30e législature, 3e session

L088 - Thu 17 Jun 1976 / Jeu 17 jun 1976

The House met at 2 p.m.


Mr. Acting Speaker: Statements by the ministry.


Hon. Mr. Auld: Mr. Speaker, arbitration awards have been received from Prof. Kenneth P. Swan and Mr. Howard D. Brown, chairmen of the arbitration boards for the administrative services and scientific and professional services categories respectively.

The estimated cost of the administrative services award is approximately $8.5 million and that of the scientific and professional services approximately $5.3 million. The average increase is estimated at 13.7 per cent and 13.25 per cent respectively for a one-year term. The boards rejected the union’s request for a cost-of-living formula.

Since the awards must be submitted for consideration by the Anti-Inflation Board, the government is not in a position to implement the awards until we know the extent to which they will be sanctioned by the Anti-Inflation Board. The Ontario Public Service Employees Union has requested that the full terms of the awards be implemented immediately. However, as hon. members are aware, any payment in excess of the amount recommended by the AIB could be subject to an order of the administrator, which could include a rollback and appropriate fines and penalties.

Since some time may elapse before the Anti-Inflation Board can deal with these cases, we are investigating the possibility of some interim payment for the employees concerned. Such payment of course would be within the permissible increase allowed under the arithmetic guidelines and would take, with the number of people involved, probably some eight weeks to implement.


Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, further to the statement I made on May 3 relative to the textile and clothing industry, my colleagues, the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development (Mr. Irvine) and the Chairman of the Management Board of Cabinet (Mr. Auld), and I visited primary textile and related chemical operations in Millhaven, Kingston, Maitland and Long Sault on June 11 past. We are intensely concerned about the conditions in which these industries operate currently, about the recent layoffs, the temporary shutdowns, and the current failure of the federal government to implement its own textile policy to provide Canadians competitive opportunities such as those established by the United States and the European Economic Community.

Throughout what I have to say here today, sir, I emphasize the apparel industry is suffering the same problems. In other words, they are in the same boat as the textile industry. These industries are interrelated and inseparable. The health of one is inevitably reflected in the health of the other.

What we saw at first hand on Friday past was investment of some $410 million in four world-scale plants. It would cost at least $850 million to replace those plants in our province today. They are streamlined, efficient and as technologically advanced as any in the world. They epitomize the height of sophisticated engineering, machinery, control systems and research, employing highly skilled, industrious work forces.

In the units visited, the companies have a total amount of $1.6 million payable to municipalities for community property taxes, and their direct payroll exceeds some $64 million. These industries provide critical support to their communities, representing employment for more than 4,200 people, and both the union representatives and the management alike are profoundly anxious that these operations continue. I emphasize, so is the government of this province. The erosion must be arrested. Both the apparel and textile industries expect a textile policy to provide them a market with the scale to be competitive and folly efficient in their operations; the government of Ontario also expects that from its policy.

In the United States, since 70 per cent of their imports are subject to restraint through comprehensive bilateral agreements, more than 85 per cent of the total market in the United States is sewed by domestic manufacturers. The European Economic Community operates in a similar manner, with the result that 75 per cent of its markets are supplied by domestic production.

It is noteworthy that most of our textile and apparel industries achieved excellent economic performance when their facilities and personnel were operating near capacity. These industries could play a significant role in the upgrading of Canadian end-products of our oil and gas resources.

With only six per cent of its imports under restraint agreements, Canada has faced abusive and disruptive import activity, which in turn has contributed significantly to the trade imbalance of $1.2 billion last year. This has meant that our industries don’t even have the opportunity to operate efficiently. There have been failings in the implementation of the current national textile policy.

On May 3, 1976, I reported to this House on the inaction of the federal government in the face of disruptive imports in the polyester market. It is now more than one month and still no action has occurred. As I predicted at that time, further significant losses in employment have occurred in Hawkesbury and Kingston, in addition to the two previous losses already reported to this House. Other communities have been affected, such as Cambridge, Cornwall and Millhaven, where unemployment has also existed in the textile industry.

As long ago as May, 1970, the Department of Industry, Trade and Commerce promised to establish development and productivity centres for the textile and apparel industries to assist them in deriving the full benefits of new technology and new products. Six years later we are still waiting.

My ministry expects to make an important contribution to strengthening and, if necessary, modifying the national textile policy through participation in the ad hoc textile manufacturing committee established by Mr. Jamieson. We have found extremely helpful the response that interested associations and related industries have made to our sector analysis. As one interim move, Ontario recognizes that the federal government must respond more expeditiously to recommendations made by the Textile and Clothing Board to reduce the disruptive imports to which I have already referred.

Details of our recommendations from the ministry will be tabled very shortly in this House. I can advise you, Mr. Speaker, that in conceptual terms we will be pressing for comprehensive agreements on a bilateral basis with selected signatories of the international textile agreement to provide our industries with economic opportunities similar to those by the governments in the United States and the European Economic Community.

While the percentage cannot be precise at this time, as it is the subject of continuing government-industry discussions, we certainly endorse the federal Senate commerce committee recommendation that our primary producers, on an overall basis, obtain at least 65 per cent in the physical units of the domestic market. Measures to bring this about should be initiated immediately.

The government of Ontario will continue to urge the federal government of Canada to take the action necessary to return the present 46 per cent share of the domestic market which was established in 1973 back to the 1963 percentage of 65 per cent of the market that I previously mentioned.

You will appreciate, Mr. Speaker, that in that 10-year period Canadian industry has lost 19 per cent of its domestic market. With the trend underway, the 6,000 jobs that we have lost in this industry in the last two years could be reinstated, and industries may be encouraged sufficiently to provide the necessary investment to maintain their operations and develop them further in the national production.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Oral questions. The hon. member for Wentworth.


Mr. Deans: I have a question for the Minister of Natural Resources. Given the statement today in the Toronto Star, attributed to Louie Halley, that he is continuing to encourage not only the catching but also the eating of the fish from the English-Wabigoon River system, and given that there appears to be irrefutable evidence that there is a level of mercury in those fish higher than is desirable, does the minister not think that perhaps the Fish for Fun programme really isn’t working and that he should investigate whether this is more widespread than just the one tourist operator, and make some decisions with regard to whether or not we ought to ban fishing in that area altogether at this time?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Speaker, that particular question should be directed to my colleague, the Minister of Health.

Mr. Deans: Let me redirect it. I have two or three questions for the Minister of Health, if somehow he would come in today. I hope he is well. In any event, I’ll ask him if he comes in.


Mr. Deans: Let me ask the Minister of Labour: Given that the Ministry of Labour has the responsibility for at least overseeing the bargaining-in-good-faith portions of the Labour Relations Act, does she not think it would be useful if she and the Minister of Health were together to meet with both parties in the hospital dispute -- not only in the hospital dispute but also both parties in the public health nurses’ dispute -- and to set out clearly what kind of obligation the Ministry of Health will have with regard to providing the necessary funding in order that bargaining in good faith can take place and in order that a satisfactory resolution of both of the disputes can be found immediately?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, while I doubt that the monetary issue is the only factor involved in either of these situations, I might tell the hon. member for Wentworth that the Minister of Health and I both met with the nurses yesterday and will both be meeting with the representatives of the Association of the Boards of Health today.

The negotiations between the Canadian Union of Public Employees and the 59 hospitals in which their members are presently employed, began yesterday morning at 10 a.m., continued until approximately 10:30 or 11 o’clock this morning and will resume later today, I am informed. The negotiations, I gather, are going satisfactorily at the moment and a great amount of energy is being put into this set of negotiations by the Ministry of Labour specifically.

Mr. Deans: A supplementary question: Is the minister not concerned that the Labour Relations Board found that it was virtually impossible to bargain in good faith given the interference by the Ministry of Health in terms of providing sufficient funds? Does the minister not think that an appropriate directive from the Ministry of Health in both instances, both to the public health nurse situation and also to the hospital situation, with regard to the willingness of the government to provide the moneys necessary to find a resolution to the dispute is almost mandatory before the bargaining-in-good-faith sections of the Act can be complied with?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I would remind the hon. member for Wentworth that, in fact, the bargaining unit in both of these instances is not specifically the Ministry of Health. There is some Ministry of Health input into this and I am sure the ministry has, in fact, on a number of occasions informed both of the employer groups regarding questions that have been raised by those employer groups in the area of funding for the possible increment which the employees in each situation are requesting. I suppose, in view of the statement made by the Labour Relations Board, there would be some benefit to be gained to have a direct statement from the minister to the negotiators. But I think I will have to raise that question with the minister myself and I have not had the opportunity to do it since the Labour Relations Board report was issued.


Mr. Deans: Do it.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Yes.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Does the hon. member for Wentworth have more questions?


Mr. Deans: Yes, I have two other questions actually. A question for the Premier: Given that we have now got over yesterday’s shenanigans, would it be possible for him to make a clear statement to the House with regard to what the government intends to do, how it intends to respond to the clear directive of the Legislature with regard to the farm income stabilization programme?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I don’t know that I could associate myself with the words used by the acting Leader of the Opposition as to his description of what happened here yesterday, unless he was just referring to his own and his colleagues’ activity.

Mr. MacDonald: Just answer the question.

Mr. Deans: I was referring to the Premier.

Hon. Mr. Davis: We certainly took the matter seriously yesterday.

Mr. Deans: As seriously as Simcoe Day?

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Davis: If the member for Wentworth really wants to suggest what he indulged in yesterday were shenanigans, that’s up to him. Certainly on this side of the House we didn’t so regard it.

Mr. Deans: The parallel the House leader drew was with the importance of Simcoe Day.

Hon. Mr. Davis: It was the member’s colleague who used the word “shenanigans.” I certainly would never refer to that as it relates to any activity in this House. Sorry, Mr. Speaker, what was the question?

Mr. Deans: The importance of Simcoe Day.

Hon. Mr. Davis: No, it wasn’t Simcoe Day.

Mr. Renwick: The Premier doesn’t sound very confident.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh, I would say to the member for Riverdale --


Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please. Would you allow the hon. Premier to answer the question?

Mr. Martel: The Premier is the one who is asking the questions.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, as it relates to the amendments that were passed on Tuesday evening, the government is very carefully analysing them. We are quite interested in having consultation and communication with the farm community, something which this government has always done and will continue to do so. I can assure the acting Leader of the Opposition that, as the next weeks go by, he will sense our reaction to the advice that we have received from the Legislature. I want to make it abundantly clear that, while there are occasions we don’t always agree with the advice we receive, we none the less respect the will of this House and, of course, this government will make every effort to reflect that advice.

Mr. Mackenzie: Supplementary: Does the Premier by that mean we will get whatever we are getting by way of regulations when the House is not in session?

Hon. Mr. Davis: When?

Mr. Mackenzie: When the House is not sitting?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I don’t know how the hon. member could read that into my remarks at all.

Mr. Warner: We are going on experience. We remember the hospitals.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Does the hon. member for Wentworth have further questions?

Hon. Mr. Davis: If the member had been here a little longer, he might know a little more about experience.

Mr. MacDonald: Supplementary: I would like to tie that answer to the answer yesterday. Is the Premier forgoing the route he outlined yesterday of using orders in council and designating any product the government sees fit rather than coming back with the bill to this Legislature?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I think it is quite obvious that the bill that was introduced, which the opposition in its wisdom, or lack of, voted against, and which would have provided a very excellent start towards a farm income stabilization programme, is still in general terms the objective of this government.

Mr. Deans: It wasn’t the start. That was the end.

Mr. Cassidy: A start? The Premier is changing his stand.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would be very disappointed if the hon. member for York South (Mr. MacDonald) really would suggest to this government that if a particular situation or situations were to arise within the agricultural community over the period of time that he may be, like his leader, sojourning at a cottage somewhere where I happen to know he goes --


Mr. Acting Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- that we would not as a government move in to try and solve that problem. I have to say to the member for York South that if there is a situation that requires the attention of this government, then this government will deal with it.

Mr. Cassidy: You are flip-flopping almost as much as Smith.

Mr. Reid: Mr. Speaker, doing away with the ad hoc situation, does the Premier not feel that he and the government would be in contempt of the Legislature if they didn’t follow the will of the majority as expressed the other night in the House?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, of course, that’s not what I said. The hon. member is far too perceptive, and I know he is really attempting to be a shade provocative.

Mr. Reid: Never.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I will say to him, dark glasses and all, to repeat what I’ve said, we certainly respect the will of this House. I’ve been here for several years myself -- some will say too long but there are others who have been here longer -- and I intend to stay quite a while longer yet. I would say to him that certainly we will respect the will of this House but at the same time -- they’re not all here today -- there are some of his colleagues who have some knowledge of the agricultural community, and I say that with respect.

Mrs. Campbell: Because it is true.

Hon. Mr. Davis: The member for St. George

-- I would not put her in that category; I think, in fairness, I wouldn’t.

Mrs. Campbell: Thank you.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I won’t say what category I would, but not in that one. I’m glad the member is laughing today. As I said yesterday it really can be fun and one should laugh more often.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please. Could we return to the answer to the question?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would say to the hon. member and president of the Labour-Liberal Party of Ontario that, once again, if this government senses it has an obligation to move in and meet a situation, as we did with the cow-calf programme --

Mr. Reid: This is on an ad hoc basis.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- and I haven’t heard anybody across the House saying we should not have done that -- I would say to him that we will, of course, move in if necessary to assist the farm community.


Hon. Mr. Davis: I challenge the member right here and now to say that we shouldn’t.

Mr. Cassidy: This is a repetitive and irrelevant answer.

Mr. MacDonald: A supplementary.

Mr. Acting Speaker: This will be the final supplementary.

Mr. MacDonald: In addition to any action the government may see fit to take to meet the emergency needs of any given commodity while the House isn’t in session, is the Premier giving his assurance that when the House does resume he will come back with a redrafting of the bill in accordance with the will of the House?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. member, because he wouldn’t let us forget it anyway, that we will come back here with a response, in some form or other, to the amendments which were placed before this House and passed the other night. If the hon. member would say to me that it was shenanigans or fiction, and that he really wasn’t interested in those amendments and he didn’t take them seriously, I’d be delighted to get that information.


Hon. Mr. Davis: I somehow sense that maybe he meant what he said the other night, and certainly he can expect a response from the government.

Mr. MacDonald: Very good. We’ll see if your actions match your words.

Mr. Deans: Incidentally, we felt it was more important than Simcoe Day.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Davis: No shenanigans for you.

Mr. Deans: We thought it was more important than Simcoe Day, unlike your colleague, the House leader (Mr. Welch).

Hon. Mr. Davis: It was shenanigans day.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please. Would the hon. member for Wentworth direct his question?


Mr. Deans: Can I ask the Minister of Health if he’s prepared to look into the statement in today’s Star with regard to the use of and eating of fish caught in the English-Wabigoon River by certain tourist operators and given to tourists in the area; and determine whether or not it doesn’t make a mockery of the Fish for Fun programme which was instituted by the government? Perhaps he ought to consider closing down fishing altogether.

Mr. S. Smith: Fish for fun and poison.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, certainly I’m concerned when an operator does make a statement like that because it is, of course, directly opposing the advice we’ve given him. I understand we sent that specific gentleman a letter in my absence -- on April 26, as a matter of fact -- pointing out the risks of eating mercury-contaminated fish.

Mr. Deans: Can I ask, by way of a supplementary question, what is the minister going to do now?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, the question of the tourist eating fish and the question of the Indian eating fish are two different problems.

Mr. Reid: No, they are not.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Yes, they are.

Mr. Deans: You mean one is less than the other?

Hon. F. S. Miller: No. One is less than the other in the sense that I don’t think the person coming there is at the same kind of risk as the Indian living there. The fact remains it’s not the level of mercury in a given fish but the total body burden of mercury one absorbs. One of the problems, of course, is that a person who already has a high body burden of mercury can go on eating low mercury content fish -- fish the member and I would deem salable, acceptable -- and still be at risk.

Mr. Reid: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker. Does the minister not agree that the tourists, with the tourist operators saying that shore lunches can be eaten, are setting a bad example for the Indian population, and that their employment as guides is almost dependent on their eating the fish, along with the tourists?

Hon. F. S. Miller: In the letters that were sent, I understand the statement was made that we would request that shore lunches be provided for everyone, and we emphasized especially for the guides who are eating fish on a regular basis.


Mr. Deans: I have one final question to the Minister of Health. Given the information that I provided to the minister the other day with regard to the modelling clay and the asbestos, is the minister prepared to make a statement that there will be the benefit of the Ministry of Health’s expertise made available to all of the boards of education across the province to ensure that anyone who came into constant contact with this particular compound will be given the advantage of tests? And will they be recognized in the event that they are found to be suffering from any form of disease contributed to by asbestos and be given the benefit of Workmen’s Compensation Board benefits?

Mr. S. Smith: We are having trouble hearing, Mr. Speaker.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, once the hon. member gave me a copy of that newspaper article, I immediately asked for some advice on it. We went outside of the ministry for that advice. We, in fact, contacted Dr. Ernie Mastromatteo, who for years had been the senior person in the ministry’s occupational environmental health branch. He is now, I believe, with International Nickel Co.

His reaction to me was that he did not see the modelling clay as a potential danger, providing it contains the Canadian type of asbestos. However, he could not say that it would not be a risk if it contained any blue asbestos; in which case we are worried about mesothelioma. And our information on mesothelioma is so poor that, in fact, we can’t tell what amount of contact causes the disease.

I think I saw an article in yesterday’s paper, perhaps the members did also, saying that the federal government has stepped in and recommended that all modelling clays containing asbestos be withdrawn from the market. I think that would be a very safe precaution.

Mr. Deans: Two supplementary questions:

One is, is the minister aware that this compound in its dust form is not banned for use in industrial areas, and so it is not banned for industrial uses? Are you --

Mr. Sargent: Time.

Mr. Mancini: That is long enough.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member will continue.

Mr. Roy: Don’t look so offended.

Mr. Deans: Is the minister prepared to investigate that aspect of it? And given the information the minister has just given me --

Mr. S. Smith: It is his big moment.

Mr. Reid: This is as close as he will ever get to being leader.

Mr. Kerrio: He makes up in quantity what he lacks in quality.

Mr. Deans: -- why then did the Minister of Education ban its use in the Province of Ontario’s schools in 1968 without giving any reason?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Well, let me look into it some more. I found it hard to get the amount of information I already have, but I will gladly get some more.


Mr. S. Smith: I would like to ask a question of the Minister of Health. I imagine he has received the mass resignation letter of 26 Browndale Haliburton employees, and I would like to ask him whether he is going to act in view of the letter. It says in part, and I quote: “A programme which places priorities upon a leasing of airplanes and empty buildings to the detriment of the aforementioned” -- meaning the children -- “certainly needs to be questioned, and this is what we have done.” The letter goes on to mention, among other things, “that we no longer find it possible to work in a programme whose director and board function in a manner which is diametrically opposed to those ideals which we have worked for many years to instil in the children in our care.”

Hon. Mr. McKeough: What is the question?

Mr. S. Smith: In view of this rather upsetting situation, is the minister prepared to act to take care of the children in that area?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, one of the reasons I was late for question period today is I was pursuing some of the very points the member has just mentioned. My first responsibility, of course, is to the children. I checked the Act to see what rights I had as a minister. I have had these interpreted to me today. I am quite willing to test that statute if necessary, if it is a bit vague. I think the members would be on my side if I took that kind of action. And if our evidence is that the children are at risk because of staff leaving and not being replaced by qualified people, I am quite prepared to move in.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary -- and I am pleased with the minister’s answer -- may I ask him if he could be a little more specific in how he would move in; and also whether he could assure us that the uncertainty that has arisen around Browndale will be taken care of swiftly, rather than by a series of delays, which have now gone on for several months?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, first I would have to act within the law.

Mr. Peterson: Not like anybody else over there.

Mr. Reid: You didn’t in the hospital closings. Why start now?

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order.

Hon. F. S. Miller: If my law --

Mr. Peterson: Don’t try Roy as a lawyer, either.


Mr. S. Smith: At least the only court I lose in is a tennis court.

Mr. Roy: You didn’t in the hospital closings.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order please.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Yes. I don’t even have the opportunity to lose on the tennis court any more. I just bat the ball around in here.

Mr. Roy: That might be good enough to beat the Premier.

Mr. Shore: I will take you on, Frank.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Seriously, Mr. Speaker, I have to take legal advice on what can be done. There are a number of alternatives. One of them, obviously, was the creation of a local board and that would seem to be one of the best alternatives to pursue, either with or without the co-operation of the existing organization.


Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I’m grateful for the answer from the minister. Now I would like to ask the Premier whether he will join with the members of our party in observing the boycott of the LCBO stores today, and whether he will invite his party to do the same.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. member that it is not my intention to visit any of those excellent stores on this particular day -- in fact, I very rarely visit them -- and I can assure the members of the House that my mother at least will totally observe the boycott. Her views on the subject are well known.

Mr. Cassidy: You send somebody else to do it for you.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, would the Premier invite his colleagues to join in the same boycott?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I have great confidence in the capacity of my colleagues --

Mr. Reid: And they have great capacity.


Hon. Mr. Davis: -- to use their own good judgement in all of these matters.

Mr. S. Smith: The capacity of the Treasurer’s vocabulary is reduced from his usual four-letter down to three-letter words. I don’t know about his other capacities.


Mr. S. Smith: I would like to ask a question of the Minister of Transportation and Communications. Could he explain to the House how it happens that the ministry did not take into account the fact that work was to be done in an urban area when it contracted with KVN Construction for the extension of the Don Valley Parkway and did not, in fact, include in the contract any items having to do with the hours during which work could take place?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, it is not our normal practice to put such provisions in the contract, as it is up to the contractor to work within the restrictions of the municipality where the contract is to be carried out.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, would the minister not agree that perhaps the better course to follow in future is to pay attention to the fact that in urban areas there are certain differences from the work that might be carried out in rural areas, and would he not agree that work being carried out in the middle of the night is constituting a very serious menace and hazard and important nuisance to the people in the vicinity of that construction?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Certainly, Mr. Speaker, I am aware of the controversy over the hours of work on this particular contract. There are, I believe, two different groups of ratepayers adjoining the contract area. It’s my understanding that one ratepayers’ group agrees fully with the contractor working the long hours to get the contract finished very quickly, and another group of ratepayers is very much opposed to that decision, but I have not had any contact directly from anyone regarding this particular matter.


Mr. S. Smith: A question to the Premier, in the absence of the Minister of the Environment, regarding the contaminated fill in Port Hope: Does the Premier share with me a very grave sense of concern about the fact that the estimate is now 150,000 cu yd of contaminated fill, and can the Premier explain how this huge quantity of material got spread around the town with apparently nobody noticing? Is the Premier going to stick to the explanation given in the House by his colleague, the Minister of Health, that this was taken without permission from the dump site -- such a large quantity -- and can he explain how it now has to be removed from a sewer installation project?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I would be delighted to have the Minister of the Environment (Mr. Kerr) explain this to the leader of the Liberal Party, and I will alert him that that question may be asked tomorrow morning at 10 o’clock.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, as the Premier is alerting the Ministry of Environment -- and I hope he can succeed in making him alert --

Hon. Mr. Snow: Funny, funny.

Mr. Hodgson: Which is the third party in this place?

Mr. Reid: It woke you up, Bill.

Mr. S. Smith: -- could he tell us whether the mention of Deloro as a possible dump site was made after study and whether studies have been conducted with regard to soil tests to determine how much leaching of radioactive material would occur and finish up in the Moira River?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I shall resist the temptation to try to define for members of this House degrees of alertness on the part of various members, because this would be provocative, and the member for Hamilton West might end up on the very short end. I won’t make any observations at all and I will say to the member for Hamilton West, I will be delighted to see the Minister of the Environment gets that supplementary question.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Does the hon. member for Hamilton West have any further questions?

Mr. S. Smith: No, thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Hon. Mr. Davis: You should have asked an alert question.


Mr. Martel: I have a question of the Minister of Natural Resources: As a result of a recent statement, can the minister explain why in 1974, when the value of mineral production was $2.42 billion, under the Mining Tax Act we received $150 million in taxation, while in 1975, when the value of mineral production was $2.33 billion, we received only $45 million in taxation?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Speaker, I would be only too pleased to get a very detailed statement and a report for the hon. member on that particular aspect.

Mr. Martel: A supplementary: In that explanation could the minister indicate why the reduction in tax is an amount greater --

Hon. Mr. McKeough: You don’t understand the meaning of the --

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Martel: Look who woke up. The Duke of Kent.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member will sit down.

Mr. Martel: Crawl back in your hole.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: You just don’t understand.

Mr. Martel: You said that before about the leader --

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member will take his seat.

Mr. Bain: He hasn’t finished his supplementary.

Mr. Acting Speaker: I will remind the House that this is not an exchange or debate between the hon. members and the hon. minister, who is not actually responding to a question. I would ask him to respect the hon. member for Sudbury East, and would he now direct his supplementary question.

Mr. Martel: I’d be delighted to do so, Mr. Speaker, if the Treasurer would just --

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please. You will direct your question.

Mr. Martel: Can the minister indicate in his explanation why the reduction in tax is an amount greater than the value of the loss of the mineral production? In other words, there was a $90 million decline in the value of mineral production and an equivalent loss of $105 million in taxation.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Speaker, I will include that in my full explanation.

Mr. Martel: The Treasurer will help.


Mr. Sargent: Mr. Speaker, a question of the Premier. The Premier will have heard of the concern of the Minister of Industry and Tourism over the textile industry, and I am asking about his concern over the closing of RCA in view of the fact that the Premier was on hand when the former House leader of the party offered $500,000 to keep the RCA plant open and when he was defeated the $500,000 loan was cancelled. Would the Premier tell me if the former House leader of the party had been elected, would the $500,000 have been still given to the RCA plant?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I would be delighted to involve myself in some discussion with the hon. member but I think he wants a factual reply so I would ask him to direct that question to the Minister of Industry and Tourism.

Mr. Sargent: All right, I will. Mr. Speaker, through you to the minister: In view of the fact that the $500,000 was not forthcoming -- I share his concern for the textile industry -- would he show the same concern for the reopening of the RCA plant by giving financial support there?

Further to my question of the Premier, had Mr. Winkler been re-elected, would the $500,000 still have been forthcoming?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, there was an offer on an application by a furniture company to lend, through the development corporation, $500,000 for the RCA plant at Owen Sound. It was made to them but with a reassessment and evaluation by the furniture company itself -- not by this government -- it decided, after further information from the manufacturing sector, that even with the $500,000 loan, and I emphasize loan, from the development corporation, they could not come out on the right side of the balance sheet and show a profit from the operation. They were the firm that refused the loan inasmuch as they could not see it as possible nor practical to go into the manufacturing of furniture in the RCA plaint. Whether or not Mr. Winkler had been re-elected, I’m sure the same decision would have come from that company, because ultimately they couldn’t make a profit.

Mr. Sargent: A supplementary: Does the minister recall that we went back to him to get a loan to keep the plant going and he refused it?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: What the member is referring to, of course, is a second situation entirely; it did not refer to the Kroehler furniture company or to any of the other big furniture companies but to the staff trying to form a company on their own without any capital investment whatsoever.

Mr. Sargent: That’s right.

Hon. Mr. Bennett: A review of their particular position, if the member will recall, showed it was not a financially practical operation either under the local management situation.

Mr. Sargent: That’s your opinion.

Hon. Mr. Bennett: We went through it with the auditors, the banks and other groups --

Mr. Cassidy: Did the minister talk to the staff?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: -- before we gave an answer that we could not see the plant ultimately operating on a profitable basis, but that it would be an ongoing situation of governments, sit either the federal or provincial level, continuing to feed money into the operation to keep it in production.

Mr. Reid: Better than Minaki Lodge.

Hon. Mr. Bennett: The fact remains, sir, that in the ultimate situation, the employees themselves could not raise any local capital to invest in the operation.

Mr. Acting Speaker: The hon. Solicitor General has the answer to a question asked previously.


Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Speaker, the member for Simcoe East (Mr. G. E. Smith) -- I don’t see him in his regular seat today, but he has some resemblance to yourself -- had asked a question about the duties to be undertaken by the Ontario Provincial Police during the Olympic events at Kingston. He expressed the concern that the level of service provided to the rest of the province might deteriorate at that time.

The OPP is providing assistance at the Olympics. Approximately 350 police officers are being transferred to Kingston to work seven days a week for the seven weeks of commitment. During this time, holidays have been cancelled for all members of the force, so there will be only a slight reduction in service to the rest of the province.

Fifty vehicles, as well as eight launches and one skiff, are to be located at Kingston. However, there will be no cutbacks in waterways patrols elsewhere. The skiffs owned by the police are now used only as necessary and are small enough to be trailed to places of need. Therefore, when the eight launches go to Kingston, skiffs will be stationed in the communities affected in order to maintain the normal level of service.

The member voiced particular concern about the coverage of the Midland-Georgian Bay-Trent/Severn system during this time. He can be assured that the launches being transferred from Barrie and Orillia will be replaced by two skiffs located in Orillia. They will be used for Lake Simcoe and the Trent system. Midland already has a skiff to be used when its launch goes to Kingston. Additional coverage will be provided by a launch at Parry Sound and skiffs at Bala and Bracebridge.

The OPP, through extensive planning, is endeavouring to provide the policing necessary at the Olympic Games without reducing the level of service provided to the rest of the province.

Now, sir, if you want to know what a skiff is, as I did --

Mr. Drea: I do.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: -- it’s less than 20 ft long; a launch is more than 20 ft long.

Mr. Mattel: Ask the Treasurer. He’ll tell you.

Mr. Acting Speaker: The hon. member for Ottawa East.

Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order to ask you for a ruling as to whether the question by the member for Simcoe East was in order at the time, in view of the fact that we are presently considering the estimates of the OPP in the justice committee.

Mr. Acting Speaker: I rule the question in order at the time.

Does the hon. member for Rainy River have a supplementary?

Mr. Reid: Mr. Speaker, on your behalf, I wonder if I could ask the minister a supplementary as a matter of information? Who is paying the cost of the OPP being used? Is it being paid by the Olympic committee or is the Province of Ontario paying it?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: We are going to try to get something from the Olympic committee, but I’m not looking for much success.

Mr. Cassidy: What is the cost of all this police protection in Kingston?

Mr. Ruston: You can ask that in the estimates downstairs.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Speaker, if the question is in order, the amount is about $1.9 million.

Mr. Mancini: That’s not in order.


Mr. McClellan: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Community and Social Services respecting what appears to be a major crisis in the province’s mental retardation programme. Last December, the Kenora Association for the Mentally Retarded submitted its budget. They followed the explicit directions of your area officials and submitted an integrated and interdependent budget as a package. Now, after six months’ delay, the association was told last week to submit the workshop budget separately to vocational rehabilitation, reducing the whole programme to a shambles. I want to ask the minister, since this seems to be happening in other parts of the province, why is his ministry not honouring agreements reached last winter and fall between district working groups, local associations for the mentally retarded and officials from the ministry?


Hon. Mr. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, the hon. member and the House can rest assured that my ministry will honour any agreements or commitments that it made.

Mr. Reid: Starting when?

Mr. McClellan: By way of supplementary, is the minister aware that the Kenora association has advised his ministry that it is not prepared to put up with this kind of nonsense beyond the end of June, and that at the end of June, if this matter is not straightened out, it will be simply unable to continue to function?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: No, Mr. Speaker, that has not been brought to my attention and if --

Mr. McClellan: You had better ask about it.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- that is the situation, then I am as ever anxious to meet or discuss those matters and iron them out to ensure that the services are provided to these communities, because we are committed to doing that, as the member well knows.

Mr. Reid: Supplementary: Would the minister also look at the commitment made to the Atikokan mental retardation association, where a similar commitment was made before the restraint programme came in?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: As a matter of fact, Mr. Speaker, I am reviewing that whole area of workshops and submissions in connection with the mentally retarded. I have, just within the last few days, made some internal changes which should expedite the processing of applications in that area. It does concern me because this government and my ministry is committed to involving itself in these community-based services, the workshops. I am anxious to ensure that moneys that are budgeted are utilized in this way to further the field of mental retardation in the community.

Mr. Bain: Supplementary: When the minister is checking into this matter, would he also investigate the application that was sent in for a workshop expansion and development of a new building in Haileybury? It appears that they applied when it was still under the Ministry of Health. When the records were transferred to Community and Social Services the application was lost --

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please. I fail to see that this is a supplementary to the initial question.

Mr. Bain: -- and they had to apply again. Would he also investigate their application?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: I would be delighted, Mr. Speaker, to do that, because I am concerned that any of these applications be processed and expedited as quickly as possible.

Mr. McClellan: It’s a shambles right now.


Mr. Shore: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if I could direct a question to the Minister of Education? I wonder if he is aware of the situation in London, Ont., relating to the health care in the school system. As a result of the merger of the health care through the health units some few years ago, under the encouragement of the Ministry of Education, we are now finding that the health care programme in the secondary schools is going to be abandoned because of the restraint. I would ask if he has any observations and if he would discuss this with the Minister of Health to see if anything could be done?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I am not aware of any immediate problems in the London Board of Education concerning health care. I would be happy to review this situation and discuss it with the Minister of Health, and if I find that services are not going to be continued to be provided I will ask him to encourage the board of health in London to provide those facilities. Certainly, the understanding was that health services for schools should not be provided by the board of education, but they should certainly be provided by the boards of health -- and, indeed, they get special funding for school health services.

Mr. Acting Speaker: The hon. Minister of Transportation and Communications has the answer to a question.


Hon. Mr. Snow: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. On June 3, the hon. leader of the Liberal Party asked me the following question:

“In view of the minister’s statement that he studied the nine deaths which occurred in moped accidents in Ontario last year and concluded that there was no clear evidence that helmets could have averted these tragedies, can he make the statement with respect to injuries? Particularly, can he tell us the statistics with respect to head injuries? If the deaths couldn’t have been prevented, how many serious head injuries would have been prevented by the use of helmets?”

As members of the House are aware, this ministry publishes as part of its annual report a comprehensive statistical report of motor vehicle accidents in the Province of Ontario, over a 12-month period. This report is compiled from police accident reports. I would emphasize the data source to point out that in compiling the report we can only use that information which is provided in the reports prepared by the investigating police officers.

Statistics on moped-related accidents were maintained for the first time by the ministry in 1975. I am, therefore, pleased to table for the information of the hon. member the following material: A copy of the moped accident statistics report for the period April 1 to Dec. 31, 1975; and a report of moped accident statistics for the first three months of 1976, including a description of accidents which saw three moped riders suffer class 1 injuries, which are fractures, concussions, decapitation and other serious injury.

Moped driver 1, while waiting to make a left turn, was struck from behind by a passenger car. The driver of the passenger car was impaired. The moped driver was dead on arrival at hospital. A helmet was found at the scene of the accident but it could not be proved if it was being worn.

Moped driver 2 was driving too fast on the shoulder of the highway in snow and slush conditions. He fell off and broke his collar bone. No data is available regarding the helmet.

Moped driver 3 was struck in an intersection by a passenger car which failed to yield the right of way. The moped driver sustained fractures. No data is available whether he was wearing a helmet or not.

While, as I pointed out earlier, our information comes from police reports, I have instructed ministry staff to expand the data demand to include information on head injuries. The hon. member will recall on June 3, when he raised the question, I stated that although I was not satisfied that we had a satisfactory helmet to regulate at this time, it certainly is my opinion that the wearing of a helmet is advisable and I hope that a suitable helmet can be made available in the near future.


Mr. Foulds: A question of the Minister of Education: Can the minister tell us if the AIB has yet made a ruling on the agreement arrived at some two months ago between the Provincial Schools Authority and the Federation of Provincial Schools Authority Teachers?

Hon. Mr. Wells: To the best of my knowledge, I don’t think the AIB has ruled on that particular contract yet.

Mr. Foulds: Supplementary: Can the minister explain why it took over two months for the Provincial Schools Authority to make its submission to the AIB after the agreement has been arrived at, and can he explain why the AIB had to phone the employees to find out what the employer’s submission might be?

Hon. Mr. Wells: I’ll be glad to find that out for my friend. I would certainly hope that the two months’ delay was not caused by the Provincial Schools Authority or the ministry or this government. It may be that the teachers themselves wanted time to prepare a proper case to put before the AIB; but I’ll be glad to look into it.

Mr. Foulds: A final supplementary: Is the minister not aware that the Provincial Schools Authority would not co-operate with the teachers to make a joint submission and that the teachers themselves have been asking the ministry to make the submission for some considerable length of time, so much so that some of those employees, at least 10 days ago, were upset enough in some of the provincial schools to be talking about a wildcat strike?

Hon. Mr. Wells: I think that there’s a general government policy concerning submissions to the AIB by agencies of this government and the staff concerning awards. And while the Provincial Schools Authority wouldn’t be joining in an appeal to the AIB, they would certainly, I am sure, make available to the AIB any information that was necessary for that body to arrive at a decision. I will certainly look into it, and if there has been any delay I will find out why.


Mrs. Campbell: My question is to the Treasurer, and it refers to the OMERS staff. Is it the policy of this ministry to discharge permanent employees on the basis of lack of work and replace them by temporary employees who must work overtime because of the volume of work?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, I will look into that.

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


Mr. Breithaupt: On a point of order, in order that records of the House are clear, I wish to draw the attention of the Speaker to an article appearing in today’s issue of the Toronto Star under the byline Andrew Szende. In his report dealing with the vote on the motion of confidence yesterday, he wrote the following paragraph:

“A noticeable absentee was Murray Gaunt (Liberal, Huron-Bruce), one of the staunchest opponents of the government’s farm bill.”

I think that the record should be clear in that the delegates of this caucus to the parliamentary meetings in Quebec City were the member for Huron-Bruce (Mr. Gaunt) and another colleague, the member for Waterloo North (Mr. Good).

In addition, the members from the New Democratic Party attending this parliamentary meeting are the members for Cornwall (Mr. Samis) and Oshawa (Mr. Breaugh). And of course with respect, obviously, the tradition has been that the Deputy Speaker and the Deputy Chairman -- the members for Lake Nipigon (Mr. Stokes) and Simcoe East (Mr. G. E. Smith) respectively -- have continued to pair on the votes in this kind of situation.

I thought it important to raise this point in order that there be no question as to the attendance or otherwise of certain members, or their activities, with respect to the voting on this most important motion.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Petitions.

Presenting reports.

Hon. Mr. Snow presented the annual report of the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission for the year ended Dec. 31, 1975.

Hon. Mr. Bernier presented the annual report of the St. Lawrence Parks Commission.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: As the members will know, this commission was chaired by the very able member for Hastings-Peterborough (Mr. Rollins).

An hon. member: From where?

Mr. Acting Speaker: Introduction of bills.

Order please, the Chair made an error. I should have called motions.

Are there any motions? Introduction of bills.


Hon. Mr. Wells moved first reading of bill intituled, an Act respecting the Lake Superior Board of Education.

Motion agreed to; first reading of the bill.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this bill is to allow the Lake Superior Board of Education, notwithstanding certain sections of the Education Act, to sell any teacher’s or caretaker’s residence to one of its employees under terms and conditions that the board may set out.

Normally, this would be a private bill, but since the time for introduction of private bills has passed, the government is introducing it as a government bill.



Hon. Mr. Welch moved first reading of bill intituled, An Act to amend the Legislative Assembly Act.

Motion agreed to; first reading of the bill.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, this bill incorporates three or four changes requested by members in connection with the operations, and is approved by the Board of Internal Economy.


Mr. Martel moved first reading of bill intituled, An Act to amend the Public Officers Act.

Motion agreed to; first reading of the bill.

Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of the amendment is to allow a person who has been lawfully admitted to Canada for permanent residence and who is ordinarily resident in Canada to be employed in a full-time capacity in any public office.


Mr. B. Newman moved first reading of bill intituled, An Act to amend the Employment Standards Act.

Motion agreed to; first reading of the bill.

Mr. B. Newman: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of the bill is to establish a regular working week of 40 hours. May I inform the Legislature that this is the third time I’ve introduced this bill.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Orders of the day.


Clerk of the House: Government notice of motion No. 5, by Hon. Mr. Welch.

“Resolved: That the standing committee on the administration of justice resume, on its next regular meeting day, its consideration of the estimates of the Office of the Ombudsman as printed and tabled in the Legislature.

“Further, that in addition to the supply requests of the Office of the Assembly, the Board of Internal Economy shall review the supply requests of each of the following:

“(a) Office of the Provincial Auditor; (b) Commission on Election Contributions and Expenses; (e) Chief Election Officer; (d) Office of the Ombudsman; and shall recommend for tabling in the Legislature estimates for each as are justified in the opinion of the board.

“Further, that any supply requests in excess of those tabled in the Legislature shall be submitted to the Board of Internal Economy for review; and the board shall recommend supplementary estimates to the Legislature in amounts which, in the opinion of the board, are justified. Further, that effective forthwith, expenditure requests of each select committee of the assembly be submitted to the Board of Internal Economy for disposition.”

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, members of the House will recall that we discussed this matter in some detail last week, following a request from the administration of justice committee for some direction with respect to its consideration of the estimates of the Office of the Ombudsman.

There was a pretty full discussion at that time and it was indicated during the course of those remarks that we would bring forth this resolution for the consideration of the House. Rather than taking up the time simply by repeating things said at that time, perhaps I could leave my comments on that so that other members may now comment since they have seen the resolution.

Mr. Lawlor: Mr. Speaker, before making a few remarks on this resolution, may I say that whatever may happen to it, the committee will not meet tomorrow morning with the Ombudsman, but rather with the Solicitor General (Mr. MacBeth) at the request of the Ombudsman, who has a convocation to address at the University of Windsor, at Assumption College. He has asked to appear on Monday afternoon. So be it, we extend our courtesies with palmed hands.

Last Thursday a statement was made in this House outlining four possible options. Later today we shall be graced in this House with a particular statement. I am sure it will be high-toned, full of statesmanlike gestures, well-reasoned, intensely analytical, cool, detached, dispassionate, ranging over, as is the wont of this House, in a very profound and completely unemotional way from the member for Wilson Heights.

Mr. Singer: You are quite right; you have read my notes.

Mr. Lawlor: I anticipate the quality of the demeanour and the state of apoplexy in which it may place us all, and the state of grace in which the member will deliver.

Mr. Singer: You are the one with the high blood pressure.

Mr. Lawlor: He will be a prince of the apple towns. I suppose a duke, if there are not too many dukes around here these days, a duke of analytical reasoning.

There are curious things about this parliament, if I may digress for a moment. There is another kind of reasoning in the world, it is called dialectical, something unknown to this assembly, all great analysts. Analytical reasoning takes the form of oppositions and setting them up in constant irreconcilable rivalry. It is a kind of black and white form of intelligence, which when you really get down to it isn’t very intelligent at the end of the road at all. The currents in the modern world are dialectical. You ride with the currents, you hold various positions in tension and sometimes in an anguish of tension. Not all issues are reconcilable, not all solutions are plenary. We have an unfinished world and we are unfinished people. Arguments are ongoing, but parliaments are not designed for that kind of intelligence and it is the more regrettable that it should be the case.

Anyway, we have four propositions before us. I will only mention three. It will be strongly contended that this matter should be moved back to the justice committee as it will be on the rather bland, and I don’t suppose very controversial matter of the $2.3 million. The committee receives that; it has already been prepared to do so. I would expect that it doesn’t give much ground or room for prolonged debate. I think we would concede almost in advance the $2.3 million for the Ombudsman’s office. Therefore the committee function in this particular regard is nugatory and perhaps almost at this stage in our history quite beside the point.

To do any more than that, for the committee to launch into the plenitude of the Ombudsman’s estimates, whether it was referred to it through the government auspices or otherwise, is no longer possible. The time has run out and that’s obvious. Nor do I say that the government by devious device, procrastination and prolongation of the issue has subtly let the time run out. I don’t say that. I think it has happened by misadventure, by attrition and because of the numerous imbroglios we have had in the past few weeks in this House, which have regrettably taken precedence over what is indeed a very important matter, namely, what the function and status in this experimental period of the Ombudsman really is and how we give him the amplitude, the scope, the recognition and the affirmation that he is deserving of, on the one hand, and try to conduct the business of the House in a blizzard of intonations, on the other. That is what we have been up against and that is what happened.

I also want to express this on this occasion, as I didn’t last time. I am wondering at this stage about the efficacy, not so much the competence, but the efficacy of the justice committee to handle estimates of this kind. It would be totally unique. It’s not like estimates we’re handling downstairs, such as Solicitor General now or any other set of estimates, in which we do nit-pick to some extent and scapple mostly questions of opinion and policy which are raised. Once in a while we get to the hard financial facts.

The Ombudsman’s estimates in this context would be direct to that financial fact as a central thing and quite distinct from any other estimates. I would be the last one to say that any committee of this Legislature was incompetent to do whatever we instructed them to do but this committee, in this context, if it goes forward in the future, would need some kind of expert assistance.

It would need some kind of accountancy help to start with. What we would be doing is measuring mileages and saying whether, in a particular area of the Ombudsman’s office, the mileage consumption was comparable to the mileage consumption in Government Services. We don’t know that. We’d have to be fed that. The parking lot costs of $15,400 dispensed by the Ombudsman’s office -- was that a just figure, given the bulk, the volume and the parking space occupied by people in other departments; is that out of line or is it correct?

There’s a hundred picayune, if you will -- maybe not that; nitty-gritty -- items which would have to have elaborate scrutiny and interrogation. No committee has done that in this House in any previous time. As I say, we’d be prepared to do it with the caveat that we would probably need expert assistance from some other source to enable us to perform that function. It would be long drawn out and pretty difficult and the time has run out. So be it. It cannot, in any elaborate form, go to the justice committee.

Therefore the next suggestion would be that it would go to a select committee of the House. I’ve expressed that I’m in favour of that. I’m in favour of that in the long run. I’m in favour of an amendment to the legislation to bring that about but I am not in favour of that nor can I be, in pragmatic terms, rationally in favour of that at this time in our history. As I said the last day, the select committee would not only be up against the obstacles which I’ve just mentioned, vis-à-vis the justice committee, in going into the niceties of the estimates, but the people who would logically be appointed to this committee are already pre-empted with respect to other matters. It doesn’t mean that other people probably wouldn’t serve these roles just as well but the constitution of the Ombudsman’s select committee which we had last winter was fairly ideal, I thought, and therefore it seems to me that in that particular context again we are pre-empted.

What is most important about most human beings, whether they know it or not, is their own self-image; what we think of ourselves and how we think others see us. This is no less important in terms of government. The image of a government to itself and as it presents itself to the populace is probably either its most or its least precious possession at any time in history.

I want to say this on this occasion that I do think the hand of the Tory government is slipping on the tiller. For years we have sat here and the government has presented to the people of Ontario one great virtue. Despite a wretched and desperate philosophy of government; despite its attitude in the areas of holding of wealth and all the things that we inveigh against, the government held one marvellous image and that was competence.

The government at least knew what it was doing at any time. Tories are no longer presenting that image. It’s eroding, corroding and failing, and even in this somewhat secondary field, it’s failing too.

The government knew a good deal of time ago that there would be some kind of acrimony, to say the least, engendered over the handling of the Ombudsman. The whole winter goes by and it failed to act. In my opinion, the government has shunted off to the justice committee the glowing apple that it was unable to hold in its hand. We, in a sense -- and this is what I have resented in the past few weeks -- have been the scapegoat of that particular indisposition to face frankly that responsibility, to seize it and to take it and to make a decision with respect to it, instead of dawdling and playing around to a very considerable extent on the government’s side. It warps your image of competence.


So, today, we come down finally, after some prodding, to some determination of what we are going to do -- what, in the context of this day, we are obliged to do, because the alternatives are pretty well wiped away. We come down to the Board of Internal Economy. The Board of Internal Economy is not the ideal entity to handle the matter.

Hon. Mr. Welch: That assessment on your part is very unfair, unrealistic.

Mr. Roy: He is right on.

Mr. Lawlor: As you will hear in the dispassionate and statesmanlike voice from Wilson Heights, it is loaded with cabinet ministers and partisans of the other side. It is not adequately representative. Nevertheless, we are going into summer recess. It is a constituted sitting committee; it has ongoing powers and it has expertise at its disposal; it therefore, at least for the nonce, is the only viable alternative that we have before us. Therefore, I bow my head in face of that particular situation.

But may I say finally before I sit down that I have always thought, and I think most people on legal grounds over here have thought, that the Board of Internal Economy always did have powers. I thought the advice given by Crown counsel to the government at an earlier time with respect to the role of the committee was wrong. I don’t hesitate to second guess them. The board is a constituted body of this House with powers. You have reduplicated it, reaffirmed it in your motion of today and that’s fine. If you felt there was any moot question about the issue at all as to their being properly constituted then so be it. They are properly constituted now with the sanction of this House and enjoying full privileges and prerogatives.

I hope that the Ombudsman does not see grounds to take offence with respect to the reference back a ways. There was no offence meant. That committee constituted by all members of this House are men of sufficient objectivity and magnanimity to receive in a fresh way, without prejudgements, the coming of these estimates in this particular forum. For the nonce it is the only proper and right forum. He will be received with courtesy, listened to with almost excessive care, particularly as this matter has caused some degree of contestation. He will get a fair, adequate and just hearing before that board, and that’s not the end of the road for the Ombudsman in any event.

You will bring forward estimates out of that particular context which will come before this House and which we will then have an opportunity to peruse. No doubt we can have the Ombudsman before us again if he thinks he has been unjustly treated or in any way afflicted. We shall listen to him with open ears and give him a plenary hearing, and that’s the way the world rides.

There is some trepidation, some sense that things are awry in this matter arising out of the motion itself. I think not, nor need there be. It’s fallacious should members of this House think that it would be.

Now, with my mind at rest, and serenity having enveloped me, I sit down to listen to the fulminations, or the invocations, of the member for Wilson Heights.

Mr. Singer: Mr. Speaker, I don’t know who could resist that kind of an invitation, coming so sincerely from the hon. member for Lakeshore.

I will give the hon. member for Lakeshore full credit. He has made the best out of a very bad case and he has indicated clearly that he is going to follow the party line, even though it is wrong. He has told you why he thinks it is wrong, but he bows his head and says none of this was deliberate -- it was by misadventure.

Really, it isn’t the right way to do it. The member for Lakeshore knows it isn’t the right way to do it and his colleague from Riverdale, who isn’t here at the moment, knew it wasn’t the right way to do it because he was one of the signatories of a unanimous report that said there was an appropriate way to do it.

However, for whatever reasons motivate the NDP caucus, it is going to vote in favour of this magnificent resolution put forward by the House leader which, if it had a title, if it was a bill, could be headed, “The Bill to Emasculate the Ombudsman.” That’s what it is going to do if it is passed and that is, fortunately, why we have to debate this at some length, and that is the reason why we in this party are not going to be able to support it.

To give some of the background in relation to our position, let me first say that I believe the resolution presently here is illegal, it’s improper and it’s here without appropriate authority. There is no parliamentary authority that I know of that allows a legislative body to repeal or amend its statutes by passing a resolution. I think that’s clear, and it’s basic, and it’s simple. There is no authority that allows a Legislature to repeal its statutes by passing a resolution.

We in this Legislature can deal with anything that is within our competence, anything that is our responsibility under the provisions of the British North America Act.

Mr. Foulds: That gives us a lot of scope.

Mr. Singer: Once we have passed the statute and put it on the records of the Province of Ontario, it’s abundantly clear -- there can be nothing more simple and nothing more obvious -- the only way of changing the provisions of that statute is to bring forward an amending statute and have it passed by the Legislature. That is not what is being done here. We’re trying to circumvent it by passing the emasculation resolution.

It’s interesting, as to the manner in which it is here. Just the other day, the government House leader came to me and said: “Please don’t ask what has happened to the debate on the Ombudsman. We are seeking a legal opinion. Our curiosity was sufficiently whetted by your comments, that we’re going to get a legal opinion.” I’m going to show you why I know they got legal opinions before and they had them earlier. I don’t know why they needed one more legal opinion. It’s fascinating me. The resolution appears on the order paper, not in any consultation, at least, with me; I don’t know that I have a right to be consulted in advance, but one would have thought since the House leader and I were on such a friendly basis and he said, “Don’t ask any questions today. We’re seeking another legal opinion,” he might have shown me what was going to be in this resolution before it appeared on the order paper.

Hon. Mr. Welch: That is not true.

Mr. Singer: Be that as it may, it’s on the order paper and we’re debating it.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Whether it is true or not it is important.

Mr. Singer: The House leader had an opportunity to speak and he’ll get one later, so don’t get excited. Please don’t get excited.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Let’s have it out right now. I did not ask you not to raise the question.

Mr. Singer: However, one would have thought that the House leader, having asked for that forbearance -- and I gave it to him; I didn’t ask the question and I didn’t want to embarrass him -- would have stood in his place today and said: “Mr. Speaker, I have in my hand a legal opinion which shows that we’re right.” But did you hear that from him? No. What he said this afternoon was, “There’s nothing really new here. This is what we were going to do all along and there it is and that’s it.” There was nothing more about a legal opinion. There was nothing more about forbearance.

How do we get to this peculiar position? The hon. member for Lakeshore (Mr. Lawlor) talks about misadventure. He’s being far too kind when he uses the word “misadventure.” I have been puzzling over this for quite a while now. Late yesterday, and today, I began wondering where records might be kept as to the deliberations that led to this unfortunate series of incidents. Looking at the Legislative Assembly Act, 1974, I note there is a section, section 81, that says there must be minutes of the Board of Internal Economy. Then I said to myself, “If there are minutes, I’m sure the Board of Internal Economy” -- remember, this is the board that has three cabinet ministers, the Speaker and one other Tory (five Tories in all), one Liberal and one NDP; or five to two in favour of the government -- “I’m sure that board wouldn’t break the law; if the Legislature has said the board must have minutes, there must be a minute book.”

I read the Act a little further, and it said the chairman of the Board of Internal Economy is the Speaker. Who would be more logical to have control over the minutes than the Speaker? I went looking for the Speaker today and found that, unfortunately, he wasn’t going to be here until 5 o’clock. I asked his secretary, a very helpful lady, where the minute book was for the Board of Internal Economy. She said, “We have it.” I then said, “Could I have a look at it?” She said, “Well, I don’t really want to take upon myself the right to let you” -- you are only a member of the Legislature; she didn’t say that, that’s my interpolation -- “have a look at it. I’ll have to find out.” Who is she going to find out from? I gather she is going to find out from Mr. Fleming, and I hasten to say very quickly that Mr. Fleming has been quite co-operative in the couple of hours late this morning and early this afternoon.

I didn’t get to see the minute book, Mr. Speaker, but I now have -- and I am going to read them into the record in full -- the minutes of the meeting held by the Board of Internal Economy on March 11, 1976. Mr. Fleming forwarded those to my House leader, the member for Kitchener (Mr. Breithaupt), and he has passed them on to me. I have a letter written by the Board of Internal Economy, signed by the Speaker, and addressed to Mr. Maloney, the Ombudsman. I have a further letter written by the Speaker and addressed to Dr. E. F. Stewart, deputy minister and secretary to the cabinet. All those are about the estimates of the Office of the Ombudsman. The two letters are dated March 11 as well. Mr. Fleming has made all these available to me on my request.

These documents are very important, and they must form a part of the record, Mr. Speaker, because without them we really wouldn’t be putting the full context of this debate before the members of the House and we wouldn’t be explaining away the kind of misadventure that the hon. member for Lakeshore was so quick to accept and excuse.

Before I read them, may I say that in my opinion, since the Board of Internal Economy is an outcropping of this Legislature, not only should its meetings be open to the public, but its minutes should be readily available to any member of the House or any member of the public who wants to see those minutes. I think that should be done right away.

Hon. Mr. Welch: There is nothing in the Act that says they shouldn’t.

Mr. Singer: Then why did I have so much trouble today?

Hon. Mr. Welch: I don’t know.

Mr. Singer: I can tell the hon. member for Brock (Mr. Welch), why I had so much trouble. Let’s hear what this says; I think this is fascinating, and I’m sure the hon. member will find it most intriguing. He should be aware of it, although I do note that he wasn’t at the meeting on March 11 --

Mr. Roy: That’s not unusual.

Mr. Singer: -- but I’m sure he brought himself up to date by reading the minutes and the letters --

Hon. Mr. Welch: The hon. member for Ottawa East (Mr. Roy) is very capable of recognizing absenteeism; he’s quite an expert on it.

Mr. Roy: I am just observant.

Mr. Singer: I hadn’t really noticed in the minutes of this Legislature that the hon. member for Ottawa East was absent, but in the minutes of this meeting the hon. member for Brock was recorded as absent:

“Present were Hon. Mr. Rowe [the Speaker], Hon. J. Auld, Hon. J. Snow, Mr. Deans, Mr. Breithaupt and Mr. Morrow, and the secretariat and the legislative assembly staff.

“Absent: Hon. Mr. Welch.”

Mr. Shore: It may have been a mistake.

Hon. Mr. Welch: No, I wasn’t there.

Mr. Singer: Item No. 1 was merely the approval of the earlier minutes. Item No. 2 related to Mr. Maloney:

“Meeting with Mr. Arthur Maloney, Ombudsman: Mr. Maloney acknowledged receipt of Mr. Speaker’s letter, dated March 3, 1976, regarding 1976-1977 estimates of the Office of the Ombudsman and subsequent telephone conversations between his staff and Mr. Robert Fleming, secretary of the board, in order to provide clarification.


“Mr. Maloney said a question has arisen as to the jurisdiction of the Board of Internal Economy over the estimates of the Office of the Ombudsman and as a result he had requested Mr. Brian P. Goodman, director of research, Office of the Ombudsman, to prepare a legal opinion. Mr. Maloney asked the chairman if he could distribute to the board a memorandum by Mr. Goodman [Mr. Goodman, you recall Mr. Speaker, is on the Ombudsman’s staff and a lawyer who advises him on legal matters.] entitled ‘The jurisdiction of the Board of Internal Economy to consider the 1976-1977 estimates of the Office of the Ombudsman.’ The chairman agreed to the distribution. After reviewing the contents’, the board agreed unanimously that the questioning of the jurisdictions was valid.”

Fascinating conclusions are contained in these minutes.

The memorandum from Goodman, distributed with the consent of the board, questions the jurisdiction of the board to deal with the estimates. The minutes go on to say they agreed unanimously that the questioning of the jurisdiction was valid. The chairman thanked Mr. Maloney for appearing before the board and made a motion the board recess until later in the day. And the board recessed until later in the day and it resumed again. Absent still later in the day were the Hon. R. Welch, QC, and the Hon. J. Snow. We go on with the rest of the minutes for later in the day:

“The board discussed a number of questions in connection with the estimates of the Ombudsman. Subsequently, on a motion by Mr. Breithaupt and seconded by Mr. Auld, unanimously agreed to, the board passed the following motion:

‘Agreed: That the question of jurisdiction in the matter of the estimates of the Ombudsman who turned over to the law officers of the Crown.’”

March 11, Mr. Speaker: “Turned over to the law officers of the Crown.” The board unanimously had already accepted the fact that the board had no jurisdiction to look at them. So they were going to ask the law officers of the Crown the same thing. The Tory House leader was going to do so a few days ago, about which we have heard nothing further.

We go now from March 11 to June 14. It was agreed that the board seek clarification from the Lieutenant Governor in Council --

Mr. Shore: Stay loose, Ian.

Mr. Singer: -- as to how the estimates of the Office of the Ombudsman should be reviewed prior to their submission to the Legislature and subsequently.

Mr. Speaker, the board agreed unanimously that the Lieutenant Governor in Council be asked as to how it should be done, and stated:

“The board recommends to the Lieutenant Governor in Council the authority given by section 8, the Ombudsman Act, 1975, be examined by the Lieutenant Governor in Council and clarified.”

Well, the board is right in the accepted practice. You amend statutes by amending statutes, not by passing resolutions. That’s what the board said -- that section 8 be clarified --

“with regard to the control mechanism to be employed by the Legislature and the terms of establishing salaries, terms and conditions of employment prior to the granting of approval by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.”

Now, the next paragraph:

“Agreed: That the board recommend to the Lieutenant Governor in Council that an agency outside the government examine such matters as salary classifications and levels of the Office of the Ombudsman and that these salaries or contractual agreements he equated with those of employees of the Ontario government and the Office of the Assembly.”

And finally, the last paragraph in these minutes:

“Agreed: That the board recommend to the Lieutenant Governor in Council that in consideration of the fact that there appears to be [And get this, Mr. Speaker] no legally constituted body [The board says there appears to be no legally constituted body] to exercise jurisdiction over the review of the estimates of the Ombudsman -- ”

Is it secret? A surprise? A misadventure? What did the board say on March 11? The board said that in view of the fact that there appeared to be no legally constituted authority to exercise jurisdiction over the review of the estimates of the Ombudsman, therefore there was no provision for the 1976-1977 estimates to go forward. The board said there was no legal provision to allow those estimates to go forward. But the board recommended that an amount of $2.3 million -- and this is quite inconsistent -- but having come to the conclusion there was no way they could do it, they recommended that the $2.3 million be placed in 1976-1977 printed estimates of the government of Ontario for the Office of the Ombudsman, so that the office will be continued as is the intent of the Ombudsman Act.

Mr. Speaker, I don’t know how you analyse that. First they say: “No authority, no statute says we can do it, but in any event we’re going to do it. We’re not going to do what Maloney wants -- he wants $3.2 million, we’ll put in $2.3 million, illegal or not.”

Fascinating, isn’t it?

Taken by surprise, taken by misadventure, how does it work? I told you there were a couple of letters that relate to these matters. Well there are and I think these are worthy of being a part of the record.

The first letter, written on March 11 as a result of these minutes and as a result of these determinations, is addressed to Mr. Maloney, Ombudsman, and his address is there, and it’s:

“Dear Mr. Maloney:

“Re 1976-1977 estimates, Office of the Ombudsman. This will confirm your meeting this morning with the Board of Internal Economy at which time you requested Mr. Brian Goodman, director of research, Office of the Ombudsman, to provide us with copies of his memorandum entitled, ‘The jurisdiction of the Board of Internal Economy to consider the 1976-1977 estimates of the Office of the Ombudsman.’ The board declined to continue any further discussion of your estimates pending clarification of the matter of jurisdiction.”

The Board declined to do that; at least that’s what they tell Mr. Maloney in this letter and this is a letter signed by Mr. Rowe, the Speaker.

“Subsequently, on motion by Mr. Deans, seconded by Mr. Auld, and unanimously agreed to, the board passed the following motion.”

Mr. Deans: Mr. Speaker, I wonder, on a point of privilege at this point, because I noticed this myself: There appears to be a minor error in the letter as it takes from the minutes of the board, read into the record quite properly by the member for Wilson Heights. The minutes, you’ll recall sir, indicated that the motion was not in fact made by me, and somehow in the --

Mr. Singer: Mr. Speaker, if I may, I am not questioning the hon. member’s word. If he wants to make corrections to any documents that are here, let him do it after I’m through without destroying the flow of my speech.

Mr. Deans: I’m sorry about the flow of the member’s speech. I just want, for accuracy purposes, to make it clear that there is an error in the letter.

Mr. Roy: No, no, on a point of order. He can get a chance to speak and clarify anything he wants.

Mr. Singer: Mr. Speaker, I wouldn’t question the hon. member’s word at all, and if there’s anything in these written documents that is in fact incorrect, I have full faith that the hon. member will take his place at the appropriate time in this debate and make whatever corrections are necessary. I only know what are in the documents that Mr. Fleming sent me this afternoon and I think they’re of sufficient importance that they form a part of this record.

Mr. Deans: I always exercise the greatest --

Mr. Shore: Oh, come on Ian, go back to sleep.

Mr. Roy: I know it’s embarrassing, but just try to follow the rules.

Mr. Singer: I think at the point I was interrupted I started to read this paragraph that starts:

“Subsequently, on a motion by Mr. Deans, seconded by Mr. Auld and unanimously agreed to, the board passed the following motion:

“‘Agreed: That the question of jurisdiction in the matter of the estimates of the Office of the Ombudsman be turned over to the law officers of the Crown;’”

Well in case there was any doubt about that, the letter says it again.

“‘Agreed: That the board seek clarification from the Lieutenant Governor in Council as to how the estimates should be reviewed prior to their submission to the Legislature and subsequently;

“‘Agreed: That the board recommend to the Lieutenant Governor in Council that the authority given by section 8 be examined by the Lieutenant Governor in Council and clarified with regard to the control mechanism to be employed in the Legislature in terms of establishing salaries, terms and conditions of employment prior to the granting of the approval by the Lieutenant Governor in Council;

“‘Agreed: That the board recommend to the Lieutenant Governor in Council that an agency outside the government examine such matters as salary classification and levels of the Office of the Ombudsman, and that these salaries or contractual agreements be equated with those of employees of the Ontario government and the Office of the Assembly;

“‘Agreed: That the board recommend to the Lieutenant Governor in Council that in consideration of the fact that there appears to be no legally constituted body -- ’”

And this repeats itself all the way through; through the minutes, through this letter and through the subsequent letter I’m going to read to the House.

“... there appears to be no legally constituted body to exercise the jurisdiction over the review of the estimates of the Ombudsman, and therefore no provision for the 1976-1977 estimates to go forward.”

The hon. House leader of the government doesn’t read his own minutes. “No legally constituted body” and “no provision to allow the estimates to go forward”; no legal provision. What we’re being asked to do again today is to emasculate not only the Ombudsman but to emasculate legislative practice and procedure.

“The board recommends that $2.3 million be placed in the printed estimates for the Office of the Ombudsman so the office can continue with the intent of the Ombudsman Act, 1975.”

My colleagues have been studying the debates here and they’re going to elaborate on what the intention of that Act was. The intention simply was to have the Ombudsman independent of the government. That is what they’re trying to take back over there. They’re trying to emasculate it. That is the quote out of the minutes. The speaker then goes on with a couple of very interesting paragraphs:

“Subsequent to our meeting of this morning, Counsel” -- that’s with a capital C. That must mean the legal adviser.

Mr. Lawlor: What if the Ombudsman was a woman? What would happen then?

Mr. Singer: We’d change the name. We’d change the name of the statute.

Mr. Lawlor: It is the word “emasculate” I’m thinking of.

Mr. Singer: There’s another word. We’ll use that one when we get a female Ombudsman.

Mr. Roy: This is no time to be fickle. This is an important matter.

Mr. S. Smith: We should ask the Treasurer to advise us on the proper vocabulary.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Proceed.

Mr. Singer: The paragraph immediately following the quote from the minutes is this:

“Subsequent to our meeting this morning, Counsel [That must be the legal adviser to the Minister of Culture and Recreation (Mr. Welch), the one that he didn’t bother to quote this afternoon] stated that, in their opinion, the Board of Internal Economy does not have jurisdiction over the estimates. of the Ombudsman and has upheld the memorandum to this effect by Mr. Brian Goodman of your staff.”

So we’ve get Goodman’s estimate; we’ve got the unanimous minutes of the board; we’ve got counsel who advises the board all saying exactly the same thing. This is quoted several times and clearly quoted:

“The board has further advised the Lieutenant Governor in Council that it had assumed it had a responsibility to examine your 1976-1977 estimates and has further assumed that in agreeing to come before the board as early as Feb. 23, you had, in fact, accepted the jurisdiction of the board.”

The hon. House leader of the Tory party -- I’m sorry, the Speaker. This is not over the House leader’s signature. The Speaker assumed that if something is illegal, if both sides consent, they can get rid of the illegality. That’s a brand new concept in law too.

Mr. Roy: As a lawyer, the House leader should know better.

Mr. Singer: I certainly believe, and I think it’s without dispute, that the only way he can change statutory provisions is to pass amending statutes. Whether two people consent in an illegality or not does not make it legal.

Mr. Lawlor: We’re a sovereign body.

Mr. Singer: The hon. member for Lakeshore is right.

Mr. Roy: Yes, that’s right, but we’ve got to follow established procedures -- legislation, not resolutions.

Mr. Singer: To continue:

“The board has further advised the Lieutenant Governor that it assumed it had the responsibility to examine your estimate . It further assumed that in agreeing to come before the Board of Internal Economy as early as Feb. 23, you have, in fact, accepted the jurisdiction of the board.”

It also recalled that “the initial budget of the Ombudsman for approximately $1 million on March 9, 1975, had been brought before the board at a meeting held on June 26, 1975.”

Then the final paragraph of that letter, and I think the most significant part of that letter, states: “As it is now the opinion of the board that, as you pointed out, it has no jurisdiction over your office -- ”

Mr. Nixon: That was pointed out very clearly.

Mr. Singer: Yes. Who could say it better?

“ -- it has no jurisdiction over your office, I think you would agree it would be improper [I don’t know how Mr. Maloney took it, but I suppose this is designed to bring Mr. Maloney to heel] for the Office of the Assembly staff coming under the board to act on your behalf. Messrs. Fleming, Miggiani and Wilson were instructed by the board on March 3 not to implement any salary changes or retain additional staff pending clarification of such matters as classification, and salary ranges.”

In other words, Maloney, since you’re causing us trouble, don’t change any salaries and we told our staff not to let you do it. Emasculate the office of the Ombudsman, indeed, indeed. Threaten them, indeed, indeed. That’s what you’re doing.

“In view of the board’s motion and the minutes of today’s meeting, the staff have been advised [I guess the proper word is “instructed,” the letter says “advise”] they may take no further part in facilitating such adjustments or processes.”

Warning: “Maloney behave, and since you are not behaving you are in big trouble.”


The best is yet to come, Mr. Speaker. This is the other part -- everything doesn’t appear either in the minutes or the letter to Maloney; the best letter is the letter to Dr. Stewart. Dr. Stewart, as you know, sir, is the deputy minister and secretary to the cabinet. His address is Room 285 in the legislative building at Queen’s Park. This letter, signed again by the Speaker, and also dated March 11 --

Mr. Shore: Three months ago.

Mr. Singer: Yes, March 11; as my colleague from London says, three months ago. It says:

“Dear Dr. Stewart:

“Re: 1976-1977 estimates, Office of the Ombudsman. The Board of Internal Economy has approved a motion that I write to cabinet in respect to the question of which committee or body has the responsibility for the review of the estimates of the Office of the Ombudsman. The board, at its meeting No. 6/76 held on March 1 and 2, undertook, as a duly constituted body of the Legislature, to review the estimates of the Ombudsman. However -- ”

Mirabile dictu, wonderful to say; unusual though it may be; right, to the member for Lakeshore?

Mr. Lawlor: The quality of the speech is improving. Speak in Latin, I will understand.

Mr. Singer: Thank you.

“ -- however, at the outset of meeting No. 6/76, held March 11, the Ombudsman tabled a memorandum from Mr. Brian Goodman [we heard about that other document] director of research, Office of the Ombudsman, titled ‘The jurisdiction of the Board of Internal Economy to consider the 1976-1977 estimates of the Office of the Ombudsman,’ bringing the matter of jurisdiction into question.

“The board declined to continue any further discussion of the estimates of the Ombudsman pending clarification.”

Had they stopped at that and sought the appropriate direction and come back to the House, this trouble wouldn’t be here but that isn’t what they did.

“It should be stated for the record [the Speaker goes on to say to Dr. Stewart] that at meeting No. 6/76, held on June 26, 1975, the board approved a provisional budget for the Office of the Ombudsman of $1 million for initial operations of his office.

“At that time it was indicated by the Provincial Auditor that it would be appropriate for this budget to be placed before the board although as early as June, 1975, it was agreed that the board had no legal responsibility.”

Mr. Shore: No kidding?

Mr. Roy: That is a year ago.

Mr. Singer: June, 1975. Section 10 of the Ombudsman Act, 1975, states:

“Moneys for the salary of the Ombudsman and expenses required for the operation of his office are payable until March 31, 1976, out of the consolidated revenue fund and thereafter [and this is brought to Dr. Steward’s attention so he can advise the Lieutenant Governor in Council] out of the moneys appropriated therefor by the Legislature.”

That is in quotes out of section 10 of the statute.

The letter goes on:

“It was assumed, however, by the board it had a responsibility to examine the 1976-1977 estimates of the Ombudsman and it was further assumed that in agreeing to come before the board on Feb. 23 with his estimates, the Ombudsman accepted the jurisdiction of the board. [Now we get to the fascinating part] It is quite clear, however, following an examination both of the Ombudsman Act and the Legislative Assembly Act that the board has no legal jurisdiction over the estimates of the Ombudsman.”

That’s the nub of this discussion. Let me read it again, “It is quite clear, however, following an examination of both the Ombudsman Act and the Legislative Assembly Act that the board has no legal jurisdiction over the estimates of the Ombudsman.”

Mr. Shore: Do you agree with that, Bob? There is no problem there.

Mr. Singer: Before I was able to get hold of these documents, I was going to argue but we haven’t heard a word from the government exactly that point but I find there is no need to argue. It’s there.

Mr. Roy: There is no dispute.

Mr. Singer: The Board of Internal Economy unanimously agrees with this.

Mr. Lawlor: Referring. That is what we are here for.

Mr. Singer: There it is.

Hon. Mr. Welch: That is what we are going to do today. We are going to refer it.

Mr. Singer: The letter says, “At this time, the board would like to seek clarification -- ”

Mr. S. Smith: You need authority and you can’t get it by resolution.

Mr. Singer: To continue, “At this time the board would like to seek clarification as to how the estimates of the Ombudsman should be reviewed.” They are asking the Lieutenant Governor in Council, how should we do it? We are in this great difficult situation and how do we get out of it?

“At this time, March 11, it would appear that a committee of the House should be established in keeping’” -- in keeping with what, Mr. Speaker? You will never guess -- “‘in keeping with recommendation 5 of the select committee to consider and set out general rules and guidelines for the guidance of the Ombudsman, Hansard, Dec. 11, 1975, page 1545.”

Mr. Shore: What date was that letter again?

Mr. Lawlor: It makes you feel good eh? That is your brainchild. You want to swaddle your own baby, Singer.

Mr. Singer: Mirabile dictu all over again. This committee would examine the estimates of the Ombudsman; whether this committee should be the Board of Internal Economy is not for the board to decide. So what happens? There was this select committee; I was chosen by the House to be chairman of it; we had three meetings; we brought in a unanimous report, it was signed by others, by all the members, including the hon. member for Lakeshore and the hon. member for Riverdale.

Mr. Nixon: Then it was his baby, too, or should be.

Mr. Singer: Yes. Oh, indeed it is. Indeed it is. And it is their recommendation, it is my recommendation, the recommendation of several members of the Conservative Party, the unanimous recommendation of the committee, about the implementation of it except that it is hurried in this letter here, signed by the Speaker on behalf of the board and directed to Her Honour, the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

Mr. Peterson: You are denying your brainchild, Pat.

Mr. Lawlor: You want to be the chairman of two select committees this summer.

Mr. Roy: You call that misadventure?

Mr. Singer: It says:

“In considering the future development of the Office of the Ombudsman, the board would like to recommend, regardless of which body is given responsibility of reviewing the estimates, an agency outside the government be brought in to examine such matters as salary classification, levels of the Office of the Ombudsman. It would appear to be of paramount importance that financial arrangements for these public servants be equated with employees in the Ontario government and Office of the Assembly. [Quite a sensible suggestion.]

“It is suggested, therefore, that the authority given by section 8 of the Ombudsman Act be examined and clarified with regard to control mechanisms to be employed by the Legislature in the terms of establishing salaries, terms and conditions of employment prior to granting the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

“In consideration of the fact [this is the last paragraph and it summarizes the whole matter neatly] that there appears to be no legally constituted body to exercise jurisdiction over the review of the estimates of the Ombudsman and, therefore, no provisions for the 1976-1977 estimates to go forward, the board would recommend that an amount of $2.3 million be placed there.”

The whole discussion of $3.2 or $2.3 million, or what right the board had to raise it from $2.3 to $3.2 million or raise it from $3.2 to $9.6 million or whatever, has completely vanished. The reasoning, the logic, the discussion, the open discussion of estimates, who determines it, all that is gone. They just say,

“The figure $2.3 million be placed in the printed estimates of the government of Ontario for the Office of the Ombudsman, pending clarification as to which committee or body should review the estimates of the Ombudsman prior to their submission to the Legislature and subsequently.”

Mr. Speaker, there it is. Damned by the public record. Acting illegally. The record says so, the correspondence says so, the minutes say so, the legal advisers say so, and there has been nothing to the contrary brought forward by the member for Riverdale, the House leader of the NDP, or the House leader of the government.

Mr. Lawlor: You should be for it.

Mr. Singer: Maybe you will speak again, or one of your colleagues; how you can amend statutes by resolutions? You’re enough of a lawyer to know the answer to that one.

Mr. Roy: I’m not sure. I’m not sure if he is.

Mr. Singer: Now then, what is the object of this exercise? Why did this misadventure take place? I’ll tell you why, Mr. Speaker. The government wants to so control the Office of the Ombudsman that he cannot be an embarrassment to them.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Nonsense. Absolute nonsense.

Mr. Singer: That is the conclusion that has to be drawn, because you are proceeding illegally and you want to control him. Certainly.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Draw whatever conclusions you like, but this is nonsense.

Mr. Singer: No. 1 -- there have been speculative newspaper stories about a report that is going to deal with the acquisition of land by the government of Ontario in the North Pickering area. The stories have gone on to suggest that much of the land that was acquired by negotiation, was acquired at prices less than the market value. They add that it would only be fair that those people who gave up their land on a negotiated basis and who apparently did not get as much money as they would have had they waited for expropriation, be dealt with in the other way -- that they now be expropriated and be able to argue comparative value.

That is going to be very embarrassing, because, Mr. Speaker, you will recall that we questioned a series of ministers about the procedures here and got no answer. They were fair. It was fine to take advantage of people who didn’t have legal counsel, who were old and tired and unable to bargain appropriately.

How do we get at that? We don’t get at it in the House, I tell you, by asking the appropriate minister a question and getting one of those pat answers. We have a mechanism now that’s going to get at it. And since the Ombudsman is flexing his muscles it’s begun to be an embarrassment to those people on that front bench over there.

No. 2: The hon. Minister of Correctional Services (Mr. J. R. Smith) is responsible for a whole bunch of public institutions. Apparently there was a rape of a male in one of those institutions. The Ombudsman investigated that incident.

The Ombudsman is now empowered, by reason of the statutory provisions, to make public his reports without the consent of the minister involved. The minister involved, for reasons best known to himself, said: “The people of Ontario wouldn’t like to read the details of that unfortunate incident and, therefore, I will not allow you, Mr. Ombudsman, to release the report and make it public.” But the Ombudsman is a very difficult fellow. He wants to talk about things to the public and he’s being denied it, so how do we control the Ombudsman? Let’s keep his money down, eh? Let’s make sense he doesn’t have as much staff.

Hon. Mr. Welch: That is very irresponsible.

Mr. Singer: Let’s make sure that it’s dealt with by a board with five Tories on it, one NDP and one Liberal. That’s a fair way to do it.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Who’s the Liberal?

Mr. Singer: And, of course, there’s the Bradley-Georgetown corridor, a matter of great concern to a let of citizens of this province. A lot of people are very concerned about it. And the Ombudsman is instructed by the head of Hydro, “Go away, don’t look at it. You might embarrass Hydro, you might embarrass the Minister of Energy (Mr. Timbrell), you might embarrass those fellows who sit on the front bench.”

Mr. Speaker, they’re frightened of the Ombudsman. What better method to bring him to heel than to have meetings like this, to threaten him in one of these letters, and to ignore everything until the 11th hour? Then you get the member for Lakeshore saying, with some validity, we’ve got to do something and let’s take the most expedient, even though illegal, way. I don’t fault the member for Lakeshore, but I say the government brought this on their own heads.

I think it is important enough -- even if we have to stay here for another two weeks, to do it properly -- to make sure that the Ombudsman is not the servant of a body that meets in private, of a body that has five Tories and one Liberal and one NDP on it, of a body that admits it is acting illegally and then comes in and tries to regularize this whole nonsense at the 11th hour by reason of misadventure, by reason of expediency.

Mr. Speaker, I urge the members of this House to act to preserve the Office of the Ombudsman. I’ve never discussed this with Mr. Maloney but I hope that this kind of thing is not sufficient to suggest to that gentleman that perhaps, subject to that kind of control, he isn’t going to be able to do the kind of job that was originally indicated to him -- the kind of job that’s reflected in this statute. The kind of job that guaranteed him independence and forced him to answer only to the Legislature and not to the government.

That is the reason why, in my opinion, this motion should be withdrawn. It should be withdrawn quickly and unceremoniously. I don’t think the government should embarrass itself, and I don’t think those great defenders of conscience and good will, the NDP, notwithstanding the views of a couple of our members, should support anything as unfair, unreasonable, undemocratic and illegal as this motion.


The other day I put before the House what could be an alternative motion. I can read it again if you want.

Mr. Lawlor: Read it again.

Mr. Singer: All right; I will read it again. The member for Lakeshore would like it; I certainly will read it again.

Mr. Roy: The NDP claim to have principles.

Mr. Singer: Here it is. This is the alternative motion that I would move and if, as I hope, after this House has defeated the resolution brought in by the Tory House leader, I will be pleased to move, seconded by all my colleagues together, that this resolution be passed.

Mr. Foulds: Talk about illegalities.

Mr. Singer: My motion would be:

“That the members of the standing administration of justice committee be constituted as a special committee of this Legislature to consider what estimates the Ombudsman may choose to bring before them and to report thereon their conclusions and recommendations to this House which, after dealing therewith, shall request the Lieutenant Governor in Council to recommend to the House by message, the opinion of the House in relation to the said recommendation.”

That would take 13 people who are approximately proportionately representative of the party strengths in this House and constitute them, not as a committee but as individuals, as a group to sit with the Ombudsman and review what he has to say and recommend something to the House. The House accepts the recommendation of those 13 people and that goes forward to the Lieutenant Governor in Council so that the proper message cars be delivered which will make the whole process appropriate, legal and proper. That will ensure, in that way, that the Ombudsman -- if he is to continue; if this office is to be of any use to us -- will continue to be an office of this Legislature and not an office of the government.

Mr. Roy: Start apologizing.

Mr. Deans: Mr. Speaker, I was interested to hear the comments of the member for Wilson Heights, particularly his reading into the record of the House the minutes of the Board of Internal Economy and the letters sent by the Board of Internal Economy to both the Ombudsman and Dr. Stewart.

I would like to bring to your attention before I go further that many of the minutes read into the record today by the member for Wilson Heights were read into the record by me a week ago when we first started to debate the appropriateness of this activity.

Mr. Shore: That’s great. You should be very proud of yourself.

Mr. Deans: It is a matter of correcting something. I wouldn’t want the member for Wilson Heights or anyone else to think that he had suddenly stumbled on some secret documentation. I read into the record, as fully as he did, everything that he read today or very close to it.

Mr. Shore: No. Have you ever been second? Are you always first?

Mr. S. Smith: If you could have found them anybody could have; we will grant you that.

Mr. Deans: I want to point out also that I didn’t have to go looking for them, since they are made available to all of the members of the board, including the member who represents the Liberal Party.

I have told my colleagues -- whether he has told his or not, I am not sure -- that any time they want to look at those minutes they are sitting in my office, free, open and available to anybody. If the Liberals couldn’t find the minutes I suggest they talk to their representative; he had them available if they wanted to look at them.

I want to say that the Board of Internal Economy -- I speak only for myself --

Mr. Warner: It is not an unusual practice.

Mr. Deans: As a member of the Board of Internal Economy I thought, since there had been no motion of the House directing the Ombudsman to bring his estimates before the board and since there was no constitutional statute which I could find which gave the board explicit authority, that at that point it would not have been appropriate for the board to continue to deal with the estimates of the Ombudsman that were before us.

I take the view now, though, that if this Legislature, being a sovereign body, were to pass a motion requiring that those estimates come before the Board of Internal Economy, it would be quite within its power to do so. That’s the position I took some time ago; it is the position I take again today.

If the Legislature directs that the estimates of the Ombudsman or anyone else shall go before the Board of Internal Economy, the Board of Internal Economy being a legally constituted body representative of this Legislature by law, the Legislature is entitled to make that decision, if it so desires, at any time. That’s what is being asked.

There is no attempt being made to change the law by way of resolution. There is simply a direction by the Legislature or from the Legislature to the Ombudsman and to others that their estimates shall be considered by that body rather than any other body. That’s the interpretation I place on what we have before us today and I believe it to be correct.

I want to go on to say that the make-up of the Board of Internal Economy and the representation on the Board of Internal Economy is by statute, of course, but if the member for Wilson Heights (Mr. Singer) were to think back, I am sure he can recall instances where there have been standing committees of the Legislature that have been equally representative of the government and the opposition, and it is entirely possible, under different legislative circumstances, that the administration of justice committee could have on it 15 Tories, one New Democrat and no Liberals, or even one Liberal. That’s entirely possible given the amount of representation that one gets as the result of an election.

That’s one of the reasons why it seemed more appropriate to me, rather than to leave it to the electoral chance, to establish a body set for that purpose, that had its membership clearly defined by law, rather than to leave it to hope that maybe there would be adequate representation from either of the other two parties at any given time. The Board of Internal Economy is somewhat different from standing committees in that regard.

Mr. Roy: The member doesn’t seem to understand there are three members of the executive on that board.

Mr. S. Smith: Three members of cabinet.

Mr. Deans: I think I perhaps do understand it, and I think that’s really where the problem lies.

I was interested in the remarks of the member for Wilson Heights, because what he has read into the record is exactly what the Board of Internal Economy discussed and it reflects, in minute and in letter, the sense the board had that it did not want to proceed wrongly. We therefore ask that we he given some direction.

We trust that the Legislature, having control of the Board of Internal Economy as it has control of everything else, will give direction to the board, that it should hear the Ombudsman; and to the Ombudsman, since he is answerable to the Legislature, that he should appear before the board. That’s all that is being asked today.

You can conjure up in your mind any number of circumstances which may occur, very easily. You can talk, if you will, of the government’s attempts to muffle the Ombudsman, if it is your desire to put that kind of colouring and interpretation on the activities of the board.

Mr. Roy: That’s the only reasonable conclusion.

Mr. Deans: No, that’s not the only reasonable one. That is the only expedient and political one, but not necessarily the only reasonable one.

Let me put to you this: If the estimates of the Ombudsman come before the Board of Internal Economy and from that point come before the Legislature, the Legislature in its entirety has the opportunity to then do two things; to question the Ombudsman with regard to the appropriateness of the amount and need for the estimates, and to question the Board of Internal Economy as to the reasons and the background that were attached to the decisions that it came to.

The Legislature can, at the appropriate time, have before it all members of the Board of Internal Economy or their representatives, to explain to the members of the Legislature, publicly and openly, how they arrived at the decisions that they arrived at. The members of the Legislature, if it is their desire, can also ask the Ombudsman, for cross reference purposes, publicly and openly, whether what was said by the Board of Internal Economy, in defence of the position that it took, is in fact the understanding the Ombudsman has; and can further question the board members, if it so wishes. The Legislature can also question the Ombudsman with regard to the expenditures, and appropriateness of the amounts of money available to him. So there are two safeguards in this method, where there are no safeguards in the method proposed by the member for Wilson Heights.

Mr. Roy: You don’t understand.

Mr. Deans: I think I do understand and I say to you again that to say I don’t doesn’t necessarily make it so.

Mr. Singer: To say you do doesn’t make it so either.

Mr. Deans: That’s right; but I find that the member for Wilson Heights, having taken so much time to read the minutes of the Board of Internal Economy meetings, it might have been interesting had he taken some time previously to acquaint himself with the operation of the Board of Internal Economy; up to this point he hasn’t seemed to care much whether it existed or otherwise.

If it were the wish of the Legislature that the board be directed to hold those meetings in public or in camera, the Legislature is entitled to do that, but to this point there has never been anyone appear at a Board of Internal Economy meeting in order to determine whether they should be open or otherwise, to be quite frank with you, Mr. Speaker. And no one has ever addressed themselves to whether they were open or closed because nobody else seemed to care what we were doing, until now. And if the member would like to come, he’s welcome.

Mr. Singer: Poor little orphans in the storm!

Mr. Deans: He’s welcome any time he likes. If he’d like to come in and spend as much time there, as he does here, then he would be most welcome to come and to do that and to question anyone he wishes, and to raise whatever points he wants to raise, because I don’t think there’s any one of us who feels in any way constrained about conducting the business that we conduct publicly or privately.

Mr. Roy: You don’t understand. We are not questioning your good faith. That’s not what we are doing at all.

Mr. Deans: No. I know what they’re doing, Mr. Speaker. I know exactly what they’re doing. They see a political opportunity before them that they can’t possibly overcome.

Mr. Peterson: Oh, clean up your act. Finish your speech.

Mr. Deans: Yes, clean up my act. I want to say this to you, Mr. Speaker, that if it were the wish of the Legislature to establish another committee to deal with this matter, it would be appropriate to do that.

The motion before the Legislature is that, since we already have a committee established, which deals with a number of matters that are closely related to the matters that come before the board, with regard to the expenditures of the Ombudsman for hiring and renting and other normal day-to-day operation purposes, that that board would likely have more expertise available to it, on an ongoing basis, for comparison purposes and that to establish yet another body to review the estimates, simply because it is the Ombudsman, without having reviewed other, similar estimates and determined whether or not payments that are made, rentals that are entered into and other arrangements that may be undertaken are in keeping with the normal practices of the day, in the area in which they’re being undertaken, would appear to me to be money wasted.

No one is suggesting that the Board of Internal Economy should deal with the Ombudsman’s office as it operates in the best interests of the people of Ontario. No one. No one is suggesting --

Mr. Peterson: When you control the purse strings you are, and you don’t understand it.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order.

Mr. Deans: No one is suggesting that the Office of the --

Hon. Mr. Welch: The Legislature controls the purse strings.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order please.

Hon. Mr. Welch: For goodness sake, as a freshman member, read the rules. Who ultimately approves the estimates --

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

Mr. Peterson: I have read them. Read the Legislature Act.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Well, for goodness sake, the supplementary estimates have to be brought before the House.

Mr. Deans: No one is suggesting that the Board of Internal Economy is going to carry on some clandestine meetings with the Ombudsman and that that will end the public discussion, with regard to the Ombudsman’s operations in this province --

Mr. Mackenzie: You don’t expect them to understand.

Mr. Deans: -- no one. No one.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order please. Could we have one debate conducted at any one time? The hon. member for Wentworth.

Mr. Deans: I think they’re beginning to feel a little foolish now and that’s the problem.

Mr. Peterson: So is the House leader.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Don’t get personal.

Mr. Deans: What’s being suggested --

Mr. Roy: It is all obvious from your resolution that you have learned everything.

Mr. Deans: What is being suggested is this, Mr. Speaker --

Mr. Peterson: If you have learned anything, display it.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order.

Mr. Deans: -- that in order that a reasonable comparison can be made of the estimate requirements of the Ombudsman, over and against the estimate requirements for similar purposes of other groups and emanations of the Legislature, the Board of Internal Economy, in the first instance, would be a body suitable for that purpose.


Mr. Acting Speaker: Order please. Would you kindly withhold any further exchanges, across the floor, and accord courtesy to the hon. member for Wentworth?

Mr. Deans: The suggestion is simply, as I have stated it, that in the first instance that be done. If it is the fear of the members of the Liberal Party that somehow undue --

Hon. Mr. Welch: Even King John lost his head.

Mr. Deans: -- exercise of control is likely to take place --

Mr. Roy: Can’t you control him?

Mr. Deans: -- then, of course, they can take part in this discussion. I’m going to tell you, Mr. Speaker, that if the Liberal Party want to come and appear and speak and make their views known, then they can do it.

Mr. Kerrio: They are doing it. Right here.

Ms. Deans: They can do it. I was under the impression that my good friend and colleague, the member for Kitchener (Mr. Breithaupt), who has expressed any number of reservations at the Board of Internal Economy, has made any number of sensible and strong arguments at the Board of Internal Economy, has proposed matters, has opposed matters, and frequently has suggested changes to things that were on the agenda, was speaking on behalf of his colleagues and I think he was.

Mr. Roy: Sure, but he’s --

Mr. Deans: Right. I thought that he was.

Mr. Roy: -- only one out of seven; there are six of you.

Mr. Foulds: You’re only one out of 36; that’s your problem.


Mr. Deans: And I assumed that he does as I do. I assume now, in fact, he does as I do. He goes back to his caucus and he explains to them what is happening at the Board of Internal Economy. I would reserve for myself and for anyone else the right to rise in my place and question any matter which I thought was being dealt with by that board in a manner which indicated that the government was exercising more authority or that there was some kind of executive authority being exercised by the government representatives on the board. I am sure the member for Kitchener would do likewise.

I have no evidence of any kind, nor has the member for Ottawa East, nor has the member for Wilson Heights, that there has been to this date an attempt made by the government to muffle, or to in any way exercise authority over the board that would indicate that they are attempting to impose their will on it.

Mr. Kerrio: You do have confidence in the government.

Mr. Deans: No, it’s not a matter of having that kind of confidence. I have no confidence in their policy, which is another matter altogether.

So I think that the member for Wilson Heights has put before the Legislature all of the various documents which have been placed before the Legislature previously which bore out exactly what the Board of Internal Economy was worried about. He placed it before the Legislature in such a way that no one could doubt that the board recognizes that it needed to be given the authority of the Legislature before it could proceed any further. I interpret the resolution before us to be giving the Board of Internal Economy that authority. I don’t quite understand now what the member for Wilson Heights finds wrong, other than that he doesn’t like the numbers.

Mr. Roy: No.

Mr. Deans: If it is the problem of numbers representation, then let’s change the Act and change the representation. If you want to change the representation on the Board of Internal Economy, then stand in your place and say “I am not happy with one representative, I want two,” or “I want three in order to make it more representative” in the view of the member for Wilson Heights. I would like to see more representation too. I think now that I look at it, maybe I would like to have some help.

But anyway, that’s beside the point. The fact of the matter is that what we have done has not changed the Act. You can’t change an Act by resolution. Rather you must indicate it is the will of the Legislature to have the Board of Internal Economy designated as the body to whom the Ombudsman will first approach with regard to his estimates. Then those estimates, having once been perused by that board and after the various questions have been asked, and after the various comparisons have been made, in accordance with the best advice and wisdom of the board, they will then recommend the printing of certain estimates. I understand the legal argument being put forward. I think it’s quite invalid.

Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, I would like to make some brief comments on this resolution and support my colleague from Wilson Heights.

Originally when this debate about the budget of the Ombudsman took place, I recall Norm Webster writing a whole series of articles on it. At that time he had comments from various members of the Legislature about the Ombudsman, and frankly I was concerned about the setup of the office and the number of people who were being hired. I was looking forward to looking at the estimates of the Ombudsman.

As is anyone else in the Legislature, we are concerned about expenditures and about the fact that if we are cutting back on expenditures, if we are closing hospitals in this province, if we are cutting back here and cuffing back there, surely the Ombudsman cannot have a blank cheque. The Ombudsman’s operation, the hiring of people, the expenditures made for travel and so on, should be scrutinized just like any other item of public moneys spent in this province.

I must say the debate was interesting, and I sympathize to a degree even with the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) when he talks about certain pressures put on, because I, frankly, didn’t feel there was any pressure. I’ve known the Ombudsman, from a personal point of view, for some time. I went up to his office and, I must say, I had a sandwich up there. I don’t think there was any undue pressure. I think basically I looked forward to the estimates and I wanted him to be able to justify his budget -- justify the operation up there.

But I must tell you that looking at what is happening here and looking at the approach taken by the government, an approach which is supported wholeheartedly and enthusiastically by the NDP, I just naturally and by instinct must lose my objectivity and come to the defence of the Ombudsman and certainly support my colleague from Wilson Heights. I think it’s only right that he should be leading the charge -- leading the defence in this case, having for so many years proposed the office -- put in bill after bill, year after year, and having studied and had faith in that whole office. And, in which faith, the government saw the light back after he presented it -- what? -- about --

Mr. Singer: Ten times.

Mr. Roy: Ten times, finally accepted it. And here he is, after the government has given some measure of support to what he’s been proposing for so long. In the next step, in a very short while after the bill has been put forward, it is proposed, as he says, if we proceed in this fashion to emasculate the Ombudsman.

Now, I say originally again I was not as enthusiastic about the whole Office of the Ombudsman as my friend was, because, frankly, I must admit to you I felt, more importantly, that we should have a bill of rights in this province rather than an Ombudsman. But, in any event, having supported the legislation and having sat back and listened to the then Attorney General, Mr. Clement, when he proposed the legislation, I’m concerned about what’s going on here.

I go back to the debate that took place, I think it was in the month of May, 1975, when the bill was first proposed. I recall that the then Attorney General, Mr. Clement, at the time that he introduced the legislation, said this: “The principal function of the Ombudsman will be to investigate decisions, recommendations, acts or omissions of the provincial administration, either upon receipt of complaints from affected persons or en his own initiative.”

Having given the purpose of the Ombudsman, of the office, of the legislation, to be that, it appeared to me to flow logically that there must be clear independence of the Ombudsman’s office from the government. That’s always been one of the principles which we supported here. We’ve talked about it involving the police, we’ve talked about it involving other agencies, and it’s never proper that the investigative authority investigate itself, or that the people who are being investigated have some jurisdiction over those who are investigating them. And so it was important to have this independence.

I must say to you, Mr. Speaker, looking at the debate at that time, and my colleague from Wilson Heights (Mr. Singer) I think, was not well at that time and was not with us in the original debate of the legislation -- he embarked on the debates later on. The members who were then participating fully in this debate were the members from the NDP. And I recall my colleague from Lakeshore (Mr. Lawlor) and my colleague from Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) at that time setting forward what they felt the office should be like. They emphasized its independence.

I look at the debate back in June 1975, and, for instance, I go back to the member for Lakeshore when at that time he joined in the debate on this legislation. This was on June 10, 1975. This is what he said at that time. I’m quoting here now from page 2812. At that time he said:

“The first thing of importance in the legislation is that this Ombudsman, this commissioner, whatever you call him, is a creature of this assembly. He’s our boy or she’s our girl, [he says in his colourful way] or whatever it may be, and is beholden to us, appointed through us, not a creature of the executive.”

Mr. Foulds: That’s not colour, or whatever it is, that’s equality!

Mr. Roy: He emphasized it at that time, “not a creature -- “

Mr. Singer: Who said that?

Mr. Roy: That’s the member for Lakeshore. In fact, when I was reading his speech he said some very colourful things at that time. May I go on?

“The executive is precisely that element and degree, the echelon of government, that the Ombudsman is designed to safeguard us against, to act as a bulwark for us in defence of the fundamental liberties.”

That’s what he said at the time when the opening salvos were given -- when we first started discussing the legislation. On the same date, I look at some of the things said, for instance, by the member for Riverdale. He agreed with my colleague from Sarnia (Mr. Bullbrook) who had spoken before him and he said this:

“With the member for Sarnia I share the concern that we are not engaged in creating an institution of government which is to interfere with the proper functioning of government, with the due and proper functioning of government. That is not why we have an ombudsman. It is to ensure that functioning will be due and proper in situations where, because of the proliferation of government in all its agencies and emanations, maladministration can and does occur which affects people who are involved with it.”

And he goes on:

“We are saying he must have a role which is a distinguishable role and not one which will be downgraded in the sense this government has downgraded that office because of the way it has conceived the role which is to be played by the Ombudsman.”

So Mr. Speaker, it appeared very clear that that was the purpose. The then Attorney General, in responding to the debate at that time, and I read again from June 12, page 2888, said:

“I think I can only assure the member for Riverdale that, as he knows, the Ombudsman is really the servant of this assembly and not of the government per se. I don’t feel we have been remiss in the drafting of the bill by spelling out in detail how this relationship should be.”

It was my impression and I think the impression of all members of the assembly, at that time, that he was going to be independent from government -- that he was going to be a servant of this Legislature.

Hon. Mr. Welch: It hasn’t changed.

Mr. Roy: But that’s what I want to come to, Mr. Speaker. My colleague, the member for Brock, says it hasn’t changed. I say, when you want to constrain an institution, when you want to cut somebody back, when you want to curtail investigations, which is the best way of doing it? It is by cutting off the purse strings. You know that. We all know that. After 33 years of government, you have experience in doing that so you should know that.

Hon. Mr. Welch: You are clouding the issue.

Mr. Roy: So I say, Mr. Speaker --

Hon. Mr. Welch: This Legislature doesn’t control that. Don’t cloud the issue.

Mr. Roy: -- by cutting back the budget, that’s exactly what is going to happen. They say, well no, it’s the Board of Internal Economy, as they call it. As my colleague from Wilson Heights has said, let’s look at the board. There are three cabinet ministers on the board and --

Hon. Mr. Welch: The Speaker lays the estimates before the House, and we decide. We look at the arithmetic --

Mr. Roy: -- the Speaker, and one member of the ruling party, and then one member of each of the two opposition parties. That’s five out of seven, and of course, the way the NDP are acting, that’s six out of seven.

Mr. Young: What about the estimates?

Mr. Roy: So I say, Mr. Speaker, even having all the faith in the world with the people who are on that board -- and I don’t presume any intent on your part --

Mr. Deans: Thank you very much.

Mr. Roy: I give you full marks for good faith, but if we relied only on the good faith of everybody, we wouldn’t need this job at all. We wouldn’t have to enact laws. The reason we have to enact laws is that we cannot always rely on the good faith of everyone.

Hon. Mr. Welch: You’d be denied this opportunity of political posturing right now on a false issue. It’s not the issue before the House today.

Mr. Roy: So I say, how is the budget of the Ombudsman going to be looked at? That’s the first thing.

Mr. Peterson: You’ve made it a big issue.

Mr. Roy: Everybody here at the time that the law was passed agreed unanimously that he was to be the servant of the Legislature and not of the government, but the first opportunity you have, you say his money is going to be subject to us. That’s true. It’s going to be subject because there are three members of cabinet on that board. There is the Speaker, there is the member of the Conservative Party and there are the two other members. I say five out of seven is a good way of controlling the purse strings. I can’t think of a more effective way. In fact, it is so effective, as my colleague from Wilson Heights has said --

Hon. Mr. Welch: Show me one dissenting vote anywhere in this.

Mr. Roy: -- you can cut it back. You can cut it back without anyone else knowing and without giving any justification for it. I say that is not what we had envisaged and I say that is improper. The independence is not there.


Mr. Deans: That’s also nonsense.

Mr. Roy: Worse than that, as my colleague for Wilson Heights has said, it is illegal. The Tories are prepared to act in an illegal fashion and if anybody should know we shouldn’t do that, it is them. They have been taken to court twice; do they want to go some more?

He’s got good advice which they agree with. They agree they don’t have that jurisdiction but they want to give themselves jurisdiction by resolution. As my colleague has said, why don’t they bring in amendments to the legislation? That’s the way to do it. That’s the legal way of doing it.

Mr. Peterson: Defer it until next fall.

Mr. Roy: The member for Wentworth spent some time apologizing and saying that he was acting in good faith in all of this and I’m prepared to give him full marks for that. I’m prepared to give him credit. I’m prepared to give him compliments until he wipes that scowl off his face and smiles a little bit. I’m prepared to give him full marks for that.

Mr. Deans: If I were to stop smiling I would begin to laugh.

Mr. Roy: That is not the point at all. It is that they don’t have jurisdiction, as my colleague has said. They don’t have the power to do it. What are we doing?

I say we are asking for trouble and I say the approach taken by the government, supported by the NDP, is illegal and improper. To suggest to us that the committee, whatever committee is set up to look at this, can increase the estimates is again something we don’t have power to do. The Tories know that. The people on our right know that. We can’t increase the estimates. Estimates or money spent must come from the executive arm. The members know that and it’s false to suggest that this is a different approach which can be taken.

I say that we on this side are not prepared to accept this charade. We are not prepared to accept the independence being compromised by this resolution; not only is the independence compromised, we are asked to act illegally and we will not be a party to this. We are proud to say, Mr. Speaker, that we in this party have certain principles and we are prepared to vote for these.

Mr. Mackenzie: Today or tomorrow?

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, I’d like to speak briefly on the resolution which is before us. We are engaged in trying to perform the difficult task, with a new institution of government, of reconciling the independence of the office, which is embodied in the statute which was passed by the assembly and reflected in the debates which led up to the passage of that bill, with the very necessary requirement, under a parliamentary system of government, of determining the best method to give the maximum independence to the Ombudsman in the function which he is to carry out, consistent with the responsibility of government -- by whichever party it may from time to time be exercised in the province -- to control the expenditure of public funds. The reconciliation of that problem is not, in my view, assisted by the allegation that what we in this assembly are about is unlawful, despite the distinguished --

Mr. Singer: It is not an allegation; it is a fact.

Mr. Renwick: -- background of those who have put forward that allegation. Questions of law are to be decided in the courts and to impute to members of the assembly that what we are about in trying to resolve a difficult problem is contrary to law seems to me to be nothing but pitting the opinion of the member for Wilson Heights against the opinion of the member for Riverdale and in such circumstances I always accept the opinion of the member for Riverdale.

Mr. Deans: So do I.

Mr. Singer: Would you say it was better than the opinion of the Board of Internal Economy and its legal advisers and the law officers of the Crown? Is it better than theirs?

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for Riverdale will continue uninterrupted.

Mr. Renwick: Let me say first of all, if I may deal for the moment with the arguments put forward by the member for Wilson Height -- Heights -- and the member for --

Mr. Singer: Renwick is always wrong.

Mr. Renwick: -- Ottawa Centre --

Mr. Roy: No, East.

Mr. Renwick: -- I reject as not worthy of consideration the suggestion, without any evidence other than the capacity of the imagination of those who put it forward, that the government of the Province of Ontario, through the instrumentality of the Board of Internal Economy, is engaged in subverting the Office of the Ombudsman so that he will suppress reports which are contrary to what the government want him to present. I reject that --

Mr. Roy: You were saying exactly the opposite last night.

Mr. Renwick: I don’t intend to accept that and I don’t intend to accept pseudo-legal arguments in the legislative assembly, or pseudo-parliamentary arguments disguised as legalities, when we are trying to settle a difficult problem.

There is a question -- and we are quite aware of the question -- that if a lawyer wants to examine the Board of Internal Economy, which the Legislative Assembly Act established with a certain jurisdiction, he can say, “Well, how would I question the resolution of the assembly adding additional responsibilities to that board without amending the legislation?” I’d say, “Well, that’s all right. I think it can be done -- at least in my view it can be done; I don’t particularly conceive of a court upsetting it. I am not here in a legal capacity, but if that is a problem, we will be discussing the Legislative Assembly Act in the next few days in this assembly, and if the Clerk of the assembly, in his capacity as the adviser to the Speaker of the assembly, should be of the opinion that an amendment is required to the Legislative Assembly Act, then I certainly would support, as would my colleagues, the necessary amendment for that purpose.”

It may be an important matter, and I would respectfully request, Mr. Speaker, that perhaps that matter should be taken under advisement by the Clerk of the assembly --

Mr. Singer: The Clerk?

Mr. Renwick: -- for the purpose of advising the Speaker as to whether or not, in the circumstances, such an amendment is required.

My colleague from Wilson Heights said, “The Clerk?” Let me also say then that I am quite certain the Clerk, in his capacity as Clerk, both within his own knowledge of the assembly and the responsibilities as Clerk of this assembly, undoubtedly would consult with legislative counsel, who is also counsel responsible to this assembly and not to the government.

I think that problem can be solved if it is a real one. I think it would be wise to look into it. None of us is interested in prolonging a dispute, or engendering the basis of a dispute, between the Office of the Ombudsman and the legislative assembly about the legality of what is being done. I would be quite prepared to abide by whatever that decision is. So, having rejected the allegation --

Mr. Roy: That was a very weak rejection.

Mr. Renwick: -- the unsupported flight of imagination of the member for Wilson Heights --

Mr. Singer: Unsupported?

Mr. Renwick: -- with respect to the motivations behind the government in the purposes which they are attempting to deal with --

Mr. Singer: You are redundant again. It’s too bad.

Mr. Renwick: -- and having expressed my concern, regardless of my opinion that the Speaker of the assembly should be satisfied that to give this additional jurisdiction to the Board of Internal Economy does not require an amendment to the Legislative Act, we should deal with it in that way.

Let me turn to the substance of the motion and the problem of reconciling the maximum independence of the Ombudsman, which is what we want, with the responsibility of government to make certain that the appropriation of public funds is done in accordance with the constitutional requirements of the British North America Act and in accordance with the long tradition of parliamentary government expressed synoptically in the British North America Act.

The normal course, as I understand it -- never having been a member of the government, I have got to go by what I am told happens -- is that requests from ministries go to --

Mr. Singer: You are not being legalistic, are you? Are you going to quote that section of the BNA Act you referred to before in your non-legalistic way?

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Renwick: -- the Management Board of Cabinet, which at the present time is chaired by the hon. member for Leeds (Mr. Auld). I found that was a difficult concept for me to accept for the Office of the Ombudsman and indeed in the course of these discussions I found it also equally difficult to accept for the Office of the Provincial Auditor and for the other offices which are set out here. I was very pleased the government was prepared to say that, instead of the Management Board of Cabinet, they were prepared to have the initial request of the Ombudsman and the other offices listed in this resolution go before the Board of Internal Economy, a statutory body with representation from the cabinet and with representation from each of the parties and with the Speaker of the assembly as the Chairman.

I think in the solution of a difficult problem that was a very real step forward. I am delighted we have had this discussion and I’m delighted that it’s not centred entirely on the Ombudsman but is part of the evolution of this assembly in gaining control over the budgetary requirements of those officers who are directly responsible to it and who are in a very real sense, without elaborating the separation of powers, responsible for this assembly rather than responsible to the cabinet and the executive government of the province.

In that sense, I take it that the resolution makes that provision, that the supply requests of the Office of the Ombudsman, the Office of the Provincial Auditor, the Commission on Election Contributions and Expenses, the Chief Election Officer and the Office of the Ombudsman should go before the Board of Internal Economy in the initial instance for consideration and that then they would come forward to the government, or in formal sense to the Lieutenant Governor, and in due course, in the formal sense, the Lieutenant Governor would send a message in the real sense of the way our system operates. The government would then table in the Legislature the estimates of the various offices to which I have referred, and in particular the estimates of the Office of the Ombudsman which is the one which is highlighted in the course of this debate. From there on, they would follow their normal and customary course and be dealt with by this assembly by resolution as to which committee those estimates would go.

That’s my understanding of this particular resolution. There’s a further reference that if at some point during the course of the year any of the offices referred to in the assembly require additional funds, instead of going to the Management Board of Cabinet they would go to the Board of Internal Economy, and then come forward in the normal course and be presented to the assembly by message of the Lieutenant Governor in the formal sense and in the real sense of how the system operates by the government for consideration as supplementary estimates in this assembly.

It does seem to me in establishing the procedures, and I’m one in this kind of situation who likes to move, despite what I do in other situations, with the utmost caution, we should make those limited adjustments within our system which enhance to the greatest extent the independence of the Ombudsman and make it possible for the government to respect that independence by the way in which they proceed.

Therefore, it appears to me that the solution which is put forward here should not in any sense be considered necessarily a temporary one. I would be hopeful that it would evolve with whatever other changes are necessary into a permanent one.

Mr. Lawlor: I hope not.


Mr. Renwick: It may well be that we should consider it a permanent one and see whether or not it works, works in the sense of providing the maximum independence for the Ombudsman and the other officers of this assembly from the executive branch of government and within the framework of the government system enshrined in the British North America Act and in our tradition of government.

I have noticed, in the course of the discussions on this question, that the term in camera has been highlighted in some ways; I think quite inappropriately and quite inaccurately. The Legislative Assembly Act provides that the Board of Internal Economy can establish its own rules and procedures, and so far as I know, and I haven’t checked the minutes, those rules and procedures have never established that the Board of Internal Economy will meet in camera.

I don’t think there is necessarily any problem and I would be inclined to think that if anybody was interested in attending on the Board of Internal Economy while the initial request is before the Board of Internal Economy of any of the offices of the assembly that it would be possible to make arrangements so to do. I don’t consider that I would be particularly interested in going there at that point in time.

It does seem to me that what we are headed for, in the question of maximizing the independence of the Ombudsman and keeping him as free as it is possible from the control of the executive within this difficult framework of parliamentary government, as we understand it, it does seem to me that -- and I would hope that in time it would become a convention -- that the government, that is the executive branch of government, would not choose to alter the estimates as they came forward from the Board of Internal Economy to the government before they were tabled in the House.

Mr. Singer: That is what it is all about.

Mr. Renwick: If there were an alteration, of course, it would be known because the Board of Internal Economy is representative of each of the parties in the assembly and certainly my colleague, the House leader of this party, the member of the board, would inform us if there was some difference between the estimates as tabled in the assembly from those that were recommended as a result of the initial investigation which was made.

Mr. Deans: Immediately, immediately.

Mr. Renwick: Certainly there would be very serious questions raised about the reasons for any change, particularly if it were a reduction; and indeed I can it conceive of the government increasing the amount without having given good reason, well in advance, for what they were doing. It doesn’t seem to me that the increase is a real question, it would be the reduction question which would be important.

So having established a forum within which the Ombudsman, rather than going to the Management Board of Cabinet goes to the Board of Internal Economy, I think we have made a real step forward in the solution of this problem. They then take their ordinary course, subject to the establishment, I hope, of a constitutional convention or custom that they would come though the government, to meet the requirement of the British North America Act, onto the floor of the assembly to be then dealt with, and in the ordinary course to be referred out to whatever the appropriate committee would be.

My basic concern has been that part of the independence of the Ombudsman, as distinct from the responsibility of the ministers of the Crown with respect to the use of public funds, would lead me to believe that is at the present time the best solution which can be made, so that when the Office of the Ombudsman is before the standing committee, for example of the administration of justice for consideration, we can deal with the substance of that office, whether it is achieving the goals and objectives which it needs to achieve, in circumstances in which the members of that committee can meet frankly and fully and clearly with the Ombudsman to ascertain whether there are areas of his jurisdiction which should be enlarged, whether there are concerns of his with respect to the way in which he is able to conduct his office, unimpeded by discussions related to questions of dollars and cents, which I hope by and large would have been resolved before that time.

If, however, it did turn out that, before the standing committee on the administration of justice, the question of an enlargement of jurisdiction, the question of the inability to perform a function because there were not sufficient funds available, if any of those questions were to arise, I think it is quite within the purview of that standing committee on the administration of justice to report back the estimates to the assembly with a recommendation that additional funds appeared to be necessary.

I take it in the light of this amendment that the procedure would then be straightforward. It would be considered a supply request in excess of those tabled in the Legislature and under this resolution it would go to the Board of Internal Economy and come through the government by constitutional convention, I hope, on to the floor of the assembly for consideration as part of the supplementary estimates.

It does seem to me that in this difficult situation with a new institution of government and the obligation to provide the maximum independence for the Ombudsman -- in our sense we are talking about his independence from the executive branch of government -- at this time, consistent with the provisions of the British North America Act, this is a reasonable solution. I don’t think anyone here believes that it is necessarily the perfect solution but I am quite prepared to feel that the various dimensions and aspects of the problem which have to be reconciled are well reconciled within the framework of this resolution.

I might say, if I could speak to the first sentence in the resolution, the reference of the present estimates of $2.3 million back to the standing committee of the administration of justice is not only a wise thing to do but is consistent with the procedures which would develop in accordance with this resolution as put forward. I may say, as a minor addendum, that I am delighted that the resolution contains the further provision that effective forthwith the expenditure request of each select committee of the assembly be submitted to the Board of Internal Economy for disposition.

For those reasons, as my colleague, the member for Wentworth, has stated and as we stated in the previous debate I feel, in a strange sense, very pleased that this kind of resolution is the kind of solution to the problem on which our party feels we should join with the government. The House leader of the government has moved the resolution and my colleague, the House leader of this party, has seconded the resolution. I think it’s a worthwhile solution to a difficult problem with at least the three dimensions to which I have referred.

Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, I want to be brief and briefer than my friend. I am very disappointed that this debate had to come along. I am not an alarmist and I am not a pessimist but I don’t think this debate today and the charade we have gone through in the last month or so with respect to this funding has helped the Office of the Ombudsman or this Legislature. Frankly, I am sorry it was necessary.

I think if we are honest and look for the root cause of this problem, we would have to say that the bill was badly drawn and these things weren’t contemplated. Or, failing that, that the government failed to follow the report which several members of both the NDP and our party signed, in addition to government members. Let’s not forget that some of the people who spoke on behalf of the New Democratic Party today did sign a report recommending that these things go to a select committee to look after the affairs of the Ombudsman exclusively. I think it is quite a shame that we have to have this because I think it denigrates to a large measure the kind of work we want the Ombudsman to do.

I feel very strongly in support of my colleague, the member for Wilson Heights (Mr. Singer), and I think if we pass this resolution today we are going to live to regret it. I think he pointed out many reasons. I don’t want to go through them all.

He has tabled a lot of correspondence and read a lot of minutes into the record. I have read that same correspondence and I have followed the story with him and on my own. I must say it is a trail of absolute confusion on the part of so many people and I don’t feel that this is a solution to all that confusion. I think in five years you may very much regret the kind of decision you are trying to force in this House today when we run into a possible problem of jurisdiction or confrontation over jurisdiction.

My colleague from Wilson Heights pointed out two or three areas of possible confrontation. There were, and let’s not deny that, two or three issues in the short life of the Ombudsman to date when there was a confrontation over jurisdiction. The government knows that and all the people in the Ministry of Energy bow that and we all know that.

We have to protect the independence of that man and of that office. I am not saying that untoward influence has been used to date. It may have been or it may not have been; I don’t know and I’m not in a position to judge. I am saying we have an obligation to prevent that kind of thing from happening in the future. I assure you that your solution and the government solution is not going to prevent that kind of thing.

Do you know who will suffer? Not the Ombudsman; the government will suffer. You will regret it. You will regret not giving this man and this office the kind of independence that we feel very, very strongly he deserves in these circumstances.

As much as I respect my friend, the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick), I found today his legal opinions were outshone even by the member for Wentworth (Mr. Deans); I’m getting more faith in the fireman’s view of the law.

Mr. Nixon: My God, is that parliamentary?

Mr. Peterson: As I understand it, the member for Riverdale stood up today and said: “If we made a mistake and we don’t have jurisdiction under the Legislative Assembly Act, we can change the Act and we’ll get advice from the Clerk at a later date next week or the week after or whatever.” I say that’s the same kind of sloppy procedure that has come into this debate so far and into this entire charade and which we should prevent now. We should look at the whole thing now. What is to hurt us changing the Ombudsman’s Act and/or the Legislative Assembly Act, depending on the solution to the problem

Clearly from my reading of this Act, and I just want to read it into the record, as my friend from Wilson Heights has done that already, the Board of Internal Economy has power and duty to review estimates and forecast analysis of revenues, expenditures, commitments and other data pertaining to the Office of the Assembly and to assess the results thereof. My friend from Riverdale was talking about what this board does and their jurisdiction. As far as I understand it, they don’t have the jurisdiction to take new powers on to themselves. That has to be created by the Act. They can’t just take this jurisdiction. They don’t have the power under the Legislative Assembly Act to take that jurisdiction. What we have found, clearly, is a hole in the middle of this legislation.

Mr. Deans: What about the resolution? Isn’t that what that does?

Mr. Peterson: Let me come to the resolution. That resolution, brought in the way that it was, really is a catchall resolution. It cleans up a few other problems that were raised by my friend from Wentworth last. I don’t think we come in at this time just to try to work out a new system for the cleaning up of several problems. For example, this resolution refers to the Office of the Provincial Auditor and the election contributions and all that kind of thing. I think this debate was prompted by the problem we have with the Ombudsman on jurisdiction. I think we should address our minds to that solely and exclusively. I must say in a lot of ways I agree with some of your comments about a lot of the other bodies that are responsible only to the Legislature.

I don’t think we should use this occasion to try to clean up all of these other mistakes in procedures too. I personally regard the Ombudsman as very much more unique than any one of these other bodies and it shouldn’t be treated in the same way. I say respectfully to the House leader that I think he will live to regret it. Particularly with this man who has been appointed in this job, who is a very unique man and is an individual who is not prepared to back down on a lot of things, I think that you are going to find that you are going to be butting heads and causing that office to lose some of the prestige of the public. If that happens we all suffer as legislators.

I ask you all, what is the big deal? Why is there such a fuss, why have we wasted so much time in the Board of Internal Economy, in committee and two days in the Legislature? What is the big fuss? Clearly we all had in our minds and the committee had in its mind how this would be handled. Why has the government failed to bring it in? My two friends to the right here were signatories of that report. Why they failed to bring in that report, I must say to you, I will not understand.


But the point is you made a mistake, and the point is we should clean that up; and the point is, quite clearly, we need an independent committee of this Legislature which deals with the money and with the problems of that office. I have to refer to my friend, the member for Riverdale. I wish to repeat his remarks in Hansard last week. He said:

I’m very concerned. I expressed my concern on Friday last week. I don’t want to go into a relationship with the Ombudsman being an office constituted by and through the assembly for the assembly. I don’t want to be engaged in dealing with dollars with the Ombudsman. I want to be talking about the substance of his office.

Maybe right there lies the whole problem with the socialist philosophy all summed up in two or three lines. The committee has got to discuss the financial aspects as well as the powers and its problems.

Let me pose a very possible scenario that could come along, Mr. Speaker. Someday the Ombudsman says: “Look, I have a problem. It’s a very big, serious problem as I see it, and I need half a million dollars to investigate it.”

Mr. Deans: He’ll get it.

Mr. Peterson: From whom? Is he going to the committee?

Mr. Kennedy: The resolution will take care of that.

Mr. Peterson: Is he going to a special little committee that deals with the problems, or is he going back to the Board of Internal Economy?

Mr. Deans: He is going to submit supplementary estimates.

Ms. Peterson: At that point you’ve got five government members controlling that committee. That’s a very real scenario, Mr. Minister, a very real possibility. You know it and I know it.

Mr. Deans: How would he get it otherwise?

Mr. Peterson: He goes to an independent committee of all members of this Legislature, as independent as it can be, and he deals on that basis, not on the basis of the government. The odds are that in any problem that he has the adversary is the government -- not the NDP and not the Liberal Party.

Mr. Deans: But there are still Conservatives on any committee.

Mr. Peterson: It’s the government, and they’re entitled to their fair representative share on this particular committee.

Mr. Nixon: It would be likely they’d be a majority however.

Mr. Peterson: I say to you, Mr. Minister, we have thought about this a great deal. I assure you that our intention is not to be obstructive, our intention is not to posture for political reasons. This is a very strong principle held by my friend, the member for Wilson Heights.

Mr. Nixon: Soon to be minister.

Mr. Peterson: We all feel very strongly about this. I hope you are appraised of how seriously we take this situation.

I must confess to you, I cannot understand the behaviour of the NDP or their view on this particular matter.

Mr. Bain: It’s just a matter of standing on principle.

Mr. Peterson: It seems to me to be justification of a foul-up. The member from that party on the committee bad to keep drawing his other friends and members into it. When the member for Lakeshore (Mr. Lawlor) was speaking today he was virtually talking about the very thing we were. The only difference was his conclusion. He was part of that committee that signed the report and I must say, with great respect for the member for Lakeshore, I don’t understand how, by the logic that he used, he arrived at the conclusion that he did.

I’m very sorry it’s become a problem in this House. I’m very sorry that we are divided. Heretofore, all three parties have been united on all aspects of this. It’s been a great co-operative effort and I truthfully believe it’s one of the great things that this House has done. But I regard this debate as destructive. I regard this motion as destructive and I would urge you to withdraw it and to consider a more fair committee -- one that will have the appearance of fairness, where you won’t ever have the appearance of government control. I assure you, Mr. Minister, it will prevent problems that could potentially arise in the next five, 10 or 20 years. The government will suffer, the House will suffer, and I’m very sorry that the other two parties are going to align to pass this motion.

Mr. Nixon: I was very impressed when the Ombudsman presented his comments to the committee on the administration for justice. I was sitting in the committee as one of the representatives for my party at that time and the tone struck by the Ombudsman in the presentation to the committee surprised me a bit. At that time I was not aware of what had happened to the estimates of the Ombudsman and how he had been more or less knocked from pillar to post among the various committees and in communication with the government. I had the impression he was extremely sensitive to the possibility that the independence of the financial basis for his office should, in any way, be impaired.

I am quite sure the minister of the government who is the author of this resolution has conferred with the Ombudsman -- at least informed him as to the course of action being taken. Of course, there is no way of knowing what the response would be. I have not talked to the Ombudsman personally about this and don’t intend to. The thing that struck me was how sensitive he was to the possibility that the financing of his office would be seen to be anything other than at the behest, directly, of the Legislative Assembly and under the direction of a committee which is representative of the distribution of the members in the assembly.

The arguments put against the present course of action, in my view, have been valid and cogent. I don’t intend to repeat them. I simply say to you, sir, that the Ombudsman himself seems to be directly and deeply concerned in this matter. While he is a man with great breadth of experience and also experience in the legislative process -- probably also the constitutional processes -- I think we must be very much aware of his personal sensitivity to the actions of this House and of committees that have from time to time had a variety of degrees of responsibilities for hint

Like the member for London Centre, I too regret the fact that unanimity has evaporated as we come to this matter. I know that some of the members of the NDP and the Conservative caucus feel that it is just a very routine matter that by resolution we give certain authority to a committee that did not have that power and authority before.

I believe very strongly, along with the members from my party who have put forward the other argument, that the government should bring in the appropriate amendments and change the legislation as they would consider to be appropriate. The fact that we, as a House, have accepted, unanimously, the recommendation for the committee that was a part of the select committee recommendation, seems to me to be all the more reason we should have proceeded then, and we should proceed now, along those lines.

I sense that is the only fair way to deal with the office and the man -- the Ombudsman. I sense that anything less than that may very well be considerably less than acceptable to him. The idea has been put forward, many times, that the committee structure, as envisaged in this resolution, is going to be something less than acceptable to at least a large group of members in this House, and perhaps even to the Ombudsman and his office as well.

It is up to us, of course, to decide that, but it must be decided in the light of the unanimity that has gone into the structuring of the office and the appointment of the Ombudsman, and the clear concept that all of us have put forward, that he must be completely independent in the financing of his responsibilities as he sees them.

The hon. member for Scarborough Centre (Mr. Drea), who is not in his seat the present time but has been here listening to the debate, was one of the strongest spokesmen on the government side for this kind of independence. The same views have certainly been expressed, without reservation or equivocation, by almost all members of the House.

The hon. member for Riverdale felt he was being unduly pressured by the Ombudsman to go along with a larger sum of money. I felt that was a rather unfortunate position for the hon. member to take under these particular circumstances.

I would say too, Mr. Speaker, that I do believe, along with others, that the acceptance of this resolution as some kind of a stop-gap remedy would be a mistake. We have the time and we have the will to do it properly, and do it properly we should.

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, I did not plan to take part in this debate but I have been following it very closely throughout this afternoon and I just want to make two points, as briefly but as forcefully as I can.

The arguments being put forward by the Liberal Party would have far more validity in a congressional system of parliament than they do in a British parliamentary system.

Mr. Roy: Here we go.

Mr. Foulds: I would underline that no officer of any kind, in our system, has absolute fiscal freedom which could amount to responsibility.

Mr. Nixon: That’s why we are proposing this.

Mr. Singer: That’s why we want the Legislature to have the say.

Mr. Foulds: I suggest that if we were arguing in a congressional system I would in fact give the Liberal Party arguments some weight; in a British parliamentary system, I give them very little weight. One other comment --

Hon. Mr. Welch: He is doing better than many others I have heard today.

Mr. Shore: He is not helping you at all, Bob.

Mr. Foulds: One other comment I would like to make; there has been some feeling in the capsule articulation by the last speaker, that the Ombudsman has somehow been knocked from pillar to post.

Mr. Peterson: The office has been.

Mr. Foulds: I thought that he was knocked from $3.2 million to $2.3 million; some pillar, some post.

Mr. Singer: Churchill would have been jealous about that last one.

Mr. Peterson: Are you going to get your other heavy lawyers out on this one?

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please; the hon. member for London North has the floor.

Mr. Shore: Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak on this subject with a great deal of pleasure, and unfortunately with some reservation as to what I’ve heard here today.

I am not a constitutional expert, as some are, nor am I a legal expert as some claim to be, nor am I a congressional expert as we’ve now found out we have in this House.

An hon. member: Well, what the hell can you do?

Mr. Moffatt: In fact you’re not an expert on anything.

Mr. Shore: That’s right, and maybe that’s what you need here today, somebody who can see through this thing without being an expert.

Mr. Nixon: Good sense.

Mr. Foulds: Too bad it isn’t you.

Mr. Shore: The expert, the hon. member for Port Arthur, who claims to be an expert on education and now is claiming to be the expert in congressional matters --

An hon. member: He was a pillar of expertise.

Mr. Shore: I think he has missed the point, as he often does. And the point is this: I’ve read about this, I’ve heard about it today, and it seems to me, as many qualified and capable lawyers have stated, that you should not only be --

Mr. Foulds: You are going to take that as expert opinion, are you?

Mr. Shore: -- you should not only be fair, but you should always appear to be fair. And there has been nothing stated --

Mr. Rain: You are just concerned about appearances.

Mr. Shore: There has been nothing stated, Mr. Speaker, by all the people who have spoken, with the exception of members from this side, on anything other than defending a situation.

The real issue is why try to defend something? The proposal put forward by my colleague is not trying to defend something, he’s trying to clarify something, he’s trying to make it clear so that there will not be in anybody’s mind, the impression there is anything but an independent and impartial approach.

I think, Mr. Speaker, that the House leader and the government have a great opportunity to join in this objective process without having to defend something. This suggestion made is fair and it’s reasonable. We could discuss, at some length, what may be in somebody’s mind on this issue. I know there’s economics behind this, and I’m suggesting to you, Mr. Speaker, that before we start to get into the economics let’s try to rationalize what the original intention was and let’s gamble on the economics afterwards, because if we lose sight of that we’ve lost sight of the whole purpose of this exercise. I would strongly urge the minister and I would strongly urge the government, if they ever had an opportunity to be fair and reasonable, it’s now.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Does any other member wish to take part in this debate? The hon. House leader, the member for Brock.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I’ve listened today, as I did last day, in connection with this matter. I suppose if I am to start off someplace, I would share the concern of the member for London Centre who said, and I hope I am quoting him correctly and fairly, that this debate has been destructive. I would like to suggest, as quietly as I can, that if it’s been destructive it’s because there have been some members, and I’d be prepared to refer to some of the remarks, who in their attempt to exaggerate some of the issues have confused the whole issue of this resolution and have imputed motivation and have imputed an approach, which is really quite irresponsible on their part.

Mr. Shore: On whose part?

Hon. Mr. Welch: There is no one in this House, I haven’t heard a member in this House stand up and deny the principles that lie behind the legislation which established the Office of the Ombudsman.


Mr. Roy: You tried to do it indirectly.

Hon. Mr. Welch: That is not in dispute. The member for Riverdale made that quite clear when he talked about the rationalization of two very important principles we have before us, one of which isn’t even being debated in this resolution with respect to the cardinal principle in the establishment of the office. I’m not talking about the incumbent; I’m talking about the Office of the Ombudsman, which is independent and, of course, accountable directly to this assembly. Who in the world is questioning that at all?

I would suggest that if the debate has become destructive -- and I leave that to the judgement of others -- it’s because there are those who, for reasons that are best known to them, have chosen to cloud the issue and attempted to posture in some very obvious partisan ways and flirted with that other principle, which isn’t even in discussion at this particular time.

Mr. Shore: How do you --

Hon. Mr. Welch: The rationalization that the member for Riverdale talks about is a very legitimate one. We have the principle that this Legislature set up in the Office of the Ombudsman. We also have the principle with respect to all the rules and traditions that deal with the expenditure of public money -- and I want to come back to that in just a minute --

Mr. Peterson: It is not in the Act.

Hon. Mr. Welch: I listened carefully to the member for London Centre; we’re talking about that principle now. There is no question that there comes a time that there may well have to be some time spent with respect to rationalization. It may well be that the legislation establishing the Office of the Ombudsman is not clear with respect to the procedures to be followed to give the assembly the procedure to deal with the budget of the Ombudsman. Surely no one in this House feels that there wasn’t to be some scrutiny or examination by the Legislature of the budget of the Ombudsman?

Mr. Singer: Who said there shouldn’t be?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Fine. Let the record show that there is no disagreement with respect to that. All we’re talking about is the procedure by which that can be done in such a way that is consistent with all the rules we talk about --

Mr. Singer: And by whom. It is more than procedure.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Accountability. That’s what we’re talking about.

Mr. Singer: Darned right!

Hon. Mr. Shore: All right. When it became obvious through some procedural matters --

Mr. Singer: After a year.

Hon. Mr. Welch: -- and I want to get back to an unfortunate comment made by the member for Lakeshore, when he tried to suggest procrastination on the part of the government in the resolving of this matter. I think that was unfortunate, because how can one person say we have to maintain a certain degree of objectivity, that we have to remember he is a servant of the Legislature, and then expect the government to take action unilaterally with respect to these particular matters without some prior consultation?

I think that what’s happened during the period of time, whatever dates and minutes are, until the tabling of this resolution, and I don’t intend to get involved --

Mr. Singer: Oh no.

Hon. Mr. Welch: -- in all this harangue about who did what and who said what --

Mr. Singer: Or even any legal opinions?

Hon. Mr. Welch: -- but simply to say, that it cannot be disputed that there have been many meetings and a great deal of consultation, and the result of that has been the tabling of this resolution.

Mr. Singer: Oh nuts!

Hon. Mr. Welch: This resolution is here, and I speak only to that point about these negotiations, which was raised by the member. I raise it too because I think it’s unfortunate that the member for Wilson Heights during the course of his remarks, thinks it is particularly appropriate to suggest, in a very inappropriate way, that I tried to persuade him, as part of my consultation in sharing things with him in a private discussion not to raise some questions in connection with this matter in the last few days. That is something I just can’t understand or cope with --

Mr. Singer: On a point of privilege --

Hon. Mr. Welch: Allow me to say this --

Mr. Singer: What did you say to me? What did you say to me?

Hon. Mr. Welch: -- that it’s completely unfair.

Mr. Makarchuk: Sit down!

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Would the hon. member like it on the record?

Mr. Singer: Sure. Put it on the record.

Hon. Mr. Welch: All right. The chairman of the administration of justice committee, during the course of the discussions with respect to this particular resolution, said that the hon. member for Wilson Heights was expressing some concern that it wasn’t coming forward. I went to the hon. member and suggested to him that, in view of some comments he had made, it was appropriate indeed that we satisfy ourselves with respect to the points he made with reference to the Legislative Assembly Act.

Mr. Singer: By a legal opinion.

Hon. Mr. Welch: At that particular time he said, “Fine. I have no intention of raising the matter today anyway.”

Mr. Singer: You have a terribly bad memory with respect to legal opinion.

Hon. Mr. Welch: The hon. member’s memory is convenient to him but his argument didn’t need that aside with respect to a private conversation; I want the record to show that --

Mr. Singer: Because it embarrassed you doesn’t change it.

Mr. Roy: That is twice in one week you have been wrong.

Hon. Mr. Welch: -- because it is becoming increasingly obvious that we would be wise on this side, in having discussions with people like the hon. member, to have a couple of others along with us with tape recorders. That’s how silly it is. If they want this House to work -- it’s a source of embarrassment to my colleague, the House leader of that group, that this is going on, in view of all the discussion prior to the tabling of this resolution --

Mr. Singer: The only thing silly about it is the people we are not in favour of; you are in favour of the people.

Hon. Mr. Welch: -- if that’s the price we pay with respect to that, that’s fine.

Mr. Shore: It’s your memory.

Hon. Mr. Welch: They can posture to the gallery all they like but their motivation is quite obvious.

Mr. Singer: Fatuous.

Mr. Shore: Does your memory ever fail you --

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Welch: What we are faced with then, to go back to the principle, is the mechanism by which --

Mr. Roy: This is twice in a week you are confused.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Oh, yes, quite.

Mr. Singer: Where is the legal opinion you were going to get?

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please.

An hon. member: You’d confuse anybody, you fellows.

Mrs. Campbell: He’s not being very gentlemanly, Mr. Speaker.

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

Hon. Mr. Welch: I know the member for St. George (Mrs. Campbell) would recognize the defect very quickly.

Mr. Shore: It’s good to see you smiling again.

Mr. Singer: You forgot about the legal opinion, did you?

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Welch: The point is that we’re now faced with the particular situation of finding the mechanism by which the House can finally deal with the estimates of the Office of the Ombudsman. To rectify the situation we have put before the House a resolution which spells out a procedure.

Surely, all other considerations aside, it should be recognized that we now have a difference of opinion on one point, namely, the committee to which the estimates of the Ombudsman would be referred. Surely that’s the point? We find, in the Board of Internal Economy, a procedure which provides for estimates to be tabled by the Speaker of the House with respect to these matters. We find that by referring these estimates to the Board of Internal Economy they can be laid before the Legislature for consideration.

Reference has been made to the establishment of yet another committee and concern with respect to the Board of Internal Economy and, in particular, its domination by members of the government. I would remind the hon. members that with any government of a majority situation -- one has been invited to think in terms of more than interim and today’s solutions; I appreciate the comment of the member for London Centre that we will be here five years from now to consider this decision on this side -- in any majority situation standing committees reflect the ratio of membership In the House.

The member for Wentworth (Mr. Deans) made this point. In that situation, in any majority situation, a standing committee of the Legislature will have a majority of government members as well.

Mr. Roy: Can the committee increase the estimates?

Hon. Mr. Welch: The point is that no matter how we do it -- I’m simply putting this point to members -- no matter how we organize it, short of asking the Ombudsman to come in and deal with the entire Legislature -- and no one has suggested that -- members have recommended that there be some type of a preliminary examination by an all-party committee. No one is denying that.

Mr. Singer: All party? Five to two. There are three cabinet ministers.

Hon. Mr. Welch: The point is, I remind members that no matter how we look at it, ultimately we come to a committee, whether it’s a standing committee or a special committee of the Legislature which reflects its membership and ratio. We have one already in place, surely to goodness, which is quite clearly organized to deal with matters of the estimates of those who are directly accountable to the assembly.

The member for London Centre (Mr. Peterson) quite rightly cautioned us, when he raised his questions, about discrediting the office and destroying the office and violating all of these great principles. I must say as a member of this House that I take a great deal of exception to any such suggestion. I appreciate the comments of the members for Wentworth (Mr. Deans) and Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) in support that there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that the government party has done anything to interfere with the independence of the Ombudsman.

Mrs. Campbell: Just chop off the estimates.

Hon. Mr. Welch: To introduce that other issue into a discussion --

Mr. Shore: The member for Wentworth wouldn’t say that. He’s in your pocket.

Hon. Mr. Welch: -- which is only dealing with the straight mechanics of making sure the Ombudsman has the resources to discharge his responsibilities unimpaired and with the full support of this Legislature, is quite irresponsible, I suggest. I would urge that this resolution be dealt with and carried so that this House can ultimately deal with the needs of the Ombudsman.

The House divided on Hon. Mr. Welch’s resolution which was adopted on the following vote:














Davidson (Cambridge)


Davison (Hamilton Centre)


Di Santo















Johnson (Wellington-Dufferin-Peel)
















Miller (Muskoka)


Newman (Durham York)



















Ziemba -- 68.











Miller (Haldimand-Norfolk)

Newman (Windsor-Walkerville)



Reed (Halton-Burlington)






Smith (Nipissing)

Smith (Hamilton West)



Worton -- 25.

Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, has everyone voted on this?

Mr. Acting Speaker: Yes, the hon. member for Durham East was going to rise on a point of order and I asked him to wait.

Clerk of the House: Mr. Speaker, the “ayes” are 68 and the “nays” 25.

Mr. Acting Speaker: I declare the resolution adopted.

Mr. Moffatt: Mr. Speaker, I’d like at this time to ask the House to join with me in welcoming one of my constituents and the leader of the federal New Democratic Party, Mr. J. Edward Broadbent, who is sitting in the east gallery.

Hon. Mr. Davis: On that point of order, I think it is only appropriate that the Premier of this province recognizes such a distinguished visitor in the gallery and to extend to him all of our best wishes, to suggest to him in a year and a half or two years, as he enters the lists on a national basis, that we wish him well and that he return with roughly the same number of seats he presently has.


The House recessed at 6 p.m.