30e législature, 3e session

L090 - Fri 18 Jun 1976 / Ven 18 jun 1976

The House met at 10 a.m.


Mr. Speaker: Statements by the ministry.


Hon. Mr. Bennett: I’d like to take this opportunity to draw the attention of the hon. members of the House to a new publication they will find on their desks this morning.

It is my pleasure to present to the hon. members, the 1975 annual review of the Ontario Ministry of Industry and Tourism. They will find the annual review a comprehensive report of the activities of my ministry during the past year, with extensive coverage of the industry, trade, tourism and small business operations divisions.

As well, I’m pleased to report that the annual review contains an analysis of Ontario’s economy. The outlook is that the remainder of this year appears to be at least moderately optimistic, with our growth rate predicted at between four and six per cent. It is also anticipated that balance of trade figures will improve during the current year, moving from the 1975 deficit position to a slight surplus.

I would like to ask the hon. members to peruse the annual review at their convenience, and I would certainly welcome their comments and views on the position of our ministry.


Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to correct an impression which probably was left unintentionally by the hon. member for Hamilton West recently in his question concerning Dr. Marisa Zorsitto and the award from the Ontario motor vehicle accident claims fund.

The hon. member said the $50,000 maximum award would hardly pay for the medical and rehabilitative expenses faced by Dr. Zorsitto. I have reviewed the case in depth and wish to report that the funds available to the doctor from her own insurance, from OHIP and from the motor vehicle accident claims fund total $84,418, in addition to the amount she will be receiving for her party and party legal costs.

Her expenses to the date of the award have been estimated to be $38,000 plus legal fees. This means that she can expect to receive in the neighbourhood of $46,000 over and above the expenses incurred. There is some possibility that an additional amount paid out for rehabilitative services in the United States may be recoverable from OHIP. However, whether or not this will be the case will depend on the type of treatment obtained. The matter is now under review.

Mr. Speaker, I merely wished to set the record straight. I would be first to admit that $46,000, or even $50,000 is hardly a princely amount in a case such as this. On the other hand, is any amount of money adequate compensation for a lifetime of physical disability or suffering?

We are exploring at the present time all aspects of minimum insurance required and maximum payments from the motor vehicle accident claims fund. Unfortunately, this is not a simple equation where solutions are expeditiously available.

Without going into all the details again, I want to say that although we are not opposed in principle to compulsory insurance, this has not proven to be the panacea in jurisdictions which have attempted to find a solution in that direction only. Increasing fund payments and required contributions might only serve to motivate uninsured drivers to stop contributing to the fund rather than getting them off the road.

I hope to have recommendations to place before my colleagues in the near future so that when the Legislature resumes after the summer break we will be in a position to present a practical solution to the problem so vividly evident in the case of Dr. Zorsitto. But the answer is not going to be found readily.

Mr. Speaker: Oral questions:


Mr. Deans: May I ask the Minister of Energy whether he is yet in a position to indicate the form and nature of the inquiry which he has proposed shall be undertaken into the PUC in Dundas, recognizing that the summer months are not the easiest time to conduct an inquiry and recognizing that there is a municipal election coming up in the fall of this year, which necessitates that the matter be both investigated and cleared up before the people involved have to run for office?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: First of all, as far as an inquiry is concerned, there is an investigation under way at the present time by the Hamilton-Wentworth regional police department, as the hon. member is aware. Whether or not any charges are laid will be determined by the police and by the Crown attorney of the region.

I indicated to some local press representatives in the hon. member’s area a few days ago that I would hope to give some indication by the middle of next week as to whether the government or the local council and local electors can take any action over and above what the police and the Crown attorney might take.

As for the question of an election, as the member will know, in February of last year I spoke in the House about the municipal utility restructuring. My understanding is that the restructuring committee for the region of Hamilton-Wentworth is under way. It is doubtful whether they will complete their work in time to put legislation through for the fall. When that committee does finish its work and makes its recommendations to Hydro, and they to the government, then we will bring in legislation as soon as possible thereafter.

I would remind the hon. member that one of the guidelines for utility restructuring is that the first commission would be appointed by the council and during the first term, council would decide whether thereafter subsequent commissions would be elected or appointed.

Mr. Deans: Just one supplementary question, as I want to be clear on what you are saying: If, in fact, the Hamilton-Wentworth police force is currently investigating for criminal charge purposes, the undertakings and goings on of the PUC, what then would be the nature of any investigation that might be undertaken by the minister or undertaken at the behest of the ministry?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I haven’t said there would be a concurrent investigation. I separated it into two areas. The first is any possible criminal actions. These are things perhaps in the area of fraud or whatever; that is being looked after by the police department. Then there is the question in the resolution from the council of the town of Dundas as conveyed to me by the clerk-treasurer of that municipality. There was concern expressed about the confidence in the public utility commission of that municipality and I am just as concerned as they are in that area. This is, as the member knows, a very unusual circumstance. There are very few precedents in the province over the last 70 years in which we have had municipal utilities. My concern then is with what the ministry or the municipality or both together can do to re-establish confidence in the commission.

Mr. Cunningham: Supplementary: Has the minister read the report and does he, as the Minister of Energy, think there is any impropriety there?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I have read the report and I think that question of impropriety is better left unanswered until the police have completed their investigation.

Mr. Deans: One final supplementary question on this: Since the minister has stated that any criminal matters are currently under investigation by the police force, what is it he is waiting for; what information is he seeking and from whom in order to determine whether any further investigation or further action is required? The minister says some time in the middle of next week. What is going to happen between today and next Wednesday? Whose advice is he seeking? Nobody understands why there hasn’t been some clear-cut decision made as to whether or not there ought to be some public airing of the entire matter.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: First of all, I indicated a month ago when this first came up as a public issue that I wanted to determine whether this was better looked after at the local level or at the provincial level. Because this problem is such a rare one, what I wanted to get and what I got at the first part of this week, was advice on the law as it pertains to this kind of situation. Between now and next week, I hope to meet with the mayor of the municipality. I had indicated a month ago before I made a decision that I would meet with the chief magistrate of that municipality and then would announce the government’s position.


Mr. Deans: I have a question for the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development since there is no one else I can ask the question of. Has he undertaken or will he undertake to meet and make representation to the International Joint Commission with regard to the unusually high levels of Lake Ontario -- and Lake Erie too, for that matter, but particularly Lake Ontario at this time -- given that over the past two or three years we have had unusual damage to the shoreline and to the properties on the shoreline because of the inability of the IJC to control the lake levels satisfactorily?

Hon. Mr. Irvine: I haven’t had a meeting in this regard but would be happy to chair a meeting. I believe the responsibility should be undertaken by the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Bernier) but I would be happy to meet with the people along with my colleague.

Mr. Deans: May I ask whether this is a matter which falls within the policy area? Secondly, is the minister aware that the levels this year at this time are some 17 to 18 in. higher than the levels last year? Last year we had damage that caused severe loss and the Province of Ontario obviously wasn’t in a position to act and failed to act sufficiently well to protect the people or to compensate them. Maybe it was another jurisdiction; I don’t know. But it’s important because in the fall we will be faced with serious problems unless the action is taken now.


Hon. Mr. Irvine: Mr. Speaker, I am aware that the water levels are higher in this particular area and also in other areas. We’d be quite happy, as I said before, to have a meeting to discuss what might be done.

Mr. Bain: Would the minister also determine whether or not the diversion of water that formerly flowed into Hudson and James Bays, into Lake Nipigon and, consequently, into the Great Lakes has had any bearing on the high water levels over the last few years?

Hon. Mr. Irvine: Mr. Speaker, I will endeavour to find out.


Mr. Deans: One final question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations: Will the minister review the actions of the various chairmen who are conducting rent review hearings to determine whether they are sufficiently aware of the job they have undertaken; that they are allowing individuals who are objecting to rent increases or owners who are defending rent increases sufficient opportunity to present their views; and that the hearings are being conducted in such a way as to ensure that all the information can be brought out in an orderly way?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, all the rent review officers have been thoroughly trained in the procedures they are to follow in conducting hearings. I understand there have been instances when tenants have sought to introduce irrelevant statements or time-wasting arguments and many cases when landlords have sought to bring in information at a very late date and have attempted to use that in the course of a hearing.

All the rent review officers are quite aware both of their powers and the procedures to follow, and I would certainly be prepared to investigate any case. The executive director of the rent review programme has just returned from a tour around the province to refresh further the memories of the rent review officers. Individual cases are being investigated when they’re brought to my attention.

Mr. Shore: Supplementary: Could the minister advise the House as to what the executive director has found in his review across the province? Has there been some type of uniformity in what he’s seen?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, the executive director returned this morning. I’ll be meeting with him shortly after the question period but I don’t think he’s in a position yet to report in detail on what he has found.

Mr. Speaker: The final supplementary.

Mr. Shore: Would the minister advise the House as to his findings once he’s met with his executive director?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: As soon as I receive a report, I certainly will make it known to members of the House.


Mr. Breithaupt: A question of the Solicitor General, following the statement yesterday with respect to policing costs for the Olympic Games. Can the minister explain how the figure, of almost $2 million now, was developed? Was there any agreement with COJO with respect to the sharing of these costs? What did the minister mean when he commenced yesterday, “We are going to try to get something from the Olympic committee but I’m not looking for much success”?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Speaker, the figure was developed by the Ontario Provincial Police, estimating overtime, the cost of housing the people in Kingston, the various costs of the vehicles involved -- the motor boats, police cars and so on -- transportation, housing, lodging and all that goes with it. The overtime, as I understand it, is for the entire force because the fact that some will be moved to Kingston means other people will have to put in extra hours, too.

I can’t give any more of a breakdown than that. It is their estimate of what the Olympics will cost us. Some costs are entailed directly in service at the Olympic site and others by reason of the fact that some men have been moved to one place so those who are left will have to do overtime.

Some of that money is in our own budget; some is to be supplied by the Ministry of Culture and Recreation. I think the minister has indicated, although I’m not sure of this, that some of that money will be coming from Wintario funds.

The member asked whether we have any agreement with COJO. I’ve been trying to get something definite on that but it’s evidently well back in antiquity and I haven’t been able to locate anybody who has anything definite on it. My understanding, from talking to various people, is that the original understanding was that there were to be funds from COJO but I can’t find any definite agreement to this effect. I don’t know who would have made the agreement --

Mr. MacDonald: Better ask Drapeau.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: -- simply on the basis that the games were suddenly found to be in Ontario. I don’t know whether anybody in the provincial government had any part in the negotiations for putting them in Kingston, but I will try to get further information on that. I have spoken to the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough), and I don’t think he has a great deal of information either. I am trying to locate some agreement. In any event, as the members know, the COJO people operating out of Montreal are having financial difficulties. Although we would like to get something and still hope to get something, I think our chances are very slight.

Mr. Breithaupt: As a supplementary, I can understand that the provincial police would have made the necessary provisions to provide for overtime because of these particular requirements. But I am wondering if the minister really wants us to accept the view that with the Olympic Games only several weeks away there has been no opportunity to discuss these matters or to enter into any agreement either through his ministry or presumably through Culture and Recreation.

If Culture and Recreation are putting up $1 million or so, are they doing this simply out of their own goodwill or is there any agreement that the minister knows of with COJO? Is this all just happening?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: As I say, I don’t know who determined that the site would be in Kingston for the sailing races. I do know it is a provincial responsibility to look after any policing in this province. So suddenly we have an event taking place in Kingston and the Ontario Provincial Police as well as the municipal police in Kingston have the responsibility to make sure that everything goes smoothly there.

Whenever any kind of event or crowd-gathering comes to Ontario, automatically the respective police forces have to move in. They are generally not consulted as to whether or not they can afford to do that policing, or how it is going to be financed. I think that is what happened here. But I agree we should have a more definite arrangement with COJO, or be able to find out just what that arrangement is. I am still trying to do that.


Mr. Breithaupt: I have a question of the Minister of Community and Social Services with respect to computerized records. In view of the minister’s statement Wednesday at the Canadian Council on Social Development luncheon that efficiency and productivity were to be a goal in the province’s social service delivery system, and that computers would be used for record-keeping to assist in achieving that goal, can the minister give us details in the House of exactly what information will be kept in the computer, who will have access to that information and will the information include family histories of those persons who apply for assistance?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, may I explain that at present there are about 20 municipalities that have self-contained computer systems to operate their general welfare assistance programmes. There have been some problems in terms of applicants that may be applying in more than one area or in more than one municipality for assistance. That’s a matter that has come up and we thought it would be better if the municipalities could integrate their computer systems so that the self-contained systems could talk to one another to get that integrated result. That’s one system of computers.

The second is our own computer system that we operate through my ministry in the family benefits programme. I have been anxious to see a terminal in all of our district offices so that we can get instantaneous communication from the field to central office or head office, which is important in terms of rapid changes in persons’ circumstances -- there may be an increase in the number of dependants or a decrease or whatever it happens to be -- so that we can effect more rapid processing and probably even more accurate processing.

We have those two computer systems, and the concept is to link the two systems -- that is, to tie in the general welfare computer system with the family benefits computer system, which I think will provide efficiencies in many ways.

Mr. Breithaupt: Could the minister provide an answer with respect to the access of information and to the case histories?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: I am sorry. No one in this House is more conscious than I am of the need for confidentiality in terms of personal records, because I think we have to protect that confidentiality.

Mr. Cassidy: You mean information and intelligence. Is that right?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: I hope the members opposite agree that these are personal records and that there shouldn’t be public access to those records; we will ensure that confidentiality is preserved.

Mr. Ferris: Supplementary: Since a normal telecommunications terminal costs about $40,000, can the minister tell us how many offices would have them and what the cost would be to install this network?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: We estimate that it will take about two years and we will keep within $2 million in terms of the expenses. As a matter of fact, because of the streamlining of our process, I don’t think we will be spending any more to effect these changes than the sum of the individual costs at present, which is about $2 million.


Mr. Breithaupt: One final question to the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations with respect to the recent court awards and the difficulties with respect to the motor vehicle accident claims fund and its limits: Since it would appear that it is going to happen more and more often that awards are going to be granted far beyond the limits of the fund, even though the fund was never meant to cover these exceptional awards, will the minister be able to make any statement, before the House rises for the summer, with respect to changes in the limits of the fund or what policies the government might use to deal with these particular exceptional cases which are well beyond the traditional limits that the fund has met?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, I didn’t notice whether the hon. member was in his seat. I made a statement before question period today in which I pointed out that it would require legislative action to do anything. I am prepared to make some recommendations to the government to try to mitigate the problem, but I don’t think a solution is ever going to be found to million-dollar judgements, either by raising the minimum amounts of insurance or the maximum amount under the fund. We’re certainly prepared to do something, and that will be at some cost to both the public and to the consumers of insurance.

Mr. Breithaupt: Thank you. I will see the statement.


Mr. Moffatt: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. Is the minister aware that products which depend upon the process of ionization for smoke detection are being imported from the United States for sale to consumers in their homes and that on these particular devices there is attached a sticker which indicates that before disposing of the item, the consumer is to contact the Atomic Energy Control Board for directions as to disposal?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, I am aware of smoke detectors being sold in this province and importation, of course, is a matter completely beyond the jurisdiction of this government and the Province of Ontario. Atomic Energy Control Board regulations do require that they be notified of any products which contain any kind of fissionable materials or materials that could cause some problems. I’m sure the sticker has been attached at the request of the Atomic Energy Control Board, but we have no control over the importation of those products in Ontario.

Mr. Moffatt: Supplementary: Has any ministry in the Province of Ontario done any testing at all as to the safety of that kind of material? My reason for asking the supplementary, Mr. Speaker, if I may explain it briefly, is that yesterday morning I got a call from a high school teacher in Bowmanville who had examined one of these devices with a Geiger counter and, within a range of 5 ft to 6 ft, found a reading of about five times normal background radiation levels emanating from this particular device.


Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is fully aware of the fact that the Hazardous Products Act is a federal statute and that control of radiation devices is a federal responsibility. I see no reason for the Province of Ontario to duplicate those initiatives.


Mr. Haggerty: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct a question to the Minister of Labour. Can the minister indicate or give some direction to the Legislature as to any government policy on introducing amendments to the Workmen’s Compensation Act to upgrade the injured worker’s income? This has been government policy for the past two years. Will the minister be introducing any changes in the Act before the Legislature adjourns for the summer recess?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I have to say that I doubt it will be before the recess for the summer this year. The Workmen’s Compensation Board this year has been reasonably active as a result of the requirements for increased funding which became necessary following the changes in the legislation last year -- the changes in benefits.

There was a fairly major increase in the assessments to employers which caused some difficulties. The Compensation Board has been working with the employers and attempting to resolve their difficulties in order to ensure that there are sufficient funds to provide the benefits for this year. When I reminded them not very long ago that we had not received their recommendations for this year regarding benefit levels -- which I had asked them to look at -- they informed me that they were examining them. The recommendations will be forthcoming within a few days.

I don’t have those recommendations as yet and therefore it is very unlikely that we will be able to present anything before the summer recess; I would hope it would be shortly thereafter, however.

Mr. Bounsall: As any changes in rates and benefits paid to workers must come before this House through an Act to amend the Workmen’s Compensation Act, if it cannot be presented before this particular session ends and must therefore wait until the fall, will those benefits be backdated to July 1, as we have clearly done in the last two years?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I suppose that is a possibility. I am awaiting the recommendations of the board. Most certainly, however, I would have to remind the hon. member that simply because it has been the custom in the last couple of years to do a certain thing, that does not necessarily mean it has been the policy to do it.

We are attempting to develop the kind of programme which is going to be of greatest benefit to the workers. I would hope that shortly after the session resumes in the fall we will have the board’s recommendations to present.


Mr. MacDonald: A question of the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations: Since the Ontario Chiropractic Association was given assurance by one of the minister’s predecessors -- namely Mr. Winkler, and his deputy, Mr. Johnson -- that the statute and/or the regulations would be changed so as to include chiropractic services in sickness and accident benefit claims, why is the minister now taking the stand that chiropractic services are excluded from health services claims unless they are specifically included in the agreement between the employer and the insurance company?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, I don’t believe I’ve taken that stand. What is said is that chiropractic services are included under the direction of a physician. I stand to be corrected but I have not taken the stand that chiropractic services are only included when they are in the agreement between the employer and the employee.

Mr. MacDonald: A supplementary: Since chiropractic services are immediately available without having to go through the channel of their authorization by a physician under the Health Services Act, Workmen’s Compensation Board, the Drugless Practitioners Act and the proposed Health Services Act, why is the minister persisting in the old, out-moded approach that chiropractic services must be subsidiary to and only under the direction of a medical practitioner?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, because that is the way the statute is drawn and that is the way the contracts are drawn. I have always said to the chiropractors that I am quite prepared to look at possible revisions to that and I have not received any representation from them for at least a year on this matter.

Mr. MacDonald: A supplementary: The recommendations went to this minister’s predecessor three years ago and he gave an explicit commitment. I’m back to my original question. Why is the minister now forsaking or repudiating the commitment of his predecessor three years ago? Why does he have to have representations again from the Chiropractic Association?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, I met with the chiropractors at least a year ago to discuss this very point because there had been a commitment. We discussed it with them and to the best of my knowledge they are satisfied with the present conditions.

Mr. MacDonald: I know they are not.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: I have not received any renewed representations from them and I would certainly be prepared to receive them from them or from the hon. member.


Mr. Conway: I have a question of the Treasurer. Given the recent interest expressed by certain members of this House with respect to the cost of the Olympic Games, I would ask the Treasurer if his ministry has undertaken any economic impact study to ascertain what the benefits of this summer enterprise would be to the Province of Ontario?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I’m not aware that we have, but I believe the Ministry of Industry and Tourism has run some projections. As a matter of fact, I think in the statement which I see on our desks this morning there is some mention of it. I just glanced at it quickly, but I believe they did some estimates of the value to the Ontario tourist industry of the Olympics in Montreal and Kingston.


Mr. Godfrey: I have a question of the Minister of the Environment. In view of the fact that there is now clear evidence that the Owen Sound dump is polluting the wells in the vicinity, what recommendations will he be making for redress to the constituents whose wells have been polluted?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Is that Guelph or Owen Sound?

Mr. Godfrey: Owen Sound.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: First of all, we’d have to establish that somebody has been injured as a result of any contamination that may flow from the dump in Owen Sound. If there is pollution from that dump, it will either have to be corrected or the dump closed. However, if the damage can be measured, then compensation would be considered.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Is that the dump of the member for Grey-Bruce (Mr. Sargent)?

Hon. B. Stephenson: That’s where he puts all his old Lincolns.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: I’m not aware of any specific contamination or specific claim for any of the residents. I haven’t heard from the hon. member for that area.

Mr. Godfrey: Supplementary: In view of the fact that the minister’s report recommends that they terminate the use of the present dump, surely this is prima facie evidence of pollution? I repeat my question: What recommendations will he make for redress to the people whose wells have been contaminated?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: If the dump is contaminating, the dump will be closed. That is the recommendation to which the hon. member is referring. However, if people’s wells have been contaminated and there has been damage as the result of that, there will have to be some consideration for compensation. That has to be measured. A claim has to be made and a claim has to be established. In the meantime, certainly, if the wells are contaminated, as I say, the dump will have to be closed and a new site established. It may be that the city, which operates that facility, may have to compensate some of its own residents.


Mr. G. I. Miller: I have a question of the Minister of Housing. In view of the fact that regional government was formed in Haldimand-Norfolk in 1974; in view of the fact that the regional council appointed the planning board for the region, and in view of the fact they have given a lot of consideration as far as planning is concerned, why does it take so long to get an answer from the ministry in this respect?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I don’t understand the question at all.

Mr. Riddell: Was the minister listening?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I certainly was attempting to listen and to decipher it, but can the member be a little more specific? I don’t understand it.

Mr. G. I. Miller: I’ve had many applications come in and it’s very frustrating for the people in my riding that they can’t get an answer within a period of several weeks. Under the regional system surely it could be speeded up? Why don’t they get an answer?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: An answer to what?

Mr. Sargent: Bureaucracy.

Mr. Speaker: Perhaps the hon. member might communicate again to the minister.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I’m not trying to be difficult. I just don’t understand what he wants me to answer.

An hon. member: How did the minister get elected?

Mr. Eaton: What is the member asking?

Mr. Speaker: Does the hon. member have a specific question of information?

Mr. G. I. Miller: In regard to zoning applications.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: That’s the first time he has said that. In zoning applications, many times the delays that are created are created by the municipality itself. The responses and even applications for zoning bylaws that come to the ministry are circulated to the various agencies with a maximum of 60 days return on them. They have to be circulated to the various agencies of this government and the municipalities. I don’t know where the specific delays that the member is talking about are lying. Many times they lie right with the regional people themselves and sometimes with the local municipality.

Mr. Singer: Supplementary: Could the minister tell me what mechanism exists to bring slow-reacting government agencies to bear on this 90-day limit? In my experience someone can take 90 days plus 90 days plus 90 days, and the officials in your department just throw up their hands and say, “What can we do?” What can they do?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Speaker, the hon. member’s experience must go back some time, because I believe that particular situation has been corrected. We do now get responses from the agencies of this government and the understanding is -- and it is being adhered to -- if a response is not back from an agency of this government within the 60-day period then we go ahead without its comments. We do not wait for them.

Mr. Singer: You chop off their heads.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: We don’t chop off anybody’s head. We just don’t pay any attention to the fact that they haven’t responded.


Ms. Bryden: I have a question of the provincial Treasurer. With regard to the federal-provincial financial discussions this week, is the Premier (Mr. Davis) or the Treasurer planning to make a statement in the House on these closed-door meetings to inform us of what went on?

Secondly, I notice he suggested he might have to raise the income tax if the federal revenue guarantee payment is discontinued, resulting in substantial loss of revenue to the province. Has he considered instead raising the corporations tax and the mining profits tax?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, I thought I had made a rather full statement of our observations on Wednesday afternoon, that was objected to rather strenuously by the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick). Perhaps if the member would consult Hansard she would find out just what we thought about the conference.

Mr. Sargent: Be ladylike, Darcy.

Ms. Bryden: Supplementary: The minister did not reply to my second question as to whether he was considering increasing the corporations tax and the mining profits tax to make up the loss from the revenue guarantee payments?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: No, Mr. Speaker, I wouldn’t. The loss in the revenue guarantee is in small part corporations tax but the main part of it, most of it, is personal income tax -- that is income which we would have received under the old system which we are not receiving under the new system since tax reform.

I think the simplest way of putting it is, the figure was struck that we would receive 30.5 per cent and that figure is wrong. To receive the same amount of revenue that we received prior to the new system, as it turns out, that figure should be 32 or 33 or 34. The difference has been made up by the revenue guarantee. If the revenue guarantee is to be dropped, then it should presumably be replaced with the old system, which would be personal income tax.


Mr. Riddell: A question of the Minister of Agriculture and Food: It is my understanding that the Premier made a statement this morning over Broadcast News that he was prepared to give in to opposition demands on the farm income stabilization plan. If the minister is aware of this, what is the nature of the agreement and how far is he prepared to go in order to meet our demands?

Hon. W. Newman: Mr. Speaker, I am not aware of any broadcast the Premier made this morning. I am aware of the statement he made in the House yesterday that we would look at the overall situation as far as the farm income stabilization bill is concerned and report back. I am well aware of the amendment that was passed in this House the other night and certainly I am quite prepared to talk to the Premier about what was said this morning, but I did not hear the broadcast.


Mr. Wildman: I have a question of the Solicitor General. In view of the fact that the small community of Oba in Algoma has no electricity other than that produced by generators and that it has suffered five fires caused by generators over the last 1½ years, is there any possibility of obtaining aid from the ministry for firefighting equipment for a volunteer fire department in the community?


Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member for Algoma probably knows, we do have a pilot project in operation in some of the unorganized townships of northern Ontario. It’s just got nicely under way. We have one truck at Jellicoe, one at Nestor Falls -- I’ve forgotten where the other one is now -- anyway, there are three operations. We’re keeping a close eye on them and if they prove successful we may be able to enlarge the system. I can’t give any date when that may happen but, as I say, if they are successful we may be able to do something in six or eight months’ time.


Mr. Sargent: Mr. Speaker, a question to someone who will be a spokesman for that motley crew over there --

Mr. McNeil: Question.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Are you polluting the Owen Sound dump?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: He owns it.

Mr. Sargent: I guess it would be to the Minister of Transportation and Communications, the Air Commodore of the Ontario government air services. Maybe he could answer this.

In view of the pending air strike, doesn’t the government agree it’s time we took a stand to register the strongest possible objections to the federal government’s insistence that French be used in addition to English in air traffic control? Would the government agree, on behalf of the people of this province, that we are concerned that this strike will paralyze business, and the danger that the bilingual nonsense we’re talking about now, as outlined in this morning’s Star -- there’s also a story in the Sun by Bob MacDonald here -- is going to jeopardize many lives? Doesn’t the minister agree that it’s time we made a stand on behalf of millions of English-speaking people here who have rights, too?

Mr. Lewis: Where is the applause?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I’m very pleased to have the opportunity to reply to the motley member. I would like to tell him that I have made the strongest possible representations to my federal counterpart, the Hon. Otto Lang, regarding the matter of bilingual air traffic controllers.

Mr. Conway: We can imagine.

Hon. Mr. Snow: As I’m sure the hon. member knows, I have some experience in that area and at a meeting with Mr. Lang two or three months ago I made a personal presentation to him as I was very concerned as to the matter of safety in air traffic control. I think this is a matter of safety. It’s not a matter of bilingualism at all and it should not be a political matter.

I’m well aware of the strong stand taken by, I believe, almost everyone connected with the aviation industry -- the Canadian Airline Pilots’ Association, the Controllers’ Association, the Canadian Owners’ and Pilots’ Association. All the recommendations of those people have been made and are all in favour of English as the international language for aviation, which is almost world-wide.

So I don’t really know -- even though the proposed bilingual air traffic control is not proposed to be within the Province of Ontario, certainly at this time, I am concerned from a safety point of view for aviation in general in Canada. I’ve personally made my views known very strongly to Mr. Lang and in a speech I made to the Canadian Owners’ and Pilots’ Association as well when I attended their convention in Jasper a few weeks ago.

Mr. Sargent: A supplementary: With regard to the next 24 hours being important, would the minister back his statement up by supporting the federal government with a court order to block the strike?

Hon. B. Stephenson: A what?

Hon. Mr. Snow: No, Mr. Speaker, I don’t think I’ll take that action. The matter of the pending strike is one totally between federal government employees and their employer. I don’t think I have any reason to try to interfere in that particular matter. If there’s a court order required by anybody, I believe it’s the federal government that should be doing it -- not that I would necessarily agree with it.


Mr. Johnson: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Agriculture: What is the minister doing to alleviate the problems faced by the milk producers in Ontario?

Mr. Shore: Drinking it.

Mr. Johnson: Some of my rural constituents, the milk producers, have received cheques this month which are only half the previous month’s cheques.

Mr. Riddell: Weren’t you in estimates yesterday?

Mr. Johnson: Could he give us an answer?

Mr. Conway: Resign.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. W. Newman: This is a very serious problem. Several thousand producers in this province have been affected by the national dairy programme in Canada. It goes back prior to the announcement of the new dairy policy, I believe, some time early in April, when I made certain representations regarding problems that were coming. There was an 18 per cent cut across Canada and a monthly allocation of percentage of quota which has made it almost impossible for some of our producers in this province to live with.

I am very much concerned about it. I am meeting this afternoon with the full Ontario Milk Commission and the full Ontario Milk Marketing Board. I am trying to arrange a meeting with Mr. Whelan tomorrow. He is on his way back from Rome, I understand. I was trying to reach his office this morning.

Mr. Ruston: Tell him you are looking into it.

Hon. W. Newman: I am very much concerned about the cheques that have been received by our dairy farmers in this province. We must get together with Ottawa immediately to do something about it. We are looking at various alternatives ourselves within our own ministry.

I would just like to point out that we must have some flexibility on the cutback and we must have some flexibility on the market share quota or many of our dairy producers will be bankrupt in a very short period of time.

Mr. Bain: Supplementary: I listened very intently to the minister. What specifically will the provincial government do to alleviate this problem? Will it buy surpluses and distribute the milk in the schools to the children, or will it buy some of the surplus and distribute it to underdeveloped countries? What will this government do? Never mind the federal government.

Hon. W. Newman: Obviously, the member doesn’t understand. There is a national allocation of the market share quota.

Mr. Bain: I know that. What is the government going to do?

Hon. W. Newman: He doesn’t even know what the national allocation is. It is 95 million cwt for all of Canada. We have asked for a market share quota sleeve. If we can get the sleeve we can solve some of the problem.

As members know, the Ontario Milk Marketing Board has already done something. They have said they will pay more for a market share quota to try to get more quota in. It is not coming in as it should at this point in time.

That is why I am sitting down with them this afternoon from a provincial point of view to see what we can do. I have already announced to the House what I have done from a provincial point of view and I am prepared to do more, but I need some cooperation from the other end in Ottawa too, because of the same situation.

Mr. Speaker: The oral question period has expired.


Presenting reports.

Mr. McNeil from the standing resources development committee reported the following resolution:

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

Ministry of Agriculture and Food

Ministry administration

programme ....................................... $ 3,836,000

Agricultural production

programme ........................................101,742,400

Rural development

programme ......................................... 14,892,000

Agricultural marketing

programme ...........................................9,483,000

Agricultural education and
research programme .......................... 21,620,000

Hon. Mr. Handleman presented the 11th annual report of the Pension Commission of Ontario for the 15-month period ending March 31, 1975.


Mr. MacDonald presented the final report of the select committee of the Legislature investigating Ontario Hydro.

Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Speaker, just a word of explanation with regard to procedures. There has just been a meeting of the House leaders and I think it is agreed that we will have brief comments, first from myself and then subsequently from any member who so wishes -- hopefully limited to five minutes -- by way of comment on its tabling, and then place it on the order paper for a full debate at some later point.

Hon. members will recall that an interim report of this select committee was tabled last December and at that time it was pointed out that while its purpose then was to focus on the 1976 rates, the main determinant in the rates for 1976 and all subsequent years was the system expansion programme of Ontario Hydro. Therefore, the committee requested reappointment so that it could examine this expansion system and make further recommendations. This report contains those recommendations.

I would emphasize at the outset, for the information of the House, that it is a unanimous report signed by all members of all parties sitting on that committee.

The name of the report, as hon. members will note, is “A New Public Policy Direction for Ontario Hydro.” That is really quite significant, and I would like to try to outline briefly its significance.

The cost of hydro in recent years has skyrocketed almost unbelievably. Hydro has shifted from a low cost base, relying on hydraulic power and low-cost coal, to mainly a thermal generation, including high-cost fossil fuels. In addition, as all members are aware, we have been going through a period of inflation and high interest rates. A combination of all those factors has meant that whereas Hydro throughout the 1950s and 1960s could drift along with the same rates, and indeed on some occasions even dropping the rates, what we are now experiencing is an annual increase in rates that is obviously quite worrisome to everybody, including Hydro, I am sure.

The second important factor is that the Treasurer has found it necessary to intervene and to change the rules of the game for Hydro very significantly. Last July, hon. members will recall that the Treasurer instructed Hydro to cut $1 billion out of its expansion programme and to try to cut its operational expenses by about 10 per cent, or about $40 million or $50 million. In addition, because of the continuing restraints and capital squeeze situation, the Treasurer moved further this spring and instructed Hydro to cut $5 billion out of its expansion programme and further placed a ceiling of $1.5 billion for each of the next three years on the capital it could go to the market for.

The result of that is almost impossible for a layman to grasp at first blush. Hydro has traditionally operated on the basis of estimating what was going to be the requirements for electricity in the province -- the load forecast -- with anybody getting whatever he wanted or whatever he asked for.

Then they turned to their engineers and said, “This is going to be the load requirement in the years ahead. What are the generating needs in terms of building new plants and what should be the appropriate generating mix?” Having decided that, they then borrowed the money. There was no particular problem; it was a manageable problem.

Two years ago the total borrowings of Ontario Hydro were about $500 million, $600 million or $700 million a year. Last year they were in the range of $1.5 billion. This year Hydro’s first request for needs was in excess of $2 billion. If we look at one table in this report, we will find that Hydro’s requirements three or four years from now will be in excess of $4 billion a year and, beyond that, in excess of $5 billion. We have got a real problem in terms of how to get the capital to be able to meet Hydro’s needs.

The result of that fact is that Hydro’s process has almost been reversed. Instead of saying, “What is the electric load going to be?” then building to meet that load and borrowing the capital without any problem, now we have to reverse the process and say, “What is the capital available?” and having decided on what capital is available, we build the best possible generating capacity to meet it, and do our best to meet the load. That requires implementation of conservation measures; it may require that we can’t give everybody all the power he wants at any time he wants it. Hon. members will see, without me going into any more detail, that it really changes the situation.

I want to refer particularly to two issues which have got into the public discussion rather significantly in recent weeks. The first one is in regard to rates. Last week there was quite a flurry when it was noted in the committee’s discussion of the final draft of the report, that Hydro’s rates next year might likely result in a 34 per cent rate increase. May I emphasize that this is not the committee’s recommendation; this is not the committee’s view.


The background is briefly this: Last fall, when Ontario Hydro first came to the committee, they pointed out that in addition to the 29 per cent they were seeking for 1976, this year -- which was reduced to 25 and then, on the recommendation of the committee, to 22 -- next year Hydro would require a rate increase, they estimated, at 25 per cent and the year after, 19 per cent.

But Hydro have run into financial difficulties; the balance sheet is not favourable; the costs are continuing to rise. The sale of electricity is going down because the economy is not absorbing as much as it used to. Furthermore, export sales of secondary power are not as high as they used to be.

Therefore, Hydro’s balance sheet is not favourable and the latest estimate the committee was able to make was that on the basis of those costs Ontario Hydro’s rate increase next year might well be in the range of 34 per cent; the year after that in the range of 14 per cent; and beyond that it would drop down to under 10 and even to under five -- when we get on to 1983, 1984, 1985; an under five per cent increase each year.

Whatever is going to be the fact rather than the speculation for this coming year we will know rather shortly, because the statutory obligation on Hydro is to announce what rate they feel they will need for next year. I believe now the date is July 1. At that point that request of Hydro to the minister will be passed to the Ontario Energy Board and we will have the traditional annual rate hearing later this year.

Mr. Peterson: And another select committee.

Mr. MacDonald: We will come to that in a moment. The second point I want to make is with regard to the worry that is emerging on Hydro’s part and on the part of many sectors of the public that what is happening now in Hydro and what is happening with the recommendations of the select committee mean we might face a power shortage somewhere down the road. That obviously is a worrisome factor.

May I emphasize this point very heavily? The committee operated throughout all its hearings and its deliberations, particularly in terms of its final report, on a complete acceptance of Hydro’s traditional high reliability standards. Namely, that Hydro would attempt or would operate on the basis of forecasting or expecting not more than one outage -- that’s one failure in power -- in 10 years. Everybody concedes that that’s a very high reliability standard and we haven’t departed from that.

I want members to bear that in mind as I now proceed and perhaps draw their attention, if they want to look at it, to charts because it’s more intelligible, to exhibit III-33. There are four tables there which put this whole situation of what this committee did and what it recommends in a very succinct way.

Table No. 1 noted that when the load forecast was changed in recent months to indicate that in the year 1977 or down through years our requirements will be somewhat lighter than we originally thought, it still meant that we were going to be below the level of reserve required for safety. However, what the committee has done is to examine what impact conservation might have to bridge the gap between the generating capacity and the prospective load capacity.

Hydro have accepted and are pursuing a conservation programme but they haven’t really come up with specifics nor did they come up with any estimate as to how much electricity saving that might represent. The committee had the obligation to grapple with that and they did grapple with that. That bridges some of the gap, as members will see in graph 2 in exhibit III-33.

We move to the next thing and that is load management targets. Without getting into detail, the committee felt very strongly that there are many things which can be done by Hydro in the load management area which would result in a saving and would bridge that gap once again.

For example, Hydro have operated for years on a reserve which, this year, is over 30 per cent; indeed it was as high as 38 per cent. That simply means that Hydro has a capacity to produce power 38 per cent in reserve in excess of what it needs for the peak hour of the year. There are many people, including, I think, most people on the committee and, indeed, the Ontario Energy Board, who feel that is really excessive.

Why Hydro has to have 38 per cent in excess of the peak requirement -- which used to be in the week before Christmas and now tends to be at varying periods throughout the winter months, depending on weather conditions -- why it should have to have that level of reserve capacity is highly questionable. Indeed, the Ontario Energy Board suggested that the reserve should be phased down to no more than 22 per cent. That’s one thing.

Through load management there are ways in which we can shave the peak, we can avoid the use of power at that hour or that period of the day or that period of the year when there is such a requirement of electricity. If we can shave the peak we shave the necessity of having a portion, or conceivably a whole generating plant to be able to meet that brief period of time for that high level of electricity.

Therefore, we reduce the whole size of the system, and when we save a generating plant today, we may be saving a cool $1 billion; approximately the cost, for example, of a new unit in one of our nuclear plants. So the load management targets, if they are lived up to, will again bridge the gap and get above the zero line that we note in graph No. 3.

Finally, as I think most people are aware, Ontario Hydro is integrated into a grid with our neighbouring states in the United States and our neighbouring provinces. Indeed, it’s really a North American grid. Hydro, by way of its very cautious keeping a lot of reserve so that it will never get caught, has never put an estimate on the value of that grid. The committee feels rather strongly that if we have all these interconnections, which give us the capacity to get electricity if we face an emergency situation, then we shouldn’t ignore them and, therefore, that we might reduce the size of our system to some extent, and we put a value on that.

All of those values -- the conservation, the load management and the interconnections -- in our view, makes it possible to maintain the high reliability standards of Hydro and yet not have as big a system. That, of course, is where we get into an issue that is quite controversial. The committee, in one of the earlier drafts of its report, went so far as to suggest that not only could Hydro, by doing these three or four things, meet the capital restrictions that are being put on it by the Treasurer, but indeed we could go one step further and we could eliminate another generating plant.

In our final report, we don’t specify any given generating plant. We’ve illustrated how that gap between the load down the road a bit in the 1980s and our generating capacity can be met, but we don’t specifically name a plant because we feel that’s a decision that has many ramifications and would be better left to Hydro. But having gone that far, we at least indicate that the system can be reduced.

It can be reduced and should be reduced, because for all of these reasons Ontario Hydro is a system which is beyond our capacity to pay for; we can’t afford it. Indeed, I think the Treasurer put it another way -- even if we could afford it we can’t get the capital to expand it in the fashion that we have tended to in the past.

Finally, I just want to draw the attention of the House to the recommendations, because in the view of the committee that is extremely important. Members will find it on III-50. It is the major recommendation with regard to our report. I’ll just read it:

“(i) The Ontario government accept the thrust of the committee’s report as government policy and instruct Hydro to begin immediately to implement the committee’s recommendations.

“(ii) The Ministry of Energy co-ordinate the government policy and monitor Hydro’s implementation on an ongoing basis.

“(iii) The Ontario government appoint [and the House leader on the government side acknowledged this during the confidence debate a couple of days ago] a select committee of the Legislature to whom Hydro will report on a periodic basis on its new system expansion plan and its implementation of the committee’s recommendations commencing in the spring of 1977.”

In other words, we feel this new direction in public policy and the recommendations which have been made are so important -- we have no illusions that it will not be difficult for a big institution like Hydro to do some of these rather radically different things which have been imposed by the Treasurer and suggested by us -- that we should have periodic reports, shall we say, every three or four months and that a committee, an ongoing select committee, would meet periodically to take those reports and to examine them in terms of the extent to which they are living up to the recommendations of this committee.

In other words, if ever there was a committee report which, in our view, the government, the Legislature and the people of this province simply cannot afford to put on the shelf and let gather dust, this is that report, I suggest to you, Mr. Speaker.

The second recommendation I wanted to draw attention to -- it is found on the previous page -- is that the Ontario government appoint a select committee as the appropriate public forum to examine Hydro’s nuclear commitment. I don’t want to go into great detail here but I remind members once again that this is the unanimous report from all members of the committee. We noted the fact that there has never really been a public discussion of Ontario’s nuclear commitment yet it is becoming, to use the usual phraseology, the cornerstone of our system.

In addition, as we are all aware, there is a growing public concern with regard to safety in relation to the nuclear commitment and nuclear plants. I personally believe that that concern isn’t as justified here as it is in the United States but there has been no opportunity to seek witnesses and to assess expert testimony with regard to this issue. We think it is important enough that the government should have a select committee to deal with this and this alone, to resolve some of these concerns in the mind of the public because the whole nuclear commitment is obviously extremely important as far as power production in this province is concerned.

There are two or three brief housekeeping items, Mr. Speaker. Members of the House will be interested to know, particularly our francophone members, that we’re hoping to have a French translation of the report because there is intense interest in this in eastern and northern Ontario and, indeed, outside the province.

Secondly, I want to acknowledge once again not only my thanks to members of the committee but to members of the staff -- Alan Schwartz, who was our counsel; Jim Fisher, who was our consultant; and Andy Richardson, who was the secretary of the committee. The committee really had a monstrous job in trying to analyse an institution the size of Hydro and if it weren’t for the dedication and the work of this staff, the committee, with all the members’ continuing obligations since many of our meetings were held while the Legislature was sitting, simply could not have done its work.

On a personal note, I will say that I have shared in select committee work on quite a number of occasions throughout the last 20 years in this Legislature but I have never been on a committee which was as pleasurable and as rewarding in terms of grappling with an intensely important issue and, I think, grappling with it in a realistic way.

Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, I gather we’re going to debate this at another time but I would like to make a few preliminary comments and say at the outset that I have had an opportunity prior to today to read this report and I am totally impressed. I must say I don’t know of a finer document to come from a committee of this House. I can’t say that I have great experience by which to judge but I want to put on the record my very sincere compliments to the chairman and to the various members of the committee.

I have a strong personal interest in this because I was on the committee last fall for part of the time. I think the final report they have come up with is absolutely excellent and I think it will serve as a model for a lot of other jurisdictions. It really is a reflection of the changing times we’re living in and I think it is a very worthwhile document for the government and for Ontario Hydro because a lot of these issues had never been addressed by a public group or by a legislative group. I think it is long overdue.


In many respects, they substantially violated the original terms of reference. The original terms of reference, as you will recall, Mr. Speaker, were to investigate a proposed 25 per cent rate increase last fall and because it was such a political thing the government determined to put this to a select committee -- an all-party committee -- to investigate. I think the committee took on itself, very rightly and very wisely, much broader terms of reference and really has turned a rate hearing into a new public policy direction for Ontario Hydro.

I don’t want to comment on the legalities of it because they don’t matter to me. The point is I think it had to be done. It is an extraordinarily worthwhile document and I would commend it to every person who is serious about one of the very major problems which face this jurisdiction. It is excellent reading; it is well researched and it comes to a lot of very substantial conclusions.

To follow up on what the committee chairman was saying, I think they have seen that the terms of reference of Hydro have changed quite substantially. Heretofore basically, the terms of reference of Hydro were to supply power at cost whatever the demand was. Now we realize that for various reasons, a substantial number of them beyond the control of anyone in this jurisdiction, those terms of reference have to change. The terms of reference now are that they are going to have to influence the demand. Hydro have a very important role to play in that which they can do by load management, by rate structure and all the various apparatuses they can bring to bear to influence the demand for hydro.

The other very important premise they have had to face is that there is a certain limit to what we can afford today. It would be wonderful to have everything cheap but the world has changed and we are going to have to adjust to it. I think the committee quite rightly and quite well grasped that new tenor.

I think the interesting thing is that, as I count them, there are about 40 recommendations; 20 of them relate to the Ontario government, not to Hydro. Twenty of them are setting new directions for the Ministry of Energy which, I submit, is probably the weakest ministry in the government today. They say it is time the ministry got off its behind and it is time the ministry set some direction for the whole energy policy of this province.

It is not blaming Hydro because Hydro has limited jurisdiction. It is really blaming the Ontario government. Twenty out of the 40 recommendations are telling the government “You had better take some action and you had better take it fast.”

I am going to sound a trifle smug here but I say with some sense of satisfaction that I can go back and read Hansard of last Dec. 18 or so, when the interim report was filed. My colleague from Sarnia and I talked about several things such as the direction it had to go and were scoffed at by the member for Scarborough something when we said we needed more political direction and more political input because Hydro didn’t have the jurisdiction. We talked about those kinds of things and now six or four months later we find the committee has come back with those kinds of recommendations. I must say that to me it is a great source of satisfaction that this committee did it. Again, I say it is very well done.

The very interesting point is that recommendation III-29 says, of this all-party committee, “We have to have an ongoing committee to monitor this and make sure the government is doing it”. I don’t want to sound cynical but I am saying that this committee, in effect, is saying it doesn’t trust the government or the Ministry of Energy to do it on their own. That is what it is saying.

Frankly, I agree with them because I don’t trust them either. It is too serious a matter to leave to the Ministry of Energy because it has shown us no direction to date. That’s why I fully support this recommendation; I support the whole report.

Again let me say of this report, I think it is extraordinarily well done; my very sincere congratulations to all members. In all 40 recommendations, it has developed a new strategy which, as serious people who live in this province, we all have to be concerned with.

Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, I also want to speak to this matter very briefly. First, also briefly, unfortunately, I want to compliment the chairman for his excellent conduct of the hearings and the dedication he showed to the entire job at hand.

Mr. Lewis: A quite brilliant performance.

Mr. Grossman: Indeed a great performance. I doubt in all my years to come in this Legislature I will ever serve on a committee with such guidance, control, fairness and dedication by a chairman of a committee.

Mr. Lewis: And that’s going right on the front of the next leaflet too, I want you to know.

Mr. Grossman: I wouldn’t doubt it. It always turns up there.

Mr. MacDonald: Cheer up. The Tories know they have no chance in York South.

Mr. Lewis: It doesn’t really matter.

Mr. Grossman: Likewise, all the members of the committee and the staff. I won’t take the time to read that into the record because we did it in the fall and the chairman has repeated our gratitude to the staff already this morning.

May I comment very briefly that there are a lot of matters that we dealt with. We did, after all -- most of us anyway -- go in as neophytes in this very difficult field but that didn’t stop some members from commenting in more depth than perhaps they should have as recently as a few moments ago. Nonetheless, we did go in as neophytes and the staff gave us enough guidance. We worked hard enough at the job and sat often enough and heard from excellent enough witnesses so that we were able to come up with a rather complete set of recommendations.

I don’t think very many members of the committee purport that these recommendations be incontrovertible forever or that they are necessarily each one of them definitive. Many of them are. Many of them say there’s got to be a new direction and we are convinced that there must be a new direction. The implementation of that direction really has been dealt with in very many of the recommendations. But I think at very many stages it was acknowledged by the members of the committee that it was conceivable, for example, that some of the conservation targets we would like to see met perhaps may run into some difficulty. We don’t think so at the moment.

Likewise, the whole issue of interconnections. We flirted with the idea of putting a figure on the interconnection value but in the end result we decided not to, for the very good reason that it itself could be the subject matter of very many days of discussion and hearings. Likewise, the issue which relates to getting maximum value from the James Bay watershed, which is overwrought with intergovernmental dealings, financing and so on. But we have clearly said in recommendation III-27: “The Ontario government accept responsibility now for taking all necessary actions to ensure that Ontario receive the maximum reasonable benefits from the hydro-electric potential of the James Bay watershed.”

This is not to say, as some would like to believe, that the Ontario government has not necessarily taken all the necessary responsibility or appropriate responsibility. Rather, we are emphasizing the need to tap that to its full economic and reasonable potential and to do so rather imminently.

I wanted to say to this House this morning that these recommendations -- as complete as we think they are and as much as we do believe in them, and we do -- are unanimous, without exception. I do believe in all of the recommendations. In fact, the report says to Hydro and it says to the Ministry of Energy: “Speak to some of these recommendations. If you think our belief in the capacity of the province to live with a lower rate of growth or demand is wrong, go ahead and speak to it. There will be a select committee in business next year. Come back and tell us. Tell that select committee why our recommendations need some further analysis.” Perhaps it does.

I must say conclusively that from what we heard from the witnesses we listened to and all our study, we believe in these recommendations. But I think the committee also is inviting both Hydro and the Ministry of Energy to speak to these recommendations at the future appearances in front of the monitoring committee or at any other proper forum.

I would be remiss if I did not refer to recommendation III-28 which refers to the need for a select committee to examine Hydro’s nuclear commitments. It is badly needed. Again this is an area overwrought with study after study. I don’t think I want to rely upon what Westinghouse in the United States told us yesterday. I think that wants something rather more impartial, rather more in depth than I read in the Globe and Mail this morning. In any event, I did want to note the very important need for that study, as the chairman of the committee did a few moments ago.

Finally, I would like to remind the previous speaker, the member for London Centre, who has gone, that if he reads recommendation III-29, he would see that the monitoring committee deals very directly with the initiatives, not only to be taken by the Ministry of Energy, but basically those to be taken by Hydro. The words “instruct Hydro” and “monitor Hydro” appear in subparagraphs (i) and (ii) of that recommendation. Subparagraph (iii) reads: “The Ontario government appoint a select committee of the Legislature to whom Hydro will report on a periodic basis ... ”

There is no question but that we are suggesting that the Ministry of Energy look at new directions and encourage Hydro to follow new directions. But I think it would be unfair to the ministry to suggest that this committee found it had been entirely neglectful or inadequate in following the plans and objectives that were laid out for it when the ministry was created. After all, the situation in energy has changed dramatically over the past 18 or 24 months, and it would be foolish to say that the Ministry of Energy ought immediately to have been dismantled or revamped or that it should have gone into this entire area with both feet the following morning. It should not have done so, it did not. All this committee is saying is that now is the time to have a look at the ministry, its objectives and its relationship with Ontario Hydro. I think it is somewhat unfair for the member for London Centre -- at least, let me say I think it’s unfair; it’s not my opinion -- to say that these recommendations should be taken as a criticism of the past; rather, they are a direction for the future and recommendations for reassessment of the relationships between the government, the Ministry of Energy as a part of the government, Ontario Hydro and, I suppose, the select committee which is to continue, on a monitoring basis, to follow up on Hydro’s reactions to whatever directives flow out of this report and the Ministry of Energy.

May I finally add that Ontario Hydro did exemplify a lot of co-operation; they were very co-operative with the committee and were of great assistance to the committee. In fairness to them, they accepted rather continued criticism, in most cases justified by the committee, and did so in the spirit in which it was offered, in an honest attempt to reassess the whole way it’s been operating all these many years, without necessarily saying that it has failed to provide us with probably the finest hydro-electric system in the world, which it remains.

Ms. Gigantes: Mr. Speaker, I will be very brief in my comments, and I am looking forward to the chance to debate this report in the fall. I have to agree with the previous speakers and say that the work we did in this select committee on Hydro and the 1976 rates has been one of the most satisfying pieces of work that I have ever had an opportunity to share in.

I think the report is a worthy report. It comes at a time in the history of Ontario, and in the history of one of Ontario’s most important institutions, that is critical to the development of this province and to the development of Ontario Hydro. I think that if every recommendation of this report were taken seriously by the government and implemented by Ontario Hydro, we would still not have all the solutions that we are going to need for the development of this institution in this province over the next few years.

Ontario Hydro is like an enormous ocean liner. It has been going in one direction, sailing in a certain kind of weather system, for some time. Now conditions have changed, and even to change the direction of that enormous institution, that enormous ship that sails here in the Ontario waters, is a long-term job -- to put brakes on it is a long-term job. It takes a long time to change the direction or to slow the pace of any kind of progress of this ship called Ontario Hydro.


We have suggested new directions and, in some senses, we have suggested braking -- slowing the projected growth rate, slowing the system expansion, slowing the decision for the nuclear commitment. I think these are all directions which the government and Ontario Hydro are willing to re-evaluate at this point. I think all parties on the select committee have come to a really non-partisan feeling that it’s time for a very basic re-evaluation of how this institution, this major energy-producing institution, operates in the Province of Ontario.

Without seeming mean-minded, I would like to comment on some of the points made by my colleague from London Centre who sat, as he said, on the select committee during the fall. It was the member for London Centre and his Liberal colleague, the member for Sarnia (Mr. Bullbrook), who refused to sign the interim report of the select committee in December and held out for a recommendation of a 12 per cent increase in the rates for Ontario Hydro for 1976.

The select committee, after much tortured thought and many hours of testimony, examination of documentation and questioning of witnesses had decided that the very minimum rate increase Hydro must have to cover its cash flows in 1976, on an interim basis, was 22 per cent. We did that with great regret. There was not a member of that committee who had not hoped that we could suggest a rate increase of anywhere from six per cent -- 12 per cent was something that would have won my heart.

It was with great difficulty that we came to the position of recommending that Ontario Hydro be allowed a 22 per cent increase on an interim basis until we could bring out a final report and make some kind of assessment of what the cash flow conditions would be for Ontario Hydro during 1976.

The member for London Centre and the member for Sarnia absolutely refused to sign that report and made very partisan statements both within the committee and outside the committee about how the members of this select committee were being bamboozled by Ontario Hydro and pushed around by members of the government on the select committee in defence of Ontario Hydro and the position taken by the Energy ministry. I found that element in the select committee the only element which was unpleasant.

Mr. Peterson: Would you care to quote when that was done?

Ms. Gigantes: It’s on the record of our hearings in the select committee. You can read. If you can’t remember, you can read.

Mr. Peterson: You find it and show me.

Mr. Lewis: And if the member can do neither, we will do it for him.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We’ll keep to the debate before us.

Ms. Gigantes: I make this point because I think it’s very important, on a question as important as the future of Ontario Hydro, that we be able to examine the facts in a non-partisan way. I think we may approach the problem from different attitudes from the different corners of this House but I think the enormity of the energy problem facing Ontario and the enormity of that institution which delivers so much of our energy to us -- Ontario Hydro -- and the problems we’re going to have in the future as we try to give political guidance to that institution require that we all make our very best efforts to keep ideological confrontations or cheap politics out of the discussion.

It has been a pleasure to participate in a select committee such as this one which could, for example, sit back and say, “We have committed ourselves to a nuclear programme at a very early level of development. Let us re-examine that commitment before it becomes a commitment from which we cannot escape in the future.” To me, beginning my work on the select committee in the fall, this was one of the questions which struck me as being most important for the development of Ontario Hydro.

I was delighted that each and every member of the committee was willing to consider that question and make the recommendation, in a unanimous way, from our committee that there should be a select committee to examine the nuclear role of Ontario Hydro. I think this is a time when that role has to be re-examined. I think there are questions to be raised not only about the use of uranium as a fuel but about plutonium as a fuel. I hope the government will accept that recommendation and begin to set up a select committee as soon as the House resumes session in the fall.

Mr. Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity to comment on the report. I have very much appreciated the work I’ve been allowed to do on this select committee.

Mr. Reed: My remarks will be very brief. I think most of the important facets of this discussion have been alluded to in the debate. I want to go on record as heartily endorsing the remarks of the chairman, the member for York South. He talked in some general terms about the components of the report in some of the very important areas and I will try not to duplicate those remarks.

I must say that this report is very appropriate in the little point in history that we’re standing in right now because we are entering a new age in our relationship with energy and in our relationship with the creation of one kind of energy which is available to us in the province, electrical energy. It is true that we have had and I don’t think we realized this until the last few years -- what must be in world terms the Rolls Royce of the electrical generating systems, that is the hydraulic system, a renewable resource, a non-polluting resource. It is where the technology is relatively simple and very highly developed and we have lived with that great blessing over these years.

But that age has come to an end and now we are entering a configuration which puts us into a similar position, into a parallel position, with many of the developed countries all over the world. We’re into the thermal production of electricity. Hence, it becomes very appropriate to look at that generation and look at that system from a whole new point of view, where we start to look at the need to optimize the system, for instance.

Hydro is going to have to make considerations which it has never had to make before. It’s dealing with some products that it has never before had to deal with. I would like just for one minute to allude to this product that is now consuming two-thirds of the thermal energy input into the thermal generating system -- that is, the waste heat that is coming from the system.

Roughly two-thirds of the energy that is consumed in the nuclear plants is discharged into the lakes in terms of warm water and likewise with the steam plants. When we put in 10,000 Btu of coal into a generating plant, we get out the equivalent of 3,000 Btu of electricity at the other end. Two of the recommendations consider that problem. I am interested very much in seeing that come to pass in the years to come. We’re recommending to the government that steps be undertaken right away. We know that this is a positive report in that regard because there are things that can happen next month, next week if you like, that will begin to take us into a new generation picture in Ontario.

Before being seated, I must explain to the House an inclusion in section II, page 15, which has been written into the report but clearly states that the committee considered that the matter raised was not central to the terms of reference of this committee. That is the matter of the Hydro corridor problems that have been plaguing us ever since Hydro began its necessary expansion in Ontario. I would like to make only one comment about that -- that is, I regret the absence of due consideration for the human component of the expansion of the hydro-electric system.

It’s the one thing that we tend to ignore and it is one of the things that we have to resolve. It’s not being resolved satisfactorily at the present time. Some members attempted to bring this to the attention of the select committee but as I say, the select committee did not consider it within its terms of reference and it is with great regret on my part that it did not. However, I considered that the report was so important and so far-reaching, and, because I agree wholeheartedly with the substance of this report, I put my signature to it quite gladly. I would like to congratulate the chairman for the way he handled the select committee and those members of the staff who worked so hard and long for us.

Mr. Williams: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: As you are aware, a number of the members of the Legislature did participate in the committee’s deliberations, even if only for a brief period of time. Whether or not the report made reference to those members was, to me, inconsequential. However, it appears the report has named those individuals, including myself, and unfortunately there has been a misspelling of my surname in the report, and as such I would appreciate having page 2 amended accordingly before there is general circulation of this document.

Mr. Speaker: I’ll see what stage that is at.

Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I will be very brief. I could join in the compliments to the member for York South but I have already done that privately. I think, despite the number of them and the tenor of them, they really hardly pay justice to the role he played in it, not only as the committee chairman but beyond that. I think we would be a little remiss in the House today if we didn’t also cite particularly by name Mr. Schwartz, Mr. Fisher, their associates, and our clerk, Mr. Richardson.

This was a committee that had to work in the beginning under very arduous time constraints, and then, despite the fact that the time constraint was eased somewhat, to consider and to assemble and to prepare, to arrange logistically the enormous amount of material and people in a relatively brief period of time was an achievement by a staff that I think has been second to none in the history of committees in this Legislature.

I didn’t really intend to speak today. I signed the report. I understand its significance. I think it is an excellent report. I think perhaps it will be much more appreciated a decade from now than it will be tomorrow morning, but that, indeed, really underlines the ability of a committee to come to grips with a subject that is going to become increasingly complex and increasingly challenging.

I do want to say I abhor the fact that a little bit of history was rewritten in here today. I want to say to the dilettante from London Centre that had his recommendations been carried out in December, Ontario would have been blacked out or browned out and Ontario Hydro would now be in a position of near bankruptcy because it wouldn’t have enough to cover the interest coverage on its debentures in the United States and in this country.

I think I had every right to scoff at the intriguing push-pull logic back in December. I suppose the impact then was to pull, and now that it is somewhat more fashionable, of course, the decision is to push. I somehow suspect in a party that is caught in that dilemma between the push and the pull, and the media impact, it is difficult to retain a consistent attitude and a consistent approach toward something as fundamental in our economic and social being and our very lifestyle in this province. However, I would just like to suggest that since this is going to be considered again, one of the ways to avoid the tendency to push and pull by those who are caught in that particular situation is, perhaps, to divide by four. It might produce a very equitable solution.


I have only one other remark. I would like to put aside the concept that there are recommendations in this report which concern the record of service, the record of the Minister of Energy and the ministry itself. I want to say that many of the recommendations which deal with government are really intended to strengthen the role of the Ministry of Energy.

The ministry had already embarked upon those courses. The ministry was already aware of the problems. The ministry hasn’t been standing still and waiting for this committee to come up with a collection of recommendations so it could go out and try to do something. The ministry and its research work, the minister and his staff, the minister’s own approach to the problem -- not only his political approach but his personal approach to the entire energy problem -- were of invaluable assistance to this committee.

I want to say the recommendations there, the ones which concern government, are not a criticism. They are not intended to limit the scope of the minister. They are not intended to tell him what to do. They are intended to put more weight into the work being done by this government and, by necessity, the largest energy producer in this province, Ontario Hydro, toward meeting many of these problems.

Mr. Peterson: I get tired of you.

Mr. Drea: My friend, I never get tired of anything, especially the inane remarks which come from you.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Drea: The man who would have bankrupted Hydro stands up here today and says, “I’m really one of those who produced this.”

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Shall we get on with the debate? Thank you.

Mr. Breithaupt: Enough of this posturing. Get on with it.

Mr. Drea: Enough of this what?

Mr. Breithaupt: Posturing. Get on with it.

Mr. Drea: You are the last one who should talk about posturing.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Let’s concentrate on the report.

Mr. Peterson: Get on with it.

Mr. Breithaupt: Get on with the debate, if it must be done.

Mr. Speaker: Do any other hon. members wish to speak to this matter.

Mr. di Santo: Mr. Speaker, I’d like to add a few remarks to this debate which has been very valuable. I join the other members in praising the select committee for the report presented to us. I agree with most of the points and with the report given to us by my colleague, the member for York South.

I think this committee has done an excellent job and I think this has been the first thorough scrutiny of the operation of Hydro. Even if at the beginning the terms of reference were rather narrow, they have expanded their scrutiny in a much broader way and I think that’s useful. Whether we are going to have the kind of rate increases projected by the member for York South in his report or whether they will be changed, is not really relevant.

What is important at this point in this province is that we decide on a serious energy policy which we don’t have at this point, despite what the member for Scarborough Centre says. We need a policy which embraces not only Hydro and the products of electrical energy but an oil policy as well. All of us remember what happened at the last first ministers’ conference to the proposal of the Ministry of Energy of Ontario on the blended price.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Did you read it, let alone understand it?

Mr. di Santo: The blended oil price was a laughable proposition, as you remember.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I have not seen your comments on that.

Mr. di Santo: I think we need in the Province of Ontario a general strategy for energy but a strategy can be developed only if we decide at this point what we want to do with the whole economy of this province. It’s ludicrous when the Treasurer of the province says that this government is the only government that is able to manage the economy of Ontario when we are faced with facts, like the one mentioned by the member for York South, that all at once the Treasurer cuts $5 billion from the projects of Hydro. That means we have no planning at all in the economy of the province. I am saying that because I am mostly concerned with the development which is taking place in the nuclear sectors of Hydro.

We should re-examine seriously what we are going to do with the production of energy generated by Hydro plants because there are several points that have to be clarified. As we all know, Hydro plants require enormous amounts of investment. There are serious doubts also about the social implication and the safety implication because of the nuclear waste. Also I would say that if we develop only this kind of energy in the future, we will prevent the province from looking for alternative sources of energy because, if we don’t need new sources of energy, we won’t invest in research.

Mr. Peterson: Why don’t you have this for the debate because we are going to be doing this again?

Mr. di Santo: The point I wanted to make is I think it’s important that a select committee be set up to examine these specific points. It’s important that we look at Hydro and all the energy sector as a part of the economy of the province because we have only so much capital to be invested and we have to set up our priorities. If we commit ourselves to this sector, then there may very well be other sectors which are important and may be considered a priority and we cannot respond to the needs of the people in that area.

I also want to make a final point that the needs of energy in Ontario have to be seen in the framework of the present consumption trend. We have to reassess also our needs in terms of what is really important and not what is now requested by the market and what is the consumption at this point. For these reasons I support the report of the select committee.

Mr. Haggerty: I want to add my comments to this particular report that was tabled this morning and to express my appreciation to the chairman, the member for York South, who in my opinion has done an excellent job in committee, and to express my appreciation to all the committee members. I think in this particular committee we did sit down and discuss the problem that was before us and we came up with some recommendations to resolve some of the issues that are facing us today in the Province of Ontario.

We had witnesses appear from almost every part of the North American continent, from Vancouver to Texas, and from other parts of Ontario, Alberta and, I believe, Manitoba. The vast experience that these gentlemen presented to the committee was well accepted by all of us. I think myself that it has been a great experience sitting on that committee and perhaps one of my most rewarding experiences. When one looks at the report, one can see there are 40 recommendations, of which about half are aimed directly at the government, while the other half are aimed directly at Ontario Hydro in the hope that they will take these recommendations into consideration in any future plans for hydro in Ontario.

Of the issues that were raised by some of the witnesses who appeared before the committee, the most important one to me is the matter of conservation of energy, which was dealt with at length in the committee hearings. I think it is the key to the future of Ontario and the next four years could very well be critical for Ontario Hydro, for the government and for the people of Ontario in reassessing the way in which we are heading for the year 2000. I think the conservation of energy will play an important role, and I recall that one of the witnesses who appeared before the committee said: “The more energy we waste today, the life of our reserves will be reduced accordingly.” I think there are words of wisdom in that particular quote; it is telling us that we will pay later for the energy that we waste today -- and perhaps that time is not too far away.

There are other matters raised in the committee that I would like to discuss. One matter of importance to me, and perhaps to my colleague, the member for Halton-Burlington, is that more consideration should be given to Hydro for the restoration of older hydraulic plants in Ontario that have gone by the wayside. I think it is time we took a good close look at restoring some of these plants. They may be small plants, but in the long run I think it will pay off for the Province of Ontario if we have to buy small quantities of energy from Quebec -- say 60 MW or 70 MW, perhaps 130 MW or something like that. Some of these plants could be very useful in that regard.

One of the committee members discussed the matter of the Albany watershed, which I think is another key area, and perhaps we should be looking at the development of that particular watershed for hydro power.

Some reservations have been expressed about the matter of nuclear power in the Province of Ontario. I quite agree with what the committee had suggested, that there should be more dialogue with the public of Ontario as to the possibility of potential hazardous conditions that may exist around nuclear plants and the possibility of failure of a nuclear plant, which could cause some serious problems to all of us in Ontario.

Regarding the matter of hydraulic plants, these should be developed to their fullest capacity because, as some witnesses stated in the committee, hydraulic power is the cheapest form of power and it involves the least amount of potential hazards or risks. When this report is debated in the fall, and perhaps a lengthy debate will be taking place, I think we should be looking at the particular areas I have mentioned today.

I know there are difficulties facing Hydro; one of them is their borrowing difficulties. I feel that the committee did not really have sufficient time to get into the matter of the borrowing difficulties that are facing Ontario Hydro, not to mention the Province of Ontario. But one of the areas that should be looked into is the money that is available through the Ontario Hydro employees’ pension fund. I understand the fund has, in round figures, about $600 million, which in my opinion should be available to Hydro to borrow on a short-term basis instead of Hydro having to go to the United States to borrow money at high interest rates. Perhaps we should also be looking at the high interest rates in the Province of Ontario. If we want to control our direction in the future, I think we are going to have to look at the interest rates that are before us today.


I do commend the committee on the recommendation on page III-50, where we suggest to the government of Ontario that there should be a continuing monitoring policy or programme to keep tabs on Hydro’s policy on an ongoing basis. I think perhaps this is the key to it. I think this is the most important one, too. In the 70 years since the foundation and the cornerstone of Ontario Hydro was laid, this is actually the first time that they’ve ever had to go before a committee of the Legislature to answer: “Where are you going? What are you spending money on?” and so forth. I think this is the important piece here and, hopefully in the fall the Legislature will consider this particular recommendation. I think it’s important. With those few comments, I’ll sit down.

Mr. McCague: Mr. Speaker, having been a member of the committee, I wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity to thank, like the others, the member for York South for his excellent leadership and guidance during the deliberations of this committee. Some have said that he is the best chairman they ever sat under, and it may well be that the hon. member for York South will go down in history as the most capable leader of the NDP in Ontario.

Mr. Lewis: That is entirely possible and, what is more, likely.

Mr. McCague: As well as the excellent work done by the chairman, I would like to say how much I appreciated working with the members of all other parties and congratulate them for the very responsible approach they took to the matter at hand. I wouldn’t want to be unduly critical of the members for London Centre --

Mr. Peterson: Go ahead.

Mr. McCague: -- and Sarnia, but I would just like to point out that we did make an awful lot of progress after December.

Mr. Peterson: George, who wrote that speech for you? It was one of your best.

Mr. McCague: Because it was short.

Mr. Haggerty: Three minutes too long.

Mr. Cassidy: Commendable.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I am aware that there was an agreement among the House leaders of the three parties that this discussion would be limited to 40 minutes. I believe it’s now gone 70 minutes, and I won’t be any longer than I need to be.

I should start -- but I won’t -- by commending the chairman of the committee and the staff. I don’t do that out of any negative feelings, but I’ve said it before. I think the chairman knows and the staff know that I think they have carried out their duties with commendable devotion to duty and with a high sense of responsibility.

I want to say that while I don’t totally agree with all of the recommendations of the select committee, I would have to concur with the sentiments expressed by a number of the members that since the inception of Ontario Hydro in 1906 under the late Sir Adam Beck, there has hardly been a more important time, a more significant era, for Ontario Hydro than that which we are now in.

Unquestionably, in the 17 or 18 months that I’ve had the honour to be Minister of Energy, I have often said, as the member for Carleton East has said -- in fact, I’ve used the same analogy -- that Hydro is not unlike the ocean liner which can’t be turned around on a dime, which has to be turned around gradually, but unquestionably has to be turned around.

I think it’s important to note that if the hon. members would take the time to look at the annual report of Ontario Hydro and look at some of the recent -- when I say recent, within the last 1½ years -- speeches of the chairman and senior officials of Ontario Hydro, they will note that, in fact, that sentiment is shared by Ontario Hydro; that they recognize they’re in a new era, caused by whatever factors, be it inflation, be it a growing -- thank God, growing -- awareness that we’re dealing with many finite resources, that the people have to change their consumption patterns; be it the changes in government policy regarding borrowing and public financing -- whatever it might be.

I want to say that I take this report most seriously. One of the first things I read when I went to the Ministry of Energy was Task Force Hydro. One of the key recommendations, as I see it, of Task Force Hydro was that there be developed a memorandum of understanding, an agreement, an accord -- I forget, actually, the exact terminology of Task Force Hydro; let’s call it an agreement -- between the government and Hydro, setting out what the government considers to be the kind of electrical generating system in the Province of Ontario which is acceptable to the government on behalf of the people.

I think that is key. I think it should have been done a long time ago; it is something which long ago I directed my staff in the Ministry of Energy to work on. It is something which a group of my staff is meeting on this morning and I will be going back to meet with them after this debate.

This report and the most recent reports of the Energy Board will contribute a great deal to the development of that understanding between the government and Hydro. It will be clear to all -- to the Legislature, the public and any interested individual or group -- exactly what is expected of Ontario Hydro and, based on that understanding and those expectations, what it is likely to cost and what the other implications are likely to be.

In short, I suppose I am saying that many of the recommendations -- the hon. member for London Centre points out a number of them, perhaps half; I haven’t separated them -- are directed at the government. The hon. member for Scarborough Centre pointed out -- I think quite rightly, although I was flattered by his remarks -- that many of these are areas of policy in which the ministry is already engaged. They are areas which require a great deal of study in the ministry; or areas for which -- for instance dealing with the question of district heating or solar energy -- we have commissioned outside research; or, getting into the question of the recommendations on the use and the greater sale of interruptable power, which will require a hearing at the Energy Board this fall when the study on costing and pricing by Ontario Hydro is delivered to me by the end of September. Most of these things are under way.

The hon. members made a number of comments regarding load growth, load management, conservation and so forth, and the nuclear aspect of the Hydro system. I want to point out one thing. The last speaker for the Liberal Party said this was the first time Ontario Hydro had had to go to a Legislature committee. Unfortunately, the hon. gentleman is not correct. For many years it was the practice for Ontario Hydro to appear before estimates committee, I believe, of whichever minister was responsible.

Mr. Lewis: No.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I beg your pardon?

Mr. Lewis: No, the minister is absolutely incorrect.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: The point is, Mr. Speaker, -- if I could finish what I was going to say --

Mr. Breithaupt: The committee didn’t even know what to ask.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Let’s get on.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: The member for Ottawa Centre knows not of what he speaks. The point is the opportunity was always there. It wasn’t a case of the government --

Mr. Lewis: Yes, it was the silliest --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. That is not really the debate this morning.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is inferring that the members of the day didn’t know what they were doing.

Mr. Cassidy: You had better go to another subject.

Mr. Breithaupt: The members did not even know what questions to ask.

Mr. Lewis: The government members didn’t know.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: The point is the opportunity was there.

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

Mr. Lewis: Never. They presented a slide show. They snowed us every time.

Mr. Cassidy: You Tories are all the same.

Mr. Breithaupt: That’s precisely right.

Mr. Lewis: The minister is misleading the House, inadvertently.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Not at all.

Mr. Cassidy: He should have taken preventive measures.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: At any rate, Mr. Speaker --

Mr. Lewis: The Hydro hearings are a new approach.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: That may be.

Mr. Lewis: Yes.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: The point is, the opportunity was there.

Mr. Lewis: Shame.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, trying to be heard over the babbling --

Mr. Lewis: With George Gathercole waltzing in and out of the proceedings.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: -- I am tempted to respond to all of these points but there isn’t enough time.

I think the most important point I would like to make in conclusion is the fact that as minister I don’t have the luxury some others have of looking at Ontario Hydro in isolation. If I have misgivings about some of the comments of the committee about interconnections, about load management, about conservation -- the development of conservation programmes and reduction in growth of demand is unquestionably one of the most important policy matters facing Ontario Hydro and the government. I think we’ve made a good beginning in that area. There is no doubt much more to be done.

Inasmuch as we are dealing with an even more uncertain situation with respect to other fossil fuels in the province, their supply and their price, the members will understand, I hope, if I express some concerns about some of the points made by the select committee, if perhaps I am a little bit more cautious than I think perhaps they were, if perhaps I suggest that such bodies as the Energy Board and the Porter commission are already looking at some of their concerns. As has been noted, this matter is to be put over for further consideration. I can assure members, assuming I am still the minister by the fall, that this will be given every consideration by myself and by my ministry and, therefore, by the government.

The direction in which I intend to move the ministry is toward a clearer understanding between the government and Hydro of what is expected of both, to make more obvious many of the policies that have already been in place and many of the understandings which are in place. I would close then by commending again the members of the select committee for their diligence, if perhaps, if I may say, not totally coming to grips with the issue. There are many things which have been left out, such as the economic impact on the province of some of their recommendations, but I commend them for their work that they have done.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, may I say, in response, I had not intended to enter the debate under any circumstances this morning. I want to say that I personally, and I think each member of the committee, will be extremely disappointed and concerned about the response of the minister this morning to that report.

Ms. Gigantes: Right.

Mr. Renwick: I think it would have better served the public interest if the minister had said nothing than to have indicated that a matter of extreme urgency, of major importance is going to be dealt with as if it is one in a series of hearings that will preoccupy Ontario Hydro from now until 1985 and that the urgency and the importance of what we are about will be dissipated and lost. I simply say to the minister that I want him to think again about what he has said. I do hope that this debate will be called again, perhaps in the fall, so that we can get a clear and public statement from the minister about his intentions, because if the thrust of this report is not accepted then I want to know that it is not accepted and I want to understand that it is not accepted. I want the minister to know and I want the government to know that we on this side of the House consider that report a matter of major public importance in Ontario and we expect a clear and positive response from either the minister or from the Premier with respect to the intentions of the government about it.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order or a point of privilege or, as the hon. member for Scarborough West has often said, a point of view. I would indicate that if the member took from my remarks some indication that this is a report which is going to be sloughed off, a report which, as some member said, is going to be placed on the shelf to gather dust, then I am afraid he took the wrong impression. I indicated at several points -- and I don’t know if he was in the House for the entire duration of my remarks --

Mr. Renwick: Yes, I was.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: -- that I place a great deal of importance as the Minister of Energy on developing, in line with the recommendation of Task Force Hydro, this understanding between the government and that utility as to what is expected and what is acceptable to the government. If I have to be more unequivocal, let me say that I do place a great deal of importance on the work which the committee has done. I hope the member will allow me some luxury for saying I have reservations about some of the comments and some of the recommendations and will express them further later, when we have had a chance to study the report and consult with many of the same people who appeared before the committee to get their reactions to the report.

Hon. Mr. Welch moved the adjournment of the debate.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Welch presented the report of the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario covering the period April 1, 1974 to March 31, 1975.

Mr. Speaker: Motions.

Introduction of bills.


Mr. Cassidy moved first reading of bill intituled, An Act to provide for the Regulation of Smoking in Public Places.

Motion agreed to; first reading of the bill.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: I suppose you are going to be about an hour explaining it?

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, in the absence of action by the Ministry of the Environment, this is a bill designed to protect non-smokers from tobacco fumes by setting aside specific areas in which smoking would be permitted. No more than half of any area defined as a public place would be allowed to be designated as a smoking area. The bill would apply to public meetings, to areas such as restaurants, shopping plazas and offices to which the public has access, to public transportation and to places of work, except offices occupied exclusively by smokers. It’s a good bill and I commend it to the government.


Mr. Speaker: Before the orders of the day, I must report that on Wednesday last, the Minister of Government Services (Mrs. Scrivener) announced to the House the engagement of Prof. Eric Arthur to act in an advisory capacity with respect to the preservation, maintenance and restoration of this building and its historic features, particularly in view of those changes which modern conditions impose for the better service of the members and the general public.

The member for Ottawa Centre quite properly questioned this announcement by the minister insofar as it pertains to this chamber and those parts of this building which are directly under the Speaker’s jurisdiction. He also pointed out that the recommendations of the Camp commission respecting the jurisdiction in and the proposed alterations to this building are presently under study by the select committee studying the fourth and fifth report of the commission.

I’m pleased to report to the House that I have received an apology from the minister for her unintentional encroachment on the jurisdiction of the Speaker --

Mr. Lewis: No unintentional about it.

Mr. Speaker: -- which I fully understand. More important in my view, however, is the fact that I have had an opportunity to meet and confer with Prof. Arthur and I have requested him to make himself available as consultant and adviser to me in his specialized field, and also to make his advice available to the select committee if the committee so wishes. I know the members will agree with me that Prof. Arthur’s abilities and experience will be invaluable in ensuring that any necessary changes will conflict as little as possible with the architectural and historic beauty of this fine old building.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege. May I just thank you for that ruling on our behalf and say that we agree with you on the outstanding qualifications of Prof. Arthur to be a consultant to you and to the Legislature and we will welcome his assistance on the committee.

Mr. Lewis: On a point of order, I would like to add this footnote: In the continuing struggle between the Ministry of Government Services, exemplified in the person of the minister, and yourself, Mr. Speaker, and the other members of this Legislature for some control over the rational use of this building, I am very pleased that the Speaker asserted his rights not to be bullied by the civil servants of that ministry. It is an important precedent for the members of this House.

Mr. Drea: This is going to be a landmark speech.

Mr. Breithaupt: I would rise on that point, Mr. Speaker, only to comment that he not only took care of his rights and asserted them, he happened to have asserted our rights as members of the Legislature.

Mr. Drea: Why don’t you speak for yourself?

Mr. Breithaupt: I do speak for myself and on this occasion I speak for my party as well.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, may I address a question to the Chair? Is it understood that, whatever Prof. Arthur may wish to do for the Ministry of Government Services after the committee’s report is submitted, at the present time Prof. Arthur is only reporting to you and not to the minister? Is that correct?

Mr. Speaker: I presume that is correct, on those parts of the buildings which are under the Speaker’s jurisdiction, but I’m sure we’ll be kept informed on anything that pertains to the rest of the building. We don’t have any formal contract or agreement; I want to make that clear.


Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, before the orders of the day, I want to table the answers to questions 101 and 108 standing on the notice paper.


The following bills were given third reading upon motion:

Bill 98, An Act to amend the Travel Industry Act, 1974.

Bill 108, An Act to provide for the Continuance of Certain Payments between Municipalities under The Child Welfare Act, 1965.


Resumption of the adjourned debate on the motion for second reading of Bill 81, An Act to amend the Environmental Protection Act, 1971.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Windsor-Sandwich was on his feet. He is not here this morning. Are there further comments?

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, may I on behalf of the member for Windsor-Sandwich simply say that unfortunately he had to leave to return to Windsor to keep an important engagement. While he still had two or three other points that he wished to make, he felt that he could entrust them to the care of my colleague the member for Wentworth and, if necessary, myself.

Mr. Speaker: We will hear the hon. member for Erie first then, in the ordinary rotation.

Mr. Haggerty: I want to express my views on An Act to amend the Environmental Protection Act as it relates to control of beverage containers. The Niagara regional council has sent a resolution to me endorsing the resolution, I think from the city of Windsor, to support the resolution on the control of beverage containers in the Province of Ontario. When I think about this particular piece of legislation, it has been kicking around the Ontario Legislature for some six years and it has been recycled twice by the present minister. He discussed this in a white paper some two or three years ago and there has been quite a bit of dialogue on it.

The industry itself should have been well aware that legislation was coming forward. We are all concerned about the possibility of jobs being lost. In particular, the member for Windsor-Sandwich mentioned last night he was concerned about this particular section of the bill that perhaps jobs would be lost through it. When you sit down and look at it, if you go back a few years ago when milk was served on the doorstep by bottles, it always created an extra one or two jobs back at the plant to have them washed properly.

There are many instances where the tin containers cause quite a nuisance, particularly to the municipalities. This is one of the reasons why they were solidly behind these resolutions and recommendations to the minister to put on some type of control. One can walk down the city of Toronto, particularly when they have a garbage pickup in any day, and look and can see that perhaps 90 per cent of the garbage could be recycled. When you look at the number of glass containers that are there, you can see the glass containers that are in almost every home, and the number of pop, steel or rimmed containers that are around the house. It causes quite a bit of problems of how to dispose of them.

On this basis, when you look at the municipalities which have been wanting this type of legislation, there is a reason for it. Municipalities are running short of land disposal and it is getting too costly to take garbage or trash that is available in the Province of Ontario through our waste to be dumped into some type of landfill. Many municipalities are not fortunate to have some ravine or some other area or some open pit or something like that they may want to fill in. Some of them have to go out and purchase exceptionally good valuable land that could be used for housing. There is a greater need for that than for landfill for this. It is costing the municipalities money to bury the garbage or trash. I have to give the minister credit for moving in this direction to bring in this bill that will perhaps give the municipalities some relief in the matter of garbage disposal.

I suppose we have to look at the matter of the conservation of energy, too, when we change from one product to another. I think the matter of energy in the Province of Ontario, particularly the conservation of it, is one of the most important keys to our survival to the year 2000.

I think all these things should be taken into consideration. It was well documented by the member for Windsor-Walkerville (Mr. B. Newman) yesterday in his comments to the minister and to the Legislature that there is a waste of energy in manufacturing and disposing of such containers which are not necessary on the market.

As has been mentioned before -- I think I’ve suggested it to the minister before -- there should be a certain standardization of glass containers so they can be used over and over again; recycled in a sense. I think, when we look at the municipalities really wanting some legislation -- and the minister has brought it in now -- in the long run there’s going to be a reduction in municipal taxes because it costs money to dispose of waste in any municipality. It’s getting to the stage when the cost is getting pretty high; the land isn’t available any more for landfill and we have to look at other methods of disposing of our waste. I think this is one way we can put a different type of control on the industry and say they must go back to a returnable type of container. This bill does direct them to do that.

Of course, there was some mention yesterday that there should be a certain levy or tax on that returnable container, high enough so that persons will take it back to the store or wherever they purchased their goods, and they will keep it in the recycling business instead of throwing it onto our streets and parks. Almost everywhere we can see tin cans floating around the community, throughout Ontario.

The Ministry of Natural Resources can pretty well tell us what it costs to pick up the trash and the garbage left in our provincial parks. I think this is one direction on which I have to agree with the minister. Finally, after six or seven years of dialogue with the industry, he has moved in that direction to correct the problem which is costing the taxpayers money in the Province of Ontario, and I commend him for it.

Mr. Deans: Mr. Speaker, I have grave reservations about the bill. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to support it but I want to express to the minister, through you, sir, the reservations I have.

For nine years in the Legislature I’ve tried to find out exactly what was this government’s policy with regard to manpower, job creation and retraining. I asked the question on so many occasions that it became repetitious. In the course of the last Parliament I attempted to find out from the then member for Hamilton West -- the Hon. Jack McNie, who apparently was charged with responsibility for retraining and for manpower policy -- exactly what he did and what kinds of policies and proposals he was prepared to put before the Legislature and when.

Mr. Breithaupt: You will never know.

Mr. Deans: He was unable to answer at that point and he’s now gone. I then attempted to find out from the Premier who was responsible for manpower, retraining and job creation and policies related to ensuring the economic well-being of the people of this province. I was told it was the Minister of Labour.


I asked the Minister of Labour if she could tell me what she did with regard to the creation of employment, taking into consideration the effects of automation, cybernation and whatever other things -- including this bill -- would have on the work force of the province and the need to create adequate opportunities for employment of that work force. Quite fairly I must say to the minister and to the members that I don’t yet understand what the policy of the government is in that regard, other than to say that I have seen little -- in fact, I have seen no evidence of any inclination or intention on the part of this government over the period of time that I have been here, to create clear and concise policies that are easily understandable and workable with regard to taking care of people who are, through no fault of their own, placed in a position where the employment that they have enjoyed and looked forward to continuing is discontinued.

I’ve constantly said that the government had to be more active, particularly with regard to plant closings and ensuring that there would be some way that the people detrimentally involved would be given the kind of assurances, followed up by policies and directions, that would keep them and their families at the level that they are accustomed to. When I speak about this bill, it is with that background.

I worry daily about what will happen to the people in the industry. I worry about the litter, let me tell you, and I’m concerned about the litter, and I think a lot about how we can resolve that problem. I would be delighted to stand and speak with some degree of conviction about the movements of the government with regard to banning or phasing out non-returnable containers if I had any degree of confidence in the government’s commitment to ensuring that people will be taken care of with regard to their economic needs.

I’m going to tell you, Mr. Speaker, that as I stand here I am as convinced now that they won’t be taken care of, because I am convinced that the government doesn’t have within it the capacity to address itself to those kinds of big, major, important problems. There isn’t any indication anywhere in the history of this government that it is capable of looking after this kind of difficulty, of developing an expanding economy, of ensuring that there will be job creation, of guaranteeing those who are dislocated by the activity of the Legislature -- even that group -- that they will be given proper consideration, retraining, better education, and thereby suited for jobs that are being brought into the job market.

As members know, our party is of a mind and will -- in fact, the member for Riverdale will move it at some point -- to create a longer period of time for this transition that is going to take place. I want to say that even if they accept, as I suspect maybe they will -- I hope they will, at least -- the member for Riverdale’s recommendation in that regard which reflects the party’s position, that they will continually monitor the effects of the phasing out and that they will continually place before this Legislature the reports on that monitoring; that they will, on a monthly basis, make themselves and the members of the Legislature aware of the impact of whatever is going to happen in the job problems.

Okay, I will settle for quarterly. But I have to know, during that five-year period, on a regular basis that every single employee with the will to work is given the opportunity to find suitable employment at rates of remuneration commensurate with the rates that person, male or female, would have been receiving had we not taken this step.

That is the key to it, because whatever we do in this Legislature that has a detrimental effect on anyone in the Province of Ontario, we have an obligation to take into consideration those detrimental effects and to seek out the solutions to offset whatever those effects are. I am saying that if, down the road a way, I am convinced that the government still hasn’t moved to provide the kinds of retraining and educational programmes and the kinds of initiatives that will ensure the employment of those people and their economic well-being, then I would move to repeal this legislation.

While it may be in the common interest to ban non-returnable containers, it is only in the common interest if it can be done without detrimentally affecting the workers and their families. They simply cannot be asked to bear the burden by themselves of what may well turn out to be beneficial to the overall community. Let us not ask one select group to carry the economic burden of what may turn out, over the long haul, to be beneficial in some form or other to the overall province. We have to make a commitment in the Legislature, here and now, to those people, and particularly those who may have difficulty, given the job market as it now is, because of age, training, background or education. We have to make it absolutely clear to everyone that we, as a Legislature, are committed to assuring those people that they will not be faced with the insurmountable problems and costs of trying to cope with unemployment created as a result of our actions.

I think we must be very aware, as politicians and as members of this Legislature in particular, since we can speak for no other, that we don’t have the right to threaten people unnecessarily; nor do we have the right to create the anxiety within those workers and their families that we won’t respond positively to their needs. I ask the minister to give particular recognition to that point, because it worries me no end. If I have to choose between those people and banning the containers, I’ll choose the people every time.

Mr. Reed: Mr. Speaker, it would appear that this bill has raised something of a dilemma for the NDP inasmuch as, on the one hand, they are deeply concerned about the waste and garbage problem -- at least I am certainly led to believe that -- while on the other hand, when we are actually going to deal with the bill that will help to relieve this problem, we are having constraints placed upon it by the NDP.

Let me just say to the House that so far as we know to this point, all of the evidence we have seems to indicate that when we go from a configuration of non-returnable containers to returnable containers, if we are to take statistics that have been given to us from other jurisdictions, we can actually increase the level of employment.

Mr. Lewis: Nothing shows that. That is utter nonsense.

Mr. Renwick: There is no evidence of that.

Mr. Lewis: Five years ago there was evidence.

Mr. Reed: I refer the hon. member to the Oregon experience.

Mr. Lewis: Which is discredited now.

Mr. Reed: I am as concerned about employment in this province as any other member of this House, but I feel that we have to get on with the job of getting into a returnable situation, not only from the point of view of saving energy, but from the point of view of the reduction of the solid waste disposal problem --

Mr. Ruston: Using up all my farm land.

Mr. Reed: -- which has become more and more acute in recent years and will increase as populations tend to migrate to the urban areas.

I would like to ask the minister whether, in regulations subsequent to the passage of this bill, he would also consider including, for instance, the LCBO and the wine industry into that returnable situation because I feel that there is a tremendous amount of waste glass and so on created by that industry.

I would like us also to allude to some concern that has been presented on the part of the can producing industry as well. Let me assure the minister and assure the House that there is no reason, and experience seems to show that there is no reason, why the can cannot be sold on a deposit basis as well as the glass bottle and arrangements made for its return and the recovery of that deposit so that the can could be recycled.

In order to accomplish this, it requires the setting up of some small mechanism on the part of the beverage producers, but it is certainly not difficult and it would keep in operation a great convenience to many people. As we know, cans are lighter, they cool more quickly and, if they are constructed of the proper materials, none of the can is wasted -- even the tab on the top can remain with the can -- and it can be returned for recycling.

I would like to suggest to the minister that I am very much in favour of this bill and will support its passage but I would be reluctant to accept lengthy time constraints on the implementation of regulations.

Mr. Renwick: I want to speak relatively rapidly and concisely I trust on second reading of the bill. Before I conclude my remarks I am going to read the amendment which we will be proposing in committee on the assumption that being a single amendment to a section of the bill that we can deal with the debate expeditiously when we move into clause-by-clause discussion of the bill.

I want to affirm what my colleague from Hamilton East (Mr. Mackenzie), my colleague from Cambridge (Mr. Davidson), my colleague from Wentworth, my colleague from Durham West when he spoke initially on this bill, and other members of this party, said about our concern about the job component and the problems related to that.

I don’t think the minister, who has been here during the time when people have lost jobs in the province, has any doubt about the importance that we place in this party on the question of government policy about job retraining, job relocation and the ability of our society to deal with changes in the economy related to jobs.

I will never ever forget the trauma of the closing of the Dunlop plant in my riding. I have been concerned for a long time about the potential danger to the jobs in the Canada Metal plant in a very difficult environmental situation in the riding of Riverdale. I need hardly draw to the attention of the minister the immense difficulty that a party such as ours has in reaching political decisions with respect to how we express our fears and concerns about hazards at the work place compatible with the need for people not to be threatened in the jobs which they have, whether it is at Elliot Lake or at Matachewan --

Mr. Grossman: We have the same concerns.

Mr. Renwick: -- or whether it is the sawmills in the lumbering industry in the area of Algonquin Park. Wherever that problem arises it is of immense concern to us and it was of immense concern to the caucus of the New Democratic Party when the minister introduced this bill on May 7 last as to how we would deal with it.


Our party and our caucus reflect the two aspects of the problem, the concern about the environment, the need for solid waste management and the concern about the litter problem as one aspect of the solid waste management programme. We share the concern about the problems of persons who hold jobs in the economy and who may very well lose their jobs because of environmental needs either at the workplace or in the surroundings affected by those jobs.

I want to make it quite clear that our convention in 1974 in Sudbury adopted a resource management resolution consisting of a number of parts, one of which was that an NDP government would phase out, over a maximum of two years, all non-refillable soft drink containers.

This bill was then introduced by the government and the caucus of this party gave considerable attention to the problems which were involved. We heard representations from the United Steelworkers of America with respect to their assessment of the problems which were involved. We heard representations from James Purna, the head of the glass and ceramic workers in Canada, about the problems which are involved in it and the threat to the jobs with which we were concerned.

Many of my colleagues are equally concerned about those matters. With that in mind, deliberately and after considerable thought, we referred the matter, as a request, to the convention of the New Democratic Party held in Kingston last weekend for the purpose of obtaining the decision of the convention and the direction to the caucus by that convention of what, in these circumstances, the New Democratic Party’s position on this bill would be. I want to express to the government our appreciation for standing the bill down or holding the bill until we had an opportunity to receive that direction from the convention of the New Democratic party.

First of all, let me simply say that we made our request through the normal channels of our party to the council of the party, asking that the resolution go forward to the convention among other resolutions dealing with environmental matters for consideration in the ordinary course of the business of the convention. There were two resolutions passed at the convention dealing mainly with this type of problem.

One was a broadly based resolution, introduced by the riding of Brant-Oxford-Norfolk, establishing the need and the essential ingredients of a New Democratic government’s policy for recycling, in its broad sense, of the waste in our society and covering many aspects of that area of solid waste management. In addition to that, the convention passed a resolution which was debated vigorously by the proponents on both sides of this difficult and vexed question. Nobody need think that the English language is yet sufficiently flexible that in every situation it can reconcile entirely two irreconcilable viewpoints. In a political sense we received a political decision of our convention which we reflect in the amendment which was put forward.

The following resolution on solid waste management was passed by our convention:

“Whereas the creation of unnecessary waste consumes valuable and finite resources; whereas industry has been moving toward an increased use of unnecessary and disposable packaging; whereas many materials which could be recycled are currently being disposed of as garbage and litter and lost forever; whereas the disposal of this solid waste is consuming more and more of Ontario’s valuable land, energy and financial resources; whereas there are presently feasible alternatives to unnecessary and disposable waste; whereas an adequate labour policy is an absolute prerequisite to a responsible environmental policy; whereas the New Democratic Party has committed itself to protecting labour and to preserving the environment and conserving our natural resources; and whereas no particular group of workers should be threatened by or bear the full brunt of policies designed to protect the environment,

“Therefore be it resolved that a New Democratic Party government would introduce a rational long-term policy for solid waste management which would reconcile the need for environmental protection and the needs of workers, which would include the following:

“1. Products review board: To reduce the amount of unnecessary packaging and waste an NDP government would set up a products review board which would look closely at all products and packages now on the market, as well as any new ones, and judge them according to stated environmental criteria, including durability, reusability, repairability, refillability and recyclability, to determine their acceptability for continued use or introduction.

“2. Beverage containers: With the objective of eliminating the use of all non-returnable beverage containers in five years, the New Democratic Party would initiate a five-year phase-out programme on the use of nonrefillable beverage containers where feasible alternatives exist.

“This would be accomplished by: (a) legislating standard bottle sizes and types, (b) setting a deposit on all containers large enough to ensure their return for reuse or recycling, (c) requiring all stores selling beverages to carry at least half of their stock in refillable containers, (d) developing, in conjunction with affecting industries and workers, a timetable for phasing out production and relocating workers within the five-year phase-out period, (e) carefully monitoring the phase-out to ensure its success.

“3. Litter: To reduce the amount of litter an NDP government would promote aggressive anti-litter campaigns and increase and enforce fines for littering.

“4. Recycling: A New Democratic government would encourage the recycling of those solid waste materials which must be produced and which cannot be reused. This would be done in part by developing and encouraging source-separated collection systems for garbage, thereby reducing as much as possible the need for costly reclamation plants, and in part by building publicly owned recycling plants, setting freight rates so that recycled materials could be moved more cheaply than virgin, raw materials, and adopting a preferential purchasing policy for the products made from recycled materials. A New Democratic Party government would also support funding experimental recycling systems on a municipal scale.

“5. Waste disposal: A New Democratic Party government would strongly discourage any long-term commitments to future landfilling of garbage. Rather, a New Democratic Party government, would construct energy recovery plants to dispose of those materials which can neither be reused nor recycled.

“6. Labour: A New Democratic Party government would develop an overall labour policy which would protect workers in industries affected by environmental policies. Such a policy would include retraining and relocation assistance for laid-off workers, guaranteed continuation of package benefits accumulated at a previous job, and would be designed to ensure that no worker’s livelihood would be threatened by environmental protection policies.”

Mr. Speaker, within the framework of that resolution, passed by our convention in accordance with that direction, I will move in committee that clause (c) of section 1, of Bill 81 be amended by adding thereto the following:

“(df) providing a schedule for the regulation and the prohibition within five years of the use, offering for sale or sale in Ontario of nonrefillable or nonreturnable containers for any beverage.

“2. The regulations made under clause (df) of subsection 1 shall be filed pursuant to the Regulations Act not later than July 1, 1977.”

During the course of the consideration of this bill I, along with my colleague the member for Durham West and my colleague the member for Hamilton East, together with a research assistant of our caucus, Miss Jill Eisen, met with the minister and his executive assistant to discuss some of the aspects of this bill.

I’m not suggesting for one moment that there were any commitments made or not made at that meeting, but there was a certain exchange of views and a sense of understanding about what the government’s plans were and about the difficulties and concerns which we had about the bill, which I may say I’m quite certain are shared by the government in respect to the job question and the environmental question.

At that particular time, I think it is fair to say that the minister indicated quite clearly to us that it was his intention, as these regulations were developed and before they were filed, to provide an opportunity for public discussion and concern about them in the framework of the enabling legislation which we are going to pass.

It is my understanding that he will provide them in draft form, not only to other members of the assembly but to all interested groups or persons who may be concerned about this matter so that there can be public consideration and discussion of the regulations before they are brought into force.

I think we reached substantial agreement -- and again I emphasize that in no sense were there any commitments made about any of these matters at the meeting, but we were talking the same kind of language when we decided, for example, that deposits would be required on all containers, that there should be standard bottle sizes and shapes, that there should be a mandatory refund at stores where the particular containers are bought, and in a number of such areas about which those more knowledgeable in this field than I can speak, and have spoken, with greater knowledge during the course of this debate.

I simply want to say to the minister that with the difficulties which are involved, we tried as best we could to come to what we believe to be a fair and reasonable decision on the matter. We asked that the matter should be put openly before our convention for discussion, and we emphasized that we were simply asking for instruction; as a caucus or as members of the caucus, we were not taking any particular view of the proposal before the convention.

The convention passed that resolution, which I have had the privilege of putting on the record of this assembly in a very all-embracing sense, and within the limits of this particular bill I will propose the amendment to which I have referred when we reach the committee stage of the bill, which it would appear now will not be until the beginning of next week.

I did want to point out to the minister that we share in substance the broad concerns of the two aspects of this problem, if one can put it in those terms, and we support the legislation. We have concerns about the immense regulatory authority being granted to the minister, but we believe that it would go a long way to solve the granting of such immense regulatory authority if the minister would comment on my remarks about the circulation of the draft regulations for public input and discussion before they are enacted or filed for the purposes under this Act.

We do have reservations about the problem, because we believe that those who now have jobs in those plants and who have particular in-plant skills, which are on many occasions not transferrable, are not prepared to accept the kind of specious statistical information which would indicate that yes, there will be other jobs, more jobs, different jobs or indeed that the persons presently in place in their jobs and earning their living will necessarily find an adequate and equal opportunity of employment elsewhere.

With all of those reservations this caucus, with the direction from the convention of this party, will support the bill and will move the amendment which I propose.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if I might just interject for a moment. The minister has a brief summary which will take us past 1. Could we have the consent of the House for the minister to sum up so that we can give second reading to this bill before we adjourn?

Mr. Deans: Agreed.

Mr. Breithaupt: Agreed.

Mr. Speaker: It is so agreed.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Speaker, I think it might be wise, as I did at the time we introduced the bill for second reading, to review briefly what has been done by the government in this particular area.

I mentioned that about five years ago we appointed a Litter Council. At that time, the concern about the disposable cans and bottles was mainly in respect to litter. The Litter Council submitted a report that really didn’t say too much as far as controlling disposables, deposit on disposables or banning the throwaway in any way are concerned. It did make certain recommendations regarding litter and what to do to control it and minimize it. Later there was a report, called the Solid Waste Task Force, which dealt much more extensively with the whole problem of waste disposal and the philosophy of the throwaway society in which we live.


Finally, about a year ago, my predecessor set up the Waste Management Advisory Board and at that time he indicated to the industry that unless something was done to make more soft drinks in refillable containers available to the public the government would have to act in some way. He set out criteria but unfortunately the action did not come from the industry until the very end of the 12-month period in which the hon. minister had indicated that some definite improvement had to be made in the soft drink industry.

I think the Waste Management Advisory Board report is an excellent report. It is a comprehensive report and, of course, it had the advantage of the previous studies and experiences in respect to this subject matter. After about a year of deliberations, the board was able to make about a dozen recommendations which, in my opinion, should pretty well be the final word on how to deal with this problem.

It mentioned, of course, that the big problem is the distribution system itself and the fact that there are so many sizes and a proliferation of shapes of the various soft drink containers, in spite of government action. For example, the 10 oz. soft drink can now has about 80 per cent of that market and this has been increasing steadily, at least until the end of 1975.

The recommendations in the Waste Management Advisory Board report deal with a number of moves and steps and regulations which can be implemented to increase the distribution system, as I say, and make it more efficient. It talks about labelling. It talks about the availability of refillable containers. It requires a distinction to be made between the price of the product and the deposit. It requires the payment of the refund by the retailers rather than their giving chewing gum, for example. It recommends an educational programme. It recommends more standardization to the point of the generic standard bottle. It talks about the co-operation of industry. It talks about the prohibition of the split bottle and, above all, it talks about the development, as I say, of an efficient recycling and distribution system.

I might refer for a brief moment to an extract from that report:

“A policy for the transition from the present system of predominantly throwaway containers to one that is consistent with reduction of waste, conservation of energy and material resources, and will still provide the consumer with variety, convenience and economy must be flexible, carefully thought out and requires staged but firm progress toward environmental objectives.”

The Waste Management Advisory Board report will be the basis of our policy. The recommendations and regulations we bring in will be pretty well born and the seed will be pretty well the report itself. That’s not saying that we’re going to implement necessarily every recommendation that is in that report. For example, the report doesn’t deal or make a recommendation in respect to a deposit on a non-returnable container, nor does it question or suggest or make any reference to the question of some form of a tax. Such recommendation, in fact, has been made before in previous reports.

The first recommendation talks about mandatory availability and, again, by the storekeeper having sufficient refillables in certain brands of carbonated soft-drink containers as well as the non-refillable, in other words, so that the customer or the consumer has a complete and real choice. If he wants to buy a bottle of Seven-Up in a 26-oz. refillable container, that is available, if that retailer carries such a bottle in a non-refillable container. The idea is that at least 50 per cent or half of the retailer’s stock is available in all brands and all shapes and sizes in a refillable container.

Then the report moves into the option between a conditional ban and a definite ban. The reason for that, I think if you read the report, the philosophy behind that, is basically in one word, “pressure.” There is the regulation that says that within three years or five years, depending on whether it’s by way of a vending machine, there no longer will be a non-refillable container in the carbonated soft-drink industry.

But then it goes on to make a number of other recommendations. I think the board in its deliberations and its conclusions feels there is a great possibility that neither 2(a) or 2(b), neither the conditional nor definite ban, may be necessary if the other regulations do their job. If that system becomes efficient, if we do something about size and shape and there really is a recycling system with sufficient trips to make the whole system work and pay, it is no longer a waste disposal problem, an energy problem or a litter problem.

I think that is the philosophy behind the report. It allows industry time to modify the existing system, particularly in preparation for the greater number of empties that I’m sure will be circulated and will have to be handled as a result of the mandatory availability provision which I already mentioned. I think the report sets out a very comprehensive strategy to reduce the use of non-refillable containers and to improve the efficiency of the system by way of phasing in regulations, by way of a timetable over the next two or three years from which we can assess the results.

Then, as I say, if the can, for example, is really no longer a problem in that whole system, we don’t ban the can for banning the can’s sake. We ban the can because it is a waste problem, but not if there is an efficient system so that the use of the can is not a major use within the whole carbonated soft-drink industry, or if it is not a solid waste problem because there is recycling, because a plant in Hamilton by the name of M and T is part of a great recycling system so that that metal is reused and reused, resulting not only in the saving that I’ve mentioned but also providing more jobs.

That’s what we will look at and monitor over the next two or three years. I might say, although the industry was very reluctant to really co-operate during 1975, great strides were made when they knew what was going to be in this report, before the report was really made available to the public. As a result, the industry has formed a committee made up of representatives from the Retail Council and the Ontario Soft Drink Association, and at a recent meeting of that committee with officials of my ministry and myself, the industry itself is recommending that there only be four standard sizes -- a giant leap for mankind --

Mr. Renwick: Oh no, Metro distributors are also going to decide what they are going to do.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: -- and of these four sizes that they manufacture and market no more than three of these sizes for any given brand. Now seriously, that is a big step, because there are about 117 different sizes of all brands now in the province.

Mr. Breithaupt: The small size will be called “large” --

Mr. Renwick: When you first became the government there was only one.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: This is a good time to put on a slide show, but there is the situation at the present time in a store --

Mr. Cunningham: Exhibit A.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: -- yes, Exhibit A -- and this is what it can be. There is the difference. Can you imagine what that means to the handling and the cost of handling, and the shelf space and everything else?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Revolutionary. Revolutionary.

Mr. Deans: Do you know what that will do? Every department store will be open all hours

Hon. B. Stephenson: You have a devious mind.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: That’s another matter. We’ve settled that. That has been suggested not only by the soft-drink people but also by the --

Mr. Renwick: Reducing the number of sizes of the bottles cuts down on the number of jobs in itself.

Hon. B. Stephenson: No it doesn’t.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: No, the recycling, as I have mentioned before, is labour intensive.

I’d like to refer very briefly, Mr. Speaker, to some of the remarks. I think the hon. member for Riverdale referred to a lot of things that were said by the hon. member for Windsor-Sandwich, because he was dealing with some of the resolutions that were made at their recent convention. He asked me questions about what are our solid waste management plans, what are we doing to encourage separation at source, what about our resource recovery programme, are we thinking about beer bottles and wine bottles and other types of containers in this type of legislation that we are proposing, and what about recycling generally.

I just want to very briefly mention that we have a resource recovery programme under way now that we have some pride in. I’m sure most members know about the experimental plant being constructed in North York at the present time. We now have a plan for what we call front-end plants which provides separation at source, separation of metal, bottles and paper, as well as the treatment of certain types of waste.

The “watts from waste” plant at Etobicoke, unfortunately, is not going ahead as fast as it should, but hopefully construction will start by the end of this year. That plant will be capable of processing about 1,200 tons per day and producing a refuse-derived fuel to be burned in existing boilers at Lakeview generating station. We’ve got SWARU in Hamilton, which we assisted by more funding. Tricel, in Kingston, is another reclamation plant as opposed to the ordinary sanitary landfill site programme. We’ve got three home separation schemes, pilot projects, under way at Burlington, Brampton and Lindsay. Those are the three problem areas, and one of the problems, of course, in developing municipal recycling depots is to find markets for tin, newspaper and bottles.


This is something that the government now has got into much more extensively because of problems of selling those products. Therefore, I think that we are in the whole picture of recycling and a waste resource management programme; this bill of course, is just one part of that programme.

I would like to conclude by talking briefly about some of the comments made last night by the hon. member for Hamilton East, the hon. member for Wentworth and, of course, the hon. member for Riverdale, in respect to employment. I think one of the reasons the Waste Management Advisory Board gave a lead-time of both three and five years in its report was that if we do ban the can, there is sufficient time for industry to adjust; here is sufficient lead-time to enable any workers who may be laid off as a result of a ban to obtain employment elsewhere.

As I mentioned before, I feel that the whole recycling programme can be labour-intensive. Certainly in Alberta and British Columbia it has provided employment for a number of people and a number of groups, such as Boy Scouts, retarded children and groups like that, who are operating these depots. I would suggest that employment can be provided in various ways. I feel that if we definitely make a commitment about looking after those people who may be affected by a can ban, the industry will not act or react in a way we want it to in respect to the sale, distribution and marketing of non-refillable soft drink containers. Therefore, I think it is important that that pressure remain and that industry follow the regulations that will be implemented by us. As I said before, the question of a ban may not be that important two or three years from now. I suppose one could use the phrase “A ban if necessary but not necessarily a ban.”

Mr. Deans: Did you make that up right on the spur of the moment?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Right on the spur of the moment. Who said something like that? Oh, Mackenzie King. He was talking about cans too, I think.

Mr. Deans: That was very clever.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: The hon. member for Riverdale referred to the fact that we have had a meeting. It is my intention to provide notice of proposed regulations in respect to this subject to both opposition parties. There is no reason why that can’t be done before those regulations are proclaimed. I would also be happy to circulate them to any group in the province who may be interested in those regulations; although it may be difficult to develop a mailing list, but I don’t want to disrupt to any great extent the normal process of regulations being approved. There is no reason why the input and the recommendations of the opposition parties can’t be part of those final regulations when they are tabled.

Motion agreed to; second reading of the bill.

Mr. Speaker: I understand this bill is to go to the committee of the whole House. Is it agreed?



Resolutions for supply for the following ministries were concurred in by the House:

Office of the Assembly;

Ministry of Correctional Services;

Ministry of Government Services;

Office of the Provincial Auditor;

Ministry of Housing;

Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations;

Ministry of Transportation and Communications;

Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

Hon. Mr. Welch moved that on Monday next the House meet at 10 a.m. and on each day until the House adjourns for the summer recess, and that the routine proceedings will be called at 2 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, before you put that question, I think the House might like some information as to the order. We will start committee of the whole House at 10 a.m. on Monday with Bill 81, followed by Bill 94 and then such other legislation as we have time for. It was understood that the budget debate, to which reference was made last night, could be looked after during the lunch hour. Then we can start our regular session at 2 p.m., to be followed by estimates as the other parties have been advised.

Motion agreed to.

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

Motion agreed to.

The House adjourned at 1:22 p.m.