30e législature, 3e session

L138 - Tue 14 Dec 1976 / Mar 14 déc 1976

The House met at 2 p.m.


Mr. Speaker: Statements by the ministry.


Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I wish to announce today that my ministry proposes to demonstrate the use of articulated buses on the more heavily travelled public transit routes in four Ontario cities. The object is to assist municipalities in economically providing additional transit capacity.

Mr. S. Smith: We need an articulate minister.

Mrs. Campbell: What is an articulate bus?

Hon. Mr. Snow: While articulated buses are new to North America they are fairly common in Europe and have been used there for many years.

Mr. Kerrio: We have Greyhound buses here.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Such buses, measuring 60 feet in length, are 50 per cent longer than a standard North American bus and carry approximately 50 per cent more passengers.

Mr. Singer: Are they going to be able to articulate in French and English?

Hon. Mr. Snow: The added length, however, does not impede the movement of the buses. Manoeuvrability is equal to that of a standard bus because of a flexible hinge-and-bellows mid-section which permits the bus to bend in the middle when driving around corners.

Mr. S. Smith: That’s something like the minister.

Hon. Mr. Snow: In fact, this centre section looks like an accordion.

Hon. B. Stephenson: You guys should go to China. They have those in China.

Hon. Mr. Snow: This accordion or bellows also permits passengers to move freely from one part of the vehicle to the other.

Mr. Singer: Beats Krauss-Maffei any time.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We’ll get on with the statements.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Preliminary discussions have already been held with transit operators in Hamilton, Mississauga, Ottawa and Toronto to determine if they were interested in demonstrating articulated buses on one or more of their rush-hour routes. I can report that the response has been good and ministry staff and the municipalities mentioned will be working together to draw up vehicle specifications and testing details.

It is anticipated that up to 40 of these articulated buses will be required for testing and tenders should be called for them in mid-1977. While at present such buses are not manufactured in Canada, it is possible to purchase them directly from several European and US manufacturers. However, I am most hopeful that when the tenders are called, Ontario transit manufacturers will respond by bidding.

The actual implementation date of the demonstration will depend on the receipt of an acceptable tender price. Currently, the earliest expected delivery date is the spring of 1978. The demonstration would then be carried out over the following three years. Because the municipalities would be purchasing fewer standard buses the year the articulated buses are delivered, it is estimated the net capital cost of the project will be $3.3 million.

Furthermore, if the Ontario demonstration proves that articulated buses can be operated as cheaply as European experience suggests, it is estimated a saving of approximately $4 million annually could be achieved when the new buses are operating on all potential routes in the province.

The Toronto Area Transit Operating Authority -- TATOA -- is also interested in articulated buses on selected GO Transit routes. They could be particularly suitable as feeders to commuter GO trains on the Lakeshore line. Current passenger volume makes it necessary for GO to use two buses -- one to carry overflow only -- to drop off passengers for some trains. It is expected that compatible specifications can be developed to meet both municipal and TATOA needs so both requirements can be met through a single tender.

Since the articulated vehicle concept is also applicable to streetcars -- as is the practice in some European cities -- the Toronto Transit Commission will also be testing two articulated light rail vehicles now being developed by the Urban Transportation Development Corporation. This, of course, will be in addition to the previously announced demonstration of standard-length light rail vehicles by the TTC.


Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, the Ministry of Health advocates the treatment of the mentally ill in their own community, reserving hospitalization for cases where no other treatment method is possible. As a result, there has been a substantial reduction in the number of psychiatric patients in Ontario hospitals during the past 10 years. However, the patients have not disappeared and there has been a growing need to provide them with appropriate treatment in the community.

I can now give some specific information of the steps taken to do this. Grants totalling $282,407 have already been awarded to 25 community-based programmes to cover their costs for the balance of the present fiscal year. Two are short-term studies scheduled to be completed within that period and a third will receive limited funding in the following year. The remainder will carry on and will be supported for the two succeeding fiscal years by grants to a total of $693,967 annually.

The effectiveness of the different programmes will be studied over this period to give a measure of their progress and, if they meet with the hoped for success, to provide an indication of the amount of financial support needed in following years.

The movement to replace institutional care with community-based treatment for a large proportion of patients with mental ailments reflects the development that present-day psychiatry has found to be the most effective and beneficial. Naturally enough, the fact that it also proves to be, in total, less costly is welcome but economy by itself would obviously not have been sufficient.

The primary justification for these newer forms of treatment which, over the past 10 years, have led to a net reduction of more than 8,000 in the number of such patients in hospital at any one time, is the improved therapy that has resulted. Today, long-term institutional care for mentally ill patients is universally regarded as the treatment indicated only when no other is appropriate.

Community-based programmes require adequate support services, such as vocational and recreational activities; after-care and medication maintenance services, and a sufficient range of residential accommodation since some patients will still need sheltered or supervised settings. The provision of the appropriate support services has, in consequence, been a criterion applied to the evaluation of the programmes submitted for approval. Other criteria applied included a clear identification for the need for each specific programme and the objectives it is intended to accomplish, identification of the population it aimed to serve, and the methods planned to evaluate its effectiveness.

Submissions were received from Canadian Mental Health Association branches general hospitals, community psychiatric hospitals, health units, the Salvation Army, community colleges and professional associations across the province. I should mention that all the submissions for the projects covered by the present grants were also submitted to and approved by the district health council or the local health planning body for the community concerned, and I want to commend the initiative they have all shown.

In conclusion, I should mention that about another 50 such community health project proposals are still in the course of examination. A number of these will probably have received approval before the end of 1976.

Mr. Speaker: Oral questions.


Mr. Lewis: Mr. Speaker, a question for the Minister of Energy, if I may: Can the Minister of Energy make some definitive statement to the House to attempt to deal with the fears and anxieties developing around the question of Bruce generating station? Are the allegations of Energy Probe in fact valid, that there may be a serious safety hazard incipient in that reactor, and are the questions raised about the inherent difference of opinion over safety procedures between the AECB and Ontario Hydro valid?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I think perhaps the best way I can answer that question is to read to the member a portion of a letter I sent to the hon. member for Halton-Burlington in the last couple of weeks, which deals with the same question. It was raised during estimates and, if 1 may, I will read an extract from that letter:

“It is standard procedure for the AECB to issue permission to proceed to full power in stages. The AECB must be assured that at each stage commissioning is proceeding satisfactorily and unforeseen problems that may arise during commissioning are resolved to their satisfaction prior to further increases in power.

“As a part of the licensing procedure for a nuclear generating station, detailed accident analyses are performed. This involves postulating severe failures in the nuclear process systems and ensuring that the consequences are within the reference dose limits established by the Atomic Energy Control Board for accident conditions. These analyses have been carried out for Bruce generating station A and submitted to the Atomic Energy Control Board. The analyses indicate that the reference dose limits are met. AECB staff have reviewed these analyses and in some cases have requested further information. The review of these submissions and the resolution of details in the analysis either by supplying still further information or by minor design modifications is a time-consuming activity.”

The staff at Bruce expect to be at 50 per cent power very shortly, either today or tomorrow. The next step will be to increase output to about 70 per cent of full power. Ontario Hydro has made submissions to the AECB in support of its application to go to full power and anticipates that this will be granted.

I might add further that there is an indication in the release from Energy Probe this morning that would lead one to believe there had not been any co-operation in the exchange of information. In point of fact, a representative of Energy Probe spent 3½ hours at Ontario Hydro yesterday, going over the Bruce reactor safety report and, in fact, he was given a copy of that report and it is now in their possession.

Mr. Lewis: By way of supplementary, if I may, if all that is valid, why are the questions being raised publicly about the cooling system, and why are the minister and Ontario Hydro not willing to table the Bruce safety reactor notes -- not the safety report, but the notes -- which chronicle the exchange of correspondence between Ontario Hydro and the AECB and AECL? Why are those matters not being made public?

Mr. S. Smith: I asked for that the other day.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: No, you didn’t. You asked for the safety report.

Mr. Lewis: You asked for the safety report.

Mr. S. Smith: No, I didn’t. I asked for the background papers to the report.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I indicated to the hon. member, I think yesterday or earlier, that an answer is being prepared and, in fact, I should have it tomorrow for the hon. member for Hamilton West. But the safety reports on the various reactors are updated from time to time. It is not as though a report is done and then left; they are updated every six months, nine months, whatever. They are the results of the safety notes.


As I understand it, the concern -- not just at Hydro but also at AECL -- is that the notes contain a great deal of proprietary information about the actual system. So there is a concern about the commercial value of those notes.

The second thing is the concern about security inasmuch as the notes do contain a great deal of information about the operation of the stations, and if allowed to fall into the wrong hands there could be a problem. If the hon. member opposite, or any member for that matter, would like a session with the staff of Hydro to go over the safety reports and to become better acquainted with the contents and the details, I would be quite happy to set that up.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, can the minister explain why it is that there is still a difference of opinion between the Atomic Energy Control Board and Hydro, as confirmed to us today by Mr. J. W. Beare, the chief of the reactor and accelerator division of the AECB, who has informed us that the reason the Bruce plant has been licensed to operate at only 50 per cent of capacity is because of “still unresolved safety-related issues”? There is clearly a difference between AECB and Hydro on this matter.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: If the hon. member would check with his colleague from Halton-Burlington, he will know that we did exchange comments a bit earlier in the estimates committee; I did write to him, and I just read a portion of that letter. When they start up a station, it is not the practice to go immediately to 100 per cent power. It is the practice, whether it is a nuclear-fired station or a thermal-fired station to start out in stages and gradually get up to 100 per cent of capacity.

Mr. Sargent: It’s up to 10 per cent.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: As the hon. member should know, through his friend from Halton-Burlington, after the station first went critical, there were some problems initially with some vibrations -- not in the nuclear portion of the station but in the conventional portion -- and these have been worked on. I assume that is what Mr. Beare is referring to.

Ms. Gigantes: Supplementary: Is the minister aware of a change in the safety design specifications of the Atomic Energy Control Board around 1972, which would make the independence of the two fast-shutdown processes within the reactor necessary? In other words, there are two fast-shutdown processes now, but they are not independent. Is he aware that this is the area of contention between the AECB and Hydro and the AECL?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: No, I am not aware that is the area of contention, as the member says. I do know that the Atomic Energy Control Board quite properly does regularly update its requirements, both for the design and the operation of nuclear stations; Hydro does, of course, have to meet the requirements. All of this, of course, has to be jelled with the actual staging of the construction of the plants and bringing them into service.

Mr. Speaker: A final supplementary.

Mr. Reed: Supplementary: Does the minister not remember that during the estimates the question was brought up about inherent safety in the design of the reactor, and does he not recall that my question to him centred on that aspect? Today, with the press release that came out, there seemed to be some further statement regarding inherent design in the reactor. We realize there was some other thing regarding some vibration in some pipes, but does he not remember that I asked him specifically about that particular aspect of that reactor design?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: The term used in the press release is “a generic design problem.” I think the hon. member may even have used that term in estimates committee. I am not aware that, in fact, it is a question of a generic design problem. There has been no indication of that to me.


Mr. Lewis: I have a separate but related question. Might it be a different kind of generic problem? Might the minister examine what is happening at Bruce and what has happened recently at Nanticoke as an example of the problems we are inheriting from Hydro’s massive growth preoccupation, the business of building these massive generating stations with very large reactors so that when one or the other of them is in difficulty, however marginal, the public suffers? Is it not possible for the minister to go before the Porter commission and ask that that staging be re-evaluated, that their whole approach be re-evaluated to size?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I think the hon. member assumes a couple of things which perhaps need some correction. First of all, the operation of a system does not necessarily depend on the size of the generating station. What it depends upon is the design of the grid so that if any one station or series of stations goes out, power can be wheeled through the province or from other sources outside the province to keep those areas in supply.

The second thing is that the design of the stations where the size is involved has been based mainly on economics -- economics of construction and economics of operation.

Mr. Lewis: But not economics of utility.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Let’s just take the Nanticoke example. If instead of being the six units formerly in operation, Nanticoke had been six different stations --

Mr. Lewis: Smaller units.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: -- the fact of the matter is that the problem first showed up on one unit and the other three were shut down because of the problem on the first one. Being of the same design, whether they are in the same hall or in six different generating stations, the same corrective action would have been taken.

Mr. Lewis: No, they are too big.

Mr. Kerrio: Supplementary.

Mr. Speaker: All right. We’ve spent now something over 10 minutes on this similar topic.

Mr. Kerrio: I’ll be as brief as possible. I would then question the minister, in view of the fact that we’ve had unlimited funds for the past development of Hydro to this state, why are we so marginal in our ability to maintain power to those areas that I was very concerned about?

Mr. Lewis: The big units break down.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: It is interesting to watch the parties opposite try to squirm their way around this issue and be on all sides of it at all times.

Mr. Moffatt: You should see the squirming from this side.

Mr. Breithaupt: We are watching you.

Mr. Nixon: You are the king of brownouts.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Conway: You people leave enough slime for all of us.

Mr. Speaker: Order. Will the hon. minister answer the question?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: The hon. member very well knows that the combination of the low-water levels in the north, over which we have no control, the difficulties at Nanticoke with the hangers supporting the generating units and the exceedingly high demand brought on by the very cold weather has caused this problem. He also knows that this problem is being experienced in the province of Quebec and in the province of Manitoba. Just to illustrate the problem in Manitoba, we normally buy 250 megawatts of power from Manitoba.

Mr. Ruston: Put the Windsor plant back on.

Mr. Kerrio: Fifty per cent increases.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Not only has that been cut off but we are now selling them 130 megawatts to help them out. The same probably is true in the States.

Mr. Roy: Supplementary.

Mr. Speaker: No, that was the final supplementary on that topic. You will have an opportunity for further questions.

Mr. Roy: That’s my problem. I don’t think I will.

Mr. Speaker: If we don’t waste too much time, we will.

Mr. Moffatt: Speak to your leader.


Mr. Lewis: I have a question of the Minister of Health. Is it true that the Dellcrest Children’s Centre has made overtures to the Ministry of Health, requesting that all or portions of Thistletown be rendered unto his hands, and that the mental health work done at Thistletown with children be somehow reapportioned or redirected so that other centres are involved?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Listening carefully to the phraseology of the question, I’m not sure they have approached us but most certainly the question has been considered about their looking after all the phases of Thistletown.

Mr. Lewis: My question was tentative because I simply didn’t know. I’m fascinated to take it further by way of supplementary. Is the minister then considering with a treatment centre like Dellcrest the possibility of giving it jurisdiction over part, if not all, of the Thistletown programme?

Hon. F. S. Miller: For over three years -- in fact, since before I became minister -- it’s been stated policy of the ministry that we should wherever possible turn some of our direct operations over to local boards. I think we’re doing that with the Kingston children’s mental health facilities at the moment. We have been looking for a year at possible ways of doing that with several facilities, including this particular one.


Mr. Lewis: I have a question of the Minister of Labour. Has the second study on the emission levels at the coke ovens in the major steel plants been completed, as it was intended to be in November, and, if so, has the minister the results?

Hon. B. Stephenson: No, Mr. Speaker, I am not sure that it has been completed as yet because I do not have the results at this time.

Mr. Lewis: Could the minister find out for us?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Yes.


Mr. Lewis: Last question to the Provincial Secretary for Social Development: Is she moving on section 9 of The Training Schools Act as she has moved on section 8?

Hon. Mrs. Birch: Through you, Mr. Speaker, to the hon. Leader of the NDP, no, my mandate is exclusively on section 8.


Mr. S. Smith: A question of the Minister of Health: Could the minister tell us with regard to the OMA fee matter -- the OHIP payments at present in dispute -- since he must worry that the courts might uphold the OMA or, failing that, there might be an appeal and the House would no longer be in session, if we can expect the government to act in the next few days by amendment to empower the Provincial Auditor to review the OHIP records so that he could report to this House on the pertinent information this House desires? Would he act by amendment, by bringing one in now, so as to preclude the possibility of lengthy court delays?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, as I understand the problem, and I am not sure my legal interpretations are accurate --

Mr. Peterson: You must have been listening to the Attorney General.

Hon. F. S. Miller: -- the issue is not so much should my Act be amended, as what information may this Legislature demand of ministries when specific statutes protect information with confidentiality clauses? I have no idea whether section 44 of The Health Insurance Act is the only section in those statutes but I assume it is not. I agree with the Attorney General’s comment the other day. I am very anxious to comply with the wishes of this Legislature. I sincerely hope that tomorrow the finding is that the Speaker’s warrant was properly issued, and I will hasten to comply with it the moment I am told by my lawyers that I may.

Mr. S. Smith: A very brief supplementary: I appreciate the comments, but since the minister is aware the matter might go to appeal again, would it not be expeditious to act by amendment of the Act in question so as to specifically designate this information as information which is not to be considered confidential from the public accounts committee or from the Provincial Auditor?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I have another Act before the courts right now and no one is pushing me to amend it prior to the decision of the courts.

Mr. Singer: That’s not the answer.

Hon. F. S. Miller: I would suggest that that’s what we have the courts for. Let them make their decision and let us then decide whether the amendment is needed.

Mr. Roy: No, no.

Mr. Reid: This is the highest court.

Mr. Lewis: May I invite you to bring in your bill?

Mr. Singer: By way of supplementary, surely the minister must recognize -- can I have the minister’s attention?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I am listening.

Mr. Singer: Surely the minister must recognize that if he allows this two-day period before this session either adjourns or prorogues to go by, there is every possibility that the will of this House, expressed unanimously in the direction given to the Speaker, could well be frustrated by reason of the fact that he is not bringing appropriate amending legislation before this Legislature?

Mr. Nixon: That’s right.

Hon. F. S. Miller: The members are now well off the health matters. I would rather they redirect these to the Attorney General because they are now on to legal matters.

Mr. Singer: I will redirect it.

Mr. Speaker: The question may be redirected.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I think I heard all the question. I think it’s significant, as I believe I attempted to state yesterday, that it is quite within the powers of this House to extend the mandate of the public accounts committee beyond the prorogation of this House. I am of that view and I must say I have discussed this matter with --

Mrs. Campbell: It doesn’t solve anything.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: -- people who, I think, are in a position to express a very valued opinion in that respect. It is within the powers of this House.

Mr. Singer: By way of supplementary: Would the Attorney General not agree that the extension of the mandate of the public accounts committee has nothing to do with whether or not the statute and the provisions about confidentiality are binding on officials of the Crown? The fact that the committee can continue to sit isn’t going to change what the courts might do.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I don’t think it is proper for me at this time to speculate specifically as to what the courts are going to do. In view of the fact that the Court of Appeal will be hearing this matter tomorrow afternoon, I think we should at least hear what the decision of the court is before we speculate any further on this matter.


Mr. Speaker: A final supplementary.

Mr. Singer: This is of utmost importance. Wouldn’t the minster speculate at least to the extent that he will appeal in the event the OMA wins and they will appeal in the event that they lose and, therefore, everything will have gone -- this House will have disappeared and the committee will not get the information arid the public will not get the information?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I have nothing further to add to my previous answers.


Mr. S. Smith: A question for the Minister of Labour: Considering the fact that since the November 4 statement regarding additional funds for public health nurses there has been, I believe -- I might be wrong -- a grand total of one settlement, and in view of the mounting frustration of the nurses, could the minister tell us what additional steps she is planning to ensure more settlements and the ultimate resolution of this continuing problem? It is really becoming something of a disgrace.

Hon. B. Stephenson: I have written to Miss Gribben, pointing out the position I have taken and the steps I had proposed to the Ontario Nurses Association and the Association of Boards of Health. I also pointed out to her the availability of the members of the conciliation and mediation staff to work with any local of the ONA in public health throughout the province in order to find an agreed upon solution for the present dispute so that we may move to the joint exploration of a long-term solution to this problem.

It is my firm belief, and I have stated it on at least three occasions in this House, that any solution which is found must be one which is agreed to by both parties. It would seem to me appropriate that the Ministry of Labour should provide all of the assistance available to both parties in this dispute to finding resolutions to the present problem and then to working out a more appropriate solution to the potential long-term problem.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, given the number of times that we have been forced to bring in legislation which was not acceptable to both parties, and given the length of time that this dispute has been dragging on, despite the November 4 announcement, surely the minister would agree that under the circumstances a short-term arbitrated solution is a reasonable alternative which the nurses want and which would be in the best interests of the people while she is seeking this longer-term solution?

Hon. B. Stephenson: That may be the opinion of the hon. member for Hamilton West. It is not the opinion of a number of responsible groups throughout the province of Ontario. I would agree wholeheartedly that the stimulation which has been given to the resolution of this dispute by the additional funds and by the letter which the Premier (Mr. Davis) has sent, not only to all of the presidents of the locals of the Ontario Nurses’ Association but to the chairmen of all boards of health, should provide some stimulus.

The very fact that the municipal elections are now over with, I think, will probably help in providing some kind of action at the local level, because there appeared to be some impediment on the basis of potential non-election for some of the elected representatives on those boards.

Mr. S. Smith: Don’t blame them.

Hon. B. Stephenson: This is precisely the kind of thing which has been happening. I believe very firmly that this government is in strong support of finding a solution, both on a short-term and long-term basis and, as I have said before, the best one is one which is agreed to by both parties.

Mr. Lewis: Supplementary: Since the Ontario Nurses’ Association is now advertising publicly that the offer of money is useless and that the mediation has failed on every front, would it be possible if there is no settlement by the end of 1976 -- that is a year now we have tried unsuccessfully -- to have a representative appointed from each of the three parties in this Legislature to meet with both sides and to attempt to effect a resolution of it before we are forced to compulsory arbitration?

Mr. S. Smith: Anything but arbitration, eh?

Mr. Lewis: Yes, anything but arbitration if we can avoid it. Exactly.

Hon. B. Stephenson: The Minister of Health and I have met on several occasions with representatives of both sides. I think we have been reasonably effective in bringing all of the issues to the view of both sides.

Mr. Sargent: Still batting zero.

Hon. B. Stephenson: The suggestion made by the hon. Leader of the Opposition is a very intriguing one. In my mind’s eye it conjures up a delightful picture which I would dearly love to be able to paint, but I shall never be able to do so.

Mr. Lewis: Try it.

Mr. S. Smith: The nurses want arbitration. Give it to them.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Nonetheless, it would seem to me that we have not as yet had time to have responses from the letters which the Premier has sent, and I would hope that as a result of the fact that there are now four areas in which mediation, conciliation and negotiation are going on, and as there was one solution to a problem last week we may be much more hopeful, perhaps, than we have been in the past. I would continue to be hopeful that, indeed, these may set a pattern for the rest of the agreements.


Mr. S. Smith: A question of the Minister of the Environment: Could the minister tell us what the 10 conditions are that his ministry is allegedly setting out in the work order before any drilling is to be allowed on the mining claims on Lake Wanapitei? In fact, can he assure us that drilling will not take place in this particular water supply of Sudbury; or does he feel that drilling is quite acceptable under his 10 conditions?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: No, Mr. Speaker. As the hon. member knows, there’s a certain amount of exploration going on in Lake Wanapitei and certain claims are being made by those who are exploring in that area. One of the conditions, certainly, in the work order will be that there will be no drilling as the result of finding a claim, of being able to establish that uranium ore is available in a certain area.

Those conditions are now being worked out with the Ministry of Natural Resources, so that any work order that’s issued to those people who want to continue and drill at this time will know exactly under what conditions they can do so.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of a supplementary, I guess; it’s somewhat related, Mr. Speaker: Can the minister inform us why that lake was adopted as a major water supply for the city of Sudbury, when it was already known from three drill holes in that particular area, from 1955, that there was heavy mineralization there? Was the ministry aware or was it not aware of the fact that mineralization was present there? If it was aware of that, then how can it account for the fact that the lake was not designated and, therefore, restricted from any claims being staked on it?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: These claims have been staked over a period of time. The lake in question is, I think, 10 miles from Sudbury. The quality of the water in the lake at the time that the intake pipe was laid there was satisfactory from the point of view of drawing water for municipal purposes. The quality of the water still in that lake is satisfactory; it is a large body of water, it has great assimilative capacity and, therefore, it was appropriate that an intake pipe be laid there. There are not too many bodies of water of that size in the Sudbury area. If the member has been up there he’ll realize that.


Mr. S. Smith: I’ll ask a question of the Minister of Health; this is the last question, Mr. Speaker. Regarding Browndale, is the minister now prepared to cease the stonewalling, and can he tell us whether in fact per diem operating money has been used by Browndale in order to purchase properties?

Hon. F. S. Miller: First I’ll answer the thing we talked about yesterday. We do not require that it be a non-profit organization.

Mr. S. Smith: It is one.

Hon. F. S. Miller: It is one, yes, but we do not require it.

Mr. S. Smith: That is why the ministry did the audit, because it is one.

Hon. F. S. Miller: The fact is we did the audit to assure ourselves that the moneys flowed to them were properly used under the terms of the agreement we had with them. It was a proper and justifiable audit, whether they were profit-making or non-profit making.

As far as I’m concerned we took action against them in the centre core of the city, based on the last audit, to recover certain moneys that were used for capital purposes that we deemed not to be proper, and I believe that claim was accepted by Browndale.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, since that isn’t the question I asked: The question I’m asking is, have they been using operating per diem moneys in order to purchase properties? While the minister is thinking about that question and, hopefully, deciding to answer it this time, could he also perhaps consider whether he would tell us whether such properties that they may be purchasing, using per diem moneys, are being purchased from companies related to Browndale -- namely the profit-making arm, Brown Camps and so on?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I suspect the Attorney General was looking into certain allegations in this area, and he may be able to answer those questions. I believe there were certain investigations going on.

Mr. Haggerty: Quit tossing the ball around.

Hon. F. S. Miller: I can tell members that the $68 or whatever it is that is permitted for the Browndale per diem -- or for anybody else’s per diem -- allows for occupancy costs. If it is being paid towards a building they own, I assume it is being used to retire a mortgage. In other cases it is being used to pay rent and sometimes that rent is to a company affiliated with the operating company, as the member knows.

Mr. S. Smith: A brief supplementary: Then it’s okay with the ministry if Browndale uses money from the taxpayers of Ontario not simply to provide the service but actually to buy pieces of property from profit-making related arms of the Browndale company? That’s okay with the minister, is that right?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I’m interested in a fair sum paid for the value of property. If it is retiring a mortgage, I don’t see that that’s particularly bad. I assume that if they are renting it from somebody who already owns it, that parson in turn is either paying a mortgage or getting a return on the investment. I can’t see that the net cost to my ministry will differ too much either way. The key thing is, are they paying a fair price for the property?

Mr. S. Smith: Why are they non-profit?


Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, on December 9, the hon. member for St. George asked if I would investigate further her question concerning students providing psychological assessments, as the information the members had was that these were student teachers working towards a PhD in the teaching profession and not in psychology.

I am advised that the students in question are doctoral students in psychology enrolled at the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education. A fee is not charged for the psychological testing provided by these students and they are adequately supervised by a registered psychologist. They are under his supervision when they carry out psychological testing, sometimes on Browndale children, sometimes on other children, and sometimes at the request of the court. The students are involved in this as part of their training programme and because it is an opportunity to help.

By the way, if I may just conclude -- I wasn’t going to add this part -- the member asked me what they were going to do in the future. I understand in the future they may practise psychology; some may be teaching at the university level. However, they are not seen as being teachers at the public or high school level.

Mrs. Campbell: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker, if I may. In view of the fact that this sort of information has been given publicly by one of the psychologists who is responsible for this particular practice, and in view of the fact he has stated he is operating on behalf of OISE rather than Browndale, although Browndale letterhead is used in the assessments, could the minister advise us from whom he obtained this information which is given to us today?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I got it from my staff but I’ll be glad to find out from whom they obtained it.


Mr. Angus: Mr. Speaker, a question to the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development. As more than one month has passed since we advised the minister of the serious water shortage in northwestern Ontario, could he now inform this House what action the various ministries under his wing will be taking to assist the drought-stricken areas?

Hon. Mr. Irvine: The hon. member sent me a letter, as he mentioned, approximately a month ago. Since then we have had two policy meetings concerning the drought problem in the Thunder Bay area. It is not confined to Thunder Bay; it is a much wider area than that. It is in northwestern Ontario; it is in Manitoba and it may be in other parts of Ontario. I want to say to the hon. member it isn’t something which has been neglected as far as our policy field is concerned.

The ministries of Agriculture and Food, Environment, Natural Resources, Housing -- all the ministers in my field -- have looked at the subject very carefully. We are discussing it again on Thursday morning to endeavour to give members a resolution as far as we are concerned. I am not hopeful that we will have an easy answer. This is something which will be a problem not only throughout Ontario but, I think, all of Canada and probably throughout the world, as we see it at the present time. There will be some very drastic climatic changes which could go back to the 1930s.


I would suggest that we should wait until Thursday when I expect to have an answer from Thunder Bay city itself as to what it will do to relieve the problems in the area. After that we will be able to respond, and I will, to your letter.

Mr. Conway: He will send the rainmaker.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Angus: In the minister’s deliberations tomorrow, will he be discussing what assistance in terms of finances or equipment the province of Ontario can provide in co-operation with the city of Thunder Bay to ensure that those people in the outlying areas can get water at a reasonable cost?

Hon. Mr. Irvine: This matter has been discussed. At the present time it is the opinion of some of us in our policy field that the Ministry of the Environment in particular is not prepared or not able to give assistance on an ad hoc basis, which this would be. We feel this is the responsibility of the city of Thunder Bay. We think there can be supplies obtained from the city and from other parts of the municipalities that are involved.

We do think that if there is any assistance it might be through the Ministry of Agriculture and Food as it relates to capital investments, whereby the farmers instead of deepening their wells could have storage holding tanks which would allow them to have water for their animals, which they haven’t been able to have in the past and, as the hon. member has said to me, have had to pay rather excessive sums for the water which they obtained from people in the area.

Mr. Reid: Supplementary: In view of the fact that there’s no money left in the capital grants programme and there won’t be any available until the next fiscal year, will the minister be providing the money for the farmers, not only in the Thunder Bay area, but my area and other ones?

Hon. Mr. Irvine: Mr. Speaker, first of all we haven’t received any applications, to my knowledge, and I think we would have to deal with those when they come in.

Mr. Foulds: Supplementary: I can understand the minister’s difficulty trying to solve the world’s climatic problems; does he not think it might be more appropriate if his policy review committee tried to solve one concrete problem at a time? Does he not agree that the drought situation in northwestern Ontario is more serious in that area than it is in any other part of this province?

Hon. Mr. Irvine: Mr. Speaker, all I was trying to tell the hon. member is this, it’s not a local problem; it’s a problem that exists throughout the world. I wasn’t trying to sidestep the issue of Thunder Bay. I understand Thunder Bay has a problem but there are other areas that have a problem too. It’s not isolated in Thunder Bay.


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Irvine: There are Hearst, Rainy River -- various communities that have just as much of a problem as Thunder Bay has.


Mr. Stong: Mr. Speaker, in the absence of the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We can’t hear the member for York Centre. Now we’ll get on with the new questions.

Mr. Stong: In the absence of the Treasurer, I’ll ask the House leader, if I may --

Mr. Speaker: Will the hon. House leader accept the question?

Mr. Roy: Sorry to disturb you, Bob.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member may proceed.

Mr. Stong: Mr. Speaker, if the story reported in the Hamilton Spectator of December 2 is accurate -- wherein it was reported that one Paul Preston, who was then president of the Burlington Area Progressive Conservative Association, was successful in having the freeze on his property in the green-belt area lifted as a result of the intervention of the then Solicitor General, Hon. George Kerr, so that he could build two houses on his 4.4 acres which was frozen -- when in the name of fairness is the government going to lift the freeze from the Langstaff community and move it 1,000 feet to the north so that entire community can be freed from that oppressive burden?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I am sure the hon. member would appreciate that that question should be directed to the Treasurer, and I would be very glad to draw it to his attention when he returns from the very important meetings that he is attending in Ottawa at the moment.


Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, in the Legislature on Friday there were a couple of questions which were taken as notice by the Premier for me. I would like to respond to them. The first came from the hon. member for Wentworth (Mr. Deans), and he asked: “Is it the intention of the government ... to make any representation before the Energy Board with regard to the more recent increase request by the natural gas company in the province of Ontario?”

As the hon. member knows, the Ontario Energy Board in accordance with The Ontario Energy Board Act, has quasi-judicial powers which, in the case of rate-setting, are similar to those of a court of law. The board considers all relevant material available and holds public hearings to allow all interested parties to present their views on any rate application. The government does not, as such, intervene or interfere.

I understand there are currently three applicants before the OEB in various stages of progress. Union Gas is in a phase 2 hearing, that is, examination of rate structure. Consumers’ is just about to conclude a phase 2 hearing and Northern and Central is appealing a previous decision of the board regarding its revenues. These companies are closely regulated by the OEB and their rates of return and prices charged are set by the board. The most significant price increase has been caused by the federal government’s setting of the Toronto city-gate price of natural gas, the price at which about 99 per cent of Ontario supply must be purchased by the Ontario gas distribution companies.

On the same day, the hon. member for London Centre asked if we’d given any consideration to the Ontario --

Mr. Speaker: Order. Is this a related question?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: No, it’s a separate question.

Mr. Speaker: Do the answers go together? I think we should wait our turn then and we’ll get you the next time around.


Mr. Foulds: I have a question for the Minister of Correctional Services and, if I could be presumptuous enough, I would ask the Minister of Education to listen too because it is related. Is the minister aware of the difficulties these ministries are continuing to have with the provincial schools authority teachers because they are failing to supply them with information they need for their contract negotiations?

In particular, is the Minister of Correctional Services aware that his ministry failed to deduct federation fees for its teachers for last year, that the federation has still not received those dues, that it has listed only 122 correctional teachers when there are 155 on contract and that several part-time Correctional Services teachers were denied pay for at least two months, even though they were members of the unit?

Hon. J. B. Smith: As to the first question, I’m unaware of that problem. With regard to the second part, I am aware that an error was made and the deductions for their dues were not deducted at the time. At present we’re working with the representatives of the teachers to try to reclaim the moneys that are owing.

Mr. Roy: What about the number of teachers?

Mr. Foulds: Supplementary: Could the minister ensure that while he is doing that he doesn’t try, as the ministry evidently did, to hit them for two years’ dues in one lump sun, and instead phases it over a period of time so it doesn’t come all out of one pay cheque?

Mr. Yakabuski: Put it on Chargex.

Hon. J. R. Smith: A number of ways have been suggested as to how these moneys can be reclaimed from the teachers, perhaps on a several months basis. We are trying to have it resolved. I don’t know whether or not it would be acceptable to the teachers’ federation or not to have them pay in several parts or instalments, but I’d be very pleased to look at it.


Mr. Sweeney: A question to the Minister of Education: Can he confirm that officials of his ministry are at present studying the feasibility of setting up a residential school for children with severe learning disabilities, such children now going to the same kinds of schools in the United States?

Hon. Mr. Wells: I can confirm to the hon. member that we are looking at alternatives to the programme of sending these children to the United States, but we’re not looking at the alternative of setting up a residential school that would be run by this ministry in this province.

Mr. Sweeney: Supplementary: Since the bulk of the children, I think about 80 per cent, who are at present being funded by the Ministry of Community and Social Services in this way are between the ages of 11 and 16, and since that ministry does not believe it should be looking after these children, does the minister not believe his ministry should be?

Hon. Mr. Wells: I think my friend puts it in a rather simplistic way. What he means is that the school system of the province of Ontario should be. Yes, I do, and certainly that is the direction we’re moving in.

Mr. Warner: You don’t do it.

Hon. Mr. Wells: In other words, the programme should be available in the school system of the province of Ontario.

Mr. Warner: Obligatory.

Hon. Mr. Wells: If a residential component is necessary, the school system of the province of Ontario does not pay for basically residential accommodation. There are a lot of young people going to residential schools in this province for various reasons and the family pays for the residential and indeed the school part itself.

Mrs. Campbell: Mostly to get their education.

Mr. Wells: So the answer is yes, we think the school system in this province should provide for those young people.

Sometimes, as my friend knows, there’s a difference of opinion as to whether it is or is not being provided. Some of the local school boards still claim they can provide an adequate programme for those children without the residential component. It may be the residential component -- living away from the family in a residential and school environment -- is helping the school programme and therefore is a better programme than the one they can get here.

We’re not looking at providing residential schools in this province in the public sector.


Mr. Speaker: I think we just have time for the answer to the question that was taken as notice. Order, please. I think we’ll go on to the answer to a question.

Mr. Foulds: If the minister is interested in establishing special education, why doesn’t he enforce my private member’s bill?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.


Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, there was a further question which the Premier took as notice from the hon. member for London Centre who asked if the government has given any consideration to the Ontario Energy Board taking a role in the hearings before the National Energy Board with respect to rate basing or taking a position in that consortium for the pipeline.

I am assuming the hon. member meant the Ontario Energy Corporation not the Ontario Energy Board, inasmuch as the Ontario Energy Board is a regulatory body. The answer is that we are not considering an investment through the Ontario Energy Corporation in that pipeline. The ministry, as such, is an active participant in the hearings before the National Energy Board.

Mr. Speaker: The oral question period has expired.


Presenting reports.


Hon. Mrs. Scrivener presented the report of the Provincial Auditor for the year ending March 31, 1976, and moved that it be examined by the standing committee on public accounts which will be appointed at the next ensuing session of the Legislature.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Germa presented the report from the standing public accounts committee.

Mr. Speaker: Motions.


Hon. Mr. Welch moved that notwithstanding any previous order, the House meet in the chamber on Wednesday, December 15, at 2 p.m.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Speaker: Introduction of bills.

Orders of the day.



House in committee on Bill 131, An Act respecting Farm Income Stabilization.

On section 1:

Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Chairman, during the course of our consideration of the committee stage of this bill, I will have amendments to a number of sections. I will state in advance that I think it would be appropriate for us to stack each of these amendments because they are interrelated and I think consideration of all of them before we come to a vote might be the best possible procedure.

Before I move my first amendment, may I make a couple of general comments, briefly, as I think is in order on the first section of a bill in committee stage.

The first point I want to make is that each of the amendments I shall be moving is an amendment which has been proposed by the general farm organizations in the province of Ontario. Indeed, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture stated when they came before the committee last week that without these amendments the bill is “next to worthless.” And I think it is well that the House examine just how thoroughly the farm organizations, which of course have most interest in this legislation, have stated their case in terms of the unacceptability of the legislation as it now stands.

Mr. Chairman: I want to remind the hon. member that the first section is nothing more than a definition section.

Mr. MacDonald: That’s right. And my first amendment will be a definition.

Mr. Nixon: Let’s get to it.

Mr. MacDonald: We shall be getting to it. I am glad to see that you are very anxious.

Mr. Nixon: We heard this general palaver on second reading.


Mr. MacDonald: The first point that I wanted to make is to draw attention to the fact that the National Farmers’ Union has stated that the principle of this bill is wrong, and therefore that it cannot be amended in any suitable form.

Mr. Nixon: How can you carry friends with all three of those organizations at the same time?

Mr. MacDonald: However, if I may move from that to the Federation of Agriculture, the federation, through its previous president --


Mr. Chairman: Can we have some order please?

Mr. Nixon: Why doesn’t he make his amendment?

Mr. MacDonald: Have I got the floor, Mr. Chairman?

Mr. Chairman: You have indeed.

Mr. MacDonald: Thank you very much. The previous president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture was very vigorous in his article in Farm and Country with regard to the unsuitability of this bill. We have already dealt with his comments in second reading; I shan’t repeat them.

But I think it is well just to know the updated statement of the Federation of Agriculture. Its new president, Peter Hannam, said before the standing committee of the Legislature: “In our opinion, unless this bill is amended in the manner we request, few farmers, if any, will see fit to resort to the use of this Act.” Later in his presentation he stated, “The bill as it stands offers little scope for negotiating anything of significance. The support level is set out as a minuscule maximum that in itself makes no --

Mr. Chairman: Those deal with the principle of the bill which we dealt with on second reading. You must confine your remarks to section 1 of the bill.

Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Chairman, with respect, these are dealing with the amendment which I am now about to make.

Mr. Chairman: We don’t have an amendment before the committee at the present time.

Mr. MacDonald: If you will just bear with me for 30 seconds I shall make the amendment.

Mr. Chairman: I wish you would.

Mr. Nixon: Do you want to suspend the rules for 30 seconds?

Mr. MacDonald: His final comment, Mr. Chairman, was that “these are our recommendations with regard to the necessary amendments in the bill. We consider them necessary and by no means trivial --”

An hon. member: Alas!

Mr. MacDonald: “ -- without them Bill 131 is worth little.” Therefore, Mr. Chairman, I proceed to the amendment.

Mr. Roy: What flexibility in your position.

Mr. Conway: You lost them there, Don.

Mr. Philip: We will see who has the flexibility.

Mr. Roy: That is like losing your virginity last week and going after the corporations.

Mr. Lewis: That’s got to be a distorted report. That report can’t be true. I wasn’t there but I don’t believe it, not a word of it.

Mr. Roy: I don’t know how you can keep losing that --

Mr. Chairman: Will you carry on your private conversations outside the chamber, please?

Mr. Nixon: We are waiting for the amendment.

Mr. Chairman: Mr. MacDonald moves that subsection (c)(ii) of section 1 be deleted and the following substituted therefor: “the amount paid under The Agricultural Stabilization Act Canada.”

We will restrict our comments to that amendment.

Mr. MacDonald: It is rather difficult to deal with the technicalities of this bill as we anticipated on second reading. In our view in the New Democratic Party we really should have sent the bill back for redrafting where it could be done tidily. Now we have no alternative but to attempt to do it in what inevitably is a bit of an untidy fashion.

Subsection (c) of section 1 deals wish farm product receipts and it defines them as, “means the amount ascertained and prescribed by the commission for the purposes of a plan as representing, for each unit of farm product, the sum of” -- then they list three items which make up farm products receipts: firstly, “the market price”; secondly, in the bill as it now stands, “the amount prescribed under section 6(1)(c) as a stabilization factor”; and, thirdly, “any other moneys received or receivable by producers respecting the farm products to which the plan applies.”

Here is where the government is engaged in -- I don’t know what is the appropriate word -- subterfuge, sleight of hand or whatever you will. What the government said in effect, was: “We hope the government in Ottawa is going to name any product that needs assistance; and if they name it, then it will get 90 per cent. But even if they do not name it, this bill will be drafted on the assumption that they have named it.” It is the strangest kind of situation that the government should draft a bill on the assumption that something will happen when the government itself concedes that it may not happen.

In his attempts to explain this rather difficult bill to the farmers and to the public after he introduced it, the minister himself noted, for example, that if perchance a product were not named by Ottawa so that it would become eligible to get coverage for 90 per cent of the average price of the last five years, then that payment wouldn’t be coming from Ottawa and, therefore, the five per cent which this bill proposes to supplement would be paid, not on the basis of the 90 per cent, but on the basis of the market price. And it may well be that there are some products today -- indeed, there are some products today -- whose market prices slumped to 80 per cent, 75 per cent or even 60 per cent of the average of the last five years.

What the government is saying in effect, is that in the instance of those products, if they don’t get named by Ottawa, all this government is going to do is to add five per cent to that market price; and if the market price happened to be 60 per cent, then the farmer can expect to get only 65 per cent of the average of the last five years. If you need anything more to indicate the inadequacy the bill and the kind of sleight-of-hand manoeuvring that the government engaged in, I don’t think you need to go any further than that.

The government was instructed -- certainly in the debate, if it wasn’t nailed down in firm terms in the reasoned resolution that was passed last June, sending the government back to the drawing boards -- that what we should have was a bill that would be comprehensive; in other words, it would be available to all products in the province of Ontario. The government has come in with a bill which is technically comprehensive, but in fact it is not comprehensive. It is technically comprehensive in that it says that those products which are named in Ottawa will be covered by 90 per cent of the average of the last five years by Ottawa and the government will add its five per cent. For those products that are not covered by Ottawa, the government is counting on the assurances, both verbal and written, of Gene Whelan that they will then move to name them; and if they name them, the government will add its five per cent to the 90 per cent that they provide. But if they don’t name them, the government’s five per cent is only going to be added to the market price.

I want to put on the record just how inadequate that kind of situation is. I want to put it in the terms of Peter Hannam, the new president of the OFA, who came before the committee last week. His comments with reference to section 1(c)(ii), were these:

“We object in the most strenuous terms to including in farm product receipts a hypothetical return, had the federal government supported the product (the assumption is it has not) under The Agricultural Stabilization Act. Surely it is folly to pretend to stabilize farm returns when there is included in the formula, a factor to lay squarely on farmers the risk of irresponsible federal administration of the law -- a factor that is designed precisely to protect the Ontario government from sharing that risk. No group could but protest against a measure that excluded it from admittedly justified assistance on the basis of a contrary-to-fact condition; assuming a return that was non-existent.”

That is the view of the Federation of Agriculture --

Mr. Nixon: What is that contrary-to-fact condition?

Mr. MacDonald: I feel rather confident that the farmers’ union would agree too, except that unfortunately we didn’t have the benefits of their submissions to the standing committee because their convention was being held in Edmonton at the same time and none of them was able to attend.

Before I take my seat on this point, let me turn to an attempt to clarify what appears to be the Liberal position at the present time. I have given up on the Tories.

Mr. Conway: We have given up on the NDP.

Mr. MacDonald: I know you will. I know you will.

Mr. Nixon: By the way, doesn’t your amendment involve the expenditure of public funds?

Mr. MacDonald: In fact, Mr. Chairman, they have given their position but I just want to turn to an area on which I would like to seek some clarification.

For example, the hon. member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk, in his comments on page 5055 of Hansard, on second reading, made this comment: “My colleague, our agricultural critic, the hon. member for Huron-Middlesex, has indicated that he has confidence that the federal plan can be expanded quite readily to include any programme that is requested by the growers concerned.” Admittedly it can be expanded if we can be assured that it always will be expanded, but as Peter Hannam has pointed out on behalf of the OFA, we haven’t got that assurance in ironclad terms and without that assurance you have got an inadequate thing in the bill.

However, the interesting thing is that the member for Brent-Oxford-Norfolk was referring to his agricultural critic and what he has said, and this is what I want to draw to the attention of the House and particularly to my Liberal colleagues in the hope that they will clarify it. For example, on page 4993 and following, the hon. agricultural critic for the Liberal Party made this comment:

“On the other hand, the OFA president condemns the bill for only offering a five per cent payment for some commodities. Those would be ones that are covered by neither the federal government nor by price-controlling marketing board. Certainly the minister was prepared to support those commodities at the 90 per cent level in Bill 96, similar to the main commodities under the federal stabilization programme. I personally fail to see why the minister is not prepared to give that kind of support to those commodities under Bill 131, considering that his estimate of cost for supporting those same commodities under Bill 96 was $7 million and under this plan the government would pay only two-thirds of that.”

A little later he made this comment: “Needless to say, in the absence of a federal stabilization plan for farmers, this bill would be completely inadequate, and to have any meaning, the provincial plan would have to give full protection to all farm commodities. In many ways Bill 96 was better than this bill in that it would support commodities at the same level as the federal plan for those commodities that were neither named nor designated under the federal plan.”

He finally commented as follows: “Obviously the federal programme is inadequate, and yet Bill 96 provided a stabilization programme identical to the federal plan which the Minister of Agriculture and Food himself called inadequate. In his own words, the minister said there are inadequacies in the federal programme, and yet he was prepared to leave anything that was covered by the federal programme under the inadequacies, and set up a provincial programme that was identical.”

I think, if I understand it, what the critic for the Liberal Party stated was that in his view this bill should cover all products. That’s what Bill 96 did. The cost was only going to be $7 million. The cost now will be only two-thirds of that because the farmers are now going to be contributing and therefore, Mr. Chairman, I submit that this is a motion which is the first of two amendments. The second one, in section 6, will have to deal with this government tactic of trying to define out products which it was my belief in this House was the solid united view of the opposition parties should not be defined out. They should be defined into the bill and given at least the kind of coverage that is given in Ottawa plus --

Mr. Nixon: If they are not going to cover it, we are going to cover it.

Mr. MacDonald: -- the five per cent --

Mr. Nixon: Why not have Ottawa cover it?

Mr. MacDonald: -- that we are proposing to ask.

Mr. Nixon: Why not use their money, not ours?

Mr. Wildman: But you don’t know they are going to cover it.

Mr. Nixon: Yes, I do.


Mr. MacDonald: Peter Hannam is not sure either, so have a chat with him.

Mr. Nixon: Peter hasn’t got the same political confidence in the government that I have.

Mr. MacDonald: Maybe he is speaking on behalf of the farmers while you are speaking on behalf of the Liberal Party. That may be the difference.

Mr. Chairman: Order, please.

Mr. MacDonald: You are right, Mr. Chairman, I should address my remarks to you.

Mr. Chairman: We are dealing with your amendment to section 1 of this bill. Restrict your comments to it.

Mr. MacDonald: I have made my remarks as to the first of two amendments. The second will have to come in section 6, which is to achieve the basic principle of comprehensive coverage which the farm organizations feel very strongly is a necessity, if this bill is going to be worthwhile.

Mr. Chairman: Before I recognize the hon. member for Huron-Middlesex, there is some question in the mind of the Chair whether or not this amendment is appropriately put since it does seem to me to involve the expenditure of public funds. I would like to hear some comment on that from the committee before I make up my mind as to whether we can accept this amendment.

Mr. MacDonald: Could I make a brief comment on that?

Mr. Nixon: On the point of order you raised, Mr. Chairman --

Mr. Chairman: It is not a point of order. It is the Chair thinking out loud.

Mr. MacDonald: Just a brief point on that. I grant you that this may involve the expenditure of funds. We have been told by the ministry that this bill is likely going to involve the expenditure of some $70 million a year. I am willing to lay my life on the line that in the first year, with the inclusion of all commodities as achieved through this amendment, you won’t get within reaching distance of $70 million a year. Indeed it was that very point that led Gordon Hill to say; “Who are Bill Davis and Bill Newman trying to kid?”

Hon. Mr. Henderson: We hope you are right.

Mr. Nixon: On the point, and I don’t believe I can refer to the point without referring to some of the arguments the hon. member has put forward on behalf of his amendment, the whole point of the amendment put forward by the member for York South is to put the province of Ontario into the subsidy-paying or stabilization-paying procedure whether or not the government of Canada is involved. Frankly our argument from the Liberal Party is that we want the support to go to the farmers, but why should we not use a federal programme if it is in place? Why should we not use federal dollars in place of provincial dollars if the net result is the same? That is precisely our point.

On the discussion that you raised, Mr. Chairman, as to whether this will spend money, the whole point of the amendment is to pay provincial dollars instead of federal dollars. Our position in this party is that the payments go to the farmers. We believe, although we have no assurance, in the statements made by the government of Canada that the designation at the federal level will see federal dollars go to the farmers. On this point the very amendment is to replace those federal dollars with provincial dollars. We don’t see whether that is in the interest of the farmers or the provincial taxpayer or, on the point you put forward, that it is even in order.

Mr. MacDonald: You are confusing the issue.

Mr. Chairman: I would like to hear further debate on it. I will recognize the member for Huron-Middlesex.

Mr. Riddell: I don’t know if I can add too much to what my colleague has already said, other than I feel personally that this does involve an expenditure of money. From my limited experience here only the minister can make an amendment that does involve the expenditure of money. I would say that the member is out of order in his particular amendment. Our approach has always been that any stabilization programme should have federal participation. If we are going to support all commodities at the 95 per cent level, then we are simply withdrawing pressure from the federal government to designate those commodities under the federal stabilization programme.

I have here a statement that was made by Mr. Whelan at a federal-provincial conference. He states: “There has been some uncertainty expressed as to whether or not support would be offered under the federal programme to commodities that are not named under the Act. I can indicate to you that any agricultural commodity which is produced in significant quantities in Canada will be supported under the federal programme if the need for the support can be demonstrated.” So we have no reason to doubt the integrity of the federal Minister of Agriculture.

Mr. Wildman: What about cow-calf producers?

Mr. Riddell: I am somewhat concerned that if we support all commodities at the 95 per cent level, which the NDP agricultural critic would like to have --

Mr. MacDonald: Oh, no, you are missing the point. We will come to that later.

Mr. Riddell: -- then the federal minister is simply going to say: “You have your provincial programme in place. Your commodities are already supported at the 95 per cent level; I’m not interested in rendering any support for that particular commodity out of the federal stabilization programme.”

We definitely feel, I repeat, that any stabilization programme should be set up on a national basis. We shouldn’t be giving the federal Minister of Agriculture any excuse to opt out of a programme or out of stabilizing a product. This is exactly what this amendment would be inclined to do.

Mr. Nixon: On the point you raised, Mr. Chainman, in my view it would be unfortunate if this whole debate were ruled out of order because of the concept of the expenditure of public funds, It is not clear, and it’s not clear in your own mind, whether or not the passage of the amendment would mean a clear expenditure of public funds. It may be argued either way.

The advice I would give you is that it would be supportable certainly from any reasonable and objective source, it seems to me, for the position to be debated here and decided by vote of the House since it is a matter which far transcends simply the expenditure of provincial dollars as opposed to federal dollars. I would advise you to accept the amendment that has been put forward, let the House debate it and then, in the wis-going to name all these additional products.

Mr. Chairman: Does the minister have a comment at this time?

Hon. W. Newman: Yes, Mr. Chairman. I would point out that the whole purpose of this bill and in bringing it forward was to set it up in such a way that we could concur with all the agricultural organizations in this province; we want a truly national programme. I think that is part of the purpose of this bill -- that at a later date we can move into a truly national programme.

If this amendment was accepted -- I’m not prepared to accept it myself -- it would mean the expenditure of additional dollars which have been, by and large, committed in a statement and by word of mouth on a radio programme which we happened to tape, by the federal Minister of Agriculture. He said that when the need is there he will fulfil it.

There are eight named commodities now; he has named six more commodities since last June when we had our debate in the House. I have every assurance that they will cover it under ASA 75, better known as Bill C-50.

To ask us at this point in time to expend additional provincial dollars -- it’s not only provincial dollars; the whole principle of the bill would be changed. The whole principle of what we’re trying to do would be altered by accepting that amendment.

Mr. Swart: I would say a word or two about the order of the amendment. It seems to me, as was pointed out by the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk, that it doesn’t specifically provide for additional expenditures of money. This could happen but it does not specifically provide for that; it says up to 95 per cent in a later clause. This particular amendment proposes that we make it more comprehensive.

If what the Minister of Agriculture says is true, that it’s going to be all covered by the federal government, I suggest that there would not be any additional expenditure of money. There are no direct instructions or legislation for additional expenditure of money.

I have to say, if I may speak briefly to this amendment, that I really don’t understand the opposition either across from us or to our left to this comprehensive inclusion. it seems to me that only two things can happen: One, as I say, is that the federal government is going to name all these additional products as the need arises. Then, of course, there won’t be any additional money spent and there’s no disadvantage to having this clause in the bill.

Mr. Nixon: With this amendment there won’t be any need for a federal designation because the money will come from the province. Eugene has integrity but he’s not dumb. If somebody else can pay the bills, why should he?

Mr. Chairman: I will recognize the hon. member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk in his turn.

Mr. Swart: If the argument is that the federal government is going to designate these products, then surely there is a basic and fundamental need for this coverage. I’d go so far as to suggest that if you couldn’t have both the five per cent additional, the 90 to 95, and the comprehensiveness, then we should have the comprehensiveness, because many farmers can suffer substantially in the production of certain farm products if there is not coverage for those under the income stabilization plan.

The farmers have stated that they want the comprehensive coverage. In addition to what the member for York South has said, the brief from the Ontario Federation of Agriculture to the committee that was sitting on this made these comments.

Pardon me, I am on the wrong page.

Mr. Nixon: You may be reading the wrong statement, too.

Mr. Swart: No, I assure you I won’t do that.

Mr. Nixon: There are quite a range of statements from the federal government on this.

Mr. MacDonald: No, there are not. They are very clear in their thrust.

Mr. Swart: It would mean that for all commodities not named the Ontario government would, as it proposed to do in earlier Bill 96, support all commodities between the actual average return received including any federal stabilization payments, and the Ontario stabilization price for that product. It is saying that they want them to include the comprehensive coverage of all products.

More than that, just recently -- as a matter of fact, last Wednesday -- the Niagara Peninsula Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association held a convention in Niagara Falls. The report of that convention says this: “The Niagara Peninsula Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association is officially opposed to the farm income stabilization legislation that is now before the House.” This was in the report which was adopted. “Because of its loopholes it is inadequate, the committee concluded.” So they are in opposition to this plan as it is at the present time. Let me say to you that there is some significance in the position which they took at Niagara Falls. Because first of all, at the present time practically no fruit is covered.

Hon. W. Newman: Were you at that meeting? I was, so be careful.

Mr. Swart: I am quoting from the report and somehow or other I think there is some validity to the report which was adopted at that conference.

The significance is that at the present time fruit is not covered, peaches have not been covered, grapes are not covered. Of course, these are the two main products of the most sensitive agricultural area in the province. And yet they are not covered under the federal stabilization programme and wouldn’t be covered under the bill which is proposed here.

Mr. Nixon: The federal government bought all those grapes this year. There was a special support programme for grapes.

Mr. Swart: The fruit and vegetable growers association also said in that same report and I quote: “We suggest that the Niagara Peninsula Fruit and Vegetables Growers Association could support provincial legislation which provides a total integrated policy for land-use planning, property taxation and farm price support.” I suggest that if the government of this province is interested in preserving the prima agricultural land -- and of course, there is no evidence that they are; we are, that’s one reason we want to see this covered -- they are going to have to take some action to meet those three demands of the Niagara Peninsula Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association.

For that one location alone I suggest that this amendment should be passed, because it would at least give some proof to the Niagara Peninsula Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association that the government means it if they say they are going to give them some protection, from the price point of view, for the viability of the agricultural industry in that area.

Mr. Riddell: I’d just like to draw to the attention of the former speaker, the member for Welland-Thorold, that the federal government did buy quite substantial quantities of grapes this year --

Mr. Swart: Buy.

Mr. Riddell: -- so they certainly did help the grape producer. As a matter of fact, the grape producers tell me that there are very few grapes left on the vines down in the Niagara fruit belt.


Mr. Swart: That’s not the issue.

Mr. Riddell: If the provinces had control over imports I would say there would probably be some merit in what the NDP is asking for. But we have no control over imports. It’s strictly controlled by the federal government.

Mr. Swart: You mean lack of control.

Mr. Riddell: Therefore we do not feel that each province should come in with a programme whereby all commodities are stabilized at the 95 per cent level because it definitely does lead them to incentive pricing or top loading or whatever you may call it.

Mr. MacDonald: Oh no.

Mr. Swart: It’s not the low prices.

Mr. Riddell: I want you to listen to what the federal Minister of Agriculture has to say about this matter:

“Given that the government is fully convinced that the level of support provided by The Agricultural Stabilization Act does provide adequate protection to producers under most circumstances, and given that there is a serious danger that higher levels of support would result in problems of oversupply, the government is not prepared to enter into top-loading agreements with provinces to provide levels of support above the minimum ASA 75 level on a continuing basis.

“Producers who want greater assurance of stability should seek it through marketing systems which assure management of supply and avoidance of surpluses.”

Mr. MacDonald: They are going to pull out.

Mr. Riddell: A little further along in his statement he says: “I have indicated that ASA 75 provides, in our judgement, adequate protection in most cases and the provision of standby top-loading funds could provide protection in these situations where this is not the ease. In these circumstances the federal government will not, as required by the Act, make payments under the support programme provided by ASA 75 to producers in any province that has a provincial programme which provides a level of support above that provided by ASA 75.”

Mr. MacDonald: They’re going to pull out.

Mr. Chairman: Order.

Mr. Riddell: This is just the point we’re trying to make. The minister has said that if we’re going to come in with a provincial programme to support all commodities at the 95 per cent level he’s prepared to withdraw support under the federal programme and we don’t want this.

Mr. MacDonald: Where is his integrity?

Mr. Riddell: We want the federal Minister of Agriculture to participate in any stabilization programme.

Mr. MacDonald: Let me deal with the last point that has been raised. This is a case of sheer, unadulterated bluff by Gene Whelan.

Mr. Chairman: Please speak through the Chair, please.

Mr. MacDonald: All right, through the Chair. For months now Gene Whelan has been saying, “If there’s any top-loading by a province we’ll pull out our basic support.” B.C. has been top-loading for months, and he hasn’t pulled out his support. This whole bill is useless if Gene Whelan is going to pull out his 90 per cent. It would mean there’s going to be no coverage at all because any time you add five per cent they’re going to withdraw their 90 per cent.

Mr. Nixon: He is not going to pull it out.

Mr. MacDonald: I thought I heard, sotto voce, from the hon. member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk that he’s not going to do it. He’s a man of integrity. He’s not going to do it. Let’s argue one way but not both ways. If he’s not going to do it, let’s not argue that we can’t --

Mr. Kerrio: He wouldn’t dare.

Mr. Nixon: You are the one who said he had no integrity.

Mr. MacDonald: Let me make the second point I wanted to make. I suggest that the Liberal Party can’t have it both ways. If Gene Whelan is a man of integrity who isn’t going to withdraw his 90 per cent if it is top-loaded at five; or if Gene Whelan is a man of integrity who is going to name any product which needs coverage not only for the province of Ontario but for the whole country -- he happens to be Minister of Agriculture for Canada -- there will be no need for us to move in to cover that 90 per cent.

He’s a man of integrity. He’s going to do it -- but there may be some circumstances in which, in the instance of the province of Ontario, he doesn’t move. That was precisely the circumstance which was envisaged by the Federation of Agriculture and Peter Hannam when he said we shouldn’t have this mythical payment from Ottawa when it may not be paid.

If it is paid, fine; there will be no pressure. There will be no pressure for the province of Ontario to move in and take away the responsibility for Ottawa to build a genuine national plan. That man of integrity will do it.

I don’t know what the word is but you can’t have it both ways.

Hon. W. Newman: One or two things which have been talked about here today concern me to some degree. I cannot see this province -- the province of Ontario -- committing dollars when we have the assurance from the federal people and hopefully we will be able to get some further assurances tomorrow when we again discuss stabilization in Ottawa, that they will cover up to 90 per cent on any needed commodity.

I was very interested in what the member for Welland-Thorold said, “What about the people who need some help this year?” Outside of the eight named commodities, the federal people have already said in the 1975 crop year -- these are the commodities they have added to the eight named commodities that are already in Bill C-50. Baby carrots are covered; sweet cherries are covered -- these are only the ones that the payouts were in -- baby carrots, sweet cherries, summer pears, prune plums, apples, raspberries, greenhouse tomatoes and cucumbers. So don’t talk to me about some of the commodities of the Niagara Peninsula. I mean, that’s just ridiculous. And you know, all commodities under our bill --

Mr. Nixon: The member for Welland-Thorold wasn’t at the meeting, you say.

Mr. Swart: If you knew the Niagara Peninsula, you’d know that grapes and peaches are the main crops, not the ones you mention.

Mr. Chairman: Order, please.

Hon. W. Newman: I am fully aware of the grape situation in the Niagara Peninsula. We’ve had two excellent years. Last year we stepped in and bought thousands of tons of grapes. This year --

Mr. Nixon: That was election year, right?

Hon. W. Newman: We also moved in this year --

Mr. Nixon: Yes.

Hon. W. Newman: -- and guaranteed the payment for 3,000 tons.

Mr. Nixon: Well, this may be an election year too. It’s when you have a majority that you don’t do anything.

Hon. W. Newman: And I hope in three years’ time, as well as drinking Ontario wine you’ll think Ontario brandy to help use up the surplus.

Mr. Nixon: Are you personally going to save the industry?

Hon. W. Newman: I am convinced that the national part of this plan, which I think is very important -- I think we all agree; I think in all three parties we agree --

Mr. MacDonald: Yes.

Hon. W. Newman: -- we need a national stabilization programme. Perhaps some of the efforts we made last June may have had some bearing on this overall federal picture.

I’ll tell you this, if we keep going at the same rate as we have in some of the other provinces, I look down the road and if each province brings in its own programme and we don’t have any sort of national programme across this great country of ours, then I just see us balkanizing one province against the other and creating some very serious problems.

Mr. MacDonald: That’s a phoney argument.

Hon. W. Newman: You see, you don’t have faith in the agricultural community because you’re always worrying about what the payout will be.

Mr. MacDonald: Ah, come on.

Hon. W. Newman: I have faith in the efficiency of the farmers of this province and what they can do. They can produce, given the opportunity. I’m not going to go into some of the problems we face in other commodities today. I just cannot accept this amendment which is spending provincial dollars and which destroys the aspects of a national plan.


Hon. W. Newman: What you’re asking for here today is breaking away from really trying to do a proper job on a national basis.

Mr. Warner: You’ve figured out how to grow baloney.

Mr. Chairman: The Chair has heard enough debate from all sides of the House to reach a decision as to whether or not the amendment proposed by the hon. member for York South is in order. I want to thank all the members for assisting the Chair in this, as to whether or not it would involve the expenditure of public funds. I’m convinced that it would.

I want to refer members of the committee to section 56 of The Legislative Assembly Act which says:

“The assembly shall not adopt or pass any vote, resolution, address or bill for the appropriation of any part of the consolidated revenue fund or of any tax or impost to any purpose that has not been first recommended by a message of the Lieutenant Governor to the assembly during the session in which the vote, resolution, address or bill is proposed.

And in our standing orders, section 86 says:

“Any bill, resolution, motion or address, the passage of which would impose a tax or specifically direct the allocation of public funds may not be passed by the House unless recommended by a message from the Lieutenant Governor and may only be proposed by a minister of the Crown.”

For those reasons --

Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Chairman, may I ask you a question?

Mr. Chairman: Yes.

Mr. MacDonald: Do you accept the argument of the minister and of the Liberal Party that they have the faith that the minister in Ottawa will move to cover any products? Because if they do, there will be no expenditure of money.

Mr. Nixon: Order. That is not debatable.

Mr. Chairman: I am about to make the ruling and it was made mostly on your admission that it would involve the expenditure of some public funds. You said it wouldn’t cost near $70 million.

Mr. MacDonald: That’s right.

Mr. Chairman: And so on that basis, I declare it out of order.

Mr. Eaton: Go ahead and challenge the Chairman’s ruling.

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

On section 2:


Mr. Chairman: Mr. Riddell moves that a new subsection 3 be added to section 2 and that subsections 3 to 7 be renumbered as subsections 4 to 8. This would introduce into the bill a subsection 3, which would read as follows:

“(3) Three members shall be appointed, one to represent each of the Christian Farmers’ Federation, the National Farmers’ Union and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture on the following basis: (i) Each such organization shall, in every year before the 31st day of March, nominate to the Lieutenant Governor in Council one person for membership in the commission; (ii) the Lieutenant Governor in Council shall appoint the nominee from each organization as a member of the commission before the 30th day of April in that year, to hold office until the 29th day of April in the year next following.”

He further moves the addition of a new subsection 9, which reads as follows:

“(9) The failure or refusal to nominate three persons by any of the organizations referred to in subsection 3, or the consequent lack of appointment of a person to represent such organization, or the failure or refusal of any member appointed in accordance with subsection 3 to act, does not affect the status of the commission, the carrying out of its powers and duties under this Act or the validity of any order, direction or regulation made by it.”

Mr. Riddell: I think the amendment is fairly self-explanatory, Mr. Chairman. We feel that the farmer organizations should be able to appoint at least one person to this commission so that we can be assured that at least three members of the commission will be spokesmen for or representatives of the farmers across Ontario. We don’t feel that we should leave it entirely to the Lieutenant Governor in Council to make the appointments. Granted, the minister has indicated he would try to appoint members on this commission who would represent a cross-section of the farming community in Ontario, but we want to be assured that the farmers are going to be represented.

We recognize three farm organizations here in Ontario -- the Christian Farmers’ Federation, the National Farmers’ Union and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture -- and we see no reason why they shouldn’t have the opportunity to appoint directly to the commission and then leave it to the Lieutenant Governor in Council to make whatever other appointments it may wish.

Mr. Chairman: I’d like some guidance from the mover of the motion. Subsections 1 and 2 specifically direct, by the word “shall,” and then the new subsection 9 says “failure to do so.

Mr. Nixon: No, that’s failure; it’s failure of the organization.

Mr. Riddell: Yes, of the organization. To give you an example, the Christian Farmers’ Federation is not too much in favour of this bill. So if the Christian Farmers’ Federation refuses to appoint --

Mr. MacDonald: Neither is the OFA.

Mr. Riddell: -- someone to the commission then this doesn’t hold up the proceedings. In other words, the minister can then go ahead and make an appointment in place of the one that was supposed to have been made by one of the farm organizations. In other words, we don’t want one farm organization to be able to stymie this thing.

Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Chairman, if I may speak to the point you have raised. I think you’ve got a point, there’s a lack of logic in the structure here. If it isn’t absolutely mandatory -- and I don’t know how you can make it mandatory -- that they should appoint somebody, then the word shouldn’t be “shall” but should be “may.” “Each farm organization may in every year make an appointment” and then in your new subsection you, in effect, say that if they don’t that doesn’t alter the capacity of the commission to carry on and do its business.

Unless you are going to come in with some other amendment or there is some other means by which you can, in effect, order a farm organization whether it wants it or not, then you have to change “shall” to “may.”

Mr. Riddell: I see no reason why we can’t accept that.

Mr. Chairman: The legislative draftsman draws my attention to section 1 which deals with three persons where it might appropriately deal with one person. I would entertain a thought of standing the section down if you wanted to talk it over with the legislative draftsman.

Mr. Nixon: I am not sure I understand the objection that the draftsman has raised.

Mr. Chairman: The draftsman doesn’t raise questions, he points out to the committee that there may be some ambiguity in the amendment and he would be available to discuss it with them. He can’t propose changes to the committee.

Mr. Nixon: It may be that it requires further discussion, but as I understood it, and my hon. friend put it forward, the three designated organizations may make a nomination, the minister then may appoint them but he shall appoint five people to the board.

Mr. Chairman: It is not up to me to justify what’s in the amendment. If you want it placed in that way --

Mr. Nixon: If you would ask us to stand it down for further discussion I guess we can do that without any trouble.

Hon. W. Newman: Mr. Chairman, basically I have no objection to the principle of the amendment. As I indicated in my statement on second reading, as I indicated to the standing committee, if there is some legal wording I am not a lawyer and it should be corrected.

As to the basic principle of what we are talking about, I see nothing really wrong with the amendment that has been brought forward by the member for Huron-Middlesex. I don’t see any objection to it and I haven’t received any word from legal counsel up here yet saying that it is wrong.

Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Chairman, can we proceed with the debate while any clarification is sought?

Mr. Chairman: Is it agreed that we will stand this down until we get some clarification?

Mr. Riddell: I don’t know whether that will be necessary, Mr. Chairman, because if we simply substitute the word “shall” in each case for “may,” in other words, three members may be appointed, one to represent each of the Christian Farmers’ Federation, the National Farmers’ Union, and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture on the following basis, each such organization may in every year before March 31 nominate to the Lieutenant Governor in Council one person for membership in the commission. Then the Lieutenant Governor in Council shall appoint the nominee. In other words, if the farmers’ organization nominates a person to sit on this commission then the Lieutenant Governor in Council has to appoint that person as one of the members on the commission. Apart from the second part of subsection 3, I feel the Lieutenant Governor in Council has to appoint the nominee, shall appoint the nominee, but in the other two cases I would think that “may” could be substituted for “shall” there.

Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Chairman, can I proceed with comments while we are checking --

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Chairman, if I might just make a comment, the legislative draftsman has brought to my attention that in the second part of my hon. friend’s amendment it says “the failure or refusal to nominate three persons by any of the organizations referred to.” It was pointed out that if you are going to have three people from three organizations, that might be construed as nine. Certainly there is no such intention. The three refers to one from each organization. If you’ll permit us, we would like to change the word “three” in the first line of the amendment to subsection 9, to “one.”

Mr. Chairman: All right, and making the same changes in subsection 3(i) and (ii).

Mr. Nixon: Yes.

Mr. Chairman: Is that understood? Just to avoid any confusion so we know what we’re doing here, Mr. Riddell moves that section 2 of the bill be amended by adding thereto the following subsection and the remaining subsections be renumbered accordingly. “(3) Three members may be appointed one to represent each of the Christian Farmers’ Federation, the National Farmers Union and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture on the following basis: (i) each organization may in every year before the 31st day of March nominate to the Lieutenant Governor in Council one person to the commission. (ii) the Lieutenant Governor in Council shall appoint one person a member of the commission before the 30th day of April in that year to hold office until the 29th day of April in the year next following.”

Mr. Riddell further moves that section 2 of the bill be amended by adding another subsection, 9, which will read:

“The failure or refusal to nominate a person by any of the organizations referred to in subsection 3 or the consequent lack of appointment of a person to represent such organization or the failure or refusal of any member appointed in accordance with subsection 3 to act does not affect the status of the commission, the carrying out of its powers and duties under this Act, or the validity of any order, direction or regulation made by it.”

Mr. MacDonald: May I draw your attention, Mr. Chairman, to the concluding four words in section 2(1) which say: “the Farm Income Stabilization Commission of Ontario, which shall be a corporation without share capital responsible to the minister.”

In other words even though these men may be nominated by these three organizations and even though they are appointed, this is going to be a minister’s commission responsible to the minister. In the final analysis he can do as he’s done, for example, in the instance of the egg board recently. He can take such steps as he wants to get rid of anybody on the board that he thinks is not playing the game according to the rules as he interprets it.

What we want in this bill and what the farmers in the province of Ontario are seeking is a meaningful role in which they will have the capacity to negotiate. This is going to be one side of the negotiating table; the Farm Income Stabilization Commission is going to be the government side, representing the government which, in turn, will represent the public. That’s fair enough, but this is not going to be the body that will represent the farmers. There should be one, and we will move an amendment later to try to provide an opportunity for the establishment of a legally constituted farmers’ organization, representative of farmers’ commodities groups and general farm organizations, to be able to negotiate with the Farm Income Stabilization Commission.

My reaction to this is the same, for example, as Peter Hannam’s reaction before the standing committee. If you want to make that change, go ahead and make it. It makes no difference because the commission is the minister’s commission anyway.

Mr. Nixon: I would like to speak to the point that has been raised and I know the minister wants to as well. I don’t see how the stabilization programme can work without a commission to administer it. It may be that the hon. member for York South figures that some Bay Street lawyers could be appointed to that commission and they would be responsible to the minister and carry out his will.

That may be and he says it doesn’t make any difference either way, but from our point of view we feel that the administration should be in the hands of bona fide farmers who have the confidence of the recognized farm organizations. The fact that the bill says it is responsible to the minister simply means, surely, that the minister is responsible to this House for the funds it is going to pay out. There is no thought that we set up something completely independent which would have a key to some treasury the taxpayers pay into and would pay out of those funds as it sees fit. Surely we have a democratic responsible government and this is the way it must function.

The hon. member for York South is correct when he says there should be some procedure whereby the farmers can negotiate with the commissioners. We have the established farm organizations and marketing boards now and it will be interesting to see what proposal he brings forward. We already have democratically elected executives to the farmers’ organizations and I hope we are not going to surround them with some tangle of bureaucracy which is in any way going to interfere with the work they do.

I am not entirely happy with the amendment put forward by my colleague from Huron-Middlesex because we all know that although there are three recognized farm organizations, they represent vastly differing numbers of farmers. In other words, as spokesman for the farm community, the federation is by far the most numerous and strongly supported organization in the province. The other two have histories of accomplishment of different lengths and effectiveness and they have been recognized.

On a commission of five members it seems to be reasonable, surely -- in the early years of the commission at least -- that each of the organizations be represented. One of the alternatives we should be thinking about when we look at this bill and the functioning of this commission in the future is that perhaps the farmers, through their organizations, can be given an opportunity to elect the members of the commission themselves.

It is quite possible that might be so or an alternative might very well be the bargaining structure which the hon. member for York South is thinking about. There would be elected from among the farmers some group which would be tantamount to a comparison of the Milk Commission and the Milk Marketing Board. This is a possible alternative as well but as we are just starting up this stabilization procedure we, in the Liberal Party, felt that in the administrative functioning board there should be, by law, the requirement that nominees from the three recognized organizations be put to the minister and, by law, he should be required to appoint them to the board.

My colleague has dealt very well with the possibility that a farm organization either now or some time in the future might choose not to participate. We have tried to include in our amendment the mechanism for such an eventuality so that the commission would continue to function if such a matter did come forward.

Mr. MacDonald: Perhaps I should add a word because I may have left the wrong impression. I am not opposing the amendment. I agree that if this is all we are going to get -- and I don’t feel confident, in view of the atmosphere I detect on the other side of the House, that we are going to get a genuine farm committee able to negotiate -- if this is all we are going to get then I agree the commission would be better to have three farmers on it.

I also agree with Peter Hannam in his submission on behalf of the OFA to the standing committee. This really isn’t a very important issue. He says, “I don’t care what you do” or words to that effect, because it is the minister’s commission. True, it is going to be administering the whole thing but he even went so far as to say he wouldn’t bother having it appointed now unless we had the other amendments, passage of which seems to be rather threatened in the House this afternoon, because the commission would have nothing to do. No farmers will bother to pay any attention to the bill.

Mr. Chairman: Any further discussion on the amendment? The hon. minister.

Hon. W. Newman: In order that we get the wording of the amendment correct for the hon. member over there. Under section 2, subsection (3) item (i), on the fourth line “to the Lieutenant Governor in Council” -- where it says one person, it should be “a person.” It is just a matter of legal clarification.

Mr. Nixon: What’s that difference? What’s that distinction?


Hon. W. Newman: “One person” instead of “a person.”

Mr. Nixon: Give that man a QC.

Hon. W. Newman: It would now read: “Each such organization may, in every year before March 31, nominate to the Lieutenant Governor in Council a person for membership in the commission.”

Mr. Roy: If you hadn’t spotted that, it would have ruffled the whole bill.

Hon. W. Newman: That is right.

Mr. Nixon: What is the difference between “one” and “a”?

Hon. W. Newman: I don’t know. You ask the lawyers.

Mr. Nixon: We are surrounded by them. I don’t hear anything from them.

Hon. W. Newman: Under subsection 3(2), Mr. Chairman, I am told the correct legal wording is: “The Lieutenant Governor in Council shall appoint a nominee as a member of the commission before April 30…” and so on.

Mr. Roy: Yes, that is much tidier there.

Hon. W. Newman: Also, the proposed subsection 9 should read, “the failure or refusal to nominate a person,” rather than “one person.” If you are agreeable to that, it is just the legal wording to make it clear.

Mr. Wildman: Don’t fight about that.

Mr. Riddell: No, but I am a little concerned in the second part, where it says the Lieutenant Governor in Council shall appoint a nominee. We have indicated that the three major farm organizations may appoint a nominee; now we are saying the Lieutenant Governor in Council must appoint that nominee -- not just any nominee, but that nominee.

The three major organizations will each appoint one person for membership on that commission, and the Lieutenant Governor in Council shall appoint the nominee who has been appointed by the major farm organizations. I don’t see why you want to change “the” nominee to “a” nominee. It sounds to me again as if the Lieutenant Governor in Council is going to be able to appoint anybody it wants.

Hon. W. Newman: No, the whole purpose of doing this was so that the nominee of each particular farm organization would be appointed to the commission by order in council. If you want to leave it that way, the lawyers say it can be worked either way now. You know, they change their minds. I am easy.

Mr. Samis: How much did you pay for that advice?

Mr. Roy: Do you want me to get up and argue both sides?

Mr. Nixon: Let’s leave it then.

Hon. W. Newman: All right. Leave it. I will accept it as it was worded.

Motion agreed to.

Section 2, as amended, agreed to.

Sections 3 to 5, inclusive, agreed to.

On section 6:

Mr. Chairman: Mr. MacDonald moves that section 6(1)(c) be deleted and that section 6(1)(e) be deleted and that the following be substituted therefor:

“Establishing, from time to time, a stabilization price or prices respecting a farm product for which a plan has been developed, the stabilization price or prices to be obtained by adjusting up to 95 per cent of the base price thereof by an index calculated to reflect the true costs of production of the farm product in the year for which the stabilization price or prices are established.” And that following sections be renumbered accordingly.

Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Chairman, there are really two amendments here, and I assume you may want to deal with them separately because it is just possible that the House may want to treat them that way. The first one is the deletion of section 6(1)(c) totally, and the second one is the deletion of 6(1)(e) and the substitute.

Mr. Chairman: I think it’s possible to deal with them both in concert.

Mr. MacDonald: Fine. Let me speak first, if I may, to the suggested deletion of 6(1)(c). I suppose, in a sense, this is something of a repeat of the discussion we had earlier, to be very frank with you, Mr. Chairman, because section 1(c)(ii) is related to this and it relates to the whole business about comprehensive coverage.

Maybe I should put it on the record, just so that the government, and particularly our friends in the Liberal Party, will know what the position of the OFA is on this section: “We firmly reject including within farm product receipts any sum that farmers do not actually receive due to the failure of the government of Canada to fully implement The Agricultural Stabilization Act. We understand that the reason for this provision is to keep Ontario out of what might be taken as a federal responsibility in agricultural income stabilization.

“The aim is to sway the federal government to designate for support all commodities that encounter serious price depression. This is all exalted under the principle that the federal government alone should stabilize farm returns, because only the federal government can balance the scales of justice between the provinces and between farmers in several provinces.

“We fully support the principle that distributive justice between the provinces must be in the control of the federal government. We regret, as much as anyone, the prospect of provincial treasuries being pitted one against another, thereby losing sight of the objective of farm legislation. However, it is too late to argue that this can be avoided if the provinces will refrain from farm income activity. Not only British Columbia but our neighbouring province of Quebec has instituted income protection programmes. Quebec is moving ahead with establishing plans for beef cattle from birth to slaughter, industrial milk and eggs, with others in the earlier stages of planning. Already we must compete with these producers, who also benefit from greatly advantageous provincial credit and transportation subsidies. The federal government is most unlikely to take measures to reduce these current regional advantages being offered in these provinces. In addition, cow-calf support plans are now in effect in all the major producing provinces, including one-year programmes in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

“Our position is that the federal government will only be moved to fill the vacuum in stabilizing policy when one or two major farm provinces pass stabilization legislation;” when, in other words, the inadequacies of the ASA are generally admitted by provincial government. “Therefore, we recommend,” says the Federation of Agriculture “that under section 6, subsection 1(c) that paragraphs (ii) and (iv) be deleted. Both are contrary-to-fact conditions that place the burden of any federal inaction entirely on the farmer.” Of course, possible federal inaction is the very reason for the necessity of provincial action at all. “The result of this deletion would be that for all commodities not named under ASA 75, the Ontario government would, as it proposed to do in the earlier Bill 96, support all commodities between the actual average return received, including any federal stabilization payments and the Ontario stabilization price for that product.”

In short, what the Federation of Agriculture has said is, we agree it would be far better to have a federal plan that covers all products, but there’s no assurance that we’re going to have that federal plan; therefore, we suggest that we should have an opportunity for comprehensive coverage, and they suggest this deletion which is going to define out certain items that may or may not be covered. They want them all defined in and it was their request which we are putting on the record here, in the hope that the House will support it.

Do you want me to deal, Mr. Chairman, with the second portion of the amendment at the same time?

Mr. Acting Chairman: I understand we’re dealing with both sections.

Mr. MacDonald: Both? All right. The second portion of the amendment, which proposes the deletion of section 6(1)(e) and the following substitution, is a very key one. Let me draw to your attention that when the minister introduced this bill, he stated, and I quote: “Prices and costs used in the Ontario formula will be the same as those used in the federal plan, and federal officials have assured us of their full co-operation in supplying any necessary technical data.”

In other words, what this government has done is to piggyback their plan, with all its inadequacies, on the equally inadequate federal plan. They are going to be meshed completely except for the five per cent top-loading that this government is doing despite the warnings and threats from Gene Whelan in Ottawa.

It is interesting to note that on this point, too, the spokesmen for the Federation of Agriculture were very forthright. Peter Hannam told the standing committee, and I quote: “We regret that the Ontario government has fitted its own programme directly onto that of the federal government, even to the extent of using Canadian average prices and not cost calculations for Ontario products. This is a programme, after all, that Mr. Newman himself has repeatedly said is inadequate.”

In short, what we are seeking in this amendment is that prices should be stabilized on the basis of true current costs, not on the basis of these national calculations that may or may not be valid for the province of Ontario or may or may not be applicable for the province of Ontario.

The second and an important point that is obviously a point of concern for the hon. member for Huron-Middlesex, is that to support prices at a 95 per cent level across the board may be too high. It may be an incentive level. Therefore, what this amendment suggests is as the OFA asked for -- that it should be a support of up to 95 per cent.

Subsequently we are going to move an amendment which will give the farmers the mechanism for real negotiating capacity. In many instances it is quite possible that the farmers will want to negotiate a price that is below the 95 per cent.

Because, the main point that was made -- I thought most convincingly and eloquently -- before the standing committee of the Legislature, is that we want as flexible a plan as possible.

Hon. W. Newman: Hear, hear.

Mr. MacDonald: Well, if you want it as flexible as possible, you’ve got one that is bureaucratically structured now so that there’s no flexibility in it at all. That’s why I don’t know what the significance of that “hear, hear” was across there.

Mr. Nixon: The minister indicated at the committee that that flexibility of up to 95 was already in the bill, did he not?

Mr. MacDonald: Was it?

Mr. Nixon: Sure he did.

Mr. Chairman: The member for York South has the floor.

Mr. Nixon: By the way, I think the first part of his amendment is out of order.

Mr. MacDonald: On this point, let me again put on the record the views of the Federation of Agriculture with regard to section 6, subsection 1(e):

“We are opposed to excluding all non-cash costs from consideration in adjusting the historical base price. As we said, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food intends to use cost data prepared by Agriculture Canada wherever they exist. This means that even the very real and major costs of machinery and equipment depreciation are excluded from consideration as well as some overhead items that are in fact cash costs within each year. Even more significant is the omission of the cost of the operator’s labour and management work and the major part of the farm capital investment.

“The bill as proposed, even assuming responsible action by the federal government in all cases, would stabilize returns to the farmer’s own labour and capital resources only in that his returns would not be much less than the previous five years. Clearly, in periods of rapid inflation, this will be of little if any assistance.

“We recommend that the phrase ‘cash costs’ be replaced by ‘full cost of production, including the farm operator’s labour, management work, and investment’.”

That is what we are seeking to provide in this amendment.

Let me raise another point in this connection. They have me a little puzzled in the standing committee. Suddenly the minister made a statement that perhaps he might be considering -- and I notice that some of his top officials indicated that it was only a consideration, that it hadn’t been a conclusion yet -- that in addition to cash costs, you might do as you’ve done in the cow-calf plan and pay 70 per cent of a certain level of labour and investment. It’s on the record in terms of the standing committee and I raise it now --


Hon. W. Newman: Read subsection 5.

Mr. Foulds: That’s not what you said in committee.

Mr. MacDonald: I’m talking about what you said in committee. I admit that what you said in committee isn’t in the bill and I have already noted that some of your own officials said that it isn’t in the bill. Apparently it was in the back of the minister’s mind --

Mr. Warner: It’s a long way back.

Mr. MacDonald: -- I’m wondering what flexibility, if any, has emerged in the minister’s thinking that he chose at least to raise this, this little kite-flying effort, in the course of the committee hearings. Let me deal with the main concern expressed in the House particularly by the hon. member for Huron-Middlesex with regard to this. I think he’s repeated it so many times and in doing that he’s been standing four-square on the same ground with the minister. If you have this kind of a level of costs you’re going to have incentive prices. The net result is you’re going to be driven into some sort of a supply management situation and he is unhappy about supply management. The minister will agree that’s the kind of thing he has been saying, going across the province and warning everybody ad nauseam.

Hon. W. Newman: It seemed to get to you.

Mr. MacDonald: I want to suggest that is not a real danger. I draw to your attention that section 6, subsection 5 notes: “‘Where, under a plan, in any year, the stabilization price exceeds the cost of production figure that is ascertained and prescribed by the commission, and which may be prescribed in the regulations, the stabilization price, for the purposes of section 4, shall be deemed to be equal to that cost of production figure.”

Mr. Nixon: That’s why your amendment isn’t necessary.

Mr. Riddell: That’s the very thing that makes your amendment redundant.

Hon. W. Newman: That’s exactly right.

Mr. MacDonald: It doesn’t make the amendment redundant because it simply means that you’re going to meet at least what the farmers want. The question is the cost of production. What is the definition of cost of production?

You have put in a cash cost. That isn’t what you did in the cow-calf plan. You had cash costs plus 70 per cent of other factors. What we have suggested in our amendment is that you should recognize these other costs.

As for the fear of supply management, I want to draw to the attention of the House what I thought was one of the most eloquent and able statements with regard to the whole sphere and role of supply management that I have ever read anywhere. I draw this particularly to the attention of the hon. member for Huron-Middlesex. You may be surprised as to where it came from.

Mr. Riddell: I am glad you read my speech so thoroughly.

Mr. MacDonald: No. It’s not your speech.

Mr. Roy: You should read his speeches.


Mr. MacDonald: Listen to this, “We farmers spend a lot of time seeing we are free enterprisers. Some feel that controlled production takes us out of this category. We should ask those who have supply management now to set their own price and see what they would say. You will find that most of them will say that they are freer than they have ever been before.

First, they are free to produce without fear of overproduction. Second, they are free to be efficient and the more efficient they are the more money they make. Third, they are free to make a year’s projections in cashflow without fear of a sudden drop in prices within the year. Fourth, they are free to borrow money without the bank manager saying, ‘What if the price drops?’ Fifth, they are free to plan for several years instead of six months. Sixth, they are free to make a planned expansion based on quota rather than to expand from an unknown market.”

There is a magnificent example of how the freedom of farmers can be established by permitting them to have supply management. Who put that on the record?

Mr. Shore: Who?

Mr. MacDonald: The hon. member for Grey, Mr. McKessock.

Mr. Shore: Sit down there with Albert Roy.

Mr. Roy: You are in the House are you? Nice to see you.

Mr. MacDonald: I would suggest to you, Mr. Chairman, and I hesitate to put this to you too pointedly, that the hon. member for Grey --


Mr. MacDonald: -- perhaps with your assistance, can sit down with the hon. member for Huron-Middlesex and let him know something of the function of supply management.

Mr. Shore: Right on.

Mr. Nixon: May I ask the hon. member a question?

Mr. MacDonald: Sure.

Mr. Nixon: Are you suggesting that my hon. colleague in his eloquent comments about supply management is suggesting that everything be supply managed? As a matter of fact, is the hon. member suggesting --

Mr. MacDonald: No.

Mr. Nixon: Of course you are.

Mr. MacDonald: Oh, no.

Mr. Acting Chairman: Order, please.

Mr. Nixon: Socialist Ontario. You want everything to be supply managed.


Mr. Acting Chairman: Order, please.

Mr. MacDonald: Supply management is a function that the farmers are developing because they recognize it can give them freedom. It is their choice. This is a voluntary plan.


Mr. MacDonald: it is their choice. And if I may say to the hon. member for Huron-Middlesex, he may be a dirt farmer but he’s out of the mainstream of the farm community. The hon. member for Grey, who sat on the Federation of Agriculture, knows that most farmers -- milk farmers, tobacco farmers, the new proposed chicken agency -- all know that the only way in which they’re going to have freedom is if they will have supply management.

Mr. Nixon: What about corn farmers and beef farmers and those growing cash crops --


Mr. MacDonald: All I want to say is that the --


Mr. Nixon: You have been ploughing that asphalt too long.

Mr. Roy: Pretty soon you guys are going to be courting corporations, going after those funds. Where is your conscience? Where are your principles?


Some hon. members: Albert, Albert.

Mr. Acting Chairman: Order, please.

Mr. Bain: Where is your manure spreader, Albert?


Mr. MacDonald: Let me conclude my remarks by giving a little account of a very interesting happening a week or so ago at the Ontario Federation of Agriculture convention. I don’t think the member was there. I saw some of his colleagues there. It was a fascinating exercise.

When the election for the presidency arose, there was one man whose position on farm income and whose position on supply management is precisely the position of the agricultural critic in the Liberal Party. It’s not surprising; he’s a “big L” Liberal. He’s a respected farmer -- James McGuigan, the past president of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association.

He’d been a member of the executive board of the federation and though he’d gone along with the whole federation’s proposal, obviously he was very unhappy about it. So he presented himself as a presidential candidate and his comment was that the federation was moving out of the mainstream of western political thought with proposing this kind of a farm income stabilization plan.

An hon. member: Too far out.

Mr. MacDonald: He presented it very clearly for the delegates to choose. And do you know what they did? They defeated him as president. He ran for vice-president. They defeated him for second vice-president. Because I submit that those who raise these bogus about excessive incentive prices and deny the farmers the right to run their own show, to negotiate their prices and when and if they see fit, voluntarily to develop supply management, those are the farmers who are in the mainstream and not the dirt farmer from Huron-Middlesex.

The Federation of Agriculture laid it right on the line --

Mr. Ruston: All farmers are dirt farmers, Donald. They’re not asphalt like you.

Mr. Bain: Fortunately they don’t have the views of the one from Huron-Middlesex.

Mr. Acting Chairman: Order please. The member for York South has the floor.

Mr. MacDonald: I have had the floor and I’ve had my say and I thank you.

Mr. Riddell: Thank goodness.


Mr. Riddell: Just a few brief comments --

Mr. Moffatt: Stop heckling your own member.

Mr. Riddell: -- Mr. Chairman. Before you assumed the chair, we dealt with the member for York South’s first amendment which was in effect endeavouring to give full protection to all commodities at the 95 per cent level. The former chairman ruled him out of order because it did involve an expenditure of money. I submit that by deleting section 6(1)(c) that in effect we’re doing the same thing. We are talking about the expenditures of money because in effect what it is saying is that all commodities are to be supported at the 95 per cent level.

Mr. MacDonald: If Gene Whelan doesn’t come in.

Mr. Ruston: It is recycling.

Mr. Riddell: So we’ve gone through that debate before and there’s no need to go through it again. I really think that the member for York South would be lost for words if he didn’t have the brief that was presented --

Mr. MacDonald: I wish you had it too.

Mr. Ruston: There are several hundred thousand farmers in Ontario.

Mr. Roy: Yes, you are lucky you can read.

Mr. Riddell: -- at the standing committee by the president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture.

Mr. Bain: You should learn from him some time.

An hon. member: I thought you supported it.

Mr. Riddell: Furthermore, if the member for York South has any spare time by the time of the next campaign, I wish he would come around with me when I call on my farmers and tell those farmers that they are going to be restricted as to the number of acres of corn they can produce, the number of acres of grain they can produce and the amount of beef they can produce. I defy him to go out and tell the farmers.

An hon. member: He won’t.

Mr. Riddell: That’s right. He’ll try to have it both ways.

An hon. member: He’ll stay in York South.

Mr. MacDonald: Invite me down and I’ll be glad to come.

Mr. Riddell: In connection with the second part of his amendment, he realizes that in some cases a 95 per cent support level would be incentive pricing. So he’s asking that some of these commodities be supported up to 95 per cent level to avoid that type of thing.

I submit that that protection is given under section 6(5) which states: “Where, under a plan, in any year, the stabilization price exceeds a cost of production figure that is ascertained and prescribed by the commission, and which may be prescribed in the regulations, the stabilization price, for the purpose of subsection 4, shall be deemed to be equal to that cost of production figure.”

In other words, to my way of thinking this is the section which gives that kind of protection against overpricing of any commodity, which of course would lead then to incentive production. Just to repeat, I submit that by deleting section 6(1)(c) we are talking again about an expenditure of money and I feel that the member is out of order. Secondly, in order to assure ourselves that no commodity is going to be supported at an incentive level, that is covered under section 6(5).

Mr. Acting Chairmen: I’d like to thank the member for Huron-Middlesex for drawing this to my attention. I wonder if any other members would have any comments.

Hon. W. Newman: I would just point out that like the first amendment that was made under section 1(c)(ii) this would entail more funds. It’s very interesting to note that with regard to the article that you were talking about in Farm and Country, about somebody condemning socialism, that person didn’t make it for president, but I understand he’s still on the board.

Mr. MacDonald: Who’s that?

Hon. W. Newman: The chap that you mentioned in rather an uncomplimentary fashion today.

Mr. MacDonald: Who was that? Gordon Hill?

Hon. W. Newman: No. Don’t you know who you were just talking about a couple of minutes ago?

Mr. MacDonald: He was appointed to the board because he is a respected farmer even though some of his views are ill-conceived.

Hon. W. Newman: In passing comment here, I’d like to comment on this amendment that was made here. I notice it said “reflect the true cost.” I never know whether they’re talking about true, cost, full cost, operating cost, cash cost or if you know what they really all are.

In order to read it into the record, I’ll say it again. We’re working out cash cost. Things that are normally included in cash costs are property tax on land and buildings used in field crop production; repairs and operating costs for farm machinery used in field crop production; items used to maintain or improve the productivity of lands used for field crop production, i.e., fertilizers, lime, pesticides, et cetera; repairs and operating costs of farm buildings used for field crop production; hydro and telephone services attributable to field crop production; hired labour; livestock cash crops; veterinary and medicine expenses; feed grains; protein supplement and minerals; property tax associated with livestock production; machinery and motor vehicle repair and operation; utilities, electricity and telephone; bedding; building and fence repairs and hired labour. Those are what are included in cash costs.

You can’t talk about supply management on one hand, if necessary, but not supply management on the other hand, then come out and say we want supply management in everything. That’s what you’re saying.


Hon. W. Newman: Yes, you are. When you’re talking about your costs, you’re talking about supply management --


Mr. MacDonald: You don’t understand it.

Hon. W. Newman: -- whether you like it or don’t like it. Yes, I have gone around this province because you were talking about the total full cost of production.

Mr. MacDonald: I am not.

Hon. W. Newman: Look at the record.

Mr. MacDonald: It can be negotiated.

Hon. W. Newman: No. Look at the record. If that is the sort of farming you want in this province, it’s not the kind of farming I want in this province. We had some very good supply management programmes in this province and they are working very well but you know full well that supply management has to be on a national basis. It cannot be on a provincial basis. It just will not work.

Mr. Moffatt: Do you want supply management on a national basis?

Hon. W. Newman: I hope you understand that. I want to make sure that you had the record clear on that.


Hon. W. Newman: I maintain that these two amendments by the official opposition party would require more money -- I think you would agree they would cost more money -- which would be directly contrary to the principles of this bill. I would reject both of those amendments. It’s your decision, Mr. Chairman, how you rule on it but because of the cost factor involved and because of the rules you read out earlier I really feel this is out of order. But that’s up to you, sir.

Mr. Bain: You are out of order.

Mr. Acting Chairman: Are there any other members who wish to make comment on this point of order?

Mr. MacDonald: Yes, Mr. Chairman, I want to make two comments. Obviously, if we are going to be consistent the first part of this is out of order.


Mr. MacDonald: It means that the legal rules of this House are going to deny giving the farmers what they have asked for and need.

Mr. Nixon: The hon. member for York South is speaking more to the people he wants to send copies of his address to rather than to you and to the members of this House who are concerned with the rules.


Mr. Nixon: Whatever you rule, of course, we will abide by but I think the hon. member for York South has indicated that the thrust of his amendment would be the same as the one which was ruled out of order by the hon. member for Lake Nipigon (Mr. Stokes) who was in the chair at the time.

I do believe it is necessary to say something a bit further on the basis of the comments made by the member for York South in putting forward his amendment, which may or may not be in order. For him to imply that the members of this party are opposed to the supply management programmes in fluid milk and tobacco particularly -- there are others, but those two particularly -- of course, means that he does not concern himself with the truth of the traditions and the development of these programmes over many years in this province. I won’t waste your time, Mr. Chairman, although I have every right to say what I choose to say about these matters, but it is obvious that only those products which are produced in this province to the exclusion of the rest of Canada can be supply managed in Ontario. Any attempt to do otherwise is disastrous.

It simply means that our farmers are kept down in their productive ability while their competitors in Quebec and Manitoba and BC and the Maritimes and elsewhere have a free thrust at it. For the member for York South to indicate anything other than that means that he does not understand the marketing problems faced by the farmers in Canada as opposed to the problems faced by the farmers in the province of Ontario.

For him to suggest that supply management -- that is, independent of the government of Canada -- should only take place in Ontario is completely irrelevant and erroneous and indicates a lack of understanding on his part.

Mr. Wildman: He didn’t say that.

Mr. Nixon: We in the Liberal Party have supported the Milk Marketing Board and the Tobacco Board in their efforts. We believe that if we are going to establish a price basis as put forward by the member for York Sooth we are going to establish incentive pricing which it is not possible to control by supply management in this province excluding the other provinces of Canada. His proposal really is not a workable one. I believe he is playing to the grandstand in this connection --

Mr. Bain: If anybody was grandstanding, it was you.

Mr. Nixon: I believe he is irresponsible and I believe he knows he is irresponsible when he puts forward that position.


Mr. Nixon: He wants to be third vice-president of the federation.

Mr. MacDonald: I might get elected.

Mr. Nixon: You might.

Mr. MacDonald: I am supporting their programme. That’s better than the other one who got defeated.

Mr. Acting Chairman: Will the member for York South address the Chair, please?

Mr. MacDonald: Yes, Mr. Chairman. I am sorry; I obviously should be addressing you.

Mr. Ruston: You don’t have to go to Essex North or Kent-Elgin; it is a waste of time.

Mr. MacDonald: I am not grandstanding in putting forward this amendment. This is an amendment which was sought by the Federation of Agriculture.

Mr. Nixon: Don’t give us the baloney about the rules of the House restricting the democratic process. You play by the rules; go make your speech out front.

An hon. member: What baloney is he talking about?

Mr. Riddell: Get your soapbox out front.

Mr. MacDonald: Can you control them?

Mr. Acting Chairman: Order, please. The member for York South has the floor.

Mr. MacDonald: Very good.

Mr. Ruston: He knows the roles of the House as well as anybody does.

Mr. MacDonald: In the first section of it, I conceded that to be consistent, it would be out of order. I conceded. I don’t concede the second part of this amendment in setting up this new approach to true costs. It is rather interesting here --

Mr. Shore: Are you running in a rural riding?

Mr. Nixon: Why not make a separate amendment? Make a separate amendment. It wouldn’t be out of order.

Mr. MacDonald: It is separate.

Mr. Nixon: Soon to be minister.

Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Chairman, perhaps you should bring the hon. member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk up to date. I pointed out there were two sections to the amendment. They should be dealt with separately. The first one is deletion of --

Mr. Nixon: Now you have got on to that, a new idea. You put two amendments at a time.

Mr. Breaugh: He always said that.

Mr. MacDonald: The chairman in the chair at that point indicated we could debate them together. We were to deal with them separately. I am now dealing with the second one.

The difference between us and the Liberals and Tories --

Mr. Kerrio: We already know; don’t explain.

Mr. Nixon: You are a socialist and we are not.

Mr. MacDonald: -- is that the farmers should have the right to negotiate a price level which will cover the costs they think are necessary, not that is going to be decided by God at Queen’s Park, not by the bureaucrats at Queen’s Park.

Mr. Eaton: They have that right now.

Mr. MacDonald: As was pointed out when we had a very interesting discussion in the standing committee, there may be some commodity that is struggling to survive or to get established in the province of Ontario where, in order to get it established, they will need what you might deem to be an incentive price at a 95 per cent level.

Mr. Shore: The member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) will straighten you out.

Mr. MacDonald: In another case of an established product, if you had a price at an incentive level you might get over-production. The farmers will have the choice to decide at what level they want to negotiate the price. If they negotiate it too high, they then will have the obligation to develop supply management of their own volition, just as they did in milk and just as they did in tobacco.

Mr. Nixon: That is grown elsewhere; it has got to be a national programme.

Mr. MacDonald: In short, the farmer should have the right to make the decision, not to have the bureaucrats in Ottawa with a formula that is irrelevant and doesn’t apply to current costs, and not the bureaucrats at Queen’s Park. The farmers of Ontario should have the right to make that decision.

They may decide that they want supply management to get all that freedom that the hon. member from Grey said they could get in other products in addition to milk and tobacco. That’s why I would earnestly plead with the Liberals to support this amendment because this is what the Federation of Agriculture and the farm union seek.

Hon. W. Newman: I would just like to read part of a letter from the former president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture which was read into the record before. I’m just going to read the first part:

“The executive of the Federation of Agriculture have studied with interest your legislation entitled ‘The Farm 1 Stabilization Act, 1976,’ introduced by you in the Legislature, October 26, 1976. We wish to commend you for the several changes which you have made to your previous bill. The fact there are no commodities excluded, that plans will be contributory and voluntary for producers, that contributions will be on a one-third to two-thirds basis for producers and government, and that provision was made for federal government involvement, to us are positive improvements. The farmers of Ontario will be pleased with these changes.”

Mr. MacDonald: Read his article from Farm and Country.

Hon. W. Newman: “We will certainly applaud them.” They go on, to be quite honest, to talk about --

Mr. Roy: Who wrote that, Bill?

Hon. W. Newman: Pardon?

Mr. Roy: Who wrote that letter?

Hon. W. Newman: It is signed by Gordon L. Hill, president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture.

Mr. MacDonald: That’s right.

Mr. Warner: Read the rest of the letter.

Mr. Wildman: Read the rest of the letter.

Hon. W. Newman: It disturbs me no end that you have no faith over there in our commodity board, which represents 90 per cent of the farmers in this province. This is what you are saying, in effect.

Mr. Wildman: Our commodity boards have done an excellent job and I have a great deal of faith in our commodity boards and the way they are representing and working with the farmers, and don’t ever forget that they have done an excellent job.

I reject, of course, your amendment, whether you want to do it in one or two parts. The first part, of course, is out of order, at least I assume it is. But don’t use the rules of the House because the purpose of this bill is to help the farm community in all commodities through difficult times; not to make incentive pricing, but to fill in the hollows in the bad years so they can get on the road and do a little bit of planning.

That’s why we want this bill brought forward to help the farmers out of their difficult times so that they will be able to do some basic planning. That is the whole purpose of this bill. It is not to create incentive pricing down the road as you would have us do, and I think that’s the distinction between the socialist point of view and our point of view here on this side of the House. I want the record to show that.

An hon. member: You are destroying the farmer.

Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Chairman, I want the record to show that the minister got up and read the first half of the letter --

Hon. W. Newman: I said it was only the first part.

Mr. Samis: He didn’t want to read the second part.

Mr. MacDonald: That’s right. He didn’t read the second half which detailed the amendments that should be made, without which, said he in his article in Farm and Country, you won’t likely spend a cent. Indeed the new head of the Federation of Agriculture, I repeat when he came in and presented the amendments, said, “Mr. Chairman and committee members, these are recommendations” -- these amendments, including the one you have just condemned. He said, “We consider them necessary and by no means trivial and without them Bill 131 is worth little.”

Mr. Warner: Right on.

Mr. Riddell: Just one comment, Mr. Chairman. I think it’s interesting to note that the last edition of Farm and Country didn’t have anything in it whatsoever on farm income stabilization.

Mr. Wildman: Because they consider it won’t work.

Mr. Riddell: I am wondering if maybe some of the farm organizations and people in them have had second thoughts.

Mr. Wildman: Because they consider the bill worthless.

Mr. MacDonald: The member for Huron-Middlesex didn’t have the guts to oppose it.

Mr. Warner: Is the minister going to resign?

Hon. W. Newman: Mr. Chairman, you may rule this out of order, but just for the edification of the official opposition -- and I am referring now to their agricultural critic and one of their other people who is sitting on their front row from the riding of Peterborough, I believe -- when I spoke to the Federation of Agriculture down there, that young lady was there and heard the reaction when that particular Federation of Agriculture representative got up and started to talk about stabilization. Somebody got up and made a speech: “We don’t want incentive pricing and stabilization. We just want a bit of help.” They almost got a standing ovation from that particular Federation of Agriculture and your own member for Peterborough was sitting there and heard that.

Mr. MacDonald: A minority view.

Ms. Sandeman: Mr. Chairman, if I may just speak to that point, perhaps the minister didn’t hear the continuation of that speech --

Mr. MacDonald: He always gives only the first half.

Ms. Sandeman: -- and speeches by other speakers on the same occasion who said, “Who needs this bill? We don’t. We don’t want it. It will be of no use to us.”

Mr. Eaton: They don’t want it. They don’t want any plan, especially the NDP’s.

Mr. Acting Chairman: The member for Ottawa East has the floor.

Mr. Davidson: The farmer from Osgoode Hall.

Mr. Roy: Mr. Chairman, just to speak on the point of order on the validity of the amendment. As I recall, your predecessor in the chair, the member for Lake Nipigon, I think treated both amendments as one so that it would be difficult for you, Mr. Chairman, to split that amendment. I recall when the member for York South introduced it, I thought Mr. Chairman Stokes said it was going to be treated as one amendment. I think that was his ruling at the time. So to split it, I don’t think would be proper. I just feel that having made that comment I should proceed further -- because after all, I think there are as many farmers in my riding as in York South --

Mr. Bain: You’re better at farming than you are at law.

Mr. Roy: -- and just make a few comments about the sort of so-called flirtation of that party to the right with the farming community.

Mr. Kerrio: And the business corporations.

Mr. Roy: Yes, is there no end to their incestuous flirtations with certain segments of the public? What has happened to their principles? They are now flirting with the corporations. What’s happened to you over there?

Mr. Samis: How about those films of Vanier?

Mr. Roy: Are you prepared to do anything for power?

Mr. Foulds: On a point of order, he is making a speech.

Mr. Acting Chairman: Order, order. Would the member for Ottawa East address his remarks to the amendment or the point of order?

Mr. Roy: They were being provocative.

I simply say that I think the member for Lake Nipigon, having ruled that this was one amendment, as I understood it --

Mr. MacDonald: He did not.

Mr. Roy: -- it seems to me the amendment is clearly an amendment for expenditures of public funds and out of order.


Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Chairman, I rise on a point of order and this is a genuine point of order.


Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Chairman Stokes did not say this was one amendment. I drew attention when I read it that it included a deletion of 6(1)(c) with no replacement and a deletion of 6(1)(e) with a substitute. I said it involved two amendments and perhaps we should deal with them separately. Did he want us to debate them separately or not? He said we would debate them together but deal with them separately in the vote. It was a calculated misrepresentation that you made.

Mr. Roy: You said we will treat it as one.


Mr. Acting Chairman: Order. Could I ask the member for York South if he would like to withdraw the second part of the amendment and deal only with the first part of the amendment in my ruling?

Mr. MacDonald: No, Mr. Chairman. With respect, I’ll withdraw the first part of the amendment because it is out of order. The second one stands.

Mr. Nixon: You say it is out of order?

Mr. MacDonald: It is out of order because it has been ruled out of order by the original ruling.


Mr. Reid: It’s almost as bad as last night.

Mr. MacDonald: In short, Mr. Chairman, my amendment will be to strike out the first line --

Mr. Reid: Strike out the whole amendment.

Mr. Foulds: Strike out the member for Rainy River.

Mr. MacDonald: -- that section 6(1)(e) be deleted and the following be substituted. That is my amendment.

Mr. Nixon: You are withdrawing the one that is out of order?

Mr. Acting Chairman: The member for York South has withdrawn the first part of the amendment. Is there any further discussion on the remaining part of the amendment?

An hon. member: Is it in order?

Mr. MacDonald: Sure it’s in order.

Mr. Acting Chairman: Those in favour will please say “aye.”

Those opposed will please say “nay.”

In my opinion, the nays have it.

Will this be stacked?

Mr. Warner: We will test the coalition government again.

Mr. Nixon: It’s an absolutely meaningless amendment.

On section 7:

Mr. Acting Chairman: Mr. MacDonald moves that section 7 be deleted and the following substituted therefor:

“The commission shall negotiate with a group of producers representative of general farm organizations and the producers of the commodity in question: one, the development of any plan; two, the revision of any plan; three; the base price; four, the cost-of-production index; five, the stabilization price; six, the payment of fees; seven, administrative procedures; and, in general, all the terms and conditions operative under any plan or plans.”

Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Chairman, the reason we have suggested the existing section should be deleted and this be substituted for it is that the existing section is hopelessly inadequate in terms of providing the farmers with any meaningful role. It reads that the commission may -- it is under no obligation -- at any time consult with or conduct discussion with any local board.

As was pointed out once again by Peter Hannam on behalf of the OFA, there is no point in consultation if you haven’t got some genuine capacity to negotiate. Too often this government consults and then goes back and does what it planned to do in the first instance and ignores the views of the farmers. That happened with the development of the cow-calf plan and it has done it in many other instances in relation to agriculture. What we want is an organization which will be the farmers’ bargaining group, so to speak, which in turn can bargain with the farm income commission. It will be representative of general farm organizations and of the commodity group that will be involved in the development of any particular plan. And it will have these terms of reference which are spelled out in the amendment and a catch-all at the end for others that might have to come up for consideration.

Let me once again -- because I feel this is a bit of an educational process -- read for the benefit, in particular, of the hon. member for Huron-Middlesex, the comments that were made by the Federation of Agriculture representative before the standing committee in reference to section 7:

“We consider the government has not honoured the intent of the direction of the Legislative Assembly when, in June 1976, it passed the reasoned amendment that Bill 96 be redrafted to provide that the government will negotiate with a legally constituted farm spokesman.”

If I just may interrupt myself in this quotation here, it was the Liberal amendment to our amendment that nailed that down. We accepted it because we thought it was a good addition.

Mr. Nixon: We think section 7 can be improved but it does refer to all the marketing boards. We don’t think they are legally constituted.

Mr. MacDonald: Continuing the quotation from Peter Hannam: “In fact, however, section 5 and subsection 7 of Bill 96 already included almost identical provisions to section 7 of the present Bill 131. Therefore, the will of the Legislature must have been for something more than the authorization to consult if the commission so desires. The bill, as it stands, offers little scope for negotiating anything of any significance. The support level is set at a minuscule maximum that in itself makes the programme next to worthless. However, the amendments we have recommended to section 6(1)(c) and section 6(1)(e) would make this a very flexible programme” -- Both of these have been voted down in this House already by the Liberals.

Mr. Nixon: They were declared out of order, I think.

Mr. MacDonald: But one was declared out of order and the other one was voted down by the Liberals in league with the Tories.

To continue: “... with good possibilities of being a significant contribution to Ontario agriculture. However, for it to work well would require that the commission would, as a regular matter, work with a negotiating committee established by the general farm organizations to develop the general provisions of the plan, to negotiate any disputed points and to secure the approval of this negotiating committee before instituting any plans.

“Details of any commodity plan shall be negotiated further with representatives from the pertinent commodity boards and associations. The negotiating procedure is necessary to prevent plans being instituted for political reasons alone, without real promise of assistance to the farm community.

“Moreover, it is only fair to give farm organizations, in effect, a veto power as farmers are to contribute directly one-third of the premiums of any plan. This provision in no way compromises the authority of the Minister of Agriculture and Food or the Ontario Treasurer for without their express consent, no plan could be implemented.”

In other words, what we are establishing is the capacity for genuine negotiations and you can’t have genuine negotiations if the farmers haven’t got an organization that is going to be representative of themselves.

In our amendment here we have deliberately not spelled out the exact structure of that organization. And, quite frankly, I’ve done it deliberately because you’re going to get into some discussions, you’re going to have to balance off some views, some of the kinds of views that the hon. member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk was saying earlier, as to how do you balance one farm organization that has 25,000 or 30,000 members and another one that has 400 members? No matter who is the government, it has got to grasp that nettle at some point. It seems to me it would be appropriate that the details of the setting up of the negotiating committee on behalf of farmers can be left to be dealt with in regulations at some later point.

I was interested to note, for example, that in the second-reading debate there was a comment made, and I quote it: “Last year’s amendment should have had a clause in it indicating that the government should come back with a plan based on cost of production, rather than the present proposal for a five-year average price. In this case, labour investment and depreciation costs could have been taken into consideration and the support price for any one commodity set at a level which would not encourage overproduction. Costs used in Bill 131 are the same as those used in the federal plan and do not take into account the cost of the farmer’s own labour, investment and depreciation.”

Interestingly enough, that comment was made by the hon. member for Huron-Middlesex. He was pleading for a negotiating committee which would be able to negotiate what only a moment ago he described as an incentive price.

Mr. Nixon: I think your amendment is awfully loose. You may have deliberately wanted to be flexible but you are almost meaningless in the first two lines of it.

Mr. Bain: Why are you so surly?

Mr. Nixon: It should be better. It should be a better amendment.

Mr. Foulds: Where are your tough-talking amendments?

Mr. Nixon: Right here. We have put them forward. You voted for them.


Mr. Roy: Not only are you bad farmers, you can’t even --

Mr. Chairman: The hon. member for York South has the floor.

Mr. MacDonald: With the passage of this amendment, giving the farmers a meaningful role and a real negotiating capacity, for the first time we will have established the opportunity for farmers to participate in a genuine way in the development of a plan, in the operation of a plan or in negotiating a price.

As we now have it in this bill, what we are going to have is a bureaucracy at Queen’s Park operating in accordance with the formula created by the bureaucracy in Ottawa and farmers aren’t going to be in the picture at all. It will be a robot operation in which all they do is work it out according to the formula.

Mr. Nixon: Are you saying the marketing boards are robots? I thought you were supporting them.

Hon. W. Newman: That’s what he is saying.

Mr. MacDonald: What we want is the farmers to have the capacity to negotiate the level which they think is appropriate for the product they are producing. I think they are in the best position to make a decision not the bureaucrats here or in Ottawa.

Mr. Riddell: Mr. Chairman, I don’t know that we really take issue with the amendment as proposed by the member for York South although, as has already been indicated, it is rather a loose amendment and I think we should tighten it up.

Really, all the member has done is outline the various things the commission should take into consideration. Really he is questioning the intelligence of producer representatives or general farm organizations or commodity boards by going through the seven issues they are to take into consideration.

The amendment presently reads, “The commission may at any time” -- and I agree it should be shall -- “consult with or conduct such discussions with any local board under The Farm Products Marketing Act, any marketing board under The Milk Act, or any other organization or group of producers as the commission considers proper respecting the terms of any plan or proposed plan.”

You can’t tell me that any organization is going to consider the terms of any plan or proposed plan without taking into consideration such things as the development of any plan, the revision of any plan, the base price, the cost-of-production index, et cetera. In other words, the NDP feels it has to outline definitely and specify exactly what the commission has to do.

Mr. MacDonald: No, it’s the rights of farmers.

Mr. Riddell: I say that the commission, the farm organizations, the commodity boards and what have you certainly have the degree of intelligence to take these into consideration. They don’t have to be told by you people what they are supposed to do.

I would like to amend the amendment in this fashion: The commission shall negotiate respecting any proposed plan or proposed amendment to a plan with any local board under The Farm Products Marketing Act or marketing board under The Milk Act affected thereby, and with the general farm organizations.

Mr. Philip: Shall or will?

Mr. Riddell: Shall.

I am sorry I haven’t got this amendment written out. I had an amendment and I would like to read the amendment I had prior to the introduction of the amendment by the member for York South.


Mr. Chairman: Mr. Riddell, as an amendment to the amendment, moves that section 7 of the bill be struck out and the following inserted in lieu thereof:

7(1) The commission shall, respecting any proposed plan or proposed amendments to a plan, consult with

“(a) any local board under The Farm Products Marketing Act or marketing board under The Milk Act affected thereby:

“(b) the Christian Farmers’ Federation;

“(c) the National Farmers’ Union;

“(d) the Ontario Federation of Agriculture; and

“(e) such other organizations or groups of producers as the commission considers proper.

“(2) The failure or refusal to consult or continue consultation by any of the organizations referred to in clauses (a), (b), (c), (d) and (e) of subsection 1 does not affect the exercise by the commission or the Lieutenant Governor in Council of the powers contained in section 6.”

That amendment to the amendment is before the committee now and we’ll restrict our remarks to that amendment to the amendment.

Mr. Riddell: Mr. Chairman, if the member for York South would sooner use the word “negotiate” than “consult,” then I’m in agreement with that.

Mr. MacDonald: That’s a fascinating comment, that the hon. member should suddenly discover or that for a fleeting moment he should have thought there was no difference between “consult” and “negotiate.” I was just going to draw his attention to the fact --

Mr. Nixon: We haven’t been raised at Cliff Pilkey’s knee.

Mr. MacDonald: I have the floor. Just quit your yakking for a moment.

The reasoned amendment that the Liberals moved last June referred to “a voluntary and contributory basis, with the government negotiating with legally constituted farm spokesmen.” It said “negotiating.”

Mr. Nixon: Fine. There you are.

Mr. MacDonald: Right. Mr. Chairman --

Mr. Chairman: Is it understood then, in the amendment to the amendment moved by the hon. member for Huron-Middlesex, that in the third line he is changing the word “consult” to “negotiate”?

Hon. W. Newman: No.

Mr. Bain: The minister understands the difference in the two words.

Mr. Chairman: Go ahead.

Mr. MacDonald: I’m sorry. Where do we stand?

Mr. Bain: Yes or no?

Mr. MacDonald: Yes or no?

Mr. Riddell: Yes.

Mr. MacDonald: If I have the floor, then let me make a brief comment. The amendment the Liberals have made is contradictory. They now are willing to accept “negotiate,” and they’ll negotiate with these commodity groups or milk marketing boards and the Christian Farmers’ Federation, the National Farmers’ Union, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture and such other organizations. But after they have negotiated, having substituted “negotiate” for “consult,” they say the commission can go on and do as it damn well pleases. The purpose of negotiations is that you come to an agreement, a negotiated agreement.

Mr. Nixon: That’s not so.

Mr. MacDonald: This is -- forgive me for putting it -- this is a Tory concept. After they have negotiated, the commission can go ahead and do as it pleases. That’s the whole import of the second part of the member’s clause. As a matter of fact, the second part of his amendment is a revelation of the kind of approach the Liberals were taking, which was in keeping with consultation. Now they’ve gone to negotiation. Part two of the member’s amendment is redundant and contradictory and illogical.

Mr. Nixon: You’re going to vote for it, eh?

Mr. Riddell: I would tend to disagree for this reason --

Hon. W. Newman: All right, I’ll do that, Mr. Chairman. The amendment to the amendment is a matter of interpretation whether we consult or negotiate. I’m prepared to accept the original amendment which says “consult” -- “shall consult” -- because it’s a matter of interpretation when you get down the road on negotiations. It’s been pointed out very clearly here this afternoon that, speaking to the subamendment, negotiation to the official opposition means a completely different thing from the interpretation I think the Liberal Party is thinking of.

Mr. Nixon: Cliff Pilkey gives them their dictionary.

Hon. W. Newman: I think really, in order to keep it clarified, it’s very clear in this subamendment from the Liberals, “the commission shall consult” and that’s the intention, “shall consult,” with the various commodity groups, the various farm organizations --

Mr. Chairman: That’s not the wording of the amendment to the amendment.

Hon. W. Newman: No, the wording is “negotiate,” right?

Mr. Chairman: Right.

Hon. W. Newman: I’m only speaking against the subamendment to say that I feel that in the original subamendment before it was subamended, or however you want to put it, they were using the word “consult” makes it much clearer that they shall consult. Therefore I would be against the word “negotiate” because of the misinterpretation of the meaning of negotiation.

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Chairman, on a point of order, if I may just quote to you from page 807 of the Concise Oxford Dictionary, “negotiate” means: “Confer (with another) with view to compromise or agreement,” and that is precisely what we mean in the use of the word “negotiate.” If one of these organizations or commodity groups fails to negotiate, then we’re not going to have the programme held up because of that one particular organization. In other words, we’re simply saying in the second part that if one of these organizations is contacted and we try to negotiate with it and it simply fails to negotiate, then by negotiating with other organizations in connection with that particular commodity, the programme can still go through. We just don’t want one negotiating party to be holding the thing up.

Mr. Chairman: So that the committee can be absolutely sure of what we’re talking about, does the member for Huron-Middlesex agree that in section 2 the word “consult” should be changed to “negotiate”?

Mr. Riddell: I would think to be consistent.

Mr. Chairman: It says, “The failure or refusal to consult or continue consultation by any of the organizations referred to.” The Chair doesn’t want to be placed in the position of drafting amendments, but in the interests of uniformity --

Mr. Riddell: Yes, I would agree. We can substitute the word “negotiate.” “The failure or refusal to negotiate or continue negotiating by any of the organizations referred to.”

Hon. W. Newman: Mr. Chairman, I would like to talk about the two amendments. First, the amendment by the opposition critic --

Mr. Chairman: We can only deal with the amendment to the amendment. We can only have one motion before the committee under discussion, so if you’ll confine your remarks to the amendment to the amendment.

Mr. Bain: I’m a little surprised at the former leader of the Liberal Party --

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: That is the good Liberal research.

Mr. Bain: You talk about discussing something in terms that the average farmer will understand. Do you talk to your neighbours with a dictionary in your pocket? I would hope you don’t.

Mr. Moffatt: He has to. Nobody can understand him.

Mr. Nixon: Just to you.

Mr. Bain: The minister realizes what “negotiate” means.

Mr. Chairman: Will the hon. member for Timiskaming address his remarks to the Chair?

Mr. Bain: I’d be more than pleased to do that, Mr. Chairman. The minister realizes, Mr. Chairman, full well what “negotiate” means.

Mr. MacDonald: Sure he does.

Mr. Bain: He doesn’t need a dictionary and I don’t think any of the rest of us do either. The minister already consults with the beef producers in making changes from year to year in the cow-calf programme, and you must admit, they’re very good sessions of consultation.


Mr. Bain: He leaves no stone unturned, but when these consultations are finished, the minister makes the decision and that’s what consulting is all about. You ask what you feel about it. I asked your opinion on something, but if I’m only consulting you I make the decision.

I would suggest to the farmers in the Liberal caucus that if they would like to sell beef to me or a good dairy cow and they are agreeable to consult with me and then I can set the price, I’d be happy to buy any stock they would be willing to sell me.

But if they say they are going to negotiate the price with me, they know full well there is a big difference between negotiating the price. We have to arrive at a mutually acceptable price through negotiations. That’s what negotiation is all about.

Mr. Nixon: Then you will be able to vote for our amendment.

Mr. Bain: Consultation means nothing in terms of tangible changes in the bill.

Mr. Nixon: You are supporting the amendment.

Mr. Bain: I hope the Liberal Party will agree to maintain the word “negotiate” in their amendment. It means a world of difference. The only problem in their amendment then becomes subsection 2. When you negotiate you’ve got to come to some sort of mutually acceptable conclusion. Failure to arrive at that conclusion cannot allow the commission to go ahead on its merry way to set up the mechanism of farm income stabilization.

Mr. Nixon: That’s not what the Act says.

Mr. Bain: Although I’m sure the agriculture critic for the Liberal Party, the hon. member for Huron-Middlesex, does not mean to give the government an out of this sort, I would think negotiations will be perfectly clear to the government and if you just remove subsection 2 that will make sure there’s no loophole. As long as that section stays in there is a definite loophole. The government need not negotiate beyond a certain period of time. They can negotiate, but with that subsection in there, at some point in time they’ll say, “Sorry, there’s no agreement; the commission can’t come to an agreement with the constituted farm organizations. Therefore the commission has the right to proceed and set up all the parameters and all the specifics of farm income stabilization.”

So you can’t have that subsection in there and have meaningful negotiations.

Mr. Nixon: Question.

Mr. MacDonald: Question.

Hon. W. Newman: Mr. Chairman, I would like to make the record very clear. As far as I am concerned, if you’re going to leave the word “negotiate” in the subamendment, I would like to interpret it and make the record very clear that it’s not in the same terminology as the opposition party would interpret it. I’m quite prepared to take the dictionary or the legal terminology to negotiate --

Mr. Bain: Oh, Bill, when did you hide behind the dictionary? Come on.

Hon. W. Newman: I’m quite prepared to take the legal definition of “negotiate,” but I prefer, and I would ask --

Look, I just don’t want to have a major hang-up in the House here over a word that I think is very, very important. I would much prefer that the sub-sub-amendment didn’t carry and the sub-amendment did carry, because I think it makes it much clearer.

But certainly if necessary, I will support the -- is it the sub-sub-amendment?

Mr. Nixon: No, sub-amendment.

Mr. Chairman: The amendment to the amendment.

Hon. W. Newman: The amendment to the amendment. So in other words, an amendment was made. Then there was an amendment made to that; then there was a further amendment made. Is that not correct?

Mr. Nixon: No.

Mr. Chairman: No. We’re dealing specifically with the amendment to the amendment as proposed by the hon. member for Huron-Middlesex.

Hon. W. Newman: Yes. Well, the hon. member for Huron-Middlesex has put in the word negotiate. I have some reservations about it, but in the interest of getting the bill into place, and also I in the interest of the fact that we mean to really get down and consult with them, but not negotiations in the way that the official opposition would see it.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: If you want to bring in collective bargaining, put it in.

Mr. MacDonald: We will not support the amendment to the amendment. We will not support it, because “negotiate” means “negotiate,” and he is willing to support it because he’s leading the members up the garden path, and I trust they are going to recognize it.

Mr. Evans: You wouldn’t support anything.

Mr. MacDonald: If they want genuine negotiation, if they want negotiations that are at all meaningful negotiations, I draw the members’ attention to the second section of the amendment --

Mr. Nixon: The member knows what the word means. I quoted him the meaning of the word.

Mr. MacDonald: -- namely: “The failure or refusal to negotiate or continue negotiations by any of the organizations referred to in clauses (a), (b), (c), (d) and (e) of section 1, doesn’t affect the exercise by the commission or the Lieutenant Governor of the powers contained in section 6.”

In other words, if they can’t negotiate something that is acceptable to the farmers, they go ahead and do what they please. It’s stated right there in their amendment.

Mr. Nixon: All right.

Mr. MacDonald: And that isn’t negotiation. We will oppose this amendment to the amendment.


Mr. Nixon: It appears that the amendment to the amendment is going to carry and I hope that it does because it’s a good one.

Mr. Bain: Government members might vote with us.

Mr. Nixon: We have already put an amendment into the bill which establishes the commission by law with representation from the three recognized farm organizations. That has already been accepted by all parties so that when the member for York South talks about the bureaucratic robot of the minister, he doesn’t know what he is talking about, because these people are going to be nominated by the farm organizations and then appointed by law by the minister. That commission is going to be responsive and knowledgeable about the farm situation.

We believe the minister’s section as it is before us now is ineffectual because it says the commission may talk to various people. We also believe the amendment put forward by the NDP could have been better constructed. Certainly they changed “may” to “shall,” which we think is a good thing but they just talk about a generalized group of farmers. Then they get very specific and say that generalized group of farmers must deal with all of these specific matters.

I believe my colleague from Huron-Middlesex has put forward a very valuable amendment indeed when he says the commission -- we have already changed that so that the commission represents the farmers -- must deal with those areas in the farm economy established under law, that is, the marketing boards and the representatives of the milk industry as well as the representatives of each of the farm organizations which he lists in turn. It is not restrictive. He says any other group may participate in those negotiations. I have read to you the meaning of the word “negotiate.” Cliff Pilkey, the president of the Ontario Federation of Labour, might argue with the Webster dictionary but the meaning is there and it can be interpreted.

Mr. Bain: Webster?

Mr. Moffatt: You said Oxford earlier.

Mr. Philip: You are Americanizing us.

Mr. Nixon: Not Webster, sorry; Oxford. We don’t want the American but the Oxford dictionary.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Your research is falling down now.

Mr. Nixon: I would suggest to the members of the NDP that they would do well to support this amendment. We believe it will be effective in representing the valid interests of all concerned.

Mr. Roy: For once be on the right side.

Mr. MacDonald: I feel I must make some further comments. The observation was made by the spokesman from the Liberal Party that our amendment was loose. Just consider for a moment what is going to happen under the proposal of the Liberals. It says the commission “shall, respecting any proposed plan or proposed amendment to a plan, consult with.” Now you have changed it to “negotiate.” We see the difference between those words.

Mr. Nixon: That’s why you should support it.

Mr. MacDonald: Whom are you going to consult with or negotiate with under your kind of consultation and your kind of negotiation, which is really consultation with any local board, including the milk board, then the Christian Farmers, then the National Farmers’ Union, then the Federation of Agriculture and such other groups as you may draw in? Any time you are going to get a plan you are going to go out and get somebody representative of all these people and consult with them individually?

Mr. Nixon: You call a meeting for negotiation with those people, of course.

Mr. MacDonald: Collectively? Then after you have called that loosely gathered together meeting and have consulted, then under subsection 2, the commission can go back and exercise the powers it has under section 6 and do as it pleases. That isn’t any kind of negotiation -- Oxford dictionary, Webster dictionary or anything else. We will oppose this.

Mr. Nixon: While we are talking about loosely drawn amendments -- and we believe ours is properly drawn -- the one from the NDP which it is asking this House to support says the commission shall negotiate with a group of producers representative of a broad group.

Mr. MacDonald: That’s right.

Mr. Nixon: Then they give them all the specific things they must discuss, which apparently excludes the matters the NDP has not put in that list. We believe the sub-amendment is one that could be of great value to the farmers and to the commission.

Mr. MacDonald: Again I am afraid I have got to correct the record here. We didn’t exclude anything. If you read the last clause, we specified the specifics with which they can deal --

Mr. Roy: You are pretty touchy on that. Methinks you protest too much.

Mr. MacDonald: -- and then in general all the terms and conditions operative under any plan or plans.

Mr. Nixon: Even the minister says he’ll consider any plan or proposed plan. He is completely flexible in that regard.

Mr. MacDonald: If I may go back to my comments earlier, the commission in our amendment shall negotiate with a group of producers representative of general farm organizations and the producers of the commodities in question. I suggest to you that it may vary from group to group. Are you going to have the Christian Farmers in with regard to a commodity in a part of the province where they have no members involved in that commodity group? Is that what you’re going to do?

Mr. Nixon: They will negotiate with the group made up of those representatives.

Mr. MacDonald: When I introduced the amendment I deliberately indicated that we had put it in general terms which would be clarified by regulation. We’re going to have the guidance of experience and we will need that experience to find what is the best representative group involving general farm organizations and commodity groups. That is possible under our amendment and I think experience will indicate that is the best kind of approach.

Mr. Riddell: It may well be that the Christian Farmers would not care to negotiate if it is some commodity which does not in any way affect them or is not part of the area which they represent. That’s their prerogative. If they don’t wish to enter into negotiations, they don’t have to.

The second part of this amendment simply says that if they or some commodity group don’t care to negotiate, that doesn’t mean the programme doesn’t go ahead. There are certainly going to be producers of these commodities who do want to negotiate. Fine and dandy; if they are willing to sit down and negotiate, they can come up with some kind of a stabilization programme.

We’re simply protecting ourselves by saying that if the Christian Farmers are approached to participate in the negotiations and they say, “No, we don’t feel we want to because we don’t happen to represent that particular area where the commodity is produced,” fine and dandy, the programme will still go ahead. This is all that the second part of that amendment does.

Hon. W. Newman: I’d like to point out that in subsection (2) I assume you have included the word “negotiate” instead of “consult”?

Mr. Riddell: Right.

Mr. Nixon: Yes.

Hon. W. Newman: So they are both the same? Fine. I don’t have a copy.

Mr. Riddell: A good amendment.

Mr. Wildman: I didn’t intend to participate in this debate but I find the last couple of exchanges among spokesmen for all three parties to be rather confusing largely because, I think, they are using the same word with very different meanings. It seems to me that the minister at first indicated that he thought there was a significant difference between the two words “negotiate” and “consult.” At that time I agreed with him.

Mr. MacDonald: He was right.

Mr. Wildman: Then the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk read a definition out of a dictionary by which he tried to indicate that there really wasn’t a great deal of difference between “negotiate” and “consult.” I think the main problem is that we haven’t yet dealt with the question of if it means “negotiate,” is any agreement arrived at through the process of negotiation binding?

Is that what the Liberals mean by their amendment? If they mean that any agreement reached by negotiation between the representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the various groups representing farmers and the commodity groups is binding, that would be acceptable but somehow I don’t quite get that from what they’re saying. They seem to be saying, “If they don’t reach an agreement or if there’s no desire to negotiate, there still could be a plan,” which I find kind of difficult to understand. How can there be a plan if it requires negotiation to reach an agreement which is binding? If they don’t reach an agreement, how can there be a plan? I don’t understand that.


Mr. Wildman: Also there seems to be a problem in that among the groups listed there are some -- at least one or two -- which have already said they oppose this whole bill. I wonder how on earth you are going to have a negotiating session.

Mr. Nixon: The amendment clearly says if they don’t want to participate the plan can go forward.

Mr. Wildman: It seems to me it would be a rather interesting negotiating session if you had representatives of the Christian Farmers, the union, the federation and a particular commodity group all sitting in a room, all with different ideas of what kind of plan they wanted or did not want, and they were supposed to negotiate. Rather than putting it in the bill, the argument as to who should represent the particular groups which are going to negotiate should be settled through regulation and through the study by the ministry and the various farm organizations involved.

That would be what I would think should involve consultation, and then negotiations should reach a final agreement. I can’t understand at all how you could have negotiations which ended without reaching an agreement and still have a plan, if you believe that the negotiated agreement should be binding. If you don’t have any agreement, how can you have a plan?

Mr. Nixon: That’s right.

Mr. Roy: You should have followed your first idea not to participate.

Mr. Chairman: Are you ready for the question? The Chair is placed in the position of anticipating what might happen and I am thinking out loud here. The first question normally would be to put the amendment to the amendment as proposed by the hon. member for Huron-Middlesex. If that were to carry, the next question would be, does the amendment as amended carry? If I can anticipate the mood of the House, that would probably be defeated, in which case the only thing to be decided would be shall the section carry? That’s not the mood of the House as I interpret it, so if there is unanimous agreement, I will put the amendment as proposed by Mr. MacDonald first.

Mr. Nixon: I would like to speak on the point that you bring forward. Normally, Mr. Chairman, as you pointed out, the amendment to the amendment would be put before the House first and I don’t see why you could not proceed with that. If it were to be lost or carried, I don’t think that the loss of an amendment to the amendment means that the motion is carried. I think that you would have to then proceed to the amendment. We discussed this last night it seems to me. It is only when an amendment is lost that the motion carries. Supposing you did put the amendment first and it might not carry, then the motion would carry without our amendment being put forward. Yet our rules clearly call for an amendment to the amendment to he considered and I don’t see you have any choice but to consider that first.

Mr. Chairman: No, I think the significance of the dilemma facing the Chair has escaped the hon. member. If I put the amendment to the amendment, I have a feeling that it would carry. Then I put the question before the committee; shall the amendment as amended carry? That would lose. Then you are right back to square one and the only question I should put before the committee is: Shall the section carry? So I have no alternative but to call the amendment first.

Mr. Bullbrook: May I just ask a question for my knowledge? Is my colleague from Brant-Oxford-Norfolk correct in anticipating that if the amendment doesn’t carry, you then can’t put forward the amendment to the amendment.

Mr. Chairman: If the amendment to the amendment doesn’t carry, we are all right. If it does, we are in trouble.

Mr. MacDonald: We are in trouble.

Mr. Wildman: Let’s forget about the whole thing.

Mr. Chairman: I see no alternative but to put the amendment as proposed by the hon. member for York South first. Do I have agreement on that?

Mr. Bullbrook: May I just rise for a moment? You certainly have my agreement once I understand it. Last night you were most indulgent with us going through the tremendous vagaries that we went through. I felt one of our problems last night was that many of the amendments were amendments to the original motion rather than amendments to the amendments. So if there is an understanding as to whether the second amendment constitutes an amendment to the motion or an amendment to the amendment, it seems to me that it relieves us of the dilemma which you feel you are in at the present time, Mr. Chairman. I just voice that for the sake of my clarification as to what’s going on now and perhaps in the future we might remedy the problems we had last night.

Mr. Chairman: I think the Chair would have been better advised to have dealt with the motion proposed by the member for York South, and were it defeated, then to entertain another amendment. That wasn’t the sequence of events and we are faced with this dilemma. So I am going to place Mr. MacDonald’s amendment which says --


Hon. Mr. Auld: Mr. Chairman, may I ask on a point of order what the position will be if you put Mr. MacDonald’s amendment and that is defeated?

Mr. Chairman: Then I will put before the committee the motion by Mr. Riddell.

Mr. Evans: The amendment to the amendment.

Mr. Chairman: That is right. Does anyone have any objection to that procedure? All right.

What you are asked to vote on is: Mr. MacDonald moves that section 7 of the bill be deleted and the following substituted therefor: “The commission shall negotiate with a group of producers representative of general farm organizations and the producers of the commodity in question; one, the development of any plan; two, the revision of any plan; three, the base price; four, the cost of production index; five, the stabilization price; six, the payment of fees; seven, administrative procedures and in general all terms and conditions operative under any plan or plans.”

Those in favour will please say “aye.”

Those opposed will please say “nay.”

In my opinion, the nays have it.

I declare the motion defeated.

Shall we stack this?


Mr. Chairman: We are going to have to stand down Mr. Riddell’s amendment until this issue is dealt with in the stacking at the end of consideration of the bill.

We are now dealing with any section subsequent to section 7.

Sections 8 to 16, inclusive, agreed to.

On section 17:

Mr. MacDonald: I just want to make a brief statement here. I was going to move an amendment in section 17 which would have read as follows, “This Act comes into force on the first day of February 1977,” because I don’t know why the government should have the privilege of drifting along for months and months. But quite frankly I would prefer they would drift now because they have failed to bring in all the amendments that the Federation of Agriculture. and the farm union sought, which they contended would be necessary to make this a worthwhile piece of legislation.

There is some prospect now that they are going to pass an amendment which I predict will bring utter confusion in terms of the negotiating process. It is loose, ill-defined and they don’t know whether they are talking about consultation or negotiations. Whereas when it gets into effect they are going to be talking about only consultation and the commission will go ahead and do as they please and even be in a position to impose a plan on a group of farmers when they can’t reach an agreement as to exactly what they want. This, I think, is a denial of all that they have been talking about.

Mr. Wildman: It is a denial of freedom.

Mr. MacDonald: They are now going to have government imposition on farmers. Therefore I’d just as soon that this bill never came into effect and I am willing to leave it with the government, so I shan’t move my amendment. They can bring it into effect when they choose to proclaim it and the longer they leave it the better.

Mr. Nixon: You have voted against it in principle.

Mr. MacDonald: I voted against it in principle --

Mr. Nixon: We voted against it.

Mr. MacDonald: -- for precisely the same reason as Peter Hannam told the committee that without the amendment the bill is next to worthless.

Mr. Wildman: It is Liberal-Tory authoritarianism.

An hon. member: Quit crying.

Mr. MacDonald: I’m not crying.

Mr. Bain: Somebody’s got to stand up for the farmers.

Mr. MacDonald: You will be crying when you have to deal with it.

Mr. Chairman: The hon. minister has the floor.

Hon. W. Newman: I don’t know whether I am talking to an amendment or not, but I certainly would like to talk about --

Mr. MacDonald: There is no amendment.

Hon. W. Newman: Then I am going to talk about your proposed amendment. This whole programme is voluntary, contributory and has farmer participation. I said the commission was made up mainly of producers of this province and you are trying to tell me you aren’t in favour of any sort of a programme to help these farmers of the province. If you don’t want it then you vote against it.

Mr. Rain: We will be proud to vote against this shabby bill. It’s a fraud.

Hon. W. Newman: Oh yes. You don’t know much about farming.

Section 17 agreed to.

Section 18 agreed to.

The committee divided on Mr. MacDonald’s amendment to section 6(1)(e), which was negatived on the following vote:

Ayes 30; nays 72.

Section 6 agreed to.

The committee divided on Mr. MacDonald’s amendment to section 7, which was negatived on the same vote.

The committee divided on Mr. Riddell’s amendment to section 7, which was approved on the same vote reversed.

Section 7, as amended, agreed to.

Bill 131, as amended, reported.

On motion by Hon. Mr. Welch, the committee of the whole House reported one bill with certain amendments.


Hon. W. Newman moved third reading of Bill 131, An Act respecting Farm Income Stabilization.

Mr. Speaker: Those in favour will please say “aye.”

Those opposed will please say “nay.”

In my opinion, the ayes have it.

Motion agreed to.

The House recessed at 6:05 p.m.