these improvements for the present.

The detachment at Minaki, a community of 328 people located 40 miles south of the Islington reserve, is staffed by one corporal and 10 constables. Of these, six constables have the patrol of the reserve as their sole responsibility. These officers operate in shifts. One shift works from 9 am, to 5 p.m., but due to travelling time from Minaki, they are actually present on the reserve from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The other shift works from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m., which provides service from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. on the reserve.

However, if there is a disturbance of some sort during the evening, the officers stay on the reserve until all is quiet. Although the effort is made to maintain this level of service, it was unfortunate that the incident mentioned by the leader of the New Democratic Party, in which members of the band council were threatened, occurred when there was no day patrol on the reserve.

However, I’m informed that three officers were on training courses, one was ill, and two others were called to assist in fighting forest fires. The evening shift did patrol as usual.

The Indian policing programme is still in its initial stages and the OPP is continuing to examine alternative ways of providing service for northern Ontario.

While it may be understandable that the residents of the Islington reserve would like to have a permanent detachment on the reserve itself, the force has endeavoured to deploy the resources it has at hand most effectively.

Since the six officers have been assigned to patrol Islington on a full-time basis, I am pleased to report that the level of crime in that community of some 700 people has decreased dramatically.

Mr. Lewis: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: I take it then that in responding, despite the past history of the erratic policing on Islington, the minister is not going to provide the band with the explicit request they made to have the detachment on the reserve. May I ask him, therefore, to contemplate how he will respond to the prospect of the band council’s resignation?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Speaker, we will try to increase our policing services as our ability and as monetary resources make that possible. It’s not just this reserve; it’s all Indian reserves across the north. The member refers to the band’s request, and I would tell him that we’ve had consultation with them and we will continue to have consultation; but I can’t promise any more men or any closer residence at the present time.


Mr. Lawlor: Mr. Speaker, to the hon. Minister of Labour regarding Wilson Lighting in Etobicoke, about which I spoke to her: What are the prospects of this bankrupt company; and in particular why can departing employees not receive vacation pay?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I have been informed that the agent for this company has indicated that wages and vacation pay were to be paid in full. But I can also tell the hon. member that the case is being investigated right now by the employment standards branch of my ministry. That investigation is not as yet totally completed, but we are assured that vacation pay will be paid in full.

Mr. Lawlor: The minister will let me know, will she?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Yes.


Mr. Reid: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Transportation and Communications in regard to the illegitimate son of the illegitimate father, GO Urban. Is it true that the UTDC is asking the government for some $55 million to go ahead with the demonstration project of the son of CO Urban? Can he tell us what the $55 million is for and who is going to buy this when it is finished?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I regret the hon. member was not here the day this matter was discussed in some detail in the estimates committee.

Mr. Roy: He cannot be everywhere.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I do regret that the hon. member was not here, because I know of his interest in this matter and he had specifically asked me to have Mr. Foley at the estimates on a certain day. Unfortunately, due to our other delays in the estimates, we didn’t get to that particular item. I know very well that he had very good reason to be elsewhere that day, and I didn’t mean anything at all in what I said.

At that time there was a full discussion on the UTDC programme and I stated that we were as far as stage three -- stage three was before cabinet -- and that I would be making a statement in the very near future. I can’t expand on that any further aft this time.

Mr. Reid: A supplementary: The minister can’t tell us if the $55 million figure is even in the ball park?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, as I said I will be making a statement on this whole matter within a matter of days.



Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, on Monday last the hon. leader of the Liberal Party asked me a question about a letter, of which he had a copy, from the director of personnel, regional municipality of Halton, to the chairwoman of the bargaining committee of the Ontario Nurses’ Association, and requested information regarding the legality of the action indicated within the letter under the Labour Relations Act. Since I had not seen a copy of the letter, I could not respond to him at that point. However, he kindly gave me a copy at a later time. We have investigated this letter or examined this letter very carefully and there is no contravention of the Labour Relations Act contained therein.

Mr. S. Smith: A supplementary: Does the minister consider that selective lockouts of those members who go on a protest strike is acceptable under sections 58(a), 58(c) and 61 of the Labour Relations Act?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, the legal counsel of the ministry and other individuals within the ministry with great expertise in this area accept that it does comply with the Act.

Mr. Roy: Your legal advice and that of the government has been nothing to write home about.


Mr. Makarchuk: A question to the hon. Minister of Labour: Is the minister aware that some proprietors of catering establishments which serve liquor at this time are deducting the service charge for a credit card transaction from the tip left or assigned to the waiter or waitress in the establishment? In view of the fact that this is going on, would the minister either stop this practice by regulation or raise the minimum wage these people are paid to the same miserable level the rest of the people in Ontario are getting?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I am not aware that this is happening but I shall investigate it and I shall report.

Mr. Warner: Raise the minimum wage.


Mr. Ruston: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Attorney General: Can the minister inform the House if he intends to redirect the Crown attorney in Leeds-Grenville to make a complete investigation into the controversy over the famous butter heist -- “buttergate” they might call it -- and the mayor having 200 lb left on his doorstep after the theft?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I assume that I can thank the member opposite --

Mr. S. Smith: It sounds like a slippery deal to me.

Mr. Reid: You are just trying to butter him up.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I think I can thank the member opposite for delivery to me of the Ottawa Citizen column dated May 25, 1976, which deals with the famous butter heist or “buttergate”. I have to confess this is the first time the matter has been brought to my attention. I must confess also that the column certainly aroused my curiosity and I expect to obtain a report.

Mr. Reid: Churn up your interest.

Mr. Roy: If I could ask a supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Has the Attorney General of this province never received any explanation why a number of individuals, including the mayor, who received from 2 lb to 1,000 lb of stolen butter were never charged? Secondly, will the minister look at the specific allegation, apparently by the local chief of police who states that the mayor carries lots of weight and if he wants to do something or get something he usually does it and gets it?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Shorter question.

Mr. Roy: Would the minister look at that? It might be good for a headline for him.

Mr. Speaker: Any answer?


Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Transportation and Communications in reference to the statement he made earlier today. Does his reference to the expansion through pay television of specialized literary, educational and other informational and cultural services indicate a position of government withdrawal of service to educational television as we know it in this province?

Hon. Mr. Snow: No, it doesn’t, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Foulds: A supplementary: Could the minister inform the House what the cabinet’s position is on the meshing of these two programmes?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, the matters I have been dealing with with the federal minister, Madame Sauvé, have been with regard to regulation, licensing and control of communications in general; they have not been involved with the ETV organization at all.

An hon. member: Why not?

Mr. Speaker: The oral question period has expired.


Mr. Cassidy: As a matter of privilege, Mr. Speaker, I want to bring to your attention the fact that the select committee studying the fourth and fifth reports of the Ontario Commission on the Legislature has had referred to it all matters in those two reports, including matters concerning the legislative building and this chamber, which appear in the first part of the fifth report. Despite that reference to a select committee of this Legislature, I want to raise, as a matter of privilege, the announcement by the Minister of Government Services that she has appointed an architect to consult with her on that same subject.

I want to raise, as a further matter of privilege, the question as to whether you, sir, as a servant of this Legislature, had been consulted insomuch as the brief of the architect, Mr. Arthur, is intended to continue to include the chamber itself and not just the precincts and the rest of the legislative building.

I think this is a serious matter, Mr. Speaker, and I wish to have a ruling from you as to whether the privileges of the House are not infringed by the appointment of Mr. Arthur to consult with the minister and not to consult with the committee or with yourself.

Mr. Speaker: I will have to consider that matter. I wasn’t aware of the matters to which you referred. I will report if a report is warranted.


Mr. Lewis: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, just very briefly. Did you say you would report on this matter? Some of us consider it very important and not just a trifle.

Mr. Speaker: Yes, I will report.

Presenting reports.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell presented the annual report of Ontario Hydro for 1975.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry presented the report of the Ontario Law Reform Commission on the law of evidence and the ninth annual report of the Ontario Law Reform Commission.

Mr. Speaker: Motions. Introduction of bills.


Mr. Shore moved first reading of bill intituled, An Act to amend the Retail Business Holidays Act, 1975.

Motion agreed to; first reading of the bill.

Mr. Shore: The purpose of this bill is to exempt businesses selling swimming pools and swimming pool equipment and accessories from the operation of the Act from April 1 to Nov. 30 in the same year.


Mr. B. Newman moved first reading of bill intituled, An Act to control Professional Fund-Raising Corporations.

Motion agreed to; first reading of the bill.

Mr. B. Newman: The purpose of the bill is to provide for licensing and control of professional fund-raising corporations. I want to stress the fact that this bill is not directed against local Red Feather, United Appeal or other similar community fund-raising drives where a great deal of the organizational work is voluntary and expenses incurred are a very small portion of the total proceeds. My concern is with the instances of charities netting only a very small percentage of the gross proceeds from fund-raising endeavours organized by professionals.

Mr. Speaker: I think the hon. member stated the principle of the bill earlier.

Mr. B. Newman: I have one more sentence, Mr. Speaker. I think it essential that these boiler shop operations be licensed and controlled. This is the fourth time I have introduced such a bill in the Legislature hoping that the government will accept it.

Mr. Speaker: Really a statement of the contents of the bill is what is called for.


Hon. Mr. Welch: Before the orders of the day, I wish to table the answers to questions 33, 45, 104, 107 and 110 standing on the notice paper.

Perhaps before we call the orders of the day, Mr. Speaker, we could indicate to the House that by reason of the importance of the debate which will be conducted this afternoon, the committees will not meet this afternoon as indicated on the order paper. It is also my understanding that before we call the order, there has been some general agreement among the three parties with respect to the time allocations of approximately an hour per political party, more or less, as we approach 5:50.

Mr. Speaker: Is this agreed?


Mr. Speaker: Orders of the day.


Hon. Mr. Davis moved resolution No. 4.

Resolved: That the government continues to enjoy the confidence of the House.

Hon. Mr. Welch: I rise this afternoon not only to express my rapport for the motion just placed by the Premier (Mr. Davis) but to --

Mr. Peterson: That is surprising.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Don’t throw me off so early in the speech -- but to explain to the House and to the province as a whole the reason for the government’s decision to take a day of the House’s time in determining the will of the Legislature with respect to confidence.

Mr. Cassidy: No choice. You should have gone to the Lieutenant Governor.

Hon. Mr. Welch: It would be obvious the government didn’t take this decision very lightly and I would trust that my colleagues opposite would appreciate it. I would hardly need to remind members of the Legislature that in the British parliamentary system the executive branch must enjoy the confidence of the people’s representatives in order to continue.

Sources on both precedent and the whole question of tradition will inform those interested that on tax matters, on matters relating to fiscal capacity and the right to spend, any limitation of the rights of the executive by the Legislature does in fact constitute a clear matter of confidence. However, with respect to other bills, unless the government declares confidence to be at stake, those members who have reviewed the authorities I am sure would find the question becomes far less categorical. So it is both unfair, and somewhat elitist I would suggest, for a government to determine on its own what is not a vote of confidence when parliamentary convention or tradition do not provide a clear answer.

It is, indeed, only fair that the Legislature decide precisely what any vote means; fair to the parties in the Legislature, fair to the people of the province, fair to the parliamentary system and to the development of that system.

I, for one, am confident that this province has benefited and will continue to benefit from the co-operation -- and I would want to underline this at this particular point in my contribution to this discussion and debate which I have received from the member for Hamilton-Wentworth (Mr. Deans) and from the member for Kitchener (Mr. Breithaupt) as House leaders. I believe both these gentlemen have served this province well, as well as the interests of their own members in this House.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Thank you very much.

Mr. Deans: Thank you very much as well, Sid.

Hon. Mr. Welch: The Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations joins with me in some enthusiastic endorsement of that particular phrase.


Mr. Nixon: The rest of your members aren’t listening, I agree.

Mr. S. Smith: We agree with the remark about the member for Kitchener.

Mr. Roy: So much for your popularity.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Indeed, when one reflects upon the tremendous number of hours that are involved in this type of discussion in the interests of an orderly disposition of the business of the House, I would underline again what I’ve already said in connection with my colleagues from Wentworth and Kitchener; three of us are aided by pretty dedicated people who have to do a lot of the detail work by follow-up. In my own case, Mr. Jim MacKenzie; in the case of the member for Wentworth, Avril Mitchell; and for the member for Kitchener, Dave MacDonald; and I wouldn’t want to let this occasion go by without paying tribute to the concern for detail which these three individuals have as well.


Hon. Mr. Welch: We just don’t take people for granted. We want to say thank you occasionally.

Mr. Conway: Not to mention Eddie Goodman.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Together we’ve worked -- together, that’s the key word here.

Mr. Nixon: I thought you were paid.

Mr. Cassidy: Is this a valedictory?

Mr. Reid: Sounds like an epitaph.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Now don’t get provocative. Together we’ve worked with something fairly new to this province; namely the concept and the mechanism of minority government. Unlike the federal government, which maintains at public expense a fairly involved mechanism to deal with bargaining between the House leaders because of their overabundance of minority government situations as opposed to majority government intervals, we in this province do not have --


Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Roy: You are obviously talking like a federal Tory.

Mr. Conway: Get to Eddie Goodman.

Hon. Mr. Welch: We in Ontario, of course, don’t have such mechanisms for this purpose. While minority government may be a feature of a certain age in terms of the politics of any one province or nation, government I suggest to the House this afternoon should have the capacity to manage when the people have chosen not to afford any party a majority.

Mr. Conway: Did you hear that, Leo?

Hon. Mr. Davis: That’s exactly what we’re doing.

Hon. Mr. Welch: And this is important, both for general political stability and for the quality of our democratic process.


Mr. S. Smith: You are not used to it.

Hon. Mr. Welch: The purpose of this motion is quite clear. It really allows all parties in the House to pronounce clearly on whether or not the government should be allowed to continue. I believe that the record of achievement of this government in terms of restraint, in terms of programmes and legislation, has been meaningful in every respect.


Mr. Singer: You’re being provocative.

Hon. Mr. Welch: To begin with we have ample evidence and direct experience to show we have all tried to make minority government work.

Mr. Warner: And no one supports you.

Mr. Lewis: It is no reflection on you.

Hon. Mr. Welch: I think you have a cavity in the --


Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Lewis: And it’s falling around your ears.

Hon. Mr. Welch: We have done much tiring but rewarding work since early March, and there is still very much significant work to be done, as yesterday’s rather historic event in this chamber must have surely made clear.

Mr. Peterson: God didn’t create the world in one day, Bob, don’t worry.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Our position today, only a few hours after that even, should not be one of resignation from our responsibility.

The Leader of the Opposition delineated those responsibilities well, I would suggest, when he said at the outset of this journey last fall that the responsibility of the government is to propose, and the responsibility of the opposition is to dispose. A look at the record will show that on both sides we have fulfilled that particular obligation.

Mr. S. Smith: He meant disposition of one government.

Hon. Mr. Welch: There is simply no breakdown, no malaise, no public clamour that would lead a responsible opposition party on this June afternoon in 1976 --

Mr. Cunningham: Such passion.

Hon. Mr. Welch: -- on any balance to vote no confidence and to want no-confidence to carry in this House at this time.

Hon. Mr. Davis: And you guys should know it.

Mr. S. Smith: You were doing better before you got to that paragraph.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, through you to my colleagues in this Legislature, I ask them to look at our legislative record. In about 57 days of this session, only a part of which dealt with legislation, we have earned 46 bills to royal assent. There are another 10 which we will carry to that conclusion later this week if, of course, a responsible opposition allows that. For sure, there is more to come when we resume work in the fall.

Mr. Peterson: Which hospital then?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Given the load of legislation we’ve handled so far, there is simply more time needed in the fall for us to fulfil our undertakings made in the Speech from the Throne read by Her Honour the Lieutenant Governor.

Mr. R. S. Smith: Including the one on farm incomes.

Hon. Mr. Welch: What we have done needs in no way to be underrated.


Hon. Mr. Welch: We promised education amendments and together we passed them. We heard of promised action to maintain levels of health care while controlling costs and the bill brought forward by the government is being held up pending further review to make it more appropriate. We heard of promised support for development goals for the province and my fellow House leaders will know that we have agreed to defer that debate until the fall --

Mr. Nixon: I think we should have the vote first and the debate afterwards.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Welch: -- knowing that the Treasurer’s estimates, now approved will provide a modest interim forum. A range of legislative changes was promised to improve the administration of justice. Most have been proposed and favourably disposed but the three parties know we --

Mr. R. S. Smith: Or exposed.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I almost get the impression the Opposition aren’t listening to me.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please. The hon. House leader has the floor.

Hon. Mr. Welch: How can they possibly vote on such an important motion without at least taking this point of view into account?

Mr. Roy: Do you want our vote or not?

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


Mr. Roy: You should quit while you’re ahead.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Welch: The three parties know that we want more time for public consideration of the so-called estates bill before we go for second reading and possible amendment.

There was a promise of new house warranties; the government bill came in and it’s before us this week for disposition. Of course, I could go on and on with this particular list.

Mr. Peterson: Go ahead. We’ve got time.

Hon. Mr. Welch: The collective achievements -- I underline that -- the collective achievements of this parliament have really not been small. The rent review bill proposed last fall --

Mr. Conway: Chesley, Durham, Goderich.

Hon. Mr. Welch: -- and substantially modified by both opposition parties should not now prompt them to --


Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please. The hon. House leader is speaking.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I know that you are paying attention. These particular matters should not now prompt them to feel that the House hasn’t worked.

Beyond legislation, I would remind members of the House that we have jointly agreed to several select committees, most of which still have substantial and ongoing work to do. Three of them, which we have set up, have yet to begin their work. At least one of them -- to review Ontario’s insurance laws -- was requested as much by both Opposition parties as by the government. The government sought the help of the whole assembly on a policy matter by setting up the select committee on Ontario Hydro which, I understand, wishes to continue a modified role in the fall as will be recommended, I understand, by the chairman who sits in the official opposition.

We have sought similar shared responsibility with all parties in reviewing the whole complex issue of transportation of goods on the roads of the province. Another committee, also chaired by a respected member of the official opposition, is just beginning a review of highway safety, a matter of no small importance to any of us.

These, I suggest, are some examples of productive co-operation in this House and there are others. Together, we steeled ourselves against the natural but short-sighted opposition which would follow our seatbelt legislation. We rode that out for the wider public good -- partisan politics aside -- and the statistics already coming in show all of us that we were absolutely right in what we did together.

Mr. Conway: Including the member for St. Catharines.

Hon. Mr. Welch: The member for Ottawa Centre will recall that we listened to him before we introduced an amendment on rent review, and because he was compelling we incorporated his amendment. It was just as simple as that.

Mr. Cassidy: It was just like falling off a log.

Hon. Mr. Welch: The member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk, who now says he is listening, will recall that the Treasurer readily agreed to break historical patterns and allow the interim supply motion to give more voice over supply in a minority situation to the opposition. The official opposition will recall, there was one of the bills relating to teacher disputes on which they didn’t wish a recorded vote, for their own particular purposes, and we are willing to live -- absolutely willing to live -- with such considerations and we all know it. We all have a voice here.

Mr. Nixon: It’s amazing how you forget these things.

Mr. Sargent: Thanks a lot.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Such co-operation was reflected in our agreeing to have public input on the rent review bill last fall. It was only in the general interest of getting the bill proclaimed before the new year that we had to cut that particular process short. Together -- and once again the key word -- together, we have agreed to send more estimates to committee than ever before. At least one important ministry has tabled, voluntarily, more information than ever before and the opposition acknowledged that. The three House leaders have agreed to hear estimates in the House or committee --

Mr. Cassidy: It is amazing, such dramatic conversions after 30 years.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Welch: -- on a very logical, coherent policy field basis for the first time. And we have agreed to time allocations reflecting the importance of ministries as those ministries are viewed by the opposition.

Mr. Conway: What about the Ombudsman?

Mr. Lewis: Stop, stop -- no contest you’ve won hands down. Who can compete with that?

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Oh shucks. The point I am really making, in case it has escaped anyone, is that there has been workable co-operation and sensitivity which has underlined our work here. And the workload for you all, of course, has been quite heavy. The time apportionment agreed to by committee chairmen --

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: In your heart you know he is right.

Hon. Mr. Welch: -- and House leaders reflected a solid general will to make this House work for the people of the province.

Mr. Speaker, in voting on the Premier’s motion, I for one -- and I want to say this so there will be no misunderstanding -- I for one will be very sympathetic to the unenviable and burdensome position held by the Leader of the Liberal Party in this province.

One of the things that we have all realized on this trip since early this year, is the very heavy responsibility which a third party leader must carry.

Mr. Wildman: Which of his many positions will he take?

Hon. Mr. Welch: It’s often decisive to the future of this parliament, and it must be exercised by the incumbent with a party which historically and properly has stressed the primacy of the individual member.

Mr. MacDonald: What do you know about it?

Mr. S. Smith: You’ll soon know what it is like.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: You must believe in longevity.

Hon. Mr. Welch: And it is a heavy role for that leader and time is toughening him to it.

Mr. Lewis: You’re too much.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Yet both that leader and the leader of the official opposition -- because I wouldn’t want him to feel left out in these remarks --

Mr. Lewis: Get off your knees.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order please, this debate is a serious matter and I would ask the hon. members to listen as the debate continues.

Mr. MacDonald: The Legislature that prays together stays together.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, this matter is almost as important as Simcoe Day.

Both the leader of the Liberal Party and the leader of the official opposition have voted for the government on previous confidence matters for the declared and acceptable reason that the people of Ontario do not want a general election at this time, and we on this side -- and surely you there -- really don’t believe that the situation has changed.

Mr. Lewis: Oh yes it has.

Hon. Mr. Welch: We have all learned, through reflection and through experience and responsibility, to treat the tradition of government’s spending prerogative and initiative with respect, since it is a confidence matter. We’ve grown together in our awareness of responsibility and --


Mr. Lewis: We’ve grown together?

Hon. Mr. Welch: -- surely it’s not to be put to an extreme and premature disposition today after yesterday’s significant actions of this House.

Mr. Lewis: This is quite a siren call to the flock.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I’m confident, as the member for Brock and with other responsibilities, that the people of Ontario view the present circumstances as a test, not so much of confidence but of responsibility and public concern.

Those of us in this profession know that elections are a part of the overall game. We face them when we have to, always with confidence and with a sense of faith in the wisdom of the people to do what is best for themselves, for their province and for our collective future. I believe there remains much to be done in the purview of the present legislative session and much this particular Parliament still has the capacity, the desire and the will to achieve.

It’s a time, Mr. Speaker, for political parties to remember whom they really represent, what the real challenges we face are, and to what and to whom our first responsibility is. This is not a matter of partisanship. It’s a matter of obvious public responsibility at a time when Ontario and its people deserve no less.

Mr. Deans: Mr. Speaker, I’ve very much enjoyed working with the House leader of the government and the House leader of the Liberal Party. I hadn’t realized that it was on that basis we were about to have a confidence motion this afternoon.

I don’t doubt for a moment that much of the work that has gone on has gone on because of the goodwill that has been developed among us. But that doesn’t begin to address itself to the problems of this government, and I want to speak about the government and not about the friendly atmosphere that has prevailed.

I want to tell you, first off Mr. Speaker, that when you’re asked to vote confidence in a government, you’ve then got to take a serious look at the government and the things it has done. It’s not enough to say we’ve passed 46 bills, many of which were not of great significance to many people in the Province of Ontario. So we have to look beyond the legislative programme, Mr. Speaker, and beyond what has been on the surface of the Legislature. We must look to the very essence and guts of the government, the things it does and the way it acts toward the people of the Province of Ontario.

To begin with, we were saddled in the October, November and December period, with the folly of this government’s actions which took place prior to the last election. The government decided, prior to the last election, to abuse its confidence and to use the finances of the Province of Ontario to purchase sufficient numbers of votes to put it back into office.

Then we were faced with an election, and government representatives travelled around the province and spoke, not of what it intended to do but rather, and in rather glowing terms, about the stability of this government and its actions in handling the money of the Province of Ontario.

The government didn’t talk about what it hoped to accomplish in the forthcoming years when it was speaking to the electorate of the Province of Ontario in September of last year. The government didn’t, for example, say to one single, solitary person anywhere in this province that it intended to close hospitals; that it intended to move around the province without adequate consultation and without consideration for the effect on the livelihood of many workers in the area, and without giving adequate consideration to the need for health care services. And it never, at any point during the election of September, said it had intention of any kind to take the kind of action that it took in the way of closings and staff reductions in many hospitals throughout this province.

Neither did the government say, not once, that it was its intention to cut to the very hone the moneys to be made available to Children’s Aid Societies in the Province of Ontario. The government never once indicated that it was its intention to limit, severely limit, the operations of Children’s Aid Societies in their capacities to meet the needs of a number of children who, without those societies, would not have another place to turn in order to have their needs met.

The government didn’t say in September of last year that it intended to increase OHIP premiums in the Province of Ontario. The government never once indicated that it was intending, by way of an increase in the OHIP premiums, to gather additional funds for the coffers of the province to replace funds that had been spent inadvisably by this government.

Nor did this government trudge around the province in the months of August and September talking to the municipalities and explaining how it was the government’s intention to shift much of the financial responsibility from the broad tax base of the Province of Ontario to the much narrower tax base of the municipal governments of this province, and specifically to the property taxes.

Never once during the election of last year did this government say that its intention was to restrict severely the amounts of money that were going to be made available through the Ministry of Education for special training and special education, particularly in the area of children with learning disabilities.

Now the government turns to us and says it wants a vote of confidence. They want us to say that we think they are fit to govern, despite having done all of these things, each one of them done with malice and without any concern for the implications or the effects on the people of this province. They say to us, because we have developed a friendship in the Legislature, that we ought to overlook all of the government’s indiscretions and all of the actions and activities that have been damaging to the overall well-being of this province.

Mr. Sargent: Is the Minister of Culture and Recreation still going to England?

Mr. Deans: They ask that we give them a vote of confidence. Why? Are we to give them a vote of confidence on the basis of the record of the government in doing all of the things that I have spoken about? Or are we somehow to think, that as an act of faith, from this point on the government will change its attitude and its posture and begin to deal fairly and squarely with the people of this province?

If that were the case, I would have to say that it wouldn’t be possible on either count to stand in the House and say truthfully that I have confidence in this government to do what is right and in the best interests of the majority of the people of the Province of Ontario. I haven’t got that kind of confidence, and I think that feeling is shared by the majority of my colleagues in this party --

Mr. Haggerty: Speak for yourself.

Mr. Deans: I hope it is also shared by my colleagues on this side of the House in the Liberal Party. Unless we were to decide not to hold the vote until after 6 and give the Liberals a chance to caucus over dinner, I don’t see how it would be possible -- given the amount of abuse they have heaped on this government in those areas that I have mentioned -- for them to rise in their places and support this government at this time.

Mr. Nixon: The same way you did in December, presumably.

Mr. Ferris: What did you say in December, eh?

Mr. Nixon: Remember what you said when you were speaking for your party in December?

Mr. Deans: It’s easy, for political expediency purposes, to find some remote reason having to do with people not wanting an election. When in the last 100 years did anyone ever ask the public of Ontario if they would like an election?

Mr. Nixon: You expressed that in December with your speech and your vote.

Mr. Roy: What did you do in December?

Mr. Deans: Did the Liberals go to the public of Ontario in August of last year and ask whether they wanted an election? Did they go to the public of Ontario in 1971 and ask if they wanted an election? Did they go to them in 1967 and ask if they wanted an election? Of course not. They decided whether or not it was proper to have an election in terms of whether or not they could win.

On the basis of what was done by this government and its predecessors in that period leading up to Sept. 18, 1975, I must say that it doesn’t deserve the confidence of the House. On the basis of their actions in relation to hospitals, Children’s Aid Societies, OHIP premium increases, municipal finances restraints and the reduction of moneys available for education, this government does not deserve the confidence of the House and it is our intention to vote against the granting of that confidence.

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, my colleagues and I do not believe the usefulness of this Legislature is at an end. We believe that the House was acting very properly last night when the government was forced to accept the conclusions put forward by the votes of a large majority of members that its so-called farm stabilization programme was not acceptable. It appears to me quite a normal procedure indeed to return now to the House and ask for a vote of confidence so that the government might continue.

I’ll tell you, Mr. Speaker, that the only time I had any wavering in my mind of the correctness of the position of this party was this morning about 8:20 when I heard the Premier himself being interviewed by Harry Brown on the CBC Morning Show. I don’t know whether it was a matter of interest or lightness but I feel constrained to tell you that I was in the car going back to our back pasture, having a very difficult job to perform. One of our calves had died overnight and somebody said: “Before you go to work, get back there and get this thing cleaned up.”

Here I was on this bloody awful errand with the grave digger’s shovel sticking out of the trunk of my car going back there looking for this calf that was born dead, and what should come on the buoyant voice of none other than the Premier. It hardly restored life to me or the recently departed, I’ll tell you, when I heard him say something similar to what he said in the House this afternoon, that it didn’t really matter what the House did because the government was going to have a stabilization programme by the back door through legislation hidden away in some section of something else similar to the cow-calf programme.

His response this afternoon troubled me. It was a good political response: “Who was going to stop us from meeting the needs of the farmers as we see them” and so on. But essentially his response troubled me deeply, and I’m glad he’s coming back to his place, because implicit and inherent in it was just that feeling that he does not understand he does not control the majority of members in this Legislature and that he has not learned what surely is a very basic lesson in minority government.

The minister who spoke first was quick to talk about the difficulties of a leader of a third party in a situation like this. I believe my colleague the leader of the party is doing a good job indeed. Rut I’ll tell you this, Mr. Speaker, that he understands along with our caucus that we are here to do the best we can for the good of the province and certainly, since this is surely a time for frankness, to take what political advantage there may be as the circumstances comes forward. But that is surely secondary or even tertiary. We are here in a historic tradition, elected by the people and prepared to do so again, either tomorrow, if the Premier decides to ask for dissolution, or souse time in the fall or whenever this House decides or the Premier decides or the Lieutenant Governor decides on advice that such should come about.

I should say to the Premier in his undoubted ability to respond to questions in the House and the radio that he must be careful indeed that he does not give the impression, probably to subjective observers like myself and to others in the community who are not so close to the system as we are looking for every nuance, that this is just a bit of a, I won’t say joke -- he doesn’t give that impression at all -- but something which he somehow is above. All of the power he has is derived from this House, and he knows that, and we as a representative of the people have responsibility to act as we acted last night in what we considered to be the best interest of the province.

There is one thing the Premier must understand -- he used the words himself and he should understand that they have meaning -- is that his government is directed by the House to take certain actions. If it’s a matter of confidence of course, it would come if it appears that the government is not prepared to take those actions, or if it is prepared to use some subterfuge in order to circumvent the will of the people as expressed in this House. When he puts it in terms of “nobody is going to stop us from helping the farmers,” we are all here to help the farmers.

Hon. Mr. Davis: That is exactly what I said.


Mr. Nixon: The procedure by which it is to be accomplished is something for debate and settlement in the democratic process. As I say, I was not enthralled with his comments either then or this afternoon. He said it was early “and maybe I could have done better.” He always does well on that programme. I like to listen to him; I like to listen to others.

Harry Brown is a very interesting interviewer because he tends to come right to the heart of things. I’ve noticed that myself on more than one occasion. I think very properly that the political leaders and cabinet ministers are usually very willing to take part in that programme because I think it has an important listenership.

So, I just wanted to say that we do not believe that the usefulness of the Legislature is at an end. The wording of the resolution, of course, is bound to give some of us a personal problem, but these things can be set aside before the greater good of the greater number.

I simply look at it this way myself -- which is undoubtedly a bit of rationalization -- the question is, do you want an election now, do you think an election now is appropriate? Our party answers we do not want an election now, we do not think it is an appropriate time for an election.

I want to say that my main concern is a relatively recent one, because I know that the Premier has a real understanding of the function of this House, but if his real belief is that government continues as it did during those palmy days -- and Drew had to experience some of this, although the first time he was defeated that was the end of it -- when the Premier’s word really was the last word in here. Well, it really isn’t the last word any more. He can act any way he chooses, but if he cannot bear that yoke, then his responsibility is clear and maybe that’s something he’d better think about pretty carefully.

It’s true that there are many reasons, and they’re being pointed out by the NDP repeatedly, why the individual decisions of ministers of the government having to do with their policies really are very difficult to support. The decision of the Minister of Health (Mr. F. S. Miller) -- who I hope is not working more than five hours today, as he says he’s not supposed to; I believe he is working too hard. I put that off as a little public advice to a person that I like personally very much. His decision to close the Willet Hospital makes it very difficult for me to vote confidence in what he has done, it’s true.

I was very interested as well in the very same programme this morning or some time this -- I listen to the radio too much now that I’ve got so much spare time -- to hear Maxwell Henderson, that great friend of the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough). The poor fellow has allowed himself to be saddled with that report of the committee that was chaired by the Treasurer himself. He says the closing of the hospitals would have had meaning only in the context of the government reducing their own tremendously heavy administrative costs at the centre. He said it; we have said it; but maybe the Treasurer himself, if he wants to listen to somebody perhaps more close to his philosophical stripe, should talk to Max Henderson. Maybe he’s got some ideas about things like that. I thought that the report was quite an interesting one. It’s quite interesting also the way the various members of this government have rejected the very clear recommendations from the committee chaired by the Treasurer in which Mr. Henderson and another group of citizens participated.

We’ve already discussed here, in the estimates of the Minister of Education (Mr. Wells) who is present, the requirement of the government that we feed the sacred cows of OISE and ETV that have been so long in the stable of the Premier, who is looking with such a benign expression on this particular contribution. The recommendations were very clear. As a matter of fact the bottom line in the OISE recommendation is, let’s rent that building to somebody else and let them pay the $2,195,000 this year. You know, it’s there. The bottom line is: Rent the building.

ETV? A very, very clear recommendation. A very clear recommendation that it has grown entirely out of its original context and that what we are now financing is another public network of broadcast. And while the original speaker on this motion --

Mr. Ferrier: Ah, that’s silly.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.


Mr. Nixon: Well, you’re not building in the north.

Mr. Nixon: You’ve written it off. You might as well.

Hon. Mr. Davis: We’re keeping our options open.

Mr. Nixon: I see that -- oh, well. I was going to say they’ve even gotten around to charging some of the well, no.

The original speaker in this debate was indicating how effective the retrenchment programme has been, and yet the figure that jumps out of the budget was the fact that this year alone we’re going to be paying $1.1 billion in interest payments alone and most of that increase is based on the decisions made less than a year ago to remove the sales tax from automobiles, to give a $1,500 grant -- all of these goodies no longer with us because it was seen that they’re not as effective as they once were in buying the votes.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Nonsense.

Mr. Nixon: It may very well be they saved the government’s bacon because the Tories were less than 100,000 votes across the province ahead of us in this party. We were 200,000 votes ahead of the second party. It is a matter of concern.

I suppose one could say the Liberals are afraid of an election; I don’t believe we are. We are 200,000 votes ahead of the second party, We came second and one doesn’t get much for coming second; the government should remember that. The leader knows that but others don’t. We were second in 51 seats. Our organization is in good shape and while we don’t believe an election is necessary when it comes we will beat the Tories. And we will beat the NDP. I don’t say that with quite the same confidence but I do believe that these people are not going to continue in their new responsibilities. They will not continue.

Mr. MacDonald: You get less for coming third.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: We really believe you.

Mr. Johnston: There’s only one place in politics and that is first.

Mr. Nixon: What do you know about that?

Mr. S. Smith: Is that a vision I see there?

Acting Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Nixon: I think, in the general goodwill this afternoon, it won’t be necessary for us to bring to public attention the member for St. Catharines who has seen fit to honour us with his presence.

Mr. Johnston: We don’t ever know --

Mr. Nixon: Are they still paying you?

Mr. Sweeney: Will the Premier introduce that new member?

Mr. S. Smith: I thought you had saved that seat for a visiting prophet of some kind.

Mr. Nixon: And there he is. Finally he’s come down from a higher region.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please. Will the hon. member return to the resolution, please?

Mr. Nixon: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I certainly intend to do that. Sure, there are many areas where we have philosophical differences with the government but the Tories have been able to put forward legislation which has received the support of the majority of the members of this House. In those instances where the government has not been successful, I certainly still have confidence that the Premier and the system will respond suitably to the directions of this House. I would hope that he might deal with that in his remarks if he chooses to join the debate, as I expect he will, later in the afternoon.

One of the matters which concerns me certainly and may very well concern all of us in this House during the summer is what is the disposition of the Anti-Inflation Board referral brought by the teachers of Renfrew. This must certainly concern us all. Members may remember the subject of the no-confidence motion earlier this year on which the NDP supported the government, was specifically on that matter.

At the time, the justification given by the member for Wentworth was that an election at Christmas wasn’t a good thing. That’s why the NDP supported the government in giving the powers of this province to the government of Canada without a reference to the Legislature. An extremely important principle.

Mr. Deans: No.

Mr. Roy: That’s what you did.

Mr. Deans: You were still the leader then!

Mr. Nixon: Not at all. I simply bring to your attention, Mr. Speaker, that this matter may very well occupy this House during the summer at some time. Surely, if the Supreme Court of Canada finds that this government --

Mr. Cassidy: How are you going to vote then?

Mr. Nixon: -- did not act legally, this Legislature is going to have to concern itself --

Mr. S. Smith: How are you going to vote? Are you going to flip-flop on the vote, Cassidy?

Mr. Nixon: I will tell you, Mr. Speaker, we in this party have always supported the anti-inflation concept.


Mr. Nixon: We felt the province ought certainly to establish its own board and our position was clearly enunciated at that time. The NDP had no position at all. The CLC has been getting after it a little bit and now its members are very much against the Anti-Inflation Board. It is very difficult to know where they stand when the pressure really comes on them.

Mr. S. Smith: That’s right. No question about it.

Mr. Nixon: When the pressure comes on them, when their masters in the trades union movement dictate a jump, they say, “How high?”

I know there is a careful distribution of the period of time. We believe that minority government can be made to work. We do not believe that the usefulness of this House is at an end and for that reason we intend to support the motion.

Mr. Acting Speaker: The hon. member from Scarborough North.

Mr. Nixon: Scarborough North?

Mr. Acting Speaker: York South.

Mr. MacDonald: I don’t like to be pushed around like that, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Acting Speaker: The Chair apologizes.

Mr. MacDonald: I am at home in York South, have been for a long time and intend to be for a long time to come.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I thought you were getting into the academic world?

Mr. MacDonald: Oh, no, that’s just one foot in there, one big toe. Mr. Speaker, in no area has this government more clearly lost the confidence both of this House and of the 64 per cent of the people of the Province of Ontario whom the opposition parties happen to represent, than in agricultural policy. That was clearly indicated last night, and what we are doing this afternoon is going through an exercise the purpose of which is to rehabilitate the rather tattered image of the government, the questionable right of the government to continue to rule in the Province of Ontario.

So I want to focus my attention and my remarks in this particular area, even at the risk of repeating a bit of what has gone on in the last few days, because I think the significance sometimes has not been fully grasped. The lack of confidence is much deeper than just the issues. It is much more basic. For example, this government has always had a very close relationship with farm organizations. It now becomes clear, however, that the government’s closeness and the relationship with farm organizations depends entirely on the willingness of that organization to play patsy to the government.

If the organization is willing to challenge the government on issues, then the government becomes spiteful, even becomes open in its attacks. I want to go back a bit. The pattern was established in the government’s attitude, for example, with regard to the National Farmers Union. The government didn’t like the National Farmers Union. It didn’t like its leadership. It didn’t like its policies. It didn’t like its attitudes and its sharp criticism of the government, and therefore the previous Minister of Agriculture would even refuse invitations to go and speak to the conventions of the National Farmers Union.

The cabinet on occasion would delay and delay an opportunity to hear the annual brief from the National Farmers Union. Indeed in one or two years, they even delayed it until after the estimates of the Minister of Agriculture had been considered in the House. That’s kind of spiteful and petty -- “If you won’t play patsy and do as we want, then we are going to keep you in your place” -- but the interesting thing is that the same kind of attitude is now emerging on the part of the government with regard to the OFA. As long as the OFA was in their pockets, or thought to be in their pockets, then fine. They would wine and dine them. They would be very solicitous, but now that the OFA is going to stand and fight on issues --

Hon. W. Newman: That’s not true and you know it is not true.

Mr. MacDonald: -- on which it is convinced that it is representing the interests of the farmers of the Province of Ontario, then the OFA gets increasingly into difficulties. It reached the position yesterday where the minister’s parliamentary assistant engaged in an open personal attack upon the president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture.

Mr. Eaton: Not a personal attack.

Mr. MacDonald: Indeed, the parliamentary assistant yesterday looked around to see whether Gordon Hill was in the gallery and said that Gordon Hill had told him that what they were going to do was to extract from the government, when it was in a minority position, what they could get.

Mr. Eaton: That’s right.

Mr. MacDonald: We have raised that matter with Gordon Hill and he denies it. He denies that he ever said such a thing.

Mr. Lewis: We asked him last night after the debate.

Mr. MacDonald: Right, he denies it. He denies it, and furthermore --

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. MacDonald: -- may I say to the parliamentary assistant that if I have to trust the word of Gordon Hill or him, it would be Gordon Hill every time.

Mr. Eaton: I wouldn’t hesitate to say it to Gordon’s face. He took me to lunch and said that.

Mr. Nixon: How about making that allegation out of the House? Make the allegation out of the House.

Mr. Peterson: Moocher.

Mr. MacDonald: In fact, the fascinating thing is that this government was reduced yesterday to the Minister of Agriculture getting up and repudiating the position of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture with regard to the bill that it had brought in, repudiating and attacking that position and the position of the NFU, and calling as his witness the Christian Farm Federation, an organization that admits it has 400 members across the Province of Ontario. I am not denigrating the CFF.

Hon. W. Newman: You did yesterday.

Mr. MacDonald: They are doing the job in what they think is their best interest, and I respect them for what they are doing, but I heartedly disagree with them. I submit to this minister if he has gotten to a position where he has to call to his support the CFF with its 400 members in support of the government’s position in this House, while rebuffing the Ontario Federation of Agriculture nod the National Farmers Union -- that is precisely what he did --


Mr. Lewis: What you did yesterday.

Mr. MacDonald: And, indeed, Mr. Speaker --

Hon. W. Newman: That’s not true and you know very well.

Mr. MacDonald: Oh, bluster down; bluster down I The minister has had his chance.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order. Order, please.

Mr. MacDonald: Bluster down! We listened to his tirade yesterday.

Hon. W. Newman: The member doesn’t want to face reality at all.

Mr. MacDonald: Indeed, the point I want to make is that this government has now stooped to a typical Tory tactic; they’ve tried it for years with the trade union movement. They say that the leaders are out of step; they’re not in touch with the rank and file; so they make this appeal over the leaders and try to separate the leaders from the rank and file -- precisely what they’re now doing with the farmers. “The leaders of the OFA are out of touch; they’re not reflecting the views of the rank and file of the farmers.” You know, Mr. Speaker, that’s a kind of cheap, bankrupt approach to politics, and if they’re reduced to that it’s a revelation of why we shouldn’t be voting confidence in them.


Mr. MacDonald: However, Mr. Speaker, I just want to refer quickly to issues, after this analysis of the basic deterioration that results in us not having confidence in the government.

For example, I was fascinated during the course of the two estimates to discover that this government now has repudiated its whole posture which was enunciated by John Clement in that food conference at the Royal York in 1973, when the whole Province of Ontario was concerned -- indeed in a bit of public uproar -- over food costs. John Clement convened a conference, at Cod knows what cost, in which he said, for example, that the Province of Ontario can play a positive role. “Our role will take the time to develop but we think we have a real contribution to make.”

When I went to the estimates of the hon. Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations this year, and I spelled out what John Clement had said, and asked what’s happening. He said, “Oh, all that with regard to food is now handed over to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.”

So, I went to the Agriculture estimates and I spelled out with regard to the food industry -- the food industry that represents 80 per cent of the whole machinery, so to speak, in reference to food; farmers are only 20 per cent of the food industry -- “What are you going to do about the conglomerates and what is going on in the greater economic concentration?” You know what the answer was, Mr. Speaker? A little bit of petty, weary, old rhetoric. “We’re a free enterprise party and we’re not going to start meddling in that kind of thing.”

The function of governments has always been to civilize the free enterprise system so that it doesn’t victimize the people who have to live and operate within it. What I’m asking this government to do is to live up to the political posturing that it did in 1973 with regard to its role in protecting food consumers in this province. It has repudiated it; the minister just dismissed it out of hand in two or three weary, rhetoric statements.

Hon. W. Newman: Check Hansard.

Mr. MacDonald: Sure we’ll check Hansard; you bet we’ll check Hansard.

If we go now just for a moment to the question of farm income -- and I’m not going to repeat what we did last night, but there’s a point that this House should grasp, if they don’t realize it.

An hon. member: Overtime, Don.

An hon. member: Go on, Don, go ahead.

Mr. MacDonald: Let me make this point. This government is opposed to farm income protection. It’s opposed to it and is engaged in a piece of calculated deception of the public of the Province of Ontario.

Sure, it gave verbal commitment for a farm income protection a year ago. We were in a desperate plight and were losing the rural areas faster than even the government thought was possible, and it brought in a bill and retreated from it, and the pressure kept up. This year the minister brought in at least what he thought was the promise of a bill, and he’s retreated from it.

I listened to the parliamentary assistant in a meeting which I shared with him in Grey county in which he poured scorn on Ontario farmers being interested in farm income protection. He scorned them and he can’t deny it.

Mr. Eaton: Not scorn Donald, not scorn.

Mr. MacDonald: And my colleague yesterday testified to the fact that at the ploughing match last fall, when the minister, two weeks before his appointment as a minister, spent most of his time in one of his typical tirades against farm incomes insurance. And now he’s trying to kid the people he’s bringing in farm income insurance or farm income protection.

Hon. W. Newman: Were you there?

Mr. MacDonald: No, but my colleague reported it and he will vouch for it.

Hon. W. Newman: How do you know I was there?


Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. MacDonald: Or, Mr. Speaker, if you go to land use, here’s William Davis three years ago off on a cabinet trek through Grey county, reported in the press as saying: “Ontario is moving towards tough controls on southern Ontario land that will prevent farmers from using their property for anything but agricultural purposes.” Now that was putting it in a biased way, but what the Premier was saying then is that they were going to move to protect and preserve agricultural land. The government has, indeed, retreated from it. It has copped out on it. It has handed it over to the municipalities. The government has said in its document here that it is going to leave it to the marketplace, and it is the marketplace that has led to the erosion of agricultural land.

Mr. Speaker, on all of these fundamental issues that affect the farmers, that influence all the people in the Province of Ontario who consume the food that the farmers produce, the government is backing away, it is retreating. It doesn’t deserve --

Hon. W. Newman: We are destroying your myths and not misleading the people.

Mr. MacDonald: -- the confidence of this House. The government got a taste of it last night. As far as we’re concerned, it will not get the confidence of our party.

Mr. Riddell: Mr. Speaker, one of the reasons I was anxious to participate in this debate on confidence in the government is the fact that I am personally more than a little tired of the devious manoeuvring in which the Premier of this province has indulged in an effort --

Mr. MacDonald: So he is going to vote for it.

Mr. Riddell: -- to make the opposition parties responsible if an early election should be precipitated.

Mr. Cassidy: What about your devious manoeuvring?

Mr. Riddell: The Premier has continually taken the attitude that if his government finds it impossible to operate in a minority situation, then the responsibility for its failure can be laid on the shoulders of the opposition members of this House. That is arrant nonsense and he knows it. To a very great extent, the choice is his. The people of this province don’t want an early election, and I doubt very much that the individual members of the Legislature want an early election.

Mr. Cassidy: You mean the Liberals don’t want an election.

Mr. S. Smith: You guys are brave.

Mr. Grossman: Speak for yourself.

An hon. member: Mr. Burr doesn’t.

Mr. Riddell: If the Premier and his colleagues would only make a sincere attempt to administer the affairs of this province in such a way that the views of all members are taken into account an early election would not be necessary.

To a very great extent, a successful and ongoing minority government situation is very similar to a form of coalition government. That is the kind of government which has proved to be effective and suitable in times of emergency. We are all well aware that with world-wide inflation we are to some degree involved in a period of emergency. Certainly the people of Ontario know that we all have to make adjustments, that we cannot continue to pursue the comparatively carefree way of life we have come to regard as our right in recent years.

Some forms of restraint are obviously essential, and as far as this government is concerned long overdue. The government’s programme to reduce the enormously inflated Ministry of Health’s budget is a typical example of the inept and downright provocative policies which have been adopted by the Premier and his colleagues.

Mr. Ferrier: How can you vote for them then?

Mr. Riddell: The wisdom of reducing that ministry’s budget in some way cannot be denied, and undoubtedly the whole question of puffing the brakes on rising medical costs in the province is a very complicated one.

There is of course a distinct tendency for it to become something of a political football if we are not very careful. For some years now attempts have been made to find effective means of controlling expenses, all to no avail.

As long ago as June 18, 1972, Ministry of Health officials made a submission to the management committee. It began as follows, and I quote the problem:

“Last year, the policy and priorities board approved a $50 million constraint package for health insurance in order to lower the rise in health costs. The constraints were approved for implementation in 1972-1973. Instructions have been received from the minister’s office not to proceed with implementation of the constraints.”

Now note the figure of $50 million, Mr. Speaker. It is approximately the same amount as the government anticipated saving with its abominable and unconscionable hospital closing programme. As long ago as 1972, ministry officials have submitted a number of proposals regarding methods of effecting such a $50 million saving. These were, for the most part, in connection with abuses of the system.

Some of the suggestions made were as follows: Computer rules, more precise screening of claims according to OMA fee schedules; medical necessity, creation of new payment roles based on established criteria of medical necessity; formula payment, doctors with excessively high utilization to be paid at a reduced rate; clinics or community health centres to offer total care, thereby reducing costs.

There was, you will note, Mr. Speaker, no mention of any possibility of closing down hospitals. The ministry official most closely associated with the cost saving project was Dr. Kinloch at that time the director of the medical services branch of the ministry. In a letter to the Premier, dated Dec. 21, 1972, Dr. Kinloch said:

“The specific proposals arising from the analysis of options were reviewed and accepted by the Policy and Priorities Board. But implementation floundered through belated, time-consuming and essentially non-productive discussions with the OMA executive and action on critical elements of the constraint package was suspended by newly appointed Health Minister Potter.”

Mr. S. Smith: Was the Minister of Labour (B. Stephenson) on the OMA executive then?

Mr. Riddell: Dr. Kinloch’s view of the situation was incorporated in a draft speech prepared for the Hon. Bert Lawrence in April, 1971, when Mr. Lawrence was Minister of Health. The notes express considerable disappointment about abuse of the system and made the statement:

“Undoubtedly government must bear some responsibility for these excesses for in not exerting tight controls, we have encouraged the few to set bad examples which have unfortunately been followed by the many. Such efforts as have been made to control abuse, when this abuse became apparent, have been ineffective because of inadequate sanctions available to the administering agency.”

Obviously then, some four or five years ago the government was aware of the seriousness of the situation and proposals for effecting some kind of cure were under consideration only to be dismissed, doubtless for reasons of political expediency.

In his contribution to the debate on the Speech from the Throne, the Premier accused the opposition parties of irresponsibility in risking an election. He said, “that would cost the taxpayers millions of dollars.”

The French have a saying: qui m’accuse s’accuse. He who accuses me, accuses himself. Nothing could be more appropriate to the Premier’s attempts to place the blame for risking an election on the opposition parties. If an early election should occur, whichever party may seem to have pulled the plug, the Premier and his colleagues will be largely responsible.

He has failed to bring forward acceptable legislation. He has made no attempt to reconcile the necessity for fiscal restraint with the basic needs of our people. Closing down hospitals is a classical example of deliberately provocative and ill-considered government action. He has permitted the Treasurer to bring down a budget which makes no real effort in bringing order to this province’s fiscal situation. He has forced our municipalities to shoulder the great burden of raising taxes to finance programmes into which they have been inveigled by his government with a commitment that sufficient funding would be forthcoming.

He has turned the blind eye while his Minister of Agriculture and Food spawned a farm income stabilization programme which he surely must have been aware would be unacceptable to the farming community and the opposition parties. He has played footsie with the New Democratic Patty and has continually and deliberately manoeuvred the Liberal Party into a position where we have a choice between apparently compromising our principles or changing our minds or risking an early provincial election which nobody in their right mind could possibly want. During the last election campaign the Premier fought tooth and nail to retain his position of power. I would like to remind the Premier that one cannot have power without responsibility.

Whether he likes it or not, although his power may have been somewhat diminished as a result of what transpired last Sept. 18, his responsibility to the people of Ontario is unchanged. He is the man responsible for administering the affairs of this province. He is the man responsible for working in on-operation with the leaders of the other parties and the members of this House to ensure there is no breakdown in that administration. He is the man responsible for making minority government work. He is the man responsible if the opposition parties are forced into a position where it is absolutely impossible to continue to vote confidence in the government, regardless of the consequences. He is the man responsible for the fact that inevitably the years of Progressive Conservative government in this province are fast coming to an end.

Last night’s decision by the Ontario Legislature to send the farm income stabilization bill back to the drawing board may be considered a vote of no confidence in the view of the Premier, but let me tell you it is seen by the farmers of Ontario in the way in which government should function.


In an unusual display of non-partisanship, both opposition parties combined to get legislation for the benefit of farmers. It is the first time in over 30 years that the government has shown any sign, or interest, or concern, at all in any form of farm income stabilization programmes for the farmers.

Mr. Ruston: You’re on the way out, Lorne.


Mr. Eaton: The $2 million you got last year for beef, how much did you collect on it?

Mr. Riddell: According to Gordon Hill --

Mr. Conway: Remember him, Bob?

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Riddell: -- spokesman for the farmers of Ontario, the farmers do not want an election now and they certainly don’t want an election on this issue. Farmers want minority government to work, as they have seen for the first time in over 30 years, that they may get some response from this government on various issues rather than hollow election promises during a campaign.

The press endeavoured to badger the president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture into saying that stabilization programmes cannot be that important to farmers if they aren’t prepared to see the government defeated on this issue. Well the president, Gordon Hill, in my estimation is taking a very responsible position in urging members of the Legislature to make minority government work for reasons which have already been outlined.

Mr. Conway: Hear that Bobby?

Mr. Riddell: If the Premier does not carry out the direction of the Legislature in bringing back an improved farm income protection bill in the fall, then he will be in contempt of the Legislature, and in my opinion any government in contempt of the Legislature should not be permitted to carry on.

Ms. Gigantes: Vote against them.

Mr. Riddell: We, in this party, are prepared to make minority government work, but if the Premier and his cabinet colleagues continue to show contempt for the Legislature, then we will certainly be prepared to go to the people and I can assure you we won’t be using Bob Nixon’s shovel to bury dead calves.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, when I came into this Legislature --

Mr. S. Smith: Oh God.

Mr. Cassidy: I’ll say a word about the member for Hamilton West if he wants then. I think it should be pointed out that the reason we have this debate today is because of the rather unpredictable antics of the member for Hamilton West and of the willingness of the leader of the government to go along with those antics and not to treat yesterday’s decision by the Legislature as a vote of confidence, or of lack of confidence in the House.

The way in which the parliamentary traditions of this House have been played with by the government --

Mr. O’Neil: You’re wet behind the ears.

Mr. S. Smith: You are as offensive as you are ill-informed.

Mr. Cassidy: -- certainly not, certainly not.

If you look at parliamentary practice, Mr. Speaker, you will find that when a major item of the government’s programme is defeated then the government should resign. That’s what should have happened in this particular case rather than this two-faced piece of parliamentary manoeuvring which is what we are confronted with today.

Mr. S. Smith: Look at Harold Wilson, a good labour fellow. What do you think of his responsibility?

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I don’t think I ever had much confidence in the government and the question that we have to deal with today is whether we continue to have confidence. If I didn’t have it in the past, it’s a question for me as to whether I can begin to have it right now. Frankly, there is nothing in the record, as far as I can see, to say that members of this Legislature should begin to have confidence in the government now and I would say that extends in particular to the people from my region of the province, which is eastern Ontario. If there is an election arising out of this particular debate today then I want to say a few things about eastern Ontario, because I think it’s important to get them on the record and I think it’s important that the government understand why the electorate in eastern Ontario are turning away from this government, will turn away from this government, in increasing number, and why that loyal blue faction from the east that used to keep the government in power is no longer as dependable as it was in the past.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: You are just trying to scare them. You are trying to scare the people and they won’t buy it.

Mr. Cassidy: What? Not at all. Do you know who is scaring them? The people who are scaring them are Darcy McKeough and the experts who write for him and who have been preparing material about the future economic development of this province.

In the documents that Mr. McKeough’s planners were allowed to publish, and they were very few, we learn that the population of eastern Ontario was expected to continue to fall as a proportion of the rest of the province. We learn that the net migration from the counties of eastern Ontario is going to continue. We learned that three-quarters of the population growth of the province is going to be down here in the central part of the province in the region around the Toronto area.

There are enormous urban problems in southern Ontario. Meanwhile, according to the Treasurer’s planners, other parts of the province experience slow growth, sub-optimal economies and inadequate access to public services. These conditions are found mainly, although not exclusively, in the northern and eastern parts of the province. These regions have generally lower income levels, less opportunities and fewer social and cultural amenities than the rest of the province.

Mr. Foulds: Shameful.

Mr. Cassidy: Uneven development and too narrow an economic base have brought to these areas problems of instability and even long term declines which will continue unless economic growth in Ontario becomes more diversified.

The thing that is alienating people in eastern Ontario from the government is that they have known those facts for a very long time. The words are not mine. They are the words of the experts who work for the ministry and they are trying to tell the government something, just as the electors in eastern Ontario are trying to tell the government something. But they are not being heeded. That is why we have lost confidence and that is why the electorates are losing confidence in this government. According to the planners, what is needed, and I quote, are “integrated strategies aimed at clearly defined objectives and carried out within a unified policy framework.” Words. Words which are meaningless and actions which are meaningless are all we are getting from the government.

The government talks about the need to reduce economic disparities. We don’t see it in eastern Ontario; after 10 years of planning we still do not see an eastern Ontario plan. Almost all of the provincial effort that we have seen has been directed to encouraging and structuring growth within the Toronto-centered region. Who gets big servicing schemes? York and Durham. Who gets new towns? North Pickering and Haldimand-Norfolk. Who gets a parkway belt? The area to the west of Toronto. Who gets growth to the east for the growth to the east means a stone’s throw from the boundaries of Metropolitan Toronto? Who gets 16 lane expressways if they want them? Metro Toronto once again -- all directed to the increasing concentration of economic growth in the Toronto region at the expense of the rest of the province.

In the east, what do we get? We get Highway 417 finally completed 10 years after the poor and impoverished Province of Quebec completed an auto route to the Ontario border. We get public land assembly at Carlsbad Springs, which the government not only has abandoned but which it has rejected definitively by giving Housing Action Programme funds to Nepean and the regional municipality of Ottawa-Carleton so that they can plan for development on private developer-owned land in the south urban communities.

The government holds hands with developers and with its Tory friends from the regional municipality council in Ottawa in order to do that despite the fact of having bought land which it had originally said would be used to bring down the price of housing in the Ottawa area.

Do we get industrial growth? We get weeds on 5,000 acres of publicly-owned land at Spencerville --

Hon. Mr. Irvine: Do you know where it is? Have you ever been there?

Mr. Foulds: Do you know how to pronounce it?

Mr. Cassidy: -- which was bought without any consultation with the region and which was bought without consideration for the enormous desire of communities in the area to have the growth within their own boundaries so that they could have balanced development rather than unbalanced dormitory type of servicing.

Do we get jobs? We get no action from the government. What happens to our schools? The rural counties in eastern Ontario are absolutely beside themselves because of the fact that the new financing system for schooling hits particularly hard at the poorer areas of the province which do not have the tax resources to meet expenditures not being met by the cutback in provincial school expenditures. For the last 10 years the government has had a commitment to try to equalize the educational opportunities across the province.

Some good things came out of that commitment, but that commitment is now not worth the paper it was written on. The educational opportunities are drying up. Hundreds of teachers in rural eastern Ontario are finding themselves losing jobs, or when they resign or retire their positions are not being filled. Yet the kids are still there looking for what the Tories once promised, equal educational opportunities without the need to go to Toronto or to go to Ottawa. Their parents, in the meantime, are facing enormous tax bills for declining educational opportunity.

Farms -- the rural economy is in collapse in parts of eastern Ontario and nothing is being done for that.

Francophones -- the government is reacting and only reacting. There has been no constructive initiative, in the last six years, on the part of the government in order to ensure true equality for the two language groups in the province.

Mr. Speaker, I could go on about the cutbacks, the way the Children’s Aid is being dealt with, the lack of community services, the feeling we have in eastern Ontario that eastern Ontario is always the last to be considered and always the first to be cut, the alienation which is throughout the region. The fact, if I can give a final example, Mr. Speaker, that despite years of urging it is still impossible to find out a word about what the provincial government is doing unless you come down here to Toronto or pay money for a long distance phone call to the centre of all things great and beautiful that are provincial, here at Queen’s Park.

Mr. Speaker, we haven’t had confidence in this government for a long time and we certainly don’t continue to have it now. I say that, not only on my own behalf and on behalf of my party, but also for hundreds of thousands of people in eastern Ontario.

Mr. Conway: Mr. Speaker, there are quite obviously a number of dimensions to the great debate of this afternoon. The substantive aspects of the matter of confidence have been, I think, very eloquently addressed to by various and sundry on all sides of the House.

But there is one dimension of this particular debate and, I think, the most central part of this debate, and that, of course is that we are looking, not at a confidence motion, at an election motion and to that I would like very briefly to address myself. To begin with I might say that it’s quite obvious and, I think, self-evident that those members of the opposition have no confidence in the government. Clearly we ran, in September, on that very basis.

Mr. Cassidy: Then why are you going to support them?

Mr. G. I. Miller: You listen and you will hear why.

Mr. Conway: And the eloquence of my good and noble friend from eastern Ontario, the hon. member for Ottawa Centre, happily returned from Habitat, said so very well that there is a range of inequity to which this government must inevitably lay claim and I think we can all support that. The fact that this government does not enjoy the confidence of the majority of the population is again evident by the 36 point, whatever per cent of the popular vote that they were able to get in the 1975 provincial general election.

Personally, and as someone from a traditionally Conservative part of eastern Ontario, I can’t help but sympathize with the emotions put forward by my predecessor, the member for Ottawa Centre, and he is quite right when he says there is absolutely a withering of the previous confidence that this particular government party had enjoyed in eastern Ontario.

Mr. Warner: Shall we move your desk over?

Mr. Conway: It is obvious too, Mr. Speaker, that there is but one political reason why we are debating this, this afternoon and I think that is for the self-aggrandizement of the hon. member for Brampton who feels, somehow, that he must appear to enjoy the confidence of at least a part of this assembly.

But clearly the gentlemen about whom we must be most concerned this afternoon, the men who really make the decisions and the ones who debate the central issue, are not here, not within this exact confine.

Mr. Warner: They are sitting under there. They are sitting in the dock.

Mr. Conway: I see the hon. Edwin A. Goodman, Q.C., who recently, I see, is writing from the government services bureau, talking to the banking community; it’s the Ed Goodmans and the Gerry Caplans who really orchestrate this debate.

Hon. F. S. Miller: You are judging us by our party.

Mr. Conway: All is fair in love and politics.


Mr. Conway: But let’s make no bones of the fact that these are the gentlemen who orchestrate this particular debate.

Mr. Ferrier: Haven’t you got anybody like that?


Mr. Conway: And like the hon. members for Elgin and Lambton, I have no faith in this farm stabilization foofarah. Of course I don’t.

Mr. Grossman: All is fair in love and politics.

Mr. Conway: With my career in agriculture, I couldn’t.

Mr. Grossman: You may have one next time.

Hon. W. Newman: But your farmers will in your riding.

Mr. Conway: And I know that despite the vituperation of the hon. member for Middlesex (Mr. Eaton), the majority of the agricultural community will certainly not support this weak-kneed government’s initiative.

Mr. Warner: We’re going to have an election.

Mr. Conway: But, I can later on this afternoon, Mr. Speaker, without equivocation and without uneasiness do my noble and honourable duty.

Mr. Grossman: Therefore, you’ll vote in favour.

Mr. Conway: And while as I have said, Mr. Speaker --

Mr. Grossman: You’ll be voting for the government.

Mr. Conway: -- while, as I have said, Mr. Speaker, that I cannot have any confidence in this group opposite --

Mr. Grossman: Hear, hear; you’re going to support it.

Mr. Conway: -- I take the very sense of my inspiration later this afternoon from my very good friend in the loyal opposition who once said something, and I think very understandably --

Mr. Grossman: Eddie Sargent.

Mr. Conway: -- in this House at a certain point not so very long ago. With your indulgence, Mr. Speaker, might I quote: “That in the opinion of this House whenever minority provincial government is elected in Ontario, no further election should be held for a period of two years, thereby assuring -- ” and understand this and understand it well, “thereby assuring elected members a minimum period of security of tenure.” First things first, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Nixon: To work on their pension.

Mr. Conway: With my hon. friends in the Opposition, I could not agree more. Security of tenure for those of us with my kind of majority is not an important topic. I’d like to conclude, Mr. Speaker --

Mr. Eaton: Hurray! When are you going on sabbatical?


Mr. Conway: I’d like to conclude, Mr. Speaker, by referring to my good friend the member for Scarborough West, who has full understanding of the political complexity of this issue.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I thought you took teaching, not dramatics.

Mr. Eaton: Pretty entertaining, John.

Mr. Conway: Having sat on father’s knee, he knows the treacheries of minority government. I conclude by offering to my good friend the member for Scarborough West a wee doggerel in appreciation of the kindness that he expressed to me and my party on the weekend just past. Might I conclude, Mr. Speaker, with a wee ode to “Sir Stephen the Steelheart?”

Although mindful of warnings of gift-bearing Greeks,

And the cunning of Stephen as headlines he seeks,

Etiquette still demands that we make fair return

For this gift which perhaps we should rightfully spurn.

* * *

Sir Stephen the Steelheart is well-known throughout,

And this weekend just past we have all heard his shout.

The challenge to dragons, the loud call to arms,

The attempt to beguile our good people with charms.

Mr. Foulds: It doesn’t scan.

Mr. Moffatt: Your pentameter got lost.

Mr. Conway: To continue:

With talk of crusade did Sir Stephen weave magic,

His twisting of tails is both awesome and tragic.

He goes for the jugular, knows well how to jeer,

To play games, to make fun, to lampoon and to sneer.

Should we simply stand by, should we quietly ignore,

His attempts to extract just that one headline more?

I prefer for my part to make this dissertation

Appropriate, methinks, for his stance and his station.

* * *

But beware, NDP corporals who lurk in his rear,

Lest he judge that your actions disloyal may appear.

Sir Stephen the Steelheart does not really mellow.

The sheep’s clothing conceals just the same lupine fellow.

And I thank you.

Mr. Grossman: Read while you can, John.

Mr. Acting Speaker: The hon. Treasurer.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Ruston: Here we go now.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Central to confidence in the government, is our handling of three important matters -- budget policy, management of the economy, and our conduct in federal-provincial relations. Let me review for members the positive actions we have accomplished on these three fronts.

Turning first to the area of budgeting and finances --

Mr. Peterson: Could you put this in a poem?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Ontario had provided an example of leadership and responsibility to the whole country. We have progressively reduced our spending growth rate to what the economies can sustain.

Our 1976 budget took tough but necessary steps. We constrained spending growth to 10.4 per cent and reduced provincial cash requirements more than $600 million.

Mr. Warner: You closed hospitals!

Hon. Mr. McKeough: We have contained our internal efficiency drive and achieved major reductions in the size of the civil service.

Since 1974, this government has brought down the complement by some 4,000 positions with no sacrifice in the quality of services to the people of Ontario.

Mr. Nixon: What were those 4,000 people doing?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: The figures for 1975-1976 indicate the success of our restraint programme.

In my recent budget I estimated the 1975-1976 cash requirements would amount to $1,889,000,000. The final results for 1975-1976 will soon be available. I am pleased to inform members that we achieved a further $75 million reduction in spending, with a consequent improvement in our cash requirements for the last fiscal year.

Mr. Warner: Paid for by the municipalities.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: We are also staying within our spending estimates for the current fiscal year. First quarter results will be made public, in Ontario Finances, in July and will show that we have held firmly to our spending targets.

The new expenditure control system, set out in budget paper B, is established and working effectively. To pay for those measures, which are not yet fully implemented, such as hospital closings, we have found offsetting savings in other areas. We are monitoring capital programmes, and open-ended programmes, to ensure that spending in these areas stays within the funding limits voted by the Legislature.

The responsible approach to our finances has already shown beneficial effects. It has reinforced our high credit rating. It has ensured access, by Ontario Hydro, to world capital markets on the best possible terms.

Let me reiterate to the members that the province itself will not require any new net public borrowing in this fiscal year, a considerable and commendable accomplishment in itself.

The 1976 Ontario budget was a sound and constructive policy response to the problems of public finance.

Mr. Peterson: Tell them where you are going to borrow the money.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: We have out-performed the subsequent federal budget in two basic dimensions. Our spending growth was held to 10.4 per cent versus 16.3 per cent at the national level. Our cash requirements were dramatically reduced versus no improvement at all in the federal deficit.

Mr. Warner: Tell us.

Mr. Foulds: Turn the lights off.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: This means that the province has made great strides in restoring the balance between the private and public sectors; a balance we on this side of the House believe is crucial to continued prosperity in this province of opportunity.

On the economic front, our policies have been equally effective. Let me review the performance of the Ontario economy. If we compare its performance in the last two years with the problems and instabilities of many other jurisdictions around the world, I think we have sound reason to be proud of the resilience and strength of our economy.

Last year we rode out a major international recession plus a substantial increase in energy prices --

Mr. di Santo: With 10 per cent unemployed.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- plus a dramatic downslide in the United States’ market for our manufactured goods. We rode through all of that and still emerged with a performance that was better than most other jurisdictions.

Mr. Warner: Tell that to the people in the job lineups.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: The economic recovery began in the second half of last year and has kept up its momentum since then. This year employment growth will amount to 116,000 new jobs, which in an economy so fundamentally tied to export markets is an impressive resurgence.

Mr. Warner: How many unemployed?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Over the past year, the unemployment rate in Ontario has been brought down by half of one per cent. Two key factors of the Ontario economy continue to reflect the impact of direct stimulus provided by the government last year.

Mr. Wildman: Tell that to the native people.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Automobile production in the first four months of this year was running better than 20 per cent over last year, while urban housing starts were up 60 per cent.

Rarely have we seen in past decades, Mr. Speaker, the kind of unanimity among governments we see today concerning the need to maintain a balanced and steady recovery. Part of this unanimity also concerns the management of the public sector. We have taken strong action to curb the unnecessary growth and proliferation of bureaucracy and inefficiency. The medicine sometimes hurts, but we have come through this period of tough decision-making with a leaner and more efficient public service.

Mr. Sargent: Sure, we lost $2 billion.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: The actions initiated by the government are paying handsome dividends to the people of the province. They are getting more value for their tax dollars now and a more efficient delivery system. We have in the process conducted some of the most searching and difficult examinations of government spending ever undertaken by any government in Canada.

Mr. Warner: Tell that to the Children’s Aid Societies.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I can assure you, Mr. Speaker, that this was not an easy task. We note that other governments are doing the same thing all around the world.

Mr. Breithaupt: They are not in as much trouble.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: The world energy crisis and the various financial crises around the globe ran deeper than most people realize. They have forced upon all of us a re-examination of what we can truly afford. I am happy to report that after a very unpleasant period of world economic instability, we in Ontario have emerged in a sound condition.

Mr. Sargent: With only $2 billion in grants.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Before we can make healthy economic progress on a long term basis, inflation must be brought to heel. In this regard, Mr. Speaker, this government has a positive record of action. From the start, we supported the federal anti-inflation programme, despite some reservations, because we knew that strong co-ordinated national action is the most effective way to battle inflation. It is too early to make a full judgement of the success of the anti-inflation programme, but the results to date are somewhat encouraging. Beginning last December, the consumer price index dropped below the double digit level for the first time since February, 1974.

Mr. S. Smith: When you support it it’s federal, when you oppose it it’s Liberal.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: In April the rate dropped below nine per cent and this rate continued in May. The members may recall that I tabled a full review of the progress of this programme last month, Mr. Speaker.

Statistics Canada recently published new figures on earnings and profits. In March real earnings -- that is wages adjusted for the effects of inflation -- were rising at a faster rate than they were one year ago, that is four per cent compared with three per cent. It is interesting to note that in the first quarter, corporate pre-tax profits rose by 1.8 per cent compared with an increase in sales of about 14 per cent. One has to ask, who is reaping the benefits from the anti-inflation programme? We are not content to rest with a programme of controls on wages and prices which, while needed in the short run, should not form the basis of longer economic development in this country. We are concentrating on laying the basis for prolonged economic prosperity based on the ingenuity and the energy of the free enterprise system which has been and always will be the source of real wealth in this country. What we are not doing, sir, is setting up more Queen’s Park bureaucracy to regulate the lives of our citizens.

Mr. Peterson: You don’t hire, you just put out contracts.

Mr. S. Smith: How many super ministers?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Accordingly we have set to work in developing a strategy for phasing out the federal anti-inflation programme as soon as possible.

With the economy on a positive upward course, I see the problems of the future as being those of improving our private sector’s capacity to stay afloat in a tough and severely competitive international economy. We have to get on with the job of building up the technological and productivity base upon which our standard of living depends. Investments must remain a firm priority of Ontario. Productivity growth must also remain a priority.

Without these two commitments the general prosperity of Ontario and even of Canada will suffer significantly. Ontario is the industrial heart land of Canada. Out of it flows much of the capacity of the nation to redistribute incomes and growth to other regions of the country. Out of it, too, must come the growth and prosperity to create the new jobs and rising real incomes that our citizens expect.


Mr. Sargent: The worst government in Canada.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: It is our resolve to keep this economy solvent, stable and prosperous.

Mr. Warner: It took 30 years.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: That task, Mr. Speaker, requires close co-operation among all parties to the growth process -- labour, business, government and consumers -- to ensure that we grow with a minimum of conflict and the maximum of understanding concerning those issues that are vital to our survival in a world economy.

We are concerned that Ontario not only survives, but that it prospers and avoids the crippling afflictions of other economies which are being dragged down by inflation, over-expanded public sectors, internal dissension and complete erosion of investor confidence.

With real per capita incomes rising, inflation slowly easing back, more jobs coming on stream and our export markets reviving steadily, I see a good future ahead for the Ontario economy. The problems now are those of effective management by all of us, public and private sectors alike. This is not the time for ambitious dreams of expanding government spending or utopian dabbling with programmes that add to the burdens of our taxpayers.

Mr. Sargent: Best thing you can do is resign.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: What we need is a continuation of prudent economic management and a dedication to those principles of economic growth which this government has recognized as being the foundations on which Ontario society has flourished successfully for over one and a half centuries.

Mr. Warner: Explain the large debt.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Finally, Mr. Speaker, let me turn to the third issue, this government’s conduct of federal-provincial relations.

This week the government went to the federal-provincial conference of first ministers in a spirit of cautious optimism. The federal government laid out a proposal involving, in principle, a major reform of the mutual shared-cost programmes of the country. Many of the federal arguments were ones which we have been advocating for many years. In addition, they recognized our stance on the necessity of spending constraints in the public sector.

As the Premier’s opening statement to the conference attests, we welcomed these changes. I think that a hopeful mood was generated around the table on Monday, and there were good expectations that at least the governments of this country would be making a major advance in federal-provincial fiscal relations.

In the Premier’s remarks, he emphasized that the success of any such proposal depended on its equitable distribution for both the well-to-do and the not-so-well-to-do regions of Canada. In this regard he strongly emphasized the need to continue and improve that bedrock feature of Confederation, the equalization programme.

We also came to the conference, Mr. Speaker, to discuss the contentious issue of the revenue guarantee. Members will recall that when the government of Canada introduced tax reform a few years ago, an implicit part of the new arrangement was that the provinces would not lose any revenues that would have accrued to them under the old tax system.

Mr. S. Smith: Sounds like the Edmonton commitment.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: The proposal for this guarantee was the subject of fierce debate. But in a paper tabled in this Legislature on March 28, 1972, we documented conclusively what would happen if such a guarantee were not part of the tax reform package.

I shall cite only one paragraph from that document, where we said: “What then will be the position after 1976? The provinces will be forced to increase their tax rates merely to restore the revenue yield they could have expected under the old system. The federal government, by contrast, will have permanently improved its long-run revenue-raising potential.”

Mr. S. Smith: Sounds like the municipalities talking to the provinces.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: “Thus the long run consequences of the tax reform process itself will be a further worsening of the already inadequate tax sharing between the two levels of government.”

So the revenue guarantee was accepted by the federal government.

Mr. S. Smith: And by the municipalities.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: All went well until last March. On the eve of our recent budget, and without any notice of prior consultation whatsoever, Ottawa said that it was going to change the terms of the guarantee to reduce its payments to the provinces. Without going into the details now, Mr. Speaker, suffice to say that this unilateral, arbitrary action was totally unacceptable to all provinces.

The Prime Minister of Canada --

Mr. S. Smith: Sounds familiar.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I say to the leader of the third party, he has made an ass of himself in these last few days, he shouldn’t continue any further today.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I think we should use more parliamentary language and I ask the minister to withdraw that.

Mr. S. Smith: The Treasurer thinks so, does he?


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.


Mr. S. Smith: He reneged on the Edmonton commitment.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.


Mr. Speaker: Order. We’ll get on with the debate and will the hon. minister withdraw those remarks please.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, I would be delighted to withdraw the remark. The member is not an ass, he’s a fop.


Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, without going into the details --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, it does seem to me that the Treasurer in all his experience in this House ought to be able to conduct a debate at least at the level that we had yesterday. I would ask you to make a ruling to ask this hon. gentleman to treat us all as hon. gentlemen, or ladies as the case may be, which is expected of every one of us.


Mr. Speaker: I would ask the same thing of all members. Will the hon. minister withdraw that last remark and not substitute something else for it please?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, I withdraw. We are under some time constraints and perhaps the leader of the third party would be good enough to stop his indiscriminate and unnecessary heckling about something he knows nothing about. I leave it at that.


Mr. S. Smith: I will stop heckling.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Fewer interjections please.

Mr. Lewis: At least he supports the Treasurer.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Without going into details suffice it to say that a unilateral arbitrary action was totally unacceptable to all provinces. The Prime Minister of Canada recognized the validity of the provincial position when he agreed in May not to proceed with any changes until there was a full opportunity to discuss the matter at the June conference.

Mr. Speaker, the revenue guarantee was reviewed on Monday afternoon and every province made the same point to the Prime Minister: The guarantee was part of the legislation passed by the Parliament of Canada, was revenue that belonged to the provinces, and was a fixed part of every provincial budget. The Prime Minister seemed to listen sympathetically and to offer some hope for reconsideration.

That was the situation until Tuesday morning when the Prime Minister said the deal was off. The federal government was bound and determined to renege on its financial commitment under tax reform. There would be no further change in the federal position. In one fell swoop, 8754 million was arbitrarily taken from provincial treasuries, including $308 million from Ontario.

Mr. Sargent: How does it feel?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, let me not mince words to the House.

Mr. Sargent: You’ve been passing the buck to municipalities.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: The Prime Minister’s unreasonable position remains unchanged. The taxpayers of Ontario may face an increase on Jan. 1 next of 3½ points on their personal income tax, rising to four points the following year, when the guarantee payments cease. That is just to recoup the tax position we already have, but we stand to lose by the unilateral brutal federal action.

This is not responsible federalism. It is not the co-operative federalism we have sought. Trust and faith and equity have gone out the window and in this process this whole country and every taxpayer may suffer.

Mr. Laughren: Now you know how we feel about you.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: We intend to pursue the reform of the fiscal arrangements of this country, but we also serve notice to the federal government that the government of this province intends to protect fully the interests and economic well-being of every person in this province. We will not rest until that goal is accomplished, and until the federal government honours its commitment.

Mr. Sargent: You are a born loser, McKeough, a born loser.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, in conclusion, there are many reasons why this government deserves the confidence of the House. Our performance on the fiscal, economic and intergovernmental front alone is ample proof that we have governed well. We intend, sir, to continue to do so.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, the Treasurer’s capacity to engage in debate in this Legislature is limited to reading formally prepared statements and shouting at the other members. That is all he is able to do. He doesn’t seem to understand that it is essential in a debate such as this that he deal with the issues which are in front of us and not use this as a forum for delivering a prepared address which he would deliver to the Canadian Bankers Association. That’s not what we’re here for.

Let me make three comments, three very simple comments. The restraint programme nod the motivations for it we don’t accept. We never have accepted them. It was the profligacy of this Treasurer that led to the restraint programme, the profligacy which was his device in an election year that find’s the government in the position which it is presently in.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Utter nonsense, utter nonsense.

Mr. Renwick: When the Treasurer talks about equitable distribution of wealth he always talks in relation to regions and never in relation to people. We accept the need for equitable distribution of wealth on a regional basis. But when the Treasurer finds time to read the report with respect to the distribution of income among the people of the Province of Ontario, we find that in 10 years of Tory government the people in the lowest 20 per cent and the lowest 40 per cent share the same percentage of the national income and the provincial income that they did 10 years ago.

We disagree with the Treasurer on those matters and we disagree with him on the Anti-Inflation Board support which he has given and which his government has embraced. Some day when the Treasurer has nothing else to do, if he will read the remarks which I put on the record of this assembly on March 17 and I hope my colleague, the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon) will do the same -- on March 17, 1972 -- you’ll understand why this party is opposed to the anti-inflation guidelines and the programme which is put forward.

Mr. Roy: But we have to go that far back, do we? Why did you vote for the government in December?

Mr. Renwick: So we don’t change our position and we have never changed our position on this question.

Mr. Roy: That’s right, that’s presumptuous.

Mr. Renwick: I’m going to say to the Treasurer that when he’s starts talking about fiscal matters and economic matters and intergovernmental matters, don’t kick the constitution around. One of these days there is going to be a decision of the Supreme Court of Canada on the agreement into which this government has entered and it will be nine to nothing striking down that agreement. Mark my words.

Mr. Lewis: Or at the worst six to three.

Mr. Renwick: Forgive me for that digression, because of the intervention of the Treasurer in debate.

Let me go back to the Premier’s motion.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Are you telling the Supreme Court what to say?

Mr. Breithaupt: He has phoned every one of them.

Mr. Ruston: He has called all the judges.

Mr. Renwick: Let me go back very briefly to the Premier’s motion and to the statement made by the House leader for the government. The issue is not minority government. In all likelihood the next government will be a minority government, the next parliament will be a minority government.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh you have already conceded. You are so busy fighting for No. 2.

Mr. Renwick: All we are talking about is a minor redistribution which may take place. Should we suggest that perhaps if the government lost six seats to us and lost five seats to the Liberal Party, we would have a minority government with the New Democratic Party as the government.

Hon. Mr. Davis: You know how long that will last.

Mr. Renwick: -- and with the Liberal Party in second place and the Conservative Party, where they deserve to be, in third place. That’s all we’re talking about.

Mr. Roy: Oh you are just aiming for second place though. It doesn’t make sense.

Mr. Renwick: And when we become the government of this province, I want to say to the Premier, and to the people of the Province of Ontario, that we are now ready to govern.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Are you sure you are ready?

Mr. Renwick: We are prepared to govern.

Hon. Mr. Davis: The spirit is ready but you are not able.

Mr. Renwick: When I read the comment reported by Jonathan --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please; the hon. member for Riverdale has the floor.

Mr. Renwick: Thank you.

When I read the report this morning of Jonathan Manthorpe about the Premier’s interesting remark in Ottawa, let me make a couple of points. From the day that this parliament was elected we’ve never been under any illusions that the election will be called when the people want it. Nor will it be called because we combined to vote against the government on any occasion. It will be called when you decide that you think you will get your majority back because you’ve never accepted --


Mr. Kerrio: That will never happen.

Mr. Renwick: -- and your Treasurer has never accepted that what happened in September of last year was anything but a minor misadventure, which the sooner repaired the better it will be for everybody. We don’t agree with that.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I didn’t really expect you to.

Mr. Renwick: We know that you will call the election when you want to call it and it’s that simple. But I want to make a comment about another remark.

It’s strange, when I read Jonathan Manthorpe’s report, and I thought about the debate today, I thought, my gracious, I think the Premier finally understands, I read it, perhaps wishfully thinking, that you had said you would call the election when you ceased to have the competence to govern.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I said “confidence.”

Mr. Renwick: Yes, that’s what I thought you said. I’d like to think of today’s discussion, not being about confidence and whether you enjoy it or we don’t like it, but about competence. You no longer have the competence to govern. I say to you that this party --

Hon. Mr. Davis: I used the word “confidence.”

Mr. Martel: He couldn’t run a peanut stand.

Mr. Renwick: -- and this caucus under the leadership of the Leader of the Opposition, is fit, ready, willing and able to govern and we will go to the hustings on any given occasion for the purpose of forming the next government.

Mr. Reid: It has really gone to their heads. Talk about delusions of grandeur.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Now, take a look behind you, Jim, and get a shock. Look around behind you and get a shock. Imagine those guys over there? Unbelievable I

Mr. Martel: Nonsense, look who you’re living with.

Mr. Roy: You are not saying the same thing as your leader.

Mr. Lewis: No, that’s unfair. On a point of privilege, we’ll take first place if it’s forced on us.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I have not been unconfident in the last five minutes.

Interjections by hon. members.

Mr. Roy: You just want to consolidate second place.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please, the hon. member for Riverdale.

Mr. Renwick: I like this kind of debate because it takes us a shorter and shorter time to convince people that we are ready, willing and able to govern.

Mr. Reid: Nobody can look at that caucus over there.

Mr. Renwick: Let me tell you why we’re ready, willing and able to govern. First of all, we have a party which is broadly based across the Province of Ontario in a way that a democratic socialist party has never been based. It is strong, powerful and confident.

Mr. Reid: With 28 per cent of the vote?

Mr. Renwick: It also provides, which neither the Conservative Party dares to do, nor the Liberal Party ever gets around to doing, a basis on which, in convention of this party, we decide what the policies of the parties will be and the way in which this particular party would govern the province.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: You want to nationalize the world.

Mr. Reid: Baloney.

Mr. S. Smith: One for non-returnables and one against non-returnables. Is that your policy?

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Jim, you are smiling at your own remarks.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please, all the members will participate in this debate later.

Mr. Renwick: It’s only because of the interjections that I’m going to take another 50 seconds on it, Mr. Speaker. You see, Mr. Speaker, we knew what the Premier’s response to last night would be. So we didn’t have to give any consideration as to what our response would be had he got up this morning and said, “In the sense of the parliamentary tradition, this government will certainly take under consideration the results of that vote last night.”

Hon. Mr. Davis: I said that last night.

Mr. Renwick: We never thought for a single moment that we’d have to face that, because you, as the Premier of the province, have an incapacity which is beyond belief to understand how the parliamentary process works in a minority government situation. You have no capacity for it. The true court decisions which you’re faced with, one already in existence and one to come, is total evidence in major programmes of this government that whatever their programmes may be, good or bad, they haven’t got the competence and the intelligence and the ability to carry them out. We’ll take your place next time around whenever you choose to call the election. You will call it and we’ll be the victors.

Mrs. Campbell: Mr. Speaker, in rising today I have to tell you that this is one of the most difficult moments in my life. Even as late as last night, going over the record of the government, and the people who have been here who can’t find any resolution to their urgent problems because of the lack of concern of the government has made me believe that there is really no way out for this government.

Mr. Martel: But you are going to vote for them.

Mrs. Campbell: One of the difficulties I am faced with, however, is the very fact of the mess this government has the province in; the fact that at this point in time we are awaiting two decisions from two courts which may create tremendous confusion and chaos in this province.

To me, and I hope the Premier will understand, a sign of maturity in this is to give consideration to the fact that this House should not, in my view, be prorogued at a time when those decisions may well be at hand.

There must be a machinery here of the Legislature, and not the executive arm, to try and deal, in an interregnum period, with that sort of chaos. I would like to read a few words from the Hansard of Dec. 18, 1975, and I quote:

“I want to say, I think that the people of Ontario are being better served now by this Legislature than they have been in modern history and I think there is a lot yet to be done.”

Hon. Mr. Davis: Sounds good!

Mr. Grossman: Who said that?

An hon. member: Who said that?

Mrs. Campbell: And following that:

“This isn’t the time for petty political games. This isn’t the time for one-upmanship.”

And this, of course, was from the speech of the House leader for the NDP.

Mr. Speaker, I trust that this Legislature at least, if no one outside it, will recognize an inconsistency and a flip-flop on the very matter of the AIB itself.

Mr. Deans: What has that got to do with this resolution?

Mrs. Campbell: We just listened to a very revered speaker in this House, the highly respected speaker, advise us that they have been consistent throughout.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I would leave too, Jim, if I were you.

Mrs. Campbell: I am supposed to be watching the time -- two minutes.

I would like to really close on a note that, I think, makes very significant the kind of arrogance of this government in its treatment of people--and I am very sorry that the government House leader is not in the House to hear my remarks -- because I would like him to know that his contemptuous and contemptible treatment of one of the most honourable members in this House, namely the member for Wellington South (Mr. Worton). I don’t think there is a member in the House that wouldn’t agree that he was one of the most honourable persons in this House, and yet the House leader of the government party, having called him into a meeting, left him to cool his heels while he sat in conference with the House leader of the opposition party. And then you talk about trying to make minority government work!

Hon. Mr. Davis: That is silly.

Mrs. Campbell: That is a fact. It’s time you learned that you have --

Mr. Martel: That’s a real issue.

Mrs. Campbell: -- to work at making minority government work.

Mr. Kennedy: Our House leader would do no such thing.

Mrs. Campbell: You don’t know that.

But let us see what happens when these decisions reach us. That is the time when we have to be here to help you out of the chaos and the chaotic conditions you have brought upon this province.

Mr. Laughren: Mr. Speaker, it does not require much of a decision for a member from northern Ontario to stand in his or her place and express a lack of confidence in the Conservative government of Ontario. There is ample reason for the disenchantment of the northern members and the people they represent, but probably the number one reason for the disenchantment with this government is its failure to deal with the inequities between northern Ontario and southern Ontario.

We know, for example, that this government has done absolutely nothing to create lobs in northern Ontario. We know, as a matter of fact, that the Minister of Natural Resources exacerbated the problem on Dec. 28, 1975, when he granted to Falconbridge Nickel Mines a further extension on processing in Norway and allowed offshore expenses to be declared for tax purposes in the Province of Ontario. Instead of creating jobs he’s shipping them out -- and he continues to ship them out.

They have made no attempt, as we would do, to develop Crown corporations for the processing of our resources, which would not only provide jobs but would stabilize the economies of the northern communities, provide a new and broader tax base and create new wealth. That is what we would do for northern Ontario, and that’s why we and the people of northern Ontario have no confidence in this government.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: You don’t do it elsewhere. Ask British Columbia.

Mr. Laughren: The problems of housing in northern Ontario are immense in terms of both quality and quantity of housing. Mr. Speaker, I could take you to communities in northern Ontario that are literally shack towns -- towns of 400, 500 and 600 people that have no sewers, no water, no hydro, no telephone service, no health care, poor roads. This government has done not a jot for those towns. They haven’t even had the courtesy of admitting that the people in northern Ontario have a right to a better kind of life than that. They’ve made no commitment whatsoever to improving conditions in the small unorganized communities in northern Ontario.

As a matter of fact, the ultimate in political deception is the member for Algoma-Manitoulin (Mr. Lane) flitting across northern Ontario, saying what we need is a Ministry of Northern Ontario. I have never heard such deception --

Mr. Davison: You know that; you know that.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: What do you know?

Mr. Laughren: The people in northern Ontario don’t want more bureaucracy. The people in northern Ontario don’t want delays and committees --

Mr. Warner: They need a government.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Laughren: The people in northern Ontario want a commitment from the government of this province to equalize conditions between northern Ontario and southern Ontario, and your act is an act of political deception.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Are you still in the Waffle group?

Mr. Laughren: When I heard the front-row bully for the Tories, the Treasurer, castigating the federal Liberals for their attitude towards regional disparities, I couldn’t help but think about his own inaction on the price of gasoline between northern and southern Ontario. According to the Isbister report, using Kapuskasing as an example, there is a 13.4-cent-per-gallon difference. The Treasurer has done absolutely nothing to equalize the cost of gasoline and home heating fuel across the Province of Ontario. How does he justify that?

Mr. Lewis: Exclusive of transportation.

Mr. Wildman: Four per cent over and above transportation costs.

Mr. Laughren: The people of northern Ontario have no confidence in a government that continues to give them the back of the hand, and we will never have confidence in this government.

Mr. Martel: They have only four seats left in northern Ontario.


Mr. Laughren: I’d also like to say a brief word about the attitude of this government towards our native people, ranging from the negotiations between the government and the Reed Paper company to their attitude towards the situation at the Grassy Narrows and Whitedog reserves. They have failed to recognize the rights of their Indian people. They have trespassed on their heritage. For that, we can never forgive this government. And I believe that the people in Ontario will not forgive them for what they’ve done to the native peoples.

Finally, not only have we lost confidence in this government, I believe that the people of Ontario, including the people of northern Ontario, have lost confidence in the government; but even more important than that, I believe this government has lost confidence in itself.


Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I’m pleased to enter the debate at this point. Clearly, we are talking about minority government. We’re talking about the kinds of things that we just don’t have to think about in majority situations. These are the sorts of things that people in this House, even those with vastly more experience than yours truly -- I am, after all, relatively new in politics -- but even those with vastly greater experience have really had no experience with this type of situation.

It’s unusual. I think the people of Ontario, like ourselves, will be a little while adjusting to what is going on in minority government; to learning the ins and out of the kinds of decisions that have to be made and the kinds of accommodations that have to be made to permit minority government to work in the public interest.

There are mistakes made. There are mistakes made by the government. They’re mistakes made, I suggest, by both opposition parties -- and certainly by myself. But I think that, by and large, minority government can be made to work. I agree with the leader of my party, and with the Premier, and with the hon. Leader of the Opposition in the statements they made right after the election --

Hon. Mr. Davis: Whose leader do you agree with?

Mr. S. Smith: The leader at the time they spoke.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh, the leader at that time.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please.


Mr. Acting Speaker: Order.

Mr. S. Smith: They said minority government could be made to work, and they pledged themselves to making minority government work in the interests of the people of Ontario.

I think, interestingly enough, if you look back at the situation, for the first few months minority government was working. And then the Christmas break intervened; and I’m not sure whether there was too much Christmas cheer or whatever, but it was an interesting thing that before Christmas --


Mr. S. Smith: -- we were consulted on many bills. Before a bill was introduced and dealt with, we were given some indication about it, and our opinion was frequently sought. On a number of occasions the Minister of Housing, among others, consulted with us.

An hon. member: But not anymore.

Mr. S. Smith: But somehow it all changed; and it really changed, I guess, in the month of December. First of all --

Mr. Eaton: In January you became leader.

Mr. S. Smith: -- there was this whole question of whether or not the Legislature should be given any chance to debate the Anti-Inflation Board and the opting in that the Ontario government decided to do by Lieutenant Governor in Council. And a decision was made, and basically it was: “To heck with them; don’t bring it in front of the Legislature. Don’t let them debate it. We know what’s good for the country.”

Hon. Mr. Davis: That’s not what we are talking about.

Mr. S. Smith: The cabinet made up its own mind and refused to permit that subject to be brought here for a decision.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Nonsense.

Mr. S. Smith: That was a back-room decision. Now the next thing that went wrong --

Hon. Mr. Davis: Someone must fight inflation in Ontario.

Mr. S. Smith: -- we had, as you recall, Mr. Speaker --

An hon. member: Open your eyes: Listen to him.

Mr. S. Smith: We had an interesting emergency debate provoked by our colourful colleague, the member for Grey-Bruce (Mr. Sargent), on the question of whether the ministry was intending to close down a bunch of hospitals throughout Ontario. And if one looks at the debate, it’s really quite sad, quite pathetic, to recognize that no sooner did this House rise for the Christmas recess --

Mr. Lewis: That’s right.

Mr. S. Smith: -- than another back-room decision was made. These hospitals throughout this province were given notice by one means of communication or another -- and in some instances people heard the news on their car radios -- that these hospitals were to close down.

Mr. Deans: Such a nasty bunch.

Mr. S. Smith: Again, this was done without the Legislature being taken into the confidence of the government. And we’ve found that since then the government has been ruling to a great extent by Management Board orders, even while the House is sitting. This government has a back-room mentality which, frankly, I’m not very happy about.

Mr. Peterson: Come out of the closet, Darcy.

Mr. S. Smith: As a member of this Legislature and the leader of a party in opposition, it would be much easier for me if I could stand and tell the people of Ontario that on each issue I stand four-square against the government and with the people, who I think are being misused by this government, and that it’s time to simply vote the government down -- no matter what the issue is and no matter the circumstances.

And believe me, I could be posturing. It might not be quite as colourful as that of the Leader of the Opposition, but nonetheless would be quite impressive.

Mr. Martel: Now’s your chance.

Mr. S. Smith: It’s a lot easier to do that, I suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, than it is to try to explain to people --

Mr. Warner: You have to have a policy.

Mr. S. Smith: -- that you disagree with the government and yet you’re willing in the public interest to permit them to carry on the government for some time longer until a matter of fundamental principle is brought before us.


Mr. S. Smith: In so doing, there are times when it appears we have to take contradictory positions. In some instances, these have been explained well and in others they have not been explained well. The fact is that we did not want the farm bill we discussed yesterday to pass; we prevented it from passing.

Mr. Deans: You prevented it?

Mr. S. Smith: Let those who criticize us now for turning around and voting to allow the government to continue governing, let them tell us do they want an election on July 21 on the farm income bill? If they do, then they are being quite consistent in criticizing us. But let anyone other than these folks who appear to want an election any time for any reason, let anybody else who criticizes us say to us do they want such an election or not?


Mr. S. Smith: If they quote from the Ontario Federation of Agriculture itself, they will realize farmers don’t want an election now and don’t want an election on this issue. That’s the question. That’s all we are here to discuss. There is nobody that is going to tell me that I have personal confidence in any one of these ministers, least at all the Treasurer of Ontario.

Hon. Mr. Davis: You just wish you had somebody as competent over there. Yon are envious. You know it’s true.

Mr. Peterson: Just because the Treasurer can yell doesn’t make him competent.

Mr. S. Smith: Let me remind you, Mr. Speaker, that the Premier came before the House on March 11, 1976, and said at that time:

“The Progressive Conservative government of Ontario shall continue to govern until it is defeated by the opposition in this Legislature. It is as simple as that. [He went on further] The people shall continue to be served and we are not going to move precipitously with respect to a campaign until there is a combined no-confidence vote.”

Yet we find in today’s Globe and Mail that he is making threats.

Mr. Davis said:

“My friends, we will govern as long as we can do so effectively. When we can’t we will seek a new mandate and explain why; of that you have my pledge.”

We see that he is not going to wait to be defeated.


Mr. S. Smith: We know the contempt that the Premier has for the Legislature. His promise here means very little.


Mr. S. Smith: Only the Premier of this province could have sat here for two hours the other night allowing the bells to ring and then not face the Legislature but hold a press conference at 10:30 p.m. That is a very odd thing to have done.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: By God, he doesn’t play tennis, I’ll tell you in the middle of a debate.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Better than playing tennis in Windsor.

Mr. Roy: He would have been forgiven if he had been playing tennis instead of smoking a cigar.

Mr. Ruston: It’s better for your health.

Mr. S. Smith: We in the Liberal Party have very little confidence on a personal basis in any one in that government. We are opposed to everything they have been doing in the realm of closing hospitals and to the way they have handled social services in this province.

Hon. Mr. Davis: But you changed your mind; don’t forget what happened that Tuesday.

Mr. S. Smith: We are opposed to the way they have reneged on the Edmonton commitment for the municipalities. We are against the farm income bill. We made it clear, however, to the public of Ontario that though we wanted the farm income bill defeated, we did not want to precipitate an election on that particular bill on July 21. Consequently, we have voted to defeat an iniquitous farm income bill, which was a sham and a travesty of what it should have been and we are now going to vote to permit this government to continue --

Hon. W. Newman: You don’t even understand the bill.

Mr. S. Smith: -- and will not force an election on the people of Ontario in the middle of July on the issue of farm income.

I want the people of Toronto in particular to remember that their representatives from the NDP here have for their purposes of political posturing been willing to put them to a vote on July 21 of this year on the farm income bill. We, the Liberal Party, are not willing to do that. Therefore we have no personal confidence in them but we will vote a ritualistic vote of confidence, pure ritual, to permit them to continue governing just as this party voted in a ritualistic way to allow them to vote in December, 1975.

Mr. Deans: You are unbelievable.

Mr. Acting Speaker: The hon. member for Scarborough West.

Mr. Lewis: Mr. Speaker, this confidence vote in the wake of last night’s deliberations in this chamber is inevitable. It was necessary in terms of the public perception of minority government, necessary in terms of the psychological realities of this Legislature, that the government bring in a confidence motion in an effort to win the majority support of the House. We understand that. We appreciate that that it what is occurring and I appreciate the way in which the House leader framed that particular position.

As a matter of fact, the House leader went even further. He said that the motion of confidence, if I read him right, should be based on “our legislative record.” He was explicit, Mr. Speaker, we agree. We, in the New Democratic Party, agree with the House leader. The confidence motion should be based on your legislative record. The Liberals do not agree.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Ours?

Mr. Lewis: Yours, yes, the government’s legislative record. The Liberals do not agree. The Liberals have, since their leadership convention, chosen the electoral prospects as the sole criterion upon which this Legislature should be judged and within which performance is measured.

Mr. S. Smith: What did you do in December, 1975?

Mr. Lewis: That is the sole criterion.


Mr. Lewis: Now, it may be, Mr. Speaker --


Mr. Lewis: It may be, Mr. Speaker --


Mr. Lewis: It may be, Mr. Speaker, that whether or not you want an election can be considered as one of the factors which are judged in a matter of responding to the House on confidence or no confidence. But that it should be the sole basis on how you respond in this House is utterly and frankly preposterous.

Mr. S. Smith: The people understand. They don’t want an election.

Mr. Lewis: What the Liberal Party has therefore done alone in its splendour is subscribe to the law of relativity -- relatively this, relatively that, relatively anything, but unequivocally nothing.

Mr. Kerrio: Give your own position.

Mr. Roy: What did you do in December?

Mr. Lewis: When the leader of the Liberal party says that he wants to make minority government work, may I offer him this observation. Clarity makes minority government work, Mr. Speaker. And I say respectfully but forcefully, inconsistency is the hobgoblin of minority government.

Mr. Breithaupt: Also the hobgoblin of small minds.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Lewis: I think we understand -- Mr. Speaker -- the evolution of minority government in this Legislature. If I may say to the Premier opposite, there was a specific turning point for us in the Legislature. As a matter of fact I agree in this with the leader of the Liberal party. I can almost put it to you in time. In the first months after the Sept. 18 outcome, minority government worked. We focused on rent control. We focused on Sunday closings. We focused on a number of other useful matters.

The turning point for this party probably can be pinpointed on Friday, Dec. 19, 1975, when there issued from the government a series of telegrams closing down the Goderich Psychiatric Hospital, the Northeastern Psychiatric Hospital and four public health laboratories across the Province of Ontario. Mr. Speaker, since then, in all the months that have passed, we have disagreed fundamentally with the government on issue after issue, all of them of substance. It would be utter hypocrisy for us now, having disagreed with you so often in the last several months, to pretend to vote confidence in you this afternoon. That we cannot possibly do.

Let me simply say this, because it’s important that it be enumerated. We disagreed profoundly with the government on the closing of community hospitals and said so. We disagreed profoundly with the government on the closing of a psychiatric hospital and said so. We note with some concern that the government is now catapulted into two major court cases, one of which emanates from a divisional court decision which says that the government behaved illegally. We have been fundamentally opposed to your behaviour on that score.


We disagreed with the government’s whole restraint programme, and the way it is applied to services to people, and we’ve said so. We disagreed on its refusal to introduce a bill to protect agricultural land in this province, and we’ve said so. We disagreed with the government’s capitulation to the oil companies in the recent acceptance of the price increase and we’ve said so. We all agreed with the way in which the government levied constraints upon the municipalities, and we’ve said so. We indicated at the time of the budget that the increase in OHIP premiums was absolutely unacceptable and increased the inequity in the tax system, and we said so.

Cumulatively, Mr. Speaker, we have disagreed profoundly and philosophically with this government on every major social and economic area. When I hear the leader of the Liberal Party say 15 minutes ago that someday there will arise a matter of fundamental “principle” to which they may be opposed, let me say, Mr. Speaker, everything I’ve raised is a matter of fundamental principle to which we are opposed now.

Mr. Reid: Your halo is shining today.

Mr. Lewis: I simply want to say to the Premier, Mr. Speaker, that there’s no malice in any of it, there’s no personal antagonism in any of it.

Mr. S. Smith: Two sides of the same coin.

Mr. Lewis: There are some ministers whom we fancy more than others or less than others, but I just want to put to the Premier that we have a profound and unbridgeable difference of opinion, and that’s simply what we’re expressing. As a matter of fact, I’ve said it right from the outset; that’s what is the joy about this Legislature, that there is a profound, philosophic divide and one day it’s going to be resolved.

So it is said by Tories had it is said by Liberals, the New Democratic Party’s position can lead to an election. “The New Democratic Party wants an election.” Yes, so be it. That’s politics. That’s the way minority government works. We’ll take our chances with the electorate. We understand that if an election comes you may take strips off us.

Mr. Reid: You’d better look around you there, chum.

Mr. Lewis: We understand that when an election comes your Minister of Agriculture and Food may raise socialist bogies. It may be that the respected member of this House for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon) is right in some of his questions about what will occur in the next election. We understand that. Nobody has any illusions about prophesying a precise outcome.

But we know that we’re opposed to the government on a number of basic issues and therefore we’re prepared to hazard the election whether it’s July 21, July 28, or any other time. And you know what basically makes us feel that way, Mr. Speaker? Because largely of what my colleagues have said this afternoon. We don’t think the government commands the trust of Ontario any more. We don’t think the government any longer demonstrates that mastery of competence it once demonstrated.

Mr. Reid: It is amazing what 28 per cent can do for you, isn’t it?

Mr. Lewis: And we say to the Premier that we believe that the sooner the voters have an opportunity to express their dissatisfaction, as I think they will do, in the present government of Ontario, the sooner that happens the better for the people of Ontario, and that’s why our opposition to the government’s confidence motion this afternoon.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I’m under the understanding that the very enthusiastic support by my colleagues does not erode the time on the clock. I mean, we don’t do that in this House, of course --

Mr. Breithaupt: Add five seconds.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Five seconds? Well, it was more meaningful than that which I heard across the House.

Mr. Cunningham: To you.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I rise this afternoon, Mr. Speaker, neither to poke fun at the opposition parties nor to be provocative.

An hon. member: You never are.

Mr. S. Smith: You will manage somehow, and in conclusion --

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, members of this House know that being provocative is simply not my style, especially when this House nears a crucial vote as it is at this moment.

Mr. Roy: You are much too dull, yes.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I want only, Mr. Speaker, to take a few moments of the House’s time to reflect upon the circumstances we are in, the situation we could find ourselves in and the serious responsibilities faced by this House. There are some partisan things I could say, but I will show some restraint, the same restraint that was shown by my colleague the House leader and my colleague the Treasurer of the Province of Ontario. Now, while both of these gentlemen have far different styles of restraint, both of them do, sometimes most discernible by the volume and audibility of their remarks --

Mr. S. Smith: The House Leader restrains his words, Darcy restrains his thoughts.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- their restraint was admirable in the face of clear provocation by the members opposite, including the member for Riverdale and the member for Hamilton West as it related to the provincial Treasurer. I do have to interject this.

Mr. Lewis: He needs a defender.

Hon. Mr. Davis: He really doesn’t need a defender. I look at your caucus. I have great respect for all of them as individuals. I only

say to the member for Hamilton West, you should be so fortunate to have a man of the ability of the Treasurer of the Province of Ontario. You should be so fortunate.


Mr. S. Smith: He said he wasn’t.

Mr. Roy: I think of him every time I look at the deficit.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I’ve never thought of being provocative when I make a clear statement of fact. That to me cannot be provocative. Certainly not provocative.

Mr. R. S. Smith: It depends whether it is true or not.

Hon. Mr. Davis: And you know, we’re not really that easily provoked on this side of the House as you are opposite.

Mr. Reid: It is hard to wake you up.

Hon. Mr. Davis: But of course, really most days, you have a lot more to be provoked about.

Mr. Wildman: That’s true.

Mr. R. S. Smith: That’s true. We have to look at you.

Hon. Mr. Davis: You know, the leader of the Liberal Party really is deserving of some positive concern by all members of the House and I’m not being sarcastic. I say that sincerely.

Mr. S. Smith: Oh no, of course not, I appreciate that, Bill.

Hon. Mr. Davis: It is not easy to be Liberal these days in Ontario, or for that matter in the country as a whole.


Hon. Mr. Davis: And I want to cite you my authority for that.

Mr. S. Smith: Or to be a Conservative in Hamilton West.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Be careful about Hamilton West.

Mr. Roy: Yes, be careful. It’s in good shape.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I don’t come to that conclusion on my own. I refer to Mr. Mackasey, I think one of the more sincere prophets of Liberal philosophy.

Mr. Breithaupt: When you agree with him.

Hon. Mr. Davis: He is indeed worried about the future of Liberalism, not only in this province but throughout the free world. That’s what he has said.

Mr. Drea: And even in Hamilton West.

Mr. S. Smith: The forces of reaction are at work and we are hearing them now.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Now, I’m not sure whether the difficulties throughout the free world are the cause or the result of the difficulties here in Ontario. I will not pronounce on that fact I will leave that up to the public to assess. I say only, Mr. Speaker, that whatever our differences, and there are many, the fact that the leader of the Liberal Party is wrestling with a decision is surely an effort worthy of note. It seems not unlike the way in which the federal Liberal leader wrestled with inflation not too many years ago.

Mr. Deans: Right to the ground.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Both those leaders, Mr. Speaker, know that wrestling can be a full-time job --

Mr. Martel: So is tennis.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- with really tough decisions in any respect. But wrestling does not a decision make.

Mr. S. Smith: Tennis is much harder.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Of course, while the Liberal leader wrestles, the Leader of the Opposition nestles. He nestles, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Lewis: Nestles?

Mr. S. Smith: No advertising in this House, Mr. Speaker.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Nestles, n-e-s-t-l-e-s. He nestles comfortably into the role of the full-time critic of everyone and everybody. But he is not a critic without expertise. I acknowledge that. The government has experts, Mr. Speaker. The NDP has its leader. All matters are known to him or delivered unto him through an intellectual process the rest of us mere mortals can only marvel at. That’s all we do. We sit here and marvel at that happening.


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I say to him that being the Leader of the Opposition has its rewards. It does, but it also has its drawbacks, and believe it or not, it has its responsibilities. The Leader of the Opposition is only too happy to have the rewards, intellectually, while he gleefully passes all of the responsibilities on to his colleague, the leader of the third party.

The Leader of the Opposition may not know this, but the people have noticed the one-dimensional opposition, the continuing harping and the self-righteousness. The Leader of the Opposition may not like to hear this, but one does not win elections by being holier than thou but by being more competent than the opposing forces. You cannot adopt the attitude of self-righteousness and expect to win.

Mr. Cassidy: It is getting easier and easier.

Mr. Speaker: Order. Order.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I will confess this to the House --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Order.

Hon. Mr. Davis: This government does not claim any monopoly on understanding the interests of this province’s farming community. We don’t presume to do that. We believe that all parties in this House have a role in determining how this interest can be served, as certainly would have been the case --

Mr. Lewis: That’s not what you said yesterday. You dismissed us this morning.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- had a committee of the House met to consider the Farm Income Stabilization Act, a committee which would have had a majority from the opposition parties.

But this House has decided differently as is it’s right. I say very clearly to all members of the Legislature, that if it is the will of this House that we should be plunged into an election, and I have said in the past and the member for Riverdale now gives some different construction to this, that it will be at my decision when the election comes. I doubt that very much. I doubt that very much. I admire his capacity-

Mr. Renwick: I know it.

Mr. MacDonald: You know it.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- a person who wanted to be a Tory candidate; a person who was a Liberal candidate, who has found solace with the New Democratic Party protecting his virginity throughout the whole thing.

Mr. Renwick: On a point of privilege.

Hon. Mr. Davis: But Mr. Speaker --

Mr. Renwick: On a point of privilege.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Point of privilege.

Mr. Renwick: I recognize the wide-ranging interest of mine in politics but I have never been a Tory candidate, nor did I want to be.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I never said you were. You are really more discriminating than you realize.

Mr. Speaker, if on the decision of this House we are plunged into an election then we will be prepared to go to the farming community, not to just one group of farmers but to all of the farmers of Ontario, on what we tried to do for them and what you people prevented. That’s what we’ll say to the people of this province.

Mr. S. Smith: You must be his mother. That is the only thing I can figure out.

Hon. Mr. Davis: You know, Mr. Speaker, I was particularly proud of the Minister of Agriculture and Food last night. He fought for that legislation that this government believed to be a meaningful step toward helping the farmers of Ontario enjoy more security.

Mr. Reid: Who killed the original bill in the cabinet?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I’m still learning about minority governments, I confess. I have to say, I have thoroughly enjoyed it. Perhaps it is unfair but I have, I have thoroughly enjoyed it. And depending on what happens in five or 10 minutes, I may continue to enjoy it for a while longer.

Mr. Lewis: We are still enjoying it. It won’t go on too long.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Everyone has had the opportunity to debate.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Thank you very much.

Mr. Reid: Are you taking part in the debate, Mr. Speaker?

Mr. Martel: You know what’s going to happen.

Mr. Speaker: No. All three parties had the opportunity to debate. I think it’s time that we lowered the interjection level and heard the final speaker.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I certainly appreciate the reduction in the number of interjections although I must confess to you, it is really what makes it a little bit of fun. However, I would not in any way question the advice you give. In fact, in some ways, without the interjections, it becomes rather dull.

Mr. Sargent: Especially when you are speaking.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Did I hear something from the member for Grey-Bruce?

Mr. Roy: It was good.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I didn’t really hear it but if it’s anything like his other remarks it probably has the same degree of relevance. I will read it and pay that degree of attention to it. I learned before I even entered politics that you don’t expect to win all the time.

Mr. Peterson: At the age of 2½.

Hon. Mr. Davis: We learned that last September, as a matter of fact.

Mr. Lewis: We learned it through decades.

Hon. Mr. Davis: And we learned it last night. The Minister of Agriculture and Food exemplified the very best of a Progressive Conservative agricultural tradition by the way in which he put the case and brought it in in the language the farmers of this province will understand and was --

Mr. Cassidy: That is the problem.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- in fact, in their best interests.

Mr. Kerrio: Fertilizer.

Mr. Reid: That wasn’t the original programme that he took to cabinet.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I happen to lead a party, unlike the Leader of the Opposition, that has support in the country, in the rural areas and in the cities. I lead a government that is working and has worked with all sectors of our society and does so with fairness and with commitment. I lead a government that has shown restraint, a word that is foreign to the Leader of the Opposition and is often misunderstood by our friends in the Liberal Party. I lead a government that is committed -- I heard the member for St. George laugh.

Mrs. Campbell: We called for restraints.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am delighted to hear her laugh from time to time because she doesn’t do it very often. Life can be fun and she should enjoy it. I won’t interject, except I will say to the member for St. George --

Mr. Cunningham: She sure laughed when she beat McMurtry.


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- that her accusations about the House leader of this government were totally unfair and totally unfounded.

Mrs. Campbell: No, they weren’t.

Hon. Mr. Davis: There isn’t a man in this House has shown greater concern --

Mrs. Campbell: You weren’t there.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- or sense of fairness in the conduct of the activities of this House than has the very distinguished leader of the government House side. I would say to the member for St. George to check with her own House leader as to how that circumstance took place.

Mr. Roy: You should smile when you say that.

Hon. Mr. Welch: And then maybe she would be a little more ladylike next time.

Mr. Reid: She couldn’t be more ladylike than you are.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. S. Smith: The Minister of Labour (B. Stephenson) will give her a vacuum cleaner in a moment.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I lead a government -- and this will come as a surprise to some members because it doesn’t always appear -- that is committed to working with the federal government in a fashion that will more greatly rationalize services, avoid duplication and save taxes where possible, government that is committed to working with the federal government to bring home the constitution in a fair and equitable fashion to all Canadians.

This government has followed a very carefully chartered course --

Mr. Reid: Back to the text.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- of not trying to solve all of the problems of the world when resources are scarce --

Mr. Peterson: Just creating them.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- and the national economy uncertain. It is a course that has resulted in us not doing as much as everyone wants -- I confess that -- in terms of new spending and new programmes, but it is a course that is responsible for this province now at this time. It’s responsible to its taxpayers, responsible to its future and responsible to its realities.

Both of my friends opposite may believe that an election now would be fought on this government’s record. They may believe that. I have news for them.

Mr. S. Smith: You never fight on your record. You fight on Trudeau’s.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Both of the parties opposite have a record to defend as well, the records of their governments throughout Canada. The great accomplishments in British Columbia are a tremendous opportunity --

Mr. S. Smith: And Peter Lougheed.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- for people to assess. And they’re on record in this Legislature.


Hon. Mr. Davis: You know, the record shows --


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Conway: Tell us about R. B. Bennett, Bill.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Well I am very glad the hon. member knows about R. B. Bennett. Actually if you would spend more time learning about him he might not have made the mistake he did some few months ago.


Mr. Breithaupt: His seatbelt broke again, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Reid: The member for St. Catharines wants to speak.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The time has just about expired, let’s have a little more order in the chamber.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh, I had better hurry


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.


Mr. Speaker: Order.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Let’s get on with the debate. We have to finish up very shortly. Thank you.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I think the record shows some very interesting approaches and votes even by the Leader of the Opposition.

Mr. Sargent: Time.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Votes which live to haunt him and his colleagues and I think he will recall them very well.

Mr. Lewis: Which one?

Hon. Mr. Davis: You know the Leader of the Opposition, who wants to wear sheep’s clothing in the next campaign, may be even in pinstripe sheep’s clothing when campaigning among the small businessmen who will, we are told, be fighting on a few selected issues.

Mr. Foulds: Excellent, excellent!

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, we will fight on a few cold, hard facts. Facts about the bureaucracy of the NDP variety, facts about production controls on the farmer.

Mr. Martel: That’s excellent, that’s excellent.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Facts about local rights, facts about buying out our resource companies and putting the government into every type of enterprise throughout this province.


Hon. Mr. Davis: These are some facts. These are some of the facts.


Mr. Martel: Come up to northern Ontario and fight with that.

Hon. Mr. Davis: And while I have not in the past agreed with the hon. member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon) on too many occasions, I agree with him here today. It’s not easy for me to do. The NDP --

Mr. Peterson: Nothing is easy for you.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- that faces us opposite, Mr. Speaker, is the last NDP official opposition for some time in this province.


Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I sense they covet --

Mr. S. Smith: When the Premier starts to ad lib, you are in trouble.


Hon. Mr. Davis: -- the comfortable days of the third party status and they are clearly on their way back to where they feel most comfortable and most at home. That’s where you are going.


Hon. Mr. Davis: And, Mr. Speaker, I say naught of the leader personally, everyone knows how much respect I have for him. It’s his friends I don’t trust.


Hon. Mr. Davis: No, Mr. Speaker, it is their irresponsibility in this House, their self-righteousness, their holier-than-thouism -- I don’t know whether that’s a good grammatical term or not --


Hon. Mr. Davis: -- their opportunism --

Mr. Lewis: Ask Hughie Segal -- he wrote it, didn’t he?

Hon. Mr. Davis: No, he didn’t. The thouism is mine. That is why I am not sure!


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, these are the ultimates of their ultimate defeat and return to the third party status.


Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I said yesterday, while speaking in Ottawa Centre, that great riding that is going to return to the Tory fold at some time in the future --


Hon. Mr. Davis: Yes it is.


Hon. Mr. Davis: I wasn’t speaking to a partisan group. It was the Ottawa Board of Trade. I don’t know that you have been there yet but I’m sure they would be delighted to have you.

Mr. Lewis: In the fall.

Hon. Mr. Davis: And I tell you this, you’ll go there, they will be delighted and you won’t get a single vote.


Hon. Mr. Davis: I said there yesterday, Mr. Speaker, that we seek to provide stability for economic growth, for increasing the standard of living and for the bettering of the lifestyles of millions of Ontarians.

Mr. Sargent: Like closing hospitals.

Mrs. Campbell: Public health nurses.

Hon. Mr. Davis: We have endeavoured, Mr. Speaker, to offer new perspectives in social and health spending, perspectives that we believe are the perspectives of those who want to preserve the best in these systems for the future.

Mr. Reid: Like closing hospitals.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Davis: While it is my duty as government leader to now ask all members of this Legislature to --


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. You are wasting time.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- join in supporting this motion and you still have time to do so.

Mr. Cassidy: Resign, resign.


Hon. Mr. Davis: I say as well that we are prepared, should that not be the will of this Legislature, to go to the people on our record and on the record of my two colleagues opposite.

Mr. Bain: A shoddy record!

Mrs. Campbell: You have got to be kidding.

Hon. Mr. Davis: This government, Mr. Speaker, has served with capacity and resolve. We have made some tough choices and we have taken the lumps along with those choices and I recognize it. But we’re proud of our record. We are proud of our plans for the future. We are prepared to them before the people, and we are prepared to continue fighting for a better Ontario.

An hon. member: Enjoy it while it lasts.

The House divided on Hon. Mr. Davis’s) resolution which was concurred in on the following vote:





























Johnson (Wellington-Dufferin-Peel)

Johnston (St. Catharines)
















Miller (Haldimand-Norfolk)

Miller (Muskoka)


Newman (Durham York)

Newman (Windsor-Walkerville)






Reed (Halton-Burlington)

Reid (Rainy River)









Smith (Nipissing)

Smith (Hamilton West)













Yakabuski -- 78.







Davidson (Cambridge)

Davison (Hamilton Centre)


Di Santo

























Ziemba -- 35.

Clerk of the House: Mr. Speaker, the ayes are 78, the nays 35.

Mr. Speaker: I declare the resolution concurred in.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, just before we rise for the supper break, perhaps it would be fair to give some indication as to our programme for this evening. In the House we will do second readings of Bill 89, Bill 106, and Bill 108 in that order --

Mr. Peterson: Are you sure?

Hon. Mr. Welch: -- and then go into the committee of the whole House --

Hon. Mr. Davis: Don’t miss that, David.

Hon. Mr. Welch: -- and do legislation in committee as time will permit. As for estimates tonight in committee; Agriculture and the Solicitor General.

An hon. member: The Liberals in easy caucus.

The House recessed at 6 p.m.