30e législature, 3e session

L140 - Wed 15 Dec 1976 / Mer 15 déc 1976

The House met at 2 p.m.


Mr. Speaker: Statements by the ministry.


Hon. Mr. Snow: This afternoon at the appropriate time, I would like to table the Toronto Area Transit Operating Authority’s annual report for the year ending March 31, 1976. It would be well, I believe, to draw the House’s attention to the accounting method used in this report.

The financial statements are prepared in accordance with the generally accepted commercial accounting principles as recommended by the Committee on Government Productivity. It records revenues and related expenditures including an appropriate share of capital costs -- accountants term it depreciation -- in the accounting period when the services were actually delivered. These methods are explained in the words of the experts in the notes to the financial statement.

It is my understanding that these accounting principles best reflect the true cost of providing the transit service, and provide an appropriate basis to measure the management activities and stewardship of the authority. It can, however, lead to some confusion in relating authority statements to public accounts which are on a cash basis, where revenue is recognized when it is received and an expenditure when a payment is made. Such confusion can stem from the fact that the authority and public accounts may report the same transaction in different fiscal years.

Having said that, I would like to comment briefly on some of the GO Transit services provided by the authority. It is interesting to note that GO Transit passenger ridership continues a very strong upward trend in 1976. Rail ridership on GO during the first 10 months of calendar year 1976 is running 14.3 per cent ahead of the previous year. GO bus patronage is up 21.9 per cent, partly due to the inauguration of some new services. Public acceptance of transit access to the Canadian National Exhibition also showed an encouraging growth. GO passenger carriage in 1976 was up 22 per cent over 1975. That represents almost nine per cent of the total CNE attendance.

On November 28, 1976, GO Transit assumed operation on the North Yonge bus service between the TTC Finch subway station and Richmond Hill. This new GO bus service is expected to carry at least 1.5 million passengers during its first year in operation. I have just approved a recommendation from the authority for a one-year experimental GO bus service between the Streetsville/Milton area via Highway 401 to the York Mills subway station. This decision was based on a survey showing that a significant number of GO Transit patrons using existing GO services into downtown Toronto would find the route to York Mills more convenient. Studies also show a growing number of suburban residents work in the northwest and north-central areas of Toronto. Thus the authority considers there is a significant market existing in these areas for GO service.

In tabling this annual report, I would like to commend the Toronto Area Transit Operating Authority for its ability not only to meet, but keep pace with the increasing demand for transit services in those areas served by GO Transit.


Hon. Mr. McKeough: Today I would like to table the government’s preliminary plan for the Ontario regional priority budget in 1977-78. As the hon. members are aware, this budget is an essential instrument of our provincial economic development policy. The appendix to this statement includes details of our proposal. I would like to take a few minutes to outline the nature of this budget and to outline the priorities which we have identified for the next fiscal year.

One of the major objectives of this government is to ensure that all regions of Ontario fully participate in our economic development and share in the benefits of our economic wellbeing. To forward this objective, the government over the past several years has initiated and expanded a regional priority budget. These expenditures are over and above the government’s normal programme outlays and are designed to ensure that capital investments which will significantly contribute to a region’s economic potential are quickly brought to the fore. To date, some 77 per cent of the budget has been allocated to the provision of community, regional and industrial hard services.

While this budget is included in the estimates of my ministry, almost all of it is administered through local governments or operating ministries. The ministries most involved are Transportation and Communications, Environment and Natural Resources. Members are also aware that a number of projects are cost-shared by the province and federal government on a 50-50 basis.

I would like to report to the members that recently the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development (Mr. Irvine) and I met with the Minister for Regional Economic Expansion, Hon. Marcel Lessard. At that meeting we outlined Ontario’s proposed plan for next year. The information I am tabling today includes projects where we are requesting DREE funding as well as those to be financed exclusively by the province.

We are proposing a total budget in 1977-78 of $58 million, some of which will be new co-operative efforts with the federal government. I estimate new initiatives will involve expenditures of about $14 million in 1977-78. The balance of next year’s budget will be allocated to projects which are now underway. In total, it is estimated that the new initiatives will cost in the range of $50 million over a period of three years. The budget I am proposing represents an increase of $20 million over the amount allocated for the current fiscal year.

This enrichment supports our objective of actively initiating an economic development policy designed to increase jobs and incomes throughout the province. A central part of this approach is providing a dynamic environment for private sector expansion. Because we have successfully implemented a hard-nosed programme of fiscal restraint, we substantially augmented our capacity to finance these investments in the economic future of Ontario.

Turning to the highlights of our 1977-78 proposals, we are proposing to initiate some 17 new projects. These projects will reflect a number of economic priority initiatives. In this regard, I might note that up to and including the current fiscal year, we have invested some $70 million in the northwest, or 75 per cent of total spending under the regional priority budget to date. A major thrust of this investment was directed to improve substantially the capacity of the city of Thunder Bay to accommodate expansion in keeping with our commitment to ensure its role as the regional centre for northwestern Ontario. In addition, a number of expenditures have been undertaken to improve community and resource development in various other centres in northwestern Ontario. A significant part of the budget in 1977-78 will continue to be devoted to projects now under way in the northwest, including provision of community infrastructure necessary to support the over 500 new woodlands jobs resulting from the expansion of the pulp mill at Terrace Bay.

In the next fiscal year a major initiative will be to increase our regional priority investments in northeastern Ontario. Nine of the proposed new initiatives will improve community services in the northeast. I estimate this will involve a total investment of $30 million, of which $6.8 million will be spent next year. This region will also receive additional benefits from other projects on the new initiatives list. An important component of this government’s economic development policy is to encourage an eastern thrust in the growth of jobs and incomes. This will help to more fully achieve the economic potential of the area and reduce growth pressures in and around the Metro Toronto area. Accordingly, the focus of five of the new programme initiatives will be for community and industrial development assistance to meet these objectives.

Earlier, I indicated some of the new initiatives we are proposing will be co-operative efforts with the federal government. I am confident that, as in the past, both levels of government will work quickly towards positive agreements so we can continue to invest in the future of all areas of our province.


Hon. Mr. MacBeth: On October 26, I made a statement to this House regarding my ministry’s plan for a new system dealing with citizen complaints against police. I indicated at that time that we were commencing the second phase of consultation and that I intended to complete this consultation and introduce legislation before the end of this session.

As we proceeded with our discussions, it has become increasingly clear that the questions of citizens’ complaints and police discipline are inextricably intertwined. This has meant it was necessary not only to develop somewhat more involved procedures, but at the same time to engage in wider consultation with those affected. We have, therefore, over the past week had numerous meetings with interest groups. These discussions have confirmed that police discipline involves various complex and sensitive issues and they have also shown that viewpoints are often at variance.

All of this has led me to the conclusion that it would be prudent to continue to attempt to obtain a better consensus before proceeding with the required legislation. Our proposed legislation will have significant impact upon both the police and the public for a long time to come, and I think it important that we take the time now to achieve a proper balance. This delay will, I trust, have the further benefit of allowing the proposed legislation to receive full and careful consideration by the administration of justice committee when it is introduced in the spring. The members will appreciate that this committee has been fully occupied this fall session.

Again I do regret the delay but I feel strongly that we are well advised to resolve as many problems as possible before introducing legislation. At the same time, I want to emphasize that our commitment to establishing a new system dealing with citizens’ complaints against police is as strong as ever. We are confident that the new system will benefit greatly from the consultations now being undertaken.



Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I would like to reply to a question put to me by the member for Hamilton West on December 6. I have checked with the staff of my ministry and of Ontario Hydro and have satisfied myself that the contents of the Globe and Mail article entitled, “Candu, the Arithmetic of Risk” which appeared on December 6 are misleading.

There is a document known as the Pickering safety report. The document was prepared at the request of the federal Atomic Energy Control Board as a necessary step in obtaining licences to build and to operate the plant.

The Pickering safety report contains information on the design of the Pickering generating station. This information is the property of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited and Ontario Hydro and is of considerable commercial value.

On this basis alone, neither Atomic Energy of Canada Limited nor Ontario Hydro would wish this report to be given unrestricted distribution. Ontario Hydro also informs me that, in its present form, the Pickering safety report contains information on station layout, et cetera, that could be useful to anyone wishing to cause malicious damage to the station.

Furthermore, the report as written is highly technical. It is assumed that the recipient, in this case the staff of the Atomic Energy Control Board, is familiar with the technical aspects of the design of a nuclear station. The average person reading the report would find it difficult, if not impossible, to understand.

For these three reasons then -- the proprietary nature of the information, station security and the technical nature of the contents -- safety reports are not generally available to members of the public.

However, as I mentioned in my reply to the hon. member for Hamilton West on December 9 and yesterday to the member for Scarborough West, a copy of the Pickering safety report was presented to the royal commission on electric power planning for use by the commissioners and their staff. If the hon. member for Hamilton West or any member of the Legislature should wish to review the report with Hydro staff, I will be most pleased to make the necessary arrangements with Ontario Hydro.

If I understand the intent of the hon. member’s question, I believe he was raising a concern about the safety of the public and the employees at Pickering, a concern we all share. When one considers that in the 30 years of nuclear development in Canada not one member of the public has been harmed by radiation from nuclear reactors and weighs this against the benefit gained then the newspaper article to which the member was referring does seem to be a distortion of the facts.

The member for Hamilton West quoted from the article which stated that during periodic clean-up of the Pickering boiler room concentrations of radioactivity as high as 200 times the maximum permissible level were detected. The term “maximum permissible concentration” is a technical term that refers to the concentration of radio- activity to which an unprotected -- and I underline that word unprotected workman may be exposed during his entire time on the job without receiving a radiation dose greater than the Canadian statutory limit.

It is true that periodically, in restricted locations and under controlled conditions, work must be done in concentrations of 200 times the maximum permissible concentration, or more. However, this can be done quite simply and safely by wearing suitable protective clothing or limiting the exposure time or both without exceeding the statutory exposure limit.

I also looked into the allegation that concentrations of radiation higher than the maximum permissible were traced up to two miles away from the reactor and found that this is false. I am advised by Hydro, “On no occasion during the operation of Pickering has a member of the public received a radiation dose due to the release of radioactive material to the environment in excess of the dose limits recommended by the international commission on radiological protection and adopted by the federal government as Canadian statutory limits.”

Indeed, I am told that average annual exposures are a very small fraction of these statutory limits and that these statements are made on the basis of actual measurements in the environment by Ontario Hydro and independently by provincial and federal health ministries.


Hon. Mr. Snow: I have now had an opportunity to review the interim report of the select committee on highway transportation of goods and I must say I was very impressed by the concerns raised by the House members during debate on that report.

To begin with, it was of great interest to me personally when the committee confirmed the need for the regulating process in the trucking industry.

While it is to be realized that the committee’s final report is not due until February 28 of next year, my ministry will begin to act on the interim recommendations now.

Therefore, in the light of the committee’s interim recommendations, and at the same time keeping in mind the committees final report, which will be tabled in late February, it is clear to me that there is a real need for my ministry to re-examine its policies and role in highway transportation regulation and its relationship with the Ontario Highway Transport Board.

Traditionally, the government’s legislation and planning in this area have been based on necessity and needs, and it is interesting to note that the members of the all-party committee spelled this formula out in part five under the heading of “reciprocity” in their summary of recommendations. Part five states:

“The ultimate aim of the government of Ontario shall be the free flow of goods in private as well as for-hire vehicles to and from points outside of Ontario with a minimum of interference by ways of fees, charges, taxes, reports, records and documentation.”

I heartily agree, and this admirable goal has been our aim with respect to intra-provincial trucking. But, as admirable as it appears, there has been a proliferation of trucks and truckers, responding to demands for such services, to the point where I believe the time has come to re-examine our position, keeping in mind the select committee’s recommendations.

To this end, I have directed Mr. R. H. Humphries, assistant deputy minister of our drivers and vehicles branch, to assume the overall responsibility for this re-examination. Mr. Humphries’ new duties will also include my ministry’s consideration of the select committee on highway safety’s recommendations. Therefore, his current duties as assistant deputy minister of the drivers and vehicles branch will be reassigned.

Mr. Humphries brings a wealth of experience and expertise to his new assignment. A graduate lawyer, he was formerly the solicitor for the former Department of Transport; he served as vice-chairman of the OHTB from 1963 to 1965, and he is personally familiar with The Public Commercial Vehicles Act, The Highway Traffic Act and The Motor Vehicle Transport Act (Canada). I would like to add that he has been very actively involved in the many statutory and regulatory changes which have been brought forward over the years.


Mr. Reed: On a point of privilege: Yesterday, Mr. Speaker, in response to a question by my leader, the Minister of Energy read a letter he had sent to me. However, in reading Hansard, I find there are two paragraphs attributed to that letter which do not exist in the letter he sent. I wonder, with the permission of the Speaker, if I could finish the letter in its entirety as I suppose the minister intended it originally?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, if I may assist the member on the point of order, my response was not entirely composed of portions of his letter; there were other things I added which could very well not be in the letter.

Mr. Speaker: I think the matter perhaps could be clarified by a judicious question during question period.

Mr. Reed: The indication in Hansard as it is printed is that these two paragraphs are included in the letter, and I wanted to make it quite clear that they are not included in the letter to me.

Mr. Speaker: I have heard the member.

Mr. Lewis: Hansard just failed to differentiate. Is it possible to correct that?

Mr. Speaker: I think the hon. member has made his point clear. Is there an explanation we should have?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Perhaps, Mr. Speaker, if the member and I can get together, we can co-ordinate what Hansard should print because as I say, I did add other comments which certainly were not in the letter.

Hon. Mr. Davis: You can get together and put it into one paragraph.

Mr. Reed: Why won’t you let me make the correction in the House?

Mr. Speaker: Hansard should :be printing what is said in the House anyway.

Oral questions.


Mr. Lewis: A question, if I may, to the Minister of Health: In view of the many and varied and serious criticisms which the report of the Provincial Auditor directs at various branches and components of the Ministry of Health, is there any intention on the minister’s part to undertake some overall review of the financial procedures in his ministry, or can he indicate to us specific places where he intends to take action?

Hon. F. S. Miller: There were quite a few references to my ministry in the Provincial Auditor’s report. In some cases he said he hadn’t received information back from our ministry in time to incorporate it in his response. I checked up on those and, almost without exception, responses had flowed to the Provincial Auditor within days of the closing or the deadline for printing. I would say almost all of them do not deal with moneys wasted but rather with systems that, in his opinion, could be tightened up. For example, in the case of the reference that we paid some accounts for drug benefits twice, I don’t know whether it was clarified that that money was recovered and that we have a normal system for a partial amount of funds to druggists each month with a reckoning, I think, once a year for their accounts. So there is very little chance for total overpayment.

The Provincial Auditor really was making comments upon irregularities and procedures which, in his opinion, didn’t always indicate whether the money was properly spent. I feel, however, that they do not indicate any great waste of money and that my staff in most cases have now adequately answered his criticisms for his current report.

Mr. Lewis: By way of supplementary, in view of the very specific criticism levelled at the Medical Review Committee, which indicates that in the 15 months ending June 30, 1976, only 28 of 165 cases had been acted upon, and we’re paying these people, I believe, $175 a day by statute -- they’re all pending or deferred and nothing is out of those -- in view of his criticisms of the Medical Review Committee, their procedures, their delays and their inappropriate handling of the review, is the minister prepared to do something about that committee, reconstitute it, change it and so on?

Hon. F. S. Miller: First, I don’t know where the member got his figures. The ones I have say they had 175 outstanding recommendations or cases out of 544, and that in their first year of operation they replied to 100 per cent of those given to them. In the second year they replied to 100 per cent of those given to them. It was only in the third year that the backlog of cases started to gain upon them.

Mr. Lewis: I said 15 months.

Hon. F. S. Miller: I’m interested in that too because I see MRC reports coming across my desk; every one of them comes back to me. I have seen at least 35 or 40 of them in the last three months, I would say. This is why I’m rather surprised at this figure of one. I can’t dispute it. That’s for the period of three months, April, May and June, of this current year.

In my opinion, the MRC deserves a great deal of respect from this House. It’s made up of inspectors who are physicians working under the authority of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, investigating every referral given to them by the general manager of OHIP. I believe their greatest use has been the deterrent affect they have had upon improper practices of billing. The medical profession in this province is keenly aware of the authority, the powers and the ability of this committee to look into its cases. I think they’re highly respected.

They do find at times that the cases are long and involved and that, as the staff in my ministry have pointed out, doctors are often using legal assistance to counter the effects of the MRC. But, in my opinion, they perform a noble job for the people of the province and have cut down, I think, improper billings to a bare minimum.


Mr. Roy: May I ask a question pertaining to the first question asked by the Leader of the Opposition on the comments of the Provincial Auditor? Could the minister explain why, back, I think in 1975, his ministry was advised that there was some difficulty in the prosecution because the wording of the Act and of the regulations apparently was not precise enough and it was suggested by his legal people that there be a change in the Act and the regulations? Could he explain why we have not seen any legislation or any comments from the ministry about any legislation coming before this House to tighten up the Act and avoid any circumventing of the provisions of the OHIP regulations?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, whenever we find a need to tighten up the regulations we prepare legislation; my staff have been busy preparing it. It happened, though, that it wasn’t in a final form for this particular sitting. At one time this fall I really expected to have an amendment to The Health Insurance Act before the House covering a number of the issues raised by the auditor and a number raised by us in our own investigations of billing practices. It just happens we were not able to have the amendments ready for this particular sitting. I would expect the next time we meet we will have amendments.

Mr. Roy: One quick supplementary on that: What was the difficulty in bringing forward the legislation when, according to the Provincial Auditor, all the minister had to change was a couple of words, something to do with insured services? What was the difficulty in changing that legislation?

Hon. F. S. Miller: The member is a lawyer and I’m not. I can only tell him that when one gets into changes --

Mr. Roy: I would have helped you.

Hon. F. S. Miller: I’m sure you could have. Perhaps I will come to that although --


Hon. F. S. Miller: I rely on the Attorney General’s office right now for that assistance.

Mr. Reid: That explains it.

Mr. Roy: That is where the minister is making his mistake.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Are you returning to private practice?

Hon. F. S. Miller: In any event, I have found it isn’t quite as simple to make some of the changes which may appear simple to auditors but appear complex to lawyers.


Mr. Lewis: A question in the same field but on a separate matter. What plans has the minister for specific legislation governing the possibility of conflict of interest in the ownership of medical laboratories, which again the auditor points out?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I don’t need to have legislation for that. It’s already covered in The Public Health Act. It requires only a regulation. That regulation is complete as far as my ministry is concerned right now and is ready to go through the normal regulatory process.


Mr. Lewis: May I ask the Chairman of Management Board, and I do it with great caution, hoping I can elicit from him a brief explanatory response --

Mr. Reid: No such thing.

Mr. Lewis: You’re right. I know I shouldn’t do it but I’ll do it anyway; it’s nearly the end of the session.

Can he explain how he computed $23,375 as the severance pay for Don Collins? I ask no more than that.

Hon. Mr. Auld: Hold your breath. Mr. Collins was employed by the Treasurer and he will answer that question.

Mr. Speaker: The question has been referred, I believe.

Mr. Lewis: If you’d take that blue tint off your face for a moment and answer me, I’d appreciate it.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: The auditor sets out the reason. The amount was the equivalent of six months’ salary and the benefits which were applicable to that. What I think we should appreciate in this instance is that Mr. Collins was a distinguished public servant who joined, I think, in 1949 and served the province well as a deputy minister of several departments of government.

Mr. Roy: That’s why they sent him to Sudbury.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: He went to Sudbury at the Premier’s request to be the regional chairman. He resigned from that position and came back here but there was not a comparable position open in the public service so he chose to leave the public service.

Mr. Peterson: Comparable to what?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I think it is reasonable to expect, as in the private sector, that when a senior public servant leaves after nearly 25 years of service, I guess six months’ severance is not an unreasonable amount. I think what the auditor is suggesting is that from his viewpoint there may not be proper legislative authority to have done so. We happen to disagree and I believe the legal advice happens to disagree. Nevertheless, if the auditor is concerned that the proper legislative authority is not there to make these kinds of severance arrangements, we will and, in fact, are taking a look at the legislative authority.

Mr. Laughren: Could the Treasurer explain to us why Mr. Collins was asked to move back to Toronto when there was no job for him in the civil service by the Treasurer’s own admission?

Secondly, is he aware that Mr. Collins received termination or severance pay when he left the Civil Service Commission to join the OWRC of some $10,000 which, in all, means that Mr. Collins has received almost $100,000 in severance pay from this government?

Finally, could the Treasurer tell us why he or his government has not acted on the recommendations of the public accounts committee of last February that guidelines be laid down in regard to termination of employment contracts so this kind of situation doesn’t continue to happen?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: If I can remember those three questions -- he was not asked to move back to Toronto but it was reasonable that he would. He resigned from his position in Sudbury and presumably, I suppose we could put it this way, was reporting back to work here which is where he started. I don’t think it was unreasonable that he would come back and leave the civil service from here. His leaving Sudbury was of his own volition.

I’m not aware specifically of the arrangements when he left the Civil Service Commission to go to the Water Resources Commission or the other way around. I’m not aware of that. I suspect it may well have had something to do with pension arrangements because there was at that point, I think, a difference between the status of the chairman of a commission and that of a deputy minister.

In so far as the third item is concerned we have not felt that that was necessary. This doesn’t happen that often and has been dealt with on a --

Mr. Reid: Pretty lucrative for them when it does.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I see articles about people thinking some people in this House should have more money. We’re going to go on paying our civil servants well. We don’t apologize for that.

Mr. Reid: How about starting to pay us well?

Mr. Nixon: It was $60,000 to Don Collins.

Mr. Reid: How come in six months he gets more than we do in severance pay?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Davis: He’s been here longer than you.

Mr. Reid: It doesn’t seem long.

Hon. Mr. Davis: And I will tell you, you won’t be here as long as he has been.

Mr. Reid: I can guarantee you I won’t be here that long.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Will the hon. Treasurer ignore the interjections and answer the third question?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: With respect to the third question, the auditor now having raised it, perhaps a policy does need to be developed and put into regulation. As I’ve already said, if the legislative authority is not proper then we’ll have to do something about that as well.

Mr. Nixon: It is a great defence. You should be proud of yourself.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: You couldn’t run anything more than a peanut stand. You couldn’t run a peanut stand.

Mr. Nixon: You make a payment of $60,000 and defend it. You should be ashamed of yourself. You couldn’t run a candy store.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I’m sure that’s a great display for our visitors in the gallery as well as just being a poor exhibition right here in the House.

Mr. Lewis: Mr. Speaker, I would simply like a peanut stand to run.


Mr. Speaker: Would the hon. leader proceed with his question?

Mr. S. Smith: You would socialize it. You would nationalize it.

Mr. Lewis: Maybe Don Collins couldn’t handle it either. That’s why he moved.


Mr. Lewis: May I ask the Premier if he is interested in offering to the Legislature -- perhaps he intends to do it tomorrow -- comments not so much on the conference about which we read but on that part of the conference which applies to Quebec’s performance, Quebec’s role, what the Premier of that province put and how the Premier of Ontario felt in terms of Quebec’s participation when he left the dominion-provincial conference.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I do have three documents to table. I really didn’t plan a statement today. It is my intention, physical abilities allowing, to participate in a very non-provocative way in the budget windup tomorrow. As part of that very historic address in which I hope to prevail upon the Leader of the Opposition to --


Hon. Mr. Davis: -- I’ll give him a little advance notice now that I’m hopeful that when I have finished he will see his way clear to recognize the virtues of this government and just how well it is going and to alter his position. As part of my suggestions to him I will make some references to the discussions in Ottawa in the past two days.

There are just three documents to table -- the very brief statement I made at the conclusion of the conference; the statement tabled with the conference related to certain economic considerations, and a further statement developed by the Treasurer, outlining in greater detail the financial implications of the decisions that were reached yesterday.

Mr. S. Smith: A supplementary on this question, if I may.

Mr. Speaker: No. It’s the hon. member’s turn. He can call it whichever he wishes.

Mr. S. Smith: I’ll ask the Premier as a new question, if you like, Mr. Speaker, whether he would be willing to share with this House any basic conversations which may have gone on, either at the conference or in the corridors, with the Premier of Quebec regarding particularly the subject of Ontario’s linguistic policy and this province’s treatment of the Franco-Ontarian minority? Did that come up at all and could he apprise us of that?

Hon. Mr. Davis: No, I don’t really think the Premier of Quebec and I had any conversations in any corridors. I’m trying to remember exactly where, geographically, we were. I don’t think we did.

Mr. Roy: Were you that confused?

Hon. Mr. Davis: We did chat informally in the presence of several others at the home of the first minister of this country. The Premier of Quebec did not raise with me the policies of the government of this province. I think the leader of the Liberal Party might be interested in reading the Premier of Quebec’s observation on bilingualism as they relate to the policies of the government of Canada. He might take a look at that; I would be prepared to answer any supplementary questions, but we did not discuss policies within the province of Ontario.

Mr. Peterson: Supplementary: As a result of the conference and, of course, other events that have transpired in the recent past, does the Premier and his government have any plans for changes in policy towards the minority groups, and particularly the francophone groups, in this province?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I guess I could outline for the member for London Centre the traditional policy of this government, the progress -- gradual in the minds of some, not so gradual in the minds of others -- as it relates to the Franco-Ontarians of this province.

Mr. Samis: You’re moving at a snail’s pace.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would say, with respect, that the policy here has developed in a way that has caused very little controversy --

Mr. Roy: That’s right, because you haven’t done anything.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would say, with great respect to the member for Ottawa East, that in terms of our policy for the Franco-Ontarians, it is a progressive policy --

Mr. Roy: Oh, don’t come bragging to me about that.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- it is a good policy --

Mr. Samis: It is not enough.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- it is working, and it is not causing controversy.

Mr. Conway: Some of your back-benchers don’t agree with you.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- and, with great respect, if the people the hon. member has so actively supported in the nation’s capital had taken a somewhat different approach to bilingualism, there would be fewer issues existing in this country today.


Mr. Yakabuski: You walked right into that one.

Mr. S. Smith: That does not help.

Mr. Speaker: This will be a final supplementary.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Samis: Can the Premier assure the Franco-Ontarian minority in this province that he will take definitive action to implement true bilingualism in the field of health services and government services?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We are dealing with the matter of bilingualism at the conference, and this is not supplementary to that question.

Mr. Conway: Paul, are you going to tell us about bilingualism?

Mr. S. Smith: That remark was a poor remark.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Ask Keith Spicer.


Mr. S. Smith: A question, if I might, for the Attorney General: I would like to ask the Attorney General about the very tragic incident, reported in the Sun today, of a 58-year-old widow whose right leg was amputated as a result of a power line accident and who lost a $200,000 suit against Hydro because her lawyer did not act within the six-month limitation period established in the Act. Is the Attorney General finally going to act on the reports of the Ontario Law Reform Commission of 1969, in which it was clearly recommended that there be a general revision of The Limitations Act, by which this extremely unfortunate type of situation could have been avoided had we already acted on this? Does he have some intention of acting to avoid this?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Yes, I agree with the recommendation of the Ontario Law Reform Commission and we expect to have legislation to introduce in the spring with respect to providing for uniform limitation periods. It’s a very complex subject. It involves a large number of statutes and a number of people have been working on this for some months. We should have legislation for the next session.


Mr. S. Smith: A brief supplementary, if I might: I appreciate the promise the Attorney General is making but I wonder if he could explain why the government has not acted since 1969 on what was clearly an important need?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: My ministry has been working hard on this subject since October 7, 1975.

Mr. Good: You never worked hard.

Mr. Yakabuski: Supplementary: I’m wondering if the lady in question could not take legal action against the legal person who represented her?

Mr. S. Smith: Of course she can.

Mr. Singer: That is not really a supplementary.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Yes, that course of action would be open to this individual.

Mr. Singer: Supplementary: I wonder if the Attorney General could explain the lack of action by his department over all these years and by his predecessors, even though this matter has been debated in this I House at least eight times already?

Mr. Speaker: I think the hon. minister did answer that.


Mr. S. Smith: A brief question to the Minister of Energy: Appreciating the minister’s answer earlier today to a question I had asked previously and having already been offered the chance to look at the Bruce reactor safety report and the Pickering report, could the minister tell me whether I will be given the chance to look, not at the reports themselves, but at the background notes and papers exchanged between AECB and Ontario Hydro? Has the minister himself had the opportunity or will he get the opportunity to look at those particular notes and papers?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: As I indicated yesterday, the safety reports are the culmination of exchanges of correspondence between AECB and Ontario Hydro and those are what are referred to as the notes. It’s actually correspondence between the two. When an item is concluded it is then registered in the report.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, is the minister not aware that the reports are very highly technical and that it’s the background correspondence regarding the report that I asked for now two and three times? Why can we not look at that, and has the minister himself looked at that?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: The correspondence and the notes, if the member wants to call them that, are just as technical, just as proprietary, just as much of a concern in terms of --

Mr. S. Smith: Has the minister looked at them?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I have seen some over the years, yes. I think his concern should be with the report, which is the culmination of the process.

Mr. Moffatt: Supplementary: I wonder if the minister would tell this House if any of the information related to the answer that he just gave is classified by the Atomic Energy Control Board and is any of it unavailable to members of this House?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I have indicated the reports are certainly available for the members. Is that the import of the question or is it the correspondence?

Mr. Moffatt: The background information.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I don’t know that.


Mr. S. Smith: I have one final question for the Minister of Industry and Tourism. Could he explain the policy of his ministry with regard to distribution of promotional material inasmuch as the chamber of commerce of Stoney Creek, which has international events, was refused that promotional material, and yet the Miss Nude World pageant received 9,000 brochures, 600 road maps and 300 trillium pins, and one wonders where they were going to pin them?

Mr. Roy: Hey!

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: The member for Ottawa East requested those.

Mr. Kerrio: Just give us the bare facts.

Mr. S. Smith: Could the minister explain that particular policy of the ministry?

Mr. Lewis: Only you could answer it straight.

Hon. Mr. Bennett: As far as the refusal of literature to the chamber of commerce at Stoney Creek is concerned, I would have to look into it. My understanding is that chambers of commerce have been given, through their travel associations in their various regions of the province, the amount of literature they require for promoting their activities. As for the second portion of the question, I shall take it under advisement.

Mr. Reid: We just want the bare facts, that’s all.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, I while he is doing his undercover operation to find out the answers to this --

Hon. B. Stephenson: It would only be undercover for the Leader of the Opposition.

Mr. S. Smith: -- could the minister also consult with his own executive director of tourism who suggests that basically his ministry was duped by the pageant into believing it was an international event, when in fact it consisted entirely of Canadians, with the exception of one girl who was Mexican but living in Canada anyway?

Mr. Foulds: What is wrong with that?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: I suppose the only defence for that is that all the girls coming in would be considered tourists in Ontario and help offset the balance of payments we have, but I shall look into that portion as well.


Mr. Grossman: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, this afternoon at the public accounts committee certain documents were released to the members of the public accounts committee and I thought, pursuant to a motion of the committee moved by the member for Port Arthur, that the documents, by agreement of the committee members, were to be kept confidential to the committee members. I see some of my colleague on the Liberal benches, many of them, looking over the report at the present time.

Mr. Yakabuski: Oh, no! Oh, for shame.

Mr. Grossman: I wanted to draw that to the attention of the House. I understood that each member who received it was to keep it confidential to himself and not all of his colleagues, which I see is happening here this afternoon.

Mr. Speaker: I am certainly not aware of what the member is discussing.


Mr. Bullbrook: Right, makes great reading too.

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, the motion did not read “confidential to committee members.” The motion read “confidential.” I assumed it was open to members of the House but not to became public knowledge.

Mr. Speaker: There is nothing I can do about it at the present time anyway.

An hon. member: Do you have binoculars there?


Mr. Yakabuski: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the provincial Treasurer, which I am sure has great importance to this House, and is certainly of national importance. In view of the fact that he was one of the delegation attending the first ministers’ conference in Ottawa, is it true that the socialist Premier of Manitoba, who previously fought wage and price control, has now agreed to go along with an extension of Trudeau’s wage and price policy?


Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, I think it is fair to say that that is not only true of the Premier of the socialist government of Manitoba, it is also true of the Premier of the socialist government of Saskatchewan. One could only deduce from this that given time, given a little help, given a little encouragement, even socialists can see the light.

An hon. member: Even Liberals.

Mr. Lewis: How much time do you think I need?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: While you’re over there you’ll have all the time you want.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Lewis: I don’t want an answer; it was a rhetorical question.


Mr. Grande: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Education: Can the minister either confirm or deny two rumours regarding the multicultural policy statement which he promised on November 4 in this House that he would make in two or three weeks’ time, those rumours being -- and by the way the rumours come from members of his own ministry -- that there will be no statement before the House rises for the holiday season, and secondly, that the statement will be made prior to or during the next provincial election campaign?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I can confirm the first rumour that, unless my friend wishes to sit here for the next three or four weeks there will be no statement before this House rises, and that the statement will be made I am sure before the next election, unless my friend and other members decide to vote differently tomorrow evening.

Mr. Grande: Supplementary: In view of the minister’s answer, will the minister and the staff in his own ministry make sure that the bilingual-bicultural programme of Orde Street Public School will not be sacrificed due to his ministry’s stalling on this?

Hon. Mr. Wells: I would be glad to talk to the Toronto board about the Orde Street programme, but I don’t believe they have communicated personally with me about that programme or about the continuation of that programme. The Toronto board gets a lot of money and raises a lot of money and carries on a lot of good programmes and it does them well.

Mr. Foulds: Supplementary: Can the minister assure the House that if the announcement comes before the House resumes he will give the opposition critics advance notice of the statement, so that we can be available for comment at the time?

An hon. member: You’ve got to be kidding.

Hon. Mr. Wells: I’m always happy to accommodate my friends and we’ll be glad to take that under advisement.


Mr. Eakins: Mr. Speaker, to the Minister of Transportation and Communications: What action has the minister taken or what is his reaction to the recommendations of the jury established at the coroner’s inquest into the Hawk Lake culvert collapse last spring in Halliburton county in which three people lost their lives?

Hon. Mr. Snow: It’s some time since we received a copy of that jury report, but as I recall the details that particular project was certainly not a project carried on by my ministry or by a road authority. I would have no jurisdiction over it.

Mr. Eakins: Supplementary: My question was, what is the minister’s reaction in regard to the recommendation? They know he has no jurisdiction, but their recommendation was that his ministry implement a code to regulate the building of any such structure not presently supervised by MTC or other regulatory body. What action has the minister taken or what does he plan to do?

Hon. Mr. Snow: I have not taken any specific action on that recommendation because I don’t believe there is any way my ministry could create a code that would involve limitations to structures built outside our jurisdiction.


Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, on December 3 the member for Cochrane South (Mr. Ferrier) directed a question to me through the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development regarding an unfortunate and tragic accident that occurred on Highway 101, near Timmins on November 28, 1976.

From the preliminary Ontario Provincial Police report it appears this accident occurred on a straight and level section of Highway 101. The action involved a collision between two automobiles, one northbound and one southbound. The road surface as described in the OPP report was bare and wet, with weather conditions clear and cold. From the absence of any witnesses to the accident we can only assume the two vehicles that were involved in the collision were alone on the road at the time of the accident.

I would suggest from the information we have at this time that neither the condition of the road surface nor the width of pavement was a contributing factor to the accident.

Mr. Laughren: Supplementary: Did the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development pass on to the minister our concern about winter maintenance on Highway 144 between Sudbury and Timmins and, as well, about the width of the road which may very well cause accidents in the future and, indeed, makes driving on the road very difficult and hazardous?

Hon. Mr. Snow: My colleague did pass on that supplementary as well and, of course, we’ve discussed this on previous occasions during the estimates of my ministry.

Highway 101 has, as I recall, a 20-foot width of pavement. Basically most of our paved highways are in one of three widths -- 20, 22 and 24 feet -- depending upon the traffic volume of the particular road. There are many hundreds of miles and perhaps many thousands of miles of 20-foot highways in the province. This happens to be one of them.

We’re continually monitoring and upgrading our standards, but because of constraints I’m afraid we do not have any immediate plans for the reconstruction of this particular highway -- which as I understand it is what would be involved. To get additional width you would really have to reconstruct the highway.


Regarding the maintenance, I think we have the same level of maintenance, certainly to my knowledge, within all our patrols on all our particular highways. If the hon. member has some specific comment regarding maintenance on this highway or some specific information or complaint, if he would give it to me, I would be glad to look into it.

Mr. Speaker: The final supplementary

Mr. Wildman: Can the minister inform the House as to what information he has regarding the ploughing of that highway that weekend? There was a bad blizzard that weekend and my information is that it wasn’t very well ploughed previous to the accident.

Hon. Mr. Snow: As I said in the earlier portion of my answer, the OPP report states the highway was bare and wet.


Mr. Bounsall: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Chairman of the Management Board of Cabinet: Will the minister assure this House that all the necessary funds will be granted for the coming year to enable the Ministry of Labour to hire sufficient safety inspectors to implement The Employees’ Health and Safety Act which we passed this past Tuesday?

Hon. Mr. Auld: Not knowing exactly what the requirements are yet I can’t give a definitive answer. I would say this whole programme is a priority of the government. It is being studied by consultants to see exactly what staff is required. I think the Minister of Labour has indicated it may be difficult, if not impossible, to obtain as rapidly as she might wish the kind of trained personnel she is going to require in the numbers she will require.

Mr. Laughren: Is the Chairman of Management Board telling us that the Ministry of Labour has not specified to him the kind of money and people it will require in the new authority?

Hon. Mr. Auld: I didn’t say that.


Mr. Reid: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Solicitor General in regard to organized crime. Can the Solicitor General confirm or deny a news report on radio station CHUM last Friday, I believe, which stated that a senior OPP officer had been in touch with his counterpart in Quebec to see if he could find out how to go about getting a public inquiry into organized crime in the province of Ontario?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I heard a replay of that interview and subsequently I was interviewed by someone from CHUM. I asked them to name the senior officers to whom they had been speaking. Of course, they would not or could not do it; I don’t know whether it’s a case of would not or could not but they hesitated and in fact did not name them.

I said I had spoken to senior officers who advised that such an investigation as they were suggesting would do more harm than good, and I did not hesitate to name the people to whom I had been talking. One, of course, was Chief Harold Adamson of the Metropolitan Toronto Police, and our own Harold Graham, commissioner of the OPP.

Mr. Reid: Since the minister keeps refusing to have a public inquiry, would he explain to the House the reasons he is given by the OPP for not having an inquiry? Why?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I would rather put it the other way around and ask my hon. friend one good reason for having an inquiry but I will try to give him some reasons that we shouldn’t.

Mr. Philip: He is not here to answer questions. You are.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: First of all, as I have said on many occasions, and I know my friend doesn’t want to hear this information, the provincial police feel they know the names and the people they should be watching for in organized crime.

Mr. Philip: Just give us the information.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: It is not a case of finding out who they are. It is a case of getting evidence to get convictions. They know this and if they had some investigation which might parade a lot of these people, it might destroy some of the investigation they already have and some of the evidence they have already acquired.

One very realistic point of view is that we are on a restricted budget at the present time. The police of this province, both at the municipal level and at the provincial level, would like more funds. Always the opposition thinks the answer to any problem at all is let’s have an investigation; let’s investigate just about everything and anything. But, my good friend, investigations cost money.

Mr. Reid: So does organized crime.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I would think an investigation of this nature might cost well over a million dollars.

Mr. S. Smith: And the home buyers grants.

Mr. Peterson: How much?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: When I talk to the police their thought is, “If you have an extra million dollars for police, don’t spend it on investigations which will do very little. Let us have more men and equipment.”

Mr. Foulds: -- the money or the Mafia

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Reid: If the minister is telling us that they know who all these people are, what is the problem in getting convictions? Is it a problem with the Criminal Code?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: The federal government.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: It is a matter of evidence.

Mr. Peterson: Did the minister read the report in the press last week that a prosecutor in Quebec said they have evidence there is more organized crime in Ontario than there is in Quebec? Did he read that and what is his reaction to that report?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: That’s nonsense. Absolute nonsense.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Speaker, I haven’t been relying for my information on the prosecutors in Quebec.

Mr. Cunningham: Lots of good headlines in it. I don’t know why you don’t go ahead.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: It is bloody nonsense.


Hon. Mr. Rhodes: The hon. member for Hamilton West recently asked two questions of me. One was as to why the government does not release land on Hamilton Mountain for sale in large quantities all at once. The other was about “speculative profit” the government has realized from the sale of land so far on Hamilton Mountain.

As the hon. member is probably aware the lands in question are not owned solely by the province. They are owned by a federal-provincial partnership. In the early 1950s some 900 acres of raw land across the mountain were acquired as a land bank to be developed as municipal services became available.

Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the federal agency, was the active partner during the first two phases of development, the first in 1957 and the second in 1967. It wasn’t until after this that the province became the active partner.

The hon. member asked why the province did not sell the land in large quantities all at once. The land is not contained in one large parcel, as I am sure he is aware. The holdings are scattered across the mountain in many parcels north of Mohawk Road.

Because of the scattered nature of the lands and the lack of sewer and watermains, development could not take place as quickly as some would hope. Development has taken place since 1967 as quickly as planning was undertaken by the city, followed by the provision of main services. In fact, to help speed up the rate of development, OHC entered into an agreement with Hamilton in 1970 to finance the construction of the Red Hill Creek trunk sewer. Under this agreement, OHC and CMHC pre-financed a sewer construction programme designed to service about 3,000 acres at the east end of the mountain.

The programme was to cover about 600 acres of federal-provincial land and about 2,400 acres of privately-owned land. It is estimated the final cost of this programme will be in excess of $10 million. Hamilton is repaying the bulk of the cost of the sewer programme over a 15-year period. Without the assistance the pace of development would have been even slower. As a matter of fact, only 157 acres of federal-provincial land have yet to be serviced.

With regard to the question from the hon. member concerning speculative profit to the government, I had some of that information prepared but I do not believe the information I had was adequate for what he was seeking. We are going to have to go through a number of records to get a specific dollar figure. The land was sold during various phases over a period of about nine years and we have to check as well with Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation which was involved with it.

I would like to advise the hon. member that I will have this material in its entirety and complete and I will file it with the clerk if the House is not sitting.

Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary, if I might. I appreciate the answer the minister has given. I wonder, though, whether he would agree with me when he is seeking this information that, given the need for affordable housing, the province and the city could find some way to service the land more quickly and to sell at something a little under market value in order to get affordable houses on the market rather than holding out for the highest possible market price?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Certainly we are prepared to co-operate with the municipality in an effort to bring the mod on stream for development as soon as possible. I can’t comment as to what the total price has been. I don’t disagree with the desire to have the cost lowered but I think once we see the figures we will have an idea of what sort of market we are talking about.

Mr. Deans: May I ask a supplementary?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We have about 30 seconds left -- well all right; we will take it up with a supplementary then, since it evens it up.

Mr. Deans: Does the minister agree that the statement he has made with regard to his desire to see more affordable housing is in direct conflict with the statement made by one of his predecessors at the time he was requested to do exactly what the leader of the third party has asked for -- to make that land more readily available and not to take into account the high prices charged by the private developers?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Speaker, I don’t know with whom I’m supposed to be in conflict --

Mr. Deans: Stanley Randall.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I must apologize to the hon. member. He obviously is much older than I, certainly in terms of service in office, and I am not familiar with what Mr. Randall may have said.

Mr. Deans: You should read it then.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I’ll be glad to read it.

Mr. Speaker: The oral question period has expired.


Presenting reports.


Hon. Mr. Handleman presented the 29th annual report of the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario.

Mr. Speaker: Motions.

Introduction of bills.


Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, if I may -- I don’t know if this is a point of order or a point of clarification, but I may have inadvertently misled the hon. member for Algoma a moment ago when I stated that the road in question in the OPP report was “bare and wet.” In double-checking the OPP report, it is “centre bare and wet.” I do have photographs taken by the OPP, both on the night of the accident and on the morning after the accident. They certainly do show the road -- it may be questionable whether it is bare, but you can certainly see the white lines, you can see the pavement; the road is well ploughed as far as the ploughing is concerned. I didn’t want to leave an impression that might not have been correct.

Mr. Speaker: Orders of the day.


Hon. Mr. McMurtry moved second reading of Bill 189, An Act to establish the Unified Family Court.

Mr. Speaker: Please, may I ask the hon. members as they’re leaving the chamber would they please do it as quietly as possible?

Mr. Renwick: That doesn’t bother me, or the Attorney General, I’m sure.

We support the principle of the unified family court and the establishment of it on an experimental basis, in the first instance, in the regional municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth.

The purpose of the bill is laudable. The jurisdiction of the court is laudable. If there are any comments that need to be made they could best perhaps be made, with one exception, when the bill is in committee, when we deal with the questions of the mechanics of the operation of the court and whether or not there are any amendments which may be required in order to make certain the purpose of the bill is achieved.

I did, however, want to express a great concern that we as a party always have when we find, disguised as cutting through legalistic red tape, that the government of the province of Ontario allows an aggressive federal government to entrench upon the position of the province of Ontario under the constitution. I don’t want to elaborate at any great length about that question, but it’s the history of this government that it has, over a period of time, been subservient in constitutional matters in a large number of areas to the federal government. In this particular case the Attorney General acknowledged that he had been subservient to the Minister of Justice --

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Oh no, no, no, no.

Mr. Renwick: -- and, what was more important, he thanked the Minister of Justice for allowing him to give away part of the constitutional position of the province of Ontario with respect to the appointment of judges for the purposes of this bill.

It may well be that he will say he had no other alternative. I would think one of these days this government, with the assistance and support of the province of Quebec, will be able to protect itself -- it certainly can’t do it alone -- against the aggressive encroachments of the federal government. I want to refer very briefly to that point because the Attorney General made his statement in connection with it.


Under the constitution of Canada, there are various provisions which relate to the question of the appointment of provincial judges. I want to refer to a very lengthy case in the Supreme Court of Canada in 1938, and I want to refer to certain succinct passages in that bill to indicate the persistence of the federal government and the incapacity of the government of Ontario to deal with the matter.

This was a reference which was made in 1938: “In the matter of the reference concerning the authority of judges and junior and acting judges of the county and district courts, police magistrates, justices of the peace, and judges of juvenile courts to perform the functions vested in them, respectively, by the Legislature of the province of Ontario, pursuant to the provisions of The Adoption Act, The Children’s Protection Act, The Children of Unmarried Parents Act and The Deserted Wives’ And Children’s Maintenance Act, being then within the Revised Statutes of Ontario, 1937.”

The reference was made mainly at the request of the then Attorney General of the Province of Ontario, asking the following questions: “In several of the provinces of Canada in the case of certain social legislation, the Legislatures have purported to confer extensive judicial powers upon officials appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in council to be members of tribunals constituted under the said legislation. Questions have been raised whether these judicial powers are such as were theretofore exercised only by the superior and district and county courts of the provinces, in which event doubts arise as to whether the said judicial powers have been validly conferred.

“In one of these cases, the Hon. Chief Justice of Ontario described the question of jurisdiction as being of great public interest and importance, and stated that it was desirable that it should be settled by the court of final report. The Attorney General of Ontario has represented to the Minister of Justice that there are four Ontario statutes of widespread application in relation to which the question arises.” I named the statutes a moment ago when I quoted from the heading of the reference in the Supreme Court of Canada.

“The Attorney General of Ontario further represents that the effective administration of the aforesaid statutes has been greatly impeded by the doubt that had been raised as to the validity of their provisions relating to the exercise of judicial powers, and has requested that the same be referred to the Supreme Court of Canada in order that the doubt may be set at rest.”

Then the reference is made to the Supreme Court of Canada and unanimously the Supreme Court of Canada answered the question, yes, the provincial government under the authority of the Constitution had the capacity to appoint judges of the provincial courts which are now the provincial court criminal jurisdiction and the provincial court family jurisdiction, and of course there is the long train of other cases which deal with the matter.

The particular quotation that I want to make very succinctly from a very lengthy judgement of the then Chief Justice of Canada, Chief Justice Sir Lyman Duff, was: “The practical problem raised by this reference is whether or not it is competent to the province to invest the officers presiding over these special tribunals, as well as justices of the peace and police magistrates, with the powers of summary adjudication conferred upon them by the statutes, or whether, on the other hand, as is contended by those who attack the legislation, they are disabled in some important respects by section 96 of The British North America Act from taking advantage of this convenient summary procedure which has proved so efficacious.”

I ask the Attorney General to mark -- as he undoubtedly has marked in the discussions which he has had with his own law officers -- the following quotation: “Now, it seems to be indisputable that sections 96 and 97 of The British North America Act contemplate the existence of provincial courts and judges other than those within the ambit of section 96. Indeed, it would be a non-natural reading of those sections to construe them as applying to such courts of summary jurisdiction as magistrates and justices of the peace. Besides, such a construction, having regard to the circumstances, even if the language in its ordinary sense extended to such judicial officers, would seem to be excluded by the fact that all judges appointed by the Governor General are to be selected from the bars of the respective provinces. That the statesmen responsible for Confederation could in fact have contemplated such a restriction upon the appointment of magistrates and justices of the peace would be a supposition that nobody having any knowledge of the circumstances of the country could countenance.

“Nor, so far as I know, has it been contended since 1892 that magistrates and justices of the peace and courts presided over by them at the time of Confederation fell within the intendment of section 96. Nevertheless, the argument before us in support of the attack on the constitutionality of the legislation based upon some dicta decisions of the last few years appears logically to involve the conclusion that magistrates and justices of the peace exercising civil jurisdiction are within the purview of sections 96 and 97 and it is necessary to examine the validity of this position.”

He goes on then to indicate -- and I want particularly to put on the record this particular quotation from the Chief Justice’s decision in that case: “Shortly after the British North America Act came into force the view was put forward by the Department of Justice” -- that’s the federal Department of Justice -- “in reporting on provincial legislation that no prerogative rights of property and no prerogative power passed to the provinces and that the provinces had no legislative jurisdiction in respect of such rights or powers. Notwithstanding the convincing argument set forth in a memorable state paper by Mr. Mowat, in which he expounded the views of the government of Ontario touching the relation of the provincial executive to the Crown; notwithstanding the decision in Regina versus Coote; notwithstanding the decisions of the Ontario judges supporting the doctrine advocated by Mr. Mowat on which the Ontario legislation was based,” the Department of Justice did not yield the ground it had taken up in this controversy until the decision of the Privy Council in the Maritime’s Bank case which was then in 1892.

They then yielded that particular point until 1932 in the Martineau case when again the federal authority raised the question of jurisdiction and of course they were again overturned. In 1938, the Supreme Court of Canada determined the question of the jurisdiction of judicial appointments made by the government of the province of Ontario by the Lieutenant Governor in Council in the role which they could play in the administration of justice in the province under head 14 of section 92 of The British North America Act, regardless of the power conferred upon the federal government for the appointment of judges of the superior courts under section 96:

Having said that, I want to say to the Attorney-General that his original approach to the federal government was the correct approach. It was a constitutionally supportable approach. It had no basis in constitutional law to support the position taken by the Minister of Justice of the federal government. I do not know why, when situations like that develop in something called the interest of expediency or in the interest of cutting through legalistic red tape, we continually sacrifice to the federal government essential components of the jurisdiction of this province, which is an essential ingredient to the federalism of Canada.

I say to the Attorney General he should have said to the Minister of Justice in Ottawa that the position we are taking is for him to confer his jurisdiction on these judges and we’ll confer our jurisdiction on the same judges so that we can have the achievement through co-operation of the unified family court for the beneficial purposes. I don’t know why that question could not have been referred when the problem initially arose in the discussions of the Law Reform Commissions with respect to the urgent social need in order that the matter could he decided and then, on the basis of that reference, to have established these courts. But, oh, no, the Attorney General, consistent with the policy of the government of Ontario over the years of Tory domination of the government of the province, has decided otherwise.

The result now is that the judges who will preside over the unified family court will be judges appointed by the federal government, even though the Attorney General believes that in the initial instance he has the consent of the Minister of Justice of Canada to designate who those judges will be.

In any event, the jurisdictional provisions of the unified family court bill, Bill 189, are very good provisions. The specific provisions for the functioning of that court in an initial way -- experimental only in the sense of making certain it’s the initial effort, and that it can be worked out satisfactorily rather than in this experimental sense and that it will not become a part of the system of the administration of justice in the province of Ontario -- all of those matters are ones with which we agree.

Our sole dissent is on the very point which the Attorney General went to such great lengths in his opening remarks to justify or excuse, and on that particular point we disagree with him. One of these days, of course, that question will be otherwise decided; then we can then redo the united family court to take into account the concurrent jurisdiction of the province of Ontario and the correlative jurisdiction of the federal government under the constitution, and invest the particular men who are chosen to exercise those judicial functions with the powers which are necessary to enable these courts to function.

With that caveat -- a serious and important caveat in these days when the constitution is not only fashionable as a matter of discussion and concern but is rapidly approaching a point where we may very well find that a significant and substantial revision of the constitution is necessary -- with that one reservation, we agree and consent to the bill.

I would assume that at some point the broader question of the participation of the provincial governments in the designation of persons to be appointed under section 96, both for superior court purposes and for the purposes of the Supreme Court of Canada, may be one of the topics among many which will be required at the time when the constitution of the country is revised.

With those comments, we will support the bill on second reading.

Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, I rise to make some enthusiastic comments about this type of legislation. I have some reservations about certain clauses in the bill, but generally I do want to say that my colleagues in the Liberal Party and I are in full support of this legislation.

I think you know, Mr. Speaker, that I’ve talked for some time in this House, as well is outside of this House during the campaign for the leadership of our party, in fact -- about difficulties in the administration of justice. In fact, many of the things that I said at that time, I am pleased to say the Attorney General has acquiesced to or has picked up.

I’m not suggesting there has been theft or anything of this nature; I think it was in the works anyway.

These were things I voiced as a member of the profession and as one who was concerned about the administration of justice lagging behind; sometimes I felt we were operating an administration of justice system that was perhaps 50 or 100 years behind 1976 society. This is the type of legislation which I hope will bring back an administration of justice system that is responsive to the people out there in the community.

As one who has done certain work in the family courts and who has had some experience as a practitioner in family law, it was always extremely difficult for me to explain to clients, to the public out there, why it was that if there was a problem, say, of assault, involving a husband and wife, they’d end up in provincial court, family division; if they were fighting over the children’s custody and so on, they were in county court, and if they were fighting over alimony, divorce or whatever, they might be in Supreme Court. To the average citizen, it just didn’t make sense. In fact, I would go a step further and say that I feel -- and I say this sincerely to the Attorney General -- as far as the average citizen is concerned, there are too many levels of courts presently in this province. There’s one too many, and I hope that we’ll look at that.


As my colleague from Riverdale has mentioned, there is a jurisdictional problem involving the federal government and the provincial government and it’s difficult to deal with. But to the public out there, the jurisdiction argument is not a very good excuse. They want a system of justice which will be responsive to the needs of the community of Ontario, the community of 1976 and 1977. It’s important to have rules and procedures and expediency involved in that to keep up with this vibrant society we have in this province and in this country.

I’ve talked about this. I’ve talked about the need for a unified family court and I’m extremely pleased to see the experiment starting in the judicial district of Hamilton-Wentworth. I trust and I would hope that the experiment will work because I would like to see it proceed right across this province. As my colleague from Riverdale has said, there is a problem; there is a jurisdictional problem and there is a problem of appointing judges.

For the lay person, the person out there on the street, it’s hard to imagine that the two levels of jurisdiction will be fighting to keep their jurisdiction to appoint certain people at certain levels of the court. What transpires in this particular situation is that they’re taking provincial court judges and swearing them in as county court judges so they become local judges of the Supreme Court. I take it that that is the system because it’s not clear from the bill that these are not county court judges who are going to be given provincial court jurisdiction. It’s the other way around.

I sort of sympathize. I’ve discussed this matter with the Attorney General during the estimates and I sympathize with the Attorney General that he may well have in this province some reluctance to say to the feds, “You appoint these people in the unified family court.” I appreciate and I understand his argument that the general public associates family problems or the family court with the provincial court, family division more than with the county court or with the Supreme Court.

That is the court, really, which deals with the everyday problems and the highest number of citizens participate in the process at that level. I’m in full support of the Attorney General wanting to keep that jurisdiction for the province.

It’s difficult for me -- it’s really difficult for anyone who tries to explain it to the public -- to say, “We’ve got to start with an experiment like this.” It’s ironic. The federal government says it is in favour of this; the province says it is in favour; everybody I talk to says he is in favour of this, yet we’re starting off with an experiment.

The reason is there is a problem over who’s going to appoint these people to the unified family court. The federal people say it should be them; and the province says it should be us. I’ve already said I support the Attorney General about his stand. It’s hard for me to understand the federal people on this, I realize in everyday politics it’s important to have that right or that privilege to say, “You’re a judge, and you’re a judge, and we appoint these people.” That is something which, I suppose, is important to a government in power or to a party in power or whatever. But to the everyday person, again, it’s not. He says, “What’s this jurisdictional argument? Who cares? If the fellow is competent, who cares who appoints him, whether it’s the province or the federal government?”

I would hope that we would see both jurisdictions --

Mr. Renwick: I care.

Mr. Roy: My colleague from Riverdale says, “I care.” This might make a nice philosophical argument --

Mr. Renwick: It’s not philosophical.

Mr. Roy: Really, the lay person on the street doesn’t particularly care who appoints the individual as long as he’s competent arid does the job. It seems to me that should be the first criteria.

Mr. Renwick: That is what your party has done to the constitution of the country; it doesn’t matter.

Mr. Roy: I appreciate that it’s not quite that simple; there is some merit in appointments being made at different levels. I would hope that there would be some agreement over a period of time and the federal government will realize that these people functioning in that court should be appointed by the province.

The other thing in all of this is that there is a feeling as well that the people appointed by the province -- whether we’re talking about the criminal division or the provincial division -- were inferior to those appointed at the county court level; and that the county court people appointed by the federal government are inferior to the Supreme Court level people. It used to be that way; I think there is very little doubt, as one who has practised in the courts, that there was a division. The brighter, more competent people usually ended up at a superior level.

The fact remains there’s been a tremendous improvement in the calibre of appointments. One of the reasons, of course, is that the salary, the remuneration, for people at the provincial level has changed drastically. I can recall it was just a few years ago that provincial judges were paid $9,000, $10,000 or $12,000 a year, whereas their confreres at a higher level -- county or even Supreme Court -- were sometimes paid three and four times that amount.

So I think there has been that improvement and that has helped to draw in more competent people at the provincial level. But I think that as the gap between these three levels of the courts narrows -- it really has -- we will reach :a point where the appointments whether they are at the unified family court level or the Supreme Court level, are appointments of individuals of equal talent; and whether the individuals end up in one court or the other will depend very often on the type of background they’ve got or on a particular desire to serve in one court as opposed to another.

But I do say, and I want to emphasize it again, I think it is important that this problem be resolved. And I really have some difficulty in understanding the intransigence of the federal government in not being more flexible in this area.

Having said this about the competence of judges and the feeling that certain judges at a superior level feel that they are more competent than others, it leads me to another point in the legislation which is of concern -- and I have discussed it with the Attorney General -- and that is section 5. I discussed this matter with the Attorney General and as I understand it section 5(1) will be stricken from the bill.

I found it to be offensive to some degree to the new unified family court where you had a situation where you could, in fact, go to a Supreme Court judge and say to him that “this matter involves important questions of law or related to other important issues which are extremely wide,” and you could say to him, “I think that this matter should be taken away from a unified family court and should be heard in the Supreme Court.”

I frankly thought it was a definition which was, first of all, somewhat offensive to the new unified family court; and secondly, much too wide. It could be used, for instance, by litigants who had sufficient funds to stall proceedings. Who would it benefit, again? It would be the litigant who has sufficient funds to bring on this type of motion.

And so I am pleased -- and I take it that it is still his policy -- that the Attorney General will remove this section from the bill; because I think if we are going to start an experiment let’s see if it works, let’s not start off an experiment by saying right away, when we get into important issues: “Take it away from the unified court and take it to another forum.”

I think that section should be removed and I am anxious to hear the Attorney General in fact, confirm that it will be. I really feel that there are appeal procedures. In fact, one of the appeal procedures, if that was the mood of the drafters of the bill, was that if there are important questions of law they could have a sort of stated case type of approach to it; if they weren’t satisfied with a decision they could have taken a stated case as we do on summary conviction. But the present drafting of section 5(1) I think is not adequate.

I like what is mentioned in section 5(3) -- that the parties can, for all intents and purposes, consent that the court may determine certain matters which may well exceed the jurisdiction of the court -- these are all matters which simplify things and which are much needed in the administration of justice in this province.

Apart from some of these brief comments, the other thing I wanted to mention about the bill is, of course, that this type of court will be operating without a jury. All issues and matters as referred to in the schedule in the region of Hamilton-Wentworth -- all matters under, for instance, The Divorce Act, The Juvenile Delinquency Act, reciprocal enforcement of maintenance orders; all this -- by and large family matters -- are dealt with without a jury. That is why it is important to have qualified people on that court. Because in most matters, whether it be criminal or civil, there is still this right to jury, but it is a known fact that in family law, by and large, we try to stay away from jury trials. Having said this, not having the right to have a jury decide the issues it’s then important, of course to have competent judges looking at these issues; and further that these judges have access to experts or to people who have some experience, not only in the field of law but in the field of social services, psychiatry and so on, to be of assistance to them.

Apart from these very brief comments my only concern -- and I think I’ve mentioned it to the Attorney General -- is section 24 where it says “it shall be repealed in three years.” I would have been more optimistic than that. I would have hoped that this experiment did not have to go three years, but that, in fact, we would be in a position to judge the effectiveness of this experiment in a much sooner period of time than three years. I would hope that the problems about the appointment of judges would have been resolved in a more expedient period than three years and I’m still optimistic about that.

The administration of justice requires an awful lot of co-operation between the province and the federal government, and that’s in all fields. For instance, even in the field of family law, The Divorce Act is a federal statute but the administration of it is going to be provincial under this legislation. So that by and large in our laws, criminal and so on, where the federal government is, in fact, passing the laws and the province is in charge of the administration and the enforcement of these laws, it requires very close cooperation. I would hope that it will not take three years before the federal government and the province resolve some of the disagreements or some of the difficulties and have once and for all in this province a unfiled family court right across the whole province. Thank you Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Does any other member wish to participate? The hon. member for Beaches-Woodbine.

Ms. Bryden: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. We are certainly strongly in support of this bill, as my colleague has indicated. In my comments on the family law reform bill, I stressed that we needed more programmes to build up the institution of marriage itself, instead of just providing for the division of property and the rights of the spouses on marriage breakdown.

Many of us in this party felt that the thrust of that bill was rather too negative and that the government should be developing policies to help spouses and families to solve their problems and to strengthen their marriage, and we feel that this legislation is one step in this direction.

In that previous debate I also expressed considerable concern about the emphasis on the use of court procedures and the adversarial system in the implementation of family law reform. Litigation over property and assets can be very divisive and make reconciliation attempts more difficult. We hope that the unified family court will get away from the adversary approach. For this reason we welcome any attempt to humanize our court procedures. The concept of the unified family court seems to be a move in the right direction.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Will that gaggle of members down at the far end of the chamber keep their voices down please?

Ms. Bryden: We are glad that it was finally possible to work out the jurisdictional problems with the federal government; although they are not entirely worked out, as the preceding speakers have indicated. We hope it will be possible to bring together the various kinds of actions and procedures so that family problems will not be treated in isolated boxes but looked at as a whole.

We hope the province will not wait for the full three-year period which has been announced for this pilot project in Hamilton-Wentworth before it makes an evaluation and decides whether to proceed with the unified family court in other areas of the province. It seems to me it would be very unfortunate if the residents of this province outside of Hamilton and that area have to continue with the divisive atmosphere of adversary litigation in family matters in the regular courts for several years to come.


With regard to costs, we don’t know how much extra the unified family court will require until we see the estimates. I would hope that some false notion of restraint does not inhibit the establishment of further unified family courts. I am sure that if one studies the effect of their actions, in the long run we will find that a unified family court will actually bring us savings of both an economic and a social nature, in the costs which result from family breakdowns.

It is false economy to delay the establishment of machinery and of systems which will play what we hope is a preventive role and which will, in some ways, build up rather than foster the breakdown of marriages. We support this attempt to modernize and humanize our judicial system.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Does any other member wish to participate? The hon. member for Wentworth.

Mr. Deans: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have very little to say after hearing both my colleagues; one analysed the bill very nicely, the other set out --


Mr. Deans: Is that a nervous twitch? The other put before us the more human aspects of marriage breakdown.

I want to say that what was said by my colleague for Beaches-Woodbine is something that many people, I am sure, in the Legislature share concern over -- that is trying to make the institution of marriage more manageable rather than continuing with the deterioration that has been evident over the last number of years. I think in general that we in the Hamilton-Wentworth area are pleased that the area was chosen for the pilot project, given that we hope it isn’t because we have a larger number of marriage breakdowns in that area but rather because we represent, in a general sort of a way, what the province of Ontario is facing as the people attempt to find solutions to very difficult problems.

The comments I have heard with regard to the unified court range all the way from -- I think to some extent they are born out of frustration because many of the comments have been made by people who have been through or are in the process of going through the existing court structure in an effort to resolve a marital dispute -- they range all the way from a cautious optimism on the one hand to an understandable scepticism on the other.

People are cautiously optimistic that this will bring about a much more humane way of dealing with problems which are very personal in nature. It will avoid, hopefully, the continuous and long drawn out process which causes a great deal of hardship to both parties in the dispute and not only to them but to their families. It causes a great deal of upset and worry to the parties involved and for the children there are even more problems and more concern.

I think it’s unfortunate that people in a marriage breakdown are required to air their differences in public at all. I really do. Again, we get to the problem that it’s unfortunate we can’t agree to disagree and go our separate ways, having the matter dealt with in a much more realistic and sensitive way. However, the law being as it now is and the adversary system -- which will be maintained even in the unified family court -- continuing as it has, one can only hope that the very atmosphere of the family court itself will be cause for a more balanced approach to the resolution of their disputes.

One can hope the years of experience which have gone into the family court and the way in which it has dealt with problems which came before it will prove to be a good catalyst for the finding of ways, wherever possible, for people to go their separate ways without the degree of animosity, distrust and hatred which has been revealed I think it was there in any event, not I think the court system’s delays which were encountered in trying to finalize property separations and other matters, added substantially to the frustrations felt by people. Once they had made the initial break, once they had decided that their lives could no longer be lived together they then found that the courts frustrated their attempts to make the separation. They were dragged, month after month and in some cases year after year, through a number of processes and through different courts in order to find satisfactory resolutions to their difficulties.

I am pleased that the federal government finally has agreed with the provincial government to arrange that the jurisdiction can be shared in this preliminary way. I am hoping, as I believe the member for Ottawa East said, that we will be able to see very clearly, well before the three-year period is up, the benefits that will flow will be evident in the ease with which these matters -- “ease” is the wrong word, in fact; I think the delicacy or the concern with which matters can be dealt with in a family court rather than in the courts in which these were previously dealt with.

I hope too that the end result of it will be that we will see this particular policy adopted across the province of Ontario and beyond, and the federal government will take the initiative to institute elsewhere, on the basis of this model, a court system that will perhaps begin to deal with the human and emotional problems that flow from what are very personal matters, rather than simply dealing in a very legalistic way with the entitlements without giving adequate and due consideration to the concerns and the general well-being, emotionally and physically, of the parties involved.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Does any other member wish to participate? If not, the hon. minister.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to have the benefit of the wisdom of my colleagues in the Legislature. I am always pleased to receive constitutional advice from the member for Riverdale; and although I am always pleased to receive it, of course it doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree with it.

The member for Riverdale referred, I think, to the adoption reference before the Supreme Court of Canada. I would just like to comment briefly on this constitutional dilemma, particularly as it was alleged that the province of Ontario was allowing the federal government to further infringe upon the position of the province in relation to provincial rights under the constitution.

I should point out to the member for Riverdale that there is absolutely nothing we can do by provincial legislation, of course, to give property jurisdiction or divorce to our courts or to this unified family court. I think all members would agree that these matters are fundamental to a truly unified family court. It is true, while the province may have legislative jurisdiction over property, we still can do nothing to assign these subjects for adjudication to our provincial courts. That, of course, was the dilemma with which we were faced.

We have not capitulated to the federal government, and I must take strong issue with any suggestion to that effect. We could have gone on for n considerable period of time debating the constitutional issue and who has the appointing power. It certainly was hoped that the federal government would agree to dual appointments, and we feel this would have been constitutionally valid. In the interests of proceeding with this very important project, we agreed simply to a compromise, a very reasonable compromise, whereby the federal government would confer section 96 jurisdiction on members of the provincial judiciary. In our view, this was a very reasonable solution to a problem and a controversy that could have delayed the initiation of this project for many months. In British Columbia, in that great social democratic haven as it once was --

Mr. Deans: It still is.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: -- they chose to solve the constitutional issue by what I must refer to, with respect, as a very Mickey Mouse approach. They decided they would solve this constitutional issue by establishing a so-called unified family court, which involved sort of an elaborate game of musical chairs. They’d have a provincially appointed judge dealing with certain matters of the same family dispute but when it fell within section 96 of the constitution, they’d move in a federally appointed judge. They had, I think, the rather impractical situation of judges sort of playing this game of musical chairs in order to apply the necessary jurisdiction to the various issues which might arise in one family dispute. It was a Mickey Mouse approach from what some might say, rather unkindly, was a Mickey Mouse government.

Mr. Roy: Not the NDP.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: The people recognized this fact and, of course, in its wisdom the population replaced the government. Unfortunately, the Mickey Mouse project remained and, in our view this simply is not in the interest of the population, of the citizens, in relation to a truly unified family court.

Mr. Deans: You’re basically a nasty fellow.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Not at all. We have worked out a very rational compromise and I hope it will not be long before the federal government, if I may paraphrase the member for Ottawa East, will perhaps reassess its position and recognize the wisdom of cooperating fully with the province in extending this very important project across the province. I hope the three-year period we have given this pilot project will be an outside figure and we may be able to move across the province at an earlier time.

I was interested in hearing the views -- I think the very important views -- of the member for Beaches-Woodbine in respect to the desirability, with which I fully agree, of removing the adversarial character from the family courts wherever possible. I would like to say to the member for Beaches-Woodbine that one of the very important features of this project is a conciliation service which will be a part of the court. It’s planned that we’re going to have two full-time conciliators on staff who will be available to assist in all civil cases. There will also be pre-trial procedures on a voluntary basis which, again hopefully, will have the effect of removing the adversarial character wherever possible and wherever it is in the interest of the parties and, of course, in the interest of justice to do so.

There can be no question that Hamilton-Wentworth as suggested, is economically, certainly, a typical cross-section of the Ontario population. It represents, I think, a useful mix of urban and rural areas with a very large industrial city at its centre. We believe, as has been recognized, that it is indeed a good setting for the development of a court which, hopefully, will he expanded in the near future across the rest of the province.

I’m also pleased to note that the bar, the practising lawyers, in Hamilton have expressed support for this project and have indicated their desire and willingness to utilize the project and its support services.


Again, coming back to the remarks of the member for Ottawa East, I was very interested in and receptive to his comments in relation to section 5 of the bill which, as presently drafted, would allow any party to the proceedings to apply to the Supreme Court, where in that party’s view the issues involved important questions of law or were related to other important issues, to remove the proceedings from the unified family court.

I did agree with the member for Ottawa East that this, firstly, could serve to undermine the stature of this unified family court and, secondly, could be a tool to be used by one or other party -- perhaps the party that was in a better economic position -- to delay proceedings by attempting to move matters out of the unified family court into the Supreme Court. Therefore, I have responded to his concerns, which on reflection became my concerns, and we do intend to propose an amendment to remove subsections 1 and 2 of section 5 from the bill.

In conclusion, I am grateful for the general support by the members of the Legislature for this important legislation with respect to this pilot or developmental project, because I agree it is a very important step forward in terms of reforming our whole approach to family law, both from the actual statutory law on the one hand and, on the other hand, the form that is going to be utilized to resolve these unhappy matters.

Motion agreed to.

Ordered for committee of the whole House.


Hon. Mr. McMurtry moved second reading of Bill 190, An Act to amend The Judicature Act.

Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, I don’t think the discussion on this bill will be very long. As the Attorney General has explained, we are losing one Supreme Court judge, who is going on the commission to look at the Reed Paper matter, and this bill will allow the appointment of one further Supreme Court judge.

I think all members, including the Attorney General, will join with me in saying that I trust the person who is appointed to replace Mr. Justice Patrick Hartt will be of equal calibre, because he is a man whose stature will not only be seen on this Reed Paper inquiry, but whose absence from the Supreme Court will be missed. If we can do nothing else, we simply wish the Attorney General of Canada, who actually is going to be making this appointment will make an appointment of a stature equal to that of Mr. Justice Patrick Hartt.

If I might speak on one thing that is completely out of order to this bill, I would again plead with the Attorney General that one thing I would like to see amended in The Judicature Act is the interest rate on judgements; it is absolutely ludicrous and I would have liked to have seen it changed in this bill.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, we support the principle of the bill. I would like to ask the Attorney General, since this is not a money bill -- the government of Canada pays their salaries and, therefore, it would be quite appropriate even for us to introduce it -- whether be might consider raising the number from 36 to 40. I was thinking that perhaps the threesome on the front bench of the Liberal Party might be glad to vacate their seats. I was thinking of the member for Wilson Heights, the member for Sarnia and

Mr. Ruston: How about you?

Mr. Renwick: -- perhaps the member who has just spoken on this bill.

Mr. Roy: I don’t even have my QC yet.

Mr. Renwick: It would be another first for the member for Ottawa East

Mr. Ruston: Pay for the telegram, Jim, and we will recommend you.

Mr. Renwick: I wonder whether the Attorney General would put the bill into committee of the whole House so that we could increase the number from 36 to 40 and add a conditional clause: provided those three members were appointed by their party to the court. We could have three by-elections, the business of the House would be expedited and it would be a useful test as to the result of the next election.

Mr. Roy: Not at all.

Mr. Renwick: So I urgently request consideration by the Attorney General of that suggestion. Otherwise, we’re in agreement with the bill.

Mr. Roy: Can I get up on a point of privilege seeing that I have been somewhat maligned?

Mr. Moffatt: We will put you in first place instead of fifth.

Mr. Roy: As much as these three appointments would enhance the Supreme Court of Ontario, I think the total void caused by the appointments in this House could not be tolerated or accepted.

Mr. Speaker: In the Christmas spirit, I’ll not scold the hon. member.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, I have just been whispered to by a friend who would like to make it 41.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Just to respond to the very worthwhile suggestion from the member for Riverdale, it is something I certainly will take under advisement. I’d like to reflect upon it over the winter and perhaps it might be an appropriate amendment in the spring.

Motion agreed to.

Ordered for third reading.


The following bill was given third reading on motion:

Bill 190, An Act to amend The Judicature Act.


House in committee on Bill 189, An Act to establish the Unified Family Court.

Sections 1 to 4, inclusive, agreed to.

On section 5:

Mr. Chairman: Hon. Mr. McMurtry moves that section 5(1) and (2) of the bill be deleted and further moves that section 5(3) be amended by striking out the word “a” before “judge” in the sixth line and inserting in lieu thereof “the.”

Mr. Renwick: I would say we would support the amendment and the proposal that was made a few moments ago by the member for Ottawa East in connection with that matter for the reasons which he gave. I would assume that during the operation of the unified family court in Hamilton-Wentworth if there are such matters and if it were important that the jurisdiction not he exercised by the unified family court, they would come up in such a way that there would be some method by which a superior court could intervene in any event.

Rather than to invite applications to the Supreme Court on such questions we agree with the deletion of the provision and the amendment proposed by the Attorney General which reflects the proposal made by the member for Ottawa East.

Mr. Roy: I appreciate the comment from my colleague from Riverdale. I say to the Attorney General I think we discussed this matter yesterday and I appreciate his astuteness, I suppose I should say, in having verified this with the officials and realizing that in the process of an experiment we should not start by second-guessing the unified family court. I think what we’re seeing here basically is, again, a process of consultation and cooperation among the three parties here in acquiescing to an amendment which we feel will make a better experiment and make a better bill.

Motion agreed to.

Section 5, as amended, agreed to.

Sections 6 to 8, inclusive, agreed to.

On section 9:

Mr. Renwick: This is not by way of any criticism of the proceedings, simply to ask the Attorney General to comment about the closed hearings. I recognize the conflicting balance of interests which are involved as well as anyone does in such matters as this, but I think it is important that the Attorney General comment about it because of the departure from the tradition of the courts that the courts be held openly.

It’s my understanding at the present time that only the provincial courts, family division, dealing with respect to juvenile matters, in fact are closed. I may be wrong in that but I know they are closed for that purpose, whereas this provision provides for closed hearings for, for all practical purposes, all cases that come before that court. Therefore, it does seem to me that it requires some comment.

I can’t concede there would be very many cases before the unified family court which would not involve the possibility of the disclosure of intimate financial or personal matters and that, therefore, what we are really talking about is a closed court.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I might point out to the member for Riverdale -- and he may be quite aware of this fact -- that there is a similar section in The Deserted Wives’ and Children’s Maintenance Act. It’s also our view that a court does have an inherent jurisdiction in relation to closed proceedings. This matter’s been the subject of a great deal of judicial comment because basically or fundamentally a court does have control over its own proceedings. I think The Judicature Act allows closed hearings in the interests of public morals, which is rather an interesting phrase, and, as the member for Riverdale points out, the juvenile hearings are required to be closed under The Juvenile Delinquents Act.

We felt it was desirable, notwithstanding the inherent jurisdiction, to put a specific section in the bill, because I think the recognition by every judge of the desirability of holding judicial hearings in public is fundamental. We’ve attempted to direct their attention to this fundamental fact, although we don’t express it in so many words, by stating “where ... the desirability of protecting against the consequences of public disclosure of intimate financial or personal matters outweighs the desirability of holding the hearing in public.

I’m confident that our judges do recognize the wisdom and the fundamental importance of wherever possible in the majority of cases, except for cases involving juveniles, of holding hearings in public and that they will interpret this section in a responsible fashion and only close the proceedings where the desirability of holding the hearing in public is clearly outweighed by these other considerations. I would hope this section would not be used by the judiciary to virtually treat this court as a closed court.


Mr. Roy: I think I should make a few comments on that. I’d underline that section as well about exclusion of the public and I share the concerns of my colleagues on the exclusion of the public. As you know, our courts in Ontario, by and large, with few exceptions, are open courts and we want to keep it that way. I realize that when we’re dealing with family problems we need a section like this. The reason I feel I’m prepared to go along with the section is that this is an experiment and hopefully we will not see this section used -- or abused, I should say -- by the judiciary.

Nevertheless, one always has to comment when there is that inherent power given to the court to exclude the public from the proceedings. As an aside, recently a Supreme Court judge, I think, determined the question of the sanity or insanity of a particular accused in one of the criminal courts from which the public was excluded and we saw the public outcry. The Globe and Mail had an editorial about it, the determination of certain issues or a very serious crime in which the full determination was made with the exclusion of the public.

I want to say to the Attorney General, this being an aside, that I discussed with him in the estimates the inherent power of judges to exclude the public, I was told, I think, at that time by your officials and by you that a fudge had no inherent power -- either inherent power or under the Criminal Code -- to exclude the public from a criminal proceeding. I thought there was and apparently Judge Sam Hughes -- I think it was -- in that case also did. It would be interesting to note under what section he made his decision to exclude the public.

Anyway, I make these comments to express my concern as well about the right to exclude the public.

Section 9 agreed to.

On section 10:

Mr. Roy: I must admit that I am trying to understand the reason for this section in the bill. As I read the bill, under section 5, subsection 3 -- in the new bill, I take it, it will have just section 5 because subsections 1 and 2 have been excluded from the bill -- there is a provision that with the consent of the parties, you can hear certain matters that are not within the jurisdiction of the court. Then we go to section 10 which states, “Where a proceeding has commenced in the court in a matter respecting which jurisdiction may not be exercised by the court, the court may order by or to whom the cost of the proceeding shall be paid.”

What is the necessity of this section? I have always understood that under The Judicature Act there is inherent jurisdiction on the question of costs in the court. I see the Attorney General shaking his head. Maybe he can correct me on this. I always thought that by and large the question of costs was something that was always inherent in the court; that this was a discretion to be exercised by the presiding judge. That was the first thing -- why is it necessary to have this section?

The second thing is -- aren’t we being somewhat contradictory. On the one hand we encourage parties to get along and to consent to the jurisdiction, all with the idea of making this unified family court work, trying to expedite the process, I suppose reducing the number of forms is really the reason for this unified family court. Yet we have another section which says if someone uses this forum for a question which is not within the jurisdiction of the court, the court shall determine the question of costs. I’m at a bit of a loss. I’d like some explanation from the Attorney General on the necessity for this section in this bill.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: First of all, it is my understanding that there is no such inherent jurisdiction in a court to award costs unless the court is specifically authorized. The section is in there simply to provide relief to litigants who may be brought to that court for -- well, he might have malicious motives or other motives that are not in the interests of justice. There is no inherent jurisdiction. Of course, we recognize that costs are always a matter of discretion for the judge, so the authority to award costs dues not necessarily mean, as I am sure the member for Ottawa East fully appreciates, that there will be costs awarded.

It is our view that this court should have the authority to award costs in the appropriate case, where the court does not have jurisdiction. Otherwise it is open to individuals, particularly in matrimonial matters where there is generally bad feelings between the parties, to perhaps engage in some form of abuse of the process. We just want to ensure that the court does have jurisdiction to award costs where it clearly does not have jurisdiction, and again, assuming that that jurisdiction will be exercised responsibly and only where the circumstances clearly warrant the awarding of costs.

Mr. Roy: If I might just comment briefly, I must admit that on reading section 7, subsection 2, where it says a whole series of sections from The Judicature Act will be applicable, I had presumed that one of those sections was dealing with costs. I thought if there was some section in The Judicature Act which in fact gave the power to the court on the question of costs that it would have been simpler just to include that section in section 7, subsection 2, rather than put in a section 10 which specifically talks about the awarding of costs should one be using the wrong form. That was my only reason for concern. I admit again that I have not read all of sections 27, 35, 38, 41, 80, 82 and 119 of The Judicature Act, but I had presumed that one of those sections was in fact dealing with costs.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Section 82 of The Judicature Act, which we have incorporated in this legislation, just simply states that the costs are within the discretion of the judge. It doesn’t give the court jurisdiction to award costs. As I understand it, there is no section in The Judicature Act that can be incorporated or adopted in this Act that will give this unified family court the jurisdiction without section 10.

Section 10 agreed to.

Sections 11 to 14, inclusive, agreed to.

On section 15:

Mr. Renwick: With your indulgence, my comment on section 15 is, while I think it’s quite appropriate that this Act should so state, whether it doesn’t require an amendment to The Criminal Code of Canada to include within the definition of “magistrate,” under the Criminal Code and again under The Juvenile Delinquents Act of the federal government, an enlargement of the definition.

Rather than try to recall it by memory, I asked for and have just received Martin’s Criminal Code, which states that a magistrate means a magistrate, a police magistrate, a stipendiary magistrate, a district magistrate, a provincial magistrate, a judge of the sessions of the peace, a recorder or any person having the power and authority of two or more justices of the peace. It includes with respect to the province of Ontario, and I’ll skip the other provinces, a judge of the provincial court.

I think it’s interesting that these judges are now county court judges for practical purposes. I would think, subject to what your law officers might advise, you should request an amendment to the Criminal Code to make certain that the definition of the term “magistrate” in the Code includes a judge of this unified family court, or you may find for juvenile court purposes as well as for the Criminal Code that it may not be apt.

If the chairman will give me a moment, I’ll just have a look at The Juvenile Delinquents Act of Canada. It provides that a magistrate, with a couple of exceptions, means two or more justices of the peace and also a police magistrate, a stipendiary magistrate and any other person having the power or authority of two or more justices of the peace. I raise it only because it may be something that your law officers may want to look into. It would appear to me on first brush at least that it would require a correlative amendment to the Criminal Code and The Juvenile Delinquents Act of Canada.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I appreciate the hon. Member’s comments. This is a matter that has been considered by my senior law officers. The provision in section 15 also appears in The Provincial Courts Act. It’s our view that the jurisdiction of the magistrate under the Criminal Code can be exercised by a unified family court judge without any amendment to the Criminal Code. I think parts 16 and 24 of the Code cover this matter. But it’s a matter that I’m advised has been thought through by our senior law officers.

Mr. Renwick: I’m certainly not going to labour it. I just think that since the Code itself has the limited meaning given to it and specifically provides that a magistrate does include a judge of the provincial court, it may or may not be so here. I just raised it as a matter of curiosity that went through my mind.

Section 15 agreed to.

Section 16 agreed to.

On section 17:

Mr. Renwick: I can well understand the purposes of the conciliation service that may be established, maintained or operated as part of the court. I don’t know just quite whether it is intended to extend the use of the detention and observation home as a method of settling marital discord problems as well. But I did think it might be a helpful innovation.

Section 17 agreed to.

Section 18 agreed to.

On section 19:

Mr. Roy: This might sound very mundane or I might be accused of acting like Gordon Sinclair in making comments on section 19. But once the judge has taken the oath of office, how do we address him now in that court? There are all sorts of titles. Do we call him “your worship,” “your honour,” “your lordship” or “your graciousness”? How are we going to address the judge of the unified family court? I’m sure the members of the bar will be interested in this.


Mr. Breithaupt: Just call him David.

Mr. Roy: And secondly, who is going to pay him?

Mr. Nixon: Just don’t call him.

Mr. Roy: Seeing that it’s a provincial judge with powers under section 96 of the BNA Act, is it the feds that are going to pay him or are you going to pay him? Thirdly, how much is he going to be paid -- important things, Mr. Chairman. Is he going to be paid under the provincial court scale or is he going to be paid under the county court scale or tinder the Supreme Court scale? These are all important things for us more mundane and lowly members of the bar.

Mr. Nixon: Let’s see, Don Collins got $60,000 so we will start there.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: First of all, these people are technically county court judges although they would be specifically sworn in as judges of this unified family court so, of course, they’d therefore be addressed as “your honour.” As the member for Ottawa East knows, our provincial magistrates became provincial court judges a few years ago and became “your honours” in place of “your worships.”

They will be paid at the county court level, because that’s a requirement under the federal legislation. The federal government has suggested to us that we might pick up part of the salaries, but we felt that in view of the fact that it was an exercise of their appointing power, albeit at our request, that they should have the honour of paying the total salaries.

Mr. Roy: They?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: The federal government.

Mr. Roy: Will be paying the salaries? Of these judges?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: That’s my understanding at the present time -- yes, these judges will be paid at the county court level.

Section 19 agreed to.

Sections 20 to 23, inclusive, agreed to.

On section 24:

Mr. Renwick: I am just curious as to the self-destruct provision. Is it the intention that by that time this experiment will either have been a success or a failure? Or is it what I would hope it would be, that it’s a three-year period for the court to be established, to understand its workings so that there would be across the province at that point in time a unified family court system?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: The legislation is really framed as a developmental project, so it’s our view there should be a time frame prescribed in the legislation -- although the legislation I should hasten to add is also drafted so that it could substantially apply to a unified family court system across the province with very few changes. But in view of the fact it is a developmental project or pilot project, there is the view that there should be a time period.

We are hoping the project, as I indicated earlier, will have proved itself within the three-year period and it may be we can extend this project across the province before the end of three years. As to what happens at the end of three years if the appropriate parties aren’t satisfied the project has totally proved itself or it has not proved itself, of course we will have to cross that bridge when we come to it.

It may be that the project may have to be extended, but I prefer to adopt the role of an optimist and suggest that within three years, in a period of time shorter than three years, the project will have proved itself to the point whereby it can be extended across the province.

Section 24 agreed to.

On section 25:

Mr. Renwick: What is the intention of the Attorney General with respect to the proclamation of the Act?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I perhaps may have to consult further with my senior law officers, but I would hope the Act would be proclaimed at the beginning of the year.

Mr. Renwick: The beginning of the year?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Yes.

Mr. Renwick: I just have one minor comment on the schedule. I recognize I skipped it at the point in time where a reference was made to the schedule in the body of the Act, but I would hope in view of the tragic circumstances of the Norma Dean death that the Attorney General would, in consultation with his other colleagues in the appropriate field, deal with that whole question of section 9 of The Training Schools Act which is one portion of the jurisdiction conferred on the unified family court.

I recognize, of course, that the other courts still have that jurisdiction. It does seem to me that when one recalls what the Provincial Secretary for Social Development (Mrs. Birch), your colleague, said yesterday, that the terms of reference for her study did not include section 9, I would hope that the Attorney General would interest himself in the applicability at this point in time in Ontario of having section 9 in The Training Schools Act at all.

Bill 189, as amended, reported.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Chairman, I understand there is some question as to whether or not we may complete the legislative order paper this afternoon. There has been agreement to stack all votes on these bills and hold the vote tomorrow at 3 p.m. if there is no objection.

Mr. Deans: I have no objection to doing that.

Mr. Breithaupt: We will agree to that, Mr. Chairman.


House in committee on Bill 171, The Funeral Services Act, 1976.

On section 2:

Mr. Wiseman: Section 2(a) --

Mr. Deans: On a point of order, I think my colleague probably has something ahead of that section, if you don’t mind.

Mr. Moffatt: Mr. Chairman, I was --

Mr. Breithaupt: You are going to have to speak a little more loudly.

Mr. Moffatt: Mr. Chairman, I went to section 2 and you asked if there were comments ahead of mine. I would like this time to make a brief comment and then I have nothing before section 2. I did wish at this point to comment though --

Mr. Chairman: On what section?

Mr. Moffatt: On the general section; the bill.

Mr. Chairman: No, there is no general discussion. If you have a specific reference to a specific section of the bill you may do so as long as it is prior to section 2(2)(a).

Mr. Moffatt: Thank you Mr. Chairman. There is no provision for any kind of general discussion at this point?

Mr. Chairman: No.

Section 1 agreed to.

On section 2:

Mr. Bounsall: On section 2, subsection 1. The comment I would like to make on this is the name of the board being the board of funeral services. It is a very small point but once this is named I would assume that is the name of that board. If one is looking for it in a phone book in the city of Toronto, for example, where the board exists, it will be in the phone book as the Board of Funeral Services. Very few people will think to look for the Funeral Services Board, which it will be affectionately called, under B for board instead of under F for funeral services.

I put this to the parliamentary assistant. In terms of clarity and ease of finding the various boards and commissions we have around the province, it might be best -- this would be an example of it -- to call it the Funeral Services Board, so it is listed where most people would expect to find it in directories and in telephone books rather than under board.

Mr. Breithaupt: Perhaps Bell telephone can do something with that.

Mr. B. Newman: If I may, we can resolve the problem by listing it both ways in the telephone directory and in that way you won’t have problems.

Mr. Good: For 40 years it has been listed in the telephone book as the board of administration --

Mr. Bounsall: It is very difficult to find.

Mr. Good: -- and I am sure that people who wanted to know and wanted to get hold of the board would find out how to get it. If they have been able to get under Board of Administration I am sure it will be infinitely easier to find it under Board of Funeral Services than under Board of Administration.

Mr. Wiseman: Mr. Chairman, I agree with the member opposite, I believe the Bell Telephone company will look after it and, if need be, they can list it both ways.

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Wiseman moves that clause (a) of subsection 2 of section 2 of the bill be amended by striking out the words “at least” in the first line.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Moffatt: Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment to section 2(2).

Mr. Good: Mr. Chairman, on a point of order. Could I have your ruling? I also have an amendment to section 2(2)(b). I understand, according to advance copies of the amendments by the member who is presently speaking, that he had amendments to both clauses (a) and (b); they would, in effect, be affecting the same section I wish to amend later. Would you rule whether we will deal with both of his amendments first and then with mine or in some other way?

Mr. Chairman: What does your amendment deal with?

Mr. Good: Section 2(2)(b).

Mr. Chairman: What we should do first, then, is dispose of the first half of the amendment, dealing with section 2(2)(a) first.

Mr. Moffatt: What are you suggesting we do, Mr. Chairman? That we split that particular amendment?

Mr. Chairman: Yes.

Mr. Moffatt: Mr. Chairman, they’re interrelated. The amendment I have sent you deals with section 2(2), clauses (a) and (b); they are dependent upon each other. If you take one away, then obviously you affect both of the amendments.

Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Chairman, perhaps we could agree that when that amendment is put, my colleague from Waterloo North could put his amendment to section 2(2)(b) and the section will not have been deemed to have carried. The matter could be resolved that way.

Mr. Chairman: Does that have the agreement of the committee? Agreed.

Mr. Moffatt moves that section 2(2) of the bill be amended in clause (a) by deleting “five” in the first line and inserting in lieu thereof “five,” and in clause (b) by deleting “two” in the first line and inserting in lieu thereof “five” and by adding at the end thereof “chosen from among persons nominated by the Consumers’ Association of Canada.”

Mr. Moffatt: Mr. Chairman, the reason for this amendment we feel is self-explanatory. There is one thing that we’re concerned about with in terms of the way this Act is proceeding through this House, in addition to what, in my opinion, is the undue haste. We attempted, during second reading debate, to have it delayed so there could be a full and open discussion of the entire bill. But at this point, without having had that discussion, we feel it is mandatory that the House make provision for a number of people who are not members of the profession of funeral directors to be able to have input into the operation of this particular Act.

Whether one plays with a number and says two for five, three for five or whatever, I think makes very little difference. What is important is that this bill, rightly so, is attempting to put forward a control over that industry which, according to the people involved in the profession, they have requested and which they wish. What we are suggesting is that that particular kind of control and direction which is going to be given to the profession will be given, not only by those people who tend to profit from it but by those people in a greater sense who tend to be the customers of this particular profession.


What we are attempting to do is to make sure that there is adequate provision for the consuming public to have a position on such a board so that it will become responsive to the public at large.

What we feel should happen is that initially there should have been a much broader discussion. But if that discussion is not going to be held, then obviously we must accept to make sure that those points are noted by the government and by the third party.

Mr. Good: I think we have covered this point during second reading of the bill, but I think it is very important to have lay people on the board. It is a matter that has come into great prevalence in the last 10 years particularly, where the public is invited to join boards.

Mr. Chairman: A play on words, I take it.

Mr. Good: Right. The public is invited to be on these boards and contribute a great deal. Some people had been critical of the fact that the Board of Funeral Services will have on it licensed persons under the Act. Let me say again the necessity for this is simply in the fact that the work load of this board deals more with the technical matters of governing the conduct of the funeral home, the matters relating to examination, setting of exams and marking of papers, and appearing on the advisory committee of the school which trains the embalmers who are hired under this Act. These matters take up a good portion of the time of that board.

We presently have a lay person on the board. I have spoken to her and she indicated to me that she finds her services are very limited because she feels her purpose there is primarily to deal with complaints by the public. Most of the complaints we hear are generalized complaints by the members of the Memorial Society who up to now have seen fit only to lodge one formal complaint in the last 15 years against a funeral director with the hoard. That tells me that the hoard is doing a good job of policing the funeral homes across this province.

If someone has an indication that the board is not doing a good job, let him go and tell the board. Under this new statute, there will even be provision for an appeal to a review committee of any complaint, if they feel the board has not dealt with it properly, made up completely of members of the public. I don’t know what could be fairer than that. I have spoken to board members and I have spoken to the registrar and also the lay person on the board, and the work load on that board would be intolerable if there were only two funeral directors on it. We cannot support a five to two split, the opposite of what it is now. I will give reasons later why we would support my amendment which would add one more lay person.

I want to add one other thing. Making it mandatory that representatives of the Consumers’ Association of Canada be put on this board, I think defeats the whole idea of having the public represented on this board. When you get a special interest group represented on a board, you might as well say there should be one from labour, there should be one plumber, one electrician, one from here, and one from another association, a lawyer and all the rest of it.

Mr. Deans: It makes a lot of sense.

Mr. Good: Really there are a lot of good people in this province who choose not to belong to any kind of association, with all due respect to the Consumers’ Association of Canada. I just feel that this amendment would completely destroy the whole principle of the bill and we will not support it.

Mr. Drea: I have some very fundamental concerns about exactly why there is so much attention directed to the board of funeral directors. The only reason this statute is before us is that there have been changes bringing in public and lay members to governing bodies of other professions in the health field. Frankly I don’t think -- in fact I’m sure -- that had it not been for previous statutes covering the boards of medicine, pharmacy, nursing, dentistry, et cetera, this would not be before us at this time. It concerns me that the rationale for treating this profession differently to other professions within the ambit of the regulatory authority of the Ministry of Health is somehow the innuendo and I emphasize innuendo --

Mr. Foulds: You would.

Mr. Drea: -- that there is something that needs such an extraordinary reversal of government policy.

That concerns me a great deal and I’m opposed to this because I have had considerable experience in the consumer field. I have had considerable experience with the funeral industry.

Mr. Moffatt: Mr. Chairman, on a point of order.

Mr. Chairman: There’s no point of order.

Mr. Moffatt: Mr. Chairman, may I s:tate my reasons for my point of order?

Mr. Chairman: There’s nothing out of order. You’ll have an opportunity. There’s a free flow of discussion in the committee and you’ll have an opportunity when I recognize you next.

The hon. member for Scarborough Centre.

Mr. Drea: Mr. Chairman, I oppose this amendment. As I say, I’ve had considerable experience in the consumer area. This amendment is being put forward as a consumer or a customer amendment. For five years I conducted what was probably the largest and most successful complaint service anywhere on this continent.

Mr. Foulds: Is that in order?

Mr. Drea: When I was with the Toronto Telegram, in five years of Action Line complaints -- 250,000 of them from all across this province -- there was not a single complaint against a funeral director, a funeral home or --

Mr. Makarchuk: They were all dead!

Mr. Drea: -- indeed, any comments about the funeral industry, or the old board, or the board that we are replacing now.

In five years in active political life -- in an area where there is an older population; there is a nursing home population; there are funeral establishments -- there has not been a single phone call.

Mr. Deans: Who’s got a complaint, the patient?

Mr. Drea: What concerns me is why this extraordinary vendetta against a profession that seems to be meeting its responsibilities to serve the community, as well as the individual clientele, a profession that people are hard pressed to produce a single specific complaint about? I really think that to consider in depth an amendment such as this that would treat this profession and isolate it differently from everybody else under the regulatory authority of the Ministry of Health, the only conclusion I come to is that somewhere along the line there is a vendetta and that this type of amendment is a by-product of that vendetta, therefore I oppose it.

Mr. Deans: That’s nonsense.

Mr. Foulds: A point of privilege, Mr. Chairman. I think the member is making allegations that are unfounded, that he cannot justify and he should not make them against the other members of the House.

Mr. Deans: I agree. He is attributing motives, that’s what he’s doing.

Mr. Breithaupt: He is responding to particular motives which you allege.

Mr. Chairman: What is your point of privilege, in particular?

Mr. Foulds: In particular, Mr. Chairman? All right: Vendetta and innuendo.

Mr. Chairman: They are not unparliamentary. The hon. member for Scarborough Centre can proceed.

Mr. Drea: I was finished, Mr. Chairman. unfortunately with the uproar I didn’t hear your ruling on that.

Mr. Chairman: I didn’t rule.

Mr. Drea: Oh, okay. I had concluded, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Germa: I’d like to say a few words on this amendment and probably clarify some of the misunderstanding that seems to be prevalent in the House that this party is in some way zeroing in on the funeral directors. My own personal opinion is it goes much deeper than that.

When I’m talking and thinking about self-licensing and self-regulating bodies a chill runs up my spine, whether I’m talking about funeral directors, the legal society, the medical profession, or the architects or the dentists. So if it is a vendetta, Mr. Chairman, then it is not concentrated on this one particular group of self-licensed and privileged people who have the power to control and to contemplate their own navel, which is what I think we have here.

I think that is the objective behind the amendment. It is to bring in some people who can come in with an unbiased eye and ride herd on this profession. I would support any move in any other area of The Health Disciplines Act to accomplish the same effect -- that a majority of people on the board would be lay people and the board wouldn’t be overpowered by those people in the particular professions.

I don’t think we have to wait until the Action Line of the Toronto Sun gets 5,000 complaints. We know the average citizen in Ontario doesn’t even know he can lodge a complaint as far as the services he receives from a funeral home are concerned.

Mr. Breithaupt: We don’t know that at all.

Hon. J. R. Smith: Don’t underestimate them.

Mr. Germa: The average citizen doesn’t know that. On top of that, at the point in time when a citizen is buying this service, he is in such a distraught state of mind that he is not going to be in the frame of mind to launch a complaint. He might be talking about the bill he received on account of burying his father and it would put him in a bad light in the community if he complained that he spent too much money to bury his father, which is where the complaint would come from.

Certainly the complaint isn’t going to come from the person who has been buried, you must understand that. The person who is paying the bill is not of a mind to face the public recriminations which might pertain as a result of his complaining about the price he spent on his dear old father or his dear old mother.

I think the point the member for Scarborough Centre made -- that he had not received any complaints -- is totally invalid --

Mr. Drea: How many have you received?

Mr. Germa: -- has no relevance and should be just stricken -- I have had several.

Mr. Chairman: The hon. member for Scarborough Centre doesn’t have the floor. He yielded.

Mr. Germa: I’ve had several complaints as a result of price. That is the main area of complaint directed toward funeral directors. It is the price and the way these people, by one means or another, escalate the price of a funeral.

You and I know about the Cadillac cars and all the paraphernalia which is sold when a funeral is being arranged. The state of mind of a person when he has to go through this process, the members of the family -- you have to understand their emotional problem at the same time. They’re completely victimized, I would say, at the present time as far as price is concerned.

Mr. Good: I don’t even own a Cadillac.

Mr. Germa: They’re afraid of public opinion and that they haven’t done right by their parents. That is precisely why they have been getting away with the high cost of funeral homes. There must be some discontent. Memorial societies are blossoming all over the province. What’s that all about, if there isn’t discontent in the public mind? Memorial societies wouldn’t be growing right across this continent.

You had to take steps a few years ago to kill the co-operative funeral home movement. There is a problem in this area and I think putting lay people on the board in majority would go a long way to resolving the problem.

Hon. J. R. Smith: It is a good idea.

Mr. Breithaupt: Unlike the member for Sudbury. I do not look upon all of these other organizations as plots.

Mr. Germa: You are part of them.

Mr. Breithaupt: I would suggest that if the member for Sudbury were correct, that people don’t complain because they can’t do anything about it, surely no one would complain about the weather because none of us can do anything about that. However, it so happens that we hear complaints about the weather every day.

Obviously, people know where they can go to complain, because they would have done so --

Mr. Foulds: What kind of logic is that?

Mr. Breithaupt: -- and the comments made by the member for Scarborough Centre, with whom I do not always agree, I think, are rather cogent in this particular situation If his experience in his Action Line column, which was successful for a number of years, was that out of 50,000 annual complaints or so --

Mr. Drea: A quarter of a million.

Mr. Breithaupt: Annually?

Mr. Drea: Over five years.

Mr. Breithaupt: Yes, over the five-year time -- there were no complaints, I think it is a sign that those persons who might be concerned about this situation would have had opportunity and ability to deal with their complaints.


We have dealt in various other professions with the known and accepted view that lay representation, non-professional in that circumstance, should clearly be on the boards of the various professional groups. I suggest this has worked very well and in no instance has there ever been any suggestion that it would be done in majority. Surely the representation must be there and it is quite clear that more than one person obviously should be in that group.

We have had two suggested, and I understand that my colleague will make an amendment that will raise that number to three, which I hope may find acceptance by the ministry. A board of that size of eight persons I think would be quite satisfactory and surely I would oppose the amendment that has been made.

Mr. Chairman: The parliamentary assistant can get in any time. There’s no pecking order. I’ll recognize you any time you want to speak. You can speak more than once, if you wish.

Mr. Foulds: I would like to rise to support very strongly the amendment put forward by my colleague from Durham East. I think there is an important principle here and it may be very well that we are breaking new ground with this particular profession, but that profession is used to breaking ground on many occasions. I think there is no objection nor should there be any objection to there being a majority of lay members on the board.

The argument put forward that you need the professional expertise is neatly handled by section 3 of this bill which empowers that board to hire whatever staff, professional expertise or advice or executive body it needs. I see no reason why the consumers of this province should not be protected. The principle is a very simple one and we in this party believe in consumer protection and the other two parties apparently believe in protection of the professional in their continued elite kind of position.

Mr. Ruston: How about your profession?

Mr. Moffatt: We don’t think that that should be self-governing.

Mr. Foulds: No. Our party has never advocated the self-governing of the teaching profession.

Mr. Ruston: Now, now.

Mr. Foulds: We tell the teachers that straight, unlike some other parties in this House. May I point out that the teaching profession is not self-governing.

Mr. Breithaupt: That is about all you tell the teachers.

Mr. Chairman: Order, please. Would the member for Port Arthur address the Chair?

Mr. Foulds: It does not fall into the category of the professions that have been mentioned in this House earlier.


Mr. Foulds: I beg your pardon, Mr. Chairman. Did you have a comment?

Mr. Chairman: I asked the member for Port Arthur if he would address the Chair with his remarks.

Mr. Foulds: With great pleasure. In terms of consumer protection, I simply want to read into the record a number of letters that I have received since we passed the second reading of this bill that deal particularly with this clause and with the point of protection of the consumer.

A letter from Anna F. Jarrett is very brief and says:

“Dear Sir,

“Re Bill 171, The Funeral Services Act. This bill should be held up until adequate consumer representation is provided.”

We are trying, if I may say as an aside, to provide that consumer protection.

Mr. Breithaupt: Does she say what adequate is?

Mr. Moffatt: We suggested this for months, how’s that? You didn’t support that idea.

Mr. Breithaupt: We certainly did.

Mr. Foulds: You did not. You voted against our hoist motion. You want to rush the bill through. Let it show in the record that the Liberal Party wishes to rush through section 2 and the rest of this bill so that the consumers of the province cannot be protected.

Mr. Drea: Chintzy, chintzy.

Mr. Foulds: Here is another letter: “Dear Jim Foulds:

“We want Bill 171, The Funeral Services Act, to be held up until adequate consumer representation is provided.

“Ernest Gaudreau,

“Kakabeka Falls, Ontario.”

Mr. Breithaupt: That’s two people.

Mr. Foulds: I have a letter from W. C. Ewing.

Mr. Wiseman: On a point of order, are we allowed to read all the letters that we receive, because I could bring over a bushel basket full?

Mr. Foulds: Please do.

Mr. Bounsall: Would you, please?

Mr. Foulds: Just to make this case, we would be delighted.

Mr. Wiseman: The other night we went through all this on second reading.

Mr. Foulds: -- I would move the adjournment so that the parliamentary assistant can get his bushel of letters.

Mr. Wiseman: I don’t see why we have to do it again in the committee.

Mr. Chairman: Order, please.

Ms. Gigantes: Go get your bushel.

Mr. Wiseman: We went through this the other night. We read those the other night.

Mr. Foulds: We will send a page out to get the bushel, if you wish.

Mr. Wiseman: You are reading them all over again.

Mr. Foulds: No, these are different ones. If you had paid attention you would know.

Mr. Breithaupt: We are up to three now.

Hon. J. R. Smith: May we have their addresses?

Mr. Foulds: Sure. This is from W. C. Ewing, 125 North McKellar Street, Thunder Bay F, Ontario. He says: “I wish to protest most vehemently -- “

Mr. Drea: This is a new one.

Mr. Foulds: I can’t read the next words here in handwriting; “ ... to solicit your vote against the passage of the proposed bill relative to the handling of matters of having to do with death, et cetera. This proposed legislation is patently designed to give a monopoly to funeral directors and to take unfair advantage of the bereaved particularly if, as I understand it, it is made illegal for anyone but a funeral director to give advice. Also in the application of the Act the committee on regulations is heavily weighted in favour of business, being five to two in favour of the funeral directors. This most certainly should not be.”

Mr. Good: No, that isn’t true. That would put all of you out of business.

Mr. Acting Chairman: Order, please. I’m wondering if the information provided by the member really refers to the amendment before the committee here.

Mr. Foulds: Section 2; that’s the funeral services board with the composition heavily weighted in favour of the funeral directors. Does that clarify the matter for you, Mr. Chairman?

Mr. Drea: No, it isn’t.


Mr. Norton: What we need is a majority of Tories on the provincial governing body of the NDP.

Mr. Drea: I don’t think so.

Mr. Foulds: To that particular point some of us in the party sometimes have the feeling that we’ve been infiltrated.

All right. If I may, another letter from Victor C. Smith and Sarah J. Smith: “We should like to protest the rapid passage of Bill 171 and urge you to delay second and third reading of the bill until all of its implications have been fully examined and discussed, preferably in a general public forum.”

Mr. Ruston: A little order here.

Mr. Drea: You are not welcome.

Mr. Good: Order.

Mr. Breithaupt: Here is the fifth one.

Mr. Ruston: You are not speaking on the amendment.

Mr. Drea: Point of order, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Acting Chairman: I’m sorry; as the previous chairman stated there’s no such thing as a point of order. However, again I’d like to draw to the attention of --

Mr. Angus: We don’t have the benefit of a funeral director in our caucus.

Mr. Breithaupt: Some of you could use it.

Mr. Acting Chairman: Order. I’d like to draw to the attention of the member for Port Arthur that I think he is straying considerably from the content of the amendment. I’d ask him to keep his remarks to the amendment.

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Chairman, with great respect, what we are dealing with is the major objection that has been filed with many members of this Legislature against the bill. The major objection is the lack of consumer representation on the board within the Act. Section 2, which we are speaking to, deals with the composition of that board. I say to you with great respect that is the point I am speaking to and it is the major point these letters I am reading speak to as well.

Mr. Drea: You must be clairvoyant if you can see it in the last one.

Mr. Foulds: I could see it in the last one if you’d give me time to complete the letter.

Mr. Acting Chairman: Does that complete your remarks?

Mr. Foulds: No, it certainly does not. I’m just responding to your point and I’d like you to take that under advisement. A letter from the Rev. Gordon Daly --

Hon. Mr. Handleman: What happened to the other one?

Mr. Norton: I hope you are going to send copies of Hansard to all of them.

Mr. Foulds: I hadn’t thought of that. It’s a very good idea. It really had never occurred to me.

Mr. Norton: Your motives are transparent.


Mr. Foulds: Unfortunately, in this bill so are those of your party.

Mr. Norton: Come off it now. We have a balanced view.


Mr. Acting Chairman: Order, please.

Mr. Eaton: Have you got one from your wife?

An hon. member: Who writes these speeches for you?

Mr. Foulds: Who writes your one-liners?

Mr. Acting Chairman: Order, please.

Mr. Cunningham: That is not in order.


Mr. Acting Chairman: Order, please. Would the member for Port Arthur continue?

Mr. Foulds: This is a letter from Rev. Gordon Daly, addressed to Mr. Davis; I seem to have got a copy of it.

Mr. Cunningham: What church is that?

Mr. Foulds: The United Church, as a matter of fact. “I am deeply concerned about the present legislation before the House, namely Bill 171, The Funeral Services Act, 1976. I am not opposed to funeral directors. They fulfil a necessary function in our society but I believe that no one has the right to require me to use a funeral director for the burial of a loved one” --

Mr. Ruston: That’s not in order at all.

Mr. Foulds: Would you mind waiting until the man finishes his sentence, for crying out loud?


Mr. Foulds: Just because you can’t finish a sentence, just understand that some people in this society can.

Mr. Drea: You’re so dumb you can’t find the --

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Drea: You are some attribute to the teaching profession, I tell you.

Mr. Foulds: You are some attribute to the protection of consumers in this province, let me tell you.

Mr. Eaton: He sure is. That is why they elected him.

Mr. Mackenzie: That comment shows where the dumbness is.

An hon. member: Read it in Hansard, Frank.

Mr. Foulds: “I am not opposed to funeral directors. They fulfil a necessary function in our society. But I believe that no one has the right to require me to use a funeral director for the burial of a loved one if the person being buried and I both believe that the $500 paid can be used for such things as the development of the Third World.”

Mr. Ruston: That’s not this amendment; you are not speaking to the amendment at all.

Mr. Foulds: I want to point out to you that nothing in the amendment we are proposing is opposed to funeral directors. They still have representation on the board. I want to make that perfectly clear. What our amendment does is advocate those interests of the consumer.

Mr. Breithaupt: As you see them.

Mr. Foulds: And as the consumer sees them.

Mr. Breithaupt: Only some.

Mr. Norton: Talk to the memorial societies, that I have talked to.

Mr. Angus: We wanted to give them time to talk to us, but you wouldn’t allow that.

Mr. Foulds: Finally, a letter from Laura W. Stranges: “Honourable Sir:

“As a member of the Memorial Society of Thunder Bay, I have just been informed that the above-mentioned bill, Bill 171, will be coming up for second reading shortly. I have been given to understand that this bill is recommending a board composed of five funeral directors and two lay people, along with the further recommendation to prohibit any persons other than funeral directors from offering advice on funerals. I wish to make it known that I oppose the above recommendation very strongly.”

Those are only a small selection of the letters that many of us have received. And I wish other members of the House had not harangued me so much simply for taking excerpts from five sample letters, because I think these people in the province have a legitimate case to make about the make-up of this board. I think our amendment meets that concern and we will be supporting that -- I personally will be supporting that amendment -- with every amount of legislative strength that we have. We wish that we could persuade one of the other two parties in this House also to take the interests of consumers to heart.

Mr. B. Newman: Mr. Chairman, the previous speaker assumes that under clause (b) the individuals appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council are not going to be consumers.

Mr. Foulds: No, we just want --

Mr. B. Newman: They are going to be consumers; the consumers definitely are going to have a say in there.

Mr. Eaton: Everybody will be a consumer some time.

Hon. J. R. Smith: We all die one day.

Mr. B. Newman: They may not necessarily be from the Consumers’ Association, but they are still going to be consumers. In fact, some of the funeral directors who are involved may also be members of a consumers’ association, but they are consumers.

Mr. Foulds: Funeral directors --

Mr. B. Newman: We are speaking to section 2(2)(a), Mr. Chairman. Like the other members who have spoken previous to me, I too have received telegrams concerning this bill. I received 50 telegrams, but only one opposed the passage of this bill -- and that one was from the memorial society; the other 49 asked for the passage of the bill.

Mr. Davidson: Who sent you those?

Mr. Foulds: How many signatures?

Mr. Angus: What organizations do they represent?

Mr. B. Newman: I don’t intend to read any of the telegrams I have received from consumers in my own constituency --

Mr. Breithaupt: How many did these represent?

Mr. B. Newman: -- but you can see that not one of them has complained.

Mr. Cunningham: I think you are dead on this one.

Mr. B. Newman: The member for Scarborough Centre, having spent years on the Action Line column in the Toronto Telegram, is certainly speaking from experience. In my years as a member of the Legislature I have not received a single complaint from anyone concerning funeral services --

Mr. Foulds: How many multiple complaints?

Mr. B. Newman: -- in the city of Windsor, the behaviour of any of the individuals who run the establishments or the prices they may have charged. Not a single individual has complained to me -- and I have spent a few years in this House. I would suggest to my colleagues on the right that they reconsider their position --



Mr. B. Newman: -- and when we amend the next subsection that they join with us so that the consumers they are interested in -- and we are all interested in the consumers -- will have that additional voice.

Mr. Foulds: Why don’t you support us on this one and we will support you on yours?

Mr. Breithaupt: Because you are wrong and we are right.

Mr. Eaton: I want to rise in opposition to this amendment. I simply point out I can’t understand how a party in this House in Ontario would come here demanding that the Consumers’ Association of Canada be the ones to name the representatives when we have a consumers’ association in Ontario. I cannot understand the reasoning on that at all.

Mr. Foulds: It’s an affiliated body.

Mr. Eaton: I also want to point out the inconsistency of this party across the way saying it wants that kind of representation on it. I think it was the member for Sudbury who went through a whole gamut of things just two weeks ago in this House when they were on exactly the opposite side of the position, saying they wanted nine members of credit onions on the credit unions insurance association. There is complete inconsistency in your party and the kind of things you bring in here.

Mr. Angus: You might own the credit unions. You don’t own the funeral homes.

Mr. Eaton: I think we should oppose this bill.

Mr. Norton: They sure like to ignore the consumer, too, when it comes to their own --

Mr. Davidson: We don’t get the padding you do.

Mr. Acting Chairman: Order.

Mr. Bounsall: I want to go clearly on record as supporting our amendment to this bill. I say that as a representative from one of the ridings in Windsor I have had people call me complaining about and very upset about the price they are being required to pay for funerals. They are not complaining about the treatment they have been given by an individual funeral director per se, but about the price they must pay to get even a fairly simple funeral.

They also complain about the difficulty they encounter in some instances in receiving information about the particular breakdown of services which might be available. In other cases there is surprise at the final bill which pertains when they thought they had understood something different. Unfortunately, in most cases it was an indication of thinking one thing when the actuality was something else.

I have had not too many letters on this but a succession of telegrams. I have some from funeral directors certainly supporting the quick passage of the bill. The intent of most of the telegrams I have had was that these persons, memorial societies and various consumer groups should have a chance for real input on this bill, and that legislators should have an opportunity to hear the real valid concerns which they have about funeral services in this province.

My particular thoughts on this section of the bill and the composition of the board most clearly point this up. The Funeral Services Act, this one and the forerunner of this Act, The Embalmers and Funeral Directors Act, have found their way into the wrong ministry. This really has nothing to do with health in this province and in no logical way does The Funeral Services Act or its predecessor rest at all well with the Health ministry.

Mr. Eaton: What has that got to do with the amendment?

Where Acts of this sort should be is in the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations; any sort of ministry which deals with consumers’ affairs.

Mr. Mackenzie: What’s bothering you?

Mr. Bounsall: The bill coming through should be a consumer bill geared to the recognition of consumer rights and their protection in dealing with a very valid and necessary group of business persons in this province. It should be a bill which represents the consumers in this province. Therefore we feel very strongly that the board should be composed of a majority of consumers in this province. We are all, at one time in our lives, inevitably a consumer of a funeral service. None of us has achieved immortality yet.

Mr. Breithaupt: Not during our lifetime.

Mr. R. S. Smith: I hope not during my lifetime.

Mr. Bounsall: By consumer I mean someone who is concerned about consumer protection. A funeral director on a board regulating funeral directors is not, by definition, a valid consumer protector type person in that role. We certainly want these roles reversed. I can see no --

Mr. Norton: What about teachers on the board of the OSSTF?

Mr. Bounsall: It’s not a self-governing body.

Mr. Foulds: They don’t establish their own criteria.

Mr. Moffatt: He was a teacher at one time, too, and he knows.

Mr. Foulds: Certainly, and I still am.

Mr. Bounsall: As the member for Port Arthur and other members of our caucus are pointing out, teachers are not a self-governing body and they do not license themselves. This has not been a position supported by our party.

The problem with this bill, having come from the Ministry of Health, is that all they have done is create a bill similar to the other sections of The Health Disciplines Act, relating to the five other health disciplines they’ve set out, It simply is not a bill appropriate to deal with funeral directors in this province, in my opinion. We need a completely different kind of bill.

On that board it would be most appropriate that there be some funeral directors on the board. We proposed two and we’re easy on whether there should be another one -- three for that matter. If the parliamentary assistant wishes to come and say “Why two? Let’s make it three,” we’re not necessarily wedded to two as long as the clear majority on that board are not funeral directors but people who will represent the consumer interest of the people in the province of Ontario.

It’s been asked why did we put in the amendment naming the Consumers’ Association of Canada? That is the official name of the major consumer group in Canada of which there is an Ontario division. The Ontario people are simply part of the larger group and it’s from that Ontario division the consumers should be nominated for this particular position.

Mr. Acting Chairman: Does the parliamentary assistant wish to make some comments?

Mr. Wiseman: Yes. I’d just like to say to the member for Sudbury with regard to the comments he made that he should make those in writing to the registrar and let them check them out. I feel, even with the board the way it is now, those complaints could be looked after by the board and in a good manner.

A lot has been said on this amendment. We can’t accept the amendment as presented by the member for Durham East. I feel that it’s just not proper to figure on five lay people and two funeral directors. I believe if the hon. members who have talked this afternoon studied the bill they’ll see that there is a lot of protection in there. As I mentioned, there are four committees in there and one lay person sits on two committees. The member for Waterloo North mentioned the percentages the other night and this is one of the highest percentages of lay people in the health disciplines.

I feel too that if they looked at the review committee they would see it’s all made up of lay people. There are not less than three and not more than seven. Then there is the fact that both the review committee and the board make reports to the minister that will end up in the Legislature and be tabled. One is being presented by the board with the lay people on it; the other is being presented by all lay people. If there are some faults found in the bill later on, they’ll be tabled here and surely we’ll be able to correct them at a later date. We can’t accept this amendment.

Mr. Acting Chairman: The member for Durham East gave the floor to the parliamentary assistant. The member for Durham East may continue.

Mr. Moffatt: In support of the amendment, what I think is happening here this afternoon is exactly the kind of thing that we are trying to avoid. If the member for Scarborough Centre is so convinced that this legislation is good, and it may well be, then why was the government so reluctant to see this legislation have real public input over a period of time, so that if there were difficulties, as there may have been, as alluded to by the parliamentary assistant, we could have corrected those situations? The people for whom my colleague from Sudbury was speaking would have had a chance to have input into this. There would have been general acceptance of the legislation across the province if it had been found worth supporting.

The problem is that you pushed the thing through. You brought it in on November 26. There is no comparison, let me tell the member for Middlesex, between this legislation and the credit unions legislation. The credit unions legislation affects only those people who are inside the credit unions; this affects the general public. If you don’t know the difference you should have sat down.


Mr. Moffatt: What really disturbs me is that that kind of fatuous comment leads to the kind of confrontation that has one group -- the people in memorial societies -- out now battling with the people who are members of the profession of funeral directors. If the comment was not fatuous, Mr. Chairman, I withdraw that. It certainly sounded that way to me.

Mr. Foulds: It certainly was.

Mr. Moffatt: What does bother me is that all of a sudden a situation which could have been dealt with in an appropriate fashion and on which there could have been good cooperation, because of the precipitous manner in which this legislation is being dealt with we find this sort of confrontation where people are writing in opposing all of the bill because of a clause or two.

I ask you, Mr. Chairman, if that makes sense. In this day and age, why do we have to push legislation through in order that somebody will be able to say, “Hah, I’ve completed my work for another six weeks,” or something? That doesn’t make any sense at all.

I urge the members to support this amendment. If there is any real sense in this province of the public ever having some input into consumer affairs, this is one place we can start.

Mr. Ruston: Mr. Chairman, very briefly, there’s been enough said with regard to this amendment. I want to go on record as being opposed to it, I don’t think the bill has actually been rushed through as quickly as some bills have. This was November 26, and if I remember, I think today is about December 15. So that is about 20 days.

I just can’t see the amendment as proposed by the member for Durham East in any way. I think that, sure, we want some people representing the general public on all these governing bodies, and that’s the procedure we’ve been heading for for the last number of years. Our party has been very strong on that, that more members of the general public be put on them to see that the public is represented. Goodness knows, we need more, when we see what is happening even in our own medical field, which we read about from the auditor’s report and so forth, and in other organizations that have been in the past number of years --

Mr. Foulds: Ah, you are going to support us. Keep talking.

Mr. Ruston: -- by themselves, but only in the last few years have had some public input into them. Certainly we need some public input, but we also have to have people on there who know what they are doing. So I want to go on record as being opposed to this amendment.

Mr. Wiseman: Mr. Chairman, I wasn’t going to say anything more on this amendment, but I think the member for Durham East left the impression that there hadn’t been input into this bill from the memorial societies and from other interested groups. I can tell him and go on the record that the minister has seen the memorial societies over the last year. This bill has been in a draft form since I went with the Ministry of Health over a year ago. It’s been well discussed but it’s changed very little since the original draft. I have seen a good many groups that have come in to see me and I’ve spoken to a good many on the phone. To stand up here and say there’s been no input and that we rushed things through like this -- It even goes back further than a year ago; I understand the talk about a new bill goes back even more years --

Mr. Good: Five years ago.

Mr. Wiseman: -- four or five years. I think it is wrong for anybody to give the impression that people and the public haven’t had input into this bill.

Mr. Kennedy: Mr. Chairman, I was just going to comment along the lines that the parliamentary assistant has, that this bill has been a long time in the making. There has been ample opportunity for input and discussion of it. For the member for Durham East to suggest that it was patched up on November 27 and rushed through the House --

Mr. Foulds: The 26th.

Mr. Kennedy: Okay; we are talking five years, so what’s five days? It just isn’t accurate and the House should be well aware of this.


The other thing is, the member for Durham East said that if there had been more time we wouldn’t have had this rash of correspondence and telegrams in opposition to it. I just want it on the record that my communications from people have been just the opposite; the ratio of about one to 10 in favour is the way they came into my office in support of the bill as it stands.

Mr. Davidson: Where do they come from?

Mr. Kennedy: They said, “It’s a good bill as it stands; it has been dealt with thoroughly over a long period of time; put it through.” I reject the amendment.

Mr. Bounsall: I’d like to reply to the point which the parliamentary assistant, the member for Lanark, has just made. The fact that he joined the ministry a year ago and realized there was something in draft form does not mean that any of the consuming public saw any of those drafts or had any input on those drafts or any intimation of what that draft would be until after it was tabled in this House on November 26.

Mr. Eaton: He said they did. Why don’t you listen?

Mr. Bounsall: Did I misunderstand the parliamentary assistant on that point?

Mr. Wiseman: I think you did. I think you only heard part. I said the minister met with the memorial societies, and he met with other interested groups, as did I. As well as that, I didn’t mention it when I was on my feet before, but I mentioned it the other night, the chairman of the board of the funeral directors’ association mentioned it at their annual meeting, which got good coverage, in November of this year. They also had regional meetings out in the area; I know the one in my own area was well publicized and well attended

I feel sure that people knew, although there are some that don’t avail themselves of this information; they don’t go to annual meetings and this sort of thing. But there were good representations to the minister cud good representations to me; it wasn’t rushed right through as some members would have us believe.

Mr. Bounsall: Let me respond to that point. There was some contact with the ministry post-October 1973 by the memorial societies when they presented a proposal for legislative reforms. There have been some -- there may have been a couple of short meetings --

Mr. Good: This has no bearing on the amendment.

Mr. Bounsall: -- with various ministry officials at which there was no clear indication of the type and detail of what legislation was coming forward. When that legislation comes forward and you have it at hand, that is the time at which you look at the legislation and then have an opportunity to influence legislators. We’re talking about the opportunity you have, with a piece of proposed government legislation actually in hand, to discuss that proposed legislation and to indicate where it is deficient.

Mr. Good: This has nothing to do with the amendment. It is all out of order.

Mr. Bounsall: That is what we are talking about, Mr. Chairman. On this point, may I point out to the parliamentary assistant that when the other health disciplines Acts were being discussed in this province, I believe 11 weeks was spent outside the House, in committee -- 11 weeks which dealt with five health disciplines Acts, which means slightly over two weeks in committee, with the public addressing it, for health discipline bills.

Here we have a bill on the funeral industry, related to the other health discipline bills, and we bring it in at a time when there will be absolutely no opportunity for any of the public to have any input in committee outside the House to this legislation. We’re saying there is no need to rush this legislation. It doesn’t matter whether we have it now or whether we have it next March or next May --

An hon. member: Order.

Mr. Bounsall: It could have been introduced in the next session to allow this bill to go to standing committee so that there could be a week or two, whatever it takes -- I would suggest no more than a week would be necessary -- for the public, the memorial societies and the various consumer groups to appear before the members of this Legislature and indicate what, in my opinion, are their very valid concerns as they have expressed them to me.

Mr. Chairman: I would like to point out to the committee that the last part of this discussion was certainly out of order in connection with the amendment. I heard a number of times the members of the committee calling for the question. If the member for Port Arthur wishes to continue on the amendment, I’ll ask the member for Port Arthur to continue.

Mr. Foulds: I just have two very quick comments resulting from the parliamentary assistant’s comments. He indicated that there had been consultation with a wide range of consumer groups, but he also indicated that the bill had changed very little in its draft form,

Mr. Good: It is out of order. It is not in the amendment at all.

Mr. Foulds: I have a specific question, if you wouldn’t mind keeping your mouth shut for a minute. I have a specific question, if you don’t mind.

Mr. B. Newman: It is out of order.

Mr. Foulds: How the hell do you know whether it’s out of order or not until you’ve heard my question, you nitwit?


Mr. Foulds: The specific question that I would like to ask the parliamentary assistant is whether section 2(2) has been changed --

Mr. B. Newman: Mr. Chairman, on a point of personal privilege.

Mr. Chairman: Point of personal privilege.


Mr. B. Newman: Mr. Chairman, I don’t consider the member who just called me a nitwit a nitwit at all, I think he’s a gentleman.

Mr. Chairman: It is a point well taken.

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Chairman, on that point I withdraw that particular remark. I think I was only half right.

Mr. Wiseman: I hope the member doesn’t use that language in school.

Mr. B. Newman: Mr. Chairman, on a point of personal privilege, I object to the remark the gentleman just made.

Mr. Chairman: I think it is unparliamentary.

Mr. Foulds: I will withdraw the remark, Mr. Chairman.

The specific question that I would like to ask the parliamentary assistant is whether this section, as it is presented in the bill, has changed in the draft form since the ministry has had it, and whether or not the ministry started out with a larger representation from the consumers and the representation by the funeral directors was such that they had to increase the number of funeral directors on the board. I’d like a straight answer to that question, if he knows.

Mr. Chairman: Any further comment on tile amendment by Mr. Moffatt to 2(2)?

Mr. Foulds: Is there any answer?

Mr. Chairman: He doesn’t have to if he doesn’t want to.

Mr. Foulds: I just want the record to show that there was no answer to that question.

Mr. Chairman: Are you ready for the question?

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

All those opposed will please say “nay.”

In my opinion, the nays have it.

Vote stacked.

Mr. Chairman: It is my understanding that the hon. member for Waterloo North has an amendment.

Mr. Good: I have an amendment to section 2(2)(b).

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Good moves that section 2(2)(b) of the bill be amended by striking out the word “two” in the third line and substituting therefor the word “three.”

Mr. Good: Briefly, there are two major points regarding this amendment. First of all, the inclusion of three persons not licensed under the Act on the board would mean that there is a larger percentage of non-licensed persons or representatives of the public on this particular board than on any other governing board of any other particular group in the province. There is severe criticism by the memorial societies of this particular section of the Act. And let’s make no mistake about it, the NDP’s arguments are all related to the wishes of the memorial societies in this province because they have not come up with specific complaints against individual funeral directors.

The addition of another lay person or a member of the public on the board would allow, in my view, a representative of the non-licensed persons on each of the major committees. There are four committees in the bill but I think the licensing committee, the complaints committee and the discipline committee are the three committees that would be best served by having individual and different representatives of the public on them. The Act says they must be different persons on the complaints committee and on the discipline committee, but by adding another public representative you could have a different person on the licence committee as well, which is a rather onerous load, I believe, on the licence committee.

I would ask the ministry to accept this amendment and, I hope, have the support of the NDP.

Mr. Wiseman: Mr. Chairman, perhaps it would help the other members if they realized that we would he prepared to accept that amendment.

Mr. Angus: Mr. Chairman, I would like to move an amendment to Mr. Good’s amendment, if I may. I would like to move an amendment that would change the word “three” to the word “five.”

Mr. Chairman: That, in effect, would have the same effect as the one that was just stacked.

Mr. Angus: No, Mr. Chairman. If I may, the one that was just stacked would reverse the numbers so that there would have been five consumers and two funeral directors. This amendment, if accepted or passed in this House, would make them five and five.

Mr. Chairman: That was the effect of the amendment by Mr. Moffatt.

Mr. Angus: No, Mr. Chairman, it was not. The amendment by Mr. Moffatt would provide for, in clause (a) two funeral directors, and in clause (b) five persons who are not licensees under this Act.

Mr. Chairman: I’ll accept that amendment. Do you have it in writing?

Mr. Good: Can I speak to that one?

Mr. Chairman: It is not properly before the committee until --

Mr. Good: I think it is out of order, Mr. Chairman. We just ruled out an amendment which was going to put five members of the public on the board and now they are trying to introduce the same amendment again.

Mr. Foulds: Except that you passed the amendment that is the same.

Mr. Good: No, it isn’t. Their first amendment that was stacked was going to put, under clause (b), five persons who are not licensed under the Act, and their amendment to my amendment would do exactly the same thing as the vote that is passed.

Mr. Foulds: No, it wouldn’t.

Mr. Angus: Mr. Chairman, may I speak to that?

Mr. Chairman: Yes, you may.

Mr. Angus: I would just like to point out that the original premise in Mr. Moffatt’s motion was to reverse the number of members to give the consumers a majority on that committee. This amendment of mine to Mr. Good’s amendment will make them equal partners.

Mr. Good: Read Mr. Moffatt’s amendment. It said, “by deleting in the first line -- ”

Mr. Chairman: As I understand Mr. Moffatt’s amendment it was to delete “two” and insert “five.” That was stacked. The effect of Mr. Good’s, amendment is to increase it from two to three and the amendment proposed by the member for Fort William would have the same effect as the other one that was just stacked, changing it from three to five. In effect, you are trying to do through the back door what you couldn’t do through the front door.

Mr. Foulds: Is it successful?

Mr. Angus: Mr. Chairman, the motion is coming down.

Mr. Eaton: Are we supposed to be finished tonight?

Mr. Foulds: Do you want to move a motion of closure? Do you want to move closure?

Mr. Chairman: Order. As I read it, the amendment to the amendment would have the same effect as the motion by Mr. Moffatt that is already stacked and I am going to declare the amendment to the amendment out of order.

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Chairman, if I might then speak to the original amendment of Mr. Good, we will support it because it does increase the consumer representation even though it doesn’t achieve as much as we would like to see. We will support it because it improves marginally the representation of the consumers.

Mr. Chairman: Shall Mr. Good’s amendment carry?

Motion agreed to.

Sections 3 and 4 agreed to.

On section 5:

Mr. B. Newman: Section 5(1).

Mr. Chairman: Is it an amendment?

Mr. B. Newman: No, I just want to make some comments on it so that the minister can clarify 5(1).


Mr. Chairman: You have the floor.

Mr. B. Newman: During second reading of the bill I made certain comments concerning 5(1) and I would like to express them once again to the hon. member so that he could allay the fears and anxieties of many in the industry as to their responsibilities and the fact that they do perform certain functions and services so that they may not be in contravention of the Act.

One of the comments mentioned to me is that an unlicensed funeral director or an unlicensed individual working for a funeral director, answering the telephone, would not actually be able to converse with the caller who wishes to have preparations made for services. Also under this Act, an individual assisting a funeral director at the graveside would not be able to give directions to the public or anything. It would require a licensed funeral director to perform all the services required during the course of taking care of a funeral.

There are others on which the member can reply to me. He knows what I mentioned earlier. If he would reply for the sake of expediting the bill, I would prefer to hear him now.

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Moffatt moves that subsection 1 of section 5 of the bill be amended by deleting the words “or directing the providing of” in the second line.

Mr. Wiseman: We would be prepared to accept that motion of the member for Durham East.

I think, if I could say while I’m on my feet, this would help to clear up the problem the member for Windsor-Walkerville has in regard to what the lay person can do and the funeral directors’ jobs. I have them briefly outlined here for him. As I see it and as I’m told, the duties of the lay person may be to go on removals; answer the telephone or be in the funeral home to take first call information; assist at the door of the funeral home; set up flowers; drive a motor vehicle at funerals. He can’t make funeral arrangements, perform embalming or conduct funerals.

Mr. B. Newman: If I may, would the lay person be allowed to inform the press -- to submit the death notices to the press over the telephone, especially when there is a deadline and the licensed funeral director is not around the establishment at the time? The deadline quite often is quite early in the morning and the funeral director may not be there, especially if there are no services for him to perform?

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Moffatt moves that subsection (b) --

Mr. Moffatt: Mr. Chairman, subsection (b) should not be in there. It should just read “by deleting the words for funeral supplies or both.”

Mr. Chairman: It is very difficult for the Chair if the amendments don’t come before the committee in their proper form. Mr. Moffatt moves that section 5(1) be amended by deleting “or funeral supplies or both” in the third line.

Mr. Moffatt: My reason for moving the amendment is for the benefit of people in remote areas where the services have been not provided by funeral directors in all cases. In some cases memorial societies have involved themselves in purchasing low-cost materials so that the people in those areas could take advantage of low-cost materials. This would provide for those people so to do.

If I may add, I apologize for the amendment being put in writing. I had it printed but on another page with the first part which, you advised me, would not be acceptable as two amendments so I rewrote it.

Mr. Good: I don’t think this amendment is actually needed for remote areas because there are no licensing requirements in remote areas. That is covered in another section of the bill.

The amendment would certainly change the whole concept of the regulations of the Act and the policing of the whole funeral service. The idea, of course, is that no one may hold himself out as a funeral director and providing both services and materials is part of that. We could not support this part of the amendment for that reason.

I feel there is ample provision now. If people want to care for their own dead, there is no law against it. You can build your own casket if you so desire and look after members of your family as long as you are not holding yourself out as doing that on a continual basis for other people. This would distort the whole line of the Act and we could not support this particular amendment.

Mr. Wiseman: Mr. Chairman, I think the member for Waterloo put it well. We couldn’t support this amendment.

Mr. Bounsall: I think this is another key amendment because there are instances, not in remote areas but in built up areas, of problems, as far as I know, in the cities of Thunder Bay and Kingston, in finding the low-cost materials or low-cost supplies made available by undertakers in those communities. In both those communities there is a need for that type of supply, which is not available through the funeral directors, to be supplied by other people.

I, for one, can’t see anything wrong -- and I hope the parliamentary assistant would take this fully into account in a particular carpenter, for example, in the winter months when he is not working, putting together for sale to whoever wants to buy from him directly, the seven-eighths inch pine cremation box, which is what’s required under The Cemeteries Act, at whatever price he wishes to ask. If that type of box is not available through the funeral directors in his locality and it need not be a remote locality for this to occur -- I cannot see why that person should be enjoined from selling that particular kind of supply.

We have the two instances of Thunder Bay and Kingston where it is difficult to get some of the low-cost supplies which are available through funeral directors in other parts of the province, I cannot see why that supply cannot be provided by another group or another person in that community. I use as a simple example someone who decides to build a cremation box which meets the criteria of The Cemeteries Act for sale to whomever wishes to purchase it.

We are talking to the member for Lanark of supplies; we are not talking about any other form of service. We are not talking about embalming, we are simply talking about supplies which aren’t being given in the community now but which could be given and which meet any requirements of any other Acts in the province. It can be for that matter, since funeral services and funeral establishments are a competitive business, the provision of those at a lower cost than what might be available collectively from all of the funeral service establishments in the locality.

Mr. Foulds: I just want to speak to the principle embodied in our amendment. I really don’t understand what this government and what the Liberal Party have against free enterprise in the supplying of funeral supplies. I notice there is no definition of funeral supplies in the Act and I see no reason in the world, as a matter of principle, given your cast of thought, why funeral directors should be the sole people to supply funeral supplies. As my colleague says, we are not talking about services, we are simply talking about supplies. A plumber is not the only one who can sell you a toilet. You can get that at the hardware store if you want. A doctor is not the only one who can sell you a bandage. You can buy that at the drug store. Why should not the same principle apply in funeral supplies? I know there is a whole aura of sanctity about them, but is there any public health or safety factor involved?

Mr. Germa: Monopoly.

Mr. Foulds: That is exactly what it is. You are giving the funeral director in this case a very direct monopoly of supplies.

Mr. Angus: That’s how you believe in free enterprise -- protect your own.

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

All those opposed will please say “nay.”

In my opinion, the “nays” have it.

Vote stacked.

On section 5:

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Moffatt moves that section 5 of the bill be amended as follows:

In subsection 4, one, by adding “or” at the end of clause (a) and by deleting “or” at the end of clause (b) and, two, by deleting clause (c) and by adding to the section the following subsection 6: “Subsections 1 and 2 does not apply in a sparsely settled area where a funeral director is not available.”

Mr. Moffatt: Mr. Chairman, there is a grammatical error in there now. That “does” should be “do.” Quite simply, our concern here is that the items specified in the first part include embalming and we feel that that practice should not be engaged in by a person who has not at least had some modicum of training.

On motion by Hon. Mr. Handleman, the committee of the whole House reported certain resolutions and asked for leave to sit again.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, before moving the adjournment of the House, I would just like to inform the members that we propose to continue tomorrow after question period in committee of the whole to deal with the continuation of Bill 171, Bill 135 and Bill 187, and I to go into second reading of Bill 176, to conduct the debate on the select committee on the Camp commission report and to wind up tomorrow evening with the budget debate.

On motion by Hon. Mr. Handleman, the House adjourned at 6 p.m.