30e législature, 3e session

L125 - Tue 30 Nov 1976 / Mar 30 nov 1976

The House met at 2 p.m.


Mr. Speaker: Statements by the ministry.

Hon. J. R. Smith: Mr. Speaker --

Mr. Conway: Stand up, John.

Mr. Speaker: All right. We’ll hear the Minister of Correctional Services. Thank you.

Mr. Conway: Stand up.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: He is going to stay seated; he is tired of standing up.

Mr. Conway: Stand up.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: One thing about it, he’s able to stand up anyway.

Hon. J. R. Smith: Put on your glasses.


Hon. J. R. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I’m replying to two questions from the hon. member for Peterborough (Ms. Sandeman), one of which appears as question 173 on the order paper and the other was a verbal question asked in this House on November 29.

There were no deaths of wards occurring in a training school during the two fiscal years. All these young people were resident in the community and many of them on placement in their own homes at the time of their deaths.

On the average, these young people had been living in the community for approximately 17 months prior to their deaths, with one youth having been on placement in his own home for a 4½-year period prior to his death.

During the fiscal year ending March 31, 1975, a total of 10 wards -- nine boys and one girl -- died while on placement in the community in their own homes, foster homes or under other living arrangements. One of the wards was 14, seven were 16, and two were 17 years old.

The 10 deaths included four auto accidents, a shooting accident, three suicides, one drowning and one drug overdose.

Mr. Lewis: Three suicides?

Hon. J. R. Smith: In all cases the coroner investigated the circumstances of these deaths to determine whether an inquest should be held. In one case, an inquest was mandatory because the suicide occurred in a police cell and an inquest was conducted.

The following is a brief summary drawn from our files and the coroner’s investigation statements:

Four of the 16-year-olds died in auto accidents. One of these youths had been placed in his own home four years prior to his death. Another of the youths killed in an auto accident had been living in the community for approximately a year prior to his death. The third 16-year-old died as a result of injuries when the car he was driving spun out of control. He had been living in his own home for three months prior to his death. The other victim of injuries in an automobile accident had been living in his own home for nine months prior to his death.

One 17-year-old was killed in a shooting accident in British Columbia where he was visiting friends. He had been on placement to relatives for one year prior to the accident.

A 14-year-old died from suicide by asphyxiation and hanging in his parents’ home where he had been on placement for approximately one year.

A 16-year-old youth died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head which occurred after consuming alcohol in his parents’ home where he had been placed six months previously.

A 16-year-old boy died of asphyxiation after hanging himself in a police cell. This youth had been placed in his own home 20 months prior to his death. He had appeared before the adult courts on charges of theft and possession of drugs and this resulted in his arrest and detention in the police cell.

The ninth was a 17-year-old girl who drowned when she and other passengers were leaping back and forth between two moving boats. She had been residing in the community for 3½ years, initially in a foster home and for the last two years in her own home.

The tenth was a 16-year-old boy who was found dead in his family’s apartment as the result of a drug overdose. He had been residing at home for one year prior to his death.


Mr. Singer: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. A few days ago you asked my colleague, the member for Ottawa East, to withdraw certain remarks that he had made. He refused and you subsequently named him and he was compelled to leave the House.

Subsequent to that, I asked you to explain, if you would, the implications of certain of our standing orders. The subsequent day -- and I believe that was last Friday -- you did.

I am a little puzzled by the way these matters are applied, because when I was here yesterday I heard certain remarks made by the Premier, and I have since consulted Hansard, and the Premier is quoted as having said in the House, addressed to the hon. Leader of the Opposition: “And it is totally irresponsible of you, misleading to the House and to the public, to create any other impression.”

I would like, if I could, to understand the difference in the comments made by my colleague from Ottawa East and those made by the Premier, and why there wasn’t -- as would appear to me logical -- a similar ruling directed to the Premier when he made his remarks yesterday.

Mr. Speaker: I must say to the hon. member that I did not notice that; I’m sorry.

Mr. Bain: I did.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. A point of order must be raised at the time. I will study the situation, however, and if it requires further comment I will certainly make it.


Hon. Mrs. Birch: On a point of personal privilege, Mr. Speaker, yesterday the member for Peterborough asked me whether last summer the staff of the Ministry of Correctional Services had told me of the deaths of nine children who were wards of the ministry. I responded, quite correctly, the staff had not told me of the deaths at that time and I referred subsequent questions from the member to the Minister of Correctional Services.

Today’s Toronto Star has an article noting that the Peterborough member was upset that I wasn’t aware of the deaths. I would like to correct that mistaken impression because I was made aware of the deaths by my colleague, the Minister of Correctional Services, some time this fall. I’ve forgotten the exact date. As I told the Legislature yesterday, the staff did not raise the matter during any of my visits to the provincial institutions.


Hon. J. R. Smith: Does the hon. member wish me to read the statement as well for the second year’s deaths? It is lengthy.

Mr. Lewis: Go ahead.

Hon. J. R. Smith: This is April 1, 1975, to March 31, 1976. During the fiscal year ending March 31, 1976, a total of nine wards of the ministry died while residing in the community, in their homes, foster homes or under other arrangements. The nine wards whose deaths were recorded during this year were all boys. One of them was a 15-year-old, three were 16 years of age, and five were 17 years old.

The nine deaths include two drownings, one homicide, two automobile accidents, two cases of asphyxia, one train accident, and one boy hanged himself on his parents’ farm. In all cases the coroner investigated the circumstances of these deaths to determine whether an inquest should be held. In one case an inquest was conducted. The following is a summary of the tragic deaths:

One 16-year-old boy drowned when he fell from a canoe shortly after midnight while he and several other youths had gone to a provincial park camping area to disturb campers. This youth had been on placement to his own home for nine months prior to his death.

A 17-year-old youth, who had been back in his own parents’ home on placement for four and a half years, drowned while on a camping trip with his father.

A 17-year-old youth was found dead of a gunshot wound to his head and this was deemed a homicide by the investigating police. This youth was self-supporting and employed and had been living in the community for 10 months prior to his death.

A 16-year-old youth died as a result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident. He had been a passenger in the car. He had been placed in his own home approximately one year and three months prior to his death.

The other death in an automobile accident occurred when a 17-year-old ward who was the driver of the car fell asleep at the wheel and the automobile struck a rock cliff, killing him and a passenger in the car. This youth had been living in the community for six months prior to the automobile accident.

One 17-year-old youth died of accidental asphyxia through a combination of intoxication and sniffing of a substance approximately one year after being returned to the community.

A 15-year-old youth came to his death due to the aspiration of vomit brought about by an overdose of the drug methaqualone and alcohol. This youth had been returned to his own home nine months prior to his death.

A 16-year-old youth was hit by a train and died three months later of injuries which he sustained. He had been charged in adult court and remanded to the House of Concord from which he went AWOL at the time of his accident.

The last one was a 17-year-old youth who hanged himself in a barn on the family farm. He had been returned to his own home over two and a half years prior to his death.


Hon. Mr. Snow: Today I would like to table three certificates of necessity and convenience issued by the Ontario Highway Transport Board pertaining to the board’s carefully considered decision to grant operating rights over the Toronto-Sudbury, Toronto-Orillia and Toronto-Buffalo bus routes and an extraprovincial operating licence to permit direct service between Toronto and the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. Included with the certificates will be the carefully thought-out and documented reasons why the members of the board reached the decision they did.


Briefly, the OHTB has certified that in the public’s best interests Stock Brothers Bus Lines of Markham be granted a licence for the carriage of passengers, their baggage and express shipments between Orillia, Barrie and Metro Toronto and vice versa, provided there is no pickup or discharge of passengers between the southerly limits of Barrie and Metro. In short, it will be an express run between Barrie and Toronto.

The second certificate permits Eastern Canadian Greyhound Lines to operate an express run between Metro Toronto and the Niagara frontier crossing points, such points being the Queenston-Lewiston Bridge, the Rainbow Bridge at Niagara Falls and the Fort Erie Bridge. These trips are not to exceed five daily in the summer or four per day in the winter. At the same time, Greyhound must continue current pool operations with Gray Coach Lines.

The final certificates permit Greyhound of Canada to carry passengers, their baggage and express freight between Sudbury and Toronto, provided there is no pickup or discharge of passengers between Metro Toronto and the southerly limits of the regional municipality of Sudbury and vice versa, plus the extraprovincial rights mentioned previously.

As I noted, under chairman E. J. Shoniker the board reached its decision after a lengthy hearing which included the testimony of some 70 public witnesses. Mr. Shoniker and his board members were realistically aware that Gray Coach Lines, one of the province’s major interurban carriers, operates similar services over the same routes. I said “similar” because I believe that’s an honest definition. For example, Gray Coach does not offer a direct run other than its ultra-special hostess express service between Sudbury and Metro Toronto. Passengers inbound from west of Sudbury are currently forced to change at Sudbury and that means changing their baggage as well. On this matter, Mr. Shoniker himself noted that, despite the fact that Gray Coach has been aware of Eastern Greyhound’s application since November, 1975, it did not initiate a direct regular-charge Toronto-to-Sudbury operation.

Allow me to quote briefly from the testimony of some of the 70 public witnesses who commented under oath during the time of the applications for the certificates. The majority, regular users of buses as a mode of travel, expressed concern over problems resulting from being forced to change buses; problems resulting from multiple stops; and problems resulting from a lack of frequent service in sparsely populated areas where the public, particularly the elderly, have to travel to other communities for medical services.

One witness, Mrs. Annette Moore, spoke of the inconvenience of mothers travelling with children, then being forced to handle their own luggage from one bus to another. An elderly gentleman complained bitterly of having to get off one bus and stand in line with new passengers to get a seat for the remainder of his trip. One woman, Mrs. Mary Rickaby, was told by counsel for Gray Coach that if she didn’t like the delays in bus transit and the problems inherent in changing buses, then she should fly to her destination. The good lady replied: “I cannot afford to fly.”

Mr. Nixon: You would almost think he worked for the government.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Otto Lang’s department.

Hon. Mr. Snow: There are others -- the inconvenience of being forced to make trips at only Gray Coach’s convenience and tales of lost luggage and the uncertainty of arrival times at the Niagara frontier because of lengthy intermediate stops.

Basically the board feels that, on the evidence presented, the public’s interest should come first, and that good competition can underline and reinforce this opinion. I agree wholeheartedly. The board, again on the evidence, recognized too that there are serious deficiencies in the current service offered on the routes. It also found that Gray Coach Lines has not been fully aware of the unsatisfactory conditions arising from the transfer of passengers and their luggage at the terminal points in question.

Finally, I can tell this House that I have thoroughly and in good conscience reviewed the reasons for the board’s decision and I am, therefore, approving all three certificates as they were recommended by the Ontario Highway Transport Board.

Mr. Speaker: Oral questions.


Mr. Lewis: First, to the Minister of Correctional Services: Can he indicate to the Legislature the nature of the supervisory after-care follow-up provided by his ministry in terms of the 19 individual cases which he recited to the House where death occurred outside the training schools but still within the wardship of the Ministry of Correctional Services?

Hon. J. R. Smith: Our ministry is having an increasing emphasis on aftercare for all juveniles under our care. In fact, some of the schools, particularly Kawartha Lakes School in Lindsay, have a prime worker programme where a prime worker is associated with a student and goes out into the community to help him. It varies in the community where the child is residing. If an aftercare worker feels there is a problem, it might well be three or four times a week or it could be on a daily basis. If the youngsters are placed in their home and reasonably satisfactory progress seems to be being made, there wouldn’t be that intense a follow-up.

I would just like to say to the Leader of the Opposition some of these deaths occurred many months, in fact, some of them years after a child was in the training school. But there is a very intensive aftercare follow-up in trying to have the youngster adjust either in his home setting or a community environment.

Mr. Lewis: May I ask by way of supplementary, admitting the passage of time, if I am right in believing that these children were still formally wards of the ministry, has it occurred to the minister to ask for a pattern of follow-up in each individual case? Would it be possible for him to share with the Legislature the nature of the ministry’s intervention subsequent to departure from training school?

Hon. J. R. Smith: I know all members must be very grieved to know of this. It was discussed during the estimates of my ministry last year. I am grieved too to think that these occurrences have taken place. It will take a great deal of research and field work with the regional offices but I will be only too pleased to supply the hon. members with that information.

Mrs. Campbell: Supplementary: Would the minister include in his report to the House in each of these cases the caseload of the after-care officers?

Hon. J. R. Smith: I would be pleased to.


Mr. Lewis: I have a question of the Minister of Transportation and Communications about his statement today: If I can be permitted to understand one part of it, was Gray Coach ever requested to provide specific services which are now going to be provided by Greyhound in the absence of this particular Gray Coach route?

Hon. Mr. Snow: To my knowledge, there was no request from my office for them to make any adjustment to their service. I don’t know whether there was any request from the general public for an improvement in service or a through service, or from the municipalities in northwestern Ontario.

Certainly from the telegrams I have received, many of which I read into the record yesterday, there was a great deal of support for this approved service from almost every municipality along the North Shore. In fact, I have more today that I could read but I will not take the time of the House. The mayor of Sault Ste. Marie, for instance, and the reeve of the township of Marathon have sent rather lengthy telegrams to me in support of the granting of the service.

Mr. Lewis: Supplementary: Since Gray Coach is such an excellent public carrier, why would it not occur to the government to attempt to extend its activities into other areas of the province? Speaking directly to the minister’s answer, now that he has telegrams from groups like local 113 of the ATU, representing nearly 7,000 people --

Mr. Breithaupt: You are suddenly involved now.

Mr. Lewis: -- in this municipal area, and since it is clear that upwards of 240 jobs may be lost by virtue of the transfer, why is the minister not prepared to meet with those who wish to make specific representations to oppose what the board has required?

Hon. Mr. Snow: I presume the Leader of the Opposition is referring to a telegram --

Mr. Breithaupt: Yes, why don’t you read that one?

Hon. Mr. Snow: I just got it yesterday afternoon, as a matter of fact.

Mr. Lewis: Read it now.

Hon. Mr. Snow: It’s from Mr. Moynehan --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Snow: It actually was a telegram --

Mr. Breithaupt: It is one Greyhound didn’t pay for, I presume.

Hon. Mr. Snow: It is a telegram that I believe was sent to the Premier, not to myself --

Mr. Lewis: No, it was addressed to you as of yesterday.

Hon. Mr. Snow: It may have been, but it was requesting a meeting. As I recall the telegram -- I do not have it with me -- it was not in opposition but was requesting a meeting to discuss the matter.

Mr. Lewis: On a point of order. It didn’t say, “We oppose.” But it did say “we want to meet with you to explain the disastrous results of such licence being issued”; which could be construed as opposition, I’d say.

Mr. Breithaupt: Perhaps just a social call.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Yes, I accept that fact. But it is my advice from my legal counsel, and it is my own personal opinion, that neither I nor members of the executive council should meet with parties to this dispute. There is a regular manner in which they can make an objection by way of an appeal to the Lieutenant Governor in Council. I do not think it would be appropriate for myself, the Premier or other members of the cabinet to have specific meetings with individual parties to the case.

Mr. Breithaupt: It is nice to see the NDP involved, now that local 113 is showing some interest.

Some hon. members: Oh, oh.

Mr. Breithaupt: Perhaps the minister could advise us, as a result of these telegrams and the proposed meeting, particularly with local 113, on what basis the minister has to declare that there will be no loss of jobs to Ontario residents, when local 113 particularly has some 10 per cent of its 6,800 workers employed with Gray Coach and will be obviously affected by this decision.

Hon. Mr. Snow: As I mentioned yesterday, the routes involved, according to the chairman’s written decision -- and I would suggest that the members who are very interested in this should read the full written decisions of Mr. Shoniker -- the decision states that no more than four per cent of the passenger volume of Gray Coach Lines carried on the Sudbury to Toronto route -- the figure I am quoting is from that particular decision -- would be affected.

Mr. Moynehan has sent a telegram expressing concern regarding his members. It is my opinion that there will be additional employment created by this additional service, rather than a decrease in employment. Certainly that was the opinion of the several other locals of the Amalgamated Transit Union from Windsor, Thunder Bay, Sudbury and I believe other points. I do not have those telegrams with me.

Mr. Deans: Since I didn’t know what the telegram said last Friday when I first raised the matter, I would assume the member for Kitchener would have been aware of that if he were here.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Neither did I.

Mr. Breithaupt: You assumed wrongly.

[Failure of sound system.]

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Will the hon. member repeat his question?

Mr. Wildman: Do it by Morse code.


Mr. Speaker: Shall we try it again? Order, please. I am sure the hon. minister will be able to hear. If we have fewer interjections, the hon. minister may be able to hear anyway.

An hon. member: He’ll never understand you.

An hon. member: It’s most important that the cameras are still on.

Mr. Shore: They are trying to tell you something, Ian.

Mr. Roy: You are beautiful, Ian.


Mr. Speaker: I can hear the hon. member. Perhaps the minister will too if the hon. member would carry on.

Mr. Nixon: Write us a letter.

Mr. Deans: Isn’t it one of the requirements of the Highway Transport Board to determine whether or not carriers that have been providing services are capable and willing to provide additional services required before granting any licences to other than those carriers that are licensed?


Hon. Mr. Snow: No, I wouldn’t say it is the duty of the board to request --

Mr. Deans: Not to request, just to determine.

Hon. Mr. Snow: -- or to determine whether they’re capable. There’s no doubt they’re capable, I would say, in Gray Coach Lines operations. It is a large operator and supplies an excellent service in many areas of the province. As I stated in the statement, it had, from the time of the application made to the board in November 1975 -- from November 1975 to November 1976 --

Mr. Cassidy: You’re lost in the past.

Hon. Mr. Snow: -- there was a total of one year between the time the applications were presented, the waiting period before the hearings were held and, again, more waiting before the decision was rendered. Gray Coach Lines did not take any action to improve its service or to provide the type of service being applied for. It did, I understand, implement what it calls its luxury service between Sudbury and Toronto.

Mr. Nixon: Supplementary: I wonder if the minister meant this, or did I understand him correctly when be said he did not think it proper for any group to express an objection to him or a member of cabinet personally, even though he said in his statement that he was now prepared to give whatever certification was necessary to bring into law the findings of the Highway Transport Board? Would the minister not agree that since the board had sent its findings to the minister, who then must certify them or whatever the procedure is, that carries within it the responsibility to accept, as a cabinet minister must, the public responsibility to hear from citizens who don’t agree with the findings?

Hon. Mr. Snow: No, I don’t accept that.

First of all, as I explained yesterday in the House here, there is no certification of the Transport Board’s decision --

Mr. Nixon: But there is ministerial approval?

Hon. Mr. Snow: No, there is not.

Mr. Nixon: You don’t do anything with it at all?

Hon. Mr. Snow: No. When the Highway Transport Board issues the certificate of necessity, then the normal procedure is the applicant presents that certificate of necessity to officials of my ministry and is granted the licence.

Mr. Nixon: And you have nothing to do with the officials of your ministry?

Hon. Mr. Snow: In this particular case I asked that the issuance of the certificate be delayed until I personally had an opportunity to review the decision.


Hon. Mr. Snow: This is the first time in the last 14 months since I’ve been in this ministry that I have asked a certificate be reviewed, and I would think there have been several hundred certificates issued in that period of time.

Mr. Nixon: It is your decision.

Hon. Mr. Snow: It is not normal that each certificate that is issued comes to my attention.

Mr. Wildman: Supplementary: Could the minister indicate whether any evidence was presented before the board to indicate that only Greyhound could provide this service and not Gray Coach? If not, why wasn’t it suggested that Gray Coach provide the extended service?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, Gray Coach, of course, has for years had the opportunity to supply this service if it had wished to do so. It was not doing so, in the opinion of the board --

Mr. Deans: That has never been the opinion of --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Order.

Hon. Mr. Snow: -- and the other applicant, Greyhound of Canada, made application to supply the service.


Mr. Lewis: A question to the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development: Has the provincial secretary met with Billingsley of Reed Paper and was anything decided?

Hon. Mr. Irvine: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I met, along with my colleague, the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Bernier), with Mr. Billingsley a week ago Friday afternoon. At that time we discussed the article that was in the news media as it related to the English-Wabigoon river system, mercury pollution and so on. At this particular time I don’t believe I have anything further to relate to the House. I would like to wait until such time as we have further meetings with the federal government and with the native bands in the area.

The Chairman of Cabinet (Mr. Brunelle), the Minister of Natural Resources and myself met on Friday last with Mr. Almand and his staff. It is our plan to wait until such time as the federal government has very specific projects to bring forth to the three of us or to the government in general, to determine whether or not they are feasible to assist the communities to improve their social and economic way of life. I would like to wait until that time comes about.

I asked the minister if he would bring it in as soon as possible because we were disturbed that it has taken so long for a decision to be made by the federal government. The federal government, through Mr. Allmand, indicated to me and to my colleagues that it is prepared to fund the natives in the English-Wabigoon area up to $120,000 for legal assistance.

I believe that’s all I have to relate at this particular time.

Mr. Lewis: A supplementary question: Is the minister saying that an offer to the provincial government, expressed publicly in print, from the president of the Reed Paper company to participate financially in projects in native reserves in the English-Wabigoon river system by way, as it were, of reparation for what was done -- that offer and his meeting are now in limbo until he finds out whether the federal government is prepared to provide those projects? Is there nothing we can do provincially to take advantage of this offer and to make it work in the northwest?

Hon. Mr. Irvine: No, that isn’t what I was saying. What I said was that the federal government has the very definite responsibility of providing assistance to the native bands. What we are saying is that there is no use in the province of Ontario acting unilaterally unless it meets with the acceptance of the native bands in the area and with the federal government’s assistance.

The company is prepared to help, if it can, in any way to assist in the economic and social development of the communities in question. The company feels the federal government and the provincial government with the native bands can best arrange how it might be handled in the future. That is what I’m saying.

Mr. Lewis: By way of supplementary --

Mr. Speaker: Order. May I just remind the hon. member that we are 17 or 18 minutes almost into the question period?

Mr. Lewis: I want to ask one supplementary. I didn’t realize the Transport Board would take the time.

May I just ask the minister -- since the provincial government has initiated a number of matters, right through from the question of wild rice protection to the provision of freezers for food supplies -- is it not possible for us to take the initiative, dramatically, pick up the Reed offer and, in conjunction with the bands of Whitedog and Grassy Narrows, initiate projects which they have requested and indicate that it’s possible to solve these problems?

Hon. Mr. Irvine: It’s not that easy. What is definitely very important to understand is that when we have offered certain things they have not been accepted at the local community level. What I am trying to say is I think we can all work better together than unilaterally and the province of Ontario has indicated to the federal government that we are --

Mr. Roy: You are going to have to get closer to an election than that.

Mr. Yakabuski: The NDP is sabotaging the whole thing.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. minister will continue --

Mr. Lewis: The member for Renfrew Something is yelling things about sabotage. Can he say what he means?

Mr. Speaker: No. Order, please. The hon. member does not have the floor.

Mr. Lewis: On a point of privilege: considering the source it’s hard to pay attention to it in any sense, but I don’t think members on the government side should be able to say, “You’re sabotaging everything with that sort of question” and simply get -- all right. No further questions, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: As I’ve indicated before, there’s a great deal of indiscreet language in the chamber at times, and it’s all distressing. Order, please.


Mr. Breithaupt: A question for the Minister of Transportation and Communications following on the Greyhound-Gray Coach matter: While the minister was quoting those certain particular complaints in his statement, was he aware that Greyhound had placed an ad in the Sudbury press asking for people to present arguments against Gray Coach’s service in the area?

Hon. Mr. Snow: No, I wasn’t aware of that.

Mr. Breithaupt: While the minister was reading the telegram sent in the name of local 1374 of the Amalgamated Transit Union the other day, was he aware that telegram was inspired and paid for by Greyhound?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Obviously, I would have no way of knowing whether or not that is right. I received a telegram, as I have received a number of other telegrams. As I mentioned, I received two this morning, one from the mayor of Sault Ste. Marie and one from the reeve of the township of Marathon. I have no way of knowing who paid for those telegrams. I would presume it was the municipalities which those gentlemen represent.


Mr. Breithaupt: If I may, a question of the Attorney General, Mr. Speaker, following a question asked by my leader concerning an unfortunate racial attack during a religious festival on Weston Road.

The minister said he might have a report for us within 10 days. That was some two weeks ago; that time has passed. Is he able now to report to us with respect to the investigations completed by Chief Adamson of the Metro police?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: As I recall, my preliminary response in the House indicated that subsequent to the question, I had learned that the Solicitor General had already requested a full report from the Metropolitan Toronto police department. I will, I am sure, hear the report as soon as it is received by the Solicitor General.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I have had an interim report but we have not yet had a final report and it will be forthcoming.

Mr. Breithaupt: Thank you. The minister will be able, hopefully, to bring us a final report before the middle of December and the possible adjournment of this session?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I hope so, Mr. Speaker.


Mr. Breithaupt: A question of the Minister of Colleges and Universities: Is the minister presently preparing to introduce government policy which would require entrance examinations on a province-wide basis for universities?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: That is another illustration -- I believe the members opposite should know the entrance requirements are set by the institutions themselves. I think, also, they should be aware that there’s a good deal of thought being given to this by the institutions. There were some studies this year. I don’t think I can add to those comments at this time.

Mr. Breithaupt: Perhaps I could repeat my question for the minister -- is he now preparing to introduce provincewide standard entrance examination requirements for universities?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Not at this time.

Mr. Breithaupt: Perhaps I can put the question to the Minister of Government Services following her recent constituency newsletter --

Mr. Lewis: I’ve got one.

Mr. Breithaupt: I noticed the quotation, “The province may also introduce entrance examinations for universities.” Perhaps the minister could share with us any information she has on this subject which the Minister of Colleges and Universities may not have.

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: Mr. Speaker, I would refer that question to the Minister of Colleges and Universities.

Mr. Nixon: Are you writing your newsletters these days?

Mr. Breithaupt: I don’t know who writes the minister’s newsletters but presumably this might be a policy field question.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I tell you, I would like to read some of your newsletters.

Mr. Breithaupt: If you can make anything supplementary out of that, go ahead.

Mr. Lewis: I can make something out of it. A supplementary: As one of the minister’s constituents, if that doesn’t destroy my soul and reputation, can the minister indicate to me why false and misleading advertising material is coming into my home in this fashion from a minister of the Crown?

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: Mr. Speaker, I deny that such false and misleading information is going into the member’s home but I would like to compliment him on his great good judgement in living in the riding of St. David, for which he has very good representation in this House.


Mr. Breithaupt: A question to the Minister of Education with respect to his announcement of the testing and evaluation committee which he announced last Friday: Could the minister expand on the statement he made in the estimates of his ministry on October 31 with respect to the establishment of apparently another committee over a year ago on that particular subject of evaluation? Was it the same work that is now being done, or has that committee reported to him and made any particular statements which this other committee apparently will follow through upon?

Hon. Mr. Wells: No, it is not the same work. The other committee has done the basic study work. This committee is taking that work and, hopefully, putting it into action. I think I covered all that in my statement in the House on Friday morning.



Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Yesterday the hon. member for Windsor-Walkerville asked a question of me concerning an increase in food prices at the hostel units in the city of Windsor. The member indicated that the hostel units, 78 of them, are located at 415 University Avenue East and described the increase as being 28 per cent. The increase of 74 cents per day is an actual increase of 23.5 per cent.

The contract for food service at the hostel units was recently awarded to Beaver Food Services, whose bid of $3.88 per person per day was the lowest of the three submitted. The other tenders were for rates of $4.62 and $5.68 per day per person. Tenants have been given notice of the increased rate, collection of which will commence in January. As food costs are not eligible for subsidy, any delays in payment by residents would only result in much higher payments being required at a later date. Beaver got its original contract in 1970, when the daily rate was $2.24. The next increase didn’t occur until 1973, when it went up to $2.69 per person per day. In June, 1975, the rate increased to $3.14. So the current rise represents the first increase in close to 18 months.

I did want to point out that the hon. member in his question to me yesterday, I believe, seemed to indicate that this was a matter of an increase in the price of food, which he related to the fact that the cost of food index had not increased over the past year. This is a service that’s being provided, as I’m sure the hon. member knows, to the residents who are in the hostel units and these prices are the cost that involves the preparation of the food, the labour involved with that preparation, delivery and serving to the residents in these hostel units.

Mr. B. Newman: Supplementary: Does the minister not consider that a $27 increase, from $96 a month to $123 a month, is a 28 per cent increase? Would the minister not consider phasing in this increase over a period of time rather than having the residents of 415 University Avenue East all of a sudden in January be required to pay this substantial increase for food?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: As I said, this is a tendered price of the cost to provide the food for the individual residents. It works out to $3.88 per day per person for the preparation and the serving of the three meals a day. These are the costs on a tendered contract. I don’t know what other way one would use to pay for these costs except by those persons who are using the service.

Mr. B. Newman: Is the minister not aware that in previous times when food costs escalated they were phased in?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I’m not aware of that. The information that I have, and I have looked into it as a result of the question yesterday, is that there have been increases in this food service over the past number of years. I indicated in my reply to the hon. member that there have been increases starting in 1970 with the original contract. Rates have increased from $2.24 per day per person in 1970 to the present rate, which is now at $3.88 per day per person.

I don’t understand where the phasing in would have been because there’s no indication of such in the material I have.


Mr. Warner: I have a question for the Minister of Colleges and Universities. Since the minister has decided to spend $44 million more than he had been advised to by OCUA, and since neither OCUA nor the advisory committee on student aid recommended raising tuition fees, is it not so that a fee increase for September is unnecessary?

Mr. Lewis: Why did you decide to spend so much more?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I would like to have the benefit of how the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere decided we had spent $44 million more than OCUA recommended. He makes that statement; I would like to see substantiation of that statement.

Mr. McClellan: Who is the minister?

Mr. Speaker: Is there a supplementary question?

Mr. Warner: Not realizing that I was here to answer questions, I would like to pose two supplementaries. Will the minister table --


Mr. Speaker: The hon. member is correct. Order, please. He is posing questions now.

Mr. Warner: Will the minister table a definitive response justifying a budget far greater than that which was devised by OCUA; and when will we see the report from the advisory committee on student aid?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I would have to say to the member that he may not be here to answer questions, but my role is to be very sure that any --

Mr. McClellan: Answer the question.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: -- assumptions that he makes, erroneous as they might be, do not find their way into fact in this province. In other words, if he makes a statement, I do not think that it is incumbent upon myself to accept that as a statement of fact. I wouldn’t go so far as to say the next statement which might put me in conflict with you, Mr. Speaker, but I think it’s very important that --

Mr. Roy: You don’t have to worry about it, the Premier gets away with it!

Hon. Mr. Parrott: -- that the member realizes full well that he stated an erroneous fact.


Mr. Speaker: Order. The member for London Centre.


Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, to the Treasurer: I’d like to take --


Mr. Speaker: The member for London Centre.

Mr. Peterson: -- I’d like to take the Treasurer back --


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Order. The member for London Centre.

Mr. Peterson: -- to his statement of last week.

Mr. Breithaupt: A maxi statement but a mini result.

Mr. Peterson: He projected an increase in expenditures of 9.6 per cent, but he also projected an increase in interest payments of some 16.8 per cent, in total $150 million, bringing a net interest figure to something over $1 billion next year. Now my question to the Treasurer is how can he project that without projecting his revenues and without projecting the size of his deficit for next year? And is he prepared to share those two very important matters with the House at this time?

Some hon. members: Hear, hear.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Those will be disclosed at the time the budget is brought down in the spring.

Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, may I just pursue this, because I think --

Mr. Speaker: A supplementary question?

Mr. Peterson: My question is: how can the Treasurer project that deficit and that interest figure when he doesn’t project his revenues? And why is he not prepared to share that with us now, particularly in view of the fact that there’s a 16.8 per cent increase in interest alone?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Actually, Mr. Speaker, the figure for interest would reflect a current debt, not necessarily iron-clad assumptions at this moment about debts which might be incurred, internal borrowings or otherwise for next year.

Mr. Peterson: A further supplementary, Mr. Speaker: What percentage of the $150 million is a refinancing of the current debt and what percentage is new debt? That’s the question, surely.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I’d be glad to get those figures, Mr. Speaker, but the simple fact is that at such time as the budget is brought down, presumably in March or April, we will be laying all those figures before the House.


Hon. Mr. Handleman: On November 10, the member for Quinte (Mr. O’Neil) asked me: “Can the minister confirm complaints which were made to me that deaf persons are assessed for unduly high car insurance premiums? If this is so, what steps does he plan to take to correct the situation?”

We have looked into it and we can find no evidence that there is any industry-wide rating practice in connection with deaf drivers who are insured for automobile insurance. None of the rating organizations has any special classification to rate for such drivers. The Facility, which is the vehicle for high-risk drivers, has no provision for surcharging the deaf driver.

It is possible, of course, that some individual insurer may decide in a particular case to rate a deaf driver in a special category. If there’s any particular instance of that nature, I would appreciate having it brought to my attention.


Mr. Ferrier: I have a question of the Treasurer, Mr. Speaker: Is the Treasurer aware that because of the federal government’s position on the gold mining industry there will be 900 jobs lost in the gold mining industry in Timmins alone this year? Will he provide consultation with Ottawa and try to come up with a policy for the gold industry in Ontario and in Canada, since we do not have a policy? And what plans has he to alleviate the unemployment caused by this federal government gold policy, or lack of policy?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Bernier) has answered questions on this matter before. He has had discussions with Ottawa on at least one or two occasions, and we have been involved in those discussions as well. More recently, within the last two or three weeks or last month, the federal Minister of Finance has had some success in prevailing on the IMF to regularize and slow down their auctions somewhat. In any case the market seems to have adjusted somewhat to the quantities which are being sold by auction and the price of gold has strengthened somewhat, and it may be that what we thought was going to be a very serious problem is not as serious as we thought.

Mr. Ferrier: As a supplementary, does the Treasurer not think that it is important that we develop in Canada and in Ontario a policy for the gold mining industry so that we might plan ahead and provide some security for the jobs that are there now and perhaps make room for some expansion, which is a very real possibility should there be a commitment from both the provincial and federal governments to the gold mining industry and to the community and the workers?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, we’re not about to make a commitment to purchase gold at a price, no.

Mr. Bain: Supplementary: In the estimates committee the Minister of Natural Resources said he would meet with the Treasurer; has he met with him and has he and the Minister of Natural Resources come to a conclusion yet? If the federal government refuses to provide any sort of gold subsidy and it becomes absolutely essential that such a subsidy be provided if gold mining communities are to survive, will the provincial government provide that subsidy if the federal government refuses to act?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, I think there were at least three or four hypothetical parts to that question.

Mr. Bain: Has the Treasurer met with him and discussed it, though?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: With my colleague, yes. We’ve had discussions on several occasions.

Mr. Bain: What was the outcome of the discussion?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: We’re continuing to watch the situation, but it is not the responsibility of the government to step in and rescue the unemployment insurance fund, for example.

Mr. Bain: So if the federal government does nothing, what will you do?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Is the member really suggesting that’s part of our responsibility? Mr. Speaker, I have said before that the situation has been reviewed --

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Roy: You are out of order.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: The member is asking hypothetical questions repeatedly.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. There is no supplementary.


Mr. Gaunt: A question of the Minister of Agriculture and Food: This question pertains to the pending liquidation of Essex Packers. Since the final debt payouts to farmers will be well below the 15 cents on the dollar offered earlier this year, and since Better Beef, aided and abetted by this government, forestalled Essex’s pending bankruptcy with a plan to take proxy control by purchasing debts at 15 cents on the dollar, what further intervention does the government plan at this time on behalf of the farmers?

Hon. W. Newman: Mr. Speaker, I think that question should be more appropriately put to the Minister of Correctional Services, who deals with that particular matter, as members know.

Mr. Speaker: Dues the hon. member wish to refer the question?

Mr. Gaunt: I’ll redirect it.

Hon. J. B. Smith: Since we are really no longer directly involved, I am just trying to find it and will give a response to the hon. member on Thursday exactly when the next hearing is before the court and what it involves.

Mr. Gaunt: Supplementary: In view of the fact that the lion’s share of the money raised from the property sales will go toward Better Beef’s secured debt, of I believe $700,000, would the minister consider it appropriate and possible to negotiate with Better Beef to see if a portion of that money could be directed toward the farmers for payment on their livestock?

Hon. J. R. Smith: Mr. Speaker, it is my belief that we no longer can do that.

Mr. Conway: Where dues the buck stop?

Mr. Good: Turn off the light on seat 77.

Mr. Roy: We can see you, Jimmy; we can’t hear you.



Hon. Mr. Auld: The member for Algoma a few days ago asked a question on the subject of the unclassified staff.

The problem that surfaced with respect to the Ministry of Natural Resources relates to appointments made under group 2 of section 5 of regulation 749 of The Public Service Act. Persons appointed under this section are employed in projects of a seasonal or recurring nature, which doesn’t require them to be employed on a full-time year-round basis.

Mr. Roy: Just table it, Mr. Speaker. We can’t hear.

Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, we can’t hear.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. There is some difficulty in hearing. I think the hon. minister might be able to speak out a little bit, and if there were a little bit less noise --

Mr. Good: Turn off the microphone on seat 77.

Mr. Nixon: It is the minister’s style; he is just perfecting it.

Mr. Peterson: Could we get Mr. Riddell to read it, Mr. Speaker?

Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Yakabuski.

Hon. Mr. Auld: If I may lean a little to the right?

Mr. Speaker: I think if you lean to the right that would be acceptable.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: He’d read it from Huron county.

Hon. Mr. Auld: I still have one foot in my place; shall I start over again?

Mr. Nixon: Go right ahead.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Auld: We have defined a seasonal project as having a maximum period of nine months on the premise that anything beyond that could be considered a full-time continuous position. This definition has created problems for some ministries and we are working with them to resolve the situation. In the interim, we have suggested that they not terminate anybody simply because the employment does not conform to this definition until we have explored all the alternatives.

As far as the benefits are concerned, our definition was not aimed at penalizing employees but rather clarifying the kinds of work most appropriately categorized as group 2 or seasonal or recurring in nature. I am advised that this does not affect the employees’ ability to use sick leave credits if they are sick at any time during the period in which they are employed. The question of benefits is, of course, subject to negotiation and collective agreement, and these negotiations are presently under way.

Mr. Wildman: Could the minister indicate when the final decision might be made so that these employees won’t remain in limbo for very long, wondering what’s going to happen? Could he clarify how this decision might affect the pension benefits for some of the unclassified employees?

Hon. Mr. Auld: The unclassified staff, the so-called casuals, are only covered by the Canada Pension Plan. They are not involved in The Public Service Superannuation Act. I can’t really tell him when we are going to have this resolved except I hope it would be fairly shortly because we’ve been going into it for some little time already.

Mr. Speaker: The member for Welland-Thorold -- is this a supplementary?

Mr. Good: No, this is a new question.

Mr. Speaker: We have a new question here first.

Mr. Swart: My question is of the Minister of Treasury, Economics and Intergovernmental Affairs.

Mr. Good: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: No, order, please. The hon. member for Algoma had a supplementary.

Mr. Good: No, the last question asked here, Mr. Speaker, was by the member for Huron-Bruce.

Mr. Speaker: That’s right, and then we went to an answer from the minister over here and we are back to this side now. The member for Welland-Thorold.


Mr. Swart: To the Treasurer: Would I be correct in assuming that he is aware of another document being tabled, entitled Land Use Planning in the Niagara Peninsula, prepared by Professor John Jackson specifically for the Niagara Review Commission? Does the Treasurer know that document severely criticizes the lack of direction from the government on provincial regional planning? Is he prepared as --

Mr. Ruston: Statement.

Mr. Swart: -- a result of that to give any more direction to the Minister of Housing in his decision on Niagara?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, that was a three-part question. The answer to all three parts is no.

Mr. Speaker: We have time for one question here -- in all fairness I think we should; we have about 20 seconds here. We’ll give an opportunity for a question from the member for Waterloo North.


Mr. Good: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I will be glad to ask my question and supplementary all in one. This is a question of the provincial Treasurer regarding the study of 14 unorganized townships in the Kirkland Lake area.

Could the minister first report on the status of this study in view of the fact that the three representatives of the unorganized townships resigned because they said the government had ignored their petition asking that they not be annexed to Kirkland Lake?

Secondly, would he comment on why he insists on studying an area in which the townships have made it perfectly clear that they want to be left alone and they are quite happy with their present form of unorganized government?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I think the member might talk to the member from the area, among others, and he would find out --

Mr. Good: I am asking you. I know what he says.

Mr. Conway: Louder, Darcy.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: He would find out that there are problems because there is a lack of organization; there is a spillover. There is a request for services which could best be handled in some instances by some form of organized government, but it isn’t simple enough to say to leave them in an unorganized form. That may be the answer, but that’s what the study is all about.

Mr. Speaker: The oral question period has expired. Before we go on to the next order of business, the Minister of Transportation and Communications has indicated he has a further statement he would like to make. We would have to have the permission of the House to revert to statements. Do we have that permission? Agreed.


Hon. Mr. Snow: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This will be very short and unprovocative, I hope.

Mr. Conway: Most unusual.

Hon. Mr. Snow: The next seven days, December 1 to December 7, have been proclaimed “Safe Driving Week” in Canada. I would like to take this brief opportunity to go on record and indicate to the House that we in the Ministry of Transportation and Communications heartily endorse the efforts of the Canada Safety Council to reduce the accident rates on all our Canadian highways.

Mr. Conway: How about Bob Johnson?

Hon. Mr. Snow: I would also like to state, again for the record, that my ministry has been consistently doing its part to impress on Ontario motorists, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. There is too much noise and movement around the chamber.

Hon. Mr. Snow: -- in fact, all those who use provincial streets and highways -- that safety is a matter of concern for 52 weeks of the year. The ministry’s theme is “Go Safely”, and the programme covers such safety areas as seatbelt, school bus, snowmobile, bicycle and pedestrian safety for adults and children; and motorcycle, elementary school safety programmes and driver education in our high schools. As well, on a continuing basis, we produce safety literature and public information messages promoting defensive driving techniques for summer and winter driving.

As the Canada Safety Council has pointed out in its current campaign, “Traffic accidents continue to be one of Canada’s greatest social problems.” We agree, and accident statistics readily will prove that. Though the rate is high, Ontario’s death and injury rate is dramatically down from last year, as I reported to the House last week.

On the occasion of Safe Driving Week, I would like to sincerely thank the media for their extremely valuable assistance in publicizing my ministry’s various safety programmes throughout the year. Through newspaper feature stories and public service radio and television messages, we have been able to spread the safety message more widely.

Finally, I want to assure the members that my ministry intends to continue to drive home to the residents of this province that highway safety is everyone’s business.

Mr. Speaker: Petitions.


Mr. Breithaupt: I beg leave to present a petition from the officers of local 113 of the Amalgamated Transit Union, representing 6,800 employees of the Toronto Transit Commission and Gray Coach Lines, requesting that no licences be issued to either Greyhound or Stock Brothers until such time as the cabinet has learned the full facts of the case. I might add that most of these gentlemen are in your gallery today.

Mr. Lewis: Liberals in bed with the trade union movement! That’s not a healthy thing for the trade union movement. They will need cleansing and purifying.

Mr. Speaker: Presenting reports.


Mr. Breaugh, in the absence of Mr. Lawlor, from the standing administration of justice committee, presented the committee’s report which was read as follows and adopted:

Your committee begs to report the following bill with certain amendments:

Bill 97, The Credit Unions Act, 1976.

Ordered for third reading.

Mr. Speaker: Motions.


Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I did have some indication from the House leader of the official opposition that they wanted a substitution. Although I haven’t got it written out, I wonder if it would be in order to move that Mr. Makarchuk be substituted for Mr. Martel on the select committee considering the Camp report until such time as Mr. Martel has recovered from his illness.

Hon. Mr. Welch moved that Mr. Makarchuk be substituted for Mr. Martel on the select committee studying the fourth and fifth reports of the Legislature.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Speaker: Introduction of bills.

Just before the orders of the day, I should announce to the House that in accordance with order 27(g) in our standing orders, I have been duly notified in writing that the hon. member for Scarborough-Ellesmere was not satisfied with the answer to a question from the Minister of Colleges and Universities and he wishes to debate this matter at 10:30 o’clock this evening, and it shall be.

Also before the orders of the day, in accordance with section 82 of The Legislative Assembly Act, I am required to inform the House that the Lieutenant Governor in Council has been pleased to appoint Hon. Mr. Henderson in place of Hon. Mr. Snow and Mr. Maeck in place of Mr. Morrow on the Board of Internal Economy.


Hon. Mr. Welch tabled the answer to question 153 standing on the notice paper.

Mr. Speaker: Orders of the day.


House in committee on Bill 149, An Act to amend The Municipal Act.

Section 1 agreed to.

On section 2:

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Norton moves that section 242a of the Act as set out in section 2 of the bill be struck out and the following be inserted in lieu thereof:

“242a. Where the council of any municipality passes a comprehensive general bylaw dealing with all or any of such matters within its jurisdiction as the council considers desirable to include therein, which bylaw may be known as the municipal code and such bylaw consolidates and includes therein the provisions of any bylaw previously passed by the council;

“(a) the provisions in the comprehensive general bylaw shall be deemed to have come into force on the day the original bylaw came into force; and

“(b) any condition precedent or subsequent or the approval for the external to the council required by law before the original bylaw came into force shall, where such condition was satisfied or approval obtained in respect of the original bylaw, be deemed to have been satisfied or obtained in respect of the corresponding provision in the comprehensive general bylaw in all respects as though the condition had been satisfied or the approval obtained in respect of that provision in the comprehensive general bylaw.”

The hon. member may proceed.

Mr. Norton: Perhaps just briefly, Mr. Chairman, I could explain the reason for this amendment. It is very similar to the section that is contained in the bill, but I would note that the changes are that in the first line, as opposed to reading as it does in the bill that the council of any municipality may pass such a bylaw, it is amended to read where the council of any municipality passes a comprehensive general bylaw.


The reason for that change was that it was brought to our attention by some municipalities that the use of the word “may” might create the impression that prior to the passing of this provision they could not pass a comprehensive bylaw. It had been the practice, apparently, of some municipalities to hold their meetings so that the various items of business on the agenda were dealt with by resolution. At the conclusion of the meeting, they would then pass one bylaw which would include all the resolutions that had been dealt with during the course of the meeting.

They were concerned that if it appeared in this legislation that we were just for the first time granting permission to do that, someone might challenge the validity of their prior bylaws. That was not the intention. It has been our impression they had the authority to do thus previously. In order to clarify that, we are changing the wording so that it does not appear to be permission to do thus for the first time but rather sets out certain circumstances which would arise if they should pass such a bylaw.

Mr. Swart: I rise to support the amendment. As a matter of fact, if the member for Kingston and the Islands hadn’t moved it, I was going to, because I was aware of the concern of certain municipalities that it would jeopardize what they had done in the past. We will support this amendment.

Section 2, as amended, agreed to.

Sections 3 and 4 agreed to.

On section 5:

Ms. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Swart moves that subsection 1(a) of section 296 of the Act, as set out in section 5 of the bill be struck out, and that subsection 1(b) be renumbered as subsection 1.

Ms. Swart: I will read the subsection so that we will know what I am proposing to delete. It is as follows: “Notwithstanding subsection 1, the council of the municipality having a population of less than 20,000 as determined under The Ontario Unconditional Grants Act, 1975, shall not pass a bylaw under the provisions of subsection 1 until the approval of the Municipal Board has been obtained.”

I think the intent of my amendment is clear. Our party proposes that the requirement of the OMB to approve minor variations in conditions of unsold debenture issues be dropped for all municipalities, not just for those over 20,000, as the government wants to legislate in this bill. The number of municipalities over 20,000 in population in this province is about 100. That means that there are approximately then 750 municipalities which would still have to get approval from the Ontario Municipal Board for very minor variations in debenture issues. I suggest this is an unjustified bias against the smaller municipalities.

The considerations on this are perhaps threefold. The first is the matter of time. There is time involved with the Ontario Municipal Board. We all know that they are overloaded now and there are delays. There is a time of delay to the municipalities in having to get approval for a change in debentures which in a changing money market could mean that by the time they get it approved they should be making another change. I guess the concern of the government is that they want safeguards for the small municipalities which they think have inadequate staff to advise on these sorts of changes in their debenture by-laws. Surely, when section 1(b) limits them to varying the interest rates by only one-half of one per cent, that is an adequate safeguard against any major problems arising from decisions they might make.

I also want to state here that the smaller municipalities, those under 20,000, aren’t quite as incompetent as the government thinks they are in these and other matters. They get advice on these things and their decisions very often are just as competent, just as wise as the larger municipalities in Ontario.

Another argument which has been put forward as the reason for not permitting municipalities under 20,000 to make these minor changes on their own without the Ontario Municipal Board looking over their shoulder is that they don’t market debentures or at least don’t market many debentures; they get their money through the OMIC, the Ontario Municipal Improvement Corporation. As a matter of fact, in our debate on second reading of this bill the member for Waterloo North (Mr. Good) made that point very forcefully. He said, and I quote from Hansard of that time:

“Then we go to the other part of the amendment which says that municipalities under 20,000 still retain the same provisions that existed in the sections previous to this amendment coming in.

“Personally, I can’t see too much wrong with that. In many other instances we differentiate between the large municipalities and the small municipalities. First of all, the Ontario Municipal Improvement Corporation is available for all municipalities under 20,000; municipalities over 20,000 population cannot avail themselves of the services of OMIC because OMIC provides funds to buy debentures only for municipalities under 20,000.

“Consequently, the greater proportion of financing done by municipalities is done through OMIC, and the issuing of debentures on the public market is not very common by municipalities under 20,000.”

He reaffirms that later when he says, “While the previous speaker” and there he is referring to me, “had indicated that they don’t think this is right, that it is discriminating, I personally feel there are valid and good grounds for making a difference between those municipalities that do most of their financing through the Ontario Municipal Improvement Corporation.”

I just want to say, Mr. Chairman, that the member for Waterloo North is mistaken in saying that the --

Mr. Nixon: If he is, it’s the first time.

Mr. Swart: There’s always a first. He is mistaken in saying that the smaller municipalities do most of the selling of their debentures through the OMIC.

Mr. Good: Most of them do.

Mr. Swart: I checked this with OMIC and I found that of $38 million debt incurred in 1974 by municipalities under 25,000 -- you’ll recognize that they don’t always have the same grouping -- only $7 million was obtained from OMIC, or less than one-fifth of the total long-term debt which was incurred by the municipalities.

I was told that they often run out of money and therefore can’t provide the municipalities with the long-term financing they need. I went a bit further than that and I contacted 10 relatively small municipalities to find out they did use OMIC. I could name those here.

There was Walkerton, with a population of 4,600; Orangeville, 9,800; Aylmer with 4,705; Yarmouth township with 7,715; Leamington, 10,576; Pittsburgh township in Frontenac county, 6,861; Hanover, 5,116; Sidney township, 9,057, Ingersoll, 8,013 and Hearst with 4,668 population. The result of that survey was that one municipality of those 10 used OMIC exclusively, four used the open market exclusively, four used both OMIC and the open market and one hadn’t issued any debentures recently. In their opinion, five preferred OMIC, three preferred the open market, and two had no preference.

I might just give you a comment or two from those municipalities. Orangeville stated they never used OMIC; they always either sold them locally or through a broker. Aylmer said that they went both ways. Pittsburgh, Frontenac county, said they used OMIC all of the time, and Hanover in Grey county said they never use OMIC and they issued not too long ago a debenture for $500,000. I take time to point that out to show that in fact the small municipalities market most of their debentures not through OMIC but on the open market, and therefore I suggest that they have the right to have that privilege of making those minor changes in the debenture issue on their own, without having to go through all of the procedures of the Ontario Municipal Board, which of course encompass delays and, I say to the member for Kingston and the Islands, in a government that is trying to cut down on costs, just simply adds to the duplication and thus the cost of the issuance of debentures.

In summary, I just say with regard to the proposal that is made here for amending section 5 that if using the open market if the safeguard of one-half per cent interest is added cost to OMB and delay in time to municipalities is the result of this, let’s extend this minor concession and autonomy to all local governments. I would ask both the member opposite and the gentlemen to the left to give serious consideration to this motion, which I suggest is very sound.

Mr. Good: Undoubtedly the previous speaker has a different source of information from that which I used when I got my information. I still feel the major portion of large issues is obtained through OMIC, the Ontario Municipal Improvement Corporation.

Mr. Swart: I just told you. The figures are there.

Mr. Good: You are talking about total. You said five use OMIC, three don’t use OMIC, and you mention that only 20 per cent of the total is issued through the Ontario Municipal Improvement Corporation. I think this section of the bill would apply only where there has been a large debenture issue of substantial size, where the issue is not being picked up as quickly as the municipality would expect it to be. Undoubtedly, in small issues which are put out to the public money market they are going to be taken up in one lump sum by the underwriting agent. In cases where there is a particularly large issue, every hour when the interest rate fluctuates it’s going to mean money one way or another to the municipality. If the interest rate is too far off I’m sure the issue would have to be withdrawn and probably redrafted at a different rate entirely. I personally don’t feel you can have two sets of rules. If the small municipalities have access to the funds then they have complete freedom to do as they wish in other areas.


If the parliamentary assistant wants to accept that amendment, let him do it on his own. I personally feel there is a difference to be made in that municipalities under 20,000 have access to only -- I don’t think they have the large number of large debenture issues which the large municipalities have of necessity. I think it is going to be a strain on the financial management of those municipalities if they want to exercise this particular section of the bill.

Believe me, it takes a considerable amount of expertise in the bond and money market to decide whether we are going to change the interest rate an eighth of one per cent; on a large issue that means a lot. I have been told, and I rather believe it, that that expertise does not exist to a great extent in some of our larger municipalities. It’s a very tricky business when it comes to handling millions of dollars of debentures for a municipality and you are talking about an eighth or 25 points percentage of interest rate.

I still feel as I did when I made my first statement. If the parliamentary assistant wants to accept that amendment, I say let him do it, but I feel there is a difference. I don’t think it’s any hardship on the small municipality because I do not think this instance arises that often in the small municipality; it only arises on a large debenture issue. I’ll bet you can’t point out one instance -- there are very few instances in which the small municipality has found its relatively smaller issues going unsold.

Mr. Norton: Mr. Chairman, the hon. member for Welland-Thorold has indicated that certainly there are some municipalities, some of the smaller municipalities, which do deal with the market as opposed to going through OMIC. I don’t think any of my statements earlier or the statements of the hon. member for Waterloo North were intended to create that impression.

As a matter of fact, our data indicate that of the municipalities of 20,000 or under, some 40 per cent do not engage in long-term financing or long-term borrowing. Of the 60 per cent which do, at least 40 per cent of their needs are met presently through OMIC.

I might also add that the problem we’re trying to meet here is a problem which has never been raised, to my knowledge, by the small municipalities. It’s one which is faced by the larger municipalities when very large sums of money are involved. They may have difficulty in moving their debentures and, as a consequence, they stand to lose substantial amounts of money. I think what the hon. member for Waterloo North has said is correct. It does not appear to be a problem experienced by the smaller municipalities.

I can appreciate the thrust of what you’re trying to do -- not to appear to create anything, a situation, which is in any way prejudicial to one group of municipalities. This is not an arbitrary thing we’re doing and it’s not just a stab in the dark. It is related to practice. It is related to the present setup of OMIC. It is related to the fact that the smaller municipalities may borrow for any purpose from OMIC whereas the larger municipalities may not. There is special provision which has been made for the small municipalities.

In addition to that, I don’t think we should overlook lightly the fact that some of the smaller municipalities operate with very limited staff; in some cases, no full-time staff. It becomes a very difficult task for a part-time clerk to handle rather complex financial matters such as this.

It’s not a paternalistic position which we’re taking but rather one, I think, which recognizes the differences that do exist in municipalities. I think that in those cases, since it does not appear to be a problem and is a very rare occurrence in any event, to relieve the requirement for Ontario Municipal Board participation with the smaller municipalities, if they should be faced with this, is not an onerous requirement.

Mr. Swart: It is a rare occasion even for the small municipalities.

Mr. Norton: No, the point is that even the fact that it is a rare occasion for a very small municipality with a very limited staff I think makes it an even more difficult task if it should arise, in which case the assistance of the Ontario Municipal Board as a check is, I think, desirable. For that reason, I would not be prepared to support the amendment although I realize that the intent is sincere and it’s been very well researched. I think that it overlooks the need to make this distinction and to recognize the distinction that does exist in OMIC and in other arrangements with the small municipalities.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Shall Mr. Swart’s amendment carry?

Those in favour will please say “aye.”

Those opposed will please say “nay.”

In my opinion the “nays” have it.

Shall we stack it?

Some hon. members: Yes.

Sections 6 to 9, inclusive, agreed to.

On section 10:

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Swart moves that clause (c) of paragraph 87 of subsection 1 of section 354 of the Act, as set out in section 10(7) of the bill, be amended by striking out “but no licence fee shall be more than $20 per month” in the fifth and sixth lines, with the following inserted in lieu thereof:

“and notwithstanding that the trailer is not assessable under The Assessment Act, the licence fee shall be equal to the pro-rated amount of municipal taxation that would apply if the trailer were eligible for assessment under The Assessment Act. Such licence fee shall be apportioned among the bodies for which the municipality is required to levy a rate in the same proportion that municipal taxes levied in the preceding year on residential assessment for each such body bears to the total taxes levied in the preceding year on residential assessment for all purposes.”

Mr. Swart: There are really three sections of this Act which deal with the same basic issue. There is also subsection 6 of section 10 and then a subsection of 15, and it all concerns just two things. One is the transfer from The Municipal Act to The Planning Act of the right to refuse and zone trailer or mobile home parks and individual mobile homes which may be located in the municipalities. Because they are tied one to the other, I would like on this particular amendment to put forth the arguments for section 15 as well and not duplicate my comments at that time. I hope this will be acceptable.

Let me say immediately that we believe the intent of these sections and these subsections is to remove the powers which municipalities now have to provide a blanket prohibition against the location of mobile homes and mobile home parks within their municipalities. We believe that the prohibition, consideration and determination should be made under the umbrella of planning and zoning. I may say we agree with this general intent and suggest that it is a move forward.

The prohibition legislation has been used extensively. Understandably, from a municipal point of view there was reason to use the prohibition measures. Formerly, mobile homes -- they were mostly trailers a number of years ago -- yielded little revenue. Years back many of them did deteriorate to almost slum conditions. The situation has changed and the blanket prohibition should be removed.

However, I want to say there should be no doubt left with municipalities that the ability to prohibit is just being transferred to the planning process. Under a planning process they may be able to prohibit, but they have to have that approved by the Ontario Municipal Board. If the Ontario Municipal Board decides that a municipality should not be able to prohibit or putting it another way that it should have an area where a mobile home would be permitted, then it will have the power to do so. Tie old blanket provision which required no approval from any other body to prohibit mobile homes in the community will be gone.

Certainly they will not be able to do it with the same ease that they did before. I suggest this bill is a step on the road to implementing the 1974 task force on housing policy when it said the province should not allow municipalities to exclude mobile homes as a permitted use under zoning bylaws.

I want to make it clear at this time that we are in fact changing the powers of the municipalities. I say that the situation has changed substantially and I want to document this. It’s in recognition of this change that we move amendments to sections 10 and 15 to have mobile home owners pay their fair share, and I say nothing more or nothing less, of property taxation.

The changes that have brought about the need for the amendments here and for the amendments which we propose are, first of all, housing costs. The government of this province has permitted dwelling units, at least single-family units, to escalate to the place where few people can afford them. Mobile homes, therefore, are to many people a desirable alternative to living in apartments. We would say they should he part of the housing mix.

A study was done, in Thunder Bay I believe, with regard to the cost of a mobile home versus a single-family dwelling unit. The title of that is “Mobile Homes in the Rural Environment.” It is a report by the Lakehead Planning Board prepared as late as September, 1976. It showed that the average cost of purchasing and maintaining a three-bedroom home was $311.56 per month. For a three-bedroom mobile home the cost was $256.74, or only about four-fifths as much as a single-family dwelling unit. So there is a real argument that people who want a housing unit of their own may be able to purchase a mobile home which is satisfactory to them when they couldn’t purchase a single-family dwelling unit.


The second point I want to make about the need for these amendments is that the use of mobile homes is escalating very dramatically. In 1974, 13 per cent of all the new housing starts in Canada were mobile homes. We produced 1,562 mobile homes in this county in 1963. In 1974, we produced 28,690, of which 4,763 were double-wides, which are almost the equivalent to a standard single- family dwelling unit.

I have to say that Ontario is lagging very far behind the other provinces in its residents’ use of mobile homes. In fact, I think the ratio to population in Ontario is the lowest of any of the provinces in Canada and far below a place like British Columbia, although admittedly it has a different climate to what we have in this province.

The style, the size and the quality of mobile homes are changing. I think that’s obvious. I don’t have to document that point. We are moving into the double-wides, which are much longer and they are satisfactory residential units. They are also becoming permanent residences to a much greater degree. I think it’s perhaps unnecessary to document that one either. If you look at the parks, you realize they are there to stay for a long period of time. Those people living there are permanent citizens of the community, almost to the same extent as people who live in single-family dwelling units and even more so than those who live in apartments in the same community.

We need a changed approach and changed legislation to deal with what is happening. To meet the very real need to promote the acceptability to the councils of units in their areas and certainly to the public, as well as to mobile home owners and prospective mobile home owners, we need changes in legislation to make this acceptable all around.

Let me say immediately that I believe there ought to be much more in the way of development of municipal mobile home parks. The government of this province should be promoting those as a very real alternative and --

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order, please. I fail to see where your debate at this time refers specifically to this amendment.

Mr. Swart: I think you will in a moment or two, Mr. Chairman. I have to put this in perspective.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: The Chair will wait patiently. Would you proceed?

Mr. Swart: I would point out that the now Provincial Secretary for Resources Development (Mr. Irvine) stated on July 4, 1975, when he was Minister of Housing: “The ministry will be actively involved in the development of at least one mobile home community under the new planning legislation and design criteria.”

I would ask the member for Kingston and the Islands, when he winds up the debate on this, as I assume he will, if he can tell me where that one is located. I think perhaps I had better come back to that, because the former Liberal member is talking to the member for Kingston and the Islands. Could I have the attention of the member for Kingston and the Islands?

I quoted a statement by the then Minister of Housing on July 4, 1975, in which he said: “The ministry will be actively involved in the development of at least one mobile home community under the new planning legislation and design criteria.” Would you, when you wind up the debate, tell me where that community is that he promised to be actively involved in at that time, on July 4, 1975?

There are many other measures relating to mobile home parks that I would like to cover, but I want to deal with just one -- the amendment to provide the property tax revenue on the same basis as derived from the real property, and I’m sure you see now, Mr. Chairman, where I was leading up to this point.

There is a move, admittedly, here in Ontario, to assess mobile homes. Most other provinces do. In fact, five of the other provinces use the method of assessment of mobile homes exclusively. There are some of the provinces which still use a fee basis and an assessment basis, either together or separately, depending on the type of mobile home.

I suggest -- and perhaps I’m being presumptuous, but probably there is no one in this House who would disagree with me that the assessment basis is the fair way. For some reason this province has refused or neglected to change The Assessment Act, and I say this is inexcusable. Just a few weeks ago we had Bill 133 before us, which was a bill to amend The Assessment Act, and if the province was serious about using the assessment provisions, in the light of what happened in the Vannini case at Sault Ste. Marie and on they would have brought in amendments so that there would be no doubt that they would have the right to assess mobile homes on the same fundamental basis as other residences are assessed.

I think my colleague the member for Algoma (Mr. Wildman) might have more to say on that particular case and the situation up there, so I’m not going to dwell on it at any length. But I want to say -- because this apparently has not happened up there or in other areas where they are now assessing the mobile homes -- that the assessment must be fair in relationship to other mobile homes which are still paying the fee, and it must be fair in relationship to other residences.

The amendment which we propose accomplishes this in a very successful way until The Assessment Act is in fact changed. Our amendment provides that the licence fee which would be paid by a mobile home owner would be the same as if he was taxed.

In other words, the property would be assessed and then he would pay an amount in a fee equal to what he would pay if he was assessed, and therefore there will be no discrimination if that’s done fairly between mobile home owners who are assessed and those who aren’t assessed, and the fine line now, as I’m sure all members know, is pretty difficult to draw under the present Act.

The second point I want to make with regard to the amendment is that it will ensure that the revenue from mobile homes will be divided the same as other taxation. It will go to school boards or to the region or to whatever bodies derive support from municipal taxation.

Another worthwhile section of our amendment is that it provides that it will be an occupancy tax and will only be levied when the lot is actually occupied by a mobile home.

Under present legislation it matters not whether there is a mobile home on the lot. The owner of the mobile home camp or park, whatever you wish to call it, must pay so much per lot, up to $20 per lot. The result is that this is passed on to the mobile home dwellers or owners who are there, and if it is only two-thirds full then there is a 50 per cent increase in the amount they have to pay toward this licence fee because the other lots aren’t filled. Unlike taxation, it will be paid in advance if they move out, and there is this advantage.

I say to the member for Kingston and the Islands and to the members of the Liberal Party that this seems like a reasonable interim measure to give some further degree of fairness in levies on the mobile home population. I say it may be considered interim. I am not at all sure but what it may be a measure that you would want to incorporate on a permanent basis, because there is always going to be some difficulty between a mobile home which is on wheels and in fact is mobile and one that is set on blocks and connected to the water and sewers. This way, even if it is in fact a mobile home, not a permanent structure, you will assess it in levy costs against it for the municipality in exactly the same manner as a mobile home which is on a more permanent basis.

For all of these reasons, I would urge the members of this House to unanimously support this amendment.

Mr. Eakins: Is there a quorum in the House? It seems that we should have a quorum when we are listening to an important discussion such as this.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: The clerk will take the count.

Mr. Deputy Chairman called for the quorum bells.

On resumption:


Mr. Good: Dealing with the amendment before us, I must confess I may not be perfectly clear on all aspects of it.

As I understand it, over the past six or eight years we have gone through a great many variations and amendments dealing with trailers and mobile homes in parks and camps. Those designated as trailers in a trailer camp pay no licence fee, nor do they pay assessment. The owner just pays a tax on the property. I believe that is correct.

Those who were in mobile homes, living there over 60 days on a permanent basis, used to pay a $20 assessment, a $20 licensing fee per month to the municipality. Some smart assessor got the idea a few years ago that these mobile homes could be assessed as real property and he won his case in court and before long many municipalities were jumping into the action. We then found that mobile homes were not only paying licence fees, but they were also being required, through the owner of the camp, to pay a property tax because they were assessed.

The courts upheld the fact that mobile homes, once established on a permanent basis as a permanent residence, could be assessed under The Assessment Act as real property. So we ran into the dilemma then that some people in mobile home parks were not only paying licensing fees, but they were also being assessed and paying property tax. That is why we finally got this amendment in this section which says no licence fees shall be charged in respect of a trailer assessed under The Assessment Act. And that was put in not too many years ago.

I must confess I was not aware that there are still mobile homes that are not assessed.

Mr. Wildman: Oh, many.

Mr. Good: All the mobile homes in my particular community are assessed under The Assessment Act.

Mr. Ruston: So are ours.

Mr. Wildman: Not ours.

Mr. Good: If there were some mobile homes that were not assessed it didn’t take them long to make the necessary changes on their undercarriage by blocking them in, or closing them around and hooking them up, so they did become available for assessment; because invariably in the area with which I am familiar it was more advantageous to be assessed and pay the municipal tax than it was to pay the $20 a month licensing fee. I think the $20 a month licensing fee did in fact reflect a fairer return to the municipality than many of the revenues generated from assessment.

Incidentally, Mr. Chairman, as I understand it the licensing fee now is required to be divided with the board of education of the area on the same basis as other tax revenues, and that requirement is under The Education Act. I looked into that matter a few years ago. So any licensing fees collected by a municipality must be distributed to the county board within that area on the same basis as other revenues are divided.

My problem is with the proposition that we are talking about mobile homes or trailers that are not assessable under The Assessment Act and that their licence fee be equal to the prorated amount of taxation that would apply if the trailer were eligible for assessment. How do you assess a non-assessable item such as a mobile home? This would be a problem as far as I am concerned.

Evidently, according to the member for Algoma, there are a lot of trailer mobile homes being licensed rather than assessed. If that is the case, there probably is a problem where they are paying more by the $20 licence fee than they would be if they were assessed. But if they are not eligible for assessment -- and assessment as we knew it then was one thing and assessment as we have it in the areas, say, of Grey and Bruce and East Parry Sound and Carleton, where market value assessment was taken over is another matter. So before I would know whether we could support this I would have to know whether there is any mechanism whereby an assessment figure could be placed on a mobile home which is not eligible for assessment under The Assessment Act.

That is as far as I want to go right now before I decide.

Mr. Wildman: I’m glad to be able to participate in this debate on the amendment. About 12 per cent of all the mobile homes in the province are in the district of Algoma. In the unorganized areas north of Sault Ste. Marie at the present time there are at least about seven or eight mobile home parks. The mobile homes within those mobile home parks are still being licensed, but they are not now assessed. The assessment department is in the process of beginning to assess these homes, but as of this date they are still paying licence fees.

This leads to a very unusual situation for the mobile homes within the city boundaries of Sault Ste. Marie. There are three small parks within the city boundaries. Up until this year they were also under a licence fee but, as of January 1, 1976, they were assessed and their taxes were determined on the assessment. We had the situation where mobile homes within parks within the city of Sault Ste. Marie were being assessed, while the large number of mobile homes in the many parks north of the Sault within a few miles were under a licence fee. This led to a number of problems which I’d like to lay out before the committee and see whether or not we can reach some conclusion as to accepting this amendment.

It appears that either TEIGA does not really know what the Ministry of Revenue is doing or perhaps the Minister of Revenue (Mr. Meen) doesn’t really know what his assessors are doing in the district of Algoma. As has been pointed out, before the early 1970s licence fees were standard throughout the province for mobile homes. These licence fees very seldom had any relationship to the real value of the home. They were just set arbitrarily and they could be raised arbitrarily, although they weren’t for a long period of time. Then in one jump in the early 1970s they doubled.

When the assessment department began assessing the mobile homes, one of the owners of one of the parks north of the Sault went to court and appealed this assessment. Judge Vannini ruled that a mobile home with the wheels attached and which was not on a permanent foundation was not a permanent residence and therefore, was not eligible for assessment. It was a vehicle and therefore it should be licensed.

I’m not sure what happened in the rest of the province, but after that, in the district of Algoma they went back to licensing rather than assessment. In the area north of the Sault there was no municipal organization so the tax collector there is the board of education. The Sault Ste. Marie and district board of education levied a licence fee. That’s the way it remained both in the city and outside the city until this year when the three parks within the city boundaries were assessed.

I want to point out that I am certainly not opposed to the assessment of mobile homes. I’m in favour of that because then there is some way the homeowner can determine whether or not his taxes are fair and he can appeal if he thinks they are unfair. The licence fee has no relationship necessarily to the value of the home and in that sense is somewhat unfair for determining taxation.

I’ve raised this issue a number of times in the House. Early last spring one of the mobile home tenants’ associations in Sault Ste. Marie contacted me and told me that they had been licensed up until that time but now they had been assessed. They felt the assessments that were arrived at were too high and they wanted to know what legislation there was determining how mobile homes should be assessed and so on. I asked the Minister of Revenue if he could clarify the situation during the discussions of his estimates and I asked him if the Vannini decision was being followed.

In response, the minister stated that if a mobile home was still on its wheels it was not assessable for realty purposes but was subject to a licence fee. Most of the mobile homes in my area, although they are blocked and skirted, still have the wheels and the chassis attached. Most of them are not on permanent blocks which are cemented in or anything; they are on wooden or cement blocks which can be removed easily. That would indicate, if the wheels were still attached and it wasn’t assessable, that most of the mobile homes in the area would not be assessable.

As a result of that situation, I informed the tenants’ association which then contacted the Minister of Housing (Mr. Rhodes). Someone in the minister’s constituency office -- I believe it was in April -- indicated to them that the government believed that assessment was permissible on mobile homes, which seemed, at least, to contradict the statement made by the Minister of Revenue in the House and a statement he had made in a letter to the tenants’ association.

To try to straighten this out, I met with the association and the park owner. They told me at that meeting that they had been informed by the assessors that if they didn’t like being assessed or if they didn’t like the amount of the assessment, they would have to appeal. They launched an appeal in the assessment appeal court and that tribunal ruled that they did not have the right to rule on the legality of assessing or not assessing mobile homes which I would agree is correct. It is not their role.

They were told they would have to appeal to the divisional court which they have done and that case is to be heard in January, 1977. At the assessment appeal court the tenants were informed that assessors could not compare and should not compare mobile homes and houses when assessing; nor should they even compare mobile homes to double-wides.

Mr. Chairman: Is the hon. member for or against the amendment?

Mr. Wildman: I’m in favour of the amendment, sir. I’m trying to explain the problems with this whole thing. As I said at the beginning, it doesn’t appear that TEIGA knows what the Ministry of Revenue is doing; for that matter, Revenue doesn’t know what it is doing.

Mr. Conway: It’s just another motherhood speech for Algoma.

Mr. Wildman: Motherhood is still alive and well in Algoma.

Mr. Conway: Quite obviously.

Mr. Wildman: Seriously, Mr. Chairman, I think this is a very difficult and complex subject and one which I am not treating facetiously. I don’t know the answer to this whole problem. I don’t know why mobile homes in Algoma have been treated differently from mobile homes outside that district in other parts of the province; why they have been licenced until now and are only now being assessed.

Nor for that matter do we know of any guidelines on which assessments can be determined, which makes it very complex. I really don’t know the answer. The problem with mobile homes, of course, is that it is very hard for the assessor to determine its value because mobile homes don’t appreciate in the same way as houses tend to in our inflationary housing market. They often tend to depreciate in value.

I contacted the Minister of Revenue again for clarification. One June 16, the minister wrote to me and stated that he had contacted the assessment commissioner in Sault Ste. Marie to investigate the matter of assessment of mobile homes in the park. He stated, “He reports that to the best of his knowledge all the trailers in that particular park are assessed as real property,” which I knew.


Then he states that the assessments are made in accordance with Judge Vannini’s decision. He attached, very helpfully, a list of questions which he said the assessors used to determine whether or not the home was permanent. On the list there are 14 questions and I won’t go through them here because I know the problem of time. He stated that the assessors asked the mobile home owners these questions and since most of them had been answered in the affirmative the homes were determined to be permanent and therefore subject to assessment.

I wrote the minister then and asked him if he intended to publish this list of questions for a permanency test, which would let mobile home owners know exactly where they stood in regard to assessment. He never answered that question.

I also asked how many of the 14 questions had to be answered in the affirmative for the assessor to determine that the home was a permanent one and thus could be assessed. As yet, I have not received an answer to that question.

I sent the list of questions to the tenants’ association and they wrote back and informed me that although the minister had said the assessor had asked them these questions, they had never been asked these questions. As a matter of fact, most of the home owners in the park weren’t even aware of when the assessor had visited the park. They sent me a list of their answers to the questions which were substantially different from those of the assessor.

I again wrote the minister and asked for clarification. I didn’t get a reply to that but in September the tenants’ association was visited by the regional assessor, and his interpretation of foundations and wheels appeared to be very different from Judge Vannini’s. He also stated that most of the questions in the permanency test were irrelevant in determining whether or not a mobile home could be assessed. This left the tenants very confused, to say the least. It also left me very confused.

I want to point out that neither the tenants nor I -- nor anyone else in this House, probably -- are opposed to assessing mobile homes. It is a fair way of determining taxes for mobile homes.

I received a letter from the tenants which ends, “As mobile-home owners we are not opposed to assessment itself but we emphatically oppose the means that have been devised in an attempt to classify us as permanent dwellings. We feel that since mobile homes as such are not mentioned in The Assessment Act, we should have at least the right to seek, in writing, legislation recognizing the special status of mobile homes wherein guidelines pertaining to their assessment would be clearly stated. This should be done before we are asked to pay taxes like other home owners and this would then grant us the rights and privileges enjoyed by other home owners and taxpayers in the province.”

I agree very much with that but since we are presented at this time with this bill which pertains to a possible licence fee and since it states further on in the bill that no licence fee shall be charged for temporary occupancy by persons who continue to maintain elsewhere a usual or normal place of residence, I don’t feel that our amendment affects transient people in trailers. Our amendment is to deal specifically with people living in permanently or almost permanently-placed homes in parks.

It is to set up a way which, hopefully, will let tenants know exactly how their taxation is to be determined so they will have some idea about how taxes are determined for them. They won’t have an arbitrary licence fee which has no relevance to the value of their own home. They will have some indication and should be able to appeal if they think the assessment or the taxation is too great because it’s based on an inflated assessment.

I don’t know how the ministry determines that some homes are assessable and others aren’t. It’s our position that when they are deemed to be unassessable at least the licence fee should be determined in a fair way.

I understand that the Minister of Revenue and the Minister of Housing met the tenants’ association in September and at that meeting the Minister of Revenue admitted that the homes in that particular park were assessed improperly and he ordered a re- assessment. He stated that he didn’t feel any changes in The Assessment Act were required to enable them to assess mobile homes.

The assessment department now is going ahead with the assessing of mobile homes throughout the area, and the case before the courts is being continued. I feel that guidelines are needed to ensure fair taxation of mobile homes, taking into account their size as compared to houses, their value and also the fact that they depreciate in value. I would hope that the members would accept this amendment as a step towards that. Licence fees, if they are charged, should not be arbitrary but should be related to the value of the home.

Mr. Swart: May I speak again very briefly? I rise again because the member for Waterloo North raised a question. I’d like to reply to it and in fact, when I was speaking previously, I didn’t touch on the mechanics of the application of this amendment.

I think it can be said that there is no real problem at arriving at the value of a mobile home. That is not the question on whether they can be assessed or not. The question is whether they fit under the existing Act. It would be my belief that if this amendment were passed the assessors then would place a value on all mobile homes in the province, the municipality would be notified of those values and they then would levy a fee against the owner of the mobile home park or against the owner of the mobile home, if it wasn’t in a park, related to the tax rate in that municipality and the value of that home.

I would point out at the present time that mobile homes are the only class of residences in the whole province -- in fact the only class of property in the whole province -- where the taxes which they pay -- in effect that’s what the fee is, it is a tax -- are not based on the value of the property in some way. I suggest this is an injustice one way or the other. Some may gain by it, some may lose by it, but it is an injustice that ought to be corrected.

I think that we have to recognize too that mobile homes are becoming, as has been said, more and more permanent. Very few mobile homes are moved in one month and moved out the next. They’re usually there for a substantial period of time and there would be the opportunity to assess them. I would also point out there is a provision in the amendment that the first month does not need to be paid in advance.

I believe that there’s a tremendous hassle and injustice at the present time. Certainly my colleague from Algoma has pointed out the difficulty that they’re having. If we adopted this amendment, it wouldn’t much matter any more whether that mobile home was assessable under the details of The Assessment Act or not. They in fact would pay the same amount to the municipality, whether assessed or whether they paid it through a fee. Because it is, I think, much more fair, more equitable to all taxpayers, I would urge the members of this House to support this amendment.

Of course, there are some mechanical problems to it. There are mechanical problems to collecting fees, but I suggest that they’re not serious enough that we should throw out the principle of this amendment, which, I suggest, is sound.

Finally, just let me say that I certainly have no axe to grind in my area. There is no mobile home in my area. I have no party axe to grind in this, if I may put it that way.

Mr. Conway: Quite a change.

Mr. Swart: I think this is just justice and I think that all the parties in this House should be willing to accept it.

Mr. Norton: Perhaps before dealing with the principles that are involved in this amendment, I might just ask if the hon. member for Welland-Thorold would mind redirecting his question with respect to a statement made back in 1975 in the House by the present Provincial Secretary for Resources Development to that minister in the House during question period.

Not only was I not in the House at the time, I am not familiar with the details of the statement to which he referred, and I think the question would be better directed to the minister himself.

It seems to me that when we are looking at the content of this amendment, there are two aspects we have to consider. I think first of all I would like to direct my comments to the question of the tax and the assessment of mobile homes.

Recognizing that there are grey areas, nevertheless it is our position that mobile homes which are occupied on a permanent basis are in fact taxable in the province. Now there are grey areas and as has been pointed out by the hon. member for Algoma there is a case presently before the courts which may throw some light on this matter and may, in fact, cause the Legislature or the government to have to take some additional action, depending on the outcome of that case.

But the point is that there is a basis upon which to assess and tax those mobile homes that are of a more permanent nature. And contrary to what the hon. member has suggested, it is based upon value. It is based upon the value of the property.

Here in this particular section we are referring to the licensing of mobile homes. I think it would be those mobile homes that are obviously of a less permanent nature that would be contemplated here.

Take, for example, the complexity of applying your amendment to a situation where say, construction workers moved into a community for a period of a few months; that would clearly be in excess of 30 days. Say they were living in mobile homes. Now under this amendment it would not be possible, I suggest, to charge them a licence fee for that period of time.

Mr. Swart: Oh, yes, it would.

Mr. Norton: It would still be a licence fee, hut under your formula it would be necessary for the assessment commissioner or his staff to go out to assess the value of that mobile home, work out the formula and calculate a monthly rate based on an annual tax base before any fee could be charged. I suggest that in some cases those people could be moving in and out before they could ever get the calculations completed. It unnecessarily complicates some situations by trying to make it too simple in its application on a broad basis.

If there are problems in terms of the assessment aspect of this -- and let’s direct our attention to that -- under the proper legislation let’s get that cleared up. Maybe if there is a decision rendered in the case in January it will give us some indication of the direction we have to follow. At the present time we maintain the position that those homes of a more permanent nature are taxable and that to confuse the situation -- and with respect, I think it might well do that if this amendment were passed -- it would be impossible to make the distinction between licensing and taxing. Even though you may call it licensing, in effect you’re still taxing because you have to go through the procedure of assessing and --

Mr. Swart: That’s the purpose of it.

Mr. Norton: Right. But that is possible now and all I’m saying is that it would complicate, I think, the area that is contemplated here -- those mobile homes which are not presently assessable under the law of the province.

For that reason I couldn’t accept the amendment. I think that it would further complicate what has already been indicated is a rather complicated area of assessment. Therefore I would ask that the members of the House, bearing that in mind, not support the amendment on this section that is before the House.


Mr. Ruston: I have, I suppose, one of the largest groups of mobile homes in western Ontario right in my own riding. I suppose we have about 150 in each park. We have somewhere around 500 in total. I understand all of them now are under The Assessment Act.

What concerned me in this amendment was the wording of it. How can you assess something when it is not assessable? As one of the previous speakers said, the judge said they were not assessable because they were on wheels. In here you say the licence fee shall be equal to the pro-rated amount of municipal taxation. I don’t know who is going to decide that unless you make them assessable.

It seems to me the key thing that has to be done is that either the law will have to be changed or a different interpretation of it made in some areas of the province in that we are using the same law in all the province. I was under the impression we were, but apparently we are not. This should be righted. But I think the way the wording is here would probably complicate things more than they are at the present time.

Mr. Good: I want to commend the member for Welland-Thorold and the member for Algoma for trying to do something to correct what I think must be a rather isolated problem in Algoma, from what I am aware of and the member for Essex South and other people I have spoken to just this afternoon have said.

I would like to have a commitment from the parliamentary assistant that if the court findings do show a lack in The Assessment Act, we could get some kind of commitment that he could exert every pressure he could on the Minister of Revenue to get that corrected. I think we are now back in a bind where we were a year or so ago when we had to amend The Assessment Act to prevent the double taxation. We have been kicking the matter of trailers and mobile homes around as long as I have been here for the last nine years.

Another problem that has occurred to me concerns those unassessable mobile homes. If a value were put on them even by an assessor they could not appear on the assessment rolls of the municipality. There would be no process for appeal against that assessment that was put on them. It would be just a matter of being at the mercy of someone or the municipality, whoever happened to put a value on that particular home. When you are paying a fee you know what it is; the maximum is designated as $20 a month. If you are being taxed on an assessment which is not an official assessment, you can’t appeal it to anyone; you are stuck with that.

I would feel much more comfortable with an amendment that would make sure all the mobile homes in the province were going to be assessed. I would think that is the route we should be taking rather than this particular method.

Mr. Wildman: Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the comments of the members. If the amendment is not accepted by the House or is not passed by the House, I would certainly request, along with the member for Waterloo North, a commitment from the government that it will ensure that these anomalies don’t continue, and that The Assessment Act, if it requires changing in order to cover all permanent mobile homes, will be changed.

In the interim, I would request the House to consider accepting the amendment to try to ensure a fair basis on which to determine what is in essence taxation for mobile-home owners.

Mr. Norton: I must point out to the hon. members something which I did point out earlier on second reading, and that is that the whole question of fees, including this, is under review at the present time by a committee including members of the PMLC. I would hope these fees would be looked at as part of the total policy question of fees chargeable by municipalities. I will certainly undertake to relay the concerns that have been expressed this afternoon to the members of that body when I meet with them next.

With respect to the requests that I make a commitment on behalf of the government, I am sure the members opposite realize I am not in a position to commit the government on this matter. I am sure that such a commitment is really not necessary and the hon. Minister of Revenue, pending the outcome of that case, will take whatever action is necessary to clarify the situation.

Mr. Swart: I, too, would like to see The Assessment Act cleaned up in this regard but I would suggest to this House and to the members on the left that the fastest way of doing it is adopting this kind of an amendment.

Mr. Ruston: Not with the wording in that.

Mr. Swart: It will largely eliminate the injustices now and, I think, cause the government to take some pretty speedy action on it. I suggest that’s the best way of doing it.

Mr. Ruston: You had better get the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) to look over the wording.

Mr. Chairman: All those in favour of Mr. Swart’s amendment will please say “aye.”

All those opposed will please say “nay.”

In my opinion the “nays” have it.

Shall we stack it?


Mr. Chairman: Are there any comments or amendments to any other section of the bill prior to section 19? If so, what section?

Mr. Swart: Mr. Chairman, to section 15.

Sections 11 to 14, inclusive, agreed to.

On section 15:

Mr. Swart: Mr. Chairman, you were not in the chair at the time, I believe, when we started to deal with the previous amendment, which was to section 10. I made the statement at that time that there were two similar matters. Section 10 dealt with mobile homes outside a mobile home park and this deals with mobile homes within a mobile home park and the assessment of the fee.

I think the discussion that took place by everyone covered the principle of both and I will just now move this motion and make no further comments on it.

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Swart moves that section 15 of the bill be struck out and the following inserted in lieu thereof:

“Paragraph 15 of section 383 of the said Act, as amended by the Statutes of Ontario, 1971, chapter 81, section 4, 1972, chapter 124, section 14, and 1974, chapter 136, section 19, is amended:

1, by striking out ‘and for designating areas of land to be used as tourist camps, trailer camps or motels, and for prohibiting the use of other land for such purposes’ in the second, third and fourth lines, so that the paragraph, exclusive of the clauses, reads as follows: ‘15. For licensing, regulating and governing tourist camps, trailer camps and motels;’

2, clause (b), of paragraph 15 of the said section 383, is repealed and the following substituted therefor: (b) Any bylaw passed under this paragraph may, among other things,

“i. require trailer camps to be divided into lots, each to be made available for the occupancy of one trailer;

“ii. require an occupancy licence fee payable monthly by the owner of the trailer camp for each such lot occupied by a trailer and the licence fee except for the first 30 days, may be made payable in advance,

“iii. notwithstanding that the trailer may not be assessable under The Assessment Act, the licence fee shall be equal to the prorated amount of municipal taxation that would apply if the trailer were eligible for assessment under The Assessment Act.

“iv. no licence fee shall be charged for temporary occupancy by persons who continue to maintain elsewhere a usual or normal place of residence or for occupancy by trailer that is assessed under The Assessment Act.

“v. such occupancy licence fees shall be apportioned among the bodies on which a municipality is required to levy a rate in the same proportion that municipal taxes levied in the preceding year on residential assessment for each such body bear to the total taxes levied in the preceding year on residential assessment for all purposes.”

Mr. Swart: May I make one further comment. I admit that the wording in these amendments is complex but unfortunately it had to be to introduce the principles, the details, we wanted introduced. I would say to the member who questioned the wording that there was consultation with the legislative consultant on this. Much of the wording was done by him and therefore I would say that the wording is correct and appropriate.

Mr. Chairman: Does any other member wish to speak to the amendment?

The hon. member for Kingston and the Islands.

Mr. Norton: I might just say that I think that the principle involved in this amendment is the same as in the last one that we were dealing with and our position would be the same for the very same reasons.

Mr. Chairman: All those in favour of Mr. Swart’s amendment will please say “aye.”

All those opposed will please say “nay.”

In my opinion the “nays” have it.

Shall we stack it?

Sections 16 to 18, inclusive, agreed to.

On section 19:

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Norton moves that the bill be amended by adding thereto the following section: “19. Subsection 1 of section 553 of the said Act as re-enacted by the Statutes of Ontario, 1976, chapter 51, section 16, is repealed and the following substituted therefor:

“(1) not withstanding any special Act but subject to subsection 2, the treasurer, collector or county treasurer as the case may be shall add to the amount of all taxes due and unpaid interest at the rate of one half of one per cent per month for each month or fraction thereof from the 31st day of December in the year in which the taxes were levied until the taxes are paid provided that the council by bylaw may increase such rate to a rate not exceeding one per cent per month.

“(2) notwithstanding subsection 1 or any special Act, the council of a local municipality may, by bylaw, require that the treasurer, collector or county treasurer as the case may be add to the amount of all taxes due and unpaid interest at such rate not exceeding 12 per cent per annum as the council determines from the 31st day of December in the year in which the taxes were levied until taxes are paid.

“(a) No interest or percentage added to taxes shall be compounded.

“And that sections 19 and 20 of the bill be renumbered as sections 20 and 21 respectively.”

Mr. Good: I just have a question, Mr. Chairman. Is this the amendment that was necessary to clarify the procedure whereby people could get away with just adding one day’s interest to their taxes if they were one day late rather than one month? I understand that this situation had arisen and because of the wording of the present amendments we had put in, interest was just being added for a certain number of days. Is this going to correct that situation?

Mr. Norton: I am sorry; I am not sure that I heard all of what you said but if my answer doesn’t answer the question you asked, stop me.

If you recall, back in the spring session this year, this Legislature passed an amendment that changed the basis upon which municipalities would collect the penalty or interest for overdue taxes. Because of the complexity that created for some of the very small municipalities when they were faced with the necessity of calculating a per diem rate of interest as opposed to a penalty that could be imposed on a monthly basis, at the request of the municipalities and the AMO what we have done in these amendments is to reinstate for them the earlier possibility. They have the option now of either charging 12 per cent per annum or one per cent per month; the option would be open to them.

This particular amendment that we are dealing with now does not deal specifically with the collection of overdue taxes within the year in which they are owing, but it is a necessary amendment to be consistent, because what it does is it deals with taxes after the 31st of December in the year in which they are owing. In other words, the same provisions would apply into the succeeding year if taxes remained outstanding.

Does that answer your question?


Mr. Chairman: Any other comments on the minister’s amendment?

Section 19, as amended, agreed to.

Mr. Chairman: Any other comments on any other section of the bill?

Mr. Norton: If we are going to proceed with the other bills, there may be other amendments. There is The Regional Municipalities Amendment Act --

Mr. Swart: We have no other amendments.

Mr. Norton: You have no other amendments? We have one additional amendment in one of the other pieces of legislation, I believe. We aren’t anticipating that it will give rise to a division but it is possible; perhaps you would like to deal with it now and have them all stack at the same time.

Mr. Chairman: What bill do you want to deal with?

Mr. Norton: Would it be possible to deal with them in the order in which they appear on the order paper?


House in committee on Bill 150, The Regional Municipalities Amendment Act, 1976.

Sections 1 to 11, inclusive, agreed to.

On section 12:

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Norton moves that the bill be amended by adding thereto the following section:

“12. Section 2 of The Regional Municipality of York Act, being chapter 408 of the Revised Statutes of Ontario, 1970, as amended by the Statutes of Ontario, 1972, chapter 78, section 1, is further amended by adding thereto the following subsections:

“2(a). On the first day of February 1977 the corporation of the township of East Gwillimbury is erected into a town municipality being the name of the corporation of the town of East Gwillimbury;

“2(b). Sections 17, 19 and 22 of The Municipal Act apply mutatis mutandis in respect of the erecting of the corporation of the township of East Gwillimbury into a town municipality;

“2(c). A reference in this or any other general or special Act to the corporation of the township of East Gwillimbury or to the township of East Gwillimbury shall be deemed to be a reference to the corporation of the town of East Gwillimbury and to the town of East Gwillimbury respectively; and that the remaining sections of the bill be renumbered accordingly.”

The hon. member for Kingston and the Islands said “the first day of February 1977.” Did he mean that or was it of January?

Mr. Norton: The first day of January, Mr. Chairman. Thank you very much for correcting me.

Section 12, as amended, agreed to.

Section 13 to 62, inclusive, agreed to.

Bill 150, as amended, reported.


House in committee on Bill 151, An Act to amend The District Municipality of Muskoka Act.

Bill 151 reported.


House in committee on Bill 152, An Act to amend The Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto Act.

Bill 152 reported.


House in committee on Bill 153, An Act to amend The County of Oxford Act, 1974.

Sections 1 to 5, inclusive, agreed to.

On section 6:

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Norton moves that the bill be amended by adding thereto the following section:

“6. Subsection 1 of section 43 of The Public Transportation and Highway Improvement Act shall be deemed not to apply to the county; and that section 6 and the remaining sections of the bill he renumbered.”

Mr. Norton: Perhaps I might explain briefly why this amendment is being introduced. In each of the regional bills and in The County of Oxford Act we have an amendment that eliminates the mandatory requirement that a municipality appoint a civil engineer as the superintendent of roads. Because of the status of the county of Oxford as a county, it is subject at the present time to the cited section in The Public Transportation and Highway Improvement Act, which places upon it certain requirements with respect to a civil engineer being the superintendent. In order to be consistent the amendment was introduced to give it the same authority as the regional municipalities, for example. And recognizing its status as a county, we have introduced this amendment so as to exclude it from the application of the provision of The Public Transportation and Highway Improvement Act.

Mr. Good: Does the member for Oxford (Mr. Parrott) approve of this amendment?

Mr. Norton: I am sure he is wholeheartedly in support of it.

Motion agreed to.

Section 6, as amended, agreed to.

Sections 7 to 15, inclusive, agreed to.

Bill 153, as amended, reported.

Mr. Chairman: Call in the members. There is a division on Bill 149.

On resumption:

Mr. Chairman: We have three amendments to Bill 149 and it’s agreed that the Chair should put them all at once.

Mr. Swart moved that subsection 1(a) of section 296 of the Act as set out in section 5 of the bill be struck out and that subsection 1(b) be renumbered as subsection 1.

Mr. Swart further moved that clause (c) of paragraph 87 of subsection 1 of section 354 of the Act, as set out in subsection 7 of section 10 of the bill, be amended by striking out “but no licence fee shall be more than $20 per month” in the fifth and sixth lines, and the following inserted in lieu thereof, “and notwithstanding that the trailer is not assessable under The Assessment Act, the licence fee shall be equal to the pro-rated amount of municipal taxation that would apply if the trailer were eligible for assessment under The Assessment Act. Such licence fee shall be apportioned among the bodies for which the municipality is required to levy a rate in the same proportion that municipal taxes levied in the preceding year on residential assessment for each such body bears to the total taxes levied in the preceding year on residential assessment for all purposes.”

Mr. Swart further moved that section 15 of the bill be struck out and the following inserted in lieu thereof:

“15 (1). Paragraph 15 of section 383 of the said Act, as amended by the Statutes of Ontario, 1971, chapter 81, section 4, 1972, chapter 124, section 14, and 1974, chapter 136, section 19, is amended by striking out ‘and for designating areas of land to be used as tourist camps, trailer camps or motels, and for prohibiting the use of other land for such purposes’ in the second, third and fourth lines, so that the paragraph, exclusive of the clauses, reads as follows: ‘15. For licensing, regulating and governing tourist camps, trailer camps and motels.’

“Clause (b) of paragraph 15 of the said section 383 is repealed and the following substituted therefor: ‘(b) Any bylaw passed under this paragraph may, among other things,

‘i. require trailer camps to be divided into lots, each to be made available for the occupancy of one trailer,

‘ii. require an occupancy fee payable monthly by the owner of the trailer camp for each such lot occupied by a trailer and the licence fees, except for the first 30 days, may be payable in advance,

‘iii. notwithstanding that the trailer may not be assessable under The Assessment Act, the licence fee shall be equal to the prorated amount of municipal taxation that would apply if the trailer were eligible for assessment under The Assessment Act,

‘iv. no licence fee shall be charged for temporary occupancy by persons who continue to maintain elsewhere a usual nr normal place of residence or for occupancy by a trailer that is assessed under The Assessment Act,

‘v. such occupancy licence fees shall be apportioned among the bodies for which the municipality is required to levy a rate in the same proportion that municipal taxes levied in the preceding year on residential assessment for each such body bears to the total assessment levied in the preceding year on residential assessment for all purposes.’”

The committee divided on Mr. Swart’s amendments, which were negatived on the following vote:

Ayes 28; nays 64.

Bill 149, as amended, reported.

On motion by Hon. Mr. Handleman the committee of the whole House reported three bills with amendments and two bills without amendments, and asked for leave to sit again.

Report agreed to.


Mr. Speaker: Just before we call the next order of business I beg to inform the House that the notice of dissatisfaction to a response to a question to the Minister of Colleges and Universities previously filed by the hon. member for Scarborough-Ellesmere has been withdrawn at the request of the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere.

Mr. Warner: On a point of order, I think it should be noted that I withdrew it so that the minister could retain the commitments that he had made in his own riding for this evening and that the matter will be dealt with at a later date.

House in committee of supply.


Hon. F. S. Miller: When this House last debated the Health estimates for the fiscal year 1976-77 in June, we were dealing with a total of $3,374 billion. In view of the discussions taking place at that time, I doubt if it will be a great surprise that it is now necessary to present supplementary estimates totalling approximately $117 million, covering items where developing circumstances have dictated certain adjustments.

Before going into detail, I can tell you in general the need for these supplements will be found to be due to one or more of only three causes. The first one, for which we have to accept most of the responsibility is that in some budgeting areas we were too optimistic about the time elapsing before our major programme of restraints would take full effect. In other words, although we are now saving money, we did not start to do so as early as hoped. In the second case, which is more serious in its effect, about half of the total of the supplementary amount is attributable to the fact that, like other people, we put a literal interpretation on Ottawa’s anti-inflation guidelines.

The salary awards that recognized the catch-up principle to be exercised before the AIB rules were applied were simply not anticipated. And I do not see how they could have been. As a result, in certain areas the constraints measures we had proposed had to be seriously cut back or delayed. In the third case, a proportion of the supplementary amount has been required for such things as the unforeseeable circumstances of a threatened swine flu epidemic. Now I will speak about the specific items.

The first, under ministry direct services, provides for an additional $1,567,500 above the originally estimated $35.5 million for ambulance and related emergency services. Labour settlements up to 24 per cent due to catch-up, which I have just spoken about, account for part of this total. The remainder has been needed because there was some delay in respect of ambulance services operated by certain hospitals and private operators in implementing the constraints programme applying to them.

The second entry, under the heading of institutional care services, covers two items: Hospitals and related facilities; and extended care health insurance benefits.

Mr. Nixon: That’s to keep the Paris hospital going.

Hon. F. S. Miller: It is going. The item on hospitals and related facilities, amounting to approximately $92.6 million, represents the biggest part of the supplementary estimates I am presenting today. A large part of this $92.6 million shortfall results from the Anti-Inflation Board catch-up philosophy I spoke of before. Taking into account the amount included in this present estimate, we will be paying out no less than $1.3 billion in this fiscal year on hospital salaries and fringe benefits. With this staggering total, members will realize every single percentage point by which salaries rise adds another $13 million to the health budget.

Mr. Nixon: The fault is in your compulsory arbitration policy.

Hon. F. S. Miller: The other major cause for the shortfall in this area has been the difficulties encountered in implementing the total constraints programmes we had established as a target. One of these difficulties was provided by the court ruling that followed our move to close four of the province’s hospitals, a situation with which all members will be familiar.

Mr. Moffatt: Where you acted illegally.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Another obstacle was simply the time factor. There were greater delays than we expected in implementing the constraints package generally. Nevertheless, the constraints package has saved $26.2 million.

Mr. Nixon: The delay has been about six years. Who was that doctor you fired from your staff?

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order, please.

Hon. F. S. Miller: To avoid confusion, next year hospitals will be going on a fiscal year that coincides with the ministry’s. Budget letters are going out today or tomorrow. Hospitals have been allocated a bottom line amount for a 15-month period, allowing them greater flexibility in determining their own priorities within this dollar allocation. They are also getting increased lead time for planning, which will eliminate another of the difficulties experienced in the past.

The other item under the same heading, $12,056,000, is required for nursing-home benefits. In part, these increases are attributable to a speedup of construction, putting new nursing homes into operation earlier than previously anticipated. As a result, the total number of nursing-home beds rose from 24,853 in March 1975 to 25,965 a year later -- an increase of 4.5 per cent. Another part of the total amount is caused by cost increases in the nursing-home industry, requiring us to agree to a larger per diem increase than anticipated.

The third item on the supplementary estimates, under the heading of personal health services, is an amount of $1.2 million for our home-care programme. I am sure all members are fully acquainted with how this home-care programme operates and of how much this innovative and low-unit-cost service can contribute to reducing the time spent by patients in hospitals, in some cases eliminating the need for hospitalization at all.

Overall, the cost of this programme has been growing at a rate of 30 per cent to 35 per cent annually over the past three years, against a 15 per cent increase in patients. During 1974-75, the number of patients receiving home care was 42,651. In 1975-76, the number was 48,990. Earlier this year there were indications that its extent of utilization might be levelling out, but I am by no means sorry to say this has not happened.

I say that I have not been sorry to see the demand continuing to grow because, in many ways, we would like to see it growing still faster, and to be asking still more money for its support. But even if the constraints programme allowed us to do so, we must recognize that home care is still a relatively new development that must be allowed to expand at an even rate. This will allow us to monitor its progress, and find out how and where it can be applied most beneficially.

Three highly important pilot projects, for example, are currently under way in Hamilton, Kingston and Thunder Bay, where we are experimenting with the application of long-term home care for chronically ill patients. These are by no means small-scale projects. We are, in total, allocating to them nearly $2 million of this year’s budget, and the caseload is, at present, around 750 to 800 patients.

In itself, long-term home care -- a service that allows chronically or terminally ill patients to remain in their own homes either to the end or until the time when there is no alternative to institutional care -- is clearly more expensive than normal home care for a limited duration, for a sickness or an injury, simply because of the unlimited period for which it may be required. Because of this, members will not be surprised to hear that the long-term home-care pilot projects will be taking almost half of the total supplementary amount of $1.2 million.

On the other side of the coin, of course, is the fact that if these pilot projects prove as beneficial as we hope for every dollar spent on long-term home care, several dollars should eventually be saved on institutional care.

Of course, these dollars are important, but equally important is the human consideration. The spectre of long, empty, lonely years inside an institution haunts many of our elders, and I believe long-term home care, if it is found to operate successfully, will remove a great deal of that inevitably miserable prospect.

The fourth and final entry on the supplementary estimates for the other community health services covers two items totalling $9.62 million, all but a small fraction of which is in respect of the swine flu vaccine programme. The whole of the first item, $5.85 million, is to cover the cost of the various vaccines. That is to say, it covers the combined swine and Victoria flu vaccine for the elderly and for the chronically ill adults.

Mr. Nixon: Yon were giving us Victoria injections today.

Hon. F. S. Miller: No, what I was giving you really wasn’t the same thing as I was giving other people. To continue: -- the swine flu vaccine for adults, from 20 to 65 --

Mr. Nixon: I think you better clarify that just before I go to the hospital.

Hon. F. S. Miller: There are several ahead of you.

Mr. Breithaupt: Or the stockyards, whichever it is.

Hon. F. S. Miller: The price of beef has dropped, too.

Mr. Mancini: It is pork.

Mr. Breithaupt: It is pork, not beef.

Hon. F. S. Miller: To continue -- the swine flu vaccine for adults from 20 to 65 years old, and for a limited amount of quantity of combined Victoria and Hong Kong flu vaccine, together with the necessary hypospray jet equipment -- which was being used today -- needles, syringes and the like, plus distribution and maintenance costs.

Mr. Nixon: Is there a Hong Kong flu threat?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Yes.

Mr. Nixon: I think you are setting up a straw man.

Hon. F. S. Miller: No, not a straw man. Similarly, more than half of the second item of $3.77 million has to go to local health agencies to cover the cost of actually administering the appropriate vaccine to the public. The balance of this item is mainly for increases in grants for unorganized territories and mosquito-spraying expenses connected with a possible encephalitis threat in southwestern Ontario.

I’m sure that without any further discussion from members of the opposition, they’ll be pleased to vote on my estimates.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: I assume it is the pleasure of the committee that we deal with these votes item by item.

On vote 3002, institutional health services programme; item 2, ministry direct services:

Mr. McClellan: Mr. Chairman, I want to take the opportunity in leading off to raise a matter of some very real current urgency. That relates to the situation at the Huronia Regional Centre in Orillia. Last week, we received the Willard report, the study of the situation --

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order, please. I don’t see that this would be in this vote.

Mr. McClelland: I believe that traditionally we are allowed a short leadoff statement.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: I think on the supplementary estimates we have to keep our remarks to the particular vote, do we not?

Mr. McClellan: That has been the tradition since I’ve been here.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Not on a supplementary estimate. A point of order?

Mr. Dukszta: Mr. Chairman, an opening statement always deals with the whole estimate, and if the minister is proposing to spend extra money, he tries to answer to the House on what he’s proposing to do with the latest suggestions made in the Willard report. That’s why the member for Bellwoods is speaking on it. Where will the money come from to implement certain suggestions made in the Willard report?

Mr. Deputy Chairman: lt is the Chair’s understanding that on supplementary estimates the comments must be directed to those particular supplementary estimates we’re voting on. As far as I am concerned the Willard report doesn’t fall under this particular vote.

Mr. McClellan: Speaking to the point of order, I recall that when the supplementary estimates for the Ministry of Community and Social Services came forward last spring the minister and each of the critics made lengthy introductory remarks dealing with some of the very real problems which were current in that ministry. I expect to be able to do the same thing, rather briefly nevertheless, today.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: It would seem to the Chair again that what happened last spring perhaps was that the Chairman at that particular time had a different interpretation of the rules. It is my understanding, as I say again, that we must deal directly with the various votes we’re considering at this particular time. I am not aware that the Willard report or any of the moneys that might be necessary to implement that report fall under item 2 of vote 3002. Perhaps the hon. minister might clarify it and then the Chair will make a ruling.

Hon. F. S. Miller: As you know, I think the Willard report was commissioned by the Ministry of Community and Social Services. It certainly has overtones affecting my ministry but I can make no other comment except that, if one is looking at direct services, they handle that type of service but the money we are appropriating here was really for ambulances.

Mr. McClellan: If they handle that type of service I am entitled to speak to the issue. If the moneys are not allocated I am entitled to question the wisdom of the ministry in not allocating those moneys.

Hon. F. S. Miller: I suggest they are in the 1977-78 year when decisions will be made following from that.

Mr. McClellan: I am still entitled to argue that they ought to be in the supplementary estimates now. I would like to be able to make that point in --

Mr. Deputy Chairman: I would again say that it is the Chair’s opinion that the moneys necessary to implement the Willard report, as far as this ministry is concerned as the minister has indicated, would fall within the budget of the 1977 fiscal year. We are not dealing with moneys that are going to be appropriated for that particular expenditure in 1976 and I feel that any further discussion on the Willard report is out of order at this time.


Mr. McClellan: Mr. Chairman, I’m sufficiently unfamiliar with the rules to know how to protest this, but I protest it very, very strongly. I am entitled to challenge the way that this ministry -- our party is entitled to challenge --

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Are you challenging the Chairman’s ruling? If you are, would you say so and we’ll deal with it.

Mr. McClellan: Yes.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: All those in favour of the Chair’s ruling at this point will say “aye.”

All those opposed will say “nay.”

In my opinion the “ayes” have it.

The Chair’s ruling is upheld.

Will the hon. member for Bellwoods continue? It would seem to me that the hon. member could debate in the budget debate or any other debate but not at this particular time. The hon. member will continue.

Mr. McClellan: If you want to muzzle debate, you can muzzle debate.


Mr. Conway: A brief comment on the ambulance question in vote 3002. Mr. Minister, I just wanted to take this opportunity to draw to your attention the ongoing problems that a particular ambulance operator has had in my riding. It seems to me that in over the past number of months that problem has become almost endemic and certainly has ramifications far beyond the particular jurisdiction from which I come.

I just wanted to take this opportunity to express on behalf of many of the private operators, particularly, their sense of frustration at the ongoing confusion that seems to be characterizing the flow of moneys from your ministry to them in their particular budget allocation. I must say that I’m not pleased with the rather sketchy details in your opening remarks with respect to ambulances, because I thought you might have availed yourself of this rather good opportunity to make some comment to this situation that I know you know to be serious, if on no other point than simply that of the lack of confidence that many of the operators of ambulances, both private and otherwise, are experiencing at the present time.

I believe there is a meeting there today in Toronto of the ambulance operators in Ontario. I have spoken to a number of those people and one of the things that they were hopeful of this afternoon in this particular supplementary estimates debate would be your clarification, if possible, of the budgetary problems that they have been facing, particularly with the disparities.

One of the concerns that my private operator and the people who work for him at Petawawa have is about the lack of policy. I have a very, very lengthy letter to me dated November 16, 1976, from the regional co-ordinator in eastern Ontario, Mr. Jerry Bahr, and I would like to take this opportunity to put on the record that while we’ve not always been happy with what Mr. Bahr had to relate to us in eastern Ontario about the ministry’s position, his availability and his co-operation have been splendid and have been very much appreciated by me and certainly by all those people who are active in the ambulance sector of the eastern Ontario health business.

I know the hon. member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk wants to make a contribution and I don’t want to prolong this but --

Mr. Nixon: No, no. You’re doing very well indeed. Read that lengthy letter.

Mr. Conway: Mr. Minister, it is a concern to me and to them that there appears to be an ongoing confusion and frustration as to the finances for these operations. The people in Petawawa, for example, are a private operation, you know that. They find the people who work for that private operator are frustrated at the disparity in dollars on an hourly rate provided to them, granted, by the private operator. It’s very clear in the letter from Mr. Bahr that the compensation is a matter over which the government sees is to be agreed to by the private operator and the people who work for him.

But I’ll tell you, an example of the situation that exists in our county is that people who work for the government-run operation in Renfrew are receiving, I think on average, as much as $1.50 per hour more than the people privately employed in Petawawa. That kind of disparity together with all the budgetary problems has done little to encourage confidence, particularly in Petawawa at Earl’s Ambulance, in the ability of this particular ministry to provide a measure of equality throughout this very important aspect of this ministry.

The one point I wanted to raise under vote 3002, item 2, was hopefully an expression of concern on behalf of the people, particularly at Earl’s Ambulance in Petawawa but also for many of those operators in the private sector because of the problems they’re experiencing almost in liaising with this ministry on the budgetary questions in particular.

Mr. Samis: Let’s hear it for Earl.

Hon. F. S. Miller: I’m aware that there have been a number of problems with ambulance budgets in the year 1976, mostly because we didn’t apply the constraints to them that we had originally intended to because we were late in the year advising them. The things the hon. member is talking about really are the salaries paid to individuals working for different ambulance services around the province.

I quite openly admit there are variations in this. I suggest to you that if you take any trade and go around the province and look at the rates government pays a particular tradesman if they work for a government hospital and the rates somebody in the community pays for that same trade if they work for the private enterprise, they will have considerable variation also.

We have had in certain cases, to have provincially-operated ambulance services, simply to maintain services in some towns. it is our desire to get out of those operations when we can and return them either to hospitals or, failing that, to private enterprise operators. We are working with groups and, I think, recognising their legitimate requirements when negotiations result in increases in salaries.

Mr. Conway: Just briefly, I don’t altogether disagree with what the minister says about the economic realities of regional disparity in a province and in a country such as we have in this part of North America. But I’ll tell him that in my county the disparity that exists between the government operation in Renfrew and the private operation in Petawawa of about $1.50, if not more, per hour is a disparity within the county that he’s not likely to find anywhere else. The real problem lies in convincing the people who work for the private operation in Petawawa that there’s some justice at the county level in this kind of an operation.

I’d ask, very briefly: what success is the minister having with the phasing out of operations, such as the one in Renfrew, which, from what I’ve been able to gather, are financially of great concern to him because of the disparity aspects that he addressed himself to earlier?

Hon. F. S. Miller: The hon. member is talking about the amalgamation of different units around the province. We haven’t been pushing that as hard as perhaps we would like to simply because there’s a great deal of community support for ambulance services wherever they may exist.

Mr. Mancini: That is why you tried to put them back.

Hon. F. S. Miller: If we tried to rationalize all of the services we could, there are a good number in the province that would disappear. We’ve been working on communications, trying to make sure we’ve got better dispatch methods. I think that’s paid off in most parts of the province. Now we’re slowly working more or less on a voluntary rather than a forced basis to see if we can’t see certain amalgamations around this province.

Another thing we’re working on that often causes dismay is limiting the number of hours that a particular service is operating when another one nearby is able to cover quite adequately in the quiet hours of the night. All of these things meet with resistance at the local level because people are always a bit nervous about the lack of a manned vehicle during the night.

Mr. Conway: Just briefly again on that point, I am wondering if the minister would care to comment at this point in time how successful he and his ministry are being in their efforts to involve people at a volunteer level. I speak of the case we have in Deep River where the volunteer alternative was sought after and, at last report, I was under the impression that some progress was being arrived at. I wonder if the minister would care to comment as to how he sees the volunteer alternative as a way of reducing government involvement in much of the ambulance expenditures across Ontario, particularly in a northerly riding such as my own.

Secondly, what success to date are you having in encouraging people, particularly in areas such as my own, to have their own volunteer service? In the city of Pembroke, there is a paid service and 30 miles away in Deep River now the suggestion is being made that a volunteer service should be provided. I’m wondering what success you’re having.

Hon. F. S. Miller: I am told we have 27 volunteer services in the province and that we’re working with Deep River. I think they are preparing a proposal right now. Certainly I like them. Most smaller towns in Ontario have volunteer fire services and they work very well.

Mr. Wildman: They don’t get any money from the government.

Hon. F. S. Miller: We pay a lot of money from the government for ambulance services, I must say.

Mr. Wildman: Not for most volunteer fire equipment.

Hon. F. S. Miller: I was just relating the two. I would say that in fact there are probably a number of other places in the province where we could change full time services to volunteer services and make very real savings if we could convince the communities that the level of stand-by service was adequate.

Mr. Mancini: That’s a switch.

Mr. Conway: Do you think you can convince them? And in fact are you trying to convince them?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I am going to answer yes to both.

Mr. Makarchuk: I wonder, Mr. Chairman, in view of the time whether it would be wise to adjourn the debate on this matter and resume at 8 o’clock, or do you wish me to proceed?

Mr. Breithaupt: How much more debate might there be, Mr. Chairman?

Mr. Deputy Chairman: How much more debate would there be? I think I have another one or two speakers indicated here from --

Mr. Breithaupt: We could call it 6 o’clock and then --

Mr. McClellan: We have about eight speakers.

Mr. Breithaupt: Fine, we’ll call it 6 o’clock.

The House recessed at 6 p.m.