30e législature, 3e session

L106 - Thu 4 Nov 1976 / Jeu 4 nov 1976

The House met at 2 p.m.


Mr. Speaker: Statements by the ministry.


Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: Energy Conservation Week provides us with a focus for a number of initiatives by the Ontario government which are designed to encourage and promote more efficient use of energy resources in the province of Ontario. In this regard, I wish to advise the House of the planned participation of the Ministry of Government Services as one of several agencies to integrate their steam plants and distribution systems in the core area of the city of Toronto.

Negotiations in support of the integrated system were originally undertaken two years ago as a result of concern over air pollution problems associated with the Toronto Hydro steam plant located on Pearl Street. The discussions are continuing as details of the plan are developed. The integration plan, which has been agreed upon, will not only alleviate the environmental concern, but will also provide a substantial energy conservation benefit through the ultimate construction of a new refuse-fired steam plant to replace the existing oil-fired steam plant at the Pearl Street location.

At present, there are 11 government buildings in Queen’s Park which are serviced with steam, generated by three boilers which primarily use natural gas with light oil being used for standby purposes. The current cost to the province for steam supplied to the Queen’s Park buildings is approximately $900,000 per annum.

In conclusion, I might say that it particularly pleases me that, as a result of some two years of negotiations, agreement in principle has been achieved for this integration plan with the corporation of the city of Toronto, Toronto-Hydro-Electric System, Toronto Hospitals Steam Corporation and the University of Toronto. This demonstrates the co-operative and helpful attitude displayed by the various agencies in finding a joint solution to an environmental concern, a solution which also makes a significant contribution to energy conservation.

Mr. Godfrey: What are you going to do about Pickering?

Mr. Roy: You must have spent a lot of time on that statement. It should give you the headlines for today.


Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, some hon. members have inquired about the ministry’s position in current negotiations between public health nurses and local boards of health. I would like to make a brief statement which hopefully will clarify the situation.

Hon. members will recall there has been a historical relationship between the wages in the nursing profession. Back in 1974, an arbitration board awarded significant increases to the nursing staff at the Ottawa Civic Hospital. The ministry agreed it would pick up its share of costs where similar settlements were negotiated across Ontario, both in hospitals and boards of health.

Because the ministry pays the total cost of nursing salaries in hospitals, there was little difficulty in nurses negotiating settlements similar to that awarded at the Ottawa Civic Hospital. However, in the public health field, where municipalities share the costs of these programmes, public health nurses were not able in many instances to maintain the parity they had previously enjoyed with their counterparts in the public hospital field. In the past couple of years, this situation has been aggravated by subsequent settlements.

In order to rectify this situation, my ministry is prepared to provide additional funding, on the same ratio as it cost-shares health unit budgets. This will be provided up to an amount which would establish parity on an hourly rate basis between registered nurses in health units and registered nurses in hospitals.

Mr. Cassidy: Where have you been for the past four and a half months?

Mr. Lewis: You should have done it in January and you wouldn’t have had this happen.

Hon. F. S. Miller: I did it two years ago -- and I have the problem. Let’s not forget that fact.

Mr. Lewis: You are opening the door finally.

Hon. F. S. Miller: No, I never had the door closed. I opened it and no one walked through.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. This is not the time for a debate. Would the hon. minister complete his statement?

Mr. S. Smith: Have you provided no arbitration for it? That’s all he is worried about.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. minister with his statement?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Naturally, Mr. Speaker, such settlements would probably exceed the present six per cent guideline -- eight per cent, that should read; I’m looking ahead to next year -- and would have to be upheld by the Anti-Inflation Board.

Mr. Lewis: You Tories sure do err on the side of caution.

Hon. F. S. Miller: This means the ministry will provide additional funding to re-establish the historical relationship between the two groups of nurses. The decision as to whether or not that historical perspective will be re-established is left quite properly where it belongs -- between local boards of health and their nursing staffs.


Hon. J. R. Smith: On Tuesday, November 2, the hon. member for Port Arthur (Mr. Foulds) asked me three questions regarding the Thunder Bay jail. I provided an answer in the House. In addition, members of my ministry’s staff met with the hon. member to discuss and provide information relating to the first two of his questions. I believe he was satisfied with the answers which he received at that time.

I would preface my answer to the third question by stating that it is of considerable concern that a confidential document relating to the security of an institution was made available to the hon. member and that sections of that internal memorandum dealing with security were made public. The ministry is most anxious to protect the safety of its staff and the general public, as well as of inmates who could be injured because of breaches in security. It is certainly to the credit of the hon. member that he did not make the full memorandum public.

In regard to the third question asked by the hon. member, it is true that on occasions when that jail and others are overcrowded, persons admitting themselves to serve intermittent sentences have, in some instances, been granted temporary absence to return to their homes. This has usually occurred on weekends. In all cases, the individuals concerned were not considered security risks and were already living in the community during the week and serving their sentences on weekends. In other words, the individuals were the breadwinners in their families whom a judge felt should be allowed to continue to work during the week and to live at home.


Hon. Mrs. Birch: Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday I promised the Legislature a report on the circumstances preceding the tragic death of Norma Dean on August 20 at the Kawartha Lakes School. Officials from the ministries of Health, Correctional Services, the Solicitor General and the Attorney General and the Social policy secretariat have reviewed the records regarding this case.

It is with reluctance, because of my concern for the feelings of the family of this girl, that I make this statement today. In less than three weeks the public inquest will delve into this whole matter in great detail. The material provided through this brief review can in no way obscure the importance of the evidence which will be assembled at the inquest.

Nevertheless, the following chronology of events will indicate the treatment and concern provided for this young girl by the various agencies that have been involved over the years from her first referral to the time of her death five years later.

I would like to note that the references to psychiatric treatment and the details of family court appearances have been carefully edited out to ensure the necessary confidentiality. Obviously such material may be made public at the inquest, which is scheduled to be held in Lindsay on November 24.

According to the records, Norma’s behavioural problems first appeared in grade two. In the fourth grade, in 1972 she was referred by the school mental health services to a child guidance clinic.

As a result of problems at home and at school, Norma was referred in 1973 to Dellcrest School for day classes. She was discharged in June of 1974 and returned to the regular school system. However, her behaviour subsequently deteriorated and referral was made to Thistletown Regional Centre, where she was admitted on February 10, 1976.

During May and June, Norma appeared in family court on a number of occasions. Twice charges were laid by the Thistletown Regional Centre and she was returned to Thistletown for further treatment.

Norma appeared in court on June 30, 1976, following an incident at Thistletown. The judge adjourned the case for a week and suggested Mrs. Dean obtain counsel for Norma who was detained at that time at 311 Jarvis Street.

On July 7, 1976, she reappeared in court with counsel, and on the same day was sent to the Oakville Reception and Assessment Centre pursuant to section 20 of The Juvenile Delinquents Act and under section 9 of The Training Schools Act.

On admission, Oakville received a record of probation supervision from the probation officer. As part of the Oakville procedure, a multi-disciplinary team undertook an assessment which involved reports from a physician, nurse, dentist, psychologist, social worker, child-care worker, chaplain, recreational specialist and a teacher.

On July 22, a case conference was held, attended by the Oakville multi-disciplinary team and three representatives from Thistletown. It was decided that Norma should be placed in the prime worker programme at Kawartha Lakes School, an institution stressing limited security and a normal lifestyle. The goal was to transfer Norma into a long-term rural placement for treatment as soon as possible.

The written reports from Thistletown Regional Centre did not arrive at Oakville until July 28, 1976, the day before Norma’s transfer. However, as noted above, three representatives from Thistletown did attend the assessment conference at Oakville on July 22, 1976.


Norma was transferred to Kawartha Lakes School on July 29, 1976. At the time of transfer, a senior member of the Oakville staff discussed the case by telephone with a senior member of the Kawartha Lakes School. The clinical notes from Thistletown were forwarded to Kawartha Lakes but did not arrive until five days following Norma’s death. After the transfer, a case conference was convened by the Oakville deputy superintendent at the Oakville Reception and Assessment Centre on August 5, 1976. Representatives from West Metro Youth Services, Thistletown Regional Centre, Oakville Reception and Assessment Centre and Kawartha Lakes School were present. A second case planning conference was held on August 11, 1976.

At Kawartha Lakes School, Norma was seen by a Ministry of Correctional Services chaplain and by a social worker. The chaplain interviewed Norma formally on August 1, 6, 11 and 15 and informally on four other occasions. The social worker had a number of contacts with Norma. On August 18 Norma was seen by the school psychometrist for an intellectual assessment. Norma Dean was found dead in the closet of her room by two staff members on August 20, 1976.

These facts, culled from reports and records, have been stripped to provide a concise chronological summary of the events preceding Norma’s death. If I may be permitted, I would like to say that the report appears to indicate that:

1. The transfers from one facility to another were deliberately made to pursue what appeared to be, in the judgement of professionals, more desirable types of treatment.

2. The people involved were caring and concerned and when transfers were made they were only after very close consultations between the staffs responsible.

The more detailed report is now in the hands of the leaders of the opposition parties. I have now received a copy of a letter to which the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Lewis) made reference on Tuesday. I would like to emphasize that no one in this government relishes training schools as a last resort.

The inquest will, I hope, explain more fully the circumstances leading to Norma’s death. This government will welcome that report and looks forward to receiving the recommendations from that inquest jury. In the meantime, my colleagues, the Minister of Health (Mr. F. S. Miller) and the Minister of Correctional Services (Mr. J. R. Smith), are reviewing the staff report concerning Norma Dean’s death in terms of its broader implications for the treatment and care of children.


Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Last June the select committee reviewing Ontario Hydro’s proposals to increase bulk power rates in 1976 tabled its final report. At that time, I indicated that the government would respond to the recommendations when the House reconvened in the fall. Today I should like to advise the House that I am tabling the government’s response this afternoon. Discussions have been held with Ontario Hydro and the government’s response takes into account both the views of the Ontario Hydro board of directors as well as those of a very broad group of associations in the province whose views I asked for.

With the exception of a very few recommendations, the government fully endorses the select committee’s report. On behalf of the government, I again compliment the chairman, the members and the committee staff for their work. I think it is fair to say this select committee was one of the best which this House has ever appointed, certainly in recent years. Not only are its recommendations by and large sensible, they confirm initiatives already under way and support the current policy direction of the government. Only a few of the recommendations which, if accepted in quite the way proposed, cause the government difficulty in endorsing the report in its entirety.

Mr. Bullbrook: Is the member for York South (Mr. MacDonald) over there?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: When the adjourned debate is resumed, at that time an amendment to the motion for adoption will be offered, notice of which I am tabling at this time.

Mr. Singer: Have they got a seat for him next to the member for London North (Mr. Shore)?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Implementation of the recommendations has already begun and the Legislature will be provided with periodic reports on the progress of that implementation. In summary, the government clearly accepts the tone and policy direction proposed by the select committee. It is a policy direction which is compatible with and complements government policy.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. Minister of Transportation -- sorry the hon. Minister of Housing.

Mr. Cassidy: Another bomb, eh?

Mr. Philip: Are you still building roads?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I must have done a good job in his riding.

Mr. Peterson: Nobody needs you, John.


Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Speaker, I wish to make a very brief statement concerning an article that appeared in today’s edition of the Toronto Star under the headline, “Man Shot to Death in OHC Apartment.” It indicates in the story that the man who was shot in an apartment in Markham Road, north of Eglinton Avenue, was in an apartment occupied by Satan’s Choice motorcycle club. I want to draw to the attention of members of the Legislature that the unfortunate shooting incident occurred in a private apartment building at 399 Markham Road. The building was mistakenly identified as an Ontario Housing Corporation development.

I rise to make this point because I regret that this type of reporting can cast this sort of question on Ontario Housing developments. It is quite evident that we do have problems in some of the projects, which we hope we can deal with effectively, but unfortunately these erroneous stories only create more questions in the minds of persons when we are trying to deal with Ontario Housing developments. It is regrettable that this type of story would appear.

Mr. Sargent: You haven’t got much to talk about. Build some houses.


Mr. S. Smith: On a point of privilege. Last Tuesday, Mr. Speaker, in response to my question concerning a decline in multiple dwelling starts the Minister of Housing implied that we had our facts wrong in that we had not included condominium starts.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: If I can correct garbage I can correct you too.

Mr. S. Smith: Well, these were CMHC statistics, and I have checked with the CMHC, which assures us that in fact those statistics do include both rental and condominium starts in Ontario. I rise to make the point, not merely because we were told we have our facts wrong for a change, but also to ensure that housing policy in the province not be dislocated by a mistaken idea on the part of the minister.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: On the point of privilege, Mr. Speaker, at no time did I indicate in the comments during that question period that I questioned the figures that had been produced by the hon. member. I said that in Ontario, when we calculated our apartment starts we did not include condominium starts, as was done in many other jurisdictions. I did not suggest that his particular figures were not correct.

Mr. S. Smith: On a point of privilege, if I may respond to that --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I think the record will show what was said.

Mr. S. Smith: The record will certainly show what was said.

Mr. Lewis: You may have meant to state that, but you said the reverse at the time. I think you did.

Mr. Yakabuski: You are out.

Mr. Nixon: You don’t have to go to the record now.

Mr. Yakabuski: You are out, Albert.

Mr. Speaker: Oral questions.


Mr. Lewis: It is difficult to respond to the statement by the Provincial Secretary for Social Development. May I ask her this question to begin with: Can she tell the House what the judge’s final recommendation was --

Mr. Roy: Hey, Paul: Bye, bye.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. Leader of the Opposition has the floor.

Mr. Roy: It is the member for Renfrew South. Throw him out.

Mr. Yakabuski: You’ll be sorry.

Mr. Lewis: Can the minister indicate what seems to be missing from her report today, and indeed from the document she provided in confidence to the leader of the Liberal Party and myself: What did the judge actually recommend in his disposition of the Norma Dean case? Did he in fact recommend no training school but the Oakville assessment centre?

Hon. Mrs. Birch: Mr. Speaker, the judge in the transcript that I read recommended that Norma be sent to the training school, which is the Oakville Reception and Assessment Centre.

Mr. Lewis: Let me try to understand -- Oakville isn’t a training school. At Oakville they have an opportunity to send children to different places depending on their diagnosis do they not? Is the minister sure that the judge didn’t specifically recommend against training school in his decision?

Hon. Mrs. Birch: No, Mr. Speaker, I am not.

Mr. Lewis: I’ll put the question, to broaden it if I may, to the Minister of Health. Is the Minister of Health happy with the practice of the single most sophisticated treatment centre in the Ministry of Health services for children -- Thistletown, in the public sector -- is he happy that Thistletown should itself be laying charges against children under its care, as happened on at least two occasions to Norma Dean, as indicated in the statement today?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I’m sure the Leader of the Opposition knows I expressed real concern when I learned that we had laid the charges. Because, frankly, I did not know this had happened before, I asked for an explanation: (a) had we done this in the past and, (b) what were the reasons or justifications for doing it in any case, let alone this specific one? I did learn that it has been done in the past -- not frequently; I think once in 1974 and five or six times the following year, and I think three or four times this year -- as a means of therapeutic treatment rather than as a means of punishment.

The staff did it, not in a fit of anger or in an attempt to punish the young lady in this case, or in others with whom they’ve used the same technique, but after very careful consideration as to whether that person was psychotic or not, whether they were able to understand reality or not and, if they could understand reality, then whether they should not be made aware of the court processes and benefit, if necessary, from the decision of the court.

I was asked whether the system worked in this case, and my answer was that human beings were making subjective assessments -- a number of them. Based upon the sum total of their assessments -- not necessarily unanimous -- they assumed this was the route to follow. I’m sure those same human beings are more upset than the Leader of the Opposition and I are about the final outcome because they operated, I believe, in the best interests of this patient and with a great deal of continuity, rather than with the disjointed approach that was alleged in the beginning. I believe they sent her to the court so that she might be properly assessed in their opinion and have entry, if necessary, to training schools but not necessarily sent to one.

Therefore, having listened to my staff’s comments, I would accept that they were operating within the normal, accepted rules in force today. I can assure the Leader of the Opposition that I, and I’m sure my fellow ministers, are going to be looking at those rules to see if we can’t improve the techniques open to our staffs, rather than simply condemn them out of hand. That’s what we will learn most, I think, from this particular case.

Mr. S. Smith: To the Minister of Health: If, as appears in the report, which the minister was kind enough to give me to look at, that the waiting period at Youthdale Camp denied the young lady the opportunity to go to the preferred treatment setting, can the minister explain to us how it is that with a five- to six-week waiting period for such services there still remains such a severe shortage of proper treatment facilities for adolescents in Ontario, particularly those with a structured setting?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I think we have 28,000 children, one way or another, getting some kind of care right now in Ontario, either for emotional disturbances or mental health problems. It is obvious then that we’re taxing a number of our facilities. I think one needs to read, and the member should take the time to read pretty carefully, that information we’ve given him to see whether Youthdale really was in sum total the best place. One of the things we have to dispel is the idea that somehow a training school is by nature a penal colony. It is not.

Mr. Lewis: Oh, come now!

Hon. F. S. Miller: Oh, come on. I can’t make the invitation because I’m not Minister of Correctional Services, but I think, for those who haven’t seen it, it mightn’t be a bad thing to see the very school this young lady was sent to, to gain some idea of what goes on there and to dispel perhaps some of the impressions that she was sent to a “hole in the wall,” Don Jail-type of thing.

Mr. Lewis: No one said that.

Hon. F. S. Miller: No, but people allege this about the training school. I don’t mean the Leader of the Opposition -- let me make that understood -- but people less aware of what the training school’s role is have alleged that in this case.


Mr. Lewis: May I ask another question following directly from this? Since the report also shows there was no rural setting available under the grandiose four-phase system for this young girl, whether it be Youthdale or anything else -- nothing available in the province of Ontario at that time for a young, female adolescent -- doesn’t that make the minister think -- 28,000 children or not -- that the crisis we face in alternative facilities for emotionally disturbed adolescents has now caught up with us and that something must be provided on an emergency basis?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Obviously I and the other ministers would like more facilities. I recall the hon. member’s speech, I think a year and a half ago, during my estimate debates on this very topic. We’re not at odds on this matter at all. I just don’t have enough facilities, yet at the same time we’re doing, I think, a pretty good job with the ones we have.

I’m not sure we’d ever have enough, if one is honest, if we look at the figures some people have on the number of children in need -- what is it? -- nine or 10 per cent estimated in some cases. We just have to find better ways, I’m sure, of dealing with some of the problems.

Mrs. Campbell: In view of the statement by the Provincial Secretary for Social Development as to the quality, if I may call it that, of care in the Kawartha area, would the minister not give consideration to calling upon Thistletown and others like it to review with him their recommendations, since obviously there was no psychiatric assistance available to this child but rather the assistance of a clergyman and a social worker? Would the minister not think there should be something other than that kind of treatment in a case as complex as this?

Hon. F. S. Miller: One of the things that may be lost sight of in all this is the number of multi-disciplinary discussions that went on about this young lady. I can point out, and the record the hon. member has will show, that while sometimes written records didn’t get to a certain destination until several days either just before the young lady was transferred or just after, the fact is that in most instances the receiving people had oral communication either direct, face to face, or by telephone with each other prior to and even after transfers. I believe the member will find, and her leader has the information, that the assessment of those people who were psychiatrists and trained in that area was that this young lady was not so much in need of their care as perhaps the setting she ended up in.

Mr. Lewis: If the Minister of Health is so concerned about establishing alternative facilities, how is it that the single highest priority in the children’s mental health centres branch, the Niagara region centre for youth care, has not yet been funded despite the overwhelming support in the Niagara regional community, despite the availability of excellent professional and child-care staff and despite endless requests to the ministry to set up such a treatment centre before further crises present themselves?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I’m very familiar with that particular group and I’ve talked to them both while cabinet was down that way and on an individual basis several times. I simply haven’t the money to meet every single need in the ministry but I hope that I’ll have their money in the coming year.

Mr. Lewis: That’s interesting because, by way of supplementary, am I right in understanding that the minister has now promised them something like $50,000 a year effective November 1, 1976, a shortfall of just about $850,000 to $900,000 of what they need to start operating? What are the priorities in the ministry? Let us understand for a moment: What are the priorities in the ministry when there are 139 children, by the admission of the Provincial Secretary for Social Development, inappropriately placed in training schools under section 8 alone, and there is a whole treatment centre model ready to go in a critical area of Ontario, and the minister can’t find the money for it?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I think the member will find some money has flowed to Niagara in the last while. I believe he’ll find they have at least $50,000 in this year’s budget.

Mr. Lewis: That’s what I said, $50,000. What can they do with it?

Hon. F. S. Miller: At least I think that’s a beginning. That is, as the member quite properly said, at the very top of our list for future funding.

Mr. Haggerty: I’d like to direct a supplementary question to the minister. Has the minister given any consideration to use the existing buildings, such as the nurses’ residences built in the city of Port Colborne and the city of Welland and throughout the whole Niagara region, which are now vacant?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I don’t know that the buildings are stopping us from having programmes. We do have vacant buildings. I don’t know whether they are suitable or not. I’m not going to guess today. The key thing is not building costs but operating costs that one has to look at.

Mr. Lewis: To the Provincial Secretary for Social Development: Now that the facts are coming together about what occurred before Norma Dean’s death, can she tell us when the government intends to make its statement on the repeal of section 8, the transfer of the 139 children, to which alternate facilities the transfer will be made, and what she then intends to do about section 9? Is there a timetable for all of this, or is it just the minister’s personal wish?

Hon. Mrs. Birch: Mr. Speaker, I’m putting the report together as quickly as possible, and will be taking it forward to my colleagues in the cabinet for their approval.

Mr. Lewis: Can the minister tell us when she will be doing that?

Hon. Mrs. Birch: No, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary: Would the minister not agree that the need in the province right now is for health related facilities for adolescents to be available in a more structured way that could, in fact, have closed doors, at least on a temporary basis, and for the correctional facilities to have more health facilities attached to them, such as a psychiatrist on the premises available to deal with cases of this kind, to dispense medication and so on?

Hon. Mrs. Birch: Mr. Speaker, I think there has been a need identified in that area and those recommendations will hopefully be coming from the inquest that will be called, and certainly from our investigation in this whole area.


Mr. Lewis: One last question of the Minister of Health -- I’m sorry to have taken the time -- regarding his important announcement today about the funding for the public health nurses. I believe that’s what the announcement had to deal with. Is he sending a letter of notice to all of the medical officers of health, to the members of health boards across the province who have not reached a settlement, encouraging them to do so now that the minister has provided this support for parity and indeed that the Anti-Inflation Board has granted wage settlements significantly above the guidelines in certain of the units that have settled?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, on October 28 we sent one letter to the boards of health of the province of Ontario outlining our willingness to see the gap closed. I felt perhaps that it appeared to relate only to the future rather than to the past. Therefore, I made the statement today to clarify that letter a bit, because I’m sure the way letters are read, the commas, etc., will be taken into account.

Insofar as my saying, “Give it away and settle,” then I would be right at the negotiating table with them in that sense.

Mr. Lewis: You are.

Hon. F. S. Miller: I think I have fulfilled my mandate when I have told them that my share, whether it be 25 or 75 per cent, is available for them, and surely then we can assume that local negotiations can carry on from there, either on the basis of voluntary binding arbitration, which some may do, or the traditional negotiating means.

Mr. Lewis: Supplementary, if I may: Can the minister explain or clarify or elaborate on the letter sent from the director of the health promotion branch to the medical officers of health of Ontario dated October 29, 1976, re pre-school health assessment, which takes away from the public health nurses in Ontario the right they have practised for years to use stethoscopes and otoscopes as a means of a pre-school health examination and seems to us to undermine his entire programmes to develop nurse practitioners and alternative, less-expensive forms of health care? Why is the minister bowing to the doctors on this one?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I haven’t personally bowed and I’ll be glad to look at the letter.

Mr. Bounsall: I gather from the Minister of Health’s remarks that he’s taking no steps to ensure the public health boards do not do what they did in 1974 -- 80 per cent of them, 28 out of 36 -- not accepting his moneys? He is taking no steps to ensure that the same sort of thing does not happen again in this statement in which he provides moneys for that portion of the provincial budget only, which he supports?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, it’s a nice line. One day they tell us we mustn’t interfere in local autonomy, the next day they tell us we must. We have done our part in this. We have already said the funding is available, and we believe that local decisions should be made locally. That’s the way we’ve left it.

Mr. MacDonald: One day you will, the next day you won’t.

Mr. Bullbrook: Supplementary?

Mr. Speaker: All right. One final supplementary, because we have been about 17 or 18 minutes on this question.

Mr. Bullbrook: I don’t want to take too much of your time.

Mr. Speaker: It’s all yours.

Mr. Bullbrook: Is the minister assuring us that this infusion of money from the provincial purse will settle the contract dispute?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I think that gets back to the question just asked. If used, yes. If not, no.

Mr. Bullbrook: By way of one final supplementary --

Mr. Speaker: A final, final, supplementary.

Mr. Bullbrook: -- what assistance would the minister recommend to his colleague, the Minister of Labour (B. Stephenson), to give the nurses that much-needed assurance?

Hon. F. S. Miller: My colleague, the Minister of Labour, has done her utmost in the last year to bring these two parties together.

Mr. Bullbrook: The last year? Think of it -- a year.

Hon. F. S. Miller: I have been present with her when she talked to the boards --

Mr. Sargent: What has she done in the last week?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. F. S. Miller: I have been present with her when she talked to the ONA and she has worked very hard to see that some acceptable form of negotiation was worked out.

Mr. Roy: Obviously she is not very effective.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Short of the particular piece of legislation which the hon. member for Sarnia has placed before the House and which, in effect, as I read it, takes away the right to vote from these nurses, I don’t know of any other solution.

Mr. Bullbrook: When you read it in context, it doesn’t say that.


Mr. S. Smith: A question of the Premier, Mr. Speaker: Without labouring the issue at all, is the Premier prepared to arrange a change in the policy of his government regarding the seeking to recover the home buyers grant money that has gone to people who, in fact, did not legally deserve to have that money? Will there be a change? Will he change his mind on this?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, as I heard the discussion on Tuesday and statements made by the minister, there is not a policy of this government not to recover money that was wrongfully obtained. In any cases where illegality has been established in a prima facie way, they will be pursued. I think what the Minister of Revenue (Mr. Meen) explained to the House -- and I won’t get into linear extrapolation --

Mr. Singer: Oh, that’s such a nice phrase.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I don’t totally understand it --

Mr. Reid: That makes two of you.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- I know the member for Wilson Heights does, as he understands everything else. I always bow to his comprehensive knowledge on all issues. I don’t share -- what was the question?

Certainly if we can find cases of wrongdoing, where people deliberately misled whoever was involved, they will be pursued as they should be. That has been the policy of the government and will continue to be the policy of the government.

Mr. Singer: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker?

Mr. Speaker: The member for Wilson Heights.

Mr. S. Smith: I haven’t asked a supplementary yet.

Mr. Speaker: All right. The member for Hamilton West, first of all.

Mr. Yakabuski: Why doesn’t he let his own members participate?

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, will the Premier not agree that the question at issue is simply whether or not the government will extend the audits past the end of this year in order to seek out those who may have received this money illegally? Surely that is the question. Will he tell us if he plans to do this or not? It’s quite simple.

Mr. Roy: How can you fine them if you quit looking?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I recognize the great interest the member for Hamilton West has on this subject and --

Mr. S. Smith: Come on!

Hon. Mr. Davis: No, no, I am trying to be very helpful.

Mr. Roy: Provocative, yes.

An hon. member: Stop being provocative.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I see no reason why, if particular situations are brought to our attention, that spotchecks can’t continue over a period of time. I do think that this is quite possible. To undertake to the Leader of the Opposition that all 9,000, if that was the figure, would be totally audited, I think that is something that would have to be looked at very carefully because it would take us several years to accomplish.

Mr. Reid: You won’t be here long enough to do it.

Hon. Mr. Davis: But if the public or those who were recipients of these grants were aware that spotchecking would continue over a period of time, I think that it might accomplish the objective we all have, which is to see that people who illegally were the recipients are held to account. I am sure the member for Hamilton West is not anxious in pursuing those where, perhaps because of language problems or misunderstanding, it was totally innocent on their part --

Mr. Nixon: Or they are elderly.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am sure he is not out to persecute those people.

Mr. S. Smith: If they had a shack in Korea.

Mr. Singer: Spotchecks will --

Hon. Mr. Davis: He is not that kind of a person. Nor am I. I think there is a distinction between those people who deliberately misled and those people who did not.

Mr. Reid: You are an expert on that.


Hon. Mr. Davis: I would only say I read with interest what the hon. member was saying in another committee in the last day or so and I’d have to congratulate him on his expertise on certain subjects. It was a great revelation to me and I am sure it was a great revelation to the Deputy Speaker (Mr. Stokes). However, that’s digressing.

Mr. Reid: He wasn’t quite as happy with it as you.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please, I think we should come over to this side. The member for Ottawa Centre, first of all.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: Recognizing the fact that the minister has argued that most of the people who may have wrongfully received the grants did so in error, and recognizing therefore that these people quite likely would like to know whether or not they had made a mistake, rather than having provincial gumshoes go to every door in the province to people who got the grants at great public expense, has the ministry considered simply asking, as was not done at the time of the initial grants, for people who got the grants to record their previous addresses and whether they were owners or tenants therein and therefore ensure a degree of self-enforcement on this programme?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I think that is a question the hon. member, who is so concerned about the footwear of civil servants in this province, might direct properly to the Minister of Revenue. What kind of shoes does the member for Ottawa Centre wear?

Mr. Cassidy: I’ll direct it to the Minister of Revenue.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh, the gum is not on his shoes, I see.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The Minister of Revenue did not hear the question.

Hon. Mr. Meen: Yes, I did, Mr. Speaker, but I didn’t expect that a supplementary could be directed to another minister.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. There is no reason why it can’t be. It’s a question. You can answer.

Hon. Mr. Meen: Certainly, if it is in order to answer the question, I can say that that is one avenue we are presently exploring to see whether that might be a possibility.

Mr. Singer: Supplementary: I wonder if the Premier is going to give any instructions about the payment of the two additional annual sums of $250? Or is it just going to go forward automatically based on spotchecks? In other words are we going to throw another $500 after the bad $1,000 that we’ve already paid out without anything more than spotchecks?

Hon. Mr. Davis: In reply to the hon. member for Wilson Heights, if that was a supplementary to the question from the hon. member for Ottawa Centre, or just what it was a supplementary to, I think it would be very advisable to direct that question to the Minister of Revenue.

Mr. Roy: Just answer the question.

An hon. member: You are impossible.

Hon. Mr. Davis: No, I’m not. I’m just saying to redirect the question.

Mr. Germa: Assuming that the Premier is genuinely interested in resolving the situation, would he direct his party members who are sitting on the public accounts committee to co-operate with public accounts so that they can delve into the matter and possibly shed some light on the subject?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would only say to the member for Sudbury, I’m anxious to solve as many problems as I can. I’m always attempting to do this.

Mr. Yakabuski: On a point of order --

Mr. Roy: Sit down.

Mr. Lewis: Your biggest problem is behind you.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would say to the member for Sudbury that unlike his party, where his leader directs him in everything he does, these people on this side of the House are very independent, conscientious people, who let their own judgement dictate to them what they do on various committees.

Mr. Yakabuski: On a point of order.

Mr. Roy: You are out of order.

Mr. Peterson: Supplementary: Would the Premier not agree that there is a much more important issue here in that the public perception is that there has been a very serious injustice in this case, that his government has put a price tag on justice, on which there is no price tag, and that he has an obligation to pursue it, regardless of the cost, to bring justice in this case?

Hon. Mr. Davis: The member for London Centre can have his perception. I have never presumed really to be in a position to say with any degree of accuracy what is the total public perception, so I will once again bow to his judgement in what he interprets to be his public’s perception. That may be totally wrong, incidentally; I just point that out to him. If the hon. member for London Centre is saying that if there are cases that are illegal that should be prosecuted, then they should be pursued, I totally agree.

Mr. Speaker: A final supplementary, the member for Renfrew South.

Mr. Yakabuski: It is not a supplementary, Mr. Speaker; it is a point of order. I was of the opinion that in this House we had a standard rule where three supplementaries were the limit.

Mr. Roy: You are out of order.

Mr. Yakabuski: I have noted in recent days that --

Mr. Roy: He is challenging your jurisdiction, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Yakabuski: -- supplementary questions are going as high as five, six and seven.

Mr. Reid: Who counted them up for you?

Mr. Yakabuski: If we are to maintain some semblance of order here, I think we should adhere to the rule that three supplementary questions are the limit.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member, I am sure, is aware there is no such rule.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. There probably should be. I might further explain that with the leadoff questions we usually allow a few more supplementaries than we do with the succeeding questions because they are the more important issues of the day, although not necessarily.


Mr. Sneaker: We will continue now with further questions.


Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, a question for the Solicitor General. Could the Solicitor General explain to us the results of his inquiries, and share them with us, with regard to when the coroner’s inquest, regarding the unfortunate Norma Dean affair, was scheduled? At what date was the scheduled date announced? Can he assure the House that the actual scheduling of the inquest took place before the Globe and Mail article appeared which brought public attention to the matter?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: No, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, can the Solicitor General explain to the House why it is that a suicide which has been represented by the Minister of Correctional Services (Mr. J. R. Smith) as the first such event in 22 years should have occurred with no date of an inquest having been set for over two months afterward until the matter was brought to public attention?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I do have some information on the matter in regard to inquests and the time of them. The interval varies from 26 to 114 days. The average number is 58.5 days for Metropolitan Toronto and outside Metropolitan Toronto the average is 78 days. Members will note that for outside Toronto there is the sum of 78 days.

I am not saying that the attention to this didn’t speed up the setting of the date but that date would have happened -- the setting of the date would have happened in a very few days anyway because it was actively before the chief coroner at the time this arose in the newspaper.

Mr. Lewis: Has the Solicitor General asked for an explanation of the delay in the process on this occasion and, if he has had an explanation, does it satisfy him?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Yes. When I say I asked for an explanation of the delay, I asked why there should be such a period of time and it was explained that it was not a delay, it was the usual course of time. There are various reasons for this. First of all, there is the gathering of evidence, the taking of various tests. They have to be sent in many cases to the forensic lab or something of that nature -- I am not saying that was so in this one but it is in many cases. Then they have to gather the witnesses.

One of the main problems out of town is the acquiring of courtroom space. So it is the gathering of evidence, the summoning of the witnesses and the scheduling of a court which has to be done in advance.

Mr. Eakins: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if I could ask the minister who will be the coroner in this case? Who has been appointed to conduct the inquest?

Mr. Sargent: Paul Yakabuski.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I understand that Dr. MacKay is the one who has been appointed, a regional coroner.

Mr. Singer: I wonder if the minister could advise us if it is reasonable to assume that the minister’s confusion about the provisions of the Act was shared by some of his officials and they didn’t know that an inquest was mandatory under the section of The Coroners Act which I read to him the other day?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: No, I am not ready to admit that. The minister does get confused from time to me but his officials never get confused.

Mr. Roy: In other words, you are the only incompetent one in the ministry.

Mr. S. Smith: May I ask the Provincial Secretary for Social Development a question? In view of what seems to be coming out, that an event occurred which was a unique and terribly unfortunate event, and the minister did not inform her, the coroner was not called until the matter was brought to public attention --

Hon. J. R. Smith: Nonsense. Not true.

Mr. S. Smith: I am sorry, the inquest was not called. Excuse me.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I didn’t say that at all. I think the coroner was notified promptly.

Mr. S. Smith: The inquest.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: It was the setting of the inquest date which was not done.

Mr. S. Smith: Forgive me. It was strictly a slip. The inquest was not called until the matter came to public attention. The matter seems to have been reported in the Lindsay press and yet the minister was not informed of what was happening. Is she not concerned that there seems to have been something of a rather callous or somewhat careless attitude on the part of the people who have dealt with this matter from beginning to end and the people who are making policy and implementing policy?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Ask your own member what he thinks.

Hon. J. R. Smith: Your own member was satisfied. He knew about it.

Hon. Mrs. Birch: I take exception to those remarks. I think that a great number of people, a great number of caring people, were involved. In speaking with this girl’s mother she assured me that she felt that a great number of people had dedicated a lot of time and effort on her daughter’s behalf. I disagree very heartily with the member that there had been any lack of concern for the whole five years and up to this point for this poor, unfortunate girl.

Hon. Mr. Davis: The Liberal leader’s own member is nodding his head in agreement. Why doesn’t he stand up and tell his leader what he thinks?

Mr. Nixon: The minister said she felt betrayed. The Premier must have spoken to her since she said that.


Mr. S. Smith: One more question: A question for the Minister of Education regarding the courses in Italian which I know he and I both agree are important and should be taught in the schools. Does he not have some concern that the funding for these courses is coming from the government of Italy? Could he not assure this House that he will find some way to fund these Italian courses in the normal way through the government of Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Wells: I think if my friend had read the story which appeared in the early edition of the Star today I said exactly that; that I viewed with great concern the fact that these courses are funded --

Mr. Sargent: Have the Premier go on a junket to Italy. Another trip for him.

Hon. Mr. Wells: -- directly by the Italian government under no formal cultural arrangements that have ever been signed by the government of Canada. We have been aware of this for over a year. I think we discussed this.

Mr. R. S. Smith: What have you done about it then?

Hon. Mr. Wells: We discussed this in the estimates last year. I indicated we would have a policy statement in this regard. It will be made very shortly. We have been working with the Toronto board and with the North York board and others concerning this particular matter and it has been under very careful review. I think we will come up with some solution.

Mrs. Campbell: In what year?

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary: I can appreciate the delay in the policy since I haven’t written it for him yet but could the minister make some comment on the comments quoted from one Michael Cobden, a spokesman for the Toronto Board of Education, who said their attempts to start programmes without Italian government funds have been hampered by the ministry red tape. He said it is “exasperating” and “they turn a blind eye to what is going on in the separate schools but keep us under the microscopic eye of the minister.” Would the minister care to comment on those remarks?

Hon. Mr. Wells: First of all the last thing in the world I would want would be for the Liberal leader to write any policy for me.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Or for Ontario.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Or for anyone else.

Mr. Reid: You adopted it.


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Peterson: He is not very well either.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Good for Montreal.

Hon. Mr. Wells: I have to say I have to be very concerned that he feels that the school system of this province is “in a shambles.” Certainly that kind of perspective would not lead me to ask him to contribute to any policy concerning that system.

Mr. Peterson: You are getting worse than the Premier.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Let me say that, of course, I disagree with what Michael Cobden has said. I suggest that perhaps he talks to the chairman of the Toronto board. Gordon Cressy and I may not agree on everything but I think Gordon Cressy would agree that we have been having dialogue about this particular matter.

We have been very much aware of the Italian government’s involvement with the Metropolitan Separate School Board. We have indicated to other public school boards that we didn’t think they should get involved in the same kind of programme and that together we should come up with programmes which could provide the same end -- that is, Italian-language courses as an add-on to the regular school courses -- but in a way which didn’t involve a foreign government in financing those programmes. We are working to that end.


If Michael Cobden thinks that things take a little longer than he desires, that’s his business, but he knows that the Toronto board presented to us in the summer the report of its committee on multiculturalism, and that very shortly we will have a response to that which will set the guidelines for what is going on. Michael Cobden and others might also talk to the North York board, which has been working on this same problem and is trying to work out some answers to the problem, and it is possible.

Mr. S. Smith: Just a brief final supplementary: Why does the minister not simply make the statement clear across this province that learning about the language and the culture of one’s ancestral group is a reasonable and valid part of anybody’s public school and high school curriculum, and simply acknowledge that fact and stop all this nonsense?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member seems to be debating the issue now. It is developing into another debate which is taking valuable time. If the hon. minister has a brief answer he may give it. No? All right, a final supplementary, the member for Oakwood.

Mr. Grande: The minister mentioned that very soon he will have this multicultural policy that he’s been talking about. May I remind him that the “very soon” means that this was promised in December of 1975, promised in 1976 and nothing has happened.

Mr. Speaker: And the question is?

Mr. Grande: The question is, what is “very soon” if it has already taken a year for it?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I think the question has been discussed adequately.


Mr. Johnson: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Health. Does he recommend that swine flu vaccine be given to young people between the ages of three and 20, as reported in the Toronto Star?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I can quite understand how the Star got its comments today. Yesterday I was being asked questions about the age group that we recommended for swine flu and somebody asked me if we were drawing a line at the age of 20 and I said, no, we weren’t, we would be fairly flexible in the programme, even though it had been recommended that children not get the shots. I had with me at that time, and I read from it, a Telex from the federal minister saying that children between three and 20, if they had chronic heart trouble or chronic breathing disorders, should have shots. What I didn’t clarify -- and I would like to have a chance to; I’m glad the question was asked --

Mr. Roy: That’s an abuse, he could have made a speech.

An hon. member: The new parliamentary assistant.

Mr. Roy: He could have made a statement. Cut him off.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. F. S. Miller: You’ve made me lose my point; you’re unfair to me. The memo from the federal minister quite properly pointed out that the vaccine for children had to be a special variety, and I had said in my comments yesterday that no children under 20 really should get the vaccine without a physician’s recommendations. I want to stress that again, that it has to be a physician’s recommendation, and there is, in most instances, a special vaccine which as yet has to be produced.


Mr. Deans: I have a question for the Premier. Can I ask the Premier whether his government will reconsider the existing policy which denies the people of Dundas the right to elect their public utilities commission for an extended period of time, as yet not determined?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I noticed the story in the Globe this morning, and I would expect that perhaps the Minister of Energy or the Treasurer or perhaps the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) and I will be discussing this, because as a result of that story -- about which I can’t get into in any detail, of course -- the answer to the question may have to be considered very carefully. I will undertake to have those discussions and have some statement for the hon. member either tomorrow or Monday.


Mr. Spence: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Transportation and Communications. What action has his ministry taken in regard to the prices charged by the oil companies that have leased service centres along the route of Highway 401, where we find that these oil companies are charging between 10 and 13 cents per gallon above the prices of gas stations in the municipalities?

An hon. member: Ripoff.

Mr. Spence: Mr. Speaker, we hear the travelling public saying that these oil companies are gouging --

Mr. Speaker: Thank you. I think the question’s been asked.


Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I’m very tempted to ask the hon. member to repeat the question. But --


Mr. Bullbrook: You’re really a wit, aren’t you?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

An hon. member: He might ask you to repeat the answer.

Hon. Mr. Snow: I believe I made some statement in the House last spring as to what the government’s intention was relating to the price of gasoline at the service centres on Highway 401. I explained at that time that the concessions or the franchises to operate those service stations are awarded on a tender basis and that the service centres pay a percentage of their gross sales as their rent for the site.

Mr. MacDonald: So you are sharing in the oil companies’ ripoffs.

Mr. Roy: In other words, you are a party to this.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please; order.

Hon. Mr. Snow: I also stated very plainly at that time that the increase in the price of petroleum since those leases were awarded, and also the increase brought about by the additional 10 cents federal tax had increased the sale price of the product and consequently the service centres were paying their rental percentage on those inflated costs. I stated at that time that we would be negotiating with the oil companies and that we would be deleting those additional costs from the base upon which the rental rate would be figured, on the understanding that the full difference in their rent that would be brought about by deleting those costs would be passed on to the motorist.

This is the action that we have taken, Mr. Speaker. I think it’s the only fair action that we could take --

Mr. Warner: What are the results?

Hon. Mr. Snow: -- and it will reduce the cost and will bring the rental received by the government back to what was anticipated in the original lease.

Mr. Speaker: The oral question period has expired.


Presenting reports.


Hon. Mrs. Birch presented the first annual report of the Ontario Advisory Council on the Physically Handicapped.

Hon. Mrs. Birch: Mr. Gerald Clarke, executive secretary of the council, is with us this afternoon in the Speaker’s gallery and I am sure all members will want to join with me in extending a warm welcome to Mr. Clarke and in congratulating our chairman, Mr. Edward Dunlop, and the 19 council members for their excellent report.

Hon. Mr. Snow presented the annual report of the Ontario Telephone Services Commission for the period ending December 31, 1975, and also the annual report of the Urban Transportation Development Corporation for the year 1975.

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

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

Ministry of Natural Resources

Ministry administration

programme ....................................... $27,114,000

Land management programme ....... 88,491,000

Outdoor recreation programme ....... 51,120,000

Resource products programme ...... 44,773,000

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. It’s very difficult to hear what’s being said in the Legislature. Will those who are carrying on their conversations please do it at a much lower level? Thank you.

Hon. Mr. Welch presented the first annual report of the Ontario Lottery Corporation.

Mr. Speaker: Motions.

Introduction of bills.


Mr. Foulds: During his statement today the Minister of Correctional Services (Mr. J. R. Smith) indicated that I was satisfied with the information that has been given to me by his ministerial officials with regard to the questions I raised the other day about the Thunder Bay jail. I would like to put on the record of the House that I am satisfied with the answers to the temporary particular difficulty, although I am not satisfied that the long-range solutions to the problems in that institution have been tackled by the ministry or are on their way to being solved.

Mr. Speaker: Orders of the day.


House in committee on Bill 130, An Act to amend The Planning Act.

Mr. Chairman: Are there any discussions or amendments to any section of the bill? If so, what section?

Mr. Swart: I have an amendment I’d like to move to section 4(2).

Mr. Chairman: Anything prior to section 4(2)?

Mr. Nixon: I want to make a comment on section 1.

On section 1:

Mr. Nixon: Subsection 6 says: “The moneys received by a district land division committee by way of fees in respect of applications made to it shall be applied by the committee to the extent required in payment of the committee’s operating expenses, including the remuneration of its members.”

Frankly, I don’t see why that has to be included in the bill. It seems to me those fees would go into the treasury of the municipality normally and in an instance such as this, where the committee is being established under special authority, the minister has the authority under section 2, I believe, for any moneys necessary to pay for the operation of the committee.

It seems to me an unhealthy state of affairs that through the fees it collects the committee pays its own salaries and expenses. I mentioned a couple of days ago when we were talking about this, that it’s almost like a police force in a tank town -- let’s say in another jurisdiction -- which pays its salaries by giving speeding tickets to outsiders coming through. There’s a kind of a conflict of interest there. If under the authority of the Legislature we are enabling the minister to take steps to see that these boards may be set up -- and I think it is a good idea -- I don’t see why we need this subsection stating that the money they take in is going to be used to pay their expenses and salaries.

I would prefer that that subsection be removed and that the fees taken in be remitted to some other fund, maybe even a consolidated revenue fund, and that we have the responsibility to meet the legitimate expenses of the committee as it unfolds and develops.

Mr. Chairman: Is that an amendment or just a suggestion?

Mr. Nixon: I’d like to hear what the minister says about it. I don’t see why we need subsection 6 and section 2.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I think the hon. member has probably touched upon it in his remarks. The purpose of that particular section was that, due to the fact we would not have a municipality or municipal organization in the particular area, some direction would be given to that committee as to how money that would be received in the form of fees would be handled because there would not be the municipality for the money to be turned over to. Of course each of particular areas would be subject to audit.


However, I must say that I don’t find it at all unacceptable to consider perhaps what the hon. member has said on the matter of all the fees received going to the consolidated revenue fund and, as is indicated under section 2, that the moneys required for the operation of these be appropriated by the Legislature. I don’t find that unacceptable.

Mr. Nixon: If there is agreement here, I want to say further that if it stays the way it is, the land division committees as established would set up a bank fund, a fund for themselves. I can imagine them sitting around saying, “That fund is getting down a little bit, boys.” While it would be subject to audit and there would be nothing particularly illegal about anything they would do, I don’t feel it is a healthy approach and I would move that subsection 6 of section 1 be deleted.

Mr. Chairman: Could I have that in writing?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I wonder if the hon. member would leave that for a moment? The one concern I have is that section 2 simply says, “any moneys required for the purposes,” and I believe we should have something in that Act, a section, which would deal with how the moneys that are collected by fees are handled. We should have something in there to indicate to that committee what it must do with fees it does collect. If he would leave it with us, we’ll try to put something together in the form of an amendment which might be acceptable.

Mr. Nixon: We will wait for the professional advice, certainly, but we could quite readily say in subsection 6, “The moneys received by the district land division committee by way of fees in respect of application made to it shall be paid into the consolidated revenue fund of the province.”

Mr. Good: Mr. Chairman, I have one question which maybe the minister could answer. The fees on applications made for severances are, I believe, controlled, for other land division committees, to $50 by statute. Would that apply to these land division committees?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Yes, the fees would be exactly the same as they are in the rest of the province. While I am up, sir, I would suggest that if the hon. member would simply write out that particular amendment for you, sir, it seems quite acceptable to me.

Mr. Nixon: Yes, I will add it.

Mr. Chairman: All right. We’ll revert to subsection 6 of section 1. Are there any other comments on any section of the bill prior to the one that concerns the hon. member for Welland-Thorold?

Mr. Cassidy: I beg your pardon; I had another amendment to section 1.

Mr. Chairman: Is it before section 6?

Mr. Cassidy: It is before section 6. I wasn’t aware that --

Mr. Chairman: We had called it. There were no comments prior to subsection 6 of section 1.


Mr. Cassidy: With respect, Mr. Chairman, that is a long section and I had understood that initially the reference was to a subsection of part 30(a). It turns out to be part 30(b) and I would ask the consent of the House to revert to section 1(30)(b)(i) for an amendment which I have already raised in the debate and I wish to ask the minister about.

Mr. Chairman: Is it agreed?

Mr. Nixon: Agreed.

Mr. Cassidy: Thank you. During the debate I mentioned the need to have land division committees elected locally or selected by a town meeting locally.

I gave the minister the wording of a possible amendment which he returned to me without copying. I’m afraid I didn’t get another copy to him but he did understand the intent of it and I wonder if he could comment on whether he is willing to accept such an amendment at this time?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Would the hon. member read his proposed amendment?

Mr. Cassidy: Yes, Mr. Chairman. It is in a bit of a scramble -- my typed copy is on its way up right now but I think I have pretty much remembered it. I move that section 1(30)(b)(i) be amended by deleting the words “such persons as he considers advisable” at the top of page 2 and by inserting a new section after section 1(30)(b)(i) as follows: “(2) The members of a district land division committee shall be selected by town meeting or shall be elected from the community or communities of the district by a procedure established by regulation and supervised by officials of the ministry.”

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Chairman, in fact there are two parts that are being suggested by the hon. member. I quite frankly would not be prepared to accept the matter of an election, a formal election -- that is, to go out with ballots and ballot boxes and nominations and this sort of thing -- for a land division committee. I have some concern about that. I don’t like to think that we would want a land division committee made up of people who would be then subject to whatever political pressures there may be as the result of their election to this board, when they are in fact dealing with such things as the severance of land. I think it would be much better to have them in some way less subject to an election sort of atmosphere.

On the question of selecting the members of that committee by a town meeting, that is not unlike what would occur -- has now occurred really -- in the selection of a local roads board, where the people who are in the area gather together and by a show of hands determine who from that particular area would serve or how many people would serve on their roads board.

That’s the way I certainly had intended it would be done. It wasn’t to be a matter of simply going around and selecting names out of the community to serve on this particular committee; it is much healthier, I think to have the people in the community select those persons they would like to have. Not an election, but rather a group of people getting together as they do now for local roads board and saying, “We’d like so and so and so and so to be our representatives from our area on this committee,” and have the same happen in other parts of the jurisdiction, whatever size the jurisdiction may be.

If we set up an election process it would concern me. If the boundaries of those areas started to change, if the population balance was changed, it could cause a problem. But the other idea of the town meeting, or a meeting of the citizens in the community to select their persons to serve, I have no objection to having those names submitted for appointment; they would be appointed.

Mr. Cassidy: I think what we might do is consider standing this section until a typed copy is available and then we can reach an agreement.

I’ll read that section again, though, because --

Mr. Chairman: Let me remind the hon. member that we do not have a formal amendment. Now if you want to just discuss the section, fine. But the Chair can’t consider an amendment has been proposed until in fact we get one.

Mr. Cassidy: I am sorry, I had a foul-up in my operation and I don’t have a copy of the amendment to give to the Chair if I’m to discuss it here as well. So if the Chair would bear with me.

The proposal is that the reference to the minister choosing such persons as he considers advisable would be dropped. Then there would be a flexible kind of two-pronged process and you could choose either way. “The members of the district land division committee would be selected by town meeting, or elected” -- now if you want those words “or elected” taken out, that’s okay -- “from the community or communities of the district by a procedure to be established by regulation -- ” which gives you the flexibility, given the fact that it is an organized territory and under supervision of officials of the ministry. If you leave out the election, you are happy with the amendment, is that right?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Yes, I’d like to see the amendment later. We can certainly hold it and deal with it when your printed amendment comes in.

I would just like to draw to the hon. member’s attention that he made reference, for example, to the area of Sault North where we do in fact have an elected planning board as a result of this special process. Well, their time period has ended.

One of the weaknesses in this process is the one he drew to my attention. That is that one particular segment of the population up there, namely the mobile home dwellers, are not represented and that I think is a weakness. This way those persons would be able to gather together and select their representatives who could well be appointed. I think it would be much healthier that way and to stay away from this formal election procedure. I would have no difficulty with that.

Mr. Nixon: I would like to ask, Mr. Chairman, since we’re discussing the Sault North situation, how did you conduct that election? Under what authority?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I’m afraid, sir, that was before my time as Minister of Housing. This was done by the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough).

Mr. Nixon: That wasn’t back when you were a Liberal?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: No, it was done long after that. It was performed by the Treasurer. It was back when the hon. member was one.

It was performed by the Treasurer at that time as a result of interest that had been brought to his attention by the people living in that area and wanting some control over land use and what have you. They attempted to establish a planning function for the people, but it was impossible to get them to agree on how that would be done. It was finally resolved that an election would be held at the same time that the municipal election was being held in the area, and they voted for their representatives almost on a ward basis up there. That’s how it was done. I don’t know by what authority. I can’t tell you. It’s working anyway.

Mr. Cassidy: I am sending a copy of the proposed amendment over to the minister now and one up to the Chair; then perhaps I can make the motion and we can get this matter disposed of. Incidentally, I understand you wound up by appointing the Sault North planning board, although the people you appointed had been earlier elected. Is that not correct?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Chairman, I think that was the procedure as it is in all planning boards’. But the people who were elected were appointed and, in fact, their time frame had actually expired; because they were in the process of moving along with their official plan development, I reappointed them again for another year so they just continued in their service. In fact, we are coming close to the time when there will have to be some other appointments made as well. Which may solve the problem you mentioned.

Mr. Cassidy: In fact, you might consider an election or selection at that time.

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Cassidy moves that Bill 130, An Act to amend The Planning Act, be amended by deleting the words “composed of such persons as he considers advisable” in clause 30(b)(i) of section 1 and by inserting a new subsection 2 as follows: “(2) The members of such district land division committees shall be selected by town meeting in the community or communities of the district and the procedure for such selection shall be established by regulation,” and by renumbering the remaining subsections in the clause.

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Chairman, the idea of a democratic base as close to representative of the people as possible is certainly a good one, but what is a town meeting? I mean, I know what it is but, in law, what is a town meeting? Is there a requirement that everybody be informed? Is there a requirement that such a percentage be there? What is a town meeting? Is it the boys having coffee in the back of the restaurant?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Chairman, I certainly wouldn’t want to give a definition of what the member for Ottawa Centre was proposing. However, as I understand the way it is done by the local roads board, all residents of the area who will be subject to whatever tax is involved in the local roads board are notified of a meeting. This is really done by one of the good citizens --

Mr. Nixon: Who would notify them? The minister?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: No, no. It is done by a member of the board that’s there. If it is a brand-new board that’s starting, I think the notification is sent out by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications for the start-up meeting.

Mr. Nixon: You would have to do it in this case.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: In this case we would have to send the notices to the whole area to advise them of the initial meeting to form their first board, yes.

Mr. Nixon: My point simply is that while I like the idea, and the phrase “town meeting” is sort of generally understood, it is not defined anywhere. There is no definition as to who is to be informed by whom. When they gather, where do they gather? And who stands up and says, “Now, boys, we are gathering here”? Does the minister go up and do it? Does he send somebody to do it? Really, the question is, what is a town meeting? We are going to have to define it.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Chairman, the point’s well taken and I am wondering if we shouldn’t consider the wording, because especially in the areas we are talking about there is going to be very scattered development in some areas and a lot of them will be seasonal areas. You would almost have to put in there the words “property owners and tenants” in order to include people who are living in mobile homes. The place is not too difficult; there is usually a place somewhere in the vicinity where people meet or can meet. Practically every community in the north, believe it or not, does have a church that they can attend, although some people down in this part begin to wonder.


Mr. Cassidy: Some of them never go to it.

Mr. Nixon: There is a liquor store.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I do appreciate the point that in order to see that there is proper notification to all of those citizens who would want to attend, something more than town meetings perhaps should be worded.

Mr. Cassidy: The words the minister is looking for would be something like this: “shall be selected by a town meeting after due notice to all property owners and tenants in the community or communities of the district.” Then it seems to me the rest is established when you say: “and the procedure for such selection shall be established by regulation.” It does delegate that from the Legislature to the ministry.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Wouldn’t it be better, rather than even talking about the words “town meeting”, to say “by talking about it to all property owners and tenants,” if you will. I am a little concerned about those areas where you don’t have a town, where all you have is a scattered sort of development in the unorganized territory.

Mr. Cassidy: Could the minister’s officials not come up with a draft between now and the time when we have finished the remaining amendments and we could stand down that item?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Sure.

Ms. Chairman: We will stand that section down and we will revert to Mr. Nixon’s amendment.

Mr. Nixon moves that section 1(6) be amended by deleting all the words after “he” in the third line and the following be added: “paid into the consolidated revenue fund of Ontario.”

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Chairman: Any discussion on any other section of the bill? If so, which one?

Mr. Singer: Section 4.

Mr. Chairman: I believe the member for Welland-Thorold (Mr. Swart) had something on section 2?

Mr. Swart: Mine is on section 4(2).

Mr. Chairman: Does the member for Wilson Heights have anything on 4(1)?

Mr. Singer: No, I want to talk to section 4(12) and (13).

Sections 2 and 3 agreed to.

On section 4:

Mr. Swart: It is to clauses 12 and 13 that my amendment applies.

Mr. Singer: On a point of order.

Mr. Chairman: The hon. member for Wilson Heights.

Mr. Singer: I thought the hon. member was directing himself to section 4(2). In fact, he is directing himself to section 4(12) and (13).

Mr. Chairman: It was my understanding when he spoke earlier that he was going to speak on section 4(2).

Mr. Singer: Yes, but he is talking now about the effect of the Municipal Board order and he has also indicated he is going to move that subsections 12 and 13 be repealed and be replaced. I wish to talk to 12 and 13 and I think I had the floor ahead of him. I intend to move an amendment and I would like my amendment to be dealt with first. It is just as simple as that.

Mr. Swart: On the point of order, I would point out that section 4(1) deals with subsection 5 of The Planning Act; that section 4(2) of Bill 130 deals with subsection 6 of The Planning Act. That is the one to which I wish to speak and it has several clauses including clauses 12 and 13. Therefore I suggest that my motion is in order. It deals with exactly the same thing as the member for Wilson Heights, and I think it is in order, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman: If both the member for Wilson Heights and the member for Welland-Thorold are dealing specifically with the same subsection, the spokesman for the official opposition has priority, I am advised.

Mr. Singer: Not in committee, Mr. Chairman, and he didn’t have the floor first.

Mr. Cassidy: He was up first.

Mr. Swart: In addition, I was on my feet first.

Mr. Singer: No, he wasn’t, Mr. Cassidy. You are wrong again. I had the floor and you recognized me, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman: I recognized the member for Welland-Thorold and then the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk had indicated he had something on subsection 6(1) and we went back to that. I really did see the member for Welland-Thorold on his feet prior to anybody, really.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Challenge.

Mr. Singer: But not on the section.

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Swart moves that subsection 2 of section 4 -- so there’s really no argument -- of Bill 130 be amended by substituting the following for clause 12 and deleting clause 13 of said subsection: “The Ontario Municipal Board shall, at the conclusion of the hearing, make a decision which may approve in whole or in part the minister’s order, or may reject such order or refer back such order to the minister for reconsideration. A copy of the Ontario Municipal Board decision shall be sent to each person who appeared at the hearing and made representation on the matter.”

It’s customary for all members of the committee to make copies of any amendments available to the minister and to other members who are interested. This is quite a complex amendment and I suggest that you should have made a copy of it available to all members concerned.

Mr. Singer: We could consider, in that context, that it is probably out of order, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Swart: I notice he only said “probably out of order.” He wasn’t too sure of his point.

Mr. Singer: No. It’s so badly worded it’s hard to understand. It is incomprehensible.

Mr. Swart: Mr. Chairman, may I speak to this amendment?

Mr. Chairman: You can speak to the amendment but I think it only fair that copies should be made available to the minister and to other interested members.

Mr. Swart: Mr. Chairman, I think the intent of this amendment is rather clear to everyone. The intent and the purpose of it is that property owners who are under minister’s orders in planning -- he has the right to make orders on any land in Ontario -- with regard to zoning or land use should be in exactly the same position as property owners in most other parts of the province, where they come under the municipality.

Mr. Nixon: On a point of order, Mr. Chairman, since we don’t have a copy of the amendment right now -- it would be much more helpful if the debate is going to proceed -- is it part of the amendment that subsection 13 be withdrawn?

Mr. Swart: Yes.

Mr. Nixon: Oh. That’s the matter of high principle that separates the NDP from the Liberals, do you remember?

Mr. Singer: That’s what makes it so confusing. They supported the government the other day on that very point.

Mr. Nixon: We may find that this is a very important amendment indeed.

Mr. Swart: I am glad you recognize it.

Mr. Singer: You are half-way along the way.

Mr. Nixon: How did you ever turn Renwick around?

Mr. Chairman: The hon. member for Welland-Thorold will please continue.

Mr. Swart: The matter really refers to the appeal procedure with regard to orders being made. In most parts of the province now, under municipal jurisdiction, where the minister has not made orders under section 2 of The Planning Act, the procedure is that the Ontario Municipal Board makes the decision after the passing of a bylaw by the municipality or by a decision by the land division committee. The Municipal Board normally orders that notices be sent out to all those people concerned and if there is an objection the Municipal Board makes a decision. That decision is binding unless it is appealed to the provincial cabinet.

However, under the circumstances now and proposed in Bill 130 which we have before us, the procedures basically up to the appeal to the Municipal Board are the same under this bill, but when it goes to the Municipal Board, the Municipal Board does not make a decision. It is only a recommendation to the Minister of Housing and this doesn’t give the same impartiality that an appeal does if it’s made to the Ontario Municipal Board and it makes the decision and then there’s the opportunity for an appeal to the cabinet.

Let’s just look at the situation and what can occur under the proposals in this bill. There would be an application made in some area -- some unorganized area -- or perhaps it would be a freeze made on the initiative of the minister, and a decision is made by the minister on the recommendation of his staff. There is then an appeal made to the Ontario Municipal Board by the property owners concerned where the order has been made and the same staff would appear at the Ontario Municipal Board to support the original order. Then, following that, it would be referred back to the minister to make the final decision and the same staff would recommend to him on the final decision.

Mr. Singer: That’s what I was arguing the other day.

Mr. Swart: I suggest that is not impartiality and does not provide the same degree of rights in this matter that it does if the appeal is made to the Ontario Municipal Board and it makes the decision.

Let me say that I and my party recognize that too many appeals to the cabinet could bog them down. I also suggest too many appeals to the minister can bog them down. But, in any event, if the majority of people -- Let me phrase that another way: If the people living in the majority of the populated areas of this province have the right to have an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board and the Municipal Board makes the decision, then the people in the rest of this province should have that same right.

I’m aware that the minister will probably say, “Yes, but we need to put on a freeze immediately in some areas,” and I concur in this. But even if he does need an immediate freeze, the freeze will be there. There will be the right to appeal and I’m the first person to admit this -- there’s a very grey area now in between the time an appeal is made to the Ontario Municipal Board in organized municipalities where they have official plans, but nevertheless there is fairly reasonable protection that transactions and buildings do not proceed during that period of time because the legislation can be retroactive back to the day of the passing of the zoning bylaw. They just don’t take the chance. I suggest the same thing would apply here.

Regardless of that, I think the people of this whole province should be treated in the same manner, have the right to make the appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board, the Ontario Municipal Board makes the decision and then, if they so wish, they have the right to appeal to the cabinet, not to the same minister who made the decision in the first place.

Mr. Singer: Mr. Chairman, actually, having now had an opportunity to read it and even the little PS from Mel to Mike down at the bottom of it, I find it most interesting. I find that the NDP, yet once again, has completely flip-flopped. Not only did they flip-flop, but the member for Ottawa Centre made a great speech at the beginning of the debate. He led off for the official opposition saying this was a wonderful bill and he and his colleagues were going to support it. His first phrase was: “We will support the bill.” Then the member for Welland South, is it, or Welland wherever it is?

Mr. Swart: Welland-Thorold.

Mr. Singer: Yes, he spoke after me and said what I was saying, which is really the essence of the amendment. It was all wrong; no way could he support it at all and that’s why he was going to do what the member for Ottawa Centre said.

Then finally the clincher was put on by the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) who got up and in his usual pedantic way, repetitious, erudite as he usually is, he elaborated on why they could in no way support the position that we took.

Mr. Cassidy: Erudite yes, pedantic never.


Mr. Singer: Mirabile dictu -- too wonderful to say -- as unusual as it is, they have seen the light.

Mr. Renwick: Stick around.

Mr. Singer: And now they come in with an amendment --

Mr. Nixon: The very section you read.

Mr. Singer: -- doing exactly what we said should be done and the reason we asked for a vote on second reading was that this should be done.

I must admit that I am glad that they’ve seen the light, that their speeches on second reading in fact mean nothing when you put them together with the speeches they make in the committee hearing. I can see no difficulty at all in supporting what they now put forward, because it’s exactly what we said on second reading and that is why we voted against the bill.

We talked about subsections 12 and 13 of section 4; nothing wrong with this at all. It shocked the member for Welland-Thorold, it shocked the member for Riverdale and certainly it flew in the face of the great statement made in the leadoff by the member for Ottawa Centre. Let me read into the record, just so it won’t be lost for posterity, the little note from Mel to Mike. “Mike: Do you approve of the above amendment? It is section 94 of The OMB Act that gives the right for the OMB decision to be appealed to the cabinet.”

Mr. Cassidy: I have nothing to hide.

Mr. Nixon: You should have sent it to us in a brown envelope, it would have become a sessional paper.

Mr. Singer: I’m sure you’ll recall, Mr. Chairman --

Mr. Swart: In this caucus, we consult.

Mr. Singer: Yes. No, The OMB Act is right behind the throne and I had it here, I read it and my reading was accompanied by the usual rude noises from those three gentlemen who are now sitting in the front row of the official opposition benches. However, I’m glad they have seen the light and I’m happy to say that we can now support their suggesting that they support what we said last Tuesday afternoon.

Mr. Ruston: Flip-flop.

Mr. Cassidy: Maybe the minister wishes to comment. I just want to say that when I spoke on this bill, I, like the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk, indicated support for it. In our case the reason for indicating support was the feeling that it was important -- and I discussed this with the minister -- to allow remote northern communities and other unorganized parts of the province to have some control over their own destinies and to take their consents and severances and that kind of thing out of the hands of Queen’s Park where they’ve been for too darn long. That was the most important principle of the bill, in our opinion.

The aspect which the member for Wilson Heights has objected to and which led him to change the position of his party as it had been earlier enunciated by the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk, was that it was so important to defeat something that had been in The Planning Act for many, many years, that the Liberal party was prepared to see the entire bill, including this decentralization of northern communities, go down the drain.

On Tuesday we had a rather interesting spectacle, because the first spokesman for the Liberal party got up and said he had some reservations but he thought the bill was okay. And the second spokesman got up and said he had rather more reservations, but he was so vaguely prepared to go along with it by the time that the member for Wilson Heights and the member for Sarnia (Mr. Bullbrook) had spoken, the Liberal party had gotten itself into full-fledged opposition to a bill which initially it was prepared to support.

I would like to suggest that our position is a good deal more constructive, because the --

Mr. Singer: Which one?

Mr. Ruston: Which one? Last Tuesday’s or today’s?


Mr. Singer: Tell us which position you are talking about.

Mr. Cassidy: The position that we have adopted right through the bill. We now have a bill which caters to the needs of northern municipalities, which the Liberal Party is never prepared to concede or to give credence to --


Mr. Ruston: Pretty weak, Mike.

Mr. Cassidy: -- and we are also now taking the opportunity to put people in those municipalities where ministerial zoning orders are in force under the same rules as people who are in other parts of the province.

The member for Welland-Thorold and I have had some very interesting discussions about these, because I have to confess that I initially --

Mr. Nixon: The member for Riverdale got involved at some stage.

Mr. Cassidy: -- I was not seized with the disparities that were involved. Perhaps I was overly impressed with the danger that the cabinet would be swamped, but I think the real position is this. The minister will probably get up and say the cabinet shouldn’t consider these types of appeals. Frankly, I agree with him if he says that. The problem is that the procedure right now, whether it is appeals arising out of OMB decisions on municipal zoning decisions, or whether it’s appeals against the minister’s rules, neither of those should go before the cabinet.

Those matters will get resolved in the Planning Act review on which Mr. Comay is going to make a report in the very near future. We in this House on this particular bill should be trying to bring the practice into line, whether it’s about OMB decisions about ministerial zoning orders or OMB decisions about local planning decisions.

Therefore, I would suggest that what we are proposing here is consistent, it is fair and it means that people are not put in a position where the minister is judge, jury, inquisitor and executioner on any zoning decision on which they may be seeking action where a ministerial zoning order or zoning freeze is in force. I am glad the Liberal Party is supporting the amendment by the member for Welland-Thorold and I hope the minister agrees to it as well.

Mr. Nixon: I would like to say something about it, particularly since the last speaker mentioned my name. It is true that we do believe there should be land division committees in the north.

Mr. Cassidy: Ah, but you didn’t vote that way.

Mr. Nixon: Oh, yes.

Mr. Cassidy: Oh, no.

Mr. Nixon: But I’ll tell you, Mr. Chairman, in my remarks the other day --

Mr. Cassidy: You would have killed the thing by your opposition.

Mr. Singer: Pretty weak.

Mr. Chairman: Order, please.

Mr. Nixon: -- we haven’t even come to grips with it.


Mr. Nixon: In the section coming up, section 5, I indicated in my previous address that there was the real meat of the bill because it was an attempt by the government to set straight a legal fiasco into which they had got themselves since they had not held hearings based on ministerial orders. This thing is a nice envelope of pretty paper around that kernel.

What they are intending to do is to establish a procedure so that there will be hearings and in the future they will not be declared illegal by the divisional court of Ontario when they proceed as they have been proceeding in the past. It was my attempt with the great support and strength of my colleagues in putting the argument before you -- and apparently it was very persuasive as far as the NDP is concerned -- to point out that it was a facade and a sham to escalate an OMB hearing, as if it had something to do with the final hearing, and leave in the bill a section which says that after considering the report of the Municipal Board, the minister may either amend, etc., or he can take any decision that he chooses.

It simply meant that the hearing would be established before the Municipal Board and then the minister when he got the report could do anything he wanted, throw it in the basket, reject it or say nothing about it, I suppose, he could even observe the order of the board if he chose, but essentially all of the power was with him. I called it a facade at the time. I said the people concerned would be misled -- and I know, Mr. Chairman, we don’t like to use that word in this House for some reason -- into thinking they were having some input into a final decision when in fact they should be pounding on the door of the minister.

I was quite interested in the response particularly from the member for Riverdale, a man for whom I have a great deal of admiration. I thought he would have trotted out McRuer, to tell you the truth, because there is a section in the McRuer report that indicates fairly clearly that there should be a position taken by a minister beyond all of these appointed boards. But the point I made and which was made by my colleagues at the time was that there is a clear procedure for appeals to the cabinet which is of course the highest political body and wields the power in this province without appeal except to the electorate. So it works beautifully and it works democratically, if the sections we were critical at that time were left out.

The member for Riverdale got so carried away he said this is a basic division in philosophy and principle between the socialist and the liberal. It was when he said that from his point of view it was one of those partings of the waters of the Red Sea that we decided it had to be voted on because we had stated our position and we knew their position was wrong. Since he was prepared to hammer their position to the masthead of the socialist party, the NDP, then we felt it could not pass through this House without a division in which the NDP was shown to be directly voting with the government on this matter which they themselves said was a matter of high principle.

I can only presume that one of the public relations people in their party has called one of their famous press receptions this afternoon because in a matter of this great concern the members of the press are obviously busy elsewhere.

Here is one of the most significant divisions in this House, where we are indicating as a party -- and we did when we were talking about it in principle as well as when we were talking about the amendment -- where we indicated clearly that the bill was bad, that it could not function effectively as far as these sections are concerned and I indicated that we were prepared to amend it. We were prepared and are prepared to amend it. It was only by subterfuge, in my opinion, that the hon. member for Welland-Thorold indicated that he wanted to --

Mr. Cassidy: Oh shame!

An hon. member: “Oh shame” yourself.

Mr. Nixon: -- talk about subsection 2, and in fact wanted to amend subsection 12, that he was able to --

Mr. Cassidy: On a point of order, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman: Point of order.

Mr. Cassidy: The hon. member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk has accused the member for Welland-Thorold of subterfuge. I believe that language is unparliamentary, and I would suggest it be withdrawn.

Mr. Ruston: That’s a nice word.

Mr. Chairman: I have a list of unparliamentary words and “subterfuge” doesn’t happen to be among them.


Mr. Singer: That’s right. You are wrong again, Cassidy.

Mr. Nixon: After all, I didn’t suggest that the hon. member has misled us -- that is something, of course, that we don’t permit here.

Mr. Singer: It wasn’t even deliberate subterfuge. He wasn’t smart enough to know.

Mr. Nixon: I’ll tell you, Mr. Chairman, that this is an instance, surely, where we will be able to keep the government on the right track in this connection. It appears that the amendment will carry. I think that the amendment, now that the NDP has seen the light, is a good one. I can’t see too much wrong with it although my colleagues may examine it and find something wrong with it subsequently. But I think, in fact it does precisely what we pointed out should be done by this bill. That is we must have hearings -- and the divisional court has said we must -- and if those are going to be hearings of any significance they must be binding, subject only to the normal procedure of appeal, not in and out the minister’s back door, but to the cabinet itself. Surely this is what the democratic process is all about.

Mr. Renwick: I feel as though I’m engaged in a Parkinsonian debate in the Legislature this afternoon and it is only because the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk raised the question that I would say that I prefaced my remarks by the word “if.” I said if this should be a matter of significant difference --

Mr. Nixon: Oh well, under those circumstances.

Mr. Renwick: -- between the Liberal Party and ourselves so be it. I didn’t say, of course, that it necessarily was.

Mr. Nixon: Well, you were in full flight. I thought that finally there was a difference.

Mr. Renwick: I always work within our caucus to bring about any healing of any division there may be between your party and our party, particularly when there’s a minority government and we’re anxious to have an election.

Mr. Nixon: Now you just stay --

Mr. Singer: Mr. Chairman, I’m very happy that my colleague, the member for Riverdale, got into this debate. It makes my reading of certain extracts of his remarks on Tuesday afternoon all the more relevant.

I think that we should not let this time go by without just paying some little attention to what the hon. member for Riverdale did in fact say on Tuesday afternoon.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Chairman, on a point of order, isn’t there a rule against repetition?


Mr. Singer: The member for Riverdale, you know, he’s quite a fellow. He sat back and gloried in being the last in the debate and I watched him carefully. This is one of his techniques.

Mr. Nixon: Another subterfuge.

Mr. Singer: And he was going to let everyone who had anything to say speak their piece and he was going to come up with the penultimate decision. He was going to either destroy the government or save them. In one fell swoop he was going to persuade his colleagues or even tell them, which way to go. It was very confusing, having listened to the member for Ottawa Centre, to find out what they were doing, except they thought it was a great statute.

The member for Welland-Thorold -- I’ve got a couple of his. They are not as good as the remarks of the member for Riverdale; I’ve got a couple of his comments. But he was fairly definite, he said, for instance: “I am also inclined to think, in spite of the court decision, with the other changes that have been made in section 4 of this bill, that you don’t need to say no notice or hearing is required prior to the making of an order. Certainly, generally, and I’m sure the minister will agree with me, there is value in consultation” before the order. Then he goes on to say section 4 as it stands is fine --

Mr. Swart: I did not. Read that.

Mr. Singer: -- and you don’t need the Municipal Board decisions to be binding. But as I say, the better remarks and the more lucid ones, repetitious and redundant as they were, come from the hon. member for Riverdale. He says: “We in this party don’t object to that provision.” That’s section 4(12) and (13). Now he said that. Those were his words. I’m not guessing what he said, he said it. “We think that the public interest, at this point in time in the province of Ontario, requires that the public interest in land use should be a matter ultimately, after proper hearings and after you consider the questions related to land use, must be matters of policy in the final analysis.”


He talks a little convolutedly. “They must be political decisions in the sense that they must be decisions of the government which must and can only be dealt with in the overall policy of the government and the way in which the people of Ontario accept that policy at the polls” -- this is all one sentence, I want you to know -- “when and if, as occasion may require, there is recourse to the electorate.”

“I do not think,” he says, “it is possible to make the argument that you can require the government to have the responsibility for its land use policies as a matter of policy on the one hand, and then suggest that provided the government has given an opportunity to hear fairly and properly both sides to any given issue, if occasion should require that be done, that it must then of necessity accept as final the decision of the Ontario Municipal Board.”

Mr. Chairman, you will recall this was after substantial reference had been made to section 94 of The Ontario Municipal Board Act; that’s the section that is mentioned in the note from Mel to Mike. Obviously the hon. member for Riverdale wasn’t listening, or paying any attention, and now thinks he is able to defend this amendment.

All I hasten to emphasize and repeat -- as many times as is necessary -- is that I wish the members of the official opposition would be able to get together sufficiently frequently to know what each other is thinking. When they say something on Tuesday afternoon, they should all be able to remember it at least as late as Thursday afternoon. In that way, maybe progress would be made with less posturing, less beating of breasts and less shouting from the three members who are inhabiting that front bench.

Mr. Wildman: I find it rather amusing to listen to this debate and hear the member for Wilson Heights say he thinks the members of the official opposition should get together more often to discuss things so they can all be in agreement, when one considers his party’s positions on many things and in may debates in this House. Also, I find his comments about posturing and so on rather amusing, considering the source of those comments.

I just want to make clear that our party, throughout the deliberations on our position on this bill, has been determined to ensure that people living in unorganized communities in the north should have some of the rights that residents of other municipalities throughout the province take for granted when it comes to land divisions and severances. Our position in supporting the bill on second reading was determined by the fact that we wished that these communities should have those rights. We are now attempting to amend the bill to try to make it --

Mr. Kerrio: As liberal as you can.

Mr. Wildman: -- the best we can, considering it is obviously sometimes difficult to give people in unorganized communities the same kind of rights that people have in the municipalities when we don’t have electoral bodies and so on.

Mr. Chairman: That’s under section 1 of the bill, not section 4.

Mr. Wildman: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Sock it to him, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Wildman: I just want to say the reason we are putting forward this amendment is that in addition to supporting the bill and accepting the principle that these committees will be set up, we now want to give the residents of the communities the same rights of appeal as they have in other municipalities and to ensure that there is as much unbiased approach to those appeals as possible. For those reasons we supported the principle of the bill last Tuesday, and I don’t see it as any contradiction to try to amend it to make it better here in committee.

Mr. Good: You never looked at it until five minutes ago.

Mr. Nixon: Just one additional comment before the minister speaks. I would like to quote from the “quick” Hansard of November 2, 1976, where Mr. Renwick says:

“But I do want to say if this distinguishes the New Democratic Party from the Liberal Party in the area of land use planning in the Province of Ontario, well, so be it.”

Mr. Renwick: That’s right. That’s right.

Mr. Nixon: It was on that basis that we decided that if he thought it was so important, it was necessary to divide in principle. This we did, and in case anyone happens to read this debate in history, it should be recorded again that the NDP voted with the government at that time.

Mr. Chairman: The hon. member for Welland-Thorold.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Come on, you guys.

Mr. Swart: Mr. Chairman, I don’t think anybody on this side of the House denies that we voted with the government.

Mr. Chairman: Let me remind all members of the committee that we have an amendment proposed by Mr. Swart and I hope you will address your remarks to subsection 2 of section 4 of the bill.

Mr. Swart: May I, with respect, point out, Mr. Chairman, that perhaps from my first sentence it would be difficult not to tell that I wasn’t going to deal with the amendment that we have before us.

Mr. Cassidy: It was a pattern established in the previous debate.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Order.

Mr. Swart: Mr. Chairman, I just want to say that even though every member of our party had been in opposition to this particular section we have under debate, we still would have voted for the bill in principle because it did give added local autonomy -- local decision-making -- to the people in the unorganized areas.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Including the region of Niagara.

Mr. Swart: Including the people in Niagara.

Mr. Nixon: That’s for local consumption.

Mr. Ruston: Do you think anybody will believe that, Mel?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Including the region of Niagara.

Mr. Singer: Why don’t you send for Stephen? Stephen will explain.

Mr. Swart: I think perhaps there are people in this House who would not believe it because there is a group in this House who don’t know what they believe.

Mr. Singer: That’s clever. That’s clever.

Mr. Swart: Mr. Chairman, I would like to point out again -- because it has been questioned --

Mr. Kerrio: You are going down for the third time now.

Mr. Swart: -- that there was no subterfuge in the amendment which I proposed --

Mr. Kerrio: With Mike.

Mr. Swart: -- that in fact the numbering in my amendment was correct. The confusion existed on the left down here because he just didn’t understand the numbering. Maybe that was because he didn’t have the amendment in front of him.

Mr. Nixon: You are pretty good with numbers. You are pretty fast on your feet too.

Mr. Swart: But the numbering was correct and I was in order. May I point out also that in excerpts that were read from Hansard there was no contradiction whatsoever. I thought the member for Wilson Heights would be quoting something that somehow or other would show there was contradiction in what I said, what the member for Riverdale said and what the member for Ottawa Centre said. There was no such thing at all in that.

Mr. Singer: Were you challenging the Chair or was he challenging you?

Mr. Swart: There was no such thing at all on that.

Mr. Singer: No, just reversal. Just reversal. That’s all.

Mr. Swart: In fact, Mr. Chairman, all the reading really proved was that the member for Wilson Heights could read, and that perhaps not too well. There is agreement in principle, Mr. Chairman, in this caucus on the bill.

Mr. Singer: Which principle? Is it Tuesday’s principle or Thursday’s principle you are talking about?

Mr. Swart: We may divide on some difference of opinion on a minor thing, but believe me the divisions of opinions in this caucus are not of the magnitude that anybody is going to walk across the House.


Mr. Nixon: The NDP has more positions than Masters and Johnson.

Mr. Swart: I finally want to say that the real division, and the one to which my colleague from Riverdale addressed himself, were in the general remarks from the speakers in the Liberal caucus Nobody could listen to them and come to any other conclusion than that they were against planning, period.

Mr. Ruston: Is this in the amendment?

Mr. Swart: And that is the philosophy on which we divided.

Mr. Good: You didn’t divide. We divided.

Mr. Singer: I’ll be back. Hold on to my seat for me while I am gone. I want to make a phone call.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Chairman, I just want to point out that we were totally consistent on Tuesday and we are totally consistent today. The Liberal Party on the other hand was not consistent on Tuesday at all --

Mr. Renwick: It was totally consistent for them.

Mr. Cassidy: I want to read into the record very briefly the comments of the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk who did express concern about the section that we are now amending.

Mr. Nixon: Right. You didn’t.

Mr. Cassidy: He then said: “So I certainly have concern in this.” He went on to say: “I believe that since it is before us in principle, the matters for establishing the land division committees in the north and so on, it would be ridiculous for anybody to propose opposing that bill because, of course, there are some good parts in it.”

Mr. Nixon: It was then proposed by the member for Riverdale to be a matter of principle dividing the parties.

Mr. Cassidy: It’s a pity the member for Wilson Heights has left because he then chose to take exactly the ridiculous course of action that the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk had warned against. The member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk then suggested that the Liberal Party might have some amendments on this particular section. That is precisely what we have done. I think it’s a responsible and consistent way to act.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Chairman, I have thoroughly enjoyed the last few moments.

Mr. Nixon: But you are going to lose the vote. How are you going to enjoy that?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I must say, having been here at the time these remarks that have been requoted into Hansard were made by the various members, and having listened to the inconsistencies that have been charged by one group to the other, I guess I’m the only one who was consistent in the whole thing.

Mr. Ruston: You are wrong all the time.

Mr. Swart: You are consistently wrong.

Mr. Ruston: You made one major mistake about five years ago.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: There are a couple of points I’d like to make on this bill. First of all, there is some suggestion by both of the parties opposite that what is being proposed in the bill has some sort of a mysterious quality about it, that the minister, to quote the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk, is going to have them slip in the back door, throw them on the floor and pay no attention to them.

Mr. Nixon: No. That is something else you’re thinking of.

Mr. Kerrio: You’re relishing this.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: When you suggest that the only way justice can be dispensed would be to have a whole series of appeals and hearings, to have the necessity of sending each and every application, each and every request for a hearing or for an appeal to the cabinet, I really wonder if you’re serious about wanting that to happen. If you take a look at this whole province, and we’re talking now not only about the unorganized territories, I must agree that these people should be given the same opportunity as anyone else has to go through the processes. But we’re talking about such areas as Cavan township, where there are thousands and thousands of lots -- I may be overstating the case -- hundreds of lots which are all going to have to be dealt with practically individually because of the checkerboarding that’s gone on down there, and where we have a minister’s order on.

Mr. Nixon: It was permitted under this Conservative government.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: There are other areas, for example, over in the area represented by the hon. member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon) in the Haldimand-Norfolk area where there are some zoning orders on, where we’ll be dealing with individual parcels of land. You’re always going to have these areas of conflict.

Mr. Nixon: They have a full planning board there, established under regional government. It has been going for over three years. Why do you think you can do it better than they can?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: But there is a zoning order on the land, and if there is an appeal from that zoning order, it would go under the process we have in the amendment to the Ontario Municipal Board. From there you’re suggesting if there’s an appeal from the Ontario Municipal Board’s decision, as is proposed in the amendment by the hon. member for Welland-Thorold, each individual appeal would have to come back to cabinet to be dealt with in that usual process.

Mr. Nixon: You can hear any appeals you want in cabinet.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: As long as you understand that that is what you are proposing and that that’s what you want to see happen. Quite frankly, I’ve listened to the debate both on second reading and here again today and I must confess that the eloquence of the members opposite has influenced my decision considerably.

I have listened to the member for Riverdale, for whom, like yourself, I have great respect. I listened to him here on Tuesday when we dealt with this, and I must say that he totally convinced me that I was absolutely right in my position on that bill. It was the same with the member for Ottawa Centre. He convinced me I was right. I took the advice of those two gentlemen, as I have on many other occasions, and said I must be right. It gave me cause for concern, but I felt they were right. I listened to Mr. Justice Singer -- I’m sorry, the hon. member for Wilson Heights -- and he made some sense. I find myself in the very difficult position to have to suggest to you that I think I will accept the amendment and will allow it to stand.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the debate that’s gone on between the Liberal Party and the New Democratic Party, and I would be pleased to listen to any further comments you want to make at each other. I think we could accept the amendment.


Mr. Nixon: Very good.

Motion agreed to.

Section 4, as amended, agreed to.

On section 5:

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Don’t push your luck.

Mr. Nixon: We may not get there. But this is another matter of principle.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: You never even made principal. What are you talking about? You left.

Mr. Nixon: You don’t even know how to spell.

I just draw to the members’ attention the wording of subsection 1 of section 5: “No order or regulation heretofore made in exercise of the powers conferred under section 32 of The Planning Act is invalid by reason only of any deficiency in the making or bringing into force of such order or regulation, including the lack of a hearing at any time prior to the coming into force of this section.”

In other words, it means if we have made mistakes in the past -- and this is an admission that the government has because the divisional court of Ontario has declared invalid the ministerial orders that have come before them under these circumstances -- the government or the minister wants us to say that although they have made mistakes in the past because of not having adequate hearings and so on, all of this is reversed and we as a Legislature are asked to declare all of those decisions declared invalid by the courts to be now valid and retroactive.

This is the heart of the bill. I have a feeling that the minister, being naive as he is --

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Uncalled for, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Nixon: -- was thinking that he was going to cloak the nut of this bill in all of this other peripheral material that we have been discussing and allow it to slide through. The explanatory note says: “The effect of the section is to provide that previous orders of the minister made under section 32 of the Act are not subject to being declared invalid …”

I personally believe we would be remiss in our duty if we voted for section 5. The minister may say that there are areas which are presently under ministerial order in which he must make every decision as to a severance, he must make every decision as to a building permit whatever the circumstances may be, and he is indicating that he wants those orders made retroactive and validated by action of this House.

I mentioned to the House that in my own area in Haldimand-Norfolk there is a tremendous area under ministerial order and has been now for close to four years. That whole area has been for three years subject to regional government -- Jim Allan, a former member, a friend of ours, can tell you all about the political ramifications of that decision with all of the planning powers that were justified -- or let’s say that were the justification for regional government at the time. I can hear Mr. McKeough and Mr. Meen and others say, “How can we plan for this growing area if we don’t have these special and important regional planning powers” that were given to them by a majority of the House at that time.

The powers are there for planning in those areas and I submit that powers for planning exist in most parts of the province. The days when some kind of a construction firm like Multi-Malls goes into the city of Chatham and discovers that there wasn’t an easy way to build a shopping centre in Chatham but they could go a mile outside Chatham and put up a $7-million establishment there without any sewer connection or any water other than welts -- the sewer connection was the septic tanks at that time -- and get it approved, those days are gone. I just recall to your mind that I’m talking about the town of Chatham where the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough), who is not in his place here, the father of modern planning in this province, sits and lives in the backyard and hasn’t bothered any regional government or anything down there.

Mr. Ruston: He is afraid of it.

Mr. Ferrier: Did the member for Essex (Mr. Ruston) lobby for the shopping mall?

Mr. Nixon: I would say to you, Mr. Chairman, that if we do not support section 5, it will in no way throw the planning procedures of this province into any kind of chaos, as the minister may argue. He can bring orders again today or tomorrow on those lands, subject to the requirements under the amendment to Bill 130, which I’m sure he would want to live up to, saying okay, the minister has put the orders on them, now let’s have a Municipal Board hearing.

There is nothing unfair about that, and in fact it restores justice in a very real sense. It’s a matter of concern to me that it is possible that section 5 must be carried by this House, because I would feel it would fly in the face of all of the democratic principles that those of us elected to this House are really required to uphold. I urge that the members here who will examine this section will see that it should not be passed. We don’t have to move that it be deleted but we intend to vote against section 5.

Mr. Singer: Mr. Chairman, I rise to support as strongly as I can the remarks made by the hon. member from Brant-Norfolk-Haldimand.

Mr. Nixon: Brant-Oxford-Norfolk.

Mr. Singer: Brant-Oxford-Norfolk. Right. It seems rather strange that the government, having yet again stubbed its toe on legalities, would think that the way we get rid of this bad draftsmanship, this improper procedure, is to bring in a blanket excuse and put it into the statute and say “whatever we did wrong is now right.” The wording is poor, it’s far too widely drawn. Surely there is some sense in the kind of procedures that we have established, as a result of that old Bill 99, the report of James Chalmers McRuer, the civil rights statutes, the various new appeal bodies, the creation of the divisional court, notice, all these things -- surely there’s some sense in that.

If we allow all of those new steps which were guaranteed to provide hearings to bind the government by its own statutes -- to stick by the rule of law so that in fact it is the rule of law, and not the rule of men -- and if we throw that all out the window because the minister or his advisers made a mistake and are now going to be corrected this day and forever more by saying the minister can do no wrong, it’s a very bad principle we’re establishing. As my colleague said, a negation of the democratic principle.

Mr. Nixon: He is right.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: He is not right.

Mr. Singer: Surely, if the government wants to rewrite the statute it can bring in an appropriate amendment which will still preserve individual rights as well as setting forth the ideas of the ministry. Surely it has to be wrong in principle that every time a court says, “No, you can’t do this. We have a statute,” and the majority of this House votes to overrule what the courts have already decided. Surely that’s a negation of the democratic idea. That’s what they’re doing.

Mr. Renwick: No.

Mr. Singer: No? The member for Riverdale is off again. I can hear from his granting over there that he’s going to get up and once more defend the right of a legislature to override important democratic principles. To coin a phrase, if that’s the difference between the NDP and our philosophy, so be it.

Mr. Nixon: So be it.

Mr. Singer: So be it, yes. We believe that Section 5 is an improper expression of the democratic principles that should apply to the people of the province of Ontario. We believe section 5 as it is presently drafted should not be in the statutes and we’re going to vote against it.

Mr. Swart: I want to say, Mr. Chairman, that I have not really been convinced by the arguments put forward by the speakers on the left.

Mr. Singer: So be it.

Mr. Swart: I might have been more convinced if they had moved an amendment to section 4, subsection 1, where in the new bill it says, “No notice or hearing is required prior to the making of an order under subsection 1” --

Mr. Nixon: That is reasonable.

Mr. Swart: I might have been more convinced than that we should support them on section 5. However, when they did not do that and when it would appear the intent of the original Act was relatively clear in this respect, and the courts in the one case have turned it back, to go through all the court hearings again, or to go through all these procedures again, doesn’t seem to be a very practical way of dealing with it when the intent was there. I suggest that the intent, when it was there, meant you would apply more retroactivity by doing what was proposed than by going along with the bill that is before us.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Chairman, I think this kind of point, which lends itself to some form of specious rhetoric, requires a specific response by this party. I think there are three reasons, probably in an ascending crescendo to “laudissimo,” which would indicate the reasons why we think this particular provision must remain in the bill.

Subsection 2 of section 5 carefully protects, is designed to protect and -- if the actual date October 26, 1976, is not the proper date to be in the bill because of the time when we are debating it -- properly protects the rights of any person which were a matter of decision in a court in the province of Ontario. We must remember that the Orangeville case, as distinct from the reference to the Supreme Court of Canada on the constitutionality of the AIB legislation --

Mr. Singer: What did Mr. Justice Lieff say about the Orangeville case?

Mr. Renwick: The Orangeville case dealt with the specific rights of specific persons before the court and was so adjudicated. This section protects the decision of the court and ensures that the rights which were established by the court in those cases are preserved. It does so also with respect to anything up to October 26 -- and I don’t know whether or not that particular date should be changed.

Mr. Singer: Too bad you didn’t have a minority decision to put your teeth into this time.

Mr. Renwick: Secondly, this party stands, and has stood continuously, for orderly processes in this whole question of land use and development. I think it would be quite disorderly and indeed chaotic, considering the number of orders that have been made by the minister in good faith under section 32 as it stood up till this time, if they should be subject to being upset at any time in the future, provided that any particular party wanted to raise an objection to them. Perhaps at any time in the future is too long. I don’t think the courts would have permitted an abuse of the process by allowing orders to be upset at a distant time in the future.

Mr. Nixon: The minister doesn’t have to order a hearing if it is frivolous.

Mr. Renwick: For those reasons I want to indicate precisely and accurately that this section of the bill is consistent with the democratic principles, as we understand them, of the ability of this Legislature to make changes where they are necessary --

Mr. Nixon: Retroactive declarations of virginity.

Mr. Renwick: It is consistent with the protection of rights of persons established in the courts, as they are protected under the Orangeville case and under any other matter which is before the court.

Mr. Singer: I really believe the socialists would be worse than the Tories.

Mr. Renwick: What is more, if one will read carefully what Mr. McRuer had to say in his report, it protects and adheres to the very principles that Mr. McRuer enunciated. So, for those reasons, we will support section 5 of the bill if there is a division called by my friends to the left.

Mr. Singer: Which principles did McRuer enunciate that said that?

Mr. Nixon: I want to say briefly something more about section 5. I regret very deeply that the official opposition hasn’t had a chance to caucus this. If the vote were only going to be held tomorrow, say, they would have had a chance to reconsider --

Mr. Renwick: We are not having a caucus tonight.

Mr. Nixon: Yes, but you often hold caucuses on the spur of the moment, I understand, when you make a wrong decision in the House.

Mr. Singer: Maybe “Dear Mel” could write another note.

Mr. Nixon: I feel that the NDP is making a wrong decision --

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Chairman, on a point of order --

Mr. Nixon: -- and I am interested in hearing the member for Riverdale indicate --

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order, please. The hon. member for Riverdale will state his point of order.

Mr. Singer: As usual, he’s out of order.

Mr. Nixon: -- that it is in the best democratic tradition to pass a piece of legislation which is retroactive -- it deals with only things in the past -- and which really says, in spite of what the courts say, what the government is doing is right. Now if that’s in the best democratic tradition it sets the NDP apart from the Liberals in principle, and so be it.

Mr. Singer: So be it.

Mr. Cassidy: You were willing to support this on Tuesday.

Mr. Nixon: I would say, Mr. Chairman, that when the NDP votes with the government in this it will be a very serious matter.

Many people have spoken, let’s say, about the situation in Orangeville. I have a feeling that the member for the area is getting ready to say something about the situation in Orangeville, because I know he feels very strongly about it. There was also a court decision in Timmins. But beyond that, if this section were to fail, then any place where ministerial orders are applied now the minister would have to make new orders tomorrow or tonight and there would be no change whatsoever, except there would be hearings making it necessary for the minister to justify the need for the order.

Now how is he going to justify the need for the order in the regional municipality of Haldimand-Norfolk? I’ve already indicated clearly that the order should be withdrawn and I would suggest to you that if this section were deleted from the bill and the minister sat up all night with his able advisers and reconstituted the orders under the new requirements they would not be reconstituted in Haldimand-Norfolk. Because the elected council down there, with their planning capability, could look after the planning requirements of that area starting tomorrow, if the minister would get out of the way.

It has been said in this connection that zoning bylaws have been inadequate in the area, and I will say to you, Mr. Chairman, that they will continue to be inadequate as long as the minister is taking the planning responsibility here at the centre, which is what he likes to do and what Tories do best. As long as big brother is going to sit down here making the tough planning decisions for Haldimand-Norfolk, then I would suggest to you, Mr. Chairman, that there’s never going to be a time when the minister or his successors are going to feel that the orders can be removed until the government is defeated. Because the Conservative approach to this is that the knowledge resides here with the power and they are not prepared to put the responsibility where it belongs at the local level. The NDP would be worse --

Mr. Singer: Far worse.

Mr. Nixon: -- because they, using the best legal talent around -- I must say second-best legal talent around --

Mr. Cassidy: No, it’s the best.

Mr. Nixon: -- can justify or attempt to justify a vote in favour of section 5, which retroactively declares by the undoubted power of this Legislature that what the government did, which was found wrong and inadequate by the courts, is in fact right. It is like restoring virginity by order in council. I don’t believe that in fact it can be done, or should be done.

Mr. Renwick: I just want to ask the minister two questions so that I’m certain I understand this provision. I understand that from the date of the decision in the Orangeville case, which was about a year ago, until now, until October 26 or whatever the appropriate date should be in there, that any person against whom an order had been made, if they had moved to assert their rights in the court, are protected under this bill. So anyone who was affected by any of the ministerial orders which we are discussing in the changed procedure here, had a whole year within which to take action in the courts about it.

Mr. Singer: Getting a little nervous, are you?

Mr. Renwick: The second thing I’d like to know is whether the date, October 26, 1976, is the appropriate date, or should that date not rather be the date on which that section of the bill comes into force?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Just to reply to the question, Mr. Chairman, it is correct that anyone who has an application before the courts at this time certainly was not prevented -- and I think the amendment stipulates that -- from carrying on with their particular action in the court. But then I think even over and above that this section 5 does not at all prevent anyone whose property is now under an existing ministerial order from requesting and receiving a hearing before the Ontario Municipal Board. They can request and they shall receive, as is under the Act. It is not intended whatsoever that those persons whose land is now under ministerial order be not included in the provisions of this amendment, which would allow them to go to the Ontario Municipal Board for a hearing and from there, I may add, to appeal to cabinet now.

Mr. Singer: I think before we come to vote on this -- and that looks as though it is the direction in which we are moving -- we should perhaps have clearly understood what this section says. Let’s look at it and let’s read it.

Mr. Renwick: The minister just explained what it said.

Mr. Singer: Is the member for Riverdale concerned? I listened painfully carefully to him. I am not very educated, when you are finished, but please give me the courtesy of letting me speak without interrupting me.

Mr. Renwick: I am wondering whether you just shouldn’t sit down and read it quietly to yourself.

Mr. Singer: Would you do that? Thank you. Section 5(1) says: “No order or regulation heretofore made in the exercise of powers conferred under section 32 of The Planning Act is invalid by reason only of any deficiency in the making or bringing into force of such order or regulation, including the lack of a hearing at any time prior to the coming into force of this section.”

“Including the lack of a hearing” is the one that the Orangeville case went on. And that’s the after-thought; that’s the last phrase in that section. The point I made on second reading is even more valid as you look and listen at what that section says. I am concerned about such matters as section 32(14), which says that no ministerial order can be made which is contrary to the official plan.

The minister in his reply the other day said -- and I took particular note of his words -- he wasn’t aware of any order that was made that was contrary to the official plan. He did not say and I am sure he would not even say today -- and I invite him to do it if he feels it’s appropriate -- there hadn’t been any such orders. I know of a few and I am quite sure there have been a substantial number. There are invalid orders in fact around that are contrary to the official plan and perhaps contrary to some of the other parts of section 32.

I think it is just an atrocious thought to bring a section like this before the Legislature. If you want only the Orangeville case, why don’t you say so? Why don’t you refer to that one specifically? If you want to cure the fact that nothing should be wrong if there was no notice, why don’t you say so? Why do you write it in such blanket form? Why do you say it’s invalid by reason only of any deficiency? Deficiency is a wonderful word. Surely it’s the same thing as any illegality, anything that was wrong. Any deficiency, that’s what you say --

Mr. Nixon: Like an order against an official plan.

Mr. Singer: -- in the making or bringing into force with the order of regulation, any deficiency. If you have made an order that is deficient and if there’s a deficiency that was made in the making of it, then you are curing any illegality that there was. Do you want to do what the member for Riverdale backed down to at the last moment when he talked about taking away the right of notice? I am not sure that he believes in notice. I am not really sure what he believes in; he believes in minority opinions.

I wonder why the member for Riverdale and his colleagues don’t take this on to the Court of Appeal. Perhaps he can get a minority decision from one of the judges of the Court of Appeal that will agree with him and let him make another famous speech. I think it’s perhaps quite appropriate that we deal with him in that way, but when he talks about these being the principles of McRuer, I would like him to enunciate one principle of McRuer that justifies retroactive legislation curing all defects that the minister may have taken under a particular section of the statute. If that’s what he is going to bring his colleagues to do, so be it. We won’t.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Chairman, I know that the hon. members who have spoken on this on Tuesday and again today would like us to believe that something sinister is being proposed under section 5(1) of this particular Act.

Mr. Nixon: It is not sinister. It is quite clear. It is retroactive.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I think it is fairly clear. The explanatory notes themselves point out exactly what was intended to be done.

Mr. Singer: It is according to statute.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I take a bit of an exception to the comments of the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk who suggests that all of the other portions of this particular amendment were put in simply to shroud, as it were, the provisions of section 5(1).

Mr. Nixon: This matter must have been worrying you for a long time. I don’t accept that.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: But it is not correct. I also think it is fair to repeat again -- and I think the hon. member for Wilson Heights knows this to be a fact, and for some reason he is attempting again to imply that something more is happening. The hon. member I think knows that the two particular cases that we have had in the courts as it deals with ministers’ orders have not said that the section of the Act is illegal, and yet he continually stands in the House and uses that term. I think it is unfair of him to do so. He knows that that section is not illegal and no court has found this.

Mr. Singer: On a point of order, I don’t think I ever said the section was illegal. What I am suggesting, and saying, and have said before and now, is that what the minister is asking the Legislature to do is to cure any illegality that might take place, notwithstanding the provisions of the section.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Chairman, I believe with respect that the record will show that the hon. member for Wilson Heights has said “to clear up the illegalities that the minister and his predecessors may have done -- ”

Mr. Singer: That’s right. That’s right.

Mr. Nixon: May have, that’s right. By putting an order against an official plan.

Mr. Singer: That’s right, and that’s a very different thing.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: But, Mr. Chairman, he keeps referring to the Mono case as an example. There is nothing in the decision of the judge as he produced his decision on the Mono case, and nothing in the decision on the case in Timmins, that indicate there was anything illegal done, or that the section itself is not valid.

Mr. Singer: I didn’t say the section was illegal.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: In both cases, Mr. Chairman, they were individual circumstances that saw the judge say --

Mr. Singer: The court struck down the order.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: -- that that particular order --

Mr. Singer: Was illegal.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: -- was not illegal in that he simply quashed the order.

Mr. Singer: Oh, it was a good order and therefore he quashed it. He always quashes good orders.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Recognizing the desire of the hon. member to become a chief justice some day I wish him well --

Mr. Singer: Thank you.

Mr. Nixon: What do you want to be, Premier?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: -- but you had better get it done before 1978, I’ll tell you that, because you are not going to make it after that.

Mr. Nixon: He is doing better at it than you are.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Chairman, official plans -- and the hon. member referred to Haldimand-Norfolk. He knows full well that there are official plans in the area.

Mr. Nixon: I’ll say I do.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: But he also knows full well that there are no zoning bylaws. And I have said to the region of Haldimand-Norfolk -- in fact a time limit has been set for them -- “Get your bylaws on.” I don’t want that zoning order down there. I’d like to lift it right off.

Mr. Nixon: Then lift it. That’s the way to get the planning authority back in that municipality. There is no other way.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: What we may have to do is say to the Haldimand-Norfolk area, “Either you get your bylaws on or we are going to lift the order anyway and it is your problem.”

Mr. Chairman, let me tell you that there are real possibilities of problems in some areas of this province if the existing zoning orders are not maintained. I can name you two or three areas where if you in fact really want to see what you have been waving the flag about for some time, the preservation of good agricultural land, let me tell you there are areas where we have got zoning orders now and that is the only thing that is preserving those lands from being changed into 10- and 25-acre lots with houses on them.

Mr. Nixon: Okay, you could put them on.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Now if those are viable farms then somebody has changed their opinion an awful lot.

Mr. Nixon: You could reorder them immediately and have hearings.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: But those orders are on now.

Mr. Singer: You could put them on --

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Chairman, I did not interrupt the hon. members as they made their addresses.

Mr. Nixon: That’s right, you didn’t.

Mr. Cassidy: We were doing it to ourselves.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: And I strongly request that you allow me to finish.

If those orders are taken off, you are placing in jeopardy the control on those particular lands, and they will immediately -- immediately -- become open for development. Now if that is what you really want, then what you do is you vote against section 5(1).

Mr. Nixon: Well, you are wrong. I have got to interject.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Because I am not greatly in love with zoning orders and the more I could lift off the better I would like it, but they are there for a very real purpose.

Mr. Nixon: Without hearings.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: And you are going to jeopardize that if you in fact say, lift those zoning orders off.

Mr. Singer: That is not what we have said. You don’t understand.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: It is exactly what you are saying. If existing zoning orders no longer have any validity, according to what you are suggesting, that they have to be lifted --

Mr. Nixon: They have no validity if this section doesn’t carry. You’ll put them on again.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order, please.


Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Under the existing amendment all of those zoning orders are subject to the appeal procedure. Any landowner in any of the areas where an order now exists on his own individual land has the right to come in and ask for an amendment to that zoning order. If he is refused that, he has every right to go to the Ontario Municipal Board for a hearing. He may come in and ask to have the whole zoning order revoked. There’s nothing to prevent that under this section as it applies to those zoning orders that are in effect at the present time.

The other point that I wanted to touch on is that the hon. member for Wilson Heights drew attention to section 5(1): “is invalid by reason only of any deficiency in the making or bringing into force.” Not a question of whether there are any illegal actions on it -- it’s a question of any discrepancy in the making of the order. Again I bow to the great legal minds opposite, but in the orders of the judge in both cases it was in the making of the order that he felt there was an error made and that it should not be applied. I suggest this does not imply, as you had indicated in your comments, that the report of any deficiency means that there may have been something done illegally that we’re trying to legalize.

Mr. Chairman, that is my understanding of the way the hon. member spoke. If I am wrong, I regret that I didn’t understand him.

Mr. Singer: I said that, and I say you are wrong in drawing that conclusion.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Did I misunderstand your position?

Mr. Singer: You are interpreting my remarks quite correctly. That is what I said.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order, please. The hon. minister will continue.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Chairman, there’s nothing to continue. I feel that the retroactivity of this section is extremely important, if you’re going to hold control over that land that I think is necessary in those areas where the zoning orders are now in existence.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Shall subsection 1 of section 5 stand as part of the bill?

All those in favour will say “aye.”

All those opposed will say “nay.”

In my opinion, the “ayes” have it.

Shall this be stacked or shall we call in the members?

This concludes the debate on the bill?

Mr. Cassidy: No, Mr. Chairman, there is a matter that has been stood down under section 1 of the bill.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Are we stacking the vote?

Mr. Nixon: We would like to vote on it now.

The committee divided on whether subsection 1 of section 5 shall stand as part of the bill, which was approved on the following vote:

Ayes 62; nays 23.

Sections 5 to 8, inclusive, agreed to.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Cassidy moved a motion earlier which was stood down pending the minister’s seeking legal advice as to the wording. Do you wish to consider Mr. Cassidy’s amendment at this time?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Yes, Mr. Chairman. The hon. member had suggested a changing in the wording to provide a town meeting, on which there was some question.

Mr. Singer: Yes, but we never defined what a town meeting was.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Because you never gave us a chance. You kept interrupting all the time.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Ask the minister to show you a town meeting.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Chairman, I would suggest that the wording read: “That the members of such land division committee shall be selected at a meeting or meetings of the property owners and tenants of the land in the district defined in the order and the procedures for calling such meetings, the number of members to be selected and the manner of conducting the selection shall be as presented by regulations made by the minister,” and that the remaining subsections be renumbered accordingly.

Mr. Renwick: That’s excellent.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Chairman, we welcome the minister’s acceptance of the amendment we originally proposed.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order, please. Would the hon. minister present the amended amendment to the Chair?

Mr. Sargent: Strange bedfellows --

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Never mind. Wait until I lift those zoning orders for Haldimand-Norfolk next week.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Is it agreed that Mr. Cassidy’s amendment as reworded by the minister shall carry?

Motion agreed to.

Section 1, as amended, agreed to.

Mr. Cassidy: You don’t even get credit for moving it.

Bill 130, as amended, reported.


House in committee on Bill 136, The Corporations Information Act, 1976.

Sections 1 and 2 agreed to.

On section 3.

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Renwick moves that section 3(1)(d) of Bill 136 be amended by adding thereto the following words: “and where the corporation is a corporation with share capital, whether or not, (1) each director is a resident Canadian; (2) each director is a director of any other corporation related to the corporation as determined under The Corporations Tax Act, 1972, and, if so, the name of such related corporation and the jurisdiction of its incorporation.


Mr. Renwick: Mr. Chairman, perhaps a brief word of explanation is in order. There’s a certain history to this particular amendment. In 1972 The Corporations Information Amendment Act, 1972, was passed by this assembly but never came into force. The amendment was included in the exact words in that amendment passed in 1972. Those who may be interested in this minor piece of legislative history will find it in the fifth volume of the debates for 1972 of this assembly at pages 5808 and following.

It is composite, as you can see, Mr. Chairman, and I’m sure the committee will understand. There are two parts to it. The first part is that when a corporation files its annual return and gives the name and residence address and so on of each of the directors of that corporation, it would require two additional things. The first is that it disclose whether or not each director is a resident Canadian. A reference to the debate in 1972 will clearly show that the then Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations, Mr. Clement, introduced that part of the amendment in the assembly and that part of the amendment was then subsequently amended on a motion by myself to include the second item. This dealt with disclosing whether a director of a particular corporation is also a director of another related corporation within the definition as set out in The Corporations Tax Act.

During the course of that debate, the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon) indicated that the Liberal Party would support the amendment, and the Liberal Party did so. It didn’t need to come to a vote because the then Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations accepted that further amendment to his amendment. With the unanimous consent of the committee at that time, in 1972, his exact amendment was passed by the House and became part of The Corporations Information Act, 1972. But as I have said, it was never proclaimed in force.

The reasons for this, I think, are amply clear for those who haven’t read the language of The Corporations Tax Act. This gives the circumstances under which any two corporations can be considered to be related and whether or not any of those related corporations are related to each other. It is set out in subsections 4 and 5 of what I believe would be section 1 of The Corporations Tax Act, 1972, and are there for any persons to read.

I will quote from the 1972 debates on that historic evening when we sat all night -- I’m not quite certain at what hour of the night or the morning this particular debate took place, but the substance and merit of it obviously appealed to the committee no matter what the time of day. I quote my comments of that time:

“The purpose of this amendment is to clarify the point that if one searches the public records at the minister’s office at 555 Yonge Street and looks at the list of directors, one should be able to ascertain not only what the government has now determined as a matter of policy to be the case -- that is whether or not each director is a resident Canadian -- but for each director, whether that director is a director of another company related to the company that has to file a return; and if so, the name of the related company and the jurisdiction of its incorporation.”

I may say, just as a minor note, that the reason the first portion of that amendment is phrased “a resident Canadian” is we felt that it would have been an infringement of the spirit of the Ontario Human Rights Code if it required any director to disclose in such a return what his nationality was. This is phrased in the reverse way and overcomes any objection which anyone may have on that basis, because this is simply a statement: Is the person a Canadian or is he not a Canadian?

It does seem to me and it is extremely important to this party and we would divide on this amendment unless, of course, it were carried on a voice vote if it is not accepted by the government, simply because we believe that the information of public record in the office of the companies division of the province of Ontario with respect to any corporation doing business in Ontario or carrying on business in the province of Ontario -- regardless of the place of incorporation or its origin, be it in Ontario, any of the other provinces of Canada, a federal company or an overseas company -- that one should be able to find out two things; which of the directors are resident Canadians and whether or not any one of those directors is also a director of a related company so that one would have a sense of the corporate web of companies with which any particular company might be associated. For that reason, we consider this proposed amendment, as we did in 1972, to be immensely important.

Mr. Cunningham: My understanding is that the Liberal Party did support this particular thesis in 1972 and I am favourably impressed by the argument put forth very succinctly by the member for Riverdale. My brief experience in this House has impressed upon me, I think, the need to make it as easy as possible for those who need to know the information whether or not in fact a company is controlled by a Canadian and, further, just who owns what company.

I found this year participating on the select committee on truck transportation that it is sometimes very difficult to ascertain just who in fact owns a company and whether in fact that company is controlled by Canadians Americans, or just who. To that end, I would only suggest I think that this amendment would be in order. I think it would be beneficial to the people of Ontario in trying to find out who these individuals are and whether they are Canadians or not. I don’t think it would impose any undue hardship on the companies involved. To that end I would only suggest that the Liberal Party would be favourably disposed to this amendment.

Mr. Drea: Perhaps my friend from Wentworth North may reconsider when I elaborate just a little bit on the legislative history. The brief legislative history that was given is entirely accurate -- except what has not been given.

In 1974 there were amendments to The Business Corporations Act which required that a majority of the directors of a company be resident Canadians. That is why the particular section which constitutes the first part of the amendment from the member for Riverdale was not proclaimed in The Corporations Information Act. It became redundant. To now reintroduce that into a new Corporations Information Act I suggest is doubly redundant. It is already far stronger in The Business Corporations Act, which isn’t limited by saying, “You are a resident Canadian or a non-resident Canadian,” but says, “A majority of the directors must be resident Canadians.”

That alone, I would suggest, is sufficient reason why the first portion of this amendment is really not needed. The information is already in another Act, and the requirements are far stronger than is suggested here.

In terms of part two of the amendment, I think we have to look at the intent of the legislation before us. The intent is, first, to get rid of the paperwork, whether it is done physically on paper or through a computer. Second, it is to benefit the consumer, because the corporation must put its address on its letterhead and on any of its official documents so that it can be served. In this way, the consumer, the creditor or whoever is having difficulty with a particular corporation, knows where to go if he decides to go to the courts or to some other agency for relief.

Third, certain of the requirements in this Act pertaining to companies chartered in Ottawa, or in jurisdictions with reciprocal agreements, have been changed. They are not even going to have to make a full disclosure as to whom their directors are. They are going to have to put down the name of an attorney -- and I say that within the meaning of an agent who has the power of attorney and who can accept service in this province.

The intent of this legislation is to avoid duplication, to avoid redundancy and to give the business world a break from the cost of doing business with government.

Mr. Cunningham: Ten dollars and 10 cents.

Mr. Drea: Considering all the papers you have on file, it is a very onerous burden for the small businessman, because he has to get somebody to fill them out. Not the least of it is that we may save some money on the paper in the Ontario Gazette, since there won’t be these dissolutions of companies because someone has forgotten to file an annual return. Also, in this House, we may avoid some of the long Wednesday mornings in the private bills committee, where we have to revitalize corporations that somehow have forgotten and gone over the time limits on their annual return.

Mr. Renwick: Stick to the amendment.

Mr. Drea: If you want a list of directors published, I suggest that’s going far beyond the intent of this legislation. The intent is to show, when a corporation is established, just who it is, who its directors are and where you can locate it if there is any difficulty.

Mr. Warner: We are improving that.

Mr. Drea: To get into a question of cross-filing other directorships that one or more of the principals may have, I suggest to you, is a very costly and very cumbersome enterprise. Also, quite frankly, it’s already handled rather well by the private field; there is a Canadian directory of directors. To attempt to cross-file directors so that the various interlocking arrangements or the family of companies can be ascertained, would be an extremely cumbersome and expensive proposition.

Mr. Cunningham: That’s the purpose of the amendment.

Mr. Warner: It’s time we found out what’s going on.


Mr. Drea: There are other ways of finding out what is going on, if I may say so. I don’t know any consumer who is going in and looking for the real people behind the corporate name and style, who is terribly interested in that particular case in what other operations they are in. If there is one corporation located --

Mr. Warner: They don’t want to know about the Weston corporation and their operation? Baloney!

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

Mr. Drea: If they are going in to find out about one company, then I suggest if there are 500 at the same address with interlocking directorates, the 499 are of no interest to either the individual consumer or the creditor. For those who want to and who have need to find out what directors --

Mr. Warner: You have taken a public poll?

Mr. Drea: -- and what the interlocking relationships are, there are already a great number of methods by which they can do so.

Mr. Warner: This is incredible. You are picking up from where you left off the other night.

Mr. Drea: I would suggest that we will not accept the amendment.

Mr. Warner: Of course not. It makes sense.

Mr. Drea: Number one, the first portion is redundant. It is already covered in The Business Corporations Act in far stronger terminology.

Mr. Warner: Number two, you want to protect your corporate friends.

Mr. Drea: Number two, by the acceptance of this, I would think we are defeating the intent of the bill. The intent of the legislation was to get rid of as much of the paperwork as possible.

Mr. Cassidy: Just a corporate coverup, that’s all.

Mr. Drea: I would suggest when you are doing filings now that are up to five years, starting to compile interlocking directorates is really going to put it back to virtually an annual return, and that’s what we are trying to get away from.

Mr. Chairman: Shall the amendment carry?

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Chairman --

Hon. Mr. Welch: Wait a minute. Have you asked for the vote?

Mr. Chairman: I said, “Shall the amendment carry?”

Mr. Renwick: I’d like then, if I may, to answer very briefly what the parliamentary assistant has had to say. It is neither redundant nor inconsistent with The Business Corporations Act. The Business Corporations Act deals solely with corporations incorporated under the laws of the province of Ontario and which are within the jurisdiction of this assembly. It does not require any disclosure as to which of the directors are Canadians in any way. All it says is that the majority of the directors of a company incorporated under The Business Corporations Act shall be Canadian. That’s all it says.

Mr. Drea: What happens if they are not?

Mr. Renwick: The Corporations Information Act is now and has always been a method by which the citizen in the province of Ontario can go to the corporate company information office and find out about every corporation which carries on business in the province of Ontario. That’s the purpose of this bill as well because it defines corporation to mean any corporation with or without share capital wherever or however incorporated. It includes an extraprovincial corporation and it defines extraprovincial corporation. I don’t need to recite that definition because that just emphasizes the broad scope of what is involved.

The requirement is specifically in this Act, and it’s very clear in section 3(1), that within 60 days of such various things as the date of the amalgamation of a corporation, the date of its incorporation, the date of its continuation, the date of its establishing its head or other office or carrying on any business activity or service or part thereof in Ontario, regardless of its origin, that that’s the corporation that must file the information which is set out in the bill.

It’s very clear that it is extremely important that we know whether or not there are any resident Canadians on the board of directors of such companies. The reason is very clear and the reason makes very good sense, even in the very limited sense of trying to enforce the penalty provisions which are provided in the bill because you know as everyone knows in this committee that you cannot enforce the penalty against the directors of a company unless they are within the jurisdiction. It’s important that we should know it if for no other reason than that, but we also want to know as a matter of public record are corporations complying with the provision which is in The Business Corporations Act.

In addition to that, it is essential that a person, who is dealing with any company that has filed a return because it is carrying on any business in Ontario, regardless of its place of incorporation, or providing any service in Ontario, should be entitled to know whether or not that corporation is controlled by, or controls, other corporations.

Let me deal with the other point which the parliamentary assistant has raised. There is no cross-filing; there is no cross-indexing of any kind called for by this amendment. All that this requires is to have on the form, which the corporation has to amend only when and if there is any change in the particulars which are required on the bill, to add under the portion dealing with directors: is the director a resident Canadian or not? Secondly, is he a director, not of any other corporation, but of any other corporation which that corporation is related within the provisions set out in The Corporations Tax Act.

That is an immensely necessary piece of information for those of us who have any interest in the corporate interrelationship of various corporations. If we are going to continue to allow extraprovincial corporations of any kind to come in to the province of Ontario, and carry on their activities by incorporating a subsidiary corporation of any kind, or making a deal with a related corporation of any kind, then it is essential that we know what that relationship is. I have said, and it needs no reiteration, it is a matter of immense concern to us that we have this information. I would urge the government to reconsider its stand.

Mr. Drea: Mr. Chairman, if there wasn’t the much stronger requirement in The Business Corporations Act --

Mr. Renwick: It doesn’t deal with it.

Mr. Drea: Oh yes, it does. The penalties there have been invoked. There are companies that have lost their charters for filing false applications.

Mr. Renwick: You missed my point.

Mr. Drea: No, I listened to your point. If it wasn’t for the very strict requirement of The Business Corporations Act I would be sympathetic to the first part of the amendment by the member for Riverdale.

But then let’s come to the second point. If there isn’t going to be a cross-filing, if there isn’t going to be directory of information, then what is the point of filing all the names of the directors on every one of these returns? Surely if you want an information depository there has to be some use for the information. If you are just going to collect paper in there with names on it, then that is an entirely different matter.

Mr. Renwick: Why don’t you abolish the form entirely?

Mr. Drea: Nobody is going to abolish the form. You are the one who said there would be no cross-filing just a moment ago. What is the point of putting down all the names if there isn’t going to be a cross-filing -- when you cannot find out that this particular person is a director of 50 or 60 companies?

Mr. Renwick: You don’t have to cross-file at all.

Mr. Drea: What is the value of filing at all then? If you are going to file the names and you are not going to have them cross-filed, you are going to be of no benefit to either the consumer, the creditor or even the curious.

Mr. Renwick: Is that a question?

Mr. Drea: Yes.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Chairman, it is very simple. I want to go to the office at 555 Yonge Street. I walk in the door. I ask for a corporate file of a particular company. If this amendment is passed I open up the file. It shows me who the directors of the corporation are. It shows me which of them, if any or all, are resident Canadians. It shows me whether they are directors of any corporation which is related to that corporation.

No cross-filing. If I then see the names of a dozen other companies, want to look at those companies, then I ask for those files. I am not imposing any burden on the company’s office to make any listing of cross-filings. I am not asking to go in and have an index of directors which shows that director A is a director of this company, that company, and so on and so forth. None of that at all. I am simply asking that on the form, if I want to find out whether a director is a director of any other corporation related to that corporation -- within that framework -- then I should be entitled to know that. I should then, if I want to do it, call the man over who is handling the office and simply say to them, “Please bring me the other files of those other companies.” That’s all, nothing more. No additional work; two or three lines additional on the form.

Mr. Drea: Can I ask you another question? How are you going to reconcile that with the provisions in this Act now that the extra-provincial company is not even going to have to fill out that amount of disclosure, even with your amendment? All it is going to have to do is to detail where there is a power of attorney for service in this province. You can’t have it both ways.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Chairman, again, if I may answer that question. An extraprovincial corporation means “a corporation with or without share capital incorporated otherwise than by or under the authority of an Act of the Legislature.” So it would include a federal company, a company incorporated under the laws of any other province in Canada, a company incorporated in any jurisdiction outside Canada, and if that corporation establishes its head or other office or carries on “any business activity or service or a part thereof in Ontario,” then they must make out and file this return which includes the information set out.

I’m not going to spend very much more time on it because, obviously, we’re not going to get this particular division before 6 o’clock. I am sorry it is going to be a division. Perhaps the wisdom of the amendment will appeal to the government over the supper hour and perhaps they’ll accept it. But it seems to me to be inconceivable that the government of this province would require those same corporations -- every single one of them, which has an undertaking in the province of Ontario, has a permanent establishment within the broad frame of that term for taxing purposes. And the parliamentary assistant knows as well as everybody else does that they’ve cast the taxing net, under The Corporations Tax Act of this province, as broadly as it was possible to do it so that if anybody is earning any income and profit in the province of Ontario they must file.

Those files are not made available to the public, and those files require the disclosure of that same information, so the government has the information in the Ministry of Revenue -- the very same information on a limited scale which, so far as related corporations are concerned I am asking be available to members of the public. There is no reason why that relationship should not be publicly disclosed. I am saying to the parliamentary assistant I don’t want to read the definition -- I will if the parliamentary assistant wants me to read it -- of what constitutes two related corporations as defined in The Corporations Tax Act, 1972.

The House recessed at 6 p.m.