30e législature, 3e session

L095 - Wed 14 Jul 1976 / Mer 14 jul 1976

The House resumed at 8 p.m.


Mr. Speaker: When we rose at 6 o’clock the hon. member for Ottawa East had the floor.

Mr. Peterson: He lost his notes, Mr. Speaker. He had a carefully written speech.

Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker before the dinner hour it was with a certain amount of trepidation that I said to you that I would continue at 8 o’clock, because my experience in this House tells me that one never knows what sort of treatment one will get at 8 o’clock -- in view of the two-hour gap between 6 and 8. I’ve seen times, Mr. Speaker, when there was a sort Of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde transformation in the members on the other side. I don’t know what you give them, Mr. Speaker, during 6 to 8 in that Conservative caucus.

Mr. Lawlor: The same thing happens to you, Frankenstein.

Mr. Roy: Anyway, one is either faced with that situation or an empty chamber. This evening we have sort of a proper balance.

I feel somewhat secure and confident, knowing that my colleagues are here in full force.

Mr. Bain: It’s the ones behind you you have to worry about.

Mr. Roy: Of course, I did not know that the member for Hamilton Mountain (Hon. J. R. Smith) would grace us with his presence. He is but back from his honeymoon --

Mr. Riddell: And with a smile on his face.

Mr. Roy: With a smile on his face and no worse for wear; it seems to have done him some good. I take it that she is well? I trust he had a nice honeymoon --

Hon. J. R. Smith: Merci.

Mr. Roy: -- and that stability will prevail as he continues on and the world unfolds in his ministry.

Mr. Speaker: Meanwhile, back to the principle of the bill.

Mr. Roy: Yes, Mr. Speaker. I wanted to set the record straight and say that when the programme was announced by the Prime Minister of the country in October, 1975, it was without any hesitation that our party supported the programme. But we said at that time, Mr. Speaker, that the controls for the public sector should be applied by a provincial board, and for various reasons.

The first reason was that we in this party are concerned about provincial rights. We are not prepared to abandon our rights just by signing a contract. We were concerned as well that the guidelines to be followed by the federal government and Jean-Luc Pepin involved such things as historical and geographical relationships. Who best could apply these guidelines but the government, the jurisdiction which has handled this problem since Confederation. It seems to me a ridiculous situation where we had to force the teachers back to work but did not tell them at what level. It was illogical. It was not a proper way to proceed.

Then we felt as well that the backlog at the federal level would be something that would make it unworkable. Although the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) would say that the backlog is not bad, I understand it’s still four or five months. So we felt justified in proposing this board. We propose two things, Mr. Speaker. First of all, we propose a provincial board and then, at the very least, if the government was going to enter into an agreement with the federal government, this agreement be subject to legislative consent or legislative approval. There should be some legislative authority to enter this agreement.

We asked for this. We pleaded with the government for this. We were fully expecting to get the help of the NDP for this. That seemed to make sense; they are for provincial rights, they are for protecting the public sector; or so they say. I ask them why didn’t they support then? Was it wrong?

Mr. Peterson: No.

Mr. Roy: The member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) says to us it was bad. They didn’t want to test this, they were against the whole programme, they didn’t want anything to do with it. I ask my colleagues now was it wrong to support us then? They say yes it was.

I look at Hansard. I like to look back at Hansard.

Mr. Gaunt: A book of truth.

Mr. Roy: I look at the closing speaker for the NDP, the member for Wentworth (Mr. Deans).

An hon. member: The mayor of Hamilton.

Mrs. Campbell: His worship.

Mr. Roy: His worship. I look at what he had to say then as he closed off the debate on the Throne Speech back on Dec. 18, 1975. I am quoting from Hansard page 1976, where he said:

“So it is for that reason that we can’t support the Liberal amendment. It is not because the Liberal amendment in itself is wrong.”

That’s what he said then.

“It is not because what they are asking for is wrong.”

He repeats himself; he says it is not wrong.

“It is not because of that at all.”

He wants to make very clear it is not because of that. He says there is further work to do in the House. He goes on to say:

“It is because we have to understand that this Legislature has a lot of work yet to be done.”

That is what he said. Now it’s political expediency.

Mr. Mackenzie: Tell us about political expediency.

Mr. Roy: It’s not high principle; it wasn’t high principle. They said at the time it was not wrong; they wanted to avoid an election.


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Roy: And they tell us about principle.

Mr. Bain: Let’s pull the plug then; come on.

Mr. Roy: So here we are, Mr. Speaker. We laid out our position and they refused to support us. And here we have the mess. They contributed to this.

An hon. member: We were serious.

Mr. Roy: They supported the government back in December. They contributed to this. And now that we have this mess, what do we do? Do we support these incompetent bunglers on the other side?

Mr. Bain: Of course, you do.

Mr. Roy: It is what they are.

Mr. Bain: You do it every day.

Mr. Roy: Here is our choice: To support the arrogant bunglers on that side or to cause absolute economic chaos in Ontario for the next two months in an election. That’s the choice. That’s the role the NDP has accepted. Now we know what they would do in government.


Mr. Roy: I look at other NDP governments in power in Saskatchewan and in Manitoba. They are part of the plan. How come they signed up for the anti-inflation agreement?

Mr. Mackenzie: Tell us about your programme.

Mr. Roy: Why don’t you do it?


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Roy: I say our choice is a limited one in the sense that we have to accept our responsibility. As much as we hate to support them-

Mr. Davidson: Oh, baloney.

Mr. Roy: -- for the good of the province we have no choice.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Be honest.

Mr. Roy: Do you think it is easy to support the members opposite?


Mr. S. Smith: They are only human, after all.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Let’s got back to an orderly debate on the principle of the bill.


Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, it is not easy for my colleagues and I to support these bunglers, I’ll tell you. It’s not easy at all. But we feel that in the best interests of the province, rather than creating economic chaos, we have no choice. The economic welfare of the province takes precedence over political expediency.

Mr. Makarchuk: The welfare of the party.

Mr. Peterson: Give them hell.

Mr. Roy: In closing, Mr. Speaker, I’d just like to say that time is on our side. The arrogance and the bungling, as I said before, are on that side --

Mr. Peterson: Do you have the French for it?

Mr. Roy: I don’t have the French translation -- I wish I had. But I just want to say, Mr. Speaker, that they haven’t learned anything since 1975; they’re the same.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Don’t you wish you were over here?

Mr. Roy: As far as the NDP is concerned, I think time will catch up to them as well. Mr. Speaker, I think time is on our side, and our responsible position here --

Mr. Makarchuk: That is about the only thing you have going for you.

Mr. Warner: Suspended animation.

Mr. Roy: Our responsible position here will be vindicated and we will be perceived as the alternative in this province.

Mr. Lawlor: Mr. Speaker, as they say in French: Did you ever see such a silk purse made out of such a sow’s ear? That’s the greatest apologia and piece of breast-beating I’ve ever seen. They are making a virtue of their invidious necessities.

Mr. Conway: Is that Joe Borowski French?

An hon. member: Speak English.

Mr. Lawlor: Instead of hiding his head in shame, with a piece of Gallic bravado he tries to turn it to an advantage. It is quite incredible.


Mr. Lawlor: I’m incensed, Mr. Speaker, because my opening lines tonight were stolen by the member for Wilson Heights (Mr. Singer). He did take the trouble to read page 65 of the Chief Justice’s judgement. And he did make mention of the special pleading, the really Uriah Heepish gestilations made by the chief law officers of this province, grovelling before the Supreme Court of this county --

Mr. S. Smith: “Gestilations” -- is that a new word?

Mr. Lawlor: -- with respect to their own purblind blunders. It’s actually so good that it should be mentioned again.

Mr. Breithaupt: Seven to two.

Mr. Lawlor: They were pleading away that they had a common law power. It is something they took out of the air from, oh probably the 13th century. I suspect it was a little before, knowing the Conservative Party over there.

Mr. Roy: It was the 16th century.

Mr. Breithaupt: After Marcus Aurelius.

Mr. Lawlor: No, this was common law. This was way back when Parliament was a spark in your father’s eye and before that time; or it was at the time of pithecanthropos inerectus, he was flat on the ground when he first thought of it. He had a common law power and a capacity to enter into an agreement where there were no statutory restrictions. Did the chief justice ever give him the back of his hand on that one! He slapped him down very beautifully indeed. He says:

“Rather, what is an issue is the right of the Crown, although duly protected by an order in council, to bind its subjects in the province to laws not enacted by the Legislature nor made applicable to such subjects by adoption under authorizing legislation. There is no principle in this country, as there is not in Great Britain, that the Crown may legislate by proclamation [edict -- I’m adding that] or order in council to bind citizens where it so acts without the support of a statute of the Legislature.”


That’s not the end of it; the pleadings go on for several pages as to the really rather shallow presentation to bolster and support what I am sure he came to recognize as very inadequate grounds indeed. He must have come before that court with very considerable trepidation, knowing on second hindsight the really weak points in his total position. It says, also at 67:

“The Attorney General of Ontario also relied on the judgement of the High Court of Australia in New South Wales v. Bardolph (1934). In so far as it affirms the capacity of the Crown to contract or the binding effect of a contract entered into on behalf of the Crown by a government official on the authority of a responsible minister charged with supervision of the governmental function out of which the alleged contract arose...”

In other words, the government was saying this is like a case being put out to tender, this relationship. They invite various tenders, the federal government appears on the doorstep, and like any other pedestrian contract we sign the thing on the dotted line, we enter into an agreement, and the contractual power reposed in the government is the binding force behind the massive and the rather terrifying consequences of anti-inflation legislation.

We can’t treat things of this moment in so pedestrian a fashion. It goes on to say:

“It is one thing for the Crown in right of a province to contract for itself; it is a completely different thing for it to contract for the application to its inhabitants, and to labour organizations in the province...”

This government is just going to contract for everybody, without any mandate, right out of the blue. Marvellous, the usurpation of authority. Quite marvellous, the assertion of arrogance in the particular context, particularly as they have been warned repeatedly by various members of this House as to what they felt, partially through legal training but by a certain instinct in the political realm, and as to what democracy is all about, and that they simply didn’t have the authority to do the things that they pretended to be able to do. So we have our come-uppance in mid-summer, a mid-summer’s nightmare. We are here tonight in any event, and it’s no dream.

This government purports to bind all “labour organizations and the inhabitants of this province to laws to govern their operations and relations without statutory authority. This would be,” Mr. Justice Laskin says, “in effect, to legislate in the guise of a contract.”

What does it come down to? I take the Laskin judgement and the judgement of the seven good men of the Supreme Court to spell the end of arrogance, the end of a quasi-sort of dictatorial overweeningness on the part of the government, which I have experienced in this House for 10 years, which grows by natural accretion in a party too long in power, for a period of 33 years -- on almost natural development in a mentality and in a way of treating people and in a way of looking at the province and thinking things were your special preserve, and that you may ignore or override, or discountenance the basic premises upon which this society is founded. That has been going on, and now you have your come-uppance, and the come-uppance is delivered to you with a coup de grace in the particular context of the legislation in question.

Let me put it this way, even if, appallingly, it should be that should you in the future remain the government of this province, or even be able to assert a new suzerainty -- God forbid -- if that were the case, then perhaps this judgement will have left an indelible mark upon the mentality of the Tories in Ontario that they must give cognizance to and even reverence for the forms that are set up for human liberties and for the basic rights established by a strong constitution. I say that has gone by the wayside; there has been a shrinking and a diminution of that for too long a time now, and it comes home to roost on this particular occasion.

Mr. Speaker, when I read the judgement of Mr. Justice Bora Laskin, I was filled with nostalgia. It reminded me of the days, back almost 30 years ago, when I sat in his class, as did some others among us, to listen to him lecture on constitutional law, long before he dreamed he would become the Chief Justice of this country. As you read the judgement you hear echoing through those words his voice; his particular acuteness, the citing of cases, the particular acerbity in the man, as distinguishing cases; a little put off by this, a little irritated by that. And here he is come to the climacteric of his life, this was his big judgement, this would sweep aside a lot of dross.

Remarkably, he pulled with him, in this particular context, six other judges of like persuasion. Absolutely fabulous, so far as I am concerned as the student of Laskin, and in the area of constitutional matters. I had never thought it would come to pass. My particular feeling was that this legislation, on its first head, not on the head of your blunders but on the head of the ability of a federal government to pass legislation of an anti-inflationary kind, or economic legislation generally which would have searching and deep rooted effects upon the population at large, was something that we very well may not do with a Neanderthal court working over the constitution. The previous judgements down through the years, and particularly with the Privy Council, would indicate to you that there stood a hell of a good chance of not being able to promote that, to get legislation of any kind through at all.

One remembers you had to pass a constitutional amendment to get old age pensions through. You had, in 1930 or so, 1937, to pass a constitutional amendment because the Supreme Court of this county at that time, and the Privy Council in Great Britain, ruled out unemployment insurance as a valid economic instrument in the contemporary world. Imagine it. All of Bennett’s new deal legislation -- and some of it was pretty good stuff, borrowed from the United States and Roosevelt. Pretty well all of it, statute after statute, wiped out. Why? Because of some purblind and very archaic doctrines that were operative.

The Laskin judgement and the judgement of the seven in this particular case starts a new era in our history, at least it does that.

Let me say in preface, before I launch into it and praise it a little bit, that the judges of the Supreme Court in no way were adjudicating over the merits or demerits, the effectiveness or ineffectiveness, the justice or injustice, in political terms and consequences, of the legislation. That’s not their job; that’s a politician’s job. They simply were dealing with the formalities of the thing; whether it could be classified and what doctrines operated in this context to either validate or invalidate it.

That must be clearly understood. If you make that distinction, then a lot of things flow. You can, on one side, say -- and I’ll say this, I don’t care -- I say I am gratified with the judgement being handed down on the first hand, while I take the very gravest exception to the very legislation that was validated.

The legislation itself is wretched; corrupt almost, inequitable in the extreme. It’s a shame that it had to come in under that particular auspices and in this particular way. But what would have happened if the Supreme Court of this country had done what it was very well anticipated they might do, namely say that no federal government had now or at any time in the future, dispository powers over the whole sea of economic circumstances as they may arise? They could have done that, and I feared that they might.

Mr. S. Smith: That is what the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) wanted.

Mr. Lawlor: They didn’t do so, they showed enlightenment. And why did they not do so? Because Bora Laskin sat as the chief judge of that court and gave it direction, gave it orientation and brought it into at least the beginning of the 20th century. That was a remarkable thing all by itself in the course of the judgement and something of which we should be cognizant.

I take a few moments just to mention that. Some of the background of Canadian constitutional law is the most ludicrous, the most laughable thing. Take the emergency doctrine which is central to this whole argument and at issue before us today. May I pause for a moment before going into it?

Mr. Speaker, it is regrettable. I know that I have supposedly a very limited time and I am not going to observe my time with any great discreetness. My point is that this is the first opportunity we have had in this House to deal with matters which are probably as catastrophic as we are likely to deal with and we are all told that it being midsummer we should kind of hold ourselves in some kind of balance. I just don’t propose to do that.

The matter is too important and I have a few things I want to say. May I just say, too, that many things that I might have said in terms of the analysis of the legislation as extant will not and cannot be said because of time foreshortening. Again I find that regrettable, whatever anybody else might feel here about that particular analysis. You are saved, you may bow your heads but stick to the main issue.

The emergency power emerged in 1882 under the Queen versus Russell. It was a case having to do with animals and the inoculation of diseased animals in this country. It was held on that particular occasion that the federal government under POGG, the peace, order and good government clause of the constitution of this country, could legislate; that it was a matter of sufficient importance to take it out of local jurisdiction and out of the heads of section 92 of the British North America Act as matters being of local or confined importance and raising it to the national level.

There wasn’t any question at that time in our history of anything called an emergency document, There was no emergency involved in that particular context and that doctrine has remained to haunt and enlighten as down from 1882. Subsequent decisions which the chief justice traces go off in two strands, one of them following through basically with respect to that doctrine that there is a very great power in the residuary clause of the POGG. No one denies that if an item or a matter, for instance problems of insurance in some instances, does not fall either within the designated or enumerated heads of either section 91, federal powers, or section 92, the 15 heads of power under the provincial legislation; you can’t fit them in because the Fathers of Confederation never heard about them, so then the POGG clause may become operative simply without an emergency aspect connected with it.

With the Snider case -- this is some years later, in 1907 or so -- this doctrine became very emergent. With the Snider decision it was reinterpreted that there must be a national emergency, a matter of great importance for us. I should foreshorten my historical account, but what happened is that it came through to Lord Haldane in the form of saying that only in the instance of war, virtually, only if there was a war, could there her an emergency in this country. As a result, that incredible concept pervaded our constitutional law down until recently, almost to this decision; the emergency power has been so very narrowly construed.

Mr. Justice Laskin broadens it out in this particular case; he brings it down and finds the synthesis with the National Products Marketing Act case and the Canada Temperance Federation case of 1946. These are cases which are synthetic. They bring two doctrines, on the one hand of national dimensions or national concern, matters like that, in conjunction with allying them to a doctrine with respect to emergency.

This is not Laskin’s great judgement and it is a shame. Why? Because he deals with the four aspects arising out of the emergency power only and comes down and changes the word. This is terribly important. He calls it the crisis power -- not emergency but the crisis power. He comes to the conclusion that the particular legislation in question falls within the crisis power and that it isn’t for him to question why if the legislators, if the federal Parliament, believe that it is so.

It is very much opposed to that of Mr. Justice Beetz who does question whether it is so, and questions it severely. But my feeling about Mr. Justice Beetz is that he is a throwback, that Mr. Justice Lyman Poore Duff is heard speaking ventriloquistly in this particular context.


Mr. Lewis: If you hadn’t been elected, you wouldn’t have had the pleasure of Patrick Lawlor.

Mr. Lawlor: I want to say I am not going to speak much longer. I was going to quote at some length and possibly analyse page 43 of the judgement -- it was superb; the Canadian Temperance Federation case where aspect doctrine, trenching, the whole picture comes into play and is all being brought together and then it falls into place further on.

As I say, Mr. Justice Laskin failed because, and he says so in his judgement, he didn’t directly deal with what is really the pivotal issue, that which waits to be considered in a final forum by the Supreme Court of this country, as to whether the national dimension or doctrine has weight, force and validity. I think it has to have; I think it should.

To those who are for provincial rights, for provincial rights so stringently and strongly that they will not give any cognizance to such a doctrine, I say that doctrine as interpreted by the courts and as elucidated thus far in no way endangers or calls into question what are simplistically provincial rights and the heads of power under that thing. I say further that when Mr. Justice Laskin is arguing on the emergency power solely, that second head, he is adroitly and surreptitiously -- that’s the word that has been used today, surreptitiously --

Mr. Breithaupt: That’s the word for the day.

Mr. Lawlor: -- bringing in the other doctrine at all times because he is broadening out the concept of what an emergency might be and it has become so broad as to encompass purposes of national importance.

There is another misunderstanding that I think should be very much clarified, and it is this: that we in the New Democratic Party are not opposed to controls. That’s obvious. We are socialists. We believe in controls. We believe in controls that are equitable. We believe that only by balanced controls and an equitable operation within the contemporary economy, and a willingness to take those bulls by the horns and to bring them into being and to work across the board with respect to this particular matter, and in some depth, will we reach a just society.

We do not think, however, that these matters that we have before us do this at all. There are far too many exemptions. I am a professional man. It is a joke among us. We will not be afflicted in this particular way. Then there is the whole area in the industrial and every other sector with respect to increased productivity. All the openings that that gives undermine the scheme completely.

The Treasurer of this province (Mr. McKeough) asked how we would alter this thing in any way. Well, the first thing we would do, and it should have been done -- and I hate to repeat things that are old hat but this is the case -- that stuff should all have been frozen at the very initiation of the scheme; nor is it too late now. Why doesn’t the government argue for a general freezing across the board of prices? If we have got wages frozen in effect, why not prices across the board? Why not adjust? Why not roll them back to Oct. 14? Make provisions. The government can set up formulas. It could set up formulas that would be equitable to those who would be hit with the cost of living index, or added costs with respect to inventory -- a whole host of things. There is no reason that this can’t be done.

Then we would have some sense that there was direction and purpose and meaning and a sense of trying to be fair on the part of you guys, and on the part of your allies up in Ottawa at the present time. This government has just thrown in its hat with them -- those whom this government usually inveighs against and I suppose ideologically hates on every other bloody occasion. In this particular context it throws in its hat because of expediency in the particular context of minority government, and that’s the end of the matter so far as that’s concerned.

If one reads Mr. Justice Beetz’ decision, he gives lists of exclusions. He says the exclusions are so honeycombed and so tear the legislation into bits that the legislation cannot be considered as emergency legislation. If it were emergency, one couldn’t do this kind of thing with it, Mr. Justice Beetz says, and therefore he comes to the conclusion it simply can’t be considered as such. The 500 in the plant, etc.; the 200 in the construction union; the role of the professional worker; the business of energy, housing, food, whole hosts of things, all are exempt and all kept out of the overall overseership of the plan.

The plan then becomes a simple instrument with which to attack the workers of Canada. It zeroes in on the one area. It concentrates all its powers on a single point, and they’re feeling it and they’re resenting it. That doesn’t do very much either for you or for the government upstairs.

May I just say in closing that in general the government blunders. The one sure hand has either paralysis or palsy. This becomes more obvious every day in almost everything you do. The one thing you could claim with competence in the past, you can no longer claim that now, and that means that you’d better get out and let some other people at least take a crack at it.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Kitchener-Wilmot.

Mr. Sweeney: Mr. Speaker, it has become fairly obvious from the comments that we’ve heard thus far that the issues at stake here are certainly twofold: The whole morality, if you will, of the anti-inflation programme; and secondly, perhaps even more important, the morality, the validity, the mechanics that have been used by this government to deal with its own employees. I’d like to spend just a couple of minutes dealing with those.

We have in our society today many socio-economic problems which are serious; surely there is unemployment and surely a most unfair and disproportionate sharing of the wealth of our community. We have also people who are unable to provide adequate accommodation for their families; and we have inflation.

I mention those simply to point out that there are several socio-economic problems that we’re facing, but inflation is surely the worst of all. It is the most insidious because it affects everyone. It is no respecter of person; it is no respecter, truly, of level of income; it is no respecter of whether a group of people have the ability to fight for themselves or do not have the ability to defend themselves. It strikes at everyone. That’s what makes it so insidious, and that’s why something must be done about it.

We’ve gone around this assembly pointing fingers. We’ve said the government is responsible for its huge deficits. We have said that business is responsible for its prices and its profits. We have said that labour is responsible for excessively high wages. Yet we seem to have forgotten that surely each and every one of us is as responsible as any of those groups; each and every one of us, in our inherent selfishness, in our desire to get something for me: each and every one of us trying to get a larger share of the pie than what perhaps we may deserve.

It has been proven time and time again, as several speakers have pointed out, inflation is nothing new, it’s been with human society across the whole world for centuries, because the basic human traits that bring it on, greed and selfishness are still with us and are going to continue with us.

The federal government of this country confided in its people and explained to its people; many economists, many philosophers, many students of the constitution spoke to the people of this country. We were warned what was going to happen. We were told what was going to happen. We were advised and we were asked to discipline ourselves, but we couldn’t do it. So reluctantly -- and I underline that word, reluctantly -- the federal government of this country brought in an anti-inflation programme.

Maybe they waited too long. Maybe they were naive in assuming that we would look after ourselves and discipline ourselves. But nevertheless it had to come. It may not be a perfect instrument, but as has also been pointed out, no one has yet come up with a better one. So we are faced with it.

But in the process of doing that, Mr. Speaker, the federal government gave to the provincial governments of this country the option to look after its own public employees. They did not take it upon themselves to flaunt their responsibility. They did not take it upon themselves to flaunt the area of authority of the various provincial governments with respect to their own public employees. They gave them that option, and at that point in time we in this party argued strongly for the government of Ontario to pick up that responsibility, to pick up that modicum of authority, to pick up that area that it must answer for.

I must totally disagree with the comments of the Treasurer of the province (Mr. McKeough) this afternoon that there is no special relationship between the government of this province and the public employees of this province. There is a special relationship. That does not mean that you give them anything they want. That does not mean that you treat the private employees of this province unjustly and unfairly in comparison. That is not the point.

But there is a special relationship because the public employees of this province have, as their employer, the government of this province, the executive branch of this province, the administrative councils of this province. They are their employers. They have no other employer they can turn to. It’s not like an industrial situation, or a commercial situation, where they have some recourse to someone else. They have recourse to their employer, and in that case that employer is the government of this province.

Surely that government has a responsibility to know what is best for its own employees in consultation with them? Surely the government of this province is best aware of the priorities of this government? That is the whole point of responsible government, and that is why we argued so strongly in December for a provincial board to look after the public employees of this province, not because we wanted to do a disservice to the private employees, but because of that special relationship which I have attempted to describe.

Alas, it is now too late to do that. What was possible in December, 1975, is no longer possible in July, 1976. There is too much water under the bridge. It is not possible. But some things are possible still. I would appeal to the minister and the Premier of this province (Mr. Davis), through you, Mr. Speaker, to reconsider the options, the opportunity that is presented to them at this point in time when this entire agreement which they signed in January, when this legislation is here, when we can take a new look at it, the opportunity to bring the public employees of this province into their confidence, the opportunity to hear their views.

To the minister and to the Premier, through you, Mr. Speaker, I would urge that we provide some time. I don’t know how long it would take. Maybe it would take only a week of holding this thing up; turning it all over to a standing committee if you will, or whatever mechanism the government chooses which is proper and which will do the job, but give the public employees of this province, the chance to sit down with their employer, with the government of this province, and express their views. At least let them be heard. The federal government is doing that very thing now, albeit, as I’ve stated clearly, I think it’s late, but better late than never. They are now bringing the people in who are concerned who are affected by this legislation, and they are listening to them. They are hearing them. They are giving them the opportunity to express their views.

The Premier stated yesterday that the people of this province did have a chance to do that. That is just not so. No one in this province had a chance to sit down and express his or her views. It was rammed down all of our throats, including the members of this Legislature. We had no voice in it whatsoever.

Mr. Drea: Vote against it.

Mr. Leluk: Vote against it.

Mr. Sweeney: That was the point. Here we have an opportunity, an opportunity for the minister and the Premier to act like statesmen --

Mr. Riddell: Have you got another job lined up?

Mr. Sweeney: -- instead of politicians. Not because of any pressure from this side of the House --

Mr. Warner: Call an election.

Mr. Sweeney: -- but simply because it’s the right thing to do. It’s the right way to treat those people who look to you and who support your lead. The possibility is there.

Mr. Leluk: Vote against it.


Mr. Sweeney: Mr. Speaker, the possibility also exists to amend the agreement itself at this time. Subsection 3 of section 2 of this agreement which was signed in January clearly says that schedule B attached can be amended by this provincial government. They would only have to add that schedule A, which includes the various groups of people referred to, can also be amended so that from time to time, as I understand is done in the Province of Manitoba, when a decision is made in Ottawa which is patently unfair -- and there have been such decisions made for people in this province -- it can be reviewed by this government, this provincial government. Those possibilities exist.

Mr. Speaker, it has been shown time and time again that one of the major causes of inflation is over-expenditure by all levels of government. But there is not another jurisdiction in this country that has over-expended itself in its budget more than this one and therefore it has an area of responsibility --

Mr. Haggerty: Five years in a row.

Mr. Sweeney: -- for the inflation that exists in this province, and surely it cannot lay that responsibility on the back of its own employees. The very least that this government can do is to step beside them and pick up a share of that load and walk beside them with it. I urge the government; it has the opportunity. Take it.

Mr. Breaugh: I want to make some comments on this bill before us, on the very principle that is in front of the House, which I think has to be described essentially as one that attempts to deal with a very difficult matter in a very simplified fashion. It attempts to impose on the people of Canada -- and a little more specifically on the working people of Canada -- a system of wage control.

There are those who spoke in this House this afternoon who said that we as a party are prepared to stand here for the big unions. And I want to say that we don’t need to. They are perfectly competent, perfectly capable, have all of the resources and the expertise, have all of the staff time that they need to fight their own battle. They are fighting that battle and they are doing a magnificent job of it. And they are not just doing it on the streets; they are doing it with their rank and file membership where it counts.

You may recall in the early part of this kind of legislation, when it was first announced, the leadership of those unions said the very basic things, that it was a system of wage control and nobody, but nobody, can say that something that has been in operation for eight months and has rolled back something like 6,000 wage settlements and held up two price increases is anything but a wage control system. They said that initially.

An hon. member: Wage and wage control.

Mr. Breaugh: And people said, “All right, that’s what the leadership think but they don’t speak for the rank and file.” I was there one rather cold winter day when that argument was put to rest on Parliament Hill, when the rank and file showed up. Then they said, “That’s okay federally and with the large trade union movement but it doesn’t apply provincially and with other trade union movements.” And I was out on the front lawn on a nice spring day when that one was put to rest. So these people can defend themselves. And those people are defending themselves. And they will give this kind of legislation the kind of respect that it is due which is next to nil.

Unfortunately, there is, though, a sector remaining -- and a large one -- of people who are not in the organized trade union movement, workers in smaller industries, workers who don’t have the benefit of that kind of education, who don’t have the expertise, who don’t have the staff time to explain the intricacies of an anti-wage legislation that can take something like a three per cent across the board salary increase to a General Motors line worker and turn that into something in excess of the wage guidelines by means of folding in other benefits that were negotiated. There is a group of people which is specifically exempted from the legislation, supposedly all those people in smaller plants.

On first appearances you would tend to think that unorganized workers then were not subject to this kind of control. But if you examine a federal government that is committed to this programme and a provincial government that is falling all over itself to get involved in it, and major and powerful influences in the private sector that is operating within this programme, it’s ludicrous to say that unorganized workers are not in this programme as well. They are very powerfully so.

One of the critical things that happened, though, is the spinoff of the labour cutback, because particularly in the public service sector and particularly in the lower economic level, jobs are being cut back. Those people who are in the poorest position to defend themselves are caught in the squeeze between the private sector and the lower economic levels of the public sector.

Job opportunities are gone; they are just not there anymore. I recall the Treasurer saying in his budget speech they intended to lay off about 3,000 civil servants. Not too many of them were people earning $20,000 or $30,000 a year. A lot of them were people at this low economic level and those people run back into the private sector because they seek employment and knock other people off. There’s an unfortunate whirlpool in that operation there. In the public sector and in the private sector even temporary work situations are drying up.

In the unorganized portion of the work force there is a tremendous amount of unemployment and, worse yet and kind of in concert with this legislation, there are increasing restrictions on unemployment insurance benefits. There are cutbacks in terms of retraining. The person who is in that situation, the unorganized worker, the person who has a temporary job, the person who is in the poorest position to defend himself, is caught rather hopelessly in this kind of thing. These are the kinds of people who don’t read the Globe and Mail for its cost-price index. They read the cash register at the supermarket and they see that that’s going up unceasingly. They read the gas pump and they see that that’s going up. They get their insurance rate bill and they see that that’s gone up. They get their municipal taxes and those too are on the rise. They find in every indicator they have about cost of living, it’s continuing to go up.

It gives them little consolation to read the Globe and Mail and see that things might be stabilizing a bit. On Friday when they go to shop it will be continuing on the rise. They know that and they know their job opportunities are being cut back and they know that the kind of retraining and assistance that they need is being more and more curtailed.

That’s what they are into. That’s the unfortunate and unholy circumstance upon which they find themselves. Those agencies that they turn to for help, those federal, those provincial, those municipal and those private agencies designed to help those people out of that kind of situation are also being faced with the same kind of restraint programme. The very people who are hurt the most, the very people who need those services are having them cut off.

I think, too, we should speak very briefly about the process that’s under way. Quite frankly, I think it was simply a government in trouble looking for something to attack and what better to attack than some unidentifiable and very complicated thing called inflation. Find some victims; try on the workers for size, the traditional victims of any kind of government programme. Withdraw all their support, put them in a position where you divert public attention from what is actually wrong with the nation and attack somebody. It doesn’t matter who, but traditionally the worker is the target and that’s the one you hit. Hit those with the most to lose and those people who have little ability to retaliate or to fight back or to fight for themselves, hit them the hardest.

In Ontario, not only did we ignore the unorganized worker but we conducted a rather frantic campaign to victimize a socioeconomic group. We saw in this Legislature, throughout the spring session, time, and time again, ministers of the Crown attacking these people, withdrawing support systems that they desperately needed, and they knew, withdrawing systems that never hurt somebody who doesn’t need them but hurt those who need them the most in a crucial way.

That’s where the attack began; and the attack, unfortunately, was carried on by ministers of the Crown very publicly and very happily preaching a restraint system to go along with an anti-inflation programme.

Let me point out a couple of weaknesses in that, though it might seem to be a traditionally popular route to go when a government is in trouble. The government is begging for a form of class warfare, one that has been used traditionally and one that has been used with some success, but it hasn’t been handled very well here. I think appealing to the baser instincts of people, saying in effect that in a time of difficulty some have to get trampled and some will survive is not going to wash any more, not in this era.

I think, too, one thing that is happening very clearly and which the government didn’t anticipate is the unity of working people. Those who are organized with a strong trade union movement are speaking for those who are not as fortunate, those who are not organized. Each and every time I’ve heard a major trade union leader speak on the matter he has said forthrightly and in the first instance that he not only speaks for the people in his union but for workers, period, organized and unorganized.


Mr. Breaugh: You are going to find, whether you ever open your eyes and see it -- take it easy, Landslide, you will get your chance later. You are going to find an increasing public awareness of what the government has done, you are going to find unusual things like auto workers going and talking to unorganized workers and explaining a programme to them, something that government has not had to face before. Usually and traditionally you simply attack them and they respond in kind. This time you have got a massive education programme among the rank and file, and among their neighbours, that’s working.

You are also going to find that there is an awareness of the results of the Anti-Inflation Board programme and its corresponding provincial legislation that is really, I think, unique. I think it is unique for the ordinary working person to understand a piece of legislation so well and so thoroughly as they do now. You are also going to find that the kind of gay abandon that you showed in jumping into bed with this federal programme, is beginning to wear and tear on people. They want to know why you did that outside this Legislature. They want to know why you had to go to court. They want to know how come the Province of Ontario did an illegal thing.


Mr. Breaugh: They are listening now. You are going to find something new and you are going to find them on a basis that you have never seen them before; and I think you are going to see them starting now, you have seen some results of it already. It’s a massive rejection process, and you have seen that rejection process at work in the courts of this land, and you have seen that rejection process at work on the streets of our cities. You have seen the programme and the policies, and indeed the government that instituted this kind of nonsensical approach to a very difficult problem, heaved out, and that’s going to happen sooner or later, and with a little co-operation from the cookie monsters it will happen much sooner than later, and that’s an undeniable thing that is bound to come.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: You better take a poll pretty soon and find out what people are thinking.

Mr. Breaugh: You are going to find working people, those who are organized, and you are going to find those who are unorganized understanding and reaping the benefits of that kind of work, and the next time you go to the polls, whether you are provincial Tories or whether you are federal Liberals, you are going to experience that rejection process. and good luck to you because you will need it. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: You are completely out of touch.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: The hon. member for Renfrew North.

Mr. Conway: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Renfrew county was right, and it is in that capacity, as the representative for Renfrew North, that it gives me a great deal of pleasure on their behalf to come before this assembly tonight and to say for them that the action which they undertook against the Province of Ontario some months ago has, in fact, vindicated a position widely held, not only by Division 25 of the OSSTF in Renfrew county, but certainly by very many individuals, not only in this assembly but throughout Ontario.

Mr. Bounsall: Let them see your leader’s remarks.


Mr. Foulds: Get your colleagues to stop heckling you, Sean.

Mr. Ferrier: You are going to vote with us then, eh?

Mr. Conway: It is with a very personal sense of commitment that I speak on behalf of those teachers tonight, because it has been my singular pleasure to have worked with them over the past number of months on an issue with which I felt a great deal of personal communion. Because from the very beginning, as did the hon. members for Sarnia (Mr. Bullbrook) and Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) and other such distinguished members of the bar whom we have before us here in this assembly, I did believe that the Renfrew county case was, in fact, a solid one.


We come today to speak about the impending legislative sanction that this government needs to do what I firmly believe is necessary. I say this without equivocation and without any concern as to what that might mean in any --

Mr. Ferrier: Now you are going against your Renfrew teachers.

Mr. Conway: -- future electoral division in which one of the candidates will be a teaching member of Division 25 of OSSTF.

Mr. Lewis: An excellent fellow.

Mr. Conway: And I say, Mr. Speaker, that I make this decision without reservation. I support what it is that this government has had to do. I do that with the customary reluctance and after hating all the good reasoning which has been supplied by the very distinguished and eloquent predecessors in this debate, from all sides.

But I can say that I support and still do support the Renfrew county teachers in the basic position which they have taken, and that is that the government of Ontario acted with haste and without proper legislative sanction. I understand the position which they have taken, having spent a number of hours this afternoon with people of Division 25 of the OSSTF, and they will understand the position which I must take as a member, one of 125 held responsible for the government of Ontario.

While I know there are hon. members in this assembly who feel very genuinely that there should be a different approach, it is my firm and unequivocal belief that we do have a situation of national concern. It is further my belief, which I hold rightly or wrongly, that what Bill 127, introduced in this assembly yesterday, intends to do is something which, however imperfect, however unfair, is something which nonetheless I understand to be correct and proper. And I will and I can defend that.

Mr. Warner: Here comes rough justice again.

Mr. Conway: While it may very well be rough justice, it is something which I consider to be practical and, however imperfect, necessary. I’m a politician and, Mr. Speaker, however unfortunate that may be, I come to this debate activated by a political concern. With this very serious question that affects the monetary and fiscal and social and economic climate of this county and the province, I really wish there were an easy answer.

I sympathize with the emotions expressed very eloquently by such members as those who spoke representing Wentworth and Oshawa, because I recognize the animated spirit of their thoughts which they have put forward so very well here today. But I cannot bring myself to believe that a more immediate and effective alternative, a measure more widely acceptable, could be found, and found in a suitable parliamentary way. It is with that feeling of great concern that I will vote with my party, as I always do, in support of a government I have not always agreed with in principle. Because the politics of anti-inflation --

Mr. Lawlor: You’ve been voting with them quite a bit recently.

Mr. Conway: -- is a very serious matter.

An hon. member: Habit forming.

Mr. Conway: I think there can be no greater tragedy than for a member of any party -- much less in this time of a royal tour, or with a party that claims to be Her Majesty’s loyal opposition -- that they would come to this kind of serious deliberation and cultivate the impression that if only given the opportunity, they and only they can make the sun rise in the south and set in the north, and can deliver the kind of economic or political answer to this very serious concern.

Mr. Lawlor: Because the Olympics are on, do you want us to jump through hoops?

Mr. Reed: Just listen quietly and you will learn.

Mr. Davidson: We’re learning, we’re learning.

Mr. Conway: But it might be the exclusive preserve of any one of us, in any one patty, to approach this kind of a deliberation, with all the seriousness of it, and tell, not our fellows in this assembly, but more important those electors throughout Ontario who, as we all understand, will not focus their attention as sharply and as deliberately as we must in this three-day debate.

For any of us to go forward from this debate and to tell the people of Ontario that if we had had the opportunity we could have dealt with the immediacy of the anti-inflation crisis, brought to bear as a result of Monday morning’s decision, and that we and only we could have solved the problem and proposed the effective alternatives -- Mr. Speaker, I haven’t heard that effective alternative and I know I am not going to hear it because none exists; none that can be immediately put into place that is going to settle and is going to wash with those teachers with whom I spoke in my riding this afternoon, who said to me, “You know, we fought a good battle and I am happy that we won, but I don’t know whether I want the retroactivity. I don’t know whether I want to see this province go into an election campaign.”

You see, Mr. Speaker, that is what it is going to be -- an election campaign on wage and price controls; or wage controls, as has been mentioned by my predecessor from Oshawa.

An hon. member: Just give it a try.

Mr. Makarchuk: You just cannot trust the people to decide.

Mr. Conway: The people of Renfrew county, and I firmly believe the people of Ontario, are not as simplistic as to approach a very complex issue of this kind with that kind of simplistic approach --

Mr. Warner: Let’s find out.

Mr. Bain: Quit talking down to the electorate.

Mr. Reid: He’s talking down to you so you can understand him.

Mr. Bain: He talks down to everybody, including you.

An hon. member: Another voice from the Liberal-Labour.

Mr. Conway: None of us will serve the public good in a way that I think we must if we go forward and encourage the kind of simplistic politics for anti-inflation that it has been my singular misfortune to have heard from some members of this assembly this afternoon.

So while I will probably disagree with some people in the Renfrew county division of the OSSTF, whose position on this I can fully appreciate, I will tomorrow vote in a way that, as I have said, will probably be contradictory to their best interests as they would see it. But I do so unequivocally; I do so unashamedly, because it is my one man’s opinion that this is the only practical way to solve a very serious economic and, indeed, a very immediate political crisis.

Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, I just want to say how happy I am to participate in this debate and that I think it is one of the more enjoyable and one of the most worthwhile debates that I have heard in this House in my brief stay here. I plan to be here much longer, mind you -- I would just like the member to know -- but I think it is very worthwhile and well attended, and I am singularly impressed with the quality of the speakers and the commitment on all sides of this House.

I must confess that the best parts of my speech have already been said several times by various other speakers, so I am going to leave you, Mr. Speaker, with the dregs and just some of those parts that weren’t mentioned.

There is no question that our party is committed very strongly to supporting the federal programme of anti-inflation controls. We feel that it’s a necessity. We understand and we have read and we have studied the judgement of the Supreme Court, and we subscribe to it.

I must say it has been very interesting to me, particularly as one who has gone to law school, to sit and listen to some of the front-bench lawyers in the various parties discussing this judgement -- and indeed holding themselves up as a higher authority. My friend the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) was discussing and based his arguments today on a dissenting opinion and I think that’s --


Mr. Peterson: -- pretty typical of that party. He does associate with the losers in most cases.


Mr. Peterson: And then I couldn’t understand his friend, the member for Lakeshore (Mr. Lawlor) who said that Mr. Justice Beetz’s decision was a throwback, and I think by implication that of his friend from Riverdale also. Now, would that be a fair paraphrase of what he said?

Mr. Lewis: No, actually he said his decision was enlightened; the justice was a throwback.

Mr. Peterson: That may be just synonymous in that particular case. It may have been his friend’s speech that was a throwback. But I must say to the member in all fairness the only thing that frightens me more than having --

Mr. Lawlor: Let’s hear what you have to say.

Mr. Peterson: -- our Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) plead on behalf of this province is to have one of our friends from the NDP plead for this province. We have seen the quality of that legal debate today and indeed the quality of legal opinions they have expressed in this House in the last little while, and I tell you, Mr. Speaker, I am appalled. I say to you, with a great sense of pride in my own party and my own colleagues here -- the member for Wilson Heights (Mr. Singer) and the member from Ottawa -- where are you from? -- and the member for Sarnia (Mr. Bullbrook) --

Mr. Foulds: You don’t even know where they are from!

Mr. Peterson: -- have talked about this issue and predicted what would happen; and indeed it has happened, and I say with a great deal of pride that our party has had a consistent, strong view on this particular issue.

Mr. Lawlor: It hasn’t been very evident.

Mr. Peterson: And I say to you again, I think back to the Throne speech of last December when my leader at the time, the member for Brant-Oxford-Haldimand-Norfolk, and the various other places in between, spoke so strongly and so eloquently on this issue. Everything he said then was right; it has been proved to be right and they should have followed our advice.

Mr. Foulds: And today you are repudiating it. Don’t you wish you were the leader today?

Mr. Peterson: This party across from us, those worthy members opposite, have painted themselves as the party of competence and expertise. They run around the province saying that they are the only people that can manage, the only people that understand the issues and the only people that have the expertise and I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, it’s wrong. The courts know it’s wrong. The people know it’s wrong. Everybody in this House knows it’s wrong and --

Mr. Warner: They are incompetent, like you.

Mr. Peterson: -- I have to say with great respect to my friends to the right, who are very much to the left, that they are incompetent, judging by some of their legal opinions today, to do that kind of management work as well.

I have read many, many opinions of the Supreme Court of this province, and usually, you know, the judges have the common decency to defer to a counsel and say that was a good point or discuss it in fairness and to give it the benefit of the doubt, particularly when one such as the Attorney General of a province would deign to appear in the Supreme Court of Canada. It’s very interesting to read his submissions and the way they were dealt with by the Supreme Court with respect to Ontario’s involvement, They were all dismissed summarily. They were all dismissed quickly and not one of them was treated as having the least bit of relevance. What bothers me is that this kind of opinion was not known by the government beforehand and that they would go and frankly embarrass our province with this poor legal argument and the poor quality of representation.

An hon. member: He should resign.

Mr. Peterson: Listen to this. The points that he made -- he talked about two or three of the authorities that he cited in his argument.

Mr. Ruston: The Attorney General has got to resign.

Mr. Peterson: He cited a case called “Reference re troops in Cape Breton.” There was nothing in “Reference re troops in Cape Breton” that even suggests any power in the provincial Crown, let alone the minister, to agree to the adoption of laws binding on the inhabitants of the province.

Mr. Breithaupt: That’s what you get from reading the head notes.

Mr. Peterson: Nor was there any assistance to be derived from the Attorney General of Canada versus Higby.

Mr. Hodgson: Keep on, David. You will be the next leader.

Mr. Peterson: Then he quoted a case called New South Wales versus Bardolph. As you know he had to dig so he went to an Australian court to try to find a precedent for his particular form of illegal behaviour. The chief justice said it deals with an issue which is not germane to the present case and he dismissed all of these authorities and said they were irrelevant. What he said really is the Attorney General is a crummy lawyer.

Mr. Foulds: That man is the chief law officer of the province. That doesn’t make him a lawyer of any repute.


Mr. Peterson: I am appalled, and I can say to you very honestly, Mr. Speaker, that I am embarrassed, particularly in the wake of the humiliation at the hands of the court with respect to the closing of the hospitals. I say this reveals to me a trend that I find most disturbing. I can say very sincerely if this issue we’re discussing today was not so much in the public interest that we cannot afford to see this bill defeated, then this government would have to be defeated for gross incompetence, for arrogance and for extraordinarily bad judgement and a series of bad judgements.

As I said to you, Mr. Speaker, and I believe it very strongly, if we don’t support this bill today, we will have litigation, court cases, bitterness, unhappiness --

Mr. Bain: Do two wrongs make a right?

Mr. Peterson: -- and uncertainty in this province that no one, not even our friends to the right, can live with. And I say to you not to support this bill at this time, given the circumstances -- and we all admit it’s wrong, that we should never be here now, that this should have been hammered out last fall --

Mr. Foulds: You all admit it’s wrong and you’re voting for it. It’s incredible.

Mr. Peterson: Listen, and you’ll learn something. I’m tired of you armchair lawyers over there.


Mr. Peterson: I say it would have absolutely untold consequences for this province and for this country if we do not support it. I think at this time the responsibility we have is higher than the interest we have in kicking the government out, which Lord knows they deserve.

Mr. Foulds: Principle if necessary, but not necessarily principle.

Mr. Peterson: I just want to talk about two or three other things that bother me. I go back to last fall. The Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) stood up today in his usual bluff and blustery way. It was very difficult for me to distinguish between the grunts and the groans and the yelling, but I understood his point to be that an anti-inflation board in the Province of Ontario would cost in the order of $10 million. That is roughly the federal budget. I believe it’s more in the order of $11 million to $12 million.

Mr. Breithaupt: That’s how the Treasurer does his arithmetic.

Mr. Peterson: In the Province of Quebec, it’s done for the price of $1.5 million. I submit if there were economies it really wouldn’t have been an extravagance, it would not have been wasteful. Given the tie-ups and all of the reasons already discussed by my friends, my colleagues and people in the other party, it wouldn’t have been a bad decision at the time. In fact, it would have been a good one and it would have been the correct one.

I’m sorry that the Treasurer doesn’t see it that way. I’m appalled to sit in this House today and listen to the Treasurer say that the finance ministers across this country agreed not to quibble about the constitution. It seems to me that those 11 gentlemen, of whom he is one, have an obligation to obey the constitution of this country just as much as you or I or any other citizen does. Just because they don’t quibble doesn’t mean the Renfrew county teachers won’t quibble or some other responsible, respectable group. They have no right to sit in the back rooms in Ottawa and diddle around with preconceived ideas about what our constitution allows or won’t allow. They have to bring it to the House; they have to discuss it. I was appalled to hear that kind of arrogance. I wish he was here to start yelling at me became I’d yell harder back at him tonight.

Mr. Foulds: And that would prove a lot.

Mr. Peterson: That kind of arrogance, that kind of Bollingsbrook Tory who still believes in privilege, who still believes when he steals the finest of cigars he can sit around and smoke them and decide on the destiny of this country and this province without regard for the law of the land and the British North America Act, I say is indicative of a kind of attitude that we’ve had enough of.

Mr. Warner: But you’ll support it.

Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, I think I’ve drawn my remarks to a close. I just wanted to discuss those two or three things that bothered me very substantially on this issue. I think a lot of the other points of view have been expressed very well and very articulately this evening. I do reiterate, in closing, that I think it would be most irresponsible at this time, not to support the programme, given the circumstances, given the fact we’re nine months into the programme, given the fact it is operating, given the fact there is a body of expertise that has developed around this board, given the fact that I think, and my friends to the right will disagree with me, some people are developing some confidence at least in a system. Granted it’s not perfect and granted there are inequities, but given the circumstances it’s the kind of programme that deserves national support and Ontario’s support as the paramount province. I would urge all members to consider the matter in that light.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: The hon. member for Scarborough Centre (Mr. Drea) was the next one on my list.

An hon. member: Scratch him. He’s gone home for lunch.

Mr. Lewis: He was in the House a few moments ago.

Mr. Grossman: It will be worth waiting for.

Mrs. Campbell: Is the Speaker finding it hard to recognize that there is no one on his feet?

Mr. Deputy Speaker: The next one on my list is the hon. member for Peterborough.

Mr. Roy: Can’t you get your act together over there?

Ms. Sandeman: Mr. Speaker, in discussing this bill this afternoon and this evening we seem to be labouring under some kind of sham, some kind of pretence that we are, in fact, dealing with an anti-inflation programme, with a bill which has something to do with dealing with the problems of inflation and because the bill dealt with this problem we should all give to it automatic support. I suppose, the argument would go that inflation is harmful both to individuals and to the economy as a whole and therefore we will, as the Tories are given to say, fight this battle together. But we’re not fighting inflation in this bill. We’re dealing with a provincial bill which has a symbiotic relationship with a federal bill which, in effect, does only one thing and that is to control wages.

Other speakers have spoken at some length on the inequities inherent in this bill and on its inadequacy as a weapon in the fight against inflation. I’d like to speak just very briefly about some of the major omissions in the armoury, some of the weapons that should have been there in the fight, and which aren’t, if we’re to pretend that this i’s an anti-inflation programme as embraced by the federal and provincial Liberals and by the provincial Conservatives.

Clearly, if we look at the normal expenditures of a normal household in Ontario, there are three major expenses: Housing, energy and food. The Treasurer knows this. He knows it very well. He knows the effect that the increasing rate of inflation has had in these areas. He commented to us, on Oct. 30, 1975, when he spoke on Ontario’s anti-inflation programme, that our consumers have been hit with one price increase after another in areas such as food, housing and fuel. He commented at the same time, too, that the rate of unemployment here certainly has risen to unacceptable levels, and that is something else we seem to be ignoring today. But to keep to the housing, energy and food which have risen to unacceptable levels we have to remember that on an average --

Mr. Roy: You missed your turn, Frank.

Ms. Sandeman: -- these expenses form over 50 per cent of the consumer price index and for poorer people, people on fixed incomes or minimum wage, they form a considerable higher percentage than that. But where is the overall economic planning to deal with the problems of these components of inflation? We certainly don’t find it in the federal bill, nor is it peripherally dealt with in today’s bill. Energy prices are up about 19 to 20 per cent over last year and it looks likely that this rate of inflation will get worse when we see what Ontario Hydro has in store for us.

Mr. Foulds: Order, please.

Ms. Sandeman: The federal government’s statement --

Mr. Roy: That’s too bad, Frank. That is too bad.

Ms. Sandeman: -- which accompanied the announcement of the federal attack on inflation, a programme of national action --

Mr. Roy: Try to control yourself, Frank.

Ms. Sandeman: -- that’s a euphemism if ever I heard one for a programme of national inaction -- the federal statement, Mr. Macdonald’s statement, says that the most important single policy available to promote more effective use and production of energy is the fact that consumers must recognize that there will be higher prices for energy. That is taken as something that is accepted by the federal government which is mounting an attack on inflation. The provincial government, too, recognizes the dangers inherent in higher prices of all sorts of energy, the dangers inherent in allowing energy sources to increase in price, the dangers to economic development, to the increasing unemployment level, to the increased cost to individuals. So what do we see in this province as an attack on inflationary pressures of rising energy prices? We see a royal commission under Mr. Isbiter, the only result of which seems to be a total whitewash of the oil companies, and, of course, we see a continuation of rising energy costs in this province and a complete sellout of our energy resources. We must have a comprehensive policy on all aspects of production, distribution and use of energy sources. Until we do, we cannot continue to pretend that we are dealing with the inflation as we see it at the moment.

Secondly, in reference to housing, which is another highly inflationary component in the present economic picture, we see house prices continuing to rise at over 15 per cent a year. The federal government, again, recognizes the problem in its attack on inflation and talks of what it calls the need for structural policies in a comprehensive anti-inflation programme. One of the structural policies would deal with the future supply of housing within the programme to fight inflation.

They talk about one of the sources of the high price of housing being the increase in the price of land, which I guess we had all noticed. The fundamental answer to this problem, they tell us, is to increase the supply of serviced land for housing, and Mr. Macdonald went on to say that any attempt to control the price directly would be incompatible with this objective.

So we see the same kind of cop-out on land prices as we do on energy prices. On energy prices, the single most pressing problem, he said, was to explain to consumers that there would be higher prices; on land prices, any attempt to control the price directly would be incompatible with the objective of gaining serviced land on the market. It seems to me to be some kind of non-sequitur.

Another important component of rising house prices, of course, is the already high, frighteningly high, rate of mortgages. What happened, I wonder, to that pre-election promise to reduce, by some kind of tax relief, the effective mortgage rate down to 10 per cent? That would be a structural policy in the federal mood. Where is the action -- the federal or provincial action on land prices? Where is the action on mortgage rates?

Again, I would have to say that this so-called anti-inflation programme does not really address itself to the problems of ever-increasing shelter costs and ever-increasing energy costs. What we in this party continue to look for is not an anti-inflation programme which seems to control only the wages of the worker, but a comprehensive programme to fight inflation on all economic fronts. We are still waiting for federal action in the energy field and in the housing field. We are waiting for provincial action in the housing field and in the energy field. And I guess I would have to say in conclusion, Mr. Speaker, that Bill 127 was not what we were waiting for.

Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, first of all I would like to direct some remarks to my friend and colleague, somebody I respect very much -- the Attorney General of this province (Mr. McMurtry).

Mr. Peterson: Who is that again?

Mr. Good: You’ve got one there somewhere.

Mr. Peterson: Are you the one who gives him legal advice, Frank?

Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I am going to try to improve your public image tonight. You make great marks in the newspapers about being a tough guy. If you really want to lose the image tonight, let them go at me because I’ll tell you, I can handle them as I have demonstrated many times before.

Mr. Foulds: Speak to the principle of the bill.

Mr. Drea: If you want your image in there, you can do an address tonight just as you did this afternoon.

Mr. Lewis: If you were Frank Drea, Mr. Speaker, this is your test.

Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I want to talk just for a moment, because the reputation of my friend and colleague, the Attorney General has been mentioned.

Mr. Peterson: If he needs your help, things must be really grim, Frank; I’ll tell you that.

Mr. Drea: Both inside the House and outside there has been the sanctimonious comment by somebody I listened to for an hour today on my car radio, about how he wasn’t exactly the kind of person he would hire to defend a traffic ticket.

Mr. Cunningham: You were driving around?

Mr. Peterson: At 15 cents a mile it is not that unpleasant.


Mr. Drea: Well, I hope so; but I really think the reputation of the Attorney General is somewhat at stake in this.

I want to say to you, Mr. Speaker, the Attorney General of this province, in my experience, has not only been a noteworthy trial lawyer in this province but a man of substance in the community. I will tell you, Mr. Speaker, that in my opinion he is the finest Attorney General in the history of this province -- and I’ve been around Attorney Generals for 20 years.


Mr. Sweeney: Doesn’t say much for the ones that went before.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for Scarborough Centre has the floor; give him the courtesy of listening to him.

Mrs. Campbell: Why?

Mr. Drea: I think that is of some significance, Mr. Speaker, because an innuendo was made before the House that if this --

Mr. Lewis: What innuendo?

Mr. Drea: What innuendo? All right, a member said it.

Mr. Nixon: You said it, buddy.

Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, an innuendo was made in the House.

Mr. Lewis: The member for London Centre (Mr. Peterson) called him a crummy lawyer. That is not an innuendo, it is entirely explicit.

Mr. Drea: Well, I say to my friend from the neighbouring riding in Scarborough West, that I will get to him in a few moments about his little sanctimonious performance today. I will get to him next.

Mr. Nixon: Look out.

Mr. Lewis: I have not spoken yet.

Mr. Breithaupt: It is clearly all your fault.

Mr. Drea: No, the one that I had to listen to on the radio -- like the lawyer. And since the member was answering the telephone, he knows what I am talking about.

Mr. Lewis: I defended Arthur Maloney today.

Mr. Drea: There were a few other things -- we’ll get to that, I’ll deal with this first.

Mr. Speaker: That is not the principle of this bill.

Mr. Peterson: He wouldn’t know the principle of the bill.


Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I think it is highly significant --

Mr. Lewis: Time.

Mr. Drea: -- that the Supreme Court of Canada, when they decided on this issue -- and perhaps we should break it down into issues. First, the Supreme Court of Canada decided that the anti-inflation legislation was constitutional.

An hon. member: Here we go.

Mr. Roy: Oh very good, we are getting the legal aspect of the decision here.

Mr. Drea: Secondly, the Supreme Court of Canada decided -- and I shall come in my third part to the quality of the Supreme Court of Canada.

Mr. Roy: I can’t wait for that.


Mr. Drea: The Supreme Court of Canada decided that Ontario had acted beyond its means in the method by which it entered into the anti-inflation agreement.

Mr. Riddell: What have you been doing, shadow boxing?

Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, ever since Monday the onus of the decision has been placed upon the shoulders of the Attorney General of this province, because it was his ministry --

Mr. Roy: That’s unfair; that’s not fair.

Mr. Drea: -- which entered into this agreement. It has been suggested that it was the fault of the ministry that the government received, at the very least, questionable legal advice. I would suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, that exactly the opposite is true.

Mr. Roy: Those nine judges were misguided.

Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, the agreement between Ontario and the federal government was not a unilateral agreement. The agreement was based upon consultation and legal opinion in Ottawa.

Mr. Roy: Here we go, pass the buck.

Mr. Drea: Look, if I was getting as much money out of the federal government being a lawyer for them part-time, I wouldn’t open my mouth. That legal opinion was based as much upon --

Mr. Roy: Point of privilege.

Mr. Speaker: The member for Ottawa East does not have the floor.

Mr. Roy: Point of privilege.

Mr. Speaker: A point of privilege.

Mr. Roy: Yes, a point of privilege.

Mr. Lewis: How much money are you getting?

Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, it has been suggested that I am getting some money from the federal government. I want to make it very clear that it’s the other way around; I’m the one who keeps giving them money, I don’t get any money.

Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I suggest you consult the public accounts books in Ottawa, they might give a different impression. Mr. Speaker, the advice that was given to this province was on behalf of the federal government. They were consulted and they felt it was constitutional. The Ministry of the Attorney General in this province felt the particular method by which we approached this issue was constitutional.

I’m not going to quarrel at this time, and I’m not going to quarrel at all, really, with the fact that the Supreme Court of Canada, whether it was 9-0 or 7-2, or 5-4, or 25-1; because indeed, Mr. Speaker, like you, I respect the courts. I find that they have found, and they have disagreed with very eminent solicitors; it’s not the first time nor is it the last.

Mr. Roy: Frank, I think you should appeal it.

Mr. Drea: But I want to say to you, Mr. Speaker, to have this House entertain a canard for two or three days that the Attorney General of this province is somehow lacking in legal experience is something that is not only disgraceful, it’s despicable.


Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I want to make my remarks in three forms tonight. First of all I want to talk about the merits of the anti-inflation programme in Canada; secondly, I want to talk about the merits of the anti-inflation programme in Ontario; and thirdly, I want to make some suggestions about the Supreme Court.

Mr. Breithaupt: Try to do the third one first.

Mr. Drea: Well, for somebody who doesn’t even tell his leader yesterday that we are meeting at 2 o’clock, let alone 10 o’clock, I don’t think you have the right to open your mouth today.


Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt that the fight against inflation in this country was not only necessary, but needed. I don’t think there is anybody in this House -- at least I would certainly hope not -- who really didn’t understand what has gone on in the last two or three or four years, that people’s incomes --

Mr. Reid: Four years of deficits.

Mr. Drea: -- people who believe in the doctrines of Canadian society, the middle class, who had saved their money, who had worked hard, who had done everything they were supposed to do -- were being eroded week by week by something over which neither they, nor indeed their municipal government, nor indeed their provincial government, indeed the federal government really had any control over in terms of a free economy.

Mr. Reid: Oh, come off it.

Mr. Drea: Well, my friend, if you are going to suggest to me that a government had any control over it you should talk to your brother, because he sat there and passed those deficits in Ottawa which have us bankrupted today.


Mr. Conway: Time.

Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, there was an overriding concern in this country that we were eroding the very ground that was the foundation, in the middle and older ages of the people who had built not only this province but this country.

It’s all very well to sit back in July, 1976, and look at the current measurements, the calming down, it’s being a little bit easier. Mr. Speaker, I ask you to remember a year ago or two years ago; I ask you to remember when the price of meat was sky-high; I ask you to remember when the price of bread was going up; I ask you to remember when the price of apartments was going up; and they are going up on the very people who are the foundation of our society.

There comes a point when a government has to say that despite our reluctance to interfere in the free marketplace that there is an emergency and we have to do certain things. It would be very easy for me tonight to introduce partisan politics in here.


Mr. Drea: It would be very easy. I could say to you that the Progressive Conservative Party in the election of 1974 campaigned for wage and price controls. I won’t, I won’t. You see, Mr. Speaker, I am not like them. I don’t insult the teachers of Ontario with a wily little document from a dollar-a-minute man. I don’t do that.


Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I suggest to you that it really was an emergency. It had to be dealt with. I think I am big enough politically that, despite the fact that I suppose I could have said I told you so and I am sure that as a representative of a political party, in other than your chair, you could have said something too, but nonetheless, it was done. And when it was done, it had to be done equally.

Mr. Lewis: And quickly.

Mr. Drea: And quickly, that’s right.

Mr. Lewis: It would be well if it were done quickly.

Mr. Drea: Well, if the Leader of the Opposition wants to say that it shouldn’t be done equally. I would be --

Mr. Lewis: You believe in injustices universally applied?

Mr. Drea: That’s right.

Mr. Lewis: I rest my case.

Mr. Drea: Well, it’s all very well for the --

Mr. Lewis: Did Hansard get that exchange? I will read it tomorrow.

Mr. Drea: That’s very nice. Yes, there was an injustice applied. For the man who worked in the steel plant, his wages weren’t catching up with the price of steel, they weren’t catching up with the price of groceries, and I didn’t notice the member’s party doing anything about it. I also didn’t notice his party trying to do anything about the fact that the old age pensioner was being put on cans of dog food or what have you because he couldn’t even afford tuna fish any more. I didn’t notice that a year ago.

I saw the member up again giving his sanctimonious speeches. He was going to do this. He was going to do that.

Mr. Breithaupt: That’s your concern.

Mr. Drea: The member’s party had the opportunity in 1973 when it was the minority government. It could have made everything twig and it didn’t do one single thing about it. So I suggest to the member that he just let me finish what I have to say tonight.

Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt that there was an emergency.

Mr. Roy: Don’t get political; you become incoherent.

Mr. Drea: There was no doubt whatsoever. And while the member opposite and I may quibble about the methods that were taken to meet the emergency, I suggest that really in nobody’s mind was there any doubt that there was an emergency. Therefore this province acted upon the best legal advice that the Attorney General of the time could obtain, not only from this province but from Ottawa, and we did it.

I find it very interesting that the very people now who say, “Oh yes, we’ll go along with it,” back in December sang another tune.

Mr. Breithaupt: We did not.

Mr. Drea: You did not? Oh, listen. I sat here today between 3:30 and 4 o’clock and I listened to the member for Hamilton West or whatever his title is and I heard him tell the whole story.

Mr. Breithaupt: We supported the Anti- Inflation Board.

Mr. Drea: Oh, you supported the Anti-Inflation Board back there. You wanted a provincial board on the grounds it might be cheaper. You wanted this, you wanted that. I will tell you, you changed your minds as much in December as you did in March when you got to be famous about it and as much as you’re going to do in the next two days to try to become popular.

Mr. Peterson: Oh, I’m devastated.

Mr. Drea: Oh, I’m sure you are. The only reason you are devastated is because you can’t think quickly enough --

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Will the member for Scarborough Centre address his remarks through the Chair and be less provocative?

Mr. Reid: You don’t deserve that, Mr. Speaker.


Mr. Drea: Oh, I’m coming to the Leader of the Opposition. I’m just working on them.

Mr. Lewis: I’m waiting breathlessly.

Mr. Drea: Oh, I’m sure you are.

Mr. Roy: You are making it difficult for us, Frank.

Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, there was really no doubt that this was done with the best of intentions by this government. It was done in an emergency situation. I find it very humorous today that the leader of the third party said, “I believe in provincial rights,” and I think that’s very interesting, over the years certainly.

This party believes in provincial rights. There is no party that has fought harder in this country for provincial rights, but I suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, there have been two occasions in the last number of years when this party has been willing to sacrifice the ideological goal of provincial rights for a national emergency.

The first one was the War Measures Act. The second one was this.

Mr. Peterson: Which war was that again?

Mr. Lewis: You’re darn right they were sacrificed. People like Arthur Wishart were very worried about that.

Mr. Drea: Well, I suggest to you that even despite hindsight, if I had the opportunity, I would have gone just as much along with the War Measures Act today as back then.

An hon. member: You go further.

Mr. Lewis: I believe that.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: That’s not a part of this Bill 127.

Mr. Drea: I’m pointing out, Mr. Speaker, that twice we have sacrificed provincial rights on the basis of an emergency. The first was the War Measures Act and the second was this.

Mrs. Campbell: You sacrificed the Legislature.

Mr. Roy: What did Ontario sacrifice in the War Measures Act in 1970?

Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I want to come to the second part of what I want to say tonight.

An hon. member: Third.

Mr. Drea: Oh, the third. You’re going to have to wait.

Mr. Peterson: What was the first again?

Mr. Drea: About nine minutes. We have a time limit tonight. About nine minutes.

Mr. Breithaupt: Nine to nothing, that is the score.

Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I want to talk about the impact of the Supreme Court decision and the alternatives the province had after Thanksgiving Day, after the speech of the Prime Minister of this country --

Mr. Good: Tell us about the Supreme Court.


Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I would suggest to you that when the Prime Minister of this country obtains television time and when he goes on and talks, whether we like the Prime Minister or not, we must respect the office.


Mr. Roy: We are for that, Frank.

Mr. Drea: When he goes on and talks about the emerging problems of inflation and the things that he considers have to be done --

Mr. Roy: That makes it an emergency, eh?

Mr. Drea: -- and quite frankly he offers probably no solutions except short-term, an experimental thing; it will go on. I suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, the obligation is upon the province not to stand up and to say that we want to take this through our Legislature; that we want to take this through this or that or the other thing.

Mr. Roy: Did Joe Clark get equal time?

Mr. Drea: I suggest to you one of the things that the Treasurer of this province (Mr. McKeough) said in this House; if we were talking about World War II, did we talk about conscription or a war effort among 10 provinces or did we talk about one more effort and one conscription?


Mr. Drea: I suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, that the war against inflation, while it may not be as glamorous, it may not be as exciting, and the declarations may not be as great, it is --

Mr. Conway: But you are though.

Mr. Drea: -- just as exacting a toll and a sacrifice upon people of this country as is a war. Because you see, Mr. Speaker, there is --

Mr. Peterson: Are you advocating another world war, Frank? Is that your point?

Mr. Drea: No, it is not. No, the member can’t understand that because he is so dedicated to a phoney equality that he doesn’t even know.

Mr. Lewis: Oh, come on.

Mr. Renwick: Utter nonsense.

Mr. Peterson: All Tories.

Mr. Drea: It’s an exacting toll because those who profit by inflation -- a great number of people do; probably about 40 per cent of the people profit by inflation, probably about 40 per cent of the people don’t profit and another 20 per cent -- Okay, even the economists really don’t know. Certainly inflation has been with the western world for almost 50 years to produce some very horrendous results in some places; it has been livable with in others. But certainly, when there is a national effort declared there is an obligation upon the provinces to make a fundamental choice; either they can sabotage that national effort by delaying and refusing to go in, or they can co-operate and according to their best advice they can enter into the agreement.

I suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, rather than the procedures by which this province went into the national anti-inflation programme being a matter of incompetency, they were a matter of provincial self-sacrifice on behalf of a national cause. It is all very well, as I said before, to say that it really wasn’t an emergency. How many, Mr. Speaker -- and I ask you to look into your own soul -- how many were there last Oct. 13 on Thanksgiving Day who saw that television address who weren’t moved by it and didn’t feel that there was a time come for a national purpose? I suggest to you that is why this province entered into that particular type of agreement.

I want to say to you, Mr. Speaker, that this province entered into that agreement very honourably and very equitably. It was to pertain to all.

Mr. Roy: But it was against the law.

Mrs. Campbell: It was illegal.

Mr. Drea: When I come to the third part -- I am really very sorry about the fact that certain people up in the gallery today were discriminated against. I feel very badly against that. I don’t think that anybody in this House, other a dollar-a-minute man from Hamilton West, ever thought about that one. But I want to say to you the intent was there, Mr. Speaker; the intent was there for national purpose.

Mr. Conway: Dollar-a-minute Frank.

Mr. Drea: I want to come to the third part.


Mr. Drea: I want to come to the point now that the courts have decided as best as they will that the legislation by this province is invalid.

Mrs. Campbell: They didn’t. There was no legislation.

Mr. Drea: You have two dichotomies involved. First of all you have the issue of retroactivity. I regard retroactivity as the most serious issue in this particular case since everybody really knew under that the ground rules they were going through that retroactivity in this case really is a confirmation. I am not playing on words. I really think it is a confirmation. The second thing is that everybody in this province is treated equally.


Mr. Drea: When I get to that point, Mr. Speaker, I want to apologize to the people in the gallery over my head.


Mr. Drea: I think they were abused most unfairly today by somebody who wanted to achieve his own political end.

Mr. Breithaupt: Poppycock.

Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker I have been here when the teachers of Ontario -- whether it was the OSSTF or whether it was the elementary school teachers or the separate school teachers or what have you -- may not have always agreed with me or this government. Certainly they didn’t always agree with the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Lewis); they booed him some nights. But never, Mr. Speaker, did honourable people in this House call them despicable or their remarks despicable, never. Mr. Speaker, I want to draw to your attention -- and I would certainly hope there would be some apologies tomorrow on behalf of the Liberal Party; maybe their House leader could make them, he is very good at mouthing off.


Mr. Drea: Maybe page H-1545-3, the despicable remark, could be removed.

Mr. Lewis: The House leader of the Liberal Party mouths off?

Mr. Drea: He is always saying something; but he was also the man who apparently didn’t tell anybody that we weren’t meeting at 10 o’clock this morning.

Mr. Roy: That’s terrible, Frank. I think you should take it to cabinet.

Mr. Drea: And, Mr. Speaker, could we go to 1550-2? I think there’s the word despicable in both those remarks. I would suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, that while those words refer to people who are not members, and I suppose in the ordinary term they are outside the rules of respect in this House, that certainly they were directed at people in the gallery who are our guests. I would certainly hope that somebody draws it to your attention tomorrow --

Mr. Breithaupt: Why don’t you stick to the bill and not to a press release?

Mr. Drea: -- and I would certainly hope that those remarks would be withdrawn.

The remarks may have been intemperate. Perhaps they may have been a little bit too much, perhaps they may have been a little bit too little, I don’t know; but certainly when you are going to take on people in this province who have acted honourably and well, and then suggest that their remarks are despicable, really --

Mr. Conway: Who wrote it? Who wrote that, Idi Amin?

Mr. Drea: Look, I didn’t write his speech; you elected him. You did it on TV, buddy, you can’t even get away from it.

Mr. Breithaupt: And we are glad we did.


Mr. Lewis: A point of privilege.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: A point of privilege, the hon. member for Scarborough West.

Mr. Lewis: Just as a member who wishes to understand some of the terminology, could the member for Scarborough Centre explain, (a) the meaning of “dollar-a-minute man”; and (b) --

Mr. Deputy Speaker: That’s not a point of privilege.

Mr. Lewis: -- and (b), the meaning of “bunny”. I that not what you called the member for Renfrew North? Oh “funny”; ah.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: The hon. member for Scarborough Centre has the floor.

Mr. Drea: Certainly, Mr. Speaker, since you have ruled against dollar-a-minute man, I certainly wouldn’t want to explain it. I think it’s a common term in OHIP that when you go to a psychiatrist it is usually 15 minutes for $15. I think if you divide one by one --

Mr. Peterson: They must charge you more than that.

Mr. Drea: You knew that before I did it.


Mr. Deputy Speaker: The hon. member for Scarborough Centre may continue, hopefully uninterrupted.

Mr. Lewis: Three times a week and in about four years you should make it.

Mr. Drea: Well, I think you and I agreed one time we should punch somebody’s ticket -- well we won’t go into that.

Mr. Peterson: On a point of order, what’s the joke about punching somebody’s ticket?

Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I want to come to the third part of my remarks, which I believe --


Mr. Drea: Well in view of the fact, my friend, that I bailed you out when you made some intemperate remarks before a committee and kept you from going somewhere else, I don’t think remarks are very adequate tonight. Maybe I could revive those remarks and we will see where you go. I don’t want to delay things too much longer, I want to come to the third part.


Mr. Drea: I want to deal with the impact of the new role of the Supreme Court of Ontario upon the social and economic conditions in this country.

Mr. Roy: It’s the Supreme Court of Canada.

Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, beforehand I want to read to you about 12 lines, and I agree with you they are 12 lines, because some of the yo-yos over there will object; just 12 lines. I want to read it out of the Globe and Mail of yesterday, Tuesday, July 13. It is their lead editorial:


“The judges of the Supreme Court of Canada live in Canada. It cannot have escaped their notice that if their judgement directed them to find the Anti-Inflation Act invalid because it had not been passed to deal with a national emergency, then they would unquestionably plunge the country into a national emergency. The place would have been in chaos, with unions rushing to claim wage increases that the legislation had denied them, and companies rushing to raise prices to heights where the legislation had said they could not go.

“It would have been an impractical situation if the court had overturned the Anti-Inflation Act.”

I really believe I have read that in context. I’m not taking it out of context, one sentence or another. I really think that the Globe and Mail of Tuesday has focused in on a new and significant provincial problem. It may very well be that the Supreme Court of Canada is a national body but nonetheless it has great impact upon this province.

I realize it is very fashionable by those who are legalists and who are the lawyers to say that the Supreme Court is absolute. I can recall not more than five or six years ago, when the Supreme Court of Canada in this country, in a very decided judgement, ruled in favour of a company that fired somebody because he cohabited with a native in the north. That native in the north happened to be an Eskimo who was a stewardess on an airplane and the man was employed at that time upon the DEW line in Canada. With all the solemnity and all the pomp that is associated with the courts, they brought down that decision, I’m sure, knowing very well a great number of people’s opinions on this matter, at that time it was suggested that perhaps the Supreme Court needed an overhaul and that perhaps it should be dragged into the 20th century.

Mr. Roy: They got bad legal advice,

Mr. Drea: I am suggesting now that I really think the time has come. There really isn’t any room in this country for a group, no matter how sacrosanct, no matter how tradition-minded, to be able to sit in judgement upon what goes on in the provinces or in the country without any responsibility to the people.

Mr. Roy: Oh, here we go!

Mr. Drea: I suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, that the time has come in a participatory democracy that has been the example for the world for more than a century, perhaps to make the courts more responsible to the people. Perhaps the time has come that responsibility means election.

Mr. Breithaupt: No, judges aren’t elected, they are defeated.

Mr. Drea: I know that to lawyers election of a judge is horrendous. But, Mr. Speaker, after all you are elected and you don’t regard it as horrendous. You don’t regard having to go out to the people and justify what you have done as exactly the end of the world, nor does anybody in this House.

Mr. Sweeney: The Supreme Court isn’t elected anyway.

Mr. Drea: I suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, that the time has come when a body of people, a body of faceless people --

Mr. Breithaupt: This is disastrous.

Mr. Warner: What do you mean by faceless?

Mr. Lewis: They may be throwbacks, but they are not faceless.

Mr. Drea: -- a body of people who are appointed and who have no responsibility to the public whatsoever --

Mr. Sweeney: This is treasonous.


Mr. Lawlor: I’m sure they would appreciate that.

Mr. Drea: Who said it’s treasonous? Really!

Mr. Sweeney: This country is ruled by the rule of law.

Mr. Drea: If the member for Kitchener-Wilmot (Mr. Sweeney) would exercise some self-control sometimes, he wouldn’t say things like that. What really makes a court that is going to make substantial social and economic impact upon all the citizens of Canada so sacrosanct that it doesn’t have to answer to them?


Mr. Martel: He’s in contempt.

Mr. Drea: No, I’m not. I’m being very careful.

Hon. Handleman: When you do it you call it reform.

Mr. Drea: I am being very careful. I suggest that. I’m not suggesting it’s going to come in a day, a week or a year; neither did the people who wanted medicare in this country or public schools or a great number of social reforms. It didn’t come in a week, a month or a year. It was an idea. I suggest that when nine people, of whom two apparently didn’t even know inflation was an emergency, perhaps, Mr. Speaker, with the deepest respect for your office and for the court -- because I know full well what they’re going to do tomorrow -- I think, on behalf of the ordinary people in this country that the time has come to take a very new look at an institution which is developing into an equal partner with the Legislature in developing the social and the economic impacts upon this country.

Mr. Speaker, in summary, having said that --

Mr. Lewis: What about the radio programme?

Mr. Drea: The radio programme? All right, okay. I had to listen to you for an hour. Mr. Speaker, let me explain it.

Mr. Lewis: Why didn’t you turn off your radio?

Mr. Drea: I couldn’t because that lawyer came on. I had never listened to a radio programme before and you were so sanctimonious I couldn’t turn mine off.

Mr. Lewis: He was a Tory lawyer. That was Bill MacDonald from King.

Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I think there’s an allergy between the radio programme I listened to today, in all fairness, and what I am saying tonight.

Mr. Lewis: An allergy?

Mr. Drea: Yes. As a matter of fact the Leader of the Opposition was talking about the very privileged yet very delicate position of the Ombudsman in this province because he was appointed. He was to rule upon government and upon certain social impacts.

Mr. Haggerty: It’s you against him now, Frank.

Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I’ve been talking about the social and economic impact of the Supreme Court of Canada. I think the analogy is comparable.

Mr. Lewis: That’s right and the Ombudsman is tied directly to that.

Mr. Drea: Yes. I think you will agree with me. There is an analogy there.

Mr. Lewis: Did you look at the budget he’s asking for?

Mr. Drea: No, but the whole aspect of it -- I’ve listened to it.

Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, I’d like to rise on a point of order.

Mr. Speaker: A point of order.

Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, with great respect, and I say this in all seriousness, I think the comments of the member border very much on being contemptuous of the Supreme Court of Canada. I say this with respect. I think, that being the case, the member should be restrained from making that kind of comment.

That court, Mr. Speaker is not elected as he has suggested. Secondly, the decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada are final and I respectfully suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, that when a member refers or makes some allegations, as he has, it borders on being contemptuous of that court.

Mr. Peterson: What does the Attorney General think? What is his legal opinion on that?

Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, in defence of myself --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I’m sorry I haven’t had the advantage of hearing the remarks but if we could get on with the debate and keep things a little more temperate I think this Legislature would be much better served. Thank you very much.

Mr. Lewis: Back to the Ombudsman.

Mr. Riddell: I’ve never heard a more convoluted argument in my whole life.

Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, all I want to say to you is that I have been very careful. You weren’t in here. I have been very careful not to make any allegations.

Mr. Conway: You haven’t said anything.

Mr. Drea: I am putting out the thrust of an idea. I suggest to you that somebody who is a solicitor and who likes the present system all too well has no right to criticize me for putting out the thrust of an idea. I would certainly hope that the House would uphold me. I have made no allegations about the courts.

Mr. Conway: You haven’t had an idea since day one.

Mr. Drea: I have talked about the germ of an idea, Mr. Speaker. If you want to rule me out of order now, I suggest to you we were talking about an idea.

Mr. Peterson: A very creative thinker, too.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We are discussing a bill and we should keep our remarks to that. Thank you very much.

Mr. Conway: It is not a germ; it’s a disease,

Mr. Lewis: That is what you meant about allergies.

Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I was discussing the fact that there was an analogy between the remarks made by the Leader of the Opposition today, which I had the opportunity to hear on radio, about the question of the Ombudsman. I wondered how you were going to get here at two o’clock because you kept rambling on but, nonetheless --

Mr. Angus: What happened to the Ombudsman?

Mr. Drea: I think the remarks made by the Leader of the Opposition are somewhat in support of the position that I have discussed.


Mr. Drea: No, not that one. But there is a point whereby government and the impact of government upon social and the economic well-being of the citizens has to be safeguarded and has to be watched. It is very easy to set up the safeguard and the watch in theory and on paper, but then you get into the difficulty of when you come to the day-to-day mechanism. I think he knows what I am talking about.

Mr. Lawlor: That is not the same --

Mr. Drea: It is very difficult, because every situation is somewhat difficult.

Mr. Lawlor: That is not sanctioning it, it is almost sensible.

Mr. Conway: You are impossible.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Drea: I suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, that in the political arena in this country with this decision, and I am certainly prepared to regard it as a landmark or a hallmark decision by the Supreme Court, we have entered into a new era in political administration in this country.

Mr. Martel: In your usual arrogant fashion.

Mr. Roy: Are you suggesting you don’t have to follow the law?

Mr. Drea: I suggest to you the province went into the agreement with the federal government with the most honourable and most dedicated intent.

Mr. Sweeney: The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Mr. Drea: That we have been found wrong, I suggest to you, is not a mark against the Attorney General nor the Ministry of the Attorney General.

Mr. Roy: Then who was it a mark against? You don’t think the government should follow that?

Mr. Eakins: How about the Treasurer?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Fewer interruptions would lead to a better debate.

Mr. Drea: I suggest to you the remedies that we have --


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for Scarborough Centre has the floor.

Mr. Lewis: Despite everything that has been said about the Attorney General tonight, Mr. Speaker, I still have confidence in him.

Mr. Drea: Yes, well that’s two of us.

Mr. Speaker: Will the hon. member for Scarborough Centre please continue the remarks on this bill? Thank you.

Mr. Roy: Do you think the government should follow along?

Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, the remedy for the inadequacies that the courts have found is in this bill.

Mr. Bain: Make Roy McMurtry a judge.

Mr. Lewis: They are going to appoint him to replace Chief Justice Laskin.

Mr. Drea: You know, I could say something but I am not going to border on the allegations they would like me to.

Mr. Roy: Go ahead.

Mr. Drea: That the remedies put forward are more than adequate. They are not an inequity nor an injustice upon anybody because everybody has been working under the ground rides, regardless of the fact that for the last three or four days, ever since the decision has come out, some people may or may not have had some false hope. But, finally, I suggest to you --

Mr. Martel: Good.

Mr. Drea: -- where the very issue of provincial rights has been determined by something beyond our control, by an interpretation of a document that we did have some control on, which is the British North America Act --

Mr. Roy: No, no, they just said you had to follow the law.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Drea: -- by the fact that determinations upon the very social and economic fibre of this province have been made by someone beyond our control I would certainly and hopefully suggest to the Attorney General and to the Premier --

Mr. Lewis: You think the Attorney General falls short? Do you think the Attorney General failed us?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for Scarborough Centre should just continue his remarks.

Mr. Drea: I would certainly hope that when the time comes for repatriation of the constitution, which I think should be very shortly, hopefully, the time has come to really put the judiciary into a position where its social and economic impact upon this country will be recognized along with the impact of the legislative process in this country. After all, we have watched a country to the south of us where, through a couple of court decisions, their very social fabric has been destroyed and there is precious little that their Legislatures can do about it. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for St. George.

Mrs. Campbell: Mr. Speaker, I hope that I could get back to the principles of the bill and to the discussions which we have had in a very serious vein to this day. But I feel it incumbent upon me at this time to extend to the Attorney General of this province my sincerest sympathy that he had to sit through the discussions which we have had as to the Supreme Court of Canada. I notice that he’s slumped deep in his chair, I presume to avoid the slings and arrows of the outrageous backbench of the party.

Mr. Riddell: Stick around and learn something, Frank.

Mrs. Campbell: Mr. Speaker, never has been more clearly demonstrated --

Mr. Lewis: You can speak again in committee, Frank.

Mrs. Campbell: -- the need for a Supreme Court of Canada which is not thrown into the political ring, but which is able to adjudicate dispassionately on the matters which come before it, particularly as they relate to the constitutionality of governments, be they federal or provincial, in this land.

We have seen really two elements of a debate here. One is the fact that for whatever reason, the government took the wrong road last fall. There is no doubt -- there can be no doubt in the minds even of the government members -- that those speakers from this Liberal caucus who pleaded with the government to follow constitutional patterns were right and they have been upheld.

I trust sincerely that the government has learned from this and that tomorrow we will know that they have learned, because we will be dealing with the matter of the Ombudsman before this House dissolves. May I say, Mr. Speaker, that if they have not learned by now and if they try to make a decision about the Ombudsman in the absence of this sitting, then there is no hope for them and I for one will not align myself to support them for whatever reason. Let them show us they have learned their lesson.

As to the matters of the bill itself, it was interesting that the member for Scarborough Centre (Mr. Drea) made so eloquent a plea about the recognition of all in this House over the last three or four years of the emergency created by inflation in this country. But I listened this afternoon to the Treasurer and that isn’t what he said and he wasn’t a member of the Supreme Court. He said he found out about the need last fall. That’s what he said, and he found about it because the Liberals had been pointing out their deep concern for months last year. And he found out about it when he found that the confidence of the electorate in this province has been rather severely shaken. Then he began to realize what was happening by why of inflation and that he would have to do something about it.

Mr. Grossman: We owe it all to the Liberals.


Mrs. Campbell: In the fall there is no doubt that if this province, this government, chose to act constitutionally and not arrogantly and not ignoring the rights of the people through the legislative assembly, they might have some tough problems, because certainly we felt that at that point, as has been said before, we should have a provincial board. But, nevertheless, I don’t think there is any doubt at all within the final analysis there would have been in place appropriate legislation to control this issue. The member for Scarborough Centre said that the court found the legislation to be at fault. What the court found was the government needed legislation. So I think we can dismiss some of the arguments that were made by that member.

I do believe that there is a difference in the atmosphere today. When we discussed the matter, and tried to get the government to enter into a debate, when we brought our want of confidence motion, it was unfortunate that we were entering into the Christmas season. The Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Lewis) wished everybody a Merry Christmas and supported the government.

Mr. Warner: And you said Happy Easter.

Mrs. Campbell: I suppose, as we approach Labour Day, we have a different kind of wish for the people of the province. But I could only assume that that is why there is a difference in the philosophical approach at this time.

Mr. Grossman: It’s the Jewish New Year.

Mrs. Campbell: Oh, dear, I should have thought of that, I apologize. I didn’t think of that.

Mr. Lewis: At least now I understand it too. My cultural roots come to fruition.

Mrs. Campbell: I don’t think the AIB is perfect by any means. I have now had some very serious calls from those who are protesting, and I think justifiably, the increase in insurance premiums. I don’t think it’s perfect, and I am not totally satisfied with it. But I have to say that as I see it, there is no other route that you can go if you are going to be responsible to all of the people of this province.

I regret very much the fact that we have placed the teachers and the civil service in the position in which they find themselves because we did not believe that was the way to go. But I cannot understand how anyone who is responsible at all in this House at this time could not understand what would happen if we defeated this government on this particular bill and, goodness knows, I am sorely tempted, as I have been in the past. But what happens if we defeat them on this bill? Utter chaos. There is nothing in its place, nothing at all. People will be having a mishmash of decisions which I cannot believe is in the best interests of all of the people of this province.

Mr. Martel: They will get their pay.

Mrs. Campbell: Yes, they will get their pay. I understand that. But I do believe that the same principles at this point in time must prevail for all people. I would trust that in the not-too-distant future we will see some very important amendments to this legislation which could give us even a greater sense of satisfaction than I personally have with it at this point.

Mr. Lewis: You don’t really believe that do you? Do you really believe that?

Mrs. Campbell: I do believe that.

Mr. Lewis: That they will amend the bill?

Mrs. Campbell: Perhaps I am an optimist but I believe that that is the greater possibility at this point.

Mr. Lewis: Okay.

Mrs. Campbell: Mr. Speaker, I have said, I think, sufficient to indicate my position. I am really truly horrified at some of the things I’ve heard this evening and I trust that as we proceed with this debate, we may return to the quality of debate which did prevail earlier today. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, I have a sense that history is being made here tonight.

Mr. Peterson: It is every minute.

Ms. Bryden: This debate and the fact that we are here in a special session marks the restoration of the rights of the Legislature to debate matters of law. It also marks the beginning of the end for a government whose hallmark has been a contempt for the parliamentary processes --

Mr. Conway: Hear that, Darcy?

Ms. Bryden: -- and which has been caught out not once but twice in the last few months by the courts.

Mr. Speaker, we are opposing this bill on two main grounds. First, it is a bill which asks us to rubber stamp an illegal exercise of executive power. Unlike the present government which has little respect for the Legislature, we do not regard the Legislature as a rubber stamp.

We repeatedly asked the government to give the Legislature the opportunity to debate Ontario’s anti-inflation programme during the fall session but were denied that right. Then, 48 hours before the Legislature met in special session in January, the government opted into the federal anti-inflation programme for its public sector employees without consulting the people’s representatives in the Legislature on that decision. Had the Legislature been consulted, it is quite conceivable that the decision would have been radically different; or there might have been a different government.

There might have been a better answer to inflation. At any rate, that is the second reason we oppose this bill. We are being asked to approve an anti-inflation programme which is iniquitous, unfair and a fraud. The government knows it is a fraud. It is not an effective attack on inflation.

On the part of the Trudeau government, it is a cynical attempt to provide a diversionary smokescreen to deflect attention from its mismanagement of the economy and its fiscal irresponsibility.

On the part of the Davis government, it is a sneaky way of getting off the hook when faced with the legitimate demands of the public sector employees in trying to close the gap between their wages and those of similar workers in the private sector --

Mr. Conway: Darcy, are you going to take that seriously?

Ms. Bryden: -- between skilled professionals in the public services --

Mr. Martel: Are you going to yell at her, Darcy?

Ms. Bryden: -- and doctors, lawyers and business executives in the private sector. The real reason for the province’s haste to adopt this iniquitous programme, Mr. Speaker, is that it saw a slight move toward redistribution of income and it threw up the barricade.

Even back in December, we could see that the federal anti-inflation programme was not wage and price control but just wage control. In the first 5½ months of the AIB operation in Ontario, according to statistics prepared by the provincial Treasurer’s department, 105 out of 121 contracts in Ontario were rolled back by 21 to 23 per cent. The price rollbacks were so negligible as not to require a table in the report, and there is no --

Mr. Martel: Friends of the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough).

Ms. Bryden: -- identification as to what exactly happened in Ontario. There is a mention of an excess $6,000 that Canada Starch gathered in and which it was giving back in some price adjustment. But that is the sort of laughable, small rollback that occurred in the price sector. There are so many exclusions in the price area that under no circumstances can we really say that we have price controls. Excluded are energy, interest rates, land, farm products, OHIP premiums --

Mr. Martel: Hydro.

Ms. Bryden: -- Hydro and other government fees. By August, 1976, 65 per cent of the Canadian people, according to the Gallup poll, thought the controls were unfair, They could see what was happening; they could see that price controls were mainly the filling out of forms -- a rather costly charade.

So when the Ontario government brought this iniquitous and capricious and unfair programme in for its public sector employees by an illegal order in council, it was joining with the federal government in a gigantic sham -- a phoney war on inflation. The real losers were the people who needed a real curb on inflation and on price increases -- those on fixed incomes and the unorganized workers.

Mr. Good: Funny thing, but it is working.

Ms. Bryden: Any drop in the rate of inflation registered so far is mainly due to food price drops, which are not subject to controls and to other circumstances beyond the control of the AIB or the government.

Predictions are that when the recent and anticipated energy price increases work their way through the economy, the rate of inflation will start up again.

Mr. Speaker, our friends on the left say it would be irresponsible not to rubber stamp the government’s illegal action. What would happen? Nothing drastic. The private sector would not be affected at all. Some public sector employees, who have been cut back below negotiated or arbitrated settlements, would get raises. But one could argue that in many cases they need those raises just to catch up, for justice, so that they do not subsidize the taxpayers. Since most public service employees are funded by the provincial government to some greater or lesser degree, the provincial government still has the means to limit future demands of these employees. But, of course, they don’t want to have to take that responsibility. They want to pass the buck to Ottawa. If we don’t rubber stamp this government’s phoney inflation programme, Mr. Speaker, it should make them hurry up to bring in a proper anti-inflation programme.

The provincial Treasurer asked for constructive suggestions of what could be done. I have a few ideas, but I won’t take the time to spell them out in detail. We have discussed many of them on other occasions, and he won’t like them.

Mr. Speaker: I understand the hon. member has a few more remarks to make.

Ms. Bryden: About five minutes, Mr. Speaker.

Ms. Speaker: Well, perhaps you would like to adjourn the debate for this evening and --

Mr. Breithaupt: We are certainly prepared to agree to allow the hon. member to finish her remarks.

Mr. Speaker: Do we have the permission of the House to have the hon. member complete her remarks? I understand they are very brief.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: No.

Mr. Speaker: Is it agreed?

Mr. Martel: If the Treasurer tries it, it will be the last time he will get an agreement from us.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for Beaches-Woodbine will continue.

Mr. Martel: You will never get an agreement --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Lewis: You had a no from the Treasurer.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I did not have a no.

Ms. Bryden: I will just put forth my few suggested areas where the provincial Treasurer has room for actions which might affect the inflationary situation. But he won’t like my suggestions, because they don’t fit in with his antiquated private enterprise philosophy.

Mr. Conway: Let’s make him Q.C.


Ms. Bryden: A true anti-inflation programme requires economic planning to increase our productivity, our efficiency, our job supply, to use our excess capacities, to allocate our resources efficiently. The day of laissez faire is past. Private enterprise has failed to solve either our unemployment situation or our inflationary situation, but the provincial Treasurer’s childlike faith in the private-enterprise system prevents him from engaging in any government leadership of the economy. As a result, we have 288,000 unemployed in June of this year, a rate of unemployment of 6.3 per cent which would have been considered a disaster two years ago.

One of the areas in which he might take action is in energy prices, one of the biggest elements in our cost of living. A four to five per cent increase in gasoline is scheduled for August. He could freeze oil and gasoline prices until the oil companies prove that they need any extra profits. I think it would take them quite a long time to do that because their profits have been astronomical. He could urge Hydro to smooth out the proposed increases.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: We asked the member for York South (Mr. MacDonald) to do that.

Ms. Bryden: I understand that is predicted to go down, after the 32 per cent increase next year, to 15 and then eight. That could be smoothed out and perhaps the inflationary situation would not be as great.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Why didn’t your seatmate recommend that?

Ms. Bryden: He has already issued a press release to that effect.


Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Beaches-Woodbine only, please. Thank you.

Ms. Bryden: The second area is housing prices. Obviously this is a large inflationary element. The government has the means to check soaring housing prices. We have gone into many ways. They could bring down interest rates. They could bring down lot prices. They could take the capital gain out of land. It is predicted there’s $20,000 profit being made on lots in Toronto these days.

They could take auto insurance rates down -- we have told them many times how -- by a public insurance programme. The Treasurer could reduce his own charges on the people of this province. A 45 per cent increase in OHIP premiums is very inflationary because it hits the average wage earner and it generates demands for wage increases to offset it. If medicare was financed by ability to pay taxes, it would not be as inflationary. It could cut into profits.

And finally, profits. The supermarket industry is reputed to be charging four to five per cent extra because of the way they concentrate and integrate the industry, and ring the cash register and the profit goes on at every stage. The auto industry is making an exorbitant return on investment. The resources industries are paying very little taxes. If all of these were properly taxed and price rollbacks provided in areas where they are taking excess profits, there would be a real cut in the cost of living and a real cut in the taxes that the ordinary individual is paying.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I just want to point out that the Globe and Mail the other day had a study of who is gaining from the present inflationary situation. It showed that from 1970 to 1975, while gross national income went up 25.6 per cent, corporation profits, after taxes, had gone up 54.8 per cent and personal disposable income only 42.2 per cent.

Mr. Haggerty moved the adjournment of the debate.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I understand that the debate on Bill 127 will resume tomorrow at 10 o’clock.

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

Motion agreed to.

The House adjourned at 10:35 p.m.